An Open Letter to the #ExxonKnew #RICO20 Attorneys General about Climate Change

From the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation:

Dear Attorneys General,

You’re not stupid. Stupid people don’t graduate from law school.

Neither are you generally ignorant. You know lots of law.

Statue of Leonardo da Vinci: Milan Image via Wikipedia

Statue of Leonardo da Vinci: Milan. Image via Wikipedia

So, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and members of Attorneys General United for Clean Power, take no offense when I tell you that your intent to investigate and potentially prosecute, civilly or criminally, corporations, think tanks, and individuals for fraud, under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) or otherwise, because they question the causes, magnitude, risks, and benefits of global warming, and best responses to it, is a dead giveaway that you’re ignorant about climate science and related climate and energy policy.But the day of the “Renaissance man,” vastly learned across all fields of knowledge, is long gone. All intelligent and learned people are ignorant about some things.

I’ve thought this ever since you first went public, but an email from Ed Maibach, Professor in the Department of Communications and Director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University (GMU), to Jagadish Shukla, Professor of Climate Dynamics and president of the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies and the Institute of Global Environment and Society at GMU, dated July 22, 2015, ironically makes the point:

I had breakfast with David Michaels today. He is currently the Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (in the US Department of Labor), and a former environmental health colleague of mine at George Washington University. He is an expert in the case against the tobacco industry.

His [sic] feels the odds of the DOJ [Department of Justice] pursuing this case against [the fossil fuel] industry are slim to none, because there are no easily quantifiable [health care] costs that the government can seek reimbursement for.

That said, I have no objection to our sending a letter to the President, our Maryland Senators and members of Congress …, with a cc to Senator [Sheldon] Whitehouse [D-RI], asking them to support Senator Whitehouse’s call for a RICO investigation.

That’s ironic because it comes from one of the 20 signers of Shukla’s infamous letter to AG Lynch and the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy urging a RICO investigation similar to that against tobacco companies in the 1990s.

The ironies of Maibach’s email are obvious enough. He cites an expert who thinks the odds of DOJ’s acting “are slim to none,” yet signs a letter asking DOJ to do it. He knows why the odds are slim: “because there are no easily quantifiable … costs that the government can seek reimbursement for.” Yet he signs a letter saying, “We are now at high risk of seriously destabilizing the Earth’s climate and irreparably harming people around the world.”

But the chief irony I have in mind is that you, attorneys general—none of whom, presumably, is an expert in climate science or ecological biology or the economics and engineering of energy or any of the many other fields relevant to the controversy—have launched precisely the action Maibach reported Michaels said DOJ wouldn’t launch for lack of easily quantifiable costs.

Now, why would Michaels have said there were no easily quantifiable costs?

Because, unlike in the case of tobacco’s health risks, there are innumerable and enormous holes in the case (not for human contribution to global warming but) for manmade global warming dangerous enough to justify spending trillions of dollars reinventing the world’s energy system to mitigate it, particularly when competing use of those trillions might bring far greater benefit.

And you, intelligent and learned all, are ignorant of those enormous holes.

It’s not entirely your fault. Journalists have been delinquent in reporting them. Climate alarmists have worked hard to deprive dissenters of research funds, jobs, and publication while hiding their own scientific misconduct. And it is ever so much easier to tell a scary story to motivate the public than to unpack the gory details with all their uncertainties.

So here are a few recommendations for you to remedy your ignorance:

  1. Start by getting a grasp of the basic science of climate change by reading former Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chairman Sir John Houghton’sGlobal Warming: The Complete Briefing.
  2. Then, to learn some of the reasons for doubting Houghton’s somewhat alarmist views, read The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists, by equally well-qualified climate scientist Roy W. Spencer.
  3. If you’re brave, get into the weeds of why the IPCC said in its Third Assessment Report, “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible” (emphasis added), by reading Taken By Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming, by applied mathematician Christopher Essex and environmental economist and statistician Ross McKitrick. You’ve probably never heard of the Navier-Stokes equation, but it is unsolved (and a million-dollar prize awaits anyone who solves it), yet accurate long-term prediction of climate requires its solution.
  4. Go beyond journalists’ breathless reports based on the biased and unrepresentative Summary for Policymakers and actually read the (mostly very good) thousands of pages of the main texts of the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC (including Working Group 3, whose predictions indicate countries poorest today are better off under warmer than cooler scenarios because in their models economic growth fueled by fossil fuels drives the warming). In them you’ll discover far more uncertainty than the SPM reveals.
  5. Read the thousands of pages of the competing reports from the Nongovernmental [hence less politicized] International Panel on Climate Change.
  6. Get acquainted with the meaning of “climate sensitivity” and why estimates of it—and consequently of all effects of global warming driven by human emissions of CO2 and other deceptively named “greenhouse gases”—have been declining over the years.
  7. Learn a little about “energy density” and “power density” and how they relate to questions about the engineering and costs of various energy sources from Robert Bryce’s Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Futureand then about the costs of replacing fossil fuels as the source of roughly 85% of all the world’s energy with wind, solar, and other “renewable” options.

