There is No Line

February 16th, 2006

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

In today’s New York Times Andy Revkin has a follow up story on politics and NASA media policies. The story shows that we are rapidly on our way to intellectual incoherence on this issue. Consider the following:

“The issue is where does science end and policy begin,” said David Goldston, chief of staff to Representative Sherwood Boehlert, chairman of the House Science Committee.

News flash (but not to Prometheus readers!) – There is no line that cleanly divides science from policy. The discussion of the use of the term “climate change” versus the phrase “global warming” clearly shows that there is no getting away from politics in the presentation of scientific issues. As scholars of communication tell us, politics is inherent in the act of communication.

In a more recent example of possible political pressure at the agency, press officers and scientists cited an e-mail message sent last July from NASA’s headquarters to its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. It said a Web presentation describing the uncontroversial finding that Earth was a “warming planet” could not use the phrase “global warming.” It is “standard practice,” the message went on, to use the phrase “climate change.” NASA officials said the intent was to use the most general term to describe climate fluctuations. But other public affairs workers and some scientists at the agency called it an effort to avoid mentioning that global temperatures are rising. The e-mail message was written by Erica Hupp, a civil servant at headquarters. She did not reply to several requests for comment, but several people who work with her, and others who preceded her in managing earth-science news in the office, said this was a standing unwritten order from political appointees in public affairs. “There was this general understanding that when something in this field was written about that it was to be described as climate change and not global warming,” said Elvia H. Thompson, who recently retired from the same office.

So think about this carefully. The phrase “climate change” was recommended in the Luntz memo as part of a (failed, IMO) strategy to sway public opinion against action on climate change. The phrase “global warming” is preferred by environmental advocacy groups for exactly the same reason. Which phrase do you choose? The choice cannot be determined by science alone. (Though it is worth noting that the science community does indeed prefer the term “climate change”, e.g., it is the IPCC not the IPGW.) As I’ve written here before, even the specific definition of the phrase “climate change” reflects a political position.

Other examples of the use of language as tools of political advocacy in science include the use of the words “fingerprint” (e.g., here) and “harbinger” (e.g., here) as recommended by the Union of Concerned Scientists as means of political advocacy.

Decisions about what press releases are put out and how the content in them is described are always going to be political decisions. There is no scientific basis for deciding what to release or how to frame it. When the Clinton Administration was in office things were spun one way, and when the Bush folks took over things were spun another way. In every case such spinning can be done in a way that does not involve misrepresenting scientific understandings (not that spinners always succeed in this).

There is no line. Looking for one is a wild goose chase. Policies and practices for media relations in science agencies will always be political. And politics is a function of who is in power. If you don’t like it, get involved, run for office, campaign for your favored candidate, get out the vote, participate in special interest advocacy groups, do all of these things. But don’t pretend that science can resolve political disputes. There is no line.

37 Responses to “There is No Line”

  1. Steve Bloom Says:

    Roger, sometimes more science has resulted in resolving policy disputes, as with tobacco. I think additional climate research results will be helpful in the same way. As with tobacco, we can expect those special (economic) interests to use science as a cover for delay for as long as possible, but continuing their resistance using other grounds once the cloak of science has been so stripped from them that it actually harms their credibility more when they continue trying to use it.

  2. 2
  3. Roger Pielke Jr. Says:

    Steve- I’d agree that for some people, scientific information about smoking played a role in their individual decision to stop smoking (see my exchange with Andrew Dessler on a similar point). But I’d don;t think that scientific information is in many cases the most important or even determining factor.

    For instance, giving that knowledge of the health effects of smoking is well known, how do you explain the number of smokers in the EU compared to the US, or the growing number of smokers in many countries?

  4. 3
  5. hank Says:

    Good question.,,1703906,00.html

  6. 4
  7. Dano Says:

    There are two issues here: whether rationality can overcome tobacco addiction, and whether science can aid to other ways of knowing for decision-makers.

    Whether decision-making has similar issues to tobacco addiction is debateable.

    I’m not sure, Roger, how decision-making on the scientific merits of AGW is similar to having individuals having information to help them overcome their tobacco addiction.

    I think Steve’s point is more salient: there’s gonna be some obfuscating wrt AGW, just like there was in the tobacco. Comparing decision-making to tobacco addiction doesn’t help me consider how well decision-makers consider facts.



