Stolen CRU emails: Who are the criminals behind the conspiracy theorists?

Former Republican strategist Marc Morano is having as much fun with the stolen emails from the Climate Research Unit that he did with the Swift Boat Veteran’s for Truth attack he led against John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.

Morano and his site Climate Depot has become the climate conspiracy hub since this story broke on late Thursday.

This cabal of climate deniers seems to think that 12 year-old emails between climate scientists somehow refutes the thousands of research papers produced over decades by thousands of researchers at some of the best scientific institutions in the world.

While Morano is the master of right-wing spin and is using these emails for his political agenda, the bigger question here is:

Who stole all this private data from the University in the first place?

The folder of information contains over 3,800 separate files and it is clear that someone has taken a lot of time to pull together what they thought would be the most damaging. This is not the work of a hacker, unless that hacker is extremely well-versed in climate science, and specifically the conspiracy theories of the climate denial movement.

This package of stolen data and emails would have taken hundreds of hours to compile and someone out there knows exactly how all this went down.

Terry Hurlbut at the Examiner has a time line of the stolen data going public which is a good start. I am sure one of our intrepid readers will get to the bottom of this. Tell you what. I’ll race you.


Well, we know that the attacker

1. is familiar with climate conspiracy theories, _and_
2. knows how to upload files to an /incoming/ FTP folder on

I think anyone who can upload files to some random Russian server – and later delete them – has something of a cracker mindset.

The Examiner article also mentions RealClimate. I wonder if that means that the attacker cracked into, or tried to upload the file through whatever normal channels there are?

– bi,

Gavin mentioned an IP in Turkey trying to upload the data to RealClimate.

edit: Gavin just mentioned that the IP in Turkey was also a free proxy server.

I have read your blog on occasion and I have been impressed with the due dilligence that you have uncovered bias within the fossil fuel lobby. The information that was released can not be ignored. I try to lead my life as environmentally friendly as I can but to simply carry on as is in light of information that shows scientific fraud is dishonest. I think it was a scientist on the inside that was simply tired of the dishonesty that obviously has occured within climate change community. I am now a sceptic of the AGW theory although I will still live my life in an environmentally friendly fashion. The IPCC is simply a collection fred Singers on the other side maybe even worse.

AGW may or may not be a problem but it certainly is clear that much of the research was doctored to look worse than it is and clearly is not the pressing urgent problem it has been made out to be. To regain credibility it is time to open all the files at Hadley, fire the scientists guilty and give the public the straight goods.

Every problem with the AGW theory claimed by sceptics like mccyntire have been proven accurate within the released data. I don’t make money of of carbon credits or websites or books so I don’t have financial interests to protect, but even if I did I would try to be honest about what has been uncovered.

We have been duped. Lets not let this tarnish the environmental philosophy, we still need to protect the planet and limit the damage we do to mother earth.

To ignore this now and simply throw on spin shows that you are no better than those you criticise.

But the emails are being taken out of context and spin-doctored by some of the best, namely Marc Morano.

Read the emails and tell me where there is evidence of the grand conspiracy.

Again, there is multiple lines of evidence and decades of research that simply cannot be refuted by some emails between a few climate scientists. You are buying into the alarmist hype being spun by a Republican strategist and some fossil fuel friendly free market think tanks

In fact, here’s a site with a searchable database of all the docs to make it easier for you:

But then there never is is there? In this case the emails show if nothing else what a cloistered and arrogant community pro-AGW science has become. As for the peer-review process, I doubt any objective person (if there is such a thing on this topic) would read email 1199999688.txt without having some misgivings about how the peer-review process works.

The veil of the “objective and dispassionate” scientist has dropped with a thud.

=”But the emails are being taken out of context and spin-doctored by some of the best.”=

Taking stolen documents and misrepresenting them is a specialy of AGW activist groups like Greenpeace and others. And in all cases, green groups consistently see evidence of a “grand conspiracy” where none exists.

Hey hey, who has been talking over and over of conspiracy? Exactly! But not the scientific world. This North American fundamentalism is getting at me. Climate conspiracy, health care conspiracy, Obama Hitler…How stupid and brainwashed can one be?

And what does Greenpeace have to do with climate researchers?

Smalltown North America - get in touch with reality.

One word to the current Republican attack and also the other ones above: this is the biggest possible tumour consisting of the lowest human instincts: mean spirit, selfishness and naked greed, coated in oversimplifcation in order to appeal to Joe Sixpack. And the whole thing is wrapped into Christianity. In Canada, such people are called Rednecks.

