Open Thread, March-April 2012

Some possible topics that have come up in other threads:

1) CASS has issued a critique of Tom Harris‘s Carleton University climate change course (press release and full report), detailing “142 erroneous and fully-quoted claims”. This was covered by the Guardian (Suzanne Goldenberg), Post Media (Mike de Souza) and CBC. [h/t Holly Stick]

2) The Virginia Supreme Court has shot down Ken Cuccinelli’s CID fishing expedition seeking a broad swathe of material from Michael Mann’s time at University of Virginia. [The NCSE account and analysis of this development is now online – h/t Snapple]. Presumably, the focus will now be on the American Tradition Institute’s abusive efforts to get their hands on all of Mann’s UVa emails (as I recall they already have been given those they were entitled to). [h/t Rattus Norvegicus]

3) James Annan weighs in on Peter Gleick (and adds more in comments, expressing doubts about Gleick’s story concerning the Climate Strategy document. ).[h/t Gryposaurus with some replies as well (but that thread is really, really long now).]

Or anything else that comes up …


137 responses to “Open Thread, March-April 2012

  1. There’s a lot of talk about Occam’s Razor in the Annan thread and I think I’ve realized that there really is NO simple explanation [of the provenance of the Climate Strategy document]. Applying an Occam here seems like an oversimplification of what must be a complicated situation. Each option asks us to believe something unsatisfying. Annan argues that it is Gleick, because if not, then there must be another actor that has done something odd, so it easier to believe that Gleick has done multiple uncharacteristic behaviors.

    This is not a bad argument from an Occam perspective. But then it forces me to believe something even less satisfying. That Gleick would forge a two page memo, risk exposing himself to much more legal and professional problems, risk the operation being thrown into chaos (because of course Hl is going to deny it), and then place himself in the center of the memo. Almost everything in this scenario goes well past the poor judgement to use pretexting and move into an asinine type of stupidity that I have difficulty reconciling with anyone with a bit of intelligence or integrity.

    Then there is the behavior since the admission. HL has commenced it’s campaign to blame Gleick without much evidence and releasing emails that are not verifiable by a 3rd party, nor do we know if that is the entire story. I don’t have any evidence they are hiding something, but I would be much more comfortable if they had had an investigator work with their IT to release all relevant information. Meanwhile, while I admit Gleick’s silence is troubling, he is stepping aside and allowing an independent investigation to move ahead without a peep. This could mean he’s as guilty as sin, or it is the behavior of someone who has all the bullets but wants it to investigated correctly.

    Finally, there is whole Mosher thing, which, while secondary, in my mind is a story in itself. How was he so sure? While dancing around several lines of evidence he seems to have settled on the gleick-was-in-memo thing. But, again, many people see that as almost a disqualifying aspect just based on common sense. So, while I can’t read his mind, it never crossed Mosher’s this evidence is faulty? And the opposite is likely true? Not even enough to be less forceful with his accusations? The PR media blitz since then at Climate Audit only makes me more weary of that whole situation.

    • Bang on. You haven’t been taken in by the smoke and mirrors sideshow acts.

    • I agree that the (hypothetical) “raising the stakes” behaviour Gryposaurus outlines makes little sense and could be described as “asinine stupidity”. On the other hand, it’s hard to understand completely the mind frame and logic of someone who would be driven to phish Heartland, or what his reaction to what he received might be.

      And I keep coming back to Gleick’s failure to adduce *any* evidence to support his story. What would Occam’s razor say about that?

    • “And I keep coming back to Gleick’s failure to adduce *any* evidence to support his story.”

      I think you’re expecting too much too soon. You don’t let others set the pace because then all you end up doing is reacting and dancing to their tune (Climategate, e.g.); you walk at your own pace and run when you’re ready, not anyone else.

    • I hope J. Bowers is correct. Maybe we haven’t seen the other shoe drop yet. Or maybe he was conned. Or maybe he lost his cool. The trouble is, ordinary people have to be able to trust scientists. Many people will say what he did was unethical and maybe illegal, and they won’t focus on what the documents say. Of course, if Heartland wants to take him down, they will also have to admit those are their documents.

      The FBI spokesman in Chicago didn’t seem to think that this incident would involve them, based on some press accounts he was given.

      So far, all we have are Heartland’s claims that they are talking to the FBI. Maybe they are, but that might be pretty risky for them, even though the FBI published a really dumb white paper about climate scientists. When it comes to climate science, the FBI seem to rely on apocryphal KGB sources, journalists, and contrarians who smear famous climate scientists.

    • Has anyone read Steve Easterbrook’s point’s in the Empty Blog thread. He suggests that the memo is a draft, possibly by a low level staffer, that got leaked.

      I go for the idea of a draft, Mistakes and strange wording are not uncommon. I have seen, and written, similar memos, that later must be edited and cleaned up– budget figures checked, dates confirmed, etc.

      However I’d go for Bast draft by Bast writing to a select inner group of the Board of Directors and senior staff.

      Why such a memo would be needed is a bit of a mystery unless the members of this group are those entrusted with the efforts to keep the Anonymous Donor happy and need to have a lot of Climate initiatives at their fingertips and there is some internal politics involved?

      From the point of view of an accidental release to someone who might have sent it to Gleick, I have no problem believing in bad luck/stupidity/clerical error.

      I have had faxes meant to me sent to a local lawyers office and my office in Ottawa Canada has received a fax from a firm in London UK intended for their office in Abu Dhabi. I’ve found confidential documents left in photocopiers or on a shared printer, and some emails to me have disappeared competely due to a typo in my email address. Accidents happen.

      On the other hand, Steve Mosher’s almost instantaneous identification of the whistleblower raises my conspiricy antennae.

      It makes me wonder if it was an attempt to compromise Gleick into a premature release of the document, with reportedly some errors—I have not confirmed the budget miss-attributions, myself– and with no supporting documentation and Gleick’s simple phishing expedition suddenly backfired on Heartland.

      In either case, I don’t have any problem with a draft having mistakes. If a true Heartland document,there is nothing unusual with a draft having mistakes. As with Easterbrook, I have seen, and, for that matter, written, drafts that later needed to be edited to check dates, budget figures or categories, spelling of names and so on. If is is designed as a trap for Gleick then the mistakes are just as understandable.

    • Well, there are a couple of very complicated scenarios there. It would be a lot easier to evaluate them if we had the exact date Gleick received the memo in the mail, would it not?

    • The way Mosher is acting all in the know reminds me of how he acted when Climategate broke. Mosher was also breaking the Climategate story all over the place–we have this even from the opposition.
      “As anyone who really researches Climategate will learn, the name Steven Mosher continues to pop up. When the story broke, it was Mosher who drew attention to the comment at the Air Vent. He was also the man that alerted Lucia of The Blackboard blog to the files. And he was the first to alert followers of ClimateAudit with a series of posts that included some of the emails.

