Thursday, September 17, 2015

Scientists as Advocates: A Disgraceful Letter

It just came to my attention that a number of people who call themselves climate scientists have called for a criminal (i.e, people go to jail) probe of those who do not believe global warming is an urgent crisis. Their disgusting letter to President Obama is here. This isn't science, it raw advocacy in its most dirty form.

Their 'evidence' of what they call a "conspiracy" are a number of reports by the same people that quote the same old canards, many of which are more than 15-years old.

Because it is their most recent 'evidence,' I read the entire Union of Concerned Scientists' (UCS) report which is here. With one exception, their evidence is a complete joke. The fact that a conservative group funded research is no more evidence of a conspiracy than, for example, World Wildlife Fund funding research.

Most of UCS's allegations involve activities of more than a dozen years ago:
Three 1998's and one 2002. This is typical throughout the report.
Their one point about which I completely agree is setting up phony 'grassroots' organization is wrong regardless of the fact it is done by both sides of this issue. This was apparently done several years ago by an energy group about whom I had never previously heard.

All of this is being done to poison the well by making false allegations leading up to the Paris climate talks later this year. It is pure politics, not science. It is also a disgrace.

Bumped due to this additional information from Dr. Judith Curry addressing the signatories of the letter:
What you have done with your letter is the worst kind of irresponsible advocacy, which is to attempt to silence scientists that disagree with you by invoking RICO.  It is bad enough that politicians such as Whitehouse and Grijalvi are playing this sort of political game with science and scientists, but I regard it as highly unethical for scientists to support defeating scientists with whom you disagree by such methods.   Since I was one of the scientists called out in Grijalvi’s witch hunts, I can only infer that I am one of the scientists you are seeking to silence.
Peter Webster did not exaggerate when he wrote:
You have signed the death warrant for science.
Please read Dr. Curry's entire piece at the blue link above. 


  1. Sadly, I fear a lot of "scientists" have lost sight of the scientific method itself, and now want to assume the role of the Pope in the conflict between the Church and Galileo, threatening heretics with punishment.

  2. Scary stuff. I mean REALLY scary stuff. Not sure what to say. This comes to mind:

    Richard Feynman said "science is the belief in the ignorance of experts". The letter by these "experts" shows their ignorance.

    Let's hope we get back to some real science and dismiss all these political shenanigans.

  3. I have read the linked letter (but not the full report) numerous times now, and don't share the same level of shock that Mike and Dr. Curry do.

    I don't see where it says people should be put in jail for not believing global warming is an urgent crisis (Mike's words), as Mike interprets it as saying. Instead, it says investigation would focus on *organizations* that "knowingly deceive." I just don't see those as the same thing.

    If people study the data and conclude there is no urgent crisis, is that the same as someone making up data or lying about it? I really don't think so, and as long as I wasn't doing the latter, I wouldn't worry about going to jail.

  4. Keith, thank you for your comment. Regardless of whether anyone actually goes to jail, this is a tool to harass those of us who believe global warming is a minor environmental issue. The costs of defending those accusations will be considerable.

  5. Keith, one has to read in between the lines. RICO is a criminal statute. Jail is one possible result if found guilty.

    There are a lot of knowledgeable people posting in the comments section at Judy Curry's link above. Search for 'jail'.