Of Tempests and Teapots

July 8, 2010

Climategate, the pseudoscandal du jour of last fall, was, after all the hoopla, much ado about basically nothing. Whoops. If you’ve studied climate issues over the past few years, (and I have), this probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you. I was wont to defend the East Anglia researchers at the time this was breaking, as their evasiveness and lack of transparency was troubling, even to someone relatively certain of the basic validity of their results. The Russell review basically confirms my suspicions, though: right on the science, wrong on the PR. I have to admit, I enjoyed this mea culpa by lead inquisitor George Monbiot.

Climate science isn’t perfect. It’s not even very good. But the basic theme is pretty clear, and denying it at this point should seem pretty absurd. Climate policy — certainly open to debate. I personally favor a carbon tax. But the science, the part that says that manmade carbon emissions are already impacting the earth’s climate and will do so to an increasing degree as carbon builds in the atmosphere? Difficult to dispute.