A Small Sample of Roger Pielke Jr's Ad Hominem Attacks on the Climate Science Community

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:21:00 GMT

Roger Pielke JrUPDATE 3/1/15: New attacks by Pielke Jr. will continue to be added to this page as they occur.

UPDATE 7/28/14: National Journal reports Pielke Jr. has been fired by FiveThirtyEight.

Roger Pielke Jr, the political scientist recently hired by Nate Silver’s new FiveThirtyEight “data journalism” venture, has a long record of harsh criticisms of the climate science community, impugning the motives, ethics, and honesty of climate scientists and communicators. Here is a small sampling of such remarks.

I have Tweeted that undisclosed [conflict of interest] is endemic in scientific publishing. . . The 53 authors include (for example) Joe Romm, Hal Harvey and Amory Lovins each of whom had massive undisclosed financial COI (obviously and easily documented) associated with renewable energy and political advocacy. . . . If COI disclosure is a good idea, and I think that it is, then it should be applied consistently across academic publishing and testimony, rather than being used as a selectively applied political bludgeon by campaigning journalists and politicians seeking to delegitimize certian [sic] academics whose work they do not like. [2/25/15]
John Holdren’s Epic Fail: To accuse an academic of holding views that lie outside the scientific mainstream is the sort of delegitimizing talk that is of course common on blogs in the climate wars. But it is rare for political appointee in any capacity — the president’s science advisor no less — to accuse an individual academic of holding views are are not simply wrong, but in fact scientifically illegitimate. . . In a nutshell, Holdren’s response is sloppy and reflects extremely poorly on him. [3/1/14]
When the White House publishes an error-strewn 6-pg attack on you, should you feel (a) flattered, (b) intimidated, (c) happy to have tenure? [3/1/14]
Climate activists warn that the inhabitants of poor countries are especially vulnerable to the future climate changes that our greenhouse gas emissions will cause. Why then, do they simultaneously promote the green imperialism that helps lock in the poverty that makes these countries so vulnerable? [Financial Times, 2/26/14]
Of course, there are scientists willing to go beyond what can be supported empirically to make claims at odds with the overwhelming scientific consensus on this subject—e.g., [Michael] Mann, [Jennifer] Francis, [Jeff] Masters are always good for inscrutable and unsupportable quotes. [11/11/13]
The IPCC implied that increasing temperatures were causing increasing disaster losses. And the scientific literature just doesn’t support that. [NPR, 9/24/13]
Will be interesting to see if anyone on the side of climate action will care that Obama’s plan begins w/ false claims about disaster trends [6/25/13]
Misleading public claims. An over-hyped press release. A paper which neglects to include materially relevant and contradictory information central to its core argument. All in all, just a normal day in climate science! [4/10/13]
Fixing the Marcott Mess in Climate Science: [H]ere I document the gross misrepresentation of the findings of a recent scientific paper via press release which appears to skirt awfully close to crossing the line into research misconduct, as defined by the NRC. The paper I refer to is by Marcott et al. 2013, published recently in Science. . . . Does the public misrepresentation amount to scientific misconduct? I’m not sure, but it is far too close to that line for comfort. Saying so typically leads to a torrent of angry ad hominem and defensive attacks, and evokes little in the way of actual concern for the integrity of this highly politicized area of science. . . . There are a few bad eggs, with the Real Climate mafia being among them, who are exploiting climate science for personal and political gain. Makes the whole effort look bad. [3/31/13]
Unfortunately, as is so often a case when leaders in the climate science community find themselves before an audience of policy makers, on extreme events they go rogue, saying all sorts of things with little or no scientific basis. . . . [AMS President J. Marshall] Shepherd seems a great guy, and he has a fantastic demeanor on Twitter. But I’m sorry, this is horsemeat. . . . As President of the AMS Shepherd does not have the luxury of using that platform to share his personal opinions on climate science that may diverge from that of the community which he represents, much less stretch or misrepresent broader findings. . . . In formal settings such as the briefing yesterday where experts meet politicians, I fully expect Democrats and Republicans to cherrypick experts convenient to the arguments they wish to see made. That is politics as usual. Leading scientific institutions play that same game with some considerable risk to their credibility. [2/15/13]
Extreme Misrepresentation: USGCRP and the Case of Floods: Questions should (but probably won’t) be asked about how a major scientific assessment has apparently became captured as a tool of advocacy via misrepresentation of the scientific literature—a phenomena that occurs repeatedly in the area of extreme events. . . . Given the strength of the science on this subject, the USGCRP must have gone to some effort to mischaracterize it by 180 degrees. . . . [G]iven the problematic and well-documented treatment of extremes in earlier IPCC and US government reports, I’d think that the science community would have its act together by now and stop playing such games. So while many advocates in science and the media shout “Alarm” and celebrate its depiction of extremes, another question we should be asking is, how is it that it got things so wrong? [1/15/13]
