My Fox News op-ed on RICO

by Judith Curry

A new low in science: criminalizing climate skeptics.

Fox News op-ed 

Here is the link to my op-ed:

Scientists have many important roles to play in preparations for the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris. Some are working hard to clarify uncertainties in the science, others on developing and evaluating alternative climate policies.

One group of climate scientists is trying a different approach. Dismayed by what they see as a lack of progress on the implementation of climate policies that they support, these 20 scientists sent a letter to the White House calling for their political opponents to be investigated by the government.

In particular, they are voicing their support of a proposal by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) for a RICO investigation of fossil fuel corporations and their supporters, who the scientists allege have deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, with the consequence of forestalling America’s response to reducing carbon emissions.

RICO, short for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, is a federal law enacted in 1970 as a crime-fighting tool for use against the Mafia. It includes prison sentences of up to 20 years and seizure of financial assets for those found guilty of such “racketeering.”

Senator Whitehouse singled out one climate scientist, Willie Soon, a solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Research Center who argues that changes in solar radiation, rather than carbon emissions, are the major force behind global warming.

Seven other climate scientists were the targets of a recent McCarthyite ‘witch hunt’ by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ). I was one of the seven. Rep. Grijalva indicated that I was investigated because of my recent Congressional testimony summarizing peer-reviewed research indicating that the magnitude and impacts of expected warming could be less than generally believed.

None of the Grijalva 7 was found to have engaged in wrongdoing of any sort, yet there have been significant career consequences for some.

The demand by Senator Whitehouse and the 20 climate scientists for legal persecution of people whose research on science and policy they disagree with represents a new low in the politicization of science.

The role of these 20 scientists is particularly troubling. The consequence of this persecution, intended or not, is to make pariahs of scientists who are doing exactly what we expect of researchers: to critically evaluate evidence and publish that work in the scientific literature.

Minority perspectives have an important and respected role to play in advancing science, as a mean for testing ideas and pushing the knowledge frontier forward. While President Obama bows to no one in attacking climate ‘deniers’, he recently made an important statement in a town hall meeting at the University in Iowa on the importance of challenging received knowledge in a university setting:

“Because there was this space where you could interact with people who didn’t agree with you and had different backgrounds from you … I started testing my own assumptions, and sometimes I changed my mind,” he said. “Sometimes I realized, maybe I’ve been too narrow-minded; maybe I didn’t take this into account; maybe I should see this person’s perspective. That’s what college, in part, is all about.”

That’s even more what real science is about. It is important for scientists to engage the public and to work with policy makers to assess the impacts and unintended consequences of policy options. However, it has become ‘fashionable’ for academic scientists to advocate for certain political outcomes, without having much understanding of the policy process, economics, or the ethics of such advocacy.

What these 20 scientists have done with their letter is the worst kind of irresponsible advocacy. Attempts by powerful people to silence other scientists, especially in this brutal fashion, is a recipe for stifling scientific progress and for making poor policies.

Climate policy has been limited by an overly narrow set of narratives and policy options. Expanding the frameworks for thinking about climate change and climate policy can lead to developing a wider choice of options in addressing the risks from it.

That is how democracy is supposed to work. We search for solutions that can garner a critical mass of support. We don’t try to criminalize our political opponents, and especially should not try to criminalize scientists who have a different view.

I would like to acknowledge comments from Peter Webster and Roger Pielke Jr. in preparation of this op-ed.

 

The RICO20 speak out

Several of RICO20 have made public statements:

In an interview,  Alan Betts made the following statements:

“Bring them to court and make them face up,” Betts said. “Somebody downstream is going to have to pay the staggering costs of all the delays in taking action on climate change. The fossil fuel companies are now deeply culpable because of their deliberate deceptive strategies.”

Asked if RICO could be used to investigate local intervenors or dissenting environmental groups like Energize Vermont, Betts said, “I don’t think so. Everyone has a right to discuss.” The scientist also dismissed concerns that RICO investigations might violate the right to free speech, saying, “I have no idea how it affects the First Amendment.”

Barry Klinger of George Mason/IGES posted a statement on his website, excerpts:

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.

What do we want to do to climate contrarians? No one is trying to throw anyone in jail. Our model is the civil (not criminal) tobacco suit which previously used RICO. 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.

Should free speech apply to all sides of a debate? 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).

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.

Note:  Steve McIntyre has a new post taking Klinger to task regarding the defense of Mann by climate ‘contrarians’ [link].

Tobacco RICO

Well, Klinger’s view of RICO and the tobacco model is quite naive.  Via email, I received an email from tobacco researcher James Enstrom, excerpt:

I was illegally inserted into the 1999-2006 USDOJ RICO lawsuit against the tobacco industry because I published politically incorrect findings in the May 17, 2003 BMJ. This insertion severely damaged my distinguished scientific career at UCLA, but with great effort I have survived and fought back.

This letter motivated me to look into this. I spotted this 2007 LaTimes article Tobacco funding of research reviewed.  Excerpts:

For more than three decades, epidemiologist James Enstrom has labored quietly at UCLA, studying the effect of tobacco smoke on human health. In recent years, his work has challenged the conventional view that second-hand smoke poses a serious health risk.

He calls himself a lone wolf, a maverick and a rebel. His critics call him a turncoat.

Enstrom once worked closely with the American Cancer Society, but today his sponsor is the tobacco industry. Over the last 15 years, he has received $1.4 million plus undisclosed consulting fees from the industry while producing research that supports industry views. One study used the American Cancer Society’s database to contend that second-hand smoke was not a serious health hazard.

Now Enstrom has become a symbol of industry influence for activists who support a proposal to bar University of California researchers from receiving tobacco industry money. The regents will take up the issue in May. Mirroring divisions elsewhere in UC, some university regents back a ban, while others oppose it on grounds of academic freedom. The 63-year-old Enstrom maintains that he is simply a scholar in “pursuit of truth.”

“If I was so corrupt, how could I survive for 33 years at UCLA?” he asks. “The effort is to smear me and libel me.”

Seven months ago, his research and correspondence were cited by a federal judge in a racketeering case as evidence of the tobacco industry’s manipulation of the scientific process. In January, the ethics of his research were called into question at a public meeting of the UC Board of Regents.

Enstrom, tall, forceful and passionate, believes the proposed ban at UC is aimed personally at him and says he is being vilified by a powerful lobby that places “political correctness” above science. He denies that tobacco money influenced his results, says no one has found errors in his calculations and contends that other studies corroborate his findings.

“It’s unfortunate to end up in a racketeering lawsuit for writing an article in a British medical journal,” he said ruefully.

University officials have kept their distance from Enstrom but note that he has faced tremendous pressure from his critics.

“In some sense I will stand up for Dr. Enstrom,” said Roberto Peccei, UCLA vice chancellor for research. “He’s got all these people beating on him. I’m not here to defend him, but I do think he was hit by a Mack truck.”

Read the whole article, it is fascinating as well as very disturbing.

Why Do Academics Sign Climate Action Petitions?

Lucas Bergkamp has penned a provocative essay [link], discussing the RICO20 and also the role of scientists in the Dutch Urgenda case.  Excerpts:

Why would an academic sign a petition to request that a government take some specific action or refrain from taking some action? Where an academic possess expertise that is relevant to a policy issue, he or she might decide to share that expertise with the government and suggest a specific course of action based on that expertise. The problem with this practice is that science does not dictate policies, so the arguments set out in such petitions need to invoke some value or make some subjective judgment to arrive at the policy recommendation. Nevertheless, where the values invoked are commonly accepted and already reflected in law and policy, this is uncontroversial.

In the area of climate change, academics have been filing petitions left and right. In the US, a group of academics requested the Obama administration to launch a criminal investigation into “climate deceptive” statements of corporations, because it would be “imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible.” The evidence for their accusation are some books and reports by social and climate action advocates. Many of the signatories are not lawyers and had no formal legal training. The petition does not set forth any coherent argument. It purpose seems to be to deter rejection of a socially constructed and politically endorsed scientific consensus.

This is a puzzling practice. Why would academics put their reputation on the line by endorsing a poorly argued, activist petition entirely outside their area of expertise? If he or she did so as a citizen, without using academic titles, this would not be much of a concern; such citizen petitions are submitted all the time. But if academic titles and affiliations are used in connection with an issue that has no relation whatsoever with the substance of the petition, is their use appropriate? In general, the risk would that the academic’s independence, impartiality, and scientific credibility is adversely affected by such practices. Partisanship is incompatible with academic excellence, sound scientific research, and unbiased, reliable opinions.

In the area of climate change, this seems not to be a concern, however, as long as the opinions expressed are in line with the climate action orthodoxy. Academics that side with the climate action activists are in the good camp. Partisanship does not adversely affect their credibility and reputation, because these attributes do not derive from the strength of their arguments. Their authority is a function of their affiliation with the good camp. Likewise, the lack of authority of opponents or critics is a function of their affiliation with the “climate-destructive” industry, some self-interest, or their general lack of enlightened pro-climate thinking. Whether this way of assigning academic authority is consistent with science’s mission, is an issue that does not deserve attention, given the urgency of the climate action required.

These climate action petitions unduly distort the public debate and are unhelpful to policy-making, because they inappropriately invoke scientific authority and do not rely on sound argument. At best, they will be recognized as such and ignored. At worst, they will be viewed, mistakenly or willfully, as science-based advice from the academic community. The latter, of course, is what these academics hope for. They may well realize that they abuse their academic credentials, but it does not stop them. After all, as the Dismal Theorem holds, peoples’ willingness to pay to guard against possible future climate catastrophe is infinitely large. Why should anyone bother about inappropriate use of credentials if the continued existence of humanity and planet earth is on the line? In saving our planet, who could possibly challenge the proposition that the ends justify the means?

Funding issues

Other articles that I’ve spotted focus on the government funding going to IGES, particularly what is being paid to Shukla and members of his family:

From the Examiner article:

What is not criminal is having an opposing scientific opinion. What is not criminal is pursuing the science and extending the debate on climate. To call such science as criminal without a crime having been committed is a political witch hunt without a broomstick to stand on.

This topic is receiving much discussion in academic circles – astonishment at the amount of government funding Shukla has been pulling in and the large double salary he is paying himself.  Based on conflict of interest guidelines at Georgia Tech and University of Colorado, there is no way that I can see that this would have been legal/allowed.  I know of several people investigating this issue informally; I assume someone will pick up this investigation in a more formal way.

All this makes Willie Soon’s $1.2 M  over 10+ years from energy companies, all of which went to the Harvard Smithsonian, look virtuous (not to mention paltry).

BREAKING:  Steve McIntyre has a thorough expose Shukla’s Gold.  Must read.

JC reflections

I’m hoping that my op-ed will help stimulate outrage over the RICO20 letter, lessons learned for the scientists, and the development of better ethical guidelines for scientists interacting with the public and engaging in advocacy.

The RICO20 letter certainly seems to have backfired, as the main publicity it is receiving is investigation of GMU/IGES funding improprieties and conflict of interest.

I’ll conclude by reiterating this statement from my op-ed:

What these 20 scientists have done with their letter is the worst kind of irresponsible advocacy. Attempts by powerful people to silence other scientists, especially in this brutal fashion, is a recipe for stifling scientific progress and for making poor policies.

 

462 responses to “My Fox News op-ed on RICO

  1. Judith you are brilliant and doing a wonderful job. We need you to keep us all out of jail. I am scared of becoming a 21st century convict and being sent to a penal colony in some far southern (cold) land.

    Please save me!

  2. That Shukla guy should’ve heeded the ages-old advice about glass houses and throwing stones. $750k / year plus all the money he’s funneling from his non-profit to family members?

    Wow. Great work if you can get it.

    He should’ve kept his head down and mouth shut and nobody would’ve suspected that he was profiting so much personally from all that green. So much for the ‘poor honest broker scientist’ image, lol.

    • Fercrisakes quit fartin around. Draw straws, short one cuts his balls off and shoves em down is throat, sells wife into slavery.

  3. Hmmm. Fox News itself is polarizing. Did you send the op ed to the NY Times or any other news outlet?

    • Good essay, by the way!

    • Fox News invited me to write the op-ed.

    • Right, like the New York Times is going to publish anything like this.

    • “Hmmm. Fox News itself is polarizing. Did you send the op ed to the NY Times or any other news outlet?:

      Bias is a funny thing, It’s like spotting a necktie that doesn’t match. Easier to see on someone else. Think about it for a moment. Do you really suppose that the NYT’s with it’s staunch support for progressive politics is not also polarizing? And while we’re at it, do you think for one second that the NYT’s is going to invite Judith Curry to write an opinion piece for them?

      (aka pokerguy)

      • The Wall Street Journal will publish it.

      • Yes, I expect they would. JC is frequently referred to in Alex Revkin’s blog.http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/?s=%22judith+curry%22+georgia

        It appears that academics who write papers finding evidence of AGW have been subject to criminal prosecutions & congressional subpoenas, not deniers.

        Using conservatives think tanks an the example tobacco industry may not be to wise given that Enstrom was found to have engaged in conspiracy to distort the dangers of tobacco smoke & second hand smoke in court of law. “..The court’s Final Opinion contains a detailed timeline (starting in Section 5, paragraph #3781, on Page 1380) describing communication between Philip Morris and Enstrom to produce the 2003 BMJ study, and describes how the American Cancer Society had repeatedly warned Enstrom that using its CPS-I data in the manner he was using it would lead to unreliable results. The court’s Final Opinion cites the 2003 Enstrom/Kabat study as a significant part of the companies’ conspiratorial enterprise against the American public..” http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/James_E._Enstrom.

    • khal spencer,

      “Hmmm. [NY Times] itself is polarizing” .Do you not recognise the NY Times is a mountpiece for the loony Left and the CAGW cultists?

      • No, I don’t. Times has credibility in circles where Fox has none. I’d submit it to them. Posthaste.

      • Khal,

        NY Times has credibility with the loony left and the CAGW cultists, not people who are objective and rational. The believers in the CAGW cult’s dogma comprise less than 1% of the global population (i.e. less than 70 million people) and most of those wouldn’t even vote for economically irrational policies once they realised the cost to them and their families).

        Your comments demonstrate you are a true believer in the CAGW dogma; your bias is clear.

      • If the best you can do is call people cultists, loony, etc, end of discussion. Ad hominem is not a substitute for reasoned debate.

      • I was replying to your ad hominem fallacy. Arguing about where Judith’s article was published is an ad hominem fallacy itself. If you want to have a rational debate, don’t begin with an ad hominem. Years of experience demonstrates the only way to deal with people like yourself (in most cases) is to respond in kind.

      • Fercrisakes Spencer even the Aussies know the NYT is a rag for the loony-left which includes CAGW lunatics.

      • I said Fox was polarizing. I think that can be defended. I said the NYT has credibility where Fox does not. Fox, on the other hand, has credibility where NYT has none. A casual perusal of the Innertubes will bear that out. What I did not do was resort to name calling.

        Please, do have the last word, though!

      • Khal

        I will respond and don’t need your permission to do so. Your first comment was an example of an ad hominiem fallacy and your comments since have been poor attempts to defend it. Your initial comment suggested Judith should publish her article in the NYT when you know full well the NYT is an advocate for the CAGW cult*. There is no way the NYT would publish such an article. Your comment was about who published it, not about the content of the article. So it is an ad hominem comment:

    • Any non sycophantic organization is “polarizing” to the left. The age of newspeak is upon us.

      • Indeed. Last night, I read the pdf by the Aussie physicist on The Climategate Emails. Being familiar with all the worst emails, the thing that struck me particularly last night was the extraordinary lack of self-awareness in the emails. At the very same time that they were rigging peer review, plotting to destroy careers, coordinating messaging with reporters, and engaging in fraudulent science, they would express outrage that their opponents were horrible people trying to influence the public. They show all the moral maturity of a group of small children.

        It’s the same lack of self-awareness with left-wing news media and politics (of course, global warming is just a subset of the politics). One wouldn’t think that simply having left-wing political beliefs should also require moral retardation. But then there’s all that evidence……

    • And NYT is not. Please straighten out of a perennial crash landing crouch, the blood rush is showing.

  4. Outstanding rebuttal to the likes of Shukla and Whitehouse. Thank you for explaining how science is done to the ignoramuses out there, including some with PhD’s in science. The letter by the gang of 20 is the kind of deterioration in scientific standards that the green movement and leftists have wanted to see for a long time.

    George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

  5. my wife is adjunct faculty at a college
    they voted for a union
    the college is fighting back hard, no Pinkertons yet, just lawyers

    maybe that Shukla guy can stop by the adjunct food pantry, sup with the poor and wash a few feet
    and then meet with President
    my wife believes in Climate Change, so at least she doesn’t have to worry about retaliation in that regard

    science?
    politics?
    nah …it’s just corruption

  6. This article discusses the abuse of RICO, and so much more fun stuff. Like:

    “In the modern world of academia, if you want recognition, plumb positions, and the adoration of the illuminati, forget about proving exotic mathematical theorems, advancing quantum gravity, or finding things out about the Universe that no human, living or dead, has ever known. Unless it impinges on the most darling popular passions, you are out of luck.

    Instead, it seems true glory in the modern world is found in polling experts to discover what not even the experts thought they knew—a pathological variant of “expert systems.” Or, even better, not polling them at all–but counting little somethings tenuously connected to their writings. It does not even matter whether you are equipped to understand their writings, or even what you are actually counting, as long as the intent has a noble social cause attached to it, and the resulting percentage has 9 as the first of two digits.”

    and

    “Confusion can be a goal. Why? Democracy inherently requires citizens to make decisions. That implies you must think for yourself. But ninety-seven says that you do not need to, because others have done the thinking for you. What a great tool for tyranny—tyranny through expertise! Just confuse people into not thinking for themselves and control what the experts are alleged to say, then you control everything.”

  7. Unbelievable. This is so wrong that it is literally disgusting.

    If I were in your shoes, I believe I would begin looking at the legal spectrum between pure defense and going full Mark Steyn. Acting would be premature but planning is good.

    It would appear that Climate debate and the Constitution are flirting with a duel.

  8. Judith –

    What happened to your expressed belief that writing Op-eds was something you wouldn’t do because it amounts to political advocacy?

    And why are you comfortable with mischaracterizing the views and actions of others when you write your Op-eds? (You know, the part about the scientists using RICO to investigate their “political opponents?”)

    • I’ve written about a dozen op-eds in the past 12 years. I am not advocating for any public policies – rather I am advocating for integrity in science. Do you have a reading comprehension problem – the RICO letter (which seems to have been taken down from the IGES site) calls out energy and fossil fuel companies because they do not support their preferred policies.

      Joshua, I am not interested in diving down one of your rabbit holes, so this line of discussion is finished.

      • Judith,

        Probably your best to date.

        Jo,,,,

        KMA

      • “Joshua, I am not interested in diving down one of your rabbit holes, so this line of discussion is finished.”

        Your patience with the man is almost superhuman.

        (aka pokerguy)

      • I see the RICO 20 includes a Dr. Robock from Rutgers. He’s the recipient of a “Fidelity Award” given to him by the Castro dictatorship. The link shows the odd looking award memento he got when he visited Cuba and met with Castro.

        I can’t help but notice the connection between those who advocate censorship/repression in the USA and are also linked to extreme left iand populist ideas.

        I have tendency to think many of them are very politically inclined and use the global warming theme as a horse they can ride to make profound changes in the world’s political structure.

        http://21stcenturysocialcritic.blogspot.com.es

      • Sorry, I linked the wrong site above. the memento given to Robock can be seen here

      • J seems to have a reasonable point. The letter calls for,
        “…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”

        Which Judith turns into this,
        ” these 20 scientists sent a letter to the White House calling for their political opponents to be investigated by the government.”

        J, rather politely, called it a “mischaracterization”.

        It’s actually an outright falsehood. A rhetorical ploy to engage the emotions, not the reason, of the audience.

        Anyone with even a tiny shred of INTEGRITY, would retract and apologise.

      • Anyone with even a tiny shred of INTEGRITY…

        Rich.

      • He’s only insecure enough to need to yell, rather than being so unself-conscious as to try to brand it with a trademark.
        ================

      • INTEGRITY ™ has nothing to do with the main line of advocacy in the target op-ed:

        Expanding the frameworks for thinking about climate change and climate policy can lead to developing a wider choice of options in addressing the risks from it.

        http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/09/28/new-low-in-science-criminalizing-climate-change-skeptics.html

        INTEGRITY ™ – Prescribing Truisms

      • Michael,

        On the contrary, you are the one at fault with your misreading of the letter and your selective quoting.

        Despite what appears an almost desperate attempt by the signers to walk back their comments and claim that their letter was very narrowly focused, they are contradicted by their own plain language. You strangely don’t quote: “If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds…”. Yes, they said “their supporters” (language that is mirrored in the Sheldon Whitehead proposal that the signers strongly endorse). That is an extremely broad category. There is no way to reconcile that with Klinger’s current claim of an investigation being “very narrowly focused”. A narrow focus is also contradicted by Whitehead’s expansive language (“span a wide range of activities”), not to mention Raul Grijalva outrageous demand. Note also Whitehead’s chilling “Civil discovery would reveal whether and to what extent the fossil fuel industry has crossed this same line.” Can any honest person doubt that will involve opponents of the alarmist position being deposed and investigated in line with Grijalva’s witch hunt?

        JC’s interpretation is well within the four walls of the letter. It would take extreme naiveté to believe that “their supporters” does not include people like JC who have testified before Congress against the alarmist position and have been specifically named by Grijalva.

        Your claim that JC is guilty of an “outright falsehood” is both reckless and false. If you had any integrity, you would apologize.

      • > You strangely don’t quote: “If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds…”.

        Don’t be shy, DavidT. Quote the whole sentence:

        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.

        https://nofrakkingconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/letterpresidentag.pdf

        I think you said something about INTEGRITY ™.

        Speaking of which, why wouldn’t it count as a way to “expand the frameworks for thinking about climate change and climate policy,” as advocated by Judy in his Fox op-ed?

      • Willard completely misses the point (I would surmise to few people’s surprise). I suggest he re-read my comment and report back (clue: focus on witch hunt and discovery).

      • > Willard completely misses the point […]

        My comment was related to the one sentence DavidT claims Michael should have quoted. He failed to quote it himself in its entirety. Interestingly, when we read the whole sentence, we see that DavidT misrepresents it. If that’s not relevant to DavidT’s point, then his “You strangely don’t quote” might not be that relevant either.

        ***

        > clue: focus on witch hunt and discovery

        We could pay due diligence to DavidT’s screed. Since it involves Judy’s interpretation of that letter, he might need to beware his wishes.

