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ClimateGate Heats Up Global Warming Debate before Copenhagen

Guest post from Nick Loris with the Heritage Foundation

1,000 emails and more than 3,000 other documents from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University in the United Kingdom
publicly revealed by a hacker, or allegedly an inside whistleblower, are rekindling the flame to the global warming debate just weeks before the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference where the United States will propose an emissions reduction target. A sample of what the emails exposed, which date back 13 years, includes:

“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.”


“I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”


“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report,” Jones writes. “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

Some have argued the quotes have been taken out of context while others say the context is clear as day. Other information was erased completely to prevent it from being obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. And others believe “that this is not a scandal so much as a window on real scientists working on a politicized issue.” [# More #]

Regardless, it’s not the first scandalous story on global warming and it certainly won’t be the last. John Stossel, on his show 20/20 two years ago, talks to former scientists from the IPCC, the group that said it was a scientific consensus that manmade global warming was a serious threat and must be reversed. One scientist resigned because he disagreed with the study but his name was left on the report; it was only after he threatened to sue that his name was taken off the report.

More recently, it was the Environmental Protection Agency’s suppression of three of its employees. First, the EPA suppressed an internal report from one of the agency’s own, 35-year analyst Alan Carlin - a scientist who specializes in climate change. His report warned that the science of climate change was dubious and that we shouldn’t pass laws that will raise energy prices, hurt American families and hobble the nation’s economy without a full understanding of climate change. Later, the EPA suppressed a video entitled, “The Huge Mistake” by Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel, two lawyers currently working at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – a video that says cap and trade will not work.

It will be interesting to see how ClimateGate plays out, but Superfreakonomics author Stephen Dubner sums up the current state of things: “If you are a fan of science, this is a pretty grim day. If you are a fierce partisan on either side of the global-warming issue, you are either gnashing your teeth or clicking your heels. If you are a government official heading to Copenhagen soon for the climate summit, you are probably wondering what the hell you’re supposed to think now.”

For more information on Copenhagen, be sure to check out Heritage’s Copenhagen Consequences page.

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