Media now blaming Russians for Climategate leak

Personally I don’t think Russian spies had anything to do with it. A our own Charles The Moderator recently explained in The CRUtape Letters™, an Alternative Explanation, it is looking more and more like a leak than a hack. I’ll have a much more detailed post on this soon.

From the Telegraph

Climategate: was Russian secret service behind email hacking plot?

There was growing speculation on Sunday that hackers working for the Russian secret service were responsible for the theft of controversial emails in the ‘Climategate’ scandal.

Thousands of emails, from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) were first published on a small server in the city of Tomsk in Siberia.

So-called ‘patriot hackers’ from Tomsk have been used in the past by the Russian secret service, the FSB, to attack websites disliked by the Kremlin, such as the “denial of service” campaign launched against the Kavkaz-Tsentr website, over its reports about the war in Chechnya, in 2002.

Russia, a major oil exporter, may be trying to undermine calls to reduce carbon emissions ahead of the Copenhagen summit on global warming. The CRU emails included remarks which some claim show scientists had manipulated the figures to make them fit the theory that humans are causing global warming.

Achim Steiner, the director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said the theft of emails from CRU, which is a world-renowned centre for climate research, had similarities with the Watergate scandal which brought down US President Richard Nixon.

But he said: “This is not climategate, it’s hackergate. Let’s not forget the word ‘gate’ refers to a place [the Watergate building] where data was stolen by people who were paid to do so.

“So the media should direct its investigations into that.”

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the vice-chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said he believed the theft of the emails was not the work of amateur climate sceptics.

“It’s very common for hackers in Russia to be paid for their services,” he told The Times.

“If you look at that mass of emails a lot of work was done, not only to download the data but it’s a carefully made selection of emails and documents that’s not random at all.

“This is 13 years of data and it’s not a job of amateurs.”

Mr van Ypersele said the expose was making it more difficult to persuade the 192 countries going to Copenhagen of the need to cut carbon emissions.

“One effect of this is to make scientists lose lots of time checking things. We are spending a lot of useless time discussing this rather than spending time preparing information for the negotiators,” he said.

However he insisted the emails did not change the science. “It doesn’t change anything in the IPCC’s conclusions. It’s only one line of evidence out of dozens of lines of evidence,” he said.

A Russian hacking specialist told the Mail on Sunday: “There is no hard evidence that the hacking was done from Tomsk, though it might have been. There has been speculation the hackers were Russian.

“It appears to have been a sophisticated and well-run operation, that had a political motive given the timing in relation to Copenhagen.”

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December 6, 2009 9:15 pm

Good Grief!
If they can’t blame “BIG OIL!!”, scream “Reds Under The Beds!”.
What’s next? the return of Joe McCarthy?
“Are you now, or have you ever been a ‘climate denier’?”

December 6, 2009 9:17 pm

I guess this means the Cold War is officially back? Given the current economic situation I don’t think starting a Cold War back up with one of the BRIC countries is a good idea.
I also wonder if the leaker(s) are going to expose themselves this week. When you think about it the e-mails and code started the ball rolling now what would be better than the whistleblower coming out the week of the Copenhagen and derailing the whole thing. That would be just, I don’t think words could describe it.

December 6, 2009 9:18 pm

Is this revenge for the Briffa team “leaking” the Yamal data so McIntyre could find it??????
Just kidding…. Sort of. Though if it was the Russians, it was probably an attempt to validate their refusal to sign another climate treaty. They have exhausted the money they could get from Kyoto, and another treaty would not bring them the same profit Kyoto did. Remember, the Russians fought tooth and nail against Kyoto…. that is until they realized they could make tons of money from it.

Calvin Ball
December 6, 2009 9:18 pm

So let’s assume Boris did it. So what? If there wasn’t any “there” there, it would have been for naught. Would the evidence be any less damning if Osama bin Laden did it?

December 6, 2009 9:19 pm

Wow! And they claim we come up with crazy theories. I am so sorry Michael Crichton is missing all the fun.
Is this from the circle-the-wagons playbook or have these folks stopped by some of Amsterdam’s coffee houses on the way to COP15?

December 6, 2009 9:19 pm

I salute our Russian comrades. Perhaps we can have them over for lunch and throw them a ticker tape paraid.

Calvin Ball
December 6, 2009 9:21 pm

So-called ‘patriot hackers’ from Tomsk have been used in the past by the Russian secret service, the FSB, to attack websites disliked by the Kremlin, such as the “denial of service” campaign launched against the Kavkaz-Tsentr website, over its reports about the war in Chechnya, in 2002.

A DOS attack and a breakin are two completely different thing. DOS is kid stuff, breakins (at a reasonably secure installation) are far more difficult.

December 6, 2009 9:21 pm

I love these ads – find a Russian babe today lol. Not really that probable an explanation – this is a leak, probably from a long time sysadmin who was treated like dirt.
That said, sysadmins do tend to see themselves as masters of the universe so they should’ve all gotten along well.

Earle Williams
December 6, 2009 9:24 pm

I cannot believe anyone felt these inane ruminations were print-worthy.
I also cannot believe that people are still using the word ‘theft’. As far as I know CRU has not been deprived of any of the data. CRU has been deprived of the cloak of secrecy under which Professor Jones had been operating. When information is divulged, it is a leak, not a theft. Absolutely pathetic that ‘theft’ is getting mileage.

Calvin Ball
December 6, 2009 9:33 pm

Here’s the money quote:

“One effect of this is to make scientists lose lots of time checking things. We are spending a lot of useless time discussing this rather than spending time preparing information for the negotiators,” he said.

Don’t think, react!

December 6, 2009 9:33 pm

Thinking about it a bit… Thats not so funny…

December 6, 2009 9:35 pm

I often encounter in my objection to American police state tactics the statement “Well, if you have nothing to hide then what is the problem?” If private citizens are being denied privacy, then what possible right has tax payer funded climate research to privacy?

Dave Johnson
December 6, 2009 9:36 pm

So is he saying that if good old western hackers had been responsible, the e-mails would not have shown evidence of any skullduggery? 😉

Leon Brozyna
December 6, 2009 9:36 pm

It was a hack.
No, it was a leak.
No, it was a hack.
No, it was a leak.
The whole “discussion” misses the point. In fact, the “discussion” itself is a distraction from the most damning part of all and that is the evidence revealed some of the most disgraceful practices of science. It’s bait-and-switch; it’s the key secret of magic — misdirect someone’s attention from what’s really happening.
So when bureaucrats speak of theft, note how they also protest the proper response of science (where the MET office states that they’ll take another look at the data).
The ponzi scheme continues to crumble and more of its victims (scientists) are starting to speak out. And there’s a certain kind of dark humor in the response of some of those scientists whose shady practices have been exposed as they try to keep with the program as the edifice they toiled so hard to erect crumbles around their heads.

