When the words "scared shitless" appear in the journal, Nature, you know that the panic in the global warming community must be severe indeed. And well it should be, given all the revelations that have occured in the wake of Climategate. This from an editorial in Nature:
Climate scientists are on the defensive, knocked off balance by a re-energized community of global-warming deniers who, by dominating the media agenda, are sowing doubts about the fundamental science. Most researchers find themselves completely out of their league in this kind of battle because it's only superficially about the science. The real goal is to stoke the angry fires of talk radio, cable news, the blogosphere and the like, all of which feed off of contrarian story lines and seldom make the time to assess facts and weigh evidence. Civility, honesty, fact and perspective are irrelevant.
Worse, the onslaught seems to be working: some polls in the United States and abroad suggest that it is eroding public confidence in climate science at a time when the fundamental understanding of the climate system, although far from complete, is stronger than ever. Ecologist Paul Ehrlich at Stanford University in California says that his climate colleagues are at a loss about how to counter the attacks. “Everyone is scared shitless, but they don't know what to do,” he says.
As to the Nature editors, if they actually believe that this is not about the science, I would imagine that their days as major journal are numbered indeed. Beyond that, though, I have several helpful suggestions for the "scared shitless" climate scientists:
1. Start acting like actual scientists.
2. Make all of your data, methodology and code available to the public upon publication of any article.
3. Stop avoiding arguments on the merits of your studies with collateral attacks on anyone who challenges your findings.
4. Stop trying to use a corrupt peer review process as a substitute for the scientific method.
5. Stop manipulating data to support your findings; and
6. Should you ever again feel the urge to say "the science is settled," by all means, go take a deep, long swig of Draino and wait until the urge passes.