It's unfortunate in how some are swayed so easily. The issues dealing with climate change are complicated, to say the least. I really don't know all the details with Hadley, but I do know this, even if they did manipulate the data, does it make the work of countless others meaningless? Of course not. It is a matter of credibility and incidents like this does no one any good; however, that said, to dismiss thousands of others countless work on this or I'm sure other incidents like this that will surely follow is sheer ignorance.
Consider the timeline here, Methos. The emails (and records) of this are from the 1990s. A LOT of work performed in the MMGW arena has been based on the work of the scientists in question. Now does that make the subsequent scientists work done in bad faith? No. However, if the foundation on which their work is based has been called into question, it calls their work into question also. It is a domino effect.
As aforementioned, climate change is an incredibly complex issue with many different fields of research involved. From what I've seen, the research and empirical evidence is something that can't be dismissed by a reasoned mind.
The problem is the emperical evidence (the rising temperatures and climate models) has now been called into question, because the scientists working with it, have now been shown to have ulterior motives. A reasoned mind, would therefore have to acknowledge that any conclusions based on such evidence, are also called into question.
In fact, the bulk of the data suggest events are occurring faster than even the climate models have predicted. Nations are coming together with proposals likely costing trillions that are disruptive economically, at least in the short-run. If there wasn't strong empirical evidence, this wouldn't even be discussed. It's political suicide and likely there will be no meaningful consensus, but it does reveal the gravity of the situation.
The bulk (read: all) of the data suggest the planet has cooled for the last 10 years; something none of the climate models predicted. Good science is not based on consensus, but on experiment and observation. Consensus is nothing more than a widely accepted hypothesis. At one time, scientists' consensus was that Einstein was wrong.....until he was proven right.
There are strong interest groups on both sides of the argument with a lot of hype. There is a great deal of information to sort through. It ought not be decided on one piece of a puzzle with an infinitesimal amount of pieces.
The possible outcome of this potential scandal is more than "one piece of the puzzle". It calls into question the very foundation.
And when you argue about hype, I would ask you to consider whether or not you are buying into it. I do not now, nor have I ever, bought into MMGW. I simply understand the limits of the technology too well. Although I wasn't looking for it in the scientists' character/behavior, I now have something else to consider in support of my side. For me, it fits the idea of "MMGW conspiracy" a little too neatly; scientists who make up data, impugn and attempt to suppress opposition, and cover up their misdeeds by deleting evidence. But if true, I'll accept it as evidence to support my view.
Edited by RangerM, 24 November 2009 - 06:57 AM.