Charles Johnson - Wake Up!
You were instrumental in RatherGate. I joined your community as a direct result and I have for years watched your rational approach to life and philosophy unfold. In RatherGate, you took a fabricated story and demolished it with a simple idea that you tested and produced results to prove that is was fake (to wit, you applied scientific method). You had the benefit of the tools needed (scanner) and software (MS word) and the resources (time and a sharp intelligence) to bring together your brilliant result.
Now, various AGW skeptics have been hammering away for years, trying to get at the original data that temperature records have been based upon. They have been blocked for years! Finally, they get the break they need (the ClimateGate files) and they now adequately demonstrate, through carefully applied rational thinking and analysis (the same as yours), that one of the the global temperature records (of which there are only a surprising few) was based on biased, fradulent and obstructionist staff who had a predetermined outcome in mind and they produced that predetermined and false result. They faked lower temperatures in the 1940's and they faked higher temperatures in the 1990's and they hid the lower temperatures in the 2000's.
Does that sound to you like a repeat of RatherGate? I hope so. Because to be quite frank, I am shocked that in your pursuit of criticism of the Right (something that I happen to agree with you about), you unfortunately have been unable to take a rational and informed look at the ClimateGate data, method and results. It just goes to show that literally ANYONE, even those who are hellenistic rationalists such as yourself, can engage in unconscious self delusion. I urge you to look at the actual emails, the actual data, the actual careful skeptical analysis that has been done by brilliant people and understand these basic points.
The temperature record is now revised both down and up! The released ClimateGate graphs now show the period of the 1940's as being much warmer than they were shown to be previously. And, the temperatures of the 1990's have been shown to be much less that those previously reported. The higher 1940's data was fudged out of the released IPCC reports and Tom Wigleys' and other published papers. The lower temperatures of the 1990's and 2000's were also fudged up.
Up until now, many, many studies have been trying to show that natural causes cannot account for these latest decade increases. Study after study makes the claim that "XX% or thereabouts of warming can be attributed to normal natural processes so the other yy% of warming must be caused by human activity". However, with the temperature record now readjusted to be as it actually was and is, these previous studies are made irrelevant and their conclusions are either partially or completely wrong.
As one rational thinker to another, I urge you to carefully investigate this matter for yourself because I would hate to see you discredit yourself as you continue to condemn the scientific evidence that is now on public display for all to see. Man may still cause some global warming but you owe it to yourself to find out how little that might actually be.
Yours absolutely sincerely,