Don't Be Fooled: Fossil Fools Fund Latest Climate Skeptic Petition

Sun, 2011-04-17 15:41Emma Pullman
Emma Pullman's picture

Don't Be Fooled: Fossil Fools Fund Latest Climate Skeptic Petition

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) recently published a flashy headline that reads, 900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm’. The article links to a blog post on Populartechnology.net listing more than 900 papers which, according to the GWPF, refute “concern relating to a negative environmental or socio-economic effect of AGW, usually exaggerated as catastrophic.”

The “900+ papers” list is supposed to somehow prove that a score of scientists reject the scientific consensus on climate change. One might be persuaded by the big numbers. We’re not.

Oh, where to begin? First, a note of caution about the Global Warming Policy Foundation. It’s a UK group opposing climate change action. Sourcewatch’s digging reveals links to right-wing libertarian climate change deniers. According to the UK Charity Commission, GWPF’s mandate is to “advance the public understanding of global warming and of its possible consequences, and also of the measures taken or proposed to be taken in response to it”. Actually, they’re a heck of a lot more interested in sowing seeds of doubt than in disseminating knowledge. The GWPF’s director is the Heartland Institute’s* Benny Peiser, climate change denier extraordinaire. Other notable members include Canada’s Ross McKitrick of the Fraser Institute.   

Curiously, the GWPF was launched just as the Climategate emails were released. An op-ed by Chairman Nigel Lawson announced the GWPF, predicted the (hopeful) failure of the Copenhagen climate talks, and called for an inquiry into the content of the stolen emails.

Using a screen-scraping process to analyze the data on the “900+” list, the folks over at Carbon Brief dug up some pretty incriminating information. Turns out nine of the ten most cited authors on the list (representing 186 of the 938 papers) have links to ExonMobil-funded organizations. The tenth has co-authored several papers with Exxon-funded contributors. Anyone familiar with these kinds of lists (“More than 500 scientists dispute global warming” or “more Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims”) knows that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.  Many familiar climate skeptic names appear over and over again.

Dr. Sherwood B Idso is the most cited author on the list, having authored or co-authored 67 of the papers. Idso is president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a think tank funded by ExxonMobil and the Sarah Scaife Foundation

The second most cited is Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, a well-known climate sceptic who admits that around 40% of his funding comes from the oil industry.

When you really crunch the numbers, all you really find is a small echochamber of the same individuals who pop up on every denier list and petition around. James W. Prall at the University of Toronto has put together a fantastic analysis of the names that appear on these lists, and shows how most of them share funding ties to the oil industry. 

Now a note on the most cited journals on this list. Articles from trade journal Energy and Environment are cited 137 times on the list. Energy and Environment is edited by Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen and Benny Peiser. Numerous known climate skeptics sit on the editorial staff including Sallie Baliunas, Patrick Michaels, Ross McKitrick, and Richard Lindzen.  The journal has become a go-to resource for policymakers and politicians who are skeptical of the scientific consensus of climate change. 

Michael Ashley of the University of New South Wales has described it as “the climate sceptic’s journal of choice”. The Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge is considered a key resource for establishing the credentials and influence of key academic journals. It does not list Energy and Environment.  

A further 24 papers come from the journal Climate Research which is perhaps best known for publishing a 2003 paper by Sallie Baliunas and Willy Soon that received funding from the American Petroleum Institute. In response to the paper’s publication, the editor in chief, Hans Von Storch, and five of ten members of the editorial board, resigned in protest.

Let’s contrast this “900+ list” with the real facts. Expert Credibility in Climate Changewhich appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examines over 2,400 climate scientists and authors who have signed public statements on climate change. Their research says that 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field believe that global warming is happening, and that we must respond to it.

A note to deniers: if you keep publishing these lists, we’ll keep debunking them. Long lists might look convincing, but they’re no substitute for research that is free of fossil fuel industry bias and is taken seriously by the scientific community. 

*Updated: Peiser is listed as one of the global warming ‘experts’ by the Heartland Institute, but does not work there.

Image Credit: Prospect Magazine

Comments

So if you make up strawman arguments the author is required to respond to them anyway?

Surely the real conspiracy theory here is the one about the huge oil company funded plot to “deny” the science of climate change. Alarmists outspend skeptics by a factor of thousands, yet still all we hear is that an industry funded campaign is preventing the “message” from getting through, by spreading “disinformation” and “anti science propaganda”.

