I wonder what Al Gore – allegedly the world’s first carbon billionaire, not to mention Nobel and Oscar laureate – is thinking during the brouhaha over the release of the East Anglia CRU emails and documents. Probably, not much. No doubt the former veep has dismissed this as a minor distraction led by right-wing lunatics or some such. Fortunately for Gore, he has very little, if any, scientific training himself (unless you count divinity school, from which he nearly flunked out), so he can rely on his minions to reassure him without having to do much investigating himself. Several have already jumped into the fray to explain that “hide the decline” does not mean, well, “hide the decline” (of Gore’s beloved “hockey stick.”)
That’s possible, of course, just as it’s possible that all this shifty by-play between the scientists is completely meaningless in the grand scheme of things and we are on the brink of climate Armageddon. More likely, however, is that we are witnessing the vindication of Stephen McIntyre, the Toronto global warming skeptic who was among the first to question the sainted “hockey stick” and was refused the justifying data. We now see why. The suppression of peer review is perhaps the most repellent aspect of this amazing and still-unfolding story.
As James Delingpole writes in the Telegraph, the public is already skeptical of AGW (or of its supposedly giant impact). But perhaps too much water (or gold) is already under the proverbial bridge:
Unfortunately, we’ve a long, long way to go before the public mood (and scientific truth) is reflected by our policy makers. There are too many vested interests in AGW, with far too much to lose either in terms of reputation or money, for this to end without a bitter fight.
Sad but true. Sadder still is the tarnishing of science’s reputation.