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Everything You Need to Know about ClimateGate Email Scandal

Posted December 7, 2009

1 comment posted. Read it now.

1.What are you talking about?
Late last month a group of emails belonging to climate scientists were hacked. The emails were posted to a Russian server and have increased the claims by independent skeptics funded by industry that climate scientists are faking all of it. Renowned Nobel Laureate Glenn Beck, who has won scientific prizes in chemistry, physics and economics, and is a repeat contributor to the International Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, produced a video segment about the emails, which you will find very compelling if you already happen to agree with him. Just do a search on "climategate" and your web browser will be flooded with results much in the same way that islands in the South Pacific are no longer inhabitable because of rising sea levels.

2.Aren't personal emails actually scientific documents?
They are not, since most emails do not appear in Nature, but since they are usually hastily composed and sent out while talking on the phone, browsing through scientific literature and/or using the can they should be held to the same level of scientific rigor that we expect of any peer-reviewed document. Take, for example, this simulated transcript of a recently unearthed IM conversation between Watson and Crick, the scientists who first elucidated the structure of DNA:

Crick: You 4 realz want to call it DNA?
Watson: That's just what it is.
Crick: they didn't teach us biochemical compound nomenclature in physics.
Watson: Your mom's physics. Zing!
Crick: was that a joke?
Watson: Yes.
Crick: Pretty awesome that we stole most of our work from Linus Pauling
Watson: Totes. Though we probably shouldn't mention that trick.

3.What do the leaked emails tell us about global warming?
It tells us that scientists use email, a problem that dates back to the early 1970s, because email was designed by computer scientists... around the same time that global warming was invented. Note: both email and global warming were invented by Al Gore.

4.In these emails don't scientists use language about "tricks" and things like the Hockey Stick curve? How could something called the hockey stick curve not be made up?
Prostitutes also use the term "trick" but this doesn't make anyone less likely to believe in sex.
The big problem with climate science is that it's incredibly boring and hard to understand. So it's much easier to dismiss it. In fact the reason we have scientists because we are too lazy to do the work ourselves and didn't study hard enough for that high school chem final. The reason data are normalized to fit curves is because the real world is messy. Remember in high school physics you had to do free-fall problems "with an absence of wind resistance?" Most of science is getting around the complexity that you were allowed to dismiss in a simple high school word problem.

5.How could this giant cabal of worldwide scientists, a network of many thousands of people, many of whom only speak languages that are not English, plan to profit off of global warming?
Best question so far. The answer is simple. Most scientists, particularly those who claim to "study" global warming, have large amounts of cash invested in those really spicy candy balls which are marketed alongside a fiery Earth. The perception that the Earth is heating up just as those spicy jawbreakers drives up stock dividends so that scientists can spend more of their time on their yachts and less time arguing about significant figures.

6.So if I totally ignore the problem it will go away, right?
Especially if you live at or below sea level, yes.

7.What exactly does this happen to do with Aerosmith and their rumored breakup?
Nothing we included that to increase our search rankings.



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