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Repeated break-ins point to ‘orchestrated campaign’ by climate skeptics

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A series of repeated break-in and computer hacking attempts at a Canadian climate research institute are a sign of a “well-orchestrated campaign of harassment” against climate researchers ahead of the Copenhagen summit, several news sources report.

Employees at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, have revealed that the school’s Centre for Climate Modelling has experienced at least two break-ins in recent months, as well as several attempts at hacking into the center’s computer network.

The news comes a week after revelations that computer hackers stole thousands of emails from a climate research center at the University of East Anglia in the UK, some of which purportedly show attempts to cover up data that does not fit with claims about global warming.

Those leaked emails are at the center of a political push-back by climate skeptics, who are arguing that the “Climategate” emails show that global warming is a fraud, or at least has been exaggerated.

Canada’s National Post reports:

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Andrew Weaver, a University of Victoria scientist and key contributor to the Nobel prize-winning work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says there have been a number of attempted breaches in recent months, including two successful break-ins at his campus office in which a dead computer was stolen and papers were rummaged through.

“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,” Mr. Weaver said, drawing a parallel to the case of British climate researcher Phil Jones, who was forced to step down this week after skeptics seized upon hacked emails they allege point to a plot to exaggerate the threat of climate change.

“People don’t like it, so they try to discredit it, and the way they try to discredit it is by attacking the individual responsible for it,” Mr. Weaver said.

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“They went through my desk drawers,” Weaver told the Victoria Times-Colonist. “It was bizarre and the only computer that wasn’t secured was stolen. It wasn’t secured because it was broken. There was nothing on it … They were trying to find any dirt they could, as they have done in the UK.”

The Post reports that Canada’s federal government is investigating some of the hacking attempts, as the university’s climate research center is run by Environment Canada, the country’s environmental protection agency.

In recent days, many US politicians opposed to a climate deal in Copenhagen have used the University of East Anglia email controversy to push for a US withdrawal from the climate negotiations. US House Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) said the leaked emails showed that efforts to prevent climate change amount to “scientific fascism.”

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On Thursday evening, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin urged President Barack Obama to boycott the Copnehagen summit next week, because she believes the leaked emails prove that fears of climate change are based on “junk science.”

The Times-Colonist reports:

Weaver worries that climate-change deniers, many funded by large oil companies, are succeeding in scaring or confusing people.

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It comes down to a battle between science and ideology, he said. While science is about explaining all observations, ideology is about using only those observations that support a preconceived notion, he added.


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Tongue-tied GOP strategist crashes and burns on-air while trying to deny Trump’s racism

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Republican strategist Amy Tarkanian crashed and burned on CNN on Saturday while attempting to deny President Donald Trump's racism.

"I do not believe that the president’s tweets were racist. I do believe they were not well thought out. He needs that extra, 'Are you sure?' button on Twitter," Tarkanian argued.

"I'm a black man, I'm a Republican and a black man," the Rev. Joe Watkins interjected. "My mother's an immigrant, I would be angry if someone said that to my mother."

"Oh, it’s very offensive. But he did not say, because you are this color, go back to where you came from," Tarkanian argued. "I’m not supporting that tweet. Was it racist? No. Was it stupid? Yes."

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CNN

Trump supporter blames Democrats for being targeted by the president: ‘Why is that racist?’

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CNN interviewed a supporter of President Donald Trump in Eau Claire, Wisconsin who refused to acknowledge the racism in the president's "Go Back" attacks on four women of color in Congress.

The network interviewed Kerri Krumenauer of Wiersgalla Plumbing & Heating Company about Trump's attacks.

"How is it racist?" she asked.

"If you don't like this country, get out," she demanded. "Leave!"

She then showed how misinformed she was about the incident.

"He didn't use any names -- they stood up," she falsely claimed. In fact, Trump did use names and the targets did not stand up as they were not at his North Carolina campaign rally.

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2020 Election

Here’s how Trump hopes to recreate his 2016 presidential win — and how Democrats can send him packing

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Writing for CNN on Saturday, election forecaster Harry Enten explained how President Donald Trump's recent, racist behavior lies in his desire to recreate the same electoral conditions that gave him a victory in 2016 in the presidential election next year.

"The Trump strategy is pretty simple: 1. Drive up the unfavorable ratings of his Democratic rival as he did in 2016 in order to compensate for his own low ratings. 2. Bank on an electoral college/popular vote split as he did in 2016. 3. Use a campaign of racial resentment to drive up turnout even more among groups favorable toward the President," wrote Enten. As he noted, Democrats have excellent odds to flip back Michigan and Pennsylvania, but they will have to work harder to win back any of the other states Trump flipped from the 2012 Obama camp — in particular Wisconsin, which was the closest state after those two.

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