Breaking: So much for “Climategate”

The climate change deniers are not going to like this:

The first of several British investigations into the e-mails leaked from one of the world’s leading climate research centers has largely vindicated the scientists involved.

The House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee said Wednesday that they’d seen no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit or its director, Phil Jones, had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming — two of the most serious criticisms levied against the climatologist and his colleagues.

In their report, the committee said that, as far as it was able to ascertain, “the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact,” adding that nothing in the more than 1,000 stolen e-mails, or the controversy kicked up by their publication, challenged scientific consensus that “global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity.”

Lately, there has been a constant squawk from the Right that the stolen emails “proved” that Global Warming aka Climate Change was a big fat hoax. Never mind that virtually none of those making the biggest noise had any idea what the documents and emails really said, they just “knew” they were right.

And those deniers are really going to hate this bit:

Phil Willis, the committee’s chairman, said of the e-mails that “there’s no denying that some of them were pretty appalling.” But the committee found no evidence of anything beyond “a blunt refusal to share data,” adding that the idea that Jones was part of a conspiracy to hide evidence that weakened the case for global warming was clearly wrong.

In a briefing to journalists ahead of the report’s release, Willis said the controversy would ultimately help buttress the case for global warming by forcing the University of East Anglia — and other research institutions — to stop hoarding their data.

“The winner in the end will be climate science itself,” he said.

The coming response from deniers? That’s not terribly difficult to predict. When they mention the committee’s results at all, it will be to disparage them, disparage the committee and undoubtedly to disparage the British government in general. In the meantime, though, that’s got to sting.

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