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« St Andrews Green Week | Main | Book Review: ‘Climate Change: Natural or Manmade?’ »

Climategate 3.0

This message from FOIA was forwarded to me.

It's time to tie up loose ends and dispel some of the speculation surrounding the Climategate affair.

Indeed, it's singular "I" this time.  After certain career developments I can no longer use the papal plural ;-)

If this email seems slightly disjointed it's probably my linguistic background and the problem of trying to address both the wider audience (I expect this will be partially reproduced sooner or later) and the email recipients (whom I haven't decided yet on).

The "all.7z" password is [redacted]

DO NOT PUBLISH THE PASSWORD.  Quote other parts if you like.

Releasing the encrypted archive was a mere practicality.  I didn't want to keep the emails lying around.

I prepared CG1 & 2 alone.  Even skimming through all 220.000 emails would have taken several more months of work in an increasingly unfavorable environment.

Dumping them all into the public domain would be the last resort.  Majority of the emails are irrelevant, some of them probably sensitive and socially damaging.

To get the remaining scientifically (or otherwise) relevant emails out,  I ask you to pass this on to any motivated and responsible individuals who could volunteer some time to sift through the material for eventual release.

Filtering\redacting personally sensitive emails doesn't require special expertise.

I'm not entirely comfortable sending the password around unsolicited, but haven't got better ideas at the moment.  If you feel this makes you seemingly "complicit" in a way you don't like, don't take action.

I don't expect these remaining emails to hold big surprises.  Yet it's possible that the most important pieces are among them.  Nobody on the planet has held the archive in plaintext since CG2.

That's right; no conspiracy, no paid hackers, no Big Oil.  The Republicans didn't plot this.  USA politics is alien to me, neither am I from the UK.  There is life outside the Anglo-American sphere.

If someone is still wondering why anyone would take these risks, or sees only a breach of privacy here, a few words...

The first glimpses I got behind the scenes did little to  garner my trust in the state of climate science -- on the contrary.  I found myself in front of a choice that just might have a global impact.

Briefly put, when I had to balance the interests of my own safety, privacy\career of a few scientists, and the well-being of billions of people living in the coming several decades, the first two weren't the decisive concern.

It was me or nobody, now or never.  Combination of several rather improbable prerequisites just wouldn't occur again for anyone else in the foreseeable future.  The circus was about to arrive in Copenhagen.  Later on it could be too late.

Most would agree that climate science has already directed where humanity puts its capability, innovation, mental and material "might".  The scale will grow ever grander in the coming decades if things go according to script.  We're dealing with $trillions and potentially drastic influence on practically everyone.

Wealth of the surrounding society tends to draw the major brushstrokes of a newborn's future life.  It makes a huge difference whether humanity uses its assets to achieve progress, or whether it strives to stop and reverse it, essentially sacrificing the less fortunate to the climate gods.

We can't pour trillions in this massive hole-digging-and-filling-up endeavor and pretend it's not away from something and someone else.

If the economy of a region, a country, a city, etc.  deteriorates, what happens among the poorest? Does that usually improve their prospects? No, they will take the hardest hit.  No amount of magical climate thinking can turn this one upside-down.

It's easy for many of us in the western world to accept a tiny green inconvenience and then wallow in that righteous feeling, surrounded by our "clean" technology and energy that is only slightly more expensive if adequately subsidized.

Those millions and billions already struggling with malnutrition, sickness, violence, illiteracy, etc.  don't have that luxury.  The price of "climate protection" with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations.

Conversely, a "game-changer" could have a beneficial effect encompassing a similar scope.

If I had a chance to accomplish even a fraction of that, I'd have to try.  I couldn't morally afford inaction.  Even if I risked everything, would never get personal compensation, and could probably never talk about it with anyone.

I took what I deemed the most defensible course of action, and would do it again (although with slight alterations -- trying to publish something truthful on RealClimate was clearly too grandiose of a plan ;-).

Even if I have it all wrong and these scientists had some good reason to mislead us (instead of making a strong case with real data) I think disseminating the truth is still the safest bet by far.

Big thanks to Steve and Anthony and many others.  My contribution would never have happened without your work (whether or not you agree with the views stated).

Oh, one more thing.  I was surprised to learn from a "progressive" blog, corroborated by a renowned "scientist", that the releases were part of a coordinated campaign receiving vast amounts of secret funding from shady energy industry groups.

I wasn't aware of the arrangement but warmly welcome their decision to support my project.  For that end I opened a bitcoin address: 1HHQ36qbsgGZWLPmiUjYHxQUPJ6EQXVJFS.

More seriously speaking, I accept, with gratitude, modest donations to support The (other) Cause.  The address can also serve as a digital signature to ward off those identity thefts which are part of climate scientists' repertoire of tricks these days.

