Limiting scientific debate: A change in the AGU policy on Presenting Alternative Scientific Viewpoints

AGU_logoGuest essay by Roger A. Pielke Sr.

In the August 20 2013 issue of EOS both the AGU Statement on Climate Change [ ] and my comment on the Statement [ ] were published. However, I was not permitted to publish my Minority Statement in EOS, but only refer to its URL on another website.

In this post, I want to share with you the policy announced by the AGU President, Carol Finn, in two e-mails to me. I extracted the text on this subject from her e-mails to me (which were also copied to others at the AGU, so that these e-mails should be considered open communications).

First, I want to reiterate the supposed AGU policy on Forum articles in EOS from their website link I have highlighted a specific sentence.

Forum contains thought-provoking contributions expected to stimulate further discussion, within the newspaper or as part of Eos Online Discussions. Appropriate Forum topics include current or proposed science policy, discussion related to current research in the disciplines covered by AGU (especially scientific controversies), the relationship of our science to society, or practices that affect our fields, science in general, or AGU as an organization. Commentary solely on the science reported in research journals is not appropriate.

Maximum length: 1500 words; usually figures are not included, but when they are, each counts as 400 word equivalents.

My minority statement certainly fits within this Forum framework.

However, a (new) AGU Policy that, in my view, limits scientific debate within the AGU was announced by the AGU President.

Following are the relevant extracts of e-mail text from Dr. Finn’s communication to me:

As you know, Eos is the official transactions of AGU. Your draft alternative to AGU’s climate position statement falls outside of an official transaction of AGU, and therefore cannot be published in Eos.

Forum articles cannot be extended commentary on a previously published Eos article, such as the report on the new climate change position statement.

Quite frankly, I am disappointed that as prestigious a professional society as the AGU, of which I have always been proud of my association, has now decided to limit the exchange of scientific perspectives within the primary medium of communication within our society (EOS).

This AGU venue of publication has now become more of an advocate for particular perspectives than a venue to advance our knowledge of science issues. While in this case, it is dealing with climate science, the issue actually goes to the core of any controversy within any subject areas that are represented by the American Geophysical Union.

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August 23, 2013 11:46 am

Seems the AGU thinks politics trumps science now. We need a debate, they don’t want one because they are afraid of the outcome.

August 23, 2013 11:46 am

I think it’s interesting that according to AGU a picture is worth 400 words…

john robertson
August 23, 2013 11:51 am

Thou shall not notice the mann behind the current.
This is typical academia, dissent is evil and shall be forbidden.
Policy? Policy is for the wee people.
Me thinks your institution is dead on its stump.
Thankfully Anthony has been demonstrating the future of scientific discussion here at WUWT with great success and charm.

August 23, 2013 11:51 am

It looks more like the science of gate keeping.

Karl W. Braun
August 23, 2013 11:58 am

Maybe the creation of a new AGU is in order.

August 23, 2013 11:59 am

The AGU is morphing into a flat earth society, ironically.

August 23, 2013 12:00 pm

Dr. Finn appears to believe she is preserving the credibility of the AGU, but the opposite seems to be true.

August 23, 2013 12:03 pm

How disappointing.

August 23, 2013 12:15 pm

It sounds like they’ve moved policy closer to intent but no closer to need. Score one for the gatekeepers. Twitter has more freedoms.

M Courtney
August 23, 2013 12:21 pm

Since Peter Gleick was welcomed back to its meetings I have never understood why anyone with any integrity is involved with the American Geophysical Union.
The AGU has no integrity. So why be associated with them?

Disko Troop
August 23, 2013 12:22 pm

The silence from the members is quite deafening…

August 23, 2013 12:23 pm

Most consensuses are not based on science. All
cults are a consensus. But few cults are based
on science. Some cults are based on avoiding
science. Global warming is just that, a cult
based on avoiding science. But it even goes a
step further, global warming is a cult that
avoids science and camouflages this avoidance
by fraudulently representing itself as science.
solvingtornadoes dot org

August 23, 2013 12:38 pm

Why is it that the well connected elites have such a fondness for railroads, particularly big, fast, expensive railroads that take you where they want to go and you can only get onto this railroad with their permission (peer review). I wonder if Dr. Finn realizes how superfluous her railroad is in the age of an information superhighway where everyone has an on-ramp and can select their own destination?

August 23, 2013 12:38 pm

Science by decree, policy or position paper is not science. but one of religion where members who wish to express alternative points of view about the official dogma are excommunicated.

Pat Frank
August 23, 2013 12:50 pm

Carol Finn’s statement is just a convenient pretext. Opportunistic pretext is widespread among climate science officials as a preferred means to shut out critical debate. Pretext provides the internal dissimulatory latitude that allows them to get their way without confronting their own dishonesty.
In the first quote above, Carol’s personal latitude turns upon the subtle re-definition of “official transaction” in her two uses of it. The first time around, it means publication in an official AGU magazine. The second time around it means official position of the AGU organizational management. But as Carol has used the same phrase twice, she can pretend it means the same thing in both instances. Thus: latitude to avoid confronting her dishonesty.
The second paragraph is untrue, as EOS has traditionally published the give-and-take of critical commentary. For example. The description of EOS Forum on the EOS site itself contradicts Carol: “Forum contains thought-provoking contributions expected to stimulate further discussion, within the newspaper or as part of Eos Online Discussions. (my bold)”
Carol just renames critical response to be “extended commentary,” and decides that disallowing the latter is OK because the words are different even though the contextual meaning is the same. Thus: latitude to avoid confronting her dishonesty.
So there we have it. In the first instance, Carol utilizes the same phrase but opportunistically applies different meanings, while in the second she utilizes different phrases but opportunistically applies the same meaning. All done as a pretext to suppress debate, while maintaining the internal fiction of integrity.
Red Queenitis, internalized, in action, and in view before us all.

