Rename Climategate after the crime, not the victim

… we don’t name these things after the victim of these illegal hacks — a livable climate. We name them after the crime or its location a la Watergate. Certainly in this modern version of The Purlioned Letter, a better name would be Hackergate, if only because Nothing-gate isn’t catchy enough to catch on.  But I welcome your suggestions.  The winner of this contest gets … absolute nothing.

Note that is “the Web’s most influential climate-change blogger” according to Time. Eh?

Ah, of course: “ A Project of Center For American Progress Action Fund.”



“Even the tobacco companies never tried to slander legitimate cancer researchers”

Reprinting authentic documents in their entirety? Slandery! Tobacco lawyers Halliburton! Free Mumia!


Climategate in Perspective, Featuring Isaac Newton

The scandalistas say little about the fact that this breach of security and publishing of private communications is a crime.

Last time I heard this argument, we had just tried to smuggle 14-year-old Guatemalan prostitutes to a safe house and hide the income.


… the most controversial comments, plucked out of context, come from a private correspondence between CRU researcher Phil Jones and Pennsylvania State University’s Michael Mann (author of the infamous “hocky stick graph” of rising global average temperatures):

“I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards), and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline,” wrote Jones.

I’ll save you from the science wonkery and allusions here (check out RealClimate for a more detailed explanation), but noisy climate skeptics are jumping on two parts of that sentence. Guess which ones? Yup, “trick” and “hide the decline.” …

A few things to keep in mind throughout this entire “scandal”:

  • People — whether they are world reknowned scientists or your little sister — tend to use much more casual and joking language in emails than they would, for example, in a public statement or IPCC report.
  • It’s easy, though inadvisable, for those of us outside of the scientific community to make sweeping assumptions about discussions of complex data sets.
  • Climate change skeptics are always looking for an excuse to declare peer-review scientific data a “fraud.”
  • How ironic — and convenient? — that this should occur in the weeks leading up to the biggest international climate talks to date.

So, the casual and joking phrase:

Go direct to the publishers and point out the fact that their journal is perceived as being a medium for disseminating misinformation under the guise of refereed work. I use the word “perceived” here, since whether it is true or not is not what the publishers care about — it is how the journal is seen by the community that counts.

… is too complex of a data set to be making sweeping assumptions about. Got it.


From the BBC’s Open Secrets:

Professor Jones also told me that he concurs with the view expressed by some other academics that freedom of information may be too intrusive into academic matters. He said: “My e-mails were personal. This is all about academic freedom. I’m just a humble scientist trying to do research.”

What about the academic freedom of McKittrick and McIntyre? Or Soon and Baliunas? Or Roger Pielke Sr.? Or the CEI? (Hat tip: Charles Martin)


From Open Mind:

If anything, the messages prove that there is not any conspiracy, and the scientists at CRU did not fudge data or engage in deceptive practices to push their “agenda.”

Then why did the emails discuss fudging data and engaging in deceptive practices to push their agenda? Just sayin’.


From The Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media:

There are too many double entendres, too many amorphous interpretations, too many shades of color in those e-mails to yet lead to decisive conclusions.

What do you say we go back to my place tonight, and Hide the Decline … Mmm, Delete the Emails, yes …