Jonah Goldberg

By now you might have heard something about the scandal rocking the climate change industry, though you can be forgiven if you haven't, since it hasn't gotten nearly the coverage it should. Computer hackers broke into the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England and downloaded thousands of e-mails and other documents. The CRU is one of the world's leading global warming data hubs, providing much of the number-crunching to global policymakers on climate change. And, boy, can they crunch numbers.

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In a long string of embarrassing e-mail exchanges, CRU scientists discuss with friendly outside colleagues, including Penn State University's Michael Mann, how to manipulate the data they want to show the world, and how to hide the often flawed data they don't. In one exchange, they discuss the "trick" of how to "hide the decline" in global temperatures since the 1960s. Again and again, the researchers don't object to just inconvenient truths but also inconvenient truth-tellers. They contemplate and orchestrate efforts to purge scientists and journals who won't sing the same global warming hymnal.

In one instance, Phil Jones, the CRU director, says a scientific journal must "rid (itself) of this troublesome editor," who happened to publish a problematic paper. In another, Jones says we "will keep them out somehow -- even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

MUFFLING DISSENT

These documents reveal the trick behind how they hide the dissent. Climate change activists often dismiss critics by noting that the skeptics haven't offered their arguments in peer-reviewed literature. Hence why they work so hard to keep dissenters out of the literature! Indeed, whatever the final verdict on the CRU's shenanigans, two things are already firmly established by even a sympathetic reading of these documents.

First, the climate change industry is shot through with groupthink (or what climate scientist Judith Curry calls "climate tribalism"). Activists would have us believe that the overwhelming majority of "real" scientists agree with them while the few dissenters are all either crazed or greedy "deniers" akin to flat-earthers and creationists. These e-mails show that what's really at work is a very large clique of scientists attempting to excommunicate perceived heretics for reasons that have more to do with psychology and sociology than physics or climatology.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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