If you do these things, I don’t guarantee you’ll become skeptical of dangerous manmade global warming, but I do expect you’ll understand—because you’re smart—that the issues are far more complex than you thought, and certainly far too complex to be adjudicated in a court of law that needs to find “easily quantifiable costs” to justify a ruling.

You’ll also learn that honest people intelligent as yourselves—and maybe better informed—can disagree about the causes, magnitude, risks, and benefits of global warming, and best responses to it, without being mafia bosses. You’ll discover that what motivates us is far more our concern not to trap billions of people in poverty by denying them access to the abundant, reliable, affordable energy indispensable to lifting and keeping any society out of poverty.

And then maybe, too—before Congress takes you to the woodshed—you’ll decide to back off your potentially felonious conspiracy to “injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person … in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same,” for which you could be fined or imprisoned up to ten years, or both (18 U.S.C. 241).

Signed (italics denotes climate scientists; boldface denotes legal experts):

Timothy Ball, Ph.D. (Historical Climatology), University of London, England

Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Founder and National Spokesman, Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation

Charles Clough, M.S. (Atmospheric Science), Founder and Retired Chief of the US Army Atmospheric Effects Team, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

Colonel John A. Eidsmoe, JD, Senior Counsel, Foundation for Moral Law, Professor of Constitutional Law & Criminal Procedure, Oak Brook College of Law & Government Policy

Christopher Essex, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Western Ontario

Neil L. Frank, Ph.D. (Meteorology), Director, National Hurricane Center (1974–1987), Chief Meteorologist of KHOU-TV, Houston (1987–2008)

Rev. Peter Jones, Ph.D, Director, truthXchange

Madhav Khandekar, Ph.D. (Meteorology), former research scientist, Environment Canada, Expert Reviewer, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report, 2007

Jamieson C. Keister, Ph.D. (Physics), retired research chemist, 3M Company

Kevin Lewis, J.D., Associate Professor of Theology & Law, Biola University

Anthony R. Lupo, Ph.D., Department Chair and Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri

Prof. Dr. Vishal Mangalwadi, LLD, Director, Centre For Human Resource Development, Sam Higginbottom Institute for Agriculture, Technology, and Sciences, Allahabad (UP), India

Tracy Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics, Grove City College

Ben Phillips, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Harvard School of Theological Studies, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Shawn Ritenour, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Grove City College

Chris Skates, B.S., Environmental Chemist

Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D. (Meteorology), Principal Research Scientist in Climatology, University of Alabama; former Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center; U.S. Science Team leader, Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA’s Aqua satellite

Timothy Terrell, Ph.D. (Economics), Associate Professor of Economics, Wofford College

Anthony Watts, Publisher, WUWT, the world’s most viewed website on climate

147 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the #ExxonKnew #RICO20 Attorneys General about Climate Change

    • Pardon my French, but this was a laudable, concise effort to put together all major causes to keep science-making out of court rooms. There are ifs and buts, which extend from carbon balance and sensitivity to mitigation and energy production, from economics to engineering, biology and geology.
      Effects of CO2 on climate and climate’s effects on humans are both wicked problems with difficult-to-quantify parameters related to both urgency and effectiveness of adaptation, let alone mitigation.
      Don’t be fooled by people who just claim we are paid to be contrarian. Don’t be fooled by people who say the science is settled. Don’t do stupid stunts and think you are a hero.

      • Rational mind?
        The Cornwall Alliance???
        Perhaps you should read up on
        them to see how rational they are.
        Read their own stuff.
        Its mind blowingly anti rational.

  1. Hopefully some additional congressmen and candidates were copied. I wonder if anyone will respond?
    Nice job.

  2. No Judith Curry?

    boldface denotes legal experts

    Did you mean to refer to them as “boldface lawyers”?

  3. I applaud your intentions. This letter will have no effect. All the addressees are teflons (non-stick).

    • The letter is actually intended for the millions of voters that must have the final say in the matter by electing officials that won’t sell us down the global warming river. Those to whom the letter is addressed might as well be stone statues.