December 6, 2009 9:38 pm

Weak arguments actually. The anonymous proxy server that was used to post on Climate Audit was located in Russia; and the files were uploaded to a Russian site (though, they could as easily have been uploaded to something like “”). (If Gavin Schmidt is to be believed, that attempt to access RealClimate’s site was made from a Turkish-based proxy server.) If it WAS sophisticated and expert Russian hackers, wouldn’t they have covered their tracks just a tad better?
This is little more than random speculation, less sophisticated than what was bandied about here and on Climate Audit for the first couple of days.
Now, if Phil Jones were to come out and say that he’d collected all of these gems into a single file…for whatever reason (and they really don’t seem to be responsive to the FOIA requests), then it would be more believable. Otherwise, how’d they get just “on-topic” stuff, rather than the usual drivel we all produce (“going to lunch, wanna come?” etc.).
Of course, if it is a hack, it could have occurred some time ago – and it took a while to filter out the truly banal. The CRU has not actually said when they they think they lost the data (but then, look how long it took them to figure out they’d, err…misplaced the raw temperature data. Well, maybe.)
I notice that none of this speculation is coming from the UEA (or the CRU…). It looks like some classic misdirection (I note the story started appearing in the British press in a big way shortly after Monckton’s Climategate piece was web “published”. In that document, he referred to the information release as being the act of a whistleblower. Again, his assertion is speculation, but this might be the “comeback” from the AGW crowd.)
At the end of the day, who cares. There’s no suggestion that any of it has been tampered with. The emails and code show what they show – and the CRU (and a number of senior scientists) have clearly been shown to be acting in an unprincipled fashion.

December 6, 2009 9:39 pm

The Times is running similar rubbish. See comments, the public isn’t buying it and who can blame them.
Same nonsense at the Daily Mail with usual tabloid poetic license.
The Times says upload to Russian server was done from Saudi. How convenient to implicate Saudi, given their ministers comment a day of two ago (that the BBC appear to have been instructed to play down). Where’s the proof for any of this? Proxy anyone? Let’s at least see the IP addresses.

Daryl M
December 6, 2009 9:39 pm

What a joke this is! The AGW alarmist community is doing their damnest to portray this as a hacking issue not a ethics issue.
The files were probably “carefully selected” by people within CRU in response for a FOI request.
Posting a zip file on an ftp site is not rocket science. It’s more like climate science. LOL.

December 6, 2009 9:41 pm

I’d rather the media dig more into the emails and code and speculate less on how they appeared. Not to knock what you guys are doing in reposting the article. The major networks just seem to have stopped at Mann’s trick and they fail to discuss the shoddy coding, peer pressuring scientists and print media (magazines and reporters), and an intent to discredit legitimate scientists who disagree with their dogma. I’d hate to see the whole conversation steer away from the deceit and fraud and towards the intrigue of who leaked it.

David Harrington
December 6, 2009 9:46 pm

A leak is much more damaging than a hack so they will persevere with the “hack” meme.

Cassandra King
December 6, 2009 9:48 pm

There is a tiny flaw with that cunning plan though isnt there?
Russia stands to make billions on the carbon credits showered on them to buy them off, this backdoor bribe has already cost the EU billions, the Russians are sitting on a pile of carbon credits that are worth next to nothing as it stands, only if the CTS/C&P et al carbon trading markets take off will those credits be worth anything, so in fact Russia has a vested monetary interest in the scam taking off?
The old phrase ‘who benefits’ is all too valid in realtion to the AAM fraud, power/politics/money and the interaction between them.

December 6, 2009 9:49 pm

Russian hackers are obviously a conceivable culprit, and the IP address has been known for quite some time. However, there are no new arguments in favor of this hypothesis.
Moreover, it’s much more important to trace the IP addresses of the guys who were manipulating or announcing the ZIP file than the servers they used to spread the file. And this would indicate that they were close to Moscow, not Tomsk.
The possibility that it was done by a whistleblower hasn’t been given any blow by these new reports.

December 6, 2009 9:50 pm

Fearless leader vs. moose and squirrel. LOL

December 6, 2009 9:50 pm

Nyet. ☺

Dave Wendt
December 6, 2009 9:51 pm

OT, but I think it deserves attention. Myron Ebell of the CEI has a post at Pajamas Media that discusses a significant slip up in Holdren’s testimony to Congress on the 2nd.—-unintentionally/
here are the most pertinent paras.
When Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and other Republicans on the committee challenged Holdren’s analysis of Climategate, the president’s science adviser responded by repeating that it was just a small group of scientists engaged in some narrow research. Any mistakes or misdeeds on their part couldn’t possibly compromise the scientific consensus, which is as strong as it is vast.
But when asked about some of his own extreme statements and predictions, Holdren replied that scientific research had moved on from the latest UN assessment report in 2007. The most up-to-date scientific research was contained in a report written by some of the world’s leading climate scientists and released last summer. Holdren mentioned and referred to this report, Copenhagen Diagnosis, several times during the course of the hearing.
I remember when Copenhagen Diagnosis came out because nearly every major paper ran a story on it. Global warming is happening even faster than predicted, the impacts are even worse than feared, and that sort of thing. I also remembered that the authors of Copenhagen Diagnosis included many of the usual conmen who are at the center of the alarmist scare. So I asked my CEI colleague Julie Walsh to compare the list of authors of Copenhagen Diagnosis with the scientists involved in Climategate.
I’m sure it will come as a shock that the two groups largely overlap. The “small group of scientists” up to their necks in Climategate include 12 of the 26 esteemed scientists who wrote the Copenhagen Diagnosis. Who would have ever guessed that forty-six percent of the authors of Copenhagen Diagnosis belong to the Climategate gang? Small world, isn’t it?
Did you catch that? The “small, insignificant group of scientists” comprise almost half the authors of one of Copenhagen’s leading documents. But, just move along, nothing to see here!

December 6, 2009 9:51 pm

Deflection and distraction.
I’m surprised they haven’t tried blaming the other pantomime villain: the Saudis.

December 6, 2009 9:52 pm

Wow, i am at a loss for words. Must be the excessive CO2 in the air…brain damages.

Kum Dollison
December 6, 2009 9:53 pm

Nope, it doesn’t affect the “science.”
The “science” was crap to start; and it’s still crap.

December 6, 2009 9:55 pm

Desperation drives speculation. Sounds like an inside job to me, maybe someone with moral standards that has had to struggle with the issue of being a whistle blower.

December 6, 2009 9:57 pm

This news article is very entertaining. Maybe some imaginative movie director will make a movie out this one, other than that it sounds like another IPCC conspiracy story to cover up the real truth. Also under the whistle blower laws, I would assume the person’s, that leaked this data, identity is protected and apparently does not want to come forward. If the person or persons does not come forward I do not blame them, but in the event they do they would be harolded as real life heroes. Especially if this is what brings it all to an end. Here is to freedom and hope of continued freedom.
I would also like to ponder the possible outcomes, albeit far fetched, of the Russians not liking being accussed of such a terrible thing. Would they go to war over this to prove it was not them or would they let the world believe it was them. This would make them enemies either way to the AGW One World Government. Just a thought.

December 6, 2009 10:00 pm

Just in time.
The people need to know why the planet is currently cooling. I don’t think it is that complicated. It is the heat from the Sun that warms the planet, and the lack of the Sun’s heat that cools it.
Can a lull in solar activity head off climate change?

