Greenpeace: The roots of Climate Smear

While a smear campaign rages in the media and at the Congressional level, Russell Cook takes a look at its roots

merchants_of_smear“Regurgitate Unsupportable Accusations, We Much?” Kert Davies is Back. Again.

A brief word of explanation about the first part of that title, it’s a variation of the “Resist, we much” teleprompter reading gaffe by the Reverend Al Sharpton, where he meant to say “Resist, we must” on his TV show. It lends itself to a variety of other overblown political situations which beg for a “Sharptonism” parody. The latest instances where Boston Globe, New York Times, and Washington Post articles cited Kert Davies’ supposedly damaging documents (screencaptures here, here and here), in an effort to trash skeptic climate scientist Dr Willie Soon, invites exactly that kind of parody.

Funny how none of those publications bothers to mention (hiding appearances of bias, we much?) Davies’ former position as Greenpeace’s Research Director.

Regarding the Washington Post article in particular, the comical aspect of it is how the late WashPo editor Ben Bradlee must be spinning in his grave at the sight of Chris Mooney as its author – Mooney being nothing like the thorough reporters who investigated the Watergate scandal under Bradlee’s command, but is instead apparently too much in love with Ross Gelbspan’s ‘industry-corrupt skeptic climate scientists’ accusation, as I described in my 2011 WUWT guest post. Conspicuous by its absence in Mooney’s WashPo bio is his association with Desmogblog, the anti-skeptic site built around the works of Ross Gelbspan.

But, that’s only part of the silliness. It isn’t simply that Kert Davies is also the source of this ‘breaking’ story for nine different science journals, it is the plain fact that there is nothing new in these reports that wasn’t already seen in older reports on Dr Soon which cited Davies just the same way.

The June 28, 2011 Reuters report about Dr Willie Soon’s “$1 million in funding” had the following quote from Davies:

“A campaign of climate change denial has been waged for over twenty years by Big Oil and Big Coal,” said Kert Davies, a research director at Greenpeace US.

“Scientists like Dr. Soon who take fossil fuel money and pretend to be independent scientists are pawns.”

The UK Guardian’s same-day variation written by John Vidal contained the identical quote from Davies, but Vidal skipped the last sentence in the Reuters article where Dr Soon said he’d gladly accept Greenpeace funding. An internet search of just that date and Dr Soon’s name shows just how far and wide those twin stories were spread.

Want to see a fun circular citation in action? Greenpeace’s own ExxonSecrets web site (created and run by Davies) has a page dedicated to Dr Soon, where it cites the above John Vidal Guardian article as the source to say Dr Soon received a million dollars of ‘big oil’ funding. Who did Vidal cite for that? Greenpeace.

All of that was in the summer of 2011. But back in the summer of 2009 — stop the presses — Kert Davies himself gave us the same ‘breaking news’ about Dr Soon’s funding at the Huffington Post (by default, HuffPo shows Davies current “Director, Climate Investigations Center” title, but rest assured that the Internet Archive for his 2009 article shows his then-current “Research Director for Greenpeace US” title):

Finally. After years of denying its role in the campaign of climate denial, Exxon has revealed a dirty secret, that it has and likely still is directly funding junk scientists. …

The new Exxon Giving report shows straight pipe funding, in the odd but specific sum of $76,106 to the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory, home of Dr. Willie Soon…

Back in 2007, a giant 176 page official complaint was lodged at Ofcom, (the UK’s communications regulator of broadcasts) about skeptic climate scientists seen in the British video “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, and the complaint went so far as to include its criticism of Dr Soon’s non-speaking contribution to the film, while noting his ‘big oil’ funding. Who did the complaint cite for news of that? Kert Davies. Stop the presses! Breaking news!

However, this GelbspanFiles blog focuses on the origins of the overall smear of skeptic climate scientists. To see how Kert Davies fits into that, we have to go back about a decade earlier.

Prior to starting at Greenpeace in 2000, Davies worked at Ozone Action, the organization that merged into Greenpeace USA in 2000. Prior to that, he worked at the Environmental Working Group, which produced an undated Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR) report titled “Affiliations of Selected Global Warming Skeptics” (“Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action”’s copy here), which says the following near the end of page 2….

Willie Soon

Suspected fossil fuel funding – Compensation for services to Western Fuels Assoc. funded project

… and this on its page 3:

Organizational affiliations are from CLEARS database, compiled from primary sources and media reports. Additional research assistance provided by Ozone Action.

Funding information primarily compiled from:

Ross Gelbspan, The Heat is On. Perseus Books: Reading, Massachusetts. 1997,1998

Ross Gelbspan, “The Heat is On,” Harpers. December 1995.

Ozone Action, Ties That Blind: Industry Influence on Public Policy and our Environment. March-December, 1996. …

Pages 4 through 10 at that Greenpeace scan collection is of CLEAR’s November 10, 1998 (one month after Davies began working at Ozone Action) report titled “Western Fuels Association’s Astroturf Empire.” Page 7 paraphrases a section of Ozone Action’s “Ties That Blind” report, having these key words:

According to documents obtained by environmental group Ozone Action and journalist Ross Gelbspan, ICE messaging strategies included targeting “older, less educated males” … and “younger, lower income women.” ICE’s stated goal was to reposition global warming as theory (not fact).”

My educated guess is that Gelbspan and Ozone Action ‘obtained’ those documents (assuming their statement is accurate) sometime around late 1995, since Gelbspan first mentioned them in a December 1995 radio interview. Who did they ‘obtain’ the documents from? Well, the above CLEAR report mentions the same “older, less educated males”/ “younger, lower income women” seen in Al Gore’s 1992 book. Note how Gore’s 1992 book pre-dates Gelbspan’s 1995 radio interview quote of those same words… yet Gore later prominently said Gelbspan discovered that memo set.

