Climategate: Over-realized Anthropology and The Biggest Story Getting NO Mainstream Press
This post is a brief departure from the Top XX lists. No major tv news network has yet to pick up this story over two weeks after it broke. The gist of the story is the Climate Research Unit had their email servers hacked. 1000 emails and 3000 documents were taken from the servers. These emails and documents allegedly reveal highly incriminating evidence implicating many of the world’s top ‘climate researchers.’ Notable figures at Penn State University, University of East Anglia, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research have been implicated. Here is one quote (via Wikipedia):
The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem“–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommended not using the post-1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.
Copenhagen hosts a world summit on climate change from December 7th-21st. Climategate will/ought to cast a long shadow over the Copenhagen summit.
This is a major story and the lack of coverage is deplorable. I think how the information has come to light is reprehensible, nonetheless is has come to light. I think the main reason why Global Warming has had traction as an idea, is that it puts MAN at the center of the world. WE have caused this problem, now let US show our greatness and sovereignty by fixing it. I have yet to see good scientific data on Global Warming. I think Global Warming has been successfully marketed by a handful of people (Al Gore… et al) and it struck a chord with our heavily man-centered society/world. The problem is that if Global Warming was founded on rhetoric, conjecture, and marketing, then it was a deck of cards waiting to fall. For me, Global Warming is at its essence and over-realized anthropology. Politicians decided that they could use climate change to their advantage. Big corporations found a new marketing tool: being ‘green.’ It is pretty rare that a major corporation be gift wrapped a completely new thing that they can market themselves with, especially with a lemming public clamoring and groveling to eat it up. I am tired of shoddy science, whether Neo-Darwinian drivel or Global Warming. Someone please email me when you there is some good data.
Many of you probably already know about “Climategate“, but in case you have not, here is a survey of internet stories:
Justin Taylor has a nice article that concisely explains the UN role and Copenhagen conference in the whole climategate debacle. It is a worthwhile read.