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Police Close Climategate Investigation

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the law-and-order-special-climatologists-unit dept.

Earth 277

ananyo writes "The Norfolk Constabulary has closed its investigation into the November 2009 release of private emails between researchers at the Climatic Research Centre at the University of East Anglia in Norwich after failing to identify those responsible. Despite not being able to prosecute any offenders, the police have confirmed that the data breach 'was the result of a sophisticated and carefully orchestrated attack on the CRU's data files, carried out remotely via the internet.' The investigation has also cleared anyone working at or associated with UEA from involvement in the crime. The hacking resulted in the release of more than 1,000 emails and shook the public's trust in climate science, though independent investigations after the breach cleared the scientists of wrongdoing."

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title (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688877)

Police finish climagegate whitewash operation.
There fixed that for you.

Epistemic (4, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | about 2 years ago | (#40689753)

Definition of an epistemic bubble: criminals hack a computer to troll through personal emails to find a supposed conspiracy in order to disrupt high level diplomatic dialogue on climate change. Despite widespread professional investigations showing nothing untoward in the emails, those in the epistemic bubble continue to believe that there was something nefarious going on, other then the criminal computer hacking, death threats and blatant intimidation of academics.

Meanwhile, those in the epistemic bubble continue to believe that the world is about to start cooling, and/or that there has been no warming in the last 10 years -- a claim tenuously supported by the most blatant cherry-picking of the start and end of trends, and all the while, the natural signs of climate change continue, in accordance with the scientific consensus which emerged officially in a 1979 NAS report.

At what stage to ideologues ever accept new information into their epistemic bubble?

Re:title (4, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#40689795)

Guys, reading scientists' emails won't be of any use unless you actually have a clue about science. You can break into a library and steal all the books in the name of transparency, but it won't cure your illiteracy.

messenger (-1, Troll)

polar red (215081) | about 2 years ago | (#40688889)

Re:messenger (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40688973)

It's not an ad hominem to search for a suspect who commits a crime. The complete invalidity of the claims arising from the crime notwithstanding, it is illegal to break into a private network and steal data.

Re:messenger (-1, Troll)

polar red (215081) | about 2 years ago | (#40688987)

It's not an ad hominem to search for a suspect who commits a crime.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presumption_of_innocence [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689043)

Maybe read those articles so you know what you're talking about instead of just name-dropping debate keywords. Or just stop posting because you're terrible. Just write "First!" next time.
The manufactured Climategate scandal was not an ad hominem.

Re:Wikipedia (0)

polar red (215081) | about 2 years ago | (#40689067)

The manufactured Climategate scandal was not an ad hominem.

attacking the scientists because they can't attack AGW? That's exactly what an Ad hominem is for.

Re:Wikipedia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689179)

And still, that's not what they were doing. They weren't attacking characteristics of *the scientists*, they were attacking the validity of the *research*.
If doing that is an ad hominem, so it this post for making you look dumb by cutting down your argument.

Re:Wikipedia (2, Informative)

polar red (215081) | about 2 years ago | (#40689365)

Years and years of trying to undermine AGW, and this is ALL they came up with ??? --> STILL no proof of NOT-AGW, while there's a 1000 times more money at stake for the oil-industry than for the scientists ... You can bet the scientists have less budget to 'prove' AGW than the oil industry has been using to delay any CO2-mitigating policies one way or the other. You can bet they tried to blow this story out of proportion.

Re:Wikipedia (0)

sick_uf_u (515976) | about 2 years ago | (#40689423)

You're rambling. It wasn't a valid point against global warming or climate change, but it wasn't an ad hominem either.

Re:Wikipedia (1)

polar red (215081) | about 2 years ago | (#40689453)

it wasn't an ad hominem either.

that's BS, and you know it. The story made the front page of many newspapers, one of few science-related stories a year.

Re:Wikipedia (1)

sick_uf_u (515976) | about 2 years ago | (#40689501)

It making the news does not have any bearing on whether or not they were personal attacks on the scientists or attacks on the credibility of their data/interpretations.
Yes, they were attacks. They were not, however, ad hominems. I hope you understand this some day.