Face it guys, your message is failing because your message is unconvincing to the educated public. And if you keep insulting the public by implying they are so stupid as to be convinced by a budget priced denial conspiracy - well, thats not going to win you any converts.

Maybe I shouldn’t tell you guys this, so you keep shooting yourselves in the foot:)

“Which means I seek real world evidence, not computer games.”

You are making so sense. The evidence is everywhere for you to see, yet you ignore it:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/The-many-lines-of-evidence-for-global-warming-in-a-single-graphic.html

http://www.skepticalscience.com/10-Indicators-of-a-Human-Fingerprint-on-Climate-Change.html

And stop using conspiracy theories as an excuse for sub-par skeptic propoganda not making the cut in science journals. So you agree then that “skeptics” were up to no good at climateResearch….you did not deny it.

I have read many articles at Skeptical Science, but have yet to find one that wasn’t chock full of lies, unsupported assertions, and links which dont support his argument. Whats more, his mistakes are frequently pointed out to him, but he never corrects his posts, implying a degree of dishonesty rather than mere incompetence.

So linking to this loser is not going to impress me, or anyone with any degree of scientific literacy.

It seems to me you use “skeptical and “sub par” as synonyms. Which is not uncommon in this field, but goes a long way to explain why this area of science is held in such wide disrepute. In real science, scepticism is not merely a virtue, but a requirement. In climate science, all virtue comes from adherence to the party line.

More of a cult than a science, really..

Can I point out the irony of your comment above given that you have just made several unsubstantiated accusations and ad hominem attacks against John Cook. That only goes to show your true colours, and they aint pretty. And you repeatedly making references to religion inn a science debate” is not helping your case– again an argument from emotion by you. You need to please calm down and start thinking logically and rationally about this, and instead of hand waving, make some substantive comments.

“So linking to this loser is not going to impress me, or anyone with any degree of scientific literacy.”

Well, I have no idea what your scientific credential are, but your behaviour here is not consistent with a reasonable and rational scientist. Also, George Mason University begs to differ with you, as do the scientists at the AGUs fall meeting last year who commended Johns efforts.

I agree I made some accusations, but they are well substantiated, Mr Cooks modus operandi is well known. For a useful critique of his first hundred or so posts, http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/03/john-cook-skeptical-science.html is long, but illuminating

Cooks main purpose is so that alarmists can link to a post there and say “thats been debunked” - it fools the credulous, and those who want to believe.

Im sure George Mason University would disagree with me - its recently earned a reputation as the University where only one opinion is allowed. Thats his target audience alright!

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/13/george-mason-university-climate-change-communicator-of-the-year-where-only-one-viewpoint-is-allowed/

Yes Im harsh on Cook. He deserves it, because he should know better.

Your claim is absolutely bogus and was completely discredited by the Climategate emails,

http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=340&filename=1057944829.txt

“The criticisms of Soon and Baliunas (2003) CR article raised by Mike Hume in his 16 June 2003 email to you was not raised by the any of the four referees I used (but is curiously similar to points raided by David Appell!). Keep in mind that referees used were selected in consultation with a paleoclimatologist. Five referees were selected based on the guidance I received. All are reputable paleoclimatologists, respected for their expertise in reconstruction of past climates. None (none at all) were from what Hans [von Storch] and Clare have referred to as “the other side” or what Hulme refers to as people well known for their opposition to the notion that humans are significantly altering global climate.” One of the five referees turned down the request to review explaining he was busy and would not have the time. The remaining four referees sent their detailed comments to me. None suggested the manuscript should be rejected. S&B were asked to respond to referees comments and make extensive alterations accordingly. This was done.” - Chris de Freitas

“I have learned one thing. This is that the reviewer who said they were too busy was Ray [presumably Bradley, a known hockey team member]. […]

I believe his paleoclimatologist is likely to be Anthony Fowler [not a skeptic]” - Phil Jones

Sorry you post of seemingly randomly copy and pasted text does not make sense.

DeepClimate, Mashey and others who have looked into these matters would disagree with your POV, but believe what you wish.

If you don’t understand the argument about this paper and the events that happened relating to the journal then it is no wonder the email does not make any sense to you. DeepClimate and Mashey have no refuted this.

