Crime and Fraud in “Climategate”–on the Part of the Accusers
On November 17th, someone with an IP address apparently located in Turkey hacked the servers used by the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. 160 MB of data was stolen before the breach was noticed and the server shut down. Within a few days, the stolen data was sent, via Russia (which is highly dependent upon oil and gas revenues), to groups opposed to climate change. Groups with vested interests in fossil fuels and heavily biased against the very concept of global climate change scoured the stolen emails and documents, cherry picked “random” information which, out of context, made it seem that climate change was fraudulent and the scientists who studied it were dishonest hacks, and then executed a “highly orchestrated, manufactured scandal” which the “liberal” media immediately lapped up and made a world-wide sensation.
The damage to the reputation of climate change studies is done; despite the fact that the accusations are now completely discredited and the scientists in the “scandal” cleared of any fraud or misdoing, people around the world now have the impression that climate change science is tainted by fraud. Those who disbelieved before now feel they are vindicated, many who doubted now are swayed away from the side with real evidence on its side. And everywhere there will be the stigma of mistrust, however undeserved.
And the liberal media whose agenda is supposedly to front claims like climate change? Are they covering the story of how “Climategate” itself was a fraud and a crime with anywhere near the same fervor and hype that they covered the fraudulent claims in the first place? Of course not. A few retracted, but none cleared the scientists with a fraction of the volume or intensity in which they smeared the researchers.
It is the sad fact of the nature of the media, and how it is so easily manipulated by those who have no scruples: scandals run on page one; stories about how the scandals were not scandals at all run buried in the back. Not only are they not as sexy, but the media don’t much like admitting very loudly how easily they were scammed. And so the scammers get what they wanted.