All that about the CRU emails being said, you still haven’t answered my more important point: even if the scientists concerned were guilty of fraudulent practice, how does that discredit an entire body of scientific research? The CRU aren’t the only body performing climate change research: even if we threw out all of their work, there would still be huge amounts of evidence from other sources, all pointing in the same direction.
if you can name a good number of scientific research establishments anywhere in the Western world that say climate change isn’t really happening as it is apocalyptically described, or that it is not man made, who continue to receive central government funding (i.e. from the EU, or federal money in the US) (I doubt you can even name one) I will accept that there is such a thing as an “independent” scientist who is allowed to make up his own mind on this matter.
There are a number of scientists who do oppose the global warming consensus, many of whom continue to work for publicly-funded universities and research bodies (e.g. Jan Veizer of the University of Ottawa, Philip Stott of the University of London). But I can’t name any relevant research bodies that claim climate change isn’t happening, because there aren’t any. That includes privately funded bodies as well as government-funded ones – for example, the Association of American Petroleum Geologists, which is primarily funded by the oil industry (their stance on human-caused global warming is noncommittal, revised from an openly denialist position held previously). I view that as evidence of a broad consensus on the reality and cause of climate change, not of a funding conspiracy.
But, all this is beside the point. I’m not asking you to accept my authority or that of any scientist. The great thing about science is that when work is published, the methods and reasoning have to be published too, allowing anyone reading the work to replicate the experiments if they wish, or at least critically analyse and evaluate the strength of someone else’s conclusions. So why not do that? Why not go to the source and look at the science yourself? If you’re so sure that climate change is not happening, you’ll have no trouble explaining what is wrong with these papers:
Ghosh & Brand (2003). “Stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry in global climate change research.” Int. J. Mass Spec. 228:1-33. (This paper shows that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is the result of increased fossil fuel burning).
Harries et al. (2001). “Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the earth in 1970 and 1997.” Nature 410:355-357. (This paper shows direct evidence of a greenhouse effect causing more heat to be retained by the Earth’s atmosphere).
To my mind these two papers provide a complete account of how human activity contributes to climate change (humans burn fossil fuels, burning fossil fuels releases CO2 into atmosphere, increased atmospheric CO2 produces increased greenhouse effect which warms the planet). Have a look. Where, in your view, is the science wrong?
I’m also curious about this idea that scientists somehow have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. The most famous scientists throughout history have been the ones who have overturned established scientific thought – think of Galileo showing that the Earth revolves around the Sun, or Darwin providing a mechanism for biological change, or Einstein coming up with a new way of thinking about gravity – what Thomas Kuhn would call a paradigm shift. There would be far more wealth and fame attainable for any scientist who managed to disprove the established theory of global warming, rather than for those who shamelessly parroted a “party line.”
But the main thing I want you to do is to look at the evidence and decide for yourself.