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Watergate Redux: Break-ins Reported at Another Top Climate Research Center

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"Watergate Redux: Break-ins Reported at Another Top Climate Research Center"

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Hmm.  Maybe the “gate” part of the ClimateGate moniker is more apt than we thought, as guest blogger Brad Johnson reports in this WR repost.

WatergateTwo weeks ago, thousands of illegally hacked emails from a British climate research center were dumped on a Russian webserver, timed to influence the politics of of the international climate negotiations commencing next week in Copenhagen, Denmark. Beginning Thanksgiving week, conservative media and Republican politicians have compared the climate scientists whose private emails were hacked to Hitler, Stalin, and eugenicists, saying they are involved in a global conspiracy to defraud and possibly take over the world. The Climategate “scandal” “” a swiftboating intimidation and smear campaign against science “” is the right-wing rage from Stephen Dubner to Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck to Lou Dobbs. Like the original Watergate scandal involving right-wing operatives who burglarized the offices of their political opponents, the real crime is the original break-in.

It has now been reported that the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Center is not the only victim of such a criminal invasion: burglars and hackers have also attacked the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis at the University of Victoria in British Columbia:

Andrew Weaver, a University of Victoria scientist and key contributor to the Nobel prize-winning work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says there have been a number of attempted breaches in recent months, including two successful break-ins at his campus office in which a dead computer was stolen and papers were rummaged through.

These attacks go beyond simple burglary. University of Victoria spokeswoman Patty Pitts told the National Post “there have also been attempts to hack into climate scientists’ computers, as well as incidents in which people impersonated network technicians to try to gain access to campus offices and data.”

For thirty years, defenders of a pollution-based economy have intimidated, smeared, and suppressed climate science, using a playbook perfected by the tobacco industry and Karl Rove. Now “” as the United States, led by President Barack Obama, finally appears ready to join the world in the fight against global warming “” the opponents of reform are resorting to criminal desperation, harkening back to the paranoia-fueled extremes of Richard Nixon.

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49 Responses to Watergate Redux: Break-ins Reported at Another Top Climate Research Center

  1. Lou Grinzo says:

    I’ve been saying for some time that the desperation of the deniers will lead to much worse incidents and behavior than we’ve seen to date, especially as we get closer to taking action. Obviously even that seemingly cynical view grossly underestimated what’s coming.

    Hang on, people, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

  2. Leif says:

    Surely some law enforcement agency someplace must be looking into “who don’it.” Can’t society have a class action suit or something. Where are the Lawyers when you need them?

  3. DavidCOG says:

    More evidence of where the real conspiracy lies. I’ll be making good use of this over the coming weeks.

    Joe, worth a post? http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cartoon/2009/dec/05/climate-change-sceptics-gordon-brown

  4. Leland Palmer says:

    Hi All-

    Yes, this effort appears to be fully consistent with probable collusion between the fossil fuel corporations like ExxonMobil and

    [snip]

    [JR: Let's leave the conspiracies to the anti-scientific ideologues. At the end of the day, it's all they really have!]

  5. Michele R. Moretti, Esq. says:

    As The Economist magazine states: [the deniers created] “a row over a set of e-mails from a previously obscure part of Britain’s University of East Anglia.”

  6. Dan Olner says:

    In case anyone missed it, Greenfyre links to a brilliant video that points out – among many other things:

    1. Do a web of science search for “trick” and it turns up in the titles of many articles, from many disciplines. If a ‘trick’ is underhand manipulation, it seems somewhat counterproductive to advertise you were doing it in your article title…

    2. The film also points out that the “we can’t account for the lack of warming” was actually a position taken by Trenberth in a published paper – which he actually cited and linked to in the email. Hardly hidden, then – it’s been in the literature for anyone to check. Funny conspiracy.

    Oddly, none of this seems to have stopped a media apoplexy.

  7. Rick says:

    Sorry guys, but Obama is not going to save the world. It’s all smoke and mirrors. The pollution based economy will keep on burning.

    This politician as savior stuff is beyond silly. They are ALL the same.

