Since that time, I've been curious as to the responses to these crowing claims of the end-of-CC-science. I've compiled a few of the ones that I particularly liked, below:
From Aguanomics, Dave Zetland makes an interesting economic argument:
Someone asked my opinion on the theft and revelation of data and emails related to climate change research. From my brief readings, it appears that some academics were blocking the views (preventing publication) of others they disagreed with, as well as -- perhaps deleting "inconvenient" data.That line at the beginning -- Since the blocked people were climate change skeptics (not anti-deconstructivist poets), this is a big deal for NON-academics -- is great. So true. Looking at the comments that accompany many of the posts, this is so blatantly obvious (except apparently to the non-academic denialists). However, no one really can state the blindingly obvious of anything and everything statistical as Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight:
Since the blocked people were climate change skeptics (not anti-deconstructivist poets), this is a big deal for NON-academics.
My opinion is that this kind of sabotage, censorship, backstabbing and favoritism occurs all the time (just look at the editors of a journal and how many of their students and colleagues publish there...)
My opinion is that this is going to give WAY too much impetus to the "climate change is not happening" crowd.
And, you may ask, how can I trust the CC scientists, now that they are revealed to be "typical" humans? Because the gains (in career, fame, money, etc.) to ANYONE able to show that climate change is NOT happening, is all a hoax, etc. are extreme. With that kind of reward on the table (from Exxon?), anyone with a plausible analysis showing that it's not happening would be a rockstar.
But there isn't anyone, because climate change IS happening.
It's the global warming scandal of the century, says Michelle Malkin!
The exposure of the warmist conspiracy, says Andrew Bolt!
The final nail in the coffin of anthropogenic global warming, bleats James Delingpole!
A stunning tour de force -- four stars, says Leonard Maltin!
OK, so that last quote is made up. But the others aren't. What is it these conservatives are so excited about?
Apparently, the networks of University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit were hacked into last night. Approximately 160 megabytes of files, containing hundreds or thousands of e-mails and documents were leaked as a result of the security breach, reports The Guardian.
... Jones is talking to his colleagues about making a prettier picture out of his data, and not about manipulating the data itself. Again, I'm not trying to excuse what he did -- we make a lot of charts here and 538 and make every effort to ensure that they fairly and accurately reflect the underlying data (in addition to being aesthetically appealing.) I wish everybody would abide by that standard.
Still: I don't know how you get from some scientist having sexed up a graph in East Anglia ten years ago to The Final Nail In The Coffin of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Anyone who comes to that connection has more screws loose than the Space Shuttle Challenger. And yet that's literally what some of these bloggers are saying!
Perhaps, though, a farce can truly be called "ripened" once it gets to the point of parody. And via Climate Progress, there is a link to the Carbon Fixated blog's parody response to this whole "conspiracy":
If you own any shares in companies that produce reflecting telescopes, use differential and integral calculus, or rely on the laws of motion, I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the calculus myth has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after volumes of Newton’s private correspondence were compiled and published.However, I like what most of the bloggers say: that scientists are human, and it shouldn't be surprising that some of them act ... human. However, being and acting along the foibles of humanity doesn't change the underlying testable veracity of CC science. I think Megan McArdle made a good comment in her blog on The Atlantic:
When you read some of these letters, you realise just why Newton and his collaborators might have preferred to keep them confidential. This scandal could well be the biggest in Renaissance science. These alleged letters – supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists behind really hard math lessons – suggest:
Conspiracy, collusion in covering up the truth, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.
But perhaps the most damaging revelations are those concerning the way these math nerd scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence to support their cause.
That's true: the science has the weight of the evidence, regardless of how much of an asshole one (or more) scientist may be. The paradigm isn't wrong just because of the possibly petty feelings of one scientist. Indeed, if anyone of the denialists were to consider how Kuhn proposed how paradigms get overturned, the denialists need to provide a better theory than the current one (thus the reason why the particle theory of light, the ether, and hollow earth theory all took a long time to die out, even though more and more evidence mounted against them).Scientists are human beings. They react to pressure to "clean up" their graphs and data for publication, and they gang up on other people who they dislike. Sometimes they're right--there's a "conspiracy" to keep people who believe in N-rays from publishing in physics journals, but that's a good thing. But sometimes they're wrong, and a powerful figure or group of people can block progress in science.
That doesn't mean their paradigm is wrong; rather, it means we need to be less romantic about the practice of science. No scientific consensus is ever as powerful as its proponents claim, because no scientists are ever as perfect as we'd like to imagine.
The more ardent defenders of the emailers are glossing over the fact that in some cases, they really seem to have behaved quite badly, and with less-than-stellar scientific integrity. But I have yet to see the makings of a grand conspiracy, rather than the petty bullying of the powerful over the weak, the insider of the outsider. I'll take the statements of this particular group of scientists with a little more salt in the future. But as far as I can tell, the weight of the evidence--and what we know about the history of the planet, and carbon dioxide--still seems to be on their side.