the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Pajama’s Media Reports Bomb Threat to Skeptic Economist

Posted by Jeff Id on June 24, 2010

I reported this post below.  Nick has found more reporting on the topic, I still am not confident we know the truth but am leaning towards this version.

Jeff, as I say it isn’t my version – it’s now Calzado’s version.

One wrinkle – it seems the package mishap happened with the courier company.

And the Libertad source, at least, managed an apology:
“LD pide disculpas a ThermoTechnic y a Pedro Gil por el error, y espera que no tenga ninguna consecuencia para su empresa.”

But your post stands?

Christopher Horner of Pajama’s media reports today that an economist who reported on the true effects of converting to a green economy in Spain.

Spain’s Dr. Gabriel Calzada — the author of a damning study concluding that Spain’s “green jobs” energy program has been a catastrophic economic failure — was mailed a dismantled bomb on Tuesday by solar energy company Thermotechnic.

Dr. Calzada received a literal bomb threat for the work.   From the executive summary at the link above:

Europe’s current policy and strategy for supporting the so-called “green jobs” or
renewable energy dates back to 1997, and has become one of the principal
justifications for U.S. “green jobs” proposals. Yet an examination of Europe’s
experience reveals these policies to be terribly economically counterproductive.
This study is important for several reasons. First is that the Spanish experience is
considered a leading example to be followed by many policy advocates and politicians.
This study marks the very first time a critical analysis of the actual performance and
impact has been made. Most important, it demonstrates that the Spanish/EU-style
“green jobs” agenda now being promoted in the U.S. in fact destroys jobs,
detailing this
in terms of jobs destroyed per job created and the net destruction per installed MW.

The study’s results demonstrate how such “green jobs” policy clearly hinders Spain’s
way out of the current economic crisis, even while U.S. politicians insist that rushing
into such a scheme will ease their own emergence from the turmoil.

It’s an obvious truth but the left has taken two actions against the doctor since reporting on their disastrous poster child.

A minister from Spain’s Socialist government called the rector of King Juan Carlos University — Dr. Calzada’s employer — seeking Calzada’s ouster. Calzada was not fired, but he was stripped of half of his classes at the university. The school then dropped its accreditation of a summer university program with which Calzada’s think tank — Instituto Juan de Mariana — was associated.

This is the face of leftist politics across the world, they claim it’s for the little people, they claim it is for freedom, we should not be fooled, leftism is always, every single time,  exactly the opposite.  Here is a man persecuted for his views by an all powerful entity seeking retribution for his correct identification of  problems in their blatantly stupid policy.  Where is the justice in that.

Now some terrorist sent a bomb threat in an attempt to shut the professor up.  I wonder why terrorists would want us to loose jobs?   What is their stake in it?  As an act of resistance to the activities of the union of Spanish Socialists and the terrorist companies, we should all read the link to the report above.

Read the whole article here at Pajamas Media.

34 Responses to “Pajama’s Media Reports Bomb Threat to Skeptic Economist”

  1. “Now some terrorist sent a bomb threat in an attempt to shut the professor up.”
    Nonsense. The report is here. A major firm, Termotechnic, sent him a package with their name on it. It contained a fuel filter. They say it was an error – they did have a package they wanted to send, and there was a mixyp – he got someone else’s package.

    There seems to have been no involvement by police.

  2. Jeff Id said

    #1 ya gotta be kidding– this article is about a fuel filter??

  3. Jeff Id said

    Here’s a translation of Nic’s link

    Spanish to English translation
    Show romanization

    The company says solar has never wanted to threaten Calzada
    Thermotechnic, the solar company under whose forwards received a highly suspicious package Gabriel Calzada, completely denies any connection with this shipment. Pedro Gil, the owner, blames the error message and says he feels bad time that has passed Calzada.

    * Calzada receive a suspicious package

    Comment Send Print Correct
    Digital Freedom has been able to talk to Pedro Gil, president of Termotechnic, who has denied any connection with the shipment received by Gabriel Calzada, President of the Instituto Juan de Mariana. In his own words, “it had to be a mistake.”

    The employer Navarre has ensured that the only thing that had been sent to Calzada was a report on renewable energy. The problem is that what was the writer of Liberty Digital was a package of spare parts without any explanatory note. When she called the company and ask what had happened he replied that it was “a response to its report on renewables.”

