PART 1. Inside the machinery of doubt - money, think tanks, politicians and “experts” all agree in Texas
Will Happer rebranded part of the George C. Marshall Institute (GMI) as the CO2 Coalition (“CO2Co”) in 2015, but was little noticed, as GMI finally ended “not with a bang but a whimper.” Gayathri Vaidyanathan reported in EENews:
“Happer said that the funding from fossil fuel companies to the Marshall Institute has dried up in recent years because of the negative press. “You can forget about asking money from Exxon; they send all their money to Stanford [University] or to Princeton [University] for greenwashing,” he said.
In fact, foundations that are interested in national security also declined to donate, he said. So the board members of Marshall convened this summer and decided to refocus their energies on climate change.'
Texas is a fine place to drill for help on climate denial. A recent Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF)T Austin conference attracted oil/coal executives, economists, lawyers, think tankers and perhaps potential funders. Peabody Energy “donated” $40K to TPPF during 2014-2015, according to recent bankruptcy documents (p.776).
Politicians included Senator Ted Cruz by video, and in person, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Senate Majority Whip John Corbyn and Rep. Lamar Smith.a
This meeting offers a good example of the spinning gears in the machinery of doubt — what Senators recently dubbed the Web of Denial — as fossil fuel money fuels clouds of dubious “science” and economics eagerly accepted by an enthusiastic audience. This long post can do no more than provide an overview and a few examples of the pervasive nonsense, but people can sample the videos for more.
TPPF works hard to defend business against Federal agencies, claiming overreach, and against local ordinances, claiming inconsistency. Tobacco Petroleum Plastics Frackingb seems a better fit than anything involving Public.
TPPF2015 seemed a one-day Texas-style Heartland Institute Climate Conference, with at least 14 speakers in common (H).
TPPF gave prominent roles to Happer and 5 other CO2 Coalition affiliates in Austin, November 19-20.
On December 8, Peabody-connected Happer testified in the Senate for Cruz. By mid-January, CO2Co had recruited signatures of “300 scientists” for a letter (CO2Co2016) to help Smith harass NOAA, signed by fossil-industry people, retired physicists, chemists, doctors, bloggers, think tankers, at least one dentist and random others, but few climate scientists.
At least 90% fit the only obvious criterion for inclusion: publicly reject human causation of climate change.
Fred Singer pioneered the use of overblown climate denial sign-on letters from the early 1990s, but since 2008, Happer has signed or organized at least 10. Some letters invite the public, but most recruit through tightly-connected social networks likely to avoid premature exposure. Such lists can seem impressive until one carefully checks the signers and compares them with more credible lists, such as one that collected 2800+ scientists in less than a week.c
People are welcome to sign such letters! They really help exposure of the social networks and demographics of climate denial and create permanent records that help calibrate signer credibility.. The earlier Happer-led APS2009 was invaluable, and 62 of its 228 signers lent their names here. Many of the same names appear again and again.
Chronology around GMI–>CO2Co, Lamar Smith and letter-writing
2014.06.23 Letter to Smith (“SMITH2014”) vs EPA, signed by ~87 (Happer and 45 other CO2Co2016 signers.)
2015.03.15 Patrick Moore Tweets letter to Museums (CO2Co2015), by ~79 (Happer, 52 more CO2Co2016 signers.)
2015.04.06 CO2Co registered in Virginia.
2015.05.xx CO2Co granted 501(c)(3) status, via application that lists Happer as President
2015.06.01-2015.09.xx Happer, Lindzen expert witnesses in Minnesota for Peabody Energy
2015.06.14 Letter from Smith to NOAA on Karl, et al(2015) in Science, chronology by NOAA head Kathryn Sullivan later.
2015.10.28 Final dissolution of GMI announced.
2015.11.19-20 CO2Co people play major role at TPPF's Energy & Climate Policy Summit, with Smith and Cruz
2015.12.07 About 600 Americans write letters supporting NOAA, List1, List2.d
2015.12.08 Happer testifies at hearing of a US Senate Subcommittee convened by Senator Cruz
2016.01.15 Happer-led CO2Co2016 Letter accidentally revealed by John Droz, Jr, at that point with ~150 signers,
2016.01.28 CO2Co2016 is sent to Smith, with 309 names. (The “325” below is puzzling.)
2016.02.22 Smith writes to NOAA, citing “letter from 325 scientists, engineers, economists and other scholars”
CO2Co affiliates are described in earlier post and shown hereafter in red. All CO2Co2016 signers are underlined and
many are well-known climate science deniers, but Happer clearly gained many new signers from Texas, as per Part 4.
Whether or not he also succeeded in drilling for dollars cannot be known, given think tank financial opacity.
PART 2. Overview of TPPF2015 - At The Crossroads, 2nd conference, November 19-20, 2015, Austin, TX
The annotated agenda is an overview, but the video playlist is a more complete record, including talks by moderators.
Conference messages were consistent, repeated often and seemed well-received by the audience:
- The theory of human-caused climate change is wrong, a hoax/scam; climate change poses no serious threat;
more CO2 is better, satellites show warming stopped after 1998; the Earth may be headed for new ice age.
- The Climate Right Stuff (TRCS), a group of retired NASA Apollo engineers and petroleum industry veterans,
refutes mainstream climate science with a few equations and graphs, although not in peer-reviewed journals.
- There is a strong moral case for increasing the use of fossil fuels, to help the poor.
- Any reductions in fossil fuel usage would create economic disaster.
- Texas politicians are fighting against overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency and chicanery by NOAA.
