Shukla's Emails Tell a Very Different Story About How NY AG’s RICO Campaign Started Off

From Energy In Depth (h/t to Matt Dempsey)

A new batch of emails, released late Friday afternoon, pulls back the curtain further on the level of collusion and coordination between anti-fossil fuel activists, their funders, and the attorneys general that have launched climate investigations into people, companies, and think tanks with which they disagree on the issue.

These emails, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by brought by The Competitive Enterprise Institute and Chris Horner, show that key activists behind this campaign had hoped they could make a case for prosecuting climate “deniers” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. But, due to multiple warnings from experts that such a case would be have no chance to actually succeed, they decided instead to shift their strategic focus to state-level attorneys general to get the job done. Interestingly, these emails date back to last summer, months before the Rockefeller-funded InsideClimate News and the Columbia School of Journalism published their #ExxonKnew investigations.

The key players that emerge from this latest batch of emails are George Mason University (GMU) professors Jagadish Shukla and Edward Maibach, who spearheaded a letter in September 2015 with several other colleagues to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and President Obama asking them to explore RICO charges against climate “deniers” and their funders.

Here are some other key revelations that come from these emails:

#1: Activists were colluding with state AGs much longer than initially thought

The activists pushing for the climate RICO investigations have been claiming that the “investigative reporting” by InsideClimate News (ICN) and the Columbia School of Journalism were what spurred them to action. But as these new emails reveal, the master plan was already in place and well under way before those articles were published.

In one email, GMU professor Ed Maibach reached out to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to enlist its help in getting activists from every congressional district to sign on to their letter. Peter Frumhoff of UCS replied to that request by saying his organization would not join the effort — because UCS did not think the case was strong enough to have a chance of eliciting the intervention of the federal attorney general. Frumhoff went on to admit that they were already pursuing a possible path via state AGs, noting “we think there’ll likely be a strong basis for encouraging state (e.g. AG) action forward, and in that context, opportunities for climate scientists to weigh in.”

Full story:

Note: shortly after publication, an edit was added from the original website to correct an attribution error in the second paragraph to mention CEI, rather than the Free Market Law Clinic. – Anthony

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Tom Halla
May 17, 2016 10:49 am

Sue the green blob under the Ku Klux Klan Act for civil rights violations.

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 18, 2016 4:56 am

Not a bad idea but how about a class action lawsuit by consumers of energy where the damages are easily calculated as the increase in unit prices for all hydrocarbon based energy as well as all those horrendous windmills littering the world.

May 17, 2016 10:58 am

There’s tons more. It’s not like UCS was opposed to the letter, they were just far more pragmatic about going that route. In fact, throughout, Maibach and Shukla were circumspectly warned against doing this. Maibach even comments on the possible fallout. But in their hubris, they went along with it anyway.
From: Edward W. Maibach
To: J Shukla
Date 7/22/2015 15:57
Subject: Re: Letter to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Comments: Maibach responds that he’s talked with David Michaels, Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (in the US Department of Labor), and a former environmental health colleague ofmine at George Washington University. Michaels “feels the odds of the DOJ pursuing this case against industry are slim to none”. That’s OK, Maibach urges that they write the letter anyway.

If we do this, we should choose our words carefully, because they could wind up on page 1 of the Washington Post. In fact, if we do this, I will want to run our draft past some very thoughtful advisers.

Which he does, but ignores them anyway.

Mark T
Reply to  TomB
May 18, 2016 3:26 am

The irony, of course, is that the fallout will (should) be RICO charges for the accusers.

May 17, 2016 11:03 am

Maibach seeks editorial assistance:
From: Edward Maibach
To: Alex Bozmoski
Date: 7/29/2015 15:25
Subject: editorial assistance needed
Comments: Seeks editorial assistance. Smart idea since he knows he can’t write anything but “liberal drivel” and hopes to lie sufficiently well to deceive conservatives.
From: Edward Maibach
To: Alex Bozmoski
Date: 7/29/2015 16:51
Subject: Re: editorial assistance needed
Comments: Maibach reply to Bozmoski response. Alex Bozmoski rains on Maibach’s parade. “’s just an impossible topic to not scream hard-core left. You’re talking about prosecuting conservatives.” So, lightheartedly, Maibach gives up on even the most remote pretense that he’s doing anything other than pursuing a “hard-core left” agenda.

May 17, 2016 11:07 am

Yes, the Brownshirts of the CAGW industry/cabal are now overtly attempting to engage the heavy arm of government (fed, state, local) to suppress any dissenting thought on matters of considerable scientific uncertainty.
Bad times for real scientists and devastating for the future of true science.
The only way to roll this back is through leadership change, wholesale replacement of Dept Justice staff, and dogged investigation and prosecution of frauds and conspiritors on the receiving end of lavish research grants.
This problem is political, not scientific, and must be confronted in the political arena
The “Pause” shows that the scientific question of CO2/T has already been resolved in favor of skeptics.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  GeologyJim
May 17, 2016 9:32 pm

GeologyJim wrote: “Bad times for real scientists and devastating for the future of true science.”
Yes, but just right for post-normal scientists, NSF grant seekers, research university administrators, green blob activists, Progressive politicos, AGU and Royal Society fellows, DeSmog and Guardian sycophants, and all other forms of climate Scientologists.

