The Merchants of Smear

Guest opinion by Russell Cook | merchants_of_smearFor about two decades we’ve been told the science behind human-caused global warming is settled, and to ignore skeptic scientists because they’ve been paid by industry to manufacture doubt about the issue.

The truth, however, has every appearance of being exactly the opposite: A clumsy effort to manufacture doubt about the credibility of skeptical climate scientists arose in 1991 with roots in Al Gore’s Senate office; it gained effectiveness and media traction after Ozone Action took over the effort and drew attention to the “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” memo phrase (which they never showed in its full context); and the effort achieved its highest success after being heavily promoted by the “Pulitzer-winning investigative reporter” Ross Gelbspan, who never won a Pulitzer, never displayed any investigative prowess in this matter, and never proved that any skeptic climate scientist had ever knowingly lied as a result of being paid illicit money.

These efforts to portray skeptic scientists as corrupt are swamped with additional credibility problems, far more than can be described in this Policy Brief. Plain presentations of science studies contradicting reports from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have no chance of vindicating skeptic scientists in the face of such viral anti-skeptic rhetoric, as long as the mainstream media and majority of Internet sites remain gatekeepers preventing the release of accurate science information.

Never has so much – the very survival of the global warming issue – depended on so little – a paper-thin accusation from people having hugely troubling credibility problems of their own – to be repeated without question by so many.

This gatekeeping indicates a much larger problem concerning the issue: The evidence presented in this Policy Brief here is something any unqualified, disinterested bystander could find and ask about, and indeed, believers in the theory of human-caused global warming could have explored the problems presented here with each other in order to find out whether their accusation about industry corruption of skeptics survives serious scrutiny.

Instead, this accusation has been unquestioningly accepted since 1991 by the mainstream news media and by officials who want to implement greenhouse gas mitigation regulations. During this time, skeptic scientists and other well-informed experts have revealed devastating problems with IPCC climate assessments. It has been shown time and again that the corruption accusation was riddled with obvious holes from the start. No matter.

The main pillar of support for the notion that humans are causing a dangerous warming of the climate has been the notion of “settled science.” That notion has long been questioned by skeptic scientists. The secondary pillar of support for the alarmist global warming theory has been the notion that industry-corrupted skeptics are unworthy of public consideration. This accusation could easily have been investigated and refuted long ago. That never happened, because of the third pillar: Journalists should not give equal time to skeptic scientists.

We are overdue for the biggest ideology collapse in history, begging for an investigation into why the mainstream media and influential politicians apparently never checked the veracity of claims about “settled science” and “corrupt skeptics.”

An expanded PDF of the report is available here

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150 thoughts on “The Merchants of Smear

  1. “Ozone Action took over the effort and drew attention to the “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” memo phrase (which they never showed in its full context);”
    OK, what was the “full context”?

      • Specifically, the highly speculative guess hidden in mere supercomputer climate models that overall feedbacks altering the textbook greenhouse effect are 2-3X positive, so to turn climate celebration into an inquisitional doomsday cult. The whole purpose of the smear campaign was to hide this frantic assumption from the public. To this day most laypersons are utterly unaware of it, and that feedbacks overall are more likely negative instead of positive at all.

    • The full context, such as it is, is described within the PDF file paper at the end of the above guest post – long story to it, you see. Our friends at “Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action” had partial scans of the Western Fuels PR campaign, claimed it was evidence to prove skeptic climate scientists were paid industry shills………. and then never bothered to show the so-called evidence to the world. I detail that and myriad other faults with the accusation at my GelbspanFiles.com blog.
      Many thanks to Anthony for placing my work at WUWT. It appears in its original form here: http://heartland.org/policy-documents/merchants-smear

      • Mr. Cook,
        Digging into the footnotes of your piece I found a link to the actual memo in question:
        http://research.greenpeaceusa.org/?a=view&d=2950
        The memo from the Informed Citizens for the Environment and other memos in the collection cited above make repeated mention of a “test market” and the expected follow up to “go national” … “as soon as the ‘test market’ results are in hand — summer 1991.”
        There is also talk of plan to “raise total commitments of $525,000 by January 31, 1991”.
        What really happened? The stated mission was to “develop an effective national communications program”. Did this program ever materialize?
        For context it would be interesting to compare this (notional?) campaign to other national communication plans of similar or larger size in 1991 dollars.
        ——————
        There were several sections of your piece, that in my opinion, could be significantly improved by an editor and/or feedback from critical readers.

    • Climate Science can never be a fact, since facts are evidence of a process or event, not the process or event itself.
      In scientific terms, there is no theory in Climate Science, even though it may use theories from other sciences like physics. Evolution is a theory, relativity is a theory; climate science is not close to being a theory.
      So neither a theory nor a fact, instead climate science is a hodge-podge-potpourri of speculation and hypothesis.

      • A hodge-podge is just the environment to be taken advantage of for political gain. An imperfect science made easy for dummies. No study or research required; all you need to know is in our Press Releases to the MSM.

  2. Politicians and advocates should only be expected to provide information which supports their cause,. The real offenders here are the mainstream media who masquerade as impartial reporters but who have been stealth advocates for more than a generation.Its up to every responsible individual to de-fund this bunch whenever possible.

    • How true! The U.S. media promote themselves as a “fourth branch of government” providing an additional check and balance on government. But they don’t even try to meet that responsibility any more. Instead, they have become the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. The revolving door between media and government has also become extremely wide in recent years.

  3. OK, here is a good one which I hadn’t seen or heard about:
    This guy predicts a 7 degree rise in temp in 20 years…
    Dr. Reese Halter, conservation biologist for the MUSE School in Calabasas CA.
    The oceans and the forests in 20 years are going to “shut down” whatever that means:
    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2014/09/24/MSNBC-Guest-Global-Warming-to-Cause-the-Oceans-to-Shut-Down-in-20-Years
    Ok, who the hell is this guy?:
    http://drreese.com/info

    • From his bio page: Dr Reese’s love of Nature began as a child. A springtime tree-planting ritual with his father and brother became his passion, and he knew from the time he was a child that he wanted to be an Earth Doctor, He has PhD in subalpine Eucalyptus eco-stress physiology from The University of Melbourne, Australia.
      Would someone from Down Under please come retrieve your escaped village idiot?