August 23, 2013 1:00 pm

– Sounds like Pielke is in the American Gospel Union
… and he is having a hard time cos he’s going against Their Gospel

Doug Huffman
August 23, 2013 1:18 pm

So EOS joins Scientific American and National Geographic, far removed even from my canary’s cage? So much to read, so little time. Thanks for the warning note.
About “Red Queenitis”; Humpty Dumpty said it well, “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less. The question is, which is to be master—that’s all.”

August 23, 2013 1:20 pm

Carol got the job to do this one single job exclusively. The only rational response is to continue arguing for what you consider to be correct.

August 23, 2013 1:23 pm

Welcome to the Age of Scientific Denial. It is not the skeptics who refuse to debate and openly discuss the contradictions of climate science.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
August 23, 2013 1:28 pm

Limiting scientific debate: A change in the AGU policy…
I called up this article after seeing the title, thought it was an accidental reposting of an old story, seemed very familiar.
But why should it matter if AGU limits debate? They’ve embraced Post Modern Science (PMS). They have all the facts they need or want. The time to debate is over, now it’s time to get on with the advocacy!

August 23, 2013 1:39 pm

——–They’ve embraced Post Modern Science (PMS)——- [snip -over the top -mod]

M Courtney
August 23, 2013 1:49 pm

Matt says at August 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm …
No, it is not gender related.
This is corruption stemming from a disregard for the truth.
They had Peter Gleick (male) as their ethics expert. And they weren’t ashamed when he was exposed.
Walk away from them and shake the dust from your shoes

August 23, 2013 1:58 pm

The Galileo Syndrome is spreading

Jean Parisot
August 23, 2013 1:59 pm

How will professional science unwind itself from CAGW?

August 23, 2013 2:10 pm

Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
AGW Climate Change Zealots highlight the decline of our society. Their anti fossil fuel campaign is morally indefensible as it is the poor who are impoverished and die due to “skyrocketing” fuel costs the poor cannot afford to pay for. Their faith in government to control our energy resources attracks corruption like a magnet. Green energy is inefficient, high price and fails to deliver the energy promised. A few insiders get richer while the poor get poorer. Tax payer money is siphoned off and handed over to looters and profiteers like Solyndra.

Berényi Péter
August 23, 2013 2:14 pm

Is Dr. Finn authorized to change the rules?

Theo Goodwin
August 23, 2013 2:20 pm

Pat Frank says:
August 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm
Your little essay is brilliant, brilliant, and brilliant. I wish everyone had your appreciation of the language.

August 23, 2013 2:21 pm

It seems to me people looking for discussion will simply set up a common discussion forum and people will go from EOS to the forum. Then people will start skipping EOS altogether and start at the forum, much as we do with WUWT now. Then people might start skipping AGU together because it will have ceased being responsive to the interests of its members.

Chuck L
August 23, 2013 2:30 pm

Other than AGW acolytes, I don’t know why any legitimate scientist would want to belong to such an organization. Absolutely disgraceful.

August 23, 2013 2:56 pm

How long will it be before dissenting viewpoints are classed as “anti-societal” and subjected to forced psychiatric “rehabilitation” in state institutions? This was the practice only with political dissidents in the USSR! Are American academicians trying to go one step further?

Gail Combs
August 23, 2013 3:02 pm

Disko Troop says: @ August 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm
The silence from the members is quite deafening…
It would be interesting to look at the membership numbers 15 years ago vs the membership numbers now. Unfortunately I am afraid too many people rate being a “Team Player” much too highly to actually think about leaving. (I think the term sheeple is more accurate BTW)

Arno Arrak
August 23, 2013 3:05 pm

You may be a minority but so am I. I did not submit any comments on their position statement but now that I see what they are up to I just might. They will keep hearing from me if they choose to not respond.

August 23, 2013 3:18 pm

How odd Pielke should chose a blog notorious for its censorship of inconvenient ideas to communicate his distress.
An alternative hypothesis explaining his rejection by EOS is the unsubltle distinction between:
“thought-provoking contributions expected to stimulate further discussion”
and the mind-numbing predictability of a tag team like Pielke <i.pere et fils.
The only more predictable avatar of scientific incivility one can name is (SNIP)
REPLY: Russell Seitz of Harvard (who has previously identified himself here) runs one of WUWT’s blog spawn websites – what’s interesting is that he put the (SNIP) in there, that isn’t a moderator signature and there is no record of any moderator interaction with this comment. Looks like the notorious “Sou” at “hotwhopper” fell for the Seitz trick. LOL! – Anthony

August 23, 2013 3:37 pm

Only thoughts approved by the politburo will be published.

