Creepy at the EP(a)

In june of 2009, a story surfaced about the alleged suppression by the US EPA of information related to climate change.  The source of the information was reported to be one Dr.  Alan Carlin,  who, although a real EPA analyst,   was in fact, an economist, not a scientist.     

Distortions of the story, from the usual sources, began almost immediately. 


Regulars here will probably know that World climate Report is by Patrick Michaels who is a Denial Industry stalwart. Bought and paid for by anyone with the money, like Western Fuels, CEI, Inter-Rural Electric Association [IREA].
Google IREA letter

All thanks to BBC Newsnight’s wonderfully tenacious Jeremy Paxman, who bullied Myron Ebell, into eventually admitting why Exxon funds the CEI.
Myron Ebell CEI has been active in the Denial Industry for decades.

Below is a quotation from Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air: How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco’s Tactics to “Manufacture Uncertainty”
One of the most damning incidents involving Cooney also illustrates the extent of ExxonMobil’s influence over the Bush administration policy on global warming. In May 2002, the administration issued the “U.S. Climate Action Report,” which the U.S. State Department was obligated by treaty to file with the United Nations. Major elements of the report were based on an in-depth, peer-reviewed government research report analyzing the potential effects of global warming in the United States. Tat report, titled “U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change,” 131 pre-dates the Bush administration and had already been attacked by ExxonMobil.132
The report generated widespread headlines such as one in the New York Times proclaiming: “Climate Changing, US Says in Report.”133

Not surprisingly, ExxonMobil vociferously objected to the conclusion of the multiagency “Climate Action Report” that climate change posed a significant risk and was caused by human-made emissions.134
Concerned about the matter, Cooney contacted Myron Ebell at the Exxon-Mobil-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute. “Thanks for calling and asking for our help,” Ebell responded in a June 3, 2002, email to Cooney that surfaced as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request.135
Ebell urged that the President distance himself from the report. Within days, President Bush did exactly that, denigrating the report in question as having been “put out by the bureaucracy.”136

In the June 3 email, Ebell explicitly suggests the ouster of then-EPA head Christine Todd Whitman. “It seems to me that the folks at the EPA are the obvious fall guys and we would only hope that the fall guy (or gal) should be as high up as possible,” Ebell wrote. “Perhaps tomorrow we will call for Whitman to be fired.” 137
Sure enough, Whitman would last for less than a year in her post, resigning in May 2003. 138
Finally, Ebell pledged he would do what he could to respond to the White house’s request to “clean up this mess.”139
A major piece of Ebell’s “clean-up” effort presumably came on August 6, 2003, when the Competitive Enterprise Institute fled the second of two lawsuits calling for the Bush administration to invalidate the National Assessment (a peer-reviewed synthesis report upon which the U.S. Climate Action Report was based). The CEI lawsuit called for it to be withdrawn because it was not based upon “sound science.” 140

Given the close, conspiratorial communication between Ebell and Cooney that had come to light, the lawsuit prompted the attorneys general of Maine and Connecticut to call upon the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the matter. 141

however, the Bush administration Justice Department, then led by John Ashcroft, refused to launch such an investigation, despite the fact that the Maine and Connecticut attorneys general stated forcefully that the evidence suggested that Cooney had conspired with Ebell to cause the Competitive Enterprise Institute to sue the federal government. As Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe noted: “The idea that the Bush administration may have invited a lawsuit from a special interest group in order to undermine the federal government’s own work under an international treaty is very troubling.” 142
A key piece of evidence, unnoticed at the time, strongly suggests just how the scheme fit together. In 2002, in a move virtually unprecedented in its corporate giving program, Exxon-Mobil offered an additional $60,000 in support for the Competitive Enterprise Institute —specifically earmarked to cover the organization’s unspecifed “legal activities.” 143
End quote

131 U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2000, U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, November,
132 Randol, Bush team for IPCC negotiations.
133 Revkin, A., 2002, U.S. sees problems in climate change, New York Times, June 3.
134 ebell, M., 2002, of the Competitive enterprise Institute, email to Philip Cooney, Chief of Staff, U.S. Council on environmental Quality, June 3.
For full text of the memo, see Appendix C of this report.
135 Ibid.
136 CBS News, 2002, Bush disses global warming report, June 4,
137 ebell, email to Cooney.
138 Doggett, T., 2003, Whitman resigns as chief of U.S. environment agency, Reuters, May 21.
139 ebell, email to Cooney.
140 Competitive enterprise Institute, 2003, Group sues to enforce sound science law, press release, August 6.
141 Rowe, S. (Maine Attorney General), 2003, Maine, Connecticut AGs call on Ashcroft to investigate White House role in lawsuit: email suggests conspiracy between White House and conservative think tank, August 11,
142 Ibid.
143 exxonMobil Corporation, 2002, Worldwide Contributions. See also Mooney, Some like it hot.