    • From reading the transcript ‘shut down’ seems to mean (to him) that when temps increase 1.5F from current values, that forests and oceans will lose their ability to absorb CO2, resulting in a ‘positive feedback’ of sorts increasing CO2 in the atmosphere almost exponentially, resulting in a rapid rise in temperature ‘shortly after’ 2030 of 7F from present, rendering the entire planet ‘uninhabitable’.
      Hidden within his ramble is a prediction that temps will rise 1.5F in the next 16 years.

  4. A very welcome report. Unraveling and understanding just how come the CO2 scare has been such a huge political success strikes me as a very important task, and this report is right on to it. The political success has been accompanied with moral and intellectual failures, failures of journalism, failures of what should be high temples of reason – our universities and institutions such as the Royal Society – they in particular have failed to check, failed to investigate, failed to have the courage to challenge an ‘environmental cause’ as if the very label ‘environmental’ was a guarantee of rectitude. It most certainly was not and is not. I would welcome the ‘ideological collapse’ of which you write. The sooner, the better.

  5. What this further demonstrates is AGW science was never about saving the planet from overheating. It was purely a means to accomplish the Progressive agenda and enrich a few crony capitalists. There never were any public scientific debates on AGW, the debate could not be over since there never was one in the first place (other than one held early on in which the warmists lost hands down after the votes were counted). A brand new and unproven theory, and it immediately is settled science from the get go??? Wow… and so many gullible people believe it and the MSM pushes it unquestionably. Even more amazing considering this “science” originated from the UN… a PURELY, and extreme, political organization. The UN does politics, NOT science.

    • Wait a minute, popular, mainstream climatology as a science went under the shadow immediately from the start when the doomsday predictions first started coming out. Legitimate scientists asked to see the alarmist data and the response from the alarmists was to dodge and obfuscate. Sorry, no data, no science.

  6. We are overdue for the biggest ideology collapse in history,
    I contend the collapse of CAGW-CCC will have to occur based on nature (undeniable cooling, Arctic ice increases), not simply from some awakening in a mostly disinterested population. If a few very harsh winters happen, simply trying to push climate disruption as the cause (i.e. global warming is causing global cooling) might work for the types we saw at Climate March, but not for most Americans who work and pays their own bills.

    • Peter, without doubt AGW. Please see my guest post Tipping Points over at Dr. Curry’s. You might learn something. Or you can read it with a number of companion pieces (including By Land or By Sea, which exposes arguable scientific misconduct by Australian researchers on the subject of past WAIS collapse) in the forthcoming book

    • [Just] don’t buy land in Florida.”
      Sure. As soon as people who push this scam themselves stop buying land near oceans and sell existing one at a loss.

    • “We resolve 26 independent drainage basins and find that Antarctic mass loss, and its acceleration, is concentrated in basins along the Amundsen Sea coast. Outside this region, we find that West Antarctica is nearly in balance and that East Antarctica is gaining substantial mass.” from Nature
      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7425/full/nature11621.html
      If West Antarctica is nearly in balance, it does not look like collapsing. What the scare is about are six glacial basins that are above volcanic activity. Haven’t I pointed this out to you before?
      Your article links to another Climate Central scare piece. Further below, the link to the ESA does not contain such scares as “The West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been of concern to climate scientists because it contains enough ice to add 10 to 13 feet to global sea level rise were it all to melt.” This is for the whole sheet, not the ice in the basins that would raise the sea level a foot IF it were all to melt.

    • One more critical step to go there, PG. In the highly unlikely chance that it did “collapse”, the climate astrologers must then prove It was man’s fossil fuel usage that caused it.

    • …and another thing – the sea also seems to suffer the same collapse as the ice sheet according to GRACE and GOCE. WUWT?

    • PG,
      who used the word “imminent”? Not I.
      Though I do wish CAGW-CCC collapse WERE imminent, alas, it probably will be a few more years, maybe 2017, after a certain serial liar leaves political office.
      I will though say CAGW collapse in inevitable. There may be some warming by 2080, but it will not be catastrophic, but maybe beneficial.

    • If the U.S. electrical grid fails, then climate change or whatever you want to call it will be over and this is type of event is closer than the public knows.

    • So, I went to your link and it shows an animation of a color coded map with gravity changes (between zero and 4 meters – why is it in millimeters, by the way?). It bounces around and is rather fun to watch and is accompanied by a narrative implying this is proof of imminent collapse. But I fail to see the connection. What am I missing? Also, why does it stop at the end of 2012? Thanks.

  7. 100% projection.
    The CAGW meme is throughly corrupt, so they know of what they speak.
    The basest of people projecting their complete lack of rigour and ethics onto the world at large.
    This helps them validate their own “values”.
    I expect lots of finger pointing and blame game as the mass hysteria wears off.
    However government is exposed in this fiasco as worse than useless.
    All the overpriced help, employed to mitigate the worst excesses of human stupidity, have instead been instrumental in orchestrating the fall of civil society.
    When I follow the money, there is a clear path to our bureaucracies.
    CAGW is a creation of the worst international bureaucratic collusion and committee practises.
    With help like this, who needs enemies?

    • It’s little different from the diabetes, heart disease, and obesity promoting Food Pyramid, in which the junk science Michael Mann of his day, Ancel Keys of my old undergraduate alma mater the U of MN, created a similar single bullet theory of a complex system, in which cholesterol intake controlled health. But there was no Internet for skeptics to counter the bullshit, back I the 70s, and to this day the phrase “heart attack on a plate” still described perfectly healthy and slimming paleo diet dishes.

      • Anthony, your site is still just quite simply broken for any iPhone user. I can’t get normal long lines, no matter how I try to restore desktop mode. Maybe four words wide, max, so I can’t see what I’m typing nor can I read casually for all the damn hyper scrolling requirement and tunnel vision. You broke your site for the most important demographic of all: urban young adults.

