One more reason to distrust CRU and UEA – their hired spinmeister was arrested in the News of the World phone hack scandal

This is a repost from Climate Audit

“Covert” Operations by East Anglia’s CRU

Jul 14, 2011 – 2:53 PM by Steve McIntyre

Today brings news of the arrest of the managing director of a firm hired by the University of East Anglia’s CRU (Climatic Research Unit) to carry out “covert” operations – h/t reader Chu here). Neil Wallis of Outside Organisation was arrested today in connection with the spreading News of the World scandal.

Last year, Wallis’ partner at Outside Organisation , Alan Edwards, was profiled in Music Week in a story that led with:

Don’t tell the conspiracy theorists. But one PR company was at the centre of the Michael Jackson funeral, Climategate and Naomi Campbell’s appearance at Charles Taylor’s trial in The Hague.

Edwards is described as the “man who has also helped shape the careers of Amy Winehouse, Blondie, The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Cliff, David Bowie, Spice Girls, David Beckham, P Diddy, Kevin Pietersen and Shayne Ward” and the man who masterminded PR for Naomi Campbell’s trial. Outside Organisation’s handling of Climategate for CRU was described as “more covert”.

Less apparent is its work in the corporate field, where its activities tend to be rather more covert. [my bold]

“We don’t advertise a lot of the things we do,” says Edwards, who was called in by the University of East Anglia when Climategate blew up. “That was really interesting. It’s very high level, and you’re very much in the background on that sort of thing.”

The university’s Climatic Research Unit wanted Outside to fire back some shots on the scientists’ behalf after leaked emails from the unit gave climate change skeptics ammunition and led to an avalanche of negative press about whether global warming was a real possibility.

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75 Responses to One more reason to distrust CRU and UEA – their hired spinmeister was arrested in the News of the World phone hack scandal

  1. David Falkner says:

    Wow! That’s just shocking really. Who’d have thought?

  2. Mark T says:

    As I posted at CA… just when you thought things couldn’t have gotten any better for UEA.

    Unbelievable. You just can’t make this shit up.

    Mark

  3. Gaylon says:

    I don’t believe it…
    (sarc/off)

  4. Climate Nonconformist says:

    In Australia, the left have been using the whole NOTW thing to call for an inquiry into the media here. Bob Brown, leader of the greens, who has been after the Murdoch media for years, has used it as an excuse to delegitimise News Ltd. UEA and CRU are also untrustworthy by his logic as well now. I don’t think we’ll be seeing him go ater them however.

  5. Leon Brozyna says:

    We need another reason?

    Ethics and climate science seem to mix as well as oil and water.

  6. suyts says:

    I’d say, “amazing..”, but I’m not amazed. This confirms what most already knew. This is more PR than it is science.

    I’ll write about this at more length at my blog, but, consider……. James Hansen resorted to turning up the thermostat in his testimony at the U.S. Congress, Mike Mann’s 1998 hockey stick is built upon nothing but errant assumptions. Al Gore’s movie was ruled inaccurate by a Court of Law!. The IPCC has been exposed as the advocacy group it is. E-mails released show the scientists’ uncertainty and malfeasance. And now, it’s proven, but already known, that UEA/CRU is nothing more than a political advocacy group that must resort to hiring a PR outfit.

    If one can see the obvious bias and subtract their impact upon society, there’s nothing left.

    It is easily shown how there is nothing but smoke, mirrors and lies which perpetuates this lunacy. I’m not amazed, but I am disgusted. I hold that we should make these people accountable. And, I call for invoking laws of violating public trust. And we should do this at our utmost ability.

    Further, while my nation prohibits “ex post facto” laws. Others don’t. Corporeal punishment is still legal in many nations. I favor extraditing these people to such nations.

    We came so close to some misanthropist’s goal that we may never recover. The stench will stain us through our lifetime, at least. My hope is the stench will stay for generations so we will not forget the attempt upon our livelihoods and our lives.

    James Sexton

  7. rbateman says:

    Suddenly, a hand that formulated the Whitewash appears apparent.
    A most unexpected turn, where will this go?

  8. tallbloke says:

    It’s front page news in the paper editions of the Grauniad and the Torygraph today

    http://twitpic.com/5q5u3h

  9. Paul Irwin says:

    who’s writing the foia request for the pr firm’s contract and emails with uea?

  10. William says:

    The facts concerning the climategate scandal provide obvious evidence of a clandestine operation, a cabal that believe it is their duty, their mission, their jihad, to manipulate and suppress data to promote a specific agenda. The observational data and scientific analysis does not support the extreme global warming hypothesis.

    Planetary clouds increase or decrease to regulate planetary temperature. There are other atmospheric mechanisms that resist and mitigate the CO2 greenhouse effect. The CO2 mechanism saturates with a logarithmic forcing function such that higher concentrations has less and less effect. The paleoclimatic record shows periods of tens of millions of years when CO2 levels were high and the planet cold and periods when CO2 levels were low and the planet has warm.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/

    It is sad that a number of news outlets have parroted the comment that an independent commission has exonerated the climategate fraudulent and shameful practices. As a minimum the climategate investigation should have required a public apology of those involved and should have provide recommendations to stop the practice of systemic manipulation of climate data and suppression of counter analysis in scientific journals.

    “Propaganda is not necessary if the science is correct. Large company leaches and NGOs leaches have picked up the AGW artificial crisis. They will and are profiting from the fear and from actions such as carbon trading that have no purpose. There are limited governmental funds and real problems to address. We are carbon based lifeforms. Plants eat CO2. Greenhouses inject CO2 to increase plant yield and reduce growing times. Higher levels of CO2 and minor warming with the majority occurring at higher latitudes is beneficial to the biosphere.

