The Worst Scientific Scandal of our Generation

TIA Daily

Commentary by Robert Tracinski

1. "The Worst Scientific Scandal of Our Generation"

Climategate has now started to become fodder for satire, including an amusing new song from Minnesotans for Global Warming (whom you may remember from a previous song extolling the benefits of global warming for residents of northern Minnesota).

The Daily Telegraph's James Delingpole—whom the paper credits with first using the term "Climategate"—has a follow-up post on the best "dog ate my homework" excuses from global warming advocates.

Speaking of the dog eating your homework, new reports confirm previous suspicions that much of the raw historical temperature data used by the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit was deleted some time ago, leaving only the processed temperature record—processed according to very dubious methods which now cannot be checked or confirmed because no one thought it was important to keep the raw data. Doesn't that just say it all?

The London Times article that reports on the data destruction also makes clear how Climategate strikes to the heart of the whole global warming establishment:


The CRU is the world's leading center for reconstructing past climate and temperatures. Climate change skeptics have long been keen to examine exactly how its data were compiled. That is now impossible.

Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at Colorado University, discovered data had been lost when he asked for original records. "The CRU is basically saying, 'Trust us.' So much for settling questions and resolving debates with science," he said.

See also the discussion by Christopher Booker, in the main link below, about how central the CRU and the other Climategate figures are to the propagation of the global warming hysteria.

The most interesting aspect of this scandal is that it now has reluctant skeptics—those who were previously too timid to take a stand publicly—coming out of the woodwork. Mathematician-turn-political commentator John Derbyshire, who says he previously "stayed clear of the topic" speaks up, as does Peter Hitchens in London's Daily Mail, who confesses:


[I]f I mention my doubts at public occasions, I can feel the swelling wrath of the unreasoning mob gathering against me. There's seldom time to make more than a few points before you are howled down by righteous zealots.

But the most common response—one that I think will be typical of the average person who hears about this scandal—is expressed eloquently in the headline of another Daily Mail article: "I might not know the truth about climate change, but I recognize trickery and slippery excuses when I see them."

As I mentioned before, this scandal is also going to drag down the mainstream media, which will face some very hard questions about why it refused to break such an enormously important story. The latest revelation is that all of the incriminating CRU e-mails were sent to BBC reporter Paul Hudson a full month before they were posted online. Presumably this was because Hudson had written an unusually honest article acknowledging the recent decline in global temperatures.

Yet when Hudson was handed the scoop of the century, he sat on it. Glenn Reynolds points to the importance of the Internet in breaking this story, which might have been buried if the MSM still dictated what news was "fit to print."


"Climate Change: This is the Worst Scientific Scandal of Our Generation," Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph, November 28

What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professor Philip Jones, the CRU's director, is in charge of the two key sets of data used by the IPCC to draw up its reports. Through its link to the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office, which selects most of the IPCC's key scientific contributors, his global temperature record is the most important of the four sets of temperature data on which the IPCC and governments rely—not least for their predictions that the world will warm to catastrophic levels unless trillions of dollars are spent to avert it….

The senders and recipients of the leaked CRU emails constitute a cast list of the IPCC's scientific elite, including not just the "Hockey Team," such as Dr. Mann himself, Dr. Jones and his CRU colleague Keith Briffa, but Ben Santer, responsible for a highly controversial rewriting of key passages in the IPCC's 1995 report; Kevin Trenberth, who similarly controversially pushed the IPCC into scaremongering over hurricane activity; and Gavin Schmidt, right-hand man to Al Gore's ally Dr. James Hansen, whose own GISS record of surface temperature data is second in importance only to that of the CRU itself….

But the question which inevitably arises from this systematic refusal to release their data is—what is it that these scientists seem so anxious to hide? The second and most shocking revelation of the leaked documents is how they show the scientists trying to manipulate data through their tortuous computer programs, always to point in only the one desired direction—to lower past temperatures and to "adjust" recent temperatures upwards, in order to convey the impression of an accelerated warming. This comes up so often (not least in the documents relating to computer data in the Harry Read Me file) that it becomes the most disturbing single element of the entire story. This is what Mr. McIntyre caught Dr. Hansen doing with his GISS temperature record last year (after which Hansen was forced to revise his record), and two further shocking examples have now come to light from Australia and New Zealand.

In each of these countries it has been possible for local scientists to compare the official temperature record with the original data on which it was supposedly based. In each case it is clear that the same trick has been played—to turn an essentially flat temperature chart into a graph which shows temperatures steadily rising. And in each case this manipulation was carried out under the influence of the CRU….

