Climategate: Untangling Myth and Reality Ten Years Later
Written by Stephen McIntyre & Ross McKitrick
Two of the key players in helping expose and explain the Climategate email scandal of 2009 are Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. In this detailed 33-page PDF they offer invaluable details and insight into what is the greatest science fraud of all time costing taxpayers trillions of dollars.
INTRODUCTION: MAKING THE MYTHS
It is now 10 years since the Climategate emails were released. The issues they raised continue to
reverberate; even figuring in a decision last week of the United States Supreme Court to allow
Michael Mann’s (US) defamation suits to proceed (see the dissent by Justice Alito), and in an
August 2019 decision of the BC Superior court dismissing a similarsuit (on which see more below).
The immediate reaction at the time to the emails was visceral, even among “green” reporters,
including George Monbiot as follows:
Pretending that this isn’t a real crisis isn’t going to make it go away. Nor is an attempt
to justify the emails with technicalities. We’ll be able to get past this only by grasping
reality, apologising where appropriate and demonstrating that it cannot happen again
UK reporter Fred Pearce, who covered the story for the Guardian and who, unlike Oxburgh or
Muir Russell, had actually read the emails, wrote in The Climate Files:
The evidence of scientists cutting corners, playing down uncertainties in their
calculations and then covering their tracks by being secretive with data and suppressing
dissent suggests a systemic problem of scientific sloppiness, collusion and endemic
conflicts of interest, but not of outright fraud. (p. 241)
Given the importance of climate science in today’s society, all of us expect more of climate
scientists than merely that they not commit “outright fraud.” Exoneration at such a low threshold
would be small exoneration indeed.
However, rather than confronting the corruption and misconduct apparent throughout the
Climategate emails, the climate academic community shut their eyes to the affair, eventually
even persuading itself that the offending scientists were victims, rather than offenders.
This re-framing was made possible by numerous myths propagated about the affair, of which the
following were especially important:
Myth #1: The Climategate scandal arose because “cherrypicked” emails were taken “out of
Myth #2: The Climategate correspondents were “exonerated” following “thorough” and
Myth #3: Scientific studies subsequent to Climategate have “confirmed” and “verified” the
original Mann hockey stick.
These are only the major myths from a veritable tsunami of disinformation from the academic
community. The myths are untrue and, in this article, we will explain why.
Read the full PDF here: www.rossmckitrick.com
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