Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Happer files - What a Kangaroo Judge looks like.

Dr. William Happer, one time scientist 
and current  master of the art of 
Science by Rhetoric and Malicious Slander.

A closer look, with links and selected quotes from a dozen articles.
Now that I’m back home, I’ve been working on catch up, starting with the Kerry, Representative Massie exchange during the 4/9/19 House Oversight hearing.  
I learned that Kerry's allusion to Kangaroo Court was inspired by rumors that the infamous cold-warrior William Happer has been elevated to run Trump's climate science review board or whatever it is.  I’ve also found out that Kangaroo Court is an actual legal term.  Check it out,
  1. A bogus court, the intention of which is to provide the illusion of a fair justice system where none exists.  (
I’m familiar with William Harper’s long history of misrepresenting well understood climate science.  He misleads by way of an amoral disregard for honesty.  
Instead he’s mastered Science by Rhetoric and irrelevant distractions, rather than science by constructively assessing all the known facts in a good-faith learning process.  It’s crazy making and confusion that Happer has dedicated his dotage to.
If a Kangaroo Court is mission focused in complete disregard for reality, then referring to Dr. William Happer as a Kangaroo Judge is a stone sober descriptive, plain and simple. 
To support this contention I offer the following collection of quotes and links from,
          By Graham Readfearn • February 20, 2019
              Posted on February 16, 2017 by ...and Then There's Physics
             John Abraham | May 2, 2016
             By John Mashey • June 7, 2016
              Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent | December 8, 2015
             By Lawrence Carter and Maeve McClenaghan | December 8, 2015 
              September 21st, 2011 |  Global Warming Denial Machine
              Michael C. MacCracken, Ph.D. |  September 2011
             Gavin Schmidt @ 9 February 2017
             BEN DIMIERO ››› December 15, 2010
             by Jeremiah Tattersall  |  April 28, 2011
Skeptical Science Blog Posts regarding Dr William Happer
             John Abraham  |  January 20, 2016 

Physicist William Happer, the 'Unmoored' Climate Science Denier Heading a White House Climate Probe
By Graham Readfearn • February 20, 2019

In 2016, retired Princeton physicist Professor Will Happer accepted an invitation from conspiracy theorist G. Edward Griffin to give a keynote at his conference to talk about the “positive effects of CO2.”
Griffin thinks the science behind global warming is a scam. He also thinks there is “no such thing” as the HIV virus and that some plane contrails are part of a political plot to spray the population with poisons.
In an interview at the conference, Happer repeated his well-oiled mantra that “CO2 will be good for the Earth” and how it was “pretty clear we are not going to see dangerous climate change.”
Under normal circumstances, you might think that Happer's association with a notorious anti-science conspiracy theorist might not look good on your résumè for a government science committee. However, these are not normal times. …

… Happer doesn’t come across as a physicist who is just a bit arrogant; he comes across as someone who has completely forgotten how to do science altogether. A great deal of what he says is simply untrue, and demonstrably so.
For example, he says
In 1988, you could look at the predictions of warming that we would have today and we’re way below anything [NASA scientist Jim] Hansen predicted at that time.
You can look at Hansen’s 1988 paper. The prediction was that we’d warm by something between 0.4 and 1oC between the late 1980s and now. We’ve warmed by about 0.5oC. You can even plot the temperature datasets over Hansen’s predictions (H/T Nick Stokes) and it’s clear that we’re not way below anything predicted. This Hargreaves & Annan (2014) paper actually says his forecast showed significant skill. …”
“… Happer continues with,
the equilibrium sensitivity, is probably around 1 degree centigrade, it’s not 3 1/2 or whatever the agreed-on number was. It may even be less. And the Earth has done the experiment with more CO2 many, many times in the past. In fact, most of the time it’s been much more CO2 than now. You know, the geological record’s completely clear on that.
Well, this is utter nonsense. The geological record is consistent with an ECS of around 3oC and is largely inconsistent with an ECS below 1oC. You can find the various climate sensitivity estimates here. We’ve already warmed by about 1oC, are only about 60% of the way towards doubling atmospheric CO2 (in terms of the change in forcing) and are still not in equilibrium. It’s utterly ridiculous to suggest that the ECS might be below 1oC. How anyone can suggest this is bizarre, let alone someone who is meant to be a highly regarded physicist.
Possibly the most bizarre thing he says (which is quite something, given all the other things he’s said) is:
I see the CO2 as good, you know. Let me be clear. I don’t think it’s a problem at all, I think it’s a good thing. It’s just incredible when people keep talking about carbon pollution when you and I are sitting here breathing out, you know, 40,000 parts per million of CO2 with every exhalation.
What’s exhaling got to do with it? The reason CO2 is accumulating is the atmosphere is because we’re digging up carbon that has be sequestered for a very long time, and burning it in a very short time; releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.  …”

Skeptical Science has a nice post that discusses Hansen’s 1988 predictions. He also made predictions in 1981, that are also pretty spot on.

