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Profiting from Wrongful Deception: Lamar Smith’s Attacks on Climate Science are Paid for by the Fossil Fuel Industry

George Orwell could not have dreamed up a more sinister and underhanded abuse of government and monetary power than the present brazen attempt by fossil fuel industry funded politicians to kill off today’s most important scientific messengers. But that’s exactly the intent Lamar Smith telegraphed last week in his most recent address to the anti-science Heritage Foundation when he said:

“Next week we’re going to have a hearing on our favorite subject of climate change and also on the scientific method, which has been repeatedly ignored by the so-called self-professed climate scientists.”

A Non-Scientist Paid to Attack Real Scientists

Lamar Smith, the present head of the House Science Committee, is notably not a scientist. He is, however, famous for his various vicious hearings on climate science in which he has basically acted as a mouthpiece for fossil fuel company misinformation. And he’s just signaled that he’s revving up for a new set of industry-funded inquisitions this week.

To be very clear, Lamar Smith has a B.A. and a J.D. So he’s got no scientific credentials whatsoever, he’s a lawyer. But unlike many with B.A.s who can read and understand the science, Smith appears to be sadly lacking in any capacity or willingness to do so. He is, however, quite receptive to misinformation coming from the fossil fuel industry — especially when it’s attached to contributions to his political campaigns for re-election.

(Michael Mann, one of the world’s most recognized experts on climate change, joins NASA scientists, scientists from NOAA, scientists from the U.K. Met Office, Australian Climate Scientists and many, many others now in the cross-hairs of political hacks like Lamar Smith who appear to have ignored everything they learned in high school about the scientific method. Video source: The Real News.)

Fossil Fuel Industry Funded Legislative Deception Aimed at Defaming Real Science

In contrast to Lamar’s intentional fossil fuel company funded witch hunting and active legislative deceptions, honest climate scientists have for decades dutifully reported on the deteriorating state of the global climate in the least political fashion possible. They’ve argued passionately over various points of fact, recommended highly responsible policies, they’ve even tried to work with industry in a completely measured and reasonable manner. They have worked for wages ranging from that of the average school teacher to less than your typical IT professional (a starting salary of often less than 50,000 dollars per year). In other words, they didn’t, as some have so ridiculously claimed, do it for the money.

But the very industry that is dumping billions and billions of tons of heat-trapping carbon into the Earth’s atmosphere and making billions and billions of dollars in profits (oil company CEOs can make between 15 and 150 million dollars per year) doing it is paying politicians like Lamar Smith (who has a net worth of 4.5 million) to lead an entirely false and fact-free legislative attack against these scientists.

(People like Lamar Smith should be voted out of office. They are the very definition of legislative malpractice.)

This attack is not just a defamation of individuals — as happened to Climate Scientist Michael Mann a few years ago. It is a brazen attempt to use government power to tyrannically bury an accumulation of critical knowledge about a climate crisis that is now unfolding and that is, ever-more, representing an increasingly serious danger to the American public.

If Lamar Wins, We All Get Burned

To be very clear, Lamar Smith is being paid to lie. But his lies come in the form of a campaign to falsely discredit real science, to bury facts, to use ad-hominem arguments in an underhanded and vicious attempt to attack scientists, to put these benevolent public servants out of work, and to do all of this in a manner that will inflict vast harm on the American people. The fossil fuel industry is, through its agent, Lamar Smith engaged in a wrongful deception with the obvious intent to secure corporate and individual financial gain for the fossil fuel industry and its constituents. In other words, Lamar Smith is making every appearance of acting both fraudulently and in bad faith.

(Join us in supporting climate science on April 29.)

Adding to the problem is the fact that with Donald Trump in the White House (who falsely claimed that climate change was a Chinese hoax), with Scott Pruitt as head of EPA (who spent a big chunk of his professional life suing the EPA), and with fossil fuel company CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State (who spent years working with Russia to expand oil drilling in the Arctic), Lamar Smith’s witch hunting against scientists is capable of growing some real and very harmful teeth. Trump has proposed completely zeroing out or slashing funding for climate research at NASA, EPA and NOAA and he has actively gone after scientists jobs and Lamar Smith acts as a legislative enabler for such damaging policies.

