The Cleansing of Lennart Bengtsson

Recently, Lennart Bengtsson undertook a positive dialogue with climate skeptics by joining the advisory board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, an organization that attempts to represent rational skepticism.

Instead of welcoming this initiative, the climate “community” has now cleansed Lennart Bengtsson by pressuring him to resign from the GWPF advisory board. Bengtsson’s discouraging resignation is at Klimaz Weibel here (h/t Bishop Hill).

I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.

Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.

This is more shameful conduct by the climate “community”.

As a general point, it seems to me that, if climate change is as serious a problem as the climate “community” believes, then it will require large measures that need broadly based commitment from all walks of our society. Most “skeptics” are not acolytes of the Koch brothers, but people who have not thus far been convinced that the problem is as serious as represented or that the prescribed policies (wind, solar especially) provide any form of valid insurance against the risk. These are people that the climate “community” should be trying to persuade.

Begtsson’s planned participation in GWPF seemed to me to be the sort of outreach to rational skeptics that ought to be praiseworthy within the climate “community”.

Instead, the “community” has extended the fatwa. This is precisely the sort of action and attitude that can only engender and reinforce contempt for the “community” in the broader society.

198 Comments

  1. GrantB
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Unsurprising, but they really are a sordid bunch aren’t they.

  2. Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Horrible. The sad thing is, I doubt Bengtsson has purchased any peace for himself. IMO the nastiness will continue, unless Bengtsson does penance, by denouncing the GWPF and publicly ridiculing his original decision to engage with them.

    • Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

      That’s right Eric. There’s far too much fight left in the guy – witness his reference to ‘the time of McCarthy’ – for this to be the final word or the lifting of the fatwa.

      • Bob K.
        Posted May 14, 2014 at 12:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Unfortunately he didn’t do repentance correctly. The right way is to kneel, kiss the ring, and beg forgiveness that he momentarily came under the thrall of demonic influences (“the Koch brothers temporarily stole my brain but I’m all better now”). I’m afraid that he’ll never be fully rehabilitated with the truculent resignation statement that he made.

    • Jack Spratt
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 8:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Yes it is horrible. Not only has it not gained any peace for himself but his capitulation to that kind of pressure serves no decent purpose, but reinforces the thuggish instincts of those who engaged those tactics. Is it too much to ask for a bit of intellectual courage?
      All evil needs to succeed is that good men do nothing, or capitulate to such tactics. I’m reminded of Franklin’s admonition that those that trade liberty for security get neither.
      How should we understand Bengtsson’s behavior when contrasted with that of Andrei Sakarov or Natan Sharanksy or Ayan Hirsi Ali or Salman Rushdie?
      I won’t condemn Bengtsson for his decision (for I surely don’t know all the details) but it pains me to witness that kind of behaviour and makes me hunger for someone with the intellectual cajones and moral spine to stand up to the pathological assumptions of this corrupt, pc, ‘green’ society.

      • Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Is it too much to ask for a bit of intellectual courage?

        I have to admit that for me it depends who’s asking. Richard Lindzen: fair enough. Ross McKitrick likewise. And so on, through the remaining list of GWPF academic advisers. For myself I’ll take my lead from the chair, David Henderson, and his gracious response.

        • Posted May 15, 2014 at 11:30 PM | Permalink

          I have found over the years that contempt , dishonesty , malice , revenge, greed certainly bring their rewards to the individuals that practice this limited view and the secret for us is to keep above this and not engage in their limited view .
          The results are spectacular in that this type of thought brings about it’s own destruction lacking any thing concrete .
          Good fact’s always win . I wish Mr Bengtsson all the very best .

      • Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

        It took courage for Bengtsson to make the various statements he’s made over the past year, and to join the GWPF board in the first place. I don’t begrudge him or anyone the need to preserve his health and sanity though. The fact that one has to reach to figures like Sakarov, Sharansky, Ali and Rushdie for analogies tells you what the other side is turning itself into.

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

          Excellent comment.

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

          So now we all know what to say when someone trots out the 97% consensus mumbo jumbo.

        • Txomin
          Posted May 14, 2014 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

          I agree. It is easy to criticize. This guy stepped up when most of us comment on blogs (at best).

        • Ivan Jankovic
          Posted May 15, 2014 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

          So, what is exactly the risk that he is running here: that the “community” will stop inviting him on cocktail parties and continue to say mean things about him? We should feel sorry about a coward who capitulates to bullies because he is unable to feel excluded from the “community”? Who cares? To compare him to Rushdie is deeply immoral. Rushdie is a courageous men, condemned to death by a terrorist regime fro his opinion, while this guy is a petty conformist and careerist incapable of enduring the pain of being smeared by climate alarmists.

        • Jeff Norman
          Posted May 16, 2014 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

          Ivan Jankovic,

          I take it you are not a professional, engaged in a career that requires the cooperation of your colleagues to sustain your livelihood.

        • Ivan Jankovic
          Posted May 16, 2014 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

          Jeff, the guy is 79 years old and retired. How come that Richard Lindzen and John Christy and Roy Spencer and many others could not be ‘bullied’? The answer is clear, I think: they are not cowards.

        • Ivan Jankovic
          Posted May 16, 2014 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

          Murray Salsby lost his job last year because he questioned the ice core record and the IPCC CO2 Hockey Stick. But none of you defended him. No, no. It’s much more sexy to worry about psychic problems of mainstream, conformists professors who cannot stand being ridiculed or boycotted by his colleagues.

        • rogerknights
          Posted May 16, 2014 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

          I think he wants to keep that co-author of his rejected paper onboard for when he submits it elsewhere. I think that’s what tipped him into resigning.

        • Posted May 17, 2014 at 3:44 AM | Permalink

          Ivan Jankovic
          I wrote reviews supporting Salby’s book and work at Amazon UK and US, when I heard about the fatwa against him. Please read and support with one click! John Mashey with one star gets all the votes to date. Bengtsson’s books look formidable but they are too expensive for me.

  3. Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    YOu know, I’d like to meet an acolyte of the Koch brothers.

    I’m told that I am one, but I am not, nor are any of my friends and acquaintances.

    Supposedly they are legion, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually met one!

    • Nicholas
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 5:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I’m one of those evil libertarian – does that count?

    • Lady in Red
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 5:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I am an acolyte of the Koch boys, as was my husband a classmate of David’s at MIT.
      I think those kids had a lot of guts. And principles.
      ….Lady in Red

  4. Posted May 14, 2014 at 8:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    .
    .
    Steve McKintyre on the fatwa imposed on Lennart Bengtsson by the climate ‘community’.

  5. jeff taylor
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 8:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The stakes are high. A party that is completely invested is compelled to act in this fashion.

  6. Energetic
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    He said in a interview: ‘if I cannot stand my own opinions, life will become completely unbearable’.

    That just has happened.

  7. Dave L.
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 8:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    For anyone who does not understand why such behavior is prevalent in the climate community, recommend that you read Richard Lindzen’s:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/climate-science-is-it-currently-designed-to-answer-questions/16330

  8. Posted May 14, 2014 at 8:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Shouldn’t climate community be spelled Klimate Kommunity?

  9. Political Junkie
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 8:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Just think of what Judith Curry has had to endure.

    She’s an awesome lady!

    • Posted May 15, 2014 at 3:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

      A true American, she seems to this Limey, and I bless her for that. A free and responsible thinker, who has no axes to grind.

  10. pottereaton
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Dr. Bengsston writes:

    If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety.

    If he was threatened, there needs to be an investigation. Or perhaps several investigations.

    He might also consider talking to Salman Rushdie about security arrangements.

    • Sandy McClintock
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I agree! An expose of this sort of bullying might moderate the “..thuggish instincts of those who engaged those tactics. Jack Spratt”

  11. MikeN
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The criticism of Mann science brought about a lawsuit to silence all critics. This is an extension.

  12. Matt Skaggs
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “[The GWPF is] an organization that attempts to represent rational skepticism.”

    Artfully phrased and true as far as it goes, I suppose. But the GWPF can also be quite pernicious. From a recent press release we learn that:

    “New Report Reveals Green Brainwashing In UK Schools”

    in which we breathlessly learn that “passing examinations will now usually involve the ability to recite green mantras rather than understanding the subtle questions of science and economics involved.”

    I would humbly offer that if you feel the need to use terms like “green brainwashing,” you have stepped off the true path of the truth seeker. While the professional lynching is deplorable, perhaps Dr. Bengtsson will find a different organization and be better off in the end.

    • pottereaton
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Matt Skaggs: Would you have accepted the term “indoctrination” in its stesd?

      While I agree that kind of hyperbole is unacceptable by an organization devoted to science, the fact is that there are millions of young people in the English-speaking world and elsewhere who are convinced that catastrophic warming is inevitable because they have been taught that. Over and over.

      The issue of climate warming is now more than a province of science: it’s intensely ideological and, as some have pointed out, religious in nature.

      Dr. Bengsston was just threatened with ex-communication for engaging in ecumenism.

    • j ferguson
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I agree with what you’ve written, Matt, although I’m not certain that the organization’s occasional forays into demogoguery would sufficiently lessen its value to Bengtsson as a public outlet for his skeptical thoughts.

      We’ve certainly seen other organizations, ACS, NAS, the RS and so forth making demogogic claims yet retaining almost all of their more thoughtful members.

      But of course if the view they espouse is “mainstream” they can demogogue away without fear of the witch-hunt.

    • Gil Grissom
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Perhaps professor Dyson should also look for a better organization? Please send him your advice.

