Official Inquiry Vindicates Climate Scientists

Since Galileo, science has been under attack, and its foes thought they had scored a huge victory when hackers broke into the emails of researchers at the CRU, finding some suspicious correspondences. An official UK government inquiry has just cleared the scientists of any wrong doing, reasserting that man-made global warming is a fact.

There has been controversy around science since the days of Galileo, who was forced to recant his belief about an heliocentric (Sun centered) universe under penalty of death because it conflicted with strict religious doctrine. This attack on scientists continues today, and it’s foes thought they had scored a huge victory when hackers broke into the emails of researchers at the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (CRU), finding some suspicious correspondences.

It is not known who the hacker is or how the emails suddenly appeared on the internet, but it was picked up quickly by conservative and corporate media outlets, and touted as “evidence” that scientists were fabricating data that industrial pollutants, Carbon Dioxide in particular was contributing to an unnatural warming of the atmosphere and oceans. The timing of the hacking was curious as well, as it took place just days before the Copenhagen Climate Conference late last year, a huge international meeting that had a strong agenda for changing the way our species treats our planet. Just enough time for a controversy to erupt and disrupt the proceedings, but not enough time to fully investigate the allegations or publish specific refutations. Curious timing indeed.

In particular, climate change deniers latched onto one passage from 13 years of emails from thousands of researchers that read, “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

Despite the unfortunate choice of wording (which was misinterpreted), FactCheck.org debunked the notion that there was any conspiracy going on. They wrote:

Skeptics claim the words “trick” and “decline” show Jones is using sneaky manipulations to mask a decline in global temperatures. But that’s not the case. Actual temperatures, as measured by scientific instruments such as thermometers, were rising at the time of the writing of this decade-old e-mail, and (as we’ve noted) have continued to rise since then. Jones was referring to the decline in temperatures implied by measurements of the width and density of tree rings. In recent decades, these measures indicate a dip, while more accurate instrument-measured temperatures continue to rise.

There are other conspiracies that the scientists are hiding data, but 95% of the CRU data is already freely available online. Further, the CRU is just one research facility cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the most recent tome of knowledge on the subject published in 2007. The report used research from literally millions of scientists in over 140 countries with decades of data collection, and closed the book on the question of whether man made activities are making global warming worse.

Regardless, the conspiracy theorists and energy sector corporations continue to spread disinformation about the legitimacy of anthropogenic (man-made) climate change. The controversy that erupted following the hacked emails led to the head of the CRU, Phil Jones, to step aside until a full investigation had taken place.

This investigation took place over the last 4 months by the United Kingdom’s House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee. In their report, released a couple days ago, they noted that, “nothing in the more than 1,000 stolen e-mails, or the controversy kicked up by their publication, challenged scientific consensus that “global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity.”

The Washington Post adds that there is, “no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit or its director, Phil Jones, had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming – two of the most serious criticisms levied against the climatologist and his colleagues.”

Despite the massive amounts of press that “Climategate” received on the main stream media, particularly in the United States (the country that emits by far the most greenhouse pollution), the finding of this inquiry that vindicate the scientists has received very little attention. Worse yet, ‘climategate’ is likely to be cited for many years to come by science opponents as ‘evidence’ that man-made global warming is some type of vast international conspiracy to add a 13 cent tax on a gallon of gasoline. From Galileo to modern times, getting folks to listen to reason has been a tough sale.

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”
-Galileo Galilei

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4 Responses to Official Inquiry Vindicates Climate Scientists

  1. Pingback:

    +2 Vote -1 Vote +1uberVU - social comments

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1Orkneygal
    April 2, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Fraudulent presentation, using faked “Hockey Sticks”, openly and agressively violating Freedom of Information requests and conspiring to squash dissenting views by corrupting the peer review process, that’s the type of work that some climate scientists have done to mislead the public about the causes and affects of our ever changing climate.

    The overwhelming paleoclimate evidence from around the globe is that the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was synchronous, world wide and much warmer than today.

    However, the MWP deniers will never admit the existence of the MWP because it means that their religious-like belief in AGW is exposed for the steaming pile of junk science that it truly is.

    In total, climate change is complex and not well understood.

    But this part is simple.

    If the world was warmer when CO2 levels were lower, CO2 cannot be the earth’s temperature regulator.

    A thousand years ago, the Earth was warmer than it is today; before the social and industrial advances that have made modern people the healthiest and most prosperous in history. MWP deniers want us to believe that plant friendly, ocean cleansing and life giving CO2 is a bad thing to better advance their meglomanical desire to both boss around the developed world and further impoverish the poor while pocketing a lot of taxpayer money along the way.

    Taxing carbon is not the answer to the ever changing climate.There is only one answer to changes in climate that has ever worked for humanity.

    That is adaptation.

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

    • Ole Ole Olson
      Vote -1 Vote +1Ole Ole Olson
      April 5, 2010 at 2:28 am

      So, is your view that global warming doesn’t exist at all, or that humans are not causing it? Because when 97% of scientists tell us that anthropogenic climate change is a reality, and there is data from hundreds of thousands of scientists in every continent (and with various funding bases), I tend to side with the scientists.

      CO2 is natural, it is also a pollutant when released in the levels it is today.

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1Meme Mine
    April 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Voter consensus counts. Not science consensus. So as long as the these criminal lab coat consulting “Saints” of modern day science keep criminally hiding their lies of climate crisis in far off places like the poles, deep in the oceans, high atop mountains and in far off jungles, we the voters will have to be actually crawling to the poles in a climate crisis to approve the personal sacrifices and taxes. If you don’t see global dooming as unsustainable in public voter support, well, YOU are the new denier. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s just wrong, ok, a mistake then. Climate change has done to science what the WMD’s from Bush did to the neocons. We don’t have to trust you as scientists anymore, lesson learned. This media feeding frenzy of climate change has exposed science for what it is, that it is JUST as prone to greed and dishonesty as politicians. Eventually charges will be laid against the science leaders driving us to a world war against a non existent enemy. This promise of death is unsustainable for another 24 years so get ahead of the curve. PRESERVE, PROTECT AND RESPECT Nature! Not mix up a failed CO2 theory that has nothing to do with pollution and energy and over population. Climate change is modern day witch burning and is leading responsible environmentalism down the wrong road. Have the courage not only to open your eyes to this reality, but also to lead us with courage and optimism through the progress of future. Life is good, not doomed.