      • Hmm, so Willard believes I misrepresented the letter. He gives no coherent explanation (except for maybe bolding a few words which in his world may count as an argument). It would be really cool™, if Willard could explain his exact beef. Arguments by assertion are quite tiring and I would be happy to admit fault if so demonstrated to me. At this stage, I see no reason to accept I misrepresented anything. The signatories are calling for the investigation to include “supporters”. Perhaps he feels that this is materially modified by his bolded language. If so, it just confirms he wholly missed the point. Or maybe he is just playing silly games as seems to be his wont.

        Again, I would suggest dear Willard re-read my screed (as he so kindly puts it). I look forward to his next try (I already was honored with INTEGRITY ™. Maybe I can get a “Go Team” from him. Or, still my beating heart, a reference to “denizens”. One can always dream).

      • > Willard believes I misrepresented the letter.

        Here’s what i said:

        My comment was related to the one sentence DavidT claims Michael should have quoted. He failed to quote it himself in its entirety. Interestingly, when we read the whole sentence, we see that DavidT misrepresents it.

        The “it” refers to the sentence, the “one sentence DavidT claims Michael should have quoted”.

        ***

        DavidT must be new here. If he wishes to play the red shirt in this CB episode, so be it.

        We thank him nevertheless for his concern.

      • You are struggling, willy. Isn’t there someone you could talk to?

      • Again, it would be really cool if Willard explained his exact beef. How exactly did I misrepresent the sentence? Is this guy capable of making any sort of coherent argument or is he just here for silly games?

        Hey, Redshirts is my favorite Scalzi novel. However, I don’t think you would like the conceit.

      • DavidT

        “of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles,”

        compare

        “of the misdeeds like those that have been documented in books and journal articles,”

        The former is “narrow”
        Th latter is “broad”

        On one hand you have an expansive reading
        “supporters” could mean anyone, you, me, judith.
        On the other hand you have an apparent “narrowing”

        Supporters of misdeeds documented in books and journals might
        also be the null set.. what misdeeds? what books? what journals?
        do blogs count as journals?

        Seems to me they didnt have any one specifically targeted or any misdeeds specifically targeted.

        That ambiguity is a form of terrorism.

        Its designed to scare folks like Judith and others

      • > The signatories are calling for the investigation to include “supporters”.

        DavidT’s description is a bit short here. To see which kind of supporter the letter is refering to, let’s quote the full paragraph:

        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.

        https://nofrakkingconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/letterpresidentag.pdf

        DavidT wants Denizens (go team!) to believe that the “supporters” refer to a “very broad category” that includes “people like JC who have testified before Congress against [CAGW].” Does it mean this amounts to evidence that Judy has been guilty of documented misdeeds or that she supports abstract entities that do? In fact, which corporation in the fossil fuel industry does Judy support exactly?

        While shrieking “witch hunt!” befits a Fox News op-ed, it falls short as a rational argument.

      • Mosher,

        I will rather respond to you, as engaging with Willard’s nonsense and obfuscations is a fool’s errand. The added words in no practical way narrows the targets of an investigation. I think you recognize this when you refer to “null set” (though I think you really mean “infinite set”). As you point out, the reference to “misdeeds like those that have been documented in books and journal articles” is quite broad. Though, the problem goes well beyond this. Let us stipulate, just for the sake of argument, that this does practically narrow the set. How will anyone know if JC and others are guilty of these narrower misdeeds? This is where Whitehead’s chilling comments come into play: “Civil discovery would reveal whether and to what extent the fossil fuel industry has crossed this same line.” So an investigation. Into the companies and their supporters. Fully consistent with Grijalva’s demands. This is unaffected by the reference to books and journals. And of course, the side calling for the investigation would make the old argument – if you did nothing wrong, you have nothing to be worried about so why are you complaining. This is a well worn tactic.

        (I though I made these points with my references to discovery and witch hunt but perhaps I was being too obscure.)

        Mosh, have you been ever been subject to subpoenas and depositions on fishing expeditions when you have done nothing wrong? If you have, you will know it is terrifying (at least it is to most people).

      • I get what little willy is saying here. If you are not among the “supporters” of the Big Oil RICO conspiracy who are “documented” in books and journal articles, then you don’t have to worry. Like undocumented immigrants, you are OK.

      • DavidT | September 29, 2015 at 2:41 pm |
        “On the contrary, you are the one at fault with your misreading of the letter and your selective quoting…..
        Your claim that JC is guilty of an “outright falsehood” is both reckless and false. If you had any integrity, you would apologize.”

        I think this was been dealt with above, though extra marks to you for claiming “selective quoting” by selectively quoting.

        Though, let’s consider your proposed most generous reading of Judith’s cant.

        Judith takes this;
        ” If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles… ”

        and renders it thus;
        “” these 20 scientists sent a letter to the White House calling for their political opponents to be investigated by the government.”

        Go INTEGRITY!

        Go team!!

      • Hmmmm, a signer, or the signers, or someone, no longer wants this public letter viewed by the public. Yet there are still ‘supporters’, weighing in, or flaying in, on defense. Should the ‘supporters’ be investigated? Heh, there is no need.
        =================

      • Michael,

        As I pointed out, the quote I used was fully appropriate. Your claim remains both false and reckless. The practical implications of the proposed RICO investigation is that political opponents, like JC, would be investigated. This is straight out of the basic playbook. Your failure to retract and apologize says volumes about your integrity.

      • David (or anyone for that matter) can you explain to me how these “supporters” could be subject to prosecution under RICO. I could see those that accepted money from fossil fuel companies being interviewed by investigators, but I don’t see being how they could be prosecuted unless something surfaced that implicated them in criminal wrongdoing. And I believe it would be impossible for anyone who merely voiced skepticism, like Dr. Curry, to be prosecuted.

      • It’s tiresome enough when willy uses those lame willyisms, mikey. We don’t need copycats. Hey, are you saying that BIG OIL and supporters are not political opponents of the dastardly RICO 20?

      • There is no need to investigate, they’ve confessed. Moshe, moshe, moshe, put down your pen and pick up your phone and dial a clue.
        ===================

      • > The added words in no practical way narrows the targets of an investigation.

        More armwaving. Let’s recall those “added words”: being guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles. If these words don’t narrow the targets of an investigation, which ones will?

        ***

        > This is where Whitehead’s chilling comments come into play: […]

        And so DavidT refuses to read the “added words.” Reading anything but “their supporters” would be too “selective,” perhaps. They’re the only words that matter to his interpretation. An interpretation of an interpretation that slipperily slopes to Salem. The letter is a witch hunt because Whitehead and that’s that.

        INTEGRITY ™ in action.

      • Oops, I meant ‘flailing in’ above. I’m slipping.
        ================

      • Hmmmm, a signer, or the signers, or someone, no longer wants this public letter viewed by the public.

        But it was there on 9/20. But when I go there now, all I see is the following:

        The letter that was inadvertently posted on this web site has been removed. It was decided more than two years ago that the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES) would be dissolved when the projects then undertaken by IGES would be completed. All research projects by IGES were completed in July 2015, and the IGES web site is in the process of being decommissioned.

        “[I]nadvertently”! Huh! There’s an old saying: the guilty flee when no man pursueth.

      • RICOchet.
        =======

      • Again Willard misses the point. Let me give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he is not being deliberately obtuse. Maybe he can answer the question – without an investigation, how will we know if JC is guilty of the specified misdeeds? Does Willard honestly believe that JC would not be questioned in any RICO investigation, especially in light of Grijalva’s demands?

        Willard seems to fancy himself as some sort of master of semantics but he is being too cute. He should focus on the practical implications. The reference to specific misdeeds is from the standard playbook. It narrows nothing which he would know if he had any experience in the area (which he clearly does not). Hey, I’m only investigating you for the specific crime of xxx. But how will I know if you are guilty of the crime unless I image your hard drive and read every one of your emails. Of course, if you are innocent, you have nothing to worry about so all is good. I wonder if Willard even knows what a RICO investigation is and what incredible powers federal prosecutors have under the RICO Act. Perhaps if he did, he would not be so blase about dismissing JC’s (and others’) concerns.

      • David,

        It is interesting that you view Judith as some sort of “supporter” of the fossil fuel industry.

        How does she do this?

      • Exit [IGES], pursued by a bear (H/T Shakespeare)

      • Michael,

        I’m not calling for an investigation so it’s not my view that’s relevant here. It’s Grijalva’s (and his ilk). Why don’t you ask him?

      • Little willy could be right that once put on the scent the RICO hound dogs would only go after the miscreants guilty of misdeeds documented in unnamed books and articles. That’s how they catch most crooks. They peruse books and journal articles to see who has been up to what. The real work has already been done for the prosecutors, as the books and journal articles have documented the crimes and fingered the guilty.

      • Money trails are money trails;
        Let’s look, and see who bails.
        =======================

      • Don’t play any dumber than you actually are, mikey. You know that serial climate disinformers are working for BIG OIL.

      • DavidT | September 29, 2015 at 8:34 pm |

        ” without an investigation, how will we know if JC is guilty of the specified misdeeds? Does Willard honestly believe that JC would not be questioned in any RICO investigation, ”

        David,
        I think that might be answered by the fragment you continue to pointedly ignore in your selective quotations;
        “…the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles…”

      • Michael,

        Perhaps you missed the underlying purported justification for the RICO investigation as set out in the Whitehouse op-ed which the signatories strongly endorse. They clearly disagree with you.

        I hope you are considering an apology for your false and reckless statement and thereby salvaging some of your integrity. Otherwise, I see no point in engaging with you further.

      • ” Grijalva’”

        David,

        Is he one of the signatories to the letter?

      • DavidT | September 29, 2015 at 9:11 pm |
        “Perhaps you missed the underlying purported justification for the RICO investigation as set out in the Whitehouse op-ed which the signatories strongly endorse. They clearly disagree with you.”

        David, Yes, I’ve read it, which makes your comments all the more strange.

        “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.” – Whitehouse

        Perhaps you’re being a bit alarmist?

      • I note you did not respond as to whether you are prepared to apologize for your false and reckless statement. Your last comment is also thoroughly dishonest – you refuse to acknowledge how it completely contradicts your previous assertion (or the implications). There is no profit in continuing this exchange with you. Good bye.

      • Ricochet ‘n ‘ touche’.

      • DavidT | September 29, 2015 at 9:38 pm |
        “I note you did not respond as to whether you are prepared to apologize for your false and reckless statement. Your last comment is also thoroughly dishonest – you refuse to acknowledge how it completely contradicts your previous assertion”

        What is contradicted??

        Perhaps if you could be less vague, I’d be more obliging.

      • > Maybe he can answer the question […]

        When you need an answer to a question from someone else before you can make an argument, DavidT, it means you don’t have one.

        You asked two questions, BTW. I already answered the first one. Twice.

        As for the second one, there’s no need to entertain any counterfactual to read the damn letter, and shifting the burden of proof is unbecoming.

        Look. You don’t like the letter. Fine. Me neither. There’s nothing in your fight for freedom that requires you to misrepresent that letter.

        You have an open net and you can’t score.

        Go team!

      • Willard,

        I will try one last time with you on the assumption you are debating in good faith. I suspect your comments are based on a fundamental naiveté and lack of experience in this area (if I am wrong please correct me, but based on your points to date I would be truly surprised if you had any practical experience).

        For once, set aside semantic games and look at the realities. Judith is quite correct in saying the RICO call would result in an investigation into political enemies and I believe that I in no way misrepresented the letter.

        There is nothing novel in Sheldon Whitehouse’s call for the investigation into purported wrongdoers and associates for specified misdeeds. Whitehouse’s op-ed includes all the standard dog whistles and a variation of the claim that there is no harm in just looking. If you haven’t done anything wrong and are not guilty of specific crimes, there is nothing to worry about. The specified crimes reference does nothing to limit the targets being investigated. It is just from an age old playbook that was pioneered in contemporary times by the PSI and has been adopted by numerous crusading attorney generals, in particular those in New York who have been able to stretch the Martin Act well beyond anyone thought possible. A RICO action is like one of those investigations on steroids. By its very nature it is broad and prosecutors are given almost unprecedented powers (for the US). You will recall the background behind RICO was to target organized crime. Being caught up in any RICO investigation, even a civil action, even when completely innocent, is really bad news. Perjury traps abound; ancillary issues can get caught in the net; it is a major claim on time commitments; and legal expenses can be significant. If any RICO investigation were to begin on the terms suggested by Whitehouse, it is almost certain that people like JC would be deposed under oath. She would likely receive subpoenas for all her emails, personal or professional. I am personally doubtful this investigation will ever occur and I am heartened by the significant pushback. But JC is quite correct to be concerned and people calling her alarmist have really no idea what they are talking about. Even the threat of RICO can chill (and that is often what the aim is).

        It is bad enough for a politician like Whitehouse to go this route but is unconscionable for scientists to sign on.

        Willard, even you accept the letter is a bad idea. Again I urge you to suspend the silly semantic games. You claim I misrepresented the letter. I believe I did no such thing. But even if I did, the broader points are that the letter was poor idea, if a RICO investigation did occur, people like JC would likely be involved and JC is justified in being outraged and concerned. I hope you will at least partially concede these.

      • > You claim I misrepresented the letter.

        I already said that this was false, DavidT:

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/09/28/my-fox-news-op-ed-on-rico/#comment-733811

        Yet you repeat it twice. What were you saying again about good faith?

        All I claimed, as far as I can recall, is that you misrepresented a sentence by failing to quote it in full. Considering that this was to back up a claim that Michael failed to quote that crucial sentence, this might not be the best of times to bring up INTEGRITY ™ on that table.

        If I ever had a claim to make, it’s that you are overinterpreting the letter. Not that I need to make it. As far as I am concerned, Res ipsa loquitur.

        ***

        Now, let me ask you a question: suppose that the letter clearly indicated that it only targets institutions and not scientists, just like the signatories interpret Whitehouse’s proposal. In other words, suppose that the specific target was clearly identified as being corporations and think tanks. Would you be OK wih it?

        Here’s why I’m asking you this. I want to know if you’re using Judy as a body shield to protect pseudo-charity entities like the Heartland Institute. While I can understand some white knighting for Judy, I don’t think she ought to serve as a shield for some bogus fight for freedom that we encounter so frequently in the dark dungeons of the Internet.

        Hope this helps,

        W

      • Willard,

        Your exact words in your direct prior posting to my response: “There’s nothing in your fight for freedom that requires you to misrepresent that letter.”

        You are in no position to lecture me on integrity.

        Once you acknowledge this point, I will respond to your other query which is actually a reasonable and legitimate question.

      • Forcing: 22 PPM = 0.2 W/m2 or 0.2 K change since 1900 vs 0.7-1.0 K
        CO2 level: < 500 PPM vs 940 PPM (IPCC RCP8.5).
        Worse case 0.5 K increase vs 6 K in 2100.

        A $1.5 trillion per year global warming industry, a synthetic industry based on a false premise, is going spend a lot of money and buy a lot of influence to ensure it's survival. Hence the absurdity of the gang of 20, the 1010 videos, the endless attack on skeptical scientists etc. .etc.

        Global warmers are so desperate to keep the lie alive that they are soiling themselves and it is embarrassing.

        There should a RICO investigation into the global warming industry. A through vetting of all sources of undo influence. The "consensus" position is so from reality that ipso facto it must result from a criminal enterprise.

      • willard: DavidT wants Denizens (go team!) to believe that the “supporters” refer to a “very broad category” that includes “people like JC who have testified before Congress against [CAGW].” Does it mean this amounts to evidence that Judy has been guilty of documented misdeeds or that she supports abstract entities that do? In fact, which corporation in the fossil fuel industry does Judy support exactly?

        It is indeed a very broad category of supporters to be investigated and prosecuted. You seem to believe that Prof Curry would not be investigated because there is no documented evidence of misdeeds — but plenty of completely innocent people have been investigated, with and without RICO, some have been indicted and prosecuted, and some have been incorrectly judged guilty. The intent is clearly to investigate everyone who has written or spoken against what Sen Whitehouse thinks is the truth, and the assessment of guilt or innocence will be made by a jury subsequent to the investigation. No one is exempt from this harrassment merely because you or anybody else asserts a priori that there is no evidence of guilt.

        No one is exempt just because there is no evidence.

      • Michael: J seems to have a reasonable point. The letter calls for,
        “…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”

        Which Judith turns into this,
        ” these 20 scientists sent a letter to the White House calling for their political opponents to be investigated by the government.”

        J, rather politely, called it a “mischaracterization”.

        Do you really not understand how this works? People who disagree with what Sen Whitehouse thinks is the truth will be investigated, citing the language of the resolution as cover. Prosecutors on the Whitehouse side will claim to be acting in accordance with the language of the resolution, but no evidence of knowing deception will be required before any particular person in investigated. Only at the end of a long process (at the stage of deliberations by the Grand Jury or petite Jury) will the presence or absence of actual evidence necessarily be taken into account. Consider, as recent examples, the prosecutions of Sen Stevens of Alaska and Congressman DeLay of Texas. Sen Menendez may also be a case in point.

        I have argued elsewhere that the process will be good for the science. But it may be challenging or gruelling for particular targets. Nobody is exempt from investigation and prosecution simply by being innocent. The protections come from the juries and defense counsel.

      • > Your exact words in your direct prior posting to my response: “There’s nothing in your fight for freedom that requires you to misrepresent that letter.”

        I see. While there’s no claim there, I meant to write overinterpret. My mistake.

        Now, your turn.

      • > No one is exempt just because there is no evidence.

        And if that’s not enough, there’s still the USA Freedom Act.

        The truth is out there and black helicopters are coming.

      • willard: And if that’s not enough, there’s still the USA Freedom Act.

        The truth is out there and black helicopters are coming.

        That may be irony, exaggeration, or mockery, but it is certainly not a denial or disputation.

        The targets of any investigation as envisaged by Sen Whitehouse constitute a broad and ill-defined class.

      • > it is certainly not a denial or disputation.

        There’s no need when all you did was to +1 DavidT’s overinterpretation and repeated his misrepresentation of the sentence containing “supporters,” MattStat.

        Repeating that this could mean anyone only adds self-sealing drama.

      • Willard,

        Thank you for your acknowledgement of error. However, you just can’t resist the temptation to go back to your silly semantic games and say there is no claim. It would be better for your own INTEGRITY™ to just own your damn mistakes with no caveats. I guess your response is as close to an apology as I’ll ever see.

        So back to your question: Would I be ok if the specific target ot the investigation was clearly identified as being corporations and think tanks? (I paraphrased your question as best as I could. If I misrepresented it or overinterpreted it in any way, please do let me know. I will be eternally grateful. Ta.)

        My answer: while I am particularly offended by the clear reference to “supporters”, I still would not support this particular investigation, for a number of reasons:
        1) One of the great things about America is that you are allowed to lie. This is protected by the First Amendment (with obviously some exceptions). Criminalizing false statements is a slippery slope and courts have for very good reasons been reluctant to go there. I would suggest you research Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus with respect to an Ohio false statements law.
        2) I have made this point a number of time already. RICO investigations are by their nature broad. The whole point of a RICO action is to make leaders of a syndicate responsible for actions of others carrying out their wishes. In practice, this would bring scientist who testified against the alarmist position into the investigation whether or not they were specifically identified as a target up front. Claiming that a RICO investigation is narrowly focused is a contradiction in terms. If you had any practical experience in this area, this would be obvious to you and you wouldn’t be going down this “overinterpret” rabbit hole.
        3) I am strongly opposed to zealous prosecutors pushing the boundaries of laws beyond original intent. RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) was a statute aimed at the Mafia. It was part of the Organized Crime Control Act. As a result the powers given to prosecutors are significant, and even scary. Prosecutors can seize a defendant’s assets directly after an indictment making it difficult to even pay a defense attorney. The mere threat of a RICO indictment has persuaded people to plead guilty. Using a statute of this power to investigate an insignificant, small budget organization like Heartland is chilling.

        Did I answer your question to your satisfaction?

      • Thank you for your answer, DavidT.

        Whitehouse’s op-ed [1] specifically mentions the RICO case against the tobacco industry [2]. If I read your (1) correctly, either the tobacco industry should be allowed to lie because America is just great, or that case belongs to one of the exceptions you allude to. Which is it?

        As you may well know, RICO [3] applies to racketeering and not simply proferring false statements, contrary to what your candid “slippery slope” induces. A pattern of fraudulent activities needs to be established. Paying due diligence to the RICO case against the tobacco industry might offer a more solid ground for disputing Whitehouse’s suggestion than invoking the first Amendment. Sometimes, for instance when Kellogg uses that argument to justify their right to say that their Cocoa Crispies improve the immunity system of kids who eat them [4], it just sounds silly.

        Due diligence to the RICO case against the tobacco industry [5] would also be more convincing than “but Mafia,” (paraphrasing your argument the best I can; if I misrepresent it, etc). Reading its Wiki entry suffices to see that the RICO statute can be useful for matters as diverse as anti-SLAPP (!?), Catholic sex abuse cases (!!), the Gil Dozier affair (a civil servant!), the Key West police department, financier Michael Milken, and many other interesting cases, including the recent one about FIFA. It is quite interesting that thy Wiki does not mention the RICO case against the tobacco industry.

        I note that the most you could find so far regarding the predicament of “supporters” is the possibility that it would bring scientist who testified against the alarmist position into the investigation. I also note that you use the CAGW meme to express that possibility. Documenting how scientists were treated in the RICO case against the tobacco industry might provide you with a better fighting chance that to raise the possibility that scientists would need to testify in cases where they have ties with think tanks such as the Heartland Institute. We both know scientists who don’t even need to be subpoenaed to testify. We both know scientists who are getting doxxed as we speak because they dared to suggest that we pay due diligence to the oil industry the same way was done to the tobacco industry.

        The virtues preached in the auditing sciences circles seem to be relative, as always.

        ***

        As for your “silly semantic games” sneer, you have yet to acknowledge that your use of word of “claim” is wrong, that you were wrong the first time you made the same accusation [6], and notwithstanding the ad homs, the authority appeals, the tu quoques, the slippery slopes, and all the other nifty tricks you used to fight for freedom, the beauty of America, and INTEGRITY ™. I’m quite content with claiming that you’re overinterpreting. Your last response only reinforces it: America, first amendment, Mafia… As a matter of fact, it would be suboptimal to say that you are misinterpreting, unless there’s an easy way to get out of your self-sealing dramatization of all this episode.

        The reason why I dislike that letter is that looking at the RICO case against the tobacco industry might suffice to convince anyone that writing op-eds is not what worked. More generally, I suggest that writing op-eds should be left to contrarians. That’s what they do best.

