For those who need a quick refresher on "Climategate," it's the manufactured scandal in which right-wing groups and Congressional goofballs like Sen. James Inhofe siezed upon thousands of emails hacked from the personal accounts of climate scientists, artfully plucking small portions of single sentences out of context and saying they "proved" that climate scientists are part of a vast cabal that's creating the global warming myth.
These charges were grounded in so little fact that independent political watchdog PolitiFact.com called them flat-out "FALSE," and media watchdog FactCheck.org attributed any sense of legitimacy the scandal may have attained to "confusing" reporting (that's a nice way of saying "malpractice") by journalists.
Journalists like Clive Crook, who breathlessly wrote when the "scandal" first broke: "The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering."
Now that those sorts of ludicrous claims have been proven false, we were eagerly awaiting a humble retraction. Instead we got Climategate and the Big Green Lie.
Even though he's about to write a lengthy rant that lends further, undeserved legitimacy to a make-believe scandal that's been thoroughly debunked, Clive Crook would like you to know that he's one of the "good guys."
By way of preamble, let me remind you where I stand on climate change. I think climate science points to a risk that the world needs to take seriously. I think energy policy should be intelligently directed towards mitigating this risk. I am for a carbon tax.That's super, Clive! Can you give us an example of how you as a journalist take climate science seriously?
I also believe that the Climategate emails revealed, to an extent that surprised even me (and I am difficult to surprise), an ethos of suffocating groupthink and intellectual corruption. The scandal attracted enormous attention in the US, and support for a new energy policy has fallen. In sum, the scientists concerned brought their own discipline into disrepute, and set back the prospects for a better energy policy.Wait... really? But as someone who we imagine follows the news pretty closely, didn't you see the three separate investigations into the actions of the climate scientists in question, each of which concluded that there was no manipulation of data, and nothing anywhere in the hacked emails to suggest that climate science isn't sound?
I had hoped, not very confidently, that the various Climategate inquiries would be severe. This would have been a first step towards restoring confidence in the scientific consensus. But no, the reports make things worse. At best they are mealy-mouthed apologies; at worst they are patently incompetent and even wilfully wrong. The climate-science establishment, of which these inquiries have chosen to make themselves a part, seems entirely incapable of understanding, let alone repairing, the harm it has done to its own cause.So let's get this straight: even though Clive Crook believes "climate science points to a risk that the world needs to take seriously," he also believes that three separate investigations -- not to mention the PolitiFact and FactCheck debunks -- are not nearly enough to prove that climate science isn't a vast conspiracy? That's like ending a wild-eyed rant about the legitimate questions raised by moon landing conspiracy theories by saying, "But of course, there's no doubt that we did actually land on the moon."
Also, Clive Crook apparently believes that it's on climate scientists to repair the damage that's been done to public belief in global warming. This from a journalist who, in the very same article he's writing for a highly-circulated news magazine, lends further credibility to make-believe attacks on climate science.
We think FactCheck said it best:
News coverage of the e-mails and the various claims about what they supposedly show may have contributed to public confusion on the subject.No kidding! You see, climate scientists don't reach millions of readers a day. That's the job of reporters. Reporters occupy a special place in society, acting as a sort of firewall that's supposed to separate truth from BS for purposes of public consumption. When journalists fail to put adequate time and judgement into sifting objective truth from the loads of spin, misinformation and lies that are out there, damaging phenomena like the "climategate" scandal occur, in which total BS gets through the filter and manages to warp public opinion.
Which leaves us wondering: Why pay to read any of Clive Crook's stuff? We can get the exact same "journalism" on ClimateDepot for free.