Cyberbullying Scientists: Using Threats in an Effort to Silence the Discussion on Climate Change

 Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

Recently, the Wall Street Journal refused to publish a letter on the subject of climate change that was signed by 255 scientists—all of whom are members of the United States National Academy of Sciences. The WSJ chose instead to publish an opinion piece titled No Need to Panic about Global Warming that was written by 16 “other scientists.” It has been reported that the 16 “other scientists” include engineers, a physician, a retired airplane designer, a retired electrical engineer, and astrophysicists. Also included among the “No Need to Panic” authors are two men—one who questions whether smoking causes cancer (Richard Lindzen) and another who does not believe that asbestos is a health hazard (Claude Allegre).

According to Media Matters, most of the scientists who signed the WSJ op-ed do not publish peer-reviewed papers on climate research. In addition, more than a third of them have links to fossil fuel interests.

Peter Gleick, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a MacArthur Fellow, wrote an article for Forbes descrying the WSJ’s actions.

Gleick wrote:

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has long been understood to be not only antagonistic to the facts of climate science, but hostile. But in a remarkable example of their unabashed bias, on Friday they published an opinion piece that not only repeats many of the flawed and misleading arguments about climate science, but purports to be of special significance because it was signed by 16 “scientists.”

Serious doubt has been cast on the actual expertise on climate science of the signers and on the accuracy of the content, here and elsewhere, and the strawman arguments and technical flaws of their opinion piece are evident to anyone actually versed in the scientific debate. For example, their op-ed has fundamental errors about recent actual temperatures, they use false/strawman arguments that climate scientists are saying climate change “will destroy civilization,” they launch ad hominem attack on particular climate scientists using out-of-context quotes, and so on. Formal responses are in the works, and will be available from a variety of groups in the next day or so. [Just as an example, as pointed out here previously, and at the Union of Concerned Scientists: the authors claim there has been a “lack of warming” for 10 years. The reality? 2011 was the 35th year in a row in which global temperatures were above the historical average and 2010 and 2005 were the warmest years on record.]

But the most amazing and telling evidence of the bias of the Wall Street Journal in this field is the fact that 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote a comparable (but scientifically accurate) essay on the realities of climate change and on the need for improved and serious public debate around the issue, offered it to the Wall Street Journal, and were turned down. The National Academy of Sciences is the nation’s pre-eminent independent scientific organizations. Its members are among the most respected in the world in their fields. Yet the Journal wouldn’t publish this letter, from more than 15 times as many top scientists. Instead they chose to publish an error-filled and misleading piece on climate because some so-called experts aligned with their bias signed it. This may be good politics for them, but it is bad science and it is bad for the nation.

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science, the letter that was signed by the 255 scientists, spoke of their concern about the recent escalation in assaults on scientists—especially climate scientists. They said that the assaults on both climate science and scientists came from climate change deniers who “are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence.” The scientists called “for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distractions to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them.”

Not long ago, I was disheartened to learn that climate scientists in the United States and in other countries have become victims of cyber-bullying. In 2010, Douglas Fisher wrote an article for Scientific American titled Cyber Bullying Intensifies as Climate Data Questioned. Fisher spoke of how climate researchers have to purge crude and crass emails that they find in their inboxes every day. Some consider purging such correspondence as a task they must deal with as part of the job of being a climate scientist. Others, however, “see the messages as threats and intimidation—cyber-bullying meant to shut down debate and cow scientists into limiting their participation in the public discourse.”

Clive Hamilton, an Australian author and academic said, “The purpose of this new form of cyber-bullying seems clear; it is to upset and intimidate the targets, making them reluctant to participate further in the climate change debate.” Gavin Schmidt, a scientist who works for NASA, said that “organized, ‘McCarthyite’ tactics aimed at specific scientists by various groups can be stressful.” He added “‘Frivolous’ Freedom of Information Act requests can tie up considerable quantities of researchers’ time.” Schmidt claims that the worst things of all are the “‘intimidating letters’ from congressional members threatening dire consequences to scientists working on climate change.”

Last month, MIT scientist Kerry Emanuel, a Republican and the director of MIT’s Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate program, received a “frenzy of hate male” after a video that featured an interview with him was published by Climate Desk.

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VIDEO LINK: Not all Republicans are climate deniers (In the run-up to the New Hampshire primary, former Rep. Bob Inglis, MIT climate scientist Kerry Emanuel, and other Republicans talk about why climate action is a conservative value)

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Mother Jones reported that the emails contained “veiled threats’ against Emanuel’s wife—as well as other “tangible threats.” Emanuel said, “They were vile, these emails. They were the kind of emails nobody would like to receive.” He added, “What was a little bit new about it was dragging family members into it and feeling that my family might be under threat, so naturally I didn’t feel very good about that at all. I thought it was low to drag somebody’s spouse into arguments like this.”

