This is one of my favorite days of the year, as I spend it away from work, catching up on reading, movies and the early shuffling through Christmas decorations.
Today though I am going to catch up on Climategate, using the resources pulled together by PajamasMedia.com and using Powerline’s John Hinderaker’s careful analysis as a guide. (Here’s John’s most recent, typical careful post in which are linked his earlier posts.)
As Mark Steyn and I discussed on air Wednesday, we know the climate Chicken Little’s have suffered a serious blow, but it won’t do the truth any good to overstate what we have learned about the “scientists” at the Hadley CRC or misrepresent it, thus opening the side of careful reason to the same sort of withering attacks now being leveled at the panic mongers. The global temperature record is what it is, and if it has been warming slightly over the past many decades –though not our current one– as a genuine consensus seems to say, opponents of cap-and-tax shouldn’t get caught in the trap of denying that truth of that rise or of using the East Anglia credibility meltdown as an excuse to dismiss all of the arguments/data on the side of alarm. Climategate cripples the credibility only of conclusions built upon data that is no longer trustworthy. The effort now will be to trace where that tainted data traveled and for which conclusions did it provide a flawed foundation.
The CRC “scientists” have earned all the opprobrium previously reserved for tobacco executives given that both groups treat data and opponents the same. But critics of cap-and-tax should marshall the arguments about what was manipulated and why in the same way they did the arguments from Rathergate days. Expertise is being marshalled and the indictments drawn up. No need to rush.
What will be interesting will be to see which scientists from among the alarmed camp step forward to denounce the cooked books and to point to flawed studies/conclusions that can no longer be trusted. Who, in other words, are the real scientists who will follow the truth and who will deeply resent having been misled in whole or part by those who manipulated the data or the process.