21 June 2010

A New Black List

Little did I know it, but I am intimately associated with the world's most accomplished "climate skeptic." But he is not actually a skeptic, because he believes that humans have a profound influence on the climate system and policy action is warranted. More on that in a second.

A new paper is out today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (which I'll call APHS10 after the author's initials) that segregates climate scientists into the "convinced" and the "unconvinced" -- two relatively ambiguous categories -- and then seeks to compare the credentials of the two groups. The paper is based on the tireless efforts of a climate blogger, self-described as "not an academic," who has been frustrated by those who don't share his views on climate change:
I've also grown all too familiar with the tiny minority of 'climate skeptics' or 'deniers' who try to minimize the problem, absolve humans of any major impact, or suggest there is no need to take any action. I've gotten pretty fed up with the undue weight given to the skeptics in the media and online.
What qualifies one to be on the APHS10 list of skeptics, which I'll just call the "black list"? Well, you get there for being perceived to have certain views on climate science or politics. You get on the black list if you have,
signed any of the open letters or declarations expressing skepticism of the IPCC's findings, of climate science generally, of the "consensus" on human-induced warming, and/or arguing against any need for immediate cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, it turns out that you don't even have to sign an open letter or argue against immediate cuts for emissions. You can simply appear unwillingly on Senator James Inhofe's list. A co-author of APHS10 warns on his website (but not in the paper) of the perils of relying on the Senator's list:
I caution readers to take this with a grain of salt: a number of experts have been included despite their strong support for GHG reductions. However, the list does record a significant number of people who are outspoken critics of Kyoto or of efforts to cut GHG emissions generally.
So you can find yourself on the black list as a "climate skeptic" or "denier" simply because you express strong support for greenhouse gas reductions, but have been critical of the Kyoto approach. On the other hand, a scientist like James Hansen, who has expressed considerable disagreement with aspects of the IPCC consensus, finds himself on the list of people who are said to agree with the IPCC consensus. In fact, it appears that simply being a contributor to the IPCC qualifies one to be on the list of those who are defined to be in agreement with the IPCC consensus and/or demand immediate action on emissions reductions and support Kyoto (unless of course one doesn't qualify, in which case you are placed on the other list -- it is complicated, trust me).

So what does this new paper measure exactly? Hell if I know. But it is clear that in the climate debate there are good guys and there are bad guys, and to tell them apart, it is important to have a list. A black list.

Back to the world's most accomplished "climate skeptic." That would be my father who not only tops the black list but also would be near the top of the list of acceptable scientists based on his credentials, had he been placed there. What sort of views does my father hold that would qualify him to lead the "climate skeptics" list?

I was copied on his reply to a reporter today and can quote from that. He provides this rather ambiguous statement:
I am not a "climate skeptic".
Note to Dad, there is no better evidence of your denier credentials than denying that you are a denier. Trust me -- been there, done that. Far from being a skeptic, my father has long argued that the IPCC has underestimated the human influence on the climate system, which includes but is not limited to carbon dioxide, a view that is pretty mainstream these days, thanks in part to his work. Does he "try to minimize the problem, absolve humans of any major impact, or suggest there is no need to take any action"? Well, no.

What my father does do is ask questions, challenge preconceptions, advance hypotheses and test them with data and analysis, followed by publication of his work in the world's leading climate journals for a period of decades without much regard for whether his work supports or challenges a consensus -- in short, he does exactly the sort of thing that makes you one of the most published and most cited scientists of your generation. But in the bizarre world of climate science deviation from or challenge to orthodox views on science or politics is enough to get you on a list as the top bad guy.

APHS10, co-authored by a leading climate scientist (Steve Schneider) and appearing in the premier journal of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) may very well mark a new low point in the pathological politicization of climate science. But hey, at least now we have a list. A black list.


  1. I have a better idea. Lets rank the quality of the climate scientists by their level of research funding in relationship to their views on the "consensus". I bet we'd find the government gets what it pays for.

  2. LOL. Was this peer-reviewed?? NAS goes down another notch.

  3. Totalitarianism must always find enemies to demonise,just cast an eye back over 20th century history.

  4. This sounds like the French World Cup team and their travails. At least when you and your dad write I can understand what you are saying... except for that decarbonization thingee of yours. ;)

  5. As a physicist, it would be an honor to find myself on this list. Freeman Dyson, Frederick Seitz, Ivar Giaever, ...

    I love how he puts "not climate related" under the "areas of research" column. Mr. Prall has no clue as to how incredibly versatile these individuals are. (Do a bio look up on any of the 3 I mentioned and see how many fundamental discoveries they have made, especially Dyson.) Climate science is a coming together of many sciences, but at its heart is physics. When these people speak, I listen.

    One reason more scientists of this stature don't express their suspicions about Catastrophic-All-CO2-AGW is they don't want their name on these blacklists. Dyson has made very astute observations about climate science and climate policy, but expressing these views has made him a heretic in the Church of Environmentalism (using words from his own writings).

    Roger, we can quibble about what skeptic means, but I would say that your father is a heretic (apostate?) in the Church of Catastrophic-All-CO2-AGW. I read his blog. I would not label him a skeptic (Hypothesis 1 believer) and neither would he, as the quote you cited attests. But Hypothesis 2a is as heretical as Luther's 95 Theses to believers of Hypothesis 2b, and this brands him a skeptic/denier/insert-your-favorite-pejorative in their view.

  6. So was this, per chance, a “communicated” paper?


    1. This paper was submitted as a "Contributed" article - of which an NAS member can submit 4 per year; they do not have to write the paper, just be party to the design. They select two qualified reviewers of their choice and submit the item directly to the reviewers - and then for publication. Few people are aware of this distinction of categories and assume the same stringent level of review of PNAS' "Direct Submission" apply. Not the case.

  7. I am just flabbergasted by this. It's disgusting, but it also shows just how bankrupt the CAGW consensus is at this point. They have no response to the arguments any more. Brian Angliss is trying to mathematically prove that it is not necessary to read skeptical arguments. People over at Keith Kloor's are arguing there is no need to read The Hockey Stick Illusion.

    It's a will to ignorance, and this is a part. We don't need to consider arguments from outside the tent--they don't meet my jury-rigged criteria for credibility.

    This is a black day for science as an institution.

  8. This is not a "new low" for NAS- this is why the NAS was formed. The NAS was born as an attempt by Louis Agassiz's to limit the teaching of Darwinism by packing a new academy with quasi government authority with hand picked experts. (Dana if I remember undermined the plan) The science of evolution in the late 19th century was fought by blacklisitng, threats on funding, packing Universities with right minded academics etc. The subject may change, the years may change but humans continue to do the things that humans do.

  9. I suppose it is dumb to ask the question:

    Why in $#*& does the belief system of a scientist matter?

    What place does a paper which categorizes scientists have in a supposedly scientific publication?

    At what point will this ridiculous hypocrisy stop?

    And why does Schneider still have any credibility whatsoever?

