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« Bengtsson and the left | Main | The community strikes back »

The MSM covers Bengtsson

A couple of articles in the MSM are good on the Bengtsson affair. The Mail covers some of the reactions from the less reputable climate scientists and their fellow travellers:

He was also abused on science blogs, with one describing the people who condemned him as ‘respectable’ and that his actions amounted to ‘silliness’.

Another described him as a ‘crybaby’.

The Times, meanwhile, notes that the main source of pressure on Bengtsson was from the USA:

He said the pressure had mainly come from climate scientists in the US, including one employed by the US government who threatened to withdraw as co-author of a forthcoming paper because of his link with the foundation.

Interesting times.

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Reader Comments (71)

Absolutely bizarre debating point from the arch-dissembler Stokes regarding 'our' response if the Bish was to join the CRU - speaking for myself I'd know that the level of honesty likely to emanate from the institution could only increase.

Given that the only reason I've ever practiced science was because I'm interested in discovering new stuff and seeking the truth, then that could only be a good thing.

Net result, Stokes has absolutely damned himself by confessing that his worldview is about tribal domination. Truth eventually overcame pseudoscientist Trofim Lysenko's outrageous, murderous lies even in totalitarian Soviet Russia - he was disgraced and died as a vile icon of deceit. History has a habit of repeating itself.

May 15, 2014 at 4:38 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

More like the treatment that Gallileo received from the Pope and the Catholic heirarchy.

Repent or face the consequences, because your beliefs are contrary to scripture.

The whole environmental movement has become a religion, in so many ways...

May 15, 2014 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterrxc

Dum excusare credis, accusas. Tu quoque, Gavinus Ferrarius!!

May 15, 2014 at 4:51 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Another example of why it is of such concern that so much of our society's important policy formation is now in the hands of these people.

Seeing how they treat a 79 year old man who has the temerity to join a perfectly respectable organization they happen to dislike is a brief insight into how we can expect the poorest and weakest in our society to fare out in the future.

Those outside the circle of trust can freeze and starve in the dark for their sins.

May 15, 2014 at 4:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJud

If an established and respected scientist says that he is afraid for aspects of his career or personal well being as a result of his extra-curricular, but professionally-related, chosen associations, then it seems like a serious issue to me.

If his fears of victimisation arose as a direct result of the long-standing, but equally extra-curricular, opinions of his peers, then I don't think McCarthyism is too strong a word to describe it.

IMO, Bengtsson does not have to demonstrate any vile acts or threats in order to establish reasonable cause for fear. The climate-gate emails made it perfectly clear that there is, or was, a cabal of activist scientists some of whom advocated taking 'more advanced' actions against those who disagreed with them.

May 15, 2014 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Too many mentions of NS in this thread. Keep in mind the words used in the original letter: "I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy".

Those trying to portray this as one guy withdrawing support from a paper, are accusing Bengtsson of being deranged, a coward, or both. They either show some evidence for this fantasy, or go back into their conspiratorial minds.

May 15, 2014 at 5:02 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Nick Stokes - I don't know if you know it, but you don't come across too well as a person.

May 15, 2014 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered Commentersplitpin

Nick could have chosen to show that it is about the science. Instead he wallows in the vile offal his faith-tested believers excrete on society.
Yes Nick, Intimidating old people into silence over their politics is McCarthyism.
I can't recall: Are you still defending the 10:10 video about blowing skeptics to bits?
You are a rather typical, banal example of where extremism leads off to.

May 15, 2014 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

You know they're in trouble when Nick Stokes is seen galloping from blog to blog trying to put the fires out.

"Nothing to see here. Move along." The message would seem more credible if it wasn't for all their frantic activity.

May 15, 2014 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

good faith, deniers, denial - as we didn't already know that religious fervor has taken over a large part of climate science. Sir Karl Popper ("generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century") who should be at peace, is undoubtedly already turning in his grave.

As the Wikipedia article on Popper puts it: "If the outcome of an experiment contradicts the theory, one should refrain from ad hoc manoeuvres that evade the contradiction merely by making it less falsifiable."

May 15, 2014 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered Commenteralleagra

TinyCO2 on May 15, 2014 at 1:55 PM
"For those who are down playing the "health and safety" aspect of this, need to consider two things. Firstly stress IS a health and safety issue particularly for a 79 year old. Suddenly having people you assumed were reasonable people and/or friends turn on you would be very stressful, no matter how secure your financial position. Slights from those nearest to you are far more damaging than casual abuse from a stranger. Secondly while he may not have received death threats but he would be aware that the level of vitriol emerging from colleagues might escalate into something more physical once the flame had been set alight in the heart of an unhinged stranger. Let's face it, the green community has a few of those, like any other walk of life, including ours. All that at only 3 weeks in. Do you blame him for not wanting to see how far it could go?"

