the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

My warning about Gleick to the NCSE

Posted by Jeff Id on February 23, 2012

I have been debating whether to post this email exchange with the NCSE.   In light of the recent Gleick burnout, it seems worthwhile.  Readers will recall that I posted on Gleick’s attack on conservative political candidates on behalf of his tax-free 501c3 company. Advertising for or against any political party is illegal activity for a tax-free company in the US (although it is a far too often broken rule). Rarely though, has the attempt reached the magnitudes of Gleik’s letters. Considering that most of his company money comes from taxes taken from business owners, the political aspect of his organization is hard to swallow. I hope to turn him in for tax law violation as soon as he files in 2011.

The NCSE (National Center for Science Education) had focused in the past on evolution science. Something which I think most of us agree. I don’t want to get into “belief” here as this is a settled item in my mind and the focus of different blogs. Still, there are corollaries between evolution and climate science. Both are highly politicized due to individual ‘belief’ rather than science. My point on the matter is that NCSE was on the apolitical side of evolution. Still, they attracted leftist leaders based on the atheist appeal of the science. These leaders failed to recognize that climate science has the same problems as evolution – except in the opposite direction.

Now you may disagree about evolution but this thread isn’t about my opinions on religion. It is about a warning I gave to the NCSE on the extremism of Peter Gleick — well before his recent flame out.

Robert Luhn xxx@ncse.com

Jan 16

to me
Jeff:

Some hot news going over the wire today. Note that Peter Gleick and Mark McCaffrey are both involved in our new initiative:

It’s official: NCSE is now stepping into the climate change arena. We’re expanding our mission and we’re expanding our web site.

What follows is our official release, links to our new mission statement, a video introducing NCSE and our new initiative, links to an exclusive excerpt from “Merchants of Doubt”, and more.

Stay tuned: more announcements coming this week!

Qs? Want to interview executive director Genie Scott or our new climate change policy director? Let me know!

Y

I was surprised at the contact.

NCSE TACKLES CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL

A new initiative in the struggle for quality science education

OAKLAND, CA January 16, 2012

Science education is under attack–again.

This time it’s under attack by climate change deniers, who ignore a mountain of evidence gathered over the last fifty years that the planet is warming and that humans are largely responsible. These deniers attempt to sabotage science education with fringe ideas, pseudoscience, and outright lies.

But the National Center for Science Education won’t let ‘em get away with it.

“We consider climate change a critical issue in our own mission to protect the integrity of science education,” says Dr. Eugenie C. Scott, NCSE’s executive director. Long a leader in the fight to defend the teaching of evolution in public schools, NCSE now sees creationist-like tactics being used in the attack on climate education.

“Climate affects everyone, and the decisions we make today will affect generations to come,” says Scott. “We need to teach kids now about the realities of global warming and climate change, so that they’re prepared to make informed, intelligent decisions in the future.”

In this expansion of its core mission, NCSE will help parents, teachers, policymakers, the media, and others to distinguish the real science from the junk science that deniers are trying to push into the science classroom.

[redacted]

The scientific community is applauding NCSE’s new initiative. Said Alan I. Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS):

[redacted]

Added Scott Mandia, the meteorologist who cofounded the Climate Science Rapid Response Team:

“The cavalry has arrived. NCSE, with its passion and experience defending science in our schools, will ensure that teachers can educate students about climate change without fear of reprisal.”

Tackling climate change denial head on

In its initiative to defend climate change education, NCSE will:

* Help parents, teachers, and others fight the introduction of climate change/global warming denial and pseudoscience in the classroom.

* Act as a resource center to connect teachers, scientists, and policymakers with the best information available.

* Provide tools and support to ensure that climate change is properly and effectively taught in public schools.

* Aid those testifying before local and state boards of education, and before local, state, and federal legislative committees.

* Connect local activists with one another, and with scientists and other relevant experts.

New program, new faces

As part of this new initiative, the NCSE has added two key members to its team:

* Dr. Peter Gleick, president and co-founder of The Pacific Institute, joins NCSE’s board of directors. Gleick is a noted hydroclimatologist, an internationally recognized water expert, and a MacArthur Fellow. Gleick’s research and writing address the critical connections between water and human health, the hydrologic impacts of climate change, sustainable water use, privatization and globalization, and international conflicts over water resources.