    He's been wrong time and time again.

    He's flat out said he is not objective.

    And how he's trying his darndest to set up a McCarthyite system against the 'skeptics' starting with this list.

  10. Dividing science into believers and non-believers; What next - witch trials? MCcCarthyist hearings in the National Academy? That the PNAS would print such drivel dressed up as science is disheartening to me and dangerous to science.

  11. I figured the "UE" with all those papers was your dad. I also think the papers method of identifying "UE" vs "CE" doesn't make a tremendous amount of sense.

  12. Roger: I must be missing something here. The term "black list" sounds to my ears inflammatory; almost as much as holocaust or Nazi metaphors.

    Is there any evidence that people on this "black list" will be fired from their jobs and shunned by employers or suffering some other, but similarly painful, treatment as those on the Hollywood black list were?

    I strongly disapprove of the personal attacks embodied by the sorts of lists that appear on the blog to which you linked and am not trying to defend that crap. But calling this a "black list" seems over the top and trivializes the injustices of the McCarthy years. I certainly hope your father is spared the travails Dalton Trumbo endured.

    Finally, I am baffled about two things in your account of the PNAS paper: (1) I don't see how appearing on Inhofe's list earns membership in UE: "We define UE researchers as those who have signed reputable statements strongly dissenting from the views of the IPCC." (2) I miss where in the PNAS paper names are actually named. Hard to have a blacklist if there are no names, but only anonymous statistics.

    The blog you link to does qualify as a list (although not black), but I didn't see anything in the PNAS paper that would direct a reader to the blog. The presence of a common author seems a slim connection.

    In conclusion, the PNAS paper seems to me pointless and banal, but innocuous; hardly a black list.

    P.S. I'm equal opportunity on this, and commented some time back on your blog to express my disappointment and disapproval of Peter Gleick's comparing his opponents' actions to those of the Nazis, Stalinists, and the Taliban.

  13. -12-Jonathan

    1. The term "black list" is a reference to McCarthyite tactics, not Nazi.

    2. Yes, I can personally attest to sanctions levied upon those who appear on such lists.

    3. Your (1) bafflement is shared by me.

    4. The list of names used in the paper are at the website that I linked to:

    The fact that it is not linked from PNAS is indeed interesting.

    5. Pointless and banal? Perhaps. But to the contrary, for instance,Joe Romm has already invoked the list as representing people not-to-be-included in climate policy discussions: "It is time for the media to stop listening to, quoting, and enabling the anti-scientist disinformers."


  14. Roger--
    >>The fact that it is not linked from PNAS is indeed interesting.
    It certainly doesn't seem to be. I looked after SteveMcIntyre said he was on the list, and couldn't find one in the paper or supplemental materials. Keith linked the same article you did and wrote "As Judith also pointed out, the data for the study can be found here.",with here linked.

    Do we have any confirmation that the list on the blog is the real list?

  15. Roger:

    1. I was not under the misapprehension that Hitler was alive and active in the US in the 1950s. My point was that invoking McCarthy is a lot like invoking Hitler: it tends to shut down reasonable discussion. I'm sorry for not being clearer about that.

    3. I don't understand your response. You said that people on Inhofe's list are included in the PNAS paper's UE list, but that is at odds with the sentence I quoted from the PNAS paper's methods section (in the supplemental information). Maybe I missed it, but where in the PNAS paper do you see that they used Inhofe's list for anything?

    5. Joe Romm, in giving marching orders to the media, might brush up on his Shakespeare ;-)
    Glendower:I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

    Hotspur:Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them?

  16. There are two instances of a very telling word choice in the opening paragraph of this paper:

    "Although preliminary estimates from published literature and expert surveys suggest striking agreement among climate scientists on the *tenets* of anthropogenic climate change (ACC),[...] we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i)97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the *tenets* of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [...]"


    n. An opinion, doctrine, or principle held as being true by a person or especially by an organization [The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language]

    n. a belief, opinion, or dogma
    [from Latin, literally: he (it) holds, from tenēre to hold] Collins English Dictionary

    noun principle, rule, doctrine, creed, view, teaching, opinion, belief, conviction, canon, thesis, maxim, dogma, precept, article of faith Non-violence is the central tenet of their faith.
    [Collins Thesaurus of the English Language]

    It's also interesting to note that "consensus" has been (quietly?!) dropped in favour of the more refined "striking agreement among climate scientists".

    Mind you, there's probably no need for "consensus" about a dogma, or articles of faith - or any of the other definitions of "tenet". Striking agreement is probably more than sufficient.

    As for me, well ... to paraphrase an old gospel song ...

    Gimme that ol' time evidence,
    Gimme that ol' time evidence,
    Gimme that ol' time evidence,
    It's good enough for me.

  17. Roger,

    Interesting choice of workds in Joe Romm's statement:

    "... and enabling the anti-scientist disinformers".

    Maybe the "anti-scientist" label could be applied to me. But I am in no way, shape or form "anti-science".

    Science is the best tool we have for discovering our world. Scientists, on the other hand are all too human.


    Being anti-scientist is NOT being anti-science.

  18. Gilligan,
    When did I ever make the kind of comparison you claim I made?

  19. My two favorite comments on this pathetic farrago are:

    First, from the paper which divides people into two ridiculously named categories, "convinced by the evidence" (CE) and "unconvinced by the evidence" (UE):

    The UE group comprises only 2% of the top 50 climate researchers as ranked by expertise (number of climate publications), 3% of researchers of the top 100, and 2.5% of the top 200, excluding researchers present in both groups.

    "Researchers present in both groups"? How does that work?

    The other was from one of the authors, showing how the people who are being blacklisted are not blacklisted at random, but are being blacklisted for scientific reasons:

    Prall agrees that the system may not be perfect, but he thinks it's good enough. "It's conceivable that some people have formed a fixed point of view," he says. "But the editors of journals, if they have formed a resistance to outside points of view, they have done so after years of seeing all the good, bad, and in-between papers. They know the field better than anyone else."

    There's your problem, Roger, you were probably unaware of the omniscience of journal editors, who clearly know more about the field than do the scientists submitting studies to the journals ...


  20. "So what does this new paper measure exactly?"
    It measures the opinions, agenda and bias of the activists who wrote it, arbitrarily pigeonholing people into one of just two categories on a very complex issue.

    "What my father does do is ask questions, challenge preconceptions..."
    in other words he is a skeptic, as all scientists should be - question everything and don't just accept other people's opinions. That's how scientific progress is made. He should be proud to be at the top of that list.

    I'm tempted to contact Prall and ask him to add my name to the list.

  21. Although we may disagree on some points, Dr. P, I share your complete disgust with this business. "The Consensus" must be really, really terrified and panicked; that's the only possible explanation for such an absurd, anti-science, and destructive paper to be published.

    I can only regard this as yet more evidence that the actual science underlying the CO2-driven warming theory is so weak as to be nonexistent.

