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Diminished Climate Alarmism: Lessons from L’Affair Heartland

“Without being a trained climate scientist, I can read the various blogs and try to parse the academic papers, but ultimately I have to rely a lot on the good faith and judgment of the scientists themselves. The Heartland affair has reassured my earlier conviction that the case for climate alarmism is far weaker than the alarmists have been telling us.”

As an economist who has done some research on climate change policies, I am often asked questions along the lines of, “Is the science right or is it really a hoax like Rush Limbaugh says?” My standard reply is to acknowledge first of all that I’m not trained in the field, but to say that from my outsider perspective, it seems that the people warning of imminent catastrophe are vastly overrating the likelihood of their dire forecasts.

The behavior of Joe Romm and other famous climate-change alarmists during the recent Heartland Institute affair beautifully illustrates my position.

The Heartland Affair: A Quick Recap

I am assuming most readers are familiar with the basics of the Heartland Institute affair, but for those who aren’t, I highly recommend Megan McArdle’s blog posts on the issue (1, 2, 3, and 4). Not only did McArdle keep up with each new development in the saga practically in real-time, but she herself was one of the active participants in unraveling the mystery of the initially anonymous leaker, who turned out to be climate scientist (and advocate of rapid government intervention) Peter Gleick.

I recognize that some readers may be too busy to go back over four blog posts, so let me give the essentials of the story that are necessary to understand my own reaction: Back in February, an anonymous person calling him- or herself “Heartland Insider” emailed a cache of documents to various bloggers who promote government policies to combat climate change.

The Heartland Institute is one of the leading think tanks that oppose such policies, and the sensitive nature of the documents (including funding sources and strategies for the future) made the cache seem analogous to the infamous Climategate emails.

(Full disclosure: I was paid to give a talk at a Heartland conference a few years ago, summarizing my research on the poor case for instituting a carbon tax as a solution to climate change.)

For a typical example, here is the February 14 reaction of Richard Littlemore at DeSmogBlog to the receipt of the documents:

An anonymous donor calling him (or her)self “Heartland Insider” has released the Heartland Institute’s budget, fundraising plan, its Climate Strategy for 2012 and sundry other documents (all attached) that prove all of the worst allegations that have been leveled against the organization.

It is clear from the documents that Heartland advocates against responsible climate mitigation and then uses that advocacy to raise money from oil companies and “other corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.” Heartland particularly celebrates the funding that it receives from the fossil fuel fortune being the Charles G. Koch Foundation.

Heartland also continues to collect money from Philip Morris parent company Altria as well as from the tobacco giant Reynolds American, while maintaining ongoing advocacy against policies related to smoking and health.

Heartland’s policy positions, strategies and budget distinguish it clear as a lobby firm that is misrepresenting itself as a “think tank” – it budgets $4.1 million of its $6.4 million in projected expenditures for Editorial, Government Relations, Communications, Fundraising, and Publications, and the only activity it plans that could vaguely be considered policy development is the writing of a curriculum package for use in confusing high schoolers about climate change.

There will be more comment and analysis to follow on DeSmogBlog and elsewhere, but we wanted to make this information available so that others can also scrutinize the documents and bring their expertise to the task.

The Littlemore post then has downloadable links to the documents contained in the initial leak. By far, the most damning document was the “2012 Heartland Climate Strategy” memo [.pdf]. It was exactly what the alarmist bloggers wanted to find, and it was upon this document that they based their claims of Heartland’s foul play.

The only problem is, the document is clearly a fabrication, and any reasonable person could have identified it as such within minutes of inspection. Heartland itself almost immediately said that this particular strategy memo was bogus, while (eventually) acknowledging that the other documents were legitimate. If the reader follows the Megan McArdle links above, the numerous problems with this particular document are outlined.

Yet as of this writing—a month after all reasonable people following the case would know the situation—the DeSmogBlog post doesn’t even have an update, warning readers that there is, to say the least, some dispute as to the authenticity of the document. (To its credit, ThinkProgress took down the strategy memo after its numerous problems came to light.)

