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Climategate and the Hamster Effect

Like rodents trapped in a cage with a snake, climate scientists and journalists scurry and dig, hoping to avoid the inevitable.

by
David Solway

Bio

December 9, 2009 - 12:00 am
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Witnessing the spectacle of climate warmists scampering hither and thither in the face of predatory evidence that they and their pet theories may be doomed, I’m put in mind of the behavior of hamsters who suddenly find themselves trapped in a cage with a hungry snake. The ensuing drama is instructive.

First the hamsters freeze as if in a state of petrifaction induced by utter disbelief. When it dawns on them that they have what looks like an insoluble problem on their tiny paws, they begin to shake and fidget, and soon they are darting feverishly from one side of the cage to the other, endlessly back and forth, seeking an escape hatch which simply isn’t there. It occurs to them that they are cornered, there is no way out, and they start digging furiously into the sand floor, emitting plaintive squeals of fear and despair as the snake slowly uncoils from its torpor and begins its relentless approach.

One feels for the caged hamsters. They are, after all, in an unenviable position, and being swallowed whole by a snake is certainly nothing to make light of. One may analogously sympathize with many of our climate warmists who, confronted with megabytes of recently released data indicating that the climate models have been rigged, the source materials contaminated, suppressed, or lost, and the empirical results fudged to consort with a pre-existent theory, are now reproducing the ritual actions of our unfortunate hamsters. Poor benighted creatures, but for all our empathetic concern we can at least take comfort in the fact that we are not in their place.

I’ve heard and watched the newscasters, benumbed at first, now scurrying haplessly to and fro, in full denial mode, struggling to mitigate the effect of the new information emerging from the Hadley CRU. See how they spin! It is almost harrowing to observe them desperately trying to convince themselves — and us — that the current environmental scandal which calls the entire climate research structure into serious doubt is not as critical as it initially seems, hoping against hope that the issue will just go away.

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