What Happened To The 220,000 Leaked Climatic Research Unit (CRU) Emails?

by Dr. Tim Ball on July 8, 2013

in Government,History,Legal,Philosophy,Political,Politics

“It occurred to me….” The truth doesn’t need spin.

On March 13, 2013 someone with the pseudonym Mr. FOIA released the remaining 220,000 emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) to a select few. Since then we have heard nothing. Mr. FOIA suggested there was more useful information with examples, such as origin of the term “deniers” applied to those who questioned Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) science. Why hasn’t more information appeared? Has threat of legal action or other intimidation silenced further release and analysis of these emails?

It appears that the IPCC and its supporters have, again, effectively shut down revelation of how they directed and controlled climate science to a predetermined outcome. Release of 1000 emails from the CRU in November 2009 revealed collusion, calumny and corruption of climate science. It effectively derailed the Copenhagen Conference of the Parties (COP 15) plan to salvage the Kyoto Protocol. Typically, it triggered coverups that appear to continue. It is a pattern that results from believing Machiavelli’s dictum that the end justifies the means.

The late Stephen Schneider set the tone for what has occurred with his 1989 comment in Discover magazine.

“On the one hand we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but& which means that we must include all the doubts, caveats, ifs and buts.  On the other hand, we are not just scientists, but human beings as well.  And like most people, wed like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change.  To do that we have to get some broad-based support, to capture the publics imagination.  That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage.  So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.  This double ethical bind which we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula.  Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. (my bold) I hope that means being both.” 

There is no decision, unless you plan to deceive.

The cover-ups are effective because President Obama and other leaders continue to believe humans are causing warming/climate change and push for draconian, but completely unnecessary, policies. Most have involved carefully orchestrated investigative inquiries with very narrow definitions and terms of reference, but are blatant and easily detectable. Clive Crook, Senior editor of The Atlantic wrote a searing indictment of the first whitewash.

“I had hoped, not very confidently, that the various Climategate inquiries would be severe. This would have been a first step towards restoring confidence in the scientific consensus. But no, the reports make things worse. At best they are mealy-mouthed apologies; at worst they are patently incompetent and even wilfully wrong. The climate-science establishment, of which these inquiries have chosen to make themselves a part, seems entirely incapable of understanding, let alone repairing, the harm it has done to its own cause.”

Release of 5000 more emails in November 2010 effectively slowed further attempts at advancing a Kyoto like agenda at Cancun (COP 16) then Durban (COP 17). The remaining 220,000+ emails were released in March 2013 with over 1000 comments accompanying the news on Wattsupwiththat. Most people anticipated greater clarification of what was done in manipulating climate science. To my knowledge there is silence to date. Why?

Some possible factors for the delay include;

– The emails were released to a select few and they apparently chose not to work on them.

– They apparently did not take Mr. FOIA’s advice

“To get the remaining scientifically (or otherwise) relevant emails out,  I ask you to pass this on to any motivated and responsible individuals who could volunteer some time to sift through the material for eventual release.”

–  The delay appears to support my contention that it was such a mammoth task picking out the first 1000 released with Climategate 1 it was only possible by an insider familiar with what went on. By insider I do not mean only someone working at CRU. It could be someone on the email listing.

– People with the emails are afraid of recriminations if they release more analysis.

It is also likely that intimidation, a favorite tactic of those defending what has occurred, was employed. It takes several forms including creating terms to impugn the credibility. The term “denier” is an example. However, a more effective intimidation was the actual, or even threat, of legal action.

Shortly after the 220,000 emails were leaked Anthony Watts posted an update that may have inadvertently sent a chill through the community seeking the truth;

UPDATE8 3/19/13: Jeff Condon has received legal notice from UEA warning him not to release the password. So far, I have not seen any such notice. For those who demand it be released, take note. – Anthony

It is reminiscent of Gavin Schmidt’s comment in an email to Lucia Liljegren shortly after the first release in 2009.

Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 15:48:21 -0500
From: Gavin Schmidt
To: lucia liljegren
Subject: a word to the wise
Lucia, As I am certain you are aware, hacking into private emails is very illegal. If legitimate, your scoop was therefore almost certainly obtained illegally (since how would you get 1000 emails otherwise). I don’t see any link on Jeff-id’s site, and so I’m not sure where mosher got this from, but you and he might end up being questioned as part of any investigation that might end up happening. I don’t think that bloggers are shielded under any press shield laws and so, if I were you, I would not post any content, nor allow anyone else to do so. Just my twopenny’s worth.

Is this friendly advice or a warning shot? The history of climate science seems to suggest the latter.
It is generally assumed that laws are designed to protect people and provide justice. They are a positive component of a civilized society, but the growing use of the law for intimidation is negative and troubling.
Even if a lawsuit is not filed the intimidation factor is very effective. Most people are intimidated by a letter from a lawyer, either because they incorrectly think it is a legal document or they know it will involve unaffordable costs. There is an apocryphal story of a lawyer with a standard letter that said,

“Sir, the following incident has come to our attention and if it is not dealt with immediately we will do things that will astonish you.”

Besides, who can afford to fight government or even corporations? More infuriating, governments use citizen’s money to sue them. Cit izens also effectively pay the corporations because their legal costs are tax deductible or they pass the cost on in their prices.

Tactics of intimidation are part of the claim that the science is settled. They are linked with the campaign to stifle debate. Al Gore prefaced his 2007 “settled” statement to the US Congress with, “The debate is over.” It must not be over on general principles because debate is essential to understanding and progress as any honorable politician knows. It cannot be over in science because it is fundamental to the advance of knowledge and understanding. Surely it is easier to show what’s wrong with the alternate view, but they don’t do that instead they divert, deflect, attack individuals and intimidate. What is their fear? What do they have to hide? Is the truth inconvenient? It appears they believe and practiced Machiavelli’s dictate.