Climate Strategy Memo Legit? No Way!

The single most amazing aspect in this affair is the sheer implausibility of the alleged Climate Strategy memo. As McArdle observed, “it reads like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic.  By an intern.” I mean really, just look at this absurdity:

Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain–two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science. We tentatively plan to pay Dr. Wojick $100,000 for 20 modules in 2012, with funding pledged by the Anonymous Donor. [Bold added.]

When reading the passage in bold, the climate bloggers who received the anonymous email should have had alarms going off. “Danger, danger, Will Robinson! This is obviously a hoax.”

First of all, the academics associated with Heartland think the science is on their side. They would never in a million years describe what they are doing as “dissuading teachers from teaching science.” Second of all, even if they did think that’s what they were ultimately doing, would Heartland phrase it like that in a memo for its top supporters?

Just think about that for a moment. In a mob movie, does the boss typically say to his underlings, “OK guys, tomorrow we are going to commit some serious violations of morality”? Of course not. Instead he’ll say, “We’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse,” or maybe, “Tomorrow we settle the score” or “We’re going to protect our family once and for all.”

The Climate Strategy memo also contains this gem:

Heartland plays an important role in climate communications, especially through our in-house experts (e.g., Taylor) through his Forbes blog and related high profile outlets, our conferences, and through coordination with external networks (such as WUWT [Watt’s Up With That] and other groups capable of rapidly mobilizing responses to new scientific findings, news stories, or unfavorable blog posts). Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out. [Bold added.]

It should be obvious to any neutral reader that no one associated with Heartland would have written such a thing, because no one at Heartland is consciously “anti-climate.” Whoever fabricated the above—and many people think it was Gleick himself, which would explain the odd attention he receives as opposed to more famous “warmists” such as Al Gore or James Hansen—must imagine all opponents as Montgomery Burns from the Simpsons, chanting “Ehhhhhxcellent” while eating a bald eagle stew.

Finally, for added quantitative evidence that this document was clearly forged, consider the fact that it claims the Koch Foundation gave $200,000 for climate efforts in 2011. In reality, the Koch Foundation only gave $25,000 in 2011, and that was for projects related to health care. Surely the “inner circle” of Heartland wouldn’t commit such a massive error in discussing donations of this magnitude. If the discrepancy had been $200,000 versus $20,000, then we could entertain the theory that it was a typographical error.

But in light of the other oddities (outlined by McArdle and others) of this memo—coupled with the two oozing absurdities I quoted above—this mistake of $25,000 for health care activities, with $200,000 for climate projects, should have been the icing on the cake. This memo is clearly fraudulent, and yet DeSmogBlog to this day leaves up its original post with not even a nod to the controversy.

The Gullible Climate Bloggers

Some defenders of Gleick have asked what would be in it for him? Why would he have the motive to fabricate the Climate Strategy memo, since (by his own confession) he tricked a Heartland staffer into sending him the other, legitimate documents?

The answer is obvious: The legitimate documents weren’t damning enough. So someone (not necessarily Gleick, though he is the obvious suspect) cooked up the fake document that has the juiciest quotes. Steve McIntyre has a great post showing the timeline of the story as it bounced through the blogosphere. Skim through the initial discussion by the pro-intervention climate bloggers, and see how they focus almost exclusively on quotes taken from the bogus memo, not from the legitimate documents that Gleick obtained through his deception.

Now to be sure, climate science isn’t the same thing as politics and the blogosphere. Just because these climate alarmists showed ridiculously bad judgment when it came to the Heartland affair, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are wrong about the trajectory of global temperatures in the absence of mitigation strategies.

However, I do think this episode—and the reaction of the skeptic community during Climategate—are quite illustrative of the two camps’ approaches to the actual science. Back when the Climategate emails were first spreading around the Internet, I distinctly remember many people in the comments at blogs such as ClimateAudit warning their peers by saying things like, “Guys, remember, we’re skeptics. This is too good to be true. Let’s not jump up and down on this, because it might be a trap to make us look gullible.”

