The Heartland Institute Sends Legal Notices to Publishers of Faked and Stolen Documents

The Heartland Institute Sends Legal Notices to Publishers of Faked and Stolen Documents (2012-02-19). Anthony Watts thinks the Heartland Institute is kickin’ butt and takin’ names. They’re absolutely insisting that Desmogblog.com take down those embarrassing Heartland documents, some of which might be fake, and delete everything they said about them. Of course being staunch defenders of every individual’s right to exploit others, the Heartland Institute has to preface this with a hypocritical bit of spin:

“We realize this will be portrayed by some as a heavy-handed threat to free speech.”

Desmogblog.com (apparently “already in legal trouble over the Tallbloke libel”) seems strangely unconcerned about Heartland’s bluster. As does a certain 71 year-old veteran.

“Stop talking about this!” seems like a weak position when the Heartland Institute was so quick to disseminate and interpret the actually stolen Climategate e-mails.

Here’s a comment at WUWT that calls a spade a spade:

Hunt says:

Heartland still has a link to the illegally obtained “climategate” docs:
http://heartland.org/policy-documents/death-blow-climate-science
Although if you click the megaupload link, it’s been closed down by the feds for racketeering. Kind of says it all.

It’s funny how the Heartland Institute can consider things done by opponents despicable but perfectly understandable when done by themselves.

Anthony of course doesn’t even blink.

2012-02-20 update: Peter Gleick, at the Huffington Post, is the source of the Heartland Institute leak and asserts their authenticity.

2012-05-22 update: After much caterwauling by the Heartland Institute about forgeries and the shameful behavior of nasty warmists, the true conclusion can be drawn: “Peter Gleick cleared of forging documents in Heartland expose

Regulatory Czar wants to use copyright protection mechanisms to shut down rumors and conspiracy theories

Regulatory Czar wants to use copyright protection mechanisms to shut down rumors and conspiracy theories (2012-01-20). Anthony Watts loves to give a platform to libertarian crackpots. Wild incendiary ideas get promoted, people Anthony doesn’t like get slandered, but he can stand back with his hands clean.

Here we have Alex Rawls, a climate change denier who’s also obsessed with, for example, the Flight 93 memorial (it is, of course, a “terrorist memorial mosque”), how the Beijing Olympics Closing Ceremony depicted an orgasm, and of course “Republicanism’. He tells us that Obama wants to suppress rumors and conspiracy theories such as claims that global warming is a deliberate fraud or that Barack Obama “pals around with terrorists.”

Strangely, these are precisely the wild claims that Alex, a “simple public-spirited blogger”, likes to shout from the rooftop.

Sorry Anthony, who you pass the megaphone to says a lot about you.

SOPA: Watts Up With That?

Most netizens will be aware that today is a day to protest SOPA, the controversial “Stop Online Piracy Act” bill introduced in the United States House of Representatives in October 2011 but not yet passed.

In essence, SOPA would give content creators a tool to enforce copyright by, among other things, blocking access to “infringing” websites. The driving force behind this are wealthy corporate interests in the music, television and film industries. The concern is that this will be used as a tool for suppressing free speech by simply alleging copyright infringement.

In the context of climate denialism you’d think that Anthony Watts, who often rails against imagined suppression and censorship of “climate skepticism” would be particularly concerned. But no. Crickets over there on an issue that Anthony would have us believe is fundamental to his activities.

Perhaps Anthony sees an easy way to harass people expressing views he doesn’t like and tool for impeding his critics. He’s tried, comically, to use copyright infringement as a weapon in the past.

2012-01-19 Update: I track Anthony’s blog by RSS feed, which apparently didn’t include his post about the horrors of SOPA. It ends with a press release from conspiracy enthusiast Senator Jim Inhofe, who has in the past seemed eager to use the power of his office to intimidate. Anthony’s late-in-the-day take on the issue turns out to be predictable, as are many of his reader comments are about how SOPA is intended to help the Obama communists crush individualism. Progressive resistance is more nuanced; SOPA is a gift from beholden politicians to media conglomerates intent on protecting their profits that, through ill-design, places free speech at risk. Isn’t that the same thing?

Stupid: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry cancels climate talk due to skeptics being on panel

Stupid: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry cancels climate talk due to skeptics being on panel” 2011-11-29). Oh, so close! You can hear Anthony Watts’ disappointment behind his outraged accusation of censorship. Seems that Oregon Museum of Science and Industry canceled a climate presentation to be held on their premises because denialists might have spoken! Never mind that the “skeptics” weren’t “on the panel”, they were the panel. Anthony’s a bit vague about that detail.

So three denialists almost managed to stage an unchallenged “presentation” via the American Meteorological Society’s Oregon Chapter at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry that would have let them make arch self-references for years to come. Wouldn’t Anthony have loved to lead people astray with “A Oregon Museum of Science presentation showed that…”?

Sounds so much better than “my partisan think-tank article says…” or “a paranoid, narcissistic British peer trained as a journalist claims…”.

Didn’t they know that Climate Research is the journal for assuaging an ambitious denialist’s sense of inadequacy? Oh that’s right. Chris de Freitas is no longer there to receive the secret handshake. Sorry, I guess that was your best chance.

The AMS’s Oregon Chapter seems to think that a one-sided presentation on a controversial scientific topic meets their self-proclaimed mission to “advance professional ideals in the science of meteorology and to promote the development, exchange, and application of meteorological knowledge.”

