One post without sarcasm or ridicule

I generally agree with Monbiot. The leaked CRU e-mails suck, but they don't show nearly the kind of conspiracy that free-market think tanks would like us to believe.

Having read through a number of e-mail threads from the hacked CRU database, it strikes me how, in many cases at least, innocent of conspiracy these scientists actually are; and how rigorous their e-mail debates tend to get. Here's an example where they find use of fraudulent data by a prominent climate skeptic. They wonder what to do, discuss it at length, and check and re-check their data before taking any action. No wonder they're not all that happy with journal editors who publish manuscripts by those very same climate skeptics: the risk of having their work associated with journals that publish poor quality work is too great.

The thread discussing this recent 10 year period--in which there was no additional warming following the excessively warm year of 1998, but the globe was still above average--was similar. Reading just one or two of the e-mails doesn't get you to an understanding of what went down. Heck, one or two e-mails between myself and my collaborators would probably leave most anyone rather confused since the context is missing. Yes, the context. This is a cast of characters that each have strongly-held widely-divergent opinions, and reading the entire set of arguments is crucial to understanding how they came to that one fateful e-mail that is quoted in shock-highlights on blogs and in editorials.

But I also understand it's not easy to go through all this information as a journalist--or pundit--and convey what's in them in a fair way. A good friend of mine who spent much of his early career chasing terrorists said to me that "they" have to get it right only once, whereas "we" have to be right all the time. Obviously, climate skeptics are not in any way terrorists but in this world where climate scientists are constantly under attack, they need to get the right message to the public all the time. If the Earth is taking a break from warming, they need to come up with a reason because the skeptics will try to tell the public every year that the Earth is not warming.