I admire expertise, and scientific expertise especially; like any intelligent citizen I am willing to defer to it. But that puts a great obligation on science. The people whose instinct is to respect and admire science should be the ones most disturbed by these revelations. The scientists have let them down, and made the anti-science crowd look wise. That is outrageous.
. . .
Can I read these emails and feel that the scientists involved deserve to be trusted? No, I cannot. These people are willing to subvert the very methods--notably, peer review--that underwrite the integrity of their discipline. Is this really business as usual in science these days?
I can't seem to escape a bizarre mental association here: Crook's point strikes me as remarkably similar to O.J. Simpson's court defense in the mid-1990s.
Let me explain . . .
From the outset, there was an enormous amount of DNA evidence piled up against O.J. Simpson. The prosecution assumed that no reasonable juror would be able to dispute the hard science. After all, Simpson's blood was found at the scene of the crime.
As the Simpson case unfolded, however, it became clear that Mark Fuhrman -- the detective who had compiled most of the inculpatory evidence -- was not an objective authority. Furhman was, in fact, deeply racist and highly unprofessional. He also later copped to perjury. The defense argued that if Fuhramn could not be trusted -- if his apparent racial bias had undermined his credibility -- then all the evidence that he'd produced should be rejected.
This seems like a sensible argument to me. So, if climate scientists at the IPCC aren't credible -- if they've become so wedded to the cause that they've abandoned objectivity -- why should we continue to believe the evidence that they present?
As Simpson's lawyers rightly pointed out, you cannot divorce the evidence from the evidence-gatherers . . . .