If the scientists are going to get any help, it will come from more responsible members of Congress than Smith. But Smith and his climate change denier allies in the House are now attempting to bury these same scientists in another anti-factual witch hunt. Many have described Lamer’s actions as medieval — equating him to a new kind of Spanish Inquisition, but this time acting as an inquisitor for the fossil fuel industry. But it’s worse than medieval — because the harm perpetrated through Lamar’s willfully ignorant and brutish actions are not just in the form of political, social, or legal injustice. Lamar commits those things, but he also commits us all to an ever-worsening global harm.

Credits:

Hat tip to ClimateHawk

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to Michael Mann

Hat tip to Citizen Servant

Hat tip to Greg

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65 Comments

  1. Cate

     /  March 27, 2017

    And then there’s this:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2017/mar/27/trump-presidency-opens-door-to-planet-hacking-geoengineer-experiments

    “Under the Trump administration, enthusiasm appears to be growing for the controversial technology of solar geo-engineering, which aims to spray sulphate particles into the atmosphere to reflect the sun’s radiation back to space and decrease the temperature of Earth.
    David Schnare, an architect of Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition, has lobbied the US government and testified to Senate in favour of federal support for geoengineering.
    He has called for a multi-phase plan to fund research and conduct real-world testing within 18 months, deploy massive stratospheric spraying three years after, and continue spraying for a century, a duration geoengineers believe would be necessary to dial back the planet’s temperature.

    Newt Gingrich supports geo-engineering and Rex Tillerson is on the record as seeing climate change as an engineering problem.

    Reply
  2. Dreamer

     /  March 28, 2017

    All I can say about the geoengineering plan is … what idiots.

    “Since many plant species are sensitive to micromolar concentrations of Al, the potential for soils to be A1 toxic is considerable.”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC157131/pdf/1070315.pdf

    “Aluminum (Al) toxicity is a major constraint for crop production in acidic soil worldwide. When the soil pH is lower than 5, Al3+ is released to the soil and enters into root tip cell ceases root development of plant. In acid soil with high mineral content, Al is the major cause of phytotoxicity.”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2710549/

    For a century, you say. [sarc]Go America!.[/sarc]

    Reply
  3. Abel Adamski

     /  March 28, 2017

    The red Sky prophecy

    Reply
  4. Keith Antonysen

     /  March 28, 2017

    Many people are already being killed by climate change. It is very apparent that positive feedbacks are coming to the fore, the 7,000 Siberian bubbling methane bumps being an example.
    In the end the Judas type approach of Smith and other deniers will bite them as well.

    Reply
  5. Robert E Prue

     /  March 28, 2017

    On the subject of methane, I watched a YouTube video where Natalia Shakhova suggests a 50 GT methane burp from arctic ocean shelves is possible. That being 10 times what’s currently in the atmosphere, I hope she’s wrong!

    Reply
    • So we’ve talked extensively about Shakhova and Semilitov’s research over the past few years.

      The upshots are:

      1. The mainstream science disagrees about the risk of a large release from the ESAS of this size (less than 1 percent probability this Century).
      2. The subject is highly contraversial and has attracted a good number of people seeking to profit from misinformation (those peddling geo-engineering through solar radiation management as well as fossil fuel companies claiming that such a release is inevitable and that we should just try to extract and burn the gas are a couple of examples).

      I’ve tended to try to tamp down speculation on the issue a bit since there’s nothing conclusive about it coming out at this time.

      Since ESAS is part of the permafrost (it’s subsea), we should probably include potential emissions in the larger permafrost thaw issue. And we should note that we do not see an emission even approaching 50 megatons of methane (1,000 times less than 50 gt) coming from the ESAS at this time.

      Reply
  6. Andy_in_SD

     /  March 28, 2017

    One has to wonder if will we be losing resources like this?

