Rich Tucker

It’s worth wondering: If these models can’t take past data and correctly forecast the present, why would we expect them to be able to take questionable data and accurately predict the future? But that’s not what worries the CRU.

“The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998,” Phil Jones wrote in a leaked e-mail from 2005. “Okay it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”

Oh? How much would be “statistically significant”? It would be nice to go back a few decades and review temperature findings. Oh, but wait -- we can’t. “We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added data,” the CRU Web site announces.

“Value-added,” eh? Corrected to smooth out the rough spots, and so forth. So the science is only “settled” if you choose to accept the word of CRU scientists who cannot duplicate their own results.

“ARGH. Just went back to check on synthetic production. Apparently -- I have no memory of this at all -- we’re not doing observed rain days!” wrote the CRU’s Ian “Harry” Harris in an e-mail. “It’s all synthetic from 1990 onwards. So I’m going to need conditionals in the update program to handle that. And separate gridding before 1989. And what TF happens to station counts?”

Harris later writes about “the hopeless state of our databases,” and admits “there is no uniform data integrity.”

No matter. The science is “settled.” Right?

For the next week, international bigwigs including President Obama will be in Copenhagen, chattering about global warming. But the rest of us now have evidence of something we’ve long suspected: such talk is just a lot of hot air. The science isn’t settled. Neither is the debate over “global warming.”

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for