In the longer term more open ways of reviewing science should be explored. Royal Society president Martin Rees talks about an Amazon-style system where reviewers can openly rate papers online. It is in this spirit that the Guardian will today publish Pearce's full 28,000 word account of the East Anglia emails affair online and invite anyone involved to tell us if we've got it right.
Then, the case for action must be remade from the ground up. It's no good politicians and scientists going on TV and insisting that the overwhelming body of climate science has not been touched by the scandals. They need to go back to first principles and explain how we know that CO2 causes warming, how we know CO2 levels are rising, how we know it's our fault, and how we can predict what is likely to happen if we don't act.
Next, the credibility of the IPCC – or some form of scientific high court – must be restored. In the short term that means appointing independent experts to review any alleged errors in the panel's reports. At the same time the IPCC should renounce, or at least severely restrict the use of grey literature (eg, non-Governmental; greenpeace, WWF, Friends of the Earth etc.) "If that means you can't be comprehensive then don't be," says a senior scientist advocating this course. There is a strong case for more radical reforms: the panel should arguably be replaced by a body controlled by national scientific academies rather than governments.
Those who want action on climate change will meanwhile have to accept a more incremental approach... Even the head of an NGO who has argued passionately for a binding, comprehensive deal tells me: "Maybe you've got to unpick the uber-deal and work out which bits are possible to do now, and build confidence."
Finally, anyone who cares about this issue must fight to keep it alive. With Barack Obama embroiled in a domestic political battle, powerful advocates like Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown likely soon to exit the stage and European leaders notably reticent in Copenhagen, it is hard to see where the political leadership for a global deal will come from. So it may fall to civil society – to individuals, organisations and businesses – to pick up the baton. The choice remains the one described in that global editorial, only now the answer is likely to be decided by us"...more here...