  8. 5
  9. Steve Bloom Says:

    Roger, I was referring to government action. My impression having lived through the relevant events (the Surgeon General’s initial warning label requirement came in while I was a child of 10 in Iowa, and believe me it was years before I noticed much of an effect; much later I was privileged to be able to vote for the very first smoking ban law in the U.S., passed in Berkeley during the ’80s) is that government actions based on the science generally led the decisions by individuals to quit or reduce smoking. Bringing this back to the climate change issue, while I feel it’s important that individuals be presented with the information they need to make lifestyle choices that will reduce their GW impact, as with smoking I don’t expect that to amount to much without government action. I think this pretty well accounts for what’s happening in Europe and elsewhere.

  10. 6
  11. Roger Pielke, Jr. Says:


    Agreed, a bad anaology in general. Of course there is obfuscating going on. But from a policy perspective the response is that you can’t get rid of it (but you can have fun trying and it may be cathartic!) and it may not matter anyway for promulgation and implementation of effective policies.

    Before the replies come in — yes we should always strive for the best, most accurate knowledge possible, but we should not make the mistake of thiking that this alone will be sufficient to compel a particular course of action, or by eradicating skeptics, contrarians, obfuscators, or fill-in-your-political-enemies-views-here that this will comepl your favorite political agenda. Fighting proxy political battles through science would be just fine, except for the fact that it may get in the way of getting the best, most accurate knowledge possible;-)

  12. 7
  13. Mark Hadfield Says:

    OK, so what do we do about this?

    Let’s imagine I am a scientist working for a government organisation (actually I am, sort of, but the term “government organisation” means something different in NZ to what it does in the USA). I have a global temperature dataset and have noticed that temperatures have generally been rising over the last century and that 2005 is close to being the warmest year in the record. I think this is of interest to the public so I write a press release in which I use the term “global warming”. Should I replace that with “climate change”? (I say no.) Should a press officer replace that with “climate change”? If a press officer does replace “global warming” with “climate change”, should I complain about it to the newspapers? Should I resign?

    Let’s imagine that I am a still a scientist working in a government organisation (I didn’t resign) and I have carried out climate model runs which suggest the large warming that has occurred in winter in the high-latitude NH results as much from circulation changes as from radiative changes. I think this might be of interest to the general public, so I write a press release. I point out that although global warming is (I believe) largely driven by global changes int he radiative balance, regional changes are more complicated. Should I replace “global warming” with “climate change”? Should a press officer replace that with “climate change”? If a press officer does replace “global warming” with “climate change”, thereby rendering the press release incoherent, should I complain about it to the newspapers? Should I resign?

    I do accept your point that there is no (sharp) line. But we have to draw one anyway!

  14. 8
  15. Rabett Says:

    Strikes me the “global warming” vs “climate change” thing is the usual attempt to offer false choices. Global warming refers to a temperature change in the positive direction, it is a subset of climate change. OTOH, anthropic climate change is a lot more precise.

  16. 9
  17. Roger Pielke Jr. Says:


    Thanks for your comment, we agree it seems on the point that practical realities mean that decisions have to be made about who can say what and how.

    The reality is that scientists don’t decide what gets a press release and what does not. They can of course make suggestions and recommendations, but the go/no go decision is an official agency decision. And agency leadership, including political appointees, are the people who make those decisions.

    It may be that the agency puts out incorrect information (NOAA) or risks political damage by being to controlling (NASA), and when they are called on it they will alter their practices accordingly.

  18. 10
  19. Roger Pielke Jr. Says:

    From today’s WP

    NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin said yesterday he has convened a team of scientists and public information officials to draft new guidelines to ensure that news of agency research or events will not be tailored or curtailed to reflect political or ideological bias.

    In his clearest statement yet regarding accusations that NASA public relations officials had manipulated news releases or reports involving climate change and cosmology, Griffin told reporters that “it is not appropriate for scientists to be required to adjust, spin or alter their scientific work to fit any particular political agenda.”

    . . .

    Griffin told reporters after yesterday’s hearing that he has made it a policy that “technical people within NASA are not only allowed to speak their minds . . . we beg them to speak their minds.”