      One’s best options and life decisions are never perfect. That doesn’t mean we should not take them

    • Posted May 14, 2014 at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Matt, I think the report backs up the headline. Children are been told the world is coming to an end. The 10:10 (No Pressure) commercial clearly told children that if they don’t believe global warming someone in authority would make their heads explode.

      Brainwashing Definition: any method of controlled systematic indoctrination, especially one based on repetition or confusion.

    • Posted May 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

      n which we breathlessly learn that “passing examinations will now usually involve the ability to recite green mantras rather than understanding the subtle questions of science and economics involved.”

      I would humbly offer that if you feel the need to use terms like “green brainwashing,” you have stepped off the true path of the truth seeker.

      Except my daughter came home from second grade panicking because she thought her teacher had told her the world was going to catch on fire if we kept driving cars.

      And my son had as several homework assignments assignments to calculate how much higher his carbon, freshwater and red-meat footprints were as compared to people in the third world. And it wasn’t to celebrate our high standard of living but to make us feel guilty about it.

      Perhaps you don’t have children attending school right now. It’s not pretty.

    • Brian B
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I detect a bit of unintentional irony in a guy who uses the term “lynching” to describe a scientist’s resignation from an organization the same guy believes is discredited by using the term “brainwashing”.

    • timg56
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 4:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Matt,

      I have been involved in a science education non-profit for near 20 years. Several years ago we scrubbed all references to “environmental” from our material. The reason why? It carries too much baggage. Environmental organizations are and have always been light on the science. We had a top scientist from Sierra Club come speak at the weekly speakers forum while I was in grade school. Her topic? The lack of good science in the environmental movement.

      The same applies to “green” organizations. What was the 350.org ad campaign with the exploding people about other than propaganda and scare tactics? What are the protests against the Keystone pipeline about? They most certainly are not grounded in any kind of science. They are not even based on any sort of reasonable, intelligent arguments. I could go on and on.

    • Orson
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

      GWPF wrong on Eco-propaganda? Enviro-emagoguery?

      I’m an environmental scientist who has lived two decades in a university town – Boulder, Colorado – where the unofficial religion is environmentalism. I have to disagree with you.

      With eco-fanatics, there is no balancing, limited science, and far too much fad-science.” There is no knowledge or appreciation of Henry Peters classic “Critique for Ecology,” for instance – which demonstrates that while some sub-fields of ecology are highly scientific and progressive (eg, limnology and eco-toxicology), others are still descriptive, prescientific messes (eg, wild life biology), where falsification is unknown and repeatability is extremely rare.

      Beware of claims for the mantle of science with environmentalism, just as you ought to in “climate science” – there’s much tat’s accepted an regurgitated uncritically and unscientifically. It often scares me.

      • maxberan
        Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

        “Falsifiability” rather than “falsification”, I hope.

    • rw
      Posted May 16, 2014 at 1:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

      What’s wrong with calling a spade a spade?

  13. weibel
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Klimazwiebel, not Klimazweibel, please.

    Rodolphe Weibel

  14. Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
    Climate Alarmist Jihadist’s Strike Again – Issues “fatwa” against any Climate Scientists Who Dares To Question Their Climate Alarmist Orthodoxy.

  15. David L. Hagen
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Coercive weakness
    Thank you Steve for highlighting this abuse of science. Such coercion exposes how weak the evidence is for catastrophic majority anthropogenic global warming (aka climate change) and how lucrative is the politically coerced funding of alarmist climate “science” modeling that the Team now relies on.

  16. jaffa
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Contempt reinforced – if only Bengtsson would name 7 shame.

  17. jaffa
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    name & shame – doh

  18. Posted May 14, 2014 at 10:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The commentary and resignation only leaves me asking what the actual pressures consisted of.

    • Posted May 14, 2014 at 10:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

      How do we assign blame to GWPF members if we don’t know details of the actual pressures? There are likely two sides to this but perhaps only one reasonable one as this post seems to assume.

      • pottereaton
        Posted May 14, 2014 at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Connolley on this topic:

        Ha ha: Lennart Bengtsson leaves advisory board of GWPF

        It appears there is no depredation by “consensus” climate scientists that he will not defend.

        • pottereaton
          Posted May 14, 2014 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

          The above post was not meant to be a response to Jeff Id, but while I’m at it, maybe Jeff will answer me this: why should we even suspect that this has to do with pressures applied by GWPF? I suppose it’s possible, but it seems highly unlikely to me.

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

          He claims it was due to pressures from GWPF people obviously. I don’t doubt his word, but I wonder whether it was a one-sided issue as it is being presented in Steve’s post.

          I also wonder why slam the Koch brothers along with conservative skeptics but that is what the media has taught us to think.

      • j ferguson
        Posted May 14, 2014 at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Jeff, Assign blame to GWPF members? What for?

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

          I misunderstood this post. It isn’t GWPF but the outside groups who pressured him.

          I still wonder what sort of pressures he felt but we have seen a lot of examples of that before.

  19. Frank Cook
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 10:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition”.

    But this is not a laughing matter, it is appalling (although sadly not unexpected).

  20. Mike Singleton
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 11:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Once again the “Community” shows it’s nasty side. In this case though it seems they are trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted and looking and behaving very foolishly in doing so.

    Jeff Id, I don’t think one needs much imagination to conceive what the pressures were. From my reading Bengtsson makes quite clear in his letter of resignation what those pressures were/are. The phrase “being sent to Coventry” comes to mind, in other words being ostracized.

    They have blown off part of their own foot with a howitzer.

  21. snarkmania
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I hope he doesn’t stop speaking out, even if he had to withdraw from one organization. Many are motivated to push ahead in spite of ostracism by friends, colleagues, etc. and many who are not as close to retirement have more to lose personally that Bengtsson possibly has.

    Yet, there is also a chance of much to gain for those to tough this out. The truth cannot be controlled by this orthodoxy everywhere, nor can it be controlled for all time.

  22. Posted May 14, 2014 at 11:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Unfortunately, this event will tell extremists of both sides that personal attacks can reach their goal and likely help discourage other visible figures from doing what they think best for the scientific community.

  23. Posted May 14, 2014 at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A drowning person strugglest hardest just before sinking.

  24. Craig Loehle
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 12:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is part of a disturbing trend of “heckler’s veto” seen on college campuses, where conservative speakers are not invited, are uninvited once word gets out, or are heckled offstage if they make it that far. Where people having a “cinco de mayo” party, but who were white, had it shut down because one girl complained. Where a single student complaining about the content of a class that is offensive (which can even be about actual events of history, like slavery or communism or about the classics of literature which have “offensive” content) can get the teacher suspended or investigated.
    It is a general move to enforce extreme orthodoxy and obviously extends to Heidi Cullen urging that weathermen who don’t toe the line on climate change be fired and several state climatologists being fired. Ugly ugly ugly. You don’t have a right to disagree, because disagreeing with those who bear the candle of truth aloft clearly means you are evil.

    • Skihil
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

      WOW….. this also lends special intense resonance to Mark Steyn’s latest column in which discusses why he is determined to fight not only a freedom of speech legal case, but to put on trial the whole oppressive conformity of the climate science “community” — Steyn thought that it is mainly junior researchers who are most threatened, but this episode shows how even very senior, renowned scientists are threatened with ostracism and severe threats to their own research programs if they step out of line. Steyn:

      If you’re older, tenured, sufficiently eminent and can stand his acolytes jumping you in the parking lot and taking the hockey stick to you, you’ll acknowledge that his greatest achievement is distinguished mainly for its “misrepresentations” and “falsifications”.

      But, if you’re a younger scientist, you know that, if you cross Mann and the other climate mullahs, there goes tenure, there goes funding, there goes your career: you’ll be cut off like Briffa’s tree rings. I’ve been stunned to learn of the very real fear of retribution that pervades the climate world. That’s why I’m playing this one differently from the Maclean’s case: Dr Mann will be on the witness stand under oath, and the lies that went unchallenged in the Big Climate echo chamber will not prove so easy to get away with. I didn’t seek this battle with this disreputable man. But, when it’s over, I hope that those who work in this field will once again be free to go where the science leads.

    • Posted May 15, 2014 at 3:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

      AKA mob rule. That’s what it boils down to.

  25. michael hart
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Bengtsson may feel in need of friendship at a time like this.
    I can assure him that he has more friends than he may realise.

  26. Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is more shameful conduct by the climate “community”.
    What did they actually do?

    • Skihil
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Nick, if you can read his letter and witness his change of direction in only three weeks, if you can read his letter and decline to take him at his word that he was intensively threatened with ostracism in all of his professional activities, then you are being willfully obtuse.

      • Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Elderly retired professor joined GWPF. His friends didn’t like it. He left.

        • Skiphil
          Posted May 14, 2014 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

          “his friends didn’t like it” is absurdly inaccurate as a summary of Bengtsson’s letter. You can say you don’t belivemhim, or that he is going to need to publish actual emails and details of the pressures he references before you will take him seriously, but his friends didn’t like it is jot a serious remark.”

          I am well aware of comparisons and contrasts which can be made with how some climate scientists have discussed alleged “death threats” that have often been called into doubt, or with how various climate sceptic websites have responded to “skydragon” interventions, but I do think that the Bengtsson case contains unique features which separate it from those other debates about pressure and dissent.

        • Skiphil
          Posted May 14, 2014 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

          sorry for misplaced letters and quotation marks — difficult to type from mobile device!