* Mark McCaffrey, a long-time climate literacy expert, joins NCSE as climate change programs and policy director. Previously at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), McCaffrey helped spearhead a number of climate and energy literacy programs, and the creation of the Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN), and testified before Congress about climate and environmental education.


Robert Luhn
Director of Communications
National Center for Science Education, Inc.

My reply was a little less positive:

Robert,

I am curious that you contacted me for this. I’m a strong believer in
evolution and believe that if there is a god, it was his way. It is
a real and proven science. Global warming is also a real and proven
effect, yet nobody has made a convincing argument for the amount of
warming we’ve measured that is related to human activity or that it is
dangerous. All arguments against that statement are amazingly weak
from a scientific standpoint. Allowing teachers to repeat the
mainstream nonsense about global doom is not a good idea for our
children.

I wonder why your organization would take the dubious step away from
evolution which is known to be politicized by the religious groups and
relatively apolitical from the science side to a political campaign
like AGW science. Is it about money? AGW currently promotes highly
politicized public-polarizing and flat extremist left wing policy.
The data in climate science is improperly used so often that it can
only be described in the worst of terms, yet nobody in the IPCC can
seem to detect it under their government checks. I am published in
climate science. I believe your group has made a huge mistake which
will backfire in time.
Now instead of winning the minds of the
uneducated about evolution, you will have painted yourselves into an
unattractive political corner with extremist left wing environmental
groups on the decline.

Also, incorporating politically extreme personalities in the board
like Gleick is a very bad decision which will take a group with a
proper message about evolution and make it into the politically
unattractive nightmare Greenpeace has become. I fear that there is
little balance left in the leadership group if they cannot see the
insanity of his publicly stated anti-industrial political positions.

Evolution is a strong science with traceable evidence from many paths.
AGW is a weak science based on a kernel of truth that is highly
politicized.

Still, I am curious as to what you think my review of this situation
would help. Negative press is still press but it would be decidedly
negative.

Regards,
Jeff

The reply took a bit of time but here is the main letter:

Jeff:

Thanks for the note. Nope, we’re not getting into climate change for the money! I wish.

Nope…it boils down to a couple of things:

–Climate change is happening, human activities are a big part of the problem, and the evidence from all corners is pretty darn convincing. Convincing enough for the likes of Dr. Richard Muller to come around on the topic. And he’s a longtime global warming skeptic. (see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204422404576594872796327348.html)

–We’re seeing the same kind of science denial with climate change as we’ve seen with evolution. In fact, several bills proposed last year linked the two, arguing as usual, for schools to teach the “other side” of evolution and over climate change.

–Yes, politics is driving much of the debate. But NCSE’s goal has always been to depoliticize science…and to teach science, and only science, in the classroom. And the “state of the art”, consensus science at that. That’s why we oppose teaching belief systems in schools (like ID) and why we oppose teaching bad science (namely, the “alternatives” to explaining climate change.)

But the heck with me. Here’s what Genie Scott says:

NCSE has always encouraged the teaching of the scientific consensus at the K-12 level. For one thing, students at the pre-college-level receive instruction in basic or foundational scientific principles, for the most part, rarely if ever venturing into cutting-edge topics. Furthermore, classroom teachers are not researchers, and should not be expected to choose between competing views of issues that are in contention within the scientific community. We probably agree that teachers should take their lead from the scientific community.

That said, my understanding of survey research data that has been done on both climate scientists as well as scientists in general indicates that there is, in fact, a considerable consensus among our peers that the planet is getting warmer. There is also almost an equally-strong consensus that human activities have contributed to this warming.

NCSE supports teachers teaching the scientific consensus. If this consensus changes, we will certainly encourage teachers to change their content. For now, however, we will follow the lead of state science education standards as well as the national science education standards (to be based upon guidelines drafted by a committee appointed by the National Academy of Sciences) and support the teaching of human-influenced climate change.