August 23, 2013 3:42 pm

Dear Albert,
I must apologise for the fact that we cannot include your equation, E=MC2 because we are
unable to print a reduced sized number two.

August 23, 2013 3:42 pm

Ha! I just looked up the AGU webpage, just for fun, and this is what is running as their top news item: “James Hansen to Deliver Frontiers of Geophysics Lecture”.
Really? Really? and it keeps getting better. Next story: “New research shows that in 2010 and 2011, enough water collected in Australia to temporarily halt a long-term trend of global sea level rise.”
This is sheer, unhinged, moonbattery. There is no excuse for anyone with integrity to remain affiliated with these clowns. Whatever value this organization may have once had, it’s nothing but fraud and nonsense anymore.

Robert of Ottawa
August 23, 2013 4:19 pm

Was the AGU founded by a certain Russian pseudo-scientist called Lysenko?
These establishment scientists are going to support the political purposes of their funders, the statist establishment.
Hey, we need the grants money!

Robert of Ottawa
August 23, 2013 4:25 pm

herkimer said @ August 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm
Science by decree, policy or position paper is not science. but one of religion
Allow me to correct you Herkimer, science by the means your describe are about power, which leads to money. Google Lysenko.

August 23, 2013 4:32 pm

“New research shows that in 2010 and 2011, enough water collected in Australia to temporarily halt a long-term trend of global sea level rise.”

So rivers in Australia don’t empty into the ocean? I knew it was a strange place with Christmas in the summer and all that, but not that strange. So, if all the water in Australia was suddenly dumped into the ocean, how much would the global sea level rise? Would it even amount to 1 millimeter?

August 23, 2013 4:40 pm

The AGU has become anti-science. Why do any of the AGU’s members continue to pay their dues? It is time to get a membership list and to make sure that the members know what they are supporting. It is also important that this membership list be published so that others know who these “scientists” are and what they support.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
August 23, 2013 4:40 pm

From “Russell” on August 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm:

and the mind-numbing predictability of a tag team like Pielke <i.pere et fils.

*sigh* Pielke “father and son”
How badly are they programming the automated smearbots that they alternate between English and French?
Granted, after reading about the supreme hacker expertise at SkS they seem like possible originators, but I’m not quite certain…

Gail Combs
August 23, 2013 4:45 pm

Russell says:
August 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm
How odd Pielke should chose a blog notorious for its censorship of inconvenient ideas to communicate his distress….
If there is censorship here why am I seeing your comment HMMMMmmmmm?

William C. Luth
August 23, 2013 4:53 pm

The stated positions of the AGU management, as illustrated by Dr. Finn are what led to my resignation from AGU a couple of years ago, after more than 50 years of membership. I have published in JGR , EOS, and Abstracts volumes, and attended annual meetings in San Francisco and Washington/Baltimore until 1996. Conversion to the current state of affairs leaves me with a sense of disgust mixed with regret.

August 23, 2013 4:56 pm

@ Jean Parisot says:
August 23, 2013 at 1:59 pm
How will professional science unwind itself from CAGW?
Only after eco-totalitarism runs its course, like any other totalitarism in history including the worst. History repeats itself… sadly.

August 23, 2013 5:04 pm

Would someone please edit the following, which is posted at AGU’s website, so that it more accurately reflects what they do in practice:
The purpose of the American Geophysical Union is to promote discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity.
To achieve this mission, AGU identified the following core values and behaviors.
Core Principles
As an organization, AGU holds a set of guiding core values:
The scientific method
The generation and dissemination of scientific knowledge
Open exchange of ideas and information
Diversity of backgrounds, scientific ideas and approaches
Benefit of science for a sustainable future
International and interdisciplinary cooperation
Equality and inclusiveness
An active role in educating and nurturing the next generation of scientists
An engaged membership
Unselfish cooperation in research
Excellence and integrity in everything we do
When we are at our best as an organization, we embody these values in our behavior as follows:
We advance Earth and space science by catalyzing and supporting the efforts of individual scientists within and outside the membership.
As a learned society, we serve the public good by fostering quality in the Earth and space science and by publishing the results of research.
We welcome all in academic, government, industry and other venues who share our interests in understanding the Earth, planets and their space environment, or who seek to apply this knowledge to solving problems facing society.
Our scientific mission transcends national boundaries.
Individual scientists worldwide are equals in all AGU activities.
Cooperative activities with partner societies of all sizes worldwide enhance the resources of all, increase the visibility of Earth and space science, and serve individual scientists, students, and the public.
We are our members.
Dedicated volunteers represent an essential ingredient of every program.
AGU staff work flexibly and responsively in partnership with volunteers to achieve our goals and objectives.

August 23, 2013 5:47 pm

Jos at says

Here, in my view, professional organizations like AGU and EGU are failing. Rather than writing position documents about climate science they should worry about the integrity of climate science and making sure that science can evolve wherever it wants to go. If we – by way of our professional organizations – are not defending the integrity of science, who will? It is a safe bet that no one else does.

Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001)
August 23, 2013 5:50 pm

Individual scientists worldwide are equals in all AGU activities

Looks like the AGU must have redefined “equals” (or perhaps “all” … or maybe both!)
The AGU appears to be following in the footsteps of the U.K. Royal Society: Its advocacy foot is leaping forward, while integrity (with so little support to sustain its pace) trails so far behind, it is rapidly crumbling to dust.

Bob Diaz
August 23, 2013 5:57 pm

When you limit or restrict scientific debate, you step out of the field of science and into the political world where truth is murdered for political gain.

August 23, 2013 5:59 pm

More of the same. Just look at what the IRS did to the opposition of the administration prior to the last election.
They created complete atrophy within an organizing party. How you say? Simply by stopping their abiliy to formally fund as a group. Brilliant strategy after the trouble in 2010, more importantly, effective.
The political climate for the AGU is no different, and trained by the same bunch, for policy sake.
Sad really, but scary just the same. Right in front of you.
It seems to me the lack of calibrating ones moral compass leads to the failure of successful navigation in the end.
Just my take>

August 23, 2013 6:04 pm

Roger Pielke Sr. Sir – I am one who CHEERS whenever I see your name. Long may you speak out.

August 23, 2013 6:07 pm

Oh Carol you are just a fool please please leave the AGU.

August 23, 2013 6:07 pm

“Appropriate Forum topics include……”
“None so blind as those that will not see.”

Bill H
August 23, 2013 6:14 pm

Does the AGU fall under the Obama Administrations Executive Order on Scientific Integrity.. Its silence opposing views in the Department of the Interior, DOD, EPA, NRC, USGS among other scientific driven groups. If you dont believe then you dont belong.. To paraphrase the Interior secretary…. I hate it now that these all fell into religion and agenda.driven garbage.

August 23, 2013 6:46 pm

She just isn’t very bright. You can make this sort of person squirm by making them define their terms. For instance, ask her to define “critical response” vs “extended commentary.” What you will get if you keep pressing her is a series of rationalizations, each more convoluted and ridiculous than the last. She hasn’t thought any of this through. She could have said you can’t publish “because you have cooties” and it would both have made more sense and been more truthful.
People get positions like hers because they are politically reliable.

August 23, 2013 7:08 pm

Eisenhower’s farewell in 1961 remains astoundingly prescient:
“Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society. “

August 23, 2013 7:08 pm

Climate Cooties sounds like another cartoon opportunity for Josh. “Sir – your paper is rife with Climate Cooties and cannot be published.”

Retired Engineer John
August 23, 2013 7:10 pm

I agree with Ric Werme. When AGU refuses to allow open discussion, it does not mean that the discussion will not take place. The internet is powerful and there are increasing numbers of places where ideas can be exchanged. AGU will find itself an observer, rather than an active participant.

August 23, 2013 7:14 pm

People get positions like hers because they are politically malleable.

There – I fixed it for you.

August 23, 2013 7:34 pm

Gail Combs says:
“If there is censorship here why am I seeing your comment HMMMMmmmmm?”
~Russell Seitz.
Russell is an idiot, that’s why. He needs to get a life.

August 23, 2013 7:50 pm

The AGU’s president is lacking enlightenenment of late. Where can science exist without enlightenment? The current AGU president is an unenlightened practitioner of American pragmatic limitation. The American ‘classical pragmatists’ were Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914), William James (1842–1910) and John Dewey (1859-1952). American pragmatists opposed the idea of concepts.
AGU as anti-conceptual is anti-epistemological. N’est ce pas?

August 23, 2013 8:33 pm

Now some, not Eli to be sure, might think that Prof. Pielke has not been paying attention to what AGU leadership has been saying. If nothing else <Christine McEntee, the AGU CEO put it on the line at the Fall 2012 meeting (hope the link still works, else see the RR link).

August 23, 2013 8:34 pm
D Johnson
August 23, 2013 8:41 pm

I’m afraid that the management of scientific societies today has largely been assumed by those who are not really practicing members of their profession, but those who desire to specialize in management of professional societies. They are not motivated by scientific issues, but success in their chosen field, which is exercising power over those for which they subconsciously know are their superiors in the actual scientific field. Most true scientists wouldn’t want the job–they’d rather be doing science.

August 23, 2013 8:59 pm

From the Climategate e-mails by John Costella
May 16, 2009: email 1242749575
Let us now gain some further insight into the fundamental character of Mike Mann.
He writes to Phil Jones:
On a completely unrelated note, I was wondering if you, perhaps in tandem with some of the other usual suspects, might be interested in returning the favor (of being awarded a Fellowship of the American Geophysical Union) this year ?
Now we know why he was so adamant about securing Jones’s award!
I’ve looked over the current list of American Geophysical Union Fellows, and it seems to me that there are quite a few who have gotten in (e.g. Kurt Cuffey, Amy Clement, and many others) who aren’t as far along as me in their careers, so I think I ought to be a strong candidate.
If he does say so himself.
Anyway, I don’t want to pressure you in any way, but if you think you’d be willing to help organize, I would naturally be much obliged. Perhaps you could convince Ray or Malcolm to take the lead? The deadline looks as if it is again July 1 this year.
I’m looking forward to catching up with you some time soon, probably at some exotic location of Henry’s choosing.
Does any remnant of doubt remain that awards in this field are absolutely and completely meaningless? Mann may as well pin a gold star on his own chest!

