Roger Pielke Jr.: My unhappy life as a climate heretic

My research was attacked by thought police in journalism, activist groups funded by billionaires and even the White House.

By Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. writing in the Wall Street Journal h/t to multiple sources

Much to my surprise, I showed up in the WikiLeaks releases before the election. In a 2014 email, a staffer at the Center for American Progress, founded by John Podesta in 2003, took credit for a campaign to have me eliminated as a writer for Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website. In the email, the editor of the think tank’s climate blog bragged to one of its billionaire donors, Tom Steyer: “I think it’s fair [to] say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538.”

WikiLeaks provides a window into a world I’ve seen up close for decades: the debate over what to do about climate change, and the role of science in that argument. Although it is too soon to tell how the Trump administration will engage the scientific community, my long experience shows what can happen when politicians and media turn against inconvenient research—which we’ve seen under Republican and Democratic presidents.

I understand why Mr. Podesta—most recently Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman—wanted to drive me out of the climate-change discussion. When substantively countering an academic’s research proves difficult, other techniques are needed to banish it. That is how politics sometimes works, and professors need to understand this if we want to participate in that arena.

More troubling is the degree to which journalists and other academics joined the campaign against me. What sort of responsibility do scientists and the media have to defend the ability to share research, on any subject, that might be inconvenient to political interests—even our own?

I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action, including a carbon tax. But my research led me to a conclusion that many climate campaigners find unacceptable: There is scant evidence to indicate that hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or drought have become more frequent or intense in the U.S. or globally. In fact we are in an era of good fortune when it comes to extreme weather. This is a topic I’ve studied and published on as much as anyone over two decades. My conclusion might be wrong, but I think I’ve earned the right to share this research without risk to my career.

Instead, my research was under constant attack for years by activists, journalists and politicians. In 2011 writers in the journal Foreign Policy signaled that some accused me of being a “climate-change denier.” I earned the title, the authors explained, by “questioning certain graphs presented in IPCC reports.” That an academic who raised questions about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in an area of his expertise was tarred as a denier reveals the groupthink at work.

Yet I was right to question the IPCC’s 2007 report, which included a graph purporting to show that disaster costs were rising due to global temperature increases. The graph was later revealed to have been based on invented and inaccurate information, as I documented in my book “The Climate Fix.” The insurance industry scientist Robert-Muir Wood of Risk Management Solutions had smuggled the graph into the IPCC report. He explained in a public debate with me in London in 2010 that he had included the graph and misreferenced it because he expected future research to show a relationship between increasing disaster costs and rising temperatures.

When his research was eventually published in 2008, well after the IPCC report, it concluded the opposite: “We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and normalized catastrophe losses.” Whoops.

The IPCC never acknowledged the snafu, but subsequent reports got the science right: There is not a strong basis for connecting weather disasters with human-caused climate change.

Yes, storms and other extremes still occur, with devastating human consequences, but history shows they could be far worse. No Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane has made landfall in the U.S. since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, by far the longest such period on record. This means that cumulative economic damage from hurricanes over the past decade is some $70 billion less than the long-term average would lead us to expect, based on my research with colleagues. This is good news, and it should be OK to say so. Yet in today’s hyper-partisan climate debate, every instance of extreme weather becomes a political talking point.

For a time I called out politicians and reporters who went beyond what science can support, but some journalists won’t hear of this. In 2011 and 2012, I pointed out on my blog and social media that the lead climate reporter at the New York Times,Justin Gillis,had mischaracterized the relationship of climate change and food shortages, and the relationship of climate change and disasters. His reporting wasn’t consistent with most expert views, or the evidence. In response he promptly blocked me from his Twitter feed. Other reporters did the same.

In August this year on Twitter, I criticized poor reporting on the website Mashable about a supposed coming hurricane apocalypse—including a bad misquote of me in the cartoon role of climate skeptic. (The misquote was later removed.) The publication’s lead science editor, Andrew Freedman, helpfully explained via Twitter that this sort of behavior “is why you’re on many reporters’ ‘do not call’ lists despite your expertise.”

I didn’t know reporters had such lists. But I get it. No one likes being told that he misreported scientific research, especially on climate change. Some believe that connecting extreme weather with greenhouse gases helps to advance the cause of climate policy. Plus, bad news gets clicks.

Yet more is going on here than thin-skinned reporters responding petulantly to a vocal professor. In 2015 I was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Paige St. John, making the rather obvious point that politicians use the weather-of-the-moment to make the case for action on climate change, even if the scientific basis is thin or contested.

Ms. St. John was pilloried by her peers in the media. Shortly thereafter, she emailed me what she had learned: “You should come with a warning label: Quoting Roger Pielke will bring a hailstorm down on your work from the London Guardian, Mother Jones, and Media Matters.”

Or look at the journalists who helped push me out of FiveThirtyEight. My first article there, in 2014, was based on the consensus of the IPCC and peer-reviewed research. I pointed out that the global cost of disasters was increasing at a rate slower than GDP growth, which is very good news. Disasters still occur, but their economic and human effect is smaller than in the past. It’s not terribly complicated.

That article prompted an intense media campaign to have me fired. Writers at Slate, Salon, the New Republic, the New York Times, the Guardian and others piled on.

In March of 2014, FiveThirtyEight editor Mike Wilson demoted me from staff writer to freelancer. A few months later I chose to leave the site after it became clear it wouldn’t publish me. The mob celebrated., founded by former Center for American Progress staffer Brad Johnson, and advised by Penn State’s Michael Mann,called my departure a “victory for climate truth.” The Center for American Progress promised its donor Mr. Steyer more of the same.

Yet the climate thought police still weren’t done. In 2013 committees in the House and Senate invited me to a several hearings to summarize the science on disasters and climate change. As a professor at a public university, I was happy to do so. My testimony was strong, and it was well aligned with the conclusions of the IPCC and the U.S. government’s climate-science program. Those conclusions indicate no overall increasing trend in hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or droughts—in the U.S. or globally.

In early 2014, not long after I appeared before Congress, President Obama’s science adviser John Holdren testified before the same Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He was asked about his public statements that appeared to contradict the scientific consensus on extreme weather events that I had earlier presented. Mr. Holdren responded with the all-too-common approach of attacking the messenger, telling the senators incorrectly that my views were “not representative of the mainstream scientific opinion.” Mr. Holdren followed up by posting a strange essay, of nearly 3,000 words, on the White House website under the heading, “An Analysis of Statements by Roger Pielke Jr.,” where it remains today.

I suppose it is a distinction of a sort to be singled out in this manner by the president’s science adviser. Yet Mr. Holdren’s screed reads more like a dashed-off blog post from the nutty wings of the online climate debate, chock-full of errors and misstatements.

But when the White House puts a target on your back on its website, people notice. Almost a year later Mr. Holdren’s missive was the basis for an investigation of me by Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee. Rep. Grijalva explained in a letter to my university’s president that I was being investigated because Mr. Holdren had “highlighted what he believes were serious misstatements by Prof. Pielke of the scientific consensus on climate change.” He made the letter public.

The “investigation” turned out to be a farce. In the letter, Rep. Grijalva suggested that I—and six other academics with apparently heretical views—might be on the payroll of Exxon Mobil (or perhaps the Illuminati, I forget). He asked for records detailing my research funding, emails and so on. After some well-deserved criticism from the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union, Rep. Grijalva deleted the letter from his website. The University of Colorado complied with Rep. Grijalva’s request and responded that I have never received funding from fossil-fuel companies. My heretical views can be traced to research support from the U.S. government.

But the damage to my reputation had been done, and perhaps that was the point.

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Henning Nielsen
December 4, 2016 10:33 am

Maybe it is a sign of CAGW’s desperate end-struggle that the alarmist extremists go after even the ones who share their views about man-made climate change. But it is also a fact that within sects, the ones who are most hated, are not those in total opposition, but those who almost agree.

Reply to  Henning Nielsen
December 4, 2016 5:12 pm

“I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action, including a carbon tax”
then why say “I believe”? Since when did scientists operate on the basis of belief? Belief is the subject of religion.
I would expect a scientist to either say “I know”, or “I don’t know”,

Reply to  ferdberple
December 4, 2016 6:36 pm

To “know” is completely contrary to scientific method. Science doesn’t know anything for certain, you only work with what appears to be the best theory at the time. Knowing falls into religion. Belief implies a certain amount of doubt, better to just say “in my opinion the evidence suggests”.

