A Current Events Commentary Blog from a Public Relations/Marketing Perspective.
Donald Tremblay, a PR/Marketing specialist who has been “making it rain” for over a decade reviews today’s news, sports, entertainment, etc . . .

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Collusion? Fraud? Science?

According to the British daily The Guardian, last week “hundreds of private emails and documents allegedly exchanged between some of the world's leading climate scientists during the past 13 years have been stolen by hackers and leaked online.” The files were taken from University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit and they purportedly provide “evidence that some of the climatologists colluded in manipulating data to support the widely held view that climate change is real, and is being largely caused by the actions of mankind.”

If true this is an explosive revelation.

These accusations of collusion are not surprising considering the cult-like loyalty the global warming movement demands from scientists and the public alike. Then again I am a global warming skeptic so my opinion is somewhat jaded. I believe the global changes we are witnessing are simply part of the natural evolution of the planet. For ex., just as there were ice ages before Man appeared on this planet, there will be ice ages after we leave it. Our presence here is incidental. Plus, I find it telling that the global temperature has not risen since 1998. As to the motivation behind a coordinated effort to promote the global warming message, I say, “Follow the money.”

For ex., on Nov 2, 2009, The New York Times published a revealing article about global warming flag-bearer Al Gore. Apparently, in 2008 Gore and the firm he is a partner at (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) provided venture capital to Silver Spring Networks, which “produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient.” Silver Spring was seeking financing for an energy-savings technology. As a thank you for investing in its company, Silver Spring retained Gore and another partner in the firm (John Doerr) as unpaid corporate advisers. Less than a year later “the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants. Of the total, more than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contracts.” Needless to say Gore and his firm will benefit mightily from his “lucky” investment.

Money is also important for another reason. It is no secret that scientists rely on grants for survival. Research money depends on a scientist’s ability to convince a philanthropist or a foundation that his/her field of study is of paramount importance. Essentially, securing funding is more often determined by a scientist’s PR campaign than by the comprehensiveness of his/her research data.

Nevertheless, despite my skepticism toward the global warming movement, I doubt the University of East Anglia's hacked e-mails are the smoking gun that naysayers hope it is. After all, isn’t it a little “convenient” how easily these damning clues were discovered? A series of e-mails and documents proving global warming to be the greatest scientific fraud of our time just happen to be sitting on a university’s hard drive waiting to be exposed? I guess it is possible that scientists forgot the e-mails existed or that out of carelessness or arrogance they ignored the possibility of hackers. But it seems unlikely. The neatness of the discovery would seem to support the assertion by Kevin Trenberth of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado that the hackers “cherry-picked from the stolen data and distributed selected documents.”

For the time being I’ll reserve judgment until more investigations are completed. In the meantime it will be interesting to see whether global warming skeptics will have any success convincing the mass media that this is a story worth pursuing.

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