Don Easterbrook’s response to a smear by WWU geology faculty

Readers may recall that WUWT published  this defense of Dr. Don Easterbrook last week:

Rebuttal to the attack on Dr. Don Easterbrook by Dr. David Deming

I enjoyed this passage from Dr. Deming:

Among the gems in the endless litany of nonsense we are subjected to are claims that global warming causes earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Last year we were warned that global warming would turn us all into hobbits, the mythical creatures from J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels. I am not aware of any member of the WWU geology faculty criticizing these ridiculous claims. Their vehemence seems to be reserved for honest skeptics like Dr. Easterbrook who advance science by asking hard questions.

Dr. Deming rebuttal was an unsolicited response to a March 31 letter by WWU geology faculty in the Bellingham Herald.

In response to criticisms of that letter, one of the original signers of the letter critical of Dr. Don Easterbrook’s testimony before the Washington State Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee, Dr. David Hirsh wrote this stunning response:

“I don’t want the media to present both sides of an issue.”

It is hard to imagine a more small minded response from an academic.

Despite Dr. Hirsch’s small mindededness, it seems that both sides got an airing after all. The Bellingham Herald has published Dr. Easterbrook’s response.

This part caught my eye:

The Bellingham Herald opinion column is a diatribe against me personally (just read the slurs and innuendos) containing misrepresentations, no real data to support their contentions, and displays an abysmal ignorance of published literature. The reason becomes apparent when you realize that not a single one of the 13 Western Washington University authors has ever published a single paper on global climate change and none have any expertise whatsoever in climate issues.

Read the whole response here:

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/04/14/2958336/easterbrook-disputes-wwu-faculty.html

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43 Responses to Don Easterbrook’s response to a smear by WWU geology faculty

  1. Jeff L says:

    Easterbrook does a great job tearing down the WWU editorial. I really hope his rebuttal is widely read & seriously considered by the general public, as it exposes both the weaknesses in the CAGW hypothesis & the deplorable techniques used by it’s supporters. WUWT readers sharing the link above with their friends would help spread the word.

  2. kim says:

    A Confederation of Geologist’s Picks.
    ==============

  3. David Klepping says:

    I assume that’s supposed to read “Read the whole response here” instead of “while”

    [Fixed, thanks. -w.]

  4. John Blake says:

    So none of the 13 Western Washington (State) University academics who blithely smear Prof. Easterbrook has “any expertise whatsoever in global climate change.” Suppose they did: Would that excuse these smears, kindergarten cat-calls by spoiled-brat retrogressives afraid of their own shadows? “Cargo cultists” indeed, as Feynman understood the type. Anyone potentially matriculating WWU had best take care to seal his Kool Aid flask.

  5. John West says:

    Don Easterbrook asks:
    ”So what can we conclude about The Bellingham Herald opinion column?”

    That those who promote the alarmist CAGW canons are not scientists but rather adherents of a religion that is intolerant to any questioning of its tenets?

    That since there is insufficient evidence to support CAGW alarmism; they must resort to semantic tricks and ad hominem attacks to suppress opposition?

    That WWU’s hiring process has declined considerably in its ability to attract and employ actual scientists (critical thinkers) since the hiring of Don Easterbrook?

    That I wouldn’t want my son attending WWU geology courses unless being at least over-sought by Don Easterbrook himself?

    That (to my surprise) there are 12 geologists that haven’t realized CAGW is merely Zohnerism (that’s somewhat akin to finding 12 chemists willing to sign up for banning DHMO)?

    All of the above?

  6. dp says:

    This state needs a process to de-certify these idiots. I hate that my taxes are being wasted on this kind of nonsense. There is no excuse to continue to entertain such ignorance with our hard earned paychecks and such statements should serve as self-disqualification to find work in this field in this state.

  7. HankHenry says:

    Dr. Easterbrook does a great job responding. What kind of educators would not want the public to understand the details of the global warming theory?

  8. TomRude says:

    Good one!

  9. zootcadillac says:

    Just as when the original post appeared I am unable to reach the Bellingham Herald website. I’m not sure if the extra traffic from WUWT is taking them down or it’s a problem at my end but the page is unavailable in any browser.
    I wonder if Don or anyone cares to paste the whole letter here?

