Journalistic Failure: Revkin on Watts/Peterson

Guest Opinion by Kip Hansen


It pains me to write this opinion piece. As long-term readers here know, I have often defended Andy Revkin, ex-NY Times Environmental Journalist turned NY Times Opinion Section Environmental Columnist, here at WUWT, opening myself to attacks ranging from childish to vicious, and occasionally childishly vicious. Of course, when I comment at Revkin’s NY Times’ Opinion section blog, Dot Earth, whether supporting him or criticizing him, I am similarly attacked by soldiers on one side or the other of the Climate Wars.

Revkin recently committed what I consider a public journalistic offense, on his Dot Earth blog, which I had hoped to help him see in a different, more complete and fairer light, through private emails and by an advanced copy of this opinion essay sent to him yesterday (13 June). That effort failed and, in replies to my emails (in which he neither granted nor denied permission to publish, though explicitly asked), he has informed me of his reasoning and justifications (see the Postscript if that’s all you care to read). Truthfully, what Revkin says only makes his offense worse, in my opinion.


NB: This opinion piece is about journalism, lack of, not climate science or the other issues involved in the Watts/Peterson affair.

Andy Revkin, NY Times opinion section columnist, the author and host of the NY Times environment opinion blog Dot Earth, covered the Watts/McKibben meet recently in this in his piece:

A Climate Campaigner (Bill McKibben) and Climate Change Critic (Anthony Watts) Meet in a Bar….

to which I left the following comment:

“….Kudos to Andy for this — and for today’s title identifying McKibben as a “Climate Campaigner” and Anthony Watts as a “Climate Change Critic”.


The most interesting thing is that these two men are thought of as exemplars of the furthest reaches of opposing views on the climate change — yet in reality are clear thinking, reasonable men who simply disagree about a subject fraught with scientific uncertainty.

My thanks to Andy for highlighting this little get together, which should, in a rational world, be an everyday occurrence as colleagues in a shared scientific field meet and chat about their personal views.”

I still hold that opinion.

Revkin then disappoints, adding the following update at the top of the column:

“Update, June, 9, 8:51 p.m. | Having been on the run overseas since the weekend, I’m only now catching up with Anthony Watts’s attack on Tom Peterson, one of the authors of a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate paper. The exchange, in which Watts accuses Peterson of prostituting himself and hints at fraud, occurred just before* he’d posted on his friendly meeting with climate campaigner Bill McKibben, described below.

Here’s my reaction:

Any notion that Watts is interested in fostering an atmosphere of civility and constructive discourse evaporates pretty quickly in considering how he handled his questions about that paper. Alternating between happy talk about rooftop solar and slanderous accusations is not constructive or civil.”

Challenged by readers, including myself, in comments, the only reply Revkin gives, to another commenter, is:

Andrew Revkin

Dot Earth blogger 12 hours ago

”I felt it was important to convey the “full Anthony Watts.””

In my opinion, Revkin has utterly failed in his duty as a journalist – the duty to find the facts and the context and report them without injecting personal or political bias.

He failed to discover the obvious fact that Watts had not attacked Peterson – Watts had sent a personal email to Peterson at his official government email address, stating a change in his [Watts’] personal opinion about Peterson’s scientific ethics. It was a harsh personal opinion, but it was personal, man-to-man, between men who should be colleagues and who have been communicating with one another on a one-to-one basis for years.

It is Peterson, a government employee, a government official, listed at as “Principal Scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.”, who turns this exchange of official government email into a public matter. How? By sending a copy of his government email to a tabloid-like slander-slinging climate-wars website in Australia – a site with known and repeated antagonism to Watts and bending-over-backwards loving-kindness for all things and persons in agreement with the IPCC Climate Consensus. [This is my personal opinion of the website in question, based on repeated reading of content there. WUWT is not responsible for my opinion in this matter.]

What Watts did not do: He did not publish his personal opinion publicly – despite being the editor and owner of the world’s most viewed website on climate (by orders of magnitude). He did not write a joe-romm-ish 1,500 word screed and send it to the tabloid press. That action would have been a public attack. He did not do that. There was no public attack.

The Questions that would have been asked by a True Journalist:

What? Answer: A personal communication between a citizen and a government official at NOAA, in which the citizen expresses a harsh personal opinion about his loss of trust in the public official’s work product and/or personal professional ethics, that has morphed in the blogosphere into an “attack on Peterson by Watts”.

Who? Answer: Anthony Watts, proprietor of the world’s most viewed website in climate matters and Thomas Peterson, as “Principal Scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.”.

When? Answer: The original email exchange took place approx. 5 June. Thomas Peterson copied the email exchange with Watts from his official NOAA NCDC email account to a tabloid-like climate website in Australia on June 6, 2015 at 6:04 PM.

Why? Answer: Peterson’s real purpose in doing so is known only to him. But in his comment accompanying the copied email exchange he states “Dear Sou et al., I thought you might find an email exchange I had yesterday with Anthony Watts interesting.”

Does it bleed? Answer: [This flip question is ‘sorta’ what journalists ask themselves to see if there will be relevant public interest in the event.] Yes. US Government Official copies work-related email exchange to foreign web-based tabloid press, suspected of doing so for personal/political advantage in the Climate Wars.

Do we see these answers in Revkin’s journalistic effort? No, nothing in his published work product on this affair reflects that he even considered the context or the facts – other than the one-sided spin in the web-tabloid. Nothing in his response to criticism on his blog (where he gives only the one reply above) indicates that he even noticed that it was Peterson himself that turned a private communication into a “public attack” (although he knows Peterson made the email public) or that Peterson’s copying work-related government email to the foreign web-based tabloid press might be a violation of NOAA regulations or an government employee ethics offense. Or that it is extremely unprofessional at the very least.

In fact, it appears that Revkin’s only involvement with the issue has been to band-wagon on the politically-motivated Climate Wars blogosphere outcry – without reviewing the facts at all.

As of 11;25 AM today, I have had no response from Revkin to my comments on Dot Earth or to personal email to him requesting that he take another look at the affair.

I know that Revkin is over-committed time wise – holding what for most people would be at least two full-time jobs. Maybe he has been too busy to look more closely at the issue. If so, he should not have said anything until he took the time to review the affair properly in its entirety.

I invite him to do this review now and respond here at WUWT. (Or, if he wishes, he knows my email address and can comment fully to me off-the-record, with portions marked “OK for publication”, which he knows I will honor.)

I look forward to seeing a revision of his Dot Earth comments here or at Dot Earth.

# # # # #


I have received two replies from Mr. Revkin, which I do not have explicit permission to publish. Thus, rather than simply inserting them here, I will pull three fair-use quotes from them, which contain the essence of his reasoning and justification.

The first two quotes are from Mr. Revkin’s emailed response to an advance-of-publication copy of the above essay. In that response, the quotes are presented already as quotes, probably from his response to Anthony:

“What was notable was the contrast between your [Watts’] approach to Bill and to Peterson. I couldn’t justify the tone in what I wrote about your Chico meeting without an addendum reflecting what transpired here.”

“Suggestions of scientific fraud or prostitution, even in a personal email, are different (particularly given your policy about considering such missives ‘fair game for publishing,’ one presumes you figured this might end up public).”

My response to the above, though a great deal longer, can be summarized in this one extracted sentence: “Your reasoning is specious at best, even for a private citizen — as a journalist, they cut no ice at all.   There is no journalism in that.”

The second is more damning, and came as a reply from Revkin to my response just above:

“Don’t take this wrong, but I really do have more important things to do than dig in further on this.”

What happened to the World Class Journalist Andrew Revkin? Has he hung up journalist spurs? placed his shiny Journalist Star in a shadow box and hung it on the wall? permanently shelved his pocket-copy of the Journalists’ Code of Ethics? Can it really be that he is simply too busy to do a proper journalist’s job?

Or has he traded all that in for the more-or-less anything goes rules of the Opinion Columnist?

Or has become just another echo-chamber partisan gunslinger on the Climate Team’s side of the Climate Wars, taking quick-draw cheap shots at those who others point out to him as opponents? unconcerned if he shoots down the wrong guy in any given shoot-out, too busy to check his aim.

