Essay by Eric Worrall
Dr. Willie Soon emailed me the curious case of an editor of the journal Climate apparently being investigated by NASA GISS director Gavin Schmidt, for publishing Soon’s study.
The trigger for this request may have been recent studies covered by WUWT, which highlights the possibility much reported global warming may be urban heat island effect.
There have been some rather intense exchanges of ideas since the papers were published. Dr. Gavin Schmidt wrote a critique on real climate, in which Gavin accused Dr. Willie Soon of being a “crowd pleaser”, and of using outdated Solar data.
Soon responded to this critique, by accusing Schmidt of raising straw man objections, and suggested Schmidt is taking too narrow and simplistic a view of solar TSI reconstructions.
In the midst of this rather heated debate, Schmidt launched a FOIA action to research whether any employees of the Federal Government used government time or resources to correspond with Dr. Willie Soon, and other authors of the controversial studies. It is notable that Dr. Schmidt used his university account, and sent the FOIA request on Sunday – “Federal employees may not use government time or equipment when requesting information under the FOIA.”. Schmidt may have learned from last time his hat juggling, switching between acting as a powerful government official and a private person, got a little messy.
The last line of Schmidt’s FOIA request is an eye opener:
“Since I am pursuing this request to better understand and publicise the actions of federal officials working in their official capacity, and since I will publicise any relevant findings on my longstanding and award-winning web blog (realclimate.org), I request a waiver of any fees associated with this request.”
It would be a tragedy if this FOIA request, and the stated intention to “publicise the actions of federal officials” signals that Dr. Gavin Schmidt is following the footsteps of the worst alleged abusers in the Climategate emails, by putting pressure on journal editors and federal employees who cooperate with the production of studies he doesn’t like.
I’m not saying this is what is happening, but I think given the ugly history of alleged bullying in the field of climate science which was revealed by Climategate, a complete explanation of Dr Gavin Schmidt’s intentions is in order.