Both the Times and the Telegraph have climategate on the front page today, the first time this has happened since the start of the scandal. The Times has a big lead on the Met Office's announcement that they will review all their climate data. This is 160 years worth, taking us back to a very cold time - 1850 was roughly the end of a cold patch lasting a few hundred years. The Thames last froze over in 1814. It is a shame that they have chosen such a cold starting point, but unfortunately that's all the data they have.
The Telegraph notes that Gordon Brown has resorted to name calling. Climate sceptics (deniers is I think the official government term) are 'flat-earthers'.
This is way over the top. Global warming relies on dodgy models, scientific frauds like Michael Mann (remember the hockey stick? here's an update), charlatans like Al Gore (watch the movie which is seriously embarrassing in the light of everything we now know) and compromised government organisations like the UK Met Office (with their hilarious subtitle 'weather and climate change' - presumably they needed to branch out into the latter after their lack of success with the former).
There is lots of uncertainly left in the science beyond global warming, such as it is. The computer models were made-up garbage which proved nothing in the 90s. When the temperature data started to show a warming trend (which we now suspect to be bogus since the data were tampered with) the models were held up as true. But there are all sorts of problems with the models - as others have gone on about at length. Further, if the leaked code has anything to do with the climate models, they were written by a monkey during a banana shortage.
So for Gordon Brown to talk of flat earthers says nothing to me about global warming sceptics and everything about Gordon Brown. I think this remark will be remembered for some time to come. It is a remarkably statement from a Prime Minister of a country with 60m souls.
While the Times headline was that the Met Office we re-examining records (which will take 3 years by the way), the real headline should have been that the government is trying to stop them. Eh? The government apparently thinks it will give too much ammunition to sceptics? The Times missed a trick there.
Gordon Brown's is most famous for his tax increases. So far. Perhaps for Mr Brown this is all just about tax? After all, 80% of what you put into your car in the UK is tax, very little of it is actual petrol. Global warming is the latest justification for this (previous ones being air polution or congestion), and is a great new way to extract cash from gullible Britons.
Seen in that light, and knowing Mr Brown's somewhat strident views on those who oppose his tax wheeze of the moment, perhaps his comments are less surprising.
Meanwhile, Climategate now has 31m web pages according to google. Can that really be true? Why is it taking the MSM so long to get on top of this issue? Where is the daily serialisation, the interviews, the investigative reporting? We can't wait forever, MSM. Your credibility and relevance depends on your waking up soon.