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]

Roger Pielke Jr's First Post for Nate Silver's Venture Relies on False Claim about Climate Science

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 19 Mar 2014 19:25:00 GMT

The first post by Roger Pielke Jr., the contributing writer on climate for Nate Silver’s new FiveThirtyEight venture, is premised on a factually incorrect assertion. Pielke’s thesis is that “[a]ll the apocalyptic ‘climate porn’ in your Facebook feed is solely a function of perception,” premised on this claim:
In fact, today’s climate models suggest that future changes in extremes that cause the most damage won’t be detectable in the statistics of weather (or damage) for many decades.

This claim is false, even under Pielke’s terms. Pielke defines “extremes that cause the most damage” as “floods, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes,” excluding “heat waves and intense precipitation,” because “these phenomena are not significant drivers of disaster costs.” (That exclusion is made without a supporting reference.)

In fact, climate models, checked against observations, have already detected changes in the most damaging extremes in the statistics of weather, even under Pielke’s carefully chosen terms: Although there is an observed increase in frequency and intensity of tornadic activity in the United States, the observational record is insufficiently reliable as to make the trend certain. Similarly there is uncertainty in how global warming-driven changes will influence tornadic activity, though there is no question that global warming is changing the factors that determine tornadic development.

Given a sensible policy toward risk, that uncertainty should increase our concern about the continued pollution of our weather system, not decrease it.

Nate Silver Hires Climate 'Trickster' Roger Pielke Jr

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 19 Mar 2014 18:26:00 GMT

Nate SilverNate Silver’s new ESPN venture has hired political scientist and blogger Roger Pielke Jr. as one of its first contributing writers, Silver announced Friday. Pielke Jr., a fellow at the University of Colorado’s CIRES program, is known primarily for defending climate deniers like Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and attacking climate scientists and environmental advocates in the public sphere. Pielke Jr. is the son of climate scientist Roger Pielke Sr., one of the handful of contributing climatologists who question the scientific consensus of the threat of anthropogenic warming. Silver’s embrace of Pielke Jr. is surprising, as Pielke’s record of misusing statistics and misinterpreting scientific information goes against Silver’s record of data-based analysis and reporting.

In 2009, prominent climate scientist Stephen Schneider harshly criticized Pielke Jr. for engaging in “sleazy” semantic games to mislead the public.
I can’t figure him out, except that one consistent pattern emerges-he is a self-aggrandizer who sets up straw men, knocks them down, and takes credit for being the honest broker to explain the mess-and in fact usually adds little new social science to his analysis.

Text of Sen. Jim Inhofe's Climate Denial Speech of July 30, 2012

Posted by Brad Johnson Sat, 04 Aug 2012 00:40:00 GMT

Below is the text of Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) July 30, 2012 speech on the U.S. Senate floor denying the evident threat of manmade climate change, even as his state suffers from record drought and wildfires.

