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Free Speech Attack by Attorneys General in ExxonMobil Climate Change Probe of Skeptical Non-Profit

Down the perilous path toward Lysenkoism in which only officially approved science is allowed

GaggedFolksDreamstimeMonkeyBusinessImagesDreamstime: Monkey Business ImagesNew York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued subpoenas in November to oil giant ExxonMobil demanding that it turn over internal communications regarding what the company knew about the risks of climate change. Schneiderman says that he wants to find out if the oil company fraudulently misled its investors with regard to how man-made climate change would affect its financial prospects.

In March, Schneiderman sought to turn up the heat on the company by organizing a climate change conference of state Attorneys General that featured climate activist Al Gore. The idea is to enlist these Attorneys General in his legal campaign against ExxonMobil. All of the participants in Schneiderman's climate change conference are members of the Democratic Party, except the Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands. In a statement at the conference, Al Gore endorsed the effort and declared, "We cannot continue to allow the fossil fuel industry or any industry to treat our atmosphere like an open sewer or mislead the public about the impact they have on the health of our people and the health of our planet."

Not only do Schneiderman and his new claque climate crusaders aim to force ExxonMobil to repent (while possibly extracting some cash along the way), they also evidently intend to shut up non-profit groups to which the oil company donated funds that have questioned the notion of impending man-made climate catastrophe.

In service of this goal, the Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands Claude Walker has issued a subpoena to the Washington, D.C.-based think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute. According to CEI, the subpoena demands that the non-profit produce "a decade’s worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s work on climate change and energy policy, including private donor information. It demands that CEI produce these materials from 20 years ago, from 1997-2007, by April 30, 2016." It is probably no accident that Walker worked for eight years as an attorney for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In response to the USVI's action, CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman vowed, “CEI will vigorously fight to quash this subpoena. It is an affront to our First Amendment rights of free speech and association for Attorney General Walker to bring such intimidating demands against a nonprofit group."

I have my disagreements with CEI over how to construe what the science is saying with regard to how big a problem man-made climate change might become for humanity as this century unfolds. However, these subpoenas are a huge step in the direction of using the courts to silence people who hold views that differ from those of powerful government officials. It's bad enough to politicize science, but to outlaw disagreements over how to interpret science heads down the perilous path toward Lysenkoism, in which only officially approved science is allowed to be practiced and discussed.

Disclosure: I have had a long relationship with CEI. I was the non-profit's first Warren Brookes journalism fellow in the early 1990s. I also was the editor of three commercially published books on environmental policy supported by CEI. I am still listed as an "adjunct analyst" on the group's website.

I also own 50 shares of ExxonMobil stock that I bought with my own money several years ago.

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  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Awesome! The Inquisition was a gas the first time around!

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    The year was 2016.
    The climate plague ravaged the continent.
    It was the hour of the infamous auto de fe.
    Where, for amusement, heretics and non-believers were tortured and burned in a carnival-like atmosphere.
    And it was guided by the most fearful specter to stand in judgment over good and evil:
    The grand inquisitor, Al Gore.

  • Chumby||

    Will they burn the present day heretics? Won't that exacerbate the CAGW that none of them are making changes in their daily life to demonstrate they actually believe there is a catastrophe? Perhaps freeze in some carbon sewuestering media?

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Hung with free-trade hemp, and then put in the compost pile. Sure, there will be some out-gassing, but the mulch will be a net win for that wonderful slut, Gaia.

  • ||

    Soylent green.

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    But they're all hypocrites, so...

  • ||

    Stop trolling Eddie!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It is an affront to our First Amendment rights of free speech and association for Attorney General Walker to bring such intimidating demands against a nonprofit group.

    But those are the easiest groups to try to intimidate!

  • Aloysious||

    I also own 50 shares of ExxonMobil stock that I bought with my own money several years ago.

    Owns Monsanto and ExxonMobil?!? [insert random appeal to the Divine here]

  • UnCivilServant||

    [insert random appeal to the Divine here]

    ia, ia, ia, Cthulhu ftagn

  • Aloysious||

    Beautiful. Now I want to re-read some Lovecraft.

  • Chumby||

    I believe this wasn't greenlighted but yhey had enough money for the trailer:
    At the Mountains of Madness Del Toro style

  • Swiss Servator||

    STOP TORMENTING ME!

