Posted by: Michael Ritter PhD | July 7, 2010

CNN’s answer to: What impact did ‘Climategate’ have on the case for global warming

I applaud CNN for attempting to answer questions about ‘Climategate’ but  the article falls flat on one of the most important questions asked: “What impact did ‘Climategate’ have on the case for global warming.” Here is the response:

The e-mails appeared just weeks before the United Nations Conference on Climate Change held in Copenhagen in December 2009.

At the time, many climate change experts claimed the files were stolen in an attempt to undermine the talks. “Given the wide-ranging nature of change that is likely to be taken in hand, some naturally find it inconvenient to accept its inevitability,” IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri told reporters in the Danish capital.

“The recent incident of stealing the e-mails of scientists at the University of East Anglia shows that some would go to the extent of carrying out illegal acts, perhaps in an attempt to discredit the IPCC.”

After its completion, the December Copenhagen climate conference was widely seen to have failed in its aim of agreeing a global deal on climate change.(1)

CNN’s answer implies that the emails led to the failure of the Copenhagen Conference. It does not, however, enlighten the reader to the true impact of the emails on the “the case for global warming”. Instead, the answer tries to relate the emails to the failure of the Copenhagen Conference. The Copenhagen Conference wasn’t about making a case for global warming, it was an attempt to do something about it. The failure of the Copenhagen Conference was not due to the case for global warming, it was due to the failure of participating countries to agree on how to respond and the level of responsibility each much bare. If you want to know why the conference failed, turn to the BBC. CNN’s answer says nothing about the impact of the emails on the case for global warming.

Reporting like this does not inform the public and offers poor answers to the pressing issue of global warming and climate change.

1. CNN (2010) Q&A: ‘Climategate explained’. http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/07/07/climategate.emails.explainer/index.html Last accessed July 7, 2010

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