We have found that a great deal of controversy over global warming and other climate change topics focuses more on the consequences of climate change rather than the reliability of the science behind that conclusion. It is true that there are many decisions that need to be made by the public and elected leaders about what, if anything, should be done about climate changes. Because NCSE is not a policy Institute, we will not take positions on such issues. For example, we would not express an opinion about the superiority of either a carbon tax or cap and trade — but we would encourage students or any other citizen to base any such decision on sound science.

Yrs.,

Robert Luhn
NCSE

My reply:

Jeff Id

Jan 24

to Robert
I don’t know if you are aware, but the “consensus” is an exaggerated
government program. As I said, you are making a huge mistake and
hiring extremists to the board really turns me off to your group in
general.

There are true questions that the consensus ignores because it would
undermine their position. In order to support their message, your
‘scientists’ also ignore these questions.

“We have found that a great deal of controversy over global warming
and other climate change topics focuses more on the consequences of
climate change rather than the reliability of the science behind that
conclusion. “

Incorrect and it smacks of the standard propaganda meme published by
the “consensus”. Do you get your info from Real Climate? That would
also be a mistake.

The questions of every technical skeptic I’ve discussed this with
revolve around the magnitude of the effect first, again not whether it
exists. Then it becomes the certainty to which we know that magnitude
and finally we move to the consequences which in the literature
typically range from reasonably possible to utterly fake.

“Because NCSE is not a policy Institute, we will not take positions on
such issues. “

All of the policies being proposed are in a single anti-industry
(which is anti-science IMO) direction. They are in response to the
exaggerated and all too often fake damage predictions. To pretend you
are not taking a policy position while promoting left wing polluted
science is not going to be an easy sell.

You have taken a scientifically clear issue like evolution, which is
polluted for religious purpose by some in the public, and added to it
climate change which is more accurately represented by the scientific
public and is in fact politically polluted by those working in the
science. It takes all credibility away from your evolution arguments.

Don’t take it from me though, the scientists will tell you themselves.

A small quote from Dr. Roy Spencer:

“Unfortunately, there is no way to “fix” the IPCC, and there never
was. The reason is that its formation over 20 years ago was to support
political and energy policy goals, not to search for scientific truth.
I know this not only because one of the first IPCC directors told me
so, but also because it is the way the IPCC leadership behaves. If you
disagree with their interpretation of climate change, you are left out
of the IPCC process. They ignore or fight against any evidence which
does not support their policy-driven mission, even to the point of
pressuring scientific journals not to publish papers which might hurt
the IPCC’s efforts.”

It is unfortunate that you intend to push this insanity on our
children. The consensus is a politically forced condition. Stating
that you will change when the consensus changes, is a willfully blind
approach to life.

Of course there is money for you in it.

Robert Luhn xxxx@ncse.com

Jan 24

to me
Dear Jeff:

I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. But as for “making money” off this? Wow, tell me how! We’re a nonprofit (emphasis on the “non”) and we can always use a few $$.

Greenpeace is a multi-hundred million dollar non-profit, anyone think nobody is making money? Guh?

Well, I sent him another letter telling him their new position wasn’t going to work out. Sure enough, Gleick flamed out within another month.

I sent him this on the 20th.

Robert,

I’m sorry to say this but I did warn you about Gleick.

didn’t take long.

As I said, you should listen to me. Lets see how long it takes your
group to learn about climate change ‘science’.

hehe


51 Responses to “My warning about Gleick to the NCSE”

  1. Charlie A said

    Hilarious exchange of emails. But also very sad.

    I doubt that Robert Luhn, even today, understands what you were telling him.

  2. Charlie A said

    Peter Gleick still has support from some within NCSE. For example Joshua Rosenau, Programs and Policy Director, NCSE

    Joshua maintains that “Gleick’s lifetime of scientific accomplishments and experience …… led to his being considered as an addition to NCSE’s board, and he withdrew from consideration immediately after he posted his confession on Huffington Post. Even though there was never any formal tie between Gleick and NCSE, …….. ”

    My attempt to point out on his blog that NCSE had gone well beyond “consideration” of him failed to pass his moderation hold.

