Trump Is Compiling Science Enemy Lists UPDATE: “NO,” DOE

UPDATE: The Department of Energy has reportedly refused Donald Trump’s request for names of DOE employees and contractors who have been engaged in climate change research. That does not mean that Tump will never get those names. Once he is President, he can get the names. But for now, he’ll have to sit it out.

The Donald Trump transition team circulated an eight page questionnaire to the US Department of Energy. Such questionnaires are not normal. This particular questionnaire is deeply disturbing.

There are seventy-four questions. They provide insight into likely Trump administration energy policy, and there is not much of a surprise there. Most disturbing are the questions that elicit the sort of information one would gather at the outset of a purge or harassment campaign against a class of individuals, in this case, climate scientists and related personnel.

Here I provide text of a handful of the questions, brief descriptions of others, and a link to a copy of the original document, which was originally “obtained” by Bloomberg.

At the bottom of the post, I also provide a link to a letter from a leading member of Trump’s DOE transition team, possibly leaked (but maybe intentionally distributed, I’m not sure).

(Please check out this interview with science policy and politics expert Shawn Otto about Trump and Science.)

11. Which Assistant Secretary positions are rooted in statute and which exist at the discretion and delegation of the Secretary?

In other words, which senior people at DOE can we get rid of and which are we stuck with. Question 33 more or less asks the same question again, but slightly differently.

12. What is the statutory charge to the Department with respect to efficiency standards? Which products are subject to statutory requirements and which are discretionary to the department?

In other words, can we roll back efficiency standards, because … because Exxon-Mobile wants to sell more oil? … because we want to increase the rate of climate change because we know the 1% will do better than anyone else? … because we want to punch some hippies?

13. Can you provide a list of all Department of Energy employees or contractors who have attended an Interagency Working Group of the Social Cost of Carbon meetings? Can you provide a list of when those meetings were and any materials distributed at those meetings, emails associated with those meetings, or materials created by Department employees or contractors i anticipation of or as a result of those meetings?

In other words, we would like to compile a list of administrators and scientists who are working in the climate change area, assess their position on climate change, and and then begin a campaign of bullying, harassing, and general ruining the lives of, those individuals and their colleagues and families?

14. Did DOE or any of its contractors run the integrated assessment models (IAMs)? Did DOE pick the discount rates to be used with the IAMs? What was DOE’s opinion on the proper discount rates used with the IAMs? What was DOE’s opinion on the proper equilibrium climate sensitivity?

What’s that all about? The IAMs are related to the more familiar to you (I’m guessing) RCPs (Representative Concentration Pathways). Simply put, these are complicated models that try to take into account everything from energy policy and use to how changes in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere change climate. There are two main known unknowns here. First, is how much CO2 and other greenhouse gasses we put into the environment (but that is an oversimplification) and the other is climate sensitivity, which is how much will global surface temperatures rise with a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere (again, an oversimplification).

Climate sensitivity is a dog whistle. If you are a science denier, you say “climate sensitivity is 1.2” but if you understand and accept the basic science, you say “Nobody knows for sure, but somewhere between 2.0 and 6.0, most likely very close to about 3.0 or 3.5.”

15. What is the Department’s role with respect to JCPOA? Which office has the lead for the Department?

This is not related to climate change, but I thought I’d throw it in there anyway. The JCPOA is the Iran Deal.

16. What statutory authority has been given to the Department with respect to cybersecurity?

Again, not related to climate change, but given the recent revelations that Russia has been effectively manipulating US elections, and it is hard to imagine how The Donald got elected President of the United States, and given Trump’s Russian associations, it makes sense that the Trump transition team would want to keep track of this sort of thing.

Probably, he could just ask the Russians instead of the DOE, but, well, whatever.

17. Can you provide a list of all Schedule C appointees, all non-career SES employees, and all Presidential appointees requiring Senate confirmation? Can you include their current position and how long they have served in the Department?

These seem like reasonable things to know, if you are taking over the government and are responsible for staffing. But keep in mind that a) no one has ever done a questionnaire like this before; b) there is a transition process that is normally used that presumably addresses these issues; and c) we are talking about links between a part of the government that handles energy and climate and the outside world. If you were trying to build a list of Climate Enemies, this is where you would start. We have to assume, for the purposes of safety and security from what looks like it is going to be a tyrannical government, that this is what Trump is doing.

18. Can you offer more information about the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge?

The EV Everywhere Grand Challenge is “the umbrella effort of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to increase the adoption and use of plug-in electric vehicles…”

19. Can you provide a list of Department employees or contractors who attended any of the Conference of the Parties (under the UNFCCC) in the last five years?

This, of course, is asking for a list of DOE employees and beyond who are involved in climate change research. The UNFCCC is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change.

30. Which programs with DOE are essential to meeting the goals of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan?

The incoming Trump administration has indicated that it will reverse whatever it can among Obama’s accomplishments. We must assume that here, the incoming Trump administration is asking for a ready-made short list of things to eliminate in their apparent effort to move our civilization ever closer to apocalyptic doom.

There are several questions about the DOE’s Energy Information Agency, which is where you go to find out about how much energy we use, of what kind, where it comes from and goes, etc. In other words, the EIA provides an important set of baselines from which one might analyze, track, plan, and generally work on an energy transition. These questions seem to indicate an interest in moving away from renewables, or more precisely, towards changing assessment of energy policy to make renewables look less viable and fossil fuels look more necessary for a longer period of time. This seems to also indicate, unsurprisingly, a pro-fracking stance.

There are several vague questions about the DOE’s Environmental Management and the Handford nuclear waste site.