        • Nik, no, it is not broken. Whatever the issue you are seeing, it must be local to your device, because I have lots of people telling me how happy they are seeing it formatted better on an iPad. This theme was designed specifically with tablets/phones in mind.
          Same with Android. Look within.

      • I am typing this on my iPhone 5 using Chrome. I always have go to the pulldown menu and select, “Request Desktop Site” to have a proper display.

      • I am looking at this on an iPhone 5s using iOS 8.02 and Nik’s comment:
        “Anthony, your site is still just quite simply broken…”
        shows:
        Anthony, your site is still
        just quite simply broken
        for any iPhone user. I can’t

        This is reasonably acceptable on the small screen, at least to me.
        Perhaps there is a setting somewhere that would help you Nik?

      • Just a thought what style and size text do you use? Is it customisable? I use an old style mobile, so I don’t know.

    • John. If the politbouro did not start this CAGW movement then they should be kicking themselves for not thinking of it. Talk about taking over without firing a shot. Many years ago my cousin said the Russians don’t have to bomb us, all they have to do is shut off our electricity and we will kill each other.

  8. It troubles me that At’ny puts “guest opinion” in front of articles on his site. It seems like a concession to those who would silence us through litigation. I don’t blame At’ny for protecting himself, but this seems like they are definitely making inroads to muzzle.
    My take on this is that we will not win with science or politics, but the public will grow more and more angry with the obvious hypocrisy of those touting “we must save the planet”.
    Save the planet, alright. For themselves.

    • But, if he doesn’t put “Guest Opinion” in front of some articles, folks think At’ny wrote it.
      Guess he can’t please all of us no matter what he does.
      🙁

  9. Control the media and you control the people but even the media has limitations. The only voice for skeptics today is nature and you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

    • The Left controls the mass media by controlling the universities which output traditional journalists.
      The open internet has disrupted that. Now sources of news, and opinion journalism flourish (like WUWT, Breitbart, JoNova, TruthRevolt, SGoddard, etc). Fundamentally, it is why the Obama Administration wants to turn internet root domain control over to a UN run body. What the Liberals can’t achieve because of the First Amendment under a US govt run internet root domain, they can by turning internet journalism control over to the UN.
      Imagine, the UN declares Climate Change skepticism journalism a hazard to public safety, they then order skeptic blogs to shut down. Liberals are happy. Main stream media outlets happy to once again have a captive audience, Green renewable crony capitalists are happy to keep the gravy train running. Freedom dies to thunderous applause.

      • At that point it is time to take the direct action to eliminate the UN like we should have done decades ago. If the United States would defund this evil organization it would collapse. It never had a legitimate purpose, and now it is a malignant abcess on our soil.

    • Back in the 1920’s the Rockefellers commissioned a study that reported back: control the largest 25 newspapers in the country, and you will control national opinion. So they did.
      W.R. Hearst had set the example, whipping up popular support for the Spanish American war.
      Since then rich dilettantes, allmost every one them leftists, have been doing the same thing, buying influence through publications as varied as Scientific American and the Huffington Post. Soros types are in the forefront, but there are dozens of Soros-wannabes. And international groups now control supposedly middle of the road publications like SciAm and The Economist, both of which are controlled by German leftists.
      Now with ‘Net Neutrality’ and UN control of the internet being promoted, there is no doubt whatever that there will be censorship of views those people do not want the public to see. It won’t happen overnight. But it is happening right now. It will only get worse.

  10. Merchants of Certainty: repositioning hypothesis as fact for 25 years.
    (Actually, “hypothesis” makes it sound more scientific than it deserves.)

  11. I agree, we are overdue for the biggest ideology collapse in history ….. but I fear it will never be.
    There are far too many lives, careers and fortunes directly involved with said for a per se “collapse” to ever happen. Thus, if anything, it will be a slow and quiet transition over a decade or two, ….. to “backtrack” to normalcy.

    • Why do you think the WMO chose 2050 as the year for the start of their CC videos? They are technically astute enough to realize the Earth is possibly headed for 30 years of cold before the next warm phase is my bet.

      • It’s possible. But trying to claim catastrophic warming right after a 30 year cold period (assuming it will happen) that followed the present warm period where they all scream ‘the sky is falling’ would be much, much more difficult. The cold period itself would be enough to put a huge hole in the credibility of the warmists (and much of climate science in general) in the public eye, PLUS they won’t have the (unsupported) aerosol conjecture of the 20th century.
        It’s very possible I will still be around in 2050 to see what transpires.

      • oops..let me clarify.
        They won’t have the excuse of increasing aerosols as the reason for the natural cooling cycle…again, if it does indeed happen

  12. Oh there most definitely is big money corruption in the climate science debate. When not just NOAA, NSF and NASA but also the DOD, DOE, USDA, Dept of Interior, DHS and a few more I’m sure I missed are all waiving a lot of grant money for ‘scientists’ to conduct research saying CAGW is a problem, that is a big corrupting influence. Also the public should be reminded that the government taxes on every gallon of fuel sold are way higher than the profits of the ‘big oil’ companies.

    • There is big government money as well in cancer research. So are those scientists also corrupted? If not, why in the area of AGW and not in cancer research?

      • Cancer is a real problem. Cancer was killing people long before we paid anyone to research it. We’re not just taking their word for it.
        But rest assured, if they ever ask us for millions of dollars to cure a new form of cancer nobody’s ever seen but which we’re supposed to believe in because “97% of us think it’s real,” that’s when you’ll know cancer research is as rotten as climate science.

      • Chris, when the AGW “scientists” use a scientific method as rigid and open as cancer researchers, disclose data in the same manner and use trained statisticians to review their study plans and the reported results, I’ll believe them. Oh yeah, and that’s reported results of actual experiments, not computer models.

