Update: It gets even sillier!
An elderly and decorated meteorologist from Sweden decided to cosy up to Nigel Lawson of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. (h/t Ernest Hurley). No-one is telling exactly why Lennart Bengtsson decided to join in the first place, or if they are I can't be bothered looking it up. Who in their right mind would be associated with the GWPF? Anyway, as Stoat wrote, he only lasted a week or two.
Dr Bengtsson is getting on in years (he's 79) but he is still working and publishing a lot. He has had an impressive enough career and is now a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Reading.
As to why climate scientists might not want to be associated with the GWPF, this is a sample of the sort of nonsense that Nigel Lawson and his organisation are known for. On the IPCC:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which published on Friday the first instalment of its latest report, is a deeply discredited organisation.
Nigel just made that up. The IPCC won a Nobel Peace Prize for heaven's sake! How about this GWPF article - about the man deniers love to hate. (Archived here):
IS MICHAEL MANN DELUSIONAL OR A DELIBERATE LIAR?
In my Weekly Standard Climategate 2.0 article I refer to Michael “hockey stick” Mann as the Fredo of the climate mafia, because of his endless bluster and the obvious embarrassment he brings to his fellow scientists.
Lennart couldn't take the heat and got out of the GWPF kitchen
Thing is, Lennart Bengtsson, or whoever wrote his letter of resignation, is blaming it on scientists behaving well instead of accepting it's he who behaved badly - or had very poor judgement. He reckons he was pressured to leave and complained the pressure was affecting his health, poor chap. He should try walking a mile in the shoes of Phil Jones or Michael Mann or James Hansen or Ben Santer. That'd toughen him up. Here's the letter, courtesy Anthony Watts:
I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.
Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.”
I think it's great if true. Climate scientists are alert to organisations like the GWPF and their shadowy benefactors.
It also looks like Lennart didn't have the courage of his convictions, whatever they were. Or maybe he was joining the Board for reasons not at all associated with global warming. Maybe he had visions of cigar and port with various privileged aristocracy after a meal in the peers' dining room in the Palace of Westminster. (For that he'd tolerate occasionally crossing paths with a physical trainer and a slightly unhinged economist.)
Most scientists are rather reserved
A scientist wrote to me recently saying (and I agree, with all of it): "most scientists are rather reserved when it comes to making resounding claims about results. Probably a cause for alarm when a group that is otherwise reticent decides to speak up." And speaking up they are.
Now I don't know if Dr Bengtsson was "pressured" or not. If any of his colleagues did have a quiet word to Lennart, they were doing him a favour.
Deniers fail US modern political history!
Anthony Watts, among others, is up in arms that anyone would "pressure" a scientist! ha ha de ha ha. (If you're new to climate blogs, WUWT exists wholly and solely to pressure and lampoon scientists and reject science and try to delay climate change mitigation and adaption initiatives. Pretty much like the GWPF, but without its clout.)
Anthony has posted one of his longer articles (archived here). As usual it's almost all copy and pastes, since Anthony (wisely) doesn't do "original" very often. The bits and pieces are from all over the deniosphere. Everyone in denier-ville is up in arms. If scientists voice concerns that a colleague is joining forces with a science denier organisation it's McCarthy-ism (in denier land). If a US Senator says he has a list of scientists that he wants criminally prosecuted it's not McCarthy-ism. (It's Inhofism.)
From the WUWT comments - pillory plus!
Bob Tisdale says:
May 14, 2014 at 6:27 am
Unfortunately, this is typical of the climate-science community. Pillory those who disagree with you.
May 14, 2014 at 6:20 am
It is outrageous that he is under this pressure but I do not agree with surrendering.
May 14, 2014 at 6:40 am
Why am I not surprised. Any form on non-approved thinking or speaking is now seized upon and pilloried savagely. The end of the Enlightment. Welcome to the Peoples Republic of Climate Science.
March 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm
A mann with his head in the sand, and a wart on science, may he be swept away by the strong tides of freedom.
Peter Stroud says:
August 26, 2013 at 9:13 am
I am sure that no other branch of science has supported so many scoundrels. Mann is one of many. His work has been falsified, but he still defends it. But he is one of quite a few. However, he and his ilk are still winning where it counts. Politicians still trust every word they utter, and go about saying that AGW is the most dangerous threat the world has ever seen. Some say it is more threatening than international terrorism. We sceptics have a long way to go before the governments of the world join us.
Steven Hill from Ky (the welfare state) says:
August 26, 2013 at 10:25 am
I am so sick of the bunch of liars that get awards for fraud….King Obama, Fat Boy Gore and the Court Jester Mann.
Steve Koch says:
February 23, 2010 at 9:57 am
The next step is to institute a class action suit against the perpetrators of the AGW fraud (i.e. Hansen, Mann, Jones, Pauchari, Gore, etc). The discovery process alone should yield mountains of muck.
Jean Parisot says:
February 23, 2010 at 10:11 am
Has anyone filed an SEC complaint (and/or it’s UK equivalent) with regards to the various AGW alarmists manipulating the market for investment products without proper disclosure of interests?
High Treason says:
September 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm
We certainly need to continue to kick them while they are down. They must never be allowed to rise again to peddle blatant lies disguised as “science” in the pursuit of hidden political agendas.The Left, who dominate the CAGW agenda will surely rise again to install the ultra green agenda they dare not tell us about. If it were so great, why not tell us all? No, they know the People would not approve, but they do it anyway, because THEY think it is good for us. Yeah, sure. Now is the time to go on the attack and have the warmists fully exposed and their acts of treason adequately punished, and I do not mean the BS of saying “sorry.” “Sorry we lied and subverted science in the quest of destroying society and humanity to install an insane Fabian Utopia with us Lefties as the inheritors of the earth with the rest of you as our slaves.” (sob, sob) Perhaps a vote on the correct punishment as a warning to those that may try this again.I shall start the vote- extreme public torture and stripping of all assets. Big businesses that have been complicit(Bilderburg group, I am writing to you) will have to find new CEOs. Punishment is not so much retribution as a warning to those that may transgress in the future. The issue here is that the crime is the highest category of treason the human race has ever seen thus far.
Oh, sorry - those last few weren't about Lennart Bengtsson or the GWPF, they were pillories from other articles at WUWT :(
PS There are some comments in this thread, which Ernest Hurley took off topic and which prompted me to write this article.