AP reports that thousands of pieces of correspondence between some of the world's leading climate scientists were stolen from the unit at the University of East Anglia and leaked to the Internet late last month. Skeptics of man-made global warming say the e-mails are proof that scientists have been conspiring to hide evidence showing that global warming was not as strong as generally believed.
A British university said Thursday it would investigate whether scientists at its prestigious Climatic Research Unit fudged data on global warming.
There was further criticism following the revelation that the university had thrown out much of the raw temperature data on which some of its global warming research was based. The university said in a statement last week that the data, stored on paper and magnetic tape, was dumped in the 1980s to save space when the unit moved to a new location.
We can be grateful that the scandal rocking the scientific establishment (branded Climategate) has been exposed. This blot and undoing is another severe earth tremor pleading for our awakening. We must find the wellspring of fundamental change and reform if,as a race, we are at least to survive if not flourish in this, one of history's most extreme times of transition.
From the birth of television and telecommunications until the present moment of "apps" laden personal devices still (for some reason) called "phones," our race hurtles toward a social reality with descriptors formerly reserved only for God Himself! Email/video-chat capabilities emulate omnipresence (everywhere, all the time), and Google and google-like tracking practically of our every thought emulates omniscience (all-knowing).
Communications technology has intensified presence, to the extent that practically no inch on earth is not available to my instant "presence." We can be with in real time friends and loved ones face to face in all moments. Gmail arrives in my pocket carrying ads using key words from inside my private correspondence. The implications for human life when substantial social reality becomes characterized by qualities once reserved only for professions of faith is staggering. Wholly insufficient reflection has gone into change of this magnitude.
This radical alteration of social reality coincides with mere decades in which billions of new souls are poured into our fragile biosphere at alarming rates. Even a 5 year old could see that our innermost basics are too arcane and ill-fitted to persist in this time of jaw-drop changes in our social and natural environments.
The Bible records 10 plagues suffered by the Pharoh in God's grandiose effort to awaken him, to stop his heart from being so hard, and urge him to release the divine in his midst. The same is happening now on a global scale. I count 5 plagues so far, Climategate being the 5th. By plague I mean whenever the rock steady and necessary foundations of our very existence are shaken. The glue and the Terra firma needed to prevent the outbreak of bedlam and unthinkable global horrors.
These assaults on foundations include: Loss of "the word," the loss of the teacher, the loss of the good, loss of commerce, and now loss of information.
Loss of "the word." In the final years of the millennium, while we were meant to dream of a dawning of an age, one of the greatest and most talented political figures ever born dragged truth across slimy depths, defiling under oath the meaning of the word is. This to defend adulterous indulgence with a near child.
Loss of the "the teacher": In the 1980's Universities forfeited the intent to create educated citizens, and shifted to credentialing avarice in the name of profession-seeking. MBAs, doctors, lawyers, and various professionals graduate with massive debt, avarice, and a sense of entitlement to live in abundance. Third is loss of the "good." An entire world religion became hijacked by a minority that abandoned the minimum basis of civilization namely the sanctity of innocent life. This was followed by abandonment of the basic rules of fairness (bullying called the "doctrine of preemption."), abandonment of just war theory, and defiance of all conventions, treaties, and declarations condemning torture. Most recently, and fourth is the loss of commerce. Addicts pillaged the trust and diligence required for "commerce." Beginning with the Enron/Anderson evil, and now the crippling cancer that spawns the global economic meltdown. These four foundations, word, teacher, good, and commerce are things we rely on and cannot do without. These are things that should not wobble or move.
Another such foundation vital for stable life, is integrity in the academy. Publicly funded scientific research, in which highly paid professionals are granted enormous resources and trust are required to devote their God-given talents to inquire in good faith, to be sincere before the phenomena they investigate, and to report findings with integrity.
People in the academy and in the scientific establishment already know that "science" is riddled with bias, ideology, pride, and greed. But for most, science has remained an arena that is fair, true, and honest. We need it to be that way. Science for most is something we rely on, something true and inviolable, like the meaning of is, like the sanctity of innocent life, like the wrong in an unfair fight, like the horror of torture, and like the agreement that cheating, stealing, and lying is wrong.
We cannot afford the continued corrosion through deceit and avarice of our basic foundations especially in this time. We must recover basics. Just as the myriad Madoffs defiled banking and finance and hurt the whole world, so do scientists who violate the public trust, defiling yet another needed foundation for stability in human affairs.