  13. I have been concerned for some time about “the science is settled” cr*p that these people talk.
    My understanding of science is as follows. Observations are made allowing a hypothesis to be made, which is then turned to a theory when more evidence becomes available. Finally a Law is the ultimate scientific interpretation and there is no doubt that it is rock solid eg The Law of Conservation of Energy: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. This science IS settled!
    As for AGW,as far as I am aware not a single prediction has come true. It is all based on computer models and belief. The science is far from being settled!

    • Andrew, of course if even one part of that hypothesis is found to be false, it never reaches the stage of theory….all aspects of Co2 caused AGW have been either falsified, or are not falsifiable thus rendering the entire hypothesis dead. So indeed the science of AGW is truly settled. Life is dependent on CO2, warming isn’t.

  14. Thank you for an incredibly well-researched and useful report. I have been studying and debunking Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway’s book Merchants of Doubt, but this particular part of the game was unknown to me. This kind of investigation sorely needed.
    As for Merchants of Doubt, I’m amazed at how it gets worse the closer you look. It seems that every time I re-read a chapter or section, I find some new weakness or misleading rhetorical sleight of hand. There is much that has never been commented on by other critiques.
    I’m publishing my findings as a series of blog posts. It’s a work in progress. I have only published the first two so far, and I believe there will be six in all.
    http://www.evilquestions.com/2014/09/01/debunking-oreskes-part-1-a-wall-of-vagueness/
    http://www.evilquestions.com/2014/09/14/debunking-oreskes-part-2-the-wicked-handful-of-scientists/

    • Well done Dagfinn.
      Most people who force themselves to read Oreskes’ and Conway’s conspiracy yawner ‘The Merchants of Venice’ (something only “our” “side” appears to be masochistic enough to do) seem to notice that it’s a fantasy, transparently made up for one psychological purpose: to blame the climate movement’s frustrations on a cabal of four superhuman Jews (who else?), who incredibly get away with manipulating the levers of international opinion from behind the curtains for decades… until two of the dullest minds in science writing detect their machinations.
      Congratulations on your debunking so far—just be careful not to dignify it as a serious work deserving scholarly rebuttal. That would be to praise it with faint damnation. It’s a crock of s__t. I had more respect for it when it was called The Protocols of the Elders of Doubt.

      • Brad, It’s probably those who believe it’s a serious work who need the rebuttal. Calling it a crock of s__t probably won’t help persuade them. I think perhaps the concept one of its critics used might be more useful (I don’t remember exactly who). Saying it’s a work of polemic rather than science. I’ll consider using that at some point.
        To the average reader of this blog, on the other hand, it’s probably a no-brainer to call it crock of s__t.

      • “Calling it a crock of s__t probably won’t help persuade them.”
        No, but it’s fun.
        “It’s probably those who believe it’s a serious work who need the rebuttal. ”
        Do you think anyone who’s read it could still believe it’s serious?
        Not that I don’t see your rationale. I’m sure your debunking will get read, and it will persuade.
        I guess I’m a bit wary because of Oreskes’ proven tactic of using scholarly criticism to make her own work look more scholarly than it is. Her 2004 “essay” was just an essay until people tried to publish *papers* responding to it. Oreskes then mocked her critics for (inevitably) being rejected at the peer review stage—falsely implying that her own nonsense had passed peer review, when it not only hadn’t but couldn’t possibly have. Nothing is beneath her.
        You’ve noticed, I assume, how the authors do science history *backwards,* teleologically, as if the “right answer” (the one we believe in now) was the goal all good scientists were working towards, but couldn’t get there until they “achieved consensus”? You’ve noticed how the good guys are held back by the refusards who can’t see the manifest truth and vainly, stubbornly seek to block consensus? (As if science NEEDED a 100% vote in order to achieve knowledge?) And you’ve noticed the creepy way they assign moral blame to anyone who got the “wrong answer”? Their fanaticism, while infantile and historically illiterate, is also unnerving.

      • “You’ve noticed, I assume, how the authors do science history *backwards,* teleologically, as if the “right answer” (the one we believe in now) was the goal all good scientists were working towards, but couldn’t get there until they “achieved consensus”?”
        Yes, and also Oreskes goes one step further and pretends the consensus was already there before it wasn’t, even though she admits elsewhere that it wasn’t. It’s one of my key points in part 2.

  15. I hope this crap will collapse but they are already pushing”climate change” hard so cooling will demand every bit of government overreach as warming. Remember in the book 1984 when alliances were switched in the middle of a speech? Same thing gonna happen and that moron in the polar bear suit from the climate march post will be all in hook line and sinker as will the other sheep.

  16. The claim is that a scientist that takes money from the evil “Big Oil” is corrupt but only if they publish anything remotely skeptical. If they take money from evil “Big Oil” but don’t publish anything skeptical then of course they aren’t corrupt.
    It’s a ridiculous claim but often repeated. Of course they say the same thing about people like Anthony Watts and Steven McIntyre too even without any evidence they are funded by “Big Oil”. Some believers assume if you’re a skeptic it MUST be because you’re getting money from the fossil fuel industry otherwise you’d be a believer too.
    Faulty logic and a basic failure to understand the position and beliefs of skeptics.

  17. ‘Merchants of Smear’
    [Subtitled] ‘Global warming alarmists are slaves to character assassination as a central
    defense for their issue. How did that strategy work, and why does it fail?’
    by Russell Cook
    Published by Heartland Institute online (September 2014)
    In the final paragraph of his conclusions, Russell Cook said,
    “We are overdue for the biggest ideology collapse in history, begging for an investigation into
    why the mainstream media and influential politicians apparently never checked the veracity of
    claims about “settled science” and “corrupt skeptics.” “

    – – – – – – – –
    If it is indeed true that “[w]e are overdue for the biggest ideology collapse in history” what is that ideology?
    If it occurs, the ideology that should collapse is the ubiquitous ideology that allowed the whole climate change movement to be viewed as credible. Namely, the ideology that needs collapsing is the subjective basis of science that has developed from post-modern philosophy’s theories on the fundament basis of science. It is the ideology of subjectivity in science that is at the root cause of the climate change movement.
    John

    • John,
      I agree that consensus climate science is a subset of the postmodern “post normal science.” The postmodern movement is turning out to be a new truth by authority, the authority of academics and other, mostly progressive, elites. This authoritarianism is true in fields as unrelated as climate science and poetry. Question to you John. Do you have any links to critiques of postmodernism?