By your own standards they HAVE refuted it. You yourself make any comment or reply a “refutation”. Just see how you proclaim anything you write yourself as a “refutation” of what others have said. Or how G&T’s reply, which is mostly non-responsive, is supposedly a “refutation”. By that standard, DC and John Mashey have provided a refutation yourself.

But I already established you are a hypocrite, using double standards.

What I write is a refutation that is why it is stated as such.

Hmm - I wonder if the sand they have their heads stuck in hasn’t alerted them that things are heating up below and above? Val

Quite apart from any consideration of the topic under discussion, it is extremely instructive to compare the tenor of the comments on each side of this debate. Things started fairly civil, but are now fully vitriolic-WTF?

Why do you guys find it so necessary to insult people who dont agree with you? Can you not summon the decency to have a civil debate, or are you SO outraged that someone might not be reading from the same hymn book that you go off the rails at ANY challenge to your beliefs?

This debate is badly in need of adult supervision!

What a nerve you have criticizing people for showing how dishonest and scurrilous you and poptech are.

The reason that people get upset is that all you have is dishonesty and libelous comment on honest scientists.

I am surprised that the people running this blog allow such dishonesty and libelous comments to go un-moderated. I guess that you people see an opportunity with an un-moderated blog and do your best to spread your smears and dishonesty knowing that they will not be moderated and thrown in the garbage can where they belong.

The only blogs where you people are now banned are the ones that are conducted in a rational manner.

Why are you so dense that you cannot see that for yourself?

More insults. How predictable. And pointless. You’re not impressing anyone, you know

Funny you should accuse me of libeling honest scientists. Have you read the post at the top of this thread? It implies that every scientist who has ever had any funding or connection with any industry is dishonest and corrupt. How can you get any more libelous than that?

Allow me to use a recurring Poptechism to respond to this: “These are not insults, just the irrefutable facts.”

Personally, I find the science convincing that human emissions are forcing the climate to warm. I have not read any papers from the skeptic side that are convincing in undermining this concensus. Peter Wilson is free to have his own view.

Of the scientists who support the scientific concensus, I highly respect most of them. I find scientists like Lindzen, Plimer, Carter, etc are not convincing. It is particularly undermining thata they do not admit to the basic evidence presented throughout the body of research on climate.

Please find and quote Dr. Lindzen’s actual position on AGW and then explain what part you disagree with and how your position supports the “basic evidence presented throughout the body of research on climate.”

what now you are Lindzens personal defender? This is what Lindzen recently told Australians:

“The crucial thing is sensitivity: you know, what do you expect a doubling of CO2 to do? If it’s only a degree, then you could go through at least two doublings and probably exhaust much of your fossil fuel before you would do anything that would bother anyone”

And this:

“[CO2 limits are] a heavy cost for no benefit, and it’s no benefit for you, no benefit for your children, no benefit for your grandchildren, no benefit for your great-great-great-great-grandchildren. I mean, what’s the point of that?”

and

“For a lot of people it is also something I call “the quest for cheap virtue”, people need a cause…and they sorta feel puffed up by having a cause like saving the Earth, and they don’t really care that they are hurting people, that they may be involved in an immoral cause, and so on, they’re perfectly happy to just go along with it because they were told it’s virtuous”

Well, he has me convinced of his impartiality. Not.

Again please state his position on AGW and the “basic evidence” he is not accepting. Make sure to include his scientific argument against what it is you are complaining about. If you cannot provide it, that means you have no idea what Dr. Lindzen’s position is nor can you claim he is not accepting “basic evidence” of anything.

Lindzen claims that climate sensitivity to doubling CO2 is +0.7 C– he concluded about 0.56 k in L&C09, but apparently his yet-to-be published paper ups that a little to ~0.7. That is at odds with a whole lot of physics and science and multiple independent lines of evidence (see citations in Knutti and Hegerl 2008)

He also thinks that is one were to remove all the CO2 that the planet would only cool by 2.5 C. Lacis et al. (2010), and others, have shown that statement of Lindzen to be very wrong.

Im not going to play whack-a-mole with you Andrew…..the above comments made by Lindzen are unprofessional and damning, feel free to defend them, but it wont do you any good.

Lindzen is making predictions too, funny how unskeptical you and your friends are of those predictions. Also a Emanuel recently said:

“[B]eware those who deride predictive science in its entirety, for they are also making a prediction: that we have nothing to worry about. And above all, do not shoot the messenger, for this is the coward’s way out of openly and honestly confronting the problem.”