Re:Wikipedia (1)

polar red (215081) | about 2 years ago | (#40689511)

I hope you understand one day how capitalism works.

Re:Wikipedia (1)

sick_uf_u (515976) | about 2 years ago | (#40689561)

The scientists losing funding also does not make it an ad hominem.
Read your own Wikipedia links. It isn't a matter of "ad hominems are bad" and "the attacks are bad" therefore "the attacks were ad hominems."
I know it's exciting to discover Wikipedia's "logical fallacy" page for the first time, but learn to distinguish them correctly.

Re:Wikipedia (0)

polar red (215081) | about 2 years ago | (#40689589)

http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/the-network-of-global-corporate-control/ [wordpress.com]
"Within this there is a large ‘core’, containing 1347 corporations each of whom owns directly and/or indirectly shares in every other member of the core."

Re:Wikipedia (1)

sick_uf_u (515976) | about 2 years ago | (#40689705)

Dude, ad hominems are attacks on a person within the confines of a debate, not all attacks at all on a person.
If your funding gets cut, you get punched in the face, or anything of the sort it isn't an ad hominem.

Researcher criticized, making research look bad > ad hominem
Research criticized, making researcher look bad > not ad hominem
It is this simple. I wasn't saying it didn't hurt public acceptance of climate change. I was saying to knock off arguing that it's specifically an ad hominem just because you didn't quite grasp the Wikipedia pages you linked.

Re:Wikipedia (1)

polar red (215081) | about 2 years ago | (#40690001)

Researcher criticized, making research look bad > ad hominem
Research criticized, making researcher look bad > not ad hominem

widely displaying a single story about problems in 1 AGW research trying to deface global AGW research --> ad hominem.

think twice when you see the words 'independent' and 'news organisation' in 1 sentence.

Re:Wikipedia (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40689543)

I would just like to back up what everyone else is saying. They weren't ad hominem, as per the fact that, in theory, the postings addressed an argument. They did so in a factually incorrect way, but that's irrelevant.

Re:Wikipedia (4, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 years ago | (#40689319)

Not that I like the way that this went down, but we rely on those scientists to provide the facts that make AGW more or less unassailable. If you can show that the scientists are possibly playing fast and loose with the data, AGW might still be a problem, but it is entirely valid to question their motives and try to discover what the real story is.

As I recall, the emails did have relevance to the AGW research, they weren't just unrelated smear attacks on the scientists. These researchers could well be good at research, but if they had been lying to get more funding for themselves, they're bad researchers overall and should not be trusted to give us an unbiased viewpoint to a very contentious debate.

As it stands, this was a tempest in a teapot, but I don't blame anyone for taking it seriously enough to investigate it. If anything, academic integrity can be just as important as any other.

Re:Wikipedia (1)

microbox (704317) | about 2 years ago | (#40689815)

The manufactured Climategate scandal was not an ad hominem.

You know, sometimes, in rare circumstances, an ad hominem attack is actually perfectly warranted. But "climategate" was a blatant act of academic intimidation, and personal attacks on the integrity of scientists. The science itself was left untouched.

Re:messenger (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40689063)

That's a principal that applies to conviction and punishment, not investigation.
What's wrong with you? That's a serious question, please answer it.

Re:messenger (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40689131)

Actually, I get it now, you were suggesting the break in was an ad hominem attack on the scientists, not the investigation being an ad hominem undermining of the break in. Forgive my confusion.

Re:messenger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689077)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_the_point

The story is about the search for the people breaking into the network, not about the garbage witch hunt of climate scientists. A crime *was* committed, there is evidence of that. They were no suspects, so presumption of innocence doesn't even apply yet.

Re:messenger (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689089)

Excellent idea, now why are you fucktarded shitdot sheeple all for Wikileaks and Anonymous? Oh that's right you fucktarded shitdot sheeple are for anyone that support your precious communism like the fucktards Stallman, Torvalds, Borkeback Neil, Fucktard Taco, Dumbocrats, North Korea, China, etc.

