John Holdren: Abuse of Office, Power, and Science for a Political Agenda

Guest opinion by Dr. Tim Ball

Recently, in reply to a charge that John Holdren made false claims about climate change by Sam Kazman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) ruled he was expressing his “personal opinion” not “a comprehensive review of the scientific literature”. The charge is correct and the ruling false. It may be his personal opinion, but it was given from the White House in his position as adviser to the President.

Watch the video. It is filmed in the White House, released by the White House and urges people to visit the White House web site for additional information. Holdren never says it is personal opinion; there is no disclaimer. The only thing personal was his choice of location. He is playing the manipulative game of being a private citizen when it suits and a senior official when that suits. Holdren clearly tried to give credibility to his inaccurate science by using the White House as venue and his position as Assistant to the President on Science and Technology. It is a form of Argumentum ad Verecundiam (appeal to authority), although the literal translation is “appeal to reverence”.

Lord Acton, who said power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, also said,

There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.

Holdren exploits this fault, because too many Americans sanctify the holder of the Presidency. Maybe that is changing because as Washington commentator Irving Stone said,

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; Im beginning to believe it.

James Hansen played the same game, being Joe Citizen or Director of NASA GISS, as he calculated what was most advantageous.

Holdren was involved in creating the myth of overpopulation, the original false basis for using global warming to establish a political agenda. He co-authored Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment with Paul Ehrlich Economist Julian Simon challenged Ehrlich’s claims about resource exhaustion, well documented in The Bet. Holdren selected the metals and the time period. Simon won the bet.

In Ecoscience Holdren illustrated the methodology involved in the White House pronouncements. Create a straw man that becomes justification for draconian, controlling policies. Among many proposals for population control he wrote,

Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.

Who concluded? He did. The straw man for using the Constitution is, if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger society. He implies, falsely, there is a population crisis? So, he will decide when it is sufficiently severe? He has already decided this will give him authority to force abortions. He is now using the straw man of global warming as justification for imposing total control.

Holdren used his authority for personal attacks and to distort or misrepresent the science and facts before. He is currently on leave from his position as Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy Science, Technology and Public Policy Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. (Teresa Heinz, wife of US Secretary of State John Kerry).

While at Harvard he participated in the attacks to discredit Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas and their work. It was part of a two-pronged attack. One was revealed in David Deming’s testimony to Congress.

With the publication of the article in Science [in 1995], I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. So one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”

The now infamous attack involved creation of the “hockey stick”. Proud authors of the hockey stick literally rewrote history. But what history did they rewrite? They got rid of Lamb’s troubling graph (7c) shown in the 1990 IPCC Report.

clip_image002

Above: Original 1990 IPCC Figure 7c.

One little known attack involved Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas and their publication “Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1,000 years (2003 Climate Research, 23, 89–110), the most recent and definitive synopsis of evidence for the Medieval Warm Period.

———————-

Disclaimer: I have known solar physicists Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon for a long time. I published an article with Willie and have enjoyed extensive communication. I was on advisory committees with Sallie when she suddenly and politely withdrew from the fray. Undoubtedly, it was due to the vicious attacks orchestrated by Holdren and others.

———————-

Soon and Baliunas’ work confirmed the existence of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) from a multitude of sources. It was a direct threat to the 2001 IPCC Report claim that the latter part of the 20th century was the warmest ever. Michael Mann effectively got rid of the MWP with the hockey stick, but Soon and Baliunas remained. Instead of discrediting their work they discredited them. Holdren was the powerful academic who participated in the attacks.

On 16th October 2003, Michael Mann sent an email to people involved in the CRU scandal,

Dear All,

Thought you would be interested in this exchange, which John Holdren of Harvard has been kind enough to pass along…

An October 16, 2003 email from John Holdren to Michael Mann and Tom Wigley reports:

I’m forwarding for your entertainment an exchange that followed from my being quoted in the Harvard Crimson to the effect that you and your colleagues are right and my “Harvard” colleagues Soon and Baliunas are wrong about what the evidence shows concerning surface temperatures over the past millennium. The cover note to faculty and postdocs in a regular Wednesday breakfast discussion group on environmental science and public policy in Harvard’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences is more or less self-explanatory.

Use of the word “entertainment” is deeply disquieting. Here is what Holdren sent to the Wednesday Breakfast group:

I append here an e-mail correspondence I have engaged in over the past few days trying to educate a Soon/Baliunas supporter who originally wrote to me asking how I could think that Soon and Baliunas are wrong and Mann et al. are right (a view attributed to me, correctly, in the Harvard Crimson). This individual apparently runs a web site on which he had been touting the Soon/Baliunas position.

