Back in ’09 I was on the other side and saw #Climategate as a disgraceful hack, but that was soon to change as I sought snow during the solar minimum winters of cycle 24. It was that search that led me on the road that removed the scales from my eyes and it wasn’t long before I saw the duplicitousness and political machinations for myself. But back in ’09 James was verboten whereas now his weekly Delingpod is a weekly highlight.
Having said that I may have recently irked James on Twitter by saying his writing was inferior to his excellent podcasts
The podcasts are in my humble opinion superior, something James has stumbled upon but he is first and most a journalist and boy has he been on fire again of late – especially over at Breitbart. This is a timely reminder of where many had their road to Damascus moment.
Every journalist dreams of the scoop that will make his name. Ten years ago this month I finally got mine – but I’m still not altogether sure it was worth it. On the upside, my story went viral, got me a much bigger audience – from the the United States to Oz – and established my spiky, edgy reputation for in-your-face contrarianism. On the downside, though, for every ardent fan it made me it probably lost me a couple more: ‘But he used to be so funny and clever. Now he’s just one of those anti-science, climate change denier cranks…’.
You can search a whole lifetime for a scoop but when it comes, it often comes unbidden. Mine dropped into my lap when I was sitting at my desk one morning, wondering what to write next for my Telegraph blog, when I noticed an interesting story starting to break on the Watts Up With That? website. All I did was top, tail, adapt it and popularise it by giving it a bit of snark, context and spin. Then I nicked the title from a commenter called ‘Bulldust’ (an Aussie, as it happens). Et voilà! Climategate was born.
Climategate mattered because it offered the first solid proof that the scientific establishment wasn’t being altogether honest about man-made global warming. Up until that point, one or two of us had had our suspicions. But this was the breakthrough; the moment when the alarmists were caught red-handed with egg over their face and their trousers down. Someone – to this day, anonymous – had dumped onto the internet a huge cache of documents and correspondence retrieved from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at Britain’s University of East Anglia – one of the world’s main gatekeepers of climate science research. Finally, we could discover what the scientists most assiduously promoting the climate change scare narrative were saying to one another behind closed doors.