    ...that is my favorite Lovecraft story.

  • Chumby||

    Icidentally, Miskatonic University does not follow Title Nine.

  • Aloysious||

    Chumby, I am STILL pissed beyond words that movie didn't get made. Del Toro would have made a movie that, at the very least, melted eyeballs.

  • UnCivilServant||

    HE did... the Film has been locked away amongst other forbidden lore, and the 'Del Toro' walking around today is actually a shoggoth.

  • Lee G||

    I smell money. The only time attorney generals get together and cooperate is when they think they can extort cash out of an industry.

  • Free Society||

    I don't know about that. The DoJ, the federal circuits and many AG offices in the states have been stacked with lefty ideologues. I think it's less about money, more about social justice warfare. Look at Judge Woodchipper in the Ross Ulbricht case, she responded to the outpouring of support and moral character references by saying that the defendant had misused his "privilege", and because of his privilege he should have the book thrown at him harder than anyone in a similar position, moreover what Ulbricht was convicted of doing was a problem because first and foremost his actions contained no "social justice". This kind of stuff is getting more common, the left has done well at scooping up and holding basically all of the important judicial and bureaucratic appointments at the federal and many of the state level governments.

  • Lee G||

    But think of the punitive damages they can extract.

    They cannot kill the oil industry, it is simply too necessary for modern civilization. But they can bleed it for more and more money without calling it a tax. And where will those punitive damages go? They pad out state budgets quite nicely.

  • Free Society||

    When I think of whats at stake here, punitive damages are far down the list. What's really at stake is "scientific" heterodoxy being used as a judicial weapon to pick winners and losers, silence free speech and shut down genuine scientific inquiry and dissent that doesn't arrive at the proper social justicey conclusions.

  • Chumby||

    Will folks be driving in internal combustion engine vehicles to and from this conference?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    "Yeah, gee, sorry. All of that communication was on an email server in my bathroom closet."

  • Chumby||

    And didn't Al Gore net like $80M and when he sold his tv network to an oil cartel?

  • SugarFree||

    That money has been Washed in the Blood of the Al and is Therefore now HOLY!

  • Chipwooder||

    Think it was more like $100M

  • sarcasmic||

    No one expects the Climate Inquisition.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Our chief weapon is surprise, fear and surprise; two chief weapons, fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency! Er, among our chief weapons are: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and near fanatical devotion to Gaia! Um, I'll come in again...”

  • TheZeitgeist||

    But the computer model for years has said the Inquisition will be any minute. Element of surprise fail here.

  • ||

    ...except everyone here. See you all in the camps, folks.

  • ||

    The J sub D Memorial Libertarian Reeducation Barracks will be a gas!

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Like Hogan's Heroes with better music and weed.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    It's bad enough to politicize science, but to outlaw disagreements over how to interpret science heads down the perilous path toward Lysenkoism, in which only officially approved science is allowed to be practiced and discussed.

    That's exactly where the progs want to take us.

    The mask slips a bit more each day.

  • commodious spittoon||

    It doesn't seem like they're trying to hide it anymore. It's like they're foreigners from another country where speech is only useful in service to their demented ideology. Liberty for its own sake is an alien concept to these people.

  • ||

    Yeah, I'm the libertarian moment is done if not libertarianism in general.

    The overwhelming majority of people on Earth don't hold these beliefs about freedom of speech and association and even among the pinnacle of the most devout, the movement is rotten to the core with people who are somewhere between willing to compromise fact and liberty for 'principles' and outright lying to achieve moar power.

    40 yrs. after the death of Lysenko, useful innocents/idiots in 'The Land Of the Free' (like Ron) find themselves defending the skeptics they once impugned from the clutches of the socialists that they invited in. You can see the same pattern repeatedly across several different fronts and implementations (surveillance/encryption, campus speech, campus sexual conduct, climate science, gender studies, etc, etc.)

    Experiment's over. Pull the plug.

  • Jordan||

    But don't you dare call it a religion!

  • Shirley Knott||

    Don't you dare point out that rejecting studies because of who funded them is both an ad hominem attack and a sword that cuts both ways.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's not a religion! It's science! We put a bunch of really smart scientists who believe in global climate change into a room and had them vote to decide if global climate change is real or not, and they all voted yes! That makes it science!