- This was the “most impressive gathering of experts”, the speakers were some of the “greatest minds in the world.”
“Science” not presented by Texas climate scientists, but by oil men, retired engineers, and out-of-state “experts”
Texas faces serious climate challenges (such as floods), but luckily has fine climate scientists at credible schools like Rice, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and UT Austin. In 2010 some wrote On global warming, the science is solid.
Texas researchers publish in top journals like Science and speak at American Geophysical Union (AGU) meetings,e and some are especially skilled at explaining science to general audiences, given an hour in a reasonable presentation format.
NASA Is Facing a Climate Change Countdown (2015) shows that NASA's many competent people accept climate science and are trying to deal with the serious challenges of sea level rise in Florida and Texas. The Johnson Space Center (JSC) is vulnerably near the coast, whose risks are modeled with NOAA data by current JSC staff. Various NASA branches participate at AGU meetings (2015) or (2013). Former NASA astronaut Dr. Kathryn Sullivan heads NOAA, which works often with NASA.
None of these spoke,f so instead climate “science” was presented by the following:
Session I: The Earth's Climate History
Ben (“Bud”) Brigham, (bio, bio, TX) oil executive and TPPF advisor, runs oil & gas company Brigham Resources.
H. Leighton Steward (DS, H, LA) long-experienced oil professional, runs a coal-sponsored website, key TRCS member.
Don Easterbrook (DS, H, WA) emeritus geologist, repudiated by faculty (source1, source2), originator of popular bad graphE
Session II: Not a Pollutant: CO2 is The Gas of Life
Will Happer (DS, H, NJ) emeritus atomic physicist, past Chair of fossil-funded GMI, now President CO2Co.
Richard Lindzen (DS, Hbio, H, MA) emeritus, only real climate scientist, but often refuted, paid by coal companies from 1991
Patrick Moore (DS, Hbio, H, Canada) consultant, speaker, fossil-funded and not a cofounder of Greenpeace.
Session V: The Right Climate Stuff (TRCS)
Walter Cunningham (DS, H, TX) retired NASA astronaut: global warming is a great hoax, uses bad graphE
George l. Stegemeier (bio, TX) petroleum engineer
Hal Doiron (DS, H, TX) retired NASA mechanical engineer: global warming is scam, expose NOAA fraud, uses worse graphE
Other CO2Co Advisors played major roles in the conference:
Kathleen Hartnett White (bio, H, TX) TPPF Senior Fellow, Director for Armstrong Center of Energy and Environment
Mark P. Mills (SWbio, H, DC) consultant, senior fellow Manhattan InstituteT, past associate of Greening Earth Society, etc.
Part 3. Videos of TPPF2015, with brief commentaries and highlights
The Video Playlist
Opening Luncheon Keynote with Attorney General Ken Paxton & Robert Murray (with Ted Cruz by video)
TPPF CEO Brooke L. Rollins opens, at 07:15 introduces a “very special friend” of TPPF, “former TPPFer” Ted Cruz, by video, 08:15- 14:27, followed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and keynoter Robert Murrayg 27:40-1:01:30.
Perhaps coincidentially, Ted Cruz’s Climate-Denial Hearing Attracts Cash From Coal King Bob Murray April 6, 2016, but in late June Murray Energy warns of up to 4,400 layoffs in September, as Murray blames them on President Obama.
Long-debunked arguments are endlessly repeated in “Gish Gallops” to audiences unfamiliar with the field, not in peer-reviewed journals or real science conferences. Skeptical Science has given them standard (SkS#) numbers and added science-based rebuttals in this list, which people might keep at hand if watching the videos. Graphics are often misleading, with cherry-picked geographies or time periods, apples-and-oranges comparisons, often dubiously-sourced.
Few graphics would survive an AGU audience or credible peer review, but can impress a general audience.
Session I: The Earth's Climate History.
Brigham spends 6 minutes, asserts expertise as a geophysicist on Earth's history and modeling, and offers 6 “facts” below, repeating those he wrote before, most found in CO2Co arguments rejected in Minnesota oreven a 1992 coal-funded video. He claims that academia and science are corrupt and that since oil field modeling sometimes yields dry holes, climate modeling is worthless Garbage-In, Garbage-Out.h (SkS#5)
- “Climate changes, always has and always will..(SkS#2) It’s been a lot hotter in the past, in fact we’ve had warming and cooling spells roughly every 1500 years, (SkS#21) and today’s temperatures are easily within historical ranges.
- Species do better in warmer climates, they struggle more in cooler climates. (SkS#55)
- Sea level has fluctuated dramatically over the Earth’s history. This area has flooded many times throughout earth’s history. not exactly, but relevant (SkS#23) (SkS#80) Does he really mean that this is OK for Houston, Galveston, etc? &&
- CO2 levels have also historically fluctuated, (SkS#2) they’ve been much higher than they are today, (SkS#45) (SkS#103) and 100 years from now CO2 levels will still be lower than prior levels.
- CO2 is not pollution, (SkS#42) it’s necessary for survival. It greens the earth. (SkS#120) Green is good, and species have prospered with much higher CO2 levels than today. (SkS#55)
- And last, the most recent warming spell, which I’m personally very grateful for, began well before the industrial revolution. (SkS#32) So it obviously was not initiated by the burning of fossil fuels. Based on the last 18 years of satellite readings, Earth’s temperatures have flattened, (SkS#7) despite the fact that CO2 levels continued to rise. (SkS#43) So it appears that the recent warming spell may have ended.” (SkS#4) (SkS#151)
Attorney Robert Henneke, General Counsel at TPPF, introduces next speaker, 06:20-07:40.
