Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Six Things We Know for Sure in the Wake of “Climate Gate”

In light if this trumped-up “climate gate” scandal that’s been grabbing so many headlines lately, what has really changed about our understanding of climate change? Well, says Rob Hopkins, absolutely nothing. Twenty years of rigorous peer-reviewed climate research by thousands of scientists won’t be undone, undermined, or affected (not one jot nor tittle!) by a few leaked e-mails between some scientists that may not have been doing absolutely everything above board. It’s just desperate mudslinging by climate contrarians, financed by mega-corporations like Exxon, in anticipation of major climate change talks in Copenhagen.

You can stick your head in the tar-sands, “skeptics,” but nothing’s changed.

From Transition Culture:

A few people have been in touch to ask whether, in the light of the recent illegal hacking into UEA’s emails, and the proposition by climate deniers that some of the emails that have emerged prove climate change is a scam, Transition Network now intends to renounce the absurd notion of human-induced climate change.  Of course not.  It has been a fascinating few days though, and we are probably the last people to actually post any thoughts on it, but on reflection my sense is that there are perhaps 6 things we can say that we know for sure (or, as climate scientists would say, with a very high degree of probability) .

1. Climate change is a very real and present danger

Is there anything in these emails that leads one to assume that climate change is not happening?  No.  Writing in the Sunday Times, Bryan Appleyard tried to carve in stone what we know for sure about climate change (in spite of acknowledging that there are never certainties in science, rather “all science can ever be is the best guess of the best minds”).  We know that the climate is warming, and that this is caused by emissions of greenhouse gases, and that if this continues, “nasty things probably start happening within the next century, possibly within the next decade”, although of course there are many extreme events already happening attributed by many to climate change.

Jeff Masters at puts it thus, “even if every bit of mud slung at these scientists were true – the body of scientific work supporting the theory of human-caused climate change – which spans hundreds of thousands of scientific papers written by tens of thousands of scientists in dozens of different scientific disciplines – is too vast to be budged by the flaws in the works of the three of four scientists being subject to the fiercest attacks”.  Indeed.

We are talking about a scientific case that has been built up over 20 years or so of peer-reviewed science.  As Greenfyre puts it, “Which studies were compromised, how? Be specific. Cite papers and data sets. What is the evidence? Where is it? What work is affected? How? Show me the evidence that says so”.  It is much easier just to fling muck around than to be specific.  Nothing has emerged this week that puts the actual science behind climate change in question at all.

Read the whole article here.


Related Articles:

Bullshit. *Charisma, Icon, Intelligence, Empty Sandwich

How does the word “bullshit” connect to Charisma, Intelligence and the notion of The Empty Sandwich?To find out the answer to this question we meandered through David Fleming’s Lean Logic. A dictionary unlike any other, Lean Logic encourages readers to actively and intellectually engage with its entries. These entries are often cross-referenced so that you […] Read More

The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Three Principles to Survive the Future

What guiding principles will you need to not just survive the future, but imagine a better one? Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By