The “Climategate” Conspiracy Theories

December 14, 2009

The global conspiracy to cover up the “real” scientific evidence about climate change has reached a fever pitch. First it was the climate scientists whose e-mails were hacked a few weeks ago. Now the alleged co-conspirators include the Associated Press. An exhaustive investigation into the e-mails was conducted by the AP, and their findings were released recently:

"E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data-- but the messages don't support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press. The 1,073 e-mails examined by the AP show that scientists harbored private doubts, however slight and fleeting, even as they told the world they were certain about climate change. However, the exchanges don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions...."

Apparently uncomfortable with the idea that an independent journalistic investigation might actually fail to find evidence of falsified data, one prominent climate “controversy” blog ( ) claims that one of the coauthors of the AP report (Seth Borenstein) has a conflict of interest because he was one of many reporters who corresponded with the East Anglia scientists.

The accusation is nothing less than bizarre. The fact is that the source material, the notorious hacked e-mails, are there for all to see. It makes perfect sense that an AP science reporter who is familiar with the subject of climate change would be one of the several journalists assigned to analyze hacked e-mails about climate change. This is not a “conflict of interest,” this is called good journalism.

Even if one of the AP reporters was somehow biased, anyone and everyone can look for themselves to see if the AP investigation’s conclusions are valid or not. If one of the world's largest and most respected news organizations is actually part of a huge global conspiracy, that story is itself far more interesting and significant than the original hacked e-mails between climate scientists.

Of course, that's the great thing about conspiracy theories: they are unscientific and illogical because they can't be disproven. All evidence is suspect, and any evidence that refutes the conspiracy believer’s claims is of course part of the conspiracy.


#1 L. A. D' Chatterliesluffer (Guest) on Monday December 14, 2009 at 8:11pm

I followed your link to the wattsupwiththat blog and read the blog entry there.  The blog author, Anthony Watt, made pretty valid arguments.  Your characterizations of them don’t seem accurate.

But, then, I only have an MA.

P.S.: why was I asked for Darwin’s first name when I posted this comment? Is that the password for the echo chamber?

#2 Albert J Rogers (Guest) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 at 9:46pm

I am as tired of hearing about the global warming “debate” a I am of the “health care debate” or the Intelligent Design “debate”.
These are not debates, they are disputes, and the parties to the untruthful side of the dispute have obvious vested interests.

But anybody with the stamina to think for three minutes should be able to realise that the coal seams themselves are evidence that a higher carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, which the plants were sequestering are coal, did indeed lead to the subsequent floods that converted the wood and other vegetable matter to coal. We’re burning it up FAR faster than the ancient forests made it.

#3 Max (Guest) on Monday January 11, 2010 at 1:58pm

The claim that one journalist is biased or has a conflict of interests is not a huge global conspiracy theory. The fact that the thousand emails are there for everyone to see doesn’t prove that the AP investigation is unbiased.

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