I agree!

Quite apart from those closest to you being able to cause the most pain, being withdrawn from a co-written paper means being removed from one's peers, having work already done, not acknowledged, the expectation of not being asked for advice, ever, and having the gruesome task of working out who are your friends are, at seventy nine!

There is also the probability that the scales have fallen from his eyes and he will be able to see the quality of the group to which he has been contributing. I think your statement is the least that needs to be considered.

May 15, 2014 at 9:17 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

I think that the point about English not being his first language is worth re-iterating. "Health and safety" is a phrase that carries a lot of connotations which may not have been intended.

Anyway, it is just one point among many, the burden of which is that he was bullied out of the job. The fact that he is 79 years old, with a long and distinguished career behind him, seems to count for nothing when the climate thugs get their knuckledusters out.

May 15, 2014 at 9:52 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Oh, precious petals!

"silliness", "questionable" = "thugs" and "knuckledusters".

I predict the 'skeptics' wearing much egg on face over their absurd chicken-little behaviour when more details emerge.

May 15, 2014 at 11:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Chicken little? As in "the sky is falling"?

I thought that territory belonged to the warmistas.

May 16, 2014 at 2:20 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

I would be amused to see N Stokes doing his usual defend-the-indefensible if his lack of morality and compassion were not so glaringly obvious.
It must be very frightening and upsetting indeed for the good Prof to be turned on by his peers and his younger colleagues and having his idea of his place in the world turned upside down for speaking out on a matter of conscience after a long and distinguished career.

May 16, 2014 at 5:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Makes front page of The Times + an added twist;

May 16, 2014 at 6:18 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Front page of The Times this morning,
"Scientists in cover-up of ‘damaging’ climate view" by Ben Webster,
Mostly available at GWPF.

Also in the Telegraph,
Scientists accused of supressing research because of climate sceptic argument

May 16, 2014 at 9:05 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

The very fountainhead of conservative news stories,, is now *leading* with the story now that it has the added angle of a politically rejecting publication.


This means Fox News and conservatives blogs will be all over this, witnessed by millions of people instead of just thousands, and the very nastiness of enablers of scientific corruption such as the unretracted latest bladeless input data “super hockey stick” of Marcott, is adding to the story, delightfully, feeding it. Thanks Nick Stokes, William Connolly, David Appell and Gavin “Faith Test” Schmidt, for your formerly obscure voices are now being held up publicly as examples of treachery that lets a whole new narrative meme arise, of attacks on an distinguished old man that affords sympathy to skeptics as human beings instead of crackpot deniers of the greenhouse effect itself, which was the old and willfully slanderous narrative. Remember guys, it's the *headlines* that matter, and this season's headline is game changing, all handed to us skeptics on a silver platter exactly due to you fanaticism.

May 16, 2014 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

Once more, I feel I should try to correct the misinformation of the Galileo incident. Have a read of this investigation ; GG was rather a cantankerous individual who liked a good argument (remind you of anyone?), had heard of Copernicus’ ideas, liked them, and tried to force everyone to listen and believe. The Church openly acknowledged that the Bible is more a spiritual treatise than a scientific one, but managed to baulk Galileo by asking a simple thing: prove it. That was his stumbling block; now, of course, we all accept many scientific statements without question; perhaps we should be asking for proof a little more often.

The real rub with Galileo was when he focussed the new-fangled telescope on Jupiter, to declare that it had moons. The scientists of the day refused to even look as they “knew” that he was wrong (again, remind you of anyone? – clue, paraphrased: “There is no pause!”).

May 16, 2014 at 11:01 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Michael has given us a prediction:

"I predict the 'skeptics' wearing much egg on face over their absurd chicken-little behaviour when more details emerge."

So far, reality doesn't seem to be agreeing with the prediction. The Times led with the story. Think of that! The Times led with a story about the appalling behaviour of climate scientivists! Out of all the things going on in the world The Times thought that was the most important.

Well done Michael. You're right up there with the best of the alarmists in your predictive abilities. I will recommend you for an FRS.

May 16, 2014 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

Michael, like most extremists, has forgotten the first rule of holes:
Stop digging.
Instead the whole faux-religious community of climate obsessedfanatics are digging a hole that is rapidly closing in on the center of the Earth.
Notice the same style of arguments wheeld out to defend 10:10 and Peter Gleick being deployed. Notice how those on the sidelines who don't follow science but no sleaze when they see it are backing away even farther from the climate obsessed.
Please keep snarking away, Michael.

May 16, 2014 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

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