The AP claims it has determined climategate doesn't prove bogus science. But they seem to dismiss key findings as trivial. For example, they find the evidence in the hacked emails of efforts to protect their research from scrutiny as disturbing but inconsequential. Such review is critical to the scientific method and efforts to block it is in and of itself evidence of faulty science. Then there is this passage:
"This is normal science politics, but on the extreme end, though still within bounds," said Dan Sarewitz, a science policy professor at Arizona State University. "We talk about science as this pure ideal and the scientific method as if it is something out of a cookbook, but research is a social and human activity full of all the failings of society and humans, and this reality gets totally magnified by the high political stakes here."
He's right, but we've been told all along that this is exactly what global warming science isn't; not open to subjectivity, but rather cold, unassailable science. Now we're being told, accurately by the way, that science is never that. That's what we've been saying all along!
there is this from today's L.A. Times, a piece by Tim Rutten, attempting to portray climategate as silly. Below is an email I sent Rutten, responding to his faux questions point by point(my responses are bold and in italics):
The silliness of Climategate
Stolen e-mails aside, we need to accept that global warming is real.
December 12, 2009
It wasn't very long ago that a dinner party guest who wanted to spare the hostess any embarrassing contention simply avoided discussing religion or politics and stuck to the weather. Not anymore. In fact, it says something unutterably depressing about the state of the nation that we've finally managed to politicize even the climate.
Take, for example, the controversy that erupted on the eve of the global climate conference in Copenhagen, when hackers skeptical about global warming stole and released e-mails and documents from computers at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain. The center is an important source of baseline historical data on climate change, and the hackers claim the e-mails show that scientists there manipulated, suppressed and even falsified numbers to make a case for global warming. Others who've looked at the material say taking e-mails out of context creates misleading impressions, and that the worst you can say about the British climatologists is that they evinced an arrogant desire to keep what they regarded as the skeptics' "junk science" out of peer review journals.
In either case, the unit's chief has stepped down and an investigation is underway. Far more interesting has been the immediate reaction by the enthusiasts who've labeled the affair -- what else? -- Climategate.
This week, former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said the evidence of wrongdoing was clear and that President Obama should scrap plans to attend the conference. In Hollywood, two conservatives, screenwriter Roger L. Simon and filmmaker Lionel Chetwynd -- yes, Virginia, there are conservatives west of La Brea -- urged the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to take back the 2007 Oscar it gave Al Gore for the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."
The impact of this autonomic red-
blue division often is amplified by the fact that we Americans are, by and large, technologically advanced but scientifically illiterate. Our national conversation is dominated by a culture of assertion rather than a respect for evidence reasonably assessed. Thus the endless wrangling over self-evident nonsense like creationism. It's precisely the insistence on treating a scientific theory, evolution, and an allegorical notion, creationism, with a faux evenhandedness that creates a situation in which 75% of Americans believe most scientists disagree over global warming.
In fact, the scientific consensus on the issue is broad and deep. This is simply false: http://www.petitionproject.org/ Nor does it rely on science done at the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia. Even if something untoward occurred there, we have two other scientific organizations providing baseline climate data -- both of which happen to be funded and directed by the U.S. government. One is NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and the other is the Global Historical Climatology Network -- operated not by the EPA or the Interior Department but by the Commerce Department. Their historical data essentially matches that compiled at East Anglia. Yes, and Nasa also refuses to release it's raw data and calculations under FOIA: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/03/researcher-says-nasa-hiding-climate-data/
So what are we to believe: that huge numbers of British and American scientists have entered into a conspiracy to dupe the world on climate change? Why? What would they stand to gain? Millions of dollars in grants: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/6735846/Climategate-professor-Phil-Jones-awarded-13-million-in-research-grants.html How much grant money do you think climatology garnered before the doomsday scenarios began in the mid-1990s?
As Alan I. Leshner, who heads the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science, wrote this week: "It is wrong to suggest that apparently stolen e-mails . . . somehow refute a century of evidence based on thousands of studies. . . . Doubters insist that the Earth is not warming. This is another false statement on your part. Doubters do not insist the Earth hasn't warmed; they question whether it is the result of natural cycles or man-caused. Nobody in the scientific community disputes the warming ceased in 1998. After denying this for years those in the scientific community who say global warming is man caused, called this a "pause" in warming, even though they did not forecast it.This is in stark contrast to the consensus of 18 of the world's most respected scientific organizations, who strongly stated in an Oct. 21 letter to the U.S. Senate that human-induced climate change is real. Still, the doubters try to leverage any remaining points of scientific uncertainty about the details of warming trends to cast doubt on the overall conclusions shared by traditionally cautious, decidedly nonradical science organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences and the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science."
Long ago, Cicero suggested that a mysterious public act could be best assessed by asking: Who benefits? As noted above, the researchers have benefited greatly and Al Gore stands to become a billionaire from this fraud.Is it really any accident that Palin and most of the GOP lawmakers trying to discredit the science on global warming come from states enriched by petroleum production and industries with sizable carbon footprints? (The delegate from Saudi Arabia has taken a similar position at Copenhagen.)
If you feel like you've been here before, think back on the long and agonizing debate over tobacco regulation and second-hand smoke. As additional tens of thousands died,
Big Tobacco produced one eccentric scientific skeptic after another. Every one of them got a sympathetic hearing from lawmakers elected from tobacco-growing states. Tobaccco doesn't "cause" cancer, it is a major contributing risk factor in pulmonary carcinoma. This causal relationship between smoking tobacco and lung cancer was arrived at by repeated employment of the scientific method. No applicaton of the scientific method has ever been employed to establish anything more than a commonality and not causality between carbon emissions and rising global temperatures.
What you seem to be saying Mr. Rutten is: "science works in mysterious ways, and it's not our place to question it." No, that doesn't sound like a religous belief at all, now does it?