The Washington Post misses the real "Climate-gate" scandal

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

The Washington Post reports on the stolen global warming emails:

[I]t has mushroomed into what is being called "Climate-gate," a scandal that has done what many slide shows and public-service ads could not: focus public attention on the science of a warming planet.

"What is being called 'Climate-gate'"? Why the passive voice? Who is calling it that? Right-wing global-warming deniers and their enablers in the media?

And that mention of "slide shows" is presumably a snide reference to Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth -- a movie that won an Oscar and helped Gore win the Nobel Peace Prize. But according to the Washington Post, it didn't do nearly as much to "focus public attention" on global warming science than some right-wing web sites yammering on about stolen emails. Right.

The Post continues:

The e-mails don't say that: They don't provide proof that human-caused climate change is a lie or a swindle.

But they do raise hard questions. In an effort to control what the public hears, did prominent scientists who link climate change to human behavior try to squelch a back-and-forth that is central to the scientific method? Is the science of global warming messier than they have admitted?

The stolen electronic files include more than 1,000 e-mails and 3,000 documents, all taken from servers at the Climatic Research Unit, a world-famous center at the University of East Anglia in Britain.

But there are some pretty obvious "hard questions" that somehow haven't occurred to the Post: Who stole the files? Does "Climate-gate" show that climate change deniers are nothing more than common criminals -- or simply that they eagerly make use of the criminal efforts of others? What does it say about the honesty of the global warming deniers that they portray emails that "don't provide proof that human-caused climate change is a lie" as doing exactly that?

Posted In
Environment & Science, Climate Change
Network/Outlet
The Washington Post
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