As tempting as it is to indulge in Schadenfreude over the richly deserved travails of a gang that has heaped endless calumny on dissenting scientists (NASA’s James Hansen, for instance, compared MIT’s Richard Lindzen to a tobacco-industry scientist, and Al Gore and countless others liken skeptics to “Holocaust deniers”), the meaning of the CRU documents should not be misconstrued. The emails do not in and of themselves reveal that catastrophic climate change scenarios are a hoax or without any foundation. What they reveal is something problematic for the scientific community as a whole, namely, the tendency of scientists to cross the line from being disinterested investigators after the truth to advocates for a preconceived conclusion about the issues at hand… Perhaps more significant, the email archive also reveals that even inside this small circle of climate scientists–otherwise allied in an effort to whip up a frenzy of international political action to combat global warming–there was considerable disagreement, confusion, doubt, and at times acrimony over the results of their work. In other words, there is far less unanimity or consensus among climate insiders than we have been led to believe.
How to solve this crisis of credibility and ease fears of a “tribalistic” culture having taken over climate change science? Why, with theatrical eye-rolling and a perfunctory dropping of the A-bomb on the skeptic you’re debating on British national television, of course. I’m giving you the full clip so that no context is lost — Morano, the skeptic, does bait him a bit with mocking laughter and by talking over him — but the fireworks come in clip two if you’re pressed for time. Watch, if only to enjoy the nuance of a scientist complaining about “character assassination” mere seconds before indulging in a profane ad hominem.