Peer Reviewed Science Journal Report: ‘Electric Utility Industry’s Role in Promoting Climate Denial, Doubt, And Delay

By Russell Cook

Enviro-activists who claim human-induced catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) is happening, is harmful, and should be stopped, also say evidence to support their claim is found in peer reviewed, recognized science journals. It’s their gold standard for validating the credibility of scholarly papers on the topic. They admonish anyone offering criticism outside this system — if it is not peer reviewed and published in a science journal, it has no credibility and is likely corrupted by dubious outside influences.

They would say that another term for peer reviewers is “fact checkers,” outside experts not associated with the paper’s author(s) who ascertain whether there are errors in the paper prior to publication in a climate science journal, on any area related to the issue. Peer reviewed approval = no errors. CAGW skeptics (e.g. Patrick Michaels, 2011) may note that “pal-review” taints the system; as it applies to the following, a question about that arises at the end of this discussion.

A paper authored by Emily Williams / Sydney Bartone / Emma Swanson / Leah C Stokes (Williams et al.) titled “The American electric utility industry’s role in promoting climate denial, doubt, and delay” was published on September 1, 2022 in the science journal Environmental Research Letters, supposedly adhering to this exact peer review system. One of the individuals the authors cited in their paper later said in a Sept 7 Atlantic article that this paper “is the first peer-reviewed publication to survey the industry’s messaging specifically.”

I’ve devoted twelve years (70+ online articles / 345+ GelbspanFiles blog posts) examining the accusation that fossil fuel executives colluded with skeptic climate scientists to spread disinformation. If I had been permitted to fact-check review this paper, I would have barred it for publication because it contains a minimum of six major errors essentially pertaining to one specific section, namely “3.1, Mapping the network,” and lead-in assertions for that section. Each number below is a hyperlink to screencaptures of where the particular text is seen in the paper, to make finding the quotes easier in their full context. The details following each numbered item contain screencaptures / weblinks detailing what the individual problems are, along with larger associated problems.

I posit that two key errors, #4 and #5, collapse the entire premise of this paper.

#1. [within section 2.1 “Methods,’ in reference to a specific industry group in the subsequent section 3.1] “… we aimed to collect the known denial and doubt documents utility organizations and their affiliated front groups authored … denial front groups associated with the industry—the Information Council on the Environment (ICE).”

The ICE public relations campaign of mid- late-May 1991 were not a secret front group, their newspaper ads openly stated that their funding came from “a group of electric utility and coal companies.” As is readily obvious from the actual newspaper ads that were published in three different cities (as I showed here, and here), the ICE campaign itself did not deny climate change, it’s goal was to question particular CAGW claims while offering additional information from skeptic climate scientists’ assessments to show the public that there was another side to the issue.

#2. “… This set was retrieved from the Climate Investigation Center, Climate Files, and an Energy and Policy Institute report (Anderson et al 2017).”

This is an example of a “citation cascade.” Authors of papers should cite the oldest possible source available to provide all readers with the proper full context of any given authoritative statement, and should never inflate the status of a single source as being bigger than it actually is. In this case regarding the ICE campaign and documents supposedly attributed to it, the Climate Investigation Center and Climate Files are one-and-the-same single source, operated by ex-Greenpeace / ex-Ozone Action worker Kert Davies. And as I detailed at my April 11, 2020 GelbspanFiles blog post, “Anderson et al 2017” is Dave Anderson’s “Utilities Knew” report, in which he cites Kert Davies’ Climate Files for the ICE docs. The clickable link in Anderson’s report is the identical link seen in this Williams et al. section 3.1’s Table 2, Letter “f.” It goes to Kert Davies’ “1991 Information Council on the Environment Climate Denial Ad Campaign” page.

The claim that the ICE docs come from both Anderson and Climate Files is disingenuous.

Davies’ “ICE docs” collection sources from what I term “Greenpeace USA neé Ozone Action” — I name that group as such because Ozone Action president John Passacantando merged his little group into Greenpeace USA, and Ozone Action was the first place, not Greenpeace, to give real lasting media traction to the alleged ‘leaked’ “ICE docs” collection, in connection with Ross Gelbspan.

