Thursday, December 3, 2009

Climategate is not the final word on global warming

While I have been concerned if not outraged about the climategate scandal, this leak of documents and emails showing conspiracy and scientific fraud is not the final word. There is still a large body of evidence to support the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

For those who want to know more about the climategate issue and see how global warming scientist explain and put in contest this most recent scandal please visit RealClimate. RealClimate describes itself as “a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists.” The scientists who are associated with this site are highly educated and credentialed working scientist.

While the climategate scandal looks like proof of fraud and deceit, it has only moved me from the “believer” to the “undecided” column. I am not yet a full fledged “skeptic.” If climategate is simply ignored rather than addressed then I think one would be justified in joining the ranks of skeptics.

We need to know the truth. I would like to see a high-level panel of respected scientist and academics conduct hearing on the climategate scandal and rule on the value of current climate science. They should address the body of evidence and issue an opinion on the validity of the current science. They should issue a statement on the strength of the “consensus.” They should address whether or not contrary viewpoints from reputable scientist were silenced or if open inquiry and seeking scientific truth was permitted and encouraged. They should rule as to what extent the manipulation of data at CRU corrupted the current understanding of climate change.

I would not expect this panel of respected scientist to resolve the issue for everyone. I don’t care what the evidence shows I don’t think I will ever hear Rush Limbaugh say, “Maybe there is something to this global warming stuff,” nor do I think I will ever hear Al Gore say, “Maybe we overstated the case.” Nevertheless, I think a formal, public inquiry into the climategate scandal and its significance for the current understanding of climate change would be beneficial to those of us who find this recent scandal disturbing and are open to discovering the truth.

If the proponents of the theory of global warming are correct, then the implications of that theory are too important to have the issue derailed by a few bad scientists. If global warming is real, we need to address it. There is not a lot of time to waste. On the other hand, if the global warming theory is based entirely on junk science we should not support policies that could curtail economic growth and possibly wreck the economies of the world. This issue is too important to stop seeking the truth.

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  1. It's amazing how much I agree with you on this. First, what climate changes are occurring (if any)? Second, what impact (if any) does human behavior have on these changes? Third, what can (could) be done to reverse these changes? Each question must be answered before going on to the next question. It seems many scientists have jumped to the third question before conclusively responding to the first two questions. The best answer probably lies somewhere in the middle--and there are precious few people who are willing to stand in the middle of the climate change debate.

  2. I don't understand why you point to the RealClimate site? That site is run by some of the very people entangled in the current scandal. How can anyone expect any balance on that site? Oh, wait. I get it.
    I don't expect my comment to be published, but just to let you know - you don't fool anyone.

  3. And further more, RealClimate was mentioned in the emails as being open to those 'on side' and closed to sceptical opinions. Michael Mann himself (who is involved in the running of the site) stated in an email "we are monitoring the comments very closely and will keep the deniers out." It's all out in the public domain now, so I think it's highly dubious that you point to that site as being a credible source.
    Let's have some truth.