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New Batch of Leaked Climate Emails 585

Posted by Soulskill
from the is-this-a-new-gate-or-can-we-use-the-old-gate dept.
New submitter kenboldt writes "Someone going by the alias 'foia' has dropped a link to a zip file containing thousands more emails similar to those released in 2009. There are apparently many more which are locked behind a password, presumably waiting to be released at some time in the future." The University of East Anglia has released a brief statement indicating that the emails were probably obtained during the 2009 breach and held back until now as "a carefully-timed attempt to reignite controversy."
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New Batch of Leaked Climate Emails

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:05PM (#38140912)

    The previous leaked e-mails had two results:

    Sham news reporting like Fox News cherry-picked out-of-context blurbs that made it sound like the scientists couldn't agree on anything.

    Real news reporting actually read all the conversations and saw the conclusion was that the scientists were unanimous in agreeing that climate change is real.

    That they'd do a second leak proves that the leakers are morons who think this offensive sound-bites Fox reports will have some kind of impact, whereas the actual content of the e-mail will reaffirm what everybody already knows. Climate change is real and these upcoming leaked emails won't change anything.

    Also I love that Fox sympathizers have to commit a crime (hacking into an institution) just to get ammo which they mistakenly think will bolster their "cause". If they had the brains to actually read the emails themselves, they'd see it hurts them.

    • by the computer guy nex (916959) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:25PM (#38141150)
      Unreal how some think "deniers" believe that climate change doesn't exist. The earth's climate has been constantly evolving over billions of years.

      Problem is we've been able to accurately measure the minuscule changes in climate for about 50 of 14 billion years. Second problem is we have absolutely no idea what climate changes the earth can sustain and which ones the earth cannot sustain.

      Still no definite answers here. Some of this junk research "confirming" that climate change exists adds confusion to those not smart enough to understand this.
      • by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:57PM (#38141570)

        There are never definite answers, the lack of a definite answer isn't sufficient to prevent taking meaningful action to combat climate change. If you're wanting a perfect model, it's not going to happen ever.

        In this case the record goes back many thousands of years. Sugesting that it's only 50 years is ignorant. But more than that the Earth isn't 14 billion years old, it's only about 4.5bn years old. The climate record itself via ice cores and tree rings goes far further back than just 50 years.

        On top of that it's pretty well understood that climate changes tend to happen rather slowly under normal conditions. I'm not aware of any other period where the composition of the atmosphere changed this much this quickly naturally. There have been some substantial eruptions and impacts, but the resulting changes don't last as long as the ones we've been causing.

        • by Graff (532189)

          The climate record itself via ice cores and tree rings goes far further back than just 50 years.

          Of course it does. The problem is then accurately correlating that data to a temperature model. There's still considerable debate about how to go about matching the ice core and tree ring to the climate of the time period. Even a small error in these calculations can result in data that's off significantly.

    • by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @05:10PM (#38141740) Journal

      Not really.

      I spent about 3 hours reading through the raw emails.

      What I saw (and I'll at the very front-end say that my bias is I'm a "denier") was:
      - lots and lots of crap, like you'd see in anyone's emails.
      - some very smart guys discussing nuances of details in their particular field, so the discussions were very narrow and detailed.
      - the predictable 'scorn' for the unwashed masses (ie anyone outside their field) who didn't "get it"
      - a distinct defensiveness in any case where the data was being questioned, and a tendency to reach for the tinfoil hat about some sort of conspiracy of people working to discredit them

      In short, I didn't see any 'smoking gun' of collusion or hiding anything. I doubt these will have that either.

      What I saw was people very firmly convinced not simply that they were RIGHT, but that what they were doing was righteous and anyone who dared question it was either evil or a complete fool...which isn't precisely the mindset one would expect of a scientist for whom the data (alone) drives their decisions - or should.
      Generally, they sounded very much like Slashdotters.

  • Timing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hentes (2461350) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:06PM (#38140926)

    If they are so infuriated about the timing they could publish the emails themselves in less sensible times, thus evading some of the shitstorm and gaining back a bit of reliability.

    • Less sensible times?

      How can things be less sensible than at present? But of course,

      In the new release a 173MB zip file called "FOIA2011" containing more than 5,000 new emails, was made available to download on a Russian server called Sinwt.ru today. An anonymous entity calling themselves "FOIA" then posted a link to the file on at least four blogs popular with climate sceptics –

      I'm going to just rush right over and download a 173 MB zip file from some random Russian server.

      Talk about sensible....

    • by quantaman (517394)

      Maybe if they had good reason to believe that more emails were obtained but not yet released.

      But it's also a very understandable reaction. Would you want to release your organization's private emails when the only people interested in them are people trying to discredit you?

