E-mails from National Academy of Sciences plot attacks on AGW skeptics

posted at 9:30 am on March 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this week, I criticized the American media for ignoring the rapidly-increasing number of scandals surrounding the IPCC, the University of East Anglia CRU, and the anthropogenic global-warming movement in general.  Today, an American newspaper breaks news of yet another scandal involving AGW scientists  and e-mail — but this time here in the US.  The Washington Times obtained e-mails sent through the National Academy of Sciences that show AGW scientists conspiring to attack critics:

Undaunted by a rash of scandals over the science underpinning climate change, top climate researchers are plotting to respond with what one scientist involved said needs to be “an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach” to gut the credibility of skeptics.

In private e-mails obtained by The Washington Times, climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences say they are tired of “being treated like political pawns” and need to fight back in kind. Their strategy includes forming a nonprofit group to organize researchers and use their donations to challenge critics by running a back-page ad in the New York Times.

“Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules,” Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University researcher, said in one of the e-mails.

Some scientists question the tactic and say they should focus instead on perfecting their science, but the researchers who are organizing the effort say the political battle is eroding confidence in their work.

Perhaps the scientists should concentrate more on science than advocacy.  In fact, that was the conclusion of several people in the e-mail chain, warning against getting into a big public-relations battle when the supposedly “settled science” of the IPCC has all but utterly collapsed.  Even if one is inclined to the most paranoid possible perspective on the meltdown, a $50,000 back-page ad in the New York Times will hardly offset all of the negative publicity that AGW scientists have managed to create on their own.

And besides, a $50,000 back-page ad in the New York Times isn’t going to reach people inclined towards skepticism on AGW anyway.  Do these scientists realize who reads the Gray Lady?  The only people impressed by an ad in the NYT will be the Times’ business office.

Placing ads won’t prove AGW theory.  The only way to do that would be to produce solid, reproducible results in completely open-source research with transparent data and methodology … which is what we used to call science before AGW advocates hijacked the term to describe religious belief.  One researcher says that the plotting does nothing to build credibility for the science, which these very people undermined with their doomsday predictions in the first place:

“Sounds like this group wants to step up the warfare, continue to circle the wagons, continue to appeal to their own authority, etc.,” said Judith A. Curry, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “Surprising, since these strategies haven’t worked well for them at all so far.”

She said scientists should downplay their catastrophic predictions, which she said are premature, and instead shore up and defend their research. She said scientists and institutions that have been pushing for policy changes “need to push the disconnect button for now,” because it will be difficult to take action until public confidence in the science is restored.

“Hinging all of these policies on global climate change with its substantial element of uncertainty is unnecessary and is bad politics, not to mention having created a toxic environment for climate research,” she said.

“Appeal to their own authority” is a fairly elegant way of pointing out the hubris in AGW advocates who declared the science “settled” and began to brand everyone who questioned it as “deniers.”  Stephen Dinan reports that Stanford researcher Stephen Schneider accused Senator James Inhofe of “McCarthyesque” attacks for urging a criminal investigation into potential fraud in the AGW movement.  Schneider must have missed the calls from AGW advocates to have any weatherman who expressed doubt about global warming to be decertified as meteorologists, or questioning the patriotism of Americans who dare to question the sputtering consensus.  Nothing McCarthyesque about that, is there?

At least the NAS has the good sense to realize how bad this looks.  They insisted to Dinan that they had nothing to do with facilitating this effort and that the researchers are merely using their e-mail servers to pass the messages back and forth.  Maybe the NAS should take the time to remind these advocates that they should focus on performing to scientific standards and let the results inform the policy.  Instead, it appears that we have a nascent American version of the East Anglia CRU strategy — which didn’t work out too well for the UEA CRU, its director, or the UN panel that relied on its efforts.