Re:messenger (4, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 2 years ago | (#40689329)

You could have said that in a non-trolling/flamebait way.

My personal view is that it is a bit hypocritical to be in favor of diplomatic cable leaks, but against the Hadley CRU leaks.

That's something I regularly see on slashdot, for example it was a good thing that the guantanamo bay documents were leaked, but it's a bad thing that the Hadley CRU emails were leaked. I figure you'd if you want secrets to be open, that should apply to both the things you like and the things you don't like.

I found it to be a bit interesting that a top scientist mentioned he would go so far as to alter the meaning of peer review in his favor. But would he really do it? Probably not. It's already known that this is a hugely debated issue, so naturally some people would have said some dumb things. Hell, I've heard politicians say worse things and still get re-elected. Worthy of a leak? Probably not. It's mostly just a petty partisan squabble.

The GTMO documents pretty much only revealed what we already knew: people were waterboarded, and some were believed to be innocent. However it also could have put people's lives at risk. Worthy of a leak? I'd say no, though most people who wanted the leak were eagerly looking for something to hang Dubya over. Yet again, just another petty partisan squabble.

Re:messenger (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#40689851)

Because when Wikileaks publishes data, they actually publish data rather than rambling about reptilian shapeshifters hypnotizing Nixon into faking the moon landing. That's why they get taken seriously while whackos do not.

Re:messenger (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | about 2 years ago | (#40689361)

it is illegal to break into a private network and steal data

Unless discussing on /. and the target of the attack is fashionably disliked. It is *always* OK to steal data from: The US Government, Google/Microsoft/Apple, RIAA, Big Business, Republicans, Democrats, Rich People, Law Enforcement, stupid people, and, well, that means pretty much anybody.

Re:messenger (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#40689577)

It's not an ad hominem to search for a suspect who commits a crime. The complete invalidity of the claims arising from the crime notwithstanding, it is illegal to break into a private network and steal data.

I'm actually having a bit of trouble getting worked up over it, since the differences between this and Wikileaks is kind of subtle.

Should we cheer leaks and revile hit jobs, when both are illegal and the net effect of both is getting information out to the public? It seems to me that this lies in a sort of moral grey area.

Re:messenger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689003)

Ad hominem isn't irrelevant when it's to the point. If you disagree with a scientific finding, disclosure/discussion of what seems to be deceptive manipulation of data is reasonable. Assuming people you agree with are completely honest is childish, otoh, and will probably burn you one day.

Re:messenger (-1, Troll)

polar red (215081) | about 2 years ago | (#40689029)

PROOF! AGW can not be invalidated, so people try to attack the scientists. Ad_hominem

Re:messenger (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40689287)

Of course it can be invalidated. It hasn't been, but to say it couldn't be is really classifying it as pseudoscience.

Any of the following would be pretty substantial invalidations(and these are off the top of my head):
1. Evidence that the absorption spectra of carbon dioxide are narrower in the near infrared than the nitrogen-oxygen mix our atmosphere currently has.
2. A substantial deviation of multiyear temperature deviation aggregates from the proposed theory(preferably actually negative)
3. A well demonstrated model that maps the past temperatures accurately while incorporating feedback mechanisms that limit temperature increase.(well, this wouldn't be a true invalidation, but it would be a valid competing theory. Funny that we haven't gotten any)
4. Evidence if substantial human induced errors in measurement that could account for the differences of the past few years(a picture of an air conditioner unit doesn't count)

None of the "counter evidence" I've ever heard even begins to address anything like this.

Inside Job (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688929)

A Climate Guy was feeling guilty about the scam and did it.

Not an Inside Job (2)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 2 years ago | (#40689205)

If you look at the BBC article [bbc.co.uk], it specifically states:
"Police say the theft was "sophisticated and orchestrated", and that no-one at the university is implicated."

Or, if you read the police report [police.uk];
"“However, as a result of our enquiries, we can say that the data breach was the result of a sophisticated and carefully orchestrated attack on the CRU’s data files, carried out remotely via the internet. The offenders used methods common in unlawful internet activity to obstruct enquiries. There is no evidence to suggest that anyone working at or associated with the University of East Anglia was involved in the crime.”

