Monday, April 11, 2011

why climategate won't go away

The mainstream reaction to Climategate within both the climate orthodoxy and within academia more generally, has been to hang tough and downplay its significance.

The preferred narrative is still to portray Climategate as a theft of emails, an illegal hack of irrelevant personal "boys will be boys" jocularity and mischievousness: oh, those naughty climate guys.  In best British tucker it is sometimes OK to admonish the lead climateocracy mafia with a simple "awfully bad form old chap" and the US equivalent has been to rally a well orchestrated and funded round of media spin and redemptive pap.

Academics largely don't sully themselves with such mundane politics and, thus, the prevalent institutional and individual response within academia has been to hunker down, keep the peer review, graduate studies and grant treadmill ticking over and wait for the winds of outrage to blow themselves out.

Well, despite these best attempts at ostrich personification by the academy, Climategate simply refuses to go away. 
First, James Delingpole's various postings and characterisations of CRU and Phil Jones in particular were validated by the British Press Council.  Showing it had learnt nothing from the Climategate debacle, the University of East Anglia had objected to Delingpole's language and characterisation of Jones as “disgraced, FOI-breaching, email-deleting, scientific-method abusing”.

You would think the lessons would have been learned by now.  But no.  The Team and their respective institutions continue to obfuscate and drag their heels rather than simply comply with FOI requests and the requirements for data disclosure.  Which only makes their continued reluctance more damning when further evidence of the real reasons behind the Climategate leaks slowly become more apparent as they have with this post over at Climate Audit, nicely summarized for the non-technical by the Bishop.

Climategate now appears to be a deliberate leak to point out the true nature of the data manipulation and selectivity driving the hockey stick and the perpetuation of the myth of contemporary climate change being unprecedented.

The silence from other climate scientists is deafening.  In particular, other reputable climate scientists need to step up:
  • condemn the actions of the Team revealed by Climategate
  • not defend those actions as irrelevant
  • not dismiss the Hockey Stick as unimportant to the AGW narrative, and
  • accept that we do not have enough definitive knowledge to either verify the original IPCC premise of CO2 driven AGW, nor to sustain its pre-emptive focus within climate study
Climate changes.  The time has come to remove climate science from the political spin of the IPCC and re-insert it back into the realms of scientific enquiry and discovery free of public policy obligations and political agendas.  Moreover, the time has come to recognize that climate change was used as a contrivance to hijack and define the central narrative for environmental politics. 

Update: time enough to add another excellent cartoon from Josh