    • Not just emotions rule but belief systems and cognitive biases that program smart brains. This causes assumptions because of subjective interpretations of information…….. that leads to actions.
      Actions result in risk taking (public) endeavors that put ones reputation at stake and a defensive posture when it comes to opposing or contradictory evidence……….which is how this letter will be taken.
      We can sum it up this way to support skeptics in their view that CO2 is a beneficial gas and the evidence for CAGW is very weak.
      1. The earth is greening up……..even deserts are greening up. World food production is soaring higher because of the contributions of CO2 in the law of photosynthesis.
      Why would you prosecute entities that give these facts substantive weighting?
      2, We’ve had the best weather and climate the past 4 decades since the Medieval Warm Period(that was warmer than this by many legit accounts).
      Violent tornadoes and severe storms are down. Hurricanes are down, global drought is steady to down but heavy downpours and flooding is up. Modest warming, mostly of the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere has been mostly beneficial.
      Why would you prosecute entities that give these facts substantive weighting?
      3. Most of the extremes we’ve been told are happening and will get worse are not actually happening……..yet, with the exception of the increase in heavy rain amounts. Almost all the bad weather/climate and hundreds of catastrophic effects on life, only exist on model projections based on unproven(and busting) theories. Climate models, so far have failed to show skill. They are too warm and clearly cannot simulate regional weather. They cannot predict clouds or the effect they might have, the water cycle, the oceans, the sun and many other key factors to predicting weather and climate.
      Why would you prosecute entities who give these facts substantive weighting?
      If the climate was mostly driven by the tiny amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and this had widespread support in the scientific community and “deniers” were people and entities that completely understood this but still attempted to mislead others into believing differently, then you might have a case.
      Rock solid facts #1, #2 and #3 above are compelling evidence that this is not the case. How ironic that the label of “denier” is given by some to describe the large group of individuals that see so much described in the facts above……. with an open mind.

  4. This statement really hit home and about sums up the whole argument; “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible”.
    Wonder if the AG(s) will even pay attention to this letter.

    • I suspect the AGs won’t pay any attention this time, unfortunately. The letter is to be applauded. A follow up letter addressing a few more specifics is required I think in order to trigger some doubts in their minds. Ultimately, when they look into it they will realize that continuing on their current course CAGW will have to be tested in court and then things will get very nasty as the deception, the uncertainties, the complexity and the corruption is revealed.

      • Mike, I admire your position, but certainly by now you must understand this isn’t about science, or even “doing the right thing” for society?
        It’s about power (money) and control. It won’t be stopped by facts. The highest and best hope we can have is that by being foolish enough to take this fight to a scientific arena, they will incur the contempt and maybe even wrath of the general population. Had they stuck to a platform that was more emotional and less objectively wrong, it would have been easier, although I don’t think they run a real risk of failing.

    • “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible”.
      That statement comes directly from IPCC literature, does it not?

      • “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible”.

        I’ve never liked this description and I distrust the intentions of those that proposed it!
        I think that as we come to learn more about complex systems the error will become clear.
        The Earth’s Climate is a complex system and is therefore by definition, neither chaotic nor non-linear* Complex systems arise at the boundary of chaos. They are the exact opposite of the simple systems of Chaos Theory which can exhibit complex behaviour (chaotic or otherwise).
        Complex systems exhibit simple behaviours with ordered outputs such as temperature that remain in a narrow range over very long periods. They are predictable and stable, not easily perturbed either by very small or very large inputs.
        It is vastly simpler (And achievable) to predict the life stages of a star than to calculate the motion of its plasma for example.
        Turbulent eddies and cloud formation are already heading towards the complex end of the scale in a continuum between simple(unpredictable/incalculable) and complex(predictable/calculable). It may be that the vast systems of Earth are powerfully stable in a way that is not fully appreciated today.
        *”Non-linear” is a truly unfortunate choice of term made by the fathers of Chaos Theory.
        It hobbles interdisciplinary communication, making it almost impossible to communicate accurately to non-specialists or the general public. Confusion and fear now replace reasoned debate about these issues. It’s hard to imagine that this wasn’t a deliberate choice because they took a phrase that had a common meaning in mathematics and science in general and then set about popularising the then “new science” along with its erroneous terminology (“Chaos” is also misleading in the context of the theory).

      • Scott Wilmot Bennett writes:

        Complex systems exhibit simple behaviours with ordered outputs such as temperature

        Temperature is more commonly an input to chaotic systems. It drives systems from equilibrium to “far from equilibrium” states, which is necessary for us to observe chaotic behavior. A very good introduction to this for casual readers is Dr. Ilya Prigogine’s “From Being to Becoming: Time and Complexity in the Physical Sciences”. Prigogine has also written several other books aimed at people trying to understand chaotic dynamics, including “Order out of Chaos”, which provides a slightly more in depth discussion.

        ”Non-linear” is a truly unfortunate choice of term made by the fathers of Chaos Theory.

        Unfortunate in what way? You mention there are mathematical definitions of “non-linear” and suggest this definition is somehow misapplied to physics? The systems described are non-linear both physically and mathematically; they undergo unpredictable state changes. It isn’t possible to predict exactly where a chaotic system far from equilibrium will stabilize next, or at what energy level it will stabilize though we observe it happening.

      • Reply to: Bartleby June 12, 2016 at 8:23 pm
        I’m a big fan of Chaos and did read Gleick’s book at the time and others on the subject.
        Two things have been confused, sensitivity to initial conditions and non-linear equations.

