Hard for Crook to Climb Down on ClimateGate

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A blog post penned by The Atlantic’s Clive Crook today highlights just how hard it is for some people to admit when they are wrong.

Maybe it’s a pride thing - the Chinese call it “saving face.” Maybe it’s something entirely different. After all, who knows what is running through anyone’s head?

Regardless of what it is called, Crook has it in spades on the issue of the infamous stolen emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at London’s East Anglia University. At the time of the controversy last November, Crook wrote column after column indicting climate scientists in the court of public opinion before any inquiry into the matter could take place.

Only 13 days after the stolen emails were made public Crook had already made up his mind writing that, “the stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering.”

But after three inquires into the so-called “climate gate” matter, one of them conducted by a bi-partisan UK government committee and two by academic boards, the overwhelming conclusion is that there was no wrong-doing.

For example, the UK government’s bi-partisan Science and Technology Select Committee concluded that, “the scientific reputation of Professor Jones [one of the scientists at the center of the matter] and CRU remains intact”.

A New York Times editorial over the weekend makes the point that, “perhaps now we can put the manufactured controversy known as Climategate behind us and turn to the task of actually doing something about global warming.”

Indeed we should.

But it seems no end of inquiries and investigations confirming that climategate was a manufactured scandal based more in the land of conspiracy theories than reality will convince the likes of Crook who cherry-picked a sampling of text from the inquiries to write an Atlantic blog post today that he thinks proves that there is a conspiracy to cover up the conspiracy that has already been proved to be untrue.

Some logic. But it is obviously proving hard for Crook to admit he was wrong after taking such a strong opinion on the issue.

I would suggest that The Atlantic run a contest to win the Kool Aid Crook is drinking or give away a free tinfoil hat with every new subscription.

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please tell me….do you really believe what you write? from clive..Like Pearce, The Economist rightly draws attention to the failure of the Russell inquiry to ask Phil Jones of the CRU whether he actually deleted any emails to defeat FoI requests. It calls this omission “rather remarkable”. Pearce calls it “extraordinary”. Myself, I would prefer to call it “astonishing and indefensible”. I don’t see how, having spotted this, the magazine can conclude that the report, overall, was “thorough, but it will not satisfy all the critics.” (Well, the critics make such unreasonable demands! Look into the charges, they say. Hear from the other side. Ask the obvious questions. It never stops: you just can’t satisfy these people.)…..does any of this give you pause or are you so blinded by your true mission to realize what may be going on?

Regarding FOIs, I think Joe Romm hit the nail on the head.

“So, no conspiracy, no collusion, no manipulation of data, no corruption of the peer-review process, no scandal; just an understandable reluctance to hand over data to dishonest people with a history of misrepresenting it.”