Climategate?

I’ve hesitated to dip my toes back in the swamp water that Anthony Watts tries to pass off as a science blog, because road-kill skunks are more pleasant than the mental stench he generates. It lingers longer too. But the recent anniversary of “Climategate” and the denialist response to it has brought a smile to my face.

Slightly more than a year ago Anthony and his pals where foaming at the mouth about corrupt, evil, lying climate scientists and proclaiming the death of the Global Warming Scam (which it must be said they pretty much do weekly). Cooler heads, the kind that think objectively, found the “evidence” of stolen, out of context e-mails and the claims made from them far-fetched to say the least. The denialist crowd thought they were having their long-deserved moment in the sun.

Where do we stand today?

  • A series of investigations in the UK and USA showed that the denialist accusations of exclusion, conspiracy and falsification were baseless misrepresentations.
  • It’s widely recognised that Climategate has no implications whatsoever for the evidence and magnitude of man-made Climate Change. It was simply used to orchestrate an unwarranted attack on particular people.
  • Denialist blogs have turned to disgruntled “he said-she said” complaints about the independent investigations of the accusations, while sea ice and Al Gore are once again favorite topics at WUWT.
  • Self-important denialist Steve McIntyre, who was in many ways central to the furor, now says “I planned to write a one-year anniversary piece on Climategate, but have found it difficult to capture the right tone.” That’s code for “I’m tired of pretending that I’m outraged about inconsequential private e-mails, but I can’t think of a way to change the subject without embarrassing myself.”

Anthony’s recent post Climategate – still the issue tries to repeat the original accusations, with as little correction or legitimate context as he can get away with. It’s an entertaining read from an informed perspective. I can easily imagine Anthony’s irritation at having to couch so many of the “fatal” accusations in such half-hearted ways.

Update: I came across this excellent overview of the whole “scandal” over at ClimateSight, a new blog by a student climatologist before writing this post, but it slipped my mind until now (the following day).

Thanks for playing!

2012-07-19 Update: Norfolk police have called off their investigation for procedural reasons, but state:

“However, as a result of our inquiries, we can say that the data breach was the result of a sophisticated and carefully orchestrated attack on the CRU’s data files, carried out remotely via the internet. The offenders used methods common in unlawful internet activity to obstruct inquiries. There is no evidence to suggest that anyone working at or associated with the University of East Anglia was involved in the crime.”

6 thoughts on “Climategate?

  1. Pathetic ain’t it and Watts still screaming like a cowpuncher’s whore but nobody’s listening.

    [That's a bit colorful... I'd characterize Anthony's perspective as more sullen; he hoped he'd found a stick to beat the scientists with, but it turned out to be a spaghetti noodle. He is still trying to wave it threateningly though! - Ben]

  2. With all the “sturm und drang” about Climategate, why has there been no prosecution of the leaker? After all University of Tennessee student David Kernell was sentenced to a year and a day in a halfway house for breaking into Sara Palin’s AOL account by simply guessing her passwords.

    [Interesting question, but completely irrelevant to either the fabricated scandal or the reality of man-made Climate Change. - Ben]

  3. Welcome back.

    With nothing else to do in your absence, I’ve been thinking about a way for you to operate a parallel- to-WUWT website that would both make it easier for you, and get our comments out earlier, while the WUWT thread is still active.

    If you posted just the bare WUWT titles, we could get an earlier start. And you could edit in your article later.

    Your workload could be reduced when you received comments worthy of reposting above.

    [Thanks! Your idea is a good one, although I'm sure you had plenty of worthwhile things to occupy yourself while I was off-line. I agree that rapid response is important. - Ben]

  4. The fool’s suggestion looks OK at first glance, buuuut ….. would that mean I’d have to actually look at that place?

    I’ve only done so a few times. As someone just said elsewhere about something else entirely, I’ll probably never get back those brain cells that ran away screaming.

  5. Facts: Nitrogen constitutes 78% of the atmosphere, oxygen 21% and trace gases just 1%. Water vapor is the most significant trace gas and the most significant green house gas (GHG). According to IPCC technical reports carbon dioxide is the least significant trace gas both by volume and by Global Warming Potential (GWP).

    Question: What are the chances an infinitesimal (.04%) trace gas (CO2), essential to photosynthesis and therefore life on this planet, is responsible for runaway Global Warming?

    Answer: Infinitesimal

    Discussion: The IPCC now agrees. See the IPCC Technical Report section entitled Global Warming Potential (GWP). And the GWP for CO2? Just 1, (one), unity, the lowest of all green house gases (GHG). What’s more, trace gases which include GHG constitute less than 1% of the atmosphere. Of that 1%, water vapor, the most powerful GHG, makes ups 40% of the total. Carbon dioxide is 1/10th of that amount, an insignificant .04%. If carbon dioxide levels were cut in half to 200PPM, all plant growth would stop according to agricultural scientists. It’s no accident that commercial green house owner/operators invest heavily in CO2 generators to increase production, revenues and profits. Prof. Michael Mann’s Bristle cone tree proxy data (Hockey stick) proves nothing has done more to GREEN (verb) the planet over the past few decades than moderate sun-driven warming (see solar inertial motion) together with elevated levels of CO2, regardless of the source. None of these facts have been reported in the national media. Why?

    Meltdown of the climate ‘consensus’

    [Oh, please. You confidently tell us that CO2 is an insignificant trace gas, and then try to suggest that since CO2 is "essential to life" the more the merrier. Which is it? Your "discussion" is boiler plate debunked anti-science. Finally, you link to a New York Post op-ed by an industry lobbyist. FAIL. You seem to be pasting this same comment all over the internet. Not much room in that little head, is there? The New York Post link is new though. - Ben]

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