On WUWT today (archived here), Paul Driessen of CFACT, has gone overboard (putting it mildly). In a very strange article he has gone full on Godwin's Law (21st Century-style), comparing people who accept science to fundamentalist militant butchers from the middle east. Paul Driessen has featured here before (eg here). Today he wrote a piece that would make Christopher Monckton green with envy.
This is the headline and opening paragraph:
ISIL and other Islamist jihad movements continue to round up and silence all who oppose them or refuse to convert to their extreme religious tenets. They are inspiring thousands to join them. Their intolerance, vicious tactics and growing power seem to have inspired others, as well.
Weirdly, and in a display of religious ignorance, Anthony Watts accompanied an article based on the militant group ISIS, with a cartoon showing a character wearing a Christian bishops' mitre.
Paranoia runs riot: bullets, bombs and beheadings
Paul Driessen really goes overboard in his article. He doesn't mention the constant vilification and harassment of climate scientists by right wing lobby groups in the USA over the years. Instead he writes:
Instead of bullets, bombs and beheadings, they use double standards, Greenpeace FOIA demands, letters from Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Raul Grijalva, threats of lost funding and jobs, and constant intimidation and harassment. Submit, recant, admit your guilt, renounce your nature-rules-climate faith, Climatist Jihadis tell climate realists. Or suffer the consequences, which might even include IRS, EPA and Fish & Wildlife Service swat teams bursting through your doors, as they did with Gibson Guitars.
Really, Paul? Seriously? You think that there will be SWAT teams (from the Fish & Wildlife Service no less), bursting in on Roger Pielke Jr or Judith Curry? What an imagination you must have.
What sort of mind conjures up such images? Paranoid much? Something buried deep that you are afraid of? Conspiracy nutter doesn't describe it.
Paul claims he can't find the data, that's hiding in plain sight
Paul then shifts into denial and disinformation. He wrote:
Indeed, one of the most prominent aspects of the climate imbroglio is the steadfast refusal of alarmist scientists to discuss or debate their findings with experts who argue that extensive, powerful natural forces – not human carbon dioxide emissions – drive Earth’s climate and weather. “Manmade disaster” proponents also refuse to divulge raw data, computer codes and other secretive work that is often paid for with taxpayer money and is always used to justify laws, treaties, regulations, mandates and subsidies that stifle economic growth, kill jobs and reduce living standards.
Umm - please name the "experts" who "argue" that extensive, powerful, natural forces, not human carbon dioxide emissions, drive climate? What is their expertise and who are they? What have they published? What is their field of research? I expect these "experts" will assert that CO2 isn't a greenhouse gas. Would that be the SkyDragon Slayers?
And do tell, what data or computer codes would you like, Paul? Be specific. What secretive work are you keen to learn about? Here are some secretive sources for you to get you started:
Paul bemoans the fact that few real scientists would be caught dead at a Heartland Institute disinformation talkfest. I can't imagine what else he could be referring to.
And Paul hasn't discovered the Internet yet, and effectively claims to have no links to legislators - Republican or other. Does he not know that Republicans hold the majority in the US Senate and in the House of Representatives? He wrote (my links):
It fits a depressing pattern: of the White House, Democrats and liberals shutting down debate, permitting no amendments, conducting business behind closed doors, not allowing anyone to read proposed laws and regulations, rarely even recognizing that there are differing views – on ObamaCare, ObamaNetCare, IRS harassment of conservative donors and groups, PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, or climate change.
What an ignoramus. What a paranoid conspiracy nutter he is.
Vague smears for the sake of it
Paul also made vague but sweeping allegations against climate scientists. He wrote:
Few, if any, alarmist researchers have disclosed that their work was funded by government agencies, companies, foundations and others with enormous financial, policy, political and other interests in their work, ensuring that their conclusions support manmade factors and debunk natural causes. Many of those researchers have signed statements that their research and papers involved no conflicts, knowing they would not get these grants, if their outcomes did not reflect the sponsors’ interests and perspectives.
What does he mean by that? What makes a researcher an "alarmist researcher"? Is he claiming that research scientists have lied? That when they show their funding as a grant from a government or private organisation it's really from somewhere else? Where else? What sponsors are not declared? Paul Driessen doesn't say - because he knows that there is no other source other than what is declared. And what conflicts is he referring to? What interests and perspectives do these sponsors have other than finding out facts. Creating knowledge.