Reply to  ferdberple
December 5, 2016 1:57 am

In using the word “belief” his is addressing accusations of being a “deenyer” and also showing that he considers it his personal opinion NOT established as a scientific result. He also says it “risks” justifying action. Which opens up the uncertainty that most alarmists try to deny exists.
That all seems pretty objective, so why slate him for that?
The witch-hunt was orchestrated by the Center for American Progress. So how about we examine the “well organised, multimillion dollar industry” which is behind the alarmists and the links to Podesta and Clinton.

Reply to  ferdberple
December 5, 2016 1:59 am

First Solar was part of CAP “energy alliance” of donors and recd. $4 BILLION of Obama’s “stimulus”.

Michael 2
Reply to  Henning Nielsen
December 4, 2016 7:19 pm

Concur: Those that almost agree fight with passion. It is so in religion as well.

Reply to  Michael 2
December 4, 2016 8:57 pm

Michael 2:
Excellent point. But it’s not a law of nature unless you caveat it significantly.
NB People also fight with passion when scraps are at stake. Fighting is bound to be rabidly avid when 2A rabs only have enough arid, non-arable wasteland for 1.

Reply to  Michael 2
December 4, 2016 10:31 pm

> “…2A rabs…”
Ouch. I embarrassed myself there. Of all the ways to misplace a space bar, that’s about the most racist-looking typo I could’ve made. Moderators, could you possibly fix it? That whole comment was just a pun on “Arab / arable” anyway so I don’t care if you delete the whole thing.
[gone . . mod]

Santa Baby
Reply to  Henning Nielsen
December 5, 2016 1:41 am

“In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy”. (Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland). No prizes for guessing how global warming skepticism is normally responded to.
“The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it” — H L Mencken

Reply to  Santa Baby
December 5, 2016 4:41 am

Correct. Dr. Pielke refuses to engage in doomsday science.

Reply to  Henning Nielsen
December 5, 2016 4:52 am

> it is also a fact that within sects, the ones who are most hated, are not those in total opposition
“Those in total opposition” would not, however, be within the sect—they’d be outside.
But yes, there does seem to be an Uncanny Valley going on.

December 4, 2016 10:36 am

I bet it’s nothing compared to the bullying the legitimate side has to put up with.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
December 4, 2016 10:59 am

So, you don’t believe that Roger Pielke is part of the legitimate side?

Reply to  John Sposato
December 4, 2016 7:26 pm

> you don’t believe that Roger Pielke is part of the legitimate side?
Not in a seriously credible, reputable sense. Unless that entire article i linked to is some sort of elaborate satire. But the only way to know for sure would be to read it, so I guess the question of the location of my tongue relative to my cheek is just one of those mysteries we were never meant to solve.

Reply to  John Sposato
December 5, 2016 11:30 am

I’ve been trying to make sense of Brad Keyes’ various posts here and elsewhere. His “Not in a seriously credible, reputable sense.” response to “So, you don’t believe that Roger Pielke is part of the legitimate side?” is instructive.
Overall conclusion? Brad Keyes is not serious and is a Troll.
I will no longer expend effort trying to make sense of his convoluted pseudo-reasoning.

Michael 2
Reply to  charlieskeptic
December 5, 2016 9:09 pm

charlieskeptic writes “Brad Keyes is not serious and is a Troll.”
Yes to both and he’s very skilled; much better at parody than Saturday Night Live! Still, he knows when not to capitalize words that do not require it.
“I will no longer expend effort trying to make sense of his convoluted pseudo-reasoning.”
Yes; at some point you might as well quit when you haven’t got the mind or time for it. I wonder why you announce it to the world? The best way to stop expending effort is to just stop!

Reply to  Michael 2
December 6, 2016 12:15 am

You Too, 2. Too Much.

John Robertson
Reply to  Brad Keyes
December 4, 2016 11:23 am

That article is ‘rich’:
“claims to be “skeptical,” but later makes a comment that reveals detailed knowledge of your work. Remember, real skeptics know almost nothing about climate science, which is why they’re not convinced yet. But if they understand the science, that’s mens rea right there—they are (by definition) denying it.”
“You might be afraid of showing your data, for example. And who could blame you? Or perhaps it would be a time-consuming pain in the ass to track it down—assuming it even exists—and unarchive, format, sanitize, collate and upload it.)”
I’m sorry, as one of the few liberals here I must say that your example is one of how scientists with something to hide should behave, not legitimate scientists who keep their data and freely share it with anyone who asks so they can be sure they didn’t make any mistakes.

Reply to  John Robertson
December 4, 2016 11:31 am


as one of the few liberals here I must say that your example is one of how scientists with something to hide should behave

As one of the two liberals in the set [you, me], I’m glad you agree. That’s why I wrote this guide. Scientists are at their wit’s end. They’re entrusted with keeping information safe, yet they’re damned if they fail to hand it over to every Steve, Anthony and Douglas who walks in off the street and fills out a form. There was a desperate need out there for a simple, childproof algorithm for dealing with this ‘ethical double bind’ (h/t Steve Schneider), and I’m honored to have provided it to the best of my ability.

Reply to  John Robertson
December 4, 2016 11:41 am

” They’re entrusted with keeping information safe, yet they’re damned if they fail to hand it over to every Steve, Anthony and Douglas who walks in off the street and fills out a form.”
..Brad Keyes, maybe you should read up on the laws of the U.S..Every government document is OWED by the citizens of the U.S.A…Period…

John Robertson
Reply to  John Robertson
December 4, 2016 12:48 pm

Other John Robertson, are you commenting on Brads Satire? or the current posting?

Reply to  John Robertson
December 4, 2016 1:07 pm

John, your comment is not clear as to what article you are agreeing with and what you are criticizing.

Reply to  John Robertson
December 4, 2016 2:05 pm

I’m curious how anyone from the left with it’s authoritarian values can consider themselves a liberalist – liberals or libertarians were the arch enemy of Marxists with their state comes first attitudes.

Reply to  John Robertson
December 4, 2016 2:16 pm

Brad Keyes wrote, “Scientists are at their wit’s end. They’re entrusted with keeping information safe, yet they’re damned if they fail to hand it over to every Steve, Anthony and Douglas who walks in off the street and fills out a form. There was a desperate need out there for a simple, childproof algorithm for dealing with this ‘ethical double bind’”
That is appalling.
How, exactly, is it an “ethical double bind” to release the data which is the basis for your published papers? With a few exceptions, such as when your data is actually dangerous, for example if it is useful for making WMDs, it is an ethical imperative that you hand over the data to every Steve, Anthony and Douglas who asks.
Trust Your Science? Open Your Data and Code, Victoria Stodden, Amstat News, American Statistical Association, July 2011
Open your minds and share your results, Geoffrey Boulton, Nature, 27 June 2012.
Excerpt: “Publication of scientific theories — and the supporting experimental and observational data — permits others to identify errors, to reject or refine theories and to reuse data. Science’s capacity for self-correction comes from this openness to scrutiny and challenge.”

Reply to  John Robertson
December 4, 2016 8:31 pm

John Robertson, are you the other John Robertson? Or is he a different John Robertson? Or are all three of you the same people?
Other Brad Keyes, was that article a parody, or was it just satire? I can’t decide. You need to be clearer. Also, your comments frequently come across as sarcastic, but they might just be facetious. Ironically, it’s hard to tell.
Stop being ambiguous. I’m having a hard enough time keeping up with single entendres.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
December 4, 2016 11:28 am

There’s nothing ‘legitimate’ about thinking a psychologist is a climate scientist.

Iain Russell
Reply to  JaneHM
December 4, 2016 11:35 am

Oh so true!

george e. smith
Reply to  JaneHM
December 4, 2016 11:39 am

Or in thinking that a climate scientist however competent at that, should be giving advice on taxes.
If one’s considered climate scientist professional opinion, is that certain behaviors are seriously destructive, then one should propose a climate based solution.
Taxes don’t solve any technical problems; they simply raise money for politicians to spend.
I’m sympathetic to Dr. Pielke Jr.’s fairness concerns; but not to his taxation opinions.