  • Jordan||

    *Purchases another indulgence carbon credit before engaging in pre-marital sex stepping onto carbon-spewing private jet*

  • Free Society||

    The idea is to enlist these Attorneys General in his legal campaign against ExxonMobil. re-gear the judicial system towards climate change activist's eternal favor
  • ||

    The idea is to enlist these Attorneys General in his legal campaign against ExxonMobil. re-gear the judicial system towards climate change activist's eternal favor extort gobs of money from the oil industry.

    /See Big Tobacco settlement for reference.

  • Ken Shultz||

    This is how the government plans to take over the oil industry. It's shaping the exact same way they took over tobacco.

    Did you know big tobacco lied about the real dangers of smoking? Well the oil industry is lying about the impact of climate change, too--and everybody who's been hurt by it can join in.

    If there's anything we've learned from science in the information age, it's that everything we do or don't do negatively impacts someone else in some way. You can take that observation to the bank.

  • Lee G||

    Externalities for the win

  • Shirley Knott||

    And everyone ignores the massive subsidies the government provides tobacco growers. Bootleggers and Baptists in the worst way.

  • sarcasmic||

    Does this mean they'll ban the use of octane ratings on gasoline like they banned the use of terms like "Light" on smokes?

  • Zeb||

    No, but they will have to put a picture of a dead polar bear on all the gas pumps.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Poor Bjorn is gonna be one of the first sent to the reeducation camp:

    Don't be fooled - Elon Musk's electric cars aren't about to save the planet

    Reducing 1.2 tonnes of CO₂ on the EU emissions trading system costs £5; but instead, the UK Government subsidises each car with £4,500. All of the world’s electric cars sold so far have soaked up £9 billion in subsidies, yet will only save 3.3 million tonnes of CO₂. This will reduce world temperatures by 0.00001°C in 2100 – the equivalent of postponing global warming by about 30 minutes at the end of the century.

    Inconvenient truths, eh?

  • Free Society||

    A reduction in CO2 so minuscule and tentative that a mouse fart in 2099 could negate it entirely.

  • ||

    New chaos theory...

    A butterfly flap mouse fart in Tokyo causes hurricanes firestorms in California

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Yeah, but a sub-6.0 0-60 in a car that's fairly energy efficient is pretty sweet, whether it saves the planet or not.

  • GILMORE™||

    But its neither fairly 'energy efficient'

    (when you consider that most electricity is simply transferring the CO2 up the chain to the electricity producer, and the environmental 'costs' of production & replacement & disposal of the batteries over their lifecycle)

    .. and that acceleration is cute and all, but given it has a range of ~200 miles, where the fuck are you taking your little zippy plastic-box? Nowhere outside the city limits i hope, because then you're trapped somewhere for 7-8 hours while it 'recharges'.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I didn't say anything about environmental costs, though.

    And, yeah, electricity at 7.3 cents per KwH is cheaper than even the sub-$2 a gallon cost of gas for traveling the same distance.

    I don't remember that last time I drove my car -- the one it would replace -- more than 200 miles in a day. That's more than enough to run whatever errands I need to run on a daily basis.

    If we need to go farther than that, we'll take our other car, which is gasoline powered.

  • Free Society||

    And any 0-60 wonderfulness that may exist is not why they're getting subsidized by tax payers.

  • Zeb||

    But it is because they are getting subsidized by taxpayers.

    What's wrong with you, you don't think we should all be helping to pay for toys for rich people?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I'm not saying the subsidy is a good idea. I'm just saying the lower cost of fueling the car, combined with its performance, is why I'd buy one. If I knew for sure that I could fit in one... which is why I didn't preorder.

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    and the ACLU will likely say nothing because it is an unprincipled organization.

  • Zunalter||

    Not only do Schneiderman and his new claque climate crusaders aim to force ExxonMobil to repent (while possibly extracting some cash along the way)

    And by "possibly" you mean definitely, right?

  • ||

    They give less than a flying fuck about 'repent'.

  • GILMORE™||

    he wants to find out if the oil company fraudulently misled its investors with regard to how man-made climate change would affect its financial prospects.

    Here's what i find exceptionally mendacious about their claims =

    Its not *really* about their misleading investors about the "science" of climate change.