    Manipulation of evidence:
    I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

    Suppression of evidence:
    Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
    Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
    Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.
    We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

    Attempts to disguise the inconvenient truth of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP):
    ……Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back….

    ..how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. How, in other words, to create a scientific climate in which anyone who disagrees with AGW can be written off as a crank, whose views do not have a scrap of authority…

    “This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”

    “I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”…….”

  11. tallbloke says:

    http://eastangliaemails.com seems to have been offline for some weeks now. I wonder if someone got threatened with legal action.

  12. William says:

    It is sad that a number of news outlets have parroted the comment that an independent commission has exonerated the climategate fraudulent and shameful practices. As a minimum the climategate investigation should have required a public apology of those involved and should have provide recommendations to stop the practice of systemic manipulation of climate data and suppression of counter analysis in scientific journals.

    The current temperature data and the paleoclimatic data does not support the extreme global warming hypothesis. Large company green leaches and NGO green leaches will and have profited from schemes such as carbon trading that have nothing to do with environmental protection.

    We are carbon based life forms. Plants eat CO2. Greenhouses inject CO2 into the greenhouse to increase yield and to reduce growing times. Planetary clouds increase or decrease to regulate planetary temperature. With negative rather than positive feedback the warming due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will be less than 1C with most of the warming occurring at high latitudes will be beneficial. The biosphere will and is expanding.

    Governments do not have trillions of surplus dollars to spend on carbon trading schemes.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/

    “Manipulation of evidence:
    I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

    Suppression of evidence:
    Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
    Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
    Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.
    We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

    Attempts to disguise the inconvenient truth of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP):
    ……Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back…

  13. fredb says:

    Sorry, but this is implied guilt by association unless you can show that UEA were aware of the pr firms illegal activities. So if I hire a tax consultant who later turns out to have committed fraud in some other activity, I’ve done something wrong too? Such implied guilt is a paving stone on the path to vigilantism.

  14. Tucci78 says:

    I’d very much like to see some consideration of the roles played by Wallis, the Outside Organisation, and various other flacks-for-hire in the institutional whitewashings frantically perpetrated by the University of Pennsylvania, UEA, and the IPCC in the first half of 2010.

    I suspect that not even the tip of the iceberg here has yet been brought to public attention

  15. David Ball says:

    The plot sickens, ….

  16. Let’s take a stock of the situation.

    Science is almost totally corrupted.
    Space exploration is practically dead.
    Businesses without government connections are suffocated by taxes and regulations.
    Individual freedoms are disappearing so fast we can’t even trace, when and how they went out.
    Unions, public masters (formerly known as “public servants”), and other bleeders of various breeds determine the outcomes of elections, the distribution of national budgets, the energy policy and the foreign policy.
    Governments can know everything about our personal lives, and have at their disposal so many self-contradicting, ambiguous, and illogical laws that anyone, at any time, can be made a criminal at bureaucrat’s whim.
    Green Giant Big Brother looms over horizon, enveloping the whole Earth with the new wave of medieval fascism.

    COME ON, PEOPLE! THE STUFF THAT WE BREATHE OUT IS A GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED POLLUTANT. THIS IS NOT A BAD DREAM, THIS IS REALITY, WAKE UP!

    Is there any reason for optimism, ladies and gentlemen?

  17. New job for Julia when she gets canned. Reciting chapters and verses of ACC spin. Oh wait…she doesn’t do that very well….oh, well.

  18. DirkH says:

    From David Bowie and Blondie to the CRU… Hide the decline.

  19. Latimer Alder says:

    Wallis (aka The Wolfman) was apparently hired to improve the public’s perception of UEA’s and CRU’s abilities as serious academic institutions staffed by bright and perceptive people.

    Since this effort has so spectacularly failed on every count, it would seem an opportune time for them to demand a refund of all fees paid to him.

    Suggest they get in quick before the lake of doodoo surrounding this whole shoddy and tawdry affair rises even further.

  20. Martin Brumby says:

    To put Murdoch’s escapades into context, the following link is worth a read:-

    http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2011/07/sorry-but-trinity-mirror-group-are-most.html

    As I posted on Bishop Hill yesterday (sorry for cross posting)

    “In the last couple of days, as a result of a campaign spearheaded by the BBC and the Grauniad, we have seen a full scale Judicial Inquiry set up to investigate phone hacking and all the rest of it. Inconveniently, it appears that there is published analysis from the Information Commisioner which indicates that both the Mail group and the Mirror group were recorded as publishing far more pieces based on illegal information gathering than was News International. And, although the hacking was disgusting and must have been distressing (although we still have little evidence that many people were actually hacked), a case could be made that, other than distress, little real harm was done and that the great majority of targets were celebs and politicians whom some might think deserve what they get. And lets not forget that if the public at large wasn’t prepared to spend their money on tittle tattle and filth, none of this would have happened.

    “Now just compare all that with what happened after Climategate and the “inquiries” that followed that leak. Just note the contrast with the attitudes of the Grauniad, the BBC and the politicians.

    “Now, bearing in mind how much is riding on this Global Warming scam, can anyone, even our favourite trolls, come up with a reason why a full judicial inquiry into the ‘science’ of global warming might not be at least as useful as the hacking inquiry? Why, I’m sure even [Bishop Hill's resident troll] Zed’sDeadHead would like to expose in court, under rules of sworn testimony, how much BigOil is actually paying the Bish and myself? No? Wouldn’t it be nice to see laid bare what emails Phil Jones actually destroyed? How about some hard facts about how much electricity BigWind produced in December 2010 and how much warming in degrees celsius were averted thereby? And lets look how much the taxpayers and electricity users have already contributed to the Thermageddonist cause? Let’s see the evidence, under cross-examination, to show that polar bears are drowning because of coal burning. And much, much more.

