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Right Wing Frenzy on UK Climate Scandal Begins



The latest is a UK report saying the scientist at the center of “climategate” has been told to quit. That likely won’t make a dent on the right, if Rush Limbaugh’s show yesterday is any indication. With Obama’s decision today to attend Copenhagen surely to ignite a wider furor (update to original post).

Driving home from covering the White House press conference with Obama and Singh, I turned on Rush. It was not the first of his show, but he was on a roll claiming that the climate scandal out of Britain, which I didn’t hear him mention, was as big as when scientists found that the earth was round. Rush then made an unprecedented apology for focusing so much on one subject, for being a “one-noter,” if you will. Oh yeah, the right’s in the feeding phase. Then on he ranted about what is absolutely a scandal at Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in eastern England. CRU is a critical group in their community, vaunted in its research and respect. That’s kaput, giving wingnuts like Sen. David “diapers” Vitter’s legislative aide, Bryan Zumwalt, a chance to toll the bell and claim this is the “greatest scientific fraud in history,” which you can bet will be used to beat climate change to death prior to Copenhagen.

The story from CBS News is excerpted below:

[...] The leaked documents (see our previous coverage) come from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in eastern England. In global warming circles, the CRU wields outsize influence: it claims the world’s largest temperature data set, and its work and mathematical models were incorporated into the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report. That report, in turn, is what the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged it “relies on most heavily” when concluding that carbon dioxide emissions endanger public health and should be regulated.

Last week’s leaked e-mails range from innocuous to embarrassing and, critics believe, scandalous. They show that some of the field’s most prominent scientists were so wedded to theories of man-made global warming that they ridiculed dissenters who asked for copies of their data (“have to respond to more crap criticisms from the idiots”), cheered the deaths of skeptical journalists, and plotted how to keep researchers who reached different conclusions from publishing in peer-reviewed journals. …

Using this current drama, the right has begun to target all research on climate change, using CRU as the backdrop and foundation. The buzzards are circling. And by buzzard I mean James Inhofe, vice president of the Black Helicopter Crowd (John Bolton is president). He’s going to begin a “climategate” investigation. Mr. Inhofe is the same guy who railed against the Law of the Sea Treaty, officially known as United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, which provided loads of fun for people like me a couple of years ago.

Now, I’m no climate change expert, but getting back to Sen. David Vitter, it doesn’t take a genius to see that Vitter’s ties to Louisiana’s oil and gas industry might be driving his office’s delusions. Though the misreading and manipulation by Zumalt, Vitter’s aide, is about as creative as the disgraced UK scientists involved in this scandal.

Because I think we can all agree that what has been leaked out of England was bad, very bad. But no one should allow the wingnuts to paint a broad brush across the entire scientific community because of it. However, that’s what the right does best, so they’re going to have a field day with this one. Copenhagen provides the perfect tee up.

In fact, if you want to have some fun, via the Wonk Room, search “Hadley, hacked, global warming, email, fraud” to see what you get. It’s a wingnutapalooza.

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