Hacked E-Mail Is a New Fodder for Climate Dispute

November 24, 2009
Hacked E-Mail Is New Fodder for Climate Dispute
“This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud”
By ANDREW C. REVKIN, New York Times

Hundreds of private e-mail messages and documents hacked from a computer server at a British university are causing a stir among global warming skeptics, who say they show that climate scientists conspired to overstate the case for a human influence on climate change. The e-mail messages, attributed to prominent American and British climate researchers, include discussions of scientific data and whether it should be released, exchanges about how best to combat the arguments of skeptics, and casual comments — in some cases derisive — about specific people known for their skeptical views. Drafts of scientific papers and a photo collage that portrays climate skeptics on an ice floe were also among the hacked data, some of which dates back 13 years. In one e-mail exchange, a scientist writes of using a statistical “trick” in a chart illustrating a recent sharp warming trend. In another, a scientist refers to climate skeptics as “idiots.” Some skeptics asserted Friday that the correspondence revealed an effort to withhold scientific information. “This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud,” said Patrick J. Michaels, a climatologist who has long faulted evidence pointing to human-driven warming and is criticized in the documents.
Hackers steal electronic data from top climate research center
“Twisting the science to support their political position”
By Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post
Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said this and other exchanges show researchers have colluded to establish the scientific consensus that humans are causing climate change. “It is clear that some of the ‘world’s leading climate scientists,’ as they are always described, are more dedicated to promoting the alarmist political agenda than in scientific research,” said Ebell, whose group is funded in part by energy companies. “Some of the e-mails that I have read are blatant displays of personal pettiness, unethical conniving, and twisting the science to support their political position.”



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