In November of 2009 the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia were hacked, and several thousand emails and computer files were taken. These emails and files were then released prior to the Copenhagen Summit on climate change in an attempt to destabilise talks which, sadly, is exactly what happened.
The event was known as Climategate, because a scandal isn’t really a scandal unless someone appends ‘gate’ to the end of a word.
Tuesday saw a whole heap more emails from the same 2009 hack released to the internet, just in time to up-coming UN Climate meeting in Durban, South Africa, for the IPCC’s COP 17 Climate Change. Wittily, it’s quickly been dubbed ‘Climategate 2.0’, because what isn’t funnier than adding 2.0 to everything.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘context’ is described as being ‘the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood.’
However, context is not something that has come into play here. The emails that are being circulated across the internet have been taken out of context, which means that they cannot be fully understood.
Following the 2009 email release there was always going to be reviews and reports made regarding the CRU’s actions. Reading through those emails, despite being taken out of context, there is room to worry.
However, during 2010 there were three separate reviews made of the actions of scientists at East Anglia’s CRU which have ‘supported the honesty and integrity in the Climatic Research Unit.’
First there was a Parliamentary Science and Technology Select Committee review, published in March of 2010. That was followed in April by the report from the Lord Oxburgh Scientific Assessment Panel. Finally, in July, the Muir Russel Review was released.
In each of these reports the CRU was found free of any wrong-doing, if maybe a little silly from time to time.
Unsurprisingly, none of that has been made known by those currently enjoying their second 2 minutes in the spotlight. They’ve apparently ignored those – or, more likely, deemed them just another part of the world wide cover-up – and are proceeding as if they had never been proved wrong.
I think there should be a series of words that are immediately highlighted in your browser window the moment they appear. They include words and phrases such as follows;
- shocking revelation
- an insular cadre of climate scientists (this was my Rocket Science cover band’s name in high school)
- the machinations of the high priests of global warming
These phrases come from a press release put out by Climate Depot (.com) under the subtle heading ‘Climategate 2.0 Exposes Climate Science Hypocrisy on eve of UN’s Durban Conference’.
[Side note – the moment you see the word ‘hypocrisy’ in a press release, you can guarantee that you’re not getting an unbiased look at things.]
To quote from the press release;
Marc Morano, publisher of CFACT’s ClimateDepot.com, said that the emails, known collectively as Climategate 2.0, “arrived to drain what little life there was left in the man-made global warming movement.”
The new emails led Morano to conclude that they “… further expose the upper echelon of the UN IPCC as being more interested in crafting a careful narrative than following the evidence.” He notes, for example, that Penn State professor Michael Mann stated in one email that, “The important thing is to make sure they’re [climate skeptics] losing the PR battle.” The University of East Anglia’s Keith Briffa (a colleague of the already discredited EAU Climate Research Center head Phil Jones) also chimed in, “I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present reconstructions, yet sounding like a pro greenhouse zealot here!”
Thankfully for all of us, “CFACT, which has been a fully accredited non-governmental organization at these UN events for two decades, will be closely monitoring and offering daily reports on the developments in Durban.” Oh thank goodness! Because, if I didn’t know that “a fully accredited non-governmental organization” wasn’t watching in on these proceedings, I would naturally have assumed collusion and cover-up.
What I really find annoying is that over at JunkScience.com they’ve helpfully collated the number of emails down to a special few.
Think about that for a moment. Hackers stole some emails. They released some of those that they took. The global warming deniers locked on to some of those. Now some more have been released. And the deniers have locked on to some more.
All in all, I think we’re probably looking at maybe 3 percent of what originally existed.
Of those emails are some like the following which, really, I don’t see anything wrong with. This email is from Phil Jones to colleagues;
cc: “Timothy L. Grove”
date: Mon Sep 7 10:13:11 2009
from: Phil Jones
subject: Re: AGU and Dr. P. Jones (fwd)
to: Alan Robock
I said I would send a brief reply when I got back. Alan is right to ignore these sorts of letters. I’m afraid I have become less responsive to the public over the years, but this has been as a result of continuous defamatory remarks on a number of blog sites. I have tried in the past discussing via email with a few of these people, but it is just a time wasting exercise. Many of the papers I’d been sending them have been published in JGR and one in Reviews of Geophysics.
I recall giving lectures in the past when there would be one person who would disagree with something or all I said in an invited talk. The internet has allowed all these people to find one another unfortunately. Some of the emails are quite spiteful, but as yet not as bad as some of the things that have been said ot written about Ben Santer and Mike Mann.
In the UK the head of the Natural Environment Research Council tried engaging with these people a couple of years ago, but gave up as it was just the deniers that responded. If you look at the Nature site, that Olive Heffernan set up, after the piece about a month ago, almost all of the responders were deniers.
I’ve given up trying to engage them. I know I should persevere, but I just don’t have the time.
Honestly? Yeah, he’s right on. These climate deniers he’s referring to are out there and they are making the lives and working conditions of scientists the world over a bitch because they’re utterly uneducated fools who think they know what they are talking about and adamantly refuse to listen to an opposing side to their own misguided and flawed arguments.
My Own Tired Conclusion
So seriously, let’s all take a break. If you really care, go read all the emails which have been released – they’re available on several torrent sites, so start with the Pirate Bay – and then maybe you’re going to be able to have a sensible conversation with someone. Even then, allow that you may be wrong. Allow for the possibility that these emails have been massively taken out of context and that they actually portray a “cultivated message” rather than the whole picture which.
By the way, “cultivated message”? It’s exactly the phrase Marc Morano is using to accuse the East Anglia scientists.
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