“Climategate” – the smoking gun?

Some of the more extreme climate change deniers, and others who have an anti-science agenda, continue to dredge through the domestic debris of the emails stolen by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia. Their conclusions are, of course, predictable.  Meanwhile, the balanced media summary oif this fiasco is probably well represented by George Monbiot in the Guardian: “The leaked exchanges are disturbing, but it would take a conspiracy of a very different order to justify sceptics’ claims.” (see Global warming rigged? Here’s the email I’d need to see ).

I particularly liked his depiction of the email that the climate change deniers and their allies would dearly love to find. It’s a great satire and portrays some of the silliest conspiracy theories promulgated by deniers.

From: ernst.kattweizel@redcar.ac.uk

Sent: 29 October 2009

To: The Knights Carbonic

Gentlemen, the culmination of our great plan approaches fast. What the Master called “the ordering of men’s affairs by a transcendent world state, ordained by God and answerable to no man”, which we now know as Communist World Government, advances towards its climax at Copenhagen. For 185 years since the Master, known to the laity as Joseph Fourier, launched his scheme for world domination, the entire physical science community has been working towards this moment.

The early phases of the plan worked magnificently. First the Master’s initial thesis – that the release of infrared radiation is delayed by the atmosphere – had to be accepted by the scientific establishment. I will not bother you with details of the gold paid, the threats made and the blood spilt to achieve this end. But the result was the elimination of the naysayers and the disgrace or incarceration of the Master’s rivals. Within 35 years the 3rd Warden of the Grand Temple of the Knights Carbonic (our revered prophet John Tyndall) was able to “demonstrate” the Master’s thesis. Our control of physical science was by then so tight that no major objections were sustained.

More resistance was encountered (and swiftly dispatched) when we sought to install the 6th Warden (Svante Arrhenius) first as professor of physics at Stockholm University, then as rector. From this position he was able to project the Master’s second grand law – that the infrared radiation trapped in a planet’s atmosphere increases in line with the quantity of carbon dioxide the atmosphere contains. He and his followers (led by the Junior Warden Max Planck) were then able to adapt the entire canon of physical and chemical science to sustain the second law.

Then began the most hazardous task of all: our attempt to control the instrumental record. Securing the consent of the scientific establishment was a simple matter. But thermometers had by then become widely available, and amateur meteorologists were making their own readings. We needed to show a steady rise as industrialisation proceeded, but some of these unfortunates had other ideas. The global co-option of police and coroners required unprecedented resources, but so far we have been able to cover our tracks.

The over-enthusiasm of certain of the Knights Carbonic in 1998 was most regrettable. The high reading in that year has proved impossibly costly to sustain. Those of our enemies who have yet to be silenced maintain that the lower temperatures after that date provide evidence of global cooling, even though we have ensured that eight of the 10 warmest years since 1850 have occurred since 2001. From now on we will engineer a smoother progression.

Our co-option of the physical world has been just as successful. The thinning of the Arctic ice cap was a masterstroke. The ring of secret nuclear power stations around the Arctic circle, attached to giant immersion heaters, remains undetected, as do the space-based lasers dissolving the world’s glaciers.

Altering the migratory and reproductive patterns of the world’s wildlife has proved more challenging. Though we have now asserted control over the world’s biologists, there is no accounting for the unauthorised observations of farmers, gardeners, birdwatchers and other troublemakers. We have therefore been forced to drive migrating birds, fish and insects into higher latitudes, and to release several million tonnes of plant pheromones every year to accelerate flowering and fruiting. None of this is cheap, and ever more public money, secretly diverted from national accounts by compliant governments, is required to sustain it.

The co-operation of these governments requires unflagging effort. The capture of George W Bush, a late convert to the cause of Communist World Government, was made possible only by the threatened release of footage filmed by a knight at Yale, showing the future president engaged in coitus with a Ford Mustang. Most ostensibly capitalist governments remain apprised of where their real interests lie, though I note with disappointment that we have so far failed to eliminate Vaclav Klaus. Through the offices of compliant states, the Master’s third grand law has been established: world government will be established under the guise of controlling man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.

Keeping the scientific community in line remains a challenge. The national academies are becoming ever more querulous and greedy, and require higher pay-offs each year. The inexplicable events of the past month, in which the windows of all the leading scientific institutions were broken and a horse’s head turned up in James Hansen‘s bed, appear to have staved off the immediate crisis, but for how much longer can we maintain the consensus? Knights Carbonic, now that the hour of our triumph is at hand, I urge you all to redouble your efforts. In the name of the Master, go forth and terrify.

