Get Popcorn. Stolen Emails Recipients Under Scrutiny.

December 15, 2011


On Wednesday, detectives from Norfolk Constabulary entered the home of Roger Tattersall, who writes a climate sceptic blog under the pseudonym TallBloke, and took away two laptops and a broadband router. A police spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday that Norfolk Constabulary had “executed a search warrant in West Yorkshire and seized computers”. She added: “No one was arrested. Investigations into the [UEA] data breach and publication [online of emails] continues. This is one line of enquiry in a Norfolk constabulary investigation which started in 2009.”

Tattersall posted his own account of the police search on his blog: “An Englishman’s home is his castle they say. Not when six detectives from the Metropolitan police, the Norfolk constabulary and the computer crime division arrive on your doorstep with a warrant to search it though … They ended up settling for two laptops and an ADSL broadband router … I got the feeling something was on the go last night when WordPress [the internet host for his blog] forwarded a notice from the US Department of Justice.”

Speaking to the Guardian, Tattersall said: “I am happy to assist the police with their inquiries because I haven’t been hiding anything important like some people have. I assisted them with their inquiries, which involved voluntarily answering some questions regarding computer use etc.”

Last month, Tattersall’s blog, as well as at least four other blogs popular with climate sceptics, received a comment from a user called “FOIA” providing a link to a Russian server hosting a compressed folder containing more than 5,000 emails exchanged between climate scientists, along with a short message setting out the perpetrator’s motives. The folder also contained an encrypted subfolder containing a further 220,000 emails. It was the second time such a release had occurred.


Tallbloke is one of the denialist bloggers who was gifted the latest batch of “Climategate” emails.  I don’t think he was near the center of the first release.  In any case, the U.K. police want a closer look at his computers.

Anthony Watts says he isn’t a suspect. But if they do a cavity search, who knows what it will turn up.


Ok, I just lost my lunch.

Most Hilarious – Fox News Regular, (and adherent of the John Boehner school of tanning..) Chris Horner is all indignant about the whole thing.

Ironic, because Horner is point man on the well-funded, politically motivated fishing expedition – not only to spy on climate scientist’s personal emails at the University of Virginia – but to pry open access for political hatchet men, BP,  Exxon, the Koch Brothers, or  whoever has the resources, to perversely use the Freedom of Information Act  to inspect and monitor any public University academic’s correspondence, anywhere, anytime.

Washington Examiner: 

The DOJ attorney sending the preservation letters, as it happens in this small world, a graduate of the University of Virginia (UVA). And UVA is also the subject of litigation a group I am associated with, the American Tradition Institute (ATI), that has filed suit on behalf of Virginia taxpayers seeking Climategate-related emails the school holds.

This is a case which has members of the Virginia faculty and establishment beside themselves and demanding an all-out effort to oppose production of the requested documents in an effort to wear us and Cuccinelli down.

So far UVA has spent upwards of $1 million fighting Cuccinelli’s request, and school officials continue to fight us in court every step of the way.

Here’s where that psych 101 finally comes in handy. I look for endless recycling of paranoid, conspiratorial Black Helicopter memes, along with textbook examples of classical defenses against reality. As a public service, I feel it’s my role to help interpret current events in light of our best knowledge of human behavior. Let’s review.

Denial is the refusal to accept reality and to act as if a painful event, thought or feeling did not exist. It is considered one of the most primitive of the defense mechanisms because it is characteristic of very early childhood development.

Projection is the attribution of one’s undesired impulses onto another. Thus, an angry spouse accuses their partner of hostility.

Compartmentalization is a process of separating parts of the self from awareness of other parts and behaving as if one had separate sets of values. An example might be an honest person who cheats on their income tax return and keeps their two value systems distinct and unintegrated while remaining unconscious of the cognitive dissonance.

Displacement is the redirecting of thoughts feelings and impulses from an object that gives rise to anxiety to a safer, more acceptable one. Being angry at the boss and kicking the dog can be an example of displacement.

Fantasy, when used as a defense mechanism, is the channeling of unacceptable or unattainable desires into imagination. This can protect ones self esteem as when educational, vocational or social expectations are not being met, one imagines success in these areas and wards off self condemnation.

Intellectualization is the use of a cognitive approach without  the attendant emotions to suppress and attempt to gain mastery over the perceived disorderly and potentially overwhelming impulses. An example might be an individual who when told they had a life threatening disease focuses exclusively on the statistical percentages of recovery and is unable to cope with their fear and sadness.

15 Responses to “Get Popcorn. Stolen Emails Recipients Under Scrutiny.”

  1. Wow! Congratulations! Martin Niemoeller would be very proud!

  2. On past British policing performance, it’ll feel more like battling Lord Dark Helmet.

    Meanwhile in the real world

    • Okay. The blog’s comments speak volumes. Y’all sincerely do believe that climate science, carbon taxes, and feed in tariffs are a prelude to a Nazi like regime. These are quotes from Steve McIntyre’s blog.

      “I propose the bobbies be called The Mann Commandos.”

      “When the code becomes available for climategate 3, broadcast it far and wide as soon as possible for there will be one almighty fight for survival among the climatologists and the political class.”


      Apparently, Mr. Tattersall is a person of interest in a criminal investigation. Thousands of emails were stolen. They were immediately published, with carefully crafted distortions describing casually phrased exchanges. One might reasonably consider the possibility that the hack was designed to confuse the public. Was that a conspiracy? We’ll find out. Was Tall Bloke guilty? We’ll find out. If he’s proven guilty, he’s not facing a concentration camp – or even hard time. If he’s innocent, then he’ll be viewed by many as a hero.

  3. Charles – I think Tallbloke is taking it in high spirit and there’s always the possibility of finding humor the British way. Am more worried about the reaction by fellow bloggers and netizens than by the establishment of a Climate Police State.

    That said, it’s going to be hard for people convinced the world is a-burning to remain within the confines of liberal democracy if the public and politicians don’t start following the Credo soon.

  4. One side believes there’s no time to lose any longer…that’s what’s most worrying.

  5. There to two main problems with delaying action. The first is tipping points. We know there are tipping points, but we don’t know exactly where they are. Every day we delay the closer we come to crossing them. The second is that the problem becomes more difficult to solve as we continue on with business as usual. The more Co2 we put into the the equation, the more we have to deal with in the future.

  6. Peter – I guess the degree in Remote Psychology comes with specialization in Karma Studies. Way to go dude!

  7. […] piange il coro dei fans. “Tenete la sceneggiata per la mamma”, ride Climate Crocks facendo incaponire il povero ing. Morabito, già molto provato dal declino di Forza […]

  8. […] scientist, Michael Mann, retweeted Greg Laden’s tweet publicising that blog post as well as another poor taste attack. So here we have a supposedly trusted, above reproach member of the science is settled team, the […]

  9. […] scientist, Michael Mann, retweeted Greg Laden’s tweet publicising that blog post as well as another poor taste attack. So here we have a respected scientist advocating the view that free speech should be suppressed […]

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