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  • "Prosecuting Climate Dissent"

    Galileo redux...

    REVIEW & OUTLOOK
    Prosecuting Climate Dissent
    Progressives target Exxon for punishment over its research.

    Nov. 8, 2015 5:03 p.m. ET


    Sheldon Whitehouse got his man. The Rhode Island Senator has been lobbying for prosecutions of oil and gas companies over climate change, and New York Attorney General and progressive activist Eric Schneiderman has now obliged by opening a subpoena assault on Exxon Mobil. This marks a dangerous new escalation of the left’s attempt to stamp out all disagreement on global-warming science and policy.

    Progressives have been losing the political debate over climate change, failing to pass cap and trade even when Democrats had a supermajority in Congress. So they have turned to the force of the state through President Obama’s executive diktats and now with the threat of prosecution. This assault won’t stop with Exxon. Climate change is the new religion on the left, and progressives are going to treat heretics like Cromwell did Catholics.

    [….]


    The tobacco analogy is instructive, though not in the way Mr. Whitehouse intends. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. The harm from tobacco is manifest and has been for decades. These columns have always acknowledged this reality, albeit that it’s also a legal product that individuals can choose to use at their own risk.

    […]

    But regarding climate change, there isn’t a single death anywhere in the world that can be proven to result from an increase in global temperatures caused by the burning of fossil fuels, never mind fuels marketed specifically by Exxon...

    Even the corrupt American tort system still requires some evidence of harm and specific cause.

    This may explain why we’re told that Mr. Schneiderman doesn’t see how he can prove harm from fossil fuels. So instead of RICO he appears to be focused on the Martin Act, the appalling New York state law ... doesn’t require the AG to prove that any particular Exxon investor was harmed and he doesn’t need probable cause to commence an investigation.

    […]

    The Schneiderman investigation follows recent reports in the progressive website Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times suggesting that Exxon scientists have known for years that doom is at hand but have not shared this information with the public. The press reports selectively quote from internal Exxon documents to make their case. Exxon has responded by posting quoted documents in their entirety on its website to allow the public to judge.

    […]

    Even with the fearsome power of the Martin Act, this investigation appears built for media consumption more than courtroom success. There are no “facts” about the eventual extent and impact of climate change that Exxon or anyone else can hide, because inside or outside the company there are only estimates based largely on computer models.

    And if the Exxon files reveal various competing conjectures, even in New York it still isn’t illegal to conduct scientific research.

    […]

    By the way, in 2013 the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reduced the lower end of its forecasted range of global temperature increases due to carbon emissions. Will Mr. Schneiderman subpoena the U.N. to find out when officials first learned that climate change might not be as dramatic as they expected?



    http://www.wsj.com/articles/prosecut...ent-1447020219


    These folks are so desperate to create a tobacco company analogy that they really must thing that the ends do justify the means.

    After a cursory review of "the Pulitzer Prize–winning website Inside Climate News" and part one of their "bombshell conclusion," I can safely conclude that Exxon didn't know anything that wasn't already known, published and available to the public.

    Part 1: "Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago"
    At a meeting in Exxon Corporation's headquarters, a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world's use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity.

    "In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels," Black told Exxon's Management Committee, according to a written version he recorded later.

    [...]

    Exxon's research laid the groundwork for a 1982 corporate primer on carbon dioxide and climate change prepared by its environmental affairs office. Marked "not to be distributed externally," it contained information that "has been given wide circulation to Exxon management." In it, the company recognized, despite the many lingering unknowns, that heading off global warming "would require major reductions in fossil fuel combustion."

    Unless that happened, "there are some potentially catastrophic events that must be considered," the primer said, citing independent experts. "Once the effects are measurable, they might not be reversible."

    [...]


    The "1982 corporate primer" was sourced from publicly available materials from Arrhenius (1896) to Ehrlich & Holdren (1977) to Wang, Yung, Lacis & Hansen (1976). It appears that Exxon relied heavily on a National Research Council publication for this primer, Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment (1979).

    The closest thing to a "smoking gun" that I could find was figure 3 on page 7 of the corporate primer. It is sort of a climate model... It's a cartoon derived from the NRC publication...



    Figure 1: Exxon's 1982 "climate model."

    Out of curiosity, I plotted the Mauna Loa CO2 and HadCRUT4 temperature data at the same scale and overlaid it on Exxon's "climate model"...



    Figure 2: Exxon was just as wrong as Hansen!!! (Click on image to enlarge)

    Way back in 1982, Exxon knew what Hansen knew. They knew that CO2 would cause nearly twice as much warming as would actually transpire over the subsequent 30 years.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/2...now-it-part-1/

    This would be a tobacco analogy if 30 years after the Surgeon General's first warning, no one had died from tobacco-related illnesses.
    Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

  • #2
    What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part Deux, “Same as it ever was.

