Hackers released another 5,000+ stolen emails from the University of East Anglia (ahem). As far as anyone can tell they come from the same batch as the 2009 release, and like the last one the leak looks timed to disrupt another international climate summit.
The sizzle line this time? A couple emails where scientists wonder whether their models are accurate and ask if they got anything wrong. No kidding. Ten points and a free subscription to this blog for every reporter who notes that doubting your own work is a basic prerequisite for good science. In my line of work you always take the time to brainstorm how you might have screwed up and thoroughly rule out reasonable alternative explanations before you submit a big paper. If you skip that step then someone in a competing lab will happily do it for you.
I have seen otherwise great scientists get overexcited about some results, publish in a rush without enough doubt and get thoroughly pantsed for it within a year or two. Freaking out like the Anglia folks apparently did is a great way to make sure that when, say, a Koch-funded competitor with your head in his crosshairs throws everything he can at your work and ends up a reluctant convert instead.
But hell, as
Churchill Clemens once said, a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. I might as well shout at clouds for all the impact a post like this will have on the tabloid reporting you will see on this over the next however many weeks.