The climate conspiracy theorists are enjoying their moment of glory with the hacked emails that were made public late last week.
And who can blame them, given that many of them were relegated to the fringe years ago?
I suspect that most mainstream media will not buy the overblown rhetoric. After all, it is ridiculous to assert that stolen emails from a few climate scientists somehow refutes decades of research by thousands of experts.
The emails will batter the reputation of a few scientists, but they contain no evidence to undermine the theory of man-made climate change.
But that hasn't stopped the denial industry from pushing the line and at least one outlet in San Diego has fallen for it. The coverage came in a story on The Copenhagen Diagnosis, a summary of the latest climate science research put together by 26 researchers, citing over 270 research papers.
The original new story had no mention of the hacked emails. But I noticed this afternoon that the story has been updated to include this from none other than Myron Ebell, head climate change spindoctor for the Competitive Enterprise Institute:
"But Mann's participation in the report has provided critics of prevailing global warming theories with ammunition. Mann is among several researchers whose e-mails recently were hacked into and dispersed online, creating a controversy known as "Climategate." The notes are seen by some as proof that leading scientists have manipulated data to support their conclusions.
"People ought to just say, 'Wait a minute. Let's not even open (the Copenhagen Diagnosis) until we have investigated how corrupt this effort is,'" said Myron Ebell, director of global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank in Washington, D.C. "They have tarnished or dirtied or made suspect anything they are connected with."
All this says something about why the climate debate continues to unfold as it does.
Think for a millisecond about how juicy the news might be if someone hacked the CEI computer, finding a way to track funding and listening in on the conversations that have occurred between Ebells and his collaborators at Exxon, Ford and the Bush Whitehouse.
But people on the "science side" of this issue keep confining themselves to factual information and avoiding illegal activity like stealing documents. This is a good thing.
Notwithstanding the embarrassing bits in the CRU emails, it shows the world scientific community and their supporters in a good light. But it's hard to be in a knife fight when the other guys are the only ones who brought knives.
So, what do you say, Myron?
If this is war over credibility, and the scientists have inadvertently put theirs on the line, how about if you take a turn.
Hand over, say, six months of email communications beginning in 2003 around the time the Whitehouse asked you to sue it (yes, the Whitehouse asked you to sue the Whitehouse) to help block climate legislation. Then we'll have a serious talk about who's credible.
Why stop there?
As a stunning amount of email traffic on this issue currently seems to be coming from Rush Limbaugh wannabe, Marc Morano, why doesn't the former aide to Oklahoma Senator and Republican Denier-in-Chief James Inhofe volunteer to share his correspondence?
I suggest a six-month supply from CEI. I reckon the last six days from Morano might significantly advance the question of who's credible on this issue. It might even show who hacked Hadley.
C'mon Markey. Show us what you got.
If yours is a reasonable assault on the scientists named in the hacked emails, you should have no reservations about submitting to as quick second reading.
Marc? Marc!!? Get your finger off that delete key!