I’ve decided to update this blog entry (20 Dec 2011) because it occurs to me that certain things could be misinterpreted, in no small part because of the common language that separates us across various national borders, and differences in the way debate and concepts of free speech operate in different lands.
I want to make it clear that I do not think that the blogger “TallBloke” a.k.a. Roger Tattersall has broken British law. British authorities are obviously vigorously investigating what might be a criminal act, what might be an ethical violation, what might be a mere violation of protocol or what might someday be seen as a bold strike against tyrannic forces when all is said and done, persons unknown (to all of us). Tattersall himself has not, to my knowledge, been charged with anything, and the Guardian story (the report to which this blog post is, essentially, a pointer) does not seem to indicate that he is at this time charged.
The fact that we (Tattersall and I) are on very different sides of this issue should mean spirited debate. It should mean an open conversation about the issues. It should not mean undue accusations or harassment. In pursuit of that ideal, I am offering Mr. Tattersall to publish a blog post on this site (Greg Laden’s Blog) expressing his opinion on the matter, and he has agreed to to so, through his solicitor, instead of pursuing legal action that was previously suggested. I look forward to receiving the text for this post and, again in the spirit of open and public debate about these important issues, I will post it prominently and place it on the select feed for Scienceblog.com to give it maximum exposure.
Further Update (April 8 2013). On discovery that international and US law prohibits Tall Bloke from engaqing in what has become known as “Libel Tourism” … an apt description of the particular form of harassment he has applied to me … he and his “lawyer” have apparently gone quiet in relation to this issue, other than the occasional tweet on twitter by Tall Bloke claiming that he forced me to “retract” something.
Tall Bloke and his fellow climate science deiners are responsible for recent, current, and likely future death, destruction, and mayhem caused by anthropogenic climate change. They share responsibility for these things with other agencies because they have, unfortunately, been effective in slowing down a proper, scientifically informed response to climate change. Shame on them. History will judge them, and I suspect history will judge them as I’ve stated here. History will also reveal more of their motivations, including the ways they have been paid by big oil interests or by libertarian and conservative organizations such as the Heartland Institute.
When bullies see proper accusations of their own bad behavior on the horizon, the effective ones (effective at being bullies, that is) quickly make similar accusations against their victims or those who stand up for their victims. Thus, things like this. There may well be trials, of a sort (actual, social, political, whatever) but they won’t be of the scientists, they’ll be of the deniers.
Thieves who broke into Unviersity of East Anglia computers in 2009, stealing thousands of private emails thus compromising years of expensive scientific research and causing a fabricated and unnecessary political doo-doo storm, as part of a much larger campaign of harassment of climate scientists and science communicators, are being
pursued sought by the authorities, in part through the seizure of computer equipment that appears to be linked to the storage and dissemination of the stolen documents, owned by the blogger TallBloke and which has been seized under search warrant.
On Wednesday, detectives from Norfolk Constabulary entered the home of Roger Tattersall, who writes a climate sceptic blog under the pseudonym TallBloke, and took away two laptops and a broadband router. A police spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday that Norfolk Constabulary had “executed a search warrant in West Yorkshire and seized computers”. She added: “No one was arrested. Investigations into the [UEA] data breach and publication [online of emails] continues. This is one line of enquiry in a Norfolk constabulary investigation which started in 2009.”
Also covered in the Washington Post.
This from Climate Progress:
It’s funny to see the hyperventilating at the denier websites. As you know, the deniers routinely assume any scientist being independently investigated is almost certainly guilty, that any scientist exonerated by an independent investigation is definitely guilty, and that thousands of actual evidence-based studies are part of a grand conspiracy to deceive humanity.
Continue reading Computers Seized in Cyber-Thief Investigation (updated again)