So, no, actually, it was not an "inside job." Quoting the BBC article further: "Prof Edward Acton, the university's vice-chancellor, said he was disappointed that the perpetrators had not been caught. 'The misinformation and conspiracy theories circulating following the publication of the stolen emails - including the theory that the hacker was a disgruntled UEA employee - did real harm...'"

Not how I would read it (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40689317)

There is no evidence that someone working at the university is responsible, but there is no evidence to implicate anyone on the planet right now. Whoever did this covered their tracks and probably committed the attack from a public location to hide their identity. Maybe it was someone from the university, or someone from the lab, or someone secretly working for Fox news -- we really have no way to tell.

My first guess (before reading the excerpts from the police report) was that someone bought a cheap netbook and just walked into the university one night. Judging by what I have seen, university offices are not terribly well protected, and computers at universities are not terribly hard to gain access to. If they have reason to believe the attacker used the Internet, fine -- but how does that rule out someone from the school?

Re:Not an Inside Job (2)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 years ago | (#40689357)

I would be seriously surprised to hear that no one was involved internally in some capacity, despite the report. Most work like this requires some idea of where things are located on the network, and that's often discovered by an insider or via social engineering.

Of course, this is a university, so someone could have just launched a port scan and hit anything that looked like a mail server, but sophisticated operators usually go in with good intelligence about what they are going after. If you want to stay uncaught, a focused approach is usually the best one.

Re:Not an Inside Job (4, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | about 2 years ago | (#40689409)

and that's often discovered by an insider or via social engineering.

Or just knowing that the mail server is named "mail.university.co.uk" and stores people's mail in "/var/spool/mail"

"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688947)

Because a scientist blatantly falsifying data to prove their research valid and important cannot possibly be called "wrongdoing" when there are currently a record number of scientific journals being retracted for doing exactly the same thing.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689013)

They didn't 'falsify' anything.

What they did do, was use blatantly unreliable data in the form of tree-ring width as a proxy for temperature because it matched 'expected' values for the historical periods they had blanks in, even though it didn't match the 'expected' values for the periods after they have an accurate record (and they had to 'hide' it).

That's not falsifying. That's worse. They were lying to themselves, too.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689053)

Yeah, you two internet trolls know so much more than the several committees and investigators who looked into this and found that there was no falsification of data and that the data and methods used were reliable and robust.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0)

Xiver (13712) | about 2 years ago | (#40689143)

Do you mean the investigators from Penn State that investigated Michael Mann? The Same Penn State that investigated Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky and didn't find any problems?

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#40689173)

Oh I'm sure Paterno and Sandusky are just upstanding guys. Nothing wrong there, I mean it's not like they didn't lie, diddle kids and boys in the locker room, or anything else nafarious. Now move along. And Mann? Move along, NOTHING TO SEE HERE ON ANY OF IT!.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40689347)

It appears the 90s and 2000s-era Penn State administration covered-up anything that would have a negative impact on their university's reputation. Sandusky diddling boys? Cover it up. Sports players caught raping girls off campus? Cover it up. Students jumping from windows? Cover it up and just call it "an accident". On-campus shooting..... well they couldn't hide that, but they don't talk about it anymore. The 10th anniversary came and went with nary a mention. Mann falsifying data? Cover it up.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 years ago | (#40689383)

They knew all about the diddling. They just sort of let it drop because it would be embarrassing, and Jerry was such a good upstanding guy that they didn't want to cause trouble.

Don't attribute to incompetence what can be more readily attributed to a potentially embarrassing public admission.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40689531)

The latest report with all the emails between Paterno, the head of sports Curley, the vice-president of security, and the university president shows the top men *actively* chose to cover it up. Twice. 1998 and again in 2001.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689171)

You mean the universities investigated themselves and found they didn't commit any wrongdoing? Wow, no shit Sherlock. You're a moron even by Slashdot standards.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689193)

Yeah, like the "investigation" at Penn State which "cleared" Mann of wrongdoing by interviewing Mann himself, and which justified its conclusion by the simple reasoning that "well, he brings in grant money so he must be OK".

