Climate Skeptics: Hacked Emails Prove We're Right

Scientist talks about adding a 'trick' to graph
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2009 10:37 AM CST
Global warming skeptics say hacked emails prove their point.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

(Newser) – Hackers have gotten their hands on a trove of emails from leading climate scientists, and global warming skeptics are rejoicing. They say the emails prove the crisis is overblown and are crowing about one in particular, from 1999, in which a scientist plans to add a "trick" to a graph to "hide the decline" in temperatures. In another, a scientist calls skeptics "idiots." The emails will raise doubts on some specific questions and embarrass individual scientists, but that's likely the extent of the damage, writes Andrew C. Revkin in the New York Times.

The hackers got the material from a computer server at a British university, and Michelle Malkin calls it the "global warming scandal of the century." No such luck, says Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight. The email about adding the "trick" to a graph, for instance, is an "unethical" move all too common in the world of statisticians. But the scientist is "talking to his colleagues about making a prettier picture out of his data, and not about manipulating the data itself."