Oh Christ. This again?
There’s a new Climategate scandal a-brewing. Or at least, that’s what the right wing blog-o-sphere is telling me. My first reaction upon learning of it: It’s total bullshit. Did five minutes of reading and discovered: It’s total bullshit.
And I can’t believe I’m having to waste my time on this nonsense again.
A few quick points:
• These aren’t new e-mails. They’re more e-mails from the same batch that were stolen in 2009. This is the climate deniers’ Plan-B material.
• Nothing in them disputes, refutes or undermines the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming. That isn’t surprising because the globe is warming and people are causing it. End of story.
• Note how these e-mails are “coincidentally” coming out before the COP17 climate change conference in Dubai.
I summarized these points from a post by Brendan De Melle over at DeSmog Blog. It’s a good place to start reading. Even better reads are Richard Black at the BBC in which he points out that UK police have spent less than £6,000 ($9,000 US) investigating the illegal hacking of the East Anglia emails; and then there’s an excellent piece by Stephan Lewandowsky at the Guardian who argues that the attack on climate science is the real scandal here.
Now, I haven’t been posting on climate change much over the last year. I find it rather depressing and pointless.
Thing is, over that time, something that only adds to my despair has happened in science. It’s become horribly clear that not only is the science right about anthropogenic climate change (not that there was much rational cause for doubt a year ago) but it now seems some of the worst case scenarios are no longer the fringe conclusions of a few alarmist researchers.
The worst case scenario is rapidly becoming the mainstream scenario.
This summer, we watched more of the Canadian arctic melt away than we ever had in the past. Meanwhile, we now have solid evidence that the Greenland ice sheet is crumbling faster than the credibility of Lord Monckton. And the estimates of what that will do to sea level rise — all of which are dire — didn’t make it into the IPCC 4 report.
It looks very likely that we are on track to vault way past that +2°C average global warming safe point (which was never very safe to begin with) and land in the We’re-All-Gonna-Fry zone.
And if you had any doubts about global warming, a massive study funded in part by the Koch Foundation has independently confirmed that there has already been a 1°C global temperature increase since the 1950s. If there was going to be a study that would back the usual climate denier canards about global cooling and urban heat island effects, this was the study. Climate skeptics participated in both its funding and in the research itself. But instead, what it accomplished was to confirm the conclusions of all the climate research that went before it. They say so themselves. Read the link.
Ultimately, that will all be ignored and what you can expect to see is the science denialism ramp up once again as the world plans to meet to discuss climate change. And once again, nothing will get done and the world will just continue getting hotter.
It’s a bad time to be human, I’m afraid.
But, at least it’s a good time for jellyfish.