My, oh my, how the time does fly. A year ago today, someone revealed more than 1,000 emails of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the U.K.’s University of East Anglia. The emails spanned more than 13 years and reveal the researchers worries at how to make their fuzzy data appear to be smoking hot and not simply within the range of natural variation (where it still falls). Arabian climate negotiator Mohammad Al-Sabban told the BBC: “It appears from the details of the scandal that there is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change.”
One interesting lesson from this story is that secrecy is corruptible—and corruptive. The CRU people and their collaborators who wrote all these documents felt, no doubt, safe behind their secrecy. They must have felt that this secrecy was their best weapon: to censor differing opinions, to develop “trick” procedures, to “balance” the needs of IPCC, and even to “redefine” peer review.
Unfortunately, current scientific ethics are based largely on the assumption of secrecy—as in the anonymity of reviews. Apparently, as the CRU story highlights, secrecy is not safe… – Beware Saviors! By Demetris Koutsoyiannis on Roger Pielke Sr’s Climate Science blog