Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Game Changer

On the eve of the Copenhagen Summit on global climate change the credibility of the proponents of man-caused global warming (Anthropogenic Global Warming - AGW) has taken a hit from which it may not recover. Strangely (or not so strangely) the media isn't saying much of anything about this, but it would seem to be a major story. What happened is that some hackers broke into the servers at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit(Hadley CRU), one of the major seats of global warming research in the world, and released confidential files and emails onto the internet.

James Delingpole at the UK Telegraph comments:

When you read some of those files - including 1079 emails and 72 documents - you realise just why the boffins at Hadley CRU might have preferred to keep them confidential. As Andrew Bolt puts it, this scandal could well be "the greatest in modern science". These alleged emails - supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists pushing AGW theory - suggest:

Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.

What the researchers were discovered to be doing was trying to silence their academic opponents by denying them venues to get their views published and colluding to discredit those who challenge their data about AGW. Here's one of the emails laying out a strategy for suppressing dissent:

This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics [of AGW] for not publishing in the "peer-reviewed literature." Obviously, they found a solution to that - take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering Climate Research [the dissenters' journal] as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board...what do others think?"

I will be emailing the journal to tell them I'm having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor. It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past.

In other words, this AGW proponent is saying that they have a problem as long as their opponents have a venue for publishing their dissent, so they need to discredit the journal they publish in and then they can claim that no dissenters are scientifically credible because they're not published in legitimate scientific journals. Instead of a commitment to truth these people are committed to winning the debate even if they have to lie about the numbers and silence the opposition to do it. This isn't how real scientists operate.

Other emails talk about how researchers manipulated data to support AGW. Still others lament that they can't show evidence that the earth is actually warming:

The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data ... shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

It's quite a scandal, or should be, since it potentially changes everything with regard to global warming and the credibility of the scientists who have been warning us about it. Since the perpetrators are on the "right side" of this controversial issue, however, the media has been sluggish in looking into it. Even so, if these emails become widely circulated it'll make the AGW cause look ridiculous and consequently make it all the harder for the Obama administration to pass their climate change legislation.

I expect this story is going to explode in the next couple of days.