      Also note that even if these emails are work related they are still private, consider any time you've sent an email without CC'ing someone, now consider your worst enemies combing through those emails.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      Interesting. So, privacy is the biggest, most important thing to a slashdotter (witness: any number of stories on here about it), yet your solution is to tell them to totally give theirs up voluntarily?

    • by Doc Ruby (173196)

      They should publish all of their emails?

      Why don't you do that? Because you're not a fool doing your job like a dancing clown on a stage, but rather to get the work done with your colleagues?

      Anyone who thinks climate scientists aren't reliable as a result of the shitstorm over the totally non-issue emails isn't going to start thinking they're reliable for any reason whatsoever. They're going to keep seeing Fox Lies tell them they're unreliable, and repeat that to their friends.

  • by mikael (484) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:06PM (#38140934)

    FOIA = Freedom Of Information Act

  • That other study (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Squiddie (1942230) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:08PM (#38140946)
    Are we forgetting that the Koch brothers funded a separate study that pretty much confirmed the results? Crazies will be crazies, but I don't expect reasonable persons to be swayed by this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hentes (2461350)

      Just because transparent research has found the same we shouldn't give credit to data forgers. They caused more harm in the public view.

    • by Troed (102527)

      Confirmed what? BEST did not at all look into causes of the warming we've seen since the Little Ice Age.

      Berkeley Earth has not addressed issues of the tree ring and proxy data, climate model accuracy, or human attribution.

      Also:

      Continued global warming "skepticism" is a proper and a necessary part of the scientific process. The Wall St. Journal Op-Ed by one of us (Muller) seemed to take the opposite view with its title and subtitle: "The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism -- There were good reasons for

  • Stupid Motive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:10PM (#38140968) Journal

    Following some bullet-pointed quotes such as "Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day" and, "Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels," the message states:

    "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. A few remarks and redactions are marked with triple brackets. The rest, some 220.000, are encrypted for various reasons. We are not planning to publicly release the passphrase. We could not read every one, but tried to cover the most relevant topics."

    Listen, I'm all for the publication of the data and methods these scientists are using. But what exactly is releasing internal e-mails supposed to accomplish? Acting all righteous about "hiding the decline" and then you turn around and censor what you release?! That's pretty funny to me. Who do you think climate change is going to hurt the most anyway? My fat American ass shoving honey coated whole wheat pretzels into my gaping maw while surfing the internet? Or the truly poor people [wbur.org]? You know that subsistence farmer in Africa or China where a drought, famine or conflict could wipe him out at the drop of a hat? When times get tough, I'll have to give up my XBox Live Gold Account ... what the hell is someone living on less than $2 a day going to do?

    It'll probably turn out like the UN anyway where the US pays $362 million and China pays $29 million [un.org] so that's some pretty flimsy motivation there when the wealthiest nations will most likely be footing the bill.

    • by felipekk (1007591)

      Just to clarify the UN budget argument:

      "Each State's contribution is calculated on the basis of its share of the world economy."

      "The primary criterion applied by Member States, through the General Assembly, is a country's capacity to pay. This is based on estimates of their gross national product (GNP) and a number of adjustments, including for external debt and low per capita incomes. The percentage shares of each Member State in the budget are decided by the General Assembly based on this methodology and

  • by one_who_uses_unix (68992) <glen.wiley@gmail . c om> on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:23PM (#38141128) Homepage

    This event helps highlight the difficulty in approaching any non-trivial problem in an unbiased way. The problem is less about the science than it is that the researches were clearly biased and pursuing specific results. The fact that others have claimed to reproduce the results does not lend credibility as long as they fail to acknowledge their bias and operate in a fully transparent way.

    Whether you agree or disagree with the question of human affected climate change you really can't deny the fact that these folks are heavily biased toward a specific outcome for their research.

    • by mvdwege (243851)

      Yes, climate scientists are overwhelmingly biased in favour of a theory of Anthropogenic Global Climate Change. I'll give you that.

      However, I'll point out that historians are overwhelmingly biased in favour of the theory that some 10 million civilians were systematically murdered by the Nazis during World War II, the largest group for no better reason than who they were born to.

      And biologists are overwhelmingly biased in favour of the theory that complex life evolved from less complex lifeforms over a perio

    • by Xyrus (755017)

      "Whether you agree or disagree with the question of human affected climate change you really can't deny the fact that these folks are heavily biased toward a specific outcome for their research."

      Bullshit. That isn't how the science is done. And you would know that if you actually read any of the research that has been done over the past century.

