The perpetrators of the ClimateGate scandal are trying hard to minimize the significance of their email trail and what it reveals of efforts to prejudice climate change discussions. The obfuscation and hand-waving are working (of course, and as usual) with The New York Times and certain other major media. The BBC had the story and attempted to spike it. But the story is just too compelling to suppress in other outlets and on the Internet.
Scientists know that this is an honest tattle-tale moment. They know that the treatment of dissenters has been disgraceful. First you say they can't be heard because they haven't published in supposedly sacrosanct "peer-reviewed journals," then you keep them from appearing in those journals; then, when a journal does publish them, you denounce the journal as--by definition--"unscientific".
It's nice to see The Wall Street Journal and other leading organs take up this issue of authoritarianism. Lorrie Goldstein of the Toronto Sun further points out that money and power are central to the climate change debate and that Big Government provides money to push in a certain direction.
In the practical world of politics and public policy, the ClimaeGate scandal further diminishes prospects of an international agreement at the forthcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen.
But what will it take for the media to take up the exactly parallel case of scientists who question the ability of Darwinian natural selection to explain the origin of life and the development of species? In several instances (the Richard Sternberg case, the Guillermo Gonzalez case), email trails have shown a similar attitude of entitlement and coercion. And money in the form of federal grants also suggests a similar pattern of prejudice and cronyism in universities and research institutions, not to mention at supposedly scientific journals.
Or do the media really imagine that the case of climate change is unique?