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Crushing of dissent

I was having a little Twitter tiff with Leo Hickman over the Guardian's attacks on the editor of the Spectator for publishing an article by Nils Axel Morner - an expert on sea level rises who has been fiercely critical of the IPCC's predictions. As I explained to Leo, I have no particular horse in this race - I know little about the science of sea levels - but I do have libertarian concerns over attempts to silence dissenting voices by attacking anyone who publishes them or other by other underhand methods. 

I listed a few examples for Leo's benefit:

To which Jonathan Jones added

Can readers here think of other examples of attempts to silence dissent?

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  • Response
    Response: Dowsing does work!
    Leo Hickman of the Guardian is apparently angry (as Bishop Hill mentions here) that the Spectator published an article by sea level expert Nils-Axel M�rner, an article I recycled the concluding paragraphs of as a(n) SQotD here on Thursday, and Leo Hickman isn't the only one. The general mood in the ...

Reader Comments (151)

What about this story?

This is from 2007:

The ruthless methods of the climatologist Rahmstorf (Die rabiaten Methoden des Klimaforschers Rahmstorf)

"Bad Arguments are best combated by not disturbing their presentation." This aphorism is attributed to the British actor Alec Guinness. Stefan Rahmstorf has a different approach. If a journalist dealing with climate change and brings arguments, the Rahmstorf is bad, it can give schonmal stink. The professor from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) writes letters. But not to the authors, but equal to the appropriate department head or chief editors.


Quality assurance or disguised attempt at censorship?

Also Reichholf that counts as Ederer to the signing of the replica of Rahmstorf, came in the post as an expert to speak. Reichholf - Head of Vertebrate Zoology Department of the State Collection in Munich - said before the camera, the current climate change scenarios for Central Europe were nonsense. This had consequences. Ederer: "A letter written with passion mine reached the Bavarian Radio." Rahmstorf have tried to intimidate the editors.

The Technical University of Munich, at the Reichholf teaches conservation and aquatic ecology, got mail. Rahmstorf turned to the Ombudsman "with the request at least two cases of possible violations (Reichholf) against the rules of good scientific practice to examine at your institution." It was about graphics in books - had to do either with Rahmstorf more to do with the Technical University of Munich - so Reichholf. "I can understand that the only way that Mr. Rahmstorf me want to harm himself," Reichholf said in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE.

In his "FAZ" Rahmstorf paper calls a "journalistic quality" to ensure that contributions correspond to the state of science. For Reichholf is a disguised attempt at censorship ". The state of science is fluid, it is the principle of self-correction." If they wanted to escape the, give off creeds. This would be "dogmatism". The demand Rahmstorf directed against the freedom of the media and academia.

Dec 3, 2011 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

What about the intimidation of Harrabin by Abbess et al?

Dec 3, 2011 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterTZ

Has anyone mentioned van Yserpele telling the Belgian SEII to disinvite Fred Singer and Claes Johnson?

Dec 3, 2011 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Hi Mick,

It was good to see you again yesterday - if briefly. One particular
thing you said - and we agreed - was about the IPCC reports and
the broader climate negotiations were working to the globalisation
agenda driven by organisations like the WTO. So my first question
is do you have anything written or published, or know of anything
particularly on this subject, which talks about this in more detail?

My second question is that I am invovled in a working group
organising a climate justice summit in the Hague and I wondered if
you had any contacts, ngos or individuals, with whom you have
worked especially from the small island States or similar areas,
who could be invited as a voice either to help on the working group
and/or to invite to speak?

All the best,

Paul V. Horsman
Oil Campaigner
Greenpeace International Climate Campaign
Canonbury Villas
London N1 2PN
Tel: +44 171 865 8286
Fax: +44 171 865 8201
Mob: +44 7801 212990

Dec 3, 2011 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterwilbert merel robichaud

Mann made some rude and intimidatory comments about Judith Curry that I read ages ago. Sadly cannot find them, but perhaps others may be able to.

Ross McKitrick details the difficulty he had publishing two papers criticising the IPCC at

Although Ross does not say so directly, both reviewers and journal editors conspired to prevent publication of work that is highly relevant to climate science.