=”Hey hey, who has been talking over and over of conspiracy?”=

The Left? From 9-11 and how Bush and Co. allowed/engineered the attack to the conspiracy that Big Oil is behind a massive disinformation campaign to confuse the public, I’d say conspiratorial ideas are part of the lefts’ mindset far more then the right.

=”And what does Greenpeace have to do with climate researchers?’+

Greenpeace regularly commits criminal acts. And is applauded by the left.

of Greenpeace committing criminal acts and the people/organisations from the “left” applauding such actions.

It’ll be interesting to see how narrowly you have to define “left”.

Oh, and you may want to look at the history of the tobacco companies to find out why the proposed ‘conspiracy’ by big oil companies isn’t very far fetched.

Greenpeace memebers are charged with criminal acts in Alberta right now. But criminal acts by those you support don’t count, right?

as jersey g said: where and who are the “leftist groups” that support these actions?

FYI, I’m not a member of Greenpeace, and do not give them money. I sympathise with several, but not nearly all, of their points of view (to name but one: I’m in favor of nuclear energy and do not agree with their arguments), and disagree with actions that result in damage to other people’s property. When the Greenpeace activists did something illegal, they should be punished.

There, back to paul s and his false assumptions.

Thats just the thing, all the e-mails are in perfect context. It’s not like just 1 e-mail was leaked, you have threads over a long period of time where you can see that certain climate scientists are colaborating to remove skeptical scientific papers from peer review journals, alter data so that it looks warmer than it is, manipulate the media and to thwart the public attempts to get a look at their research by stiffling FOIA requests.

We are not talking about 1 quote, we are talking about thousands of e-mails when put into context show systemic corruption to abuse the scientific process and deceive the public.

This is watergate unfolding on the internet my friend. You can read it for yourself. To say it’s one or two quotes taken out of context is simply obscuring the truth.

Comment #6 at this link says there are 1,073 email messages, and that they have clearly been selected. In other words, we do not have the complete context. And then, of course, each one of those would need to be checked to make sure they were not altered by the thief.

And here’s GreenMachine, who has limited understanding of the context. There is NO altering of data to making it look warmer discussed in ANY of the e-mails. Worse, the discussion on ‘skeptical’ papers is related to fundamentally flawed papers for which the peer-review process was RIGGED(!!) by a ‘skeptic’ (Chris de Freitas) to get it published. Instead of our self-proclaimed real skeptics going into a hissy fit against De Freitas, they are now attacking others for discussing ways to get the rotten apples out. Rotten apples, not skeptic apples. You should be applauding this! Manipulating media is another funny one, considering all the media messages people like McIntyre and McKittrick throw out, including McKittrick openly claiming the IPCC fraudulenty changed data. Who’s manipulating the media here?
The FOIA requests are yet another example of poor understanding. The ‘thwarting’ has EVERYTHING to do with having privileged information subjected to secrecy agreements. Jones would have to go to court if he gave away that data for breach of contract! And to whom? To someone who actively looks for even the most minor issue, makes it into a huge mountain (and not always correct, see the Briffa case and the following media outrage to see yet another example of media manipulation), and simply is NOT CONSTRUCTIVE.

It’s obscuring the truth by the ‘skeptic’ camp, falling nicely under a quote a tobacco executive was stupid enough to put into a memo: “doubt is our product, since it is the best means of dealing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy…Spread doubt over strong scientific evidence and the public won’t know what to believe”.

This is the tactic of the climate ‘skeptics’ in a nutshell.

You’ve got the balls to say “You are buying into the alarmist(that’s u right?, but i know u meant denier) hype being spun by a Republican strategist and some fossil fuel friendly free market think tanks (u’ve got a problem with a free market?). I think you better go read the emails again friend. You’re the one being spun, and it’s written down for you to see, and you still refuse to see it. Now what would you call that? In a trance, or zombie like state? What would you do if your doctors emails were divulged to you and they looked like the ones from CRU? Are you saying you would let him operate on you? Please don’t say yes.

“alarmist hype” is a description of what is spewed by denialists who pretend cutting GHG emissions will destroy the economy.

is a description of what is spewed by alarmist scientist who pretend adding 140 pppmv of co2 to the atmosphere in the last 200 years is responsible for warming our awesome planet. I’ve got a simpleton experiment for you, add 140 ppmv of kool-aid (your favorite drink) to a glass of water, get back to me if it taste anything other than water. Then go check out the history of solar minimums.

Why don’t you add 140 ppmv of arsenic trioxide to your glass of water? Then let any of your family members come tell us how that worked out. You yourself would be no longer be counted as a living being…

See, here’s the rub. You guys are trying to turn co2 into a poison. What a stretch. How about water vapor? is that a poison too?