Hot under the collar
August 23, 2013 9:01 pm

Do they call this new AGU policy “The Mushroom Policy”?

August 23, 2013 9:33 pm

The AGU mandarins have joined hands with Lysenko to destroy Science in favor of politics. This will end badly.

Theo Goodwin
August 23, 2013 9:54 pm

Thatch says:
August 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm
Yep, the AGU got itself a professional PR hack.

August 23, 2013 10:06 pm

AGU should change their name to American Political Geophysical Union. Leave them and start a new one called American Scientific Geophysical Union?
Looks like she is after public funding also for herself? Or maybe a job in politics?
Who owns the AGU? The members? Kick out today’s board and the leader behind this?

Janice Moore
August 23, 2013 10:21 pm

lol, Jon (10:06pm). Or just plain old P.U..

August 23, 2013 10:57 pm

Though WUWT is at liberty to call blacklisting whitelisting, it invites cognitive dissonance when what is read contrasts so vibrantly with its erstwhile site policy:
“Trolls, flame-bait, personal attacks, thread-jacking, sockpuppetry, name-calling such as “denialist,” “denier,” and other detritus that add nothing to further the discussion may get deleted;
Internet phantoms who have cryptic handles, no name, and no real email address get no respect here. If you think your opinion or idea is important, elevate your status by being open and honest. People that use their real name get more respect than phantoms with handles. I encourage open discussion.” – Anthont Watts
As the subject is consorship, it is noteworthy that we have just seen a comment denying WUWT’s censorship endorsed by a censor whom Tony also suffers to maintain a sockpuppet on the site– ‘Smokey ‘ and dbstealey are one and the same.
The hypocrisy, it amuses .
REPLY: And yet here you are. D.B. Stealey the moderator is right out in the open Dr. Seitz. We find your vain attempts at playing a professional also amusing.
And Dr. Seitz, you are a liar, and a bad one at that. You put that (SNIP) in the comment yourself just so you could make a false claim, the thing is though, servers keep logs and copies, and your comment had that in there in the beginning. You weren’t even smart enough to mimic moderator signatures with your deception. Here is a screencap I made shortly after your comment showed up, since I knew you’d pull this stunt. Note the “cleared by Akismet” that means no moderator touched it, aka it was whitelisted and showed up just as you typed it. Otherwise it would have an “approved” time stamp. That’s inserted by and I have no control over it.
So, since you are making things up, and lying about it, kindly take permanent leave from here. – Now run along and photoshop some juvenile ugliness as you are known to do on a regular basis. Do be careful though, since you are using your Harvard email address, network IP, and server for your harangues, I’m not sure that they’ll appreciate that per the Harvard Network AUP.
Now you can say you aren’t whitelisted here sir.
– Anthony

Janice Moore
August 23, 2013 11:18 pm

Appropriate Forum topics include … policy, … society, … organization. … science … is not appropriate.

The Red Queen (inspired by Pat Frank)
Excellent essay, Pat Frank.
Hilary Ostrov, insightfully witty remark: “The AGU … advocacy foot is leaping forward, while integrity … so little … trails so far behind, … .”
Like a pitiful little man who lets his wife boss him around…
“…. well, well, uh, let me see my dear… .”
[ ]
“… all ways are MY WAYS!” (Carol Finn, R.Q.)
And to that, all us WUWT people say:
[ ]

August 24, 2013 12:59 am

@Richard Roman above re Mann’s email to Jones:
“I’m looking forward to catching up with you some time soon, probably at some exotic location of Henry’s choosing.”
I’ve asked this question before who is Henry and where is the exotic location. The sentance as a whiff of corrupt or corrupting behaviour?

Ken L.
August 24, 2013 1:19 am

The way in which Dr. Pielke has been treated by the scientific establishment totally awakened me to what is really going on the subject of the climate debate when I started looking deeper into it and using his material in some online ” discussions” ( bloodbaths actually, lol). Of all people who deserve to have their views considered by any organization, I can’t think of anyone more deserving.
His ideas on the other likely human influences on climate and the uselessness of climate models in multi- decadal predictions have formed the core of what I believe and argue with alarmist ideologues. Thank you, Dr, Pielke, and please post here more often as you have the time. It’s like having a great guest lecturer in class from my college days!
And thank you Anthony for opening up your site to amateurs such as myself. I’ll try not to abuse the privilege.

August 24, 2013 2:49 am

Russell says:
. . . a censor whom Tony also suffers to maintain a sockpuppet on the site– ‘Smokey ‘ and dbstealey are one and the same.

Their posting-eras don’t overlap. “Smokey” stopped posting maybe five months ago. About four months ago dbstealy began posting. The change may have been due to WordPress’s antics, which arbitrarily (seemingly) assigns one of the different user names one has signed into its various sites. For instance, it shifts back and forth between calling me rogerknights and Roger Knights.

August 24, 2013 2:50 am

EOS = End of Science.

