Unable to effectively refute the contents, the alarmosphere resorts to calling a new report 'counterfeit'

I laughed when I got this press release last night:

CatoScience.txt – Fake ‘addendum by conservative group tries to undo federal climate report

A soon-to-be-released Cato Institute report, posing as an “addendum” to a 2009 federal summary of climate change impacts, discounts the science in the original. Cato calls it “a user’s manual” for reversing the EPA’s health finding on carbon dioxide. Scientists call it a fraud. 1060 words. By Douglas Fischer


Douglas Fischer is editor of DailyClimate.org, an independent, foundation-funded news service covering climate change.

Douglas Fischer


Daily Climate

My first thought was: “Is this all you’ve got?” It get’s even sillier when you read what they are complaining about. Gosh, they used a graphic of The United States on a report about The United States. The horror!

From TDC:


A soon-to-be-released Cato Institute report, posing as an ‘addendum’ to a 2009 federal summary of climate change impacts, discounts the science in the original.

Cato calls it ‘a user’s manual’ for reversing the EPA’s endangerment finding on carbon dioxide.


By Douglas Fischer

The Daily Climate

A new “addendum” to be released as soon as this week purports to update with the latest science a 2009 federal assessment on the impacts to the United States of climate change.

The addendum matches the layout and design of the original, published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program: Cover art, “key message” sections, table of contents are all virtually identical, down to the chapter heads, fonts and footnotes.

But the new report comes from the conservative Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute. And its findings – that science is questionable, the impacts negligible and the potential policy solutions ineffective – are more a rebuke than a revision of the original report and of accepted science both then and today.

It’s not an addendum. It’s a counterfeit.

– John Abraham,  University of Saint Thomas

“It’s not an addendum. It’s a counterfeit,” said John Abraham, an associate professor at the University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota who studies clean power sources. “It’s a continued effort to kick the can down the road: A steady drip, drip, drip of fake reports by false scientists to create a false sense of debate.”


Heh. “Counterfeit. False sense of debate.” That’s all you’ve got? No comments as to the substance?  Note the fine print at the bottom of the TDC article:

The Cato Institute expects to release its report, Addendum: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, as early as this week. A draft version can be downloaded from its website [pdf].

So the whole objection is over the similarity of the cover and pages in a draft report, and they apparently can’t refute the contents, so resort to poisoning the well by calling the report “fraudulent” and “counterfeit” without actually addressing any of the contents. They apparently can’t refute it so they go directly to smear. Maybe Pat Michaels can hire Mike Mann’s tobacco lawyer for a defamation lawsuit, he’ll probably have a better case than Mikey has with Mark Steyn.

Meanwhile the collection of small animals and wannabe superheros (Stoat, Rabett, Supermandia) are all over this as if their comic opinions make any difference.

You can read the whole thing at this address: http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2012/10/cato-climate-science-report

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October 22, 2012 9:20 am

Hmm, I’m not sure about this one. The two do look remarkably similar: a passing glance at the cover and you’d easily mistake one for the other; that’s unlikely to be a mistake.
However, it’s not good enough if that is all they can say – especially if people think that’s enough to refute the contents. Let’s see if anyone does go on discuss the content. This is only one article, after all.

October 22, 2012 9:39 am

I helped fund the CATO report. When one reads the original report it is easy to see why an addendum was called for.

Jasper Gee
October 22, 2012 9:46 am

You can’t issue an addendum to someone else’s report. Making it look like it’s their addendum is mischievous at best; dishonest at worst.

October 22, 2012 9:47 am

From their “Program Overview” page…
“The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The USGCRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606), which called for “a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”
I’m still waiting for them to start study natural processes, instead of denying them.

Russ R.
October 22, 2012 9:49 am

My advice to CATO….
Change the cover art and drop the word “Addendum” from the title before releasing the final report.
By giving the critics trivialities to attack, you allow them to divert attention from the content of the report.

October 22, 2012 9:54 am

Call it what it really is … a correction. Addendum makes it look like something got left out of the original and this fixes it.
Oh, wait….
Never mind.

October 22, 2012 9:58 am

Douglas Fischer can’t even get his description of the organization putting out the report he is criticizing right.
The CATO institute is a LIBERTARIAN think tank.