The facts are simple: you used a faulty analogy to claim supposedly small amounts can have no influence. I refer you to another analogy in which much smaller amounts actually DO have a major influence (as in “death”), and you try to move the goalposts.

Of course it will destroy the economy. The economy runs on fossil fuel. Take fossil fuel out of the mix and you have a dead economy. Unless you are talking minimal cuts - then you have the joy of a wounded economy.

There’s only one group of criminals here.
So-called “climate Scientists” fiddling the data.
Here are 2 of many gems from the Climate Mafia at CRU

“I really wish I could be more positive about the Kyrgyzstan material, but I swear I pulled every trick out of my sleeve trying to milk something out of that. It was pretty funny though – I told Malcolm what you said about my possibly being too Graybill-like in evaluating the response functions – he laughed and said that’s what he thought at first also. The data’s tempting but there’s too much variation even within stands. I don’t think it’d be productive to try and juggle the chronology statistics any more than I already have.”

“Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow. I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”
Thanks for the comments, Ray.
Cheers, Phil”

“Phil” is Professor Phil Jones- Head of CRU.

Basically they are saying they can’t fiddle the Kyrgyzstan material enough to make a Hockey Stick and in the second recent (tree-ring) data
is showing a temperature decrease- which they must hide.

Fraud- pure and simple.

Yep, Kindergarten stuff. Just in time for Christmas, I mean Copenhagen, conspiracy. And hacked on top of it. The Republicans will have lots of fun with it. After all they have a long tradition of illegitimate data acquisition.

OK, lets say, good old Phil did commit fraud. What about the other thousands of climate researchers? All fraudsters? And the planet will cool because of it?

Finally, a real storm in my tea cup.

There are not thousands of climate researchers. There are thousands of scientist that believe the research of Michel Mann, Phil Jones, Gavin Schmitt, Keith Briffa, and the likes. I’m afraid that may change.

“Basically they are saying they can’t fiddle the Kyrgyzstan material enough to make a Hockey Stick and in the second recent (tree-ring) data
is showing a temperature decrease- which they must hide.”

Your first claim is not backed by ANY e-mail or its content. There is no reference to the content of the material, other than that it looks interesting, but simply is too variable to be analysed by any of the methods available (“tricks”).

About the second issue: There are several tree chronologies (but not all), who show a sudden decline at the end. This is described and discussed in the literature. Since this decline is very likely not related to the temperature signal (once again, as discussed in the literature, out there, in the open, for anyone with enough intelligence to read), the “trick” is to remove that part and replace it by the real temperature signal (as measured by thermometers). Openly discussed by Mann, too (you know, out there, in the open, in the literature, for anyone with enough intelligence to read). Fraud? Not even close!

Marco, I wanted to give a positive rating to your answer and instead the reply function opened up. So let me show my approval in this way.

What has been most conspicuous in this whole affair is the lack of good faith on the other side. Good faith would require the initial assumption that there is the same disposition on the part of the scientists whose writings are being examined. But no - they prefer to fly to the first unfavorable interpretation at hand mostly on the basis of the most inappropriate meaning of certain terms.

Let’s see whether you can follow this?

1) We assume trees measure (record) past temperatures
2) By picking a few “sensitive” tress from a whole mass of non-responders we get a correlation with temperature (not local mind you, Global)
3) We assume this relationship is robust over the last 1000 years.
4) Publish to great acclaim in the scientfic press
5) Find out that our “sensitive” trees fail to respond to temperatures
post 1960
6) say as little as possible about 5
7) Rubbish anyone who suggests that 3 may no longer be tenable.

Have I missed anything?

1. It is an ‘assumption’ based on biological knowledge.
2. Wrong. The correlation is with local temperature. Taking MANY such tree chronologies allows some level of global temperature reconstruction
3. A necessary assumption, long discussed in the literature. Note that there are plenty of evidences for that, too.
4. Yes.
5+6. Eh? This divergence problem is EXTENSIVELY discussed in the literature. It does not occur in all tree chronologies, only in some, and its meaning is discussed in several papers and book chapters
7. Go read the literature on dendrochronology.

You’ve clearly missed the classes on how to do proper science. Failing to read the literature on a topic, and making all kinds of false claims about that topic, that’s one big F on your grade card.

Is there any connection with these posts at WUWT in July 2009?

according to a response by jeff id these posts had nothing to do with the latest events. something about someone leaving something on a server for all to see.