Fundamentally, there is only one source for the so-called ICE docs collection, Kert Davies / Ross Gelbspan circa 1996. Their “smoking gun memos” subset within their collection is literally worthless because it was an unsolicited proposal for the ICE campaign by the Edison Electric Institute that was rejected and never implemented.

No matter what action is proposed to any entity, the mere existence of the proposal is not proof that the recommended action ever took place. Especially if the proposal was rejected.

#3. “… the Information Council on the Environment (ICE)

Information Council FOR the Environment. For, not on.

In their Section 3.1, this changes to “for.” This is not simply a careless tiny typo on the part of the Williams et al. authors, it is a tell-tale indicator of the most prominent original source of the “ICE docs” collection and the core multi-decade problem surrounding the accusation associated with those docs. As noted in error #2 immediately above, Williams et al. cite both Dave Anderson and Kert Davies as the source of the ICE docs. Anderson makes the same “on”/”for”mistake in describing the official name of the ICE campaign. Kert Davies’ Climate Files page also makes that same mistake, more than once. This “on”/”for”mistake traces back through Ross Gelbspan, (more than once) and as I also showed above in error #2, it goes all the way back to the Ozone Action circa 1996 pages. In January 2022, Wikipedia itself labeled this basic situation as an “Obvious error,” since someone with editorial power finally noticed their nearly 18-year “Information Council on the Environment” page did not match the official logo of the ICE campaign.

#4. “… ICE was a short-lived, pilot climate denial campaign, whose primary goal was to ‘[r]eposition global warming as theory (not fact)’ through both print and radio advertisements (ICE 1991, p 7).”

Again, ICE was not a climate denial campaign. But the massive error here is to attribute the “reposition global warming” strategy goal to them. This suggested strategy, along with the audience targeting suggestion of “older, less educated males” and “younger, lower income women” and alternative words to fit the ICE letters were – again – an unsolicited memo set proposed to the Western Fuels Association that was rejected and never implemented in any form by any subsequent entity.

But notice that this Williams et al. paper places the “R” for “reposition” in lowercase between brackets? Why? Because in their clickable reference (make sure the “Show references” is selected at the bottom of their paper, which enables clicked links to go straight to the citations) is for the “page 7” at Kert Davies Climate Files ICE ads document scans page. What’s there at his scan? “Reposition global warming” with a capital “R.” What’s on his page 6 immediately preceding this? The rejected, unsolicitedInformed Citizens for the Environment” name. This contradiction should have stopped the Williams et al. authors dead in their tracks, so that they could ask probing questions about it. They did not address it all. Neither does Dave Anderson at his 2017 “Utilities Knew” report. Anderson does, however, muddy the waters with his blatantly wrong caption for the “Chicken Little” add by calling it “Informed Council on the Environment,” thus indicating he is an uninformed, unreliable source for facts. Kert Davies did in cursory fashion by parenthetically noting that ICE just happened to also be known as “Informed Citizens for the Environment.” No, it never was. Plus, regarding the “Chicken Little” ad, observe where Kert Davies crops the image there. What does it say below that line? The old Greenpeace USA’s Greenpeace Investigations pages (prior to those pages disappearing earlier this year) showed it: “Informed Citizens for the Environment.” The identical image that Dave Anderson incorrectly captioned. And again, as I showed here, and here, that Chicken Little ad was never published in any newspaper anywhere.

#5. “… This campaign was co-founded by EEI and the Western Fuels Association (WFA)”

Anyone reading that assertion would interpret it to mean the Edison Electric Institute and the Western Fuels Association were co-equal creators of the ICE campaign. No different than Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard of the Hewlett Packard Corporation. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Regarding this Williams et al. paper, their assertion about EEI as a co-founder is contradicted by EEI’s own statement back in 1991, where their spokesperson unequivocally stated that EEI “is taking no part in the campaign except to provide survey results.” This is corroborated in the second-to-last paragraph of a May 12, 1991 Minneapolis Star Tribune article which specifically states, “… Neither the National Coal Association nor the the Edison Electric Institute has gotten involved in the ICE campaign…”

It is irrational to believe that a group which “co-founds” a significant public relations campaign would then have no involvement in running it a mere 4½ months later.