        [1]: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/03/sheldon-whitehouse-climate-fraud_n_7504710.html
        [2]: http://www.justice.gov/civil/case-4
        [3]: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act
        [4]: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2009/11/cocoa-krispies-ditches-controversial-claim/29667/
        [5]: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/The_U.S._Government%27s_racketeering_case_against_Big_Tobacco
        [6]: judithcurry.com/2015/09/28/my-fox-news-op-ed-on-rico/#comment-733811

      • The tobacco issue is that health impacts of second hand smoke is not settled science.

      • Ze issue, again. At least this squirrel presupposes that science can settle, sometimes.

        Here’s how starts a more relevant document about the tobacco case:

        Plaintiff, the United States of America (“the Government”) has brought this suit against Defendants pursuant to Sections 1962(c) and (d) of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO), 18 U.S.C. § 1961 et seq.*fn2 Defendants are manufacturers of cigarettes and other tobacco-related entities. The Government seeks injunctive relief and $289 billion*fn3 for what it alleges to be a four-decade long unlawful conspiracy to intentionally and willfully deceive and mislead the American public. The Government’s factual allegations have been described in some detail in prior opinions, and need not be repeated here. See e.g., United States v. Philip Morris Inc., 116 F. Supp.2d 131, 136-138 (D.D.C. 2000).

        http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/cases/tobacco/rjr_v_us_rico.htm

        No hit for “second hand.”

      • willard: DavidT wants Denizens (go team!) to believe that the “supporters” refer to a “very broad category” that includes “people like JC who have testified before Congress against [CAGW].” Does it mean this amounts to evidence that Judy has been guilty of documented misdeeds or that she supports abstract entities that do? In fact, which corporation in the fossil fuel industry does Judy support exactly?

        You have provided a series of “nondenial denials”, but never a proposition in disagreement. The fact is that DavidT is right: “supporters” is a broad category not limited a priori by anyone’s idea of what constitutes evidence or whether anything in particular satisfies that definition. Professor Curry could be “brought to the attention” of the investigators on the uncorroborated testimony that she might one time have spent some of her grant money on gasoline from BP, or a flight on an aircraft powered by fuel from Exxon/Mobil. The protections against a “fishing expedition” come only after the subpoenaed parties consult professional counsel or appear before the Grand Jury.

      • DavidT: 1) One of the great things about America is that you are allowed to lie. This is protected by the First Amendment (with obviously some exceptions).

        On that you are wrong.

        You are allowed to remain silent. If you lie under oath or when providing information to investigators you are liable to prosecution. Consider the cases of Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby.

        Also, it is not legal to put false claims on food and drug labels. You are also liable to prosecution if you make false claims about the working conditions in the factories where your employees make shoes.

      • willard: The Government seeks injunctive relief and $289 billion*fn3 for what it alleges to be a four-decade long unlawful conspiracy to intentionally and willfully deceive and mislead the American public.

        Nevertheless, the issue over which Oreskes included prominent scientists in the class of “Merchants of Doubt” was their testimony on the weakness of the evidence relating health to second-hand-smoke. Oreskes and her collaborators tend not to emphasize the difference, or the details of the scientific claims and counterclaims about second-hand smoke.

      • Willard,

        I am about to give up on you as I am getting tired of providing you with free lessons on law and process, but I will reply to your last attempt. Your response reinforces your deep unfamiliarity with the space. I am gratified you bothered to take a few minutes to look at Wiki, but this hardly makes you an expert. You have a tendency to try to speak authoritatively while being woefully ignorant on some basic points.

        I’ll just start with saying that I believe that I in no way misrepresented or overrepresented anything (the letter, a sentence or whatever other thing you dreamed up). You have made no coherent argument otherwise. As best as I can make out, you have a beef that that I said you claimed I misrepresented the letter but what you actually said is that I just misrepresented a single sentence in the letter. Really? And to think I accused you of playing silly semantic games. I must apologize. And I in no practical way misrepresented the sentence, as I have explained ad nauseum. You belief of misrepresentation comes from your naiveté and inexperience in the area (but now you have read Wiki, I am sure you think you are an expert!).

        As regards your point of “claim”, I have really no idea what additional crazy semantic argument you are trying to make and it is not worth my time or effort to investigate further.

        The one clear screw up was yours. You directly challenged my integrity when I replied to your exact words. You had the good sense to acknowledge your typo (you had no choice, did you?), but you weaseled out of an apology. That seems to deserve a Go Team or whatever other silly catch phrase you like to employ.

        To address some of your more substantive points:
        1) Are you honestly claiming that the original passage of RICO was not aimed to target organized crime and, in particular, the Mafia? I know I have been harping on about your ignorance of the area, but this is exhibit one. Yes, prosecutors have applied it widely in recent years but this has been highly controversial and much debated (I am sure you know this now after your extensive research). I, and many others, have been deeply troubled how this statute has stretched to areas the original drafters never envisioned. Using it as per Whitehouse’s suggestion further expands the envelope . I am not making any new arguments here. Many in the legal community are concerned with how prosecutors can use the almost unprecedented powers of this act to target suspects.

        2) I don’t understand your dismissive reference to the first amendment. This is a key point. A RICO investigation is only warranted if there is criminality. The first amendment gives broad protections to false claims. Did you bother to research the case of Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus? This is a very recent case and directly on point. Tip: if you want to save time, don’t look at the SCOTUS decision (9-0 by the way but mostly procedural issues) but go to the district court. You’re welcome.

        3) As I stated, there are of course exceptions to the first amendment as we saw in the tobacco RICO case. Be careful of expanding narrow rulings. The court found a decades-long scheme to defraud actual and potential smokers who are the companies’ own consumers. It is quite a leap to expand this ratio into debates on climate science. You are dismissive of slippery slope arguments. I am not. Again, I think your view probably stems from naiveté.

      • Matthew,

        I am not wrong. Of course lying under oath is illegal. I specifically referenced the perjury traps inherent in RICO which makes even a civil investigation chilling. But this type of testimony is not what Whitehouse is referring to (he mentions, among other things, ” a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign”). US courts have recognized broad protections for false statements under the first amendment. I even pointed to a recent case (Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus) which struck down the Ohio False Statements law as unconstitutional.

        Yes, there are exceptions to the first amendment (I said that!). But there are significant protections for most speech which includes false statements.

      • > I don’t understand your dismissive reference to the first amendment. This is a key point. A RICO investigation is only warranted if there is criminality. The first amendment gives broad protections to false claims.

        What you call a key point is actually a red herring, DavidT. Whitehouse’s proposal is not based on simply making false statements:

        Fossil fuel companies and their allies are funding a massive and sophisticated campaign to mislead the American people about the environmental harm caused by carbon pollution.

        Their activities are often compared to those of Big Tobacco denying the health dangers of smoking. Big Tobacco’s denial scheme was ultimately found by a federal judge to have amounted to a racketeering enterprise.

        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.

        Thankfully, the government had a playbook, too: the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. In 1999, the Justice Department filed a civil RICO lawsuit against the major tobacco companies and their associated industry groups, alleging that the companies “engaged in and executed — and continue to engage in and execute — a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of cigarettes, in violation of RICO.”

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-fossil-fuel-industrys-campaign-to-mislead-the-american-people/2015/05/29/04a2c448-0574-11e5-8bda-c7b4e9a8f7ac_story.html

        Your “a RICO investigation is only warranted if there is criminality” is Whitehouse’s key point, and only diminishes the plausibility of your overinterpretation of the letter.

        Red herrings ought to redden red shirts who boast about their lawful skillz. Besides, they don’t distract from ignoratio elenchis. If your ” One of the great things about America is that you are allowed to lie” was so relevant, you’d be able to mansplain to Denizens why the RICO case against the tobacco industry has not been defeated by that brilliant defense.

        ***

        Let’s take stock, setting aside DavidT’s cheapest shots:

        Accusing (September 29, 2015 at 4:18 pm) Michael of not quoting a crucial sentence that doesn’t even quote in full was suboptimal. Omitting its last bit when it undermines his reading of it was suboptimal. Failing to clearly connect its referent in Whitehouse’s op-ed was suboptimal. Proving by assertion (at 4:55 pm) that I was “missing the point” was suboptimal. Putting in my mind (at 5:38) an incorrect belief was suboptimal. Dogwhistling on the meaning of “supporters” instead of providing textual evidence was suboptimal. Armwaving (6:25) that the added words “don’t matter” was suboptimal. Reversing the burden of proof (at 8:34 pm) was subptimal. But yeah, I wrote “misinterpret” when I should have written “overinterpret.”

        All this for a silly op-ed. At least we learned that America is so great because you’re allowed to lie, and our new red shirt is big in law circles.

        Perhaps the tobacco industry should have hired him: all he would have needed was to remind the judges that America’s so great because one is allowed to lie, right?

      • > I don’t understand your dismissive reference to the first amendment. This is a key point. A RICO investigation is only warranted if there is criminality. The first amendment gives broad protections to false claims.

        What you call a key point is actually a red herring, DavidT. Whitehouse’s proposal is not based on simply making false statements:

        Fossil fuel companies and their allies are funding a massive and sophisticated campaign to mislead the American people about the environmental harm caused by carbon pollution.

        Their activities are often compared to those of Big Tobacco denying the health dangers of smoking. Big Tobacco’s denial scheme was ultimately found by a federal judge to have amounted to a racketeering enterprise.

        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.

        Thankfully, the government had a playbook, too: the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. In 1999, the Justice Department filed a civil RICO lawsuit against the major tobacco companies and their associated industry groups, alleging that the companies “engaged in and executed — and continue to engage in and execute — a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of cigarettes, in violation of RICO.”

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-fossil-fuel-industrys-campaign-to-mislead-the-american-people/2015/05/29/04a2c448-0574-11e5-8bda-c7b4e9a8f7ac_story.html

        Your “a RICO investigation is only warranted if there is criminality” is Whitehouse’s key point, and only diminishes the plausibility of your overinterpretation of the letter.

        Red herrings ought to redden red shirts who boast about their lawful skillz. Besides, they don’t distract from ignoratio elenchis. If your ” One of the great things about America is that you are allowed to lie” was so relevant, you’d be able to mansplain to Denizens why the RICO case against the tobacco industry has not been defeated by that brilliant defense.

      • Poor willy>”What you call a key point is actually a red herring, DavidT. Whitehouse’s proposal is not based on simply making false statements:”

        The call for bludgeoning BIG OIL and “supporters” with the RICO club is fundamentally based on the alleged making of false statements. If the alleged misleading campaign being highly financed by the vast BIG OIL conspiracy is not false, what’s the beef?

        You are taking up way too much space and time here with your foolishness, willy. Try to control yourself.

      • Willard,

        You are hopeless. Not one of your “sub-optimal” litany is supported by anything resembling a coherent argument. I am bored in dealing with you and providing you with free lessons that wouldn’t be needed by anyone with a basic modicum of knowledge of the subject (your comments about RICO and the mafia are just laughable). I also wait in vain for your apology for questioning my integrity based on your own damn mistake.

        I will leave with one parting shot: contrary to your innuendo, I never boasted about my “lawfull skillz”. I simply commented on your woeful ignorance in this area, something which I believe is patently apparent to any objective reader. Perhaps it would be better for you in future to concede when your knowledge is not exactly optimal – it will save you from embarrassing exchanges like these.

      • > The call for bludgeoning BIG OIL and “supporters” with the RICO club is fundamentally based on the alleged making of false statements.

        Was the RICO case against the tobacco industry fundamentally based on the alleged making of false statements, Don Don? That would be interesting to know, for according to Whitehouse:

        Big Tobacco’s denial scheme was ultimately found by a federal judge to have amounted to a racketeering enterprise..

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-fossil-fuel-industrys-campaign-to-mislead-the-american-people/2015/05/29/04a2c448-0574-11e5-8bda-c7b4e9a8f7ac_story.html

        If only the tobacco industry knew it only needed to appeal to their First Amendment.

        Speaking of which, that amendment applies to persons, right? I hope you agree, otherwise DavidT might need to lecture us on McConnell v. FEC.

      • A legend in his own wind.
        ===================

      • > “supporters” is a broad category not limited a priori by anyone’s idea of what constitutes evidence or whether anything in particular satisfies that definition.

        Why settle for the a priori when you can read the full sentence where that word appears, the paragraph that contains it, the whole letter, and the op-ed to which it refers, Matt?

        Since this has not been linked yet, here’s the abstract of Brulle 2013, cited in the letter:

        This paper conducts an analysis of the financial resource mobilization of the organizations that make up the climate change counter-movement (CCCM) in the United States. Utilizing IRS data, total annual income is compiled for a sample of CCCM organizations (including advocacy organizations, think tanks, and trade associations). These data are coupled with IRS data on philanthropic foundation funding of these CCCM organizations contained in the Foundation Center’s data base. This results in a data sample that contains financial information for the time period 2003 to 2010 on the annual income of 91 CCCM organizations funded by 140 different foundations. An examination of these data shows that these 91 CCCM organizations have an annual income of just over $900 million, with an annual average of $64 million in identifiable foundation support. The overwhelming majority of the philanthropic support comes from conservative foundations. Additionally, there is evidence of a trend toward concealing the sources of CCCM funding through the use of donor directed philanthropies.

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-013-1018-7

        Just to make sure: that’s a research on think tanks, not on Judy. To claim that the word “supporters” could mean anything and therefore nobody’s safe (paraphrasing) lacks support both in the letter and in the op-ed.

        But America’s free, so anything goes.

      • Wonder what’s considered a ‘think tank’?

        “The 2014 Budget proposes $2.7 billion for the USGCRP to support the goals set forth in the program’s current strategic plan. These activities can be grouped under the following areas: improve our knowledge of Earth’s past and present climate variability and change; improve our understanding of
        natural and human forces of climate change; improve our capability to model and predict future conditions and impacts; assess the Nation’s vulnerability to current and anticipated impacts of climate change; and improve the Nation’s ability to respond to climate change by providing climate information and decision support tools that are useful to policymakers and the general public. Reports and general information about the USGCRP are available on the program’s website, http://www.globalchange.gov.”

        https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/legislative_reports/fcce-report-to-congress.pdf

      • > Wonder what’s considered a ‘think tank’?

        Anything could be one, DannyT. On a priori ground, that world could mean just about anything. What’s the meaning of a word, would not ask John L. Austin?

        Other words don’t have that latitude. Take the very “to boast.” This:

        (1) I am bored in dealing with you and providing you with free lessons that wouldn’t be needed by anyone with a basic modicum of knowledge of the subject (your comments about X and the Y are just laughable)

        cannot be considered boasting. Nor would offering unsollicited advice that presume one’s own research can’t certainly be considered boasting:

        (2) I would suggest you research B with respect to O.

        Even providing one’s casual observation on an overall trend in a knowledge domain can’t be:

        (3) Z have recognized broad protections for false statements under A. I even pointed to a recent case (B) which struck down the O unconstitutional.

        Even when this opinion carries a judgment that appears informed:

        (4) D is a slippery slope and E have for very good reasons been reluctant to go there.

        ***

        But yeah, “supporters” can only mean WITCH HUNT ALL THE SCIENTISTS!

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        Amazingly no argument w/r/t this: “But yeah, “supporters” can only mean WITCH HUNT ALL THE SCIENTISTS!”
        Unfortunately, this (should RICO be implemented) could be the impressions of ‘the scientists’. And should that impression take root, the science could suffer. Just ask (or don’t as you can read) Dr. Pielke, Jr. about how ‘impressions’ can impact one’s choices.
        Glad to see that by appearances you are not a fan of the use of RICO in this manner.

      • That impression might need to be attuned by comparing the actual case we’re talking about with the RICO case against the tobacco industry, Danny.

        Do you think the tobacco industry could have gotten away with what it did by invoking the First Amendment, BTW?

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        The BTW question does not apply to my thinking as I don’t see the cases the same. I’m preferring to be focused on the ‘actual case’ and not the tobacco issue.
        Questions back to you. Do you see sufficient evidence to state that the ‘Grijalva’ investigation has affected at least one individual scientist, Dr. Pielke, Jr., that Dr. Pielke deserved to be investigated based on his climate views, and that others might be similarly influence in a negative fashion under the threat of a RICO investigation? Then based on that evaluation, are you sanctioning the use of RICO in the broader climate change community, fossil fuel industry soley, IPCC’s inaccuracies, and how would you narrow (if you would) to decide what areas deserve investigation (please include these specific areas……..broad, FF, IPCC). Thanks.

      • > Questions back to you.

        They don’t apply to my thinking, Danny. Thanks anyway.

        Another question: do you think that the letter is more related to Junior or the recent discovery about how Exxon’s due diligence failure regarding their own research?

        For more background:

        http://insideclimatenews.org/news/15092015/Exxons-own-research-confirmed-fossil-fuels-role-in-global-warming

        Many thanks!

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        Based on your non answers, and correction to my assumption that you were against the RICO process being used in climate, I must then presume you’re
        A-okay with this (especially since it’s not even a RICO investigation) : https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/10-1-15%20CLS%20to%20Shukla.pdf

        Then from your offering on Exxon:
        “When Exxon’s researchers confirmed information the company might find troubling, they did not sweep it under the rug.

        “Over the past several years a clear scientific consensus has emerged,” Cohen wrote in September 1982, reporting on Exxon’s own analysis of climate models. It was that a doubling of the carbon dioxide blanket in the atmosphere would produce average global warming of 3 degrees Celsius, plus or minus 1.5 degrees C (equal to 5 degrees Fahrenheit plus or minus 1.7 degrees F).” (Sensitivity seems to be a topic of debate yet today, yes?)

        and
        “Our “ethical responsibility is to permit the publication of our research in the scientific literature,” Cohen wrote. “Indeed, to do otherwise would be a breach of Exxon’s public position and ethical credo on honesty and integrity.”

        Exxon followed his advice. Between 1983 and 1984, its researchers published their results in at least three peer-reviewed papers in Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences and an American Geophysical Union monograph.”

        Then following further links I found: (NAS report: pg 132: http://www.nap.edu/read/12024/chapter/10#132) (from: http://www.nap.edu/read/12024/chapter/1)
        “Carbon Dioxide It is not possible to identify uniquely the contribution of man except by source monitoring and spectral analysis. Of particular value in carbon dioxide monitoring will be measurement of the vertical distribution on a global basis with a view to identification of sources, sinks, and transport mechanisms. This knowledge might clarify the roles of the land biota and the oceans in the atmospheric carbon cycle.”

        From interoffice correspondence of 1977: (pg 2, item #2, bottom of page.)
        “The National Academy of Sciences report concludes that:”
        “2. It does not now appear that the direct generation of heat from the production and consumption of energy over the next few centuries will cause a rise of more than 0.5C in global average air temperatures.”
        (Hmm. Seems that sensitivity issue is, well, unsettled.)

        Now admittedly, this was the 1970’s. I think the focus should be on today but you can live in the past if you chose.

        http://insideclimatenews.org/sites/default/files/documents/Government%20Meeting%20Memo%20%281977%29.pdf

      • Based on your silence about my question, Danny, I must presume you’re A-okay with the idea that Exxon’s way more relevant that Junior’s personal comfort.

        Now, to your remark about the past, I think it implies that your focus ought to be on evidence, and not on conterfactuals that conspire to make Denizens hear the sound of black helicopters.

        Speaking of which, what do you think of Enstrom’s suggestion:

        and how do you feel about diesel soot?

        Many thanks!

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        It’s obvious you care nothing about moving the conversation forward. You only care about the game of Climateball. I think I answered the Exxon question in detail. The 1970’s are history. The coming ice age of then, is history. How Exxon acted then is history. What about today: http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/environment/climate-change/managing-climate-change-risks

        Due to your lack of good faith, I have nothing further for ya! Enjoy your last word as I feel certain you won’t be able to refrain from one.

      • Danny,

        It’s quite clear that you have not answered anything I asked you. As for your question about Exxon’s actual greenwashing, I’ve added “We must consider priorities of the developing world.” in the Contrarian Matrix:

        https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com/do-no-harm/

        Their “Minimize complexity to reduce administrative costs” was also tempting. Just below it, there’s this one:

        Maximize transparency to companies and consumers.

        There’s no a priori reason that the expression “transparency” excludes any document from their archives, right?

        Oh, and please rest assured that your squirrels have not let me lose sight of the ball, which is the RICO case against the tobacco industry.

        Thank you so much for your concerns,

        W

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        Short term memory issues? I remind you this post and all of my discussion pertains to climate and not tobacco. I told you that here: https://judithcurry.com/2015/09/28/my-fox-news-op-ed-on-rico/#comment-734223

        Climateball away ‘sir’ willard. Climateball away.

      • Speaking of short term memory, Danny, I thought you announced your last comment as your parting shot. Also, please note that the bunch of squirrels you introduced (e.g. Junior’s angst) “pertains” to climate science in a very loose manner. The bottom line is that the RICO case against the tobacco industry is crucial to understand Whitehouse’s op-ed and the retracted letter:

        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.

        https://nofrakkingconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/letterpresidentag.pdf

        Follows a sentence that shan’t be quoted in full, because all that matters is the word “supporters.”

        Interestingly, focusing on that sole word (while blessing America and its First Amendment) increases the drama and distracts from paying due diligence to the RICO case against the tobacco industry, which is after all the main reason why we have this op-ed and this letter in the first place.

        But INTEGRITY ™ indeed.

      • You are fundamentally dim, willy. Like others, I am tired of your tedious BS. And I don’t have any more time for your foolishness.

      • David T: Yes, there are exceptions to the first amendment (I said that!). But there are significant protections for most speech which includes false statements.

        I stand corrected.

      • Willard: Why settle for the a priori when you can read the full sentence where that word appears, the paragraph that contains it, the whole letter, and the op-ed to which it refers, Matt?

        Are you really that stupid? You said that Judith Curry was ruled out a priori by your understanding of the letter and your understanding of evidence and the lack of any identifiable evidence relevant to her.

        But they can investigate anybody they want to. The letter specifies acts and people that they aim or hope or intend or something like that to discover; along the road, they can investigate anybody they choose on whatever whimsy prods them.

      • > You said that Judith Curry was ruled out a priori by your understanding of the letter and your understanding of evidence and the lack of any identifiable evidence relevant to her.

        Where, MattStat?