John F. Hultquist
December 6, 2009 10:01 pm

Just as the phrase “the science is settled” was concocted and repeated as a public relations strategy, this too seems to be the AGWs attempt at mis-direction:
“So the media should direct its investigations into that.”
Yeah, right! Don’t look at the issue – find and blame the messenger.
Then there is this repeated nonsense:
“CRU, which is a world-renowned centre for climate research …”
Say what? “world-renowned” Sure, read about them here:
Question: Are there any females mixed up in this? I know there are some on the receiving end of the c— from the “Team” – are there any with close ties to this bunch?

gerard bono
December 6, 2009 10:02 pm

It is really interesting what Van Ypersele said:
Mr. van Ypersele said the expose was making it more difficult to persuade the 192 countries going to Copenhagen of the need to cut carbon emissions.
“One effect of this is to make scientists lose lots of time checking things. We are spending a lot of useless time discussing this rather than spending time preparing information for the negotiators,” he said.
Considering the large amount of money involved and the potential reshaping of world economies I think it is very arrogant to make this complaint about this being useless time spent checking the emails and data. Maybe he/they should have been a bit more skeptical originally.

photon without a Higgs
December 6, 2009 10:04 pm

Kristinn (21:51:26) :
Deflection and distraction.
I’m surprised they haven’t tried blaming the other pantomime villain: the Saudis.

Saudis, Russian, etc.
Matt Damon will probably star in a movie as the guy who exposes the Russian/Saudi/big oil/denier plot.

December 6, 2009 10:05 pm

“Pay no attention to that bunch of shoddy, grant-grubbing, snarky pseudoscientists behind that Climategate curtain! Look over HERE! See the big, bad Russians! They know how to hack. Ooooh! Naughty people! Commies, remember? They want to torpedo our precious, our Copenshaggin’. How dare they!
“Oh. You don’ t buy it. Well, uh, then, uh, look over THERE! Iran! Iran has all the technology they need to make atomic weapons! The New York Times has ‘leaked’ that information, so it must be true. We must now tax your buns off to deal with Iran. Maybe we can go bow to them, but let’s take along a couple jillion dollars, just in case. We’ll let ACORN carry the cash in small bills in a couple of suitcases.”
Coming soon to a theater near you: OBAMAGATE!

December 6, 2009 10:07 pm

Ian (21:38:37) :

The anonymous proxy server that was used to post on Climate Audit was located in Russia;

Sorry, my post earlier was wrong. Times is saying post to ClimateAudit (not upload to Russian server) was from Saudi. All sounds like speculation to me, inside job or dumb ass FTP server admin still gets my vote.

Calvin Ball
December 6, 2009 10:09 pm

Lubos, anonymous proxies make an IP impossible (certainly impossible without the cooperation of Russian police). Unless the hacker/leaker made a mistake, the trail goes cold at the proxy.
The more obvious question is, what kind of knowledge does an IPCC official have regarding this? None, unless it’s through back channels. This is, until shown otherwise, wild speculation, and probably an attempt to politically damage the CRUtape letters™ by implying that it’s a nefarious Russian plot to damage Gaia for the benefit of the oligarchs. Lenin would be proud, if it weren’t for the amateurish way they’re going about this.

December 6, 2009 10:12 pm

OT … Aligner (21:39:50) : The Times is running similar rubbish. See comments, the public isn’t buying it and who can blame them.
The ratio of comments on online boards (following articles) seems to have shifted significantly. I’ve certainly not done a credible analysis, but it seems that a few months ago the pro-AGW comments probably outnumbered skeptic comments by 2:1. And now it is the other way around. People seem to be pi$$ed.
I belong to a group that disseminates credible climate information and hits have increased 3 to 5 fold in the past three months … now at 40K per day.
However, the Copenhagen media hype is just getting ridiculous. If I manage to survive the next tens days … sheesh.

December 6, 2009 10:14 pm

They must really be afraid of whoever it was who leaked them, I can’t think of any other reason why they would keep blaming everything else.
Pro-tip to CRU spin doctors, Hackers wouldn’t spend hours online compiling exactly what the skeptics would need to cast doubt on you, they would download everything randomly and the effects would be much less painful for you. Find something else to blame, or, in a move that would be best for everyone, openly admit that one of your FOIA officers actually has a conscience and leaked this out because they understood the significance of your refusal.
You don’t want to admit that, because it would cast doubt on your FOIA refusals and incriminate you as an organization.
tsk tsk.

December 6, 2009 10:14 pm

Darned capitalists in Russia trying to interfere with our socialist plans for world government. What do they think they are doing?
Oh, wait a moment, isn’t that what they used to say about us 50 years ago?

Calvin Ball
December 6, 2009 10:17 pm

Also, let’s not forget the breakin that was reported at Realclimate. If indeed it happened, that would suggest 1) someone trying to yank their chain, and 2) probably someone on the climate inside. It doesn’t make any sense for Russians to hack RC. It makes more sense to get the file out the way they did it.
The Russians may be responsible for a lot of things, but this isn’t one of them.

Methow Ken
December 6, 2009 10:22 pm

Russia certainly has a vested interested in trying to maintain high demand for their huge oil exports. And no doubt the Russian FSB has both the will and the skill to ”facilitate” technically sophisticated hacking attacks in the furtherance of said cause if they were so inclined; either directly or via some of the capable techies at Tomsk State University.
But at least from what has been reported so far, I tend to agree with comment at thread start:
This really has the feel of an inside job by somebody who knew what they were doing from the get-go.
SIDEBAR: If it was an inside job, I’d call him or her a courageous whistleblower; and not a leaker. . . .
In any case: Whether it was the Russian FSB or their proxies in Tomsk or an internal whistleblower:
Three cheers for whoever pulled it off:
They did a major good deed for the world at large; even if it WAS a hack (and if it was, I would argue that this is a case of ”justifiable hacking”).

Neil O'Rourke
December 6, 2009 10:23 pm

You know, if this story is true (and I truely, truely doubt that it is), I love the irony that Russia is helping defend democracy / capitalism.

December 6, 2009 10:28 pm

For John F. Hultquist ☺ ☺
John John John!! You said, “Are there any females mixed up in this? I know there are some on the receiving end of the c— from the “Team” – are there any with close ties to this bunch?”
Did you NOT see the item on Copenhagen hookers giving freebies to the inner circle of climategate? Men behaving badly … once again!
☺ ☺ ☺ ☺

a jones
December 6, 2009 10:49 pm

Leak? what leak?
Hack? what hack?
All this was in the hands of the BBC and its correspondent in mid October.
It was a perfectly legal release of data in response to a request. And was kept confidential.
That it then spread over the internet is neither here nor there.
In that there is no conspiracy, no leakers, no hackers or anything else.
This was public information made available under the law of the UK.
And that is all. What ever anyone may suggest to the contrary to suit their political agenda.
Kindest Regards

December 6, 2009 10:49 pm

And now this from our friendly neighbourhood post-normal dork …
“Copenhagen summit: Yes, climate change is real but this conference is the wrong way to go about tackling it, argues professor Mike Hulme of the University of East Anglia”

“I suggest that by setting out to control climate change through a global multi-lateral agreement we humans have over-reached what we can deliver. The Greeks called it hubris.”