        The mathematician Stanislaw Ulam remarked that to call the study of chaos “nonlinear science” was like calling zoology “the study of non-elephant animals.” (Gleick)

        I will try to find time to make a more thoughtful reply but essentially, I mean’t that algorithms and computer models are sensitive to initial conditions, while the real world and complex systems can not be divorced from their histories. Stanislaw is making a deliberate understatement because most of the world is nonlinear from the point of view of the solvable equations of Mathematics.
        To say that the Climate is non-linear is misleading because what is actually being said is that any algorithm or computer model of the climate is non-linear.
        I’m also a fan of both Newton and Einstein and to date their ‘linear’ and therefore solvable descriptions of the cosmos are the very best we have. And I say this wanting better but also with deep appreciation for what we have achieved so far. We know non-linear models don’t work and we have known this since Gleick at least, yet we continue making computer models? Go figure!

  5. just like NASA knew in 1971 that the aerosol effect overcomes the greenhouse effect and that fossil fuel emissions will bring on an ice age? the nixon knew thing (what did he know and when did he know it) does not apply to science.

    • #nixonknew ice age is coming?
      It is good to remember the doomsayers are always with us. In what cultural or religious context the doom is about to come, differs, but humanity has a few per cent people who kind of enjoy telling the end is nigh.
      But worse than doomsayers are people who want to ‘do something’ without properly thinking who really benefits from that something. [kwi: ‘bo:no:]

  6. Schneiderman is protected by the ridiculously broad NY Martin Act whichmdoes not require scienter or reliance or actual damages. The other AG’s are not. CEI and others should institute a ‘deni*r’ class action civil suit against them as a group, plus Oreskes for Merchants of Doubt, plus UCS for conspiring to deprive first amendment rights under 42USC1983 and/or 1985. That is the civil equivalent of the KuKluxKlan criminal statute.

  7. Can we stop pretending these authoritarians are honest but confused, rather than knowingly corrupt?

    • Always take the high road; it plays better in the court of public opinion, which is where this thing will be won or lost.

      • And besides, they are confused even if they were corrupt (which is a rather useless slander without evidence).

    • TL,
      “Can we stop pretending these authoritarians are honest but confused, rather than knowingly corrupt?”
      Well, I can, and do, but many are incredibly gullible, it seems to me . . thinking, apparently, that there is no such thing as real authoritarians . . Went extinct sometime late in the twentieth century, I guess . .

    • Absolutely! Read Dinesh DeSousa’s book, “Stealing America” and you will understand perfectly.

  8. Every time there has been a contested case on the issue (there have been several EPA style fake cases, not really contested), the Warmists have lost due to silly, unscientific, exaggerated claims.

  9. Ah, we need a new version of the Scopes Trial for the rest of the 21st century to laugh at.

  10. …All intelligent and learned people are ignorant about some things….
    Except me, of course. I follow in the distinguished footsteps of Benjamin Jowett, Master of Balliol, of whom the doggerel rhyme went:
    “Here come I, my name is Jowett.
    All there is to know I know it.
    I am Master of this College,
    What I don’t know isn’t knowledge!”

  11. I think that it is important to point out, that at the time of Exxon’s supposed research and expertise, there was probably one person with a Phd. in “Climate” in the entire world [a Canadian??]. And certainly none on Exxon’s payroll. So, Exxon did not have any employees competent enough to comment on Climate Change either way. Exxon would have looked like fools to make any statements that were not backed up by peer reviewed studies. At that time, no “peer reviewers” existed.
    Graphene was discovered a few years ago. Companies like Lockheed are investigating uses. What if 30 years from now they find out that graphene is like asbestos [I know, not possible, just illustrative]. So everyone sues Lockheed for not telling the world. When Lockheed started their research, there were no Phd’s in graphene.

  12. Great letter, but as socialist economist and IPCC WG3 Co-chair Ottmar Edenhofer said in 2010, ““…one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth…” Climate change is the vehicle that Edenhofer and his ideological soulmates plan to ride into their brave new global socialist utopia. Besides many others, they have the help of these useful AG idiots. It is doubtful that rational arguments will carry any weight.

    • The main consequence of implementing their distorted ideology will be the needless deaths of countless millions. Nothing good ever came out of an elitist-controlled, centralized world government.

  13. I hope, for your sake, that – unlike the RICO letter signatories – that you’ve vetted your signatories. I’m pretty sure the other 19 are privately pretty upset that Shukla was among the signers of the RICO20 letter. In their view, his criminal behavior tarnishes their entire effort and I’d bet they’d all be a lot happier if Jim Kinter had signed instead of Jagadish Shukla.

  14. Schooled them good. Not that they’ll listen, of course. I see the letter as deliciously patronizing. It gives them a choice; either they are total ignoramuses when it comes to climate, or they are corrupt, lying authoritarians only interested in enforcing an ideology. My guess is the latter, but who knows?

