December 30, 2009

A Response to Mike Mann’s Washington Post Op-ed

On December 18th, the Washington Post ran an op-ed by Penn State’s Dr. Michael Mann—a central figure in the Climategate emails—arguing that the content of the released email “doesn’t alter evidence for climate change.”

But Dr. Mann is only coming at this from one side of the issue—that of the contents of the peer-reviewed literature. However, the Climategate emails contain ample evidence that the contents of the scientific literature were being influenced by an small group of researchers who sought to suppress ‘bad’ science—that is, science that they personally didn’t like. This is not the way things are supposed to work and has an unknown, but potentially large impact, which makes it virtually impossible to make valid assessments of the “evidence for climate change” based on the contents of the extant scientific literature.

An article posted at the new blog from the Science and Public Policy Institute discusses this situation in a bit more detail and includes a letter-to-the-editor that never made its way into print at the Washington Post that makes the point that contrary to Dr. Mann’s assertions, the Climategate emails reveal that it is not so much what is in the literature that is important, but what is not in the literature.

And this situation represents a true disservice to climate science at large.

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