#6. “… With the collapse of ICE, WFA next founded GES …”

“Collapsed” is an unsubstantiated claim. Kert Davies Climate Files / CIC websites provide no such evidence for that claim. This Williams et al. paper’s other source, the Dave Anderson “Utilities Knew” report, only stated in a vague and unsubstantiated way, “Once exposed, the ICE campaign had a relatively brief shelf life …” The implication is that its exposure in the news media is what caused its demise. Ross Gelbspan said as much back in the early years of his “The Heat is Online” website, but it turns out that he couldn’t name 2/3rds of the news media names correctly. However, this is contradicted by an article at The Nation circa November 1996 written by David Helvarg in which he states, “The l.C.E. campaign lasted six months, and then was terminated by the Western Fuels Association…” with no indication that ICE’s end was any sort of public / news media-induced collapse.

There is an additional area of concern for error #2 above, namely where the authors stated about the ICE documents they acquired, “… To the best of our knowledge, for the two relatively short-lived denial front groups associated with the industry—the Information Council on the Environment (ICE) … all publicly available documents were included in the analysis.” The documents tally at Kert Davies’ Climate Files page, which these authors cite, is 27. To offer some latitude to the authors, the other Climate Files ‘ICE docs’ files that they do not cite, “1991 Information Council on the Environment Test Denial Campaign Plan and Survey” has 19 docs. Thus, 46 total attributed to ICE. The “Greenpeace USA neé Ozone Action” ‘ICE scans’ collection — no longer publicly available as of recent months, while a downloaded PDF file copy version still is at my blog — is 50 pages. However, one page is Ozone Action’s cover page, and page 6 is a duplicate of page 2, pg 14 is a duplicate of pg 7, pg 15 is a duplicate of pg 8, pg 43 is a duplicate of pg 39, and pg 35 (as I detailed in my August 20, 2022 GelbspanFiles blog post) is an extraneous addition to the “Greenpeace USA neé Ozone Action” scans that was written by somebody apparently not connected at all with the ICE campaign. So the “GP neé OA” actual tally is 44 documents. Kert Davies added an unpublished newspaper ad draft copy variant with the wrong name to his docs collection, while his pg 20 is a duplicate of his page 16, in the identical way as the “GP neé OA” pg 6/pg 2 situation. However, as David Helvarg said in his Summer 1996 publication, there were 53 pages of ICE docs.

A minimum of 9 missing pages. Did the Williams et al. authors know that, and did the expert reviewers of their paper know that, or express any interest on what the origins of this collective ‘leaked documents pile’ were? This Williams et al. paper provides an ‘out’ on what they might not be aware of, with their line, “Since many climate denial documents are internal, it is likely that further information exists on utilities’ involvement in climate denial organizations that is not public.” Yes, but the opposite also plausible, that other documents might be found which further prove that the EEI-sourced “reposition global warming” memos subset was unsolicited by ICE campaign officials and never used. Since basically no top administrator of the ICE campaign actually saw this rejected memo set, it could not therefore have been passed along to the next ‘Big Coal / Oil’ / Electric Utility CEO to serve as some kind of template for ‘disinformation campaigns.’ A Western Fuels Association office person told me directly that WFA’s copy went into the garbage in the same way that unused contribution material from association members for WFA’s annual reports were thrown out.

All of the above pertains to just one paragraph of this 12-page Williams et al. paper, and the couple of directly-related lead-in bits for that paragraph. If that many errors are in just that small area of text, how many more errors are in this paper?

Who were the “fact checkers” for this paper?

