Naomi “no evidence” Oreskes – careful for what you wish for, Pt 2

Reposted from Gelbspan Files

Naomi Oreskes’ appearance at a 10/23/19 House hearing on the topic of “the oil industry’s climate denial campaign” wasn’t a one-time event. She reappeared six days later at a Senate “hearing,” where her Prepared Written Testimony contained the identical blunders I detailed in Part 1 of this two-part blog post. Unlike the House hearing, she and the others at this “hearing” offered truly bizarre and comically self-damaging statements without fear of anyone questioning them.

First, a quick glance at Oreskes’ repeat of the blunders in her Prepared Written Testimony (it’s so much of a copy ‘n paste, she forgot to change the date).

Regarding her odd reference to an unused name and unwise references to the Western Fuels Association, please see Part 1 on how these were errors begging for deeper examination. Quite unwise of her to draw more attention to them at this Senate Dark Money and Climate Change “hearing.”

I put “hearing” in quote marks because this wasn’t a standard Senate committee hearing. It’s a “Special Group” with no GOP Senators members, thus there’s no expectation that unsupportable statements or the credibility of their ‘expert witnesses’ will be objectively questioned. Give this “group” credit for having the same mission as the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change about a foregone conclusion that man-caused global warming needs to be mitigated.

These sort of gatherings are sometimes called “kangaroo courts.” So, when Naomi Oreskes said (45:24 point in this Special Group discussion) …..

I came to this issue because I wrote a book that was partly about the relationship between climate change denial and the tobacco industry ….

….. nobody at the Senate Special Group discussion asked what prompted her to write “Merchants of Doubt” in the first place. The statement is as ridiculous as Al Gore saying he got into the issue because he made a movie about it.

Three days later (bestowed now with “star academic” status), she strangely offered a similar simplistic explanation at an Environment & Energy News “‘Merchants of Doubt’ author advises Congress on Big Oil” article interview, about her discoveries of a ‘climate change denial / tobacco industry relationship’:

I discovered this connection by accident. I didn’t set out to write a book about tobacco. But when [co-author] Erik Conway and I started looking into Fred Seitz  …

That’s weird. Oreskes’ far more routinely repeated tale of what brought her into the global warming issue (e.g. this retelling weeks earlier in an interview about her newest book) is how she: 1) wrote a paper on the 100% consensus on global warming science; 2) was attacked about her paper’s conclusion; 3) and was told at a subsequent conference event who her primary attacker was by Erik Conway. As I’ve already detailed, this specific conference event took place at least five months prior to any attacks she received.

Imagine the fallout at the next fully attended Congressional hearing, or at a global warming lawsuit courtroom hearing, if she’s required — under oath — to defend her standard tale of what prompted her entry into the issue.

Not helping her insinuations at the Senate Special Group discussion about the existence of an oil industry disinformation campaign was the following from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (3:20 point). He oddly illustrated a far larger problem besieging those who assert that conspiracy notion:

…. What instructions did fossil fuel companies give to front groups about opposing laws and regulations and did that break the laws for non-profit tax-exempt status? We don’t know. How exactly did the fossil fuel industry deploy its front groups and trade associations to purposefully spread disinformation about climate science? We don’t know. …. None of this information is privileged. All of it is amenable to congressional subpoena.  ….

Rest assured, if ‘Big Oil executives’ instructed propagandists to spread disinformation, Congress’ll find it.

Not helping the situation at all, Prof. Justin Farrell offered the following response to Oreskes’ point on ‘inoculating the public’ against fossil fuel industry disinformation, at the 41:05 point:

… Even inoculation requires that we know who the bad actors are, right? That’s where we need better data, and that’s where we need more transparency, and access to information, as Senator Whitehouse was saying from the opening, so there is excitement around public inoculation theory, but again I think it would really help if we knew who to inoculate against.

Oreskes herself inadvertently contributed to this problem, 15:16 point:

Exxonmobil is just one part of a large disinformation landscape. Because of loopholes in our laws, particularly those that permit dark money contributions, we lack basic information about who is behind much of this. Who coordinates these talking points? Who comes up with these misleading claims?

Twice. The second time at the 53:51 point, responding to Senator Schatz’s question about when fossil fuel companies realized their ‘climate denial’ was untenable:

we don’t have access, as Justin has been saying, we don’t have access to the internal documents. I mean, I was able to write the book I wrote really because of the work of the state Attorneys General that exposed the tobacco industry’s malfeasance, we had a huge rich documentary record on that. We don’t know as much about what’s going on inside Exxonmobil or Chevron headquarters today …

Did you hear that??? Her Merchants of Doubt book compared the disinformation tactics of the tobacco industry to the fossil fuel industry, while she basically admitted there’s no evidence to prove any such disinformation efforts exist within the fossil fuel industry.

