RICO!

by Judith Curry

You have signed the death warrant for science. – Peter Webster

In case you don’t know what RICO is (Wikipedia):

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them, closing a perceived loophole that allowed a person who instructed someone else to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because he did not actually commit the crime personally.

RICO was enacted by section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 While its original use in the 1970s was to prosecute the Mafia as well as others who were actively engaged in organized crime, its later application has been more widespread.

Senator Whitehouse

Senator Whitehouse has proposed to use RICO laws against climate change skeptics and fossil fuel companies, in a WaPo article The fossil fuel industry’s campaign to mislead the American public.  Excerpts:

The Big Tobacco playbook looked something like this: (1) pay scientists to produce studies defending your product; (2) develop an intricate web of PR experts and front groups to spread doubt about the real science; (3) relentlessly attack your opponents.

In the case of fossil fuels, just as with tobacco, the industry joined together in a common enterprise and coordinated strategy.

The tobacco industry was proved to have conducted research that showed the direct opposite of what the industry stated publicly — namely, that tobacco use had serious health effects. Civil discovery would reveal whether and to what extent the fossil fuel industry has crossed this same line. We do know that it has funded research that — to its benefit — directly contradicts the vast majority of peer-reviewed climate science. One scientist who consistently published papers downplaying the role of carbon emissions in climate change, Willie Soon, reportedly received more than half of his funding from oil and electric utility interests: more than $1.2 million.

The Weekly Standard has a hard hitting article: Senator Whitehouse: Use RICO laws to prosecute climate skeptics.  Excerpts:

Obviously, there’s a lot of money hanging in the balance with regard to energy policy. But when does coordinating “a wide range of activities, including political lobbying, contributions to political candidates, and a large number of communication and media efforts” go from basic First Amendment expression to racketeering? The tobacco analogy is inappropriate in regards to how direct the link between smoking and cancer is. Even among those who do agree that global warming is a problem, there’s a tremendously wide variety of opinions about the practical effects. Who gets to decide whether someone is “downplaying the role of carbon emissions in climate change” relative to the consensus? If message coordination and lobbying on controversial scientific and political issues can be declared racketeering because the people funding such efforts have a financial interest in a predetermined outcome, we’re just going to have to outlaw everything that goes on in Washington, D.C.

In February, Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., attempted a McCarthyite witch hunt against climate scientists he found disagreeable. And Sheldon Whitehouse is sitting U.S. Senator. He’s now publicly encouraging legal persecution of people who conduct scientific research and/or those that have opinions about it he disagrees with. He wrote this opinion in the Washington Post on Friday, and no one much noticed or batted an eye at the consequences of what he’s advocating here. Such calls for draconian restrictions on speech are becoming alarmingly regular. And if more people don’t start speaking out against it, sooner or later we’re actually going to end up in a place where people are being hauled into court for having an opinion that differs from politicians such as Senator Whitehouse.

20 U.S. climate scientists

When I first spotted this, I rolled my eyes – another day, more insane U.S. climate politics.  What really motivated this post is the following letter, from 20 U.S. climate scientists.  Letter reproduced in full [link]:

Letter to President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and OSTP Director Holdren

September 1, 2015

Dear President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and OSTP Director Holdren,

As you know, an overwhelming majority of climate scientists are convinced about the potentially serious adverse effects of human-induced climate change on human health, agriculture, and biodiversity. We applaud your efforts to regulate emissions and the other steps you are taking. Nonetheless, as climate scientists we are exceedingly concerned that America’s response to climate change – indeed, the world’s response to climate change – is insufficient. The risks posed by climate change, including increasing extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and increasing ocean acidity – and potential strategies for addressing them – are detailed in the Third National Climate Assessment (2014), Climate Change Impacts in the United States. The stability of the Earth’s climate over the past ten thousand years contributed to the growth of agriculture and therefore, a thriving human civilization. We are now at high risk of seriously destabilizing the Earth’s climate and irreparably harming people around the world, especially the world’s poorest people.

We appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress. One additional tool – recently proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse – is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change. The actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peerreviewed academic research (Brulle, 2013) and in recent books including: Doubt is their Product (Michaels, 2008), Climate Cover-Up (Hoggan & Littlemore, 2009), Merchants of Doubt (Oreskes & Conway, 2010), The Climate War (Pooley, 2010), and in The Climate Deception Dossiers (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2015). We strongly endorse Senator Whitehouse’s call for a RICO investigation.

The methods of these organizations are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco industry. A RICO investigation (1999 to 2006) played an important role in stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to deceive the American people about the dangers of smoking. If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible so that America and the world can get on with the critically important business of finding effective ways to restabilize the Earth’s climate, before even more lasting damage is done.

Sincerely,

Jagadish Shukla, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Edward Maibach, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Paul Dirmeyer, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Barry Klinger, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Paul Schopf, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
David Straus, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Edward Sarachik, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Michael Wallace, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Alan Robock, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Eugenia Kalnay, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
William Lau, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
T.N. Krishnamurti, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Vasu Misra, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Ben Kirtman, University of Miami, Miami, FL
Robert Dickinson, University of Texas, Austin, TX
Michela Biasutti, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY
Mark Cane, Columbia University, New York, NY
Lisa Goddard, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY
Alan Betts, Atmospheric Research, Pittsford, VT

I am familiar with all of these names, and know a few of them fairly well. The list includes several members of the National Academy of Science, and numerous IPCC authors. Apart from Trenberth and Robock, as far as I know, none of these individuals have made previous public/political statements about climate change.  In fact, one of them told me (say a decade ago), that he had worked hard to keep his head below the radar and stay out of all the politics and the fighting.  Another (Mike Wallace) wrote a jacket blurb for Roger Pielke Jr’s latest book The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change (note: Pielke Jr was one of the Grijalvi 7).

My first reaction was that this was some kind of joke, or that some of these individuals didn’t know what they were signing.  The document originated from the Institute of Global Environment and Society, of which Jagadish Shukla is President (and first signatory, and presumably the instigator). So it seems that at least the 6 individuals associated with the IGES knew what they were signing.

The quote from Peter Webster at the start of this post was included in an email that he sent to one of the signatories.  The (anonymous) response:

After reading Senator Whitehouse op ed in the Washington Post, I thought the senator should be supported by the scientific community. Similarities with the tobacco industry are compelling. This is just a small step for me to get engaged with social/policy relevant issues.

Forgive them (?)

Well, that letter reflects, at best,  a great deal of naiveté by the signatory.  Perhaps some of them had their arm twisted by the instigators/advocates, and were just trying to be collegial.

To paraphrase the other JC:

Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Dear signatories of this letter:

I will try to clarify here what you have done, and why it is wrong.

First, you have been duped by the Merchants of Doubt book/movie.  See my previous blog post Bankruptcy of the ‘merchants of doubt’ meme, which includes reviews by other social scientists.

Second, the consensus on human caused climate change is not as overwhelming as you seem to think.  See my recent blog post The conceits of consensus, which includes a detailed analysis of an extensive survey of climate scientists (not to mention extensive critiques of the Cook et al. analysis).

Third, the source of funding is not the only bias in research, and the greatest bias does not necessarily come from industry funding, see these posts:

Fourth, scientists disagree about the causes of climate change for the following reasons:

  • Insufficient observational evidence
  • Disagreement about the value of different classes of evidence (e.g. models)
  • Disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence
  • Assessments of areas of ambiguity and ignorance
  • Belief polarization as a result of politicization of the science

The biggest disagreement however is about whether warming is ‘dangerous’ (values) and whether we can/should do something about it (politics).   Why do you think your opinion, as scientists, matters on values and politics?

Fifth, what you have done with this letter is advocacy.  This is a very dicey role for a scientist to play, fraught with reputational and ethical land mines.  Here are several essays on this topic, written from a range of perspectives:

What you have done with your letter is the worst kind of irresponsible advocacy, which is to attempt to silence scientists that disagree with you by invoking RICO.  It is bad enough that politicians such as Whitehouse and Grijalvi are playing this sort of political game with science and scientists, but I regard it as highly unethical for scientists to support defeating scientists with whom you disagree by such methods.   Since I was one of the scientists called out in Grijalvi’s witch hunts, I can only infer that I am one of the scientists you are seeking to silence.

Peter Webster did not exaggerate when he wrote:

You have signed the death warrant for science.

 

632 responses to “RICO!

  1. Pingback: RICO! | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. Science died when the IPCC was born. There is no land/sea data that can be trusted. All of this is a mockery of science. They should all be ashamed of themselves. I am totally disgusted.

    • Burn the satellites!

    • I do so wish a federal prosecutor would go through with filing charges against J. Christy and R. Spencer under RICO, it would become the final act of stupidity of of these ridiculous people. All major news media would be covering it. Expert witnesses testifying under oath in a courtroom is precisely what needs to happen. The backward logic and religious zealotry of the climate alarmists would be laid bare for public scrutiny, resulting in the dismantling of federal support for these imbeciles from the top down.

      • Steve, I sooo agree with you! Thank you.

      • Steve; Yeah, great idea. If you could have faith in the court’s objectivity and fairness.

        You cannot ask Christy and Spencer to put themselves in jeopardy with the understanding that this would be some sort of Scopes Monkey Trial.

        Those prosecuted through RICO and “found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count.”

        This wouldn’t be some show trial where the prosecution takes the witness stand, the judge fines the defendant $100 and the appellate court sets aside the conviction.

        These men could go to jail. Given the absolute farce that Steyn has had to endure in a civil trial, I cannot fathom that either man would be the least bit thrilled to find that they are to be so prosecuted.

        On the other hand, it is strongly beginning to appear as though Shukla may find himself under indictment for reasons pertaining only to his use (or alleged misuse) of federal grant money. Namely double dipping and self dealing.

        In an irony that can only be describes as ‘possibly the final Biblical sign of the Armagedon; The orhtodox CAGW cabal will certainly claim that that prosecution is a violation of Shukla’s academic and free speech rights and retaliation for his scientific views.

    • I guess that means we dont know that climate has changed over the past few million years.

      1. we cant trust land sea observations
      2. we cant trust Paleo

      we have no basis for concluding that climate has changed, ever.

      This is formally known as “climate change denial”

      • 0) I guess we do as Archaeology seems to find animal remains in places where those animals, or their descendents, don’t live now. So the climate must have been different when they did so and therefore we know it has changed. We also have recorded history for more recent times – they recorded crops being food or bad, cold or warm etc.
        1) Land / Sea observations vary from Satelites – why ? Which is correct ? How do we know the ~150 years or so of observations are accurate ? How do we know anything we see now is unusual ?
        2) Paleoclimatology is a guess, an educated guess, but it remains a guess nontheless. There is no way to confirm results because nobody was there, but there seem to be quite a few “divergence problem”s.
        Assuming you know everything is formally known as a delusion. I don’t see a reason to waste $tns on a guess.

      • Do not put words in my mouth. I do not deny climate changes. I never said that. I simply noted that due to egregious ‘administrative’ adjustments the land/sea temperature series currently in use have diverged so far from reality that they are no longer useful for any scientific purposes. I prefer to trust observation over algorithms that purport to reflect reality. That, no doubt, marginalizes me, but I prefer empiricism over computational models.

      • Alan Poirier:

        Do not put words in my mouth. I do not deny climate changes. I never said that. I simply noted that due to egregious ‘administrative’ adjustments the land/sea temperature series currently in use have diverged so far from reality that they are no longer useful for any scientific purposes. I prefer to trust observation over algorithms that purport to reflect reality. That, no doubt, marginalizes me, but I prefer empiricism over computational models.

        Actually, what marginalizes you is the fact you don’t know what you’re talking about. Whatever one’s views on data adjustments, it is quite easy to find data that is unadjusted, save in perhaps the most trivial of quality control senses (e.g. removing impossible data values).

        Now, taking that data and creating your own global temperature series would take some work. It could be done though I haven’t done it myself because I’ve never had a reason to, but I’ve worked with such data for other purposes. I even have some loaded on my computer right now. I’m working on how I want to handle leap years in my code when dealing with unadjusted daily and sub-daily data I’m doing some stuff with. It’s not particularly fun.

        But what it is is remarkable. I’m sitting here right now working on a project using data you say doesn’t exist.

      • David Springer

        Mosher conveniently forgets the A in AGW. Just to hear himself talk I suppose.

      • Straw man argument. How predictable.

      • Hey, nice straw man ya’ got there Mosher.

    • Science died when the IPCC was born.
      ==============
      at that point science was no longer the servant of truth. it became the servant of politics.

  3. “The Big Tobacco playbook looked something like this: (1) pay scientists to produce studies defending your product; (2) develop an intricate web of PR experts and front groups to spread doubt about the real science; (3) relentlessly attack your opponents.”

    That actually resembles the mainstream AGW playbook. This post is about ratcheting up (3).

    • Indeed – this RICO business, much less the so-called “scientist” letter is hypocrisy of the greatest degree.
      If “science” is so against industry machinations that it supports the use of gangster related legislation to correct – there are far more deserving areas which truly need “correction” such as medicine. The ongoing series of HuffPo articles on Johnson & Johnson and its blatantly illegal marketing of off-label use of its blockbuster drug is a prime example.

    • When it comes to Senator Whitehouse and the particular accusation he’s pushing, there is an entertaining history to it. Please see ” ‘Skeptic Climate Scientists are Industry-Paid Shills’ (sir, what is your source for that?)” http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=2842

    • That was how Stalin controlled science in the old USSR.

    • They play it word for word.
      This argument is actually the definition of projection!

  4. The church is squashing every opinion that disagrees. The church is the Federal Government.

    • When you come to the halls of science you need to see the nice lady in the anteroom and check you opinions. Tip her well and she will return your opinions to you at the end of the day.

      • You should be careful who you hang out with Bob. Picking Michael, Willard, Josh and fake Tony as your buddies is a mistake.

        Unless you have a pinup poster of Miriam O’Brien on your wall.

      • You Timg56 should drop the Don Montford sycophant act. Try and add something to the discussion for once.

        I am not picking any buddies, and I don’t believe I have ever linked to the Hot Whopper.

        You should have more respect for you betters, not talking about myself here.

      • Please, timmy boy. Do not drag me in a thread that should be a textbook case for Haidt’s work on victimization:

        The thin argument “I’m offended” becomes an unbeatable trump card. This leads to what Jonathan Rauch, a contributing editor at this magazine, calls the “offendedness sweepstakes,” in which opposing parties use claims of offense as cudgels. In the process, the bar for what we consider unacceptable speech is lowered further and further.

        http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

    • It is worse when JC herself does the “Church’s” bidding. When she says “…Willie Soon, reportedly received more than half of his funding from oil and electric utility interests: more than $1.2 million,” she should note the falsity of that reportage. His employer, Harvard-Smithsonian, received the funds – distributed some to Willie, who was under contract NOT to disclose the funding sources in the few cases where he actually knew their source.

      The confessional is open, Judith!

      • She was quoting someone else, not saying this herself.

      • Yes Craig, I know she was quoting Whitehouse, but repeating lies without corrective commentary, continues the spread of falsehood.

        In “Church” analogy, Whitehouse has the greater sin, and needs an “indulgence” to right himself – perhaps sending Willie a check for a few thousand would be a step in the right direction. The lesser “sin” of JC – repeating the lie without immediate identification of its falsehood, just needs a correction.

        I understand that JC knows the truth – but the truth needs repetition at a rate that exceeds the spread of the lie!

    • Yes, the federal government is now a secular theocracy.

      “The casting of “true” Christianity as a religion of sensitivity only toward victims has created a precondition for extensive social engineering. Gottfried examines late-twentieth-century liberal Christianity as the promoter of the politics of guilt. Metaphysical guilt has been transformed into self-abasernent in relation to the “suffering just” identified with racial, cultural, and lifestyle minorities, Unlike earlier proponents of religious liberalism, the therapeutic statists oppose anything, including empirical knowledge, that impedes the expression of social and cultural guilt in an effort to raise the self-esteem of designated victims.”

      The ‘victims’ of environmentalism being the third world, who ‘suffers’ the evil of first world industrial capitalism.

      http://www.amazon.com/Multiculturalism-Politics-Guilt-Towards-Theocracy/dp/0826214177

    • Tyrants are cowards bound together by fear: Popes, Communists, Fascists etc.

  5. “Fifth, what you have done with this letter is advocacy. This is a very dicey role for a scientist to play, fraught with reputational and ethical land mines” – JC

    Unless you’re JC – then your advocacy is just fine, even when you advocate for/against specific policy approaches, which is a complete no-no for anyone else.

    • Do you not think that the letter goes well beyond what might be charitably termed advocacy? It is one thing to advocate for a solution; it is quite another to demand agreement with a solution upon penalty of imprisonment.

      • Alan,

        Suggesting that the rule of law is applied as appropriate, seems a rather tame position.

      • I think the suggestion (to apply Rico) is abusive because its main intent is to intimidate and insult. Thus what I see is a rather inmature form of bullying and harassment.

        This fits the behavior pattern I’ve seen in my life in settings where racism, political extremism, homophobia, and religious fundamentalism prevail and are integrated in society.

        What we are seeing is the emergence of “scientific fundamentalism” married quite often to extreme left and “back to medieval utopia” beliefs. (as seen in “The Leap Statement”), taken to an extreme of intolerance and bullying behavior very similar to what I saw living in a communist dictatorship.

      • “upon penalty of imprisonment.”
        Or worse.

      • On the notion that all taxation is theft:

        http://www.juliansanchez.com/2014/07/14/on-the-slogan-taxation-is-theft/

        The progressive libertarian:

        http://www.progressivelibertarian.com/taxes/

        Tax Platform

        The income tax system began in 1913 as a two-page form backed by 14 pages of law. Today, we have over 700 different forms, nearly 300 publications, and more than 17,000 pages of law. Tax law is the epitome of unchecked government bureaucracy growth. It is time to create a much more efficient system, that minimizes time spent in providing, collecting, and enforcing the tax code. We would recommend taking a gradual approach over a 10-20 year horizon that increasingly moves towards the following five goals:

        * Move Towards Flat Income Tax – Goal is to make 10% flat tax. Flat tax kicks in at prescribed income minimum — call it $25,000, which is adjusted for inflation every year. First $25,000 there is no tax. After that, flat tax rate.

        * Federal Consumption Tax – Implement 10% Federal consumption tax. You want to increase saving, tax consumption. In addition, is a way to tax non-reported income. Recommend not taxing groceries and possibly other necessities.

        * Equalize Tax Rates on Income and Capital – There are few more regressive tax policies than the differing tax treatment of capital gains, dividends, and income in the U.S. All would be taxed at same 10% rate.

        * Significantly Simplify Tax Code: Essentially get rid of all tax write-offs, credits, and deductibiles. One page, that includes all income, dividends, and capital gains, along with tax owed.

        * Get Rid of Corporate Income Tax: More money is spent on avoiding the tax than is collected. Corporations are simply pass-through organizations anyway, with many corporations now getting around taxes through LLC organizations. Conceptually, the double-taxation issues has created very inefficient choices that would be better served by getting rid of the corporate tax all together.

        What I have suggested is a Transaction tax on the largest market in the world. Just a 1% transaction tax on this market would balance the federal government in just a few years. That market would hardly even notice.

    • Her advocacy is for preserving our liberties. If you can’t see the difference, you have a problem.

      • The liberty to be free of mitigaton.

        Go advocacy!

      • Which amendment is that? 9th and a half? 14 and 7/8th? The 28th?

        Life liberty and the pursuit of pollution?

      • The Bolshies are out in full force I see, showing their true colors

      • todays’ believer is tomorrows’ heretic

      • Well I do believe the proletariat and the Bolsheviks should own the means of producing the wealth of the United States. The proper means to achieve that goal being private investment, 401ks and IRAs.

        Does that make me a communist or a republican?

      • Bob,

        Yes the proletariat should have the means of producing the wealth. I’d like to see an actual solution proposed however. Right now the 1% has a market known as OTC derivatives. The banks are able to sell derivatives (calls and puts) on a huge margin. With that counted the derivatives market is said to be over a quadrillion dollar market. That is the only place where there is enough money to pay off the national debt. They could enact a smaller percentage transaction tax and pay off the US debt in just a few years.

        Why don’t people understand that Wall Street is not the place where the 1% has most of it’s wealth. Somehow that has escaped notice. If you asked any presidential politician where the wealth is they probably wouldn’t know. I don’t know how to even the playing field other than taxing that market.

      • The financial and economic illiterates reveal themselves. Hey kidz, let’s tax the derivative market! That ‘s where the big money is. It’s just a bunch of big shots gambling. Then we could move on to the re-insurance market. Those contracts are huge! BIG MONEY there too! Phone calls and utility bills! Oh, already got that. Etc, etc, etc.

        The derivative market is already taxed. The participants pay taxes on profits. How many times do you think you can milk one cow?

      • Well that’s the problem Don. There is a tax framework but it is largely circumvented. As long as the banks keep pumping in (taxpayers money) and players keep playing (staying in) the market expands virtually tax free.

        https://www.orrick.com/Events-and-Publications/Documents/2843.pdf

        Possible Solutions?
        •Eliminate the dividend withholding tax in its entirety if it can be circumvented so easily
        •Source dividend-equivalent payments by reference to the source of the dividend income
        on the underlier (e.g., similar to sourcing rules for in-lieu of dividend payments made in
        connection with securities loans)
        – cascading withholding taxes – multiple derivatives can be entered into on same share of stock
        – would change shift dealer activity (and its tax revenues) to London?

        That’s why I suggested a Transaction tax instead of the current useless tax.

      • That is why the Banks keep pumping in the money and the players keep playing. Their motivation? They use that as valuation of their holdings that greatly expands their valuation. Every once in a while it backfires that is why Orange county nearly went bankrupt some years back and Barkleys Bank did go bankrupt due to a rouge trader. This market not only benefits holding valuations but it also supplies jobs for traders. There are whole skyscrapers full of traders that keep this exponentially expanding market going.

      • The financial and economic illiterates can’t help themselves. Tax the banks. That’s where the money is.

      • Don, “The financial and economic illiterates can’t help themselves”. That is why you are part of the 99% and getting bilked just like the rest of us! It is not only the Banks that would actually be taxed it is the State, Local and county Governments along with Corporations that have those holdings. That is why, since the mid eighties, that there has been virtually no inflation. Inflation has taken place by US treasuries flooding that market and making it an inflated market.

      • Actually, by your simplistic notions, I am one of the bilkers. You, no doubt, are a bilkee. Thank you for your contributions.

        Of course, instead of the nibbling around the edges with regulations and taxes, we can level the playing field by putting the gubmint in charge of the economy and all transactions. That always results in spreading the poverty rather than spreading the wealth, but it does teach basic economics to the huddled masses.

      • Don, I take it from what you said that you are part of the 1%. Congratulations! No wonder you don’t want your derivatives touched.

      • Profits on derivatives are taxed. But you are welcome to remain blissfully ignorant and angry at those who are smarter and more successful than yourself.

      • ordvic

        Taxing State, Local and County Governments? Now, there is a novel idea. So you would increase their costs just so they can increase taxes on the tax payers to pay the taxes from the Federal Government. Wow.

        There are many reasons for low inflation but your contorted reason is not one of them. Let me guess, you are a Premium Member of the Huffington Post Economic Club. Let me also guess that you think Bernie Sanders idea of returning to a 91% top marginal rate of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s is a super idea since, as everyone knows, the middle class was in a better position because of massive income redistribution from the rich. The problem is that the millionaires share of taxes were less than 1/2% and those paying the top rate of 91% paid less than 1% of taxes. Not a lot of income redistribution. In constant dollars, the FY 2016 Budget available for Income Redistribution is 2500% larger than it was in the 1950s.

        The IRS just issued its report on taxes for 2013 which was the year that the Obama increase of the top marginal rate back to 39.6% went into effect. Sorry to tell you but the amount of tax revenue from those making over $1 Million actually went down, not up. Taxpayers don’t just sit there. They act in their own self interest.

        There are no easy answers to tax reform, but every action creates incentives for someone and the trail is littered with problems from unintended consequences.

      • Nice concise lesson, ceresco. However, stumps are notoriously ineducable.

        I wonder where he got this from:”That is why, since the mid eighties, that there has been virtually no inflation. Inflation has taken place by US treasuries flooding that market and making it an inflated market.” I don’t think even the huffpo house economists are that looney.

        Watch out for those rouge traders!

      • What I am suggesting is a very libertarian idea of a fair taxation that finally taps into the largest market in the world. I am not a Bernie Sanders supporter nor do I read the Huff&Puff. I can see the ignorance here is boundless no wonder there is such an economic gap.

      • [… A] very libertarian idea of a fair taxation […]

        Is no taxation at all. All taxes are unfair. A “libertarian idea” would be to minimize the unfairness, and even then you’re stuck with varying ideas of what “fairness” means.

        It’s worth pointing out that there’s a major difference between “wealth” that is spent once acquired for living necessities , and “wealth” that is part of a system of investment in future productivity. AFAIK all libertarians understand this difference, but I suppose there might be some left-wing types who call themselves “libertarians” but don’t.

      • On the notion that all taxation is theft:

        http://www.juliansanchez.com/2014/07/14/on-the-slogan-taxation-is-theft/

        The progressive libertarian:

        http://www.progressivelibertarian.com/taxes/

        Tax Platform

        The income tax system began in 1913 as a two-page form backed by 14 pages of law. Today, we have over 700 different forms, nearly 300 publications, and more than 17,000 pages of law. Tax law is the epitome of unchecked government bureaucracy growth. It is time to create a much more efficient system, that minimizes time spent in providing, collecting, and enforcing the tax code. We would recommend taking a gradual approach over a 10-20 year horizon that increasingly moves towards the following five goals:

        * Move Towards Flat Income Tax – Goal is to make 10% flat tax. Flat tax kicks in at prescribed income minimum — call it $25,000, which is adjusted for inflation every year. First $25,000 there is no tax. After that, flat tax rate.

