Telegraph UK (Link) - Christopher Booker (December 5, 2009)
Coming to light in recent days has been one of the most extraordinary scientific detective stories of our time, bizarrely centred on a single tree in Siberia dubbed “the most influential tree in the world.” On this astonishing tale, it is no exaggeration to say, could hang in considerable part the future shape of our civilisation. Right at the heart of the sound and fury of “Climategate” – the emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in East Anglia – is one story of scientific chicanery, overlooked by the media, whose implications dwarf all the rest. If all those thousands of emails and other documents were leaked by an angry whistle-blower, as now seems likely, it was this story more than any other that he or she wanted the world to see.
To appreciate its significance, as I observed last week, it is first necessary to understand that the people these incriminating documents relate to are not just any group of scientists. Professor Philip Jones of the CRU, his colleague Dr Keith Briffa, the US computer modeler Dr Michael Mann, of “hockey stick” fame, and several more make up a tightly-knit group who have been right at the centre of the last two reports of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). On their account, as we shall see at this week’s Copenhagen conference, the world faces by far the largest bill proposed by any group of politicians in history, amounting to many trillions of dollars.
It is therefore vitally important that we should trust the methods by which these men have made their case. The supreme prize that they have been working for so long has been to establish that the world is warmer today than ever before in recorded history. To do this it has been necessary to eliminate a wealth of evidence that the world 1,000 years ago was, for entirely natural reasons, warmer than today (the so-called Medieval Warm Period).