Global Warming Email Disclosure Reveals Strategic Thinking

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Posted 2009-11-22 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The security breach that lead to the disclosure of emails between global warming scientists not only shows that they may have been manipulating data, but also what they were thinking and how they planned to counter and discredit skeptics.

The security breach that resulted in the release of email correspondence between global warming scientists is being compared to such history information disclosures as The Pentagon Papers and Nixon’s Oval Office tapes. What the messages reveal is more than just the venomous relations among scientists on both sides of the issue, but the strategies and lengths that pro-climate reformers did and would undertake to advance their cause.

Last week, press reports surfaced that hackers leaked emails obtained from a server belonging to Britain's Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. The messages contained detailed information on how scientists advocating the ill-effects of human-caused global warming were attempting to manipulate data and discredit their skeptics.

While scientists associated with the emails and global warming research in question say that there’s no doubt that the earth’s mean temperature is rising as a result of human activity and pollution. What they say is uncomfortable to people and gives rise to skepticism is the results of global warming: melting polar caps, rising sea levels, and more-powerful natural disasters. Skeptics, they add, use that discomfort to avoid making tough decisions, such as curbing carbon emissions, overhauling energy production and converting to green systems.

The disclosed emails are fueling skeptics, who say the messages prove that advocates of the global warming theory were manipulating data and the channels for releasing information to advance their cause. They add that these messages are enough to raise serious doubts behind global warming research and those who advocate reforms.

Yesterday, Channel Insider wrote that the global warming email breach is indicative of the reasons why even routine messages require protection. Security solution providers and vendors have reported a growing number of small and midsized businesses avoiding security investments because they don’t believe that they have any data worth protecting. The global warming email breach not only demonstrates that seemingly routine email has value, but that routine correspondence can reveal strategy which can prove invaluable to adversaries.

Global warming skeptics are jumping on the compromised emails as evidence of a conspiracy to distort data and manipulate media, academic journals and public policy in favor of the global warming agenda. Some independent observers are already staying that the email disclosure will make it difficult for global warming advocates to present their case with integrity as a result of the emails.

Translate that to business. There was once an old adage that you shouldn’t say or do anything that you wouldn’t want to see appear on a newspaper’s front page. Today, email and other digital files can contain enough information to cast doubt and wound business credibility. 
 

 
 
 
 
Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.
 
 
 
 
 
























 
 
 
 
 
 

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