The engagement is an exchange with Nick Schulz, editor of Tech Central Station (TCS). On August 9, 2003 Schulz wrote:

In a recent Crimson story on the work of Soon and Baliunas, who have written for my website, you are quoted as saying: My impression is that the critics are right. It is unfortunate that so much attention is paid to a flawed analysis, but that’s what happens when something happens to support the political climate in Washington. Do you feel the same way about the work of Mann et. al.? If not why not?

Holdren failed to answer Schulz’s questions despite long responses on October 13, 14, and 16th. Schulz’s reply to the October 13 email:

I guess my problem concerns what lawyers call the burden of proof. The burden weighs heavily much more heavily, given the claims on Mann et.al. than it does on Soon/Baliunas. Would you agree?

Of course, Holdren doesn’t agree. He replies:

But, in practice, burden of proof is an evolving thing—it evolves as the amount of evidence relevant to a particular proposition grows.

Too bad Holdren’s burden of proof on global warming hasn’t evolved. He continues his political science, but now using the power of the White House. He ignores the evidence that broke the hockey stick. (Apparently he doesn’t know it is illegal to play with a broken stick). More problematic, as a scientist he ignores the evidence. A graduate of Stanford, his decision was likely based on the challenge of fellow Stanford denizen Stephen Schneider’s challenge that

“…each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective and being honest.”

Schulz (at Techcentral Station) provided a solid summary:

I’ll close by saying I’m willing to admit that, as someone lacking a PhD, I could be punching above my weight. But I will ask you a different but related question. How much hope is there for reaching reasonable public policy decisions that affect the lives of millions if the science upon which those decisions must be made is said to be by definition beyond the reach of those people?

We now know they deliberately placed it beyond the reach of the people and restricted it to the group that he used to ridicule Soon and Baliunas. It appears he was blinded by his political views, which are central to the Club of Rome theme of overpopulation, and as his record shows, are frightening. One web site synthesizes his position as follows: “Forced abortions. Mass sterilization. A “Planetary Regime” with the power of life and death over American citizens.”

Now the straw man is the false science of the IPCC and the deception of the “Polar Vortex”, proclaimed from the biggest bully pulpit in the world. Shutting down industries and economies to save the planet is child’s play for a person, who proposed,

A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men.

The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births.

 

At his Senate confirmation hearing Holdren claimed he no longer held his 1970s views on overpopulation.

Senator David Vitter: In 1973, you encouraged “a decline in fertility well below replacement” in the United States because “280 million in 2040 is likely to be too many.” What would your number for the right population in the US be today?

John Holdren: I no longer think it’s productive, Senator, to focus on the optimum population of the United States. I don’t think any of us know what the right answer is. When I wrote those lines in 1973, uh, I was preoccupied with the fact that many problems the United States faced appeared to be being made more difficult by the greater population growth that then prevailed. I think everyone who studies these matters understands that population growth brings some benefits and some liabilities; it’s a tough question to determine which will prevail in a given time period.

This is a political answer and worked because he was approved. Now he is in the White House and pursues his objective from a position of power. We know from his actions, such as the video, he substituted global warming/climate change for overpopulation. However, global warming was the vehicle chosen to allow draconian action to destroy industrial economies, and reduce resource-gobbling populations. Here is a quote from the Club of Rome 1994

“The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up 
with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, 
water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”

“Changed attitudes and behavior”, means reduction of population. Holdren hasn’t changed. As Oscar Wilde said,

At every single moment of one’s life, one is going to be no less than what one has been.”

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44 thoughts on “John Holdren: Abuse of Office, Power, and Science for a Political Agenda

  1. When Obama was elected it was Hillary team that when to work for him key position such as the EPA, DOD, NHS, FBI, NASA, OSTP and so on. Obama is just a mouth piece.

  2. I must be nice being in such a position. Having a venue (White House) to speak authoritatively or as a private citizen when it suits. No responsibility or consequences. They can say what you want and they do! Me, as a private citizen with no venue (not a climate scientist, whatever that is) or a holder of political office, whatever I say is poo-pooed and called a “Denier”.

  3. I thought we were trying to save the world from CAGW for our grandchildren. That seems pointless – Holden never want us to have any. I am confused.