Connection between Myron Ebell / CEI who leaked the Carlin report and Patrick Michaels who wrote most of it.

‘There are other groups that are interested in the issue of global warming and the concerns about its costs. Koch Industries is working with other large corporations including AEP and the Southern company, on possibly financing a film that would counteract An inconvenient Truth. Koch has also decided to finance a coalition that very likely will be administered through the National Association of Manufacturers. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has been running two ads in ten states that were financed by General Motors and the Ford Motor Company. CEI has a director on climate change and other employees working on the issue. We have met with Koch, CEI and Dr. Michaels, and they meet among themselves periodically to discuss their activities.’
From the IREA Letter

This quote also reveals the connivance of Koch Industries AEP, Southern Company, General Motors, Ford Motor Company to undermine the science.

it is an ADDITIONAL $60,000 from Exxon”s corporate GIVING program
giving means a tax deduction, does it not?
They suddenly gave more money for the “good works” the legal costs represented. And didn”t have to pay taxes on that money because it went to a “non-profit”.

I mean is he just want some piece of the action or some 15 minutes of fame before he die? He looks so old to me…how old is he, 100, 200 years old? Yeah, of course earth don’t look the same while he was young. At that time many people thought the earth was flat…

You said:

“Dr. Alan Carlin, who, although a real EPA analyst, was in fact, an economist, not a scientist.”

We have covered this before. He IS a scientist. He has a Bachelor of Science in Physics from CalTech. His Ph.D. is in economics.

Oh. By the way, the head of the IPCC is not a scientist. He is an economist! He doesn’t even have a base degree in science.

You people are a joke sometimes!

You said:

“Dr. Alan Carlin, who, although a real EPA analyst, was in fact, an economist, not a scientist.”

We have covered this before. He IS a scientist. He has a Bachelor of Science in Physics from CalTech. His Ph.D. is in economics.

Oh. By the way, the head of the IPCC is not a scientist. He is an economist! He doesn’t even have a base degree in science.

You people are a joke sometimes!

If you are pretending to refute the findings of the National Academy of Science, then the bar for credibility is, rightfully, high. If I have a degree in biology, and then practice economics for 40 years, that does make me a brain surgeon. And if I publish a shoddy, plagiarized “report” full of ridiculous and long debunked canards, it does not bolster the case. This is an example of why deniers are willing to assert that a petition of podiatrists and veterinarians are “climate scientists”. Poor things just dont know the difference, bless their hearts.

I would back his science smarts against yours any day sport. You are a propagandist nothing more, nothing less.

Okay - good work on the video. High production values. Who’s funding you?

the focus on the 2006-2009 graphs seemed strange in that the “deniers” put out long term graphs all the time.

Try googling “medevil warm period”, “mini-ice age”, “pacific decadal oscillation”

I went to watch this video, only to find that it is made by the very same people who put out the substance-less, malicious and thoroughly dishonest video on Carlin! (see my post on this above). I will probably actually watch it, but I expect that it will tell me a lot about the people who made it and the people who recommend it and tell me very little, if anything, that is truthful about the Medieval Warm Period.

For those who care, below is a government website link that discusses it. I clipped and pasted part of the text. On the website there is a very interesting graph of reconstructed temperatures from 700 A.D. to the present, which could not be cut and pasted here. The text doesn’t squarly address what I find most interesting: 1) the climate warmed from 700 AD to the latter 900s, and human-produced C02 obviously had nothing to do with it. So other factors cause climate warming; 2) after the Medieval Warm Period, the Earth went on a long-term cooling trend, culminating in the “little ice age”. Then, around the year 1800, temperatures began to rise markedly. Looking at this graph, covering 1300 years, it appears that we are on a long-term warming trend that began more than a century before C02 emissions could have had anything to do with it. So again,natural factors drove and may continue to drive the warming trend.

Medieval Warm Period - 9th to 13th Centuries
Norse seafaring and colonization around the North Atlantic at the end of the 9th century indicated that regional North Atlantic climate was warmer during medieval times than during the cooler “Little Ice Age” of the 15th - 19th centuries. As paleoclimatic records have become more numerous, it has become apparent that “Medieval Warm Period” or “Medieval Optimum” temperatures were warmer over the Northern Hemisphere than during the subsequent “Little Ice Age”, and also comparable to temperatures during the early 20th century. The regional patterns and the magnitude of this warmth remain an area of active research because the data become sparse going back in time prior to the last four centuries.

The plot below, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (2007), shows numerous Northern Hemisphere paleoclimatic temperature reconstructions. The various studies differ in methodology, and in the underlying paleoclimate proxy data utilized, but all reconstruct the same basic pattern of cool “Little Ice Age”, warmer “Medieval Warm Period”, and still warmer late 20th and 21st century temperatures.

I know the mwp is usually laughed off and totally disregarded by AGW proponents. I’d like to know why that is but every time it’s brought up - the only response is ridicule from warming activists. well okay - but that doesn’t convince me of anything.

