Global Warming in the Hot Seat

“[T]o be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough—the prime requisite is rightly to apply it.” -Rene Descartes

“Don’t bother me with facts, Son.  I’ve already made up my mind.” -Foghorn Leghorn

As world leaders prepare to gather in Copenhagen to discuss a global strategy for combatting climate change—a strategy likely to involve a substantial growth of government power at the expense of individual and economic liberty—a shock wave of controversy threatens to shatter what many have come to view as settled science.

As a result of the intrepid work of several warming skeptics skilled in the art of hacking into computer systems, an extensive network of corruption at the heart of the international climate change movement has been exposed.  According to thousands of e-mail exchanges now made public, it has been discovered that several of the individuals responsible for the scientific evaluation and verification of global warming theories are guilty of systematically manipulating, withholding, or destroying data that threatened to undermine the veracity and legitimacy of arguments for man-made climate change.

This is a classic example of the politicization of science.  In a gross affront to their vocation’s guiding credo, men and women of science allowed an emotionally and politically charged ideology to muddle their thinking and corrupt their work.  Guided, no doubt, by a fierce conviction in the righteousness of their cause, these scientists have abused the public’s trust in their professional integrity; they have abused the power of their position to take an entire industry hostage.  Without hesitation or shame, they sought the professional ruin of dissenters within their ranks and knowingly perpetrated intellectual fraud upon the global community—all in service of a narrow political agenda that resonated with them on a personal level.

Ironically, these scientists have done irreparable damage to the cause they so cherish.  Instead of acknowledging the mixed data and encouraging an open dialog within the scientific community and beyond, these self-appointed data despots—aided and abetted by a cadre of celebrity spokesmen and political operatives—chose a path of deception and manipulation.  This tactic, now exposed, will only lend added weight to conspiracy theories and criticisms that have surrounded the issue of global warming for the last decade.  A cloud of shame now hangs over an issue that—if couched in moderate terms of conservation, or heaven forbid, the Biblical principles of stewardship and human exceptionalism—might have garnered widespread momentum from across the political and ideological spectrum.

But just as parochialism and intolerance within the scientific community have smothered productive dialog and sparked a bitter social divide on the issues of intelligent design and stem cell research, the Machiavellian tactics of climate change activists posing as legitimate scientists threaten to spell the end of a movement that—if couched in less revolutionary terms—had the potential to unite millions and define a generation.

As President Obama prepares for Copenhagen, it will be interesting to see how he responds to Climategate.  In light of the controversy now surrounding this issue, it would be imprudent of the President to push forward with his ambitious Green agenda.  Then again, the economic welfare of the American people hasn’t dissuaded him from pursuing a $200 billion annual tax on energy consumption , and he does have his Liberal benefactors to consider.  At the end of the day, the President may well decide that a little academic fraud is a small price to pay for the “noble” cause of change.

Ken Connor


Ken Connor is the Chairman of the Center for a Just Society. An esteemed attorney, Connor is affiliated with the law firm of Marks, Balette, & Giessel, a firm nationally known for its successful representation of victims of nursing home abuse and neglect.

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  • Joe DeVet

    I’m not sanguine about the prospects that Obama will modulate his approach based on any new findings. When this current scandal hit, the White House joined in the disingenuous damage control, calling the new revelations no big deal. Besides which, the President has made a career of dissembling and outright lying, rewriting history, focusing on alleged shortcomings of the country which made him a rich an prominent black man, and trying to sell socialized medicine with a pack of lies about the present and about the future. The truth is not in him. But that doesn’t stop him from succeeding. From his perspective, why change now?

    An equally disturbing observation is that this article’s author seems to remain a global-warming believer himself. He is not so worried that we might mistakenly take draconian steps to fix a non-problem, as he is regretful that a movement which, however falsely based, might have “garnered widespread momentum across the political and ideological spectrum.” What good is such a movement if it still causes widespread economic dislocation and real harm to the poor of the world, as any such “movement” would do?

    Let us keep in mind the main lesson of the most recent revelations–the fight against man-made global warming is based on a hoax.

  • Joe DeVet

    PS to the editors: On my computer screen this article starts with a whole page of format software text.

  • Mary Kochan

    Thanks — I think we have it fixed now.

  • Terri Kimmel

    Al Gore was promoting his new book on Letterman on Friday night. Letterman mentioned that Gore is likely to be the first “green billionaire” because he has so much invested in alternative energies. Might this be another factor pushing the hoax? I listed carefully to Gore’s statements and answers on Friday and he’s quite the slick deceiver. He’s a master at double talk, just like his former boss Bill Clinton.