Oh! Oh! penny finally dropped has it? A bit off message there, Mike. What about all that World Bank consultancy on your CV, they’re not going to be happy with that sort of sentiment right now, are they? Watch your back now!

John Silver
December 6, 2009 10:59 pm

Don’t worry, James Bond and George Smiley are on the case.

glen martin
December 6, 2009 10:59 pm

According to New Scientist it was an attack by data terrorists:
“”researchers have been inundated over the past few years with what feel like unreasonable and malicious demands for their raw data. They fear the hacking of their emails is the culmination of a concerted attack by data terrorists.””
Actually it almost sounds like they are calling those requesting the data terrorists not just the hackers.

December 6, 2009 11:07 pm

A Russian hacking specialist told the Mail on Sunday: “Look! These bananas are shaped just like the hockey stick temperature curve.”
“And I only want £10,000 for my information”
He added

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
December 6, 2009 11:07 pm

If the hackers wanted to ruins Copenhagen they would have done this long ago to give us plenty of time to run over the emails and code. Therefore it is unlikely the work of hackers and most likely Watts’ theory is correct. CRU were trying to buy as much time as possible as the emails indicate and had no intention of releasing the documents until laws and regulations were drawn up.

December 6, 2009 11:12 pm

What idiotic secret operation would announce the stolen files on a server in their own country? Maybe the media thinks the Russian secret agents work the same way the climate secret agents work.

December 6, 2009 11:26 pm

It wasn’t a hack and it doesn’t have the Russian fingerprint on it, IMHO.
It was a “class act”, but it was focused untirely on a specific archive that was being prepared for a FOIA request that was denied, and it happened right after that denial became known.
The data were not fished through by a rogue hacker who then spent several hundred staff hours ‘preening’ it during the following 10 elapsed hours. “Does not compute”…
The “negative space” is all wrong. A “hack” would have included any non-tech juicy bits too. It would have been a wider net on the email side. More people and more topics.
This was an “inside created FOIA archive” and it was sucked down in one quick go. THEN it was datestamp washed, moved to an anon reserver in Russia, and then to the world. That bit was a preplanned bit of class.
So, IMHO, it was either an inside leak (most likely) or a fumbled permissions that let it go from the external server rather than locking it down when the FOIA was denied (i.e. someone let it go as planned under FOIA instead of locking down due to change of direction.)
The other thing is that Russian Hacks are typically “by the book”. They leave lots of fingerprints. If they had the logs showing that type of attack, it would be talked about. What they did was shut down an external server. Just all wrong. A Russian Hack that got into the email archive and wandered around would have had UEA not having email service for a couple of days as the server was forensic analyzed and the “new server” was being security prepped. (Even if they had a hot spare, it would have the same vulerabilities, so it could not be put into service until patch checked and security audited).
So at the end of the day: Charles The Moderator has clue and has it right. Jean-Pascal and Steiner are having paranoid fanatasies.
At most, a sympathetic Russian hacker might have aided the leaker after the fact with a washing post, or an open Russian Relay was used by a “smart but lucky” external person who discovered an accidental permisions fubar let him grab the FOIA archive.
I also, again, need to point out that there is no crime here. Under UK precident, “vandalism for a greater good” is A-OK. This was clearly for the greater good (Head of the unit DID step down, no? Denials of the content are missing, only claims that it was OK to fudge the books and suborn the Peer Review process are being offered in defense). So we have clear evidence that the evil was being done… and that means that to expose this “for the greater good” is a legal and moral act (per UK Precident set by vandals who were pro-AGW being let free). Now I may think that was a very stupid precident to set; but it was set and now holds.

December 6, 2009 11:27 pm

The LSM dodging bullets again.
Does it really matter who sourced the leak? Russian Secret Service, the Global Sceptic “Conspiracy” or funny looking dudes from another planet. Or that they utilised the latest “hacker” techniques or simply resorted to magic and witchcraft.
Talk about being in denial. They can’t stay there forever though.
That the “story” is mostly sourced from UN and IPCC seniors speaks volumes. Light goes on, Cockroaches scurry for cover.
Roaches blame light switch operator in warehouse food theft scandal

December 6, 2009 11:31 pm

Bulldust (21:19:18) :
I am so sorry Michael Crichton is missing all the fun.

Me too. He saw all this coming and like you say it is a real shame that he isn’t here to see it.

December 6, 2009 11:32 pm

I know I’m not the brightest bulb in the box, but aren’t scientists SUPPOSED to check their work?
If The Team doesn’t have the time to check their own work because they are too busy doing damage control then… GIVE US THE DATA! and we’ll check it for them! Everyone’s happy, right?

December 7, 2009 12:18 am

“All this was in the hands of the BBC and its correspondent in mid October. ”
Not all of it — just some CRU emails (1255558867.txt) whining about a column written on Oct. 9 by Paul Hudson, BBCs reporter on climate change, questioning GW. The last of those emails was written on Oct. 14. In a brief message on his blog, after the release, Hudson said he received the emails related to his column on Oct. 12, but he could be fuzzy on that, and it could have been the 14th — (and it’s unknown who sent them and from what address, since the BBC has gagged Hudson on the issue).
Meanwhile, the last file date on the entire set of emails in the is Nov. 12. So, when Hudson got that small set of emails, the .zip file was still being compiled.
I don’t see how this can be anything but an inside job. The only other explanation is that some outside hacker had undetected access to the UEA CRU computers for at least a month — not likely, even for the digitally-challenged CRU crew.

Mr. Anon
December 7, 2009 12:20 am

“Mr van Ypersele said the expose was making it more difficult to persuade the 192 countries going to Copenhagen of the need to cut carbon emissions.
“One effect of this is to make scientists lose lots of time checking things. We are spending a lot of useless time discussing this rather than spending time preparing information for the negotiators,” he said.”
Yes, scientists have better things to do than “check things” (things like data, analysis, uncertainties) – afterall, they have conferences to jet off to.

December 7, 2009 12:23 am

It reminds me of a bit of dialogue in a Goon Show (1950s) – I don’t recall which one:
Willium: “Russian frogmen done it.”
Neddie: “Why, what motive would they have?”
Willium: “I don’t pry into their private affairs – I just accuses them.”
(or something like that)
Now, those guys seemed to manage to get all sorts of things past the BBC censors – we could do with them now.

Keith G
December 7, 2009 12:24 am

The mechanism by which the files entered the public domain does not seem particularly germane. The fact is, they shed some much needed light on the analytical methods, professional practices, and political machinations of a very small climate science clique. Perhaps inadvertently, or perhaps by design, those responsible for the disclosure have acted in the public interest.

Rhys Jaggar
December 7, 2009 12:38 am

Ed Miliband, UK energy secretary, also stated on radio this morning that ‘politicians can’t be expected to understand the science’.
So: the high priest now says he can’t be expected to justify why he’s doing what he’s doing. But he’s going to do it.
Exactly what you would expect from a molly-coddled little boy brought up in Hampstead to a comfortable existence but nonetheless is an ardent supporter of socialism.
A sense of entitlement, but no expectation that he should have to justify the reasons for his entitlement.
That’s UK politics for you.

Rereke Whakaaro
December 7, 2009 12:40 am

There are some opinions on Climategate at that may be relevant to this thread.

