Climategate - I doubt it very highly.
Published 24th November 2009 - 12 comments - 964 views -
Eammon's recent blog "Climategate" brought attention to the hacking of e-mails from East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, and the supposed "conspiracy" it brings to light. Sceptics around the world are jumping up and down rubbing their hands in glee... Climate Change was a hoax.
Some of the statements made in the e-mails (if they are genuine) do look questionable, and would certainly damage the credibility of the CRU. So does this spell the end of the global warming debate?
When I look at supposed conspiracy theories (because if this was a hoax then it would amount to a huge conspiracy) I ask myself how many people had to collude in order for it to work.
A conspiracy to boost share prices at a company for instance - not so many people. The moon landing on the other hand - huge numbers of scientists across the globe. 9/11 and Pearl Harbour - again enormous numbers of people (both powerful and otherwise).
Climate Change... ditto. The numbers involved would be huge!
So I ask myself what is the likelihood that thousands of scientists, politicians, activists and business leaders have all decided to "pretend" that the data points to global warming when it doesn't.
First of all, who's paying them, who's organising them, and who started the whole thing? Someone must have decided to mastermind the excercise, and then set about convincing thousands of people to come along for the ride.
Secondly, why? What would reputable scientists, who spent years trying to build credibility, gain from fabricating data. If a small group had decided to fudge results, what benefit would the rest of the community gain in supporting them?
Anyone in academia knows how eager their peers are to rip apart their work. Any little mistake is jumped upon and waved around for everyone to see. So why would they have all decided to pretend that the data being produced by other scientists was solid when it wasn't?
It doesn't make sense.
Also, let's say those originally involved created the data because they wanted to be famous... part of something big. Unlike the moon landing, or 911 - Climate Change isn't a single historical event. Within the next decade or two we'll know for certain if temperatures keep increasing. If they don't, and the data is wrong, then all those scientists who backed it would lose credibility.
Why would anyone create a lie when they know they'd certainly be caught out?
Anyone looking at the Climate Science data can see it rests on more than a few papers, produced by a few scientists. There are literally thousands of individuals who are currently researching the area, from multiple universities, organisations and institutions. And there are thousands more who have pored over the data to check its veracity.
Aside for a small minority, everyone agrees that the data indicates that the planet is heating up. I for one would find it very hard to believe that they are all part of a giant consipiracy.
About the author
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