Withdrawal of Letter by climate change scientists urging prosecution of skeptics deemed a 'mistake'

You would think the group of 20 or so climate change scientists who sent a letter to President Obama urging him to prosecute climate skeptics under the RICO statute would have consulted a PR firm before they made asses of themselves to the whole country.

But now, the learned men of science have hired Climate Nexus, a PR firm specializing in spinning global warming news. The letter has been withdrawn - a move the PR firm called a "big mistake" - and a different strategy will be employed.

Washington Times:

In 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 goal of the AG's pushing this witch hunt is not to prosecute fossil fuel companies, but to hold the threat of prosecution over their heads to extort tens of billions of dollars from them in a grand settlement a la the tobacco companies. The scientists actually believed the AG's were serious about stringing up individuals and think tanks who make their lives difficult by challenging their findings. But you can't get blood out of a turnip so it's hardly worth the effort of the AG's to go after the small fry.

The PR firm disabused the scientists of the notion that this investigation was about creating an inquisition for climate skeptics. Instead, gangster fashion, the full resources of government will be brought to bear on oil, coal, and natural gas companies to extract climate change tribute - a mutli-billion dollar slush fund that will be used to show favor to supporters and enrich political cronies.

You would think the group of 20 or so climate change scientists who sent a letter to President Obama urging him to prosecute climate skeptics under the RICO statute would have consulted a PR firm before they made asses of themselves to the whole country.

But now, the learned men of science have hired Climate Nexus, a PR firm specializing in spinning global warming news. The letter has been withdrawn - a move the PR firm called a "big mistake" - and a different strategy will be employed.

Washington Times:

In 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 goal of the AG's pushing this witch hunt is not to prosecute fossil fuel companies, but to hold the threat of prosecution over their heads to extort tens of billions of dollars from them in a grand settlement a la the tobacco companies. The scientists actually believed the AG's were serious about stringing up individuals and think tanks who make their lives difficult by challenging their findings. But you can't get blood out of a turnip so it's hardly worth the effort of the AG's to go after the small fry.

The PR firm disabused the scientists of the notion that this investigation was about creating an inquisition for climate skeptics. Instead, gangster fashion, the full resources of government will be brought to bear on oil, coal, and natural gas companies to extract climate change tribute - a mutli-billion dollar slush fund that will be used to show favor to supporters and enrich political cronies.