ClimateGate Is Watergate Redux

Some environmental leaders have been working to minimize the scandal
of ClimateGate, by focusing on the fact the hacked email archive of
East Anglia's Climate Research Unit has nothing, besides a few cherry
picked quotes taken out of context, that casts a shadow of a doubt upon
validity of modern climate science. They are wrong. ClimateGate is a
huge scandal, probably bigger than they even imagine.

The real scandal is not the email archive, or even how it was
acquired, sorted, and uploaded to a Russian server, but rather the
emerging evidence of a coordinated international campaign to target and
harass climate scientists, break and enter into government climate
labs, and misrepresent climate science through a sophisticated media
infrastructure on the eve of the international climate talks.

One leaked archive could have been the result of an aggrieved staff
member or rogue hacker, out to grind a political axe or wreak revenge
upon a colleague. However, the University of Victoria was targeted in a
similar attack, when two people disguised as network computer
technicians attempted to penetrate the security of the facility and
access the data servers of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and
Analysis. When challenged by an employee, the two individuals fled the
scene. The network penetration effort was confirmed by University spokespeople in the National Post and was reported by Kevin Grandia of DeSmogBlog.

"This is disturbing news and it shows that there is an organized
criminal campaign that is going to great lengths to infiltrate secure
facilities and steal private data," said Jim Hoggan, author of the new
bookClimate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming. "We don't know who is behind these criminal acts, but we hope they will eventually be unmasked by police."

This campaign has been proved to be international in scope, with
criminal acts of breaking and entering probable in both the UK and
Canada, as well as coordinated with the sophisticated communications
infrastructure founded and built by former tobacco lobbyists that were
hired by fossil fuel interests, such as ExxonMobil, to cast doubt on
the links between the sale and use of fossil fuels and the changing of
the world's climate. This infrastructure was detailed by within
Hoggan's book, as well as documented in extensive detail by projects

One major mistake these groups, including ClimateDepot and
Newsbusters, made was in labeling this manufactured crisis as
ClimateGate. Perhaps a little history is in order, as almost no news
reports even referenced the fact that the Watergate scandal centered
around the breaking and entering of the Democratic National Committee
headquarters at the Watergate hotel, by a group of right-wing shadow
operatives that a subsequent investigation by the FBI connected to the
1972 Committee to Re-elect the President, CREEP.

President Nixon was exposed as having commissioned the break-in, to
uncover the state of the Democratic party, as he had given into fears
of electoral defeat and resorted to desperate and criminal measures.
Pioneering reporters Woodward and Bernstein made history for exposing
the criminal conspiracy at the heart of the White House.

Conspiracy theory has recently become mainstream within the
conservative movement in the United States, with both media figures and
politicians implying that President Obama falsified his birth records,
is setting up death panels to euthanize seniors, or impose communism
upon the people of the United States.

The two policy issues that have aroused the most conspiracy theory
have been Healthcare reform and Clean Energy Reform, with hugely
profitable insurance and fossil fuel companies funding massive lobbying
and disinformation campaigns. The Center for Public Integrity recently detailed the massive expansion in lobbying
by polluting energy interests, leading to over 1,150 lobbying groups
buying influence as the U.S. Congress sought to pass the Waxman-Markey
climate bill.

The actual dollar amount spent is unknown, as disclosure laws
require few details and have huge loopholes, but the Center calculated
that an extremely conservative estimate would give you a minimum figure
of more than $27 million dollars spent in direct lobbying from April to
June of this year. In a major and still unfolding scandal,
Bonner and Associates, an astroturf lobbying organization contracted to
the coal industry's trade association, falsified letters to lawmakers
from local civil rights, veterans, and other groups opposing federal
climate legislation. This comes on top of the documented campaign of
industrial espionage against environmental organizations, including
Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, that was exposed last year by Mother Jones magazine.

The picture painted by these facts lead to the open question to if,
as huge amounts of corporate money started being spent in unregulated
funds, including to ethically compromised contractors and security
firms, to defeat federal and international climate regulations, some of
that money was diverted to fund a criminal conspiracy?

Could there be a criminal campaign to break into the climate
research centers of foreign governments, review their archives for
damaging snippets of text, and then elevate a fringe conspiracy theory
that climate change is a hoax by the world's scientists, civil society
organizations, and governments to impose socialism upon the people of
the world? If so, this story would be an eerie and ironic echo of
Michael Crichton's "State of Fear" that was embraced by many of the
same groups currently promoting the ClimateGate talking points.

However, most journalists seem content to play into the false
balance trap that has served the opponents of climate action so well
over the years, by looking only at cherry-picked quotes and
disinformation turned out by the climate denial industry. While the
surface parallels between Watergate and ClimateGate may be strong, to
uncover the truth will require a serious investigation by media, law
enforcement, or even international security organizations.

An investigation into who is coordinating, funding, and leading a
last-ditch effort to stall climate legislation through the use of
criminal tactics and a well-funded and coordinated disinformation
campaign seems to be beyond the capacity of the field of journalism. An
industry so critically wounded by budget and staffing cuts that it is
perhaps unable or unwilling to spend the resources or staff time to
tackle serious investigative issues, even if the direction of a policy
critical to the future development of the global economy depends on the

If so, the question remains, who will get to the bottom of
ClimateGate? This could be a scandal bigger than anybody has imagined.

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