Saturday, February 20, 2010

Climategate: The Big Picture

As new fraud is revealed almost daily, the full story of how the AGW scam came to pass is taking shape.
It’s been less than three months since the Climategate files were first revealed to the world, and an amazing lot has happened — so much that I think it’s worth bringing things together in one place.

This is an extension of the “fast facts” post I wrote a couple months ago. The facts and threads are now coming together into a narrative, a big picture combining what we learned from the letters and what we have learned since.
The Back Story
The idea that humans are causing changes in the climate is not at all new, going back at least to the Victorian era. But it’s taken on a lot of political weight since the early 1990s, leading to the UN’s endorsement of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 (followed promptly by the U.S. Senate rejection of the Kyoto Protocol in 1998).
The Kyoto Protocol was supported by the scientific findings of a UN-chartered group called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC released a series of Assessment Reports (AR), with the most recent to date being the IPCC AR4 in 2007. Each of these ARs has repeated and reinforced the conclusion that the primary climate change is a warming of the average temperature of the earth over the last hundred or so years, brought about primarily by increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. This theory is what is commonly called anthropogenic — meaning “human caused” — global warming (AGW).
The notion that humans were causing climate change was always more controversial than it was presented by the media — it’s hard to make a story out of someone saying “that’s silly, we don’t know enough to say that.” As time went on, however, the IPCC reports claimed greater and greater certainty, and became the basis for things like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Legal reactions to it became the basis for cap and trade schemes worldwide, and the general reaction became the basis for Al Gore’s Oscar and his share of a Nobel Peace Prize.
Then the Climategate files came out, and the dominoes started to fall. Read more.

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