  10. pat says:

    Everybody in every field seems to know all about AGW and climate. Except meteorologist. Since the majority don’t subscribe to the AGW dogma, they are ignored.

  11. durango12 says:

    “It is hard to imagine a more small minded response from an academic”

    Anthony, you just don’t understand that academia is the repository of many of the smallest minds around. I have witnessed it first hand for years. Open mindedness, logical approaches to discussion, respect for other points of view and the like are rare — indeed they can be found at the level of impurities in an overall corrupt and mean spirited segment of our society.

  12. Chad Wozniak says:

    I can only say, “Dang! . . .”
    - except that I would strongly urge Drs. Easterbrook and Deming to forward Dr. Easterbrook’s letter to the office of the “Judge-Jury-and-Executioner-in-Chief” aka “Climate Inexpert in Chief” – and I think Dr. Easterbrook should consider legal action against WWU.

  13. Good for the Bellingham Hearald publishing Dr. Easterbrooks reply. Good on Dr. Easterbrook for going on the attack as I urged in the thread below this one. Good on WUWT for bringing the WWU nonsense to our attention.

  14. pottereaton says:

    Stan stendera at 10:02: I would suggest they had no choice but to publish the response, given the personal nature of the original published attack. It didn’t rise to the level of slander, but it was close.

    The faculty mob have sowed the wind and will now reap the whirlwind.

  15. pottereaton says:

    Chad Wozniak at 9:58 re legal action:

    Bad idea. I would rather Dr. Easterbrook spend his time on climate research and publication than on endless legal wrangling.

  16. Kaboom says:

    @John West
    “That those who promote the alarmist CAGW canons are not scientists but rather adherents of a religion that is intolerant to any questioning of its tenets?”

    It will thus probably be the last refuge of that brand of scoundrels to proclaim the protections of the constitution afforded to the freedom of religion.

  17. Mycroft says:

    “I don’t want the media to present both sides of an issue
    And this guy still has a job/tenure at the University..Amazing, simply amazing,that parents would want this”Teacher” teaching their children

  18. starzmom says:

    Dr. Hirsch’s response is exactly what I would expect from a politician or activist, not a scientist or teacher. IMHO, he has made clear what he is. If the shoe fits….

  19. Mark A. Hoffman says:

    As a geologist and a teacher I am offended by the attitude and remarks of the WWU faculty. I hope that they are catching a lot of flack for what they wrote. But, alas, they are probably being celebrated on campus as good soldiers in the battle against “denialism.”

  20. cui bono says:

    “I don’t want the media to present both sides of an issue.” Well, you’re in luck so far, Dr Hirsh.

    “Shut up”, he explained. Good motto for a university educator. Socrates would have been proud of you.

  21. tobias says:

    Read the whole article , thanks as usual very scientific. But the comment section following it ?? I quit reading after only 5 or 6, way too much vitriol for a Sunday. Unbelievable nasty non constructive crap the person that mentioned “the alynski way” hits it right on the head it starting to remind me of the Stalin , Mao and Hitler propaganda eras.

  22. P Walker says:

    I just read some of the comments following Dr. Easterbrook’s response . Apparently these zealots don’t realize that calling someone a liar without proof makes one look stupid .

  23. David A. Evans says:

    Has the Bellingham Herald been disappeared?

    DaveE.

  24. Don says:

    I must agree that the majority of the comments following the response read like yells from a lynch mob. Is this the academic New Normal?

  25. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    dp says:
    “This state needs a process to de-certify these idiots.”

    Idiots? Yes. De-certify them? No. The ‘Weather Bimbo’, Dr. Heidi Cullen also advocated de-certifying registered professionals (engineers, geologists, & weathermen) who refused to accept that CO2 was destroying the climate. It was wrong fer her to do so, and it’s just as wrong to call for this group to lose their certification. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, even if they are wrong. The best thing to do is to expose their idiocy and move on.