I can at least say Kert Davies had ties with Ozone Action as far back as 1997, since Greenpeace saved a copy (screencapture here) of his July 29, 1997 email from his Environmental Working Group address to a person at Ozone Action.

What is the critical missing element to this 20-year collection of ‘breaking news stories’ about skeptic scientists’ funding? Any scrap of evidence proving the skeptics falsified/fabricated data or conclusions as performance required under a monetary grant or paid employee contract. It’s all guilt-by-association and nothing more.

When gullible news outlets unquestioningly cite people from the same enviro-activist clique every time, failing to realize they could win Pulitzers if they turned the tables on sources of smear material, and when they egregiously allow members of that clique to be labeled as ‘reporters’, this all invites one more “Sharptonism” to be applied to the mainstream media:

Commit political suicide, we much?

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February 26, 2015 8:12 am

Many thanks to Anthony for reproducing this out of my blog. Some of the roots of the smear of skeptic climate scientists are seen in Al Gore’s Senate 1991-2 office, as I detail elsewhere, but for all practical purposes, “Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action” is the epicenter of the smear when it first got is real media traction, with Willie Soon’s smearer Kert Davies being a member of Ozone Action back then. BTW, Al Gore’s long-time (but now departed) spokesperson Kalee Kreider claimed to be one of the founders of Ozone Action . Consider, too, that Ozone Action was all about ozone depletion, and who stood in their way on that? Fred Singer.

Reply to  Russell Cook (@questionAGW)
February 27, 2015 5:14 am

Thanks for taking the time to simply document the history. It’s amazing this has been going on and on and on for a quarter century. Enough’s enough.

Reply to  Russell Cook (@questionAGW)
March 3, 2015 3:44 pm

I don’t understand why these baseless character assassination attempts are not actionable for libel?

February 26, 2015 8:14 am

Let me get this straight.
Green Peace makes claims to the Guardian as a source, then Green Peace sites the Guardian as a source to give authenticity to their claims.
Makes sense if you have the scruples of a hyena or lets say of someone who in a position of power takes advantage of women.
Meanwhile still trying to figure out when critical thinking vacated the halls of journalism. Was critical thinking evicted or did it leave of its own accord recognizing it could not grow roots there.

Reply to  Alx
February 26, 2015 8:19 am

Good question about the media. I’ve also documented the sheer bias at one particular news outlet, updating bias as it happens: PBS NewsHour global warming coverage: IPCC/NOAA Scientists – 18**; Skeptic Scientists – 0

Reply to  Russell Cook (@questionAGW)
February 27, 2015 12:02 am

I take comfort from the fact that only 200k people buy the rag, and most of those ‘work’ for the BBC.
And therein lies the problem.
The BBC can then spread this deliberate misinformation across the world and have a genuine ‘respected’ source for the information – the Grauniad. And this is deliberate. So the one or two gibbering simians scampering around the Grauniad offices, have a window on the world.
In my estimation the BBC is the most dangerous media organisation in the world. If the BBC and Grauniad had won their August 2013 media campaign to arm the ‘freedom fighters’ in Syria (ie: ISIS), these Syrian terrorists would now have some 2,000 tones of nerve gas. Anyone think that would have been a good idea? This is the trouble when you place the kindergarten toddlers in places of great influence and power. It is clear that the BBC needs closing down and reforming.
The Grauniad:

Reply to  Alx
February 26, 2015 8:27 am

You clearly do not read the Guardian much.
Their idea of evidence, where any is deemed necessary, is a link to another Guardian article, which will of course itself have no sources, or, in extremis, a link to an article by the same author on another site. Dana does this all the time, whilst claiming he has linked to sources for his claims. Though, to be fair to Dana, his articles are so verbose, rambling, ill-constructed and impenetrable, that I doubt more than a couple of people make it all the way through anyway.
The only other sources of news, according to this once respected paper, are Twitter & Facebook.
I take comfort from the fact that only 200k people buy the rag, and most of those ‘work’ for the BBC.

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
Reply to  soarergtl
February 26, 2015 8:35 am

The original ‘fish and chips’ is properly wrapped in newspaper…. I WAS going to say the Guardian is perfect for that purpose, but, what might it do to the taste?

Reply to  soarergtl
February 26, 2015 8:45 pm

@ Climate Otter- had a British friend who while visiting London some years ago, did indeed get some fish and chips wrapped in the “Guardy” “It left this pink stain all over the chips and fish!” He was a Typhoon/Tempest Pilot in WW2. Miss him and his Missus..

Reply to  soarergtl
February 27, 2015 12:05 am

Sorry, my reply to Soarergti got misplaced (about Grauniad and BBC). It is one thread up, for some reason. It should be here.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Alx
February 26, 2015 8:57 am

My understanding is that journalism declined in the US after passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, under Bill Clinton. The act took down the barriers against purchase of multimedia (radio, television, newspapers) by one corporation in a single market (e.g., greater Boston).
Big corporations moved in and snapped up all sorts of small independent outlets. All media became fully profit-driven. They turned to whatever improved the bottom line. Independent crusading editors became a thing of the past, and multiple outlets came to speak with a single voice.
Journalists that used to spend time investigating stories were no longer given time, because investigation is expensive. So, journalists with professional ethics and interest in the news, and in researching stories were slowly forced out, or retired, or just left. News anchoring has become acting, journalistic investigation has become press releases.
When instruments of power, or of public speech, are all concentrated in a single place, it becomes easy to take over. Hence the monomaniacal drone of media climate alarm, a product of media monopolies and the new class of empty-headed reporters; the only kind that survive in a strictly profit-driven news medium.
Those who want to see return of the multiple voices of a real democracy should push for repeal of that 1996 act.