October 22, 2012 9:59 am

While imitation might be sincere flattery, insincere imitation might be regarded as a form of tweaking. This looks like a tweak to me.

October 22, 2012 10:09 am

Once you understand cover is deliberately misleading why would you expect the contents to honest?

Sun Spot
October 22, 2012 10:09 am

The mischief of the word Addendum gets some required attention. The warmists lack of substance in addressing the content exposes the warmists duplicity to anyone with analytic ability.

October 22, 2012 10:12 am

Reverse the writers. If the Cato Institute had issued the original, do you really think anyone would question the Global research group writing an addendum? Of course not. The covers are very similar, but objecting to the covers indicates the Global group does not think it’s followers can actually read. The Addendum is clearly marked as coming from a different group. I don’t see a problem unless your audience can only “read” pictures and not content. (Also, if I remember correctly, titles in books, etc cannot be copyrighted. Duplicate titles and even similar pictures abound in literature. The Global group is not being picked on, but is not put in a special class either.)

October 22, 2012 10:20 am

@Derek Sorensen: Oct. 22, at 9:20 am The two do look remarkably similar: a passing glance at the cover and you’d easily mistake one for the other; that’s unlikely to be a mistake.
The word “Addendum” is a clue that they are supposed to be related and this one comes after the first. Further, the first group does not have a copyright on the use of a picture from space of the United States. Nor do they have a monopoly on the Concept of “US Global Climate Change Research.”

Juan Slayton
October 22, 2012 10:29 am


October 22, 2012 10:35 am

The cover art and title conveys clearly the relationship of the addendum to the original report.

Michael J
October 22, 2012 10:35 am

The Cato publication does look like it is supposed to be from the same source as the other paper. If Cato don’t intend to be misleading, they should probably differentiate it better. Maybe “Cato Institute’s addendum to USGPRC’s paper: Global Climate . . . ” or something like that.

October 22, 2012 10:40 am

I agree with others above that the report be given a distinct, stand-alone look, lest what happened with the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine Global Warming Petition happen again.
As I understand it, the petition’s cover letter closely resembled that of PNAS, so the opposition called fraud.
Please let’s not give them ANYTHING to glom onto this time!

Lance Wallace
October 22, 2012 10:47 am

Here is the first sentence of the cover letter for the document:
The Center for the Study of Public Science and Public Policy at the Cato Institute is pleased to transmit to you a major revision of the report, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States”.
“Revision,” like “addendum,” is basically a lie. Unless the Cato Institute considers that any publicity is good publicity, this strikes me as juvenile and stupid. The good work done by Michaels and crew will be lost in the firestorm of media derision.

Crispin in Yogayakarta
October 22, 2012 10:53 am

@Juan Slayton
You have a good point there.

October 22, 2012 10:56 am

The Cato publication is only mistaken as part of the original if you don’t READ.

more soylent green!
October 22, 2012 11:09 am

They should remove the word “Addendum” as it and the cover design are misleading.

October 22, 2012 11:48 am

Imitation, in this case, is a form of mockery.
Please note that the version in the linked pdf is a VERY OLD FIRST DRAFT from last June that was included as part of my commentary on EPA’s proposed power plant rulemaking. I haven’t put the final pdf up because the final (nugatory) copy editing will not be complete until next week.
However I will be HAPPY to fed ex anyone the existing proof copy, which is somewhat different than the draft pdf, and much better. Just email me your address and a contact phone for FedEx.
I’m at pmichaels@cato.org

October 22, 2012 12:11 pm

I believe we need to start using a qualifier every time the words “Climate Change” are used, as it is used by crazy people all the time these days with an underlying hidden meaning.
The hidden meaning was exposed on the Did You Know thread;
pat says:
October 21, 2012 at 7:33 am
Did you know:
“In 1992 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) unilaterally decided “Climate Change” was the equivalent of “Man-Made Global Warming”. ever since, anyone who questions any aspect of Man-Made Global Warming is absurdly labelled a “climate change denier”, or even a “climate denier”.”
For the purposes of this Convention:
2. “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.
We need to know what meaning is being used in scientific papers and news articles when the words “Climate Change” are used.
“Human Induced Climate Change” or “Natural Climate Change”, or an accepted convention that sane people can understand.

October 22, 2012 12:33 pm

I’m surprised that no one has noted the subtle but climatologically significant difference between the two cover photos. Raise your hand if you see it. The CATO cover is an improvement over the original.