  22. Doesn't this kind of thing just lead to an argument from authority? Sort of like "4 out of 5 dentists prefer ..." What difference does it make if I only have 2 papers if those papers are correct, whereas the other guy has 10 papers but 9 are wrong or irrelevant?

    Ah, but who judges correctness or relevance?

  23. A few observations:

    1. The abstract states that "the American public expresses substantial doubt about both the anthropogenic cause and the level of scientific agreement underpinning ACC" [anthropentric climate change]
    It depends how you define substantial doubt. But it is evident that the public in most countries agree with the proposal to do something about the problem, even demand more action. So the premise of the study does not hold.
    2. I note that none of the authors is a social scientist but all references (with the exception of #3 to the IPCC WG1) are sociological. It is good to see so much interest in this research by engineers and scientists (would they appreciate sociological contributions to, say, sea level rise?)
    3. Could it be that the misinterpretation of 1) has to do with 2)? Why would anyone try to prove that the top scientists are agreed on ACC because the public does not listen? What the authors do not realize is that public opinion is a strange beast and that you cannot try to 'correct' it by putting out more of the same. But as I say, the whole exercise is futile because the public does care (no matter what the science says in detail).

  24. How much longer will the pernicious nature of CAGW be tolerated? Much longer and we will see it metastasize into even more areas of society.
    Frankly you have granted far too much goodwill and good intentions to the CAGW promoters.
    It is long past time to stand up to obvious corruption and suppression.

  25. Try this: terms like "climate skeptic" or "denialist" can be used in one of three ways:

    1) To try to describe a person's point of view on the issue of climate change.

    2) To try to describe a person's position in a social game (the climate tribal wars).

    3) To try to place a person in a position in this social game. Themselves or someone else, voluntarily or deliberately.

    This is confusing since people keep mixing these three up and since 1) is almost meaningless, given the complexity of the issue.

  26. Wow. Roger, you know I disagree with you on many things, but not on this.
    What the heck where they thinking? Even if the analysis had some validity -- and from a first glance, I'm definitely not convinced it does -- it's not helpful, to put it mildly. I'm totally appalled.

  27. -26-Eric

    Thank for the comment, but since we get many "Erics" around here, it'd be useful to know which one you are ;-)

  28. PG: Here's the link: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/05/peter-gleick-fires-back.html?showComment=1273767623338#c2968518649640844498

    For context: I had expressed doubt that you had made such comparisons, but a participant posted a link to your essay, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/gleick/detail?blogid=104&entry_id=47022 in which you wrote, "Fear is an effective tool -- as hate groups and extremists know. It is no accident that repressive regimes of all kinds -- fascists, the Nazis, Stalin, religious states, madrasses -- use tools of hatred, anti-intellectualism, and fear to control knowledge, universities, and intellectuals. Fear grows best when sown in fields of ignorance, while science, rationality, and education are the greatest weapons modern societies have against irrational fear. No wonder Beck and his ilk have intellectuals in their sights; so do the leaders of Iran, and Burma, and the Taliban, and North Korea, for similar reasons," and I expressed disappointment and disapproval of that rhetoric.

    I reject both your assertion in that essay and Roger's assertion in this blog post that there is anything resembling a resurgence of McCarthyism in the US.

  29. Roger: Sorry for being ambiguous:

    Eric Steig.

  30. It isn't me. I would never be so straight forward or sympathetic !

    I predicted the juggernaut would roll on, crushing anything in its path.

    Looks like Professor Steve Schneider of Stanford lead the study. The one that wrote "we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have".

    Why don't we trust climate scientists?


  31. Reiner-

    I agree with you that one of the most annoying aspects of cloaking policy discussions with the mantle of science is when one discipline claims the mantle for itself. This tends to go with an attitude of rejecting other disciplines who would logically be included under the mantle. And how that could actually be considered to be "science" rather than a disciplinary territory-grabbing event is beyond me.

    And the fact that people who have most research papers, probably get more funding and are thereby more invested in believing in it..well that's just human nature. Which sociologists understand better than anyone..Probaby why they are not included under the mantle, and their discipline needs to be reinvented by others of a more orthodox and less questioning persuation.

  32. Under which "science" in the National Academy does this "research" fall?

    It's very difficult to comprehend how such things could ever appear in PNAS.

  33. Eric144: Professor Schneider also said, in the same place, that "we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts."

    You are very selective in what parts of Schneider's words you pay attention to, and your description completely mischaracterizes the long record of what Schneider has actually consistently written and said over the years about the science of climate change.

    I remain appalled at the willingness of so many people in all parts of this debate to turn to personal invective and ascribe malicious intent and unethical conduct to people they disagree with.

    Discussing Schneider's paper on its merits would be one thing, but it's absurd to accuse him of dishonesty or of trying to impose a black list.

    Simply, if there's such a terrible conspiracy to suppress dissent, why were both Roger and Richard Tol invited to be lead authors on IPCC AR5?

  34. Publication of this article by the NAS is very useful and illuminating. The NAS is shown to be an organization of little or no credibility.

  35. -29-Eric

    Thanks, and thanks for dropping by.

  36. PNAS has always had the problem that academy members could get any junk they wanted into the journal, bypassing real peer review. They reformed it a couple of decades ago to make members of the academy do some cursory 'peer-review', but since the members get to select their own referees, this is somewhat of a joke.

    Tendentious crap like this paper, masquerading as social science, only serves to discredit the journal further.

    Full disclosure: I have one paper in the journal. I was submitted through an academy member precisely to bypass the peer review process. It's not that the paper was scientifically weak (it has several hundred citations) but we considered it not improbable that a reviewer would sit on the m/s and try to scoop us on the result.

  37. Apparently, one can be listed as a member of the consensus by signing a letter published in Science, May 7, 2010, "Climate Change and the Integrity of Science.

    The letter includes the following statement:

    "We also call for an end to McCarthy- like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distractions to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them." http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.full.pdf+html

    Perhaps there is some common ground to be found here.

  38. One can be listed as a climate activist for signing this letter. http://www.openletterfromscientists.com/index.html

    On the key issue of the magnitude of future projected warming, the letter takes this bold stance:

    "While we cannot predict the details of our climate future with a high degree of certainty, the majority of studies from a large number of research groups in the US and elsewhere project that unabated emissions could produce between 1 and 6 degrees C more warming through the year 2100."

    Although I would have worded the statement a bit differently, I wouldn't dispute it. If there is that much uncertainty in climate projections the obvious questions is how do we form policy in light of this uncertainty. That is a political, not a scientific issue.

  39. One somewhat ignorant question; what are the IRB approval requirements for a piece of 'research' like this, particularly given the high probability that some of the 'subjects' can be identified from data in the paper? If 2% of the 50 'top' researchers are UE, that does seem to narrow the field a bit :-)

    Do the 'subjects' need to give consent for a study of this sort?

  40. Anybody know what year Copernicans started getting more funding than those in the heliocentric consensus?

    This study is analogous to an observer plane flying over a bombed site--has the suppression of dissent in any form been achieved yet?

