Union of Concerned Scientists makes shameless ploy for $2 million to protect #RICO 20

From the “Kenji is not pleased” department. Can you imagine the wailing and caterwauling if say, Heartland or The Competitive Enterprise Institute tried something like this? In my opinion, the only thing related to “science” at UCS is their name, but clearly by their actions they are a political organization, and nothing else. After all, they welcomed a dog as a member, so they can’t be that picky about science credentials for members; anyone goes as long as they have a valid credit card. Even their mission statement is a ploy for money:

UCS-mission-statement

 

It is interesting that they don’t see their own hypocrisy about censorship, as they routinely say alternate viewpoints on climate science should be censored, siding with the “ExxonKnew” crowd.

This new ploy for money was sent to me today, all the “take action” links (code for Donate Now) have been removed:



Stop attacks on science by House Science Committee

From: Union of Concerned Scientists <action@ucsusa.org>
To: xxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx

Help us raise $2 million! A generous donor has agreed to match dollar-for-dollar gifts to UCS through the end of this month, up to a total of $1 million. Gifts made to claim this match will power our work to fix our country’s broken food system—securing science-based policies that put healthy, affordable foods on people’s tables and reduce the impact of corporate farming on the environment.

Make a gift to UCS now and it will be matched, dollar-for-dollar >>

 

Union of Concerned Scientists

Donate

July-2016-House-Sci-Comm

Dear friend,

I know they don’t teach civics anymore in many American schools (which is a shame). But one principle I always remember is that a strong democracy depends on regular people like me staying informed about issues. That’s part of what I love about working for UCS—every day I help provide the public and elected officials with the scientific information they need to make smart decisions that protect public health and safety. But now that critical work is under attack from the House Science Committee of all places! We’ve been so successful at exposing ExxonMobil’s efforts to deceive the public about climate change science, that the company’s allies in Congress are now coming after us, demanding internal correspondence in an effort to silence us. While this is a clear violation of our First Amendment rights, they are claiming that we’re violating ExxonMobil’s constitutional rights—to defraud company shareholders apparently? I don’t remember reading about that in my civics class. Right now it’s critical for scientists and citizens to defend our right to hold companies accountable for deception. —Katy

July-action-SmithTake Action >

Science in Action

Stand up for Science: Help defend UCS against intimidation tactics from the House Science Committee

Representative Lamar Smith has often used his position as Chair of the House Science Committee to try and stall progress on global warming and bully climate scientists—and now he’s attacking the Union of Concerned Scientists. Chairman Smith—a fierce fossil fuel advocate—is interfering with investigations into whether ExxonMobil knowingly lied to its shareholders and the public about the risks of climate change even after the company’s own scientists sounded the alarm. Smith recently sent letters to UCS, other nonprofit organizations, and state attorneys general demanding all of our correspondence related to efforts to hold ExxonMobil accountable. Tell Chairman Smith to stop this abuse of power and cease his attacks on UCS and other public-interest organizations.

Cartoon of the Month

June-Cartoon-science


The rest of the press release was truncated by the sender.

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83 thoughts on “Union of Concerned Scientists makes shameless ploy for $2 million to protect #RICO 20

      • Change the banner to “Stop the Madness! DEFUND POLITICAL-SCIENCE!” and the cartoon nails it.

      • The most interesting aspect of this whole catastrophist global warming thingy is the political science aspect; the unholy alliance between government looking for an excuse to tax more and scholarly activists looking for “research” funding.

    • For ” generous donor ” read (perhaps) GS.
      No NOT me silly; I got about nowt that I could donate to even the most worthy cause.
      And for the record, I would never want to belong to ANY science organization that issued such totally pitifully embarrassing wailings for “gratuities”.
      For the record, I am a paid up member of The Optical Society of America, an arm of the American Institute of Physics, and also a paid up member of the SPIE; the Society for the Prevention of Indigent Engineers; excuse me wrong blog; that’s the Society for Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers And I belong to their (free) Optical Design and Optics for Energy groups (discussion).
      Other than that, I wouldn’t belong to any club that would have me as a member, and I’m too old for 4H-club.
      G

    • In my city [Hyderabad] every now and then TV Channels broadcast sensationalizing global warming reports in local language [Telugu]. I wondered where from they get such CDs and who pays them for telecasting such good for nothing reports.
      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • I agree with Marcus, this is an amazingly well conceived and executed post, I feel, Anthony.

