Crowd-source this document dump: The GMU #RICO20 emails are now online in full

As readers know, last week CEI scored a final court victory on the FOI request for GMU’s emails in the RICO20 case. In the final days, while GMU was prepared to release the emails under court order, the ringleader, Edward Maibach went off on his own and threw a volley of mud against the courtroom wall to see if anything would stick that would prevent the release. He failed miserably, and after just a couple of minutes hearing CEI’s counter-motion, directed that the emails be released “forthwith”.

The release consisted of boxes of paper that has the printed emails on them. This is a delaying tactic, one designed to make the petitioner jump through hoops to make former electronic documents electronic again so that they may be searchable. CEI had them scanned and has released them to me.

The result is one large PDF file of over 100 megabytes. There is a lot of information here, and thus it will benefit from a crowd sourced effort of examination, much as we did with the Climategate emails.

So here they are:

GMU-emails-20160527200127 (PDF 109 MB)

Note: if you can’t open/view this PDF, it probably has to do with your own computer not having enough memory, an updated PDF reader, etc.


GOOD NEWS! Commenter “cbone” made a searchable version of the PDF using a text scanner.

searchable-gmu-emails-20160527200127 (PDF 65MB)

Those that read these are welcome to post comments/excerpts below.


Tom Nelson finds this gem:


I’m surprised Trenberth didn’t go with 97%.

Here is another:


This one makes me laugh.




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If you have Adobe Acrobat, run the OCR function on it to make the text searchable.

Poor folks like me only have Adobe Reader. Many such as myself would be indebted to anyone who can provide a word-searchable file here.


…Adobe Acrobat is free at

D. J. Hawkins

Good only for XP machines and lower. MAY run on Vista.


Free Online OCR
Convert JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, PDF, DjVu to Text

I so wonder what goodies are in this document dump. There was enough resistance to releasing this information that is hopefully something there.


..My logic is, start from the bottom and work up…this may take a while LOL


..Hi Anthony..I received / downloaded 425 files via Adobe Reader at 112 MEGs..does that sound about right ?


Anthony, found immediately an awesome letter from Geoff Derrick to E. Mabach…Should I post it here or at “Tips” ??


pulled pages 422 though 425
no way to actually post it here as attachments not allowed and the particular text and images do not copy paste well
stored in my dropbox account

Barclay E MacDonald

Dropbox access works nicely. Thanks


That is beautiful. He even backs up his charges with data, rather than feelings or shady “facts”. Must have been very confusing to the recipients.

Bruce Cobb

The climate whores seem so relieved that Lubos Motl didn’t refer to them as prostitutes.
Yes, because that would have denigrated prostitutes.


I am running them through Adobe OCR right now. Is there somewhere that I can send them back so you have a word searchable document to post?

gnomish is a file host you can use


you can also zip or rar the file to reduce the size


Sending isn’t an issue, where to send is my question.




There is no need to yell. It is posted.



Don’t you have a DropBox account? They’re free.

The first two pages of the pdf should actually be the last two pages, as they are the continuation of Geoff Derrick’s email which appears at the end.


..that was exactly what I was trying to copy/ send to this thread . but I kept getting ” unsafe file” messages ??

Tom Judd

This is not unprecedented. Entities being investigated pull this stunt. Delay. Delay. Delay. Since the offending information is, in the end, likely to be ultimately uncovered this stunt exhibits both desperation and utter contempt for the investigating party. I say screw ’em.

Tom, all lawyers use delaying tactics like this in discovery. But the beauty of crowdsourcing on a heavily trafficked site is that thousands of eyeballs are available to investigate this email dump.
Lots of folks who should know better send emails containing incriminating admissions. Those highly educated scientists emailing each other in the Climategate email release seemed to believe that whatever they wrote would remain confidential forever. Ha! I suspect that these emails will be no different.
And anyone who discovers a juicy tidbit in the link here will surely be awarded bragging rights…


Lots of folks who should know better send emails containing incriminating admissions….and even run for president


If he had set up a private server in his basement, he could have deleted all the files and claimed they never existed.


transparently contemptuous. ipso facto and prima facie. they need a B-slappin.
it may just shift the conversation off CO2 and 97% for a while
hey- a guy can dream…


This link should work for the OCR’d file. The process also shrunk the file to around 60mb.


cbone on June 1, 2016 at 11:49 am
What did you make of the 6 large and 3 small ’empty’ objects in the email that started on pg 3 of the original PDF. They appeared to transfer as is into the OCR’ed version. Might they have been clippings from other media sources, or otherwise redacted or something else altogether?? Thanks in advance.


Seen enough to know they conspired to bully and infringe on First Amendment Rights . How much did the Board of George Mason University know about what these shut down free speech conspirators were doing ? Does the University have policies about lobbying while on the University payroll and using University computers to go on witch hunts designed to shut down free speech ?
The next FOI ‘s should be to release the audit trail of the University investigation into possible code of conduct breaches. What steps if any did the University take to sanction behavior that reflects badly on
the University .

Saul from Montreal

How long do the comment threads stay open after a post opens?


