A Somewhat Late Response to Schneider

(This post is by Ross.) Eight years ago, in October 2003, Stephen Schneider wrote email 0020.txt to Annie Petsonk of Environmental Defense, cc’ing to Mann, Hegerl, Overpeck, Briffa, Hughes, MacCracken, Jones, Bradley, Santer, Thompson, Mosley-Thompson, Crowley, Trenberth, Osborn, Wigley and a couple others.  The email stated, in part, the following ([sic] wherever appropriate).

 Hello all. Ah ha–the latest idiot–McKitrick–reenters the scene. He and another incompetent had a book signing party at the US Capitol–Mike MacCracken went and he can tell you about it–last summer. McKitrick also had an article–oped, highly refereed of course–in the Canadian National Post on June 4 this year. Here is the URL that worked back then: http://www.nationalpost.com/search/site/story.asp?id=045D5241-FD00-4773-B816-76222A771778

It was a scream. He argued there is no such thing as global temperature change, just local–all natural variablity mostly. To prove this he had a graph of temperature trends in Erie Pennsylvania for the past 50 years (this is from memory) which showed a cooling. THat alone proves nothing, but when reading the caption I noticed the trend was for temperature in October and November!! So one station for two months consitituted his “refutation” of global warming–another even dumber than Lomborg economist way out of depth and polemicizing. I showed it to a class of Stanford freshman, and one of them said: “I wonder how many records for various combinations of months they had to run through to find one with a cooling trend?” THe freshman was smarter than this bozo. It is improtant to get that op-ed to simply tell all reporters how unbelievably incompetent he is, and should not even be given the time of day over climate issues, for which his one “contribution” is laughably incompetent. By the way, the Henderson/Castles stuff he mentions is also mostly absurd, but that is a longer discussion you all don’t need to get into–check it out in the UCS response to earlier Inhofe polemics with answers I gave them on Henderson/Castles if you want to know more about their bad economics on top of their bad climate science

The op-ed I believe Schneider refers to is not at the Post website anymore, but it is online here. It was published in April 2003, not June. I didn’t publish an op-ed in June 2003, to the best of my recollection (and I have nothing in my files from then). Also, the print edition for the April 2003 op-ed shows the temperature graph for Erie Pennsylvania, and is the only one I’ve written that refers to that data. I encourage everyone to read my April 2003 op-ed, and then re-read Schneider’s email.

There’s no mention of Castles and Henderson in it: I think Schneider must have mingled something else in his memory. As to the choice of Erie PA, As I explain in the op-ed, I was responding to a claim David Suzuki had made on TVOntario a few nights earlier, saying that when he grew up in London Ontario, winter used to set in by the end of October, but now the snow didn’t come until much later; this being evidence of the fearful progress of global warming (or words to that effect). So I looked up the weather records for London from the 1940s to the present to check. Since the Canadian data on the GISS archive only went up to 1990, I also looked up the Erie PA record, which was the nearest US city (just across Lake Erie from London) with a long temperature record for October and November continuing up to the (then) present. The slight cooling trend in those records contradicted Suzuki’s claim.

This is all explained in the op-ed. Contrary to Schneider’s claim, I was not using the October-November temperature trend from Erie PA as a measure of global climate, I was using it as a measure of the October-November temperature trend for Erie PA. Schneider was careless in his reading, remiss in his recollection, and obnoxious in broadcasting his opinion to his colleagues.

OK, some jerk sent an email. What does it matter?

10 years before that email was sent, I was a grad student in economics, planning to do my PhD on carbon taxes. When trying to learn about the physical science issues, one of the first things I read was a 1989 Scientific American article by Schneider. Probably many people first learned about the issue from Schneider’s writings, and over time he had an enormous influence on the way the scientific message was controlled and transmitted to the public and to policymakers. He edited a major journal, wrote UN climate reports, advised governments and generally spoke for his profession for several decades.

That he turns out to have been intensely biased, arrogant and careless with facts matters a great deal.


97 Comments

  1. AndyL
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 1:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ross, some people may take issue with the title of this post. Probably not worth giving them that stick to beat you with

    • Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 1:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Nobody was honest about this stuff while he was alive. Even with my jaundiced glasses on, this is shockingly pejorative and controlling from Schneider. I don’t object to the title or to the title being changed. It’s lalte for a reason, because nobody has been honest about this kind of influence.

    • Ross McKitrick
      Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

      “Late” as in “long after it was needed”. I wasn’t trying to make a morbid pun. I can’t call it a delayed reply because there was no delay between me seeing the email and making the reply: since I only just saw the email this is the first opportunity I have had to respond. So in this case “late” is the correct word.

  2. Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 1:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Best phrase in the original article:

    Ho-hum yet another apocalyptic enviro-scare: it’s starting to drag on like a secular “Left Behind” series.

    Yes it matters that Schneider was ‘poisoning the well’ like this. But the first thing to say is thank you, Ross. He knew you were trouble.

  3. stan
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 1:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is an example of the point that seems lost on all who try to say that the e-mails don’t affect the science. Credibility matters. Always. But especially when people argue from authority. And in a field where replication is absent, audit rare, and gatekeeping rampant.

  4. IanH
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ross, I happened to read that email earlier today, and have to confess I felt a little embarrased about what you had done. Cherry picking a couple of winter months to prove your point, aparently. Now I see the ful context I am embarassed for the Climate “scientists”, your article was exactly on point, sorry for having a moments doubt.

    IanH

  5. Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Worth noting that Ross is providing essential context here for one email out of 5292, context that is no longer available from the original newspaper as online HTML but that he has taken the trouble to keep as a PDF. I sure we can expect the world’s media to point to this excellent counter-example to the terrible practice they’ve been complaining about, taking the emails out of context.