      • Doug,
        “This authoritarianism is true in fields as unrelated as climate science and poetry. ”
        Appeals to the subjective (authority, consensus, expert opinion etc.) have a valid role to play in many disciplines. Poetry is a good example. If you had zero information as to which poets were more *popular* than others, you could spend your whole life reading mediocre work without ever encountering any of the great poets. Imagine you had to browse the iTunes store for music or apps purely alphabetically, with no concept of bestsellers or what’s hot. You don’t have to *agree* with the “market’s” taste, nor do you have to *agree* with your English Professor’s nominations for the world’s best authors, but this kind of thing is surely an indispensable source of information.
        Science is fundamentally different. The subjective is not allowed to be passed off as a source of evidence in science. That’s the ONE rule that marks science off from pre-scientific thought. You are not allowed to argue from *what scientists think*—according to the rules, that’s meaningless. An argument from *opinion* is totally fallacious and worthless in science.
        So when the climate movement argues from consensus, authority, expert opinion, etc., that’s much worse than when your English Professor does it.
        In fact it’s so unscientific, it was the first and last proof I needed that the whole thing was a pseudoscientific scam.
        So-called postmodern science needs to be understood as pre-scientific unscience.
        This site is rightly scathing about it:
        http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/
        Naomi Oreskes is the closest thing to an “intellectual” leader of the assault being waged on 300 years of evidence-based science. She literally advocates for a return to opinion-based pre-science—not because she hates evidence per se, but because the climate movement knows it will never win on the evidence, and can only survive by passing off pseudoevidence like “consensus” as a reason to follow it.
        As I wrote at Dagfinn’s excellent blog (http://www.evilquestions.com/2014/09/14/debunking-oreskes-part-2-the-wicked-handful-of-scientists/):
        “In a sane world Oreskes would be either pitied or despised as an anti-intellectual lunatic but in this world, her post as a Harvard Professor gives her the power to do a lot of damage to the understanding of a generation of students.
        Have you seen her cretinous definition of knowledge:
        “what counts as knowledge is the ideas accepted by the fellowship of scholars”
        ?
        ROFL. Not for Naomi the proper, millennia-old concept of knowledge as justified true belief.”

    • Doug Allen says:
      September 27, 2014 at 7:59 pm
      John,
      I agree that consensus climate science is a subset of the postmodern “post normal science.” The postmodern movement is turning out to be a new truth by authority, the authority of academics and other, mostly progressive, elites. This authoritarianism is true in fields as unrelated as climate science and poetry. Question to you John. Do you have any links to critiques of postmodernism?

      – – – – – – – – – –
      Doug Allen,
      The ideas that collectively and arguably compose what is often considered to be Post-Modern Philosophy is an esoteric and obscure maze that shifts from one interpreter to another; where often the interpreters are using a sampling of ideas from the hodge-podge that is often called Post-Modern Philosophy to rationalize their already believed political and/or activist positions. So, an intellectual “buyers beware” when linking to critiques or endorsements of ‘Post Modern Philosophy’. My recommendation is to start with the most objective author of any most recent published (within last ~25 yrs) works on the entire history of western philosophy or on the entire history of ideas in western civilization; the key point is the objectivity of the author and failing finding an objective author at least one that is explicit in stating what subjective view he/she is applying in viewing the field.
      It is to the area of epistemology & metaphysics that I focus my statement “[credibility of climate change cause comes] from post-modern philosophy’s theories on the fundament basis of science. It is the [post-modern philosophy’s theories based] ideology of subjectivity in science that is at the root cause of the climate change movement”. I am focused on just post-modern philosophy’s affinity towards giving highest priority to what is ‘a priori’ believed to be and affinity towards assignment of a subservient role to what is (existence). {NOTE: that is what the IPCC processes do}
      John

    • Brad Keyes says:
      September 27, 2014 at 10:01 pm
      “. . .
      So-called postmodern science needs to be understood as pre-scientific unscience.
      . . .”

      – – – – – – – – – –
      Brad Keyes,
      That is a remarkable statement. It is Occam-ish. I wish I would have said that. : )
      John

      • You’re too kind John. I always enjoy your comments, which amply reward the extra thinking it takes to understand them. Do you share my impression that Oreskes’ function has been to give a respectable “intellectual” face to a decidedly anti-intellectual pseudoscientific epistemology in which consensus usurps the place of evidence? And that this assault on scientific reasoning is just an expedience to help them win the climate debate, which they couldn’t win under the rules everybody else has been following for 300 or so years?

      • Brad Keyes on September 28, 2014 at 10:49 am
        ” . . . And that this assault on scientific reasoning is just an expedience to help them win the climate debate, which they couldn’t win under the rules everybody else has been following for 300 or so years?”

        – – – – – – –
        Brad Keyes,
        I concur in the sense that I think there is a pre-planned post-modern reconception of climate focused science at the root of both significant journal peer review processes and the IPCC processes. That new idea of what science should be has science fundamentally subservient toward justifying the climate change cause***.
        What is Oreskes’ intellectual role in the climate change cause? She appears to be trying to establish the idea that authoritarianism is a necessary fundamental of the new post-modern view of science. But, I ask whether she the self-elected ‘Grim Mistress of the Ministry of Public Safety for the Protection of the Heroic Mythology of the Climate Change Cause’ (GMMPSPHMCCC)? Is she to the climate change cause as Robespierre was to the public safety of the French Revolution? I have to think more about those questions.
        *** climate change cause is the belief in a myth-like story that the earth needs saving from fossil fuel created CO2.
        John

  18. If you’re assuming someone (a journalist) get up and show how big oil is controlling the debate, well…
    My guess is they have looked and it doesn’t exist, or at least they couldn’t find it. I can’t even imagine how that story would read.
    There’s no “Mann Bites Dog” story there.
    No blood. No ink.

