If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you probably know my stance on global warming. Or rather, my former stance: I wasn’t precisely a skeptic, but I wasn’t convinced, because the evidence that was being put forth smelled fishier than a tuna trawler.
As it turns out, my doubts were well-founded, but wrong. And oddly enough, the thing that finally convinced me was “the Climategate affair.” That’s right: a bunch of scientists got together claiming expertise in global climate change, out-and-out lied about the science to convince people that it was an urgent reality, got caught doing it, and that actually convinced this former-doubter that it was really happening. How did that happen?
Simple. I doubted because I know how the scientific method is supposed to work, and it was painfully obvious that these scientists weren’t playing by it. Their results couldn’t be independently checked because they refused to provide the necessary data, which almost certainly meant that the data didn’t exist or didn’t indicate what they claimed that it did. If it had, they would have shared it. They claimed that they didn’t want to share it because skeptics would try to poke holes in it. HELLO! THAT’S WHAT THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD IS ALL ABOUT! Other scientists are supposed to try to poke holes in your conclusions. It’s only when many try — and fail — to do so that those conclusions start to assume a mantle of legitimacy.
But when they were exposed, and the real science sorted out from their bogus stuff, the truth finally started to become visible. And the truth is that it’s happening, and human activity may or may not be responsible for it. Either way, it’s nowhere near as dire or as immediate as they were claiming that it was.
The investigation is still ongoing, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be done any time in the foreseeable future. And thanks to the lying scientists disgracing the entire field in the eyes of many, if it turns out that we are responsible for climate change, any real action on it may be delayed for years. Even if it’s 100% humanity’s fault, there’s still time to prevent it from becoming a catastrophe, according to the current (and real) science — but we may have to act pretty quickly, and on a large scale. We can only hope that the rogue scientists didn’t poison the public (and the politicians) against the idea too much.