Posted by: climatewonk | December 2, 2009

The Real “Climategate”

People around the world are reading headlines with provocative titles, most of them suggesting that the hacked CRU emails betray some kind of fraud or conspiracy among climate scientists to hide or fudge data and oppress the poor “skeptics” who disagree with them. Some bloggers, meanwhile, are trying to point out what the real climategate scandal is — the cozy relationship between so-called climate skeptics and various astroturf front organizations funded, at least in part, by the petroleum industry and their concerted effort to publish shoddy papers and avoid the peer-review process in established science journals.

The goal of this strategy, as articulated by one very famous tobacco executive “denier” is to cast doubt:

“Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.”

From “Defending Science“.

An example of bloggers who are trying to point out the real scanda is a recently posted discussion at Deep Climate . The post documents a particularly odious example of the incestuous relationship between industry and “climate skeptics” and their intent to cast doubt on established science– The Friends of Science, in which the links between the CRU hack and the real climategate is revealed and discussed.

From the post:

For the first time, we can confirm both financial and logistical support from an Albertan oil company, Talisman Energy, along with circumstantial evidence of the early involvement of a second, Imperial Oil (ExxonMobil’s Canadian subsidiary). We’ll also look at the key roles played by the de Freitas brothers, geologist Tim and climate skeptic Chris. And the story leads right to the heart of a key controversy reignited by the stolen CRU emails, namely the ongoing perversion of the scientific peer review system by “skeptic” scientists.

It’s good reading for all, but especially for Canadians who may think the controversy is all down in the USA.



  1. Greg Weston wrote on Nov 15:
    “Earlier this year, the Conservative government quietly set up an elaborate war room to manage Canada’s battle plan for the Copenhagen global warming talks next month…

    The blogger Impolitical mentioned it and I haven’t seen any other mentions” Of course, that was before Obamam decided to go to Copenhagen and Harper said “Me too! Me too!”

    But I keep wondering who is in the Conservative war room and if they have ties to any of the denialists.

  2. Thanks for the comment and for the link.

    I have no doubt that there are definite ties to denialists among those in the “war room” but I think this transcends party lines — the Liberals were no better, although they talked a lot prettier about Kyoto and climate change. In reality, Canada is a nation built on our natural resources and petroleum and fossil fuels are a big part of our economy and exports. We are energy hogs because of our high standard of living and colder climate. Big Fossil Fuel is going to have a very big voice at any policy table. Our economic well-being is bolstered by highish prices (so much of the cost in Canada is due to taxation) and the public coffers benefit from the industry.

    Your link and the whole Copenhagen fizzle is just more proof that I have been right all along — not much is going to happen with respect to climate change and global warming and emissions. We’ll just keep pumping them out until something really threatening happens that leaves no doubt that CO2 is the main driver of warming and that BAU is a threat to global security. Until then, there’s too much black gold in them thar hills to try to rein emissions in any meaningful way.

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