Leading scientists condemn climate of aggression toward climate researchers

Following the release of hacked emails from climate scientists at the University of East Anglia and two mistakes makes by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN climate body, climate change deniers have been waging war on those who are trying to highlight a real problem.

Now, a group of 255 of the world’s top scientists are fighting back, in an open letter. That letter rightly points out that the published errors are inconsequential, that man-made climate change is now as supported and accepted as the Big Bang or evolution, and that attacks on the errors have been completely political.

It’s good that they’re fighting back. I don’t hold much hope that they’ll win any hearts and minds, though. As recently reported in Bad Science, if you’re strongly predisposed towards a certain viewpoint receiving evidence against that viewpoint often makes you dig in your heels and believe your now-doubtful viewpoint even more than before. This is why politicians engage in smear campaigns: even if the smear is discredited, “true believers” won’t change their minds about the smear.