Mona Charen

As Jillian Kay Melchior notes in Commentary magazine, the Copenhagen conference -- supposedly the summit of climatologists and policymakers -- paid little to no attention to the revelation of scientific fraud. The "climategate" e-mails from Penn State and East Anglia University were not trivial revelations. They involved deception, intimidation, and manipulation of records by two of the leading research institutions whose data form the backbone of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Melchior writes: "Despite the drumbeat informing the public that science strongly supports the climate-change thesis, the hacked data paint a picture of a community of experts afraid of scrutiny, willing to use underhanded methods to silence doubters, and content to eliminate evidence that might undermine both their theories and their funding."

Scientists who disputed the manmade global warming hypothesis were not surprised by what the East Anglia e-mails revealed. It's an open secret that academic institutions have been inhospitable to heretics on this question for some time. Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences at Harvard, told Commentary, "These are not ambiguous. They're talking about suppressing other scientists. But there's no surprise. Those of us who are in the field have seen this. The only surprise is that someone actually got hold and sorted these documents."

Not only did scientists twist the peer review process, manipulate data, and attempt to suppress dissent, they also destroyed records -- is this the scientific method for which liberals are going to the barricades?

The entire superstructure of climate alarmism rests on data that are doubtful and possibly fraudulent. The Science and Public Policy Institute has evaluated surface temperature records and found, among other things that 1) instrumental data from the pre-satellite era are virtually useless; 2) fewer than 25 percent of the 6,000 temperature stations that once existed are still operative; 3) comprehensive ocean data have been available only since 2003 and have shown no warming; and 4) higher-altitude, higher-latitude, and rural stations were the most likely to be lost, leading to a further serious overstatement of warming.

As John Hinderaker of the Power Line blog has reported, the U.N. IPCC report itself does not even accurately represent the views of the scientists who signed it. Key sections expressing caveats and acknowledging countervailing evidence were altered after the purported authors had put their names to it.

It isn't the snow outside that has discredited global warming. It's the chill the warmists have imposed on scientific inquiry. They are acting as enforcers of orthodoxy, not seekers of truth.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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