Climate Science Is Real And "Climategate" Is Not, Says Panel

Report clears top scientists of being dishonest about their science

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Remember "Climategate"—the scandal over leaked emails that thrilled global warming-deniers and helped derail the Copenhagen climate summit last year? Well, it turns out that it was nothing more than a dust up over human relations and had nothing to do with the science that supports the existence of climate change.

A report by an independent panel has found that the scientists caught up in the scandal are guilty of being overly possessive about their information, but the information itself is sound.

The entire issue erupted over hundreds of leaked email exchanges by top climate scientists at one of the world’s major climate change resarch centers, the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit. As the Associated Press describes it:

The messages captured researchers speaking in scathing terms about their critics, discussing ways to stonewall skeptics of man-made climate change, and talking about how to freeze opponents out of peer-reviewed journals.

Foes of the global warming concept immediately described the emails as proof that scientists had twisted their science to prove what they wanted the world to believe rather than what the science showed. But, the investigating panel cleared the scientists of any dishonesty and declared their science sound—even if the scientists themselves weren’t open enough about their findings.

In other words, the door has been slammed shut on "Climategate." We can only hope that the furor over it will now go away so that we can again fully focus on climate change solutions.

From 2006–2014, Terry was managing editor for Earthjustice's blog, online monthly newsletter and print Earthjustice Quarterly Magazine.