Cooler Heads Digest 27 February 2015

27 February 2015


In the News

Five Reasons the Polar Bears Are Doing Fine
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 27 February 2015

Sorry EPA, There’s No Evidence You Care about Reliability
Daniel Simmons, Institute for Energy Research, 26 February 2015

Sharon Stone Is Being Sued for Skipping an Anti-Chevron Protest
Paul Barrett, Bloomberg, 26 February 2015

Global Warming: Follow the Money (on the NY Times Attack on Willie Soon)
Henry Payne, National Review Online, 25 February 2015

The Climate Debate: Ad Hominem Will Just Not Do
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 24 February 2015

Cap-and-Trade Is Alive and Well—Despite Having Never Passed Congress
Seton Motley, PJ Tattler, 24 February 2015

Australia’s Wind Market Deflates
David Kreutzer, Washington Times, 23 February 2015

California Governor Brown Tied to Scandal That Took Down Oregon Governor
Katy Grimes, Flash Report, 23 February 2015

News You Can Use
Exorbitant Costs of EPA’s Ozone Rule

According to a study published this week by the National Association of Manufacturers, EPA’s recently proposed ozone standard would reduce U.S. GDP by $140 billion per year and $1.7 trillion from 2017 to 2040 and result in 1.4 million fewer job equivalents on average through 2040.

Science Update
Myron Ebell

New York Times Repeats Scurrilous Greenpeace Attack on Willie Soon Without Checking the Facts

New York’s Times republished a Greenpeace press release on the front page of its Sunday, 22nd February edition that attacks Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics for obtaining $1.2 million in funding for his research over the last decade from energy corporations, electric utilities, and charitable foundations related to those companies.  The press release, cleverly disguised as an article supposedly written by Times reporters Justin Gillis and John Schwartz, also claims that Dr. Soon did not adequately disclose the sources of his funding in articles published in scientific journals.

According to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Greenpeace and its closely affiliated so-called “Climate Investigations Center,” Soon received $409,000 from the Southern Company, a major utility, and $230,000 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation to fund his research.  The Greenpeace press release as republished in the Times notes that “Mr. Koch’s fortune derives partly from oil refining.”  Yes, and the biggest charitable foundation donor to environmental pressure groups is the Pew Charitable Trusts, which was founded on the Pew family’s Sun Oil Company earnings.  Other major givers to green groups are the various Rockefeller foundations, which are based on earnings from Standard Oil (of which Exxon Mobil and Chevron are among the many successor companies).  So what’s Greenpeace’s point?  And everyone knows that scientists who accept funding from the EPA are never influenced by the source of their funding.  That’s why the EPA funds so much research that contradicts its policies.  Right?

I have known Willie Soon for about fifteen years.  I respect him highly, particularly for the great integrity he has shown in pursuing his politically incorrect research under scurrilous attacks like the one reprinted in the NY Times.  If Willie valued money over science, he would have joined the Global Warming Pep Squad long ago.

For the rest of my take on the New York Times’s disgraceful hit piece, see this post on global

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

House Democrat Joins in Witch Hunt Started by Greenpeace-Times Hit on Willie Soon

Representative Raul Grijalva (D-Az.), ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, quickly followed up on the Greenpeace-New York Times’s hit piece on Willie Soon (see above), with letters to the presidents of seven universities asking them to provide details about seven professors who are either prominent global warming skeptics or are not sufficiently loyal to every doctrine in the alarmist canon. The letters were sent to MIT (concerning Richard Lindzen), Alabama (John Christy), Delaware (David Legates), Georgia Tech (Judith Curry), Arizona State (Robert Balling), Colorado (Roger Pielke, Jr.), and Pepperdine (Steven Hayward).

Grijalva asks for a lot of information for each targeted professor: all drafts of testimony to government bodies; communications regarding that testimony; all sources and amounts of external funding; communications regarding that funding; all financial disclosure forms filed; and total annual compensation paid by the university.

I was heartened to see that the American Meteorological Association quickly sent a letter of complaint to Rep. Grijalva. AMS Executive Director Keith L Seitter wrote:

Despite its commitment to transparency and full disclosure within the scientific process, the AMS is concerned by the “Letters to Seven Universities Asking for Documents on Climate Change Research”….  Publicly singling out specific researchers based on perspectives they have expressed and implying a failure to appropriately disclose funding sources — and thereby questioning their scientific integrity — sends a chilling message to all academic researchers. Further, requesting copies of the researcher’s communications related to external funding opportunities or the preparation of testimony impinges on the free pursuit of ideas that is central to the concept of academic freedom.