        • pottereaton
          Posted May 14, 2014 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

          “Elderly retired professor joined GWPF. His friends didn’t like it. He left.”

          Fearing for his personal safety. You forgot that part.

        • Sven
          Posted May 14, 2014 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

          Sorry, Nick Stokes, but you really are a heartless a..hole.

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

          Skiphil,
          ‘“his friends didn’t like it” is absurdly inaccurate as a summary of Bengtsson’s letter.’

          His only concrete claim is
          “Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.”
          Doesn’t seem absurdly inaccurate.

        • Skiphil
          Posted May 14, 2014 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

          didn’t “like” it takes no account of the ferocity and comprehensiveness of the reactions he experienced

          friends might not “like” the color of one’s shirt or one’s taste in art, but you don’t have your professional life wrecked over mild dislikes

          he is referencing severe reactions which are severing numerous collegial relationships to the point at which he feels his health and well-being are undermined

          this is far, far beyond, “oh, Bill makes fun of this shirt” etc.

          Ofc, we may wonder about the shallowness of people who would ostracize him over this, and clearly they were never real “friends” at all…. but then he did not reference personal “friends” did he? He spoke of professional colleagues all over the world, and co-authors, facilitators of his research etc.

          He had to know many people would not “like” his association with GWPF, but it is the apparent viciousness of the reactions that stunned him.

        • b4llzofsteel
          Posted May 14, 2014 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

          That’s a load of codwallop Stokes and you know it mate.

        • timg56
          Posted May 14, 2014 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

          So Nick,

          by your reasoning, should I give you a punch in the nose, it is simply a love tap. A show of how much you mean to me.

          Bengtsson obviously feels pressured. The exact details that pressure has been brought to bear is not the most important part of the story. It is the fact pressure has been applied.

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

          “ferocity”, “viciousness”,”punch in the nose”
          None of that is in the email. He took a political stand which was unpopular with his colleagues. They let him know, in sufficient numbers that he felt pressured. It happens.

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 5:39 PM | Permalink

          “other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship”

          That directly contradicts Nick Stokes claim that Bengtsson was retired.

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

          sunshinehours
          “That directly contradicts Nick Stokes claim that Bengtsson was retired.”

          Here is a comment from Marcel Crok, one of his most vocal supporters:
          “Well Bengtsson is 79 and retired.”

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

          One publication so far in 2014. Seven in 2013. He probably has more papers in the pipeline.

          http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/users/users/1788#group_2014

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

          Sunshinehours,
          Yes, he’s actively writing papers. But Marcel Crok should know – he wrote the post on WUWT, with interview. And says Der Speigel
          “Since his retirement in 2000, he has worked as a professor at the University of Reading in Britain.”

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 8:29 PM | Permalink

          Working as a Professor and writing papers is not retired. His “retirement in 2000″ was from the Max Planck Institute where he was Director from 1991-2000.

          The fact that you think thugs can harass a 79 year old distinguished scientists just because he joined the wrong side in the debate is sick.

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

          “thugs can harass a 79 year old “
          There’s no evidence that thugs are harassing him. He chose who he wanted to work with. That’s his right.

          His colleagues are choosing who they want to work with. That’s their right, even though I would not have chosen thus.

        • clazy8
          Posted May 14, 2014 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

          Bulletin — It sounds as though the time was ripe for a change of career direction?

          L.B. — Not immediately as there was so much to do at the Centre and I was quite happy to work there, but perhaps the first seeds were sown. A few years later , the Max Planck Society invited me as Director for the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg to undertake climate modelling research. It was an offer I could not refuse as I wanted to spend the main part of my time on research, and I went to Hamburg in 1991. It was a wonderful offer. I was able to hire the staff I wanted and the conditions were very flexible. Of course, my wife was not too happy to be uprooted again. My children were now grown up and remained in England where they had settled by then. The Hamburg period was another happy and active period of productive science, especially in the area of climate-change studies. I enjoyed particularly the cooperation with the many gifted colleagues in the Max Planck Society such as Paul Crutzen11 and Klaus Hasselmann. Another source of satisfaction were all the other social and intellectual contacts in Germany in general. I retired formally in 2000 but still maintain an active research programme both in Hamburg and in recent years also in the United Kingdom. I maintain residence in both countries.

          http://www.wmo.int/pages/publications/bulletin_en/interviews/bengtsson_en.html

        • j ferguson
          Posted May 14, 2014 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

          Nick,
          Wouldn’t you think that someone who writes

          If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety.

          might sense thugs in the offing? I did.

          A while back, some of us did scoff, possibly wrongly, at the complaints of personal threats to members of the “Team”. Maybe it does make sense to wonder if this event is being over-dramatized.

          Regardless, I read his letter as an honest portrayal of his sense of his situation. It does make me wonder, though, about the value he places on his continuing relationship with the “community”.

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:12 PM | Permalink

          jferguson,
          Yes, I do remember being shouted down when I spoke of actual statements about threatening emails, made by a Vice-Chancellor and others, who had seen them. Here, we have no detail at all, except what you read into it.

          Well, there is a bit more detail here.

          “He said the pressure had mainly come from climate scientists in the US, including one employed by the US government who threatened to withdraw as co-author of a forthcoming paper because of his link with the foundation.”

          Impolite of him. But he’s perfectly entitled to do that, if that is how he feels. Is that the “thuggery”?

        • Mickey Reno
          Posted May 15, 2014 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

          “Friends?” Get thee to a dictionary, Nick.

        • Paul
          Posted May 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

          To N. Stokes: “Amputate” several reasons stated in the resignation, give greater weight to the reasons that fit your view. Smells like Climate Science spirit.

        • rw
          Posted May 16, 2014 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

          “Nothing to see here, folks”

          People have been saying the same thing for decades now as PC-style-totalitarianism has slowly spread through the entire Western World. In fact, there is an interesting bit of social psychology going on here – stay slightly under threshold with your incursions or your aggression and someone fundamentally like-minded will cover for you with disingenuous remarks.

          I’m sure that people said things like this when Pym Fortuyn was being accosted by pie-throwers (who, basically, were bringing actual physical aggression into the arena of discourse and thereby setting a precedent, but doing this in a guise that made it seem relatively innocuous and therefore difficult to object to strongly). Remember what eventually happened to Pym?

    • stan
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Nick, your moral sensibilities are severely stunted.

    • j ferguson
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Nick,
      I don’t see how “health and safety” could suggest anything milder than thuggery. But of course if he isn’t more expansive, we can’t know. I agree that it would be reasonable for someone to want to suspend association with a colleague who he thought had gone over the hill.

      As some others have said, it is a little hard to understand how joining the advisory board of GWPF could be seen as going over the hill. After all, he might have had a leavening effect. But as our host proscribes speculation about motivation, and I don’t have any insight into the thinking of Bengtsson’s discouragers, i doubt we can get anywhere with this.

      I think it does speak to how tightly wound many (well, some?) of the participants in this field seem to be.

      • Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

        We know a bit more now. He expanded to the Daily Mail
        on what has made him think he may start to fear for his health and safety:
        “I received emails from colleagues all over the world telling me it was a “questionable” group.
        ‘But what made me the most upset was when a colleague from the US resigned as co-author of a paper, simply because I was involved.”

        So people wrote saying they didn’t think much of GWPF. And worst of all, someone declined to be listed as a co-author.

        • j ferguson
          Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

          He didn’t repeat the bit about health and safety. I would have thought that they would have asked him about it.

        • Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

          Nick, can you point to a single climate scientist saying publicly how much they appreciate Professor Bengtsonn, even though they ‘didn’t think much of the GWPF’? If you can’t find that, among such a large ‘community’, we have our answer.

      • Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Richard,
        Yes, none other than William Connolley”
        “whilst LB has clearly gone off the rails wrt the GWPF, I should point out that he has a genuine solid scientific reputation; see his page at U Reading for example. And he has genuine recent publications in respectable journals as well.”

        • Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

          Well, thank goodness for undated updates. When I read it this is what Connolley had to say about Bengtsonn:

          The back story: Lennart Bengtsson, sounding somewhere between very naive and emeritus, joins the GWPF, talking the usual nonsense (I believe most serious scientists are sceptics) indicating that either he really doesn’t know what’s going on, or is deliberately obfusticating. Now, it seems, his various respectable colleagues have pointed out his silliness to him. So he’s ditching the GWPF, because he doesn’t want to be an outcast. But he hasn’t got the grace to admit the foul-up is all his error.

          I was left with a very strong feeling that Connolley thought that Bengtsson had a ‘genuine solid scientific reputation’. But after one update with the edifying

          watching the wackos on this one is fun … AW is dull; RP Jr is merely a tosser again, sigh.

          He finally gets round to saying what he should have done right from the get-go. This is friendship and respect from the climate ‘community’. I’m amazed Professor Bengtsson didn’t pick it up right away, aren’t you Nick?

        • JunkPsychology
          Posted May 15, 2014 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

          How quickly they will all forget that they ever thought positively of his work.

          He will remain on probation for the rest of his career.

    • hunter
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Nick Stokes, apologist to the boors.

      • Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I never apologise to boors.

        • Daniel G.
          Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

          Short obs for Stokes: look at your dictionary.

    • Grrretchen
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Oh Hi Nick! You’re back. Great! You probably don’t like seeing Bengtsson’s resignation memo copied and made public. We understand. Don’t worry though you can just dismiss it if you like. In time it’ll be old news.

    • RobertInAz
      Posted May 16, 2014 at 3:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Mr. Stokes,

      Can we assume from your comments here that you are similarly dismissive of the “harassment” alarmist scientists have received from skeptics?

      • Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

        RobertInAz,
        Not at all. In fact I was shouted down for suggesting that they may indeed have received the harassment they specifically described.

        The difference here is that the supposed victim has himself not alleged such harassment, though people here are happy to fill in with their imagination. He said he felt pressure, and was very unhappy about it. But when details emerged, it was pressure from the opinions of his colleagues. Well, colleagues do have opinions, as they are entitled to. That is not bullying, thuggishness or whatever.

        • j ferguson
          Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

          Ah, moderation at Steve M’s. First for me. I wonder how I did it?

          Maybe c-o-mm-u-nist?
          maybe schwartz-list

  27. Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on Gonna' Say It and commented:
    HIghly respected scientist resigns the Global Warming Policy foundation. Dr Bengtson joined the conservative, skeptial GWPF just two weeks ago, and has been subsequently harassed by climate change alarmists to the point that he has now resigned. Is this indicative of a larger trend going on in our society as in well know conservatives being turned down by students at certain colleges?

  28. Chuck L
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I certainly respect his right and need to resign but unless he recants his views, IMO he will still be criticized, shunned, etc. so with all due respect to Dr. Bengtsson, it is not clear to me that his resigning GWPF will put an end the “Climate McCarthyism” he is being subjected to.

  29. Brian B
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 2:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I know Steve generally discourages discussion of political motivations here [yup- snip]

  30. Posted May 14, 2014 at 2:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Has anyone considered that this effort (attack, whatever) was not directed at Bengtsson but at the GWPF and/or Lord Lawson? Bengtsson’s views have been known since at least 1990 and have been repeated before.

    Thus, it seems odd that anyone would turn against him coincidentally at the time he joined GWPF. So it seems to me that GWPF was the target since Bengtsson’s membership increased the credibility of that organization immensely.

    I’m willing to bet Bengtsson will be left alone now much like he was before joining. I’m also willing to bet that the pressure came from those who really have a hate on for the GWPF.

    • Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Being left alone was surely what Bengtsson was concerned about and led to his resignation. But I’m sure you have a point, as did Gil Grissom:

      One’s best options and life decisions are never perfect. That doesn’t mean we should not take them

      Alarmists fear the GWPF not because it’s perfect but because it’s the most effective coming together of climate sanity in the UK, with access, through Nigel Lawson and others, to high-level decision makers. I’m not sure how much credibility Bengtsson added but the merchants of fear found they could get to him. Division of their opponents is their aim and they hate both parts as they do, as Connolley‘s reaction shows.

  31. Pete Russell
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 4:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Good God Stokes,

    How far up your bottom did your head have to go to trivialize Bengtsson’s statement?

  32. Spence_UK
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 5:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    So on the one hand, we have Sir Paul Nurse insisting the GWPF should be taking the best possible advice from scientists (presumably here meaning scientists that Sir Nurse agrees with). Then on the other hand when a good mainstream scientist directly engages with the GWPF – can you imagine a better way to get top scientific advice – that individual is hounded out. Presumably because then the likes of Nurse would find it rather more difficult to come up with reasons as to why the GWPF’s views should be ignored.

    And then we have the spectacle of a scientist stating he fears for his work, health and safety, resulting in William Connolley’s thoughtful response to this situation: “Ha ha”. Wow. You don’t have to be a sociopath to be a climate scientist, but…

    Just waiting for next week’s news story where climate scientists complain that the public doesn’t hang off their every word. I wonder why that might be. Must be a communications problem, somewhere.

    • Pete Russell
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Spence_UK

      Excellent summary, what will Sir Paul say when he’s finished pontificating on corporate takeovers?

  33. RB
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    How disgusting.

    A respected colleague ostracised and immediately set upon the minute he strays from “the path”.

    Evidence, if any were needed, that this is not about science. Shame on those who made him recant. They disgust me.

  34. Eliza
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    He’s probably much more useful to the skeptical argument being on their side (believers in AGW)

  35. Craig Loehle
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Stokes dismissal of the bricks sent Bengtsson’s way could use another example. Some 5 yrs ago, I gave a seminar (invited) at University of Illinois at Chicago. It was on my tree ring work. All was going smoothly and then after many questions from students (satisfied with my answers) one student asked about the polar ice caps sliding into the ocean, like they had heard. I pointed out that the IPCC itself predicted that Antarctica would likely be gaining some ice (more snow) for a while and that most of Greenland icecap was in a bowl of mountains (NASA radar images now confirm this clearly) and could not “slide” anywhere. A prof in geology dept, supposedly a glaciologist, got up and started screaming at me, calling me names. My host was horrified and pointed out that if I was wrong I was still a guest speaker. This guy couldn’t hurt me, but I tried to imagine if I was in the same department. I had a similar experience at another college.

    • hunter
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Climate obsession and bullying cowardice correlate very highly.

  36. Orson
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Bengtsson largely agrees with Georgia Tech’s Judith Curry about the uncertain and unsettled state of the AGW science

    Bengtsson is a climate modeler who’s currently active with an EU funded group at the University of Reading, England.

    In mid-April, he wort about his doubts in the German speaking world’s second most important business newspaper, based in Zürich, Neue Zürcher Zeitung:

    “The complex and only partially understood relationship between greenhouse gases and global warming leads to a political dilemma. We do not know when to expect a warming of 2 degrees Celsius. The IPCC assumes that the earth will warm up by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celcius in response to a doubling of CO2 concentration. [b]These high values of climate sensitivity, however, are not supported by observations. In other words: global warming has not been a serious problem so far if we rely on observations. It is only a problem when we refer to climate simulations by computer models.[/b]”

    In other words, the models don’t work.

    “There is no alternative to such computer simulations if one wants to predict future developments. However, since there is no way to validate them, the forecasts are more a matter of faith than a fact.” And faith, of course, isn’t science. MORE HERE http://www.thegwpf.org/lennart-bengtsson-the-science-and-politics-of-climate-change/

  37. Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A splendid “own goal” by the warmistas.

    The mask slips and the consensus are revealed as the bullies we have long suspected them to be.

    If they are willing to do this to a 79 year old scientist universally respected in the climate community imagine what pressure is exerted on the untenured.

  38. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 10:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I just finished a true story about the reign of Mao Zedong written by someone whose three generations of family lived through it.
    The book is called Wild Swans and I suggest reading it. The intimidation by fear of reprisals is a striking analogy to what is happening in climate “science”. In the book a man had the courage and integrity to stand up to the ideas of the cultural revolution, but paid a heavy price for his honesty. I have always admired Lennart (you only need to look at his credentials to see why) and now admire him for honesty speaking out about what has happened in meteorology (climate science).

    The “club” consists of a group of mediocre scientists that live on grants from their buddies chosen and/or supported by them.
    As you have clearly seen time after time they also control the gates to the journals so can prevent adversaries from obtaining grants and publication. I understand exactly what Lennart is stating.

    • j ferguson
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 5:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I, too, recommend Wild Swans. I wonder how the people who lived through the period(s) described in the book see the times they now live in; and the remaining political overhead.

    • Mike Jonas
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

      As well as Wild Swans, try A Single Tear (Ningkun Wu , Yikai Li), and Mao (Jung Chang, Jon Halliday).

  39. ImranCan
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 10:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Very sad. But one can take comfort in the fact that such behaviour only exists due to the absence of truth. And in the end truth will out.

  40. Man Bearpig
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 2:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    there is no other way to explain this act. Why is joining such an organisation as GWPF such a bad thing. Surely they missed a trick, or perhaps they are so concerned that Lennart may change his views or worse still change the views of others that they had to resort to terror tactics in order to get what they wanted.

    perhaps Boku Haram could learn something from those people.

  41. john karajas
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 3:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Lennart Bengtsson’s treatment is very similar to that handed out to Professor David Bellamy who went from a hero of the Greenies to arch-villain once he expressed his scepticism about CAGW. This is not scientific debate but politico/religious extremism by the warmists. They invoke science but repudiate the spirit of rational scientific debate by their irrational and extreme behaviour.

  42. twr57
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 3:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Comments are always useful for what they tell you about the commenters. I now know (what I didn’t before) that I need place little reliance on the soundness of Nick Stokes’s judgement.

  43. Posted May 15, 2014 at 3:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This is worth a read translated from German and reproduced here:

    http://www.thegwpf.org/lennart-bengtsson-the-science-and-politics-of-climate-change/

    extract:

    “…. The IPCC assumes that the earth will warm up by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celcius in response to a doubling of CO2 concentration. These high values of climate sensitivity, however, are not supported by observations. In other words: global warming has not been a serious problem so far if we rely on observations. It is only a problem when we refer to climate simulations by computer models.

    There is no alternative to such computer simulations if one wants to predict future developments. However, since there is no way to validate them, the forecasts are more a matter of faith than a fact. The IPCC has published its expert opinion a few months ago and presented it in the form of probabilities. As long as the results cannot be supported by validated models they produce a false impression of reliability.” Lennart Bengtsson

    • Posted May 15, 2014 at 4:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Barry. This is what passes for extremism in the climate debate.

  44. M Seward
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 5:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The alarmist apparatchiks are hehaving more and more like Boko Haram each day. I take it as a sign of utter desperation and denial (! :} ) because Gaia seems to have abandoned them (too embarrassed?)

  45. MrPete
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    (Tablet and Smart Phone readers… I hope a miracle just happened for you :) )

    • David Jay
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 6:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Very Cool!

      Is there a Russian Server involved (to pick up on your humor)?