Reply to  JaneHM
December 4, 2016 12:09 pm

..or an English major

Reply to  Brad Keyes
December 4, 2016 12:17 pm

@Brad, “No means no: protecting yourself from Illegitimate Insertion”. Very interesting that Stefan likens requests for FOI to that of one of Date Rape. Very telling IMO

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Brad Keyes
December 4, 2016 1:55 pm

Who is “legitimate”, and who decides that? And who shall I say is calling?

Michael 2
Reply to  Brad Keyes
December 4, 2016 7:32 pm

A better commentary on legitimacy would originate from almost anyone OTHER THAN Lewandowsky.
Ah, I just remembered — you like to poke the ant hill with argumentum ad absurdum. Your choice of Lewandowsky was no accident. Well played! Parody or satire or both.
A little hard to tell whether it’s real Lewandowsky; it seems insufficiently contemptuous of deniers.

Peter Morris
Reply to  Brad Keyes
December 4, 2016 8:56 pm

Brad I like your writing. I feel dumb that I missed the time of the first article in that other comment section.
Plus I really like how well you punctuate and capitalize. And you have impeccable subject verb agreement, which I can tell you from personal experience is hard to find on these intertubes.

Reply to  Peter Morris
December 4, 2016 9:00 pm

Peter, many thanks for that compliment.
And don’t feel silly—take solace in numbers. It took two threads’ worth of denizens to figure it out last time:

Reply to  Brad Keyes
December 5, 2016 1:47 am

…words only a conservative would use: bitter, cling, guns, religion, Rush, Limbaugh, Popper, Feynman, etc.
At this point I realised it had to be a joke.
Then I read on…and wondered if actually it was in fact dead serious.

Reply to  Leo Smith
December 5, 2016 1:52 am

Leo, that’s interesting, thanks for the feedback. So you realized, then you derealized? Or did you hypothesize, then antithesize, then synthesize by wondering if jokes can actually be in fact dead serious?

December 4, 2016 10:39 am

next time do like Trump…
Hit everyone on Twitter….makes the media crazy because they can’t put their spin on it first

Reply to  Latitude
December 4, 2016 1:29 pm

It would be a hoot if Dr. Pielke ended up running NASA’s climate division. Stranger things have happened on this planet.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  markstoval
December 4, 2016 1:57 pm

I hope that does not happen, because I hope that NASA is removed from the climate business altogether.

Reply to  markstoval
December 4, 2016 2:40 pm

NOAA may have a job opening or two in about 47 days.

Reply to  markstoval
December 4, 2016 3:24 pm

I hope it’s an atmospheric physicist and one with a true respect for data integrity and the need for further standalone measurement methodologies that are not contaminated by cross-calibration to prior dubious data sets or geoscience model output.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  markstoval
December 4, 2016 4:59 pm

“It would be a hoot if Dr. Pielke ended up running NASA’s climate division. Stranger things have happened on this planet.”
Indeed. Obviously we need someone running such a division who thinks climate change is “real” and thinks a carbon tax is a good idea, yet can’t point to any bad things actually happening due to said “real climate change”. I say we put a rock in charge.

Tom Halla
December 4, 2016 10:43 am

Even “lukewarmers” like Roger Pielke, jr find they are starring in the serial “Attack of the Green Blob”. Their case is so clear that any mention of the real issues or real data is politically incorrect.

Alan Robertson
December 4, 2016 10:54 am

Why no mention of the Bilderbergers, or the Trilateral Commission?
These omissions are suspect. Highly suspect. Grijalva should be on Icke’s radar.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
December 4, 2016 11:25 am

Do you doubt the reality of the conspiracy against Dr. Pileke and other heretics who dare not to show complete, abject obeisance toward orthodox consensus climate doctrine?

December 4, 2016 11:04 am

I don’t see much reflection from the left.
They aren’t bothered in the least by this kind of exposure.
I think it’s the beginning of the beginning.
Not the beginning of the end.

Reply to  rebelronin
December 4, 2016 3:01 pm

“I don’t see much reflection from the left.
They aren’t bothered in the least by this kind of exposure.”
That’s because they never suffered any repercussions in the past for their bad behavior. The radical left thinks it is a good thing to trash those who oppose them. They certainly don’t feel any shame in doing so. Instead, they feel like they have accomplished something good.
The radical left thinks those who oppose them are really bad people. Look at the way they demonize all the Republicans they oppose. They call them every name in the book.
Everyone on the other side of the political spectrum is the equivalent of H!tler to them. You see celebrities having emotional meltdowns on tv because they really are afraid, even though their fears are so exaggerated they don’t even come close to reality.
So the radical left have no hesitation in doing whatever it takes to neutralize the evil they think opposes them. They feel it is their moral duty to do whatever it takes to keep H!tler and his minions away from the levers of power. That’s why they will not come together and cooperate with Trump In their minds, that is equivalent of cooperating with H!tler.
Not every leftists is a radical leftist, but too many are. There are some leftists who still have some sense. We don’t ever get to hear from them, though.
The hateful, fearful radical leftists are the ones who took Dr. Pielke down. He was down, but he’s not out, and much to the chagrin of the left, Dr. Pielke will have a sympathetic ear in the White House in the very near future. I’m betting Trump has already heard all about the attacks on Dr. Pielke, and all the other who have not gone along with the company line.
Times, they are a changin’. And they are changing for the better.

Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 11:05 am

Dr. Pielke,
Nobody here is fooled. What is a reputation for that matter?
Think of it. Jesus Christ, the son of God, was betrayed by one of His best friends, denied by his “strongest” friend, mocked and tortured and killed by the authorities, used as a foil by revolutionaries, and the rest of his friends ran away, leaving Him to be buried by a stranger.
Why would you think you’d suffer anything different? Men are men.
The key is what you do in response to men’s bad behavior. That will be the measure of you, known only to you.
So much for what others say, and want to have said, about you. Reputation is an ephemeral artifact imposed on people by the fearful.
We are not confused.
Rise, let us be on our way.

December 4, 2016 11:08 am


December 4, 2016 11:09 am

Possibly 350 years from now, like the Vatican did, Roger may get his appology.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Duncan
December 4, 2016 11:23 am

Except.. Galileo never said “Yet it moves”.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 11:48 am

And you sir know this how?

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 11:49 am

He probably did say it, but also probably not at the moment in which it’s usually attributed to him:
Not that it really matters, since he was convinced that the earth moves, contrary to Church doctrine at the time.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 11:57 am

And you sir know otherwise? What is your real name BTW?
What he said was written down at the time as a record of his trial. The fiction quoted in the NYT’s link was invented after the fact by detractors, not unlike nowadays. BTW, so and so with no name, Copernicus, a priest, described heliocentricity in his work ~60 years before Galileo.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 12:44 pm

The Church tolerated Copernicus’ work for as long as it wasn’t accepted as physical reality, but merely a means of calculating planetary motions. It was put on the Index when interpreted as Copernicus intended, ie a description or reality. He was wrong about circular orbits, of course.
Nor was he a priest. He was a canon. There is no record of his ordination as a priest. He was however indubitably a Catholic, as was Galileo, unlike Kepler and Brahe. But his book Revolutions was printed by a Protestant press and he had been encouraged to publish by a Lutheran student. Copernicus delayed publishing his hypothesis for 36 years because he knew it ran counter to Church dogma. He waited until he was near death, and still might not have gone to press without the urging and aid of his Protestant pupil.
For reasons to believe that Galileo did make the statement attributed to him while still alive, please see the link I posted above.
Not sure what anonymity has to do with the validity of a comment not based upon personal experience.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 12:54 pm

Chimp, (who ever you are)
You are free to speculate, and invent history as your personality allows. I, on the other hand rely on science, facts, what is documented, and traceable. It is clear that you count yourself among st the cafeteria fact checkers when it comes to denigrating the rc church. Critics, in my view, ought to adhere to facts, when they sling criticisms. You know nothing of the history of this subject. You know nothing of what Galileo asserted and what the documented responses were. You know nothing about where the various myths of Galileo were started and the boundary of the facts. You are just regurgitating nonsense for the visceral pleasure of it.
One would think that a “scientist” would behold a curiosity about documented facts. I do.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 1:00 pm

I think we all are missing the point, [quote] By the end of his trial, Galileo was forced to recant his own scientific findings as “abjured, cursed and detested,” a renunciation that caused him great personal anguish but which saved him from being burned at the stake.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 1:10 pm

You are projecting and hurling unfounded ad hominems.
I’m quite sure I know more about the Galileo case than you do. I’ve read the relevant documents in Latin and Italian, for starters.
How about responding to what I actually said? Explain why a painting made while Galileo was still alive would show his bon mot, if he never said it? He and his friends could have repudiated the statement.
OTOH, what evidence do you have for your totally unsupported assertion that he never made the statement? IOW, who is behaving scientifically here and who isn’t, which would be you.
Your desire to defend your religious beliefs apparently has rendered you incapable of assessing the facts of the case. Even your church has admitted its error. Do you suppose you know more about the case than the Catholic theologians, lawyers and scientists who reviewed it and issued an apology?