The former Chancellor Lord (Nigel) Lawson, last week launching his new think tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, rightly called for a proper independent inquiry into the maze of skulduggery revealed by the CRU leaks. But the inquiry mooted on Friday, possibly to be chaired by Lord Rees, President of the Royal Society—itself long a shameless propagandist for the warmist cause—is far from being what Lord Lawson had in mind. Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with a whitewash of what has become the greatest scientific scandal of our age.









2. Climategate and "the Totalitarian Personality"

Corruption and dishonesty don't quite cover what is revealed in the Climategate e-mails. Rather, as I have already observed, what is dangerous about those e-mail is the combination of corruption and dishonesty with self-righteousness. These people acted like villains while telling themselves they were heroes—a combination that is the signature of an evil ideology at work.

That's why I like the comment below, which describes Climategate as the product of "the totalitarian personality" which seeks to "airbrush out of the record" any facts or persons who challenge its pre-conceived ideological conclusions.


"Green Totalitarianism," Melanie Phillips, The Spectator, November 23

What appears to be the case is that these scientists did not set out to mislead the world so much as try to force data which did not correspond to their ideology of anthropogenic global warming to support that ideology….

All the manipulation, distortion and suppression revealed by these emails took place because it would seem these scientists knew their belief was not only correct but unchallengeable; and so when faced with evidence that showed it was false, they tried every which way to make the data fit the prior agenda. And those who questioned that agenda themselves had to be airbrushed out of the record, because to question it was simply impossible. Only AGW zealots get to decide, apparently, what science is. Truth is what fits their ideological agenda. Anything else is to be expunged.

Which is the more terrifying and devastating: if people are bent and deliberately try to deceive others, or if they are so much in thrall to an ideology that they genuinely have lost the power to think objectively and rationally?

I think that the terrible history of mankind provides the answer to that question. Nixon was a crook. But what we are dealing with here is the totalitarian personality.




3. The Empty Suit's Empty Promise

With the entire empirical foundation for the global warming myth crumbling, President Obama chose to announce that he will attend the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen. And Obama is going to personally pledge an enormous reduction in American energy usage.

This is an empty promise. Note that he is jetting in to make that pledge at the beginning of the Copenhagen conference, on his way to accept his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo—he couldn't make it to Berlin for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall, but this he has time for—yet he's skipping the end of the conference, which is when all of the really substantial negotiation actually happens. So as with the Nobel, Obama's appearance is all for show, with no substance behind it.

And of course, the president can promise whatever legislation he wants, but Congress has to deliver, and Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe—the most dogged congressional opponent of the global warming hysteria—tells the Wall Street Journal's Kim Strassel that after Climategate, "cap and trade is dead." That is, unless Obama tries to bypass Congress altogether and implement energy rationing by executive coup.

Speaking of bypassing Congress, a good Fox News story uncovers documents that describe the agenda behind Copenhagen: an attempt to establish UN environmentalist organizations as a kind of shadow global government, using global warming to establish the idea that "Environmentalism should be regarded on the same level with religion 'as the only compelling, value-based narrative available to humanity'," and that it should be made "'the center of political and economic decision-making' around the world."

This is what Climategate is going to stop in its tracks.


"Obama to Go to Copenhagen with Emissions Target," John M. Broder, New York Times, November 25

At the international climate meetings in Copenhagen next month, Mr. Obama will tell the delegates that the United States intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions "in the range of" 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050, officials said.

The figures reflect targets specified by legislation that passed the House in June but is stalled in the Senate. Congress has never enacted legislation that includes firm emissions limits or ratified an international global warming agreement with binding targets….

By making the pledge in an international forum, Mr. Obama is laying a bet that Congress will complete action on a climate bill next year and will be prepared to ratify an international agreement based on the commitment.

But White House officials acknowledged that those outcomes were uncertain. They will depend in large measure on whether the Democratic sponsors of the legislation can win 60 votes for a measure that is at the moment unpopular and whether major developing nations, notably China and India, deliver credible emissions reduction pledges of their own….

Andreas Carlgren, the Swedish environment minister, said that Mr. Obama had now raised expectations for the Copenhagen talks, but he expressed a note of disappointment about the timing of his visit. He said he hoped Mr. Obama would come in the final days of negotiations, when dozens of other heads of government were planning to arrive.

A White House official said a return trip was "highly unlikely."





Error | Climate Realists


The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.