    He cautioned, however, that the review of public information guidelines is not only about ensuring openness, but also seeks to establish “crisp” criteria for deciding when research is newsworthy.

    The review is, in part, about “adult supervision over which paper merits a news release,” Griffin said. “And this is management 101, not politics.”

  20. 11
  21. Roger Pielke Jr. Says:

    From today’s NYT

    Paul C. Light, a professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, who is an expert on political appointees, said the issues surfacing at NASA were a result of a general ballooning of political influence in government public affairs offices over the last decade, “with a particular acceleration under Bush.”

    “The units are focusing heavily on editing, spinning, doctoring just about anything that leaves their agencies via reports, interviews, Congressional testimony,” he said.

    . . .

    James E. Hansen, the NASA climate scientist who was the first to complain of restrictions on his speaking and news media contacts, said that Dr. Griffin’s recent statements were encouraging but that the political appointees at headquarters might not yet have gotten the message.

    “The administrator has it exactly right,” Dr. Hansen said. “We live in a free country and work for the taxpayer. We should provide useful information, not propaganda. But based on their recent remarks, public affairs still doesn’t get it.”

  22. 12
  23. Hinheckle Jones Says:

    I agree with Steve Bloom! Government action is required. We should pass laws NOW! We should fine anyone who refuses to believe in AGW. If that doesn’t improve their attitudes, well…

    Furthermore, Berkely alone cannot do the job. If some disbeliever get fined in Berkely, she may move to Missouri, and continue in shamefull disbelief. This job belongs to the U.N.


    Hinheckle Jones

  24. 13
  25. Steve Hemphill Says:

    Pass laws about beliefs? Shouldn’t scientists be agnostic when it comes to science, and beliefs stay in religion? Here’s an example of how beliefs are turning this discussion into a crusade by people who think they know more than they (or any of us) know. Is increased fresh water


    And please try to remember orders of magnitude in your consideration…

  26. 14
  27. Steve Hemphill Says:

    Oops – didn’t come through.


    or bad:

  28. 15
  29. Benny Peiser Says:

    I’m not sure whether Hinheckle Jones’ proposal is meant to be a practical joke, a provocation or a serious suggestion. But it certainly sounds consistent with the apocalyptic view of AGW.

    After all, if we have only one or two decades to act in order to save humankind from global disaster – as James Hansen and other neo-catastrophists seem to suggest ( -, and if this apocalyptic belief system were to become widely accepted, any doubts about impending ‘doomsday’ would be regarded as extremely detrimental to “salvationist” action and salvation itself. Wouldn’t it be logical to ban such truely dangerous ideas and punish their supporters?

    From a historical perspective, apocalyptic belief systems and liberalism (let alone modern science) cannot be reconciled. An open society is based on freedom of thought, tolerance of conflicting ideas and the politics of societal compromise. An apocalyptic view of the world, however, will, by necessity, regard disbelievers or sceptics (i.e. heretics of religious or secular dogma) as dangerous obstacles to salvation. I would argue that secular, environmental apocalyptics who embrace such Manichaean attitudes resemble in many ways religious fundamentalists.

    We often forget that the notion of man-made doomsday was the official “consensus” for almost 2000 years. It is not that long ago that even some of the world’s finest scientists’s were threatened or persecuted for their anti-apocalyptic scepticism.

    As climate apocalypticism becomes more radical and more hysterical, I wouldn’t be all too surprised if calls for outlawing or persecuting scientific doubt about environmental doomsday to become gradually louder (in the name of saving the world, of course).

  30. 16
  31. Rabett Says:

    Benny Peiser is as bad a theologian as he is a climatologist. The Apocalypse comes from G_d, not man, although each of us must prepare to face the final judgement and avoid damnation. That is each individual’s responsibility

    Anthropic climate change, is, as it says, caused by humans, and humans have the power to avoid, delay and/or ameliorate damage from it. This is what Hansen is saying, and indeed almost all of those who are clueful about the issue.

    Peiser claims that those who believe that anthropic climate change is a risk should scourge him. He thus seeks to avoid personal responsibility for his actions. That is both childish (you should have stopped me therefore it is not my fault) and morally corrupt. Worse he attempts to turn the problem into a fist fight so that others will avoid it out of distaste for becoming involved in a fracas.