Senator Whitehouse further reinforced at the what the overall problem is, while opining how the “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision resulted in new dark money contributions to political candidates. 59:15 point:

Even if you know about the unlimited money spending, and even if you can get information about the unlimited dark money spending and dig that information out, the hardest part is too try to figure out about the conversations that took place powered by the unlimited dark money capability these special interests have. The hardest thing to find around here is the small room where the lobbyist and the candidate met, and the lobbyist said “we are coming after you, you are toast, if you don’t do what we say.“

He concluded that such “threats” are “going to be really hard to dig out.”

In other words, “trust us, we know these guys are guilty, and we’ll prove it when we find the evidence.”

Solidifying that problem at the end of the “hearing,” Congressional Scholar witness Morton Rosenberg speculated at the 1:06:26 point on what Congressional investigation might finally prompt:

Let me just add one thing about persistence. Your committee and other committees continue to be persistent … and what’s happening now with the impeachment pressures, it will be people who will open up, for those doors, and come in, whistle blower types that will come and say, “yes, this is what I heard, here is what we did, here’s the paper, here’s the conversation.

Right. How’s that Ukrainian whistle blower situation working out, as one more zombie-like attack in a succession of efforts (Billy Bush “Access Hollywood” tapes / IRS tax returns / emoluments clause violations / inconsistent Korean diplomacy / Russian collusion / Ukrainian phone call, ad nauseam) to steer the greater public into disfavoring President Trump?

Wait … “zombie-like?

12:22 point of this Senate Special Group discussion, from Naomi Oreskes:

The role of third party allies was on full display last week in hearings of the House Committee on Oversight, where Republican members invited as a witness the founder and president of Energy 45. Energy 45 is part a group known as the CO2Coalition. They illustrate a strategy I call “zombie denialism,” in which old players and arguments reappear in new forms. … a leader in climate change disinformation was the George C. Marshall Institute. The Institute closed in 2015, only to re-emerge a few years later as the CO2Coalition. …

The executive director of the CO2Coalition tells me that is not an accurate statement.

But what she said is pure psychological projection of what her side of the issue has been doing from 1991 right up to the present time, with their regurgitations of ye olde “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” leaked memos as evidence of a fossil fuel industry disinformation efforts. Oreskes is a somewhat old “player” in that regurgitation list at the #28 spot here, but she’s essentially in ‘new form’ at the #36 spot, and technically she may be shifting into another ‘new form’ in this exact Senate Special Group discussion when she said (38:15 point, regarding the history of fossil fuel industry disinformation efforts):

We know from their own industry strategy documents that the whole point of disinformation was to confuse the American people and undermine support for action, and we have a great deal of documentary evidence on this.

As in the never-used strategy so many accusers wrongly attribute to Western Fuels’ tiny “ICE” PR campaign, the one she’s misidentified two times in a row in her Prepared Written Testimonies under its never-used name?

And wait a moment, didn’t she and the others say they didn’t have access to documents that expose the specific workings behind the alleged disinformation efforts?

Good thing there wasn’t a GOP Senate member at this discussion to ask her which “industry strategy documents” she was talking about.

What do you do when you know a group is guilty but can’t yet prove it after two decades? You go on a fishing expedition, like Oreskes suggests (15:40 point):

The tobacco industry was prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice under the RICO statutes, in part because of the ways in which individual companies coordinated with each other and with third party allies to present false information to consumers. I believe it is time for Congress to investigate the fossil fuel network, as Congress and the Department of Justice investigated the Tobacco network.

She suggested this again, for good measure, at the above-noted “‘Merchants of Doubt’ author advises Congress on Big Oil” E&E News article:

E&E: Where should the Oversight and Reform Committee take its investigation next? Which witnesses should it call?

Oreskes: I think it’s incredibly important for the committee to investigate not only the fossil fuel industry itself but also the network of third-party allies that have been involved with this. … I remember watching the tobacco executives testify on TV, and it was a sea-change moment. It really exposed to the American people just how incredibly cynical these people are.

Cynical?” Who coordinates these talking points?

Not exactly a good idea to be connected in any way to a set of worthless-as-evidence ‘leaked memos’ …

… while channeling Al Gore on the word “cynical” …

… and Ross Gelbspan …

… and, well … Al Gore again, circa his 1992 book ……

Congress should investigate disinformation campaigns? Naomi Oreskes should be more careful for what she wishes for. That might backfire to such an extent that she’ll wish she hadn’t thrown away a science career to become a ‘historian of science.’

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November 9, 2019 10:06 pm

Oreskes’ inability to Pick A Lie And Stick To It has been a recurring theme throughout her career as skeptic-smeller pursuivant.

Infinite thanks for your thankless toils down in the sewer of her oeuvre, Russell.

