Washington Post: Climategate Raises Hard Questions

Saturday, 05 Dec 2009 01:34 PM

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As the fallout from the Climategate scandal continues to explode, the scientific community is putting itself under a microscope and beginning to ask some tough questions.

A story in the Washington Post on Saturday says the key issues are: "In an effort to control what the public hears, did prominent scientists who link climate change to human behavior try to squelch a back-and-forth that is central to the scientific method? Is the science of global warming messier than they have admitted?"

The controversy centers around thousands of e-mails and documents that were stolen from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Britain, and published on the Internet. According to the Post, "the files showed the leaders of climate-change science discussing flaws in their own data, and seemingly scheming to muzzle their critics."

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Since the files' publication, the head of the Climatic Research Unit had temporarily stepped down, and the United Nations has announced it will investigate the scandal. Penn State University, home to one of the researchers highighted in the leaked files, also is considering a probe of its own.

Excerpt from the Post:

"For a few, however, the stolen files were confirmation that the climate establishment was trying to keep them out of the debate.

"These include the familiar kind of climate skeptics, those who think that the climate isn't changing or that it isn't a crisis. But they also include a handful of researchers who think climate change is happening, but — for various reasons — are skeptical that mainstream science fully understands the phenomenon."

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