Policy Documents

The Web Discloses Inconvenient Climate Truths

L. Gordon Crovitz –
November 30, 2009

For anyone who doubts the power of the Internet to shine light on darkness, the news of the month is how digital technology helped uncover a secretive group of scientists who suppressed data, froze others out of the debate, and flouted freedom-of-information laws. Their behavior was brought to light when more than 1,000 emails,and some 3,500 additional files were published online, many of which boasted about how they suppressed hard questions about their data.

The emails, released by an apparent whistle-blower who used the name "FOI," were written by scientists at the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in England. Its scientists are high-profile campaigners for the theory of global warming.

The findings from East Anglia have been at the core of policy reports by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC does not do its own research but compiles information relating to climate change. It has declared the evidence that the globe is warming to be "unequivocal," a claim routinely cited by lawmakers in the U.S. and elsewhere as authoritative.