Mark Landsbaum, writing in the Orange County Register, does a terrific job of summing up how serious and wide is the ClimateGate scandal. Here are some of the highlights:
It has been tough to keep up with all the bad news for global warming alarmists. We're on the edge of our chair, waiting for the next shoe to drop. . . . .
ClimateGate – This scandal began the latest round of revelations when thousands of leaked documents from Britain's East Anglia Climate Research Unit showed systematic suppression and discrediting of climate skeptics' views and discarding of temperature data, suggesting a bias for making the case for warming. Why do such a thing if, as global warming defenders contend, the "science is settled?"
FOIGate – The British government has since determined someone at East Anglia committed a crime by refusing to release global warming documents sought in 95 Freedom of Information Act requests. The CRU is one of three international agencies compiling global temperature data. If their stuff's so solid, why the secrecy?
ChinaGate – An investigation by the U.K.'s left-leaning Guardian newspaper found evidence that Chinese weather station measurements not only were seriously flawed, but couldn't be located. "Where exactly are 42 weather monitoring stations in remote parts of rural China?" the paper asked. The paper's investigation also couldn't find corroboration of what Chinese scientists turned over to American scientists, leaving unanswered, "how much of the warming seen in recent decades is due to the local effects of spreading cities, rather than global warming?" The Guardian contends that researchers covered up the missing data for years.
HimalayaGate – An Indian climate official admitted in January that, as lead author of the IPCC's Asian report, he intentionally exaggerated when claiming Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035 in order to prod governments into action. This fraudulent claim was not based on scientific research or peer-reviewed. Instead it was originally advanced by a researcher, since hired by a global warming research organization, who later admitted it was "speculation" lifted from a popular magazine. This political, not scientific, motivation at least got some researcher funded.
. . . .
SternGate – One excuse for imposing worldwide climate crackdown has been the U.K.'s 2006 Stern Report, an economic doomsday prediction commissioned by the government. Now the U.K. Telegraph reports that quietly after publication "some of these predictions had been watered down because the scientific evidence on which they were based could not be verified." Among original claims now deleted were that northwest Australia has had stronger typhoons in recent decades, and that southern Australia lost rainfall because of rising ocean temperatures. Exaggerated claims get headlines. Later, news reporters disclose the truth. Why is that?
. . . .
AmazonGate– The London Times exposed another shocker: the IPCC claim that global warming will wipe out rain forests was fraudulent, yet advanced as "peer-reveiwed" science. The Times said the assertion actually "was based on an unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had little scientific expertise," "authored by two green activists" and lifted from a report from the World Wildlife Fund, an environmental pressure group. The "research" was based on a popular science magazine report that didn't bother to assess rainfall. Instead, it looked at the impact of logging and burning.
. . . .
U.S.Gate – If Brits can't be trusted, are Yanks more reliable? The U.S. National Climate Data Center has been manipulating weather data too, say computer expert E. Michael Smith and meteorologist Joesph D'Aleo. Forty years ago there were 6,000 surface-temperature measuring stations, but only 1,500 by 1990, which coincides with what global warming alarmists say was a record temperature increase. Most of the deleted stations were in colder regions, just as in the Russian case, resulting in misleading higher average temperatures.
IceGate – Hardly a continent has escaped global warming skewing. The IPCC based its findings of reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and in Africa on a feature story of climbers' anecdotes in a popular mountaineering magazine, and a dissertation by a Switzerland university student, quoting mountain guides. Peer-reviewed? Hype? Worse?
. . . .
ReefGate– Let's not forget the alleged link between climate change and coral reef degradation. The IPCC cited not peer-reviewed literature, but advocacy articles by Greenpeace, the publicity-hungry advocacy group, as its sole source for this claim.
. . . .
AlaskaGate – Geologists for Space Studies in Geophysics and Oceanography and their U.S. and Canadian colleagues say previous studies largely overestimated by 40 percent Alaskan glacier loss for 40 years. This flawed data are fed into those computers to predict future warming.
Fold this column up and lay it next to your napkin the next time you have Al Gore or his ilk to dine. It should make interesting after-dinner conversation.
There are several other examples of climate fraud and incompetence described in the article, so if you indeed wish to bring the column to your next dinner party, get the full column here.