  41. Banjoman0 said...
    "Doesn't this kind of thing just lead to an argument from authority? Sort of like "4 out of 5 dentists prefer ..." What difference does it make if I only have 2 papers if those papers are correct, whereas the other guy has 10 papers but 9 are wrong or irrelevant?"

    Exactly my first thought. It's like saying that Romance writers are the finest authors, based on the number of books published.

  42. OK, now I'm sure these guys are nuts. Dangerous nuts, at that.

  43. By the way, I notice the list has Will Happer listed as a 'particle physicist'. Will is an atomic/molecular physicist. I suspect the list compiler doesn't know the difference (and it's a big difference; ask any physicist). The idea that molecular physics is not 'climate related' is amusing.

    if this is the level of reliability this 'paper' is based on...I mean, all you have to do is look up Will's webpage to figure out what he does!

  44. they will be showing you the instruments of torture next

  45. In the field of psychiatry this paradoxical situation is quite common--the doctor goes completely mental after been driven mad, leaving the crazy patient looking completely sane and becomes a person of "great standing" other patients readily flock too.

    The list is utter rubbish, and the person who compiled the list doesn't seem to have been included with a logical department. Yet other people readily flocked to this list and like it was the most "sanest" thing ever compiled a complete work based on it. And that's when you know those people really are extremists.

  46. Jonathan Gilligan said... 34 Eric144: Professor Schneider also said, in the same place, that "we are ethically bound to the scientific method, ..."

    but continue the quote to it's conclusion -- "Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both."

    Each of us has to decide?! This is moral cover for lying, pure and simple and "cargo cult" science. What needed to be said is "we are ethically bound to the scientific method," full stop.

  47. I know this is my fourth post -- sorry -- but this is the paper that just keeps on giving.

    The four authors of the PNAS paper are a biologist, an electrical engineer, a self-described 'BA from Duke University, where he designed his own major in ethics and intellectual history, and earned an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business', and Schneider, a climate scientist.

    The central premise of the paper is that to be credible in climate science, one must publish in climate science. Fair enough. But none of the authors of this paper, published under the category of 'social science', has any discernible credentials in social science at all!

    Is it possible for four apparently intelligent human beings to be so completely oblivious to irony?

  48. Professor Gilligan

    Here is the full quotation that will allow everyone to make their own judgement. Obviously the rest of us don't work at 'the intersection of science, ethics, and public policy' as you do.

    "On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts.

    On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.

    This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both."


    I notice you subscribe to Sir John Houghton's view that

    "In facing environmental problems . . . we are called to exercise stewardship in as thorough a manner as possible, looking to God for the ability to carry it out. For any situation there are bound to be limitations to our knowledge and our ability to control; what we are invited to do is to go into the situation in partnership with God, knowing that he can take care of those things which we cannot"


    Do you believe it is possible that these religious convictions colour your academic assessments ?

  49. Relying on citation counts, H-factors, and journal impact factors to determine the validity of the scientific content of published papers is not recommended. Take for example this GoogleScholar search, or this one.

    The initial paper announcing discovery of the former has been cited about 549 times, and a paper reporting replication of the discovery, published in a journal having a very high impact factor, has been cited about 379 times. It can be assumed with certainty that citations occurring late in the history of the scientific self-correction process did not praise the original publications.

    The initial paper announcing discovery of the latter, published in another journal having a very high impact factor, has been cited about 207 times.

  50. I would wear membership of that list as a badge of honor.

  51. Do any of the above comments actually undermine the paper's conclusion that climate skeptics form only 2-3% of the scientific community, and are also less qualified? I have not read the paper, but I read here that it does not contain a list of names.

  52. -52-DocRichard

    Depends what you mean by "skeptic" ;-)

    And yes, there is a list of names on the website provided in a link in the supplementary information, with pictures as well.

  53. Shame on the National Academy of Sciences for printing this utter tripe. Double shame on them for allowing a piece of the worst form of political smear to be dressed up as "Science".

    Science, that wondrous invention of the human intellect, is being dragged through the gutter and left in a mangled heap in the filth.

    And the organizations supposedly set up to advance the cause of Science are the lead perpetrators of these crimes. To paraphrase a saying from Stalin's Soviet Union - "there is no Science in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences".

    As for the people who wrote this piece of drivel, they have my utter contempt. "We can't win the argument with Science and reason so let's try to win by throwing lots of sh*t"

  54. The PNAS paper acknowledges (then dismisses) most of its methodological flaws but here's one it missed: Google-counts are a waste of time. They are so fickle that they're worthless for anything more than order-of-magnitude guesstimates and you don't even get that level of utility if you use the wrong search terms. Prall claims to have found 306 climate papers for Roger Pielke Jr. According to the paper and to links at his website, he did this by entering '"RA-Pielke"' in Google Scholar's author box and 'jr climate' in GS's 'with all the words' box. This weird method works surprisingly well but it does catch quite a lot of papers that were written by RPJ's father and it misses some that were written by 'R Pielke Jr' and other variants. Similarly, the 460 papers he found by changing the 'jr' in the 'with all the words' box to 'sr' included some that were written by RPS's son. Oh dear. A fickle tool used badly.

    That second search is a good example of Google's fickleness. Those same search terms now find 349 papers, not 460. How can the tally have fallen? It's Google, innit. (Either that or Prall didn't do what he said he did.) An even better example is Stephen Schneider. When Prall and co. did the searches, Schneider was very expert according to their criteria, with 683 published papers that include the word 'climate'. Plug the prescribed search terms into Google Scholar today and you'll find that Schneider has lost about half of his climate expertise in the past year and is now about as expert as Michael Mann (but not as prominent): 356 climate papers.

    He also has a 'prominence' score of 336. This is the fourth highest number of citations for the papers that Google Scholar could find by Schneider on any subject - climate, pig husbandry, the search for El Dorado: it doesn't matter. (That's Prall's original method. The PNAS paper might have summed the four highest citations instead of taking the fourth highest.) So - using Prall's methods and criteria, who is currently the world's most prominent researcher? It's Charles Darwin (185 climate papers, 4373 citations). And who is currently the world's top climate expert? It's still John Mitchell of the Hadley Centre and probably will be until the world stops turning. According to Prall's tally, Mitchell has published a climate paper about once a week every week for the last 30 or 40 years. The only climate scientist who comes close to matching that level of expertise is a certain C Change (1230, 61).

    Incidentally, if anyone uses Prall's interactive scatter-plot, be aware that the tooltip popups are all mislabelled. For 'citations' read 'climate papers' and vice versa


  55. Instead of lumping genuine skeptics and pseudo-skeptics together and thus creating a (outwardly) homogeneous group, it would be much wiser to try and subcategorize what is now knows as 'the skeptics'.