      • Not a rabbit hole, a Willard warren.
        =============

      • willard: Where, MattStat?

        willard: DavidT wants Denizens (go team!) to believe that the “supporters” refer to a “very broad category” that includes “people like JC who have testified before Congress against [CAGW].” Does it mean this amounts to evidence that Judy has been guilty of documented misdeeds or that she supports abstract entities that do? In fact, which corporation in the fossil fuel industry does Judy support exactly?

        granted, it is merely mockery, not an actual proposition or dispute. You have not written a proposition yet that is on point. It was I who pointed out that, despite your mockery, Prof Curry is actually in the ill-defined class of supporters, if the prosecutors or investigators choose to investigate or prosecute her. If you think that she isn’t, you have had and still have the opportunity to say it straight out, and elucidate why you think so.

      • > You have not written a proposition yet that is on point.

        Thanks. The only thing I did in the excerpt you quoted is to wonder why DavidT would say that “supporters” need to imply “people like JC who have testified before Congress against [CAGW]” whence the end of the sentence mentions being guilty of documented misdeeds. In other words, the very sentence that DavidT chopped to isolate the word “supporters” contain elements that can make readers doubt that the signatories had people like Judy in mind.

        My main argument against your and DavidT’s interpretation was that it is self-sealing, which implies the exact opposite of excluding Judy. If we get the black helicopters of our minds rolling, there’s no reason to exclude anyone within six degrees of separation. Since a self-sealing interpretation is hard to refute, I would be hard pressed to argue that it’s misrepresents anything. Self-sealing interpretations have a curious tendency to lead to overinterpretation.

        Another argument would be that prosecutors may not base their RICO case against Mordor on a silly letter, but then America’s so great that I can accept that just about anything goes and that since Doubt has been defeated during the RICO case against the tobacco industry, what needs to be staged is Fear and Uncertainty.

        Hope this helps,

        W

      • > it’s misrepresents anything

        Scratch that. That should read “it misinterpret anything”. Evidence-proof interpretations can’t be disproved, and thus can’t be show wrong or incorrect, technically speaking. They can be overzealous or excessive, however.

      • You can be safely ignored Willard; there are no climate science or energy policy insights coming from you.
        =====================

      • willard: In other words, the very sentence that DavidT chopped to isolate the word “supporters” contain elements that can make readers doubt that the signatories had people like Judy in mind.

        My main argument against your and DavidT’s interpretation was that it is self-sealing, which implies the exact opposite of excluding Judy.

        Exactly what I said: you have an innuendo. Anyone familiar with US history knows that the investigators/prosecutors can investigate/prosecute anyone they want to. Whom Sen Whitehouse and the RICO20 had in mind you do not know, but anyone called a “serial disinformer” by a federally funded and widely cited scientist is likely fair game.

      • willard: Another argument would be that prosecutors may not base their RICO case against Mordor on a silly letter, but then America’s so great that I can accept that just about anything goes and that since Doubt has been defeated during the RICO case against the tobacco industry, what needs to be staged is Fear and Uncertainty.

        That is a subjunctive. It begins as a subjunctive anyway, and runs on into blatant foolishness. Unrelated to Mordor, prominent scientists have criticized Prof Curry’s honesty and integrity in public; Rep Grijalva called for records about her to be turned over to his committee by GaTech. Surely that is enough for a RICO investigation to consider her a target.

        David T and I are correct: no one is beyond the threat of being investigated. The investigators can not focus on the guilty parties because there has been no trial and no judgments of who is and who isn’t guilty. Investigators have to start with companies and their “supporters” against whom allegations have been made, and the allegations do not have to be what you or I would consider credible.

      • > Exactly what I said: you have an innuendo.

        I’d rather say the opposite of what I said, and what I claim is a bit stronger than innuendo.

        Besides that, I agree.

        ***

        > Anyone familiar with US history knows that the investigators/prosecutors can investigate/prosecute anyone they want to.

        Then hissing over the word “supporters” in that letter gets even more absurd as it already was.

        Anyone familiar with the RICO case against the tobacco industry knows that prosecuting corporations is already so tough that it might not be the best of times for prosecutors to overstep their boundaries and start investigating for the fun of it.

        Anyone familiar with the stock exchange knows that Exxon is one of the biggest beasts in the corporate world.

        Anyone familiar with the Denizens’ modus operandi knows that just about any game of parsomatics is good as long as we don’t talk about the elephant in the roomé

        Anyone familiar with this conversation knows that the elephant in the room is the RICO case against the tobacco industry.

        Anyone familar with rhetoric knows about sentences that start with “anyone familiar knows”.

      • > The investigators can not focus on the guilty parties because there has been no trial and no judgments of who is and who isn’t guilty.

        That’s an elegant way to misinterpret “being guilty of documented misdeeds.” This time, it’s quite clearly a misinterpretation. Not an overinterpretation: a misinterpretation.

        All this for the self-sealing “no one is beyond the threat of being investigated.”

        The enemy is us, and black helicopters are coming.

      • willard: That’s an elegant way to misinterpret “being guilty of documented misdeeds.” This time, it’s quite clearly a misinterpretation. Not an overinterpretation: a misinterpretation.

        Not so. It is a “literal” interpretation. It highlights the fact that merely being “innocent” does not exempt someone from being investigated or prosecuted.

        David T and I are correct: No one is free from the threat of being investigated should Sen Whitehouse’s proposal be acted upon.

      • > Not so. It is a “literal” interpretation.

        I’m not sure how you can claim that “there has been no trial and no judgments of who is and who isn’t guilty” rests on a litteral interpretation of “being guilty of documented misdeeds” with as straight face, Matt.

        Your deadpan interpretation is remarkable.

        ***

        > David T and I are correct: […]

        More than that, Matt: there’s absolutely no a priori reason to exclude your interpretation. Which means it’s more than correct: it’s self-sealing. You don’t even need to bother to read the letter or the op-ed to rinse and repeat. Which is exactly what DavidT did and what you still do.

        Well played!

        ***

        Now, let me ask you a question (H/T the Auditor): do you think the tobacco industry could have escaped the RICO case against them by appealing to the First Amendment?

      • willard: do you think the tobacco industry could have escaped the RICO case against them by appealing to the First Amendment?

        No.

        How about you? Do you think that Prof Curry could be one of the targets of an investigation carried out pursuant to Sen Whitehouse’s letter?

      • > No.

        Thank you, Matt. If America’s constitutional right to lie fails to be relevant in the RICO case against the tobacco industry, then I fail the see why it would be relevant in a RICO case against the fossil fuel industry.

        ***

        > Do you think that Prof Curry could be one of the targets of an investigation carried out pursuant to Sen Whitehouse’s letter?

        I don’t see any a priori reason why not, since nobody’s safe. Even you, Matt. Perhaps even me, if we interpret the “is a supporter” as a transitive relationship.

        We could even generalize beyond RICO: no one who deals with the US government is beyond the threat of being investigated. Just look at what Lamar just did. A simple recipe: remind the recipient of the threat of his financial obligations; tell him he has partisan activities; ask him to keep his emails and stuff.

        Amerca’s a wonderful place, ain’t it?

        ***

        Let me ask you another question. Have you ever read Maccracken’s letter to Exxon? Here:

        http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2006/11/23/michael-maccrackens-2002-letter-to-the-exxonmobil-board-of-directors/

        An interesting story. For another time, perhaps.

        Ta.

      • willard: I don’t see any a priori reason why not, since nobody’s safe. Even you, Matt.

        That expresses the broad interpretation of “supporters”.

      • The little fella keeps taking a beating hoping he can wear you down, matt. The old rope-a-dope ploy from the Rumble in the Jungle. But he doesn’t realize that he is the dopee. Little dude has got no end game. Floats like a butterfly and stings like a butterfly.

      • > That expresses the broad interpretation of “supporters”.

        Indeed. In contrast, if you read the abstract of Brulle 2013 (cited in the letter) you get two interrelated interpretations of the “A supports B” relationship:

        An examination of these data shows that these 91 CCCM organizations have an annual income of just over $900 million, with an annual average of $64 million in identifiable foundation support.

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-013-1018-7

        The first interpretation is made explicit by the quote: A supports^1 B iff A finances B’s activities. In that case, the fossil fuel industry could be said to be supporting think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and the Heartland Institute.

        The second interpretation goes in the other direction and designates the support^2 B brings to A in exchange of its support^1. In (other) words, support^2 would be the kind of support think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute or the Heartland Institute provide to the fossil fuel industry.

        If that reading is correct, then the main “supporters” the signatories are referring to as think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute or the Heartland Institute.

        Now, we could extend this analysis to include the supporters of these supporters. We could also extend the nature of the support these supporters provide, either directly to think tanks or to indirectly to the fossil fuel industry. To see how that analysis could be extended, I duly submit that looking at the RICO case against the oil industry is the way to go.

        ***

        Of course, none of this not exclude the broad interpretation of the support relationship put forward by DavidT and Matt. This interpretation leads us to entertain the possibility that nobody’s excluded.

        As long as black helicopters can reach you, don’t ever think you’re safe.

      • > Little dude has got no end game.

        So far, we only covered the word “supporters,” Don Don. It’s a bit early to talk about endgames. Also, the Audit game never ends.

      • Danny Thomas

        Don,
        Evidence to support your contention that there is no end game?
        “Also, the Audit game never ends.”

      • Erratum:

        > I duly submit that looking at the RICO case against the oil tobacco industry.

        Since I’m here, here’s a paragraph from Brulle 2013:

        A number of analyses have shown that one major factor driving this misunderstanding and an overall lack of legislative action is a deliberate and organized effort to misdirect the public discussion and distort the public’s understanding of climate change (National Research
        Council 2011: 35). This literature has revealed a great deal about the nature of efforts to deny and/or distort climate science. It clearly shows that a number of conservative think tanks, trade associations, and advocacy organizations are the key organizational components of a wellorganized climate change counter-movement (CCCM) that has not only played a major role in confounding public understanding of climate science, but also successfully delayed meaningful government policy actions to address the issue.

        https://drexel.edu/~/media/Files/now/pdfs/Institutionalizing%20Delay%20-%20Climatic%20Change.ashx

        Let’s hope Lamar has not read Brulle 2013, or that if he did Brulle kept all his emails.

      • ==> “As long as black helicopters can reach you, don’t ever think you’re safe.”

        Maybe I should start getting concerned because I comment at Climate Etc., and increase Judith’s traffic. I also link to Judith’s site at other sites without using a webpage capture, again, perhaps increasing traffic.

        I’ve also said that I don’t doubt Judith’s integrity or sincerity.

        Uh oh! I’d better get going on finishing that shelter.

      • I don’t feel a need to produce any evidence of willy’s shortcomings, Danny.

      • Danny Thomas

        Don,
        Wasn’t asking for that. He provided it in the quote that ‘the audit never ends’ (and lots of other ways). Sorry I wasn’t clear.

      • I was wondering if we were talking about the same clown. Thanks, Danny.

      • Don Monfort: The little fella keeps taking a beating hoping he can wear you down, matt.

        For whatever reason(s), he has endorsed a view that he earlier and repeatedly mocked.

        willard: Indeed! exclamation added

      • > For whatever reason(s), he has endorsed a view that he earlier and repeatedly mocked.

        Where, and which part of “self-sealing” do you not get, Matt?

      • > I quoted where [1].

        Concuring on what expresses the broad interpretation of “supporters” does not imply I endorse it, Matt, more so when I immediately contrast it with an interpretation based on evidence one can find by reading the letter. It just indicates that we may be talking about the same thing.

        ***

        > Is “self-sealing” the reason that you shifted from mockery to agreement with a statement that you originally said was mischaracterized?

        That we agree on the expression of your self-sealing overinterpretation does not imply I ever stopped criticizing it, Matt. It took you a while to get that there was no need for me to disprove it to show how ridiculous it was. Should I stop using black helicopters and switch to drones?

        As for the second part of your rhetorical question, I have no idea what it means. By “mischaracterized,” are you referring to your misinterpretation of the “guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles” bit?

        [1]: https://judithcurry.com/2015/09/28/my-fox-news-op-ed-on-rico/#comment-734511

    • It’s obvious they are calling for the investigation of political opponents. Most scientists can’t even begin to afford to fight any kind of RICO investigation. They would be destroyed by it. So even if no RICO investigation takes place, anyone out there who was considering voicing any dissenting opinion would be thinking twice about it. Judith is incredibly brave to be risking more of their use of the legal system to silence dissent.

    • No carrot today, little unmentionable one.

    • Hey J0shua what’s it like being in moderation? I’m here to tell you it’s a great improvement for the rest of us to have your empty blather so constrained! Have a great day.

    • The only “mischaracterizing” seems to be that you are a sentient being, and not just a mindless drone who failed reading 101.

    • “You know, the part about the scientists using RICO to investigate their “political opponents?”

      There are some silly comments from Joshua, but this is one of the worst ones.

      Lets see, the RICO20 approve of Democrat Senator Whitehouse’s RICO idea and both site Brulle 2013.

      What does Brulle 2013 say in its conclusion?

      “This counter-movement involves a large number of organizations, including conservative think tanks, advocacy groups, trade associations and conservative foundations, with strong links to sympathetic media outlets and conservative politicians.”

      As well as…

      “The roots of climate-change denial go deeper, because individuals’ efforts have been bankrolled and directed by organizations that receive sustained support from foundations and funders known for their overall commitments to conservative causes.”

      And

      “In the drama of climate change, these are often prominent contrarian scientists or conservative politicians, such as Senator James Inhofe.”

      So Judith is correct, unless somehow groups that oppose someone’s political goals in Joshua’s mind are not actually “political opponents”.

      Bonus… No, in no way is it “very narrowly focused”. Once you start naming hundreds of organizations in just one journal example provided by the RICO20, the focus is not narrow in the slightest.

    • willard: Where, and which part of “self-sealing” do you not get, Matt?

      I quoted where. Is “self-sealing” the reason that you shifted from mockery to agreement with a statement that you originally said was mischaracterized?

  9. Judith,

    Probably your best to date.

    Joshua, KMA!

  10. When a mind such a Pielke, Jr. backs out of the fray I fear we are all the poorer.

    In appreciation for this: “That is how democracy is supposed to work. We search for solutions that can garner a critical mass of support. We don’t try to criminalize our political opponents, and especially should not try to criminalize scientists who have a different view.”

    Unfortunately climate blogs don’t seem all that democratic in that there is so much acrimony we don’t even discuss ‘solutions that can garner a critical mass of support’.

    Dr. Curry, this is already water under the bridge, but I agree with Khal Spencer’s thinking that providing this (even though invited) to Fox is a bit of preaching to the choir. Even those who disagree on climate arguments can agree that RICO is an inappropriate mechanism as this can surely come back to bite others in different topics. Thinking more left leaning publications would be an interesting venue in which to offer this up for discussion.

    It’s a sad state of affairs that some chose to even consider this approach.

    • The problem with getting this sort of oped published in left leaning pubs, which frankly represents most pubs, is that many are culpable parties in advancing false narratives; they’re the heart, soul and mouthpiece for the full tilt fear mongering and propaganda that’s been going on for ages now. So while some of them may agree that RICO is going too far, there’s little incentive to not let the ends justify the means.

      If Fox decides to run with this then it puts an uncomfortable spotlight on climate thugs. Frankly it may be enough to have them scurry back into the shadows.

      • JT,
        I’m just hopeful for an adult to show up. The sense is Paris doesn’t look too good right now. India wants a pass as the world ‘owes’ them the right to emit pollution of all kinds (not just CO2) while everyone else cuts back (at what damage to their own economies).

        By wishfully thinking an acknowledgement of the issues might bring about some semblance of adult conversation and a reduction in devisiveness on the part of the left who knows what may come of it?

        Fox has run with this, and due to the source (Fox, I mean) what kind of response is expected from the ‘other side’?

      • So far it’s just an article, the story may not advance further at this stage. However JC at minimum has Fox’s ear. If the left advances RICO further then I believe all sorts of hell and damnation will rain down on the offending party, not just spotlight but financial resources too if needed, depending on the level of bullying. That’s my speculation.

      • JT,
        I’m with ya. Hoping the left will not only call off the hounds but chastise them thoroughly for even the consideration. It can only end well should this happen. The damage in all directions, should it not, would take years to heal. And as Dr. C says this is about the integrity of the science.

        The possibility Dr. Pielke, Jr. remains away (and others like him) is the kind of damage which concerns me.

      • Spread this article far and wide. Get it OUT THERE!!

    • Danny, once Fox has published it, others can pick it up. I’d be surprised if The Australian doesn’t, and some other Oz media might too (although the majority are warmanista zombies). Likewise The Daily Mail at least in the UK.

  11. ‘Legalized persecution,’ there’s a contradiction in terms,
    there’s a perversion of the integrity of science, of open
    society enquiry.

  12. Christopher Essex has an article in Breitbart: Climate and Punishment
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/28/climate-and-punishment/

    • Maybe, just maybe, it would be worth it to research how RICO was applied to the tobacco industry and what the outcome was before spreading Breitbart-style hysteria.

      http://www.dwlr.com/blog/2011-05-12/rico-convictions-major-tobacco-companies-affirmed

    • Thanks for that link. It is a really good article.

    • There may be an answer in the Essex article that’s missing from the putrid, morally obtuse thinking of the folks who seem to be defending a RICO case against scientists and anyone associated with them (or any organization that disputes the catastrophic nature of climate change). That Whitehouse and the 20 have asked for this types them as fascists for the cause and thoroughly immoral. When people behave this way the idea that we hope it all blows over and we go back to some semblance of rational discourse is, I believe, a tactical mistake. These people, peddling evil, have suffered nothing for doing so. They get to threaten RICO and it costs them nothing. If nothing else, they have moved the goal posts closer to the application of this kind of abuse of power, they have tested the waters to see what kind of support they can drum up for it, they have tested the waters to see who and how many in the government would support such action. They have inured us to the possibility, even if just a little bit and yet they have suffered nothing, it has cost them nothing. That is a tactical mistake for those who value freedom and rationality.
      These people who advance this kind of abuse of power need to pay, it needs to cost them, they need to be hurt.
      Perhaps public ridicule and humor, the way Essex has done it will be sufficient. Perhaps not. But they need to pay a price for this egregious immoral behavior.

  13. stevenreincarnated

    The lack of self awareness by the RICO20 makes you wonder just how common such lucrative work in the climate industry is.

  14. Thank you for the credit you bring to my alma mater, Dr. Curry.

  15. In Europe you can be jailed for denying one massacre and shunned for admitting to another. (Thinking of the systematic cleansing of Vendeen peasants during the French revolution in contrast to you-know-what in Germany and Eastern Europe more recently.)

    They say truth will out but that is only if information is available fresh and if it is checked and challenged when fresh. History is not always on the side of truth. Many fibs have lived long though the reality was right under the believers’ noses when checking was possible. So let’s challenge and check relentlessly now.

    Sheldon Whitehouse and the signatories of that letter can just go to buggery.

  16. The problem is that there are still a lot more Republicans saying that humans are not the major cause of climate change than the population at large, and they vote that way too. This is directly traceable to fossil fuel funds for their party that puts all their views on science into lockstep. These funds are producing wrong science that has not been published, but is still being pushed at Congress by thinktanks that also get fossil fuel funds. The whole thing about money funding a wrong idea that is convenient for a particular industry (as with tobacco) makes it easy to see that there is something wrong, and perhaps something should be done about it. Remember, this idea of low human attribution is not even publishable, yet it drives votes that do matter for the future. The science to policymaking route is being short-circuited too easily by wealthy industries. It’s a problem of money in politics, which some might call racketeering.

    • JimD – “…money in politics…”

      You are talking about Solyndra, Tesla, subsidies for solar panels, net metering and all the other crony capitalism, right?

      Yes, a massive and shameful transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich should indeed justify a RICO investigation.

      • Democrats are not being told how to vote by Solyndra and Tesla. They actually believe the scientific consensus, as do most of the population, and what kind of policies that leads to. The outliers are all on the other side.

      • bedeverethewise

        The “scientific consensus” is much, much narrower than you think it is. It includes the facts that: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, burning fossil fuels increases the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere should cause some warming. That is it.

        There is no consensus scientific of otherwise on the right course of action to deal with it.

      • JD, it is curious that there are no Democratic politicians who are skeptical of the catastrophic narrative. There is only one side of the ideological divide which is monolithic in belief about the climate, locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

        Very fragile, scientifically. This is a political weakness, too.
        =====================

      • The “scientific consensus” is much, much narrower than you think it is. It includes the facts that: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, burning fossil fuels increases the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere should cause some warming. That is it.

        Quoted for truth.

        There is no consensus scientific of otherwise on the right course of action to deal with it.
        Or even if there’s a problem that needs dealing with.

      • bedeverethewise

        TE,
        Should have been:
        There is no consensus, scientific or otherwise, on the right course of action to deal with it.

        The fact that we are changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere without knowing the ramifications of that action may be a problem. If its a problem, how much of a problem and what actions if any should be taken should all be up for discussion.

      • Jimd

        Presumably you are not a user of fossil fuels in any shape or form in your everyday life ?

        Otherwise some here might unkindly think you somewhat hypocritical for so robustly condemning them so frequently.

        Tony

      • “Democrats are not being told how to vote by Solyndra and Tesla. They actually believe the scientific consensus, as do most of the population, and what kind of policies that leads to. The outliers are all on the other side.”

        One of the most myopic, naive comments I have seen here.

      • Jim D: Democrats are not being told how to vote by Solyndra and Tesla.

        You made that up. Besides their expensive direct lobbying efforts, those companies donate to candidates’ elections.

    • Scratch the hope based on my naivete’ in hoping that someone on the left might just be the adult in the room and stand up and say this use of the THREAT of RICO prosecution against scientists is NOT the way to go. Jim D just burst that bubble as it sounds like he’s all for it!

      Jim D states: “It’s a problem of money in politics, which some might call racketeering.” so he’s choosing to not stand up as a voice against the RICO THREAT as he apparently realizes that there is way too much politics in science.

      Pretty much makes me wanna give up on that route and cheer on Fox News!

      • Please do. The cloak will be off.

      • JCH chimes in as yet another with left leanings who obviously agrees that the THREAT of RICO is a good choice to insure critics are silenced.

        (Oh, and just so ya know JCH I’m not a fan of Fox. Too propaganda oriented for me. But for this, I’ll happily make an exception).

        Hoping for an adult to stand up from those with a left leaning view was apparently expecting too much.

        I’ve learned quite a lot from this post. And it’s disheartening.

      • Danny, the science is being short-circuited by funding. Perhaps some see RICO as a way to get science to have the clout it should by itself. It really is just a tool to try to fix a broken system, but it doesn’t fix the root cause of the problem.

