The last of three British investigations into the notorious Climategate emails, the Independent Climate Change Email Review, landed yesterday and left behind enough cherry-pickable material to give all sides an opportunity to claim modest vindication.
Defenders of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, the source of the emails, will be able to spin the 168-page review as proof that the CRU did little wrong. For climate skeptics and others, the review provides plenty of evidence that climate science has been and remains an uncertain shambles.
Before we begin our own cherry-picking, the words of Sir Muir Russell, who headed the review, will undoubtedly carry the day for the global community that is rock-solid behind the climate scientists at CRU and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“The honesty and rigour of CRU as scientists are not in doubt,” he said. “We have not found any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the IPCC processes and hence call into question the conclusions of the IPCC assessments in this area.”
That said, let’s move on to the review itself, which actually does quite a bit to undermine the science of climate change. While protective of CRU, the Russell review is far from a whitewash. It provides enough cover to allow the scientists to hang around and claim that the gods are on their side. But it mostly raises serious questions about the process by which official IPCC science was turned into a “consensus” that climate science is settled.