'At an ethical level the scientific community, like the rest of society, can only function as it practises values which resonate with its Christian roots, such as truth-telling and co-operation. Currently these are maintained within the community largely on utilitarian grounds, but those grounds may eventually prove insufficiently robust. Naturalism has no resources to generate or justify such values. As a philosophy it provides a poor option for the healthy functioning of the scientific enterprise.' (Denis Alexander (1999) Can science explain everything? Scientific naturalism and the death of science)
Whistleblower or hacker? Given the admission by one of the BBC's climate correspondents that he received copies of private emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) more than five weeks before they were leaked into the public domain last week, but chose not to report the story (one can't help but ask why...it does seem very poor journalism), a concerned insider appears to be most likely.
Whatever the truth, what the emails actually reveal proves that we were right to warn about the fate of truth-telling and co-operation in a scientific community bereft of its Christian roots. For, evidence that climate change scientists have manipulated the data to fit their preconceived beliefs and have prevented access by their peers to the raw data behind their conclusions simply undermines yet further public trust in the institutions at the heart of modern society - first the banks, then Parliament, now academia.
That there have long been serious and fundamental problems with how the scientific process has been manipulated with regards to the global warming hypothesis has been evident to anyone who was willing to look at the evidence. In relation to the question of how raw data has been manipulated, I think one of the most insightful graphs is the following from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showing the effect of the adjustments they have made to the actual temperature observations, suggesting that most of the reported 'global warming' since 1960 appears to have been caused by these adjustments. Given that these are based on multiple assumptions, it is quite reasonable to suppose our adjustments are incorrect, especially in view of how poor climate modelling predictions to date have proved and how little even the experts claim actually to understand – to quote one of the leaked emails: 'The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.'
The problem with what now amounts to the scientific equivalent of the MPs' expenses scandal, is that apparent exaggerations regarding the environmental impact of humanity's greenhouse gas emissions detracts from broader questions concerning our unsustainable lifestyles. We have noted previously that the human population is living far beyond its means. Yet, less than two weeks from the United Nations' Climate change conference in Copenhagen, it now seems that other Christian values such as compassion and justice are all the more likely to fall by the wayside.
Thankfully, assurance about the future dispels any cause for present despair: 'The creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.' (Romans 8:19-21)