Penn State, where they covered up evidence of wrongdoing which was much more serious than Mann's?

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 years ago | (#40689289)

Give them a break. They totally googled around for a while until they found something somewhere that justified their bizarre beliefs. That can be taxing.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689301)

Yeah because Penn State has such a stellar reputation of investigating alleged wrongdoing.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#40689085)

One AC posting 8 times, pretending to be multiple people, and having a conversation with himself? When did /. become 4chan?

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689247)

It always has been, Mr. Two Million Plus UID.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (2, Insightful)

Relic of the Future (118669) | about 2 years ago | (#40689081)

Really? This got modded up? Guys, if you're going to bash these scientist, you really should read more than the two or three sentences endlessly re-quoted out of these thousands of messages by the usual right-wing suspects. That's what the actual investigations did, and why they ultimately cleared them of wrongdoing. (If it makes you feel better, they did say they were big meanies.)

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40689197)

Yeah he was "cleared" by investigations of the National Science Foundation. That's like BP after the oil spill asking the American Petroleum Institute "Did we do anything wrong" and the API saying, "Nope." Investigations don't work when both sides are on the same team.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689233)

Same team - science? Not sure where you're going there, but you should probably add more tinfoil.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0, Troll)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40689255)

Oh and I see the other group that cleared Mann was Penn State University..... same people who cleared Sandusky of any wrongdoing. We can really trust their word too.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689637)

same people who cleared Sandusky of any wrongdoing.

I don't know what you are getting at here. He was cleared in a court of law, was he not? Did he get off on a technicality, or are you simply upset because you "know" he is guilty? How many people here "know" that you are guilty of being a troll? Are you saying that you support our right to publicly lynch you based on what everyone "knows" about you?

And before you counter with "so you'd let Sandusky watch your kids?", the man is a stranger to me. Would you let a stranger watch your kids?

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40689949)

>>>>>same people who cleared Sandusky of any wrongdoing.
>>
>>I don't know what you are getting at here. He was cleared in a court of law, was he not?

Wow where have you been hiding? Sandusky was cleared by Penn State University of all wrongdoing, but twelve years later the court of law convicted him of ~40 counts of child molestation. He's in jail for the rest of his life.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689349)

Yeah he was "cleared" by investigations of the National Science Foundation. That's like BP after the oil spill asking the American Petroleum Institute "Did we do anything wrong" and the API saying, "Nope." Investigations don't work when both sides are on the same team.

I would be happy if I could come here for just a day and not see you waving your rightwing boner around trying to smack everyone on the head with it.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40689399)

I like in the center.
And I get sick of the defense of leftwing viewpoints. As if we deserve to be nudebody Xrayed at airports, forced to buy a product we don't want, or assuming that scientists never ever do anything wrong (unless they are christian (in which case their research should be outlawed from being published in journals or on the web)).

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689539)

You do realize your first two complaints there are rightwing in origin, yes? If not, please delete your slashdot account, go back to Fox News, and cry me a river.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689665)

You do realize his third point directly relates to the current thread, and it's the one you chose not to address?

Why go to the trouble of illegally obtaining emails and then alter/falsify them? Just read the emails and tell us you don't see anything wrong.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689745)

..whinge whinge whinge... I'm so put-upon that I must come back here every day ...whinge whinge whinge...

...forced to buy a product we don't want...

...whinge whinge whinge OMG SKY JEEBUS WE ARE SO OPPRESSED

Care to put that objection in writing? I, for one, would be happy to set aside my "leftwing viewpoints" long enough to LET YOU DIE when you show up at the hospital sick and/or injured without enough cash to pay for treatment.

If you're not willing to do that, then you're not really objecting to buying health insurance - you're objecting to having to BE RESPONSIBLE for your own care.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1)

drsmithy (35869) | about 2 years ago | (#40689847)

I like in the center.

The same way you like the night sky, I assume, as something to look at from a distance ?