  8. #2 Leif

    ‘Where are the Lawyers when you need them?’

    It is my perception that many politicians are ex lawyers. But yes you are right to ask. After all is not this headline in the UK Telegraph a slur:

    Climategate: Michael ‘Piltdown’ Mann throws Phil Jones out of the sleigh as panic grows

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geraldwarner/100018788/climategate-michael-piltdown-mann-throws-phil-jones-out-of-the-sleigh-as-panic-grows/

    The use of Piltdown to imply ‘fraud’ should not go without challenge. It certainly demonstrates an infantile mind at work in what used to be an august paper. There has been far to much of this sort of name calling from the denialosphere.

    Sorry cannot get links to be active.

  9. Joseph M says:

    The one thing that this whole e-mail controversy demonstrates is that the scintific process for climate studies has been unfortunatly compromised by politics, money and power. It now appears after 2 weeks that in order to gain the public trust again there must more transparency and more debate, all views must be respected and heard and the goal must be to arrive at the truth not concensus or some pre-ordained results. There is no room for politics from either the right on the left in science. There is no room for circling the wagons and shouting down dissent. The new open process and raw data must be available for anyone to examine and not just a select few likeminded scientists. I’m sorry if this post offend those who read this blog but the reality is, rightly or wrongly, the game has changed and the public is no longer convinced.

    [JR: The flaw in you "logic" is that the the people who rejected the science before are the ones rejecting it now. Nothing could ever change their/your views, so the repetition of the basic scientific process would serve no purpose. The data has been available for a long, long time. It is of no interest to 99.9% of disninformers, since there views are not fact-based.]

  10. MarkB says:

    Joseph M claims:

    “The new open process and raw data must be available for anyone to examine and not just a select few likeminded scientists. ”

    The vast majority of the data is public domain – available for anyone to examine. It’s not that hard to find if you’re not busy uncritically accepting false claims that the data is hidden.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

    In order for your crowd to gain public trust (beyond the conspiracy theorists), it’s going to have to move beyond rhetoric and slander.

  11. TomG says:

    Joseph M why don’t you become part of the solution instead of part of the problem?
    Everything you said at 12:45 pm is pure BS.
    What are you, some sort of repeater bot?
    Repeating stuff that has torn to shreds time and time again.
    This member of the public is firmly convinced of AGW and I will thank you very much not to lump me in with a public comprised of idiots like yourself.
    At this stage of the game, with all the information that is available in either book form or on the net, people like yourself only read and listen to “stuff” that caters to your point of view and nothing else, or….
    You are a source of this disinformation “stuff” and are trying to pass yourself off as some sort of “wronged” member of the public.
    Do not insult my intelligence with your tripe.

  12. Wes Rolley says:

    What does it say about critical thinking when one of Barbara Walter’s 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009 includes Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, both of who are strong deniers. She should have had James Hansen. I might not agree will all that Hansen says, but what he does is high quality research un-touched by the climate gate.

    And the complain of a Liberal Bias in the media?

  13. Wit's End says:

    This appears it must be well-funded…just like Watergate. It is good and clever to remind everyone of what the original “gate” was, and the real parallels to the hacked emails. Oh please somebody arrest these thieves and unmask their overlords! It is shocking to me just as this was – http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2009/12/never-underestimate-ruthless-duplicity.html
    you’d think I’d be less naive by now!

  14. Joseph M says:

    I admit to being an agnostic on climate science. I can accept that the world is warming (although I have not observed it for myself where I live)and that humans are responsible and that it is a bad thing. The point of my post wasn’t to argue the science one way or the other it was just to point out the reality of the shift that has taken place in the last 2 weeks. I think if we are going to be honest with ourselves we need to say that the scientists in question cannot be described as being unobjective. The reality is that public opinion is changing against the belief in AGW and people will not accept paying for somthing that they do not believe in. I was reading the comments from a climate change artical in the Guardian UK this morning and was suprised to see that at half of the comments were very skeptical of climate science. So don’t shoot me I’m just the messanger.