    Modeling Shoreline Change in Southern California

    https://www.usgs.gov/news/disappearing-beaches-modeling-shoreline-change-southern-california

    Reply
  7. Ryan in New England

     /  March 28, 2017

    And here’s some more depressing news…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-executive-order-climate-change_us_58b07ebae4b060480e079dc2?rmmgxlakibef2bj4i&

    President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order on Tuesday rolling back Obama-era policies to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, a senior White House official said.

    The order, called the “Energy Independence Executive Order,” begins a review of the former President Barack Obama’s signature program to deal with climate change, the Clean Power Plan, which limited greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

    “We have a different view about how you should address climate policy in the U.S., and we’re going in a different direction,” a senior White House official told reporters Monday evening. “I can’t get into ultimately what that means from an emissions standpoint. I have no idea.”

    Reply
  8. Incredible satellite images show bright blue Arctic lakes ‘bubbling like jacuzzis’ with toxic methane gas

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4342150/Incredible-pictures-200-Arctic-methane-lakes.html#ixzz4cbuViYb5

    Reply
    • So I don’t know what’s more concerning — the visible signs of feedback starting up in the Arctic, or the fact that the present human carbon emission makes the current feedbacks seem tiny by comparison.

      Reply
  9. Troutbum52

     /  March 28, 2017

    Let’s put Lamar Smith into context:
    Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right 
    by Jane Mayer 
    Link: https://amzn.com/0385535597

    Reply
    • Agree. Excellent book for anyone who wants to understand how our democracy is being slowly destroyed by a particularly virulent portion of the 1%. (Also, if you want to take a tiny whack at them, chip in with a contribution for James Thompson, the Democrat running for Congress in the Congressional district where Koch Industries’ HQ is located. That seat was vacated when Mike Pompeo, a serious asshole, was picked to become director of the CIA.)

      Contribution page here: http://www.votejamesthompson.com/join?splash=1

      Reply
      • Robert E Prue

         /  March 29, 2017

        Interesting you should mention James Thompson. Just got a flyer in the mail, yesterday, so,yeah. I live in that district

        Reply
  10. climatehawk1

     /  March 28, 2017

    Tweet scheduled. Thanks for the hat tip.

    Reply
  11. Magma

     /  March 28, 2017

    Even if you take the cynical view that for every funding dollar publicly disclosed there are one or two that make their way into somebody’s pocket, t’s shocking just how cheaply these corrupt political hacks have been bought.

    While selling out the future for personal wealth and power is despicable whatever the payment, these members of Congress have done so for a handful of coins.

    Reply
  12. Suzanne

     /  March 28, 2017

    Trump’s big new executive order to tear up Obama’s climate policies, explained..
    At Vox: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/3/27/14922516/trump-executive-order-climate

    This is it. The battle over the future of US climate policy kicks off in earnest Tuesday.

    In a sweeping new executive order, President Trump will order his Cabinet to start demolishing a wide array of Obama-era policies on global warming — including emissions rules for power plants, limits on methane leaks, a moratorium on federal coal leasing, and the use of the social cost of carbon to guide government actions.

    Everyone knew this was coming: Trump has said repeatedly that he wants to repeal US climate regulations and unshackle the fossil fuel industry. But Tuesday’s order is only a first step. Trump’s administration will now spend years trying to rewrite rules and fend off legal challenges from environmentalists. And it’s not clear they’ll always prevail: Some of President Obama’s climate policies may prove harder to uproot than thought.

    Reply
    • I think we need to bury this administration in lawsuits. There’s a precedent for protecting the public welfare here. A precedent for the government’s obligation to maintain accurate records and work to inform the public. This is a destruction of a public resource — knowledge. It is Trump using government to the detriment of the public good.

      Reply
  13. Mike Desormeaux

     /  March 28, 2017

    What the hell is wrong with our civilization. I’ve been reading anything I can about CC and still don’t believe that there still isn’t consensus on the topic. I know very little of famous scientists so I don’t think they are doing their work for fame. I’ve also read that many of them earn less than 50k a year so not doing it for money. I regularly watch a website called 2030 adapt. They say the sun is the primary driver of CC and not CO2. Just Curious on the weather network directed me to a YouTube video of Miami streets covered in water. I seem to never see that in the news. I simply can’t believe that anyone would put making money over a clean and breathable environment. Calling me confused has to be the understatement of the century.

