I am talking about the case of a British university’s server being hacked and approximately 160mb of data and email being leaked. The server that was hacked was of prominent climate change researchers:
The computer files were apparently accessed earlier this week from servers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, a world-renowned centre focused on the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change.
Climate change sceptics who have studied the emails allege they provide “smoking gun” evidence that some of the climatologists colluded in manipulating data to support the widely held view that climate change is real, and is being largely caused by the actions of mankind.
This has got the wingnuts fired up and pulling out zingers like this:
— “If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW,” says the Telegraph’s James Delingpole.
– Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey claims the emails discuss “repetitive, false data of higher temperatures.”
– The National Review’s Chris Horner salivates, “The blue-dress moment may have arrived.”
– “The crimes revealed in the e-mails promise to be the global warming scandal of the century,” blares Michelle Malkin.
– The Australia Herald-Sun’s Andrew Bolt claims the emails are “proof of a conspiracy which is one of the largest, most extraordinary and most disgraceful in moderrn [sic] science.”
But let’s be clear: Jones is talking to his colleagues about making a prettier picture out of his data, and not about manipulating the data itself. Again, I’m not trying to excuse what he did — we make a lot of charts here and 538 and make every effort to ensure that they fairly and accurately reflect the underlying data (in addition to being aesthetically appealing.) I wish everybody would abide by that standard.
Still: I don’t know how you get from some scientist having sexed up a graph in East Anglia ten years ago to The Final Nail In The Coffin of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Anyone who comes to that connection has more screws loose than the Space Shuttle Challenger. And yet that’s literally what some of these bloggers are saying!
Instead I want to focus on the source of this latest conspiracy craze – the hacked emails.
It was just a little over a year ago that everyone was focusing on some other emails obtained through hacking. Those emails happened to reside in Sarah Palin’s email account. Did the wingnuts jump onto the information they provided as evidence against Palin? Absolutely not. Instead they wrote them off as being nothing because they were obtained through the illegal means of hacking. Let’s look at how some of these wingnuts described that incident:
The law will catch up to the hackers, but what about the lowlifes who are now gleefully splashing the alleged contents of Palin’s private e-mail account all over the Internet? – Michelle Malkin
The group taking responsibility certainly has a history of partisan attacks, as Caleb Howe notes in his post. He has a picture and a video that he took of their protest at the Republican convention, although Howe also wonders exactly why they were there – Ed Morrissey
Funny how back in September 2008 hacking was a horrible thing to these wingnuts, but today it is nothing but awesomeness.
Back to the subject of the day – the climate change emails. Do all these wingnuts really believe that 90% of the world’s scientists got together and decided to mislead the entire globe? Perhaps they think that the disappearing ice on the polar ice caps is just some big Hollywood effect? Really – these people are insane. They act like global warming is some big marketing scheme, when in fact denying it is. That’s the reason that companies like Exxon pay big money to the other 10% of “scientists” to actually fake data and rewrite actual scientific reports to try and show that global warming doesn’t exist.
Like I said, aluminum foil is now about as precious as gold since the wingnuts are buying it up.