Now is a good time for journalists to reassess their coverage of climate change, weed out any bias from their reporting strategies, do what they can to disentangle politics from science, and be more aggressive about covering what many scientists, business figures, policymakers, and activists think is the most important climate story of this still-new millennium. If the science stands up to the test, it will emerge even stronger than before.

[Clarification: A sentence that stated it “would clearly be illegal” if climate scientists had deleted e-mails to avoid freedom of information laws, but few things are certain in such matter, so the sentence was changed to read that act “could prove illegal.” The story was also changed to reflect that “files” as well as e-mails were suggested for deletion.]

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Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.