Have you met Mr. Jones?

We all suffered at the COP-15 meeting Copenhagen last December, especially from the cold: president Obama had to leave early because of a blizzard in Washington DC. No matter; as we all know cold or heat share a common culprit, namely man-made activities.

If (some) climate scientists were a little less intent on seeking politicised funding and more focused on facts, they would be pleased to discover the recent piecemeal apology from the now-famous professor Phil Jones (CRU, University of East Anglia).

We should all express sincere compassion in this respect: here’s an honest scientist who (apart from losing some essential data) is obviously set on advancing knowledge about the current situation. Nobody should be reproached with occasional lack of cleaning out the office, right?

It depends; according to the UK Daily Mail it may not be that simple.

The professor made several concessions, and not only about disorder on his desk. Several more serious issues are involved.

The most significant: there has been no significant warming over the past 15 years; he argued however that ”this was a blip rather than the long-term trend”.But admitted that the medieval warm period was possible; this puts a significant dent also into the “hockey stick” hypothesis however, ie how should human activity be accounted for.

The issue here is not about whether the above is true or not. But whether we can finally establish a debate where scientific evidence may be freely debated; and not be subject to frameworks where terms are dictated for the sake of attention and public funding.

If so, professor Jones will have contributed greatly to a better climate of opinion. Regardless of the heat that he put himself into.

Photos: freedigitalphotos

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About the Author: Jacob Arfwedson

Jacob Arfwedson first worked on environmental issues with the ICREI (Paris) in the early 1990s (www.icrei.org). He has published extensively on various free market issues, working with some 20 think tanks in Europe and the US for the past 20 years. He received his MA from the Catholic University of Paris before studying at the Catholic University of America (Timbro Capitol Fellowship). His articles have been published by the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, le Figaro and AGEFI Switzerland.