October 22, 2012 12:50 pm

Yep. Too similar. I would have maybe put a picture of the original EPA cover up in the corner, but had different art design for the Cato version.

October 22, 2012 12:59 pm

Richdo says:
October 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm
“I’m surprised that no one has noted the subtle but climatologically significant difference between the two cover photos. Raise your hand if you see it. The CATO cover is an improvement over the original.”
No Clouds Vs Clouds.
I don’t fully trust CATO, as they still play the psychological divide and conquer mind game, using Tavistock Institute and RAND Corporation (Research ANd Development), global policy think tanks.
They should use a qualifier in their title so I know what they are talking about, “Human Induced Climate Change” or “Natural Climate Change”, because I’m still conflicted as to what they are talking about.

October 22, 2012 1:21 pm

“Once you understand cover is deliberately misleading why would you expect the contents to honest?”
Ummm , you mean like “Skeptical Science” 😉

October 22, 2012 1:45 pm

OK we have now populated the given link with the proof copy, which is much better than the original first draft, which was the original pdf. You can download it here:
BTW the bars on our front cover are the last 20 years of US temperatures. After all the title of the report was “Global Climate Change impacts in the United States”. USGCRP shows the global record.

October 22, 2012 1:47 pm

And yes we did put in clouds. Glad to see someone gets our sense of humor. Now would it be possible for anyone to actually compare the USGCRP and Cato reports?

October 22, 2012 1:59 pm

Similar Style, but different photo/illustration, Font, bar graph (bars style, data) and, of course,
the words: “Center for the Study of Public Science and Public Policy CATO Institute” might indicate to the literate that this was produced by CATO, not some federal agency. If they can’t read the big words on the cover, then they probably won’t be misled by the contents. If you can read the cover, you won’t be misled.
Where’s the case for counterfeit? If I make a round metal disk with a picture of Al Gore and the words “This Guy I Do Not Trust” embossed on it, it is not a counterfeit coin even if it is approximately the same size as a real coin.

October 22, 2012 2:27 pm

Patrick Michaels,
In one of the early figures for Methane, it has a graph of d[CH4]/dt
The caption says that for part of the time the CH4 concentration was negative.
That is, of course, impossible and will draw ridicule. The caption needs to be
changed to read that the rate of methane production was negative or something
like that.

October 22, 2012 3:39 pm

My caption reads:
“In recent decades there are tims when the atmospheric concentration change has been negative.”
That is true, as shown in the graph which is taken directly from Dlugokenky. What’s wrong with that?

daviditronDave in Canmore
October 22, 2012 4:11 pm

For heavens sake it says CATO INSTITUTE right on the cover.
A very clever “fake” indeed!
Typical that the contents are left unaddressed! Cowardly.

Robert of Ottawa
October 22, 2012 4:15 pm

I’d go for CORRECTION or ERRATA rather than Addendum.

October 22, 2012 4:46 pm

The CATO link failed for me (times out or gives up after about 24/90 MB). In any case the report appears to be a typical response by CATO to the well-funded and hegemonic alarmist establishment. For those who appear to not understand or agree with the style, perhaps I can explain from my perspective as a CATO supporter for about 20 years with at least 10 as a sponsor.
CATO is an invaluable advocate for liberty including the protection of private property and market choices from the whims of government to include resources or activities that produce CO2. I certainly don’t agree with CATO on every issue and would frankly not want to have a purely libertarian government. But I cannot morally pick and choose among freedoms although there are other worthy organizations that I belong to (e.g. NRA) or could belong to.
The protection of freedom is not cheap or easy. One might think an large supply of money from the Koch brothers would produce a steady stream of material to counter the CAGW establishment. But one would be wrong. The mission of CATO is very broad and they cannot afford a large staff of scientists to tackle one issue. The Koch brothers have also been very difficult to deal with and recently forced the resignation of CATO’s cofounder.
It remains to be seen what effect the recent agreement with the Koch’s will have on CATO’s independence and output. But in all likelihood CATO will have to get by with merely countering some of the steady drumbeat of alarmist reports, and get publicity where they can such as the method they used above (a cover which is part parody, part rebuttal). It looks like a promising start but I’ll have to read the report to be able to judge it.

