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Reason Foundation

Out of Control Policy Blog

Climated Gate(s) and the Ethics of Global Warming Science

Samuel Staley
December 14, 2011, 3:31pm

NCPA environmental policy analyst Sterling Burnett has an interesting and useful blog post over at the National Association of Scholars web site discussing recent attempts by mainstream global warming scholars to intentionally muddy the public debate and even hide data to prevent independent verification. It's worth a read for those (like me) who don't have time to follow the intricacies of the debate and need a quick update and thumbnail summary of the implications.

In addition, Sterling makes this interesting observation about the crucial role skepticism plays in scientific inquiry and how prominent global warming scholars have intentionally politicized science in fundamental ways:

The term skeptic has historically been a badge of honor proudly worn by scientists as indicating their commitment to the idea that in the pursuit of truth, nothing is beyond question, every bit of knowledge is open to improvement and/or refutation as new evidence or better theories emerge. However, in the topsy-turvy field of climate science, “skeptic” is a term of opprobrium and to be labeled a skeptic is akin to being a heretic in the Middle Ages – you may not be literally burned at the stake, but your reputation will be put to flames.


Samuel Staley is Research Fellow


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