The Climategate disclosures over the past few days, consisting of some thousand of emails between a small group of British and US climate scientists, suggest that global warming may be man-made after all – created by a small group of zealous scientists!
It would seem they have used flawed data, phoney statistics, and various “tricks”. They appear to have covered up contrary evidence and refused to open their work to the scrutiny of independent scholars. It has also been suggested that by keeping out “intruders”, by reviewing their own papers, by capturing scientific journals and intimidating editors, they have tried to suppress dissent.
I do not wish to discuss any of the ethical or legal aspects, which may be self-evident.
I consider the whole matter a great tragedy not only for science but also for the institutions involved and for many of the scientists involved who have in fact spent many years and whole careers on their work. In particular, I have some personal sympathy for Philip Jones and feel he has been dealt a bad hand. Trying to correct temperature observations from weather stations around the world is extremely difficult work. It involves much detail; it is certainly not traditional science. However, I cannot endorse the actions of this group and hope that an impartial investigation will bring closure to this difficult matter.
Inevitably, the public’s view of science will be affected and this will hurt all of science.
S. Fred Singer is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science at the University of Virginia.