Jonah, your reader is right. It’s not just the e-mails, which are open to “interpretation,” but the computer code, which isn’t:
Plots (1 at a time) yearly maps of calibrated (PCR-infilled or not) MXD reconstructions of growing season temperatures. Uses “corrected” MXD – but shouldn’t usually plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures.
And, as a result, even if you wanted to extrapolate in a rigorously scientific fashion, the databases are full of garbage. An e-mail from Ian (Harry) Harris who works in “climate scenario development and data manipulation” at the CRU:
OH F**K THIS. It’s Sunday evening, I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity…
[My bolds. Also my aster**ks.]
Iain Murray puts it very well:
The science involved is being used to justify the diversion of literally trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by phasing out fossil fuels. The CRU is the Pentagon of global warming science, and these documents are its Pentagon Papers.
Well, except for the part about being on the front page of the New York Times. Fortunately, the Wall Street Journal seems to be onto what’s at issue:
All of these nonresponses manage to underscore what may be the most revealing truth: That these scientists feel the public doesn’t have a right to know the basis for their climate-change predictions, even as their governments prepare staggeringly expensive legislation in response to them.
[UPDATE: A reader adds:
A quibble. You say "It's not just the e-mails." But, if similar e-mails had been released for a business, wouldn't the authors be getting subpoenas to appear before SEC and congress and state attorneys-general?
Sigh. I know, different rules for us and for them. But, how can anyone read the e-mails and not assume they are evidence of a conspiracy?
I was just cutting Jonah a bit of slack. But you're right. Racketeering indictments would be looming.]