August 24, 2013 3:50 am

A new website may be in order

Disko Troop
August 24, 2013 4:39 am

It would appear that the AGU only have 61,000 members or associates worldwide:
“”Joining AGU is easy and affordable. As a member you will connect with more than 61,000 individuals worldwide dedicated to galvanizing the geophysical sciences””
It would also appear that at the same time 176,000 people claim to be Jedi Knights in the UK:
“”Census 2011: how many Jedi Knights are there in England & Wales?””
“”Over 240,000 people highlighted an ‘other religion’ on their census form. How many spiritualists, Jedi Knights or wiccans are there? It turns out the number of Jedi has more than halved over the last decade, with 176,632 in the latest figures, down from 390,000 in 2001. Get the full breakdown by scrolling down the page””
I can’t really decide which organisation to join. The one that allows free debate among 176,000 people or the one that stifles debate amongst 61,000 people.
May the force be with you.
Ivor Ward

Disko Troop
August 24, 2013 4:47 am

Just out of interest the membership of the AGU in 1990 was 26,000 so they have not done too badly in getting up to 61,000. No doubt the criteria have changed, such as going international etc.

John A
August 24, 2013 5:02 am

As you know, Eos is the official transactions of AGU. Your draft alternative to AGU’s climate position statement falls outside of an official transaction of AGU, and therefore cannot be published in Eos.

Who died that a position statement cannot be challenged by AGU members in the AGU journal? Call it what it is – censorship.

Peter Brunson
August 24, 2013 6:01 am

AGU galvanizes a community of Earth and space scientists that collaboratively advances and communicates science and its power to ensure a sustainable future.
Any individual who is professionally engaged in or associated with the geophysical sciences may become an AGU Member.
Individuals who desire identification with AGU and wish to support its objectives but do not meet the Member qualification may join AGU as Associate Members. These individuals enjoy the benefits of AGU membership but may not vote or hold office.
$50 and you are part of a “galvanizing” organization.

August 24, 2013 6:33 am

“Russell is an idiot, that’s why. He needs to get a life.”
I am shocked beyond belief that a Harvard Professor can be so dumb in his postings/comments. How in the world is he not fired by the University? There goes another fine opinion I had.. about Harvard that is.

August 24, 2013 7:33 am

Can the 97% consensus figure be more than simple coincidence? It appears to replicate the findings of Sterling more than 50 years ago:
The bias was first identified by the statistician Theodore Sterling, in 1959, after he noticed that ninety-seven per cent of all published psychological studies with statistically significant data found the effect they were looking for.

August 24, 2013 8:03 am

Why would the AGU or any other scientific organization for that matter feel the need to take a position on Climate Change? Do they have a position paper on for example Gravity? Perhaps the AGU can tell us all the propagation speed of Gravity in their position paper. Is Gravity limited to the speed of light, or does Gravity exhibit “spooky action at a distance”.
And what difference would it make if the AGU took a position either way? Would it increase the accuracy of prediction of the trajectory of objects under the influence of Gravity? Or would it tend to limit accuracy to our current level of understanding and thus hold back progress?

August 24, 2013 8:14 am

And perhaps the AGU would like to publish a position paper on Relativity? Perhaps they would like to explain what happens when you fire two projectiles in opposite directions, both traveling at 60% of the speed of light. Both objects are traveling away from each other at 1.2 times the speed of light, in a universe where we believe the speed of light to be an absolute. Perhaps they would like to explain the physical mechanism underlying time dilation and length contraction in their position paper.

August 24, 2013 8:25 am

Unfortunately the need for funding, largely derived from government and thus subject to political interference, has largely constrained scientific research to politically popular explanations of the real world, largely without regard for what Nature is telling us.
There is a reason we have a long history of respecting the opinions of our elders. It is because they are in large part removed from the need to make a living day to day, and thus cannot be easily manipulated.
History shows us that the actions of the AGU in censoring Dr. Pielke follow a long tradition of the scientific establishment of the day in censoring the correct explanation in favor of the politically acceptable explanation.
Politically correct speech is precisely what it claims to be. It is politically correct speech. It is not scientifically correct speech, nor is it free speech.

August 24, 2013 8:29 am

Ed_B says:
August 24, 2013 at 6:33 am
I am shocked beyond belief that a Harvard Professor can be so dumb in his postings/comments.
while in the real world this would tend to hold one back, in Harvard it is a positive boon.

John Blake
August 24, 2013 8:30 am

Having succumbed to Gramscian guttersnipes, the “prestigious” American Geophysical Union (AGU) will shortly find itself mouthing its kook rhetoric to a shrinking audience of encopretic ideologues. Rome was not built in a day, but it can well be lost (Constantinople, May 29, 1453). Any self-respecting geophysicist had best depart the AGU for greener pastures, starting now.

August 24, 2013 8:53 am

Russell says:
August 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm
Amateurish & disgusting. Get help.

August 24, 2013 8:56 am

If Dr Seitz is apparently willing to commit fraud on such a small stage as a blog site, it is reasonable to wonder if he learned on this on much larger stages.
It would appear that Dr. Peter Gleick is much more representative of the true nature of academics/intellectuals than previously thought. No wonder Gleick was rewarded for his behavior.
Frankly I would bring Steitz’s little fraud to the attention Harvard. It would be interesting to see if they circle the wagons or actually consider the idea that one of their own committing fraud and public lying reflects poorly on them all.

