Trimming Scientific Sails to the Political Winds

REVIEW & OUTLOOK: Wall Street Journal, Monday, July 19, 2010

A Climate Absolution?

“Climategate is media shorthand for the debate over the content of thousands of emails and documents that were released without authorization from the University of East Anglia’s (England)  Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

The Climategate emails also revealed a habit among climate scientists of trimming their scientific sails to the political winds, sometimes by emphasizing temperature and environmental trends at the alarmist end of the spectrum.”

A sailer by trimming his sails, pulls them tight to catch the best winds. Here controversial political winds are blowing about climate change; the scientists want to catch them to emphasize their points.

The writer of this opinion may be a sailor, as people often use idiomatic language of the sport with which they are most familiar.

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