The Guardian reported last June that Australian climate scientists had been receiving death threats. As a response to the large number of threatening emails and telephone calls, the Australia National University (ANU) in Canberra moved some of its “leading climate scientists to a secure facility…”

Ian Young, ANU’s vice-chancellor, said, “Obviously climate research is an emotive issue at the present time. These are issues where we should have a logical public debate and it’s completely intolerable that people be subjected to this sort of abuse and to threats like this.” Young added that “scientists had been threatened with assault if they were identified in the street.”

Canberra Times reported last year that more than 30 researchers in Australia—including ecologists, environmental policy experts, meteorologists, and atmospheric physicists—told the paper that they had been receiving a “stream of abusive emails threatening violence, sexual assault, public smear campaigns and attacks on family members.” Some of the scientists installed upgraded home security systems and switched to unlisted phone numbers because they were fearful that their homes and cars might be damaged.

One researcher even spoke of “receiving threats of sexual assault and violence against her children after her photograph appeared in a newspaper article promoting a community tree-planting day as a local action to mitigate climate change.”

One climate scientist, who did not want to be identified, told ABC News that a dead animal was once left on his doorstep. He said he now travels with bodyguards at times. David Koroly, a professor at the University of Melbourne’s School of Earth Science, told ABC that he receives threats whenever he is interviewed by the media. He said, “It is clear that there is a campaign in terms of either organised or disorganised threats to discourage scientists from presenting the best available climate science on television or radio.”

Addendum: An Excerpt from Cowards in Our Democracy: Part 1, Written by James Hansen, Climatologist and Head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Today most media, even publicly-supported media, are pressured to balance every climate story with opinions of contrarians, climate change deniers, as if they had equal scientific credibility. Media are dependent on advertising revenue of the fossil fuel industry, and in some cases are owned by people with an interest in continuing business as usual. Fossil fuel profiteers can readily find a few percent of the scientific community to serve as mouthpieces — all scientists practice skepticism, and it is not hard to find some who are out of their area of expertise, who may enjoy being in the public eye, and who are limited in scientific insight and analytic ability.

Distinguished scientific bodies such as national science academies, using the scientific method, can readily separate charlatans and false interpretations from well-reasoned science. Yet it seems that our governments and the public are not making much use of their authoritative scientific bodies. Why is that?

I believe that the answer, and the difficulty in communicating science to the public, is related to the corrosive influence of money in politics and to increased corporate influence on the media.

SOURCES

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science (Science Magazine)

WSJ Publishes Op-Ed From 16 Climate Deniers, Refused Letter From 255 Top Scientists (ThinkProgress)

Climate Scientists Rebuke Rupert Murdoch: WSJ Denier Op-Ed Like ‘Dentists Practicing Cardiology’ (ThinkProgress)

The rise of anti-science cyber bullying (ThinkProgress)

MIT Climate Scientist’s Wife Threatened in a “Frenzy of Hate” and Cyberbullying Fomented by Deniers (ThinkProgress)

Price Of Truth: Limbaugh Operatives Encourage Abusive Hate Mail At Female, Evangelical Climate Scientist (ThinkProgress)

Climatologist James Hansen on “Cowards in Our Democracies” (ThinkProgress)

Cowards in Our Democracies: Part 1 (Columbia)

The Journal Hires Dentists To Do Heart Surgery (Media Matters)

Remarkable Editorial Bias on Climate Science at the Wall Street Journal (Forbes)

Cyber Bullying Intensifies as Climate Data Questioned: Researchers must purge e-mail in-boxes daily of threatening correspondence, simply part of the job of being a climate scientist (Scientific American)

MIT Climate Scientist’s Wife Threatened In A “Frenzy of Hate”: Kerry Emanuel’s inbox was flooded with menacing emails after Climate Desk’s video on Republican climate hawks. (Mother Jones)

The Inside Story on Climate Scientists Under Siege: Michael Mann reveals his account of attacks by entrenched interests seeking to undermine his ‘hockey stick’ graph. (Mother Jones)

While temperatures rise, denialists reach lower (Discover Magazine)

WSJ War on Climate Science continues with 16 prominent (but not in climate science) Scientists (Firedoglake)

Australian climate scientists targeted by death threats (Climate Science Watch)

ABC World News: Climate Scientists Claim ‘McCarthy-Like Threats’ (Climate Science Watch)

Think-tanks take oil money and use it to fund climate deniers: ExxonMobil cash supported concerted campaign to undermine case for man-made warming (The Independent)