  46. pottereaton
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s clear what happened. Bengsston was threatened with complete ostracism because he does not believe, like most of its powerful practitioners, that in it’s present state climate science is oracular and capable of being a firm basis for policy prescriptions that will solve the so-called “problem.” He believes the “problem” is not fully understood. In other words, he did not display enough artificial certitude on the subject. He’s therefore a “denier” or at least was in the process of giving aid and comfort to the “Deniers.”

    Yesterday I suggested he was being attack for his ecumenism, but on second thought his joining with GWPF appears to me to be more an attempt at interfaith dialogue. And, as Steve has noted, the mullahs responded with a “fatwa.”

    So we’ve progressed, if that is the right word, from watching the mullahs destroy careers from behind the scenes as detailed in the Climategate emails, to watching them do it in broad daylight with no apparent remorse or empathy.

    It’s no longer science. It’s beginning to resemble a 17th century religious war.

  47. stan
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Nick Stokes, perhaps unwittingly, confesses:

    “He took a political stand which was unpopular with his colleagues.”

    Bengtsson thought he was doing science. But climate science is all politics, all the time.

    • Posted May 15, 2014 at 5:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

      He joined a policy foundation. That’s politics.

      • Jeff Norman
        Posted May 16, 2014 at 1:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

        As a science advisor.

        It is sad the way the family and friends attempt to justify the actions of a bully. Here it is more than sad. Goodbye Mr. Stokes.

  48. Matt Skaggs
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Well, this thread is rather depressing. Nick Stokes gets attacked for showing the same skepticism that this community endorsed when Katherine Hayhoe complained of hate mail. And we find no support for Steve’s claim that “most skeptics are not acolytes of the Koch brothers.”

    Steve: I made that assertion based on my personal acquaintances. If you believe this assertion to be untrue, please provide evidence. In the past, we’ve seen academics make inflated claims about the level of “threat” in emails. I find it entirely plausible that Bengtsson has received a lot of antagonistic emails. It wouldn not surprise me if Bengtsson’s concern about “safety” is as precious as similar concerns by climate scientists in the past.

    • Gerald Machnee
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

      So, Matt, do you have proof they are???

    • pottereaton
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Some years back, William Buckley wrote a parable about bad analogies. He described an incident where a man was arrested after witnesses assuredly claimed he had thrown another man in front of an oncoming train.

      Turns out the man was trying to rescue the man who was trying to commit suicide by jumping in front of an oncoming train.

    • Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Katharine Hayhoe with a second ‘a’. That tripped me up the other day.

      I don’t remember being skeptical of her claims of hate mail. In any case skepticism isn’t the only moral absolute around here. Some of the climate ‘community’ have history and there’s nothing in Professor Bengtsonn’s that I know of to suggest he’d make this up. Why on earth would he? I trust him that he’s experienced something deeply unpleasant. I never wrote off the possibility that Phil Jones and Hayhoe received disgraceful emails. But there seems to be a difference here, in that the mockery of Bengtsonn online has included the ‘highest level’ of the climate fraternity, the Mann himself. That’s why there’s a natural desire to express support to the Swede. No need to feel depressed about that.

    • hunter
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 10:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Matt,
      Please show us a list of skeptics who are acolytes of the Koch brothers. And then explain why it would matter at all if such a list does exist.

      • Don Monfort
        Posted May 15, 2014 at 10:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I have seen the Koch bros. list of acolytes. There are only four names on it. I don’t know any of them. I hope that helps, matty.

    • Scott Basinger
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 4:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

      “And we find no support for Steve’s claim that “most skeptics are not acolytes of the Koch brothers.””

      Matt Skaggs: I’m not sure if you realize how stupid that statement makes you look.

    • Posted May 15, 2014 at 5:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

      “Nick Stokes gets attacked for showing the same skepticism that this community endorsed when Katherine Hayhoe complained of hate mail.”
      Indeed so. The difference here is that LB did not even say he got hate mail. People here made it up. LB complained of pressure, which turned out to be lots of letters critical of GWPF.

      • RomanM
        Posted May 15, 2014 at 5:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

        LB complained of pressure, which turned out to be lots of letters critical of GWPF.

        So, you read them? Could you provide us with a link to where they can be found?

        • Posted May 15, 2014 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

          Romanm,
          “Could you provide us with a link to where they can be found?”

          Here’s how he described them to the Daily Mail:

          “I received emails from colleagues all over the world telling me it was a “questionable” group.
          But what made me the most upset was when a colleague from the US resigned as co-author of a paper, simply because I was involved.”

          And that’s all we know. People here made up the rest. The most upsetting thing was someone not wanting to be a co-author. Doesn’t sound like hate mail.

          Steve: As I mentioned before, we’ve seen prior incidents where climate scientists have inappropriately used the term “hate mail”. Darrell Kaufman, for example, falsely told his colleagues that he had received “hate mail” from me. Nick’s accusation that “people here made up” parts of the Bengtsson story seems untrue to me. Bengtsson said that the pressure on him went well beyond the single coauthor withdrawal that Nick concedes. Bengtsson said that he had been “put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me” and that he “had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life”. He said that “If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety.” I doubt that “safety” of either Bengtsson or, for that matter, the Australian climate scientists who claimed to have received “death threats”, has ever been at real risk. However, I see no reason to doubt that Bengtsson has been under other forms of pressure from the climate “community”. But unless Bengtsson publishes the offending emails, we won’t know for sure precisely what pressure was applied and by whom. I, for one, hope that he publishes the emails.

        • Ed Barbar
          Posted May 16, 2014 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

          “Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.”

          Does not “other colleagues” mean more than one are withdrawing from joint authorship?

          “Bengtsson said that the pressure on him went well beyond the single coauthor withdrawal that Nick concedes.”

          Is there reason to believe only a single coauthor withdrew?

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted May 15, 2014 at 6:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Nick says:

        The difference here is that LB did not even say he got hate mail. People here made it up.

        I searched for the term “hate mail” in comments on this thread and did not locate any comments that said that Bengtsson had received “hate mail”. Nick, when you allege that “people here made up” this story, can you identify who and in which comment?

        • Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

          “Nick, when you allege that “people here made up” this story, can you identify who and in which comment”
          I used the term “hate mail” because it was used at the start of this sub-thread. You rephrased it thus:
          “I find it entirely plausible that Bengtsson has received a lot of antagonistic emails.” But again, you have no evidence. Craig speaks of “Stokes dismissal of the bricks sent Bengtsson’s way”. There is lots of talk of bullying. Eric Worrall says “the nastiness will continue”. pottereaton says “If he was threatened, there needs to be an investigation.” Skiphil says that there was “ferocity” and “viciousness”.

          But LB simply says
          “I received emails from colleagues all over the world telling me it was a “questionable” group.”

          True, he felt that was “intolerable pressure”. And I guess you could say that it was antagonistic to GWPF. But it’s not evidence of an attack on LB.

          I’m still looking for evidence of
          “This is more shameful conduct by the climate “community”.”

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

          Nick accused readers here of having “made up” the claim that Bengtsson had received “hate mail”. I searched the comments and was unable to locate any such assertion by CA commenters. I asked Nick:

          Nick, when you allege that “people here made up” this story, can you identify who and in which comment”

          Nick failed to provide any support for his assertion, but did not withdraw it. Instead, he stated:

          I used the term “hate mail” because it was used at the start of this sub-thread.

          But when I search the subthread the phrase was used as follows:

          Katherine Hayhoe complained of hate mail

          Obviously, Katharine Hayhoe alleging that she had received “hate mail” is not the same thing as a CA commenter claiming that Bengtsson had received “hate mail”.

          Nick was unable to produce any support for his claim that CA readers had “made up” the claim that Bengtsson had received “hate mail”, because no such allegation had been made in the comments. Nick made it up, but thus far hasn’t had the decency to withdraw his false claim. This happens far too often.

          And once again, as I said before, it is entirely possible that Bengtsson, like other climate scientists, including the Australians who claimed that they had received “death threats”, has inflated and exaggerated the seriousness of the pressure placed upon him. Bengttson said that he had received “enormous group pressure”: that is evidence. Until Bengtsson publishes the emails, Nick can challenge whether he received any emails.

          But Nick’s claim that there is no “evidence” is false. There isn’t proof, but there is evidence.

        • Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:29 PM | Permalink

          “Nick made it up, but thus far hasn’t had the decency to withdraw his false claim.”

          The context was this:
          ‘“Nick Stokes gets attacked for showing the same skepticism that this community endorsed when Katherine Hayhoe complained of hate mail.”
          Indeed so. The difference here is that LB did not even say he got hate mail. People here made it up.”

          I’m referring to the unsupported allegations about the emails, responding to a statement mentioning hate mail. But I’m happy for you to take “it” to refer to your phrase “antagonistic emails”.

          You say there is evidence? Can you provide?

        • RomanM
          Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

          So what is the “it” that people made up?

          It clearly refers the the “hate mail” in your previous sentence. As others have pointed out, not one person here claimed that any hate mail was received in this case.

        • Posted May 15, 2014 at 10:11 PM | Permalink

          True, no-one used the exact term hate mail, except Matt, and me saying that LB did not allege it. My “it” refers to “whatever Matt was talking about”. SteveM rephrased it in an addendum as “antagonistic emails”.

          But there were references to “viciousness” and “ferocity”. “Bricks”. “Nastiness”. “Threatened”. “Harassing”. “Rushdie”. There are four mentions of “bullying”. Five of “thugs” or “thuggish” (I’m not counting my rejoinders). None with evidence.