Even if there are no other errors, these alone are enough to warrant a retraction request. However, it was suggested to me by a prominent scientist that a retraction effort would be a waste of time, considering the apparent stranglehold the ERL editor-in-chief has over the content of the journal, and considering his, well, association with climate scientists who’ve hurled unsupportableunsupportable! – accusations. Even if a retraction was achievable, it might take a year to accomplish.

What might be more effective is for the Williams et al. authors to be made aware of their embarrassing lack-of-research errors – somehow – to an effective enough extent that they decide to voluntarily withdraw it, so as to draw less attention to the way peer review can abysmally fail.

And maybe they might not want to people to see the one other potentially crippling problem this paper seems to have: its funding, and the people connected with that funding.

Enviro activists have, for years, suggested that even a hint of association with funding from the fossil fuel industry taints the credibility of anyone daring to question any aspect of the CAGW issue. If that’s fair game, then should it not apply equally well in reverse? Notice that Williams et al. disclose at the bottom of their paper that their “research was financially supported by the Rockefeller Family Fund.” Who is one of the top administrators for the Rockefeller Family Fund? Associate director Lisa Guide. Who is she married to? John Passacantando — they’re photographed together at Washington DC high society dinner events. Who is John Passacantando? To repeat – he’s the man who headed Ozone Action back in the late 1990s who gave the worthless “reposition global warming” memos their first major, lasting, effective, media traction as so-called “smoking gun evidence” proving skeptic climate scientists were on the payroll of the energy industry to undercut the certainty of CAGW. If the accusation is that those scientists were corrupted by industry money because they ‘do not dispute the material they are funded to disseminate,’ then why would it not apply here that Williams et al. operate in an identical way, such that they jeopardize their funding if they dare to bring up all the crippling faults surrounding John Passacantando and his beloved “reposition global warming” memos?

All these problems put the Williams et al. authors in a world of hurt where the best escape for them is to self-censor. Later on, if the next U.S. Congress chooses to investigate both the data-tampering part of CAGW and the political accusations from certain enviro-activists, the option these authors might have is to turn state’s evidence against whoever it was who came up with the idea for this paper.

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Rud Istvan
September 26, 2022 10:22 am

To paraphrase Solzhenitsyn:
We know they lie.
They know we know they lie.
We know they know we know they lie.
And yet they still lie.

Richard Page
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 26, 2022 1:34 pm

I mean, in all seriousness, this is poor stuff and easy to establish as disinformation so who is so deluded that they actually buy into this rubbish?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Richard Page
September 26, 2022 3:34 pm

Let’s try some provable warmunist disinformation out just in case you meant my post, not the new paper I hope you aimed at:

  1. Believe the climate models, even tho they produce a tropical troposphere hotspot that does not exist.
  2. Believe the climate models, even tho their ECS is over twice observed.
  3. Sea level rise is accelerating—but it isn’t.
  4. Summer Arctic sea ice will disappear by 2014–but it hasn’t.
  5. Renewables are affordable and green—even tho neither is true.
Richard Page
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 26, 2022 3:53 pm

Whups. My post was meant as a reinforcement and a continuation of what you wrote, not a counter.
I agree with you about the points you raise but these are scientism points, seemingly factual (at first glance) hammered home by an array of ‘experts’ trotted out for the purpose – their ‘appeal to authority’. The article referenced above, and it’s predecessor, are simply based on a couple of rejected ideas that were never released to the public and have zero validity from the get-go.

Bryan A
Reply to  Richard Page
September 26, 2022 9:52 pm

That can easily happen when some Hack produces a paper you contract with 2 or more other Hacks to do Peer Review

Reply to  Richard Page
September 26, 2022 4:01 pm

Richard, I used to catch the 5-minute noon newscast on local radio. The fairly straight news source the station used was ditched in favor of a ‘narrative’ pushing news feed (ABC, IIRC).

There was always a 30-second science spot – be afraid! – that led in with, “A new study has shown…” or “Scientists say…”

Well of course they never named the study so you could check it out nor did they ever name the scientists that said whatever it was.

Sometimes the topic was a coffee study. Same lead in, “A new study…” but coffee was “BAD!” or coffee “GOOD!” That was always comical. Then there was AGW news, always alarming bad news.