      Why was Steven Mosher so ubiquitous when it came to the breaking of the Climategate story? Because Steven Mosher had the files several days before they reached the internet.”

    • IIRC. he had them because his roommate Charles the Moderator (of WUWT) gave them to him to check out when they first arrived as a link at WUWT.

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      It would be a lot easier to evaluate them if we had the exact date Gleick received the memo in the mail, would it not?

      Indeed. And if we could see the hard copy and the envelope it came in. Gleick has the use of a PR professional, and if these pieces of paper are still around, I’m sure the importance of killing the ongoing speculation now rather than later would be obvious to him.

      I suspect that the dog ate both papers. Not good.

    • Gleick has not even claimed this evidence exists, let alone produced it. The longer he and his advisors drag it out, the more justified the conclusion that his story is false.

      I’ll say it again: the style analyses on both sides are ludicrous and beside the point. But it also is not up to Heartland to prove the document is a “fake” or a “forgery”.

      As GP says above (and as I speculated the day after Gleick’s confession) the matter turns on Gleick’s own hard evidence. Either he has it or he doesn’t.

      #5 [lack of hard evidence] may be ultimately the deciding point one way or the other. Mind you, I can think of a number of reasons why Gleick would not talk about receiving the document to anyone (or perhaps only the person closest to him). And if he has evidence (the original hard copy or the envelope it came in), it may provide clues about his anonymous correspondent, whom he would want to protect. But if push comes to shove and Gleick wants or needs to clear himself of this particular accusation (i.e. the accusation that he forged the document, and then lied about its provenance), he might rethink that. Especially in the context of a criminal or civil case. We’ll see.

      Well, push has come to shove, with most observers either stating as fact that Gleick forged the document, or acknowledging the evidence points that way.

      Any scenario to the contrary has to take into account the continued silence of the Gleick team on this point.

    • IMHO, Gleick’s involved in a game of high stakes poker which won’t satisfy everyone’s curiosity, and there’s a lot of that about. If he can’t come up with the goods at any point in the future then so be it. But, why waste a good hand if you’ve got one?

    • Deep’s argument is hard to counter from an Occam standpoint. Wouldn’t he at least hint at what evidence exists, if any? Yet every time I try to imagine Gleick writing up that memo, I can’t do it. What could he have possibly thought he could gain from that? I’m caught somewhere between ‘Perhaps he’s confident enough to wait out an investigation’ and ‘Perhaps he really is that dumb’.

      Also, I can see what he gains from phishing. But only if he receives the memo from an outside source. Otherwise, why would he even risk that?!?

  2. Although Carleton says Harris is not teaching at the university and the course is not currently being offered, what they aren’t saying outright is that it will be taught again in 2013 when it comes back into rotation. When that happens, Tim Patterson, Harris’ buddy from ICSC and the previous instructor for the course, will be teaching it again. Harris has said that “95% of my course material was his [Patterson’s] stuff,” so there’s a chance that nothing will improve with Harris gone.

    Carleton could, at this point, just cancel the course outright, or scrutinize Patterson’s materials much more closely before the course starts. If they don’t, others might, now that people know Carleton has this problem.

    To save the university any more embarrassment option one would be best.

    • John Mashey

      I think this one is for Canadians who want to help out.
      Perhaps Carleton deserves further attention akin to that likely to occur soon for a school in N. VA.

    • John Mashey is correct: Carleton deserves a lot of attention for this embarrassment.

      Anyone interested in contacting the Dean of Science, please do. He’s new to Carleton, so let’s hope he’s willing to clear house there.

    • If the statement Mr. Tom Harris, Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition, was selected to teach the 2009 version of the course while Dr. Patterson was on sabbatical. 95% of the course material presented to students by Mr. Harris in 2009 was the same as that presented by Dr. Patterson in 2008. is correct do we assume that Mr. Harris agrees with the many mistakes made or just that he was too lazy or incompetent to review Dr. Patterson’s materials and make changes where appropriate?

      I once had a professor drafted in to teach a course that he had not taught in 10 years but he admitted that before a lecture he, at least, checked with his wife who was very up to date with the materials to confirm that his take on the subjec was stil current.

    • Wow, Eric Adler’s stepped into the breach at WUWT with flair, elan, and in fine no-nonsense fighting form 🙂 He’s even been referred to as “It”.

    • Steve Metzler

      But in typical fashion, Watts finally censored him to appease Tom Harris himself:

      REPLY: Mr. Adler has been previously banned from WUWT for such similar behavior. He’s a well known troll with poor manners. I had hoped he’d changed, I see now that the has not and it is was a mistake on my part to think he would. – Anthony

      Too much of the truth is not something you can get away with for long on WUWT. People who speak the truth about something that disagrees with Watts’ twisted ideology are considered to be trolls. But lies and distortion are OK, as long as they agree with the contrarian position.

      This really is 1984 stuff. All Adler was pointing out is that Patterson and Harris are obvious contrarians, presenting only the contrarian viewpoint in the classroom.

    • Yea that would be a great idea!

      Censoring Patterson’s material or cancelling the course. That would be great for the deniers, the blogosphere would have a field day.

      C’mon Carlton do it, censor his course, cancel his course. I would love it!

    • Neither of those actions will happen, nor are they being advocated by CASS. Carleton will just have to live with with a hack who purveys incorrect science. And they’ll just have to live with that fact being pointed out to the Carleton community and to the world.

    • John Mashey

      I think the is a simple message:
      Carleton can teach what they like.
      Carleton chooses to teach anti-science and have students pay for it.
      Carleton can teach them the Earth is flat, if they like.
      Is this an aberration within Carleton, or are there other examples?

      On the other hand, if they get government research grants, people might want to think about that and likewise, students might think about it.

      Again, this is one for folks up North … and I do suggest that doing some research might be more productive than endlessly speculating on Peter Gleick and the strategy memo.

      For instance, in Fakeducation I noted that Heartland sent teaching materials on climate to many schools in Canada. Maybe somebody would like to dig around in that story. Joe Bast tried to much with Canadian education. Does anyone have a problem with that? Were any Canadians helping? Who?

    • “I do suggest that doing some research might be more productive than endlessly speculating on Peter Gleick and the strategy memo.”

      The provenance of the memo would matter a whole lot less, if there weren’t so many who steadfastly assert its authenticity unreservedly, despite all the reasonable doubts that exist (to say the least).

      ThinkProgress did the right thing and removed links to the document.:

      – 2012 Climate Strategy

      Heartland has alleged that this document is a “total fake.” We have taken down this document as we work to determine its authenticity.

