Climategate: Did the Russians do it?

The “Climategate” story gets even weirder. New Scientist reports (picking up the story from The Independent) that anonymous sources in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change think the Russian secret service is responsible for hacking into e-mail at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit. The reported evidence?

[T]he hacked data apparently surfaced on the server of a Russian internet security company based in the Siberian city of Tomsk, where the FSB [the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation] has an office.

And the supposed motive?

[B]y keeping the Arctic Circumpolar Seas ice-free all year round, climate change will unlock Russia’s enormous and lucrative reserves of fossil fuel. The suggestion is that Russia will welcome this effect of global warming.

Personally, I’m not biting on this one yet. It sounds too much like a throwback to the days of the Cold War and Tom Clancy spy novels, or like a bit of tit-for-tat paranoia from the climate science side. But just because someone’s paranoid doesn’t necessarily mean they’re wrong . . .