  15. Joseph M says:

    Sorry I meant to say that the scientist in question cannot be described as being “objective”

  16. Joseph M says:

    Joe,

    It doesn’t matter if the “deniers” are converted, we know they will never be convinced. The audience that needs to be convinced is the public at large because they are the ones who are going to end up paying for it. As we all know perception is reality and the perception is that there is some funny business going on with climate science.

  17. Leland Palmer says:

    Hi Joe-

    Ultimately, the ExxonMobil financed climate denier network is a conspiracy, and like it or not, if we want to combat it, we will have to get our hands dirty, IMO.

    It’s OK, though, snip away. I appreciate the opportunity to post on this forum.

    [JR: Hit ExxonMobil all you want. The facts are there to back you up.]

  18. Wit's End says:

    Joseph M, do you suppose John Q. Public could sit through a short video?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nnVQ2fROOg&feature=player_embedded

  19. Joseph M says:

    Hey TomG I like to smoke a joint every now and then, calms me down ya know. Id suggest you try it too. And maybe let people discuss important issues without stupid insults being tossed about.

  20. MarkB says:

    Joseph M (#18),

    “And maybe let people discuss important issues without stupid insults being tossed about.”

    That’s what scientists are trying to do. Politically-motivated witch hunts often seem to get in the way.

    “Hey TomG I like to smoke a joint every now and then, calms me down ya know. Id suggest you try it too.”

    Please suggest that to all the “ClimateGate” nuts.

    “…and people will not accept paying for somthing that they do not believe in.”

    It’s more the other way around. People often tend to not want to believe a problem exists if they think it implies they have to make a sacrifice to solve it.

  21. David B. Benson says:

    Here is a link to the summary (chapeter 1) of the Charney et al. 1979 NAS/NRC report on CO2 and climate:
    http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12181&page=1
    Not how little has changed in the intervening 30 years.

  22. Steve L says:

    Too bad the article appears in the National Post (it supports climate change denial and I would be happy to see this paper disappear). I wonder if the Globe & Mail coverage has the same stupid out of context quotations at the end. A short google effort didn’t show me.

    I would like to get a better understanding of the timeline here — are these other attempted breaches copy-cats? Or are they synchronous? If the latter, does it indicate against the inside job idea and the hopeful notion of an heroic whistle blower? And it’s interesting to read that these hackers were trying to gain access through the University rather than through Environment Canada — I don’t understand exactly how UEA and Hadley are distinct, but it seems like the thieves and their boosters are at least as ignorant as I am.

  23. Joseph M says:

    Mark B

    I know that not everybody is as smart as you are, and we simpletons can’t comprehend the magnitude of the horror that is about to befall us and all that stuff. But try to understand that most people are by nature skeptical of things that they can’t observe for themselves. Now if you want to belive in somthing, anything, that’s cool with me but if you want my money then I might want to see some proof. Somthing real somthing I can understand and see for myself. Like maybe the pond near my house doesn’t freeze thick enough to skate on anymore or the first frost is getting later in the year than it used to. Or we’ve had 5 straight years of drought. Does being skeptical make someone a bad person? Does being skeptical make a scientist a bad scientist? I think there is such an us versus them, dig in your heals mentality on both sides of the issue and politics has polluted the discussion again on both sides that it is impossible for the average person dicide what is the truth.

    [JR: Nice try playing the victim, but the only victims here are our children and grandchildren. So if you go to a doctor and she diagnoses you with diabetes -- and 99 other doctors confirm the diagnosis -- you'll wait until your toes start falling off before getting treatment.

    If you want to see climate change, go to the West and see the forest devastated by the bark beetles, go to glacier national Monument, Alaska, Greenland, Antarctica, instead of sticking your head in the sand and saying, wow, this sand isn't boiling hot, the entire scientific community must be a bunch of liars.]

  24. Richard Pauli says:

    Hey Joseph M, I think your suggestion to delay is really bad advice. (“Smoke a joint” to me means to delay and stay deluded)

    The attitude you express is precisely why we are in worse trouble… Delay is in someways worse than denial…Delay is a political choice; denial is scientific delusion…. But every moment of delay, makes the scientific situation worse.

