IMAGINE coming in to work and opening your inbox to read an email asking you to “kill yourself” before another note reads “I hope someone puts a bullet between your eyes”.
How about another email where the sender describes themselves as a “one man swat team” telling you to “back the F*** off” or they will “smack the living sh** out of you”.
Another emailer says “I'd kill you in a second if given the chance” and another writes that you have been “blacklisted” and that “your children and family will know because we know where you live… expect us at your door to say hello.”
This is not an imaginary scenario, but is instead a sample from the inbox of climate scientist Professor Phil Jones, of the University of East Anglia in the UK, as revealed following a Freedom of Information request released this week.
Professor Jones wasn't alone in the halls of his university. The FOI reveals how a presumably US-based emailer warned that if Professor Edward Acton, the university's vice-chancellor, was to ever travel to America that “we will have plans for you as well. If you bring your family, all the merrier.” The Professor was also reminded of the emailer's Second Amendment rights to carry a gun.
All the emails are date between November 2009 and February 2010, the period immediately after thousands of emails were unlawfully taken from the university. Climate science deniers, commentators and bloggers claimed the “climategate” emails proved human-caused climate change was a hoax, but several high-level independent inquiries found the integrity of the science was intact and that the emails had been taken out of context and misrepresented.
Remarkably, the examples used here (the full release is here on a pdf) are not the worst, nor are they the nastiest.
This latest release of emails from UEA provide an insight - whether we want it or not - of the campaign of intimidation against Professor Jones which at one point, caused him to consider suicide.
The UK police force tasked with investigating the hacking of emails and documents from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (the debunked “Climategate”) seems to have quietly de-prioritized its investigation earlier this year, according to documents released under the UK Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The Norfolk Constabulary police force’s responses to FOIA requests indicate that the amount spent on attempts to identify the hacker in the last year was just £5,649.09 - with all but £80.05 spent on invoices for work carried out previously by private companies, suggesting police work on the investigation has ground to a halt.
Earlier this week, the hackers (ironically calling themselves “FOIA”) illegally released a second set of hacked material consisting of 5,349 emails and 23 documents from UEA. The university and independent reviews suggest these are leftovers from the initial November 2009 theft – in the words of one climate scientist, “two-year old turkey.”
While nine independent inquiries have cleared the scientists of any wrongdoing in the wake of the baseless ‘Climategate’ episode, the person (or persons) responsible for the hacking has gotten off scot-free to date. The FOIA documents seem to indicate that the police investigation was derailed and perhaps dropped earlier this year.
The grand total spent by Norfolk police on the UEA hacker investigation since the November 2009 theft is just £80,905.11.
Begley details how, despite multiple investigations concluding that climate science remains on solid ground and exonerating the main climate scientists targeted in the University of East Anglia attacks, the “highly orchestrated, manufactured scandal” still manages to fool a large portion of the public into thinking that climate change warnings are overblown.
Begley writes: A lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on, as Mark Twain said (or “before the truth gets a chance to put its pants on,” in Winston Churchill’s version), and nowhere has that been more true than in “climategate.” In that highly orchestrated, manufactured scandal, e-mails hacked from computers at the University of East Anglia’s climate-research group were spread around the Web by activists who deny that human activity is altering the world’s climate in a dangerous way, and spun so as to suggest that the scientists had been lying, cheating, and generally cooking the books.
But not only did British investigators clear the East Anglia scientist at the center of it all, Phil Jones, of scientific impropriety and dishonesty in April, an investigation at Penn State cleared PSU climatologist Michael Mann of “falsifying or suppressing data, intending to delete or conceal e-mails and information, and misusing privileged or confidential information” in February.
The British House of Commons today issued a report exonerating Professor Phil Jones, the director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Dr. Jones was embroiled in controversy following the theft of internal emails and documents from the University’s servers in November of last year.
The report states that “the focus on CRU and Professor Phil Jones, Director of CRU, in particular, has largely been misplaced,” and that Dr. Jones’s actions were “in line with common practice in the climate science community,” and the CRU’s “analyses have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified.”
The Penn State chapter of the Republican farm team, Young Americans for Freedom, has launched an attack against Michael Mann, demanding an “external, independent investigation of Dr. Michael Mann.s (sic) climate research and related communications.”
YAF is complaining about the evidently thorough and entirely transparent investigation that PSU has already conducted, looking into the stolen emails that surfaced in what has come to be known (in unimaginative circles) as “Climategate.” The PSU panel looked at the evidence and exonerated Mann, apparently to the disappointment of people who wish that the East Anglia emails really did throw doubt on the quality of climate science.
Dr. Tim Ball, a man famous for lying about his resume, and for denying that he quite willingly works for oil-funded think tanks, nevertheless continues to find an audience, slandering actual climate scientists and misrepresenting - in the most manipulative way - the state of climate science.
His most recent attack is all the more stunning for having been launched during a week when the British House of Commons released a report exonerating one of Ball’s targets, Dr. Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the East Anglia University.
In one of Ball’s regular contributions to the conspiracy-theory website Canada Free Press, he begins with this:
“Few understand the extent of corrupted science produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Data was altered, or completely ignored and research deliberately directed to prove their claim that humans were causing global warming.”
Ball’s evidence for the charge of “corrupted science”? None, really. His proof that data were altered or ignored? Zero.
The echo chamber is alive and well and currently bouncing Phil Jones’ bastardized quote all over the global media. Recap - Phil Jones speaks to the BBC about climate change. The Daily Mailselects part of his response, stripping it of its context and using that selection to argue that Prof. Jones is backtracking on the likelihood of global warming.
Then every half-wit, oil company shill and agenda-driven journalist in the world picks up the Mail’s manipulation and uses it as if it’s real.
BBC: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present, there has been no statstically-significant global warming”
Prof Jones: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995-2009. This trend (0.12 per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods and much less likely for shorter periods.
Phil Jones, the Director of the Climate Research Unit, announced today that he will step down from his position pending investigation into the matter of the emails stolen from the University of East Anglia servers.
Professor Phil Jones has today announced that he will stand aside as Director of the Climatic Research Unit until the completion of an independent Review resulting from allegations following the hacking and publication of emails from the Unit.
Professor Jones said: “What is most important is that CRU continues its world leading research with as little interruption and diversion as possible. After a good deal of consideration I have decided that the best way to achieve this is by stepping aside from the director’s role during the course of the independent review and am grateful to the university for agreeing to this. The review process will have my full support.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Edward Acton said: “I have accepted Professor Jones’s offer to stand aside during this period. It is an important step to ensure that CRU can continue to operate normally and the independent review can conduct its work into the allegations. We will announce details of the independent review, including its terms of reference, timescale and the chair, within days. I am delighted that Professor Peter Liss, FRS, CBE, will become acting director.”
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.