November 22, 2009

Revelations from Alarmist Climate Change Server Hack

Mainstream media coverage is relatively light on the bombshell information that was revealed from a hack of the servers at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, England This release of information produced many megabytes of emails and files that reveal attempts to manipulate and/or withhold data by key scientists in the alarmist camp of man-made (Anthropomorphic Global Warming [AGW]) global warming.

The Burlington Free Press, which has a Sunday "Green Mountain" special section on the environment, failed to include any mention of this event, although it did run a short AP story .

Meanwhile, the blogosphere is full of coverage, some of the best of which is here in a (so far) five-part series on the hacked information by Thomas Fuller.

"But for The Team [ed note: The Team is a group of scientists in the 'alarmist' camp of global warming], frantically trying to retain a sense of urgency, trying to influence policy makers and major media outlets, drastic measures were needed. The released emails show clearly that political necessity caused them to cut displays of data series to eliminate evidence of a pause in global warming. A sense of paranoia (clearly shown in many of the emails) caused them to conspire to influence the scientific peer-review process, boycotting scientific journals and trying to get more skeptical editors replaced and urging colleagues not to submit to journals that didn't toe their party line.

They traded scientific discipline for message discipline. They acted like any of a number of Young Turks in a variety of professions, convinced that their goal--maintaining that sense of urgency amongst the public and politicians--was the most important thing they could do. In that, are they much different than the financial gurus who convinced us all that house prises (sic) would rise forever, or MBAs who missed their professional ethics classes before leading organisations like Enron to glory? Are they much different than the Blackberry wielding political consultants that have turned Western elections into a choreographed charade?"

NY Times published a story on November 21 by Andrew Revkin. Revkin says:
"The evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so widely accepted that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument. However, the documents will undoubtedly raise questions about the quality of research on some specific questions and the actions of some scientists."


"The e-mail messages, attributed to prominent American and British climate researchers, include discussions of scientific data and whether it should be released, exchanges about how best to combat the arguments of skeptics, and casual comments — in some cases derisive — about specific people known for their skeptical views.'
Keith Johnson of the Wall Street Journal writes:

"The release of the documents comes just weeks before a big climate-change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, meant to lay the groundwork for a new global treaty to curb greenhouse-gas emissions and fight climate change. Momentum for an agreement has been undermined by the economic slump, which has put environmental issues on the back burner in most countries, and by a 10-year cooling trend in global temperatures that runs contrary to many of the dire predictions in climate models such as the IPCC's.

A partial review of the emails shows that in many cases, climate scientists revealed that their own research wasn't always conclusive. In others, they discussed ways to paper over differences among themselves in order to present a "unified" view on climate change. On at least one occasion, climate scientists were asked to "beef up" conclusions about climate change and extreme weather events because environmental officials in one country were planning a "big public splash."

The release of the documents has given ammunition to many skeptics of man-made global warming, who for years have argued that the scientific "consensus" was less robust than the official IPCC summaries indicated and that climate researchers systematically ostracized other scientists who presented findings that differed from orthodox views."

In exploring the blogosphere, I discovered that Bjorn Lonborg, one of the most reasoned voices in this climate change debate is making a documentary. Hopefully, it will be a response to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth which, IMHO, is a substantially undocumented call to questionable action based on dubious science.

Gore has consistently refused to debate credible opponents of his views. Lonborg's video response is a hopeful sign. I have read his book Cool It! and find he posits the most credible policy actions if one truly believes (I don't) that mankind can change the climate. But his policy views are right on the money relating to R&D for better energy sources in the future.
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