Climate spin doctor took charge after professors’ ‘mistake’ called for prosecuting skeptics

claude walkerIn the days after 20 professors fired off a letter urging President Obama to investigate climate skeptics for suspected federal racketeering charges, the climate change movement went into full damage-control mode.

Philip Newell, creative media manager of the public relations firm Climate Nexus, described the Sept. 1 letter as “a big mistake,” advising activists and scientists to downplay the prosecution angle and spin the story away from individuals and toward fossil fuel companies, according to emails obtained Wednesday by The Washington Times.

He cited reports on the skeptics’ website, Climate Audit, saying that although it “isn’t a site to be worried about, it’s definitely looking like this issue isn’t going to go away, even if you remove the letter, which I hear has been done and I would say is a big mistake.”

The letter was first posted on the Institute for Global Environment and Security website and then reportedly removed, but was then posted on other websites.

“I’d recommend you keep it up and point to it as a call for investigating (not prosecuting) organizations and companies (not specific scientists) in an oped or simply a statement on the IGES website that clarifies that distinction,” Mr. Newell said in a Sept. 29 email.

Not everyone has taken that advice. Months later, Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude E. Walker issued subpoenas to ExxonMobil calling for its communications with more than 100 universities, scientists and think tanks, as well as the free market nonprofit Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The latest emails, released in the aftermath of a Virginia open records request filed by the CEI and senior fellow Chris Horner, shed more light on a behind-the-scenes network of academics — some on the government payroll — activists, bloggers and public relations professionals focused on fighting climate change dissent.

The Sept. 1 letter called on Mr. Obama and Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch to launch a “RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”

Mr. Horner said Wednesday the email shows Mr. Newell and Jagadish Shukla, a George Mason University meteorology professor and co-lead author on the so-called RICO-20 letter, engaged in “spin and deception” to head off criticism over the letter’s implications for free speech.

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  • Avatar

    A.D. Everard

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    One of the problems with academia is that the individuals are insulated from the world and to some extent reality. They set up rules within their establishments and in their world they are pretty high and mighty. But once they step outside their realm, the hard cold facts knock them very quickly sideways and they have learned no ways of coping.

    Real life is an unforgiving place and mistakes have consequences. It’s interesting that these people had no problem hurting those with whom they disagree, indeed they intended to inflict quite dire retaliation, but when it bounces back they are appalled that their motives might be examined – or even merely seen.

    They are not the lords and masters they supposed themselves to be. I’ve known a few academics in my lifetime and every single one of them was extremely up himself. Academia seems to be a place where people don’t grow up.

    Mistakes? Oh yes, that’s to be expected. Just not by them. Let’s hope in this case experience teaches.

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  • Avatar

    Amber

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    A clique of academics (scientists no long applies ) conspire to silence people and run like cowards as soon as the spotlight gets turned on them . The Universities that house these people must be getting a piece of the action otherwise why would they condone
    attacks on the First Amendment rights of people this little clique is targeting ?

    One good thing is the failed intimidation tactics shows just what a massive tax payer funded gravy train these pigs at the trough are on .

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    Amber

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    The fact the global warming scare industry needs a “creative media manager ” tells everything there is to know about the current status of the deflating scam .
    More spin doctors please … fast we are taking on water . Take it out of the hands of scientists who apparently are capable of “big mistakes ” … like being too honest about their intentions to harass and silence those who may have a different perspective . F the science we need to shut those people up . Think of the grant money and deflating greenie stock values . Something must be done . Brain washing
    and hyperventilating is no longer effective .

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