Helping to catch the climategate whistleblower.
I got an email from someone this week. I’ll leave out the frothing details, but they were basically accusing me of helping to track down the climategate leaker (FOIA) and telling me to shut up. It’s one of those communications I file under “maniac” and forget because I get a lot of them. Lord, you should really see some of the hate mail and debut posts I get for moderation. Barking mad doesn’t even begin to describe some of them. In the unlikely event of my body being found floating face down in the East River, there’ll be a few good leads in that directory for the cops to follow up. Looking at the sheer number of emails there, that’ll involve a fair bit of overtime and as we all know, budgets are a mite stretched nowadays, so there’s a very strong possibility my untimely demise might remain unsolved.
I’ve often thought “in vino, veritas” (in wine, there is truth) maps into a personal conjecture that “in insanity, there is sometimes truth.” Anyone got the Latin for that one? Certainly, a number of the more philosophical books I read seem to reflect that out of left field thought, as they’re written by some very learned but basically deranged types, so I kicked the idea around. We’re looking at horns and dilemmas here I’m afraid, but when I thought it through, the horns are not mine, being as I am a mere junior imp of Satan, and certainly the dilemma isn’t either, as I’ll go on to explain.
Let’s do the scenario analysis of the accusation from the anonymously emailing disturbed person. The bloodhounds either read something by me that helped them collar FOIA or I was of no help to them at all.
Having reviewed past blogs, everything I’ve written about FOIA is plainly pointing out to anyone who’s supposed to be hunting them down like a mangy dawg, don’t do it, don’t catch them because nobody really wants you to do that. The reality is that it would only benefit the skeptic community if you did happen to catch them and there’s just too much reputation and prestige riding on the global warming bandwagon, whose wheels are already wobbling alarmingly. It’s all about insurance and telling the people who matter that FOIA’s a “made” man, like they say in the Mafia. You daren’t touch them. Despite all the piss and wind, they never seriously went looking to find FOIA after the first climategate release (CG1).
Everyone played their part beautifully in that little charade. PC Plod dutifully puffed around for a while and got nowhere, which I suspect they always knew they were expected to do and probably didn’t like, the mainstream media were suitably outraged by the “hacking” of the emails, the successive committees dutifully exonerated the “scientists” without looking at a single significant issue raised by the emails, Phil Jones was moved in the general direction of suffering sainthood and I bought another bag of popcorn and watched the floor show. Life doesn’t get any better I thought, as I stuffed my gob with handfulls of popcorn between sips of cold beer from a long neck. CRU, with a bit of professional PR help, was basically managing the situation and making sure nobody would be caught. They may be a bunch of academics but they’re not stupid.
Anything I’ve said about the second climategate release (CG2) falls into the same category of telling people not to try too hard to find FOIA because they really don’t want that to happen. I did point out why the leaker had released encoded material because it was a way of doing a bit of insurance. All that’s needed to decode the entire part of the release is a simple code phrase and that’s probably on a bulk email timer somewhere that’s being periodically reset by FOIA. If FOIA gets nabbed, then the bulk email giving the pass phrase goes out automatically to every major skeptic worldwide and we’ll all have some interesting emails to read over breakfast the next morning. I call that the Nuclear Backup Option.
Note that after that brilliant stroke in CG2, FOIA is really running the game now because they’ve got the initiative, all the options and they’ve put in place a mechanism to ensure nobody can stop them. They can sit there and hand assemble CG3, CG4 and however many more releases, knowing that if they ever get zapped, the big bitch Nuclear Backup Option happens automatically and we all get the works.
The other side of the coin is me having given the bloodhounds a clue that helps them nab FOIA but when you follow on from that thought, why would I have a problem with that? Sure, FOIA would suffer some personal distress standing in the dock but can you imagine the further damage such a trial would do to the already tattered reputation of what remains of the tainted global warming brand?
FOIA have twice made the deliberate decision to put themselves in harm’s way for what looks to me like reasons of conscience and they have my highest admiration, both of their motives and their courage. I’ve made some reasonable speculations about them but I’ve also been careful to withhold any that I thought might cause them a problem. If they end up in a court of law, it will not be because of anything I’ve said but because the bloodhounds accidentally found them. If that should ever happen, I’ll be blogging until I drop between sessions outside the court waving a placard.
Gawd, like the rest of the skeptic blogosphere, I’d just love it. FOIA would be our very own 21st century Dreyfuss, day after day reporting on the latest developments in the trial, the T-shirts and merchandising, developing the script, the book, the movie deal, the volunteer defense fund appeal, the whistleblower law conundrum. Do I want any of that? Oh yassum boss, gimme, gimme, gimme dat thing.
At this stage in the game, you’d have to be in deep denial not to concede that climategate is a leak, which directly implies it came from someone fairly high up in climate science circles. There were only ever a limited number of people who had the access to get their hands on the material and as far as I can determine, they’re all still alive and well. The leaker is therefore still in place, still on the inside and as we now know, a very determined type.
Given those not unreasonable deductions, you have to wonder what FOIA could tell us in open court about what happened after the first climategate release. Remember, it wasn’t the Watergate break in that nearly got Nixon impeached but the verging on criminal efforts to cover it all up. Some of his minions ended up doing time in that big house up the river for their part in that exercise.
How many of the damage limitation meetings did FOIA possibly attend? Were they present when the personnel and terms of reference of the various enquiries were carefully stacked against anything but exonerating everyone involved? Do they have yet another tranche of post climategate emails discussing how to minimise the fallout from CG1 or how to stage manage the various enquiries? It’s the stuff of nightmares if you’re a true believer in “the cause”, as Michael Mann calls it.
All the possible outcomes of this situation are extremely bleak for climate science. It looks increasingly like a tired and tawdry old whore still pathetically trying to look young and unsullied for her customers. The cheeky sparkle has gone from those eyes, the mascara is just that bit too heavy, the lipstick has smudged, there’s not enough face powder in the world to over those wrinkles and the bulges are starting to appear in all the wrong places. It’s all getting a bit embarrassing really and the customers are edging away.
So, you see Big Green, that’s your dilemma. If you catch them, the nuclear option kicks in automatically and we also get the trial of the century. If you don’t catch them, the indications are they’ll continue to float successive waves of email releases in your direction and at the most embarrassing times possible. You’re screwed either way. How do you like those apples cousin?
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