Reply to  GeologyJim
May 18, 2016 7:01 pm

The question was always political GeologyJim. It was once an actual question like “how much” warming would an increase in LWIR cause but the answer “very little” has been known for well over a decade. The reason for the lies, exaggerations, ad hominum attacks and demands of obedience was never science. Your advice is right that only a political response will avoid the Free Market Economies destruction by Socialists. AGW is a vehicle, not a cause.

May 17, 2016 11:10 am

From: Edward Maibach
To: Jagadish Shukla
Date: 7/31/2015 17:25
Subject: Re: Senator Whitehouse’s call for a RICO investigation of the fossil fuel industry
Comment: A warning light goes off in Maibach’s head (after repeated warnings from others) that this might not be such a great idea after all. Looking for a lawyer “with RICO experience” to see if they are “recommending a baseless action.” Apparently the light wasn’t quite bright enough, didn’t stay on long enough, and wasn’t accompanied with warning klaxons and sirens.

May 17, 2016 11:21 am

From: Edward W. Maibach
To: JShukla
CC: Professor Barry Klinger; Mike Wallace; Dr. Ben Kirtman; Dr. Kevin Trenberth; Dr. Robert Dickinson; Dr. Michela Biasutti; Dr. Mark Cane; Dr. Lisa Goddard;
Date: 10/2/2015 19:15
Subject: An important request
Comments: Maibach sends a broadcast email to all involved in the RICO letter requesting their private email addresses. I wonder why? That wouldn’t be an obvious attempt to circumvent records discovery and skirt FOIA laws, would it?

May 17, 2016 11:25 am

Are you all claiming that they are all lying about not going for people just the corporations to acertain if they are withholding evidence just as the tobacco companies did?

Reply to  sergeiMK
May 17, 2016 11:39 am

Yes, Sergei, we think they are lying about only going after “corporations”. You know why? Becasue corporations are groups of people. And when they go after the corporations, it’s some person’s house getting the doors kicked in.
WSJ:The Wisconsin Targets Tell Their Story

His business partner, Deborah Jordahl, says that while her own home was being searched and her children were roused in the dark by law enforcement, prosecutors were searching her office without her knowledge. “Earlier this year I learned . . . David Budde, the lead investigator for Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, was searching our office in Madison. My partner and I were never notified of the search of our office,” Ms. Jordahl says, “and the prosecutors never provided us with a copy of the warrant or an inventory of what was taken.” (Mr. Budde did not respond to a request for comment.)
Meantime, she says, “my business partner and I had to figure out how to function without our equipment or records, and without the ability to disclose our situation to anyone. . . . You live under a cloud of suspicion.”

Throughout history, the worst oppressors have sought to dehumanize their victims while simultaneously rationalizing their oppression as being necessary to defend against aggression by the victims. This case is yet another example of that pattern.

Reply to  sergeiMK
May 17, 2016 11:54 am

What we’re saying is that a tactic that smacks of removing one’s Constitutional rights was, is, and shall always be a really bad idea. Regardless of their stated ~intent~ there is the inevitable ~outcome~ that needs to be stopped in its tracks.
From: Edward Maibach
To: Alex Bozmoski
Date: 9/21/2015 13:46
Subject: Re: op-ed +a needlessly self-inflicted headache
Comments: Buried way in the bottom of this email thread, Kevin Trenberth brings to everyone’s attention that “Shukla and his wife are now under major attack, spearheaded by Roger Pielke Jr”. Shukla bemoans that “Somehow, very cleverly, some people have changed the narrative away from the fossil fuel industry and to climate skeptics.” Perhaps not taking into account that the people he’s attempting to vilify understand the law of unintended consequences as well as the concept of the slippery slope. Shukla, in particular, is starting to sound worried. Whilst the other signers are doing things that are unsavory, they – unlike Shukla – are not doing anything illegal.

Reply to  TomB
May 17, 2016 5:22 pm

Someone disagrees with you = “under major attack”. Okaaaaay…
Are we dealing with drama-prone, hysterical children here?

Reply to  sergeiMK
May 17, 2016 12:21 pm

Corporations are not prosecuted. People are prosecuted.
The original letter specifically included people who are publishing contrary information on the internet.
My bolding: From Shukla’s letter:

“…investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the
American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to
climate change. The actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peer-reviewed
academic research (Brulle, 2013) and in recent books including: Doubt is their Product
(Michaels, 2008), Climate Cover-Up (Hoggan & Littlemore, 2009), Merchants of Doubt
(Oreskes & Conway, 2010), The Climate War (Pooley, 2010), and in The Climate Deception
Dossiers (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2015). We strongly endorse Senator Whitehouse’s call
for a RICO investigation.
The methods of these organizations are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco industry.
A RICO investigation (1999 to 2006) played an important role in stopping the tobacco industry
from continuing to deceive the American people about the dangers of smoking. If corporations in
the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented
in books and journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible…”

There is no line defining skeptics that they didn’t intend prosecuting. If you’re mentioned in any of the books/papers and likely in many blogs, you are in line for being required to testify and possible prosecution.