  4. Dr. Ball,

    I agree with your analysis. We need an effective way to bring Holdren, Mann, and the rest of the cabal ‘to heel’. Any thoughts on that, other than through the ballot box?
    Mac

  5. With his hardline attention focused on population control you’d think he would have put a word in the ear of BHO that the borders have been breached and a flood of unemployed, hungry, and frequently ill people are spilling in. Or this is his little way of using disease to cull the local unteachable US citizenry herd.

  6. As Oscar Wilde said, “At every single moment of one’s life, one is going to be no less than what one has been.”
    ————
    Interesting quote from a pederast.

  7. History will not be kind to Obama, Holdren, or Kerry on their economic destruction in the name to fixing the weather.

  8. “It is filmed in the White House, released by the White House and urges people to visit the White House web site for additional information. Holdren never says it is personal opinion; there is no disclaimer.”

    You are missing a key fact. At about 0:14 in the video he is presented as “Dr John Holdred President Obama’s Science Advisor”.

    The disucussion about whether he is speaking his “personal opinion” ends there.

  9. When I first came across the ‘Hockey Stick,’ I wondered how it ever was published, as it was trying to re-write history, ignoring what was well known about the LIA. In effect the grey error band in the graph just buried the LIA and declared it ‘local’ to one region. Dr Ball’s account above and other comments by many others, show that one must be very wary of, and to trust, what they say.

  10. Wow! Thank you for that revealing exposé Dr. Tim Ball. And thank you Anthony for posting it.

  11. Holdren lost me many years ago when he wrote that the government must come up with a way to secretly sterilize the American population to save the planet. At Nuremberg we hung people who wrote things like that. I long for the good old days.

  12. Thank you Tim.

    On Global Warming:
    “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

    On Green Energy:
    “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

    – Sallie Baliunas, Tim Patterson and Allan MacRae, PEGG, November 2002

    http://www.apega.ca//Members/Publications/peggs/WEB11_02/kyoto_pt.htm

    [PEGG debate by Baliunas, Patterson and MacRae, reprinted at their request by many professional journals, the Globe and Mail and la Presse]

    We knew with confidence over a decade ago that global warming alarmism was technically false, extremist and wasteful.

    We also knew with confidence over a decade ago that the green energy schemes proposed to “fight global warming” would not be green nor would they provide much useful energy.

    Since then, there has been no global warming.

    Since then, over a trillion dollars has been squandered on failed green energy schemes that have produced little net energy, but have caused energy costs to soar.

    Since then, the brilliant and honorable Sallie Baliunas has been driven from Harvard by the extremist Holdren et al, and Holdren is the Science Advisor to the President.

    To be clear, my American friends, genius and decency have been brutalized, and extremism and indecency have been promoted. This is imbecilic, and it is shameful.

    Regards, Allan

  13. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/31/new-paper-shows-medieval-warm-period-was-global-in-scope/#comment-1462792

    milodonharlani says: October 31, 2013 at 11:50 am

    The evidence that the Medieval Warm Period was global, & that it, the Roman & Minoan WPs & the Holocene Climatic Optimum, or whatever the latest fashion in its nomenclature might be, plus the deglaciation phase prior to it, were also warmer than now has been abundant & growing since Lamb, at least, ie 50 years. The LIA & previous cold periods were also global.

    Which is why Mann needed fraudulent “tricks” & apparently intentionally inept statistical techniques or lack thereof to try to show recent warming to be special & scary.

    **********

    Agreed Milon.

    We knew that Piltdown was wrong at the time his papers were published (MBH98, etc.).

    I published the following article in E&E in early 2005, in defence of several legitimate climate scientists.

    Full article at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/28/the-team-trying-to-get-direct-action-on-soon-and-baliunas-at-harvard/#comment-811913

    Natural climate variability trumps global warming extremism.

    Regards, Allan

    Drive-by shootings in Kyotoville
    The global warming debate heats up
    Allan M.R. MacRae
    [Excerpt]

    But such bullying is not unique, as other researchers who challenged the scientific basis of Kyoto have learned.

    Of particular sensitivity to the pro-Kyoto gang is the “hockey stick” temperature curve of 1000 to 2000 AD, as proposed by Michael Mann of University of Virginia and co-authors in Nature. Mann’s hockey stick indicates that temperatures fell only slightly from 1000 to 1900 AD, after which temperatures increased sharply as a result of humanmade increases in atmospheric CO2. Mann concluded: “Our results suggest that the latter 20th century is anomalous in the context of at least the past millennium. The 1990s was the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, at moderately high levels of confidence.”