In this outrageous case the OMSI begged to differ and brutally censored them. In the sense of telling them to hold that particular event somewhere else. And then saying that they’d support a balanced presentation because “[Their] job is to make sure it’s not just one voice that’s heard”.

Anthony casts about seeking a damning analogy but can’t do better that suggest that because the OMSI has an attack submarine on display they are equally hypocritical if they don’t also have some kind of hippy love-in exhibit for “balance”. So why hold denialists to a higher standard? Or any standard I guess. But you know what? You can buy a tie-die kit in the gift-shop. The circle of life is complete.

Leading with “Stupid” in the title seems odd though, it just leads to readers puzzling over the message and that leads in a direction that Anthony would prefer to steer away from. One side of a debate isn’t a debate at all, is it, even if you agree with that side. Anthony and his friends have scuttled their own intellectual submarine again.

Thanks to Michael Mann’s response, a newspaper censors a letter to the editor ex post facto

Boom, sez Martin.

Boom, sez Martin.

Thanks to Michael Mann’s response, a newspaper censors a letter to the editor ex post facto (2011-10-02). Anthony Watts tells us that Michael Mann, lead bully of “the Team”, has forced the proud Vail Daily to withdraw a Sept. 30th, 2011 Letter to the Editor from the skeptical mind of Martin Hertzberg, titled Vail Valley Voices: Researcher disputes evidence for global warming.

Could it be that Dr. Mann found Hertzberg’s analysis so embarrassingly accurate that he had to use his secret power connections to eradicate the hated thing? Hmm. No. Dr. Mann never made any such request.

What did he do? He wrote a response on Oct. 1st, 2011 that effectively started with this:

“It’s hard to imagine anyone packing more lies and distortions into a single commentary.”

Someone at the Vail Daily, whose brain cells happened to brush up against each other, had a look and realized that Dr. Mann was right. Really, really, right. The issue suddenly wasn’t about the noble rights of the upstanding Martin Hertzberg, self-identified “long-time denier of human-caused global warming”, to tell whopping great malicious lies. It was about whether the Vail Voice was legally exposed for carelessly spreading his false and defamatory statements. They chose to put as much distance as possible between themselves and what was clearly a piece of crap.

Anthony can’t even keep his indignation straight. He starts off implying that the Vail Daily is a noble vehicle for free speech, but turns on them with a series of nitpicking remarks intended to impugn their professionalism (does Dr. Mann live in Vail? I think not! Why the obsequious one day turnaround for Mann’s response? Why did the paper call Hertzberg a “denier”? Oh, that’s his self-description. Etc).

After all the howling it seems that the Vail Daily has re-posted the offending Letter to the Editor, apparently with some of the stupider things removed. What do we learn about Martin Hertzberg? He’s a big fan of the deceptive Oregon Petition. He knows that the greenhouse effect is “fear[ ]mongering hysteria… devoid of physical reality.” He considers anthropogenic CO2 emissions “about as significant as a few farts in a hurricane.” He’s heard of the Medieval Warm Period. He knows that diplomats and bureaucrats “have huge egos and a lust for power.” Finally, he’s a co-author of the idiotic Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory, so he’s already had his ass kicked repeatedly on the same topics. I think Martin’s journey to the dustbin of history will be a short one.

In my opinion it’s better to leave these things “up” as originally posted and insert a correction at the start so they are in legitimate context and not left as unchallenged assertions. That way Anthony’s link to the Wikipedia entry for freedom of speech need not be indignantly displayed. I think he should have, uh, censored the sentence “In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on libel, slander, obscenity, incitement to commit a crime, etc.” though, because that’s the exact issue here.

P.S. Anthony, I think your Latin’s a bit over-enthusiastic. Also the Sherlock Holmes-by-screen-capture schtick is wearing thin, especially in light of your coy pretense of ignorance about Martin Hertzberg’s denialist contributions. Don’t bury the lede.

2011-10-03 update: Some good coverage at caerbannog (Michael Mann opens a can of whupass on a global warming denier) and at Rabbet Run (It Must Be The Neighborhood).

Breaking: NASA GISS Dr. James Hansen – arrested yet again

Breaking: NASA GISS Dr. James Hansen – arrested yet again. Anthony Watts snickers “Here’s our buddy Jimbo, looking dapper in a fedora, tie, dockers, and cuffs.”

Apparently Anthony can decry repression of free speech from behind his keyboard when it supports his beliefs but he finds it delicious when his opponents put their money where their mouths are, in this case the environmental damage caused by Mountain-top removal mining, and are imprisoned for it. Then authoritarian gubmint is good.

Mountain-top removal coal mining? It’s just a bit of rock dust.

Enviro and Media Agenda on Extreme Weather – State Climatologist Invited, then Uninvited to Rally

Enviro and Media Agenda on Extreme Weather – State Climatologist Invited, then Uninvited to Rally. Anthony Watts wants us to know that the State Climatologist for Delaware, “David R. Legates, Ph.D., C.C.M” was invited by Environment America to speak at a press conference about “Extreme Weather in Delaware.” He was cruelly uninvited when they learned that he was loose cannon looking for opportunities to misrepresent climate science in support of the posturing of the politicians who appointed him.

How dare Environment America state that “we do not suggest that these [particular] extreme weather events were caused by global warming” and then say that “the point of examining the recent extreme weather events – and the economic losses and other negative impacts they caused – is to document why we need to take action to protect against them, including by reducing emissions of pollutants that are changing our climate.” That’s a total contradiction, unless you can comprehend the English language!

It’s ironic to see Anthony decrying censorship when his blog comment policy personifies it (and the mob justice he encourages).