OH and I spent the last couple of nights watching Trick, a drama about the so-called Climategate scandal of 2009. My memories of the event are somewhat hazy (let’s face it, my memories of just about everything are somewhat hazy) but I have to say, after watching it we were still none the wiser. It starred Jason Watkins, who rises in my esteem every time I see him, as Phil Jones, a highly dedicated and respected climate scientist whose emails were hacked, then presented out of context to a cohort of press and climate change deniers who used them to discredit his work.
It all centred on the word ‘trick’. In a scientific context this means a particular way of looking at data in order to get a more reliable view. But taken out of context and inserted into a tabloid it seemed like evidence of fraud. So far, so understandable. But while the story was moving it didn’t really tell us much about what actually happened, focusing instead on the pain and shame which nearly drove a good man to suicide. He was cleared in the end but reckoned the whole episode had put back the cause of climate change by ten years – ten years we could ill afford to lose.
It’s worth watching but probably a good idea to view the accompanying documentary first.