The fallout continues from the data breach that led to the release of e-mail exchanges between climate scientists about global warming data. This New York Times piece indicates that the controversy about the e-mails, and their true meaning as it relates to the science of global warming, has had broad repercussions.
Hacking into a computer is a criminal act which should not be condoned. However, if this particular criminal act results in greater access to raw global warming data, and increased scientific debate about that data and its true meaning, then it has had some positive effect. Science should not be a black box. If global warming is to be used as a basis for arguing that western countries like the United States should make enormous and costly changes to their economies and activities, it obviously should be the subject of robust and skeptical discussion. If climate change scientists aren’t willing to engage in such debate, that says something about their methods, practices, and status as scientists. To paraphrase Harry Truman, if climate change scientists can’t stand the heat, they should get out of the kitchen.
I remember reading Michael Crichton’s State of Fear in the spring of 2005. As you no doubt know, Crichton was skeptical of the majority of “global warming” claims.
At about the same time, Time Magazine’s 2005 Earth Day edition included a story heralding the coming disaster of rising sea levels due to “global warming.” The upshot of the article was that, at the “current rate,” the sea level might rise by one foot over the next one hundred years.
What struck me at the time was the contrast between Crichton’s “work of fiction” that was heavily footnoted and cited a plethora of references to actual research and studies, as compared to Time Magazine’s supposedly “factual” article – which contained no references to any study, analysis, or academic research.
Crichton believed that, although there is evidence of local circumstances showing warming trends, he did not believe there was credible evidence of “global” warming. He indicated that, for example, the average temperature in the city of New York has warmed by a few degrees over the past 150 years (which he attributed to the the effects of the massive increase in population, massive increase in buildings and construction materials that hold in heat – such as concrete, asphalt, etc), the average temperature in Albany N.Y. (less than 100 miles away) has reportedly decreased over the same period of time.
I agree with you – it seems clear that many of the global warming proponent “scientists” are not honestly practicing the scientific method.