    Mann’s conclusion is the cornerstone of the scientific case supporting Kyoto. However, Mann is incorrect.

    Mann eliminated from the climate record both the Medieval Warm Period, a period from about 900 to 1500 AD when global temperatures were generally warmer than today, and also the Little Ice Age from about 1500 to 1800 AD, when temperatures were colder. Mann’s conclusion contradicted hundreds of previous studies on this subject, but was adopted without question by Kyoto advocates.

    In the April 2003 issue of Energy and Environment, Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and co-authors wrote a review of over 250 research papers that concluded that the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were true climatic anomalies with world-wide imprints – contradicting Mann’s hockey stick and undermining the basis of Kyoto. Soon et al were then attacked in EOS, the journal of the American Geophysical Union.

    In the July 2003 issue of GSA Today, University of Ottawa geology professor Jan Veizer and Israeli astrophysicist Nir Shaviv concluded that temperatures over the past 500 million years correlate with changes in cosmic ray intensity as Earth moves in and out of the spiral arms of the Milky Way. The geologic record showed no correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperatures, even though prehistoric CO2 levels were often many times today’s levels. Veizer and Shaviv also received “special attention” from EOS.

    In both cases, the attacks were unprofessional – first, these critiques should have been launched in the journals that published the original papers, not in EOS. Also, the victims of these attacks were not given advanced notice, nor were they were given the opportunity to respond in the same issue. In both cases the victims had to wait months for their rebuttals to be published, while the specious attacks were circulated by the pro-Kyoto camp.

    *************

  14. We’ve just had your bloody Gore over here shooting off his mouth tonight about global warming.
    Standing beside billionaire coal miner and iron ore miner politician Clive Palmer.
    Announcing how he’s going to instruct his partys senate members to vote to repeal our CO/2 tax.
    WT.
    It’s simply madness in Australia at the minute.
    And then when I think what more can these fraudster former and current politicians visit upon us stupid voters I read this.
    Your Obama it seems is not only determined wreck your economy as the former socialist left goverment has treashed ours.
    He’s insisting on getting into a slug fest with our government at the G20 later this year over global warming.
    The Australian government making it crystal clear to the Obama government months ago. This an economic forum and not the appropriate platform for blowing wind up are backsides about global warming.
    But it appears he’s going to play the often stereotyped loud mouth yank to ride roughshod over an economic summit in an attempt to convince others to join his lunacy.
    And damn the hosts.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/us-will-push-for-climate-change-at-g20/story-e6frfku9-1226966794377

  15. “Any thoughts on that, other than through the ballot box? Mac.”

    Mac, they control the courts, they control the justice department, they control all of the administrative agencies of the state, they control the universities, and they control all of the major media outlets. The very tone of your question indicates that you and a lot of people just like you are just starting to wake up to the nightmare we are in. Every part of this game has been fixed in their favor, which is why they are so confident that they can put their plans into action. (and why they are so surprised that there is any resistance left)

    Outside of the ballot box, the only “solution” to a corrupt government is the one that the Sunni’s of western Iraq have now chosen, and which we are reading about in the news every day. I sincerely hope this country doesn’t fall back into those days, and remember we already did it once. Overthrowing the current regime in a democratic and peaceful fashion is the ONLY hope we have, not only for honest policies, but for the survival of our civilized society.

    We are in the fight of our lives, and its time for all of us who see it to start acting that way.

  16. I know what I am about to request is a very quibbling point. In the article above you refer to John Holdren as currently being on leave from his position as Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy Science. I think, for the general audience, it would be more efficient and informative to phrase it this way, ‘…as a Catsup Professor of…’ Of course, one should probably spell it ‘Ketchup.’ We wouldn’t want to offend them, now would we?

  17. What a bunch of bs–claiming he was speaking as a private citizen. His position doesn’t allow him to make that claim as what he believes as a private citizen is what he brings to his position and what he brings to his position is what he talks with the president about. I thought Nixon’s administration was corrupt and Carter’s inept, the king has them beat and makes both look like amateurs. I can’t imagine the stuff he’s going to pull as his administration nears it’s end.