    How’s that for a policy option?

  21. Noelene says:

    Gotta be careful of who you hire these days,some will try to sabotage a company or corporation.
    I’m looking for any links to hackings and stories published, (climategate is one example)all the hysteria seems to be light on details I’m reading that they supposedly hacked the medical records of Gordon Brown’s child,but where was any information published?Seems to me somebody supposedly went to a lot of effort for nothing.As for bribing police,.as if everybody doesn’t know that newspapers have paid sources,be it policemen,government workers or emergency workers.

  22. fredb says:

    Alexander Feht made some statements which are interesting to take stock of, and indicative of the general blogsphere propensity to speak in hyperbole, which in my opinion is unhelpful. Other statements are, yes, very worrying.

    “Science is almost totally corrupted.” –> literal meaning that there is just about no uncorrupted science — that is close to 100% of all science is corrupt! Evidence please … this is unproductive hyperbole!

    “Space exploration is practically dead.” –> literal meaning is that in practice – that is, in the operation of space activities — there is just about no space exploration! Evidence please … this is unproductive hyperbole!

    “Businesses without government connections are suffocated by taxes and regulations.” –> In some nations, yes there are indications of this. But not in ALL nations! The USA is not the world — please!

    “Individual freedoms are disappearing so fast we can’t even trace, when and how they went out.
    Unions, public masters (formerly known as “public servants”), and other bleeders of various breeds determine the outcomes of elections, the distribution of national budgets, the energy policy and the foreign policy.” –> In some nations, yes there is indications of this. But not in ALL nations! The USA is not the world — please!

    “Governments can know everything about our personal lives, and have at their disposal so many self-contradicting, ambiguous, and illogical laws that anyone, at any time, can be made a criminal at bureaucrat’s whim.” –> Yes, this is very disturbing trend.

    “Green Giant Big Brother looms over horizon, enveloping the whole Earth with the new wave of medieval fascism.” –> Oh, come on. This is drama speak rooted in opinion of interpretation. Give facts that are unambiguous please!

  23. George Lawson says:

    fredb says:
    July 14, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    “Sorry, but this is implied guilt by association unless you can show that UEA were aware of the pr firms illegal activities. So if I hire a tax consultant who later turns out to have committed fraud in some other activity, I’ve done something wrong too? Such implied guilt is a paving stone on the path to vigilantism”

    But you have missed the point. Why should the UEA have a need to employ a professional PR outfit if it can offer a sound arguments against all the accusations which have been levelled against it since the very questionable email correspondence came to light? If they can respond to their accusers accurately and clearly for their activities and prove beyond doubt that they have not been party to the malfeasances that is suggested in their many emails, then there is no need for them to employ a spin doctor to do it for them; after all, they are the organisation that continue to have the worlds media on their side. Why should they have to worry when they have so many journalists like Black of the BBC plus a wide range of ‘Green’ lobby groups such as Greenpiece, Friends of the Earth and the World Widlife Fund if they have such faith in the many questionable issues that were brought to light in the email revelations?

  24. Alan the Brit says:

    Despite what the media hacks would have us believe, & I do not doubt that one day it will reverse in the PDREU, but the guy has been “arrested on suspicion”, he has not as yet been charged nor found guilty, unless the outcome has already been redetermined amongst those showing the most public indignant outrage! Whilst some of their activities are indeed odious in the extreme,they still have a right to a fair hearing & trial first! As tothe use of a PR organisation by the UEA,that would certainly suggest to me a damage limitation exercise rather than a desire to put positive spin on good settled science!

  25. John Marshall says:

    As my old Mum used to say, ‘Be sure your sins will find you out’.

    Or – The Chickens coming home to roost.

    Good day for common sense.

  26. son of mulder says:

    No surprises down in the sewer.

  27. Robert of Ottawa says:

    I am laughing out loud at this. It is hilerious. Just how deep is the hole CRU dug?

  28. Robert of Ottawa says:

    fredb says:

    Fred, this isn’t for me a question of guilt by association. The throbbing thumb is:

    Why does a”Climate Research Unit” of an English university need to employ PR consultants and spin doctors in the first place? What advice were they given. This is public mony being spent, you know.

  29. KevinUK says:

    Well Rebekah Brooks has finally caved into the relentless media pressure and as of about 10:30 BST today has resigned

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/15/rebekah-brooks-resigns-phone-hacking-scandal?intcmp=239

    “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_by_the_sword,_die_by_the_sword

  30. maz2 says:

    Neo-AGW Progress Report.

    Oz’s AGW/carbon tax debate:

    Real crap.

    …-

    Prime Minister Ms:

    “Asked how the media should cover the climate change debate, Ms Gillard was blunt: “Don’t write crap. Can’t be that hard.””

    Opposition leader Abbott:

    “I think that climate change is real,” he told the Brisbane audience.

    “This is not a debate about climate change, this is a debate over how to deal with it.

    “The argument is `Do you want a new tax or do you want direct action?’ That’s the discussion.””