Reply to  sergeiMK
May 17, 2016 1:51 pm

I’m a little confused as to how it’s ok for skeptical scientist or blogger to express doubt, but the same doubt expressed by a corporation (made up of people as well) is perpetrating fraud. Either there’s reason to express doubt or there isn’t, and being a corporation shouldn’t make it impossible for them to weight in on the matter.
As to whether there’s doubt, we know damned well that the party line of Shukla’s boys is “100% certainty” so obviously anyone disagreeing with them must be perpetrating fraud. Of course, 100% certainty is a fraud. Even “highly likely” is debatable. 🙂

Reply to  kcrucible
May 18, 2016 6:58 am

It’s not so much that it is ok for one and not ok for the other.
It’s more that they are going after the deep pockets first. They will round up the individual skeptics later.

Richard G
Reply to  sergeiMK
May 17, 2016 5:43 pm

It should not matter who they are targeting. They should be judged by their actions, not their target of those actions.

Reply to  Richard G
May 17, 2016 7:35 pm

They are being judged by their actions. Using lawfare to silence your political opponents is just plain wrong.

Jean Paul Zodeaux
Reply to  sergeiMK
May 17, 2016 8:00 pm

“Are you all claiming that they are all lying about not going for people just the corporations…”
“Lying” would be accurate, but the RICO 20 are probably lying to themselves. It is likely that they genuinely believe that going after business people and free market advocates is perfectly acceptable, while doing the same to skeptic scientist and contrarian bloggers is not. The tragedy of relativism.

Reply to  sergeiMK
May 18, 2016 2:41 am

Looks to me that RICO is better used against the perpetrators of the greatest ever sustained frauds in the history of Mankind … and you, my friend, don’t have the sense to comprehend this. Tobacco has nothing to do with it, but what you’re smokin’ has a lot to do with your comprehension. You might question why there is a rush to legalise narcotic drugs when so much is known about the dangers to people’s’ lives and to society. All of those supporting legalization should be incarcerated under RICO provisions.

Tim Hammond
Reply to  sergeiMK
May 18, 2016 3:19 am

Are you naive or just simple? The point is to silence dissent and to “prove” that there are no actual sceptics, just those in the pay of the corporations.
And the idea that the evil corporations knew all about the damage they were doing,even though that damage is even now far from proven is idiotic.

May 17, 2016 11:28 am

TomB May 17, 2016 at 11:21 am
That wouldn’t be an obvious attempt to circumvent records discovery and skirt FOIA laws, would it?
Some on here claim that they are stupid not to have done this privately. You now suggest they want to take it private because they wish to hide stuff from the “law”.
It must be very difficult following the correct line here!!!.

Reply to  sergeiMK
May 17, 2016 11:42 am

Not really. The two things are unrelated. Shukla was wrong to do what he did. He also was incredibly stupid in how we went about it.

Reply to  sergeiMK
May 17, 2016 12:03 pm

You’re incredibly foolish. Maibach writes this AFTER he has already been presented with a records search demand to respond to a FOIA request. This means, for anyone with any experience with attorneys AT ALL, that your records are now subject to legal hold. You now have a reasonable suspicion that a legal document discovery request in response to litigation is imminent. Destroying records, instructing others to destroy records, and colluding with others to keep documents out of reach of discovery is sanctionable. And he was informed of this by GMU’s inside counsel. He’s in too deep now. What he should be doing is communicating with his attorney. His attorney would then communicate with counsel for all the other co-signers. Then their communications are privileged and can be withheld. Telling everyone to use their super-duper secret decoder ring ain’t too bright.

Reply to  TomB
May 17, 2016 10:49 pm

If this is true, why is Hillary Clinton not in jail?
Why are we being subjected to the farce, laughingly being called an investigation, by the FBI?
Recall that there was a time when the FBI was a respectable organisation.

Reply to  TomB
May 18, 2016 2:43 am

The Clinton’s have influential friends.

Reply to  sergeiMK
May 17, 2016 12:26 pm

Which part do you not understand, Sergei? Even William Connolley gets it and he’s on their side.

The RICO 20: lessons in stupidity
“Half way through they finally get a clue and swap to private email but good grief its a bit late by then. Idiots. They initially try to deny the FOIA requests on the – perfectly reasonable, to anyone in academia – grounds that it was nothing to do with their employment; they just happened to be doing it on what looked like work time. Which, in academia, doesn’t really separate from personal time anyway so who cares? Alas, it turns out that judges care.”

Reply to  Colorado Wellington
May 18, 2016 1:32 pm

Well, if it takes one to know one, then Connolley is a good judge of idiots.
I like the line about being “reasonable to anyone in academia”.

Henry Galt
Reply to  sergeiMK
May 17, 2016 12:42 pm

sergeiMK – If you are having difficulty with that simple dichotomy maybe ‘the correct line’ doesn’t exist here,.except in your imagination.

Nigel S
May 17, 2016 11:34 am

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Ryan S.
May 17, 2016 11:40 am

The consensus is soooo strong, that the state has to enforce it as mandatory.
Which makes me wonder, are American’s going to change the lyrics to the anthem?
O’er the land of the coerced and the home of the compliant.
I must say it doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Reply to  Ryan S.
May 17, 2016 4:11 pm

It may not have the same ring to it, but it would be far more honest.