As long as Anthony wants them to.


Cute. Mann on p136 calls Climate Audit a fringe site, and then refers Shukla to Climate Nexus.
Alexa global rank of is 512,000 and is 2,000,000.

And his email address is un-redacted on page 135.


Interestingly on 2 Oct, 2015 Edward Maibach appears to try and take further discussion beyond the reach of FOIA:
Dear fellow letter signers.
Shakla and I respectfully request that you send us your private email address.
If you prefer to leave it in a voice message, call me at (The number is there, not sure if I should post it here.)
Edward Maibach, MPH, Phd
Yada yada

Thomas F Anderson

On page 216. (I removed the phone number)
From: Edward W Maibach []
Sent: Friday, October 02, 2015 7:15PM
To: J Shukla
Cc: Professor Barry Klinger; Mike Wallace; Benjamin Kirtman; Dr. Kevin Trenberth; Dr. Robert Dickinson;
Dr. Michela Biasutti; Dr. Mark cane; Dr. Lisa Goddard;
Subject: An important request
Dear fellow letter signers.
Shukla and I respectfully request that you send us your private email address.
If you prefer to leave it in a voice message, call me at {deleted}
Thank you,
Edward Maibach, MPH, PhD
University Professor, Department of Communication
Director, Center for Climate Change Communication
George Mason University, MS 6A8
Fairfax, VA 22030


One of the filings in the case pointed out that the phone number for reporting private emails addresses is Maibach’s GMU office phone number. Not exactly demonstrating that GMU was not involved in the activities.


Interestingly. At least one of the “private” email addresses of the signing party’s is exposed. Is an FOIA request on that a possibility?


grep, with some sort and awk then sed in bash. Mix and match as need be. (y) 🙂
Ha ha


p89, Shukla apparently at least at one point wanted to retract the letter.

Have now skimmed the whole thing. Started in empathy to Whitehouse WaPo op. ed. They were stunned at the response. Shukla considered retracting at urging of Peter Webster, they settled instead on second explanation drafted by PR pro P Newell at Many, like Trenberth, disagreed with the second letter and refused to sign. (Never apologize. Never explain.)
GMU FOI officer Woodley specifically warned Maibach and Shukla to be honest in searching, as other universities could produce emails GMU did not. P 235. They ignored her explicit warning and got caught out by CEI.
Trenberth complained about the ‘vitriolic’ response directly to Whitehouse, who replied “Comes with the territory, I’m afraid.”
The GMU group was dismissive of Climate Audit’s exposure of Shukla’s IGES double dipping, until Lamer Smith began investigating. Then it appears everybody discussing this cut and ran leaving Shukla as the last rat on the IGES ship. Maibach did try unsuccessfully to get WaPo’s Chris Mooney to write an IGES apologia.
Already known that UCS declined to participate; already known separately they were secretly behind the forecoming AG stunt.


The #RICO20’s contempt for CEI, GMU, GMU FOI officer Woodley, truth, and the court seems limitless. They are probably grateful for the presence on deck of Shukla, who will become their scape-rat, if they can arrange it.


ristvan on June 1, 2015 at 12:57 pm
or Anthony
What did you make of the 6 large and 3 small ’empty’ objects in the email that started on pg 3 of the original PDF. They appeared to transfer as is into the OCR’ed version. Might they have been clippings from other media sources, or otherwise redacted or something else altogether?? Thanks in advance.

Dunno. On my OS, an image in an undigestible format produces the big empty with a small boxed question mark in the center. Possibly a cut and paste of a video or equivalent that won’t translate through .pdf. On other ocaisions, more digging proved that to be the case. CEI can sort it out, as they have the paper originals.

Did the second explanation “drafted by PR pro P Newell” ever get released or get any circulation? Here’s my transcription of an email from a “Mark Cane” disavowing any connection to the letter:
Transcription begins:
From: Mark Cane
To: Edward W Maibach
Cc: J Shukla; Professor Barry Klinger; Mike Wallace; Kirtman Ben; Dr. Kevin Trenberth
Dr Robert Dickinson; Biasutti Michela; Goddard Lisa;
Subject: Re: Another important request
Date: Saturday, October 03, 2015 1:26:33 PM
I do not agree with this letter.
More to the point, I am sure that any such attempt to make things better, clarify, etc will backfire. It will provide a new opportunity for the climate doubters to launch a new round of blogs, attacks, etc.
Disraeli, who was a far better politician than any of us said “Never apologize, never explain.”
His advice should be followed.
Please take my name off this letter or any other. Please take me off this email list.
Transcription ends. My bolding.
And is there a handy list of the RICO 20?


At least they know they’re more politician than scientist.


It is nice to see someone use the term “doubter” rather than “denier”. A little less prejudiced and condescending.

Any need for text/document form of pages? I try to convert pages to text (with IRIS OCR etc). It is not perfect and there are now only about 99 first pages
More pages can produce if there is any need of that form.
I think the page wiht links is only temporary. A week or so.

There they are all. Last one is plain text version, no page breaks at correct places.

Now I see there is perfect PDF-text file for searching so in my folder there is only plain text version size of 232 kB. For some searching it may be faster?

