Another Climate Email “Scandal”


In case there was any doubt that the recent “outrages” over climate science are part of an orchestrated effort by pro-polluter, anti-science forces, look no further than the latest email “scandal.”

The back story: last November someone hacked into computers at the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia University and stole more than 1,000 emails between climate scientists. They then circulated select portions of those emails in an attempt to create the appearance of impropriety among the scientists and to aid the skeptics’ cause. Detailed examination of the entire email dump revealed, at worst, some unprofessional behavior—but it also affirmed the vast body of scientific evidence supporting climate change. But that hasn’t stopped skeptics from seizing on the so-called Climategate affair—in lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency to calls from Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) for a criminal investigation into climate scientists.

The hacked emails and subsequent attacks have put climate scientists on edge. This was made clear in recent exchanges between scientists on a National Academy of Sciences listserv that an unidentified source leaked to the conservative press last week. Now, on cue, right wing, anti-climate forces are declaring outrage that scientists were discussing how to best respond to the PR disaster of Climategate.

Here’s the Competitive Enterprise Institute hyping the NAS “scheme” as “ClimateGate Reloaded” and pulling out more out-of-context quotes to tarnish scientists. CEI posted all of the emails on their GlobalWarming.org site, noting that “The e-mails reveal a group of scientists plotting a political strategy to minimize the effects of Climategate in the public debate on global warming.”

The folks at CEI evidently think they’re revealing yet another outrage—but maybe it’s not the one that they think. How much more proof do we need that the assault on climate science is part of a coordinated attempt by polluters and their pals at anti-science bastions like CEI to confuse the public about global warming and malign the scientific community?

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.