Professor Roger Pielke, Jr., a political scientist who accepts the so-called consensus view on global warming and supports a carbon tax and the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations, but whose research has shown that the costs of natural disasters have not increased as a result of global warming, stated on his blog:

I have no funding, declared or undeclared, with any fossil fuel company or interest. I never have. Representative Grijalva knows this too, because when I have testified before the US Congress, I have disclosed my funding and possible conflicts of interest. So I know with complete certainty that this investigation is a politically-motivated “witch hunt” designed to intimidate me (and others) and to smear my name.

But then Pielke, Jr., declares surrender:

The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I am a full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me — I’ll be just fine as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to occupy my time. But I can’t imagine the message being sent to younger scientists. Actually, I can: “when people are producing work in line with the scientific consensus there’s no reason to go on a witch hunt.”  When “witch hunts” are deemed legitimate in the context of popular causes, we will have fully turned science into just another arena for the exercise of power politics. The result is a big loss for both science and politics.

Markey, Boxer, and Whitehouse Join Witch Hunt with Letters to 100 Companies and Organizations About Funding Climate Deniers

Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) on 25th February sent letters to 107 companies, trade associations, and non-profit groups demanding comprehensive information about all funding of research on climate or related issues over the last ten years.  I am proud to say that several members of the Cooler Heads Coalition, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, the Heartland Institute, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the American Energy Alliance, Americans for Prosperity, and the John Locke Foundation, were on the honorable Senators’ hit list. 

There were some glaring omissions, however.  I won’t list them because their feelings have already been hurt enough.  

Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee quickly responded to the Markey-Boxer-Whitehouse stunt.  Led by Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), all eleven Republican members of the committee sent a letter on 27th February to all 100 targets plus the seven universities that received a similar letter from Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Az.).  The Republican Senators wrote:

Dissenting opinions fostered through the encouragement of all ideas is what truly facilitates intellectual prosperity and political discourse.  The letter you received from our colleagues is a wholly inappropriate effort to challenge these well-accepted truths.  We ask you to not be afraid of political repercussions or public attacks regardless of how you respond.  Above all, we ask that you continue to support scientific inquiry and discovery, and protect academic freedom despite efforts to chill free speech. 

EPA Administrator McCarthy Dissembles through Two House Hearings on EPA FY 2016 Budget
William Yeatman

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified twice this week before the House of Representatives about her agency’s FY 2016 budget. On Wednesday, she appeared on a joint panel of two Energy and Commerce subcommittees, and on Thursday she took questions before an Appropriations subcommittee. As I explain here on, Administrator McCarthy relied on a number of tricks—including lies—to deflect tough questions.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Pachauri Resigns as IPCC Chairman After Sexual Harassment Charges Made

Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri resigned as chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 24th February, four days after allegations of sexual harassment were published in India.

The allegations were made by a 29-year-old woman who works as a research analyst at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi, which the 75-year-old Pachauri also heads.  Indian police are investigating the complaint.  The accuser’s name has been withheld by the police. Her attorney filed a motion to have Dr. Pachauri’s diplomatic passport seized so that he cannot leave the country while the investigation proceeds.

The complaint states that Pachauri’s harassment included unwanted e-mails and text messages of a sexual and personal nature. Dr. Pachauri has denied the allegations and has claimed that his e-mail and cell phone were hacked and the offending messages sent by the hacker.

Bob Ward, the flack for a propaganda institute at the London School of Economics, was quick to pre-emptively accuse climate skeptics of taking advantage of the scandal.  The Guardian quoted Ward: “There will no doubt be some climate change ‘sceptics’ who seek to use Dr Pachauri’s resignation as an opportunity to attack the IPCC [but its most recent report] is the most comprehensive and authoritative assessment of the causes and potential consequences of climate change that we have ever had, and that remains true with or without Dr Pachauri as chair.”

A court has granted Pachauri anticipatory bail, which protects him from arrest until 27th March.  

Dr. Pachauri is regularly described by the mainstream media as one of the world’s leading climate scientists.  He is in fact a railway engineer and railway economist.  He was elected chairman of the IPCC in 2002 over the incumbent Bob Watson and then re-elected unopposed in 2008.  His current term expires in October, and he had already declared that he would not seek a third term. 

The Guardian reported that the leading candidates to succeed him in the October election are Prof. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele from Belgium, Prof. Thomas Stocker from Switzerland, and Prof. Chris Field from the US.  Other candidates may include Prof Nebojsa Nakicenovic from Austria, South Korea’s Hoesung Lee, and the German economist Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary, check out the Coalition’s website,