Reply to  Pat Frank
February 26, 2015 11:52 am

Do you really think that a resurgence of broadcast and/or dead-tree journalism is possible, or desirable?

Reply to  Pat Frank
February 26, 2015 12:21 pm

Please, have you ever heard of The Spanish American War in 1898 begun by the yellow journalism of the Hearst and Pulitzer papers? As Mark Twain said, if you don’t read the newspapers you’re uninformed, and if you do you’re misinformed.
There was a time when actors, actresses, reporters, and prostitutes were all considered low lifes, with good reason.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Pat Frank
February 26, 2015 1:05 pm

There was also a time when tax collectors were more reviled than prostitutes who worked for living. Today, looking at the politicized IRS, I don’t see much modernday difference.

Reply to  Pat Frank
February 26, 2015 2:26 pm

No, it was a process that began under Reagan, Pat, with the deregulation of the cable business and the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine. Deregulating the cable news industry was the crack. It allowed corporations like GE, Disney, and Westinghouse (remember Westinghouse?) to buy media/news outlets previously unavailable to them for decades because of anti-monopoly laws and the public’s ownership of the airwaves, and gain access into state markets where the lines were blurred about media ownership. In 1985, there were 50 major media owners (representing the tight regulations that prevented media owners from controlling more than what was in their state). By the time Reagan left office there were 20. Clinton polished it off such that now we have five media owners with the power to sway voters, control issues, destroy careers, manipulate public thought, produce media content propaganda with abandon, ruin reputations, and promote the pet political position of the major shareholder.
Of course, how would American citizens have known about all this–or developed the means to make an intelligent decision about these decisions–because Reagan’s FCC eliminated the Fairness Doctrine at the same time it deregulated the cable news industry (don’t believe it when talking heads scream that bringing back the Fairness Doctrine violates the First Amendment, you’re being duped as they are). Eliminating the Fairness Doctrine produced infotainment, and was the only regulation that protected the public interest.
From Wikipedia:

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance [the “public interest”] and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission’s view, honest, equitable and balanced. The FCC eliminated the Doctrine in 1987. [Don’t confuse this with Equal Time, which is for political candidates.]

I completely agree with your position. Fox News’ “fair and balanced” is anything but–and anyone who believes that is an idiot–as the Florida appellate judge’s ruling determined in 2003 that Fox was not required to tell the truth.
The story about this is Appellate Court Rules Media Can Legally Lie Under 1st Amendment. Ironically, no one bioched, much less knew about it, because the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated. The circular argument that Kert Davies benefits from.

Sceptical lefty
Reply to  Pat Frank
February 26, 2015 3:54 pm

To further illustrate the point raised by paullinsay:
“There is no such a thing in America as an independent press, unless it is out in country towns. You are all slaves. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to express an honest opinion. If you expressed it, you would know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid $150 for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things. If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, I would be like Othello before twenty-four hours: my occupation would be gone. The man who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street hunting for another job. The business of a New York journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to villify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread, or for what is about the same — his salary. You know this, and I know it; and what foolery to be toasting an “Independent Press”! We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping-jacks. They pull the string and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”
There is some debate about the exact quote, but it was supposedly delivered by John Swinton in response in response to a toast at a gathering of newspapermen in 1883.
Humbert Wolfe’s famous epigram from about 1930 also seems apposite.
You cannot hope
to bribe or twist,
thank God! the
British journalist.
But, seeing what
the man will do
unbribed, there’s
no occasion to.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Pat Frank
February 27, 2015 5:39 pm

Thanks for the deeper insight, policycritic. Given your take, wrecking media democracy seems to have been a bi-partisan project. One suspects it’s a case of the unintended consequences of misguided idealism, rather than a studied malignancy.
The previous system however imperfect seems to have been much better. I wouldn’t mind going back to that, and starting over.

Reply to  Alx
February 26, 2015 9:53 am

The good news (eternal optimist here) is that, at least at my institution, the University is cracking down on students using grey literature as a source for papers and other work. It started a bit last year but, this year the hammer really came down in the form of a “thou shalt not cite blogs, news articles citing blogs, news articles with academic references backing them up, or anything in which you can’t verify whether the data originated from a scholarly source”.
Not sure how well it’s working. But it’s at least an acknowledgement of just how far into academia grey or completely unverifiable has managed to make it.
On the downside we are only one institution and ours along with essentially every other institution I know of has allowed multiple generations of graduates to pass through the system with no idea of what a quality source is. Even worse they seem to be of the opinion that industry data is all suspect, despite the laws and requirements for proper disclosure to shareholders, stakeholders and government agencies. On the other hand NGO data, which has absolutely nothing compelling them to tell the truth to anyone is apparently good to go. Who knows how long it will take before proper source scrutiny makes its way back into the professional world… Geez and I started so optimistic

Reply to  Alx
February 26, 2015 3:47 pm

Yes. Infinite-source-looping is commonplace.
It gets worse, of course.
Dr.Soon is being accused of “hiding” conflicts of interest by people hiding their own conflicts of interests regarding the motivation, formulation, and dissemination of the accusation itself.
It gets even worse, of course.
The work of Dr. Soon can be assessed by scientific standards and the influence of any “conflict” easily identified. The use of innuendo, guilty-by-association, and character assassination tells you that there is no undue influence to be found in his work.
The work of these agent provocateurs is only subject to the court of public opinion… which has no standards whatsoever.

