John Mashey

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Dr. Mashey is an easy-to-Google and Wikipedia’d semi-retired Bell Labs (1973-1983) / Silicon Valley (1983-)  computer scientist/executive.   He has worked with a wide variety of scientists, many of whom have used software or hardware he helped create.  For the last few years he has been studying climate science & anti-science and energy issues, and for several years has written investigative reports mostly here at DeSmogBlog. He has penned a few articles for Skeptical Inquirer, whose parent Center for Skeptical Inquiry recently added him as a Scientific and Technical Consultant.

In Spring 2011, he lectured several times in British Columbia on climate anti-science. He has also lectured at UCSF in 2013 and Stanford in 2014 on Cigarettes, Climate and Confusion Creators. Lectures in 2015 included Penn State, Woods Hole Research Center (video), and Bristol University (UK). He is an active member of the Advisory Committee for UCSF’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, important for the close connections of tobacco and climate anti-science.  He is a member of AAAS, AGU, APS, ACM, IEEE CS.

Earlier reports were often attached to blog posts written by Richard Littlemore here, summarized in Science article recognizes John Mashey Updated: With complete list of Mashey Papers. One of the most important reports was Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report, which first appeared at Deep Climate, but was later copied here to DeSmogBlog for consolidation. Other related works include a review of James Powell’s The Inquisition of Climate Science at NCSE, July-August 2013, and several articles for Skeptical Inquirer: American Physical Society Rejects Climate Anti-Science March/April 2010 (print-only); Strange Problems in the Wegman Report, March-April 2011; Has Global Warming Stopped?, David Morrison, John Mashey, Mark Boslough, September/October 2013. For Huffpost, he wrote Big Tobacco, Big Fossil Power Machinery of Doubt (December 2015).

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

“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

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

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

Beyond Melania, Plagiarism Denial From Politicians, Climate Deniers

Copy Paste, Plagiarism in Melania Trump's Convention Talk

Three deadly sins in academe and journalism are Falsification, Fabrication and Plagiarism (FFP).1  Political speechwriters normally take great pains to avoid obvious text-copy plagiarism,2 but on Monday Melania Trump's speech plagiarized text from Michelle Obama. Trump employee Meredith McIver took responsibility, but new analysis here raises more doubts.

Climate denial is pervaded by FFP examples, the most famous likely that around the Wegman Report, where plagiarism and reactions to its exposure resemble those in the Trump case.

First, high-profile work is trusted to inexperienced people, who can make silly errors. Competent organizations check.
Then, exposure generates contradictory excuses, some clear fabrications, such as personal attacks on irrelevant people.
Finally, the organization takes surprisingly long to produce official explanations, about which doubts may be raised.

Senators' Strong #WebOfDenial Speeches Collected and Annotated

Senators Launch Resolution, Speech Blitz Calling Out #WebOfDenial Blocking Climate Action summarized the comments by 19 US Senators July 11-12.  The text of their remarks was extracted from the Congressional Records, annotated and combined into the attached 42-page PDF.  That is easily searchable, and may help guide selection of videos to watch.

They offered strong words, including Senator Elizabeth Warren's analysis of Viscount Christopher Monckton.

Pink shading is used to emphasis denierfunders, groups and indviduals, many found in the DeSmog Research Database or other analyses at DeSmog, which was mentioned 8 times by the Senators.

The two tables below give page numbers of Senators' remarks, showing first the funders they mentioned, and then the denial groups.  Many Senators mentioned the Kochs, ExxonMobil, tobacco, and Donors Trust.

Peabody's Outlier Gang Couldn't Shoot Straight In Minnesota Carbon Case, Judge Rebuffs Happer, Lindzen, Spencer, Mendelsohn, Bezdek

Peabody's Outlier Gang Couldn't Shoot Straight In Minnesota Carbon Case, Judge Rebuffs Happer, Lindzen, Spencer, Mendelsohn, Bezdek

On 04/13/15, Peabody Energy followed other major coal companies into bankruptcy, and days later lost a battle in a landmark legal war on Minnesota's Social Cost of Carbon (SCC).  The “best” gang1 of climate denial outliers they could hire tried to confuse the court with absurd claims in both science and economics. The Judge was not fooled, and ruled unambiguously, as reported by Bloomberg BNAUniversity of Minnesota Consortium on Law and Values and MPRNEWS:
Updated climate change costs make coal-fired power less attractive:

David Schnare and Jon Riches Mislead Arizona Court to Harass Climate Science Researchers

David Schnare of EELI, funded by coal, among others to harass scientists

Paid by Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal, Peabody Energy and others undisclosed, David Schnare and Chris Horner of Energy and Environment Legal Institute* generate endless time-wasting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to harass climate scientists, as recently summarized by the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund.  

Reasonable FOIAs are valuable, but the rules can be abused with relatively low effort to impose large costs for “fishing expeditions.” It seems many state governments have not yet clarified rules well enough to avoid waste of taxpayers' money.

EELI’s open records litigation against the University of Arizona, for the emails of Malcolm Hughes and Jon Overpack, grinds on with another recent developmentSchnare is not a member of the Arizona Bar, so involved Jonathan Riches of the Goldwater InstituteIn their earlier Reply Brief, p.11, they wrote misleading claims against (deceased) Stephen Schneider, to attack Hughes and Overpeck, starting:

Will Happer Rebrands George C. Marshall Institute As CO2 Coalition

The George C. Marshall Institute (GMI) was a leader in climate denial from 1990 onward, but disbanded in 2015. Its chairman Will Happer and CEO WIlliam O'Keefe rebranded its climate denial effort as the CO2 Coalition, more accurately a CoalOILition.

Of its 18 people, 15 signed Happer's “300 scientists” (sic) letter to help Lamar Smith(R-TX) waste more taxpayer money harassing NOAA. Early analysis of the signers list makes it look even sillier than Happer's 2009 petition to the American Physical Society, as will be seen in a forthcoming detailed post. Oil and coal industry people are well-represented.

Inspired by DeSmog UK's recent exposure of Patrick Moore's work for European coal, this post summarizes known connections of those involved in the CO2 CoalOILition. People were tagged Coal and/or OIL, explained below.1  For example, of 18, five worked directly for Exxon, Shell or the American Petroleum Institute.  Also, 14 have been involved with Heartland ICCC meetings.

Ivar Giaever: Nobel Icon For Climate Deniers, and Philip Morris

Sensible Nobel laureates study new topics before offering strong opinions on them. For example, at nearby Stanford, Burton Richter “retired” from high-energy physics, and kept contributing, as in talks, book and energy efficiency project. Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has no problem speaking on climate science. Of course, both have easy access to top climate scientists. 

By contrast, Ivar Giaever (1929-) did a bit of online searching in 2008, decided climate scientists were wrong, and has been saying so ever since, making him a hero to climate deniers unable or unwilling to assess his lack of credibility.

Even the world's best brain surgeon is useless for open heart surgery unless they spend much time retraining.

Bjørn Lomborg Brings Profit-Protective Policies Back To Denmark

Bjorn Lomborg's Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC) left Denmark in 2012, is not really located in its Massachusetts mailbox storefront, found no $4M Australian home, and represents no real consensus.1  

It is a fine marketing vehicle for him personally and has paid well for emitting clever clouds of confusion.  

Now a new Danish government wants him back and again expects to fund CCC

UPDATE 09/06/15: Maybe not: Danish funds for climate sceptic Lomborg blocked.  If that holds, CCC seems a think tank without  country.  The rest of this post still applies.