Bernie, ClimateNexus is a Rockefeller Foundation funded organization that employs about a dozen people.


Interesting to find out about the climatebloggers group on Google Groups organising and deliberating cross-linking blog articles seemingly coordinated by climatenexus’ Jess Nesbit and Phil Newell including Greg Laden, Dana Nuccitelli and Aaron Huertas. Almost like a conspiracy…


antman: AKA in PR-speak as a “Coordinated Raising of Awareness Project”. Is that any different?


Rockefeller Oil Funded Foundation organization specifically


This far the most interesting:
From: Alex Bozmoski
To: Edward W Maibach
CC: Bob Inglis
Subject: Re: op-ed + a needlessly self inflicted headache.
Data: Monday, September 21, 2015 1:53:24 pm
Eli is President of R Street. Eli will some day be shadow president of America and presumably when that happens Andrew will steer the ship without a president for a while.

On Sep 21, 2015, 1:46 PM, “Edward Maibach”……………wrote:
Re the op-ed, thanks for the kind words.
………………………………………………………………………….,but it is good to know that it isn’t going to be a problem for the republicEN.
What does actually ” will steer the ship without a president” mean?????!
Especially when Edward Maibach seems so happy at such kind and assuring words…….

Steamboat McGoo

I saw that also. Who or what is “Eli” and what is “R Street”? And if they/it/them/whatever “…will some day be shadow president of America and presumably when that happens Andrew will steer the ship without a president for a while”, then why is it that I – an American (meaning US, I assume) citizen” – haven’t been informed of the Constitutional change?


R Street is a spinoff from Heartland that is pro-climate-lobby. It has mainly focused on insurance regulation issues. Eli is its president of the group. I’d need a lot more context to this conversation to interpret it adequately.

David A

Fascinating and strange. And what does,
” it is good to know that it isn’t going to be a problem for the republicEN.”
mean? And why the strange spelling and what are the ……………………………… followed by a comma? There appears to be much context missing here.

Eli. Is great guy.
R STREET. Also great


Eli Lehrer is the President of R Street Institute (Libertarian think tank) whose mandate includes using the ‘social sciences’ (propaganda) to convince people of the need to act now on climate change. Eli believes that government is best positioned to save us from thermageddon through the use of carbon taxation schemes including carbon import/export taxation. Apparently he co-operates with ALL of the usual crackpot environmental organizations (see list below). This would not be so worrying if Eli wasn’t also politically connected at the highest levels.
As to what “shadow President” means I have some speculations but they don’t belong on a climate website


Eli Lehrer is the President of the R Street Institute a supposedly ‘Libertarian’ think tank that advocates for the Republicans to pursue a carbon taxation strategy to save the planet from thermageddon. Eli believes it is critical to use the ‘social sciences’ (AKA propaganda) to make this dream a reality.
Eli works with ALL of the usual warmist agencies to help bring this about and is politically extremely well connected. As for ‘shadow president’ one can only speculate but clearly Alex Bozmoski possesses insight that Federal security services should be checking into.

Universe Man
Linked is one snippet in which Mark Cane claims that the signers of a climate letter should heed the advice of a politician named Disraeli (Benjamin, no doubt) and “never apologize, never explain.” I have not heard scientists claim too often that they should avoid explaining themselves, nor that they should be thought of as “politicians” as in “better politicians than all of us.”

Mike the Morlock

Universe Man June 1, 2016 at 1:48 pm
Perfect example for the Rico-20-mob, Benjamin Disraeli. Hmm wasn’t he the one who had a spot of trouble in Afghanistan? Then wasn’t there that inconvenience in Zululand in 1879 that caused him to lose his position to the Liberals? Yes, I would say a perfect role model, “never apologize, never explain.” Hope the philosophy works just as well with the warmist as it did for Disraeli.
Pyrrhus of Epirus would also make a splendid role model – mascot for the Rico 20 bunch.


What strikes me after a bit of scanning through is the amount of travelling these guys are doing. For people worried about the climate they have a huge carbon footprint.
DiCaprio’s Disease

Travelling that is funded, FYIA, by charitable foundations. Read page 42.

I am reading the emails.
I am focused on how may have the AG’s become possibly interactive with the RICO20.

F. Ross

A super “ream” job of Malbach by Jeffrey on p.390.

Christopher Hanley

Trenberth thinks he is motivated by ethics; what’s so ethical about denying about one third of the world population access to cheap reliable electricity and the longevity and life-enhancements that go with it?

“Trenberth thinks he is motivated by ethics; what’s so ethical about …”
He has told The Big Lie for so very long that he now believes it. He is “saving the world” for future generations and so anything he does is “ethical”. It is the same story we see with all collectivists, socialists, communists, welfare-state lovers, and so on.
To feel great about yourself because you are “saving the world” is a common delusion among the humans. I am starting to believe that even though the “monkeys with tools” have more technology; many other animals are far more wise and intelligent than us.


