Washington Post Attack on Nobel Prize-Winning Climate Sceptic Backfires Spectacularly

CHRIS MORRISON | 23 Nov 2023

The Washington Post recently broke mainstream media ranks and launched a spiteful attack on last year’s Nobel Physics prize winner, Dr. John Clauser. Recently Dr. Clauser has come out strongly against the notion that there is a climate emergency, but his remarks have been ignored by journalists following a ‘settled’ narrative. Unfortunately, the WaPo stunt turned into a spectacular own goal since it called on the services of the science influencer Michael Mann to attack Clauser’s view as  “pure garbage”. This has led the CO2 Coalition, a body that lobbies for better understanding of the role of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and where Dr. Clauser is now a Director, to note: “Bottom line: a fake Nobel Laureate (Mann) criticised a real one (Clauser).”

This of course is a refence to Mann’s notorious attempt to claim a Nobel after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was jointly awarded the Peace Prize in 2007, along with Al Gore. Mann subsequently took to the U.S. libel courts when uncharitable remarks were made about his 1,000-year ‘hockey stick’ temperature graph, a scandal at the centre of Climategate that showed how the Medieval Warming Period and subsequent Little Ice Age were abolished. In court filings, he complained about an “attempt to discredit consistently validated scientific research through the professional and personal defamation of a Nobel Prize recipient”. Mann had contributed to IPCC work and was one of numerous other writers who initially claimed Laureate status from the Peace Prize. When it all got rather silly, the IPCC sent around a memo, in effect telling them to stop it.

The WaPo story reported that Clauser’s recent remarks have alarmed top climate scientists who say he is using his stature to mislead the public about what it calls a “planetary emergency”. It is true that Clauser’s recent entry into the climate debate has sent shock waves through politicised scientific circles, since a scientist of his stature is hard to ignore. Mainstream media have been largely silent, but his views have spread like wildfire on social media. And he’s been on the road of late telling an audience in Baltimore that he has great news. “There is no climate crisis! … Much as it may upset many people, my message is the planet is not in peril.”

Dr. Clauser recently signed the World Climate Declaration (WCD) that states there is no climate emergency. The WCD has now been signed by many hundreds of distinguished scientists, including another Nobel Physics winner. Earlier this year, Clauser said the popular climate narrative “reflects a dangerous corruption of science that threatens the world’s economy and the well-being of billions of people”. For its part, WaPo refers to Clauser’s “remarkable shift” since winning the Nobel, and states that the “vast majority” of climate scientists agree that global warming will have “catastrophic consequences” for current and future generations.

They’ll be informing us soon that 97% of scientists believe we are going to climate hell in a handcart. Meanwhile, back in the real world, Dr. Clauser recently told a group of young South Korean scientists that they must follow the scientific method based on good observations and experiments. Good observations always overrule purely speculative theory. Referring to climate science, he noted the world is “literally awash, saturated, with pseudoscience, with bad science, with scientific misinformation and disinformation”. At a time when the United Nations-head Antonio Guterres talks complete drivel about ‘global boiling’, Clauser sees the IPCC as “one of the worst sources of dangerous misinformation”.

There is one item of interest in the WaPo story when Clauser found himself in the Oval Office for a private meeting with President Biden. Having listening to Clauser’s views, Biden dismissed them as “Right-wing science”. A stupid remark, of course, but hardly less dumb than Mann’s recent comments that a Republican takeover of Congress would be a “planetary disaster”. In Mann’s world, the Republican party needs to be destroyed, since its members “never let facts get in the way of a narrative that offers red meat to their racist, antisemitic base”.

Michael Mann, a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is rarely out of the headlines, usually, of course, by choice. Along with activist journalists and other politicised scientists, he was instrumental in recently securing the retraction of the Alimonti et al. paper in Springer Nature. This was written by four Italian scientists who reviewed past weather events and trends and concluded that there is no climate emergency. At the time, Mann sneered at his fellow academics, dismissing them as “nuclear physics dudes in Italy” from “totally unrelated fields”.

The science writer Roger Pielke Jnr. is not much impressed with some of the ‘science communication’ developments used to promote the so-called climate crisis and the collectivist Net Zero societal reset. “An overtly partisan approach to public engagement may be pathological, compromising public trust and confidence, and making the practice of science itself much more political. … The consequences include an overall loss of trust in institutions of science, which is replaced with determination of trust based on identity,” he concludes.

Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.

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