Maybe this is what has become of the majority of science journalists …. They are all simply too busy to do their real jobs. What a sad sad day.

# # # # #

Note from Anthony:

Kip Hansen wrote this essay unsolicited. While I admit I used harsh words, probably the harshest I’ve ever used, I too was surprised that Dr. Tom Peterson chose to immediately send the email to the slimiest of outlets Sou aka “hotwhopper”, run by a person dedicated to denigration, who has not the integrity to use her own name: Miriam Obrien. While I regret that I didn’t choose my words better, I have no change in my opinion [after the NYT incident] on NCDC after what they did with Karl et al. 2015.  And apparently, according to insiders, there was an internal fight at NCDC over the publication of Karl et al. 2015. I offered this backstory to Revkin, but he was uninterested.

Sadly, it speaks to the integrity of both Dr. Peterson and Andy Revkin that they consider this form of “journalism” acceptable.


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I’ve long defended Andy Revkin’s curiosity and intellectual integrity, if for no other reason than him allowing me a forum @ DotEarth during 2008. There are other reasons, though.
Now, I’ll read your article and comment again soon.

Louis Hooffstetter

Many of us here have enjoyed Andy Revkin’s articles ad op-eds, in which he at least seemed to make an attempt to be fair. It’s sad to see him make such a basic, freshman Journalism 101 blunder. If it was done by mistake, shame on him; he knows better. If it was intentional, then shame on him even more! He’s morphed into a jellyfish – with no spine and no cojones.
Andy: if the New York Slimes is putting pressure on you, grow a spine and a pair. Resign from that propaganda rag / poor excuse for toilet paper. You’re good; you could easily get a job as a real journalist. Do it while you still have some integrity.

Scott Basinger

He likely knows what is politically at stake. Balls in, so to speak, you get to see the man’s true colours.


His bosses go to secret meetings where they discuss world affairs with other very rich and powerful people and then they tell their staff what to think. The latest meeting of this sort happened this weekend.
The Paris meeting about controlling the world’s energy markets has to be based on ‘global warming is going to kill us all’ in order to operate properly as a tool.
No one working for these people will tell the truth about any science issues.


His reaction when the issue was pointed out to him, demonstrate that it was unlikely to be an error on his part.

Reply to Louis Hooffstetter, Scott Basinger, emsnews ==> Anyone familiar with Revkin’s writing and speaking over the years recognizes that he is much too self-confident — almost to the point of hubris — in his own opinions and insight, often referring to his own past columns as if they were confirming expert opinion, to be influenced by his “employers” [Revkin is not strictly an employee of the NY Times — he is a “contracted opinion section columnist” and accountable only to the NY Times Style Guide police — not to the Editorial Board or a news desk editor.]

Clearly the CAGW camp is panicking


Indeed. That is exactly what this incident shows us. It is just a matter of time, now.


Heh, ask Andy if he’d like to convey ‘the full Sou’. Ah, balance.


The picture is who?


That’s Andy, probably a decade ago.

David A

Here is Andy all dolled up a couple of years ago…
[ ]

Reply to Gamecock ==> The picture is a snippet out of Mr. Revkin’s image on his public Twitter page. On the original image, he is smiling in admiration at a younger Pete Seeger, to whom he was both a friend and occasional accompanist.

Journalism, so-called, was long ago corrupted. More worrisome is the corruption of NOAA and NASA, many but not all of whose organs are now less trustworthy even than government economic “statistics”.

Stephen Richards

Absolutely, It will be difficult for science ever to recover from this outrageous scam after it has collapsed. That is not to say that it’s collapse is close.

Wow. I’ve always figured that Andy Revkin an intelligent and thoughtful person who sometimes comes up with the right conclusion and sometimes comes up with the wrong one, but having a reasonable sense of fairness.
To see him passing Anthony’s Email to Miriam Obrien says that I really, really misunderstood Revkin. Oh well, his influence has been dropping with every year the climate doesn’t keep up with the models.


Nope, Peterson sent it to Sou. Now, I’m paying this guy. Can I fire him for associating in this manner with the likes of Sou?

Reply to Ric W ==> Your comment made me re-read my essay to see if somehow I had scrambled some sentences, but I can’t see how you got the idea that it was Revkin that forwarded the emails to the tabloid.
Kim is right, of course — it was Tom Peterson who forwarded his government work email to a foreign web-based tabloid.

Yeah, sorry, you were quite clear, I guess I read things too quickly and started jumbling all the implausible twists in the narrative. Clearly I need to spend more time watching reality TV.
Anthony’s note “there was an internal fight at NCDC over the publication of Karl et al. 2015” actually makes more sense than anything else I’ve read involving Karl et al.


Here is a big story, which just may leak even if unexamined.

Thank you, Kip, for writing this. Those supporting the alarmist Cause have fallen far and seem to just get worse. Something’s got to give.


It’s also telling that Science went ahead and published Karl et al., presumably after rigorous (ahem) review. Shame on the editors. It’s Potemkin villages all the way down.


Kip Hansen, have you not read the climategate emails? Sorry, but your own ignorance is showing. Revkin has been partisan cheerleader and a player behind the scenes for years. He is an activist, who happens to have a job in journalism.

Yes, Climategate! The blog founded on the publication private correspondence of the Climate Research Unit, more than 1000 emails, complains about the publication of one email.
It complains about an email send to a public official that is regularly send FOIA requests for his emails, which could also contain the email Mr Watts send.
It complains shortly after Roger Pielke Sr. publishing private emails of Gavin Schmidt here on WUWT.
In this complaint it publishes parts of the email of Revkin without asking for permission.


Hey, you, do you like Sou?


Hey, VV, be useful and defend Karl et al.

Victor Venema

The blog founded on the publication private correspondence of the Climate Research Unit, more than 1000 emails, complains about the publication of one email.

Founded on the publication of the official government-paid emails segregated and subsequently released by an insider who selected only those emails from an English laboratory to prevent their discovery by Freedom of Information requests? Nope. This website was not founded by those emails, nor was ever predicated on the discovery of those emails by others. You have been fed lies in the past, and are repeating lies and exaggerations now.


Better yet, Victor, answer the questions Pielke Pere asked of Schmidt in that posting. The questions are vital, and unanswered. They are not going away, so take your time.

Sill defending the undefensible Victor? Ach de schoorsteen moet ook roken in huize Venema.

If you’ve ever worked for the government, you’ll know that emails sent on work computers are not private. Every key stroke is recorded.
Had Hadley Centre complied with valid FOI requests, the “leak” wouldn’t have been needed.
Instead, anti-scientist Jones did not want any real scientists finding things wrong with his “data”.


This web site had been around for years prior to the release of the climategate e-mails.
This web site had nothing to do with the release of the climategate e-mails. It just covered the release as did thousands of others.
The idea that this web site was founded on the release of the climategate e-mails is the kind of sloppy hate mongering that we have come to expect from the climate catastrophist crowd.

Gary Pearse

Victor Venema, I believe WUWT was founded 3 years before climategate and had already won Best Science Blog on the internet a year before climategate. Shame on you for being an apologist for such egregious behavior on the part of climatologists who deliberately have blackballed editors and had others dismissed for publishing scientific papers that don’t support the cooked science of the world government campaigners and other fraudulent activities like erasing the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period to get rid of natural variability.
Anthony Watts is the kind of guy who should get a Nobel Prize for his work. He is like the biologists trying to save the Nile crocodile who have to cope with nearly getting their heads bitten off by beneficiaries like you who don’t know what’s at risk in this game.

Reg Nelson

The Climategate emails were all sent from publicly funded email servers and domains — tax payer funded institutions. They were not private, which was why they were subject to FOIA requests, which also why they conspired to delete them.


Climategate emails were taken without permission…. that means stolen. The fact they were government agencies makes not the slightest bit of difference.


I always get a laugh out of this “logic”…
“Climategate emails were ‘stolen’, thus nothing revealed by them counts”.
Reality isn’t a court of law with stupid rules about evidence gathering.

It is incorrect that WUWT was founded on the release of the FOIAed emails from the CRU, but it does once again reinforce the concept that you should always assume anything you write will be published. Choose your words carefully, so that what you say is really what you mean.