Mr. President, first of all, something my friend from Vermont said a minute ago would surprise a lot of people, and that is we are friends. It is kind of strange. People don’t understand being violently opposed to each other in this body and yet also being very close friends. My friend from Vermont has a different philosophy than I do. That is the nice thing about both the House and the Senate. We have people with different philosophies who believe in different things. Somewhere in the midst of this, the truth ultimately does come out most of the time. I think we would probably agree with that.
One thing I like about my friend from Vermont is he really believes and is willing to stand up and fight for something he believes. I am not going to suggest there are hypocrites in this body. I wouldn’t say that at all. When we look around the political scene, we see people who somehow might ingratiate a block of people who are wanting support. Maybe it is for the next election, maybe it is for a cause. That is not the case with my friend from Vermont. He believes in his heart everything he says.
Sometimes I talk to young people who come in as interns. I tell them there are varied philosophies in the Senate and in the House. We have extreme liberals who believe our country should have a greater involvement in the decisions we make. We have conservatives, like I am, who believe we have too much government in our lives as it is. It is a basic difference. But I say to them, even though I am on the conservative side, I would rather someone be a far outspoken liberal extremist than be in the mushy middle and not stand for anything. My friend from Vermont is not in the mushy middle. He stands for something.
It was not too long ago that another friend in his office, his press secretary–we are very close friends–said something, and I don’t want to misquote him. He said, My boss would like to have a copy of your book. I said, Not only will I give him a copy, but I will autograph it for him, but with one commitment, and that is he has to read it. He kept that commitment; I can tell by the things he said.
Let me go over a few things that were said, and I think it is interesting. This Dr. Richard Muller–I can’t recall too much about him, but I do know he was listed among scientists who were skeptics. For the benefit of people who may not know the terminology, I refer to an alarmist as someone who thinks there is great alarm because something is happening and the end of the world is coming because of global warming. Skeptics are those like myself who don’t believe that. He apparently has changed from being a skeptic to an alarmist. I would only say this, and that is my Web site, epw.senate.gov, shows from probably over 12 years ago a list of scientists who are calling me, making statements, and saying that the IPCC–that is the United Nations, and that is what we are talking about. The United Nations came out with a preconceived notion that they wanted to believe a preconceived conclusion. When they did this, the scientists who were included in the process were scientists who agreed with them.
So when I questioned it by standing on the floor–I don’t remember the date of this. My friend from Vermont may remember that. I made statements about two or three scientists who had called me. After that, the phone was ringing off the hook. Keep in mind there are a lot of scientists out there. We listed on the Web site up to over 1,000 scientists who declared they were skeptics about this whole thing. So I can take some gratitude about the fact that the only scientist who was on the skeptic list who has changed to an alarmist is 1 out of 1,000.
My friend was talking about the National Academy of Sciences. I think it is kind of interesting because let’s remember it was the National Academy of Sciences that came out with a report in 1975 warning of a coming ice age. Keep in mind we are all going to die whether it is global warming or another ice age. That is the National Academy of Sciences, the same group. According to a lot of people, they have turned themselves into an advocacy group.
I will quote MIT’s Dr. Richard Lindzen, who was a former U.N. IPCC reviewer. He was talking about Ralph Cicerone, who is the president of the NAS. He said:
Cicerone of NAS is saying that regardless of evidence the answer is predetermined, if gov’t wants carbon control, that is the answer–
That is what the NAS will provide. If you control carbon, you control life.
So we have had a lot of differing and varying interpretations of availing science over the years. I can recall one of my first introductions to this. Of course, this came way back during the Kyoto Convention. Some people have forgotten that Kyoto was a convention that was going to get everyone to get together under the leadership of the United Nations and we were all going to reduce our carbon, and so they had this big meeting down there. I will always remember it. This is the famous Al Gore meeting that was called the Earth Summit of 1992. So they came out with this and said this is going to happen. The United Nations said it is, and so they thought everything was fine. Everyone believed it.