      The only caveat I would add is that it can’t be proven authentic unless and until Gleick demonstrates that it might be by proving that he did get in mail. Even then, that would not be proof as to its authenticity – it would still depend where it came from. Personally, I would be happy to stop speculating about Gleick and the strategy memo, if there were at least a consensus that its authenticity is doubtful. Until that happens, I think I have a duty to be forthright about my views, as long as folks want to discuss it. It is a rather large elephant and it can’t be wished away.

      Does that mean I’m going to let Heartland off the hook? Of course not – expect a post soon detailing the true relationship between Tom Harris and Heartland, despite Harris’s evasive efforts to downplay those connections. And despite the bluster from WUWT, the so-called “Alleged Heartland Documents” (which are of course thoroughly authenticated) add nothing new to this particular case.

      Indeed Heartland’s connection to Canada was already on my radar thanks to John Mashey and Gareth at Hot Topic.

    • “if there weren’t so many who steadfastly assert its authenticity unreservedly”

      DC, there just happen to be a lot of people who can see how it could be authentic and aren’t particularly willing to take Heartland’s word for it not being so. That doesn’t mean there’s no possibility whatsoever of Gleick having faked the memo, but so far I find the speculation on why “it is probably fake and Peter Gleick is a liar” to be highly flawed, including pseudo “independent analyses” by individuals who’ve enjoyed the hospitality of HI, if not their cheque book, and bat for the same ideological side.

      In the meantime, 10,000 GM Owners Demand the Company Stop Funding the Heartland Institute Immediately.

    • “a lot of people who can see how it could be authentic”

      I can accept that, even if I think the evidence for that is not particularly compelling. And I don’t claim 100% certainty on any of this. Sure the “independent” analyses are laughable, but frankly the ones on the other side of the issue aren’t any better, IMHO.

      But *even* if one thinks it is plausibly authentic, the prudent approach would *still* be not to rely on it in any way, especially since it adds very little of substance. Instead, we have quite a few bloggers who claim to have *proven* its authenticity and say that it’s now up to Heartland to prove it’s not authentic. Sorry, I don’t agree with that.

  3. Holly Stick

    The Harper Conservatives continue to demonstrate anti-science attitudes while getting far to close to industry:

    “…The reversal came almost a year after Ottawa accepted the deal, and scrapping the arrangement went against the advice of public servants, documents show.

    The grant was to provide the bulk of funding for consultations launched by the department, paying for scientific research and to gather advice from stakeholders on balancing conservation with economic use of ocean waters on British Columbia’s north coast.

    The public-private consultations are helping the department draft a plan to govern the marine area, which includes waters oil tankers would travel on to reach a marine terminal for Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline…”

  4. I was wondering if anyone would care to comment on Blake McShane presentation made at the Mathematics in the Geosciences conference on october 3 – 6, 2011.
    other conference material available here

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      This argument was fairly convincingly taken apart in a series of comments at the journal where the original paper (McShane and Wyner) was published. It should be referenced in the deck you linked to.

    • This presentation appears to be a substantial improvement over his infamous AAS paper. Having a closer look now.

    • Some of it is a response to the Schmidt et al rejoinder comment on the original paper. Certainly the comments (about a dozen IIRC) helped McShane in his later presentations.

    • Looks like there are still a number of mistakes, but the mistakes are much more interesting this time. I might have to run some experiments this weekend and see what I can find.

      First impressions:

      It’s worrying that slide 7 still compares annual uncertainties from the McS reconstruction to 40yr uncertainties in M08, but at least he calculates a smoothed ensemble this time (slide 16).

      I’m not convinced that he’s addressed the “low power” criticism of his LASSO test.

    • From what I remember of the M&W rejoinder, Lasso criticism was addressed by using additional methodologies in their “null proxy” witholding tests (e.g. CPS).

      One thing that always bothered me about the original Lasso test suite is that empirical AR1 null proxies (where the empirical set of estimated AR1 parameters is derived proxy-by-proxy) performed so much better than AR1(.4). It leads to me suspect that this may be an artifact of not controlling for “empirical” proxy variance. If you generate series using arima.sim in R, the higher the lag-one parameter, the higher the variance of the null proxy series (unless you impose scaling). But in MBH98 North American tree-ring proxy network (which is the only one I’ve looked at myself), there is a slight (though not significant) negative relationship between the estimated AR1 lag-one parameter and the standard deviation of the proxy series.

    • In my opinion Jason Smerdon’s comment was the strongest objection. And his points haven’t really been addressed here.

    • Certainly the comments (about a dozen IIRC) helped McShane in his later presentations.

      This is actually a good sign. There are plenty of people who wouldn’t have adjusted their arguments in response to those comments.

    • Standard deviation of simulated and actual MBH98 1400 NOAMER proxy series versus “empirical” AR1 lag-one parameter (arima.sim used to generate null proxies).

      AR1 empirical stdev

    • People might want to review the weird history of this, summarized in {SSWR] App. A.12, to which can be added the note that in their rejolinder, they said “We believe such conversations to be paradigmatic of the great value of collaboration between climate scientists and statisticians and hope they can serve as a template for future work between the two camps. We also thank Steve McIntyre for several very helpful discussions about data and code.”
      Note also McShane press release from Northwestern., which bears careful study for what it contains or not.
      Finally, note that it is hard to imagine physics that makes the huge error bars physically sensible. It’s like having error bars that specify specify of light = c +/-5%. I.e., statistics might or might not allow for large error bars, but I’m not sure physics does.

  5. Here is a really good article from the National Center for Science Education about Dr. Mann’s victory in the Virginia Supreme Court.

  6. This must be the beginning of the end for Harper’s crony government. Diplomats ‘targeted’ influential media to boost oilsands coverage in Europe

    The revelations, included in reports and correspondence released through access-to-information legislation, also indicated that federal tax dollars were used to print about $2,000 worth of brochures to help the industry in its battle against the European Parliament’s plan to crack down on greenhouse gas pollution from transportation fuels.
    The oilsands lobbying team, created in 2009 and consisting of about 25 Canadian diplomats in Europe, also staged a two-day retreat in February 2011 that cost taxpayers about $54,000 in travel and hospitality costs, including a $15,000 untendered contract for an Ottawa-based consultant who gave a presentation on “how to do advocacy” in Europe, Postmedia News reported last month.

  7. Writers call on Ottawa to take muzzles off scientists

    “I had a conversation with a government information officer, one who was nearly in tears describing how her job had changed from one in which her job was to facilitate communication between journalists and scientists to one in which her job was really to prevent the journalists from talking to the scientists.