December 7, 2009 12:48 am

“Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the vice-chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said he believed the theft of the emails was not the work of amateur climate sceptics.”
So by (AGW) logic, since all sceptics are either amateurs or amateur scientists, surely the alternative alternative explanation is that it was the work of … drum roll … Peereviewedpublished climatescientists themselves!
Just an observation – wouldn’t it have saved the scientists an awful lot of time and effort and avoided all the nasty FOI if they simply released the data and code in the first place? Or was that just another “trick” to “hide the decline”?
An old lawyers trick is apparently to keep asking the same question in many different ways until the story cracks and the truth exposed. So keep asking those questions!!

Don Shaw
December 7, 2009 12:59 am

I agree that this was most likely and internal leak. Surely there must have been one honest, ethical scientist among the 25-30 working at CRU who decided to blow the whistle.

December 7, 2009 1:08 am

Doesn’t anybody here think that it may be BOTH a leak and a Russian thing? I mean, whoever leaked the information may have done so because of receiving a very nice economic reward from the russians. And he probably didn’t need to do anything, only point out where the file was and what passwords were needed to access it. Then the russians would have done the rest.

December 7, 2009 1:11 am

3×2 (23:31:57) : Bulldust (21:19:18) :
I am so sorry Michael Crichton is missing all the fun.
Me too. He saw all this coming and like you say it is a real shame that he isn’t here to see it.

How do you know he’s not enjoying it? Lack of proof (of his presence) does not equal disproof (that he’s not there).

Peter Plail
December 7, 2009 1:19 am

I note that the accusations of theft and Russian involvement don’t come from CRU. There has been remarkably little speculation about the cause of the data release from them, apart from the initial knee-jerk reaction of hacking.
In fact, I seem to recall them going along with the leak suggestion – perhaps because they know a lot more about the subject than they are prepared to admit.
If they were convinced it was not a leak, I’m sure they would have been shouting it from the rooftops.
My view is still that it was the guilty party(ies) who collected the emails together ready for disposal, and that a ready prepared folder was discovered by the leaker who decided to “save it” in the public domain rather than see it obliterated.
The Russian server was simply part of the mechanism to obscure the trail back to the leaker.

Doggy Geezer
December 7, 2009 1:24 am

“What idiotic secret operation would announce the stolen files on a server in their own country? Maybe the media thinks the Russian secret agents work the same way the climate secret agents work…”
Quite correct. So Russia is off the hook.
We should consider who will benefit most from this. Surely China, with it’s expanding economy, needs Copenhagen to fail the most. So it must have been Chinese.
Or Indian…..

Robert of Ottawa
December 7, 2009 1:27 am

This claim is nonsense. Although Russia generally is a denier, it stands to make money from the carbon trading scam.

Casper Dik
December 7, 2009 1:30 am

What was the motive for the alleged hackers?
Was it known that CRU was playing fast and loose with the data and the code?
If you wanted to discredited climate scientists, would you hack CRU, GISS, etc?
I don’t think anyone knew what could be found there so a hacker is unlikely to aim for CRU, whether he was directed by the FSB, “Big Oil”
Last date in emails: Nov 12th, 2009
Date of letter refusing FOI: Nov 13th, 2009
Says it all.

December 7, 2009 1:32 am

Thanks, Anthony. The Boris Badenov, Natasha Fatale, and Fearless Leader cartoon made my morning.

P Gosselin
December 7, 2009 1:41 am

Bullwinkel was great. I loved that cartoon.
We could remake it…
“Hey Phil! Watch me pull warming out of my hat! Oops- looks like I used the wrong rings!”

Chris Wood
December 7, 2009 2:05 am

This article, in today’s London ‘Times’ seems more up to date on the facts of the email disclosures. It is becoming increasingly clear that a concerned person within the CRU revealed these emails rather than, that they were ‘stolen’ or hijacked.

December 7, 2009 2:14 am

A successul crime investigation must discover a motive. The argument supporting a so-called motive for Russian implication is naive at best, deliberate misinformation at worst. It’s rather like the worn out cliche about big oil funding skeptics.
The truth is oil producers and oil exporters will continue to sell oil. If that was not the case the market would not have lifted oil prices from below $40 to over $70 this year alone. These conspiracy theorists need to use a bit more of that grey matter between the ears.
The inconvenient fact for those propagandists shouting “the Ruskies did it!” is that Russia has much to gain if a binding emisions target is agreed in Copenhagen and much to loose if it isn’t. Since the collapse of the Soviet union in 1990, the loss to Russia’s heavy industry has been so great that they are nowhere near the CO2 emission levels they had then. This is why they will stand to gain as a net exporter of CO2 emission certificates as they can sell unused capacity to the West. The reality is, the Kremlin would be as miffed about missing out on the bonanza as the alarmists would be miffed about missing out on the chance to impoverish the world.

December 7, 2009 2:17 am

Or maybe a bloke working there just copied a bunch of files onto a USB stick?
But I suppose an exciting story about big-oil/russian/chinese superhackerspies makes much more sense.

Thomas Jones
December 7, 2009 2:27 am

From the UK Theft Act 1968 –
“Basic Definition of Theft
(1) A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and thief and steal shall be construed accordingly. ”
Who has been permanently deprived of anything here? Revelations are not theft! Indeed who has been dishonest?

D. King
December 7, 2009 2:44 am

I saw the stories on the net and thought, oh man, now they’re
blaming it on the “Red Menace”. When I navigated back to your
site, I lost it! Thanks for the laugh. The Russians must be laughing
too. 192 countries making any decision….wake me when it’s over.
I can’t wait for the president to show up after they’ve divided up
all the U.S. wealth.
I read that the EPA is set to self-destruct early this week. You know,
you can’t pay for entertainment like this.

December 7, 2009 2:52 am

The UK MSM is an embarassment and a dangerous one at that. The BBC was actually sitting on the ClimateGate info for a month prompting the so called and very naive “hacker” to release the information to public scrutiny via a proxy server which happened to be in Russia. I don’t recall reading about that in any newspaper yesterday. But then, I can’t recall the last time any UK MSM hack bothered to research beyond the usual press release hand-outs from Government sources. It’s high time this particular teat was ripped from their mouths.

December 7, 2009 2:57 am

I think this is getting interesting. Thinking about this whole mess today and trying to figure out how everyone is going to do their best to not look like the bad guy(s) (because there isn’t an easy way out for anyone remotely involved with this research), I think the powers that be are going to make it look like just a very few at the center of this are all to blame. It’s sad, but I think it’s the only way out for the majority, and they’ll take it.
In this way I feel a little sorry for the guys who are going to take the fall. The fact is that they were encouraged to do what they did and were applauded and made to feel, purposely, like they were the world leading “who’s who”. But, they’ll now find out they were puppets and useful idiots at best. Here comes the bus!
As for this Russian spy business, bull! But, it is also very interesting. For all the world this looks like a whistle-blower. So why, in my opinion, try to twist this and cover up the identity of the real “culprit”? Ah! How much more information do they have???
As has been said already, the files do not come across as having been haphazardly lifted and splattered on the internet. They were cultivated and put in order. This wasn’t an overnight thing.
We’ll see . . .

