For many years, the left have used the excuse that there was a 'scientific consensus' and that the science behind climate change was 'indisputable'. Most people left it at that because most know little or nothing about science. However, now scientists in fields other than climatology are weighing in on the subject:
The Institute of Physics, which represents 36,000 physicists across Britain and the world, has told a Commons inquiry into Climategate that the controversial emails at the centre of the storm represent "prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions".
In short, the IoP has called into question the integrity of the entire field of climate change.
The Commons science and technology committee is interviewing key climate scientists and global warming sceptics. The standard of the interrogation on the first day was tame and the protagonists merely restated their arguments.
The star witness, Professor Phil Jones - the CRU's head and the sender of most of the hacked emails - was let off particularly lightly, his most damning admission probably being: "I have obviously written some really awful emails."
Far more interesting are the written submissions to the inquiry, including that from the Institute of Physics.
Although it has been made abundantly clear that the inquiry is not about whether global warming is actually happening, the IoP criticises one of the fundamental slices of evidence behind the assertion that we are currently experiencing a period of unprecedented global warming.
In the absence of actual recorded temperatures, scientists have used 'proxy data' – for example, tree rings – to determine average global temperatures over the past 1,000 years. However, in the final few decades of the 20th century, the proxy data has been jettisoned in favour of temperatures recorded on modern instruments. The IoP is critical of this method:
"The [Climategate] emails reveal doubts as to the reliability of some of the reconstructions," the IoP states. "For example, the apparent suppression, in graphics widely used by the IPCC [the United Nations climate panel], of proxy results for recent decades that do not agree with contemporary instrumental temperature measurements."
The IoP also suggests the scope of the Common inquiry should be broadened to include not only the CRU, but also the entire field of climate science.
"Most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other leading institutions involved in the formulation of the IPCC's conclusions on climate change," the submission reads. "In so far as those scientists were complicit in the alleged scientific malpractices, there is [a] need for a wider inquiry into the integrity of the scientific process in this field."