    That way you can prevent the pseudo-skeptics, whether they are one because they can't judge their own competence or because their ideology prevents them from being a genuine skeptic, to hide behind genuine skeptics, which in my view is causing enormous problems for the climate debate to transition from 'is it real' or 'are human actions to blame' to 'what can and should we do about it'.

    The danger for genuine skeptics, as Scott Denning pointed out in his speech on the Heartland PR conference (that was still mainly about those two first questions, and thus pseudo-skeptic in general), is that their continuous outrage at what AGW-proponents or warmists do or say concerning Global Warming, prevents them from dissociating themselves from pseudo-skeptics (which are not driven by a love of truth, but by psychological, ideological and/or financial motives).

    This in turn will have the effect that when - after all those years of delaying by the pseudo-skeptics who successfully kept the debate from going forward - the debate has finally reached that stage of everyone (seriously) talking about 'what can we do, what do we want to do', the genuine skeptics who never dissociated themselves from the m/disinformers, will simply be shut out from the debate. In fact, from a certain perspective this research might already be evidence of that.

    So instead of playing the persecution card (being shut out of a debate has nothing whatsoever to do with McCarthyism), you might try and think about what people think when, for instance, your father openly associates himself with pseudo-skeptic and disinformer Anthony Watts. For all I know your father is a genuine skeptic, but I'm 100% certain that Anthony Watts isn't. Perhaps in your father's view Watts serves a purpose as a leverage against all the warmist pressure or propaganda or whatever, but in the long term this tactic will only give the special interest contingency of the warmists full monopoly of the policy agenda.

    Or worse, if AGW truly is the big problem that everyone believes it is, the skeptics will have actually helped the pseudo-skeptics with their delaying tactics by letting them a) hide behind them, and b) letting their genuine skeptic points be spun out of proportion. I don't know if I would want to be part of that as a genuine skeptic, ethically speaking.

  56. Is there an outside chance that the correlation between # of published climate papers and agreement with 'mainstream view of human impact on climate' is a result of publication bias?

  57. "That's Oliver Crangle, a dealer in petulance and poison. He's rather arbitrarily chosen four o'clock as his personal Götterdämmerung, and we are about to watch the metamorphosis of a twisted fanatic, poisoned by the gangrene of prejudice, to the status of an avenging angel, upright and omniscient, dedicated and fearsome. Whatever your clocks say, it's four o'clock- and wherever you are, it happens to be the Twilight Zone.”


    Oliver Crangle is a fanatic who maintains records of people he deems evil, calling and writing their employers to remind them of the evil acts in question and to demand their immediate firing. Unsatisfied with the results he gets with anonymous threats, he searches for a more effective way to eliminate all evil from the world. He found the idea of shrinking the "evil" people to two feet tall. He cackles at the idea of that plan.

    His acts attract the attention of the government and Agent Hall is sent to investigate. Crangle tells him that he has finally devised a plan to shrink every "evil" person down to two feet tall at four o'clock that afternoon through sheer force of will. Hall dismisses him as a crank, recommends psychiatric help and leaves. Before departing, Crangle warns that Hall will be two feet tall but is ignored.

    When four o'clock rolls around, Crangle is dismayed to find that he himself has been shrunk to two feet tall. His parrot, Peter, called him a "nut" for his actions.

    Closing narration

    “At four o'clock, an evil man made his bed and lay in it, a pot called a kettle black, a stone-thrower broke the windows of his glass house. You look for this one under 'F' for fanatic, and 'J' for justice...in the Twilight Zone."

  58. They are just studying canon formation,duh. a scripture they helped produce.

    Similar arguments were used to curtail the study of minority authors, back in the day when all we studied were dead white guys.

    Question: does any editor publish papers that are strictly and only critical assessments. A publishing machine that is geared toward "moving knowledge forward" is by design going to present a publication record that "undercounts" pure dissent.

  59. Note: This post has been reposted without permission at Wattsupwiththat. I have entered a comment there asking that they first ask before reposting.

  60. Calling this a 'black list' is nonsense.

    A 'black list' is like the list of 17 scientists that Inhofe witch-hunt came up with.

    This is just a simple and convenient way of drawing a line between so-called 'skeptics' and 'non-skeptics'.

    You can complain all you like about the ins-and-outs and the fine details, and you can dream up whatever algorithm you want to divide scientific viewpoints, but you won't deviate far from the overall conclusion of this paper.

  61. McIntyre was the only one that hadn't signed anything. I know because I totaled up the column and then double checked by filtering the rows on the "Any Declaration" column AC -- which you can do for yourself if you download the workbook. But please use the second sheet. Filtering and formulas don't necessarily mix that well and the formulas in the first sheet have been converted to their values on the second sheet.

    I think it is fair to say that Stephen McIntyre is rather skeptical of much of mainstream science -- even though -- unlike your father -- he hasn't signed one of the skeptic statements. But as I said, he wasn't counted in the PNAS article as based upon his body of work that would have been an honor he didn't deserve. Stephen McIntyre was neither prolific nor cited enough to be counted in the statistics of the PNAS article.

    Do the 'skeptics' stand by the statements they signed? Presumably when they signed the documents they wanted to be counted as skeptics with regard to the positions of mainstream science. Have they changed their minds? Has your father changed his mind? Is the problem that PNAS is calling attention to the fact that they are skeptics? They aren't -- as individuals, not in the PNAS article at least. No names are given. And how can it be a blacklist if no names are given? Or is the problem that it the PNAS article is calling attention to their collective body of work -- measuring it, and finding it wanting? That they are well outside of the mainstream?

  62. I am confused. You wrote,

    "In fact, it turns out that you don't even have to sign an open letter or argue against immediate cuts for emissions. You can simply appear unwillingly on Senator James Inhofe's list. A co-author of APHS10 warns on his website (but not in the paper) of the perils of relying on the Senator's list: ..."

    But no one is listed in the PNAS article as a skeptic because no names are given. As such it doesn't sound like much of a blacklist. In fact to find out who is being counted it is best to go here:

    Skeptical Authors on Climate Science

    Furthermore, if you look there you will find that your father is counted as a skeptic not because Senator Inhofe classified him as a skeptic -- presumably without his permission. Your father is counted a skeptic because he signed the Science and Environmental Policy Project,

    Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Greenhouse Warming

    ... of 1992 where he is listed as:

    Roger Pielke, Ph.D., Professor of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University

    Furthermore, all individuals who are counted as skeptics in Jim Prall's table have signed at least one of the following statements:

    SEPP92 1992 'Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Greenhouse Warming' from the 'Science and Environment Policy Project', 46 signers
    LZ95: 1995 'Leipzig Declaration' organized by Fred Singer, signed by 80 scientists and 25 weathermen
    CA02: 2002 skeptics letter to Canadian P.M. Jean Chretien
    CA03: 2003 skeptics letter to Canadian P.M. Paul Martin
    CA06: 2006 skeptics letter to Canadian P.M. Stephen Harper
    UN07: 2007 skeptics letter to U.N. Sec. General Ban Ki-Moon
    TGGWS: 2007 TV film The Great Global Warming Swindle interviewees
    NIPCC: 2008 Heartland Inst. document Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate, ed. S. Fred Singer, 24 listed contributors
    MHND: 2008 'Manhattan Declaration' from skeptics' conference in NYC
    Cato09: 2009 newspaper ad by the Cato Institute challenging President Obama's stance on climate change; 115 signers
    APS09: 2009 Petition to the American Physical Society to amend their statement on climage change
    CCC09: 2009 'Copenhagen Climate Challenge' 158 signers

    ... with the exception of Stephen McIntyre.

