The Trick Screenplay

[This is a full transcript of the first 14 minutes of “the Trick.” I’ll try and continue it soon. I leave you to spot the howlers, and work out which ones might be defamatory of Steve McIntyre. Note that the author seems not to understand the meaning of common English words like “data base” and “between.” Note also that just before the introduction of Steve’s name, The policeman suggests that this cybercrime might be worse than murder.]

Phil: (to granddaughter, on beach) Here I come. Ready. Run

Mrs Jones: I can’t believe you’re still doing that…

(Stage. Big background sign: “Climate Change Conference London 2009”)

Voice: I’d like to welcome you to this international conference for climate change 2009. It is my great pleasure to welcome our keynote speaker, who has been a pioneer in climate science for the last thirty years, expert in his field. World renowned. And who will address us on his work on the global instrumental temperature record, often referred to as the hockey stick graph, which has been so important in helping us to understand the causes of the change during the last one thousand years. (hushed voice) We’re honoured to welcome – Professor – Philip – Jones.

(In the wings)

Mrs Jones: Well, go on then.

(Phil goes on. Applause)

Phil: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Titles.

[This film is based on true events]

Young PR Man (rushing out of house, to older man playing with slightly coloured child in the kitchen sink) I’ll call you to let you know when I’m back. You’re a star dad, thanks.

(in train)

Old PR Man: Right. Let’s see what level of a shit storm we’ve got here.

Voices over: The University of East Anglia’s Climate data email controversy .. climategate.. climategate.. the climategate scandal .. scientists using words like “trick” ..climategate, they’re calling it a new scandal over global warming, and it’s burning up the internet. Have the books been cooked on climate change?

US Politician (Imhofe?): At worst it’s junk science, and it is part of a massive international scientific fraud

(in train.Young PR man bites his fingernails)

(in garden)

Burbling Important Man in blue pullover: (burble) communications consultancy – crisis management. Neil Wallace, ex-editor of a Sunday tabloid and his colleague Sam Bowen. Sam’s background is more corporate public relations

Mrs J: Can we trust them?

BIM: I think we have to. We’re running out of time. They’re accusing him of fraud Ruth. (Burble)

(in train)

Old PR man: Have you ever seen a Select Committee hearing?

Young PR man: No

OPRM: It’s no walk in the park. Eight people right there in front of you trying to put you on a (?) steal

YPRM: Why?

OPRM. It’s the House of Commons, the Government, and all that vindication (?) and this professor Philip Jones and the rest of them? Got half a chance. Slice of the whip and a rap across their knuckles and they’re screwed.

YPRM: So we’ve got one shot at it. To clear their names.

OPRM: And three weeks to do it

YPRM: (deep furrowing of brow)

Voice: Skullduggery; scientific espionage and black propaganda. Have scientists really been manipulating the data?

OPRM: They claim to be victims of a crime, right?

YPRM: They are

OPRM: From the off, everyone’s all over their asses ?? the criminals. Even the tree huggers, the environment correspondents. We need institutions independently to declare their innocence.

YPRM: I suppose they don’t know, do they?

OPRM: What?

YPRM/ If they are innocent or if Jones did rig the data to exaggerate the increase in temperature

OPRM: Exactly. Everyone’s terrified they’re guilty as charged. Maybe they’re right.

Edward Acton: (shaking hands) Edward Acton, Vice Chancellor

OPRM: Neil Wallace

YPRM: Sam Bowen. Pleased to meet you

EA: Here’s my Pro Vice Chancellor, Trevor Davies, former director of the Climatic Research Unit, also known as CRU

OPRM: Three months ago, when you were hacked..

EA: No.

Trevor Davies: [Burbling important man] The hacking itself was some months before

EA: We only became aware of it when the hacker uploaded the file to what’s it called?

TD: RealClimate dot Org. The university learned about it the following day.

OPRM: And you Phil, is that when you found out?

(Silence. Phil’s chin quivers; mutters)

Mrs J: Yes, that’s when we found out too.

OPRM: And what was your response, once you knew there’d been a hack?

TD: We informed the police and told them there’d been an IT system breach.

EA: A data theft. I think that was the phrase that was used.

Phil (long, tightlipped silence) Goodnight.

Mrs J: Thank you. You’re very welcome.

EA: Press Office documents, and I’ve had this made for you. It’s the broadcast coverage.

OPRM: Good. We’ll take a look at that tonight.

EA: (burbling) er, euh late?

OPRM: The House of Commons hearing is in three weeks, right?

