Climate Change Part 32: Climate Gate Scam Erupts 2009

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Scientists and politicians were finishing preparations for the Copenhagen Summit in November 2009. They were hoping to agree a framework for climate change mitigation beyond 2012. But that was before the Climate Gate bombshell exploded after a hacker copied thousands of files and emails from the University of East Anglia.

How the Impact of the Climate Gate Saga Spread

climate gate

Anglia Student Accommodation: Nicola J Patron: CC 3.0

The hacker drip-fed the information as the Copenhagen Summit approached. Climate change skeptics seized the opportunity to argue the information proved global warming was a scientific conspiracy. And moreover that scientists manipulated climate data and attempted to suppress critics.

Confusion spread despite the Climatic Research Unit at the University arguing the emails were out of context. And merely a reflection of an honest exchange of ideas between its dedicated scientists. However, the mainstream media followed the story greedily as the Copenhagen Summit opened on December  7, 2009. Meanwhile, it was becoming increasingly clear Climate Gate was an attempt to undermine the meeting.

The Fallout from the 2009 Climate Gate Scam

climate gate

Anglia Climatic Research Unit: ChrisO: CC 3.0

The Copenhagen Summit produced a wish list that was not binding on participants. Although they did ‘take note of it’ in a motion on the final day. Eight influential committees subsequently found no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct. The consensus remained that human activity was causing global warming.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded the petitions following Climate Gate depended on “selectively edited, out-of-context data and a manufactured controversy.” Moreover, they provided “no evidence to undermine our determination. Excess greenhouse gases are a threat to our health and welfare,” they said

However, the damage lingered on because humans prefer information that cements their beliefs. Climate change naysayers and their sponsors still trot out the discredited arguments. Those behind Climate Gate were presumably those who stood to benefit most. We will stay out of trouble and leave you to decide who they were.


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Preview Image: The Queen’s Building, University of East Anglia


About Author


I tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will not deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time. My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast. I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned. Richard Farrell

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