John Mashey's blog

Dark-Moneyed Denialists Are Running 'Fixing Science' Symposium of Doubt

Read time: 32 mins

The “Fixing Science” symposium, which is hosted by the National Association of Scholars and kicks off today in Oakland, California, includes credible speakers who want to improve some areas of science hurt by the use of poor statistical methods or making irreproducible claims.

Unfortunately, they are outnumbered by people who have often cast doubt on mainstream climate, environmental, and health sciences. For starters, who thinks that long-time fossil fuel–funded Patrick Michaels, a senior fellow with the climate science–denying Competitive Enterprise Institute, will “fix science”?  UPDATE 02/10/20: NAS Brochure at Symposium.

UCSF Adds Fossil Fuels To Industry Documents Library

Read time: 5 mins

Today, UCSF Library launched a new Fossil Fuel Industry Documents Archive featuring over 1,000 internal documents from the fossil fuel industry illustrating strategies to cast doubt on climate science and delay policy action. The documents were collected over two decades by the Climate Investigations Center.

UC San Francisco's Industry Documents Library (IDL) is a unique resource.  It gathers and organizes internal documents from companies that privatize profits and socialize costs, risks or damage to health or environment.

Real science is often inconvenient for profits, so such companies spend money on politics, disinformation, doubt-creation and attacks on science and scientists, sometimes via “independent” think tanks or front groups often covered here on DeSmog.

UCSF has gotten tobacco documents for decades, but over the last few years has added Drug, Chemical and Food sections to the archive as well. Internal documents from lawsuits, whistleblowers and other sources can be quite valuable for exposing malfeasance, helping community action, backing legislation and supporting lawsuits. It is incredibly helpful to have one database of well-curated documents from multiple industries, as they use similar tactics often employed by some of the same people and organizations, as illustrated by personal experience below.

David Schnare Forced to Disgorge Dark Money From 'Free Market' Piggy Bank

Read time: 8 mins

Lawyer David Schnare has made a career of suing and harassing climate scientists, abusing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to demand masses of scientists’ emails and wasting people’s time.

Much of this work has been executed via a dark money-funded 501(c)(3) “public charity” called the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (EELI), where he was General Counsel among other roles. 

Schnare’s work at EELI was often in conjunction with another shadowy group he founded, the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FMELC), which he co-founded in 2011 with long-time associate Chris Horner. These two groups dispute the scientific reality of climate change, and have made a business of targeting climate scientists with invasive and harassing lawsuits.

FMELC recently imploded in spectacular fashion. Embroiled in multiple lawsuits and mired in infighting, the operation and legality of the “public charity” FMELC have been in heated dispute.

Recently, Schnare was ordered to disgorge $630,000 from FMELC, whose bank account he is alleged to have used as his own personal bank.

MedievalDeception 1991: Lindzen Hijacks Curve For Western Fuels Video - Early Fake News

Read time: 12 mins

“Medieval Warm Period was warmer”  is not only irrelevant to future climate, but was known wrong within science by the early 1990s. In 2017, it is still repeated by climate deniers.  They have long misused some version of an IPCC(1990) curve, whose abuse is the focus of this MedievalDeception series. The first known promoter now seems to be Richard S. Lindzen.

He was featured in The Greening of Planet Earth (produced 1991, published 1992), a 28-minute video,*  widely promoted by the coal group Western Fuels Association (WFA), which funded many climate disinformation efforts, such as those by Pat Michaels and Robert Balling, Jr. For more, see Western Fuels Association's Decades Of Dollars For Doubt And Denial.

Western Fuels Association's Decades Of Dollars For Climate Science Doubt And Denial

Read time: 8 mins

Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy have filed bankruptcies, incidentially revealing payments to cllimate anti-science groups. The Western Fuels Association (WFA) may be smaller and less known, but its long history of funding climate denial is already better exposed. It was called out by Senator Tom Udall in his #WebOfDenial remarks in July 2016.  Its earliest well-known disinformation effort is detailed in MedievalDeception 1991: Lindzen Hijacks Curve For Western Fuels Video - Early Fake News.

Its front group Greening Earth Society (GES) claimed “sound information” following the “sound science” theme of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), started as front for Philip Morris in 1993, but like WFA, also involved Pat Michaels.

Newly-assembled information adds evidence that #WesternFuelsKnew the science was against them, decades ago.

Will Happer Drills For Support With Lamar Smith, Ted Cruz And Texas Public Policy Foundation

Read time: 37 mins

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

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