Yesterday’s Telegraph, in the UK, contained a blog entry by journalist and author, James Delingpole, entitled, “Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?”
In the article, Delingpole reveals how "a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (aka CRU) and released 61 megabytes of confidential files onto the internet." The files contain 1079 emails and 72 documents, and according to [Australian Journalist] Andrew Bolt, expose a "scandal [that] could well be the 'greatest in modern science.'"
The piece states that "the most damaging revelations" have to do with "the way Warmist scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause."
Yet I could find nothing in the Washington Post or the New York Times, at least from yesterday, reporting this news. Interesting.
There is a similar article on the website for the Washington Times, albeit an editorial. In it, the Times explains how the "e-mails involved communication among many scientific researchers and policy advocates with similar ideological positions all across the world. Those purported authorities were brazenly discussing the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global-warming claims."
As the Times article reports:
Professor Phil Jones, the head of the Climate Research Unit, and professor Michael E. Mann at Pennsylvania State University, who has been an important scientist in the climate debate, have come under particular scrutiny. Among his e-mails, Mr. Jones talked to Mr. Mann about the "trick of adding in the real temps to each series ... to hide the decline [in temperature]."
Mr. Mann admitted that he was party to this conversation and lamely explained to the New York Times that "scientists often used the word 'trick' to refer to a good way to solve a problem 'and not something secret.' " Though the liberal New York newspaper apparently buys this explanation, we have seen no benign explanation that justifies efforts by researchers to skew data on so-called global-warming "to hide the decline." Given the controversies over the accuracy of Mr. Mann's past research, it is surprising his current explanations are accepted so readily.
Meanwhile, in light of news revealed last week in Spiegel that scientists are puzzled lately because "[t]he Earth's average temperatures have stopped climbing since the beginning of the millennium, and it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year," some of these recently released emails are even more interesting.
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 published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
Right. It must be the data, because certainly the predictions and computer models can't be wrong!
Other damaging revelations in the emails suggest the suppression of evidence to avoid compelled disclosure under various Freedom of Information Acts. In one communication between Mr. Jones and Mr. Mann, Mr. Jones writes, "If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone." Similarly, "We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind."
According to the Times, "Mr. Jones further urged Mr. Mann to join him in deleting e-mail exchanges about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) controversial assessment report (ARA): 'Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re [the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report]?'"
Oh, it doesn't end there. Delingpole further exposes "[a]ttempts to disguise the inconvenient truth of [the] Medieval Warm Period (MWP)." Here, an email states:
……Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back….
And more information from the Times:
Another professor at the Climate Research Unit, Tim Osborn, discussed in e-mails how truncating a data series can hide a cooling trend that otherwise would be seen in the results. Mr. Mann sent Mr. Osborn an e-mail saying that the results he was sending shouldn't be shown to others because the data support critics of global warming.
Ominously, in what Delingpole describes as the most "reprehensible" revelation, there is a "long series of communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process."
Moreover, in his essay, Delingpole ties this latest news together with a piece he wrote back in September. He writes:
CRU’s researchers were exposed as having “cherry-picked” data in order to support their untrue claim that global temperatures had risen higher at the end of the 20th century than at any time in the last millenium. CRU was also the organisation which – in contravention of all acceptable behaviour in the international scientific community – spent years withholding data from researchers it deemed unhelpful to its cause. This matters because CRU, established in 1990 by the Met Office, is a government-funded body which is supposed to be a model of rectitude. Its HadCrut record is one of the four official sources of global temperature data used by the IPCC.
So, will this scandalous information lead to a revolution in thinking and a reconsideration of the crippling economic regulations being proposed all over the world?
Don't count on it. Writes Delingpole:
Unfortunately, we’ve a long, long way to go before the public mood (and scientific truth) is reflected by our policy makers. There are too many vested interests in AGW, with far too much to lose either in terms of reputation or money, for this to end without a bitter fight.
But to judge by the way – despite the best efforts of the MSM not to report on it – the CRU scandal is spreading like wildfire across the internet, this shabby story represents a blow to the AGW lobby’s credibility from which it is never likely to recover.
The Times piece closes with similar optimism for the future, stating how "these revelations of fudged science should have a cooling effect on global-warming hysteria and the panicked policies that are being pushed forward to address the unproven theory."
EVOLVING THE NARRATIVE
Call me a cynic, but I am not so optimistic. Something tells me that even if the supposed "consensus" is truly unraveling, the proponents will still push for more regulation and control to combat man's evil existence. Which leads to the question: if climate change is a natural occurrence (duh!), but bogus "solutions" are still being advocated by elitists and environmentalists to combat it, what is the true agenda?
I'll leave that to the imagination ...
Interestingly enough, though, while there is nary a mention of the above email scandal on the BBC website, there is a story promoting a "special series of articles, published in [the] medical journal, the Lancet." The series, published just in time for the upcoming UN climate summit in Copenhagen, presents key findings pertaining to the beneficial public health effects that will result from cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The effusive BBC story delights in informing us that the report includes "evidence that moving towards low carbon transport systems could reduce the health impacts of urban air pollution and physical inactivity."
What else? As the BBC continues, "Researchers also found that changes in farming practice to reduce livestock and meat consumption could improve health by lowering the intake of saturated fat."
Of course, what would a new command-and-control regulatory regime be without stressing the benefits to children's health? It's all about the children, you know. The BBC adds, "[I]n poor countries, reducing the need to burn solid fuel indoors could have a significant impact on child and maternal health by cutting indoor air pollution." The BBC also learned from Dr. Margaret Chan, director of the World Health Organization (WHO), that "the poorest countries were the most vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change."
Here are a few more bullet points from the article:
1. "decreasing fossil-fuel-dependent electricity generation could have significant health benefits worldwide";
2. "[a] reduction in pollution [in China and India] could prevent many of the premature deaths that are associated with heart and lung damage caused by inhaling the polluting particles";
3. "'short-lived' greenhouse pollutants, such as particles of black carbon and ozone, can directly damage the heart and lungs";
4. "'high-producing countries' should reduce livestock production by 30% to slow climate change. Should this translate into a reduction in the consumption of meat, the scientists say that it could also reduce heart disease"
And finally, there is the obligatory call for "health and climate change scientists to work together and for more funding for such interdisciplinary projects." Who could expect anything less from a group of selfless and apolitical scientists?!
How convenient is that? And what a perfect segue for the evolving narrative -- from saving the planet to saving the collective health of all humanity! That way, the policies remain unchanged, but the stated ends are scrupulously substituted right before our very eyes. Much like the classic sleight of hand trick practiced by street magicians since time immemorial.
I would expect in the next few weeks to hear more about the unhealthy effects of greenhouse emissions than previously discussed. As this email scandal is quietly swept under the rug, the emphasis in the public debate will gradually shift from the adverse effects human activities and greenhouse gasses are having on the climate, to the harmful public health effects inherent in those activities.
Somehow, though, the solutions will remain the same, and the debate will already have been settled. That is, until the next scandal requires a change in the narrative.