House Committee Hearing To Investigate Coal Lobby’s Fraudulent Letters to Congress

Tue, 2009-10-13 13:24Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

House Committee Hearing To Investigate Coal Lobby’s Fraudulent Letters to Congress

The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming is holding an investigative hearing on Thursday to further probe fraudulent letters sent to Congress by the coal industry’s public relations machine in an effort to derail clean energy and climate legislation.

The committee, chaired by Rep.  Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), has uncovered more than a dozen fraudulent letters sent to several members of Congress by Astroturf specialists Bonner & Associates, who were operating under contract for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE).

Markey’s committee hearing will feature some of the central figures in the controversy, including victims of the fraud.  DeSmogBlog has written extensively on Bonner’s Astroturf work for ACCCE, documenting the disgraced D.C. firm’s attempts to derail passage of the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill.  Fraudulent letters originating from Bonner’s office were sent on behalf of groups representing senior citizens, women, minorities and veterans in a repugnant scam.

Beyond exploring the specific evidence of Bonner’s fraud on Congress at the behest of the coal industry, the hearing will look generally at the practice of Astroturf, a vile public relations tactic sullying current debates over health care and energy legislation.  Industry-funded Astroturf involves the creation of a false appearance of actual grassroots support – often orchestrated by former tobacco lobbyists and fossil fuel industry apologists.


Astroturf is eroding American political discourse, as discussed by DeSmogBlog co-founders Jim Hoggan and Richard Littlemore in their new book Climate Cover-Up.

Check back with DeSmogBlog after the hearing Thursday to learn what the committee has uncovered in the Bonner/ACCCE episode, and how Congress plans to put an end to the shady practice of Astroturf.

Details on Thursday’s Hearing:

WHAT: Select Committee hearing: “Fraudulent Letters Opposing Clean Energy Legislation.”

WHEN: Thursday, October 15, 2009, 9:30 AM

WHERE: 210 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC and online at http://globalwarming.house.gov/

WHO: Witnesses to be announced

Comments

The existence of fraudulent letters and astroturf is surprising to me because coal has real friends and shouldn’t have to rely on anything resembling cheating.

Coal means jobs and that is the issue of the day. The mines and the trains and the powerplants may be ugly but they are here now and they are real and when push comes to shove, coal is not going to lay down. It’s half the power in the US.

If you look around at http://www.americaspower.org/ it becomes pretty clear that they are ready, willing and able to take on the enviros.

The politicians may send a little heat their way, but only just a little. Fighting coal too much is a sure way to bring an untimely end to a political career.

Coal burning pollutes the air and water with substances dangerous to lungs and other organs – sulfur, mercury, etc. – as well as being an important source of CO2.

There are a lot of jobs, which is why some Democratic senators from coal producing states are not keen for a climate bill.

The coal industry is entitled to defend its interests. Why dishonestly? Maybe that is a sign that they are concerned global warming has real traction on Congress.

The hearings may established a facts for orgs whose names got used fraudulently to sue.

And it is past time for investigation of astroturf outfits. Generating lies.

=”And it is past time for investigation of astroturf outfits. Generating lies.”=

Sounds like MoveOn.org days are numbered then too. ;)

Wow. A dozen letters. A part-timer fired. Now let’s go after the real criminals … Greenpeace.

Blows my mind Paul, that you’re so easily swayed by the reasoning of a DC PR spindoctor, yet at the same time dismissive of the decades of scientific evidence pointing to human-induced climate change.

Kevin, I am not swayed by their PR at all. But Greenpeace engages in much more egregious misconduct all the time. And they are applauded for it.

Neither DC spindoctors or Greenpeace will have the final say on what we do concerning AGW, the electorate will. And at present, Canadians will not allow their government to impose draconian measures.

It’s always interesting to hear what people consider to be “egregious misconduct” of Greenpeace. Do you have any examples? I’ll need at least five.

I probably should have made some scientific and political points, but its hard to know where to start. You may ask if you wish. JS

to condescend and offer to answer questions from we poor feeble-minded warmists! May I ask first what qualifications you bring to the discussion that justify your arrogance? Your bumptious tone leads me to suspect that you may be a sock puppet for Shooshmon or EdB, or maybe even the Upperclass Twit of the Year (or any year) himself, Lord Monckton.

