It’s been nearly 9 months since private emails from prominent climate scientists were hacked, stolen and anonymously posted on the web, sparking the controversy popularly known as “Climategate”. For some people, “Climategate” proved conclusively that global warming was a hoax. It was alleged that two scientists, Phil Jones and Michael Mann, by their reluctance to share data with hostile critics and the use of the words “trick” and “hide the decline” when presenting data about tree rings, had perpetrated one of the greatest frauds of all time.
To date, it appears “Climategate” hasn’t caused any scientific organization anywhere in the world to change its position on climate change. Instead, some have actually reaffirmed their positions. Furthermore, out of 6 known completed investigations into “Climategate”, all 6 have exonerated the scientists in question.
Some people out there might say that all those investigations were merely whitewashes, and all those organizations reaffirming their positions in the wake of “Climategate” just greedy scientists sticking together and trying to protect their grant money. If that’s so, then one is forced to conclude that in the minds of climate change deniers there are no scientific organizations that can be trusted, and that there are no investigatory bodies that can fairly verify the existence of what some deniers thought of as not just a smoking gun, but a “mushroom cloud” of proof that global warming is a hoax.
The results of all 6 known completed investigations into “Climategate”:
“Climategate” | FactCheck.org
In late November 2009, more than 1,000 e-mails between scientists at the Climate Research Unit of the U.K.’s University of East Anglia were stolen and made public by an as-yet-unnamed hacker. Climate skeptics are claiming that they show scientific misconduct that amounts to the complete fabrication of man-made global warming. We find that to be unfounded.
Review: Climate e-mails petty, not fraudulent - U.S. news - Environment - Climate Change - msnbc.com
E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don't support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press.
House of Commons Science and Technology Committee
House of Commons - The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia - Science and Technology Committee
The focus on Professor Jones and CRU has been largely misplaced. On the accusations relating to Professor Jones's refusal to share raw data and computer codes, we consider that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community... In addition, insofar as we have been able to consider accusations of dishonesty—for example, Professor Jones's alleged attempt to "hide the decline"—we consider that there is no case to answer. Within our limited inquiry and the evidence we took, the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact. We have found no reason in this unfortunate episode to challenge the scientific consensus as expressed by Professor Beddington, that "global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity"
Science Assessment Panel
We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures were rather informal.
Pennsylvania State University
The Investigatory Committee, after careful review of all available evidence, determined that there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann, Professor, Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University. More specifically, the Investigatory Committee determined that Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities.
The decision of the Investigatory Committee was unanimous.
Climate Change Email Review
'Climategate' review clears scientists of dishonesty - CNN.com
We went through this very carefully and we concluded that these behaviors did not damage our judgment of the integrity, the honesty, the rigor with which they had operated as scientists...
Some statements by scientific organizations and groups regarding climate change following “Climategate”:
American Meteorological Society
Impact of CRU Hacking on the AMS Statement on Climate Change
Impact of CRU Hacking on the AMS Statement on Climate Change
AMS Headquarters has received several inquiries asking if the material made public following the hacking of e-mails and other files from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia has any impact on the AMS Statement on Climate Change, which was approved by the AMS Council in 2007 and represents the official position of the Society. The AMS Statement on Climate Change continues to represent the position of the AMS.
American Geophysical Union
AGU News: AGU Statement Regarding the Recent Release of E-mails
AGU reaffirms the position statement approved by AGU Council in 2007. This statement is based on the large body of scientific evidence that Earth's climate is warming and that human activity is a contributing factor. Nothing in the University of East Anglia hacked e-mails represents a significant challenge to that body of scientific evidence.
Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change
Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) firmly stands behind the conclusions of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, the community of researchers and its individuals providing the scientific basis, and the procedures of IPCC Assessments.
American Association for the Advancement of Science
AAAS - AAAS News Release - "AAAS Reaffirms Statements on Climate Change and Integrity"
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has reaffirmed the position of its Board of Directors and the leaders of 18 respected organizations, who concluded based on multiple lines of scientific evidence that global climate change caused by human activities is now underway, and it is a growing threat to society.
