That recent episode in which hackers broke into computers at East Anglia University and extracted private email from climate researchers was the subject of much triumphal rejoicing by the climate change deniers. The UK set a parliamentary Science and Technology Committee to review the affair and see if there was any substance to the claims of the denialists, and the report of the inquiry has been released.
On the much cited phrases in the leaked e-mails—”trick” and “hiding the decline”—the Committee considers that they were colloquial terms used in private e-mails and the balance of evidence is that they were not part of a systematic attempt to mislead.
Insofar as the Committee was able to consider accusations of dishonesty against CRU, the Committee considers that there is no case to answer.
The Committee found no reason in this inquiry to challenge the scientific consensus as expressed by Professor Beddington, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, that “global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity”. But this was not an inquiry into the science produced by CRU and it will be for the Scientific Appraisal Panel, announced by the University on 22 March, to determine whether the work of CRU has been soundly built.
Well. Case closed, right? Or is this another sign of the Global Conspiracy to Hide the Truth™?
The committee did have one mild criticism of the Climate Research Unit. They said that while the policy of holding some of the raw data privately is in line with common research practice and not grounds for complaint, they would like the policy to change…and I agree. Openness is always good in science.