Australian climate scientists receive death threats: Universities move staff into safer accommodation after a large number of threatening emails and phone calls (The Guardian)

Climate change denial’s new offensive: Global warming is wreaking devastation, but Big Oil won’t give up profits without a planet-destroying fight (Salon)

337 thoughts on “Cyberbullying Scientists: Using Threats in an Effort to Silence the Discussion on Climate Change”

  1. Off Topic:

    Bought By Big Oil, House GOP Vote Against Keeping Keystone XL Oil In America
    By Rebecca Leber on Feb 22, 2012
    http://thinkprogress.org/green/2012/02/22/430234/bought-by-big-oil-house-gop-vote-against-keeping-keystone-xl-oil-in-america/

    Excerpt:
    When the House of Representatives voted on a transportation bill, H.R. 3408, that expands oil drilling into long-protected areas and forces construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, Republican lawmakers proved their complete allegiance is to Big Oil. Although Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner have parroted the myth that the pipeline would “lower gas prices” and “reduce our dependence on hostile, unstable sources of energy,” their actions show that helping American families is only an empty promise.

    Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) offered an amendment to the bill during the Feb. 15 vote, giving the House a chance to “ensure that if the Keystone XL pipeline is built, the oil that it transports to the Gulf of Mexico and the fuels made from that oil remain in this country to benefit Americans.” But the amendment failed 173-254.

    Not surprisingly, the 254 members who voted against the amendment have collected seven times more total campaign cash from oil and gas interests. The 254 members (230 Republicans) took in $37.3 million in career campaign contributions from oil and gas companies and executives.

    On average, each member who voted against banning exports collected $146,808 from the oil and gas industry. This is contrasted with the $5.2 million total for the 173 in favor (9 Republicans) of the export ban – or an average of $29,951. In other words, legislators who want to export refined gasoline and diesel from oil sands received five times more oil money than the legislators who want to keep these fuels here.

  2. Heartland Institute Threatens Critics after Leaked Documents
    By Andy Rowell
    2/20/12
    http://ecowatch.org/2012/heartland-institute-threatens-critics-after-leaked-documents/

    Excerpt:
    The climate skeptic think tank, the Heartland Institute, that last week was the victim of a devastating leak of information, has decided that attack is the best form of defense and has started threatening organizations and websites that published the leaked documents.

    It is interesting to dissect how Heartland, which has been in crisis mode for a week now, has reacted to this scandal. And it smacks of hypocrisy.

    Its first response was to argue that the authenticity of the documents had not been confirmed. It then argued that one of the most damaging documents—its leaked 2012 Strategy—was a fake “apparently intended to defame and discredit The Heartland Institute.” This was a clear attempt to stop people from quoting from it.

    The Heartland then “respectfully” asked “all activists, bloggers, and other journalists to immediately remove all of these documents and any quotations taken from them, especially the fake “climate strategy” memo and any quotations from the same, from their blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.”

    In a section on the lessons learned it argued that “honest disagreement” over the causes of climate change “should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred in the past 24 hours. As a matter of common decency and journalistic ethics, we ask everyone in the climate change debate to sit back and think about what just happened.”

    If Heartland had a track record of honestly portraying the science of climate change and not exploiting previous stolen information it might well have a leg to stand on. Instead we are dealing with an institute that is used to promoting climate denial and one that ruthlessly exploited the leaked emails from scientists, not just with the first leak in November 2009, but also the second leak at the end of last year.

    Just check a short selection of some of their headlines:

    – Climategate: Emails Reveal Fraud in IPCC Reports (see photo);
    – Climategate Scandal Deals Blow to Global Warming Fears
    – Heartland Institute Reacts to ‘Climategate 2’ Emails
    – Climategate 2 Emails Loaded with Bombshells

    So the hypocrisy and irony of Heartland asking people to refrain from using the documents has not been lost on seven scientists whose emails featured in “Climategate.”

    In a letter published in the Guardian at the end of last week, the scientists wrote:

    “As scientists who have had their emails stolen, posted online and grossly misrepresented, we can appreciate the difficulties the Heartland Institute is currently experiencing following the online posting of the organization’s internal documents earlier this week. However, we are greatly disappointed by their content, which indicates the organization is continuing its campaign to discredit mainstream climate science and to undermine the teaching of well-established climate science in the classroom.”

    The letter continued—“Despite multiple independent investigations, which demonstrated that allegations against scientists were false, the Heartland Institute continued to attack scientists based on the stolen emails … So although we can agree that stealing documents and posting them online is not an acceptable practice, we would be remiss if we did not point out that the Heartland Institute has had no qualms about utilizing and distorting emails stolen from scientists.”