Reminds me of when Someone got into Sarah Palin’s email account during the election.

Who did it? well usually the answer is “Who cares who did it, what did he find?

Simple really, get chummy with your Freedom of Information Officer.

What follows, I believe, is grounds for a ciminal prosecution in the UK.

When the FOI requests began here, the FOI person said we had to
abide by the requests. It took a couple of half hour sessions – one
at a screen, to convince them otherwise showing them what CA was all
about. Once they became aware of the types of people we were dealing
with, everyone at UEA (in the registry and in the Environmental
Sciences school – the head of school and a few others) became very
supportive. I’ve got to know the FOI person quite well and the Chief
Librarian – who deals with appeals. The VC is also aware of what is
going on – at least for one of the requests, but probably doesn’t
know the number we’re dealing with. We are in double figures. [The
number of FOI requests.]
The inadvertent email I sent last month has led to a Data
Protection Act request sent by a certain Canadian, saying that the
email maligned his scientific credibility with his peers! If he
pays 10 pounds (which he hasn’t yet) I am supposed to go through my
emails and he can get anything I’ve written about him. About 2
months ago I deleted loads of emails, so have very little – if
anything at all.

What would be grounds for criminal prosecution? The deletion of e-mails? Sorry, mate, but look at the timing mentioned by Jones: the DPA request came less than a month from writing the e-mail quoted above. Two months ago he deleted loads of emails. There is NO requirement for university employees to store all emails, so Jones deleting mails is no crime, especially when the act of deleting mails was not in connection with the DPA request…!

Put yourself in the position of a real climate scientist:

You know the danger of CO2 emissions, and of deforestation, and having been living with the knowledge for 2, or 3 decades, if you are old enough. For a long time this knowledge, the research behind it, is simply ignored by the politicians because it is in their interest to back an unsustainable way of life. Which is temporarily good for the average American. (Look at the Wall Street fiasco for another example of an unsustainable and foreseeable mess.) Americans have come to feel so all-powerful that we can break the laws of nature and economics with impunity forever.

You have attained a PhD in science, and work many more than 40 years a week to master the complexities of climate science and to extract results from the data. Suddenly 30 years of well-established science is attacked by has-beens and never-weres picking over your research to manufacture flaws. These are dramatized with attacks on your credibility and good name. The attacks are incoherent (from a scientific point of view) and printed in newspapers or let loose in radio/TV broadcasts or by anonymous bloggers. You are accused of fraud, or having a “religion of global warming” (sic).

It is not your job to answer these attacks, and doing so is a distraction from doing real research work. The answer to a claim of a flaw is frequently not simple, especially since the claim is apt to be ill-posed. If you manage a reply in a sound-bite comprehensible to the general public, it does not matter, since the deniers simply repeat their yarn over and over. Plus a new spurious claim is generated by the deniers and liars. It does matter how insanely illogical the claim is, it is repeated over and over, and becomes an “alternative” view in the mainstream media. The notion that the earth is cooling presently is in the category of “Big Lie”.

When you relax with your children or grandchildren, you try to forget for a few minutes the things you know. The extreme weather events now – the melting ice; the unprecedented flooding in Britain and Ireland; the ferocious fires in Greece, Australia, California, after long droughts; the unexpected heat wave in Europe which killed 10000 people a few years ago; the intensifying hurricanes – are warmups for the world to come.

Cassandra had it easy.

so u try to hide data?
‘The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone’ why? the new scientific method.

Ever heard of sarcasm when being in a loose-loose situation?
Jones giving out the RAW data means Jones violating a number of agreements. So he did not want to do so. The FOIA request would put him in the loose-loose situation: he would be required to violate the agreements if the FOIA request was upheld. That means Phil Jones can say goodbye to getting data from anyone who has a commercial interest in that same data, and thus can say goodbye to doing what he has been doing for a long time: creating a global temperature reconstruction using various temperature stations.

Of course, the deniosphere would love that. One down, three data sets of global warming left to destroy. And without any comprehensive data, there is no global warming, right?!

Financial motivation is no defense for an issue we’re told is this important. If this would become a lose-lose situation, then the culture inside the program if seriously flawed. That kind of atmosphere usually produces results that those who provide the funding want to hear.

Poor me the climate scientist, I’m ignored. Let me use a “nature trick”,
to “hide the decline”, then these uncommon sense lefty politicians will listen and give me money (79 billion dollars, what a disgrace). Lets not look to Wall Street, lets look at the uncommon sense lefty politicians, demanding banks give loans to people, who in noway, can pay it back. You can not break the laws of nature.

