Oh my. Another warming advocate sees the light on Climategate

Clive Crook writing in The Atlantic:

In my previous post on Climategate I blithely said that nothing in the climate science email dump surprised me much. Having waded more deeply over the weekend I take that back.

The closed-mindedness of these supposed men of science, their willingness to go to any lengths to defend a preconceived message, is surprising even to me. The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering. And, as Christopher Booker argues, this scandal is not at the margins of the politicised IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] process. It is not tangential to the policy prescriptions emanating from what David Henderson called the environmental policy milieu [subscription required]. It goes to the core of that process.


Remember that this is not an academic exercise. We contemplate outlays of trillions of dollars to fix this supposed problem. Can I read these emails and feel that the scientists involved deserve to be trusted? No, I cannot. These people are willing to subvert the very methods--notably, peer review--that underwrite the integrity of their discipline. Is this really business as usual in science these days? If it is, we should demand higher standards--at least whenever "the science" calls for a wholesale transformation of the world economy. And maybe some independent oversight to go along with the higher standards. 

The IPCC process needs to be fixed, as a matter of the greatest urgency. Read David Henderson or the Wegman report to see how. And in the meantime, let's have some independent inquiries into what has been going on.

It is at times like this that we glimpse something important.

Pundits - right and left - are a dime a dozen. We all know what most of us who write for a living on the internet know is true; it matters very little what we say about anything. Our impact on the national debate is minuscule. In this I include everyone from sages like David Broder to bloggers like me.

But in all the hot air, all the smoke that is blown, there is one quality that overrides any notion of self importance or pretended significance; intellectual honesty. Those who possess it - and it must be proved that a writer possesses it through a testing - have their voices enhanced immeasurably.

Right now, we are observing who in the warming community is honest enough to question the underlying assumptions upon which they have based their support for the warming hypothesis. This is very difficult to do given the atmosphere surrounding the issue, as you can well imagine. People like Crook and George Monbiot in Great Britain (and so far, precious few others) have, to one degree or another, been honest enough to question themselves and their fellow advocates about the truth that has been revealed to them via the CRU hack. For this, they should be acknowledged as trying to be honest with themselves and their readers.

And honesty is a precious commodity in this day and age.