Uncovering An Inconvenient Professor

, Marc Morano, Leave a comment

Prof. Michael Oppenheimer, a UN IPCC Lead Author, is in the news again, this time defending his hilariously wrong climate predictions he made in 1990 and being embarrassed by the unearthing of a 2000 article in the New York Times. See: Maudlin Michael Oppenheimer the Propagandist on his unused sled in 2000: ‘Oppenheimer even had a tear-jerking personal angle on the ‘absence of snow’ in modern winters

Prof. Oppenheimer (omichael@Princeton.EDU), one of the media’s most cited man-made global warming proponents, is quite simply transforming into an activist first and a scientist a distant second. Oppenheimer’s most recent “scientific” paper on climate’s impact on immigration has been roundly trashed. See: Propagandist Michael Oppenheimer shredded: ‘There are only 6.3m agricultural workers in Mexico. For Oppenheimer to predict that they will all move north seems preposterous’ & Prof. Pielke Jr. Mocks Oppenheimer’s ‘Silly Science’: Immigration paper ‘is guesswork piled on top of ‘what ifs’ built on a foundation of tenuous assumptions’

Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton, was also a paid partisan of the environmental pressure group Environmental Defense. Oppenheimer also proudly served as an advisor to former Vice President Al Gore on his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth” and he has consistently defended the accuracy’s of Gore’s film. “On balance, he did quite well – a credible and entertaining job on a difficult subject,” Oppenheimer said of Gore’s film in 2007. “For that, he (Gore) deserves a lot of credit,” Oppenheimer added.
Oppenheimer’s political activities easily overwhelm his “scientific” advocacy. Oppenheimer actively campaigned against President George Bush in 2004 and, like NASA’s James Hansen, publicly endorsed Senator John Kerry for president. Oppenheimer was affiliated with the partisan group “Scientists and Engineers for Change” and the green group “Environment2004” financially bankrolled in part by the Heinz Foundation where Teresa Heinz-Kerry serves as the chairwoman. “Environment2004”, which put up billboards in Florida mocking President Bush in the final months of the 2004 presidential election.
Oppenheimer personally donated to the group “Environment2004”, a group that was so partisan it encouraged visitors to their Web page to “get involved” in defeating President Bush by playing a game called “Whack-a-Bush.” In addition, Oppenheimer also serves as a “science advisor” to the left wing and politically charged group Environmental Defense and was a co-founder of Climate Action Network.

Oppenheimer appeared with Hollywood activist Leonardo DiCaprio and Gore’s movie producer Laurie David on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show and shared the stage with climate activist Joe Romm at a Center for American Progress press conference in December 2009 urging UN action on climate change. University of Colorado Professor Roger Pielke Jr. has condemned this type of “stealth” political advocacy. See: Pielke Jr. : “I think we can get past the lie — and it was a lie — that these activist scientists, in the words of Gavin Schmidt, “are not taking a political stand.” They are indeed taking a political stand and they are doing so in stealth fashion using the authority and institutions of science as cover to do so. As the leaked CRU emails show, this group of activist scientists are firmly entrenched in the major institutions of climate science, such as the IPCC.”

To be fair, many of today’s prominent skeptics and warmist scientists have known political or ideological leanings. [For an interesting take, see: Slate Mag.: ‘Many Republicans have come to believe that mainstream science is corrupted by ideology and amounts to no more than politics by another name’: — BINGO! ‘The results of climate science, delivered by scientists who are overwhelmingly ‘Democratic, are used over a period of decades to advance a political agenda that happens to align precisely with the ideological preferences of Democrats. Coincidence-or causation?’

But what sets Oppenheimer in a league of his own, is his willingness to bend science and spin his previous climate predictions or “scenarios” into a scientific pretzel. Oppenheimer is sadly doing all he can to discredit climate science and himself.

Oppenheimer’s Spinning Science (Very Badly)

A December 30, 2010 Fox News article featured a series of “botched environmental forecasts” from the past. Given that the article featured “botched” forecasts, it is no surprise the article featured Oppenheimer’s dodgy climate “science” prominently.

Article Excerpt: Oppenheimer prediction in 1990: “[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots…[By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers.” Michael Oppenheimer, published in “Dead Heat,” St. Martin’s Press, 1990.

Oppenheimer told FoxNews.com that he was trying to illustrate one possible outcome of failing to curb emissions, not making a specific prediction. He added that the gist of his story had in fact come true, even if the events had not occurred in the U.S.

“On the whole I would stand by these predictions — not predictions, sorry, scenarios — as having at least in a general way actually come true,” he said. “There’s been extensive drought, devastating drought, in significant parts of the world. The fraction of the world that’s in drought has increased over that period.”

That may be in doubt, however. Data from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center shows that precipitation — rain and snow — has increased slightly over the century.

End Article Excerpt

Climate Depot Analysis: Amazingly, Oppenheimer now says his “scenarios” had “in fact come true” because “there’s been extensive drought” in “significant parts of the world.” This sort of logic is a manifestation of “Climate Astrology” where anyone can essentially say “many bad things will happen in the future” and presto, when bad things happen (as they always do), you declare yourself a sage!

Marc Morano edits the ClimateDepot.com website which distributes the column from which this guest article is excerpted.