In contrast, the major players on the other side—when Heartland was “caught” saying things that were far more absurd than what the Climategate emails revealed—jumped with glee. For example, Leo Hickman at The Guardian‘s climate blog wrote on February 15:

Again, much to digest here, but for me one thing stands out beyond the talk of trying to “cultivate more neutral voices” and “coordination with outside networks”. When you recollect all the hullabaloo expressed by climate sceptics about how climate scientists apparently try to close down debate etc, then this sentence says so much:

This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.

If you like your hypocrisy sandwiches served with a side order of double standards, then these leaked documents are certainly the place to dine out.

Now Hickman was obviously eager to jump on Heartland, and he did so (in the above fashion) when the story first broke. But now, a month later, surely he has updated the post, to reflect the fact that most of his quotes come from a memo that is clearly fake?

Nope, all we have is this terse update: “UPDATE: 8.47pm The Heartland Institute has now issued a statement claiming one of the documents – “2012 Climate Strategy” – is “fake”.”

And be sure to check out Joe Romm’s reaction to the Gleick confession. Let’s keep in mind the irony here: Gleick was an outspoken champion for scientific integrity and ethics—accusing opponents such as Judith Curry of disappointing him in this regard—and then admitted he had pretended to be a Heartland board member, in order to trick one of their staffers into sending him documents from their last meeting.

This is arguably a crime, let alone an action unbecoming a scientist. Anyway, Romm certainly doesn’t throw Gleick under the bus. Instead, he writes an all’s-fair-when-it-comes-to-saving-the-planet defense, and spends a lot of time talking about what a jerk he thinks Andrew Revkin is.

Conclusion

The Heartland affair has shown not merely that some climate alarmists (namely Gleick) will stoop to outright deception, and most of his peers will close ranks to defend him in a sort of Green Wall of Silence. Perhaps more disturbing, it reveals that these people really have no idea how their opponents on the climate issue actually view the world. So when they dismiss skeptics as having no legitimate arguments, it should make outsiders take pause.

Without being a trained climate scientist, I can read the various blogs and try to parse the academic papers, but ultimately I have to rely a lot on the good faith and judgment of the scientists themselves. The Heartland affair has reassured my earlier conviction that the case for climate alarmism is far weaker than the alarmists have been telling us.

34 comments

1 rbradley { 03.23.12 at 7:43 am }

Peter Gleick has certainly hurt his cause–and not once (what we know) but also twice because what we strongly suspect (he wrote the ‘strategy’ document). He was looking, I guess, for big oil or big coal or big someone ‘bad’ to be the funder to have a ‘gotcha’ moment.

But he has been reading too much Ross Gelbspan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Gelbspan). Our side has better intellectual arguments and momentum–and quite probably better character than the neo-Malthusian crowd too.

2 rawalter { 03.23.12 at 7:56 am }

“Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don’t have brains enough to be honest.” – Benjamin Franklin

3 Jon Boone { 03.23.12 at 8:36 am }

And then there was a recent ploy by a reporter from Politico, David Rogers, who called a wind opponent in Kansas, fishing for an admission that the Koch brothers were financing the opposition to Congressional extension of the production tax credit for renewables. Getting nowhere in Kansas, Rogers then called several other citizens whom he knew were involved in the opposition movement, but still did not get the connection he sought tying the Kochs to funding what was clearly a national grassroots movement against the PTC extension. So… he twisted words and bent conclusions to get his bias in print, thusly:

“But other activists, such as John Droz, told POLITICO that he had enlisted Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks— which have received support from the Koch family — as part of his own telephone campaign against the wind power tax breaks. And not one Republican joined with Democrats in support of their energy package.

‘“This is not about politics,” Droz insisted. “It’s a great win for the American people.”’

See the entire Politico article: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/73967.html

4 The Heartland Institute / Peter Gleick Affair { 03.23.12 at 8:48 am }

[...] promised, here are my extended thoughts on what has been dubbed “Fakegate” (by the friends of Heartland, of course). If you [...]

