Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Human Activity and Climate Change: The Definitive Proof

Yes, for those who were doubting it, we finally have the definitive evidence that human-induced climate change is happening.

The evidence is in the fact that a highly trained squad of climate sceptic propagandists trawling through 10 years of emails at the CRU in Norwich could only find a bit of low-level jiggerypockery about one graph put together for a political event. Oh, and some ungracious comment on the death of another scientist. Most people familiar with academic life will have seen a lot worse than that in their inboxes. The CRU is starting to look like a rather saintly place after this.

I'm pretty sure that 10 years of emails of a representative sample of anyone involved in the climate change-sceptic campaign would yield rather more sordid discoveries. So why is Phil Jones resigning as director of the CRU? This can only help the hackers and pseudoscientists, who will immediately ask - why would someone resign if they've done nothing wrong?

Instead of conceding points to criminal hackers, it should be explained to people that despite the reserved nature of what goes in many emails, you can't get anywhere in science - even political science - these days without being more or less open about your data, even if you don't want to send it out to any loony blogger that asks for it. The idea that Phil Jones and colleagues can have got away with systematically withholding data and misleading the scientific community for over a decade of the biggest debate of our time is ludricrous, although not quite as ludricrous as the people expressing it. To fail to make this point gives way too much ground to the sceptics.

Climate change researchers need a few lessons from Richard Dawkins!