May 17, 2016 11:45 am

Now we have a few more names to go on my previously suggested ‘WALL OF SHAME’

Retired Engineer Jim
May 17, 2016 11:51 am

Folks, private citizens, even Shukla and Maibach, are allowed to contact Federal and State law enforcement officials (and even the AG of the AVI), to provide information that they believe shows that laws have been broken, and private citizens are allowed to encourage Federal and State law enforcement officials (and even the AG of the AVI) to pursue investigations and indictments. I don’t see such actions as collusion – what am I missing?

Reply to  Retired Engineer Jim
May 17, 2016 12:04 pm

Of course one can contact law enforcement to inform them of a crime. One can even write letters to the editor of newspapers, publish flyers, produce and distribute movies to that effect.
However, where things get unethical is when you start making allegations up. They claim to be motivated by seeing evidence that Exxon was suppressing information about climate change and publishing disinformation in an attempt to defraud investigators. What they didn’t mention is that the “evidence” was essentially fraudulent and that they were working secretly but in collusion with the author of the book were that manufactured evidence was presented as fact and moreover were doing so not because they had evidence of a crime, but because they hoped that there would arise out of the investigation of the crime, some evidence that could be published to rouse the public against fossil fuels, much like the ‘discovery’ of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” help rouse the German public against the Jews who had been keeping the Germans down.
Scum like Shukla don’t deserve to be in a jail cell. They do deserve withering scorn and social and professional ostracism for their contemptible behaviour.

Reply to  tarran
May 17, 2016 12:30 pm

No, scum like Maibach don’t deserve to be in a jail cell. Shukla, however, does.
Maibach is foolish, arrogant, headstrong, and naive. None of which is illegal.
Shukla stole tax payer money to fund a lavish lifestyle and spread it amongst his family. That is illegal. I can assume he’s now REALLY REALLY sorry he signed that letter.

Reply to  tarran
May 17, 2016 12:37 pm

Shukla stole tax payer money to fund a lavish lifestyle and spread it amongst his family. That is illegal.

I’d quite forgotten that bit. 🙂

Reply to  Retired Engineer Jim
May 17, 2016 12:14 pm

42USC1983 for starters. Letter called for RICO investigation of ExxonMobil and others. Others include CEI, as the USVI Subpoenas under CICO (USVI equivalent to RICO) to Exxon and CEI show. The Exxon motion to quash in Texas (available on the CEI website)points out 1. USVI has no jurisdiction as Exxon has no operations, employees, or property there, and that the subpoena is a clear violation of 42USC1983 (conspiracy to limit/violate any civil right, like free speech and association).

Reply to  Retired Engineer Jim
May 17, 2016 12:24 pm

At no point is any “evidence” presented. Not in their letter. Not to the other co-signers. Not to anyone from whom they sought advice. Nowhere, at any time in these communications, was any “evidence” presented. It went forward from an assumption. I take great exception to Shukla’s mischaracterization that there is:

…much published credible evidence suggesting that some fossil fuel companies and other organizations broke the law…

They never present any – none. They don’t even link to any. A link to a Green Peas hit piece doesn’t count as “evidence”.
Doc 00000001
Link to a WaPo Opinion piece
Link to Senator Whitehouse’s senate page of a speech
Doc 00000013
Link to an “” video
Doc 00000023 (my personal favorite – subject “The real climate deniers”)
Link to a “” opinion piece
Him stating, twice in the same letter, that there is much published evidence – is not evidence.
Ever heard of the term “echo chamber”? Or, even better, “star chamber”?

Michael 2
Reply to  Retired Engineer Jim
May 17, 2016 2:18 pm

Retired Engineer Jim writes “I don’t see such actions as collusion – what am I missing?”
Maybe a better dictionary. [https]://
It is a group of people corresponding with each other to initiate some mischief. The concept of connivance also enters the picture. [https]://
The mischief is trying to engage the courts against your ideological opponents.
Had those persons individually written to law enforcement in their own states, and independent of each other, then it is not collusion. Had the RICO proceeded to trial, and some of these persons were called as expert witnesses but had also been corresponding with each other, that is collusion. The entire group of 20 is really just one witness because they have been colluding. You keep your witnesses from talking to each other.
It is still a witness, but because of collusion there’s no point in considering all 20.

Reply to  Retired Engineer Jim
May 17, 2016 7:26 pm

“What am I Missing?”, Al Gore?

Jean Paul Zodeaux
Reply to  Retired Engineer Jim
May 17, 2016 8:10 pm

The emails reveal the collusion, and in terms of collusion, the only thing that collusion has to do with RICO 20 is that an email exchange between the RICO 20 and the USC gives evidence to that collusion:
““Just so you know, we’re also in the process of exploring other state-based approaches to holding fossil fuel companies legally accountable—we think there’ll likely be a strong basis for encouraging state (e.g. AG) action forward,”
This is evidence of collusion between USC and the state AG’s engaged in this fishing expedition.

Tim Hammond
Reply to  Retired Engineer Jim
May 18, 2016 3:22 am

What laws do these people think were broken? They are using RICO, which is hardly your every day law.
This is not an honest attempt to identify law-breakers, but a a dishonest attempt to silence dissenters.

May 17, 2016 11:52 am

It seems that epiphany is among Professor Maibach’s intuitive specialties but premonition is not.

