Dressing Properly for Ben Santer’s Invitation

by Sam Kazman on October 3, 2014

in Blog

The Wall St. Journal’s Sept. 20 essay, “Climate Science Is Not Settled”, caused quite a stir, in part because it was authored by physicist Steven Koonin, Dept. of Energy Undersecretary of Science during the first Obama administration.  Yesterday’s edition (Oct. 2) carries a letter criticizing Dr. Koonin’s essay on several grounds, and ends on a patronizing note:

“We welcome the constructive collaboration of the physics community in improving our understanding of … climate.  Many climate scientists are trained physicists…. We invite Dr. Koonin to join their ranks.” 

The letter is co-signed by Dr. Ben Santer, widely known for his work on the climate impact of human activity.

But Santer is also known, to some of us, for a 2009 letter to a colleague complaining about CEI’s petition to EPA to reconsider its Endangerment Finding.  The letter was part of the Climategate document leak, and says this about dissenting climate scientist Patrick Michaels, who was then at U. Va. and who now heads Cato’s Center for the Study of Science:

“Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him.  Very tempted.”

So if Dr. Koonin is planning to accept Santer’s invitation to join in some scientific collaboration, maybe he ought to show up wearing a hockey helmet.

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