  8. Not in vein with the ongoing threads, but I’m sure of interest.

    Fall 2011 National Survey of American Public Opinion on Climate Change

    “…The expansion of belief in climate change has corresponded with more Americans attributing their beliefs to experiences with warmer temperatures and stronger storms, including personal observations of weather phenomena…”

  9. John Mashey

    Stanford’s Jon Krosnick is very good on polling, and has often observed that short-term fluctuations in opinions mostly derive from recent local weather.
    If he’s ever giving a talk nearby, go hear him.

  10. Gavin's Pussycat

    > but better than nothing
    Worse than nothing, I would say. They still don’t ‘get’ climate, and until they do, they can and will be taken for a ride at any charlatan’s discretion.

  11. Holly Stick

    A article on a related issue:

    “…The rules of engagement of this oil sands battle are now driven by personal relevance, not historic provincial boundaries. Industry wins if Canadians connect the dots between oil sands development and personal economic prosperity. Environmental groups win if they can demonstrate personal negative environmental impact…”

  12. Holly Stick

    In other news, Jamie Ellerton now maintaining Ethical Oil blog along with ‘Kathryn Marshall. Another former Kenney staffer:

  13. Some bloggers are claiming that Dr. Gleick is guilty of wire fraud; however, there are still no charges. The FBI is being very non-committal, in spite of absurd and TOTALLY FABRICATED statements attributed to the FBI that can easily be checked by emailing the Chicago FBI Special Agent Royden “Ross” Rice and requesting his latest official comment.

    Some people who claim (without proof) that Gleick fabricated that strategy memo are definitely fabricating FBI statements. Probably it is not a crime to totally make up what government officials say; still, FBI officials probably do not look kindly on climate change denialists who put words in their mouths and more than climate scientists do.

    As it happens, I read that FAKE CHARITIES are often charged with mail and wire fraud–not just with being FAKE CHARITIES. Think about that one!

    I’m not super-brainy like John Mashey, but when I see those NIPCC books that look exactly like the IPCC books and the SPPI “science institute” in a Haymarket, VA mailbox, my antennae go up. High school teachers know a con-artist when they see one. I am showing all my friends the real IPCC books and those fake NIPCC books. Everyone sees how sketchy this is; we aren’t dumb enough to use their stupid “educational” materials because they are obviously trying to confuse us. I hope to make a presentation soon and show everyone how we have to be careful with our Internet sources. The NIPCC books are EXHIBIT A.

    The purpose of the wire fraud laws seem to be to protect people from having money or property stolen. I am not a lawyer, but Gleick wasn’t trying to steal Heartland’s money. Gleick’s deception might be more like civil disobedience. He didn’t cherry pick the evidence, and Heartland has not said what is false in the strategy memo. [I still don’t agree with what he did, however.]

    When Heartland’s Joe Bast claimed the strategy memo was a fake, DeSmogBlog’s Richard Littlemore (2-16-12), who is not some kid, responded rather confidently:

    “Joe Bast says the document is a fake, a statement we take with a grain of salt given the Heartland Institute’s previous dissembling on the subject of climate change and its discredited position on the safety of second hand smoke. In the circumstances, if the Heartland Institute can offer any specific criticism of the Climate Strategy or any evidence that it was faked and not, actually, written on Joe Bast’s laptop, printed out and scanned, we would be pleased to consider that evidence.”

    These are the same questions that I expect the FBI is asking Heartland. If they answer these questions, they will have to show what is true and possible expose their fake charity and maybe even mail/wire fraud.

    Perhaps this is the price Dr. Gleick is paying so that ordinary teachers won’t be tricked by the Heartland and their collaborators.

    • The two blogs that posted the Heartland docs have taken different tacks on the disputed Climate Strategy memo. Far from defending it’s authenticity, Think Progress has removed the link to it.

      I think wire fraud charges are even more of a stretch for SPPI.

    • Well, Peter Gleick’s spoken in public. His comments on Heartland were restricted to:

      “I will not be addressing the recent contretemps between me and the Heartland institute. At this point I am going to let my last Huffington Post piece and the Heartland documents speak for themselves,…”

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure that ‘wire fraud’ at least in the US, is specifically about money. As Gleick not only doesn’t benefit monetarily from what he did, but the docs he exposed are the kind that could fall under a ‘whistleblower’ defence, my feeling is that there won’t be any criminal proceedings.

      And yes, writing fake documents, like lying in general, is protected as free speech by the First Amendment — except in certain tightly circumscribed circumstances. One of those is libel. In principle, Heartland could sue Gleick for libel, if they can make the court believe that Gleick wrote the memo (easy IMO; note that in a civil suit, the preponderance of evidence decides). But then, they would have to argue, not that the memo was not written by a Heartlander; not even that no Heartlander would ever write that kind of language; no, they must make it believable that the memo does not realistically describe Heartland’s actual behavior.

      Given Heartland’s own copious published material that makes clear that they do all those nasty things in the memo that they deny doing (like, yes Virginia, ‘undermining’ the IPCC with made-up science), I don’t really think that they want the amateur job of John Mashey repeated by a professional legal team. But it would be a great show if they did!

  14. As best as I can tell, SPPI is not even a legal entity, just a website whose author works for CSCDGC. Wire fraud seems unlikely, but I alleged a bunch of other issues for them in Fake science…, p.20.

  15. This might be important: “A Collaboratively-Derived Science-Policy Research Agenda”:

    Hat tip:

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      Nah. The only name I recognise is Mike Hulme, and that suggests that it might not be important ;-/

  16. A clever puppet video about ethically oily Kathryn Marshall and Ezra Levant:

  17. On Friday, March 16, 2012, The famous paleoclimatologist Dr. Michael Mann spoke to all the students and faculty at Bishop O’Connell High School, a very large Catholic high school in Arlington,VA. Dr. Mann explained the science of climate change and the possible consequences and showed us pictures from his book “Dire Consequences: Understanding Global Warming.”

    The students, who are studying climate change in science, asked a lot of questions that impressed Dr. Mann. The science teachers were really proud of the thoughtful questions the kids asked.

    The Ecology Club all had their pictures taken with Dr. Mann. They were smiling like they were standing next to a rock star!

    Just so everyone knows, Catholic educational institutions teach the peer-reviewed science and follow the lead of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which includes scientists who have helped write the IPCC Assessments.

  18. And in other news, Alec Baldwin tweets:

    “[edit] Jim Inhofe has betrayed every man and woman who lost their livelihood on the Gulf due to BP’s overwhelming negligence.”

    “We need to have Inhofe retire to a solar-powered gay bar.”

    3/4m followers. More of that, please.