      • Jim D,
        What you’re stating is that the loss of a voice such as Dr. Pielke, Jr. is just fine. The ends justify the means? Silence all critics with the THREAT of RICO?
        No sir. That’s not how science should be done.
        Science is not being ‘short circuited’ by funding. How many dollars does the FF industry provide to the university system, Jim? How many? How many FF related dollars is Tom Steyer using? How many millions did Sierra Club take from an energy firm to fight against coal?

        You and I have had this discussion before. There are no clean hands here. And using RICO or the threat of similar as was done to the seven (Dr. Curry who managed to get past it, and Dr. Pielke Jr. who chose otherwise) is a loss to science and a victory for what, intimidation? If you’re okay with that, that says much about you and those who think along those lines. You have a choice to make here and I hope you’re comfortable making it.

        If the science is strong, it will stand. If the science is not strong, it deserves to be rebutted.

      • Danny, exactly the point is that money should have no bearing on how the science is used in policy. It doesn’t matter how much money each side has, or rather it shouldn’t. The science speaks for itself. Find a low attribution paper, for example, before arguing for it in front of Congress. My opinion is that RICO is an imperfect tool to try to mitigate a different problem.

      • “It doesn’t matter how much money each side has, or rather it shouldn’t. ”

        Naive. Of course the money matters; it more than matters and it’s mostly one sided. Money is central to CAGW planning and execution towards advancing policy goals. The global funding behind the science by governments alone is staggering; the dollar value of media punditry could probably fund a space program to mars, the organizations behind CAGW and the messaging makes big oil look like paupers in comparison. The left uses the big oil meme because it sounds good, but they wouldn’t quantify a comparison in expensing punditry if they could because the starkness in contrast would be astonishing, big oil wouldn’t have profits at all if they exercised the same funding. The UN global fund, carbon credit racket; this is all about money, money, money. “It doesn’t matter how much money each side has”. Really?

      • Jim D: “The science is being short circuited by funding.”

        One of the first rules of accounting is “Follow the money.” Jim D proves he is no accountant.

        Jim, follow the money. Then provide facts. Like this: Chesapeake Energy giving Sierra Club $26 million.

    • so jimd, let’s just manipulate the data, adjust the temperature record endlessly, ignore that temps have failed to do what the models forecasted and claim that the debate is over. The real fraud is commited by the warmists, but in the orwellian state we now live in, black is white and the warmunistas will use gestapo measures if they can get away with it to silence anyone who exposes the lie.

      • Yes, it’s a conspiracy, and Exxon was in on it back in the 70’s too according to the ICN reports on their early research. Great theory. How do you explain Exxon’s original view?

      • Jim D,
        Exxon’s original view? Back in the 70’s when there was the threat of a coming ice age (had to toss that in).

        Jim, what is Exxon’s CURRENT view? Isn’t that what matters if one is advocating going after them with RICO statutes?

      • Exxon originally used its own science to promote a view internally that fossil fuels would be phased out in favor of alternatives, and they started to plan for that. They even wanted to recruit Schneider and Broecker, who they respected in climate science.

      • JimD,
        I read frequently about how ‘skeptics’ are conspiracy theorists. Wonder who the actual (or should I say alternative) conspiracy theorists are? Seems I speaking (writing) with one, eh?

      • Explain why Republicans have a view on the science that differs not only from the scientists, but also the majority of the population. It’s not hard to see why. Call it a conspiracy, if you want.

      • JimD,
        Response to 3 in 1.
        You consider RICO an imperfect tool in this use. I don’t consider it a tool at all.
        Again, what is Exxon’s current (not 1970’s) view on CC?
        And finally, you’re the one who explicitly used the term conspiracy. I just shined the light and showed you the mirror.

      • Exxon’s single-minded view as I said elsewhere here is to keep oil sales up. They probably don’t like that demand is dropping and overseas production is cheaper, and so they have to practically give the stuff away at not much over $2.00 per gallon, which is an area where they differ from the public at large who welcome low fuel prices.
        You didn’t answer why elected Republicans have the almost 100% view that warming is not mostly manmade and therefore that emissions should not be reduced, which sets them apart from the population, not just from scientists. What drives them to this divergence of thought? What common idea do they have that motivates this thinking? I don’t think it is a conspiracy, but a practical control over them by their party. They don’t have much independent say at all in this area.

      • Jim D,
        Many times I’ve asked you for sources and links and you’ve not responded. Now you chide me for “You didn’t answer why elected Republicans have the almost 100% view that warming is not mostly manmade and therefore that emissions should not be reduced,………….”

        as if you wish me to be a mind reader of some kind?

        Why did Shukla take handle things as he’s done?

        Did you take a look at the links here: https://judithcurry.com/2015/09/28/my-fox-news-op-ed-on-rico/#comment-733737

      • The only conspiracy is in the minds of those who eant us to live in mud huts and use dung for cooking. As I commented below, you and others see only evil in fossil fuels while willfully ignoring that the benefits far outweigh the negatives. It is the left that has made it nearly impossible to have a rational discussion, as evidenced by the letter, climategate, gleick’s illegal acyions, the policy on many warmists sites to moderate away skeptical comments and not allow links to skeptical sites. The level of dishonesty is breathtaking as is the blind ideology that allows the lie of agw to continue.

      • And, as to exxon or any other company looking to develop alternatives, why would they not? They are, afterall, an energy company, and as oil and gas become less abundant, it eould serve them well to find viable alternatives.

      • Many European oil companies continue to look to alternatives, while Exxon chose to drop their science programs and instead back thinktanks that oppose alternative energy or mitigation. They made a 180 degree turn in the 1980’s, and their greatest fear is now a reduced consumption of oil which steers them counter to the common interest.

      • ‘How do you explain Exxon’s original view?”

        The promoters of this illogical assault, and the basis for some of the RICO nonsense, assume that because Exxon has their own scientists that whatever data those scientists come up with is apolitical and therefore unassailable fact. The assumption is preposterous on a number of levels. Any CEO reviewing and utilizing science recognizes the potential for internal politics aligning with the external political landscape.

        Since the left is conspiratorial in their effort to take down big oil, wouldn’t you have to believe big oil would stack their ranks with non believer CAGW scientists if they wanted to promote fraud of any kind? This battle has been going on for decades. But of course these companies didn’t, and don’t, but if they were evil like you believe why wouldn’t they? What they do is promote counter views, not just in science, but in any business planning. Therefore, in the case of climate, they also hire scientists such as Soon. Now isn’t it ironic how the left gravitates to the scientists employed by big oil that support their views, yet distance and chastise those scientists working for big oil that don’t support their views? Amazing isn’t it? So big oil gets info from various sources to build as good of a apolitical picture for their business interests as possible. They evolve the way their company does business based on risk assessment. Big oil is involved in carbon futures trading and has obviously worked to distance themselves from the politics that attacks them, some even advocate certain AGW policies, they’re survivors, why shouldn’t they be?

      • The old dudes who ran Exxon in the 70s are DEAD, yimmy. Exxon is not a person. Try to get in touch with the real world. There is not going to be a RICO case. That ploy is a transparent and shameless attempt at intimidation.

      • > Exxon is not a person.

        Incorrect:

        As a matter of interpretation of the word “person” in the Fourteenth Amendment, U.S. courts have extended certain constitutional protections to corporations. Some opponents of corporate personhood seek to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit these rights to those provided by state law and state constitutions.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood

        As you may well know, this is why phony 401s such as the Heartland Institute are allowed to spout their nonsense.

        I’ve got a question for you, Don Don: do you know which amendment corporations exploited to become persons?

      • Legal fiction, little willy.

        Little yimmy’s allegation:”Exxon originally used its own science to promote a view internally that fossil fuels would be phased out in favor of alternatives, and they started to plan for that. They even wanted to recruit Schneider and Broecker, who they respected in climate science.”

        Assuming for the sake of argument that yimmy’s story about the original Exxon view is true, the people who were running the company at that time are DEAD. Exxon is now under different, less gullible, management. Exxon management’s view has changed. They are allowed to do that. Where is the conspiracy? Who are the conspirators?

        The Republicans will control the Congress and the Executive branch after the next election. They will roll back the useless CO2 mitigation schemes imposed by Obama and his minions at EPA. You going to be hollering about RICOing them, willy?

      • > Exxon is now under different, less gullible, management.

        It’s still a person, Don Don, contrary to what you claim. That gives em rights. The same that were given to freed slaves.

        Let me ask you a question: do you think that BP would stop being responsible for the Gulf oil spill if its management was replaced by less gullible people?

      • You are ignorant, little willy. Corporations do not have the same rights as freed slaves. Don’t be a fool.

        We are not talking about an oil spill, little willy. We are talking about management in the 1970s allegedly having a different view than subsequent management. Do you think that corporate managers in this century inherit an obligation to abide by the views of the DEAD dudes, who ran the company in the 1970s? You need to get out more.

      • > Corporations do not have the same rights as freed slaves.

        That’s not what I said, Don Don. What I said is that corporations were given the same rights freed slaves asked for under the 14th amendment. Here, from the link I already gave you:

        After the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1868, there was some question as to whether the Amendment applied to other than freed slaves, and whether its protections could be invoked by corporations and other organizations of persons.

        The primary purpose of the 14th Amendment was undoubtedly to protect freed slaves. However, the Amendment applies to all Americans, not only freed slaves and their descendants.

        Following the reasoning of the Dartmouth College case and other precedents (see below, Case law in the United States), corporations could exercise the rights of their shareholders and these shareholders were entitled to some of the legal protections against arbitrary state action. Their cause was strengthened by the adoption of general incorporation statutes in the states in the late 19th century, most notably in New Jersey and Delaware, which allowed anyone to form corporations without any particular government grant or authorization, and thus without the government-granted monopolies that had been common in charters granted by the Crown or by acts of the legislature. See Delaware General Corporation Law. In Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad (1886), the Supreme Court held, ipse dixit, that the Fourteenth Amendment applied to corporations. Since then the Court has repeatedly reaffirmed this protection.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood

        Now, let me ask you this: have you seen how well U.S students grasp their history? Here:

        American students are less proficient in their nation’s history than in any other subject, according to results of a nationwide test released on Tuesday, with most fourth graders unable to say why Abraham Lincoln was an important figure and few high school seniors able to identify China as the North Korean ally that fought American troops during the Korean War.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/education/15history.html

        ***

        Please, stick to spirited insult, Don Don. That suits you best.

      • > Do you think that corporate managers in this century inherit an obligation to abide by the views of the DEAD dudes, who ran the company in the 1970s?

        Jim D was talking about Exxon, Jim D. You’re the one who tries to substitute a corporation by deceased managers.

        Let me ask you this: do you think that Philip Morris and other majors could have gotten away from their lawsuits by throwing its dead board members under the bus?

      • You are just repeating the same dumb BS, willy. Corporations are not people. That is a legal fiction. Do you know what fiction means?

        Corporations do not have the same legal rights that freed slaves (actual people) asked for, or got, or whatever. Do corporations have the right to vote? The right to remain silent? The right to have a free lawyer? Food stamps? Obama phones? Use your freaking little head.

        From the link you so kindly provided:

        “Misconceptions

        In debates on this topic it is sometimes asserted that the notion of corporate personhood implies that corporations are entitled to all of the rights and privileges that apply to natural persons (i.e., human beings). However, the definition of corporate personhood includes some, but not all of said rights and privileges. Whether a corporation is a “person” possessing any one of those rights or privileges is properly decided by applying basic logic, common sense, and relevant and valid law to an examination of generally accepted reasons why the state grants existence to the legal fiction of the corporate form, so that on the one hand courts may hold that corporations must have the right to own property or enter into contracts, or to be subject to municipal zoning laws that apply to “persons” without necessarily having the same speech rights enjoyed by natural persons and without having the right to vote and without counting as a second “person” for the purpose of driving in a carpool lane”

        You should shut up now.

      • Don,
        As entertaining as the back and forth is with Willard, just wanna make sure you’re aware that ‘Obama Phones’ actually were signed in to law by one Mr. George Bush: This specific program, SafeLink, started under President George Bush, with grants from an independent company created under President Bill Clinton, which was a legacy of an act passed under President Franklin Roosevelt, which was influenced by an agreement reached between telecommunications companies and the administration of President Woodrow Wilson.”
        Wanna keep the record straight.

        http://www.factcheck.org/2009/10/the-obama-phone/

      • The comparison with the tobacco cases is ridiculous. It’s just a smear tactic. The medical science linking smoking with cancer was irrefutable. Climate science is iffy. Carry on with your foolishness.

      • > Corporations do not have the same legal rights that freed slaves (actual people) asked for, or got, or whatever. […] Use your freaking little head.

        I just love it when you pretend my reading of the 14th amendment implies I don’t know a corporation can’t vote, Don Don. You’re returning to your good nature, and it gives Denizens a good show.

        That a corporation is an artificial persons implies it’s a person. The very concept of personhood is more artificial than you may presume. Exxon is indeed a person.

        Do you know why corporations don’t have the same rights as natural persons? Here:

        Corporations are not creatures of constitutions, but rather of the legislative power recognized by constitutions. It is the legislature that sets out the rules governing their existence.

        Corporate personhood has no constitutional implications across the board. Courts decide on an issue-by-issue basis as to what provisions of a constitution affect corporations. Corporations, for instance, can’t vote, while people can. But corporations can assert a constitutional claim for compensation when their property is taken by the government, just as people can.

        http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/alumni/uvalawyer/f11/personhood.htm

        (Some of the testimonies misrepresent a bit the criticism against corporations, but let’s not digress.)

        Now, do you know why this matters for our current discussion? Because corporations can get sued because they’re persons.

        Now, your turn to use your head.

      • Stop lying, willy. You said that corporations were given the same rights as freed slaves. That’s foolishness.

        Corporations are not real persons. The law, to enumerate the collective rights and responsibilities of the stockholders, pretends that corporations are persons. They call that a legal fiction.

        The relevance of my comment that Exxon is not a person relates to your little buddy yimmy alleging that because some Exxon corporate “view” has changed since the 1970s, this points to some kind of freaking RICO conspiracy. Nonsense.

        The Exxon folks who allegedly held the alleged “view” in the 1970s are DEAD. Since then, stockholders, board members and management have changed. Various corporate “views” and policies have changed. Each succeeding generation of stockholders and corporate management are not obligated to keep the same “views” that were allegedly held in the 19 freaking 70s, by some old dudes who are now DEAD. Now bring up the oil spill again.

      • Exxon’s Climate Policy/Principles. Hint. Dated 2014, not dated in 1970’s.
        http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/current-issues/climate-policy/climate-policy-principles/overview

      • > You said that corporations were given the same rights as freed slaves.

        Come on, Don Don. By “same rights” I was alluding to citizenship and equal protection under the law. What is implied by these rights varied in time and according to the specific nature of the citizenship. Ask your Porto Rican friends if you share exactly the same specific rights because you’re both natural persons.

        Here’s the first sentence from the first resource I gave you:

        Corporate personhood is the legal notion that a corporation, separately from its associated human beings (like owners, managers, or employees), has some, but not all, of the legal rights and responsibilities enjoyed by natural persons (physical humans).

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood#Corporate_personhood_in_the_United_States

        If you read that page a bit more, you’ll see that there’s a section about corporate political spending.

        ***

        Let’s recap.

        Exxon is a person. Because it’s a person, it is allowed to invest in the entertainment division of the militaro-industrial complex, i.e. politics. Because it’s a person, it can get sued.

        Exxon is also one of the biggest beasts of the corporate world. Just imagine the resources It took to bring the tobacco industry to reason. Yet they still do silly things elsewhere in the world. Take for instance what they did in Australia and Africa:

        Seems that science is not settled regarding the preference of women to smaller babies.

        Half-baked letters and op-eds might not be enough.

      • Dinosaurs or Christ?

        http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/6669619/Plan-to-save-the-world.html

        How much will it cost to maintain the rock killer over 64,000,000 million years? To play it safe willard.

      • Your side wants smaller I pads for everybody .

        http://gizmodo.com/meanwhile-in-the-future-to-stop-climate-change-we-mus-1733583113

        Roller Derby 2.0, is getting serious. Russia drafting 150K full size players.
        The clock is ticking willard.

    • Jim D,
      You said about Democrats, “they actually believe the scientific consensus, as do most of the population…” You mean the population that drives gas guzzlers, commutes tens of miles to work, builds houses that are two thousand or more square feet on one or two acre lots? That runs their air conditioners continually, buys Teslas that take five times the energy and resources to build before you even consider fuel, that you’d have to drive for a decade before their carbon footprint even broke even with a Fiat? It’s easy to tell people what they should do, what they should believe. But it’s harder to live according to the principles we hear espoused by Democrats and those who believe the consensus… You only have to look at the highways, the subdivisions, the media’s depiction of middle-class life to see that most people don’t really buy the scientific consensus. Unless we are all one hundred present liars and hypocrites.

      • ugh… one-hundred-percent liars…

      • The population who in polls with a clear majority say we should be doing something to reduce emissions, even many who call themselves Republicans. Republican elected politicians almost 100% oppose this view.

      • The population doesn’t poll with a clear majority. How does one know this as fact? There wouldn’t be all the anguished debate and media punditry going on. It’s gong on because without substantial support the left gets crushed when the bill is dispensed to the public to pay for the massive costs of CAGW policies.

      • “reduce emissions” is a push polling catch phrase. That unto itself has near 100% support from the global population. It’s entirely meaningless in context.

  17. No one was jailed in the RICO suit against the tobacco industry. The companies had to stop funneling money to front groups spreading pseudo-science. No one is calling for anyone to be jailed for opposing mainstream science.

    • Mark W
      It’s not about a call for jailing. What might the mere threat of RICO do to the science?

      • The application of RICO does not seem to have damaged medical science. If indeed fossil fuel companies are funding front groups like Heartland to peddle pseudo-science, that should be exposed. You can pay a for profit PR firm to spread anti-science nonsense, but you cannot secretly fund a tax exempt educational organization to do what amounts to PR work that involves deceiving the public.

        Individuals who reject mainstream science are in no way threatened by RICO.

      • Mark W,
        Did you not read the part about Dr. Pilkie Jr? Have you not followed that story line? And that’s not even a RICO threat. How many others (of which we’re not aware) might be silenced or deterred from climate science altogether?

        If the science is that strong, RICO is unnecessary.

      • What about the government funding front groupss to peddle the fake science of AGW? And, can you demonstrate that the Heartland Group has peddled pseudo science, or have they been publishing the truth?

      • Mark, this is not about a literal threat. It is intellectual intimidation and creates a damper on a freedom of inquiry. How many scientists are wondering about the slippery slope in the coming decades? Even if nothing comes of this one action I am concerned about the precedent it sets for our culture and the expanding parameters for acceptable political action.

      • Did you not read the part about Dr. Pilkie Jr? Have you not followed that story line? And that’s not even a RICO threat.

        What is the storyline?

        How many others (of which we’re not aware) might be silenced or deterred from climate science altogether?

        They may be hesitant to take money from fossil fuel companies. But maybe you can explain why they would be silenced or deterred from climate science altogether.

      • Joseph,
        I’ll assume you’re asking in good faith about the story line. Dr. Pielke was one of the 7 who received letters from Rep. Grijalva asking about their funding.
        “The seven academics who dispute the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming who have been asked to disclose their funding are:
        David Legates, John Christy, Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, Robert Balling, Roger Pielke Jr., Steven Hayward.”
        (link: https://judithcurry.com/2015/02/25/conflicts-of-interest-in-climate-science/)
        Now Dr. Pilke does not deny anthropogenic GW.
        Dr. Pilke has written what I think is a well reasoned discussion on where science should be positioned (and I highly recommend you read this): http://www.amazon.com/Rightful-Place-Science-Disasters-Climate/dp/0692297510/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1443541916&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=roger+pilke%2C+jr

        In his words, Dr. Pilke has elected to remove himself from the fray as a result of the intimidation related to the investigation and this is evidenced here: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/

        (Too many links so will continue in another comment).

      • In his words, Dr. Pilke has elected to remove himself from the fray as a result of the intimidation related to the investigation

        So he decided to stop doing climate related research because a politician wanted to know his funding sources? So what happened with the investigation?

      • Joseph,
        I can find no specific details (if nothing of note is/was found this is not surprising as if something was I’m sure it would have been used), however, Dr. Curry notes this in this post: “None of the Grijalva 7 was found to have engaged in wrongdoing of any sort, yet there have been significant career consequences for some.”

        Maybe she will chime in with details (if she’s allowed to do so considering the likelyhood that university lawyers are involved).

        Dr. Pielke has testified in front of congress, states he has evidence to justify concern in AGW, detailed science’s place in the policy oriented conversation, and as thanks for that he’s singled out as one of ‘the seven’. I can understand how a person might just decide that the headaches are not worth it especially since he’s quite obviously not a denier and hard to quantify as a skeptic. He’s just got a different view about science’s place in the conversation than those in science who chose to advocate for policy.

        Dr. Pielke’s congressional testimony of 2013: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/2013.38.pdf

        More background: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_A._Pielke,_Jr.

        And we’ve largely lost this voice of a common sense individual in the climate conversation. The loss is ours!

      • I think an investigation like the one Grijalva was proposing was a mistake. But at the same time I thought he was just making the statement to score political points.And I don’t think any investigation actually occurred. But I am willing to look at evidence to the contrary.

        And hard for me to believe that a proposed investigation was enough to drive him from the field. If I believed in what I was doing and done nothing I wrong I would let some bloviating Congressman stop me.

      • Joseph,
        If one wished to be a politician that’s one thing. If one wishes to be a professor and scientist, that’s another.

        It’s not necessarily about the findings but it’s about the investigation and associated intimidation. Especially if I considered myself on of those more concerned about climate and equally concerned about the place of science.

        Did you read what I sent you?

      • What investigation?? I already said it was mistake to investigate scientists. But if there was no investigation, there is no intimidation.

      • Joseph,
        The mere fact of asking formally (a letter from congress) regarding funding IS an investigation. That there is no (currently known) prosecution is secondary.

        When the police (congress) brings you in for questioning (writes a letter) an investigation is occurring. You know that. Right?

      • Joseph,
        Dr. Pielke cont’d.
        Q & A’s so you can get to know him in his own words: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/06/occasionally-asked-questions-about.html

        Why Dr. Pielke has backed off climate work (again, his own words): The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I am a full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me — I’ll be just fine as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to occupy my time. But I can’t imagine the message being sent to younger scientists. Actually, I can: “when people are producing work in line with the scientific consensus there’s no reason to go on a witch hunt.” https://theclimatefix.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/i-am-under-investigation/

        Hopefully, by using your own eyes and own mind, you can see in the above one representative answer to this question of yours: “But maybe you can explain why they would be silenced or deterred from climate science altogether.”

