Sunday, November 22, 2009

The CRU Files

This is not a political blog so I have nothing to say here about the ethics of the hackers who broke into the CRU network, downloaded 60–70 megs of files and emails, and posted them on the Internet. I also have nothing to say about whether Anthropogenic Global Warming is real or not because (1) I don't have the necessary scientific knowledge to make an informed decision, and (2) again, this is not a political blog and the AGW debate has, it seems to me, devolved into a political question. Finally, we should be clear that the files and emails have not been verified to be authentic although several have apparently been corroborated and no one, to my knowledge, has disputed the authenticity of any of the files or emails.

What I want to discuss is the shocking betrayal of science and the search for truth that these emails reveal. If the emails are genuine then their authors have forfeited any right to call themselves “scientists.” Rather, they are revealed as agenda driven politicos and particularly nasty and small minded ones at that.

The details are all over the Internet (see here or here for example) so I won't bother rehashing them but it's all there: gloating about the death of a rival, cooking the books on their data and then refusing to release raw data so that it could be verified, conspiring to evade (at least) the spirit of the UK Freedom of Information act, deleting incriminating emails, plotting to prevent skeptics from getting published, and more.

Again, it's possible that some of the more incriminating emails are fabrications, although no one is saying this, and they may well be taken out of context, but if they turn out to be genuine then the actions of the principals are shameful and they should be removed from their positions and no longer be treated as members of the scientific community.

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