The eery silence that is ClimateGate
Just heard about this recently and wondered what some of your educated opinions were. Here is mine:
Apart from believing/denying I'm a bit concerned that the media has not latched onto the leaked emails like they latch onto everything else. One would think they would run with this as fast and as far as they could. However it seems that FOX is the only major US news provider to actually air it. This sucks b/c it then becomes a partisan issue and I, for one, do not believe that leaked or hacked emails are a partisan issue. Also just because the means of acquiring the emails may not be on the up and up does not invalidate the content of said emails. In a US court of law they would be inadmissable since they were obtained illegaly but we are not in a courtroom here. Now if it is found that the emails are fraudulent then obviously that should be reported.
So why the silence on this thing? Why did I have to find out most of my information from a Russian TV broadcast via YouTube? Is it one of those stories that is not legit and the news media is waiting for legitimacy before airing? And if this is true then why does the mass media seem to air every other story long before they know or care if it's legit? We've seen tons of stories that have been hyped or exaggerated and aired on every mass media market long before they were scrutinized. Why the sudden turnabout on this story?
I also ask you to consider another situation and think about how the media would react to it. Let's turn the tables and say that thousands of emails were found that showed an attempt to hide the fact that the earth is warming. How would the media react then?
Something's amiss. It would be my estimation that if an agency were merely reporting the news rather than manipulating it they would happily report either event and give them equal fervor and attention. In fact the leaked emails are so huge that one would think if you turn the news on right now they would have some type of extended report and/or a special news show devoted to it. However, this is not the case. And what if, just what if, these emails are not the result of a hacker...but of a silent whistleblower who conveniently left them in public view knowing full well what they were doing? Fact is we do not know but that is when the news steps in and asks a billion and one questions but they have become sadly silent on this issue. That's their job. They take a very small story, realize it's impact, and broadcast it in such a way as to generate curiousity, interest, and of course hype.
So is this story real or is it similar to finding some of our 'work emails' and leaking them onto a public server? We all say things in emails we shouldn't and perhaps we all get a little to zealous about this or that in them which could be taken way out of context. So do you guys think these emails are being taken out of context to prove a point, which would explain the silence, or is there another reason? I'm genuinely interested to see what others think about this b/c I am a bit undecided. The only thing that really scares me about the whole thing is the way the Tea Parties were covered in the news. The coverage of them was clearly biased, on both sides, by all news outlets. The Tea Party coverage in the USA was a prime example of what news should not do. What if this is just another Tea Party coverage?
In general I don't understand the rhetoric and idiocy surrounding the issue. It is clear we can probably generate just as many jobs by continuing to do things the way we do now in the energy sector as we could by finding new energy sources and new ways to generate power. I'm really not sure why either side debates this and the only reason I can see is that our technology is not yet up to the task. The way I see it is this:
1. If we are warming, regardless of the cause, let's reduce emissions and find new sources of energy
2. If we are not warming, regardless of the cause, let's reduce emissions and find new sources of energy.
Heck I just saw the new Star Trek on DVD and I wouldn't mind if NASA came up with an alternate energy source that allowed us to do FTL. Who wouldn't sign up for that space program? :D
I'm all for new stuff....let's just not destroy our economy in the process.
In the end I think this hurts science's credibility which is very unfortunate b/c I believe many of the people involved are working extremely hard on both sides of the issue to come up with the right thing to do or not do.