  1. “When science is censored, distorted, or manipulated to serve private interests, we all lose”
    Agreed.
    So why do they keep doing it?

  2. Kind of funny that their ad says we only lose when science is censored, distorted or manipulated to serve “private interests”. When it’s censored, distorted or manipulated to serve government interests (aka SOP) I guess it’s A-OK.

    • Public interests good, private interests bad.
      Four legs good, two legs bad.
      How to keep the sheeple in line.

      • Perhaps that is what we should do for the next president.
        Institute Thunderdome
        2 by 2 they enter
        1 by 1 they leave
        after all 500 reps and congressmen have had their chance to plead their case in Thunderdome, the last one standing gets to be president

      • Bryan A, “two men enter, one man leaves”
        Marvellous the way they do gender re-assignment. 😉

  3. They are in trouble, and they know it. 18USC241 criminal, 42USC1983 civil. Conspiring to deprive civil rights. Never mind Exxon. CEI and the hundred other organizations and individuals subpoenaed by Mass AG under RICO theories. $2 million wont be enough to cover their legal defense costs. And Rep. Smiths next step is to subpoena UCS. His last letter laid out the legal grounds and applicable precendents. UCS tries to hide by noncompliance ( which they really cannot, because FOI already produced correspondence from NY AG office telling USC not to say they attended and advised at the strategic AG premeetings), then it is criminal contempt of Congress. They comply, and they have handed over the necessary additional documents to be criminally prosecuted under the KuKluxKlan statutes.

  4. Union of Concerned Scientists, if true it should be concerned about this too:
    Half of all US food produce is thrown away, new research suggests
    “Americans throw away almost as much food as they eat because of a “cult of perfection”, deepening hunger and poverty, and inflicting a heavy toll on the environment.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/13/us-food-waste-ugly-fruit-vegetables-perfect
    Where are the greens and environmentalists?

    • The only problem with the article is it isn’t true, even in the most sensitive area, friuts and vegetables. Certainly not at 50% levels. Its Guardian nonsense as bad as their climate nonsense.
      Those spoilt watermelons are clearly in a cattle feedlot. That isn’t waste except economically to the grower, its supplemental cattle feed. Off produce in a grocery store is sometimes given to soup kitchens or food pantries, or marked down. I have a relative that runs the largest apple orchard in the Shenendoah Valley (several thousand acres). He has millions invested in cold storage warehouses (nitrogen atmosphere) to prevent spoilage and be able to supply decent apples year round all up and down the US east coast. Operates his own refrigerated delivery trucks to insure quality and reliability. I personally picked plums and oranges on my grandfathers spread in Orange County Ca as a teen. We would pick the plum trees 3 separate times about 10 days apart, aiming for 60-80 percent ripe to maximize fruit quality and minimize shipment spoilage. You have to get trained to recognize the degree of ripeness by firmness and color. You snip the plum off with one hand while holding it with the other to avoid bruising, all while on a ladder leaned precariously against the tree.
      Some quick research US farm facts from the USDA. Fruits and vegetables are 30% of all farm income, by far the most valuable crops per acre–including meat. Nobody wants to waste that; the crops are too valuable. About 25 million short tons of fruits from about 5 million acres. About 65 million short tons of vegetables from 3.5 million acres. There is NOT 45 million tons of farm fruit and vegetable spoilage waste! Of both together, only 39% of tonnage is consumed fresh where blemishes may matter. The rest is canned, frozen, juiced, preserved (jams and jellies), or converted into wine and raisins. Retail fruit spoilage is 0.6%. Retail vegetable spoilage is 2.7%.

