Republicans investigate global warming scientists who demanded skeptics be prosecuted


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Turnabout is fair play? The lead signer of a letter from global warming scientists demanding the Obama administration investigate and prosecute corporations and scientists who express skepticism of human-caused global warming are now being investigated themselves.

Last week, Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the chairman of the science panel of the House of Representatives, announced plans to investigate a nonprofit research group led by climate scientist Jagadish Shukla of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He is the lead signer of a letter to White House officials that urges the use of an antiracketeering law to crack down on energy firms that have funded efforts to raise doubts about climate science.

In a 1 October letter, Smith asked Shukla, who is director of the independent Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES) in Rockville, Maryland, to preserve all of the “email, electronic documents, and data” that the institute has created since 2009. Smith’s panel soon may be asking for those documents, the letter suggests.

This is not good news and illustrates the truly poisonous culture we now live in. The original demand that skeptics be prosecuted was horrible. To respond by considering prosecution of global warming scientists is just as bad.

The solution to the debate about climate is to do research, to openly challenge the theories and claims of either side with facts. Attacking those with whom you disagree gets us no closer to the truth, and in fact hinders that effort significantly.

11 comments

  • pzatchok

    I thought this investigation was over Shukla’s double dipping into the federal money bag?

    He runs a federally funded global warming group and at the same time does the very same work for a federally funded university. Submitting the same research to both and getting paid by both.

    If found guilty he could be forced to pay the university almost 34 million dollars he received for his personal research group.

    His letter calling for the RICO act to be used on GW deniers was published on his groups website and possibly organized through that organization. Which is also a violation federal rules.

    The investigation might be petty but it is legitimate.

  • Cotour

    A woman who works for me has cousin who is an active and involved “climate change” scientist, they were recently together at a family gathering and she asked him (because of my position on the subject) ” How is your research going, is there proof yet about climate change / global warming?

    He replied, ” We don’t have proof yet”.

    I just shook my head.

    She has put forth the fact that her cousin was involved in climate change “research” to me as “proof” of her agreement with the popular media / politico driven “global warming” story line. He has been working for years on the subject and making a very nice salary doing so. I suspect there are many, many more years of “research” lined up in order to nail it all down.

    This entire subject, much like all of the other subjects that the political class has become involved in, has become a confused and ridiculous subject. And that confusion in the end is the point. Pure manipulated BS.

  • wodun

    Exactly right. It’s not like anyone is advocating imprisoning proponents of AGW apocalypse based on their views.

  • wodun

    “She has put forth the fact that her cousin was involved in climate change “research” to me as “proof” of her agreement with the popular media / politico driven “global warming” story line. ”

    OK, that sounds reasonable. Many of us fall back on an appeal to authority on this issue.

    “He replied, ” We don’t have proof yet”.”

    Ahh, but he contradicts his cousin’s idea of consensus. He is actually going against the establishment grain on this. There are many uncertainties, which should be acknowledged but are often glossed over as inconsequential. That he admits uncertainty, shows that he isn’t in it just for politics or the AGW grant gravy train.

    “I suspect there are many, many more years of “research” lined up in order to nail it all down.”

    There certainly are financial and prestige incentives to frame all scientific study in terms of AGW apocalypse but the study of the climate itself isn’t a bad thing. Climate science is a young field, to me this means they lack credibility to declare impending apocalypse, but it is only through additional research that we will learn how our climate operates.

    It is only through further research that we will be able to counter the charlatans seizing on the evolutionary fear of an uncertain future and replace that fear with a rational understanding of the risks and benefits of climatic change, which will happen regardless of humans. Many of these AGW believers don’t even know that the Earth would still be warming absent the existence of humans because we are in an interglacial period of an ice age. Aside from some peaks and valleys, the Earth has been steadily warming since the ice sheets retreated.

    You have a good point but I don’t think this particular person is a good example of it based on what you wrote in your post. They guy sounds rather level headed in comparison to the climate scientists that want to lock everyone in jail and destroy human civilization.

    IMO, you could look at it a different way. Rather than view this man as an example of how corrupt the government research industry is, he could be viewed as an example of how not all scientists are in agreement on the theology of AGW. And his career could be at risk if he had said that in a medium, print or video, that could be shown to his peers.

  • Cotour

    Just a little anecdote, she said this afternoon at lunch “I was surprised that he did not have something more definite to say on the subject”.

  • Edward

    I agree with Wodun that it is necessary to learn enough about climate to be able to accurately predict it.

    We are in for another ice age (I keep saying this with some jest, but it is true), and while we have worried about a short-lived nuclear winter, no one seems concerned that a multi-millennium ice age is far worse. It would be good to know when it is coming so that we can be properly prepared for the vastly reduced arable land area as the ice caps reach much farther south (covering Minneapolis, for example), and for the loss of our seaports as the oceans recede as they supply the water for the growing ice caps.

    Meanwhile, if the climate scientists are defrauding the world’s population with unfounded fears in order to put forward some ulterior motive, then perhaps they truly *are* guilty of RICO activities and should be investigated.

    Robert wrote: “This is not good news and illustrates the truly poisonous culture we now live in. The original demand that skeptics be prosecuted was horrible. To respond by considering prosecution of global warming scientists is just as bad. … Attacking those with whom you disagree gets us no closer to the truth, and in fact hinders that effort significantly.”

