If you, like most Americans, doubt that scientists will ever demonstrate a direct causal link between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, try wrapping your mind around any of the following deeply implausible scenarios in the wake of the recent Climategate scandal:
(1) The Climate Research Unit at the UK’s University of East Anglia, origin of the thousands of pages of leaked e-mails and computer code two weeks ago, will honor requests to release the CRU data used to produce results showing steady global temperature increases over the past 150 years.
Phil Jones, head of CRU, who resigned yesterday in light of the fraud, once e-mailed U.S. colleague Michael Mann, “[D]on’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them… If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone… We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind.”
(2) The CRU physically possesses the data it has collected over the years and the programs used to generate its previously published results, or can figure out how to reproduce these programs.
Here are a few nuggets from the infamous “HARRY_READ_ME” text file containing three years’ worth of notes (2006-2009) documenting one CRU scientist’s attempt to reconstruct published temperature data using the center’s poorly documented datasets and computer code:
“I immediately found a mistake! Scanning forward to 1951 was done with a loop that, for completely unfathomable reasons, didn’t include months! So we read 50 grids instead of 600!!!”
“Wherever I look, there are data files, no info about what they are other than their names… [T]he filenames… are identical, but the contents are not.”
“I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found.”
“I am seriously close to giving up, again. The history of this is so complex that I can’t get far enough into it before my head hurts and I have to stop. Each parameter has a tortuous history of manual and semi-automated interventions… I could be throwing away all kinds of corrections.”
(3) Phil Jones will come up with a convincing explanation for how his e-mail describing use of “Mike’s trick” to “hide the decline” references anything other than fraudulent manipulation of data to achieve a desired outcome.
The e-mail in question: “’I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature [journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 to hide the decline.”
Jones’ response to the leak: “The use of the term ‘hiding the decline’ was in an email written in haste.” Note to Jones: So was your lame defense of that shifty e-mail.
The defense offered by Michael Mann, originator of the long-discredited “hockey stick” graph of global temperature increase, was not much better: Mann claimed that the word “trick” referred to a clever method of solving a problem “and not something secret.” Not anymore, it’s not!
(4) The University of East Anglia, the BBC, and the international mainstream media will get more agitated about the implications of the hacked CRU e-mails than the fact that they were hacked.
The criminal penalties lying in wait for the scientists who conspired to alter, misrepresent, or delete data after FOIA requests, while spending millions in public grant money, are far greater than for the hacker who obtained the e-mails. The implications of falsified data for global climate change regulations, taxes, and government takeover of industrial economies render the hacker’s moral breech moot.
(5) The New York Times’ Andrew Revkin and other environmental “reporters” will admit Climategate is a big deal.
The CRU is one of two centers that compile global land temperature data; the other is the U.S. Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Roughly 50% of terrestrial temperature data has thus been demonstrated to be worthless—more than 50%, if you take into account the greater weight given the CRU data in the IPCC report, the close working relationship between the centers, and the documented bias and possible fraud in U.S. data. Yet Revkin claims, “The evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so widely accepted that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument.” Case closed!
(6) Climategate will backfire against skeptics.
Kenneth Trenberth, CRU crony and researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, insists—hold your laughter—that the hacked e-mails demonstrate “the integrity of scientists.” Even George “Moonbat” Monbiot, global warming columnist for the UK Guardian—who bitterly wrote, “I apologise. I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely”—was ludicrously recalcitrant in his support for CRU researchers: “By comparison to his opponents, Phil Jones is pure as the driven snow.”
(7) Any climate change alarmists other than Monbiot will apologize for putting too much credence in CRU data without being able to independently verify it.
The shills at RealClimate.org, for example, write: “There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research… no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist-communist-vegetarian overlords.” Apology accepted!
(8) Global warming alarmists will view the halt in statistically significant global warming over the last 15 years, the demonstrable global cooling over the last 9 years, and the projected global cooling over the next several decades by skeptics whose models correctly predicted both of the above, as evidence that might prove their climate change theories wrong.