    • These are fairly intelligent individuals whose ambition greatly exceeds their morals. They seek to climb the ladder of Democrat politics and curry favour with that power base , enviro- socialists and the power manipulators (the Clinton’s). Check out Hillary’s personal server emails. I’ll eat my lawyer’s hat if she and Bill weren’t deeply involved in the conspiracy.

  15. I applaud the effort (and good references) but we must be careful about assumptions – what made you assume that my AG (Vermont) is neither stupid nor ignorant??

  16. The RICO 20 AG’s are operating from indomitable ignorance. In their mindset, the authors of the letter are sellouts to evil energy corporations, and they are saving the world. Civil rights prosecution is about the only thing that will influence them.

  17. Marvelous- I will be forwarding a copy to my representatives and requesting insight into the actions they are taking to prevent such felonious assaults by government on our constitutional rights. This egregious attack is a logical extension after the political success derived from the Lerner agency weaponization.
    I think I’ll also request an update on NASA’s success in pursuing their “foremost” goal of reaching out to “Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering.”

    • The latest I saw on NASA’s Muslin outreach is NASA is paying to send Pakistani kids to space camp.

  18. I graduated from law school and have been practicing law for 25 years. I can assure you that stupid people do in fact graduate from law school, pass the bar exam, and practice law. Regards, James N.

  19. As I have commented many times: Global Warming / Climate Change will never stand up in a U. S. court of law under competent cross examination.

  20. Now, why would Michaels have said there were no easily quantifiable costs?

    I think you meant Maibach.

  21. Also, I realize that it was Shukla that was the Actual From addressee of the RICO letter to John Holdren, but I really regard it as the Maibach letter. He’s the one that wrote it, coordinated getting all the co-signers, incorporated all the edits and suggestions, and prepared the final letter.

  22. I hope you have forwarded a copy of this awesome, rational letter to Trump and his advisors…Like it or not, he is the Republican nominee, and he may be a able to spread this to a HUGE, hungry audience !
    + 50 stars….

    • Actually not a bad idea. Maybe some aide will notice and convince Trump to highlight? Now that would be interesting to see if the press will ignore…..

    • Not only Trump. I applaud the letter and the signatories but the MSM will ignore it without some household names. Ted Cruz or other major Republicans? I suggest that all house and senate reps as well as governors and state reps should be asked to sign in support of constitutional liberties. Then make a fuss about it with press releases in the districts of those who refuse. ACLO?

  23. How much does a one page add in either the New York Times or Wall Street Journal cost? Not that I’m volunteering to pay it, I do however think this letter appearing in a high profile paper would open some eyes.

  24. because there are no easily quantifiable [health care] costs that the government can seek reimbursement for.
    well there is the extra cost caring for of all the homeless people that didn’t freeze to death, because the climate got warmer.

  25. “You’ll discover that what motivates us is far more our concern not to trap billions of people in poverty by denying them access to the abundant, reliable, affordable energy indispensable to lifting and keeping any society out of poverty.”
    I don’t really appreciate being told that the people who sold me abundant, reliable and affordable energy over the last 20 years were criminals conspiring against the environment.
    Out of poverty
    We came a long way baby.
    Terrific letter, both this one and the letter from Sen Cruz et al.

  26. Great letter, Cal. People who say your fine words are wasted on the AGs miss the point. The chief audience here is not the AGs but (1) the people and organizations they have targeted and (2) the larger court of public opinion.
    The letter is especially valuable because it reminds readers how easily–and deservedly–the AGs’ accusations of “misrepresentation” and “fraud” can be flipped back on them. These guys not only advocate policies like cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, “Keep It in the Ground,” and forced investment in renewables, they also demand fossil-fuel CEOs confess their business model is “unsustainable.” Intended result: Investors flee, stock prices crash, fossil energy companies go bankrupt. Yet the AGs’ claim they seek to “protect shareholder value.” Misrepresentation with a vengeance.
    They define fraud as hiding risks from the public for personal gain. Well, well, when are they going to acknowledge that putting an energy-starved planet on an energy diet could do enormous harm to millions of innocents? Never, of course, as that would spoil the partisan narrative on which the ‘progressive’ movement’s power, income, and status increasingly depends.

    • Its a big shake down. This came about after Hillary met with Exxon mgmt for financial support and was turned down!

  27. And speaking of Attorneys General conspiring together and working with NGOs and assorted environmental activists to prosecute Americans for buying and selling diesel and gas,, keep in mind that NGOs are often funded by foreign governments.
    Russia had the right idea when it required NGOs to regsiter as “foreign agents.”

  28. When he writes “no easily quantifiable costs” he really means no identifiable costs at all. What lawyer would baulk at suing just because the damages aren’t “easily quantifiable”?

