Thursday, May 15, 2014

They Are Mad As Hell And Not Going to Take it Anymore

The latest news is about Lennart Bengtsson joining the big (well, well funded) GWPF machine and then leaving within a week.  Bunnies can read the details at the Weasels, Hot Whopper, and even an interesting discussion with the likes of Neven, cRR and Roger Jr at Marcel Crok's.  Eli's censorious friends at Willard Tony's and such are in full bleat

Over at the Weasels, Magnus Westerstrand provided some needed background available in scientific meeting English.  Evidently, Prof. Bengtsson has been following Lubos' path into incoherent hating on socialists  spittle, a  sample from Bengtsson, provided at the link

It's a shame that the GDR disappeared otherwise we would have been able to offer one-way tickets there for these raving socialists. Now there's unfortunately not many orthodox countries left soon and I surely do not imagine our romantic green Communists want a one-way ticket to North Korea. But if interested I will gladly contribute to the trip as long as it concerns a one way exit. Perhaps you could arrange a Gallup study, then it can not be ruled out that I underestimated utresebehovet. 5
Since Bengtsson is a card carrying meteorologist with a position at Reading, he really cannot deny that there is a greenhouse effect but has adopted a position somewhat between Curry and Pielke Sr.  "nothing, here, move on" at least in Swedish.  On the other hand, few of his collaborators in the other world read Swedish.

Thus his surprise at the reaction of his scientific colleagues to his joining the GWPF as expressed in his letter of resignation
I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.

Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.”
Prof. Bengtsson might reflect on the stresses that that originally peaceful community has been put under by his friends at the GWPF, something that appears unremarked as yet, but has had, IEHO, repercussions in how the originally peaceful community has reacted to Prof. Bengtsson's joining the GWPF.

Bengtsson told the Times of London that
. . the pressure had mainly come from climate scientists in the US, including one employed by the US government who threatened to withdraw as co-author of a forthcoming paper because of his link with the foundation.
and, quote
"It was the climate science community in the US which took this very negatively. I think the reason is the very loaded atmosphere in the US... they would like to do something very substantial about climate change."
The short take on this is that Prof. Bengtsson ran into a wall of disgust from his colleagues which took him by surprise. 

Somebunnies may ask why the principle negative reaction to Bengtsson joining the GWPF came from US climate scientists, others might recall the merry little jihad against US climate scientists that Benny Peiser and Lord Lawson and their US associates have engaged in.


counters said...

Hanlon's razor notwithstanding, I can't help but feel that this hullaballoo is a bit too orchestrated to be a "whoopsies!" moment by Bengtsson. That's mostly considering his very public resignation and rebuke of the climate science community. If he was seriously worried about recuperating his relationship with colleagues and his "personal health and safety," then why on Earth would he accuse them of McCarthyism? Furthermore... I'm kinda surprised a Swede is dropping a "McCarthy" bomb/accusation.

Color me a skeptic on this one. I think GWPF's gambit is a little bit too transparent here, although admittedly I've been wrong about things like this in the past.

A Siegel said...

Shocking, SHOCKING, I tell you ... after aligning himself with an institution which has attacked and maligned respected climate scientists, it was "McCarthyism" for someone to withdraw their name from from a published paper.

With that in mind, what is Stalinism? To be served stale bread in a restaurant?

William Connolley said...

If you read you’ll find:

> But what made me the most upset was when a colleague from the US resigned as co-author of a paper

Compare that to:

> other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.

from his original statement. So it seems that LB is having some problems accurately describing what’s happening.

Lionel A said...


15/5/14 7:09 AM

Funnily enough I was having similar thoughts when news of his withdrawal from the embrace of the GWPF was announced and was constructing a post elsewhere on the intertubes going over possible motives and then thought better of falling prey to conspiracy ideation.

As you say though, there is more to this than meets the eye. Was all this set up to make the GWPF look victims of censorship.

Whatever, it has backfired if that was the case and one should keep in mind the crafty way that they have tried to slalom around Bob Wards Charities Commission questioning.

John Mashey said...

I think the evidence is against any preplanned gambit. GWPF is like Heartland, in that they *collect* anybody with any credentials they can, some of whom don't really understand what they signed up for.

When Heartland did its billboard in 2012, some "
experts" got their names removed.

As an indicator of GWPF's reach, bunnies may be amused by FOIA Facts 5 - Finds Friends of GWPF.

JCH said...

There is a law that limits lobbying activities by government employees. Is there a possibility the US scientist who resigned co-authorship of an upcoming paper did so because the GWPF is a lobbying group?

‘I received emails from colleagues all over the world telling me it was a “questionable” group.

‘But what made me the most upset was when a colleague from the US resigned as co-author of a paper, simply because I was involved. … – Lennart Bengtsson

Like WC, i see this newer statement as a major backing off.

Anders Martinsson said...

