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Policy Implications of Climategate


With over 4,000 documents to sort through, it's certain that we'll continue to uncover gems like "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report, Kevin and I will keep them out somehow - even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature  is!" (email from Dr. Phil Jones to Dr. Michael Mann of the Pennsylvania State University on how to exclude scientists with whom they disagreed from the IPCC process).  Together, the Climategate files present a disturbing window into the climate change scientific community, a place where:

  • Scientists openly discussed the manipulation of data.
  • Scientists actively blocked Freedom of Information requests to share their data with other researchers.
  • They excluded scientists with whom they disagreed.
  • They pressured scientific journals regarding the publication of research.
  • Scientists destroyed historical temperature data and email evidence.

Using the scientific method in the broadest of terms, with hypothesis in hand, data is used to test that hypothesis, not simply confirm it regardless of information to the contrary. 

It seems clear that much of the regurgitated data used to support climate change has been deliberately unchallenged.

With these new insights in hand, it seems pretty rash to implement sweeping legislative changes like cap and trade without an open examination of climate change data that has been rigorously debated in a transparent manner.

For more on climategate, here and here are two good updates from an Australian paper that has been doing a good job following the story.

Update: Senator Inhofe at Heritage Blogger's Briefing on the "Greatest Scandal in Modern Science."