{William Happer for Hire. - The man would sell his mom for a buck.}

Peabody coal's contrarian scientist witnesses lose their court case
John Abraham | May 2, 2016

In Minnesota, an administrative hearing resulted in a judicial recommendation that will have impacts across the country. It was a case argued mainly between environmental groups (such as Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, and their clients Fresh Energy and the Sierra Club) and energy producers (such as the now-bankrupt coal company Peabody Energy) regarding what a reasonable social cost of carbon should be.
I was called as an expert witness in the case along with respected climate scientist Dr. Andrew Dessler. We were opposed by the well-known contrarians Drs. Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, and William Happer (who has recently received attention related to his charged fees in the case). In full disclosure, Dr. Dessler and I were not paid for our work in the case. I recently wrote about the testimony and provided links to the testimonies submitted for the case. The judge’s recommendations and how they will impact energy decisions in the USA were the keys to this trial. …

Peabody's Outlier Gang Couldn't Shoot Straight In Minnesota Carbon Case, Judge Rebuffs Happer, Lindzen, Spencer, Mendelsohn, Bezdek
By John Mashey • June 7, 2016

On 04/13/15, Peabody Energy followed other major coal companies into bankruptcy, and days later lost a battle in a landmark legal war on Minnesota's Social Cost of Carbon (SCC).  The “best” gang1 of climate denial outliers they could hire tried to confuse the court with absurd claims in both science and economics. The Judge was not fooled, and ruled unambiguously, as reported by Bloomberg BNAUniversity of Minnesota Consortium on Law and Values and MPR NEWS:
“State law already requires Minnesota account for climate change costs when deciding how to generate electricity. But an administrative law judge says the price range Minnesota uses is way too low - by a factor of more than 10 - because it's outdated and doesn't fully account for health problems and other societal costs tied to climate change. If the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission agrees with the judge's view, it could mean wind and solar will look a lot cheaper than burning coal…. On Friday, Administrative Law Judge LauraSue Schlatter mostly agreed the federal government's social cost of carbon figures were the way to go and suggested the state PUC adopt a new price range — from about $11 to $57 per ton of carbon emitted. The previous range was about 50 cents to less than $5.”
Scientist and witness John P. Abraham explained Peabody coal's contrarian scientist witnesses lose their court case.
Dana Nuccitelli followed with more detail in Coal made its best case against climate change, and lost.
These just scratch the surface of a major case with 19 witnesses and ~550 documents. The volume of recorded nonsense is too large to cover in a post, so key testimonies are annotated for any who want to assess witness credibility.
Often citing dubious or mis-used sources in both science and economics, Peabody's fossil gang couldn't shoot straight.
Opposing witness could and did, and the judge saw that. ALJ Schlatter's crisp 150p FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS: CARBON DIOXIDE VALUES is annotated in Findings.2  As with Minnesota's tobacco lawsuit or Pennsylvania's Kitzmiller v Dover, this may create a landmark reference able by inevitable later cases.
It reveals instructive patterns of Peabody's claims and tactics, strongly rebuffed by the ALJ.  It started:
p.10 “On October 9, 2013, … the environmental organizations recommended that the Commission adopt the federal government’s Social Cost of Carbon as the cost value for CO2.”
The Federal SCC (FSCC) is developed and updated by the Inter-agencies Working Group (IWG), but the MN PUC wanted a contested case to build a record of evidence and arguments.
Involved parties, sponsored witnesses,  Findings p.1, pp.9-10, pp.140-144. Direct witnesses Bold, science-focused Italic. 
Although supposedly about economics, Peabody started by attacking mainstream science, even claiming fossil:CO2 in doubt.
Richard S.J. Tol was added to buttress economics and William Wecker to rebut Martin, but neither had much impact.
Peabody's scientists3 threw poorly-sourced, outlier and even absurd arguments against mainstream science, yet another example of attacking science to avoid unwanted policy. They needed to help their economists claim that Minnesota's SCC should be zero, negative or lower than current Minnesota values, all outliers in mainstream economics.  
None of Peabody's witnesses were based in Minnesota, but they denigrated the expertise of Martin, Polasky and Hanemann, and repeatedly tried to exclude witnesses and testimony, with little success.   …