Hat Tip to Marcus and dmacleo.
P 422-425 is an email from Geoff Derrick to Edward Maibach.
Derrick plays the part of B-52 pilot, casts Maibach in the role of target.
It’s Great, everybody surf over there and take a look.
Here is a repost of the link dmacleo put up. This one is too good to overlook.


..B52’s…Tough, old and still kicking some ass in 2016!

Dodgy geezer

There’s a nice little bit I noticed where someone offered his ‘new assistant’ to provide general help, saying that he was a good strong activist….

David Smith

I checked out the “new assistant ” callled Nackerman. From Nackerman’s Linkedin profile you can see he is linked to all the usual radical campus groups including 350org.
Nackerman is a typical example of the kind of SJWs that Shukla is mixing with.


Page 132 is interesting. They are emails from members of the (once) secret Climate Bloggers Google Group which appears to be sponsored by—you have to email them if you want to become a member. All correspondence of this elite group are (were!) “strictly confidential.”
Members include Dana Nuccitelli, Greg Laden, Aaron Hurtas (Union of Concerned Scientists) and probably Ed Maibach.

Small quibble. Should that not be Union of Concerned Socialist Scientists?


Union of Concerned Socialists. No scientists in the bunch.

Actually, I think we already knew that activists were scheming and collaborating behind the scenes at some internet chat site but now we know where; a Google Group called Climate Bloggers. I wonder why they haven’t invited Anthony and others. : )

The big payoff is not in the amateurish Maibach FOI. As some of Maibachs stuff shows, itnis in Shukla. Shukla wrote Holden at OSTP. Shukla owned/ran IGES. CEI/Horner specifically requested relevant CoI and waiver docs. Maibach said he was confused by this; the request was aimed at Shukla. The IGES dog that did not bark in the night.
As we now now from Rep. Smith’s Congressional investigation, permission for Shukla IGES moonlighting was not given, Va mandatory CoI were not filed properly (a state crime), and the double dipping violated NSF written policy. Smith’s Congressional Oversight Committee has referred these proven matters to the NSF IG for proper legal recourse. That can include jail time for misappropriating (polite word for stealing) NSF grant funds. Most recent relevant case I found involved NIH not NSF, but similar double dipping rules. 48 months in federal penitentiary plus ~$800k restitution. Is serious.
Never cause a light to be shined on you when you have been illegally double dipping. Is why the apparent scramble for all other Rico-20 signatories to disassociate themselves from IGES.


‘”Climate change is 90% ethical and the other half is science”
It doesn’t bother him that they are discussing whether to put cientists in jail who disagree with them (RICO is a criminal statute) It only bothers him that they might get pushback. And he is claiming the high road on ethics?

Rico is both criminal and civil. The tobacco stuff was civil only. A distinction Whitehouse made in this trove of emails, that Shukla et. al. apparently did not understand.

You and I know that but as you suggested, from their point of view it’s a distinction without a difference, they are having a discussion about racketeering charges, asking the government with its full and unlimited powers to prosecute as racketeers their colleagues that don’t agree with them in science, without a second thought as to the ethics, totally convinced of their righteousness…all while trying to claim they have the ethics high road.
The fact that the left has this mindset of selfrighteousness to this degree and that it has permeated into the upper echelons of society…journalism (la times), school districts(Portland), universities (name any) and government (NY attorney general), is mind boggling if not out right scary.


To this day, there are many leftists who still defend Stalin and Mao’s killing of millions, because it was necessary to create the socialist state.


…from their point of view it’s a distinction without a difference…

Because civil RICO actions have broad scope for discovery and can thereby turn up incriminating evidence sufficient for criminal charges, it is critically important that civil RICO targets secure competent counsel and invoke their 5th amendment privileges early and often.
That said, the tobacco case was (apparently) unique. Scientific research and internal memos were run through the corporate legal dept and shielded under attorney client privilege for years (thereby concealing knowledge and intent). I don’t see anything remotely close to that with Exxon, but I’ve lived long enough to be surprised more than once. An sufficiently aggressive prosecutor could make Grandma Moses look like a Mafia Don.

Correction: I wrote “corporate legal dept” when it should have been “corporate lawyers”.

average joe

And the ravenous wolves tore them to pieces. And they were no more, never to deceive again. And the true believers wore sack cloth and sprinkled ashes on their heads, mourning the loss of their prophets. And then they left, never to be seen or heard from again.

Follow the money.
Back on May 16th, The Free Beacon reported Maibach as having said:
“If there was a settlement between the government and the fossil fuel industry” stemming from a RICO investigation, “there is no question in my mind that a good portion of that money should be spent on a national campaign to educate people on the risks of climate change”
So the money would be given “climate communicators” like Maibach.


Klinger refers to skeptics as “True Believers”. That’s rich. Projection much?


Shouldn’t that be “True Unbelievers”?


My thoughts exactly. I frequently want to say to people, “Do you hear yourself???”

What was so brilliant about the Greenland trip? Is this something like turning off the AC during a talk on CAGW in order to get the listeners in the mood? Is the context of this buried in another doc dump? Perhaps as a pdf attachment that’s missing? And then asserting that it would be good idea to get a charitable foundation to pay for the deception?
Trenberth certainly comes across as arrogantly self righteous. No wonder his mind is so closed to the reality of data and physics and why the IPCC has been so misguided.

