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.”