This is typical of lobby groups that smear for the sake of it. It's vague, without substance, wrong and meaningless. Thing is, there isn't a government in the world that wouldn't want global warming to disappear. It's costly and requires a restructuring of the immensely powerful energy sector. Strategies to address the problem are very difficult to implement and not at all popular with voters. It means trying to get agreement of governments all around the world - an almost impossible task and a real headache for diplomats and governments.
Naming and shaming
At WUWT Paul Driessen lists the people he thinks are considered rogues. He writes that the
Climate Jihadists are going after Robert Balling, Matt Briggs, John Christy, Judith Curry, Tom Harris, Steven Hayward, David Legates, Richard Lindzen, and Roger Pielke, Jr.
Really, Anthony Watts and Paul Driessen? Who are the "Climate Jihadists"? And how are they "going after" this motley ragtag bunch? (I had to look up a couple of them.)
You'll notice that Paul Driessen has added some names to the seven people that were targeted by Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona. He tacked on Matt Briggs (WM Briggs) and Tom Harris, who are nobodies in the world of climate science, but might be seen as important people by the disinformation lobby.
Since Paul Driessen of CFACT didn't explain, I figured it might be of interest to people to see who WUWT and CFACT figure are important players in the world of climate science misinformation.
Out of that list there are five who have any links to climate science:
- Judith Curry - an internet blogger who used to head up a university department. These days she runs a blog primarily frequented by science deniers. She is also a university professor still.
- Robert Balling who is a geography professor who used to head up a climatology department somewhere in Arizona. Otherwise I know little about him apart from what's written at DeSmogBlog.
- David Legates who is also a geography professor and used to be a state climatologist until he got unceremoniously dumped. David once told a US government committee that CO2 is animal food! He's known for denying climate science, and plays with WM Briggs, Willie Soon and Christopher Monckton from time to time.
- Richard Lindzen used to be a respected climate scientist and is now a sad caricature. He occasionally speaks to science denier gatherings.
- John Christy is a scientist by day at the University of Alabama, who calculates temperatures of the atmosphere using data from satellites. He likes to play tricks on the unwary.
- Matt Briggs (William M Briggs) is a blogger who presents himself as a Hollywood hanger-on, with his "Statistician to the Stars" business. He seems to rate his abilities higher than anyone else would. He consorts with people like Willie Soon and Christopher Monckton (who is a "birther", claims to have found a cure for AIDS, calls everyone who he disagrees with "fascist", and threatens to sue anyone who shows him up for what he is)
- Tom Harris is a strange little man who claims climate science is a hoax. He isn't very bright. He's been seen at Anthony Watts denier blog from time to time, which is how I came to hear of him. He managed to get a job running a one-man denier show in Canada for the "international" network of denier "organisations" called inappropriately the "International Climate Science Coalition". It seems to be an offshoot of the Heartland Institute - or is closely associated with it. It has equivalents in various countries that share a bunch of tired old deniers like Bob Carter, who get wheeled out from time to time to spout nonsense. In reality it's a tiny show that tries to look big. Tom has said that he gets his historical climate data from the bible.
- Steven Hayward is some political commenter as far as I can tell. A dime a dozen in the USA, though he seems to be well enough known there.
Then there's Roger Pielke Jr, who doesn't fit into either category. He is a political science academic who dabbles in economics and climate-y stuff from time to time. He seems keen to find ways to show that the USA isn't getting wetter or drier. He is able to work out averages. (Average the wetter east with the drier west and voila - it evens out!) He doesn't like it much when he gets called out.
What is CFACT hiding? What is Paul Driessen so afraid of?
What else could lobby groups like CFACT be afraid will become public knowledge. What could possibly be worse than that?
From the WUWT comments
There were a lot of comments to the CFACT article at WUWT. In the main it got the intended reaction. There were a rare few who thought it over the top.
February 28, 2015 at 11:46 am
Agreed. However WRT to the bloggers premise, I think it’s an unnecessary stretch. And in poor taste. When climate alarmists start beheading deniers you can sign me up. Until then, I suggest leaving the hyperbole to the other side. They’ re so good at it.
asybot sees reds under the papal bed:
February 28, 2015 at 5:36 pm
Some how the word “Inquisition” comes to mind and with Pope Francis chiming in on behalf of the warmists makes that even more sinister , Oh how history repeats itself to the detriment of the human race.
