December 13, 2009

‘Climategate’ Furor Continues

The controversy over leaked emails from climate scientists is being blamed on US business interests and partisan politics, according to a recent AFP report.

This issue, dubbed "Climategate," has taken the brunt of the public's attention and seems to be derailing efforts to come up with any deal on cutting emissions.

Author James Hoggan told AFP that the controversy "gives voice to dissenters at the table in Copenhagen, like Saudi Arabia and Russia." Hoggan is the author of "Climate Cover-up" about big-business funding of opponents of environmental causes.

More importantly, Hoggan said, "the success of the treaty being hammered out in Copenhagen in talks until December 18 will depend on the United States, where political opposition to climate change is driven by an extremist view."

"A lot of this is just about politics in the US, and this undermines political will in the US," he added.

The emails in question were taken from a computer server located at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, and were jumped on by skeptics who believe strongly that experts were "twisting data in order to dramatize global warming."

Many of the emails - which contained words like "trick" - expressed frustration over the scientists' inability to prove what they say was a temporary slowdown in warming.

Despite all the controversy, Hoggan said that close examination proves the messages are not disreputable. Instead, the real issue should be the identities of those parties who stole and then published the data in an "attempt to create or fabricate this scandal."

Likewise, scientist Andrew Weaver told a press conference on Thursday, "We are at a pivotal moment in human history in terms of reaching a post-Kyoto agreement on regulating greenhouse gases."

Weaver, a Canadian scientist involved with the IPCC, told reporters that two men attempted to obtain emails from computers at the Canadian Center for Climate Modeling and Analysis at the University of Victoria but were stopped when workers challenged them.

He also read aloud examples of hate emails and phone messages that he receives daily from people who don't believe in the human-affected global warming theory.

"Each and every time an IPCC report is released...very similar things happen," said Weaver. "If you don't like the message you try to discredit the messenger."

"There is a war on science," he added, saying right-wing ideologues and business interests were behind the furor and that their tactics "exploit a lack of scientific literacy in the general public."

Hoggan agreed, saying, "An all-out attack on the validity of climate science has been undertaken by industry groups."

"Groups like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute and the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow have been at the core of a decade-long campaign to delay government action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Hoggan said in a press release.

The scientists are being called "alarmists" by opponents of the climate treaty. Under dispute is the thought that there is a common consensus among scientists in regards to climate change.

"The science behind global warming alarmism is falling apart from within, and the Climategate documents demonstrate why,"  Sam Kazman, from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told AFP in an email.

"There's been no statistically significant warming over the last 10-15 years, despite increasing levels of supposedly dangerous CO2. CEI is proud to have helped delay the energy rationing sought by the alarmists, and we plan to continue doing so in several ways, including our announced intention to challenge EPA's Endangerment finding in court, Kazman added.


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