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« Tragicomedy | Main | Shale and hearty »
Monday
Jun302014

Yes, McCarthyism

Every time I mention climate McCarthyism I am crticised for overstating my case. But the evidence continues to flow thick and fast.

Exhibit A comes from Roger Pielke Jr, who reports that one of his former students is being harassed by a senior climate scientist simply for being Pielke's student.

Exhibit B meanwhile is from Steven Goddard, who reports that German climate scientist Victor Venema has been "checking out" his [Goddard's]  family members so that he can introduce their names in his online debates.

It's interesting that Roger seems to want to keep the name of the culprit under wraps. There could be any number of reasons for this - perhaps he is pursuing an official complaint or perhaps he simply recognises that nothing will be done about it. There is, after all, no offence so heinous that a university will not ignore it.

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Reader Comments (61)

Every time I mention climate McCarthyism I am crticised for overstating my case.

It always stopped you in the past Bish :) They don't like the comparison with 'extreme right*' Senator Joseph McCarthy one little bit, do they? How about acting a bit less like him?

* The links between McCarthyism and silencing those those who had tried to expose Big Money's involvement with Naziism during WWII was brought out powerfully for me by the last few pages of Trading With The Enemy by Charles Higham. Left and right seem like ridiculous labels when one gets into such things.

Jun 30, 2014 at 11:55 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The Goddard tweet from one of the crickets over at Stoat's abandoned town of a blog was very creepy - someone must have done some "research" to find out about Goddard's kids. He needs to say who, otherwise whenever he posts in the future he will be reminded about it.

Jun 30, 2014 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Pielke jnr is of course right BUT there is a criminal law of guilt by association. If the other hundreds of Climate Scientist do not speak up then they are and should rightfully be catergorised in the same coffin as the scum.

Judith C was brave enough, Christy and Spencer were brave enough, the Pielke familly have been brave enough. So no excuses people.

Jun 30, 2014 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Climate McCarthyism is alive and well in climate "science". There is so much evidence showing that it is frightening common.

Those who participate should be named and shamed! Exposing their disgusting and cowardly behaviour is the only way of dealing with them.

What kind of people use harassment of former pupils or highlighting other's children? Complete cowards! These are really the lowest of the low!

Jun 30, 2014 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Victor Venema has apologised and removed the offending tweet. But he has certainly crossed a line and should be suitably vilified for doing so.

Bishop, do you ever worry that someone somewhere could be researching you in the same way?

Jun 30, 2014 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

I spot an opportunity for discrimination reparation.

Sexual, religious, ethnic, are all established; now how about climate-belief? The Beeb would fall at the first hurdle.

Jun 30, 2014 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

For the first time I feel that we, on the skeptic side, are winning. I think we are past Churchill's "End of the Beginning" stage and well into Gandhi's "And Then They Fight You" stage. It's starting to get nasty and I'm sure it will get even worse.

Huge credit has to go to Anthony Watts, The Bishop, and all of the other "skeptical" champions. Steve Goddard's recent work really has broken the camel's back.

Jun 30, 2014 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Erm... are you using a different format for the image? The tweets appear for all of a second, then vanish from the screen.

Jun 30, 2014 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterOtter

I want to know who are the 'brilliant' climate scientists Pielke talks of. Surely at least one of these bright sparks can see that the only so-called 'evidence' for manmade warming is the mere circular reasoning involved in a priori assuming a declining natural variation (that they admit is very poorly understood) then filling in this enforced reality gap with an arbitrary manmade warming to roughly match 20th century temperatures.

This manipulated 'hindcast' is also the only validation of the model itself which is a further idiocy heaped on the first. Adding the flatlining 21st century temperatures of course invalidates the entire exercise and we also have to ignore the 1945 peak that can't be modelled.

So never mind brilliant, I long for the day that any of them bother to exercise even the slightest twitch of logical thought instead of blind dogma.

Jun 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

The Victor Venomous episode is more reminiscent of the Mafia or the Chicago gangs of the 1920s (much the same thing): "Stop what you're doing or your kids get it!"
Didn't Greenpeace try something similar a couple of years ago: "We know where you live".
Also, I seem to remember: "We be many and you be few." — In your dreams, Ms Lucas!

Jun 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

@Jimmy

We won ages ago. They have spent 20 years and hundreds of billions of dollars. They own the UN, the EU, the US and UK governments, all of academia and the noisy NGOs, most of the MSM.

What have they achieved? Nothing. No action, and no commitment to action.

The air is going out of them, and the toxic gas are being expelled along with it.