How does a draft of the most authoritative US climate assessment get floods 100% wrong, contrary to IPCC and sci lt? [1/15/13]
UN climate chief [Christiana Figueres] needs PR lessons: Climate policy “is going to make the life of everyone on the planet very different” [11/21/12] Centralized global gov’t is going to change everyone’s lives because of “science”? Perhaps now we might understand the origins of skepticism [11/21/12]
Public discussion of disasters risks being taken over by the climate lobby and its allies, who exploit every extreme event to argue for action on energy policy. In New York this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared: “I think at this point it is undeniable but that we have a higher frequency of these extreme weather situations and we’re going to have to deal with it.” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke similarly. [Wall Street Journal, 10/31/12]
Using Hurricane Sandy to focus policy debate on carbon emissions is just like Dick Cheney using 9/11 to focus policy debate on invading Iraq [10/31/12]
This exchange came to mind as I came across the latest exhibit in the climate science freak show, this time in the form of a lawsuit brought by Michael Mann, of Penn State, against the National Review Online and others for calling his work “intellectually bogus” and other mean things (the actual filing can be seen here). I will admit that for a moment I did smile at the idea of a professor suing a critic for lying (Hi Joe!), before my senses took back over and I rejected it as an absurd publicity stunt. But within this little tempest in a teapot is a nice example of how it is that some parts of climate science found itself off track and routinely in violation of what many people would consider basic scientific norms. . . . Mann’s claim is what might be called an embellishment — he has, to use the definition found at the top of this post, “made (a statement or story) more interesting or entertaining by adding extra details, esp. ones that are not true.” . . . I mean really, who cares if a scientist embellishes his credentials a bit? . . . Mann’s claim, rather than boosting his credibility actually risks having the opposite effect, a situation that was entirely avoidable and one which Mann brought upon himself by making the embellishment in the first place. . . . This situation provides a nice illustration of what is wrong with a some aspects of climate science today — a few scientists motivated by a desire to influence political debates over climate change have embellished claims, such as related to disasters, which then risks credibility when the claims are exposed as embellishments. To make matters worse, these politically motivated scientists have fallen in with fellow travelers in the media, activist organizations and in the blogosphere who are willing not only to look past such embellishments, but to amplify them and attack those who push back. These dynamics are reinforcing and have led small but vocal parts of the climate scientific community to deviate significantly from widely-held norms of scientific practice. [10/26/12]
House Dems put together report on extreme events/climate. Would get a F in science class, but an A in Creative Writing [9/25/12]
IPCC Lead Author Misleads US Congress: The politicization of climate science is so complete that the lead author of the IPCC’s Working Group II on climate impacts feels comfortable presenting testimony to the US Congress that fundamentally misrepresents what the IPCC has concluded. I am referring to testimony given today by Christopher Field, a professor at Stanford, to the US Senate. . . . Field is certainly entitled to his (wrong) opinion on the science of climate change and disasters. However, it is utterly irresponsible to fundamentally misrepresent the conclusions of the IPCC before the US Congress.Field can present such nonsense before Congress because the politics of climate change are so poisonous that he will be applauded for his misrepresentations by many, including some scientists. Undoubtedly, I will be attacked for pointing out his obvious misrepresentations. Neither response changes the basic facts here. Such is the sorry state of climate science today. . . . [Jim] Hansen’s use of science as a political fulcrum encourages over-the-top claims by scientists and an effort to squelch opposing voices. . . . Hansen is pursuing a deeply flawed model of policy change, one that will prove ineffectual and with its most lasting consequence a further politicization of climate science (if that is possible!) [8/1/12]
My tiff with Joe Romm and the Center for American Progress this week taught me a few lessons and put a finer points on ones that I have already known: There are people and institutions whose business is to try to tear people down, to savage their reputation in order to avoid a debate on policy substance; No appeal to reason, honor or dignity matters to such people; They will lie to your face and to everyone else without batting an eye if they think they can get away with it; When caught in an obvious fabrication they will pretend to make it go away and that it never happened, while doing everything possible to spread the lie far and wide. [5/11/12]