  29. I wonder why residents of the states these people are from do not file a complaint with the State Supreme Court about attorneys using the law to push a political agenda. It certainly seems to be improper.

    • The AG’s are from Leftwing States.
      Nonetheless, skeptics and lovers of freedom in those States ought to hold their State’s AG to account for trying to take away the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens.
      If the AG’s can take away the skeptics free speech rights, then they can take them away from anyone, including Leftists.

  30. So here are a few recommendations for you to remedy your ignorance:
    0. Prof. J. Ray Bates used to think the extra CO2 that mankind was putting into the atmosphere was a problem. He is big enough to admit when he is wrong. In fact he has actually proven that he was wrong.
    The feedback that was supposed to give us 2-5 C warming doesn’t exist. At most we will get a 1 C to 1.5 C increase from doubling CO2 (300->600 PPM). The IPCC has said that anything under 2 C will not be harmful and will be beneficial.
    The question now is will you be honest enough to admit that you are wrong?
    B.Sc. (Physics, 1st class honours), University College Dublin, 1962.
    PhD (Meteorology), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1969

  31. Perhaps, Bain, of Comic Book and Movie lore would while knitting observe, “A Tale of Two Cites!”

  32. The letter sums it up: after 40 years the science community can’t tell if
    1. Is there such thing as ‘greenhouse gas’ in the open system of earth’s atmosphere
    2. Does CO2, and in what amount, contribute to warming / cooling of said open system.

  33. Look I applaud your efforts on organizing against this harassment. Irregardless of my stance on CAGW (its not pro, btw), I prefer transparency. Some skeptical thinktanks/organisations, dont smell so good and I would love to see transparency, but they operate behind ( “donations”, which are undisclosed). There’s so many skeptics who fight a good fight, to stop governments from tanking the economy on something that isnt catastrophic.

    • I think you will find that MOST organizations one way or the other have ‘undisclosed’ donators- because they don’t need their backers badgered for ‘crimes,’ especially thought crimes such as being skeptics.

      • Only a year or so ago, a CEO was fired because it was found out that he had contributed to an organization that supported a certain ballot initiative in CA.

  34. The Cornwall Alliance are a group who try to drag christianity into the debate.
    We need to beat the CAGW nutters using science and not fairy stories about a big man in the sky.

    • And you had ZERO reason to even bring religion into this. But while I am here I note a great many Great scientists in the past WERE religious and thanked God for their ability to reason. Including the PRIEST who designed the Big Bang theory.

    • btw, can you point to Anything in that letter which smacks of bringing God into the equation?

      • “Creation” is the flag-word. Also, check out CA’s website:
        Just because some scientists were religious doesn’t make their religion correct. Sceptics quite rightly call out alarmists for their lack of empirical evidence of CAGW, so equally we should not be hanging our hats on faith-based beliefs that have no empirical proof.
        You’re welcome to believe in a god in the sky, but leave it out of a scientific debate please.
        BTW typing in CAPITALS makes you appear shouty and over-defensive.

      • AWWW, TSK!
        I note the word ‘creation’ is often used by people who do not believe it was created. I see it all the time… so where does that leave you?

      • The irony of DS making this petty point in a discussion on a post about the vital freedom to hold opinions must qualify for some sort of award.
        ‘Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.’

      • ” … so where does that leave you?”
        Something has always been there both pre and post big bang.
        Get your head round the concept of infinity and you’ll understand that not evrtything has to be “created”.
        ” The irony of DS making this petty point in a discussion on a post about the vital freedom to hold opinions must qualify for some sort of award.”
        When did I say you shouldn’t be allowed to believe in something? You can believe in what you like, no matter how wrong you might be.

      • Anything that can’t be proven, must be dis-believed?
        There goes about 90% of modern physics.
        BTW, I don’t know of any Christian who claims that God can be proven empirically.
        Pretty much by definition, supernatural can’t be proven using the laws of nature.

    • My take on the Cornwall Alliance is that they’re an eclectic group of creationists (who don’t all believe the biblical story of creation) who are also climate skeptics. Just think of them as an example of the broad reach climate skeptics have, and evaluate the letter in terms of our understanding of climate, not religion.
      BTW, I seem to have missed the section about a big man in the sky, can you quote that part of the letter for me?

    • I’ll go you one better.
      Nobody needs to beat anybody.
      Did somebody beat the soviet union?
      and yet it collapsed, did it not?
      what worked, hmmmmmm?
      pay some attention to what works or you will keep on failing.
      Fighting and Winning are distinctly different propositions.
      The end will come about as a direct result of the means you choose.
      Failure is an option, that’s abundantly clear.
      What is also tautological is that If you keep achieving the same outcome after numerous repetitions, then no matter what you say- that is the outcome you really want!
      Is being able to complain such a big freakin thrill, after all?
      That’s all you get with the choices you keep making.

