BPSDB Yup, looks like it was yet another Denier dirigible … sure looked big, but once again it turns out that it’s just full of air. See this post for the basic story, and Climate change Deniers hoax themselves …again for the analysis.
ClimateGate: Hacked Emails Reveal Global Warming Deniers Are Crazed Conspiracy Theorists
Evidently due to this e-mail conspiracy, Arctic sea ice is at historically low levels, Australia is on fire, the northern United Kingdom is underwater, and the world’s glaciers are disappearing. Oh yeah, and it’s the hottest decade in history.
Climategate? Not likely.
“So, do these emails and documents represent proof of a “conspiracy” and “scandal”? At this point it seems highly unlikely, and the more that people look at the illegally-obtained emails and documents, the less likely it will become. Here’s why.”
Viaduct? Vy not?
But the purportedly damning quote is obviously being misused.
“I don’t think anybody is hiding any evidence or tricking any audience. The word “trick” is to be understood as a programmer would understand “hack”; a clever shortcut. And the word “hide” is almost surely meant as “filter” meaning “the thing we want to do with this data is hard because there is another signal there hiding the one we are looking for, but we can subtract it out for the purpose at hand”. It would seem to be about the minutiae of data processing, not about hiding data for publication or subverting a published result.“
And the Russian server hosting e-mails cracked from the Climatic Research Unit was…?
“So I thought to myself, “which Russian server was it, and which obscure blog was it exactly?” After chasing down web links for a while, I landed up on Andrew Bolt’s blog entry [cached] which gave a link to a Russian-sounding web page:
http://ftp.tomcity.ru/incoming/free/FOI2009.zip. (The link is broken however, and changing the protocol from
ftp://gives a “Connection refused” error.) Then again, I’m not sure Bolt’s blog counts as an “obscure” blog, so perhaps Schiermeier was referring to some other web site(s).
Meanwhile, the climate inactivists’ conspiracy-laden interpretations of the e-mails clearly pale in comparison to the things that inactivists have said in public.”
Leading British climate centre hacked
“One of Britain’s leading climate-research centres has had more than 1,000 files stolen from its computers and republished on the Internet. The cyber-attack is apparently aimed at damaging the reputations of prominent climate scientists.
The University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) in Norwich confirmed today that e-mails and documents dating from 1991 to 2009 were illegally copied and subsequently published on an anonymous Russian server.“
“...secret lives of climate scientists spilled! And they really are as boring as you thought!
The story so far: Russian hackers have recently broken into the computers at University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) and posted files containing private emails between any number of well-known climate researchers. The usual suspects are claiming that the emails show massive malfeasance! the scientific fraud of the millennium! a Marxist conspiracy! and so on and so forth.“
The CRU hack
“As many of you will be aware, a large number of emails from the University of East Anglia webmail server were hacked recently (Despite some confusion generated by Anthony Watts, this has absolutely nothing to do with the Hadley Centre which is a completely separate institution).
More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.“
“I’m withholding judgment until all of the facts come to light, but so far the “evidence” of conspiracy, wrongdoing, data fudging, etc. is pretty thin gruel. So far the claims seemed to based upon (willful?) equivocation on word meaning, excising of context, and so on. [UPDATE: See RC for more on that.] It’s also apparent that even if the worst possible spin on the allegations ended up being true, the net impact on the state of climate science would be small- certainly relative to the scope that is being claimed.”
That CRU data hack
“Love it or hate it, it’s going to be a pretty big story. I was mildly amused to see that Wattatwat doesn’t even know the difference between the Hadley Centre and CRU – the answer is about 300 miles, according to Google. And also, it seems that only one of them has an adequate firewall…“
Here’s what we know so far:
“CRU’s emails were hacked, the 2000s will easily be the hottest decade on record, and the planet keeps warming thanks to us!”
ClimateGate reveals nefarious conspiracy? NOT!