    We have seen this before in the controversy about whether tobacco causes cancer. The tobacco companies bought cover from pseudo scientists and health policy types while their customers died at increasing rates. Documents revealed in the following litigation showed how a few scientists such as Fredrick Seitz sold out. Their tactic was to generate a fog of a false uncertainty. Links between the “tobacco group” and many peddling the Peiser climate line show that they are one and the same and what they are peddling is disinformation.

    If you want to get more information on this, go to the archive of documents revealed in the tobacco litigation and google on Seitz, or Singer, or Lindzen. You could also search more broadly in

    It is amusing to search the various names of those who deny serious risk from global climate change into this search engine (Roger’s dad has one mention in a quote from an article by Steve Milloy:). OTOH, ask yourself why this climate related article turns up in the material that Philip Morris turned over in discovery.

    Decreasing cancer mortality and illness depended on educating people about the risks. Education and study were enemies of the tobacco companies, and they used their resources to lie to the public. Seitz and Singer among others helped. Decreasing the risks from anthropic climate change also depends on education and cooperation. Seitz and Singer and their merry younger elves are happy to spread uncertainty and doubt.

    Apres moi le deluge seems an appropriate motto for their club.

  32. 17
  33. Steve Hemphill Says:

    Two things Rabett. The first is that you are being disingenuous by saying to look on for Lindzen and Singer, unless you have some specific links, because all the ones I saw pointed back to climate change. Comparing the two is a non sequitur. We know tobacco use is bad.

    The second less than honest point, which you may not even understand you are immersed in, is that the certainty with which you portray AGW being bad is not justified.

    The fact is, we have no clue about whether or not “global warming” would be relatively bad or good, as evidenced by the fact we have no clue about e.g. clouds and future precipitation patterns. The one thing we do know is that plants grow better in a CO2 enhanced environment, stacking the deck against you and the other alarmists.

    Fear of climate change has already increased my natural gas bill by $500 per year by limiting future electricity generation expansion to natural gas instead of clean coal. I would certainly rather have paid that toward research than to an energy company. We can increase research by a hundred times and still be orders of magnitude less than what Kyoto would have cost the US.

    The big thing is that although you pretend to be taking the high ground (while you’re not being amused), you’re actually the one preaching the company line:

    Ruminate in particular on the line:
    “Enron continues to share its expertise on how market-based mechanisms included in the Kyoto Protocol — such as emissions trading — could be structured to work effectively.”

  34. 18
  35. Eli Rabett Says:

    1. Singer has certainly been involved in spreading smoke to obscure the links between tobacco and disease

    2. Lindzen, not directly, but he is deeply involved with many who are active in the FUD business for both tobacco and climate. However, if you had actually read what I wrote, I was pointing out that there is a nexus between the groups as shown by the materials found in tobacco company files during discovery. Why should you find so many climate related documents in the files of tobacco companies? (Which was my point)

    3. You NOW say that it is clear that there is a strong link between tobacco use and disease, but still the industry fights on against regulations to limit the damage. It was clear to those who studied the issue 40 years ago. How many have died because of the organized campaign mounted by the tobacco industry with their allies.

    4. We see the same techniques and people involved as denialists on climate issues such as ozone depletion and anthropic climate change. Why believe them now?

    5. The “we don’t know enough” ploy has been an old standby of the denialist camp. We do know a lot, certainly enough to be seriously concerned and to start taking action. I suggest you look at the IPCC WG II and III reports as a five year old starting point. Soon enough AR4 will be published, firming up the case.

    6. Your gas prices have nothing to do with coal, rather the price of gas moves with oil. Oil prices have skyrocketed due to political instability in the Middle East. Guess why that happened.

    7. Why not take a look at BP

    The likely effects of global warming include a greater frequency of extreme weather conditions: droughts; heat waves; and floods caused by rising sea levels……..

    Carbon dioxide concentrations have risen from an estimated 280 parts per million (ppm) before the industrial revolution, to 370 ppm today. During the last century, the earth’s surface temperature rose by about 0.6°C. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that it could rise by between 1.4 and 5.8°C by the end of this century………….