    But they won’t point here. And they won’t do the work themselves. And they will still accuse us of the sloppiness they practice every day. But we know who the true heroes are.

  6. Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If you disagree with the Team, it doesn’t matter what you say, they aren’t listening.
    I have met this type of arrogance in other academic contexts. In a meeting of all Ph.Ds, we were questioning a person’s field plan for research. He treated everyone in the room like morons, even though 2 of them had more publications than he did. This is the consistent tone from the emails: anyone they disagree with is treated with contempt: the Pielkes, Steve M., Douglass, Spencer, Christy, everyone.
    It must be comforting to the ego to never be wrong, too bad it is never the case.

    • Tom Ganley
      Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 6:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

      You’ve hit on something here, Craig. I see this commonly among the college educated generation below me, my children, nieces, nephews.

      A look of scorn and derision comes over their faces whenever they bump up against an idea that conflicts with their worldview. It’s always the same look, and they answer with the same tone of voice. They don’t even have to say the person is an idiot, all they have to do is put on ‘the’ facial expression and use ‘the’ tone of voice and they think that proves their point.

      I grew up thinking this behavior childish, but I see it everywhere now.

    • Gary
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 4:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

      One must always remember, when confronted by such obtuseness, that PhDs are highly selected for argumentativeness and self-confidence. Lesser egos get culled by their thesis committees and fellow grad students so those who are the “fittest” for the academic political battlefields are more numerous than you might suppose. Yes, some very talented and gracious people rise to the top, but they are fewer. “Academic freedom” and the professor’s union often give the petulant enough cover to get away with behavior that would be cause for sacking in other jobs. Think of it as another case of the Delinquent Teenager Syndrome.

  7. The Pedant-General
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    One more thing to note: it is vanishingly unlikely that the chap who compiled this treasure trove could have known the relevance of this particular mail unless he was following this really really closely and knew what Ross’s original article actually said.

    This has to be a contemporaneous archiving, not one gathered in 2009: this mole has been in place for decades, gathering, waiting, compiling.

    Wow….

    • Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Much though I respect FOIA to the rafters I don’t think this is credible. They didn’t have all the context but they knew enough, after two years, to know what might well contain dynamite. They certainly lit the blue touchpaper here.

      • PJB
        Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 3:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I can only suspect the time-related implications of FOIA’s selections.

        His agenda may well be:

        1 Take on the science (Yamal etc. from CgI)

        2 Take on the individuals (Team members and their hipocracy from CgII)

        3 Take on the connections (Political and bureacratic games from CgIII?)

        He took 2 years to glean the much more intricate personal stuff. May he have fortune, as well as right, on his side.

        • Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

          Pointman has an excellent thread where he speculates along these lines, with a contribution from yours truly on the brilliance of steps one and two.

        • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

          Try this for fit.

        • Steve Garcia
          Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

          Probably about 2005 or so, when warmists had the podium to themselves, I started thinking that the only way things were going to turn around was if an insider broke ranks. Anthony Watts and Steve M and Ross and Dr. Pielke, and the UAH gentlemen, Drs. Christy and Spencer, and very few others – were not winning the day, even though they were being a good and royal pain in the arse. I more or less prayed for some insider to finally get pissed off at Mann or the distortions.

          I am on also record in the post-Climateaget period of asking if and when the next shoe will drop. That, also, was more prayer than prediction, so I don’t take credit for being right. I just am very happy it has played out the way it has. (I wish none of it had happened in the first place – far, far too much time and mental effort has gone into this non-issue that has been shoved down our throats.)

          Yes, one must wonder just how long Foia had all this in mind. What mental processes? Put in that position, how long could one take it, before feeling one had to move? Yes, it was best Foia stayed in place a good long while, to garner the evidence contemporaneously. The time to gather 225,000+ files was no sniveling mole operation. Foia might have have been a man/woman out of his/her time – perhaps the Cold War would have been more suitable.

          (Ross – sorry if this has gone to far OT.)

    • TerryS
      Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Perhaps (s)he didn’t have a clue what Ross’s original article was about but was confident that Schneider was wrong and that Ross would not be so foolish as to do what Schneider claimed.

  8. Jit
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mysterious why someone would compile such a tirade – when any of the recipients could have followed the provided link. They would then have discovered quite quickly that the email did not fairly characterise the piece.

    If I received such a message I would be almost certain to read the document referred to (perhaps to add my scorn too) – but instead, my opinion of the sender would change for the worse.

    Why then would such a luminary go off on one like that when a cursory check would show it to be all mouth and no trousers?

    • Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

      With respect, you’re not paying attention to the full context, which is that if you check the article and raise your concerns your career is blighted. Once you’ve seen this happen a few times you either fall in line or get a proper job. But the IPCC under the benevolent hand of Schneider and a few others gains pervasive power. Not many were man enough to try to do anything about it and we probably don’t know their names.

      • Jit
        Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Did any of the recipients reply?

        Hopefully they began the response with “Actually, the article’s not that bad…”

        Don’t have the emails on this machine to check.

        • Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

          There are no responses in the file 0020.txt. Schneider is himself responding to and copying to the wider group an email he’s received from Annie Petsonk of Environmental Defense:

          On Mon, 27 Oct 2003 zzz@environmentaldefense.org wrote:

          >
          > Michael, this was on the Heartland Institute’s website – it is an article
          > by one of the coauthors of the new study, ross mckitrick. Perhaps you have
          > run across this before?
          >
          > Annie Petsonk
          > International Counsel
          > Environmental Defense

        • Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

          Received via Michael Mann presumably, though Schneider saves the young man’s blushes by not republishing his “What should I do with this?” intermediate.

