Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry rips the ‘bankruptcy of the ‘Merchants of Doubt’ meme – ‘Morano is actually quite broadly knowledgeable about climate science and the associated politics’

The 21st century ‘doubters’

The movie interviewed the following ‘doubters’:

  • Fred Singer
  • William O’Keefe
  • Marc Morano

William O’Keefe is President of the George Marshall Institute, someone that I had never heard of until last fall when I was invited by GMI to give a seminar.  The George Marshall Institute is definitely a villain in this piece; from Sourcewatch it seems that GMI runs on a shoestring budget of less than $1M/yr.  Makes me wonder how $1M/yr, whatever its source, can have much influence on an international political debate?

Marc Morano is described in the review by LA Weekly:

Kenner finds a magnificent antihero in Marc Morano, a cheery, chatty prevaricator who has made a mint by muddying water. His job is to promote skepticism of a truth that even Skeptic magazine believes in, and since Morano’s cocksure, and good at yelling on TV, he steamrolls over climate scientists on cable despite his lack of expertise. 

I’ve met Marc Morano a number of times.  He is actually quite broadly knowledgeable about climate science and the associated politics.  He is the one ‘doubter’ in this whole piece that actually has some influence in the current climate debate.

Clearly this list of ‘doubters’ is not very impressive.  There is a hacker that has broken into an email chain, originated by Marc Morano, using the name ‘willieasoon’.   The objective of this hacker seems to be to grow the list of ‘publicly shamed’ doubters.

Inside Climate News has the story:  Leaked email reveals who’s who list of climate denialists:  A network of pundits and scientists is consulted about stopping the release of “Merchants of Doubt”,  a documentary that exposes their work.   There is a list of 30 names (that were on the email list), including my name.  Most of these people I’ve never heard of; a few I have contact with.  The blurb describing me:

Curry is a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology. During a January 2014 hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Curry said the problem of climate change has been “vastly oversimplified.” She said scientists should pay more attention to the role of natural variability in the climate system and the uncertainties in climate modeling. She also said the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is overly confident in attributing most of the warming to human activity.


So, apparently anyone who received this email from Fred Singer is a ‘climate denialist’.  As far as I can tell, Singer used the email addresses from an email sent previously by Marc Morano.

We have no idea who ‘willieasoon’ is, but he is displaying Gleickian cunning.