Tree fellers run rings round climate change sceptic

August 17, 2009

When it comes to taking the long view of history, nobody beats the Irish, so it’s fitting that Queens University Belfast should have been one of the world’s centres for the study of tree rings, a physical record of events which occurred even further back than old Irish grudges.

The record provides valuable ammunition in the battle over whether the climate really is changing, but it seems that whether the ammunition is provided depends on which side of the battle you’re on.

More than two tree rings ago, one Doug Keenan started his quest to persuade the university to disgorge its voluminous raw data on this subject. Unfortunately, he has been thwarted at every turn. You can see his exhaustive efforts chronicled here.

It may be that the university is merely taking the view that this data has some commercial value that it risks losing by allowing outsiders access to it. Surely it can’t have anything to do with Keenan’s being a global warming sceptic? Read and decide…

UPDATE: For a related spat (addicts only) see this.

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