Saturday, June 12, 2010

Why Did Dr. Will Happer Let the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) Add Footnotes to His February 25, 2009 Senate Testimony?

"I wrote to these authors and I read their papers. It turned out that none of the authors or papers made the claims that [Lord Christopher] Monckton attributed to them. This pattern of misinterpretation was becoming chronic."---Dr. John Abraham in The Guardian (6-3-10)

[See Dr. Abraham's slideshow debunking of climate change denialist Lord Monckton.]

Above is a picture of Dr. Will Happer, a Princeton physicist; but don't be fooled by the Princeton label. On February 25, 2009, Dr. Happer testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committe on the subject of global warming and its consequences. Here is Dr. Happer's offical Senate testimony on the Senate site.

Dr. Happer testified that there is global warming but that the effects of increased CO2 will be beneficial to mankind. Dr. Happer did not address the research of other scientists about the harmful effects of increased CO2. His official testimony doesn't seem to include footnotes to support his "scientific" opinions and is sprinkled with irrelevant, silly, historical analogies that don't really have anything to do with global warming.

I first noticed Dr. Happer's Senate testimony on the site of the Virginia Mining Association. The text of Dr. Happer's testimony seems to be the same as the official Senate document, but the Virginia Mining Association is using testimony that has been modified by adding footnotes to the official government document.

At the bottom of page 3, the document notes that an organization called the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) "added" the footnotes. The SPPI characterizes this document as a "reprint," but actually it is not a "reprint" at all. The SPPI has modified a government document---Dr. Happer's official Senate testimony.

The modified testimony on the SPPI site and on the Virginia Mining Association site has added footnotes to Dr. Happer's text, but this seems really misleading because most readers would probably assume that the footnotes were part of Dr. Happer's official Senate testimony and represented the views of this Princeton Physicist.

The disclaimer on page 3 notes "All footnotes in this paper added by SPPI." What does "added" mean? Does this mean that Dr. Happer added his own footnotes later to document his testimony? Or were these footnotes created by the SPPI? I decided that these footnotes were probably created by SPPI because they mostly send the reader to a British non-scientist named Lord Christopher Monckton, who is associated with the SPPI. I didn't think a Princeton professor would be constantly citing a non-scientist in his scientific testimony.

Unfortunately for Dr. Will Happer, Lord Monckton has just been exposed by Dr. John Abraham as a person who constantly mischaracterizes the research of actual scientists. Lord Monckton seems to be a serial fabricator who doesn't tell the truth about what the scientists he cites actually write in their research. If Lord Monckton were a professor, this would be a serious academic offense called "research misconduct." The dishonest ex-professor Ward Churchill was fired from the University of Colorado for research misconduct. Of course, Lord Monckton is not a professor; so he is not bound by the ethical standards of academia.

At first, I thought that a Princeton scientist like Dr. Happer would probably be furious that a non-scholar had taken it upon himself to actually change his Senate testimony by adding footnotes that were not in the official testimony.

In fact, however, the Happer Lab site directs the reader to the adapted SPPI testimony instead of to Happer's official Senate testimony:

There are several places on the web where you can find his testimony—here are two:

The Environment and Public Works Blog

The Science and Public Policy Institute

The first link is a press release from Marc Morano, a denialist blogger and the former aid of Senator Inhofe. He now operates a ridiculous site called Climate Depot. Marc Morano sounds like one of those clowns who sits on top of the dunk tank at the state fair and heckles people. I was amazed such a vicious, dishonest person was a former Senate employee. The second site Dr. Happer links to is the SPPI. I was surprised that Dr. Happer didn't link to his official Senate testimony.

I have decided that something is kind of sketchy about Dr. Happer, even though he is a physics professor at Princeton. I can't really judge the science of global warming, but I want to be informed by scientists, not mouthpieces for the fossil fuel industry, and Dr. Happer is associated with the Marshall Institute. A book titled Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway has the scoop on the anti-science agenda of the Marshall Institute.

It seems that Dr. Happer is giving non-scientists at the SPPI permission to misrepresent his official, unfootnoted testimony. Even with the page 3 disclaimer, I think it is unethical of Dr. Happer to allow SPPI to add footnotes to his official Senate testimony (a government document) and then permit the SPPI to misrepresent this changed government document as Dr. Happer's official Senate testimony, which he doesn't seem to have footnoted.

Why would a scientist who is honored with an invitation to present testimony in the Senate about the incredibly important topic of global warming and its consequences show up with a speech that didn't include the scientific documentation of his viewpoint in the footnotes? I have the impression that Dr. Happer wouldn't have been able to provide footnoted scientific evidence for his testimony. I guess he thinks that saying he is a Princeton physicist is good enough to dazzle us yokels.