If people are sending emails over public institution or private entity accounts, then they are not private, regardless of the content. In either instance they are the property of the owner of the network. In the first instance that owner is ultimately the taxpayer.

David A

Indeed you may be right. Kip said this..”I have often defended Andy Revkin, ex-NY Times Environmental Journalist turned NY Times Opinion Section Environmental Columnist, here at WUWT, opening myself to attacks ranging from childish to vicious, and occasionally childishly vicious.”
Kip, is it possible that some of the comments were also educational, and would have given you a perhaps more balanced view of possible Revkin biases, manifesting in is behavior in this episode?


That is, we all tried to warn him. He thought Revkin was honest.


David, let’s be frank. Some commenters do actually fall into both the childish and vicious categories. We have a good fraction of calm, reasoned responses, but this is the internet.

George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

I have long given up on the New York Times. Just yesterday, they published another ad nauseum story about the Pope’s efforts on climate change and how his efforts will help the poor. I posted a comment suggesting His Holiness foster the development of cheap energy for the poor citing Huber & Mills, 2005 book, “The bottomless Well:, NYC, Basic Books, which demonstrated that GDP and overall well-being improves with availability of cheap energy. Did the NY Times post my comment. NO.
That, folks, is censorship and that’s what the MSM practices.


Francis is tragically wrong in this matter. Oh, well, he’s got to face up to it someday.


He fails to see the greatest evil extant in the land, and it’s right before his eyes. If there is a God in Heaven……


As I’ve said before – IF Pope Francis endorses AGW then it becomes a matter of religion not science. But we knew this already.

He’s of the Catholic Church…they know how to scare people and collect money.

Chris Hanley

“Francis is tragically wrong in this matter. Oh, well, he’s got to face up to it someday …”
Is the Pope catoptric?


Pope Francis doesn’t know squat about science. So who pays attention to his squawking?


Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it, and apparently the Catholic Church has forgotten the most famous time they backed the wrong scientific theory. A bit of ‘settled science’ as well, if I remember it right.

Jimmy Haigh

Greenery, like all religions, is never happier than when its followers are at their most miserable.

Reply to Jimmy Haigh ==> My religion is happiest when people are happiest — possibly you’ve been looking in the wrong places?

Reply to Dr. Klein ==> The NY Times’ comment moderation is mostly automatic — there is seldom actually a moderator there that posts your comments (or fails to post them). Their commenting code is iffy at best — I have been round and round with some of their tech people over the last couple of years — and it appears intractable. WordPress does a much better job, but does fewer things.
Save a local copy of your comment before hitting the “Post” button — if it fails to appear after a reasonable amount to time, check your comment to make sure that you haven’t accidentally used any forbidden words, then try to post it again. (This applies only to the usual comment sections — not the Editorial or Opinion pages.)


And the list of ‘forbidden words’ is long indeed and grows longer as time passes. This filter reminds me of the Soviet Union and how it processed information for the public.

Reply to emsnews ==> Do you have a link to the NY Times “forbidden words” list?
I would be interested in the details — we all know the obvious suspects: all the various formation of the F-word, the sh–word, the usual profanities, suggestions that persons perform unlikely sexual acts, etc.

Green Sand

Another requiem to the once ubiquitous mantra?


I don’t know Andy Revkin, nor his work, but I do know from the Clmategate emails that he was regarded by the climate scientists, Mann in particular, as a glove puppet for them to feed their views through. He may be a journalist of the highest integrity but Mann, a scientist who will undoubtedly go down in history, assumed he was their “bitch”. (I think the “glove puppet” is much nicer than “bitch” but use both to overcome any US/UK cultural differences).


I thought for sure the threat to ‘cut him off’ would insult his integrity enough to get him to reconsider. I haven’t much read him for years, but I do think he’s a little more skeptical of the ‘revealed truth’ from climate scientists than he was before.
He trusts too many of the manipulative, disinformative sources. I don’t know how to fix that.

Reply to geronimo ==> Actually the Climategaters were upset with Revkin and threatened amongst themselves to cut Revkin off [refuse to give him access to interviews, refuse to share their insight as experts, refuse to send him advanced copies of papers] because Revkin didn’t always toe the party-
line, actually fact-checked things — ClimateGaters called him “unreliable”. He was a journalist on the NY Times’ Environment Desk — shifted to the Opinion Section in 2010, with the Dot Earth blog.

M Courtney

Revkin was never “cut off”. He always put the party line before the truth.
People like Revkin and Harrabin know they are liars. In this case, he knows that the private words of our host were leaked by Petersen and yet pretends that they were published by our host.
He knows he is lying. He does it a lot. He has never been an honest journalist.
And his epitaph will read, “Revkin, propagandist and deceiver”.

M Courtney,
Right on target.

Reply to M Courtney and dbstealey ==> It is correct that the Climate Team did not, in the end, “cut Revkin off” — they couldn’t, he occupied a bully pulpit too high and visible and useful to them.
The rest of your opinions I see as naive, unjustified vilification of an ideological opponent — one of the sick aspects of the Climate Wars.


Hansen: only a corrupt person would refuse to tell his readers that Anthony’s criticism was in a personal email, and Peterson made it public. The possibility that it was originally a journalistic oversight is no longer a consideration since he chose not to correct the record.
I have often advise others that everyone makes mistakes; it’s what you do afterward that shows your character. Not fully explaining the email was a mistake. Now you are seeing his character, and it’s not pretty nor worthy of respect.

M Courtney

Kip Hansen, it is one thing to be wrong. It can make you a liar but no-one holds a grudge for that. Accidents happen.
But Revkin, like Harrabin, is a knowing liar. He seeks to corrupt people with his deceits. He is an enemy of truth because he doesn’t care about the truth. He would rather a thousand people are in error if just one more supports his beliefs and his agenda. Propagandists throughout the ages have acted like him in order to preserve the power of their party. And they always eventually corrupt their own party too.
Revkin will be remembered, if at all, as an example of corruption.

Eugene WR Gallun

Geronimo — enjoyably said. — Eugene WR Gallun

This is another journalistic breach of ethics on activist Revkin’s part, but no surprise given the many Climategate emails displaying the same:

Nick Stokes

“This is another journalistic breach of ethics on activist Revkin’s part, but no surprise given the many Climategate emails displaying the same:”
Climategate emails? An odd thing to invoke in deploring disrespect of the privacy of communications to a climate scientist.

[snip – personal attack, subsequent comments quoting this one have been removed – Anthony]

Reply to dbstealey ==> While Revkin has over the last few years taken on the mantle of a True Believer — possibly blindered by the glorious Noble Cause — I do not believe he is himself corrupt (other than with Noble Cause Corruption).


Maybe I’m viewing this from an odd angle but to me the important matter isn’t whether Peterson had a right to post the e-mail or not. Once you’ve sent something like that to another person it becomes their prerogative what to do with it. (Unless you and they have a previously established confidentiality agreement) what make this one crazy is that THEY published it, then try to claim it’s a public attack.
It’s like if I went to a manager at a movie theater and told him I thought his popcorn machine was burning the popcorn, who then went into the crowded theater and yelled ‘SCHITZREE SAYS FIRE’ and then tries to blame me for the panic.


Nick Stokes, I’ve searched high and low for comments from you denouncing Peter Gleick’s behavior in the unauthorized distribution of documents from The Heartland Institute but have come up dry. I’ve only been able to find comments from you defending Gleick. Be a dear and show me the many post you made deploring the disrespect of privacy in that instance.


You won’t get any satisfaction from Nick Stokes, MichaelS. Nick Stokes is an unrepentant partisan and hack. Fairness doesn’t exist in his world of damnable denial.

MichaelS and RockyRoad,
I’m in agreement with what both of you wrote. Yes, Nick Stokes is a partisan. But it would have been infinitely better if Peterson/Revkin has decided to send Anthony’s letter to Stokes instead. But they didn’t, because they knew the most damaging blog for Anthony was Hotwhopper.
It was deliberate, underhanded, and calculated to cause the most damage. That makes Revking more of a propagandist than a journalist. As for Peterson, he’s very unhappy that the planet isn’t doing what he wants it to, so he’s taking it out on Anthony. Neither Revkin nor Peterson are stand-up guys, IMHO.