    The argument the government is making is about "misleading investors about the likelihood of painful Government regulations using (non-existent) Climate Change as an excuse"

    But they're using claims about "science" to try and argue that =

    "X (hysterical set of doomsday-implying) data should require ExxonMobil to warn its investors that radical and painful regulation of fossil fuels are not just 'possible but unknowable in effect' (what they currently do), but rather 'inevitable and extraordinarily painful'"

    As far as i can tell, the DoJ is arguing that Exxon should be reading the writing on the wall and *prognosticating* the Government's wild-overreactions to what is in fact 'fairly inconclusive scientific data'.

    Its suggesting that the "reasonable" reaction of a large firm is to assume Highly Unreasonable Reactions of regulators to a body of science which is largely a big soupy mess of "Mights" and "Possibly's"

  • Zeb||

    The worst people in all of this are the ones who think that science tells us what regulations are appropriate or that government policy has anything to do with science. It's all based on the assumption that climate change is a moral failing that we are obliged to fix (whatever that means), rather than a technical problem that should be dealt with pragmatically. And that has nothing to do with science.

  • ||

    Good article, Bailey, but one nit to pick: Down the perilous path toward Lysenkoism in which only officially approved science is allowed. Stalinism is the political system under which only approved science was allowed; Lysenkoism was merely one of the officially approved dogmas.

  • ||

  • Lee G||

  • ||

    You know what other socialist was tacitly approved by the Catholic Church?

  • ||

    Galileo Galilei?

  • Tornado16nb||

    I still can't understand how he keeps parroting the economy only works for the top 1%? And if only they were taxed more then everything would be great?

  • ||

    Shouldn't "global warming" be in brackets since it's not a real thing?

  • Zeb||

    So you think that the earth always stays the same temperature? It may not be what some people want to think it is, but it is a thing.

  • ||

    Earth's temperature fluctuates. It's normal, therefore calling something "warming" gives the false impression that it is being pushed out of its stasis. It's a play on words meant to instill fear in those who do not understand the earth's current temperature is completely normal

  • ||

    Hence the new vogue of "Climate Change." Believe me we will see a time very soon when cooling trends will be the new anthropogenic disaster.

  • Tornado16nb||

    It is funny skepticalscience says the name being switched to climate change is a myth brought about by republicans. But yet i hear it only from lefties.

  • ||

    Gun confiscation is a Republican myth, too . . .

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, I know. I'm just expressing my frustration with everything having to be some euphemism or dog whistle. It would be nice to have a straight, factual discussion of this for once. Fucking politics ruins everything/.

  • ||

    I say Exxon should refuse to negotiate and should, instead, go to trial and point out the bullshit prognostications in all of the climate models to date. They should then countersue the government for subsidizing "green energy" competitors and thereby undermining the concept of equal protection for people competing in the same industry (energy production). Furthermore, they should sue every single climate study producer contributing to the myth of man-made global warming for fraudulently effecting their profitability for monetary gain to get further funding for more bogus studies.

    They could go hardcore here and completely blow the lid off this scam. But they'll probably knuckle under and give in to the jackboots in the name of self-preservation.

  • sarcasmic||

    All legislation that is remotely connected to or inspired by AGW should be struck down for "respecting an establishment of religion."

  • Free Society||

    Probelem is, the shareholders of Exxon are shareholders because they want to make money, not fight a noble fight.

  • GILMORE™||

    They would simply get stuck with a judge who deferred to the govt over the notion of the 'precautionary principle' - i.e. the govt should be obligated to consider "worst case scenarios" in crafting regulations

    I think where they could win is pointing out that no firm can be reasonably expected to project near-term regulations based on long-term, highly variable science.

    they could add that the science also suggests that NO known government action could be undertaken which would change those ranges of estimates. i.e. - they have no reasonable basis to assume X versus Y types of regulation, because neither would be more or less likely to have any material impact.

    You can't expect a company to warn investors of 'every and all possible outcomes'; the govt seems to be suggesting that the body of science as it stands today should be compelling firms to conclude that radical regulation is somewhere soon down the road (rather than still un-forseeable). And i don't see how they can make that case from "the science" by itself, rather than political trends.