John M
October 22, 2012 4:58 pm

michaelspj says:
October 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm
I agree with Bill. This is what I see for the caption to the figure on p. 13:

In recent decades there are times when the atmospheric concentration range has been negative.

David Ball
October 22, 2012 5:16 pm

Robert of Ottawa says:
October 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm
How about; “There. Fixed It For You.”

October 22, 2012 5:28 pm

michaelspj says: October 22, 2012 at 11:48 am Imitation, in this case, is a form of mockery.
Dr Michaels – Actually, I like that. The clouds are fun, too, I’m wondering if you could add a few more over Arizona since we could use a bit more rain.
“Addendum”, while basically true, lacks punch. In some internet forums where a person goes off the rails, a commenter will reword the error, but precede it with “FIXED IT FOR YA”.
Not an elegant phrase for the cover of a report, though…..

Roger Knights
October 22, 2012 5:35 pm

Jasper Gee says:
October 22, 2012 at 9:46 am
You can’t issue an addendum to someone else’s report. Making it look like it’s their addendum is mischievous at best; dishonest at worst.

That’s too harsh. But they should have called it a “Counterpoint” or “Corrected Version”, if only to avoid giving their opponents a means of creating a diversion.

October 22, 2012 6:16 pm

Bill etc,
It was obviously corrected in the proofing process. You will see that in the final edition, due out in about ten days.

October 22, 2012 6:41 pm

Just looked over the CATO addendum. Looks very good. It certainly restrains themselves, as compared to consensus alarmists, in stating plain data and showing graphical represention.
Which makes all of the alarmist whinings about cato ‘mimicked’ the other reports cover just another ‘boo hoo’ moment for the terrible tantrum throwers.
Ahh, go lay on the floor and kick your heels too. Instead, perhaps you’d like to read through the CATO corrections and whine about some other little inconsequentials?
What makes the CATO addendum somewhat criminal is the fact that they had to put in a report, what should have been in the original. Plus they avoid repeated allusions to portending disaster and man’s causing the disasters along with snide comments about the ‘altruistic’ eco-green way to salvation. Hallelujah! Sorry, I got caught up in one of them Lewandowsky/Gleick/Mann praise be moments. Don’t worry they promise me that I can be completely cured, probably after incarcerations occur.
All-in-all a good read. The document flows well. I will warn potential downloaders that the PDF is 85mb in size, so be prepared for waiting. Read WUWT, CA, JONOVA and many other sites while the download proceeds and it’ll be there. Don’t look for gory, deep details and calculations as this report is for a larger audience than us Obsessive Compulsives detail diggers.
It may not cause ‘the team’ to bolt, yet, but it should cause many an eco-banana-green-nut some worry’s as our elected ones ask pointed questions and then nail false worries/threats with wooden stakes and silver blades. Time to put all of those undead climate fakes back in fairie land where they belong. And I hope not one fawning climate fake worshipper is there. Let them gnaw each other’s spleens. (Is it Halloween yet? I think the TV lineups are getting to me.)

October 22, 2012 7:13 pm

“In recent decades there are times when the atmospheric concentration range has been negative.”
range should be change?

October 22, 2012 10:14 pm

There is an update on their website:
“Correction (Oct. 22, 2012): The Cato Institute describes itself as a libertarian public policy research group. Earlier editions of this story incorrectly described the think tank as a conservative group.”

Brian H
October 22, 2012 11:36 pm

Richdo says:
October 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm
I’m surprised that no one has noted the subtle but climatologically significant difference between the two cover photos. Raise your hand if you see it. The CATO cover is an improvement over the original.

Photo from a more northerly position, includes Hudson Bay, etc. Also less distorted; Baja and Florida are grotesquely exaggerated in the original.

October 23, 2012 3:16 am

Dr. Michaels – I’ve been waiting for this – like the cover – cheeky! I like the addition of clouds (is there a hidden message?).
The “About this report” statement begins “This report summarizes the science that is
missing from Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States”. That means it’s an addendum – something added – simple really. Can you produce an addendum to someone else’s report? Indeed – Cato’s just done it!
While I’m reading the addendum, could the discussion here steer itself towards the contents and not the cover? Most of you are falling into the trap laid for you in the Daily Climate apology for a critical article.

October 23, 2012 6:05 am

Not very confusing if you read the title. Tells me a lot about the people complaining.

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