Reply to this thread ==> Let me clarify once again: Revkin had absolutely nothing to do with the sending of Watts’ communication with Peterson to the Australian web-based climate-wars tabloid. He was traveling. The affair probably came to his attention via an email alert to him (likely from a climate wars soldier upset with his “nice” column about McKibben/Watts) or through the Twitty feed.
It appears (unconfirmed) that he quickly read the Australian tabloid account and fired off a quick extremely negative (and unjustified, unexamined) comment at the top of the McKibben/Watts column, basically accepting the tabloid spin as the “important truth” of the story. [Thus, after attempts to help him clarify have failed, this essay.]


Are you that naive or simply trying to deceive people? If climate scientists want to engage in private communication by email then they should get a private email account. Lots of people do this. Running this tired and untrue storyline about “private” emails when the emails in question were composed and sent over publicly funded, work place networks is unbecoming.
You could argue that the act of obtaining the emails was illegal. Particularly if they were hacked. However that has never been proven.

D.J. Hawkins

I’m not so sure that one is free to republish another’s e-mails to oneself. I would think they are “letters”, and as such remain the property of the sender. Were you and I faithful correspondents over the years, concerning topics of general public interest, neither one of us could edit those letters into a published volume without the other’s express consent. Probably in triplicate.


There is no such thing as bad publicity… least WUWT got mentioned in the NYT

old construction worker

What did I tell you a few months ago. The alarmist crowd want a open discussion then stab you in the back.
Be prepared for more back stabbing as argument for Co2 induced global warming falls apart.

M Seward

Warmists are pack/herd animals. They can only wander so far from the herd boaundary before panic sets in and they have to run back to the safety of the mob.
Sadly it seems Andy Revkin was never more than one of the herd.


Most Warmists sport a Progressive ideology, which comes from their roots as Facists/Communists. And those people never considered it worthwhile to listen to their enemies–no, they’d rather have them killed instead. So goes the Climate War.


Note to self:
Choose your words carefully, ‘specially when spoken in anger, and near the point of burn-out.
This is looking like its gonna be a marathon not a sprint.
Save whatever energy you might have left, cus you’re gonna need it.
Have some fun.

When we “published” private mails in which Santer said he would like to beat skeptics up, no skeptic complained about journalists commenting on these mails. Mann privately attacked mcIntyre in mails
they were made public.
Peterson made Anthony’s private Attack a Public attack.
Clmategate made Mann’s private attack a public one.
Revkin did his job.
If you wanna say something nasty.. do it in public because there is no privacy


Steven Mosher
June 14, 2015 at 4:01 pm
“Revkin did his job.”
Which entails what, exactly ?

Revkin did his job.
I guess Mosh means it’s Peterson’s/Revkin’s job to make sure the communication got to the slimiest blog in the climate world.


DB… and how do you know Hotwopper is so slimy? Don’t tell me you read it? For the record there is a whole lot of ranting hate stuff goes on here too DB. If you don’t believe me read your last post…..
“This wouldn’t have been nearly so nasty on Revkin’s part, if M. O’Brien wasn’t involved. IMHO she is a mentally disturbed individual. Of all the blogs they could have gotten involved, hers is the one that should have been totally avoided. O’Brien is a real hater, and no doubt this was red meat to her.”
And yes I go there too. Like I have said in the past, you need to read a range of stuff to make an informed opinion. And coz I know you will want to hear it….My opinion of HW is she is one very, very clever lady who sadly lets her desire to beat up AW get in the way a bit. Still, it’s entertaining and informative.

Yes, I’ve read Hotwhopper a couple of times. That’s how I know. Since you asked.
There is zero comparison between WUWT and her slimy blog.
There is NO comparison.
And I get my range of opinions from other alarmist blogs. I don’t need Miz O’Brien’s brand of hatred. If you like that sort of thing it says a lot about you, doesn’t it?
O’Brien should be sending Anthony Watts a bouquet of flowers, instead of hating on him every day. Before the ‘hotwhopper’ articles here, her blog was a thinly-trafficked backwater entirely populated by a small handful of malcontents. Now it’s a much bigger backwater populated mostly by malcontents. In my view you’re a loser if you like that sort of 24/7 hatred.


DB….. you have this uncanny knack of proving my point.


Simon, please don’t confuse slime/hate with truth. You seem to have an ideological misconception that the end (in the case of HotWhopper) justifies the means.
Only in your warped sensibility is that the case, and of course you are wrong. Or do you still fall for the notion that mankind controls the earth’s climate?
Earth is demonstrably not cooperating.


dbstealey and simon
dbstealey wrote

O’Brien should be sending Anthony Watts a bouquet of flowers, instead of hating on him every day. Before the ‘hotwhopper’ articles here, her blog was a thinly-trafficked backwater entirely populated by a small handful of malcontents. Now it’s a much bigger backwater populated mostly by malcontents. In my view you’re a loser if you like that sort of 24/7 hatred.

to which simon replied

DB….. you have this uncanny knack of proving my point.

It is good to see the two of you agreeing something so obviously true.

To Simon~ I guess your point, then, is that DB Honestly portrays the HW site. I quite agree with the assessment, as does any reasonable, Thinking person.


There are plenty of places to get a wide range of the climate debate spectrum. HW is not one of them. Unless your particular passion is swiming in muck.

Pat Frank

Rather, Peterson transformed Anthony’s private critical opinion into a manufactured public attack. Rather a different transformation, that; from personal to propaganda.
The difference between revealing Anthony’s private email and revealing the Climategate emails is the difference between publicly gossiping about a domestic quarrel, and publicizing hidden criminal activity, respectively.

Pat Frank,
The same thing happened to me last year. A neighbor whom I had never met got on our Yahoogroups round-robin email system and tried to stir up trouble for a restaurant that she had bought a house next to. The restaurant’s owners were sincerely trying to help the neighbor resolve her complaints. They spent a lot of money painting, putting in video cameras, adding help to clean up twice a day, etc.
The neighbor lady posted a letter to everyone, saying she would never be satisfied with them. So I sent her a private email, and asked her to keep it between the two of us. It was part trying to be the peacemaker, and part reminding her the restaurant had been there for many years before she bought here house there. It was about like the tone in Anthony’s letter.
She promptly posted it on Yahoogroups for everyone to read, and she added lots of highly critical comments. (It backfired on her because she left the part in where I asked her to keep it between the two of us.) But I know how Anthony must feel. I think “backstabbed” is the proper term.
No matter what Revkin and Peterson say now, they can’t fix what they did. They deliberately stuck it to Anthony, and in the worst possible way. They didn’t send it to realclimate, or to Nick Stokes blog. Instead, they sent it to Hotwhopper. That was low down and dirty.

Pat Frank

dbstealy, my sympathies. 🙂 We never know it’s a mine field until we step into it, do we. I’ve had similar experiences. The eccentricities of the human condition, and all that.
On topic, we can’t know Peterson’s intent, or Revkin’s, but we do know that Hotwopper was a most peculiar choice and Revkin’s decision to make the exchange much more widely public was deliberate. Attempted defamation is a defensible inference, even if not provable.


Well, Andy called Anthony’s accusations slanderous, and I’ll bet they’re not. If not, then that would make Andy the slanderer. He should know better than to spout off like that without ‘digging into it’ a little more.

Ray Boorman

DB & Pat, it would be good if you re-read the article by Kip, or maybe actually read the comments. Then you may notice that Revkin had NOTHING to do with sending the email to hotwhopper. You comment a lot but lose respect from the rest of us here when you display your lack of comprehension of the facts.

Ray Boorman says:
… you may notice that Revkin had NOTHING to do with sending the email to hotwhopper.
I respectfully disagree. Revkin is a journalist, and he knows Peterson pretty well. Is there any doubt in your mind that they got their heads together, and came up with an action plan? Is there any doubt that Revkin understood what Peterson was planning to do with Anthony’s letter? Journalists ask questions. It’s what they do.
I think Revkin wass in on the whole thing from the beginning, and he knew what Peterson was planning. As Pat Frank points out, Peterson transformed Anthony’s private critical opinion into a manufactured public attack. It was deliberate. And of all the blogs to send it to, they decided on Hotwhopper. Miriam O’Brien is a real hater, and she’s fixated on Anthony and WUWT. From their perspective they could not have chosen a more damaging venue. And the Peterson/Revkin team did it without notifying Anthony. Is that OK with you?

