In an apparent attempt to repeat the pre-Copenhagen impact of the release of emails stolen from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit in 2009, another batch of private correspondence between climate scientists has been made public via links left at sceptic blogs. UEA has confirmed that the emails appear to be genuine, and to be from the previous theft:
While we have had only a limited opportunity to look at this latest post of 5,000 emails, we have no evidence of a recent breach of our systems.
If genuine, (the sheer volume of material makes it impossible to confirm at present that they are all genuine) these emails have the appearance of having been held back after the theft of data and emails in 2009 to be released at a time designed to cause maximum disruption to the imminent international climate talks.
As you might expect, the usual suspects are out in force, desperately trying to spin these mails into a new scandal, but initial responses from the scientists featuring in the correspondence are that the contents are just the warmed-up leftovers of 2009’s PR beat-up. Michael Mann commented:
“The last time this happened, it turned out to be a hoax, a manufactured scandal. This has all the makings of a yet another fraud, perpetrated once again on the eve of a major climate change summit with the intention of distracting the public and policymakers about the very real threat of human-caused climate change”
Leo Hickman in the Guardian reports that the Norfolk Police — who have been investigating the original server hack for two years with no apparent success — have said that the new release of emails is “of interest” to them. Other reactions here:
- An excellent overview at Carbon Brief
- Shawn Lawrence Otto at Huffington Post
- Peter Sinclair at Climate Crock Of The Week
- Brad Johnson at Think Progress
For Hot Topic‘s coverage of the original email theft, start here, then go here, where I discuss the framing of the non-scandal. See also Skeptical Science’s excellent overview of 2009’s events and the fallout.