      • Well nowadays, they let a whole lot of smaller fruits; specially stone fruits in the CA central valley rot on the ground, rather than let folks come and pick them to eat themselves.
        All kinds of problems. People injure themselves climbing the trees with a ladder, or they pick up undersized fruit and sell it to unsuspecting innocents; well on and on. Too much liability.
        Well me, when we visit the farmer’s market and I want some apples, I always get those scrawny undersized but quite juicy apples, that are only $1 a pound, instead of their fair dinkum graded size apples of the exact same variety (and possibly tree) that they get $2.50 for.
        Many apples come with a stalk, which makes it handy to hold them by while eating, and that stalk is the only surviving remnant of those scrawny apples after I’m done. The ones with no stalk; well they are completely exterminated.
        I do draw the line at eating fish heads, bones and all, but apples with cores, are just apples to eat to me.
        Stone fruit, and coconuts, I draw the line at eating the inner or outer wooden parts.
        g

      • I believe you are wrong on this Rud. I’ve seen other articles on food wastage which also are in the 50% ball park. Wastage includes food the consumer tosses or does not completely consumer.

      • Also, ever work as a dishwasher? This far removed from those days my estimate can be taken with a large grain of salt, but perhaps 20% of what gets served comes back to the kitchen to be dumped in the garbage. And that doesn’t account for leftovers taken home and never consumed.

      • In Europe large agricultural fields are converted into solar (panels) parks.
        Now Environmental Scientists at Lancaster University found that solar parks altered the local climate, measuring cooling of as much as 5 degrees Centigrade under the panels during the summer but the effects varied depending on the time of year and the time of day.
        I’m not surprised at all considering size of some of these monstrosities.
        http://phys.org/news/2016-07-solar-panels-reveals-impact-earth.html

        • You are suppose to take that home. I always divide the meal in half.
          Maybe you are one of those… I’ll have the 1680 calorie meal, and a diet drink cause I’m watching my weight.

      • Careful guys… (fake?) statistics like that “50% waste” usually come from some long forgotten magazine or newspaper article where the writer claims he/she got it from ‘someone in the industry’, an ‘unnamed source within the administration’, etc. or, probably half the time it comes from a website set up ostensibly to provide current topical information but actually just Ben Rhodes spin.
        Once a number like that ‘50% waste’ gets ‘legs’, especially in the MSM, it will be forever repeated as fact regardless of how many places and times it has been falsified (e.g the 97%).

      • Timg56, did some more research. The always alarmist NatGeo published 30% by calories (all US foods including meat and carbohydrates- grains and potatoes). USDA has a similar number, 31% for all US foods, by weight not calories. Most of this appears to be ‘consumer’ meaning restaurants and home kitchens, as their fruit and vegetable retail numbers are much lower. EPA did a study on municipal waste, concluding 21.4 percent by weight. This would not include food chain losses, just end retail and consumer. U Arizona published a paper based on entire food chain sampling that concluded 12-15% by weight from farm to home kitchen. 15-20% is a believable number. USDA does not count farm and processing loss/scrap as waste if used for animal feed. FAO says 30% globally, blaming more the food riCh developed world. (What, mail brown bag food scraps to Bangaladesh?) Nobody says 50%. Let alone in the US. My comment stands, directionally.

      • USA data (2012) food loss (200 different kinds) :14% dairy + 17% vegetables + 41% meat/poultry/fish … equal to 273 pounds (124kg)/person in the country lost/wasted. See Buzby & Hyman report “TTotal and per capita value of food loss in the United States”. Values differ wofldwide & an earlier (2008?) estmate by Gustavsson cited by many is 1/3 of food produced is lost to humans; which globally = ~1.3 billion tons.,

      • I wind up tossing a fair amount of fruit and vegetables, but generally due to spoilage due to not managing to finish a bag of spinach or box of cherry tomatoes before they get tired.
        OTOH, New Hampshire corn season starts in a couple weeks, I can buy that by the ear just a couple miles down the road.

      • A couple of weeks ago I read (Maybe in WaPo) that the wastage count, or a wastage count, included bones, cores, and peels, like orange peels

      • Here in Vermont, the state is mandating that produce “sources” such as stores, restaurants, homes, etc. move to composting all waste at landfills or transfer stations. I just use a compost pile and every spring the friendly neighborhood bears do me a big favor and flip it over.