Rbt Terrell
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 10, 2019 10:59 am

Apparently, today, all it takes to become a ‘star academic’ is to tell everyone your ARE one! Most people won’t even question you about it, especially if you have enough ‘convincing’ charts and tables, no matter how nonsensical they may be. What ever happened to the 60’s motto of ‘Question authority’?

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 11, 2019 9:13 am

Listening to her presentations is no walk in the park, that’s for certain. But if a person retains good mental notes of them, the gifts that pop up within these are her inconsistencies about what she’s said elsewhere, and the sheer extent of how her accusations drip with psychological projection.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 12, 2019 10:33 am

“…or at a global warming lawsuit courtroom hearing, if she’s required — under oath — to defend her standard tale…”

As I recall, it’s a crime to lie to Congress in testimony. Oreskes and her ilk ought to be brought up on charges. That may slow down further lying and character assassinations.

Iain Russell
November 9, 2019 10:08 pm

A National Living Treasure. Keep her going. Don’t shut her down. Like Fat Al she is a huge plus for the Truth.

November 9, 2019 10:24 pm

Rest assured, if ‘Big Oil executives’ instructed propagandists to spread disinformation, Congress’ll find it.

Or Peter Gleick will fo—I mean, find it.

From the History of the Climate Debate,


— Acutely aware that the ‘Heartland Institute strategy memo’ he’s about to “leak” could define his entire biography, Peter Gleick spends days wrestling with age-old questions of morality, legality and font choice.

—By hitting Print, the MacArthur Genius will sacrifice his career and reputation in order to blow the lid on Heartland’s secret misgivings about the CAGW hypothesis, saving the think-tank most of its minuscule PR budget for the year. But even his peers in reputability agree that Gleick’s good name and scientific legacy are minuscule prices to pay for this.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 10, 2019 9:38 am

Gleick’s name and legacy certainly is minuscule. I have to keep being reminded of him.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 10, 2019 10:15 am

“peers in reputability”

That’s almost as ironic as Gleick being chair of AGU’s Task Force on Scientific Ethics prior to his malfeasance. But then AGU didn’t really take any significant action against him. Should have booted him from AGU, but didn’t.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Taphonomic
November 11, 2019 12:25 am

“Should have booted him from AGU, but didn’t.”

Wasn’t he given an award of some sort within the past year?

Reply to  Roger Knights
November 11, 2019 5:44 pm

Yes, he was incorrectly awarded the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.

It was retracted in response to widespread mockery and re-awarded without the extraneous “pu” in the word Popularization.

November 9, 2019 10:34 pm

Oreskes’ desire for a “fishing expedition,” complete with pre-hallucinated outcome, is par for the course.

Recall one of the classic emanations from the mind of Doctor Michael E. Mann:

I have been talking w/ folks in the States about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose McIntyre, and his thusfar unexplored connections with fossil fuel interests. Perhaps the same needs to be done w/ this Keenan guy.

I believe that the only way to stop these people is by exposing them and discrediting them.

“Thusfar unexplored” is a neat euphemism for “thusfar existing only in my febrile mental cinema.”

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 10, 2019 3:08 am

Try substituting the word “toilet” for “cinema” in the last paragraph, it seems to work better.

So they can’t argue with the accuracy of the sceptics findings but are instead trying to smear them as somehow compromised by associative guilt. That doesn’t earn them any respect in my book. And perhaps we should list the benefits of the fossil fuel industry and ask them to say which of each and every benefit they wish to deny humanity?

That would make interesting public testimony – modern medicine -no, heating homes in winter-no, travel for leisure – no……

Andy Ogilvie
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
November 10, 2019 7:11 am

Stick her in a cabin in the woods somewhere for six months with no access to our fossil fuel powered world. A dose of cold hungry reality might bring her to her senses

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Andy Ogilvie
November 10, 2019 8:24 am

The winter six months preferably.

Len Werner
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
November 10, 2019 1:03 pm

Oh, a summer in the Yukon without the hydrocarbon DEET might be just as effective.

Reply to  Andy Ogilvie
November 10, 2019 11:39 am

More poetically, deport Oreskes and her consensualist epigones to an island where science works the way they insist it does: not by the scientific method but by the Delphi Technique.

Then you can charge tourists $20 to gawk at the human zoo that is La Isla Naomi, as its troglodytic inhabitants regress through the steam, bronze and stone phrases, finally forgetting how to light fires.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 11, 2019 5:40 pm

I was pondering this comment when I realized it would make a great reality show: A version of Survivor in which two groups of people (warmistas vs skeptics) were plunked down on identical islands (or any remote location) and forced to survive using only their own wits and abilities for some preset amount of time.
Although once I pictured Naomi and Mikey on a cold beach with the Sun rapidly setting, trying frantically to makes a fire and/or build a shelter, made me realize it would almost certainly be more of a tragicomedy than a reality show.

