Tag Archives: climategate

The new online challenge: combatting social insurgents

While an enquiry was today clearing climate change scientists of malpractice in the leaked email affair, I was hearing further details of how the sceptics used blogging to promote “Climategate” as a story that undermined public confidence in research … and about the emergence of the social insurgent.

I wrote recently about how climate sceptics network more effectively than environmentalists, reporting work commissioned by Oxfam from the digital mapping agency Prospero. Left Foot Forward reported:

The speed of information flow within the sceptic community, with its rapid publication of sceptical “research”, is far quicker than any scientist or NGO could hope to match – and handily unencumbered by peer review or sign-off processes.This meant that because almost no-one from the climate movement responded to or rebutted the sceptics’ arguments, they ended up owning the story.

Today while at the OxfordJam social entrepreneur event I met Nathan Flowers, of The Social Media Lab, who worked on the analysis. He explained how fast the climate change sceptics were able to operate in spreading news of the email leak, dubbing it Climategate, and getting mainstream coverage through the Daily Telegraph blog written by James Delingpole. read more »