It was shortly after that I remember hearing someone talk about it. We can go back and look at this. This is not something I am just saying. There were statements that were made in the 30-year period– let’s take the 30-year period from 1895 to 1925. That is 30 years. During that time everyone feared that another ice age was coming. They talked about another ice age, and that the world was coming to an end. They provided all of this documentation during that 30-year period that that is what was happening.
Well, from 1925 to 1945, that 20-year period was a global warming. In fact, the first time we heard of global warming was in that 20-year period from 1925 to 1945. So the world was going to come to an end again, and it was going to be during that period of time due to global warming.
Then came the 30-year period from 1945 to 1975. During that time they said it is a cold spell, and that is when all of these companies came in–the Senator from Vermont is right. I have given probably 30 talks well in excess of an hour each talking about these things. During that time, I remember holding up the cover of Time magazine where they talked about how another ice age was coming. Then I held up a cover of the Time magazine 20 years later, and they said, no, it is global warming. They had the last polar bear stepping on the last cube of ice, and saying we are going to die.
We went through a period of 1945 to 1975 where they declared it a period of another ice age. Then 1975 to the turn of the century–so that was another 30-year period of time–when it was global warming. So we have gone back and forth.
Here is the interesting thing about that. The assertion is always made that we are having catastrophic global warming because of manmade gases, CO2, anthropogenic gases, and methane. Yet the greatest surge of CO2 came right after World War II starting in 1945, and that precipitated not a warming period but a cooling period. So when you look at these things, sometimes–by the way, the only disagreement I would have with my friend from Vermont is that he has quoted me as saying some things.
Actually, unlike Al Gore and some of these other people, I recognize I am not an expert. I am not a scientist, but I read what the scientists say. I get my phone calls, I look at it, and I try to apply logic to it and come to my conclusions. So that is what has been happening over the last–oh, it has been now 12 years, I guess, since all this started.
I wish to mention a couple of other things that were said. For example, on the idea of the science–here it is, right here. As far as scientists are concerned, I can remember quoting from the Harvard-Smithsonian study. The study examined results of more than 240 peer-reviewed–“peer-reviewed” is the term used by my friend from Vermont–the Harvard-Smithsonian study examined the results of more than 240 peer-reviewed papers published by thousands of researchers over the past four decades. The study covers a multitude of geophysical and biological climate indicators. They came to the conclusion that “climate change is not real. The science is not accurate.”
Then we have another quote from a former President of the National Academy of Sciences. He is Dr. Fred Seitz. He said:
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will in the foreseeable future cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.
Again, he is a former President of the National Academy of Sciences.
Then we had a study from not long ago done by George Mason University. This is one my friend from Vermont may not have seen. It was called to my attention, and I missed it somehow in the media. It was a survey of 430 weather forecasters by the university, and it found that only 19 percent of the weather forecasters believed that the climate is changing and if so, that it is due to manmade gases–only 19 percent. That means 81 percent of them think it is not.
Dr. Robert Laughlin is a Nobel Prize winner and a Stanford University physicist. He said–this is kind of good. I enjoyed this one. He said:
Please remain calm: The earth will heal itself. Climate is beyond our power to control. The earth doesn’t care about governments or their legislation. Climate change is a matter of geologic time, something that the earth routinely does on its own without asking anyone’s permission or explaining itself.
It is happening. I think it is kind of arrogant for people to think we can change this. I am recalling one of the statements made by my good friend that we have all of these–we must provide the leadership.
We have watched these great big annual parties the United Nations has in these exotic places around the world. I can remember going to a few of them. I remember one of them in Milan, Italy. It would have been 2003. I went there. They had “wanted” posters on all the telephone polls with my picture and quoted me when I first came out with the hoax statement. These big parties are kind of interesting. I have only gone to three of them, but they have people invited from all over the world. The only price to pay to come to this is to believe that catastrophic warming is taking place and that it is the fault of bad old man and anthropogenic gases.
Anyway, the last one was an interesting one–not the last one, the most enjoyable one in Copenhagen. At that time–I am going from memory, but I believe President Obama had been there, Secretary Clinton had been there, Nancy Pelosi had been there, and several others. There were five different people–I can’t remember the other two–and they were there to assure the other countries–keep in mind, 192 countries–they assured them that we were going to pass some type of cap-and-trade legislation. So I went. Right before I went over, I announced myself as a self-described–I don’t mean it in an arrogant way–as a self-proclaimed, one-man truth squad. I went over to tell them the truth, that it wasn’t going to happen.
