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New Batch of Leaked Climate Emails 585

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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  • Timing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @05:06PM (#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.

  • Re:Yes it is! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @05:18PM (#38141054)
    what I dont get is why you rely on a biased source to tell you "nothing here" instead of taking an objective look at the gift given to you.

    In other words - go read the fucking emails and then try to claim they are taken out of context or whatever other excuse you have. These guys are dirty and they have been caught with their pants down. How can you ignore this. What are you afraid of?

    If they were secret Bush emails, you would be all over it.
  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @05:38PM (#38141328)

    This is what your climate skeptic had to say

    "... "back in the early ’80s, I resigned from the Sierra Club over the issue of global warming. At that time, they were opposing nuclear power. What I wrote them in my letter of resignation was that, if you oppose nuclear power, the U.S. will become much more heavily dependent on fossil fuels, and that this is a pollutant to the atmosphere that is very likely to lead to global warming."

    So lets just ignore the part that the greens were pushing about the climate skeptic who had a come to god moment.

    Lets look at what one his team members had to say about his come to god paper.

    "But today The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a leading member of Prof Muller’s team has accused him of trying to mislead the public by hiding the fact that BEST’s research shows global warming has stopped.
    Prof Judith Curry, who chairs the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at America’s prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said that Prof Muller’s claim that he has proven global warming sceptics wrong was also a ‘huge mistake’, with no scientific basis.

    Read more: []"

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @05:57PM (#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 argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @06:10PM (#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.

  • Re:That other study (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @06:18PM (#38141866) Homepage Journal

    There's plenty to question even if you agree with the basic scientific premise (as most do, I think).

    As long as the basic scientific premise is that the climate change we're seeing is largely driven by human activity, we can have a reasonable conversation. Pretending that we had nothing to do with it leads directly to the assertion that there's nothing we can do about it, except adapt. But that adaptation cannot include reducing CO2 output, because human industrial activity had nothing to do with it.

    You're right that any reasonably intelligent person does not dispute the basic facts of climate change. I'm absolutely certain that, even in the oil company boardrooms and think tanks where this campaign of Doubt is being orchestrated, people don't seriously doubt that the climate is changing and that human activity is a large contributor to the effect.

    Oil companies and other industries who stand to benefit from the status quo are simply playing for time.

    Back in days gone by when scientists first discovered the ozone hole over the Antarctic continent and determined that CFCs caused significant ozone depletion, Dupont fought tooth and nail to discredit them. When they were finally dragged kicking and screaming into the courtroom, they settled into a legal war of attrition that lasted years. Within weeks of the court's decision to ban the use of CFCs, they began producing HCFCs in significant quantities.

    They'd been sitting on a product that causes orders of magnitude less damage to the ozone layer for years, but needed to play for time to get their manufacturing processes ramped up, and to maximise the return on their investment in CFCs.

    Likewise, the fame for oil companies and their ilk is to delay the political and regulatory process for as long as possible in order first to squeeze as much value as possible out of their existing assets and second to buy time to reposition themselves so that they remain dominant in an economy that is much less reliant on burning fossil fuels.

    Casting aspersions on the leading lights of the debate, pandering to the ignorance of the uneducated and buying off politicians, pseudo-scientists and lobbyists are all just tactics in this larger strategy.

    And they're incredibly effective. As long as objections are being raised, they can plead that more time is needed, that there''s no consensus yet, and therefore no political mandate, and in doing so stall the entire policy debate before it can take even baby steps.

    If we were smart, society would simply move ahead with the debate and ignore these intrusions. That's ultimately what happened with tobacco, the bought scientists continued to deny deny deny, but society at large just scoffed at them and went ahead with its efforts to reduce the impact of the drug on people's lives.

    We're very close to that point with climate change. Australia has already passed a carbon tax, countries are already investing in alternatives (whether wisely or not is a secondary issue) and beginning to promote policies that move us away from undue dependence on burning hydrocarbons for fuel.

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @06:27PM (#38141986) Journal
    NeutronCowboy already hit you pretty hard but I'd like to give you some more information.

    Believe models that have never predicted anything correctly.

    Never say never [].

    Trust data that is manually manipulated ...

    As opposed to what? Automatically manipulated? Do you think that baseball stats just magically turn from huge sets of numbers into RBIs and Hall of Fame records?

    Trust politicians whose only concerns are money and power, and whose only "solutions" involve shifting money and power, and not reducing consumption or pollution, or building things that are actually green, like nuclear and hydroelectric power plants.

    Actually I'm just asking you to trust scientists and admit that it's happening ... I don't think any of these peer reviewed journals conclude with "Now let's talk solution and my stock portfolio!" They're just telling you what's happening, man.

    Believe that man is the cause of the current trend, and that man can do something to stop it.

    I'm confused, are you acknowledging that there's a current trend upward? Downward? You just totally ripped all that data to shreds, what exactly are you saying when you say "current trend."

    Believe that the Earth will be doomed if temperatures rise closer to points in Earth's past, despite the fact that throughout all of Earth's history, higher temperatures are when life flourished.

