Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Nigel Lawson, notes the CRU scandal. Writing in the TimesOnline, Lawson calls for the creation of a think tank that will examine the global warming issue honestly, giving skeptics a chance to make their case:
Last week an apparent hacker obtained access to their computers and published in the blogosphere part of their internal e-mail traffic. And the CRU has conceded that the at least some of the published e-mails are genuine.
Astonishingly, what appears, at least at first blush, to have emerged is that (a) the scientists have been manipulating the raw temperature figures to show a relentlessly rising global warming trend; (b) they have consistently refused outsiders access to the raw data; (c) the scientists have been trying to avoid freedom of information requests; and (d) they have been discussing ways to prevent papers by dissenting scientists being published in learned journals.
There may be a perfectly innocent explanation. But what is clear is that the integrity of the scientific evidence on which not merely the British Government, but other countries, too, through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, claim to base far-reaching and hugely expensive policy decisions, has been called into question. And the reputation of British science has been seriously tarnished. A high-level independent inquiry must be set up without delay.
It is against all this background that I am announcing today the launch of a new high-powered all-party (and non-party) think-tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (www.thegwpf.org), which I hope may mark a turning-point in the political and public debate on the important issue of global warming policy. At the very least, open and reasoned debate on this issue cannot be anything but healthy. The absence of debate between political parties at the present time makes our contribution all the more necessary.