Professor Ernst Kattweizel, University of Redcar. 21st Grand Warden of the Temple of the Knights Carbonic.

Monbiot concludes: “This is the kind of conspiracy the deniers need to reveal to show that man-made climate change is a con. The hacked emails are a hard knock, but the science of global warming withstands much more than that.”

What do you think? Is he being a bit harsh?


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21 responses to ““Climategate” – the smoking gun?

  1. It’s an interesting way of shifting the goalposts while making supporters laugh I guess….

    At least he had the honesty to condede that:

    Yes, the messages were obtained illegally. Yes, all of us say things in emails that would be excruciating if made public. Yes, some of the comments have been taken out of context. But there are some messages that require no spin to make them look bad. There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request.

    Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign. Some of the data discussed in the emails should be re-analysed.

    I’ve actually seen some people so lacking in integrity that they’ve called the entire thing spin and even “cherry picking”!


  2. What’s your point Glenn?

    I thought he was actually reinforcing the goal posts against dishonest attempts of climate change deniers to shift them.

    He is rightfully critical of any impropriety on the part of researchers in their email comments. And he brings home the seriousness of any actual scientific fraud – if any were found. That has yet to happen. I suspect there could well be an enquriy to look into a few specific emails and publications. (Mind you, there are some people prepared to pass sentence before the evidence is considered – mob rule!).

    But he puts the “scandal” in it’s correct context by pointing out that there aren’t any emails supporting the deniers claims. Have a read of Wishart’s book. See his outrageous claims of an agenda to form a “world government”. So this satire looks hilarious but actually comes close to the claims made by Wishart and his ilk.

    And now we have his latest slander of NIWA and Dr Salinger. This guy Wishart and his mates have no ethics, does he? Yet he manages to fool some people who repeat his rubbish.


  3. Lars Karlsson came up with this witty comment on Greenfyre’s blog.
    I just have to share it.

    Before, one could ridicule “climate skeptics” by comparing them to creationists.
    Nowadays, one can instead ridicule creationists by comparing them to “climate skeptics”


  4. Ken firstly, you certainly thought differently of the claim that someone should lose his career over what happened at CRU. But now when Monbiot says the same thing, you seem to agree with the assessment!

    Secondly, as I have explained, there was no slander against NIWA. That is just a beat up to make it look like climate sceptics are just as dishionest as the people who were found out in East Anglia. Apparently it’s a game to some people, and they’re got to try to keep the score even.


  5. Glenn, you misrepresent me. I have always said that if any impropriety is shown, especially scientific fraud, this should lead to sackings. We have yet to see a proper enquiry. I don’t think the institutions involved are going to sink to mob rule!

    I think Mobiot may have a point that the handling of the emails, an administrative rather than scientific issue, could suggest resigning to an individual responsible. I am not close enough to the issue to make my own judgement on this-but I would not be surprised if someone does resign.

    However, at the end of this, as Monbiot stresses, this does not bring the science into disrespute. Nut ideologically driven people – especially right wing eg Fox News – claim that it does. Theirotivation is obvious and easily seen through by sensible governments.

    Meanwhile we have seen dishonest people in NZ who knowingly combined data from different met stations without proper adjustment – solely to suggest there was no temperature trend.! That is dishonest manipulation of data. Yet we have motivated people ignoring this and instead questioning the integrity of NIWA scientists. That is hardly honest either.

    Sent from my iPod


  6. Missed your second point. But you show your own bias if you think defending the integrity of NIWA scientists and their data against dishonest distortions by local deniers is a “beat up.”

    Sent from my iPod


  7. Glenn, further to my comment here – I have just noticed that you deleted a large section of my last comment on you blog.

    You are aware my policy is not to partipate in discussion on blog where comments are arbritarily deleted or altered. You have also removed some links in my previous comments.

    This shows a lack of genuine interest in discussion, and in fact a lack of integrity. Therefore I will not participate anymore on your blog. (you might welcome that but I think it will be your loss).

    You are, of course, welcome to continue with discussion here where you can be assured that I won’t alter your comments or delete them arbitarily.

    My policy is only to divert obvious spam to the spam filter. I will not interfere with genuine discussion.

    Sent from my iPod


  8. What an absolute joke, Ken. You falsely claimed that we were quoting someone without providing access to the source. You then copuied and pasted the lengthy material from the source. I removed it and pointed out that there was already a link to that exact same material, and that you were therefore mistaken.

    You then called this deletion “arbitrary.” Arbitrary? Ken, you’re simply being an idiot.