    • stan
      Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 8:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

      The purpose of the email has nothing to do with whether Schneider’s claims were accurate. He’s cheerleading for the home team and making sure that everybody knows who wears the white hats and who wears black. By definition, the bad guys in the black hats are stupid and evil. If this particular article didn’t really prove it conclusively, who cares? — the next one surely would.

  9. hunter
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This sadly confirms the skeptical interpretations of Schneider’s advice to scientists about spinning messages.
    The inclusion of the link and the apparent lack of feedback regarding the difference between what Schneider claims the op-ed states and reality is potentially a sad comment on the lack of independent critical thinking on the parts of those who received the e-mail.

    • Scott B.
      Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 3:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

      An equally likely possibility is that some people read the email then did clicked the link and read what was there. Upon realizing that Schneider was totally misrepresenting what was actually said and done, they decided to just drop the matter rather than 1) risk their career by stnading up for an incompetent “denier,” 2) embarrass Schneider by pointing out he clearly had not read/understood McKitrick.

      • Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 6:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

        The other possibility I suppose is that Schneider’s link never worked or went to the wrong place – both seem possible from what he writes and what Ross has told us today. I wouldn’t put it past him to do that deliberately but I wouldn’t put much past him this evening.

  10. Paul Linsay
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I remember the 1989 Sci. Am. Issue. It was the first time I had ever heard of global warming. The article by Schneider and three others attacked Lomborg for his book, with no reply by Lomborg allowed. I canceled my subscription after that.

    • Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

      No, that was later. You’re right that Schneider was part of the pack that rounded on Lomborg, but that wasn’t until 2001.

      • Paul Linsay
        Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 3:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

        My bad, you’re certainly correct on the date. That’s when I started looking around on the web and found John Daly’s site as well as Steve Miloy, and Warwick Hughes. Hughes criticism of Jones even then was devastating. How does one interpolate a missing grid cell to have a higher temperature than any of the surrounding cells? That’s a whopper on par with any generated by the paleo types.

  11. EdeF
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 2:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Self snip. Not going to say what I was thinking.

  12. KnR
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 3:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Its a further indication that science and advocacy are a poisonous mix combined with the bucket load of unearned arrogance that seems to such a feature of the ‘leaders ‘ of climate science.

  13. Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 3:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The idea that FIOA has cherry picked emails runs into a problem with this mail.

    • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 3:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Key point. FOIA couldn’t have known the context which would make Schneider look so bad. Only Ross could remember that until yesterday. All FOIA knew is that Schneider was criticising McKitrick to a key group of insiders. So it went on the list. The cherry-picking (and worse) was all Schneider’s in 2003 and now we all know it. But FOIA was giving everyone concerned a chance to shed light. Perhaps those who received the email want to put their side?

      • Posted Nov 28, 2011 at 8:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Richard,

        FOIA couldn’t have known the context which would make Schneider look so bad.

        I wouldn’t be so sure about that! Given what we can reasonably surmise about the skills of The Saint (as I prefer to call FOIA), it would be a relatively simple matter for her/him to check Ross’s site (and/or the National Post archives at whatever point he had discovered this email) for a likely original, don’t you think? Not to mention that s/he would by now have considerable trust that at least one of us “good guys” would find the context!

        One of the things that surprised me in the early days after the release of Climategate 1.0 was the Phelim McAleer video (at Copenhagen), in which Schneider was asked for his opinion on Jones’s “delete the emails” request. Considering his reputation as the “great communicator” of climate science, Schneider’s body language facial expressions, and evasiveness, struck me as being those of a somewhat terrified rabbit – rather than those of one who had the confidence and courage of his convictions.

        Here’s a link to the video.

        Not that I disagree that the “cherry-picking” charge certainly lacks credibility!

  14. Chilli
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 3:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ross, you may be able to find an actual archived version on the WayBack machine at http://www.archive.org/web/web.php

    They seem to have a good record of the National Post – I had a quick search around April 2003 but not sure which section to look in.

    It would reinforce your point if you could link to an actual archive of the article as posted. Otherwise it could still be argued that perhaps Stephen was referring to a different article.

  15. sHx
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    That 2003 article by McKitrick reads like a classic case of James Randi the skeptic busting Uri Geller the spoon-bender.

    Climate Science is truly the most corrupt scientific discipline, if one can call it science at all.

  16. Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 4:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is within norms for Stephen. Here is what he told Discover Mag:

    “On the one hand, as scientists, we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but-which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but; human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. Bold added, DISCOVER OCTOBER 1989, Page 47, (Steven Schneider is now Editor of Climate Change Journal)

    (More self admitted lying at http://www.sustainableoregon.com/oktolie.html

    Thanks
    JK

  17. bernie
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 6:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ross’s article seems quintessential level headed and on target. Schneider’s reaction is frankly bizarre. It is so outlandish it puts Schneider’s other comments and writings in doubt as to their objectivity.

  18. Pat Frank
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 6:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The “incompetent” Schneider mentions, who joined Ross at the “book signing party” is almost certainly Chris Essex. And the book must have been “Taken by Storm,” by Chris Essex and Ross, copyright 2002.

    Chris is a Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario. I’d have loved to see Steve Schneider debate Chris about AGW climatology. We’d have quickly discovered who was (is) most competent. It wouldn’t have been Steve Schneider.

    Apart from generally misrepresenting the contents and message of Ross’ NP op-ed, e.g., Ross’ article never said “there is no such thing as global temperature change” SS also exhibited memory misalignment, because that italicized observation is in “Taken by Storm,” where it first appears in Chapter 3. (Chris and Ross, with Bjarne Andresen, had a full paper on the non-existence of a global temperature in (2007) J. Non-Equilib. Thermodyn. 32. 1–27 but we can safely assume that SS did not possess precocious knowledge.)

