Peter Finley Dunne has long been one of Eli's favorite observers of the human, especially the political condition. Writing at the beginning of the 20th century in the voice of Mr. Dooley, a publican of the Irish persuasion, he instructed Eli in the necessary amount of jaundice needed to observe the world as it is.
So it was with that basic training that the Rabett wandered into a twitter exchange between ATTP and one Lucas Bergkamp who was mightily defending the reputation of one Wil Happer, a physicist of the Princetonian persuasion.
Again, to be honest, Eli knows somethings about the good Professor Happer, but that is almost entirely tangential to the tale of caution he will spin. The question that soon arose in the mind of the Bunny was more, why is Lucas Bergkamp so adamant in defending Professor Happer's reputation and specifically why is Lucas Bergkamp so insistent on insisting that Professor Happer is such an independent guy in his denial of the threat posed by climate change.@theresphysics That is a good sign, DJT listens to all sides of the debate. Dr. Happer is an expert and he has no conflict of interest.— Dr. Lucas Bergkamp (@lbergkamp) January 13, 2017
As with all such thing, a good start is to figure out who Lucas Bergkamp is, and that isn't too hard by simply following his twitter ID to his place of employment. Dr. Bergkamp is a partner at Hunton and Williams, a law firm that made its bones defending tobacco interests such as Philip Morris. But what does that have to do with Wil Happer.@theresphysics Yes, because he is a retired physicist, does not represent any special interests, and is free to speak his mind.— Dr. Lucas Bergkamp (@lbergkamp) January 13, 2017
Wil Happer, it turns out (among other things) was a paid, expert witness for Peabody Coal in their losing action against the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission setting a social cost of carbon levy on power generated using coal. Peabody lost, and Happer's testimony was, let Eli be nice and say destroyed, by John Abraham amongst others as the administrative law judge sided against Peabody in no uncertain terms.
In the nature of the thing, such rulings can be appealed and certainly the record from the hearing is available to other cases, so the reputation of Prof. Happer as an independent soul is of some value to any appeal against the ruling.
Dig a bit further and it turns out that Peabody Coal has been represented by Hunton and Williams, the firm of which Dr. Bergkamp is partner. Eli can leave it there although others may wish to dig deeper, but it is clear that Dr. Bergkamp indeed has a horse in this twitter exchange.