It seems Roger Pielke Jr. is in a little tizzy about a paper that was just published in PNAS by Anderegg et al., which demonstrates that those unconvinced by the mainstream climate science narrative are not only a minority in the community, but a disproportionately under-published, under-cited, and elderly one at that.
Roger claims that this paper is a “black list” and explicitly equates it with the McCarthy witch hunts of the 1940s and 50s which ruined the lives of thousands of people.
Is the paper, in fact, “a new black list”? For a “list” it’s quite a curious one, as it does not name a single person. Rather Roger conflates the paper itself with information taken from a blog post, appearing nowhere in Anderegg et al.
Roger then whines that his dear ol’ dad shouldn’t be categorized as someone “Unconvinced” by the IPCC view of climate change. He asks:
What sort of views does my father hold that would qualify him to lead the “climate skeptics” list?
Roger suggests that the criteria are perversely Kafkaesque- “it is complicated, trust me”; “there is no better evidence of your denier credentials than denying that you are a denier. Trust me”; etc.*
He claims that someone could be placed on the paper’s imaginary list for doing nothing him or herself, merely appealing to über-denialist Senator Inhofe: “it turns out that you don’t even have to sign an open letter or argue against immediate cuts for emissions. You can simply appear unwillingly on Senator James Inhofe’s list.”
What does the paper actually say?
We define UE [Unconvinced] researchers as those who have signed reputable statements strongly dissenting from the views of the IPCC.
Does Roger Pielke Sr. fall into that category? Judge for yourself.
Still, that was back in 1992. Perhaps more recently Pielke Sr. has changed his mind about the IPCC view of climate change? Let’s let Pielke Sr. speak to that in his own words (emphasizing underline in the original):
[I]n the Pielke et al 2009 EOS paper we present evidence to show that this IPCC conclusion [about the relative influences of CO2 and other climate forcings] can be rejected.
The facts that: there is no “list” in the paper; his father unquestionably meets the criteria of the paper to be labeled Unconvinced; and far from suffering any sort of McCarthyite ruining of their lives, people like his father are actually invited on major media outlets for television interviews don’t play as well in Roger’s fevered persecution narrative, with it’s hysterical invocation of McCarthyism. But facts aren’t really something that appear to trouble Roger much.
And of course Roger has turned whining about imagined persecution into something of a second career.
*In my experience, the amount of trust someone deserves is inversely proportional to the frequency with which they demand it while offering no corroborating evidence.
UPDATE: Just to be clear about what this paper does and does not do (prompted by a comment)-
It does not list names of individuals. It used a database of letters that individuals voluntarily, publicly signed to examine relative citations, publications, etc. No names appear in the paper itself. The only names used (none were actually listed) to generate data were taken from preexisting lists.
If Roger is so aghast at the thought of creating a catalog of names that could be used as a “black list”, his complaint would properly lie with the individuals- like his father- who actually decided to create them, not the authors of this paper. Assuming that the outrage was genuine in the first place, of course.
Can we expect Roger to contact the signatories and publishers of these lists and accuse them of fomenting McCarthyism?
LATER UPDATE: Roy Spencer has outdone Roger, equating the use of publicly signed open letters with the abduction, torture, and murder that took place under the Spanish Inquisition.