Science never writes closed textbooks. It does not offer us a holy scripture, infallible and complete.
I am a climate scientist who worked in the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in the 1990s. I have been reflecting on the bigger lessons to be learned from the stolen emails, some of which were mine. One thing the episode has made clear is that it has become difficult to disentangle political arguments about climate policies from scientific arguments about the evidence for man-made climate change and the confidence placed in predictions of future change. The quality of both political debate and scientific practice suffers as a consequence.
Surveys of public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic about man-made climate change continue to tell us something politicians know only too well: The citizens they rule over have minds of their own. In the U.K., a recent survey suggested that only 41% believed humans are causing climate change, 32% remained unsure and 15% were convinced we aren't. Similar surveys in the U.S. have shown a recent reduction in the number of people believing in man-made climate change.