Climategate 2.0: IPCC bias and defending "The Cause"

PhD attacked

Are you beginning to notice a thread running through the Climategate 2.0 revelations? Several threads, perhaps? Silence dissent, suppress inconvenient data, ad hominem attacks, stifle FOI requests, support “the Cause” at all costs? That’s what happens when you attempt to use science to justify a political agenda in a field as complex as climate change. The pressure to maintain a constant message inevitably conflicts with the spectrum of scientific data on the subject, much of which challenges the assertions of “the Cause”.

Any sceptic who dares to expose the uncertainties risks damaging “the Cause” – which must be avoided at all costs. Hence the distasteful plot to damage the reputation of Patrick Michaels by questioning his PhD, exposed in one of the Climategate 2.0 emails. Michaels writes an open letter to the director of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) :

I’m sure you have seen and discussed with your staff many of the “Climategate” emails released first in November, 2009, and then more recently, earlier this month.

Everyone agrees that the tone and content of many of them is a bit shrill and occasionally intolerant (kind of like University faculty meetings), but there is one repeating thread, by one of your most prestigious employees, Dr. Tom Wigley, that is far beyond the pale of most academic backbiting.

The revoking of my doctorate, the clear objective of Tom’s email, is the professional equivalent of the death penalty. I think it needs to be brought to your attention, because the basic premise underlying his machinations is patently and completely false. Dr Wigley is known as a careful scientist, but he certainly was careless here.

The global circulation of this email has caused unknown damage to my reputation. Also, please note that all communications from Dr. Wigley to his colleagues on this matter were on the NCAR/UCAR server.

The relevant email was sent to Rick Piltz, a UCAR employee at the time, and copied to Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University, James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Benjamin Santer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,the late Steven Schneider, Stanford University, and several other very prominent climate scientists. The influence of these individuals is manifest and evidence of a very serious attempt to destroy my credential.

What Dr. Wigley wrote to this group of individuals was:

“You may be interesting [sic] in this snippet of information about Pat Michaels. Perhaps the University of Wisconsin ought to open up a public comment period to decide whether Pat Michaels, PhD needs re-assessing?”

As I said, revoking the doctorate of a scientist is the equivalent of imposing a professional death penalty. Unfortunately, Wigley’s rationale for organizing this effort was based upon a pure fabrication. (source)

And as Dr Roy Spencer argues, protecting “the Cause” trumps everything else:

Ever since the first Climategate e-mail release, the public has become increasingly aware that scientists are not unbiased. Of course, most scientists with a long enough history in their fields already knew this (I discussed the issue at length in my first book Climate Confusion), but it took the first round of Climategate e-mails to demonstrate it to the world.

The latest release (Climategate 2.0) not only reveals bias, but also some private doubts among the core scientist faithful about the scientific basis for the IPCC’s policy goals. Yet, the IPCC’s “cause” (Michael Mann’s term) appears to trump all else.

So, when the science doesn’t support The Cause, the faithful turn toward discussions of how to craft a story which minimizes doubt about the IPCC’s findings. 

In the case of global warming research, the alternative (non-consensus) hypothesis that some or most of the climate change we have observed is natural is the one that the IPCC must avoid at all cost. This is why the Hockey Stick was so prized: it was hailed as evidence that humans, not Nature, rule over climate change.

The Climategate 2.0 e-mails show how entrenched this bias has become among the handful of scientists who have been the most willing participants and supporters of The Cause. These scientists only rose to the top because they were willing to actively promote the IPCC’s message with their particular fields of research.

Unfortunately, there is no way to “fix” the IPCC, and there never was. The reason is that its formation over 20 years ago was to support political and energy policy goals, not to search for scientific truth. I know this not only because one of the first IPCC directors told me so, but also because it is the way the IPCC leadership behaves. If you disagree with their interpretation of climate change, you are left out of the IPCC process. They ignore or fight against any evidence which does not support their policy-driven mission, even to the point of pressuring scientific journals not to publish papers which might hurt the IPCC’s efforts.

I believe that most of the hundreds of scientists supporting the IPCC’s efforts are just playing along, assured of continued funding. In my experience, they are either: (1) true believers in The Cause; (2) think we need to get away from using fossil fuels anyway; or (3) rationalize their involvement based upon the non-zero chance of catastrophic climate change. (source)

As I repeat frequently on this blog, I am prepared to accept whatever the science tells us about man’s effect on the climate, but until the integrity of that scientific process is restored, the projections of “the Team” and the IPCC simply cannot be trusted. Climategate 2.0 shows that such integrity is at present sorely lacking.


  1. The UN is a total disgrace!!

  2. Vivienne Skeen via Facebook says:

    ‘The Cause’ what might that be?? It is to everyone’s benefit to understand the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 21, The full document can be downloaded off the UN web site. This document includes AGW. It is all about ultimate control. It is the blue print for what the New World Order One World Government has in store for all of us.

  3. Vivienne Skeen via Facebook says:

    An excellent web site to understand the United Nations SD A21 is:

  4. Mervyn Sullivan says:

    If someone tried to unfairly and maliciously discredit me in the manner Dr Tom Wigley appears to have done to Pat Michaels, I’d bring a defamation action against that person, which would provide me with the added benefit of watching that person discredit himself and destroy his future career.

  5. Voodoo science has joined forces with socialist politics to create the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). The partnership professes it can control the Earth’s climate system, to save the world from catastrophe, but only if we all dig deep and give to the ’cause’, either willingly or by force, through taxes.

    By keeping the populace intimidated, through dubious scientific research and by paying the scientists handsomely for their opinions, the politicians will control the unwashed masses, who will flock to their side for protection. Any dissent will be swiftly and callously quashed in order to try and protect the integrity of the ’cause’.

  6. Perhaps we ought to open up a public comment period to decide whether Dr. Tom Wigley’s, PhD needs re-assessing?


  1. […] Climategate 2, unlike Climategate 1, contains a lot of emails where scientists expressed doubt in anthropogenic global warming, but often these demonstrate the response to doubt. Doubt is treated as sinful, evil, doubt needs punishment, as for example, the effort to cancel Pat Michaels’s PhD. […]

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