    It also said—“We hope the Heartland Institute will heed its own advice to ‘think about what has happened’ and recognize how its attacks on science and scientists have helped poison the debate over climate change policy. The Heartland Institute has chosen to undermine public understanding of basic scientific facts and personally attack climate researchers rather than engage in a civil debate about climate change policy options.”

  3. The morality of unmasking Heartland
    By Stephan Lewandowsky
    Australian Professorial Fellow, Cognitive Science Laboratories at University of Western Australia
    http://theconversation.edu.au/the-morality-of-unmasking-heartland-5494

    Excerpt:
    “Truth is so precious that she should be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

    Winston Churchill’s famous words were uttered during the war against the Nazis and referred to Operation Bodyguard, a deception that was intended to mislead the German high command about the date and location of the invasion of Normandy. Given the context, few would criticise Churchill’s statement.

    Now imagine Bernie Madoff uttering the same words in defense of his acrobatic Ponzi schemes. Few would accept such glaring sophistry.

    Where does Dr Peter Gleick’s revelation that he lied to a conservative think tank to access climate change documents fit on this spectrum?

    This question gets us right to the heart of a central issue in moral cognition and philosophy: Are there immutable moral rules — such as “thou shall not lie” — or does morality legitimately involve a trade-off between competing ethical imperatives that includes consideration of the ultimate outcomes of one’s actions?

    If there are immutable moral rules then there is little daylight between Churchill and the hypothetical Madoff — both violated a moral axiom by admitting the possibility that lying may be justifiable.

    By contrast, if morality involves a balancing of ethical costs and benefits, then Churchill’s deception of the German high command quite plausibly was a moral act that quickened the pace of battle, thus hastening the defeat of the Nazis and the liberation of Dachau.

    The Allies’ deception paled in comparison to the lives saved.

    History is full of such moral balancing acts.

    When Daniel Ellsberg released the classified Pentagon Papers in 1971 he undoubtedly broke the law. However, when the papers revealed that four consecutive Presidents, from Truman to Johnson, had consistently misled the American public about their actions in Vietnam, the illegality of Ellsberg’s action paled in comparison to the good that arose from informing the public of their leaders’ deceptions.

    Ultimately, all charges against Ellsberg were dismissed, and the Pentagon Papers arguably helped accelerate the move towards peace in Vietnam.

    What are we to make of the latest moral balancing act involving the leaked Heartland documents?

    On Valentine’s Day an anonymous source emailed documents to various journalists that were leaked from the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank.

    According to its 2010 Prospectus, Heartland opposes “… junk science and the use of scare tactics in the areas of environmental protection and public health”.

    Opposition to “junk science”? What junk science?

    According to the Heartland Institute, “junk science” is the research that has linked tobacco to lung cancer and junk food to obesity. It is also, of course, the “junk science” known as climate research.

    The leaked documents put names and dollar figures to Heartland’s opposition to “junk science” and revealed that it funded climate denial in at least three countries — the US, New Zealand and Australia. Well-known so-called “sceptics” were found to have been pay-rolled by the Institute, often contrary to those individuals’ earlier denials of funding by vested interests.

    George Monbiot summed up the implications of the leaked information succinctly: “This is plutocracy, pure and simple.”

    Then yesterday, another revelation.

    Climate scientist Dr Peter Gleick wrote on the Huffington Post that he obtained the documents from Heartland by using someone else’s name, and then passed them on to journalists, thereby triggering an avalanche of exposure of the Heartland denial machine.

    Is Gleick another Churchill or Ellsberg?

    Legal issues aside, how does his subterfuge compare to the potential public good that has resulted from the documents’ release?

    Many philosophers who study ethics agree that it is important to consider the consequences of one’s actions in a moral dilemma to come to an acceptable judgment. Rather than relying on moral strictures, this “consequentialist” approach argues that the morality of an action is evaluated by whether it brings about the greatest total well-being.

    This reasoning is mirrored in the cognitive laboratory, where people’s responses are also often informed by the consequences associated with competing paths of action (the data are quite complex but it seems safe to conclude that most people are sensitive to weighting the outcomes of competing actions rather than being exclusively entrenched in immutable moral rules).

    Does this mean there is an ethical imperative to consider Gleick to be another Daniel Ellsberg?

    No. But it does mean that one’s ethical concerns should consider competing actions and outcomes rather than focusing on an individual’s chosen action in isolation.

    Gleick has apologised for his use of subterfuge. His actions have violated the confidentiality of a think tank but they have also given the public a glimpse into the inner workings of the climate denial machine.

