Denier Conference Readies for Round Three

Mon, 2009-06-01 14:36Jeremy Jacquot
Jeremy Jacquot's picture

Denier Conference Readies for Round Three

Among the many conservative think tanks faithfully pushing the skeptic message in Washington, D.C., few are as prominent—or, should I say, infamous—as the Heartland Institute. The “independent” research and non-profit group has the dubious distinction of having organized the first major denier-palooza, the “International Conference on Climate Change,” last year. Despite a less than stellar showing, and an even more lukewarm follow-up in March, it’s hoping that the third time will be the charm.

The likes of Senator James Inhofe, Lord Christopher Monckton and Anthony Watts will be descending on the Washington Court Hotel this week to discuss the “widespread dissent to the asserted “consensus” on the causes, consequences, and proper responses to climate change.” Its ostensible purpose will be to “expose Congressional staff and journalists to leading scientists and economists in the nation’s capital” and demonstrate that “global warming is not a crisis and that immediate action to reduce emissions is not necessary”—which it calls the emerging consensus view of (the handful of) scientists outside the IPCC.

Another focus of this meeting will undoubtedly be the Waxman-Markey climate bill, which has already attracted its fair share of bile and venom from the right-wing noise machine. Although it was voted out of committee along party lines (33 – 25) last week, the bill still faces some considerable opposition and could yet get bogged down on its way to a full vote in the House.

What follows is a who’s who of the speakers who will be gracing the attendees with their presence, courtesy of the DeSmogBlog research database (and Wikipedia/Sourcewatch):

Joseph Bast
The longstanding president and CEO of the Heartland Institute, Bast studied economics as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago before co-founding the organization in 1984 with David M. Padder. He has been among the most outspoken of skeptics, repeatedly asserting that there is no consensus on the science of climate change by citing a widely debunked 17,000-name petition created by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. In a recent press release, he announced that the Heartland Institute would be publishing an 880-page book, entitled Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), challenging the IPCC’s findings; conveniently, the book is set to release on June 2, just in time to coincide with the conference.

When he’s not singing the praises of carbon dioxide, Bast has been an unabashed defender of Big Tobacco and has tried to downplay the health risks of smoking, arguing in a 2006 self-published book that a moderate amount of smoke is no more than a mere “annoyance.”

Robert M. Carter
Carter, a research professor at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, primarily in the field of stratigraphy, the study of rock layers and layering. He serves on the research committee of the Institute for Public Affairs, an Australian organization that has received funding from ExxonMobil. When asked about his involvement with the group in a 2007 interview, he said: “I don’t think it is the point whether you are paid by the coal or petroleum industry.”

Despite his lack of expertise in the area, Carter has claimed that the IPCC has not provided conclusive evidence to show that anthropogenic activities have contributed to climate change—to which a former CSIRO climate scientist responded: “if he [Carter] has any evidence that [global warming over the past 100 years] is a natural variability he should publish through the peer review process.” (Most of his critiques have been published in economics journals, though he has published in the related field of palaeoclimatology.)

He has written for Tech Central Station, an organization that has received funding from ExxonMobil and whose parent company, DCI Group (a lobbying/public relations company in Washington, D.C.), was directly implicated in an Al Gore spoof video controversy.

Craig D. Idso
Craig Idso is the founder and chairman of the board of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a non-profit group funded in part by ExxonMobil. He served as the Director of Environmental Science for Peabody Energy, one of the largest coal companies in the world, and has lectured on meteorology at Arizona State University, his graduate alma mater.

His organization published a weekly online newsletter called CO2Science and has been an ardent critic of the IPCC, arguing that higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and thus global warming, will benefit mankind by stimulating plant growth.

Jeff Kueter
Jeff Kueter is the president of the George Marshall Institute, an organization that is perhaps second only to the Heartland Institute in its skeptic advocacy. He previously served as Research Director for the National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (NACFAM), an industry-led research organization, and Washington Nichibei Consultants.

