Climate change scandal that wasn't

I don’t talk about climate change enough on this blog. I just don’t have the time to read everything. At least that’s my excuse. Here’s a great post from DK:

It was the scandal that never was, which was the true scandal. It was one of the most shameful episodes in the annals of climate change denialism, and given the desperate efforts of the corporate interests that profit so mightily off such staggering irresponsibility, that’s no mean feat. But so many traditional media outlets have become little more than propaganda arms of their corporate owners that their obscuring, obfuscating and sometimes just plain lying about the scientific facts is just more of the same. It’s only the most dangerous crisis humanity has ever faced, but to them that’s less important than their rapacious greed. It’s time for a bloggers’ ethics conference.

The real story was that thieves hacked the private emails of respected climate scientists. That’s a crime. That should have been at least part of the focus of the reporting: a false scandal was being concocted by people who were, at face value, criminals. But the larger part of the story was that it was a deliberate effort to distort and distract from the scientific facts. That, too, should have been at least part of the reporting. Instead, so many major media outlets played along, ignoring the criminality, and propagating the distortions and lies exactly as the criminals wanted. Even though the distortions and lies were easily debunked. All it took was intelligence and integrity, rarely found in the major media, although they could be found, elsewhere.

One of the best concise refutations of the false scandal came from our ownDarkSyde, one of those lowly blogger types. Brian Angliss of Scholars & Rogues provided one of the best comprehensive refutations, in a series of posts: hereherehere, and here. Another of those bloggers. And a couple weeks back, Salon’s Alex Pareene had what should be, but certainly won’t be, the false scandal’s death knell:

It was obvious to anyone who actually bothered to read the stolen “climategate” emails that they didn’t actually contain anything particularly scandalous, and they certainly didn’t contain anything at all that remotely called into the question the legitimacy of years of science demonstrating the effect of human activity on climate change.

But once the name “climategate” was affixed to the trumped-up non-scandal and printed in large type in a major newspaper, it didn’t matter what the emails said. Not a whit. Emails, scandal, “-gate” — there must be something to this!

There wasn’t.

More here

  • Joe White

    I'm really surprised that as a man of science you would have such a great degree of tolerance for the suppression of scientific data.