    “Carbon tax blamed for retail slump”

    http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2011/07/15/357821_latest-news.html

  31. hunter says:

    Did the Murdoch people invent the things some of their reporters got caught doing?
    No. Think of Dan Rather and the phony Texas Air Nat. Guard papers he was pushing (and still pushes). Think of Food Lion and ABC.Think of how the media has walked away from reporting on climate science as journalists.
    Will the media complex pull out the knives and go after Murdoch as hard as possible?
    You betcha.
    Alexander points a harsh truth: we are increasing those things that will harm us and destroying those things that have helped us. Think of GE, whose chairman is so close to Obama, and whose company pays no taxes. Think of America walking away from manned space and weakening the JSC in Houston, home of the largest and most experienced group of people familiar with manned spaceflight.
    Look at Australia, whose PM felt comfortable enough to lie about her intentions to tax CO2 in a way that will not change the world climate at all, but will harm Australia greatly that she simply lied to her people about it. Look at the US, being held hostage to an unnecessary government default in order to force a raise in taxes, even though in Dec. 2010 an agreement was given to not change the tax rate. And no actual spending cuts are offered
    To whatever extent Murdoch’s groups did wrong, they should be punished. But my bet is the investigation and punishment will be done in such a way as to allow other media to ignore their systemic problems,and for industry and government to use this as a distraction from the damage they are doing.

  32. KenB says:

    Talk about applying lipstick to a pig, trouble is they spun the pig around and lipsticked its backside, I suppose in climate “new speak science” that would be considered “hind casting”…

  33. Richard S Courtney says:

    Friends:

    It is a matter of record that I am repulsed by the behaviours of CRU and the rest of the ‘Team’. For example, I provided unsolicited evidence to the UK Parliamentary enquiry (that turned out to be a ‘whitewash’) into ‘Climategate’.

    But I share the concerns of some others (stated above) concerning the above article.

    ‘Climategate provided CRU and the UEA with a PR disaster and, therefore, it was both reasonable and sensible for them to seek expert advice and help in their response(s) to that disaster. They could not have known that now (i.e. years later) the source from which they obtained the help would be seen to be tainted. Furthermore, that taint is – as yet – merely suspicion and not proven.

    There are very many reasons to critcise the behaviour of CRU and the UEA but this is not one of them. And, in my opinion, a fuss about this matter weakens the strength of the much more genuine criticisms of CRU and the UEA, especially if the suspicions about Neil Wallace are proved to be unfounded (which, although unlikely, is possible).

    Richard

  34. RB says:

    Fred B – re your first post.

    I think it likely that comments here are in fact speculating that the company was engaged precisely because of its ability to move in questionable circles.

  35. Grizzled Bear says:

    fredb says:
    So if I hire a tax consultant who later turns out to have committed fraud in some other activity, I’ve done something wrong too?

    Not necessarily. But you can bet your bippy that the IRS, Revenue Canada, HMRC, ATO, or whatever your federal government’s tax attack dogs are called where you live, just might be taking a wee peek at your records along the way, just to see. And if there’s even a hint at impropriety, you can count on them crawling so far up your apologist butt that they’ll be tasting your food before you do.

    Such implied guilt is a paving stone on the path to vigilantism.
    Oh Please! Now THAT sir, is unproductive hyperbole!

  36. John Whitman says:

    Alexander Feht says:
    July 15, 2011 at 12:06 am

    “”””Let’s take a stock of the situation.””””

    “”””Is there any reason for optimism, ladies and gentlemen?””””

    ——

    Alexander Feht,

    No need for despair and pessimism. Those things you speak of are the actions of people who know what they, themselves, are. Thus, they are easily perceived by independents and then can be sufficiently dealt with in the ongoing intellectual battle.

    Hint – just look for climate science related people who seek to keep info and acts hidden by manifold techniques.

    John

  37. Shona says:

    Fred B, I think you miss the point, the question is why did CRU need a COVERT pr group? And why did it employ a tabloid (NOTW! Hardly premium journalism!) hack to do it?

    Also how much did this cost and why did someone think it was worth this amount of money?

    (Disclaimer: I’m sad NOTW no longer exists, I think papers like it and the National Enquirer in the US are the only papers doing any kind of investigative journalism. The so called “respectable” media couldn’t find a piss up in a speak-easy in 20s Chicago … )

  38. Larry Geiger says:

    Who paid for this? I am assuming that Mr. Edwards does not work for free? When a university has to spend student and taxpayer money on this sort of thing, then you know they are pretty much done with real research and science.

  39. Paul Jackson says:

    Is it just me or does UEA’s CRU hiring Outside Org seem like the Dept of State hiring Blackwatch? Seriously do you hire that big of a gun unless you think you might actually need that big of a gun? My magic 8 ball says this rabbit hole goes quite a bit deeper, I for one would like to know which media organizations have been compromised, what happens to freedom of the press when the press is an extension of a for hire PR firm? Well at least the TV publishes a disclaimer before they air an infomercial, my trade pubs publish a disclaimer when they publish a manufacturer supplied article, I guess that that is too much integrity for MSM and the Journals.

  40. John Whitman says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    July 15, 2011 at 5:24 am

    “”””Friends:

    . . . . There are very many reasons to criticize the behavior of CRU and the UEA but this is not one of them. And, in my opinion, a fuss about this matter weakens the strength of the much more genuine criticisms of CRU and the UEA, especially if the suspicions about Neil Wallace are proved to be unfounded (which, although unlikely, is possible).

    Richard””””

    ——

    Richard,

    I appreciate your appeal to temperance in associating any of Wallis’ alleged NoW misdeeds with his covert activities in CRU’s post-Climategate PR cleanup.

    Also, however, consider what the media investigative reporters and police detectives would typically do when conducting inquiries. They would look at the know associates (including clients and policemen) of the accused in periods before, during and after the alleged crime of interest (NoW).