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 1:10 pm

When you don’t know history…
“Copernicus delayed publishing his hypothesis for 36 years because he knew it ran counter to Church dogma”…
Copernicus wrote down why he delayed publishing his Heliocentricity works. He wrote it in a letter to the Pope. But you didn’t want to include that letter because it shows that you are just a one-sided “chimp”.
The question would be, why would you say something so easily refuted? I think we all know “chimp”.
Furthermore, Copernicus was documented to have been a candidate for an ecclesiastical seat that required holy orders. He was a priest therefore. So again you pick your words just to be an unscientific terrorizer of facts. All this is available and well known… yet you persist… We know why.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 1:16 pm

Chimp.. be a monkey for me…
“Your desire to defend your religious beliefs”…
Since I have never stated my (if any) religious beliefs you again demonstrate you incapacity to derive your ideas from facts. My comments are to refute well aged mythology. An easy target I may add.
Pretenders of science inevitably bring up Galileo (wrongly BTW) ignoring LeMaitre, Pascal, Mendel, Copernicus, Penzias, and Newton etc…for that matter.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 1:34 pm

You have repeatedly made it plain here that you are a devout Catholic. Do you deny that fact?
Please state to which appointed position you refer. Nothing in his career required ordination. If you imagine that he was considered for a post that did, as I asked, please say what it was. And show somehow that he couldn’t have accepted it, and then have been ordained if he wanted it.
What historian of science speculates that Copernicus took holy orders? Every one with whom I’ve spoken or whose work I’ve ever read says he never did. It’s your unsubstantiated assertion against the opinion of the whole profession.
I wonder if you actually read Copernicus’ dedication. He repeatedly states exactly what I said, ie that he was afraid because his hypothesis ran counter to Church dogma. What part of the repeated word “fear” do you not understand?

Monna Manhas
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 2:38 pm

Chimp, the phrase is attributed to Galileo, but there is no proof that he actually said it. As we all know, anecdotal evidence is not proof. Since you like Wikipedia, here is what they have to say:
The earliest biography of Galileo, written by his disciple Vincenzo Viviani in 1655–1656, does not mention this phrase, and records of his trial do not cite it. It would have been imprudent for Galileo to have said such a thing before the Inquisition.[4]
In 1911, the words “E pur si muove” were found on a Spanish painting which had just been acquired by an art collector, Jules van Belle, of Roulers, Belgium.[5] This painting was completed within a year or two of Galileo’s death, as it is dated 1643 or 1645 (the last digit is partially obscured). The painting is obviously not historically correct, because it depicts Galileo in a dungeon, but nonetheless shows that some variant of the “Eppur si muove” anecdote was in circulation immediately after his death, when many who had known him were still alive to attest to it, and that it had been circulating for over a century before it was published.[6]
The event was first reported in English print in 1757 by Giuseppe Baretti in his book the The Italian Library:[6]:357
The moment he was set at liberty, he looked up to the sky and down to the ground, and, stamping with his foot, in a contemplative mood, said, Eppur si muove, that is, still it moves, meaning the Earth.[7]:52
The book was written 124 years after the supposed utterance and became widely published in Querelles Littéraires in 1761.[8]

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 3:00 pm

Chimp, be my monkey some more…
What is your real name? Since you above claimed to be a scholar, knowing English, Italian and Latin, and claiming to have read all the relevant documents,
“I’ve read the relevant documents in Latin and Italian, for starters.”
and you clearly haven’t read all the relevant docs having missed Copernicus’ Dedication to Pope Paul III, and Copernicus’ placement record, etc…
it would be reasonable for you to reveal all of your credentials,… HAR HAR
I suppose you also know greek and sanskrit… LOL… What a fraud you are.
So… what university do you work for Mr/Mrs Chimp…. with all that knowledge?
It took you a while to finally read the dedication HAH HAH
So now you know what Copernicus meant when he complained about Drones amongst bees. You truly are a drone.
I am glad you botched defending your knowledge, in public. I won’t have to repeat this again until you hide behind another fake name.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 3:04 pm

Monna… ouch…
Sadly, fact don’t matter to Chump the monk ey

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 5:04 pm

“What he said was written down at the time as a record of his trial. The fiction quoted in the NYT’s link was invented after the fact by detractors”
Kinda like the Jesus story you spoke of above. Most likely made up.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 5:22 pm

David Petrla Chimp Hladik etc etc

george e. smith
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 5:51 pm

So what of his great work of fiction (who doesn’t like a good piece of fiction ?).
” Dialog on the two World Systems. ” or words to that effect.
Just an idle chat between some folks probably at a bar or quaffing some vino.
Who could take offense at something that is just idle chatter ?
Sadly I know knowt about Galileo Galilei, other than having read that one book of course. I think he might have written some other fiction works as well.
And my knowledge of Italian or Latin does not extend past ‘ ciao ‘ and I don’t even know whether that is which language.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 9:35 pm

Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 at 3:00 pm
As I’ve shown, it is you who clearly has not read Copernicus’ dedication, in which he says exactly what I said he said, not what you lied about what he said.
As I said, he didn’t publish for 36 years because of his fear. His own words, not mine.
Do you realize how obtuse and un-Christian you sound? You ask who I could know what your religion is, when in this very thread, you call Jesus the son of god, instead of the rural itinerant Essene preacher he was. Your unsupported assertion shows that at least you’re a Christian, if not a Catholic, so why did you claim I couldn’t know your religion?
Besides which, what evidence is there that the Galilean preacher was the son of god, and what does that mean anyway? You’re free to believe on faith alone that the first century preacher was the son of god, but to assert it without evidence is highly unscientific.
I’m an agnostic, but if I were to believe in a “god”, I’d be a monotheist, not a tritheist, with mothers of god, saints, angels and a host of other supernatural and sanctified spirits thrown into the mix.
The fact is that you have not a shred of evidence for your baseless assertions, so, instead of loving your neighbor as yourself, to include your enemies, you engage in juvenile name calling.
You asserted without any evidence that Galileo didn’t say, “Yet it moves”. I provided you evidence that he did say that. You won’t reply because you can’t.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 9:38 pm

Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 at 3:04 pm
Again, you’re projecting.
Clearly it’s you to whom facts mean nothing. You assert that Galileo never said “Yet it moves”, but have no facts whatsoever to support this baseless assertion.
You lied that Copernicus’ dedication showed he wasn’t afraid to publish, yet his own words say exactly that. Which leads me to believe that you have never in fact read it, in any language.
What are you doing on a science blog?

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
December 4, 2016 10:01 pm

Forgot to add that you also have no evidence that Copernicus was a priest, as you also falsely asserted.
So you’ve struck out. Three swings, three misses.