    Had he not done so, no one’s confidentiality would have been violated, but then the public would have been kept guessing about the internal workings of one of the world’s most notorious serial impersonators of science. The Heartland Institute takes pride in its chimerical pseudo-“scientific” conferences and it is allied with “scientific” work that denies that mercury is poisonous.

  4. Denying Climate Change is Worse Than Stealing
    David Suzuki
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/david-suzuki/documents-strike-at-heart_b_1292343.html

    When hackers broke into an Internet server at East Anglia University in the U.K. in November and selectively released massive amounts of correspondence from the world’s leading climate scientists, folks at the Chicago-based Heartland Institute were quick to exploit it.

    Heartland president Joseph Bast wrote: “The release of these documents creates an opportunity for reporters, academics, politicians, and others who relied on the IPCC to form their opinions about global warming to stop and reconsider their position.”

    He may have been correct, although “reconfirm” would have been a better word than “reconsider” as seven independent investigations cleared the scientists of any wrongdoing and confirmed the credibility of their research.

    Now the tables have been turned on the libertarian “charitable” organization, which devotes its resources to questioning the reality of climate change and the dangers of secondhand tobacco smoke, among other issues.

    Heartland is just one of many organizations dedicated to spreading doubt and confusion about legitimate science. These groups share a lack of transparency, and an agenda to promote corporate interests at the expense of human health, the environment, and even the economy (if we believe the economy should function primarily in the interests of citizens rather than corporations).

    Recently, someone — since identified as climate scientist Peter Gleick — sent documents from the Heartland Institute’s board of directors’ January 17 meeting to a number of people and organizations, including Desmog Blog, a website devoted to exposing the spin around climate change denial. The documents confirm much of what we already knew about Heartland, although they provide interesting details about its connections and motives.

    Not surprisingly, the Heartland people don’t see this as “an opportunity for reporters, academics, politicians, and others” to learn more about the secretive group’s agenda. Instead, Heartland posted a statement on its website saying, “honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred in the past 24 hours.”

    Unlike most environmental and social justice organizations, the Heartland Institute doesn’t publicly reveal information about where it gets its money and what it does with it.

    These documents indicate that Heartland has offered U.S. weatherman blogger and climate change denier Anthony Watts close to $90,000 for a new project. They also reveal that Heartland funds other prominent deniers, including “Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), Fred Singer ($5,000 per month, plus expenses), Robert Carter ($1,667 per month), and a number of other individuals…”

    The papers also confirm that the institute’s primary mission is to discredit the established science of human-caused climate change. And even though it has received funding from wealthy individuals and corporations in the fossil fuel and tobacco industries — including the Koch brothers and RJR Tobacco — it gets most of its money from a single anonymous donor, who has ponied up as much as $4.6 million in a single year, 2008.

    If these groups were truly engaged in questioning the science, using valid scientific methods and principles, it wouldn’t be a problem. Science is strengthened through scrutiny and challenges; that’s how it works, and that’s what the peer-review process is about. But these organizations are engaged in secretive and dishonest lobbying and public-relations efforts aimed at stalling measures to protect the environment and health.

    Gleick has admitted that he made a mistake in posing as someone else to obtain the documents. The unidentified East Anglia hackers were also wrong to have stolen the emails, and the Heartland Institute is wrong when it lies about the most serious threat to humanity.

    Three wrongs don’t make a right, but there are some differences. In the East Anglia case, the investigations turned on those who were hacked and ultimately proved that the climate scientists, although human, are engaged in sound and verifiable science and that they have been subjected to years of harassment and bullying for their work. The Heartland documents show that the organization is using its taxpayer-supported status to spread lies and misinformation.

    It’s about time these “merchants of doubt” were exposed. It’s time to get back to real science as practised by scientists. We must get beyond the false debate about the reality of climate change and into the real debate about what to do about it.

  5. John Moore: A peek into the climate denier industry
    John Moore Feb 23, 2012
    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/02/23/john-moore-a-peek-into-the-climate-denier-industry/

    The curtain has been drawn back on the professional denier industry, and its media enablers are frantically crying “there is nothing to see here.” Leaked documents from the Chicago-based Heartland Institute expose the efforts of the conservative “research organization” to sow doubt about climate change. The documents also reveal information about donors — including a mysterious unnamed individual who provided more than $14-million dollars to Heartland. The information was obtained by an environmentalist posing as someone else online, which has prompted laughable squawks about ethics from the very denier crowd that fed like zombies on the hacked “Climategate” emails of 2009.

    To his credit, National Post columnist Lorne Gunter sees the information thefts as a case of tit for tat. But he goes on to argue in support of the Institute’s eyebrow-raising contention that it would never conspire against proven science.

