[I’ve added the script up to 31 minutes. There’s a reason I’m trying to record every sob, sigh and quiver of the lower lip. It’s to do with not discarding data, in case anyone wants to find something wrong with it.]
[This is a full transcript of the first 14 minutes of “the Trick.” I’ll try and continue it soon. I leave you to spot the howlers, and work out which ones might be defamatory of Steve McIntyre [and Steve Mosher. See upcoming episode]. Note that the author seems not to understand the meaning of common English words like “data base” and “between.” Note also that just before the introduction of Steve’s name, The policeman suggests that this cybercrime might be worse than murder.]
Phil: (to granddaughter, on beach) Here I come. Ready. Run
Mrs Jones: I can’t believe you’re still doing that…
(Stage. Big background sign: “Climate Change Conference London 2009”)
Voice: I’d like to welcome you to this international conference for climate change 2009. It is my great pleasure to welcome our keynote speaker, who has been a pioneer in climate science for the last thirty years, expert in his field. World renowned. And who will address us on his work on the global instrumental temperature record, often referred to as the hockey stick graph, which has been so important in helping us to understand the causes of the change during the last one thousand years. (hushed voice) We’re honoured to welcome – Professor – Philip – Jones.
(In the wings)
Mrs Jones: Well, go on then.
(Phil goes on. Applause)
Phil: Thank you. Thank you very much.
[This film is based on true events]
Young PR Man (rushing out of house, to older man playing with slightly coloured child in the kitchen sink) I’ll call you to let you know when I’m back. You’re a star dad, thanks.
Old PR Man: Right. Let’s see what level of a shit storm we’ve got here.
Voices over: The University of East Anglia’s Climate data email controversy .. climategate.. climategate.. the climategate scandal .. scientists using words like “trick” ..climategate, they’re calling it a new scandal over global warming, and it’s burning up the internet. Have the books been cooked on climate change?
US Politician (Imhofe?): At worst it’s junk science, and it is part of a massive international scientific fraud
(in train.Young PR man bites his fingernails)
Burbling Important Man in blue pullover: (burble) communications consultancy – crisis management. Neil Wallace, ex-editor of a Sunday tabloid and his colleague Sam Bowen. Sam’s background is more corporate public relations
Mrs J: Can we trust them?
BIM: I think we have to. We’re running out of time. They’re accusing him of fraud Ruth. (Burble)
Old PR man: Have you ever seen a Select Committee hearing?
Young PR man: No
OPRM: It’s no walk in the park. Eight people right there in front of you trying to put you on a (?) steal
OPRM. It’s the House of Commons, the Government, and all that vindication (?) and this professor Philip Jones and the rest of them? Got half a chance. Slice of the whip and a rap across their knuckles and they’re screwed.
YPRM: So we’ve got one shot at it. To clear their names.
OPRM: And three weeks to do it
YPRM: (deep furrowing of brow)
Voice: Skullduggery; scientific espionage and black propaganda. Have scientists really been manipulating the data?
OPRM: They claim to be victims of a crime, right?
YPRM: They are
OPRM: From the off, everyone’s all over their asses ?? the criminals. Even the tree huggers, the environment correspondents. We need institutions independently to declare their innocence.
YPRM: I suppose they don’t know, do they?
YPRM/ If they are innocent or if Jones did rig the data to exaggerate the increase in temperature
OPRM: Exactly. Everyone’s terrified they’re guilty as charged. Maybe they’re right.
Edward Acton: (shaking hands) Edward Acton, Vice Chancellor
OPRM: Neil Wallace
YPRM: Sam Bowen. Pleased to meet you
EA: Here’s my Pro Vice Chancellor, Trevor Davies, former director of the Climatic Research Unit, also known as CRU
OPRM: Three months ago, when you were hacked..
Trevor Davies: [Burbling important man] The hacking itself was some months before
EA: We only became aware of it when the hacker uploaded the file to what’s it called?
TD: RealClimate dot Org. The university learned about it the following day.
OPRM: And you Phil, is that when you found out?
(Silence. Phil’s chin quivers; mutters)
Mrs J: Yes, that’s when we found out too.
OPRM: And what was your response, once you knew there’d been a hack?
TD: We informed the police and told them there’d been an IT system breach.
EA: A data theft. I think that was the phrase that was used.
Phil (long, tightlipped silence) Goodnight.