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1, Troll)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | about 2 years ago | (#40689967)

People on the left don't assume that scientists never do anything wrong. We just believe that peer review (sorry, you're a rightwinger so I will provide you with a link [wikipedia.org] so you can find out what it is) is an effective form of weeding out bad science. This is similar to how you believe the free market is effective at weeding out inefficient business. Once those "christian scientists" go through the peer review process (or actually learn what the scientific method is - see null hypothesis [wikipedia.org]), then intelligent people might actually start listening to them.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689377)

So, the entirety of "science" is in on this massive conspiracy?

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (2)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#40689711)

Yes, we are all in on it. It's a Saganic worship cult where we get together and chant "billions and billions and billions" in unison while solving partial differential equations.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689643)

Investigations don't work when both sides are on the same team.

It's science, not a team sport you useless fuckwit. There AREN'T FUCKING TEAMS.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#40689877)

Yep. Bunch of shady fucks in the Science cabal all giving each other pats on the back. Science has become much too powerful and must be stopped!

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1, Troll)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about 2 years ago | (#40689419)

I will bash the scientists involved. I have read all the e-mails and was appalled at what I saw.

Blatant attempts to hide data/loose FOAI requests. This in and of it self is a major red flag in my book.
A suggestion that they could stack the deck of pier reviewed journals in an attempt to stop publication of dissenting opinions and findings.
A suggestion that they could identify who was reviewing there paper for a journal and influence the outcome.
Suggestions of using bad data to fill in holes in the existing data.
Suggestions that findings which are contradictory to the established belief be "fudged" to be more inline with other papers.
The use of questionable mathematics to smooth temperature graphs.

There may have been no questionable wrongdoing, but from the e-mails it really looks like there could have been.

As to them being "ultimately cleared them of wrongdoing" Sorry, an internal investigation is worthless. That is like a scientist doing the pier review on his own paper and approving it, or his lab assistant doing the review and approving it. There is a reason it is sent out to others to review and a reason the reviewers are kept secret. There suggested attempt to circumvent this methodology not with standing.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#40689861)

But, but HIDE TEH DECLINE! Anthony Watts showed it to me and his intentions are pure of heart(land institute)!

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689113)

Oh no, that scientist's sampling of tree rings in a single geographic area did not correlate precisely with the larger data set, so he asked if there were any techniques with which it would correlate more closely.
You really blew the lid off this one. Are you Woodward or are you Bernstein?

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#40689775)

What amuses me is how the "skeptics" jumped all over the recent tree ring report from Northern Scandinavia that said the area was probably warmer during the MWP than previously suspected and immediately extrapolate that to cover the whole globe. If it supports them a scientific study is all good, if not then it's venal scientists looking out only for there personal gain.

Yes, Cleared of Wrongdoing" (4, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 2 years ago | (#40689523)

Well, except it's pretty clear that, despite the accusations, the scientists involved did not "falsify data." Again quoting the BBC article [bbc.co.uk]:
"Some of the e-mails released appeared to show scientists at CRU and their collaborators in other institutes deviating from accepted academic standards in an attempt to paint an alarmist picture of climate change. However, examination of the broader context by three separate investigations resulted in the scientists being cleared of malpractice."

Most notably, take a look at the graph in the article [bbcimg.co.uk]. The light blue is the Hadley Climate Research Unit data on temperature. The two other graphs show NASA data and NOAA data for the same period, independently generated from different data sets. The dark blue is the Berkeley data-- this was a project funded by some of the climate skeptics [washingtonpost.com] specifically to do an unbiased re-examination. They all show pretty much the same temperature trend [washingtonpost.com]

In science, ability to replicate results is important. The climate results has it.

So, when you are claiming that they "blatantly falsified data," here is the conspiracy theory that you're supporting:
1. The Hadley CRU is falsifying data to make a point which (if you're right) know will be shown to be false.
2. Three separate investigations in the UK independently conspired to hide the falsification. Yet another investigation, this one in the US, also conspires to hide the falsification.
3. Two US agencies-- on a different continent-- come up with pretty much the same temperature graphs, working on different data sets.
4. An independent analysis put together specifically to avoid the putative bias the other measurements also comes up with the same result, and
5. By an amazing coincidence, the result happens to pretty well fit the predictions of sixteen different climate models made by universities and research institutes on four different continents, many of which are open source (meaning that anybody can search through the code and look for the putative fudge factors), dating back to Manabe and Wetherald's 1967 model, which, as it turns out, agrees quite well with the results.