There are several questions that indicate an intention to expand Nuclear power, re-open Yucca Mountain, and privatize research. There is a question that indicates that the incoming Trump administration intends to cut the DOE budget by 10%

Finally, the last several questions ask about the DOE’s labs, focusing on the personnel. Who are they, what are they up to, what projects are they working on? That sort of thing.

The entire questionnaire is here: [trump-transition-questionaire-to-dept-energy] as a PDF file. Please look through it and let me know what you think.

There appear to be two different questionnaires. The other one is here: [document_gw_06]. I’ve not done a point by point comparison but they seem to be similar in overall content and meaning.

Here is the link to the Trump DOE Transition Team mentioned above: [pyle-what-to-expect-from-the-trump-administration_letter]

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104 thoughts on “Trump Is Compiling Science Enemy Lists UPDATE: “NO,” DOE

  1. We will see if there is really a purge.

    But it wasn’t good when the government targeted climate skeptics.

    It wasn’t good when climate skeptics were threatened with jail.

    [RickA, that did not happen.

    Let me remind you that you are always on probation here. When you start spewing total bullshit that could be taken by an innocent bystander as fact, your bullshit will be removed. -gtl]

    It wasn’t good for the coalition of AG’s to try to get 40 years of corporate emails of Exxon.

    [And it wasn’t good to go after big tobacco, I assume, right? -gtl]

    Hopefully the Trump administration doesn’t threaten jail or go after all the government climate scientists emails for the last 40 years.

    We will have to wait and see.

  2. Consistent with the baloney he spewed during the campaign:

    “Nobody really knows” if climate change is real, Trump said in the “Fox News Sunday” interview, when host Chris Wallace asked the incoming President where he stands on the environment.
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/11/politics/donald-trump-climate-change-interview/index.html

    The self regarding king of fools will perpetrate whatever wingnut agenda he pleases as long as he can get away with it.

  3. Question for the Constitutional wonks:

    Trump is not president; he’s not even “president elect” (and might not be, although that possibility is small).

    For the DOE to respond to this would be to give “Business Sensitive” information to a non-official citizen. I.e., this is not a request from one government official to an agency it oversees. It’s from a private citizen instead.

    So it would seem that the DOE must refuse to provide any of this information to Trump and his team. At least and only if he actually becomes president (God help us all).

    (As with other government agencies,) disbursing any of this information to anyone else outside the DOE who didn’t need to know this would result in firings and possibly legal action…

  4. The government did not target climate skeptics. Or deniers.

    No one threatened climate skeptics –or deniers– with jail.

    Maybe someone should put RickA in jail for peddling his lies and deceptions! (I doubt he would clean up his act, though.)

  5. Trump is the President elect and gets classified briefings.

    Getting info from executive branch departments is no different.

    So I suspect Trump will get information prior to becoming president.

  6. Brainstorms:

    Scientists are asking the government to put skeptics in jail:

    LINK TO SCIENCE DENIAL MEDIA OUTLET REMOVED AS PER POLICY

    Now the shoe is on the other foot (maybe).

    Doesn’t feel good does it.

    [last warning, and you are now going in moderation. You are confusing a legitimate RICO investigation with a witch hunt. This is not a matter of semantics. -gtl]

  7. Resident Conflationary Distorter in Chief,

    Developing lists of scientists to target is not ‘briefing’, btw. Calling it information is irrelevant. And fwiw, Trump apparently isn’t very interested in his classified briefings.

  8. “Scientists are asking the government to put skeptics in jail:”

    Good grief, that was a stupid thing to say when the story first arose, as 20 seconds of investigating could show. Saying it now?

  9. “gets classified briefings.”

    That too seems to be contradicted by his actions – even if the asinine notion that the “survey” sent to DOE staff was about “briefings” could be taken seriously by rational people.

    “It wasn’t good for the coalition of AG’s to try to get 40 years of corporate emails of Exxon.”

    Yeah, trying to deal with criminals who committed fraud, who cares about that?

  10. OA doesn’t like dailycaller – perhaps you will like this one better:

    [LINK TO SCIENCE DENIAL SITE DELETED AS PER POLICY -gtl]

    Do you dispute the existence of the letter and their call to prosecute climate skeptics?

  11. Yeah, I don’t like Curry either. Whatever.

    Here:
    – Actual science.
    – Criminal intent to disinform.
    *Not* the same thing Mr. False Balance Conspiracy Monger.

    Let’s ask ourselves, what might Trump have learned from Roy Cohn? Next up, are purported lawyers capable of recognizing classification errors?

  12. ‘course when the IRS asked about the tax returns of rightwing “charities” (as well as leftwing ones), this was OBVIOUSLY an attempt to stifle free speech and punish rightwingers.

    When someone without the power to demand goes asking lots of questions, well, that’s not PROVEN to be bad, so lets wait until AFTER it’s all fucked up.

    I wonder if rick uses the same technique to avoid crashing the car…

  13. RickA certainly uses the same philosophy (termed used VERY loosely here) to ‘avoid’ destroying his life-supporting ecosystem…

  14. “11. Which Assistant Secretary positions are rooted in statute and which exist at the discretion and delegation of the Secretary?”

    Isn’t this the sort of thing they should know already if they were at all competant? I don’t, but then I’m not an American particularly not one about to be responsble for the DOE.

  15. “What fraud?”

    Exxon did nothing wrong? Is that really what you’re saying?

    @13, 14, etc: Why are you ignoring the subject of the discussions you link to – just to imply that the story is that any objections would be prosecuted? That’s amazingly blatant dishonesty, even for you.