Mrs J: Thank you. You’re very welcome.
EA: Press Office documents, and I’ve had this made for you. It’s the broadcast coverage.
OPRM: Good. We’ll take a look at that tonight.
EA: (burbling) er, euh late?
OPRM: The House of Commons hearing is in three weeks, right?
OPRM: The clock’s ticking Edward, so we’ll be working tonight
EA: I see. Good. Good
YPRM: Jesus they weren’t joking. He broke.
OPRM: Yup. Do you think he – he did it? You’d expect him to be a bit more pissed off, wouldn’t you? If he was innocent.
YPRM: (whispering) Are you sure I’m the right person for this? I do Corporate. Branding.
OPRM: Which means you’re not digital. (?) Look, whatever. We’re here now, aren’t we? Getting paid to get this lot out of a hole. Guilty or not.
[three months earlier]
Plod: OK thanks for coming everyone. Thank you. Let’s start with the headlines. Two days ago the safer neighbourhoods team logged a data test for a backup server at the university’s climatic research unit known as CRU. Safer neighbourhoods flagged the call to Special Branch, and last night Gold Command on my recommendation initiated Operation Cabin as a major investigation. The contents of the file appears to be around a thousand emails and other documents written over a ten year period by staff at CRU, mostly by its current director, professor Philip Jones, world renowned climate scientist. Gareth here is from Kinetic, a defence contractor specialising in cyber security. His team will lead on the digital investigation reporting directly to me as senior investigating officer.The other two lines of enquiry: physical breach of CRU or an internal leak will be overseen by Gold Group. (writes GOLD on the blackboard) This is a category A investigation. So we can hopefully expect some additional support from National Counter terrorism Scotland Yard.
(Slightly coloured girl puts up her hand)
SCG: Viz. the Cat A status, sorry boss, but who’s been murdered?
Plod: No-one dear Shepiah (?)
SCG: So the only crime we’re..
Plod: The breach of the Computer Misuse Act, section one, and depending what we turn up, maybe section two. Regardless this is still a Cat A investigation, and I would appreciate it if it were treated as such. Right, if there aren’t any more questions, you know the drill. Any pissed-off (?) employees, office politics, financial vulnerability, who had access, what was the IT set up, any hint of a motivation, I want to hear about it. Thank you. Yes Shepiah, a word. Look, I appreciate this might just be a staff member with an axe to grind, or some hacker winning a pissing contest, but if it isn’t? Look at the timing. Join the dots. Three weeks before COP 15 the UN climate conference. (SCG gulps) Think about it. If this is someone trying to influence the global response to climate change; well then I’d say maybe Cat A isn’t high enough. (SCG nods and gulps again.)
(The White Tower at CRU. SCG puts on rubber gloves and stares at a photo of tree rings on the wall. Ed Acton stares at goldfish.)
Voice of Kinetic Cybersecurity Guy Gareth: The stolen emails are mostly conversations between colleagues, climate scientists here and in the US.
Plod: Have these conversations been taken wholesale?
KCGG: No. Because whoever compiled this file, they knew what they were looking for. These emails have been selected, probably using a word search for certain phrases. the first place a link is posted along with this comment here, “A miracle has happened,” is ClimateAudit dot Org. It’s a climate sceptic blog run by this man, Steve McIntyre. (photo on screen of someone else)
Plod: He’s receiving the link, He’s not sending it?
KCGG: Yeah, but he’s got history with Jones. McIntyre is a Canadian ex-mining consultant turned (shaking head and sneering) self-appointed climate science fact checker. If you look at his blog posts and the comment streams of his website and the emails, it reveals that there is an established relationship with Jones. And it seems that as far back as 2002 he’s been asking Jones for his data.
Plod: Which Jones gave him?
KCGG: Yeah. Initially. But then McIntyre started using it to criticise Jones, to undermine his career. (shakes his head) Jones backed off. But McIntyre, he got frustrated. Earlier this year he persuaded his entire data base to send Freedom of Information requests to CRU asking for their raw data.
Plod: Which they did
KCG: Yeah. Jones was flooded, and I mean flooded with requests. Sixty in a week. Look. It’s a bloody tsunami.
Plod: Annoying, but not illegal
KCG Yes. But that’s where it gets interesting. Our initial analysis of the hard drive server UCs (?) suggests that the unit was hacked several times between that same time period.
Plod:Are you saying there was more than one breach?
