“Hide the Decline”

Right, and hold the inconvenient facts, the objectivity of peer review, and the respect for scientific method.  The astounding revelation of thousands of emails among global warming scientists casts a shocking light on the use of science as politics.  War, von Clausewitz said, is politics by other means.  Apparently, the same can be true of science.  Or perhaps we should say “science.”  Finding “tricks” for hiding data that appears to be incompatible with one’s favored view is not science.

PowerLine has been all over the case, here and here. Gateway Pundit sees South Park parallels. Michelle Malkin calls it “the global warming scandal of the century.” The Washington Post notices the hostility and manipulation of the peer-review process. Charlie Martin explores what it all means.  His conclusion:

But, at least on this first look, it appears that the three scandals are:

  • First, a real attempt by a small group of scientists to subvert the peer-review process and suppress dissenting voices. (For another look at this, by a respected climate scientist who was one of the targets, see these posts on Roger Pielke Sr.’s blog.)  This is at best massively unethical.
  • Second, a willingness to manipulate the data to make a political case. This is certainly misconduct and possibly scientific fraud. This, if it proves true, should make these scientists subject to strong disciplinary action, even termination of their tenured positions.
  • Third, what gives every appearance of an actual conspiracy to prevent data from being released as required by the Freedom of Information Acts in the US and UK. If this is proven true, that is a federal crime.

These emails and the data associated, taken together, raise really important questions about the whole scientific structure of AGW. Is the data really valid? Has the data been effectively peer reviewed and have attempts to falsify been fairly treated? Is CO2-forced AGW really the best hypothesis?

UPDATE: Look at the summary of some key emails at Bishop Hill. (HT: Instapundit, via Volokh.) Good grief.  No matter how skeptical you may have been about global warming—and I’ve been plenty skeptical—the level of duplicity and thuggery these emails evidence is appalling.

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds: “I’m thinking “Hide The Decline” could be a slogan for a lot of folks, right about now.”

2 thoughts on ““Hide the Decline”

  1. In the leftist/secular humanist mindset, “Science” is meant to replace such outmoded concepts as “morals.” This was most obvious in the statements made by Barack Obama as he commissioned the scientists at NIH with matters pertaining to the use of embryos for experimentation. The cool objectivism of “Science” would replace the emotional and illogical and theistically-tainted decisions of the previous administration with its penchant for “bioethics” and other non-empirical influences.

    For people who are uncomfortable with the concept and language of morality and ethics, other measures of right and wrong are recruited that provide an “arms length” decision-making mechanism. “Science” is one, “Capitalism” tends to be another. Yet in both cases, they only work well if the people engaged in their pursuit are honest. If you sift through the many years of propaganda relating to AGW, there is obsessive reliance on “the data” and its interpretation, and hysterical attacks on people who question them. This happens all up and down the food chain of this cult and I have been grimly amused at academic lectures, by English professors, who link the fall of Troy to Hurricane Katrina to George Bush’s denial of the Kyoto Treaty. Even to non-scientists, the fact that the so-called climate models have been utter failures in predicting anything should have been a tip off.

    In the end, however, it was widely held perception that “scientists” were somehow immune from corruption and mistakes that I find most bizarre. When the scientists start suppressing the data, everyone should have understood what that meant. It seems very obvious that there was widespread, if passive, complicity in the scientific community as many found it convenient to raise funds for their research as long as it was linked to the big, methane-filled cash cow, Anthropogenic Global Warming.

  2. Any time a scientist or group of scientists is unwilling to make the raw data from their research freely available for independent review and analysis, it should serve as a major red flag.

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