"Climategate" — not: IPCC press briefing today at noon

by Paul Edwards on December 12, 2009

Today at noon the IPCC will hold a press briefing that will attempt a pre-emptive strike against last week’s calls from 28 US Senators for an “investigation” into the leaked CRU emails. Whoever did it, the email leak appears to have been calculated to provoke exactly this kind of response, much as the furor over the so-called hockey stick chart in the 2001 IPCC report eventually led to investigations by Congress and the National Academy of Sciences

I have been shaking my head over the “Climategate” phrase ever since I first heard it. Its namesake, Watergate, involved President Nixon’s thugs breaking into the Watergate hotel to steal documents from the Democratic Party. But we don’t remember Watergate because of whatever documents they stole — we remember Watergate because they were criminals sponsored by a sitting US president, and the outcry that resulted ended up bringing down the Nixon administration. These guys are criminals too, and far worse ones, because what they’ve done will affect not only the US, but the whole world.

I challenge the skeptic organizations and the Republican senators raising cain about this to put all of their private email on the Internet. Let’s see what they’ve said; let’s see how much the skeptics really care about scientific accuracy.

The IPCC briefing today will probably do little to stop the hell-raising. It’s media-only but I will at least stand around outside to see if any body parts come flying out the door.

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