      • Hopefully, by using your own eyes and own mind, you can see in the above one representative answer to this question of yours

        What does that have to do with investigating fossil fuel companies?

      • Joseph,
        Did you read the post? Sen. Whitehouse singled out Dr. Willie Soon. Dr. Soon is not a FF company. Rep. Grijalva singled out 7 individuals for their ‘funding sources’.
        Is this not intimidation?

        You see to think this will be focused and finite. Experience with attorneys would show the opposite. Attorneys cast the widest possible net with the hopes of catching ‘just the right fish’. Bycatch be damned.

      • I already said they would be hesitant to take fossil fuel money. But why would it stop them from doing research?

      • Danny,

        Compare and contrast Roger with what Michael Mann has had to put up with. Thin skin?

        And i’m sure Judith meant to write a scathing op-ed when a certain A-G was hoping to criminilase Michael Manns research activities……

      • Michael,

        That’s easy. In a nutshell. MM is one of the ‘more climate concerned’ who advocates for policy which he perceives as necessary. RP is one of the ‘more climate concerned’ who states that it is not sciences place to advocate for policy.

        So homework for you then. Is RICO the correct tool to address the science of climate change and specifically the individual scientists?

        Thin skin? Dr. Pielke states he has sufficient evidence to have concern over AGW. Even with this statement he’s been subjected to a congressional investigation. I’d describe his response as prudent, if unfortunate for us (but that’s just me being selfish as I admire the man and his work).

        Have you read his work, testimony, bio? Do you agree or disagree with him?

      • I’m tellin’ ya, it’s just Hell dodging discovery. Why should a saint like he have to put up with such an onerous thing?
        ==================

      • ” Do you agree or disagree with him?” – Danny

        About what?

      • The rightful place of science. His take on AGW. Intimidation.

      • Maybe. Not really. Whose?

  18. just got an e-mail from a friend linking to the RICO story
    “can you believe this?”
    I told him about it last week, but it didn’t register since I, of course, am an unreliable source
    this may be the story that breaks the ice
    and exposes this smelly thing
    for years I warned friends about Lance
    really hoping for another go at my ‘told ya’ dance
    it is better to be right than popular
    :)

  19. Judy:
    Your linking the Enstrom story is a very important aspect of the story. I hate being around tobacco odors and second hand smoke may be dangerous or it may simply be annoying, but the demonizing of those who research this area makes no sense and is totally anti-science. Stakeholders fund and have a right to fund research, be they tobacco companies or the American Cancer Society, Exxon or Greenpeace. The scientific method demands transparent methods and open access to methods and data.
    Well done and please keep up the good work.

    • Tobacco companies and fossil fuel companies have every right to fund research. They do not have the right to set up and fund tax exempt front groups that pretend to produce independent science. That would corrupt the science process.

      • There is as much “advocacy research” out there as there are advocacy organizations, and plenty of junk science. My comment, that I left after Walter Olsen’s interview (see below), is that I think a courtroom is a pretty lousy place to sort that out unless outright fraud is being investigated.

      • Then you must also be against Dr. Shukla’s Tax exempt front groups?

      • The “science process” has already been thoroughly corrupted by the warmunistas. If anyone should be investigated, it should be the 20 who signed the letter. Pathetic that many on this blog see only evil in fossil fuels while blindly ignoring that fossil fuels are what make the lives we live possible. Without fossil fuels, we would be living the lives of those living in un-developed countries. If that’s ehat you want, go for it, but don’t drag the rest of us with you.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Perhaps we can get around to investigating if oil companies are unfairly trying to change my opinion after we investigate if climate scientists are stealing my money. A person needs to have priorities.

      • Mark W: and you are the one to decide what is research and what is “pretend” research? What about research sponsored by Greenpeace? Do you vouch for it being pure as driven snow? How about “front groups” for unions or american lung association or even fake front groups for the president or EPA? Plenty of astroturfing to go around. I suggest plenty of disclosure and let all the liars lie as best they can–such lies usually come back to bite them.

      • “They do not have the right to set up and fund tax exempt front groups that pretend to produce independent science. ”
        Egregiously wrong! They have every right to do just that! We all share the obligation to read and critique the research produced by whomever. You don’t get to have the government pick and choose who can and cannot do research. Not without creating a police state which is what you Progressive Puke types always seem to be clamoring for. Unless someone asks you directly, then you deny it but the evidence is overwhelming that you want a police state with your political cronies in charge. The fact that you deny that suggests you need to be RICOed.

      • They do not have the right to set up and fund tax exempt front groups that pretend to produce independent science. [my bold]

        As long as they go through the proper procedures, which they have, the courts have no business trying to judge “pretend”.

  20. Good legal discussion here by Cato lawyer Walter Olsen. I left my own comment.
    http://watchdog.org/239878/rico-attack-free-speech/

    • To all the poltroons on here who think RICO is a good idea, this is pretty damning.
      ” RICO was passed about a generation ago with the promise it would be a new and effective method for bringing down organized crime of the sort Hollywood used to make movies about. It became an important law, but not because it had an effect on traditional organized crime, which has been largely unscathed by RICO. Instead, it has been used across a range of business disputes and controversies over regulatory issues and family law. RICO has been used for almost everything other than traditional organized crime. In that sense, people are always trying to do new things with RICO and use it against more unexpected targets that Congress might not have had in mind when it passed it.” From Olsen’s article. This is exactly to the point of those who are abhorred by a call for RICO investigation that it is an abuse of State Power and will be used in ways that are abusive.

      I have begun, with the trial of Conrad Black, to see that the legal system in the US is one of the most corrupt anywhere on the planet. It is a truly frightening thing that has evolved over time and really needs to be cut down to size and AG’s and DA’s need to be reigned in. But who will do this?

  21. One of the most prominent of the RICO20, Kevin Trenberth, appears to be quite a zealot. From this Climate Etc post:

    https://judithcurry.com/2014/04/11/curry-versus-trenberth/

    Trenberth’s slides don’t do justice to his presentation – it was forcefully delivered, evangelical even. About 40% of it was about politics.

    A few things of interest that came out in the questions/discussion:

    Trenberth was asked if he regarded me as a ‘denier’. He hemmed and hawed, and asked me if I regarded myself as a denier. I said I was a scientist, and regarded myself as included in the so-called 97%, whatever that means.

    I said that I disagreed with about 85% of Trenberth’s presentation. I don’t have the energy to debunk it here, see my recent Congressional testimony

    I have an MP3 of that debate. A couple of questioners in the Boulder CO audience expressed their distaste for Trenberth.

    Mark Steyn and Marc Morano have noted that Trenberth, like Michael Mann, has touted himself as a Nobel Prize winner, although he has since updated this reference:

    http://www.climatedepot.com/2012/10/27/warmist-kevin-trenberth-mimics-manns-nobel-prize-claims-trenberths-online-cv-lists-himself-as-nobel-laureate-nobel-laureate-shared-for-nobel-peace-prize-2007-as-part-of-ipcc-oct-2007/

    Warmist Kevin Trenberth mimics Mann’s Nobel Prize claims?! Trenberth’s online CV lists himself as ‘Nobel Laureate’ — ‘Nobel Laureate (shared) for Nobel Peace Prize 2007 (as part of IPCC) Oct 2007′

  22. Pingback: La nueva caza de brujas a los críticos del “calentamiento global”, explicada en Fox News por Judith Curry | PlazaMoyua.com

  23. A warning to all: What goes’round, comes round… once the RICO door is open it will be fair game to be used by all… The RICO 20 better pray that, say, a Donald Trump isn’t elected in 2016… because in that event they can count on being in criminal and civil litigation for the rest of their lives.

    Do you really want to go down this road?

    Too bad for you if you can’t win the Climate Hysteria argument on your own (and with mountains of taxpayer and foundation grants)… but you’ll just have to rely on deception, propaganda and lurid headlines… We feel your pain and acknowledge that the population has long ago tuned out those sideshow antics … but it really would be unwise to pursue RICO to try and win a losing argument.

  24. “A new low in science: criminalizing climate skeptics.”

    Sorry, Judith, it’s not science.I just want to save science and scientists from this car crash.

    I know I can’t do much with my comments, but I just want to put some distance between those who put “global warming” or “climate change” in their grant-applications/literature-publications, and those who don’t.

    The latter are actually in the great majority.

    When the time comes, I hope policy makers will remember that.

  25. Dr. Curry this is an extremely courageous post, knowing that it can only intensify attacks against you. Even if I was a warmist I would have to salute you.

  26. What I find remarkable is that these people were so stupid. How could they possibly not realise (so soon after the Grijalva witch-hunt fiasco) that this was going to backfire horribly? Clearly they do realise this now, as they’ve taken down the letter from the link given here (it can be found on the archive).

    It’s particularly amusing that one of them, Ed Maibach, claims to be an expert in communication and social marketing! Quite why he’s signing a letter that says “as climate scientists” is a bit of a mystery.

    The silence of other climate scientists is deafening, showing that they realise it’s a terrible own goal.

    The tactical incompetence of the more extreme warmists never ceases to amaze me. They’d lose the game even if there was no opposition.

    • The Burning of the Library scene in ‘Name of the Rose.’
      ——————————————————————————-
      William of Baskerville: My venerable brother, there are
      many books that speak of comedy. Why does this one
      fill you with such fear?

      Jorge de Burgos: Because it’s by Aristotle.

      William of Baskerville: [Chasing after Jorge who runs
      with the Second Book of Poetics by Aristotle intending
      to destroy it] But what is so alarming about laughter?

      Jorge de Burgos: Laughter kills fear, and without fear
      there can be no faith because without fear of the Devil,
      there is no more need of God.

      William of Baskerville: But you will not eliminate laughter
      by eliminating that book.

      Jorge de Burgos: No, to be sure, laughter will remain the
      common man’s recreation. But what will happen if,
      because of this book, learned men were to pronounce it
      admissable to laugh at everything? Can we laugh at God?
      The world would relapse into chaos! Therefore, I seal that
      which was not to be said.

      [He eats the poisoned pages of the book]

      Jorge de Burgos: In the tomb I become.

      [He tosses the book at the candle, which ignites a fire
      that destroys all the books in the abbey tower]

    • Incompetence is a good phrase, Paul. However, the best analogy perhaps is the McCarthy era when extreme Communist hunting was tolerated in silence by the political establishment for a long time. They in general were also worried about Communist influence and didn’t want to take the risk of offending the overzealous. The modern tools of public relations and its half truths when employed by amateur climate warriors would be amusing if it weren’t also dangerous.

    • What’s your measure that they’ve “lo[st] the game?” That there was a backfire? Because commenters at Climate Etc. and WUWT are hand-wringing about “terrorism” and McCarthy – like they do on practically any thread on any given day?

      It’s fun to watch confirmation bias in action.

      • I’ll go with:
        – the letter was retracted
        – because of the publicity, the organizer was found to have double dipped (or triple if you count his family).
        “Streisand Effect”

      • Late, but not dead thread. Joshua, the Climate Audit trail now includes conclusive evidence that Shukla made false representations on his sate of Virginia annual required disclosures. Both the misrepresentations and the double dipping are violations of Virginia state law. And Lamar Smiths congressional committee as sent a records retention order persuant to a committee investigation that has started. His committee has the oversight responsibility for both NSF and NASA, Shukla grantors. It appears from the written NSF grant policies that Shukla’s double dipping also violates those policies. If GMU is complicit, as it appears they are, they could lose all NSF funding for years.
        None of this is skeptical handwringing. It is real world consequences for bad behavior exposed by those threatened by a sophomoric letter to the President and the Attorney General. You need to get out more.

  27. Mick Hume at spiked-online has some pertinent comments, in a piece on other issues:

    From the beginning, the demand for free speech was focused on freedom of the press – which meant the printing press. The modern struggle began in earnest from the seventeenth century in Britain and then America. It was not about an abstract wish for freedom of expression, but a specific demand for an end to state control of the published word.

    The precursor to the fight for free speech — the demand for freedom of conscience — was about the liberty of the individual privately to believe what he thought true, not what he was told to believe by the political and religious authorities. The demand for freedom of speech went a step further, seeking the liberty to express those beliefs and opinions in public. And how was such public freedom of expression to be made effective? Primarily through the printing press, which made it possible to popularise ideas on a wide scale for the first time.

    That was why the struggle for free speech focused, first in Britain and then in the American colonies, on attempts to end the system of state licensing. These laws gave the Crown control over everything that was printed, and could send those convicted of publishing unlicensed ‘seditious libels’ that criticised the government to jail or the gallows.

    In the first wave of the free-speech wars in England, those demanding freedom of the press were religious heretics who wanted first a Bible printed in English rather than Latin, and then the liberty to express their Puritan and non-conformist creed. Their clash with the censorious power of central authority soon melded into a rising political clamour for freedom of the press. As the English Civil War broke out between the king and parliament in the 1640s, the demand for freedom of the press was at the forefront of the movement for political and social change, led by the ‘revolt of the pamphleteers’. John Lilburne of the radical Levellers demanded of parliament ‘that you will open the press, whereby all treacherous and tyrannical designs may be the easier discovered, and so prevented’.

    Crown licensing of the press formally ended in 1695. Yet in the late eighteenth century, English radicals such as John Wilkes were still fighting for the freedom to publish what they saw fit, criticise the king’s government and report the proceedings of parliament without the threat of being sent to the Tower. The ‘liberty of the press’, declared the front page of Wilkes’ notorious newspaper, was ‘the birthright of every Briton’.

    … [re US] Freedom of the press had proved the catalyst for the creation of a free nation. Little wonder that it was to be embedded in the US Constitution by the First Amendment.

    Yet today, freedom of the press is often looked down upon in high-minded liberal circles, as if it were some sort of corporate trick that only serves the interests of the major media organisations. … Freedom of expression is not a negotiable commodity that can somehow be ‘redistributed’ away from the rich and powerful towards the rest. To infringe on the right to free speech of others can only risk undermining your own capacity to exercise it. Those who fought for freedom of the speech and of the press through history demanded the extension of those rights to the lowest and ‘the meanest’ in society, not their removal from others. [end quote]

    The RICO-letter signers deny the freedom of thought and freedom of expression which is at the core of the First Amendment. If those in power, currently the warmanistas, can control speech and expression, how are alternatives ever going to replace the prevailing orthodoxy? And if they do, how will the warmanistas feel if their weapons are turned back on them, and they are denied the right of expression? Not thought through, I fear.

    [First Amendment – Religion and Expression. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.]

    http://www.spiked-online.com/freespeechnow/fsn_article/the-forgotten-first-amendment-freedom#.VgpFU_T0O6p

  28. One starts to wonder when they will go after all the relativity deniers who are still trying to challenge relativity theory with new experiments although it hasn’t been found at fault for almost a century.

  29. Some cits are drawn ter enlightenment, others jest wish
    ter burn the witches ( or any others who challenge their
    entrenched-mind-set-conn-sens-suss-gate-keeping.)
    La Fontaine all over again.

  30. bedeverethewise

    Excellent Dr. Curry,
    A well reasoned and powerful response. The 20 signers should be ashamed of themselves, unfortunately, they won’t be. It is very difficult to shame someone who has an arrogant sense of self-righteousness, combined with group think and a need to save the world.

    • “It is very difficult to shame someone who has an arrogant sense of self-righteousness, combined with group think and a need to save the world.”

      You mean the Left in general and Progressives in particular.

  31. Shukla’s Gold.
    Surely Shukla’s Shekels?
    As in he sells seashells ….

  32. The evidence of how blindly idealogical and invested the left is continues to be on full display on this thread, and the blog in general. So far, the only side that has been unequivocably shown to manipulate, hide, deceive, outright lie, and continually defend the indefensible is those on the left supporting the lie of AGW. Those who have opposing views welcome debate so that the truth, whatever it may be, can be found. Those who work to stifle debate and prosecute those in disagreement do so to hide their dishonesty. Frankly, it may be good if Whitehouse and the 20 were succesful in bringing a suit to trial as long as those being prosecuted had the financial resources to defend themselves. The benefits of fossil fuels would be exhibit number one in defense of any claim of harm, while the discovery process could be used to expose that it is the left that has acted dishonestly and possibly illegally as evidenced by the recent senate report re the epa. Unfortunately, until we have a media that stops protecting the dishonesty that is on full display, and that they themselves actually promote, and starts to question not only the integrity, but the so called “science”, the climate cabal will continue it’s pogrom against the “deniers”. We can only hope that other scientists who disagree with the “concensus” will start to show the same courage as Dr. Curry.

  33. I think people miss one relevant possibility. The fossil fuel companies welcome this. They are basically going to be forced form a oligarchy that will restrict supply and keep prices of their product high. They will have a hand in writing the rules that result the proclomations they are forced into saying. “Please don’t throw me in dat briar patch! “

  34. Pingback: Cult Of Climastrology RICO Letter Disappears Into Memory Hole » Pirate's Cove

  35. It’s a CONSPIRACY, I tell you. A CONSPIRACY!
    “Now Shell has popped up again at the helm of a new initiative, the Energy Transitions Commission, which was launched on the same day that the company announced it was abandoning its $7bn Arctic exploration programme.”
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikescott/2015/09/29/can-oil-companies-really-be-part-of-the-transition-to-a-low-carbon-future/
    http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/analysis/2427603/will-shell-funded-energy-transitions-commission-help-or-hinder-the-low-carbon-economy

    And this: http://www.energy-transitions.org/

    Somebody should call RICO as he needs to know about this!

  36. Dr. Curry — Very well done. Thank you.

    RICO is a draconian piece of legislation intended for use against vicious, murderous organized criminals.

    To suggest its use against dissenting scientists is beyond the pale of a civilized democratic society.

    It is disheartening that the greater body of Climate Scientists hasn’t risen up in protest and spoken out.

    It is an example of “The White Wall of Silence” — white lab-coated scientists unwilling to speak out against even the most egregious misbehavior of their colleagues out of some misguided sense of solidarity — “Colleagues don’t report on other colleagues — it just isn’t done, you know”.

    • “It is an example of “The White Wall of Silence” — white lab-coated scientists unwilling to speak out against even the most egregious misbehavior of their colleagues out of some misguided sense of solidarity — “Colleagues don’t report on other colleagues — it just isn’t done, you know”.”

      Or out of something more primal, fear. Shame on them!

  37. So where can we find a list of those 20 “scientists” that want to punish dissenting scientists? Lysenkoism comes to mind.

  38. “Woe to [Shukah and the RICO 20] who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
    Per Isaiah 5:20

    May they be stripped of their power and position for imposing Lysenkoism on climate science
    May they be required to refund their corrupt illegal takings from the public purse.

  39. New Poster, maybe just one time.
    Last night I happened to be linked to Fox, looking for their take on the NASA announcement on Mars water, when your op-ed piece must have just been headlined. I was stunned by the reaction in comments, thousands of them, and was reminded of the time I watched two cars smash at a, usually, quiet intersection. Horrified yet fascinated.
    I found myself thinking, how far can this go? Then remembered this headline.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2829107/Scientists-jailed-manslaughter-did-not-predict-deadly-earthquake-Italy-killed-309-people-cleared.html.
    We Americans have the right to freedom of speech, we also have the right to remain silent. So for now I’ll take the 5th. But I’m still very interested to read any thoughts about ocean heat transfer.

  40. stevefitzpatrick

    Judith,
    “That is how democracy is supposed to work. We search for solutions that can garner a critical mass of support. We don’t try to criminalize our political opponents, and especially should not try to criminalize scientists who have a different view.”

    Sure, but these folks don’t give a hoot about democracy, which is a common characteristic of those holding extreme political views. Absolute power absolutely corrupts; absolute faith in the correctness of your political views corrupts even more. The RICO20 signatories are explicitly advocating corrupt behavior. Shukla’s public funding needs to be zeroed out, permanently, so that his “non-profit corporation” disappears. The public ought not be funding advocates for corrupt behavior..

  41. “None of the Grijalva 7 was found to have engaged in wrongdoing of any sort, yet there have been significant career consequences for some.” – JC

    Couldn’t see much in the way of consequences in the link,besides someone ‘choosing’ not to continue research in the feild (kinda ‘in’).

  42. Dr. Curry, I applaud you taking on the hypocrites and speech suppressors, but I fear you are merely arguing for fair and equal treatment, so that you and other skeptics can make your presentations to the policy makers, and that you will then be willing to accept the “policy” decisions that will be made by the politicians.
    It appears that you accept the validity of the assumptions that scientists can determine what drives climate change, that they can predict the future of climate change (with some degree of uncertainty), that politicians can listen to all qualified scientific arguments and pick the best arguments, and that politicians can then determine the best scientifically appropriate political “solutions,” pass the right laws, impose the right regulations, taxes, etc.
    It also appears you accept that politicians have the legitimate authority to engage in economic and environmental central planning, to forcefully direct the lives of the citizens based on their views of what is best for us all.
    You shouldn’t be surprised that your opponents want to use the government to silence you – that is what governments do best, force people to comply.
    I see no evidence that scientists can determine what causes climate change, or that they can predict the future of climate change, or that politicians can determine the validity of scientific arguments, or that scientists or politicians can successfully control or regulate climate change, or that there is any legal or moral right of politicians to attempt such measures.
    I am afraid that you are part of the problem if you accept the notion that politicians should be the arbiters of the best science, and that politicians should control and direct how we deal with climate change – i.e., how we live our lives.
    Whatever climate control and regulation “policies” are chosen will surely fail, miserably, with huge financial costs and loss of liberty. That won’t deter those (scientists, environmentalists, or politicians) committed to coercive policies. They will adjust their models, and their [Five year] plans, and try again, and again, ad nauseam . . . Lukewarmers will just get run over in the process.

    • What is your alternative suggestion?

      • Well, Khal, my repeated suggestion is that we acknowledge that the future is uncertain, we are very poor at prediction and the future will always surprise us; and given that the costly centrally-controlled anti-GHG measures proposed or adopted will have negligible impact on climate, which by the way hasn’t warmed since 1998, and that they are many more pressing issues which could be addressed at a fraction of the cost, we should concentrate on policies which help us to deal well with whatever future emerges. These wouldn’t be centrally-dictated, they would foster self-reliance, entrepreneurship, innovation etc, based on market forces and free trade etc etc (see earlier posts), they would maximise our ability to cope in part by increasing our economic wealth, that path which has taken billions from lives which were “nasty, brutish and short” to ones of relative comfort. So question no more.

      • What Faustino said.

        It would be folly to have an alternative suggestion unless one accepted the premise that one needs to “tackle” and “take on” climate change.

