According to recently disclosed e-mails from a National Academies of Science listserv, prominent climate scientists affiliated with the U.S. National Academies of Science have been planning a public campaign to paper over the damaged reputation of global warming alarmism.  Their scheme would involve officials at the National Academies and other professional associations producing studies to endorse the researchers’ pre-existing assumptions and create confusion about the revelations of the rapidly expanding “Climategate” scandal.

The e-mails were first reported in a front-page story by Stephen Dinan in the Washington Times today. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has independently obtained copies of the e-mails.  A list of excerpts, with descriptive headlines written by me, can be found below.  The entire file of e-mails has been posted as a PDF and can be read here.

In my view, the response of these alarmist scientists to the Climategate scientific fraud scandal has little to do with their responsibilities as scientists and everything to do with saving their political position.  The e-mails reveal a group of scientists plotting a political strategy to minimize the effects of Climategate in the public debate on global warming.

Selected Excerpts.

Note that the descriptive headlines in italics are by me. The statements in quotation marks are excerpts from the e-mails.

Can we get corporate funding for some splashy ads in the NY Times?
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 26: “I will accept corporate sponsorship at a 5 to 1 ratio….”

But our ads will be untainted by corporate influence.
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 27: “Over the past 24 h I have been amazed and encouraged at the support my proposal has received from Section 63 and beyond. We have had about 15 pledges for $1000!  I want to build on that good will and make sure that the facts about the climate system are presented to a very large section of the public—unfiltered by the coal, oil and gas industries….”

What is it about the New York Times?  Aren’t Paul Krugman and Thomas Friedman enough?
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 27: “Op eds in the NY Times and other national newspapers would also be great.”

Scientists should be effecting social and political change.
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 26:  “I want the NAS to be a transformational agent in America.”

Snow in Washington is anecdotal, but no snow in Vancouver is proof.
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 27: “…the coal, oil and gas industries (who, ironically, are running commercials on NBC for the winter Olympics, while the weather is so warm that snow has to be imported to some of the events.)”
Robert Paine, Feb. 27: “The beltway’s foolishness about climate change seems especially ironic given the snowless plight of the Vancouver Olympics.”
David Schindler, Feb. 27: “I’d add that Edmonton is near snowless….”

This is a political fight, and we’ve got to get dirty.
Paul R. Ehrlich, Feb. 27: “Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules.”

Top scientists adore Al Gore.
David Schindler, Feb. 27: “I recall an event at the Smithsonian a couple of eons ago that I thought did a great job, & got lots of media coverage. AL Gore spoke….”
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 27: “Al Gore has a very well written article in the NY Times.”

Forget the science, we want energy rationing!
William Jury, Feb. 27: “I am seeing formerly committed public sector leaders backing off from positions aimed at reducing our fossil fuel dependence.”

They’ll forget Climategate if an authoritative institution repeats the same old line.
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 27: “An NRC report would be useful.”
Steve Carpenter, Feb. 27: “We need a report with the authority of the NAS that summarizes the status and trends of the planet, and the logical consequences of plausible responses.”
David Tilman: Feb. 27: “It would seem wise to have the panel [writing the report] not include IPCC members.”
Stephen H. Schneider, Mar. 1: “National Academies need to be part of this….”
Stephen H. Schneider, Mar 1: “It is imperative that leading scientific societies coordinate a major press event….”

The last academic defense: It’s McCarthyism!
Stephen H. Schneider, Mar. 1: “…Senator Inhofe, in a very good impression of the infamous Joe McCarthy, has now named 17 leading scientists involved with the IPCC as potential climate ‘criminals’.  ….  I am hopeful that all the forces working for honest debate and quality assessments will decry this McCarthyite regression, and by name point out what this Senator is doing by a continuing smear campaign.  ….  Will the media have the fortitude to take this on–I’m betting a resounding ‘yes!'” [Note that Schneider has already sent this e-mail to the media asking for their help.]

To read all the e-mails that CEI has obtained, go to the PDF posted here.