February 26, 2015 8:15 am

I thought you guys wanted climate scientists to be investigated for fraud and corruption?
There’s just no pleasing some people.

Joe Civis
Reply to  Gubulgaria
February 26, 2015 10:56 am

yes investigating for fraud and corruption would be great, but it needs to be applied to all “scientists” equally not just the ones that are considered “skeptics”, it is laughable well only barely laughable as it is so sad that billions of dollars funding from “evil oil producers” that go to the Pro-CAGW crowd is pure as the driven snow and couldn’t taint an opinion but if a tiny fraction of that goes to a skeptical scientist it will corrupt the very ground they walk and all who are within 100 miles of it. absolutely pathetic Mr gruber oops gubulgaria of whatever gender.

Jaakko Kateenkorva
Reply to  Gubulgaria
February 26, 2015 12:10 pm

Patience Gubulgaria. Until now the criteria were considered more permissive. The alarmists have now revealed the suitable thresholds themselves and, in return, the skeptics can apply them throughout.
Having said that, I didn’t expect the Indian justice system to provide the bonus.

Reply to  Gubulgaria
February 26, 2015 1:22 pm

“Before, they were running around mad as lorries.”
Anybody want to translate into English, the above quote ?

Reply to  u.k.(us)
February 26, 2015 2:29 pm

Don’t know the origin but this scene from Snatch is hilarious…
Tommy: You shouldn’t drink that stuff anyway. [looking at the milk Turkish is drinking]
Turkish: Why, what’s wrong with it?
Tommy: It’s not in sync with evolution.
Turkish: Shut up.
Tommy: Cows have only been domesticated for the last eight thousand years. Before that, they were running around mad as lorries. The human digestive system hasn’t got used to dairy products yet.
Turkish: Well, fuck me, Tommy. What have you been reading?
Tommy: Let me do you a favour. [takes the milk off Turkish’s hand and throws it out the window and it hits a car behind them followed by screeching tires and a loud crash]
Both: [look at each other] Whoops.

george e. smith
Reply to  Gubulgaria
February 26, 2015 2:16 pm

Well only those who have committed fraud or corruption that is clear to even the blind, need to be investigated.
Think of it this way. If a scientist (any scientist) is publishing papers or articles of debatable scientific credibility, and they are not disclosing who funded that research, so that unbiased readers can be aware of any possible bias in the results; well that is almost as low handed, as people publishing articles or opinions, and not disclosing to the readers what they have a right to know; namely the author of those opinions.
What value could there possibly be in ANY opinion, when even its own author doesn’t have the confidence in his(er) work to put his(er) own name to what drivel (s)he is trying to peddle.
Nobody’s opinion has any more value than (s)he is prepared to give it by putting one’s own name to it.

February 26, 2015 8:22 am

CAGW seems almost as if dozens of trial CO2 balloons were floated and a gullible mass-media (to the floaters’ astonishment) swallowed them all – hook, line and sinker. Now, the consumers of the copypasted propaganda are fed up with having their intelligence insulted but the compliant media can’t back down or off, having painted themselves into a corner.

Reply to  PiperPaul
February 26, 2015 11:14 am

We prefer facts on both “sides.”

Reply to  PiperPaul
February 26, 2015 11:15 am

Sorry Paul, that was supposed to be inre: Gubularia

Billy Liar
February 26, 2015 8:27 am

“A campaign of climate change denial has been waged for over twenty years by Big Oil and Big Coal,” said Kert Davies, a research director at Greenpeace US.
“Scientists like Dr. SoonProfessor Phil Jones who take fossil fuel money and pretend to be independent scientists are pawns.”

See how easy it is to spread the slur around?

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
Reply to  Billy Liar
February 26, 2015 8:37 am

It is a slur only when it is False. In the case of Soon, it is false.

Reply to  Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
February 26, 2015 9:28 am

And in the case of Phil Jones it is true.

Reply to  Billy Liar
February 26, 2015 12:16 pm

In the case of Phil Jones and others at CRU they have received funding from Greenpeace, WWF, Climate and Development Knowledge Network, Earth and Life Sciences Alliance as well as BP and Shell.

Reply to  Jimbo
February 26, 2015 12:30 pm

I wonder whether Phil Jones and other scientists who publish works in the peer review declare to the publishers that they have received money from Greenpeace? Here are another two of CRU’s funders.

Climate and Development Knowledge Network
“…..aims to help decision-makers in developing countries design and deliver climate compatible development……”
Earth and Life Sciences Alliance
“…..addressing the challenges of a changing climate, the Alliance not only carries out fundamental research but also applies the findings to real world scenarios…..“

Sauce for the goose, gander and all that.

February 26, 2015 8:27 am

Meanwhile, the cover story on this month’s National Geographic Magazine is the “War on Science,” a long essay by the Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach. Same old same old. Skeptics funded by Big Oil. Skepticism is a psychological problem. Blah, blah, blah.

February 26, 2015 8:29 am

all of your taxes are belong to us

Joseph Murphy
Reply to  zemlik
February 26, 2015 11:38 am

We are in your base killing your dudes!

February 26, 2015 8:57 am

Enjoyed this post, we much?

