For now, a press release. More later:


WASHINGTON (Nov. 22, 2011)–In an apparent effort to discredit climate science, hackers again posted stolen emails from leading climate scientists online today, just days ahead of a United Nations climate meeting. According to the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, the emails released today are part of the same batch that was stolen from the university years ago. Only some of those emails were released in November 2009. Since then, multiple investigations exonerated scientists who had their emails stolen of misconduct.

“These leftover emails should be met with a collective yawn,” said Francesca Grifo, senior scientist and director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) Scientific Integrity Program. “It’s time to condemn the real perpetrators in this story: the hackers who stole and released university property. The hackers and their allies are resorting to desperate measures to distract the public when our focus should be on how to respond to climate change.”

Norfolk police who are investigating the original hacking told the British newspaper Guardian that the contents of the leftover emails will be “of interest” in their attempts to identify the hackers. UCS called on British authorities to escalate their investigation.

“Two years after the emails were stolen, the hackers have still not been brought to justice,” Grifo said. “British authorities should redouble their efforts to find the criminals who are behind this. To do otherwise sends a message that freedom of expression will only selectively be protected.”

UCS climate scientist Brenda Ekwurzel said the emails are a distraction from important scientific findings. “The stolen emails are an inconsequential sideshow compared to the main event: preparing ourselves for climate change and reducing emissions,” she said. “Stolen emails won’t cool us off during killer heat waves or prevent floodwaters from washing away our homes.”

Just last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report linking climate change to certain types of dangerous extreme weather, including heat waves and shifts in rainfall that lead, in many areas, to prolonged drought punctuated by heavy flooding.

Grifo also called on universities to better protect the privacy of researchers while honoring their obligation to respond to open records requests, warning that failure to do so could expose others to unwarranted attacks. UCS has closely followed requests for emails from scientists and academics in the United States.

“Attacks like these threaten not only the privacy of scientists, but also of students, faculty and the public,” said Grifo. “Universities need to adequately protect their own records.”

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The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading U.S. science-based nonprofit organization working for a healthy environment and a safer world. Founded in 1969, UCS is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also has offices in Berkeley, Chicago and Washington, D.C. For more information, go to www.ucsusa.org.

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Aaron Huertas
Press Secretary
Union of Concerned Scientists
1825 K St. NW Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006

Comments

  1. #1 dean
    November 22, 2011

    I can’t tell from this – but I’m only giving a quick between-classes read – but did the folks who released these just dump them, or was there a “see, right here, here’s where the people doing the research admit to fraud and coverups?”

    I ask because a simple dump, with no finger pointing, is evidence as clear as you can have that they (the thieves) did not find any smoking gun in the emails, and are just trying to assert conspiracy with smoke and mirrors. If that is the case, the response should point it out.

    If they do try to argue that the messages do contain evidence of conspiracy, and indicate where they found it, it should be easy to address those points and show the bold-faced lies being put forth.

    Either approach would (it seems to me) be more direct than saying “Stolen emails won’t cool us off during killer heat waves or prevent floodwaters from washing away our homes.”

    It is interesting that no success in finding the guilty folks has been made in two years: are agencies actively investigating or aren’t they?

  2. #2 Joel
    November 22, 2011

    dean: basically, there’s a readme giving a political motivation for making the release along with a couple of quotemines. As quotemines go, they’re entirely innocuous, and, if anything, disprove several of the things that deniers have been repeatedly claiming (such as that scientists have been engaged in groupthink, for example).

  3. #3 Joel
    November 22, 2011

    The lack of success investigating is an interesting point though: according to an this BBC article, only £5,649.09 has been spent on the “investigation” in the last 12 months. So, obviously, it’s not something the cops are doing much about.

  4. #4 dean
    November 22, 2011

    Thanks Greg. It seems to me a direct response that refutes those misleading quotes would be a great first response.

  5. #5 blackheart
    November 23, 2011

    Reminds me of the AZT debate

  6. #6 Knightly
    November 23, 2011

    Oh FFS… What do these hackers have against science? It’s what they use! Computers are made out of science!

    And the scientists need to be more careful. The only way they’d be under more scrutiny is if there were in Gitmo, and that’s not going to happen unless Perry wins.

  7. #7 fishskicanoe
    November 24, 2011

    My guess is that the hackers are Russian based. Either from folks in the petro industry or even the Russian government itself. The hackers complain that $37 trillion dollars will have to be spent to bring greenhouse gases under control. I’m guessing that their real concern is that $37 trillion will be spent on things other than Russian gas and oil.

  8. #8 Bob
    November 25, 2011

    From a non-scientist Brit who fully supports climate change science the UEA academics did not get fully exonerated. Their science may have been good but their behaviour was less than impeccable. And, had they been more amenable to the FoI requests they received the hack may never have taken place.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    November 25, 2011

    Bob, I’m sorry, but you really are not correct here. First of all, do you want FOI to apply to your personal email? No? I didn’t think so. Second, you need to state your standards … do you really think academics in all fields don’t already act like dicks all the time? I have worked with a lot of different academic communities, including climate science, and I can tell you that while the structure of cliquishness and back biting is distinctly different in climate science than it is, say, in primatology or in anthropology, it is there and real and serious. This is a problem of academics in general. You would need to make a case that the entire culture of academics should magically not apply to a particular subset of academics. And you can’t.

