UN IPCC’s Michael Oppenheimer: ‘An activist first — A scientist a distant second’ — Scientific work ’roundly trashed’ even by fellow warmists!


By: - Climate DepotJanuary 4, 2011 1:45 PM

Climate Depot Editorial

Prof. Michael Oppenheimer, a UN IPCC Lead Author, is in the news again, this time defending his hilariously wrong climate predictions he made in 1990 and being embarrassed by the unearthing of a 2000 article in the New York Times. See: Maudlin Michael Oppenheimer the Propagandist on his unused sled in 2000: ‘Oppenheimer even had a tear-jerking personal angle on the ‘absence of snow’ in modern winters

Prof. Oppenheimer (omichael@Princeton.EDU), one of the media’s most cited man-made global warming proponents, is quite simply transforming into an activist first and a scientist a distant second. Oppenheimer’s most recent “scientific” paper on climate’s impact on immigration has been roundly trashed. See: Propagandist Michael Oppenheimer shredded: ‘There are only 6.3m agricultural workers in Mexico. For Oppenheimer to predict that they will all move north seems preposterous’ & Prof. Pielke Jr. Mocks Oppenheimer’s ‘Silly Science’: Immigration paper ‘is guesswork piled on top of ‘what ifs’ built on a foundation of tenuous assumptions’

Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton, was also a paid partisan of the environmental pressure group Environmental Defense. Update: Michael Oppenheimer was the holder of the “Barbra Streisand Chair of Environmental Studies” at the Environmental Defense Fund. Streisand explained: “My Foundation started supporting climate change work in 1989, when I donated a quarter of a million dollars to support the work of environmental scientist Dr. Michael Oppenheimer at EDF. Since then, I, and others have spent countless millions on this issue.”

Oppenheimer also proudly served as an advisor to former Vice President Al Gore on his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth” and he has consistently defended the accuracy’s of Gore’s film. “On balance, he did quite well — a credible and entertaining job on a difficult subject,” Oppenheimer said of Gore’s film in 2007. “For that, he (Gore) deserves a lot of credit,” Oppenheimer added.

Oppenheimer’s political activities easily overwhelm his “scientific” advocacy. Oppenheimer actively campaigned against President George Bush in 2004 and, like NASA’s James Hansen, publicly endorsed Senator John Kerry for president. Oppenheimer was affiliated with the partisan group “Scientists and Engineers for Change” and the green group “Environment2004” financially bankrolled in part by the Heinz Foundation where Teresa Heinz-Kerry serves as the chairwoman. “Environment2004”, which put up billboards in Florida mocking President Bush in the final months of the 2004 presidential election.

Oppenheimer personally donated to the group “Environment2004”, a group that was so partisan it encouraged visitors to their Web page to “get involved” in defeating President Bush by playing a game called “Whack-a-Bush.” In addition, Oppenheimer also serves as a “science advisor” to the left wing and politically charged group Environmental Defense and was a co-founder of Climate Action Network.

Oppenheimer appeared with Hollywood activist Leonardo DiCaprio and Gore’s movie producer Laurie David on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show and shared the stage with climate activist Joe Romm at a Center for American Progress press conference in December 2009 urging UN action on climate change. University of Colorado Professor Roger Pielke Jr. has condemned this type of “stealth” political advocacy. See: Pielke Jr. : “I think we can get past the lie — and it was a lie — that these activist scientists, in the words of Gavin Schmidt, “are not taking a political stand.” They are indeed taking a political stand and they are doing so in stealth fashion using the authority and institutions of science as cover to do so. As the leaked CRU emails show, this group of activist scientists are firmly entrenched in the major institutions of climate science, such as the IPCC.”

To be fair, many of today’s prominent skeptics and warmist scientists have known political or ideological leanings. [For an interesting take, see: Slate Mag.: ‘Many Republicans have come to believe that mainstream science is corrupted by ideology and amounts to no more than politics by another name’: — BINGO! ‘The results of climate science, delivered by scientists who are overwhelmingly ‘Democratic, are used over a period of decades to advance a political agenda that happens to align precisely with the ideological preferences of Democrats. Coincidence—or causation?’