February 26, 2015 9:36 am

Sadly, the left and their acolytes in the press corps have descended further into the depths of Alinsky-ism and identified a “blasphemous 7” who must be destroyed before they testify to Congress. One of the 7 is none other than Dr. Judith Curry. Her take on the situation and various responses may be seen here:
I have copied my response to her article below.
I am troubled and sorry for you, that such an attack has been leveled at you. Please remember that this is a political tactic, plain and simple. Those of us who admire the quality of your work, your principles, and your courage will only appreciate you more during this difficult time.
Just remind yourself of Saul Alinsky and his 12 rules for radicals. In particular, numbers 3,4,5,8 and 12. Understand that a fish stinks from the head, and that our president literally taught this abhorrent methodology and proudly utilized it as a community organizer. It is no wonder then that these tactics have transformed mainstream politics, and not for the better, at a time when our fourth estate is little more than a confederacy of activist sycophantic dunces.
But also understand that because there are leaders of character and good will such as yourself, then this dreadful period in scientific and social discourse shall pass.
Thank you Dr. Curry for having the courage to stand up for a concept as simple yet powerful as intellectual integrity.”

February 26, 2015 9:39 am

Matt Briggs, co-author of the paper that seemed to have triggered the latest round of vitriol, has an interesting take on the readiness of the journalists involved to consider contrary viewpoints.

February 26, 2015 10:04 am

As a climate skeptic in Arizona, I just got too nervous waiting for the heavy hand of Congressional accountability to fall on me, so I decided to get Rep. Grijalva my financial disclosure related to climate immediately. My letter is here:
I was relieved to come clean.

Reply to  warren meyer
February 26, 2015 10:24 am

For those who haven’t seen it, Warren Meyers’ blog [in his link above] is always well worth reading.

Bob Weber
Reply to  dbstealey
February 26, 2015 11:41 am

Confirmed. Great site Warren.

Reply to  dbstealey
February 26, 2015 4:41 pm

Ah yes, let us not forget the Coyote Climate model,here in all it’s kick ass glory:

February 26, 2015 10:12 am

imagine if it were really true that the Anunnaki made us and they will return, how weird will that be ?

John Whitman
February 26, 2015 10:22 am

Thank you Russell Cook for keeping a focus on the smearing going on in the frenzied build up to the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris in December. You have given me an idea for a comparative study on smearing in the climate focused science area.
Interested in an idea to do a research project that is an internet search based comparative study of smearing campaigns by NGOs & TTs (Think Tanks) focused on climate issues .
A just to get things started here is a very preliminary short list of NGO’s & TTs to use in the proposed comparative smear study are:
Supporters of the perception that there is Settled Science & protagonists of the No Debate Position: Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists,, The Climate Reality Project
Critics of the perception that there is Settled Science & antagonists of the No Debate Position: Global Warming Policy Foundation / Cato Institute / Heartland Institute / Competitive Enterprise Institute.
It can be a sophisticated yet simple spreadsheet with clickable links to websites, notes and references.
Timing is of the essence for such a study.
Interest in this idea for a study can be made by contacting me with a click on my name in the comment header of this comment. That will take you my blog website where you can click the About area which will allow you to send me an email.

michael hart
February 26, 2015 10:33 am

I’ve often thought there ought to be a self-citation index to list the people who most like to cite themselves as literature supporting their arguments.
Sometimes it is legitimate, of course, but they could do worse than read the parody at the Annals of Improbable Research:

February 26, 2015 10:41 am

Exxon … has and likely still is directly funding junk scientists.“. That part is true, but of course the scientists in question aren’t the ones that the writer had in mind.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 26, 2015 11:03 am

What junk science do you accuse Exxon of funding?

Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 26, 2015 1:55 pm

Jonas Obfuscate, we much? The question has never been whether any scientist is funded, it is whether the funding was accompanied directly or indirectly with instructions for the scientists to knowingly falsify / fabricate data or conclusions. THAT is what Kert Davies, Ross Gelbspan, Al Gore, Naomi Oreskes, “Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action”, Desmogblog, etc have never provided to the public. What part of that wipeout is not obvious?

February 26, 2015 11:37 am

i completely agree with Epstein’s view that the fossil fuel industry, aka “big oil” has brought all the benefits making today’s life worth living. Neither has this industry to apologize, nor have scientists for working with them.
It seems almost everybody is already mentally poisoned by Big Green, to apologize for achieving great things.
Stop it. Get offensive. Kick the industry’s asses to take a stand.
Request the bigmouth greenies to go off-grid TODAY and walk the walk, fossil-fuel free.
Won’t last for long. Idiots they are.

Reply to  jaypan
February 26, 2015 1:17 pm

Exactly. This has been my comment about “Big Oil”. Try to live with out the products of oil. Leave petrol/gasoline off the list. Medicines, cloths, carpets, paints, just about anything synthetic. Food. Yes, with out fuel, how is it going to get to your supermarket, much less your table. Better yet, in the interest of saving the planet, let Big Oil unilaterally reduce production of oil by 50% and watch the world go bat crap crazy.

