The news media has been reporting on something they are calling “ClimateGate” — some internal emails from the Climatic Research Unit in England that were hacked and leaked. Some climate change skeptics are claiming that these emails prove that climate change is bogus.
Hardly. I’ve looked into the emails and the code, and there just isn’t any there there. No smoking gun. As a computer scientist who has worked extensively with simulations, I can say that it is common practice to play around with data to test out different scenarios, but the key point here is that none of the fudged data was ever published as real data. None.
But what is really hypocritical is that back in 2007, a likewise leaked internal document revealed that ExxonMobil was spending $16 million on an extensive PR campaign to confuse the public on global warming science. To do this, they employed some of the same organizations and people who had spent 40 years helping the tobacco companies sow doubt about whether their product caused lung cancer. One of the things they had done was to “recruit and train a team of five independent scientists to participate in media outreach”. If they are recruited and trained by the oil company, how can they be independent?
So on one hand, you have a large corporation spending millions of dollars to spread lies about climate change. On the other hand, you have some internal emails from some scientists playing with their data, even though this data was never actually published. So, which story does the mainstream media jump on? Guess.
UPDATE: FireDogLake has more about the hypocrisy of “ClimateGate”.
UPDATE 2: An independent investigation of the “ClimateGate” emails has concluded that there is no evidence that data supporting global warming was faked.