        * Federal Consumption Tax – Implement 10% Federal consumption tax. You want to increase saving, tax consumption. In addition, is a way to tax non-reported income. Recommend not taxing groceries and possibly other necessities.

        * Equalize Tax Rates on Income and Capital – There are few more regressive tax policies than the differing tax treatment of capital gains, dividends, and income in the U.S. All would be taxed at same 10% rate.

        * Significantly Simplify Tax Code: Essentially get rid of all tax write-offs, credits, and deductibiles. One page, that includes all income, dividends, and capital gains, along with tax owed.

        * Get Rid of Corporate Income Tax: More money is spent on avoiding the tax than is collected. Corporations are simply pass-through organizations anyway, with many corporations now getting around taxes through LLC organizations. Conceptually, the double-taxation issues has created very inefficient choices that would be better served by getting rid of the corporate tax all together.

        What I have suggested is a Transaction tax on the largest market in the world. Just a 1% transaction tax on this market would balance the federal government in just a few years. That market would hardly even notice.

      • What I have suggested is a Transaction tax on the largest market in the world.

        But it’s a market in capital. More importantly, it’s part of a system of reallocation of wealth pursuant to risk management: the alienation of risk from investment/return.

        As such, a very good case could be made that, like Corporate Income Tax, it should be prohibited. I’m not saying yea or nay to the idea per se, my point is that the decision whether to tax such transactions is ultimately Keynesian: if they result in desirable economic effects, don’t tax them; if their effects are undesirable tax them.

        Taxing transactions involved in risk management (alienation of risk from capital investment) would add an artificial transaction cost to such trades. This friction, in turn, would have follow-on effects on the overall structure of investment and risk management.

        Are these effects good/desirable? Bad/undesirable? Do you even know? With what uncertainty? It’s questions like these that demonstrate the ultimate unfairness of taxes: they all have “Keynesian” effects. Even if you’re sure what those effects are (and if you are you’re wrong), who says what’s desirable vs. undesirable?

        P.S. Keynes is the root of all evil.

      • AK,
        Yes perhaps in an ideal world there would be no taxation. The US government grew from when Hamilton took over the custom houses. We have always had taxation and some forms of welfare. Not to mention to pay for a standing military. I don’t see an end to social security or any other sort of welfare any time soon. It’s what the American people want. I’m no fan of Keynes but unfortunately we’ve been playing by his rules for years.

        Once again I am suggesting a very tiny percentage tax on the largest market in the world. Now I wouldn’t expect politicians, out of the goodness of their hearts, to suddenly change and give tax relief to the rest of us. Yes and perhaps they would just up their spending with a new source. I would hope for a transaction tax that would replace entirely income tax. At least you wouldn’t get taxed until you consume. End the IRS and start a Federal Bureau of Revenue to collect sales tax. That would also end government intrusion into our personal financial situations.

      • Yes perhaps in an ideal world there would be no taxation.

        I’m not talking about “an ideal world”, and I’m not talking about “no taxation.” I’m well aware that the issues in getting from where we are to someplace better far outweigh “ideals” (in either sense of the word).

        We have always had taxation and some forms of welfare. Not to mention to pay for a standing military.

        Don’t forget that the writers of the Constitution intended states to be taxed, in proportion to their populations. Whether that system, long ago abandoned, is applicable to the modern world is another question.

        It’s what the American people want.

        But taxes have always been controversial.

        Once again I am suggesting a very tiny percentage tax on the largest market in the world.

        And once again, you’re saying nothing about how it will/would/might affect the economy. It sounds to me like a single tax proposal, at least in ideal. But in addition to the problem that this tax would have unknown, and therefore unexpected, affects on the economy, we also have the problem that as soon as a tax is created, people start finding ways around it. They look for instruments that evade it. And many of them are smarter than both the legislators who create the tax, and the bureaucrats who (try to) administer it.

        And you also have no idea (nobody does) what follow-on effects those new instruments, and other efforts to evade that single tax, will have on the economy.

      • The stump says: “the derivatives market is said to be over a quadrillion dollar market.” The stump thinks that’s the amount of fat cat transactions begging to be taxed to solve all our financial problems. Stumps are not very clever.

      • > Profits on derivatives are taxed.

        Profits only, Don Don, not the transaction itself, unlike other usual types of transaction like hiring Joe Plumber as a plumber or as an actor for a plumber role to sell populist crap.

        This also means, among other things, that a realization must occur. Now, even you can imagine four ways to make sure this realization remains impossible before breakfast.

        Ever heard of the Pay It Forward movement? No, that’s not the same. But you get the drift, right?

      • Another stump chimes in. You clowns really don’t have a clue and I won’t waste any more of my valuable time on this foolishness.

    • Michael, if you and yours achieve the aims sought in the above letter, I do hope you will be Extremely careful what you say in public OR private, for the rest of your life- because once you achieve the silencing of those you disagree with, those you empowered will start watching You.

    • Michael – up front I have to admit that I am not up on all the issues and back and forth here. I don’t know if Judith denies or admits to advocacy. I think it all depends on what one mean by that word. By some definitions she does advocate as does most anyone with knowledge and purpose. (I suspect she has hit some reputational land mines and also that she must be very careful ethically as well-so a self identified advocate making that statement would not bother me).
      At a tighter level of advocacy, I don’t see Judith as a “partisan” to the same extent I see some from the alarmist camp. I expect you and I might disagree on that, but I wouldn’t quarrel with you over that perception.
      Taking advocacy to a higher level know where advocacy means that some want to criminalize divergent viewpoints, do you think Judith’s advocacy is in anyway nearly as culpable? Does the RICO advocacy bother you at all? Does that seem like normal acceptable advocacy to you. Or perhaps do you think the dire consequences call for drastic action? Or are you concerned by it, but just more focused on taking a swipe at JC? I just am curious wher you are coming from, no rebuttles on your answer from me.

      • PE –

        ==> “Taking advocacy to a higher level know where advocacy means that some want to criminalize divergent viewpoints, ”

        This is the interpretation that “skeptics” are making, but is it accurate?

        Whitehouse is advocating for legal proceedings against a “sophisticated campaign to mislead the American public.” He ends is op-ed with the following:

        “To be clear: I don’t know whether the fossil fuel industry and its allies engaged in the same kind of racketeering activity as the tobacco industry. We don’t have enough information to make that conclusion. Perhaps it’s all smoke and no fire. But there’s an awful lot of smoke.”

        The prosecution in the tobacco case targeted the tobacco industry. A few execs got fired. No one was put into jail. The industry lost their case – in other words, there was sufficient evidence of deliberate deception.

        Personally, I doubt that a similar prosecution in this situation would be successful. But let’s not distort what it is that Whitehouse is calling for.

        The “death warrant for science” and “criminalization of divergent views” is, perhaps, just a scooch overwrought.

      • richardswarthout

        Joshua

        Are you against all sophisticated climate science campaigns? Perhaps you are for the sophisticated government financed campaign at the Yale Project On Climate Change Communication?

        Richard

      • Whitehouse is advocating for legal proceedings against a “sophisticated campaign to mislead the American public.”

        Like hiding data, hiding declines, redefining peer review, bogus math that finds hockey sticks in random data … that sort of thing presumably.

      • Joshua- thanks. That helps me understand somewhat the other perspective. I used the term criminalize when in fact you can have civil or criminal Rico proceedings. On the plus side civil sanctions do not lead to prison, however harsh they may be. On the negative side, civil Rico moves the standard from beyond reasonable doubt to a preponderance of the evidence. The decision to use civil Rico versus criminal for tobacco was not made to “soften” the sanctions but rather to meet the lower standard of evidence. If I am a scientist who believes I am right am I more fearful of the possibility of prison from a charge measured a standard of beyond a reasonable doubt, or financial/professional ruin from a charge measured against preponderance of the evidence? Since the amount of evidence (and there is evidence both indicating and evidence against rapid climate change) is directly tied to concerns us (for myriad reasons some good some bad). this is very chilling for anyone seeking to buck the mainstream. So while civil sanctions (no prison) is the more likely threat-are you comfortable with this?

      • Richard –

        You left out the word “mislead.” I would be against any sophisticated campaign aimed at misleading the public. Of course, then there’s the question of whether the misleading is intentional. That question was relevant in the tobacco RICO legal proceedings.

      • PE –

        I’m only comfortable with it to the extent that Whitehouse was specific in saying that he doesn’t know whether anything that meets the bar of illegality occurred, and in saying that what he was looking for was a deliberate conspiracy to mislead (primarily on the part of the fossil fuel industry).

        I have a certain level of basic trust in our judiciary system. To the extent that it errs, I think it errs more on the margins than in basic principle. There are inherent flaws, no doubt, and unintended consequences, but such is life.

        So I’m not particularly concerned by a call for investigation into whether there was a massive and deliberate conspiracy to mislead. In part, that is because I don’t think that there would likely be any such findings. And if there were, then I think it would prove the merits of the investigation.

        Unlike, apparently, many of the “skeptics” here, I think that the RICO case against the tobacco industry served a useful function – and that such legal recourse, in balance, benefits our society.

        That all said, I think that this is more an ineffective political ploy than anything else. I see it as more sameosemo, where partisans play it out in tired and well worn ways to no differential effect. “Realists” will think this is a good idea. “Skeptics” will see it as the end of the world and confirmation of their victimhood. And nothing measurable will change in any way.

        In balance, I don’t support this initiative. I’d rather see energy spent elsewhere.

      • Joshua, “In balance, I don’t support this initiative. I’d rather see energy spent elsewhere.”
        So why do it at all? What is there motivation if not to crush Skeptics once and for all. While I’m sure you would support that, how does rigging the debate help our democracy?
        How about a fair debate and the AGW crowd moving forward on it’s own merit. I don’t think it will take much to convince me, and the general public to move away from fossil fuels and into alternatives like Molten Salt reactors and other alternative energy. We have to do it eventually anyway.
        Why take such draconian measures other that ‘uncertainty’ about their position?

      • ‘Misleading’ a chameleon word – who gets to say when
        this is okay?
        Mike’s Nature truck, keith’s Science trick, see how the
        work, tricky eh?
        http://climateaudit.org/2011/03/29/keiths-science-trick-mikes-nature-trick-and-phils-combo/

      • richardswarthout

        Joshua

        “I would be against any sophisticated campaign aimed at misleading the public.”

        Are you therefore opposed to the propaganda machine called The Centrr for American Progress?

        Richard

      • ordvic –

        ==> “What is there motivation if not to crush Skeptics once and for all. While I’m sure you would support that, ”

        Sometimes you write stuff that’s just hard to fathom. It’s an interesting question as to why you’re sure about things which are false.

      • PE –

        Do read the post by Klinger that Judith linked:

        http://mason.gmu.edu/~bklinger/rico.html

      • Thanks J, don’t quite know what to make of it. I guess it’s some comfort. But RICO was supposed to apply to just organized crime at first, (as many proposals that get stretched) so his assurance that this phase is just for business is not greatly reassuring. Second part is I wonder what that leaves them capable of going after. I don’t know that much about the oil industry. I don’t think th utility industry has made pronouncements on the climate. My experience with EMF was that utilities would not make statements or fund studies because it would be suspect. With EMF it was a common to just reference (without comment) sources such as the National Cancer Institute.

      • PE –

        As a general rule, I’m not a fan of slippery slope arguments because they can be applied ubiquitously. They lack real world limits and restrictions.

        The bar seems pretty high here, so in that sense while I don’t support it, I don’t think that it’s something that viably justifies outrage.

        That said, of course it’s exploitative to hold concepts such as “massive campaigns to mislead” hostage in unrealistic goose chases where the main function is to advance political goals.

        I think that the bar is so high here that legal success is unlikely and it’s more than likely a political maneuver – but it is on the part of people who are legitimately concerned about something they see as being a very important social cause, so while I don’t support it I’m not outraged by it. And of course, we might have said a massive campaign to deceive would have been unlikely in the tobacco industry prior to certain evidence that later came to light.

        in the end, I see no likelihood of major harm to be done. And the problem of political over-reach on the part of the RICO initiative is equally balanced, IMO, by the hand-wringing and pearl clutching that’s emanating from the “skeptics” camp 24/7 since the letter – where “skeptics” seem to me to be trolling for a reason to self-victimize.

        Consider the hand-wringing about the Representative Grijalva initiative. The rhetoric from “skeptics” was similar to the “death warrant for science” that we see here. In the end, it fizzled.

      • J- Fair enough. I could be equally supportive of an alternate proposal with the same general wording going after those who exaggerated climate risks and the potential performance of alternative technology to defraud the american people and american government. But in truth I don’t find either of them worthwhile. Maybe I’m wrong and we need RICO or some other judicial oversight to examine truth. Seems like the media used to have a role in bringing out the truth, but nearly blind partisanship has captured and dominates the dialogue.

      • PE –

        Sure – I wouldn’t object to going after the often claimed deliberate, and massive campaign to spread climate alarmism. :-)

        I certainly wouldn’t self-victimize with indignant wails of the inhumanity if it were to happen.

        I’m not going to blame the media. They reflect the larger context of blind partisanship. The media are largely a product of what people want. We can’t rely on them to provide us with something that we aren’t willing to create ourselves. Both sides like to scapegoat the media because it reinforces the self-victimization (“We’re not winning because the media are aligned with our enemies!”).

        Cheers.

    • Michael, don’t think the pendulum might not change and then expect a knock at your door. The long term ramifications are less about global warming and more about an attitude of the rule of law. You know, like the attitude held by the North Koreans.

      • Am I a corporation involved in deliberate deception??

      • Michael, you might want to research who actually died in the guillotine during the French Revolution.

      • Cam you identify a corporation engaging in deliberate deception Michael?

        These gems you keep dropping on us are referred to as donkey scat.

      • Michael: the letter talks about organizations AND THEIR SUPPORTERS. You don’t have to be an “organization” to fall under RICO since technically mob outfits are not such (they don’t exactly incorporate).

    • I’m pretty sure that JC is not trying to invoke the power of the state to prosecute her enemies and send them to jail.

      You do understand that a RICO prosecution is a criminal prosecution?

    • As Judy has often said, raising questions of uncertainty, challenging the current consensus, and answering direct questions from politicians when invited to do so, is NOT advocacy. Instead, these actions are, respectively, telling the whole truth (not just the parts you like/want), testing hypotheses (a cornerstone of science) and offering solicited expert opinion (which you don’t appear to have a problem with when said opinion aligns with your own). Advocacy is offering unsolicited expert opinion that downplays the uncertainty known to exist for the purposes of extracting a politically desired outcome – something that, IMO, Judy has steered well clear of.

    • Yes JC advocates – but only against advocacy. Bear in mind tht what came first is alarmist advocacy. Were that to cease and proper science processes and integrity reinstated no counter-advocacy advocacy would be needed.

  6. They’ve also signed the death warrant for civil liberties and freedom of speech and thought. If they are going to criminalize policy differences and scientific opinions, perhaps it’s time we start proposing to indict politicians who advocate trampling on constitutional rights and liberties to which we are all entitled. Threaten Whitehouse with jail. That would be difficult because he has immunity from legal consequences for anything he might say on the Senate floor, but it’s something to think about.

    These kinds of of assaults on freedom are akin to loyalty oaths that were all the rage during World War II and in the 1950s. Whitehouse should at minimum be censored by the Republican-controlled Senate.

    The RICO law should be repealed. It was written to help combat organized crime, but like so many laws, it’s scope has been widely expanded by prosecutors seeking to make a name for themselves.

    • Totally agree – well said.

      George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

    • RICO has been used to prosecute people who had nothing to do with organized crime and should be repealed. Part of the law IIRC is the money laundering statures, which have swept up small cash businesses who MUST deposit their cash frequently for safety reasons, and get it taken for “structuring”. It is also the basis for taking cash from motorists and air travelers because cash is assumed to be nefarious.

      • Rewritten, not fully repealed. To solve the prosecutorial abuses that have emerged, while retaining the underlying still valid intent against the Mafia, drug gangs, and the like. Just one lawyer’s opinion.

    • pottereaton “… but like so many laws, it’s scope has been widely expanded by prosecutors seeking to make a name for themselves.”

      And it has been abused and this would be a gross abuse of its power as was it’s application in the tobacco case.

      But what the hell, if the Left wants to pursue Stalinism, then they could be joined with calling for RICO investigations of Trenberth and Mann and his hokey stick, and Hansen and his fabulist claims and Schmidt and his egregious use of data. How about the dummying of data by Karl et al.

      There are a host of scientists who pursue the alarmist meme that could be investigated for fraud, or at the very least, gross exaggeration and scientific malpractice. I think I’ll make a list of people who come here like Michael and Joshua who are always playing apologist for Draconian legislation and pushing an agenda without knowing if the science is correct or not. They could be considered supporters, right?

      It would certainly be a field day for attorneys. And what kind of suit could be brought against Whitehouse and Grijalvi? for their abuse of power. If we are going to start investigating people based on nothing more that not liking their opinions and expect them to prove anything at all then it should cut in both directions.

      What these scientists have done is so immoral, so unethical, so in the spirit of tyranny, that they should have their PhD’s revoked and never allowed to work in the field again. But then, the government protects its own. (As long as they fulfill the role of useful idiots in the governments cancerous growth).

    • Reminds me of the Man­cur Ol­son thought along the lines that po­lit­i­cal bar­gains of the past are the bur­den of the fu­ture.

  7. Lets use RICO against Gore, Mann, and the hockey team. Two can play at this game. I believe it was Barack who said “Punch back twice as hard.”

    • dont forget those who supported them.. bloggers, commenters, prosecute everyone!!

      sarc off

      • Now hit the ‘real’. switch.

      • Mosher,

        actually, it would be simple to indict Gore under RICO. Michael Milken was indicted for RICO with securities manipulations serving as the underlying requisite acts. That Gore has engaged in manipulation of securities prices is blatantly obvious. His PR firm set up Realclimate and brought in the hockey team. We’ve read the climategate emails. The dishonesty is beyond question. And it made him over a quarter of a billion dollars.

        Assuming someone really wanted to do it, the indictment would stand. [Especially in a world where a prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich] My point, obviously, is that those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The actual victims of the destruction they wreak may prove to surprise them.

    • “dont forget those who supported them”

      You mean you?

      Andrew

  8. I would not trust the legal system or RICO to be a good judge of what is good vs. what is bad or corrupt science. I think we have to police that ourselves, as subject matter experts or in my case, as a working scientist who tries to understand the technical stuff in your field. The technical stuff is generally beyond the scope of a grand jury or other legal system or of politics. In my field, my admonition is we need to ensure we give honest and guarded opinions on what we know lest we carry out foreign policy based on preconceived notion rather than hard data.

    I would not rule out that there is some obfuscation going on, given the political intensity of the topic and the money involved in energy development and policy. Obfuscation not just from a few in the energy industry but from well meaning advocates of cutting carbon use. That said, I wouldn’t judge someone’s work by who is paying the bills but by whether the work meets high scientific standards.

    Invoking RICO is somewhat akin to treating a cancer patient with a 45 caliber hollow point to the brain. It kind of precludes further treatment.

    • Seems that that is the “point” (double entendre) of treating the “cancer”. Does “Siberia” await those who failed the court’s test? Or, will the advice to those sentenced be to go find something to do that does not require using your brain.

  9. Reminds me of the court case by the Italian Government against the Italian seismologists who failed to forecast a disastrous earthquake several years ago.

    George Devries Klein,PhD, PG, FGSA

  10. One of the biggest problems we have is that it is not a crime to be wrong in scientific matters. At the same time, we can never find out whether the wrong of scientists is intentional or inadvertent, a true dilemma.

  11. It’s a “death warrant” only if the legal system pays attention. That seems unlikely, imo. After all, there has been minimal public policy response to alarmists’ forecasts of climate doom. Why expect a strong response to demands that their opponents be prosecuted?

    This does, however, show the increasingly dysfunctional nature of climate science. That’s been visible for years to those who looked. These people just bring the rot to public attention.

    • Absolutely. Also individual citizens could be misled by the tobacco companies into damaging their health by smoking, but there is no similar harm here. It is purely public opinion and policy.

    • “there has been minimal public policy response to alarmists’ forecasts of climate doom”
      ?? Waht??
      The 250-350 BILLION dollars spent annually on useless windmills and solar panels is “minimal public policy response” ?? NOT.

      There were minimal results achieved, but not due to lack of “response”.

      • Jacob,

        I doubt that any nation has pursued alternative energy sources solely — or even primarily — in fear of climate change.

        (1) The 5x increase of energy from the average of the 1990s to its peak in 2008, and only partial retreat after the crash, raised fears that high oil prices would slow economic growth. Alt energy offered what looked like an economic alternative, especially with fears of nukes strong after Chernobyl and Fukushima.

        (2) Western Europe was fearful about their dependence on Russia for oil and natural gas, and sought to reduce their levels of air pollution. Everybody worried about the world’s dependence on the volatile Middle East.

        (3) China was (and is) desperate for new energy sources to power its growing economy — and replace the dirty coal-burning plants on which they now rely.

        Ample alt energy — even if more somewhat more expensive — could replace coal and allow (should it become necessary) electrification of ground transportation (replacing oil).

    • “This does, however, show the increasingly dysfunctional nature of climate science. ”

      It also shows the moral rot in our culture where guys like Whitehouse & Grijalva feel comfortable pursuing such aims. And papers publish them. And people here defend them with an amazing amount of obtuseness.
      (‘Suggesting that the rule of law is applied as appropriate,’)

  12. I would suppose that anyone found guilty of impeding the consensus would be subject to punishment based on the concensus at the time of their infraction such that any future changes in “concensus” would not technically impact their sentence or be expected to mitigate their guilt or punishments. (Or perhaps I misunderstand the current proposal?). Could “vindicated” scientists within a statute of limitations be tried anyway, because at the time (pre-vindication) they opposed the ” Consensus”? How might such an approach to those challenging the orthodoxy played out over history?

  13. bedeverethewise

    “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

    • Funny, Floyd Ferris crossed my mind, too. Ah, youthful reading. Who is your Stadler in this scenario?

      • “Who is your Stadler in this scenario?” Mann. Except, Stadler was written as a brilliant but tragic figure due to a bad assumption about the nature of man. Mann seems to be neither brilliant nor tragic. More of a Peter Keating of science with a nastier personality.
        If Rand were brought back to witness events 58 years after the publication of AS, would she weep, laugh hysterically or just be sad at how accurate her projection of ‘ideas matter’ has been and continues to be.

      • bedeverethewise

        I don’t know if there is a Stadler in this scenario. It has to be someone who is smart enough to know better, that may be hard to find.

  14. Wikipedia defines a racket as A racket is a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem, such as for a problem that does not actually exist, that will not be put into effect, or that would not otherwise exist if the racket did not exist. Conducting a racket is racketeering. Particularly, the potential problem may be caused by the same party that offers to solve it, although that fact may be concealed, with the specific intent to engender continual patronage for this party.
    Lubos Motl has shown that also the IPCC complies with this definition. Were it not for the IPCC, global warming would be a mere academic issue.

    • David L. Hagen

      See Lubos: RICO: IPCC and comrades may be prosecuted for racketeering

      Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen. The climate alarmism is clearly the greatest racket in the world as of 2015. . . .Protection racketeering may have been the most important archetype 100 years ago or so. But it’s the climate hysteria and the corrupt industry that surrounds it that could be used as the defining example of racketeering at the beginning of the 21st century because contemporary people are much more familiar with the climate hysteria. When it comes to the essence, the classic protection racketeering and the climate hysteria are exactly the same thing.

    • What Senator could we get to write a letter to the WSJ calling for RICO investigations of IPCC? Can they be investigated as part of the UN? Could we call for a RICO investigation of the UN? Do they have some sort of diplomatic immunity from prosecution?
      Could we suggest an enhancement for Havana by having the UN headquarters located there?

  15. Speaking of Racketeers… how about the 20 guys (scientists) trying to send teams of hired guns (police) out to kidnap (arrest) anyone who disagrees with them. BTW if you resist being kidnapped (a natural response to a violent crime), you could be injured or killed (legally). A proper response I suppose to (alleged) “Deception of the Public”. After all, people like Judy have already killed my great great great grandkids (maybe… well… probably… right?) so we have the moral high ground here (20 scientist). #hypocrites #notsurprised

  16. Here’s an idea: let’s get a pic of Sheldon Whitehouse in the shower emitting steam, just like that nasty “smokestack” in that ludicrous WaPo article. (On second thoughts, I don’t want to see anyone called Sheldon in a shower…but you catch my drift.)

    Gawd, it would be so fine to get some adults back in charge. Please tell me we haven’t reached Peak Adult and that it’s going to be kids-in-the-kitchen from now on.

    • It’s the kids in the Tree-House running the show atm.

    • Don’t worry, jch, Michael, Jimd, Vaughan ey al will be as worried as us at this perversion of science. They will be along anytime now to vigorously protest. Any time now. Any time…

      Tonyb

      • What ‘perversion’ of science?

      • Science: Here is what I think and here is my data to back up my claims. Please check my work.

        Perverted Science: Here is what I think and by all means use it in a concerted effort to effect policy and redistribute wealth. If you make a concerted effort to check my work you need to be in jail.

      • I’m sure that makes sense to you.

