Climate change is in the news again and not just because of an upcoming conference in Copenhagen or continued discussion by Congress to pass “cap and trade” laws. Files from the University of East Anglia were hacked and uploaded onto the internet. These files include numerous emails and internal documents on the discussion over climate change.
It’s no surprise that scientists disagree on the issue and it is no real revelation that there is even childish namecalling among dissenting views. What is cause for concern is the accusation that scientists manipulated data to support their view rather than deriving their view from an objective evaluation of the information.
Among the more interesting bits leaked was a statement implying that scientists can’t account for a lack of global warming going on currently. “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” Another alarm comes from the fact that examination of tree growth rings stopped when they did not support their thermometer readings. The New York Times writes here:
“Through the last century, tree rings and thermometers show a consistent rise in temperature until 1960, when some tree rings, for unknown reasons, no longer show that rise, while the thermometers continue to do so until the present.”
There may be a good reason for abandoning the tree rings but no explanation is offered as to why the tree rings show different data and why that data is not attempted to be reconciled rather than disregarding it.
Scientists point out that the timing of this information leak is suspicious at best given the climate change conference coming up. But that seems beside the point. The information was obtained illegally and obviously was meant to damage backers of the climate change position. The point is that these conversations happened and the public has been told that climate change is universally accepted and all scientific data backs this up. Instead there are dissenting opinions and apparently data that contradicts what the climate change supporters want us to believe.
Before this seems like an isolated event with a few bad apples, in my search for actual information about these climate change emails, (I first read about this on CNN yesterday, almost two weeks after the emails were first reported about elsewhere on the web – and CNN offered no information about the actual contents of the emails) I uncovered that this is not the first set of damaging leaks. This site discusses leaked emails from the EPA and a demand for more information to be released to the public.
In the EPA emails, a scientists was told not to speak about climate change outside of the National Center for Environmental Economics. Another email forbid him from researching the topic any further. A third email gives the impression that the organization’s position was set and releasing data to the contrary would only cause trouble.
We should be good stewards of God’s creation. We certainly have an impact on our environment and there are things that we can do to cut down on pollution that should be done. Clouds of smog over Mexico City and Los Angeles are not naturally occurring and it doesn’t take scientific data to prove this. Perhaps we need to be a bit less trusting when science tells us that something is a proven fact and that everyone agrees with it. It sounds very similar to the story of evolution that we’ve been told as well.