  19. It’s amazing how so many people believe the whole warming lie, without a shred of evidence. The public has been blindfolded and told to march for the cause, because they are on solid ground. However, if they would take the blindfold off they would see that they are on a roof a tall building with 2 steps left before reaching the edge. Those unfortunate enough to keep the blindfold on will not know what hit them when cold, famine, and out of control energy prices meet them at the bottom. Informed members of society are yelling at them to tear away the blindfold and look around at the truth while there is still a time.

  20. Show no mercy. When the (C)AGW scam finally collapses the perps must be held responsible for the damage they have inflicted. (Snip over the top -mod)

  21. Man-made, CO2-induced, global warming is not just theory, it is failed theory, as the IPCC models clearly showed when all of their scenarios overshot the measured global temperatures.
    All of their forecasts have proven wrong; the increasing cyclone activity, the increasing sea-level rise, the vanishing sea-ice, the runaway global temperature increase, the retreating glaciers.

  22. RE science is settled, I think a scholarly paper revealing the science being much revised after sceptic papers began to have an effect after climategate. At least of current things accepted by the IPCC or the team that was strongly resisted by them in the “golden years”: natural variability, the sun, ENSO, climate sensitivity, the ressurection of 1937 as the hottest year in the US (and other places), the warming and melting of Antarctica, the strength and frequency of storms, etc. etc.

  23. If some one had the money to challenge global warming in court here in Canada would the press report it. It grieves me to say , I don’t think you would ever get to a court in the states.after what we have seen in the last 7 years.

  24. For 61 years I worked daily in the United States media. I worked in radio and mostly television stations owned by Midwest Television, The Omaha World Herald, Hearst Media, CBS, ABC, NBC and individual owners in Palm Springs and San Diego. Except for the last two, within every newsroom where I worked there was a constant, unwavering liberal, Democrat bias. Support for the platform of the Democrat Party and it’s leaders was unquestioned. Contacts I had assured me this bias was ever present throughout the entire industry.
    Russell Cook makes it clear he feels the reason we global warming skeptics are unable to make significant progress in debunking the global warming myth is this media bias. I conclude he is correct. The media is still very powerful.
    However, an internet/telephone revolution is underway. The latest research indicates people who are 20 years old or younger don’t watch much television and don’t listen to radio or read newspapers (where the liberal bias is the strongest). More and more, the social media are their media of choice. Their eyes and minds are available to us just as much as they are to the network news anchors or reporters. We can make a huge difference if we constantly post reasonable truth about the consequences of riding the global warming bandwagon on Facebook and Twitter, text arguments to friends, post comments on other websites from Huffington Post to the New York Times. My wife says to me, “I am sorry John, you are not going to win this global warming thing. You don’t have a chance against the President.” I know that the President and all the other elected political “leaders” are very responsive the media and public opinion. As we gain power in the new media and with the new media crowd, we can change the political crowd’s positions. It is new media and it is open to us. It is the only way. The science behind us is solid as rock. The facts are on our side. We need to spend less time “preaching to choir” and more time with today’s new media.
    I open and close each post with “There is no significant, man-made global warming now, there has been none in the past and there is no reason to fear any in the future.” Please note all the words: significant, man-made, global, warming. They are all important.
    I will be posting excerpts from Mr. Cook’s article and this comment on Facebook where I had several thousand followers and links to it on Twitter where I have 1,700 followers. It is not millions, but it is my contribution. I hope many of you will be doing similar work. I would love to prove my wife wrong. LOL

    • Well said John, you are a gentleman and a scholar…I used to watch the weather channel when they gave unbiased weather. You are right, we have to share the facts on social media…Thanks!

    • John, I enjoyed watching you while I was living in San Diego. Is it true that being a weatherman in San Diego is the easiest job in the country? I think that many in San Diego try to keep that great weather a secret. Whenever they do have a problem like fires they make a big deal about it so people won’t move there.

      • I always explained that my job as weatherman in San Diego was the ultimate scam. It is true that the climate here is one of the most stable and predictable on Earth. The hard part of my job was making it interesting to the viewers. Now in retirement, I laugh at the silliness of it all. LOL

  25. Maybe we need to start taking a harder look at the United Nations Organization itself. The United Nations Organization is basically just a non-profit corporation. The General Assembly is basically an ongoing stockholders meeting, the Security Council is the UN’s Board of Directors and the Secretary General is CEO. FDR and the Rockefeller brothers set the UN up that way because corporations was what they knew. The UN dosen’t follow it’s own charter but what corporation does?
    So when the UN scientists speak and publish on climate change, they should have as little credibility as research scientists paid for with grants by Big Pharma. Portray the UN as just another corporation and all of it’s legitimacy and credibility goes out the window. The UN is just out to accumulate as much in the way of contributions from member nations as possible until it can start making real profits leasing out the seabed for minerals exploration and exploitation under the Law of the Sea Treaty. At that point, since some of those leases might be for oil and gas, the UN might well change it’s tune on global warming in a hurry.

    • Maybe it’s time to start looking at the UN as a club of dictators which is what it has become. Venezuela, now a Cuba colony is about to get a position in the security counsel.

  26. As long as the MSM supports the deception, it will not collapse. Sad that the institution, the only one mentioned in the Constitution, is merely a propaganda arm of one portion of government.

  27. @andrewmharding
    I though that the law of conservation of mass/energy was a necessary procedural principle rather than a law derived from experiment, but I’ll be happy to be shown otherwise.
    As far as I am concerned, the only settled science is that which shows red wine is good for my health. Everything else is up for grabs.
    As far as failed predictions are concerned, I would like WUWT to have a permanent page which lists each prediction (full reference, of course) and the data (likewise) which falsifies it. The data should be regularly updated.