Joe Romm is a Liar: Romm’s efforts to smear by association are ironic given the lashing that Heartland just got for doing exactly the same thing. But irony has never registered high on Joe’s awareness-meter. There is no lower form of “debate” than trying to sully someone’s character by outright lying. And it is not the first time Joe has lied about me. . . . Joe: You are a serial liar. I will continue to broadcast this widely. Sue me if you think you’ve been libeled ;-) Your efforts at character assassination are transparent to everyone. [5/9/12]
NYT Puts The Hit On: The New York Times has an article today ostensibly about clouds but which is really an extended hit piece on Richard Lindzen, a professor at MIT, member of the US National Academy of Sciences and well known climate skeptic. . . . This is “advocacy journalism”—it is not reporting, as there is absolutely no news in the piece. . . . Whatever one thinks about the climate change debate or Richard Lindzen, is it a good idea for the New York Times to engage in an over-the-top attack on a member of the National Academy of Sciences? [5/1/12]
You may find yourself having to use the bullshit button in locations that are supposed to be credible, such as Nature Climate Change and the New York Times. [3/28/12]
The IPCC has already been criticized by those who apparently would have preferred a less accurate message that hyped up the science, such as Joe Romm and Stefan Rahmstorf. [11/18/11]
The New Eugenics from the Looney Left: In all seriousness, if you want to know something about the pathological politicization of science in the US, consider that Mooney (who holds a bachelor’s degree in English, and is probably a swell guy) is on the Board of Directors of the prestigious American Geophysical Union and is frequently hired by the National Science Foundation to teach scientists how to communicate. . . . Sorry Chris, you deserve all the mocking you are getting, and will continue to get, for advancing such utter nonsense though it may help to sell books, I’ll give you that! [11/8/11]
Selective Importance of Science Integrity Guidelines: One sneers at process at some risk. Of course, had the EPA endangerment finding gone through a more rigorous peer review, misleading and sloppy arguments might have been identified and corrected—such as found in this example. [9/29/11]
Why the IPCC Has Lost Trust: The IPCC is now one train wreck after another. . . . It is a shame to see that effort repeatedly scuppered on the inability of the IPCC leadership to recognize that trust and legitimacy are essential to its job. [7/27/11]
It is important to recognize that hyper-partisans like Joe Romm and Chris Mooney will continue to seek to poison the wells of discussion within the scientific community (which is left-leaning, so this is a discuss that needs to occur at least to start within the left) through constant appeals to partisanship and ideology. [4/21/11]
Anatomy of a Cherry Pick: That some climate scientists [Rahmstorf and Coumou] are playing games in their research, perhaps to get media attention in the larger battle over climate politics, is no longer a surprise. But when they use such games to try to discredit serious research, then the climate science community has a much, much deeper problem. [11/1/11]
What explains the adherence to bad ideas in the form of bad policy? I’m not entirely sure but it just so happens that groups such as the Center for American Process have been funded under the Design to Win strategy to spread its message. [5/19/11]
It is hard to imagine that Socolow’s comments can be in reference to anyone other than Romm, who has probably done more to confuse issues of mitigation policy than anyone [UPDATE: Socolow says he is unfamiliar with Romm’s views.]. [5/17/11]
Joe Romm Lies: I do my best to ignore Joe Romm, but when he blatantly lies about me I sometimes feel compelled to respond. . . . It is long overdue for the environmental community to start pushing back on Romm as he continues to stain their entire enterprise. His lies and smear tactics, which are broadly embraced and condoned, are making enemies out of friends and opponents out of fellow travelers. Vigorous debate is welcome and healthy. Lies and character assassination not so much. [5/6/11]
Peter Gleick is only the most recent climate scientist to try to exploit extreme weather for political gain. . . . Obviously, it is not just climate deniers who are engaged in misrepresentation and trickery. [4/28/11]
It is my view that sea level is an example of a context in which the scientific community lost control of a narrative (and some might say helped to push it along) in a manner that has contributed to damaging the credibility of the climate science community. [4/5/11]
By making claims that are scientifically without merit, [White House Science Advisor John Holdren] makes such persuasion [that climate change is a fraud] that much easier. But perhaps he is just engaging is a bit of innocent predistortion. [2/18/11]
Fabrications in Science: You don’t expect to pick up Science magazine and read an article that is chock full of fabrications and errors. Yet, that is exactly what you’ll find in Kevin Trenberth’s review of The Climate Fix, which appears in this week’s issue. [11/30/10]