      Global warming isn't some new science that someone concocted over the past decade or two to get more money. It's origins date back to the 19th century. Climate chang

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:30PM (#38141220) Journal

    I read through all of the highlighted quotes, 90-95% of it is more of the same stuff, climate denialists trying to find hanging material in the lines of innocent men. But there are a few quotes that were worth leaking, particularly under the "religion" and "the cause" sections. It's worrying that so many climate scientists have a professed personal interest in the outcome of their experiments turning out to support the theory of global warming. If any outcome should make them happier, they should be happier to prove themselves wrong, both because that's where the really interesting results (and Nobel prizes) come from, and in this case it would be good news for the human race which is mostly still hemming and hawing over whether to take this carbon emissions thing seriously.

  • by whathappenedtomonday (581634) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:33PM (#38141276) Journal
    This appears to be a carefully-timed attempt [uea.ac.uk]

    Bad Astronomer [discovermagazine.com]: Climategate 2: More ado about nothing. Again.

  • by Burz (138833) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:49PM (#38141454) Journal

    http://www.cjr.org/the_observatory/frozen_planet_freezes_out_clim.php?page=all [cjr.org]

    They are acting like its because of everyday scheduling concerns, but notice that ALL of the networks which chose to remove an episode singled out THAT particular one. BBC refuses to name the other countries that won't be seeing the AGW episode, but we know that Discovery Channel (e.g. the USA) won't be broadcasting it... surely it would upset advertisers (e.g. US Chamber of Commerce, who have become active denialists) to show that episode.

    This and the emails are part of an effort to keep AGW from becoming a major election issue at a time when it is tangibly starting to hurt Americans.

  • by Genda (560240) <mariet.got@net> on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @05:17PM (#38141852) Journal

    I'm tired of the distraction, the ridiculous ploys on all sides to muddle and obfuscate.

    To the people doing research, I say stop "believing in" what you do or attaching any "moral justifications or superiority" to your work. The instant you shift your perspective from objective investigator to champion of justice, you lose any ability to have a clear and objective conversation about what's actually happening. Now, more than ever, detached, clear, investigation is essential. No matter how bad the truth is, you'll only make it worse by trying to scare people or force outcomes. Be transparent, publish everything (including the stuff that doesn't fit you expectation) because we live in a powerful and chaotic environment and our theories are incomplete and anything you hide to protect your intellectual fiefdom, will prevent us from resolving the real situation and give the silly gits ammunition to justifiably counter you.

    Now, to the silly gits... I am sick to nauseous of those who blindly follow indefensible belief systems including most organized religions, political systems and social orthodoxies. Wealthy and powerful people have spent billions to ply the nation with pure propaganda as news. These folks are so addicted to their wealth and power, that they will gladly see the world burn down, or the middle class vanish from the earth in a mindless attempt to wrest that last final milligram of worth from the naked earth. Sadly there are vast seas of silly people dancing to the music played by these despots because it agrees with their belief system, no matter that the very air and sky around them screams they are fools. I say to you "WAKE UP" that smell of roasting pork is your ass on fire. Get a clue, hell get two, they're small. Put your beliefs aside. Bother to look for the unadulterated, unvarnished truth. You don't even have to go very far. Look outside and notice that your garden will begin blooming nearly a month earlier than 50 years ago, weeks earlier than even 20 years ago. You think your garden is in on the scientific conspiracy??? Damned garden!

    Last year humanity put more greenhouse gas into the environment that ever before in history. Period. You can't argue with that, Its like trying to argue the sun hasn't risen, you just look stupid trying. I get it, really, you're just sticking to your ideological guns. Its just this whole "Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up" thing doesn't impress the rest of the folks who actually have their eyes open while they're driving, in fact you're scaring us just a little. Loosen up that grip on the shotgun Willy, take a deep cleansing breath, then sit down with a cup of hot tea and talk with one of those whipper snappers with the weather vanes and the Doppler Radar about why he thinks the world is warming up. He'll probably mention all kinds of science stuff like physics, meteorology, biology, ecology, chemistry and archeology. Just be quite for a moment. Let it sink in. Now if you still think the world is flat, go out play, at least you gave reality a fair shot.

    By the way. we used to think that humanity couldn't possible impact anything as large as the oceans either. There are now places in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans (and I mean big place, like country big) that you can almost walk on the plastic junk and pollution. This is complicated stuff people, but if you just do the simple math, and have a talk with someone who vaguely understands how the planet works (or at least our best approximation at the moment) you'll understand why the folks who do the research are saying what they're saying. We are in trouble. We also have ways to solve the problem. It means we'll need to take responsibility for what we do. You know, take appropriate actions immediately, come up with inventive new technologies and economies, all around cool stuff. It also demands that we tell the people who are fighting so hard to keep their wealth and power that they should invest in the future instead. That way they'll get to keep their wealth and power and we all won't have to ride the earth into hell like Slim Pickens on the A-Bomb in Dr. Strangelove. [youtube.com]

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