Ed Driscoll

Climategate Scandal Professor Contemplated Suicide

The London Times reports that “the scientist at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ email scandal has revealed that he was so traumatised by the global backlash against him that he contemplated suicide:”

Professor Phil Jones said in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times that he had thought about killing himself “several times”. He acknowledged similarities to Dr David Kelly, the scientist who committed suicide after being exposed as the source for a BBC report that alleged the government had “sexed up” evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq.

In emails that were hacked into and seized upon by global-warming sceptics before the Copenhagen climate summit in December, Jones appeared to call upon his colleagues to destroy scientific data rather than release it to people intent on discrediting their work monitoring climate change.

Jones, 57, said he was unprepared for the scandal: “I am just a scientist. I have no training in PR or dealing with crises.”

But he and the gang behind Climategate had few qualms about causing them. As Mark Steyn wrote back in late 2009:

Yet perhaps the most important revelation is not the collusion, the bullying, the politicization and the evidence-planting, but the fact that, even if you wanted to do honest “climate research” at the Climatic Research Unit, the data and the models are now so diseased by the above that they’re all but useless. Let Ian “Harry” Harris, who works in “climate scenario development and data manipulation” at the CRU, sum it up. Mr. Harris was attempting to duplicate previous results—i.e., to duplicate all that science that’s supposedly settled, and the questioning of which consigns you to the Climate Branch of the Flat Earth Society. How hard should it be to confirm settled science? After much cyber-gnashing of teeth, Harry throws in the towel:

“ARGH. Just went back to check on synthetic production. Apparently—I have no memory of this at all—we’re not doing observed rain days! It’s all synthetic from 1990 onwards. So I’m going to need conditionals in the update program to handle that. And separate gridding before 1989. And what TF happens to station counts?

“OH F–K THIS. It’s Sunday evening, I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found.”

Thus spake the Settled Scientist: “OH F–K THIS.” And on the basis of “OH F–K THIS” the world’s enlightened progressives will assemble at Copenhagen for the single greatest advance in punitive liberalism ever perpetrated on the developed world.

And it also seems more than a little disingenuous for Jones to say he has no training in PR, given that the folks at the core of the Climategate scandal have been basically using the legacy media as a de facto press release distribution mechanism.

Though he’s been caught manipulating the truth, I’m glad that Jones didn’t commit an inconvenient felo-de-se. Of course, there are environmentalists even more radical than Jones who wish the rest of us would touch the face of Gaia — sooner, rather than later.