November 9, 2019 10:41 pm

You wouldn’t think the climate movement would have a problem with a program to reposition global warming from fact to theory, since as they never tire of pointing out, theories have supremacy over facts in the hierarchy of science.

Meanwhile, the climate-academic complex is 5 to 10 years (or 1.6 to 3.2 trillion US dollars, in metric) away from realizing its ultimate dream of repositioning CAGW from baseless conjecture to speculative sciencey quasi-hypothesis.

Patrick MJD
November 9, 2019 10:49 pm

I guess with the “climate emergency” upon us a cute face was chosen.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 10, 2019 12:35 am

Oreskes’ good looks have been used to delegitimize her for years. But contrary to all the sleighted-male-privilege conspiracy theories about attractive women Professors getting their Chairs on their backs, academia is ruthlessly meritocratic and Naomi is much more than a pretty face and a smokin fuselage.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 10, 2019 2:48 am

May I suggest that wandering limbs in Australian mines could have happened precisely because their owners could not see her.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 10, 2019 2:52 pm

I was talking about Greta Thunberg as the poster child of climate emergency. I guess that was missed on you.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 10, 2019 3:57 pm


you were talking about a prepubescent 16-year-old? That’s a relief—I thought there was something wrong with you ;-).

Relax, I’m just ribbing you. Consider yourself ribbed. For my pleasure.

At the (near certain) risk of getting hated on by both types of climate skeptic, I not only admire Greta, I consider her to be the first climate celebrity who’s not lying.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 10, 2019 9:28 am

There must be an inside joke I’m missing. She ain’t that cute.

Reply to  Alan
November 10, 2019 1:24 pm

“She ain’t that cute”

Harvard’s Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science begs to differ.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 11, 2019 9:15 am

Given the trendiness of “Poe’s Law” these days, it’s hard to tell whether she was acknowledging a basically unfair superficial criticism directed at her, or if she was being serious. At the 44:45 point of her audio interview at this page she actually compared herself to Erin Brockovich.

Reply to  Russell Cook
November 11, 2019 5:31 pm


the short-lived #distractinglysexy tag was just a trendy way of shaming the scientist Tim Hunt. A few days before she tweeted, a couple of inept and dishonest journos had misreported Hunt’s speech, accusing him of sexism, and Oreskes was simply climbing on the bandwagon (without noticing the ‘No Fuglies, Please’ sign).

Reply to  Russell Cook
November 11, 2019 5:34 pm

And I was referring to Oreskes’ inner fugliness in that last comment, for those who aren’t familiar with my estimation of her character.

Reply to  Russell Cook
November 12, 2019 8:32 am

@Brad: Dang! I forgot all about that Tim Hunt episode. “BBC Trending: Female scientists post ‘distractingly sexy’ photos”

Reply to  Russell Cook
November 12, 2019 10:28 pm

Yep, historians believe it was the first witch-hunt where the victim was Hunt and the hunters were witches.

And Sanjay McGrabby Hands Pachauri-Nath took full advantage of the distraction from his own Problem With Women.

November 9, 2019 10:58 pm

What is the penalty, if any, for the following perjury by Oreskes?

“We know from their own industry strategy documents that the whole point of disinformation was to confuse the American people and undermine support for action, and we have a great deal of documentary evidence on this.”

This is objectively false. “We” have never laid eyes on a single document (that didn’t come out of Peter Gleick’s inkjet printer) in which any group has discussed “the whole point of [its] disinformation [efforts],” or even admitted it was engaged in such.

Are you allowed to appear before one of these dealies and just.. lie to the US government? Standards sure have been relaxed since I was a boy.

When you stop hearing “sir” and “ma’am” the rest is soon to foller.

November 9, 2019 11:17 pm

It’s a like the hunt for Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, whose existence was needed to justify the invasion and regime change. Not implying that he was an upright person at all
So, invade Big Oil, then you can hunt for the documentation at your leisure. And if you come up dry, well hey, they must be guilty of something.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Richard
November 10, 2019 6:28 am

Just a reminder as to who started the WMD claims:

“Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime … He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation … And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction … So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real…”
– Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003 |

“One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”
– President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998 |

“If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”
– President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998 |

“We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction.”
– Madeline Albright, Feb 1, 1998 |

“He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”
– Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998 |

“[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
Letter to President Clinton.
– (D) Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, others, Oct. 9, 1998 |

“Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
– Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998 |

“Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.”
– Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999 |

“We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.”
– Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002 |

“We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”
– Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002 |

“Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”
– Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002 |

“We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.”
– Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002 |

“The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…”
– Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002 |

“I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”
– Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002 |

“There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years … We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.”
– Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002 |

“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
– Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002 |

“We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.”
– Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002 |

Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 10, 2019 6:58 am

Both parties were following the same script.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 10, 2019 8:34 am

Thanks for the quotes.
Nice to have some confirmation that, “It’s Trum … er … Bush’s fault!”

