Climategate: A public relations disaster

Environmental writer Fred Pearce dissects the multiple mistakes and blindingly stupid responses on Climategate from liberal media, environmentalists, and specifically the University of East Anglia, who made no response for two weeks and thus allowed Climategate go nuclear.

I have been speaking to a PR operator for one of the world’s leading environmental organizations. Most unusually, he didn’t want to be quoted. But his message is clear. The facts of the e-mails barely matter any more. It has always been hard to persuade the public that invisible gases could somehow warm the planet, and that they had to make sacrifices to prevent that from happening. It seemed, on the verge of Copenhagen, as if that might be about to be achieved.

But he says all that ended on Nov. 20. “The e-mails represented a seminal moment in the climate debate of the last five years, and it was a moment that broke decisively against us. I think the CRU leak is nothing less than catastrophic.”

Yes, he knows the charges are baseless. But arrogance combined with cluelessness from people who should have known better have badly damaged things.

Via Aquanomics