I lasted about 2 or 3 weeks and had to just quit listening altogether to the news at noon.

But to your question of who buys into this rubbish, it’s a heck of a pile of people who just take the information on the basis of authority, without question, day after day and year after year. Rud got it right down below. It’s indoctrination, not education.

Think of a bunch of Gretas… “The Science™ says…” and they believe it.

September 26, 2022 10:24 am

Beneficiaries must justify an endeavor’s worth. What could go wrong?

John Hultquist
September 26, 2022 11:16 am

I found this interesting and informative. Thanks.

My questions:
Who will see it, and who will read it seriously?
Who will see and read the original article in ERL?
Can anyone explain how Emily Williams with so much education can be so wrong?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  John Hultquist
September 26, 2022 11:20 am

She did not receive an education.She received an indoctrination. No different than her pal reviewers.

Steve Case
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 26, 2022 12:23 pm

She did not receive an education. She received an indoctrination.

Good one!

Reply to  Steve Case
September 26, 2022 3:45 pm

I go by my old high school frequently. The sign says at the bottom…Engineering the Future. I always think when I see it…Indoctrinating the Future.
Sad what public education has come to.

Bryan A
Reply to  Mac
September 26, 2022 9:54 pm

If you changed the tagline how long would it take for them to realize it?

Russell Cook
Reply to  John Hultquist
September 26, 2022 12:38 pm

Who will see it, and who will read it seriously? Who will see and read the original article in ERL?

Valid questions. WUWT has a worldwide reading audience, with uncountable numbers of people who dive deep into material like this. Since I provided screencaptures to click on for the full context of each problem item above, many WUWT readers may decided to go straight to the (rather easy-to-read) ERL Williams et al. paper to see if they can spot other problems. And who knows, many might take it upon themselves to alert the ERL people or the apparently hapless authors to these problems to enough of an extent that the authors decide to pull the paper. As I noted in my guest post, though, a prominent scientist (someone whose name most WUWT readers would quickly recognize) told me that my demand for a retraction would likely be deeply enough buried that nobody would see it. So, I figured the best I could do is put this out here at WUWT, and that public pressure might result in ERL self-censoring, or the authors doing that.

Our side never advocates for outright censorship of opponents’ material, their stuff actually does serve a purpose when it is left out in the open to twist in the wind. But we do like it when they self-censor after plowing into their own self-created brick wall credibility problems, because … well, … what has been seen on the internet cannot be unseen. If they do yank it with no explanation, that just places them in a deeper hole to dig their way out of.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Russell Cook
September 26, 2022 1:35 pm

Thanks for the reply.

[The “Cook” family name is endemic in the hills of Western Pennsylvania where I was raised.]

Curious George
September 26, 2022 11:21 am

As usual, they are accusing others of doing what they do.

Ed Zuiderwijk
September 26, 2022 12:00 pm

What is ‘climate denial’. ‘climate’ is a noun. ‘table’ is a noun. If there is ‘climate denial’ then there must be ‘table denial’. What is it, what does it mean? Or is it a meaningless sound bite coined specially for the purpose of making accusations?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 26, 2022 1:42 pm

I’m just surprised it hasn’t been contracted to cli-dee, lazy thinkers have to use lazy language, like spag bol.

You can’t deny that there is a climate. Of course their lazy thought means one who denies that there is a climate emergency.

Just as MAGA means make America great again, which a lot of normal people might not immediately consider quite so horrific, they need to short-circuit any thinking and change it to a meaningless word “magga”, which evokes maggots.

They are scum and there’s no point engaging them other than with ridicule.

Johne Morton
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 26, 2022 9:15 pm

Right…do you deny that Phoenix Arizona is in a desert, etc. It’s lazy, shorthand for “climate change denial”. Yet, no one denies that climate changes. What they mean is, “disagreement over the claim that anthropogenic factors are playing a majority role in “observed”, non-catastrophic changes in averaged weather on decadal time scales”…they have no way to make that into a soundbite, and no desire to, so they simply say “climate denial”.

