(Scroll down for list of links)
Timed to undermine the Durban climate conference we have another release via a Russian web site of, apparently, the same emails that were stolen from the University of East Anglia in 2009. The person(s) responsible have had two years to search through a quarter of a million emails covering a period of ten years. Yet all they have found is a small selection of short quotes which, taken out of context, might ‘look’ suspicious. You could of course do this with anyone’s emails and generate a fictitious conspiracy theory. Bloggers are doing this all the time on the web.
If you take a look at the emails you will see that, out of context, they mean very little. At most, they give evidence that the scientists involved are human and have private discussions involving arguments, debates, questioning each other, they have jokes and yes sometimes are rude about colleagues or people for whom they have no professional respect.
What the emails in general show is a group of scientists openly and frankly discussing the science, the uncertainties and the more general political and social ramifications of their work. What else would we expect them to discuss?
However you look at the selected, out of context quotes, they do not show evidence of a smoking gun or a hot bed of fraudulent science.
It would be very interesting to see the emails of some of the members of Nigel Lawson’s Global Warming Lobby group (see below) but funnily enough they refuse to release them. One set of rules for climate science and no rules for those who refuse to accept the evidence.
Here is a list of links that give some balance to the story including the Real Climate site where some of the actual scientists involved in writing the emails explain the context of the quotes.
Sorry if suggesting that we actually read the defendants side of the story is anathema to a few of you but I think that it’s called natural justice.
*****Real Climate: Two year old turkey (Recommended: It is very revealing to read the comments by those involved in writing the emails and who actually know the context. To get a good picture of what is going on you need to be thorough and read them all)
Snippets of stolen emails cannot make the Earth flat (Scott Mandia)
Skeptical Science has the facts on the previous Climategate – essential background reading
Please let me know if I have missed any useful links