Ben Lieberman
Ben Lieberman is a Senior Policy Analyst in energy and environmental issues at the Heritage Foundation. A lawyer by training, Lieberman is a strong advocate of free-market policies who opposes “unnecessary” government regulation in the area of energy. He previously served as the associate counsel and director of air quality policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

His long list of publications includes: “The High Cost of Cool: The Economic Impact of the CFC Phase-out in the United States,” “Doomsday Déjà Vu: Ozone Depletion’s Lessons for Global Warming,” and “Title V of the Clean Air Act: Will America’s Industrial Future Be Permitted.” He has also written for Tech Central Station.

Richard S. Lindzen
Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT and has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard University. He has published over 200 books and peer-reviewed articles and is best known for his work on the dynamics of atmospheric tides, planetary atmospheres, monsoon meteorology and ozone photochemistry.

Lindzen is a signatory to the aforementioned Oregon Petition and to the Heidelberg Appeal, a document created and circulated by the International Center for Scientific Ecology, a PR front group, to voice concerns about “the emergence of an irrational ideology which is opposed to the scientific and industrial progress and impedes economic and social development,” in the wake of the 1992 United Nations World Summit.
He was the lead author of Chapter 7 of the 2001 IPCC Working Group 1, which looked at the physical processes affecting the climate. Though he initially praised the full IPCC report, he later criticized the “Summary for Policymakers” section for not placing enough emphasis on the uncertainties surrounding climate models and for misrepresenting the science.

Ever since, Lindzen has been highly critical of the IPCC, assailing the process for being too “political”, and has spoken out against it at numerous events, including conferences organized by the Cooler Heads Coalition (which includes the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, and the Fraser Institute, among others) and the Heartland Institute.

Patrick J. Michaels
Patrick Michaels, a former professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia (and now part-time research professor on leave), is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. He specializes in the study of the impacts of climate change on agriculture and has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles over his lengthy career.

A 2007 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that Michaels was linked to 11 think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation and Heartland Institute, that have received funding from Exxon Mobil. In 2006, ABC News and DeSmogBlog unearthed a leaked memo that showed that Michaels’ consulting firm, New Hope Environmental Services, had received $100,000 from the Intermountain Rural Electrical Association and “other electrical cooperatives” to voice doubt about climate change—this while he claimed for Virginia as its state climatologist (which Governor Tim Kaine’s administration later clarified does not exist).

John Holdren, now President Obama’s scientific advisor, criticized Michaels’ research during a Senate committee hearing, calling him “another of the handful of U.S. climate-change contrarians (…) He has published little if anything of distinction in the professional literature, being noted rather for his shrill op-ed pieces and indiscriminate denunciations of virtually every finding of mainstream climate science.”

Lord Christopher Monckton

Christopher Monckton, who was born into the title of third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, is a British politician and writer. He has been a vociferous critic of the IPCC, and he played a major role in bringing forward a legal challenge to block the airing of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth in U.K. schools in 2007. That year, he also ran a series of advertisements in The New York Times and The Washington Post challenging the former vice president to an internationally televised debate on climate change.

The lack of a background in climate science—let alone a background in science to begin with—did not prevent the Heartland Institute from listing Monckton as one of its global warming “experts.” Monckton is also the chief policy advisor for the Science and Public Policy Institute, another well-known skeptic hub.

An article he wrote about climate sensitivity for the American Physical Society’s Forum on Physics and Society in 2008, in which he claimed that “it is very likely that in response to a doubling of pre-industrial carbon dioxide concentration [surface temperature] will rise not by the 3.26 °K [sic] suggested by the IPCC, but by <1 °K,” carried the disclaimer: “Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.”

Dana Rohrabacher
Dana Rohrabacher is a Republican congressman who represents California’s 46th District in the House of Representatives. An ardent denier, he once mused that past warming cycles may have been caused by carbon dioxide emissions released by “dinosaur flatulence” and has called global warming a “hoax.” He has received middling ratings from Environment America, the League of Conservation Voters and other environmental groups for his voting record on energy and the environment.

Harrison Schmitt
After obtaining a Ph.D. in geology from Harvard University, Harrison Schmitt joined NASA as a member of the first group of scientist-astronauts in 1965, a position he held until 1975. He was the last of the Apollo astronauts to set foot on the moon as part of the Apollo 17 expedition in 1972.

