Nothing Personal

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on December 5, 2009

A lot of us have more than one email account — one for personal use, and one for work. We do that for several reasons. We want to keep our private lives separate from our professional activities. We don’t want bosses and co-workers to know everything that goes on at home. Employers have the right to know what staff members are doing with their work-time and company resources — which includes official email accounts — so those things are subject to scrutiny. If we work for the government (and therefore taxpayers), then we are subject to even greater oversight. So we isolate our personal electronic correspondence and in most cases employers don’t bother to ask about it — and if they did, they’d have some pretty upset employees on their hands.

So here we have Penn State University Climategate-ologist Michael Money-Mann outraged over outsiders viewing his “private” correspondence:

“It’s an 11th-hour smear campaign where they’ve stolen personal e-mails from scientists, mined them for single words or phrases that can be taken out of context and misrepresent what scientists are saying,” said Michael Mann, director of Pennsylvania State University’s Earth Systems Science Center, in a teleconference Friday with reporters.

Unless it’s his own employer taking a look:

Mann said he welcomed the inquiry.

“They are just reviewing the facts and (looking) into whether there is any validity to the specious claims, in my view, that are being made,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday night. “That’s exactly what they should be doing, and I am fully in support of that.”

Where’s the outrage, Mike? If these truly were personal correspondence, you’d have a right to be upset and insist that no one view your emails. Of course that’s not the case — you work for a public university, and sent messages to public university addresses of other scientists. It’s more likely that you are expecting Penn State to cover your rear end. You’re probably right.

Let’s break down the alarmist-activist-Leftist-scientists’ primary line of defense, helpfully parroted by the formerly mainstream media: That “they’ve stolen personal emails.”

1. “They’ve” — implies someone from the group of skeptics they disdain was the one to pilfer and expose their messages. But CRU, Mann, and the rest of their cabal have no idea who exposed the records.

2. “stolen” — CRU, Mann, etc. cannot prove the records were extracted by an outside entity. They may have been exposed by a whistleblower. Those types are often celebrated as heroes when they scandals are revealed.

3. “personal” — We’ve already addressed that above and elsewhere.

4. “emails” — yes, and so much more. They don’t even want to talk about the corrupted source code, which a software engineer — who is not a climate skeptic — interviewed by BBC said was, let’s say, less than professional.

But expect the made-up story of “stolen personal emails” to continue — at least until they are discredited about that as well.

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