    The car analogy is: if it is a dark and foggy night, you slow down BEFORE reaching the bridge which may be out …you don’t keep speeding. Only in this case we are risking the future of all humans. Time to slow down was long ago.

    The risks are so great, that it is far more prudent to act, while we examine the science and pander to your skepticism – than to delay further.

    The choice is pretty simple – by the science – The question is do you want a meter of sea level rise or 10 meters? Seems like you choose 10 meters. [delay= business as usual]

    The POLITICAL and FINANCIAL choices force the question: do you want to suffer sacrifice now or later? And you are choosing later or never [delay]. With an incremental destabilization and tipping point problems this forces greater danger into the future.

    Sorry, the fact that you also choose to ignore fundamental science means that you are expressing skepticism of the proposed political solutions.

  25. Joseph M says:

    Again, I’m not trying to argue science as I am I admit completely unqualified. I guess it probably is warming but I remain unconvinced that for sure human activity is responsible and that it is a really, really bad thing that it is, and that there is anything we can possibly do to stop it or that it wouldn’t make more sense to adapt to the coming changes… These are really important questions, that have not been debated publicly, at least not that I’ve heard. I think the top scientists from both sides should argue on primetime TV and may the best argument win

    [JR: Sorry, but that isn't science, that is cable TV. On what basis would you judge such a pointless argument -- who sounds more convincing? Try reading some Plato or Shakespeare. Debates are won by the best debaters.]

  26. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Joseph M,
    How will we adapt to the coming changes if we will not even admit that the changes are coming? How will we adapt to the coming changes when the forecasts ignore the nastiest stuff?

    Ignoring dynamic changes to the ice sheets, we will see a sea level rise of about a meter. But the ice sheets are dynamic and the paleoclimatology evidence is that they can disappear very quickly.

    Ignoring changes to the CO2 cycle we get a difficult temperature rise. But we know that temperature will cause changes to the CO2 cycle, nature has not yet added her bit to the total.

    Methane from the permafrost add that in.

    As temperature warms and some farming areas become unproductive other areas will become productive. But the area gained will be minuscule against the area lost and the new areas will not be that productive lacking the required soils.

    Adaption is a myth. If we follow business as usual then civilisation is doomed. Even if Copenhagen is completely successful civilization will be strained almost to breaking because of the heat in the pipeline from what has already been emitted.

  27. Joseph M says:

    I think, I hope the truth, whatever that is, will win out in the end. You cannot deny that this science has substantial political and financial interests in the mix. That leave doubt in many peoples minds that the science may be biased.

  28. David B. Benson says:

    Joseph M (27) — Go actually read the summary in the link provided in my prior comment #21. You will find no political nor financial interests in it.

  29. TomG says:

    FUD
    I am so sick and tired of FUD spreaders such as Joseph M.
    Did you look at Wit’s End video?
    How about reading Joe’s book ‘Hell and High Water’.
    Reading not your thing?
    Try ‘Climate Denial Crock of The Week’ videos.
    If you’re unqualified to argue climate science, then why are you here trying to cast doubt upon it?
    Smoke a joint and calm down?
    Not a chance.
    I face my problems straight up and not befuddled like you seem to be.

    By the way…I don’t use “stupid insults”.

  30. Leif says:

    Joseph M, # 27: The pursuit of science is what it has always been, the pursuit of knowledge. One “NEW FACT” is all it takes to tumble a discipline. To think that there can be an international conspiracy to “cook the books” this day in age of instant communication is delusional. However, big money has a track record of deceiving the public to protect its profits numerous times. Tobacco, Black-water, War in Iraq, to name a few of the most obvious. Science has consistently said “look at the facts, Arctic ice melting, glaciers, melting, etc., and our consensus view is excess greenhouse gasses are the cause. Your side has consistently countered with nit picking, slander, quoting out of context and dime a dozen sound bites. Not one fact has stood the test of time. If your argument is who has the most to gain, the status quo wins hands down and big money does not give two sh*ts weather you live or die. And you know it. Each and every day that global warming action is delayed is tens of millions of dollars out of our pockets and into theirs. Sustainability means that a bigger share of that money stays here at home for all of us and not to a middle east fiefdom or hidden Swiss bank account.