Dec 3, 2011 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Hewitt

the scandalous mistreatment of Richard Lindzen

The Team & co. would pretend this is not any issue of "crushing" dissent since as a prominent MIT professor Richard Lindzen cannot readily be silenced.... however he can be hassled and obstructed by journals etc. and he has reported such problems that would never occur for members of The Team.

Someone of his relative eminence would be invited and cited everywhere if his scientific conclusions were welcome to The Team. Since Lindzen's work is an enormous problem for The Team & co. they try to ignore him whenever they cannot marginalize or disparage him.

One "interesting" instance is how his paper linked below was much delayed and then only printed with a rebuttal paper (by the now notorious Rahmstorf!) that he was not allowed to know about beforehand (at the link below he offers his own rebuttal to the rebuttal):

"On October 21-22, 2005, the Yale Center for Globalization held a conference on “Global Climate
Policy After 2012". Speakers holding a variety of views addressed the conference, but, as usual,
there was little time for actual debate. It was understood that the papers presented at the
conference would be published, but, for reasons that I am not privy to, the publication was
delayed for over two years1. During this interval, papers were, apparently modified, and, in
particular, the paper by Rahmstorf was turned into a specific attack on my paper. This would not
have bothered me, per se. However, the changes were made without informing me, and no
opportunity was offered me to defend myself. This is rather unusual – at least outside the topic
of climate change...."

Dec 3, 2011 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

Has this been mentioned yet?

Steve McIntyre:
"On a personal note, I might add that I did not receive similarly expedited treatment when I sought to respond to a defamatory article at EOS by Tom Crowley (for which Crowley has apologized privately, but not publicly.) EOS spent six months before getting a reviewer and, even though the reviewer conceded that I had legimitate grievances, Eos rejected the article as now being no longer newsworthy."

Dec 3, 2011 at 5:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

From Norway, Øyvind Nordli and Rasmus Benestad's (of RealClimate fame) attack on the online science newspaper ("science", or "") in the newspaper Morgenbladet in 2007:

What troubles them the most seems to be this nasty freedom of speech thing and the concept of journalistic freedom:

"Moreover, many of the articles published on the website have been based on untruths, half-truths and misunderstandings in connection with the climate problematics. The site has dogmatically maintained the concept of «freedom of speech», and at the same time been functioning as a dissemination channel for different individuals who for some reason or another disagree with the IPCC (..). This has evidently affected readers' rights to quality and reliability."

" does not practice criticism of the sources, but uses [instead] freedom of speech as an alibi to create doubts about climate change or weaken the climate scientists' reputation. This practise goes against scientific standards. Hence one can't trust what is published there, and the website's image become very misleading. In the scientific world one discriminates against hypotheses that don't reach scientific standards. Quality is what counts. In other words, the website's domain name is very misleading; maybe should rather have been 'Forskning? NO!' [Science?NO!]"

The MO is the same as in so many other cases: if you don't like what's published, go after the publisher and try to denigrate them.

Eystein Jansen has also criticized Norwegian newspaper for interviewing sceptics.

Dec 3, 2011 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBebben

another on Lindzen, and I hope this is not OT since it is not about "crushing" dissent per se, but when The Team works to make it hard to publish scientific results which depart from their convenient "consensus" (while speeding their own papers and comments and rebuttals through dubious expedited processes), then dissenting voices may at least be much discouraged. Scientists whose interests intersect climate but also with more "pure" chemical, physical, biological aspects may opt over time to steer away from working on climate related matters, etc.

Question: what young students and early career scientists, seeing how eminent scientists like Lindzen are being treated, will want to pursue research interests which make it hard to get published?? No matter how well intentioned, a young academic scientist cannot "afford" to be derailed early in a career.

from WUWT:

New paper from Lindzen and Choi implies that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity.
Posted on August 16, 2011 by Anthony Watts

Dr. Richard Lindzen writes to me with news of this significant new paper saying “It has taken almost 2 years to get this out. “. Part of that problem appears to be hostile reviewers in earlier submissions to JGR, something we’ve seen recently with other skeptical papers, such as O’Donnell’s rebuttal to Steig et al (Antarctica is warming) where Steig himself inappropriately served as a reviewer, and a hostile one at that.