He later served a single term as one of New Mexico’s senators from 1977 to 1982. Following his brief dalliance in politics, Schmitt entered the public-private sector, becoming the chair of the NASA Advisory Council and serving as an adjunct professor of engineering physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He also served as the chairman and president of the Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy, a non-profit organization whose global warming skeptic views are well known (it has received funding from ExxonMobil and has been affiliated with the American Petroleum Institute), from 1994 until 1998.

Another self-professed denier, Schmitt has repeatedly stated that anthropogenic activities have no impact on global warming, arguing, “human experience, geological data and history, and current cooling argue otherwise.” Schmitt recently appeared on Fox News to proclaim “I don’t think the human effect [of climate change] is significant compared to the natural effect.”

S. Fred Singer
S. Fred Singer is an atmospheric physicist and a professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia. His primary areas of study include ozone depletion, global warming and planetary science, and he has held a number of government and academic positions, including Chief Scientist at the Department of Transportation (from 1987 to 1989) and Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy at the EPA (from 1970 to 1971).

Over his lengthy career as an industry consultant (to Shell, ExxonMobil, Sun Oil, and Lockheed Martin, among others), Singer has been implicated in a number of controversies. In 2007, Newsweek reported that a dozen people from the “denial machine” met in April 1998 to discuss a $5 million campaign to convince the public that the science of climate change “was riddled with controversy and uncertainty”—a campaign that was dropped when details of the meeting were leaked.

In 2005, The Guardian’s George Monbiot revealed that S. Fred Singer’s group, the Science and Environmental Policy Project, was the source of a false claim that “555 of all the 625 glaciers under observation by the World Glacier Monitoring Service in Zurich have been growing since 1980” (which the WGMS described as “complete bullshit”). After initially disputing Monbiot’s claims, he conceded that the information had likely originated on his organization’s website.

Willie Soon
Willie Wei-Hock Soon is an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and is the chief science adviser to the Science and Public Policy Institute.

Soon believes that global warming can mostly be attributed to solar variation and that anthropogenic activity is therefore inconsequential. He co-authored a book on the subject, entitled The Maunder Minimum and the Variable Sun-Earth Connection, with Steven H. Yaskell, for which he was awarded the “Petr Beckmann Award for courage and achievement in the defense of scientific truth” by Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, a group affiliated with the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

The publication of a 2003 article, “Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years,” in the journal Climate Research prompted the resignation of three editors, including the incoming editor-in-chief Hans von Storch, who said that its “conclusions [were] not supported by the evidence presented in the paper.” Later on, thirteen of the scientists cited in the article issued a rebuttal claiming that Soon and his co-author, Sallie Baliunas, had misinterpreted their research.

Roy W. Spencer
Roy Spencer is a research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and is the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has authored or co-authored 25 peer-reviewed articles, primarily on the subject of satellite climate measurements. He was awarded the American Meteorological Society’s Special Award for his work on satellite-based temperature monitoring in 1996.

He and John Christy, a fellow skeptic and scientist at the University of Alabama, had pointed to satellite temperature records to argue that the troposphere, the atmosphere’s lowest layer, had not warmed over the last two decades and had actually cooled in the tropics. Three studies published in the journal Science in 2005 showed that there were several flaws in their calculations; once these were taken into account, the records actually demonstrated that the troposphere had gotten warmer.

Spencer is affiliated with the Heartland Institute, for which he is listed as an author, and the George C. Marshall Institute, for which he is listed as a global warming “expert.” He is also listed as a scientific advisor for the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, a coalition of religious leaders, scientists and policy experts committed to “bringing a proper and balanced Biblical view of stewardship to the critical issues of environment and development.” He co-authored a 2006 report for the organization, entitled “A Call to Truth, Prudence and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming,” that purported to refute the work of Evangelical Climate Initiative, a religious group that supports the IPCC’s findings.

He published a book called Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor last year and appeared in The Great Global Warming Swindle, a movie disputing anthropogenic global warming.

James M. Taylor
James M. Taylor is a Senior Fellow at the Heartland Institute and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a monthly publication devoted to “sound science and free-market environmentalism.” In a recent article for Capitalism Magazine, an online publication that advocates the free-market ideals of Ayn Rand, he argued that “substantial restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions (…) will force Americans to undergo severe and protracted economic hardship for little or no real-world benefit” and that “U.S. emissions are not to blame for increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.”