Romm on the Attack: In short, Romm’s attack is unhinged and bizarre. More than any individual — James Inhofe and Marc Morano included — Joe Romm is responsible for creating a poisonous, negative atmosphere in the climate debate. Responsible voices should say so, this nonsense has gone on long enough. [8/4/10]
Silly Science: A new paper [by Shuaizhang Feng, Alan B. Krueger, and Michael Oppenheimer], is out in a journal getting a reputation for silly science [PNAS] that predicts that climate change will lead to a massive influx of Mexicans across the border to the United States. . . . To be blunt, the paper is guesswork piled on top of “what ifs” built on a foundation of tenuous assumptions. . . . In silly science however, nothing is impossible. [7/27/10]
Climate science is full of stealth advocacy and pathological politicization. . . . [IPCC] operates in much too ad hoc a manner and lacks anything resembling mechanisms of accountability. [6/1/10]
He’s Baaack: Joe Romm is back on the attack. . . . What has Romm’s knickers in a twist this time? [5/17/10]
There is a lot to like in this book — he relies heavily on the arguments of Vaclav Smil and Jesse Ausubel, while poking some fun at the inanity of Joeseph [sic] Romm — its hard to go wrong with that approach! [5/13/10]
The worst that can be said about [Michael] Mann is that he may have done sloppy research using poor methods that won’t stand the test of time, and when challenged he tends to act petulant and nasty. . . Mann is unpopular, even among many climate scientists. [5/1/10]
To date the IPCC has been far too ad hoc and unaccountable. We would not accept this from scientific advisory processes that inform decision-making on pharmaceuticals, vaccines for children or military intelligence. As we look for ways to improve the scientific advisory processes related to climate, lessons from these other contexts will provide a useful guide. Meantime, the IPCC would best serve the interests of climate science by moving beyond the denial of a problem before its credibility erodes even further. [The Guardian, 2/4/10]
So not only did the IPCC AR4 WGII egregiously misrepresent the science of disasters and climate change, but when questions were raised about that section by at least one expert reviewer, it simply made up a misleading and false response about my views. Not good. [1/19/10]
Sorry, But This Stinks: If the above facts and time line is correct (and I welcome any corrects to details that I may have in error), then what we have here is a classic and unambiguous case of financial conflict of interest. IPCC Chairman Pachauri was making public comments on a dispute involving factual claims by the IPCC at the same time that he was negotiating for funding to his home institution justified by those very same claims. . . . Climate science desperately needs to clean up its act. [1/18/10]
Pachauri’s Conflicts of Interest: When causes are popular it can be uncomfortable and inconvenient to realize that experts who render politically desired advice have potential conflicts of interest. Perhaps this helps to explain why investigative journalists (with only several exceptions), especially those who cover science, have turned a blind eye to the obvious and egregious conflicts of interest present in the case of Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC. [1/10/10]
This post should be read in the context of a continuing series on the systematic misrepresentation of the science of climate change and disaster losses. . . . What we have here is a clear case of extreme sloppiness by the IPCC followed by some very dubious interpretations of the literature by the EPA. [12/7/09]
In early 2005, almost five years ago, I began criticizing the scientists at RealClimate, including Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann, for hiding a political agenda in the cloth of science. In The Honest Broker I call this behavior “stealth issue advocacy” and it is among the most insidious and certain ways for science to become pathologically politicized. . . . I think we can get past the lie — and it was a lie — that these activist scientists, in the words of Gavin Schmidt, “are not taking a political stand.” [12/4/09]
What “left-wing bullies” (like Joe Romm) have done is turn the tactics that they have used on the “hyper-partisan it’s-all-a-hoax! Republicans” onto anyone and everyone that they see any disagreement with. [11/12/09]
Pushing Back Against Joe Romm’s Character Assassination: If Joe was trying to make himself look like a fool, he could not do a better job. [11/10/09]
Joe Romm’s Climate McCarthyism: Michael Shellengerger and Ted Nordhaus have decided that the right thing to do is to stand up to a bully. Good for them. . . It is important to point out that this is not simply about Joe Romm the bully, but the tenor of discourse on a very important subject. [11/4/09]
Each of these professionals [Joe Romm, Brad Delong, RealClimate] has great potential to positively influence policy debates in positive ways. Instead they all actively have chosen to engage in pretty embarrassing and unethical behavior that caters to tribal, echo-chamber politics. . . . In the case of Romm and Delong they also engage in outright lies and character assassination. . . . I was completely taken aback by the unprofessional email responses I received from Brad DeLong yesterday. I have occasionally seen faculty members throw hissy fits in a faculty meeting, but never have I seen the degree of unprofessional behavior displayed routinely by professionals in the liberal blogosphere. . . . Among these minnows are controversialist bloggers like Tim Lambert, who are professionally unqualified to engage in the substance of most debates (certainly the case with respect to my own work). . . . In their political enthusiasm, some leading scientists have behaved badly. . . . The climate science community is fully politicized. [10/20/09]