  31. JohnA says:

    I have not read all the comments or all the posts, however, it is clear to me that along with the emails that were compromised, science was also.

    I am NOT a scientist, but having been involved with research granting and on the board of a government scientific adjudication agency, I certainly understand science, peer review, and the importance of the science being right, unassailable and not subject to misinterpretation.

    Having emails talk about how to subvert other points of views, erasing files and other nebulous discussions such as “tricks” does not sit right with the vast majority of fair minded people.

    Do not shoot the messenger, albeit the messages were illegally obtained.

    Instead, look at the message and actions of those who transgressed and whose actions cause the thousands of ethical scientists work to be called into question.

    I depend on good science to make my decisions. I would not tolerate this type of behavior if it came to light in the areas I have responsibility.

    Climate change issues are too important for any hint of skulduggery.

  32. dhogaza says:

    Having emails talk about how to subvert other points of views, erasing files and other nebulous discussions such as “tricks” does not sit right with the vast majority of fair minded people.

    Actually, fair-minded people understand what tricks of the trade are. Carpenters use them, that’s one reason they can build walls faster than you or I. Mathematicians and software engineers use tricks all the time. Scientists use tricks all the time.

    Willful misunderstanding of the use of the word “trick” means we can file JohnA in the folder “denialist”.

    I depend on good science to make my decisions. I would not tolerate this type of behavior if it came to light in the areas I have responsibility.

    So if I were to use, say, the XOR trick while writing code for you, you’d fire me?

    Weird. Damned weird.

  33. Leland Palmer says:

    Hi all-

    Actually, all of the emails, uniformly, so far, appear to have good explanations, and display nothing more than a small amount of bad judgment, in some cases.

    Much has been made about the emails that want to keep the Soon and Baliunas paper that appeared in the journal Climate Research in 2003 from being published.

    But Soon and Baliunas are now part of the ExxonMobil funded network of paid climate deniers, although they may not have been when the paper was published.

    Here’s what the 2007 Union of Concerned Scientists report on ExxonMobil had to say about Soon and Baliunas, and the Climate Research journal controversy:

    http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/exxon_report.pdf

    In 2003, Baliunas and Soon were catapulted
    into a higher profile debate when they published a
    controversial review article about global warming
    in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

    Writing in the journal Climate Research, the two contrarians
    reviewed the work of a number of previous
    scientists and alleged that the twentieth century
    was not the warmest century of the past 1,000
    years and that the climate had not changed significantly
    over that period.79

    The Soon-Baliunas paper was trumpeted widely by organizations and
    individuals funded by ExxonMobil.80

    It was also seized upon by like-minded politicians, most
    notably James Inhofe (R-OK), chair (until January
    2007) of the Senate Environment and Public
    Works Committee, who has repeatedly asserted
    that global warming is a hoax. Inhofe cited the
    Soon-Baliunas review as proof that natural variability,
    not human activity, was the “overwhelming
    factor” influencing climate change.81

    Less widely publicized was the fact that three
    of the editors of Climate Research—including incoming
    editor-in-chief Hans von Storch—resigned
    in protest over the Soon-Baliunas paper. Storch
    stated that he suspected that “some of the skeptics
    had identified Climate Research as a journal where
    some editors were not as rigorous in the review
    process as is otherwise common” and described
    the manuscript as “flawed.”82

    In addition, thirteen
    of the scientists cited in the paper published a
    rebuttal explaining that Soon and Baliunas had
    seriously misinterpreted their research.83

    This controversy did not stop Soon and
    Baliunas from becoming central “new voices” in
    ExxonMobil’s effort to manufacture uncertainty
    about global warming. Both scientists quickly
    established relationships with a network of organizations
    underwritten by the corporation.