5 TinyCO2 { 03.23.12 at 11:39 am }

Hear, hear.

As someone who is largely open minded about CAGW I find its proponents increasingly persuasive. The more they do and say, the more sceptical I become. Of course it should be the other way round but they have a unique talent for making what should be credible science sound extremely dodgy. Every now and then some of the more honest individuals are so shocked by their own side they express disapproval (like Revkin on Gleick and Mobiot and Fred Pierce on Climategate) but then they revert to normal and are apologetic that they damaged the brand. Will there eventually be a sanction for ‘bringing climate change into disrepute’? Surely it won’t be the Gleicks of this world who will be given the red card.

On the whole AGW theory supporters will do anything but talk about the science. They do make broad sweeping claims that are not reflected by the data. They don’t just stop at ‘it’s bad’ but insist on ‘it’s rapidly getting worse’. It takes but a few minutes for a sceptic to prove that by any metric you can think of, save maybe Arctic ice, it is not getting worse. If they’d lie about something so easy to prove, one is left with the only conclusion that they’d lie about the lot. Claiming cold events as proof of AGW has to be the lamest and most credibility busting act of all. They could just say that cold events are still to be expected under natural variation but no, they have to kick their cause into the long green grass of loony land.

The obsession with oil money is truly bizarre. Gleick clearly believes it, even though he fraudulently obtained proof it wasn’t true. For warmists it is apparently important that their opponents be wrong, not just on AGW, but about every other issue too. We must be mad, bad or bought. For this to be an essential part of the CAGW argument it must mean that not only is the science argument weak but it’s so unconvincing that even warmists need the boost of an ‘evil’ opposition to stay true to the cause. And the cigarette thing they keep digging up? Bury it guys, it’s not just dead, it stinks! Worse, it smacks of desperation.

Eventually one begins to wonder if there is a sceptic conspiracy after all. The key players in the CAGW community are so antipathetic and their arguments are so weak you have to ask yourself ‘are they paid to be so?’ Of course the truth is they’ve just got nothing to work with and they’d be better employed coming up with stronger science than trying to dig up dirt on Heartland. I won’t hold my breath.

6 Transterrestrial Musings - Diminished Climate Alarmism { 03.23.12 at 11:55 am }

[...] Lessons from l’affaire Heartland: The Heartland affair has shown not merely that some climate alarmists (namely Gleick) will stoop to outright deception, and most of his peers will close ranks to defend him in a sort of Green Wall of Silence. Perhaps more disturbing, it reveals that these people really have no idea how their opponents on the climate issue actually view the world. So when they dismiss skeptics as having no legitimate arguments, it should make outsiders take pause. [...]

7 Wonks Anonymous { 03.23.12 at 12:47 pm }

“climate scientist [...] Peter Gleick”
He’s not actually a climate scientist, he studies freshwater. And for the curious, Romm is a physicist whose focus is on clean tech. DeSmogBlog is run by the head of a p.r. firm. I think the only actual climate scientist mentioned above is Hansen.

8 Lionell Griffith { 03.24.12 at 7:21 am }

The science necessary to destroy the position of the CAGW’ers is just a little beyond high school physics and math. There is no excuse for anybody with an advanced degree in any discipline claiming that he does not know and understand that level of science.

I find it appalling that a professional economist has to rely on faith for his understanding of science. Since economics is supposed to be a study of the real world interaction among people, this suggests a cause for the dismal state of economics today. It is a faith based discipline just as is the overwhelming majority of so called climate science.

Scientific sounding magical words are used along with magical equations but there is no connection to reality. The words and equations are supposed to create a thing called consensus which in turn is to create its own reality. Meanwhile, in the real universe, things are what they are and do what they do without respect to all the phantasmagorical confabulations of our self appointed intellectual elite.

9 Peter Adamski { 03.24.12 at 8:44 am }

Regarding your last paragraph, in particular: “Without being a trained climate scientist, . .. The Heartland affair has reassured my earlier conviction that the case for climate alarmism is far weaker than the alarmists have been telling us.”

