Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

After three strikes, is the Climategate scandal out?

Muir Russell, climate change, global warming, climategate, East Anglia University The New York Times reports Wednesday that a third independent panel of experts has cleared the scientists behind the notorious "Climategate" e-mails of any scientific improprieties. The report also defends the actions of East Anglia University administrators, and says the work there didn't weaken the global warming evaluation made by the embattled Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change.

Will the new report shore up support for climate legislation in Washington? Not likely -- Climategate was the kind of political scandal (doctored evidence! cover-up! conspiracy!) that's just too sexy to be beaten with white papers. But it's worth noting how tall the pile of white papers is growing -- two previous inquiries also absolved the university and its scientists, and a Penn State University probe similarly cleared a scientist there of suppressing or falsifying data. 

In summarizing the latest report, the panel's leader -- Sir Muir Russell, a former academic and high-ranking government official in Scotland -- blistered the researchers for "a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness" that risked the reputation of climate science in the United Kingdom. But he also said:

Climate science is a matter of such global importance, that the highest standards of honesty, rigour and openness are needed in its conduct. On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.

In addition, we do not find that their behaviour has prejudiced the balance of advice given to policymakers. In particular, we did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the [United Nations IPCC assessments.

The debate will, of course, continue over whether climate is changing and, if so, how much humans have to do with it. But perhaps it can focus again on long-term climate trends and changes in the atmosphere, rather than a handful of researchers' ethics.

-- Jon Healey

Photo: Sir Muir Russell, announcing his panel's findings in London. Credit: AP Photo / Sang Tan


Comments () | Archives (12)

The comments to this entry are closed.


Considering all of the evidence that debunks AGW, especially the cooling trend over the last decade, I am very suspicious of these so-called "independent" studies. No one in government or in academia can be trusted to perform an unbiased study. There is too much grant money at stake. Penn State is covering for one of its own. I read a lot of the emails and it is clear that they were conspiring to "prove" their point and blunt all criticism. If the head of the East Anglia group didn't destroy evidence, then who did. Raw temperature data is missing. AGW theory is based on computer models which have been tweaked to give a wanted result. When the models were fed historical data, they couldn't even reproduce what actually happened subsequently. It's all a ruse to take your money and give it to someone who didn't earn it. The commies have landed in the environmentalist movement.


I'm not surprised by this. They actually didn't bother look at the junk science itself.


How did you get from research grants to communism?


No one buys it. Even the dumbest person knows it's just a ploy to raise taxes for offshore banking.

Ted Farmer

Seems you people believe the vast majority of climate scientists are all part of a vast communist conspiracy.

And no, there is not much evidence that 'debunks' global warming, instead almost all the evidence points to the opposite.

Gee. I wonder why rational people call you kooks?


Hey JarHead68! Did you fail science? Why are all the global warming deniers so willing to make this a political issue, when it shouldn't be. Are you so skeptical because Al Gore brought this to your attention? The data has been treated fairly. The evidence shows (real evidence, not political hot wind.) that heat trapping gases, when released into the atmosphere in gargantuan amounts actually trap heat. Now 3 panels have cleared the science and scientists involved in the plan to instill doubt in the public mind. What do you want? Maybe you need a good rosy special interest promoter (aka: politician) to tell you. Go read a book.

Don WV

Humans are so arrogant, We can't even stop an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. And most people still think oil comes from rotten dinosaurs instead of it being produced deep unserground (abiotic oil). We do not understand the world around us enough to understand climate, or even the weather patterns. We are just infants of this world with very limited understanding of the natural processes that surround us!


As yet, there has not been an enquiry into the science. Why not???
Because that is where the problems are.
Nobody has asked Phil Jones to confirm or deny that he deleted any E-Mails. WHY NOT???
Add to this the fact that there is no empirical evidence of other than normal climate change.
The experts said that the Maldives would be lost to a rise in sea levels.
The fact is that the maldives are increasing in size.
How do the experts explain that the Moon is far warmer than it should be???
They can't.
Computer models are not experiments. Neither are they science.
They are just simulations with inbuilt biases based on assumptions.

John A. Jauregui

Question: What are the chances an infinitesimal (.04%) trace gas (CO2), essential to photosynthesis and therefore life on this planet, is responsible for runaway Global Warming?

Answer: Infinitesimal

The IPCC now agrees. See the IPCC Technical Report section entitled Global Warming Potential (GWP). And the GWP for CO2? Just 1, (one), unity, the lowest of all green house gases (GHG). What’s more, trace gases which include GHG constitute less than 1% of the atmosphere. Of that 1%, water vapor, the most powerful GHG, makes ups 40% of the total. Carbon dioxide is 1/10th of that amount, an insignificant .04%. If carbon dioxide levels were cut in half to 200PPM, all plant growth would stop according to agricultural scientists. It's no accident that commercial green house owner/operators invest heavily in CO2 generators to increase production, revenues and profits. Prof. Michael Mann's Bristle cone tree proxy data (Hockey stick) proves nothing has done more to GREEN (verb) the planet over the past few decades than moderate sun-driven warming (see solar inertial motion) together with elevated levels of CO2, regardless of the source. None of these facts have been reported in the national media. Why?


Agenda driven science is not science.

Louis Flores

Achedemic priests are covering up Climategate much like the Catholic Church covered up the priest scandel that plaged them. When orhodoxy prevails over good science we get lies and distortions. Money in the form of grants is fueling scientific bull puckey in favor of the poitically elite. When is the last time you heard of a grant to disprove global warming? Money and radical geoplitical theology are distorting the scientific truths. There is no global warming.


Climate Science's credibility has been damaged, not enhanced, by these attempted whitewashes.
Muir Russell did not interview the head of the UEA (Phil Jones, the person whose actions were being reviewed) nor his critics!
The Oxburgh review did not address Climategate, allowed Phil Jones to select the papers to be reviewed, and the 'independent' panel chairman had a vested financial interest in climate alarmism!
Penn State assessed Mann's scientific (in)competence on his fund-raising ability!
These attempted cover-ups don't persuade us nothing was wrong. They show the rot of partisan self interest and intellectual dishonesty has penetrated even further than we feared.



In Case You Missed It...



Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

In Case You Missed It...