    I know because I put together a spreadsheet here:


    ... where going off of what Jim had in the second column I calculated in columns Q-AB which statement the authors that were listed signed (0 meaning they hadn't signed a given statement and 1 meaning that they did) and then whether they had signed at least one document in column AC.

  63. I still don't see a convincing argument that the PNAS paper is trying to create a blacklist or that the NAS has approved a blacklist.

    PNAS publishes a paper that discusses the publication and citation counts of people who signed letters the authors judge supportive vs. opposed to the IPCC consensus.

    No names are named in the paper, in the supplementary information, in the web page directly linked from the Supplementary Information (SI), or in web pages linked directly from that page. There is a list of "skeptics", assembled by one of the authors (this list is not the same list used in the paper), that can be reached in three clicks from the SI (it's elsewhere on the site to which the SI links). To me, this is a pretty tenuous connection. Others may see it differently.

    The authors of the paper nowhere use any language suggesting that their methods should be used to generate a "blacklist." In fact, although the authors don't say so, there would be no need for a blacklist because judging scientists purely on their publication and citation counts would weed out almost all of those the authors judge to be at odds with the IPCC consensus, thus making a list redundant.

    Joe Romm makes this last point explicitly and calls for journalists to "care [whether] the person they’re quoting has been wrong again and again and again, has published few if any significant articles in the field, or actually continues to spread disinformation that has been long debunked in the scientific literature." Romm makes no reference to a list, and if we take his words at face value, he's asking journalists to think independently and consider sources individually on the basis of their scientific track record. (Romm's history is at odds with this call for journalists to think for themselves, since he's quick to condemn journalists who quote people he disapproves of; but that's a matter for another discussion).

    If this were an attempt to create a blacklist or to incite others to create one, it would deserve universal and unequivocal condemnation. But it is not.

  64. This paper goes further to confirm my opinion that climate science as a field strongly attracts people who are mediocre scientists but good activists.

  65. -15- J. Gilligan

    Did you really compare McCarthyism to the instigation of a World War and the slaughter of innocent millions of people? In the vernacular of my children, "Perspective much?"

    Dr. Pielke's father was placed at the top of a list of "unconvinced" skeptics in an article published in a national periodical. The authors went on to question the gentleman's expertise and prominence amongst his scientific peers.

    Quoting wikipedia, "The term [McCarthyism] is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries..." This PNAS article was an explicit warning to scientists, get on board or else your reputation will be smeared and your career will be threatened. On behalf of his father and the others on the list, Dr. Pielke's reaction was entirely appropriate and, if anything, understated.

    "...I have her in my hand a list of 205..."

  66. -64-Jonathan Gilligan

    Perhaps spelling out what I mean by "black list" will be helpful.

    Wikipedia says it well: "The term blacklisting is generally used in a pejorative context, as it implies that someone has been prevented from having legitimate access to something due to the whims or judgments of another."

    Whether the authors intend their list to be used as a "blacklist" it is clear that providing it as they have allows its use in exactly this way ... from a comment at Romm's blog:

    "Matto says:
    June 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    It’s all well and good to put these people on a list:
    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/ ~prall/ climate/ skeptic_authors_table.html

    But there needs to be a concerted effort to block these people from publishing, speaking to the media or disseminating fraud via internet. Perhaps fines or even jail time depending on the severity and frequency of the offenses. I believe the first step is getting an ecocide law on the books. The stakes are too high to allow dissenting opinion."

  67. Roger, I'm willing to bet $100 dollars that Matto is a so-called concern troll. And please note the reactions right below it:

    Your proposal is so offensive that I strongly suspect “concern trolling”.

    These people should be allowed publish anything that passes muster in the peer review process. Let’s leave blacklists to the likes of Inhofe and Cucinelli.

    I agree with Toby. What is suggested by Matto at #33 is unacceptable. (MapleLeaf, well-known for his outspoken disapproval of pseudo-skeptic tactics)

    Perhaps Matto might enlighten us. (Toby again)

    Matto hasn't so far.

    Dissenting opinion is welcome, as long as it is evidence-based, and that once refuted, it stays refuted.

  68. And even if it wasn't a concern troll (I'm not interested in closing ranks), what use is it reproducing here? The blacklist isn't what you try to have us believe.

    It is about making the world of skeptics (and pseudo-skeptics) more transparent. From a tactical point of view I can understand you don't like that.

  69. Roger Pielke quotes "Matto" from Climate Progress who states in part, "The stakes are too high to allow dissenting opinion," ... and yet not only would it that Matto has rarely posted at Climate Progress, but in the comment that immmediately follows, we find Toby stating:

    "Your proposal is so offensive that I strongly suspect 'concern trolling'.

    "These people should be allowed publish anything that passes muster in the peer review process. Let's leave blacklists to the likes of Inhofe and Cucinelli.

    "Dissenting opinion is welcome, as long as it is evidence-based, and that once refuted, it stays refuted."

    Comment #34 of

    New study reaffirms broad scientific understanding of climate change...
    June 21, 2010

  70. -70-Neven

    "It is about making the world of skeptics (and pseudo-skeptics) more transparent. From a tactical point of view I can understand you don't like that."

    Please do explain!

  71. -61-Andy

    You write:

    "you can dream up whatever algorithm you want to divide scientific viewpoints, but you won't deviate far from the overall conclusion of this paper"

    Indeed, lots of truth in that statement. We all know who the good guys are and the bad guys are, don't we?

  72. -68-Roger:

    I agree that Matto's comment would fit anyone's definition of a black list and an attempt to intimidate. Any reasonable person should condemn that. I do.

    But since you view Inhofe's hints at prosecuting the 17 names on his own black list are "just a bit of clown-like bluffing, serving up red meat for the partisans, but little else," and Cuccinelli's subpoena is just "a cheap publicity stunt," why should we be so much more alarmed by Matto's comment on a blog.

    To be clear, because many of your critics miss this: you denounced Inhofe's report and Cuccinelli's subpoena as unjustified abuses of power. But you did so in a way that treated them as political stunts, not threats to intellectual freedom. Why is the Prall list so much more dangerous and chilling than public officials abusing their offices to pursue and intimidate individual scientists they don't like?

    I appreciate your correcting me about some people proposing to abuse Prall's list to intimidate; but this does not change the fact that neither the PNAS paper itself, nor the actions of the NAS in publishing it, give any evidence of encouraging or condoning such abuse.

