Dan Gainor

If a climate scientist falls in the forest, does anybody hear?

Not if the old media have anything to do with it. Thankfully, in 2010, their hold on the news has started to weaken.

But it’s not like they didn’t try. For more than five months, from Nov. 20, 2009, to April 1, 2010, the broadcast networks did all they could to hide a crisis in the climate alarmist movement.

That first event, now called Climate Gate, has grown into a series of global warming scandals that have shaken faith in both the science we are fed on a regular basis and the scientists who do the feeding.

This week in Chicago, the Heartland Institute is bringing together the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change, a meeting of hundreds of scientists and policy experts who dare to challenge so-called conventional wisdom on global warming.

Instead of having a meeting, they should be having a celebration.

Not that they’ve won. They haven’t. But for the first time in many years, there is a public understanding that our daily diet of climate propaganda might be somewhat or even entirely bogus. That’s due in a large part to the embarrassments that came out of the initial Climate Gate report where e-mails from University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) were leaked to the world.

Those e-mails, and a separate document showing the shoddy data gathering done by those involved, included thousands of messages showing the potential manipulation of temperature data, a willingness to destroy information rather than release it under British Freedom of Information (FOI) law and the intimidation of publications willing to publish skeptical articles.

The most famous of the e-mails included this line for CRU Director Phil Jones to Penn State scientist Michael Mann. Climate geeks know Mann for his hockey stick graph of global warming, which has been key to climate alarmists and even cropped up in Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth.”

Jones wrote Mann, saying: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

An e-mail from Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and lead author of three IPCC climate change reports, said this memorable comment: “The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't.” Oops.

While Jones had to temporarily step down, the left continues to try and white wash the whole episode.


Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.