NY Times Science blogger: CRU emails show smug groupthink and hype

The New York Times John Tierney describes the consequences to the CRU scientists for their conduct that was revealed in the emails made public last week.

Tierney notes that the emails are damning and they show the following:

While Harry [the unit's computer expert] is puzzling over temperatures - "I have that familiar Twilight Zone sensation" - the scientists are confidently making proclamations to journalists, jetting to conferences and plotting revenge against those who question the dangers of global warming. When a journal publishes a skeptic's paper, the scientists e-mail one another to ignore it. They focus instead on retaliation against the journal and the editor, a project that is breezily added to the agenda of their next meeting: "Another thing to discuss in Nice!"


These researchers, some of the most prominent climate experts in Britain and America, seem so focused on winning the public-relations war that they exaggerate their certitude - and ultimately undermine their own cause.


Contempt for critics is evident over and over again in the hacked e-mail messages, as if the scientists were a priesthood protecting the temple from barbarians. Yes, some of the skeptics have political agendas, but so do some of the scientists. Sure, the skeptics can be cranks and pests, but they have identified genuine problems in the historical reconstructions of climate, as in the debate they inspired about the "hockey stick" graph of temperatures over the past millennium.

The end result of all this, Tierney cautions, is that the work of the CRU gang will be more carefully scrutinized and any discrepancies that emerge will be treated with great suspicion.

As the kids would say,"D-Uh!"

Clarice Feldman