Wall Street Journal Toasts Climategate, Scolds Scientists

A bad day in the op-ed pages for global warming scientists

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While a lone voice from the National Review advocates moderation today, in general "Climategate" is proving fodder for all manner of climate-science attacks. The Wall Street Journal and Real Clear Politics, in particular, have taken the Climategate bit between the teeth and are charging, the former with two op-eds in a row questioning climate change and the latter hosting a withering condemnation of global warming scientists. Here are the attacks:

  • Chill Out on Global Warming  MIT meteorology professor Richard Lindzen isn't nuts about the "quality of the data" supporting global warming, writing that "there was a little ice age from about the 15th to the 19th century." He offers the following analogy:
Suppose that I leave a box on the floor, and my wife trips on it, falling against my son, who is carrying a carton of eggs, which then fall and break. Our present approach to emissions would be analogous to deciding that the best way to prevent the breakage of eggs would be to outlaw leaving boxes on the floor. The chief difference is that in the case of atmospheric CO2 and climate catastrophe, the chain of inference is longer and less plausible than in my example.
  • The Corruption of Climate Change  Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens says the "deeper question" of Climategate "is why the scientists behaved this way to begin with, especially since the science behind man-made global warming is said to be firmly settled." He posits that both government and NGO funding for a certain type of climate science has created a sort of "ecosystem" in which institutions like the Sierra Club and the Alternative Energy Resources Association "depend on an inherently corrupting premise, namely that the hypothesis on which their livelihood depends has in fact been proved." Such "vested interests," he writes, "are an enemy of sound science."
  •  Those Scientists Fight Dirty  "The publication," writes Debra Saunders for Real Clear Politics, of the Climategate e-mails "[reveal] a small cabal of scientists obsessed with obliterating dissenting scholarship and destroying the reputations of any who stood in their way." She declares Americans to be "cooling on the notion of man-made global warming," and seems to think it serves the activists with their "bully mentality" quite right.
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