2011-04-24 20:34:51Treehugger transcript #2: Understanding Climate Denial: Conspiracy Theories
John Cook

Our understanding of climate change is based on many lines of evidence. To deny the scientific consensus on global warming, you need to deny the evidence. One way to achieve this is to avoid talking about the evidence altogether. This is done by smearing climate scientists or indulging in conspiracy theories.

Climategate is a case study in trying to deflect attention from the evidence. In late 2009, servers at the University of East Anglia were illegally hacked and emails were stolen. When a selection of emails between climate scientists were published on the internet, a few suggestive quotes were seized upon by those claiming global warming was all just a conspiracy.

Enquiries by universities and government bodies in two different countries have investigated the scientists involved in the emails. All have cleared the scientists of any wrong doing. Just as there are many independent lines of evidence that humans are causing global warming, similarly a number of independent investigations have found no evidence of a conspiracy.

It's telling that climate deniers never ask if the Climategate emails have changed our scientific understanding of global warming? This question is never asked because of he answer. The evidence is as solid as ever. A few quotes taken out of context from a handful of emails do nothing to change the many lines of evidence telling us humans are causing global warming. Climategate is just another conspiracy theory, an attempt to distract and divert attention from the evidence.

2011-04-24 23:27:28
James Wight


I think you should emphasise that the CRU scientists only worked on one part of the problem: global temperatures. And where you say the evidence is as clear as ever, probably mention one or two examples of independent climate indicators, eg. melting Arctic sea ice.

“Enquiries by universities and government bodies” - there was also the Deutsch Bank inquiry, so even private enterprise agrees!

Will SkS get a credit at the end of the video?

2011-04-25 09:01:44Thanks for the feedback.
John Cook

My understanding was the Deutsche Bank didn't actually do an investigation of their own. They just released a report summarizing results from other investigations. That's why I didn't include them in the list of investigations (now numbering 8!) at http://sks.to/climategate

Dunno about credit in the actual video - was there credit in the last one? My main concern was we get a link from the webpage.

2011-04-25 09:15:38Anything with those initials can't be all bad...
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

THe DB report specifically states that the DB Advisory Team commissioned their advisors at the Columbia Climate Center at the Earth Institute, Columbia University to develop the DB report with them, as follows:

For investors in particular, the implications are huge. While there are many arguments in favor of clean energy, water and sustainable agriculture – for instance, energy security, economic growth, and job opportunities – we at DB Climate Change Advisors (DBCCA) have always said that the science is one essential foundation of the whole climate change investment thesis. Navigating the scientific debate is therefore vitally important for investors in this space.

For these reasons, we asked our advisors at the Columbia Climate Center at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, to examine as many as possible of the major skeptic claims in the light of the latest peer reviewed scientific literature and to weigh the arguments of each side in the balance. Although the scientific community has already addressed the skeptic arguments in some detail, there is still a public perception that scientists have been dismissive of the skeptic viewpoint, so the intention in this report is to correct the balance. The result is, we believe, a balanced, expert, and detailed assessment of the scientific case for climate change that will help investors navigate these extremely complex issues.

And the following money quote (emphasis added):

"To us, the most persuasive argument in support of climate change is that the basic laws of physics dictate that increasing carbon dioxide levels in the earth’s atmosphere produce warming."

It's Climate Science, not rocket science.