    Reply
    • Mike —

      If you’re frequenting a site that says the sun is causing climate change, then you are feeding into a fallacy. There is nothing in the climate science that claims the sun is driving the present warming. In fact, lower solar activity (the sun has shown declining solar activity for about 2-3 decades now) would, all things being equal, cause the Earth to cool. Despite this solar cooling, the Earth is warming. And the climate science is very clear that the heat trapping gasses which we are dumping into the atmosphere are the primary cause.

      This graph is a composite of NASA global temperature measurements and peer-reviewed scientific studies of solar activity. Note that as solar activity has decreased — which in a normal climate state would cause the Earth to cool — the Earth has continued to warm.

      A good full explanation of the actual science on the subject is available here:

      https://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

      I would recommend that if you have an actual interest in the science and in helping to solve the global warming crisis that you do not frequent sites that spread misinformation like ‘the sun is causing present climate change.’

      Reply
  14. Suzanne

     /  March 28, 2017

    As Trump’s Denialists Get to Work, the Climate Is Changing 170 Times Faster by Dahr Jamail
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39906-as-trump-s-denialists-get-to-work-the-climate-is-changing-170-times-faster

    A recent study, Extinction Risk from Climate Change, published in the prestigious journal Nature, shows that half the species on Earth today will likely disappear by the middle of the century — within 33 years. Although this information is devastating, perhaps we should not be surprised, since we’ve known for years now that we have already entered the Earth’s sixth mass extinction event.

    Last month, a paper titled The Anthropocene Equation revealed that anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) is causing the climate to change 170 times faster than it would if only natural forces were affecting it. “The human magnitude of climate change looks more like a meteorite strike than a gradual change,” one of the authors of the study said.

    Both NASA and NOAA data showed that this January was the third hottest January ever recorded, with the brunt of the warming extremes occurring, distressingly, in the Arctic. Some anomalies were as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit above normal over the winter.

    _____________________
    IMO ….well worth the read

    Reply
  15. Bill G.

     /  March 28, 2017

    Thank you Robert for your blog – I read it all the time. Regarding the likes of Lamar Smith – it follows what Chris Hedges has been writing about – he calls the Trump administration a kleptocracy (rule by thieves) and notes the placement of individuals with agendas that parallel corporate interests at the heads of the various agencies (http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_warring_kleptocrats_20170326).

    From my point of view the only transcendent value in our society is consumption and the idea of ‘growth’ which is ultimately corrupting. The intelligentsia had abandoned the idea of God – but what is God but another word for meaning? The only source of meaning in this society is consumption and that is a negation. There needs to be a higher meaning to life that is shared by society in general in order for us to meet the challenges ahead. The words applied to this transcendent meaning are irrelevant, we just need something that is transcendent over our narrow interests.

    Reply
    • The Trump Admin certainly appears to be the most corrupt we’ve seen in a long time — if ever. I don’t think our society shares his values (or lack thereof). It appears that a lot of people were duped or confused during the election — which isn’t too much of a surprise given all the bad information coming out of places like Fox and Brietbart this go-around and all the related interference by Russia. A good number of republicans seem to share those lack-values, though.

      Reply
  16. unnaturalfx

     /  March 28, 2017

    Just a thought,I wonder if Rex Tillerson will be at this hearing ..Rex Tillerson on Climate change. (link removed) Exxon spent alot of money looking into this, you may not like his policies or politics or think hes a sociopath but ,the oil company CEO’s know whats going on .

    Reply
    • Oh, they knew what was going on and then they worked to cover it up:

      “Exxon knew about climate change half a century ago.
      1 They deceived the public,
      2 misled their shareholders,
      3 and robbed humanity of a generation’s worth of time to reverse climate change.”

      http://exxonknew.org/

      Rex talks climate change until about minute 3:13 and then he starts spreading BS about the accuracy of climate models. He says that some models say the Earth could cool, which is untrue. Climate change through fossil fuel burning is driven by ocean and atmospheric heat gain. There is one potential mechanism — glacial ice melt –which may drive local and regional cooling at the ocean surface due to the freshwater lens effect. But glacial melt is due to heat gain and the freshwater lens is just pushing surface heat into the deeper ocean for a time. In other words, physical aspects of heat gain that produce local and temporal variance over the longer trend.