“In 2006, while on a walk in the mountains – with Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber – Ed had an epiphany that forever changed his life. He realized that climate change is the ultimate threat to the public’s health and wellbeing, worldwide, and Ed responded by refocusing his work entirely on climate change prevention and adaptation. Ed moved to Mason in 2007 to join the communication faculty and create the Center for Climate Change Communication. Ed is a highly experienced public health and social change professional and a leading academic in the field of communication.”

Reply to  Colorado Wellington
May 17, 2016 12:21 pm

Most epiphanies are wrong. If a zen student thinks he has had an enlightenment experience, the first thing he does is to trot off to his teacher who will tell him why he’s wrong.
The problem with epiphanies is that they produce huge, unwarranted confidence.

Reply to  commieBob
May 17, 2016 1:23 pm

Yep. I once was something of a consultant on free energy (perpetual motion machines). EVERY inventor claimed his idea came through an epiphany (or revelation). Most involved some form of magnetism. All were wrong, of course. And over half could not be persuaded they were wrong even when presented with strong evidence and examples of similar machines that did not work.

Reply to  commieBob
May 17, 2016 2:47 pm

True, but Maibach didn’t have to trot off to find his Master.
Schellnhuber was trotting along and told him it was a real Offenbarung.

Reply to  Colorado Wellington
May 17, 2016 3:40 pm

You mean Schellnhuber the Vampire?

May 17, 2016 12:04 pm

Climate Reality Project
Board includes:
Al Gore
James Gustave (Gus) Speth
American Sustainable Business Council, Washington, D.C.
Advisory Council includes:
Gar Alperovitz, The Next System & the New Economy Coalition
Hunter Lovins, Colorado
Bill Ritter, Colorado State University, CNEE
Gus Speth, Founder of the World Resources Institute & Co-founder of the NRDC
Is something being over-looked in this situation?

Reply to  Barbara
May 17, 2016 12:06 pm
Reply to  Barbara
May 17, 2016 12:32 pm

James Gus Speth is or has been on the Board of The Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
May have to Google: James Gustave Speth-Biography-4 traders
Many other references for same information in the internet.

Reply to  Barbara
May 18, 2016 1:07 pm

Global Footprint Network, Oakland, California, U.S.
An international network
Use About Tab > Advisory Council
Advisory Council includes:
Thomas E. Lovejoy, George Mason University
David Suzuki, Canada
James Gustave Speth, now residing in Vermont
Peter Raven, Member of The Pontifical Academy of Sciences
And others.
Can do an internet search for: Gus Speth + Peter Raven and others.

May 17, 2016 12:29 pm

There’s no organized crime like government-organized crime.

Reply to  vounaki
May 17, 2016 1:11 pm

Most governments were originally nothing more then the best organized group of criminals.

Reply to  MarkW
May 17, 2016 1:45 pm

still are

Christopher Hanley
Reply to  MarkW
May 17, 2016 2:32 pm

“Most governments were originally nothing more then the best organized group of criminals …”.
IMO a very healthy attitude, an attitude which doesn’t come naturally to someone brought up in the British system but one that does or should come naturally to someone brought up in the US.
It all came home to me upon reading Mill and always a good to re-read as a refresher:
“… To prevent the weaker members of the community from being preyed upon by innumerable vultures, it was needful that there should be an animal of prey stronger than the rest, commissioned to keep them down. But as the king of the vultures would be no less bent upon preying on the flock than any of the minor harpies, it was indispensable to be in a perpetual attitude of defence against his beak and claws. The aim, therefore, of patriots, was to set limits to the power which the ruler should be suffered to exercise over the community; and this limitation was what they meant by liberty …” J S Mill On Liberty Chapter I Introduction.

Reply to  vounaki
May 17, 2016 5:00 pm

I’ve got your back on this issue. The climate change henchmen have learned much from organized crime families, so much in fact everyone involved in this family makes John Gotti look naive. The godfather-Odama!

May 17, 2016 12:46 pm

And all because they can’t believe that people might genuinely oppose them without the need for oil funded motives and take the attack personally. Why is it so hard for them to see sceptics as real people?

Reply to  TinyCO2
May 17, 2016 12:58 pm

They are convinced of the truth of warmunism. Therefore all skeptics are evil people throwing false doubt on certain truth. Never mind that climate models have failed, but for the just past ElNino temperatures have not risen this century, SLR has not accelerated, the ocean has not acidified, and there are still no climate refugees.
Maibach’s deposition went beyond Cook’s phony 97% to claim 99.9% scientific consensus certainty about CAGW, specifically that GW is A caused, and will be C. But when asked for a source of that remarkable stat, he could not provide one.

Reply to  TinyCO2
May 18, 2016 12:45 am

TinyCO2, all this is linked to the culture of safe spaces and a two-party system, both leading to bubbles of thought and vilification of opponents, all heading towards a societal melt-down on so many levels. This kind of politicking is not happening outside U.S.

Reply to  Pethefin
May 18, 2016 9:14 am

This kind of politicking is not happening outside U.S.