      • Ok, Michael, here is the perversion, if you can’t see it: they are insisting that the government adjudicate what is the accepted science and if it is policy-relevant and you disagree you can be arrested and go to jail (RICO is a criminal statute). Remember, this same government said eggs are good, then bad, and now good again. It is a local government meddling (NYC) into all sorts of food issues. If you disagree about banning large soft drinks, this should be illegal? It was based on “the science” that eugenics was practiced on a large scale 100 yrs ago and thousands were sterilized. It is pretty startling that you think this is ok. It is likely that blogs such as this and Climate Audit could be called a criminal enterprise under RICO using this approach. It is essential to science that people be free to not understand the science, to disagree with it and how it is used, and to be fully nutty (believing in time-travel, reincarnation, healing crystals, anything at all).
        It should not have been applied to

      • Craig Loehle: Ok, Michael, here is the perversion, if you can’t see it: they are insisting that the government adjudicate what is the accepted science and if it is policy-relevant and you disagree you can be arrested and go to jail (RICO is a criminal statute).

        Remember that in a criminal case the prosecution has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The adjudication is done by the jury. The prosecutor decides what charges to bring, but they depend on getting the indictment through a grand jury. Then the prosecution and defense will haggle before the judge about what evidence is admissible relevant to those charges (tobacco companies? I doubt it). And all of the proceedings are in open court and documented by the submissions and court stenographer, to be judged by the public at large.

        This is not like a division of the executive branch unilaterally proposing regulations or recommending diet and exercise.

        Look at what the petitioners are demanding that the federal prosecutors prove: (1) that crimes were committed; (2) that a conspiracy to commit the crimes existed; (3) that the crimes resulted from the conspiracy. The jury is not being tasked to decide whether it is more probable than not that at least 50% of the warming since 1880 or so was caused by anthropogenic CO2 (or that such warming has been bad, or that future warming will cause catastrophes by 2050, etc). They are being tasked with deciding whether the disputants of such claims committed crimes as a result of a criminal conspiracy. And who will be the defendants? The Koch brothers and scientists and executives in the energy industry? I think we can count on them having adequate legal representation. Who will the witnesses be? Petitioners, perhaps, including Kevin Trenberth? Surely Kevin Trenberth would be cross-examined about the “missing” heat and the “travesty” by defense counsel; after that, what jury would convict a disputant of a crime merely for disagreeing with Trenberth in public?

      • MM: Is that supposed to be reassuring? Simply being indicted is a wealth-draining ordeal, not to mention the reputational damage even if acquitted.

    • “Peak Adult”
      ha!

    • Not just kids-in-the-kitchen but the kids from hell. Kids who suffer serious pathological delusions of what reality is all about. These are the kind of kids who inhabit horror movies. These are the kind of kids who blow up frogs and puppies and laugh. These are the kinds of kids with a mean streak and a lust for power.

    • Craig,

      Eugenics?

      Why not Lysenko, Stalin ??

  17. Just in case, does anybody know if the federal penitentiary system gives inmates facilities other than basketball, weightlifting, and TV? I would prefer a football pitch.

  18. Well, that letter reflects, at best, a great deal of naiveté by the signatory.

    I expect that they do not understand that in a court of law the expert witnesses will be cross-examined under oath and under penalty of perjury. Every claim can be challenged by the adversarial system: say for example that someone claimed under oath that Prof Mann had been exonerated by a committee of PennState, the members of the committee could be invited to testify. I expect that they have forgotten that in a criminal case the prosecutor has to prove the defendants guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But “reasonable doubt” can be established by quoting the scientific passages of IPCC AR5. Also, if the prosecutor discovers exculpatory evidence, that evidence must be presented to the defense. I would imagine that the prosecutors or the defense would find increased urgency for releasing the UVA and PennState emails. Should a published paper be cited that was funded by the federal government, the grant proposal that led to the funding could be brought into evidence.

    I, for one, would welcome such a prosecution. My readings in the last few years have persuaded me that a lot of the advocates of the consensus IPCC view do not understand the details of the science very well, and underestimate the importance of some unanswered questions that they choose to ignore or just have not heard about.. The adversarial system of the criminal courts, with witnesses cross-examined under oath by well-informed counsel can highlight the holes in the science very well. This could be like Mann v Steyn and Steyn v Mann writ large, and with the burden of proof clearly assigned to the prosecutor.

    The first and most disastrous losses in court are suffered by the people who arrogantly assume that their opponents are ignorant. Or perhaps by people who are openly contemptuous of the jurors.

    • This is a good one:

      “… people who arrogantly assume that their opponents are ignorant.

      After this:

      “My readings in the last few years have persuaded me that a lot of the advocates of the consensus IPCC view do not understand the details of the science very well, and underestimate the importance of some unanswered questions that they choose to ignore or just have not heard about.. “

  19. They’ll need to rename the Court. I suggest the Stars-and-Stripes Chamber.

  20. Contemporous with Obama’s ‘Right
    to freedom of thought’ Iowa speech*
    contemporous with evidence that
    ‘climate modeling rules’ and yet it
    cools.* acknowledged by the team,
    ‘ The Pause’ is causing concern,*
    Even so, a cli-sci-clique would
    do a trick, ends justifying means,
    adapting criminal legislation, the
    old Lysenko trick, upon a
    non-consensus opposition,
    create a new R.I.C.O. action.
    contemptuous of science critical
    investigation, a new RICO,
    a “Rigidity, Innoculation and
    Censorship Organization.”

    * @ClimateEtc ‘Heterodox Academy’ Obama
    ‘The idea that you’d have somebody in govt make a claim
    about what you should think …’

    * https://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/figure-1-4-models-vs-observations-annotated.png

    * @ Climate Depot 29/07/2014 Long list of cited quotes from
    Phil Jones et al ‘can’t account for the pause in warming.’

  21. One familiar name is Edward Maibach.

    He is certainly not a climate scientist. He is a social scientist and political propagandist, but at least he is quite open about this on his webpage: “His research currently focuses exclusively on how to mobilize populations to adopt behaviors and support public policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change.”

    The statement in the letter that “as climate scientists, we…” is therefore quite dishonest.

    • Dr. Maibach is the director of the Center for Climate Change Communication over at GMU (where it seems like all the “John Hancock” top names are affixed).

      I was really surprised to see his name on the list, considering he’s the guy who runs all the surveys for the AMS to figure out where all its members stand on climate change issues. You’d think that there’d be a “chilling effect” on the honesty of member responses if he’s advocating RICO-ing the dissenting participants.

  22. Pingback: US Scientists Have ‘Signed Death Warrant For Science’ | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  23. Good one KL
    In my long but moderated comment I have
    renamed RICO. Pending …

  24. Meanwhile … ‘ Call me Ratso not RICO.’

    Referring ter one of the best cowboy movies evah.
    ‘Midnight Cowboy,’ Dustin Hoffman, ‘Call me Rico,
    not Ratso. ‘

  25. The letter begins “As you know, an overwhelming majority of climate scientists are convinced about the potentially serious adverse effects of human-induced climate change on human health, agriculture, and biodiversity.

    I know there have been surveys that aim to show the level of consensus on the existence of man-made climate change, but were climate scientists polled about “potentially serious adverse effects… on human health, agriculture and biodiversity”? Is there a survey that measured those aspects? (There may be, but I’m not aware of it).

    • Ruth,

      Great catch! Alarmists have taken to just making stuff up and saying that most climate scientists believe it. When called on this they point to surveys showing that scientists believe the world has warmed, or that anthropogenic forces are responsible for some or much of the past warming since ~WWII.

      Dishonesty in the midst of dysfunctional science.

    • bedeverethewise

      This is the climate science bait and switch scheme. The consensus applies to one very narrow set of facts. Some invoke it and pretend it applies to a set of opinions.

  26. Carbon taxes are an extortion racket based on a scientifically bogus model of the climate, Whitehouse should be hung by his own petard.

  27. Willis Eschenbach

    You know, I thought that I’d seen the depths of scientific depravity with the Climategate emails detailing how Phil Jones lied to my face and how Michael Mann destroyed evidence, and with the Peter Gleick abomination.

    But for serious mainstream climate scientists to seriously threaten to jail their scientific opponents is a despicable testament to the desperation of cowardly cornered rats. This is an accurate measure of how shaky they know that their “scientific” claims are.

    For shame, every signer of that pernicious document.

    w.

    • +10. When you don’t have the science, you go after the people. This is beyond despicable. It is the persecution of Galileo Galilei all over again.

      • Except Galileo was right.

        “it is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved”

        and

        “by denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox”

      • “Except Galileo was right.” Lovely. Punish scientists who aren’t right. In your opinion, of course.
        I imagine you know that if you had been in Galileo’s time, you might well have been sure that he wasn’t right and should be punished as well.
        It is immoral to threaten scientists with punishment who honestly believe the point of view they espouse, and I’m sorry to say that someone who enables this is immoral as well. Stop and think for a minute: just because it’s your cause, does that have to mean that there is no length beyond which you won’t go? Where is your moral compass?

      • I guess that first quote went right over your head.

        It is only my opinion that burning fossils fuels becomes immoral at a point, the question being are we past that point yet are not. Or where is that point?

        Is it honest to keep harping on the pause when any competent statistician can show you that the uncertainty in your measurements prevents you from eliminating either the hypothesis or the null.
        Is it immoral to keep bringing up the pause when it has been repeating shown to be ephemeral?
        I think the proper punishment for bad science depends on the arena, I can be jailed for bad science, how about you?

      • I guess what I wrote went right over _your_ head. Is it too much for you to say, “I am totally against prosecuting scientists for doing science badly”? Seems like it is, and that’s too bad for you. Not your job.
        I appreciate posters like Joshua who, reliable supporter of AGW that he is, has no hesitation about calling out bad behavior on his own side when he sees it. Other commentators here and elsewhere, on both sides, such as yourself – never do that ever. They care about nothing but winning. Whatever the subject, they will only speak to make the points they can for their side, however trivial. Their fingers cannot type the words, “Good point”.
        The rest of us should draw the natural conclusion: don’t listen to this person ever. He cannot be trusted.

      • Yes, in retrospect we certainly know that Galileo was right. At the time, however, for all Galileo’s certitude a MASSIVE consensus (90%+?) said he was wrong. On this basis he was assailed by the authorities of his time, who wanted his head for his views by any means available. Does this sound familiar to current events? It should. And which way do all these parallels point?

        Two things here are certain, I believe: first, that this behavior exhibited by the anti-skeptical side is not in the least scientific; and second, it is utterly unethical.

      • That’s correct Bob, they went after G man and they were wrong. What makes you think you are on the side of the angels?

      • Bob,

        Believing burning fossil fuels is immoral is fine. You are entitled to you opinion. I am curious why you think that, as it requires ignoring all of the evidence related to the benefits derived from burning them. Care to show how the supposed negatives, and at this point in time that is all they are, out weigh the known positives?

        PS – your comment regarding the pause indicates you believe that mathematical masturbation counts as science. While not immoral, Karl’s latest paper is sorry commentary on what passes for science these days.

      • @bob Just curious, immoral with respect to what religion?
        And if not with respect to a religion, with respect to what?
        Do you have a book of teachings I can refer to, I would be interested in reading the theology.

      • Nickels, morality can be without a religious justification, and as a god-forsaken atheist, I need no book of religious teachings to tell me that we need to stop burning fossil fuels pretty damn soon. And no, we don’t have a book.

        Timg56, come on, post some positives from increased CO2 and how they out weigh all the negatives. And I see you still haven’t cracked a basic statistics course. If you think measuring the uncertainty in the temperature trends and using that in an attempt to decide whether the hypothesis or the null wins, is mathematical masturbation, you are mathematically out of your weight class.

    • My God.

      I am stunned. Good comment Willis.
      Scott

    • Oh yes indeed. That a politician tries this on is unimportant because they are all self serving bastards but for a gang of scientists to sign up is beyond belief. It is so far outside the normal flow of things scientific that you have to question their motivation.

      This turn of events has made me very sad indeed.

  28. They don’t even meet Douglas Adams’ description of “a rampaging mob of respectable physicists who had finally realized that the one thing they really couldn’t stand was a smartass”.

    Pitiful.

  29. RICO could come back to bite the climate “scientists”.

  30. Scarily like a call for McCarthyism:

    “a RICO investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change communism, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change communism”

    More scary is that a set of leading academics seem to believe the reason their views have opposition is because of secret funding and hidden conspiracies (paging Prof Lewandowsky…). Nothing to do with the data, lack of transparency, advocacy-led research, wild overclaims, models running hot, or legitimate differences in opinion as to how to interpret the data.

    And if the law and politics do get involved, the end solution could end up as a root and branch teardown of the whole of climate science – private emails, funding sources, honoraria for speaking, membership of advocacy bodies, shareholdings, consultancy appointments, and roles in peer review. I just can’t see that anyone would want to go there.

  31. The analogy to the smoking issue is very powerful with boomers. The drastic reduction in the incidence of smoking was a great public health victory; a moral campaign against second-hand smoke shows that a line has been crossed to advocacy not based on science. This requires accepting the reasoning of some of the lawsuits against Big Tobacco: I would have quit if the companies providing this product had told the truth; because they suppressed the truth, I kept smoking, and here I am, very sick. (Or survivors are saying: a loved one has died). This is an infantile argument: I will smoke or not smoke, and make other serious decisions, based on advertising and political advocacy paid for by corporations; I have no independent basis to make up my mind. Believing that adults should be treated like children is hardly consistent with support for democracy.

    The evidence about climate change is far more ambiguous than was the evidence about tobacco. Let’s not forget: CO2 may be good for us overall, with more winners than losers.

    • The whole “Big Tobacco conspiracy made me do it and is continuing to make people do it” idea was great for trial lawyers but pretty ridiculous. People thought tobacco was bad for you from the first time it was brought back from the New World. In my parents’ day they were popularly called “coffin nails.” And Kip Viscusi’s research showed pretty clearly that most smokers in the 1980s or ’90s (don’t feel like looking up the date) actually overestimated the risk of smoking.

  32. Even having an opinion is an offense? This is just an extension of the politically correct thought police. I wonder if my 25 year old leftist daughter is going to rat out her dad, since she has had to listen to my opinions for years.
    Hmmm, I wonder if she was wearing a listening device the other day as I unloaded on Bernie.

  33. stevenreincarnated

    RICO is such an overreach. I’m sure when the other side decides to get even they will do something much more practical like audit expense accounts.

  34. We continue to allow the warmists to define the terms of the discussion. It’s not Climate Change, and we should never use that term when we are referring to Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). Use your language more accurately. Climate change is not in the least controversial. AGW is horse-hockey.

    “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ”
    ― George Orwell

    “He who controls the language controls the masses”.
    – Saul Alinsky in Rules for Radicals

    When we are sloppy with our language we are giving away the argument.

  35. Y’know, I wonder what a RICO investigation of the IPCC would turn up?

  36. There are 1100 plus comments to the Whitehouse article and comments are now closed. Most appear to be in support of Whitehouse’s crazy notion. Most engage in ad hominem attacks on those who dare raise counter-arguments. Most show little sign of understanding the observational data. Most assume that catastrophic outcomes are around the corner. Most have barely a clue as to the actual rate of increase in MSL or the % loss of the Antarctic Ice Sheet or the actual temperature increase since the 1860 or 1978.
    Peter Webster is correct. Lysenkoism is around the corner and the signers of this letter are helping to establish it.

  37. First of all, don’t panic, because of another similar delusion, with similar groupthink and terror against the dissenters, the problems IS SOLVED (I mean it won’t cost anything to solve the non existing problem). So I’m a believer now, because I don’t care ;-)

    now, this RICO, like the various attack (“Where are the climate denialist in Le Monde – they shutted them all up”) is the symptom of the end.

    In the famous Groupthink paper of Roland Benabou (thank to Judith for relaying it) there is many reference to the “curse of cassandra”.
    Re read the paper and all will be clear.

    “The curse of Cassandra.
    Let L < 0 and consider a denial equilibrium, as in Figure 5. Suppose now that, in state L; an individual or subgroup with a lower s or di§erent payoffs attempts to bring the bad news back to everyoneís attention. If this occurs after agents have sunk in their investments it simply amounts to deáating expectations in (2),
    so they will refuse to listen, or may even try to "kill the messenger" (pay a new cost to forget). Anticipating that others will behave in this way, in turn, allows everyone to more confidently invest in denial at t = 0: To avoid this deleterious outcome, organizations and societies will find it desirable to set up ex-ante guarantees such as whistle-blower protections, devil's advocates, constitutional rights to free speech, independence of the press, etc. These will ensure that bad news will most likely "resurface" ex-post in a way that is hard to ignore, thus lowering the ex-ante return of investing in denial. Similar results apply if the dissenter comes at an interim stage, after people have censored but before investments are made. For s s
    ; meaning that people strongly value hope and dislike anxiety. Facing the truth (state L) now lowers everyoneís utility, generating a universal unwillingness to listen — the curse of Cassandra. Free-speech guarantees, anonymity and similar protections nonetheless remain desirable ex-ante, as they avoid welfare losses in state H and, on average, save the organization or society from wasting resources on denial and repression.”

    in fact you find it apply to Snowden, Mannings, to recent CIA scandal on ISIS.
    http://observer.com/2015/09/obamas-messy-iraq-intelligence-scandal/

    there is a need of free speech, and a strong tendency to hide reality in hierarchies.

    like for patriot acts, for McCarthyism, I don’t know how US society will tolerate and correct that.
    Maybe we are the symptom.

    Without this theory, one should be amazed how so many people , journalist, intelligence agencies, business watchers, can be so uninformed, not even to criticize when Airbus start to support the Devil.

    anyway, who cares, the problem is solved.
    Carl page of the Anthropocene institute (a nice guy, as i observed in Padua – a place that you never hear of on April 13-17 ) have seen The Light.

    here again the journalist are death, mute and blind.

    It seems that since the problem is solved, press decided that critics were too dangerous, support is still dangerous, so best is to ignore the reality.

    For climate skeptic, in france, they are in “there is no more any, we killed them all” mode.

    when you start to break your rules, this mean the end is near.
    if US break free speech for climate, US and climate myth will not survive long.

    For France this is our anti-liberal culture (liberal is opposite meaning in france), so controlling speech, business or science, by law is cultural.

  38. “If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible…”

    I key in on the phrase “and their supporters”, and I pause on “these misdeeds must be stopped” which we can assume refers back to the RICO criminal statutes they contemplate above.

    They want to send people to jail. They’re talking about sending people to jail. (I suppose RICO could generate fines and shut-down orders for an organization or individual as well.)

    Who do they want to send to jail? You? Me? Pielke Sr/Jr? People who work at Cato? Who are these supporters? We’re all deniers now, aren’t we? I was added to a Deniers list for pointing out that the consensus is actually in the high 70s or so, for pointing out that there is no 97%. I think not being an environmentalist is enough to be smeared as a denier in many settings, certainly by political activists like Oreskes.

    This is becoming a chilling situation. Some of these people really want to shut everyone else up, and now apparently, to send people to jail. I’m going to ask them to clarify if they want the likes of me in jail. After all, I admire the oil industry, always have. My dad was a copper miner, and I’ve always admired industry and people who go out into the world and do productive work. I think petroleum geologists and engineers are some of the most awesome people on the planet, and have made the world a much better place. Count me as a supporter of the fossil fuel industry, and the solar industry, the nuclear industry, the auto industry, and the Swiss chocolate industry. Cuff me if me you can.

    • plus me
      well said
      ‘specially the last paragraph

      John Smith

    • Joe Duarte: Who do they want to send to jail? You? Me? Pielke Sr/Jr? People who work at Cato? Who are these supporters?

      The petitioners have not thought this through, in my opinion. The people who would be prosecuted at trial would be those against whom the prosecutors could get grand jury indictments. Exactly what federal law has anybody broken? What’s the evidence? Who would testify to that in front of the grand jury? What scientist is willing to testify under oath before a grand jury that expressing a minority opinion based on less-cited data constitutes a “crime”?

      • oops, forgot

        And then testify to the same in open court subject to cross-examination by well-informed counsel?

        We are talking about people who won’t even debate Christopher Monckton or Marc Morano in public.

      • Matthew: perhaps you need to read up on the Wisconsin political witch hunt that just got called off by the Wis supreme court (after several years and people losing jobs). The idea that witch hunts don’t happen is simply naive. What would they be prosecuted for, you ask? RICO just needs a criminal conspiracy to do something bad, and here the “bad” is causing the end of the world. Would it survive trial? No, but prosecutors can notoriously indict a ham sandwich if they choose to.

      • Or it may just be a gambit to shut people up with threats. This would work if the people who oppose these people have the moral rectitude of a….Gavin Schmidt. The sheer ugliness of this act (is there a word for the opposite of ‘elegant’ that suggests an ugliness combined with a malevolence with a dash of insanity thrown in?) should be enough for these people to lose their jobs or at the very least to be called in by the institutions they work for and excoriated for their advocacy of ‘thuggery’ in the name of science.

      • Craig Loehle: Matthew: perhaps you need to read up on the Wisconsin political witch hunt that just got called off by the Wis supreme court (after several years and people losing jobs).

        Do you think that is what the petitioners are advocating? That members of the executive branch break the law? I think they are advocating a formal, legal proceeding in accordance with Federal law, and that is what I am writing about.

    • Let’s not hyperventilate. The clowns who signed the letter don’t expect RICO prosecutions. It’s a publicity stunt to demonize the heretics. And they only got 20 bozos to sign on. It’s surprising that a climate establishment big shot like Trenberth stooped that low. He must really be a zealot.

    • I have a preliminary guess answer to your question, based on a small amount of scanning of the Tobacco Decision. In that case, the government’s request for “disgorgement” was denied (Page 33):

      Unfortunately, a number of significant remedies proposed by the Government could not be considered by the Court because of a ruling by the Court of Appeals in United States v. Philip Morris, USA, Inc., et al., 396 F.3d 1196 (D.C. Cir. 2005). In that opinion, the Court held that, because the RICO statute allows only forward-looking remedies to prevent and restrain violations of the Act, and does not allow backward-looking remedies, disgorgement (i.e., forfeiture of ill-gotten gains from past conduct) is not a permissible remedy.

      While I’m hesitant to guess what parallels climate activists are demanding (I agree with the opinion above that they haven’t thought it through), it’s my guess that, after many years of very expensive discovery and testimony, if they could prove a conspiracy to “deny” whatever “science” the activists think is being denied, they would be required to stop.

      The primary threat, I’d say, based on parallels with the tobacco case, is the litigation itself. The primary victim of the threat(s) would be large corporations who could be accused of secretly undertaking a plan/conspiracy to manipulate the science.

      However, my guess is that the victims of this campaign would have as much right to sue under RICO, in fact probably more:

      In its original Complaint, the Government made four claims against Defendants under three federal statutes. The first statute, the Medical Care Recovery Act (“MCRA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2651-2653, provides the Government with a cause of action to recover certain specified health care costs it pays to treat individuals injured by a third-party’s tortious conduct (Count 1). The second statute is a series of amendments referred to as the Medicare Secondary Payer provisions (“MSP”), 42 U.S.C. § 1395y, which provides the Government with a cause of action to recover Medicare expenditures when a third-party caused an injury requiring treatment and a “primary payer” was obligated to pay for the treatment (Count 2). The third statute is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968 (Counts 3 and 4), which provides private parties with a cause of action to recover treble damages due to injuries they received from a defendant’s unlawful racketeering activity and the government with a cause of action to seek other equitable remedies to prevent future unlawful acts. Joint Defendants moved to dismiss the case on all counts. On September 28, 2000, the Motion was granted in part and denied in part, and Counts 1 and 2 were dismissed. United States v. Philip Morris, Inc., 116 F.Supp.2d 131 (D.D.C. 2000).

      Continuing its case on Counts 3 and 4, the Government sought injunctive relief and $289 billion6 in disgorgement of Defendants’ ill-gotten gains for what it alleges to be an unlawful conspiracy to deceive the American public. The Government’s Amended Complaint describes a four-decade long conspiracy, dating back to at least 1953, to intentionally and willfully deceive and mislead the American public about, inter alia, the harmful nature of tobacco products, the addictive nature of nicotine, and harmfulness of low tar cigarettes. Amended Complaint (“Am. Compl.”) at ¶ 3. According to the Government, the underlying strategy Defendants adopted was to deny that smoking caused disease and to consistently maintain that whether smoking caused any kind of disease was still an “open question” for which no scientific consensus existed. Am. Compl. at ¶ 34. In furtherance of that strategy, Defendants allegedly issued deceptive press releases, published false and misleading articles, destroyed and concealed documents which indicated that there was in fact a correlation between smoking and disease, and aggressively targeted children as potential new smokers. Am. Compl. at ¶ 36.7

      […]

      On February 4, 2004, our Circuit rendered a decision on an interlocutory appeal from this case. Defendants had appealed this Court’s decision denying summary judgment as to the Government’s claim for disgorgement under 18 U.S.C. 1964(a). (Order #550). In that opinion, written by Judge David Sentelle, the Court of Appeals determined that disgorgement is not a permissible remedy in civil RICO cases. United States of America v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., 396 F.3d 1190 (D.C. Cir. 2004). As a result, because $280 billion in disgorgement was the centerpiece of its requested relief, the Government moved for leave to reformulate their proposed remedies. The Court granted that motion. After the liability phase of the trial concluded, the parties were allowed to put on evidence pertaining to the remedies sought by the Government.

      Of course, IANAL, but it looks to me as though the various “big carbon” victims of this RICO persecution would be able to sue for triple damages: the IPCC, those responsible for the letter, perhaps even the scientific societies who have participated in the IPCC’s perversion of Science then issued “authoritative” statements about the science. Statements that, given how the IPCC undertook deceptive pseudo-science, are arguably fraudulent. Evey attorney’s fee they pay (defending against the government case), they can sue the IPCC gang for triple damages.