United Kingdom scientific community
Met Office: Statement from the UK science community
We, members of the UK science community, have the utmost confidence in the observational evidence for global warming and the scientific basis for concluding that it is due primarily to human activities. The evidence and the science are deep and extensive. They come from decades of painstaking and meticulous research, by many thousands of scientists across the world who adhere to the highest levels of professional integrity. That research has been subject to peer review and publication, providing traceability of the evidence and support for the scientific method. The science of climate change draws on fundamental research from an increasing number of disciplines, many of which are represented here. As professional scientists, from students to senior professors, we uphold the findings of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, which concludes that "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal" and that "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations".
All 6 completed investigations have cleared the scientists of falsifying data. As far as I can tell, no scientific organizations anywhere in the world have changed their positions on climate change as a result of “Climategate”.
I’d like to explore “Climategate” as I think it relates to the mind of the climate change denier. Trying to understand the thought processes of the so-called “skeptics” is something that has fascinated me for years now. The following 2 statements I believe show a striking and noteworthy example of the ways deniers typically approach discussions on climate change:
Originally Posted by JaJae
It's also important to note that while the glaciers are melting at the north pole they're expanding at the south pole at what some consider to be an alarming rate...
Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95
Ice in the north pole is shrinking and ice in antartica is growing at an alarming rate, yet all the media focuses on is the north pole. Fantastic...
The above bolded statements are lies. No one says Antarctic is is growing at an “alarming” rate. It is both sad and amusing to recognize the irony when the people who most loudly decry global warming “alarmism” end up using the very word “alarming” in an absolutely false context.
If any one of the investigative organizations listed above had come to a different conclusion about the conduct of Mann and Jones, you could be reasonably certain that the “skeptics” would have been here on the forum shouting it from the rooftops at the top of their lungs. There would have been no room for skepticism in their world view then. Any investigative body that would have found Mann or Jones guilty of falsifying data would have instantly become above reproach. The same phenomenon happened during the whole recent “global cooling” fracas, and can be demonstrated in the lies quoted above about Antarctic ice growing at an “alarming” rate. You see, in the climate change deniers world, when the scientists predict cooling, suddenly their computer models become accurate. If “some” mysterious individuals say the south pole ice is expanding at an “alarming” rate, magically their measurements reflect reality and their sounding of an alarm shouldn’t be questioned. Climate change deniers believe in science only when it supports their case.
Now, take a moment to imagine that all 6 investigations
had found Mann and Jones guilty of falsifying evidence and making up global warming. After something like that, it would be ridiculous for anyone to come into a forum like this anywhere on the Internet, dismiss each and every investigation as a conspiracy, and attempt to argue that some sort of nefarious activity didn’t happen. Any defense of Mann and Jones would forever be constantly undermined by the 6 unanimous conclusions of fraud, and rightly so.
Looking at the results of the 6 investigations into “Climategate”, it seems that the worst the scientists did was forward scientific articles to one another without getting the permission of the authors of the articles. What the scientists did not do was hack into a computer to illegally obtain those articles. What the scientists also did not do was to forward the articles while actively trying to keep their identities secret in order to elude responsibility for what they knew to be criminal actions.
In short: In “Climategate” what the hackers did was worse than what the scientists did.
If the deniers are okay with stealing, if they’re fine with invasion of privacy, if they think that criminals should be allowed to lurk in anonymity instead of facing the same scrutiny as those accused, if they’re comfortable lying, if they think that scientific research is only reliable when the conclusions line up with their pre-established beliefs, if they choose to ignore the exonerations of scientists in favor of distortions of science, why should anyone trust anything at all that they have to say on the subject of climate change? Haven’t they already proven themselves completely untrustworthy? Their goal is not truth, otherwise they wouldn’t lie and ally themselves with anonymous thieves. Their goal is not fairness, otherwise they would follow up on their own threads and broadcast the results of investigations with the same zeal that they disseminated the accusations of misconduct.
Maybe global warming is a hoax, and maybe every scientific and academic organization in the world is in on the scam. I dunno. But, I do know this: If global warming truly is a hoax, then it seems to me this particular conspiracy has now triumphed completely and utterly by surviving “Climategate”, a.k.a. the “final nail in coffin”.
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