  26. Chuck Nolan says:

    I followed the link and read the letter through the comments.
    Well at least as many as I could navigate.
    What they were saying was bad enough (almost all pure Ad Hoc) but trying to follow their arguments through the threads was near impossible.
    Thanks Anthony for this wordpress commenting method.
    Good choice.
    cn

  27. Rob JM says:

    Easterbrook uses an incorrect argument in his reply though.
    Increasing CO2 has very little warming effect not because there is so little of it, but because there is so much of it that it already absorbs most of the energy available, ie its close to saturation.
    The first 30ppm absorbs 50% of the radiation, then each doubling absorbs half of the remainder as per the beer lambert equation.
    Of course the IPCC claims each doubling causes the same forcing because some idiot doesn’t know the difference between absorption and absorbance!

  28. pyeatte says:

    Dr. Hirsch is a disgrace to scientific inquiry, but a champion to censorship.

  29. DaveG says:

    Don Easterbrook has enlighten a nice little town and the Bellingham Herald, plus millions more through the WUWT and the internet. The lie expands, collapses and the warmist fall flat on their faces. Once more.Dr. Hirsch set fellow warmist and himself up and opened the door for Don to set him right. Another case of foot in mouth solved. Great job Dr. Deming and thanks to Don.
    I echo:
    stan stendera says:
    April 14, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Good for the Bellingham Hearald publishing Dr. Easterbrooks reply. Good on Dr. Easterbrook for going on the attack as I urged in the thread below this one. Good on WUWT for bringing the WWU nonsense to our attention.

  30. You can click on a drop-down list at the head of the comments to select the most popular ones. Those are skeptical.

  31. johanna says:

    The Bellingham Herald owes Dr Easterbrook and Anthony a huge thank you. I bet their readership has never been as high, or as wide, before.

    Anyway, good on them for giving Dr E. a platform to respond to the anti-intellectual, schoolyard bullying tactics of people who are a disgrace to the tradition of scholarship. And that applies irrespective of whether Dr E. is right or wrong.

  32. johanna says:

    Why has my comment above been put into moderation? If I have broken a rule, what is it?

  33. herkimer says:

    As I commented previously on this blog, history will prove that Don Easterbrook was among the first group of scientists who pointed out that based on geological history, our climate would more likely cool rather than experience unprecedented warming for the next several decades and that the global climate would experience alternating periods of cooling and warming leading to 2100 rather than straight line warming of 3-6 degrees C. . The fact that global temperatures have now stopped rising and are actually in decline clearly proves the validity of his extensive research. Rather than smearing a fellow professor from your own University, any normal University would honor and recognize his valued contribution to climate science and the university . Unfortunately things do not seem that normal at WWU and their geology department.

  34. Ed Ingold says:

    WWU Campus Reads Book for 2013-14…Early Warming: Crises and Response in Climate Changed North by Nancy Lords. The Authors credentials seem to be that she was a lecturer on adventure cruise ships. The description appears to be anecotal accounts. This might give you an idea as to where this university’s focus is.

  35. highflight56433 says:

    As a major contributor to the WWU Foundation, I ended my contributions several decades ago. WWU is functionally about getting the money, big salaries, and promoting their progressive agendas. The funding from the state has decreased substantially by the same officials they elected. The CAGW groupies of course are applying for funding around CAGW research, so how dare anyone point out flaws in their Titanic mind set, especially one of their own. Thus the circled wagon approach to smear and defame.

  36. hum says:

    Rob JM says “Easterbrook uses an incorrect argument in his reply though.
    Increasing CO2 has very little warming effect not because there is so little of it, but because there is so much of it that it already absorbs most of the energy available, ie its close to saturation.”

    Rob, while what you say about saturation and subsequent doublings of greenhouse gas is true, what Dr Easterbrook was drawing attention to was the small amount of actual greenhouse work is done by CO2. It is water vaper that is king of the greenhouse. WV covers a much larger spectum than CO2 and except in a very narrow bandwidth WV covers all absorption bandwidths where CO2 is active. This means that CO2 is a bit player in the greenhouse effect. I think the more this is pointed out to laymen the better. This is where the lukewarmers like Mosher get it wrong. If there was a significant positive feedback in the atmosphere then we would already have seen it. The greenhouse effect is fast it does not take days, weeks, months or years for IR to move up through the atmosphere on the mean free path. Then there are other things which impact significantly more than the GHE such as day and night, and seasonal changes. The Earths climate system seems to have a low response to CO2 changes.