    Over the past several years, for example, Baliunas
    has been formally affiliated with no fewer than
    nine organizations receiving funding from Exxon-
    Mobil.86
    Among her other affiliations, she is now
    a board member and senior scientist at the Marshall
    Institute, a scientific advisor to the Annapolis
    Center for Science-Based Public Policy, an advisory
    board member of the Committee for a Constructive
    Tomorrow, and a contributing scientist
    to the online forum Tech Central Station, all of
    which are underwritten by ExxonMobil.87 (For
    more, see Appendix B, Table 2.)

    Here is Soon’s list of affiliations with the ExxonMobil funded information laundering network:

    Willie Soon:

    Fraser Institute: Featured Expert
    Frontiers of Freedom: Chief Scientific Researcher for the Organization’s Center for Science and Public Policy
    George C. Marshall Institute: Senior Scientist
    Heartland Institute: Writer/contributor
    Tech Central Station: Science Roundtable member

    Here is Baliunas’ list of affilitions with the ExxonMobil funded paid denier network:

    Sallie Baliunas:
    Annapolis Center for Science Based Public Policy: Science and Economic Advisory Council Member
    Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow: Academic and Scientific Advisory Board Member
    Competitive Enterprise Institute: Report Author
    George C. Marshall Institute: Senior Scientist and Chair of Science Advisory Board
    Global Climate Coalition: Featured Scientist
    Heartland Institute: Writer/contributor
    Heritage Foundation: Writer/contributor
    Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace: Robert Wesson Endowment Fund Fellow (1993-4)
    Tech Central Station: Science Round Table Member

    If the paper was really so bad that three editors at Climate Research resigned over it, and thirteen of the scientists referenced by the paper repudiated it, can’t we be a little sympathetic to private emails from scientists that want to keep it from being published in the first place?

    Not to mention the profit motive of Soon and Baliunas, who are now paid members of a paid information laundering network.

  34. Raleigh Latham says:

    When did all these ridiculous anti-science spammers get on this site? If I was the moderator, I would just remove their comments. We need productive discussion, not more people coming on this site shouting conspiracies they heard on Fox News.

    [JR: It's useful to see the disinformation from time to time, but only in small doses, I agree!]

  35. joe samuels says:

    Funny how this little report from NASA has been supressed. It’s about transparency and everything should be discussed without an interference from politicians.

    http://symonsez.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/ nasa-data-contradicting-global-warming-assumptions-released-in-cone-of-silence/

    [JR: It's not suppressed. It's been widely reported. It doesn't contradict human-caused global warming in the least. Also, other recent studies come to a different conclusion. It'd be great if it were true, but it probably isn't. Another right-wing conspiracy theory bites the test.]

  36. Mike#22 says:

    From a legal and scientific standpoint, the status of CO2 as a pollutant was settled back in 1992-1994 with the signing and ratification UNFCC treaty by the US and over a hundred other nations.

    “The Senate consented to ratification on October 7, 1992, with a two-thirds majority vote. President Bush signed the instrument of ratification October 13, 1992, and deposited it with the U.N. Secretary General.” (wikipedia)

    They lost the legal and scientific fight 17 years ago.

    So, just what are they trying to accomplish?

    One objective might be to protect employee morale. If you own a company that absolutely needs engineers and scientist for projects like ultra deep water drilling, you don’t want them off their feed. The sub salt oil off Brazil is one example where the companies with the best and brightest win a big prize. How do these employees react when their kids come home from school and ask questions about global warming? Well, thanks to the (paid)hackers and a moribund MSM, they can tell their kids it is all just a hoax.

  37. Sufferin' Succotash says:

    Cool it Raleigh.
    If denialist trollery starts getting removed from the site, then the Great East Anglian Conspiracy will have reared its ugly head again.
    Can’t have that, can we?

  38. John Mashey says:

    re: #34
    I have long wished a feature for moderated blogs to keep the Signal-to-noise ratio OK. At some point the moderator gets a choice of something like

    Accept
    Delete
    Edit

    and I’d like another choice:
    Shadow

    The idea is
    1) The incoming post is added to a “shadow” thread for the main thread, automatically created if there is nothing there already.

    2) Instead of the post, the main thread gets just a 1-line placeholder: the poster’s name, date, maybe a subject, and a link to the post now located in the shadow thread. If desired, there might be a “reason” label attached.