  35. Not using a capital C for Christianity make you look petty. Would you adopt the same format with other religions?

    • Yep.
      If they’re not at the start of a sentence: christianity, islam, sikhism, etc
      Why should one belief in the existence of gods hold sway over another? They’re all evidence free.

      • So you’re saying “republican” or “democrat” should not be capitalized? Are they not also names of belief systems?

      • I’ll captalise Dem and Rep as they’re political parties and the names are proper nouns.
        Religions? Nah. I’m an atheist and I don’t capitalise atheism. I’m not that precious.

      • I am a Christian, you are not religious. The answer as to who is correct in both religion and global warming will both be answered in time. However your views on religion have no more of a place in this discussion than mine.

      • David:
        I also think you are being petty. I am an atheist, but I do not let that get in the way of writing using the correct English rules and styles. I am very Jeffersonian on the issue – “What does it matter to me if a man believes in one God or twenty [or none], it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

  36. You give prosecutors too much credit. Most (almost all) are severely lacking in science education; and some will believe the most ludicrous things in order to pursue an agenda. Vide, the prosecutors who believed children’s tales of orgies and cannibalism in prosecuting the owners of a child-care operation in Oregon (? Don’t remember the state) a few years ago.
    JimB, JD

    • There were also the daycare “abuse” scandals in the 80s. People went to prison for years, and a provider in Massachusetts was stuck there well after the allegations in his case were proven to be false. As the state AG, Martha Coakley fought all efforts to reconsider his conviction (years after the evidence was exposed as bogus), and as of a few years ago, never apologized for her inexplicable actions.
      We all want to believe that no one would make up awful tales, but there are too many cases that prove that not only will people believe anything, they will also claim anything. If we are lucky, false claims are benign. If we are unlucky, we wind up with things like AGW being taken seriously and used to harm individuals and/or society as a whole.

  37. I think this letter will have a positive effect. As pushback, it will let its recipients know that their targets will not take their abuse lying down. More importantly, it will let its recipients know that we are upfront about our opinions and not afraid to face our accusers in the daylight.

  38. The reason David Michaels said the odds of DOJ’s acting “are slim to none,” is that he was actually trying to practice law, and not simple practice “judicial advocacy”.
    RICO charges require specific elements. One basis for a RICO charge is that a group of individuals (or entities) perpetrate a fraud that results in quantifiable costs to the US government.
    In the tobacco RICO litigation, the tobacco defendants, through a series of concerted acts, suppressed knowledge of public harm for their product, promoted the use of their product although there was an alternative of not using it, engaged in selling a medical device (a nicotine content tailored cigarette) that delivers an addictive drug (nicotine) without going through the FDA regulations , and through the sales of that device burdened the US government with healthcare costs directly and conclusively attributable to the use of the device.
    Please note that in the RICO tobacco litigation, the DOJ pursued equitable, injunctive remedies. (See It sought to prevent the tobacco concerns from continuing to promote the conspiracy. (See Is big energy promoting anything other than the sale of energy products?
    To try to analogize the acts of the tobacco concerns with big energy is an enormous stretch.
    Probably the biggest problem facing DOJ bringing a RICO charge is the simple question, so what was the public to do?
    Not buy petroleum products? How would they live?
    Not buy electricity? How would they live?
    Not buy food made with energy products sold by the alleged conspirators? How would they live?
    You can live without ever consuming a tobacco product. The same cannot be said in modern America about the energy products sold by the alleged conspirators.

  39. “Dear Attorneys General,
    You’re not stupid. Stupid people don’t graduate from law school.”
    I beg to differ. My doctor calls lawyers “the revenge of the ‘C’ students”. Not intelligent enough to be doctors or engineers or understand much difficult science, they play games with words and laws to the general detriment of society and have built a profession around being proud (or not) of being parasites.

  40. What makes anybody think that this letter will be read by any of the addressees? These may be smart people, ignorant of the science, but this is not about the science. They don’t care. They are motivated by powerful political ideals, and capitalism, free markets, and individual choice are not among their learned values. None can be persuaded to change their positions.

  41. Anthony,
    I do enjoy reading your blogs, sadly, this is one battle too far. These AG’s that you are reaching out to, have made up their mind and quite frankly, cannot be assed going back over the evidence in the effort to create an open minded approach as you wish them to become. They are lawyers, lawyers who are only interested in looking after their jobs, why upset their world, their lifestyle?
    Like the work Anthony and keep it up, I’m glad someone is fighting my corner.

