The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
Our beliefs and prejudices influence the interpretations of natural phenomena. In order to minimize those bias when developing a theory, it has been established the scientific method, by means of which we construct a reliable, consistent and non-arbitrary representation of the world. (1)
For instance, it has been observed an apparent rising rate of the earth's temperature in the last 100 years when compared with any else interval during the previous 10 centuries. Such pattern of warming -justified by both external forcing and human activity, over which allegedly rigorous statistical analyses have been applied- has issued a theory of climate change.
Having said that, the theory of 'recent' global warming is based on a widespread consensus among climate scientists, and implies the following conditions: it is real, dangerous and anthropogenic in nature.
But if such consensus depends on a deliberate suppression of alternative hypotheses by means of either eliminating the non-fitting data or applying inaccurate statistics, it could be a fraudulent one, and consequently the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory might transform into the AGW myth.
In accordance with several reports -published by The New York Times and other media no long ago- the aforementioned myth could have been deliciously revealed when a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit and released a lot of Mbs comprising confidential files through the internet. Those documents were exchanged by some of the main scientists that had been vigorously supporting the AGW theory.
In one of the emails appeared a Dr. Jones's discussion about a scientific method of overlaying data of temperature declines with repetitive information of higher temperatures:
From: Phil Jones
To: ray bradley ,mann@, mhughes@
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow. I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd (sic) from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
Thanks for the comments, Ray.(2)
As seemingly the average global temperatures appeared to have stopped rising ten years ago, those scientists were in a panic to find statistical data to substantiate their AGW theories.
This scientific scandal had certain relevance, at least if one takes into account the widespread media’s coverage of this Climategate(5). For example, an editorial in Washington Times stated '...Academics who have purposely hidden data, destroyed information and doctored their results have committed scientific fraud. Most important, however, these revelations of fudged science should have a cooling effect on global-warming hysteria and the panicked policies that are being pushed forward to address the unproven theory.'(3)
Happily a committee of experts recommended by the Royal Society saw no up–to–date evidence of any deliberate 'scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it was likely that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganized researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures were rather informal.' (4)
The light has almost shown up through that prank so we can now stay free from turmoil about our glaciers disintegrating and causing tidal waves, and South Americans losing their water supplies. Thank goodness.
(1) Bright WE. An Introduction to Scientific Research (McGraw-Hill, 1952).
(4)The New York Times
The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit has been criticized not only for withholding information but also for the poor statistics used, although -if better- they might not have produced significantly different results. In the above w/u we have exposed the conclusions of two out three reviews from an international panel set up by the University in consultation with the Royal Society in order to asses the integrity of the investigation carried out, the findings of the third one having not yet been published.