Keep on the good work.  I won't be able to use this email address for long so if you reply, I can't guarantee reading or answering.  I will several batches, to anyone I can think of.

Over and out.


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Reader Comments (216)

Lord Levison and Julian Assange have faded into the background .Whisleblowing back in fashion
Climategate 3 bring it on.

Mar 13, 2013 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Does this mean that Mr. FOIA wasn't Briffa??

I guess it really wasn't Briffa......

JK but it would have been fun had it turned out to be some prominent climate science insider as conscientious whistleblower ....

Mar 13, 2013 at 3:50 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

From the language, certainly not Anglo-Saxon... or British.

Mar 13, 2013 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

As of time of writing this reply, a quick check of that Bitcoin address at reveals it to be one which hasn't been seen on the Bitcoin network, which means no one has yet sent any bitcoins to FOIA.

Someone better tell Hickman ;)

Mar 13, 2013 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Cave

Hickman makes a fool of himself by being incapable of using the English language.
"... hacker tries to paint themselves ...", and he calls himself a journalist!

Mar 13, 2013 at 3:55 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Stuck-Record said:

FOIA is a hero and one day the other CAGWists might join their comrade Huhne behind bars.

Perhaps Mr FOIA is Vicky Pryce. One last stab at Huhne before going inside... ;-)

Mar 13, 2013 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

It's going to be hard for Mr FOIA to have his identity remain unrevealed. How many non-Anglos can write in English using such eloquence?

Mar 13, 2013 at 3:57 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

"Indeed, it's singular "I" this time. After certain career developments I can no longer use the papal plural ;-)

So! It was Josef Ratzinger; well - noone expected that :)

Mar 13, 2013 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Cumbrian Lad:
Excellent!!! Pythonesque, don't you think?

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterbernie

omnologos - yes, it's remarkably good English for a non-native, with a variety of well-carried colloquialisms that generally clang to the floor when found in such writing.

It ain't a 419 spammer, or a Japanese translator of instruction manuals, that's for sure.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Well, I thought the previous 'we' was that he was royally pissed.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim


Are you sizing up to tell us something?

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

Let's not forget the African continent.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMindert Eiting

No sarcastic response from Bitbucket or Entropic? Hell must be breaking loose in the bunker.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Time for another 'Downfall' video.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM



Not sure I recall ever seeing "\" used in this way. Is it country-specific?

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

Could be South African, Irish, Australasian.

I don't see anything in there that says he's a non-native speaker.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Is the double sentence spacing of any significance?

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

"prerequisites" - surely he's got a career as middle manager ;)

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:27 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Let's not forget the African continent.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM | Mindert Eiting

But he says "many of us in the western world" so that would rule out Africa and Russia. However Poles proudly consider themselves part of the western world and they also have a tendency to omit definite and indefinite articles.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Crawford

Is the double sentence spacing of any significance?

Probably a lawyer.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

Seriously people, calm down. The language could easily be misdirection. I would have put my text through a machine translator to some other language, then had it translated back into English, editing it to make sense :).

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

JIminy Cricket: "From the language, certainly not Anglo-Saxon... or British."

Precisely. He gives a lot away here. Says his message may be "disjointed" because of his "linguistic background."

Says he's not from the UK, but only that "American politics is alien to him." Does not deny being an American or a resident American.

Speculation: he's either a naturalized or the offspring of naturalized Americans, bi-lingual, who had fleeting contact with the powers that be in Climate Science that resulted in dis-respectful treatment. Perhaps in matters dealing with the IPCC. Speak of his first "glimpses behind the scenes' as the beginning of his loss of trust in Climate Science. Could have been an unpleasant dust-up with someone of influence in that sphere.

Another clue: "We are dealing with $trillions . . . " Note dollar sign.

Could be a Canadian but I don't think so. Uses phrases like "game-changer" and "over and out" that while not exclusively American are probably used here more often than elsewhere.

Further: uses the word "progressive" disdainfully, which is characteristic of American discourse, although again, not exclusively.

Also: "The price of 'climate protection' . . ., " could refer to Al Gore's "Alliance for Climate Protection."
When I googled the phrase, it mentioned Gore's group, but most of the other citations were from California cities who have set up committees for "climate protection." Again more evidence of an American connection.

I think he's American, but possibly Canadian.

But again, it's all speculation.

I apologize in advance if it appears I may be exposing him, but, if I may speculate further, it appears to me that he is being reckless and may not mind being identified, although it will change his life dramatically. He knows he's a major player in history now and may someday want the attention and rewards that could bring him. Afterall, and I mean this sincerely, he's doing this for the poor, the downtrodden, the starving masses world-wid and the children, and may appreciate being celebrated for that. And yet, I still believe there is an element of revenge for shoddy personal treatment involved.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Not sure I recall ever seeing "\" used in this way. Is it country-specific?
Mar 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM | Registered Commentersteveta


I think that's also indication of an American connection. . I know I use backslashes a lot these days to join a pair or series of descriptive words together.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

It could be that someone cracked the password...and is now impersonating FOIA (the password is a guessable phrase, for example).