Hostile reviewers aside, the paper will now be published in an upcoming issue of the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences and I am honored to be able to be able to present it here....

Dec 3, 2011 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

CERN boss: I forbade employees to interpret our climate experiment

Dec 3, 2011 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterManfred

If you haven’t seen Dr. Robert Brown’s essay at WUWT titled: “FOIA is not enough. Why not legally mandate transparency in climate research? A Modest Proposal…”, it is MUST reading.

Dec 3, 2011 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

See 4991.txt and 4471.txt

Student at Berkeley asks Jones for data. Jones sends a note to a friend wanting to know who the student's supervisor is along with some insulting comments about the student's choice of PhD and Berkeley for allowing it.

Dec 3, 2011 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered Commentercrosspatch

The IPCC, the UK, and Climate Censorship - from Donna:

Dec 3, 2011 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

The whole 'disinvitation' phenomenon.

Dec 3, 2011 at 7:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeo Morgan

Have we had Alan Carlin, yet?

Dec 3, 2011 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Then there were several State Climatologists in trouble. EG:

Dec 3, 2011 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Miranda Devine on the stlifing of the sceptics:

Exhibit B is coastal engineer Doug Lord, former coast manager of the NSW environment department.

Amid exaggerated predictions that sea levels would rise by 75m, Lord made the career-ending mistake of actually measuring the sea level and trying to publish the results.

This caused him to be “let go” from his government job and have peer-reviewed scientific papers pulled at the last minute from a conference in Shanghai last year, from a conference in Perth in September and from a journal where they were to be published this year.

Not only that, but he was banned by his bosses at the NSW environment department from representing Engineers Australia, whose national coastal committee he chaired, at a 2009 parliamentary inquiry into managing climate change. The irony is that he is not even a sceptic.

Dec 3, 2011 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterIbrahim

Here is an Australian example:

It is also related to sea levels. Andrew Bolt is running with the story this morning. Lord lost his job and they have prevented his papers from being published. He is not a sceptic, just an honest scientist.

Dec 3, 2011 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

I'm sure there are some Australian and NZ examples are missing yet.

Dec 3, 2011 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Sort of relevant is that latest tweet from Leo Hickman, linking to this astonishing piece of chutzpah from Donald A. Brown, Associate Professor Environmental Ethics, Science, and Law at Penn State University

Penn State seems to live in an ethical fantasy world.

Dec 3, 2011 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Dammers

What about the Thompsons?

"Matt and Janet Thompson: They came from the USA expecting to get a fair go. They broke no law, ran a profitable business, spoke out as skeptics and now stand to lose everything."

Dec 3, 2011 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

One of the most notorious cases of attempted censorship in the recent history of science occurred in Denmark after Bjørn Lomborg wrote The Skeptical Environmentalist. Lomborg was effectively accused of heresy by the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty and found guilty on a number of accounts:

1. Fabrication of data;
2. Selective discarding of unwanted results (selective citation);
3. Deliberately misleading use of statistical methods;
4. Distorted interpretation of conclusions;
5. Plagiarism;
6. Deliberate misinterpretation of others' results.

Of course we all know that no supporter of the theory of CAGW would ever dream of doing any of the things that Lomborg was found guilty of!

The verdict was set aside by the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation because the Committees on Scientific Dishonesty had made numerous procedural mistakes including not provided any specific information about Lomborg's alleged errors! The Committees on Scientific Dishonesty could have re-investigated the charges against Lomborg but they declined to do so on the grounds that they would come to the same conclusion the second time - they obviously know a heretic when they see one!