I can't make out if hannuko is supportive of the CFACT jihadist imagery or not.
February 28, 2015 at 12:10 pm
I agree. This is the “final explosion”. The one where they go all in, because they have no choice.
Inspired by the silly military jargon of the Skeptical Science kids, in a battle this would be the last push against the defenses, where the attacking general puts in all his men and artillery in a last desperate attempt to break through. After this his resources are expended and the fight must be abandoned. Rest of the war will be about how much they’ll lose in the end – not about whether they win.
I believe these are but the opening salvoes. Few blasts to forewarn us about the coming storm. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d start blackmailing blogging platforms to denounce and stop supporting skeptical blogs. All we have to do is stand fast and watch with amazement as the barrage increases, reaches a crescendo and then dies down!
I can see how they like this kind of language. It gets me all worked up already. :)
Bob Tisdale is easily amused:
February 28, 2015 at 4:11 pm
Janice Moore says: “Bwah, ha, ha, ha, haaaaaaaaaaaa!”
Thanks, that made me laugh!!!!!
E.M.Smith is an unashamed paranoid conspiracy theorist who approves of the CFACT article:
February 28, 2015 at 11:04 am
“Climate Science” is a political movement and tool, not real independent science. They are using political tools and motivation and norms, not those of science.
This is not an accident, it is by design. Parasitize and take over NGOs, Foundations, Government Agencies, then use them to advance an Agenda. The particular agenda has a few variations, but has been with us for decades to generations. The goal is to use government power and mandates to funnel money to fellow travelers. This used to be called “corruption”. Now it’s called business as usual…
So yes, it’s a Jihad. A “holy war” on traditional Science. All organs must be bent to the service of the un-elected few…
ScienceABC123 wants to know what would prove climate science false:
February 28, 2015 at 11:07 am
Let me make this easy for the White House. I’m a “climate skeptic” or by your words a “climate denier.” I look forward to being contacted by you or your representatives. Before you do so please come prepared.
It seems everything proves man-made climate change: high temperatures, low temperatures, more rain, more droughts, no snow, blizzards, more hurricanes, less hurricanes, more tornadoes, fewer tornadoes, and volcanoes.
For any hypothesis to be scientific it has to be falsifiable (i.e. there has to be some condition that can’t happen). So how is man-made climate change scientific? What conditions would prove it false? What conditions occurred in the past before man-made climate change that don’t occur now?
There are lots of things he or she could watch out for. For example, if it were discovered that CO2 didn't absorb and emit longwave radiation. If global surface temperatures plummeted without any known negative forcing (supervolcanic eruptions, nuclear wars etc); if all the ice reversed the melting, if sea levels started falling, if the atmosphere started expanding, if the stratosphere starting warming, if the troposphere started cooling etc etc.
George Lawson seems to believe what he wrote. The mental models of deniers are bewildering.
February 28, 2015 at 11:12 am
A brilliant article that sums up the true facts on both sides of the argument. Thank you Mr Driessen. If it doesn’t give a wake up call to all the GW sinners, it might just make a few decent warmists see the light. Is the article likely to appear on any other blog or magazine?.
Rich Carman weirdly thinks there are two "sides", (Perhaps he can help out John.)
February 28, 2015 at 11:24 am
A robust debate would be desirable but unlikely; however, it might be possible for someone to sponsor a discussion that would be designed to document where the two sides agreed and where they disagreed. Certainly both sides could agree to certain data that is not in dispute.
Joel O'Bryan, who tends to the overwrought himself, writes:
February 28, 2015 at 11:27 am
The first two paragraphs seem a bit overwrought to me. But I do agree in concept that The Climate Crisis™ establishment is in a crisis. The crisis is of their own now-clear dishonesty about the science of climate and failure to acknowledge basic uncertainties, uncertainties that have continued to grow with the years. Sadly, the science of climate physics is still firmly in the hands of the climate pseudoscientists. It is sadly because it may allow the political controllers to not recognize and prepare for the clear global and national societal dangers a cooling world can bring.
Louis is one of several who seems to be trying to justify harassment of climate scientists, while decrying fishing expeditions of deniers and disinformers.