The last word in the Bengtsson quote , "utresebehovet", could be translated to "the size of the exodus"

Steve Bloom said...

William, possibly the author resignation claim refers to something that happened post-submission and the other refers to collaborations at an earlier stage of work.

Steve Bloom said...

My impression is that U.S. scientists are far more sensitive to this stuff than European ones, although you'd think the Brits would have started to get a clue.

willard said...

The fact that one
has to reach to figures
like Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin
for analogies
tells you what
the other side
is turning itself into.

The other side
is either dark
or the left side
which is sinister


John Mashey said...

As far as I know, the only data is Bengtsson's own comments, hence speculating about the composition of people unhappy with him seems premature.

I wonder how the comments to him compare with:

the office breakin @ Andrew Weaver's
dead rat on doorstep for Ben

with those sent to Katharine Hayhoe

those cataloged in Pseudoskeptics Exposed In The SalbyStorm. (GWPF participated, somewhat)

David B. Benson said...

What is GWPF? Is is catching?

Susan Anderson said...

David, the Global Warming Policy Foundation is a British Group that is quite stinky (stinks to high heaven).

But really the reason I'm here is that a delightful typo caused me to look of houyhnhnms (and yahoos), and it occurs to me that this situation would appeal to Jonathan Swift. Too bad we've gone downhill since.

Marion Delgado said...

Guillermo Gonzalez meets Judith Curry meets Lubos Motl. What's not to love?

Andrew said...

The GWPF...

Well, you see. The British Establishbunnies have, since letting one empire slip, decided that we are really Americans, because the Americans have lots of Ships with Guns live we used to, and like to occasionally Shoot Stuff At People For Their Own Good like we used to (although our body count exceeds yours by plenty, must try harder).

To wit: As true Americans, we must, amongst other things, have Think Tanks That Do Not Think; henceforth the GWPF, an establishment specifically established to reduce the amount of thinking in the world.

And in the grandest traditions of such institutions, the name is classic-orwellian; 'Global Warming' (a concept which the institution appears to refute the existence of, to select audiences anyway), 'Policy' (of which the recommendation is, invariably, 'none'), and 'Foundation', which could, at a stretch be inferred to imply depth of thought or purpose.

Of course, like traditional British pale imitations of American Stuff, it manages to extract the worst, and least subtle bits of US conservative think tanks whilst forgetting any redeeming features (of which I had a list, unaccountably mislaid).

I hope this informs.

willard said...

At Judy's, PaulM has linked to another article in today's Times where Bengtsson suspects that his rejected paper was CG-related.


My comment in response is being held in moderation:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Indeed, The Times reports Bengtsson’s testimony.

The links are also interesting:

An editorial by Matt Ridley, who speaks of demonization.

An article by Ben Webster, with a mugshot of Lord Lawson.

Another article by Ben Webster, with a mugshot of Lord Lawson.

An article by Sadie Gray, with a Getty image of polluting chimneys.

An article by Jennie Booth, where we have Patchy and Christopher Field telling that climate change will hit food prices.

What we read on The Times can only make us think of the Wandhama massacre.


Let's hope that the Auditor won't be compelled to think that Judy cleansing my comments and that Ross won't think of names.

Russell Seitz said...

" I surely do not imagine our romantic green Communists want a one-way ticket to North Korea. But..."

Will somebunny remind Bengston that one way tickets to North Korea are no laughing matter.

Anonymous said...

As I said over at the Weasle's place, this is an epic display of butthurt. Nothing more nothing less.


willard said...

Neven kindly posted a comment on my behalf at Marcel's:

Marcel's response was this one:

> About the word “cleansing”, I just don’t know if I agree, I am not a native speaker, never used the word myself and do not often read it either.

If someone could provide Marcel of examples where the word "cleansing" appears, I'm sure Marcel will appreciate all the nuances it brings in our current ClimateBall (tm) episode.

Lionel A said...


'Will somebunny remind Bengston that one way tickets to North Korea are no laughing matter.'

Particularly as much of the population is short of food.

Nothing like a few loose cannibals.

Susan Anderson said...

Such a superb link, deserves a repeat (from another Rabett Bengtsson item (and, hah, spelled it right this time):

“The real tragedy here is that climate scientists are now expected to check their comments in an anonymous peer review to ask themselves how they might ‘play’ if repeated in the Times or the Mail. The progress of science since Galileo has depended on the principle that an anonymous graduate student can point out errors in a paper by a Nobel laureate confident that their comments will be used solely for the purposes of editorial judgement.

“The peer review system has its faults, of course: good papers get rejected, bad papers accepted, and reviewers have their prejudices which editors have to take into account. But overall, it has served us well, and there is a lot more than climate science at stake if we allow it to be undermined by forcing scientists to consult their lawyers before recommending that a paper is rejected.”

(Myles Allen)