Steve McIntyre, one of the two researchers who exposed the faulty statistics behind the infamous "hockey stick" temperature curve which attempted to write the medieval warm period and the little ice age from the pages of history, has been recognised by New Statesman as one of the top 50 "People Who Matter 2010".
Congratulations Steve. Those who, like me, came late to the global warming question, owe a great debt to you and Ross McKitrick for your tireless work in the face of astonishing and tenacious obstructionism in getting the raw data needed to do a detailed analysis. Steve runs his own blog on climate science at http://climateaudit.org.
But we can't have an honour going with grace and good humour to someone who opposes the consensus, can we? New Statesman just had to find a way to spoil it somehow. Here's their "acknowledgement" of Steve's invaluable work:
When the mining expert Stephen McIntyre challenged the basis of climate science on his blog, he became a figurehead for many climate-change sceptics.
His subsequent involvement in the 2009 "Climategate" controversy at the University of East Anglia (he was referred to in the hacked emails over 100 times) emboldened the sceptics further and changed global opinion: the number of people who believe man is responsible for global warming has fallen.
The influence might not be positive, but there's no doubt he has shaped the debate.
Emphasis mine in the above. The remarkable part of this story is the outcome in the comments. At the time I looked, there were no fewer than 141 comments, all but two of them expressing support for Steve and appreciation for his work - and pointing out how real science works by critiquing previous work, and by doing just that, Steve was upholding the standards and the purpose of science itself.
Yoo hoo, mainstream media? You want to know why fewer and fewer people are buying your rags? Just wake up and smell the bias and the slovenly work that passes for investigation and fact checking in modern journalism. Is it too much to ask that the journalist covering climate science should have some appreciation for the scientific method?
There's an object lesson here for all the MSM: we, the buyers of your product, will no longer put up with slavish kowtowing to whatever happen to be the most common prejudices of the day. When someone like Steve dares to put his head above the barricades and do some truth-seeking, we want him applauded for it, and we want his work reported in your rags (which, it seems, you haven't actually gotten around to doing, New Statesman).
The other lesson, of course, in those comments, is that the wheels are falling off the hoax. I don't write it off though, because western democracies have been steadily losing their belief in liberty for some decades. There is a strong chance that the hoax will be perpetuated by censorship and force when it can no longer be taken seriously in an open environment. Those of us who love liberty must be even more on guard in the coming years.