John S. Theon
John Theon, a former NASA scientist who claimed to be James Hansen’s supervisor (though he was nothing of the sort), made waves in the right-wing blogosphere earlier this year when he came out as a vocal skeptic. According to RealClimate’s Gavin Schmidt, Theon retired from NASA in 1994 and, until fairly recently, seemed to largely agree with Hansen’s views on climate models and global warming.

David G. Tuerck
David Tuerck is a professor and the chairman of the Suffolk University Department of Economics, where he also serves as the executive director of the conservative Beacon Hill Institute. He is also listed as one of the Heartland Institute’s global warming “experts.” 

Anthony Watts
Anthony Watts is the proprietor of the Watts Up With That? blog, which won the “Best Science Blog” Weblog award last year (despite containing very little science). He launched the “Surface Stations” project in 2007 with the goal of demonstrating that “some of the global warming increase is not from CO2 but from localized changes in the temperature-measurement environment” by creating a publicly viewable record of weather station photographs and data and operates several weather measurement technology websites. He previously worked as a television and radio meteorologist for CBS and Fox News.

Previous Comments

You people really are a joke when you start implying impropriety by scientists on the basis of being associated with organisations that receive some funding from energy interest groups. Why don’t you take it to it’s logical conclusion and add Obama and Gore to the list of beneficiaries of energy company funding. There would be almost zero chance of either politicians presidential (not to mention congressional) election campaigns not being contributed to by energy groups. And we are not talking paltry sums of money either. indicates that Obama received $2.5M in campaign funding from the energy and natural resources sector. That would be an order of magnitude greater than the funding the Heartland Institute gets from the same sector.

Does that mean that Obama is in league with the energy industries and beholden to them? I don’t think so.

Are you suggesting that energy company funding of certain groups has no connection with what the scientists who are associated with those groups have to say?

It should be obvious to most people living in the 21st century by now that politicians are merely the front men and figureheads for the monetary interests who back them, either directly or indirectly. And yes, that goes for Obama and Gore as well.

You depict “Deniers” as having their head’s in the sand (snow), yet Alarmists have their heads in the clouds.

You also missed Dr. Syun Akasofu off your “smear-list”

Here’s what he has to say- I guess he is no longer a “legitimate” scientist


1. The IPCC wants to claim that the global average temperature has

unexpectedly and abruptly increased during the 20th century after a gradual

cooling from the year 1000, and that this unexpected increase of the

temperature is mostly man-made-the greenhouse effect of CO2.


2. For their purpose, the IPCC ignored the fact that the Earth went through a

cold period called “the Little Ice Age” from 1400 to 1800.


3. The Earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age from 1800 to the

present. A recovery from a cold period is warming. It is mostly this warming

that is causing the present climate change and it is not man-made.  If they

admit the existence of the Little Ice Age, they cannot claim that the global

average temperature unexpectedly increased from 1900.


3a. In addition to the steady recovery from the Little Ice Age, there are

superposed oscillatory changes.  The prominent one is called the

multi-decadal oscillation.


3b. In fact, most of the temperature change from 1800 to 2008 can be

explained by the combination of the recovery from the Little Ice Age and the

multi-decadal oscillation.  If the recovery from the Little Ice Age

continues, the predicted temperature rise will be less than 1°C (2°F) by

2100, not 3~6°C.


4. Because the warming began as early as 1800, not after 1946 (when CO2 in

the atmosphere began to increase rapidly), the Little Ice Age was a sort of

unwanted and inconvenient fact for the IPCC.  (In their voluminous IPCC

report, the Little Ice Age was mentioned casually only once, referring to it

as “the so-called Little Ice Age.”)


5. There are a large number of observations that the Earth has been

recovering from the Little Ice Age from 1800 on, not from 1946 when CO2 is

the atmosphere began to increase rapidly.  For example:

* Receding of glaciers in many part of the world

* Receding of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean

* Change in freezing/melting dates of northern rivers and lakes


6. There is no firm observational confirmation that CO2 is really responsible

for the warming during the last century.  It is simply and assumption or

hypothesis that the IPCC has presented as a fact.


