Sunday, March 30, 2008

O. . . .

Friday, Eli wrote about recent papers by Myanna Lahsen, and Naomi Oresekes, Erik Conway and Matthew Shindell about the Marshall Institute's founders, William Nierenberg, Robert Jastrow and Fredrick Seitz. Lahsen came to the conclusion that after retiring these three attacked climate science and scientists to make up for a loss of status. Oreskes and Conway thought not, in Eli's word's if for no other reason that Nierenberg was director of Scripps, and had built up climate science there and Jastrow hired Hansen and built up atmospheric sciences at GISS. O&C ask if they would kill their own babies.

Lahsen and Oreskes and Conway are missing something important. All three papers demonstrate that Nierenberg, Jastrow and Seitz were willing to use any funding source to support their ambitions without scruple. The tobacco archive establishes how as president of Rockefeller University Seitz brought in major big tobacco research money, and how in retirement he was a major player in directing their research resources. As quoted yesterday about Jastrow
in David Randall's book General Circulation Model Development, Hansen writes

But at about that time, the director of GISS, Robert Jastrow, concluded that the days of generous NASA support for planetary studies were numbered, and he thus began to direct institutional resources towards Earth applications.
The Marshall trio pushed the line that climate scientists are in it for the $$. Nierenberg, Seitz and Jastrow were simply reflecting on what they had done.

21 comments:

bi said...

OK... so is it about status, or money, or both? What were these guys' ambitions, anyway (if that question makes sense)?

-- bi, Global Dumbing

Horatio Algeranon said...

Some of it is outright deception, but lots (perhaps even the bulk) of it is just good old "denial", which I suppose is also just deception at its core -- self-deception:

Sunspots Get in Your eyes

Cynthia said...

Bear in mind, Prof. Rabett, for some it's just clear skies ahead and no kids left behind.;~)

climatewonk said...

It's actually a clever tactic -- claim the opposite of what is true, or turn a claim back onto the claimant. It's clear that many of the denialists are making money off the fossil fuel industry's desire to create a false impression of a lack of consensus. How to counter such a claim? Make it against scientists! It's so ridiculous that it works because to the average bear, an academic scientist's life appears to be quite privileged.

I think there are many skeptics who honestly believe what they claim, and of those people, I think they are misled or foolish. However, we know from leaks, FOIs, and insiders who have come clean that there is a whole industry out there dedicated to putting out false information, propaganda, and disinformation. Those are the ones who are beneath contempt. Their only tactic is to lie, smear, and deny deny deny.

John Mashey said...

I conjecture, from looking at Sourcewatch and a few other things:

For most denialist entities, more of their funding comes from Koch, Scaife, etc, i.e., wealthy family foundations, often built on fossil fuels ... than from the fossil industry itself, although certainly, Western Fuels and ExxonMobil have had noticeable presence.

It is of course nontrivial to follow the money around.

Tom C said...

Oh, the Oreskes article was just great. I loved it how after multiple pages of ridiculing the notion that AGW proponents were crypto-socialists, they served up a quote from Milton Friedman, attributed it to John Keynes, and concluded that capitalist societies had to "pay" for the years of misdeeds that earned them their riches. You really can't parody this stuff.

bi said...

Next in Tom C world: Barack Obama is a hidden Muslim because his middle name is Hussein. And there is a Vast Worldwide Satanic Conspiracy as evidence by the Illuminati symbol on the dollar bill -- yeah, Svante Arrhenius et al. were probably involved in it as well. And the phrase "NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM" means "All ye kneel before Al Gore, Hail Satan!"

bi said...

Oh, and did I mention Esperanto on another thread. Esperanto's flag is green. Environmentalists talk about being "green". This is obviously not a coincidence! The environmentalist movement, just like the Esperantist movement, is a huge worldwide plot to bring down America and send money to Al Gore!

-- bi, Global Dumbing

Tom C said...

bi -

I don't entertain conspiracy theories. I did claim that Oreskes et. al. ended their article by claiming that capitalist societies had to "pay up" for the wealth that they had created. Why did they exempt communist societies, especially given their notorious environemental record?

It was really rich, though, that they confused Milton Friedman with Keynes, given what the two stand for in the world of economic theory. Let's just say that economics is not a strength of folks like Orestes and folks who post on this board.

bi said...

"I don't entertain conspiracy theories. [...] Why did they exempt communist societies, especially given their notorious environemental record?"

Yeah, maybe Oreskes et al. should also have mentioned the burning of oil fields by Iraqi insurgents, or the burning of the Qin Dynasty palace, etc. etc. etc. Failing to mention any of these things automatically makes them anti-American anti-capitalist anti-all-that's-good crypto-socialists.

Becau don't have the courage to just say what you want to say, then get lost.

bi said...

s/Becau/Besides, if you/

-- bi, Global Dumbing

Anonymous said...

As time goes by and it seem clearer and clearer that CO2 is not the cause of global warming, does that mean that they would have to give the Nobel Peace Prize back?

bi said...

Note to self, courtesy John Mashey:

IUOUI

Ignore
Unsupported
Opinions of
Unidentifiable
Individuals

-- bi, Global Dumbing

bi said...

You say the science is settled long,
Yet I don't agree, so it's wrong;
For I do have a PhD
from an unnamed famous varsity;

And Oreskes is communist,
'Cause she's reticent on th' Islamist;
From 'conomists to physicians
They're all part of the plot --

There's no warming
There's no warming
It's just a Terrist Worldwide
Conspiracy

There's no warming
There's no warming
For polar bears adapt
and so will we

-- bi, Global Dumbing

Tom C said...

bi -

I'm not sure what it is you don't think I have the courage to say. What I will say is that the closing pages of the Oreskes and Conway article are ludicrous. As in quoting George Soros as an expert in economic theory, as in saying "as the famous economist John Maynard Keynes famously said..." and then quoting Milton Friedman, as in saying that capitalism has "unintended consequences" while highly regulated economies don't. The whole thing is preposterous as an academic work and those two are twits compared to the giants that they criticize.

Hank Roberts said...

Why is it that I see the killfile link here:

Anonymous said... [kill]​[hide comment]

but not here:
Tom C said...

or here:
bi said...

OR, in fact, anyone except "anonymous" -- can we only killfile "anonymous" now? Is this a feature?

EliRabett said...

This is blogger, it's a bug

Anonymous said...

It might not be Keynes originally, but it wasn't Friedman either:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/tanstaafl.html

Anonymous said...

Whilst not agreeing with tom c substantively with regard to his main thrusts, Friedman did make a 'free lunch' comment (at some Israeli Embassy function -- something like that). He just didn't originate the phrase, and he freely admitted he didn't originate the phrase to some journalist (on the NYT IIRC).

Cymraeg llygoden

TokyoTom said...

Eli, I think your angle is a bit off. Lahsen get pretty close to it: when the Marshall trio pushed the line that climate scientists are in it for the $$, they were not were simply reflecting on what they had done in taking money from industry, but reflecting their resentment at the newcomers for capturing what had been THEIR finding (for basic research, nukes, defense, etc.)

The Marcshall trio had no problems with fat government funding; in fact, they saw it as their prerogative. They were just bitter they after Vietnam and the environmental crises that people started to see science and big government and the military-industrial complex as part of the problem, and that applied science and non-physicists started to cut into their own funding.

EliRabett said...

Tom, your assumption is that the lust for $ was symmetric. IEHO, it was a lot stronger on the Marshall trio side and a lot less tied to what could be accomplished and what needed to be accomplished.