Jun 30, 2014 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

JamesG
And when you add to all what you said, Goddard's work (and others) on the temperature record perhaps we might all be forgiven for being sceptical about any warming over the last couple of hundred years barring a bit of natural variation combined with recovery from the LIA.

Jun 30, 2014 at 1:01 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The reason is probably that Pielke want to protect his former student...

Jun 30, 2014 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarcel Crok

Jimmy Haigh:

For the first time I feel that we, on the skeptic side, are winning. I think we are past Churchill's "End of the Beginning" stage and well into Gandhi's "And Then They Fight You" stage. It's starting to get nasty and I'm sure it will get even worse.

Huge credit has to go to Anthony Watts, The Bishop, and all of the other "skeptical" champions. Steve Goddard's recent work really has broken the camel's back.

I'd be slightly less generous to Steve Goddard. From what I can tell he made a number of groundless allegations but as a result of his recent work others, notably Paul Homewood, found something similar, that is really bad, and have communicated the problem, through examples, much better.

But your overall point is I hope right!

Jun 30, 2014 at 1:42 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard Drake, Left and Right don't mean anything; it is about to control or not to control. This link to a British historian may be of interest to you. http://www.reformed-theology.org/html/books/wall_street/

Jun 30, 2014 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered Commenteroebele bruinsma

oebele: Thank you. That work by Antony Sutton is credited by Charles Higham in the one I mention. They remain essential reading for understanding the 20th century for me. But it's only in the Higham that I felt I understood how McCarthyism was used to persecute and punish brave men who had tried to blow the whistle at the time. And that's the connection with this thread.

Jun 30, 2014 at 1:53 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Left and Right are indeed ridiculous labels and are mostly used to confuse, distract, mislead and divide.

Jun 30, 2014 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterEdim

One day in the distant future, children might be taught that there never was state & corporate sponsored "Green" redistribution of wealth, just like many have been mistakenly taught over the last few decades that there never was a concerted effort by communist governments to subvert the governments & media of nations that once stood for democracy.

Jun 30, 2014 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

I keep hearing the same refrain from Pielke Jr., "I work w/ lots of climate scientists who are decent, hard working & brilliant."

This rings hollow because "decent" people would never allow the "obsessed and malicious" few to operate the way they do and sit by in silence.

Jun 30, 2014 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSundance

Sundance: Would decent people ever choose to be silent to protect their families and livelihoods? Would other decent people ever use a pseudonym to write off such decent people? (My answer to the first is definitely yes. My answer to the second is possibly. But they lack a certain sense of irony.)

Most important is what Roger Pielke is saying and doing, out in the open, using his real name. He's talking up the decency of the 'silent majority' in climate science, for the very best of reasons: to expose those who are far from decent. I applaud him without reservation. The men and women he's talking about may not be 'brilliant' by the self-appointed standards of some who contribute to this blog but, you know, I sometimes think even we could do better.

Jun 30, 2014 at 3:39 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Jun 30, 2014 at 12:19 PM | Jack Cowper

Victor Venema has apologised and removed the offending tweet. But he has certainly crossed a line and should be suitably vilified for doing so.

There is no way that he can remove the child's name from the memory of everyone who read the tweet. In my opinion that was a deliberate ploy to warn others not to follow Steven Goddard's lead, was Victor Venema anything to do with Steven Goddard revealing his real name last week?

Roger Pielke is probably wary of tit for tat revelations of names.

Jun 30, 2014 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS:

Was Victor Venema anything to do with Steven Goddard revealing his real name last week?

Very good question. An admirable step, whatever the reason. And, having been a bit less than fullsome earlier, here's my favourite quote from Goddard from the last 24 hours:

More news from Paul Homewood. The man who can explain things so simply, that even a climate scientist can understand it.

That's teamwork. And thanks by the way for advising me that the Goddard situation might be worth watching five days ago. You weren't wrong. :)

Jun 30, 2014 at 3:51 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Possibly Pielke may not wish to publicly involve his ex-students more than is necessary. But who knows, Mark Steyn or his counsel may yet ask for more details under different circumstances?

Anyway, same as it ever was: While there are many in his field who might forgive him for being wrong, there are some who will never forgive him for being right.

Jun 30, 2014 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Richard Drake.

I reckon Goddard deserves all the praise he gets. He first posted about this back in January and a lot of people tried to get the "skeptic clique" to listen. But they didn't. Not until Paul Homewood confirmed his findings a few days ago.

I'd buy Steve a beer any day of the week. I'd insist it was carbonated...

Jun 30, 2014 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

SandyS:


"Was Victor Venema anything to do with Steven Goddard revealing his real name last week?"


