UPDATE2 10:45PM 2/18/12: This started as a humorous reply to the “Open Letter to Heartland” purportedly signed by several prominent climate scientists. That may be true, but it is now in doubt, as none of the signers wrote it. A PR hack from an NGO did. See below for who actually authored the letter for the Team, quite a surprise!
UPDATE: I was offline and used my cellphone to post the comic above, and wasn’t able to add more at the time.
If anyone is wondering what this is in response to, read this letter from The Team, plus my response below:
An Open Letter to the Heartland Institute
As scientists who have had their emails stolen, posted online and grossly misrepresented, we can appreciate the difficulties the Heartland Institute is currently experiencing following the online posting of the organization’s internal documents earlier this week. However, we are greatly disappointed by their content, which indicates the organization is continuing its campaign to discredit mainstream climate science and to undermine the teaching of well-established climate science in the classroom.
We know what it feels like to have private information stolen and posted online via illegal hacking. It happened to climate researchers in 2009 and again in 2011. Personal emails were culled through and taken out of context before they were posted online. In 2009, the Heartland Institute was among the groups that spread false allegations about what these stolen emails said.
Despite multiple independent investigations, which demonstrated that allegations against scientists were false, the Heartland Institute continued to attack scientists based on the stolen emails. When more stolen emails were posted online in 2011, the Heartland Institute again pointed to their release and spread false claims about scientists.
So although we can agree that stealing documents and posting them online is not an acceptable practice, we would be remiss if we did not point out that the Heartland Institute has had no qualms about utilizing and distorting emails stolen from scientists.
We hope the Heartland Institute will heed its own advice to “think about what has happened” and recognize how its attacks on science and scientists have helped poison the debate over climate change policy. The Heartland Institute has chosen to undermine public understanding of basic scientific facts and personally attack climate researchers rather than engage in a civil debate about climate change policy options.
These are the facts: Climate change is occurring. Human activity is the primary cause of recent climate change. Climate change is already disrupting many human and natural systems. The more heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions that go into the atmosphere, the more severe those disruptions will become. Major scientific assessments from the Royal Society, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, United States Global Change Research Program and other authoritative sources agree on these points.
What businesses, policymakers, advocacy groups and citizens choose to do in response to those facts should be informed by the science. But those decisions are also necessarily informed by economic, ethical, ideological, and other considerations.While the Heartland Institute is entitled to its views on policy, we object to its practice of spreading misinformation about climate research and personally attacking climate scientists to further its goals.
We hope the Heartland Institute will begin to play a more constructive role in the policy debate.
Refraining from misleading attacks on climate science and climate researchers would be a welcome first step toward having an honest, fact-based debate about the policy responses to climate change.
Ray Bradley, PhD, Director of the Climate System Research Center, University of Massachusetts
David Karoly, PhD, ARC Federation Fellow and Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia
Michael Mann, PhD, Director, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University
Jonathan Overpeck, PhD, Professor of Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona
Ben Santer, PhD, Research Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Gavin Schmidt, PhD, Climate Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Kevin Trenberth, ScD, Distinguished Senior Scientist, Climate Analysis Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Source: this letter
Here’s a reminder to these scientists who signed the letter.
Heartland has invited many of you and others to Heartland Climate conferences. There’s always been a standing open invitation in addition to the direct personal ones offered. With the exception of one scientist not listed here, Dr. Scott Denning, none of you accepted. He had the integrity and courage to engage us where you do not.
You might be surprised to find that he was warmly welcomed.
Therefore, don’t lecture us on the need for “civil debate about climate change policy options” when you don’t even bother to engage when invited. Gavin Schmidt and James Hansen were invited to the Heartland NYC Climate conferences, both times, and could not be bothered to make a short trip a few blocks in their offices to do so.
Hearing he had declined Heartland’s formal invitation in 2008, I made a personal appeal to Dr. James Hansen through a mutual contact for the first NYC conference, and even offered to send a car uptown for him. Of course that was declined as well.
Fellows, if you want open debate, lift a finger to make it happen when invited. Otherwise, please don’t presume to have the high ground and lecture us when you have no moral basis for doing so by your own inaction.
Can’t you guys even write your own letters when you sign them? Or did you sign them at all?
Document properties of the open letter here:
Look who Aaron Huertas is: http://aaronhuertas.com/
This is a personal Web page for Aaron Huertas. I’m a resident of Washington, DC and am employed as a press secretary at the Union of Concerned Scientists. My interests include communicating science and the ongoing interaction between our genetic ancestry and our modern technological society. I also watch a ton of TV series.
Looks like UCS might have cooked this up and got the team to sign off on it. Or maybe just sent it as PR with no formal approval. Why else would UCS be involved if this was a letter from these scientists?
Maybe Gavin used his credit card to pay for this. Kenji is displeased, not only about his membership dues being used for this, but for the fact he still (months since Oct11) hasn’t received his UCS mousepad that he paid an extra $10 for.
And they wonder why many in the world have trust issues with climate scientists?