Former President Richard Nixon had an Enemies List of people who opposed him, some of his policies, or people he just didn’t like. They were subject to surveillance, tax investigations and occasionally harassment. Some were horrified to learn they were on such a list. Others were proud.
Anderegg, Prall et al PNAS 2010 creates an enemies list. The supplementary information refers to co-author Jim Prall’s website where all are named–and most are pictured, although crosshairs are not provided.
The hypocrisy (as well as one of the many methodological flaws) is seen by the cherry-picking of signatories to the documents. Anderegg, Prall et al are happy to note the signature of Richard Lindzen to documents and use that as a means of labeling him a ‘denier’. But Norman Borlaug signed one of the same documents–why isn’t he a ‘denier’, too?
Anyone who examines the list of documents signed by these victims of Anderegg, Prall et al will quickly notice that, although some are skeptical documents, others are so innocuous that probably James Hansen and Michael Mann would have signed if offered the opportunity. The idea that signatories of all these documents are morally or ethically equal, that putting your name alongside Linus Pauling or Jonas Salk should subject you to being called less expert or less prominent than Peter Gleick is absurd.
But Anderegg, Prall et al lump them all together. If you signed any one of the 12 documents you are a ‘denier’, as their paper is tagged. Joe Romm called for signatories to be… denied… funding, promotion and attention in the media. While Romm has always acted like a thug (at least publicly), this reached a new low.
The documents cited by Anderegg Prall are very different in their purpose, language and destinations. While signing the letters to Canadian Prime Ministers past and future might be imputed to skeptic beliefs, signing others cannot. The documents have different date stamps–science was at a different stage when some of them were written and what looks like skepticism today in fact was a reasonable assessment in the past.
When added to the often-cited flaws in methodology, analysis and simple arithmetic noted by myself and many, many others, is is clear that this paper should in fact live in infamy, as an example of motivated reasoning and ill will producing a blacklist.
Anderegg, Prall et al cited Oreskes for their failed paper. Later we will look at who cited Anderegg, Prall.