He "works" at a University and they generally have computing departments and lots of expertise in "playing computer games" so I guess it is quite possible...

Jun 30, 2014 at 4:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

There is, after all, no offence so heinous that a university will not ignore it.

It is truly appalling behaviour

This is however typical for "consensus science". Unlike "skeptic science" which is based on evidence. one does not need any evidence to convict someone in consensus science - just the suspicion you are not "part of the consensus".

Jun 30, 2014 at 4:29 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Jimmy Haigh - "I'd buy Steve a beer any day of the week. I'd insist it was carbonated..."

That'll get up his nose!

Jun 30, 2014 at 4:33 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Jimmy (4:17 PM): that's too simplistic based on this between Brandon Shollenberger and Anthony Watts two days ago:

What?! Steven Goddard’s post didn’t deal with the issue covered in this post. That there happened to be some problem in the data doesn’t mean Goddard’s post was accurate or correct.

REPLY: That’s true and false. I said to him there was nothing wrong with the USHCN data, but in fact there is.

I explained five days ago that I've never taken time to study surface temperature, because, even in the worst case, after adjustment, the increase in the stat called globally averaged temperature anomaly from 1850, 1900 or 1950 is no cause for alarm, without as-yet-unseen positive feedbacks produced by models. But, like every sceptic, I want the temperature stat to be grounded in careful measurement and methods. I'm delighted that there's further progress on that in the offing right now. And I trust Brandon and Anthony that it's not as simple as Goddard having been right in January and ignored until June. It has been and remains a team effort.

Jun 30, 2014 at 4:50 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Pielke Jr is not isolated. When they could not attack French Prof. Marcel Leroux, they tried to destroy his students' careers, quite succesfully too.

Jun 30, 2014 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterTomRude

Jun 30, 2014 at 4:50 PM | Registered Commenter Richard Drake

OK - but the "team" didn't find it. They didn't twig - or didn't even consider twigging - until Paul Homewood explained it in "climate scientist understandable" terms.

I'm still going to buy Steve Goddard those carbonated beers...

Jun 30, 2014 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Jimmy: You buy with my blessing :)

But there isn't a "team" like the hockey team here. There are multiple reasons to be careful what is said on behalf of sceptics and lukewarmers. Watts' humility has been great. Curry's overview was superb. In fact, because of some intemperate responses the Bish snipped my favourite moment on Climate Etc, which was Judy's response two days ago when someone accused Watts and Zeke Hausfather of having been lazy in their responses to Goddard:

Watts and Zeke were misled on this for reasons that Watts will write about. But they have done a quick turn around. Watts and Zeke don’t get paid for this stuff. Lazy (or worse) in this instance is reserved for NOAA/NCDC, IMO (with a multimillion $ budget).

Buy the carbonated beverages for SG by all means but let's not miss the outworking of the far more important point Judy makes here, without piling on in advance, which Steve McIntyre has so often taught us is counterproductive.

Jun 30, 2014 at 5:46 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I saw Pielke Jr being threatened by Realclimate connected individuals on his blog years aqo. There are huge amounts of money at stake here.

My response is contempt and humour because there is no serious debate that will get sceptics anywhere. The dice are completely loaded. They can lie with impunity.

Jun 30, 2014 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

If no serious debate will get sceptics anywhere then there's no point making any effort keeping intercourse civil. I absolutely disagree. There's a place for contempt, in response to 'denier', but this is a recipe for anarchy, where the coarsest forms of dialogue predominate, quickly producing despair. That we cannot accept.

Jun 30, 2014 at 6:58 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard Drake

I completely understand your point of view, but you won't find it hard to believe I find it impossible to take creatures like John Cook, Bob Ward, Michael Mann or anyone on the Guardian team seriously. That's why I rarely post now. Yesterday, I was upset that what appeared to be a major statement was ignored on this blog. I wondered why.

I have zero interest in left / right debates. I was an Orwellian libertarian a long time ago. Now a don't understand / don't know.

Jun 30, 2014 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Richard Drake Jun 30, 2014 at 3:51 PM
My pleasure, I'm disappointed that it hasn't had the same results as ClimateGate, not yet anyway. I think Steven Goddard actually found the problem in January although like many he smelt a rat long before that. I kept an eye on the situation there after, it's a pity that Anthony Watts shot first and asked questions later.

Jun 30, 2014 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, flood, heat waves, snowfall, sea level rise, penguins, polar bears, species extinction, Himalayan Glaciers, WAIS, Surface Temps, Sea Surface Temps, Arctic Ice Extent, Massive Antarctic Ice Extent...etc,etc...