Anatomy of a Smear: Romm spins and lies instead. Dubner explains how Romm didn’t report the full story from Caldeira, but instead twisted it into a smear by reporting an untruth . . . Joe Romm often engages in some pretty dirty politics in smearing the credibility of people whose views that he disagrees with, which in the past has included me. That people play dirty politics is not a surprise. That Joe Romm is taken seriously by the mainstream media and the mainstream scientific community says a lot about them as well. . . It turns out that there is indeed some unethical behavior going on here, but it is not the SuperFreakonomics authors. [10/18/09]
One interesting trend of the internet era is the degree to which prominent journalists (and also academics) are subject to intense political lobbying of the sort that historically has been primarily in the domain of public officials. . . The best example of this in the climate domain is the incessant hectoring of Andy Revkin, a prominent reporter who covers environment at the New York Times, by Joe Romm, a political activist and blogger at the Center for American Progress, who spews forth all sorts of angry, half-thought-through diatribes when Revkin does not celebrate Joe or his political views. The point, Joe’s ego aside, is to increase political pressure on Revkin to take certain actions and reflect certain perspectives. [10/6/09]
Over time, it could certainly be the case that [climate scientist Keith] Briffa’s selection of data, and the choices made by those who processed the data before Briffa used it, will be upheld as scientifically sound and appropriate. But right now, appearances at the very least sure look bad, especially to those who are predisposed to not trusting climate scientists for the track record of bad behavior demonstrated by a small subset of that community. . . . Unless the climate science community cleans up its act, it is quite possible that many people will come to increasingly distrust institutions of science, which would not be a good outcome of this situation. [10/2/09]
Hockey Stick Gets Personal: Lies from Real Climate: Steve McIntyre must be on to something, judging by the nasty and vituperative comments coming from Real Climate, where Gavin Schmidt levels a serious allegation. . . . Gavin’s outright lie about McIntyre is an obvious attempt to distract attention from the possibility that Steve may have scored another scalp in the Hockey Stick wars. Rather than distract attention from McIntyre, Gavin’s most recent lie simply adds to the list of climate scientists behaving badly. When will these guys learn? . . . However the substance of the issue turns out, by lying about what McIntyre said in order to cast aspersions on him, Gavin Schmidt has given his field another self-imposed black eye. [10/1/09]
Case Study in How to Use Your Position as a Reporter to Advocate: Over at Greenwire, Anne C. Mulkern has written a superb article demonstrating how a reporter can can use a “news” story to editorialize, advocate and attack a position that s/he personally disagrees with. . . . Mulkern next uses the tried and true tactic of the ad hom. . . . Use innuendo to impeach the credibility . . . attack the man . . . and then if there is any lingering doubt show that the analysis, even if correct, is not new anyway . . . and allow someone to claim that it was in fact stolen from their own work. . . The bottom line is that even reporters with an agenda cannot hide the fact that climate policy is in disarray. [9/24/09]
Here is another tone-deaf incident involving the activist wing of the climate science community that has the effect of making the entire enterprise look corrupt. . . . [Climate scientists Eric J. Steig, David P. Schneider, Scott D. Rutherford, Michael E. Mann, Josefino C. Comiso and Drew T. Shindell] turned around and submitted the correction to Nature as their own work, and then had it published under their own names without so much as an acknowledgment to the Ohio State professor who actually did the work and made the discovery of the error. In academia this sort of behavior is called plagiarism, pure and simple. [8/6/09]
I have been amused to see Joe Romm, a blogger for the Center for American Progress, find himself unable to respond to the policy arguments that I make, and thus find himself having to instead engage in ever more shrill and personal attacks on me. [7/31/09]
[Science writer Chris] Mooney increasingly seems to have trouble with simple facts. [7/22/09]
[Science writer Chris] Mooney’s essay is full of incorrect information and flawed assertions. Is he waging a war on science policy? [7/21/09]
A Methodological Embarassment [sic]: I am quoted in today’s NYT on a new report issued by the Global Humanitarian Forum which makes the absurd claim that 315,000 deaths a year can be attributed to the effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations. . . . It is a methodological embarrassment and poster child for how to lie with statistics. The report will harm the cause for action on both climate change and disasters because it is so deeply flawed. . . . The report is worse than fiction, it is a lie. These are strong words I know. [5/29/09]