Paul Lassiter

Are we missing a response email?
While saying he would be a co-signer Edward Sarachik asked Shukla: “Question: Does the RICOlaw only apply to organizations or are individuals also liable?”
Too bad Shukla didn’t respond, he could have cleared up right then they were only going after corporations… Yeah right!
Edward Sarachik
Edward W Maibach; paul A Dirmeyer; professor Barrv Klinaer; Andrew Light; paul S Schopf; David M. Straus;
Mike Wallace; Alan Roback; Professor Eugenia Kalnay; Dr Bill Lau; Dr. Kevin Teen berth; Professor T.N.
Krishnamurti; Dr vasubandhu Misra; Dr Robert Dickinson; Dr. Michela Biasutti; Dr Mark Cane;
~; Dr Alan Betts
Re: Letter to President and Attorney General
Thursday, September 03, 2015 2:40:15 PM
Dear Shukla: I am happy to be a co-signer in whatever to rm the letter wi ll eventually take. Question: Does the RICO
law only apply to organ izations or are individuals also liable? Cheers .. ed
On Thu, 3 Sep 20 15, J Shukla wrote:
> Dear Friends,
> Thank you for agreeing to be a co-signer of the attached letter to the President and Attorney General. Please find
attached a slightly revised version of the letter which will be sent as soon as I have received your final concurrence
via email. I also plan to send a separate letter to Senator Whitehouse informing him of our letter to the President
and Attorney General.
> It is not necessary for you to send me a signed letter, please just send me an email confirming your agreement.
Thank you.
> Regards,
> Shukla
EdwardS. Sarachik
3737 Brooklyn Ave.
Box 355674
Seattle, WA 98 195-5674
Phone 206-285-5221

Mike the Morlock

Paul Lassiter June 1, 2016 at 6:13 pm
Are we missing a response email?
Dear Shukla: I am happy to be a co-signer in whatever to rm the letter wi ll eventually take.
Question: Does the RICO
law only apply to organ izations or are individuals also liable? Cheers .. ed
Edward Sarachik is agreeing sign the document. He asks if it will include the likes of you and me.
His question does not indicate conditional or limited agreement to his signing.
“State of mind”.
All Members of the rico twenty now need to have their e-mail foia request to see if there were similar requests and the responses.
Popcorn time.
by the way Paul good catch
michael duhancik

Not much new here. I don’t understand why Maibach fought so foolishly against disclosure. Maybe he used tortured logic, like Jones did in his FOI fiasco, to “justify” not giving everything. I wonder if CEI can FOI information from the various AGs to see if they have anything that wasn’t produced here?
Anyway, it adds to the “vast body of evidence” indicating that there are people conspiring behind the scenes to rig public policy to support a failed theory and a dangerous cause.
I hate the phrase “vast body of evidence.” Sure there is a vast body of evidence about global warming but there is no credible evidence that future warming will be any worse than past warming—mild and mostly beneficial to the biosphere that we are an inextricable part of—and no credible evidence that droughts, floods or dangerous storms have been increasing.
So you can pretty much toss out the vast body of evidence that alarmist point to as being non responsive to the question of what our future climate will be like if we continue to use fossil fuels. Most likely it will be more verdant and more comfortable for all life on planet Earth.


“…The best estimate of the centennial standard deviation of temperature during the Holocene is 0.98 ± 0.27C.”
“During the 20th century, thermometers recorded an increase of about 0.7C. It seems reasonably certain that there was some warming due to the increasing buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but it seems difficult to estimate the magnitude of this warming in the face of a likely natural variation of the order of 1C. The signal of anthropogenic global warming may not yet have emerged from the natural background.”

Dave Kelly

On page 5 of on Maibach ‘s May 23, 2016, “Motion to intervene” Maibach’s attorney claimed these emails should not be released, in part, because it would require release of emails related to Maibach’s work on Puerto Rico. See where the motion reads:
“18. Dr. Maibach unquestionably has an interest in this litigation because Petitioners seek to compel the production of his personal email communications with fellow academics regarding a group letter, as well as his professional emails as they relate to work in Puerto Rico.” (Reference: Antony’s article “Breaking: #RICO20 Edward Maiback tries ’emergency stay’ to retroactively pull Shukla/George Mason University emails from view” written on May 23, 2016)
Yet… a check of the searchable the PDF provided here indicates none of the emails mention Puerto Rico at all. This suggest the one or more of the following: 1) Maibach didn’t know what was in the emails an and simply assumed emails with the term “Puerto Rico” were included ; 2) Maiback knew the emails didn’t mention “Puerto Rico” and was lying to the court; 3) GMU has withheld emails with the requested term “RICO”; or 4) CEI didn’t publicly release all of the emails it received.
In any event, the absence of any emails discussing Puerto Rico is raises an interesting question. .. were all of the documents requested by CEI actually released by GMU?


