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Climategate: Who’s in denial now? January 9, 2010

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Climategate: Who’s in denial now?

CFP, January 7, 2010

– Kenneth P. Green, Advisor, Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Recent responses to “Climategate” (the leaked e-mails from Britain’s University of East Anglia and its Climatic Research Unit), remind me of the line “Are your feet wet? Can you see the pyramids? That’s because you’re in denial.”

Climate catastrophists like Al Gore and the UN’s Rajendra Pachauri have downplayed Climategate: it’s only a few intemperate scientists; there’s no real evidence of wrong-doing; now let’s persecute the whistleblower! Another good example of this comes from Calgary, where the latest fellow trying to use the Monty Python “nothing to see here, move along” routine is University of Calgary Professor David Mayne Reid, who penned a recent column denying the importance of Climategate.

Unfortunately for Reid, old saws won’t work in the internet age: Climategate has blazed across the internet, blogosphere, and social networking sites. Even environmentalist writer George Monbiot has recognized that the public’s perception of climate science will be damaged extensively, calling for one of the Climategate ringleaders to resign.

What’s catastrophic about Climategate is that it reveals a science as broken as Michael Mann’s hockey stick, which despite Reid’s protestations, has been shown to be a misleading chart that erases a 400-year stretch of warm temperatures (called the Medieval Warm Period), and a more recent little ice-age that ended in the mid-1800s. No amount of hand-waving will restore the credibility of climate science while holding onto rubbish like that.

Climategate reveals skullduggery the general public can understand: that a tightly-linked clique of scientists were behaving as crusaders. Their letters reveal they were working in what they repeatedly labeled a “cause” to promote a political agenda.

That’s not science, that’s a crusade. When you cherry-pick, discard, nip, tuck, and tape disparate bits of data into the most alarming portrayal you can in the name of a “cause,” you’re not engaged in science, but in the production of propaganda. And this clique tried to subvert the peer-review process as well. They attempted to prevent others from getting into peer reviewed journals—thus letting them claim skeptic research wasn’t peer-reviewed—a convenient circular (and dishonest) way to discredit skeptics.

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