“You are a fucking douchebag. You pathetic fucking Phony. I hope there is an earthquake right under your fucking house and swallows you into hell.” – Email received by climate journalist Georges Monbiot (1)
It was to be expected. Not everything is extremely correct but none of the IPCC’s conclusions has been questioned, no information was hidden, it being accessible and reproducible, and no inconvenient papers were suppressed. Neither is the peer review process being corrupted. In short, none of the countless accusations in the media or in the blogosphere or anywhere can still be sustained. Although they, without a doubt, will sustain them for some time to come and not all the related media outlets that readily helped to smudge public opinion will report this ‘sentence’, at least not with the same frequency and typographical display. They’re already talking about ‘whitewash’ (2).
What has become crystal clear is that these high profile climatologists are being put under huge pressure by the denialist machine and they don’t always react with British composure.
It’s true that they evaded the law by not meeting the requests under the Freedom of Information Act coming from the denial machine, and that some small detail may have remained? But the British ‘forensic’ inquiry into what was quickly called ‘Climategate’ by the denialist resonance chamber not only exonerated the targeted scientists. The ‘Russell Report’ points out that the investigation:
“[D]id not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments … their rigour and honesty as scientists [at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit] are not in doubt.” (3)
The man I consider the world’s best climate change journalist, the Brit George Monbiot, shows with the example I have reproduced at the heading what kind of messages these scientists and himself receive on a daily basis (1). Monbiot states that the example is among the softer ones. But many others have come to the light, particularly those received by the scientists (4).
Such things, every day, for years and decades, generally coming from the United States are able to consume anybody’s patience, however many reasons they’re armed with and elephant skin they try to wear – which isn’t among this group’s strong points (5). Back then, I predicted that the invented controversy could be reduced to this and that it would end up like this, with no charges placed on anybody, thus validating the scientific conclusions.
This fabricated ‘scandal’ burst just two weeks before the conference in Copenhagen and Monbiot gave in to his impulsiveness – probably shocked – demanding the resignation of Phil Jones, the head of East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit (6) – being together with the German Max Planck Institute the most prestigious research center in Europe. The hacked e-mails belonged to this University. In an article published today in The Guardian, though detailing the investigation’s ins and outs, he explicitly withdraws his demand and hopes this report may bring peace of mind to the prestigious British climatologist (7), who stated to have considered commiting suicide at some time and whose physical appearance has suddenly deteriorated, as I’ve shown here.
This episode is but the last one in a series of hoaxes that have been confusing public opinion since the early 1990’s, and of which its conspirative coordination can be clearly distinguished by considering the mere fact that only one month later a book came out bearing the title gate. To put such a book on the market requires having read thousands of e-mails out of context, list them, analyze them, draw conclusions, etc., write it, correct it, do the layout, print it and distribute it. All of that can’t be done in one month. Can anybody doubt that this was prepared beforehand?
Corporate and even legal investigations into US scientists have come to the same conclusions. For example, the paleoclimatologist Michael Mann, the responsable for the ‘hockey stick’ graph has been exonerated twice on the charges for which he was being investigated, namely inappropriate manipulation of data and suppression of mail and biased information to the IPCC (8,9,10,11), and the last time, the panel concluded unanimously that:
“The Investigatory Committee, after careful review of all available evidence, determined that there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann… More specifically, the Investigatory Committee determined that Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities.” (12)
Regardless, the true objectives of the campaign were broadly met: the best climatologists having lost time, patience and health. When we need them most. The public doesn’t only remain inactive but also doubtful and without any response to the greatest challenge of all time.
I say this is but the last episode, not so much for knowing the previous ones and having described some of them in detail on this blog, as because, having investigated and knowing the structure and the phenomenal power of the denial machine, I am convinced that there will be more. It will appear when some new alarming report approaches (as always, more than the previous one), when some new political encounter is being held, when they can do the greatest possible harm. Their responsibles will probably remain unpunished. As it has always occurred.
Because this really isn’t a scientific war, neither a strictly economic one. In its core, it’s an ideological war, that isn’t only fought in the media. It’s a battle of the established power’s hegemony against the consequences of the physical reality (real world), by which it feels threatened. It’s also a cold war against the United Nations. The far right in the US and many other countries have over-revved a long time ago and now, all of us are starting to see how our engines are breaking down.
When all of this began I asked myself: Why exactly the University of East Anglia? Now I have a suspicion. In that university two circumstances come together: 1) climate change is being studied from the perspective of systems theory, something which is (surprisingly) alomst unique in the world and 2) it’s there that the Gaia theory is being consolidated, which, to the religious elite, is an outright attack on their faith. Why I mention these two aspects we will see after summer. But we’ll probably never know if these were precisely the motifs of their choice, when it seems clear that they’ve hacked many other servers. What we will know is where they will get the next salvo of e-mails to continue driving us to hell. It now seems they’re after NASA (13).
Anyway, thank you, George, for your example.
Update 11/07/2010: The New York Times, in an op-ed piece on 11/07/2010, also calls Climategate a ‘manufactured controversy’ after the five investigations mentioned in the text. It states it ‘hopes’ this news will receive as much circulation as the original ‘diversionary controversies’. Let’s hope for it; different is to expect it.
Special thanks to Arne Perschel for his Spanish to English translation