Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Real Climate McCarthy

A while ago, a pole of the Pielkesphere tried to defend peerless leader by attacking Joe Romm as the Climate McCarthy. Marky Mouse recently called our attention to the real Climate McCarthy and Eli thought you might enjoy this example of Climate McCarthyism

“February 03, 2010

Allison C. LernerInspector General
National Science Foundation
Office of Inspector General
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230

Dear Ms. Lerner:

This is a follow-up to my letter of December 2, 2009 and concerns today’s announcement by Penn State University that it has concluded its initial inquiry into possible research misconduct by one of the University’s researchers, Dr. Michael Mann. Penn State’s internal inquiry found further investigation is warranted to determine if Dr. Mann “engaged in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research or other scholarly activities.”

While I firmly agree that Penn State’s investigation is warranted and must commence without delay, there are federal laws and policies implicated in this matter, including your “Research Misconduct” regulations, Title 45 CFR Part 689, that go beyond the scope of Penn State’s inquiry. Therefore, in order to have a full and complete accounting of this matter, I request that you now begin a formal investigation of the allegations against Dr. Mann.

Among other laws and regulations, I ask that you investigate compliance with, or violations of, OMB administrative procedures, 2 CFR Part 215 (OMB Circular A-110), in particular 2 CFR §215.36; Freedom of Information Act 5 U.S.C. §552 (NSF Regulation, 45 CFR Part 612); NSF guidelines implementing OMB information quality guidelines (515 Guidelines); Federal False Claims Act, 18 U.S.C. §287, and 31 U.S.C. §§3729-33; and Federal False Statements Act, 18 U.S.C §1001. Finally, given that Dr. Mann was at the University of Virginia from 1999 until 2005, I also request that you inquire whether his activities at the University of Virginia are implicated in this matter and within your jurisdiction.


James M. Inhofe
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works”

If you still don't get it, take a look at what Hank Roberts wrote to our friends


Are _any_ of Nordhaus, Shellenberger, Kloor, or Yulsman actually old enough to remember the McCarthy era from personal experience?

I find it hard to believe any of you could recall life in those times, and think some guy on a blog is remotely comparable.

You’re looking at the television or the words — not the reality of the power McCarthy had.

You can’t be old enough to remember the reality, and think these are comparable situations.

I was five years old, a college faculty brat, sitting in front of a tiny little 12″ black and white television, having heard since I started to understand how hard it was for teachers simply to try to teach. My parents and their peers had fought a war, and come back, and started to live — and were afraid, though they didn’t want to show it. McCarthy was powerful and had done great damage.

I remember this — when it was first broadcast — and I remember the beginning of hope that it gave after people realized it had happened.

“Card carrying Communist” witch hunts? People losing their jobs on suspicion and anonymous accusation? The blacklists? The utter fear among academics of teaching something that would get them denounced?

You’re way off base.

Romm’s maybe a Jerry Rubin or an Abbie Hoffman — he’s theatrical, he’s dramatic, I can’t read him very long, any more than I can read a lot of public bloggers who are so heartfelt they have trouble keeping their heads screwed on straight — though he’s far better than most. Sometimes he’s a flamer, sometimes he’s a clown, often he’s an attention-getter, and, always, he’s got to be more careful of his facts and cite his claims better– like any public speaker on anything important.

And we’re in the midst of a great extinction, and he knows it.

And you guys don’t, apparently, or you’d care more and show more knowledge and you’d be scared to death and trying to spend your lives on this problem, and you might even get a little erratic yourself instead of arch and polished.

But, man, I remember Joe McCarthy
Joe Romm is no Joe McCarthy.
Not even close, not even comparable.

You look at that video, and look at the videos of some of the really slick, sophisticated, anti-environmental spokespeople. You’ll see a similarity, for sure.

Joe Romm’s not one of those. He’s maybe _trying_ to be that smooth and orgnaized, but he’s just never got the self control to be the kind of sleaze that McCarthy was, and he’s never had anything remotely like the power McCarthy had.

Get real, kids. You’re not repeating history here.

This was the original figure. Hank Roberts suggested the substitute, but we need to keep this in place to explain some of the comments.


Former Skeptic said...

So, who's Boris, Natasha, and Fearless Leader in this slapstick show then?

EliRabett said...

Shall we have a contest?

carrot eater said...

See, Hank is perfectly capable of writing a nice guest post over at WMC's. He just doesn't know it.

David B. Benson said...

Hank Roberts --- Well done.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comparison Proff Rabett. But remember McC was a vindictive so and so.

Take Care

Little Mouse.

EliRabett said...

At some point there will be a drive by as Michael Tobis encountered

Anonymous said...

SnowBunny says...

Your link:
this example of Climate McCarthyism

isn't working.

Hank Roberts said...

I'll add that, since I first wrote that post Eli quoted, I've come to like Joe Romm's postings more -- probably because I have a better understanding of what he's doing. He understood long before I got a clue that the people who don't care about the science, and don't listen to the science, can still be convinced that there's something important going on -- by heartfelt argumentative rhetoric.

It gets their attention, and signifies sincerity--as they understand it, at least--for those honestly unaware of how science works who are still open to ideas.

Now I've gone and lost the link to some of the recent academic work on what's convincing--that's what I'm talking about, it's been in the news in the last few months:

There's good science showing that explaining good science to most people doesn't sway them, while good rhetoric does get them to pay attention.

Hank Roberts said...

PS: I was born not long before this Herblock cartoon was published. I suggest it as an alternate image for this thread:

(hat tip to: )

Remember, kids, this stuff doesn't end. McCarthy still has his fans and supporters today; here's one for example:

Anonymous said...

MarkyMouse says: McCarthy was an anti-Communist hero. Only Commies didn't like him.

Climate Fraud show trials are what we need.

Hank Roberts said...

Once you start lifting rocks .... everyone know about 'Newsbusters' -- one of the bigtime climate denial sites?

Yep, they're still Joe McCarthy fans:

Gail Zawacki said...

Hank Roberts, I was glad to see your comment, I thought you were a little harsh on Joe!

I don't know whether he convinces any deniers, but when I was a clueless novice I learned more from his blog than everywhere else put together - his posts, links, and ever-informative commenters.

Hank Roberts said...

Gail, you're right. I said in the comments here:

"I've come to like Joe Romm's postings more -- probably because I have a better understanding of what he's doing."

Hank Roberts said...

Eli quoted my original post, made here:

over at theri blog, this one:

where I also posted this: ______________________
Let's see -- powerful elected Congressman, using committee chairmanship and subpoena power to intimidate enemies. Who does that sound like? Ah, yes. Inhofe. Looking forward to your denunciation of him; he's been the #1 user of McCarthy's tactics, which you deplore. Don't mistake public speech -- even, maybe especially, public speech that you dislike and disagree with -- for misuse of government power. First Amendment. How does it apply here? Posted by: Hank Roberts at November 11, 2009 9:03 AM

I was wondering if we'd hear any defense of Joe Romm's right to say what he thinks -- he's not a Senator, he doesn't have the powers McCarthy used to send people to jail.

I'd also posted there a significant excerpt from a writer about being hauled into the McCarthy hearings --that got cut, though they left the link. People should read the history and understand what McCarthy really did.

Anonymous said...

For once, I agree with Eli. Joe Romm is many things but a "McCarthy" would definitely be using "guilt by association" and I am not aware of Romm doing anything of the sort.