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 10, 2019 6:12 pm

Thanks for that Iraq WMD history lesson, Tom.

It should also be mentioned that the U.S. Congress passed, and Bill Clinton signed a bill in 1998, that stated that Regime Change in Iraq was the official policy of the United States.

Saddam deserved everything he got. He brought it all on himself by his actions. Saddam actively promoted the claim that Iraq had nuclear and other WMD weapons. His own Iraqi generals believed this lie. It’s no surprise that every intelligence agency on the planet thought Saddam had a dangerous WMD program going. He had one in the past, and had used WMD on the Iranians and the Kurds, and he claimed he still had an active WMD program to anyone who would listen, in an effort to intimidate both the rest of the world and his own generals.

It should be no surprise that most people thought Saddam had an active WMD program. Saddam’s lie was very convincing. It ended up being the death of him.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 11, 2019 5:53 pm
Reply to  Richard
November 10, 2019 8:59 am

WMDs were found. As were mothballed labs ready to be restarted as soon as liberals could get the sanctions lifted.
(BTW, nobody ever claimed that Saddam had nukes, just that he was trying to obtain them.)

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
November 10, 2019 6:22 pm

After the Gulf war was over the U.S. removed about 500+ tons of stored yellowcake uranium from Iraq and shipped it all to Canada.

Reply to  MarkW
November 11, 2019 3:02 am

You do realize that you’re crazy don’t you?

Reply to  Richard
November 10, 2019 1:44 pm

Standard conspiracy theory: if you can’t find any evidence it just proves a cover-up!

November 10, 2019 12:31 am

The Geology world is grateful that Naomi Oreskes decided to become a Historian.

Reply to  Graemethecat
November 10, 2019 1:33 am

If only she’d followed through on her decision.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 10, 2019 6:28 am

Actually, anyone with such contempt for objective reality cannot be called a historian either.

Reply to  Graemethecat
November 10, 2019 11:28 am

Yeah, that’s what I was getting at.

James Schrumpf
November 10, 2019 12:49 am

When Mary Magdalene was admonished by Judas for using expensive oil on Jesus’ feet, when it could have been sold and the money given to the poor, Jesus responded by basically saying, “The poor will always be with us.”

The same could be said about people like Oreskes, driven to seek power and influence over others: “These jerks will always be with us.”

But the whole sine qua non of the attempted destruction of Western economies is that pesky global mean anomaly that we are constantly told is vitally important to tracking global warming caused by anthropogenic CO2.

It’s my opinion that the global mean anomaly is a red herring. It’s a cheat used to hide the actual diversity of temperature change at the individual recording stations, which would show that there is no global effect on temperature that could be laid at the feet of CO2.

The greenhouse effect supposedly being created on Earth right now from CO2 is not consistent across the Earth, not by a long shot. I’ve been looking at the NOAA GHCN Monthly dataset for a couple of months now, trying to think of different ways to look at the data; data mining, if you would. Many people have looked at the piles of statistics that have been generated, and considered the Central Limit Theorem, and the Law of Large Numbers, and several other statistics pathways available, to ascertain what’s going on with our atmospheric temperature. I’ve taken a simpler approach and looked at the individual stations, so see what they’ve been doing.

You know what, though? That data set is mostly a mess. There are over 27,000 different stations recorded in the file, but if you try to put together a a thirty-year, unbroken series of monthly averages from that file, you quickly find that there are only about 1700 or so with such perfect records. It’s the same whether you use the 20th century baseline, the 1951-1980 version, or the
1981-2010 version. [At this point is where Steven or Nick will tell us how with proper methods, one can fill in these gaps]

So instead of anomalies and baselines, I though I’d look at the stations’ own data, and see what they’ve been doing. Depending on who’s driving, and how fussy you want to be about gaps in the record, you can calculate the annual mean temperature for each station for the past 30 years, and see that there are anywhere from 400 to 4000 stations that have had a flat or negative temperature trend for the past 30 years.

If CO2 is such a powerful greenhouse gas, and it’s well-mixed in the atmosphere, and it takes a long time for it to move along and out, then how can there be so many stations on Earth that show a long cooling trend, right next to stations with equally long warming trends? And at that point, when you’ve got such a mix of warming and cooling in close proximity, isn’t it time to look for another hypothesis?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  James Schrumpf
November 10, 2019 6:32 am

Perhaps air with a lower volume of CO2 has moved over my area of Florida the last two days. It is certainly markedly cooler and drier.

Reply to  James Schrumpf
November 10, 2019 6:49 am

James S, “that show a long cooling trend, right next to stations with equally long warming trends? And at that point, when you’ve got such a mix of warming and cooling in close proximity, isn’t it time to look for another hypothesis?”
I keep a list from No Tricks Zone of about 15 from around the world. And then there’s the following. (how much do we need?)

