On the heels of the controversial story about emails and data stolen by hackers from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, it has now been revealed that individuals posing as network technicians recently attempted to infiltrate another climate data center operated by the Government of Canada.
According to sources at the University of Victoria (who choose to remain anonymous), two people claiming to be network computer technicians presented themselves "around 3 weeks ago" at the headquarters of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis and tried to gain access to the data servers.
When challenged by an employee, the two individuals hastily left. The timing of this attempted break-in is very suspicious given that it occurred so closely on the heels of the release of hacked emails and data from a similar facility housed at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK.
The story was also verified by a UVIC spokesperson in an interview yesterday with the National Post.
According to Environment Canada who has jurisdiction over the facility, officials state they "have no evidence that any attempts to hack into computers at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis have been successful. For security reasons, Environment Canada does not comment on specific threats against its infrastructure."
"This is disturbing news and it shows that there is an organized criminal campaign that is going to great lengths to infiltrate secure facilities and steal private data," said Jim Hoggan, author of the new book Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming. "We don't know who is behind these criminal acts, but we hope they will eventually be unmasked by police. In the meantime, what we do know is that the individuals and organizations that quickly launched an online PR campaign to misrepresent the content of the hacked emails from the University of East Anglia are part of a decades-long confusion campaign to delay government action on the issue."
The goal of this campaign, which began around the time of the first Kyoto Protocol negotiations, was to assemble a group of like-minded "free-market" think tanks and pseudo-science experts that would call into question the scientific research on climate change, create doubt in the minds of the public and politicians, and effectively delay the introduction of clean energy policies in the United States and elsewhere.
It is no coincidence that the groups publicizing the University of East Anglia email hacking story also have a long history of taking money from oil and coal companies to attack the conclusions made by climate scientists.
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow: owns and operate ClimateDepot.com, which has been a main clearinghouse for the right-wing climategate echo chamber. ClimateDepot.com is managed by Marc Morano, former aide to Republican Senator James Inhofe. CFACT has received grants from Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and well-known right-wing foundations like the Carthage Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.
American Enterprise Institute: Offered to pay "experts" $10,000 to write papers that countered the IPCC reports. AEI has received close to half a million from oil-giant ExxonMobil, former Exxon Chairman Lee Raymond sits on AEI's board of directors.
Media Research Center: run by Brett Bozell, this group also operates the popular right-wing blog, Newsbusters.org. The Media Research Center has received over $257,000 from oil-giant ExxonMobil since 1998.
Cato Institute: Is the main front group for the most prolific climate denier, Patrick Michaels. Cato is the second largest recipient of funding the foundations run by Koch Industries Inc. (the largest private energy company in the United States).
Heartland Institute: Organizes a "denier conference" every year for the past three years. Used to receive funding from ExxonMobil, still recieve grants from tobacco companies and are also a major recipient of grants from the foundations run by Koch Industries Inc. (the largest private energy company in the United States).
Heritage Foundation: Heritage is massive and operates on about $50 million a year. They have received significant funding from ExxonMobil, Koch Industries and other fossil fuel companies.
National Center for Policy Analysis: the NCPA is a small, but very vocal Dallas, Texas-based freemarket think tank and has received over $540,900 from oil giant ExxonMobil since 1998.
Competitive Enterprise Institute: The CEI is well-known for its public efforts to aggressively counter the scientific evidence for human-induced climate change, especially after their infamous set of television ads with the tag line "C02, We Call it Life." Since 1998, the CEI has received over $2 million in funding from oil-giant ExxonMobil.
Check out Brad Johnson's post on the Wonk Room for his take: Watergate Redux: Break-ins Reported At Another Top Climate Research Center