  16. dean:

    Yes – I don’t think Exxon did anything wrong.

    Just pumped oil so I can drive my car and made as much money as they can (like a good corporation).

    1. Rick, citing two or three science denial sites as well as making a statement that is utterly false and misleading. As I said. Just read my responses to your comments, above.

  17. RickA – do you REALLY think you will be able to continue to use irrelevant arguments to sway people here?

    Or do you just crave negative attention?

    And yes – Exxon was at best HIGHLY irresponsible in confounding honest discourse about problems that are and will affect the entire planet adversely – you included – because they placed corporate profits above all – including YOUR well being. They are guilty of being terrible citizens, if nothing else. Your comment about them supplying you with oil is like saying your local Meth dealer is a good guy for keeping you happy despite simultaneously ruining your
    health.

  18. Bruce #25:

    No – I doubt my comments sway people here.

    Still I feel an obligation to help this community stay in touch with the real world. There is a bit of a bubble here and I think my point of view should be considered inside the bubble from time to time.

    Your analogy is flawed.

    Meth is illegal, but oil and gasoline are legal.

  19. @~25

    “…to sway people here?”

    Whatever RickA gets out of what he’s doing, I’m starting to think that his literalism and failure to view the law as a social construct reflect some actual deficits in perspective taking (what scientists think and why) and in categorical reasoning.

    It might explain why ‘drilling down’ on a problem means endless word games and minor points that are forced to fit a gut feeling. There is no real foundation for his conspiracy theory, no reasoned synthesis of information, just a house of mirrors built on the platitudes of like minded people and tortured interpretations.

  20. “No – I doubt my comments sway people here.”

    That could be because your comments are vacuous and your presentation ridiculous.

  21. “Your analogy is flawed.

    Meth is illegal, but oil and gasoline are legal.”

    His analogy stands because it’s not about the legality, but the double standard you provide. You’re willing to thank someone for something sold to you at their benefit and your detriment, but not for someone else. “It’s legal” is not a pertinent factor, since legality or illegality are social constructs and do not pertain to your knob-gobbing of big business.

  22. OA #27:

    I get the same thing by posting here that you do.

    What is my conspiracy theory again?

    It is you and the other posters here with the conspiracy theory – not me.

    Not only do you think there is a conspiracy related to the election, but you also think there is a conspiracy related to Exxon.

  23. “Not only do you think there is a conspiracy related to the election”

    So do you: just the other way round.

    “but you also think there is a conspiracy related to Exxon.”

    WRONG! Exxon fucked up BIGTIME and you really don’t care or know what they did, because you’re told by your handlers that this is just fine, and only hippies, leftists and the illuminati would say otherwise.

  24. Isn’t Exxon a corporation? Isn’t a corporation a group of people conspiring to conduct business and make money?

    Then there obviously is a conspiracy related to Exxon.

    Now, you need to be more specific as far as what they’ve been conspiring to accomplish — such as hiding research that Exxon commissioned/conducted that shows that the product they were conspiring to sell to make money is actually detrimental to the long-term safety and well-being of their customers, detrimental to the society that their customers need and expect, and detrimental to the ecosystem their customers depend on to remain safe and alive.

    Prior lawsuits on this very subject have been conducted and settled. And the legal precedent is that corporations who conspire to put their monetary incomes ahead of such disclosures are morally, ethically, and legally culpable.

    And that’s from YOUR bubble-zone, RickA, not ours. So we here feel an obligation to help you stay in touch with the real world. There is a bit of a bubble surrounding you (which you nurture incessantly) and we think a real-world, moral, ethical, etc. point of view should be considered inside your bubble from time to time.

  25. I get the same thing by posting here that you do.

    What? You’re burning off excess caffein too?

    What is my conspiracy theory again?

    That the majority of climate scientists have succumbed to rabid liberal groupthink and are conspiring to bilk taxpayers of mega-bucks using alarming falsehoods which we know can’t be true because the economeeeeee!!!

    No?

    It is you and the other posters here with the conspiracy theory – not me.

    Shorter RickA: “I know you are, but what am I?” And into the wingnut house of mirrors we go!

    Not only do you think there is a conspiracy related to the election, but you also think there is a conspiracy related to Exxon.

    Huh? The first part of your statement is false, and relates in no logical way to the second part, for which there is some evidence. Just out of curiosity, if you could suspend for a moment the impulse to reject the evidence out of hand, would you get the difference?

  26. CUI BONO might be a very helpful tool to analyse Donald Trump c.s..

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. That page was last modified on 25 September 2016, at 18:34.

    “Cui bono” (/kwi? ?bo?no?/), literally “for whose benefit?”, is a Latin phrase which is still in use[1] as a key forensic question in legal and police investigation: finding out who has a motive for a crime. It is an adage that is used either to suggest a hidden motive or to indicate that the party responsible for something may not be who it appears at first to be.[2]

    The phrase is a double dative construction. It is also rendered as “cui prodest” (“whom does it profit?”).

    Commonly the phrase is used to suggest that the person or people guilty of committing a crime may be found among those who have something to gain, chiefly with an eye toward financial gain. The party that benefits may not always be obvious or may have successfully diverted attention to a scapegoat, for example.

    The Roman orator and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero, in his speech Pro Roscio Amerino,[3] section 84, attributed the expression “cui bono” to the Roman consul and censor Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla:

    L. Cassius ille quem populus Romanus verissimum et sapientissimum iudicem putabat identidem in causis quaerere solebat “cui bono” fuisset.
    The famous Lucius Cassius, whom the Roman people used to regard as a very honest and wise judge, was in the habit of asking, time and again, “To whose benefit?”