On page 350 of the PDF: Mark Cane or Kevin Trenberth (there are textual insertions that obscure the authorship) are discussing the advisability of leaving the Climate Stability paragraph in the RICO letter.
“Fair enough. And we will not mention the school of historians who attribute many agricultural
advances to Holocene climate crises.
The whole truth and nothing but the truth

Maibach to Shukla:
His feels the odds of the DOJ pursuing this case against industry are slim to none, because there are no easily quantifiable (health care) costs that the government can seek reimbursement for.
So, after seeking advice on the matter, and being advised that odds of any action are “slim to none” they proceeded with the letter anyway. Why? Why send a letter knowing in advance that it has no practical use? It would be reasonable to surmise that there are additional emails in which this was discussed and some reasoning around proceeding, but the FOI request didn’t capture them. I’d be interested to know if:
a) They concluded that the advice was wrong (and if so, why, and from whom did they seek alternate views?) or;
b) They decided the advice was sound but to go forward anyway.
I also note that Shukla claims to have sent this to “dozens” of other scientists, and at one point the goal seemed to be to get at least one signer from each of the 435 congressional districts (from memory on that one, I may have the number wrong). They only got 20.

Dave Kelly

Maibach himself indicated he wasn’t really interested in wither a civil/criminal RICO charges would be legitimate (or in his words “viable”). See his July 31, 2015 3:01 PM email to Peter Frumhoff (w/ Union of Concerned Scientist) entitled “Re: Senator Whitehouse’s call for a RICO investigation of the fossil fuel Industry” where Maibach states:
“Shukla has been consulting with lawyers so it is possible that– with their input– we too may
decide that Senator Whitehouse’s proposal is not viable. We’ll let you know what we decide
to do.
Regardless, our real intent is to rally the climate science community around useful proposals
–focused on solutions, and on removal of barriers. Please keep us in the loop on your plans
to promote accountability in the fossil fuel industry, as we would like to be of service. I would be delighted to get involved in assessing (and helping to shape) public opinion on this issue. I am confident that a concerted “truth” campaign can generate public indignation over the deceptions sponsored by the
fosssil fuel industry.”
Maibach was replying to Frumhoff’s earlier email where Frumhoff stated (in part)
“I’m following up on the scientists letter proposal that you shared with Nancy and Alden earlier this
week to let you know that (1) it prompted a lot of discussion among our staff, including with UCS
president Ken Kimmell and (2) after taking a close look, we’ve decided to not pursue this
opportunity with you.
Here’s why: In reaching out to climate scientists to sign on, we feel that we’d need to give them
some firmer grounding for believing that a federal investigation under the RICO statute is
warranted -enough so that they’d be able to explain their rationale for signing on to reporters and
others. As you know, deception/disinformation isn’t itself a basis for criminal prosecution under
RICO. We don’t think that Sen Whitehouse’s call gives enough of a basis for scientists to sign on to
this as a solid approach at this point.
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 and, in that context, opportunities for climate scientists to weigh in.
It would be interesting – and perhaps very useful – to consider how calls for legal accountability
will play out in the court of public opinion in different states/with different subsets of the
American public – something perhaps we could work with you all on as this unfolds.”
So… at this point Maibach knows his RICO charges don’t have a firm legal basis & he knows the Union for Concerned Scientist are trying to back-door the issue by influencing Attorney General’s at the state level.
Frumhoff’s email may explain why the Virgin Island’s AG suddenly withdrew his CEI Subpoena on May 13, 2016. Could be the Virgin Island AG has connections to the Union of Concerned Scientist and he wanted to remove the spot-light before Maibach email got out (pure speculation on my part).

So… at this point Maibach knows his RICO charges don’t have a firm legal basis & he knows the Union for Concerned Scientist are trying to back-door the issue by influencing Attorney General’s at the state level.
Yes, thanks for pointing that out. Underscores my point that they knew the course of action would fail, but proceeded anyway. Why? Based on their frantic attempts to re-frame their letter as being targeted at evil organizations rather than individuals, I surmise that this was a publicity stunt intended to build public support for the AG’s contemplating court action against Exxon and others. Per my comment downthread, I just get the feeling that someone with an agenda talked Shukla into this whole thing, and now that it has backfired, he’s left holding the bag.


I suspect this was a case of flinging a ton of mud and hoping some would stick in the public’s mind, at least in part. The parties involved were probably also hoping to intimidate climate realists into silence. The thing that group thinkers do not understand is that individualists tend to hit back rather than back down. Since the individualists tend to be right, poking the bear is unwise at best.


Even RiCO’s use in the news could have shaken a singular oil fossil fuel industries campaign, into the hands of anothe who’s not so intimidated a the creator themselves.


My goodness! The list provided by Dr. John Happs in his email on pages 55 to 78 is really incredible!

I noticed that too. It could be a WUWT post all by itself.

I agree. Funny that he quotes Shukla as a skeptic.

A couple of wonderful gems of the many in the Dr. John Happs letter (found in the pdf of the latest GMU email tranche) are these,

Dr. John Happs writes (on page 66/425 of the pdf of the GMU email tranche),
“Dr Stephen McIntyre: “The many references in the popular media to a “consensus of thousands of scientists” are both a great exaggeration and also misleading.”


