Climategate: how the MSM reported the greatest scandal in modern science

The MSM reveals its bias–again!

Here’s what the Times has had to say on the subject:

E-mails allegedly written by some of the world’s leading climate scientists have been stolen by hackers and published on websites run by climate change sceptics.

The sceptics claim that the e-mails are evidence that scientists manipulated data in order to strengthen their argument that human activities were causing global warming.

(Yep – definitely an improvement on their earlier, non-existent coverage; but not exactly pointing up the scandalousness of this scandal).

And the Independent:

(Yep. Nada).

And here’s how The New York Times (aka Pravda) reported it:

Hundreds of private e-mail messages and documents hacked from a computer server at a British university are causing a stir among global warming skeptics, who say they show that climate scientists conspired to overstate the case for a human influence on climate change.

(Yep. That’s right. It has only apparently caused a stir among ’skeptics’. Everyone else can rest easy. Nothing to see here.)

And here’s how the Guardian has reported it:

Hundreds of private emails and documents allegedly exchanged between some of the world’s leading climate scientists during the past 13 years have been stolen by hackers and leaked online, it emerged today.

The computer files were apparently accessed earlier this week from servers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, a world-renowned centre focused on the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change.

(Oh. I get it. It’s just a routine data-theft story, not a scandal. And a chance to remind us of the CRU’s integrity and respectability. And – see below – to get in a snarky, ‘let’s have a dig at the deniers’ quote from Greenpeace).

A spokesman for Greenpeace said: “If you looked through any organisation’s emails from the last 10 years you’d find something that would raise a few eyebrows. Contrary to what the sceptics claim, the Royal Society, the US National Academy of Sciences, Nasa and the world’s leading atmospheric scientists are not the agents of a clandestine global movement against the truth. This stuff might drive some web traffic, but so does David Icke.”

Here’s the Washington Post:

Hackers broke into the electronic files of one of the world’s foremost climate research centers this week and posted an array of e-mails in which prominent scientists engaged in a blunt discussion of global warming research and disparaged climate-change skeptics.

The skeptics have seized upon e-mails stolen from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Britain as evidence that scientific data have been rigged to make it appear as if humans are causing global warming. The researchers, however, say the e-mails have been taken out of context and merely reflect an honest exchange of ideas.

(Ah, so what the story is really about is ’skeptics’ causing trouble. Note how as high as the second par the researchers are allowed by the reporter to get in their insta-rebuttal, lest we get the impression that the scandal in any way reflects badly on them).

Here is the BBC:

E-mails reportedly from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), including personal exchanges, appeared on the internet on Thursday.

A university spokesman confirmed the email system had been hacked and that information was taken and published without permission.

An investigation was underway and the police had been informed, he added.

(Ah yes, another routine data-theft story so dully reported – “the police had been informed, he added” – that you can’t even be bothered to reach the end to find out what information was stolen).

Meanwhile, the Climategate scandal (and I do apologise for calling it that, but that’s how the internet works: you need obvious, instantly memorable, event-specific search terms) continues to set the Blogosphere ablaze.

For links to all the latest updates on this, I recommend Marc Morano’s invaluable Climate Depot site.

And if you want to read those potentially incriminating emails in full, go to An Elegant Chaos org where they have all been posted in searchable form.

Like the Telegraph’s MPs’ expenses scandal, this is the gift that goes on giving. It won’t, unfortunately, derail Copenhagen (too many vested interests involved) or cause any of our many political parties to start talking sense on “Climate change”. But what it does demonstrate is the growing level of public scepticism towards Al Gore’s Anthropogenic Global Warming theory. That’s why, for example, this story is the single most read item on today’s Telegraph website.

What it also demonstrates – as my dear chum Dan Hannan so frequently and rightly argues – is the growing power of the Blogosphere and the decreasing relevance of the Mainstream Media (MSM).

This is not altogether the MSM’s fault. Partly it is just the way of things that more and more readers prefer their news and opinion served up in snappier, less reverent, more digestible and instant for.