Greenpeace exposes sceptics hired to cast doubt on climate science

Sting operation uncovers two prominent climate sceptics available for hire by the hour to write reports on the benefits of rising CO2 levels and coal

Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent | December 8, 2015

“… In both cases, the professors discussed ways to obscure the funding for the reports, at the request of the fake companies. In Happer’s case, the CO2 Coalition which was to receive the fee suggested he reach out to a secretive funding channel called Donors Trust, in response to a request from the fake Greenpeace entity to keep the source of funds secret. Not disclosing funding in this way is not unlawful under US law.
Also, in an email exchange with the fake business representative, Happer acknowledges that his report would probably not pass peer-review with a scientific journal – the gold-standard process for quality scientific publication whereby work is assessed by anonymous expert reviewers. “I could submit the article to a peer-reviewed journal, but that might greatly delay publication and might require such major changes in response to referees and to the journal editor that the article would no longer make the case that CO2 is a benefit, not a pollutant, as strongly as I would like, and presumably as strongly as your client would also like,” he wrote.
He suggested an alternative process whereby the article could be passed around handpicked reviewers. “Purists might object that the process did not qualify as a peer review,” he said. “I think it would be fine to call it a peer review.”
Greenpeace said its investigation demonstrated how, unbeknownst to the public, the fossil fuel industry could inject paid-for views about climate change into the international debate, confusing the public and blocking prospects for strong action to avoid dangerous warming. …”

“… Happer did not dispute the veracity of the emails, but refused to address questions.”
Exposed: Academics-for-hire agree not to disclose fossil fuel funding
December 8, 2015 | by Lawrence Carter and Maeve McClenaghan

Citing industry-funded documents – including testimony to state hearings and newspaper articles – Professor Frank Clemente of Penn State said: “In none of these cases is the sponsor identified. All my work is published as an independent scholar.”

Leading climate-sceptic academic, Professor William Happer, agreed to write a report for a Middle Eastern oil company on the benefits of CO2 and to allow the firm to keep the source of the funding secret.  

Happer is due to appear this afternoon as a star witness in Senate hearings called by Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

In emails to reporters he also revealed Peabody Energy paid thousands of dollars for him to testify at a separate state hearing, with the money being paid to a climate-sceptic think tank. ...

The investigation also found:
  • US coal giant Peabody Energy also paid tens of thousands of dollars to an academic who produced coal-friendly research and provided testimony at state and federal climate hearings, the amount of which was never revealed.
  • The Donors Trust, an organisation that has been described as the “dark money ATM” of the US conservative movement, confirmed in a taped conversation with an undercover reporter that it could anonymously channel money from a fictional Middle Eastern oil and gas company to US climate sceptic organisations.
  • Princeton professor William Happer laid out details of an unofficial peer review process run by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a UK climate sceptic think tank, and said he could ask to put an oil-funded report through a similar review process, after admitting that it would struggle to be published in an academic journal.
  • A recent report by the GWPF that had been through the same unofficial peer review process, was promoted as “thoroughly peer-reviewed” by influential columnist Matt Ridley - a senior figure in the organisation.
The findings echo the case of Willie Soon, who was the subject of an investigation published in the  New York Times earlier this year. The investigation revealed that Soon had accepted donations from fossil fuel companies and anonymous donors in return for producing climate-sceptic scientific papers. He described his studies as “deliverables” and failed to declare who paid for the research.

The revelations also follow a series of reports showing fossil fuel companies burying the truth about climate change, while funding flawed research to cast doubt on the scientific consensus.