Pat Frank

Ray Boorman, read again. Nowhere did I write that Revkin sent Anthony’s email to Hotwopper. Your criticism is without substance.

Reply to dbstealey ==> Your insistence that globe-trotting Revkin somehow conspires with Tom Peterson of the NCDC about Peterson’s ill-conceived act of sending an email government-email exchange to Obrien in Australia is patently ridiculous.
The Watts/Peterson email exchange took place 5 June — Peterson posted copies to Obrien on June 6, 2015 at 6:04 PM stating himself that this was “16 hours” later. Revkin broadcasts his Watts/McKibben post at 3 PM on 7 June enroute to Seoul, Korea to attend the World Conference of Science Journalists which begins the next day. Sometime just prior to June, 9, 8:51 p.m. Revkin catches word (Twitty, email?) about the Australian web-tabloid posting from Peterson, and adds an Update to his Watts/McKibben column.
The time line does not support the posited conspiracy.


I think you are reading far too much into Revkin’s action and role. Stick to the facts. Your belief he played a role in the choice of HW is speculation.


I think you are reading far too much into Revkin’s action and role. Stick to the facts. Your belief he played a role in the choice of HW is speculation.

I’d say it’s paranoid speculation, at that. There is absolutely no evidence these people conspired on how to spin this. As Kip Hansen points out, the timeline doesn’t support the idea either.
This is the sort of thing which makes it seem like Stephan Lewandowsky has a point.

Ray Boorman

Pat, you are right & I apologise for including you in my comment about dbstealey. Sorry.


I love the way the warmistas swarm on a false story in order to protect their own.
Revkin claimed that Anthony made a public attack.
As you acknowledge it was Peterson who made the e-mails public.
Do you really believe that lying is part of a journalists job?

Reply to Mosher ==> You have this exactly backwards. A gentleman, when he has a beef with someone, goes to him first privately, states his case and tries to work it out man-to-man. He does not first go to the tabloids or deliver a scathing public rebuke.
Pretending that the whole world should operate on the rules used by schoolyard bullies — tit-for-tat, “Jimmy said something awful about Sally so we all ganged up and called him names” — is simple childishness, not proper or ethical behavior.


Grow up. You are dealing with charlatans, whose livelihoods depend on fraud and deception. It’s beyond naive to expect anything else from those people.

Huh.. well. No
Revkin did his job/


Steven Mosher June 15, 2015 at 6:21 pm
Revkin did his job/

You think it’s Revkin’s job to lie and claim that a private attack was a public attack? You think it’s Revkin’s job to claim that a private attack was somehow slanderous? Private communications, by definition, can’t be slanderous (and, btw, written defamation is libel – not slander).
Or are you saying that you think it’s Revkin’s job to lie?

-1000 Mosh. Sometimes you have great comments and I even enjoy your drive-bys. But clearly one of your teams must be losing …. Hockey, basketball, horses, climate ??????


Actually, Steven Mosher, the onus is on Mr. Peterson as a federal government employee. He is governed by the Privacy Act of 1974. Mr. Watts is a private US citizen. Mr. Peterson, on the other hand is subject to The Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, and held to a different standard. From

The Privacy Act of 1974, Public Law 93-579, was created in response to concerns about how the creation and use of computerized databases might impact individuals’ privacy rights. It safeguards privacy through creating four procedural and substantive rights in personal data. First, it requires government agencies to show an individual any records kept on him or her. Second, it requires agencies to follow certain principles, called “fair information practices,” when gathering and handling personal data. Third, it places restrictions on how agencies can share an individual’s data with other people and agencies. Fourth and finally, it lets individuals sue the government for violating its provisions.

But the kicker is NOAA’s own privacy page:

Office of the Chief Information Officer & High Performance Computing and Communications
NOAA Privacy Web page
Federal agencies are required by law to protect information about individuals (members of the public, Federal employees and contractors) which they may collect, disseminate and/or store.

Mr. Peterson was required by law, and by his agency, to get Mr. Watts’ permission before engaging in revenge porn, no matter how slighted he felt or how overly harsh he felt Mr. Watts was.
Mr. Revkin should know this. They teach it in the first few days of J School along with a quickie libel course, or they used to.

MRW’s explanation page is here. It includes the Penalties for Violating the Act.


Oh, and another thing: The Privacy Act of 1974 guarantees that a citizen or legal resident’s private communications with a government official or agency will remain private. Private citizens have an automatic right to assume it provided that there is nothing illegal or life-threatening in the missive. The duty and legal responsibility is on the side of government to comply with the Act, not the other way around.
Would Mr. Peterson have printed Mr. Watts email in The Washington Post? Doubtful. It would not only have jeopardized his job, but mocked his judgment and dinged his reputation. Did he really think sending it to a blog in another country got around his responsibility?


OK, who is making the formal complaint?

Reply to MRW ==> Thank you for giving us some insight into the actual government regulations. It will be interesting to see if NOAA management acts on Peterson’s violation. Perhaps Anthony will file an official complaint — he certainly has grounds.

David Springer

Revkin is a tool. Peterson made a choice it wasn’t an unwilling release to the public. And I’m now all too familiar with the public nature of communications involving gov’t officials.

David Springer
City Council Member
Volente, TX
Please note any correspondence regarding Village of Volente city business may
become a public record and subject to public/media review.

David A

Mosher bloviates,
When WE “published” private mails in which Santer said he would like to beat skeptics up, no skeptic complained abt journalists commenting on these mails. Mann privately attacked mcIntyre in mails
they were made public.
Peterson made Anthony’s private Attack a Public attack.
Clmategate made Mann’s private attack a public one.
Revkin did his job.
If you wanna say something nasty.. do it in public because there is no privacy
Mosher, your lack of logic is astounding.
A. Climategate was government business which should be open to the public.
B. Climatgate revealed the corruption of public funded so called science.
C. Climategate was never represented as published statements, but was represented as private communication, and likely inside whistle blower protected action.
D. Apparently you think a journalist job is to lie and distort the truth, as you think Revkin “did his job”.
Finally, who is “WE” as IMV, you are not a rational skeptic.

There is hardly a journalist today who does not inject personal agenda into their work. Some are blatant about their biases, some are better at hiding them. When it comes to offering the public information it needs to make informed decisions, the latter type of journalist is the most dangerous, as she/he will lead you down the wrong path without your knowing it.

The Old Crusader

Well, I thought Anthony’s note to Peterson, though not understated, was certainly true as written. No hyperbole at all.
I was disappointed to have click on whopper to read it though. Hate to give sites like that traffic.


Thanks , I won’t.

Lew Skannen

Your message was correct and probably overdue. Because it has been going on so long and so consistently people seem to have become used to the current level of scientific and ethical corruption going on in the world of government funded science.
I see no reason to regret anything except perhaps our overstretched patience. Time to double down.


I don’t really see how Revkin did Watts wrongly. Would someone please clarify this for me?
Kip wrote about there being no public attack by Watts, but I can’t find the explicit statement by Revkin claiming that Watts did?
I’ve enjoyed Revkins writing quite a bit,I don’t like seeing someone being hung out over nothing.

Reply to ohflow ==> Revkin placed this at the head of his current column at the NY Times blog Dot Earth:
“Update, June, 9, 8:51 p.m. | Having been on the run overseas since the weekend, I’m only now catching up with Anthony Watts’s attack on Tom Peterson, one of the authors of a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate paper. The exchange, in which Watts accuses Peterson of prostituting himself and hints at fraud, occurred just before* he’d posted on his friendly meeting with climate campaigner Bill McKibben, described below.
Here’s my reaction:
Any notion that Watts is interested in fostering an atmosphere of civility and constructive discourse evaporates pretty quickly in considering how he handled his questions about that paper. Alternating between happy talk about rooftop solar and slanderous accusations is not constructive or civil.”
Read my whole essay to find out why this is wrong for a celebrated journalist.


