The inconvenient release of private email conversations among climate change
scientists has been a boon for climate change skeptics. What emerges from
the leaked emails is a depiction of a group of scientists who practice "intellectual
protectionism" -- meaning they know they're right and they'll do anything
to protect their beliefs, even if it means hiding or manipulating data.
familiar? Scientists in the pharmaceutical industry have been practicing
this for decades. If you think the ClimateGate emails are revealing, just
imagine what kind of similar emails are flying around between Big Pharma
scientists who routinely manipulate study data and commit scientific fraud
in the name of medicine. Time and time again, we see revelations of manipulated
clinical trials where data was intentionally distorted in order to make
a dangerous, useless drug appear to be safe and effective.
ClimateGate scientists and Big Pharma scientists have in common is that
they have both abandoned the core principles of good science in their quest
to be right. Rather than asking questions of nature and humbly listening
to the answers provided by the data, these scientists have staked out a
position and decided to defend that position at all costs -- even if it
requires hiding or distorting data!
approach is entirely unscientific, of course. In my mind, it now puts much
of the recent global warming science in the same category as Big Pharma's
research: Pure quackery.