    Although this would be true for childish “tit-for-tat” playground antics by scientists, it is not true if some, most, or all of the scientists (pro-global warming or otherwise) are abusing science. If science is being abused, then we also come no closer to the truth, the effort is likewise hindered, and learning the truth is delayed while everyone is shouting.

    The fact that the climate scientists still lack their proof on global warming or whatever they mean by climate change (it is always changing as a part of nature), the models they carefully crafted have failed miserably, and they violate the methods of science (yet *still* cannot fabricate any proof — how incompetent is that?) shows that the “orthodox” view — the current hypothesis — must be discarded and a new hypothesis generated. The longer it takes, the later it will be when we finally create a working theory that accurately predicts future climate.

    The East Anglia Group, Mann, Gore, the 20 signatories, publications that won’t publish papers containing contrary evidence, and others are delaying the eventual discovery of the truth. Their arguments largely come down to “we are the experts, trust what we say,” but they fail to back up their statements with actual, unadulterated data.

    A good first step is to remove those posing as scientists and replace them with people who will look objectively at the problem.

  • Cotour

    As the next colder cycle settles in on planet earth will there be demands for the excellerated burning of more and more fossil fuel to warm the earth?

  • Max

    Truth? What does the truth have to do with this? If they were to reveal the truth, it would destroy the industry and all of Obama’s plans for taxing carbon polluters would go down the drain. The truth will set you free, the object here is to enslave. You say, “a good first step would be to remove those posing as scientists”. Has and it occurred to you that hiding the truth and obfuscating reality is exactly why they were hired? What money is in it if they solve the problem? It’s like curing cancer, more than half of the hospitals and clinics in the country would go out of business causing untold thousands of jobs lost. It would be an economic disaster. As a supplement salesman once told me, you can’t sell a cure for an illness untell you convince the patient they are sick.
    The cause of global warming and the science behind it is well understood but there is no money in it until we create a manufactured crisis.
    In case you were wondering, what causes heat on this planet and seven others is easy to explain. The key to understanding is that ALL HEAT is FRICTION! This is one of the first rules that engineers learn.
    Scientists know this, and they often refer to this process as what caused the sun to begin the fission reaction. They fail to apply it to all the planets. When I tell people that atmosphere has weight and causes friction at the bottom of an air column, they just look at me blankly. When I tell them that Jupiter is five times hotter than the surface of the sun, they tell me it’s impossible. When I show them that the temperature drops as you travel up a mountain or go up to 30,000 feet in a plane they cannot tell me why. Nor can any atmospheric scientist tell me why a cold front (Low pressure System) with air heavy with water causes atmospheric pressure to drop which also causes the air temperature to drop. (Less pressure, less friction, Less heat)
    If you tell a climatologist the truth, they start giving you a mantra. A religion like litany of fact less theories that are unprovable. They’ll tell you of complicated air flows and carbon dioxide and methane and albedo effect. Some can be measured (like the solar cycle, and the suns less than 1% variation of output) others cannot and will be wildly exaggerated! Climatologists are the modern equivalent of traveling sideshow with the snake oil salesman, gypsy fortunetelling, rainmaker, all rolled into one. Perhaps this is why I am attracted to rocket science. Nobody trying to fool anyone because it’s an results based science. If you fake it here people die and millions are lost. Exciting repeatable cause-and-effect that you can sink your teeth into and understand without bias or superstition.

  • Nick P

    Edward

    “The fact that the climate scientists still lack their proof on global warming or whatever they mean by climate change”

    I don’t believe this is the case. I think that a slow warming over the last few hundred years is fairly well established. The disagreement is in the case and to what extent human activity and CO2 has contributed, not to the gradual warming itself. I my mind it’s much like Evolution. One can observe the slow change in life forms without being convinced that natural selection full accounts for all of what we observe.

  • Edward

    Nick wrote: “I think that a slow warming over the last few hundred years is fairly well established.”

    This is not in dispute. However, this fact alone demonstrates that man may have very little effect on global temperature. We have only been burning fossil fuels in abundance since 1940 (the past seven decades or so), not the past few hundred years, thus we can conclude that something caused warming prior to our CO2 emission activities.

    And additional factor is the so-called “pause” in temperature rise over the past couple of decades — a period when human CO2 emissions have been at their greatest.

    1) The use of the word pause suggests that the temperature rise will resume, however there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that this will occur, because:

    2) Since the warming has stopped despite the human CO2 emission being so much greater now than when it was rising, we know for certain that there is an unknown factor that is a greater determinant of global temperature than human CO2 emissions. Until we determine this factor (or multiple factors) AND learn how it (they) affects climate, then we cannot make any conclusions as to the amount (or even whether) human emissions affect climate, whether temperatures will increase, decrease, or remain (relatively) stable over the next few years or decades. We can make guesses, and guesses are what a lot of expensive policy (e.g. California) is based upon.

    3) I used the phrase “lack their proof on global warming” rather than AGW, because that was the phrase used by Cotour. His story did not reference a belief that humans affect climate or global temperatures, and I do not want to put words into other people’s mouths (or onto their keyboards). I like to avoid mischaracterizing what people say.

  • Nick P

    Edward – once again, there is no “reply” option under your post.

    I agree with everything you say. Agreement doesn’t make for good debate. I wish someone would show up and defend AGW.

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