Dr. John Happs writes (on page 62/425 of the pdf of the GMU email tranche),
“Dr Richard Courtney: “The empirical evidence strongly indicates that the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is wrong.”

That Dr John Happs letter is a good comprehensive reference of the manifest strength of skeptical criticism of the hypothesis of dangerous AGW from fossil fuels.

Billy Liar

It seems to me that there is something missing from this batch of emails, something important. I’m having trouble figuring out exactly what it is. It just seems to me that Shukla comes across as rather naive and foolish. He admits to little experience with politics and being in the public eye. He gets advice that the DOJ would be unlikely to act, but writes the letter anyway. Actually, he only edits the letter, it looks like the original draft was done by Maibach, not Shukla. Shukla couldn’t even write the letter on his own, but this was his idea? I can’t help but ask:
Did someone put Shukla up to this?
Shukla cites no evidence of wrong doing other than Whitehouse himself. A senior scientist with decades of experience reads a single opinion piece by a politician and concludes that he should jump feet first into a lobbying campaign to prosecute under RICO? If he’d written a letter asking Whitehouse how he (Shukla) could help, that I’d understand. But this?
I just get the feeling that this was someone else’s idea, and Shukla thought he would be some sort of hero by running with it.

“Did someone put Shukla up to this?”
No, the idea of writing the letter was Shukla’s in the first place. In July he wrote to Maibach saying
“I am writing to you to ask if you are able and willing to join me in sending a letter of support to Senator Whitehouse”.
That’s the first of the emails that started the whole thing off, see
Yes, he’s naive and foolish. I think they have such an over-confident view of their own self-righteousness that they can’t see any down-side.

Re the last point, here’s Maibach:
“I am confident that a concerted “truth” campaign can generate public indignation over the deceptions sponsored by the fossil fuel industry.”
(this was before they sent the letter, in response to UCS guy Peter Frumhoff saying he wasn’t convinced it was a good idea.)


Some of Shulka’s emails included in Maibach’s are not in the FOIA batch because Shulka is often using one of his email addresses. The original Shukla email to Maibach starting the process reads like a campaigner’s circular not an email between friends.


Paul Matthews wrote: “Yes, he’s naive and foolish. I think they have such an over-confident view of their own self-righteousness that they can’t see any down-side.”
I think that is exactly right, Paul. They didn’t think of themselves as criminals, they thought of themselves as heroes.
They probably still think of themselves as heroes, although they are probably unsure about their personal future right now.

Maiback was talking publicly about RICO months before the letter was written. See my post below.


Re: Paul @ 1:27 am:
“I am confident that a concerted truth campaign can generate public indignation over the deceptions sponsored by the CLIMATE CHANGE industry.”
Fixed it for Maibach. 😉 He inadvertently acknowledged his own dishonesty: when truth is in quotation marks, it is not truth.


Shukla and others mistake Oreskes work for something other than fiction. They attribute the very confusing lack of success in cutting CO2 to a nefarious network working against them. It never occurs to them that the scepticism is deserved. And because they’re a bit thick.


La Revenge des Incompetents.

Mark - Helsinki

Quote from a parent letter to college re 2 Professors signing RICO
“I ask the two of you to consider if this approach to science in which researchers demand others accept
their findings or risk defamation and imprisonment is the approach to science that UMD wishes to back.
I am not calling for any action against Professors Kalnay and Lau. I have no desire to damage anyone’s career over a difference in opinion. However, I would ask that a conversation take place with these professors, and at the very least, ensure the rights of their students to disagree with their points of view, and the rights of their students to be open to the writings of groups such as the Global Warming Policy Foundation without retribution. Furthermore, you may want to discuss the cost of having the University of Maryland’s name associated with such extreme and visible calls for action. ”
Exactly, the message to students is clear, dissent and be ruined

Here’s what Kalnay thought of the idea to write the RICO letter:
Dear Shukla:
Great email and great letter!
(and great idea!)
Thanks for doing this!

Ok. Read them all.
Nothing of interest.

I agree. Except for the Climate Bloggers secret cabal. The real story is that Maibach thought he could get a piece of the pie if a RICO action generated a cash payout. See my post below.

Mike the Morlock

Steven Mosher June 2, 2016 at 7:50 am
Ok. Read them all.
Nothing of interest.
Good. for myself personally and and the skeptic side of the the issue I find your lack of interest most helpful. Please maintain you mind set, it is most useful.
Michael 🙂

I read the whole pile. Same way I read all the climategate mails. in one sitting.
All the juicy stuff ( with a few exceptions) had already been covered.
A few mentions of climate audit .. Mann makes an appearence..
but nothing on the level of climategate.
The search terms were pretty narrow. I dont know what folks expected to find..
existence of a google group was interesting but expected.
so not much of interest.. a few gotchas.
The skeptical letters were pretty embarrassing,, for skeptics

Tim Hammond

Ok. Read your comment. Nothing of interest.
Closed minds rarely are.

