by charles the moderator
Many of you know me by my sometimes flippant moderation comments here. Sometimes concern is expressed over my anonymity since Anthony occasionally berates some who comment here for hiding behind anonymous Internet handles. Anthony long ago accepted my personal reasons for maintaining my anonymity and I have personally contacted others who expressed concerns and have given them explanations to which no one to date has refused to accept.
I am the head moderator here, with administrative as well as moderation privileges. I supervise the other moderators and sometimes publish posts, or correct typos as needed. Despite the accusations from Drs. Mann, Hansen et al., I have yet to meet my corporate overlords, view my directives from above, or receive a single cent for my hundreds of hours of services.
Here’s the story of how I was one of the very first to see the CRU files and what transpired.
On Tuesday November 17th I was at my desk, browsing the web and moderating at the same time when the now infamous post came in from user FOIA at 6:25 PST.
We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps.
We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.
Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.
This is a limited time offer, download now:
0926010576.txt * Mann: working towards a common goal
… and so on.
As I noted previously in The CRUtape Letters™, an Alternative Explanation, when I saw this comment I immediately embargoed the comment and placed warning brackets around it for the other moderators. I have been a ‘net user long enough to be very very concerned about downloading files off a Russian server, so the first thing I was concerned about was that this was an attack on us and our users. I downloaded the file and scanned it for viruses and Trojans and it came up clean. Then I stated viewing the contents and once I saw what we had, I started firing off emails to Anthony who was in Europe at the time – such as this one less than 2 hours later:
It looks real. It looks like it contains code from MBH 98 to CRU indexes. It has over a thousand emails.
And this a few minutes later.
No bad stuff detected. This from a real mole or one of the most elaborate hoaxes ever produced.
emails from Mann, Briffa, Jones.
Reviews of papers by Jones. Code and much much more.
Anthony Watts – wrote:
ok you’ve opened it I take it? No virus or trojan detected?
I talked to Anthony on the phone and we decided not to go public until Anthony returned, for all sorts of reasons including potential legal issues. In this first couple of hours I also burned a CD for Steven Mosher and gave it to him, and I also contacted Steven McIntyre. I swore both of them to secrecy until Anthony returned from Europe and he could be fully involved in the process. At this time none of us knew of the upload to realclimate.org or had noticed the “a miracle just happened” post on climateaudit.org. We believed we were exclusively sitting on The Pentagon Papers of our decade and had no knowledge that links were disseminated elsewhere.
For the next day the two Steve’s were constantly on the phone, with Mosher reading email after email to McIntyre. I had not given the link to Mosher as I was trying to control any traceable spread of the information. We had no idea where this was all headed and caution was in order. I made Steven Mosher promise to not electronically send a copy to Steve McIntyre, but I gave him a CD he could ship to McIntyre as long as it arrived after Anthony had returned from Europe. They were extremely anxious to go public and Mosher kept begging me for permission and my response was very low key. “If this is as important as it appears to be, then two or three days won’t make any difference, besides, we need to keep my word to Anthony”.
Then on the morning of the 19th we became aware that CRU was in lockdown mode and sending word that files were circulating on the Internet. I immediately found the comment on Jeff ID’s site by simply doing a Google search on the ftp site link. Jeff hadn’t noticed this post because he was out hunting during the above period. This was a game changer, CRU was trying to lock down the files and we were not exclusively in possession. Anthony was in the air about to land in Dulles but the cat was now out of the bag and Steve Mosher started posting on Lucia’s blog and about the same time I posted an email on Bishop Hill’s blog in the Caspar and the Jesus paper thread under the username devilinthedetails. I believe Steve Mosher may have contacted Tom Fuller around the same time.
Just as this was all breaking open, our anonymous leaker expressed concern that their revelations were being ignored or missed, a comment which I no longer have as I overwrote it with the following:
[A lot is happening behind the scenes. It is not being ignored. Much is being coordinated among major players and the media. Thank you very much. You will notice the beginnings of activity on other sites now. Here soon to follow. ~ ctm]
Now I get to go all Andy Rooney Paul Harvey [D'0h! ~ ctm] on y’all. Many wonder why I selected Steven Mosher to be the first recipient of the files. Well, I knew he was eminently qualified to examine them, much more qualified than myself. Proximity was also a factor. Steve Mosher is my roommate. So I saw him sweating on the phone with Steve McIntyre for a day and a half while I was calmly making coffee in the kitchen espousing patience. And since this story is too important to have any contributors remain anonymous, my name is Charles Rotter and I live in San Francisco. And that’s the rest of the story.