“Climategate” Fallout Continues

by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

The fallout from “Climategate” is continuing as one scientist at the center of the controversy voluntarily steps down and another is under investigation.

The Washington Post is reporting that Phil Jones, director of the UK’s University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, announced yesterday that he is stepping down while the university investigates the incident.

Jones was the author of several of the thousands of incriminating e-mails that were hacked and posted on-line in which he and other prominent scientists colluded on how to silence those who disagreed with the theory of global warming as well as how to hide data that did not support their hypothesis. 

“What is most important is that CRU continues its world leading research with as little interruption and diversion as possible,” Jones said in a statement. “After a good deal of consideration I have decided that the best way to achieve this is by stepping aside from the Director’s role during the course of the independent review and am grateful to the University for agreeing to this. The Review process will have my full support.”

Meanwhile, Penn State’s Collegian is reporting that Michael Mann, a meteorology professor at the university and one of the world’s most prominent voices in support of global warming is also alleged to have been involved in the scandal. The university announced plans to investigate charges that Mann sent e-mails recommending ways to fabricate and manipulate data to make it support global warming.

Lisa Powers, a university spokesperson, told the Collegian that a Penn State committee will review every e-mail in question – a total of about 300 messages – and said the process could take “quite some time.”

Mann says he’s happy that the university is taking appropriate action.

“I would be disappointed if the university wasn’t doing all they can to get as much information as possible,” Mann said.  “I’m very happy they’re doing it.”

He also said he believes the  controversy is a smear campaign led by global warming skeptics. 

The controversy shows no signs of disappearing before the United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled to be held next week in Copenhagan.  President Barak Obama along with other world leaders and scientists will meet to discuss what measures they will take to combat climate change. It is not yet known what impact the scandal will have on these meetings.

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