Category Archives: Science And Society

Willie Soon

Strikes back against the inquisition.

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s the full statement

I have never been motivated by financial gain to write any scientific paper, nor have I ever hidden grants or any other alleged conflict of interest. I have been a solar and stellar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics for a quarter of a century, during which time I have published numerous peer-reviewed, scholarly articles. The fact that my research has been supported in part by donations to the Smithsonian Institution from many sources, including some energy producers, has long been a matter of public record. In submitting my academic writings I have always complied with what I understood to be disclosure practices in my field generally, consistent with the level of disclosure made by many of my Smithsonian colleagues.

“If the standards for disclosure are to change, then let them change evenly. If a journal that has peer-reviewed and published my work concludes that additional disclosures are appropriate, I am happy to comply. I would ask only that other authors-on all sides of the debate-are also required to make similar disclosures. And I call on the media outlets that have so quickly repeated my attackers’ accusations to similarly look into the motivations of and disclosures that may or may not have been made by their preferred, IPCC-linked scientists.

A double standard in the media. What a shock.

The Soon Et Al Paper

What is right, and wrong with it.

It’s always worth noting that the notion that CO2 is a greenhouse gas has never been in serious dispute, or even that the planet has been warming, in fits and starts, since the end of the LIA. The issue is feedbacks, and the limits of our ability to model them. We will probably get better at that in the future, but we currently suck at it, and it would be insane to base public policy on the models.

An Anti-Scientific Screed

by a supposed climate “scientist.” Even ignoring the “denier” lunacy, this is wrong headed on multiple levels. No, science is not “an expert trust-based system.”

And then there’s this:

You cannot decide that you believe in penicillin or the principles of flight while at the same time disbelieve humans evolved from apes or that greenhouse gases can cause climate change.

I hope he understands climate better than he does evolution. I suspect he doesn’t.

Feynman wept.

The Grijalva Witch Hunt

Mark Steyn’s thoughts on the “warmish inquisition”:

Judith Curry has never testified before Commissar Grijalva’s committee. But, because she appeared before some or other committee of the Emirs of Incumbistan, Commissar Grijalva claims the constitutional responsibility to know what travel expenses she received in 2007.

I’ve testified to the Canadian Parliament and other legislative bodies over the years, and I can tell you now I would not accept an invitation to testify before the United States Congress under the terms this repulsive thug demands. Of course, they have the power to compel testimony through subpoenas, and maybe they can compel proof of speaking-fee compensation from 2007, too. But, for all Grijalva’s appeals to “constitutional duty”, the men who wrote the US Constitution did not intend that citizens who come before the people’s house should have to endure a career audit going back eight years (even the corrupt and diseased IRS only demands seven). It would be heartening to think all seven recipients of Grijalva’s letter would tell him to take a hike, but I am not confident of that.

…the naked intimidation of Bengtsson, Silver, Pielke, Soon and on and on is evil, and remorseless. And so, even as the gulf between Big Climate’s models and observable reality widens, the permitted parameters of debate narrow and shrivel.


[Update a few minutes later]

Professor Curry has a lot of links from the past week. It’s been an interesting one.

The “Skeptical Seven” Witch Hunt

Roy Spencer says it’s just beginning. Yes, unless we inflict severe pain on the new Cotton Mathers.

[Update a while later]

More from John Hayward:

I must admit I find myself in strong disagreement with Dr. Pielke about the wisdom of these measures, being an out-and-proud unreconstructed climate skeptic myself, but it would never occur to me to hound him off the public stage or target him with intimidating government investigations. I’ve got some very old-fashioned ideas about how “science” and “debate” are supposed to work.

As Pielke goes on to observe, the “crime” that brought this “investigation” to bear was saying something true – “it is incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases” – and being a prominent scientist while doing it. It’s great that congressional Democrats have time for this sort of thing, isn’t it? They’re worse than useless when it comes to the IRS abusing its power against American citizens, the Department of Veterans Affairs turning into a horror show, the Administration lying about a deadly attack on a U.S. consulate, or the Justice Department running guns into Mexico, but they’ve got plenty of time and resources to crack down on uppity climate scientists.

The media’s all over this abuse of government power, right? Not so much, says Pielke: “So far, I have been contacted by only 2 reporters at relatively small media outlets. I’d say that the lack of interest in a politician coming after academics is surprising, but to be honest, pretty much nothing surprises me in the climate debate anymore. Even so, there is simply no excuse for any reporter to repeat incorrect claims made about me, given how easy I am to find and just ask.”

There might not be any excuse for it, Dr. Pielke, but there certainly are reasons. Come have a few sustainable, renewable drinks with the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy sometime, and we’ll compare notes on how modern “journalism” works.

Or doesn’t.

[Update a few minutes later]

If you’ve ever called someone a “denier,” read this. It’s about you.

Climate Skeptics

Are you now, or have you ever been one?

Don’t know why I didn’t make the cut.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related: Climategate, and the smearing of Willie Soon:

…the New York Times and other pro-government sources assume that government funding of research is lily-white, while corporate funding is inherently suspect. This is ridiculous. Put aside, for a moment, the fact that the American environmental movement is funded by Russia’s state-controlled oil company. Also the fact that Greenpeace gets money ($203 million) from the American Petroleum Foundation, with another $214 million coming from the Chamber of Commerce. [This has been reported, but the Chamber says it is not the case.]

That isn’t the real scandal. The real scandal is that the overwhelming majority of money spent on climate research comes from governments. Governments, most notably ours, fund climate hysteria to the tune of billions of dollars per year. Why? Because the whole point of global warming alarmism is to persuade voters to cede more control over Western economies to government. (No one actually cares about CO2 emissions from India or China, which together vastly exceed ours.)

Governments fund climate research–but only climate research that feeds alarmism–because they are the main parties in interest in the climate debate. Governments stand to gain trillions of dollars in revenue and unprecedented power if voters in the U.S. and other Western countries can be stampeded into ceding more power to them, based on transparently bad science.


[Update a couple minutes later]

Thoughts from Judith Curry:

This is the first time I have been ‘attacked’ in a substantive way for doing my science honestly and speaking up about it. Sure, anonymous bloggers go after me, but I have received no death threats via email, no dead rats delivered to my door step, etc.

I think Grijalva has made a really big mistake in doing this. I am wondering on what authority Grijalva is demanding this information? He is ranking minority member of a committee before which I have never testified. Do his colleagues in the Democratic Party support his actions? Are they worried about backlash from the Republicans, in going after Democrat witnesses?

I don’t think anything good will come of this. I anticipate that Grijalva will not find any kind of an undisclosed fossil fuel smoking gun from any of the seven individuals under investigation. There is already one really bad thing that has come of this – Roger Pielke Jr has stated:

The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I am a full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me — I’ll be just fine as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to occupy my time. But I can’t imagine the message being sent to younger scientists. Actually, I can: “when people are producing work in line with the scientific consensus there’s no reason to go on a witch hunt.”

Punch back twice as hard.