AP har latt fem journalister finlese de 1.073 epostene som ble hacket fra klimasenteret ved East Anglia University. De fant at forskerne ble så engasjert at de begynte å opptre som politikere, dvs. de var uhøflige og ufine mot skeptikerne og brøt med etiske retningslinjer. Men AP fant ikke tegn på at data ble endret eller slettet. At oppvarmingen er menneskeskapt står like urokkelig.

Men forskerne ble partiske, de ga skeptikere kallenavn, de nektet dem innsyn, og ville boikotte fagblader som brakte skeptiske artikler; de la for dagen en oppførsel som passer dårlig med bildet av den uavhengige og upartiske forsker.

As part of the AP review, summaries of the e-mails that raised issues from the potential manipulation of data to intensely personal attacks were sent to seven experts in research ethics, climate science and science policy.

«This is normal science politics, but on the extreme end, though still within bounds,» said Dan Sarewitz, a science policy professor at Arizona State University. «We talk about science as this pure ideal and the scientific method as if it is something out of a cookbook, but research is a social and human activity full of all the failings of society and humans, and this reality gets totally magnified by the high political stakes here.»

Det er trekk ved epostene som minner om politisk korrekthet; dvs. at visse synspunkter er bannlyst, sammen med fakta som underbygger dem. Mange mente å lese ut av epostene at forskerne ved East Anglia-senteret også undertrykket, slettet og manipulerte data. Det har ikke AP funnet tegn på.

The scientists were keenly aware of how their work would be viewed and used, and, just like politicians, went to great pains to shape their message. Sometimes, they sounded more like schoolyard taunts than scientific tenets.

The scientists were so convinced by their own science and so driven by a cause «that unless you’re with them, you’re against them,» said Mark Frankel, director of scientific freedom, responsibility and law at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also reviewed the communications.

Frankel saw «no evidence of falsification or fabrication of data, although concerns could be raised about some instances of very ‘generous interpretations.'»

Some e-mails expressed doubts about the quality of individual temperature records or why models and data didn’t quite match. Part of this is the normal give-and-take of research, but skeptics challenged how reliable certain data was.

Climategate ble til en stor sak, særlig i blogosfæren, og mange har tatt det som det endelige bevis på at klimakrisen er politisk konstruert og en stor svindel. Men det stemmer ikke, slår AP fast.

One of the most disturbing elements suggests an effort to avoid sharing scientific data with critics skeptical of global warming. It is not clear if any data was destroyed; two U.S. researchers denied it.

The e-mails show that several mainstream scientists repeatedly suggested keeping their research materials away from opponents who sought it under American and British public records law. It raises a science ethics question because free access to data is important so others can repeat experiments as part of the scientific method. The University of East Anglia is investigating the blocking of information requests.

«I believe none of us should submit to these ‘requests,'» declared the university’s Keith Briffa. The center’s chief, Phil Jones, wrote: «Data is covered by all the agreements we sign with people, so I will be hiding behind them.»

When one skeptic kept filing FOI requests, Jones, who didn’t return AP requests for comment, told another scientist, Michael Mann: «You can delete this attachment if you want. Keep this quiet also, but this is the person who is putting FOI requests for all e-mails Keith (Briffa) and Tim (Osborn) have written.»

Mann, a researcher at Penn State University, told The Associated Press: «I didn’t delete any e-mails as Phil asked me to. I don’t believe anybody else did.»

Men metodene er slik at de skaper mistillit. De ivrige og selvretterdige forskerne har gitt motstanderne gode argumenter og skadet saken de brant for.

The e-mails also show how professional attacks turned very personal. When former London financial trader Douglas J. Keenan combed through the data used in a 1990 research paper Jones had co-authored, Keenan claimed to have found evidence of fakery by Jones’ co-author. Keenan threatened to have the FBI arrest University at Albany scientist Wei-Chyung Wang for fraud. (A university investigation later cleared him of any wrongdoing.)

«I do now wish I’d never sent them the data after their FOIA request!» Jones wrote in June 2007.

In another case after initially balking on releasing data to a skeptic because it was already public, Lawrence Livermore National Lab scientist Ben Santer wrote that he then opted to release everything the skeptic wanted — and more. Santer said in a telephone interview that he and others are inundated by frivolous requests from skeptics that are designed to «tie-up government-funded scientists.»

The e-mails also showed a stunning disdain for global warming skeptics.

One scientist practically celebrates the news of the death of one critic, saying, «In an odd way this is cheering news!» Another bemoans that the only way to deal with skeptics is «continuing to publish quality work in quality journals (or calling in a Mafia hit.)» And a third scientist said the next time he sees a certain skeptic at a scientific meeting, «I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted.»

And they compared contrarians to communist-baiting Sen. Joseph McCarthy and Somali pirates. They also called them out-and-out frauds.

Dette er språkbruk som minner mistenkelig om debattene om brennbare samfunnstemaer som kriminalitet, innvandring eller islam, hvor de med posisjoner bruker sin makt til å holde andre utenfor. Det later ikke til at de på innsiden helt forstår hvor stor skade de påfører vitenskapens troverdighet.

Forskere AP har bedt studere epostene, sier de ikke har fått dem til å endre oppfatning: oppvarmingen er reell og den er menneskeskapt.

None of the e-mails flagged by the AP and sent to three climate scientists viewed as moderates in the field changed their view that global warming is man-made and a threat. Nor did it alter their support of the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which some of the scientists helped write.

«My overall interpretation of the scientific basis for (man-made) global warming is unaltered by the contents of these e-mails,» said Gabriel Vecchi, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist.

Gerald North, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, headed a National Academy of Sciences study that looked at — and upheld as valid — Mann’s earlier studies that found the 1990s were the hottest years in centuries.

«In my opinion the meaning is much more innocent than might be perceived by others taken out of context. Much of this is overblown,» North said.

Det man sitter igjen med er en måte å behandle andre mennesker på som handler om manglende respekt for ytringsfrihet og meningsmangfold, og at man ikke gidder bruke tid på prosessen, men bruker sin innflytelse og makt istedet. På lang sikt undergraver man sin egen posisjon og dermed saken man arbeider for.

Dette blir som Guantanamo: man må følge samme standarder selv hvis man vil at andre skal gjøre det.

AP IMPACT: Science not faked, but not pretty

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