MUCH OF the fallout surrounding Climategate - the controversy over the hacking and revealing of emails from the UK's University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) that show how data has been tweaked and concerted efforts made to marginalize, if not silence, those who disagree with CRU's doomsday hypotheses - seems to indicate that now nobody can trust scientists.
And maybe that's what the CRU wanted all along....
Those who are skeptical of climate change and its accompanying apocalyptic scenarios are called "climate skeptics," but what should we call those who believe we are doomed, and that only by wrecking the machinery of industry can we salve, and perhaps save, our souls?
No, no, not that word. This is a respectable blogsite after all. How about "climate changers"?
Yeah, I like that: it also sounds like they want the climate to change.
Which is perhaps why they should be called nihilists as well. They want change - nothing wrong with that - but seemingly at the cost of everything else.
And as such, would they be willing to risk their own credibility if it would wreck the credibility of others, especially those whose work is completely counter to your own? A nihilist might.
Someone with a really bleak world view might expect, even encourage a gang of Russian hackers to crack into CRU's email accounts and dump the load for the world to see: the petty backstabbing, the skewed data and tweaked numbers.
This could be the end for the CRU, but this research group seems to be skating through this with a slap on the wrist: ideologies have trumped everything, and those who want to believe the CRU's point of view still do so, feeling its actions are justified.
So while it is a bummer that they're getting away with it, there is a feeling of schadenfreude that the CRU's voice cannot be listened to the same way ever again.
But then, after this, can any scientist or researcher be trusted without some absurdly transparent process?
It's like they feel guilty about living in an industrialized capitalist society. Am I wrong?
Ever since I was a kid in the early-1970s, I've been hearing fear-mongering about climate change or global warming, so my speculations about "what will happen" trend towards scenarios like the disaster movies I grew up with - and the more recent ones like 2009's 2012, where solar flares are actually the culprit for doomsday,
and 2004's The Day After Tomorrow, which was specifically about climate change, although the film follows the hypothesis that the Northern Hemisphere will be plunged into a new ice age rather than a primordial swamp stage.
Fun stuff, if you like the fantasy of seeing expensive CGI used to destroy the world.
But that's Hollywood: fantasy.
Sure, the massive amounts of carbon industrialized-mankind has pumped into the atmosphere will make a change somewhere: I think it is moronic not to think that something will happen.