  28. Not Big Oil but Big Government is deviant Warmists’ $100-billion blank cheque. Anyone with ‘arf a frontal lobe knows very well not only who but what Hansen, Mann, Cook and Lewandowsky, Jones, McKibben, Trenberth and others of their tarradiddling ilk indubitably are.
    Despite all manner of mutual backscratching, these maundering dipsticks have precisely nothing to offer anyone. Hey-hey, ho-ho: New World Order’s gotta go! Just bag it, you encephalopathic lowlifes.

  29. Too bad this report is from Heartland. I am always on the lookout for something to use in conversations with friends who believe all of the hype on “global climate whatever”. Unfortunately, Heartland has zero credibility with these people and to some extent, I understand why. They are kind of the McDonalds of the skeptic movement.
    Not saying that there isn’t good stuff in here. It’s just with Heartland you are starting from a disadvantage position right off the bat.
    I keep looking…

    • Then don’t quote Heartland. Quote Russell Cook, who backs up his facts with… er, facts. He’s not just spouting political opinion.
      It always boggles the mind how people on that “side” seem to think the “credibility” of data is contingent on the politics of the scientist/journalist/think-tank who mentions them.

      • This is a tough debate.
        My friend is generally pretty good when it comes to considering opinions that differ from his…not that he isn’t human, mind you, we all have biases. I think he feels backed into a corner now thanks to things like the models all being wrong and will say that until NOAA and NASA or some “independent” scientific agency changes its position he can see changing his. I understand this. Even those who claim to understand climate science often don’t completely understand it…or understand just enough to be dangerous (like me)
        As good as WUWT is…and I read it daily…it still tends to be more or less an echo chamber for climate skeptic views.
        Like I said…tough debate.

      • “it still tends to be more or less an echo chamber for climate skeptic views.”
        But when I comment at believalist blogs (because I find disagreement more edifying), I invariably get banned for frightening the zebras. Don’t you find the same? If we’re ghettoized it’s only because they’re afraid of us. 🙁

      • My thanks to Brad Keyes for his support, and I will further add that if any of my enviro-activist critics in particular think they can exploit the ‘Heartland’ tie-in to dismiss my Policy Brief out-of-hand, it will implode in their face – as I describe briefly here: http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=2093
        People continue to find fault with Heartland over its ‘Unabomber’ billboard controversy back in 2012, but I still say that despite an admittedly inept attempt to make a point, the billboard still succeeded to indirectly showcase the fatal fault of AGW believers and their enslavement to trashing skeptics’ credibility instead of engaging in scientific debate. Please see my piece on that from 2012 – which, just like my Policy Brief above, was written entirely on my own with no direction from anybody – “Heartland Institute ‘Unabomber billboard’ brings out Global Warming Alarmists’ One-Trick Pony” http://ow.ly/hKPrX

    • If you have friends who believe the hype, try introducing them to the IPCC.
      “When I am introducing someone to the sceptical range of views an exercise I often use is to give them a link to the IPCC WG1 report (now AR5, previously I linked them to AR4). I then invite them to pick three chapters at random – any three whatsoever (other than the Summary for Policymakers (SPM)) – and skim them (or read them in full if they have the time) and come back to me with their impressions. I experience the same response every time and indeed, it matches my own. Reading the report’s individual chapters (sans the SPM), one comes away with the impression of a scholarly, ponderous document. Lots of caveats, uncertainties, doubts, gaps and so on are clearly articulated. In short, it is what one generally expects from academic output. Then the anger flows in. It is a painfully sharp contrast to the mainstream narratives.”
      http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2014/9/26/watts-up-with-mann.html

    • You are looking and there are so many to choose from. Try Jo Nova and dozens of others listed on her site.
      Unfortunately, ‘dinner conversations’ can never resolve this. It all revolves around scientific and political agendas that require much more time to explain than a dinner event allows.
      And you can also expect to lose some brainwashed friends in the process.

      • Thanks. In this case, it is an ongoing E Mail exchange that has lasted for 12 years so far. You have to give both of us credit for sticking with it!

  30. Toto says:
    September 22, 2013 at 10:09 am
    This quote from Christopher Hitchens (No One Left to Lie to) has some relevance to climate science.

    Hanna Arendt once wrote that the great success of Stalinism among the intellectuals could be attributed to one annihilating tactic. Stalinism replaced all debate about the merits of any argument, or a position, or even a person, with an inquiry about motive.

    • rogerknights says:
      September 27, 2014 at 8:01 pm
      – – – – – – – – – –
      Hannah Arendt left us with an impressive body of work. She profoundly challenged readers intellectually.

      “There will always be One against All, one person against all others. [This is so] not because One is terribly wise and All are terribly foolish, but because the process of thinking and researching, which finally yields truth, can only be accomplished by an individual person. In its singularity or duality, one human being seeks and finds – not the truth (Lessing) –, but some truth.”
      -Hannah Arendt, Denktagebuch, Book XXIV, No. 21
      [T]here are, indeed, few things that are more frightening than the steadily increasing prestige of scientifically minded brain trusters in the councils of government during the last decades. The trouble is not that they are cold-blooded enough to “think the unthinkable,” but that they do not think.
      -Hannah Arendt, “On Violence”

      John

  31. A fascinating and well documented, history, Russell. Thank you. I hope you and other readers here will forgive me for a few related (but somewhat peripheral) observations. Your text includes the following:

    “Gelbspan had been an environmental reporter at a major newspaper and was associated with a group of reporters who had won individual Pulitzer Prizes” [P. 8]
    […]
    The Pulitzer organization has never named him as a recipient of its prize. [P. 9]