It is a gross distortion to say that Dr. Carlin is not a scientist. He has a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Cal Tech in addition to a PhD in economics from my alma matter, MIT. He was commenting issues that specifically address his expertise, namely climate change and policy and their economic consequences and costs. For several years prior to the recent incident, he was professionally employed by the EPA in this capacity.

A great many respected climate scientists do not have PhDs in science. This includes Rajendra K. Pachauri, the head of the IPCC, whose degrees are in Industrial Engineering and Economics.

By claiming, without any qualification, that Dr. Carlin is not a scientist, you undermine your credibility. I stopped watching after about a minute because of this presumptively deliberate misinformation.

Is the case for action on climate change so weak that it can not be made without deliberate distortion? I suspect not. I suspect that the fault lies with the videos creator.

For the record, I think that Dr. Carlins contribution was not particularly meritorious.

The minimum qualification for a scientist is not a Batchelor’s, but a higher degree, typically a Ph.D. in a scientific discipline. Since Dr Carlin’s doctorate is in economics, as is his work, it is fair to assume that he would not be regarded as a scientist.

And it shows, since he isn’t even very good at plagiarism.

It is also curious that up until this curious sequence of events, Dr Carlin had apparently been entirely convinced that GW was anthropogenic. Furthermore, there has not been any clear evidence that the mechanisms driving climate change have altered, so it couldn’t be the science.

So presumably, it was something-else that changed Dr Carlin’s mind.

“The minimum qualification for a scientist is not a Batchelor’s, but a higher degree, typically a Ph.D. in a scientific discipline.”

What? That is a load of twaddle. I know many scientsts who are capable scientists without Ph.D.s. Having a doctorate is not the defining qualification for being a scientist. If it was then that rules out Darwin, Copernicus, Gallileo, Mendel, and most other “scientists” before the 20th Century and a hell of a lot of capable scientist in the 20th and 21st century.

Go away and live in your delusional world!

If Carlin was so good at atmospheric science, why did he feel the need for plagiarism?

Darwin, Copernicus, Galileo, Mendel, were superb scientists and whose discoveries led to new branches of science.

If you believe Carlin is even remotely comparable with Darwin, Copernicus, Galileo or Mendel, then you are deluded.

Comparing the relationship between a B.Sc to a Ph.D. in the present to the scientific context in which Darwin, Copernicus, Galileo, Mendel and “most other scientists before the 20th Century” practised is nonsense. The formalization of academic hierachies is a very recent phenomenon. An undergraduate degree in ANY discipline is not a verification of expertise. An undergraduate degree is, at best, a general degree. If you want to claim credibility as a scientist, you follow through the currently accepted process to establish yourself in your field, and in climate science, that means pursuing post-graduate degrees in earth sciences, not economics. And BTW, it’s spelt Bachelor – no T Fern

This is the first thing I have viewed on this website and I am astounded at the dissembling, distortion and blatant dishonesty. The makers are guilty of everything they accuse Carlin of - and he is not at all, at least from what I can see, and I read his paper. Not to mention that it fails to address a single substantive point in his paper.

1. The video make quite a deal about the graph Carlin presents that begins with 2006. But that graph was presented simply to make a point about temperatures since 2006! The makers deceitfully characterize his work as if rests on this one graph, as if everything he says was based on a few years of data. They disdainfully accuse him of dishonest cherry-picking. The truth is THEY dishonestly cherry-picked that graph from his report! His 100 page report his dozens of graphs, most of which have at least decades of data, many that have over a century of data, many which have hundreds of years of data, and at at least one that goes back 11,000 years.

2. The video leads off with an accusation of plagiarism that, on inspection doesn’t even appear accurate, and, even if were is utterly trivial. More importantly, its points are fundamentally dishonest. The text it cites states the simple but important and incontestable point that any science behind the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report is at least three years old. There are only so many ways to say this. His language isn’t the same as the other piece the video claims he plagiarized, which, additionally, it says isn’t peer reviewed. Pointing out that the science behind a study is more than three years old is not a point that can be plagiarized. It is a simple statement of fact. It is a fact that does not require peer-review to be stated. The video’s points here are nothing but deliberate false innuendo.

3. There is a great deal of substance in Carlin’s paper, which the video does not address whatsoever. One wonders if the makers have any ability to do so. Presumably if they could, they would; if they can’t - well then they resort to dissembling, deceit and baseless ad hominem attacks. The video does not even acknowledge the fact that global temperatures on average have been trending lower in recent years, let alone try to address it. Carlin presents a great deal of information, science and intelligent argument to the effect that the models upon which the disaster projections rely have already proved unreliable - they completely failed to predict the recent cooling. He very competently presents information on what the models have most likely failed to account for - the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, solar activity changes, and more. If the makers have the ability to debunk his ideas, they should have debunked them.

They are much more interested and able to dissemble rather than debunk, unfortunately.