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

I was going to argue that the use of the backslash was reflective of either (a) someone typing English on a non-English/non-QWERTY keyboard and/or (b) someone who SPEAKS English a lot but seldom WRITES it.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

*garner* is more normally American English.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

JEM: disagree. It's now becoming a common usage in America to join two nouns together to describe someone or something. For example, I am a "commenter/skeptic" on Bishop Hill's blog. I see a lot of Americans using it on our forums/blogs.

Mar 13, 2013 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

ssat: I thought that might be true also, but it's Middle english related to "granary" and the french "genier."

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

theduke: that may be so but it is not in common use. I travel in Europe and come across non-native speakers of English that have learn't from American or British sources and it is easy to spot which is which.

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

FOIA: "...neither am I from the UK"

Which is consistent with my thoughts that use of the word "redacted" was fairly unusual in British English prior to this event and the MP's expenses affair.

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

theduke - my point was not the connection of the nouns but the use of the backslash viz forward slash to do it.

The backslash is a very uncommon bit of punctuation outside the software world.

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

> I see a lot of Americans using it on our forums/blogs.

It is common to use the forward slash (/) but not the backward one (\).

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS


Mar 13, 2013 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

ssat - I think his use of the word "garner" is odd even in American English. So perhaps it's a literal translation of something more appropriate in his native language? If so, which language?

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered Commentersimon abingdon

Maybe FOIA is an Honours Graduate from that other University of East Anglia academic facilty?

Let's not forget that UEA also runs the award-winning "School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing"

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

The backslash is a very uncommon bit of punctuation outside the software world.

Indeed - this indicates that FOIA probably used a computer to generate the message, as typewriter keyboards don't have a backslash character!

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:14 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

I still cannot believe Leo wants to appear so if really he couldn't tell between a racketeer ("pay me, or else") and what is fairly common practice on the internet ("you've got the app/data, send donations").

As for more speculation, Mr FOIA is obviously a geek. Even a total nerd like me had never heard of this coin thingy.

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Does this mean that Mr. FOIA wasn't Briffa??

I guess it really wasn't Briffa......

Although I have come across this theory before I have never seen any reasoning behind it. I just don't see why Briffa would have ever been 'in the frame'.

I have my own theory. It's simple, requires no nefarious activities and, having worked in a similar environment, is completely plausible. Nothing I have read or 'tested' since Climategate has ever changed my mind. All I will say is that too many people, on both extremes, have promoted fantasy over Occam's razor. (for example)

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

Wow - I've just this second received an email from a colleague in California. He's a US citizen but only left China a few years ago, and in three places in the email he has used "\" to separate two alternate words.

Can't be a coincidence, surely.

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:17 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

I should have read all the comments first. I had often come across "redacted" in American English before these events, especially in political/military contexts (as reported in MSM, I should add!).
But there are lot of British/American English lanuage schools around the world.

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Don't make too much out of the language. I suspect it is deliberately doctored to try and point things in a different direction. Not too long ago, I faked a message from FOIA. I included some 'inside' detail to try and trick Steven Mosher.

There is also the possibility of someone else releasing these with the hopes of drawing out FOIA, a la Bourne Identity. That would require having acquired the password though.

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

I'm Canadian and don't find anything in FOIA's writing to be "non-native" sounding.

The period in 200.000 isn't correct Canadian usage -- perhaps it's just a typo -- but the rest of the phrasing and even the grammatical errors such as "grandiose of a plan" are natural for these parts. And some Canadians seem to enjoy pointing out that they aren't American or British, which FOIA did.

Still, FOIA's nationality is not the issue. Today a bit more light is shining into the dank basement of the catastrophists, and that's a good thing.

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuart


Are you sizing up to tell us something?
Mar 13, 2013 at 4:05 PM cosmic

That thought crossed my mind, too - after I read the email.

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:19 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Well, well, well. *Garner* widely used in India. A relative of Pachauri perhaps :-)

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

So we have a native Chinese who's spent his career speaking English but writing in some undetermined eastern European language without definite articles.

Narrows it down a lot, I'd say.

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Presumably Leo Hickman thinks that someone with no personal integrity looking to make money from CAGW would be well advised to join the sceptics, as that's where the real money is?

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJake Haye

according to Tom Nelson the zip got a lot of viruses

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

Delingpole has a new post, and mentions this site:

Climategate: FOIA – The Man Who Saved The World

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:31 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Stuart wrote: :"The period in 200.000 isn't correct Canadian usage -- perhaps it's just a typo . . ."

He used the same substitution for a comma in the 2011 message. My guess is it's a contrivance to misdirect . . .

Mar 13, 2013 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

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