The Political Philosophy of James Hansen: James Hansen of NASA has written an op-ed for the Guardian that, more than any other piece of his that I’ve seen, expresses his political philosophy. In a phrase, that philosophy can be characterized as “scientific authoritarianism.” . . . Hansen’s scientific authoritarianism becomes largely incoherent when he accuses political leaders of “tricking” their citizens when they say that climate policies include plans for the future development and implementation of carbon capture and storage from coal plants. [2/15/09]
Here We Go Again, More Cherry Picking by the CCSP: I am once again amazed at the brazen and willful misrepresentation of an area of climate change that I have some expertise in. The selective presentation of research on disasters and climate change by various assessment bodies leaves me convinced that such selectivity is a matter of choice and not simply incompetence. Such behavior damages the credibility of the entire climate science enterprise. [2/2/09]
Due to an inadvertent release of information, NASA’s Gavin Schmidt (a “real scientist” of the Real Climate blog) admits to stealing a scientific idea from his arch-nemesis, Steve McIntyre (not a “real scientist” of the Climate Audit blog) and then representing it as his own idea, and getting credit for it. [2/4/09]
Maybe Joe Romm’s employers over at the Center for American Progress have a vision for how his tantrums and fits serve their interests on advancing climate policy. [1/26/09]
Have Progressives Lost Their Moral Compass? I have seen some ugly, ugly things this week. Some of them have focused on me for views that I have, but others involve people I know and respect. People who know better, or should know better, are engaging in tactics that can only be described as bullying, strong arming, character assassination, threatening, and McCarthy-esque. [1/26/09]
The “policy neutral” IPCC is once again making a mockery of its role of an arbiter of scientific information, in favor of all out political advocacy. [1/19/09]
Overselling Disasters and Climate Change by Munich Re: Further, there may be good reason for Munich Re to want to increase its rates, but making grossly unsound appeals to the spectre of greenhouse gas impacts on disasters in the near term will both harm its own credibility as a business, and potenially [sic] harm efforts to secure a global climate treaty, as overselling the science will inevitably result in a backlash. [12/30/08]
Joe [Romm] apparently sees himself as a “thug,” smearing, sliming, and spreading lies about anyone who departs from his version of political reality. [12/22/08]
So the question is, are you [climate scientists Gavin Schmidt] interested in spin, misdirection, and discrediting your peers? Or maybe instead you are interested in a substantive public discussion among experts on surveys of climate scientists? I have my views as to the answer, but feel free to prove me wrong. [10/13/08]
Try again Real Climate. . . . Questioning scientific conclusions is a lot healthier for science than rote defense, but we all learned that in grad school, didn’t we? [6/1/08]
Climate models are of no practical use beyond providing some intellectual authority in the promotional battle over global-warming policy. [Washington Times, 5/18/08]
Here I’d like to explain why one group of people, which we might call politically active climate scientists and their allies, seek to shut down a useful discussion with intimidation, bluster, and name-calling. ... What is proper etiquette for allowing a response to slander? [5/16/08]
[Climate scientist] James [Annan] has an increasing snarky, angry tone to his comments which I will ignore in favor of the math. [5/15/08]
[T]his defensive stance [by climate modelers at Real Climate] risks turning climate modeling from a scientific endeavor to a pseudo-scientific exercise in the politics of climate change. . . . So beware the “consistent with” game being played with climate models by activist scientists, it is every bit as misleading as the worst arguments offered by climate skeptics and a distraction from the challenge of effective policy making on climate change. [2/13/08]
And this leads to the repugnant behavior of the attack dog climate scientists who otherwise would like to be taken seriously. . . . The climate science community – or at least its most publicly visible activist wing – seems to be working as hard as possible to undercut the legitimacy and the precarious trust than society provides in support of activities of the broader scientific community. [1/30/08]
So as hurricane season approaches, advocates for action on climate mitigation would be well served by playing to their strengths and avoiding using hurricanes to promote their cause. However, I’d bet that the images of storm-spawned death and destruction are far too tempting for some. [Nature blogs, 5/7/07]
Long before George W. Bush was in politics Al Gore was in the business of politicizing the climate issue. [3/28/07]
[Al Gore]’s a very polarizing figure in the science community. [New York Times, 3/13/07]
Perhaps they are some of the less thoughtful Grist readers, as opposed to most who comment there, where character assassination in mainline posts appears to be accepted behavior. [2/18/07]
I would venture that a scientific survey would find that Mr. Gore’s movie is more apt to mislead than bring the viewer to a clear understanding of the center of gravity of scientific opinion on climate change. Is it alarmist? By effect on its uninformed audience, I’d hypothesize based on this nonscientific data set that it is. [2/12/07]
