Friday, November 27, 2009

Climategate: The Smoking Gun?

(Click image to enlarge "the smoking gun.")

Global-warming skeptics got an early Christmas present this year: "Climategate." Now that a few days have passed, let's take a sober look at what it is and means.
According to the current (as of this post) Wikipedia entry,

The Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident, referred to by some in the media as "Climategate",[1] began in November 2009 with the hacking of a server used by theClimatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, England, in the United Kingdom. The unknown hacker copied[2] and anonymously disseminated over a thousand e-mails and other documents.[3][4][5]

The university confirmed that the security breach took place, but could not confirm the authenticity of the material at short notice,[6] and expressed concern "that personal information about individuals may have been compromised."[7] Details of the incident have been reported to the police, who are investigating.[3] Later, Phil Jones, Director of theUEA-CRU, confirmed that all of the leaked emails that had provoked heated debate appeared to be genuine.[8]

Climate change skeptics have asserted that the e-mails show collusion[9] by climate scientists to withhold scientific information[10]. Other prominent climate scientists, such asRichard Somerville, have called the incident a smear campaign.[11] Among those who wrote the released e-mails and documents, Phil Jones, Director of the Climatic Research Unit, called charges that the emails involve any "untoward" activity "ludicrous", and [12] Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research stated that the sceptics have selectively quoted words and phrases out of context in an attempt to sabotage the Copenhagen global climate summit in December.[13]

Now, the question is, if this is truly the "smoking gun" skeptics have been waiting for, will it make a difference? Of course, the defenders of AGW are already spinning the situation, saying that the emails aren't that damning, or simply calling those who are and remain skeptical "denialists," "kooks," "nutjobs," etc. Personally, I believe that the defenders of GW will never admit defeat, even if hell froze over tomorrow (they'd just take that as proof.) Obama, Gore, and NBC will most likely carry on "Green is Universal" week, simply because it's never really been about the environment, but about power. (See Ayn Rand's The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution.)

Anyway; in the interest of Objectivity, the files, going back to as early as 1996 and up to the present, are available online (for now), and we can see for ourselves what they say. Will this truly be remembered as "the Smoking Gun," a misfire, or dismissed/ignored in the ongoing march towards U.S.S.A.?

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