  19. Panel tweeting discussion about carbon, etc. at Canada 2020!/Canada2020

    I’m not sure how “progressive” the “Canada 2020” bunch is, with John Manley on the Advisory Board and the various sponsors:

    But Tom Harris is tweeting up a storm arguing that the climate debate has just begun and other nonsense. I wonder who is paying him at present:!/TomHarrisICSC


  20. > Presumably, the focus will now be on the American Tradition Institute’s abusive efforts…

    FYI, some attention to ATI’s Wikipedia page might be good. Earlier this month it was proposed for deletion, and before that it was massively edited, removing information on funding and the like.
    (Wikipedia edit wars aren’t my arena; I’d rather delegate this.)

  21. Last week, Dr. Mann appeared on the Kremlin-financed Russia Today English language satellite TV. This channel is part of the Russian government’s RIA Novosti news agency.

    I didn’t have any problems with what Dr. Mann said, but I thought some things did not get said.

    The program host Thom Hartman, criticized the Heartland Institute and claimed that more people in the US are denialists. He did not mention that his channel Russia Today has often given a platform to denialists such as Lord Monckton, John O’Sullivan, Piers Corbyn, and Pat Michaels. Some really old Russian scientists have appeared, but not young Russian scientists–as far as I can tell.

    Mr. Hartman criticized Heartland, but he failed to mention that the Heartland has spread denialist propaganda that appeared on RIA Novosti. Heartland claims they were quoting Kommersant, but really this was RIA Novosti in English publishing a summary of Kommersant.

    I am glad if the Russians are allowing real scientists on their show instead of denialists, but this is a Russian government channel that has spread the same disinformation that they are now blaming on American denialists and the Heartland–which quotes RIA Novosti, RT’s owners.

    The Russian government media did not admit that they were wrong or deceptive. It’s pretty hypocritical to criticize Heartland when their own propaganda against climate scientists is quoted by Heartland.

    It’s nice that the Russian propaganda throws those liars Lord Monckton, John O’Sullivan, Piers Corbyn, Pat Michaels, and the Heartland Institute under the bus.
    I thought that would happen because the Russians often denounce their own anti-science conspiracy theories. Even a bad government has to respond to reality. Still, I think the Russian government should admit that it has broadcast and printed the very propaganda they now piously denounce.

  22. Here is the link to Dr. Mann’s talk.

    What he said about the science is very informative, but I have a problem with only pointing the finger at Western denialists, Americans and Heartland, as the interviewer did at the beginning. A lot of people do this; instead, let the record show that Heartland puts RIA Novosti propaganda right on their site and RT puts those denialists on their shows.

    Then, when the campaign crashes and burns, they piously throw these liars under the bus as if they had nothing to do with it at all.

    • Sometimes media management force journalists to give air time to dubious contrarians. The only way for journalists to fight back is to try to cross-examine those dubious guests and make sure bona fide scientists are also presented.

      Australian ABC management has been notorious for foisting denialist propaganda on their audiences in the name of so-called “balance”, but the journalists have fought back effectively. See here for an example.

  23. Attorney General Cuccinelli, who is now running for Governor, also quoted this RIA Novosti article, which defames western climate scientists, in his petition to the EPA. A number of petitioners cited this article from RIA Novosti. I know that Cuccinelli actually mischaracterized what RIA Novosti said. Maybe the others did, too. If they all mischaracterized what RIA Novosti said, that means they all got their mischaracterization from the same place. They didn’t all make the same mistake.

    I would have to go back and read all those petitions, but if they all make the same mistake, that shows they all let someone else do their thinking for them.

    Maybe someone can find that EPA link where all the petitions are and Dr. Mashey can look at it.

    When all the kids have the same wrong answer on their homework, it means they copied it. I don’t need to be John Mashey to know that.

  24. The management of RT is the Russian government. They own it. It’s part of RIA Novosti. A lot of Russian media is owned by gas companies or the moguls who own them, if the Russian government will give them registration—a license to have a media outlet.

    What Dr. Mann said was great, but the journalist who interviewed him talked only about American denialism, Heartland, Inhofe. That’s kind of disingenuous since RT has been a platform for denialists and RIA Novosti is famously cited by Heartland, Cuccinelli and many other denialists.

    It’s hysterical to see RT bash Heartland when Heartland cites RIA Novosti–RT’s parent company.

    The propaganda theme for this show is that denialism is an American phenomenon. RT always tries to make the US look bad, and plenty of people are glad to tell our shortcomings. Often they are right. I might agree with some of their assessments, but RT doesn’t tell that that Russia has the same shortcomings. Maybe all that sniffing around Heartland is turning up something that is scaring the Russian government. I am just speculating.

    On denialism I criticize Russian denialist media, American denialist media and even the FBI. I respect the FBI, but they are spreading disinformation in their white paper as relates to nuclear winter.

    I think this is the Russians throwing the denialists under the bus, but why? Does this mean they’ve “got religion” about climate change and want to cooperate with the rest of the world, or does this mean they are scared and trying to distance themselves from Western denialists and Heartland.

    Will RT explain why they hosted Monckton, John O’Sullivan, Piers Corbyn, and Pat Michaels while the whole world was trashing Mann, Jones, and others?

    • Well, ABC is also government owned. But some of the questionable management was installed by the previous Howard government, which tried to get a more right-wing slant at ABC.

      Perhaps there are shifts behind the scenes at RIA, perhaps not. It’s too early to say.

  25. I agree that it is difficult to be sure what is going on. I think it’s a good thing, but point out the disinformation: Until now, RT has been sponsoring denialism, and now RT has amnesia about this fact and is claiming (in the not-very-sincere way that is typical of them) that denialism is an American phenomenon.

    I even said on your site:

    “When RT invites Michael Mann on and lets him do the talking, I will listen, but I’m not holding my breath.”

    Well, now it has happened, and they have my attention. They have been promoting geoengineering. They can’t very well say there is no climate change if they are trying to fix it.

  26. Skeptical Science was hacked and personal information from posters taken. They say to change your password.

  27. Deep Climate–

    You write, “Perhaps there are shifts behind the scenes at RIA.”

    RIANovosti/RT appear to be organs of the ruling United Russia political party.

    Their media will follow the party line of United Russia. Sometimes the party line changes in ways that are more constructive. For example, the KGB admitted right in Izvestia that they spread the lie that Pentagon scientists made AIDS to kill blacks. This conspiracy theory may have had American origins, but the KGB picked it up and spread it for years.

    RT consistently bashes the US for its shortcomings. They bashed the US for denying climate change and blame Heartland and its sponsors for this phenomenon. While I don’t disagree with this, it’s not the full picture because RIANovosti/RT have promoted denialism just like the Heartland does.

    People who bash Heartland should also take a look at the Russian propaganda. For one thing, the Heartland Institute and Cuccinelli openly cite Russia’s ruling party’s propaganda when they attack Western climate scientists.