But right before it happened–talk about poetic justice, I say to my friend from Vermont–right before that happened was a hearing we had with the director of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, whom I love dearly. She is one of my three favorite liberals whom I often talk about, and she came out and said–I looked at her and I said: I am going to Copenhagen tomorrow. I have a feeling that when I leave to go to Copenhagen, you are going to have a declaration that will declare that it is a hazard and all this and give the bureaucracy justification to do through regulation what they could not do and have not been successful in doing through legislation.
I saw a smile on her face.
I said: In the event you make that finding, it has to be based on science. What science do you think it will be based on?
She said: Well, primarily the IPCC–the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
It is a branch of the United Nations. It was all started by the United Nations.
By the way, I would not mention my book; however, I checked before I came down, and if somebody else mentions my book, which is “The Greatest Hoax,” then it is all right for me to mention it. I see my friend from Vermont nodding in agreement. So I want people to read the longest chapter, which is the chapter on the United Nations. It goes back and tells what the motives were for this. It goes back to 1972. We were in the midst of an ice age at that time, if my colleague remembers. It talks about the meeting that was going to be held at the Earth Summit in 1992, what the motivation was, and then it goes forward from there.
Here is what is interesting. I was going to mention this in a hearing we will both be attending tomorrow. They had the Earth Summit Plus 20 just a month ago in Rio de Janeiro, the same place it was held 20 years before that when George Bush was President of the United States. He went down there even though he didn’t really agree with the stuff that was going on. In this case, President Obama didn’t even go down. In fact, it has been conspicuous.
I was glad to see my friend from Vermont coming to the floor and talking about an issue that hasn’t been talked about now for years. I am glad it is coming up again. I am glad people realize the cost it is going to be to the American people. By the way, the $300 billion to $400 billion originated from a study that was done by scientists–I am sorry–by economists from the Wharton School, and they came up with that figure. Later on, MIT and several universities said: Well, that is the $300 billion to $400 billion, what it will cost. So that has been pretty much agreed to. Yet I am sure there is a dissenting view. But this is the first time I have heard on the floor of this Senate a denial of that assertion that was made. Everyone knows what it will cost.
I remember the McCain-Lieberman bill when Senator Lieberman said: Yes, it will cost billions of dollars. There is no question about it. Cap and trade will cost billions of dollars. The question is, What do we gain from it?
Well, that is a pretty good question.
Getting back to Lisa Jackson, I asked the question–this was in a live hearing. I think the Senator from Vermont may have been there; I don’t know for sure. It was live on TV.
I said: The assertion has been made that global warming is–that if we pass something, we are going to be able to stop this horrible thing that is going on right now. Let me ask you for the record, live on TV, in a committee hearing, if we were to pass the cap-and-trade bill–I think it was the Markey bill at that time; I am not sure. Cap and trade is cap and trade–pretty much the same. If we were to pass that, would that lower worldwide emissions of CO2?
She said: No, it wouldn’t.
Wait a minute. This is the Obama-appointed director of the Environmental Protection Agency who said: No, it wouldn’t, because the problem isn’t here. The problem is in other countries.
I don’t remember what countries she named–probably China, India, Mexico. It could be other countries; I am not sure. But nonetheless, she said: No, it really wouldn’t do that.
So what we are talking about is this tax on the American people of $300 billion to $400 billion. I remember–and I think the Senator from Vermont remembers this also–way back in 1993, during the first of the Clinton-Gore administration, they had the Clinton-Gore tax increase of 1993. That was an increase of marginal rates, the death tax, capital gains, and I believe it was the largest tax increase in three decades at that time. That was a $32 billion tax increase. This would be a tax increase ten times that rate.
I know there are people–their heads swim when they hear these numbers. It doesn’t mean anything to them. I will tell my colleagues what I do. In Oklahoma, I get the number of families who file a tax return, and then I do the math every time somebody comes up. In the case of that increase, of the $300 billion to $400 billion, we are talking about a $3,000 tax increase for each family in my State of Oklahoma that files a tax return. So, fine, if they want to do that, they can try to do it, but let’s not say something good will come from it when the director of the EPA herself said no, it is not going to reduce emissions.