    Richard, we as free individuals have abilities to figure things out just as the media and police do . . . without being illegal in the process. I think it serves to keep the police and the media honest.

    I aways read your comments and pay a lot of attention to them.

    John

  41. walt man says:

    tallbloke says:
    July 14, 2011 at 11:45 pm
    http://eastangliaemails.com seems to have been offline for some weeks now. I wonder if someone got threatened with legal action.

    If the data was obtained illegally then publishing it is also illegal. Please read the BRITISH computer Misuse Act. There is no escape if you tamper with data without permission on someone elses computer!

  42. Jeremy says:

    The immediate aftermath of climategate was a number of investigations that were stacked against skepticism, and failed to ask the most important questions raised by the e-mails. Now comes word that UEA hired a PR firm that deals “covertly” and has just been outed as participatory in a phone hacking scandal.

    Again, lets be crystal clear here..

    —> Emminent scientists whose reputation on the world stage is such that political bodies move on their words had been refusing to share data for years. They had closed ranks and declared IP rights would be violated.
    —> These same scientists had the exact data people had been requesting and some of their e-mails put on the internet.
    —> The response from the university to this sequence of events was to hire a PR firm.
    —> Numerous “investigations” of the matter turned out to be whitewashes, not asking the appropriate lines of questioning to get to the heart of the matters revealed in the leaked documents.
    —> The PR firm is later implicated in illegal activity.

    There is zero benefit of the doubt left. Men whose reputation is staked on being HONEST and COMPLETE in their communications of how the universe works (scientists) have gone so far to hide what they’ve done they have hired criminals to defend them. The very association is inexcusable.

  43. Jaypal says:

    fredb says:
    July 15, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Alexander Feht made some statements which are interesting to take stock of, and indicative of the general blogsphere propensity to speak in hyperbole, which in my opinion is unhelpful. Other statements are, yes, very worrying.

    “Science is almost totally corrupted.” –> literal meaning that there is just about no uncorrupted science — that is close to 100% of all science is corrupt! Evidence please … this is unproductive hyperbole!
    -> Don’t you mean “liberal” meaning? “Almost” does not mean 100%

    “Space exploration is practically dead.” –> literal meaning is that in practice – that is, in the operation of space activities — there is just about no space exploration! Evidence please … this is unproductive hyperbole!
    -> Again using your “liberal” meaning. “Practically dead” is pretty far from “no space exploration”

    “Businesses without government connections are suffocated by taxes and regulations.” –> In some nations, yes there are indications of this. But not in ALL nations! The USA is not the world — please!
    -> Mr. Feht not once mentioned the USA.

    “Individual freedoms are disappearing so fast we can’t even trace, when and how they went out.
    Unions, public masters (formerly known as “public servants”), and other bleeders of various breeds determine the outcomes of elections, the distribution of national budgets, the energy policy and the foreign policy.” –> In some nations, yes there is indications of this. But not in ALL nations! The USA is not the world — please!
    -> Again, Mr. Feht not once mentioned the USA.

    Indicative of the general blogsphere propensity to speak in hyperbole? Yes indeed. LOL

  44. Re: unproductive hyperbole

    I’ve been around the world, fredb, and in most countries the situation is much worse than in the USA. A European-style welfare state is at the end of its existence, and — if most of the population won’t realize it, which is unlikely — the collapse is inevitable.

    I remember the same reaction as yours back in the Soviet Union, circa 1985: most people around me would say that I was “rocking the common boat and exaggerating.” As we know now, my understanding of the situation then was rather an understatement. And rocking the boat that is going to sink anyway may not be such a bad idea. But most people never want to believe that they are following the Black Goat into the abyss.

    One of my statements, the truth of which you understood, didn’t sound to you as an unproductive hyperbole. Other statements, the truth of which you don’t understand yet, sound to you as exaggerated. Generally, people tend to laugh at things they don’t understand.

    Even if what I said is a hyperbole (it’s not but let us assume for a moment that it is), I have some questions for you:
    Why, in your opinion, a hyperbole has no right to exist in blogosphere?
    Why, in your opinion, a hyperbole is necessarily unproductive?
    Finally, what, in your opinion, would be a productive hyperbole?

  45. [Dear moderators, somebody didn't close the Italics properly, and now we all express ourselves in rather emphatic mode...]

    [WordPress glitch. Fixed. ~dbs, mod.]

  46. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    July 15, 2011 at 5:24 am

    I fully agree that there is no reason to declare unilateral ‘guilt by association’ in this instance – but the basic fact remains that a scientific ‘group’ required the services of a PR consultant! This is not the path of normal science, science is science is science – no amount of PR can change the underlying science (in terms of facts! – though of course ‘perception’ is another thing!) and I find it abhorent that a scientific/academic organisation would ever feel the need to protect itself in such a manner.
    It smacks of protectionism/elitism and probably loads of other ‘isms’ I cannot think of – but basically pointing to an organisation (instead of a bunch of plain ol’ scientists) feeling that they had something they needed to protect. Now, call me simple, but normally if a scientist gets it wrong or makes a mistake he has to normally issue a retraction and everything is smoothed over again (Ok,Ok – this maybe doesn’t apply to the likes of Mann!) – it is not normal for a scientist (or group thereof) to rush to EMPLOY others to present best ways to commercialise or defuse a situation or defend their honour/data, etc, – as is the intended purpose of PR consultants.

    If science needs PR in the normal context of PR – we are in serious trouble, and the level of distrust in science as a whole will only increase significantly!

  47. Steve Keohane says:

    Mods, looks like an unclosed italics starting here, or the subsequent post.
    Grizzled Bear says: July 15, 2011 at 5:27 am

    [Thanks, fixed. ~dbs.]