    Russia’s rulers are not liberals. They are more like Inhofe or Cuccinelli. Putin, a lawyer and KGB official, got fabulously rich because he was the person who decided who gets the permission/license/registration to export valuable metals from St. Petersburg. Medvedev, a lawyer, was the CEO of Gazprom. These are all politicians who owe their souls to the mining/fossil fuel industrialists. Still, when you are the ruler of a superpower, you finally have to seem to pay attention to reality, your scientists, and the security of your citizens. Especially if your whole country burns up in forest fires. Especially if your permafrost is thawing. Especially if your educated, middle class people are against you.

    The government agency that deals with weather Roshhydromet hosted a conference recently on geoengineering, so clearly they are admitting to climate change. They are discussing putting aerosols in the atmosphere to shade the planet.

    Russian scientists study climate change and there are even government conferences described in open literature that discuss the consequences of climate change. The KGB has even hired outside analysts to tell them what is going on. The Russian government seems to think that there are both good and bad effects of climate change for them.

    I think the fires changed their minds. People were so angry at the government that RIANovosti started publishing articles showing that NASA was helping them pinpoint the fires. Perhaps they thought that would calm people down.

    The Communists used to have a government agency that fought fires. Under Putin/Medvedev, they left this up to businesses like logging companies. I didn’t like communism, but there is a role for government. We didn’t expect the free enterprise system to fight Hitler or build the Hoover Dam. Does anyone think that morons like the CATO ideologues or the Heartland Institute can protect our country from climate change?
    I don’t think Joe Bast even finished college.

  28. Now that crazy John O’Sullivan is claiming he is the vice-President of Radio Free Europe. He misspells O’Sullivan as O’Sullican at the end of the article.

    Here is the link to the real Radio Free Europe.

    O’Sullivan also “quoted” an FBI agent, but really the words were Steve McIntyre’s.

  29. I don’t think that the John O’Sullivan you are linking to is the VP any more. He is not listed on the RFE/RL site, that I could find. They don’t seem to have a VP.

    RFE/RL writes about climate change. They don’t deny it. They study Russia, so they know about climate change.

  30. This 2008 link identifies John O’Sullivan of RFE/RL as an Executive Editor.

    • Make that former Executive Editor.

      So … not only got the wrong O’Sullivan, but he’s not even at RFE any more.

      Clearly and O’Sullivan deserve each other. But the other John O’Sullivan might have a problem with all this.

  31. Steve Milloy of Junk Science is linking to O’Sullivan and identifying him as affiliated with RFE/RL. What an idiot these denialists are!

    I wonder if this is some reaction to Dr. Mann’s March 17 appearance on Russia Today (RT)?

    Maybe the denialist are going to say the Russian propaganda says there is global warming but RFE/RL says there isn’t. Actually, RT has denied climate change until Dr. Mann was on RT on March 17, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has written about climate change. Russia Today always had on those denialists that trash Dr. Mann and other real climate scientists.

    Maybe the Russian party line is changing or there is some debate right now, or maybe this is just all talk and no action.

    You have argued that O’Sullivan is a side show, but I don’t agree. Look what’s happening.

  32. Here is a little tribute to Dr. Mann because he knows about thermometers and proxies.

    In Solzhenitzen’s novel “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” the thermometer is a symbol for junk science: “scientific” Marxism Leninism. You can read the novel on-line here and search for “thermometer.”

    The communist party claimed that it should rule because it is “scientific,” but really science is manipulated in order to fool people and to promote the regime’s political agenda.

    The narrator Ivan explains that if the thermometer says 41 below, the prisoners don’t have to go out to work. Ivan is a simple man who doesn’t know that a mercury thermometer will freeze around minus 38, so it will never say 41 below.

    Never-the-less, the guards want the prisoners to work so they attempt to manipulate the truth by putting the thermometer in a protected location to keep it from freezing: the guards don’t know that the thermometer won’t go this low, either. The point is that the regime lies about science and its representatives (the guards) aren’t really scientific.

    Later, the prisoners take a close look at the thermometer and decide it doesn’t work properly.

    When Ivan has a very high temperature, the regime lies by having a literature student, called a medical orderly, take Ivan’s temperature and tell him that he is not sick enough to miss work.

    Solzhenitsyn’s thermometer is a symbol for the abuse of science. but Dr. Mann is trying to tell us the truth about Earth’s temperature.

    In his new book, Dr. Mann said that President Kennedy said the hottest place in Dante’s Inferno was reserved for people who didn’t take a stand on the issues of the day.

    Actually, the “souls unsure” (uncommitted) never make it into Hell. The people who stayed neutral and never took a stand on the issues of the day are in the Vestibule—front hall–of Hell. They never are assigned to a circle of Hell because they didn’t commit any sins. They just did nothing. Their punishment is to run behind a blank banner for all eternity. They have to run on maggots and be stung by wasps and flies. The banner is blank because they never stood for anything when they were alive. Dante even puts a Pope in the Vestibule of Hell. The “souls unsure” are constantly flailing themselves with their hands because flies and wasps are stinging them. I tell the kids this joke: nothing bugged them in life, so now they will be bugged for all eternity as they run behind a flag that stands for nothing.

    It’s good Dr. Mann stood up for truthful thermometers–for science. Because of Dr. Mann, ordinary teachers will be able to teach science instead of lies.

    The denialists just seem evil. Cuccinelli acts like he is such a model Christian, but this hypocrite seems to have forgotten the commandment about bearing false witness. He’s had plenty of chances to learn that he was wrong. He’s just a political gangster who has hijacked the AG office and turned it into a political police.

    I hope someday soon there will be a day of reckoning, and we will know who was behind Climategate.

  33. My nemesis Kent Clizbe seems to have written about Dr. Mann’s appearance on Russia Today. I knew this would happen! Comments attributed to Clizbe appear on Tom Nelson’s blog. He makes Dr. Mann seem very anti-American.

    Clizbe never noticed that his denialist friends–such as his buddy John O’Sullivan–have been given lots of air time on RT. Why weren’t they anti-American when they trashed our scientists and our scientific agencies?

    Maybe Dr. Mann’s appearance indicates a new party line. Maybe they are throwing the denialists under the bus. It does happen that they denounce their former anti-science propaganda. Or maybe this is some sly way to discredit Dr. Mann.

    Dr. Mann was terrific, but his interviewer bellowed “who’s bankrolling these denialists?” I would have thought he should have admitted that RT has been putting western denialists on TV for years. Here is what I said about that.

