The scientist at the center of the climategate scandal made a rather important admission during an interview with the BBC.
Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.
The author of the MailOnline article about the interview, Jonathan Petre calls this news a “Climategate U-turn”. One might go so far as to call it a pivot.Instapundit has a roundup of reactions to the interview, including comments by Ann Althouse that echo sentiments that I’ve blogged for quite a whle now:
Everyone should perceive flaws! To talk about “sceptics” as the ones who will “seize” upon “evidence” of flaws is unwittingly to make global warming into a matter of religion and not science. It’s not the skeptics who look bad. “Seize” sounds willful, but science should motivate us to grab at evidence. It’s the nonskeptics who look bad. It’s not science to be a true believer who wants to ignore new evidence. It’s not science to support a man who has the job of being a scientist but doesn’t adhere to the methods of science.
Science is not religion. It can’t be settled after a few years of research just because of political pressure. People who offer alternative theories aren’t skeptics–their scientists. And (this is the important) all theories put forth to the community have to be provable or disprovable. Attributing a priori every observable to “climate change” fails this test just as much as claiming “the god of thunder Thor is mad at us” as the reason. If you can’t prove it and others can’t independently prove it but believe it anyway that’s a matter of faith, not science.To head off the comments below, no, the above does not mean that the science is “settled” and there is no such thing as global warming. What I hope comes from these continued revelations and scandals is an agreement to investigating the phenomenon scientifically. One should get funding to research the extent and mechanisms by which our climate is changing. There should be no bias of funding to people who are out to prove “global warming is real”. Such biases pollutes the scientific process.
Of course, people giving up something they believe with a religious zeal is probably too much for me to hope for.
Update: Some more thoughts on the Jones interview at Powerline and Pajamas Media. Both of these articles look at what was said in more depth. For those looking for black and white answers (Global warming was a complete lie! No, global warming is 100% true and going to kill us all if we don’t act NOW!) I’m sorry that science is rarely so clear on a subject.