David Ball
August 24, 2013 9:14 am

Just wanted to give a shout out to the childish Russell, whom I have had the displeasure of interacting with on other sites. It is sad that he uses his capabilities (would not call it intellect) for evil and not good.
What kind of person thinks of something like trying to make it look like he was censored in his own comment? Only someone who is so desperate that he is willing to destroy his own credibility to discredit others. He is an embarrassment to academia.

Hot under the collar
August 24, 2013 9:52 am

Re: Russell says:
Presumably the “(SNIP)” inserted by the author of the post was intended to defame the moderators and the reputation of the worlds number 1 science blog.
If the author is a professor at Harvard and is actually using a Harvard network IP and server surely he is in breach of Harvard code of conduct and ethics?
Is this not what climategate and the Gleick affair is all about, the lack of ethics and “scientists” making things up to prove their catastrophic human caused climate change theory?
To then compound his actions by complaining about ‘censorship’ when caught out beggars belief!
So this is what climate scientists do now, make things up (lie) to prove a point then complain that they have some holier than thou moral authority when they are caught out?
Presumably we now know why they were photoshopping Nazis heads onto pictures of themselves.
Keep catching them out Anthony, his shameful attempt is there on this blog for us all to see.

August 24, 2013 9:56 am

“Shut up,” they explained.

August 24, 2013 10:39 am

Ref: Comments and criticisms of Dr Meier
true, true. Personal attacks or insults of either Dr Meier or the AGU politicals should be self-limited, self-edited.
But, in today’s Washington environment of slavish political obedience, he and his administration – who openly and deliberately declare as the highest possible government (bureaucratic) Department Heads – that THEY will refuse to even ALLOW discussions, much less debates or arguments or studies that might find evidence against their dogma; and who will never fund a study that “might” contradict it, and- if such information IS found accidentally by someone accidentally funded to provide some other data, will NEVER promote or publicize such “new” information.
He has actively and deliberately and publicly agreed, by applying for and interviewing with this people, by accepting Hansen’s position at NASA-GISS, to continue Obama’s UN-Inquisition into global warming. By his actions and his promotion and his paycheck each month, he has declared that he agrees with and will support these policies of denial
He is not the Pope being advised on arcane scientific matters of far-away moons around tiny dots of light where the evidence is strange and far away. Dr Meier IS the person deciding what HIS people are “allowed” to study and he IS the person deciding to what his people and his projects and his reports and his publicity and his conferences WILL BELIEVE “scientifically “

Janice Moore
August 24, 2013 12:13 pm

Dear Moderator,
I just looked at my post from last night at 11:18PM. The two videos I posted (Disney cartoons) were displayed with a frozen frame last night. Today, they have been reduced to links. Have my video posting privileges been restricted? Am I no longer allowed to get to create my little dramatic graphics (using the opening video frozen frame)?
If so, may I please be told why?
If I have done something wrong, may I please have a second chance?
[No known changes. Mod]

August 24, 2013 12:21 pm

Thank you. I notice that “Smokey” still posts occasionally on Real Science and one or two others.
Russell Seitz must be a very unhappy character. He attacks everyone, using the most unimportant shots he can find, and he is very vicious. Anthony certainly is not a liar. I know Anthony Watts, and you could not find a more honest, straight-shooting person. He has an exceptionally good moral compass, and he certainly does not lie. IMO calling Anthony a “liar” is just Russell Seitz’ projection.
Seitz hates him because Russell is just the opposite — a Peter Gleick type. Unfortunately, those types congregate in the alarmist contingent. They do not have the science to back their beliefs, so they make personal attacks. The number of blogs set up to attack this site is amazing. But they get no traffic. All those blogs put together don’t get 5% of WUWT’s site traffic. Really, who wants to read personal attacks from misfits? We want science discussion, not name-calling.
This is the gold standard of climate sites. You cannot keep everyone happy, but then they are free to start their own blog if they don’t like the way Anthony runs this one. Just the fact that WUWT has gone from zero to more than a million reader comments, and well over a hundred million unique views in only five or six years, means that their opinions are read by a lot of folks. Why make a comment at a blog where you could easily be censored, or like me, where your comment is never published? If someone wants to reach a very large audience, this is the place. But if you want to reach out to only a handful of readers, there are plenty of blogs like Hotwhopper.

Janice Moore
August 24, 2013 12:33 pm

Thanks, dear Mod, for responding. That’s great! I’ll just re-post the second part of my 8/23/13 post below and see if the videos stay as a frozen frame this time.
Excellent essay, Pat Frank.
Hilary Ostrov, insightfully witty remark: “The AGU … advocacy foot is leaping forward, while integrity … so little … trails so far behind, … .”
Like a pitiful little man who lets his wife boss him around…
“…. well, well, uh, let me see my dear… .”

“… all ways are MY WAYS!” (Carol Finn, R.Q.)
And to that, all us WUWT people say:

Michael Jennings
August 24, 2013 12:41 pm

Now we know 2 things about Russell Seitz:
1. He is not near as smart as he thinks he is and
2. He is a liar.