  34. AGW debunked. Well, more lucid than most of the tosh I’ve read at WUWT and Tallblokes.

  35. That’s really funny!

  36. The deranged lunatic Kent Clizbe claims he is a former CIA officer to establish credibility, but this ignoramus constantly trashes our scientists and sounds like he should be writing for the Russian propaganda. The real CIA is concerned about climate change and gives climate scientists security clearances so they can use information from satellites. The National Intelligence Council, which is made up of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies and makes long-range predictions about America’s national security, has endorsed the United Nations IPCC Assessments that Dr. Mann contributes to:

    “Our primary source for climate science was the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, which we augmented with other peer-reviewed analyses and contracted research. We used the UN Panel report as our baseline because this document was reviewed and coordinated on by the US government and internationally respected by the scientific community.“
    —Dr. Thomas Fingar, former Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis (June 25, 2008 before Congress)

    Click to access 20080625_testimony.pdf

  37. Holly Stick

    This is a must read on links between election fraud and oil interests:

  38. Holly Stick

    RMG and a charity:

    “A historical charity that receives millions of dollars from the federal government each year has been paying the Conservative Party’s main call centre company for fundraising work….”

    I’ve had the impression that people involved with Historica were rightwingy, but don’t really know details.

  39. Holly Stick

    So Rick Perry is complaining about foreign funding aimed at educating Texan policymakers about the environment:

    The original Guardian article includes a link to other projects funded by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including some in Canada:

  40. Holly Stick

    The Fraser Institute has started a new website about mining:

    You’ll be interested in their version of what “peer-reviewed” means:!/MiningFacts

    And contributor Alana Wilson of the Fraser Institute has been tweeting about mining:!/AlanaKWilson

  41. You’ll be interested in their version of what “peer-reviewed” means

    Yes, that’s interesting, applying it to an internal review process.

  42. More interesting “expert peer review” at the Fraser Institute, as seen in the so-called Independent Summary for Policymakers.

    The 55 reviewers of the ISPM included:
    Anastasios Tsonis
    Chris deFreitas
    David Legates
    Eduardo Zorita
    Pat Michaels
    Richard Lindzen
    Richard McNider
    Timothy Patterson

    Collectively, the reviewers reported agreement with the conclusions of the ISPM and strong support for its publication as “a means of communicating the current state of climate science to policy makers and other general readers”.

    Here is my analysis of the ISPM (at SourceWatch). It seems the reviewers missed a lot of problems.

  43. Some good news. Coca-Cola stops funding ALEC. Could having Joe Bast as your head honcho be the kiss of death to cashflow these days?

  44. John Mashey

    William Gray defends Heartland.
    Bast says:
    “The essay has many kind things to say about Heartland. I’m going to print out and cherish this essay for a long time, maybe for the rest of my life.
    This is vindication. I don’t care if the New York Times, Washington Post, or Michael Mann never admit that they were wrong. Bill Gray says we are right, and that’s all I need.”

    Gray’s essay
    offers many quotes, including:
    “Charlie Wilson (former CEO of GM and Secretary of DOD in the mid-1950s) made the then famous but controversial statement that “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country”. A more relevant statement for today would be (in my opinion)
    ‘What is good for the Heartland Institute is good for our country and for the world’.
    Ten years from now, when the scientific relevancy of the AGW theory has been thoroughly discredited we will be better able to appreciate the accuracy of this statement.”

  45. The denialists trot out these really elderly men instead of telling what scientists who are 40 years younger are saying.

  46. Gray refers to Heartland’s “Nobel Mission.” Is he just spelling-challenged, or is he trying to suggest that Heartland deserves a Nobel Prize? I notice that the Russians were also bringing really elderly Russian scientists on TV instead of younger scientists.

  47. “Bill Gray says we are right, and that’s all I need.”

    I’d have thought replacement funding would be what Joe really needs right now.

  48. Here is an informative article about Gray and other deniaists in the Washington Post.

  49. Drudge has posted a story about Russian spies that is based on that FBI white paper I have been complaining about.

    The FBI white paper has a section about nuclear winter that is based on what some KGB defector supposedly said. The FBI is citing a journalist’s book.

    The FBI paper even mischaracterizes the ridiculous book it is based on. It smears famous climate scientists, tho’ not by name. If you look at their source, Comrade J, you will see whom they are smearing.

    I usually have a lot of respect for the FBI, but the section in this white paper on nuclear winter is a lot of vague innuendo that famous climate scientists are KGB dupes.

    I wonder if the FBI outsourced this white paper to some denialist.

    Here are my objections to this FBI white paper.

    There are scholarly books written about the nuclear winter debate, but the FBI doesn’t seem to have read them and seems to depend on a crummy journalistic account of what some KGB defector who doesn’t know jack about nuclear winter supposedly said.

    I complained, but they don’t listen. They even mischaracterize their Kremlin sources, just like Cuccinelli did when he supposedly “quoted” RIA Novosti in his petition to the EPA.

    Some climate scientists ought to ask the FBI about this section of the white paper. Whoever wrote this should be held to account.

  50. I wonder if the United States Court Of Appeals For The District Of Columbia Circuit and the Virginia Bar Association have noticed that Virginia’s Attorney General Cuccinelli’s brief against the EPA mischaracterizes the allegations of one of his his “cited” sources—Andrei Illarionov’s Russian Institute for Economic Analysis (IEA)—as cited in RIA Novosti (12-16-09) via the Russian business daily Kommersant. The authors of the Kommersant article are Oleg Sapozhkov (Олег Сапожков) and Dmitri Butrin (Дмитрий Бутрин).

    Kommersant is owned by the Gazprom-connected, Russian-based Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov and known on the World Wide Web by the ubiquitous stock epithet “respected Kommersant.”

    Here is the funniest line in Cuccinelli’s brief—he thinks it’s a coincidence that the Russian government press agency trashed western climate scientists on the same day that the EPA announced it’s endangerment finding:

    “On December 15, 2009—the very day that EPA announced the Endangerment Finding—the Russian Institute of Economic Analysis (“IEA”) reported that CRU probably tampered with Russian climate data and that the Russian meteorological station data do not support human-caused global warming. It was well established that CRU had dropped many Russian stations in the colder regions of the country supposedly because these stations were no longer maintained. The IEA stated that, on the contrary, the stations still report temperatures but that CRU ignores the results.”

    Actually, the Russian article did not say CRU–it actually said Hadley Center.

    The RIA Novosti article is propaganda, but the article never said that the “CRU probably tampered with Russian climate data.” On the contrary, the Russians claimed that the “Hadley Center for Climate Change…probably tampered with Russian-climate data.” Cuccinelli’s brief isn’t citing his “authoritative” Russian IEA source correctly at all. It’s a real mystery how this mistake occurred. I am pretty sure that some other organizations that petitioned the EPA also had the same mistake. Maybe they all got the mistake from the same place.

