Climategate: What Happened to Global Warming?

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Professors are being investigated and some have resigned from their long-establish posts because of a recent leak of private emails. What was in those emails and how does this “scandal” have any impact on global warming and the concern for the environment?

Recently, hackers got into the servers of the the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England and exposed data and email exchanges between some prominent, respected researchers in the area of global warming. What the emails and data reveal is that one of the top climate change research institutes in the world appears to have altered the temperatures to make them appear higher than they actually were. In one email exchange Professor Phil Jones writes to Professor Michael Mann, of the University of Pennsylvania about the “trick of adding in the real temps to each series…to hide the decline [in temperature].”

There are two very controversial parts of this exchange. First, the use of the word “trick.” Professor Mann says that scientists use trick differently than we do. In an interview with the New York Times, he explained that the word “trick” is used to refer to a positive way to solve a problem. What makes this even harder to believe is the second part of the exchange in which the professor states the purpose of the “trick” is to “hide the decline (in temperature).” If there is so much evidence of the earth’s warming, why would professionals who are the best in their field feel the need to “hide” any real data?

Throughout the rest of the emails, there is a theme of hiding and deleting information as well as instructions to not tell people about the Freedom of Information Act in the United Kingdom. This has triggered more debate regarding the theory of man-made global warming. The scandal has given more opportunity for scientists who use science to oppose the global warming theory a chance to speak out. More than 30,000 scientists have signed a petition expressing their scientific rejection of the controversial theory. Some say the leaked emails serve as the nail in the coffin for the proponents of man-made global climate change.

As a result of the questions raised by the manipulated data and the email exchanges that implied both deception and collusion, Professor Phil Jones, the head of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, has temporarily stepped down from his position and Professor Michael Mann at the University of Pennsylvania is being investigated.

The United Nations has also gone on record saying that they will investigate this matter, as these researchers worked directly with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Now, reports say that NASA is also implicated on data destruction and manipulation in order to “prove” global warming.

At the very least, a few scientist and organizations have a lot of explaining to do. At worst, it appears as though a conspiracy is becoming unraveled before our eyes. Does that mean we can and should now give up on being good stewards of the environment? Not in the least. Whether the theory of man-made global warming is true or not should have no bearing on responsible living. However, acknowledging that the cycle of cooling and warming of the earth is not man-produced may help us to focus on creating cleaner air, water, and resources for humans, as it ought to be.

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