Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Un-American witch hunts: Karl Rove Tactic #3 from WUWT

Sou | 7:58 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment
If there is one thing that defines climate science deniers it is that they are conspiracy theorists. Some wilful deniers believe the disinformers who claim that climate science is a hoax and that scientists are committing fraud. WUWT is full of it. Today it's Eric Worrall's turn (archived here). This time he's doing a Karl Rove, and accusing Senator Whitehouse of being a conspiracy theorist because he is exposing the deliberate disinformation campaigns allegedly paid for in part by fossil fuel companies.

Some background. Over time, more and more evidence has been compiled showing that fossil fuel companies have paid money to climate denying organisations in the USA. This includes ExxonMobil, Peabody coal and others. Today Eric Worrall copied from the Guardian:
The Senate heard how fossil fuel companies such as ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy and the billionaire oil brothers Charles and David Koch had funnelled millions into groups that had spread doubt about the causes of climate change.
The Guardian article has a lot of detail, including the role of paid disinformers like Bob Carter. It also has links to other documentation of the deliberate campaigns to spread climate science denial, including in Australia.

Karl Rove Tactic #3

Eric doesn't believe it. He is claiming Senator Whitehouse invented a conspiracy theory, and likened investigation of funding for climate disinformation to McCarthyism writing:
Whitehouse’s conspiracy theory reminds me of some of the worst excesses of the anti-communist era, in which fantasies about shadowy conspiracies were used to ruin the lives of political opponents and innocent bystanders. But Whitehouse appears to mean every word of it. The Attorneys for Clean Energy effort appears to have faltered, for now, but who knows what the future holds? We can only imagine what will happen if people like Whitehouse win control of the US government, and are put in charge of a new era of “Unamerican Activities” style witch hunts.
I'm told this is Tactic #3 used by Karl Rove, accusing other people of what you yourself are doing. In this case, deniers accuse scientists of fraud and harass them endlessly. This includes everything from court cases and FOI harassment to US GOP lawmakers of misusing their powers to try to intimidate the very people who are investigating the science disinformation networks.

Leading to the precipice of a Constitutional crisis

You may have seen the letter from Eddie Bernice Johnson, in which she castigates Lamar Smith and the GOP lawmakers for "an illegitimate exercise of Congressional oversight power" and of leading "the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology to the precipice of a Constitutional crisis". What Lamar Smith and his cronies did was demand documents from 17 state and territorial attorneys general and 8 non­ governmental organizations (NGOs), which related to their investigations into fraud relating to the climate science disinformation campaign being waged in the USA. By this action, the GOP committee members overstepped their authority. As Johnson wrote:
State attorney generals are elected officials of sovereign state governments. They are not employees of the Federal Government, nor are they subject to federal oversight or control, including by the United States Congress....
...As nearly every state attorney general who responded to your May 18 letters indicated, state government law enforcement officials acting in their official capacities are not within Congress' legislative control. 
As Johnson pointed out, the State Attorneys General were investigating whether or not there has been fraud committed. Lamar Smith doesn't want the states to investigate fraud when it comes to climate science. Johnson wrote:
The investigations, as multiple attorneys general pointed out, are concerned with whether certain fossil fuel companies believed or knew one set of facts, and yet publically disseminated another in order to enrich themselves at others expense. These allegations constitute textbook fraud.

Un-American witch hunt by Lamar Smith, without a leg to stand on

One irony in all this is that, as Johnson pointed out, Lamar Smith relied upon cases in the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee to support his intimidation and harassment of NGOs. This is the very same McCarthy-ist House Un-American Activities Committee that Eric Worrall decried. After going into the detail, Johnson wrote:
If ever there was an example of a "witch hunt" in the history of the United States Congress, the HUAC investigations best fit the bill.  For that reason, it is more than a little disconcerting that you think those cases' fact patterns so closely resemble your own investigation.
But it's worse than that. In the two cases that Lamar Smith relied upon, one of the Joe McCarthy team's convictions was overturned by the Supreme Court and the other conviction was found invalid!

Free speech does not give freedom to defraud the American people

Science deniers can protest all they want about the First Amendment. However the US Constitution does not protect anyone against fraudulent acts. It does not give the right to Lamar Smith or anyone else to falsely accuse scientists or fraud or to falsely claim that climate science is a hoax. It most certainly does not protect fossil fuel companies from indictment for fraud on a grand scale, if it is proven that they paid denier lobby groups to spread lies, while the fossil fuel company knew them to be lies. (See the articles about ExxonMobil on Inside Climate News and what Peabody got up to.)

From the WUWT comments

Eric Worrall and science deniers at WUWT seem to approve of fraud and deception. Eric calls legitimate investigations "witch hunts". He's wrong.

co2isnotevil is either an example of the success of disinformation propaganda or a knowing part of it:
July 12, 2016 at 9:41 pm
I agree and would like nothing more than to see them compelled to justify their broken science in light of all we know about data manipulation, model fudging, their denial of basic physical laws, the conflict of interest resulting from the IPCC being the gatekeeper of climate science and the demonstrably dishonest regime of climate science research, funding, peer review and publishing.
I dare them to go after anyone who understands the scientific facts, for if they did, it’s almost certain that the house of cards called CAGW will collapse and take the Greens and the Progressive Left with it. If this were to happen, I hope it would be televised, so I can DVR it and watch them squirm as the truth comes into focus.

