Last week, someone (probably a whistle-blower at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, England) released e-mails and other documents written by Phil Jones, Michael Mann and other leading scientists who edit and control the content of the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The e-mails appear to show a conspiracy to falsify data and suppress academic debate in order to exaggerate the possible threat of man-made global warming.
The misconduct exposed by the e-mails is so apparent that one scientist, Tim Ball, said it marked “the death blow to climate science.” Another, Patrick Michaels, told the New York Times: “This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud.”
Although I am not a scientist, I know something about global warming, having written about the subject since 1993 and recently edited an 880-page comprehensive survey of the science and economics of global warming, titled “Climate Change Reconsidered,” written by a team of nearly 40 scientists for the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.
The content of the e-mails doesn’t surprise me or other skeptics in the warming debate. We have been saying for many years that the leading alarmists have engaged in academic fraud, do not speak for the larger scientific community, and are exaggerating the scientific certainty of their claims.
Tens of thousands of scientists share our views, including many whose credentials are far superior to those of the dozen or so alarmists the media quote and promote.
The implications of these e-mails are enormous: They mean the IPCC is not a reliable source of science on global warming.
And since the global movement to “do something” about global warming rests almost entirely on the IPCC’s claim to represent the “consensus” of climate science, that entire movement stands discredited.
The release of these documents creates an opportunity for reporters, academics, politicians and others who relied on the IPCC to form their opinion about global warming to stop and reconsider their position.
The experts they trusted and quoted in the past have been caught red-handed plotting to conceal data, hide temperature trends that contradict their predictions and keep critics from appearing in peer-reviewed journals. This is real evidence they should examine and then comment on publicly.
It’s possible that the e-mails and other documents aren’t as damning as they appear to be on first look. (I’ve read about two dozen of them myself and find them appalling, but others may not.)