I noted this Spring that I and fellow PG’er Steven Hayward spent, oh, a month one weekend at a Hanover College symposium discussing climate change with two alarmists. Dr. Michael Schlesinger of the University of Illinois was one of them. Immediately upon returning home, both Steven and I noticed our inclusion in a blind-copy list for the products of what must be a good portion of Schlesinger’s workdays. We receive numerous mails each day, including even BCC’s of personal communications. Very strange.
Though his presentation at Hanover was, to my mind, rather disingenuous, Schlesinger is generally harmless. Sure, I’ve received less charitable reviews of his approach from peers and past debating partners from the climate science community. Yes, he was rather off-color at a few points during our collective meals with students and faculty, leading to rather awkward moments of silence. Best, I suppose, was how he allowed me to note that – with rare if high-profile exception – other alarmists generally downplay their own personal “footprint,” yet he just can’t seem to stop himself from telling everyone about how he so broadly and regularly travels in all of his importance.
He is Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and director of the Climate Research Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and despite being a fairly dogmatic climate alarmist (and an advocate as much as a scientist), he was one of many co-authors of the important Hoffert et al. (Science 2002). That is not to say that the other authors were skeptics – far from it – but the paper noted, inter alia, that “CO2 is a combustion product vital to how civilization is powered; it cannot be regulated away.”
So despite certain . . . eccentricities . . . Schlesinger should be taken somewhat seriously. But as part of his bizarre e-mailing habits I have just received an open letter of sorts that is equal parts absurd, vile, and panicked. It seems to have been sent from a public university’s e-mail system (email@example.com). I publish it as illustrative of Schlesinger’s perspective, logic, and couth:
“I have sent the following message to Senator McCain.
The Honorable Senator McCain:
Our country and the world have real problems to deal with: (1) the economy, (2) geopolitics, (3) global warming, (4) hunger, (5) aids, ….
I cannot understand your choosing as your VP Governor Palin.
Your so doing has dragged our entire nation into the cesspool of your selected VP’s life – and what a life it seems to be.
Why do that?
This makes no sense to me.
And we are stuck here, going round and round in the life of this lady governor.
Why do so when we need to focus on the problems of the US and world?
I strongly recommend that you make another choice for VP, before Governor Palin is nominated by the Republican Party for VP.
I understand this is difficult, but she could just decline the nomination, for personal reasons.
Everyone would understand and sympathize, if not empathize.
You could then choose another lady to be your running mate.
You need to stop our national hemorrhaging now about Governor Palin.
To not do so would be unforgivable.
The only reason you have not received Michael Schlesinger’s personal e-mails is, I presume, because you have not met him. But remember this sort of output next time NPR splashes his claims about the looming Armageddon.