Anyone interested in reading more about this case can look up the Wikipedia article about Bjørn Lomborg.ørn_Lomborg

Dec 3, 2011 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Look at the crushing response Michael Mann gives to Dr Curtis Covey (atmospheric physicist with the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and IPCC Lead Author on the TAR) who is giving honest answers to genuine questions. When (#0112) Covey dared to suggest that Michael Mann's results were outliers (which is certainly true!), Mann goes ballistic. Not only that, but he copies his foul response around leading lights in the Team: Stefan Rahmstorf, Gavin Schmidt, Caspar Ammann, Ben Santer, Raymond Bradley, Malcolm Hughes, Phil Jones, and James Hansen. The message is clear: Anyone who speaks out of turn and doesn't do obeisance to Mann is going to have his name blackened around the climate community. He's toast! He's done irreversible damage to the cause, so Mann is going to do irreversible damage to him.

This is what Mann didn't like by Covey:

"Re high-resolution paleodata, I never liked it that the 2001 IPCC report pictured Mann's
without showing alternates...It now seems clear from looking at all the different analyses (e.g. as summarized in last year's NRC review by North et al.) that Mann is an outlier..."

Mann simply goes ballistic, and cannot control himself in a professional way: someone does not agree with him, so he has to be destroyed. Mann's lack of control and his anger are palpable. He calls Fred Singer a 'charlatan' more than once. By sending this email all around the Team (who were not copied in before) Mann continues to prove his credentials as their greatest bully for 'The Cause', and clearly tries to damage Covey for good.

2007 20:13:54 -0500
from: "Michael E. Mann" <REDACTED>
subject: [Fwd: IPCC and sea level rise, hi-res paleodata, etc.]
to: Stefan Rahmstorf <REDACTED>, Gavin Schmidt <REDACTED>, Caspar Ammann <REDACTED>, Ben Santer <REDACTED>, "Raymond S. Bradley" <REDACTED>, Malcolm Hughes <REDACTED>, Phil Jones <REDACTED>, James Hansen <REDACTED>

Curt, I can't believe the nonsense you are spouting, and I furthermore cannot imagine why
you would be so presumptuous as to entrain me into an exchange with these charlatans. What
ib earth are you thinking? You're not even remotely correct in your reading of the report,
first of all. The AR4 came to stronger conclusions that IPCC(2001) on the paleoclimate
conclusions, finding that the recent warmth is likely anomalous in the last 1300 years, not
just the last 1000 years. The AR4 SPM very much backed up the key findings of the TAR The
Jones et al reconstruction which you refer to actually looks very much like ours, and the
statement about more variability referred to the 3 reconstructions (Jones et al, Mann et
al, Briffa et a) shown in the TAR, not just Mann et al. The statement also does not commit
to whether or not those that show more variability are correct or not. Some of those that
do (for example, Moberg et al and Esper et al) show no similarity to each other. I find it
terribly irresponsible for you to be sending messages like this to Singer and Monckton. You
are speaking from ignorance here, and you must further know how your statements are going
to be used. You could have sought some feedback from others who would have told you that
you are speaking out of your depth on this. By instead simply blurting all of this nonsense
out in an email to these sorts charlatans you've done some irreversible damage. shame on
you for such irresponsible behavior! Mike Mann
Michael E. Mann Associate Professor
Director, Earth System Science Center (ESSC)
Department of Meteorology
Phone:REDACTED075 503
Walker Building
The Pennsylvania State University
email:REDACTED University Park, PAREDACTED

Here is a short bio on Curt Covey so that we can see he is no lightweight:

Dr. Curtis C. Covey received a Ph.D. in Geophysics and Space Physics from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1982. He joined LLNL in 1987, after a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and an assistant professorship at the University of Miami. He has spent most of his time at LLNL working for the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison, where he maintains the database for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). He has written or co-authored about 80 papers on climate modeling, climate change, and extraterrestrial atmospheres. He has served as an editor for the journal Global and Planetary Change, as a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report, and as a member of the World Climate Research Programme Working Group on Coupled Modeling Climate Simulation Panel, which provided data for the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report.

Dec 3, 2011 at 9:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

This from Miranda Devine in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph.

Dec 3, 2011 at 9:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMique

@ ScientistforTruth

I was there before you ( 11.46am) with a shorter version than yours, and lacking your input on Covey's CV, and as you say, Mann went completely ballistic. I find this over-reaction quite extraordinary from someone who is supposed to be working as part of a team. I wouldn't like to tread on his toes... .What else have we to find, I wonder, that Mann and his university appear so keen to hide ?

