Monday, July 25, 2011

Who burgled the UEA in "Climate-Gate"?

On November 20, 2009, someone hacked the computer system of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UK). Now Bob Park of the American Physical Society tells us that Rupert Murdoch was behind the burglary. Keith Olbermann voices the same suspicion, more tentatively. I have to say that I didn't suspect Murdoch, I suspected the oil companies.

While these suspicions play out, it's worthwhile to recall the 1997 James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies. The villain, Elliot Carter (played by Jonathan Pryce) is (of course) a megalomaniac out to dominate the world. This is, after all, a Bond film. This particular villain is a media mogul who controls newspapers and satellites.

The original screenwriter modeled the villain after Robert Maxwell, but others thought he was more like Murdoch. At one point, Bond battles a henchman of the villain, and throws the henchman to his death on the moving printing press. Bond sneers, "they print anything these days." The classic Murdoch headlne was, of course, HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR.


J Bowers said...

If the police investigation had been unduly influenced in any way, any investigation would be carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.... the IPCC.

JD said...

It matters little who did it. What we have to be grateful for is the fact that someone exposed the way these people were behaving and perpetrating the 'man-made global warming' scam. Whoever did it did us all a service. JD.

Nick Barnes said...

Funny though it would be if it turned out to be true, I haven't seen any evidence, at all. Bob Park asserts it as fact but doesn't even provide a link. He also says, about the NoTW closing, "Something much bigger had to be going on here". Bigger than Rebekah Brooks (and possibly even James Murdoch) facing possible criminal charges? No. In comparison to the Milly Dowler case (etc), only sad dweebs like yours truly give two hoots for climategate.

Meh. Olbermann also has no evidence. Sure, Wallis worked for CRU as a PR *after* the emails were stolen.

I'm certainly prepared to believe it about Murdoch, but show us some evidence, for heaven's sake.

carrot eater said...

Not worth even talking about, if that's all we've got to go on.

Magnus said...

Do not know what to do with it... the manifest from ABB (the awfull killer in Norway) about climate change pages 645-649 maybe more.

William M. Connolley said...

Well, that is pretty weird. As NB says, to assert it without a shred of evidence is no use to anyone.

J Bowers said...

Well, Wallis wil be facing the ultimatum that if he doesn't disclose anything relevant which is later discovered by the police, he's in for a longer spell in the clink should it all go to court and he's found guilty of anything alleged so far. I also wouldn't be at all surprised if UEA are having words about the possibility with the local constabulary and other police channels.

JD, the scam is not coming from UEA. Check the Form 990s of your favourite denialist non-profits, and figure out how many Argo buoys and satellites they've deployed and maintained to date.

Anonymous said...

It was most likely just some crank with enough lazy dollars lying around to buy some expert computer hacking skills. The "It's a miracle" message says it all, they were on a mission from god to save us from the commie conspiracy.

EliRabett said...

Monckton?? Jus sayin.

Although in general agree that speculation to fan the flames is so. . . wattsonian.

Anonymous said...

@Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

I'd like to kind of jump on and ride the coat tails of J Bowers dumbo logic and throw out...George Soros.

Whatever Murdoch knew or didn't know, and the same applies to Soros, they both send a bunch of money to political causes. However, both of them are 80 or older so I don't see how they can have all of these grand plans and dreams of world domination at their old age? I think they just want to out the rest of their lives in the lap of luxury. Anyone agree?

Horatio Algeranon said...

Horatio casts his vote for the "Burglar of Banff-ff-ff" (which is not that far from Russia, where the files were made available)

J Bowers said...

Jay Cadbury fantasises straw men from thin air.

Anonymous said...

Hey Magnus I've just been reading that 1500 page "manifesto". When I read the conspiracy theory tone of it I knew I had to search the PDF for "climate".

As you point out, the subject gets a brief mention.

"Climategate incident – exposing the eco-Marxist scam"

"Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?"

"Hiding the Decline"

He cites as references McIntyre, Bishops Hill, Fox News, Prisonplanet and writes "Please see Lord Christopher Monckton's speech"

Wonder if McIntyre, Bishops Hill, Monckton, etc will contemplate how their names ended up in a mass murderer's extremist manifesto? At best it speaks of their stuff appealing as marginal paranoid crap.

Didn't Watt's cover Bin Laden's quotes on global warming? Wonder if he'll cover Anders Behring Breivik's quotes on the subject? Probably not eh?

I am at a loss about the end of Ander's document though. It turns into a farming guide. Oh wait he's trying to tell everyone how to amass fertilizer under cover of being a farmer I suppose. Still a section on "crop rotation" in such a document is rather odd.

-I am not a number, I am a free anonymouse

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@J Bowers

Sorry I can't see an old man instructing his news team to tap people's phones. I'm not condoning the act, obviously it is a huge invasion of privacy but the organization is so large that 1 man can't possibly know the actions of all employees.

Anonymous said...

Murdoch is like Hyman Roth in Godfather II

"Hyman Roth thinks he will live for ever" says Michael Corleone

"This is the business we have chosen" says Roth, when his childhood friend got murdered by the Corleones' hit-men.

J Bowers said...

Jay Cadbury, now you're plucking straw men from out of your ass.