    I suspect that Joshua Rosenau also fails to see the differences between the evolution and climate science debates.

    Ref: http://scienceblogs.com/tfk/2012/02/the_drama_or_the_soap_opera_th.php

    p.s. Sorry if this is a bit of a highjack, but it does show another example of attitudes within NCSE.

  3. Hehehe.

  4. Dave N said

    Jeff:

    You redacted the first reference to Luhn’s email address but not the second. Did you intend to?

    Otherwise, thanks for the account. It has me shaking my head in disbelief that Luhn seems to think he is promoting good science, rather than politics.

  5. Jeff condon said

    I fixed the second – thanks.

  6. Dave said

    Jeff I don’t normally comment but this guy and the whole board need to get their head out of Al gores butt. This is proves that a good education doesn’t necessarily make you smarter or more inquiring, all to often it dumb’s you down to the consensus level of a twit, it’s eye opening and totally pathetic.

  7. Brian H said

    I suspect that Gleick was strongly advocating/informing the NCSE position throughout, and may well have “helped” with Luhn’s responses to you.

    As for the “non-profit” crack, quite a few of the consensus-favoring “non-profits” seem to have very fat budgets, in the hundreds of millions$.

  8. Brian H said

    subscribe

  9. John F. Hultquist said

    First, thanks for trying. Your letters are well done.
    The responses indicate the man is clueless about climate science issues. Someone has probably studied this type of person. In this case, he wants to be a good advocate and so concentrates on advocacy. This is like education majors learning how to engage students but not knowing much about the subject matter. Thus, one gets a degree in education rather than, say chemistry. He indicates acceptance of this concept with his statements about classroom teachers – “should not be expected to choose between competing views of issues . . .” and “teachers should take their lead from the scientific community.”

    He is saying our teachers do not know their subject matter and won’t be able to figure it out without his/their help. But because we’ve been studying advocacy, we can’t figure it out either. Still, trust us, we know best.

    Do you suppose he might take the time to learn a little science from this Gleick episode? Not a chance.

  10. lapogus said

    You did your best Jeff, and well done for trying (and sharing). It is a tragedy that these so called scientists can be so gullible. It is odd that the NCSE decided to add climate bollocks to its brief, just when the tide is beginning to turn, at least here in Europe. I think it is a sign of them getting increasingly desperate.

  11. Demetris said

    I think his last response proves his dishonesty. They hold paid positions, they target their non-profit’s spending to friends and family, and when you point out the money thing they get surprised.

    I don’t think you won any argument Jeff, you are just losing your time. Because it’s not the “cause” that really matters, they care about it less than you do.

  12. James P said

    “Dr. Peter Gleick .. joins NCSE’s board of directors”

    “there was never any formal tie between Gleick and NCSE”

    Which is it? They seem to have disowned him pretty quickly!

  13. steveta_uk said

    James P – it was both. They’d announced that he accepted the position, but it all exploded before he actually joined.

  14. Jit said

    NCSE should recognize that the difference between evolution and AGW is this. The evolution question is simply yea or nay, whereas the AGW question has a large grey area in the middle.

    As Jeff says, the thinking skeptic does not dispute the action of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. What is under question is the degree of effect of CO2 and its consequences. Catastrophe? Nice weather? Half a degree, almost unnoticeable? These inquiries are entirely respectable, but they are shut off from the debate by the mainstream.

    I have had debates with teenagers on this matter. They are surprised to hear that I don’t think the world is about to end because of CO2. We need to teach them as fact what is certain. We must not teach them that we understand fully the consequences of CO2, ‘cos we don’t.

    Skeptics are not helped by a shrill nugget who deny even the basic facts about CO2, and we end up with our eminently reasonable doubts being cast as pure politics, i.e., lies for our own benefit. Your NCSE should not corner all skeptics into this position (although it’s certainly easier dealing with black and white).

  15. “agree to disagree”

    What a genius this Rubert guy was, eh. He contacted you first, and he is ‘agreeing’ to disagree? I wouldn’t agree with anything, let alone agree to disagree, with folks who say things who want to teach ‘consensus science’.