December 7, 2009 3:56 am

This is probably one of the many spin lines they will try to discredit the information provided in the leak.
We’ve had the “its theft” line. Now its the Russians ( because after the MSM and BBC refusing to pay attention our information vigilante used a Russian ftp server – for reasons that should be obvious to everyone ).
If it was the Russians they would have used a Chinese or other server. They really aren’t that stupid. But of course its the smear that counts.
The only thing we can deduce from this is that the UN and Warmist politicians don’t intend to take the science serious but continue the campaign of hysteria and intimidation.

olle w
December 7, 2009 4:03 am

Finaly a good thing comming out grom GRU.

December 7, 2009 4:43 am

Not the Russians, I think. They are not that stupid as to stick the file on one of their own servers.
In my mind there is no doubt this was done by someone not happy about destroying the freedom of the world based on bad science from the UEA CRU/GISS/IPCC cabal. The person or persons involved obviously knew how bad things were and wanted to slow down the ‘Copenhagen’ process until the facts had been reassessed.
Based on this premiss, I’d say an internal leak is the most likely, or if it was an external hack then I’d be suspicious of GCHQ or the FBI – you don’t get any bodies more patriotic than these outfits, and they often have their own internal agendas which are independent of there political masters. With the Echelon system, they could have been monitoring the IPCC cabal for some time and they certainly have the skill to suck out the content of a server without leaving a trace.

December 7, 2009 4:46 am

Shussssh..The CIA did it.

December 7, 2009 5:14 am

I’m going to destroy Moose and Squirrel with “a hack”
“A hack”
I can’t be tricky all the time .. I’ve got other things to think about

Frank K.
December 7, 2009 5:31 am

In my opinion, this is clearly a whistleblower at work and not a hacker. The fact that the-mail archive was heavily edited plus the specific nature of the codes and data that were included speak to this.
OT – back in the real world (I hope Chad is reading this)
Up to 4 inches of snow in the foothills coming, a light dusting in Sacramento
“The cold storm system dropping from the northeast out of Canada will be unusual since the coldest temperatures will bypass Northern California communities such as Red Bluff and Redding but drop Sacramento Valley temperatures Monday to a record 27 degrees.”
“That’s the coldest for Dec. 7 since the National Weather Service began tracking temperatures in Sacramento in1849.”
“The city of Sacramento last had 2 inches of snow in February 1976.”

December 7, 2009 5:37 am

I’ve been following how Wikipedia covers what they call the “Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident” since Nov. 22. The latest version, horresco referens, is even more biased towards the AGW consensus than previous versions.
(I must own that I have problem with Wikipedia’s insistence that the e-mails were stolen since stealing suggests to me that the rightful owners no longer possess them.)
Anyway, the general tenor of the article is that the AGW consensus is unharmed. Analysis of the computer code is absent.

Methow Ken
December 7, 2009 5:54 am

Vincent and a few other people are correct, and I didn’t properly consider in my previous comment, where they noted:
”Since the collapse of the Soviet union in 1990, . . . they are nowhere near the CO2 emission levels they had then. This is why they will stand to gain as a net exporter of CO2 emission certificates . . .”
OTOH: That assumes that the whole ”CO2 emission certificates” house of cards doesn’t collapse in the near future (stay tuned); i.e.: Right now the chances there will continue be a good long-term market for large quantities of Russian oil seem better than the prospects for long-term value of emission certificates.
Either way, as per my prior and many other above:
It’s highly likely this was a well-executed inside job.
Meanwhile, the Boris Badenov cartoon was worth a good chuckle in passing.

December 7, 2009 6:04 am

There is no evidence that an outside hacker or government posted the emails and code. Common sense indicates that an insider posted them.
The last leaked email is dated one day before CRU made its decision to refuse to comply with the FOI request. Clearly, the emails and data had been aggregated to comply with FOIA, and when the decision was made to deny the FOI request, an insider leaked a copy of the code and emails. No other scenario makes sense.
What would be the motivation for an outside hacker to expend so much time and effort to select and edit just those particular emails, and the Harry code? If someone had hacked CRU, they would have simply dumped everything online. Certainly what was leaked is only a small fraction of what was on the CRU servers.
The constant drumbeat about mysterious, un-named hackers, Russians, etc. is classic misdirection: “Hey, look over there! It’s a hacker! Probably a Russian hacker, everyone knows about those Russian hackers.” But where is the evidence? Who are the suspects? Answer: they only exist in the talking points of the lock-step media, which has apparently done no investigation, but rather, parrots what the CRU people want them to say.
No shoe leather has been expended by reporters in investigating the obvious fraud and collusion of the tight knit clique of scientists who began their careers as nerds, but now have rock star status and $millions shoveled into their pockets by Leftist foundations, NGOs and quangos, all with a heavy AGW emphasis. They are clearly bought and paid for, and the taxpayers who pay their otherwise modest salaries can’t compete with the spectacular amounts paid by outside organizations buying an AGW agenda.
The inside CRU whistleblower simply ran the data through the Russian server, which effectively erased its origin. Anything else is rank speculation, endlessly repeated in order to take the spotlight off of the damning emails and coder comments showing the fraud being perpetrated on the public by the same climate scientists who tightly control the climate peer review process.
If the hacker speculation isn’t pure fantasy, then who is the suspect? Name one. Show us a “hacker” suspect. In fact, there is no credible evidence that this leak was done by anyone from outside the organization.
Anyone reading the emails, and watching the current finger pointing and suspicion among the CRU, Penn State and other actors can see that people like young Mann throw their weight around, and tactlessly put others in their place with no regard for their feelings or opinions. A mature scientist being slapped down by a 30-something star player like Michael Mann might not publicly protest at the time. But what goes around comes around.
Is it any wonder that one of many people involved in collating and preparing the FOI request, including other scientists, postdocs, paralegals, technicians, secretaries and lawyers, might have a personal motive to disclose the information when it became apparent that yet another FOI request was going to be stonewalled?
With Copenhagen approaching, someone with hurt feelings and a DVD of the FOI data, or one of the increasingly rare individuals with old time ethics, saw the opportunity to show the world the rampant corruption and dishonesty, fueled by money and status, in what passes for mainstream climate science and climate peer review.
The new talking points about hackers, with frantic arm-waving about supposed attempted break-ins are nothing but unfounded speculation; baseless stories specifically designed to get people talk about a “what if” scenario, instead of discussing the strong evidence of corruption contained in the leaked information.
Keep motive in mind when you read about “what if” hacker speculation. They are simply trying to deceive the public by avoiding discussion of the real crime: deliberately defrauding the taxpayers by following an agenda set by outside organizations funneling big bucks into these climate scientists’ pockets, rather than doing the unbiased job that the public pays them to do.

December 7, 2009 6:06 am

I saw this yesterday thought on at (Note, there’s a lot to be skeptical about in the article, let’s just say it advances the speculation.)

The server is believed to be used mainly by Tomsk State University, one of the leading academic institutions in Russia, and other scientific institutes.
The university (UEA) said that there was strict security on its server, heightening the theory that an extremely sophisticated hacking operation was carried out to obtain it.
East Anglia University has gone out of its way to promote itself to students from the former Soviet Union. Its website says that 33 Russian students currently study there.
It is not known if they have fallen under suspicion as part of the police investigation.