7. The IPCC claims that supercomputer studies confirm the hypothesis.


8. Supercomputers cannot confirm their hypothesis, since they can simply

“tune” their computer programs so as to fit the observations.


9. Although the IPCC predicted that by the year 2100 the temperature will

increase 3~6°C, the temperature has stopped increasing after 2000 and shows

even a decreasing sign.


10. Thus, their prediction failed even during the first decade of the present

century, in spite of the fact that CO2 is still increasing.


11. This means that their CO2 hypothesis and computer programs are shown to

be incorrect, proving that the program was tuned.


12. Why?  Because they ignored natural causes of climate change, such as the

recovery from the Little Ice Age and the multi-decadal oscillation.


13. The stopping of the warming is caused by the fact that the multi-decadal

oscillation, another natural cause, has overtaken the recovery from the

Little Ice Age.


14. In fact, the same thing happened in 1940, and the temperature actually

decreased from 1940 to 1975, in spite of the fact that CO2 began to increase

rapidly in 1946.


15. It was said at that time that a new ice age was coming even by some of

those who now advocate the CO2 hypothesis.


16. If the IPCC could include the physical processes involved in the recovery

from the Little Ice Age and the multi-decadal oscillation, they could have

predicted the stopping of the temperature increase.


17. However, they could not program processes for the recovery from the

Little Ice Age and the multi-decadal oscillation, because the causes of the

Little Ice Age, or the recovery from it, or the multi-decadal oscillation are

not known yet.


18. Thus, the present state of climate change study is still insufficient to

make accurate predictions of future temperature changes. Climate change

studies should go back to basic science, avoiding interference from special

interest groups, including the mass media.


19. Unfortunately, I must conclude that the IPCC manipulated science for its

own purpose and brought the premature science of climate change to the

international political stage, causing considerable confusion and advancing

the completely unnecessary “cap and trade” argument.


20. What is happening now at many climate change conferences is simply an

airing of the struggle between the poor countries trying to seize money from

the rich countries, using the term “climate change” as an excuse.


21. We should stop convening useless international conferences by bureaucrats

and pay much more attention to environmental destructions under global

capitalism.  There is no reason to alarm the general public with predictions

of catastrophic disasters caused by the CO2 effect; and the mass media should

stop reporting premature science results.


22. Basically, what is really needed are effective energy saving efforts by

all countries.


Footnote:  The hockey stick figure, which played the important role in the

IPCC report of 2001, has not officially been withdrawn yet, although it has

since been found to be erroneous.

Syun Akasofu

International Arctic Research Center

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks, AK


Suppose a distinguished scientist with 100s of good publications in one domain retires, and then claims to refute most of the key work in a different domain.  Despite a long familiarity with scientific publishing, he makes his claims in OpEds, interviews, websites rather than the scientific literature.

This is often called:

“Going emeritus”

or PSYCH-5 in reasons for anti-science.

 Dr. Akasofu is one of the saddest cases of this that I’ve ever seen.

I covered it, in fair detail 2 years ago; his comments are embarassingly bad, and one need not be an  expert to see that.

Aksasofu, although a great aurora scientist, is indeed not a legitimate climate scientist.

Since Akasofu is an Astronomer, he is not a credible ‘expert’ witness. For Phlogiston to quote Akasofu as an authority, is a fallacy - Argument by [false] authority. Akasofu has nothing of substance to say concerning climate change. 

His viewpoints are as relevant as Phlogiston’s - Not at all!

Phlogiston’s post is little more than a list of strawman arguments, misleading claims and half truths - nothing has changed!.

Akasofu is one of the discredited scientists who have been linked to Exxon’s propaganda campaign and who appeared in the Great Global Warming Swindle. [Carl Wunsch was the exception, but he was deceived by the programme makers and was quoted out of context] - just one of the many dishonest tricks [e.g. fabricating data] that the programme makers repeatedly used. 

Google ofcomswindlecomplaint

Who is credible?

Modellers are mathematicians and not climate scientists therefore Hansen and Schmidt are out.

Dendros are not real climatologists but biologists that study tree rings therefore Mann is out.