  16. Greg F said

    Luhn wrote:

    Climate change is happening, human activities are a big part of the problem, and the evidence from all corners is pretty darn convincing. Convincing enough for the likes of Dr. Richard Muller to come around on the topic. And he’s a longtime global warming skeptic.

    Perhaps Luhn would like to explain this statement by Dr. muller:

    http://grist.org/politics/lets-get-physical/

    Do you consider yourself an environmentalist?

    Oh yes. [Laughs.] In fact, back in the early ’80s, I resigned from the Sierra Club over the issue of global warming. At that time, they were opposing nuclear power. What I wrote them in my letter of resignation was that, if you oppose nuclear power, the U.S. will become much more heavily dependent on fossil fuels, and that this is a pollutant to the atmosphere that is very likely to lead to global warming.

  17. steveta_uk said

    The letters we didn’t see:

    Jan 18
    Dear Dr Gleick,

    I was recently in communication with someone who I had been lead to believe was a published climate scientist regarding the new NCSE program on “Climate Change” (note, we took your advice, and no longer use the term “Global Warming”, in view of the last decade’s climate!).

    I was somewhat surprised that this scientist is apparently on the wrong side of the debate, which I had previously understood meant that he must be one of the fundamentalist creationists. However his communications with me appear to be the work of a reasoned intellect, and indeed he explicitly supports the role NCSE takes in trying to ensure education of evolution is strictly based on the science and evidence.

    He also quotes from a Dr Spencer, again a published climate scientist, who also appears to not understand that the science is settled.

    Could you enlighten me on where I’ve gone wrong?

    regards,
    Robert Luhn xxx@ncse.com

    P.S. The published climate scientist to whom I refer above is a Mr Jeff Condon.

    Jan 20 (2012)

    My Dear Robert,

    please do not concern yourself. Mr Condon is well known as a libertarian and a pseudo-scientist, and much of what he writes, on his blog, is anti-climate.

    While, strictly speaking, his claim to be a published climate scientist is justifiable, but his only publication was a comment on the brilliant work of my friend Eric Steig, which unfortunately we were unable to prevent, from being published in a (now) minor journal. And the only contribution of this paper appears to be that they objected to the color pallet used in some of Eric’s diagrams!

    Dr. Spencer is another (of that ilk) who is suspected of massaging satellite data to undermine the true dangers of climate change (nee global warming).

    There are numerous sources of such misinformation, and I work full time trying, in my role as climate ethicist, to debunk such things – for example, look at my work in Forbes.

    Indeed, you can see what I have to combat in Forbes as well, as they publish diatribes from a “James Taylor” of the Heartland institute (but don’t worry about them, I have a feeling, that they’ll soon be discredited).

    In summary, please dismiss any concerns from the like of these non-scientists. None of them are acknowledged geniuses, so you can take my word that they are deluded.

    yours in all humility

    Peter Gleick (MacArthur Fellow “Genius Award”; 2005)

  18. steveta_uk said

    Note: The above are FAKE – and intended purely for the amusement of the reader, and in no way are to be taken as representative of the views of any real person, living or dead.

  19. Brian H said

    Re: steveta_uk (Feb 24 09:27),
    Chicken!
    It would have been great fun to see the spoutings of anyone who didn’t get the spoof. You’re a spoilsport, Sport!

  20. In fact, back in the early ’80s, I resigned from the Sierra Club over the issue of global warming.

    In the early 80′s? My God that make Muller the father of global warming. Pre dating Hansen, Jones, and Schmidt.

    The original fuck head. If Doc Muller were a bass you could catch him with a pop cap tied to a string.

  21. steveta_uk said

    Brian, the FBI might’ve been a’callin to see where I got them.

  22. Gary said

    Jeff, it’s this kind of engagement that has any hope of changing some minds. Nice work, although it will be a long slog and one person at a time.

  23. Frank K. said

    Special note for Robert Luhn – Just because an organization is non-profit doesn’t mean that their personnel don’t paid!!! And paid well – including healthcare, pension, 401K.