Bill H
August 24, 2013 4:13 pm

David Ball says:
August 24, 2013 at 9:14 am
Just wanted to give a shout out to the childish Russell, whom I have had the displeasure of interacting with on other sites. It is sad that he uses his capabilities (would not call it intellect) for evil and not good.
What kind of person thinks of something like trying to make it look like he was censored in his own comment? Only someone who is so desperate that he is willing to destroy his own credibility to discredit others. He is an embarrassment to academia.
Mr. Ball
The more egregious point is they do this with full knowledge because they do not have control of the facts necessary to disprove what is being stated. One must simply look at the climate-gate emails to understand that this is their only defense from being shown purporting fraud. Control through fear.
Happily Anthony knows his software and how it functions enough to cut a potential manufactured threat to the site off at the knees. Dam those pesky server logs..
This is one of the greatest disservices a professional can do to their organization and their profession.. They must be very upset that their gravy train of government funding is now coming closer to an end. Just like that cornered animal they will bite.. A self-destructive behavior and very Glikish of Dr. Seitz.. Do not fret for them, their respective organizations will circle the wagons and welcome them back. (That is the true devastation to science as whole) Both they and their organizations are now suspect. Now whom do you trust? That is the question.

Janice Moore
August 24, 2013 4:18 pm

(Re: Michael Jennings on August 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm)
Therefore, there is no point to paying attention to anything he has to say.
Thus, I would ban him permanently, Anthony.

August 24, 2013 4:34 pm

Surely there is a cartoon in all this. A demolitions expert blowing up the scientific process? Just too easy.

Chad Wozniak
August 24, 2013 6:21 pm

Just to note – I hope no one confuses this Russell Seitz with the late Dr. Frederick Seitz, who was one of the organizers of the Oregon Petition project and should be counted as one of the true heroes of the skeptic community. His introductory letter on the Petition Project website says it all.

TalentKeyHole Mole
August 24, 2013 8:41 pm

Not to worry.
The AGU’s losses are the AAPG’s and Society of Exploration Geophysicists (real Ph.D. in Geophysics required) gains.
The American (Soviet)Geophysical Union’s days are numbered and diminishing day-by-day like their “net-gain” on publishing fees which have been ‘net-loss’ for many years and accelerating notwithstanding the Grecian astrological proclamations from the Politburo and Wolfenstein High Command Illuminati.
Worry worry the poor AGU.
Dollars from Washington DC are not flowing like blood from the hapless homeless deceased body into the veins of the recipient Anointed sucking whore.
The Whore never even asked ME for a Yea nor Nay on her putrid stinking ‘Policy’ yet presumes that the entire membership are … abiding.
This One, does not abide the whore.

John F. Hultquist
August 24, 2013 10:36 pm

Janice Moore says:
August 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm
“. . . may I please be told why?

I recently posted a photo (not on WUWT) using WordPress. Clicking on it was to bring up a larger version. It did but rotated 90 degrees. I’d like to know why.
Anyway, on WUWT (also using WordPress) I’ll suggest rather than feeling paranoid about such things, just chalk it up as a computer ‘bug’.

Brian H
August 25, 2013 1:18 am

any subject areas that are represented by the American Geophysical Union

Not coherent. But aside from that, what business has the Union taking a position on any subject area? It’s an open forum, not a policy institute.

Lars P
August 25, 2013 4:37 am

Well, looking from far, I was skeptical of the AGU politics since they wanted to make Gleick head of the ethics commission:
The reasons to put a declared activist on the ethics commission and further continues with:
after the fraud was known shows poor and biased judgement of their leadership so what does one expect from them?

August 25, 2013 10:14 am

Apparently AGU understands which side of their bread has the butter on it. How much money is generated annually from sources somehow related to “global warming”?
I stopped today at the AGU page here: and James Hanson’s face staring back at me was the first thing I noticed front, top, center of the page.

August 25, 2013 6:48 pm

Any scientist with integrity and concern for his/her reputation should immediately resign from the AGU and distance themselves from it. All these warning bells are ringing and those with ears to hear them should listen.

August 25, 2013 11:05 pm

Individual scientists worldwide are equals in all AGU activities.
– From AGU Core Values
But scientists are more equal than others.

August 25, 2013 11:09 pm

Individual scientists worldwide are equals in all AGU activities.
– From AGU Core Values
But SOME scientists are more equal than others.

August 26, 2013 1:52 am

The AGU and its journal EOS have exhibited odious behaviour for at least a decade.
I believe that the AGU and its Transactions journal EOS have much to answer for.
I published the following article in E&E in early 2005. Full article at
I am unaware that the AGU has ever “come clean” on its past transgressions, some of which are outlined below. Please correct me if I missed suitable corrective action by the AGU or EOS.
My comment to the AGU President is:
The AGU should publicly acknowledge and apologize for its ethical transgressions, such as those described in my aforementioned 2005 E&E article.
Once the AGU has cleaned up its own house, then it may be qualified to comment further on the contentious issue of alleged catastrophic humanmade global warming.
Until it makes suitable amends, I regard the AGU as ethically contaminated, and unfit for human consumption.
Regards, Allan
Drive-by shootings in Kyotoville
The global warming debate heats up
Allan M.R. MacRae
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.

Chuck Nolan
August 27, 2013 7:31 am

Bill H says:
August 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm
…………. A self-destructive behavior and very Glikish of Dr. Seitz..
A new term and I like it.
Gleickish: To lie, cheat, steal or whatever it takes for a cause.

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