IPCC Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change
GCM General Circulation Model (many, based on IPCC CO2 assertions)
These six links from five authors are all you really need to understand global warming.
My speculation: As the temperature went down into the Little Ice Age, limestone was deposited around the edges of bodies of water. As the temperature has recovered since, the limestone dissolved and added CO2 to the oceans, with a delay of 300-400 years. It was just an accident that this added CO2 coincided with our industrial revolution. Temperature creates CO2, not the other way around. There is proof of that. Read on.
Shows that temperature change over the last 170 years is due to 3 things: 1) cycling of the ocean temperature, 2) sun variations and 3) moisture in the air. There is no significant dependence of temperature on CO2.
Connolly father & son
Shows the vertical temperature profile follows the ideal gas laws and is not caused by CO2. Millions of weather balloon scans and trillions of data points have been analyzed to come to these conclusions. One important conclusion is that there is no green house gas effect.
Pat Frank
Shows that GCM results cannot be extrapolated a few years, let alone 50 or 100.
Joe Postma
Shows that the “flat earth model”of the IPCC is too simple. Their real models are built into the GCMs which don’t fit the real data.

John in Oz
Reply to  James Schrumpf
November 10, 2019 12:55 pm

Have you not seen the HARRY_READ_ME file?

It appears that, looking into climate ‘data’ files – Beyond this point there be dragons

Good luck trying to get sense from climate ‘data’ as climate scientists have been trying for years without success.

James A. Schrumpf
Reply to  John in Oz
November 10, 2019 2:51 pm

Oh,yes! I’ve worked with databases for 30 years. I felt his pain.

November 10, 2019 1:11 am

We should call her what she is, a conspiracy theorist.

A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation,[2][3] when other explanations are more probable. link

When we look at stupid Green ideas, it isn’t necessary to postulate a secret stupid idea generating organization. The ideas will occur organically to various people. Those ideas will then be sifted by social pressure and the ones that correctly fit the ideology will survive and propagate. You don’t have to postulate a bunch of cigar chomping evil guys in a back room.

Interestingly, the guy who best pointed out that the mainstream media would cleave to a party line (without external coersion) was Noam Chomsky.

Reply to  commieBob
November 10, 2019 1:50 am

“We should call her what she is, a conspiracy theorist.”


That. Oreskes is, after all, the co-author of the “alt-history conspiracy yawnerThe Protocols of the Elders of Doubt, whose publication is recorded as follows in The History of the Climate Debate:


Even in antisemitic circles, the Oreskes/Conway conspiracy yawner Merchants of Doubt has few fans until it’s ingeniously re-released as non-fiction.

She’s pretty good at her job (conspirology) too, by all accounts. In the Pre-History of the Debate we read:

1975: ‘Tobacco Strategy’ devised

Unknown marketing geniuses at Big Nicotine come up with the truly game-changing idea of disagreeing with claims you don’t agree with.

The tactic is so diabolical it will take humanity’s leading thinkers, Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, almost 35 years to put their finger on it.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  commieBob
November 10, 2019 2:52 am

Except that there is nothing to explain. It’s ‘insinuation, insinuation, insinuation’. What waste of time.

November 10, 2019 1:39 am


of all the many excellencies of your post, I especially admire your fluency in the Aussie schoolyard vernacular.

For those less conversant, it all starts with one child accusing the other of being unpopular or friendless, like so:

Kid 1: “Nigel No-Mates!”

Kid 2: “Prove it, Naomi No-Evidence!”

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 10, 2019 2:54 am

Emperor No-Clothes?

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
November 10, 2019 4:17 am

Hi Ed

Nice suggestion but no—ever since the Emperor’s lack of clothes was exposed he is not permitted within 50m of an Aussie schoolyard.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 10, 2019 12:14 pm

Unless he identifies as a woman.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 10, 2019 7:03 am

Many thanks to Charles the Moderator for his efforts to repost my GelbspanFiles piece here, still indebted to Anthony Watts for his overall support of my work, and thanks to Brad Keyes for the kind words! Oreskes channels Al Gore; I channel my Aussie friends.

Ron Long
November 10, 2019 2:11 am

There is a prediction of record-setting cold for this coming week, I wonder where Naomi will hide? Sure, the spin is that cold is weather and hot is global warming, but pretty soon even moderately intelligent persons will realize that weather cycles come and go and CO2, which is at dangerously low levels, needs to rise some more for maximum benefit. As a past employee of Big Oil (CONOCO, and yes, they gave me money), including a stint on a Technical Advisory Committee, it is hard for me to imagine Big Oil setting out to destroy the Biosphere of the Earth for a few more stock sales.