Reply to  Duncan
December 5, 2016 2:04 am

Except that, 350 years on, its fairly clear that in fact the Vatican was right and Galileo was wrong. Heliocentrism is in fact simply a model. There is no absolute fixed point around which rotation can be said to occur. Or it boils down to the average centre of gravity of the whole universe, and the rotational moments of it summing to zero with respect to that point. Relativity implies no absolute frame of reference.
And indeed the argument between Church and Galileo emphasises a basic philosophical conundrum, that Popper put his finger on, and that few realise the implications of.
Science is not the Truth. William of Ockham realised that way back when.
It is simply a collection of (related and mutually consistent) models that work in the sense that when applied, they correctly predict the future (of some subset of reality or experimental procedure).
When models don’t work, we remove them from the set of ‘scientific models’ and throw them in the heap of ‘discarded conjectures’ where so called ‘cliamte scientists’ go dumpster diving to resurrect them and polish them up to sell as decorative items for the mantlepieces of Liberal Thinkers.
Perhaps in another 350 years the Vatican will finally catch up with 20th century science.
I often feel that (classical) science is like studying the pictures on a computer screen, where you can learn a lot about what picture will come up by working out patterns in behaviour from mouse clicks or keyboard inputs, and you really think you have it taped, until you actually take the case off the computer and its monitor, revealing a whole different order of reality.
Hey ho. Gotta LURVE that quantum physiscs..

December 4, 2016 11:16 am

I know firsthand via career retaliation over 20 years in a U.S. Government agency how the science arena is a political cesspool..What must the political arena be? Egads!

It doesn't add up...
December 4, 2016 11:22 am

Roger should take heart: there are those of us who do not trust climate propaganda, and look to those like him who seek to present facts without fear or favour. Journalists are the last group of people to be trusted (with a depressingly narrow list of exceptions) in our modern world of fake news.

Reply to  It doesn't add up...
December 4, 2016 5:23 pm

roger used to sound like christina figueras:
“The purpose of a low-carbon tax is to raise revenues for investments in innovation. To the extent that innovation is successful, leading to the displacement of fossil fuels, it will be more likely that the carbon price can be increased.” except with a more direct ‘gimme to me’ face on his carbon tax.
now he’s sounding like o manueal…lol
feed him to pigs or other liberals, no matter – just get er done.

December 4, 2016 11:29 am

“…long experience shows what can happen when politicians and media turn against inconvenient research—which we’ve seen under Republican and Democratic presidents.”
Now, that is fair criticism. Hat’s off to you for that statement.

Reply to  Chad Jessup
December 4, 2016 11:51 am

“…long experience shows what can happen when politicians and media turn against inconvenient research—which we’ve seen under Republican and Democratic presidents.”
May be true, but Republicans never have the Media on their side to help with the bashing.

December 4, 2016 11:36 am

“I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action”…
This comment is stupid, IMHO..Natural “Climate Change” has been occurring for 4.5 billion years and I know of no intelligent person that denies that fact….IF you meant “Human Caused Climate Change”, State that and then prove it…

son of mulder
December 4, 2016 11:38 am

“When substantively countering an academic’s research proves difficult, other techniques are needed to banish it. That is how politics sometimes works, and professors need to understand this if we want to participate in that arena.”
That’s not how politics sometimes works, that’s how fascism and totalitarianism works.

December 4, 2016 11:41 am

This means that cumulative economic damage from hurricanes over the past decade is some $70 billion less than the long-term average would lead us to expect, based on my research with colleagues. This is good news, and it should be OK to say so. Yet in today’s hyper-partisan climate debate, every instance of extreme weather becomes a political talking point.

Recalling last week’s NYT’s interview of Pres-elect Donald Trump:

SULZBERGER: Well, since we’re living on an island, sir, I want to thank you for having an open mind. We saw what these storms are now doing, right? We’ve seen it personally. Straight up.
FRIEDMAN: But you have an open mind on this?
TRUMP: I do have an open mind. And we’ve had storms always, Arthur.
SULZBERGER: Not like this (sic!).

Would seem that Sulzberger was speaking of extra-tropical storm Sandy? He’s right – it didn’t compare to the 1938 Cat 3 Long Island Express which came roaring ashore on Long Island, NY, killing over 600 people, decades prior to any view that humans had a footprint in GW. Here:

Jeff L
December 4, 2016 11:44 am

This sort of treatment by anyone who steps out of the consensus of the liberal elite is why Trump won – the public can clearly see it. I hope this post is widely ready by those who still haven’t figured this out. . Ironically, no one on the alarmist / elitist side seems to see that they are bringing on their own demise.

December 4, 2016 11:49 am

“I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action, including a carbon tax”
Pielke is part of the problem.

Reply to  skepticgonewild
December 4, 2016 12:29 pm

I agree, but his minor transgression and treatment illustrates the extent of the groupthink very well.

R. Shearer
Reply to  skepticgonewild
December 4, 2016 12:47 pm

He believes. He believes those that obviously lie to him and about him and yet he still believes. Really!?

Reply to  skepticgonewild
December 4, 2016 1:23 pm

Roger Jr. is guided in the hard science part by Roger Sr. Roger Sr. thinks climate models have predictive value. I’ve discussed this with Roger Sr. in a long-ago post on WUWT.
It started with my comment on Roger Jr.’s views about the dangers of CO2 emissions, here, to which Roger Sr. replied here.
The conversation can be followed by searching names. Roger Sr. apparently discounts the impact of the large physical errors made by climate models, on their ability to predict the effects of small perturbations in forcing, i.e., from CO2 emissions.

Reply to  Pat Frank
December 5, 2016 2:08 am

Climate models DO have predictive value. You can use them to predict the flow of money from taxpayers and consumers into Green pockets and climate science research.
In general the more scary they are, the more money they will generate.
Unfortunately there are signs that ‘peak climate’ is upon us, and they are simply not scaring people like they used to.

December 4, 2016 11:54 am

Memo to Stephen Hawking: This is the real threat to science and apparently the message is not getting into the rarefied bubble that you said you live in. Thanks to Wikileaks the rest of us can get a clue on occasion.

December 4, 2016 12:04 pm

Pielke’s only sin was to dispute the extreme climate getting worse meme in Congresssional testimoney. He had his facts straight and IPCC SRES on his side. Everybody from Holdren in the White House to Podesta tore him apart for that minor apostasy. In a sense, not a bad thing to have happened because it exposed the warmunists for what they actually are. And now in a place as prominent as WSJ. Much more telling to the Deplorables than the European Bengsston affair.

December 4, 2016 12:22 pm

As a result of this article, will Podesta et al plead their case.
This would be a good place for them to start a new debate.
After all, that and data is what science does and is.

December 4, 2016 12:26 pm

As Mark Steyn so aptly pointed out, in regards to his own lawsuit stagnating in the DC courts, “The process is the punishment.”

December 4, 2016 12:53 pm

More troubling is the degree to which journalists and other academics joined the campaign against me.
The journalists and academics hold the people to account on behalf of the government, instead of the other way around.

John Robertson
December 4, 2016 12:58 pm

Should be quite heartening for Rodger Pieke, that the Presstitution industry has been so exposed by their attempts to derail the Trump Train, those poor excuses for journalists showed all of North America what they really are this year.
Now they look just like roaches when the kitchen lights come on.
At first I was bemused by the media buy-in on CAGW, after all even a cursory “follow the money” offered great news stories of stupidity and waste, yet the “reporters” would not even look.
Then came Climate -Gate and their willfull blindness was obvious.
Lying by omission worked, prior to the internet.
Political operatives, small wonder they attacked even small truths so savagely,… Must protect the Narrative.

David Ball
December 4, 2016 1:09 pm

It can get tough in the schoolyard. Here’s a tissue, Junior. You can leave it to the ones who can handle the (snip)storm.

December 4, 2016 1:16 pm

I have fowarded Pielke’s article to a friend in the Uk who has a journalist son (an engineer with degrees in engineering and economics from Cambridge U )
It seems his journalistic career in the UK has been stymied after being labelled a “climate denier” by a blog named DeSmog
They did do on the strength of him querying some parts of the global warming theorem specifically the feedback effects.
Seems no one will give him a job or even a job interview as a journalist
The point about his experience and that of Pielke and Lomborg just to mention two
It does not matter even if you accept most of the AGW nonsense you have to accept all of it without question.
This is religion not science and a particularly nasty religion at that as it demands economic action against the interests and welfare of the people including those in developing nations the greens profess to care about

December 4, 2016 1:17 pm

Pedant alert.
The Guardian is actually a paper which ought to come from London, but doesn’t deserve to.
Its roots are in Manchester.
(I believe Scots from Glasgow say something similar about Edinburgh being a city which ought to be in England, but doesn’t deserve to be.)

