How do we know our medication is effective; that our vehicle is safe; that the bungee cord in our jump will not break? Most of the population has taken it on faith – faith in the integrity of the scientists – that these questions have been sufficiently studied and answered. And they have been, through effective communication of science in the scientific community. Knowledge is consistently exchanged using our currency, peer-review, until the point where the public benefits from the application of science in our everyday lives. We’ve had faith in the value of that currency, until now.
A few weeks ago, emails reportedly from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in England were published on the internet. With any illegally obtained information, the credibility of the contents should be questioned. However, if these published emails are genuine, the contents indicate a scandal in the climate science community that is an insult to the integrity of the entire scientific community. It’s an insult to truth.
Many scientists have had suspicions about the state of the climate science and the overstated solidity of its predictive ability for some time. I am not a ‘denier’, whatever a denier denies; but I, along with several others have been asking questions about the peer-reviewed science. We cannot conflate climate scientists with environmentalists and activists, though. The latter two have compiled predictive models by the former and asserted that we are headed for doom and destruction if extreme environmental policies are not enacted immediately. Many scientists and critical thinkers have dared ask fundamental questions, though. We have questioned whether the state of the science can allow any definitive conclusion about the significance of anthropogenic carbon dioxide on global warming, let alone its ability to predict future effects.