H. D. Hoese
September 26, 2022 12:12 pm

I was wondering what a paper like this was doing in an environmental journal when it seems to be more engineering and sociology. Editors’ shouldn’t allow such dirty pejorative language such as….“….have significant plans to transition their dirty assets to clean resources this decade…”

In their “Papers you may also like” Dunlap, R. E. 2014. Clarifying anti-reflexivity: conservative opposition to impact science and scientific evidence. Environmental Research Letters. 9(2): 9 021001  Open Access, at end of abstract. “It is also important to keep in mind that anti-reflexivity is an institutional and structural issue, becoming more consequential when it is employed by political elites such as the George W Bush Administration in the US. Institutional anti-reflexivity is further illustrated by the widespread denial of ACC and a range of other problems among current Republican members of the US Congress.”

More journals are supporting such political papers, or portions therein; other authors should complain but may be too complicit. Another example–“…. a growing understanding and application of environmental justice practices….. ” Such papers very often push advocacy and have a “citation cascade.” New phrase for me, lots of examples, boilerplate similar. Distinction between science and management disappearing?

Old Man Winter
September 26, 2022 12:44 pm

Just another typical green/liberal/commie scam of blaming others for what
they themselves have already done as revealed by Climategate:

Environmental Defense Fund aids Mann in rebutting McKitrick/McIntyre (email 3738)

1997 ClimateGate email: IPCC’s Rob Swart asks WWF for help in getting scientists to endorse the climate hoax

Email 3874: Mann sends email trashing McKitrick and McIntyre to his
“Friends and Colleagues” at the New York Times, Environmental Defense Fund, EPA, and Senator Lieberman’s office among others

2005: IPCC reviewer Peter Thorne writes a comment that strikes at the very
heart of the worst scientific fraud in history-“The job of an IPCC reviewer at the ZOD stage is to make positive suggestions to help the Strawman along
and not to be too critical”

Don’t miss this devastating criticism of the IPCC from a guy who
contributed to all five IPCC Assessment Reports: “I feel rather
unconfortable about using not only unpublished but also un reviewed
material as the backbone of our conclusions (or any conclusions)…I
feel that at this point there are very little rules and almost
anything goes”

More pal review: Email 5271: Phil Jones is evidently “not conflicted” to
review a proposal by hockey team member Ray Bradley, although he
admittedly knows Ray “very well”, and he’s been a co-author with him
(ME- email from 2007, papers- 2001, 2003, 2005)

Email 297, August 2004, Phil Jones and Michael Mann: This peer review
process looks completely corrupt, with warmist Jones rejecting a paper by realists McKitrick and Michaels, and Mann somehow in the loop, wanting to
use this “to help bolster the case against MM??”

Email 4657, Oct 2000, It’s a small world after all: Editor of Journal of
Climate, Michael Mann, gets Phil Jones to review a paper by Tom Wigley
and Ben Santer

September 26, 2022 12:58 pm

personally, i blame the keurig coffee inventor

Reply to  billtoo
September 26, 2022 12:59 pm

and the foot massagers

September 26, 2022 1:43 pm

The sort of writing and attribution of information is standard fare for law review and law journal papers. As a law student and as a journal editor, I saw this all the time. No author ever went back to the original document, especially if they could quote the information twice or three or four times and make it look like the findings expressed were duplicated many times by multiple researchers. This was especially true in papers that covered science related–usually environment–subjects. I lost a lot of respect for law professors then.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  starzmom
September 26, 2022 3:40 pm

I lost a lot of respect for law professors while in a joint MBA/Law program. The business school taught the latest and greatest admin law stuff. Law school didn’t, so I protested and walked out. Still got an A.

September 26, 2022 1:45 pm

I see nothing here indicating that anyone denied that the earth had a climate. Therefore, no climate denial.
I see nothing here indicating that anyone denied that earth’s climate changed. Therefore, no climate change denial.
I see nothing here suggesting that anyone denied the potential for anthropogenic impacts on climate. Therefore, no AGW denial.
In summary, I see nothing here.

