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Climategate: The Skeptical Scientist’s View

What keeps scientists honest is knowing our colleagues are looking over our shoulders. A theory with hidden data is never to be believed. (Also read Richard Fernandez: More AGW Controversy)

by
Frank J. Tipler

Bio

November 26, 2009 - 12:09 am
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As readers are now aware, the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, the main climate research center in Britain, has had 128 megabytes of secret emails and other data placed online by someone calling himself “FOIA.” A number of scientists have been trying for years to get the raw data possessed by CRU placed online, filing requests under the British Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Although required by law to release this information, CRU has not done so, or has claimed that the data were accidentally erased. We now have proof in the emails that the illegal withholding of information was intentional, and that the erasure of data was also intentional.

The now non-secret data prove what many of us had only strongly suspected — that most of the evidence of global warming was simply made up. That is, not only are the global warming computer models unreliable, the experimental data upon which these models are built are also unreliable. As Lord Monckton has emphasized here at PJ Media, this deliberate destruction of data and the making up of data out of whole cloth is the real crime — the real story of Climategate.

It is an act of treason against science. It is also an act of treason against humanity, since it has been used to justify an attempt to destroy the world economy.

The chemist and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov wrote an entire novel, A Whiff of Death, which revolved around the seriousness of falsifying data to make it fit one’s own theory. In the novel, the fraudster was murdered by a senior scientist who felt very strongly about scientific treason. My own view is that execution is a bit harsh, and that the standard penalty of being dismissed from one’s job is quite sufficient. But Asimov’s novel gives an excellent description of the enormous temptation scientists face to falsify data when the pesky experiments are refuting one’s pet theory — and it is clear from the released emails that most of the world’s leading climate scientists have yielded to temptation and have tried to force their data into agreement with the theory of global warming. They should be fired.

Alas, I doubt if any of them will lose their current employment or be disciplined in any way. Too many powerful interests are now committed to the truth of global warming theory. These traitors to science are bringing in huge grants to their universities, and the salaries of the bureaucrats who run these universities are dependent on this government grant money.

I’ve doubted the reliability of the global warming data for some time now, so I personally am not surprised by the contents of the emails. What the released data provide is additional proof that the temperature data can’t be trusted and that climate scientists are engaged in a worldwide conspiracy. And like all conspiracies, it was finally exposed. In this case, it was most likely exposed by an honest man inside CRU who believed that the FOIA law should be obeyed.

Two factors have enabled this particular conspiracy to survive for so long.

First, the actual data for surface temperatures have been available only through a small number of organizations. Every experienced scientist has had occasion to doubt a colleague’s reported experimental result. No problem: The skeptical scientist merely has to try to replicate his colleague’s result, and a failure means that the claim is false. But how does one replicate the claim that the average temperature of the Earth — an average computed from taking the data at thousands of temperature stations all across the globe — was one degree Fahrenheit lower in 1900 that it was in 2000? It is impossible to visit all the stations today, to say nothing of the stations of 1900. Replication is impossible.

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