    Another example of Cicero using “cui bono” is in his defence of Milo, in the Pro Milone. He even makes a reference to Cassius: “let that maxim of Cassius apply”.[4]

    References[edit]
    1. Jump up ^ Gerhart, Eugene C. (1998). Quote it completely, p. 258-259.
    2. Jump up ^ Adeleye, Gabriel G. et al. (1999). World dictionary of foreign expressions, p. 86.
    3. Jump up ^ Pro Roscio Amerino
    4. Jump up ^ Cicero, Pro Milone 32.3)

  27. Remarkable facts of Donald Trump is his choice as president elect of former elderly military to be appointed in the new government under Trump. Furthermore his hardline denial of Climate Change, and now a rather obscure and alarming questionnaire about earth-scientists whose expertise concern the state of the planet and the destruction of our planet by the military Industrial complex. Cui Bono is the lead to follow. What are Trumps interests? Why does he need so many dirty tricks and noise in his way of speech? His trick or treat approach? His threats toward people who disagree with Trumps opinions? He is changing the world into a nightmare of constant spooky Halloween. Another question is, how far are his important supporters prepared to go to keep Donald Trump in the saddle? I consider the climate-science questionnaire of Trump as a result of ‘intelligence’ to manipulate politics and the fragile cloth of democracy and truth in favor of short term profit of multinationals to the detriment of mankind. One may call it a conspiracy theory, but that is bull. Just relax and look what is happening. I would investigate Mr Trumps relation with the military and the objectives of his militant troopers, or let’s say Trumpers and the willingness of lack of willingness to respect and to protect all people without any discrimination, this is the balance between freedom and a good life for each and everyone.
    If Mr Donald Trump uses Dirty Tricks for success, is America willing to accept that?
    If so that would be a blow for mankind.
    Will Donald Trump c.s. respect human rights of all and the safety of earth and atmosphere? One thing I would advise, don’t cooperate with he questionnaire, make a public stand against it. Refuse it.
    Think free and be free.
    Good luck world. Laren NH, Tuesday 13 December 2016, 5.44AM Dutch time.

  28. “Hopefully the Trump administration doesn’t threaten jail or go after all the government climate scientists emails for the last 40 years.”

    I’m pretty sure the Trump administration *will* go after the government climate scientists’ emails. After all, Lamar Smith is likely to continue to lead the House Science Committee. But now he’ll have a compliant executive!

  29. Seems Trump Derangement Syndrome will derail the quality of your science reporting from now on, for at least 4 years. Please snap out of it. The new administration’s political haters seem to have become addicts of dystopian visions. Science is about optimism!

    1. Gal: I know, but look how great my political writing is!

      I should point out, though, that I’m not reporting science. I leave that to the journalists.

  30. Forgotten if allowed toswear here or not .. if not, well, please feel free to delete but just ..

    Shit.

    Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit.

    This really looks ominous.

    For everyone on our pale blue dot.

  31. Odd trumpie should demand things from the past that have no actual legal force behind the demand, yet refuses to show off his tax returns (except the one where he lost, what, a billion dollars, near enough. Good god, he claims to be a good businessman???).

  32. That there is the best political writing. It’s the best, we’ll make political writing great again. We don’t believe how great that political writing is, it’s off the charts.

    And you made the Mexicans write it. And pay for the hosting.

  33. “and no RickA that does not mean I’m saying he’s actually going to have them killed”

    But rick can only conceive of that reason to quash the voice of others, especially scientists! So you’re obviously wrong!

    Or something. Who knows with deniers.

  34. Wow #44:

    It is not I who wants to quash the voice of others.

    I say everyone gets free speech – even science advocates!

    It is liberals with their safe space and trigger words who want to shut down the speech of others.

    If you had the power you would shut down all “denier” speech. It would be for the good of the children. Right?

  35. “It is not I who wants to quash the voice of others.”

    Yes you do.

    “I say everyone gets free speech – even science advocates!”

    OK, but what does that have to do with this discussion? Nothing.

    “It is liberals with their safe space and trigger words who want to shut down the speech of others.”

    No, it’s the conservative with their free speech zones who want to shut down the speech of others. And that’s the conservative GOVERNMENT, not a tiny segment of academicals. A tad more important and powerful, yeah? After all 1st amnd is only restricting government’s right to censor speech. Not academics in niche departments.

    “If you had the power you would shut down all “denier” speech. It would be for the good of the children. Right?”

    Only if they;re talking or parroting known lies. You can tell all the truth you like. And if you are of the opinion that mexicans are rapists and criminals (but great people when you want their vote), then saying that’s your opinion is true. So opinions are still covered with that right.

    Just the same way your police can’t frame you and tell the courts you had a packet of coke on you when fitting you up for a crime you didn’t commit, because despite being speech (“We found coke on him”) it’s known false and they are lying to the court (lying by omission: omitting “Because we put it in his pocket when we stopped him”). After all, they DID find coke on you. They put it there, so we KNOW it’s the truth. And saying they put it on you, therefore that act is illegal, really doesn’t matter, because they’re the police and you’re a druggie, and you would have to admit that their claim of finding it on you was true.

    But we make it a crime for the police to even say they found the coke on you, you don’t have to defend yourself against the charge. And you may get them on TWO counts of criminal activity, rather than just one, if they disobey that law.

  36. Nice try, Wow, but “legal matters” go over RickA’s head.

    Because his head is buried in the sand, working on more of his trademark self-serving rhetorical bullshit designed to deny, evade, confuse, and inveigle.

