One can imagine Michael Crichton looking down on us with a sad smile:
(p. A3) The scientific community is buzzing over thousands of emails and documents — posted on the Internet last week after being hacked from a prominent climate-change research center — that some say raise ethical questions about a group of scientists who contend humans are responsible for global warming.
The correspondence between dozens of climate-change researchers, including many in the U.S., illustrates bitter feelings among those who believe human activities cause global warming toward rivals who argue that the link between humans and climate change remains uncertain.
Some emails also refer to efforts by scientists who believe man is causing global warming to exclude contrary views from important scientific publications.
“This is horrible,” said Pat Michaels, a climate scientist at the Cato Institute in Washington who is mentioned negatively in the emails. “This is what everyone feared. Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult for anyone who does not view global warming as an end-of-the-world issue to publish papers. This isn’t questionable practice, this is unethical.”
John Christy, a scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville attacked in the emails for asking that an IPCC report include dissenting viewpoints, said, “It’s disconcerting to realize that legislative actions this nation is preparing to take, and which will cost trillions of dollars, are based upon a view of climate that has not been completely scientifically tested–but rather orchestrated.”
In all, more than 1,000 emails and more than 2,000 other documents were stolen Thursday from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University in the U.K. The identity of the hackers isn’t certain, but the files were posted on a Russian file-sharing server late Thursday, and university officials confirmed over the weekend that their computer had been attacked and said the documents appeared to be genuine.
. . .
In one email, Benjamin Santer from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., wrote to the director of the climate-study center that he was “tempted to beat” up Mr. Michaels. Mr. Santer couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday.
In another, Phil Jones, the director of the East Anglia climate center, suggested to climate scientist Michael Mann of Penn State University that skeptics’ research was unwelcome: We “will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!” Neither man could be reached for comment Sunday.
For the full story, see:
KEITH JOHNSON. “Climate Strife Comes to Light; Emails Illustrate Anger of Scientists Who Believe Humans Are Root of Global Warming.” The Wall Street Journal (Mon., NOVEMBER 23, 2009): A3.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the printed version of the article is mostly the same as the online version, but has some differences in order and content. The part quoted above is consistent with the printed version. The passages quoted are the same in both versions, except that the paragraph on the views of John Christy appears later in the online version, and the online version omits his phrase “but rather orchestrated.” [I skimmed for differences, but am not absolutely sure that I caught them all.])
(Note: the title of the online version of the article is: “Climate Emails Stoke Debate; Scientists’ Leaked Correspondence Illustrates Bitter Feud over Global Warming.”)