It’s all a mistake, perhaps. An unfortunate outbreak of ‘groupthink”. From the Wall Street Journal.
Can so many experts be wrong? Well, it is worth remembering that the experts were supposedly united about the apocalyptic dangers of the Y2K millennium bug. Half the world was persuaded to spend an estimated $600 billion to save us from disasters that embarrassingly failed to materialize in the countries and companies that omitted to take any pre-emptive action. Then intelligence agencies around the world were allegedly so convinced that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that we went to war, only to find—zilch. In both cases there was a solid foundation of truth on which enthusiastic professionals and governments constructed an exaggerated scare story that the media lapped up. I was skeptical enough to delve into both those scares and rapidly found the experts were not as unanimous as supposed. But the dissenters were persuaded to keep quiet, bar a handful who were ruthlessly stereotyped as mavericks or worse.
Okay, so it does happen. The article goes on
The recently leaked email exchanges between scientists at the Climatic Research Unit in East Anglia and their colleagues in the U.S., who are among the illuminati of the global warming movement, show vivid evidence of groupthink at work. These scientists have become so committed to a cause that they think it natural to perform “tricks” to “hide the decline,” as one email says. Another is so upset by “The fact… that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t” that he suggests “the data are surely wrong.” It is reminiscent of the German philosopher Hegel who, on being told by his disciples that the facts refuted his scientific theories, replied: “So much the worse for the facts.” It is clear that while governments think they are pursuing evidence-based policies, these institutes have been serving up “policy-based evidence.”
That’s the rub – policy-based evidence does not happen by accident. This is not a groupthink exercise, this is a planned conspiracy against the public. When the ClimateGate scandal first broke, Gavin Schmidt argued “There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy”. But Jones and his mates are the conspiracy. Pat Michaels, also writing in the WSJ, describes how it was done.
Few people understand the real significance of Climategate, the now-famous hacking of emails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Most see the contents as demonstrating some arbitrary manipulating of various climate data sources in order to fit preconceived hypotheses (true), or as stonewalling and requesting colleagues to destroy emails to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the face of potential or actual Freedom of Information requests (also true).
But there’s something much, much worse going on—a silencing of climate scientists, akin to filtering what goes in the bible, that will have consequences for public policy, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent categorization of carbon dioxide as a “pollutant.”
The bible I’m referring to, of course, is the refereed scientific literature. It’s our canon, and it’s all we have really had to go on in climate science (until the Internet has so rudely interrupted). When scientists make putative compendia of that literature, such as is done by the U.N. climate change panel every six years, the writers assume that the peer-reviewed literature is a true and unbiased sample of the state of climate science.
That can no longer be the case. The alliance of scientists at East Anglia, Penn State and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (in Boulder, Colo.) has done its best to bias it.
The result of all this is that our refereed literature has been inestimably damaged, and reputations have been trashed. Mr. Wigley repeatedly tells news reporters not to listen to “skeptics” (or even nonskeptics like me), because they didn’t publish enough in the peer-reviewed literature—even as he and his friends sought to make it difficult or impossible to do so.