Steward speaks 07:45-23:35., shows at 12:33 a well-known misleading John Christy graph,C 5 variants seen here, and the “Monte Hieb” graphH, 21:38 another popular source of confusion, of which 4 instances appear here.
Easterbrook speaks 24:23-42:51, saying that in 2000 he had predicted global cooling, that had happened and people should “Expect global cooling to continue for another 2-3 decades.” (SkS#4) (SkS#9) He uses 2 versions of the Christy graph,C 33:50 and 34:48, plus many graphs debunked years ago, 06/11, 06/12, 04/13 (including repudiation by his department for writing embarassingly poor claims, and comments by others), 09/13, 10/13, 11/13, 01/14, 08/14. He retired from Western Washington University ~1997, but forgets to mention “Emeritus.”
Session II: Not a Pollutant: CO2 is The Gas of Life
Happer speaks 06:00-17:48, praises coal, advertises CO2 Coalition, uses a Christy graphC 12:30-, claims 97% consensus is “phony,” (SkS#3) compares it to Lysenkoism. perhaps “drills” for dollars or other support with last slide:
“Policies to slow CO2 emissions are based on flawed computer models which greatly exaggerate warming.
More CO2 is an overall benefit so costly “mitigation” schemes are all pain, no gain.
The CO2 Coalition needs help to spread this message.
CO2Coalition.org [email protected]” ( Happer is Emeritus at Princeton, and CO2Co has no relationship to it.)
Lindzen speaks 18:15-43:25 on “Where Does Catastrophism Come From?” (sound is poor in some sections)
His talk emphasizes uncertainty and low climate sensitivity. As he often does, he attacks climate scientists, including:
“There is also a lot of science on demand.
The well-established Medieval Warm Period is a problem for the narrative. (False, MedievalDeception 2015…)
Michael Mann's Hockey Stick gets rid of the Medieval Warm Period. (SkS#164) (MedievalDeception 2015….)
The physics of moist convection requires that warming maximizes in the upper tropospheric troposphere, and models agree, but the data doesn't show this. (SkS#47)
Ben Santer reworks the data to show the maximum.
Significant warming ended about 18 years ago showing that CO2 is not the major factor in climate, (SkS#7)
Tommy Karl adjusts and rearranges the data to eliminate the pause.” (note dismissive “Tommy”)
Patrick Moore then speaks 43:40-1:08:00 on “Should We Celebrate CO2?” At 48:25 he uses Nasif Nahlei variant of the Hieb graphH and at 1:05:31 one that looks derived from Nahle.
Actual researchers in the field might know more about this than the speakers in Sessions II and iII. Climate Change Poses Risks for Agriculture and Global Food Security references 2015 report by the US Dept of Agriculture. The US Global Change Research Program report, especially Chapter 7 Food Safety, Nutrition, Distribution shows increased CO2 decreases nutrients, even if CO2 increases growth. Liebig's Law of the Minimum applies: without rain, corn does not grow in Sahara.
Session III Energy Poverty
TPPF's Doug Domenech (TPPFbio) introduces the session. Caleb Rossiter 02:25-, Calvin Beissner (H) 17:35-, and Horace Cooper (NCPAT Adjunct Fellow, HeartlandT SrFellow) 32:24-47:00 say the poor need fossil fuels, not renewables. (SkS#175)
Session IV: Politics and Economics
TPPF VP Chuck DeVore claims a global cooling scare 40 years ago, says he voted against CA AB32.
Mills 03:15- denigrates solar, batteries.
DeVore introduces Heartland's James M. TaylorT (H) 15:15-, as having “studied atmospheric science”j at Dartmouth,
Taylor says they heard compelling science, that wind and solar will double or triple electricity costs for illusory benefit.
Rupert Darwall (UK) 33:10-44:20 attacks environmentalists, restrictions on DDT, acid rain. He says that global warming is just politics, relies on satellite-based temperatures and proclaims global warming no threat, while showing lack of science expertise.
Dinner Keynote with Mark P. Mills
Brooke L. Rollins starts the dinner, White speaks 04:00-, and Mills speaks 15:34-49:00.
Book Preview with Kathleen Hartnett White
TPPF's Doug Domenech starts the session, announces Lamar Smith (H) “superhero on climate” as breakfast speaker.
White speaks 03:18-, then Stephen Moore from 19:00-. followed by discussion.
Breakfast and Keynote Address by U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith
White and Henneke begin, then Lamar Smith speaks 05:23-33:36. He attacks EPA and the Clean Power Plan as a power grab. “I will work to require more transparency, sound science, accountability to the American people.” He attacks NOAA 16:24- :
“Its employees altered historical climate data to get politically-correct results in an attempt to disprove the hiatus in global temperature increase.(false) k … need the Texas Public Policy Foundation to fight against Federal Government overreach.”
A questioner demands access to all code and data from publicly-paid research. Of course, Smith had already been offered access to the methods and data, and generally ignored it. Hal Doiron says 24:10-.
“Many of us here are former government employees, veterans of our NASA Apollo program … a number of us ex-NASA guys have looked at what they've done, we know where the cracks are in their analysis. We'd like to grill em, and expose em for the fraud they're putting on the American people.”