    Just ask Peter Gleick…

  24. Brian H said

    Re: steveta_uk (Feb 24 10:24),
    And that would have given you a once-in-a-lifetime setup — to drop your trousers and moon them!
    Then, to make it clear, say, “From in there!”
    :D
    >;-)

  25. Matthew W said

    Your final email was a polite way of saying :

    “NYA NYA I told you so !!!!”

    Outstanding foresight.

  26. Chris Law said

    @18

    Of course it’s fake – I didn’t see the word “undermine” once.

  27. Susan said

    Genie Scott has a background in physical anthropology (study of human evolution), which is taught by anthropologists, not biologists.

    It might astonish you to learn that most people who earn a PhD in physical anthropology are not required to take a single class in biology (or any other science subject) and most never have.

    As a consequence, they have zero training in scientific method or scientific logic. That Scott is not be able to pick out the inconsistencies in ‘climate science’ is actually not surprising.

    I almost did what Jeff did and try to warn her. But then I heard Scott give a lecture (Nov of 2011) in which she gave Gleick credit for advising her on the ‘science,’ all with an arrogant demeaning attitude towards “deniers” and I knew there was no point. I am an evolutionary biologist and was appalled at this sneering approach to legitimate scientific inquiry.

    I too knew it would blow up in their faces but was a bit surprised it happened so fast.

    They deserved all the bad press they get over this.

  28. Frank K. said

    Oops…should have written:

    “Just because an organization is non-profit doesn’t mean that their personnel don’t get paid!!! “

  29. klem said

    Wow, what an amazing exchange of emails. I wonder how the NCSE will respond to this.

    Climate alarmism is a quasi-religion or a faith. Perhaps Gleick will be viewed as the hero zealot who intentionally fell on his own sword for the cause and they will simply carry on, stiff upper lip and all that.

  30. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Jeff, those were well-composed correspondences.

    This whole affair about Gleick has had a very positive effect on me in that it has clued me in on the science curriculum and curriculum in general for K-12 students in the US and UK.

    It appears to me that much of what I see in these curriculums is to teach the students the current party line/consensus and at the expense of teaching the students to think for themselves. I am not intending to be an alarmist about education here, but most totalitarian regimes or want-to-be totalitarian ones tend to teach along standardized lines of what is acceptable to think and what is not. Individual thinking and thinking outside the guidelines is discouraged. Let the individual students decide for themselves where they will come down on climate science – the curriculum should be aimed at presenting all the facts and evidence in a fair analysis.

    We can all see where the curriculum might agree with our reasoned views of issues like evolution but the important issue is how a subject matter is taught and whether the educational aims are standardization or teaching students to think for themselves.

    Interesting also that Gleick with his far out leftist ideas appears acceptable to the educational elite. I doubt that someone that far out to the right would be acceptable to the education community. Which leads further into the idea that while the curriculum is aimed at standardization it is not around some public consensus but rather that of the current intelligentsia.

  31. nukemhill said

    Frank K. said

    February 24, 2012 at 10:41 am
    Special note for Robert Luhn – Just because an organization is non-profit doesn’t mean that their personnel don’t [get] paid!!! And paid well – including healthcare, pension, 401K.

    Just ask Peter Gleick…

    This. Just because they’re a non-profit, doesn’t mean they don’t make a profit. That is an unfortunate misunderstanding/misinterpretation that is often used as propaganda, as in this case.

    If a business is not making money, then they won’t stay in business for long, will they?

  32. M. Simon said

    I’m pro climate. I believe it is better to have one than not.

  33. steveta_uk said

    M Simon, not one of them there “climate deniers” we been hearin’ about then? They’ll be denying weather next!

  34. John F. Hultquist said

    Maybe this needs to be said: “Climate science” is hard. I don’t know what students in K-thru-12 are learning these days but a few years ago in a 100-level physical geography class I explained some of the many strange properties of water. A beginning college student objected to the process of sublimation. It seems he did not learn about it in his HS science class so, therefore, it wasn’t real. One of the issues in beginning college level science classes is the inadequate preparation of the students. NCSE might provide a useful role by encouraging good science teaching and suggest “climate science” be considered a topic for political science, government, and logic classes. That is not to say there are not good HS teachers nor good students. There are. But many HS graduates and college students cannot explain why the seasons change.
    http://www.learner.org/resources/series28.html

  35. novick said

    DeSmogBlog has posted that they conclude the memo is authentic.