I’m not a trained climate scientist either, but I’ve done a fair bit of reading on the topic and have I’ve listened to a number of scientists speak about it. (Currently, I’m going through—at a snail’s pace—Climate 101 through the University of Chicago.) And the more I discover about climate science, the more I am convinced that the case for alarmism is strong, very strong.

[Ed note: See Comment #15]

10 Clay Farris Naff { 03.24.12 at 9:27 am }

If I take everything you write as granted, I still don’t see how it supports this statement: “the people warning of imminent catastrophe are vastly overrating the likelihood of their dire forecasts.” Those who are making *forecasts* — the researchers themselves — are the ones whose work you should be examining. Better yet, you can look at the evidence for yourself: http://www.climate.gov/#climateWatch

All the abstract arguments and highfalutin talk of equations, politics, faith, elites, and whatnot melt in the incandescent glare of the data: Every decade is hotter than the previous one. Growing zones are shifting toward the poles. Ice at the poles is melting. Seas are rising. And it’s all happening at an accelerating rate. If you don’t like reading data, you can see it in this NASA visualization:
http://snrclimatecorner.blogspot.com/2012/02/global-temperature-anomalies-1880-2011.html

If you don’t trust data, you can find videos for yourself of the retreat of glaciers, the invasion of northern forests by southern beetles, and the disappearance of beaches as the seas rise.

Forget about all the politics for a moment: can you honestly say those developments are no cause for concern?

Clay Farris Naff

11 John Russell { 03.24.12 at 1:59 pm }

This article seems like a whitewash to me.

First comes the statement “…it seems that the people warning of imminent catastrophe are vastly overrating the likelihood of their dire forecasts” . That’s a strawman. Nobody is claiming imminent catastrophe. If there is to be a catastrophe it is likely to be at least 50 years away. The reason people are concerned now is that the possibility of serious climate change and ocean acidification can only be averted if action to reduce emissions is begun immediately. The longer we leave it the more likelihood we create that there will be a catastrophe.

The rest of the article seems to me like one big excuse for Heartland. Sure, the strategy document was fake: but if you remove it, virtually everything in it can be found in the documents that Heartland has admitted are genuine. In particular, funding of the anti-science teaching propaganda to be produced by Dr. David Wojick is there for anyone with an open mind to see.

And I find that trawling back over Climategate and not mentioning the glee with which it was stirred by Heartland, is rather disingenuous.

Overall, this article tries to look balanced, yet is clearly a whitewashing of Heartland. Perhaps the invitations to talk at their conferences have had an influence?

12 Ray { 03.24.12 at 3:09 pm }

Dr. Hansen has a Phd in astronomy. Have no idea how that makes him a climate scientist, whatever that is. An economist probably doesn’t have the background in physics or math to determine when he is being BSed.

13 Climate Wars Bask { 03.24.12 at 3:11 pm }

[...] am going to do a follow-up post (here at Free Advice) next week regarding my recent post on the Heartland Institute / Peter Gleick affair. I still agree with my main points in that post, [...]

14 How Green Gullibility, Hyperpartisanship Are Wrecking The Climate Movement | BostonCommons.NET { 03.24.12 at 4:13 pm }

[...] Murphy is writing here more about the green advocacy and blogging community than about the actual scientists, but this is all the more important as illustrating how advocacy has gotten so far away from science and ended by weakening the credibility of the green agenda. Read the whole thing. [...]

15 rbradley { 03.24.12 at 8:47 pm }

Peter:

This is very interesting to me. I’d say that your professor may not be presenting the ‘global lukewarming’ position very well. Please check our Chip Knappenberger’s recent post here at MasterResource and report back.

“Lower Climate Sensitivity Estimates: New Good News” http://www.masterresource.org/2012/03/lower-climate-sensitivity-estimates/

16 rbradley { 03.24.12 at 10:27 pm }

John:

Climate alarmism and ‘too late’ catastrophe is the daily fare at Climate Progress (Joe Romm). And how about this quotation from James Hansen nearly five years ago:

“We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.”

