Christopher Booker has a useful overview of the scandal of “Climategate” in a UK Telegraph column. The whole article is well worth reading, but I liked his identification of three basic points of scientific scandal:
Perhaps the most obvious … is the highly disturbing series of emails which show how Dr Jones and his colleagues have for years been discussing the devious tactics whereby they could avoid releasing their data to outsiders under freedom of information laws.
The second and most shocking revelation of the leaked documents is how they show the scientists trying to manipulate data through their tortuous computer programmes, always to point in only the one desired direction — to lower past temperatures and to “adjust” recent temperatures upwards, in order to convey the impression of an accelerated warming. …
The third shocking revelation of these documents is the ruthless way in which these academics have been determined to silence any expert questioning of the findings they have arrived at by such dubious methods — not just by refusing to disclose their basic data but by discrediting and freezing out any scientific journal which dares to publish their critics’ work. …
For more details, go read the whole column.
Also, Glenn Reynolds just published a column on the scandal in The Washington Examiner. (I was particularly interested to hear the views of independent programmers about the code used in the climate models.) I very much hope that Glenn’s final prediction is right:
My prediction: The Copenhagen global warming conference will feature a lot of pretty words and promises, and no admission that things have changed. But we’ll see little or no actual movement, as politicians around the world realize that there’s no percentage in pushing these programs on an increasingly wary public.
I could live with that!