          And again, all we get from LB is that a whole lot of his colleagues wrote to say GWPF was “questionable”. Thew rest is imagination. I daresay they criticised his decision. They are perfectly entitled to do so. It isn’t “shameful”, even if you think GWPF is a fine organisation. They have and express a different opinion, which is their perfect right. And LB was upset that his colleagues felt that way. OK.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted May 15, 2014 at 11:39 PM | Permalink

          Nick fabricated the claim that CA readers had said that Bengtsson had received “hate mail” and has refused to withdraw his false allegation. Nick’s original claim was:

          “Nick Stokes gets attacked for showing the same skepticism that this community endorsed when Katherine Hayhoe complained of hate mail.” Indeed so. The difference here is that LB did not even say he got hate mail. People here made it up. LB complained of pressure, which turned out to be lots of letters critical of GWPF.

          The “it” in the phrase “people made it up” clearly refers back to the assertion that “LB did not even say he got hate mail”. However, watch Nick clumsily try to move the pea. When pressed, Nick argued that the “it” in the above phrase meant “whatever Matt was talking about”:

          True, no-one used the exact term hate mail, except Matt, and me saying that LB did not allege it. My “it” refers to “whatever Matt was talking about”.

          I call bullshit. Nick said: “The difference here is that LB did not even say he got hate mail. People here made it up.” No one here had claimed that Bengtsson that he got “hate mail”. Nick fabricated this claim and has refused to withdraw it.

        • Posted May 15, 2014 at 11:51 PM | Permalink

          “Nick fabricated this claim and has refused to withdraw it.”
          No. I have established it. People spoke of thuggish, vicious, bullying, ferocious communications. It would be perfectly reasonable to summarise these as accusations of hate mail, had I done so. And the key thing is, which you are dodging by this juvenile device, is that they are asserted without evidence. My original claim.

          You have given no evidence for your own reference to “antagonistic emails” except that LB was upset about something. But he said what he was upset about. The most upsetting was a colleague not wanting to be a co-author.

          And you have in no way substantiated your charge of “shameful conduct”.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted May 16, 2014 at 12:23 AM | Permalink

          Nick asks me to substantiate my charge of “shameful conduct”. I wrote in the post:

          Lennart Bengtsson undertook a positive dialogue with climate skeptics by joining the advisory board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, an organization that attempts to represent rational skepticism. Instead of welcoming this initiative, the climate “community” has now cleansed Lennart Bengtsson by pressuring him to resign from the GWPF advisory board. {Bengtsson’s statement] . This is more shameful conduct by the climate “community”.

          The shameful conduct was the pressuring of Bengtsson to resign.

          In the Daily Mail article (subsequent to my post), Bengtsson was quoted as saying:

          I thought joining the organisation would provide a platform for me to bring more common sense into the global climate change debate. ‘I have been very concerned about tensions in the climate change community between activists and people who have questions.

          As to the form of “pressure”, Bengtsson says that he received “hundreds” of emails. While we don’t have original documents, it is obvious that emails from the “community” were not congratulatory, but ones that Bengtsson interpreted as pressure to resign.

          On Nick’s other point: as previously noted, Nick fabricated the claim that readers here had “made up” the claim that Bengtsson had received “hate mail”. He then argued that his fabricated claim about “hate mail” was equivalent to a supposed allegation on my part that Bengtsson had received “antagonistic emails”. Watch Stokes amputate the quotation. Bengtsson had claimeed that he was worried for his “health and safety”. Rather than take Bengtsson’s claim at face value, I said that we’ve seen previous cases where academics have made “inflated claims” about the level of threat and that I wouldn’t be “surprised” if Bengtsson’s concern about his “health and safety” were as exaggerated as concerns expressed by climate scientists about ‘death threats” (about which there was much handwringing in the media):

          In the past, we’ve seen academics make inflated claims about the level of “threat” in emails. I find it entirely plausible that Bengtsson has received a lot of antagonistic emails. It wouldn not surprise me if Bengtsson’s concern about “safety” is as precious as similar concerns by climate scientists in the past.

        • Posted May 16, 2014 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

          “The shameful conduct was the pressuring of Bengtsson to resign”
          It seems that you’re saying the shameful aspect is that you think GWPF is a worthy organisation. His colleagues disagree, and wrote to tell him so. It’s not shameful to hold that different opinion, nor to express it.

          “Nick fabricated the claim…”
          This is the juvenile aspect. You don’t argue coherently against the fact that people made baseless claims of thuggishness, bullying, viciousness etc. You just rely on the defence that they didn’t actually call it “hate mail”.

        • Posted May 16, 2014 at 5:23 AM | Permalink

          This is the juvenile aspect.

          Nick Stokes – of all people – says it’s juvenile to expect precision with words.

          Hold the front page – oh no, we can’t, it’s about Bengtsson.

        • pottereaton
          Posted May 16, 2014 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

          As usual, Nick has taken the conversation down into his little rabbit hole where words mean what he wants them to mean. In Nick’s world every discussion devolves into trite semantic quibbling. He takes words out of context from individual commenters and attempts to impugn Steve’s blog post with them.

          Here is the larger meaning of this incident for Nick’s benefit: a very well-known and highly regarded climate scientist who has written hundreds of papers in preceding decades has been victimized in a concerted campaign by mostly other scientists (obviously “consensus” scientists) and their followers to conform to their ideological views. He’s being pressured to conform to a rigid interpretation of the state of the science. That is, as Michael Mann might say, “anti-science.”
          \snip

        • MikeN
          Posted May 16, 2014 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

          Hilarious to see Nick Stokes complain about juvenile semantics.

        • TAG
          Posted May 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

          Nick stokes writes:

          You have given no evidence for your own reference to “antagonistic emails” except that LB was upset about something. But he said what he was upset about. The most upsetting was a colleague not wanting to be a co-author.

          Prof Bengtsson as quoted in the Daily Mail

          ‘Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.
          ‘I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy.

          Does Nick stokes comment seem like a fair summary of Prof. Bengtsson’s expressed concerns. Bengtsson describe multiple colleagues withdrawing from collaboration with him. He compares this to the situation at the time of McCarthy from which we can assume that he fears blacklisting. Again does Nick Stoke’s characterization of Prof. Bengtsson expressed concerns seem accurate or is he downplaying them.

      • Ed Snack
        Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Nick, but we do no the truth of what some establishment Australian climate scientists claim to be threats, and they pure bullshit, to use a genuine australianism. A discussion at a dinner over a firearms licence (apparently started by the climate “scientist”) with regard to culling introduced animals that threaten the local environment was conflated into some sort of death threat. That was utterly false and pure political mudslinging.

        Similarly ALL of the supposed hate email incidents were shown to be along the lines of …”I don’t know how you can live with your comments….” Standard English phraseology . And none of those supposedly targeted found it necessary to withdraw from the field, such dedication eh ?

        • TAG
          Posted May 18, 2014 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

          And yet, don’t you understand how someone subject to large numbers of critical and insulting mail could become upset and perhaps read into them things that were not there.

        • Ed Snack
          Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

          TAG, perhaps, but they didn’t even show that there was a lot of “critical and insulting” mail, the numbers quoted were small. I’d also point out that projection is a very real syndrome, and that exaggeration for “the cause” is deemed laudable.

      • szilard
        Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

        If people view the GWPF as a propaganda vehicle driven by a particular political/ideological view, rather than “an organization that attempts to represent rational scepticism”, I can well imagine them advising LB not to join it.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted May 15, 2014 at 10:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Nick : “which turned out to be lots of letters critical of GWPF.”

        which mails were critical of GWPF?

        • Posted May 15, 2014 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

          The Daily Mail quotes him saying:
          “I received emails from colleagues all over the world telling me it was a “questionable” group.”

          pottereaton gives the link below.

          Steve: the link also says that Bengtsson “was subjected to ‘Mc-Carthy’-style pressure from scientists around the world” and received “threats, which he described as ‘virtually unbearable'”. It is only a newspaper article and we do not have original documents. But the article suggests that the emails did more than simply tell Bengtsson that GWPF was a “questionable group”. As I observed elsewhere, it is entirely possible that Bengtsson, like other climate scientists, including the Australians who claimed that they had received “death threats”, has inflated and exaggerated the seriousness of the pressure placed upon him, but it wasn’t readers here who originated the allegations – it was climate scientist Bengtsson himself.

        • Posted May 16, 2014 at 2:15 AM | Permalink

          “it wasn’t readers here who originated the allegations”
          Well, they did – their allegations preceded the Daily Mail article.

          The Daily Mail is not famous for its accuracy, and here the journalist gives no quote or basis for the “threats”, but seems to use it as a synonym for his earlier mention of “subjected to ‘Mc-Carthy’-style pressure from scientists around the world”. That’s a paraphrase of the letter you quoted at top. Again, no specifics.

          That’s how it gets amped up. LB says he felt pressure, and it reminded him of the time of McCarthy. The journalist conflates that to “‘Mc-Carthy’-style pressure”, and then turns that into unspecified “threats”.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted May 16, 2014 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

          Nick.
          You seem to have a shifting basis for what counts as evidence.

          What counts. be clear.

          If the mails themselves count as evidence and are the only evidence you will except then you had no evidence to support your claim, and those who criticize likewise had no evidence.

          If first hand reports count as evidence ( what LB said ) Then we can look to his comments.

          If second hand reports counts, what a newspaper reports he said, then we can look to people who claim he made a comment.

