The so-called “Climategate” scandal erupted in late November of 2009. Its name was coined by the English journalist James Delingpole , on his Telegraph blog. The controversy began when some Russian computer hackers obtained and publicized 1,073 private e-mails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in England, possessor of the world’s largest temperature-data set. The e-mails in question — some of which dated back as far as 13 years, and 241 of which were from 2008 and 2009 — had been exchanged between a number of leading American and British climatologists known for their belief that mankind’s industrial activity was causing a dangerous “global warming” trend in the earth’s atmosphere. In their correspondences, the authors candidly acknowledged that they had intentionally:

  • manipulated scientific evidence in order to provide “proof” that their warnings were justified;
  • conspired to illegally conceal, falsify, or destroy data that did not support their global-warming claims; and
  • plotted to keep opposing scientific views out of the peer-reviewed journals whose editorial boards they controlled.

In a November 22, 1996 email to other top global-warming scientists, Geoff Jenkins — the self-described “front man explaining climate change” — spoke of “inventing” temperature readings and releasing fake “estimates” of temperature data for the year, even before the year was over. He added: “Remember all the fun we had last year over 1995 global temperatures, with early release of information (via Oz), ‘inventing’ the December monthly value, letters to Nature etc etc?  I think we should have a cunning plan about what to do this year….”

Jenkins further pledged to pass along falsified temperature information “selectively to Nick Nuttall [spokesman and ‘Head of Media’ for the United Nations Environment program], so that he can write an article for the silly season.”

In a 1999 e-mail exchange about charts showing the climate patterns of the last two millennia, Phil Jones, a longtime CRU climate researcher, boasted that he had used a “trick” — also employed by another scientist, Michael Mann — to “hide the decline” in temperatures. In another e-mail, a climate scientist referred to global-warming skeptics as “idiots.”

As the London Telegraph explained in a November 28, 2009 article, the authors of the CRU e-mails “are not just any old bunch of academics”: “Their importance cannot be overestimated, What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”

The impact of the foregoing revelations was heightened by a subsquent report (in January 2010) by U.S. researchers that accused government agencies of cherry-picking — from warmer rather than cooler locations — many of the temperature readings which had been used to assess global temperatures.

In November 2011, James Delingpole reported that “two years after the Climategate, a further batch of emails has been leaked onto the internet,” and that they showed the scientists “at the heart of the Man-Made Global Warming industry … once again caught red-handed … exaggerating the extent of Anthropogenic Global Warming, while privately admitting to one another that the evidence is nowhere near as a strong as they’d like it to be.”

Additional Resources:

The Climategate Emails
Edited and Annotated by John Costella
March 2010

Climate Change: This Is the Worst Scientific Scandal of Our Generation
By Christopher Booker
November 28 2009

By Andrew Walden
November 30, 2009

US Physics Professor: ‘Global Warming Is the Greatest and Most Successful Pseudoscientific Fraud I Have Seen in My Long Life’
By James Delingpole
October 11, 2010

Hacked E-Mail Is New Fodder for Climate Dispute
By Andrew Revkin
November 20, 2009

Uh Oh, Global Warming Loons: Here Comes Climategate II
By James Delingpole
November 22, 2011

Global Warming Was Never about Climate Change
By Larry Bell
February 6, 2013

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