Reply to  Ron Long
November 10, 2019 7:03 am

Where will Greta be? A little of the Gore effect seems to have rubbed off onto her.

Rick C PE
Reply to  Ron Long
November 10, 2019 10:16 am

You just don’t understand how CO2 works. It’s cold in NA because CO2 is gathering up all the heat and shuttling it off to Australia where it causing unprecedented drought and wildfires. It can’t be colder than normal anywhere without it being hotter than normal somewhere else. 😉

Reply to  Rick C PE
November 10, 2019 9:42 pm

“… because CO2 is gathering up all the heat and shuttling it off to Australia where it is causing BOM to dishonestly keep cooling the past and exaggerating the present temps, and to also put close to 100% of Stevenson screen T sensors in blatantly UHI affected locations.”


To be fair CO2 is also causing Scott Morrison’s useless “government” to do absolutely nothing whatsoever about the flagrant and willful bureaucratic corruption at BOM, plus the perversion of taxpayer-funded institutions right across the country. Morrison’s just another Turnbull clone, the only difference between them is that he’s realized it’s necessary to pretend not to be by mouthing the correct platitudes while doing nothing about anything that matters. He deviously pushes the same agenda forwards, reforming absolutely nothing. He’s just the latest snake in the grass in Canberra, so is his entire party.

November 10, 2019 2:22 am

For Chomsky ‘climate doom’ is merely and means to an end , the objective is socialism to make the whole world a better place. Given that ‘goal ‘ is there a price to high to pay?

a right-minded lefty
Reply to  knr
November 10, 2019 3:08 am

yes and he’s fighting for it to the death; never one to allow facts to interfere with an alarming doom scenario serving the quest for highly concentrated and centralized control of the world’s resources:

“Noam Chomsky: Trump’s Climate Change Denialism Will Accelerate Global Race to Destruction
DECEMBER 06, 2016

“…We will soon see, in the not very distant future, even more dangerous, horrifying consequences of this failure right here to come to term to address in a serious way this impending crisis.
So, say, take the country of Bangladesh. Within a few years, tens of millions of people will be fleeing from the low-lying coastal plains simply because of the rise of sea level with the melting of the huge Antarctic glaciers much more quickly than was anticipated and the severe weather associated with global warming. That’s a refugee crisis of a kind that puts today’s crisis, which is more a moral crisis of the West than an actual refugee crisis—it will put this current crisis into a—it will seem like a footnote to a tragedy…
…And the catastrophic consequences can only increase. Just keeping to South Asia, temperatures which are already intolerable for the poor are going to continue to rise as the Himalayan glaciers melt, also destroying the water supply for South Asia. In India already, 300 million people are reported to lack water to drink. And it will continue both for India and Pakistan. And at this point, the two major threats to survival begin to converge. One is environmental catastrophe. The other is nuclear war, another threat that is increasing right before our eyes….”

James Clarke
Reply to  a right-minded lefty
November 10, 2019 6:54 am

“…We will soon see, in the not very distant future, even more …”

I am still waiting to see one.

Reply to  James Clarke
November 10, 2019 12:15 pm

In the good old, Pre-Post Normal days, scientists used predictions as a means to an end. Once you derived a prediction from your hypothesis, you then had to go through the all-important process of actually testing it against empirical reality, thereby “disproving or improving” your ideas, as Popper put it.

Feynman famously described the steps of the Scientific Method in 63 seconds.

The climate-scientific method doesn’t take quite so long. It finishes at the prediction step.

That’s a saving of 41 seconds, folks.

Pat Frank
Reply to  a right-minded lefty
November 10, 2019 11:16 am

I’ve investigated Chomsky’s work across 35 years, using the Stanford University libraries to check his sources and the accuracy of his representations.

I found that he lies systematically. He misrepresents quotes and juxtaposes unrelated extracts, all to assassinate character and defame. He makes his targets seem racist, heartless, vain, and greedy. When you look at the actual source, none of that bears out.

The only time Chomsky tells the truth is when it serves his purpose — which is evidently to anathemize and delegitimize the United States.

Paul Bogdanor has an extensive compilation of Chomsky’s lies and shameless defenses of socialist horrors.

Chomsky is the premier member of the group that Mark Lilla calls reckless minds — intellectuals who live in freedom and call for slavery.

Reply to  a right-minded lefty
November 10, 2019 12:02 pm

What’s the world coming to when you can’t trust a linguist to understand climate science?

What next? Should I cancel the elective bypass surgery I’m getting from my plumber?

November 10, 2019 3:48 am

I’m having trouble understanding why these people are going to all this trouble to completely destroy a planetary ecosystem that is balanced and able to take care of itself.

