Fudging the Global Warming Data

Several weeks ago, someone managed to hack a server of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and obtain a number of emails exchanged between prominent climatologists. Many of the emails contained requests to delete data, suppress the publication of certain papers that argued against global warming, and pressure academic journals with which the climatologists did not agree. Basically, the emails are evidence that supporters of the theory that man is responsible for global warming have been fudging data because recent data do not support their theories.

While many global warming skeptics will make a big deal of this and use it as evidence against global warming, I tend to agree with Robin Hanson that this says more about academia than global warming. As Hanson and others have pointed out, while academia has an “overly idealistic public image,” academics are people, too. When competing groups of people have vested interests in defending their opinions- especially in the highly publicized climate debate- it is no surprise that people will go to great lengths to ensure success for their side.

5 Comments on Fudging the Global Warming Data

  1. Thanks for the comment, JPMITB, but as the title of my post suggests, I agree that this says more about scientists than the global warming debate.

  2. The California Review // December 3, 2009 at 11:31 pm //

    Thanks for the comment, JPMITB, but as the title of my post suggests, I agree that this says more about scientists than the global warming debate.

    I’m not so sure. I’ve laid out my view of the scandal in our latest blog post. Briefly: it isn’t evidence against Global Warming itself, but it is very strong evidence against the validity of the “all-out emissions reduction” agenda, and it’s the latter that created an unusually strong incentive to fudge data.

    The baseline level of scientific corruption is higher than commonly believed (how many people have heard of this?), but I believe Climategate is nevertheless properly classified as a politically-driven anomaly.

  3. Great post, and I agree that the scandal presents evidence against the “validity of the ‘all-out emissions reduction’ agenda.” However, for outspoken opponents of this agenda like me, this agenda was bogus on so many different levels that this new evidence of academic fraud neither surprises me nor strengthens my views against this agenda.

  4. The California Review // December 4, 2009 at 5:53 am //

    However, for outspoken opponents of this agenda like me, this agenda was bogus on so many different levels that this new evidence of academic fraud neither surprises me nor strengthens my views against this agenda.

    Yeah, I can say the exact same thing, and I initially didn’t pay much attention to the leak for that reason. However, Climategate now appears to be a watershed moment, drawing the attention of millions of others to what we knew all along.

Comments are closed.

UA-64354029-1