Atmospheric physicists are out because that is physics and not necessarily climatology.

Same for atmospheric chemists

Same for physical oceanographers who study ocean heat changes.

Same for biologist that study ocean acidification as that is not climatology.

……………Actually. Come to think of it, I don’t think there is any such area of study that is definitively climatology. Climatology is a catch-all for scientist that study climate and systems affected by climate. By the way, Hansen is an astronomer too (His MS was in Astronomy and PhD in Physics). So, by your definition (ie astronomers are not credible witnesses) James Hansen is not a credible witness.

You all seem deathly silent on Obama’s and Gore’s multi-million dollar oil company campaign funding!

You’re missing the point. The issue is not about people getting funding from oil companies, but people who are out there promoting an argument that global warminsg isn’t happening, with no scientific evidence to back their claim, who are getting money from oil companies to do so.

You well and truly contradicted yourself. On the one hand the issue is not getting money from oil companies, then on the other getting money from oil companies and then speaking ones mind is an issue. These people do not receive money from oil companies. Most of the money goes to the organisations that these scientists are affiliated with (whether it be a university or a private organisation).

You obviously haven’t heard the news. Exxon-Mobil has withdrawn monetary support  from at least nine of the organisations that you are talking about:

So, Kevin. It is ok for politicians to receive the filthy lucre and not be sullied by it. But if one works for or has some of their science funding from the energy industry then their work is automatically negated? Give me a break. That line of logic would negate probably 30-40% of medical research (funded by pharmaceutical companies). Other scientific research is also negated as many university research projects in Western Australia (where I live) are funded either fully or in part by mining and energy interests.

I am quite sick and tired of this guilt by association tactic that your blog employs. It demeans the work and integrity of a large number of quite superb scientists.

R.S.: “These people do not receive money from oil companies. Most of the money goes to the organisations that these scientists are affiliated with (whether it be a university or a private organisation).”

Money from big oil, coal, etc goes to these organizations and universities who in turn fund these scientists’ speaking engagements and/or “research.” You pay the piper, you call the tune. Pretty simple. That’s raw capitalism. Unless you would have us believe that the money is merely donated altruistically as part of a philanthropic venture, and that the message that comes out of these AGW denial groups and the sources of funding that go into them is all just one big coincidence.

R.S.: “You obviously haven’t heard the news. Exxon-Mobil has withdrawn monetary support  from at least nine of the organisations that you are talking about:”

Yeah, they’ve been announcing that for a couple of years now. Here’s the real story:

“In June of 2008, the Center for Science in the Public Interest pointed out that ExxonMobil announced “for the second consecutive year” that it will cut funding to groups which promote skepticism about global warming. The groups that are supposedly being cut off include the Capital Research Center, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, Frontiers of Freedom Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, and the Institute for Energy Research. However, CSPI pointed out, “Each group continued to receive Exxon funding in 2007 after the company’s first announcement that it would discontinue the payments. Exxon did not immediately return calls seeking comment on how serious it was in following through on its plans.”


R.S.: “I am quite sick and tired of this guilt by association tactic that your blog employs. It demeans the work and integrity of a large number of quite superb scientists.”

So, by your own lights then, scientists who receieved funding from tobacco companies (and/or PR firms) to either speak publically or do research were also “superb scientists” untainted by their association?


1) Akasofu is not an astronomer in any normal sense of the world.  He’s a distinguished aurora scientist, i.e., an intersection between atmopshereic physics and space physics.  His writings on cliamte science make it clear that he hasn’t done any serious work on it, althouhg opines strongly.

2) Hansen is no astronomer either.  He did his PhD in van Allen’s space sciences group, finishing in 1967, when modern climate science was barely getting going, i.e., he’s one of the people who *created* the modern field, and has 40 years of track record in it.

This is as silly as saying “Don Knuth’s PhD was mathematics, so he can’t be a computer scientist.”

(He got his PhD in 1963, i.e., before most CS degrees even existed.)

He obtained his MS from the University of Iowa in 1965 in the field of Astronomy (check his CV). His Ph.D. was also from the Unversity of Iowa, completing in 1967. His thesis was in Astrophysics (this intersects with astronomy). For a major part of his career he worked as an interplanetary climate modeller. He has had no role in the establishment of modern climate science. That was done well before Hansen left primary (elementary) school. Arrhenius is regarded as the major influence on modern climate science.