      • Interesting. In the case of oil companies, one would have to argue that they profited by successfully duping the public about climate change, which would be like “The Mouse that Roared” given the size of their expenditures on this issue. It would be to admit that a couple of million dollars was sufficient to completely derail all the noble politicians, NGOs and brilliant scientists. Absurd.
        In the case of nonprofits like Cato or Heartland, they don’t even profit (heh).
        The tobacco case was pure government bullying and should never have been done. As another commenter noted: even in the 1930s cigarettes were called “coffin nails”. To claim that no-one knew they were dangerous because of the actions of the tobacco companies was absurd.

      • AK: Of course, IANAL,

        I was hoping that we would have had some experienced lawyers chiming in by now.

        That was a good post.

  39. “n the case of fossil fuels, just as with tobacco, the industry joined together in a common enterprise and coordinated strategy.”

    I continue not to understand why these oil companies don’t fully disclose the money they spend on bolstering skeptics in some way, as for example contributions to the H.I.(If any), and the money they spend on “Green” causes. They ought to be able to put the lie to this nonsense once and for all. This all must be a matter of public record no?

    • No, because many non-profits choose to keep their donors anonymous. Most political advocacy groups do as well and businesses don’t have to disclose all their company secrets although they do have to file financial reports. So, you can only find out the truth of much of it if every organization decides to open their books and donor lists completely.

  40. bedeverethewise

    Judith, perhaps you should invite some of the signers of the letter to come defend their position here. Of course they probably won’t as debate is much easier when done in your own echo chamber.

    Also, my Atlas Shrugged quote is still in moderation

    • bedeverethewise

      Perhaps offer them their own post here at CE where they can explain and defend their position. And then let them respond to comments and questions. If this were possible, i would recommend very heavy moderation for civility and focus.

      I don’t think this is to much to ask, given that they are trying to thought.

  41. Naomi Oreskes proposed “RICO-style prosecution” over a year ago:

    http://notrickszone.com/2014/02/23/alarmist-desperation-reaches-new-high-naomi-oreskes-says-rico-style-prosecution-could-be-significant-to-shut-down-skeptics/

    What’s next? The appointment of a “Scientist General”?

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/22/opinion/la-oe-oreskes-judging-climate-change-20120122

    In that case, there was a judge whose instructions had a large effect on public consciousness: the U.S. surgeon general. Without a scientist general to instruct us on climate change, we as a nation have been adrift, looking for leadership and not finding it.

  42. It’s a death warrant for a science that isn’t a science but more of a bureaucracy playing on the reputation of science. It just points out that the act won’t work anymore. It diminishes its political effectiveness in getting grants, for instance.

    Actual science is unaffected. It runs on curiosity. It might tbe good to practice it.

  43. Long ago many philosophers, including Quine, signed a letter protesting an honorary doctorate awarded to Jacques Derrida by the University of Cambridge.

    The protest letter has become a standing joke, at least among its supposed targets. It’s taken to mean that they’re unable to follow Derrida, which a certain kind of person is likely to be unable to.

    Derrida himself made a chapter out of it.

    Perhaps the warmists are unable to follow physics and math, and they just wish to sign a letter to that effect.

  44. It seems that many here do not understand the seriousness of RICO laws.

    Can we have a lawyer chime in and detail the draconian effects of RICO on any group targeted?

  45. I doubt that it is coincidence that the RICO letter hits at the same time that this is being bandied about and extolled by the alarmist camp http://insideclimatenews.org/news/15092015/Exxons-own-research-confirmed-fossil-fuels-role-in-global-warming They will be trying to build a case along the lines of “they knew that tobacco causes cancer.” Of course what was “known” to everyone was Arrhenius’s 1896 paper estimating global warming/cooling via CO2 and a couple of subsequent estimates. Everyone knew about the greenhouse effect; the question has always been how big is the CO2 piece. Nothing has changed in 40 years.

  46. “You have signed the death warrant for science. – Peter Webster”

    Can any one beat this for stupid and hysterical hyperbole?

    Hope someone has helped Peter up from the fainting couch.

    • Michael

      How about

      ‘we have fifty days to save the planet’ and numerous derivatives thereof?

      Tonyb

    • Michael: Can any one beat this for stupid and hysterical hyperbole?

      I agree with you that it is hysterical hyperbole, but I think it is ignorant rather than stupid. The one thing that can survive a vigorous debate between committed and well-informed adversaries in open court will be the science. What wouldn’t survive would be the egotistical self-appraisals of near omniscience and great moral superiority.

      Consider the process that is being proposed. To start with, the Federal prosecutors have to establish to the grand jury that that they have a case. A lot of the public “testimony” of Oreskes, Mann et al will change immediately the witnesses are sworn in front of the jurors, whom they have to face up close. Then the witnesses will start backpedalling and adding qualifications as soon as the jurors start asking them questions (there is no attorney present to object, though the witness can take a time out to consult counsel outside the hearing of the jurors); there will be 18-24 of them: independent businessmen, committed church-goers, accountants, etc — the federal grand jury that I sat on had a member of the technical staff of an international pharmaceutical corporation. Then there is the court stenographer: for many people this will be the first time that their oral comments have ever been immediately and accurately transcribed. Grand jury proceedings are closed to the public and somewhat biased toward making a case, but it won’t be any easier for the witnesses to face opposing counsel in the actual public trial.

      Granted, this will be a huge nuisance to the defendants and the petitioners. But the one thing I am confident of is that the science will survive in good shape.

      • “The one thing that can survive a vigorous debate between committed and well-informed adversaries in open court will be the science.”

        Wouldn’t I love to live in a world in which we could count on that.

    • You don’t have to put very many scientists in jail to totally chill non-conforming or novel research. Most true innovations in science are in spite of whatever the consensus was at the time, from Darwin to Einstein to Nic Lewis. Some scientific controversies go on for decades without resolution. Do you actually do science Michael? I do and most of my work has countered some consensus or other (not just climate change) over 150 publications–so it couldn’t have been that nutty since it got published.

      • Craig Loehle: You don’t have to put very many scientists in jail to totally chill non-conforming or novel research.

        What makes you think that anybody is going to go to jail? To start with, who wants to testify for the prosecution under oath in front of a Federal Grand Jury? After having the text of the law read aloud to the Grand Jury by the prosecuting attorney?

      • Matthew Marler: perhaps you forget the trial of the geologists in Italy over the earthquake, or the inquisition of Lomborg or the firing of some state climatologists. You don’t have go be successfully prosecuted to be terrorized. My friend is a doctor who was treating pain patients. Gov came after him for giving out too many narcotics. Took away his license and grabbed his house and bank accounts. 3 yrs later no trial, no conviction, just ruined.

      • Craig Loehle: My friend is a doctor who was treating pain patients. Gov came after him for giving out too many narcotics. Took away his license and grabbed his house and bank accounts. 3 yrs later no trial, no conviction, just ruined.

        What is being proposed here is a RICO prosecution.

        Asset forfeiture is a contentious issue. I grant you that if the feds pursue an asset forfeiture against some particular climate scientists I’ll change my tune.

        fwiw, the Italian scientists were charged with dereliction of their civic duty, not for misrepresenting science in a public debate. I see that as equivalent to prosecuting scientists for violations of research integrity, which I think no one has claimed is stifling innovation and research in the US.

    • You have signed the death warrant for science. – Peter Webster”
      Michael : Can any one beat this for stupid and hysterical hyperbole?

      Yes, calm down Webster – nothing at all wrong with scientific issues being settled by lawyers and prison sentences so as to as to serve political expediency. Science must learn to always present its benefacators’ interests as the objective truth.

      • […] – nothing at all wrong with scientific issues being settled by lawyers and prison sentences so as to as to serve political expediency. [my bold]

        What “prison sentences”? I’ve no doubt the proponents of this idi0cy have something like this in mind, but for tobacco, AFAIK, all that happened is that the companies responsible were required to stop.

  47. Those 20 scientists are truly evil. Or they are amazingly ignorant.

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  50. Tyranny Warning
    Those twenty scientists are imposing Lysenkoism

    The Lysenkoists employed Stalinist terror in their struggle with Darwinian biologists for bureaucratic and academic positions. Anti-Lysenkoists faced the threat of public denunciation, loss of Communist Party membership, loss of employment position and arrest by the secret police. Between Lysenko’s grip on power and the “disappearances” of numerous of his opponents, it would be years until the Soviet biology program would recover.[2] Similar political strong-arm tactics also hobbled the Soviet nuclear physics program, requiring Soviet scientists to follow only theories that had the Communist Party’s blessing. This forced them to steal working designs from the United States, including the decisive Teller-Ulam hydrogen bomb design.

    This will cause severe harm to science.
    Their RICO action is diametrically contrary to the high standards of science detailed by Richard Feynmann to Caltech in 1974 versus Cargo Cult Science

    • David L. Hagen: The Lysenkoists employed Stalinist terror in their struggle

      Get a grip. No one has gone to jail for opposing the new EPA regs on coal.

      • David L. Hagen

        matthew Dig deeper. Same tyrannical tactics, just an earlier stage in development. It began with similar accusations of being against the politically correctness. See Lysenkoism

        “Lysenkoism began in the late 1920s and formally ended in 1964. . . .In 1935, Lysenko compared his opponents in biology to the peasants who still resisted the Soviet government’s collectivization strategy, saying that by opposing his theories the traditional geneticists were setting themselves against Marxism. Stalin was in the audience when this speech was made, and he was the first one to stand and applaud, calling out “Bravo, Comrade Lysenko. Bravo.” This event emboldened Lysenko and gave him and his ally Prezent free rein to slander the geneticists who still spoke out against him. Many of Lysenkoism’s opponents, such as his former mentor Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov, were imprisoned or even executed because of Lysenko’s and Prezent’s denunciations.

        Then we have a similar progression to Michael Mann’s hockey stick:

        Lysenko’s widespread popularity provided him a platform to denounce theoretical genetics and to promote his own agricultural practices. He was, in turn, supported by the Soviet propaganda machine, which overstated his successes and omitted mention of his failures. This was accompanied by fake experimental data supporting Lysenkoism from scientists seeking favor and the destruction of counter-evidence to Lysenko’s theories.

      • “Get a grip. No one has gone to jail for opposing the new EPA regs on coal.”

        You seem incredibly naive…no one has yet! The ground work is being laid right now. Dictatorships don’t usually arrive by coup but by bits and pieces and everyone thinks, sheesh, your being alarmist when the thugs act like thugs because there is no violence today. How many days do we tolerate thugs before becoming inured to it to the point where it just seems like the next logical thing or we are so used to capitulating to the IDEA that when the ACT comes we just cave to that as well.
        What these scientists have done is the prelude to evil. You really should read Atlas Shrugged. Though fictional it is amazingly accurate in describing how these things happen.
        75 years ago, the Federal thugs who use asset forfeiture laws to steal would have been unthinkable. Like the proverbial frog in a kettle of water building to a boil. And when you start screaming ‘This isn’t what we meant’ or ‘I didn’t think they’d go this far’ it will be too late.
        This sort of thing should draw instant excoriation and condemnation from every scientist, with a PhD,regardless of their field!

      • ‘Scuse me, but if fmr. Congressman Waxman had his way, I would have, for opposition to his Cap and Trade bill.

      • David L. Hagen: “Lysenkoism began in the late 1920

        By that time the free press had been destroyed and the Gulag Archipelago was established. Every opposition party was destroyed. Farmland was being collectivized, and the army leadership purged, i.e. executed.

        In the US in 2010 and 2014 the opponents of the administration’s policies won the elections, and now serve. (they can’t decide on a common and effective strategy against the administration, but that is a different set of problems. They are in no danger of imprisonment on trumped-up charges.) At the state level, opponents of the administration have nearly a 2 – 1 majority in governorships and legislatures. Despite its best efforts, the administration has not been able to halt the growth of the oil and gas industries, or end the growth of the non-unionized auto industries. Contra-consensus books on climate enjoy huge sales.

      • Daniel E. Hofford: You really should read Atlas Shrugged.

        Oh, please. It was ok, but it was too long by half. it’s totally unrelated to the climate science debates and this petition for a RICO investigation.

      • I have read some informed commentaries in business journals (and have sources tell me) that companies today dare not publicly oppose government regulations or policies or rules (their lobbyists work on it and their trade associations) because speaking out will be met with punishing new regulations, SEC investigations, EEOC complaints, you name it. This government bullying of the right to speak is an ongoing problem. It was only a few months ago we had the letter asking for funding sources from 100 organizations. Even our host got a letter. This idea that only people going to jail is a problem is out of touch.

      • So what are they spending all of that money on, Craig?

        https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?indexType=i

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  53. The veracity and velocity of the assault on Climate Skeptics will be ever increasing as we approach Paris. I suspect it will be November to remember leading up to it.

    Anyone remember this advocacy from the POTUS? In no other facet of civilized society would something like this be tolerated from a leader of a free people. This is not leadership, it is open oppression, as is the RICO attempt.

    http://twitchy.com/2015/03/13/shadowy-501c4-barackobama-invites-you-to-play-final-four-like-bracket-game-on-climate-change/

  54. We now know all of the evildoers in American society and who to go after with the power of government as our sword. But, let’s discuss good examples of non-global-warming-causing practitioners of the sort of sustainability that will meet the test of the pampered Western school teachers and government scientists of conservationism. North Korea! A great role model there – just ask a North Korean is South Korea: http://www.nknews.org/2013/01/life-o…h-korean-farm/

    Is There Any Power Source the Green Will Accept? (~Fred Singer, et al., Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years)

  55. A muslim slaughtering men and women at Ft Hood while yelling Alahu Akbar is workplace violence that had nothing to do with religion.

    Getting out the word that much of climate science is cooked data to “prove” a preconceived answer is racketeering.

    Change You Can Believe In!

  56. Judith Curry,

    I am sure you are dismayed by the letter by the 20 scientists sent to President Obama, but really now, you shouldn’t be surprised. For some of us who had grown up during the Senator Joseph McCarthy era, the parallel in viciousness between investigating communist conspiracy and climate change denialism are similar. Remember also, some of the participants of the McCarthy Anti-American Committee were some of our national political darlings who later on became President (John F. Kennedy) amongst others. So it was more than Mean Joe who were ruining careers and jailing people. And, as history has shown, there was no repudiation, nor restitution. We were all told to: “just move on”. “Don’t linger in the past.”

    Trenberth is one of the National darlings of the climate change narrative and has considerable public and Congressional credibility so his name on the letter to imprison skeptics is not really that amazing. Other signatories you know of or know personally are but a tip of the iceberg of scientific groupthink.

    I have experienced groupthink name calling were I live and work publicly; in a meeting to discuss community planning; the extent of my crime: “all models are wrong.” I was harangued during and after the meeting, including as I was walking out the door by a person who teaches and directs the science program at a local community college. He calls himself a scientist.

    Should you worry about a Joseph McCarthy re-incarnation. Yes you should. Honesty, integrity and a strong personal will are no match for groupthink politics. If you meet, meet along with your friends present. There is no trying to persuade. Make your points and “gird your loins”. As for the committee member who assailed me? I am polite, careful in my responses to him; make sure what I have said is as clear as I can make it.

    The climate catastrophe is not one of science. It is shaping up to be an ideological struggle. There was a 100 years European war fought between two competing ideologies.

    We shall see what we shall see re: outcomes.

    • But McCarthy was right about a lot of communists. People forget that there were once so many communists working in the Time Life Building in NY that they produced their own daily newspaper for open distribution to all their loyalists throughout the building.

      There really were large numbers of people who were loyal to the USSR. Just as there were once enough Hitler fans to have a rally of over 20,000 people in Madison Square Garden.

      For a glimpse of just how prevalent communists were in the US read David Horowitz’ books about growing up in a communist family, attending communist summer camps, etc. Most of the New Left organizers of the SDS were red diaper babies.

      Heck look at the people who were instrumental in Obama’s life. His parents and grandparents were reds. His teenage mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was a card-carrying, Stalin-loving member of the party. Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dhorn, leaders of the radical terror group the Weather Underground, were marxist terror bombers who are responsible for providing him with his personal fortune and guiding his political career.

      Did McCarthy go too far? Sure. But his basic premise was right. There were Alger Hiss types throughout the government and throughout the nation.

      • Stanton Brown

        Of course you are right that there was much sympathy for communism in the United States, particularly during the Great Depression when people saw no other way out of their social and economic mess. It was common for literature at that time to express a direct cause and effect between Capitalism and boom and bust economic times.

        What McCarthy successfully did, was to link people’s skepticism of Capitalism with spies and those people in government and academic places of influence. That is the
        parallel with today’s climate scientists advocating to President Obama to invoke RICO.

        In a mildly sinister mindset that I have, I wonder if Obama or someone in the White House on staff solicited such a letter from the initially George Mason University (close to Washington DC) to serve as another way to attack climate science skepticism’s popularity. After all, President Obama by training is a community organizer and “anything goes. Just like Nixon’s Dirty Tricks brigade, this could be a top down divined putsch aimed at climate talks troublemakers as well as any Republican skeptic sympathizers. The quintessence of a RICO opportunity.

        As I said, I have a suspicious mind at times.

    • Except McCarthy was right. Communist agents were infiltrating the government and Hollywood.

      • Daniel E. Hofford

        Maybe you know more about freshly minted communists weaseling their way into vulnerable government and academic positions than I do. The Hollywood types were 1930’s communists clinging to their ideology in spite of revelations of Stalin’s bad behavior. Kinda like todays climate science groupthink Hollywood types. Do art schools have civics courses?

        Algier Hiss was a spy and did transmit important nuclear bomb information to the Russians in the vain belief that both countries would either mutually destruct or develop detente. The latter proved true except the Russian intellectual spies did not see coming the demise of the Soviet Union by 1989. The Soviet Union demonstrated that socialism works only so long as there are other people’s pockets to pick, and, when socialism runs out of other people’s money, socialism collapses. The Soviet Union just demonstrated this in grand style and on a world stage.

        As far as Joseph McCarthy is concerned, his Government bullying and career destroying behavior solidified for me at least why the 2nd Amendment remains vital in this day and age, irrespective of the carnage that results. Our Founding Father’s did not trust government. Joseph McCarthy is the current quintessential character in that distrust, yet, others are stating their case for entering that pantheon.

      • Hiss’ info wasn’t nuclear. He was in the Ag dept and then at State.

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  58. Interesting comparison to the period when Agassiz (sp) is Switzerland proposed evidence for ice ages vs Biblical discussions of moraines and erratic boulders being deposited by floods. Gradually evidence convinced many people until we had a consensus of ice age existence although orbital causes and other variables remain in discussion. Amazing with models only and lack of evidence that Trenbeth can be part of the RICO McCarthy effort.

    Stunning unethical behavior.

    Thank you Dr Curry and Dr Peilke Sr for your bravery in the face of this.
    Scott

    • One of my ancestors spent much of their life in a Swiss prison for denying the sanctity of child baptism (annabaptist). These things sometimes dont work out so well.

  59. The good thing and the bad thing about its is it will take so many years for such a thing to work through the court system that the 50 years to catastrophe will be upon us and the judge and jury will only need to look out the window to decide.

    • Sucks to be the accused, though. Defending against the charges will most likely result in countless hours of their time taken for that defense, even if they get donors to cover 100% of their court costs (which is arguable, at best). Also, even if they’re cleared there will still be hesitation by other groups to take them on for any new project out of fear of being labeled as “supporting anti-science” or something to that effect.

      That’s the real danger of using criminal proceedings against people with differing opinions, that you don’t need to actually convict them of a crime to effectively ruin their lives.

  60. Sounds like it’s time for a new Scopes “Monkey Trial.”

    • The Scopes trial was a set up. Dreamed up by Chamber of Commerce types as a way to boost tourism. I was in Dayton this summer for my son’s basketball tournament. The trial is still boosting tourism there.

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  64. Thank you speaking out. It has been very worrisome that advocates of CO2 climate change are trying to win their argument via brute political force. The denigration of science should concern people far more than rising CO2.

  65. “To paraphrase the other JC” ha ha

    Wow, interesting times we live in. Things have been accelerating in the last 2 years at a crazy rate. It would be utterly fascinating if it didn’t make me so sick.

    You have Cass S. trying to crack the first amendment in the name of conspiracy theories (with an elitist board to decide what is and isn’t) and now this attack on the first with RICO. I feel like I’m watching a version of the Matrix III, and it is obvious it is only a matter of time until the dome cracks and the first amendment falls to these robots. By raising a generation of university students to be obsessed with sensitivity, patriarch, oppression, they (the leftists) are paving the way for the general acceptance of that which our generation would die fighting for.

    Once the first amendment is gone the Tyranny will surely grab hold at an ever accelerating rate.

    “The document originated from the Institute of Global Environment and Society”

    Interesting paper by a Stanford guy I used to know. If I understand this paper correctly his conclusion is that environmental groups do not originate based on environmental issues at all, but are mostly a result of the push of global environmental organizations. This is consistent with the thinking that environmentalism is really an anti-capitalist global movement more than anything else:

    http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~schofer/public_files/LonghoferSchoferEnvironmentalAssociation1.09.pdf

  66. I can’t express my anger over klimate kraziness as well as Dennis Miller:

  67. I note that advocates make liberal use of denigration in their replies.

  68. Bring the RICO suit on! As a climate change denier, I would like to lay out the facts before a jury. When will science stop being a democracy and start being a set of principles? While many “scientists” say we have global warming, no (I mean zero) scientific principle supports their contention. We can’t call it junk science, science fiction, or even scientific fantasy, because no science is involved.

    For example, “Greenhouse Gas” is an oxymoron. Greenhouses allow radiation and inhibit convection. Any gas that inhibits convection is by definition, not a gas.

    It is true that atmospheric gases average (not load – you can’t call it a carbon load) the temperature, but water vapor is almost all of that effect. Carbon Dioxide contributes about 3% to averaging and 95% of Carbon Dioxide is from plants. So a 50% reduction of Carbon Dioxide would only affect the temperature a fraction of a degree for a few hours.

    If that is not enough, all living things benefit from temperature averaging. For example, wild swings in temperature are used to pasteurize milk. If you want to kill something, wild temperature swings are pretty effective.

    Carbon Dioxide is a life gas (not a pollutant). During the Jurassic era which had more life than now, carbon dioxide was 10 times of what it is today. Carbon Dioxide tracks temperature (not vice versa) because the net effect of more plants is more CO2. This fact has been used for decades to determine the temperature hundreds and thousands of years ago.

    Rather than voting for global warming, I would like to see these “scientists” present at least one scientific principle that supports it.

    • Several people have said they would welcome a RICO case, but they have no idea what they are asking for. In a typical RICO case they freeze all your assets so you can’t hire a lawyer (since you are such a bad type), if you can get the $ free it costs a fortune to defend yourself, and during the 5 years of legal proceedings you lose your job. Would not wish that even on real criminals.

      • What Dr. Loehle said.

        I’ve never done any criminal work in general or RICO work in particular. But I do know that when physical science is at issue litigants are routinely astonished at how the trier of fact has flubbed what seems to be an open-and-shut case. It is just impossible to anticipate what kinds of misconceptions might be harbored by those who will decide the parties’ fates.

      • Craig Loehle: In a typical RICO case they freeze all your assets so you can’t hire a lawyer

        That is something that I would like to know more about. The RICO case that I learned of in my grand jury duty produced no bad outcomes for the suspects of the alleged crimes. It was my understanding (lost reference) that most RICO cases never result in losses to the suspects of the alleged crimes.

      • matthewmarler, RICO is itself – insidious. It is vaguely written and as such its use has far exceeded the original intent.

        This article is 10 years old:
        http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=215
        The situation has gotten worse since then.

        The mere fact that a U.S. Senator would suggest using it against “Climate Deniers” shows how far we have gone.

        This alone should be cause for considerable concern.

      • matthewrmarler,

        The government has unlimited resources, unlimited power, and little if any ethical constraints or accountability. Often investigations and trials are intended simply to bankrupt the target and trash his reputation. Sometimes the target is just some poor nobody who had the misfortune to be in a position that a powerful person wants to give to a crony. See what happened to Billy Dale. The jury came back with Not Guilty in record time. No one has ever thought he did anything wrong. But the president’s wife wanted her rich friends to do his job, so she slandered him and ordered the FBI and Justice Dept to nail him.

        Even with a not guilty verdict, he was deeply in debt and ruined.

  69. That Naomi Oreskes said this is not surprising. Merchants of Doubt.
    That Sen. Whitehouse said this is not surprising, but is very disappointing.

    That Trenberth signed this obscene letter is stunning. It suggests he knows ‘his’ climate science is collapsing like a house of cards. It cannot withstand the heat of scrutiny, so do away with the scrutinizers. He openly advocates the US equivalent of Lysenkoism. Words fail.

    • Ristvan,
      Agree totally. I can’t believe he advocates for this. He is operating unethically in a shadow of a funded government protected position. I don’t see how this can be ethical or legal for a government funded scientist.
      Scott

    • Yes, he should lose his job over this one. They all should, in fact.

    • Agreed.
      It seems he has abandoned science. Completely.

    • This letter clearly demonstrates that working at any of these institutions (of the signators) is a hostile work environment for those who do not agree with one of these authors. I mean, what is more hostile than someone wanting to throw you in jail?

    • Here’s what’s really bad about this. Let’s do this thought experiment.

      Assume they are successful and ruin a few people’s lives, like those of me, Judy, John Christy, Roy Spencer, etc…and so the Greenies are happy…

      UNTIL

      Someone like Trump is elected president and the Republicans retain control of the house with Darrel Issa and Trey Gowdy still running the Oversight committees. They’ll haul every one of the signatories in, for sure…but government machines don’t know how to stop. There will doubtless be a massive ruination of science in the reaction, not in the first steps. That’s why Peter Webster may in fact be right.