    The second edition of “Taken by Storm,” Chapter 3, page 111, has this to say (in a simulated conversation between Crank Nicholson and Prof. Thermos), “there is no such thing as a global temperature. There is a global temperature statistic but it is not a “temperature.” The world is not in thermodynamic equilibrium, so there is no single temperature to discuss. What we measure is tied to places through local thermodynamic equilibrium.

    So, it’s clear that Steve Schneider had read, or was familiar with, that argument in “Taken by Storm,” and then migrated that memory over into Ross’ op-ed article. I’m sure his rendition was sincere, but there’s no doubt that it was wrong.

    And finally, let’s notice that Steve Schneider’s criticism of the idea was to jeer rather than to refute. As a scientist speaking to other scientists, Steve S unselfconsciously offered a taunt as a criticism. He turned scientific debate into a jape — something that has characterized the AGW end of things ever since.

    And let’s notice the point of his unselfconsciousness in making that argument. Steve Schneider must have expected all his recipients to concur in his attitude. He anticipated no chastisement for having bowdlerized the integrity of critical scientific analysis or for having demeaned fellow scientists.

    We don’t know what response he received back, of course. Maybe one, some, or all of “Mann, Hegerl, Overpeck, Briffa, Hughes, MacCracken, Jones, Bradley, Santer, Thompson, Mosley-Thompson, Crowley, Trenberth, Osborn, Wigley and a couple others” wrote back taking objection to Steve Schneider’s scornful contumely. But the point is that Steve Schneider would not have written that way were he not confident of his audience.

    The tendency to assassinate the professional character of one’s opponents, and to deride contrary scientific arguments (rather than treat them with integrity) was already well in place among the AGW stalwarts.

    • Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 9:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

      And let’s notice the point of his unselfconsciousness in making that argument. Steve Schneider must have expected all his recipients to concur in his attitude. He anticipated no chastisement for having bowdlerized the integrity of critical scientific analysis or for having demeaned fellow scientists.

      The tendency to assassinate the professional character of one’s opponents, and to deride contrary scientific arguments (rather than treat them with integrity) was already well in place among the AGW stalwarts.

      That hits the nail on the head. This wasn’t where Jones, Mann and the others learned the game because it had been inculcated in them well before this. But the arrival of Ross (and Chris) as fresh voices on the scene did provide a challenge. They dealt with it the way they’ve dealt with every other criticism since. When exactly the rot set in … we’d need Lindzen to help with that.

  19. Pat Frank
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 6:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I meant to add that “Taken by Storm” remains entirely relevant to the topic of AGW. It’s scientifically enlightening, and very much worth the purchase, a careful reading (several, actually), and retention as a reference.

    Steve Schneider’s recipient list, by the way, looks like a very fine list of names for the core group of those who have turned their standing as accredited scientists to the active and conscious subversion of science in the “cause” of planetary salvationism.

    • Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 6:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Yep, and this is how they learned ‘how we do things around here’ and became the men and women we’ve come to know so well. Agree on Taken by Storm too. The person I gave my copy to has since sought to bend the ear of an influential member of the UK government. You never know when the dam will break.

      • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 8:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

        this is how they learned ‘how we do things around here’

        you mean Schneider methodically led them all astray?

  20. Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 7:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Suzuki’s apparently made-up fact about childhood winters (as reported in the original McKitrick op-ed) reminds me of a story from grad school. In response to a student query about supporting empirical evidence, a noted theorist replied (in jest) “If you have enough confidence in your theory, you can make up your facts.”

  21. Kevin
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 8:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ross, if it means anything or it if it helps, I grew up 24 miles South of Erie in late 1970’s/early 1980’s. The climate was always somewhat temperate and a warmer kind of cold. We would always get tons of snow. Later, I went to college in Chicago in the 1990’s where the temp was colder and more bitter, with less snow than what we would get near Erie.

    Also, in Erie, Welch’s has some grape vinyards. The grapes tend to grow well their with the lake effect, or at least they did back in the 80’s when it was possibly warmer.

  22. John Trigge
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 8:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Worryingly, there was a class of freshmen that were also affected by the bias.

    I showed it to a class of Stanford freshman, and one of them said: “I wonder how many records for various combinations of months they had to run through to find one with a cooling trend?” THe freshman was smarter than this bozo.

    How many of them went on to be true believers and have not now seen that they were being led astray? How many are in positions of influence and still believe what Schneider told them? It appears that they were not given all of the facts of the issue and were not smart enough to ask for them before making comments such as the one mentioned.

    Keep up the good work Ross.

  23. Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 8:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Very disappointing. Although I did not always agree with Schneider’s views, I did admire him nonetheless. Much less so now.

  24. InterstingTimes
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 8:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Perhaps it would be a good idea to have a separate thread for Big Boys / Enablers ?

    Sir Crispin Tickell

    #2088

    date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 17:11:20 +0000
    from: Trevor Davies
    subject: Research Director for TC
    to: m.hulme@uea

    Mike, Be aware that Tickell dislikes Tom Wigley; this isn’t hearsay – I know this for a fact. After Tom published that “delaying -emissions cutbacks – scenario” analysis in Nature, Tickell told me that Tom was irresponsible, & had damaged the likelihood of the cc issue being addressed seriously. There is also the baggage about Tickell pinching some of CRU’s ideas & Tom telling him so rather unsubtly. So – he needs to be the “sort of top research scientist we know is interested”.