    At that time, Calzada played the event as a threat, something that Gil dispute. Thus, there are two versions for what happened: either there was a simple mistake by the courier company or a change made by someone who wanted to spend a dirty trick on Calzada at the expense of this company.

    In this sense, the president of the Instituto Juan de Mariana has confirmed he has spoken to Pedro Gil and it has given his word that there is no liability on the part of the company. Gil Calzada has been forwarded to concerned about the inconvenience we may have caused, since he understands the uncertainty that the receiver of the shipment when he saw what was its content.

    Gil has repeatedly told ABC News it was “a businessman honored for 59 years” and would never do something like that. It has also asked to make clear that there is no relation between Calzada and received what he wanted to send.

    It’s pretty strange to have such a strong accusation against a company with so little information in reply about what was received. By this, it wasn’t just a fuel filter.

    Nick, please send a better link for the fuel filter comment…

  4. Jeff Id said

    After #1, I really believed that this article was a mistake, after this link I’m unsure again.

  5. Jeff, that came from here:
    “De la caja salieron un filtro de gasoil y una pieza con rosca que podía adaptarse al filtro.”

  6. Robert E. Phelan said

    Nick, try reporting the whole thing, not just the part that makes your position look good. The sub-heading of the article reads:

    “Gabriel Calzada, colaborador habitual de EXPANSIÓN, recibió una bomba simulada…”

    I read that as “Gabriel Calzada, a frequent contributor to EXPANSION, recieved a simulated bomb…” the article also notes that Dr. Calzada had called the company to inquire what the package was and was given the reply

    “es nuestra respuesta a los artículos sobre energía de Sr. Calzada en Expansión”. “Our response to those articles about energy by Mr. Calzada in Expansion.”

    It would seem that someone wants to give the impression that the contents of the package might be threatening. The article does not seem to indicate whether Thermotechnic has anything to do with fuel filters or not. I think more due diligence is needed before any conclusion can be reasonably drawn… starting with someone who can really read Spanish….

  7. Robert, the statement I’m responding to was
    “Now some terrorist sent a bomb threat in an attempt to shut the professor up.”
    Do you still think that statement can be justified? Is there evidence of terrorism? Where are the police?

    You’re now quibbling about the provenance of an ordinary commercial delivery from a business firm with its name on the package. Is this how bombs are sent?

  8. timetochooseagain said

    All I know is that this sort of thing is in the category of things I wouldn’t put past left wing extremists. So I won’t dismiss this story so readily as some might…

  9. Jeff Id said

    It is an extremist sounding act, I’m interested in the truth now and find it unlikely that an individual would claim a true threat without evidence, especially in Europe. Can you imagine the consequences of an individual falsely claiming that of a corporation.

    Now my guess is that there is more to this story.

  10. Robert E. Phelan said

    Nick, a lot of people seem to be jumping on this story and are eager to defend it, debunk it and speculate. Without a picture, I have no idea how threatening this particular filter looks… but here’s a little thought experiment: take a fuel filter, attach a wire to it, put it in a box with your name and return address legibly written on the outside. Heck, you can even write “Contents: fuel filter with wire adapter” on the outside of the box. Mail it to your local FBI field office. I’m sure they’ll see the humor in it.

  11. “Can you imagine the consequences of an individual falsely claiming that of a corporation. “
    There doesn’t seem to be much issue about the facts, except in Horner-world. Thermotechnics thought they were sending a package of documents or some such – Dr Calzada says he received a fuel filter. That’s probably all true.

    It’s only the interpretation of this as a bomb threat that is at issue. But paranoia is legal.

  12. j ferguson said

    Paranoia may be legal but it ought to be private, don’t you think?

  13. JAE said

    Hmmm. Nick’s on duty today 🙂

  14. Kan said

    To put this into perspective, we are talking Spain here. Spain knows a thing or two about terrorist tactics and bombs. The Basque have been trying to blow the place to bits for years.

    So yes Nick, in Spain you are paranoid.

  15. Robert E. Phelan said

    Nick, I’m sorry, but there does seem to be issue with the facts. My Spanish is… well, los ciento, yo no hablar…. but Thermotech is a solar company… their web site has no discussion about fuel filters. My reading, so far, is that Thermotech would have no reason to send anyone a fuel filter. More investigation may reveal otherwise. My next question, was the damn thing received in pieces, as Chris Horner claims, or was it in one piece with the adapter wire sticking out? I still find it difficult to think that a major company would try something so crude…. but activists of either stripe might. I’d love to see a photo of the just-opened package… this whole thing needs more due diligence than Chris Horner have it.

