“Climategate” wasn’t only about the science – “Hide the decline” et al. It was also about the general thuggishness with which Mann and his gang treated anyone who disagreed with them, however mildly: The science is settled. Got it? Nice little peer-review journal you got here. Shame if anything were to happen to it.
The joke “investigations” conducted in the wake of Climategate chose to let the Clime Syndicate skate. To be charitable, it’s possible Sir Muir Russell, Lord Oxburgh and the other grandees assumed that, having been caught once, the Warmanos wouldn’t do it again. Instead, having been caught once and gotten away with it, the Warmanos kept right on doing it. Hence, this week’s offer he couldn’t refuse to Lennart Bengtsson: Whether they also left a polar bear’s head in his bed we shall discover in the fullness of time.
In other words, despite Climategate, despite the Oxburgh inquiry and the Russell inquiry and the NOAA inquiry and all the rest, nothing has changed. With hindsight, Rand Simberg’s comparison of Penn State’s joke investigations into Jerry Sandusky and Michael Mann missed the most obvious point of similarity: The more Penn State bent over backwards to look the other way, the more Sandusky took it as a nod and a wink to carry on as usual. The Clime Syndicate seems to have reacted to the Climategate investigations in exactly the same way.