But what sets Oppenheimer in a league of his own, is his willingness to bend science and spin his previous climate predictions or “scenarios” into a scientific pretzel. Oppenheimer is sadly doing all he can to discredit climate science and himself.

Oppenheimer’s Spinning Science (Very Badly)

A December 30, 2010 Fox News article featured a series of “botched environmental forecasts” from the past. Given that the article featured “botched” forecasts, it is no surprise the article featured Oppenheimer’s dodgy climate “science” prominently.

Article Excerpt: Oppenheimer prediction in 1990: “[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots…[By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers.” Michael Oppenheimer, published in “Dead Heat,” St. Martin’s Press, 1990.

Oppenheimer told FoxNews.com that he was trying to illustrate one possible outcome of failing to curb emissions, not making a specific prediction. He added that the gist of his story had in fact come true, even if the events had not occurred in the U.S.

“On the whole I would stand by these predictions — not predictions, sorry, scenarios — as having at least in a general way actually come true,” he said. “There’s been extensive drought, devastating drought, in significant parts of the world. The fraction of the world that’s in drought has increased over that period.”

That may be in doubt, however. Data from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center shows that precipitation — rain and snow — has increased slightly over the century.

End Article Excerpt

Climate Depot Analysis: Amazingly, Oppenheimer now says his “scenarios” had “in fact come true” because “there’s been extensive drought” in “significant parts of the world.” This sort of logic is a manifestation of “Climate Astrology” where anyone can essentially say “many bad things will happen in the future” and presto, when bad things happen (as they always do), you declare yourself a sage!

Oppenheimer has now solidly morphed into a practitioner of non-scientific methods. Prof. Roger Pielke Jr. has referred to such predictions as akin to Nostradamus. See: Climate Astrology — ‘It Has Been Foretold’ of Extreme Weather: A lot of Global warming ‘science has a status similar to interpretations of Nostradamus and the Mayan calendars’ & see: ‘Climate Astrology’ Takes Hold — ‘Medieval mystics…Palm readers and fortune tellers’

More scientifically repulsive was Oppenheimer’s 2010 climate immigration study. Oppenheimer’s study reeked the stench of scientific corruption so bad that he faced rounds of denunciations for his scientific pabulum.

Sampling of scientific reaction to Oppenheimer’s immigration paper:

Propagandist Michael Oppenheimer shredded: ‘There are only 6.3m agricultural workers in Mexico. For Oppenheimer to predict that they will all move north seems preposterous’ omichael@princeton.edu

UN IPCC Lead Author Richard Tol: Oppenheimer’s ‘silly PNAS paper makes 3 mistakes. 1st: It confuses decadal weather variability with climate change…’ — ’2nd, it fails to control for other determinants of migration that may well be correlated with weather during the sample. 3rd they extrapolate beyond belief’

UN IPCC’s Richard Tol says Oppenheimer paper relies on ‘untested leap of faith’

Oppenheimer’s crap science declared ‘no better than astrology’ — There is no credible evidence that can link changes in the local climate in Mexico to CO2′

Prof. Pielke Jr. Mocks Oppenheimer’s ‘Silly Science’: Immigration paper ‘is guesswork piled on top of ‘what ifs’ built on a foundation of tenuous assumptions’

Physicist mocks Oppenheimer: ‘The descendants of Oppenheimer should sue Oppenheimer and prevent him from using and contaminating the name of their ancestor – and the good name of physics’ — Stephen Schneider’ final insult to science: Climate immigration ‘paper was edited by the late Schneider a month ago.’