    Trevor

    ——————————-

    Schellnhuber and Sir Crispin Tickell

    #2779

    date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 08:55:38 EDT
    from: PARRYML@aol.com
    subject: CLIMATE CHANGE CENTRE
    to: t.d.davies@uea.ac.uk, j.palutikof@uea.ac.uk, r.k.turner@uea.ac.uk, p.jones@uea.ac.uk, m.hulme@uea.ac.uk

    “Please keep this confidential. It is a note on a phone call last week with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. In summary, he has offered to “champion” the UEA cause for a UEA bid for the Climate Change Centre.
    Hans Joachim called me last week, initially on ACACIA business, but then wanted to talk at some length about the Climate Change Centre. He said, without being asked, that he is a member of the Selection Committee.

    I asked Hans Joachim about the membership of the committee. These are as follows: Sir Crispin Tickell (Chairman)…”

  25. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 5:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #3421, Schneider to Adger (CRU) Thu, 20 Mar 2003 21:25:05 -0800 (PST)
    Given insight into the personality and determination to block alternative views.

    • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, 3421 is very revealing.

      Lomborg–with Harrison covering him up still!–did not talk in subjective probabilities, just selective ranges and point values. He can’t even do statistics right!

      Thank goodness that’s not true of anyone else in the climate field.

      The Chris Harrison mentioned is the Publishing Director for Social Sciences at Cambridge University Press. He’d made the awful decision to publish Bjorn Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist in 2001 and Dr Adger of UEA then made the faux pas of suggesting CUP and Harrison to publish the proceedings of an event he was trying to get the great Dr Schneider to attend in September of 2003.

      The event in question? The Justice Conference – and Sheriff Schneider wasn’t taking any prisoners. He couldn’t stand even to be in the same room as that bigot Harrison and thus would be unable to grace UEA with his presence, as he otherwise very much wished to do. I’m sure Dr Adger was grateful that this friendly piece of advice was copied to UEA’s Mr Mysterious himself, Dr Mike Hulme. Indeed I’m sure the whole episode made him feel immensely good about himself, his role at UEA and academic freedom in general.

      The good news at the end of this story? Well, to my great surprise it seems from recent documents on the World Wide Web that Chris Harrison remains in his post at Cambridge University Press.

      I remain a Cantab man it can sometimes make you feel proud.

      • bernie
        Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 3:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Schneider’s reaction to Lomborg’s book is intriguing. My read of Lomborg is that he is the antidote to Erhlich and a heretic to the notion that man is doomed by his own actions and is a parasite. Was Lomborg really that much of a threat to the Erhlich/Schneider Orthodoxy? I came late to this party, so I do not have a good view of the reactions at the time Lomborg’s book was published. Did Schneider porganize the opposition?

        • Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

          This is bound to take us off topic for this thread but Bryan Appleyard is one of the most accomplished UK journalists dealing with philosophy and science, a close friend of James Lovelock and by no means a sceptic on dangerous global warming, based on discussions we used to have on his blog. Bryan wrote a great article on Lomborg in October 2007, including this on the history.

          This all began in February 1997. Lomborg was in Los Angeles and he read an article in Wired magazine by the late Julian Simon, an American right-wing thinker, trashing the eco-catastrophists. He went back to Denmark and with his statistics students set about the task of proving Simon wrong. Except for a few details, they failed. By the end of the year, he had concluded that Simon was right and the green case was a wild exaggeration. In right-on, PC, left-wing, green Denmark this was heresy. But Lomborg had been trained in heresy.

          He was born in Copenhagen in 1965, the only child of a school-teacher mother and a father who was a musician and a priest in the liberal Catholic church.

          The eco-catastrophists Julian Simon was trashing in Wired definitely included Paul Erhlich. As for who organised the opposition to Skeptical Environmentalist that is above my pay-grade. But I think the email Geoff Sherrington has brought to our attention shows that at the very least Schneider would have considered a valued member of the team.

        • bernie
          Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

          I am not sure it is that much O/T in so far as I/we are trying to understand the source of the vitriol displayed in Schneider’s attack on Ross. Thanks for the reference – I found the article a bit too precious for me. I think Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist is actually as good as anything Wilson has written. My sense is that Schneider and Erhlich are joined at the hip and that the critique of Ross and Lomborg originates from the same animosity to empiricists who puncture the balloons of the ecocatastrophists. The excuse for engaging in Schneider type character assassination may be similar to the justification for the Inquisition – we will save their souls by destroying their bodies.

        • Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

          Rereading the Appleyard myself I found myself thinking again about his and John Gray’s wider point – Gray being as political philosopher and another close friend and confidante of the author. My response: if a boy cries wolf a number of times, is believed by many and this has serious negative consequences for the village as a whole, the residents can legitimately become very wary of the person concerned without denying the existence of wolves or their dangers in general. They may be other environmental problems down the line. The eco-catastrophists have done us no favours in identifying them.

  26. Stacey
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 6:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There was a Channel 4 documentary posted on utube, no longer there? Professor Schneider was interviewed and challenged that he once believed the earth was getting colder, he vehemently denied this the presenter showed him a book written by the Professor.
    It is strange how someone’s facial expression can scream out the truth more than any amount of their own tiresome justification.
    I was brought up not to speak ill of the dead so this I find difficult.
    ” The evil that men do lives after them the good is oft interred with thier bones”
    JC by WS

  27. P. Solar
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 6:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    >>
    10 years before that email was sent, I was a grad student in economics, planning to do my PhD on carbon taxes.
    >>

    10 years before [2003]. So as far back as that the idea of a carbon tax was on the cards. Hadley Centre opened in 1990 IIRC under the directorship of Houghton chairman of Science Working Group at the IPCC

    Ross, how long had this idea (CT) been around at that time? Was this research to be cutting-edge study of a new idea of was already a well established aim at that time?