      Rex is using complexity within the climate change data to spread misinformation and to cast doubt on the issue. So there are two fallacies here — Rex is wrong about the predicted variance in the models (some variance, but none show cooling), and Rex promotes the wrong impression that climate change is highly uncertain and therefore less urgent.

      We should be clear that the IPCC temperature models thus far have been pretty much dead on rights:


      (Projections. Note that these projected temperatures are based on various emissions scenarios. Higher rates of temperature gain correspond with higher rates of fossil fuel burning and greenhouse gas emissions.)


      (Actual temperature gain vs projections)

      Present climate model estimates for temperature gain are based on Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) that includes heat gain from the direct effect of CO2 plus the heat gain from increased atmospheric water vapor as a feedback. This accounts for short and medium term climate sensitivity — which results in between 2 and 4 C warming for each doubling of CO2. Where the scientific models are less certain is over timeframes longer than 1 Century in which you have albedo changes to the Earth surface and other factors which, according to our best paleoclimate proxies produce about 5 to 6 C warming for each doubling of CO2 but over multi-century time scales. Model studies that have removed the effects of ice sheets have gotten close to this range (hitting around 4.5 C for each doubling of CO2). So far, however, ECS model studies projecting warming rates have been highly accurate for this Century and are likely to maintain a high degree of accuracy through 2100.

      You may want to take a look at Exxon’s various efforts to spread climate change doubt and denial:

      https://www.desmogblog.com/exxonmobil-funding-climate-science-denial

      And you may also want to brush up on the various forms of climate change denial here:

      https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

      His talk goes on to spread even more deceptive memes, I’ve taken it down.

      Reply
      • Erik Frederiksen

         /  March 28, 2017

        Regarding when Exxon knew, even as much as 60 years ago.
        ““From 1957 onward, there is no doubt that Humble Oil, which is now Exxon, was clearly on notice” about rising CO2 in the atmosphere and the prospect that it was likely to cause global warming, he said.

        What’s more, he said, the documents show the industry was beginning to organize against regulation of air pollution.”

        Reply
        • unnaturalfx

           /  March 28, 2017

          Thanks everyone ! And I totally agree with all you said ,,,,Which goes back to I wonder if he will be there , what he would say in defense of Drumph or would he press the truth of what he knows ? He wont be there , more likely .

        • If he pressed the truth it will be the first time it happened in all of his professional career. The man cut his teeth in a company that actively promotes climate change denial and misinformation. What this means is that they spend money on PR campaigns aimed at misinforming the public and promoting politicians like Lamar Smith. As CEO, Rex would have signed off on those actions. I don’t know how I can be any clearer — this guy is not on our side.

  17. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 28, 2017

    “also commits us all to an ever-worsening global harm.”

    Yes, considering the potential level of damage from what the likes of Lamar Smith are doing, the crime is really without parallel in all of human history.

    Reply
  18. It’s not just lying: it’s conspiracy to obstruct justice and inflict willful harm. You can’t deny climate change, as the fossil fuel industry does, and pay $2.5 billion for drilling rights in the U.S. Arctic, when those rights would never be able to be exercised without a melting Arctic. Nor, as you pointed out, does one suggest Geo-engineerning on a vast scale to counter a process which you turn around and deny is actually happening. Money may be free speech, but free speech does not include the right to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater nor the right to do what they are actively doing, i.e. the opposite: knowingly lying to your constituents’ faces. If Liberal democracies have no way to fetter or discredit the evil machinations of a small minority of self-serving Barrens (sic), then Fukuyama is right, it is indeed “The End of History.”

    Reply
    • unnaturalfx

       /  March 28, 2017

      +2 Well said.

