Climate change is real and man-made. Period, end of story. But recently, some emails have leaked that conclusively prove that climate scientists... are really pissed off that a well-funded industry exists that subverts and denies their work.
A "hacker" obtained a bunch of emails from climate scientists at the University of East Anglia and posted them to some website, and for some reason Matt Drudge and the right-wing media have decided that these emails are proof of a massive conspiracy to make up global warming, for fun. The emails are mostly scientists complaining about political pressures and people they dislike and things that make their job—and their job is attempting to reconstruct climates of hundreds or millions of years ago based on fucking ice floes and tree rings—harder.
There are precisely two emails that even sound scandalous: one in which a scientist refers to borrowing another scientist's "trick"—which skeptics interpret as falsifying data and which actual legitimate scientists say means "a clever way of doing something"—to "hide the decline," which is a poor way of saying he is attempting to correct for the fact that tree rings don't reflect modern warming trends that are well-documented by actual thermometers.
One of the most damaging emails was sent by the head of the climatic research unit, Phil Jones. He wrote "I can't see either of these papers being in the next [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow - even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"
One of these papers which was published in the journal Climate Research turned out to be so badly flawed that the scandal resulted in the resignation of the editor-in-chief.
So the scandal is that a researcher thought a paper was flawed and said he would do anything to keep it from being published, not because it said something dangerous that he is trying to keep hidden, but because he thought it was bad science. And then it turned out to be bad science.
Half of the journal's editorial board, including editor-in-chief Hans von Storch, resigned from the journal's editorial board because they felt that publication of the paper in question represented a breakdown in the peer-review process. The publisher had refused to allow von Storch to publish an editorial on the topic, but later the president of the journal's parent company stated that the paper's major findings could not "be concluded convincingly from the evidence provided in the paper. [Climate Research] should have requested appropriate revisions of the manuscript prior to publication."
So. The scandal, again, for those keeping score at home, is that academics are bitching to each other about papers they think are bad, written by people they dislike, that are being published in journals they dislike.
My daughter came home from school recently with a spring in her step and a song on her lips. With no foreshadowing — or time to call an exorcist — out came this chilling refrain:
"...You can hear the warning — GLOBAL WARMING... "
By the time her father and I removed our jaws from the floor, we had learned that:
A) All the kids had been coerced into singing this catchy ditty, which we called "The Warming Song," at a concert for parents.
B) Further song lyrics scolded selfish adults (that would be us) for polluting our planet and causing a warming scourge that would, in no short order, kill all the polar bears and threaten the birds and bees.
C) There was no deprogramming session on the menu. And no arguing allowed.
Well, we're sorry you weren't allowed to "argue" with a school assembly, Andrea. That must've been hard for you! Also we're sorry that someone is scolding grown-ups for polluting the planet, but, you know, it really can't be argued that that is anyone else's fault.