Monday, December 7, 2009

Is the KGB Behind Climate-Gate?

As a major international climate change summit gets underway today in Copenhagen, Denmark, some are questioning whether the Russian secret service, now called the FSB (formerly the KGB), engineered the computer hack that made public those now infamous e-mails seeming to show prominent climatologists fudging data?

According to an article in The Independent newspaper today, the leaked emails originally appeared on a server owned by an internet security company in the Siberian city of Tomsk, which the Russian secret service has praised before for its hacks of anti-Russian voices. Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the vice chairman of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, is suspicious and is quoted in the article as saying, "It's very common for hackers in Russia to be paid for their services. It's a carefully made selection of emails and documents that's not random. This is 13 years of data, and it's not a job of amateurs."

"If it was indeed the FSB behind the leak," the article continues, "it could be part of a ploy to delay negotiations or win further concessions for Moscow. Russia, along with the United States, was accused of delaying Kyoto, and the signals coming from Moscow recently have continued to dismay environmental activists...It is this, goes the theory, that underlies the Kremlin's ambivalent attitudes towards global warming; they remain lukewarm on the science underpinning climate change, knowing full well that if global warming does change the world's climate, billions of dollars of natural resources will become accessible. Another motivating factor could be that Russia simply does not want to spend the vast sums of money that would be required to modernise and 'greenify' Russia's ageing factories."

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