      The fact that the story just went up on Drudge means it is going to live for some time. I’ll bet a few of the signatories wish they hadn’t done the bidding of the organizer and first signatory, Jagadish Shukla, who, BTW, in constant 2015 dollars, has probably bagged about 100million (yes that’s a tenth of a billion) in federal dollars. The original letter’s address is his consulting company in Maryland, which appears to be run by his wife and daughter–who I am sure are handsomely remunerated. Almost all the GMU signatories are his employees, except Maibach, whose job is to try and convince people that global warming is just the worst thing ever. He’s in another academic unit.

      It’sobvious these guys have left a paper trail that is wide and long. Ever heard of conspiracy to deny first amendment rights?

      What a mess!

  70. Brian G Valentine

    The letter is so childish and stupid that it really merits little response.

    I’m surprised to see Kevin Trenberth behind this!

    No really

    • “The letter is so childish and stupid that it really merits little response. ”
      Egregiously wrong! As history is replete with examples of this sort of thing growing until a response gets you shot or sent to the Gulag. What this requires is a swift moral condemnation…a ‘how dare you’ engage in such thuggish tactics…how dare you even think about pursuing such thuggery. First it’s Oreskes and then another and then a group…and they will all note the reaction they get and silence will do nothing but embolden them. They need a shite storm visited upon their heads roundly condemning them. I certainly intend to find the addresses (email) of everyone of them and give them everything I have in the way of letting them know how immoral, unethical and slimy is their behavior.
      But as Joe Sixpack, my rant will have little impact. I think everyone with a PhD in any branch of science is morally obligated to excoriate/condemn these people in the service of protecting the integrity of science.
      Do you who practice science feel no sense of obligation to rise in its defense?

      • bedeverethewise

        The first response needs to be one of reason. I think Judith is doing that, if others contact the signers, it needs to be done with calm reason.

    • it certainly puts anything else they do or say – including their research – into perspective.

  71. The comparison is clear. The connection between smoking and cancer is about as solid as that between emissions and warming. When policymakers are still being told by experts today that the connection is somewhere between weak and tenuous, that would be just misleading them on the science.

    • “The connection between smoking and cancer is about as solid as that between emissions and warming.”

      Even if true, which is disputed, the implicit consequences are as solid as dogshit.
      You still need to show that the amount is
      a) measurably large, and
      b) a measurable problem.

      It is currently neither, and shows no sign of becoming so.

      • The science part is about cause and effect on temperatures, and it is already large. There is denial, but not by the scientists who study this.

    • between emissions and HOW MUCH warming Jim? The models spread out in their forecasts like a bunch of doves released at a football game. And as an ecologist I can attest that the IPCC impact chapters are weak–they even admit that forecasts of impact to forests really can’t be made, for example.

      And you are going to make it illegal to mislead? How about every lobbyist ever? How about every politician ever? What about the ignorant and confused individual? Who are you going to jail in the GMO, vaccination, cholesterol, and flouridation controvercies?

      • People talking to policymakers need to represent the science as it stands. So far all the warming has not been enough to remove the imbalance, so when people ask how much, you need to tell them all this and more to come. That’s what the measurements are showing. The imbalance is the key to understanding the full attribution.

      • Hear, hear!

      • ‘ Illegal to mislead?’
        How about Paul Ehrlich, Alan Greenspan or Joseph
        Stiglitz’ predictions?

        Review of Philip E Tetlock ‘s book,’ Expert Political J
        udgement; How Good Is It?How Can We Know.’

        ‘It is the somewhat gratifying lesson of Philip Tetlock’s
        book . . . that people who make prediction their business-
        people who appear as experts on television, get quoted
        in newspaper articles, advise governments and businesses,
        and participate in punditry roundtables–are no better than
        the rest of us. When they’re wrong, they’re rarely held
        accountable, and they rarely admit it, either. . . . It would
        be nice if there were fewer partisans on television
        disguised as “analysts” and “experts”. . . . But the best
        lesson of Tetlock’s book may be the one that he seems
        most reluctant to draw: Think for yourself.”
        -Louis Menand, The New Yorker

        On the question of expert prediction, Philip Tetlock
        systematically collected a great number of individual
        forecasts about political and economic events, made
        by recognized experts over a period of more than 20
        years and showed that these forecasts were not very
        much better than making predictions by chance.

    • Jimd

      I am surprised you are taking this view.

      Here is a part of the history of the Royal society who commenced in London around 1659

      http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Societies/RS.html

      Science was developing fast and a glance at the link will reveal a role call of the famous scientists of their day.

      Pepys was a contemporary of many of these people and we have his observations and subsequent readings made from thermometers presented to the royal society from which CET was derived. Together with observations we can follow the extraordinary ups and down of the climate over the next 350 years.

      The motto of the Royal society is’ take nobody’s word as final’

      Do you really want to set that principle aside only for climate science ?

      Tonyb

      • Like I said, the evidence for emissions/warming is as solid as the smoking/cancer link. How much more do you need to even start to think about consequences of further emissions, given what has been seen already? Didn’t the RS finally take the scientists’ word for it on smoking/cancer?

      • Jim D They are concerned with interest money used against scientific evidence

        The biggest “interest money” of all by far of course being being government money. TBut that is always doggesly ignored.

    • stevenreincarnated

      Jim D thinks people should be jailed for being misleading? 3 hots and a cot that appealing?

      • Did I say that? Claiming something to be wrong is not the same as asking for jail time. Misleading policymakers does not necessarily mean the person is dishonest, just misinformed or uninformed, but that is protected under first amendment rights. Free speech allows a person to be wrong if they firmly believe what they say, but not in order to deceive.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim D, do you support the proposed investigation?

      • Follow the money.

      • stevenreincarnated

        When I follow the money it looks like the Mississippi River flowing to the consensus side and my dog’s piddle running to the skeptics, so I guess that is your way of saying we need to investigate the consensus side. I think it would be a waste of time but go for it if you want. I won’t waste my time trying to protect people that involve themselves with making unsupported allegations.

      • I answered your question. Which investigation were you referring to?

      • stevenreincarnated

        Does it matter what investigation? We are talking politics here not law. Any investigation serves the useful purpose of intimidating your political opponents.

      • Yes, corruption in politics is a serious issue. They are concerned with interest money being used against scientific evidence as in past cases. It is a valid concern. The problem exists.

      • It also works the other way, in that interest money is often used to trump up ‘scientific research’

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim D, you want to follow the money. Chu at the U of Berkley got 500,000,000 from BP. Make a list of oil money going to skeptics and when you get to 500,000,000 let me know and I’ll woprk on the other side of the ledger for a while.

      • I happen to think money for science is great, but when it is used against science, that is where things go wrong. So you can specify what Chu did wrong, and then you can have a case to complain about. I haven’t heard any skeptic complaints about Chu’s work, so this will be informative for me.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim D, you means besides pushing the alarmist agenda on behalf of the oil companies?

      • Be specific. What was Chu’s work about and what about it scientifically do you not like? So far, I have heard nothing but faint aspersions.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Yes, exactly. So what specific allegations of misdeeds do the signers of the letter have?

      • Jim D: So you can specify what Chu did wrong, and then you can have a case to complain about.

        You did say to follow the money. The money led to Chu. Now you say that the money was irrelevant. So why follow the money? Soon and Chu received money from the fossil fuel industry, Soon less than Chu. Does that not rather tell against the idea that the fossil fuel industry was aimed at funding confusion instead of science?

        Or, as in the sentence I quoted, follow the science and ignore the money.

      • stevenreincarnated: So what specific allegations of misdeeds do the signers of the letter have?

        It looks to me like you are trying to elicit a consistent, well-articulated standard. The only consistent standard at play here is that research with non-alarming implications is bad. Hence it is bad for people to learn of it and a crime to tell people about it.

      • People keep comparing Chu with the problems just because the fossil fuel industries are funding research. The fossil fuel industries should fund research, just like all industries, and it is no worse to fund it at universities. The problem is when fossil fuel industries funnel money to the policymakers themselves and the thinktanks that provide them with information, which is for the purpose of favoring those industries when policies are made or blocked, especially if built on the dubious scientific standards of their thinktanks.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Makes sense to me, Jim D. Follow the money but only if it goes where Jim D doesn’t want it to go. I guess that settles that.

      • If you don’t want money to go to universities for alternative energy research, you need to say why. It hasn’t been a political issue so far, but maybe you can find an angle to criticize Exxon for that. It’s not the same thing at all to me.

      • It would be a better story if it was Exxon, but it seems to be BP.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, I’m not saying which money is good and which evil. I am only doing as you said and following the money. It happens to land at a public university, otherwise known as a liberal think tank that influences government policy, and it seems me pointing this out to you bothers you for some reason. I now understand that it is because you are the one that decides which research is good and which research is evil and where the money should go. see? No problem.

      • Yes, you are saying university money is leftist and evil, even if it is just BP funding Chu for alternative energy. You are the one drawing the equivalence, and trying to tar all fossil fuel funds with the same simplistic brush, not me. You just haven’t seen the distinction yet.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, I’m applying your standard from the opposing point of view. Are you now telling me you have no standards? It seems your standards vary according to the subjects you apply them to. That is roughly equivalent to having none so I suppose you are.

      • The opposing point of view doesn’t apply in the case you chose. Do you want to try again?

      • stevenreincarnated

        It doesn’t when you say it doesn’t. It is evil when you say it is evil. You are indeed omnipotent.

      • You are the one who followed the money from BP to Chu and hit a dead end. If you want to cast aspersions, you need to be able to back them up.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Way up thread I asked you to do the same thing. You decided your word was good enough I suppose. Who am I, a mere mortal, to argue with an all seeing god that just knows good from evil and requires no evidence?

      • You are asking me what the signers were thinking of, and they gave several references to the type of behavior that has red flags, so I can point you to those for further information.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Really? You take a side and can’t even repeat a single argument? Pick a good one and come back. Be specific. Now where have I heard that before?

      • You can re-read all my comments starting at 4:56pm Sept 18 for my views on this. It started because you used a straw man that was completely wrong, and I have already put you straight on what behavior I think should be prosecuted. From there you went on to make an equivalence with BP and Chu to try to muddy the water, and I am still not sure what that diversion was all about.

      • stevenreincarnated

        I asked you if you supported the proposed investigation. You responded follow the money. I followed the money. It upset you that I did as you asked. Anyway, since your last response indicated you have no clue why there should be an investigation, I’m going to end this conversation until such time as you can provide an argument one way or the other. It is boring me so I assume it is everyone else as well.

      • You took some random money and followed it to a dead end, and implied it is therefore wrong to ever follow the money. The logic was just baffling. I am sure you would agree that if someone was paid to come up with results favoring an industry, but against proper scientific methods, you would want to prosecute them as much as these people do. To follow the money you can work backwards either from some dubiously convenient testimony, reports, or votecasting. I am not saying that there is always a link, but I don’t deny that there is ever a link, and there should be some rules.

      • Jim D: You are the one who followed the money from BP to Chu and hit a dead end.

        You are the one who said to follow the money. It does not reliably lead to information on criminal behavior, in this field.

    • Jim D says: “The connection between smoking and cancer is about as solid as that between emissions and warming.”

      By what measure Jim D? Please point me to the scientific analysis of both subjects that backs up your claim.

      Also, please show me data that indicate a negative outcome from warming, man made or not.

      Thanks.

      • Let’s just say that the imbalance is positive and this means that all the warming we have had is not yet enough to catch up to the anthropogenically dominated forcing. It makes it a very solid case. The imbalance is the smoking gun, but its significance is unfortunately poorly understood by skeptics who continue to pass their own confusion to policymakers some of whom, for their own reasons, want to hear the skeptic message instead of consensus science.

      • Let’s just say that the imbalance is positive and this means that all the warming we have had is not yet enough to catch up to the anthropogenically dominated forcing.

        The mean net radiance for the period of record of CERES data is zero.

      • TE, you seem to prefer the radiance of that satellite to the ocean heat content which has been rising significantly in the last decade as a measure of the imbalance. There are also several published estimates putting it in the region of 0.5 W/m2 using satellite and OHC. Have you heard anyone credibly claim that the imbalance is not positive, and how do they explain the rising ocean heat content?

      • The OHC rise is inhomogeneous ,the rise is in the SH extratropical SO (66-98%) Roemmich 2015.

        This is consistent with westerly wind forcing,and transport into the SO is ballistic not conduction,and the so called forcing is abated during summer/autumn ie it has a winter/ spring bias when external forcing is least.

    • JimD: The connection between smoking and cancer is about as solid as that between emissions and warming.

      The connection between second-hand smoke in public places and public health is as weak and tenuous as the connection between emissions and warming.

    • bedeverethewise

      Jim D,
      Over the course of my career, I have dabbled in oncology research, so I have some expertise here. A significant majority of scientists, like myself, have come to the consensus position that we consider cancer to be, very, very bad.

      The 0.8 C of warming that occurred over the 20th century (half of which occurred prior a significant increase in CO2 levels), as far as I can tell, has had either a positive impact or no significant impact at all. In fact in oncology there is a term for this, benign.

      You aren’t just comparing apples and oranges, you are comparing poisoned apples which are obviously deadly to delicious, nourishing oranges.

    • The way to read this letter is that it is the fossil fuel industry that is trying to short-circuit the decisionmaking process by taking the science out of it, and basically getting Congress to oppose any carbon-related policies. On the contrary to being opposed to science, the idea is to try to give science a place at the podium and not be compromised by any corrupted science coming from the side of the special interests that deserves no place in front of Congress.

      • Mercury is not helping, when your aluminum fluoride is not up to snuff.

      • the idea is to try to give science a place at the podium and not be compromised by any corrupted science coming from the side of the special interests that deserves no place in front of Congress.

        Mainly though, the corrupted, vested interest science coming from stooge government climate ‘scientists’ like Mann and friends.

    • Also relevant is this. Republicans have made a perceptible shift in their climate stance. Their arguments now tend to be of the type you make when the science part is settled. This is promising.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/republicans-climate-change_55fc8a54e4b08820d918c84f

      • Yes, Jim D, like you I always consult a politician when I want to know the state of science. Of course I do.

      • It is more correct for the policymakers to listen to the scientists than not. Some science may have sunk in, it seems. Now if the denialists here could catch up, we would have a proper debate on the effect of various policy options.

      • Tell us how to read this un-paywalled, short history of old school scientists at bat for our health here in America.

        http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/fluoride-is-poison/

        We needed a bigger bomb first just to be safe.

      • The policymakers are gradually deferring on science to the scientific majority. If the majority changes, they can defer to that instead, but in the meantime the scientific minority’s role is now to convince the majority, not the Republicans, and that is how it should be. It is a truly scientific argument for them to undertake with peers, not rhetorically grandstanding for a non-scientific audience which is what it has been so far.

      • Your nutty huffpo propaganda pieces are not interesting, yimmy. Do you think we actually read that crap?

        The alleged scientific majority has declared that the debate is over and anything the minority scientists say is labeled as disinformation and prosecutable. So, the minority takes their story to the streets and the hallowed halls of Congress. Eat your heart out, yimmy. When the Donald has the phone and pen and majorities in both the House and Senate, it will be very bad for the mental health of the Chicken Littles.

      • The minority view is short-circuiting the science with money, and that is what this is about. It’s an old problem with no easy solution, but money in politics is a big part of this.

      • No, the majority view is short-circuiting science with money – almost all money in climate science is from government. And government has such a big vested interest in alarmism, which is why unswerving alarmism is unsurprisingly the majority view.
        And which explains why government climate science is so rooted in principles like hiding and fiddling data, as the official Climategate coverups so clearly demonstrated.

      • …and according to your theory, the governments of the world want alarmism why exactly?

      • “…and according to your theory, the governments of the world want alarmism why exactly?”

        Never let a crisis go to waste. Therefore, create the air of crisis. Or as it was more eloquently expressed:

        “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
        H. L. Mencken

      • Nothing beyond blatantly obvious – more taxes, more powers. (That’s why alarmism is so popular with those of a totalitarian outlook).

      • It’s a global conspiracy, I tell ya!

      • Oh dear, the tired old “conspiracy” strawman again.
        Whyever do you think you need a conspiracy to explain organisations acting in their own interest?

      • Thank you for your explanation, Jim D.

        https://ca.news.yahoo.com/pentagon-promotes-lean-groups-boost-women-leadership-122906058.html

        What do you see as their long term global goal though?

      • Punksta, yes, the governments want higher taxes so they invented global warming to achieve it rather than just levy it on something else that they can do today. Great theory.

      • Much to get a tax through if there an apparently watertight excuse for it.

      • typo ..
        Much easier to get a tax through if there an apparently watertight excuse for it, I meant.
        And no “great theory” needed here; you just need to stop trying to ignore the obvious – climate alarmism falls neatly into the vested interest of government, so naturally attracts government sponsorhip and supporting propaganda. There really is no need for your cretinous strawman implication.

      • Turns out that the observed warming was due to CO2 emissions after all, so you don’t even need to use your conspiracy idea to invent it.

      • You’ve resolved the attribution argument? Well done Jimbo, go directly to Stockholm to get your Nobel Prize.
        Best leave your conspiracy strawman behind though.

      • Heck maybe you’re right … billions of people go to work every day, all with the same purpose of furthering their interests. And millions of companies do something similar. Can’t possibly just happen, must also be conspiracies. In Jimboland, anyway.

  72. Effectively, only research that confirms the state approved science is allowed.

    The signees should have thought it through a bit more.

  73. Curious George

    100 German Scientists Denounce Einstein.

    20 U.S. Climate Scientists denounce skeptics.,

  74. Dr. Curry
    can you say how GT responded to that congressman (whose name I can not recall how to spell or pronounce)?
    I imagine they had to supply the requested info
    did you get a least some behind the scenes support?
    was it news around the campus?
    I am shocked and sorry that you must face this kind of thing
    it cannot and will not stand

    John Smith

    • GT did provide all the requested info. There was an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, which was rather a snooze. So in the end, the whole Grijalva effort fizzled

      • The fact that is was a snooze is quite significant. It means that there was no nefarious oil-funded deceit among any of those targeted.

        The fact that there was no oil-funded conspiracy to uncover means that the process was never anything more than a witch-hunt.

    • Tony, it seems the warmunists are urging the opening of a new global legal front. IMO, the smell of desperation in the air. Knowing already that Paris will fail. BRICs won’s play, the $100Billion/year GCC extortion has already failed, and the world has other bigger problems now.
      No warming, SLR not accelerating, no additional extreme weather, polar bears multiplying, Sahel greening. Was is a warmunist to do? SUE! Mann v. Steyn, except the real fun will be Steyn v. Mann (the countersuit Mann cannot duck).

  75. Brian G Valentine

    Trenberth has unfortunately produced little that has withstood the test of time.

    With this letter, he accomplished something that he will be remembered for

    • He should be fired from his government position for being a signatory. There is plenty of civil service precedent.

      • Go free speech!

      • Brian G Valentine

        Ha – I have signed a number of “those denier type of letters” and I am a civil servant. So I guess if I can sign on a letter he can too.

        I don’t think I could get to the point of calling for the prosecution of somebody for what their reason has concluded, however.

        I wonder if John Holdren took a look at this letter and said,
        “Maybe this situation has gone a little too far.”

        It scares me a little to think that he didn’t

      • Having seen Holdren in action ca 1976, and hearing what he was advocating with his mentor, Paul Ehrlich, I don’t think he thinks the situation having “gone a little too far”.

    • Not bad! I need more popcorn!!

  76. David L. Hagen

    Legal Tyranny Warning
    World court should rule on climate science to quash sceptics, says Philippe Sands

    “International Court of Justice ruling would settle the scientific dispute and pave the way for future legal cases on climate change, says high-profile lawyer”

    Philippe Sand is ignorant of the scientific method and how very bad climate predictions really are. John Christy’s May 13 testimony to US Congress showed climate models were 400% too hot in the tropical trosposphere against actual satellite evidence since 1979. Sand’s method will cause severe harm to science by descent into Lysenkoism.

    • Brian G Valentine

      ” … says high-profile lawyer”

      Small wonder there are so many “lawyer” jokes, isn’t it.

  77. A few years back, Charles Krauthammer wrote an editorial which essentially said conservatives consider liberals to be wrong but liberals consider conservatives to be evil. I guess if you consider those who disagree with you to be evil, prosecution is simply the next logical step.

    • And in contrast to religion which offers forgiveness and compassion for sinners, the evil of a denier is only to be destroyed…

    • I thought he said “stupid,” not “wrong.”

    • “A few years back, Charles Krauthammer wrote an editorial which essentially said conservatives consider liberals to be wrong but liberals consider conservatives to be evil.”

      Charles makes an excellent point;

      “What these scientists have done is the prelude to evil.”

      “The signatories can only be described by one word: Evil”

      “Just evil. We will rember.”

  78. As was eluded to earlier; it seems to me RICO can be more justifiably implemented against corrupt organizations attempting to obfuscate and do end arounds of U.S. law and other Sovereign nations. I say this partly in jest, but with a belief that made up data and collusion probably dwarfs anything we can imagine, I dare say todays DOJ would be okay with it unfortunately.

    The UN $100 billion global fund for AGW is just a whitewashed form of political racketeering. The radical warmer advocacy community has graduated intellectually to be on par with the Spanish Inquisition IMO.

  79. Pingback: Silencing Dissent Via the Police (No Climate Free Speech, Part 3) | Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

  80. So turn the tables on them. Considering the list of activities that are covered under RICO, it is also possible that the case can be made that the IPCC and other “members” of the consensus are guilty of racketeering and fraud = for benefit of the individual person committing i.e., financial gain, using propaganda to extend personal power. The State’s would be in position to sue since standing comes from damage to the economy resulting from propaganda, lies and distortion involved.

  81. Just evil. We will rember.

  82. JC2: “…another day, more insane U.S. climate politics.”

    It is not insanity on display here. This is cultural runaway, and it is far, far more dangerous than insanity.

  83. richardswarthout

    I remember reading the true story on how the radio prgram Superman defeated the KKK, by mocking the slogans and titles used by that organization. Before long the KKK was thought of as a comedy act; no credibility. Something similiar should be done with this group of twenty weirdos.

    Richard

    • Yep, I like ridicule. Better than litigation, prosecution or fainting-couch indignation. Let’s not force anyone to silence and create a market for a new class of litigants – like all those smokers who feign surprise after centuries of medical and parental warnings.

      As for the trillions already frittered on white elephants, we’ll never get our money back from the likes of Gore, Pachauri and Flannery. They’re rich, but not that rich. Also, claiming one was misled by such people is like complaining that the miracle product you bought from a late night TV promo didn’t work. How misled can one be? Those three, especially, look and sound like total shonks. They give you every clue bar the carpet-bag.

      If Jon Stewart could mesmerise his massive man-boy demographic by pulling faces and chortling at his own lame jokes, think what a sharp humorist could do with the climatariat. The Australian blogger Tim Blair is pretty good at the sledge. No sputtering or pearl-clutching, just the sledge. More like him, maybe?

  84. Bravo Professor Curry! You are one of my heroes!

    Climate science is certainly in trouble when proponents of a paradigm try to get the President of the United States to incarcerate their fellow scientists who won’t go along. That says clearly that they cannot make their case!

    But the underlying problem of Bad Science is far broader than what we see in climate science. Dr. Stan Young of the National Institute for Statistical Studies reports that “90% of studies in epidemiology do not replicate … There is no supervision in the universities.” The British medical journal Lancet reported that many medical studies are fundamentally flawed. Social scientist Michael LaCour was caught faking data for his claim that attitudes toward homosexuals could be easily changed. And even Science magazine, the source of so much climate hysteria, has come out against faked studies – in other areas of course.

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics – University of Chicago)

  85. Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog.

  86. McCarthyism at its worst. Unbelievable…. :-(

  87. The Mann vs. Mark Steyn lawsuit is applicable. Surely one of Mann’s goals was to silence opponents of his viewpoints.

    That suit may be a big backfire, as Steyn’s “A Disgrace to the Profession: the world’s scientists in their own words on Michael E Mann, his hockey stick, and their damage to science, volume I” could be damaging to The Cause.

    Is there a way to attack the “Terrible 20”?

  88. So, so angry with this. Lysenko redux indeed. Science be damned, full speed ahead!

    Also appalled that many signatories come from George Mason University. I grew up in Virginia, Fairfax County, in fact, and learned about George Mason (the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which Jefferson modeled the Declaration of Independence on, and a strong proponent with James Madison for including the Bill of Rights with the Constitution–those first ten amendments, including number one that ensures Freedom of Speech).

    That George Mason University can tolerate this behavior from its faculty is beyond the pale. Please write (or call!) Angel Cabrera, President of GMU to indicate your disgust:

    Office of the President
    5100 Alan and Sally Merten Hall, Ffx, MSN: 3A1
    Fairfax, VA 22030
    Phone: 703-993-8700
    Fax: 703-993-8880
    president@gmu.edu

    It’s is so sad to see what the great Commonwealth of Virginia has become.

    • Read my comment (above) about Jagadish Shukla at GMU. He’s the ringleader.

      • Indeed, this seems a slimy group. IGES? An organization to funnel money to Shukla’s family?

        At least Barry Klinger has had some regrets:
        http://mason.gmu.edu/~bklinger/rico.html

        Of course he’s on the IGES payroll, too. Maybe not for long…

        Learn to stay out of this kind of advocacy crap, Barry. You just destroyed your reputation over a nonsensical note based on hideously biased and inaccurate historical research (Oresekes).

        No student should join Barry’s graduate program: They are guaranteed a biased education tainted by conflict of interest and nepotism.

