Global Warming police

Published on February 3rd, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


The Real Climategate Crime

February 3rd, 2011 by

The big crime when it came to climate gate in my mind was always the actual and only crime — hackers breaking into private emails of leading climate scientists and releasing bits of them in a way to misrepresent them and, essentially, sick the dogs on them. Why the media didn’t make a bigger deal of this crime is still a mystery to me. Why hardly anyone even mentions it, is an even greater mystery. I’m not the only one who has thought about these things, though. RealClimate recently had an in-depth piece on a new study of the climategate hoopla. While the researchers seemed to have missed some key points, RealClimate doesn’t. Here’s an extended quote from the piece, the part I found especially poignant:

After having studied the discussions in the CRU-emails, Ryghaug and Skjølsvold find that they suggest that climate sciences appear to be doing scientific business-as-usual. As did earlier inquiries. But this is not really the interesting part. The interesting story concerns the reactions in the aftermath of the CRU-hack and the notion of manipulation and the absence of transparency. In this story, it is a paradox that we only have seen the tip of the iceberg – what lies below the surface is hidden – while questions of manipulation and transparency has been at its heart (and hence Ryghaug and Skjølsvold’s STS study).

Since there wasn’t any improper manipulation of scientific data, the ‘manipulation’ in this story involved taking the contents in the e-mails out of context and the generation of wild accusations devoid of any real evidence. The manipulation really was about the perception of the climate research community and how that was presented in blogosphere and the media.

When it comes to transparency, I cannot think of any more murky environment than that of think tanks in which many accusers thrive. In order to be taken seriously, they need to be open too, sharing their code and raw data as they have demanded of Phil Jones and the CRU. I wanted to reproduce some results of a solar-climate study, but the authors refused to divulge their code. I have also asked to see the methods of some Norwegians who claim that climate models fail to reproduce the recent trends and have made a big fuss out of climategate – all without a positive outcome.

I think that representatives from the contrarian community are the ones who really play the shady part in the story of “Climategate”. Has anybody ever seen the original data and methods from people like Scafetta & West, Svensmark, Lindzen, Michaels, Piers Corbyn, Lomborg, Easterbrook and Douglass? I haven’t. Similarly, I have seen no clamor in the contrarian blogosphere demanding it, even while their conclusions are eagerly accepted. I agree with Ryghaug and Skjølsvold that scientific knowledge is about persuasion, which implies that evidence must be presented in a clear and transparent fashion (divulging both method and data), published in the scientific literature, and tested over time. The evidence must sway the majority and create a consensus.

It is also a mystery to me why the mainstream media has not seen the real situation concerning who played the different roles and what was actually hidden – hence it could be appropriate to rename “climategate” to “climategåte”, where “gåte” means riddle in Norwegian. We still don’t know who the hacker(s) was (were) (and hack it was).

Read RealClimate’s full piece here: The obvious answer.

Related Story: Loony “CIA Vet” Kent Clizbe Trying to Get Dirt on Dr Michael Mann, Saying Colleagues Could Get Millions for Helping

Photo Credit: Steve Punter

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

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  • http://Web genealogymaster

    The amazing thing is that we still haven’t got to the bottom of the emails. We don’t know if any were deleted and the CRU still doesn’t comply with FOI requests.

    • Zachary Shahan

      geneologymaster, even if the CRU had never studied anything, the science is clear. other scientists all around the world have confirmed that. the climate deniers who make up new stories as to why well-established conclusions of true climate scientists are supposedly false do not share their data, do not have their work reviewed by the scientific community (or when they do, it is found to be rubbish), and are not interested in understanding the science comprehensively and holistically. why their followers (paid or not) on blogs across the world don’t care about that is left to conjecture.

  • http://Web Ed

    So Wikileaks is good but anything that proves that climate change is a sham is not good. Oh, now I understand, why didn’t you just say it?

    • Zachary Shahan

      Ed, as numerous thorough investigations have shown, climategate DIDN’T show anything of the sort. Misrepresentations in the media and cherry picking have convinced people it did. But that’s not what numerous scientific investigations into the emails and the science have found. But I guess FOX News didn’t cover that.

  • http://Web John_in_Oz

    The phenomenon of being ‘one eyed’ in our view of that which we support is well known. But that you disregard the evidence of CRU employees’ criminal conspiracy to breach Freedom of Information legislation of two countries, and to evade the taxation laws of a third, and yet call the hack ‘the only crime’ astonishes me.
    The information released was the subject of a valid FOI request. It’s not hard to read the title of the released archive ‘FOIA’ as referring to ‘Freedom Of Information Archive’.
    Your paragraph and Dr Benestad’s article are bemused by the media not makinmg more of the illegality of the ‘hack’. I suggest its because most people consider that it’s not that big a deal. Had it been released internally it would be protected under whistleblower legislation. It’s effect was to frustrate CRU’s attempt to evade FOI law, and put us in the same situation we would be in if they had followed the law.

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