Steyer-Bloomberg-Paulson Risky Business Project Too Busy to Defend Its Science

Former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson was on the PBS NewsHour last Wednesday night, explaining on behalf of his new Risky Business Project how much of an economic catastrophe inaction on solving global warming could be. Since I already had a set of tough questions to pose to organizations that otherwise proceed on the premise of man-caused global warming as settled science, I fired off those to Risky Business Project to see what result I’d get. Watch what happened in this case.

The seven questions I’ve asked over the last six years are quite elemental, basically asking what the organization’s official position is on the work of skeptic climate scientists and related points. As I detailed in my February 6th, 2014 RedState article (where I repeat those seven questions verbatim), most global warming believers never answer at all, one lone company spokesperson all but blurted out that skeptic climate scientists fabricate nonsense, and the organization I was focusing on at that time was doing little more than sidestepping my questions while being caught deleting my comments from their blog.

Slave to temptation that I am, I couldn’t resist sending those same seven questions straight to the media contact for the Risky Business Project, Matt Lewis. He responded quite quickly, with a two-sentence reply:

Risky Business is commited to basing its analysis in sound, peer-reviewed science. There is no other standard for scientific integrity.

A 100% sidestep of all seven questions. But since I was aware of a situation where a rather famous peer-reviewed paper was used for quite influential purposes, but its authors were later revealed as “guilty of 145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data”, I thought it would be worthwhile to point this out to Mr Lewis, while re-submitting the same seven questions. And since I have scientist friends who can speak about the folly of relying on the pure qualifier of “peer reviewed science” as something that supposedly validates a scientific conclusion, I shared Mr Lewis’ email reply to me with them. Without any prompting on my part on what to say, one of those scientists emailed Mr Lewis directly about another example in which a peer review rejected a paper in which a science assessment later turned out to be validated through scientific observation.

Mr Lewis referred to both of our notes of concern in his single reply to us:

Thanks for your interest in Risky Business. I suggest that if you have reservations with the process by which scientific findings are tested and validated, or if you have specific allegations of scientific misconduct (per your note below), you take it up with the National Academies; I am sure you will find a willing audience there.

Meanwhile I’m sure you would understand that I have a fairly busy schedule and am not in a position to answer all the various emails that come my way, so with apologies in advance this shall be my last correspondence with you.

So, I replied quite politely,

I understand busy schedules. I will respectfully suggest that as a spokesman for RBP, you essentially sidestepped my original straightforward questions in their entirety. It leaves the impression that RBP is either unable or unwilling to answer the questions from an ordinary individual such as myself. Is it RBP’s intention that they will continue to not answer those same questions when posed by more prominent persons or organizations, and will such an appearance enhance or undermine the public perception of RBP in the eyes of the larger public?

Just askin’. Speaking for myself, it would be nice if the answers I get aren’t such predictable sidesteps.

Read more of Russell Cook’s work concerning the smear of skeptic climate scientists at, and follow him on Twitter at either @GelbspanFiles or @questionAGW and his related QuestionAGW Facebook page

6 thoughts on “Steyer-Bloomberg-Paulson Risky Business Project Too Busy to Defend Its Science”

  1. Positive feedback loops fascinated me ever since I heard the squeals in the sound systems at high school assemblies. CO2 is emitted in great quantity by random volcanoes. With positive feedback, each volcano would set off a warming to a level X. Since volcanoes happen often in geologic time, the X would be nearly constant. But as I understand the ice core evidence there are well defined epochs of warming to X with otherwise temperatures of less than X. Anyway, positive feedback gives me headaches.

  2. Jim, those are great questions (and links), except for #2.

    The main reason CO2 levels have apparently lagged temperature in the past is that CO2 levels went up as a result of outgassing from warming water, and CO2 absorption by cooling water. (Gasses are more soluble in cold water than hot water; solids are the opposite.) That’s why Al Gore’s famous 20′ high chart of CO2 and temperature, purporting to show that high CO2 levels cause high temperatures, was deceptive.

    So it is true that warming temperatures cause atmospheric CO2 levels to increase, and cooling temperatures cause CO2 levels to fall. But that tells us nothing about the converse relationship: whether elevated CO2 levels also cause warming.

    In fact, it does.

    Both causal relationships are true: warmer water temperatures cause (slightly) higher atmospheric CO2 levels, and higher atmospheric CO2 levels cause (slightly) warmer air temperatures (which cause warmer water temperatures). Both mechanisms are real, and well-understood. Together, they constitute a classic (though weak) positive-feedback loop.

    That positive feedback loop might be one of the causes for the apparent hysteresis in the temperature and CO2 records: the Earth’s climate tends to be either mild, as in our current interglacial, or, more often, heavily glaciated and brutally cold, with relatively brief, unstable transitions between.

    So the fact that temperatures apparently lag CO2 levels in the paleoclimate reconstructions is not inconsistent with the fact that higher CO2 levels can also cause warmer temperatures.

  3. Here are some question I have constructed and used:
    1. What caused earlier, warmer, warm periods within the Holocine (Minoan, Egyptian, Roman and Medieval) and why that cause is NOT the cause of the current warm period. How can you blame CO2 without identifying and dismissing the cause of earlier warmer periods?

    2. Since CO2 always FOLLOWS temperature, how can a cause follow that which it caused, instead of lead it. see:

    3. Why are solar cycles a better correlation to climate than CO2 over the last few hundred years?

    4. What caused earlier warm periods rate of warming to be the same as the recent rate of warming.
    See question A:

    5. The only source of predictions of dire consequences of CO2 emissions are from climate models. However those same models failed to predict the current 15+ year static temperature, so why should we trust their 100 year predictions?

    6. How did Hannibal cross the Alps if they were full of ice in Roman times?

    7. Please explain how they found 2-4000 year old trees under those glaciers that are supposed to be ancient, instead of just a few thousand years old.

    8 Please explain how why some Viking farms are still under ice, if it was not warmer when the Vikings settled Greenland.

  4. My 7 question template is seen starting at the 4th paragraph at my Feb RedState article, . It is a template anyone may use, or alter as they wish with the questions you suggest.

    The more that we ask such questions, and the more AGW believers sidestep any variation of them, the greater the AGW issue has as an appearance of being an agenda with a pre-set conclusion that never could support its case from the start.

  5. What are your seven questions, Russell?

    One question that’s always worth asking whenever someone proposes an expensive measure to address climate change / global warming is the basic cost vs. benefit question which should be asked about any expenditure: what value will we get for this cost? I.e., “By how much will this proposal, if adopted, affect average temperatures (or sea-level rise, agricultural productivity, or any other supposed consequence of climate change), by 2050, 2100, or any other target date which you wish to consider? (Please include uncertainty ranges / error bars, and please cite your source[s] or show your calculations.)”

    They will never give you an answer that very reasonable question, because the answer is embarrassing to them. But it is worth asking anyhow, because if you manage to goad them into trying to calculate an answer it is guaranteed to be an educational experience for them. They will learn what we already know: that the answer is always, to several digits of precision, “zero.”

    Zero degrees, zero inches, zero percent — whatever “green” proposal you consider, however many million$ or billion$ you seek to spend, whatever target date you use, and whatever outcome measure you choose, the answer will always be, for all practical purposes, zero benefit.

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