But in the case of “Climate Change”, the MSM has been caught with its trousers down. The reason it has been so ill-equipped to report on this scandal is because almost all of its Environmental Correspondents and Environmental Editors are parti pris members of the Climate-Fear Promotion lobby. Most of their contacts (and information sources) work for biased lobby groups like Greenpeace and the WWF, or conspicuously pro-AGW government departments and Quangos such as the Carbon Trust. How can they bring themselves to report on skullduggery at Hadley Centre when the scientists involved are the very ones whose work they have done most to champion and whose pro-AGW views they share?

As Upton Sinclair once said:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”

So don’t expect this scandal to be written up in the MSM any time soon. But why would you want to anyway? It’s all here, where the free spirits and independent thinkers are, on the Blogosphere.

UPDATE: I particularly recommend Bishop Hill’s superb summary of some of the key points of the CRU correspondence.

Also, Andrew Bolt’s summary of the correspondence likely to be most damaging to the reputation – and career, we can but pray – of Professor Phil Jones, the head of the CRU.

And do check out Watts Up With That, whose traffic went through the roof yesterday, enabling to demonstrate scientifically that Hockey Stick is after all a genuine phenomenon – and not merely a figment of Michael Mann’s overactive imagination.

Related posts:

  1. Climategate: how the ‘greatest scientific scandal of our generation’ got its name
  2. Climategate: the official cover-up continues
  3. Climategate 2.0
  4. ‘Post-normal science’ is perfect for climate demagogues — it isn’t science at all

4 Responses to “Climategate: how the MSM reported the greatest scandal in modern science”

  1. betheweb says:November 22, 2009 at 2:47 pmThank you for this story, one of the most significant of the last 40 years.
  2. john ward says:November 23, 2009 at 10:12 amEvery old-media institution has an agenda. Nobody likes the truth (especially the Left) and so all my pieces about Brown being mad and blind, Darling having told him to f**k off last week, and the ‘jogging’ PM being a couch potato….get spiked.
    I’ve now been slandered five times by Ballsup,Cocksure (twice), Wheelsoff and Mangledumb in the media. And as soon as they slag one off as a Nazi, that same old media carry on reporting it as the truth.
    The internet is the one place left where one can challenge the ‘received truth’, because there are very few gargoyle proprietors in it. Unfortunately, 90+% of all bloggers are conspiracy theorising idlers. We need a ‘lift and separate’ online sector where serious and funny commentators can blow the lid of stuff….with tons of evidence to support the case. You should be leading that sector along with Chris Booker (and of course, me).
    I read the email theft piece with an open mind,to be frank. Warmers are falsifying like mad: but so too are GM agrobusiness, the car industry, the oil guys, the pharmcos and anyone with a vested interest in ignoring visual evidence. Because like it or not, four problems are real enough.
    These are: a stonking great hole in the ozone layer; melting ice-caps; a chronic lack of fresh water; and a species seemingly good at reproduction, killing and farting. (It’s a man thang)
    Like you, I am sceptical about the alarmist stuff, and I’m unclear on how long all this climate change will take. Some scientific thinkers go over the top because they know that without that, the G20 troughers will sit arranging angels on a pinhead forever. But when it comes to the Fab Four above, we have to do something…even if all the Climate change stuff is utter bollocks, fewer people, cleaner cars and desalination investment can’t be BAD things – can they?


  3. Conscript says:November 23, 2009 at 5:48 pmIt’s not just relegated to the MSM.

    I’m the lead writer for a green news/blog website, and my editor lobotomized my climategate story. I’ll have you know that I am an environmental journalist by chance, not passion. I drive a gas-guzzling sports car and enjoy cross country flights. My editor, and our readership, is mostly oblivious to this. Though I have no interest in jeapordizing my livleyhood, You can easily find the shell of a story that remains by searching “climategate” on google’s news aggregator.

    My editor removed any piece of edifying content to be found in the story under the pretense of avoiding liabilty for republishing stolen property — including enormous amounts of my original writing. While it would have been hard to follow the story without the context of the emails, it is a very clear example of how the “conspiracy” works. If you can’t tell by now, my editor is sold on AGW.

    Realize this: AGW isn’t a “conspiracy” bourne on the back of Templar treasure and managed by hooded men in gothic dining halls. AGW is perpetuated by the cumulative fears, insecurities, and desires of millions of men and women, making it harder to see in earnest — and harder to stop.

  4. durox says:November 24, 2009 at 3:55 amthanks for the time put in this summary… GW is so big, its out of control :[
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