Ian H

The most interesting thing I found was

The Greenland idea is blindingly brilliant for sure. It’s the kind of thing that I suggested to
Prince Charles–the he invite folks like George Will to accompany him to Antarctica, hosting
the group at the Kiwi station there. (The Prince said he’d consider it, minding that he not
get too far into policy and politics.) The challenge–which perhaps can be overcome–with
members of Congress is fitting such a trip into the gift rules

Apparently Scott base is now like some kind of royal palace where the prince can invite friends to come schmooze. Who knew!
Shukla also seems to have drafted a second letter which was supposed to respond to the points being made by his critics. It is mentioned as being attached in many of the emails but I couldn’t find the letter itself.

David Smith

“The Prince said he’d consider it, minding that he not get too far into policy and politics”

This will infuriate people in the UK, as Prince Charles should not be involved in politics AT ALL, but seems to be admitting that he IS in fact getting involved in political matters.


“this will infuriate people in the UK”
No it won’t, he has been doing this for 2 generations. Nobody takes any notice or cares.Why do you think HM carries on at 90 FFS other than Chukka will terminate the the monarch and she hopes to outlive him.

This point about the missing second letter is a good one. What justification did they come up with to withhold it? I hope CEI will ask for it again.

Ian H

I found it in the other document dump. Search for the date October 2, 2015
Nothing of great interest. Mostly a belated attempt to take back the mistake they made in putting the letter on the IGES website.

Peter Sable

So is anyone surprised that Bob Inglis, head of an allegedly free market think tank and a former Republican member of congress, is collaborating with these buffoons?
Maybe not, since Inglis was defeated in the 2010 Republican Primary, by the Tea Party insurgency. Did that cause him to “switch sides” or was he always a RINO?
I also find it amusing that someone who is head of a think tank with the term “Republic” in it would be in close association with Prince Charles, a monarch. Or also be fairly gushing when referring to Prince Charles. A proper American should be skeptical of royalty. (Page 34 of the searchable doc linked above)

Bryan A

A RINO…I thought he was a well placed MOLE


From Page 284/285

From: J Shukla
Sent: Tuesday, July 21,2015 6:44AM
To: Edward W Maibach
Cc: J Shukla
Subject: Re: Letter to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Dear Ed,
As always, excellent suggestions. I live in Maryland. Please let me know what Bill Novelli suggests. I am a novice on such matters.
In the past I had taken the view that perhaps I can be more effective as an educator if I were not engaged in
political debates/actions.
I have changed my mind (with regrets as to why I waited so long!),and I have decided to get fully engaged in this process, not just the climate change issues but even the larger issues of inequality and social justice.

Shukla confesses that political action would take away from his job as an educator. But then immediately says that’s what he wants to do now (regretting he hadn’t fleeced the taxpayers sooner). He admits the activism is more important than his role as a professor.
Then, just like any good liberal, launches into inequality and social justice – both socialism buzzwords. He’s saying this while taking hard working taxpayer money.
This should be grounds for termination. Period.


To be filed:
“I have changed my mind (with regrets as to why I waited so long!),and I have decided to get fully engaged in this process, not just the climate change issues but even the larger issues of inequality and social justice.”
Put this in the “scientists are as politically motivated as any one” file. Item No. 23623.
“In the past I had taken the view that perhaps I can be more effective as an educator if I were not engaged in political debates/actions.”
Put this in the “Universtity Professors are too often liberal socialists” file. Item No. 10467
Put entire letter in the in the “Socialists tend to want to use the force of government to squelch opposing views.”
Put the entire RICO2O ordeal to prosecute those who disagree with them, in the “Why Socialist mindsets lead to loss of freedom and to totalistarianism” file; also cc in the “Social Justice warriors have a perverted sense of Justice” file.

Some interesting findings. Sorry I didnt keep the page references, but I’m sure all you readers catched it (if not, you know what to look for:
– Mailbach asking URGENTLY for the private e-mail addresses of his pals. Backfire management of a public matter is certainly a private matter.
– Shukla getting advice from MIchael Mann. Nothing better than the support of a well-known, upstanding scientific figure
So glad my eyes dropped on these gems. Just unfortunate I didn’t take the time to open a WP account at the time of reading. Will do better next time!

I have just uploaded to dropbox:
a text version of the pdf, page by page.
Download from dropbox, then you can either merge all ‘pages’ into one file for searching or use grep etc
You can see who emailed by searching for ‘To:’ also ‘From:’
quite illuminating….

Gunga Din

This is part from page 413 of the searchable version. Might be significant.
(I searched for the work “hide”.)

This is standard form. Yes the best thing for all is to ignore these
people. The admin. may not ignore it. NCAR has had several of these
over the years including this time also. The response from the NCAR
Director is that the scientists have complete freedom of expression and
it is inappropriate tor the administration to interfere or something to
that effect. The admin people may feel obliged to respond and you can
advise them what to say. Have them contact Jim Hurrell if they want
advice (previously Tim Killeen).

I’m not sure who “the admin” is.
MODS If we copy/paste something, should we omit email addresses? I assume “yes”?
[best practice is to eliminate them. .mod]