Revkin stopped being a journalist long ago. That was made official when he shifted to the opinion section of the paper.


Heh, I doubt the accusations were slanderous. But it may be slanderous to call them so. Andy blew that one, bigtime.


It is legally impossible to slander someone in a private communication to that person. It must be said or written to a third person(s) in such a way as to cause damage to one’s reputation. “He hurt my feelings,” in a private correspondence is not recognized in court as a recoverable damage (thank goodness). Now Andy’s very public accusations against Anthony were false, written with no effort to determine its truthfulness, and especially his refusal to correct what he wrote is very much an actionable offense. Andy is lucky that Anthony has more character than he or MR. Mann.


If Whitehouse gets his way we’ll see lots of folks get a twisted ‘kick’ out of betrayal. A “special commendation” for exposing a government detractor!

chris y

This is a little hypocritical of Andy.
If I remember correctly, he refused to publish any of the Climategate emails back in 2009, even after they were verified to be authentic. I don’t recall the reason given.
He also removed a comment I posted there in response to a promotional post he made on November 30, 2011 titled “Other Voices: Life on Planet 3.0”, which blatantly advertised a new blogsite by the ever vuvuzelan Michael Tobis. My comment included a number of unsavory quotes from Tobis, but apparently these were not up to the standards of the NYT Dot Earth comment section. How lovely.


Seems that private discussions did not persuade either Revkin or McKibben.
Too bad, but no use squawking about it. It merely means that neither is very receptive to argument. That should be the end of that story.
It is pointless to get upset, after all, WUWT is not damaged in any way because opponents have not renounced their opposition.
Having a cordial chat with people is useful. It is counterproductive to then make non agreement into a further source of discord.

“Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.”
Anthony’s weakness (and strength) is his optimism that people are essentially good. Revkin and Mckibbens overtures were basically just attempts to turn Anthony and everyone else’s (as were Anthony’s), the difference was the motivation. Their attempts failed and they don’t care to keep up the pretense anymore.
What is becoming increasingly clear though is that Climate Science is just Eugenics under a new meme. The difference this time is that they will be remembered, unlike the supporters of Eugenics who were able to slither back into the slime unremarked, maybe some good will come out of it after all.


“I have received two replies from Mr. Revkin, which I do not have explicit permission to publish. Thus, rather than simply inserting them here, I will pull three fair-use quotes ”
If someone send you an email, it belongs to you to publish or not as you wish. They have given that email to you, just as if someone send you a letter, it is yours to publish if you wish. It has been given to you. You do not need their permission to publish an email or a letter sent to you. People turn over to media (and even police) emails or letters they have received (see the latest example in California where a political operative fabricated emails from a Republican candidate and then turned those emails over to police and media).
You do not need Revkin’s permission to reproduce emails. Those emails are yours to do with as you please.

Reply to crosspatch ==> That may be the rule for Joe Private Citizen but it is not the rule for anyone who considers themselves a Journalist — even a part-time nobody hack like me.
It should not be the rule for Revkin — though I have not known him to violate it personally — he condones Peterson’s sharing US government-agency official business email with a web-based tabloid in Australia, for personal advantage.


Except Obama said the war on warm weather is the most important issue…ever. Ditto, the Pope. And a bunch of other people who want to control the global energy systems.
So striking back at climate reporters or scientists who tell everyone that global warming isn’t happening is quite OK. Far from being angry about all this, the guys backing the global warming stuff are delighted and breaking laws, smear campaigns, lies and deception are all OK too because they are at war with warm weather.
This reminds me of Caligula’s war with Neptune.


I don’t have a problem with Anthony’s email to Peterson, he earned the criticism, but I think it was a waste of time. It’s not going to change any minds over there.
I don’t think one should expect privacy from emails either. Once it was in Peterson’s possession he can do with it what he pleases.
I also don’t think anyone should expect journalism from the New York Times that is professional and unbiased, that ship sailed long ago. Have you read any of Paul Krugman’s columns? He’s a very well educated and intelligent man whose bias always trumps science.
Revkin’s response is typical from someone who won’t admit mistakes.


opening myself to attacks ranging from childish to vicious, and occasionally childishly vicious

Ah, but what about viciously childish? ^¿^

Reply to schitzree ==> Good point sir … I’ll have to check back posts…..

David A

That is a rather narrow range Kip. What bout informative criticisms that could have led you to expect such actions from Revkin?

Michael Jankowski

Does this mean Peterson is going to release all of his gov’t work-related emails? I am sure they’d make a much more fruitful read and are far more relevant to taxpayer $$$, climate research, etc, than his exchange with Anthony.

Bill H

A foreign government might have better luck getting them. It appears that Peterson will conspire with anyone to complete his agenda. Just sayin….


China seems to have no trouble getting any information they want.

have often disagreed with revkin but thought him fairly fair.
this is a black mark.

The closer your bombs get to the target, the more flak you will see. I’d say you’re spot on.

Pamela Gray

I’m a teacher in the public school system. Let’s say a parent was upset at me, sent an email to me at my workplace that outlined his/her opinion of me, and then I forwarded that email to a private entity in hopes this disgruntled parent’s email got some public exposure. If I had the temerity to do that, I would most likely be charged with professional misconduct, was told to resign or get fired, and good luck getting a recommendation. This Peterson guy may very well find himself in the principal’s office. Let’s remember the hunt for climatedeepthroat who sent work-place emails to an outside private entity in hopes they would get some public exposure, and see if Mr. Peterson gets placed on the hotseat for OPENLY doing it.

Reply to Pamela Gray ==> Quite right — in the real world.
Had I shared internal email from my IBM work account with any outsider — for whatever reason — I would have been assigned two security personnel to watch me clean out my desk then I would have been escorted out of IBM headquarters in Armonk, NY, never to return.


Indeed. When I started working for IBM in 1983 in my contract it stated that anything I do or say while working for IBM was IBM property in perpetuity (Or words to that effect). I am not sure how IBM is going to get minute fragments of a 3745 out of my eye, but that’s a nother story.

Chip Javert

Well, maybe that works for teachers, but none of the (very public) principles in this food fight are school marms.
Frankly, while understanding Anthony’s email was not handled using “Marques of Queensbury” rules, I’m having a hard time getting excited about it. This seems like a lot of noise about process.

Chip Javert

principles = principals


“school marm” ?, aren’t you a brave soul 🙂


Shouldn’t have school marms. They either fall in love with the children, or the children fall in love with them, or they hurt when the children cry.

Reply to kim ==> I got it, even if no one else did.Very cute!


Good luck with that. He’ll probably get a bonus and a promotion.


Pamela – Indeed. And to intentionally try to make this into a public fight while simultaneously trying to blame Anthony for MAKING it a public fight is outrageous.

Reality Observer

Ah, Pamela Gray, you have not imagined the worst of it. The spouse, also a teacher, had a “dispute” with a parent (a delusional nut-case, in my very considered opinion).
Parent had a wide-open Facebook – on which there were posted some very explicit threats of violence against both my wife and her principal. (Note, apparently none of them were by the parent – but they were also not contradicted in any way by her.)
Wife (before she was transferred to another school FOR HER OWN PHYSICAL SAFETY), received a visit from the district HR honcho. If she ever breathes a word about those threats, she is gone that very same day. If they could have, I’m sure they would have banned her from mentioning it to her own family, as well.
Yes, I slept with a loaded magazine next to the Glock for several weeks.

It appears that Anthony’s email struck a nerve. If it was off the mark it would have been ignored.
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

Gary Pearse

Well, well! I think the big story here is Peterson’s go-to blog! A foaming at the mouth, nasty, ‘Sou’ with zero credentials except she hates her father (I’ve known backgrounds of such unhappy, unfulfilled types). This should tell you all you need to know about Peterson and how unlikely it is that he can be influenced by reason.


The more sunlight the better…..I’d like to hear more about the internal fight at NCDC

Me too! 🙂


I expect to hear more. Maybe not tomorrow, but someday, and for the rest of my life.


Hey, Andy, here’s a story for you. You’ve been given a tip to a revelatory story, now let’s see that curiosity and intellectual integrity swing into action. I’m counting on you.


