Well today, a mere 24 hours later, and without any serious campaign by scientists, the media, or grade school kids, the WaPo publishes the rebuttal. Alan Lesher, who is the publisher for the prestigious journal Science, writes this:
Climate-change science is clear: The concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide -- derived mostly from the human activities of fossil-fuel burning and deforestation -- stands at 389 parts per million (ppm). We know from studying ancient Antarctic ice cores that this concentration is higher than it has been for at least the past 650,000 years. Exhaustive measurements tell us that atmospheric carbon dioxide is rising by 2 ppm every year and that the global temperature has increased by about 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century. Multiple lines of other evidence, including reliable thermometer readings since the 1880s, reveal a clear warming trend. The broader impacts of climate change range from rapidly melting glaciers and rising sea levels to shifts in species ranges.
Pretty clear stuff. I'm sure some deniers will try to spin this, but it is tough to do when you add in this:
None of these tactics changes the clear consensus of a vast majority of scientists, who agree that the Earth is warming as greenhouse gas levels rise. The public and policymakers should not be confused by a few private e-mails that are being selectively publicized and, in any case, remain irrelevant to the broad body of diverse evidence on climate change. Selected language in the messages has been interpreted by some to suggest unethical actions such as data manipulation or suppression. To be sure, investigations are appropriate whenever questions are raised regarding the transparency and rigor of the scientific process or the integrity of individual scientists. We applaud that the responsible authorities are conducting those investigations. But it is wrong to suggest that apparently stolen emails, deployed on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit, somehow refute a century of evidence based on thousands of studies.
Already I can hear the groans - release the data. Scientists already did. Don't be fooled - this is just a conspiracy to take away your rights - as if that hasn't been done under other rubrics already (such as security from terrorists). The bottom line is that, while the nature of the impacts and their duration is still a subject ripe for study - the fact that impacts are already occurring is not open for debate. No should we waste time laying blame, or looking the other way. The time is now for the U.S. to summon her collective national will and tackle this problem head on. We need more innovation in green energy, not less. We need to hold the patents on Carbon Capture technology, not the Chinese. We need to lead, not just spout platitudes. Otherwise, our children and grandchildren will richly deserve the chance to heap scorn on us for our lazy, self-centered response to clear and present danger.