      Reply
    • “free speech does not include the right to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater”

      It’s worse than that. They are yelling “There is no fire!” after disabling the smoke alarms, hiding the fire extinguishers, and fanning the flames.

      Reply
    • Dreamer

       /  March 28, 2017

      For far too long common people have been fooled into believing in democracies that never really ever were. It’s my belief that this has been another part of the problem all along in the fight against AGW. Oh sure, there have been a few good men who’ve taken up politics here and there along the way, but they have always faced two choices: 1) compromise themselves, at least just enough to be ineffectual, or 2) get out, one way or another. That’s how our supposedly great system works. I think some people in the United States are now waking up to this sad reality (yet again.)

      Elections are what is known in the business world as a survey, just a grand ‘consultation process.’ When you survey people about their views, as is happening during an election, then people will feel like they’ve had a say in matters, and will refrain from revolting with pitchforks. It’s all really just a big psychological play on people’s minds. The powers that be, the ones who put forth the surveys, never actually intend to ever listen to the opinions expressed in those surveys, it’s merely a tool they’re using to calm the pitchfork wielding masses, and that’s it, period.

      Look at the community consultation process used by industry whenever they’re about to ravage a community, and pollute, and take all it’s resources. It works the very same way as an election. The consultation process divides the community among themselves, and drags out any resistance, until that resistance simply becomes exhausted. You might get to pick the color of the trim on the building as a ‘concession’ in the end, but the project will always go ahead basically as planned, every single time. That’s because it’s not really a consultation at all, it’s a psychological tool employed to avoid having angry mobs showing up with pitchforks at the groundbreaking … which is exactly what happens without the psychological ‘massage’ from the consultation process.

      The ‘survey’ gets people used to the idea slowly, and it wears them down psychologically, which then avoids the visceral reaction if industry were to just show up unannounced and start working in the citizens park with their bulldozers. Any first year business class will teach you this crass truth about the consultation process, how it’s just a psychological tool used to get industry’s way. Yes, this evil theory is actual being taught to students in classrooms, I was in one of those classes once. And believe it or not, this is exactly the same theory behind why ‘democracies’ hold elections.

      We’ve never actually have lived in democracies here in the west, and the belief that we do has been it’s own sort of denial all along, it’s a truth ‘too inconvenient’ for people to want to accept, just like the way climate change is too difficult for many people to want to accept. I’ve actually been sort of disappointed at people all these years, watching them think that our ‘leaders’ were ever going to actually do anything about this problem. Of course they weren’t, no matter if they wore a black disguise or a white disguise … because our system only cultivates and promotes a certain type of individual up through it’s ranks. It tends to be self regulating in that way.

      We probably should have been reaching for the pitchforks all along back when this problem first arose, but instead we chose to believe that we live in free democracies … ones with nice calming surveys to make us think we’re actually being listened to. Scientists were only of use so long as the discoveries they made were able to serve the interests of the rich and powerful. Once those discoveries start to contradict their interests, those scientists who contradict them are no longer of use (to them.) It was never really ever about facts or truth, it was about knowledge and technology that was useful to the interests and aims of the powers that be, and that’s about it. The oil and gas geologist … that scientist is not being discredited, in case you hadn’t noticed.

      Have we finally seen enough to realize our ‘system’ isn’t going to be fixing any of this? We’re already in our own post Trump era up here in Canada (with Harper gone) and now we just have another ‘supposed’ good guy in office (with Trudeau) … and yet it’s still business as usual up here, completely … nothing is any different at all (except that we now have all sorts of ‘alternative’ phony rhetoric to listen to, if we choose to believe it anymore that is.)

      When exactly are people going to wake up and stop going easy into that good night? Maybe we should be looking at the truth behind this phony consultation process called democracy, and going back to look for where we all dropped our pitchforks … if it’s not already too late for that now. Our leaders are all insane, and always have been. The wealth and entitlement bubble is not a real world at all, and creates it’s own self deluded outlook on existence.

      How about we stop going easy into that good night … that’s exactly what they hope we’ll do.

