Joining the Climategate swiftboating campaign against climate science, conservative pollster Scott Rasmussen has accused scientists of falsifying data about global warming — an incendiary charge. In the most recent of his instapolls designed to reinforce conservative talking points, Rasmussen finds that “[f]ifty-nine percent (59%) of Americans say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming. Thirty-five percent (35%) say it’s Very Likely. Just 26% say it’s not very or not at all likely that some scientists falsified data. ” Rasmussen goes on to make the baseless charge that there is confirmation of “such data falsification“:
This skepticism does not appear to be the result of the recent disclosure of e-mails confirming such data falsification as part of the so-called “Climategate” scandal.
There is, in fact, no such confirmation or evidence, which would mean the end of the careers of any scientists who would engage in that kind of practice. Rasmussen’s libel is groundless. As Nature’s editors explain:
A fair reading of the e-mails reveals nothing to support the denialists’ conspiracy theories.
Scott Rasmussen is just the latest right-wing hack to embrace this unprincipled and unhinged smear campaign against climate scientists on the eve on international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, following the lead of everyone from Glenn Beck to Newt Gingrich. One of these smeared scientists, renowned climatologist Ben Santer, has decided to fight back against the “forces of unreason“:
We are now faced with powerful “forces of unreason” – forces that (at least to date) have been unsuccessful in challenging scientific findings of a warming Earth, and a “discernible human influence” on global climate. These forces of unreason are now shifting the focus of their attention to the scientists themselves. They seek to discredit, to skew the truth, to misrepresent. They seek to destroy scientific careers rather than to improve our understanding of the nature and causes of climate change.
Josh Nelson has more at the aptly named SwiftHack.com.