A Mighty Windbag


The alarmist covens are hexing the New York Times’ John Tierney for citing criticism of environmental activist and failed prognosticator John Holdren as Obama’s chief science advisor, noted previously by Ed. How dare Tierney cite Holdren’s lengthy trail of hysteria and error (millions dead, spiking commodity prices, soaring temperatures, the usual) — and, worse, how dare he refer to the people making the claims? Doesn’t he know the alarmists don’t approve?

So they smear Tierney, and then anyone else relevant to his sins — while some key dogs forget to bark. To wit, see Team Soros’ initial offering, excerpted in pertinent part:

Amazingly, Tierney quotes CEI attacking Holdren. Now CEI is itself probably one of the top five anti-scientific think tanks in the country. It has taken $2 million of ExxonMobil money in the past decade [NB: sadly, given no such support in three years, this is like the alarmists’ new spin on the cooling, e.g., “2008 was among the ten hottest years!” Yep. And 2008 was among the Dow’s highest years ever, too!… it’s going up just like the temperature.] to run an anti-science disinformation campaign with ads that claim the ice sheets are gaining mass when they are losing it and ending with the absurdist and suicidal tag line, “CO2: they call it pollution, we call it Life!” And those are only some of their ads aimed at destroying the climate for centuries.

No reputable science journalist would quote CEI’s opinion on science or climate issues. Worse, guess who he quotes?

At, the Competitive Enterprise Institute blog, Chris Horner criticizes the reported Holdren appointment and suggests that Dr. Holdren got in to the National Academy of Sciences through a “back door.”

Now I don’t feel so bad that Horner called me a “climate thug.” Aside from his apparently congenital pettiness (”back door”?), Horner is a master of pushing long-debunked denier talking points, stating as recently as April 2005, “the atmosphere inarguably shows no appreciable warming in the 25-year history of satellite and radiosonde measurements (initiated in response to the cooling panic).” Amazing how “inarguable” denier claims turn out not only to be arguable but scientifically disapprovable.

No reputable journalist — indeed, no rational blogger — would quote Chris Horner in support of an argument on science or climate.

OK, so the form of argumentation is standard fare for our catastrophist friends in its deployment of ad hom and dialectics. And that bit about the atmosphere apparently having been “scientifically . . . proved” to have warmed, well, his link doesn’t refer you to anything making that case. Which makes sense, given that the lack of warming is observed — a strange, new kind of “proof” to this crowd that lives within computer models and among, ahem, “adjusted” data. Romm’s link goes instead to a lengthy — sit down for this one — personal tirade against Drs. Christy and Spencer. Shocked, shocked.

Of course by now you’ve noticed the silence on the substance of what I allege: that a back door for membership was formally established within the National Academy for the purpose of funneling a horde of environmental alarmists — including Holdren, specifically — into the ranks of a group they otherwise could not join. And, while I specified that to which I refer and which the author finds so distasteful, he leaves it unaddressed and, in standard alarmist style, merely sneers at it as “congenital pettiness”. Gee, sport, if it’s that bad, surely you could find something of substance to say about it?

Since they find it so threatening that you aren’t to hear any more about it, here are a few thoughts on the back door from NAS member Dr. Richard Lindzen.

The situation with America’s National Academy of Science is somewhat more complicated. The Academy is divided into many disciplinary sections whose primary task is the nomination of candidates for membership in the Academy8. Typically, support by more than 85% of the membership of any section is needed for nomination. However, once a candidate is elected, the candidate is free to affiliate with any section. The vetting procedure is generally rigorous, but for over 20 years, there was a Temporary Nominating Group for the Global Environment to provide a back door for the election of candidates who were environmental activists, bypassing the conventional vetting procedure. Members, so elected, proceeded to join existing sections where they hold a veto power over the election of any scientists unsympathetic to their position. Moreover, they are almost immediately appointed to positions on the executive council, and other influential bodies within the Academy. One of the members elected via the Temporary Nominating Group, Ralph Cicerone, is now president of the National Academy. Prior to that, he was on the nominating committee for the presidency. It should be added that there is generally only a single candidate for president. Others elected to the NAS via this route include Paul Ehrlich, James Hansen, Steven Schneider, John Holdren and Susan Solomon.

 Hey, look! All of the biggest names in climate alarmism came in through the back door. Whoodathunkit?

So, there it is — again. I cover it in further detail in Red Hot Lies. As with other inconvenient facts, it is to be met with a wall of opprobrium, but no actual, substantive reply. It seems as if the teeth-gnashers and cloth-renders are so visceral that they do not or cannot hear themselves any more — and are left to wonder without a clue why the public simply isn’t buying.

So, give it another shot, guys. We’ll be here.

In the meantime, can you please put some meat on the bones of your shared claim that the overwhelming majority of scientists are on record supporting your theory?


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