Or, alternatively: maybe the science is actually right, the scientist actually are not stupid, fraudulent, or deluded (or all of the above), and the climate is warming at pretty much the rate predicted, for the reasons that are well explained by well-known, not-at-all-controversial physics.

Re:"Cleard them of wrongdoing" (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#40689675)

when there are currently a record number of scientific journals being retracted for doing exactly the same thing.

Pray tell, what percentage of articles (not "journals") supportive of global warming have been retracted?

(And if you plot the rate vs. time, do you get a hockeystick?)

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688963)

Do they really have reason to insult our Internet, or do they just not know how it was done?

And those "independent investigations" were not independent, not investigations, and in some cases neither.

Ello Sergeant (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688965)

"They says theys 'ad some he-mails stolen of this hare com-pooter, what d'yer make o' thaht then?"
pause
"Dunno."

Investigation closed.

translation (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40689041)

"The perpetrator used Tor so our investigation is fucked"

Re:translation (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40689071)

Or they just bought a $200 netbook and walked into the building one night. Universities are not exactly high-security facilities...

Re:translation (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40689327)

This is of course quite strange. In any decently run nefarious conspiracy, the only way in would be for a ragtag bunch of misfits to engage in ninja-like operations to infiltrate a top-secret high-security building. So clearly, the people running the global warming conspiracy are completely incompetent when it comes to conspiring. They don't even try to hide their facilities or the people working on it, and most of their key communications occur in a public forum. I'm telling ya, they need to talk to the Illuminati on how to properly organize themselves.

Re:translation (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#40689735)

We keep trying to conspire, but, well, it is hard to keep any thing secret that the atmosphere is in on. The answers keep blowing in the wind.

Re:translation (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 2 years ago | (#40689333)

I was thinking along the lines of a flash drive, and a night cleaning crew that were a little to formal?

This might make for a good movie plot, like, "The Bourne Yaoi"?

Re:translation (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40689367)

I walked into one once without permission and started taking photos. Eventually security caught me and I was just politely asked to leave and escorted off side.

It was the result of a mix-up due to an English college asking an American webdesign firm to do some work for which they hired an English (And amateur, to save money) photographer. Somewhere in the translation, 'Oxford university college' became 'Oxford university,' a mostly-seperate organisation, and as a result I was dispatched to take photos of the wrong site. Thus getting kicked off the campus. Twice: The second time for trying to go to their library to ask if I could contact the webdesign firm for clarification.

Gate is so yesterday ... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#40689231)

If this had happened this year, it would have been named Climateleaks.

Re:Gate is so yesterday ... (1)

sick_uf_u (515976) | about 2 years ago | (#40689263)

Nah, if they want to manufacture a scandal in the media, "gate" will still be the appropriate suffix to draw direct comparisons with regard to severity of the scandal to Watergate. It's like a Godwin's law variation.
"Leak" is only accurate and that's just worthless for yellow journalism.

Re:Gate is so yesterday ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689771)

...
"Leak" is only accurate and that's just worthless for yellow journalism.

There are other kinds?

Really?

Since when?

Re:Gate is so yesterday ... (1)

sick_uf_u (515976) | about 2 years ago | (#40689843)

When it says true things some people don't like to hear, so they say all media is yellow journalism/left wing/ivory tower/socialist/etc.

