Seems the data may have hit the fan over in the Kanuckistani provinces. The Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, made the following statement:
"What I take from what’s happened at the East Anglia Institution is that there were some serious allegations of impropriety and some serious questions about the quality of the scientific work that was done there. That doesn’t - I mean we’re all interested in getting to the bottom of that, finding out exactly what happened. It does not change the position of Canada relative to the Copenhagen agreement and the Copenhagen thoughts. The science overall is relatively clear on all of this and as a conservationist and as a responsible environmental steward Canada wants to see carbon emissions reduced."
Now forget the waffle about the science being sound, that will be standard boilerplate for weeks yet, at least. What is important here is that a senior government minister has both made reference to Climategate, or its substance at least, and also said the word ‘serious’.
Seems the dam has broken and the Canadian media have all of a sudden learnt about the emails!!!!
And they are mentioning it to their readers and listeners as well. About fuckin time too.
Kate, over at Small Dead Animals (one of my all time favourite sites) (dunno why it isn’t blogrolled, Kate, you want in our blog list?), has produced a scream of rage and paean of contempt (is ‘paean of contempt’ internally contradictory?) which deserves to be copied in full.
But regardless, go browse her site, she deserves the traffic.
The Bottle Genie
Well, it finally happened. Much of Canadian media broke radio silence on Climategate today. There really wasn’t much choice but to report it, now that Environment Minister Jim Prentice had officially described the allegations as "serious", coupled with the day-old news that CRU head Phil Jones was "stepping aside" in preparation for his encounter with a double-decker.
As of this evening, there are 23,100,000 Google results for "climategate" - and exactly one on-air report from the CBC.
It’s been 14 days since the cork was pulled from FOIA 2009.zip
And as it turns out, the concerted efforts of a protective mainstream media to ignore the scandal turned out to be worst possible course of events for the University of Anglia’s motley CRU and their supporters in the wealth distribution industry.
They gave us something very powerful - 14 days of time. Time, while scores of bloggers and thousands of readers put in uncountable man hours of dissection and analysis.
Time for opinion columnists and talk radio to break ranks and take on the job their news editors refused to do, to disseminate the facts gathered, checked and analyzed by bloggers to a wider audience.
Time for the comments sections of every online newspaper in the western world to fill with angry demands from their readers to cover the damned story. Not because they were needed anymore, but because we wanted the stupid charade to end.
So when Peter Mansbridge went on the National tonight to admit what he had surely known for days, we didn’t watch to find out what’s contained in FOIA 2009.zip, for we’d read it for ourselves.
We only watched to see if he had.
For perhaps the first time in the history of mass media, the gatekeepers broke a major scandal to an audience fully 10 days ahead of them.
It’s a spin doctor’s worst nightmare.
As I’ve been saying from the beginning, they’re hearing the sound of all hell breaking loose. And as much as it’s being directed at the research institutions and the policy makers following along like so many imprinted penguins, the bulk of public rage has focused on the media.
I don’t think my friends in traditional news gathering truly appreciate what it is they’ve done. I don’t believe they fully comprehend how gravely they have injured themselves, and how they’re driving home the razor into an industry already struggling for survival with abbreviated, dismissive, misleading reports and "denier" and "conspiracy nut" slurs.
The bloggers tried to warn them. The opinion columnists tried to warn them, the talk hosts tried to warn them. Their readers, viewers and listeners tried to warn them.
The news media perfected the business of bombshells. They wind them up, drop them, film the explosion, and move on.
They’re just learning now that we’re in the business of bottle genies.
I look forward to the same here in Oz.