This Man Wants to Convince You Global Warming Is a Hoax
Marc Morano broke the Swift Boat story and effectively stalled John Kerry’s presidential run. Now he is working against an even bigger enemy: belief in climate change. Somehow, he seems to be winning.
John H. Richardson - March 30, 2010
Early on the morning of November 17, Gavin Schmidt sat down at his computer and entered his password. It didn’t work. Strange, he thought. He tried a few other accounts and none of them worked, either. Now he was alarmed. As a leading climatologist with NASA’s Goddard Institute in Manhattan, he’d been hacked before. He was used to e-mails from people who disapproved of his work, threatening e-mails that detailed the romantic life he was going to have in prison. So he knew what to do: He logged in via the Unix shell command.
A second later, the computer logged him off — and locked him out. Someone was in there, fighting him in real time. Schmidt sent an emergency message to his Web server:
“WE ARE BEING HACKED RIGHT NOW.”
When they started the system up again, hours later, Schmidt found a forged Web page and a link to a file holding thousands of what looked like private e-mails written by some leading climatologists who study global warming. In addition to being a massive theft, it was a dark joke. Because the Goddard Institute is the professional home of James Hansen, the scientist famous for first sounding the alarm on rising temperatures back in 1988, and these particular e-mails had been compiled as part of a bitter Freedom of Information fight launched by contrarians who insist that global warming is a hoax, the hacker was posting the e-mails as a malicious tweak. He came in via a misconfigured proxy server in Turkey that was on a list of the proxy servers people use if they want to hide their tracks.
Tags: Marc Morano