dakotaconcrete wrote:I also wonder if other areas of accepted scientific research would hold up if confronted with such intense scrutiny like the global warming issue has attracted.
I think there's a world of difference between traditional fields of "accepted science" and this one. Fields like physics and chemistry have had hundreds of years and millions of experiments to confirm certain laws. Atmospheric science is really only a few decades old, and the only experiment that really can be conducted is the one we're currently doing on our own atmosphere, so it is not controlled in any way.
I think these guys brought it on themselves for the most part. First, by insisting that the science is "settled" and putting this field into the same category as established fields, when clearly, the science is not settled.
Personally, I don't think that anyone can prove fraud from what has been exposed so far. Clearly, there was the effort to show certain data supporting their viewpoint of unprecedented warming while suppressing data that showed the opposite. None of this can be disputed. The "hide the decline" email is pretty incriminating. But fraud, that would be much harder to prove. Suppressing information in violation of the Freedom of Information Act...They might get nailed on that one. I think the place where they will get tripped up as far as the "science" goes is in the computer code. That has only recently been analyzed. If others can prove that there is a warm bias when the data is homogenized (and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence for this), these guys could get ripped for that. But trying to accuse them of fraud would not be possible in that case. Only incompetence.
But there is stunning hubris and vindictive campaigns to prevent alternative views in the peer-reviewed literature, thereby creating the false impression of a nearly 100% consensus. We now know this not to be true. Maybe there's a consensus, but not nearly what these guys said. And this is what makes this case different. Other fields would not have to stand up to such scrutiny, because to my knowledge, in other fields, a handful of scientists haven't hijacked the peer-reviewed process and shut out other scientists from journals and conferences. Science may be ugly in private, but other fields haven't tried to shut out others and steer the world into paying trillions to reengineer our lives.