Jim Francisco
Reply to  jaypan
February 27, 2015 7:45 am

That is pretty much the whole story in a nutshell. Thanks jaypan

Duncan McNeil
February 26, 2015 11:38 am

As a matter of curiosity I wondered what was the outcome of the complaint to Ofcom in 2007 regarding “The Great Global Warming Swindle”. The results can be found here:
Short version:
Factual Accuracy
In conclusion Ofcom considers that it is important, in line with freedom of expression, that broadcasters are able to challenge current orthodoxy. It is self-evident that there will be strong disagreements over the ‘facts’ on an issue such as the causes of global warming – where some scientists disagree. Some may wish to challenge the evidence and the conclusions drawn from it. Channel 4, however, had the right to show this programme provided it remained within the Code and – despite certain reservations – Ofcom has determined that it did not breach Rule 2.2. On balance it did not materially mislead the audience so as to cause harm or offence.
Due impartiality
Therefore, in this case, Ofcom considers that the subject matter of Parts One to Four of the programme (i.e. the scientific theory of man-made global warming) was not a matter political or industrial controversy or a matter relating to current public policy. Having reached this view, it follows that the rules relating to the preservation of due impartiality did not apply to these parts. It is important to note that by simple virtue of the fact that one small group of people may disagree with a strongly prevailing consensus on an issue does not automatically make that issue a matter of controversy as defined in legislation and the Code and therefore a matter requiring due impartiality to be preserved.
Part 5
Rule 5.12 requires that where a major matter of current public policy of international importance like this is being considered in a programme “an appropriately wide range of significant views must be included and given due weight in each programme or in clearly linked and timely programmes.” In this part of the programme, and on this specific issue, no such wide range of views was included. Ofcom also found that the programmes referred to by Channel 4 in the cluster of programmes editorially linked to The Great Global Warming Swindle were not sufficiently timely or linked to satisfy the requirements of Rule 5.12. Nor could the requirements of due impartiality be satisfied by the general and wide ranging media output about anthropogenic global warming over recent years (including print media output) that was referred to by Channel 4 in its response
Part Five of the programme therefore breached Rules 5.11 and 5.12.

February 26, 2015 11:41 am

As usual, people who take billions in funding from interested parties accuse others of corruption because of millions from interested parties.
Hypocrisy is eternal, for ever and ever.

Reply to  Merovign
February 26, 2015 12:14 pm


Reply to  Merovign
February 26, 2015 2:34 pm

Not sure if it’s projection or the old ‘shriek-loudest-and-longest-and-hope-nobody-notices’ gambit. Of course, media gatekeepers never ask the important questions and are still on the Kool-Aid IV.

Bob Weber
February 26, 2015 11:47 am

Instant karma is coming for the warmists. What goes around comes around. Their names are going down in history as the losers they became at their own hand by their smears that are backfiring daily. They will be no forgiveness and no forgetting what they have done to untold numbers of people, as the Sun lays waste to their lunacy.

David Ball
Reply to  Bob Weber
February 27, 2015 6:55 pm

Sure hope so. If they shut down sites like this, we are all in trouble. Left AND right.

Steve Thayer
February 26, 2015 12:20 pm

I don’t understand the relevance of funding in science reports. If the science is wrong you can point out what is wrong, and there are plenty of things in any science report to take an argument with, assumptions, relevance of measurements to the issue being discussed, or of inputs to a calculation or computer model. That is what is reviewed when judging the validity of the conclusions asserted by the science reports, to discuss who funded the work is completely irrelevant and I don’t get it. Now for opinions, discussing where the person’s gravy train comes from I think it is relevant, and should be considered. If a science report contains opinions that don’t seem supported by the data in the report then I think you point to that opinion, and the data that doesn’t support that opinion, and then possibly make the accusation of bias based on the mismatch of opinions expressed and data presented. But to simply suggest a science report is junk because of who paid for it is junk science reporting.

February 26, 2015 12:24 pm

The root of the climate smear is simple. No one is talking about Pachauri. Well done.

Joel Snider
February 26, 2015 12:28 pm

“When gullible news outlets unquestioningly cite people from the same enviro-activist clique every time, failing to realize they could win Pulitzers if they turned the tables on sources of smear material”
I myself have been wondering where the hell is Lois Lane to blow this open? Sadly, I think the truth of the matter is that anyone who tried would not win a Pulitzer, but be blackballed forever.
And Lois is sleeping with Lex Luthor.

Chris Hanley
February 26, 2015 12:30 pm

“Want to see a fun circular citation in action …”.
It’s an example of the Woozle effect and its rife amongst the chattering classes.

February 26, 2015 12:51 pm

yesterday there was a report on Yahoo regarding a visit to the barrier island community of Kivalina in Alaska by a concerned Department of the Interior director Slaten bemoaning the cost of relocating the whaling community of 400 souls because the island is eroding away as a consequence of AGW they say. Does Greenpeace know that other warriors in the fight against global warming apparently think that “harpooner” is a job description in the new “sustainable” world economy? Does PETA know?

February 26, 2015 12:57 pm

Democracy Now, funded by Foundations(?) & listeners, and which airs on 1,200 stations, incl Pacifica, NPR, community/college radio stations, on public access, PBS, satellite television (DISH network: Free Speech TV and Link TV, DIRECTV: Free Speech TV and Link TV, plus on the internet, informs their “educated” audience that –
Willie Soon denies there’s CLIMATE, denies CLIMATE CHANGES:
25 Feb: VIDEO/TRANSCRIPT: Democracy Now: Climate Deniers Exposed: Top
Scientist Got Funding from ExxonMobil, Koch Brothers, Big Coal
A new investigation exposes how one of the top scientists involved in
denying climate change has failed to disclose his extensive funding
from the fossil fuel industry…
KERT DAVIES, Executive Director at Climate Investigations Center: Well,
first, to clarify, it is a Greenpeace investigation going back to 2009, when
I was there…
We knew from 2007 that he was getting money from the Charles Koch
Foundation, American Petroleum Institute and ExxonMobil…
Years go by. We got some email. Then, in the email, it showed that
there were attachments, there were contracts. We said, “Let’s see the
contracts, and let’s see the proposals.” We finally got those. And it is a
very rare window into this universe and an amazing moment, actually,
probably the most important investigation that Greenpeace has done on
climate denial…they want to keep us in the dark about climate
change, and Willie Soon is one of their ***pawns, actually. They’re using him,
and they’re using the Harvard-Smithsonian name to get that word out that
there’s misinformation-that is, that there’s no scientific consensus,
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think he should be fired?
KERT DAVIES: I’m not the judge of that…
I don’t care if he stays there or gets fired, as long as it’s transparent
and the world knows that he’s being paid by polluters.
***who are the real “pawns”, Amy & Kert?

