George Monbiot has written another post on his The Guardian weblog, anxiously chewing his own lips to bloody shreds with the stress of the Climategate situation :-
“Pretending the climate email leak isn’t a crisis won’t make it go away : Climate sceptics have lied, obscured and cheated for years. That’s why we climate rationalists must uphold the highest standards of science : Posted by George Monbiot : Wednesday 25 November 2009 : I have seldom felt so alone. Confronted with crisis, most of the environmentalists I know have gone into denial. The emails hacked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, they say, are a storm in a tea cup, no big deal, exaggerated out of all recognition. It is true that climate change deniers have made wild claims which the material can’t possibly support (the end of global warming, the death of climate science). But it is also true that the emails are very damaging. The response of the greens and most of the scientists I know is profoundly ironic, as we spend so much of our time confronting other people’s denial. Pretending that this isn’t a real crisis isn’t going to make it go away. Nor is an attempt to justify the emails with technicalities. We’ll be able to get past this only by grasping reality, apologising where appropriate and demonstrating that it cannot happen again. It is true that much of what has been revealed could be explained as the usual cut and thrust of the peer review process, exacerbated by the extraordinary pressure the scientists were facing from a denial industry determined to crush them…”
Look, George love, we’d like to do something useful, but the problem is one of sheer exhaustion. People are tired of the relentless waves of hysteria and mania coming from the “denial community”. Nothing we say makes them stop, not even for one second. On and on they moan and clatter and hammer.
Plus, we do all have other things we really should be doing, like living, talking to our spice (is that the real plural of “spouse” ?), earning a living, cooking lunch, that kind of stuff. Having to turn 180 degrees, sharp left or whatever metaphor is appropriate, and applying ourselves to the abstract concepts of the intimate details of a broad range of Climate Change scientific fact and what the data all means, correcting denial propaganda and outright non-science nonsense, well, that all feels rather taxing.
Whose job is it to counteract the Climate Change sceptical malaise ? Isn’t there somebody high up, a Government official or a Minister or something that could come on the telly and tell the nation to calm down, it’s only a crowd of troublemakers, actually the reality of Global Warming is worse than it was even just a few months ago, and yes, the floods Up North were quite probably something to do with the changing weather ?
Why should the job of unpicking the denialist arguments be left to independent or freelance writers, people in charitable organisations or students with a bit of free time on their hands ?
Climategate will all blow over, eventually, like a shed in a slightly stronger hurricane. The truth will out. Out the punishments will be meted. Some more education will be made available for people to help them re-orient their views.
Yes, some science guys exchanged some botched e-mails. Big deal. The IPCC reports still stand. Obama is coming to Copenhagen with a promise of 83% by 2050 from a 2005 baseline in his warm, smart, capable and friendly hands.
I know Climategate is a real crisis, but it’s not that big a crisis for me to totally re-prioritise my life. Climate Change is the real crisis, and that already takes up a significant proportion of my waking hours.
In my view, Climategate only really damages the people who “liberated” the e-mails from CRU. What a shambolic midden of thieving cowards, say I.