    I’m sure it’s a pure coincidence that you decide to jump ship immediately after you are caught in a lie about the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition – not. Talk about credibility loss, and this pretended motive of yours is not exactly hard to spot.

    But if you choose to abstain from commenting at my blog, go right ahead. There are some challenges that you just don’t like, preferring to stay on your own truf. Suit yourself.


  9. Well, Glenn, I will continue with my discussion if the attacks on NIWAs integrity and the misrepresentations of temperature data by the deniers here – where my comments won’t be doctored. It is also being discussed at Hot Topic and Macdoctor as well as several places on SciblogsNZ,

    In fact, why don’t you present the evidence for your charges here so everone can see it?

    It’s not matter if preferring my own turf. I gave your blog a decent try – and would have continued if the deletion had not occurred

    Sent from my iPod


  10. Ken, I do not believe you when you explain your motives for leaving. Call that what you will but I am unwilling to attribute to you the kind of slowness that your comments suggest.

    If you linked to an article in the comments section of your blog and then quoted from it, and then I accused you of trying to hide the source, quoting from it withut linking to it at all, so I copied and pasted the entire article into your blog comments, it would be quite reasonabel for you to say “no, Glenn you are wrong, I have already linked to this article. people can read it by following the link. This isn’t a library,” and then deleting the copied and pasted text, leaving my comments intact.

    I believe your motive in throwing that tantrum and storming out is just so that you can have the rhetorical pleasure of accusing me of censorship, knowing full well that the accusation is false.

    Suit yourself. By all means, stay away if you feel you must. I’ve already posted my comments where “everyone can see it.”


  11. No tantrum, Glenn. No storming out. No hard feelings. Just not willing to participate in a forum where my comments are doctored by someone else.

    Pretty logical really.

    Sent from my iPod


  12. Doctored? Ah, now the lies start flowing freely. I removed a very large quotation that reproduced an online article in full. I left all of Ken Perott’s personal comments intact. I explained that there is already (contrary to your claim) a link to the full article.

    But now I’m doctoring your comments? Let’s make it worse, ken. We can do better than that. Let’s say that I was fabricating your comments from scratch and attaching your name to them. Hey, it’s not really true, but apparently that doesn’t actually matter to you.

    I don’t think I have ever met a blogger who lies as frequently as you do Ken. It’s quite an achievement.


  13. Doesn’t take too long for Glenn to lapse into abuse does it…

    Me thinks that he takes himself just a smidgeon too seriously, or?

    Or maybe this is just his way avoiding the “What is your point Glenn?” question. In my experience, he doesn’t seem to like that one. Clarity of point making does not seem to be his strong point.

    On another note, a whole squad of riot police just walked past the window. I think perhaps I should have a look at whats going on outside.


  14. Actually, Nick, I think anger and abuse can be a form of manipulation. In these sort of discussions it’s a way of avoiding rational consideration of evidence and points of view.

    I am amazed, though, how common it is on the internet. And especially around the global warming issue. It seems to be even worse at the moment than the creationist-evolution arguments.

    I guess there are a lot of conspiracy theorists out there – and some of the seem to be so convinced by their propaganda that they really fear the results of countries coming to some sort of agreement on climate change mediation. Maybe it’s just the fear that they might have to pay for it somehow. Or, more seriously, perhaps they believe their claims about world government and control of their lives.

    And the poor old scientists, who are only reporting the objective facts, only the messenger, and are not responsible for the political and economic decisions that need to be made, are getting it in the neck at the moment.


  15. Glenn – you do use that word lie rather carelessly, don’t you?

    However you argue – the facts are the facts. You deleted a large portion of my comment. And doctored other comments of mine by removing links.

    OK the section was a quote from Monbiot’s article. My reason for inclusion was so that readers could get a balance – after all you and Bob had quoted selected aspects to support your one sided claim. In the process ignoring (covering up?) Monbiot’s main point.

    Unfortunately, with the deletion any reader can only get a false impression of Monbiot’s article from your blog.

    Whatever, the reason for my policy on commenting on others blogs is obviously clear. At this stage of my life and don’t wish to waste valuable effort on something I know has a good chance of being deleted or doctored.


  16. Alas, we never did find out what Glenn’s point was.
    In other news today, dog bites man.


  17. I supplied a link to the evidence that Ken lied. There was no slander against NIWA. None.

    Ken’s libellous actions have prompted a clarification on my policy on libel, just so that nobody else thinks they can do it.