    In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol marked the first steps towards concerted global action on climate change. In the same year, we became the first in our industry to state publicly that precautionary action is justified. The next year, we launched a programme which reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our operations by around 10% between 1998 and 2001………………

    Their goal is to stabilize at 550ppm, which is probably realistic, especially if we can reduce other forcings

  36. 19
  37. Steve Hemphill Says:

    Guilt by association is not a reasonable assumption. You’re on pretty weak ground concerning 2nd hand smoke too. Enron, the IPCC, BP Global: you don’t understand they’re all vying for the energy broker market?

    So, you think we know enough about the influence of clouds, future plant expansion, regional rainfall trends, and other things beyond the limited set of variables in the modelers’ “worlds”?

    I don’t. In fact, I think if you would bet that warming would be bad for the biosphere, you would be betting against a stacked deck. Not that anybody knows… (Again)

  38. 20
  39. JohnMcCall Says:

    Explain again why what’s good for Enron was good for us?

    While your at it, perhaps explain whether the lead climatologist from NASA Goddard deserves another $250,000 award from the Heinz foundation?

    What’s up with you people? $100 funding from Exxon-Mobile and many of you freak out — yet these tainted sources get a free pass? The political tinge of your positions is apparent.

  40. 21
  41. Andrew Dessler Says:


    I think you’re thinking about the AGW problem wrong. Ask yourself why people buy insurance on their house. Most people don’t expect their house to burn down, but they know a risk exists and they take a prudent action to head off that risk.

    Sure, there are uncertainties in the science. But that does not mean we know nothing. If we make no effort to control GHGs, there’s a clear *risk* (not certainty) of severe climate impacts in the next century. Maybe that risk is 20%, maybe 50%, maybe it’s 80%. But it’s there and it’s not zero.

    So what do we do? Do we bet the farm (literally and figuratively) that climate change is not going to be severe, or do we take action now to head off the risk. That’s a judgment call, not a scientific one, but I believe we should be somewhat risk averse in this situation, which implies that we ought to be making an effort to reduce GHGs now.


    PS: A 2001 Newsweek article said, “Lindzen clearly relishes the role of naysayer. He’ll even expound on how weakly lung cancer is linked to cigarette smoking.” (July 23, 2001, p. 44)

  42. 22
  43. hank Says:

    Put that entire quoted string from Lindzen into Google, in quotes, to find a couple of pages with very extensive quotes from the Newsweek and other articles.

    “Lindzen clearly relishes the role of naysayer. He’ll even expound on how weakly lung cancer is linked to cigarette smoking. He speaks in full, impeccably logical paragraphs, and he punctuates his measured cadences with thoughtful drags on a cigarette…..”

  44. 23
  45. Eli Rabett Says:

    1. Steve, would you kindly explain to me why sidestream smoke from cigarettes would NOT be dangerous? Run some through a GC and you see the nasties. Googel “sidestream smoke” tobacco GC

    2. Enron is gone. In any case I am not sure whether John McCall was addressing me, as I had not introduced Enron into the discussion, so I feel no need to defend them

    3. Of the major oil companies BP has been the most responsible wrt climate change.

  46. 24
  47. hank Says:

    Lindzen seems to have been more in the public eye as a member of the pro-tobacco science groups, or at least their PR, than as a climatologist in the past couple of decades. Perhaps only because he’s often found with Singer on the same lists, but it seems he’s making the point in both tobacco and fossil fuels cases that there’s only a ‘weak’ statistical proof of risk, not any certainty that any one individual will definitely be harmed. That’s a political position (and a majority one in the USA, though a minority one elsewhere in the world) on precaution in risk analysis, isn’t it?

  48. 25
  49. hank Says:

    I’d welcome seeing the Prometheus editors take a public and principled position on this matter as scientists. I’d be most curious to know how your position will differ from that of The Lancet.
    8 February 2006
    Regulating the global vector for lung cancer
    The Lancet

    “The release through the US Master Settlement Agreement of an estimated 45 million pages of previously private tobacco-industry documents has unleashed a Niagara of analyses, now numbering over 300 research papers. Tens of thousands of candid documents never intended for public consumption have revealed Faustian bargains between scientists and the industry, and shown companies salivating over potential customers as young as 6 years old…..”

