Best summation of the whole storm in a tea-cup (the Univesity of East Anglia Climate Research Unit’s documents that were obtained illegally and published online last week by a hacker) that I’ve found so far:
#788 | Steven J Heimel says:
22 November 2009 at 1:43 AM
Okay. Can we step back a little and get the big picture? My understanding is this. Tell me if I am wrong, The emails largely had to do with dealing with an already known problem with dendrochronology. The oceans are still rising, the Arctic ice is still melting back worse in the summer, the glaciers are still withdrawing. And all of this is still exceeding IPCC models, as the modelers well know. The hockey stick has acquired another crook. So what? Be glad, world! Even with that, things (including methane releases from the permafrost I am willing to bet) are worse than the models predicted. I write this from 61 north. And none of this has anything to do with Al Gore.
I’m not entirely sure (after 700+ comments it becomes a bit confusing to keep track of who’s arguing with whom) but I’m pretty sure that the “So what? Be glad, world!” bit is in reference to the way that certain contrarians are touting these emails as if they somehow reveal that AGW has been a hoax all along, and so “the world” (i.e. humans) can be happy that we don’t have to stop guzzling petrochemicals and spewing forth carbon waste into the atmosphere and the oceans. For people who proudly proclaim themselves skeptical of “unproved claims”, these folks don’t seem to have been very skeptical at all of the provenance and pristine integrity of these documents, do they?
Anyway, for more context, here’s some official statements from the University of East Anglia and the Climate Research Unit, including the big one that despite all the claims flying around that CRU researchers were blocking access to raw data, that in fact over 95% of their data has been available for several years.
Another point made that I found interesting, although I can’t find a direct link to it now, is that one of the ideologies driving climate change denialism is those who are radically anti-birth control, because they see environmentalism of any kind as just a way of demanding that we act in concert to prevent population growth: those who want to continue multiplying see climate change in particular as one argument that might really sway people in favour of limiting the size of their families, because it affects not just exotic animals living a long way away but the actual crops and animal/fish stocks that their children and grandchildren etc etc will need to have available in the future so that they do not starve.