“But CG”

Every road leads to what has been said in some email.


[JEREMY] We can understand the root cause of [CG] as a case of scientists constrained to attempt to do normal science in a post-normal situation.

[MIKEH] I believe there have been major shifts in how climate science is conducted, how the climate debate is framed and how climate policy is being formed. And I believe [CG] played a role in all three.

[OUR BELOVED BISHOP] The messages, sent between some of the world’s most prominent climatologists revealed an extraordinary array of malpractice, with scientists manipulating data, breaching freedom of information laws and trying to crush dissenting views.

[SUJATA & WARREN] We describe [CG] as a cosmopolitan moment in the public life of science: an opportunity to forge a public culture comfortable with the epistemic diversity and ambiguity inherent to climate change, and yet a culture that can also reason together in the public good

Objections and Replies

(Asshats) Scientists are asshats
Reply. What else is new. Do you have a point? Here would be mine: contrarians who insist that asshattitude is bad ought to go first.

(Decline) They hid the Decline—
Reply. Not really.

(Censorship) They spoke of going to town—
Reply. You mean, peer-review.

Reply. Perfect. Please send me your email and DM archives. Thanks!

(Whistleblower). The whistleblower
Reply. The Miracle Worker ceded the right to become a whistleblower. He set up a Bitcoin account during CGIII – the Return of the Miracle Worker, but somehow the whole ordeal lost a lot of steam.

(Read) Read the emails!
Reply. I did. Which one do you have in mind? My favorite are the ones by MikeH. His “champion” theory would deserve due diligence. So email number or it does not exist.


{Acronym} CG stands for “Climategate.”

{Champion} The most obvious winners of the CG episode has been one of its participants: MikeH himself became the Director of the Tyndall Center.

{Neutralized} There is no need to fear this Bingo square anymore. Most details are mishandled by those who appeal to them.

{See also} We need to distinguish appeals to CG simpliciter and armwaving using CG. If “but CG” is used to epilogue about data, then the concern should be filed under “but data.” There is no sharp line between the talking points, and I reserve the right to choose which goes where.

{Source} Insist to have the source. (A number suffices.) Read the emails in full, right to the end, including the quotes. (Like this one.) Show that they say publicly what they said in emails. So far this always worked. Contrarians who are whining about the tenor of the CG emails don’t seem to realize that we can find worse daily between scientists on the Twitter. We’re social animals. Status competition is here to stay.

{MWP} #ButCG and concerns about the Medieval Warm Period may not cohere, as a higher MWP lowers our climate sensitivity estimates.


2009-11. The CRU Hack in Context. Gavin’s.

2010-02. Q&A with Phil Jones. BBC.

2010-02. Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, part 1: In the beginning. DC’s.

2012-09. Pushing Back on Climate Hype. Keith’s.

2019-11. Climategate. Ken’s.