“…think of the magnitude of the task that Chairman Smith is taking on, when unelected parties in the Federal government or elected parties in the Federal government are willing to manipulate science, grossly manipulate science. … their having the bully pulpit, their reach is vast in what the kind of propaganda that is fed to the public. This is key not only to the recognition of the necessity, of the importance of energy in this country but to our Constitutional order. And you don't have to look very far back in history to see in some of the most horrific political regimes in the world, which would include Stalin's and Hitler's, and all of that, the way science manipulated and science silenced, within the same week or so that Chairman Smith was sending subpoenas to NOAA or NASA an Attorney General in New York state was trying to subpoena parties and to try in a procedure to criminalize even questioning certain science.(false) l So the stakes on this are, not to speak histrionically, are civliizational, the protection of the integrity of science is absolutely fundamental to our freedom.
And our next panel is a very exciting one on that, because the scientists and engineers who had a great emprical test of whether their science was right, they put man on the Moon and brought him back safely. The Right Stuff on Climate will speak later and they are a fascinating inspirational voice about what it means to protect the integrity of science, as is Chairman Smith.” (clapping)
“I thought i was going to be dealing with both realists and alarmists, and it's obvious … I'm preaching to the converted.
I am not a climate scientist (true)- my associates here are, really (false) … I have spent my life as a physicist (false)m … climate change is one of the least predictable fields of science. Climate science was actually a respected field until about 30 years ago. That's when some of the climate scientists started to ignore scientific discipline.”
Starting at 07:54 he introduces a slide by saying “Climate alarmists would have you believe…”
“And today, instead of the alarmists presenting data to prove their new hypothesis, they are challenging skeptics, like us, to disprove their hypothesis. … Carbon dioxide was 12 to 15 times higher than it is today.” (SkS#45)
He uses Hieb graphH09:12, at 10:02 shows a graph modified from WIllie Soon 2004S (SkS#1) , which he does not mention covers only the Arctic, strongly cherry-picked, and wrong.
He says climate models have never successfully predicted anything. (SkS#5)
Starting 09:31, his graph is closely adapted from an obscure 2008 graphE by Easterbrook, who in late 2010 wrote a related post at the more visible WUWT. That stirred people to thoroughly discredit it within a few days, detailed analysis in Note.E
“Even in the last 10,000 years there have been many periods when temperature was higher than it is today. (at best misleading)
To be truthful about it, today we are experiencing the longest, and coolest interglacial period on record, and believe me, the next ice-age is long overdue.” (If he means that absent humans, the Earth would be on a slow descent into an icea age, he is probably right, If he means that we can expect an ice age soon, he is almost certainly wrong, unsurprisingly, since talk repeatedly shows lack of any relevant knowledge. Given human CO2, another ice age is unlikely for tens of thousands of years, as per David Archer, The Long Thaw(2010), or Ruddiman, Kutzbach, Vavrus(2011), or Ruddiman's Earth Transformed(2013). )
At 10:00, he shows misleading, well-debunked pair of graphs adapted from Soon 2004 (really 2005).S
At left, 14:57 he offers his conclusions, having forgotten that he said he is no climate scientist.
He says 17:05-.
“I have not found one piece of empirical evidence that man-made carbon dioxide has a significant impact on our climate.” He shows graphs showing humans can tolerate higher levels of CO2. “If any of you are concerned with one of the greatest scientific hoaxes of all time, check the data, form your own conclusions.”
Perhaps he should demand that NASA waste no money to safeguard its installations from sea level rise and see how it responds.
Stegemeier is introduced as a TRCS member and a petroleum reservoir engineer with over 50 years experience in thermal engineering. “His current book, Principles of Geo Solar Engineering, is a study of the energy balance of the Earth's atmosphere, with the intent of quantifying the role of CO2 in the Earth's global temperature.”o
He speaks 19:40- and starts honestly: “I'm another not a climate scientist, I'm a petroleum engineer.” then says:
“The political science of global warming has greated the greatest controversy in the scientific community since Galileo challenged the settled science theory with his experimental methods. He was not just a scientist, but he was an engineer and he was a mathematician. That perhaps justifies me standing up here as an engineer and talking about climate science.” (Dunning-Kruger Effect may apply to all speakers in this session)
“have been lobbying with the leaders of the National Academy (of Engineering) not to jump on board with this global warming scam, and so far they've been successful. Other national academies, the National Academy of Science, is all in, but maybe the engineers are the last bastion of hope to get some sanity into this process.”
He says TRCS includes others, but the core group is Apollo program veterans. He uses a Christy graphC 38:55. He projects 600ppm CO2 by around 2130, does a curve-fitting exercise based on a 30-90°N reconstruction (25% of Earth) and says they prove no more than 1°C rise by then, using 1000-year and 62-year cycles. For more detail, Jim Peacock gave a much longer version of the talk in mid-2014 for the fringe group Doctors for Disaster Preparedness.
Q&A follows from 50:41-. Asked if it will matter, Doiron says that's the part he isn't expert on, but he does not think it will, because Houston's temperature varies much more.
Cunningham says: 52:12 “It hasn't been that long ago that you had ice totally covering the United States down even to the Northern part of Texas….” (firm claim of irrelevant nonsense: Rice University: 18,000 years ago. not in TX.) Later he says a slight increase in carbon dioxide will be better for a lot of things.
Current NASA staff takes sea level rise seriously, but Doiron says: 55:21
“If you monitor sea level rise, it's not changing, (SkS#182) or if it is, you can't detect it, it's so small. … Antarctica's been building ice for thirty-four million years (SkS#10) and once in a while it loses a little bit and sea levels respond a little bit… Sea level rise is a legitimate concern, but it's not gonna be right away. …
We are not getting rational decisions out of the EPA and they need to be investigated.”