    I’m thinking lead/lag analysis may show the direction of causation. Or is it just a case of positive feedback and tipping points ?

    • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 12:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

      p. solar, fyi. The general theory of placing a tax on an externality-causing byproduct of some activity goes way back in economic theory to A.C. Pigou:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigovian_tax

      However, a lot of applied work has to go into designing sensible Pigouvian taxes on an particular externality-causing byproduct. In the case of global carbon emissions, doing this applied work well would have been ground-breaking at the time.

  28. P. Solar
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 6:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The passing of Stephen Schneider perhaps allows to reflect on his declared aim of getting the right balance between being truthful and being effective.

    It seems on balance he will best be remembered for being “effective”.

    It is unfortunate that these emails did not come to light while he was still here to be challenged about their content. However, now they are public I see nothing wrong with Ross putting the record straight.

    Schneider did not give Ross a right of reply while passing quite offensive comments about him behind his back.

    • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 9:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Schneider did not give Ross a right of reply while passing quite offensive comments about him behind his back.

      This is the nastiest element.

      What’s the use of “saving the planet” if it’s at the expense of the most fundamental of human rights, “innocent until proven guilty”?

  29. Ken Smith
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 8:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Ross, whereas your 2003 FP article appeared careful and judicious when addressing the bogus seven degree Alaska warming claim, it was less so regarding the claims attributed to the alleged report from Suzuki sponsored scientists:

    ‘”And that wasn’t the only bit of global warming fiction on TV recently. The same night as the fictional glacier melted, TVOntario interviewed David Suzuki on their current affairs show ‘Studio 2.’ Apparently some scientists sponsored in part by the David Suzuki Foundation have put out a report arguing that global warming will cause the Great Lakes to boil dry, or overflow, or do something or other a few decades from now. Ho-hum yet another apocalyptic enviro-scare: it’s starting to drag on like a secular ‘Left Behind’ series.”

    One of the themes on this thread (and which runs rather consistently through Climate Audit) is that specific claims should be identified and addressed with specificity. Another is that rebuttals should rely on straightforward and empirical examination, not on snark. In those regards, I am afraid this part of your original essay is flawed.

    I offer this criticism as a sign of respect. Thank you for you work.

    • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 8:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Hey, it was an op-ed. What goes for Climate Audit shouldn’t be taken to apply to all other forms of writing. A pretty interesting example yesterday was Lord Lawson and Lord Turnbull’s letter to UK Energy and Climate Change supremo Chris Huhne. The style there was different from CA or an op-ed. James Delingpole’s commentary was different again. Horses for courses. But it has to be said the dry wit of Steve McIntyre is to be encouraged and, wherever possible, emulated.

    • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I can’t speak to the specific Suzuki Great Lakes claim you have a concern about, but certainly that sort of hype was not uncommon for way too many years. Here’s one example:
      “..At the same time, heat would cause inland waters to evaporate more rapidly, thus lowering the levels of bodies of water such as the Great Lakes.”
      from New York Times article June 24, 1988, quoting,I believe James Hansen’s Congressional testimony of that month

      For what it’s worth, here is a link to a string of alarming claims based on that testimony to U. S. Congress by Dr. Hansen and others and reported in New York Times.

      http://www.abeqas.com/HansenCongressionalRecord1988.html

      The actual item on Great Lakes is at the very bottom of the page, but I’m sure I could dig up a little more from the transcript (which I only found last year after some difficulty).

      • Ken Smith
        Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 11:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I agree that there are countless examples of hype on this and any number of similar issues related to climate change.

        My concern is that in an environment of hype, the restoration of sanity and reason is all the more dependent on the careful use of language. Francis Bacon understood this well:

        “There are also Idols formed by the intercourse and association of men with each other, which I call Idols of the Market Place, on account of the commerce and consort of men there. For it is by discourse that men associate, and words are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar. And therefore the ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding. Nor do the definitions or explanations wherewith in some things learned men are wont to guard and defend themselves, by any means set the matter right. But words plainly force and overrule the understanding, and throw all into confusion, and lead men away into numberless empty controversies and idle fancies.”

        http://www.constitution.org/bacon/nov_org.txt

        • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

          Ken, I apologise that I don’t recognise your name. Obviously you would not criticise Ross McKitrick in this way without having made your own contribution to “issues related to climate change”. As an example to Ross and to the rest of us, would you like to point us to the three pieces you have written, that you think best illustrate exposure of hype and careful use of language. Your examples don’t have to date back as far as 2003, as is the case with Ross, but it would be useful if one of them was written with a popular audience in mind, such as an op-ed in a daily newspaper. I’m sure we’ll learn a great deal from seeing how you did it.

        • anonym
          Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

          Hang on there. One must be a RealClimateSkeptic in order to be entitled to criticise the output of climate skeptics?

        • Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 6:50 AM | Permalink

          I didn’t say that. What I said what that I’d be fascinated to read anything Ken Smith had written that exposed hype related to climate change. What’s interesting is your assumption that such hype could not possibly be coming from a climate sceptic. I had deliberately left open that possibility in my wording. Thank you for making your opinion crystal clear.

        • anonym
          Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

          Your assumption about my assumptions is wrong and, frankly, too clever by half. Mr. Smith doesn’t have to write an anti-consensus article, write a pro-consensus article, or deadlift 100 kg in order to identify and point out a deficiency in an anti-consensus article. Again, I think this ought to be well understood after all the, well-justified, indignation in these parts about RealClimateScientist chest-thumping and “so where’s your temperature reconstruction?” rejoinders.

        • Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

          I refer you to what Ken Smith wrote himself:

          I agree that there are countless examples of hype on this and any number of similar issues related to climate change.

