Regard it as an unimportant story. Not nearly as important as Tiger Woods or the couple that crashed a White House party. It is just another hacker, and undoubtedly the work of one of those oil company shills. Yes, ignore it. It will fade away.
The second answer: Write about Climategate’s general unimportance and give the parties involved a platform to dismiss the charges. Various outlets took minor steps to cover the story in a limited, dismissive way.
But the major networks stonewalled.
You must know this about the leaked files: While the emails were damning, the real “meat” was in the computer code leaked. Skeptical climate scientists have already studied it; they find it to be an outrageous manipulation that takes real temperature data and converts them into a warming fairytale. This data form the baseline for the research used by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
This is huge.
Those who counter this argument by saying there are three other databases, and the two that use surface temperatures agree with this data, need to rethink what they are saying. Think about it. The CRU data is scientifically meaningless, and the scientists at the other centers are in constant contact with the scientists at CRU. There is a strong likelihood that the other databases are similarly without scientific merit.
Meanwhile, I am very impressed with the wide-ranging internet coverage of Climategate. It is mostly of excellent quality. Media news editors, producers, columnists, and opinion/editorial page editors all use the internet for ideas and research. This has been a forcing factor to the media, and as a result a few mainstream outlets have picked up on the internet items. The AP has posted some stories.
But still, the television news channels and networks (except for Fox) have ignored the story as well as they can.
While there will be continuing ramifications throughout science and among the researchers and organizations involved, without significant media coverage Climategate will soon fade away. We skeptics will continue to talk about it, but no one will be listening. Things will quiet down to “normal.”
But there is one possibility that could grow Climategate and demand mainstream coverage. That possibility is my hope. I hope the person who leaked the damning files comes out of the shadows and speaks out about the outrage of what is transpiring — after all, that person had to feel strongly enough about it to perform the leak in the first place. And if that person is an important warming scientist, or is accompanied by a prominent warming scientist, that could break Climategate into the headlines.
If Al Gore, Michael Mann, or Jim Hansen were to say it — “I was wrong” — that would be a major mainstream news development. And the global warming frenzy would be dead.
But I am not holding my breath.