Also, according to his CV, he has only worked on Earth climate systems since 1989. From 1972 to 1989 he was working of various non earth related space projects.

Hansen’s work is prolific and he has made great contributions to climate modelling and space sicence. Unfortunately, these days he has lost the plot and is now trying to be some sort of climate sage and failing miserably at it.

That list of contrarians is impressive. - I’m not worried about climate much.

My gut feeling is still that the human race doesn’t affect temperatures much and maybe not at all. I remain open for future adjustments on that.

SO, what books have you read on this topic by real climate scientists?
How about lectures by such?

If you haven’t, I can suggest several very good ones for the neral audience, written by world-class researchers.

I’m not likely to dig into books and lectures much and not likely to fix the world either. I read some articles here and some at Climate Progress and bits and pieces from the rest of the internet - so I know just enough to realize that I shouldn’t be too sure of myself and yet I probably know more about climate than the average guy on the street who despite taking no time to look into it is somehow dead sure about man’s effect on climate. What can you say - propaganda works.

1) It’s good that you know enough not to be too sure.  That’s a great first step.

2) But you are sure enough there’s no problem that you wouldn’t even read 1-2 clear books, written  by top-notch climate scientists?  And that if the man-on-the-street simply goes wtih the mainstream science, that’s propaganda?

[Peoplemay accept maisntream  science because they have enough background and have spent time studying it, or because mainstream science has numerous positions, and no one has time to study everything, so people mostly go with the mainstream positions by default so they can get on with it.]

3) Plunging into the maelstrom of blogs is almost guaranteed to be confusing, even if one reads the highest-quality blogs.  [The discussions are often confusing for someone trying to learn, because they’re like trying to understand a murder-mystery by starting halfwqay through  the book.]

4) Please, consider reading 1-2 books to provide a coherent framework for participation in discussions.  I really recommend:

David Archer, The Long Thaw, 2008.

William Ruddiman, Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum, 2005.

Each is ~200 pages of well-written text by, respectively, a carbon-cycle expert and a well-known paleoclimatatologist, both with large numbers of credible scientific publications over decades.

Google Scholar: david carcher carbon, wf ruddiman

(“david archer” alone gets too many mis-hits.  These days, it pays to have a name (like  ruddiman) that Googles well :-))

Good libraries would have them, or you can get them from Amazon for about $15-20 each.  If you go to Amazon, you can  read my detailed reviews on both.

This is a basic level of knowledge, easily attainable by anyone with a high school education, or even in the last few years of high school.  You’ll find blog discussions much easier to follow, and find it easier to weed out nonsense.


You’ve read no books, no scientific journal articles on climate science, just visited a few internet sites, yet you think you know more about the subject than the average guy on the street, and you’ve got a “gut feeling” that humans “probably” don’t affect temperatures much. Yes indeed, propaganda does work.

Here’s one book on the science of the subject that you owe it to yourself to read. It’s even available to read free on line:

The Discovery of Global Warming, by physicist Spencer Weart.

John is working under the mistaken impression that when a scientist with many years of distinguished work behind them takes retirement, they automatically “lose the plot”. Far from it. With the freedom this allows they can now speak their mind, free of political correctness.

I have worked with a number of professors who have “gone erimitus” and they are still very good scientists.


Your attack is pure Alarmist stuff. You find it difficult to argue against the science so you smear the person. It’s called “Going Ad-Hominem”.


During the ‘conference’, Monckton gave a speech which included this gem:

As Maurice Strong, Jacques Chirac and their ilk had always intended, the IPCC will emerge after [the UN Climate Change Conference at] Copenhagen as the prototype and nucleus of a world government. We have already seen this in the EU.

Beware, Americans. The French ex-President wants to take away your guns. Bwahahahahaha. Bwahahahahaha. Bwahahahahaha.



For more than a year, oil giant BP has waged a massive public relations battle to convince Americans that the company has been bamboozled by the oil spill claims process relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout.

This BP PR campaign has involved full-page newspaper ads paid for...

read more