Comment On The Post “Enemies Caught In Action!” On The Blackboard

Lucia Liljegren at the Blackboard has a post Enemies caught in action! with an image depicting several individuals including me [thanks to Lucia for her post!]. The source of this juvenile presentation was in a an e-mail from Tom Peterson to Phil Jones in 2007.

The communication of this reads in part

From: “thomas.c.peterson” To: Phil Jones Subject: [Fwd: Marooned?] Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 11:10:02 -0500

Hi, Phil,

I thought you might enjoy the forwarded picture and related commentary below.

I read some of the USHCN/GISS/CRU brouhaha on web site you sent us. It is both interesting and sad. It reminds me of a talk that Fred Singer gave in which he impugned the climate record by saying he didn’t know how different parts were put together. During the question part, Bob Livzey said, if you don’t know how it is done you should read the papers that describe it in detail. So many of the comments on that web page could be completely addressed by pointing people to different papers. Ah well, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it think.

Warm regards,


The more serious concern is that both Phil Jones and Tom Peterson have been involved at the highest levels in the assessment of climate science. Phil Jones, for example, was on a National Research Council Committee that reviewed a draft of first CCSP report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences”.  Tom Peterson, of the National Climate Data Center, was one of the members of the CCSP Committee.  

During the CCSP Committe process, I completed two reports

Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Minority Report, Comments Provided to the NRC Review Committee of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere. Atmospheric Science Bluebook No. 758, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, 8 pp.

Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences”. 88 pp including appendices.

In the second report, I wrote

“The process that produced the report was highly political, with the Editor taking the lead in suppressing my perspectives, most egregiously demonstrated by the last-minute substitution of a new Chapter 6 for the one I had carefully led preparation of and on which I was close to reaching a final consensus. Anyone interested in the production of comprehensive assessments of climate science should be troubled by the process which I document below in great detail that led to the replacement of the Chapter that I was serving as Convening Lead Author.”

The Editor of this report is Thomas R. Karl, Director of the National Climate Data Center;  the supervisor of Tom Peterson at NCDC.

The perspective that Tom Peterson illustrates in his communication to Phil Jones clearly illustrates that he is unable to present a balanced assessment of the climate science issues. Moreover, he does not even accurately understand that I am not a “climate skeptic”.

My view is clearly summarized in our recent EOS article

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union

where we concluded the scientific evidence supports the view that

Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and involve a diverse range of first- order climate forcings, including, but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2). Most, if not all, of these human influences on regional and global climate will continue to be of concern during the coming decades.

Tom Peterson’s e-mail is not only juvenile but incorrectly communicates my view of the climate issue. 

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