  37. Well, guarding against someone thinking rick had a point when he linked to the definition of terms in the US legal code.

    Won’t change rick, but others may now know better.

    More than that is for the LULZ or demonstration of what they are doing feels like to others.

    Damn horrible thing is that some who do this for specific meme-busting topics demonstrate that they can do intellectual discourse on other subjects.

    Fair enough, if you find it hard to do so only do it on certain pet subjects, go ahead, but don’t go and do the half-assed effort where you don’t feel your effort is warranted. Just don’t put the half effort in to post the half-assed thoughts and opinions. Saving it for your pet issues instead.

    I may not agree (and even vehemently) with your reasoned discourse, but I’ll do every effort to debunk similarly, change my position (or reassess what I “know” at least) or vacate the conversation if I can’t be bothered, leaving the floor for you or someone else who has the knowledge and desire to do the job.

  38. We will see if there is really a purge. But it wasn’t good when the government targeted climate skeptics.

    Hey, Shit-for-bfraimns mother fucker! Please give an example of any government targeting skeptics.

  39. With the choice of Perry, Pruit, and Tillerson, only the dimmest of dimwitted phucking assholes would not recognize that the old Standard Oil, ESSO,Exxon monster is still alive and well.and is about to devour western civilization. The hidden government of the world has now come out in the open. I guess that it feels safe to come out of hiding now.. It is saying… “You like having heat in your house? You like being able to drive to work? You like having a job? You like eating food? Then shut up and toe the line, niggar! Otherwise, it’s all over for you baby blue! “

    So how do we stop this nightmare? Realistically?

    Better hope that climate change takes down the whole freaking house of cards soon because you and I are pretty much shit out of luck otherwise.. Oh how stupid we science types have been! Wrapped up in our own little devotional explorations of interesting but meaningless shit while the sociopaths and psychopaths took over our world. You know, knowing all about black holes and rare birds, mollusks and ice extent is lots of fun but it is pretty much totally useless shit when someone points a gun to your head and says get in that mass grave, science lover!. Just saying. So have a wonderful day everybody.

    I certainly hope that we don’t end up like the unfortunate Jewish people in Europe during WWII who were murdered en mass. About all that the local fascists have to do now is to complete the take over of the US government, declare a war on some unfortunate nation somewhere, and then declare martial law at home. It is a easy as that. Half the nation, the half that thinks professional wrestling is real, is ready to murder the rest of us at the drop of a hat.

    I guess that one of us science types should have done a study on “The Possible Take Over of the United States of America By International Oil Interests Allied With People Who Think That Professional Wrestling Is Not Fake.”. Oh Well. Too late now. . Hindsight, as they say, is 20:20.

    I’m thinking Talking Heads, Life in Wartime. Have a sweet day.

  40. RickA (#26): Meth is illegal, but oil and gasoline are legal.

    Yes, gasoline and oil are legal. So are tobacco and liquor, but they still kill people. The smart response is to sell them without confusing the public about their hazards. It’s not as if doing so would make them unprofitable.

    It would, however, prevent the companies involved from “[making] as much money as they can (like a good corporation)”. One of the more pernicious myths prevalent today is that the only duty of a corporation is to make as much money as possible for its shareholders.

  41. OA (#5): Sad, btw, that they now need to post an article like this:

    RE: the AGU meeting. Curses! I had planned to attend this year, but I didn’t because they refused to renounce ExxonMobil sponsorship. AIUI, XOM withdrew that sponsorship just last week — too late for me to get the advance-registration discount.

    The cynical view would be that XOM doesn’t need to fund the AGU any longer, since Tillerson will push policies that benefit them at no cost to them. I don’t know if that’s the true view, but it’s a reasonable view.

  42. Christopher Winter:

    Yep – tobacco and liquor can kill and do kill some people.

    So does water.

    So does time.

    Look – despite the progressive whining, we need fossil fuels.

    We are no where near being able to shut off the flow of fossil fuels and replacing it with anything else.

    That is a fact.

    I happen to be pro-nuclear, and I hope the Trump administration builds a bunch of new fourth generation passively cooled nuclear power plants to replace aging fossil fuel plants.

    But they will be more expensive than the fossil fuel plants they replace.

    What we really need is to invent a non-carbon producing form of energy which is cheaper than fossil fuels – but we haven’t done that yet.

    Until then – we will need Exxon and all the other fossil fuel companies.

    By the way – I bet Exxon does fund AGU next year.

  43. Look – despite the progressive whining, we need fossil fuels.

    Oh FFS you lying clown. It’s not ‘progressive whining’ its physics.

    Just because you are too thick to understand it and believe – hilariously – that your ignorant ‘opinion’ carries equal weight with scientific consensus doesn’t change a thing.

  44. we need fossil fuels.

    No, we don’t. You’re conflating “we want” with “we need”. We do not need. We only want, like a thief wants something he sees on someone’s property. We want FF because it’s cheap energy.

    But FFs are a battery, not a fuel source. And it’s not only damaging & dangerous to discharge these “batteries”, they’re running out of charge, too. It will take millions of years to recharge them, if ever.

    The days of tapping “nearly free” energy in the form of FF are over. Look skyward for its replacement. Also nearly free, ironically, so you’re lucky. If you’re not stupid. (We aren’t holding our breath.)

    What we really need is to invent a non-carbon producing form of energy which is cheaper than fossil fuels – but we haven’t done that yet.

    Wrong again. We have done this. YOU need to factor in the total cost of your precious FF before you start any comparisons. We have done this. There is no “until then”. Your then is already.

