It doesn’t matter what side of the climate change debate you’re on, or even what the soon to be released data ultimately reveals. Climategate is a big deal.
Will Wilkinson explains why
The scientific implications of the Climategate files are probably small, but the political implication is certainly large–because of the politicized nature of climate science confirmed by the files. Verification of the existence of conspiring enforcers of orthodoxy weakens the strongest rhetorical weapon in the alarmist arsenal. The idea that the science behind predictions of potentially catastrophic warming is rock solid and that the putative scientific consensus reflects the rock solidity of the science licenses the inference that there is no scientifically respectable excuse for scepticism of or disagreement with the consensus. That is a big stick to thump people with. But the Climategate files strongly suggest that at least some of the science is not rock solid and that the scientific consensus is at least in part the product of silencing or marginalizing those who might upset it. The files have made “How can we be sure that you did not fudge your data” and “How do we know that dissenting voices have been given a fair hearing?” questions that we now must ask rather than questions sceptics can be effectively shouted down for asking. The files show that suspicion is warranted. That’s a big deal.
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