It seems that scientists don't know something businesspeople have known for years: that emails are like postcards. They can be read by anyone, and frequently are.
Allegedly, someone hacked into a server and published several thousand emails by Climatologists, wherein they argue about best way to present their data to support a warming climate, call the opposition prats and talk about a statistical 'trick' to use.
Hacked emails show Climate Science Ridden with Rancor - Wall Street Journal
I'm already getting emails quoting the stolen material, mostly from right-wingers, as that seems to be who sends me most emails. They are very, very happy about this development.
This was the first article sent to me, from American Thinker.
I haven't read all the emails, and I'm not going to, but if this is all true, it is a big blow for the scientific consensus that the atmosphere is getting warmer. The science is still all there, but the public will always remember the tone of these emails. A statistical 'trick' may just mean 'a clever presentation', not 'I'm trying to trick someone'. Many of the opposing side are prats (and sounds like some of the pro-climate change scientists are prats too). But aiming to only present one side of the story, or even looking like you want to present only one side of the story, is profoundly unscientific. That's not how it's supposed to work. As one email quoted in the WSJ says,"As for thinking that it is 'Better that nothing appear, than something unacceptable to us' … as though we are the gatekeepers of all that is acceptable in the world of paleoclimatology seems amazingly arrogant. Science moves forward whether we agree with individual articles or not."
That's correct, and it's interesting that the hackers kept that email in with the others. Perhaps the hackers have a better grasp of science than some of the scientists in the hacked group.