  45. BBD #55:

    Ok – physics says we still need fossil fuels.

    Perhaps I should call it wishful thinking instead of progressive whining.

    Like – I wish that the temperature would only rise by 2C.

    Or – I wish that the temperature would only rise by 1.5C.

    I hear this wishful thinking, but see no plan on how to achieve this wish.

    And certainly no cost benefit analysis to support the non-existent plan.

    Stop using fossil fuels just isn’t going to cut it as a plan.

    But please go ahead and demonize Exxon and all the other fossil fuel companies.

    It has worked so well.

  46. “Ok – physics says we still need fossil fuels.”

    No it doesn’t.
    A) It has no vocal chords, ergo can’t say anything
    B) Even if it could, it would say we still need sunlight, coal can go fudge itself.

    “Like – I wish that the temperature would only rise by 2C.

    Or – I wish that the temperature would only rise by 1.5C.

    I hear this wishful thinking, but see no plan on how to achieve this wish.”

    Well, 2C we may well be past, but we could remove the excess CO2 and get back to about 300ppm CO2.

    “And certainly no cost benefit analysis to support the non-existent plan.”

    Welcome to tautology 101, where we learn about tautology!

    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/climate-change/carbon-free-power-grid/

    BTW.

    “But please go ahead and demonize Exxon and all the other fossil fuel companies.”

    Didn’t need your permission. You know, free speech and all that.

    “It has worked so well.”

    Very.

    https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/16/12/13/0011218/fossil-fuel-divestment-has-doubled-in-the-last-15-months

  47. It has worked so well.

    Pointing out that the FF industry has sponsored the denial industry is hardly ‘demonising’. It’s a matter of fact.

    This rhetoric is on the same level as ‘progressive whining’.

  48. And certainly no cost benefit analysis to support the non-existent plan.

    Since the cost of failing to decarbonise and overshooting 3C is planetary catastrophe, then wittering about CBA is just more crap denialist rhetoric. It’s what deniers do when they’ve been so badly savaged over the science that they retreat to half-arsed ‘economics’ as a last resort.

    Big, jaw-cracking yawn time.

  49. Wow #59:

    Moving shares of Exxon from progressive hands to non-progressive hands does what again?

    Nothing!

    But if it makes you feel good go ahead.

  50. BBD #61:

    Planetary catastrophe.

    Hansen said something similar in 2006 and 2009.

    He was wrong.

    I think you are wrong also – if we even hit 3C.

    The Earth has been warmer than 3C above 1750 in the past and there was no planetary catastrophe.

    But keep crying that the sky is falling – that is also working well.

  51. RickA (#54): Yep – tobacco and liquor can kill and do kill some people.

    So does water.

    Let me tell you about Flint, Michigan. On second thought, why bother? You’d just miss the point.

    Look – despite the progressive whining, we need fossil fuels.

    We are no where near being able to shut off the flow of fossil fuels and replacing it with anything else.

    I agree. I think anyone sensible would agree. That is why no one sensible is demanding we shut off the flow of fossil fuels. But people whose arguments need a straw man — people like you — constantly raise it as a fearful prospect.

    That is a fact.

    Another fact is that we might already have reached the point where using buried hydrocarbons for power and transportation was optional, giving us the desirable option of using them only for petrochemicals. We might have, that is, but for the constant opposition of people who feel as you do that profit is “job 0” for corporations and that hence fossil fuels must continue to be sold until every possible drop of profit is wrung out of their sales.

    This opposition is documented history. But that’s an aspect of time you apparently prefer to ignore.

    I happen to be pro-nuclear, and I hope the Trump administration builds a bunch of new fourth generation passively cooled nuclear power plants to replace aging fossil fuel plants.

    I feel the same way. But I think it’s unlikely that Trump will do more for nuclear than keep existing BWR and PWR plants going, since new plants will be costlier than fossil-fuel plants.

  52. Christopher #64:

    If you want fossil fuels left in the ground than somebody has to invent something to generate energy which is CHEAPER than fossil fuels.

    Otherwise you are fighting market forces.

    You can make fossil fuels more expensive by imposing a tax – but market forces will oppose that.

    Or you can make your desired energy production system cheaper than fossil fuels.

    Those are the only two choices.

    But first somebody has to invent the non-existent cheaper non-carbon producing energy source!

    Lets do that first – than talk about not using fossil fuels for power and transportation.

    Till then you are just engaged in wishful thinking.

    You may be correct about nuclear power – but a lot of green progressives disagree and oppose any new nuclear.

    I personally would be in favor of spending more per KW on nuclear – especially if we drove the costs down by getting power companies to build them in large numbers.

    Say 25 per year for 10 years.

    Standardize the design, approve it once and start cranking them out.

    But that might be wishful thinking on my side.

  53. RickA

    Planetary catastrophe.

    Hansen said something similar in 2006 and 2009.

    He was wrong.

    How? We haven’t got there yet.

    I think you are wrong also – if we even hit 3C.

    The Earth has been warmer than 3C above 1750 in the past and there was no planetary catastrophe.

    A false equivalence logical error. The problem is the rapidity of warming which is unprecedented. It’s too fast for ecosystems to adapt. So there will be a mass extinction event.

  54. And how did he claim catastrophe? All we have from the cereal liar is it was something similar.

    “The Earth has been warmer than 3C above 1750 in the past and there was no planetary catastrophe.”

    And our species was nonexistent, pretty catastrophic to me. And all those coal seams? Underwater. Certainly catastrophic.

  55. BBD #66:

    We are there.