I am glad that I sent my children to U.Va., where the brave, honest, persecuted scientist Dr. Michael Mann taught, and not to Princeton, where they have a dishonest scientist like Dr. Happer, who is afraid to footnote his official Senate testimony. I want my children to be taught good ethics, so they will use their education to help people instead of to manipulate and deceive them.

Senator James Inhofe, Marc Morano, the SPPI, and Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli try to depict great climate scientists like Dr. Michael Mann and Dr. Phil Jones as communists who are trying to trick us and steal our money; but I can see that the people using the dishonest communist tactics are Senator Inhofe, Marc Morano, the SPPI, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Dr. Happer seems to me to be their stooge scientist. Shame on him!

It is a typical communist propaganda tactic to claim that "crafty" American scientists are hatching plots to destroy people. The Soviet regime spread a notorious canard about "crafty" Pentagon scientists fabricating the AIDS virus, just like Inhofe, Morano, and Cuccinelli spread the canard about the "conspiracies" being hatched by global warming scientists.

The Russian newspaper Izvestiya (3-19-92) reported during the Glasnost' era:

[KGB chief Yevgeni Primakov] mentioned the well known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories. According to Yevgeni Primakov, the articles exposing US scientists' 'crafty' plots were fabricated in KGB offices.

Even though he is a Princeton physicist, Dr. Happer's Senate testimony is garbage that could not have been submitted to a high school teacher. His "scientific" paper didn't even have any footnotes until he let the SPPI stick some in. High school kids aren't allowed to let their buddies cobble together the footnotes for their papers, either. I doubt that Monckton's SPPI footnotes will turn out to be very accurate, but that is a job for scientists.

I believe the climate scientists, the National Academies of Science, NASA, and all the other real scientific organizations. I believe their scientists are honest people who do honest research. I think they are trying to help teach our people how to meet the challenge facing our civilization---global warming and rapid climate change. The denialists, the Republicans, and the Libertarians are the ones who are spreading lies and persecuting honest scientists. I think the denialists just want the money from the fossil fuel companies.

I always voted the Republican ticket. I guess I voted for Cuccinelli, but now I see that he is a cynical, greedy, power-hungry persecutor who wants to silence scientists and the truth; and I am very, very angry. Attorney General Cuccinelli is no different than Soviet politicians and KGB officials who persecuted their own scientists and who told lies about "crafty" Pentagon scientists fabricating the AIDS virus.


Anonymous john said...

ha ha ha ha ha ha, seriously?

6:59 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

Jakob Segal Unter einem Bus durch den KGB geworfen!

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The writer of this blog deals simply in accusations with no facts. He has no ability to complete or understand a global energy balance and should stop spewing this stuff.

The fact that he is proud of Mann and the other scientific bullies exposed in the leaked emails shows he does not understand science at all.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ironic dontcha think.

the rules you want to impose on the people to stop your invisible smoke monster are very KGBish. The manipulation of data, the "tricks", hiding data, personal attacks- all while the ice grows...

i think your the KGB and the SS rolled into one big cult.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Bob Armstrong said...

Funny how alarmists dis Morano . The main thing he does is almost mechanically post links to all the posting relevant to the topic . We readers take it from there to bring some reality to bloggers like the present one who admits he doesn't even try to think for himself .

12:23 AM  
Blogger Snapple said...

Morano is a propagandist. He links to people who are mischaracterizing what the scientists actually say. Morano does not quote scientists or he quotes them out of context.

See Mike Hulme’s two responses to an article Morano posted under the Pinocchio on his site.

(16 June) Further clarification. Read here for further clarification of my position on expertise, consensus and the IPCC.

(15 June) On the nature of the IPCC consensus. Read here for a statement correcting misleading newspaper and internet blog reports of the Hulme & Mahony paper on the IPCC. And read here for an earlier commentary on the IPCC and its use of consensus.

Here is the site where you can see all this.

8:12 AM  
Blogger darrell said...

It is such a joy to watch alarmists making their way through the Five Stages of Grief:

1. Denial - "this can't be happening to me"...

2. Anger - "why me?", feelings of wanting to fight back...

3. Bargaining - bargaining often takes place before the loss...attempting to make deals with God to stop or change the loss. Begging, wishing, praying for them to come back.

4. Depression - overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, frustration, bitterness, self pity...

5. Acceptance - there is a difference between resignation and acceptance. You have to accept the loss, not just try to bear it quietly...

I think most alarmists are in stage 2. Probably take a while before they're emotionally strong enough to reach stage 5.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snapple you are one funny dude. You are as much a warmist as 'Colbert' is a conservative. Your chanelling of Marvin "I am getting very, very angry" the Martian is especially sweet. I think you are essentially right though - this is how your average warmist reasons through to his conclusions.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

What do you believe? Is it getting colder? IS it the same? Is it warming but this will be beneficial for mankind?

