Among the many great amusements of the Climategate scandal are the myriad imaginative excuses being offered by the implicated scientists and their friends in the MSM as to why this isn’t a significant story. Here are some of the best:
Most Unexpectedly Honourable Response: The Guardian’s eco-columnist George Monbiot
Say what you like about the Great Moonbat, the heliophobic Old Stoic is the ONLY member of the Climate-Fear-Promotion camp to have delivered a proper apology.
I apologise. I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely.
Most brazen “doth protest too much” defence: www.realclimate.org
Real Climate is the website established and run by a claque of scientist friends of Michael Mann – inventor of the discredited Hockey Stick curve. They are also closely associated with the crowd at the disgraced Climate Research Unit. They clearly feel no apology is necessary:
More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords.
Well, boys, if you say so….
Least convincing “The Dog Ate My Homework”excuse: Professor Phil ‘It was a typing error’ Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit
Many of the potentially incriminating Climategate emails were the work of CRU’s director Phil Jones, including the infamous one where he discussed “trick” to “hide the decline” in global temperatures. But it’s OK. As he tells his sympathetic audience at the Guardian it was a perfectly honest mistake:
“The use of the term ‘hiding the decline’ was in an email written in haste,”
Which does make you wonder how the sentence would have read had he just had a little longer to type it correctly. “Hiding the sausage?” “Heeding the decline?” “Playing a straight bat and keeping everything above board and scientifically scrupulous as we always do here at CRU”. Yes, that’ll be it – the last one. But you can see how easily the slip was made.
Most Disingenuous Cop-Out: Andrew Revkin of the New York Times
For years Andrew Revkin has been using the NYT – aka Pravda – to push the Al-Gore-approved AGW narrative so kindly embellished for him by likeminded scientist chums at parti pris institutions like CRU. But, like any decent reporter, Revkin is above all else a principled seeker-after-truth. That’s why he had absolutely no hesitation in furnishing NYT readers with every juicy detail of the biggest science scandal of the age.
Or at least he would have done, had it not been for the following problem, expressed on his Dot Earth blog.
The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.
Damn right, Andrew. Don’t you be troubling your readers with any of that “damning revelations” nonsense. If only journalists had shown similar integrity at Watergate, why, good old Richard Nixon might have stayed in power long enough to make America truly great.
Most Haughtily Dismissive “Nothing To See Here” Apologia: George Marshall
Here is George Marshall putting us right in the Guardian’s Comment Is Free section:
Leaked email climate smear was a PR disaster for UEA
There was no evidence of conspiracy among climate scientists in the leaked emails – so why was the University of East Anglia’s response so pathetic?
George who? Fortunately the great Bishop Hill has been doing some digging. According to the Guardian, “George Marshall is the founder and director of projects at the Climate Outreach and Information Network. He posts regularly to the blog climatedenial.org”. But as Bishop Hill has discovered it’s rather more sinister than that. This COIN charity has been funded to the tune of £700,000 over two years by DEFRA (US readers note: the dismal branch of the UK government responsible for murdering livestock, destroying agriculture, persecuting farmers etc) in order to:
“profoundly change the attitude of rank and file union members; generating visible collective reduction action, establishing a social norm for personal action, and creating a persuasive synergy and cross over between personal action, work-placed programmes such as ‘Greening the workplace’, and the emissions reduction targets of employers.”
So not so much a case of Comment Is Free then. More a case of Comment Is Very Expensive If You’re A Taxpayer
Most Ludicrously Biased Environment Correspondent, Even By The Ludicrously Biased Standards of Environment Correspondents: the BBC’s Roger Harrabin.
When Harrabin (rather reluctantly one imagines) broke the Climategate story to BBC listeners a few days ago, guess where he turned for authoritative independent analysis of its significance. Yes, that’s right: to those completely unbiased scientists at Real Climate (above). They confirmed Harrabin’s suspicions that this wasn’t – as that “small minority” of pesky sceptics had been saying – a searing indictment of the AGW-promotion lobby’s dubious practices, but just a routine criminal break-in.
Now that he’s had a bit more time to digest the story, though, Harrabin has realised that the story is much, MUCH more important than that. Yes: it has much to tell us, he concludes, about the issue of data protection.
But this affair will surely change things: From now, scientific teams and peer-review groups will be much more cautious about how they word e-mails.
Researchers at CRU complain that no one will want to do collaborative work if their private e-mail conversations may later be revealed. But many commercial corporate organisations at risk of hacking have developed ways of communicating that don’t leave them open to sabotage.
Thanks Roger. It’s thanks to responsible, studiedly neutral reporting like that that we’ve all come so fervently to trust the BBC.