KCG: Not only that. McIntyre’s requests were formally refused by the university, and four days later, a file of stolen material goes live.
Phil: (screaming and banging the coffee table) I HAVE NOT FALSIFIED ANY DATA!
Mrs Jones: (reading headline) Collusion? They can’t argue with the facts
Phil: (choking) That’s what they do all the time
Mrs J: Do you really think it is them?
Phil: WELL OF COURSE IT’S THEM!
(Mrs J’s chin quivers)
Phil: ?? I haven’t done anything wrong Ruth.
Plod: Are you suggesting that McIntyre was responsible?
KCGG: No. That was a relatively sophisticated attack. He wouldn’t have the capability.
Plod: But there was a co-ordination?
KCGG: It’s more likely someone with a vested interest in tracking his disputes with CRU. Yeah, you should also speak to this guy. This is Steve Mosher. He’s an established lukewarmer. He doesn’t believe that climate change is as serious as everyone’s making out. When the emails came out, he was in charge of finding the extracts before they were taken down.
Voice (not Phil’s): “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick to hide the decline” cheers, Phil
Plod: And these are the extracts that are penetrating (?) now?
KCGG: Yeah. That’s a very effective selection. Mosher knew exactly what he was doing.
(Phil in his toolshed looking
like for a tool)
(TD and someone walking in the night. I can’t tell who’s saying what and why someone develops a Welsh accent. No matter)
– Have your ?? got some comment on why he used the word trick? Already on the website along with some acknowledgement of the hack.
– (Welsh accent)L ook. I think we should do more. Defend the science. We’ll be inviting..
– I’m telling you there’s an established history.
t’s a bunch of ?? Trevor, just let em burn the story in a ???
TD: There was a piece in the Guardian..
– Offence would only raise more questions and give the story oxygen. We don’t want the science questioned either
?: Look if we can get through he weekend without the Today programme calling us, I really think we’ll be fine. Eh?
(Mrs J washing up)
Radio: …25 to eight. Those on the sceptic side have seized on these emails. One of these sceptics former Chancellor Lord Lawson, whose book “An Appeal to Reason” – (bad cut here) “..on the face of it, it looks as if the raw data were being manipulated in order to prove what they wanted to prove, that they were refusing other scientists outside access to the raw data, (Phil seen nodding) and that they were talking about destroying various files in order to prevent data being revealed through the Freedom of Information Act. Now these are very very serious things. It may be that there is an innocent explanation for all this, but what is absolutely clear, because this is the basis on which science and policy decisions have been made by the government and by governments around the world. It has also tarnished very badly the international reputation of British science and there needs..
(Phil in his toolshed)
TD: It’s just we really need some clarity, and especially on why some of the temperature data can’t be released to the public.
Phil: Hell.(TD pats him on the shoulder and exits.)
Mrs J: “Dear Phil Jones, you should kill yourself. You lying prick, arsehole, and if you don’t, I’ll be more than happy to do it for you. And your family.”
TD: (burble) Terrible. We’ll inform the police. Look Ruth, if he does come out in a bit, would you mind…? He’s the only one who knows the truth about the emails the temperatures..
Mrs J: I know. Believe me I know? Even his voice has changed. Like it’s stuck in his throat.
(Phil walks in (not on) the water of the North Sea. In his best shoes, carrying a briefcase.)
girl on screen: Are you and granddad coming to my school play granny?
Mrs J: Of course sweetheart. It might just be granny this time
girl: OK (kiss) ‘Bye
Mrs J: (kiss) ‘Bye
girl: ‘Bye granny, see you soon
TD: These are the most damaging extracts: “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith? Keith will do likewise.” “..Which is in the periods that show warming..” “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick, to hide the decline.”
?: Press enquires haven’t stopped all morning. It’s unprecedented, like nothing anyone’s seen before, but from the US now…
EA: What do they want, specifically?
?: Phil. The extracts are mostly from his emails, and he’s the director of CRU. They want to know why all of CRU’s data isn’t available as well, but in terms of people, Phil, no-one else..
TD: I’m afraid that’s not going to be possible
? Surely he can stand by his comments on the website?
EA Why isn’t he available? It would be the clearest way to set things straight.
