Roger Pielke Jr. crying wolf. Again.

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.


18 responses to “Roger Pielke Jr. crying wolf. Again.

  1. Ouch. Well done.

    I’m immensely disappointed in Pielke Snr., and find it ridiculous that Pielke Jnr. has refused to jump at the opportunity to become directly involved in AR5.

    There is a tactic used (successfully) by conservatives, accuse your opponent of doing exactly what you are doing to them. In this case McCarthyism. Just look what Inhofe is doing. As far as I can recall, Pielke Jnr did not condemn Inhofe’s black list of 17, a list that actually exists Roger!

  2. I’ve found another black list!

    Actually, Cato had paid a lot of money so that these folks could be black-listed in WaPo, NYT, etc.

  3. By their howls shall ye know them.

  4. A. Semczyszak

    Many scientists with narrow fields of expertise – specializations, involved in the climate, agree that the ACC determines the size of the current warming. In the specializations that they are concerned, however, have big doubts …

    R. Pielka Senior example says: so is a man-made – ACC …, but not the CO2 is the most important – decide on climate change …

    Doubts also apply to the IPCC. With more well-known (recent) speech researchers climatologists, I quote this, example: professor Hans von Storch “hot” supporter of ACC – AGW theory, co-author III rapports IPCC:
    “Der eigentliche Sündenfall dabei war, dass sich der Rat entgegen seiner Regeln in seinen Aussagen nicht mehr allein auf wissenschaftlich legitime Quellen verlassen hat. Stattdessen hat er bei manchen Themen auf Zeitungsartikel und Berichte von Interessenverbänden zurückgegriffen. Schlimmer noch: Es ist der Eindruck entstanden, dass Umwelt- und Naturschutzverbände, aber auch wirtschaftliche Interessen direkten Einfluss auf Aussagen des IPCC nehmen konnten.”
    – “The real sin is that the IPCC in support of their case has benefited not only from reliable sources, peer-reviewed research. Instead, the use of certain newspaper articles and reports of interest groups. Worse, there is a presumption that environmental organizations, but perhaps also economic interests have a direct impact on the IPCC reports.”

    If we take this step is an analysis of the number of scientists saying: as a man-made, but …, ie semi – “partial” – skeptical; those number increase significantly.

  5. A. Semczyszak

    sorry – Pielke of course

  6. I think one of the best responses to this would be to simply link to the numerous pre-existing lists which the contrarians have generated themselves by voluntarily signing petitions and letters calling for investigations and policy decisions.

    I find this whole “outrage” and wanton “alarmism” to be completely devoid of intellectual honesty and rationality. Pure spin.

    Where were these outraged individuals when Inhofe produced his own list, fuelled by many of the “outraged” themselves?

  7. they maunder maximally

  8. Anyone know what Roger Jr is talking about re using Inhofe’s list? The supplemental info for the PNAS article says what docs they used to compile the skeptics list, and Inhofe’s wasn’t one of them.

    And it’s unclear how else Roger Jr would expect people to determine whether dissenters have established a level of scientific authority.

  9. Checking comments at Rogers’ blog, he doesn’t have a response so far to the issue that PNAS doesn’t use the Inhofe list, as he appeared to claim.

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  11. Marion Delgado

    At some point, the line HAS to become:

    “Roger Pielke, a guy who studied political science to learn how to more effectively lie to people and who doesn’t understand science or care about it does not get to dictate terms to real scientists. STFU.”

    In the meantime, as much ignore as possible. No joint ventures, no nice words, nothing.

  12. Marion Delgado

    And that would further isolate Spencer – if we could restrict science denialism to the handful with credentials – Spencer, Christie, Lindzen, that would solve the problem.

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  17. Sorry I don’t have a sound reference, but it is my impression that of the roughly 11,000 people burned at the stake under the Spanish Inquisition, roughly 6,000 suffered in absentia. Of course this still left it pretty rough on the 5,000 plus who were actually killed in this grisly and unpleasant way. I understand that people generally made the attempt to bribe the executioner to break their necks before lighting the flames. Wealthy liberals, no doubt.


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