In November 2009, an anonymous hacker posted leaked email messages revealing that climatologists at the University of East Anglia had suppressed data and manipulated findings in their global warming research. But it was James Delingpole's London Telegraph column analyzing the leaked communiqués that turned the incident into an international scandal—Climategate—and helped rocket him to fame. It also provided inspiration for his newest book, Watermelons: The Green Movement's True Colors (Publius). Delingpole spoke with reason.tv producer Paul Feine in Los Angeles in September.
Q: What does the title of your book mean?
A: I call the book Watermelons because they're green on the outside but red on the inside. After the Berlin Wall came down, the communist movement, the global leftist movement, was left in a bit of a quandary. They pretty much lost the economic argument. They needed somewhere else to go, and global warming has become the great proxy issue. It enables them to achieve many of the same aims as before but under a cloak of green righteousness. This book, although it is about global warming, is about something in fact much, much bigger than that. It is about a global takeover by fascism, communism, call it what you will; their aims are much the same. It is about control.
Q: One of your chapters is called "It's Not About the Science." If it's not about the science, what is it about?
A: It is about politics. According to the theory, as anthropogenic CO2 levels rise dramatically, global temperatures will rise with them. But actually they haven't been. There's been no global warming since 1998. Well, CO2 hasn't stopped rising, so it must be slightly more complicated than these doom mongers are saying. I feel I can speak for pretty much everyone on my side of the argument. We are not in it for the lies. All we want is open debate for the truth to get out. If the data—real data, as opposed to adjusted data—show that the world is getting dangerously hot and that there is a definite connection between anthropogenic CO2 and global warming, then hey, we'll start addressing that problem. If it is that serious, it's going to affect us all. But what we don't believe in is this smearing, and lies, and this idea that it is wrong to even question the orthodoxy.
Q: What was Climategate?
A: Climategate was a leak of emails from the University of East Anglia. What they showed is that the scientists at the very heart of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on global warming were torturing the evidence until it screamed. They were suppressing the views of scientists with dissenting voices. They were generally behaving like very, very bad boys. What these emails suggested was: Hang on a second, these guys are telling us in their reports, "The science is settled." But how can we trust these guys when we see what they get up to in these emails?
Q: What was your role in Climategate?
A: All I was lucky enough to do was to go trawling through the Internet one day, read the rather wonderful website "Watts Up With That," and realize that a very exciting story was breaking. My story got Drudge-d. It caught the popular imagination. By the end of that week, Climate-gate had 30 million Google hits.
Q: Give us a sense of how much money is involved globally in climate change. Who has jumped on board?
A: The global warming industry is worth trillions. It's often said that the most expensive scientific experiment in the history of mankind was the Manhattan Project. So far in real terms around five times the Manhattan Project has been spent on research into man-made global warming. You can buy a lot of vested interests, a lot of businessmen, a lot of politicians for that kind of money.