Friday, December 4, 2009

Canadian climate change scientist says hackers targeted him

The forces of unreason are ruthless, well-funded and very active, according to this story by Judith Lavoie in Canwest News Service: Over the last year, there have been two break-ins at Andrew Weaver's University of Victoria office and several attempts to hack into the computer system. The intrusions came as no surprise to Weaver, Canada Research Chair on Climate Modelling and Analysis and a member of the Nobel-winning International Panel on Climate Change.

Like other scientists working in the climate-change field, Weaver says they face a well-orchestrated campaign of harassment by global warming skeptics. The polarized debate over global warming is building to a head as the international Copenhagen conference approaches. The fires have been stoked by thousands of e-mails hacked, leaked or stolen from the climate research unit at East Anglia University in Britain.

While climate-change skeptics say the e-mails show figures have been fudged, Weaver said they don't cast any doubt on the science of climate change. “One of the sad realities of being a scientist working in this area is you get targeted. I have had no end of nasty e-mails and phone calls,'' Weaver said.

…Weaver worries that climate-change deniers, many funded by large oil companies, are succeeding in scaring or confusing people. It comes down to a battle between science and ideology, he said. While science is about explaining all observations, ideology is about using only those observations that support a preconceived notion, he added….

Image of a computer hacker by Lethalman, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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