    It would be like saying, "And of course an Asteroid could hit earth tomorrow and vaporize the human race"... The government seems to be arguing that "Look! Asteroid science says its *possible*?! Therefore you should expect the US Govt. imposing enormous Asteroid Taxes...." The latter jump from "science says X" to "government does Y" is where the unreasonable expectation comes into play.

  • ||

    The prospectus on mutual funds are pretty damn detailed. And I highly doubt Exxon investors are the sort of retards we see in the SJW ranks. They know the market.

    It's a little like all the possible side-effects warnings on medication we've taken to make fun of. It's not pharma doing that; it's the government demanding they disclose every 'possible' outcome however unlikely.

  • Chumby||

    Solar powered woodchippers!

  • Jerryskids||

    Not only do Schneiderman and his new claque climate crusaders aim to force ExxonMobil to repent (while possibly extracting some cash along the way), they also evidently intend to shut up non-profit groups to which the oil company donated funds that have questioned the notion of impending man-made climate catastrophe.

    New York Values, babeeee!

  • ||

    "New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued subpoenas in November to oil giant ExxonMobil demanding that it turn over internal communications regarding what the company knew about the risks of climate change. Schneiderman says that he wants to find out if the oil company fraudulently misled its investors with regard to how man-made climate change would affect its financial prospects."

    And what if Exxon, despite knowing the "risks", decided it wasn't much of a risk after all say like many of us skeptics here? What then? See, Schnotthead (yes, I'm been reduced to this) seems to think climate change is settled and with it the scam continues.

    I hope Exxon fights back and spits in their full shit faces these parasites. I don't believe for one second AGs ever give a rat's ass about investors - ever. They use stories like this to further their ambitions and agendas and maybe get money out of it. If they cared, believe you me, they'd go after far more serious issues in investments but they rarely do because, you know, what's in it for them? Just something I've observed 10 years in financial services.

    All pant shitting, pearl clutching, we did it for the children bull shit theater.

  • Jackand Ace||

    It's not just AGs putting pressure on Exxon. And it's not Exxon alone. The owners of these companies are also putting pressure on their companies themselves in regard to the future. Particularly a future staring at a changed climate.

    A record number of shareholder proposals in regard to how their individual company will deal with climate change have been filed. 94 so far this year alone.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/climate.....er-2350194

    And Exxon tried, unsuccessfully, to squash that effort. And in May a vote will be held, as requested by shareholder who are owners. And why have these investors filed these proposals? Because they don't think that the companies have been upfront so far, or forward thinking enough, about a future of climate change and a world moving to address it (Paris).

  • Tornado16nb||

    Interesting.

    What are the problems and what solutions do you propose to abate them? Why is a "changed climate" a bad thing? Has it never changed before?

  • Tornado16nb||

    What kind of forward thinking is required?

  • ||

    A record number of shareholder proposals filed by an insignificant number of activists in regard to how their individual company will deal with climate change have been filed. 94 so far this year alone.

    The prog method of using legislation as a club to override good common sense and the will of an overwhelming majority is not a good thing.

    Short, fat and stupid is no way to go through life, Little Joe.

  • ||

    "The owners of these companies are also putting pressure on their companies themselves in regard to the future."

    As is their right as the owners of those companies. The AGs, on the other hand, are playing a far more inappropriate role here.

  • Jackand Ace||

    It's not inappropriate at all, as there is precedent. Tobacco companies in the 90s.

  • ||

    Ha. You really must be ignoring what everybody here actually *says*.

    In this crowd, that's like saying "why shouldn't we wipe out races of people we don't like? There is precedent in Nazi Germany!"

  • ||

    With apologies for the gratuitous Godwinning.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Yeah. It's the same. Yikes.

  • ||

    Do you seriously not see the analogy?

    How about this:

    "Why shouldn't I take your house and have Donald Trump build a casino on your land? There's precedent in eminent domain laws being applied to urban blight!"

    Does that start to make it make sense?

  • ||

    IOW just because there's precedent for government doing something unjust, that does not therefore make it just.

  • tarran||

    He sees it. He just wants to deny it.

    It's what natural climate change deniers do. ;)

  • Tornado16nb||

    It was a spot on analogy. You use past actions to substantiate future actions.

  • Chumby||

    Jack

    The fact that you have a positive carbon footprint tells me you don't believe this shit. As does the NY AG's office.