  16. kim said

    There is more money spinning this story one way than there is the other. We need some sort of Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle analogue about public disputes; the effect of the warring process makes it impossible to discern the truth.

    I’d say the whole truth and nothing but the truth is not out there yet. What are the chances it will ever be out there? There’s plenty of plausible deniability in this affair, and how better to make a threat than in a scenario with plenty of plausible deniability? The message is still received by the intended recipient and neglected by the mob.

    I’m made more cynical today by the threats made to the Judge who stopped the moratorium on deep water drilling. Big toes are being stepped on if those rigs don’t get to Brazil and Africa. Billion dollar Petrobras toes.

  17. Robert,
    No, Horner did not say Calzada received a fuel filter in pieces. He said he received a dismantled bomb. Is that what you believe? I can’t see any basis for that in the Spanish reports.

    Maybe there are possible queries about how a fuel filter could have been sent. My first concern was the level of non-factuality in the original post. Dismantled bomb. Terrorists. That’s all still there.

    Thermotechnic is not just solar. They do electric heating and air conditioning. They may well maintain earlier ranges of products.

    It’s now 24 hours since the small business paper Expansion (circ 50,000) for which Calzada writes, told this story about the fuel filter on their opinion page. A little later, the on-line Libertad Digital reported. These are not major media, and since then no other media have taken up the story.

  18. Andrew said

    11-“Thermotechnics thought they were sending a package of documents or some such”

    They say that’s what they thought they sent. That doesn’t require that they really thought that is what they sent.

    Why uncritically accept what they say? Why dismiss the possibility that they are not telling the truth about what they thought they sent? Is it impossible? Under the circumstances, wouldn’t it make sense for them to claim that is not what they intended?

    This is not about paranoia, they may be telling the truth. Equally, they might not be telling the truth. But you simply took them to be telling the truth, the sort of benefit of the doubt you are not extending to anyone else.

  19. Gary said

    This report smelled a little fishy even if there recently has been a ramping up of the aggressive attitude against climate contrarians. Jeff’s point about suppression from the left is valid, however. Academic freedom tends to be denied to those who don’t lean leftward. We don’t hear about it much because the media collude in keeping it from public vies.

  20. David S said

    How confusing. Why would Thermotechnic, a company whose raison d’etre is to replace oil as a source of energy, even have a fuel filter, let alone send one unsolicited to a professor who is critical of their business model? There are plenty of engineers reading Jeff’s site, surely someone can explain how a solar power and electric HVAC company would be sending out a fuel filter thinking it was some corporate information. The only thing that sounds weirder than the original story is Nick’s explanation.

  21. David S said

    It’s odd that Sr Gil accepts that they sent the package. I would have been inclined to think that some mischief-maker had sent something purporting to be a threat and hidden behind Thermotechnic, but if they admit having sent it, maybe it is somebody a bit daft in their post room. Quite similar to some of the stunts the animal rights activists were playing in the UK a few years ago, with Greenpeace “we know who you are” as the cultural link.

  22. Kenneth Fritsch said

    There are all kinds of alternative explanations for what happened here. The company of origin was not sending a threat, but a misguided employee might have sent a rather muddled one. That would not indict the company – or even indicate a “left wing” threat. Or it could have been a rather unlikely screw up in sending the package.

    But either way the important part of the message is being lost with this attention. I would think the points of interest for this thread would be the contents of the professors appraisal of green energy expenditures in Spain and its effects on the economy. And secondarily was the professor’s job affected and altered by his issuing the report. These are issues where facts should be readily available.
    Program spending by governments or government subsidies that encourage others spending often are accepted by the policy makers and the voting public by way of the broken window fallacy. The baker who has a broken window spends money for the window repair that is in turn spent by the repairer for other items to other people which makes the broken window appear to be a god send for economic activity – unless, of course, one looks at what was not spent (and its chain of economic effects) because the baker had to get his window repaired.

    I have heard that Obama always extolled the Spanish experience with green investments until that government decided to drastically back off those programs due to their recent financial troubles. That might be a rather good indicator of the fate of that green initiative.