“…How many here are familiar with the expression that 97% of the scientists believe that the Earth is, global warming is going to be dangerous for us? How many here know where that 97% fiigure came from? … This came from I assume it was a doctoral thesis it was back in 2009, I can giuve you the name of the people, the lady who did… solicited some responses… sent that out ot 10,257 earh scientists … they got 3146 responses … of those 79 responded, and of those 79, 77 said they believed that human activity was a contributing factor in changing the mean global temperatures. … We're being fed that kind of ridiculous data and many, many politicians today, you hear them cite that…
it is one of the greatest scientific hoaxes in history,” (a common falsehood is to focus on an early study, ignoring Cook et al (2013), Cook et al (2016) and other studies that reach similar results (SkS#3)\
Session VI: Shale Energy Boom
TPPF's Vance Ginn introduces (4:01-) Robert L Bradley (H) CEO Institute for Energy Research,.
He lauds Julian Simon's The Ultimate Resource, equates global warming scare to socialism, says he thinks the externality of global warming is positive not negative, cites Michaels and Knappenberger, Lukewarming(2015) and Fuller The Lukewarmer's Way(2015). He says that the greenest fuels are fossil.
Ginn introduces Stephen Moore (Masters Economics, George Mason U) of Heritage FoundationT , who speaks 19:15-30:00.
Session VII: Status of Climate Policy and Mandate: From EPA To Paris
Jacki (Daly) Pick, Executive VP and COO of the National Center for Policy AnalysisT (NCPA, Dallas), moderates, after saying:
“I was here yesterday, and just reflecting on how important these issues are, and thinking that this might be the most impressive gathering of experts, really, that I've seen, anywhere. … This is perhaps the best.” (applause)
Mike Nasi, Partner at Jackson Walker LLP (Austin) speaks 04:21-, attacks EPA's Clean Power Plan, defends coal against wind in Texas, despite fact that Texas remains the leading US state for wind power, by far.
Marc Morano (CFACT) (H) 20:14- advertises his new movie Climate Hustle, says Paris premier is overbooked. It includes several TPPF2015 speakers: Walter Cunningham, Don Easterbrook, Patrick Moore, Caleb Rossiter, Leighton Steward, plus others of CO2Co: Patrick Michaels, Roy Spencer. As usual, the same people appear again and again. although US premier is billed as Riveting panel with Gov. Sarah Palin to introduce “Climate Hustle” on Capitol Hill.&&
He talks about “the pause and “global cooling”.
Raymond L. Gifford, Partner Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP is introduced and speaks, 34:00-47:10. Argues against Clean Power Plan, says the administrative state is grinding towards carbon reductions, will be hard to stop.
Brian Lloyd, Executive Director, Public Utility Commission of Texas is introduced and speaks 47:11-1:01:20. He says people are migrating to Texas, and when they come from places like California, they don't bring power plants with them. Texas policy is to make electricity reliable and affordable, but Federal regulations threaten that, and the EPA does not understand electricity markets. He downplays wind power, says Texas leads, but that doesn't count. Q&A follows.
The conference ends on Lunch Keynote by Senate Majority Whip John Corbyn, but first Brooke L. Rollins says:
“I keep hearing from so many of you, this is the most extraordinary group of speakers and people I have ever seen together at one event. … The collection of thinkers, scientists and leaders and researchers that were put together over these last few days is nothing short of extraordinary…. to sit with some of the greatest minds in the world.”
While it is impossible to know the behind-the-scenes discussions, it was not long before Happer and CO2Co organized the letter to help Smith harass NOAA, and Texas signers played an outsize role, as seen next.
Part 4. Texas contributes more than its share to CO2Co2016 Letter for Lamar Smith
Texas has ~8% of the US population, but contributed 14% of the American signatures (30/214), who with 95 foreign signers (31% of 309 total) urge Smith to waste American tax money.
The following summarizes signers who seem to reside in Texas, had worked there for years or are associated via groups headquartered in Texas (Exxon, Shell or TPPF). Speakers are in Bold, CO2Co red, but underlining is omitted since all signed.
The Texas group has 30 signers, 16 Retired. Public climate denial efforts are approximated by Involvement counts and Heartland Institute activity level. Those shaded pink have substantial public denial history, the others minimal or none. The TPPF-CO2Co collaboration collected new signers who have not been so visible previously.
First 2 letters of city are given for Houston(17), Austin(9), Abilene, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, and San Antonio. Occupation is coded as Oil (13), Aerospace, essentially JSC (11), Services (2) (often for petroleum industry), Coal (in this case scrubbing equipment), Think tank and University. People move and some fit multiple classifications.
The Texas-connected group has 9 signers. including 5 with CO2Co, most publicly active.
