Robert Tracinski and Iain Murray have excellent pieces today on Climategate, the emails from East Anglia University that give us a look behind the curtain at the “scientific” background underlying global warming hysteria. Tracinski, after giving an excellent summary of the issues, says,
This is an enormous case of organized scientific fraud, but it is not just scientific fraud. It is also a criminal act. Suborned by billions of taxpayer dollars devoted to climate research, dozens of prominent scientists have established a criminal racket in which they seek government money-Phil Jones has raked in a total of £13.7 million in grants from the British government-which they then use to falsify data and defraud the taxpayers. It’s the most insidious kind of fraud: a fraud in which the culprits are lauded as public heroes. Judging from this cache of e-mails, they even manage to tell themselves that their manipulation of the data is intended to protect a bigger truth and prevent it from being “confused” by inconvenient facts and uncontrolled criticism.
The damage here goes far beyond the loss of a few billions of taxpayer dollars on bogus scientific research. The real cost of this fraud is the trillions of dollars of wealth that will be destroyed if a fraudulent theory is used to justify legislation that starves the global economy of its cheapest and most abundant sources of energy.
This is the scandal of the century. It needs to be thoroughly investigated-and the culprits need to be brought to justice.
Most of the posts and articles I have read on climategate say, judiciously, that while this casts doubt on some evidence, and is itself evidence of misconduct, we shouldn’t rush to judgment about global warming itself. Nonsense. There are many disturbing things in the emails—the use of tricks to hide temperature declines, for example; the pressure on journals not to publish articles critical of global warming; the channeling of papers to reviewers who will rubber-stamp papers showing warming and reject critical papers; the manipulation of the IPCC and the papers referred to in it—but the response to ordinary scientific requests for data and then Freedom of Information Act requests for data is, I think, most telling. It contravenes scientific practice and violates the law.
But it does more than that. It tells us that the data do not support the conclusions these scientists have been drawing. If they did, why not release them? I have done statistical analyses of data sets in a variety of contexts. There’s no reason not to give other researchers access to the data—unless you’ve been engaged in monkey business. The only sensible explanation is that the scientists involved have analyzed the data, reached conclusions they didn’t want, and then employed “tricks” to get the conclusions they wanted at the outset.
We’ve recently seen a shocking example of this in the case of the Yamal samples. The famed hockey stick graph of global temperatures depended on picking 12 trees out of 252. The sample as a whole shows no evidence of global warming.
I don’t know what a fair analysis of the East Anglia data would indicate, or even whether there’s enough uncorrupted data left to analyze, but I’m sure of one thing: a fair analysis of the actual data didn’t show global warming. If it had, there would have been no reason to hide anything.