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« The MSM covers Bengtsson | Main | Diary dates, comedy edition »

The community strikes back

This has just been posted at Klimazwiebel:

In an e-mail to GWPF, Lennart Bengtsson has declared his resignation of the advisory hoard of GWPF. His letter reads :

"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.  I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.

Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join  its Board at the earliest possible time.

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Reader Comments (164)

Well, who's surprised at this? The coruption of climate change is everywhere. You have to retire before you can come out into the open with the truth.

May 14, 2014 at 1:02 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"board", not "hoard"?

May 14, 2014 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

The cult won't let you leave.

May 14, 2014 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBob_L

More than likely, it was political pressure and veiled threats related to sinecures etc - actually who would give a **** about what one's 'friends and peers' thought - if they were that crass and shallow?

May 14, 2014 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Un-frickin'-believable. It's worse than we thought.

"You're from a free country. You don't have a choice."
-John LeCarrè

May 14, 2014 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

"No pressure" !

May 14, 2014 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Once you've been given the Black spot that's it there's no return.

May 14, 2014 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Yet another so called Sceptic Conspiracy Theory is shown to have some truth behind it.

I hope the hoard are now satisfied and will leave the poor man alone.

May 14, 2014 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

I, too, have made allusion to the McCarthy witch-hunt in the past. Nice to know that the rest of the world is catching up.

May 14, 2014 at 1:34 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

This is going to do untold damage to the cause:-

" It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years. "

May 14, 2014 at 1:34 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

This makes one respect Judith Curry's courage even more.

The lady has great cojones to put up with the pressure from the ugly mob.

Lennart Bengtsson might have benefitted by learning from her experience.

It would be very interesting to get more detail on how and by whom "enormous group pressure" was applied on Bengtsson.

May 14, 2014 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

When you speak out against Lysenkoism you are either "rehabilitated" or sent to the Gulag.

We are seeing that the behaviour witnessed in Climategate, alive and well! All part of the culture.

May 14, 2014 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

This is a disgrace. Those who have behaved in such an antiscientific way should be ashamed. They should be named and shamed, but I guess they won't.

Intolerant bullies. Despicable behaviour. A sad day for science.

Now that he has resigned the GWPF will his 'colleagues' return to him and forgive the transgression. No, they won't.

This, almost above anything else shows that the 'debate' is not about science. These small minded people only see it as winning and losing, just like the majority of environmental 'journalists.'

14th May 2014 - the day Climate Science sold its soul.

May 14, 2014 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterCeed

Steve McIntyre:-

"Begtsson’s planned participation in GWPF seemed to me to be the sort of outreach to rational skeptics that ought to be praiseworthy within the climate “community”.

Instead, the “community” has extended the fatwa. This is precisely the sort of action and attitude that can only engender and reinforce contempt for the “community” in the broader society. "

The Cleansing of Lennart Bengtsson

May 14, 2014 at 1:47 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

@Political Junkie

"... how and by whom ..."

Quite. I hope LB archives all emails and then names and shames.

May 14, 2014 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterVictoria Sponge


May 14, 2014 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

I don’t think even Kim Jong Un worked this fast to suppress dissension. Well done Consensus, you’ve just proved how such an improbably high figure is arrived at.

I'd like to think there are more than a few honest climate scientists out there feeling a bit sick right now but I won't hold my breath for cries of 'I'm Bengtsson! No, I am Bengtsson'.

May 14, 2014 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

This disgraceful event strengthens the view that CAGW is a religion, not a science.

May 14, 2014 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

I think many in "the community" will see this as a publicity stunt by the GWPF, especially as the resignation has been made public. Many will ask: Why did he not just say nothing, or say he was too busy?

But, what he says rings true, so congrats to him for being truthful.

May 14, 2014 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Welcome to the Hotel Climatology.
You can check out anytime you like,
but you can never leave.

May 14, 2014 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterCeed

They were afraid that a scientist with expertise, honesty and integrity may say something that would undermine their propaganda.

May 14, 2014 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Every time you read from Betts, keep in mind, it's not him talking and will never be. Not until he retires.

May 14, 2014 at 2:09 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Further proof that there is not a even scintilla of science in mainstream 'Climate Science' anymore. It's all blinkered ideology, conveniently in line with the vested interests of its paymaster.

