Playing Chicken Little re climate science

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    The "Climategate" brouhaha continues, with Cult of Denial folk claiming that emails stolen from climate scientists and their institutions (notably the University of East Anglia) show the science is so deeply flawed that it's just plain wrong.

    By no means the case; just extreme hyperbole, aiming to shoot some messengers, and divert attention from science being sound overall.

    Mind you, the fuss is surely localised; probably most people oblivious to what's going on. But – as sis the intention – the denialist folk are surely adding to confusion many people may feel.

    Interesting article on Environmental Research Web, includes:

    Two of the scientists involved in "Climategate" – the e-mail hacking incident at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, UK – have been emailed death threats since the contents of their private e-mails were leaked to the world. No further information can be revealed about these particular threats at present because they are currently under investigation with the FBI in the United States.

    Many other CRU scientists and their colleagues have received torrents of abusive and threatening e-mails since the leaks first began in mid-November 2009. Tom Wigley, previous Director of CRU and now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, US, has been horrified by the e-mails he and other colleagues have received. "They are truly stomach-turning and show what sort of venomous monsters we are up against," he told environmentalresearchweb.

    “We have always had a very vocal minority of people who have long since decided to ignore the science and the data and take a deliberately and completely contrarian view, and who have always and constantly accused (all) climate scientists of falsehood and being in it for the money,” said Andy Ridgwell, a climate scientist at the University of Bristol. “They have been playing Chicken Little and claiming the sky is falling in on climate science for a decade. There is nothing left that is new or different that they can (falsely) claim or accuse us of.”

    'Climategate' scientists receive death threats

    THe BBC's environment correspoondent Richard Black has commented, including:

    But what matters far, far more than the nuances of climate scientists' behaviour is whether the climate is warming, and if it is, what is driving that warming.

    Those are questions crucial for humanity's future, because if the IPCC's projections become reality, substantial swathes of the global population will find themselves living in much more straitened circumstances than they face at present.

    If the scientific case for greenhouse warming crumbles, so be it; but I'd suggest we should beware of assuming it is crumbling simply because a few scientists or a few scientific papers or a few IPCC reviewers have been seen to fall short of the highest standards.

    Distorted view through the climate gates

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