Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Watching the Climategate scandal explode makes me feel like a proud parent

James Delingpole says You Know It Makes Sense

It has been a weird, weird thing having a ringside seat at the messy unravelling of the greatest scientific scandal in the history of the world. The only experience in my life even vaguely similar was queuing outside the Wag club in the spring of 1988 watching all the straight people staring at us freaks, and thinking to myself: ‘God, just imagine how totally awesome it would be if this Acid House craze ever caught on.’
From a tiny germ of a story on a few specialist blogs, Climategate has gone über-viral in a way few of us sceptics could ever have dared hope. As I write, the name has clocked well over 30 million Google hits, which for me has been a bit like being a proud parent watching his singing, dancing little girl suddenly grow up to become Madonna — for ‘Climategate’ was sorta, kinda, partly my baby.
What happened was that on the Thursday when I picked up the story from the Watts Up With That website I noticed in the comments that someone called Bulldust had said: ‘Hmm how long before this is dubbed ClimateGate?’ I took Bulldust’s ball and ran with it using the Climategate headline in all the stories I wrote thereafter. Others subsequently came up with better monikers: Mark Steyn’s ‘Warmergate’ is cleverer and funnier. But by then it was too late. In the first week alone — with a bit of help from Drudge — my Telegraph blog had landed over 1.6 million hits. Climategate had stuck and my teeny, tiny, spear-carrying role in the history of language was assured.
Of course, the real stars of this story are two Canadians named Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. One is a statistician, the other an economist, and if there’s one absolute certainty in this mucky, confused business it’s that McIntyre and McKitrick will one day be acclaimed as perhaps the most heroic and significant scientific double-act of our age.

...At the beginning I called Climategate the biggest scientific scandal in the history of the world. And so it is, not so much because of what went on at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, but because the repercussions are so huge. Until Climategate, our political masters were happy to present us, in the name of combating ‘climate change’, with a bill so enormous — $45 trillion — it threatens to wipe out the entire global economy. If Climategate succeeds in stopping this then it will no longer be a scandal. It will be a total bloody miracle.
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