  48. John Whitman,

    Thank you for moral support.
    I am generally of optimistic disposition but it becomes harder and harder lately to trust in human nature. Over the years since WWII, “public education” has done its evil deed.

    Yes, there are still many people who see things for what they are — but there were many such people in the Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany. The problem was, they could do nothing against the tsunami of believers, idiots, parasites, and cowards.

    Then, fortunately, there were different countries with different priorities. These days, the whole Earth is being ruled, in this or another form, by low-brow, cynical thieves and gangsters. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” There is no viable opposing force or alternative.

    As Stanislaw Lem aptly put it in one of his last interviews, “Of all the possible futures, humanity has chosen not the most beautiful one.”

  49. Theo Goodwin says:

    fredb says:
    July 14, 2011 at 11:47 pm
    “So if I hire a tax consultant who later turns out to have committed fraud in some other activity, I’ve done something wrong too?”

    No, fredb, it’s the fact that this firm advertises itself as committing fraud for the good of its customers.

  50. Theo Goodwin says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    July 15, 2011 at 5:24 am

    If James Hansen hired Brittany Spears’ publicist, what would you conclude? Is there any way you can get something positive or even neutral about Hansen out of his hiring Spears’ publicist? I do not see it.

  51. mpaul says:

    Kev-in-Uk says:
    July 15, 2011 at 8:19 am
    Richard S Courtney says:
    July 15, 2011 at 5:24 am

    I fully agree that there is no reason to declare unilateral ‘guilt by association’ in this instance – but the basic fact remains that a scientific ‘group’ required the services of a PR consultant!

    Not just any PR firm — they hired a PR firm known to engage in covert disinformation campaigns. Further, the mandate of this group was to fire “shots” at skeptics — who are private citizens. And, they presumably used public money to engage these “gentlemen”. To quote Richard Lindzen, “I’m wondering what’s going on.”

  52. postal geek says:

    they can’t even spell check ! whatever

  53. I would expect that this firm’s practice of hacking phone data to serve PR goals, when applied to ClimateGate, would have included attempts to access the phones of Watts, Mosher, McIntyre, etc, in order to find dirt with with criticism cold be deflected. Would anyone here be surprised to see one or more of their phone numbers on the hacking list of Outside Organization? I would not.

  54. Bowen the troll says:

    Spying: The oldest (profession) occupation in the world . . . in my opinion! How do you think they caught all those occupied with the second oldest profession in the world?

  55. PhilJourdan says:

    The tangential irony here is the instead of the skeptics being the “Tobacco” example (confusing the issue to delay the studies), UEA is showing they are the ones that hired the “Tobacco” lobby! We know they are trying to subvert science, but this is just proof that their accusations are simply their actions.

  56. R.S.Brown says:

    Fredb at July 14 at 11:37 pm, above:

    I agree Fred. You can be one sorry person.

    In the United States if your tax accountant or consultant does something
    illegal with your tax filings, YOU are the one on the hook for
    fines, property confiscation, and possible jail time.

    The actual miscreant may end up sitting in the next cell, but since the
    illegal activity took place with your tacit approval and under
    your signature, you lose.

    UEA/CRU was priming the PR pump after Climategate in as many ways
    as possible. They got caught, and may have had some dealings with the
    devil in setting up the “investigations” that they helped put in motion
    around them at the time.

    The next UEA/CRU investigation better have a judge in
    charge who can take testimony under oath, which hasn’t happened
    to date.

    Did Wallis or Outside Organization or some American subsidiary
    of theirs do any recent work for the University of Virginia, re: Mike Mann ?

    Enquiring minds want to know…

  57. TomB says:

    hunter says:
    July 15, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Did the Murdoch people invent the things some of their reporters got caught doing?
    No. Think of Dan Rather and the phony Texas Air Nat. Guard papers he was pushing (and still pushes). Think of Food Lion and ABC.

    Who are you? Weird that you cite two examples and I worked on both of those cases.

  58. Richard S Courtney says:

    Friends:

    I thank all who took the trouble to read my post at July 15, 2011 at 5:24 am and especial thanks to those who have posted comments in response.

    Clearly, what I wrote has not been agreed by the respondents, and I now write in hope of clarification.

    It seems that John Whitman did understand what I was trying to say and he wrote to refute it at July 15, 2011 at 6:57 am. I accept that: others can compare our views and form their own opinions of them.

    However, it also seems that several did not understand my argument and responded to other points. I am writing in attempt to correct any misunderstanding of my previous post.

    For clarity, I state that I am not an apologist for CRU. I have disdain for much that has gone on at CRU and I have said so in many places including on WUWT.

    But I fear that ‘going off half cocked’ at the present issue could inhibit needed address of the reasonable and justifiable complaints at the execrable behaviour of CRU.

    The fact is that there is a difference between an institution (in this case the UEA) and persons employed by that institution. Climategate was a PR disaster for the UEA and it was perfectly reasonable for that institution to employ expert advice to mitigate that disaster. Hence, although I agree with Kev-in-Uk when (at July 15, 2011 at 8:19 am ) he says;

    “… the basic fact remains that a scientific ‘group’ required the services of a PR consultant! This is not the path of normal science, science is science is science – no amount of PR can change the underlying science (in terms of facts! – though of course ‘perception’ is another thing!) … “

    I do not agree with him when he continues;

    “ and I find it abhorent that a scientific/academic organisation would ever feel the need to protect itself in such a manner.
    It smacks of protectionism/elitism and probably loads of other ‘isms’ I cannot think of – but basically pointing to an organisation (instead of a bunch of plain ol’ scientists) feeling that they had something they needed to protect. …”

    In reality the UEA does have a reputation which its survival demands it protect. Of course, the best protection would have been to have prevented the inappropriate behaviour of CRU scientists which Climategate revealed; but that horse had bolted. The UEA found itself with a need for damage limitation, and UEA took appropriate action to limit the existing PR damage by seeking PR expertise.