Fern Mackenzie

a member for 11 hours

great name though - Jock Shockley - should have been some kind of pro athlete

Fern, it is a pity desmog seems to have deleted my original message - sensitivity to criticism is usually a sign of a weak position.
My essential point related to this being the worst climate change site on the ‘net, which isn’t surprising given its PR nature. Its understanding of the current science of climate change is so weak that it is hard to know where to start even pointing out the errors - its like they haven;t read anything relevant since the Ark.
Let me start, then: on what basis do your believe that CO2 will continue to heat the atmiosphere as its concentration increases. Oh, and don’t bother looking in the IPCC reports: it isn’t there. (So much for a site to be trusted!)

Addressing Fern while misspelling atmosphere is probably not the way to go Jock.

Here are some explanations which might be simple enough for you to understand, even though you are too lazy to find them yourself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming#Greenhouse_gases

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWarming/global_warming_update2.php http://www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk/climate/interface.html

That’s how long I have been a registered poster here, Jock. People like you come & go, but the scientific evidence just keeps piling up. So do your worst. It won’t hold up to the research that is being published every month in Science and Nature, and a whole raft of other reputable journals where the science is actually being discussed on its merits. In a few months (weeks, if we’re lucky) you will be but a fondly remembered little troll, like Rob, for example.

Your original post was probably deleted because it had nothing relevant to say, and according to the comments policy, “we will delete comments that are abusive, off-topic or use offensive language.” For my part, I wish it were still available to demonstrate how completely removed from reality is your starting position.

So type your fingers to stubs for all I care. It won’t make any difference whatsoever.

all the best

Fern Mackenzie

Fern: All that time, and you’re still missing the science. “Science” and “Nature” are howlers like realclimate.org, the BBC, ABC, Monbiot, and IPCC - they climbed on a bandwagon and, now that the science has left them behind, can’t credibly climb off.
I suggest you broaden your reading list. There is no actual scientific support for anthopogenic global warming, despite the self-congratulatory maunderings of the above.
No, I probably won’t spend alot of time here. I have yet to find anything relevant to the science, but it amusing in its presumption.
I may just wander off and leave you to your lack of investigative abilities. Or I may stay and challenge you to support your assertions. Or I may just challenge you to chase the science instead of believing whatever pap you’ve been fed.
Monckton, eh? I suppose you prefer St Al’s hollywood version, despite the enormous inaccuracies?

Like I said, in a few weeks you will have dropped off the radar.

Goodbye
FM

Fern: Hardly the issue. The real question id “will you have learned anything while I have been here?” You are clearly not keeping up with the changing science, relying on old speculations. I suppose you just clench down in your bunker hoping that all those who disagree with you will just go away. Such a scientific spirit.
When we have all moved on and this AGW thing is just an embarrassing joke, will you be the last holdout believer behind whose back everybody laughs?

You really are an arrogant SOB, aren’t you? Learn anything from you? Give up. If you aren’t Monckton you are certainly a Brenchley-wannabe.

I have better things to do than respond to the likes of you. That is all.

John Tyndall”s experiment done in 1859, since repeated with more accurate modern equipment, shows CO2 absorbs heat.
You can repeat Tyndall”s experiment for yourself.

CO2 absorbs and radiates logarithmically. It is almost saturated now

The radiation is in all directions, with only 30% or so coming back

The absorption of light is in two narrow frequency bands, ie, only a small amount of the radiated energy is trapped

Water vapour is immensely more heat trapping and radiating

Ocean heat retention is immensely larger than the atmosphere

At the end of this “real world” calculation, it leaves your high school physics experiment with a tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny influence on the global mean temperature( how about 0.5C or less?). It is irrelevent to anything.

Here’s an expert who explains at the link why EdB is wrong, and who concludes:

…So, if a skeptical friend hits you with the “saturation argument” against global warming, here’s all you need to say: (a) You’d still get an increase in greenhouse warming even if the atmosphere were saturated, because it’s the absorption in the thin upper atmosphere (which is unsaturated) that counts (b) It’s not even true that the atmosphere is actually saturated with respect to absorption by CO2, (c) Water vapor doesn’t overwhelm the effects of CO2 because there’s little water vapor in the high, cold regions from which infrared escapes, and at the low pressures there water vapor absorption is like a leaky sieve, which would let a lot more radiation through were it not for CO2, and (d) These issues were satisfactorily addressed by physicists 50 years ago, and the necessary physics is included in all climate models… http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument/

I was not talking about water vapour saturation. I was talking about the logrithmic decline in CO2 to absorb then reflect stop outbound radiation.

If you do not understand that, just say so.

