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As historians look back at the explosion of information technology we’ve experienced starting into this new century, they will likely agree that it is at least as important as the invention of the printing press and gunpowder were five hundred years ago. Those were transforming technologies that shifted power from the ruling classes of their time.

The printing press ultimately freed the common man from the monopoly the clergy and educated classes had on literacy. Gunpowder made any peasant with a blunderbuss the fighting equivalent of a mounted, armored knight, the previously invincible enforcers of Medieval order.

And today we have the personal computer and the internet breaking the stranglehold that centralized news and government agencies have had for so long on the distribution of information. In many instances, computer hackers are the guerrillas on the front lines of the fight to break free of the omnipresent propaganda that passes for news. 

The particular incident that got me thinking about hackers, official lies, and centralized mendacity is coming quickly to be known as Climategate.

In case you haven’t heard about it, I’ll recap quickly. Hackers penetrated the computer servers of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), based at the University of East Anglia, in England. The CRU one of the leading climate research bodies in the world. CRU data is used by governments and the UN in formulating policy to fight global warming. CRU scientists have received many millions in grant money for their research. The CRU’s director is named Phil Jones. Mr. Jones’ emails figured prominently in the scandal.

The hacked emails and other documents show top scientists conspiring to alter data, which showed falling global temperatures, to show the opposite. Their purpose was to prop up the notion that humans are causing ‘global warming.’

Other documents in the hacked stash show a nasty, coordinated effort to marginalize climate skeptics. They show the use of CRU influence to keep truthful reports out of peer-reviewed journals, and reveal how CRU insiders conspired to avoid answering Freedom of Information Act requests.

Before they came to their senses and realized what was in the documents, CRU officials acknowledged that all the documents were genuine. They are now in full cover up spin mode and not nearly as forthcoming about what was revealed. But that kitty is out of the sack now.

Mr. Jones’ own emails are among the most damning. Here’s a sample from one in 1999 that has the potential to join “I am not a crook” and “I never slept with that woman” in the Corrupt Official Quotes Hall of Fame: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” (emphasis added, quoted in the London Tribune) He’s referring to the decline in global temperature.

There’s no question that Dr. Phil had a great incentive to “hide the decline” in global temperatures. He has personally received over $25 million in grants to fight global warming. And therein lies one of the main problems with global warming.

Global warming has a constituency. There are literally millions of financial and career beneficiaries of the official version of global warming, Al Gore not least among them.

Big lucrative lies take on a life of their own. At some point, shaky science or not, the lie becomes simply too lucrative to set right. The truth can't simply be ignored, it must be actively suppressed. The truth, however, has a tendency to poke its head up when least expected, no matter the efforts to bury it. Whether there was a conspiracy to create the enormous hoax that global warming became will likely never be known, but that an enormous hoax has been thrust on the world is in little doubt now.

That is not to say I expect the millions of beneficiaries of the global warming fairy tale to simply admit the truth and move on to pestering us about some other weighty world problem. Not at all.

The main stream media in the U.S. is hardly touching the story. But it is a global issue, after all, and elsewhere on the globe it is receiving a good deal of attention. According to commentator Andrew Bolt the scandal may be “the greatest in modern science.”  James Delingpole has suggested it could be the “final nail in the coffin of anthropogenic global warming.”

I surely hope so. And we’ll have hackers to thank for it.