    The fear isn't that the temperature is going to get 'hotter than anything in history of the Earth.' The fear is that the rate of change accelerates to a point where a lot of the food chain starts to falter and entire species go extinct that we depend on for functions known or unknown. If you think I'm worried about life, I'm not. I'm worried about humans. You and me. And how much unnecessary death will result from this. This Earth has seen some hard times and life's still around. I just want to be sure that in thousands of years man is still around because the dinosaurs are completely gone. I'm not worried that we're going to magically ruin Earth so that no life can exist on it. I am a little worried that we knock evolution back down to something stupid like prokaryotes and cockroaches, though.

  • Re:Yeah, sure. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:14PM (#38142504) Homepage

    Wait, what? You're trying to use a "weasel words" complaint to put forth the radical claim that context doesn't matter, or that when knowledge of context exists it shouldn't be provided?

    You, Mr. Coward, are 100% mediocre.

  • by Bill Currie ( 487 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @08:12PM (#38143118) Homepage

    If the carbon cycle was worth the paper it takes to write two words, we wouldn't have coal deposits or limestone cliffs. It's too slow. Until we started digging the stuff out of the ground, every carbon based life-form on this planet was carbon negative, and even then, we're still carbon negative in the grand scheme of things. While we might be able to put a large chunk of the carbon back into the atmosphere, we'll never get it all (not that we'd want to, anyway: things might get a little stuffy).

    Photosynthetic life has been committing slow suicide by depleting its primary "food" source, and then dumping its results "on the ground" to rot. Sure, that releases some carbon into the atmosphere, but methane isn't particularly useful to most life, and the rest winds up turning into coal.

    Similar story for those life-forms that use carbon dioxide as building material (crustaceans). They dump their used product on the sea floor and it becomes limestone.

    Here's something to consider. Some billion years ago (I don't know the exact numbers, might be just hundreds of millions), the entire world was desert (mostly barren rock, maybe some sand), but plants spread out and converted the world to lichen covered rocks, grassy plains and forests. Now, we have spreading deserts. Why? Sure, we may have started some (maybe even all) of them by cutting down too many trees (and other agricultural practices), but considering what plants did in the past, that should not be the case. For some reason, the plants are unable to overtake the deserts. There are two major differences that hamper plant growth: there's a lot more sand now (shifting sand can bury plants), and there's a lot less carbon dioxide in the air. The plants can't get enough food to grow quickly enough to encroach on the deserts.

    We are part of the carbon cycle. Originally, we were on the same "side" as everything else, sucking carbon out of the atmosphere (net, otherwise we wouldn't grow), but now we are on the other "side", pushing it back in.

    If carbon dioxide causes (or contributes) to global warming (and that's still an "if") and causes sea levels to rise, so be it (and my butt is maybe 4m above sea level). Sure, rising sea levels will mean less arable land, but higher carbon dioxide levels will mean better growing conditions, so the net might be more arable land.

    If the carbon was worth anything, we wouldn't have this discussion because humans wouldn't be able to find enough carbon to put into the atmosphere for anyone to notice. Probably wouldn't have the Internet, either.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @08:18PM (#38143178) Homepage Journal

    You think climate scientists appreciate that person not speaking for them? I'd say they wouldn't appreciate you speaking for them.

    Only a very few people have rejected the IPCC assessment. They're practically all not climate scientists. There's over 97% agreement with the IPCC report. The report is detailed, in which climate scientists have a pretty damn good idea of how the Earth reacts to these changes over time.

    If you did more than 10 minutes googling you might know what you're talking about. Instead it's obvious that you don't care to know. You just want to post anonymous lies about climate science.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @08:30PM (#38143290) Homepage Journal

    They'd also get lots of nuclear's problems. Like the waste, the pollution from making the fuel, the huge costs, the uninsurable risks (that the public pays for). All for an expensive, dirty, dangerous industry.

    The fact is that we have much better solutions. Solar and wind already are starting to cost the same as nukes, even as nukes keep their subsidies. That's why people are looking to sustainable replacements, instead of another bad one.

  • by rhakka ( 224319 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:11PM (#38144404)

    short term energy storage is a way easier challenge to solve than hundreds of years of guarding dangerous nuclear material. Shit, I can store all the energy needed to heat or cool a house for a day in a tank of water that would easily fit in most homes. have excess energy, charge up your store.

    electric cars will have these things called "batteries" that happen to store energy.

    smart meters exist now. the internet exists now. energy management software exists... wait for it... now.

    and, solar just reached parity with grid power in the northeast. woot! before incentives, even.

    repeat after me: by the time you finished building a fancy reactor, you'd be able to utilize renewables more cheaply. good luck finding non-guaranteed private capital getting that reactor built too.

  • by fgouget ( 925644 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:44AM (#38148890)

    Believe that man is the cause of the current trend, and that man can do something to stop it.

    Showing that the amount of CO2 we pump out into the air should have an impact on the climate is pretty easy: Recipe for Climate Change in Two Easy Steps []. It's the global warming deniers that need the help of the data models that you say are all wrong to find enough negative feedback loops to compensate.

    It's also all those who claim that solving the issue is just a matter of sequestering some CO2 that have to prove that their plans can actually work on a global scale: Putting the Genie Back in the Toothpaste Tube []. That said I agree with you that there's no way we will stop global warming: as a species / society we are too lazy to fight the entrenched interests or change our way of life.

    As the saying goes: Indifference will certainly be the downfall of mankind, but who cares?

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith