New reports into so-called ‘climategate’ all exonerate the scientists

Professor Michael Mann is the guy behind the infamous ‘hockey stick graph’ made famous by Al Gore. He was one of the few world-leading climate scientists unfortunate enough to get caught up in the manufactured controversy around the so-called ‘climategate’ scandal.

Professor Michael Mann is the guy behind the infamous ‘hockey stick graph’ made famous by Al Gore. He was one of the few world-leading climate scientists unfortunate enough to get caught up in the manufactured controversy around the so-called ‘climategate’ scandal.

A few days ago, the official inquiry into his practices concluded and the Penn State Investigatory Committee’s final report unanimously found that:

“[Mann’s] scientific work, especially the conduct of his research, has from the beginning of his career been judged to be outstanding by a broad spectrum of scientists.

The committee further determined that:

“Dr Michael E Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities.”

Still, Prof Mann’s exoneration was not covered in Fred Pearce’s front page Guardian story today on the climate emails. Another official and independent inquiry into climate emails, this one commissioned by the Dutch Parliament, also concluded today that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made “no errors that would undermine the main conclusions” on the probable impacts of climate change.

Martin Parry, visiting professor at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change Research at Imperial College London who co-chaired one of the IPCC reports on climate impacts, told the BBC in response:

“We welcome the conclusion of this report, which is essentially that our conclusions are safe, sound and reliable.”

But these were just the latest independent inquiries to exonerate those involved with the supposed ‘scandal’ around the hacked emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. Another official inquiry led by Lord Oxburgh also found that:

“The basic science seems to have been done fairly and properly… We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit.”

Another investigation from the House of Commons Science committee said:

“The scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact. We have found no reason… to challenge the scientific consensus… that ‘global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity’.”

There is another inquiry, the Muir Russell report, which will conclude on Wednesday.

Needless to say, however, so far none of these investigations have generated the same sort of headlines and media storm that we saw before Copenhagen when the denial industry launched its full frontal attack on climate science and scientists. Nor for that matter has the retraction of the story that formed the basis of so-called ‘Amazongate’, which was quietly retracted by The Sunday Times after an extensive complaint from climate scientist, Dr Simon Lewis, was upheld by the Press Complains Commission.

The newspaper admitted its article was ‘flawed’ – but as Media Matters highlights, media outlets around the world are yet to retract their coverage of the bogus story. Nor have most newspapers followed the German paper, the Frankfurter Rundschau, in retracting the ‘Africagate’ non-scandal.

Despite the media’s distorted coverage of this whole affair, the New York Times reported last month that “huge majorities of Americans still believe the Earth has been gradually warming as the result of human activity and want the government to institute regulations to stop it” and highlighted how other polls of public views on climate change have spun their questions and their findings.

For example, the author asks us to consider a widely publicized Gallup question:

“Thinking about what is said in the news, in your view, is the seriousness of global warming generally exaggerated, generally correct or is it generally underestimated?” and points out that “This question asked about respondents’ perceptions of the news, not the respondents’ perception of warming.”

Similarly, research from Cardiff University found almost three quarters (71 per cent) of Britons are concerned about climate change. Some 78 per cent of Brits think the climate is changing. The researcher who led the study, Professor Nick Pidgeon, said:

“By no means has there been a collapse in confidence in climate science… If I was in policy circles I would not be complacent, but reassured that it has not been as serious as many thought it would be.”

16 Responses to “New reports into so-called ‘climategate’ all exonerate the scientists”

  1. B Latif

    RT @leftfootfwd: New reports into so-called ‘#climategate’ all exonerate the scientists: //bit.ly/b5PjSt

  2. Oxford Kevin

    RT @leftfootfwd: New reports into so-called ‘climategate’ all exonerate the scientists: //bit.ly/b5PjSt

  3. Joss Garman

    New independent reports into so-called 'climategate' exonerate scientists //bit.ly/99vnkH @guardianeco

  4. Andy Sutherland

    RT @leftfootfwd: New reports into so-called ‘climategate’ all exonerate the scientists: //bit.ly/b5PjSt

  5. Andy Parsons

    RT @jossgarman: New independent reports into so-called 'climategate' exonerate scientists //bit.ly/99vnkH @guardianeco

  6. Trakgalvis

    New reports into so-called climategate all exonerate the scientists: //bit.ly/b5PjSt via @leftfootfwd

  7. Ken Perrott

    RT @leftfootfwd New reports into so-called ‘climategate’ all exonerate the scientists: //bit.ly/b5PjSt

  8. Mark Welkie

    RT @OpenParachute: RT @leftfootfwd New reports into so-called ‘climategate’ all exonerate the scientists: //bit.ly/b5PjSt

  9. tracy j

    Mann’s greatest error is in not making his tree ring data and code publicly available for other scientists to scrutinise.

  10. Matt Lodder

    New reports into so-called ‘climategate’ all exonerate the scientists: Professor Michael Mann is the guy behind th… //bit.ly/bO17CE

  11. Joss Garman

    @guardianeco Polling in UK and US shows still strong public concern about warming despite some very biased coverage //bit.ly/99vnkH

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