    W. Russell, Cuccinelli’s underling supposedly wrote the petition. How would he say CRU instead of Hadley Center if he had looked at the Russian article?

  51. According to Tim Lambert at the Deltoid blog, the “Russian [IEA] analysis confirms 20th century CRU temperatures” (12-17-09):

    “[T]he IEA report does not support the claims made in the news story. I’ve reproduced the final graph from the report below. The red curve is the temperature trend using the 121 Russian stations that CRU has released data for, while the blue hockey stick is from a larger set of 476 stations. I’ve put them on top of the CRU temperatures for northern extratropics. The red and blue curves agree very well in the period after 1950, thus confirming the CRU temperatures. Well done, IEA!
    The red and blue curves do diverge in the 19th century, but the one that provides more support for anthropogenic global warming is the blue hockey stick. The red curve shows warming in the 19th century before there were significant CO2 emissions, so it weakens the case that global warming is man-made. If CRU (not HAdley as claimed in the Russian news story) have “tampered” with the data, it would seem that they must have been trying to make a case against AGW.
    The IEA analysis is, in any case, misguided. CRU has not released all the station data they use, so the red curve is not the CRU temperature trend for Russia at all. If you want that, all you have to do is download the gridded data and average all the grid cells in Russia. You have to wonder why the IEA did not do this.
    Since Russia is a pretty fair chunk of the land north of 30 degrees north, the CRU graph above is a rough approximation of the what the CRUTEM3 trends for Russia is, and you can see that it looks like the blue curve and not the red one.
    Steve McIntyre will no doubt be demanding the IEA’s data and code for their study. No doubt.”

  52. More muzzling of Environment Canada scientists:

    I hope somebody at the conference can take some countermeasures, as in following the monitors around and finding out who they are and what they are being paid out of our tax dollars, and recording everything they do, etc.

  53. Is this blog about to fold? Is the author ill, or burned out? It’s crickets around here.

    • I did see that piece (via Twitter). The recent support of Fraser by the Koch Foundations had been noted by earlier by Greenpeace and others, but AFAIK the VO piece is the first to report the 2010 Koch grant of $150,000 (which is similar to the 2008 and 2009 level of support).

      I have a piece in the pipeline, so to speak, about fossil fuel industry support for Fraser.

  54. Cuccinelli’s sugar daddy Bobby Thompson is in custody!
    See my site for links. I have followed this for a long time.

  55. Snapple, I live in Portland and the bust was big news here, but I was unaware of the Cuccinelli connection (I didn’t read the whole story, perhaps it was in there, perhaps not). So thanks!

  56. I was a Republican until I saw that Cuccinelli was persecuting scientists under the color of law and taking money from a criminal. Cuccinelli is one of those “holier than thou” types. He put clothes on a statue because a breast was showing. He goes after prostitution of foreign women and child prostitution, but he prostitutes his high office on behalf of his financial benefactors.

    Cuccinelli’s dad is a career lobbyist for the gas industry. On his site, it was claimed that one of his companies had clients in Latin America and Europe. I’d like to know about that, because the father’s company gave 96,000 to Cuccinelli’s campaign. The family business is lobbying for the gas interests, maybe they even get money from foreign fossil fuel interests for professional services.

    That ridiculous Wegman should be investigating Cuccinelli’s friends and family, not Mike Mann’s contacts.

    Thompson lived like he was poor even though he supposedly stole 100 million dollars. Makes me wonder if he was working for someone else. He didn’t manage to get out of the country in spite of his millions. His fingerprints are not in the system. His fake ID was very poor quality. He seems to have spent time in Albuquerque NM, but his fake driver’s license misspelled Albuquerque.

    Someone knew which politicians to give money to so that Virginia would change the law and not require “military charities” to register. And elderly lady Democrat, Patsy Ticer, got some money, and she set the ball rolling. When she got suspicious of Thompson, she tried to stop the bill, but it was too late. Everyone else was a Republican. Cuccinelli got a huge amount, but there is no proof he influenced this law. Still, it may have been done through others.
    In my newest post, I linked to a good article that asks why Cuccinelli got 55,000 from some out-of-state criminal. Cuccinelli and Thompson talked on the phone, and this reporter wonders if there was a deal made.

  57. The best source on “Bobby Thompson” is the series of articles called “Under the Radar.” This page has all the articles.

    The feds don’t yet know who he really is, but “Thompson” had mail boxes all over the country where the money was sent. He had one in Washington D.C., so I wonder who opened it if he lived in Florida. Maybe it was forwarded, or maybe others are involved.

    It was one of those mail boxes that seem like a business address for his charity–like the mail box that SPPI’s Bobby Ferguson has in Virginia. From the address, you can’t tell that the “Institute” is only a mail box.

    I have waited for the feds to catch Bobby Thompson for a long time. For a rich criminal, he lived a very shabby life and stayed “under the radar.”

  58. I wrote to the Chicago FBI spokesman Royden “Ross” Rice, and he said: ” “No arrests have been made and no charges filed in connection with the Heartland Institute incident” (5-14-12). Of couse, something might happen later, but probably it’s over.

    Heartland said something to the effect that their forensic experts found that the disputed memo was not on Heartland’s computers; however, Mr. Littlemore of DeSmogblog never said it was on Heartland’s computers. He hinted that it was on Joe Bast’s laptop:

    “The DeSmogBlog is committed to accuracy. Joe Bast says the document is a fake, a statement we take with a grain of salt given the Heartland Institute’s previous dissembling on the subject of climate change and its discredited position on the safety of second hand smoke. In the circumstances, if the Heartland Institute can offer any specific criticism of the Climate Strategy or any evidence that it was faked and not, actually, written on Joe Bast’s laptop, printed out and scanned, we would be pleased to consider that evidence.”

    I thought that point about the memo being written on Joe Bast’s laptop was pretty interesting. Mr. Littlemore seemed very sure of himself.

  59. I found Joe Bast’s exact words:

    Heartland released a computer forensics report, conducted by Protek International, which states: “We conclude that the Memo did not originate on the Heartland System. It was not created on the Heartland System and was never present there prior to its February 14 posting online.”

    Mr. Littlemore never said the memo was on the Heartland System. He hinted that it was on Joe Bast’s laptop. Probably Joe Bast is being a little sneaky not to mention that the document isn’t on his laptop, either.

    Someone should ask Joe Bast if the disputed memo was on his laptop. He hasn’t responded to my criticisms of the billboard. He shows a lot of contempt for teachers, but I don’t see on his site that he even has a B.A. degree. People who run science departments are not going to be fooled by Joe Bast. All the textbooks discuss climate change, so science teachers know that’s the consensus.

    Why would teachers read his mendacious “educational materials” if he won’t deign to respond to a teacher’s email?