Bizarre (0)

albacrankie (1017430) | about 2 years ago | (#40689335)

All the quotes in various media releases come from already constructed quotes in the Norfolk Constabulary's press release. http://www.norfolk.police.uk/newsevents/newsstories/2012/july/ueadatabreachinvestigation.aspx [police.uk] Is there no substantial publicly available report behind this? “However, as a result of our enquiries, we can say that the data breach was the result of a sophisticated and carefully orchestrated attack on the CRU’s data files, carried out remotely via the internet. The offenders used methods common in unlawful internet activity to obstruct enquiries." This suggests there is some evidence of "methods common". But no information as to what this evidence is. “There is no evidence to suggest that anyone working at or associated with the University of East Anglia was involved in the crime.” And can we infer there is also no evidence to to suggest anyone not working at or associated with the University of East Anglia was involved either? Either the police know more than they are letting on, or they know pretty much nothing at all.

Uncertainty = Doubt (-1, Troll)

Stiletto (12066) | about 2 years ago | (#40689483)

Nothing will sway the small minds of Climate Change Deniers, for whom uncertainty is the same as doubt.

Re:Uncertainty = Doubt (0)

sick_uf_u (515976) | about 2 years ago | (#40689631)

Yet they almost certainly must have the same lack of certainty of their own beliefs (except for those I'm underestimating the mental simplicity of).
I think either they're really susceptible to perceiving false equivalencies or they think it's virtuous to support their side for religion or as a competition.

Re:Uncertainty = Doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689981)

As a scientist why wouldnt we welcome criticism? Not really following the 'its decided' crowd. Hell even Einsteins relativity is still a 'theory' and all signs point to it being mostly right with a few tweaks... Yet thousands of people try to debunk it every year (even Einstein labored for years to debunk his own theory). And out of those 'deniers' some really cool science has come out of it.

If your theory cant hold up to criticism, is it a very good theory? Or are you worried about getting your feelings hurt? If so perhaps putting your work out for public display is not such a good idea.

Or do you hold with the 'Im right your wrong and shut the hell up about it' crowd? Someone who does that is not a very good scientist and not very imaginative (which helps creating new science).

But from my plebeian non climate scientist view I can see getting the fluid dynamics of the huge body of air/dust/rock/water/volcanic/co2/methane/cosmic rays/sunlight/cloud cover/etc... right might be a tricky problem... Or put this in perspective. My wife likes rain. Where I live they have predicted rain for every day for nearly 4 straight months (I know because she shows me every day then gets mad when it is wrong). It has rained *maybe* 2 weeks out of that. I'm might be a little out of wack here saying maybe they dont have it quite figured out yet and the science is *FAR* from settled or understood.

I am not saying it is 'wrong', I am saying it needs a *LOT* of work.

Public funded research, public emails (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689491)

This wouldn't have been a scandal if they had just made everything available to those who funded the research in the first place (i.e. the public)

Their conclusion is unlikely. (3, Insightful)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#40689687)

Despite not being able to prosecute any offenders, the police have confirmed that the data breach 'was the result of a sophisticated and carefully orchestrated attack on the CRU's data files

Really? So some highly motivated skeptic managed to find a zip file on an illegally accessed remote server, took the time to recognize the contents as being what he/she needed, and further immediately publish the most damning of the contents? They did all this without being noticed? This conclusion and the timeline of how information was revealed suggests there's literally someone out there who is not only capable of such a job (likely wouldn't have been trivial to accomplish), but intimately familiar with Jones', Mann's, Wahls, McIntyre's and other's correspondence and motivations, and clearly paid to spend the time doing this. It suggests some "vast conspiracy" which doesn't very well jive with occams razor.

The likely situation is it was an inside job. Someone who knows Phil Jones knew he was refusing properly formatted FOIA requests, and likely had motivation to out the correspondence and data/algorithms inside an already created ZIP file that Phil made in case he was forced to respond to the FOIA request.

Re:Their conclusion is unlikely. (-1, Troll)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40689869)

How the heck does FOIA (a US law directed at the US executive branch) have any applicability to a university in the UK?

Re:Their conclusion is unlikely. (5, Informative)

albacrankie (1017430) | about 2 years ago | (#40689953)

Your response would have been kinder if you'd pointed out that "FOI" is the appropriate term in the UK. And then we could have judged the magnitude of the parent poster's error. (Miniscule would be my opinion.)

Although Al Gore was put in the penalty box (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689929)

for high sticking.

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