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Neorenaissance: Climategate 2.0? Pay no attention to the energy industry behind the curtain

A new batch of nearly 230,000 illegally hacked emails is up online in the same old places the last batch went up in November of 2009. It seems like old times. Jeff Id, the Air Vent blogger, has a batch up again, as do other climate deniers.  And get this – they all appear to predate the 2009 release and so are just more of the same, held back until now.

What’s most remarkable is that the emails are so – well, normal. Here are the shocking – and I mean shocking – things that climate scientists are emailing each other, according to Id:

“We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest.”

Wow. That’s a shocker. A scientist saying they need to communicate the uncertainty in their data. Which, by the way, they do in every study they publish. It’s a required part of science.

“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!”

Geez. Another shocker. A leading expert of temperature reconstructions is skeptical of temperature reconstructions but still lets the data guide his ultimate conclusions. Isn’t that sort of skepticism what we want? And oh, by the way, the National Academies has done extensive work that – huh – confirmed proxy data temperature reconstructions and even extended the data set.

This is a bit like the loony old argument that it’s just a theory – when in science a “theory” is the one explanation that’s supported by all the experiments and data we’ve accumulated to date.

The illegally hacked personal emails go on like this for reams and reams of mind-numbing back and forth that even the climate deniers that are happily hosting them say they haven’t had time to read – they just do text searches for any damning-sounding words they can think of, pull up those highlights, take the ones that seem to confirm their position out of context, and direct attention to them.

And the mainstream media are supposed to now lap this new manufactured controversy up like stupid puppies.

In 2009, the “climategate” hack “coincidentally” happened just before the Copenhagen climate summit and the build-up to the climate bill in congress. In yet another strange coincidence of timing, this new theft just happens to come just before the upcoming U.N. climate conference in South Africa and on the heels of the IPCC’s new report linking the increase in extreme weather events to climate change, together with the BEST study.

BEST, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study, was run by physicist Richard Muller, a climate skeptic. To the dismay of the energy industry-funded denialist community, after crunching 1.2 billion data points Muller found last month that in fact climate scientists have been right all along and their data is solid – the Earth is getting warmer at a very rapid pace.

Muller published a striking oped about it in the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal. The Journal published the oped online but, not surprisingly considering their owner, they decided not to run it in their print edition. Muller said the time for skepticism is over. Murdoch-owned Fox News was a major promoter of the last climate email scandal-that-wasn’t, and a Fox executive actually ordered Fox News reporters to slant their coverage of climate change to favor deniers.

So now that the science is getting even stronger, it’s time to redirect the public’s attention with renewed personal attacks and illegally hacked emails that cherry pick quotes, take them out of context, and try to spin them and confuse the public. What the heck – it worked last time.

After the last climate email scandal, six separate investigations found that there was no scandal, it was cooked up out of nothing, and the underlying data was solid. The only question is will reporters allow themselves to be manipulated by energy industry front groups and fringe denialist cranks blowing smoke and slime to further promote spin and obfuscation on the largest policy challenges facing the United States? Or will they do their job and report what’s really happening based on research, data and investigation?

Because multiple independent lines of data accumulated by thousands of researchers over the last fifty years all point in the same direction and even some leading climate skeptics are now admitting that and reversing their previous positions.

That’s not going to change no matter what the random scientist happens to say in the odd personal email.

This post was written by Shawn Lawrence Otto and originally published on Neorenaissance. Follow Shawn on Twitter: @shawnotto

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/23/2011 - 10:13 am.

    “We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest.”

    Wait, what??

    …evidently something was lost when communicating that to warmers swinging CONSENSUS around like a mace.

    Fact is, I’ve not seen a single warmer admit to the slightest uncertainty.

    And honesty? Isn’t it true that after the last climate email scandal, the six separate investigators which found that there was no scandal were all themselves implicated to some degree by the scandal?

    And didn’t Richard Muller specifically point out that the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study provided no proof that human activity was the primary casue of warming?

    Yeah, I’ll leave opinions regarding honesty to others.

  2. Submitted by Chad Pennington on 11/23/2011 - 03:45 pm.

    I have now had a chance to read several of the emails. The emails read with an open mind should convince most that the most powerful and influential climate scientists conspired to hide the underlying data that they said lead to their conclusions, admitted to each other privately that their science was weak, and the politcial agena behind global warming was more important than the actual science. Kudos to the whistle blower at the UEA for leaking this important information!

  3. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 11/23/2011 - 03:50 pm.

    I find it interesting that the entire strength of US diplomacy and Justice Department muscle is set on extraditing Julian Assange from England to Sweden so he can be extradited to the US for trial. Meanwhile, financial payment processors are blocking donor access to his company’s account. His crime? Embarrassing diplomats and politicians by publicizing the same documents printed by the NY Times, the Guardian and another European newspaper.

    Climate deniers’ crime for which they will never have to answer? Aiding and abetting the energy industry to help protect their continued profits even though the earth itself may become at least partly uninhabitable.

  4. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 11/23/2011 - 10:42 pm.

    The “climate change scandal” was something completely manufactured by the right wing media, sort of like the Whitewater scandal which never was. The right dreamed up a a scenario out of complicated financial data and failure to suggest that Bill and Hillary Clinton must have done something illegal. (Of course for the eight years of corruption, fraud and criminal scullduggery prior to 2008, you hear only crickets from the right wing noice machine.). Notice that the Climate Change scandal issue was not about “is climate change caused by human activity” but whether extreme weather changes are linked to climate change. Two different questions. As a “mace wielding warmer”, I’ll repeat, there is scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activity. We don’t need to wait util Greenland and Antarctica are completely melted to change our behavior that contributes to it. Is climate change responsible for extreme weather events? A separate question but the data is uncertain. So what?

    The denialists have no explanation for the data which forms the basis for the consensus. If they had some other reasonable explanation, maybe I could take their skepticism seriously. But these are people who deny things just to be contrary and dificult.

  5. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 11/24/2011 - 11:22 am.

    Who profits from believing in Antropogenic warming? When it was proposed, nobody. After decades there are maybe a couple hundred million dollars floating around for it.

    Who profits from not believing in Anthropogenic warming?

    Every single fossil fuel company on the planet. A global carbon tax would cost them billions of dollars. What does the current 59 year old executive care if it’s hotter 40 years from now, he’ll be dead and they have shareholders breathing down their necks now.

    They’ve been spending massive amounts of money to discredit global warming. I really hope you petitioned for a cut before posting. Being willfully ignorant for a ton of money at least makes sense. Being willfully ignorant for free. That’s just a waste.

  6. Submitted by Chad Pennington on 11/28/2011 - 01:19 pm.

    Who profits? Read the available emails and you will get an idea on who has profited. Its no coincidence that these climate summits take place in Tahiti, Venice, Spain etc. Al Gore and James Hansen have profited nicely. Researchers faced with publish or parish seek out grants available for “warming” research.The private and public money funneled into global warming dwarfs anything big oil could put togehter.There are plenty of people profiting.

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