Dec 3, 2011 at 9:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Dec 3, 2011 at 3:52 PM | simpleseekeraftertruth

Glad you mentioned the disgraceful treatment of Bob Carter - he's one of the scientists for whom I have the utmost respect.

Another incident involving Carter involved a post at John Cook's 'Sceptical Science' blog. It was a shockingly trivialised article that grossly misrepresented Carter's book - just one example

"In the Carter reality, “there has been no net warming between 1958 and 2005.“ Of course, in the real world, there is no basis for this statement from scientific analysis of observational data. The decade of the 2000s was warmer than the 1990s, which was warmer than the 1980s, which was warmer than the 1970s, which was warmer than the 1960s.

So where does Carter’s statement come from? In the Carter reality, he finds a hot year early in the period and a cold year much later, and says there’s been no warming. This would be like saying that winter is not colder than summer because a very hot day in winter might happen to have much the same temperature as a very cold day in summer, ignoring all the other days."

However -

The actual reference in Carter's book was a graph titled the

"Lower atmosphere mean global temperature radiosonde record HadAT2 from Thorne et al. 2005"

showing deg C anomal from 1958 to 2005 with the caption

"Fig 11a Estimated lower atmosphere global temperature record since 1958 based on measurements from weather balloons. Note the presence of (i) cooling from 1958 to 1977; (ii) warming, mostly as a step in 1977, from 1977-2005; and (iii) no net warming between 1958 and 2005. Over the same time period there has been an 18% increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Black dots [located at 1958, end 1977 and 2005] denote times at which the temperature falls upon the zero anomaly line, ie no net change has occurred between them.
p.61 Climate - The Counter Consensus by Bob Carter.

As Carter explains in the text this method of measuring atmospheric temperature developed using thermistors mounted on weather balloons had only been available since 1958.

I was ready to dismiss this as the usual John Cook 'disinformation' until I followed the links and was totally gobsmacked - the author of this character assassination of Bob Carter was none other than David Karoly .

Interesting to note there is no mention of his IPCC connections in his disclosure statement by the article.

The same David Karoly described as one of the IPCC Insiders Club by Donna Laframboise

" Australian meteorologist David Karoly filled six separate IPCC roles. He served as a lead author and as a review editor. Along with Rosenzweig he was a lead author of a Technical Summary, a drafting author of a Summary for Policymakers, a member of the core writing team for the Synthesis Report, and was also an expert reviewer."

And has a string of grants for 'improving the understanding of climate change'!!!

To me this is but one example of the gross academic misconduct of so many of the 'scientists' related to the IPCC.

Dec 3, 2011 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Henk Tennekes and the Dutch Meteorological Institute.

Dec 3, 2011 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

I have not gone through all the posts, but suspect that the American Physical Society's suppression of dissent on global warming has not been mentioned. Several members tried to get together a petition to fight the APS position on global warming and their activities were treated with hostility: the APS tried to find out where the dissenting members obtained the membership e-mail addresses and suppressed the letter that dissented with the official position. Hal Lewis discussed this in his resignation letter to that society:

Dec 3, 2011 at 10:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterVigilantfish

Re : Dec 3, 2011 at 10:41 PM | Vigilantfish

Yes I've always been rather intrigued by the views of one of the Council members of the APS -

"Brasseur said that while he supported better informing the membership on actions of the Council, he was uncomfortable with the idea of a membership-wide referendum on statements. He said that he was concerned that having a membership wide vote on controversial issues could lead to the adoption of scientifically unsound statements.“Should [the process] be a democratic one or a science-based one?” Brasseur said, “I’m totally against the idea of a democratic poll of the membership.” "

It would be very interesting to have a poll of the full membership of these societies on their various Climate Change Statements particularly so after the Climategate mails!!!

Dec 3, 2011 at 11:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Mark Lynas - Climategate email...

refering to his article in New Statesman?

Where amonsgt others, (lomborg, LIndzen,etc)
Professor Philip Stott gets called a 'climate change denier'

"Philip Stott is Britain's leading climate-change denier and has built a career on criticising environmentalists"

Dec 3, 2011 at 11:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

With regards to crushing of dissent, you may wish to see my recent post which deals with the attack on Professor de Freitas:

A very clear case.....

