An alleged series of attempted security breaches at the University of Victoria in the run-up to next week’s Copenhagen summit on climate change is evidence of a larger effort to discredit climate science, says a renowned B.C. researcher.
Andrew Weaver, a University of Victoria scientist and key contributor to the Nobel prize-winning work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says there have been a number of attempted breaches in recent months, including two successful break-ins at his campus office in which a dead computer was stolen and papers were rummaged through.
The key thing is to try to find anybody who’s involved in any aspect of the IPCC and find something that you can … take out of context,” Mr. Weaver said, drawing a parallel to the case of British climate researcher Phil Jones, who was forced to step down this week after skeptics seized upon hacked emails they allege point to a plot to exaggerate the threat of climate change.
“People don’t like it, so they try to discredit it, and the way they try to discredit it is by attacking the individual responsible for it,” Mr. Weaver said.
I wonder how many other climate scientists have had their offices burgled? Or how many other attempts at hacking their computer systems have occurred? Seems to me that there might actually be a conspiracy here – a conspiracy to steal and hack with the purpose to smear.
It takes a special kind of researcher who will not only put up with the tribulations that science can present but also with human skullduggery bent on distorting the facts and smearing reputations. We have seen almost the same tactics used before, by the smoking industry. Researchers who published studies that the industry did not like were hounded out of their jobs. Big Tobacco used legal procedures to mire the labs in paperwork with high administrative costs. They accused researchers of fraud. They made research on cigarette smoking an area which young scientists would avoid as they just did not want to put up with the outside problems. A relevant quote from the post:
The ultimate goal is to make the process sufficiently painful so that the researcher cannot complete further research and so that other scientists are discouraged from conducting similar studies.
We see exactly the same approaches being used against climate researchers and, in some cases, it is being done by the same people who were behind the earlier harassment by Big Tobacco. There is significant overlap between the the PR organizations that were started by Big Tobacco and groups against climate change. It does not take long on Google to find them.
I always had a hard time understanding how some people could take large sums of money defending tobacco companies whose policies were known to kill thousands of people. And some of them continue to take money to defend industries whose policies could kill many more than that. But the tools of their defenses seem to use the same deceit and misinformation.
I think Matthew 19:24-30 just about covers it. I wonder what the Aramaic words were for ‘scum of the Earth?’