As regular readers of this column know well, the past several months have been unusually good to climate skeptics, and extremely bad for the majority of climate scientists who think the scientific evidence pointing to manmade climate change is extremely robust.
The key opening salvo came last December, when several well-known scientists had their emails stolen and used for an effective assault on climate science via out-of-context quotes and baseless allegations. This dustup, referred to by many as 'climategate,' helped foster the notion that climate science is controlled by a tight-knit cabal of experts determined to rig the science to suit their best interests.
Although several investigations have since cleared these scientists of most allegations, individual researchers have come under heavy fire as a result of this episode, as well as the discovery of several relatively insignificant errors in the landmark 2007 U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. In the process, the public has grown more confused about what scientists know about the climate system and how human activities are transforming it, and public concern about climate change has declined significantly in several key countries, including the U.S.
How should scientists counterattack? One researcher, prominent Canadian climatologist Andrew Weaver, thinks he has an answer: Sue the media for libel.
By 11:00 AM ET, 06/02/2010 |