Dec 4, 2011 at 12:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterNZCLimate

I haven't read/skimmed the comments above - but just came across a comment from Rowe Peter on the Independent who suggests Ian Plimer and Doug Lord, former coast manager of the NSW environment department:

<haven't progressed to blockquotes yet so it will have to be italics>
... But we don’t need leaked emails to see the totalitarian nature of climate politics in Australia.The evidence is in front of us.Take Adelaide geologist Ian Plimer, demonised by climate alarmists since the publication of his best-selling book Heaven and Earth.In his guide for students, How To Get Expelled From School, he asks: “If the science of human induced global warming is so strong then why is it necessary for the climate industry to engage in fraud, exaggeration, obfuscation, personal attacks, spin and the demonising of dissent?” Plimer mocks attempts by the academic establishment to marginalise him. “I’ve been banned from speaking at two Australian universities, yet I’ve been a full professor for 27 years. This is really a totalitarian system,” he said. Exhibit B is coastal engineer Doug Lord, former coast manager of the NSW environment department.Amid exaggerated predictions that sea levels would rise by 75m, Lord made the career-ending mistake of actually measuring the sea level and trying to publish the results.This caused him to be “let go” from his government job and have peer-reviewed scientific papers pulled at the last minute from a conference in Shanghai last year, from a conference in Perth in September and from a journal where they were to be published this year.Not only that, but he was banned by his bosses at the NSW environment department from representing Engineers Australia, whose national coastal committee he chaired, at a 2009 parliamentary inquiry into managing climate change. The irony is that he is not even a sceptic.“I’m not a climate change sceptic. I believe in the climate change science but I see the need for the real data to be out there,” he said. ...

Dec 4, 2011 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

1984 is rather instructive here.

I feel it's at the point where even saying the right thing is no guarantee you'll be left alone if it's felt that you are just paying 'lip-service' to the cause.

You have to believe................

I speak as a former 'believer'. Plato's cave is particularly relevant.

What an absolute waste of resources when, if the case is indeed made, all that's required is a reforestation programme.....even if a waste of money (and I don't think it would be) the results are pleasing to the eye...

Dec 4, 2011 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Although, strangely enough, I don't believe that Gore/Pachauri et-al ARE believers........Their own behaviours betray them on that one......

Dec 4, 2011 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Brasseur said, “I’m totally against the idea of a democratic poll of the membership.”
Which could be said to make a lot of sense.
Except that one would assume (or at least hope) that in a scientific body the members would either know what they were talking about or have the sense to admit they didn't and abstain.
I'm beginning to get a feeling that the problem is infinitely wider than climate science — though of less importance perhaps — and is simply indicative of an intellectual malaise resulting from a lack of objective standards in general. Hence my opinion is every bit as good as yours even if I haven't a clue what I'm talking about! Even in scientific circles.
So perhaps Brasseur has a point.

Dec 4, 2011 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Back in the 1970s, Reginald Newell of MIT published a paper showing that a doubling of carbon dioxide would result in a warming of 0.25 C. He was fired soon afterwards, as I recall.

At NCAR, around 1985, another scientist was fired when he expressed doubts about the AGW hypothesis. At least that was the rumor that circulated among the staff.

Dec 4, 2011 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas Hoyt

Presumably the anti-Spectator unqualified spectacle by the Guardian these very days is an attempt at crushing dissent too

Dec 4, 2011 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

Matt Ridley's latest post unravels how disgraceful the Schneider email attack on McKitrick was:

It is this mindset that seems to pervade the alarmist camp and its MSM apologists

Dec 4, 2011 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

The late Dr Joanne Simpson (clever eniough to have a Cray computer named after her said on her reitirement said "Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receive any funding, I can speak quite frankly" & went on to take apart the alarmist case. The implication being that it was impossible to do so before retiring.

Dec 4, 2011 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

RE: "Can readers here think of other examples of attempts to silence dissent?"