  37. wwb says:

    Ed a little more:
    WWU’s Western Reads Selects ‘Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North’ as its 2013-14 Book
    “The book will be given to all incoming Western freshmen and will be available for sale at the Western Associated Students Bookstore. Programming related to the book topic will be held through the academic year.”

    Our schools have become a cesspool of one sided propaganda! A programming related to the books topic will be held, yet no opposing views will be allowed.

  38. jbird says:

    Hmmm. I’m no legal expert, but it seems to me that Dr. Easterbrook has been libeled. I think I would be contacting an attorney if I was him. Couldn’t both the WWU faculty members and the Bellingham Herald be held accountable for this?

  39. Ed Ingold says:

    wwb

    What really is troublesome beyond the fact that the freshman classes are required to read this kind of what I would call a feel good documentary, is that the Geologic Department apparently supports the author’s assumptions on sea level increases. In looking at the faculty at least those that gave bios it’s pretty vanilla. It looks weighted toward structure and tectonics and not much paleontology. Although a number of staff did not show a bio maybe they are TA’s. Anyhow as someone else observed not much if any paleoclimatology. So why were they so adamently opposed to Easterbrook? It does not at first light make a lot of sense unless the Administration was giving leverage.

  40. RobRoy says:

    herkimer says:
    April 15, 2013 at 4:43 am

    ” Rather than smearing a fellow professor from your own University, any normal University would honor and recognize his valued contribution to climate science and the university.”
    Imagine, when the last CAGW lie collapses, so many academics are going to wish theirs was the first university to abandon the false AGW theory.
    Only one can be the first. after that the bandwagon will fill up quickly.

  41. RobRoy says:

    BTW, Mr Watts and CO. , This new posting method is fantastic. Ones’ corrections (I’m always correcting myself. I should proofread better.) appear immediately below the goof.
    KUTGW.

  42. PaddikJ says:

    RobRoy says:
    April 16, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Imagine, when the last CAGW lie collapses, so many academics are going to wish theirs was the first university to abandon the false AGW theory.

    Only one can be the first. after that the bandwagon will fill up quickly.

    Would be nice if the “CAGW lie collapses,” but I doubt it. Social movements, mass hysterias, etc., just don’t rise and fall that way. Typically, they have a long-ish gestational period followed by a rapid rise, a peak of several years, and then a long-tailed decline. You might respond that this case is different because never before has a popular delusion been so well financed and pushed so hard, but neither has there ever been such a hard push-back from the realist minority (and the ‘net is on both sides of the equation, so it just cancels out).

    Realists need to get over the comforting delusion that a day of reckoning is at hand, take some pride that their good efforts have saved the industrialized world from complete economic suicide, and accept that its pushers will likely not be called to accounts, but are on a slow & well-deserved slide into obscurity.

  43. Dudley Horscroft says:

    The trouble with scientists – and probably with everybody else – is that when they get an idea into their heads that they can understand it is almost impossible to dislodge. New data, new interpretations, new ideas, none of them seem to to have much effect. About the only time change occurs is when the current ‘status quo’ is “We don’t know”. Thus geologists were wedded to “land bridges” which mysteriously rose and fell to explain animals and plants crossing the Behring Strait, and even the Atlantic. New idea – continental drift? Can’t happen. Took another 40 years till the data re seafloor magnetic reversal patterns showed continental drift was a reality, and only because nobody really believed in “land bridges” anyway. It is even worse when a reputable scientist from the “wrong” discipline upsets very long held ideas, such as Dr Velikovsky did with his suggestion of the recent origin of Venus, and his revision of Egyptian chronology – where many, if not most, consider the “Accepted” chronology as being in grievous error, even if no-one can agree on what the correct chronology should be.

    One little point, at one time, all the carbon locked up in coal beds, oil deposits, gas fields and the like had to be in the form of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for the trees to extract it, grow and then turn into coal, oil, gas, etc. And all the foraminifera, diatoms, and the like, had to extract CO2 from seawater to build their shells to turn into chalk, limestone, gypsum and marble. And where did the oceans get the CO2 from to replace the depletion of dissolved CO2 from? The atmosphere! So what was the then concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere before the coal beds and limestones, etc were laid down? And what was the global temperature? Presumably it must have been rather supportive of life or the forests could not have grown nor were the oceans boiling.

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