- Hansen, “The Threat to the Planet,” The New York Review of Books, July 13, 2006, 12–16, at 16.

17 David Appell { 03.25.12 at 12:39 am }

Who knows how much the Koch Brothers gave? The Heartland Institute isn’t exactly open about their financing — all we have are their claims….

18 David Appell { 03.25.12 at 12:48 am }

I believe your recollection of contrarian’s reaction to Climategate is biased by your own position — I seem to remember plenty of them jumping for joy. Watts’ first post on the subject, the same day (11/19), says “they appear to be genuine.” ClimateAudit on the same day: “Words fail me.”

19 David Appell { 03.25.12 at 12:59 am }

rbradley { 03.23.12 at 7:43 am } wrote:
Our side has better intellectual arguments and momentum

I don’t know if this statement is amazing or laughable, but it’s certainly revealing. First that you see this as “our side” versus some other side, when the real side you want to be on it for scientific truth, wherever it lies. The quest is for the truth, not for your “side” to win.

Secondly, I’m baffled that you think your “side” has better intellectual arguments. All the data now coming in and being assembled points to a very real energy imbalance that is heating the planet due to the enhanced greenhouse effect — heating the oceans most of all (which is what you’d expect), and heating them consistently. To be sure, there are a great many uncertainties, which you seem to think are an argument for your “side,” when they’re…unknowns. Lack of knowledge is not a reason to dismiss a problem — it’s a reason to investigate it more.

And “momentum” is also irrelevant to the quest for the truth. That you see is as important again tells me you’re more interested in winning a political battle than in finding the truth — and given how you earn your money, I certainly understand the necessity for that.

20 David Appell { 03.25.12 at 1:04 am }

Ray { 03.24.12 at 3:09 pm } wrote:
Dr. Hansen has a Phd in astronomy.

Hansen’s PhD is in physics, just like Singer’s. In the early days of climate science there were few PhD’s in climatology, and physicists are very adaptable. Given Hansen’s early research on Venus, he was certainly well-positioned, and well-qualified, to put a firm foundation under climate science.

21 David Appell { 03.25.12 at 1:25 am }

In thinking more about my comment to Robert Bradley about ‘how he earns his living” — that sounded more accusatory than I intended, and I regret it. I do not think people who work for Cato, CEI, etc are prostitutes. But I *do* think those organizations exist to promulgate the ideologies of their funders, and that they attract people predisposed to those points of view to work there. I think this also of certain organizations on the left as well, such as CAP, and have criticized them repeatedly for not revealing their funders. I certainly do not look to CAP/Romm/Brad Johnson for an objective take on climate change, and I don’t look to Cato/CEI/etc for one either. It is regrettable that such organizations (partly) define the debate, but also I realize that forcing themselves into the debate is a large part of their raison d’etre.

22 Lionell Griffith { 03.25.12 at 1:37 pm }

David: “I certainly do not look to CAP/Romm/Brad Johnson for an objective take on climate change, and I don’t look to Cato/CEI/etc for one either. …I realize that forcing themselves into the debate is a large part of their raison d’etre.”

Aren’t you doing exactly the same? After all, your posts make up almost 20% of the posts on this topic. Why isn’t this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? I see no reason to believe you over any of those who’s contributions you regret. You too are spouting biased opinion with vanishingly little objective fact behind them.

Can you state in plain language the hypothesis you say is so well supported by the evidence in such a way that it can be proved or disproved? If so, do so.

23 stickman { 03.25.12 at 2:43 pm }

There’s some good debate on this article over at (author) Bob Murphy’s blog: http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2012/03/the-heartland-institute-peter-gleick-affair.html#comments

24 Robert Murphy on Peter Gleick’s faked Heartland memo: “oozing absurdities.” | RedState { 03.25.12 at 6:50 pm }

[...] unknown who could conceivably have the initials ‘P.G.’” and be done with it. Anyway, this is a pretty good recap: it describes the initial ‘data’ dump, identifies the central trouble with it [...]