TD: I agree. Uh, I went round there this morning, after the Lawson interview. Uh, the man’s struggling
(In car by the seaside)
Mrs J: Twenty years ago, do you remember when we had that ?? work in California, and then came here to talk about it, about the kids moving school, what it would all mean, and you got the excited about going and about staying. About what rap meant. Do you remember? If I can remember, I know you do. (Phil nods slightly “gawping like a carp on ketamine” according to Ed Cummin inthe Independent) “It’s going to be important,” that’s what you said. Politicians were just starting to talk about global warming, and you said that when they finally came to act on it, they’d need data they could trust. They’d need evidence. And you, CRU, would be able to give it to them. Well that time may be now. And you were RIGHT! They DO need your evidence. Which is why we can’t let these bastards destroy all you’ve done. It’s too important. You’re too important.
“I found what I can do Ruth,” that’s what you said. ???? (Phil in profile does an impressive number of expressive lip movements) GOD AND I SO WANTED TO GO TO CALIFORNIA!
Mrs J: Mh ha ha
Mrs J: Mh ha ha (touches his head) You’re going to have to speak up Phil.
(Welsh accent) Well if you’r pressed ??? Phil’s comment from the website. And lets see you do a Press Association release. Just print ??
EA: What about an independent enquiry? Into the allegations, and into the actions of our staff. If there has been malpractice, we must show we’re keen as mustard to investigate. We need support too. Public support.
(people on phone, getting out of taxi, going into the department of Energy and Climate Change. One of them is Sir David King, and there’s someone called Chris. As always, a new scene is announced by a disembodied voice talking over the end of the previous scene, so you have no idea who is who. The result is that all the important dialogue is incomprehensible, the only person who makes any sense is the loyally whimpering Mrs J, and the innocent viewer is completely unaware that he’s watching an account of a coverup organised by top academics and civil servants.)
Thanks ??? the data. Hugely appreciate it. We’re wondering if the department could give us ??
Voice: I’ll see what I can do. We really need ?? on this one Chris.
Voice: Sorry, look, I’ve got to go. Voice turns into..
Bloke rushing up (spoiler: this is Chris): Sir David, have you seen the CRU ???
Sir David: I haven’t ?? think about. I mean, I wouldn’t accept such loose practice on my ??
Chris: Well, siege mentality. I mean ?? in their sights for as long as I can remember, I mean..
Sir D: That’s precisely when you have to be careful when you think you’re in a battle. I mean, not to put the data in the public domain..
Chris: But to be fair, Sir David, it isn’t theirs to give
Sir D: What do you mean?
Chris: Well CRU bases its models on data from meteorological services. And sometimes that data comes with non-disclosure agreements.
(they enter the department of Energy and Climate Change)
Sir D: (to security clerk) Sir David King, School of Enterprise and the Environment, Oxford University
Chris: I’ve been the phone all morning to the Met Office, putting pressure on them to give clearance to release all the data
Sir DK: And?
Chris: Not yet.
Sir DK: Any news about the hack?
Chris: Nothing I’ve heard
Sir DK: Take your pick. It could be the Russians, the Saudis, the oil companies, anybody who’s got money in the game. (wagging his finger) It’s clever. Going after the data behind the modelling.
Chris: I don’t understand why everyone expects science models to be perfect. I mean, no-one ever goes after economic models, do they?
Sir DK: That’s because nobody’s trying to undermine the economics.
Chris: Do you really think it will affect the COP in Copenhagen?
Sir DK: Well, might scare the horses a bit, but no. This COP is dead in the water anyway.
Chris: You really think so?
Sir DK: Come on Chris. I mean the USA are not going to sign up to their commitment to carbon reductions unless it’s voluntary, and the same ?? and neither will the Chinese or the Russians. Look, do what you can about getting the Met to release that data. It could dowse the flames.
Welsh newsreader: The head of a British climate research institute has stepped aside after leaked emails were said to suggest that the case for global warming had been exaggerated. Phil Jones of he university of East Anglia will relinquish his duties while an independent review is carried out. Our environment correspondent…
(Trevor listens. Acton walks in the dark. Saruman crouches in the White Tower, a chart of isotherms on his knees, sobbing)
KCGG: There’s a lot more emails. No, no, I’m saying there’s a lot more, almost two hundred thousand in total.
KCGG: Now look, the really odd thing. They left the cache on the server, which is almost like, well, it’s like I guess they wanted us to know.
Plod: you say?
KCGG: Well, it means that CRU wasn’t the only climate unit that was attacked.
