Commentary: 'Climategate' emails don't prove Earth isn't warming

The Kansas City StarDecember 3, 2009 

Sorry to burst the balloons of global warming skeptics out there: Climategate is a dud.

Sure, it's a catchy title, implying that a huge conspiracy surrounds the hundreds upon hundreds of e-mails that were reportedly hacked and recently released from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in England.

And in a handful of those e-mails, scientists friendly to the notion that global warming is occurring appeared ready to delete or otherwise obfuscate evidence that might have contradicted their theories. In short, they were haughty scientists behaving badly.

But in reacting to this development, some people have leaped to absurd conclusions.

The first is that this incident "proves" climate change is not occurring.

The second is that it shows there's no need for the world’s political leaders to take bold action at the upcoming Climate Conference in Copenhagen, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Wrong. And wrong.

The furor over the e-mails hasn't changed the central reality:

The overwhelming preponderance of evidence from scientific research from around the world indicates global warming is a reality, and man-made emissions have played a role in climate changes.

It would be irresponsible for President Barack Obama and other world leaders — especially those from China, India and other rapidly developing countries — to use a manufactured scandal as an excuse for inaction on global warming.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Kansas City Star.

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