  • Jackand Ace||

    "However, these subpoenas are a huge step in the direction of using the courts to silence people who hold views that differ from those of powerful government officials. It's bad enough to politicize science, but to outlaw disagreements over how to interpret science heads down the perilous path toward Lysenkoism, in which only officially approved science is allowed to be practiced and discussed."

    Ronald, are the subpoenas and the government office which you show so much disdain for the ones issued by Lamar Smith of the House? Is that the government official trying to silence science that he disagrees with? Or was that righteous?

    That's right, you supported that toward Lysenkoism.

  • Jackand Ace||

    And I might add that it is illegal and fraudulent for companies to purposefully withhold pertinent information from investors. Are you sure that hasn't happened? We will see. By the way, you showed little concern when emails were stolen during climategate. I wonder, if the AGs never moved forward with these charges, and the emails and documents were just stolen instead, would that gave been OK with you?

  • Tornado16nb||

    What is pertinent information that is being withheld from investors?

  • tarran||

    Forget it, dude. Joe's self worth is so dependent on his membership in the cult that he'll drink kool-aid laced with cyanide before admitting that the Great Prophet Zarquan's return is imminent.

  • ||

    "Ronald, are the subpoenas and the government office which you show so much disdain for the ones issued by Lamar Smith of the House?"

    What in heaven's name would lead you to believe that anyone here has any love for Lamar Smith? Is it that you think all of us that you disagree with are united in a vast conspiracy against you? Because I really can't think of any other reason if you had ever paid any attention to the ideas that get bandied about here.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Hate to tell you, Ronald defended Smith.

    " However, NOAA is still refusing to turn over the emails from the climate researchers who are claiming "harassment." But don't researchers, especially those funded by the government have a responsibility to show their work? The researchers respond that all of the data and analyses that went into their study has, in fact, been made publicly available. Is that enough public accountability?"

    You can substitute "researchers" with company executives, and "funded by government" with publicly traded, and "study" with company perspectus. And the law in fact says all those things in regard company fraud of investors.

  • Jackand Ace||

  • Ron Bailey||

    J&A: You don't actually a difference between the transparency required of federal employees funded by taxpayer dollars versus folks in the private sector?

  • Jackand Ace||

    Hi Ron. See my response below. There are laws in regard to fraud of investors and shareholders. The fact that the two differ in public or private sector is meaningless, when there are laws to be enforced. We will see if those laws were broken, just as we will see if NOAA has been engaged in fraud. I think there is a better chance the former proves true.

  • Tornado16nb||

    What laws were potentially broken here? What is the fraud and how would you define whether they committed it or not? Based on what?

  • Tornado16nb||

    Are you saying researchers funded by the government to study climate change are engaging in fraud? For once i agree with you.

  • ||

    Just because Smith is a statist asshole doesn't mean he is absolutely always wrong about everything.

    What you are talking about is Smith asked for the records of research conducted by *government-funded* researchers.

    Swapping out terms in your sentence does not create moral equivalence. When you change "funded by the government" to "publicly traded" (i.e. privately owned and funded), you have changed the moral landscape and are now advocating government intrusion into private business rather than government audit of government business.

    Thus, Smith asking government-funded researchers to be accountable to the government is not the same as the government suppressing dissent in privately-funded research.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Bull. Companies are in fact, according to the law itself, accountable to investors and shareholders. It's why those laws exist, that there are avenues of restitution of the law is broken. If these AGs are so sure that laws have been broken, it's their responsibility to pursue it.

  • Tornado16nb||

    What laws have been broken here?

  • Jordan||

    None. AGs don't need any reason at all to issue a subpoena. This is as clear a witch hunt as it gets.

  • ||

    You're shifting the goalposts.

    The very topic under debate here is that the "crime" is the crime of disagreeing with government-approved scientific "consensus." Smith was investigating the basis of that "consensus" and it's pretention to be enforced by government fiat. This is the fundamental difference that I think you are missing between what Smith was doing that Bailey was defending and what is going on here.

  • Jackand Ace||

    I'm not shifting any goalposts. just pointing out that charges of Lysenkoism works both ways. Ronald finds ways to defend government subpoenas when he wants to, and a willingness to turn a blind eye toward theft of emails when he wants to. I've had this complaint here before many times. Reason is always selective in its criticism.