      Reply
      • Dreamer

         /  March 28, 2017

        Reply
      • Hello Dreamer — I must say that I appreciate the time you’ve put into expressing this sentiment. That said, it’s my view that it’s a shade or two darker than reality. We have many democracies in the West. They are actual democracies because people do have a voice. But I think it is fair to say that these democracies are not equal states in which everyone has an equal voice. That there is an unhealthy relationship between money and the establishment of laws and governance. And that there are more and more sophisticated methods being used to promote consensus on certain issues. This kind of inequality is harmful and deleterious to the healthy functioning of both democracies and civilizations.

        That said, monetary power and influence is not absolute and the various stakeholders are not some kind of unified, monolithic front. Not going easy into that good night involves people taking power and influence for themselves and not going along with the trends of systemic harm. It involves political action and replacing corporate influence (where it has been most harmful) with citizen and public influence. It also involves providing other corporate stakeholders with an escape hatch — a path for breaking away from the harmful activities of their fellows. And in all, cases, we need to learn how to better apply people power as a counter to harmful corporate power. Not going easy involves resistance, revolution, and coordinated responses. And I can say with a good degree of confidence that there are many of us who are not going down without a fight.

        I’d recommend that you talk with Suzanne about coordinated political action — she’s right there on the front lines. And if you want to get involved, you may want to take a look at Indivisible, 350.org, the Sierra Club or some similar organization that’s adept at applying people power, legal power, and political power and join up. Or, better yet, become a candidate for government and resolve yourself to serve the public interest, to promote benevolent policies, equality supporting policies, and energy transition supporting policies. In this way, you can help to ensure that your democracy is functioning as it should — by becoming an involved citizen. That’s the cure, the antidote to harmful influence. Benevolent influence. Let your light so shine.

        Reply
        • Dreamer

           /  March 29, 2017

          Robert, thanks for your thoughtful response, since I know how busy you are working at keeping us all informed. After writing and then discarding several very long responses to you, ones far too long to post, I’ve decided to let it be what it is, and to instead just thank you for being you. Thanks Robert, your a real life super hero. I wouldn’t stay nearly as informed about the conditions of our changing climate without you doing what it is you do here. Here’s a big heartfelt hat tip to YOU.

          Who gives a shit if I don’t believe in our system anymore. I’m crazy anyway, still, after all these years.

          😀

        • Dreamer

           /  March 30, 2017

          I should clarify Robert, that I wasn’t saying ‘who gives a crap what you think about what I think’ … I was just reflecting that it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things what my views are (or aren’t) regarding the nature of our democracies. I meant no offense to you with that statement, it was intended as humor. Cheers, and keep up the great work. 😉

        • If you have anti-democratic sentiment, then I am going to have to ask you to leave this forum.

  19. Witchee

     /  March 28, 2017

    I hesitate to suggest it, but you might want to tweak the title and drop the word wrongful. It suggests that there could be a rightful deception.

    Reply
    • The use of the words — wrongful deception — was intentional. It was meant to highlight the fact that the very people who are accusing climate scientists of committing fraud are the actual perpetrators of fraud. The legal definition of fraud is:

      Definition of Fraud
      Noun

      Wrongful deception with the intent to gain personally or financially
      Intentional deception in order to persuade another person to part with something of value
      A person who pretends to be something or someone he is not

      We can see clearly that in the case of Lamar Smith and his fossil industry backers that the attack on legitimate science is made out of a pretext and intent to force the public to allow pollution of the atmosphere to the point of vast harm in the case of climate change which would result in the continued enrichment of fossil fuel special interests. It is a deception — because the attacks on the fossil fuel industry are based on a false premise (that the scientists are lying for their own personal gain). And it is wrongful — because attacking climate science results in a delay of climate responses which floods cities, forces mass migration, puts food supplies at risk, inflames social stresses and inequalities, sets up the risk for various catastrophes on the local, regional and global scale, causes mass extinctions in the natural world, destroys natural resources on a vast scale, and renders significant subsets of the human world uninhabitable.

      So, no Witchee. The words aren’t going to change. They are entirely appropriate to the subject at hand.

      Reply

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