So, if we can believe the “strict security” part, then that adds support to someone finding the .zip file on an open FTP server. However, this article provides a plausible connection for how the file wound up at Tomsk. The whistleblower could be either one of the Russian students or a friend with one, and copied the file from UEA to the server. Assuming they used some UEA account that wasn’t theirs, the event could be extremely hard to trace.
I have no idea what evidence the investigators have, but if that’s what happened, then they’re stuck with looking into people with a motive, talking to their contacts and looking for any software used to format the Email directory.
BTW, the creator for Rocky & Bullwinkle lived in Cleveland OH and used a lot of place names from southwestern Pennsylvania. Oh, Potsylvania is likely a corruption
of Pennsylvania! When went to college in Pittsburgh I drove through some of those towns while trying to escape Pittsburgh, both the city and the pollution.

December 7, 2009 6:08 am

I have to agree… Never blame malice when incompetence will do!
Anyway, I have been reading through some of the emails, at random, by tag, and there’s several mentions of getting funding from Russia. Don’t have any links as to which ones, or recall how much (iirc, not much at all, at least at the time), but it is there. Just doesn’t make sense that the Kremlin would do so, then turn around and hack their data from them, when, ya know… they could have just not provided any funding to begin with (and spare the expense of professional hackers, of course)!

December 7, 2009 6:19 am

The Russian intelligence services aren’t subtle. In Chechnya they decapitated rebel leaders and sent their heads back in a box with a note attached. If they wanted to to disrupt Copenhagen they would have just poisoned Dr Phil Jones years ago. This would have terrified most other pro-AGW scientists into silence.

Theo Goodwin
December 7, 2009 6:22 am

Actually, “Russian agent” and “CRU insider” can refer to the same person. Some Russian agent was so revolted by the vulgar Marxism shown among the CRU people that he became a CRU whistleblower.

December 7, 2009 6:26 am

It was an inside job … a leak:
REPLY: Yes I saw a preview Saturday – A

John Galt
December 7, 2009 6:29 am

The media seems to be focusing on everything but the contents of the leaked material.
The immediate focus was trying to tell us since the data was stolen, what is says doesn’t matter. Then next focus was to tell us that the emails are out of context. The focus was not “what is the correct context,” no, just spin.
Focus then came back to the alleged hacking crime and calls the persecute (oops, prosecute) the unknown hacker(s) for computer crimes. There were attempts to draw focus away from all this by talking about climate change, levels of CO2, incorrect facts such as this decade was the hottest ever, etc., etc.
There has never been any focus on why CRU didn’t comply with the FIOA request, whether their stonewalling on these requests was a civil or criminal offense and no calls for release of all the documents, data, source code, etc.
The media has not questioned why CRU didn’t say in the first place that they lost the original data, as they now claim. They also did ask about New Zealand’s scandal.

Pamela Gray
December 7, 2009 6:45 am

This is such an easy thing to do. I work in education and delete my emails all the time. The emails get deleted on my computer but the server stores them regardless. The central office, which contracts out the business of technology, doesn’t keep track of this stuff. The contracting agency does. And the security as well as scrutiny is simply not there. Many people have access to our emails. If someone wanted to bundle these up and send them out, it would be a quick and easy thing to do without any planning at all.
If the investigation is heading towards a James Bond finish, it is for the purpose of distracting attention away from the emails.

Kevin Kilty
December 7, 2009 6:50 am

SO, the Russians first tried to get the BBC to publish this data? Surely the Russians are smarter than to think the BBC will actually publish news. Or was this part of the diabolical plot to deflect attention? “Oh well,” the KGB men sigh when the BBC fail to take the bait. ” we’ll just have to put it on one of our own.”

December 7, 2009 6:56 am

Why don’t they simply release the computer logs?
To think that a hacker had penetrated the system and had collected this data over a period of time without someone in IT noticing is nonsense.

December 7, 2009 7:01 am

Well, I’m hoping that when you refer to much more later, you might be referring to something like this?
Hopefully, you will translate from geekese to English! LOL I have been trying to learn Linux for months now, and actually understand most of what is discussed at that link. If you can distill it down and make it easy enough for Jon Stewart to use as a punchline…?
I am convinced it was a leak. The “illegal hack” meme is critical to the PR push back by the “Team” et al. This analysis tears apart any “the Russians did it” excuse.
REPLY: That exactly – I had a preview Saturday – Anthony

December 7, 2009 7:08 am
nigel jones
December 7, 2009 7:10 am

These newspaper stories about Russian hackers are nothing but speculation. Could be, might be, if, many experts think it’s possible…… They don’t present a shred of evidence apart from the fact that this material was put on a Russian server. So what?
It’s a diversion. It hardly matters how this information came to be released. What does matter is the content and the questions it raises. These speculations are distracting attention from the important questions, one of which is why CRU have been so secretive about data and methods.
Note that the IPCC is very enthusiastically fueling these speculations.

December 7, 2009 7:24 am

Aligner (21:39:50) :
“The Times says upload to Russian server was done from Saudi. ”
Laughable, all they need now is to tie the Chinese and the Indians into the plot, meeting in a secret cave in a volcanic island with a pool with sharks that have lasers coming out of their heads. Where is 007 when you need him? Oh yeah, he’s the one who actually did the leak.

David Corcoran
December 7, 2009 7:41 am

As was said during the trial on the killing of the gunman John Wesley Hardin, “If Hardin was shot in the eye it was excellent marksmanship, if he was shot in the back it was excellent Judgement.”
Hurrah to whomever released the secret FORTRAN code, which is the real smoking gun in this matter. Those who love science owe them a debt of gratitude.

December 7, 2009 7:49 am

APF (21:21:40) :
“sysadmins do tend to see themselves as masters of the universe”
Well, that’s because we ARE masters of the universe. Just ask us! Now, begone with you. 🙂

Jason S
December 7, 2009 7:58 am

Wow. Accusing the Russians. Push this story out to the general populous of Russia, and you will loose the hearts of a large percentage of their patriots. The arrogance of the accusation falls right in line with the tone of the emails from CRU.

StevenJames, Houston
December 7, 2009 8:03 am

Why would Russia want AGW to go away? They have 1/3 of the world’s natural gas reserves, which will be in favor once those who worship GAIA succeed in their mission. Russia also wants to get Iranian natural gas to Europe – hence their interest in Georgia. Iran has 1/6 of the world’s natural gas reserves.
Europe, which backs AGW more than USA, and the East, must want to be an energy hostage of Russia. Anything passed to combat CO2 will make Russia very wealthy.

Henry chance
December 7, 2009 8:11 am

Gov Palin can see Russia from her house. Ask her.

It is possible that a Russian spy got the passwords when Briffa and Mann asked for directions to the TREE.

John Bowman
December 7, 2009 8:22 am

It does not matter who did it – it does not change the implication of the information revealed.

Douglas DC
December 7, 2009 8:27 am

I miss Jay Ward, Al Capp, and Walt Kelly.What they would’ve done with this..

