Are the Russians behind the leaked 'Climategate' emails, the awkward series of messages from scientists at the University of East Anglia's world famous Climatic Research Unit (CRU) which threaten to undermine the already precarious global warming summit opening in Copenhagen today? That's the theory put forward by the UN's deputy climate chief, Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele.UN chief claims Russia is behind Climategate | News & Politics | News & Comment | The First Post
The emails, which were leaked in late November, appear to suggest that the respected CRU director Professor Phil Jones and his colleagues at East Anglia were manipulating data to prove their case that climate change is man-made. With the divide between 'green' politicians and what Gordon Brown calls the 'Flat Earth climate sceptics' already wide enough, the resulting scandal threatens to make it even more difficult to reach an agreement on carbon emissions at the summit.
The emails, sent to and from fellow scientists around the world, date back as far as 1996. The most damaging one, from 1999, appears to refer to Prof Jones's wish to "hide the decline" shown in a record of temperatures obtained by studying tree-ring growth since 1960. The temperatures recorded this way were not the same as the actual recorded air temperatures.
As a result of the ensuing controversy, Prof Jones has stepped aside from his post while the emails are investigated. He continues to deny that the emails provide any evidence that data was manipulated.
Prof van Ypersele believes it was Russians who hacked into the CRU emails and leaked them, carefully timed to disrupt Copenhagen. "It's a scandal," he said. Supporting his theory, the Mail on Sunday reported yesterday that it was very likely a web server called Tomcity that was used to start the process of diseminating the emails online.
The server, located in the Siberian city of Tomsk, is used mainly by Tomsk State University and other scientific institutes. According to the Mail, computer hackers in Tomsk have been used in the past by the Russian secret service - the FSB - to close down websites which promote views not approved by the Kremlin.As one of the world's largest producers and users of gas and oil, Russia has a vested interest in opposing any agreement reached in Copenhagen to reduce emissions.
Looks like US Right Wingers are now Russian stooges