Silly: CO2 allegedly driving Mexicans into U.S. — Lead Author of embarrassing climate immigration study is enviro activist Michael Oppenheimer omichael@princeton.eduActivist Oppenheimer serves as a ‘science advisor’ to pressure group Environmental Defense Fund

Flashback: Propagandist Michael Oppenheimer shredded: ‘There are only 6.3m agricultural workers in Mexico. For Oppenheimer to predict that they will all move north seems preposterous’ omichael@princeton.edu

Oh No! AP Science Writer Randolph E. Schmid, tosses out journalistic integrity: Cites discredited Tom Karl and uncritically cites Oppenheimer’s astrological immigration claims – rschmid@ap.org

Flashback: The Tom Karl Con: Is this the same ‘Dr.’ Karl with the vanished Ph.D? (thomas.r.karl@noaa.gov)

Analysis: ‘Oppenheimer et al are using this [immigration] paper as political propaganda…Maybe PNAS should start putting Alfred E. Newman on the cover of future issues’

Oppenheimer Responds to Critics of his Embarrassing Immigration Paper: ‘If others have better ideas for estimating how climate change affects migration, they should publish them’ — Climate Depot Response: Prof. Oppenheimer, there is a much more credible method of study than you are currently practicing: See: ‘Climate Astrology’ Takes Hold — ‘Medieval mystics…Palm readers and fortune tellers’

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Oppenheimer the Green Lobby’s Cash Cow

Oppenheimer has the audacity — despite having drawn nice salaries from Environmental Defense – tells the media that skeptics are all in the pay of big oil. Climate Cash: Enviro Activist Michael Oppenheimer of EDF wins 2010 greenie Heinz Awards (Each Heinz Award recipient receives $100,000!)

In 2006, Oppenheimer told unsuspecting climate rube Tom Brokaw that many skeptics had a “financial interest” in the status quo and therefore reject man-made global warming claims.

More Oppenheimer Links:

Oppenheimer, proud to be within 65% margin of error: ‘Oppenheimer speaks of a 65% margin of error in their temperature predictions. If that’s the standard these guys are using, then everything they say is completely meaningless’

Warmist Princeton Scientist Oppenheimer Tells Earth Researchers: Speak Out

Maudlin Michael Oppenheimer the Propagandist on his unused sled in 2000: ‘Oppenheimer even had a tear-jerking personal angle on the ‘absence of snow’ in modern winters

NYT quoted ‘Oppenheimer on the pathetic spectacle of the unused sled in his stairwell, symbol of a warming world: ‘I bought a sled in ’96 for my daughter,’ said Oppenheimer, a scientist at the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund. ‘It’s been sitting in the stairwell, and hasn’t been used. I used to go sledding all the time. It’s one of my most vivid and pleasant memories as a kid, hauling the sled out to Cunningham Park in Queens.’

Prof. Oppenheimer Exposed: Recycles 1970′s global cooling scare tactics about failing crops — ’35 years ago environmentalist were claiming that our agriculture was doomed due to upcoming freezing temperatures. Today, they’ve only changed their tune by saying increasing temperatures will destroy crops, and tacking on the threat of mass migration to cause more alarm’

Tom Brokaw’s 2006 climate Documentary – An Insult to Your Intelligence

Excerpt: Brokaw’s special also features Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University. Brokaw once again fails to disclose Oppenheimer’s partisan and ideological affiliations to viewers.

Flashback 2007: Media Ignores Oppenheimer’s Vested Financial Interests: Excerpt: The same media completely ignore the money flow from the environmental lobby to climate alarmists like James Hansen and Michael Oppenheimer. (ie. Hansen received $250,000 from the Heinz Foundation and Oppenheimer is a paid partisan of Environmental Defense Fund)

Oppenheimer Praises Gore’s Film in 2007: Excerpt: Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton who advised Mr. Gore on the book and movie, said that reasonable scientists disagreed on the malaria issue and other points that the critics had raised. In general, he said, Mr. Gore had distinguished himself for integrity. “On balance, he did quite well — a credible and entertaining job on a difficult subject,” Dr. Oppenheimer said. “For that, he deserves a lot of credit. If you rake him over the coals, you’re going to find people who disagree. But in terms of the big picture, he got it right.”