February 28, 2015 at 12:18 pm
All investigations are not wrong. They can be If used to silence those you disagree with. But they are a necessary tool to uncover wrongdoing. The important thing is that they be fair and based on fact rather than innuendo. The current overreach by alarmists may be intentional to get people sick of investigations so they can continue to hide their own misconduct. Let’s not fall into their trap.
mpainter boasts that it's the end of science, now that the disinformers have Hollywood on their side :)
February 28, 2015 at 11:56 am
Hollywood is now getting into the mêlée on the side of the skeptics.
Do you realize what that means? It is the crack of doom for the AGW cultists
Talk about exaggeration. davidmhoffer probably really believes that livelihoods are being threatened and that this will lead to lives being threatened. Does that mean he thinks that the current enquiries will come up with some damning evidence?
February 28, 2015 at 12:20 pm
It is a slippery slope from threatening someone’s livelihood to threatening someone’s life to coerce them into silence or support of your belief system.
If you are of the belief that the current smear campaign is anything but coercion, then you’re a fool. Dr Pielke has already announced that he is abandoning his climate research due to those precise coercion tactics.
Either we settle our differences through reasoned debate and compromise, or we don’t.
Is D.S. talking about Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Ben Santer, Andrew Weaver or who?
February 28, 2015 at 12:24 pm
So asking someone to spend all their time and money, and sometimes even lose their jobs (as is often what is called dor by the accusers,) defending themselves against baseless accusations from people who just desperately don’t want to hear what is being said is not an attempt to silence them?
Or here is a better question – if the science is 100% sound, what difference does it make where funding comes from? Look at, say, Hitler… He is responsible for bringing about some of most advanced science and design of the 20th century. Because Hitler was behind it though, does it then becomes junk? Of course not, claiming that would be insane. It is the SCIENCE which needs to be scrutinized at, not how the science was funded! Only if the science is faulty (as is often the case in support of AGW) that the funding should even be considered.
Obsessing over funding in an attempt to ignore the science merely proves irrational bias where reality is much less important than desire
Does David Ball really not understand why Andrew Weaver and Michael Mann are suing his father for defamation? I find that hard to believe. Tim Ball is not shy.
February 28, 2015 at 3:09 pm
Barry February 28, 2015 at 11:53 am says;
No one is trying to silence anyone.
Really Barry? Then why are two climate modellers suing my father? Was it something he said? Both suits were filed 9 days apart? Coincidence? You are so full of s**t.
You never even had the courage to respond to the multitude of posts that destroyed your “anomaly” map.
You post garbage and then cannot defend it. You do understand that people see through you, don’t you?
Streetcred, who might never have read a scientific publication in his life, wants "data" and "code":
February 28, 2015 at 3:25 pm
Well, the jihadis can start by providing the data and code behind their ‘papers’ …
Jonathan Abbott is one of the very few who thinks the article was a big mistake
February 28, 2015 at 12:00 pm
Anthony, this post is a big mistake. You should remove it and apologise.
That comment displeased dbstealey, who is a hard core science denier (aka Smokey etc)
February 28, 2015 at 12:02 pm
And why is it ‘a big mistake’? Because you don’t agree?
You should apologize, for advocating censorship.
MCourtney seems to approve of the CFACT article. He used to be a more reasonable (as opposed to rational) denier. I guess he's got caught up in the emotion of it all.
February 28, 2015 at 12:26 pm
Threatening to kill those who disagree with you is bad. Do you think that is a mistake? It isn’t. And I hope I would say that to your face even if you were armed and disagree with me.
Threatening to destroy the livelihood of those who disagree with you is bad. Do you think that is a mistake? It isn’t. And I hope I would say that to your face even if you were influential on my funding and disagree with me.
It’s the threatening that is wrong, you see.
The violence is in acting upon the intent to harm a person because of their belief.
You should know that, in my opinion.
But if you don’t, I won’t try and hurt you.
There are a lot more comments, but that's as much as I've the energy for. It does seem to me that WUWT has shifted from pseudo-science nuttery into an extremism that defies description. This isn't a once-off. You'll recall the Tim Ball articles and how Anthony Watts handled that. He's definitely shifted his stance. If it's an attempt to shove the Overton Window I cannot see it working. This sort of extremist language will alienate moderate conservatives, not win them over.