MacCracken v. Happer: The Real Truth about Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change


The Real Truth about Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change: Paragraph-by-Paragraph Comments on an Article by Dr. William Happer

Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs Climate Institute
Washington DC  |  September 2011

“Dr. William Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton University, who also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Marshall Institute in Washington DC, has been a prominent and outspoken critic of the science of climate change, its impacts, and proposed policies to deal with it. 
In the June/July 2011 issue of First Things, Dr. Happer published a summary of his views: “The Truth About Greenhouse Gases: The dubious science of the climate crusaders”                                                 (see 
The paper is so misleading that, in my view, it merits a paragraph-by-paragraph response. Indeed, being an alumnus of Princeton University and having devoted my career to study of climate change science, preparing a response almost seemed an obligation.
In offering these comments, my intent is to present the findings and perspectives of the national and international science community, illuminated with insights gained over more than four decades of seeking to improve understanding of how the Earth system works and is affected by natural and human events. In contrast to Dr. Happer’s view that the science of climate change is like a house of cards (i.e., find one flaw and the whole sense of understanding will fall), I have tried to give a sense of why, as Professor Henry Pollack of the University of Michigan has put it, the science of climate change is like a rope hammock (i.e., with lots of interconnections and linkages, such that weaknesses or failure of any particular detailed finding does not weaken the overall strength of scientific understanding). …”

A key to Will Happer’s assertions and Mike MacCracken’s responses:
1. Is the climate change community really off on a “climate crusade”? 2. Is CO2 a pollutant or a vital molecule for life on Earth—or both? 3. On what basis is EPA moving to regulate CO2?
4 through 7. Isn’t CO2 a nutrient for plants? Don’t we really want to have a higher CO2 concentration? Wasn’t the CO2 level actually nearly too low? Won’t more CO2 be beneficial?
8 and 9. How high can the CO2 level be without impacting human health? What is the optimal range for the CO2 concentration?
10 and 11. Is the increasing CO2 concentration really having adverse impacts?
12 and 13. Will increasing CO2 really cause warming? Is it really human activities causing the warming?
14 through 17. What does the history of Earth’s climate tell us over centuries to tens of millions of years? Hasn’t the Earth’s climate always been changing? So what makes the present warming significant?
18, 19, and 20. Has the IPCC really considered what has been learned from the study of Earth’s climatic history?
21 and 22. Is the “hockey stick” curve indicating recent warming really solid? Don’t the hacked emails show that climate data were manipulated?
23, 24 and 25. Has peer-review been compromised? Isn’t it biased?
26. Will the warming in response to the rising CO2 concentration be significant? How fast will these changes be occurring?
27. Will shifting to renewables enrich a few with political ties at the expense of the majority?
28, 29 and 30. Are computer models reliable enough to depend on? Aren’t they tuned and therefore unreliable? Can they really be used to project into the future?
 31, 32, and 33. What has led to climate change being seen as so controversial? Has the science been co-opted by politics? How large is the funding for climate change research?
34 and 35. Are the views of those who are critical of the climate change results being suppressed? Aren’t their reputations being impugned?
36, 37, and 38. Are professional societies being corrupted by the climate change proponents? Has the American Physical Society misrepresented the views of its members?
39, 40 and 41. Is the public getting a balanced picture of climate change science? What is the trend in public understanding and viewpoint? Is the public just being rushed to judgment?
42 and 43. Aren’t there other environmental problems more deserving of emphasis than climate change? Where should the attention lie?

The final paragraph reads:

“Building a better future can only be accomplished by facing up to the impacts that increasing CO2 emissions are having on the climate, on sea level, and on ocean acidification. That Dr. Happer is slowing this down by putting forth scientific statements that indicate so little understanding (presumably, because of reading too narrowly or with too closed a mind) is very disappointing. 
In the years that I was at Princeton and the grading system went from 1 (high) to 7 (low), I regret to say that Dr. Happer would have earned the 7. This grade was actually hard to get because it indicated “flagrant neglect” in one’s studies. For his generally uninformed and limited discussion and understanding of climate change science, however, I very much regret to say that Dr. Happer seems clearly to have earned that designation.”
Serving up a NOAA-thing burger

Thomas says:
William Happer, an eminent physicist at Princeton University
“There’s a whole area of climate so-called science that is really more like a cult,” Happer told the Guardian. “It’s like Hare Krishna or something like that. They’re glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science. …”   
                                                                                        (it gets interesting)

FOXLEAKS: Fox boss ordered staff to cast doubt on climate science
BEN DIMIERO ››› December 15, 2010

“In the midst of global climate change talks last December, a top Fox News official sent an email questioning the "veracity of climate change data" and ordering the network's journalists to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."
The directive, sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, was issued less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was "on track to be the warmest [decade] on record."
This latest revelation comes after Media Matters uncovered an email sent by Sammon to Fox journalists at the peak of the health care reform debate, ordering them to avoid using the term "public option" and instead use variations of "government option." That email echoed advice from a prominent Republican pollster on how to help turn public opinion against health care reform. …