    3) A link is added at the bottom of the post in the shadow thread bring you back to the placeholder.

    So, the moderator can exercise editorial control, and still let more people post what they want, with no more than it takes now, but without letting people swamp the S/N ratio by filling otherwise useful threads with junk.

    Unfortunately, there seems to be a “Gresham’s Law of the Internet” in which junk drives out good material. The same thing happened to many umoderated USENET newsgroups, where a newsgroup that was mostly filled with really good discussions, sometimes by top experts, got overrun. At least we had good KILLFILES, but even so, many of the experts gave up.

    If a reader *wants* to follow a link to the shadow post, they can, and even reply to it there if they want.

    Fairly quickly, readers should be able to assess:
    a) Do the moderators’ choices make sense? This is especially valuable for ignoring drive-bys and/or anonymous posts.

    b) Are there people that are just never worth reading?
    USENET KILLFILEs worked pretty well, but nowhere near close for blogs.

    c) Sometimes an otherwise-reasonable poster gets sucked into some off-topic goosechase, and this gives the moderator and easy way to do something about it.

    After all, good newspapers add value by careful selection of Letters.

  39. Dave says:

    The authorities need to apprehend these criminals and punish them to the fullest extent of the law.

  40. Deep Climate says:

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/12/06/the-times-climate-e-mail-hackers-aimed-to-maximise-harm-to-copenhagen-summit/

    TimesOnline has reported that investigators of the CRU email theft (dubbed SwiftHack or Climategate) have concluded that the release of the stolen material was timed to cause maximum damage to the upcoming Copenhagen conference. The system had first been hacked weeks before the release of the emails.

    This development, along with the new reports of sabotage at the University of Victoria, should finally lay to rest the baseless rumour that the CRU hacked file was assembled at CRU and released by an inside whistleblower, a canard that it turns out was started by – wait for it – none other than Steve McIntyre himself!

    Plus: Andrew Bolt fingers Tom Wigley as the whistleblower.

  41. Thomas says:

    The Washington Post had a column up dated 12-4 by Murdoch that a was rather interesting (post the link, but been cut every time I’ve tried so far – I’m still new :)!). Might be worth a read to everyone to remind them of some of the forgotten history of the Republican Party (a part I personally wish they would remember…). For many of you it may give you quite a bit that would be useful to know the next time you run into a “conservative” that thinks forwarding green technology or environmental concern is somehow foreign to their party’s ideological thinking.

    It was forwarded over to me from someone whom I have been e-mailing with whom I met on this site under a thread last week where we agreed to take our discussion “off line” as it was bit OT here. But want to give her (Elizabeth) a public thanks and credit for pointing it out to me , I’m very appreciative (I’m going to send it to a couple friends I’ve got…) – and if you’re reading this before I get back to you – yes! exactly what we have been talking about, (on both of them).

    In regards to this specific post on the break in attempts and successful break ins – disturbing insight, probably all going to get much worse before anything is settled (politically)…

  42. Al says:

    This isn’t so much a comment on a specific thread, as a point about the topic in general.
    I have Q.E.D. by Richard Feynman, a neat little book, in which, of course, he laid out his alternative model of the interaction between light and matter.
    I was re-reading it and a few lines in the introduction struck me immediately. The details of the subject are not the issue here. I think he makes a general point about physics that applies as well to climate change as it does to Quantum Electrodynamics:

    “…many reasons why you might not understand…” he lists a few. Then finally,
    “there is this possibility: after I tell you something, you just can’t believe it. You can’t accept it. You don’t like it. A little screen comes down and you don’t listen anymore. I’m going to describe to you how Nature is – and if you don’t like it, that’s going to get in the way of your understanding it. It’s a problem that physicists have learned to deal with: They’ve learned to realize that whether they like a theory or they don’t like a theory is not the essential question. Rather, it is whether or not the theory gives predictions that agree with experiment.”