          Now suppose I told you that I’ve examined the mails and that they contain hate mail and death threats.

          Now of course you are free to doubt that, but you are not rationally consistent if you accept one second hand report and refuse to accept mine.

        • Posted May 16, 2014 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

          Steven,
          “you accept one second hand report and refuse to accept mine.”
          What second hand report am I accepting? What is yours?

          I read accusations of thuggish behaviour, bullying, viciousness etc. pottereaton says those words are taken out of context – are there no such accusations? The words were certainly used a lot.

          I read those accusations, and look to what LB has said. And there are direct quotes, which if believed, are the best evidence. He says he got emails criticising GWPF, and someone withdrew from a paper. That is all.

          So what is the basis, second hand or otherwise, for these claims?

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted May 18, 2014 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

          Nick dont play stupid

          “The Daily Mail quotes him saying:
          “I received emails from colleagues all over the world telling me it was a “questionable” group.””

          You wrote:

          “And again, all we get from LB is that a whole lot of his colleagues wrote to say GWPF was “questionable”. ”

          I wrote: There are no such mails or messages in evidence.

          You wrote: “The Daily Mail quotes him saying:
          “I received emails from colleagues all over the world telling me it was a “questionable” group.””

          And now you ask me what second hand evidence you are relying on?

          The daily mail.

  49. Craig Loehle
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The question Nick Stokes is ignoring is why should people attack a fellow scientist over their politics. Politics is the values we have, what we wish to achieve as a society, what we think is risky or worth doing. The question of how dangerous we think climate change is and what should be done is NOT a scientific question but one of risk/economics/values. Where in the world do scientists get the idea that this has anything to do with science? And where does this closing ranks and ostracism come from? There are plenty of scientists over the years who have had nutty ideas or unpopular politics, but this used to be tolerated as not relevant to their work. Nick seems to be excusing the intrusion of politics into who is acceptable to be doing science, who is permitted in the club, and what they are permitted to say.

  50. Ron C.
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    See also the quote from Gavin Schmidt:

    “Groups perceived to be acting in bad faith should not be surprised that they are toxic within the science community,” Schmidt tweeted. “Changing that requires that they not act in bad faith and not be seen to be acting in bad faith.”

    Now the dictionary says:

    “Good Faith–

    Honesty; a sincere intention to deal fairly with others.

    Good faith is an abstract and comprehensive term that encompasses a sincere belief or motive without any malice or the desire to defraud others. It derives from the translation of the Latin term bona fide, and courts use the two terms interchangeably.”

    How strange that Schmidt twists that to mean agreeing with his “faith”, since he is one of the keepers of “the faith.”

    • pottereaton
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Schmidt walked right into that one. He’s apparently oblivious to the irony of accusing someone of “bad faith” when you are a “consensus” climate scientist.

      Clear case of irony deficiency.

  51. Posted May 15, 2014 at 3:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    @Matt Skaggs
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:19 AM | Permalink | Reply
    “[The GWPF is] an organization that attempts to represent rational skepticism.”

    Artfully phrased and true as far as it goes, I suppose. But the GWPF can also be quite pernicious. From a recent press release we learn that:

    “New Report Reveals Green Brainwashing In UK Schools”

    in which we breathlessly learn that “passing examinations will now usually involve the ability to recite green mantras rather than understanding the subtle questions of science and economics involved.”
    =====================================================

    Climate change is taught in schools, not as hypothesis – which it is – but as fact – which it is not. A whole generation have been educated in this.

    How is that not brainwashing? It’s pernicious, and it’s evil.

  52. Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This seems very much to me like the result of a continuing campaign that was launched shortly after Climategate and the Copenhagen Conference.

    It seems like a campaign–the various events have a certain small-souled theme. For me it includes the No Pressure video, Anderegg, Prall et al, Mashey’s green ink attack on McIntyre by proxy via Wegman, the replacement of Real Climate with Skeptical Science (about time its initials actually became SS instead of SkS, IMO), the Gleick affair and the entire corpus of Lewandowsky.

    As for the bullying, ever since the clearly coordinated campaign against Lomborg after The Skeptical Environmentalist, the campaign has gone after dissent quite visibly. It is of course contemptible and this is just the most recent example.

    It is my belief that the marketing arms of green NGOs have been working in concert on this, probably after reading Oreskes and others who have legitimized McCarthyism in the defence of the environment. Saving the world trumps everything else, after all. That hypothesis explains more than just the bullying–the refusal to debate, the inability to admit even the clearest errors, are all catalogued as weaknesses of the scientific response to the Tobacco Wars.

    A handful of scientists are involved, as are a handful of academic institutions. But find who authorized and paid for the No Pressure video and you find at least part of this group.

    • Posted May 16, 2014 at 5:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Well said Tom. Not that I would have told the story exactly the same way. But coordinated campaign yes. That still takes courage to say.

    • miker613
      Posted May 16, 2014 at 8:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Don’t know if I believe in a coordinated campaign, though of course anything is possible. It’s perfectly sufficient to have a worldful of yahoos who hate anyone who disagrees with them. Sending angry emails doesn’t need much planning.

      As with the other things on your list, this looks like a PR disaster for the pro-AGW forces. Already some mainstream media are carrying the story, and it looks really bad. I’ve said many time that people who really care about AGW ought to be tarring and feathering the toxic idiots who are ruining their cause. Nick Stokes and William Connolley should be among them. I just don’t understand the sense in defending this, unless they just can’t bring themselves to attack people on their own side – even if they are doing great damage. If you _really_ cared about AGW…

    • stan
      Posted May 16, 2014 at 1:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Tom,

      Global warming is all about the politics. The tactics used in the campaign you lay out are the exact same tactics currently being employed by liberal political activists and politicians in US politics. See the slanders on anyone who disagrees with the left (‘racist, sexist, homophobe, terrorist, et al’), the attacks on commencement speakers, the Koch brothers (which evidently are working, at least with Steve Mc), Joe the plumber, and the tea party, et al. They are part of the same organized campaign. When conservative citizens file for a non-profit charter with the IRS, government agents descend on them to intimidate them with questions about the prayers they say, what books they read, etc.

      It’s all part of the same campaign. The Global warming/climate science front is just one small part of a much wider war. All using the same tactics.

  53. pottereaton
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Daily Mail says Bengtsson received hundreds of emails criticizing his decision to join GWPF and also quotes Lawson:

    Daily Mail

  54. EdeF
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 12:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Bengtsson’s publications: http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/en/staff/lennart-bengtsson/refer.html

  55. Posted May 16, 2014 at 1:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This affair was widley reported in the inside pages of the UK press yesterday. This morning the Times is running with it as their lead story, with a companion opinion piece by Matt Ridley and, I think, another opinion piece. Unfortunately the Times is pay walled these days, but you can find images of the front page, of sufficient quality that the story is easily readable, all over twitter.

    It seems things are not working out well for the “climate communicators” at the moment.

  56. David L. Hagen
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 7:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Politically biasing scientific peer review & publication
    Beyond personal attacks, Bengtsson exposes explicit corruption of the scientific method by using political bias to prevent publication of Bengtsson’s paper. James Delingpole at Breitbart reports:
    Climate-McCarthyism-The scandal grows

    when submitted for publication in the leading journal Environmental Research Letters, the paper failed the peer-review process and was rejected. One of the peer-reviewers reportedly wrote:
    ‘It is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of “errors” and worse from the climate sceptics media side.’
    This, Prof Bengtsson told the Times, was “utterly unacceptable” and “an indication of how science is gradually being influenced by political views.”
    He added:
    ‘The problem we now have in the climate community is that some scientists are mixing up their scientific role with that of a climate activist.’ . . .
    The word is out: establishment climate science is little more than pseudo-science, propped up by bullying political activists, but unsupported by real-world data.

    Front page of The Times These were lead articles by Drudge yesterday.

    • David L. Hagen
      Posted May 16, 2014 at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Roy Spencer details further peer review gatekeeping bias/climate science corruption.
      The Bullying of Bengtsson and the Coming Climate Disruption Hypocalypse

      Some of us (Christy, Lindzen, myself and others) have put up with many years of unfair treatment by a handful of activist gate-keeping colleagues who stopped our papers from being published or proposals from being funded, sometimes for the weakest of reasons.
      Sometimes for entirely made-up reasons. . . .
      I have talked to established climate scientists who are afraid to say anything about their skepticism. In hushed tones, they admit they have to skew the wording of papers and proposals to not appear to be one of those “denier” types.. . .
      Politicians can fix this . . . by telling the funding agencies that some percentage (say, 20%) of their climate research funding must go toward studying the 800 lb gorilla in the room: Natural sources of climate change.

  57. Craig Loehle
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 10:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Nothing gets a local police force in trouble like beating a 79 year old man for j-walking…like here.
    Also, a good thing that the “consensus” couldn’t prevent relativity from getting published (though Einstein did have a tough time) or else we wouldn’t have GPS, among other things.

  58. Political Junkie
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    While there is absolutely no evidence to support the view one can readily imagine that the ‘pressure’ applied to Bengtsson may have taken several shapes.

    You will recall Michael Mann’s 2007 Climategate email description of the ‘only way’ to successfully discredit people with opposing views:

    “I have been talking w/ folks in the states about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose McIntyre, and his thus far unexplored connections with fossil fuel interests.

    Perhaps the same needs to be done w/ this Keenan guy.

    I believe that the only way to stop these people is by exposing them and discrediting them….”