    “a response cannot be contemplated without first considering the values that should underpin it. First, there is justice. For the past 30 years, hundreds of millions of consumers have been misled into thinking low-yielding brands are less dangerous.11 Many who might have otherwise quit have died as a result of this appalling deception, continuing smoking after false reassurances. As an infamous US advertisement for True put it, “All the fuss about smoking got me thinking, I’d either quit or smoke True. I smoke True.” ….

    “Next, there is harm minimisation and the product regulation that might promote it. Unlike food and pharmaceuticals, tobacco everywhere remains in regulatory limbo, with companies able to manipulate any aspect of its chemistry to turbocharge addiction12 or add spoonfuls of sugar to help the nicotine go down.13 A wide variety of flavourants14 are used by the industry to make smoking more palatable, particularly to young starters. While pharmaceutical nicotine has to jump through expensive regulatory hoops to help people quit, cigarette manufacturers can follow unhindered any secret recipe they wish to “make it harder for existing smokers to leave the product”.15 …”

  50. 26
  51. hank Says:

  52. 27
  53. Roger Pielke, Jr. Says:


    Thanks for your comments and links. I read the Chapman article in The Lancet that you pointed to, and I see absolutely no reason to disagree with the arguments made by Chapman. Of course, I have no expertise in tobacco policy or this issue more generally, so take that for what it is worth!

  54. 28
  55. Eli Rabett Says:

    Roger, what you are avoiding is that many those referred to in the Lancet as having made “Faustian bargains between scientists and the industry,” wrt tobacco, are the same ones who are today the leading denialists about climate change. Further the organizations that are sponsoring them are the same.

    This implies that they are untrustworthy, yet you appear to trust them. Why? Let us name some names, Singer, Seitz, Lindzen, etc. Why should anyone trust them or those associated with them?

  56. 29
  57. Roger Pielke Jr. Says:


    I don’t believe I’ve ever written anything about the trustworthiness of any of the people that you mention. I’d actually prefer that folks rely on my own writings on climate policy ;-)

  58. 30
  59. Steve Hemphill Says:

    Eli said:
    “many those referred to in the Lancet as having made “Faustian bargains between scientists and the industry,” wrt tobacco, are the same ones who are today the leading denialists about climate change. Further the organizations that are sponsoring them are the same.”

    Maybe you should actually back up your charges with some facts and organization names Eli, lest anyone think you were just slandering people with different opinions than yours. :-)

  60. 31
  61. Eli Rabett Says:

    Steve Hemphill wants a smoking gun
    AEI, Heritage, NBER, Manhattan Institute, Hoover, Pacific Research Institute, US Chamber of Commerce. Also Brookings, but frankly, I doubt that Brookings signed on to this.

    Above, we showed that Singer, Seitz and Lindzen were part of the group that made “Faustian bargains between scientists and the industry,” wrt tobacco. They are certainly prominent climate change denialists. They interact through a small group of rich foundations and institutes.

    Roger was asked to take a position on the issue and the people involved. He demurrs returns to bashing Hansen, Kennedy and Emmanuel.

  62. 32
  63. Steve Hemphill Says:

    Hmmm… I looked at those links and failed to find Singer, Seitz or Lindzen in either of them. Maybe you made a mistake in the links? Certainly you’re not implying guilt by association – that went out with witchhunts, didn’t it?

    Try again.

  64. 33
  65. Eli Rabett Says:

    Steve, In the first place the two URLs were pointers to a bunch of the “think tanks” that were/are tied together in climate/tobacco issues on the denialist side.

    But since you ask, let us look at the first url, which starts with:
    Philip Morris contributes substantial sums of money to organizations whose mandate is to influence the public policy decision making process. Part of the rationale for these contributions is to maintain access to unofficial players in the economic/political arena who may emerge or re-emerge as key official players.

    In order to further develop these relationships, and to provide a forum in which senior management can have intimate discussions with these individuals, I am proposing a public policy discussion series to be held at corporate headquarters on a semi-regular basis . I envision periodic (say every other month) briefing sessions conducted by one of these individuals on a topic of mutual agreement, followedd by an open give-and-take with senior management . In order to maximize attendance, these sessions could be scheduled around a breakfast or luncheon . Given the good relations we have with most of these organizations, I would hope these sessions could be done gratis; we could agree to pick up

    and then goes on to list the organizations and contacts. With the exception of Brookings all right wing organizations who have been quite active in various denialisms and providing platforms for the usual suspects such as Singer, Seitz, Lindzen, etc.