Not in my experience. This kind of politics is as old as man and the vilification of opponents existed in all of known history. The Founders understood that it is a basic condition of man and that only strict limits on the power of governments provide some bulwark against the abuse of the power of the State.
Effectively single-party states, cities and gerrymandered districts in the U.S. two-party system do promote “bubbles of thought” and lower the accountability of politicians but the problem is the subversion of our founding principles and the Constitution. By definition, we wouldn’t worry much about these corrupt, power-hungry scoundrels if generations of America’s “Progressives” didn’t manage to expand the power and reach of governments as they did over the last century or so and put the oppressive apparatus of power at their disposal.
The situation in the European Union is a case in point that governmental abuse and “societal melt-down” has nothing to do with a two-party system per se.

Reply to  Pethefin
May 18, 2016 11:06 pm

So, name one example outside U.S. where this kind of persecution of dissidents is happening, in a country with more than two political parties of real political weight. The problems within the EU are a different beast and can not be compared with the actions of the Green 20, can they?

Reply to  Pethefin
May 19, 2016 5:29 pm

Geert Wilders trials.
BTW, I don’t know it for sure but I consider it quite possible that our views are broadly comparable so I’d like to make sure we understand where we actually differ.
I propose we don’t waste any time on the whole “safe spaces” stupidity other than agreeing that if such things are not stopped they cannot lead anywhere else but to a complete societal melt-down.
Second, other than tradition, I have no stock in the American 2-party system and the current presidential campaign highlights the difficulties both parties are having with their traditional constituencies. I don’t believe, however, that the 2-party system per se is the cause of the abuse.
Do you disagree with my positions on the nature of man, limited government and the successful, long-view “progressive” efforts replacing our Constitutional Republic with an administrative state? If so, please tell me with which parts of it.
Also, why are the EU problems a different beast and why can’t the campaign against Wilders be compared to the campaign of the RICO20, Senator Whitehouse, Al Gore and the “Clean Power” AGs?
And last but not least: As you can see I will play but let’s keep the goal posts planted where they are until we both agree it’s useful to move them. Your request that I

name one example outside U.S. where this kind of persecution of dissidents is happening, in a country with more than two political parties of real political weight

Is not exactly corresponding to your original categorical statement that

this kind of politicking is not happening outside U.S.

Reply to  Pethefin
May 22, 2016 4:09 pm

Pethefin, you know how to make definitive statements but not how to follow up …

Tim Hammond
Reply to  TinyCO2
May 18, 2016 3:24 am

If you assume your opponents are evil or in the pay of others, you don’t have to engage with their arguments.
And the people with the worst arguments are always the ones to assume that their opponents are evil etc.

Reply to  Tim Hammond
May 18, 2016 7:17 am

There’s an old saying. If you want to know what a liberal is up to, check what he’s accusing his opponents of.

May 17, 2016 12:49 pm

Maibach’s deposition in the FOI litigation that produced these emails is quite revealing. Belief that Exxon is like Big Tobacco–the Oreskes meme, the Climate Accountabily and Legal Strategies meeting Sponsored by Climate Accountability Int’l and Union of Concerned Scientists at Sripps La Jolla June 14-15 2012.
He thought following up Senator Whitehouse call for RICO on climate change was a good thing, without knowing anything about RICO causes of action, just based on the tobacco meme (in which he was involved in his previous public health communications life. Agenda driven out of ignorance, purely warmunist belief based.

Reply to  ristvan
May 17, 2016 1:09 pm

They’ve driven themselves up a blind alley with the Big Tobacco meme. It tells them nothing useful about why people are rejecting climate action. As a technique it didn’t even stop the sale of tobacco. Surely the aim is to reduce CO2, not squeeze more cash out of oil. Until they admit that it’s their own message that’s causing the lack of support, not the sceptic side, they’ll never get any further with their cause.

Michael 2
Reply to  TinyCO2
May 17, 2016 2:23 pm

They’ve squeeze quite a pile of cash from tobacco. I don’t smoke so I was amazed at the ten-fold or so increase in cigarette prices over the past couple of decades.

Reply to  TinyCO2
May 17, 2016 4:16 pm

“Surely the aim is to reduce CO2, not squeeze more cash out of oil.”
You have more faith in their good intentions than I do.

May 17, 2016 12:54 pm

So the warmistas were lying. Again. I’m shocked I tell you, shocked.

May 17, 2016 12:56 pm

Given what we now know, they would have been lying to the public if they’d gone out and said there was “climate risk” whatever the fk that is,

May 17, 2016 1:12 pm

Time for Kenji to cancel his membership of the UCS!

Reply to  Scarface
May 17, 2016 7:03 pm

Absolutely not! They need at least one sane member.

Reply to  H.R.
May 17, 2016 7:06 pm


Reply to  H.R.
May 17, 2016 7:07 pm

“Snap!!!” means I said the same thing at the same time. Your post wasn’t up when I posted.

Reply to  Scarface
May 17, 2016 7:06 pm

No, Kenji might be the only sane member they’ve got.

Reply to  A.D. Everard
May 18, 2016 7:19 am

Definitely the smartest.

May 17, 2016 1:14 pm

…and just like Climategate, none of this will make any difference whatsoever.

