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The climate debate: Data in doubt ...

Reports that a key research institution destroyed its original climate data set, which was used by global-warming soothsayers, reveal at the minimum a horrendously sloppy scientific method.

At worst, it challenges the very premise upon which this "science" is based.

Data compiled by the United Kingdom's University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) have been used as the primary reference for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (until 2007), among other agencies.

In mid-August, CRU destroyed raw data for its global surface temperatures findings, allegedly because of limited storage space, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The missing data beg suspicions. Which is why CEI has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to reopen its global warming proceedings.

Gang Green dismisses the data dilemma as a mere "dust-up." And besides, the cluckers cluck, it's not the only data set that's been used to build their case.

Except for the fact that their supposed "case" for emission caps and taxes has come under increasing scrutiny, and rebuttal, from experts who demonstrate far greater regard for scientific methods.

If the raw data set was so inconsequential, so, too, is the abysmal science that draws from it.

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