So you have failed to provide his scientific arguments against your claims let alone quote his actual position on AGW.

None of Lindzen’s comments were unprofessional in the least.

You have failed to even begin to “play” because you don’t even know the scientific position of someone you are attempting to criticize.

My point was that I am not convinced that those denying that AGW is happening are correct and I have seen enough of Lindzen to include him in that group..

I have more respect for the vastly more numerous scientists who support the basic science - more green house gases means more warming.

I don’t care to enter into Poptech’s debate as I see no value in debating with him.

“I don’t care to enter into Poptech’s debate as I see no value in debating with him.”

I agree Ricki. But it is fun to see him squirm and the cognitive and logical gymnastics are very entertaining :) but I admit, i am growing very bored with this, time to move on.

I haven’t “squirmed” once and have completely refuted all of your nonsense repeatedly.

Ricki, you don’t even know what the “basic science” means as it is a talking point you are just mindlessly repeating. You don’t know what Dr. Lindzen’s position on AGW is because you cannot quote it thus you cannot support your false claim, that he does not support the “basic evidence presented throughout the body of research on climate.”

Dr Lindzen’s credentials are impeccable,

Richard S. Lindzen, A.B. Physics Magna Cum Laude, Harvard University (1960), S.M. Applied Mathematics, Harvard University (1961), Ph.D. Applied Mathematics, Harvard University (1964), Research Associate in Meteorology, University of Washington (1964-1965), NATO Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Theoretical Meteorology, University of Oslo (1965-1966), Research Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research (1966-1967), Visiting Lecturer in Meteorology, UCLA (1967), NCAR Outstanding Publication Award (1967), AMS Meisinger Award (1968), Associate Professor and Professor of Meteorology, University of Chicago (1968-1972), Summer Lecturer, NCAR Colloquium (1968, 1972, 1978), AGU Macelwane Award (1969), Visiting Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Tel Aviv University (1969), Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (1970-1976), Gordon McKay Professor of Dynamic Meteorology, Harvard University (1972-1983), Visiting Professor of Dynamic Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1975), Lady Davis Visiting Professor, Department of Meteorology, The Hebrew University (1979), Director, Center for Earth and Planetary Physics, Harvard University (1980-1983), Robert P. Burden Professor of Dynamical Meteorology, Harvard University (1982-1983), AMS Charney Award (1985), Vikram Amblal Sarabhai Professor, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India (1985), Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship (1986-1987), Distinguished Visiting Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA (1988-Present), Sackler Visiting Professor, Tel Aviv University (1992), Landsdowne Lecturer, University of Victoria (1993), Bernhard Haurwitz Memorial Lecturer, American Meteorological Society (1997), Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow, American Geophysical Union, Fellow, American Meteorological Society, Member, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Member, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Member, National Academy of Sciences, ISI Highly Cited Researcher, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1983-Present), Lead Author, IPCC (2001)

You have “respect” for scientists who share your ideology and just knee-jerk reject scientists who you do not even bother to find our what their position is on the subject. All you heard was that Dr. Lindzen was a skeptic and therefore you should be against him. Time to go do some research and come back with a scientific argument against his and stop peddling propaganda you heard somewhere else.

Jeez. Whats this fascination you have with lists? Regardless of Lindzens CV he can not support his claims. Lindzen Choi 2009 was crushed by Trenberth to the point where their rebuttal is very unlikely to be accepted for publication.

Lindzen blows a lot of smoke for the body politic but is not putting out any convincing science at all.

Lindzen has always supported his claims. He accepted the valid criticisms or his paper and corrected them,

On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications
(Submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research, February 2010)
- Richard S. Lindzen, Yong-Sang Choi

http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/Lindzen_Choi_ERBE_JGR_v4.pdf

“This work was subject to 28 significant criticism by Trenberth et al. [2009], much of which was appropriate. The present 29 paper is an expansion of the earlier paper in which the various criticisms are addressed and 30 corrected.”

Remember, Lindzen admitted, in your own quote, it was wrong…

He admitted he accepted the criticism, corrected them and they do not change his argument.

So you keep an article on the list (same with Barrett’s article, BTW) that the author has admitted is wrong.

The standard of the deniosphere in a nutshell…

Not wrong in it’s conclusion but simply has some errors in it that do not change the results. Thus there is no reason to remove it.

Delusional isn’t even the right word for you anymore.