    In fact, the advancement of junk science is at the very core of the Heartland Institute’s mission. The centerpiece of this craven effort is an annual denier-palooza event that gathers together some of the world’s greatest cranks to chortle over non-peer reviewed papers, false premises and debunked theories. Heartland is a slightly more sophisticated iteration of Canada’s Friends of Science, a pro-oil shill group that pays the hapless pretend climatologist Tim Ball to peddle a travelling anti-climate-change road show to naive right-wing radio shows and senior citizens’ homes.

    But there’s nothing new in the denier industry. Its methods were laid bare in the 2010 book Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. The authors meticulously exposed the web of partisan think tanks and their various guns for hire who have worked for years to muddy the waters on important scientific debates.

    The tobacco industry created the template for this chicanery in the 1960s in a shameless campaign to deny the link between smoking and cancer: Big tobacco commissioned bogus papers and hired scientists to poke holes in existing research.

    The same techniques have been applied to denial of everything from acid rain and the ozone hole to climate change. Often the very same suspects have been involved. The Zelig of the movement is Dr. Fred Singer, who today is a go-to spokesperson for climate “skepticism.” Singer, a pioneering physicist who participated in the space program, is seemingly so fixated on the idea of small government that he doesn’t mind shilling for any client for whom regulation is a threat. As recently as 2006, he was still disputing the connection between cancer and second-hand smoke.

    Here’s the reality: Of the 200 most significant climate scientists in the world, precisely two dissent on the consensus theory of climate change. But the media has been bullied into presenting the issue as a he-said, she-said affair. And so in a public debate on the issue, you end up with a quarrel between an internationally respected scientist and a blogger who quotes Ayn Rand.

    Bad science and faux dissent produce a paralysis that allows the implementation or perpetuation of bad public policy. How many millions of people died as a result of those who denied the dangers of smoking? Global warming is following the same pattern.

  6. Bdaman:

    you are wrong, wrong, wrong. Just because some one says the Artic ice caps are going to disappear 4 years ago and they are still here doesnt mean there isnt global warming. Come on dont you know they will probably disappear at some time in the next 1 billion years? Thus proving global warming.

  7. “the changes have occurred either at the upper end of the projections or even above the range of the projections.”

    I’ll repost what I posted up thread and lets look at another expert James Hansens projection from 1988 and compare that to actual/factual.

    One of the worlds leading climate scientist Dr. James Hansen testified before congress in 1988. It was the middle of summer and to give the effect that the planet was heating up they turned off the ac system and opened the windows to let the heat in. During his testimony he submitted his paper link here.
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1988/1988_Hansen_etal.pdf

    In this paper he shows a graph of what the temperature does over time. He gives three scenarios as to what will happen with the increase in atmospheric CO2. It’s located on page 7 and identified by 5 year running mean. This was his forecast.

    Here is actual as compared to.

    http://www.real-science.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/ScreenHunter_04-Feb.-15-23.40.jpg

    He is actually running below his best case scenario C even though there has been no reduction in CO2. There are numerous other predictions he has made that are now wrong. There are lots of predictions that lots of other scientist in the global warming community have made that have been proven wrong. Of course it doesn’t help when the main body the IPCC gets proven wrong time and again even though they employ the worlds leading experts.

  8. O.S. in re to Rather

    Another expert Michael Mann and what happens when you fail to cross check the cross checker. From http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hit-them-with-the-hockey

    [Q] Are the impacts of climate change showing up faster than predicted?

    Michael Mann : Changes have been taking place faster than the models projected. With respect to sea-level rise, with respect to temperature changes, with respect to carbon emissions, and in just about every case, the changes have occurred either at the upper end of the projections or even above the range of the projections.

    The facts: Sea level rise along with the tempreature are falling not increasing. The CRU and Phil Jones, Michael Manns compadre released new data in mid January. No statistical warming since 1997. Nasa and the Jet Propolsion Lab issued a report called NASA Satellites Detect Pothole on Road to Higher Seas
    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-262

    Always check the cross checker.

  9. O.S. in re to Rather, remember this ? Always check your sources but I’m sure it was for the greater good.

    On December 3, 2004, the twentieth anniversary of the (Bhopal) disaster, a man claiming to be a Dow representative named Jude Finisterra was interviewed on BBC World News. He claimed that the company had agreed to clean up the site and compensate those harmed in the incident, by liquidating Union Carbide for $12 billion USD.