A.D. Everard just wants to see how things unfold:
July 12, 2016 at 8:57 pm
This will have interesting repercussions. Things sure are getting interesting nowadays. Good thing I have heaps of popcorn.

charles the moderator sees reds under every bed and is a fan of Joe McCarthy:
July 12, 2016 at 8:58 pm
Considering that declassified Soviet and FBI documents have subsequently demonstrated that there were many Soviet spies infiltrating our government during the investigations by the House Committee on Unamerican Activities as well as Sen. McCarthy’s hearings in the Senate, you may want to use a different analogy for witch hunts.
There are very few, if any, targets of McCarthy that have turned out to be innocent.
This information is generally suppressed by the current crop of leftist historians that rule the profession and academia. Which is why most of you are generally unaware. It has not made it into text books. McCarthy is still the ultimate villain of US history despite have been completely vindicated. 

Mario Lento claims to know Senator Whitehouse "quite well". I'm guessing he's not a friend. Notice how Mario is using Tactic #3 on a smaller scale.
July 12, 2016 at 9:19 pm
I listened for the first couple of minutes and thought he was talking about climate denial warmists. Actually I know Whitehouse well. He is an ignorant scum.
philincalifornia isn't much chop when it comes to words, but he knows conspiracy-speak:
July 12, 2016 at 9:34 pm
…. and there are still sheepleparrots who believe this shit. 

Th3o Moore is a hard-core conspiracy theorist:
July 12, 2016 at 9:44 pm
The scariest part is what would these people do if they found out for sure they were wrong but thought they could suppress it for twenty years. 
D Long is surprised to find McCarthy fans at WUWT. He or she shouldn't be. WUWT is a nest of extreme right wing conspiracy theorists.
July 12, 2016 at 9:47 pm
So McCarthy’s tactics were ok because there were some spies? Never thought I’d read that here. And he was right about almost everything? I guess the Army was full of communists after all. 
Ray Boorman is another climate hoax conspiracy theorist. What he doesn't know is that his climate hoax has been going since the 1820s and has seeped into many other disciplines. In 200 years the "hoax" hasn't yet been exposed for the "hoax" deniers think it is. Is it that in two centuries there has not been even one science denier who is clever enough to infiltrate mainstream science and expose the conspiracy?
July 12, 2016 at 10:07 pm
This guy is so dumb that he doesn’t realise he is describing pretty much exactly what the AGW cartel have been doing for over 20 years. 

References and further reading

CSPAN video of Senator Whitehouse calling out the climate disinformers

US senators detail a climate science 'web of denial' but the impacts go well beyond their borders - article by Graham Readfearn at The Guardian

Letter from Eddie Bernice Johnson to Lamar Smith - 23 June 2016

Thinking Globally, Acting Vocally: The International Conspiracy to Overheat the Earth - article by Bob Burton and Sheldon Rampton in PR Watch

Karl Rove's Handbook - article by TheDuckManCometh at Daily Kos

Exxon: The Road not Taken - articles at InsideClimateNews

Meaningless, Mean-Spirited McCarthyism: Lamar Smith’s Ironic Investigations - article by ClimateDenierRoundup at DeSmogBlog

How US Senators’ #WebofDenial Helped Spawn and Sustain Climate Science Denial in the UK - article by Graham Readfearn at DeSmogBlog

19 Senators Expose 'Web of Denial' Blocking Action on Climate Change -

From the HotWhopper archives
Photo of Karl Rove from Wikipedia


  1. Conspiracy Theorists accusing others of Conspiracy Theories? Talk about projection!

  2. After years of hunting for people spreading misinformation about climate change, when some genuine evidence of that actually appears, WUWT does not want to know.

  3. DD-rated denialism...double down, denial of denial...Worrall is so stubbornly stupid it's a wonder he can string a sentence together: Eric, the documents are in the public domain...

    I guess everyone can find their niche in this wide world...in this instance Worrall has again jumped into a barrel called WUWT and enticed some other limp fish to join him.

  4. The derogatory connotations of "conspiracy theorist" break down when applied to people who are examining documented proof of genuine conspiracies.

    After all there's a difference between "Exxon funded climate change denial groups" and "the U.S. government planted nanothermite charges in the WTC buildings and faked the plane crashes".

    1. "The derogatory connotations of "conspiracy theorist" break down when applied to people who are examining documented proof of genuine conspiracies."

      Exactly my thoughts. The problem with conspiracy theorist is not that there are no conspiracies, but that the theorist turn everything into a conspiracy. The theory becomes unfalsifiable because any evidence that contradicts their theory is part of the conspiracy.


Instead of commenting as "Anonymous", please comment using "Name/URL" and your name, initials or pseudonym or whatever. You can leave the "URL" box blank. This isn't mandatory. You can also sign in using your Google ID, Wordpress ID etc as indicated. NOTE: Some Wordpress users are having trouble signing in. If that's you, try signing in using Name/URL. Details here.

Click here to read the HotWhopper comment policy.