December 4, 2016 1:25 pm

This is such a heartbreaking story that one would rather place it in Nazi Germany or the defunct Soviet Union than in the country held as the final bulwark against bigotry and tyranny. It is now of crucial importance that the authorities to be chosen to work on matters related to climate and environment should be systematically informed of the deception and iies that the present administration has nurtured during the regime soon step aside! Signs are that the President-elect does not subsribe to the present climate dogma, but it must now be made sure that his and his coming administration’s convictions are substantiated by accurate and carefully formulated objective information. There surely is going to be a scream all over your continent from those who then must acknowledge the truth. On the other side, to be a little mean, they had it coming!
Professor Pielke, esteemed colleague, please try to hold out! Do not despair, truth will eventually prevail.

Reply to  johan
December 5, 2016 2:28 am

one would rather place it in Nazi Germany or the defunct Soviet Union than in the country held as the final bulwark against bigotry and tyranny.
That is because it is simply a symptom of imposing a political view upon the population, rather than letting them arrive at one naturally, or by rational discourse.
Calling someone a ‘denier’ is not rational discourse.
Its hard to discern when the Left as a whole became a vehicle for oppression, and suppression of discourse. OK it was always that away at the hardcore end, the Trotskyites and Communists, but the broader left used to favour democracy. Now the cry is all ‘the people are to stupid and ill informed to be allowed to make decisions for themselves’ (and in fact Boaty McBoatface tends to support that view, or perhaps that the public has more seen of humour than politicians realise).
Of course all this is helped by the fact that the purpose of Western Democracy is completely misunderstood. It was never about ‘exercising the will of the people ‘ at every instant. IT was conceived and implemented and originally understood as a way of placing limits on the powers of first monarchs, and then parliament itself. A ruling elite there would always be, but democracy was a way to sack the bar stewards without a long costly and bloody revolution.
Having killed the king, and created a sort of quasi religious communism (Cromwell’s ‘commonwealth’) the attempts by Cromwell to create a political dynasty as unpleasant and oppressive as any monarchy, led to men of letters calling for both the return of a King, but with some sort of mechanisms to limit his absolute authority. The result was parliamentary democracy as we know it.
This has been an inconvenience to men who would be kings, ever since.
Democracy is about achieving bloodless coups and revolutions, because civil wars are mainly bad for business as they result in a lot of property destruction.
What is most sinister, is that forces in the West would prefer to see violence and oppression and a police state, rather then democracy, in order to impose a system upon those that do not want it. Leaving the door open for that system to be subverted by far far worse people …Once you are powerless to remove an elite that is past its sell by date by peaceful means, only one method remains.

December 4, 2016 1:33 pm

It’s a pathetic state of affairs but par for the course in the absurd world of climate activism.

December 4, 2016 1:47 pm

Here’s the real gem in this article. Dr(s) Pielke(s) have the guts to stand up and talk about what they think the data tells them – and do it publicly. Agree with their ideas or not, at least the debate is in the open, face to face, and let the conclusions fall where they may. How many times have one on one (or group on group) debates been held between those fearing flying toast and those stamping the status quo?
I for one am glad to see Dr Jr (sorry had to do it) back at the keyboard. We need serious researchers talking – not necessarily agreeing – and taking their conclusions at least to the general public. Let’s get back to doing science the way it should be.
“If one person can prove my theory wrong….” OK maybe not a direct quote – but Albert had it right….

Reply to  Michael Bentley
December 4, 2016 2:32 pm

All true except your honourable intentions are not shared by climate activists. They demand only the outcome their motives seek, and science be damned.

December 4, 2016 1:53 pm

Dear Roger,
You gave testimony before Congress. The Center for American Progress et al attacked you for your testimony, attempting to shut you up and to deter others from testifying. These actions constitute witness tampering (18 US Code § 1512), conspiracy to interfere with civil rights (42 U.S. Code § 1985), and violations of other Federal and state laws.
You do not have to live unhappy life. Call a good lawyer, and stand up for yourself and the Constitution.

Reply to  Leo Goldstein
December 4, 2016 8:05 pm

I agree with Leo, Roget – stand up for your rights and fight.- this is your time to do so.
Also, consider supporting a group that is suing the climate fraudsters under Civil RICO.
In the USA, lawsuits under Civil RICO have finally been initiated, as I suggested on wattsup in 2014:
My only problem is that you are a luke-warmer, and I think you do not have that correct – unless you agree with me that manmade warming is so small as to be insignificant, or even beneficial.
Regards, Allan.

Reply to  Allan M.R. MacRae
December 5, 2016 7:03 am

Luke-warmers might be mistaken on the science, but have all the rights under the law.

Reply to  Allan M.R. MacRae
December 5, 2016 8:13 am

Of course I agree with you Leo re Roger’s rights – which have been tramped by scoundrels and imbeciles.

Reply to  Allan M.R. MacRae
December 5, 2016 8:28 am

Even though Roger and I probably do not agree on climate sensitivity to increasing atmospheric CO2, I am concerned that too many of the comments here are far nasty and vindictive.
Roger does not have to agree with me on all points for me to defend his rights, which have been badly abused by the usual suspects.
I think those of you who used this opportunity to do a drive-by shooting aimed at Roger should reflect that this is what the warmists have been doing to skeptics for decades. An apology is in order.
FYI, my friend Sallie Baliunas was pushed out of Harvard-Smithsonian, reportedly by Obama’s Chief Scientific Advisor John Holdren. This was a great loss for science and humanity – Sallie is one of the best and smartest people I know.
The same people have now attacked Sallie’s colleague Willie Soon, but Willie has managed to hang on.
Regards, Allan
Post Script:
Some history: “Drive-by shootings in Kyotoville” – E&E 005
Sincere thanks to all here for the kind (and accurate) words about the courage of Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen.
Sonja has taken a strong stand for her scientific and ethical principles, and has stood firm against unethical attacks by global warming extremists.
I published the following article in E&E in early 2005. The thuggish bullying by the pro-Kyoto camp was evident years before the Climategate emails provided incontrovertible proof of their unethical and even criminal behaviour.
This bullying by global warming extremists continues to this day, but it will not continue much longer. Their attack has faltered, and some of their company are starting to retreat.
One already sees papers published by global warming alarmists that acknowledge the significant role of natural climate variation. The significance of these papers is not that they say anything scientifically new – many if not most skeptics believed decades ago that natural climate variation was highly significant – the significance of these recent warmist apologia is that they are primarily political – I suggest that these authors are gradually retreating from their extremist views as the credibility of their warmist alarmism becomes scientifically and politically untenable.
Natural climate variability trumps global warming extremism.
Regards, Allan
Drive-by shootings in Kyotoville
The global warming debate heats up
Allan M.R. MacRae
But such bullying is not unique, as other researchers who challenged the scientific basis of Kyoto have learned.
Of particular sensitivity to the pro-Kyoto gang is the “hockey stick” temperature curve of 1000 to 2000 AD, as proposed by Michael Mann of University of Virginia and co-authors in Nature. Mann’s hockey stick indicates that temperatures fell only slightly from 1000 to 1900 AD, after which temperatures increased sharply as a result of humanmade increases in atmospheric CO2. Mann concluded: “Our results suggest that the latter 20th century is anomalous in the context of at least the past millennium. The 1990s was the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, at moderately high levels of confidence.”
Mann’s conclusion is the cornerstone of the scientific case supporting Kyoto. However, Mann is incorrect.
Mann eliminated from the climate record both the Medieval Warm Period, a period from about 900 to 1500 AD when global temperatures were generally warmer than today, and also the Little Ice Age from about 1500 to 1800 AD, when temperatures were colder. Mann’s conclusion contradicted hundreds of previous studies on this subject, but was adopted without question by Kyoto advocates.
In the April 2003 issue of Energy and Environment, Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and co-authors wrote a review of over 250 research papers that concluded that the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were true climatic anomalies with world-wide imprints – contradicting Mann’s hockey stick and undermining the basis of Kyoto. Soon et al were then attacked in EOS, the journal of the American Geophysical Union.
In the July 2003 issue of GSA Today, University of Ottawa geology professor Jan Veizer and Israeli astrophysicist Nir Shaviv concluded that temperatures over the past 500 million years correlate with changes in cosmic ray intensity as Earth moves in and out of the spiral arms of the Milky Way. The geologic record showed no correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperatures, even though prehistoric CO2 levels were often many times today’s levels. Veizer and Shaviv also received “special attention” from EOS.
In both cases, the attacks were unprofessional – first, these critiques should have been launched in the journals that published the original papers, not in EOS. Also, the victims of these attacks were not given advanced notice, nor were they were given the opportunity to respond in the same issue. In both cases the victims had to wait months for their rebuttals to be published, while the specious attacks were circulated by the pro-Kyoto camp.