  42. Let’s go back to basics.
    CO2 is very nearly 0% of the air, the atmosphere. 0.04% is pretty damn close to 0%, one part in 2,500. 100 years ago CO2 was 0.03%, it’s risen 0.01% – one part per 10,000 – to 0.04%.
    Why anybody thinks an increase in the atmospheric CO2 content by 0.01% has any detectable effect on the climate is baffling, it can only be explained as the classic sophomoric fallacy of confusing correlation with causation.
    Over the last few years I have asked dozens of people how much CO2 they thought was in the air, what percentage. Estimates, guesses, have ranged from 5% to 80%. Nobody got close to reality. They don’t know, because the media never tells them, you see storeis about the rapid increase in CO2, but nothing about how trivial this really is.
    And the “Deniers” have, so far, been preaching to the choir, incompetent to get the truth out to the public. We NEED to have the Exxon cases, or some cases, go to trial, so this can be tried in court where the Defendants, the Deniers, can and will be heard, and the media cannot ignore them.
    Somebody has to put the whole CO2 / Climate Change Hoax, Hysteria, on trial.

    • Raymond:
      I have often argued for the same thing – a public trial of the issues. The defendants can get discovery of non-parties through subpoena, the state will have to call its “expert” witnesses who will then be subject to cross examination – under oath -, and the defendants can compel attendance of witnesses. But one question I have is “Can the court take judicial notice of the ‘fact’ of AGW and not allow any evidence, pro or con, on that issue and just adjudicate the issues of damages and prior knowledge, etc.?”
      What do you think the chances are of the energy companies being given the opportunity to make their case?

  43. Raymond Kraft
    You are right …put the bastards on trial . It is long overdue .
    CO2 is a trace gas beneficial to life and has historically been higher without human influence . California pump and dump men are flogging complete BS so it is nice to see a growing number of scientists
    taking issue with the overblown fraud . Too bad $$Billions of tax payer debt has been incurred to support a fraud .
    The AG’s lobbying while on the government payroll should also be dealt with .
    Your random survey about how much CO2 is in the air is consistent with what I have heard .
    Most of the population has no clue what CO2 is or represents in the atmosphere .
    The scary global warming promoters know it and play on that lack of knowledge .
    The name change to “climate change ” did occur because they could see their fraud was closer and closer to being exposed . They needed a rebrand to disassociate from “global warming ” .
    The global warming fraud relied on an ignorant public fed by traditional print media that is in a state of rapid decline . Pump global warming (save the planet ) and they hoped they could use it to get people to pay for non print media . Many scientists gift wrapped for the scam were bullied or paid to sing the huff and puff global warming hymn for a while . Yes by all means get this group of conmen to court . The sooner the better so real environmental issues and social priorities can be addressed .

  44. Why are people with theological backgrounds signatories to this letter? It strikes me as quite odd. Also, I wonder why the many other climate scientists who are skeptics – Lindzen, Salzby, Curry etc, aren’t present? Seems to be fairly weak on actual climate scientists.

  45. Loretta Lynch and the state AGs are a bunch of rank amateurs and are going about this the wrong way. They need to follow the example of Josef Stalin and Trofim Lysenko. Lysenko’s anti-Mendelian theories of genetics became official Soviet science and education policy through the use of political influence and the police power of the state. Scientific dissent from Lysenko’s theories was formally outlawed in the USSR in 1948. More than 3,000 mainstream scientists were sent to prison, fired, or simply executed as a part of a campaign to suppress scientific dissenters (“deniers”??). Critics of Lysenko’s theories were denounced as “bourgeois”, “fascists”, and “capitalists”.
    If you ask me, a few public hangings of deniers will quickly straighten out those skeptics.

  46. 1) “cornwall alliance”? Is this the sort of pedigree that will help? I believe in God, and have a physics degree, but wouldn’t dream that my belief in God would make my scientific beliefs more rational….. Many CO2 catastrophists relate to their CO2 beliefs like a religion. I wouldn’t want to mirror those loonies.
    2) Tell me there’s a plan to propagate knowledge of this letter to the public, at large….
    3) Why isn’t a similar letter (preferably with an a-religious organizational background) directed to Exxon Mobil, demanding that they get off the fence? I have advocated a shareholder lawsuit against Exxon Mobil management, for not dealing competently with climate science. A lawsuit would presumably reveal what Exxon Mobil knew, and when they knew it, via a discovery process.
    While a public letter falls far short of such a lawsuit, it might be worth a try. Indeed, the writers of such a letter could appeal to’s McKibben as a cosigner. After all, everybody should be interested in the truth. RIGHT??????
    Personally, I have to believe that Exxon Mobil knows full well that the CAGW thesis has fallen apart, but they are keeping mum about it to not draw the ire of the globalists, who want to shove us into a one world government.

  47. Three years ago I told an Engineer who has a Phd degree that I was going to add solar panels to my house and buy and electric card to reduce my carbon footprint because CO2 was becoming a serious problem….. He promptly stated that CO2 was not the cause of global warming and that I should do some more research…. being that I am also an engineer but with only a BSc degree + 35+ years of engineering experience.
    After all this time…. I can no longer say with confidence that CO2 is the root cause of global warming……. so I am now labelled a denier! In any case I still do my part in reducing my energy consumption especially with respect to wasted IR – infrared energy……

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