Reply to  pat
February 26, 2015 1:32 pm

KERT DAVIES, Executive Director at Climate Investigations Center: Well,
first, to clarify, it is a Greenpeace investigation going back to 2009, when
I was there…

OK. So, Mr Kert Davies,
Who has given money to the Climate Investigations Center? How much of that money has come from Putin? How much money have you received from what organizations? What do your emails show, and who do they show you have contacted?
Oh. Right. “No contract, no foul.” No conflict of interest in your court, because you interest is destruction of the world’s economy, and you don’t care who is hurt doing that destruction. “YOU” have no sin, because you have cast the right log.

February 26, 2015 12:59 pm

This whole thing reminds me of nothing so much as a South Park episode, where they kids used a BS History Channel special as a source in their school report, and then the History Channel cited their report as further proof in another special on the same subject. I think it was Aliens at the original Pilgrim Thanksgiving.
The problem here is it isn’t a joke, it’s a cynical ploy to destroy the reputation of people who disagree and present inconvenient truths, as it were. People like Winston who haven’t learned yet that 4 fingers is actually five fingers if the Party wills it

February 26, 2015 12:59 pm

To further add, I’m afraid that these days I consider Orwell and Huxley to be raging optimists about our futures.

February 26, 2015 1:12 pm

How about an expose of some warmista “scientist” and his tie to Big Green Energy money?

February 26, 2015 3:13 pm

They report it proudly (and apply for more!). The difference is that they are paid to prove predefined results which will pass peer review through politics.

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
February 26, 2015 3:37 pm

Gawd, reads like an Adam West line in the TV Batman.

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
February 26, 2015 5:07 pm

Or, how about “paid prophets pretending to prove predefined protocol, pursuing peer-review politics”.

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
February 26, 2015 5:15 pm

That should cover the P’s…
Anyone care to tackle the Q’s?

February 26, 2015 1:26 pm
February 26, 2015 1:30 pm

I emailed the New York Times in question of their coverage this propaganda for accuracy and balance. I even received an email response from their senior editor asking that I explain the errors, no questions about the imbalance -Greenpeace as an unbiased source anyone? I laid out the lack of evidence for the $1.2 million claimed by Greenpeace let alone the $1.5 million claimed by the Climate Investigations Center which in another link on their site claims he received $1.25 million. When you add up the amounts in their document evidence it equals $125K from Southern Company and $170K from the Koch Foundation and Donors Trust and $76K from Exxon totaling $371K between 2008 and 2012.
Did I miss some large grants totaling nearly $1 million?
After laying out the details on both the sums listed in the smear propaganda and the lack accuracy or precision regarding southern Company I did not receive a reply.

February 26, 2015 1:34 pm

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
I think we are officially at step three in Ghandi’s 4 steps to success.

February 26, 2015 2:10 pm

GreenPeace has perverted a good cause.
The founder of GreenPeace, Patrick Moore, has testified to that.

Kevin Kilty
February 26, 2015 2:20 pm

Want to see a fun circular citation in action?

Al Gore does this also in his book “Earth in the Balance.” It has a superficial appearance that is better than citing yourself, but looks much worse if someone digs to find the source.

Reply to  Kevin Kilty
February 26, 2015 7:08 pm

Page number hint? I slogged through his book once, it’s really hard to read.

Ralph Kramden
February 26, 2015 2:47 pm

If I were going after the skeptics I would tread lightly. There’s an 800 pound gorilla skeptic in the room called the US Congress.

Reply to  Ralph Kramden
March 3, 2015 4:06 pm

Ralph, I wish you were correct, but I believe you are not. Actually, it is a blind and neutered 800 pound StayPuff marshmallow man that hides under the bed whenever things get tough. They huff and puff, and then blow themselves over. I don’t even know why they exist since Obama has essentially made them completely irrelevant.

February 26, 2015 4:12 pm

and Ralph absolutely every one should be writing their congressman and senators as well as arguing on the blogs. Both Republicans and Democrats share in the disgrace that the most scientifically and technologically advanced society in the history of the world has come to this. Congress and the Senate can in fact take back the out of control bureaucracy and trim their sails. Citizens should run Grijalua out of town on a rail unless he is willing to open the investigation to the financing of big green as well!

