A hacker has broken into a server at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (the Hadley CRU). Material taken from the server included E-Mails from a leading climatologist, Phil Jones, as well as a lot of raw data. This was then posted to an anonymous FTP server in Russia along with an explanatory note: “We feel that climate change is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.”
Should this hacked information be proved true then it draws into question the way in which this whole matter is being researched and presented to the public.
Now, I must declare my take on climate change. I am a climate change sceptic. But that doesn’t make me a climate change denier! The reason I am sceptical is because, as a small lad in the 1960s, I was informed that we would soon be in an ice-age if we did not change our energy consumption ways. This gave way to ‘global warming’ and then to ‘climate change’ and lastly ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’ (AGW). For me the goal posts keep changing.
Also, the recent recession gave us the greatest chance to change our ways as global consumption slowed. But the overwhelming and swift response by decision makers worldwide was to kick-start consumption at all costs with such schemes in the UK as the ‘car scrappage’ scheme and lowering VAT.
The thrust of the argument the climate change lobby is that recent human behaviour with regard to energy usage will soon cause a climate catastrophe killing many people. They produce much computer based model data to support this. Sceptics on the other hand point out the flaws in the modelling and show that the earth has been warmer in the past and goes though cycles. So they argue that humans have little if no effect. I personally wonder what will happen when the fossil fuels run out and levels start dropping again anyway.
There is a lot of money in the climate change debate in the form of grants for scientists and taxes for politicians to spend. This, the sceptics argue, is also an unhealthy mix as one tends to reinforce the other.
I like all sceptics (I think), want an open debate with true, comprehensive data and statistics available. As far as I am concerned this is not what we are given. Even Lord Monckton, who was one of the first people to look into this at the behest of the then PM Lady Thatcher, now has serious doubts about the true level of the impact humans have had on this phenomenon.
But the climate change lobby (especially Al Gore) state that the science is settled. Anyone who argues against it is marginalised not engaged with. Just look at the case of the highly regarded botanist David Bellamy OBE. I also deplore the way that children are almost brainwashed into supporting climate change theory from an early age and are then used as a stick to beat adults with. Then there’s the use of the polar bear in such stunts as the Plane Stupid adverts, especially when some research suggests that the number of polar bears has stayed steady or even increased.
Combating global warming is set to cost us billions in research, tax and trade. It should be researched properly and transparently. If it turns out that we have no control over it then the money and effort should be deployed into areas that really help humanity. It would be a crime to do otherwise.
Lastly, did the hacker do the right thing? Only if the data is untampered with and he/she/they step forward as true whistle-blowers.