          He has seen countless examples of what he considers hype. So I wondered what Mr Smith had ever said publicly about them. So far he has chosen not to point to any such attempts to deal with the problem. But he has chosen to criticise Ross’s efforts in 2003, which had already been subject to an extremely unjust critique from Professor Schneider, which Ross has only seen this week.

          Of course Ross can learn from specific criticism, regardless of the other views of the critic. I would expect nothing less from the man, given what I know about him. What I was interested in was the critic.

          Because the issue of hype in the climate field hasn’t gone away. Hopefully in what you are writing in support of Ken Smith you are thoroughly agreeing with me on that.

        • Ken Smith
          Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

          Richard,

          One of the useful purposes of blogs like this one is to multiply the number of eyes examining a matter. This can result in arguments and presentations being refined in substantial and/or stylistic ways. It can also spur the cultivation of better habits of investigation and communication that can yield benefits in the long run.

          Some pairs of eyes will see flaws that aren’t real. But other pairs of eyes may, due to partiality, fail to see flaws that are genuine and would better be corrected or avoided in the future. It is conceivable that eyes belonging to an unknown outsider might detect problems sufficient to warrant a word of criticism. And that this criticism might be in some way beneficial.

          I think that Ross would most likely agree with these rather mundane observations.

          Thanks,

          Ken

        • Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 6:51 AM | Permalink

          I take it that’s a no then.

        • Ken Smith
          Posted Nov 28, 2011 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

          Google the following: “ken smith” “on point” wbur

    • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 2:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I take your point. Writing an op-ed is often an exercize in wrestling the snark demon into submission, but he does sneak out sometimes.

      • Ken Smith
        Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 6:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Yes. As a highly opinionated person and former high school wrestler, I can very much relate to “wrestling the snark demon.” He is in fact an almost daily companion. In matters of persuasion I find I am generally more effective when I do not invite him to my matches.

  30. Stacey
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 8:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The link to The Greenhouse Conspiracy I have found

    Professor Schneider features throughout, though he is challenged about his change of views 41.5 mins in.

    Amazing this was broadcast August 1990?

    Please don’t comment on the programme here as it will take the post off topic.

  31. Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 8:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Schneider’s assessment of Taken by Storm is, I think, accurate. Consider their key argument (page 108)

    [snip-rehash of the temperature average topic] Schneider didn’t mention TBS, you are reading in your own hobby horse. You can theorize about thermodynamics on your own blog all you like, but this is a thread about Schneider’s email and the op-ed he said he was debunking. PS unlike Steve my comment editing hand is unfair, arbitrary and impatient so be prepared to see any attempt to divert the thread into hobbyhorse topics deleted.

  32. Gary Hemminger
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    As a Stanford grad, after reading the first Climategate emails, I saw the Stephen Schneider was evidently the PR guy for the global warming gang. I forwarded some of the worst PR emails to him and to the University President. Schneider wrote me back defending his work. He was also one of the people screaming ice age in the 70’s. When I asked him how he could change his mind from ice age to global warming, he had no good response. When I asked him what he would do if the world started cooling again, he quickly responded back that he would switch back to ice age again.

    How this guy and people like Paul Erlich could be so wrong, so often, and stil maintain credibility is unbelievable.

  33. Les Johnson
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 1:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Tim lambert: your

    Schneider’s assessment of Taken by Storm is, I think, accurate.

    The fact that Schneider conflated the book with Ross’s newspaper column, and then got the basic facts wrong, speaks volumes of Schneiders research ability, and his bias.

    Your defense of Schneider also speaks volumes of your own abilities and biases, as you also conflate the two.

    • Pat Frank
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 10:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

      [snip - OT, extols the merits of TBS, and once we start allowing that, the thread will become impossibly long. -RM]

      Ross, Steve Schneider’s memory misalignment brought in TBS, and I here admit my guilt in having brought that focus into the thread. Really, providing the OT opening to Tim’s post is rather my fault. I’d have liked to have seen his full position on TBS page 108, and guess in public that it would not withstand examination.

    • Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 12:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

      My criticism of McKitrick seems to have hit the mark. That’s why it got deleted.

      [Yeah, that's why. -RM]

      • sHx
        Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 4:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

        You posted (presumably) the same ‘criticism’ to Matt Ridley’s blog post discussing this issue. Anyone who is curious what it contained can read it there. http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/importance-context

        It is so wildly off-topic it amounts to trolling. Not a fine contribution from a blogger of your stature, you’d think.

        • StuartR
          Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 4:52 AM | Permalink

          sHx (Nov 27 04:35),
          He’s also recently just posted the same comment on a Keith Kloor thread titled “Climate Science, the Media, and the Middle Ground”. Wondering how many other blogs this non-sequitur appears on, I Googled and found only one other example, the exact same appeared in 2006 on his own blog.

        • sHx
          Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 6:01 AM | Permalink

          Indeed, he has. It is at #96 there.
          “#55 EdG: Schneider’s assessment of McKitrick’s Taken by Storm is, I think, accurate. Consider their key argument (page 108)…”
          http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/11/25/climate-science-the-media-and-the-middle-ground/#comments

          Tim Lambert is not only trolling in this thread, but he is also posting the same irrelevant text elsewhere. That’s spamming.

      • Les Johnson
        Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 7:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Tim: I suppose, technically that it is not plagarism to lift your own copy. But the scientific standard requires that you cite its origins, even from yourself.

        tsk, tsk.

  34. Les Johnson
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 4:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ross: Schneider may have conflated a Heartland Institute book review of Takem by Storm.

    http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2003/03/01/taken-storm

    Annie Petsonk had sent Schneider a file (mckitrick.pdf), that I suspect was the book review. That was about the only thing I could find at Heartland, with your name, for 2003, that matched the topics.

