The nation’s best science reporter, John Tierney, today publishes a great piece on Climategate on the front page of the New York Times’s Science section.  He goes through some of the hilarious comments in one of the juiciest files unearthed in the scandal so far, the “Harry Read Me” file (which I earlier wrote about here). Anyone who thinks that the “world’s leading climate scientists” don’t have anything to hide might want to read Tierney’s article.  Forget about the likely possibility that fraud was being commited.  Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit, must have known that the data was a mess and hopelessly compromised by ad hoc fixes, yet presented the Hadley/CRU historical global temperature dataset as authoritative.  Phil Jones has now been removed as director of CRU. I think the new operating principle for dealing with climate research should be former President Ronald Reagan’s motto for dealing with the Soviet Union (AKA the Evil Empire): “Trust but verify.”   With emphasis on verify.