    Saw this via the ever trusting ClimateSight.

  36. M. Simon said

    DeSmogBlog has posted that they conclude the memo is authentic.

    Of course it is authentic. That is not the question. The question is who authored it?

  37. Eric Anderson said

    Interesting to read some of the comments here. I know this isn’t an evolution discussion, so I’ll honor Jeff’s wish and not go there.

    However, there is an important political element and trustworthiness element to consider. For those who are shocked and disappointed that the NCSE has stepped down from its honorable, trustworthy and solid position on promoting evolution to become mired in the dishonorable, questionable and shaky position of promoting climate change alarmism, just two thoughts:

    - This is not a change of modus operandi for the NCSE — it is their MO. Eugenie Scott’s press release comments in announcing Gleick’s resignation could have been copied almost verbatim from press releases they have put out in the past (just substitute one concept for the other). All filled with delusions about being a bastion of rational thought and beating back the deluded masses who are intent on “undermining” science, as Scott loves to say. When an organization constantly proclaims that it represents “science” and that everyone who disagress with it is “anti-science” you can be sure that something other than objective science is driving the organization.

    - Michael Crichton has a very insightful concept which he calls the “Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.” Well worth googling his quote and seriously considering how this might apply to our confidence in what the NCSE says on either topic.

    /rant

  38. Gras Albert said

    Prescient Jetf, do you do Dow forecasts too? :-)

    By the way, Luhn’s email address is the contact address on the NCSE site, there was no need to redact

  39. Nic L said

    My thanks also for trying. Your letters are well written and to the point.

  40. manicbeancounter said

    There is something else that you noticed, that many other commentators have not – namely that Dr Gleick seems to have had some sort of burn out. This was becoming evident in his increasing lack of perspective, and a long-term inability to engage with opinions other than his own. I do hope that others who are travelling the same road will learn from this. Your comment about skeptical scientists being concerned about the magnitude of the effect is something that is not seen often.

  41. Jeff Condon said

    “Your comment about skeptical scientists being concerned about the magnitude of the effect is something that is not seen often.”

    Belief in science before belief.

    Parse that, and we all agree.

    Pithy, but reality doesn’t care what we think.

  42. [...] in his Feb. 23 post, is a press release from NSCE in which one finds inter alia: The scientific community is applauding [...]

  43. d55may said

    NOW THEY ARE INVOLVED WITH OUR WATER RESOURCES, that goes the fracking for our natural gas resources.

  44. Bernie said

    Jeff:
    Yours was a noble effort.
    NSCE is trying to enter a crowded field. My wife teaches ESL to graduate students at a local university. The texts of collected readings they use are full of silly and uninformed climate change articles. She avoids such stories like the plague.
    As to your comment about the money, you bet your life it is about the money. The first thing I do when approached for a donation from a non-profit is to check the salary of the director and the transparency of their finances at Charity Navigator. I find it hard to justify giving money to organizations who claim worthwhile missions but pay 6 figure salaries.
    Those interested in the darkside of such organizations might find Dana Fisher’s largely accidentally revealing Activism Inc., interesting.

  45. kch said

    A little late on this, but if you are discussing their need to make money you might look at their form 990. They seem to have been experiencing declining revenues and running operational deficits for the last several years. In an organization that reports over spending over 80% of its revenue on employee compensation, that is a huge incentive to do whatever they can to enhance their visibility (and hopefully revenues).

    Taking on climate change? bringing Gleick on board? The search for a gravy train never ends…

  46. [...] My warning about Gleick to the NCSE (noconsensus.wordpress.com) [...]

  47. Hello there! This is my first comment here
    so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your articles.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics?
    Thanks!

  48. Have you ever considered publishing an e-book or guest
    authoring on other websites? I have a blog centered
    on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my audience would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested,
    feel free to send me an email.

  49. Good post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Cheers!

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