By Charles Rotter and Anthony Watts
It was ten years ago today that I personally first viewed the instructions to download the Climategate files from the anonymous Russian server. That set in motion a series of events still affecting the outcome of worldwide energy and environmental policy today. The whitewashers at the BBC, The Guardian, and elsewhere have started putting up their officially sanctioned narrative version, amounting to little more than nothing to see hear move along.
I wrote up my contemporaneous version of events here.
Anyone who wants to rebut claims of exoneration can use this Ross McKitrick paper for reference.
A couple of days ago we reposted Judith Curry’s excellent 10 year anniversary write up.
There’s little I can say that Dr. Curry does not touch upon, except for the fact that it is gratifying to see ideas we help disseminate echoing back to us via both traditional and social media.
At the time of the event, Patrick Courrielche did one of the best jobs covering it in the media.
Patrick also published an interview with Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, Steve Mosher, and myself earlier this year on his Redpilled America Podcast. It is excellent and worth a listen.
Signed, Charles Rotter
Coincidentally, 10 years ago today is not only the day that “Mr. FOI” released the files, it was (and is) WUWT’s birthday. On November 17th, 2006, I wrote my first post.
In November 2009, while Charles was holding the fort at WUWT and examining the emails left by “Mr FOI”, I was in Brussels at a climate skeptic conference being put on by Hans Labohm.
I remember the first message I got from him: “You need to look at this!“. Then reading the emails, wide-eyed, and realizing I was about to go through security at the EU, I wondered about the timing….and told Charles that under no circumstances would we write anything about it or release it until I was back on U.S. soil. Then, after clearing customs at Dulles two days later, I sat down in the airport, and wrote the story, breaking the news on the 19th. I was literally the last person on the plane back to Sacramento, and in those days, WiFi on planes didn’t exist. So I was faced with over six hours of unknowing. Thoughts of “what have I done?” raced through my mind. See the “Red Pilled America” audio interview above for my personal recollections.
Luckily, James Delingpole picked up the story for his column, and it’s entry into the British newspaper The Telegraph started the chain reaction that made the story grow, becoming the “worst scientific scandal of our generation“.
Today, I look back, especially at the latest BBC “whitewash” of the issue, and I shake my head. These people, journos and climate scientists alike – have learned absolutely nothing. This piece, by Tony Thomas in Quadrant, tells the story.
Today, anyone questioning this colossal enterprise is told to “respect the science”. Based on the Climategate emails released in 2009, 2013 and 2015, I’d rather respect the Mafia, who at least don’t claim to be saving the planet. For example, today we’re told that warming of 2degC above pre-industrial level is some sort of a tipping point of doom. Phil Jones, Director of the Climatic Research Unit, emailed on September 6, 2007, that the supposed 2-degree limit was “plucked out of thin air”, a throwaway line in an early 1990s paper from the catastrophists at the Potsdam Climate Impacts Institute.
Mr. Thomas reminded me of this particularly nasty email excerpt about Steve McIntyre (who used his superior statistical skills to refute Mann’s work), Mann wrote, in August 2007,
I have been talking [with] folks in the States about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose [him].
But while proponents of “the cause” (most notably the execrable Michael E. Mann in a recent op-ed for Newsweek) pat themselves on the back comforting each other with “there’s nothing to see here”, there are reasons to rejoice about Climategate ten years later.
Climategate brought chaos to Copenhagen aka COP15 – critically wounding the prospects of cap-and-trade legislation in the process. It helped the world dodge the climate mania bullet for 5 years, until the Paris accord in 2015.
Donald Trump became aware of the Climategate story, years before he became President, and I have to think (since he has mentioned it) that it affected his opinion.
“[Climate change is] a very complex subject. I’m not sure anybody is ever going to really know…. they say they have science on one side but then they also have those horrible emails that were sent between the [Climategate] scientists…. Terrible. Where they got caught, you know, so you see that and you say, what’s this all about. I absolutely have an open mind.”
– President-elect Donald Trump, “Donald Trump’s New York Times Interview: Full Transcript,”
And as we know, as President, he fulfilled his campaign promises and pulled the USA out of the Paris Climate Accord, and gutted the draconian EPA.
For that, I am proud to have had a part, along with the Heartland Institute, whose advice and support gave Trump even more ammunition to pull off the withdrawal from the Paris accord.
While 10 years have made climate science and its supporters even more shrill and less believable than ever, it is a testament to everyone who has been involved in WUWT that we are still running and still the “go to” website on climate. Many others, like Grant Foster’s laughably named “Open Mind” have fallen into near invisibility. Think that’s low? Ken Rice, aka “And then there’s physics” is so far off the radar, he’s not even a blip. Some have simply been delegated to the dustbin of history, such as Joe Romm’s “Climate Progress” labeled the “indispensible blog” for climate alarmism, now defunct. I count these losers lack of influence as a victory too.
But, the best is yet to come. After taking a year in the backseat to recharge and rebuild (thank you Charles) big things are about to happen. While Hotwhopperish wannabees still screech over scraps of influence, WUWT is just getting warmed up.
Soon, I’ll make the announcement, and you’ll see why WUWT is not only “still the one” but still growing. The next ten years will bring even more. Stay tuned, it’s going to be fun, but more importantly, it’s going to be influential.
With sincerest thanks to all who have lent their expertise, support, and readership on this wild ride, I remain, dedicated as ever. I’ll let Josh have the last word. – Anthony Watts