Americans appropriately skeptical of climate scientists

For a sober and clear-sighted account of the Climategate scandal, check out this excellent article by my American Enterprise Institute colleague Kenneth Green. Here are two of his concluding paragraphs:

“Science is vitally important for the operation of a highly technological society, and that science must be open and transparent, and must adhere to the scientific method and the institution of science, which has no place in it for hiding data, hiding data-processing, shaping data to conform to pre-existing beliefs, undermining the peer-review process, cherry-picking reports in order to slant political IPCC reports, or slandering critics by comparing them with flat-Earthers, moon-landing conspiracy theorists, or holocaust deniers.

“The climate scientists at the CRU have given not only climate science, but all of science, a massive black eye, and should the public lose faith in science, a great deal of the responsibility will accrue to them. The scientists involved in the Climategate scandal should be permanently removed from any position in which they can influence climate policy. They should be excluded from peer-review panels, banned from participating in the IPCC process in any capacity, and kept far away from editorial positions at journals. Their data and methods must be made absolutely transparent and available for outside inspection.”

Interestingly, despite the reluctance of so-called Mainstream Media to cover this story, the American people seem to understand that climate scientists have been engaging in chicanery. Pollster Scott Rasmussen reports that 52% of Americans believe there is significant disagreement among scientists on global warming, while only 25% believe most scientists agree. A bigger majority, 59%, say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data, with 35% saying it’s very likely; only 26% say it’s very or somewhat unlikely. True, 46% say global warming is a major problem, while 36% disagree. But when asked what should be the bigger priority for national leaders, 71% say stimulating the economy to create jobs and only 15% say stopping global warming to save the environment.
Does Barack Obama still want to fly to Copenhagen next week?
 

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