  23. C Monster said

    No, No, Jeff. The Left isn’t violent…*cough*…@!&#Job…*cough*

    I thought it was cool that the guy had sense enough to have a reporter on hand when they opened the package.

    Totalitarian scum…just like we have here:

  24. kim said

    A Tragedy of Errors.

  25. Re: David S (Jun 25 12:14),
    “The only thing that sounds weirder than the original story is Nick’s explanation.”
    If you don’t like my version, you can now hear it from Dr Calzada himself.
    But of course, the nonsense about dismantled bombs and terrorists remains on this post, and will no doubt be retold for a long time to come. Truly it seems sceptics will believe anything.

  26. Jeff Id said


    You version is too clean for my liking. Imagine you received something that was obviously not a bomb, or bomb components, just what would pressure you to say it was. I mean, either the good doc, who wrote a very reaosnable paper, is absolutely off his rocker, or he did receive something uncouth or someone impersonating the company sent the stuff.

    However, you may be right and the doc might be intentionally exaggerating a mysterious package from a company with green connections. Why did the doc receive anything from the company he just bashed with his report?

    Too many questions but I’m willing to admit that you might be right that nothing really happened.

  27. Re: Jeff Id (Jun 25 21:20),
    Jeff, as I say it isn’t my version – it’s now Calzado’s version.

    One wrinkle – it seems the package mishap happened with the courier company.

    And the Libertad source, at least, managed an apology:
    “LD pide disculpas a ThermoTechnic y a Pedro Gil por el error, y espera que no tenga ninguna consecuencia para su empresa.”

    But your post stands?

  28. timetochooseagain said

    25-“Truly it seems sceptics will believe anything.”

    Aren’t you a charmer. Try and resist the snark, won’t you?

  29. Jeff Id said

    Ah Nick, I have no attachments to false stories or false science. I trusted PJ but will be more careful in the future.

    Welcome to the Air Vent.

    BTW, if someone sends me a pile of parts, the question of whether they could be a bomb or not would be astoundingly obvious. I still maintain that someone played games. At this point, it appears to be the good doctor.

  30. Re: Jeff Id (Jun 25 23:22),
    I think you’ve covered it well there. I actually don’t think Dr C was playing games – his explanation sounds honest. It seems the key was when he rang the receptionist to ask what his parcel was and she said “It’s our response to your report”. She of course thought he’d received the documents they had intended to send – he had actually received something else and thought she was making a threat. Common sense should have resolved that, but that’s life.

  31. kim said

    Charlie Martin of PJ media is at the Blackboard explaining this to lucia. It does seem to be a ‘Tragedy of Errors’.

    Lost in the noise is that Calzada has received plenty of legitimate threats.

  32. stan said

    Over at Lucia’s the nutcases seem to think that it makes a huge difference to Chris Horner’s credibility whether is was a dismantled bomb or a mockup of a bomb. Doesn’t matter, the threat would be the same if it was a piece of paper with “boom” written on it.

    The bottom line is that an economist did a study whose results were exactly what anyone with an ounce of brains and a minimal understanding of economics would expect. See cash for clunkers or the govt’s home purchase tax credit for similar examples. See Obama’s stimulus for the same story written across the faces of millions of unemployed Americans.

    What happened to the economist who demonstrated this unremarkable truth, however unpalatable that truth is to the wackos on the left? They had a temper tantrum. Also unremarkable. They went overboard to trash him and hurt him. Did someone send him a bomb threat? Don’t know and doesn’t really matter because we already know that too many other lefties have already tried to threaten him with serious harm.

  33. WillR said

    The misunderstanding was caused because Calzada was speaking of some parts from a dismantled car engine and the telephone receptionist from ThermoTechnic was thinking about a simple study about renewables.

    Forgive the loose translation and any tense changes…

    El malentendido se produjo porque Calzada hablaba de unas piezas del motor de un coche desmontadas y la telefonista de ThermoTechnic pensaba en un simple estudio sobre renovables.

    Pretty funny if true…

    However, I have always found that there is a facility for “accommodation” in many cultures that does not seem to be present in English speaking cultures. So all I can say is — that’s the current story.

    It caught me too!

  34. Brian H said

    Like waking up with a picture of a horse’s head on the pillow beside you …

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