You might recall the somewhat plaintive lamentations of Randy Olson a while back, that ‘his side’ in the climate arena, consisted of so many losers who did nothing cool in communicating™ climate change issues:
It’s not working. Start over. Do something new. Take some frickin’ chances for Christ sake. Quit doing the same things over and over again. Surprise us. Break into the climate skeptics computers and steal THEIR emails. Something. Anything. Make it interesting, people.
Well, this is perhaps not known to him, but there are many on his side who are capable of doing very ‘interesting things’. These include things at least as interesting as sabotage, hacking, breaking and entering and stealing among others.
When Richard Nixon was president of the United States, his associates were suspected—and history has borne this out to be true—to have engaged in a wide variety of underhanded tricks and ploys to get him re-elected. They went by the name: the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), a non-governmental organization. Their peculiar brand of covert sabotage, breaking-in and insinuation, combined with overmoralizing and destructive efforts to destroy the credibility of an opponent by any means, became notorious.
The activities of the CREEP to destroy their political opponents, the particular style, was given a special name by Donald Sergetti who worked at the time for CREEP—”ratfucking“. These ran their course, eventually culminating in the break-in at the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex in Washington DC. The resulting scandal, unravelled by investigative journalists with the informer DeepThroat was, – ‘Watergate’.
In a bizarre twisted mirror-image of history, a decade-long litany of poor scientific conduct by climate scientists was inadvertently revealed by the release of emails in the scandal now known as ‘Climategate’. The reputations of scientists that suffered as a result, and the hockey-stick graph of temperatures that sustained damage, is now ironically sought to be resuscitated by activists—the CREEH, using the exact same techniques that ‘Tricky Dick’ Nixon’s associates did: “ratfucking”. Charges which are plausibly true, are sought to be employed to destroy the reputation of a prominent academician Edward Wegman, in order to obtain the incidental fallout of rejecting the content and implications of the report for the US Congress he penned in 2006. Ironically again, CREEH is run by an activist who calls himself DeepClimate. The climate establishment is powerful and clearly has the long reach—in the latest salvo they have as hired gun, Nature (yes the same magazine that published ‘Mike’s Nature trick’) in their corner, writing an editorial for them.
What else is one to conclude? The editorial has about 892 words. It is filled with insinuation, innuendo and some strange language, all mixed with the kernel of truth that holds up the whole pretense. It is brazen in its political thrust. In its hands, the Wegman report becomes ‘infamous’ and “rotten”, and Michael Mann someone who has been “wrongly accused” and “living under a cloud for months”. But there is not a word on why the charges brought by the CREEH, are any good. There is not a word on the scholarly merit and the implications of the accusations that are being brought to play. More importantly, there is not a word on whether the charges affect the substance of the Wegman report’s conclusions.
Does anyone remember a single, clear and unqualified statement requiring a higher standard for science than what was on display in the Climategate emails, from Nature?
That’s how the climate game is played: by ratfucking and by retractions.