      • I guess if you count all the inedible parts (bones, fat, peelings, etc.) you might be able to get up to 30%. But 50% is not believable. I have worked in restaurants and have seen how much food comes in, and how much waste goes out. Even there the waste is nowhere near 50%.

      • In my house, fresh beef and pork bones are toothbrushes for the dogs (gnawing on them cleans their teeth). Cooked bones from chicken and turkey are dog treats (my Pit-Lab mix crunches them like potato chips). Orange peelings are fire ant repellent (I credit one of my neighbors for discovering that scattering a handful of orange rinds and pith on and around a fire ant mound soon convinces the little buggers to vacate the premises).
        We don’t use composting toilets, though. We’re more than happy to let the septic tank take care of that.

  5. “securing science-based policies that put healthy, affordable foods on people’s tables”
    “Affordable” is another generic bullspit word that defies definition. It is used to pretend you care about poor people. So just what is “affordable food”? And who are the policy makers that are going to tell us what we can and can’t eat? Liberal, soy infested vegetarians?

  6. Why would they even need money? Do they think they are going to have defend themselves in court? I’m sure the the kangaroo court they envision for skeptics no amount of evidence to the contrary would suffice.
    The only reason I can see them going after Exxon is money. If they went after someone like me, unless it was kangaroo court, they’d loose. Probably all those student loan debt lawyers looking for a quick payday. I also wonder how many of these climate scientists have debts that aren’t going to be repaid anytime soon if not for some big issue they can milk. It’s a so so living on what some of these companies are paying. Throw in that debt and the story the liberal universities tell their students start looking like a druggie’s dream.
    ( pipe dream )

    • They are probably just a bunch of ‘nonprofit parasites’ that have found another ’cause’ that can be milked.

  7. It would be interesting to know who/what the “generous doner” is.
    Maybe they would tell us if I told them about the brown envelope containing a cheque for £0.00 that I received from Bigoil.

      • JVC, Yes, but don’t forget the ‘circle of funds’ that most of the money first traverses (i.e., Fed buys govt. bonds from treasury with ‘new’ money > politician issues ear marks > treasury pays politician’s ‘supporters’ for ear marked projects > ‘supporters’ contribute % to politician’s campaign fund > campaign fund pays advertising agency and mainstream media > agency and media contribute $’s, column space or air time to politician)

  8. Why cannot we the sceptics of AGW and critics of their nasty schemes to quieten the voices of realism, create our own appeal fund in order to promote openly the logic of our views, and the illogicality of groups like the UCS, whose only objectives are to line their own pockets by denigrating those who offer a logical alternative point of view. It could be created under the control of WUWT, and used to finance those scientists, meteorologists, and other professional experts in putting over the sceptic view on a bigger world stage without having to worry about the cost of doing it. I’m quite sure many would be prepared to donate, and if we invited WUWT readers and others to perhaps make a standing monthly donation, we could guarantee a regular flow of income, and therefore organise a more powerful message in opposition to those who already use public money to promote their false messages. The fund could be administered by a committee, who would also be responsible for deciding on the best way to promote our cause from the funds available. How about it Mr Watts, it would need a lead from you, but I’m sure it would quickly gain support, leading to the opportunity to broadcast our views much more widely. .

  9. Has anyone written a history of the UCS, including how they have turned into an organization like this? I’m sure they weren’t always this bad.

    • rw July 13, 2016 at 11:15 am
      They have always been this bad. Going back to their statements on nuclear winter and SDI.
      Nothing more then a blatant effort to mislead the public. None of them worked in the areas in which they tried to claim expertise. Also they deliberately falsified the minimum requirement of assets needed for SDI. Any kid with a map and globe could figure out basic orbits for the number of defense satellites required,
      michael

    • Started in 1969 out of MIT. The infection spread quickly to Harvard. I had dealings with UCS in 1971-72 because my DoE supported thesis was on the economics of domestic nuclear power generation. (Concluded there would be future economic problems because of the cost and timing of construction capital, which USC liked and wrote up themselves as a policy paper. At yhatntime, neither DoE nor Westinghouse was happy with my thesis. Harvard gave it a summa.) Original USC single issue was strictly antinuclear, like original Greenpeace. UCS metastasized over time to become anti-military (Reagans SDI), anti-gmo, anti-fossil fuel. Its tactics have metastasized from providing ‘scientifically based policy positions’ in the founding charter to the usual leftist Alinsky activism detached from scientific reality. Think of the worst of left liberal Cambridge Mass and you have the USC essence.