Of the 39 signers total, none are climate scientists, 20 (half) are or have been employed directly by Oil companies, 2 are affiliated with oil-funded TPPF. Another 13 have worked for or with NASA-JSC, most engineers or administrators. The 10 coded A* were among the 49 ex-NASA signers of the letter dissected at Skeptical Science.
|Texas (30, incl 2 female)|
|Brigham, Ben M||3||Au||O||Brigham, TPPF||Allen, James L||R||2||Ho||A||Boeing-ISS (JSC)|
|Crenwelge, Otto E||Ho||O||Shell/JSC(ISS)||Bell, Larry||6||3||Ho||A||U Houston, space arch|
|Forrest, Mike||R||Ho||O||Shell||Bogard, Donald D||R||1||Ho||A*||NASA-JSC|
|Holliday, George H||R||1||Ho||O||Shell||Bostick, Jerry C||R||1||Ho||A*||NASA-JSC|
|Hoover, Erik||Au||O||Brigham||Cunningham, Walter||R||11||3||Ho||A*||NASA-JSC|
|Hurley, Stephen||Au||O||Brigham||Doiron, Harold||R||10||3||Ho||A*||NASA-JSC/Reed Tool|
|McDavid, A. Dax||Au||O||Brigham||Duke, Charles M||R||3||Ho||A*||NASA-JSC|
|Medlock, Patrick||Au||O||Brigham||Griffin, Gerald D||R||2||Ho||A*||NASA-JSC|
|Mothershead, James||Au||O||Ind, Exxon, BP||Moser, Thomas L||R||1||Ho||A*||NASA-JSC|
|Osborn, Jeffery BM||Co||O||Reveille Oil||Peacock, James M||R||5||Ho||A*||NASA-JSC|
|Page, Norman||R||2||Ho||O||Ind-oil&gas||Sauer, Richard L||R||2||Ho||A||NASA-JSC|
|Parma, Edward||1||Au||O||Brigham||Frank, Neil||R||3||Ho||W||TV Weather|
|Weber, Matt||Au||O||Brigham||Lapoint, Patricia A||1||Ab||U||McMurry U, Mgmt|
|Ashworth, Robert||5||Ho||C||Clearstack (eqp)||Hopson, Kevin S||Lu||S||Services, hydrology|
|White, Kathleen Hartnett||8||3||Au||T||TPPF||Wachel; Johnny C||R||Sa||S||Services, MechEng|
|Texas-connected (9)||Retired(7)||Oil (6)|
|Cohen, Roger W.||R||16||2||CO||O||Exxon||Schmitt, Harrison||R||19||4||AZ||A*||NASA-JSC|
|Everett, Bruce||R||2||DC||O||Exxon||Wysmuller, Thomas||10||3||MA||A*||NASA-JSC (intern)|
|Langner, Carl G||R||1||CO||O||Shell|
|O'Keefe, William||R||14||3||DC||O||API; Exxon;GMI||Domenech, Douglas||R||2||DC||T||TPPF|
|Shaw, Donald F||R||1||NJ||O||Exxon|
|Steward, H. Leighton||13||4||LA||O||Shell, etc; TRCS|
CO2Co clearly recruited oil industry people, who perhaps dislike NOAA except when needing weather data.
Brigham - 7 signers
Each of the following is or was associated in some way with Brigham Exploration Company or its successor Brigham Resources, although one would never know that without searching beyond the letter:
BRIGHAM, Ben M., B.S. Geophysics, University of Texas, Austin, TX, 1983.
HOOVER, Erik, BS Petroleum Engineering, Texas A & M University, 198
HURLEY, Stephen, M.S. Geology, University of Arkansas, 1975
MCDAVID, A. Dax, Master of Arts, Petroleum Geology, University of Texas, Austin, TX, 2006
MEDLOCK, Patrick, BS Geology, University of Kansas, 1982 and MS Oklahoma State University, 1984
PARMA, Edward, BS Geology, Texas A & M University, 1983
WEBER, Matt, BS Petroleum Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX, 2004
NASA-JSC retirees and TRCS
The Aerospace group is mostly NASA Johnson Space Center retirees.Wysmuller claimss a false affiliation, as TRCS is not a NASA group, but a group that includes retired people of whom some worked at NASA.
WYSMULLER, Thomas, (NASA Ret.) 2013 “Water Day” chair, UNESCO-IHE (Delft, NL); 2015 “Sea-Level presenter” at http://www.waterconf.org (Varna, Bulgaria); 2016 Sea-Level chair at Symmetrion, (Vienna, Austria), Founding member, NASA TRCS Climate Group, Johnson Space Center (Houston, TX).
The other TRCS people were more careful, although all trade very heavily on NASA reputation.
A tiny fraction of NASA retirees, the TRCS group thinks there is no climate risk, and climate science is a hoax, they could start by demanding that JSC spend no Federal money worrying about it. Fortunately, TRCS seems totally out of step with the many people at NASA who are actually competent, not Apollo retirees trying to relive past glories by attacking science outside their own expertise.
The participants, most fossil-funded, strongly agreed that climate science was a hoax or at least wrong, that agencies like NOAA were deceptive, and that the Federal government generally was bad.
a Smith(21) represents part of Austin, split carefully among 6 Congressional Districts, 10, 17, 21, 25, 31, 35, as per Riding the Pinwheel, thus making it part of 5 Republican and 1 Democratic Districts. See also gerrymandering.
b Tobacco, see footnote.T Petroleum pervades this conference, the previous one, and TPPF generally. Plastics appears:
“Texas Conservatives Run Roughshod Over Towns Who Vote to Ban Plastic Bags …
Darren Hodges, a Tea Party councilman in the West Texas city of Fort Stockton, fiercely defends his town’s recent decision to ban plastic bags. …
James Quintero of the conservative think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation disagrees, “What we’re arguing is that liberty, not local control, is the overriding principle that state and local policy makers should be using.” He apparently would strip communities of the right of local control, at least to regulate commercial behavior. …”
Of course Fracking is applauded in this conference, and generally, aligned with prohibition of local rules against fracking,
and general concern that Texas business might be hampered by local ordinances.
