If the University of East Anglia report set up to investigate the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) was meant to put the Climategate controversy to rest in time for Earth Day, it failed spectacularly.
The panel was led by Ernest Oxburg, who happens to be the honorary president of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association. Carbon capture and storage is an industry that definitely wouldn’t suffer should CO2 limits be imposed. Also, Oxburg’s involvement with the wind-energy industry raises further conflict of interest questions. With this in mind, the lack of depth into which the investigation went and the complete acquittal the panel gave the CRU, is not at all surprising.
The supposed investigation lasted a mere three weeks and was only five pages in length. Steve McIntyre, a leading critic of the IPCC report and editor of the Climate Audit blog, pointed out that the panel thought it only regrettable—and in no way acknowledged any sort of cover-up– that key facts and figures were tucked away in obscure scientific journals and omitted from the IPCC report. This is significant because, as he put it, IPCC presentations—and not the journals– “are how the climate science community speaks to the world.” Apparently, these scientists did not want the world to understand that their data did not support their theory. At least according to the well-known “climate-gate” emails which show that the scientists involved saw that these facts would “dilute the message.”
McIntyre isn’t the only one who is not sold by this so-called investigation. The Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Myron Ebel, said, “They don’t even make a minimal effort to rebut the obvious appearance of widespread data manipulation, suppression of dissenting research through improper means and intentional avoidance of complying with Freedom of Information requests.” In the scientific community, where transparency and the ability to replicate results are everything, these charges are severe. And unfortunately, the Obama administration is calling for harmful regulations based upon this faulty science.
The same week the panel gave the CRU a free pass, President Obama made the claim to his Economic Recovery Advisory Board that pending climate legislation from the left is good for business. The board would have been good to tell him otherwise. Spain and other European countries that have tried regulating CO2 emissions have suffered drastic economic results. Heritage experts have done the number-crunching and their results show Obama’s statement to be blatantly false. While the figures for the final bill would be slightly different than those calculated by Heritage experts for the Boxer-Kerry legislation, if CO2 emissions or renewable fuel standards legislation was enacted, you could count on trillions of dollars of losses in U.S. GDP, job losses in excess of a million, and trillions of dollars worth of higher energy costs.
If the American people are going to have to bear the consequences of this bill in a time of economic hardship, we should continue to demand a true investigation into the—shoddy at best, deceptive at worst—findings of the CRU. Allowing those that stand to profit from CO2 regulation to be the ones to investigate the science is like having a polar bear guard the seals.