Please quote Lindzen then.

Has anybody read the funding acknowledgements of the CRU? Down the bottom of the ‘History’ page…

British Petroleum
Central Electricity Generating Board
Eastern Electricity
Irish Electricity Supply Board
National Power
Shell
Sultanate of Oman

Been there, done that….see waaay up thread.

And still a devastating riposte to the view that funding determines results of research, the theme of this thread.

Game, set and match actually, wouldnt you say?

Good gracious, has uWatts sent over his mignons to smite us and shut/shout us down?

Told you Emma. Those in denial about the theory of AGW are going to turn this thread into a circus.

No one sent anyone anywhere, I am here to correct various lies, misinformation and strawman arguments stated about my list.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… Thats what you always say, Andrew. Any normal human would have finally gotten the point by now and understood that the list holds no value. Zip. Nada. Zilch. A great big Zero.

For a list that allegedly holds “no value” everyone is sure wasting a lot of energy to make sure no one reads any of the papers on it.

Thats right, Andrew. You force us into a position where we have to address sources of disinformation on the science of climate change.

Far from wanting people to not read the papers, I want them to! I only want to make sure that the papers you present get put in the proper context of the broader body of climate science. You list is full of error riddled papers from E&E, a long list of already refuted papers, a large number of papers which the authors themselves say absolutely do not support what you say they support, and I want people to realize that even a falsely pumped up list like this still represents a very tiny fraction of the actual peer reviewed literature on climate.

Long and short… Your list is worthless.

Lying that it is disinformation does not make it so. You do realize that all your failed efforts has dramatically increased traffic to the list?

The papers from E&E are not error ridden and all published criticisms have been refuted by the authors.

What do I say they support? Make sure to quote me for each paper.

You have utterly failed to demonstrate that the list is a tiny fraction of anything because you are so incompetent you cannot count to 1001.

I thoroughly enjoyed educating you on how Google Scholar works.

It is such a shame to see good time wasted trying to refute the denialist claims.

Thankyou for the article Emma. Keep up the good work.

Nothing has been refuted because the following has not been proven,

Prove that the list is dominated by scientists who actually receive money from fossil fuel companies. That has not been done here. It is falsely implied that if a scientist went to a meeting for coffee and donuts hosted by an organization that in the last 20 years received a $5 donation from a fossil fuel company unrelated to science that scientist is now “funded by the fossil fuel industry”. Please provide actual documents irrefutably demonstrating direct fossil fuel company funding.

Then prove that the very few scientists on the list who have received minor direct donations from energy companies over the last 20 years have received enough energy company funding to sustain all their research over this time period (make sure to divide by 20).

Finally prove that a single skeptical scientist changed their scientific position regarding AGW due to a monetary donation from anyone not just energy companies.

Youre a funny guy, Poptech.

*Crickets*

One thing that is important to understand about Andrew/Poptech is, this is not about science for him. Hes not a scientist. Hes a SYSOP. This is political for him. He defend the list because he believes that it furthers his political causes, namely, that being extreme Libertarian. The climate change issue for Andrew is about the potential for a carbon tax. He thinks a free and unfettered marketplace will cure all ills.

I suspect the same holds true for Peter Wilson too.

These guys are trying to replace our democracy with a plutocracy.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

This is false I am a computer analyst, trained as a computer scientist.

Defense of the list has nothing to do with politics let alone “extreme” libertarianism as I am not an anarcho-capitalist. To continue you political discussion, only someone as economically illiterate as yourself would believe a constitutionally limited government has anything to do with a “plutocracy”. That is what you get for taking an “economics” class in a public school. We don’t live in a “Democracy” (thank God) but a Constitutional Republic.

I created the list because I was tired of all the lies about these papers not existing.

Andrew… There are no lies that bad papers exist nor that refuted papers exist. There are no lies that papers that you claim refute AGW are actually papers that the authors claim do exactly the opposite.

There are no lies. There is only your skewed and politically motivated view of the issue.

Pages

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The headline on The Australian newspaper’s story about a leak of a major United Nations climate change report read “We got it wrong on warming, says IPCC”.

But an investigation by Australia’s press watchdog has found that in fact, it was the Murdoch-owned national newspaper that “got it wrong”.

The Australian Press Council has upheld complaints about the coverage, led by a story from the newspaper’s environment editor Graham Lloyd.

The council also found the...

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