The “tobacco angle” being the notion that the fossil fuel industry allegedly fully knows their products cause catastrophic global warming harm in a manner no different that the tobacco industry knowing full well about the cancer-causing harm of cigarette smoking, and how both industries are accused of creating disinformation campaigns to deceive the public about the harm of their products. Within the global warming disinformation accusation is the claim that some of the same people supposedly spewing climate disinformation also did so for the tobacco industry. “Merchants of Doubt” book author / documentary movie star Naomi Oreskes gained heroic – no, make that “supernova” / “living legend” – status from revealing this claim to the world, partly praised on that latter accolade by no less than the person she credits with being the first to steer her toward that ‘tobacco industry connection,’ Lawrence Livermore atmospheric scientist Ben Santer.
Examine Oreskes’ particular narrative about …
1) being personally attacked after she wrote a paper about the scientific consensus for man-caused global warming; 2) advised to talk to Ben Santer, a victim of a similar attack; and 3) how Santer “started telling this whole story about how he had been attacked by Fred Seitz and how it was just like the tobacco industry…”
…. at a superficial level, and sounds quite plausible. Go deeper on that last bit, and various problems start to arise. Continue reading →
To briefly recap the salient points of Naomi Oreskes’ tale of how Dr Ben Santer (as opposed to Erik Conway) was the catalyst leading her to expose skeptic climate scientists as ‘corporate-paid/corrupted merchants of doubt’: she innocently wrote a paper published in Science; she was personally attacked for exposing the truth of a ‘science consensus’ on man-caused global warming; her colleagues suggested she speak to Ben Santer who’d been similarly attacked while doing innocent science work; and she soon learned their mutual attackers were shills of the fossil fuel industry, and her exposé of this propelled her into heroic status.
Part of that tale hinges on Dr Santer, an atmospheric scientist, being supposedly attacked by greedy corporate interests and their shills for simply doing the right thing of altering the text of a finalized, approved chapter within the IPCC’s 1995 report so that it reflected what everyone already agreed upon.
Wait … what? That enigma situation right there with Dr Santer really looks hardly different from the fictional one seen famously in the Tom Cruise / Jack Nicholson movie, A Few Good Men: “If you gave an order that Santiago wasn’t to be touched, and your orders are always followed, then why would he be in danger, why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base?” Continue reading →
When a person claims to have been innocently speaking on a specific topic, only to be horrified by sudden, personal, vicious attacks over it, to the point of becoming sick, then learns soon afterward how this isn’t a unique situation but is instead part of a larger orchestrated plot run by sinister forces to attack other scientists the same way, the person takes on a heroic status by exposing the organizations and actors behind the attacks.
What happens when there were no personal attacks in the supposedly comparable situation, though, and most of what this person says about the tangential details of the comparison is strangely inconsistent? Continue reading →
Naomi Oreskes seems to increasingly take on the appearance of the kind of braggadocio we encounter in grade school or high school, where everyone who socializes with this person is awed by their really impressive-sounding feats for the first several times …. until finally somebody exclaims, “wait a minute, that isn’t what you told us last time,” which then prompts someone else to say, “that’s right, plus that other claim you made earlier isn’t the same as what you said just now.”
In one of her barely weeks-old retellings of her tale about what brought her into the global warming issue, she made her problem incrementally worse. Continue reading →
The ‘ordinary citizen’ isn’t merely me, but is likely many other people who met and/or had the opportunity to correspond with the late atmospheric physicist Dr S Fred Singer. He died at 95 years old on April 6th, and many tributes to him are collected at his SEPP organization’s April 11 newsletter, while others are seen at AmericanThinker by Marc Sheppard and Michael Widlanski, and elsewhere such as at The Reference Frame and the American Council on Science and Health – my apologies for fine tributes I omit. In a technical sense, I owe a good part of my current situation to Dr Singer, since it was his initial kind response back in 2005 that corroborated what I thought was a fatal problem in the notion of man-caused global warming. I have little doubt that he offered the same kind of kind interaction with countless other common citizens – and that’s why the global warming issue is about more than just science.
The integrity of any given authoritative statement can be measured by how well it stands up in debate about it, and how open to discussion the person is who made the statement. Dr Singer readily made himself available for such discussions, even with ordinary citizens, and he set the standard for how people receiving his inquiries and challenges should react. A standard, I soon discovered, that was not held by people I posed questions to on the IPCC/Al Gore side of the issue.