    Immediately afterward, Dow’s share price fell 4.2% in 23 minutes, for a loss of $2 billion in market value. Dow quickly issued a statement saying that they had no employee by that name—that he was an impostor, not affiliated with Dow, and that his claims were a hoax. The BBC broadcast a correction and an apology.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster

  10. Folks it’s very easy, Just google Climate Change failed predictions to read how all these experts used shock and awe only to turn out to be wrong.

    A blast from the past.

    Expert : Arctic To Be Ice Free By 2008

    OSLO, Feb. 29 2008 (Xinhua) — The polar cap in the Arctic may well disappear this summer due to the global warming, Dr. Olav Orheim, head of the Norwegian International Polar Year Secretariat, said on Friday.

    The shrinking of the Arctic ice cap has been astonishing, Orheim said in an interview with Xinhua.

    “Ice sheet hit the historical low of 3 million square km duringthe hottest weeks last summer, while it covered 7.5 million squarekm on average before the year 2000, ” he said.

    “If Norway’s average temperature this year equals that in 2007,the ice cap in the Arctic will all melt away, which is highly possible judging from current conditions,” Orheim said.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-03/01/content_7696460.htm

    Fast Forward

    Arctic To Be Ice-Free By 2010-2015

    ‘Frightening’ projection for Arctic melt

    The Arctic Ocean could be free of ice in the summer as soon as 2010 or 2015 – something that hasn’t happened for more than a million years, according to a leading polar researcher.

    QUEBEC – The Arctic Ocean could be free of ice in the summer as soon as 2010 or 2015 – something that hasn’t happened for more than a million years, according to a leading polar researcher.

    Louis Fortier, scientific director of ArcticNet, a Canadian research network, said the sea ice is melting faster than predicted by models created by international teams of scientists, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=c76d05dd-2864-43b2-a2e3-82e0a8ca05d5&k=53683

  11. You know if the greens at the Gaurdian write a scathing article about you and your one of them, your done. Tupac spelled backwards done. Caput, capeesh? I like the He was hailed as a hero but the crtiticism is increasing as eveident in the Pacific Institutes statement.

    The career and reputation of the scientist behind the Heartland Institute exposé was in jeopardy on Wednesday night, after his employers said they were reviewing his use of deception to obtain confidential documents.

    The review, by the board of directors of the Pacific Institute, was the most serious potential repercussion to date of the admission by Peter Gleick that he had lied to obtain fundraising documents and a donor list from Heartland, the rightwing thinktank devoted to discrediting climate change.

    He was hailed as a hero by Naomi Klein and by science educator Scott Mandia, who told the Guardian that Gleick had acted as any journalist would. “Peter Gleick, a scientist who is also a journalist, just used the same tricks that any investigative reporter uses to uncover the truth. He is the hero and Heartland remains the villain. He will have many people lining up to support him.”

    But Gleick has faced increasing criticism since then from fellow scientists, who contend that his techniques were a betrayal of the rigorous method and transparency that are at the heart of science.

    Gavin Schmidt, the Nasa climate modeller who founded the RealClimate blog, was scathing in a comment first reported in the New York Times.

    “Gleick’s actions were completely irresponsible, and while the information uncovered was interesting (if unsurprising), it in no way justified his actions. There is an integrity required to do science (and talk about it credibly), and he has unfortunately failed this test.”

  12. “As facts emerge and are confirmed, the Board will inform all stakeholders of our findings and of any actions based on these findings.”

    Someone needs to inform the PI that the science is settled there will be no more debate. He faked the documents for the greater good.

  13. Pacific Institute on the 21st said “Dr. Gleick has been and continues to be an integral part of our team.”

    One day later, they are deeply concerned. He’s a hero for faking documents and for obtainning company documents under false pretenses. The Che Guevara of the climate community.

    February 22, 2012

    PACIFIC INSTITUTE BOARD OF DIRECTORS STATEMENT

    The Board of Directors of the Pacific Institute is deeply concerned and is actively reviewing information about the recent events involving its president, Dr. Peter Gleick, and documents pertaining to the Heartland Institute. Neither the board nor the staff of the Pacific Institute knew of, played any role in, or condones these events. As facts emerge and are confirmed, the Board will inform all stakeholders of our findings and of any actions based on these findings. In the meantime we maintain our commitment to the smooth operations, governance, and mission of the Pacific Institute.

    February 21, 2012

    PACIFIC INSTITUTE STATEMENT

    We at the Pacific Institute are aware of Dr. Peter Gleick’s apology and actions related to the Heartland Institute. For 25 years, the Pacific Institute has been committed to conducting research that advances environmental protection, economic development, and social equity and Dr. Gleick has been and continues to be an integral part of our team. Our organization remains focused on our mission of creating a healthier planet and sustainable communities.

