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The Latest on Climategate: University Will Release CRU Data

The University of East Anglia's decision sweeps aside years of obstruction, obfuscation, and prevarication.

by
Myron Ebell

Bio

November 29, 2009 - 12:52 am

London’s Sunday Telegraph reports that the University of East Anglia has decided that its Climatic Research Unit (CRU) must open all its data files to public inspection as soon as possible. It is not known how much of the raw temperature data have been destroyed. The university’s decision sweeps aside years of obstruction, obfuscation, and prevarication by the CRU’s director, Professor Phil Jones. Leaked emails from Jones give conflicting accounts of what he has done with the raw data upon which the CRU’s global temperature record is based.

Releasing the CRU’s data files is a big breakthrough in the scandal and begins the process of bringing climate science into line with other scientific disciplines. It is standard practice in most scientific research to make data and methodologies available to other scientists in order that they can be checked and conclusions confirmed or questioned. In much climate science, secrecy has been the norm and many scientists have in effect demanded that their conclusions be accepted without any way to scrutinize their research. Thus the nations of the world have been embarking on policies that could cost trillions of dollars based on little more than assurances that “we’re experts and you can trust us.”

As Christopher Booker writes in his column in the Sunday Telegraph, further radical steps are needed to clear up this enormous scandal. Unfortunately, it appears that the British scientific and political establishment are already closing ranks and preparing a whitewash. Replying to demands from Lord Lawson and others for an independent investigation, it was rumored on Friday that there is talk of appointing Martin, Lord Rees to head the investigation. Lord Rees is president of the Royal Society, astronomer royal, master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at Cambridge.  He is also, as Booker describes the Royal Society, “a shameless propagandist” for global warming alarmism. Let’s hope he’s too busy to take on another job.

Myron Ebell directs the Resourceful Earth project (www.ResourcefulEarth.org) at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. He may be contacted at mebell@cei.org
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