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.