Friday, January 8, 2016

Remember "Climate-gate" ?


"Climate-gate" was an example of the logical fallacy of the "irrelevant conclusion," in other words, it was asserted that one or two emails, out of hundreds that were scrutinized (after they were made public on the Internet), proved that all of the evidence that our planet is warming from man-made causes is bogus.  Reviews were conducted, but no evidence was ever produced of a systematic suppression or manipulation of data used by climate change researchers.  It was a "tempest in a teapot" and was a strategically timed stunt intended to derail the 2009 Copenhagen summit by influencing public opinion.  Opinion.  It was a political stunt that was completely irrelevant to the scientific community.

Virginia Burkett, chief scientist for global change research at the U.S. Geological Survey, told The Associated Press that, even if the data and studies mentioned in the e-mail exchanges were ignored, the evidence "is still hugely overwhelming in terms of the rates of changes that can only be attributed to the warming of the atmosphere. That includes melting Arctic sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets, decline of spring snow season, coral reef bleaching and earlier onset of spring in plants and animals," she said, referring to changing patterns of blooming, hibernation, and migration. They may be talking three or four datasets in the e-mail scandal, we're looking at 28,000 data sets of physical and biological systems from around the world," she said.

The bulk of the evidence is clear; the consensus of the scientific community, firm.  Man-made.  And the scientific consensus that came out of the Copenhagen summit was no different than when the summit began, as expressed in the "Fourth Assessment Report" of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released in February 2007:

The Fourth Assessment Report finds that human actions are "very likely" the cause of global warming, meaning a 90% or greater probability. Global warming in this case is indicated by an increase of 0.75 degrees in average global temperatures over the last 100 years.

Global warming is absolutely no "hoax" as the global warming "deniers" would like to claim.

I'll say it again:  it was, plain and simple, a stupid move, and a bad blunder. Instead of saying "there is reasonable doubt about man-made global warming," they chose to say, "global warming is a liberal hoax."  Which it was not.  They chose to tell an untruth, to deceive, rather than to stand up for what they claimed to believe.  Why?  Because they never really believed what they were saying.  

That little "publicity stunt" did as much as anything to hurt the case of the deniers.
And, just for what it's worth, no, truth does not have a "liberal bias."  It only appears that way to those who are, themselves, biased.