John said...

Hyman Roth was a fictionized version of Meyer Lansky. In the movie, Roth tried to move to Israel but was gunned down at the Israeli airport. In real life, Lansky was deported by Israel and died of natural causes. Which is too boring for the movies. If the filmakers had been REALLY true to real life, they would have had Roth die of old age while trying to get through to Microsoft tech support.


"HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR'' is about what Anthony Watts would say if, its chairman abstaining, the IPCC set an upper bound on climate sensitivity.

Steve Bloom said...

Er, email Bob and ask him what he meant and what his source is? Perhaps John or Eli, I hasten to say not me, would undertake the task. (Actually I would, but I'd be less likely to get a reply).

The PR guy seems like an unlikely suspect given the sequence of events. Were I in a suspicious mood, I would wonder about a couple of Phil's colleagues who have expressed hostility toward him (probably based on jealousy of Phil's rather small modicum of media exposure), e.g. Mike Hulme (the other name I can't recall). OTOH the local police will have looked at such inside possibilities first, so if any such person is guilty they've probably gotten clean away with it.

But let's not forget that much of the damage was done by the deer-in-the-headlights pose adopted by Phil and the UEA administration in the first days following the incident. I think an aggressive response would have gotten the Grauniad to back off, and without them much of the wind would have gone out of the sails.


My own taste in hacker suspects is flavored by the Omsk anonymous server connection.

It runs to Russians who earned red climate dezinformatsia brownie points back when nuclear winter was part of Andropov's cold war pitch, and moved on to post KGB Gazprom or Lukhoil PR careers.

Like Heartland stalwart Yuri Izrael.

Steve Bloom said...

Maybe, Russell, but experts who know about this stuff say that could have been a false trail.

A little closer to home is this Koch front group that saw a massive increase in its funding leading up to Copenhagen. Competent hackers are easily acquired with that kind of money.

Let's also not forget the more-or-less contemporaneous (failed) attempt to purloin computers from UVic.


Steve, Brendan, of Desmogblog , informs us that among the

" organizations sponsoring Heartland's conference that are known to have received support from oil-fueled 'free market' foundations" "Americans For Prosperity*

has received some $5,610,781 from the Koch Foundations.

I doubt if Yuri has been crossing eight time zones for the pleasure of sharing a dais with Fred Singer

bigcitylib said...

I can't see it being Murdoch's gang or the story would been broken in a much different fashion. That is, broken right in the newspapers themselves, not dumped in the comments of a bunch of denialist sites, hoping people would notice.

J Bowers said...

bigcitylib said -- "That is, broken right in the newspapers themselves"

Not likely, mate. The leaders on the phonehacking have been the Guardian and NYT, and I doubt they're filled with ex-staff of Wallis's firm, Outside Organisation, or vice versa. Don't forget how the WSJ was still trying to brush the whole phonehacking affair under the carpet last week or the week before last.

Magnus said...

free anonymouse,

This is on the right track:

J Bowers said...

The phonehacking affair just got more disgusting, by the way. First Milly Dowler, and now Sara Payne's mother.

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of disappointed to see Bob Park make a confident and controversial assertion like that without providing any evidence, seeing as how he wrote the book on spotting scientific baloney.


Snapple said...

Dr. Romm has criticized Scotland Yard and also speculated on TV that that Murdoch’s spies stole the CRU emails. Now I am going to speculate.

I recently wrote on my blog that an FBI white paper is basically calling Nobel-winning climate scientist Paul Crutzen an unwitting dupe of the KGB based on a poorly-sourced book about a KGB defector. The KGB defector told the journalist who wrote the book that nuclear winter was a KGB hoax, and the FBI uncritically repeats this claim as fact in order to caution scientists so they won’t be tricked by foreign agents.

The FBI white paper is so bad that it even mischaracterizes what this KGB defector said, in one instance. This error reminded me of how Cuccinelli mischaracterized the official Russian source (RIA Novosti) he “cited” in his suit against the EPA.

I know that Ken Cuccinelli’s younger brother Kris does national security work that sometimes goes to the FBI. I am TOTALLY speculating, but I began to wonder if the Cuccinelli clan might have had something to do with this ridiculous white paper which appeared just when Dr. Crutzen was leading a Vatican conference on melting glaciers.

I began to wonder about that possibility because the FBI didn’t answer me, just like Cuccinelli’s office doesn’t ever answer me. (I write to W. Russell, his deputy.) I also noticed that the FBI and Cuccinelli both mischaracterize their Russian sources and uncritically accept what they say as the truth.

I would like to know how this poorly-researched white paper happened to be written and if the Cuccinelli clan had a hand in it.

This FBI white paper does not seem up to the FBI’s normal standards on science. It seems like political propaganda against climate science out of the mouth of a KGB defector.

The FBI seem like they were the unwitting dupes, not Dr. Crutzen.

I am not a scientist or an important person, so I would like some scientists to read my post and the links and ask the FBI to defend their “research” by giving the specific cites for the unsourced claims about KGB disinformation supposedly in published scientists’ articles.

Also, I would like to know if the Cuccinelli clan had any input into this white paper.

Snapple said...

Mr. Rabett,

Could you look at my post about the FBI white paper.