Does Anthony really care that the e-mails were published? or is it how it was made public and Revkin calling it slander? If the private e-mail had been sent to someone else it might well have been slander but……?

Reply to Alf ==> Good questions — I don’t know. Anthony does say in his addendum: “While I regret that I didn’t choose my words better, I have no change in my opinion on NCDC after what they did with Karl et al. 2015.”
My beef with Revkin is that he used his “bully pulpit” at the NY Times to slam Watts based on a hit-piece in a web-based tabloid, apparently accepting their slimy spin wholecloth, without doing a journalist’s job — and when pressed, Revkin admits that he “ha[[s] more important things to do than dig in further on this.” — he is just too too busy to do a proper journalist’s job, but not to busy for a vicious snap shot aimed at the wrong actor in a scandal.

I subscribed to the NY Times for years, but recently canceled my subscription. It was once a great paper, but has become the liberal Fox News. No integrity, just a mouthpiece for one political faction. I do miss the old NY Times, but not what it has become. Revkin isn’t a reporter, he’s a propagandist like the others at that once great organization.

Well in the 30s they had an apologist for the Soviet Union. It was Walter Duranty. And he knew the truth.


Fox News is marginally right of center. How is that the equivalent of the NYT?
Do you have any evidence that Fox News has no integrity, other than the fact that they cover stories many people would prefer remain uncovered?
Mouthpiece for the Republicans? Would this be the same network that regularly gives air time to Al Sharpton?


Revkin:“Update, June, 9, 8:51 p.m. | Having been on the run overseas since the weekend”
“on the run” or “in Karaoke-ville” according to Revkin himself, who has all the time in the world to tweet, tweet, tweet?
check all the 9 to 12 June tweets from the World Conference of Science Journalists 2015 in Seoul. Revkin tweets plenty (& seemingly gleefully) about the “assassinated” scientist/Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt, whose career was destroyed by a tweet from a Connie St. Louis, from the Conference. then check all the MSM reports, most of which reference the Connie St. Louis tweet and find a single one which mentions her deep BBC connections.
of course, it was BBC who got this witchHUNT going & gaining momentum, yet they did not see fit to mention her BBC connections either, even when interviewing her. btw St. Louis still works for BBC as a Freelancer:
City University London: Connie St Louis
Senior Lecturer in Journalism
Connie St Louis, Director of City’s Science Journalism MA, is an award-winning freelance broadcaster, journalist, writer and scientist. She presents and produces a range programmes for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service.
She is a recipient of the prestigious Joseph Rowntree Journalist Fellowship to write a book based on her acclaimed two-part Radio 4 documentary series Raising Ham.
Her most recent programme on BBC Radio 4 investigated the use of designer drugs by pharmaceutical companies. She writes for numerous outlets including the Independent, the Daily Mail, the Guardian, the Sunday Times, BBC On Air magazine and BBC Online.
She worked for the BBC for sixteen years. Her production highlights during that time include securing Bill Gates’ first British interview and being invited to produce the 1997 Reith Lectures written by Professor Patricia J Williams
after multiple attack articles in The Guardian, incl:
“Tim Hunt, where’s the science in your prejudice against women?” by Anne Perkins
“Why sack ageing sexists? Send them to rehab instead” by Gaby Hinsliff
a fairer view:
14 June: Guardian: Shamed Nobel laureate Tim Hunt ‘ruined by rush to judgment after stupid remarks’
Sir Tim Hunt reveals he was forced to resign from University College London without being given the chance to explain himself
by Rob McKie, Science Editor
The beleaguered British biologist Sir Tim Hunt has revealed that he was forced to resign from his post at University College London (UCL) without being given a chance to explain his controversial remarks about women in science. “I have been hung out to dry,” he told the Observer in an exclusive interview. “I have been stripped of all the things I was doing in science. I have no further influence.”…
“At no point did they ask me for an explanation for what I said or to put it in context,” he told the Observer. “They just said I had to go. There has been an enormous rush to judgment in dealing with me.”
This point was supported by Hunt’s wife, Mary Collins, who also has a post at UCL, as a professor of immunology. “Tim was still on the plane from Seoul when a senior manager at UCL phoned me and said Tim had to resign his honorary position. They had not even spoken to Tim at that point. He just said Tim had to resign or we fire him. It was very upsetting. We are both extremely angry.”
Hunt was then sacked from his post on the European Research Council’s science committee and has since resigned from other posts, including membership of a Royal Society committee. “I have become toxic,” he told the Observer. “I am finished.”…
also check out Brendan O’Neill’s “The Illiberal Persecution of Tim Hunt” at Reason.

Reply to pat ==> A truly horrible affair re Tim Hunt. I agree completely.

The consensus (heh) at Reason is that they proved the point of the joke.


oops, should have posted Revkins’ twitter page:

As to the “prostitution” charge. Using the less reliable data (engine intakes) to correct the more reliable data (ARGO buoys) is indeed prostitution. That one really stuck in my craw.
Good for you AW.

Reply to M Simon ==> Anthony was not the first to imply that Karl et al (2015) is just-in-time, politically-motivated, command-performance science.
Anthony is the only one, as far as we know, that properly made the accusation privately and directly to one of the co-author’s the Karl paper rather than in public web-based press.
Note that despite the extraordinary and game-changing nature of the Karl et al findings — “there really hasn’t been a hiatus or pause in global warming after all” — there was not a peep, not a word, from Revkin at Dot Earth about it. why? I suspect that, like all intelligent educated people, Revkin felt the need to wash his hands and open a window after reading it — to wash off the taint of political interference in science and clear the air of the sickly sweet perfume of made-to-order science.

I don’t have the time to keep up the way I used to. So WUWT is where I get informed.

Mark from the Midwest

The New York Times is, roughly, on the same level as TMZ, the only difference being that TMZ is fairly profitable. The other thing about TMZ, most all the people that work there have a genuine sense of humor instead of an inflated sense of self importance.

Pat Frank

Tom Peterson’s comment at Hotwopper provides a very revealing insight into modern climatological thinking.
He wrote, “One of the new adjustments we are applying is extending the corrections to ship data, based on information derived from night marine air temperatures, up to the present (we had previously stopped in the 1940s). As we write in the article’s on-line supplement, “This correction cools the ship data a bit more in 1998-2000 than it does in the later years, which thereby adds to the warming trend. …”
So, they used the night marine air temperatures (NMAT) to correct the engine intake SSTs. Now, engine intake SSTs typically have a global average systematic (i.e., deterministic, not random) measurement uncertainty of about ±0.7 C. The global average NMAT uncertainty is about ±0.36 C.* The latter is assumed to be random error, but that assumption is merely an unquestioned normative of the field (and typical in its tendentious convenience). It has no empirical or theoretical justification. It’s also a *very* subjective estimate. But useful to the illustration to come.
To bend over backwards fair, let’s assume that half of the NMAT uncertainty, ±0.18 C, really is from random error. The remainder, ±0.18 C, is then global average systematic error, which does not decrement as 1/sqrt(N).
Standard practice in the experimental physical sciences is that when correcting one data set using another, the total uncertainty in the corrected data set is root-sum-square (the Pythagorean sum) of the uncertainties in the two subsidiary data sets.
Let’s do that with Karl’s and Peterson’s NMAT-corrected ship SSTs; systematic uncertainty only:
Uncertainty in the NMAT-corrected ship SSTs = sqrt[(±0.7)^2 + (±0.18)^2] = ±0.72 C.
There we have it. Karl’s and Peterson’s corrected ship SSTs should have a 1-sigma uncertainty of ±0.72 C. And that’s a lower-limit estimate. So Karl’s and Peterson’s actual correction: 0.12±0.72 C.
Is everyone reassured, now, that our understanding has been improved?
Did anyone see a ±0.72 C uncertainty propagated into their results?
No? What?!? Such a shock! 🙂
Everyone can decide for themselves whether a ±0.72 C uncertainty impacts our knowledge of global surface air temperature, or our ability to choose which among rising, lowering, or static trends is actually happening.
*E. C. Kent and D. I. Berry (2008) Assessment of the Marine Observing System (ASMOS): Final Report, Project Report Rep., National Oceanography Centre Southampton, Southampton, UK.

