ANDREW C. REVKIN writes for the New York Times:
Some prominent climate scientists are calling for changes in the way research on global warming is conducted after a British university said thousands of private e-mail messages and documents had been stolen from its climate center.
The scientists say that the e-mail messages, which have circulated on the Internet and which disclose the inner workings of a small network of climatologists who chart the planet’s temperature, have damaged the public’s trust in the evidence that humans are dangerously warming the planet, just as many countries are poised to start reining in greenhouse gas emissions.
“This whole concept of, ‘We’re the experts, trust us,’ has clearly gone by the wayside with these e-mails,” said Judith Curry, a climate scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology.
There is a fissure growing in the western world between those who believe in global warming and those who don’t. This divide between science and living has only widened in my lifetime, and the stakes are much higherr than dating dinosaur footprints. We as a people don’t ask ourselves how our plumbing works, electricity, internet, phone, almost nothing. We live surrounded by name brand magic, and if we don’t start understanding how the essentials of our lives actually work, we risk being slaves to uncertain and unsustainable conveniences.
In this case, we have a number of scientists looking at a questions surrounding climate change, and rather than pursuing answers rigorously, focused more on public perception. They had data that needed deeper analysis, but a handful of scientists shared ideas on sweeping it underneath a graphical rug.
Now there is a growing chorus of folks claiming the existence of a global wide conspiracy among scientists to fool us all into believing in climate change. It is my personal opinion that the evidence supporting global warming is just as hard and solid as a multitude of scientific phenomenon we would never question such as gravity and lightning. In those two cases, we don’t fully understand either, but we do know you should NOT stand under a metal tree during a thunderstorm, and astronauts wisely never leave their shuttle without a tether.
Yes there is a lot more for science to discover about gravity, lightning, and climate change, but the over whelming evidence of all three is very real.
So this time, I advise you to look at the last 800,000 years and use your own common sense.