  14. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/22/an-online-and-open-excercise-in-stylometrytextometry-crowdsourcing-the-gleick-climate-strategy-memo-authorship/

    You can participate in a crowdsourcing experiment using free open source stylometry/textometry software to determine the true authorship of the “faked” Heartland Climate Strategy memo.

    In a desperate attempt at self vindication, the paid propagandists at DeSmog blog have become their own “verification bureau” for a document they have no way to properly verify. The source (Heartland) says it isn’t verified (and a fake) but that’s not good enough for the Smoggers and is a threat to them, so they spin it and hope the weak minded regugitators retweet it and blog it unquestioned. They didn’t even bother to get an independent opinion. It seems to be just climate news porn for the weak minded Suzuki followers upon which their blog is founded. As one WUWT commenter (Copner) put it – “triple face palm”.

    Laughably, the Penn State sabbaticalized Dr. Mike Mann accepted it uncritically.

  15. Lotta the key part of that was this

    The records reveal that NASA initially was very direct in warning Hansen of his responsibilities and prohibitions relating to these activities, which covered the subject of his public employment. Later, after Hansen gained much media attention and condemnation of his NASA superiors for (falsely) claiming he had been “muzzled” (the second president named Bush he claimed had muzzled him), certain clear restatements of the law were dropped from the approval letters responding to his applications for outside employment.

  16. Raff it is all speculators and oil companies why don’t they just keep the price of gas high and stop making it go up and down. You might be right though. Rumor has it the higher the price goes the least likeley Obama will get reelected. Maybe the speculators and the oil companies are just doing their part. Hmmmm I think I might be on to something. After all a little less than a year ago it was the speculators fault. Payback is hell.

    Always someone elses fault.

    April 2011

    President Barack Obama on Tuesday blamed speculators for driving gasoline prices higher and straining American consumers, saying there was enough oil in world markets to meet demand.

    Speaking at a community college in suburban Virginia, Obama said increasing production of U.S. oil and creating a market for fuel-efficient cars would help meet the country’s energy challenges.

    “I know that if you’ve got a limited budget and you just watch that hard-earned money going away to oil companies that will once again probably make record profits this quarter, it’s pretty frustrating,” he said.

    Rising fuel prices are a persistent concern for the White House, which is concerned about their impact on the economy and on voters’ wallets as Obama runs for re-election.

    Average U.S. gasoline prices hit $3.84 a gallon last week, the most expensive since August 2008, as oil prices have soared above $100 a barrel.

    With pump prices already above the key level of $4 a gallon in U.S. cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, there is political pressure on Obama to act.

    Obama said that global oil supply is adequate and that speculators are driving up prices significantly.

    “It is true that a lot of what’s driving oil prices up right now is not the lack of supply. There’s enough supply. There’s enough oil out there for world demand,” Obama said.

    “The problem is … speculators and people make various bets, and they say, you know what, we think that maybe there’s a 20 percent chance that something might happen in the Middle East that might disrupt oil supply, so we’re going to bet that oil is going to go up real high. And that spikes up prices significantly.”

    U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Tuesday he was concerned that rising crude oil and gasoline prices could undermine U.S. economic recovery.

    Obama said the U.S. government was in a position to investigate unfair speculation.

    Two U.S. agencies that investigate potential energy market manipulation — the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) — recently agreed to share information on potential probes.

    “We’re going to be monitoring gas stations to make sure there isn’t any price gouging that’s taking advantage of consumers,” Obama said.

    The CFTC is also weighing new rules that would slap “position limits” on big commodity traders that would cap how many futures and related swaps contracts any one company can control. The rules, which have been under debate since commodity prices first surged to records in 2007 and 2008, are aimed at tempering wild price swings.

    “There is a Wall Street premium on gas prices today,” CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton, a strong advocate for imposing position limits, told Reuters.

    “Every time folks fill up their tanks, they can expect that several dollars are due to speculation.”

    Goldman Sachs, one of the largest investment banks in commodities, warned clients last week that oil prices could correct due to the level of speculative interest currently in the market.

    Obama, who was unable to pass a comprehensive bill to revamp energy policy and fight climate change during his first two years in office, has identified energy reform as a priority in the second half of his White House term.

    (Additional reporting by Christopher Doering in Washington and David Sheppard in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

  17. Hansen received gifts and did not disclose? I’m shocked, shocked. Perhaps though he forgot or did not know there was a form he needed to fill out or that he was supposed to, like Justice Thomas. Yea, that was probably it.

    BTW, when is winning a prize for ones work or accepting a speaking fee a gift? He was probably speaking as a historian or from a historical perspective anyway. You know, like Newt or Justice Scalia.

    🙂

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