    Then we have the second url recommending a $100,000 unrestricted contribution to AEI.

    So, let us recap again. hank showed that Lindzen was deeply involved in denial of the harm that smoking tobacco does.

    Seitz has a very long association with the tobacco companies and their attempts to deny the harm that tobacco does
    and, of course, this gem
    which brings Seitz and Singer together.

    Singer is tied back to back with Seitz in a whole bunch of tricky business including the OISM petition (17000 duped dentists deny global warming) and the Heidelberg appeal which was a neat straddle between climate, tobacco and asbestos denialism.

  66. 34
  67. Steve Hemphill Says:

    Eli, you’re wasting my time.

    First, Lindzen is listed nowhere in any of those documents. Are you sure you’re not on a witchhunt?

    Second, Seitz is listed as an outside advisor to where research money is to be spent, that’s all. He may not have even had any input to the final report (sounds like the IPCC, which ignored the input on uncertainty of most of it’s scientists. One would think the majority would object and want AR4 to be more representative of the science, rather than be used the way they were in the past).

    Third, Singer is listed only in the third, saying the science behind the EPA’s position on second hand smoke and other subjects is flawed. Simplifying that statement, it does not say second hand smoke is not bad – in fact denies saying that that several times. It merely says the EPA’s science is corrupt, because since they (the EPA) couldn’t find any real statistics at the 95th percentile confidence level, which is what they generally use, they lowered their confidence level. That is, according to the *focus* of the study, a problem with their methodology in general. It was one example of 4.

    That’s similar to the objection about MBH98’s hockey stick. It’s not about the results of the study, it’s about the slippery slope behind the corruption of science itself.

    When it comes down to a discussion like this, I’m sorry, but I have to vote on the side of science.

    You lose.

    If you can come up with something valid, by all means post it – but you’re a long way from doing that now. I hope that wasn’t your best shot.

    P.S. Thanks for pointing out the OISM petition:
    Looks like interesting reading. Did you have a specific problem with *that*?

  68. 35
  69. Eli Rabett Says:

    Let us discuss the good Dr. Seitz

    Seitz signs on:

    May 1979
    Pg 1
    There are abundant reasons for R-J-R to place a priority on research, particularly on smoking and health research. One is that our sense of integrity dictates that we respond directly to a fundamental attack on our business. Another is that if we can refute the criticisms against cigarettes, we may remove government’s excuse for imposing heavy taxes on the product. …… A third reason is that there are a large number of crucial questions that need scientific answers in the area of smoking and health.

    Pg 7
    In evaluating and monitoring the special projects that we fund — particularly the sole-sponsorship programs — R.J. Reynolds Industries has secured the services of a permanent consultant — Dr. Frederick Seitz, former president of Rockefeller

    Seitz’ role
    June 1980
    Procedures for Managing and Progress Monitoring of R.J. Reynolds .Industries Support of Biomedical Research .Management -
    The following procedures govern the commitment of funds to biomedical research and the role of various individuals and authorities in considering requests and granting approvals:

    Requests for funding support will be referred to Dr. Frederick Seitz

    Dr. Seitz and other members of his advisory panel will review fund requests.and prepare recommendations based on these criteria: Project viability, Researcher’ s qualifications,

    Adequacy of facilities, Consistency with overall program objective

    Prior to presentation to the Contributions Committee-for disposition, Dr. Seitz will informally discuss recommendations with Mr. H.C. Romer, general counsel. His comments will be appended to the written evaluations and recommendations presented to the Contributions Committee

    How much did Seitz get:
    July 1986

    Dear Dr. Seitz: We should like to renew the letter agreement dated July 12, 1978 between you and RJR Nabisco, Inc. (formerly R.J. Reynolds Industries, Inc.) for six months commencing July I, 1986 at an annual fee of $65,000 which shall be paid in equal monthly installments on the last day of each month. In all other respects the agreement will remain in full force and effect.

    The best one yet:

  70. 36
  71. Steve Hemphill Says:

    Hmmm. Okay, one down, two to go. Keep going. Got anything real on the other two? Or did you pick off the easy target and now have nothing?

  72. 37
  73. Rokko Says:

    Very interesting site ! Good work ! Ñongratulations :)