Meanwhile, Christopher Booker writes in the Telegraph that the emerging errors of the IPCC's 2007 report are not incidental but fundamental:
The chief defence offered by the warmists to all those revelations centred on the IPCC's last 2007 report is that they were only a few marginal mistakes scattered through a vast, 3,000-page document. OK, they say, it might have been wrong to predict that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035; that global warming was about to destroy 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest and cut African crop yields by 50 per cent; that sea levels were rising dangerously; that hurricanes, droughts and other "extreme weather events" were getting worse. These were a handful of isolated errors in a massive report; behind them the mighty edifice of global warming orthodoxy remains unscathed. The "science is settled", the "consensus" is intact.
But this completely misses the point. Put the errors together and it can be seen that one after another they tick off all the central, iconic issues of the entire global warming saga. Apart from those non-vanishing polar bears, no fears of climate change have been played on more insistently than these: the destruction of Himalayan glaciers and Amazonian rainforest; famine in Africa; fast-rising sea levels; the threat of hurricanes, droughts, floods and heatwaves all becoming more frequent.
All these alarms were given special prominence in the IPCC's 2007 report and each of them has now been shown to be based, not on hard evidence, but on scare stories, derived not from proper scientists but from environmental activists. Those glaciers are not vanishing; the damage to the rainforest is not from climate change but logging and agriculture; African crop yields are more likely to increase than diminish; the modest rise in sea levels is slowing not accelerating; hurricane activity is lower than it was 60 years ago; droughts were more frequent in the past; there has been no increase in floods or heatwaves.
Furthermore, it has also emerged in almost every case that the decision to include these scare stories rather than hard scientific evidence was deliberate. As several IPCC scientists have pointed out about the scare over Himalayan glaciers, for instance, those responsible for including it were well aware that proper science said something quite different. But it was inserted nevertheless – because that was the story wanted by those in charge.
In addition, we can now read in shocking detail the truth of the outrageous efforts made to ensure that the same 2007 report was able to keep on board IPCC's most shameless stunt of all – the notorious "hockey stick" graph purporting to show that in the late 20th century, temperatures had been hurtling up to unprecedented levels. This was deemed necessary because, after the graph was made the centrepiece of the IPCC's 2001 report, it had been exposed as no more than a statistical illusion. (For a full account see Andrew Montford's The Hockey Stick Illusion, and also my own book The Real Global Warming Disaster.)
In other words, in crucial respects the IPCC's 2007 report was no more than reckless propaganda, designed to panic the world's politicians into agreeing at Copenhagen in 2009 that we should all pay by far the largest single bill ever presented to the human race, amounting to tens of trillions of dollars. And as we know, faced with the prospect of this financial and economic abyss, December's Copenhagen conference ended in shambles, with virtually nothing agreed.
What is staggering is the speed and the scale of the unravelling – assisted of course, just before Copenhagen, by "Climategate", the emails and computer codes leaked from East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit. Their significance was the light they shone on the activities of a small group of British and US scientists at the heart of the IPCC, as they discussed ways of manipulating data to show the world warming faster than the evidence justified; fighting off legitimate requests for data from outside experts to hide their manipulations; and conspiring to silence their critics by excluding their work from scientific journals and the IPCC's 2007 report itself. . . . .
Almost as revealing as the leaked documents themselves, however, was the recent interview given to the BBC by the CRU's suspended director, Dr Phil Jones, who has played a central role in the global warming scare for 20 years, not least as custodian of the most prestigious of the four global temperature records relied on by the IPCC. In his interview Jones seemed to be chucking overboard one key prop of warmest faith after another, as he admitted that the world might have been hotter during the Medieval Warm Period 1,000 years ago than it is today, that before any rise in CO2 levels temperatures rose faster between 1860 and 1880 than they have done in the past 30 years, and that in the past decade their trend has been falling rather than rising.
The implications of all this for the warming scare, as it has been presented to us over the past two decades, can scarcely be overestimated. The reputation of the IPCC is in shreds.
The ClimateGate scandal is serious, wide, and deep. Everyone knows it now -- even liberal Democrats. That's why Obama's remark in his State of the Union address about the so-called "overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change" drew smiles, snickers, laughter and even a few hoots.
The multi-billion dollar climate change game is just about up. Snake-oil "science" isn't going to cut it anymore.