Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Climategate 2.0: fool me once.....

Number of searches of the term "Climategate" according to Google Trends. The second release of stolen e-mails, last month ("Climategate-2.0") didn't generate anything like the spike of interest of the first release ("Climategate"), in 2009.

The so-called "Climategate" case of 2009 will remain in history as an example of a highly successful "spin campaign". It had a strong negative effect on public beliefs in global warming and trust in scientists and it played an important role in the failure of the Copenhagen climate talks. However, the public has reacted with a big yawn to the second batch of email messages released last month ("Climategate 2.0"). We can see that using "Google Trends" as shown above and also below. The modest spike that correspond to frantic attempts to ignite the interest of the public in Climategate 2.0 is nothing even remotely comparable to the giant spike of the first Climategate.

Apparently in these things there holds the old say, "fool me once...." That is, it is very difficult to fool people twice with the same trick and, indeed, "Climategate 2.0" is turning out to be a big flop.

The most recent polls indicate that concerns about global warming are climbing up again with the public and that's more evidence that you can't fool people forever. So, we still have a chance to win this battle. We need to keep fighting it.


Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)