Saturday, December 5, 2009

Gary Palmer: Climate change scandal: Fraud undermines global warming agenda

  For those of us who have had doubts about the so-called scientific consensus supporting global climate change, our skepticism may prove to be well-founded and now well-documented.

  On November 17th a file containing 1,079 emails and approximately 3,500 other files from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in England was posted on the Internet. These emails and files, which were obtained and posted either by a hacker or a whistleblower inside the CRU, expose what appears to be serious scientific fraud and the attempted cover-up of the manipulation of critical global temperature data which serves as the primary basis for the push for an international policy on climate change.

  For years there has been growing skepticism among highly reputable scientists and experts in statistics about the validity of the climate change science, particularly the computer models on which so many of the global climate change policies depend. There is little question that global climate change occurs; the real question is whether or not climate change is caused by human activity (anthropogenic) or is part of a natural cycle which human activity can do little to significantly influence.

  Based on information contained in the emails from the CRU, some leading scientists sounding the alarm over anthropogenic global warming were publishing inaccurate data while at the same time, actively working to manipulate or suppress data which disputed their belief in human-caused climate change. More specifically, they suppressed evidence of historical warming and cooling cycles and of the declining temperatures over the last decade. In addition, they worked together to oppose publication of studies which contradicted their findings that human activity is influencing changes in global temperature, even going so far as strategizing how to have editors of scientific journals removed for allowing the publication of such studies.

  These emails also reveal violations of the British Freedom of Information laws. The CRU scientists conspired to withhold or delete raw data on which their own studies have been based. In fact, they admitted that they threw away much of the raw data. The discarding of the original data should be a scandal even among climate change believers because a substantial amount of data that forms the basis of what is known about the world’s climate is no longer available for review.

  This is not the first evidence that the science behind the push for an international climate change treaty is at best unsettled or at worst corrupted. But nothing clearly exposing the data manipulation, suppression of scientific dissent, deliberate destruction of data and collaborative efforts to violate Freedom of Information laws had been revealed prior to disclosure of these emails.  As Australian geologist Ian Plimer put it, “…data was massaged, numbers were fudged, diagrams were biased, there was destruction of data after freedom of information requests, and there was refusal to submit taxpayer-funded data for independent examination.”

  In addition to the aforementioned issues, other emails indicate that the CRU’s work is further undermined because it is based on faulty computer codes that can no longer be replicated and the data sets on which their models are based have been so manipulated with fudged data that they cannot be considered reliable.

  What makes this disclosure so important is that CRU reports predicting catastrophic consequences due to anthropogenic global warming are a major basis of the United Nations climate change report and a major justification for the Copenhagen climate summit convening this month.

  The goal of the summit is get participating nations to agree to major reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions which can only be achieved by major reductions in energy usage. Enacting these policies will result in significant economic losses for the United States and other industrialized nations. Now that the CRU data has been questioned, a substantial part of the scientific basis for the belief that the world faces grave dangers from human-induced global climate change now appears to be based on rigged data.

  Professor Plimer said that all the data in question must now be rejected. He bluntly called this the behavior of criminals saying, “These crooks perpetrated these crimes at the expense of the British and U.S. taxpayers.” He added that these same “crooks” will be meeting in Copenhagen to push through an agreement based on fraudulent science which will do further harm to the world’s economy.

  In Professor Plimer’s view, we should be very angry. If not angry, at least even more skeptical.

  About the author: Gary Palmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.


  1. I think you should take a look at this video:

    It really isn't a clear cut issue that these emails reveal fraud. Furthermore, it is not plausible that this was fraud. For fraud to have happened, numerous scientists publishing in numerous well respected peer reviewed journals in different fields of scientific inquiry would have had to have gotten together and cooked this up and fudged all of the data. Assuming that all these scientists are crooks (which isn't a plausible assumption in any case) WHY would they have wanted to do this?

  2. As a scientist myself, I can tell you that competition between scientists often leads to unfortunate instances of fraud and deception. Science in its purest form is supposed to be detached and objective, but science in real life is also very competitive. And the human beings who engage in science aren't always objective because they're...well...human.

    This email fiasco certainly does temporarily undermine the arguments of those who believe global warming is real, much to the delight and supposed confirmation of the global warming naysayers. However, whether man-made global warming is really happening or not will indeed be decided beyond doubt, but only with more time. Furthermore, that much-maligned human of the day, the scientist, will be the very one to answer the question definitively, not those who already have their minds made up one way or the other for political, religious or economic reasons. Why you ask? Science is a methodology based on observation of and hypothesis-driven testing of natural phenomena in the world. Science is not driven by the preformed and rigid ideologies that drive religious, political or economic beliefs. Science, I am happy to tell you, is not an "ism" in any shape, form or fashion. Science can sometimes go down an unfruitful line of inquiry, but science can only observe what actually exists. Science cannot create what does not already exist to be observed and tested.

    If global warming is occurring, and if human actions are indeed driving it, then the weight of scientific evidence will continue to fall heavily on the "yes" side of the scale instead of the "no" side of the scale. This will take time, but it will happen. The fact that we live in a quantuum universe, the fact that the earth is more than 5,000 years old, the fact that the sun and stars do not revolve around the earth and the fact that evolution occurs are now so overwhelmingly supported by repeated scientific observation and testing over decades and sometimes centuries that no serious scientist questions them anyomre...regardless of what your preacher says. But all of these established scientific truths were contentious and hotly debated in their day...they were once merely theories with limited scientific evidence to back them up. The reason they are considered facts now and no longer seriously debated by science, the reason that science has moved on to other topics, is that the observable world, the facts on the ground, the "evidence" if you will, was always there to support these winning theories and refute the opposing ones. The debate over global warming will be no different. The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is what it is. Man's yearly production of CO2 is what it is. Global temperatures and weather patterns are what they are. The fundamental physical laws governing how CO2 interacts with the sun's light, the oceans etc. is what it is and was so long before humans were ever here to study it. With time and continued scientific study, the observable and testable natural world will provide the evidence for or against man-made global warming. For all the global warming naysayers out there, I do suggest you step back for a moment from this most recent email fiasco and consider that the weight of scientific evidence to date is falling heavily on the side of man-made global warming being real. While we do have recent evidence that a handful of climate scientists were engaging in fraud, where is the mountain of scientific evidence saying the earth is NOT warming, that CO2 levels are NOT rising? It is one thing to show that a small percentage of the pro global warming evidence is suspect. It is quite another to have scientific evidence in hand to show that man-made global warming is NOT happening.