Leaked emails, global warming hoax, Rush Limbaugh, and "Climategate" are fighting words. The man or mad scientist at the center of the storm is Professor Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit who calls the emailgate "rubbish" but adds that this has been the worse week of his life.
Science is only science if it is reproducible. The research and data that is published and practiced by men with Ph.D. behind their names gets shared with the scientific world. They conduct the research in such a way that it can be reproduced with little or no trouble by other scientists. They do not have to prove anything. However, the onus is on other scientists to disprove it with their independent research. That said, what do we have here in "Climategate?"
The climate change deniers see "collusion" while the scientists at the center see "nonsense." The emails in question, hacked and put on a Russian server where they were quickly disseminated all over the Web: "…if the emails are correct, they "might highlight behaviour that those individuals might not like to have made public." But he added, "Let's separate out [the climate scientists] reacting badly to the personal attacks [from sceptics] to the idea that their work has been carried out in an inappropriate way."
Phil Jones is not the only mad scientist — he has company: Michael Mann, James Hansen, Michael Oppenheimer, Stephen Schneider, and Kevin Trenberth.
And the big question that looms for myself and for the media is how will this affect the Copenhagen talks? Will this global warming science conference simply melt down under the weight of these emails? Climatologists are not holding their breath on this one. They are not worried that their decades of research are being hailed as "fraudulent." Or that this is being described as the biggest scam of the century. Or about talkers like Rush Limbaugh and his over-the-top charge of "made-up research."
The revealed emails go back to 2004 and Dr. Mann does not look good with egg on his face. The slant and the use of the leaks is yet supposition and allegation. Yes, the emails exist and have been revealed to the public. But do they sound a death knell for measures to limit man-made climate change? Or will they just be a footnote to the start of the age of cap and trade?