December 4, 2016 1:58 pm

For a complete, non-paywalled version of this excellent article, try this google search:
For other discussions, leave out some of those words.
It irks me that the WSJ asserts ownership over material that they didn’t write or pay for.

Reply to  daveburton
December 4, 2016 2:21 pm

comment image

December 4, 2016 3:22 pm

Pielke suffers from what all us skeptical scientists have endured. Soon and Baliunas were ruthlessly attacked for simply compiling a multitude of peer reviewed papers showing the Medieval Warm Period experienced temperatures higher than today. Reading the leaked emails, Mann and his ilk tried to intimidate editors and sought to have Harvard administrators marginalize the authors and obscure past climate change simply because they disagreed with Mann’s interpretations.
Similarly I posted an article on WUWT synthesizing the peer reviewed literature about coral resilience resulting from symbiont shuffling and shifting..
The Australian picked up on that research. So the Australian Broadcasting’s Media Watch tried to marginalize that science and protect their bogus climate catastrophe scenarios by denigrating my expertise. Clearly the liberal media is dedicated to promoting climate catastrophes and denigrating sound science that demonstrates otherwise.

george e. smith
Reply to  jim steele
December 4, 2016 6:04 pm

Jim, I read that Baliunas / Soon review paper, and I believe they went through something like 200 peer reviewed journal articles from all over the world, establishing that the MWP and the LIA truly were global phenomena reflected in climate changes worldwide.
Contrast that with Mann’s first publishment of the Hockey Stick graph, in (I think) the first IPCC report, in which he clearly labeled his graph ” Northern Hemisphere ” showing that his hockey stick theory was simply a local event; not a global trend.
Well we eventually learned from his Charlie Brown Yamal Christmas tree just how localized his theory was.
Soon and Baliunas were then posting occasionally at the Tech Central Station web site, which for all I know may no longer exist.

December 4, 2016 3:40 pm

What you suffered is a symptom of consensus science. Your treatment was mild compared to the work of those whose scientific career was ruined even though their work eventually becomes proven. This is not a new phenomena nor will it end soon. Apparently it is the price of funding whether it be by monarchy, institution or government.

Reply to  pkatt
December 5, 2016 4:08 am

This is not the same as consensus science. Most of the people enforcing climate alarmism are politicians, bureaucrats, green businessmen, journalists and activists. They are a minority of no more than 10%; not a consensus. They push their policies by bullying and blackmail. It may be politically dominant but it is intellectually feeble. Barely 1 in 20 of them understand anything of the supposed science. In addition, the alarmists are split between nuclear power supporting, and 100% renewable camps.

December 4, 2016 3:45 pm

I have very mixed feeling about this piece… alot of them are bad in that mix bunch.
First I think Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. should have really done a better job writing this piece.
Second and more importantly he should have taken the time to look at how this piece would play out. Its fairly disgraceful on his part if he willingly and with foreknowledge wrote this in this fashion.
Right now the climate cultists are in a panic because of trump. They are trying to save their religion, save their jobs and most of all keep themselves out of prison for fraud among other things.
This letter is a propaganda bonanza. It will be held up for years to show “yeah we made mistake but so what, we NEED to be forgiven and everyone NEEDS to move on as business as usual”. It very “ends justify the means”.
Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. near demanded that no one be held accountable by any means. Be it people being fired, people being jailed for crimes such as fraud, is unbelievable disheartening. When I read this letter it sounds more like a rape victim trying to say how they had to completely change their life after they were raped. Gave up everything they worked for and loved… but you shouldn’t punish the rapist, because even though it was clearly rape and the facts are overwhelming, punishing the rapist is somehow wrong. Like a person with stockholm syndrome pleading with judges and cops not to press charges against their kidnappers and abusers.
One wonders if hitlery was elected president would the WSJ even entertain a letter of this type…
Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. is providing cover to protect some of the worst of the fake science community. Further he is enabling them to do it yet again. In 4 or 8 years when trump leaves office and a full blown cultist were elected to replace him… does anyone believe that these people will not immediately go right back to the way they were before?
Does he not understand that he is enabling these people to do what happened to him to others, once the spot light is turned off? Further while he has managed to skate without much problem being a tenured professor. What about the countless number of people who have been fired? Careers destroyed? Further what about the careers that never were? Where these people forced young scientists out solely because they didn’t believe in a cult. What does he have to say to those people? What about their families? Or the families they never had because the once promising future was ripped away from them. What about the constant attempt to criminalize skeptic to include peer reviewing them into into mental illness and having them locked up?
These people are morally and ethically corrupt that alone should be cause for him and any scientist to demand they be fired. Many of them have committed crimes most commonly fraud. Yet he seems to think that by letting this people off its somehow “good” for “science”. Maybe he somehow thinks he’s taking the high road by letting them prey on future scientists and the public at large. He would be unbelievable ignorant of the real world if he did. Maybe he supports the actions taken, but was only upset they were taken against him. Maybe he’s just cowardly. Only he can know for sure.
Without punishment… without action, not only will these current actions continue but they will escalate further and further. These people will be emboldened to push the limit until such time they are stopped. Stop them now… not after they’ve put millions in straight jackets and jail cells. At the very least don’t say in round about way that what they did justified.

Reply to  temp
December 4, 2016 9:36 pm

You obviously have never been subjected to this type of intimidation. It can be intense, hurtful, even devastating. One has to make a decision regarding the personal price to pay to gain some level of satisfaction vis-a-vis the “truth”. There is no guarantee that you can win anything. I have been there, I fought, I still lost, and fighting only made it worse. My issue didn’t deal with climate but the game was the same. I retired a year early because I had lost my desire to stay engaged.

Reply to  R2Dtoo
December 5, 2016 2:51 pm

This comment is amazingly ignorant did you even read my post? First you know nothing about me because if you did you’d understand that the intimidation he got was nothing compared to me just doing my job. I have been a vocal denouncer of global warming since the earlier 2000s. People like me that stood up and fought are the reason sites like WUWT even exist today. I’m not tenured professor… on the other hand he is. He choose to become a tenured professor he has a great deal of power and privilege with that position… he has some moral and ethical obligations to stand up for what is right and for what is science. Its the whole reason tenured positions exist.
Further in this because you clearly can’t read i will repost again.
He is borderline demanding these people not be punished. Not just for the actions against him but for their actions against everyone. He has no right to demand such a thing.
As above he is a tenured professor with moral and ethical responsibilities. What do you say to all the people who did get fire? What about the people who never were able to get jobs because of their non-cult views. If he can’t handle being a tenured professor and the responsibilities it entails then he can ask for his tenured to be revoked so a better person can take that position.
Once again he is doing everything possible to protect those that abused him and others… thats not right.

December 4, 2016 6:00 pm

“But when the White House puts a target on your back on its website,” it might be time to take your back off the website.

December 4, 2016 6:48 pm

While I respect your belief that human CO2 does cause warming, and I agree that it is a very reasonable position, in thousands of hours of private research I have been unable to find any evidence this is the case.
My position is that science is the exercise of suspending belief and relying exclusively on the available data.
Why, as CO2 is such an astonishingly powerful absorber in the fundamental bend, is there no evidence of it ever controlling planetary temperature in the ice cores, benthic cores, paleosols, stomata, or any other proxy we have developed?
Could it be it is just 2 good? That it saturates the first 400 meters where the atmosphere radiates as a brick, essentially an extension of the surface, and thereafter cools the “planet”?
Annh, a hypothesis anyway.

December 4, 2016 7:21 pm

In any war, those who sit on the fence are caught in the crossfire.
You’ve tried to eat the cake, and have it, too, haven’ t you, Dr. Pielke, Jr.?
Never works.

