Dec 8, 2009

The Climate-Gate conspiracy

by Mattison Brooks

What began as a simple virtual burglary last month in Britain has escalated into a phenomenon that has divided academics and the press. A server used by the Climate Research Unit at the University (CRU) of East Anglia was hacked and more than a thousand e-mails and other documents were disseminated and distributed, many of which confirmed the existence of a scientific cover-up known now as the Climate-Gate conspiracy.

The documents in question contained numerous accounts of collusion and misinformation by climatologists to the science journals and the general public, according to the Wall Street Journal. To put it simply, the CRU is now being accused of feeding the public lies regarding the climate debate in order to further its political goals.

An excerpt from the files is here, written by CRU research Director Phil Jones: “(They) have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the U.K., I think I’ll delete the file rather than send (it) to anyone. We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind.”

This small e-mail excerpt raises the question, why are the scientists covering up data? If the research is honest and truly scientific there is little to fear, even if it is later proven wrong. That is the nature of science: to test a theory and figure out if it is right or wrong. The CRU scientists, however, seem to be following another agenda, as evidenced by this e-mail and the “thousands more like it,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

What is more, this “embarrassing evidence and data” was withheld and stored on the servers at the CRU, according to Specifically, CRU had data that not only challenged the idea of man creating climate change, but actively disproved it.

However, the greatest piece of information found in what the Telegraph called the “greatest scandal in modern science” is the coercion of statistical data and scientific consensus. The following was found among the threatening e-mails regarding scientists who did not conform to the widely populist view in the climatology community:

“This was the danger of always criticizing 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.”

The motivation for why CRU is misleading the public is still unclear, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, pushing forward this global warming theory has gained scientific grants, not only for CRU but also for others reaching the same consensus, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Yet, is it solely about the money? Or is this about scientists trying to make a name for themselves? While this would certainly help explain the atmosphere around the CRU research team’s attempts to withhold this information, it is still in debate.

In the scandal’s fallout, many of the proponents of global warming such as NASA, the European Commission, the California Climate Action Registry and Ozone Action are standing firm behind their belief system as this information became known, saying that a “small group of misled individuals does not discredit the entire scientific basis for climate shift research.”

On the other side, the critics have come out in force, ranging from anti-global warming groups, to major media outlets. An editorial in the Wall Street Journal stated that “these scientists must believe in global warming like a priest believes in God.”

It is ironic that it has come to this for the scientific community, after all these years of touting science as a system of “enlightenment and truth,” when comparing itself to the “superstitions and deceit” of religion.

What will become of the global warming debate as a result of this scandal? Many religious organizations have suffered in part from scandals with pastors or priests, lies and the preaching of false doctrine. Is that a fate that soon awaits those in the church of climatology? With reactions from the scientific community starting to sound a lot like Oz’s plea of “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” it certainly looks that way.

Contact Mattison Brooks at

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