c For example, in response to massive cuts in climate science at Australia's CSIRO, 2800+ scientists signed an open letter supporting CSIRO, organized by 2 researchers in less than a week. By a quick skim of the signers, I know 15-20 personally, more by reputation, have read some of their papers, see some at AGU meetings and know their institutions. Typical climate denier letters have fewer total credible climate scientists than a page from this one. Although Happer cast a wide net, he got only one more Princeton signer from the hundreds of science, engineering and economics faculty there.
d List1 was signed by 23 high-ranking former NOAA scientists and administrators. List2 had 587 signers with a broad range of backgrounds, noting that NOAA people had already tried to satisfy legitimate demands. On the other hand, the signers of CO2Co2015 simply seem certain NOAA has done something wrong.
e I subscribe to Science, am also an AGU member. I often talk to Texas climate scientists at the Fall AGU meetings.
f Had TPPF wanted to offer serious education, for example an hour lecture, Texas has many credible scientists. TPPF picked well-known out-of-state limate professional climate deniers, plus nearby petroleum engineers and NASA Apollo retirees to give a rapid series of short talks. “Debates” strongly favor people trying to create confusion via “Gish Gallops.” So, they may have even asked a few credible people, but this sort of venue would not seem worth the bother, just as a real medical researcher might not choose to be a token speaker at a “health” conference sponsored by tobacco companies.
g Murray Energy also donated $100,000 in 2010 to the Heartland Institute, p.24.
h His description of climate modeling may play well for a nontechnical audience eager to believe it, but Brigham showed no evidence of understanding the (large) differences between petroleum exploration and climate models. Specialists often overgeneralize experience with a narrow set of computer models to apply to other kinds, unlike people who must learn about a wide variety. (I can say this because I was a Chief Scientist at Silicon Graphics in the 1990s, helped design supercomputers, and was often asked to talk to leading-edge technical customers whose simulation and modeling work varied greatly. I visited oil companies around the world to talk with senior geophysicists about their analysis, modeling and visualization needs, gave a keynote talk at user conference of Landmark Graphics, a leading supplier of geophysics software. I also had similar detailed discussions with climate modelers for NCAR, GFDL, NASA and other groups.)
i At 49:11, Moore relies on a graph by Nasif Nahle, who runs the Mexican Biocab, which covers a vast range of topics. His background is:
“Profession: Biologist (with emphasis in Scientific Research, Earth Sciences, Biophysics, Virology and Radiobiology) (1972-1977).
As well, I included the following disciplines through my career:
1. MATHEMATICS: Degree on January 14, 1975. Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Website)
2. EARTH'S SCIENCES: Meteorology, Climatology, Geology, Dynamic Geology, Geomorphology, Geophysics, Pedology (Soils Science) and Hydrology, Biogeography, Paleobiology. Certified on January 12, 1975. Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Website).
3. PHYSICS: Degree on July 4, 1977. Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Website of the Faculty). …” (more)
He claims to have refuted climate science, although apparently not in peer-reviewed journals, but at his website:
“The Climate Variability and the Global Warming are natural phenomena. As a scientist, I am obliged to catalogue like pseudoscience and dogmatism the attribution to the human beings of a 100% natural phenomenon. The climate science has been distorted and manipulated to instill fear on people….” (more)
j Taylor got B.A. at Dartmouth, majoring in government. He may have taken a course in atmospheric science, Fakery 2 p.106.
kNo climate conspiracy: NOAA temperature adjustments bring data closer to pristine, 02/06/16, Dana Nuccitelli OR
NOAA temperature record updates and the ‘hiatus’ 06/04/15, by Gavin Schmidt.
“The second panel is useful, demonstrating that the net impact of all corrections to the raw measurements is to reduce the overall trend.” (None of those complaining about the NOAA corrections seem to understand any of this, just know that NOAA has committed fraud.)
l Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General, NY TImes 11/05/15.
It is not for questioning science, but knowing it and possibly lieing, akin to Big Tobacco.
m By his own profile, Cunningham (1932-) has had a varied career, 1951-. Only a few early years seem properly labeled “physicist” but seemed closer to engineering or management. Since 1976 he has been focused on financial investing, radio talk show, and speaking.
n TRCS has yet to publish anything in a credible peer-reviewed journal, but has a website and give talks, with 2015 PDF.
Slide 7 has graph of Greenland GISP2, which is not the Earth, probably derived from Easterbrook(2008, 2015),E and they seem equally confused about dates, because that curve ends at 1855, thus omitting the strong rise.
oStegemeier's book does not appear to be published (yet?). There is a 12-slide 2013 talk. It has a 2016 flyer.
C John Christy (DSbio, SkSnotes) graph Steward 12:33 compares apples and oranges, misleads with different baselines.
This or variants appear 4 more times: Easterbrook 33:50, 34:48), Happer 12:30, and Doiron 38:55.
Variants of this graph are popular on climate-denial websites, but it has not appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, for good reasons too many to explain here, but see 2014 post by Bart Verheggen or A warm 2015 and model –data comparisons or Gavin Schmidt's NOAA temperature record updates and the ‘hiatus’ or his Comparing models to the satellite datasets.
The Christy/Spencer satellite code (UAH) is infamous for frequent adjustments and outright bugs, but some speakers accept satellite numbers as perfect, and overlook their non-release of government-funded code, although its results have been used to argue against global warming for 25 years.
The 12/08/15 Cruz hearing got a reply from Ben Santer and Carl Mears. who leads RSS satellite work, and told the Washington Post: ”Part of Sen. Cruz’s argument is that the satellite data is more accurate than the surface data. We don’t think that’s true,” Mears said.”
