Tag Archives: Copenhagen

WikiLeaks and climategate

It must be a headache pulling out information from all the cables released by Wikileaks. Even so, some of the cables do give an appreciation of what was going on behind the scenes at the Copenhagen conference last year.

Now we have some indication of the forces behind “climategate,” the theft and release of private emails held by the Climatic Research Unit at University of East Anglia.

This report from Plain Justice Today – French WikiLeaks Coverage Reports Cyberattacks on Climate Scientists:

“Leading French newspaper Le Monde has been delving into WikiLeaks in depth with a growing online section devoted to new revelations. An article posted Dec. 12, titled Pirates informatiques contre climatologues (Computer pirates against climatologists), reveals a few American diplomats’ fears that cyberattacks on climate scientists might increase in the days leading up to the 2009 Copenhagen meeting. One email reveals an unsuccessful attack against the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science (OES) that has received very little coverage (none that I can find) in domestic press.

“According to Le Monde, there was little discussion of “Climategate” via diplomatic cables, but June 19, 2009 traffic revealed by WikiLeaks discussed a failed attack against an agency of the U.S. government. During the summer of 2009, five OES employees received an email titled “China and climate change”, disguised to look as if it originated with an economics journalist for the National Journal. The body of the message was also written specifically for the recipients, according to their professional roles. Attached to the message was a PDF document carrying malware designed to take silent control of the targeted computer. At least one of the targeted employees opened the attachment. Fortunately the State Department’s frequent computer security updates detected and disabled the attack.”

The actual office attacked was the Division of Ocean Affairs of the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change, within the U.S. State Department.

For one of the cables see US embassy cables: US climate change negotiators targeted by cyberattack.

So almost 6 months before the actual release of emails diplomats were aware that something was up. And a cyberattack had been detected and foiled. I guess it is reasonable to expect that similar attacks were taking place against scientists and scientific institutions involved in climate change research.

See also: Climategate an act of cyber-terrorism? US knew of attacks leading to “Climategate”

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From Melbourne to Copenhagen

Echos of last weekend’s Global Atheist convention in Melbourne are still reverberating around the internet and in the print media. There have been some shocking newspaper reports in Australia (eg. Speakers true love of hatred) but also some good ones (eg. Australia’s atheists are a happy bunch).

Probably what we should expect at this stage. After all this convention was unique – the first of it’s kind.

There is good news for all those atheists who missed the Melbourne convention, or did attend this awesome event and are now suffering withdrawal symptoms. The Atheist Alliance International, which co-organised the Melbourne Convention, has planned a series of such international events. The Melbourne Convention was just the first. The next International Atheist Convention will take place in Copenhagen in a few months (June 18-20). Have a look at Atheist Alliance International 2010 Copenhagen Convention for details.

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The global warming debate summarised

The debates around climate change have hotted up of late. Obviously this is related to the Copenhagen Conference, the “climategate” theft and release of emails in the UK and the attacks on our NIWA scientists by the local “denier” groups the Climate Science Coalition, the Climate Conversation group and a number of local bloggers.

It amazes me how often the same arguments come up, how strongly proponents of these are so adamant about them, and how little they have actually researched the issues – except to confirm their own biases.

Often, but not always, those arguing most furiously have only a rudimentary understanding of the whole subject of climate change. So, they may benefit from exposure to even the most simplified counter arguments.
Recently the Information Is Beautiful blog produced a very effective summary of the arguments and counter arguments (see Climate Change Deniers vs The Consensus). This includes most of the arguments I have heard lately so I reproduce it below. I think it is very effective because it avoids the jargon and technical detail (although I think the simplification may be a bit misleading in parts).

Hopefully readers will find this summary useful. Click on each image to view a clearer version which is also suitable for printing.

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