This blog is written by Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Posts appear Monday & Wednesday.
Rabid dog climate enforcers will destroy you without conscience or regret.
Last week, an article by economist Ross McKitrick appeared in Canada’s National Post. Titled This scientist proved climate change isn’t causing extreme weather – so politicians attacked, it tells the story of Roger Pielke Jr., a professor in Boulder, Colorado who has been mercilessly persecuted for the unpardonable sin of telling the truth.
With Canada’s Prime Minister childishly insisting a national carbon tax will prevent wildfires, floods, and tornadoes, McKitrick sets us straight:
Globally there’s no clear evidence of trends and patterns in extreme events such as droughts, hurricanes and floods. Some regions experience more, some less…There’s no trend in U.S. hurricane landfall frequency or intensity. If anything, the past 50 years has been relatively quiet…Since 1965, more parts of the U.S. have seen a decrease in flooding than have seen an increase…There’s no trend in U.S. tornado damage (in fact, 2012 to 2017 was below average)…Cold snaps in the U.S. are down but, unexpectedly, so are heatwaves.
The bottom line is there’s no solid connection between climate change and the major indicators of extreme weather… [bold added]
Pielke once specialized in natural disasters and the damage they inflict. In 2006, Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, appeared. It incorrectly claimed global warming was responsible for Hurricane Katrina, which had devastated New Orleans. This became the party line amongst US Democrats.
Having since switched his research focus to other matters, Pielke spoke publicly last year about being relentlessly smeared and slimed by ridiculously senior Democrats despite the fact that he himself has never once voted Republican.
A case in point is John Podesta. This man was President Bill Clinton’s last chief of staff. He was an advisor to President Barack Obama. More recently, he served as Hilary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign manager. Podesta’s other project is the Center for American Progress (CAP), described as “the Democrat’s favorite think tank.”
Podesta is as partisan as they come, and CAP is a Democratic Party political machine. In Pielke’s words, between 2007 and 2015, “CAP wrote more than 161 articles critical of me, many spreading false and incorrect representations of my views. They averaged an article a week in 2008 and 2009.”
Overall, seven different CAP writers chose to ignore Pielke’s airtight scholarship. He needed to be muzzled for political reasons – for “questioning the link between climate change and extreme weather” and for allegedly providing “cover for climate deniers.”
In an internal 2014 e-mail (made public by WikiLeaks in 2016), CAP employee Judd Legum boasts that his part of that organization got Pielke fired as a contributor to FiveThirtyEight.com, a website affiliated with ABC News.
Pielke’s first and only article there was titled Disasters Cost More Than Ever – But Not Because of Climate Change. Studded with numerous links to source material, it points out that even the UN’s highly politicized Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admits there’s scant evidence of a spike in the frequency or intensity of floods, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes.
In other words, there’s nothing remotely radical or non-mainstream about Pielke’s position. But the blowback orchestrated by CAP and others was so vociferous, he was never published at FiveThirtyEight.com again. In this interview Pielke says he suggested leaving three months later, after the website had demonstrated “some reluctance in continuing to publish my work.”
Slide #38 in the presentation Pielke gave last year includes a third party advertisement that characterizes his departure as a “Victory for climate truth!” Rather than being an honest scholar, you see, he’s actually a “climate confusionist” who deserves to be destroyed.
Today, someone searching on Pielke’s name at FireThirtyEight.com is presented with a very short list. It includes an editorial by its founder and editor-in-chief about Pielke’s article. It also includes a response to Pielke’s article by Kerry Emanuel. But there’s no actual link to Pielke’s calm, sane piece itself.
The simple truth is so threatening to certain political operatives that Pielke’s persecution didn’t end there. In 2015, he was falsely accused of secretly taking money from an oil company and investigated by Congress. In that context, the president of the university that employs him was advised in writing that Obama’s White House science advisor believed Pielke to be guilty of “serious misstatements.”
Also in 2015, Paige St. John, a Pulitzer Prize-winning US journalist, discovered that mentioning Pielke in an article was sufficient to ignite a campaign against her. Slide #22 contains a comment St. John sent to Pielke by e-mail:
You should come with a warning label: Quoting Roger Pielke will bring a hail storm down on your work from the London Guardian, Mother Jones and Media Matters.
Let that sink in. No one is off limits. Even journalists at the top of the heap are targeted and bullied. The climate mafia exists. Its enforcers are real. Their mantra is: thou shalt not set a toe out of line.
As Ross McKitrick ended his National Post article last week, so shall I: “Something has gotten scary and extreme, but it isn’t the weather.”
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Roger Pielke Jr.