    Hansen said 10 years in 2006 – so that is now.
    Hansen said 4 years in 2009 – so that was 2013 – past.
    So we are there on both time frames.
    Now Hansen says we actually have more time than he said we had before – so he was wrong in 2006 and 2009.
    Oops.

    You think there will be a mass extinction – but you don’t know there will be a mass extinction.

    Since I am sure nothing much is going to change on the amount of CO2 being emitted by our planet, given China and India, we will have a chance to see whether you are right or not.

    Let me know when I should expect the mass extinction and I will docket it and check it out on the due date.

  56. “Hansen said 10 years in 2006 – so that is now.”

    Said what?

    “Hansen said 4 years in 2009 – so that was 2013 – past.”

    Said what?

    “Now Hansen says we actually have more time than he said we had before – so he was wrong in 2006 and 2009.”

    Would that be because we did something and it was effective in the meantime? Shock.

    “Since I am sure nothing much is going to change on the amount of CO2 being emitted by our planet, given China and India,”

    So, you think that China and India will do enough themselves so that you doing nothing won’t make it worse? Or did you not understand what you wrote?

    And why are you so sure? I thought there was all sorts of problems with predicting the climate. Care to tell us all the models and science and facts you used to make yourself so sure?

    OR is this a “ruby slippers” kind of sure?

  57. Wow #69:

    Here are the Hansen quotes:

    “We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.”

    – James Hansen, 2006 (“The Threat to the Planet,” New York Times Review of Books)

    “We cannot afford to put off [climate policy] change any longer. We have to get on a new path within this new administration. We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead.”

    – James Hansen, 2009 (“President ‘has four years to save Earth’“, The Guardian, January 17)

    “Contrary to the impression favored by governments, the corner has not been turned toward declining emissions and GHG amounts…. Negative CO2 emissions, i. e., extraction of CO2 from the air, is now required.”

    – James Hansen, “Young People’s Burden.” October 4, 2016.

    “The ponderous response of the climate system also means that we don’t need to instantaneously reduce GHG amounts.”

    – James Hansen, “We Hold Truths to be Self-Evident“ December 2, 2016.

  58. RickA, you are utterly misrepresenting Hansen. Please stop.

    You think there will be a mass extinction – but you don’t know there will be a mass extinction

    Yes, I do. I know it because it is a fact that when environmental change outpaces any organism’s ability to adapt or migrate, that organism becomes extinct.

  59. BBD #72:

    Right – I guess I am wrong when I say we have not altered fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions. They are still going up. China and India are planning on emitting more in the future than today.

    But now – all of the sudden, after Trump won the election and there is no real prospect of the USA changing its climate policy, NOW we have more time.

    I am not misrepresenting Hansen at all.

    His problem is he is a serial exaggerator. A scientific advocate – who is trying to change the behavior of the entire world. Naturally he exaggerates in order to try to scare people into doing what he wants them to do. For the children.

    Instead all he does is cause the entire field of climate science to lose credibility.

  60. “I am not misrepresenting Hansen at all.”

    Yup, you are. Which is why you’re ignoring the requests to show what Hansen said.

  61. “Wow – you really have your ideological blinders on today.”

    You misspelt “have me dead to rights”.

    “Think what you like – I do.”

    We noticed. See “bang to rights”

  62. I am not misrepresenting Hansen at all.

    Yes, you are. Hansen said *if* emissions are not curtailed, starting now, *then* there will be severe climate impacts in the future. Not that they would have happened by now. If you are going to quote Hansen, at least try to understand what he is saying.

    But now – all of the sudden, after Trump won the election and there is no real prospect of the USA changing its climate policy, NOW we have more time.

    No, we don’t ‘have more time’. Since the general view is that 1.5C is indeed wishful thinking, and perhaps 2C as well, you are misrepresenting Hansen. And the signs that a Trump administration stacked with vested-interest deniers is going to edge the world closer to disaster are already appearing (headpost and topic).

  63. Missed this:

    Instead all he does is cause the entire field of climate science to lose credibility.

    No, he doesn’t. Stop using silly rhetoric. It weakens your argument. Not that it was a fearsome edifice in the first place, but hey, we must play the game.

  64. As you note, there are two versions of the questionnaire on line. The other one has for some reason re-ordered the questions, apparently at random. It also appears to have added some questions.

    Its questions 9 & 10 (54 & 55 on the list you’re working from) seem to indicate a desire to turn away from the Clean Power Plan (which is no secret, of course.)

    #9: In the Annual Energy Outlook 2016, EIA assumed that the Clean Power Plan should be in the reference case despite the fact that the reference case is based on existing laws and regulations. Why did EIA make that assumption, which seems to be atypical of past forecasts?

  65. “We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.”

    – James Hansen, 2006 (“The Threat to the Planet,” New York Times Review of Books)

    So not saying that there would be a catastrophe like you claimed. Just saying we had that time to make big changes.

    “We cannot afford to put off [climate policy] change any longer. We have to get on a new path within this new administration. We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead.”

    – James Hansen, 2009 (“President ‘has four years to save Earth’“, The Guardian, January 17)

    Which is true: Trumpie will not do anything about AGW, because it costs him money and only poor people will die. Since Obama cannot run more than two terms, that makes a 4 year approximately term to do something.

    Oh, and not saying that catastrophes would be happening.

    “Contrary to the impression favored by governments, the corner has not been turned toward declining emissions and GHG amounts…. Negative CO2 emissions, i. e., extraction of CO2 from the air, is now required.”

    – James Hansen, “Young People’s Burden.” October 4, 2016.