Here's an example of how FOI/EIR requests 'should be' dealt with back in Feb '05. . . .#0502

date: Tue, 01 Feb 2005 13:39:31 +0000
from: Clare Goodess <REDACTED>
subject: Freedom of Information Act

Dear all

All CRU staff should have received important emails from Alan Preece on 14
and 29 January concerning the Freedom of Information Act which came into
full force on 1 January 2005 - together with a leaflet. (If you are a
member of staff and haven't received these, please let me know).

It is important that we all comply with this act. If anybody in CRU (staff
or student) receives a request which refers to the Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA), please forward it immediately to the Faculty of Science FOIA
contact - Mike McGarvie (x 3229, REDACTED) and copy it to Phil
and myself. If you are unsure about the request or it is unusual, please
copy to Phil and myself and we'll decide if we need to consult Mike McGarvie.

Best wishes, Clare

Dr Clare Goodess
Climatic Research Unit
University of East Anglia

And here's how things were working by July '09. Apparently there was by then a 'normal' response for Montfort requests. . . #0490

date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 16:10:39 +0100
from: "Palmer Dave Mr (LIB)" <REDACTED>
subject: FOI/EIR requests - Strategy
to: "Colam-French Jonathan Mr (ISD)" <REDACTED>, "Jones Philip Prof (ENV)" <REDACTED>, "Mcgarvie Michael Mr (ACAD)" <REDACTED>, "Ogden Annie Ms (MAC)" <REDACTED>

Just to summarise our approach to the various requests we have received to date that we
have agreed:

A. 'Country' requests
REDACTEDRespond to Montford request as normally - cite s.21, information available (see
point 2)
REDACTEDPlace any/all agreements (or links thereto - Met Office) on the CRU website
REDACTEDAcknowledge & respond to all 44? Country requests by citing s.21 and pointing
them to the CRU website

B. Data requests
REDACTEDAcknowledge requests
REDACTEDDeal with as per normal, cite Reg. 12(5)(f) re agreements and Reg. 12(4)(b)
'manifestly unreasonable' on the grounds that the data is already available publicly via
the website, and note that a format of the data (gridded) already is
publicly available

REDACTEDNote that raw data is available from the Met Office and other national weather
services (also goes to 'manifestly unreasonable')

C. McIntyre appeal
REDACTEDMaintain position regarding Reg 12(5)(f) re confidentiality agreements and point
him to published versions on website

REDACTEDAdd 'manifestly unreasonable' on basis that he already has the requested
information in his possession & is also available elsewhere

REDACTEDHandle as per published protocols with initial 'informal' approach, followed by
review by JCF

D. 'Other' requests
REDACTEDAcknowledge requests
REDACTEDDeal with as usual, citing whatever section is appropriate above to the
requested information

E. General points
REDACTEDInteraction with any media to be handled by Press Office
REDACTEDApproval of transfer to Georgia Tech would be good to find
REDACTEDWe are NOT citing s.14 for the 'country' requests
REDACTEDEstimated time to locate ALL agreements regarding data transfer is within the 18
hour appropriate limit
REDACTEDAny correspondence to go out will be circulated prior to transmission

I hope I have captured what was agreed - please comment if your understanding is different
than mine

Cheers, Dave
David Palmer
Information Policy & Compliance Manager
University of East Anglia
Norwich, England

Information Services
Tel: +44 (0)REDACTED
Fax: +44 (0)REDACTED

Dec 4, 2011 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterbarn E. rubble

Prof Vincent Courtillot stated that his small team of 5 were all senior and close to retirement. His policy is not to induct young researchers for fear of blighting their careers. Stated on video of an EIKE conference presentation. at 5 mins in.

Dec 4, 2011 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered Commentermarchesarosa

@ marchesarosa

It might also be worth noting that at about 19 minutes into his presentation when he started talking about the Madden-Julian oscillation, Prof. Vincent Courtillot mentioned how difficult it was to get papers published that disagreed with some tenets of the man-made global warming theory.

Dec 4, 2011 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

@marchesarosa and Roy

Entering ‘Courtillot’ as a search term in the FOIA2011 emails.