May 17, 2016 1:48 pm

This lends more evidence that the AMS survey results were tainted by fear of reprisals by those asked to complete the survey. As discussed in

May 17, 2016 1:53 pm

They’ve basically admitted that they knew what they were doing was a misuse of their public position. If any of them are reading, here you go:

Reply to  RWturner
May 17, 2016 9:55 pm


May 17, 2016 1:53 pm

What i find interesting is the legal advice offered by Jeff Nesbit. I’m sure many of you have read Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation”. There the bit where Lord Dorwin visits the Foundation and is considered “a consumate donkey”. Only on later analysis is it revealed – that Lord Dorwin didn’t really say anything and said in a way that no one ever noticed.
From: Edward Maibach
Date: 9/24/2015 8:18
Subject: Fwd: respond?
Comments: Shukla is being contacted by Fox news about this story. Maibach forwards Jeff Nesbit’s confusing and deceptive advice of “I wouldn’t advise him to do so. Same problem.” Wouldn’t advise? Is that the same advise against? Same problem as what? Does Maibach’s forwarding of this advice with his interpretation that “Jeff Nesbit advises against responding.” – constitute Maibach providing advice to not respond?
In all of Nesbit’s replies, it’s difficult to parse what he’s actually saying. Either he’s “a consumate donkey” or fiendishly clever – and I can’t quite figure out which one it is.

May 17, 2016 2:34 pm

Did some more research. This fishing pool is deep and murky, but fascinating to a non-practicing lawyer.
So, USVI previously won a $800 million plus settlement against Hess, paying his DC class action law firm $15 million in contingent fees. But Hess ill maintained a 1960s USVI refinery, contaminated the islands groundwater big time (EPA cleanup still in progress), then tried to reduce liability by selling half of the refinery to Venezuela in return for a contract to only process Venezuelan crude. Bankrupt and shut down in 2014, after taking many more USVI tax subsidies to stay open until 2020’s. Easy win, big environmental damages.
USVI AG thinks he can use the same class action DC law firm against Exxon on climate change? Who per their morion in Texas to quash has no operations, no employees, and no assets in USVI. So USVI has no jurisdiction to issue a subpoena in the first place. The counter argument that some USVI investors owned ExxonMobil is refuted by their substantial risks 10-k going back to at least 2005, cited in Exxon’s Texas motion to quash the USBI subpoena. Delusional. Is not ending well for the Geeen-20 state AGs.

Science or Fiction
Reply to  ristvan
May 17, 2016 3:24 pm

Sounds like gross negligence by the Green-20 state Attorney Generals.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  ristvan
May 18, 2016 12:23 pm

ristvan May 17, 2016 at 2:34 pm
USVI has no jurisdiction to issue a subpoena in the first place.
Well ristvan that opens more questions then answers. Where were their brains? Here a group of AGs are conspiring to go after skeptics and they can’t pick one out of their group that would have Standing – Jurisdiction? How much thought and planning did they put into forming this “case”.
ristvan this goes beyond political corruption and suppression of opposing views it is (thankfully) complete and utter incompetence.
“C’est pire qu’un crime, c’est une faute”, (Joseph Fouche)
it was worst than a crime it was a blunder

May 17, 2016 4:58 pm

A little clique of “climate ” grant seekers solicits green activists . Does sound like the “science is settled ” ? They dismay that certain a certain ethnic group isn’t drinking their cool-aid . What is the matter with those Hispanics ? How much in grant money went to pay Shukla’s family ?

Smart Rock
May 17, 2016 5:48 pm

As I understand it, this whole thing started with comments by Senator Greenhouse that criminal prosecutions of “doubters” and the fossil fuel companies that fund them (BTW I’m still waiting for my payment, in case anyone at Exxon Mobil is on line today) would be a good thing. That’s the kind of mouthiness that is typical of many politicians when they get really engaged about something and drift away from their usual substance-free wittering on the party line. I somehow doubt that he ever intended it to be taken as the basis for action. The idea that the “RICO 20” could actually solicit prosecution by attorneys-general is pretty naive and sending their letter feels like a really bad move, probably done without even thinking about consulting lawyers with experience in the RICO law.
I have the feeling that the whole thing is going to fizzle and get forgotten by the public at large (if it ever appeared on their radar anyway, which I doubt). The one good thing that may come out of it all is that Shukla will quite possibly be exposed to criminal prosecution. That said, the public probably won’t take much notice.
However much “we” as sceptics, want to make the fact that Prof. Shukla appears (on the basis of information published here and at Climate Audit) to be a greedy, manipulative, mendacious, conspiratorial cheat, liar and thief a direct consequence of his warmist beliefs, that will be impossible to prove and probably untrue anyway. Those negative character attributes are no more a product of his scientific opinions than they are of his ethnic origin. To make a real difference, it would have to be a really high profile warmist, like Al Gore who gets prosecuted, then the media and the public might notice.

May 17, 2016 6:31 pm

This is a clear case of AG’S improper use of the law and people in their states should complain to the State Supreme Court. The AG’S should be diseplined.