    So, yet again not saying that catastrophes will happen. But is now saying we have to do carbon draw-down to undo the changes.

    Ignoring that you have made an untrue accusation, it remains to ask: How do you know he’s wrong?

  66. Remember, rick, this is what you claimed about Hansen:

    Planetary catastrophe.

    Hansen said something similar in 2006 and 2009.

    He was wrong.

    He said nothing similar to “Planetary catastrophe” in what you quoted as evidence of him saying that.

  67. Wow #88:

    You are entitled to your opinion.

    But my opinion is that the benchmarks Hansen set out were not accomplished.

    Meaning he thinks we would be screwed.

    Except now he has changed his mind, and no longer thinks we are screwed – because now we have more time.

    I happen to agree with him (now) – and thought he was wrong all along.

    We have plenty of time.

    My preferred course of action doesn’t even require anybody agree with an ECS central estimate of 3C.

    I would start replacing fossil fuel power plants with nuclear as they reach their end of life.

    It is a simple plan.

    It can be costed (and it will cost more than a new coal power plant) – but we can decide whether we are willing to pay the additional monies.

    We can determine its benefits.

    And we can decide.

  68. “You are entitled to your opinion.”

    And has nothing to do with truth statements. I’m confused. Am I supposed to require your permission to have an opinion?

  69. “[M]y opinion is that the benchmarks Hansen set out were not accomplished.”

    Your eternal disingenuousness aside, the Paris Agreement certainly qualifies as ‘getting on a new path.” It might even be the key (through the threat of global sanctions) to keeping our new reptilian overlords in line as to sensible energy policy.

    If not, it sure isn’t Hansen’s fault.

    Now PLEASE go do some homework, you big dummy.

  70. Hang on Corey, I’d like to know if we have to get permission from rick for our opinions. Because if not, why did he tell me I was entitled to my opinion? It’s just empty words.

    And if rick keeps pulling empty words out, then there’s no reason to believe anything else he posts has meaning.

  71. Corey #91:

    The Paris agreement is voluntary.

    There are no sanctions.

    It permits increased global emissions – so it doesn’t “alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.”

    Please go do your own homework.

  72. OK, I think we can tell we now have evidence that rick just uses empty words, without meaning.

    “Hansen said something similar [to Planetary Catastrophe]”
    becomes, without a blink or glint of shame
    “the benchmarks Hansen set out were not accomplished.”

    And now
    “the benchmarks Hansen set out were not accomplished.”
    again, without even a murmur or hesitation from conscience being pricked, becomes
    “the Paris accord is voluntary”

    rick says something: it doesn’t mean ANYTHING.

    1. “It means I am right and name calling is all you have left.”

      Er, but you *ARE* a moron with shit where brains should be. You know that.

      Are you claiming evil despicable people are “right” because people say they are evil and despicable?

  73. “I love it when you resort to name calling.”

    Because then you can make different shit up?

    “It means I am right ”

    No, it doesn’t. You’re

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirming_the_consequent

    Affirming the consequent, sometimes called converse error, fallacy of the converse or confusion of necessity and sufficiency, is a formal fallacy of inferring the converse from the original statement. The corresponding argument has the general form:

    If P, then Q.
    Q.
    Therefore, P.

    An argument of this form is invalid, i.e., the conclusion can be false even when statements 1 and 2 are true. Since P was never asserted as the only sufficient condition for Q, other factors could account for Q (while P was false)

    “and name calling is all you have left.”

    No, that is not true. But since you’re bullshitting and when you make a claim and are found out, you bullshit your way into pretending that you meant something else. So argument with you is unnecessary and unproductive, so name-calling is as valid and useful a response to your comments as cogent and logical argument.

    If you didn’t bullshit all the time, there would be an actual difference between name calling you (by the way, here’s the world’s smallest violin for you, you special snowflake. Sheeeit, you redneck idiots are always pretending you’re rough and tough and the lefties are all wussies, but call you mean names and you cry more than Gascoigne after winning a football match).

  74. I love it when you resort to name calling.

    It means I am right and name calling is all you have left.

    RTFL. I didn’t ‘resort to name calling’.

    As for you being right… we’ve established that you aren’t at great length, here and elsewhere. Insisting otherwise is nuts.

  75. Describing your actions is not name-calling.

    So, “RickA is an asshole” is name-calling.

    “RickA peddles self-serving deceit” is NOT name-calling.

    You keep peddling self-serving deceit. We don’t accept it, and you’re not shaming us for it. Try again, RickA.

  76. Since RickA clearly did not RTFL in my earlier comment, here’s an excerpt from that link to the the review of Frankfurt’s book:

    There is an interesting problem sketched at the end of the book, wherein sincerity is described as an ideal for those who do not believe that there is any (objective) truth, thus departing from the ideal of correctness. Now, Frankfurt does not mention the word ‘postmodern’ at all in his book (which is a good thing, I think), but to some extent the last pages may be understood to be a critical punch on a postmodern rejection of the ideal of the truth. Be this as it may, when a person rejects the notion of being true to the facts and turns instead to an ideal of being true to their own substantial and determinate nature, then according to Frankfurt this sincerity is bullshit.

  77. Pfft.

    I’ve had (summarised) an argument that went with me starting with a claim,then the counters I received *from the same person* went:

    1) Where did you get that idea? (implying that it needed corroboration. When answered with a valid source…
    2) Well, that’s just their opinion. (implying that it doesn’t matter if it’s from someone else, making #1 pointless, and that all opinions are equally valid). Then pointing to another source…
    3) That place is the worst place to get it from! (saying that, though every opinion is equally valid, some are less equally valid than others)

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