Update: Gabriel Malor at Ace’s place picks up on another part of the story I missed — the inclusion of Paul Ehrlich in this group:

But then come back here and recall with me that Paul Ehrlich is one of the most discredited pseudo-scientific alarmists of all time. In 1968 he predicted that population growth would exceed the resources available on the planet, resulting in decades of famine and disease. He conned universities and governments into thinking that hundreds of millions of people would die by the 1980s.

His error, though he refuses to this day to admit it, was failing to consider such obvious things as: (1) more people means more land being farmed, not less; (2) improvements in farming techniques; (3) people (outside of academe, I mean) don’t just sit around and wait to starve; and (4) the market regulates scarcity far better than idiot pseudoscientists expect.

Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb, which also included this interesting advice for governments of the future: that they should put “temporary sterilants” in the water supply and then closely regulate the antidote in order to choose who could reproduce and when.  If he’s the leading light of AGW theory, that explains (a) why it’s not science-based at all but rather a screen for statist control, and (b) why it’s collapsing as a science.

Update II: David Harsanyi reminds us that Ehrlich mentored John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.


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Gotta run now. Thanks. Though we disagree, I count you as one of the good guys.

petefrt on March 6, 2010 at 10:09 PM

This must be your first time talking with oakland.

darwin on March 6, 2010 at 10:14 PM

There is nothing to this, and never has been. AGW was born the instant global cooling looked like it wouldn’t last.

darwin on March 6, 2010 at 9:50 PM

My Dad and I were suckered into the Global Cooling thing back in the 70′s. Remember sitting around the kitchen table when he was in his eighties, talking about the TIME Magazine cover story and how bad the winter was.

Fool me once. Shame on you. Fool me twice….

Hate to concede now what some have been telling us all along, it’s all about power. It’s a leftist con to get control over our lives.

petefrt on March 6, 2010 at 10:21 PM

Hate to concede now what some have been telling us all along, it’s all about power. It’s a leftist con to get control over our lives.

petefrt on March 6, 2010 at 10:21 PM

The tentacles of the left are worldwide.

darwin on March 6, 2010 at 10:27 PM

Remember sitting around the kitchen table when he was in his eighties, talking about the TIME Magazine cover story and how bad the winter was.

petefrt on March 6, 2010 at 10:21 PM

Telling clues are in those articles talking about global cooling. They talk about the cold temperatures of course, but they also talk about the unusually thick sea ice.

When satellite measurements began, we were just about to come out of a multi-decade cooling period. Today, sea ice is always compared to those initial measurements as proof that the ice is “melting”. They’re comparing today’s sea ice to the abnormally thick ice initially measured.

The ice would normally recede as we warm, but they claim it’s because of AGW

darwin on March 6, 2010 at 10:35 PM

The tentacles of the left are worldwide.

darwin on March 6, 2010 at 10:27 PM

That’s another claim I used to take with a grain of salt. But thanks largely to the Bamster, that message has finally sunk into my pea brain. It’s not just a home grown disagreement. It’s us moderate Americans versus the socialist international movement (via UN too).

petefrt on March 6, 2010 at 10:44 PM

That’s another claim I used to take with a grain of salt. But thanks largely to the Bamster, that message has finally sunk into my pea brain. It’s not just a home grown disagreement. It’s us moderate Americans versus the socialist international movement (via UN too).

petefrt on March 6, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Just look at all the western nations that now have socialist type governments, even more frightening is South America.

It’s all been done incrementally, slowly moving the center towards the left so the majority of the population doesn’t realize what’s happening, and the ones that sound the alarm are mocked as crackpots and conspiracy nuts. They’re still moving the center and will continue to do so until it’s full left. By then, it’ll be too late for people to do anything about it.

