Richard Muller and science the right didn’t want to see

I’ve been meaning all week to mention the climate science research from Richard Muller, which has generated as much attention as the trumped-up “Climategate” nonsense, but which deserves far more.

The “Climategate” story, you’ll recall, relied on stolen emails to allege that climate scientists fudged research to produce results pointing to global warming. Several international investigations followed, and all found the charges baseless.

But the resolution of the so-called “controversy” wasn’t nearly as entertaining as Muller’s research, which looked into the same data that the right alleged had been manipulated.

Back in 2010, Richard Muller, a Berkeley physicist and self-proclaimed climate skeptic, decided to launch the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project to review the temperature data that underpinned global-warming claims. […]

Muller’s stated aims were simple. He and his team would scour and re-analyze the climate data, putting all their calculations and methods online. Skeptics cheered the effort. “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong,” wrote Anthony Watts, a blogger who has criticized the quality of the weather stations in the United Statse that provide temperature data. The Charles G. Koch Foundation even gave Muller’s project $150,000 — and the Koch brothers, recall, are hardly fans of mainstream climate science.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that the Koch brothers funded the research because they thought they were buying proof that climate change is a fraud.

Except, they ended up financing the opposite. Muller and his team conducted a thorough review of all of the available information and discovered — wouldn’t you know it — that the scientific consensus is accurate. “Global warming,” Muller concluded, “is real.”

Remember, this research intended to prove the opposite. Muller and his team even took the most common arguments raised by climate deniers, putting them to the test to see if skeptics’ claims had merit.

But they still found that the scientists were right and the skeptics were wrong. “Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the US and the UK,” Muller and his team said.

The right, not surprisingly, isn’t pleased, especially after so many conservatives agreed to accept the results of Muller’s research.

But reality is stubborn, and doesn’t much care about the right’s preferences.