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Canadian climate scientist targeted in break-in

Climate scientist Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in Canada has been the target of illegal efforts to obtain climate data, reports yesterday’s Observer.

According to the report, attempts have been made to break into Weaver’s office. In one incident an old computer was stolen and papers were disturbed, and on another occasion, individuals impersonated technicians in order to gain access data to his office.

Weaver believes that the attacks are an attempt to discredit the science of global warming. “The key thing is to try to find anybody who’s involved in any aspect of the IPCC and find something that you can … take out of context,” said Weaver.


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    charlie2 said:

    Having followed some of the climate argument over the last two years, I can say categorically that it is precisely when you take the CRU emails in context that the full breathtaking gall of the various participants hits you most forcefully.

    On that basis, it sounds like Weaver is getting his defence against the truth in early.

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    Luke Lea said:

    I believe that happened a year ago. Could be wrong.

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    rkives said:

    From my local paper in Victoria:

    UVic climate researcher Andrew Weaver told the *National Post last week that a Nov. 27, 2008 theft of a broken laptop from his office seemed connected to a case in England, where hackers stole e-mails from servers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.

    After the stolen e-mails were posted on the Internet, the information in them has fueled climate change skeptics, who argue some comments made in them suggest a conspiracy.

    Scientists have responded that the comments being singled out have been taken out of context and misinterpreted.

    The story about the break-in at Weaver’s office in UVic’s Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences building also appeared in newspapers in England. But neither the University of Victoria nor Saanich police have any evidence indicating that Weaver’s office was targeted due to the nature of his work.

    And it’s not the first time the office has been hit by a break-in. Days before the laptop was stolen, on Nov. 24, Weaver’s office was broken into — though a Zippo lighter was all that was stolen, UVic spokesperson Patti Pitts said.

    The laptop was one of two computers reported stolen on campus Nov. 27. The other, a desktop machine, was taken from the nearby engineering building, which does not house any climate research facilities.

    “As far as we can see there are no connections,” between the two thefts, Pitts said.

    In 2008, 17 computers were reported stolen from the UVic campus.

    Saanich police say investigations into both Nov. 27 computer thefts have concluded with no suspects identified in either case. Neither computer has been recovered.

    With no suspects, police also haven’t been able to determine if the machines were taken with any motive other than theft.

    “We’ve done all the investigative measures we would with any other break and enter,” said Sgt. Julie Fast.

    Weaver was in Vancouver this week and could not be reached for comment.

    Environment Canada, whose Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis is also located in the same building as Weaver’s office but operates separately from the university, would not comment on reports that hackers have attempted to access its servers.

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