      • ristvan – so UCS must have been in on the Clamshell Alliance movement when Seabrook (NH nuclear power plant) was being built in the 70’s & 80’s, correct? I remember the propaganda was so bad my father stopped taking us clam digging in the river / outlet where the plant was being built a year or two before it went online.

      • If my memory serves, yes that was one of their early protest targets. The very first was shutting down the small experimental nuclear reactor MIT had on campus to train nuclear engineers with DoE and DoD support. Navy ROTC during the height of the Vietnam War protests. Harvard shut its ROTC programs, so the Navy sent all its Harvard guys to MIT to finish up; my roommate was one. USC founding is complicated a bit by other anti-war anti Vietnam motives. I moved to Germany in 1978, so only have vague newspaper memories of those years. Followed nuclear stuff cause wanted to know whether my thesis was basically sound. Stopped when arrived in Munich. German written/spoken full fluency was more important to my career.

  10. A few years ago a friend and I received a solicitation letter from UoCS including a “free” Calender with the above cartoon on the cover. Offended by the obsequious and demeaning tone of the letter (we both have serious science degrees) we consulted with Harvey Homitz, a mutual friend and ruthless humourist (of the P J O’Rourke variety), and a bottle or two later the following reply was in the mail:
    The League of Discriminated Scientists
    The Office Bar and Grill
    26. 43N 82.08W
    Planet Earth.
    December 20, 2013
    Ref 1: Letter from Kathleen Rest, 4 November 2013
    Ref 2: 2014 Scientific Integrity Calendar, Union of Concerned Scientists
    Attn: Kathleen Rest, Executed Director
    Dear Union of Concerned Scientologists,
    What a wonderful gift was your 2014 Calendar…and just in time for Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa and the Idle-Fitr. (Good timing for the mid term elections eh?! well good on ya mate we got it …wink, wink, nod, nod, if you get my drift)… ‘course not many of the rubes will catch that one, right?
    Now don’t get me wrong, just because I’m a foreigner, I’m all for diversity so long as it’s confined to tattoos, body piercing, silly clothes and the like but NOT as regards heresy!
    No! No! We’ve all got to put our foot down with a firm hand on that one. Imagine what a mess we’d be in if everyone was allowed to think independently. Matter of fact, that’s what the problem is today… just like your calendar says about our Senators… far too many silly ideas and no one except your good selves (the constipated Scientologists) to keep ‘em on the straight and narrow. Obviously they need a good tongue lashing up the side of the head once in awhile, or a good dunking or stretching on the rack as your esteemed Head Scientologist, Tommy Torquemada, PhD , MWHW*, would have it for the infidel dissenters.
    But YES! You’re right on the money! We need a lot more Orthodoxy, and I don’t mean black hats with curly hair ringlets hanging down from under them, No! We need good Scientological orthodoxy like your calendar!! Tell ’em like it is and what to think. How else are we going to rein in the Egyptians and other folk living by denial? How are we going to step up to the plate and stamp out heresy with an iron fist if we can’t get the message (our message) across?
    Take Global warming (oops! Climate Change) for example. I’ll bet you $5 to a jar of dehydrated water that if you gave them a thermometer to measure global warming they wouldn’t know which end to insert, let alone where to stick it.
    But I digress. Back to the point and I expect you’ve caught on by now, you must be a smart lady with all those letters after your name – a bit of yeast, so to speak, in the otherwise unleavened dough of the Numerati, so here goes:
    Why not give a thermometer to every member of congress and sponsor an annual award (like the Oscars — perhaps the Rectors?) to the Senator with the best sound bite on where to stick his/her thermometer?
    Now 635 cheap Chinese thermometers won’t break the bank but it will goose your circulation and grab a great photo op. But be sure to use the +/- 3 degree accuracy thermometers used to collect the past few hundred years of adjustable data.
    Just imagine; the Union of Concerned Scientologists standing shoulder to shoulder with concerned Sanitarians (their Rotunda in the background). That’s the sort that really grabs folk by the ‘attentions’ (if you follow my drift!?), not to mention distracting the Tea Party from closing the $$piggot. It’s a win win if ever I thought of one!
    Next year, let’s hope those Senate Bozos keep the $piggot open for hard core scientology fact finding like the impact of Beaujolais corks on the mating habits of Mangrove Cuckoos, and such.
    Keep up the good work; we’re all on board with you, backs to the wall and all that (you can’t be too careful these days, with all those LBGT folk jumping out of the closet every time you turn around).
    All the best,
    Yours from the Far Right,
    Harvey H. Homitz. MA Oxon, Dip. Prod. Camulodunum, etc.
    Roving Ambassador at Large for $PIGGOTS**
    p.s. We’d like to make a donation but we already gave to SETI ! They said we’re desperately in need of extraterrestrial intelligence; seems there’s not much of the local variety left!
    * My Way or the High Way
    ** $ociety for the Prevention of Incestuous Government Grants On Twisted Science

