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 op-ed about it in the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal. The Journal published the op-ed 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.
Get Shawn Lawrence Otto's new book: Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America, Starred Kirkus Review; Starred Publishers Weekly review. Like him on Facebook. Join ScienceDebate.org to get the presidential candidates to debate science.
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