    And I very, very strongly agree with Kev-in-Uk when he concludes saying;

    “If science needs PR in the normal context of PR – we are in serious trouble, and the level of distrust in science as a whole will only increase significantly!”

    But “science” did not seek PR assisatance: the institution which is the UEA did.

    And I think my rsponse to Kev-in-Uk addresses the point made by Theo Goodwin at July 15, 2011 at 8:45 am. Hansen is a scientist just as the CRU employees are scientists. It is not asserted that one of them hired a PR consultant: the UEA did.

    Mpaul adds to the point made by Kev-in-Uk when, at July 15, 2011 at 9:22 am , when he says;
    “Not just any PR firm — they hired a PR firm known to engage in covert disinformation campaigns. “

    But the firm was not known to engage in such activities at the time the UEA hired its services: we know that now, but they did not know that then. And a suggestion that they did know is an example of the kind of statement that I think could ‘back-fire’ on those of us who think activities of the CRU have been execrable and needto be corrected.

    There is much proven wrongdoing by CRU so why invent some that cannot be proved and, thus, give arguments against our case for the wrongdoing to be addressed?

    But I think there is a case that can be made concerning the present issue and PhilJourdan makes it at July 15, 2011 at 10:45 am when he writes:

    “The tangential irony here is the instead of the skeptics being the “Tobacco” example (confusing the issue to delay the studies), UEA is showing they are the ones that hired the “Tobacco” lobby! We know they are trying to subvert science, but this is just proof that their accusations are simply their actions.”

    I think his post is an example of the care we really do need to take if we wish to comment on the present issue. He does not conflate the actions of “scientists” or the “CRU” with the damage limitation attempted by the UEA. And he does not ‘jump the gun’ of assuming the guilt of Neil Wallis. He makes a reasoned point that can be inferred from the fact that the UEA hired a PR firm to assist the UEA with its damage limitation. That inference is reasonable even though the hiring of the PR firm by UEA was reasonable.

    I hope this clarifies my view.

    Richard

  59. R.S.Brown says:

    Hey, walt man says on July 15 at 11:45 pm !

    When the Climategate e-mails first became available on line I burned
    a CR-ROM copy of them, including the Harry_ReadMe file! Given the
    ephemeral nature of many blogs and websites it seemed prudent to have
    and hold the information for future reference.

    I’m sure other readers of WUWT, Climate Audit, etc. did the same thing.

    I double dog dare you to file a compliant about me holding “stolen
    property” !

    Nobody gives a white Norwegian lab rat’s behind about your opinion
    of applying British law to a website that wasn’t based in Great Britain,
    or to folks like me. On this issue, as a troll, you can’t bark so you whine.

  60. hro001 says:

    mpaul says: July 15, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Not just any PR firm — they hired a PR firm known to engage in covert disinformation campaigns.

    And sometimes their goal is to “kill a story”. According to the piece that gave the game away:

    “[CRU] came to us and said, ‘We have a huge problem – we are being completely knocked apart in the press,’” says Sam Bowen. “They needed someone with heavyweight contacts who could come in and sort things out, and next week there was a front-page story telling it from their side.”

    And, as we now know, Wallis (who was the OO lead on what they call “the climategate job”) certainly has some “heavyweight contacts”.

  61. Keith Sketchley says:

    In my experience PR people are like sales people.
    There are a few pros, some sleazeballs, and the muddle in the middle.
    Obviously only one category are worth paying for.

  62. Mac the Knife says:

    fredb says:
    July 14, 2011 at 11:47 pm
    “Such implied guilt is a paving stone on the path to vigilantism”

    My now departed mom could have straightened you out, in short order, FredB.
    “Lay Down With Dogs – Get Up With Fleas!” she admonished her children, to highlight the perils of less than honorable behaviour. It applies well to UEA, CRU, their dishonest employees, their many deceits, and their cover up machinations!

  63. Paddy says:

    George Soros, personally and through Media Matters, is waging war against Murdoch, especially Fox News Channel, Fox Radio, and Fox Business Channel here in the US. I wonder if this is another front in his war.

    Does Soros own or fund the Mirror Group or any other tabloids that compete against Rupert’s papers and/or Sky News TV in the UK?

    I smell the Soros rats.

  64. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    July 15, 2011 at 11:26 am

    It appears we are on similar wavelengths but I still do not feel it right that public money should be used for public relations for public (ok, whistleblown!) (mis)information. The mere thought of some PR guru sitting down with Jones et al and advising them how to come out of it with less sh*t sticking to them – is somewhat perverse, but moreso in the science context! The fact that I (as a UK taxpayer) have paid for it makes it doubly perverse and extremely annoying IMO. It’s like getting a parking ticket when you have parked perfectly legally, and then being charged for the traffic wardens wages and all the court costs whilst he stands there and ‘makes up’ an excuse for the ticket to be valid and you then find that the judge was the guy that sent the traffic warden out in the first place, with an instruction to ‘issue tickets’! (perhaps not a good analogy – but you get the gist!)

    The details and subsequent issues of the specific PR guru/firm used is of no real consequence to my annoyance, but it is not unreasonable to query why such an apparently less scruplulous company was employed? Still, as I said – the guilt by association is a somewhat unfair bandwagon to jump onto.