December 7, 2009 8:27 am

Achim Steiner, the director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said the theft of emails from CRU, which is a world-renowned centre for climate research, had similarities with the Watergate scandal which brought down US President Richard Nixon.
But he said: “This is not climategate, it’s hackergate. Let’s not forget the word ‘gate’ refers to a place [the Watergate building] where data was stolen by people who were paid to do so.

Were e-mails actually stolen, or were only copies stolen? It makes a difference.
We all know how the Alarmists like to parrot that similarities of the Skeptics and the tobacco industry. But one thing they do not seem to remeber is how the tobacco industry had a similar occurance when someone actually copied documents from Brown and Williamson, leaking them to Stanton Glantz’s office, a professor at UCSF and an anti-tobacco activist, Congressman Henry Waxman, and the New York Times. The courts found that having copies of stolen documents, even ones that are confidential, does not constitute a crime. ABC could even distribute as it saw fit. As long as the one recieving the information was not the one who did the “stealing”, there is no crime.
So, in the case of smoking it was just fine when one leaks documents for the greater good. But when the shoe is on the other foot, and documents get leaked for the greater good going against their stonewalling, it is bad.

December 7, 2009 8:33 am

Anything to avoid dealing with the substance of the e-mails, data and code.
How shallow and reactionary of our AGW true believers.
Those seeking to suppress what the e-mails reveal are true denialist scum.
They deny that truth is vital to this issue.
They deny our children the benefits of reality based policies.
They deny that science needs to be honest.
Imagine if a corrupt invesment bank was operating, and someone leaked or stole files that uncovered the corruption.
Who would deny looking into the corruption, and instead chase around pretending the only issue was the means by which the evidence was gotten?
Only people benefitting from the corrupt practice.

Evan Jones
December 7, 2009 8:35 am

One effect of this is to make scientists lose lots of time checking things.
Heaven forbid that scientists should spend lots of time checking things. (Or, worse yet, let “outsiders” spend lots of time checking things.)

December 7, 2009 9:00 am

As Steven Milloy over at states on the home page,
“It has become fairly obvious this archive was not “hacked” or “stolen” but rather is a file assembled by CRU staff in preparation for complying with a freedom of information request. Whether it was carelessly left in a publicly accessible portion of the CRU computer system or was “leaked” by staff believing the FOIA request was improperly rejected may never be known but is not really that important.”
See it at

RC Saumarez
December 7, 2009 9:02 am

I presume that Mr van Ypersele is not a scientist from his comment about “scientists having to check things”.
If not, is he a political hack who knows nothing about anything?

RC Saumarez
December 7, 2009 9:04 am

I’m so sorry, I’ve discovered that his is a professor of climate science. Also he is belgian.

December 7, 2009 9:48 am

“Well, that’s because we ARE masters of the universe. Just ask us! Now, begone with you.”
Ok I will. How come my web pages no longer retain the data I add to them (eg my name and e-mail address in leave-a-comment)? Is it because IE8 is a pile of C**P?

December 7, 2009 10:13 am

Al Queda hacked CRU!!!

December 7, 2009 10:42 am

No No No! You guys have it all wrong. Here is how the files got on the web.
Many predicted that if CERN tried to restart the Super Hadron Collider, either the world was either going to be swallowed up by micro black holes (hasn’t happened so far), or because of the quantum nature of the higgs-boson particle, that it can travel through time, it doesn’t want to be discovered. It is often called the “God Particle” after all. Thus the very act of trying to discover the particle would stop the LHC from ever firing – note how the actions of one bird caused a severe delay the reboot process. That was one-heck-of-a-strategically-placed bread crumb! But there is a third possibility. Maybe the effects of the higgs boson do travel through time, but they don’t prevent its discovery…. but, however, they do strange things to the world in a quantum way. Obviously, the LHC has succeeded sometime in the near future of creating the “God Particle”, and since the effects of such are quantum and not anchored in time, well, the effects are being felt now! And one of the effect is… drum roll please…. to cause the CRU e-mails and code to go all quantum on us and shift from a secured server at the University of East Anglia to one in Vlad’s house that is quite open to the web! It’s so easy to see…. And it’s quantum to boot!
Who can argue with that!
On further reflection, there are other strange things going on in the world today that can now be explained. Many liberals are fuming over the lack of “liberalness” in Obama’s recent policy decisions, such as the delay in closing Gitmo, renewal of the hated Patriot act, and the lack of effort to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, along with his refusal to side with proponents of gay marriage. And then there is his recent decision to extend the war in Afghanistan. His popularity should still be in the sixties! None of this should be happening! It isn’t right.

December 7, 2009 10:53 am

I am not the leaker. Also, these are not the droids you are looking for.

December 7, 2009 11:01 am

It was a leak, and the motive was ice-cold revenge.
You know what they say about paybacks.

December 7, 2009 11:18 am

Jedi mind trick don’t work on me boy!!! 🙂

December 7, 2009 12:19 pm

Keith G (00:24:03) :
“The Germans got nothing to do with it!” (Sheriff Buford T. Justice in “Smokey and the Bandit”, 1980-something).
Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Richard M
December 7, 2009 1:23 pm

“Hey Phil! Watch me pull warming out of my hat! Oops- looks like I used the wrong rings!”
As another Rocky and Bullwinkle lover I nominate this as Quote of the week.

james griffin
December 7, 2009 1:35 pm

The AGW’s are now desperate and will stoop to anything to throw us off the scent.
It’s not how we came to know….it is what we have found out.
Takes a crook to catch…..
Jones et al evidentely represent 12 of the 26 people on the IPCC panel who give us the extreme AGW view.
This means if they are all proved to be crooks then 46% of the AGW argument is now down the pan as it is 46% incorrect.
Whats more Jones has form as the audit of the U.S. weather stations by Anthony proved.
For the 90 or so stations they claimed to have vetted Anthony commented they were a “complete disaster” and this subsequently inflated temps for the 1990’s by 1.5C.
A scientific review of the situation said there was no way the IPCC scientists could have checked the weather stations….their statements were “fabricated”.
In other words fraudulant science.
The co-authors were a Prof Wang and…..Prof Philip Jones of CRU!!!!!!!!

December 8, 2009 7:09 pm

Why the Russians do not want to subvert Copenhagen.
“Russia’s Carbon Credits Seen as Barrier to Warming Curb” By James Kanter on page A18 of the New York Times on December 8, 2009:
… Russia, as a result of the collapse of much of its heavy industry in the 1990s, owns one of the largest stocks of credits to offset carbon emissions. The unearned windfall, a legacy of the Kyoto agreement that tried to deal with the threat of climate change, is worth several billion dollars. …
Carbon trading is mainly based on permits that are issued or sold by governments to companies that emit carbon dioxide and other gases that are believed to affect the climate. The companies are required to buy permits, or seek credits elsewhere, if they emit more than a specified amount of carbon.
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The prospect of Russia dumping its credits is just the latest challenge facing emissions trading, the expected financial backbone to any global agreement that may emerge from the talks taking place in Copenhagen over the next two weeks. The hoard of Russian credits is a “gorilla sitting in the background” that “nobody dares to touch,” said Peter Zapfel, a senior official who helps to oversee the European Union’s four-year-old emissions trading system.

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