Climategate Reflects Changing Debate over Global Warming
In November, a shadowy hacker whose identity is still unknown broke into the E-mail servers of a major climate research institute in
The news flew through the climate-skeptic and right-wing blogosphere, where it was treated as proof that climate scientists were cooking the books to promote an alarmist agenda. That disclosure was followed soon after by news that a 2007 report by the
But was it?
There is still a consensus that Earth is warming, and climate scientists have painstakingly argued that the E-mails don't do anything to challenge their conclusion that human activity is causing this climate change. But the controversy has opened the door to those who argue that human activity has played a lesser role in warming and thus does not merit a strong reaction. The splash that climategate has caused, however, is an indication of how the public debate has shifted dramatically over the past year.
For a time, it seemed that there was a growing consensus that climate change was a serious problem. Business and religious groups began to change their tune. Sen.
But the winds have been shifting in the other direction.
In polls by the
What's behind this shift?
Climate change has long been a partisan issue, with Republicans much more likely than Democrats to be skeptics.
And while mainstream Republicans had slowly begun to accept climate change, the ideological energy in the
Stalled. This was all going on before climategate, which has only intensified the arguments. The
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Climate Change - Climategate Reflects Changing Debate over Global Warming | Joshua Kucera
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