    Unfortunately, of course, a large number of the very vocal people who don’t like what they hear, are in the U.S.A., (only 2% of the world’s surface area) and feeling rather cold right now, and they don’t appear able to grasp the problems already showing in much of the other 98% of the world. (Seen Desdemona Despair recently?)

    A page further on, and guess what word comes up: “I’m going to explain to you what the physicists are doing when they are predicting how Nature will behave, but I’m not going to teach you any tricks so you can do it efficiently.”

    Heeeello! You can draw your own conclusions from that, of course.

  43. Donald says:

    This story could be big, if true.

    “Suspicions were growing last night that Russian security services were behind the leaking of the notorious British ‘Climategate’ emails which threaten to undermine tomorrow’s Copenhagen global warming summit.

    An investigation by The Mail on Sunday has discovered that the explosive hacked emails from the University of East Anglia were leaked via a small web server in the formerly closed city of Tomsk in Siberia.

    ….

    Computer hackers in Tomsk have been used in the past by the Russian secret service (FSB) to shut websites which promote views disliked by Moscow.

    Such arrangements provide the Russian government with plausible deniability while using so-called ‘hacker patriots’ to shut down websites.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1233562/Emails-rocked-climate-change-campaign-leaked-Siberian-closed-city-university-built-KGB.html

  44. Leif says:

    Thanks for the link Donald. One would think that there was some sophistication behind the hacking. Great to see that the law is taking an interest in this. It will be interesting to see how Beck and crowd will spin the facts that they are in fact supporting a Russian agenda. I noticed one of the anti-science, (AS) commentators on that story is already sided with the Russian motives. Very strange.

  45. Leland Palmer says:

    Hi Donald and Leif-

    Well, global warming is in the Russian’s short term self interest, rescuing them from some of the brutality of their winters.

    On the other hand, this theory ignores the apparent coordination between the paid climate denier network and the release of this information.

    Our own intelligence services, like the NSA, routinely monitor email traffic from around the world, and have access to semantic analysis software, that could reportedly find these misleadingly damning quotes in minutes or seconds:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narus

    A single NarusInsight machine can monitor traffic equal to the maximum capacity (10 Gbit/s) of around 39,000 DSL lines or 195,000 telephone modems. But, in practical terms, since individual internet connections are not continually filled to capacity, the 10 Gbit/s capacity of one NarusInsight installation enables it to monitor the combined traffic of several million broadband users.

    According to a company press release, the latest version of NarusInsight Intercept Suite (NIS) is “the industry’s only network traffic intelligence system that supports real-time precision targeting, capturing and reconstruction of webmail traffic… including Google Gmail, MSN Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Gawab Mail (English and Arabic versions).” [5]

    It can also perform semantic analysis of the same traffic as it is happening, in other words analyze the content, meaning, structure and significance of this entire traffic, as it is happening. The exact use of this data is not fully documented, as the public is not authorized to see what types of activities and ideas are being watched for.

    Think about it.

  46. Jeff says:

    Re: #17,

    thanks a lot for that video, it literally made my day when he completely dismantled Mr. Limbaugh. Hilarious.

  47. It is so amusing to see the very neocons that are putting down educators who teach critical thinking rather than teach to a test, are also putting down scientists whose independent, juried research does not match their highly profitable-pollution economy thinking. Then, these same people state they want more science to be taught in our schools. Now, why would anybody want to work so hard to get a PhD and become a scientist when they’ll face this illogical, irrational, misinformed product defense that demonizes our own scientists, while committing illegal acts to defend their pollution economy way of life? Oh, let’s not forget the unfunded, yet mandated No Child Left Behind “Act” these very same people still push. They obviously and truly do NOT want rational, thinking people in our country, as those people would would be able to question the neocon’s irrationality and illogical thinking. If they did, they would have funded the very same educational system that creates scientists.

  48. Oh, and I forgot. Isn’t this the same group of people who don’t want a public health option and are fighting health care reform, in general? I see similarities here: ClimateGate just before Copengagen, and the release of a “scientific” study that included no oncologists or radiologists recommending less testing for mammograms just before a vote on health care. Hmmm. Something’s rotten in the USA. Could it be Product Defense?