The other thing too that my friend from Vermont mentioned was the heat. Yes, it is hot. In fact, it was kind of funny–during the remarks of my friend from Vermont, my wife called me from Oklahoma and said: Do you think I should call in and say today it is 109 degrees?
I said: No, it wouldn’t be a good idea. Let me say it.
So it is true. Now and then we have some very hot summers, and in the case of my State of Oklahoma, it is hot almost every summer. We have had a lot of heat. However, the people who try to say there is proof that global warming is taking place are the same ones who–back when we had the most severe winter 2 years ago, when my kids built the famous igloo, that was one of the most severe winters. In fact, all the airports were closed at that time. It was kind of funny. I have 20 kids and grandkids. One family is headed up by Jimmy and Molly Rapert. She is a professor at the University of Arkansas. She has a little girl we helped find in Ethiopia many years ago. Zagita Marie was just a few days old when we found her and not in very good shape. We nursed her back to health. Molly and her husband, who have three boys, decided they wanted a girl, and they adopted her. She is now 12 years old. She reads at college level. Every year I have the Africa dinner in February, and she has been the keynote speaker at that.
Anyway, 2 years ago in February, she had given her keynote speech and they were getting ready to leave and go back home, but they couldn’t get out because all the airports were closed. What do you do with a family of six? You go out and build an igloo. This wasn’t just an igloo the kids built; it slept four people, right next to the Library of Congress, and on top of it they had a little sign saying “Al Gore’s New Home.”
Anyway, they were talking about that single weather event at that time–or some were; not me; I know better than to do that–saying global warming can’t take place because we have had the most severe winters. Anyway, a lot of people have tried to use–and I don’t blame them for doing it–the idea that, oh, it is really hot out there; therefore, this must be global warming.
I would suggest that–oh, yeah, the one weather event. Roger Pielke, Jr., professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, said:
Over the long run, there is no evidence that disasters are getting worse because of climate change.
Judith Curry, chair of the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, said:
I have been completely unconvinced by any of the arguments that attribute a single extreme weather event or a cluster of extreme weather events or statistics of extreme weather events to an anthropogenic forcing.
Myles Allen, the head of the Climate Dynamics Group at the University of Oxford’s Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics Department, said:
When Al Gore said that scientists now have clear proof that climate change is directly responsible for the extreme and devastating floods, storms and droughts, my heart sank.
The other day, I was on the “Rachel Maddow Show.” I watch Rachel Maddow. She is one of my three favorite–let me just declare today that I have four favorite liberals, and the Senator from Vermont is one of them. He just graduated to that today, I say to my friend from Vermont.
Anyway, I have been on her show before–and I always like doing it because they are on the other side of these issues–but her own guy, called Bill Nye the Science Guy, agrees, one, it is wrong to try to attribute climate to a weather event. There is a big difference between weather and climate. So we have an awful lot of people who are talking about that.
My good friend from Vermont talked about the global cooling predictions. Let me correct him in saying that I did not say that. I said that quoting scientists. I try to do that because I do not want anyone to think I know that much about science because I do not.
A prominent Russian scientist, Dr. Abdussamatov, said:
We should fear a deep temperature drop–not catastrophic global warming… .
It follows that [global] warming had a natural origin, the contribution of CO2 to it was insignificant… .
This second thing: “UN Fears (More) Global Cooling Commeth!” This is the IPCC. This is the United Nations, the same people who, in my opinion–I do say this–are trying to profit from this issue. When I say that, let me clarify that because when the United Nations comes up with something that is not in the best interests of this country–I have often said we ought to correct this. I have written letters, signed by Members of this Senate, and before that by Members of the House when I was in the House, saying: You guys are going to have to come to the meeting and talk about this because it is going to be a serious problem.
When you talk about all these things that are going on, it is something that is not actually taking place.
So they said–and I am quoting now. This would be palaeoclimate scientist Dr. Bob Carter from James Cook University in Australia, who has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on EPW. I was there at that testimony. He noted on June 18, 2007: The accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998. Oddly, this is 8-year long temperature stability that occurred, despite an increase over the same period of 15 parts per million of atmospheric CO2.