Reply to  Alexander Feht
December 4, 2016 7:58 pm

Perhaps he just called it how he saw it.

December 4, 2016 7:30 pm

Dr Pielke Jr, with alll due respect, but you WANT agw to be true. Your own science proves it wrong, the climate models have been proven wrong, there is still not a shred of evidence of CO2 controlling anything climate related.
You should stop taking your believe in the agw theory so serious and just follow the scientific method. If the data proofs your theory wrong, it’s WRONG. Just come clean with the fact that CO2 is not a driver of climate.
When I think badly I would think you have a father son issue that makes you so stubborn, but I wont go there. Just follow the data will be enough to convince you that agw is wrong. Give it a try. And dont expect any credits fot having been an outcast. Science is not about inclusiveness. It’s about excellence, so get your act together and be a scientist. Proof agw right or reject it. Action!

December 4, 2016 10:24 pm

“I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action, including a carbon tax. ”
Where’s the EVIDENCE ? There is none.
Even the IPCC states that there has never been a study that has been able, in whole or part, to attribute global warming to man’s actions.
There is not a section, page, or paragraph in any IPCC report titled “The EVIDENCE”.

Reply to  Tony
December 5, 2016 12:12 am

What’s the purpose of a carbon tax? Punish people into utilizing less? Profiteering? Wealth redistribution? I’m not sure how putting a tax on something fixes something, if it does indeed need to be fixed.
Why not green the earth more? The current greening impact by CO2 is significant and it seems the inconvenient truth, if people think CO2 needs to be controlled, is to encourage more greening. You can’t do this, of course, when forests are chopped down for biofuel production.

Reply to  Tony
December 5, 2016 2:39 am

There is not a section, page, or paragraph in any IPCC report titled “The EVIDENCE”.
Of Anthropgenic Climate change? Why would there be?
The terms of reference of the IPCC were carefully framed to make that particular exercise ultra vires for the IPCC.
Another popular myth debunked. The IPCC is not there to examine the validity or not of the AGW hypothesis, it is there to assess the impact of it on humanity, (should it prove to be true). Except that bracketed phrase is conveniently left out.
The wsay it works is this:
(some) ‘scientists’ produce a hypothesis.
The IPCC is set up to examine the political and economic implications of that hypothesis.
The IPCC has nothing to say about the validity, only about the implications. Its not even particularly interested in the magnitude of the problem. It merely averages model outputs and calls that ‘scientific consensus’ or something.
And its at heart a political institution, not a scientific one. Like the EU, the name of the game is to get a lot of little countries, and feed their leaders cash from the big countries, under the guise of that being socially justified, and then use them to ‘democratically’ vote themselves even more cash at the big countries expense.
Then democracy becomes the tool of rent seeking racketeers.

December 5, 2016 3:34 am

I’m under the impression he got ‘fired’ from 538 because his offerings did not stand up to criticism… e.g. that he had cherry picked insurance data to downplay the link between climate change and extreme weather.
He’s got a track record in misrepresentation – he does not uphold the standards science expects and has linked himself to a political party.
I don’t know why given his record he expects any different treatment.

Reply to  Griff
December 5, 2016 6:27 am

Disgusting to throw anonymous accusations without the slightest hint of proof. That is though the standard MO for low quality trolls like you.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Pethefin
December 5, 2016 12:17 pm

Well, he’s a pretty low-rent troll. He pretty much parrots press releases and media spin.

December 5, 2016 3:36 am

The question I’ve always had is just why are so many educated folk so animated about this issue? They are ostensibly clever enough to notice that they are lying to protect climate actions that could very well do far more harm than good. However it seems to take them so long to finally admit it. And even when they do, they still pretend all this immediate pain will turn out to be for the greater good someday, somehow.
The ‘climate change’ meme is a fashionable moral crusade akin to medieval witch-hunting! The main objective is seemingly to make the believer feel virtuous despite having done nothing to merit it. Will it really take widespread blackouts and starvation to make the chattering classes think twice about their misplaced morals?

Coach Springer
December 5, 2016 4:42 am

Dear Jr., endorsing political attacks on academics when they participate in “that arena” pretty much gets you all the way to your attacks from the media and academicians. A scientist does not remain a scientist when influencing or influenced by politics.
Also, better off in the interest of science not to endorse a carbon tax, which is entirely political?

Mike Maguire
December 5, 2016 4:47 am

Dr. Pielke,
I’d read about some of the incidents in your articler and am grateful to you for reporting on them and your experiences firsthand here. It helps with the current effort to shine the light of truth on the widespread darkness of political scheming used to hijack authentic climate science.

Cliff Hilton
December 5, 2016 6:48 am

@Coach, “Also, better off in the interest of science not to endorse a carbon tax, which is entirely political?”
I would, also, discourage further taxation. More taxes have lead to…? Misuse? Vote-buying? Vote-influencing? Corruption in general. Do we really want someone else using my tax dollars for their end?
No new taxes for you!!
Roger Pielke Jr, otherwise, I wish you all the luck and thank you for sharing your experience.

December 5, 2016 9:40 am

„something tax“ means a payment for using something, not for producing it.
I’m for CO2 tax.
Let all the free riders ( agrar industry ) to pay, no more for free riding.
Not every consumer is driving SUV contributing to help the poor by lowering food prices, so let account contributions properly. I’m expecting some kickbacks.
A redistribution scheme from poor countries to rich industrial ones would be a final strike of social justice. Let account for all the lives of miners dying in accidents in the industrial nations while the rest of the world is watching and doesn’t give a damn fully obsessed with consuming their bananas.

December 5, 2016 10:15 am

On balance, Pielke did admirable work in debunking many falsehoods spread by climate alarmists. But, Pielke and I did not always see eye to eye. This is a (largely outdated) link to my personal blog which documents a fundamental question Pielke always dodged & never did answer:

Reply to  SBVOR
December 5, 2016 10:26 am

[snip – I’m not interested in promoting a blog making anonymous personal attacks on Dr. Pielke Jr. Come out of the dark, put your name to it, and I might consider it a valid alternate viewpoint worth promoting here. In the meantime, feel free to be as upset as a you wish – Anthony]

Reply to  SBVOR
December 5, 2016 10:56 am

Anthony: Directly quoting Dr. Pielke does *not* constitute a “personal attack” (even when Pielke subsequently deletes both my (“legitimate”, by Pielke’s own assessment) question and his consistently diversionary answers). For all his good work in debunking falsehoods, Pielke was and remains an advocate for government policies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions — that’s just a fact. But, it’s your sandbox, manage it as you see fit — doesn’t upset me in the least:

December 5, 2016 11:34 am

The country should be sickened by the extent and depth of this attack strategy on Pielke.

December 5, 2016 11:39 am

I’d like to know more about the reversal by Robert-Muir Wood. Was he saying one thing to one audience at the IPCC for political correctness and the opposite to the industry or was it simply a timing correction as described by Pielke? That sounds fishy to me. How often do you see experts flipping their conclusions like that?

Joel Snider
December 5, 2016 12:14 pm

‘But the damage to my reputation had been done, and perhaps that was the point.’
You can forget about the ‘perhaps’.

December 5, 2016 12:49 pm

I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action, including a carbon tax. But my research led me to a conclusion that many climate campaigners find unacceptable: There is scant evidence to indicate that hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or drought have become more frequent or intense in the U.S. or globally.

My conclusion might be wrong, but I think I’ve earned the right to share this research without risk to my career

Well said Mr. Pielke, you have my full support in the entire statement.
It is relieving to see a nuanced view in this polarized debate.

Reply to  Jan Kjetil Andersen
December 5, 2016 1:30 pm

It is, however, a pity that Roger consistently refuses to explain how he arrives at his poorly thought out conclusion that a governmental policy response aimed at reducing CO2 emissions is advisable (it isn’t — such polices do tremendous harm and have no measurable impact on climate — not even when falsely exaggerated assumptions are made regarding climate sensitivity):

Gunga Din
December 5, 2016 3:03 pm

Mixing politics and science might lead to power but good and honest science.
Honest scientist whose work doesn’t support the agenda will find power brought to bear on them.

December 5, 2016 3:49 pm

The Non-Expert Problem and Climate Change Science
Scott Adams, never a dull moment.

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