Russell Cook
Reply to  Ed Reid
September 26, 2022 5:03 pm

Therein lies the tragedy of this “nothingness” that AGWers believe so fervently in. The useful idiots on the Gore side of the issue fall for the accusation that “X” knew burning fossil fuels changes the climate, and by golly, here’s the very “reposition global warming as theory” ‘secret leaked memos’ proving their treachery. Meanwhile, the promulgators of this false accusation smile at each other while getting rich off it (millions!) with their fingers crossed behind their backs hoping nobody spots how they changed their “X” enemy du jour. The first iteration back in the 1990s was the evil coal industry, exemplified by the Western Fuels Association (a non-profit co-op for transferring coal from mines to power plants). Then the next enemy was Big Oil – Al Gore tried to pin those memos straight to Exxon one time (offcamera voice at 28:09 here). Now, perhaps seeing how neither of those accusations might fly in an evidentiary courtroom hearing, it could be that the promulgators have now switched the enemy “X” to be the electric utilities, namely the Edison Electric Institute. Technically true, finally, except as I show in my guest post, EEI had zip to do with running the “ICE” public relations campaign, and the campaign itself, just like you say, didn’t deny climate, climate change, or that human activity might have some impact on climate.

jeffery P
September 26, 2022 2:31 pm

This is not science, unless Alinskiism is now scientific.

At the root of this paper is the pervasive myth that if only the “deniers” got out of the way then … [insert utopian dream here] would be upon us. Or already achieved.

September 26, 2022 4:48 pm

There is so much misinformation and flat out lies spread by the alarmist camp it makes me wonder are there any legitimate honest scientists working for their side? How can this continue when so much of what the other side is saying is so easily proven wrong? It is mind boggling.

Johne Morton
September 26, 2022 9:25 pm

I remember arguing with believers in AGW theory on Usenet back in the 90s. Whenever they couldn’t refute a point, they would take the lazy man’s way out by saying, “if you feel that way or believe that, write a paper and have it peer-reviewed and published”. It was an admission that they had no argument, and expecting anyone holding a particular view in a discussion board to have every argument “peer reviewed and published” is unbridled stupidity. As for the peer-review process in modern climatology, it’s a type of circular back-patting and confirmation bias.

September 27, 2022 8:21 am
Richard Page
Reply to  observa
September 27, 2022 12:27 pm

A privileged minority can’t refute the findings so want to cancel it entirely – censorship and authoritarianism in action. It’s interesting to see the names of the 4 ‘experts’ against the study – I recognise 2 that have been caught cooking the books in ‘climate change’ studies previously, Betts and Rahmsdorf, not sure about the other 2.

September 28, 2022 7:35 am

we aimed to collect the known denial and doubt documents”

An immediate failure as these documents are subjectively evaluated, not objectively quantified.
The words “denial” and “doubt” do not represent ‘facts’, but opinions and presumed actions.

Russell Cook
September 30, 2022 4:29 pm

For those following along, it seems the DailyKos takes exception to my WUWT guest post:
Deniers Cry ‘Censorship’ Defending Paper They Like, Then Demand Censorship of Paper They Don’t
Can’t help the folks at D-Kos with their reading comprehension disabilities. I’m not a climate denier, and I don’t call for censorship. First, verbatim from my guest post above, and then the next quote from my Sept 26 comment reply here in this section:

What might be more effective is for the Williams et al. authors to be made aware of their embarrassing lack-of-research errors – somehow – to an effective enough extent that they decide to voluntarily withdraw it, so as to draw less attention to the way peer review can abysmally fail.

Our side never advocates for outright censorship of opponents’ material, their stuff actually does serve a purpose when it is left out in the open to twist in the wind. But we do like it when they self-censor after plowing into their own self-created brick wall credibility problems, because … well, … what has been seen on the internet cannot be unseen. If they do yank it with no explanation, that just places them in a deeper hole to dig their way out of.

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