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March 18, 2013

Final ClimateGate Email Download; All 220,000 Emails Released to Selected Reviewers

The single person who leaked the emails introduces himself (?), calling himself "Mr. FOIA," and explains his motivation.

I don’t expect these remaining emails to hold big surprises. Yet it’s possible that the most important pieces are among them. Nobody on the planet has held the archive in plaintext since CG2.

That’s right; no conspiracy, no paid hackers, no Big Oil. The Republicans didn’t plot this. USA politics is alien to me, neither am I from the UK. There is life outside the Anglo-American sphere.

If someone is still wondering why anyone would take these risks, or sees only a breach of privacy here, a few words…

The first glimpses I got behind the scenes did little to garner my trust in the state of climate science — on the contrary. I found myself in front of a choice that just might have a global impact.

Briefly put, when I had to balance the interests of my own safety, privacy\career of a few scientists, and the well-being of billions of people living in the coming several decades, the first two weren’t the decisive concern.

It was me or nobody, now or never. Combination of several rather improbable prerequisites just wouldn’t occur again for anyone else in the foreseeable future. The circus was about to arrive in Copenhagen. Later on it could be too late.

Most would agree that climate science has already directed where humanity puts its capability, innovation, mental and material “might”. The scale will grow ever grander in the coming decades if things go according to script. We’re dealing with $trillions and potentially drastic influence on practically everyone.

Wealth of the surrounding society tends to draw the major brushstrokes of a newborn’s future life. It makes a huge difference whether humanity uses its assets to achieve progress, or whether it strives to stop and reverse it, essentially sacrificing the less fortunate to the climate gods.

We can’t pour trillions in this massive hole-digging-and-filling-up endeavor and pretend it’s not away from something and someone else.

If the economy of a region, a country, a city, etc. deteriorates, what happens among the poorest? Does that usually improve their prospects? No, they will take the hardest hit. No amount of magical climate thinking can turn this one upside-down.

It’s easy for many of us in the western world to accept a tiny green inconvenience and then wallow in that righteous feeling, surrounded by our “clean” technology and energy that is only slightly more expensive if adequately subsidized.

Those millions and billions already struggling with malnutrition, sickness, violence, illiteracy, etc. don’t have that luxury. The price of “climate protection” with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations.

Conversely, a “game-changer” could have a beneficial effect encompassing a similar scope.

If I had a chance to accomplish even a fraction of that, I’d have to try. I couldn’t morally afford inaction. Even if I risked everything, would never get personal compensation, and could probably never talk about it with anyone.

I took what I deemed the most defensible course of action, and would do it again (although with slight alterations — trying to publish something truthful on RealClimate was clearly too grandiose of a plan ;-).

Even if I have it all wrong and these scientists had some good reason to mislead us (instead of making a strong case with real data) I think disseminating the truth is still the safest bet by far.

No game-changers yet found, though one email from one climate researchers notes his skepticism about Mann's methods:

2) No justification for regional reconstructions rather than what Mann et al did (I don’t think we can say we didn’t do Mann et al because we think it is crap!)

This doesn't sound like "the Science is settled (TM)" to me.

In another exchange of emails, Michael Mann writes to a researcher asking him if the "rumor" is true that he's preparing a "non-hockey-stick" reconstruction of past climate -- that is, one that will re-acknowledge the Medieval Warm Period, which Mann had purported to read out of the climate record through his hockey stick.

There's nothing really incriminating there, but it is nice to see a climate researcher essentially tell Mann, "The Warm Period existed, no matter how inconvenient you may find it, and we have proof it existed. Deal with it."

(Though I do find it interesting that Mann asks about this "rumor," and when the researchers does him a favor and provides a long and thoughtful response, he responds:

Thanks for your message. I’m forwarding this to Ray and Malcolm to reply to some of your statements below, mike

I don't know. Seems to me a "look forward to reading it!" was in order, given the length of the thorough response.

But I sense Mann wasn't looking forward to it at all, but was instead peevish about the whole bother of scientists challenging each other's work. But perhaps I'm reading too much into it.)



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posted by Ace at 07:04 PM

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