“By offering concrete emission targets last week, the United States and China have resuscitated global climate talks that were headed toward an impasse. But the details that have yet to be resolved — including the money that industrialized countries would offer poorer ones as part of an agreement — suggest a political deal remains a heavy lift for the 192 countries set to convene in Copenhagen in little more than a week…

“Keya Chatterjee, the U.S. director for the World Wildlife Fund climate change program, likened the developments to ‘a phoenix . . . rising from the ashes.’ She added that, under a best-case scenario, ‘It’s not a deal that’s going to solve the problem of climate change a hundred percent. . . . But it is a deal that’s going to create a foundation and an international architecture for resolving this issue over time.’

“A senior Obama administration official offered a more cautious assessment: ‘There’s a very real chance of getting this done, but hurdles remain.'”

“The reason why even the Guardian’s George Monbiot has expressed total shock and dismay at the picture revealed by the documents is that their authors are not just any old bunch of academics. Their importance cannot be overestimated, What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“Professor Philip Jones, the CRU’s director, is in charge of the two key sets of data used by the IPCC to draw up its reports. Through its link to the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office, which selects most of the IPCC’s key scientific contributors, his global temperature record is the most important of the four sets of temperature data on which the IPCC and governments rely – not least for their predictions that the world will warm to catastrophic levels unless trillions of dollars are spent to avert it…

“Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with a whitewash of what has become the greatest scientific scandal of our age.”

“They even include threats of violence. One American academic wrote to Prof Jones: ‘Next time I see Pat Michaels [a climate sceptic] at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted.’

“Dr Michaels, tracked down by this newspaper to the Cato Institute in Washington DC where he is a senior fellow in environmental studies, said last night: ‘There were a lot of people who thought I was exaggerating when I kept insisting terrible things are going on here.

“‘This is business as usual for them. The world might be surprised but I am not. These guys have an attitude.'”

“No matter what our climate czar may insist, climate science and Copenhagen are now under a giant cloud. In fact, as Hume implies, the situation is far more serious than that, because what has been revealed is what strange bedfellows science and politics are in this era. The relationship between politicians and scientists today is not entirely unlike the relationship between scientists and the clergy during the days of Galileo. And the politicians of today know about as much about the science as the bishops of Galileo’s time did, although our politicians are perfectly willing to exploit the science of which they are ignorant and the scientists too often perfectly willing to be complicit in their own exploitation

“But in an era when we no longer think the world is flat, it’s time to have open, transparent science. It’s an absolute necessity if we are to have any confidence at all in the results – and in how we are spending the gigantic sums our leaders seem to demand of us.

“Toward that end, I have a simple recommendation. Postpone the UN Climate Change Conference, scheduled to begin in Copenhagen on December 7. Give it another year or two for people to examine the science in the open. Otherwise, this will be seen as one of history’s great boondoggles.”