BS Science: Climate Change Denial
by Jeremiah Tattersall  |  April 28, 2011

The Media …

Conservative Think Tanks
“If someone has an economic interest in denying or advocating for something, there’s a good chance they’re spinning the truth. A 2008 study in Environmental Politics found that 92% of the 141 anti-environmentalist books published between 1972 and 2005 were funded by conservative think tanks (CTT). These books questioned the existence of climate change, ozone depletion and the like.
The list of CTTs that deny climate change while promoting corporate interests is extensive, but here are three of the top offenders.
  • The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) circulated a letter in 2006 offering $10,000 to any scientist willing to criticize a soon-to-be released report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). By 2006, the AEI had received $1.6 million in funding from ExxonMobile.
  • The Heartland Institute hosts the annual International Conference on Climate Change. Their list of “climate experts” is low on actual climate scientists and their list of co-sponsors is low on actual science organizations. Their donors are kept secretive now, but according to Media Matters, they have received money from the Walton Family Foundation (Walmart) and ExxonMobil.
  • The George C. Marshall Institute has received funding from ExxonMobil and still denies that chlorofluorocarbons destroy the ozone, that second hand smoke causes cancer and that acid rain exists. One of their chairmen, William Happer, is a physicist (not a climate scientist) who testified before Congress in 2009 that increased CO2 in the atmosphere will be good for humans.
According to the Center for American Progress Action Fund, climate change lobbyists spent over $500 million to influence legislation and on electoral campaigns from 2009 to 2010. Their efforts have paid off. Of the 20 Republican senate candidates for the 2010 midterm election, 19 were climate change deniers.
Research published in the December 2010 issue of Psychology Science reveals that Americans are less likely to believe in climate change if it questions their worldview. …”

A striking resemblance between testimony for Peabody Coal and for Ted Cruz

Contrarian witnesses made many of the same arguments in a court case for the world’s largest private-sector coal company as they did in Ted Cruz’s senate hearing
John Abraham  |  January 20, 2016 

“In a recent congressional hearing, Ted Cruz (one of the leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination) first asked us to follow the science, and then misused and abused the very science he reportedly admires. The contrarian scientists that were invited to testify are members of a shrinking tribe that every year has to work harder to deny the clear evidence of a human-caused warming world.
Those scientists were William Happer, Judith Curry, and John Christy. They argued that the Earth isn’t warming (or has slowed its warming) or that satellite temperature measurements are the best way to measure the Earth’s temperatures. In fact, satellites don’t measure temperature at all, but these witnesses didn’t mention that fact. 
Additionally, the satellite measurements that they showed are from the middle of the troposphere, high in the atmosphere (not at the surface). Finally, the contrarians declined to emphasize that the synthetic satellite temperature data have been wrong for years. The upper part of the atmosphere (stratosphere) is cooling as a result of the increased greenhouse gases while the lower layer (the troposphere) is warming. If any measurements of the stratosphere bleed into the measurements of the troposphere, it can cause a cooling bias.  …"


Skeptical Science Blog Posts regarding Dr William Happer


What Exxon Knew About Climate Change
By Bill McKibben | September 18, 2015


Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago
Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.


We (that is children of the intellectual enlightenment) need to stop playing by the GOP's totalitarian script.  

Create our own narrative also directly lovingly, intellectually but with inner conviction confront the insanity of believing you know God on a direct personal level.

After all, that is the fantasy mindscape feeding this Alt-Right hostile take-over attempt upon our United State of America government.  I share some musings for the curious.

Intellectually Confronting Faith-Based thinking and Dogma Driven Deceptions

Considering our dysfunctional public dialogue in 14 verses.

Map v Territory Problem, Statistical Certainty vs Geophysical Realities

Who says understanding Earth’s Evolution is irrelevant? 2018

Saying No To Reality. Questioning the Geologic Column.

Considering the Missing Key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria”

Steele’s ‘What’s Natural?’ Dissecting libertarian deception, a fishy tale.


Breen LandUseCode Community Meeting - This Is What Democracy Looks Like !

CC's Climate Science Deception - Hall of Shame

Appreciating Earth's Evolution

12) “Faith-based Thinking: God or EGO?" - GOP's hate-on for Pluralism

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