So, again, these are scientists. I know there are scientists with varying views, but there sure are a lot of them here.
Just months before the Copenhagen matter took place–by the way, I kind of enjoyed that trip to Copenhagen because when I got over there– this, again, was the meeting where they invite all the people who believe in global warming and make all these countries–192 countries– believe if they will go along with this, they will get great rewards for doing something about global warming. So, anyway, I enjoyed that very much because I was able to go over and show the people what the truth was in this country.
But Andrew Revkin, just before Copenhagen, on September 23, 2009, in the New York Times, acknowledged:
The world leaders who met at the United Nations to discuss climate change … are faced with an intricate challenge: building momentum for an international climate treaty at a time when global temperatures have been relatively stable for a decade and may even drop for the next few years.
I look at some of the things–incidentally, I kind of wish I had known my good friend from Vermont was going to be talking about this because I would have been delighted to join in and get a little bit better prepared. But I would say this as to the cost: When you talk about where this cost comes from, the $300 to $400 billion, the Kyoto Protocol and cap-and-trade cost–this is from the Wharton Econometrics Forecasting Associates I mentioned just a minute ago–Kyoto would cost 2.4 million U.S. jobs and reduce GDP by 3.2 percent or about $300 billion annually, an amount greater than the total expenditure on primary and secondary education.
Oh, yes, let’s talk about polar bears. I am not sure my friend mentioned the polar bears, so I will skip that part. Anyway, let me just say this: It has become something that has been somewhat of a religion to talk about what is happening and the world is coming to an end. I would just suggest they are not winning that battle.
In March 2010, in a Gallup poll, Americans ranked global warming dead last–8 out of 8–on environmental issues. That was not true 10 years ago. Ten years ago, it was No. 1, and everyone thought that. The more people sit back and look at it and study it, they decide: Well, maybe it is not true after all.
In March 2010, a Rasmussen poll: 72 percent of American voters do not believe global warming is a very serious problem. In a Rasmussen poll at the same time as to the Democrat base: Only 35 percent now think climate change is manmade.
The global warmist Robert Socolow laments:
We are losing the argument with the general public, big time … I think the climate change activists, myself included, have lost the American middle.
In a way, I am kind of pleased it is coming back up and surfacing now. I thank my good friend, and he is my good friend. People do not understand–they really do not understand–what the Senate is all about. The House was not that way when I was in the House. But in the Senate, you can love someone and disagree with them philosophically and come out and talk about it.
I have no doubt in my mind that my friend from Vermont is sincere in what he believes. I believe he would say he knows I am sincere with what I believe. That is what makes this a great body.
But I will just say this: It is popular to say the world is coming to an end. When we look historically, I could go back and talk about what has happened over the years–over the centuries really–and going through these periods of time, and it is always that the world is coming to an end.
Well, I am here to announce–and I feel very good being able to do it with 20 kids and grandkids; I am happy to tell them all right now–the world is not coming to an end, and global warming–we are going through a cycle. We have gone through these cycles before, and every time we go through–in part of my book I talk about the hysterical things people are saying.
Back during that period of time, I mentioned between 1895 and 1930 about how the world was coming to an end, and the same thing from 1930 to the end of the war. Then, of course, getting into the little ice age, all these things that were taking place, the little ice age from 1945–not the ice age but this cooling period–the cooling period that started in 1945 and lasted for 30 years was the time in our history where we had the greatest increase in carbon in the air, the greatest use of that. So it is inconsistent with what reality was.
So I would say to my good friend, I have no doubt in my mind that the Senator from Vermont is sincere in what he says. While he and I are ranked at the extreme sides of the philosophical pendulum, I would say I know he is sincere. But I will also say this is a tough world we are in right now. When we look at the problems we have in this country and the problems we are having in the world and the cost that it has, I am very thankful those who are trying to pass the cap and trade, all the way from the Kyoto Treaty–which was never brought to the Senate, never brought because they knew they were not going to be able to pass it–up until the time when that ended in about 2009, I would say a lot of activists were out there, but I think people have now realized: Just look at the patterns. It gets colder, it gets warmer, it gets colder, it gets warmer. God is still up there. And I think that will continue in the future.