      • From the IGES website:

        IGES Personnel:
        President Shukla, Jagadish
        Business Manager Shukla, Anastasia
        Assistant Business Manager Shukla, Sonia
        Director, COLA Kinter, James
        Assistant to the President Shukla, Sonia

      • As my Irish ma would say, “it’s the kettle calling the pot black arse”.

        The joint IGES/COLA “climate dynamics” program has both Shukla and Klinger on the staff. I guess we should always follow the money…

        http://www.iges.org/people/people.html

  89. Who knew that hubris was an exponential function ? I always thought it was more linear, oh well we can all learn new things….

    So good old “it’s a travesty we can’t find the warming” Trenbeth now wants another travesty on his hands; anybody that disagrees with him and his buds should be stripped of their livelihood, assets and freedom…

    Nice, very nice indeed…

    I love the smell of desperation in the morning, it smells like victory…

    Hey Kev, go ahead and sic your government goons on me, I’m not at all afraid of the incompetents that fund you with my tax dollars.

    Cheers, KevinK.

  90. stevefitzpatrick

    The signatories can only be described by one word: Evil. Defunding is a suitable response.

  91. Also, based on the advice of my freshly retained RICO defense lawyer I must disclose that my parents did indeed receive some free water glasses from an evil fossil fuel gas station back in the 1960’s after a “fill-up”.

    To the best of my recollection this only happened once. My folks have since passed on so I welcome a US Justice Department Probe into the full extent of their “Denier” activities.

    Also, to provide full disclosure of my “Denier” activities I must also admit that I have freely and under my own accord tipped the poor lad filling my gas tank with evil fossil fuels in January in Upstate NY a few bucks. Heck, he was turning Blue and I felt sorry for him. I apologize in advance for this egregious “denier” activity.

    I realize now after the fact that this was a clear Quid-Pro-Quo and I should serve at least 60 minutes of hard time…

    Again, based on the legal advice of my new RICO defense attorney I now “declare” that in the future I will be “identifiying” as a consensus climate science believer and I am therefore automatically granted immunity from future prosecution…

    (yeah this sounds like a bad joke…. and so is this letter from so called “adults”….)

    Cheers, KevinK.

  92. Brian G Valentine

    Kevin Trenberth takes aim at “deniers”

  93. This is an incredibly stupid move. The instigators will be pilloried in the press. Furthermore, a large portion of the public is skeptical about Climate Catastrophe, so demanding that skeptical scientists be jailed implies that 30-70% of US citizens should be jailed too. That also applies to the US Congress as well.

    The RICO proposal does show desperation and a very weak hand on the science. What they can’t achieve in journals and articles the Catastrophists wish to achieve with the billy club and handcuffs.

    I would also expect that many scientists who do endorse climate orthodoxy will strenuously object to the RICO tactic. It has such ugly totalitarian overtones from the past.

    Because: Why stop at Climate Science? Henceforth will there be an official body or Government Agency that decrees a Science Consensus on every issue and then throws critics and dissenters in jail? That’s the path that the RICO crew are laying. Not smart. A real blunder.

  94. My letter in the Weekend Australian today in response to an article by Tim Costello (World Vision, brother of former Treasurer Peter Costello), Oxfam and WWF:

    “If you seek support for your world vision on poverty, best not to start with references to “carbon pollution” when you mean a non-toxic gas on which our lives and plant growth depend, nor make false claims of “increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather” from which even the IPCC has backed away (“Global goals on poverty that need our support,” 18/9). If you are serious about dealing with poverty, start with the primary sources of it: lack of energy which only fossil-fuelled sources can remedy, and kleptocratic regimes with no interest in the welfare of their people.”

    I’ve barred the door in case Australia has a RICO-style unit I’m not aware of.

    • Good on you, Faustino. Inflicting energy poverty via climate activism is more likely to make World Vision a poverty generator.

      Tim Costello enjoyed a larger income from his charity position than his brother when the latter was Australian treasurer. His “total remuneration” package is now $316,000 per year. Then there are all those jet trails that go with such a high profile and high level of concern.

      I wouldn’t grudge him a good income if it weren’t for the real downside of monster charities like WV and Oxfam: the “social justice” and “climate justice” activism which sucks funds given for actual charity. I doubt that these “programs” are included in the 23%-21% for fundraising and admin which World Vision actually admits to. They actually state that field programs and “advocacy work” are merged as real outcomes. And I also wonder whether child sponsorship is not more of a deluxe donation stimulator than an efficient poverty reducer, though I could be proven wrong about that.

      If you criticise, there will be an expensive website or glossy pamphlets with lots of glossy black faces, grateful or suffering, to prove you wrong. (World Vision are great at the orange-brown bling.)

      Best to donate to organisations more active than activist, I’d reckon.

      • moso, of those helping overseas, we support MSF, which seems to have no agenda other than to give help where urgently needed and which, unlike many NGOs, uses all but a very small fraction of its income to provide on-the-ground help. For the record, I’ve done voluntary work for over 40 years, you don’t need $300,000 a year if your motivation is to help others.

      • Thanks for the tip re MSF, Faustino. And thanks for volunteering!

  95. Just read the Exxon story by InsideClimateNews. Two installments so far in a series. They show that Exxon squashed its internal research program and that upper mgmt completely understood the consensus view at the time. So far the article doesn’t show if / how those same internal researchers resolved the big uncertainties.

    ICN authors provide PDFs of original reports from Exxon scientists in the 70s/80s. Most of it reads as a careful but in some places questioning re-statement of consensus thinking, and what data is needed to resolve uncertainties.

    James Black summary & slides
    http://insideclimatenews.org/sites/default/files/documents/James%20Black%201977%20Presentation.pdf

    Internal Memo 1980
    http://insideclimatenews.org/sites/default/files/documents/Letters%20to%20Senior%20VPS%20%281980%29.pdf

  96. It seems that the alarmists will just keep getting crazier and crazier until (imho) they do something so outrageous that it causes their movement to implode. This has happened before with eugenics, Joe McCarthy and Salem.

    But I completely understand why they are panicking. They are not stupid and they surely must sense that the huge leap to the left that the democrats have taken will cost them power. They have already lost the congress and will soon lose the presidency. And, with Paris fast approaching, they must surely see this as a last change to “save the planet”. lol…sorry, that always makes me laugh.

    Anyway, this looks to me as though we have some professors who are clearly trampling all over the academic freedom of others. I expect their employers to take appropriate action (but I won’t hold my breath).

  97. If rico laws were to be applied, they should be applied to those who lie and manipulate data to acheive desired conclusion – that is, the alarmists.

  98. A brave scientific leader you are, JC.

    I could not have known just how much so when we spoke after your panel at the GA Env. Conference in summer 2009. Frankly, I came away from the discussion thinking you were quite objective on the matter and motivated only by the where the science would lead you, not where you would lead the science; not a “denier” and not a Warmunist.

    Now, because of posts like this, I predict that you and a few dozen others will go down in scientific history on this topic, relative to defense of scientific integrity and freedom on an issue that spent the better part of a generation devolving to the point where RICO cases are suggested against dissenting scientists and corporations and “skeptics” are obliquely likened to Holocaust “deniers”.

    I salute your courage to speak out on this.

  99. (1) pay scientists to produce studies advancing your interests;
    (2) develop an intricate web of PR experts and front groups to cover up uncertanties in the real science;
    (3) relentlessly attack your opponents.

    Yip, definitely a case to use RICO against the government funded climate science gang.

  100. Professor Curry, I am appalled by your attack on the recent paper by Lewandowsky, Risbey and Oreskes. You describe it as nonsense and then go on to say about the paper:

    “And finally, I am most definitely not in favor of advocate historians and psychologists making proclamations about topics in climate science where they seem to have little understanding”.

    Could I point out to you that James Risbey has been a climate scientist for over 20 years, with scores of publications to his name, so your dismissal of the paper on the grounds of its authors’ ignorance of climate science is a gross slur on Dr. Risbey’s reputation. You, he and I were all together at Lisbon in 2011.

    Will you please either provide a refuation for this paper yourself or retract your condemnation of it. Merely providing links to commentaries by an advocate accountant (Montford) and an advocate financier (Lewis) is not sufficient.

    • Bill
      I have been looking for original climate science papers by lewandowsky and Oreskes . Could you link me to a few please?

      Thanks

      Tonyb

    • stevenreincarnated

      Are you appalled by the actions of the conspiracists in your profession? That’s the on topic opinion to be giving at the moment.

    • Scientifically speaking, it is nonsense. It’s basically saying this: “there’s no ‘pause’, just fluctuations, we’ve known it all along, and talk of a ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ is an infection in real science, an invalid ‘framing’ adopted from popular ‘contrarian’ accounts.”

      Now, while it’s likely that real scientists included the necessary caveats buried in the depths of their papers, we all know that, during the ’90’s, the entire “global warming” thing was framed around the rate of “warming” then being projected out to 2100 or so. This projected rate was then used in policy discussions to justify rationalize demands for “urgent action”.

      Now that the “pause” has gone on for longer than the preceding “surge”, efforts to reframe the whole thing as fluctuations around a much slower rate of warming are nothing but a last-ditch, rear-guard, effort to retain some semblance of credibility.

      Never mind the caveats buried in the bodies of papers, now that those caveats have eventuated, it’s time to bury the body of CAGW activism, before the stench ends up sticking to every “scientist” who advocated for a socialist agenda under the cover of “global warming”.

      But this requires re-writing history. The general perception in the ’90’s, even among the scientific community, was that the rate of warming then was what was to be expected from that level of CO2 increase.

      Saying now that it wasn’t is nonsense.

    • Lewandowsky…isn’t that the Australian psychologist that tried to prove that anyone who is a climate skeptic also believed the moon landing was a hoax using online surveys?

      Great bunch of ‘scientists’….first they tried to prove skeptics were basically mentally ill, since that failed they are going for ‘skeptics are criminals’.

      Personally…I think someone needs the help of mental health professionals…

  101. Assertions unsupported by data,
    Oh faux-links! ‘I’ll be judge I’ll be jury,’
    says cunning old Fury. No wonder
    the paper was withdrawn.
    http://climateaudit.org/2013/11/13/another-absurd-lewandowsky-correlation/

  102. John Costigane

    Judith,

    This seems like the last throw of the dice for the alarmist side, all or nothing.
    Judging by a recent video from the excellent Donald Trump, there is next to no interest among the electorate generally.

  103. Tonyb, Well, for starters, there’s the paper that Judith blogged about very scathingly in her previous post.

    Now I’ll ask you a question: if one climate scientist, Curry, dismisses another climate scientist’s, Risbey’s, publication as nonsense should she not at least provide a refuation of it rather than merely pointing to the blogs of a couple of non-scientists like Montford and Lewis? Please can you point me to a peer-reviewed publication by Montford. Lewis track record in that respect is decidedly modest n’est-ce pas?

  104. stevereincanated

    Bizarre comment. You don’t even know what my “profession” is.

    • stevenreincarnated

      True, I did make an assumption which may not be correct. Let me rephrase it. Are you appalled by the actions of the conspiracist climate scientists that signed that letter? Do you think they should wear tin foil hates and almost certainly deny man landed on the moon?

  105. Questioning here because I don’t know: Is it fair to describe the earths climate as stable for the last ten thousand years? Are their instabilities seen now that are demonstrably different from the stable past? Will the future be unstable if C02 only causes a linear increase in temperature? Would future instability require positive feedback loops? If so is their compelling evidence of positive feedback or is it only spoke of as a potential risk.

  106. Galileo Galilei – not much has changed since 1616.

  107. For politicians to talk about using RICO laws to silence dissent on climate is one thing; in a way no one expects them to know what they’re talking about. For scientists to sign a letter to that effect is something else. The humanities have become politicized (which they usually have been; until the 20th century they depended on the patronage of religious authorities); now some scientists want to join in, since politics is in some ways more exciting than boring old evidence-based science. (To paraphrase Robin Williams at the beginning of “Awakenings”: we have proved the null hypothesis that this new idea doesn’t work).

    The humanities have an excuse to become political; they see themselves as “progressives,” extending the benefits of modernity to groups that have been excluded. Any harsh observation about women or minorities, true or not, might reinforce stereotypes, encourage bullying, etc., so a case can be made that some plays of Shakespeare should never be taught, etc. I disagree with most or all of this, but it is idealistic/well-meaning, and there is some kind of evidence for it.

    For Trenberth and other scientists to say good-bye to evidence, good-bye to letting the truth emerge from tough debates, is shocking by comparison. Politics has taken over. You prove you’re a good person, i.e. you’re on the right side, you have the right friends and the right enemies, by enunciating certain cliches about the climate of the entire world. Understatement alert: there is still a lot to learn about this subject.

  108. Neither Whitehouse or the 20 scientists know anything about RICO, and it shows.

    RICO is not applicable unless there is an underlying criminal act involved.

    Like an underlying act of wire, mail or securities fraud.

    The skeptics have not committed a criminal act by disagreeing with the consensus.

    The alarmists have not committed a criminal act by using science journals to attempt to propagate propaganda (i.e. the hockeysticks). Even if one or more of Mann’s hockeystics are fraudulent (which they are, as they are all clearly have an intent to mislead).

    So this call for RICO investigations means nothing (either way).

    Sure – condemn the scientists for calling for criminalizing scientific behaviour – but don’t worry to much about an actual RICO investigation.

    Don’t waste your time calling for RICO investigations of the IPCC or the consensus scientists – it just makes skeptics look bad (like the other side).

    No investigation will happen because there is nothing to investigate.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Richard Arrett | September 19, 2015 at 9:26 am

      No investigation will happen because there is nothing to investigate.

      Thanks, Richard. While it would be lovely if that were true, ask Willie Soon about the damaging effects of an investigation into his scientific funding. Yes, there was nothing at all to investigate, and no, Willie had done nothing improper, nothing wrong, nothing underhanded in the slightest … but they investigated nonetheless, and the investigation itself was very damaging.

      I recall the comment of someone who was “investigated” by the Feds a while back. Despite being found completely innocent, his reputation was totally ruined. His plaintive response was, “Which Federal office do I apply to in order to get my reputation back?” …

      So I fear that you are very wrong—for some people, the fact that there is nothing to investigate merely spurs them to further and more damaging investigations. And for some people, the damage that would be done by the investigation itself is sufficient reason to do it. They don’t care if there is anything to investigate. They just want to screw up your life, and an “investigation” is the perfect tool to do so without taking responsibility.

      w.

      • I am a lawyer, and so I am speaking to a criminal investigation – which a RICO investigation would be.

        I am pretty confident that no criminal investigation will be conducted of any skeptic scientists because of this lame letter by these no nothing do gooder alarmists.

        But that is just my opinion and I certainly hope events bear me out..

        Willie Soon was investigated by some academic journals – and I am sure that was a terrible thing for him to endure. Clearly the journals were trying to discredit a good and honourable scientist at the behest of advocate scientists – a despicable tactic. But the Soon investigations were not criminal investigations, with liberty at stake.

        So I think this RICO threat is quite different and I distinguish it from a non-criminal investigation.

        The Soon investigations remind me of the Wegman plagiarism investigation – just a desperate attempt to discredit a climate scientist who threatens to attract attention to how weak the consensus science case actually is.

        Twenty years from now, the consensus climate scientists actions of this period will be totally repudiated and looked on as the misguided actions of a few hoodwinked do gooders caught up in a totally irrational hysteria – a mass psychosis. The 20 scientists who wrote this letter (and others like them) will be looked upon with pity and their misguided actions of today will be laughed at by future scientists.

        Lewandowsky (not one of the letter writers) will himself be a case study in how to do science wrong (at least his do gooder climate related science) and I predict many articles will be written by his own profession about him and his totally lame studies. His own psychology will be under the microscope.

        It should be interesting to watch as real science turns on these misguided few and grinds their phony advocate propaganda science up, based on observations which have begun to show, and I believe will continue to show, their erroneous overprediction of future warming.

        And the peculiar psychology of people who mask their fear of the unknown (and the future) in a longing for catastrophe.

        So Willis – I hope you are wrong and I am right – and these feeble cries for a RICO investigation are ignored by the adults in the room (as I think they will be).

      • Richard, I was going to research it, but may not now that the thread is so old. Do you recall arguments against RICO back when it was enacted? As I recall there were some voices concerned about the slippery slope that has materialized re RICO. It was intended for organized crime at the time, but has now been used against corporations and other organizations. It sucks.

      • ATM charges will disappear once the machines have been installed across the country.

        The Alternative Minimum Tax, will never impact the middle class.

        Waterway Laws, will never impact the home owner.

        They haven’t keep track of the real numbers, so who knew?

      • Willis Eschenbach: ask Willie Soon about the damaging effects of an investigation into his scientific funding.

        Soon was vilified by academics (calling it an “investigation” accords more respect than the academics deserve), and Sandusky was “exonerated” by academics. Given a choice of imperfections, I’d rather be judged by a federal grand jury than by a self-selected bunch of academics. At least a grand jury would have a bunch of people whose salaries were not paid by government, and might have an independent business owner.

        Back in the day it was academics who enforced quotas on Jewish students and faculty. Now it’s academics who enforce quotas on applicants of East and South Asian descent. And it’s academics who are trying to stifle the CO2 debates, in part by denying grant funding to applicants who disagree with them, in part by professionally shunning and excoriating them. And it’s academics who attempt to enforce speech codes on campus to “protect” people who claim to feel offended.

        A grand jury investigation that everyone knows is ongoing, of RICO provisions of law as they apply to fossil fuel funding of scientific research, would be an improvement. Consider the grand jury that did not indict officer Wilson who shot citizen Brown: would an academic committee have declined to indict? Back in the day of the Duke lacrosse scandal, academics demanded punishment before any witnesses had been sworn. Nowadays academics advocate punishment of college men accused of rape on the uncorroborated and unsworn testimony of a single complainant.

    • A great example of the “investigating nothing” is the Wisconsin John Doe investigation, in which people’s homes were stormed, jobs lost, legal bills piled up, and nothing whatsoever found, and no one indicted. While I agree that there is nothing to investigate, the mere threat of such investigation can ruin people.

  109. I say RICOLA!

    Andrew

  110. from Senator Whitehouse’s letter: Civil discovery would reveal whether and to what extent the fossil fuel industry has crossed this same line.

    What do you think are the most likely results from civil discovery as proposed by Senator Whitehouse? The fossil fuel industry donates money to everything, including research on renewable energy and ecological research — and of course The Smithsonian.

  111. “Civil discovery” – Gov. Scott Walker supporters just went through an unconstitutional hell because local democratic officials had police raid homes (at gunpoint), seize computers and even told the victims they were not allowed to call lawyers or discuss the seizures. All in an effort to find anything they could to smear political opponents.

    Luckily the victims did not remain silent and sued. The WI supreme court is still honest enough to rule correctly – Justice Michael Gableman: “It is utterly clear that the special prosecutor has employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing,”

    “Calling the challengers brave, Gableman wrote that their litigation gave the court “an opportunity to re-endorse its commitment to upholding the fundamental right of each and every citizen to engage in lawful political activity and to do so free from the fear of the tyrannical retribution of arbitrary or capricious governmental prosecution. Let one point be clear: our conclusion today ends this unconstitutional John Doe investigation.”

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/wisconsin-supreme-court-ends-john-doe-probe-into-scott-walkers-campaign-b99535414z1-315784501.html

    Some of you folks are delusional if you think this can’t happen in the U.S. As with the Grijalva witch hunt, they keep pushing the limits to see what they can get away with.

    Want to be really alarmed? Go on social media and listen to the young people out there who have no qualms about fascist tactics to deal with anyone they disagree with.

    • Absolutely right. See IRS harassment and intimidation of innocent people whose only “crime” was disagreement with the exalted leader. When government agents demand to know what books you read and prayers you say, the Constitution is already dead.

      Government workers kill veterans and pollute rivers without any accountability. They don’t even lose the bonuses which motivated them to kill. Private citizens, however, see their lawful businesses shut down by government because the exalted leader simply decides he doesn’t like them (Operation Choke point). Private citizens are jailed for moving a pile of dirt. Or making a video that exalted leader wants to lie and blame for terrorist attacks. Innocence is no protection — law has become so arbitrary and the regulatory state so dominant that the average professional today commits 3 felonies a day without realizing it. If they decide to get you, you’re toast.

      DC grows phenomenally wealthy while the rest of the nation suffers. Seven of America’s ten wealthiest counties are in the DC metro area. America is becoming the Hunger Games.

      As two extreme left-wing Constitutional law professors (Obama voters) have come to realize, “Obama’s Become The Very Danger The Constitution Was Designed To Avoid”.

      Anyone who thinks that RICO would never really be used to stifle dissent by scientists is delusional. Similar tactics are already rampant in America.

    • Edit: substitute totalitarian for fascist.

    • harkin1: “Civil discovery” – Gov. Scott Walker supporters just went through an unconstitutional hell because local democratic officials had police raid homes (at gunpoint), seize computers and even told the victims they were not allowed to call lawyers or discuss the seizures. All in an effort to find anything they could to smear political opponents.

      If we are going to tote up a lot of examples of government abuse from government officials acting illegally, let us not forget Lois Lerner of the IRS and her communications with the White House staff in denying tax-exempt status to conservative organizations. RICO was not involved. RICO also did not come into play in the Branch Davidian catastrophe. Federal overreach started at least as early as the Alien and Sedition acts and continued with Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. And still we are not governed by a Nazi or Communist dictatorship.

      On the other hand, it was a federal grand jury that nailed Sandusky, not the university committee charged with investigating him.

      Sheldon Whitehouse is publicly advocating an investigation of the fossil fuel industry. They can afford to defend themselves — all they have to do is transfer funds from their university and public broadcasting donations (the “Nike strategy”. They are not like the tobacco companies in the ways envisioned by Oreskes and the others from whom Whitehouse is getting his information. Not only that, it will be a campaign issue in 2016: candidates siding with Whitehouse will have a hard time among any constituencies that have anybody who produces, ships, buys, or sells fossil fuels. This is a challenge, but it is not the end of science.

      It is a reminder of how important it is for friends of science and democracy to support Mark Steyn.

      • oops, forgot to close (the “Nike strategy”)

      • Broad overview against premature despair, thanks Matthew.

        I came back to this thread because of an respected developer friend on Twitter who I first got to know on Ward Cunningham’s original wiki in 1999. Jason I’ve noticed tends to retweet such stuff with approval, like many of his programmer peers (and younger ones, as harkin1 alludes to). This is the first time I’ve tried to have a go back with Jason.

  112. A new angle on this from an email from Tom McClelland:

    I appreciate your publishing of the RICO article, and publicizing the comments of those who support such foolishness. Perhaps it is time to start imposing the 6th Amendment’s clause:

    “but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    Make them defend the premise that their assertions about AGW do not constitute a “religious test”. That will put them on the defensive, instead of having the supposed “skeptics” be on the defensive as they are trying to accomplish.

    Any citing by climate zealots of the opinions of supposed experts should be met by a referral to the “experts” who confined Galileo to home imprisonment, and the reminder that “appeal to authority” is a recognized logical fallacy.

    A professorship at a state sponsored university should qualify as an “office or public trust”. So if they come after anyone on the basis of belief (or not) in AGW regarding a professorship, that would be cause to sever them from their office as a violation of the US Constitution. Article 6 also requires all such officials to serve under an oath to defend the Constitution.

    • I am sympathetic to the spirit of the point he makes. The same reasons for the prohibition on religious tests should apply to all public employment. Not sure if the Supremes would adopt his reasoning that a professorship is contemplated by this clause, however. I have a similar ‘climate-related’ spin on a constitutional provision I would like to see adopted — no secret evidence to be used by government agencies against the people. The bill of rights gives the accused the right to see the evidence against him and cross-examine his accusers before his life, liberty or property are put in jeopardy. I think that no government policy should be adopted restricting the lives, liberty or property of the people unless they have the opportunity to examine all the evidence (science) upon which the policy is based. All the data, all the code, all the studies, all the models, all the assessments, all the temperature adjustments — raw, final, and the algorithms and arguments upon which they are based.

      No secret evidence.

    • Yes, let’s see if we can be even more ridiculous than they are. Hey, impose the 6th Amendment. We can do that, can’t we?

  113. Pingback: Ciencia soviética (y sociópata) en el corazón de tu vida | PlazaMoyua.com

  114. We (humankind) have been through this before. Recently:
    – ho chi minh
    – mao zedong
    – third reich
    – fascism
    – Stalin
    – various Latin-American countries

    • “For every complex problem there is a solution which is simple, neat and wrong”. Or “elegant, easy to understand and wrong”. –H. L. Mencken

      “Many men desire power, wishing to have good report, though they are unworthy of it; yea, even the most infamous desire this.”
      Alfred’s Boethius: Modern English Translation

  115. The suggestion that RICO should be applied to those challenging AGW policies and the accurancy of AGW science shows how grossly insular and how ignorant the advocates of such a course of action are. They have no clue that RICO could more appropriately be applied against James Hansen (and other AGWers) than against people on the opposite of the debate. Great Britain has calculated that approximately 2,500 deaths are caused by energy poverty in GB every year. (I am going by memory. Someone else can correct my numbers if I am off a bit.) Hansen and others are effectively arguing for higher energy prices by seeking to limit the use of fossil fuels.

    The AGWers have direct responsibility for these policies which are killing people today. We don’t know what will happen in the future, but we do know, for instance, that with a small rise in temperatures, hurricanes have been much less likely to strike the US over the past approximately 15 years. (So, at the very least, there are beneficial weather trends occurring even while the world has been warming since 1950.) There is only speculation that warming may harm people in the future, but there is direct evidence that rising energy prices kill people now and that the AGWers have blood on their hands.

