If documents from any corporation or government office included the phrases "hide the decline" or "Mike's Nature trick" or asked colleagues to destroy certain emails ahead of a freedom of information request, the media would be all over it. Wouldn't they?
If the whistleblower released computer programs with programmer's notes that said:
shouldn't usually plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted
stop in 1940 to avoid the decline
There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations
What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah - there is no 'supposed', I can make it up. So I have :-)
Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
that would be absolute proof the data was invalid. Wouldn't it?
Well, all this, and much more, has happened over the past two weeks, but, so far, the media is treading softly.
Because the alleged malfactors are the very scientists who gave us the Global Warming scare. They "cooked the books" to push Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) - the idea that humans are mostly responsible for recent warming and the idea the Earth is close to a "tipping point". AGW is a sacred cow to politicos who have long planned to ride to riches and control of the global economic system.
Well, that old AGW sacred cow ain't going nowhere anytime soon.
WELCOME TO CLIMATEGATE
Today I Googled "climategate" and got 10,600,000 hits, a Google on "global warming" yielded fewer, 10,200,000 hits. The new term was invented only a week ago!
In my March 2009 postings on the Global Warming "Tiger" (see figure above) I allocated 30% of the apparent warming over the past 150 years to "Data Bias", defined as unintentional exaggeration of the amount of waming, primarily due to the encroachment of artificial heat sources on the measurement devices. I assumed the AGW scientists were basically honest, but unintended experimental bias had marred their results by about 30%.
Well, a couple weeks ago, thousands of emails and computer programs were released, possibly by an inside whistleblower from the major UK Climate Research Unit (CRU). Accuweather quotes Eduardo Zorita, a contributing author of the 4th assessment report of the IPCC: "research in some areas of climate science has been and is full of machination, conspiracies, and collusion, as any reader can interpret from the CRU-files."
Just as Madoff got into trouble when the declining stock market caught him short and exposed his Ponzi scheme, the AGW climate scientists have been caught short by the unexpected stabilzation and small decline in global temperatures, probably due to changes in sunspot activity and other natural cycles that are undoubtedly the major cause of long-term climate changes.
WHY IT IS ABSURD TO ESTIMATE CLIMATE CHANGE TO TENTHS OF A DEGREE PER DECADE
The whole idea of accurately estimating changes that average a tenth of a degree per decade in global climate over centuries is absurd because, as we all know, temperature varies by tens of degrees every day!
We have recorded temperature readings that go back about 150 years, most manually read by volunteers or weather station employees who had to trudge 30 to 100 feet or more out to remote thermometers morning and night in all sorts of weather. If they were five (or fifteen) minutes early or late, the data would easily be off by tenths of a degree or more. If a new person took the job, he or she might follow a different schedule. With the advent of automatic reading, over the past few decades, the devices required electrical power and that caused many of them to be moved closer to buildings, where artificial heat sources biased the readings. Over the years, as hot air conditioner vents were added to buildings and asphalt driveways expanded, many thermometers were further biased by new heat sources. All this added to the experimental bias.
Data prior to about 150 years ago must be obtained from proxies, such as tree-ring data that give an indication of temperature on the basis of the rate of growth. However, variables other than temperature affect tree growth, such as rainfall and atmospheric CO2. Such data cannot approach accuracies of even one degree, much less precision to tenths of a degree.
Recognizing the possibility of bias and lack of precision, the experimenters wrote computer programs to process the data to adjust these biases. Of course, that opened the possibility some scientists would exploit the processing to hide inconvenient temperature declines and exaggerate AGW. It is clear from the emails and computer programs that have been released that some scientists took that opportunity to adjust the data to fit the story they wanted to tell. They believed that Global Warming was mostly due to human activity. They manipulated the data to tell that story!
You will hear much about Climategate in the main stream media soon.
PS: Let me be clear, I believe there has been actual warming over the past 150 years, and some percentage of it is due to human burning of previously sequestered carbon (coal, oil, natural gas). I favor reasonable action, including a revenue-neutral Carbon Tax, to reduce the rapid rate of increase of atmospheric carbon gases.