NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


February 17, 2010

The Climategate scandal is a textbook case of professional malfeasance that should give Congress reason to pause before agreeing to a binding international agreement that would hamstring the world economy in order to prevent the climate from changing, says H. Sterling Burnett, a Senior Fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis. 

Climategate was a series of leaked e-mails last year from the Climatic Research Unit at Britain's University of East Anglia, arguably the world's most prominent research center promoting the idea that humans are causing catastrophic global warming.

To say the least, these e-mails show scientists behaving badly, says Burnett: 

  • The scientists whose e-mails were disclosed attempted to suppress or alter inconvenient data, destroyed raw data so that others are unable to analyze it, used tricks to change reported outcomes, conspired to avoid legally required disclosure of taxpayer-funded data, and attempted to suppress dissent by undermining the peer review process.
  • To make matters even worse, Climategate researchers threatened to seek the firing of editors at scientific journals that published findings that raised doubts about the urgency of the climate crisis. 

While the e-mails do not disprove that humans are causing potentially catastrophic global warming, the importance of this particular data set and the critical role this cabal of scientists has played in shaping public perception of global warming cannot be understated, says Burnett: 

  • Until this scandal, East Anglia's climate data set was considered the most complete and thorough in the world.
  • If this data set and analyses based on it are flawed, other data that suggest catastrophic global warming will happen soon should probably also be carefully re-examined. 

Before trillions more of our dollars are wasted in a vain effort to control the weather 100 years from now, our leaders should be much more certain that human activities are the cause of potentially catastrophic global warming, says Burnett. 

Source: H. Sterling Burnett, "Warming's Uncertain Science," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 16, 2010. 

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