Wall Street Journal’s 16 Climate Quacks

Posted on February 1, 2012


Another failure of climate journalism at America’s most venerable business newspaper.

 No Need to Panic About Global Warming” the Wall Street Journal headline reads.

Oh my, I think, really?  When 97% of the world’s climate scientists say the contrary, those folks at the WSJ must have extraordinary evidence on their side to make such a claim, I think.

Or are they merely extraordinarily incompetent journalists?

Let’s find out which, shall we, by examining the “extraordinary” evidence behind that extraordinary headline.

And what is that evidence?  An op-ed piece signed by 16 scientists.

My goodness!

The IPCC reports represent the summarized views of thousands of scientists, all working specialists in their field.  The Academies of Science from nineteen different countries have endorsed the IPCC view.  So have all the following organizations:

• American Association for the Advancement of Science
• American Astronomical Society
• American Chemical Society
• American Geophysical Union
• American Institute of Physics
• American Meteorological Society
• American Physical Society
• Australian Coral Reef Society
• Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
• Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO
• British Antarctic Survey
• Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
• Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
• Environmental Protection Agency
• European Federation of Geologists
• European Geosciences Union
• European Physical Society
• Federation of American Scientists
• Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
• Geological Society of America
• Geological Society of Australia
• International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)
• International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
• National Center for Atmospheric Research
• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
• Royal Meteorological Society
• Royal Society of the UK

Those sixteen people must be extraordinary, indeed, I think, if the Wall Street Journal holds their opinion higher than that of all the above scientists and organizations, representing literally hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of expert voices!

So who are they, this wowza bunch of WSJ climate experts?

Most are in their 70s.  One is a professor of marketing.  A few are retired weathermen.  Of those who ever had one—way back in their scientific salad days—many have long ago retired from an active scientific life.  Those who have not so retired now work largely in administrative and political positions.  Others work for explicitly political right wing organizations, often with direct funding from oil companies.

Taking funding at any level from petrochemical corporations is of course already a conflict of interest that any scrupulous scientist would readily disclose.  No such scruples are shown by anybody on this list or by the Wall Street Journal either, which—if I can discover these conflicts of interest without trouble of any kind—then they at a major newspaper could also be expected to be aware of.

That’s not just bad journalism.  That’s practically fraud.

And, to top it all off, there are only two actual climate scientists on the WSJ list.


And not particularly impressive ones, either.

The Wall Street Journal is owned by Rupert Murdoch, one of the world’s least reputable media magnates.  It shows.

Oh, how it shows.


 The Wall Street Journal’s list of people they say  you ought to listen to instead of 97% of the world’s climate scientists:

 Claude Allegre, 74, politician, scientific charlatan caught fabricating scientific evidence. In May of 2010 more than 600 prominent French scientists signed a letter in protest against him because of his scientific shenanigans and his unsubstantiated attacks on climate scientists.

Featured in Simple Sam & the Three Deniers and Deniers R Us – Claude Allegre

 J. Scott Armstrong, 74, marketing professor

Featured in 36 Climate Deniers in Search of Credibility

 Jan Breslow, 70-ish, medical doctor

 Roger Cohen, Manager, Strategic Planning and Programs ExxonMobil Corporation (retired.)

Featured in 36 Climate Deniers in Search of Credibility

Edward David, President of Research and Engineering, Exxon Corporation (retired.)

William Happer, 70-ish, Board member, George Marshall Institute, a conservative think-tank involved heavily in systematic climate change denial, with sizeable funding from ExxonMobil.

Featured in 36 Climate Deniers in Search of Credibility

 Michael Kelly, 62, Professor of Technology, (solid state electronics)

William Kininmonth, MSc, meteorologist (retired).  No peer-reviewed published work on climate.  I like to call him “Professor Flubber” for his well-publicized idea that greenhouse gases emit more energy than they absorb (making them the perfect fuel for a perpetual motion machine.)  Works for conservative lobby groups funded by oil money.

Featured in Ideologues and Charlatans: A reader’s parade of climate deniers

 Richard Lindzen, 71, one of the few actual climate scientists on this list.

Featured in Simple Sam & the Three Deniers, 36 Climate Deniers in Search of Credibility, Simple Sam & Dr Lindzen’s Missing Ingredients, Dumb Things Deniers Say: CO2 Is Good for You.  He has his own special section on Skeptical Science called Lindzen Illusions.

James McGrath, mid-70s, chemistry professor.

Rodney Nichols, 70-ish, employee of the George Marshall Institute, a conservative “think tank” with important funding from ExxonMobil.  Once employed as paid consultant for Shell Oil.

 Burt Rutan, 68, aerospace engineer,

 Harrison H. Schmitt, 76, former astronaut and Republican senator.

Featured in Harrison Schmitt:  Cherry-Pickers of the “Artic”

Nir Shaviv, 32, advocate of cosmic rays as a cause of climate change.  Ideas refuted here: http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ra01300e.html

Henk Tennekes, 75, meteorologist forced to resign from the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute, recently publicly resigning from Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, all about his climate change views.  A colleague of Christopher Monckton and Willie Soon working for oil funded conservative lobby groups.  No published research in the last 15 years.

Antonio Zichichi, 82, nuclear physicist, prominent Catholic.


 Also writing about this list: http://brutishandshort.com/2012/01/27/shock-news-global-warming-denialists-are-dishonest-pt-1/