    This almost prefigures the now widely known circle of IPCC-niks (not the least of whom is Mann) who falsely claimed to have been 2007 Nobel Prize recipients, in no small measure thanks to an exhortation from IPCC Chair, Rajendra Pachauri, when – in effect – they were merely dishonestly riding on the coat-tails of the UN-spawned organization known as the IPCC and Al Gore.
    But, speaking of Mann and his world … There is an E-mail in the ClimateGate files, the loop of which includes Gelbspan amongst other illustrious recipients:
    Source: http://tome22.info/Emails/5225.html#id3
    For the record, in this particular Oct. 29, 2003 E-mail, Mann claims that an Apr. 09, 2003 E-mail from Steve McIntyre is “vindicating” something or other!
    As an aside … tome22 just happens to be the still under development site of AccessIPCC’s* brilliant architect, Peter Bobroff – the latter of which, in the interest of full disclosure, I am proud to have had a role.
    To a far more limited extent, I have from time to time provided input/feedback to Bobroff on tome22 (including ‘Please get this finished so that it can get the wider circulation it deserves’ OWTTE) [end aside]
    So … following the tome22 road, I also found:
    http://tome22.info/Organisations/DeSmogBlogStaff-DeSmogBlog-WebSite.html
    Which eventually led me to their Gelbspan bio:
    http://www.desmogblog.com/user/ross-gelbspan. [Accessed: 2014-09-27. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6SueZVTrt ) ]
    FWIW, scroll down this particular page and you’ll see that Gelbspan’s association with the smoggy ones appears to have begun Thu, 2006-01-12 10:11 and ended (86 indexed pages later – notwithstanding his apparently still currently smoggy status as one of their “bloggers”) on Thu. 2010-11-11 12:19
    *As an amusing – but no doubt purely coincidental – footnote, readers might be interested in knowing that AccessIPCC went “live” circa Dec. 7, 2010, not too far from the virtual heels of Gelbspan’s – apparently unannounced and, to the best of my knowledge, unexplained – silence on the smoggy-front.

  32. Some 25 years ago or so, the topic passed from being an intellectual puzzle to a public and organised ideological campaign.
    Ever since I have been worried about the potential devastation which could be wreaked upon the public trust in real science.
    I know far to many seemingly intelligent people who (often shamefully) will admit to believing in quack health medicines, “holistic wellness”, miracles, ghosts, divine intervenion, moonbeams or whatever.
    The growing public realisation that the IPCC predictions have been designed to promote ideological aims first and to hell with the consequences threatens to make my nightmares come true.
    The preposterous smear campaigns against GMO ( “Frankenfoods”) will seem mild compared to what is to come.
    (I can do apocalyptic catastrophism too! It’s as easy as falling off a log! Just switch off your critical faculties, open your mouth and “emote”. Ahhh, that feels so good!)
    Bill

    • Global warming is getting to be a really big business. Lately I´ve decided it´s better to be gentle and use humor to put a brake on the climate hysteria and conspiracy theorists. The later seem to be pounding the idea that if we don´t toe the “official climate line” we must be oil company agents. They even have heretics lists and all sorts of brainwashing literature. For example, here´s a screen print from desmogblog:
      http://21stcenturysocialcritic.blogspot.com.es/p/no-comment.html
      These guys are so focused on persecution they may put me on their hit list for posting this screen print of their website….

  33. anyone else see this?
    todays NYTimes
    President’s Drive for Carbon Pricing Fails to Win at Home
    By CORAL DAVENPORT
    The United States, which is under growing international pressure to price carbon, is missing from a World Bank declaration calling on all nations to enact laws forcing industries to pay for carbon emissions.
    Hmm? hypocritical to the max:-)
    few vested interest friends mayhap?

  34. I also don’t know if the overdue ideological collapse will come. Too many excuses having nothing to do with science or truth that are the currency of thought in general society such as “means well”, “has a degree”, “cares so much,” “gives so much of themselves.” Most will edge their way back off of the limb before it snaps and will still be a danger waiting for the next chance to mandate something to the populace for their own good. Mankind has always been a sucker for the unknown and the climate is a long, long way from being known.

    • Except as the exposure of the errors grows, mother earth being a relentless reinforcer of reality,do-gooders and climate scientists(Science in general probably) will be cast in same pile, useless destructive fools.
      The cost of the CAGW mass hysteria is already huge.
      Kill the poor, dice the eagles, rupture the bats all to produce power that is useless and horrendously expensive.

  35. The question arises, just why were the MSM so quick to swallow the hook that the fossil fuel industry was trying to spread disinformation and corrupt some scientists?
    The answer to this is because that is what one would expect them to do. The more plausible an accusation, the more readily people will accept it as truth. Such simplistic reasoning asserts that oil and coal industries make money by selling fossil fuels; climate science demands we use less fossil fuels: therefore they must be against it; therefore the rational behaviour is to undermine it. Who needs to dig any further to get at the truth?
    Careful analysis shows more complex nuances. The fossil fuel industry know that society will still need fossil fuels but that big subsidies are available for developing alternatives. They have been very adept at capitalising on it and can brandish their green credentials for doing so.
    The truth is sometimes a little different from what we would expect, but once pointed out, reasonable people should say “oh yeah, I never thought of that.”

    • Exactly. There are several reasons why it’s not useful for them to spread disinformation. A couple of them did not occur to me until recently when reacting to a certain graphic from “I f****** love science”. It suggests that the oil companies “bribe anyone they can”. At which point I thought, yes, but if they did, whom would it be better for them to bribe? Perhaps the most rational choice would be to support the environmental organizations, hoping they will go easier on them. And if fact, the empirical evidence shows that this is what they’ve been doing.
      The other reason is legal liability. The tobacco companies ended up having to pay through the nose for having disinformed the population. Legal liability is a good reason to avoid disinformation.
      http://www.evilquestions.com/2014/08/07/the-battle-of-the-conspiracy-theories/

  36. An example of a very poor illogical analogy on the part of P.G.. CAGW is a man made hypotheses of failed predictions. The WAIS has existed for many millennium and is not in mass rushing to the sea, but instead fits in perfectly with the very long list of failed alarmist predictions. To equate the two is a sad attempt at debate, convincing no one.

  37. I didn’t read all the comments but lookit… I asked an enviro-mental nut job at church one time, everybody knows that environmental research conducted by private sector industry is biased. If this assertation is true, that private sector environmental research is biased then how is environmental research conducted by the government or a governmental agency not biased? Enviro-mental nut jobs get real hysterical when confronted by logic.

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