Leslie Kaufman’s previously expected article on the hunt for ‘FOIA’ has been published. As usual with such pieces, it avoids any discussion of the contents of the new emails released by ‘FOIA’ by saying that the scientists at the centre of the climategate controversy have been cleared by the investigations and inquiries which have taken place. This anachronistic, yet still standard boilerplate in my opinion marks the journalists who dish it up as being either incredibly lazy or incredibly biased or incredibly tightly constrained by editors who are fearful of backlash from politicians or even litigiously minded professors. We hear and see the same thing in Nikki Fox’s piece for the BBC and daily from the pro AGW bloggers.
It is a fig leaf which will shrivel and disintegrate under the light of truth.
Michael Mann gets quoted at the end of the piece, saying:
It seems to me the authorities wouldn’t have acted without some actionable intelligence…They must know something that we don’t yet know.
Besides the injury done to natural language by this comment, and its febrile overstatement of the bleedingly obvious, this appears to me to be fanning the embers of the libel by Greg Laden which Mann retweeted. I’ll add it to the dossier for discussion with my own legal eagles.
The two biggest hitting quotes in the piece are from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and DeSmogBlog:
Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington and a frequent spokesman for climate change skeptics, said the encryption of the file had challenged his thinking on FOIA’s identity.
Previously, he said, he had assumed the leaker was an employee of the University of East Anglia who had been troubled by the denial of requests for the prompt public release of scientists’ full data and e-mails under Britain’s Freedom of Information Act.
But a principled commitment to open information is not in keeping with an encrypted file, Mr. Ebell said. So he suspects a different kind of intelligence is at work.
“It is very suggestive of someone who has thought through how to cause the con men at the C.R.U. the maximum possible anxiety,” he said, referring to the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. “It is like knowing your building has a bomb in it that could be detonated at any time.”
Yet Brenden DeMelle, executive director of DeSmogBlog, a Web site devoted to debunking what it describes as misinformation campaigns by deniers of climate change, suggests that the encrypted file is merely a desperate attempt to distract people from the fact that the scientists were vindicated.
“It is sort of bait,” he said. “It raises questions on what else is out there. In the end, uncertainty is their product.”
No Brendan, uncertainty is the true state of affairs in climate science, as the scientists themselves admit in the emails put into the public domain by ‘FOIA’ – in stark contrast to the certainty regarding human influence on climate change touted by the same scientists via the IPCC and by their press releases, which are frequently uncritically republished by environmental journalists.
That is the really big story about climategate which the media chooses to avert its eyes from and block its ears to and say nothing about.