East Anglia hacking: is this the ultimate litmus test on environmental politics?

East Anglia hacking: is this the ultimate litmus test on environmental politics?

Summary: The litmus test of East Anglia's hacked emails. Where do you stand?

TOPICS: Security

It seems the response a group or person has to the East Anglia climate center hack job is a good indication of moral and political values.

The right-wing John Birch Society calls the revelations from the email "global warming fraud unmasked" and "ideology masked as science."

Rush Limbaugh declares the emails were made public by "a whistleblower." In Rush's world the science of global warming is a hoax. "the whole global warming -- manmade global warming movement is a fraud. It is a hoax. It's made-up lies."

One Fox news commentator says, "Usually academic research is completely ignored by the general public but in this case proposed regulations, costing trillions of dollars, are being based on many of these claimed research results. This coordinated campaign to hide scientific information appears unprecedented."

Unprecedented? Guess he chooses to overlook the tobacco companies' efforts to cleanse records connecting cigarettes and various cancers. And then there's the usual claim that cleaning up the atmosphere is too costly. In fact, like scrubbing the gases that were causing acid rain, cleaning the air often creates more jobs and more profits as well as makes the planet healthier.

On the left there's already a call for one scientist prominently represented in the emails ro resign, and a call for the data to be re-analyzed.

That scientist granted his first interview since the theft. He says there is no conspiracy. "That the world is warming is based on a range of sources: not only temperature records but other indicators such as sea level rise, glacier retreat and less Arctic sea ice." It's likely there'll be a United Kingdom government investigation, not just of the theft, but the actions of those at the East Anglia climate study center. Says one British scientist, "The selective disclosure and dissemination of the messages has created the impression of impropriety, and the only way of clearing the air now would be through a rigorous investigation. "

The BBC quotes one American climate scientist on the issue of transparency: "The need for public credibility and transparency has dramatically increased in recent years as the policy relevance of climate research has increased."

That's shorthand for "We're asking countries to make the kind of effort that usually goes for war or hosting the Olympics, so let's be careful."

That opinion in favor of transparency coincides with the majority of ZDnet blog readers repsonding to our poll on the hacking affair.[poll id="198"]

There'll no doubt be much palaver in the U.S. Congress with Republican global warming skeptics there already calling for an investigation.

So far there's no indication the hacking and publication of the docs from East Anglia will have any material effect on the Copenhagen talks.

Topic: Security

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  • Taxes upon Taxes

    I love it, how are you like the 'hope' &
    'Change' now...

    Taxes on this, taxes on that, taxes on everything, just wait there is more a tax on people making xxxxx amount.

    Nothing more than a Socialist & 2010 Independents like myself will vote them out and the leader will get impeached for not being a citizen.

    • Finding WMDs in Iraq is easier ...

      than finding scientific proof that human activities cause global warming; therefore, just like Bush, they cooked their report.
      • Conspiracy nuts...

        You can have a few scientists with alterior motives but not thousands of them. This conspiracy theory is just so much nonsense. Like Freud used to say, sometime a cigar is just a cigar.

        The atmosphere is very thin, only 3 miles of breathable air. If you keep pumping billions of tons of pollutants into it for 200 years, this is not a good thing. You don't need a science degree to realize that, it is common sense.

        Now you look at natural disasters like hurricane Katrina or the tsunami in the Indian Ocean and you see how small and insignificant we are against the power of nature. To screw up the atmosphere and the weather pattern is stupid and criminal.... show me another blue planet like this one?
        • Here, some interesting reading for you.

          The 'scientists' that you believe:

          The Flintstones
      • Sigh...

        Gotta bring up the evil Bush again, eh? EVERYBODY believed Saddam had WMDs. Bush didn't "cook" anything. Fault him for other reasons, but let this one go, okay?
        • No, not everybody.

          Least of all, people who were informed. WMDs were just an excuse to invade, and ambiguous information was selectively presented to make the case that they existed. Just ask Colin Powell.
          Lester Young
    • Enjoy your teabagger fantasies.

      The silent majority will disabuse you soon.
      Lester Young
  • There are no taxes in Somalia right now

    And perhaps that's why nobody willingly goes there? Perhaps government actually has a human function?
    Nobody believes government is any more trustworthy than say Enron, AIG or the Communist Party, but it sure fills a nasty vaccuum. Ever lived in state run by warlords? What's needed is more citizen vigilance, not the demolition of government.
    • Pathetic to use Somalia as an 'argument' for more government influence.

      So sad, so sad.
      The Flintstones
      • But you've provided no counterargument.

        I take it you don't have one.
        Lester Young
    • What's the obsession with Somalia amongst the ZDNet staff?

      I've noticed Dana Blankenhorn has mentioned Somalia in a couple of his posts in the same context. Is this part of the training manual at ZDNet blogger school? Anyone who opposes the liberal viewpoint must automatically favor a Somalia style government?

      Yea, that's what we're saying. You really hit the nail on the head. The ultimate goal is to disband the government and institute a policy of piracy on the high seas.
      • Or global warming

        Dana Blankenhorn really lost it when his
        discussion of how "Science is not a belief
        system" got out of control:


        Over the last few years, we've been getting more
        and more of these non-tech propaganda pieces.
        And the protagonists really get frustrated (and
        sometimes unglued) when the majority here don't
        follow along like good lemmings.
        • Hear Hear!

          The Flintstones
        • Which is exactly...

          the same attitude that allowed the GW proponents to think it was OK for them to 'cook' the numbers in their favor.

          Their cause was so Righteous - saving the Planet - that a little cheating here, a little obfuscation there, is necessary.

          The sad thing is, the GW-scandal crooks aren't alone. Embryonic Stem-cell researchers are exactly the same: they spout endless fantasies of [u]possible[/u] cures - while no evidence exists and confuse the issue with real results from adult-stem cell research.
      • Is that any less reasonable than saying....

        ....those who depart from the neocon line favor socialism?
        Lester Young
    • That's an argument?

      Perhaps Somalia has no government, because the
      previous ones were no more honest than Enron,
      AIG, and the Communist Party.

      Even your most ardent Ayn Rand Libertarian isn't
      going to argue for anarchy.

      Anyone else notice that since Viacon took over
      CNET, we've been seeing more of this kind of
      progressive nonsense?
      • Interesting point

        "Anyone else notice that since Viacon took over CNET, we've been seeing more of this kind of progressive nonsense?"

        I hadn't put those two things together before. Although I have noticed that ZDNet seems to be becoming more like daytime television talk shows every day.

        Carl Rapson
      • OK, lets take an example closer to home.

        Mexico. That's a perfect expression of the neocon model of no-holds-barred capitalism with extreme income inequality and a regressive tax structure. And guess what? It's on the brink of becoming a failed state.
        Lester Young
        • What's your point?

          Mexico is also hopelessly corrupt.

          Successful economies need the following to

          o Free Markets
          o Rule of Law
          o Political Stability

          Mexico does not possess very much of any of
          • Your glittering generalities don't impress me.

            We have had one of the most laissez-faire economies in the world for the past 30 years or so. What has it gotten us? Poor allocation of capital (three bubbles), lack of REAL (non-bubble) wealth creation, gross income inequality, decaying and dysfunctional public institutions, a completely corrupt, self-serving, and useless health insurance bureaucracy, massive foreign debt, massive private debt....

            The healthiest economies in the world are neither laissez-faire or state controlled. Scandinavia is doing quite well, and they are not shy about government intervention and taxes. And China is primed to do better at capitalism than we are, because they are interested in WHAT WORKS, not raising some misguided economic theory to the level of religion.
            Lester Young