You didn’t read the article.

To start with, it is typical RealClimate, dripping with arrogance, but anyway:

“So, if a skeptical friend hits you with the “saturation argument” against global warming, here’s all you need to say: (a) You’d still get an increase in greenhouse warming even if the atmosphere were saturated, because it’s the absorption in the thin upper atmosphere (which is unsaturated) that counts (b) It’s not even true that the atmosphere is actually saturated with respect to absorption by CO2, (c) Water vapor doesn’t overwhelm the effects of CO2 because there’s little water vapor in the high, cold regions from which infrared escapes, and at the low pressures there water vapor absorption is like a leaky sieve, which would let a lot more radiation through were it not for CO2, and (d) These issues were satisfactorily addressed by physicists 50 years ago, and the necessary physics is included in all climate models”

OK.. sounds good. Now, if there was any science here, they would show the actual changes to the outbound radiation, and the actual temperature changes in the upper atmosphere. Lets cut to the chase, they present NO PROOF. I have read a paper showing little reduction in outbound radiation, and NO upper atmosphere warming. Thus the hypothesis as put forth at Climate Science has been falsified. You need to go beyond the bullshite words and ask for PROOF. I find it hilarious that even today, there is NO PROOF of the warmist hypothesis(as much as 4 60 6 C warming). If there was, Gavin Schmidt would have presented it in this blog article. I expect the CO2 sensitivity to be about 0.5 C. hardly a problem.(a big part of the uncertainty is the temperature record itself, which has been “lost” by the Hadley Center. A. Watts is doing an audit of USA stations, and I fully expect the temperature record to be adjusted down. Thus my 0.5 C as opposed to many who say 1 C warming.

Cite the paper you claim to have read.

And of course, you did not bother to read the comments, did you, or check the links, or you would have found Part II: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument-part-ii/

I said I agree there is some greenhouse effect. Just the same, the CO2 warming theory has been falsified many times, stating with CO2 lagging temperature in the ice core record, followed by the lack of stratosphere warming hot spot, followed by too large OLR.

I expect the amount of heating(sensitivity) to be 0.5 C,ie, about 1/10th some of the warmist predicitons.

Why do you have a problem with that? The difference between you and me is that I do not accept the alarmist statements such as we are going to be under 20 feet of water as Greenland is going to melt by 2030.(Greenpeace ad).. then there is Al Gore.. and the Mann etc hockey sticks..

You have to drink cool aid to believe that.

Now how about you showing me PROOF of the CO2 warming.. not models, not tallking points.. real evidence of warming where it can not better be attributed to natural variations such as ENSO, PDO, baricenter modulation of the sun, cosmic ray cloud changes.. come on.. give me PROOF, as the IPCC would love to have it too.

Try and explain the PETM without invoking any greenhouse gases.

I challenge you.

you have not delivered.. you gave me more blather…

I asked you for a citation first and you have not delivered.

You cannot provide any PROOF of AGW, so you engage in useless questions. Even worse, you go to RealClimate to to find Coles Notes of useless arguements so you can pretend to know something. If you had any PROOF, or if RealClimate had any PROOF, or if IPCC had any PROOF of AGW, you would find it and post it. The sad truth is, none will be forthcoming because you can’t find it, neither can they.

cya, cool aid drinker..

Where is the citation for the article you said you had read? On Friday Oct 16/09 at 16:37 in this thread you wrote: “…I have read a paper showing little reduction in outbound radiation, and NO upper atmosphere warming. …”

http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL039628-pip.pdf

And that paper talks about this, that you wrote above:

“…OK.. sounds good. Now, if there was any science here, they would show the actual changes to the outbound radiation, and the actual temperature changes in the upper atmosphere. Lets cut to the chase, they present NO PROOF. I have read a paper showing little reduction in outbound radiation, and NO upper atmosphere warming…”

But it looks like there are some questions about the data Lindzen and Choi chose to use:

http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2009/08/quick-comment-on-lindzen-and-choi.html

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/08/plimers-homework-assignment/#comment-134494

And for you to suggest that one paper is convincing proof that AGW isn’t happening is silly.

You asked for proof, i.e.:
“real evidence of warming where it can not better be attributed to natural variations such as ENSO, PDO, baricenter modulation of the sun, cosmic ray cloud changes”.

The PETM cannot be better attributed to ANY of these variations. You HAVE to invoke greenhouse gases to explain the warming. There you go: proof.

I want to read your source, and do not send me to RealClimate, I want the peer reviewed paper.

