The leaked climate change emails are “damning” and dangerous to the deadly serious inquiry into the state of our planet, Eugene Robinson writes. It’s not that the science is bad—“If I'm wrong, somebody ought to tell the polar ice caps that they're free to stop melting”—but the perception of it. “Most Americans are convinced that climate change is real,” Robinson writes. Add deception, and watch that surety “dissipate, and fast.”
The emails, which talk of “tricks,” “hide the decline,” and the “lack of warming,” are not what skeptics declare them to be—a revelatory glimpse into the hucksterism of doom-and-gloom climate science, writes Robinson in the Washington Post. But it’s the talk of crowding out contrary voices that could sour the public on the consensus view. The ice caps don’t lie, but if scientists don’t stop trying to “squelch dissent,” people will listen to them with extremely skeptical ears.