  • Tornado16nb||

    You do seem to be shifting the goal posts from my point of view. Perhaps you can work on being more clear and providing substance. And clarify your points a little better.

  • ||

    "just pointing out that charges of Lysenkoism works both ways."

    Except it doesn't - it's only when it's the *government* determining what science should say and not say. That is the fundamental distinction that you continue to ignore, pretending that the actions of Exxon and its voluntary investors and customers are legally and morally analogous to those of the government using force of arms to manufacture scientific consensus.

  • tarran||

    I see it slightly differently.

    The full destructive power of Lysenkoism was the criminilization of disagreement with the theory. When Congress subpoenas records, they aren't conducting a criminal investigation. The worst the NOAA people faced was looking like asses who wrote with poor grammar and spelling.

    The subpoenas by the AG's for a Clean Power Future are part of a publicly declared criminal investigation: i.e. they are asserting that if you publicly opined that the Obama admin's millennial claims were likely wrong, you were committing fraud. That is exactly what Lysenko was doing to shut up his critics, accuse them of crimes (granted he didn't go through the motions of a grand jury investigation - show trial and execution was more his thing).

  • JWW||

    Yeah because the arm that funds the government should have no visibility on how it's money is being spent.

    You'd have a point except for the things you're comparing being totally different.

    But as a Jackass you never really make fair arguments anyway.

  • JWW||

    Hey JackassAce,

    Yeah, but the AG of New York is just pretending to represent shareholders. He's really out to destroy the stock price directly. And you know that. But then again you're just a shit slinging progressive..,

  • tarran||

    The whole thing with Smith is pretty interesting:

    The Karl Pausebuster paper that is at the center of the imbroglio was supposed to kill the 'myth' of global warming having paused.

    Scientifically speaking, the paper is dying a death of a thousand cuts. So, as a piece of science, I suspect it will end up in the garbage alongside the handful of "global warming is worse than we thought" papers that are announced every year, make a splash in press releases and then are discarded as flawed once critically examined.

  • tarran||

    Smith claimed to have been notified by whistleblowers that the paper was politically driven; that managers had rushed the paper into publication while short circuiting the normal QC review that is supposed to ensure that NOAA publications are rock solid.

    He requested the communications between the guys preparing the paper and the political appointees at the front office as well as the review papers. They refused. He subpoenaed them. They caved last December and provided him with what they claim to be the records.

    Now, given the Obama admin's horrible track record with FOIA stuff, I'd be very surprised if they didn't sanitize what they turned over to remove any examples of misfeasance. Smith has been very quiet since the records were produced, which implies that either there is no smoking gun, or that he was bluffing about the whisteblowers.

    But the political process is really irellevant to the science, and the Karl paper is being killed on that front.

  • tarran||

    This move by the AG's reeks of a high level of desperation.

    Basically, the more intelligent leaders of the watermelon movement recognize that the Earth is not warming dangerously due to carbon dioxide emissions. With each passing year the Earth is being more systematically instrumented with regards to various climactic parameters. And with each passing year the superior instrumentation points to natural availibility swamping the impact of CO2, probably because there are more feedbacks built into the climate than scientists' models predicted

    If observations were backing up the notion that rising levels anthopogenic gases in the Earth's were bringing about harmful climactic changes, they wouldn't be having the problem they are having convincing people to lower their current standard of living to stave off catastrophe.

    Throughout the past two decades they've been resorting to doomsday predictions (this year is our last chance to turn things around, we have twenty years to an ice free Arctic and flooding in NY city), and these predictions stubbornly refuse to come true.

    At this point the house of cards is really starting to collapse; the NOAA pausebuster paper has been pretty much savaged - and it's pretty apparent that Lamarr has some damning correspondance from whistleblowers within the organization.

  • tarran||

    The only hope the watermelons have is to essentially shut up their opponents so that they can claim that their hypotheses continue to be unfalsified. But this doesn't really work very well; they can't really shut up people like Anthony Watts or Steven McIntrye. Those guys run websites and don't need a great deal of funding. And they can't really prevent people from reading the papers and analyses showing up on skeptical sites.

    Even if they were to shut up the CEI, and get money out of Exxon, the communications they are trying to prevent would continue. They'd have to deorbit satellites or classify the raw data as Confidential to prevent a guy with a $3,000 computer running an open source R installation from tearing apart the flawed or fraudulent studies.

