Climategate fallout

Update: Britain’s University of East Anglia says the director of its prestigious Climatic Research Unit is stepping down pending an investigation into allegations that he overstated the case for man-made climate change.

The university says Phil Jones will relinquish his position until the completion of an independent review into allegations that he worked to alter the way in which global temperature data was presented.

Climate politics continue to be interesting.  Australia’s opposition Liberal Party has ousted its leader, Malcolm Turnbull, after the resignation last week of several senators from their “front-seat” positions.  The Aussie government’s climate change bill is now in jeopardy, raising the potential of an early general election in 2010.

The Climategate emails and documents are being investigated by a number of organizations, including an inquiry by Penn State University, where Michael Mann, creator of the discredited hockey stick graph – used by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth – is a professor. Inquiries are also under way at the University of East Anglia, the source of the leaked material.  Government investigations are either ongoing or pending and there has been at least one civil lawsuit filed.

climategateAt a minimum, the emails document the violation of UK Freedom of Information laws.

Many believe that the leaker was not a hacker, but, rather, was an insider acting as a anonymous whistleblower by leaking the emails and documents, including information that had been unsuccessfully been sought under the UK FOI statutes.

The emails are not the only incriminating material.  Computer codes and their documentation show fudged numbers and “blatant data-cooking” that tell a story of twisting reality to a desired view.

Many of the fantastic claims in the media about climate change are likely predicated on the same sort of skewed science.

An article in the Wall Street Journal titled The Climate Science Isn’t Settled, by Richard S. Lindzen, professor of meteorology at MIT gives a more balanced view of the state of climate science.

Al Gore on Saturday Night LiveClaims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre. There is general support for the assertion that GATA has increased about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the middle of the 19th century. The quality of the data is poor, though, and because the changes are small, it is easy to nudge such data a few tenths of a degree in any direction. Several of the emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) that have caused such a public ruckus dealt with how to do this so as to maximize apparent changes.

While I have been skeptical of global warming claims for quite some time, this Climategate fiasco appears to show  a conspiracy to doctor the evidence.

In my interest in climate change, I wasn’t looking for a conspiracy, just the truth.


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