There is no scientific consensus because denialism is not a science and they don't agree with each other.

"Denialists" are people who dispute the scientific consensus about global warming and its consequences. Some denialists claim that the earth is about to get colder. Some denialists say that the earth is getting warmer but that this will be beneficial for mankind. Some denialists claim that the earth is "just right" and is not getting warmer. "Scientific" denialists often don't even agree with each other, but they all disagree with the scientific consensus.

Denialists make a variety of sometimes contradictory arguments in an attempt to confuse people about the science of global warming. For example, denialists will sometimes claim that the earth is getting cooler and that more CO2 will be good for plants. There is no scientific consensus for denialist "science."

Global warming denialism seems to be scientific, but denialists can be dishonest and often mischaracterize what scientists actually say. Denialism is a lot like "scientific" Marxism-Leninism; it is an opportunistic pseudoscientific ideology that masquerades as science. Professional denialists are propagandists who serve the interests of their financial sponsors and delude the public into supporting their political agenda by appealing to American values such as freedom and capitalism.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Snapple said...

Denialists also persecute scientists--just like the communists did when the science didn't support the regime's goals.

The Russian media is full of denialist propaganda because the oil and gas interests own the media and the government.

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... harmful effects of increased CO2."

What "harmful effects" ?
There are none.

What is the evidence that man's CO2 is causing significant warming ?
There is none ...
... other than computer models that assume large positive feedbacks due to water vapour when all the evidence indicates such feedbacks are negative.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

Dr. Happer's article states:

"The combustion of fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas, has contributed to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere...increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause the earth’s surface to warm."

Since Dr. Happer, a Princeton physicist, didn't have footnotes in his Senate testimony, it is difficult know what his evidence is.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

You also asked:

"What is the evidence that man's CO2 is causing significant warming ?"

NOAA is always measuring the temperatures.

They have a lot of different ways to measure temperatures. They don't just have computer models. They have many different kinds of instruments. Have you heard of thermometers?

9:57 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

NIST provides measurements and standards that support accurate and reliable climate observations. NIST also performs calibrations and special tests of a wide range of instruments and techniques for accurate measurements.

NIST calibrates the sensors of climate-mapping satellites, for example.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

IF you don't believe what the climate scientists believe, what do you think is happening?

Do you think it is getting warmer? Colder? Is it the same?

How do you know which it is?

10:15 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

Later footnotes were added to Dr. Happer's testimony that cited Lord Monckton. Perhaps you could ask Lord Monckton where he got his evidence that "increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause the earth’s surface to warm." (Happer's Senate Testimony)

10:18 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

Maybe you should ask Lord Monckton how he has established that "increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause the earth’s surface to warm." (Happer's Senate Testimony with foodnotes citing Lord Monckton added.)

10:22 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

Scientists know that it is warming because of the CO2 we are putting into the air and water.

Many problems are caused by warming. It causes cause flooding of low/costal areas. It causes glaciers to melt--this causes people not to have a steady water supply.

In the far north, melting permafrost is releasing stored methane and that contributes to more warming.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the most convincing thing i have seen on this blog were on snapple's 'profile' and 'about me' pages...absolutely nothing...empty space.

snapple before you whine about someone else not having 'scientific credentials' you might want to get some yourself.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

I see you put quotes around "scientific credentials" as if I said these words--which I didn't.

Happer has credentials, but he is dishonest to give a presentation in Congress without footnotes and then to later allow someone else to add footnotes.

Happer has sold out as a scholar and gives credibility to Monckton--a glib non-scientist.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

snapple...get serious and look at what you have and are posting with some sobriety.

i used singular hyphens around 'scientific credentials' to highlight words with a generalized but special meaning. a common writing practice.

you used quotation marks around the non-specific phrase meaning a direct quote. should you be accused of a little 'manipulation' of your own?

further, happers' lack of use of references is not grounds to dismiss his testimony. he was speaking with the gravitas of one highly respected in his field. he was not presenting a scientific paper.

your problem is that you rest your assertions on a fixation to the 'scientific community' that is indelibly tied to gross manipulations of it's own.

please consider the revelations of east anglia university.

please also consider the projected economic and environmental results of ratifying kyoto. for further study refer to. or

do not be tied to singular assertions of any one has it all right.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

His testimony means nothing without evidence. What has he published in peer-reviewed journals about climate science. He's a joke. In my opinion, he is a tool of the coal interests, who post his stuff.

Learn how to capitalize and learn the difference between its and it's.

And get lost.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

get lost? to be expected from one who cannot and will not address the issues that make him uncomfortable. why don't you try answering the comments rather than pouting and crawling under your rock. have a nice day.

10:53 AM  

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