Look how the Obama administration tries to handle accusations of socialism … by laughing and ridiculing. What I notice however, is a little nervousness in that laughter and ridicule. They’ve lost their cloak, and people are now aware of what they’re doing, and who they are.

darwin on March 6, 2010 at 10:53 PM

petefrt on March 6, 2010 at 10:44 PM

I’m signing off … have a good night. Keep on oakland long enough and you’ll begin to see a pattern, and the same comments.

darwin on March 6, 2010 at 10:54 PM

Keep on oakland long enough and you’ll begin to see a pattern, and the same comments.

darwin on March 6, 2010 at 10:54 PM

Oakland caught my attention and, so far, my respect. I know what you mean about the repetition, but I might be just as guilty of that. I don’t know him as a commenter here, but I guess I will soon enough.
As long as he seems reasonable, reasonably informed, and in good faith, I think his comments are healthy for me and for HA.

Thanks, darwin. Niters.

petefrt on March 6, 2010 at 11:47 PM

crr6

I don’t know what your scientific background is. But if you have an extensive one, you have been duped.
As a geologist & HS science teacher, I have been following this AGW farce for the past 15 yrs.
I have been voraciously reading through whatever data was available & whatever I could get my hands on.
I have not been reading science ‘articles’.
I have been reading all types of peer reviewed research, as well as having engaged scientific conversations with other scientists throughout the years.
I have always encouraged my fellow earth science folks to be more vocal on this subject bcs it is WE who study & interpret the Earth’s climate, both directly & indirectly.
Climate science has been hijacked by hacks interested only in grant $$ & pomp.
Others have unfortunately quietly stood by & watched the evidence get suppressed, hacked, hijacked, & totally distorted until it resembles NOTHING close to the truth.
Stick with your interpretation of whatever you are qualified to form an opinion in.
Just as lawyers must be responsible for purging their own profession of thieves, lairs & ne’er do wells, so must the scientific community purge its own ranks.
If you are a hack & a liar, then you must be purged & all of your work is supsect & probably totally worthless.
If you are a citizen with no scientific education or background, then educate yourself PROPERLY & not through the NEWS, which is not an education, but an indoctrination.

Badger40 on March 7, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Stick with your interpretation of whatever you are qualified to form an opinion in……….

Badger40 on March 7, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Uh, weren’t you addressing this to CRR?

Red State State of Mind on March 7, 2010 at 7:43 PM

These people belong in prison.

TrickyDick on March 8, 2010 at 8:45 AM

I think it is more than a localized problem. at least as far as North America is concerned.

RonK on March 5, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Ever flown across the country?
If not, do it, you’ll be more than a little surprised that most of the country is virtually unpopulated.

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:38 AM

There is abundant evidence that what you say has little merit.

oakland on March 5, 2010 at 7:10 PM

For at least the 100th time. Please present said evidence.

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Never mind the UK Met Office\’s recent report showing that the case is stronger than ever, notwithstanding the pseudoscandals you keep misrepresenting.

Hal_10000 on March 5, 2010 at 8:11 PM

I take it you haven’t read the report. At least not past the headline.

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:41 AM

I wonder if they have ever tied to just publish the truth?

The data and their analyses are available for all to see. If one wants the facts, all one needs to do is a little searching.

oakland on March 5, 2010 at 8:41 PM

You don’t even lie well. Even Jones admitted that he through away his data, years ago. How can something be “available” if the lead author says it was thrown out?

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:42 AM

If you don’t want to admit that it’s the right that first accused scientists of political motives, good luck with that.

bayam on March 5, 2010 at 11:36 PM

Are you trying to be clueless, or does it come naturally?

Which side was claiming that the skeptics were just shills for the oil companies? It wasn’t the right.

As to determining the motives of the AGW scientists, all you have to do is read their words. They don’t even bother to hide their motives.

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:45 AM

the methane is just as apt to recombine after re-radiating than to go on to form higher complexity petrocarbons, with even greater forcing values.

unclesmrgol on March 6, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Who said anything about forming more complex molecules.

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:49 AM

A USA with a half-billion population will need a lot more social controls than we have now.

kd6rxl on March 6, 2010 at 3:46 PM

90% of the country is virtually uninhabited now.

Where do you get really crazy ideas like this?