  • tarran||

    One thing I forgot to add. Science will continue because people do science not for money but for the sake of it. Thus no matter how ruthlessly the U.S. government tries to keep the state religion of CAGW going, there will always be a steady supply of people wanting to test their claims.

    They CAGW cult is doomed. The only question is whether they collapse this year or twenty years from now.

  • ||

    "They CAGW cult is doomed. The only question is whether they collapse this year or twenty years from now."

    I think they know it, actually, and are just trying to keep it alive through the next UN spending cycle. They've pulled out all the stops, and they know as well as you and I that that can't last.

    A year will come soon - maybe even next year after El Nino recedes - when the breathless "hottest month ever" headlines are going to dry up, and the sense of crises for the average Joe is going to start to recede. In 20 years it will be a joke.

  • Tornado16nb||

    To me it is already a joke due to their spokespeople. Even if it is a massive problem, i really don't care.

  • ||

    I mean for everyone. It will become part of the cultural history of 2000-2020.

  • Entelechy||

    CAGW will blow over when people stop listening to this "thermodynamics' nonsense and return to the phlogiston fold.

  • Tornado16nb||

    Also as CO2 is increased, the effect on temperature is logarithmic meaning there are diminishing returns? Funny how the climateers never bring this up.

  • Tornado16nb||

    Where are all these terrible hurricanes? Seems the world has had it pretty nice recently.

    "At this point the house of cards is really starting to collapse; the NOAA pausebuster paper has been pretty much savaged - and it's pretty apparent that Lamarr has some damning correspondance from whistleblowers within the organization."

    This sounds interesting. Do you have more info on this?

  • ||

    "Where are all these terrible hurricanes? Seems the world has had it pretty nice recently."

    You missed the update - global warming *prevents* hurricanes - I learned this recently from a Bill Nye exhibit at a local science center. It also causes flooding on the East Coast, and droughts on the West.

    CAGW works in mysterious ways . . .

  • Tornado16nb||

    Is there anything it can't do?! Wouldn't preventing hurricanes which entails flooding be more prudent than preventing droughts and flooding?

    Also i am not sure i believe bill Nye that it causes flooding on the east coast.

  • Chumby||

    It makes your whites whiter and your brites brighter! You'll saw WOW every time. It is the new and improved CAGW!

  • tarran||

    Actually, that's correct.

    The tropics are not expected to warm much; they lose heat via thunderstorms that form once a critical temp is reached. The greatest warming would occur in temperate latitudes. It is the difference in temperatures between the equatorial zone and the temperate zone that really drives hurricanes.

    Of course, most people interpret fewer hurricanes as a good thing, so the activists promoted the notion that the storms would get more frequent and worse.

    And, oddly, rarely do they claim that the paucity of hurricanes in the Atlantic are part of the "emerging fingerprint" of man-made warming. Funny that.

  • ||

    "so the activists promoted the notion that the storms would get more frequent and worse."

    This is the part that caught my attention and amused me. When Hurricane Katrina hit, we were told it was because of Global Warming and these sorts of climate disasters were going to be the new normal.

    Now that we've gone ten years with low frequency of hurricanes, Bill Nye tells me that Global Warming causes less storms and precipitation.

    The "flooding on the East Coast and drought on the West" I poached from Jerry Brown, but it tells you a lot about *his* attitude that he was careful to say "many Californians *believe* the drought is tied to climate change."

    Partly this is due to phenomena like an article I saw last spring that was headlined "SCIENTISTS SEE CONNECTION BETWEEN CLIMATE CHANGE AND DROUGHT" that said that while scientists agree that the drought has no connection to global warming, warmer weather would make a drought worse.

  • ||

    Anonobot has a new gig?

    Analnobot?

  • Chumby||

    If you patent analbot today it might be worth $500M in say a decade.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    If they're beautiful I doubt that they're waiting for me. Unless they've got some heavy furniture they want moved.

  • Entelechy||

    Has Ron nothing to say about the possibility of this being pushback for FOIA fishing expeditions against climate acientists by legal vigilante, oops, I mean Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli ,and political appointees operting on the same wavelength and or dime as CEI, like former State Climatologists Legates and Michaels?

    Somebody ahould ask Bill Koch to give his siblings a scolding.

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