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Fakegate: Can’t Hide This Decline

Of course, Kaminsky was promptly attacked:

Comments I received include tidbits such as: “Perhaps this experience will give you pause before jumping into misrepresentations of scientists on the basis of out-of-context stolen emails.” And “Ross Kaminky’s [sic] politically-motivated diatribe against the defenders of sound science only illustrates how low Heartland Institute and it’s [sic] supporters will go to misrepresent science and facts inconvenient to them.” And “So basically there is no proof that it is a fake, just speculation.”

But my favorite, for obvious reasons: “I hope that Mr. Kaminsky will be prepared [to] fully retract and apologize to Dr. Gleick once he is ruled out as the possible culprit.”

Well, sadly for those demanding an apology, yesterday Gleick confessed to the document theft, though not (yet) to authoring the fake, whereupon it didn’t take long for the Daily Kos to elevate him to hero status. If not Gleick, someone created the fake document from selective and out-of-context quotes from the documents Gleick stole to make Heartland look as evil as the warmist fever swamp fantasizes it is.

What is it that Heartland really wanted to do? The horrific plan is explained in the previously linked Christian Science Monitor article:

Each module would inject skepticism into the scientific consensus on climate change.

OMGaia! They’re going to “inject skepticism” into a science class. Are there any depths to their depravity and duplicity? What next? Will they be teaching logic, and critical thinking? Also, they’re opposed to “responsible” climate mitigation (i.e., wrecking the nation’s economy with unnecessarily high energy costs while doing little or nothing about climate mitigation). The fiends!

As I’ve noted in the past, it is not the skeptics who are anti-science.

Many in the climate change community have condemned what they call “skeptics,” often to the point of declaring them de facto criminals and assigning them to the same category as Holocaust deniers. They tell us that “the science is settled” and that we should shut up. But every scientist worthy of the name should be a skeptic. Every theory should be subject to challenge on a scientific basis. Every claim of a model’s validity should be accompanied by the complete model and data set that supposedly validated it, so that it can be replicated. That is how science works. It is how it advances. And when the science is supposedly “settled” and they refuse to do so, it’s not unreasonable to wonder why.

For the record, I greatly resent being called a “denier,” with its clear — and fully intended, as the LA Times analogy reveals — connotation to Nazis. I am a skeptic. I don’t “deny” AGW, because I don’t have sufficient knowledge of how climate works, or its history, to confidently have a strong opinion about it. What I do deny is that the proponents of the theory do have such knowledge or competence, and my doubts were buttressed by the release not just of the emails that revealed their duplicitous and unscientific behavior, but of the shoddy and unreplicable climate data sets and models themselves.

So, yes, I guess I am a denier. Here’s what I deny.

deny that science is a compendium of knowledge to be ladled out to school children like government-approved pablum (and particularly malnutritious pablum), rather than a systematic method of attaining such knowledge.

deny that skepticism about anthropogenic climate change is epistemologically equivalent to skepticism about evolution, and I resent the implications that if one is skeptical about the former, one must be similarly skeptical about the latter, and “anti-science.”

As someone who has done complex modeling and computer coding myself, I deny that we understand the complex and chaotic interactions of the atmosphere, oceans and solar and other inputs sufficiently to model them with any confidence into the future, and I deny that it is unreasonable and unscientific to think that those who believe they do have such understanding suffer from hubris. To paraphrase Carl Sagan, extraordinary policy prescriptions require extraordinary evidence.