    It will be interesting to see if anyone can find out how much the PR firm received in remuneration, and as someone noted previously, their emails and correspondence with CRU/UEA could be most revealing! FOIA anybody?

  65. Richard S Courtney says:

    Paddy:

    I do not know who you are, but your comment at July 15 at 1.24 pm shows you are not aware of the deplorable things Murdoch’s people – notably those employed by the ‘News of the World’ – have been doing in the UK.

    Yes, Soros employs many rats. But we now know that Murdoch’s business uses rats, too.

    Richard

  66. Richard S Courtney says:

    Kev-in-UK:

    They were spending my taxes, too. I am not chuffed.

    Richard

  67. clipe says:

    Our Spoiled Godchild:
    How the World has Been Taking Climate Change Advice
    from a Wayward Teenager

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/07/14/about-my-book/

    It will be interesting to see how Donna’s book is received by mainstream thought.

  68. _Jim says:

    Noelene says on July 15, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Gotta be careful of who you hire these days,some will try to sabotage a company or corporation.
    I’m looking for any links to hackings and stories published, (climategate is one example)all the hysteria seems to be light on details …

    Indeed; more likely the voice-mail ‘server’/center was hacked, they probably simply tried at the default password used when dialing into a voice mail provider from an outside-the-network PSTN (public switched telephone network) phone … a far shot would be they (News of the World) talked to (bribed) a ‘switch tech’ or telco/telecom engineer (IT ppl call them sys admins) who had access to the voice mail center.

    In all likelihood, no actual “phones” were ‘hacked’. IMO. See Kevin Mitnick’s use of ‘social engineering’/human intel (via wiki for instance) for how a more likely means of how the information was gained (at say 10 or 20 dollars per information tidbit for instance); ‘phone hacking’ DOES sound so much more glamorous and will no doubt make for a very interesting/flashy technical movie on the subject.

    Full disclosure: I did software/system support on the Sun Microsystems-based customer database / SCO-based PRI-ISDN interface VMC (Voice Mail Center) provided by DSC (Digital Switch Corp) used on the Japanese HandiPhone system ’round the time of the turn of the last century and before that spent a term at a major cellular provider in an engineering capacity.

    .

  69. Gary Pearse says:

    A company like that could have hacked the climategate emails and then offered their service to fix it. Somewhat like the belief by many that the antivirus companies are the biggest manufacturers of viruses.

  70. _Jim says:

    Applying social engineering to the spy (and Newspaper?) game; Mitnick relates a story about the unauthorized tour he and a friend made of the Hollywood, California CO (Central telephone switching Office):

    The Art of Deception: The Weakest Link is the Human Element

    I suspect the News of the World people used these techniques to gather information … it’s a good thing the AGW/CRU people are not this slick …

    .

  71. pat says:

    what we need is a starting date for Wallis beginning his “disinformation” campaign on behalf of the scientists, then we can compile a collection of all the similarities in the MSM (some of which are already on CA). this is how “reality” is distorted by the MSM on so many issues.

    today, despite the BBC and Guardian having done literally hundreds of pieces on the Murdoch scandal, they and the rest of the MSM have totally ignored this most extraordinary story of Wallis and UEA. not a peep in the MSM so far and yet i can assure u both CA and Bishop Hill (which is covering the story) are monitored by the MSM crowd.

    i say a pox on all their houses, but understand all the heat is only on Murdoch’s media while, if u link to Martin Brumby’s link in the comments, u will see:

    “Adding up the total number of incidents of illegally-acquired data by journalists, we arrive at:
    Trinity Mirror: 1663 incidents by 139 journalists
    Mail Group: 1248 incidents by 95 journalists
    News International: 182 incidents by 19 journalists”

  72. _Jim says:

    hunter says on July 15, 2011 at 4:36 am:

    Look at Australia, whose PM felt comfortable enough to lie about her intentions to tax CO2 in a way that will not change the world climate at all, but will harm Australia greatly that she simply lied to her people about it. Look at the US, being held hostage to an unnecessary government default …

    The last MIGHT be correct were it not for the continued 220 Billion (Billion with a “B”) a month pouring into the Treasury Department from tax receipts; NO ONE is defaulting unless the prez and Timmy Geitner press the issue and decide to default (by make _NO_ payments to our bondholders); default will not be an automatic happening – we still have a sizable amount of revenue to work with.

    Notice the solid black in the bar chart indicating the interest payment in this graph*:

    “Projected August Cumulative Cash flows” – as referred to by Congressman Huelskamp

    Pls do not confuse your finances or your companies’ finances with those of the US Federal Govt; tax revenues continue unabated into the Treasury (despite what you hear from our pathetic, financially uneducated press), but the Treasury will not be able to create ‘additional debt’ (via bond issuance, for instance) for the payment of bills for which payments are (thought to be) owed …

    * Chart as appearing in this hearing:

    .

  73. D. King says:

    Paddy says:
    July 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm
    “George Soros, personally and through Media Matters, is waging war against Murdoch, especially Fox News Channel, Fox Radio, and Fox Business Channel here in the US. I wonder if this is another front in his war…”

    Well, now that the FBI is involved and will have to investigate this thoroughly, Media Matters may have a date with Karma, in so far as this is now linked to the UEA and their pals in the U.S.

  74. Just when you thought the Climategate story can’t get any more scandalous!

  75. MR F says:

    Just a thought; are Neil Wallis of News of The World and Phil Willis, chairman of the commons science and technology committee related?
    I only ask as one was working for the UEA and the other was supposed to be investigating if the UEA had a case to offer……

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