    The lie about the NZCSC is obvious. They approach NIWA more than once with requests for information about the adjustments. Those requests were ignored. They therefore published that the adjustments had been made and that no explanation had been given to them.

    Ken then claims that they actually “admitted glossing over” the reasons for the adjustments, when in fact they never admitted any such thing. They categorically denied ever having been given such reasons in spite of their requests.

    Ken likes to keep the discussion limited to his own blog, lest his friends actually see this stuff happening as it unfolds. It’s disgraceful, and were they to actually see it, they would see Ken in a very different light.

    As for the further lie about comments at my blog having a “good chance of being doctroed or deleted,” as Ken knows full well, no comment has ever been doctored, and the only thing that was deleted was a lengthy copy/paste of the very same article that was already linked to.

    I’m passionate about honesty Ken, and pretty much everything I’ve seen from you shows that you simply don’t care for it. You’ve even duped one of your disciples into thinking that complaints about dishonesty are abuse. It is about as far from being scientific as one can get.


  18. Glenn, are you member of the CSC? You seem so confident of their claim of NIWA denying them information – despite NIWA expressing their disapointment that CSC had not taken on board the advice given them previously about adjustments. Now, I think NIWA is the more reliable source of infomation here.

    Treadgold, when pressed in the discussion on his blog, accepted that corrections are necessary when combining data from different stations.

    So they were obviously ignorant of methodology or dishonestly motivated to produce a report without adjustments. Obviously they were happy to do so because the raw data could be used to deny any T increase. They are, after all, in the game of trying to “prove” a preconceived conclusion, aren’t they?

    Worse, they implied that NIWA was fradulent with their data. Wishart said as much in his press release and spread that lie around the world. We now have conservative and denial sources in the UK and US reporting that our scientists are guilty of fraud. Clear slander and lies.

    I believe there is a conscious tactic of transferring guilt with the “when are you going to stop beating your wife” charges here. Irrespective of specific communications of NIWA with the deniers there is the national climate data base containing the information required for any climate scientist wanting to combine data properly. Why did the deniers not do this? Perhaps they are ignorant of methodology – not having the expertise. And doesn’t that indicate the problem with these deniers and their camp followers? They aren’t interested in determinig the correct science – just manipulating and cherry picking the data to support their agenda.

    Now you are welcome to reject what I say just because I say it. But have a look at Gareth’s article on Hot Topic – he is well informed on this issue. Sent from my iPod


  19. “Treadgold, when pressed in the discussion on his blog, accepted that corrections are necessary when combining data from different stations.”

    Not the point Ken. Granting that adjustments are needed when stations are moved is very different from glossing over that fact int he first place. You said that he admitted the latter charge.

    Ken, I realise that you mistrust any sceptic, but whether the CSC actually knew beforehand was not why I called you a liar. I called you a liar fo claiming that Treadgold actually conceded that he’d glossed over the information. Calling him a liar is one thing. But lying about what he said is another.

    You now brush it all off: “Irrespective of specific communications of NIWA with the deniers…”

    Ken they specifically approached NIWA to ask. How much more direct can they be? Talk about glossing over the facts!


  20. Glenn, NIWA had actually made the deniers aware of the need for adjustment some time ago! Don’t you accept their assurance of that fact?

    The deniers went ahead without adjustment and in fact implied that the adjustments were not necessary but were part of a NIWA fraud.

    And that is how Wishart’s press release spun the story and how it was reported by conservative and denier papers and blogs in the UK and US.

    And that is obviously how the story was meant to play out coming a few days after the UK “climategate” scandal and just before Copenhagen.

    And explain to me why the deniers were not capable of using the available data, determining their own adjustment factors, and producing a credible report. The only motive I can see is given in the above facts. Sent from my iPod


  21. If you want smoking you have got a smoking gun:-

    “Yikes again, double yikes! What on earth justifies that adjustment? How can they do that? We have five different records covering Darwin from 1941 on. They all agree almost exactly. Why adjust them at all? They’ve just added a huge artificial totally imaginary trend to the last half of the raw data! Now it looks like the IPCC diagram in Figure 1, all right … but a six degree per century trend? And in the shape of a regular stepped pyramid climbing to heaven? What’s up with that?

    Those, dear friends, are the clumsy fingerprints of someone messing with the data Egyptian style … they are indisputable evidence that the “homogenized” data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming.

    One thing is clear from this. People who say that “Climategate was only about scientists behaving badly, but the data is OK” are wrong. At least one part of the data is bad, too. The Smoking Gun for that statement is at Darwin Zero.”



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