Stephen Schneider's Criticism of Roger Pielke Jr.: A Self-Aggrandizer, Trickster, and Careerist

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 31 Jul 2012 11:48:00 GMT

Our guest blogger is Paul Thacker.

Yesterday, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) gave the latest version of his global-warming-hoax speech on the U.S. Senate floor. Amid his bevy of references to anti-scientific opinionators, he cited University of Colorado political scientist Roger Pielke Jr., the son of the climate-change denying climate scientist Roger Pielke Sr., to claim that “long term . . . there is no evidence that disasters are getting worse because of climate change.”

Pielke Jr. tweeted in response: “Sounds like here Mr. Inhofe is relying on sound science, r you against that? ;-)”

Despite Pielke Jr.’s “sound science” assertion, his Inhofe-endorsed claim is false, as the eminent climate scientist Stephen Schneider described to me in 2009. Because he had no interest in a “blogging war” with the Pielkes, he didn’t publicly criticize Pielke Jr.’s mendacity.

Two years ago this month, Stephen Schneider died. He was a great man. We could all learn something from him. Over several years, he and I had several discussions by email, person, and phone about how to deal with scientists who willfully distort scientific knowledge. In part, I think these people assault the very foundation of what makes us distinct from other animals: the ability to improve on prior knowledge in science.

During one of our discussions in 2009, I forwarded Schneider a Roger Pielke Jr. claim similar to the one Inhofe cited yesterday. I asked Schneider why Roger engaged in this type of really unprofessional behavior.

Below, you can see Schneider’s reply.

- Forwarded Message -
From: Stephen H Schneider
To: Paul D. Thacker <__@yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 4:13 AM
Subject: Re: Why does Pielke continue to prevaricate?

Thanks Paul, I guess, never any fun dealing with Roger Jr. I can’t figure him out, except that one consistent pattern emerges-he is a self-aggrandizer who sets up straw men, knocks them down, and takes credit for being the honest broker to explain the mess-and in fact usually adds little new social science to his analysis. I saw him do it at AAAS four years ago and called him on it afterward and he walked off steamed when I told him he just made assertions and that good scientists show empirical evidence. He is not worth arguing about, frankly.

Moreover, note the sleazy way he said it: no peer reviewed paper showing greenhouse EMISSIONS was causing increased damages. You missed that emissions part and assumed he meant climate change-he probably wanted you to miss it. How can we know which percentage of the damages are due to Ma Earth or due to us-no way to precisely separate them except by detection and attribution studies-which do separate them but not at the scale of a locality with hazardous damages. SO it is a set up. Like saying Katrina can’t be proved related to global warming driven by humans. Of course, warming didn’t make the hurricane, but it’s passing over warmed Gulf certainly had some impact in increasing intensity, but how much of that warming was from greenhouse emissions versus other factors-impossible to say and no one would in a peer reviewed journal. So it is a cherry picked framing that he then uses in broad conclusion form and you fell for it-like most probably would!! If he said there are no papers associating observed WARMING to damages, he’d be destroyed-just see the many examples in IPCC. He is subtly saying nobody did double attribution-see the attached from Terry and me on what that is. It is typical of a trickster and a careerist-which is how I personally see him-and so do most of my colleagues these days who I have discussed it with. Please do not copy or forward this-I am uninterested in a blogging war with either him or his father-as Sr. is wont to do.
Cheers, Steve
PS-On the link you gave in your email is Roger’s fifth point-note the trick:
“5. There are no peer-reviewed papers documenting a link between GHG emissions and the long-term trend in disasters.” This is a statement that nobody published a double attribution study on hazards-he’s close to being right on this trick, but not quite right if you count ecosystems as threatened-like in the attached.

Stephen H. Schneider
Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies,
Professor, Department of Biology and
Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment
Mailing address:
Yang & Yamazaki Environment & Energy Building – MC 4205
473 Via Ortega
Ph: 650 725 9978
F: 650 725 4387
Websites: climatechange.net
- Original Message -
From: “Paul D. Thacker”
To: __@yahoo.com
Sent: Monday, March 2, 2009 7:25:25 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Why does Pielke continue to prevaricate?

I would like to say that Roger Pielk Jr. has recently blogged that there are no peer-reviewed articles linking climate change and an increase in disasters.

See here: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/qa-thread-to-in-response-to-joe-romm-5017

This is clearly not true. A viewpoint on this very issue was published several years ago in Science. And viewpoints, while not necessarily filled with new data, ARE peer-reviewed.

See here: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/sci;309/5737/1040.pdf

Certainly Roger saw the article because he sent in a letter with cherry-picked data trying to refute it. But disagreeing with an article’s conclusion is a little different from arguing that the article doesn’t…actually…exist. Isn’t it?

But that’s what Roger does. Why does he continue to mislead?