  73. Roger,

    Could you comment on Neven's post #56? Seems to be a fair point IMO. To put it in plainer terms, people always have and always will be judged to some extent by the company that they keep. Along those lines do you think that your father is doing himself any favours by associating with Watts?

  74. Performing a Google search, I found that the sum total of what Matto (the suspected concern troll) has written before at Climate Progress would appear to be:

    "Joltin' Joe hits another one out of the park!"


    ... and:

    "'...make it clear to China and India and countries on similar paths that their planned actions in increasing GHG production are endangering all of us. If they remain intransigent in these plans, there will be economic consequences, to include steep tariffs based on products’ carbon intensity...'

    "This sounds like an awesome idea! LOL!"


    If one were to assume that Matto is an eco-zealot rather than a concern troll, one would be at a loss to explain why he quotes Joe Romm like that then states, "This sounds like an awesome idea! LOL!"

    Roger, have you ever considered reforestation for a career? I have little doubt that you would excel at it.

  75. -74-Jonathan Gilligan

    Here is the key difference -- the Inhofe "list" is not used (as far as I've seen, but please do correct if you've seen other wise) as a list which is then used to delegitimize those on it by virtue of their being on it. In fact, the only "list" that I've seen characterized as such is Inhofe's skeptic's list which he seek to use as his own sort of bizzaro white list.

    You'll note that I am on Cuccinelli's list, so I have a personal stake here.

    By contrast the purpose of the PNAS list is to delegitmize a certain group simply by virtue of being on the list (this is overtly stated on Prall's website and by Schneider in the further post I put up today). That is the point of a black list.

  76. -75-Marlowe Johnson

    I did not think that 56 merited a response;-)

    Does it make sense to you to evaluate a scientist by who he chooses to speak with rather than his peer reviewed research?

    My father has engaged with people from across the scientific community and the blog wars on his blog, allowing many perspectives to be shared that he himself does not agree with. The blog wars like to enforce ideological purity and he pushes back on this. Good for him.

    Further, he does support the surface stations project and expects peer reviewed research to come of it. If so, we'll all be better for it, no? Anyone who wants to distinguish my father's views from Watts' can easily do so.

    See this post to see what happens when "the company you keep" becomes a criterion for academic success:


  77. -76-TimChase

    I don't know who Matteo is, nor do I care. It is nice to see a few people at Romm's reject the views in his comment. Would be nice to see the proprietor do the same, you too ;-)

  78. Tim..

    As a person in the reforestation biz, I'm sure we would love to have Roger work on our science-policy interface - but I don't think that's what you meant. What did you mean?

  79. None of this surprises me, neither did Climategate. It seemed very likely those things were happening behind the scenes.

    I blame the incredible leap to open McCarythism on the virulent moral and intellectual arrogance of mainstream progressive liberals, and the dumbing down of the political debate to an emotional level.

    For example, the nasty 'denier' ridden sub tabloid environment coverage in the Guardian, which was once a real newspaper. George Monbiot comes from a very right wing ruling class background. He isn't the street thug you might imagine. It is deliberately orchestrated intellectual violence.

    I am a lifelong progressive liberal who would never support a mainstream political candidate. However I get a lot of hostility because I will not takes sides and scream like a football supporter. When I see the Fox news, Palin etc. comments by AGW supporters, it is deeply embarassing.

    Liberals never stop to think why every government , every oil company, every bank, every corporation, every political science body, every TV station and newspaper on earth supports global warming. Yet they think they are on the side of the people against capitalist exploitation ????

    Tony Blair is arguably the most despised politican in British history. He earns millions of dollars a year promoting global warming. No one notices. It's emotional programming.

  80. The phrase "climate denier" is actually one of the keywords under the abstract in the paper.

  81. I too noticed the egregious "Matto" comment at Romm's post and the subsequent criticisms of it from a few other commenters there.

    Here's something else to consider. Romm often censors/snips comments he doesn't like, producing the echo chamber that we mostly see there. But when he feels sufficiently rankled by a commenter, he'll add his own commentary in a parens. I think it's noteworthy that 1) Romm allowed the comment to get on the site and 2) that he 2) did not object to it, or say anything about it in a parens.

  82. -83- Keith

    Note that Romm later added a paren after reading my comment about it here. Romm's latest label for me is "disinformer" ;-)

  83. Roger,

    I just tried accessing the post via the CP homepage. I can't find it, though I did notice a break in the chronological order of the posts. So after June 22, there's a sudden jump back to a bunch of Feb posts, including Joe's most recent one on you. I guess he likes to rearrange the order to keep visible those he wants to highlight. Interesting.

  84. Inhofe specifically said that if the Republicans won control of the Senate he would go after the 17 climate scientists that he named using supoena power. He specifically called for a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice. You appear to have wished that all down the memory hole.

    Inhofe and Cuccinelli have a lot more say than Mr. Matto

  85. -86-Joshua

    I've commented on both Inhofe and Cuccinelli -- both are wrongheaded, but neither is a black list.

    I see at Dot Earth that Eric Steig agrees with me about the nature of the lists.

  86. This is a post I just left over at Dot Earth:

    "Convinced/unconvinced begs a question: Convinced of what?"

    This is an excellent point. Notice that implied in the criteria is that ANY deviation from the official IPCC line that CAGW will be catastrophic unless the government INSTANTLY puts heavy restrictions on CO2 emissions -- is excruciatingly rigid, though good-humored allowance is made for such as Hansen, who believes C-n-T is an awful idea. Call Hansen a Left Deviationist. There is, however, absolutely no allowance for Right Deviationists such as, for example, Pielke the Younger and Lomborg, who believe (basically; their positions are of course individual) that CAGW is real but catastrophic consequences are uncertain, and that therefore we should adopt "no regrets" policies such as reducing coastal erosion, increasing the accuracy of our predictions of dangerous weather, reducing fossil fuel use, and so on. (I disagree with both of these gentlemen on many issues, but I respect them as honest scientists.)

    Not to mention Pielke the Elder, who along with Lindzen has among the most distinguished records of scientific publication in the field, and who generally makes very few policy recommendations.

    Just consider for a moment the ideological rigidity implied by this classification. If I were on that side of the debate, this would make me deeply ashamed. As an unapologetic UC (unconvinced by what? There is no evidence for CAGW.), I am fearful of the depths to which Official Science has fallen. It is a common talking point to call skeptics "anti-science", but the real attack on scientific principles, methodology, and history is coming not from the skeptics, but from the politicians in lab coats.


    As to "Pielke the Younger" and so on, the apple falleth not far from the tree -- your old man is a climatologist, mine was a Latin teacher.

  87. Roger hasn't directly addressed the issue about the Inhofe list being allegedly used as basis for the PNAS paper. The response at #13 acknowledging that it's not linked from the PNAS paper and calling that "interesting" hardly counts as a correction from Roger's implication that the PNAS paper relied on shoddy information from the Inhofe list. But if it is a correction, it belongs in the body of the text where most people will read it.