    If you thought Part 1 was a doozy, “you ain’t seen nothing yet”…


    Exxon Believed Deep Dive Into Climate Research Would Protect Its Business
    Outfitting its biggest supertanker to measure the ocean’s absorption of carbon dioxide was a crown jewel in Exxon’s research program.


    Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song, David Hasemyer
    Sep 21, 2015

    In 1981, 12-year-old Laura Shaw won her seventh-grade science fair at the Solomon Schechter Day School in Cranford, N.J. with a project on the greenhouse effect.

    For her experiment, Laura used two souvenir miniatures of the Washington Monument, each with a thermometer attached to one side. She placed them in glass bowls and covered one with plastic wrap – her model of how a blanket of carbon dioxide traps the reflected heat of the sun and warms the Earth. When she turned a lamp on them, the thermometer in the plastic-covered bowl showed a higher temperature than the one in the uncovered bowl.

    If Laura and her two younger siblings were unusually well-versed in the emerging science of the greenhouse effect, as global warming was known, it was because their father, Henry Shaw, had been busily tracking it for Exxon Corporation.

    […]

    Henry Shaw was part of an accomplished group at Exxon tasked with studying the greenhouse effect. In the mid-70s, documents show that Shaw was responsible for seeking out new projects that were “of national significance,” and that could win federal funding. Others included Edward E. David, Jr., a former science advisor to President Richard Nixon, and James F. Black, who worked on hydrogen bomb research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1950s.

    Black, who died in 1988, was among the first Exxon scientists to become acquainted with the greenhouse effect. Esso, as Exxon was known when he started, allowed him to pursue personal scientific interests. Black was fascinated by the idea of intentionally modifying weather to improve agriculture in arid countries, said his daughter, Claudia Black-Kalinsky.

    “He believed that big science could save the world,” she said. In the early 1960s, Black helped draft a National Academy of Sciences report on weather and climate modification. Published in 1966, it said the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere “agrees quite well with the rate of its production by man’s consumption of fossil fuels.”

    In the same period, a report for President Lyndon Johnson from the President’s Science Advisory Council in 1965 said the burning of fossil fuels “may be sufficient to produce measurable and perhaps marked changes in climate” by the year 2000.

    By 1977, Black had become a top technical expert at Exxon Research & Engineering, a research hub based in Linden, N.J., and a science advisor to Exxon’s top management. That year he made a presentation to the company’s leading executives warning that carbon dioxide accumulating in the upper atmosphere would warm the planet and if the CO2 concentration continued to rise, it could harm the environment and humankind.

    […]

    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/16...t-its-business


    Firstly, the Earth’s atmosphere is not air in a jar.

    Secondly, the Black presentation was dated in 1978.

    Thirdly, the Black presentation was just another survey of government and academic publications on the so-called greenhouse effect.

    Here’s what Exxon knew in 1978…



    Exxon knew that most government and academic scientists wanted more research money.

    “Same as it ever was…”



    “Same as it ever was…”



    In 1978, Exxon knew that the effects on sea level and the polar ice caps would likely be negligible, models were useless and more effort should be directed at paleoclimatology.

    “Same as it ever was…”



    In 1978, Exxon knew that the models were useless.

    “Same as it ever was…”

    Inside Climate then bemoaned the fact that Exxon management scrubbed a science project…
    Exxon’s enthusiasm for the project flagged in the early ’80s when federal funds fell through. Exxon Research cancelled the tanker project in 1982, but not before Garvey, Shaw and other company engineers published an initial paper in a highly specialized journal on the project’s methodology.

    “We were anxious to get the word out that we were doing this study,” Garvey said of the paper, which did not reach sweeping conclusions. “The paper was the first of what we hoped to be many papers from the work,” he said in a recent email. But the other publications never materialized.

    I never worked for “big oil,” however, “little oil” tries to avoid spending money on science projects.


    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/2...s-it-ever-was/
    Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

    Comment


    • #3
      What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? Part 3, Exxon: The Fork Not Taken

      This just keeps getting more hilarious…
      Exxon Confirmed Global Warming Consensus in 1982 with In-House Climate Models
      The company chairman would later mock climate models as unreliable while he campaigned to stop global action to reduce fossil fuel emissions.

      Lisa Song, Neela Banerjee, David Hasemyer
      Sep 22, 2015

      Steve Knisely was an intern at Exxon Research and Engineering in the summer of 1979 when a vice president asked him to analyze how global warming might affect fuel use.

      “I think this guy was looking for validation that the greenhouse effect should spur some investment in alternative energy that’s not bad for the environment,” Knisely, now 58 and a partner in a management consulting company, recalled in a recent interview.