        Of course, climate will change…and I’d hate to be the guy who has to wipe down the grimy solar panels in the event of a dirty basaltic eruption. We don’t know much about catastrophic warmings, but some catastrophic coolings have certainly made a mess of dynasties and civilisations, since cooler=drier for much of the planet.

        Keep industrialising, people. Generate more and better goods and services. Make money. The poor don’t conserve…they just neglect.

  43. Pingback: RICO20 Letter to President Obama Disappears | Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

  44. AGW has come before the courts already and lost. It came up in the UK High Court in 2007 and Al Gore lost.

    The ruling came on a challenge from a UK school official who did not want to show the film “An Inconvenient Truth” to students. High Court Judge Michael Burton said that the film is “substantially founded upon scientific research and fact” but that the errors found (nine of them) were made in “the context of alarmism and exaggeration.”

  45. For those who haven’t read this address by Michael Crichton, regarding second hand smoke (among other interesting views on consensus science):

    “In 1993, the EPA announced that second-hand smoke was “responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year in nonsmoking adults,” and that it “impairs the respiratory health of hundreds of thousands of people.” In a 1994 pamphlet the EPA said that the eleven studies it based its decision on were not by themselves conclusive, and that they collectively assigned second-hand smoke a risk factor of 1.19. (For reference, a risk factor below 3.0 is too small for action by the EPA. or for publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, for example.) Furthermore, since there was no statistical association at the 95% confidence limits, the EPA lowered the limit to 90%. They then classified second-hand smoke as a Group-A Carcinogen. ”

    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Crichton2003.pdf

  46. There are two aspects here. One is the explicit call for intimidation, echoing Sen. Whitehouse intemperate words.
    The other is the Shukla family feeding off grants from NOAA, NASA, and NSF. By no stretch of the imagination does grant funding for ‘climate research’ include a $100,000 contribution to an Indian charity set up by the grantee. Some would call that theft.
    Possibly more than just a Streisand effect will emerge.

  47. bedeverethewise

    Shukla’s gold, all he had to do was sit back keep his mouth shut and keep raking it in. Now it seems he has some explaining to do.

  48. IGES? What IGES? IGES doesn’t exist anymore. In fact, it never existed. Also any letters it may have published, which it didn’t, because IGES doesn’t even exist, don’t exist either. You must have been hallucinating.

    “The letter that was inadvertently posted on this web site has been removed. It was decided more than two years ago that the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES) would be dissolved when the projects then undertaken by IGES would be completed. All research projects by IGES were completed in July 2015, and the IGES web site is in the process of being decommissioned.”

    It was all a bad dream. Sleep tight.

    • I just checked yhe India/US extradition treaty of 1997. Extraditable offenses are crimes under both country’s laws punishable by 1 year or more imprisonment. Doubt India has laws against unjust double dipping enrichment from federal grants, or misappropriation of grant funds ($100k). Shukla may be tempted to go home.

      • David L. Hagen

        Conviction for Merit?
        But how could Brahmin Shukla be convicted for “virtuous and meritorious service” in Brahmin ruled India? He but takes what he believes is his by any means as a meritorious act! (Jagdish means “ruler of the world”, Shukla name means “White”.)

        “Brahmins publicly teach that lies and perjury, if used to gain personal advantage, are virtuous and meritorious”. . .
        1. Manu says: ‘Let every man, according to his ability, give wealth to Brahmins . . .such a giver shall attain heaven after this life’ (xi.6). Very early in the statutes, a universal law is proclaimed, the spirit of which pervades the whole code. This law calmly lays down that whatever exists in the universe is all, in effect, though not in form, the wealth of the Brahmins; since the Brahmin is entitled to it all by his primogeniture and eminence of birth.

        See Hindu Manners, Customs & Ceremonies, by Abbe J. A. Dubois

      • davideisenstadt

        brahmins can inherit my ball cheese. effing racist classist exploiters.

      • Jagadish Shukla
        Distinguished University Professor, George Mason University (GMU)
        President, Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES)
        4041 Powder Mill Road, Suite 302, Calverton, MD 20705-3106
        Tel: (301) 595-7000; Fax: (301) 595-9793; Web: http://www.iges.or

        grads.iges.org/people/shukla_cv_short.doc

      • David, I noticed you linked to your Facebook page at CA. If you are open to Friend requests, one from Michael Cunningham would be me.

    • From the site:
      Jagadish Shukla
      President, IGES
      Washington D.C. Metro AreaResearch
      Current
      George Mason University, Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES)
      Previous
      Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA), University of Maryland, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
      Education
      Massachusetts Institute of Technology

      https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jagadish-shukla/33/20b/930

    • D’Ya suppose they’ll claim their website was hacked? The whole letter was put up as a prank?

      • “D’Ya suppose they’ll claim their website was hacked?”

        I’m trying to figure out “inadvertently” means in the note that replaced the letter. The letter just slipped onto their web site by accident, did it?

      • Lovely communicator they’ve got there, one with a multi-million dollar NSF contract.
        ======================

      • ooops, time to clean the servers.

  49. Since this is about RICO, I have to ask this: Did the Feds ever go after individual scientists when they went after the tobacco companies? I recall them going after the big business entities. Do not recall hauling scientists into court. But I don’t think I followed it very closely. RICO may be more of a chilling effect on Big Fossil and their attorneys. Indirectly, I suppose, on someone who is funded, in whole or part, via industry grants. That is bad enough, as it taints good money with the presumption of bad intent.

    • David L. Hagen

      Yes. RICO

      allows for prosecution of all individuals involved in a corrupt organization.

      • My question was not could they, but did they?

      • David L. Hagen

        kahl spencer. Read the YES link I already gave you (wikipedia).

        5 Famous cases
        5.1 Hells Angels Motorcycle Club
        5.2 Frank Tieri
        5.3 Catholic sex abuse cases
        5.4 Gil Dozier
        5.5 Key West PD
        5.6 Michael Milken
        5.7 Major League Baseball
        5.8 Pro-life activists
        5.9 Los Angeles Police Department
        5.10 Mohawk Industries
        5.11 Latin Kings
        5.12 Gambino crime family
        5.13 Lucchese Crime Family
        5.14 Chicago Outfit
        5.15 Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella
        5.16 Scott W. Rothstein
        5.17 AccessHealthSource
        5.18 FIFA
        5.19 Drummond Company

        (PS Learn to use internet search.)

      • The question was:

        Did the Feds ever go after individual scientists when they went after the tobacco companies?

        Read harder.

      • David L. Hagen

        mae culpa on “individual scientist”

    • ” RICO may be more of a chilling effect on Big Fossil and their attorneys. ”

      That’s testable.

      Lets test it by going after Big Green and its supporters and see if green scientists howl.

      You dont really need a good case. Just start the civil discovery.

      If you truly believe that the threat of investigation is nothing, then heck
      let’s start with you.

      • No, that would be “terrorism,” ‘Cause I’m sure that khal’s in some real danger.

      • > Lets test it by going after Big Green and its supporters […]

        One week too late.

      • I gotta say, I’ve seen a lot of drama-queening alarmism in the “skept-o-sphere” but I do think this takes the cake.

      • RICO may be more of a chilling effect on Big Fossil and their attorneys.

        Speaking of “a chilling effect”, here’s some excerpting from the wiki article on RICO (all bolding mine):

        Under RICO, a person who has committed “at least two acts of racketeering activity” drawn from a list of 35 crimes—27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes—within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering if such acts are related in one of four specified ways to an “enterprise”. Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of “racketeering activity.”

        […]

        Under the law, the meaning of racketeering activity is set out at 18 U.S.C. § 1961. As currently amended it includes:

          •   Any violation of state statutes against gambling, murder, kidnapping, extortion, arson, robbery, bribery, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in the Controlled Substances Act); […]

        Now, from the Wiki Article on extortion linked in the above blockquote:

        Extortion (also called shakedown, outwrestling, and exaction) is a criminal offense of obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. It is sometimes euphemistically referred to as a “protection racket” since the racketeers often phrase their demands as payment for “protection” from (real or hypothetical) threats from unspecified other parties. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime groups. The actual obtainment of money or property is not required to commit the offense. Making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense. Exaction refers not only to extortion or the unlawful demanding and obtaining of something through force,[1] but additionally, in its formal definition, means the infliction of something such as pain and suffering or making somebody endure something unpleasant.[2]

        Extortion is distinguished from robbery. In robbery, whether armed or not, the offender takes property from the victim by the immediate use of force or fear that force will be immediately used (as in the classic line, “Your money or your life.”) Extortion, which is not limited to the taking of property, involves the verbal or written instillation of fear that something will happen to the victim if they do not comply with the extortionist’s will. Another key distinction is that extortion always involves a verbal or written threat, whereas robbery does not. In United States federal law, extortion can be committed with or without the use of force and with or without the use of a weapon.

        And from the Wiki article on coercion (linked above):

        Coercion /koʊˈɜrʃən/ is the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner by use of intimidation or threats or some other form of pressure or force.[1] It involves a set of various types of forceful actions that violate the free will of an individual to induce a desired response, usually having a strict choice or option against a person in such a way a victim cannot escape, for example: a bully demanding lunch money to a student or the student gets beaten. These actions can include, but are not limited to, extortion, blackmail, torture, and threats to induce favors. In law, coercion is codified as a duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in a way contrary to their own interests. Coercion may involve the actual infliction of physical pain/injury or psychological harm in order to enhance the credibility of a threat. The threat of further harm may lead to the cooperation or obedience of the person being coerced.

        […]

        In psychological coercion, the threatened injury regards the victim’s relationships with other people. The most obvious example is blackmail, where the threat consists of the dissemination of damaging information. However, many other types are possible e.g. so-called “emotional blackmail”, which typically involves threats of rejection from or disapproval by a peer-group, or creating feelings of guilt/obligation via a display of anger or hurt by someone whom the victim loves or respects.

        So, given the documented pattern of coercive threats against scientists, journal editors, and others, given the documented conspiracy to commit such coercive threats, and carry them out if needed, would the IPCC, and the “scientists” who conspired to subvert science as an institution through what appears to have been a consistent pattern of extortion (see above definitions) constitute a RICO enterprise? Would a thorough investigation of all those who participated in the conspiracy documented in the Climategate emails be be in order, to determine whether they committed criminal acts sufficient to define the IPCC as a RICO enterprse? And shouldn’t those who acted to whitewash and/or cover up their misdeeds also be investigated?

        Assuming that the definition of extortion can reasonably be extended from pure money to other icons of value such as scientific credibility, access to political power structures to provide policy advice, and an attempt to dominate the institutions of climate science to the benefit of the IPCC gang, at the expense of overall scientific credibility of the field, I would say yes.

  50. There is a reason our forefathers wrote the Bill of Rights which began with the First Amendment, the so called Free Speech amendment followed by the Second Amendment, the, what I would call the enforcement amendment: the right to bare arms:

    “The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common-law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.” Wiki

    particularly, “resistance to oppression.”

    It seems that our British friends have given up that right and now they don’t understand why the Americans seem to hold onto this legacy of English Common Law.

    I guess, the Brits have aligned with the Europeans (except the Swiss) and have reverted to the French paving block to make their wishes to be known that they don’t like oppression. It seems that World War II’s beginnings of oppression and subsequent boot heel didn’t teach them that dialogue per se is a virtue only amongst like-minded souls.

    In the USA, Cue “Dirty Harry: Make my day.”

    I like rebuttals and a spirited exchanges on topics I am just learning. It would appear that point/counter point is not in the cards what with our President or someone on the White House staff, maybe nudging some willing academics, playing some role to stifle conversations on climate change, notwithstanding his IOWA speech which, I might say, pertains to everything else but climate change. Single-mindedness is a trait of ideologues currently represented by our leader and chief. Saul Alinsky would be proud.

    I have seen the destructiveness to the human spirit by the application of RICO by zealot prosecutor. Continued berating and draining of resources leaves a hollow man, no longer himself, living with parents as wife and children long gone and out of reach. Career now of picking up of scattered and unrelated pieces. Such a personal tragedy does not seem to have any viewing in our President’s Pantheon.

  51. Criminalizing the convictions of individual skeptics is not only ludicrous, but fundamentally un-American. If anything deserves RICO prosecution, it should be the institutionalized fabrication/manipulation of climate data to conform to an agenda-driven narrative. That’s the trillion-dollar racket.

  52. This climate McCarthyism is antithetical to the Scientific Method and The First Amendment. Senator Whitehouse have you no shame?

  53. I guess you could make a case against those gas producers who have supported the development of wind power in the full knowledge that a) it will suck and b) it will have to be supported by their product, namely gas c) it will damage their actual competitors, coal and nukes, which do not suck.

    But nah. If we go down that track Pepsi will be soon be funding activists, legal teams, surveys and “studies” which confirm that things actually do not go better with Coke. Coke will counter by reducing the size of its serves and funding “studies” which can lead to the prosecution of Pepsi on the grounds it encourages swilling and targets the young generation.

    This indignation over fossil fuels which are used universally and in plain sight reminds me of that earnest movie about Big Tobacco, starring Crowe and Pacino. In between takes, Al and Russell would pop out for a puff.

    Of course, the above analogy breaks down pretty fast. Tobacco has been known to damage health for the last four hundred years…and tobacco has not underpinned an entire civilisation.

    So, puritans and scolds, go amuse yourselves prosecuting cigarette or fizzy drink manufacturers (I hope you lose)…but leave my civilisation alone.

  54. After reading McIntyre’s piece on Jagadish Shukla, it looks like Shukla is the one who needs to be arrested. I hope it happens, too.

    • Now on record @ Climate Audit. Verily Shukla’s Gold.

      ‘Shukla attracted attention as the lead author of the
      RICO20 letter, which was originally posted at the website
      of the Institute of Global Environment and Society Inc,
      though the professors all listed George Mason University
      as their affiliation. Pielke Jr became curious about the
      institution that had chosen to initiate this offensive letter
      and had the bright idea of looking up their 990 filings,
      thus discovering Shukla’s double dip.

      Five other George Mason employees were RICO20
      signatories, four of whom are long-time Shukla associates:
      Dirmeyer, Straus, Paul Schopf and Barry Klinger. (It’s
      interesting that James Kinter didn’t sign it.) The other
      George Mason RICO 20 signatory, Edward Maibach, is in
      some sort of climate communications and, together with
      Heidi Cullen, holds a $2,998,178 grant from NSF. Many of
      the other RICO20 signatories had previous associations
      with IGES. Kevin Trenberth and Mike Wallace had both
      been on its “Science Advisory Committee” in the past.
      Nearly all of the RICO20 signatories, including Trenbeth
      and Wallace, attended a large symposium in April 2015
      to honor Shukla – see picture at link.

      IGES’ webpage says that its corporate objective was to
      share “the fruits” of its research “with society as a whole”,
      though, in practice, an equally important objective seems
      to have been to share the fruits of its research funding with
      Shukla (and Kinter). The sheer lucrativeness of Shukla’s
      deal raised some eyebrows in skeptic blogs, but none so
      far at warmist blogs, not even at Michael Tobis’ aptly
      named Only In It for the Gold or among Barry Klinger and
      the RICO20.’

      • Tobis is over there in comments jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof. He brought it on himself. It’s becoming more and more clear that not only are lots of people in it for the gold, but also that those who aren’t are in it for the fame, the power, or the moral preening. Find one who’s in it for the science.

        Yes, they exist; let’s find ’em and thank ’em.
        ==============

    • You can bet that if this involved the Koch brothers or Heartland the NYT and the Justice Dept. would be all over this….

      Paging JUSTIN GILLIS… The silence is DEAFENING!

  55. From the site:

    IGES / COLA Staff Directory

    Main Phone Number: (703) 993-5700
    Fax Number: (703) 993-5770
    Add “@cola.iges.org” to COLA email ID to create email addresses
    Add “@gmu.edu” to GMU email ID to create email addresses

    IGES
    Title: Name: GMU Email ID: COLA Email ID:
    President: Shukla, Jagadish
    Assistant to the President and Assistant Business Manager: Shukla, Sonia
    Business Manager: Shukla, Anastasia
    COLA

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

  56. Joseph asks how “supporters” or those who receive fossil fuel money could be prosecuted. It isn’t necessary to be prosecuted. Just the process of being investigated can ruin someone. Ask Enstrom, quoted above. Ask Willy Soon. Baseless investigations can scare an employer so they fire the person. The person needs an expensive lawyer. Overzealous prosecutors charge someone with absurd crimes like mail fraud or destruction of evidence or conspiracy, which they eventually drop. You really don’t want to start this ball rolling, yet several of the usual suspects here are DEFENDING this letter. wow.

    • Craig,

      i’d be far more comfortable defending this letter, than defending the incitement to violence agianst climate scientists (as Judith did here in the past).

      Surely a legal process with the evidentiary requirments and all the protections entailed in the US Constitution is far less problematic than the possibility of vigilantes physcially attacking scientists on the street.

      It appears Judith leans the other way.

      That’s why I find her to be a humbug and purveyor of industrial-strengt cant.

      • Before your little pal willy comes along and embarrasses you for a lack of citation, care to tell us more about Judith defending so-and-so threatening climate sigh-in-tists?

      • bedeverethewise

        What are you talking about Micheal? Did Judith weigh in when Ben Santer threatened Pat Micheals? Was it related to one of the many violent environmental organizations? Or was it some other incitement to violence, perhaps an imagined incitement to violence.

      • Michael’s so fortunate that he’s given open access
        at Judith’s open – society – salon – so different at

        where its ‘down the memery whole with you, yer
        capitalist sw-ne.’

      • Line deleted by WordPress had a ‘ cli sci gatekeeper
        email address. :)

      • [… T]han defending the incitement to violence agianst climate scientists (as Judith did here in the past).

        I notice the perpetrator of that mendacious statement hasn’t responded to righteous demands for a link to evidence. Perhaps because there isn’t any.

        It’s quite clear that Michael and Wilbur are among those who haven’t the faintest idea what INTEGRITY is. (For them, along with other alarmists here, it’s just a buzz-word used to stimulate certain reflexes in other people.)

      • The filter intervenes, but for fun, let’s look at Judith’s defence of the said incitement;

        “Well XXXX is regarded as high entertainment by many of the regulars here. Not so much accepting his sentiments, as being entertained by his presentation of them.” – JC

        Interesting, given Judith’s current moral outrage over what amounts to a call for the law, with all its checks and balances, to be applied if appropriate.

      • Michael: It is not a choice. Both are wrong. But I would suggest that internet bloviating is far less dangerous to a scientist than the federal government coming after you. And this letter isn’t the only one. Hansen called for fossil fuel executives to be tried for crimes against humanity. Kennedy called for criminal prosecutions. There has been a witch hunt against Willie Soon (and if Willie scares you and needs to be eliminated your arguments aren’t very good). There was the letter to 100 organizations asking for the source of their funding. The letter on 7 scientists who gave congressional testimony. It goes on. Oh, and Pielke did have to change his work because of all the pressure and calumny.

      • Michael: i’d be far more comfortable defending this letter, than defending the incitement to violence agianst climate scientists (as Judith did here in the past).

        “Well XXXX is regarded as high entertainment by many of the regulars here. Not so much accepting his sentiments, as being entertained by his presentation of them.” – JC

        Could you elaborate on how that is “incitement to violence”? I have been entertained by movies about plots to assassinate the President of the US (some successful, some foiled) and Supreme Court Judges, and I have even gone so far as to say that they are entertainment, but I deny that such an endorsement of an entertaining expression of an idea, especially if I deny accepting the sentiment, is an incitement.

        There are some other “humorous” expressions of malice in the debate (e.g. a video with exploding heads of unbelievers), but there are also exhortations to prosecute and punish people who disagree with the policy recommendations of Rep Kennedy, James Hansen and others. This letter by Sen Whitehouse and the letter in support by the RICO20 is an actual exhortation to investigate an ill-defined group of organizations and people about whom there is no evidence of illegal behavior.

      • bedeverethewise

        Thanks for clarifying Michael, now I understand that the incitement to violence you were referring to was of the imagined variety.

      • Let’s try 3rd time lucky through the filter.

        Matthew,

        That was just J.s defence of the comment.

        Here is the comment;
        ” On the the contrary. When the “labels” fit, when they point out just how loathsome, just how evil, just how rotten these AGW fraudsters are and have always been, there should be no holding back, no restraint, no respite.
        When the popular perception of these “Never let a crisis go to waste” leftist pseudoscientists is such that they find themselves at risk of physical assault whenever and wherever they show themselves in public, we can slack off”

  57. Those who don’t think RICO should be used to investigate big fossil and policymakers should consider if the shoe was on the other foot, and whether they would want an investigation into environmental organizations or renewable energy companies and their connection to policymakers if there was anything suspicious. It is neither or both if you are being consistent. We see a lot of outrage about the use of this tool while at the same time endorsing it for the opposite case, which just looks like hypocrisy, when you think about it.

    • I guess when President Obama at the UN talks about respecting the principal of national borders (Ukraine) while insisting on regime change (Syria) then it looks like there are no ABSOLUTE principals.

      • Fer Obama narcissus rules.

      • THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTE PRINCIPLES. Write that down.

        We make a mistake when we try to reason about other cultures from a Western perspective. Our values and traditions do not apply to them.

        We make a second mistake when we eschew tribalism in EVERY case. WRT the Middle East, we should have left all the brutal dictators in place. We would have been safer as would our oil supply and the people in our military wouldn’t have died trying to oust them.

        We in the Western world have every right to act to preserve our values and traditions, just as the Muslims try to force everyone else to adapt Islam or die.

        Time to wake up. human1ty1st.

      • Jim2 is 100% correct. Hussein, Khadafy, and Assad are/were vicious dictators living in a part of the world where brute force and power are the only currencies accepted. Hussein fought Iran for years preventing and delaying them from developing their nuclear program and fomenting terrorism around the world although obviously not completely. To think that democracy would be possible or even desired for an impoverished uneducated populace that follows tribal leaders, having little or no loyalty to countries created by fiat by the West was naïve, foolish and destructive and we are seeing the fruits of that policy which has been promoted by the Western countries and both political parties in the USA.

      • > THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTE PRINCIPLES.

        What kind of principle is that?

      • It’s a guideline.

      • A question for you, jim2: how about INTEGRITY ™?

      • Willard – what about NON SEQUITUR??

      • I don’t think that word means what you think it means, jim2.

        If you say that there are no ultimate principles and if we accept that INTEGRITY ™ is a principle worth advocating for, then we need to conclude that INTEGRITY ™ is not an ultimate principle.

        INTEGRITY ™ – Ultimately not Ultimate

      • I didn’t say anything about ultimate principles, Willard. Read harder!