  10. #10 Gerard Harbison
    November 25, 2011

    Greg:

    If you want to send personal email, get a gmail account. If it ends with .edu or .ac.uk, it’s not personal email.

    And “we’re all assholes, it’s not just them” is not much of an endorsement.

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    November 25, 2011

    Gerald, that is something you just made up. What you are saying is incorrect. Do you not know this or are you being dishonest? It is hard to tell with you. I don’t associate the name Gerald Harbison with either honest or integrity.

    I’ve been in academia for years and I had an email account with an .edu extention practically since the day they were availalable, and I’ve been associated with numerous institutions or parts of institution and I’ve sat on IT policy committees.

    Generally, people at academic institution who are faculty, research staff, and students are expected to use their email for general use. There may be exceptions to this but I’ve not seen one.

  12. #12 Pete
    November 26, 2011

    Most who defend “Climate Change” know it’s all baloney.

    What they do know is that:

    a) It’s a great Trojan Horse for the Technocratic-Marxism/Brave New World
    b) If the Climate baloney goes down the drain many more people will realize what Jonathan Swift was trying to tell us when he created the Laputians in Gulliver Travels. Is that many scientists have a tendency to be stupid, corrupt, egocentric and authoritarian.

    Me? I look foward to watch the USS Enterprise and James T. Kirk burn along with the United Federations of Planets (aka United Nations). Have a nice day Laputians!

  13. #13 Tom Holzel
    November 26, 2011

    Hmmm, interesting article that mentions some stolen emails which the thieves say are incriminating, but we poor sods don’t get to see any of those stolen emails. In other words, we have to take the leftwing UCS’s word for it. Or they are too trenchantly accurate, USC is terrified to let us see what a bunch of liars they themselves have been on the subject all these Years? BTW, do you notice the usual liberal distortion used here? NO ONE is saying that global warming isn’t happening; what they are saying is that the cause if not anthropogenic (human activity). But it’s much easier to put up a straw man and then boldly knock it down than to answer their critics: Global warming is 95% “natural”–caused by cyclical changes in solar radiation, etc. But the left won’t tolerate that viewpoint–it prevents them from demanding the USA ruin it’s industrial might by adopting ruinous anti-pollutions controls in order that China and India can rule the commercial world while they pollute to their hearts content. Kind of reminds me of another screwball mentality the left used for years, to wit: “We mustn’t let pilots keep guns in the cockpit; can you imagine what might have happened if pilots had guns on the 911 flights?”

  14. #14 Greg Laden
    November 26, 2011

    Tom. The science says you are wrong. I’m not sure how someone can be so abysmally wrong as you are. I suspect your ignorance is willful and politically motivated.

  15. #15 Drivebyposter
    November 27, 2011

    NO ONE is saying that global warming isn’t happening; what they are saying is that the cause if not anthropogenic (human activity).

    What a fucking stupid little liar you are. TONS of people deny global warming is happening in any way, shape, or form.

    Also,how do you know they are liars? Because the information conflicts with the voices in your head? (Hint: The answer to that question is “Yes”)

    On a side note, it is pretty impressive that you mostly learned to type, your kind are more or less illiterate.

  16. #16 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlFBTHQt2nQ-D5byBkq8JhaGwWNjpd5_3w
    November 27, 2011

    “can you imagine what might have happened if pilots had guns on the 911 flights?”

    Yes: three planes full of people dying from rapid decompression. Guns would have not only been ineffective against men who had already planned to die that day, but it would have killed everyone else on board due to rapid decompression. When you shoot a hole in a pressurized aluminum capsule in the vacuum of the upper atmosphere, it lets go of all of its pressurized air, turning a relatively small bullet hole into a gaping void while issuing an immediate death sentence to everyone on board. They would freeze and suffocate at the same time. Having a gun in the cockpit would be the same as rigging the plane with explosives: the effect would be the same.

  17. #17 dean
    November 27, 2011

    gerald and the others aren’t much on the side of honesty here – siding with thieves against people with whom they don’t agree. typical.

    I am quite surprised how little traction this latest collection of emails has made. Our local news folks were all over the earlier bunch; nothing this time. Just returned from a trip south and it’s the same their. Either they haven’t been as widely dispersed or folks learned the first time that there is no there there.

  18. #18 Cedric Katesby
    November 27, 2011

    “NO ONE is saying that global warming isn’t happening; what they are saying is that the cause if not anthropogenic (human activity).”

    What a fucking stupid little liar you are. TONS of people deny global warming is happening in any way, shape, or form.

    Well said. Thank you.

    Tom is truly a stupid little liar. I would like to see him fight a cheese-grater with his tounge.
    A quick google search is not his friend.

  19. #19 dean
    November 28, 2011

    to joel @2: my apologies for missing that it was you responding and mistakenly attributing it to greg.

  20. #20 Greg Laden
    November 28, 2011

    You’ve totally ruined my interest in grated cheese for the rest of the day.