E Easterbrook wrote “Global Cooling is Here”, originally 11/02/08, republished 09/20/15, in globalresearch.ca, not a journal. The graph below gets repeated often, as seen by Google Image Search. on that) It contains errors so serious that any who promote it must be either deliberately deceptive or totally incompetent on this topic, but ignore the frequent debunks.
At least 3 TRCS members have presented this graph or variants, and 3 others have seen it and not objected, although it has been debunked many times for its obvious errors. However, the TRCS group uses some variations often, Cunningham here and for Heartland ICCC-10, Doiron at Heartland ICCC-10 , and Jim Peacock in his talk for Doctors for Disaster Preparedness.
Easterbrook starts with massive cherry-pick: claiming one (unusual) spot on Earth determines temperature: Greenland's GISP2 ice core
Age (thousand years before present)
Temperature in central Greenland (degrees C)
Age Temperature (C)
0.0951409 -31.5913 … (most recent)
15.946 -49.5413 (lowest on graph)…
It oddly puts MWP and LIA before 1000y BP, but another error is astonishing. In BP, Present is well-known to be Jan 1, 1950, easily found in Wikipedia. The date he calls “Present” or “0” is actually 1950-95 = 1855, 160 years ago.
This totally destroys any credibility.
H Monte Hieb ( engineer at the West Virginia Office of Miner’s Health, Safety, and Training, unpublished in science journals) created the Geocraft website, and this graph originated on this page, has propagated widely, Gavin Schmidt critiqued this in 2014:
It appears here via Steward 21:38 and Cunningham 09:12. Patrick Moore at 48:25 uses Nasif Nahle'si variant and at 1:05:31 another variant. Hence, Steward and Cunningham are using a mining engineer's guesses, and Moore is using a marginal fringer's version.
“One of the most common fallacies in climate is the notion that, because the climate was hotter than now in the Eocene or Cretaceous or Devonian periods, we should have no concern for current global warming. … sea levels during those peak warm periods were some 80 meters higher than today, and that impacts of the current global warming are going to be felt by societies and existing ecosystems that are adapted for Holocene climates – not climates 100 million years ago. … The ‘temperature’ record is a hand-drawn schematic derived from the work of Chris Scotese, and the CO2 graph is from a model that uses tectonic and chemical weathering histories to estimate CO2 levels (Berner 1994; Berner and Kothavala, 2001). In neither case is there an abundance of measured data. … However, since this graphic has long been a favorite of the climate dismissives, many different versions do the rounds, mostly forwarded by people who have no idea of the provenance of the image or the lack of underlying data, or the updates that have occurred. Indeed, the 2004 version is the most common, having been given a boost by Monckton in 2008 and many others. Most recently, Patrick Moore declared that this was his favorite graph.”
SCunningham uses a graph from Willie Soon (says 2004, but more likely Figure 1 from Soon(2005) below), saying:
“correlation is not causation, and if it were, compare the correlation of temperature with solar activity and compare the correlatikon of temperature with carbon dioxide over the last 130 years.”
p.4 ”…supported by generous grants from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, American Petroleum Institute, and Exxon-Mobil Corporation.” (credibility?)
These graphics represent exceptional cherrypicks of geography, duration, and data.
1) Cunningham failed to mention that this covers the Arctic, ~1/16 of the Earth (60-90N), and far from representative.
2) Obsolete - plot stops at 2000.
3) Data: “sun” line was not measured, but used obsolete reconstruction.
For a detailed debunk of Soon's graph, see The Soon fallacy Gavin Schmidt, 02/24/15.
Schmidt shows 2015 science, not 2005 nonsense. The short post has more discussion and links.
“Figure 1. Updating the Soon (2005) correlations by correcting for an obsolete and almost certainly incorrect solar reconstruction (replacing with the SORCE reconstruction) and extending the temperature data to the present, shows an almost complete collapse of the initially impressive correlation (click for larger version).”
T Heartland Institute, Heritage Foundation, Manhattan Institute, NCPA and TPPF all have long relationships with Big Tobacco, which exists only by addicting people during adolescent brain development, resulting in many deaths.
Fakery 2, pp.37-42, especially Fig. F.4 (Philip Morris 1991-2001) shows all got regular Philip Morris funding, year after year, except TPPF, which got money from a different account (fn225):
“We have had a close relationship with them for many years . Per Neal's operation, they have done a lot of work on issues that we deem important . We are a longtime financial supporter. In the past, we have paid them out of the tort budget.” (1998)
Familiar Think Tanks Fight for E-Cigarettes shows recent activity for all but TPPF.
Google: site:www.texaspolicy.com cigarette gets many hits, although most in the 2004-2007 period, such as:
TAXES: DOING THE RIGHT THING FOR TEXAS (2005)
“In the zeal to finish the school finance debate, at least for a time, the legislature must be wary of short-term cash-raising gimmicks like raising cigarette taxes to match surrounding states. Texas benefits by having a lower cigarette tax than our neighbors. Individuals from surrounding states cross into Texas daily, pay our (lower) taxes, and return to their home state without their habit being a burden to us.”
Tobacco-funded think tanks have long argued for low taxes, since higher taxes selectively discourage teenagers during their addictable period, crucial to the tobacco business, but this argument was one of the silliest. Texas population is about twice that of the adjacent 4 states combined, few of whose people live within 50 miles of Texas. Lately, Texas has higher taxes than its neighbors, so Texans did not buy this argument. By now, TPPF is either has become less involved with Big Tobacco than in the 1990s, or is focused on less visible behind-the-scenes lobbying.