May 14, 2014 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterTuppence

"This disgraceful event strengthens the view that CAGW is a religion, not a science."

More like a political ideology and a totalitarian one at that.

May 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam


Not just Richard

May 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

If he is taken back in to the fold it shows what a fickle lot the academics are. I suspect he will not be though. We can only hope his career is not irretrievably damaged and his reasonable voice will be heard.

The most shocking thing he says is that he is in fear for his health and _safety_ I hope this is a turn of phrase.

It would be dreadful if any of the correspondence leaked wouldn't it?

May 14, 2014 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterclovis marcus

"Every time you read from Betts, keep in mind, it's not him talking and will never be. Not until he retires."

Well Bengtsson is 79 and retired. Apparently even that isn't enough anymore to speak out as long as one wants to be active in the field.

May 14, 2014 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarcel Crok

This is unbelievable. As a working scientist [not in the climate field, thank heaven] I don't think I've ever seen anything like this. These people are truly bonkers. Poor guy.

May 14, 2014 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterluca turin

We live in Orwelllian times. Western governments (rightly or wrongly) have spent millions fighting religious intolerance in Persia, yet they are happy to fund what amounts to much the same thing in our own universities and environmental agencies.

May 14, 2014 at 2:23 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

He should just name and shame.

For heaven's sake! When are climate scientists going to speak up? Is THIS how you want to be remembered in twenty years time?

May 14, 2014 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Not just Richard, Bish. You're right. I suggest everybody to move from contempt to pity wrt the small people in the Klimate Konsensus Kommunity.

We can try to go even further, and imagine the hell of being Michael or Kev. I remember vividly the mad swirling restless eyes of Schneider in front of journalists, as shown in Lomborg's documentary.

May 14, 2014 at 2:38 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Mix politics with science or the other way around, science will always end up as the looser.

May 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered Commenteroebele bruinsma


Yes, that stood out for me too. To be honest I don't blame him for taking note if his personal safety, we are dealing with a religion here and we all know what the penalty is for blasphemy.


May 14, 2014 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

A very shocking turn of events, indeed.

(Have the eco-barbarians at the gate charged Lennart with receiving filthy oil monies yet?)

May 14, 2014 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterOrson

Any decent person who is a scientist will publicly disassociate him/herself from this. How many of the "97%" consider themselves to be decent I wonder. Time to stand up and be counted.

May 14, 2014 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterTC

Richard Drake this is why I do not comment about AGW under my own name

May 14, 2014 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Name names, Professor Bengtsson.

May 14, 2014 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

It's nice to see the climate science community that cries about attacks on academic freedom, doing their best to assure that not all academic freedom is acceptable. ;-)

May 14, 2014 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterSundance

Putting the science aside for a moment.

I would never ally myself to such a bunch of vicious, thuggish sociopaths.

May 14, 2014 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

Having worked in a very heavily unionised company I had seen this kind of intimidation of those who "crossed the picket lines" before, but it wasn't until recently I realised that almost all the anti-social behaviour we see from academics is a very similar demarcation dispute between those in "consensus science" and those like us skeptics outside this academic group. In effect these academics are trying to assert that "climate" is "their" job and woe betide anyone who crosses their line.

So, paradoxically, the more qualified the skeptic, the more expertise we skeptics show, the more we talk sensibly and worst of all the more we are listened to by the public and politicians, the more we get attacked.

Worse still - doing it for free!! is the ultimate insult. If the idea caught on that we didn't need to pay all these academics they would all be out of a job! So they simply cannot allow unpaid skeptics to become credible

It is because we are demonstrating that climate does not "belong" to the academics that we get attacked.

It is essentially a "boundary dispute". It's the same kind of thing when a neighbour builds over a boundary or someone makes a bee-line across our front lawn. We don't like it, and the climate academics don't like it either.

But in this case the "boundary" is drawn around an area of knowledge & expertise. This area is considered by these academics to be "theirs" and theirs alone. They control this area (through the journals), so they can and do effectively keep out skeptics - but not on the internet (which really upsets them). But otherwise, we skeptics are largely an annoyance so long as government the BBC, Press etc. don't cotton on that we skeptics are just as qualified to speak on climate as they are ... in other words so long as they can "keep the drawbridge up" and keep us from being see as experts on climate, they can maintain that boundary keeping us excluded.