Enviro-activists across the board have every appearance in the world of being petrified of engaging in pure science data debate over whether it is established fact that human-induced carbon dioxide is the main driver of global warming. Who can forget the spectacle of Dr Gavin Schmidt refusing to debate face-to-face with Dr Roy Spencer, or Dr Katharine Hayhoe channeling Dr Schmidt while demanding an outrageous 49-to-1 ratio of debaters on each side? What possibly drives this fear? Ross Gelbspan encapsulated it best when he said the public would never take action to solve global warming if they perceived the need for that wasn’t proven. How do you convince the public there’s no need for debate? Label skeptic climate scientists as ‘shills who are paid to lie by the fossil fuel industry.’ Dr Hayhoe encapsulated this solution when she offered exactly that accusation in a Q & A session, while citing a pair of books by James Hoggan and Naomi Oreskes. Each, in turn, encapsulated the citation cascade problem, where every major accusation about ‘crooked skeptic climate scientists’ always funnels right back to Gelbspan.
As I detailed in my February 8, 2019 blog post, Naomi Oreskes and her close associates only amplified this faulty source problem in their weeks-old ‘friend of the court’ brief for the six current California global warming lawsuits, which themselves, are enslaved to Gelbspan’s worthless ‘leaked memos’ accusation evidence. The critical thing to never forget here is that these lawsuits offer no science debate, they state it as a forgone conclusion and demand judgment against evil Big Energy companies for colluding with ‘shill scientists’ to spread lies. The otherwise disinterested public would only be perplexed by a dismissal of the cases via hugely complicated and inconclusive arguments about science details.
If it was revealed that very prominent people knew all along that their science was no good and that the only way to win was to destroy their critics through character assassination, the public might become livid as to why this wasn’t revealed much earlier than now. That’s where Al Gore’s “Bill” problem becomes part of a larger concern worthy of deep investigation. Continue reading →
I’ve posed a tough question to ‘global warming true believers’ for years ….
….. and it always turns out embarrassingly bad for people attempting to answer the question. So, regarding this particular hapless anonymous commenter, let’s peel back the layers and see where the wipeouts occur. But after that exercise, consider this: what happens when this same basic inquiry is put to luminaries such as former Vice President Al Gore, or to “Merchants of Doubt” documentary movie star/book author Naomi Oreskes, or to the plaintiffs in the assortment of global warming lawsuits, all of whom claim the fossil fuel industry hid the harm of its product causing global warming by hiring shill scientists to spread misinformation? Continue reading →
Among the five major ‘leaked memo’ situations which enviro-activists try to say are proof of sinister fossil fuel industry collusion efforts with skeptic climate scientists to spread doubt about the certainty of man-caused global warming, only two stand out at least on a superficial level as being particularly damaging. The one with seemingly the most devastating appearance is the so-called “Information Council for the Environment” (ICE) public relations memos of 1991, supposedly detailing Western Fuels Association (WFA) efforts to push misinformation that would achieve the goal to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” among a nationwide audience of gullible “older less-educated men and young low-income women.” Problem is, those memos are worthless as evidence of that conspiracy because they were never part of the short-lived, small three-city-only pilot project ICE PR campaign.
The second most damaging, laughably so when its actual content is taken into consideration in an objective manner, is the 1998 American Petroleum Institute (API) “Victory Will Be Achieved when …” leaked memo. Continue reading →
You couldn’t ask for a more damaging report to reappear against Al Gore and enviro-activists’ collective notion that ‘skeptic climate scientists are on the payroll of Big Coal and Oil’ — inexplicably posted to Youtube just weeks ago by Kert Davies, one of the main promulgators of that accusation. Quoting Nightline host Ted Koppel in this February 24, 1994 “Is Science for Sale?” program, starting at the 1:06 point,
A number of years ago, I ran into then-Senator Al Gore at LaGuardia Airport … Senator Gore used the occasion to sketch out on a napkin one of his chief ecological concerns, depletion of the ozone layer. Ever the environmental activist, Senator Gore was proposing a Nightline program on the subject. He’s the Vice President now, of course, but he is still proposing. A few weeks ago, Mr Gore called to draw our attention to some of the forces, political and economic, behind what he would regard as the anti-environmental movement. The Vice President suggested that we might want to look into connections between scientists who scoff at the so-called greenhouse effect, for example, and the coal industry.
Matt Pawa, a leading lawyer in four current global warming lawsuits aimed at fossil fuel companies, described elsewhere as the main motivator behind such action, has already been admonished for attempting to push ‘evidence’ in one of his lawsuits which wasn’t what it was insinuated to be. I also covered this problem in detail in my March 30, 2018 post, and briefly noted in my prior blog post how Pawa’s 2008 Kivalina v. Exxon global warming lawsuit indicated how he was apparently impressed enough with Ross Gelbspan’s work to cite a prominent article of his directly in the lawsuit which supported the idea of fossil fuel industry funding and orchestrating ‘shill scientist experts.’
Like so many other facets of the ‘corrupted skeptic climate scientists’ accusation which enviro-activists hope nobody explores in any depth, Pawa’s citation of Gelbspan’s article doesn’t lead to a tidy explanation of the ‘corruption,’ it prompts the question of whether Pawa has once again been caught citing ‘evidence’ that isn’t what it professes to be. Continue reading →