Month 7, Day 8: All Clear?

The Philadelphia Inquirer ran an AP story noting that the third inquiry into “climategate” was due out soon. Of course, the results came out today, and of course the scientists from the University of East Anglia were completely cleared (just as happened in the previous two inquiries, which I suppose proves to the denialists that all the Boards of Inquiry are in the tank).

This report was the third such inquiry into the so-called “climategate” non-scandal, and the third inquiry to completely exonerate the scientists involved from any hint of dishonesty or wrongdoing. Even though the accusations leveled against the British scientific team were completely unfounded, the entire affair succeeded in making global warming less accepted by the general public. This is a tragedy: at the time when we most need widespread awareness of the threat posed by worldwide climate change, fewer people are prepared to take scientific authority seriously. Over ninety-seven percent of climatologists agree that global warming is happening, that human activity is to blame, and that if we don’t change our ways soon, we’re in for a world of hurt. If ninety-seven out of a hundred oncologists diagnosed malignancy, you’d probably take their advice. Climatologists are “planetary physicians.” We would do well to take them seriously.

Warren Senders

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