You can start with
http://www.geosc.psu.edu/people/faculty/personalpages/tbralower/Bowenetal2006.pdf
and references therein. Note this last part: “and references therein”.

Now find yourself a ‘sceptic’ paper which tries to explain the PETM with anything but greenhouse gases as the main driving force of temperatures. Even E&E doesn’t have one.

“There is other evidence to suggest that warming predated the δ13C excursion by some 3,000 years.[13]”

What? Are you spoofing me? The evidence is that temps drove the rise in CO2. Same as now, and in the ice cores.

Yes, *some* warming predated the PETM. The sudden (further) rise in temperatures simply cannot be explained by anything but greenhouse gases. You sure know how to cherry-pick one byline in an article, and disregard the rest. Then again, this is common practice of the deniers.

So you say..

So provide it please.

Having no other explaination for warming is not a scientific answer. It is a cop out. The creationists use this line all the time..(God created heaven and earth)

I offered an evaluation of your PTEM arguement by posting an opinion straight off of Wikipedia. Good enough for me for openers.

The ball is in your court, as you are making the assertions.. give me PROOF

I’ll take this one separate, since it is a separate issue. Please answer the following questions:

1. What warming of the past is driving the current increase in CO2 to values not seen since 15 million years?

2. How is it possible that the carbon isotope pattern shows the main source of the increase to be ancient-old carbon sources (i.e., mainly fossil fuels), if the CO2 increase is NOT caused by anthropogenic emissions?

If you can answer those two questions, consider writing a paper to Nature or Science. If you can’t, apologise.

1. none

2. I, agree, CO2 is being added by humans.

No need to write any papers, as I have NO evidence of AGW due to CO2. I keep asking the “experts” here for proof, and so far, none is provided.(IPCC does not have it either, other than bogus hockey sticks, now discreditied by McIntyre)

You just said, “I said I agree there is some greenhouse effect.”

A couple of weeks ago, after 450 hours of reading, you said, “CO2 has not heated the earth,”.

How do you get a greenhouse effect without the action of greenhouse gases?

VJ: I was hoping to raise your level of scientific understanding, not mire it in the gratuitously simplistic. Wiki? Please. Modelling? Yawn (yet to get much right). NASA’s Climate 101 seems to be about the level of this site.
Perhaps you should actually do some real research - may I suggest the relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and atmospheric temperatures? I would suggest some links, but I have found people take more notice when they do their own research and unlearn some of the pap they have been fed. There is a graph of the above relationship - examine it closely, read up about it, then I welcome your discussion.
RickJames: sorry about the typo. I work for a living, so I’d rather spend my limited time checking my facts than my spelling.
Fern: You there?

Well, your condescending post suggests you are one of the denialists who cry that historically CO2 lags warming, without ever learning that warming can be started by one agent and continued by others.

If not that, then explain yourself more clearly; and provide links, or admit that you just made it all up.

And learn to use the reply button, or is that too simplistic for your lordship?

VJ, don’t waste your time on this fellow. He/she is a swaggering troll. I thought it might be Monckton himself at first, given the grandiose style of his/her first post, but on reflection I doubt it. Hasn’t quite got the twit thing down pat. No threats to sue, for one thing.

See my post “2 years 11 weeks” above, or below – I’ve lost track. He will go by the wayside.

Cheers Fern

Troll? lol. That’s it?
Are you that unsure of your views that you can’t debate.
Sadly, typical of alarmists generally.

You’re not debating, you are just making snotty remarks without backing them up. If you want to argue science, go to a real science blog. Here we talk about the sleazy tactics used by denialist trolls such as yourself; so you are providing a useful example - All sneer, no substance.

VJ: I need to find a starting point at a level you seem conmfortable with. This site isn’t very good about its understanding of science.

Science says that increasing the concentration of atmospheric CO2 can NOT keep forcing atmospheric temperatures up to the levels you say. CO2 has done pretty much all of its atmospheric heating, and will have a drastically reducing heating effect up to about 600ppm, at which point it can heat NO further.

This is basic atmospheric chemistry. You should know this!

So, knowing that CO2 can NOT cause heating to the level you speculate about, what are you trying to achieve?

I am interested in any counter argument you can find. Alternatively, disprove what I have said above.

No, you are lying about how science works and about CO2. There are layers of atmosphere. None of them are saturated with CO2. Therefore the addition of CO2 will cause more warming.

Real scientists explain how it works at this link. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument/

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