Plod: There were more hacks?
KCGG: Attempts. CRU was the only successful breach.
Plod: What were the other attempts. Where are they?
KCGG: OK. Persons unknown, posing as network technicians, tried to gain access to the climate science offices of the University of Victoria, British Columbia. And there were atempts to access servers at the Canadian Center for Climatology and Analysis, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, and an attempted unauthorised entry to the computer systes at the State Department Climate Bureau.
(Plod stares in disbelief. The idea of someone trying to obtain unauthorised access to a computer is something new to him)
Plod: And when when when was all this?
KCGG: This is all in the last twelve months.
(Plod shakes his head)
Mrs J: You do know that he’s the victim? His emails that were stolen ?? the papers? Why aren’t you going after…
SCG: I realise this must be upsetting
Mrs J: No-one’s getting the truth. Just what they read, what they hear.. (to Phil) Where are you going?
SCG: Just down to the station
Phil: We’ve just..
Mrs Phil: Why?
SCG: We need to ?? and ?? immediately
Mrs J: Well use our bloody printer
SCG: Won’t be thirty minutes, I promise
SCG: ?? graph? The one you mentioned in the interview. Why is it so important exactly?
Phil: Well, it’s a reconstruction of global temperature. Mm mm mm a window into the past. I suppose back ?? look. (drawing) these are decades, that is the handle, that is the handle of the stick, and here in the nineteenth century, when ,,,ation takes off, up until now erm, that’s the blade, when temperatures increase dramatically.
SCG: Is this your work?
Phil: Well, I contributed. You know, CRU is the first unit to be dedicated to the subject of climate change. We’ve had more time than anyone else to um er to um gather the temperature data. (smiles nervously.) It’s not just from across the world, but from across time
Phil: From before we had thermometer readings, historical records, ships’ logs, and then even further back, proxy data such as tree rings and ice cores
SCG: Sawthetreeringsdadaclassroom. They’rebeautiful (took four tries sorting that gabble out)
Phil: (Warm smile. Maybe if McIntyre had been an attractive police officer of colour he’d have had more success getting stuff out of him) Well, more than that. The proxy historical data goes into the graph. It helps make the past readable.
SCG: I’ll take you home now.
Phil: Thank you
Mrs Trev: Who’s doing this Trevor?
TD: Who knows? Plenty of vested interests ?? Copenhagen ?? I know why they’re doing it to us though. The hockey stick graph.
Mrs Trev: The one that shows the rise in global temperatures?
TD: CRU’s work has been into that graph. I mean, that’s meant to be the final word in the debate. ??? behind it ?? It’s simple. It cuts through the noise. That’s what the sceptics are like. Ever since the ?? was published has been to keep the debate going, they have to cast doubt on the hockey stick.
Mrs Trev: Crafty buggers.
EA: Hi! That was a long one. Must have done over twenty interviews now. It’s like speaking into a storm. No-one can hear us.
TD: Or wants to. We’re being drowned out by a sigh of relief.
TD: Well imagine if you were both told tomorrow you don’t have to worry about climate change (chuckles at the absurdity of the thought) Millions of dollars have gone into the denial campaign. And most of it to achieve exactly this, to make the science seem uncertain. It’s been going on for years, ever since we started talking about actually doing something about global warming.
Mrs Trev: Which is when exactly?
TD: Oh, the late eighties
Young PR Man: But what happens Phil, for our children, and their children? No numbers, just the consequences.
(long silence. YPRM stares at Phil horrorstruck)
Phil: (still in crash dummy mode) By 2100, dust bowl conditions across North America, and Africa. Asia too. Sooner than that, a massive reduction in agricultural production, access to drinking water, migration in huge numbers, bush fires on a massive scale, in Australia, on the West coast. And well, melting at the poles, West Antarctic ice sheets, well, because of that, the global sea level rise of, well, metres.
Old PR Man: (in accent uncannily like Dudley Moore’s query to Peter Cook in their “End of the World “ sketch: “How will it be, brother Eli, this end of which you ‘ave spoke?”)
What does all that mean for us? People. Make me see it Phil.
Phil: Well, endless worse case scenarios. 70% of the inhabitable world will no longer be able to sustain human life. Millions of species will become extinct. Coastal and delta cities will be underwater, and (sighs) if the methane in the permafrost and on the seabed is released, well..
Phil: The climate will collapse, and the world will be gone.