    • An investigation of the IPCC, and its links to major environmental NGO’s, is perfectly in order. Plenty of evidence has been documented of deception, collusion, and conspiracy for same. Along with recent evidence of fraud in scientific grants.

      OTOH, any investigation of “big fossil and policymakers” should wait till somebody makes some sort of claims to evidence of wrongdoing. Pointing out that people have funded science you don’t like, perfectly good science that you don’t like because its conclusions question the “certainties” you are falsely claiming to rationalize your ideological agenda, isn’t evidence of a crime.

      Unless you want to count tendencies towards Lysenkoism on your part.

      • AK, I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately deception, collusion, and conspiracy goes all the way to the top because of the relationship of climate change policy to global political ambitions; they’re married. IPCC is merely the tip of a finger in a vast networking of global politics in the form of the lefts vision. Getting an investigation to unwind collusion therefore would be about as easy as getting the NYT to run the RICO story on the front page of its rag, actually that would be much easier I imagine. Relative to an IPCC investigation, the only way to make it happen would be with a Republican administration. Even then the collusion is so interwoven with global political philosophy it would be a massive challenge to unwind. I’d like to at least see the superficial levels of collusion and deception exposed as it relates to climate change and U.S. interests. I’d be happy enough to take a scapegoat and gut it to make at minimum a symbolic point that democracy won’t be hijacked by a monolithic political bent for this country.

      • Oh yes, absolutely.

        It was all “brutal”, an “outrage”, ‘silencing’ and what not………..unless it targets the IPCC!!

        Go team!!

      • As I’ve suggested, Congress could appoint a special prosecutor. Have you ever been in a dark, dirty kitchen, with cockroaches all over the floor, when somebody turned the lights on? (Neither have I, but I can imagine.)

      • AK: An investigation of the IPCC, and its links to major environmental NGO’s, is perfectly in order. Plenty of evidence has been documented of deception, collusion, and conspiracy for same. Along with recent evidence of fraud in scientific grants.

        A RICO investigation? My guess is that the scientific community would object to that as much as they object to the proposal by Sen Whitehouse.

    • stevenreincarnated

      Jim D, since you are indicating you aren’t a complete partisan, then you can take this opportunity to prove it by demanding an investigation of academic double dipping on behalf of alarmist taxpayers everywhere.

  58. Anyone posting in here a member of a scientific society? ACS, APS, etc? Organizations like the American Chemical Society should be speaking out on this for the hint of stifling scientific debate and free inquiry that the threat of RICO poses. I believe its a lot more than a hint and I am trying to bring this to the awareness of the ACS leadership and membership.

    • ACS, APS, and the rest are co-conspirators in the global warming scam. RICO them also.

      • jim2: ACS, APS, and the rest are co-conspirators in the global warming scam. RICO them also.

        Is that serious, or is it an irony?

      • Irony. I’m not for using RICO for anything except to bring down organized crime groups. And I don’t mean corporations, in general. There are already enough viable laws to cover them.

    • APS for one does not listen. Dr. Steve Koonin lead what seemed to be an even handed review of the available observations and theories in 2014 and was thrown out of the panel prior to concluding the evaluation. I think at the time he drafted a useful letter to WSJ but it would have been productive for someone of his standing to complete the process for the APS position review. I never saw the result of the review after he was forced out.
      Scott

  59. I read the article on Fox before I knew who wrote it and enjoyed it very much. It is disgusting that people open minded enough to read a graph and judge climate data without the extreme bias of government funded science would even be considered for prosecution.

    Liberal does not in any form mean liberty.

  60. Klinger has now posted an update.

    He admits he was wrong about the Cuccinelli thing, and writes of
    “My own ambivalence about the RICO letter”.
    So he’s signing a letter to the President of the USA calling for a corruption investigation – but he’s ambivalent about it.

    • I believe there has been much praise hereabouts for eschewing absolute certainty…….at least sometimes.

      • Michael: Paul is pointing out that one does not write a letter to the president that one is ambivalent about. So the after-the-fact ambivalence would seem to call for retracting the signature…hahaha but it won’t.

      • Everyone begins with baby steps, Michael. You are not alone.,

    • The call for consistency from adversaries is frequently simply an attempt to tie ones hands. Consistency should not be an over-arching goal. It is impossible to set down principles that apply to any situation, so some flexibility is needed. It means that judgement overrides principles at time. Tribalism is also appropriate in some situations, as it can preserve our society and way of life and these are very important.

    • > ambivalent about it

      The “it” referring to:

      My own ambivalence about the RICO letter concerns the contribution it is making to the continued polarization of the climate discussion. I think it would be useful to see how much industry is funding some scientists (or not), but I don’t think that this is the most important feature of the climate debate. In much of my other discourse on climate I have tried to avoid getting caught up in the tribalism of competing sides, so I plead guilty to inconsistency in joining in an effort that raises the temperature of the debate.

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

      So while Klinger would welcome more transparency, it’s secondary and it looked too polarizing to his own taste in retrospect.

      Considering how individuals from the contrarian community such as Judy threw themselves in front of the think tanks such as the Heartland Institute, we could argue that it takes two to dance the polarization tango.

      INTEGRITY ™ – Only Otters Are Polarizing

  61. Our little naive Alinskyite community activist C in C needs to get his DOJ to RICO the KGB thug, who keeps making us look like @#$$ies.

  62. Pingback: RICO Ructions Round-up | The IPCC Report

  63. “Bring them to court and make them face up,” Betts said.

    That’s my view: all evidence can be challenged with contrary evidence in front of a judge and a jury of “peers” (generally tax payers and registered voters from many walks of life). All witnesses will be sworn to tell the truth, and they will be cross-examined by well-informed counsel.

    Jim D: Those who don’t think RICO should be used to investigate big fossil and policymakers should consider if the shoe was on the other foot, and whether they would want an investigation into environmental organizations or renewable energy companies and their connection to policymakers if there was anything suspicious.

    Lots of that would come out at trial, and even more in the investigative journalism that would accompany the trial. Lots of candidates, their supporters and voters at large would be bound to bring up the evidence of prosecutorial indiscretion. There are already investigations into the allegedly improper close associations between some environmental organizations and the regulation-writers in the EPA.

    I appreciate the dangers. The Feds prosecuted Daniel Ellsberg and Oliver North, got convictions, and had those convictions overturned. The Feds prosecuted David Baltimore and Theresa Imanishi-Kari, a deplorable affair. But it was the Feds who nailed Sandusky after a university committee had “exonerated” him. (And besides, the Waco disaster shows that the Feds can commit atrocities without the use of RICO.) And the Feds from time to time find scientific misconduct, including misuse of funds, among respected academic scientific researchers. About 15 years ago all federally funded research was halted at the U. of Illinois at Chicago Circle pending the results of a Federal investigation that included the medical schools at UCLA and Stanford. The universities cooperated fully with the investigators, and the few culpable scientists were identified and punished.

    Who is claiming that crimes have been committed and that those crimes resulted from a conspiracy to commit crimes — Naomi Oreskes? I anticipate that she’ll change her tune when sworn in front of a grand jury (which is, you’ll recall, permitted to ask its own questions), with knowledge that if she testifies at trial she’ll be cross-examined while under oath. Is there any evidence at all that the fossil fuel companies did anything more “criminal” than provide financial support to people who disagree with Naomi Oreskes?

    Back to Jim D’s point that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Is there anybody calling for a RICO investigation into the allegedly malign influence that NGOs have on the rule-makers in the EPA? I am not aware of any, but that certainly does not mean that there are none. It seems to me that the scientists objecting to RICO v the oil companies are or would be nearly unanimous in their objections to RICO v Solyndra, West Wing, EPA, Sierra Club et al.

  64. Back climate change agenda, Charles tells judges in ‘message of support’ to Climate Change and the Courts conference

    Prince Charles has urged judges to swing the courts behind the campaign to combat climate change.
    He told them the judiciary will be asked to rule on legal challenges over environmental regulations and ‘courts will play a crucial role’.
    In a ‘message of support’ to a conference on climate change attended by senior judges, the Prince of Wales said they should ‘discuss ways courts can support the achievement of climate change goals’.
    The Prince added: ‘You can help to inform the public and fellow members of your profession that we must act urgently to prevent the disastrous consequences of global warming.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3254256/Back-climate-change-agenda-Charles-tells-judges-Prince-makes-public-bid-influence-courts.html

    • I don’t know much about the courts in England. Are they supposed to be neutral entities? (Not looking like it, but thought would ask anyway.)

  65. After reading this article & threads I am totally shocked. As a MS & BSEE I cannot believe that science, engineering and the environment has stooped so low as to be considered trash. I an still a scientist & engineer, but the sciences related to climate & the environment are fraudulent.

  66. Judith, count me in in the outrage…. The political/personal attacks on other thought, the forum of running to a willing ear (the current administration), is truly a low in discourse and really the utterly inconceivable part of the subject.

  67. Dr. Curry & Matthew Marler,
    Re: Minnesota
    David L. Hagen posted this: http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/roy%20spencer%20peabody%20energy.pdf

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/09/30/the-uncertainty-of-climate-sensitivity-and-its-implication-for-the-paris-negotiations/#comment-734075

    It was within a number of links and wanted to bring it to your attention in case it was missed.
    Regards and thanks to Mr. Hagen for the link.

    • I’m working on a post now – a lot of work, should be ready for monday

    • bedeverethewise

      As a Minnesotan, I can summarize how the report relates to my home state, the summers will be slightly more pleasant and the winters will be slightly less unpleasant.
      Of course, Spencer, Lindzen, Harper and Mendelsohn go into far greater detail.

  68. For Immediate Release | October 1, 2015
    Media Contacts: Zachary Kurz, Laura Crist

    Smith: Taxpayer-Funded Climate Org Allegedly Seeks Criminal Penalties for Skeptics

    Washington, D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today sent a letter to Dr. Jagadish Shukla, a professor of climate dynamics at George Mason University who founded the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES). IGES is a non-profit organization that has received millions of dollars in federal grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.

    According to media reports, IGES is responsible for circulating a letter to the president and senior White House officials requesting a criminal investigation of organizations who question the risks of climate change. Specifically, the letter seeks a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) investigation that would allow the government to impose criminal penalties. The letter was posted to the IGES website and later removed and replaced with a note saying it had been “inadvertently posted.”

    Chairman Smith: “IGES appears to be almost fully funded by taxpayer money while simultaneously participating in partisan political activity by requesting a RICO investigation of companies and organizations that disagree with the Obama administration on climate change. In fact, IGES has reportedly received $63 million from taxpayers since 2001, comprising over 98 percent of its total revenue during that time.”

    In light of the non-profit’s decision to remove the controversial letter from its website, Smith directs IGES to preserve “all e-mail, electronic documents, and data created since January 1, 2009, that can be reasonably anticipated to be subject to a request for production by the Committee.”

    Further details at WUWT
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/01/uh-oh-jagdish-shukla-and-the-rico20-has-captured-the-attention-of-congress-and-foia-documents-are-coming-out/

    • Danny Thomas

      I foresee some warming of someone in particulars ‘globe’.

    • It is all based on the science. In this case the science of the strength of human’s beliefs.

    • stevenreincarnated

      Some people should just stay away from hot stoves.

    • OK, so now we support members of Congress asking for all emails from a target organization as a method of intimidation. Hard to keep up.

      • Jim D,

        Come on now. Try again. How about we support members of Congress asking for all emails from a target organization as a method of intimidation since that target organization wished to have the U.S. government invoke RICO investigations as a method of intimidation against others. (Are you familiar with karma?)

      • It looks more like hypocrisy to me to complain about something and then support the exact same thing when it goes the other way. It is a common theme around here and needs pointing out when it is done.

      • JIM D,
        Opportunity to be clear. Are you saying that you (or anyone else here who professes a higher level of climate concern) came out against the RICO tactic?
        Now you’re not Willard, but I gave him credit for doing so and he specifically corrected me. So by the standard you’re applying, Willard must be for this investigation also!

      • We haven’t seen how they apply RICO yet. It looks like just another potential tool to me until I see it in action, then I would judge it. So far all the outrage is plain speculating, some of it wild.

      • JimD,
        So you’re ‘waiting to judge how RICO is applied, but are choosing to go ahead and judge so called skeptics as hypocritical right now when it appears pretty clear that Skulka has posted his letter to Obama (a political act) on his site funded by taxpayers all while taking substantial funds for himself, paying family and friends handsomely (and openly)? Should RICO be considered in the Skulka case, or would that be hypocritical?

        It appears there is substantial evidence of impropriety by Skulka, wouldn’t you agree? If not, why not? If you’re waiting on judging RICO why would you not support this action against Skulka based on the information at hand?

        I don’t recall you stating anything against Grijalva’s action other than calling it an over reaction. You did state ‘scientists’ didn’t seem to be happy with it. But quite obviously a group of 20 scientists were okay with signing a letter to Obama asking for RICO.
        https://judithcurry.com/2015/02/25/conflicts-of-interest-in-climate-science/#comment-678679

        So, I’ll be happy to provide another chance at this one as asked above: “Opportunity to be clear. Are you saying that you (or anyone else here who professes a higher level of climate concern) came out against the RICO tactic?” (So far, I only know of 20 who indicated by signature they were all for it).

      • I also don’t know enough to judge Dr. Shukla (note correct spelling for future) yet. Looks like you have convicted him already, probably based on blog postings as evidence. I have not come out against RICO. Like I say, it depends how they use it. It is a very specific law that they are looking to apply. It might not even make it to a court, so it is too early to say anything.

      • Looks like Dr. Shukky needs to get his brown pants from the dry cleaners for his appointment in front of the committee. Don’t you think it’s amusing that the clown’s scheme to intimidate skeptics has backfired and landed him in the deep dookey?

      • Smith is your version of Grijalva. It’s the same thing. It’s Congress in action.

      • “Are you familiar with karma?”

        With a major boost from an almost unfathomable stupidity.

      • It’s OK to be tribal Jimmy D. Write that down. It is oh such a good thing that the Dr. Hypocrite got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

      • This tribalism just dilutes the outrage your lot had with RICO being applied. It shows that RICO in the other direction would have been wholeheartedly supported. It’s not a moral issue, just tribal. Don’t use these things as some kind of morality argument when you would do the exact same thing.

      • Stop the whining, yimmy. The RICO 20 are vicious little twerps sucking mightily on the public teat. We are not paying them to go around trying to get people RICOed. That is not their freaking job, yimmy. We need a little Congressional oversight of those rascals.

      • Congress are doing a lot of oversight on both sides, Whitehouse, Grijalva, Inhofe and now Smith. They are keeping themselves very busy. Good for them. That’s what we elect them and pay for.

      • bedeverethewise

        Grijalva and Whitehouse were going fishing, desperate to for any nibble that they could turn into a huge fish tale. For Smith, the fish jumped right into the boat and it looks like it’s a whopper.

      • bedeverethewise

      • What spurious rubbish you write. Did you not read the letter from Smith?

        “This letter raises serous concerns because IGES appears to be almost fully funded by taxpayer money while simultaneously participating in partisan poltical activity by requesting a RICO investigation of companies and organizations that disagree with the Obama Administration on climate change.”

        This is not Smith applying RICO to Shulka, but an inquiry into what they have been doing in possible violation of their receiving government money. And no one went hunting for this…Shulka and his troop of a** clowns shouted it out. Smith would be remiss in his duties if he didn’t follow up with an investigation. There is no equivalency here, moral or otherwise, except in the warped mind of a Progressive.

      • More egregious nonsense from the Left. Did you not read the letter from Smith?

        “This letter raises serious concerns because IGES appears to be almost fully funded by taxpayer money while simultaneously participating in partisan political activity by requesting a RICO investigation of companies and organizations that disagree with the Obama Administration on climate change.”

        This is not Smith applying RICO to Shulka, but an inquiry into what they have been doing in possible violation of their receiving government money. And no one went hunting for this…Shulka and his troop of a** clowns shouted it out. Smith would be remiss in his duties if he didn’t follow up with an investigation. There is no equivalency here, moral or otherwise, except in the warped mind of a Progressive.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim D, having trouble seeing the difference between a case where there is evidence of specific wrong doing vs a case where there are a bunch of vague accusations by a group of conspiracists?

      • Given that Whitehouse even said that there isn’t a specific RICO case yet, there was a heck of a lot of fuss on the blogosphere.

      • Jim D, you have not been following Climate Audit. Rep. Smiths committee has direct oversight of NSF and NASA, and it certainly appears Shukla’s double dipping violates express written NSF policies. This goes to the magagement of NSF grants and probale misappropriation of government funds. It also now turns out Shukla made false representations on his annual state of Virginia employee disclosure forms in order to conceal the double dipping, a criminal violation of state law. Get real. Not intimidation, not a witch hunt. Serious investigation of multiple improprieties. Fully justified.

      • We’ll see how it goes, and whether they really have anything. You don’t mess with the NSF as Salby found out.

    • My only regret is all the villains scurrying for cover as we speak. Surely you don’t think Shukla is unique or even much of an outlier.

      I’ve suggested elsewhere that some of the world’s prosperity has disappeared into the maw of the Green Blob. Wasted money, and it’s not as if it grows on trees.
      ================

    • It gets better. Follow the comments thread at Climate Audit. McIntyre now has written evidence that Shukla’s double dipping violates Virginia State law, and that Shukla made false representations in required disclosure forms to cover this up. Multiple years.

      • Shukla is known on the club scene as Dr. Rico. Wears lots of bling and buys a lot of drinks for the ladies. He’s growing his hair out, a la Superfly Patchy.

  69. I display JimD’s comment here in full:
    Jim D | October 1, 2015 at 11:52 pm |
    This tribalism just dilutes the outrage your lot had with RICO being applied. It shows that RICO in the other direction would have been wholeheartedly supported. It’s not a moral issue, just tribal. Don’t use these things as some kind of morality argument when you would do the exact same thing.
    *******************

    This tactic is typical of those used by Michael, Joshua, Willard, and JimD. Side A gets upset over event A happening to side A but does not get upset over event B happening to side B.

    The obvious question is does event A = event B?

    In the current case the question becomes: Is applying RICO to skeptical climate scientists on the basis of unsettled science equal to a situation where a climate scientist is investigated for having violated laws concerning grant money?

    Obviously, the two events are very asymmetrical. Yet JimD acts as if they were exactly the same. Joshua and Willard are probably worse than JimD in this regard.

    Another difference is the legitimate question if RICO should be used in this manner at all. As a citizen, I say it should not be used against companies or climate scientists. The former are legal entities that have a 10 foot stack of laws and regulations already to control them. The latter have broken no law.

    But then, let’s assume scenarios A and B ARE exactly the same. When fighting for individual freedom, it is OK to be happy that the other side took a hit. This blind avoidance of tribalism no matter what the situation will be the death of Western Civilization if we in the West don’t snap out of this faux guilt trip over being successful in an imperfect world real soon!!

  70. Here is what I wrote at Real Climate:
    I think this is a good time for the site managers to comment on the call by Sen Whitehouse for a RICO investigation of fossil fuel companies and others, and to comment on the letter of support by the mostly federally funded scientists being called the RICO20.

    The one thing that I am sure of is that the climate science will emerge unscathed. Witnesses will be sworn in front of a grand jury, which has the opportunity to ask its own question. If there are indictments, the witnesses will be sworn in front of a judge and jury and cross-examined by well-informed counsel. As I say, I expect science to emerge unscathed, but it will be an arduous and costly process for any scientists called to testify as witnesses or suspects.

    I do not expect any guilty verdicts as I am unaware of any evidence that crimes have been committed. I shall certainly be alert to any such evidence admitted into the trial, should it occur.

    I am interested to see whether it draws any attention.

  71. Truth be told, there is not a lick of value in ANY of the handful of climate science papers I have viewed. I’m going to extrapolate and say that this applies to virtually all of them. They are virtually all conjecture. There is no way to get valid data to judge validity of hypothesis, without waiting a lifetime (or two or three…). Thus they instead rely on climate models, which themselves are not proven (in fact early indications are that they are crap!). It’s freakin unbelievable! How the morons administering grants don’t see this – oh wait, I forgot, they are in on it. All the way to the top, obummer and his bozo chief science advisor. The good news is, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. This is a deep and incestuous rathole, and the Rightous Right is going to rain a holy shitstorm down on them, leaving no orifice unexplored. Mainstream media will finally figure out they have been had. And that’s when all hell breaks loose on climate science as a whole. Federal funding goes to zero overnight for this malignant field. No more cli sci papers. No more funding for any universities supporting this crap field. The whole lot of them having to get real jobs where they actually produce something of value (burgers anyone?). The only thing anyone will notice is how nice it is to not have to listen to these chicken littles anymore. Oh man, this is better than a wet dream!

  72. The infamous RICO20.

    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

  73. Perhaps the best response would be to have the RICO-20 up on RICO charges ?

    Or indeed the IPCC and the whole state-funded climate estalishment, given their obvious conflict of interest.

  74. Certainly Mann and Jones and the other Climategaters, and their university administrators who whitewashed the whole affair, were clearly seeking to deceive the public. RICO them too.

  75. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #199 | Watts Up With That?

  76. href=”https://chilldogblog.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/shukla-at-jcurrys-home-webster_shukla-symposium-2003.jpg”>

    The above image is of Shukla and other climate sceintists visiting Judith Curry, seen far right, at her home in a 2003 Webster-Shukla symposium.

    I post this image to demonstrate that both Shukla and Curry are accredited and highly dedicated scientists that were highly regarded among the main body of climate researchers in 2003. The separation to where they arrived today is a result of ethical choices. I will let the reader decide who chose the better path. But I don’t believe on can argue who took the the more daunting path.

    Photo from the IGES website and shows a credit of Zhongwei Yan

    -RG

  77. Danny Thomas

    Sigh. There are just ‘no clean hands’.

    “U.S. authorities charged a former president of the United Nations General Assembly, a billionaire Macau real estate developer and four others on Tuesday for engaging in a wide-ranging corruption scheme.”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/06/us-usa-crime-macau-idUSKCN0S01CG20151006

    “The complaint said those bribes were arranged through Shiwei Yan, 57, chief executive officer of a New York-based non-profit, and Heidi Hong Piao, 52, its finance director.

    The non-profit was not identified but matches the description of the Global Sustainability Foundation. And while the complaint did not name the prime minister, Baldwin Spencer held the post at the time.”
    http://www.gsfoundation.org/

  78. Lest we forget:

    “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

    – Kevin ‘Travesty’ Trenberth (Climategate)

  79. Pingback: Hypocrisy at universities over oil company funding/divestment | Climate Etc.

  80. Pingback: Adjudicating scientific disputes in climate science | Climate Etc.