Jonah Goldberg comments on the climate research scandal.
In a long string of embarrassing e-mail exchanges, CRU scientists discuss with friendly outside colleagues, including Penn State University’s Michael Mann, how to manipulate the data they want to show the world, and how to hide the often-flawed data they don’t. In one exchange, they discuss the “trick” of how to “hide the decline” in global temperatures since the 1960s. Again and again, the researchers don’t object to just inconvenient truths but also inconvenient truth-tellers. They contemplate and orchestrate efforts to purge scientists and journals who won’t sing from the same global-warming hymnal.
In one instance, Phil Jones, the CRU director, says a scientific journal must “rid (itself) of this troublesome editor,” who happened to publish a problematic paper. In another, Jones says we “will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
I am a great advocate of science (with a particular soft spot for weapons science, of course) and groan at the thought of how this will affect the scientific community’s credibility. There will be way too many people who will conclude that, if scientists can fudge climate data, they can fudge the evidence supporting vaccination, or organic evolution, or other areas where the controversity is a bit more artificial. And it will be hard to give them a good answer.