  59. Jeff Norman
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 1:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is from the Wikipedia article on the freedom of association:

    “Freedom of association is the right to join or leave groups of a person’s own choosing, and for the group to takecollective action to pursue the interests of members. It is both an individual right and a collective right, guaranteed by all modern and democratic legal systems, including the United States Bill of Rights, article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and international law, including articles 20 and 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Conventions 87 and 98 of the International Labour Organization.”

    It is clear that an individual’s freedom of association has been curtailled.

    If you care, support Mr. Steyn’s fight to preserve the rights inherent in a free and open democratic society.

  60. Robert What?
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 3:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I fancy myself an amateur scientist. I was a Chemistry major / Physics minor, so I know my way around the lab, so to speak. It seems to me that there is so much money to be made by the proponents of AGW that they will do absolutely anything it takes to keep the gravy train rolling. Livelihoods and reputations are at stake: why let a pesky little thing like scientific evidence get in the way. Speaking of scientific evidence, based on the recent solar activity (you know, that yellow ball in the sky that has nothing to do with climate), we are much more likely in line for significant global cooling, not global warming.

  61. Sean McHugh
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 6:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Where warmists have claimed intimidation, we asked for evidence and found it lacking. I think that we need to ask for evidence from Lennart Bengtsson, preferably before the warmists do.

  62. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 3:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Some good comments at klimazwiebel by Hans von Storch and Eduardo ZOrita, both of whom are highly critical of the reviewer. (google translate versions below:)

    VS here: http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2014/05/lennart-bengtsson-leaves-advisory-board.html?showComment=1400253513233#c3116416494410063550

    Agree, Freddy: “What puzzles me is how forthrightly (frankly) the reviewer and editor confirm their anti-scientific judgment as it would be the most normal thing you can do …”. The editor should have thrown out the reviewer as obviously harboring non-scientific resentments When asked to judge the scientific merits of the analysis (not if a third party can construct something, what the reviewer does not like)

    EZ here http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2014/05/lennart-bengtsson-leaves-advisory-board.html?showComment=1400259498848#c7516121816877835937

    Personally I find that closing statement next to inappropriate personally also unprofessional. My speculation: It Could simply be did the reviewer Could not pure in his / her emotional impulses. Another interpretation is did he / she wanted to send a subtle thread to the editor: ‘If you publish this manuscript, your journal will be seen as a medium for skeptics, and Malthus june we avoid this journal in the future’. ‘

    • Posted May 17, 2014 at 3:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Dare I suggest this should be on the next thread, concerning as it does the one review the IOP has so far published? Not that it matters much. The Bengtsson affair. Front page of The Times. Mark Steyn in full flow. What a week. Who’d have thunk it.

  63. j ferguson
    Posted May 18, 2014 at 6:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,
    I left a comment on May 16 which is yet in moderation. At 71, I’m prepared to believe that it might not be appropriate, or it might be stupid, but I more suspect that it contains trigger words. Whether or not you choose to kill it, and no offense will be taken if you do, I really would like to know where I went wrong.

    I do understand the ever-present threat of dilution of content here. The unfortunate decline in the quality of the bulk of comments at Judith’s in recent months certainly supports the value of thoughtful pruning. I wish she did it.

    Steve: the comment contained one of the words (political in your case) that triggers moderation. If you’re using this sort of word, you’re probably making a comment that is more political or more editorializing than the (unevenly administered) editorial policy here. People have the opportunity to make such points at other venues and I discourage them here. If I’m busy or distracted, something that falls into moderation isn’t always noticed.

    • j ferguson
      Posted May 18, 2014 at 9:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Steve,
      i suspected that the “c” word might have been the problem. My thought was that the term McCarthyism and by its use the implication of implied threat of blacklisting seemed germane to a discussion of Bengtsson’s reaction to the emails. Because many of the comments I’d read here and elsewhere suggested that many posters were too young to be aware of what Bengtsson might have meant by the term, I thought it might be worthwhile to show the connection.

      I do appreciate, and am grateful for the pruning you do which really does keep the SNR quite high here.

  64. JunkPsychology
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 10:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t read Steve’s remark about Charles and David Koch as “piling on.” Just that he hasn’t needed their sponsorship to do what he does, and doesn’t need it now. Any more than Anthony Watts has needed it, or Jo Nova, or whoever. If there’s more to it I’m sure he’ll explain his meaning.

    I question the Koch brothers’ judgment on a few things. The epithet “Kochtopus” wasn’t coined yesterday; it goes back to infighting in the United States Libertarian Party. Much more recently, their unnecessary pissing contest with their former friend Ed Crane came close to taking down the Cato Institute. They also appear to have gotten hoodwinked by Richard Mueller, though they were hardly alone in that.

    But I am largely sympathetic to their political agenda, and find the current campaigns against them (by people who didn’t even notice their existence five years ago, and see nothing wrong in accepting financial support from Tom Steyer or from AFSCME) disturbing and disgusting. Especially when the Internal Revenue Service has emerged as a political actor, with the encouragement of a bunch of Senators and members of Congress, if not also from the White House.

    By the way, I doubt that anyone who does not work for Koch Industries or for one of the groups that get big-time Koch funding could be described as an acolyte.

  65. rcook
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’d say Steve’s “Most “skeptics” are not acolytes of the Koch brothers” could use a touch of clarity, if only to head off how our AGW friends would use it as a soundbite for their own advantage. As the adage goes, “give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile.” Myself, I don’t think there is any skeptic who fits that definition, they do what they do and folks with money happen to agree with them. Dr Soon put it best when he was accused of accepting Exxon money, “I would have accepted money from Greenpeace if they had offered it to do my research.” (last sentence here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/28/us-usa-climate-skeptic-idUSTRE75R2HD20110628 )

  66. Martin A
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 4:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    1000 words in a single paragraph are unlikely to be read by many.

  67. Martin A
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 4:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The comment with 1000 words in a single paragraph seems to have vanished so my comment is redundant.

  68. Posted May 15, 2014 at 6:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: Martin A (May 15 04:02),

    Schrödinger’s TLDR.

19 Trackbacks

  1. […] Steve McIntyre responds here […]

  2. […] Statement from Steve McIntyre: […]

  3. […] his blog Climate Audit, in a piece headlined ‘The Cleansing of Lennart Bengtsson’, Steve McIntyre […]

  4. […] withdrawal of support from colleagues, and McCarthyism, that prompted an uncharacteristically outspoken post from Steve McIntyre. See also WUWT for more details. This is relevant to this post in that (a) it […]

  5. […] Climate Audit Steve McIntyre writes of “more shameful conduct by the climate ‘community’“. McIntyre writes that […]

  6. […] Steve McIntyre: […]

  7. […] Lennart Bengtsson joined the GWPF only two weeks ago, but already he has come under—as he describes it—unbearable pressure to quit. Renown AGW skeptic Steve McIntyre calls it a fatwa. […]

  8. By pindanpost on May 15, 2014 at 2:28 AM

    […] Professor Bengtsson’s resignation due to the threats is described by Climate Auditor Steve McIntyre as a ‘fatwa’ by warmist bullies: The Cleansing of Lennart Bengtsson […]

  9. […] I am skeptical of a scientific and media community that declares an end to debate. The argument “all scientists believe in climate change” is both false and revealing. It is a common tactic of the arrogant and vulnerable to close off all debate with an announcement that the intelligentsia have discovered and declared the unchangeable truth and that only the foolish rabble under the control of wealthy corporate interests would oppose this. Ironically, scientists have decried such opposition to scientific inquiry in the past. Perhaps tyranny is not so bad if you are the tyrant. But there is not unanimity in the climate change scientific community and dissension against the groupthink is apparently enforced with coercion. I find sympathy in the article I linked with this comment by Steve McIntyre: […]

  10. […] Recently, a learned professor working in support of the climate change position agreed to take part in an open discussion with ‘climate sceptics’ by joining one of their advisory boards, after which he was put under such inordinate pressure by his colleagues, he was forced to resign. (Read more here at Climate Audit.) http://climateaudit.org/2014/05/14/the-cleansing-of-lennart-bengtsson/#comment-599917) […]

  11. […] also The Cleansing of Lennart Bengtsson by Steve […]

  12. […] Steve McIntyre: Begtsson’s planned participation in GWPF seemed to me to be the sort of outreach to rational skeptics that ought to be praiseworthy within the climate “community”. […]

  13. […] on Bengtsson here, here, and […]

  14. […] Steve McIntyre: Begtsson’s planned participation in GWPF seemed to me to be the sort of outreach to rational skeptics that ought to be praiseworthy within the climate “community”. […]

  15. […] McIntyre discusses the Bengtsson case here. It is a reflection of widespread efforts at thought-cleansing in the mainstream climate science […]

  16. By The Lennart Bengtsson story | The IPCC Report on May 19, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    […] fear for his health and safety, and mentioning McCarthyism. Reported at Klimawiebel, Bishop Hill, Climate Audit, […]

  17. […] his blog Climate Audit, in a piece headlined ‘The Cleansing of Lennart Bengtsson’, Steve McIntyre […]

  18. By L’affaire Bengtsson :: RESILIENCETV on Jun 1, 2014 at 3:17 AM

    […] Steve McIntyre (l'auteur de l'analyse destructrice de la fameuse "crosse de hockey") titre "L'épuration de Lennart Bengtsson". […]

  19. […] to all sorts of pitfalls. We can criticize how it is conducted – from the “cleansing” of skeptic Lennart Bengtsson from the Global Warming Policy Foundation advisory board, to the methodology surrounding the […]

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