Has Willis seen that?


M Simon
June 14, 2015 at 5:45 pm
As to the “prostitution” charge. Using the less reliable data (engine intakes) to correct the more reliable data (ARGO buoys) is indeed prostitution. That one really stuck in my craw.
This is prostitution…..if you do it the other way around… still have the pause
The trend would be the same…but .12 C less would give you the pause…and .12C more erases the pause
The result was the ship data averaged .12 C warmer than the buoys….yet, adding more buoy data adds more cool bias……..because it’s getting colder you asswipes!
“The second example I will pose as a question. We tested the difference between buoys and ships by comparing all the co-located ship and buoy data available in the entire world. The result was that buoy data averaged 0.12 degrees C colder than the ships. We also know that the number of buoys has dramatically increased over the last several decades. Adding more colder observations in recent years can’t help but add a cool bias to the raw data. What would you recommend we do about it? Leave a known bias in the data or correct the data for the bias? The resulting trend would be the same whether we added 0.12 C to all buoy data or subtracted 0.12 C from all ship data.”

When they say “the trend” do they mean short term or long term? And yes. I think it is getting cooler. So they warmed the good data with the less good data.
In the longer run reality will intrude. I do not believe hey can keep up the charade much longer.
It is my opinion that PLANT FOOD has no effect on climate.

Let me see if I get this right. I have data that shows 10.00 that is known to be accurate and at the same location and time I take another measurement known to be less accurate and it shows 10.12. So I correct all the readings of the more accurate readers by +.12.
And conveniently this adjusted data erases the long decried pause.




Revkin’s view of climate change skeptics at the time couldn’t be clearer: he thought they were uneducated morons, and took it as his mission to enlighten them with the facts as determined by himself and his fellow global warming advocates. Revkin speaks even more candidly about how he views his “job” in a 2007 email to NASA scientist Jim Hansen and others (emphasis added):
[A] key take-home point, please, is that this story was written mainly for the benefit of the 10s of millions of disengaged or doubtful or simply under-educated Americans out there for whom it is NEWS that the only discourse now is among folks who believe human-forced climate change is a huge problem. (as Jim Hansen said in my story, exclamation point included!)
the ‘hotter’ voices are doing their job well. i’m doing mine.
Which may explain why the scientists seem to view Revkin as more of an ally than a reporter in some of the emails among themselves. “I’ll let all of you know if there are any other reasonable interview requests from folks we trust (e.g. Andy Revkin, etc.),” wrote climate scientist David Thompson to his colleague Phil Jones in one message.
Some may argue that it’s unfair to criticize Revkin for his private comments, and point out that none of these emails on its own could be characterized as an egregious ethical lapse. Maybe. But combined, they point to a pattern. There’s also this: Revkin was the same Times reporter who refused to publish the first trove of ClimateGate emails in 2009, claiming they were off-limits because they were “private” conversations (a standard the paper evidently hasn’t applied to other leaked documents). He also dismissed the scandal as meritless.

Reply to clipe ==> See mine re Revkin and ClimateGate:


I read both emails. First AW’s and then the response from Peterson. I suggest people here do the same. You will then be fully informed.

The thief is in grief — he’s robbed by a thief.
Nobody but you, Mr. Hansen, is to blame that “childishly vicious” comments are all you deserve after trying to be “civil” with totalitarian propagandists.

Reply to Simon ==> anyone with a strong stomach can read the tabloid report, which contains Peterson’s emails (sent to [them] by himself) by clicking the link contained in the first pull-quote from Revkin — the one that starts with ““Update, June, 9, 8:51 p.m. | ….”

Mike Smith

So, Revkin was given a copy of a [letter] sent to Tom Peterson. My question is… did Revkin seek to contact Anthony Watts for comment prior to publishing his interpretation of events?
I think it matters, a lot!

Reply to Mike Smith ==> You seem to have some of the details a bit confused. See the first few paragraphs in the body of the main essay, after the Forward.
Revkin read the web-based Australian tabloid report of the so-called attack by Watts on Peterson, which included copies of the email exchange sent to it by Peterson himself, and based his (Revkin’s) comment at his bully-pulpit in the New York Times solely on that report.
Revkin does not say [he] contacted Watts — Watts did send, post hoc, a backgrounder email to Revkin, to give him the full story. Revkin replied to Watts, as detailed in my essay, but did not change his comments on Dot Earth. I backgrounded Revkin in comments on his blog, and in personal email to him, including sending him a copy of my opinion essay above. Revkin was unrepentant, as you can see from his quoted replies.


Revkin was reporting on the Australian flap. That was the news story from his POV. That’s his news judgment, including his “I felt it was important to convey the ‘full Anthony Watts’,” since he has apparently added psychological profile to his reportorial skills.
However, I am of another mind, and perhaps more cynical. A Principal Scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, an author of a recent controversial paper, gets his feelings hurt and enlists the help of an activist/cum marketer’s blog in another country to lick his wounds and rile the faithful? This is what US government scientists do?
This smacks of that letter that a bunch of Congressmen wrote to the government of Iran to tell them not to deal with the US President because they (the 69 letter writers) were going to undo it, even though they have no congressional power to act as Head of State. As a smart observer noted at the time, how would the American people have reacted if a bunch of Congressmen during Reagan’s term wrote Andropov or Gorbachev and told him that Reagan didn’t really truly have the power to engage in nuclear talks, so ignore him?
So, in my view, Revkin is missing the real story here. But he’s not an investigative reporter, nor even a reporter. He’s graduated to columnist and crafting his own opinion.
The real story here is that our institutions are failing us, and serving hidden masters.


For those interested, Stossle has a program on FOX news now that discussed Green Tyranny.

I understood AW’s email pretty much how it’s described here: sent to a NOAA official in his capacity as a working NOAA official, direct to his address.
Sure, it had some strong words. The words highlighted a loss of trust and sense of betrayal. Too many people forget the changes in the paper will now become part of the official global temperature record, starting June 18th. It is official US federal business – it has to be held to a higher standard. The fact that, the adjustments are based on such a flimsy standard of statistical significance, that the paper erroneously calculates linear trends over overlapping time periods, and that its fudging of a temporally sparser, ostensibly better data set in comparison to a longer series throws up enough red flags to suspect the reason for pursuing this route of analysis.
If you read Jay Lawrimore’s (on of the paper’s authors) article promoting their paper on The Conversation , any lingering doubts about the motives of the scientists in publishing this paper would be erased.

…[with the adjustments] NCEI scientists found that there has been no hiatus in the global rate of warming. This finding is consistent with the expected effect of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and with other observed evidence of a changing climate such as reductions in Arctic sea ice extent, melting permafrost, rising sea levels, and increases in heavy downpours and heat waves.

The above means the pause was ‘inconsistent with the expected effect of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations’?
Lawrimore’s very words bring to question his organization NOAA’s low standard-of-evidence in assessing trend in the adjusted data to see if they matched ‘the expected effect of increasing greenhuose gas concentrations’.
Instead of focusing on the corruption of science at hand, we have observers like Brandon Shollenberger going off on Anthony Watts in a mini-orgy of political correctness.
This poor paper destroys trust in the US official government temperature record. The fact that they would bend over backwards and pursue such a low standard sets off several alarms. It is as though they are pursuing a pre-determined conclusion. This implies all prior adjustments made by the same scientists must be subjected to a level of scrutiny that has, sadly owing to a combination of several factors, yet to take place. Such scrutiny should rigorously examine the rationalizations offered for the various adjustments, as clearly, it appears the scientists are capable of coming up with a near-never-ending stream of justifications and post-hoc reasoning to keep messing with the record.

Lady in Red

Well. I just read Anthony’s letter at HotWhopper (gad! what a name!). I thought it was pretty reasonable, temperate and accurate.
I’m not sure how NODC folk think about themselves. Surely, they must “believe” in order to get out of bed in the morning, but Anthony is correct: the phony fudging of data to stuff into the Cinderella slipper of a generation of failed models should — on some level, in their minds — be wrong. ….if not evil.
One can be civil with a clown or a fool — or a believer. The NOAA folk should have had more integrity to have done what they did: they do “know.” ….Lady in Red