Cooper: Climategate 2.0 further clouds global warming findings
Just in time for the Durban, South Africa, climate summit that began Monday, two publications appeared that will reduce the already low expectations that anything will be done to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
The more spectacular has been dubbed Climategate 2.0. It consists of around 5,000 e-mails, many of them refreshingly vulgar. The exchanges were mostly among individuals featured in Climategate 1.0, which helped scuttle the 2009 Copenhagen summit.
The new batch shows that, for example, many so-called climate scientists were fully aware that proof of melting tropical glaciers was bunk, but treated such evidence as “dirty laundry.” Others complained of “nitpicky jerks” who found anomalous data. They grew fretful about anthropogenic global warming skeptics having “extreme religious views.” One such miscreant apparently “has links to the Vatican.” Who knew that conspiratorial Catholics were inspired global warming deniers?
It is not all so comical. Climate superstar Michael Mann of Penn State, the inventor of the hockey stick graph that wrongly showed unprecedented increases in mean global temperatures in recent decades, was particularly irate about critics of “the cause.” His reference was not to science, but to “the PR battle.”
His British counterpart, Phil Jones of the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia, told how he searched in vain for a Japanese scientist who would state that increased numbers of tornadoes in that country resulted from global warming. Another climate research unit scientist wanted to claim that the Great Barrier Reef was disintegrating because of global warming, though he knew that fertilizers and starfish did the damage.
The correspondence also featured a few understated critics. Peter Thorne of the U.K. Met Office (formerly the Meteorological Office) wrote Jones that relying on a single and questionable study to support tropical warming was “downright dangerous.” Putting “political spin” on the data, he said, “might not be too clever in the long run.”
Tom Wigley, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., wrote Mann that one of his graphs was “very deceptive.” Douglas Maraun of the climate research unit said Mann’s response to the hockey stick fraud was “not especially honest.”
Climategate 2.0 indicates that a few honest climate scientists have survived. The second publication, by Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph, is called What’s Wrong with the IPCC? This study on how the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change conducts its business removes the last glimmer of scientific probity.