Breaking: Hadley computers allegedly hacked – exposing warming “conspiracy”

Trying to read through the many emails and stories on this issue this morning. I’ll be updating this post as I go along.

At first blush, it appears that servers at the Hadley CRU NOTE: this Realclimate.org posting notes that the files and email came from the University of East Anglia mail servers, not the Hadley CRU — may have been hacked and over 1,000 emails and many associated files have been copied and released onto the Internet — they may also have been leaked by an insider.

The emails are alleged to be sent from mainstream, climate scientists who are knowingly inserting fraudulent data into their research as well as commenting on the well being of other, skeptical scientists. The concern is that they are doing this as a means of keeping the climate change issue in the media and forcing world governments to pass climate change legislation. The possibility of fraudulent misrepresentation of data immediately brings to mind a quote from noted climatologist and Stanford University researcher, Steven Schneider,

On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.

If true, it would seem that being “effective” will have taken precedence over being honest. If true, this could be one of the largest scientific frauds ever perpetrated. Given the impact that this and related climate research has had on climate policy, the world economy, energy generation, and specifically the coal industry, such a revelation would be devastating for climate research as a whole.

If this is false, it is worthy of immediate police attention as it calls into question the professional reputation of several respected scientists and research facilities. (Update: As hacking a private mail server is an illegal act in both North America and Great Britain, it is very likely that the police are already involved.)

More as there is time to read through the growing list of details.

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This blog post claims the Director of the Hadley Centre is publicly admitting the Centre’s computers have been hacked and that the emails appear genuine.

Reference material and links on this story,

20. November 2009 by Jason Hayes
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