  88. Roger,

    All of this is new to me as I have just returned from Asia where I was happily oblivious to the PNAS paper and, forgive me, engaged in science. It has come something of a shock to find myself pigeon-holed, classified and lined up!

    I do require one clarification and perhaps you can help. Which is the black list: those who agree with the IPCC as defined by PNAS, or the skeptics? By the PNAS classification, I ended up as a supporter of the IPCC, since I signed the Bali 2007 document. I am trying to remember why I did so. That was 3 years ago and I had not thought too much about IPCC and etc. and it was before the latest assessment. Since then I have become more involved with climate change research and more critical of process and perhaps more questioning of the attribution of warming simply because the IPCC performed poorly in distinguishing between natural variability and anthropogenic effects or hardly considered the issue at all.

    Sorry PNAS, but I have evolved, since 2007! But at least my view of the science is not determined by orthodoxy. I imagine Roger Sr. feels the same way.

    Re the PNAS paper, it is rather louche. What is the point of this paper? Are the arguments so old and stale that it has to rely on past statements to substantiate a point of view? Death rattle come to mind. Perhaps we are seeing the death throes of the old guard. Perhaps out of these ashes will emerge a more solid scientific view on climate and global change, free of orthodoxy and invigorated by debate.

    Finally, in case the PNAS paper comes out in a second edition. I should state my position on attribution. Very Likely? Likely? Well maybe!

    Actually, I would like to form a new subgroup, “very likely disgusted.” I suspect its membership may be rather large.


  89. -89-Brian

    There is no error in the post. The PNAS authors are trying to have things two ways -- the "list" is not formally part of the paper, but it is on the website when the SI rests, and is clearly the basis for the paper(with a few exceptions). This is indeed an "interesting" way to do things in science.

    You can indeed get on the list by virtue of being on the Inhofe list.

  90. Okay, back to Roger's main text where he says, "What qualifies one to be on the APHS10 list of skeptics, which I'll just call the "black list"? ....In fact, it turns out that you don't even have to sign an open letter or argue against immediate cuts for emissions. You can simply appear unwillingly on Senator James Inhofe's list."

    I read that as saying a problem with the PNAS study is that it relies in part on the Inhofe list. Roger says it doesn't mean that, instead it means that one of the co-authors publicizes the Inhofe list to be a credible source (not sure Roger's proven that, btw, but I'd welcome proof), and the PNAS authors shouldn't host SI materials on the same website.


  91. -92-Brian

    The PNAS study seeks to confer legitimacy on the list (that of course was the point of the study!). The list was available long before the paper and was just a blogger's hobby. Once it becomes endorsed by the NAS it becomes something different.

    I don't know what YMMV means, but TFYC ;-)

  92. Roger's main post says someone gets put on the UE list by virtue of being on Inhofe's list. That's not the same as Roger's comment #93 that PNAS confers legitimacy on the "list" which has some relationship to the Inhofe list. IMHO, anyway, but your mileage may vary.

  93. -94-Brian

    I will assume that you actually are confused, rather than just trolling . . . so, let me again explain. The UE category and the list of skeptics are not precisely identical. They are of course almost identical but not exactly. If you go to the website listed in the PNAS SI, you will see this to be the case.

    This situation is an indication of the muddle that is the PNAS effort. So it is not surprising that you may be confused.

  94. Also, Brian, these links may help:

    Here is where the Inhofe criterion is used:


    Look at JIMM08

    The full lists with photos (!):


    The source page for the PNAS paper:


    It says: "a peer-reviewed paper drawing on my lists has just been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences"

    So that should help you to understand the UE category, the "skeptics list" (and "activists" list) and the relationship between the two.

    Once your understand this, you will then see that what I have written in this post is correct. If you have questions about the muddled nature of this I suggest taking to the PNAS authors ;-)

  95. Brian, I now see that you are the same "Brian" who has been trying to misrepresent my views on "air capture" for a few years across the blogs based on a similar sort of strategy of misrepresentation that I see here ... Please do correct your post on your blog after you have read #96 and figured out for yourself that there is no error here. Thanks!

  96. As a sportsman, I prefer a look at the matchups between the leading lights of the IPCC group and the leading lights of those who have criticized the IPCC. Based on scholarship and integrity, who do you think wins these matchups?

    1. Michael Mann or Steve McIntyre - have to go with McIntyre

    2. Phil Jones or Richard Lindzen - Lindzen, hands down.

    3. James Hanson or Roger Pielke Sr - Pielke has done far more to improve the surface station quality.

    4. Gavin Schmidt or Anthony Watts - Again Watts has done far more and is a far more reliable spokesman for the science.

    5. James Annan or Stephen Schwartz - When it comes to calculating climate sensitivity, I have to go with Schwartz, the man who says he there is cause for concern but we have time to find a solution.

    I think it is pretty clear, the best scientists have not bought into IPCC alarmism.

  97. In other words, Ron, you conclude that anybody who denies or at least minimizes global warming is inherently a better scientist. Somehow rejecting the scientific method, which is what's required to be a climate denier, makes for better science.

  98. Hi Roger,

    You refer us to the Supporting Information for the paper and note that Jim Prall's blog (which mentions the Inhofe list) is linked in the Supporting Information . But that is not the same as the Inhofe list being used as a dataset for the paper. The Supporting Information clearly consists of twelve lists making up the UE (unconvinced by the evidence, or skeptic) group. The Inhofe list is not among them. Moreover Prall compiles these lists, and others , on his blog and he clearly states “JIMM08: Named on 2008 list from U.S. Sen. James Inhofe's staffer Marc Morano (NOT used in PNAS paper”

    So your assertion that a researcher qualifies be on the APHS10 list of skeptics simply by appearing unwillingly on Senator James Inhofe's list is simply wrong.

    You ask the reader whether your eminent father tries to minimize the problem, absolve humans of any major impact, or suggest there is no need to take any action, and before we can get a word in you answer it for us with well, no.

    But he did attest to the 1992 SEPP statement. Paragraph 2 of which reads : “Such policy initiatives derive from highly uncertain scientific theories. They are based on the unsupported assumption that catastrophic global warming follows from the burning of fossil fuels and requires immediate action. We do not agree.” To my mind that episode would indicate yes in answer to your question and clearly makes Dr Pielke Snr policy skeptic, which he has every right to be.

    Of course you have every right to refer to Prall's work as a black list. But I would dissent because the purpose of this paper is clearly to inform the public about expert credibility in climate change. No one is proposing sanctions against researchers in the UE group, which is what a blacklist would imply.

  99. -100-hengist mcstone

    This issue was debated (start about #89 above) ... There is the paper, and there is the list, please read thru above.

    To use anyone's comments from 1992 as the basis for characterizing their views 20 years later is kinda silly, no?

    Looking for obscure proxies with which to place people into one of two bins (good guys/bad guys) is about as mindless as political debate can get;-)