    • Cute. However, the problem with letters like these is that they take a lot of time to write. I’m glad you found a good forum for a public post.
      Is that program that writes fake sociological papers online? Perhaps we could use something like that to write letters worthy of stuffing in the Business Reply Envelope and return to UCS. It may go to the business they contract with to handle memberships if that task is too expensive in the Boston area, but what the heck.

  11. Might or might not be of interest to American readers that certain Boris Johnson an American citizen as well as a British subject is the new British foreign secretary (secretary of state).

    • So how come the conclusion of the study and the media headlines say the exact opposite? Well the researchers made some “adjustments” to the data.w.diwwetdpasta-prcom/latestopaganda-funded-big-pasta-companyoctor.-

  12. a fierce fossil fuel advocate – how do you go about that, drive around in a big block 70’s Cadillac that burns some oil?

  13. I wonder if it is (legally) tax deductible. I wonder if their statement that they “can reduce global warming emissions and ENSURE that communities have the resources they need to withstand the effects of climate change” is in line with the goals of the documents they used to create their corporation.
    I think I will continue with my annual donation(s) to The Human Fund and ignore them.

  14. ‘Our scientists and engineers develop and implement innovative, practical solutions to some of our planet’s most pressing problems’
    Cos people’s problems is all solved.

      • I’d like an XXL coffee mug (24 oz) with Kenji’s photo and the legend
        “Kenji. UCS member in good standing since 2011”

  15. From the article: “We’ve been so successful at exposing ExxonMobil’s efforts to deceive the public about climate change science, that the company’s allies in Congress are now coming after us, demanding internal correspondence in an effort to silence us. While this is a clear violation of our First Amendment rights, they are claiming that we’re violating ExxonMobil’s constitutional rights—to defraud company shareholders apparently?”
    I guess she didn’t want to say “we’re violating ExxonMobil’s First Amendment rights, so she says “violating ExxonMobil’s constitutional rights”. She does this so the UCS doesn’t look like hypocrits, complaining about having their First Amendment rights violated , while, at the same time, violating Exxon’s First Amendment rights.
    Sorry, the word game didn’t work, you still look like hypocrits.

  16. So when Senator Whitehouse goes after Willie Soon, it’s legit, but when Senator Smith goes after UCS, it’s corruption?

  17. Protect the RICO20?
    Hmmm, methinks they forgot that discovery cuts both ways – obviously someone reminded them.
    Nah, they started this fight ……. they can finish it.
    Finally CAGW gets it’s day in court. Only way to hold a debate when the left is in charge.

  18. Well, they got one thing right: “When science is censored, distorted, or manipulated to serve private interests, we all lose” – but it applies to them, not skeptics. God bless Lamar Smith for being a burr under their saddle. We need a few more like him.

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