Over at RealClimate they seem to have added to the confusion by asserting incorrectly . . . [2/7/07]
A memorandum providing background to this hearing prepared 26 January 2007 by the majority staff of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight illustrates the cherry picking of science. . . . What has occurred in this memorandum is exactly the same sort of thing that we have seen with heavy-handed Bush administration information management strategies which include editing government reports and overbearing management of agency press releases and media contacts with scientists. [1/30/07]
An environmentalist writer defending Al Gore’s scientifically unsupportable statements . . . his [Grist’s Dave Roberts] willingness to forgive departures from scientific standards in support of causes and people that he believes in makes him no different from his opponents who do the exact same thing. [1/6/07]
In the piece Mr. Gore includes an egregious and unquestionable misrepresentation of the science of disasters and climate change. . . . What concerns me is that many scientists have been complicit in advancing such mischaracterizations and remain selectively mute when they are made. In this manner, a large portion of the mainstream climate science community has taken on the unfortunate characteristics of politicians like Mr. Gore, deciding to uphold scientific standards only when politically convenient. This is one way how science becomes pathologically politicized. [11/20/06]
Stern’s Cherry Picking on Disasters and Climate Change: The Stern Report’s selective fishing out of a convenient statement from one of the background papers prepared for our workshop is a classic example of cherry picking a result from a diversity of perspectives, rather than focusing on the consensus of the entire spectrum of experts that participated in our meeting. . . . I haven’t yet read the whole Stern report, but if its treatment of disaster costs and climate change – an area where I do have some expertise – is indicative of its broader analysis, then Richard Tol’s comment in the open thread [“The Stern Review is more alarmist and less competent than even Lomborg suspected”] would appear to be on target. [10/30/06]
According to various statements by its chairman Rajendra Pachauri over the past few years, one might be excused for thinking that the IPCC is really an advocacy document clothed in the language of science. [8/17/06]
The last sentence is exactly the dynamic I was referring to when I criticized scientists at RealClimate last week for serving as agents of divisiveness in political debates. [7/31/06]
But the response to this memo, at RealClimate and elsewhere, suggest to me that many involved in the climate debate would much rather bash their opponents than work with them to find common ground. In a democracy, action occurs most often through compromise rather than complete annihilation of one’s opponents. . . . But rather than seize upon the possibilities for compromise, advocacy groups like RealClimate have decided to use the memo as an opportunity to foster divisiveness and continued gridlock. It really does make me wonder if some actually want action on climate change or simply to score meaningless political points by bashing those who do not share their values. It will get commentators in the blogoshpere nicely agitated, but it won’t in my view contribute positively to progress on climate policy. [7/28/06]
Unless Gore was using Katrina to highlight the importance of adaptation, which would be appropriate in my view, using Katrina to set the stage for arguing for emissions reductions is simply scientifically indefensible. [5/10/06]
A story in today’s Wall Street Journal provides additional evidence of the fantasy world that is climate politics. . . [Al Gore launches Alliance for Climate Protection campaign] This is a wasted effort for a number of reasons. . . . The Alliance for Climate Protection seems to me to simply be a Bizzaro version of the now-defunct Global Climate Coalition and I suspect that it will have much the same effectiveness on public opinion and ultimate fate. [5/10/06]
When Scientists Politicize Science: What may be new, or at least more meaningful than in the past, is the degree to which scientists themselves encourage political conflict through science. . . . It is not a surprise to see an organized campaign among environmental groups to advance their own causes by discrediting the book [Bjorn Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist]. . . . In this context, a number of respected scientists saw fit to enter the political fray over The Skeptical Environmentalist, and largely in support of environmental advocates. It would be easy to dismiss the politicization of science by scientists as the province of industry-supported scientists-cum-consultantswhose credentials support their “hired-gun” role in issue advocacy. But the controversy surrounding Lomborg’s book shows this caricature to be too simplistic. . . a problem exists when, in the case of their opposition to The Skeptical Environmentalist, scientists implicitly or explicitly equate scientific arguments with political arguments, and in the process reinforce a simplistic and misleading view of how science supports policy. In the process, they damage the potential positive contributions of their own special expertise to effective decision-making. . . . Just as in the case of Leon Kass, Pachauri has been clearly using his position to advance a political agenda. In other words, he is politicizing the IPCC and his chairmanship. [Cato Institute, 5/06]