Working 40 years a week, man…if I worked that hard i would make stuff up too. Master the complexities of climate science? Which super hero did that? Poor guys get their stuff questioned. I believe that’s what science is about. i guess you think because they worked 40 years a week, that’s good enough.

It is your job to answer questions(attacks), that’s what science is about. “Repeating their yarn”? Here’s some yarn…we’ve reached a tipping point for runaway global warming(when’s that going to happen?or wtgh?), more intense hurricanes(wtgh?),unprecedented sea level rise(wtgh?), prostitution(wtgh?),mental disorder(already happening).

“The extreme weather events now”? melting ice(happened before), unprecedented flooding in Britain and Ireland(not true), ferocious fires in Greece,Australia,California, after long droughts(you’re kidding right?),the unexpected heat wave(like we have expected one’s) in Europe which killed 10000 people(the heat wave reached 86 degrees,how many people could have been saved with the evil AC?), intensifying hurricanes(wtgh?).

Record heat waves in Australia.

“…Statistically speaking, it’s astronomically unlikely that such a sequence of rare heat waves would occur by chance, if the climate wasn’t warming. But of course, it is…”

the climate change you speak of must have started in 1894 when there was a 4 day spring heat wave. i didn’t realize we were counting 2 year time frames for evaluation of climate change. its pretty warm in nj today so i guess we must start to look here for evidence as well. (hopefully there were no misspelled words, incorrect grammar and this post was short enough for your tastes and criticisms. i’ll work on capitalization next.)

About the fuss concerning the terms “trick” and “to hide’:

The unabridged Webster gives under (3) the following definitions of “trick”:”A quick or effective way of getting a result”; “the art of doing something quickly, effectively, skillfully”; “instant or skillful effecting of a result as, that does the trick”; “a feat demanding skill or ingenuity”.

The divergence between the instrumental temperature record and Briffa’s series of post 1960 proxies is well known. Since Briffa et al. always seem to have recommended to leave out the post 1960 part of their reconstruction Jones merely proposed to follow publicly given advice with the term “to hide”.

You haven’t read many of the e-mails, I take it. It is not just one or two quotes, 10 years of e-mails have been released where you can see corruption set in and evolve. Fabricating data to create warming, public media manipulation, rigging peer review panels to exclude opposing points of view, finacial obstruction and deliberate attempts to conceal data from freedom of information requests. It is all there in thousands of e-mails. One or two choice quotes may be able to be overlooked but thousands of e-mails paint an extremely vivid picture of the widespread corruption that has occured at the highest levels of science. This is the largest worldwide fraud we have ever seen.

This isn’t an us vs you scenario, we have all been duped. The Wall Street Journal has a very good article about this today. If you care to examine the e-mails yourself, you will see a very revealing pattern emerges.

Nixon wrote off some of the evidence first as well, don’t be fooled. Climate change has been exposed for all to see. It is either completely wrong or man has a very small role in the whole affair.

Deliberately interpreting e-mails to mean something you have no proof of is a form of defamation. There is NO fabrication of data to create warming. None of the e-mails suggests this. Not a single one. Public media manipulation is outright laughable, considering that the deniosphere does nothing BUT public media manipulation. But apparently that is allowed in the war against science. Scientists, on the other hand, are expected to follow other rules. “rigging peer review” is even worse, considering that there have been several examples of ‘sceptics’ rigging peer-review (Chris de Freitas), and one favourite ‘sceptic’ journal that calls itself (sometimes, at least) peer-reviewed, in which “peer” refers to “fellow skeptic willing to overlook faults”. Once again, not a peep out of ‘skeptics’ whenever E&E publishes yet another load of nonsense. Financial obstructions isn’t discussed in the e-mails either, unless you believe that asking to send grant money in smaller installments is somehow illegal (hint: it isn’t).
The deliberate attempts to hide data from FOIA attempts lacks context: data is demanded that falls under proprietary data agreements (which could lead to legal action if handed over) by someone whose use of the data does not constitute “fair use”.

What the e-mails show is an increasing frustration about deliberate attempts to obfuscate the science and harass the scientists, thus making sure that the science is thrown to the background. “Creating doubt”, the easiest way to ensure inaction.

Pulease. Defamation has any elements, none of which are present in my above posting. You should review the law if you want to use words like defamation.

Tim ball on the other hand really must be confident in his position as what he says in his posting could be considered boderline. Although he knows he would never be asked to challenge his position in a courthouse and the GW activists would not want him to prove that what he says is 100% accurate. The Legal scare is not nearly as convincing as the earth cooking scare, I have heard so much about.