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Krugman on Cronon & Global Warming

Recent requests by Republican politicians and a conservative think tanks for email correspondence of UW-Madison professor William Cronon has stirred up quite a hornet's nest among leftists. Particularly cranky about the whole thing is, of course, Paul Krugman, who recently wrote a column on the matter called William Cronon and The American Thought Police.

I honestly have mixed feelings about the requests for Cronon's emails so I can agree with some of the points in his column. If only he had stuck to the issue at hand. But he couldn't resist bringing up climategate and taking potshots at climate skeptics.

He claims the request of Cronon's emails "has obvious parallels with the ongoing smear campaign against climate science and climate scientists, which has lately relied heavily on supposedly damaging quotations found in e-mail records."

He refers to the emails leaked from Hadley CRU in 2009. He states that the worst we learn is that  "scientists are human beings, who occasionally say snide things about people they dislike."

That is not the worst thing you learn.You can delete cruel personal remarks from these emails and still have a damning body of evidence. Asking for damaging emails to be deleted, admitting that the medieval warm period needs to be "contained", all show science that is at best sloppy and at worst corrupt.

 I've always wondered why the Hadley-CRU emails didn't have any more of an impact than they did. Krugman's column, two years later,
gives me a clue. Krugman clearly either didn't look at them, or wants to pretend the more damning emails don't exist. He is probably more typical than I realize.