Climategate: the bottom line

By Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle
From the Cartoonist Group.

The bottom line of the CRU email leak, is that in terms of the science behind global warming the emails are meaningless. In terms of the politics they are not, but only because deniers are twisting the emails, taking them out of context and claiming that they invalidate the science. This is denialism pure and simple.

The fact that deniers have jumped all over this shows, again, their disregard for the truth. They automatically assume the worst (so obviously they are not skeptics), without any evidence to back up their extreme claims. Anyone who jumped on this has revealed their true colours. They aren’t interested in finding truth… but we already knew that.

In the end this little escapade has revealed more about the deniers than about climatologists.

But if you disagree, please post specific examples of compromised science (vague claims simply won’t cut it), and then explain exactly how this changes our picture of the climate system. If you claim these emails somehow invalidate global warming, this is the absolute minimum one needs to substantiate those claims.

10 thoughts on “Climategate: the bottom line

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  1. Sigh she thinks ‘hide the decline’ refers to a temperate decline. Yet later on admits that temperatures are increasing.

    So did they conspire to hide the decline in temperatures or are temperatures increasing?

    I know it is too much to ask for basic fact checking, but can’t an editor (or even an intern!) take two seconds and make sure an article doesn’t contradict itself?

  2. James Hrynyshyn attempts to correct Palin’s errors:

    The e-mails reveal that leading climate experts deliberately destroyed [deleted copies of] records, manipulated adjusted data to “hide the decline” in global select North American temperatures [tree-ring proxy data that conflicted with observational records], and tried to silence [challenge] their [non-expert] critics’ by preventing them from publishing [competency and the wisdom of allowing flawed papers to appear] in peer-reviewed journals. What’s more, [T]he documents show that there was no a real consensus even within the CRU crowd. [While s]ome scientists had strong doubts about the accuracy of estimates reliability of temperatures [proxy data] from centuries ago [the last three decades, estimates used to back claims that more recent temperatures are rising at an alarming rate, [the observational data since 1850 only confirms the science behind anthropogenic climate change].

    That was as far as he got. Takes way to much time to correct all these errors. Presumably thats the point.

  3. And more on Palin written by Alan I. Leshner the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the journal Science from the same paper who thought her article was fit to publish.

    Don’t be fooled about climate science. In April, 1994 — long after scientists had clearly demonstrated the addictive quality and devastating health impacts of cigarette smoking — seven chief executives of major tobacco companies denied the evidence, swearing under oath that nicotine was not addictive.

    Now, the American public is again being subjected to those kinds of denials, this time about global climate change. While former Alaska governor Sarah Palin wrote in her Dec. 9 op-ed that she did not deny the “reality of some changes in climate,” she distorted the clear scientific evidence that Earth’s climate is changing, largely as a result of human behaviors. She also badly confused the concepts of daily weather changes and long-term climate trends when she wrote that “while we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can’t say with assurance that man’s activities cause weather changes.” Her statement inaccurately suggests that short-term weather fluctuations must be consistent with long-term climate patterns. And it is the long-term patterns that are a cause for concern.

    Given that WaPo doesn’t bother to write corrections, I think this is about as good as it gets for refuting the nonsense it prints.

  4. Further to my previous message: I realize that CO2 Science is Exxon-backed, and that the article is biased and inaccurate. But my point is that ‘they’ knew of the issue years ago.

  5. It is hard to claim anything was hidden when it was both discussed the the peer-reviewed literature, and denialist sites. But that wont stop some. And we still have to contend with people like Palin, who think the decline that was hidden was global temperatures.

    We have our work cut out for us.

  6. Here’s one that caught me by surprise. The columnist Michael Gerson seems to have done Pielke’s honest broker trick. I started reading thinking he was from the side of reason (defending the science) till half way through where he claims:

    “Some prominent climate scientists involved in these e-mail exchanges have clearly abandoned a profession for a cause. They appear to exaggerate their public certainty on disputed issues, shade the presentation of information for political effect, tamper with the peer-review process, resist reasonable requests for supporting data and urge the destruction of e-mails to avoid embarrassment”

    If the link doesn’t work, you can find me at


  7. Well at least he doesn’t claim that the CRU leak invalidates the science behind AGW. But he has bought into some more ‘alarmist’ interpretations of the emails. Something which after reading through a bunch of them I simply cannot buy into.

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