Update: For what appears to be an excellent, scientifically informed response to these illegally obtained emails, see Real Climate’s original entry and their subsequent entry intended to provide proper context to key issues and players. Will Powerline and other head-in-sand political hacks apologize? Doubt it. Will the spin-scum cleric quoted below retract his statement about “fraud”? Of course not. They will all, as Hitchens once said, “just keep talking”.
Powerline’s analysis of the emails illegally obtained from a leading climatic research center appears to be somewhat meretricious (if you search my blog, you will not find anything on global warming). You can see the primary, leaked documents here.
Powerline’s first post explains:
Someone hacked into a computer at the University of East Anglia’s Hadley Climatic Research Centre, one of the main centers of anthropogenic global warming research. The hacker downloaded 62 megabytes of data from the server, consisting of around 1,000 emails and a variety of other documents.
I was eager to observe groupthink and system justification tendencies within a small scientific community, and although I do find some interesting data, I was disappointed in the largely innocuous material that was “cherry picked” by Powerline from 1000 emails. With such robust resources at hand, I would have hoped for more intriguing results, considering that scientists are only human mammals. Yet, Powerline seems to admit more than intended by the comment: “They are remarkably candid; these individuals talk to each other with the knowledge that they are among friends.” Powerline proceeds to build a vague case for the mass readership, equivocating between natural mechanisms of bias and intentional fabrication of facts. Compare the two statements:
1) The emails I’ve reviewed so far do not suggest that these scientists are perpetrating a knowing and deliberate hoax.
2) . . . this story was told about accountants: A CEO is going to hire a new accountant and summons a series of candidates. He asks each applicant, “What is two plus two?” The first two candidates answer, “Four.” They don’t get the job. The third responds, “What do you want it to be?” He gets hired. The climate alarmists’ attitude toward data appears to me much the same . . .
But Powerline concludes with the hedging disclaimer:
The language is certainly suggestive. . . but it’s possible the words used could have a relatively benign explanation. The surrounding emails do not provide context that sheds any light on what those words mean.
Determined to take a “political” stance on this issue, instead of providing an impartial analysis of these emails and what they broadly suggest in their entirety, a second post was made, revealing very little not already made public through corporate scientific investigation and journalism.
This is perhaps one reason why it is illegal to procure information in this fashion: it leaves sensitive, private correspondence open to irresponsible hacks. Yes, I know these hacks at Powerline are practicing attorneys. (Perhaps I could just say that I rest my case – although they are well published, and one was trained at Harvard Law). In turn, these hacks then provide further meat that anti-science, anti-civilization spin-scum clerics can throw out to their philistine admirers, as can be seen here :
And what we now know is that global warming is not just an egregious scientific mistake (which it always was). It is a mistake that certain dedicated true believers are prepared to persist in, by means of scientific fraud as necessary. . . . the thing will be completely over. Stick a fork in it; it’s done.
All the while, ultra-conservative leaders continue to warn their followers of the liberal bias and lies of big media. Hopefully, a more responsible story comes out of all this. I bet it does.