    The gross stupidity of the climate “scientists” who advocate the use of RICO brings into question not only their competence but that of the Universities that employ them. People this stupid are barely competent to work at McDonalds, and are clearly not competent teachers or employees of universities.

    Maybe we should stop using the current university establishment as gatekeepers for professional certification. For instance, maybe there should be alternative ways to obtain a law license rather than going to a traditional university. If climate “scientists” and the universities that employ them were held responsible for the work they do in the same manner that businesses are, we would have a much higher quality of work. Currently, abject clowns can be employed by universities with no consequence to the university for the waste of money and the low quality of the work done by these clowns.

    JD

    • It is not that these people are stupid. It just another example of ivory tower syndrome. These people are so cut off from the real world and so insular, only being exposed to their side of the issue – that they cannot even believe that there are people who don’t believe that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. They literally cannot believe they might be wrong about their future predictions – and cannot understand how any rational person could not see the future with the same blinders they wear.

      Anybody who disagrees with them must be part of an evil criminal cabel.

      They care about the children and grandchildren – and feel they have to take some action.

      So they sign a letter.

      It makes them feel better, because they have taken some action.

      It clearly shows they know absolutely nothing about the law – that is for sure.

      • RA “These people are so cut off from the real world and so insular,” I would include this in my definition of stupid.

        RA “They care about the children and grandchildren” Some of them may. However, their (sometimes) good intentions shouldn’t be used to excuse the real harm they cause. If they were more open-minded and not so stupid, they would do less damage.

        Also, I see real similarities between the extremist AGWers and the Communist movement. Communism began mainly as a means to help lower class people. Then Communists, feeling morally superior to others, felt that they could fudge the truth — ultimately, leading to Lysenkoism, Stalin and China’s Great Leap Forward.

        The combination of the malevolence and ignorance of the signers of this document shows a very disturbing similarity to the path which communism took.

        JD

  116. So if you compare climate models to reality and use that as an argument to use RICO as it was used against tobacco companies………wouldn’t the analogy only be correct if they had a graph showing smokers had less chance of lung cancer and emphysema (temp increases) the more they smoked (CO2 levels)?

  117. From a retired high school physcis/chem teacher.
    I see ramifications of this permeating U.S. Schools in various ways.

    The Hockey Stick tacked onto a wall, polar bears on a floating sheet of ice.
    Al Gores IN. Truth shown again and again.

    Classes doing little projects—some of sound environmental value, but most very skewed and very ignorant of any inkling of fact.

    In a closely related situation My Son in Law was essentially forced out of education after 25 years for simply being honest. He would not cave in to what he thought was incorrect, -morally and otherwise. He simply did not want to put his family through any more public (news media) insults. I would explain further except for possible legal action

    More and more teachers that I know are strongly recommending
    graduates to avoid going into education. Of course the aforementioned subject is relatively small within the domain of reasons why. However, it is a small part for a few , but more so it is characteristic of a small class of people in leadership positions with the meme of, ‘THE BEST EDUCATION METHOD AND WHAT HAS TO BE TAUGHT IS SETTLED’ (sound familiar?)
    and this is how you will do it. Clear cut representations of what is incorrect cannot be presented.

    In summary, there is a strong move to increase climate change education
    (and other areas) with specific information is to be presented and nothing to the contrary. . The science has gone from hypothesis, skipped theory of which observations do not agree and go directly to fact.

    But it goes further than that. CAGW is now an assumed reality which leads into what must be done in all academic areas; such as writing poems about the demise of the earth due to climate change, Developing political platforms based upon climate change and anything to the contrary is quite vilified

    .

  118. Senator Whitehouse is just ridiculous
    Actually, when accusing “the big tobacco playbook”, and invoking the RICO act, he denounces exactly what the AGW proponents mafia is used to do.
    And his invocation of the RICO act against AGW skeptics looks badly like a relentless (but desperate) attack against his opponents, to whom he is actually unable to bring relevant contradiction.

  119. One of the signatories, Barry Klinger has posted on why he signed this
    http://mason.gmu.edu/~bklinger/rico.html

    • So has Barry Klinger stopped driving, using about half his electricity, and flying to meetings and conventions? Does he eschew any product made or transported with fossil fuels? I’m bettin’ we’re dealing with a first class hypocrite here.

    • Barry Klinger’s explanation seems to miss a serious problem with his idea. He says:

      I sympathize with the fear that the legal system could be inappropriately applied to squelching the free speech of scientists. I would strongly oppose a widening of the scope to anyone unrelated to the efforts of a company selling a product (for which there is a lot of case law about commercial exceptions to free speech).

      But the phrase “anyone unrelated to the efforts of a company selling a product” is necessarily incredibly vague. If you give an invited presentation to a group of people and have your travel expenses reimbursed by a company, are you “unrelated to the efforts of” that company? What about the fact the work Klinger relies upon to claim there’s this vast conspiracy to deny global warming lists climate blogs like Climate Audit in that conspiracy? Should Steve McIntyre be investigated? He’s even had travel expenses paid by companies before. I’m sure some of those companies are “selling doubt” or whatever other nonsense Klinger wants prosecuted. Ironically, he says:

      However, I don’t recall climate contrarians coming to the defense of Michael Mann when he was subject to ideologically-based legal harrassment from then-Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as well as from Republicans in Congress. Apparently there are some who believe it is the return of the Inquisition to investigate a giant corporation but a good deed to investigate an individual scientist.

      I don’t know about “climate contrarians” as a whole, but McIntyre actually opposed Cuccinelli’s actions. And for any others, I suspect if there was a difference in behavior, it was due to the fact there is clear and indisputable Michael Mann has committed fraud, so it’s hard to get worked up about him being “harassed.”

      Though it’s quite remarkable Klinger thinks that last link shows harassment against Mann. It doesn’t even show Mann was targeted for anything, as it refers to actions taken toward scientists in general. But even if we ignore the fact Klinger apparently didn’t bother to read the link he cites, the actual case he refers to is a bad one. The only reason Mann was targeted by Congress is he had refused to share data and code for his work which was made the poster image of the global warming movement. If he had acted like a scientist and shown his work, or if he had simply not used his role as an IPCC Lead Author to help make that work internationally famous, he would never have wound up in front of Congress.

      • I did indeed speak out promptly and forcefully against Cuccinelli’s investigation. Ross McKitrick, Tom Fuller and John Christy also made strong statements against Cuccinelli. Our criticisms of Cuccinelli were acknowledged at that time, including in an article in the New York Times.

        It is both ironic and offensive, but perhaps not unexpected, that Klinger’s supposed campaign against misinformation should commence with misinformation.

    • stevenreincarnated

      From Judith’s link:

      “What do we want to do to climate contrarians?
      No one is trying to throw anyone in jail. If I understand the case correctly, the final outcome of the judgement against tobacco companies was to order them to stop denying known harms of smoking and to publicize the falsity of their fraudulent statements. I expect that a case against fossil fuel companies, if it ever did prove fraud, would result in a similar judgement.”

      What is he talking about? I don’t recall ever seeing a commercial where an oil company was claiming co2 didn’t cause global warming. I remember seeing a few that were kowtowing to the climate alarmists by talking about how company actions were helping to fight global warming. Is saying you are helping to combat something now subliminal messaging to the public in order to make them not believe it? Do I need a tin foil hat to understand the real message of those commercials or just a tin foil hat to see the right ones? Maybe what he is really talking about is he doesn’t like science funded that doesn’t agree with his biases. Isn’t that sad.

  120. Do we think that climate change is settled science? Should climate contrarians have free speech?

    First question: no. Second question: yes.

    I think there are many open questions regarding global warming. See A Skeptics Guide to Global Warming for a discussion of “settled science.” In general, scientists, policy experts, and interested citizens should be free to say whatever they want, even if they disagree with me and even if they disagree with most scientists in their field.

    A RICO suit like the one we propose would be very narrowly focussed on whether companies were engaged in fraud in order to continue selling a product which threatens to do harm. I’m not a legal expert, but I think that anyone not selling a product or service can not be punished for fraud, so the vast majority of people opining on climate are not even theoretically threatened by such a case. Even for an oil company, the standard for finding fraud is quite high. According to the RICO judgement against the tobacco companies:

    I think this part clarifies a lot for me. If fossil fuel companies are knowingly funding misinformation to enhance their profits like tobacco companies did then they should be punished. I think it would be difficult to prove the knowing part, but I am not sure why someone could disagree with punishing them if it could be proven.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Joseph | September 19, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      If fossil fuel companies are knowingly funding misinformation to enhance their profits like tobacco companies did then they should be punished. I think it would be difficult to prove the knowing part, but I am not sure why someone could disagree with punishing them if it could be proven.

      The hard problem is not determining the “knowing part”. You’ve overlooked the problem of determining what is “misinformation”.

      Now, there have been instances of what I’d call “misinformation”. Michael Mann’s CENSORED file was misinformation. Peter Gleick committing mail fraud and circulating a forged document was misinformation. And Phil Jones lying to my face, as revealed in the Climategate emails, was misinformation.

      But organized, paid for misinformation from oil companies? I defy you to provide one single example of such a thing. They merrily fund both sides in the debate. ExxonMobil has given millions more to the Stanford climate science program than they gave to all skeptics in total.

      And given that you have no evidence that anything wrong of any kind has occurred, you are curiously enthusiastic about unleashing the destructive nature of an “investigation”. Let me quote what Craig Loehle said upthread:

      They are insisting that the government adjudicate what is the accepted science and if it is policy-relevant and you disagree you can be arrested and go to jail (RICO is a criminal statute).

      and

      … perhaps you need to read up on the Wisconsin political witch hunt that just got called off by the Wis supreme court (after several years and people losing jobs). The idea that witch hunts don’t happen is simply naive. What would they be prosecuted for, you ask? RICO just needs a criminal conspiracy to do something bad, and here the “bad” is causing the end of the world. Would it survive trial? No, but prosecutors can notoriously indict a ham sandwich if they choose to.

      I am horrified that folks as obviously intelligent as you can be so blasé about this. You are advocating that opposing scientist’s views be judged by the government and if they are found to be “misinformation”, whatever that might be at any instant, various civil and criminal penalties should be imposed … have you lost your reason? Peter is right, it’s the death knell of science, and you’re acting like it’s jingle bells.

      Let me invite you to please seriously reconsider your position, Joseph, because at this point you’re in bed with the dark side …

      w.

      • I found this slide pretty interesting. I see several examples of misinformation being spread that is tied to fossil fuel funding.

        http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/fight-misinformation/global-warming-facts-and-fossil-fuel-industry-disinformation-tactics.html#.Vf7rJpcbCTA

      • Willis, this isn’t about prosecuting scientists. It is about the fossil fuel companies, themselves. I am surprised you think that the money they have put into all of these “skeptic” related organization is not for a purpose. Not to mention the huge sums they invest in lobbying and funding the Republicans, who, of course, almost always minimize AGW. I am surprised you aren’t the least bit skeptical of their motives for spending all this money..

      • Joseph, why don’t you give up up on the ‘fossil fuel companies funding all this denial’ theory? Please?

        Willis Eschencbach, I, and many others, comment here using our own free will and intellect. We don’t want to buy what you are selling.

      • I didn’t say anyone was paid to be a “skeptic or to lie. What matters is what these companies thought about the science and why they funded it.

      • The fossil fuel companies don’t need to convince denialists of anything, but they get their money’s worth by “convincing” non-expert policymakers who oppose any actions on carbon because they are told to.

      • Joseph … there is plenty more where this came from.
        From the article:

        Billionaire Democrat activist Tom Steyer is using his fortune to combat what he thinks is the greatest threat to America.
        No, not ISIS or Ebola. To help favored congressional candidates, he’s running an ad that highlights pollution from an oil refinery owned by Charles and David Koch — whose political donations largely favor the party Steyer opposes.
        And never mind the fact that Steyer had no qualms about fossil fuel back when his hedge fund was making millions in the industry.

        Consider George Soros, the world’s richest hedge-fund manager. He supports groups such as Alliance for Climate Change, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Union of Concerned Scientists — which all oppose the job-creating innovation known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”
        Yet Soros himself recently bought a giant stake in CONSOL Energy, a company actively involved in fracking. Hmm . . .
        Even Al Gore took a fossil-fuel payday. He sold his TV channel to Al Jazeera Media Network, a foreign news outfit heavily backed by oil money.

        More than a few environmental groups have dipped their hand into the fossil-fuel till, far from view of their donors and the public.
        Take the Nature Conservancy — the largest US environmental activist outfit, buying over 20 million acres in the name of conservation. Funny: The group makes millions off oil and natural gas.
        In one notable scandal, the Nature Conservancy raised millions from well-intentioned donors to buy land to help protect a threatened species, the Attwater’s prairie chicken, from extinction.
        But after the purchase, it approved oil drilling there. The endangered birds are no longer on the land, but the group continues to grow rich off of oil profits.

        http://nypost.com/2014/09/28/carbon-hypocrites-greens-fossil-fuel-profits/

      • moderation …

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Joseph | September 20, 2015 at 1:55 pm |

        Willis, this isn’t about prosecuting scientists.

        Bullshit. The letter specifically aims the RICO act at “corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters” … who do you think the “supporters” are? Housewives?

        Learn to read, you’re embarrassing yourself.

        w.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Joseph | September 20, 2015 at 1:29 pm |

        I found this slide pretty interesting. I see several examples of misinformation being spread that is tied to fossil fuel funding.

        http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/fight-misinformation/global-warming-facts-and-fossil-fuel-industry-disinformation-tactics.html#.Vf7rJpcbCTA

        I found the first misinformation about three slides in, where they claim that “wind power itself produces no carbon emissions at all”.

        I busted out laughing. Talk about misinformation! To start with, the bird-choppers require huge amounts of concrete, which puts lots and lots of CO2 into the air. Then there is the manufacture of the steel, and fibreglass blades (oil based), and the copper, and the miles of roads to service the mills … all carbon-free, according to your misinformation. Not to mention the mining of the neodymium, so toxic that only the Chinese will mine it …

        But that omits the biggest CO2 emission from wind power. This is from the necessity to keep fossil-fuel powered plants running at a very inefficient, CO2 producing level constantly so they can step in whenever the wind fails. As a result, responsible analyses have consistently concluded that at best, wind power is a wash, and that in most situations, there is no CO2 gain and often more CO2 is emitted by windpower than by a comparable fossil-fuel plant.

        Nor is this some industry funded idea. The same thing is being said by a Scottish Government study … hey, let’s apply the RICO act to the Scottish Government! Throw those kilt-wearing misinformers in jail, that’s the plan … oh, wait, you say just fine them and prevent them from publishing their results, I suppose that would do it. And while we’re at it, we can fine Queen Elizabeth for having her chauffeur drive on the wrong side of the road …

        So at this point, I, Willis Eschenbach, accuse you, Joseph Anonymous Internet Popup who Won’t Sign His Own Opinions, of spreading misinformation, to wit, that wind power has no CO2 consequences … should the US Government investigate you?

        Curiously, it appears I say no, but you say yes …

        To misquote the man, “forgive him, Father, because he doesn’t seem to have a damn clue what he is advocating …

        w.

      • “wind power itself produces no carbon emissions at all”

        The wind itself produces no CO2 and in a later it explicitly states that relative to fossil fuels that wind has 95% fewer emissions.

        The Scottish study you mention has to do with emissions from peat bogs that and would like to the study find that wind power doesn’t result in substantially reduced emissions.

        Wind farms are typically built on upland sites, where peat soil is common. In Scotland alone, two thirds of all planned onshore wind development is on peatland. England and Wales also have large numbers of current or proposed peatland wind farms.

        But peat is also a massive store of carbon, described as Europe’s equivalent of the tropical rainforest. Peat bogs contain and absorb carbon in the same way as trees and plants — but in much higher quantities.

      • I posted too soon, but anyway what I want from you is a study that says that wind power won’t substantially reduce CO2 emissions, if added to the grid relative to fossil fuels.

      • Bullshit. The letter specifically aims the RICO act at “corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters” … who do you think the “supporters” are? Housewives?

        Learn to read, you’re embarrassing yourself.

        Did you read this

        From one of the signatories:

        A RICO suit like the one we propose would be very narrowly focussed on whether companies were engaged in fraud in order to continue selling a product which threatens to do harm. I’m not a legal expert, but I think that anyone not selling a product or service can not be punished for fraud, so the vast majority of people opining on climate are not even theoretically threatened by such a case. Even for an oil company, the standard for finding fraud is quite high. According to the RICO judgement against the tobacco companies:

        How can you say this is about prosecuting scientists. If it was I would opposed to it, like you unless there was some written documentation or a witness that indicated that they were knowingly participating in fraud.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Joseph | September 20, 2015 at 3:46 pm |

        I posted too soon, but anyway what I want from you is a study that says that wind power won’t substantially reduce CO2 emissions, if added to the grid relative to fossil fuels.

        Dang, miss the point much? Let me review the bidding.

        As I said at the start of this thread, the difficulty lies in determining what is “misinformation”. You’ve proven my point neatly, in that you and I can’t determine what is “misinformation” and what is “science”. It is a scientific question on which reasonable men can disagree … or at least until one of them threatens legal action …

        Your solution to this lack of scientific clarity is to have the government decide what is “misinformation”, and then investigate and prosecute people on the basis of their decision.

        Do you truly not see how bizarrely crazy your plan is? What on earth makes you think that the Federal Attorney is even remotely qualified to make such a distinction, when some of the world’s better scientists disagree on that very question? Do you truly not understand that it would be the death of science to have the government make scientific judgements and then prosecute corporations and individual scientists on that basis?

        w.

        PS—You made a totally false claim above that only corporations were targeted. I pointed out that the letter said otherwise. A gentleman would first acknowledge his mistake, and then discuss what effect this error had on his previous claims, opinions, and judgements … or you could just blow it off as you did.

    • I think it would be difficult to prove the knowing part, […]

      Yes, indeed. Even if they admit to “knowing” about a scientific “consensus”, funding research into evidence of an alternative theory isn’t “misinformation”. It’s just Science.

      And asking for a higher level of certainty before being required to uproot their entire business model is just politics.

      But there’s plenty of evidence of a conspiracy involving some big environmental NGO’s and the IPCC to publish “misinformation”. Himalayan glaciers anybody?

      This is the big reason this whole RICO thing is so stupid. Not because of the tiny chance of proving anything against the “oil companies”. But because they and the IPCC are in a glass house, throwing stones.

      • bedeverethewise

        The Himalayan glacier episode was an excellent example of misinformation coming from the IPCC climate alarm industry. They made an alarming claim about Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035. Glacier experts quickly noticed the obvious error and tried to correct the claim. Pachuari went into attack mode without bothering to check the science. It was all appeal to authority and ad hom.

        Now we know, as a matter of fact, that the claim was bogus. Some claimed it was a simple typo, others claimed it was grey literature that inadvertently slipped in, but it should have been a lesson against close-minded politically motivated silencing of critics in science. A lesson that at least 20 “scientists” haven’t learned

      • But there’s plenty of evidence of a conspiracy involving some big environmental NGO’s and the IPCC to publish “misinformation”. Himalayan glaciers anybody?

        So someone or some group knowingly and purposefully published something that they knew to be untrue? How do you know that? One source would be internal communications like emails.

      • Thought fer Today.

        Ahem …

        ‘Let us dismiss those that dismiss
        the function of feedback in science
        fer they are not honest.’

        No place fer censor-shipand gate-keeping,
        only critical evaluation, revaluation and
        and reformation of statements depending
        on feedback data. Feed – back!

    • The catch is that fossil fuels are extremely beneficial is the short time span and Only allegedly detrimental in long time spans.

    • If fossil fuel companies are knowingly funding misinformation to enhance their profits […]

      Looking through the Climate Deception Dosseirs, I find (Page 54/336) from the “list of deliverables

      (3) The publication of the scientific manuscript “Centennial variations of the global monsoon precipitation in the last millennium: Results from ECHO-G model” by Jiau Liu, Bin Wang, Qinghua Ding, Xueyuan Kuang, Willie Soon and Eduaordo Zorita (2009) in press for the peer-reviewed journal Journal of Climate.

      Since published in Journal of Climate (2009) DOI: 10.1175/2008JCLI2353.1

      The authors investigate how the global monsoon (GM) precipitation responds to the external and anthropogenic forcing in the last millennium by analyzing a pair of control and forced millennium simulations with the ECHAM and the global Hamburg Ocean Primitive Equation (ECHO-G) coupled ocean–atmosphere model. The forced run, which includes the solar, volcanic, and greenhouse gas forcing, captures the major modes of precipitation climatology comparably well when contrasted with those captured by the NCEP reanalysis. The strength of the modeled GM precipitation in the forced run exhibits a significant quasi-bicentennial oscillation. Over the past 1000 yr, the simulated GM precipitation was weak during the Little Ice Age (1450–1850) with the three weakest periods occurring around 1460, 1685, and 1800, which fell in, respectively, the Spörer Minimum, Maunder Minimum, and Dalton Minimum periods of solar activity. Conversely, strong GM was simulated during the model Medieval Warm Period (ca. 1030–1240). Before the industrial period, the natural variations in the total amount of effective solar radiative forcing reinforce the thermal contrasts both between the ocean and continent and between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres resulting in the millennium-scale variation and the quasi-bicentennial oscillation in the GM index. The prominent upward trend in the GM precipitation occurring in the last century and the notable strengthening of the global monsoon in the last 30 yr (1961–90) appear unprecedented and are due possibly in part to the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, though the authors’ simulations of the effects from recent warming may be overestimated without considering the negative feedbacks from aerosols. The simulated change of GM in the last 30 yr has a spatial pattern that differs from that during the Medieval Warm Period, suggesting that global warming that arises from the increases of greenhouse gases and the input solar forcing may have different effects on the characteristics of GM precipitation. It is further noted that GM strength has good relational coherence with the temperature difference between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and that on centennial time scales the GM strength responds more directly to the effective solar forcing than the concurrent forced response in global-mean surface temperature. [my bolding]

      Seems to me that if the Southern Company was paying Willie Soon to deny” “global warming that arises from the increases of greenhouse gase they may not have gotten their money’s worth.

      • I don’t know what they expected from him, but his work did tend to minimize AGW, right? That’s the another tactic.

      • [… H]is work did tend to minimize AGW, right? That’s the another tactic.

        That’s science. He was investigating the relationship between solar and CO2 “forcing”. A number of activists took it as demonstrating that it was plausible that all the warming is from solar “forcing”. This isn’t quite true: AFAIK it offers a way of distinguishing solar from CO2 “forcing”, although that depends on how reliable the model is.

        How is working to develop and prove out a method of distinguishing those two types of “forcing” in the modern record “denial”? How is it a “tactic”? It’s science.

      • I didn’t say it was denial on his part. What I am saying is that they choose “skeptics” not because they think his science is solid but because he minimizes AGW. Do you understand now?

        Here is an example of Soon minimizing AGW:

        In 2003, Willie Soon was first author on a review paper in the journal Climate Research, with Sallie Baliunas as co-author. This paper concluded that “the 20th century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium.”[23][24]

      • Yes, Joseph, Soon should be thrown in jail due to his interpretation of the science. Numb skull much?

      • This paper concluded that “the 20th century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium.”

        That’s probably what any objective scientist would conclude. Only “Mann-splainers” believe in the hokey stick. Best evidence is that the Medieval Climatic Optimum was warmer. Probably.

  121. To bad Klinger didn’t read the part of the letter I quote below before he signed it:

    “If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty . . .”

    And their supporters.

    Are guilty.

    Klinger – they are not just going after corporation – but people who are vaguely defined as “supporters”.

    Not only does that include anybody the corporations gave money to, it also includes every employee and every shareholder as well.

    I still don’t think any criminal investigations will occur – but I think Klinger’s defense that the letter only targeted corporations is lame.

    The letter could have easily been drafted to only refer to corporations, but they couldn’t help themselves and included “and their supporters” in the letter.

    Klinger’s attempt to backtrack fails because the letter clearly goes after people and not just corporations.

  122. Barry Klinger, one of the 20 scientists, is a moron. Now he says he doesn’t want to throw any scientists in jail. Or restrict free speech. Didn’t he understand what a criminal prosecution is all about?

    http://mason.gmu.edu/~bklinger/rico.html

    • These 20 people are not scientists. Maybe they never were. If they were scientists, they would up their science game and prove their hypothesis WRT CAGW. They can’t, so they turn to legal Manneuvers instead.

    • Don,

      Don’t you understand that imprisonment is but one option the court has?

      How many tobacco scientists went to jail?

  123. If they had meant civil, they would have said “liable”, not “guilty”.

    Guilty is a criminal word, and means jail.

  124. The RICO letter is on Slashdot. From the article:

    GregLaden writes:
    The argument could be made that the organized effort to disrupt climate change science and the development of effective policies to address climate change is criminal, costing life and property. The effort is known to be generally funded by various actors and there are people and organizations that certainly make money on this seemingly nefarious activity. A group of prominent scientists have written a letter to President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and OSTP Director Holdren asking for this to be investigated under RICO laws, which were originally designed to address organized crime.

    http://news.slashdot.org/story/15/09/19/1836233/a-call-to-rico-climate-change-science-deniers

  125. Judith Curry, thank you. You really nailed it!
    Full disclaimer: I am not a scientist. I’m a common farm girl/mom/wife/homemaker whose passion is to protect private property rights and keep domestic resource production thriving.
    America’s ability to maintain robust food and energy production is a matter of national security. And U.S. soil and water are foundational to this production.
    Country Takeover 101, is to strip its ability to feed and fuel its citizenry.
    Who-so-ever desires to take control of a country (or is just a greedy bastard who engages in thievery for personal enrichment), will deploy a variety of warring actions to meet their goals.
    The chief weapon U.S. soil and water thieves use for the before-mentioned, is “climate.”
    Self-appointed judges of all things happening on earth, the thieves claim that because “Man maketh the climate, they musteth taketh away man’s property to atone for their sins.”
    But it’s always “the other man” they take from. Al Gore gets to keep his jet.
    Here are some of the warring actions the thieves deploy:
    1. Buddy up with government so they can: a) Use other people’s money (aka taxpayer). b) Use government employees and or elected official’s as your personal Trojan Horse.
    2. Form a faux government – aka “special district” from which they threaten property owners with eminent domain, condemnation etc.
    3. Deploy EPA regulations, albeit unlawful but none-the-less affective in crippling domestic resource providers. We call these “regulatory takings.”
    4. Deploy the Endangered Species Act, albeit unlawful, for it’s an especially affective way to take property and escape the onerous statute of “just compensation.”
    5. “Hide the decline.” It’s imperative they hide any verifiable scientific finding that differs from their politics. They’ll say things like, “I wish so-and-so’s research findings had been more neutral.”
    I could go on, but this is enough for one to get a mini-glimpse of what this layperson sees as “man-made politics versus sun made climate.”