Eamon Butler
February 26, 2015 4:57 pm

What exactly did Dr. Soon Write, that they have taken issue with? Has he made any statements in his research that are in some way wrong? Would he have written anything different if the funding came from somewhere else? Will there be investigations into the many dubious studies that have been made to support the CAGW belief? Will there be law suits? What matters most is the integrity of the content, of the research.

george e. smith
Reply to  Eamon Butler
February 26, 2015 8:58 pm

Well Eamon, for one thing, he was the primary author of an excellent book titled “The Maunder Minimum, and the Variable Sun-Earth connection.”
I say primary author in that his co-author who sadly I can’t name at this point, was I believe in a sense a language editor.
Willie Soon is Korean, and in my own exchanges with him some years ago, I got the feeling he was decidedly an ESL person. So the aid of someone who could shape his words so that they look like what English readers would expect to see, and not read like a Japanese Transistor Radio Manual, was a wise move. Dr Soon is actually a quite funny guy and he knows his science. You should buy his book, and really learn what the Maunder minimum and the Maunders themselves were all about.
In addition to that and closer to the subject, Dr Soon, and Dr Sally Baliunas co-authored a paper that was a review of around 200 peer reviewed scientific papers from all around the world, in authorship and geography of their research, and that paper review demonstrates quite clearly that both the Mediaeval warm period MWP, and the little Ice age wer indeed global phenomena, and not some northern hemisphere anomaly like Michael Mann claimed in his first exposition on the Hockey Stick which he asserted was global, even though his graph is clearly labeled Northern Hemisphere.
This literature revue by Baliunas and Soon has become a text book for people studying the global climate science literature, and the trouble with it is that it is literally a 2 x 4 right between the eyes, so that only the rational thinking handicapped could possible conclude that the MWP and the LIA didn’t happen or were local freaks.
Remember it was the LIA that nearly did in the Pilgrims in those harsh winters of the early US Colonies.
Now Drs. Baliunas and Soon did not personally go through each and every paper in a critical way to independently verify the accuracy or correctness of every one of those papers, but they collated the findings in such a way as to demonstrate that the global nature of those events was inescapable.
That’s what the warmistas are upset about. They are literally trying to pooh pooh the laws of thermodynamics, as a way to push their agenda; well figuratively of course.

February 26, 2015 5:13 pm

Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:

If they had facts, they’d pound the facts, but since they have none, they pound their opponents.

Orson Olson
February 27, 2015 12:32 am

Pat Frank argues that the 1996 Telecommunications Act is the source of media bias. There are two or three problems with this theory.
First, it coincides with the advent of Fox News on cable TV, which has come to dominate cable news for many years, and has itself become a dumping ground for reporters not conforming to the Left (cf, Brit Hume, Bernard Goldberg, John Stossell, among others). Ironically, studies show FNC reporters to still be majority Democrats; a smaller percentage of political contrarianism makes enormous difference, as UCLA’s Tim Groseclose shows.
Second, if profit was the “real motive,” then they could certainly make more money by serving other underserved people, because decades of opinion research sh0ws that self-identified “conservatives” out number self-identified “liberals” by an order of 2 to 1 (roughly 40% to 20%, respectively). But they don’t.
Take the timing of the death of my own newspaper habit. I was at the University of Alabama in 1998 to ’99, during Clinton’s impeachment, helping a buddy get tenure in the history department. Because the articles of impeachment never mentioned the “sex,” yet became a witch hunt all about sex in the NYTimes/NBC, etc, fever swamps narrative and, in turn, became the conventional “wisdom” about Clinton. Because of all that – instead of the lie anyone honest and perceptive knew it to be – I not only stopped buying the Times, I stopped my lifetime of newspaper subscriptions. I never looked back. (And yes, a famous and distinguished University of Alabama US historian testified to the Congressional impeachment committee about the sacred place of “Oathmaking” in the founders eyes – the part about the President’s swearing in to see that “the laws be faithfully executed” – an oath again widely understood to be breached by Obama, at least to anyone quaint enough to care about the Rule of Law and American Constitutionalism anymore.)
Finally, this period is also when the internet took off as a news aggregator source. When it became ubiquitous, instead of a library research too, electronic internet competition eventually bled the subscribers away from the dead tree echo chamber.
Thus, Pat Frank is wrong to imagine that the 1996 Telecommunications Act is the source, and that repealing it will matter to the problem of bia. Groseclose has much deeper, more empirically grounded perspectives.

Orson Olson
February 27, 2015 12:32 am
Orson Olson
February 27, 2015 12:44 am

Perhaps others will support me on this detail, but I recall that the problem of declining newspapers profitability and declining numbers was one of the reasons the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed. Consolidation was thought to be better than no local newspapers at all.
Suburban newspapers back then did fine, using classified ads and commercial ads. It was the urban dailies that were suffering, by comparison. The model for improvement came from the successes of monopoly telephone deregulation, as well as cable-TV laws. Hence, the Act.

February 27, 2015 2:43 am

Btw, until recently the nyt owned the boston globe.

February 28, 2015 10:55 am

This is a standard tactic, attack the reputation and funding of skeptics, used relentlessly by the Warmistas. IMHO it is done as an organized and planned effort. Also, IMHO, the skeptics need to respond in kind. There ought to be a formal organization that has the purpose of public pillory and funding elimination aimed squarely at the nutty (no, stark raving mad! in many cases) pseudo-science being pushed daily from all fronts. Embarrass the hell out of the NSF would be a good place to start.
Fighting an asymmetrical battle from the weak side, and not bothering to attack in kind when attacked, needs to end.

February 28, 2015 2:30 pm

“failing to realize they could win Pulitzers”
The pulitzer committee are these same people. It’s incest all the around.

Reply to  Zefal (@zefalafez)
February 28, 2015 2:32 pm

all the way around

Eugene WR Gallun
March 1, 2015 8:39 am

Greenpeace is all about self-promotion. Everything it does is advertisement designed to generate more “income”. Advertisement is the only product it produces. When you strip that away there is nothing underneath.
Politicians, whose business is also self-promotion, recognize Greenpeace as an advertising firm who services they can buy with government money. An organization such as Greenpeace is a natural for politicians to court. From their point of view (not the public’s) it is highly cost effective.
Of course, Greenpeace has a war budget used against those who are a threat to its income. Even castles built in clouds must be defended.
Eugene WR Gallun

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