Climategate: Central Figure in Scandal Asked to Step Down (Updated)

Update: Climategate: The Washington Post in Denial

When I read the Washington Post’s disgraceful editorial the other day on the Climategate scandal, I thought of how far they have fallen since their big moment in the sun, Watergate. In those heady days, editor Ben Bradlee  and a team of crack investigative reporters led by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein exposed the Watergate cover-up and brought down President Nixon. Of course, they were then on the side of the permanent Washington establishment, who loathed Nixon (as he loathed them), just as they are now on the side of the permanent Washington establishment, for whom global warming alarmism is a deeply held commitment.


If it were up to the Washington Post and the New York Times and the three major television broadcast networks, the Climategate scandal would be last week’s news. Their strategy is clearly to contain and sanitize it. The “world’s leading climate scientists” and the environmental pressure groups and the mainstream media have all agreed on their talking points. Their story is: Critics are cherry-picking a few nasty emails and taking them out of context, but the vast edifice of scientific consensus is unshaken. And they’re sticking to it. But already this cover-up isn’t working. The blogosphere is pushing forward with new revelations and connecting the dots. This is the work of thousands of people, some of them with more scientific and statistical expertise than the tippity-top climate scientists at the Climatic Research Unit and the Goddard Institute of Space Studies. And a lot more honest and dedicated to finding the truth, of course.

In the meantime, the Post editorial page editors are in denial. Today, the Post published three letters in reply to their editorial article. I’m not surprised that they didn’t print mine, which I sent the day the editorial was published. I copy it below. But they did print a letter from Associate Professor Michael E. Mann of Pennsylvania State University, one of the figures at the center of the Climategate scandal. I am tempted to repeat Mary McCarthy’s remark about Lillian Hellman (“every word she writes is a lie, including and and the“), but will restrain myself.


Mann’s effrontery knows no limits. In his letter, he advises readers to go to to get the straight dope on the scandal. RealClimate is a global warming alarmist propaganda effort run by Mann and several of the others up to their necks in Climategate. Going to RealClimate is the same kind of thing as was checking with Nixon’s White House press office to get straight about Watergate.

Here’s the email of my unpublished letter:

From: Myron Ebell
To: [email protected]
Sent: Wed Nov 25 15:40:28 2009
Subject: Letter in response to editorial article, “Climate of denial,” page A18, 25th November

25th November 2009

The Letters Editor
The Washington Post
Via e-mail

Sir or Madam,

Your editorial article “Climate of denial” is remarkably ill-informed and tendentious. The article begins by claiming that, “A hacker stole and released. …” Do you have any evidence it was a computer hacker rather than a public-spirited whistleblower from within the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England who finally grew so disgusted by the ongoing scientific fraud that he made the documents public?

Second, after tsk-tsking at a few of the emails and rebuking the scientists involved in the scandal for not responding to the scandal effectively, the article then proceeds to claim that the vast scientific edifice supporting global warming alarmism is unshaken. This is outrageous. The scientists implicated are at the center of producing the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Assessment Reports and are regularly referred to as some of the world’s top climate scientists. Have you looked at some of the three thousand files or just a few of the juicier emails? Here is just one comment in one of the files from the scientist working on one of the temperature datasets:


“What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah – there is no )’supposed’, I can make it up. So I have. ..So with a somewhat cynical shrug, I added the nuclear option – to match every WMO possible, and turn the rest into new stations (er, CLIMAT excepted). In other words, what CRU usually do. It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad, but I really don’t think people care enough to fix ’em, and it’s the main reason the project is nearly a year late.” (From the “Harry Read Me” file, which may be found at

Dozens of similar comments have already been noted in the files. How does the Post know that similar corruption is not to be found in other major research supporting the so-called scientific consensus? After all, a number of the scientists implicated are at other institutions, including the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies in NYC, and several U. S. universities.

There is certainly a climate of denial, and it includes the Post editorial page. Instead of joining the effort to stonewall this scandal, the Post should be leading the way and demanding that full civil and criminal investigations be undertaken of the scientists implicated. Or have you forgotten your role in Watergate?


Yours faithfully,
Myron Ebell.

The Associated Press is reporting  from London that Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia is temporarily stepping down as director of the Climatic Research Unit, which is at the center of the Climategate scandal.

No surprise there.  Jones has been a goner for days. What is surprising is the reason that the AP gives for his “temporary” removal from his directorship:

The university says Phil Jones will relinquish his position until the completion of an independent review into allegations that he worked to alter the way in which global temperature data was presented.
The AP story’s lead sentence is even more surprising:
Britain’s University of East Anglia says the director of its prestigious Climatic Research Unit is stepping down pending an investigation into allegations that he overstated the case for man-made climate change.
One wonders how long this reporter will last in the mainstream media. He’s clearly not with the MSM program to contain and sanitize this mushrooming scandal.


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