"What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multi-decadal natural fluctuation? They'll kill us probably."
This private musing between climate scientist colleagues first surfaced along with a whole raft of embarrassing material in 2011, when the anonymous Climategate leaker "Mr. FOIA" leaked his second set of emails from Britain's disgraced Climate Research Center at the University of East Anglia. Last week, Mr. FOIA emerged for a third time, sharing with the world not only his entire batch of 220,000 encrypted emails and documents, but also, for the first time, his thoughts.
Mr. FOIA had previously released two batches of 5,000 files each in 2009 and 2011. This enormous third batch went to a network of friends for decoding, sorting and publication.
The first and second email batches contained conversations among "scientists" documenting that their claims of a man-made global warming crisis were deliberately contrived for career gain, research funding and "the cause," as climate scientist Michael Mann calls it. The emails sparked a furious "hide the lies" denial campaign that ironically calls skeptics "deniers."
"Hide the lies" generated lawsuits and countersuits between believers (what kind of science requires belief?) and skeptics of "dangerous man-made planetary warming" -- along with ridiculous conspiracy theories such as "Big Oil hired evil hackers in a plot to discredit angelic climate scientists."
Mr. FOIA denies these absurd claims in his 3.0 message. "I took what I deemed the most defensible course of action, and would do it again," he said. "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."
"The first glimpses I got behind the scenes did little to garner my trust in the state of climate science -- on the contrary," Mr. FOIA continued. "I found myself in front of a choice that just might have a global impact."
Why did he do it? His answer was both angered and anguished: "Climate science has already directed where humanity puts its capability, innovation, mental and material 'might.' ... The price of 'climate protection' with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations," he wrote. "We can't pour trillions in this massive hole-digging-and-filling-up endeavor and pretend it's not [taking] away from something and someone else."
Didn't he fear discovery? "When I had to balance the interests of my own safety, the privacy and career of a few scientists, and the well-being of billions of people living in the coming several decades ... millions and billions already struggling with malnutrition, sickness, violence, illiteracy, etc. ... the first two weren't the decisive concern."
Last weekend, London's Mail on Sunday newspaper ran an outraged feature based on the British Meteorological Office's recent admission that global surface temperatures haven't risen in more than 15 years. Citing a chart of predicted and actual temperatures, the Mail noted: "Official predictions of global climate warming have been catastrophically flawed. The graph on this page blows apart the 'scientific basis' for Britain reshaping its entire economy and spending billions in taxes and subsidies in order to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. The chart shows in incontrovertible detail how the speed of global warming has been massively overestimated. Yet those forecasts have had a ruinous impact on the bills we pay, from heating to car fuel to huge sums paid by councils to reduce carbon emissions. The eco-debate was, in effect, hijacked by false data."
And by people who knew exactly what they were doing.
Examiner Columnist Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.