25 Moe Lane » Robert Murphy on Peter Gleick’s faked Heartland memo: “oozing absurdities.” { 03.25.12 at 6:52 pm }

[...] unknown who could conceivably have the initials ‘P.G.’” and be done with it.  Anyway, this is a pretty good recap: it describes the initial ‘data’ dump, identifies the central trouble with it [...]

26 Robert Murphy on Peter Gleick’s faked Heartland memo: “oozing absurdities.” { 03.25.12 at 9:14 pm }

[...] unknown who could conceivably have the initials ‘P.G.’” and be done with it. Anyway, this is a pretty good recap: it describes the initial ‘data’ dump, identifies the central trouble with it [...]

27 How Green Gullibility, Hyperpartisanship Are Wrecking The Climate Movement « A Moral Outrage { 03.25.12 at 11:19 pm }

[...] Murphy is writing here more about the green advocacy and blogging community than about the actual scientists, but this is all the more important as illustrating how advocacy has gotten so far away from science and ended by weakening the credibility of the green agenda. Read the whole thing. [...]

28 Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make green | Watts Up With That? { 03.26.12 at 5:31 am }

[...] Murphy is writing here more about the green advocacy and blogging community than about the actual scientists, but this is all the more important as illustrating how advocacy has gotten so far away from science and ended by weakening the credibility of the green agenda. Read the whole thing. [...]

29 sHx { 03.26.12 at 7:46 am }

Wonks Anonymous { 03.23.12 at 12:47 pm }

“climate scientist [...] Peter Gleick”
He’s not actually a climate scientist, he studies freshwater. And for the curious, Romm is a physicist whose focus is on clean tech. DeSmogBlog is run by the head of a p.r. firm. I think the only actual climate scientist mentioned above is Hansen.

According to climate scientists, Gleick is a climate scientist.

Peter Gleick was one of 37 climate scientists who had the expertise to speak authoritatively in a Wall Street Journal letter.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204740904577193270727472662.html

Se he is not a just a freshwater scientist or a water diviner -as he was demoted to post-Fakegate- he is also a climate scientist esteemed by his colleagues. Why else would he be allowed to rub shoulders with the likes of Kevin Trenberth and Micheal Mann in that WSJ letter?

What the article neglected to mention was Peter Gleick was also the Chair of American Geophysical Union’s panel on scientific ethics and he was a McArthur “genius” to boot.

It is worse than we thought.

30 Ray { 03.26.12 at 4:16 pm }

Mr. Appell is correct. Dr. Hansen is Ms astronomy, Phd physics.

31 In defence of skepticism on climate change « Major Karnage { 03.26.12 at 7:09 pm }

[...] Diminished Climate Alarmism: Lessons from L’Affair Heartland — MasterResource Now to be sure, climate science isn’t the same thing as politics and the blogosphere. Just because these climate alarmists showed ridiculously bad judgment when it came to the Heartland affair, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are wrong about the trajectory of global temperatures in the absence of mitigation strategies. [...]

32 Pro-Global Warming Behavior Exactly As Forecast | Mike Smith Enterprises { 03.27.12 at 7:34 pm }

[...] is was posted last week in a comment pertaining to Fakegate (I do not know the name of the [...]

33 rbradley { 04.25.12 at 1:02 am }

David Appell (#19 and #21)

I certainly appreciate #21 better than #19 when it comes to ad hominem attacks…. The causality is what we believe to what we do in the world …. not what we do to what we believe. I know this in myself, and I think Jerry Taylor at Cato or Marlo Lewis at CEI would say the same. Some of us might have courage too: I lost some bonus at Enron because I was a critic of climate alarmism and our ‘green’ policies as I have documented….

Those at a PR firm? Well, they must be pliable!

34 rbradley { 04.25.12 at 1:05 am }

David Appell (#19)

RE my statement: ‘Our side has better intellectual arguments and momentum’…

I continue to believe that the climate non-alarmists have the causality and the scientific and political momentum. Chip Knappenberger’s case for ‘global lukewarming’ is that I am referring to, and yes, the public is not buying the climate-sky-is-falling….

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