  126. moderation

  127. Here is Greg Laden’s article on the RICO letter. He’s just fine with this jack-booted move by climate twerps.

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/09/19/letter-to-president-obama-investigate-deniers-under-rico/

    • There are a lot of more-ons commenting on Laden’s blog.

    • I notice that it is not possible to comment on Greg’s site which is a pity. I was curious and wished to ask him that “knowing that Exxon products among others was going to endanger the world and all those in it why has he continued to buy such products”. Surely he is complicit in the very outrage that he thinks RICO will prevent.

      Why does he, and his very enthusiastic supporters, continue on their killing spree if they believe it to be real?

      • There’s also an article in Fortune that states Exxon scientists “knew” that ACO2 was “bad” to summarize. So back in the 70’s and 80’s Exxon scientists had it all figured out with high certainty? Sure they did.

      • From a Guardian Story (July 8, 2015), the full text “of an email from Lenny Bernstein to the director of the Institute for Applied and Professional Ethics at Ohio University, Alyssa Bernstein (no relation), who had asked for ideas to stimulate students for an ethics day announced by the Carnegie Council”:

        Alyssa’s right. Feel free to share this e-mail with her. Corporations are interested in environmental impacts only to the extent that they affect profits, either current or future. They may take what appears to be altruistic positions to improve their public image, but the assumption underlying those actions is that they will increase future profits. ExxonMobil is an interesting case in point.

        Exxon first got interested in climate change in 1981 because it was seeking to develop the Natuna gas field off Indonesia. This is an immense reserve of natural gas, but it is 70% CO2. That CO2 would have to be separated to make the natural gas usable. Natural gas often contains CO2 and the technology for removing CO2 is well known. In 1981 (and now) the usual practice was to vent the CO2 to the atmosphere. When I first learned about the project in 1989, the projections were that if Natuna were developed and its CO2 vented to the atmosphere, it would be the largest point source of CO2 in the world and account for about 1% of projected global CO2 emissions. I’m sure that it would still be the largest point source of CO2, but since CO2 emissions have grown faster than projected in 1989, it would probably account for a smaller fraction of global CO2 emissions.

        The alternative to venting CO2 to the atmosphere is to inject it into ground. This technology was also well known, since the oil industry had been injecting limited quantities of CO2 to enhance oil recovery. There were many questions about whether the CO2 would remain in the ground, some of which have been answered by Statoil’s now almost 20 years of experience injecting CO2 in the North Sea. Statoil did this because the Norwegian government placed a tax on vented CO2. It was cheaper for Statoil to inject CO2 than pay the tax. Of course, Statoil has touted how much CO2 it has prevented from being emitted.

        In the 1980s, Exxon needed to understand the potential for concerns about climate change to lead to regulation that would affect Natuna and other potential projects. They were well ahead of the rest of industry in this awareness. Other companies, such as Mobil, only became aware of the issue in 1988, when it first became a political issue. Natural resource companies – oil, coal, minerals – have to make investments that have lifetimes of 50-100 years. Whatever their public stance, internally they make very careful assessments of the potential for regulation, including the scientific basis for those regulations. Exxon NEVER denied the potential for humans to impact the climate system. It did question – legitimately, in my opinion – the validity of some of the science. [my bold]

        Political battles need to personify the enemy. This is why liberals spend so much time vilifying the Koch brothers – who are hardly the only big money supporters of conservative ideas. In climate change, the first villain was a man named Donald Pearlman, who was a lobbyist for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. (In another life, he was instrumental in getting the US Holocaust Museum funded and built.) Pearlman’s usefulness as a villain ended when he died of lung cancer – he was a heavy smoker to the end.

        Then the villain was the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), a trade organization of energy producers and large energy users. I was involved in GCC for a while, unsuccessfully trying to get them to recognize scientific reality. (That effort got me on to the front page of the New York Times, but that’s another story.) Environmental group pressure was successful in putting GCC out of business, but they also lost their villain. They needed one which wouldn’t die and wouldn’t go out of business. Exxon, and after its merger with Mobil ExxonMobil, fit the bill, especially under its former CEO, Lee Raymond, who was vocally opposed to climate change regulation. ExxonMobil’s current CEO, Rex Tillerson, has taken a much softer line, but ExxonMobil has not lost its position as the personification of corporate, and especially climate change, evil. It is the only company mentioned in Alyssa’s e-mail, even though, in my opinion, it is far more ethical that many other large corporations.

        Having spent twenty years working for Exxon and ten working for Mobil, I know that much of that ethical behavior comes from a business calculation that it is cheaper in the long run to be ethical than unethical. Safety is the clearest example of this. ExxonMobil knows all too well the cost of poor safety practices. The Exxon Valdez is the most public, but far from the only, example of the high cost of unsafe operations. The value of good environmental practices are more subtle, but a facility that does a good job of controlling emission and waste is a well run facility, that is probably maximizing profit. All major companies will tell you that they are trying to minimize their internal CO2 emissions. Mostly, they are doing this by improving energy efficiency and reducing cost. The same is true for internal recycling, again a practice most companies follow. Its [sic] just good engineering.

        I could go on, but this e-mail is long enough.

  128. Pingback: Profs, scientists want feds to crack down on 'conspiracy' to 'deceive' public about climate change - The College Fix

  129. “Letter to President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and OSTP Director Holdren”
    At least the signatories have provided us with a convenient list to file a real RICO Law suit for the $154 Billion scam perpetrated on the US public.

  130. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #197 | Watts Up With That?

  131. The really exasperating angle to this is that the very people calling for Climate Gulags on the basis that their critics’ science is shoddy and disingenuous have themselves made so many provably wrong predictions at this point that they themselves could more reasonably be called a criminal conspiracy, given the tens of billions being spent on the basis of their claims.

  132. There should probably be a main post on the ICN article on what Exxon knew as far back as the 70’s. Here is Mann’s take. RICO and APS mentioned too.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-e-mann/doubling-down-on-denial-and-deceit_b_8163952.html

      • Part 3 is here. By the mid 80’s, Exxon Research were already pretty certain of warming and potentially catastrophic impacts. Roger Cohen was prominent among what would today be called alarmists.
        http://insideclimatenews.org/news/18092015/exxon-confirmed-global-warming-consensus-in-1982-with-in-house-climate-models
        It links a 1982 internal Exxon report that is mainstream in its views and projections for the 21st century.
        http://insideclimatenews.org/sites/default/files/documents/1982%20Exxon%20Primer%20on%20CO2%20Greenhouse%20Effect.pdf

      • You’re really stretching it. Try this (from page 25 of the PDF):

        In his analysis. Rose introduced the concept of AIT (action initiation time), defined as the time when policies to modify or restrain fossil fuel use actually start to be effective. Based on this concept Rose projects non-fossil growth rates of 6 to 9%/a over 40 to 50 years in order to limit atmospheric CO2 to 500 to 700 ppm. these rates can be put in perspective by noting that such growth rates were achieved for natural gas introduction. However, nuclear or solar sources would have severe restrictions because such technologies are not as economically and politically attractive, technologically straightforward, and are encountering social and environmental opposition. In addition, Rose points out that the rate of growth of manufacturing facilities required to achieve a 6-9%/a growth rate in non-fossil fuel power generation is so large that it would be equivalent to increasing each year the U.S. power equipment manufacturing capability by an about equivalent to the current capacity.

        AFAIK solar PV has actually grown at 6-7 times that rate: around 41%/a since before that time, to today. While nuclear has certainly continued to “encounter[..] social and environmental opposition”, solar certainly underwent a change in perceptions from the 90’s forward.

        As far as I can see, from 1982 until now, there’s no real cause for concern, as long as solar continues to receive the level of policy support it has. Of course, as technology and installed base improve, the nature of that support should (IMO) change, But with solar constituting perhaps 1% of generated power today, at its current growth rate, by 2035 it will be contributing around 1000% of today’s generated power level. (Yes, that’s right: 10x. Do the numbers yourself.)

        If it continues its current exponential decline in cost, say 1/2 every 5 years, it will cost about 1/16th what it costs today. This doesn’t include inverter and transmission technology, but IMO most of that energy won’t require those. Instead, it will be used on-location to create gas (methane) or liquid fuel from ambient CO2 and hydrogen from electrolysis.

        Some will be used for pumping, both sea water and fresh. Some perhaps for pumping uphill in pumped hydro storage systems (using Francis turbines to generate grid power). Much for direct creation of hydrogen (H2) for feeding into distribution and generation systems. Much for direct desalination.

        Meanwhile, for during the day, the cost will be low enough that even with inversion and transmission, it will be competitive with coal. And gas/liquid fuel based on ambient CO2 will serve for night and cloudy days.

      • Tempest:Teapot. Having actually read the whole thing (except for the references on pages 37-46 of the PDF.)

      • This PDF encapsulates where the science was in 1982 before anyone brought in politics and industry. At that point, the science predicted that the warming would show up at a significant level by 2000, and it did. The temperature has risen by 0.5 C since 1980. Now 30 years later, some still don’t appreciate this historical prediction for the evidence that it was.

      • Jim D, you read a lot and are forward looking. This will open your eyes possibly.

        http://chemtrailsmuststop.com/2015/08/epa-permits-unlimited-use-of-toxic-coal-fly-ash-in-chemical-geoengineering-operations/

        Take you care to DEQ, pay you fee and smile.

      • At that point, the science predicted that the warming would show up at a significant level by 2000, and it did.

        Then it took a 15-year rest break.

      • Figure 3 in the PDF is Exxon’s own model prediction from the early 80’s and we are currently tracing the upper line in both CO2 and temperature there very well. They had about 400 ppm and 0.6 C warmer than 1980 by about now as a 30-year prediction. They have 500 ppm and 1.6 C after another 30 years, also within the range of current IPCC projections.

      • So are the Exxon projections as laughably awry as those of today’s consensus climate ‘scientists’ ?

    • Climate scientists don’t KNOW anything actionable now, Jim D. What on Earth makes you think any scientist in the ’80’s knew anything that was actionable.

      No one knows, Jim D. No one.

      • Exxon seemed pretty sure and they documented it well too. Hence the ICN articles that researched what they knew and when and who they told. They realized very early that if the seriousness of the effect on climate became more widely known, fossil fuels would be limited below the resource levels in the future, and it was only a matter of time before policies would be enacted. This was well before Hansen’s 1988 warning to congress.

      • Some scientists seem pretty sure now, but yet have to resort to legal means to achieve their political ends. The truth is, all they have is a gut feeling that warming will be catastrophic, no real scientific proof. If they had scientific proof, they wouldn’t have to go around suing people and threatening others with criminal prosecution.

      • stevenreincarnated

        jim2, the Exxon scientists knew earlier, at much less expense, and with much greater certainty than the publicly funded scientists. Why are we paying the flunkies?

      • stevenreincarnated

        Oh never mind. I skimmed the piece on what Exxon scientists knew. Not much more than CO2 is a GHG it seems. The rest is as questionable if not more so than what we know today. It seems another mountain is being constructed from molehills.

      • I read it too. The questions raised in 1980 have still not been answered. I note that the concern expressed by the engineers was one of whether they should be contemplating getting out of fossil fuels and into nuclear and solar or carrying on as normal. They figured 10 years would give the answer yet here we are 35 years on. I guess, like the rest of us, they are looking for a compelling answer.

      • They realized very early that if the seriousness of the effect on climate became more widely known, fossil fuels would be limited below the resource levels in the future, and it was only a matter of time before policies would be enacted.

        Wrong! They “ realized very early that if the seriousness of the effect on climate” turned out to be as real as their scientists were warming it might be, “fossil fuels would be limited below the resource levels in the future, and it was only a matter of time before policies would be enacted.” So they funded a good deal of research into the question of just how much effect CO2 would have.

        They also funded research into solar power, among other things. The obvious inability of solar power to replace fossil fuels probably contributed to their efforts to slow down “action” on CO2 regulation. The problem was solving itself, I don’t know who within their management recognized that fact, or how much. But by slowing alarmist overreaction, and studying alternative scientific explanations for the warming, they set the stage for where we are today:

        Solar power is just about ready for the big-time. Are they ready to convert to solar powered fuel from CO2? My guess is not; they went through a management change. But it will happen. If, as a corporation, they wanted to prepare for selling fuel derived from solar power and sea-water they would have every incentive to keep it a really dark secret. That way, their less forward-looking competition would be farther behind by the time the need became fully apparent.

        But my guess is nobody felt the incentive to prepare that far ahead, because the stockholders weren’t prepared to recognize value in that-far-forward thinking. We’ll just have to wait and see.

      • They realized very early that if the seriousness of the effect on climate became more widely known …

        It would be diffcult indeed for anyone back then to “know” what the Exxon scientists themselves, then, and climate ‘scientists’ to this day, still do not know.

        As the Exxon execs doubtless realised, the real operative concept is not “know”, but “believe”. With its huge resources and in-built bias, the danger was always that government would inevitably skew skew its own science in its own favour to foster belief in alarmism, regardless of the underlying truth.

    • There is also this forward-looking address linked from the article by Mr. David of Exxon research to the AGU in 1982. It reflects an attitude that fossil fuels would inevitably be phased out for alternatives because of what CO2 was doing. The path needed was very obvious already 33 years ago.
      http://sites.agu.org/publications/files/2015/09/ch1.pdf

      • Even William Connolley seems to think that the insideclimate story about what Exxon knew is a non-story.
        http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2015/09/16/what-exxon-knew-and-when/

      • Interesting that the IPCC FAR (1990) didn’t find any evidence of human caused warming

      • Even these memos said nothing about observed warming, but indicated it should be seen within twenty years, and it was.

      • From the RICO point of view, it may not help in prosecuting a case that the knowledgeable people at Exxon were replaced by know-nothings after the 80’s. They can probably plead ignorance, because most (not all) those researchers left, and the later people may not have got the memos or looked at the research history there.

      • Jim D – as I have said a couple of times here, the oil companies hire the best. They have tons of money. Their scientists have long ago, and consistently, told their executives that they largely agree with NASA and the IPCC, etc. It is not a matter of competence. The legal departments are herding cats (the marketing departments house some really stooped people), but all in all they have succeeded in their goal, which was, and is, to avoid the liability of the tobacco lawsuits by keeping the corporations, to fullest extent possible, completely out of it.

      • Brian G Valentine

        “Interesting that the IPCC FAR (1990) didn’t find any evidence of human caused warming”

        That’s because the IPCC hadn’t yet been hijacked by the climate kooks. The world representation (including many from lesser developed countries) found no empirical evidence in the literature review that there was anything to the AGW concept.

        Then the LDC were promised $$$ in exchange for going along with what the UN bureaucracy wanted. They didn’t get their money as they were promised, and they are kind of sore about it.

        I would be too

      • It reflects an attitude that fossil fuels would inevitably be phased out for alternatives because of what CO2 was doing. The path needed was very obvious already 33 years ago.

        So obvious that 33 years and untold $billions later, we still don’t know.

    • I could see this out in our future and here we are now…

      http://thehill.com/policy/defense/254579-lawmaker-probing-whether-female-army-rangers-received-special-treatment

      who can say, Jim D. Another new trend in science. What do you think?

  133. Fat-cat climate scientist Jagadish Shukla at GeorgeMasonU, ring leader of #RICO20, sponges nearly $1 million/year off taxpayers.

    Taxpayers are funding this Warmist goofball’s jihad against ‘deniers’.

    • Follow the Money, as always.

      • Brian G Valentine

        Instead, follow the integrity.

        I know of no (euphemistically labelled) “climate skeptic” who has had their integrity proven to be faulty. Try as they will, the junk peddlers can’t find a thing on any of them.

        Compare that with some of the well-known and strident “planet protectors” and their thoroughly questionable “character”

        Such as
        – Al Gore
        – Gore’s questionable side kick in the IPCC
        – Jim Hansen
        – Phil Jones
        – On and on

        Some of these people aim at “redemption” of their nefarious behavior by attacking “deniers”

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  135. Q…’n questionable actions.

    Closing down ticks
    and splicing
    upward tricks
    and quelquefois
    head over heels
    upside down flicks,
    oops!

    http://climateaudit.org/2015/09/19/the-blade-of-ocean2k/

  136. Pingback: Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Climate Science? | Michigan Standard

  137. Heck, if anyone needs their ass RICO’d, it’s the 97% and IPCC lot.

    But to get the ball rolling, where better to start than Mann, Jones and the other Climategaters, along with Muir Russell and all the other convenors of the official Climategate coverups.

  138. As usual, no bunny reads. The letter asked that the companies who have been funding organizations like Heartland be prosecuted, not individuals.

  139. Brian G Valentine

    I really don’t believe Eli or anybody else wants to prosecute the “companies” that provide products and services to keep Eli and everyone he knows alive past an average (short and brutish) life expectancy of some 30 years.

    Except maybe for me, perhaps

  140. Global warming deniers are not “skeptics”. And fraudulent “studies” bought by the fossil fuel industries to dispute the reality of the temperature record are not science.

  141. Would have been a good post if Curry actually knew what RICO was, understood its application, made clear that a case – however piecemeal – could muster standing, and recognize Senator Whitehouse’s experiences with RICO – especially given Rhode Island’s RICO scandal.

    • stevenreincarnated

      Any random investigation could muster standing. Not much of an argument for disrupting people’s lives and income. I’m sure you wouldn’t like the same standard applied to you.

    • Looks like Michael is part of a coordinated conspiracy to ruin peoples lives. RICO should apply to him also.

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  144. I don’t know if this has been discussed, but the lead author of the BS RICO letter is getting rich off the CAGW scare:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/22/lead-climate-scientist-behind-obamarico-letter-serious-questions-answer/

  145. Pingback: We don’t need no stinking debate! « DON AITKIN

  146. I couldn’t agree with Peter Webster more when he says that the authors of this letter have signed the death warrant of science. I chose to leave my dissertation undefended and subsequently left the field for industry because I knew I would never be able to support myself in the science given my views on climate change. What’s just as bad as asking the president to prosecute journalists, industry groups and anyone who disagrees with them is the censorship that exists within the field itself. Though it’s not written down anywhere, it’s well known that you cannot work in the earth or environmental scientists if you disagree with the consensus on catastrophic global warming. You can’t publish, compete for jobs or win grants. This internal censorship is what killed climate science. The field is no longer vibrant, accepting of new ideas or skeptical.

  147. We’ve had our lukewarm [ on CAGW] PM politically assassinated last week in a slow-burning coup that started the moment he became party leader in opposition to the Copenhagen conference in 2009—-and accelerated the moment he was elected in September 2013 in a landslide.

    He has been unseated by the person —Malcolm Turnbull—whom many of us believe to be the Goldman Sachs candidate for Australian PM, who has white-anted the Prime Minister Tony Abbott from the day Tony Abbott overturned him as leader in 2009.

    Turnbull has had massive help —a relentless campaign of hate speech–demonization—defamation —character assassination–from almost 100% of our almost 100% warmist MSM.

    Warmists around the world like Gore, Naomi Klein, Oreskes,Suzuki, Sierra Club, 350, Rockefeller Brothers Fund–the uber-rich Green global Socialists— have been on Tony Abbott’s case for the last two years—as has Obama himself, who admonished him publicly here at the G20 conference.

    Finally last week the coup struck and Tony Abbott was unceremoniously ditched and replace by full-on warmist Turnbull who some years ago headed Goldman Sachs in New York.

    For the moment—because he had to— because his coup would otherwise not have worked–Turnbull has acceded to the conditions of the National Party that’s in coalition with Tony Abbott’s Liberal Party–the Nationals’ conditions being that he would undertake to keep the Abbott/Nationals climate policy of direct action in lieu of Turnbull’s preferred carbon tax/ETS—- in place. [Liberal in this context means the more conservative party]

    Tony Abbott had repealed Labor’s huge Carbon Tax that was killing Australian industry.

    So we believe powerful international warmists plus our undemocratic MSM have succeeded in removing our elected PM because he’s a closet sceptic[ it being compulsory in our country to declare BELIEF in CAGW, or lose power as has been clear for the last few years.

    It had to be done to pave the way for the Paris Conference.

    Next we believe in the sceptic PMs to fall will be Canada’s Harper in October.

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  149. Eisenhower’s farewell address addresses corruption of science as well as the military-industrial complex.

    Wikipedia:

    He also expressed his concomitant concern for corruption of the scientific process as part of this centralization of funding in the Federal government:

    “Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocation, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet in holding scientific discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.[1]”

  150. Pingback: Climate Change Deniers Should be Held Responsible

    • The fact is that it certainly was a conspiracy, a pretty big one, cannot be denied. I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t say whether the law is written so that it covers this gross offence or not. But, the facts are clear.

      What conspiracy exactly? Their survey of the current science showed some possibility that fossil carbon would warm the planet. They then funded science intended to get a better grip on the facts.

      Morally it is an open and shut case. see these two videos:

      Only to a lynch mob looking for scapegoats. Here’s the second of the two videos linked in Tom Bonds ridiculous post. All he (Ed Garvey) says is that there was no intention to deceive, or enter any conspiracy:

      The “conspiracy, a pretty big one” is a figment of the imaginations of a paranoid lynch mob of frustrated Chicken-Littles.

  151. Walter Olson at Overlawyered …

    I’m interviewed at Vermont Watchdog about the truly terrible idea of aiming a civil RICO/racketeering action or investigation against the forces of “climate denial” over wrongful advocacy.
    [ … ]
    I note, and reject, the idea that the First Amendment protects only truthful speech and thus has no application here because climate skepticism is false. (As Cato and many others argued in last year’s Supreme Court case of Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, controversial speech need not be true to be protected, and in practice an “only truth has rights” rule would give the state a stifling power to punish advocacy in debates that it considers settled.) In substantial part, I note, debate in Washington (and not just in Washington) proceeds by way of advocates’ deployment of half-truths, selectively marshaled data, scientific studies with agendas, and so forth. It is common for both sides to use these techniques. The same techniques are also accepted as standard currency of the adversary process itself, in which the law takes such pride, which makes it particularly absurd to propose defining it as unlawful racketeering to “use dubious information to advance a cause.”

    http://overlawyered.com/2015/09/using-rico-against-climate-change-skeptics-an-attack-on-free-speech/

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  157. Pingback: The curious case of the RICO letter to President Obama from 20 climate scientists - Watchdog.org

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  166. The actual truth is that the Alarmists are guilty under the RICO act.

    These filthy alarmists are evil scum of the highest order.

    • David, who are you referring to? The AGW believer alarmists, or climate realists? Please clarify and in said clarification, please provide your source and verifiable evidence to support your charges…one way or the other. Thank you.

      • Alarmists obviously if you even bothered to read my post. (I used the word ‘alarmists’)
        1. No warming for 17 years despite rising CO2
        2. The mediaeval warm Period was globally hotter despite far less CO2
        3. All the models predict 3 times the warming that has actually occurred.
        4. No tropospheric hotspot disproving the positive feedback AGW hypothesis outright.
        5. GCMs predict 3 times the observed global temperatures showing their climate sensitivity parameter is wrong.
        6. Ice cores show CO2 lags 800 years behind temperature rise showing temperature drives CO2, not the other way round.
        7. Antarctic Ice is at record levels. Arctic ice is above 2007 minimum.
        8. No sea level rise increase
        9. No significant sea temperature increase
        10. ERBE satellite data shows that Outgoing Longwave Radiation goes up with surface warming, not down as CAGW suggests

      • The criminal aspect is not only the failure of the alarmsits to observe these basic facts bu the Hockeystick fraud giving hundreds of times the weighting to faulty Bristlecone pine proxy data as to other sets in order to give a desired result, the blatant tampering of Data to warm the past with extremely dubious reasons, the NZ NWA scandal where they demonstrably altered data to fit the alarmist agenda, the Darwin Australia tampering, the crude attempt to prove a ‘hotspot’ by making the base temperature representation red and thus appear hot in a now debunked graph etc
        Then there’s the Nazi/Stalin/Lenin/Maoesque attempts to silence debate.

        These people are crooks.

      • Bingo! You’re spot on! Thank you. :-)

    • Since the climategate emails showed the heads of the climate centers were conspiring on a number of issues…

      Seems that going after global warmers with RICO would be as easy as shining deer.

  167. All the evidence supports the skeptics.
    No tropospheric hotspot, GCMs no warming for 18 years, the mediaeval Warm period warmer than today with much less CO2. Antarctic ice at record levels, no sea level rise increase, no appreciable global sea temperature increase, Vostok ice cores show 800 year lag, ERBE satellite show OLR goes up with surface warming not down etc.

    Bottom line evidence: No tropospheric hotspot, no crisis, as that forms the foundation of their hypothesis for CAGW.

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