I have frequently criticized RealClimate for hiding an implicit political agenda behind the fig leaf of putative concern about scientific truth. [1/26/06]
[Science editor] Prof. [Donald] Kennedy is a Johnny-come-lately to exploiting Katrina for political advantage on climate change. [1/19/06]
You [climate scientist Raymond Pierrehumbert] continue a pattern here at [Real Climate] of confusing an opinion column that appears in the media with “science journalism.” This is not only a mischaracterization but a great insult to people who actually make their living reporting on science and issues involving science — a group which would not include Steve Milloy. RC has every right to call out cherry picking, but you will also better serve your readers by knowing what it is you are criticizing. [12/15/05]
Such cherry picking and sloppy work not only reflects poorly on the funders of the report, Swiss Reinsurance and the U.N. Development Program, but also on the people who are identified as peer reviewers of the report (a list which includes the current head of the IPCC). [11/3/05]
Increasingly the back-and-forth over hockey sticks is beginning to look like a testosterone-fueled fight between different cliques of pimple-faced junior high school boys, egged on by a loud group of close observers who for various reasons want to see a brawl. And just like those boys on the playground, these guys are too wrapped up in their own vanity to see that they are making us all look bad, and are risking having our recess cancelled. . . . To get a sense of this juvenile exchange, see this post and comments at ClimateAudit and this post and comments at RealClimate. [10/31/05]
[Science writer Chris] Mooney’s argument adopts the exact same tactics of cherry picking and relying on convenient experts as does Senator Inhofe. [10/13/05]
Of Blinders and Innumeracy: The article is amazing because even though the data is staring [New Yorker writer Elizabeth] Kolbert right in the face, she apparently cannot bring herself to grasp its implications for her argument. [9/13/05]
If climate scientists want to be believed when they discuss science in highly politicized contexts, then a good place to start would be to be accurate when making scientific claims. [7/21/05]
By presenting themselves as issue advocates scientific academies are threatening their own authority and legitimacy. [6/7/05]
I maintain that [climate scientist Kevin] Trenberth’s case would be better served if he could simply provide a single peer-reviewed study to back up his scientific claims, rather than engaging in McCarthyesque innuendo. [2/4/05]
[U]nless RealClimate carefully considers policy and politics as they go about their business, they run the risk of simply becoming viewed as yet another voice on the internet pushing a political agenda through science, not unlike CO2science.org but with a different slant. [1/15/05]
Because of the reinsurance industry’s obvious conflict of interest on climate change, the UN and its IPCC should eschew partnering with it to promote science or politics (or both simultaneously), regardless of the truth or falsity of the claims being made by the reinsurance industry. [1/6/05]
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) issued a press release last week that clearly misuses science to advance a political agenda. [12/20/04]
NYT as NSF Mouthpiece: I must have missed the announcement, but it appears that the New York Times has merged with the public affairs office of the National Science Foundation. [11/30/04]
Even if Dr. Pachauri feels strongly about the merit of the political agenda proposed by these groups, at a minimum his endorsement creates a potential perception that the IPCC has an unstated political agenda. This is compounded by the fact that the report Dr. Pachauri tacitly endorses contains statements that are scientifically at odds with those of the IPCC. But perhaps most troubling is that by endorsing this group’s agenda he has opened the door for those who would seek to discredit the IPCC by alleging exactly such a bias. [10/21/04]
In the case of The Skeptical Environmentalist, scientists politicized science when they claimed that Lomborg has gotten his “science” wrong, and because he has his science wrong then necessarily those who accept his views of “science” should lose out in political battle. [8/20/04]
Over the last several weeks I have criticized Senator John Kerry for making several mistaken assertions about trends in federal funding for science and technology. [7/19/04]
Whatever the reasons, you’d think that 48 Nobel laureates would check the facts before putting their name on unsupportable claims. [6/23/04]
It is one thing when partisan groups such as the Marshall Institute arguably politicizes science as a tool of advocacy in support of their special interests. It is another thing altogether when a purportedly non-political professional association like the AAAS, ostensibly working for common interests, legitimizes the practice. [6/17/04]
There is one climate scientist Pielke Jr. has never criticized:
You Go Dad! My father, Roger Pielke, Sr., is a very well-known and widely published professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University. [7/11/05]