‘Climategate 2.0'? Or Just Nasty Climate Politics?

Earth from International Space Station. NASA

Remember “ Climategate” — the hacking of thousands of emails from climate change researchers in 2009? There appears to have been another dump of hacked emails from the University of East Anglia in England, possibly from the same period.

The emails were posted as a ZIP file (a compressed file that needs to be processed to be read) on a Russian website, and then word of them was apparently spread to climate-skeptic websites. The Russian site is HERE, though the file appears to have been removed.

What’s new about them? In the politically charged world of climate politics, it depends on who’s looking at them. Self-described climate skeptics see proof that “global warming loons” are at it again,” while the scientists — who concede they were unprepared in 2009 — are at the ready this time, saying there’s nothing new or particularly damning in the new batch.

The Associated Press has a story HERE, quoting the university as saying the email batch, at first glance, “appears to be genuine,” and perhaps made public now because international talks are about to begin in Durban, South Africa.

There is a cover statement that went with the file: “Today’s decisions should be based on all the information we can get, not on hiding the decline. This archive contains some 5.000 emails picked from keyword searches.”

The U.K.’s Guardian points out that “5.000? was written with a period instead of a comma — “highly unusual in both the U.K. or U.S., ” and “sure to lead to speculation about the nationality of those responsible.”

James Delingpole, an English writer whose books include “365 Ways to Drive a Liberal Crazy,” writes, “all your favourite Climategate characters are here, once again caught red-handed in a series of emails exaggerating the extent of Anthropogenic Global Warming, while privately admitting to one another that the evidence is nowhere near as a strong as they’d like it to be.”

From Climatedepot.com: “BREAKING NEWS: Climategate 2.0: Thousands of new emails from ‘confirm great man-made global warming scare is not about science but about political activism.’” (The quote is from Delingpole.)

On the other hand, Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeler at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, writes on RealClimate.org, “Very little appears to be new in this batch. Indeed, even the out-of-context quotes aren’t that exciting, and are even less so in-context.”

And there is this from the University of East Anglia itself:

“This appears to be a carefully timed attempt to reignite controversy over the science behind climate change when that science has been vindicated by three separate independent inquiries and number of studies – including, most recently, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature group.

“As in 2009, extracts from emails have been taken completely out of context. Following the previous release of emails scientists highlighted by the controversy have been vindicated by independent review, and claims that their science cannot or should not be trusted are entirely unsupported. They, the University and the wider research community have stood by the science throughout, and continue to do so.”