So, this is why the individuals who cross the line are so important. They blur this boundary, they show it can be crossed, and that is why the attacks are all the more vicious. For someone who is already on "the other side", to fail to maintain this boundary is all the more dangerous because they demonstrate it is a fictitious artificial boundary which no one need pay any attention to.

So for those who come from their own "side" who are clearly and unequivocally experts like Salby, Roy Spencer, Judith Curry, etc, who "fail to maintain the boundary" and work with skeptics, they are breaking the illusionary demarcation line which holds us skeptics out, so the attacks on these experts have to be all the more vicious because they are experts and their actions break that boundary down.

And in case you are lacking a mental picture - I read a good paper on Chimpanzee boundary behaviour. The paper talks about bands of male chimps coming together to launch an attack on "the enemy" across the boundary. They move silently in a large group, constantly sniffing the air, and when they cross the border, they are looking for isolated individuals, and particularly target females with young who they then savagely kill and dissect - after which they make a quick retreat. For "infant" read "article" - and I've seen exactly that behaviour from "And then there was physics".

But the bit that really made be laugh was reading that Chimps who encounter such opposition at the boundary: howl, thrash about in the trees and throw their faeces: typical alarmist behaviour whenever a skeptic is seen "going into their territory" and commenting on "their" areas of work on on "their" blogs.

May 14, 2014 at 3:38 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Arthur Dent:

Richard Drake this is why I do not comment about AGW under my own name

That's interesting. How did you know in advance this would happen? If I was being dragged off by the climate secret police would you feel obliged to make the same point? (I can imagine this ending like that. But I've made the decision not to live in my fears. I write it down because I think that may be valuable for others to read. We fight better and smarter without fear.)

I also admire prudence but I'm not sure what the purpose of this declaration of prudence is. Are you sure it isn't a veiled threat against those like Bengtsson that, at least for a while, seek publicly to criticise the 'consensus'? Would the fact I could imagine it being such a threat bother you at all?

May 14, 2014 at 3:48 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I take a back seat to no one in my admiration of Steve Mc. But he shocked me today with his crack about Koch acolyte -- "Most “skeptics” are not acolytes of the Koch brothers"

For those of you who are not in the US, the Kochs are libertarians (not conservatives) who have been subjected to the same kind of relentless and vicious slander from the Left that has been directed at the Tea Party. It's exactly the same kind of abuse that Mann and his fellow left-wing political activists have directed at Steve -- and for exactly the same reasons. Same tactics. Same reasons.

Global warming is all about the politics. And slander and character assassination are the primary tools of the Left in politics today (at least here in the USA).

Apparently, Steve (even after what has been done to him by the same people) unthinkingly just accepted as true the nasty slanders of the Kochs. Which tells why they mount these slander campaigns. They work.

May 14, 2014 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

Here's a paper I'd like to see:

"Suppression of contrary views in climate science - an analysis of current practices, perpetrators and persistence."

Curry, Bengtsson, Lindzen, Spencer, Pielke Jr., et al.

Crowd sourcing of funding should not be a problem.

May 14, 2014 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

Just to emphasize what Crok wrote: "Why would one trust climate science if such enormous social pressure is going on?"

Nails it.

May 14, 2014 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

If this gets close to harassment I think I might be considering the law. It sounds very much like harassment...stuff works both ways!

You can hold any belief or opinion. I don't think you should be harassed for holding either...can you? Pile into the MF's

May 14, 2014 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

Welcome to the Dark Ages.

May 14, 2014 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterGummerMustGo

I'm not sure that changing his mind now will make much difference. He's tainted. (I'm not unsympathetic, just reading the runes.)

May 14, 2014 at 4:19 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

I agree with Lord Beaverbrook. To resign makes no difference, it fact it makes things worse for him personally since he has ( in their eyes) betrayed the true word and has unveiled himself as an apostate. It is a massive coup for the anti cagw lobby, since he does say that he has been forced to resign not that he wanted to - what would any reasonable person think?

May 14, 2014 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterTrefjon

[Snip - response to snipped comment]

May 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil McEvoy

[Snip - response to snipped comment]

May 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

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