0739.txt date: Wed Feb 6 13:21:06 2008
to: James Hansen (from Phil Jones)

“…just make sure one or two reasonable scientists are aware that they have invited a bit of rogue!

3124.txt Wed Feb 6 13:36:32 2008
to: Robert Marsh (from Phil Jones)

“You’ll get one awful talk on the Friday from a Vincent Courtillot. If he
lays into me, or says the world isn’t warming you have my permission
to go and put the boot it. Shouldn’t be difficult.
Have emailed Jim as well.
Vincent is a prat, but he’s a well connected prat – French Academy and all that.”

Dec 4, 2011 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterVerity Jones

There are four straightforward methods that are used to stifle dissent.

1. Smear them, by calling people "deniers" or non-scientists, or right-wing or flat-earthers. Or question their motives.
2. Barrage any opinions by contrary opinions. See the Real Climate blog comments.
3. Deliberately evade questions, or answer with a point with a completely different one.
4. Disrupt the flow by contrary arguments - called trolling. This blog comments has been plagued, (until recently) by one of the worst cases of this practice.

They are to encourage

Dec 4, 2011 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

Prof Vincent Courtillot runs a small team of 5 senior academics nearing retirement. He will not use young researchers on his team for fear of blighting their employment prospects.

See his statement on this EIKE video at 5 minutes in

Dec 4, 2011 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered Commentermarchesarosa

Brasseur said, “I’m totally against the idea of a democratic poll of the membership.”

And isn't this exactly the direction in which the 'science' is taking us.

The funding is weighted to produce the required results

A so-called problem is highlighted which needs drastic action to resolve.

And all the while the 'science' is simply a front for a hidden political agenda.

Why else are they so keen to hide their data and methodology. Anyone who had really highlighted the possibility of an 'end of the world' scenario would be only too keen to be up front about the results of their work. Yet climate 'science' is noted for its inability to follow the scientific method. Noticeable too is the complete lack of regard to limit their own CO2 emissions, jetting off to multiple exotic locations totally unnecessarily with modern technology, the hypocrisy is endemic amongst the alarmists.

Explains too the nonsensical whitewashes that posed as 'Inquiries' and the heavy censorship against anyone posing alternative theories on climate.

Dec 5, 2011 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

jorgekafkazar @ Dec 3, 2011 at 8:54 PM

What about the Thompsons?

"Matt and Janet Thompson: They came from the USA expecting to get a fair go. They broke no law, ran a profitable business, spoke out as skeptics and now stand to lose everything."

The Thompsons expected to be able to externalise a significant proportion of their business costs. They were not permitted to do so. If they have indeed "lost everything" they must have been grossly under-capitalised.

Moral: Never never count on externalising your costs until permission to do so has been granted.

PS If they really "ran a profitable business" they would not have lost anything let alone "lost everything" .

Dec 5, 2011 at 1:32 AM | Unregistered Commenteracementhead

Dec 5, 2011 at 1:32 AM | acementhead

Perhaps you need to familiarise yourself more with the Thompsons case - many of the 'costs' they incurred were through the same sort of environmental red tape that is currently strangling much of the world economy and the govt. dept. responsible "DEC even admits it broke it’s own rules". I believe most fair-minded people would realise these costs to have been unfairly incurred and are appalled that the Thompsons have been denied the right to sue the govt. department responsible. One can only hope they are successful in their appeal.

Dec 5, 2011 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

climate scientists being "bullied and subtly blackmailed" (Dr. Eduardo Zorita, Nov. 2009, commenting upon his experiences with Michael Mann, Phil Jones, and Stefan Rahmsdorf in the IPCC4 process):

" this thick atmosphere -and I am not speaking of greenhouse gases now- editors, reviewers and authors of alternative studies, analysis, interpretations, even based on the same data we have at our disposal, have been bullied and subtly blackmailed. In this atmosphere, Ph D students are often tempted to tweak their data so as to fit the ‘politically correct picture’. Some, or many issues, about climate change are still not well known. Policy makers should be aware of the attempts to hide these uncertainties under a unified picture. I had the ‘pleasure’ to experience all this in my area of research."


Dec 5, 2011 at 9:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

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