You would think that with all the billions of dollars, government & institutional backing and armies of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming activists that with their LOADED DICE they would get something right even if by chance....

The CAGW Alarmist Reality only exists in the MMORPG GCM games that they play at the expense of society everywhere.

Jun 30, 2014 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

Paul in Sweden - LOL !

The point is that they lie to the media and it's accepted. That's the loaded dice. Meanwhile in a dark corner of the stadium a minuscule crowd is screaming 'he bit him'. The referee saw nothing and heard less.

Jun 30, 2014 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Victor V 'explains' here - http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/30/quote-of-the-week-dirty-rotten-scoundrels-edition/#comment-1673404

Jun 30, 2014 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Thanks Barry. If that's a fair account Goddard also behaved atrociously. Loose cannon.

Jun 30, 2014 at 8:55 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Kind of reinforces what I've said said numerous times, there is no way in hell is make myself known simply because if the real threat to ones safety (and the safety of their family) posed by the righteous green catastrophiliacs who are convinced of the holey ness of their jihad!

Mailman

Jun 30, 2014 at 9:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

http://www.steynonline.com/section/71/defend-free-speech

Interesting read about what happens when the left gets outrageously outragety.

Mailman

Jun 30, 2014 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

I will criticize you and others for continuing to use a word created by Communist -propagandists to smear a man who was RIGHT. I would also point out that most of the claims of his malfeasance were also propaganda and lies!! Continuing the use of the word McCarthyism is supporting the leftards in their work to destroy us!!

If you have doubts of my allegation please read these books and check the references yourself:

Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies
by M. Stanton Evans

American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character
by Diana West

Jun 30, 2014 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterkuhnkat

Richard, your comments have not been fair. Additionally, they suggest you came to the issue somewhat late.

Jun 30, 2014 at 11:05 PM | Registered Commentershub

kuhnkat:

Continuing the use of the word McCarthyism is supporting the leftards in their work to destroy us!!

I'm glad someone turned up to represent that point of view. It's worth noting the current usage in the climate scene began with Lennart Bengtsson on 14th May:

It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy.

I haven't read the books you recommend but I would vote for Whittaker Chambers against Alger Hiss and, most importantly, for Rene Wormser, Norman Dodd and Carroll Reece on the malign power of US foundations, by the early 50s, and their disturbing links to radical left (so-called) influences and activities. But the research of Charles Higham into the 'other side' of the US power elite's support for totalitarianism (as well as the consistent disgust of ex-Marxist Thomas Sowell for McCarthy) has made me very suspicious of how the persecution of communists and supposed communists was used to settle scores against whistleblowers at the time it really mattered - when Hitler was still in power and a lethal threat. A horribly dirty area, made possible by division of the world in the 1930s into two lethal totalitarian systems. I'm open to learn but that's the stuff I feel I know.

Jun 30, 2014 at 11:05 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

shub: I've admitted throughout that I haven't been following it. But there's much in Goddard that I'd already read that raised red flags.

Jun 30, 2014 at 11:06 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The climate debate is heated. Yet, this is no excuse to mention names of family members. There is little need to dilute condemnation of someone doing so with jabs at who it was done to.

Ben Santer had a dead rat dropped off at his doorstep. Not funny right? Absolutely not.

As I mentioned on WUWT, Venema probably blurted out something in a moment of weakness. But that just goes to show how angry he is at climate skeptics.

Jun 30, 2014 at 11:24 PM | Registered Commentershub

So what was unfair?

Jun 30, 2014 at 11:36 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

"From what I can tell he made a number of groundless allegations but as a result of his recent work others, notably Paul Homewood, found something similar, that is really bad, and have communicated the problem, through examples, much better"

This is not accurate. Goddard showed the quantitative impact of estimated 'E' station data of the continental United States in a single graph about a month back. This is an issue he has raised several times going back a longer period of time. The single graph is enough. Paul Homewood's exercises were useful to *illustrate the same points*.

The situation speaks more about people at the receiving end of these messages than the messenger.

Jul 1, 2014 at 2:41 AM | Registered Commentershub

I'm glad someone else pointed out that history ultimately proved McCarthy correct. Progressives (aka communists, socialists, fascits, other ists that don't start with capital) hate when they are found out, though it isn't difficult for normal people to tell.

Mark

Jul 1, 2014 at 2:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark T

@Shub -Jun 30, 2014 at 11:24 PM

No Shub! It is not funny that Ben Santer threatened ‘to beat the crap out of’ Pat Michaels and latter claimed that he found a dead rat at his door.

Jul 1, 2014 at 5:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

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