      Knisely projected that unless fossil fuel use was constrained, there would be “noticeable temperature changes” and 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air by 2010, up from about 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution.

      […]

      Through much of the 1980s, Exxon researchers worked alongside university and government scientists to generate objective climate models that yielded papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Their work confirmed the emerging scientific consensus on global warming’s risks.

      Yet starting in 1989, Exxon leaders went down a different road. They repeatedly argued that the uncertainty inherent in computer models makes them useless for important policy decisions. Even as the models grew more powerful and reliable, Exxon publicly derided the type of work its own scientists had done. The company continued its involvement with climate research, but its reputation for objectivity began to erode as it campaigned internationally to cast doubt on the science.

      […]

      Climate ‘Catastrophe’ Foreseen

      By 1981, Exxon scientists were no longer questioning whether the buildup of CO2 would cause the world to heat up. Through their own studies and their participation in government-sponsored conferences, company researchers had concluded that rising CO2 levels could create catastrophic impacts within the first half of the 21st century if the burning of oil, gas and coal wasn’t contained.

      […]

      Unanimous Agreement

      “Over the past several years a clear scientific consensus has emerged regarding the expected climatic effects of increased atmospheric CO2,” Cohen wrote to A.M. Natkin of Exxon Corporation’s Science and Technology Office in 1982. “The consensus is that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial revolution value would result in an average global temperature rise of 3.0 ± 1.5°C.” (Equal to 5.4 ± 2.7°F).

      “There is unanimous agreement in the scientific community that a temperature increase of this magnitude would bring about significant changes in the earth’s climate, including rainfall distribution and alterations in the biosphere.”

      Exxon’s own modeling research confirmed this and the company’s results were later published in at least three peer-reviewed science articles. Two of them were co-authored by Hoffert, and a third was written entirely by Flannery.

      Exxon’s modeling experts also explained away the less-dire predictions of a 1979 study led by Reginald Newell, a prominent atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Newell’s model projected that the effects of climate change would not be as severe as most scientists were predicting.

      Specifically, Newell and a co-author from the Air Force named Thomas Dopplick challenged the prevailing view that a doubling of the earth’s CO2 blanket would raise temperatures about 3°C (5°F)– a measure known as climate sensitivity. Instead, they said the earth’s true climate sensitivity was roughly less than 1°C (2°F).

      […]

      http://insideclimatenews.org/news/18...climate-models




      I have yet to find any Exxon models… Much less any that confirmed a “Global Warming Consensus” or “Climate ‘Catastrophe'”. What I have found are reports which cite other people’s models and quite a few “cartoons” derived from them.



      “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” (Lawrence “Yogi” Berra)



      Exxon: The Fork Not Taken

      It’s notable that Exxon was made aware of the so-called consensus…

      “The consensus is that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial revolution value would result in an average global temperature rise of 3.0 ± 1.5°C.”

      And they were also made aware of reality…

      “Newell and a co-author from the Air Force named Thomas Dopplick … said the earth’s true climate sensitivity was roughly less than 1°C.”

      Inside Climate likes to make a big deal out of this…
      Exxon’s former chairman and CEO, Lee Raymond, took an even tougher line against climate science. Speaking before the World Petroleum Congress in Beijing in 1997, Raymond mocked climate models in an effort to stop the imminent adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, an international accord to reduce emissions.

      “They are notoriously inaccurate,” Raymond said. “1990’s models were predicting temperature increases of two to five degrees Celsius by the year 2100,” he said, without explaining the source of those numbers. “Last year’s models say one to three degrees. Where to next year?”

      Mr. Raymond was correct. The models have been “notoriously inaccurate.” However, they have been very precise in their inaccuracies…




      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/2...ork-not-taken/
      Last edited by The Doctor; 09 Nov 15, 20:21.
      Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

      Comment


      • #4
        Heretics must be burned now and then to discourage the others from thinking on their own.
        In a carbon neutral way of course.

        Ultimately, I see this farce as a good thing.

        Exxon has been successful in litigating other attempts at shake downs.
        The climate change advocates might have bit off more than they can chew and they might not like the resulting harm to their credibility.
        Avatar is General Gerard, courtesy of Zouave.

        Churchill to Chamberlain: you had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cambronnne View Post
          Heretics must be burned now and then to discourage the others from thinking on their own.
          In a carbon neutral way of course.

          Ultimately, I see this farce as a good thing.

          Exxon has been successful in litigating other attempts at shake downs.
          The climate change advocates might have bit off more than they can chew and they might not like the resulting harm to their credibility.
          Too funny in a bad way, considering that the biggest polluter before the Gulf blowout was the EXXON Valdez. It was so bad that even showed up in Kostner's Water World pic. as a gigantic joke. But "they're getting shaken down"?

          I do not believe it.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

          Comment

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