    I searched the documents in FOIA 1 and 2, but could not find the file.

    • Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 6:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Good find but don’t think it fits Petsonk’s words to Michael, assumed Mann, on 27 Oct 03:

      Michael, this was on the Heartland Institute’s website – it is an article by one of the coauthors of the new study, ross mckitrick. Perhaps you have run across this before?

      Petsonk refers to an article she says Ross wrote on the Heartland site and a new study he’d written with someone else. The ‘new study’ could one assume be Taken By Storm, in which case the co-author is Christopher Essex. But the article surely can’t be the one you’ve found, which is not by McKitrick but a review of the book, from March.

      And Petsonk includes a PDF – why would she do that with an HTML page that is still visible of the Heartland site today?

      I don’t know the answers to any of that. All we know is that Michael having passed on the email it triggered the rant against Ross by Schneider the same day, in which he mentioned the book – which we agree exists! – and an op-ed in the National Post, which Ross has given strong reasons must be the one he’s provided a PDF link for, because of its content, in which case Schneider got the date of the article wrong.

      We may never know the other details. What’s clear is that Schneider already viewed McKitrick as a threat, that he decided to blacken his name with ridicule which was totally unjustified by the facts and that those who received this propaganda were among the inner core of the Team that has decided the contents of IPCC reports, who have since always showed Ross the contempt Schneider indicated was his due.

      And that Ross knew nothing about the untruths told about him and their unfavourable effects (well, he knew there was something, I guess!) until two days ago, courtesy of a whistleblower calling themselves FOIA.

      Steve: the “new study” was McIntyre and McKitrick 2003. The “someone else” was then unknown to them.
      :

  35. Les Johnson
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 4:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ross: did you write something for Heartland, or that was posted on Heartland, having to do with Kyoto? I could only find one from 2002, originally for the Fraser Institute, but written in 2002.

    Asking the Right Questions About Climate Change & the Kyoto Protocol

    This was the subject line of the email:

    New Study Questions Kyoto Global Warming Data

  36. Les Johnson
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 4:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What I find interesting, is that people like Schneider, used Environmental Lobbyists like Petsonk as a “clippings” service, and then propagated this information to the Team.

    Cozy, no?

  37. Les Johnson
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Searchin for “Petsonk” gives some intersesting results.

    http://foia2011.org/index.php?search=Petsonk&id=7

    It appears that she is cc’ed on the mails dealing mostly with M&Ms paper in E&E. 17 in all.

    I also see a lot of other familar names; scientists, NGO activists and journalists.

  38. Les Johnson
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 5:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The famous Mann Excel data file shows up in the Petsonk emails.

  39. Les Johnson
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 5:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    An interesting story line on the Petsonk emails.

    Its starts with Mann getting a copy of the paper by M&M. Excitedly, he finds error after error, which turn out not to be errors.

    Not to spoil the ending, but the last email is just one line:

    Below is the vindicating email,

    The “thump-thump” sound? Its the bus going over Rutherford.

  40. StuartR
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 5:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Matt Ridley has blogged on this with the title “The importance of context”

    I think this observation of his is interesting:

    Notice, in passing, that the leaking of this email does not do McKitrick a favour, so it gives the lie to the idea that the leaker is picking emails that make sceptics look good. Only with McKitrick’s explanation of the background do we know just how distorted was Schneider’s attack.

  41. StuartR
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 6:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t know if this has been noticed but Stephen Schneider follows up on the 0020 email afterwards the same day in email 2165 and says this:

    Hello all again. I found a copy of the McKitrick thing where he “refutes”
    global warming with a 60 year record of Oct/Nov temperatures at Erie PA.
    It should make for amusing reading and wonderful ammunition for reporters
    and congressional staffers who call any of us about McKitrick and his
    buffonery. Cheers, Steve

    It reads ro me as if he hadn’t got the original material to hand in the previous email, and was about to refresh his memory, I wonder if he made any corrections to his opinion?

  42. Stacey
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 5:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve
    I have a post held in moderation, 26 Nov 8.48 I’m not sure why ?
    Also one in Perpetuating Rubbish?

  43. TAC
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 5:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ross, thank you for providing this reply. At one level, it is just another example of appalling behavior by Schneider. Still, it does matter, and you are right to call him on it.

  44. AntonyIndia
    Posted Nov 28, 2011 at 4:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Stephen Schneider had quite a history in trumpeting his science to the media. After publishing about global cooling he swung to the other camp. His most infamous quote can still be read here: http://www.americanphysicalsociety.com/publications/apsnews/199603/upload/mar96.pdf

    “Scientist should consider stretching the truth to get some broad base support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of
    media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little
    mention about any doubts we might have.

    This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in
    cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

    See also http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/199608/environmental.cfm

5 Trackbacks

  1. [...] following is an email that was sent in 2003 by a very senior scientist, Stephen Schneider, to a long list of other senior [...]

  2. [...] context for many of the more revealing emails in CG1 – and at least one from CG2 in which the writer probably depended on no one ever checking the context – as well as indications that during the various [...]

  3. [...] es un email que fue enviado en 2003 por un científico muy relevante, Stephen Schneider, a una larga lista de [...]

  4. [...] UPDATE: I missed it at the time, but Ross McKitrick actually responded to Schneider’s e-mail last November, after the Climategate 2 e-mails became public. Read that here. [...]

  5. [...] UPDATE: I missed it at the time, but Ross McKitrick responded to Schneider’s e-mail last November, after the Climategate 2 e-mails became public. Read that here. [...]

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