  18. “The now infamous attack involved creation of the “hockey stick”. Proud authors of the hockey stick literally rewrote history. But what history did they rewrite? They got rid of Lamb’s troubling graph (7c) shown in the 1990 IPCC Report.”
    Are they still?
    Maunder and Dalton Sunspot Minima
    Posted on June 23, 2014
    Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/23/maunder-and-dalton-sunspot-minima/

    p.s. I wish we could preview our posts.

  19. “the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy Science”

    And remember that Teresa Heinz is now more popularly known as Teresa Kerry, the wife of our illustrious Secretary of State. It’s all quite incestuous at the top, isn’t it?

  20. ” I can’t imagine the stuff he’s going to pull as his administration nears it’s end.”

    I can, and that’s what scares me.

  21. CauseofAction, a watchdog org in DC has fingered the EPA and the White House for illegally withholding information from Congress. The House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform is now instigated to look into this. Looks like Holdren illegally ordered the EPA to withhold certain information and the EPA did illegally comply with this order.

  22. What Lord Acton actually said was: ‘Power TENDS to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.’

  23. “Ever since the beginning of modern science, the best minds have recognized that ‘the range of acknowledged ignorance will grow with the advance of science.’ Unfortunately, the popular effect of this scientific advance has been a belief, seemingly shared by many scientists, that the range of our ignorance is steadily diminishing and that we can therefore aim at more comprehensive and deliberate control of all human activities. It is for this reason that those intoxicated by the advance of knowledge so often become the enemies of freedom.”

    Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992) Austrian Economist

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  25. wws says:
    June 25, 2014 at 6:07 am
    “Any thoughts on that, other than through the ballot box? Mac.”

    Mac, they control the courts, they control the justice department, they control all of the administrative agencies of the state, they control the universities, and they control all of the major media outlets. The very tone of your question indicates that you and a lot of people just like you are just starting to wake up to the nightmare we are in…..

    wws,
    You presume too much. I’m well aware of the current US political situation. I have spent considerable time, energy, and wealth over the last 30 years supporting candidates with fiscal discipline, limited government, and free markets as their guiding principles. I’ve worked with various grass roots organizations in my ‘spare time’ to elect those conservative candidates to offices from village councils through governorships.

    My purpose in asking that direct question was to solicit thoughts on solutions from others that I might not have considered. Apparently, you do not have any other potential solutions to offer either.
    Mac

  26. mpainter says:
    June 25, 2014 at 8:24 am

    mpainter,
    Thanks for the update! If criminal charges can be brought against Holdren, and a conviction secured, it would send a real chill through all of the other miscreants this corrupt administration has empowered.
    Mac

  27. There are many myth bound in the word ‘disclaimer.’ In Australia disclaimers are useless if you have stated something defamatory or false.

  28. “Holdren never says it is personal opinion; there is no disclaimer.”

    When talking about weather events and global warming, he refers to “facts” (in that no single weather event can determine global warming or not).

    When remarking on the likelihood of changes in the polar jet stream, he says:

    “…as in all science there will be continuing debate about exactly what is happening, but I believe the odds are that we can expect, as a result of global warming, to see more of this pattern of extreme cold in the mid-latitudes.”

    That is clearly a personal opinion, particularly as it is comes straight after reference to the scientific community debating the matter.

    While there is certainly evidence of a weakening polar jet stream under global warming, and a physically plausible explanation for it, I read the literature on and around the issue when the vid came out, and I think Holdren’s remarks are a little premature. But I disagree that he failed to indicate these were his personal views. How else can you read, “I believe”?

  29. Can someone tell me just how a great nation, the United States of America, end up with a person such as John Holdren in Office? Wasn’t he thoroughly checked out before being appointed to his position? Didn’t anyone consult with his peers?

  30. Mac the Knife says:
    June 25, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    “My purpose in asking that direct question was to solicit thoughts on solutions from others that I might not have considered. Apparently, you do not have any other potential solutions to offer either.
    Mac”

    ——————————————————————————————————-
    “Excerpts from 101 THINGS TO DO ‘TIL THE REVOLUTION By Claire Wolfe

    “This book is dedicated to you, the enemy of the state.”

    From the Forward:

    “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.””

  31. Question is, why doesn’t a journalist stand up at the end and just ask “Can you please tell us why what you said isn’t just complete BS?”, i.e. directly call him out on it?

  32. There are major consumer products companies that support those who are bent on helping to destroy U.S. industry. So why do people continue to purchase these companies products?

  33. It seems clear that AGW isn’t particularly impactful but no one who’s been around for awhile can deny that our rapid population increase hasn’t.

Comments are closed.