EA: Yes

OPRM: The clock’s ticking Edward, so we’ll be working tonight

EA: I see. Good. Good

YPRM: Jesus they weren’t joking. He broke.

OPRM: Yup. Do you think he – he did it? You’d expect him to be a bit more pissed off, wouldn’t you? If he was innocent.

YPRM: (whispering) Are you sure I’m the right person for this? I do Corporate. Branding.

OPRM: Which means you’re not digital. (?) Look, whatever. We’re here now, aren’t we? Getting paid to get this lot out of a hole. Guilty or not.

[three months earlier]

(Police conference)

Plod: OK thanks for coming everyone. Thank you. Let’s start with the headlines. Two days ago the safer neighbourhoods team logged a data test for a backup server at the university’s climatic research unit known as CRU. Safer neighbourhoods flagged the call to Special Branch, and last night Gold Command on my recommendation initiated Operation Cabin as a major investigation. The contents of the file appears to be around a thousand emails and other documents written over a ten year period by staff at CRU, mostly by its current director, professor Philip Jones, world renowned climate scientist. Gareth here is from Kinetic, a defence contractor specialising in cyber security. His team will lead on the digital investigation reporting directly to me as senior investigating officer.The other two lines of enquiry: physical breach of CRU or an internal leak will be overseen by Gold Group. (writes GOLD on the blackboard) This is a category A investigation. So we can hopefully expect some additional support from National Counter terrorism Scotland Yard.

(Slightly coloured girl puts up her hand)

SCG: Viz. the Cat A status, sorry boss, but who’s been murdered?

Plod: No-one dear Shepiah (?)

SCG: So the only crime we’re..

Plod: The breach of the Computer Misuse Act, section one, and depending what we turn up, maybe section two. Regardless this is still a Cat A investigation, and I would appreciate it if it were treated as such. Right, if there aren’t any more questions, you know the drill. Any pissed-off (?) employees, office politics, financial vulnerability, who had access, what was the IT set up, any hint of a motivation, I want to hear about it. Thank you. Yes Shepiah, a word. Look, I appreciate this might just be a staff member with an axe to grind, or some hacker winning a pissing contest, but if it isn’t? Look at the timing. Join the dots. Three weeks before COP 15 the UN climate conference. (SCG gulps) Think about it. If this is someone trying to influence the global response to climate change; well then I’d say maybe Cat A isn’t high enough. (SCG nods and gulps again.)

11;33

(The White Tower at CRU. SCG puts on rubber gloves and stares at a photo of tree rings on the wall. Ed Acton stares at goldfish.)

Voice of Kinetic Cybersecurity Guy Gareth: The stolen emails are mostly conversations between colleagues, climate scientists here and in the US.

Plod: Have these conversations been taken wholesale?

KCGG: No. Because whoever compiled this file, they knew what they were looking for. These emails have been selected, probably using a word search for certain phrases. the first place a link is posted along with this comment here, “A miracle has happened,” is ClimateAudit dot Org. It’s a climate sceptic blog run by this man, Steve McIntyre. (photo on screen of someone else)

Plod: He’s receiving the link, He’s not sending it?

KCGG: Yeah, but he’s got history with Jones. McIntyre is a Canadian ex-mining consultant turned (shaking head and sneering) self-appointed climate science fact checker. If you look at his blog posts and the comment streams of his website and the emails, it reveals that there is an established relationship with Jones. And it seems that as far back as 2002 he’s been asking Jones for his data.

Plod: Which Jones gave him?

KCGG: Yeah. Initially. But then McIntyre started using it to criticise Jones, to undermine his career. (shakes his head) Jones backed off. But McIntyre, he got frustrated. Earlier this year he persuaded his entire data base to send Freedom of Information requests to CRU asking for their raw data.

Plod: Which they did

KCG: Yeah. Jones was flooded, and I mean flooded with requests. Sixty in a week. Look. It’s a bloody tsunami.

Plod: Annoying, but not illegal

KCG Yes. But that’s where it gets interesting. Our initial analysis of the hard drive server UCs (?) suggests that the unit was hacked several times between that same time period.

Plod:Are you saying there was more than one breach?

KCG: Not only that. McIntyre’s requests were formally refused by the university, and four days later, a file of stolen material goes live.

(at home)

Phil: (screaming and banging the coffee table) I HAVE NOT FALSIFIED ANY DATA!

Mrs Jones: (reading headline) Collusion? They can’t argue with the facts

Phil: (choking) That’s what they do all the time

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October 20, 2021 at 04:43PM

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