“What do we see in these emails? There seem to be some strong anger at those who work hard to distort information in their work and distort science when speaking to non-scientific communities. There is (passionate) frustration with self-proclaimed ’skeptics’ collaborating to create ‘peer reviewed’ journal space where non-scientifically sound work can be published. There is discussion of how to do analysis and how to account for confusing anomalies. There is plenty of material to cherry pick from and scream about in efforts to foster confusion about and disdain for actual science.”
The hacked climate science email scandal that wasn’t
“Much is being made by those who really, really believe that there’s a global conspiracy among climatologists of the emails and other documents stolen from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit. According to such bloggers, thousands of “embarrassing” pieces of correspondence between some of the leading climate researchers in the world now lay bare the scheme to mislead humanity about the nature of climate change.
I downloaded the 62 MB file and took a quick look at a random selection of what are mostly dull little missives bereft of the context required to understand them in any meaningful way. Just as you’d expect from bits and piece of correspondence never intended for public consumption. Next.”
I’m with The Way Things Break and Climate Progress on this one:
- as yet we don’t really know what the full story is here, and we sure can’t accept the Denialosphere’s version;
- regardless of 1., climate change is a crisis of epic proportions.
From what I can gather there does seem to have been at least some very questionable behaviour, but even if the worst case scenario is true, the significance for the actual science is trivial.
Insomuch as the Denialosphere and the Earthsuckers will do all they can to convince the public that this discredits all climate science (not even possible, and hence not true), the potential political consequences are substantial.
As if Copenhagen wasn’t already a mess ….
What’s to be done?
1) As fast as possible, identify exactly what science is compromised (if any), how, and to what extent. It would be particularly important to spell out the implications (if any), because if we don’t someone else will;
2) Full disclosure on anything else that may pop up. Better CRU tells the media in context than the Denialosphere cherry picks the worst possible interpretation;
3) Everybody soul search. Is there any more like this around? If so, don’t “burn the tapes”, but rather make the appropriate corrections (if any) to the science so that it is squeaky clean.
I find it hard to believe that there actually is much in the way of scientific consequences given what intense scrutiny it has been under for so long, but even so.
4) Try to keep people grounded in reality. No matter what may or may not have been done to a piece of paper at CRU, this is still real:
5) Do NOT express interest in the hacker. Even if it eventually turns out to have been Morano & Watts, under the express orders of Inhofe and paid by the US Chamber of Commerce, the fact remains that any dwelling on the hacker will be seen as an attempt to distract with a red herring, as indeed it would be.
IF there was wrong doing at CRU, then how it came to light may be a legal question, but it is not a moral, ethical or scientific one. If there are any problems with the science (still unclear whether there is any at all), then that must be corrected, and it must be our primary interest.
This is going to be politically costly no matter what. No matter how trivial the actual ‘in context’ revelations turn out to be, the public will remember the initial Denier spin. People like Inhofe and Morano will make sure that the most fraudulent version is constantly put forward as the “true, unspun” version.
It will definitely influence the undecideds of the general public. I suspect more than a few lay supporters will feel profoundly betrayed as well. This will be seen as a significant breach by the entire scientific community, and even misinterpreted as somehow discrediting the basic science itself.
Scientists are held to a very different standard than the Denialosphere. That every piece of the Denier Canon is propaganda bought and paid for is always immediately forgotten. This will be brought up with every climate story from now on …
… until the next killer heat wave.
“Since 1982, spring in East Asia (defined here as the eastern third of China and the Korean Peninsula) has been warming at a rate of one degree Fahrenheit per decade.” Earth Gauge
We give our consent every moment that we do not resist.
Comments that are not relevant to the post that they appear under or the evolving discussion will simply be deleted, as will links to Denier spam known to be scientific gibberish
- The “Mostly” Open Thread is for general climate discussion that is not relevant to a particular post. Spam and abuse rules still apply;
- The “Challenging the Core Science” Comment Thread is for comments that purport to challenge the core science of anthropogenic climate change.