Science or Fiction
Reply to  Bruce
May 18, 2016 8:12 am

It would be appropriate for the person who gave the following oath to take action:
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
But he is probably too busy saving the world.
“At the Attorney General Nomination Hearing for Loretta Lynch, George Washington University Law School professor and nationally recognized legal scholar Jonathan Turley, scathingly rebuked actions taken by President Obama and current Attorney General Eric Holder, saying that the “Justice Department is at the epicenter of a constitutional crisis.” cnsnews

May 17, 2016 6:48 pm

Shukla and Maibach deserve tar and feathers and to be run out of town, each for different character flaws and behaviors but neither less deserving of the punishment.
What disturbs me is what about the AGs? What do you do with officials who operate with an alarming bone-headed lack of basic ethics and debased knowledge of the law. When people with the authority of the justice system behind them abuse their power in order to abuse the rights of citizens and undermine the tenets of a free and open society, a firing squad comes to mind as appropriate and I am not even for capital punishment. Maybe they could use rubber bullets.

May 17, 2016 7:11 pm

I’d sure love to be a fly on the wall. No one’s going to be happy at the moment. Those AGs will be having second thoughts about it all too, I should imagine. I expect some fun ahead.

May 17, 2016 7:11 pm

Didn’t Maibach run the 2016 American Meteorological Society member survey on Climate Change?

Reply to  Hifast
May 17, 2016 7:45 pm

Hifast, You have depressed me no end. AMS needs to secure the raw data fast.

Reply to  bernie1815
May 18, 2016 5:21 am

Here is the AMS 2016 Survey Report.
I will take a look later today – if no one else has.

May 17, 2016 7:22 pm

Pamela Gray
May 17, 2016 7:24 pm

More than anything, this is the result of that ethereal concept known as “confidence” level. You know the one. Cook stove settings: low, medium, high. To the feeble minded, reeling from the lack of animal protein in their brain and waaayyyy too much bud, any use of the word “confidence” in ISEEPEEPEE reports or whatever the hell the acronym is for that sleezy group, sends them into a frenzied placard painting morning followed by lots of afternoon sitting-ins and chaining-ups. So. Where to place the blame for this mess? Right at the feet of “you should know better” quasi-hippy scientists with visions of grandeur “chair of diss and dat” dancing in their heads. And the &#@$ dissertation committee that let these pot heads through.
Breath Pam. Sip some wine. Relax.

May 17, 2016 9:08 pm

My favorite part of their conspiracy theory is how they claim a few guys at Exxon “settled the science” on Climate Change several decades ahead of the combined efforts of academia and governments around the world.

May 17, 2016 9:38 pm
May 18, 2016 12:12 am

Seems to me these Attorney Generals have exposed their own incompetence.
Maybe they should resign, before the Trump Administration, uses them to demonstrate that rule of law and protection of the constitution are back.
Course it will be a dead certainty these political hacks will be campaigning for Hillary, protecting both her and themselves from orange jumpsuits.

Reply to  John Robertson
May 18, 2016 4:06 am

In American politics, incompetence is not a negative.

Reply to  Slywolfe
May 18, 2016 4:29 am

Nor is it among the alarmist clique.

Reply to  John Robertson
May 18, 2016 1:45 pm

The President has no say over who states select as their AG, nor any power to remove them.

May 18, 2016 4:01 am

When were fossil fuel companies saying anything about climate change? I have never seen a single fossil fuel advertisement asking people to use more. The pitch is always, use our brand, not theirs. To equate this with the tobacco industry, which featured ads that blatantly tried to prove the “safety” of smoking, is just total nonsense. Or am I missing something?

wayne Job
May 18, 2016 5:40 am

In the later half of the last century was held the last official western book burning of a scientist in the good old USofA. His daughter hid some equipment and notes and came to OZ to escape for a while she died about two years ago just before my friend and I got some amazing results that have so far confounded scientists that have seen the results. So nothing new under the sun in America, it will take a Trump or more to sort out for the history of ill deeds is long and entrenched.

May 18, 2016 10:03 am

” Peter Frumhoff of UCS replied to that request by saying his organization would not join the effort — because UCS did not think the case was strong enough to have a chance of eliciting the intervention of the federal attorney general”
Notice here that the refusal was predicated upon the higher probability of failure and not on the moral high ground that “science” should not be legislated.

Reply to  getitright
May 18, 2016 10:39 am

Yes, they are shrewder than I thought. I wish they were all as arrogant and careless in their shenanigans as this lot.

May 18, 2016 10:04 am

The Spin Begins
From: Jeff Nesbit
To: Edward W. Maibach
Date: 9/24/2015 8:52
Subject: Re: respond?
Comment: Maibach ups the ante. He suggests contacting Chris Mooney (that well known “journalist”, writer of the ever so enthralling “The Republican War on Science”). So they know there’s a suitably compliant and non-incredulous MSM talking head that they can use to get their spin out there.
From: Edward Maibach
To: Shukla
Date: 9/24/2015 9:05
Subject: Re: Media Question on alleged funneling of climate funding Fox News
Comment: From his shoe phone, Maibach advises Shukla to contact Chris Mooney at the Washington Post. Maibach offers to arrange it. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say ‘na more!
From: Edward Maibach
To: Chris Mooney
Date: 9/24/2015 16:24
Subject: Re: Mason climate scientist Jagadish Shulka
Comment: Maibach contacts Mooney and defends Shukla as “honest and honorable”. Interestingly, though Mooney is not a GMU email address, it shows up using “friendly name”. Meaning that he’s in Maibach’s address book. I wonder what other suitably compliant and non-incredulous reporters are in there?

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