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:50 AM

There seems to be a variety of opinions on the matters of the MWP and the “hockey stick”. I have read that some data (perhaps a very small amount) has gone missing (destroyed). And, some scientists have behaved badly (and continue to).

oakland on March 6, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Actually, there aren’t a variety of opinions on either of those matters.

If you were as aware as you claim to be on this subject, you would already know that it was all the data, not just a very small part, that went missing.

And even if it were only one data point, that would be sufficient to invalidate any study based on that data set.

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:53 AM

My experiences and studies have led me to accept the seriousness of the AGW issue. If, in your opinion, I don’t “get it”, then that’s fine; I am not going to change your mind, and I will not attempt to.

oakland on March 6, 2010 at 9:59 PM

No, your belief that man must be controlled has led you to accept faulty science. There is no evidence that CO2 is capable of causing more than a miniscule amount of warming in the real world. That has been proven time and again. But you won’t accept it, because it goes against what you want to believe.

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Gotta run now. Thanks. Though we disagree, I count you as one of the good guys.

petefrt on March 6, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Please tell me how making the same naked assertions over and over again, while ignoring requests to back up these naked assertions, makes him one of the good guys.

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:55 AM

I suggest you try online or your local university library. If you want scientific material, I’m sure you will find it.

oakland on March 6, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Translation: I know that the evidence doesn’t exist, but I don’t want to admit it openly. Therefore I’ll continue to pretend that the evidence exists, somewhere.

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Hate to concede now what some have been telling us all along, it’s all about power. It’s a leftist con to get control over our lives.

petefrt on March 6, 2010 at 10:21 PM

oakland is a one trick pony.

First he’ll claim that his study and expertise has convinced him that AGW is a real problem.
Then when pressed to back this up with real data, he claims to not know where such data is, but since so many people have become convinced, it must exist. He’ll even recommend a few places where such data might exist.

The problem is, he refutes himself. How can he have studied the issue sufficiently to form such a hard and fast opinion, if he never saw the data. If he had seen the data, he would know where the data is.

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:59 AM

I suggest you try online or your local university library. If you want scientific material, I’m sure you will find it.

oakland on March 6, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Translation: I know that the evidence doesn’t exist, but I don’t want to admit it openly. Therefore I’ll continue to pretend that the evidence exists, somewhere.

MarkTheGreat on March 8, 2010 at 11:56 AM

If all of these prestigious universities had done actual science using their own data that proved global warming, why didn’t the IPCC use any of that science? Why does the media not report on any of that science? Why do all AGW alarmists rely entirely upon CRU and the IPCC? Why can’t they cite to any open data or scientific study that can be reviewd on the internet?

Simply stating – “all these other colleges and smart people came to the same conclusion” is so dishonest and disengenous as to be laughable. If you believe that, cite to it (and I don’t mean cite to something that cites it, cite to the actual reports that we can read and the underlying data that we can review). He can’t cite to anything, so makes silly vague conclusory statements and then disappears from the thread – like all these leftists.

Monkeytoe on March 8, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Uh, weren’t you addressing this to CRR?

Red State State of Mind on March 7, 2010 at 7:43 PM

Yeah.
But I suppose that may involve others.

If you are a citizen with no scientific education or background, then educate yourself PROPERLY & not through the NEWS, which is not an education, but an indoctrination.

Badger40 on March 7, 2010 at 9:36 AM

This promotes that learning in anyone.
I believe any citizen that is reasonably intelligent can educate themselves enough to form a basic opinion on most scientific matters.
But just as I don’t pretend to know the ins & outs of full scale economics, I can make some basic assumptions, even though I’m not an economist.
ccrr6 seems to always make assertions that are not based in reality, at least so far as I have seen.

Badger40 on March 8, 2010 at 1:09 PM

and I don’t mean cite to something that cites it, cite to the actual reports that we can read and the underlying data that we can review). He can’t cite to anything, so makes silly vague conclusory statements and then disappears from the thread – like all these leftists.

Monkeytoe on March 8, 2010 at 12:14 PM

+10

Badger40 on March 8, 2010 at 1:11 PM

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