It almost seems like their goal is mass suicide, and frankly, even lemmings aren’t this stupid.

a right-minded lefty
Reply to  Sara
November 10, 2019 5:46 am

“…even lemmings aren’t this stupid…”

Indeed, I was shocked to learn sometime last year only that lemmings do not in fact commit mass suicide by throwing themselves into the artic sea. This was a myth created by a totally mendacious Disney documentary:

which was revealed in a Canadian documentary called “Cruel Camera” (at 21 minutes):

just in case there was some else like myself who wasn’t aware of this…

November 10, 2019 7:18 am

Oil production doesn’t cause climate change, burning fossil fuels is claimed to cause climate change. ExxonMobile doesn’t burn oil, the end consumer does. The consumer, ie you and me, are the climate criminals in their Orwellian World.

BTW, here is a canned Legal Defense for Exxon/Mobile:

Simply Search “Climate Science on Trial”

Reply to  CO2isLife
November 10, 2019 8:57 am

Oil production saved the whales.

paul courtney
November 10, 2019 7:22 am

Note that Whitehouse has never observed directly nor seen evidence of this lobbyist-candidate small room, nor was he there when lobbyists instructed “front groups”. Yet he knows exactly how these things go down. I have no doubt Whitehouse knows, because he’s been in that small room and seen “front groups” get their marching orders for the greens. Only question is whether Whitehouse was there as a candidate, or as the lobbyist. He can’t imagine a world where those who oppose him are less vile than he is.

Berndt Koch
November 10, 2019 9:15 am

My firm belief is that they “know” this is all “true” because it is how they do things themselves, so therefore everybody else must do it the same way.. it’s all projection.

In fact IMHO they are doing what they accuse others of in these very meetings..

Reply to  Berndt Koch
November 10, 2019 11:42 am

I see your firm belief, and raise it to a fact.

Al Gore, who coined the phrase ‘Merchants of Poison’ to smear climate skeptics, was literally looking in the mirror when he came up with it, he admits in this interview.

Clyde Spencer
November 10, 2019 9:44 am

“Exxonmobil is just one part of a large disinformation landscape.”

Alarmists commonly deride skeptics for being conspiracy theorists. However, Oreskes’ quote above suggests that she is just projecting when she suggests an organized campaign.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 10, 2019 11:55 am

“Alarmists commonly deride skeptics for being conspiracy theorists.”

Hah! Professor Stephan Lewandowsky *proved* it!

I could even link you to the paper, except… well, to quote the History of the Climate Debate:

• Stephan Lewandowsky has no preconceptions about “deniers” at all until he makes a remarkable find: a skull showing prominent bulging of the conspirativeness faculty (an organ of the ideational lobe).

• Stephan Lewandowsky applies for funding to carry out a study he calls “NASA faked the moon landing—Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax.”

• Lewandowsky says reactions to his finished paper “have illustrated the impoverished epistemology of climate denial better than any mountain of data”—which is lucky, because the data didn’t show anything.

• Recursive Fury withdrawn

◦ A new analysis by Prof. Lewandowsky changes the way we deride skeptics but is retracted when editors spinelessly cave in to ethical considerations.
◦ Lewandowsky, however, doesn’t buy the official explanation of this event, insisting his conspiracism study was the victim of a “organised attacks… under the surface.” 

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 11, 2019 3:34 pm

All conspiracy theory promoters are after me. Lots and lots of conspiracy minded people. Everything bad that happened to me is because of these people who imagine crazy theories of obscure conspiracies with lots of people.


If you say I’m projecting, it’s because you are doing conspiracy theories. You are one them!

Reply to  niceguy
November 11, 2019 5:39 pm


I would never accuse you of projecting, or predicting, anything.

PS it’s traditional, when sockpuppeting, to use an anagram of your real name as a pseudonym. So I would be Deb Kayser, for example, and you would be What Lysenko Spawned.

November 10, 2019 11:10 am

It’s ExxonMobil (auto spelling wants to add the ending “e”).

In any case, all oil companies “burn” quite a lot of fossil fuels but the point is they produce more energy than they consume, and, to your point, of course they would cease to exist without external customers.

Roger Knights
November 11, 2019 12:46 am

See my WUWT guest thread, “Notes From Skull Island – why climate skeptics aren’t ‘well funded and well organized’”
If our side were well funded and well organized, as warmists charge, it would have the following 22 characteristics–which it doesn’t.

Johann Wundersamer
November 21, 2019 8:39 am

Charles Rotter / 2 weeks ago November 9, 2019

– Don’t be so hard on Naomi with her “I came to this issue because I wrote a book that was partly about the relationship between climate change denial and the tobacco industry …. :

She urgently felt the need to exaggerate it wasn’t that “She came to this issue because she wrote a book that was partly about the relationship between climate change industry and the tobacco denial ….

– cause Brutus is an honorable man and Naomi is a honorable Woman.

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