2011-03-18 17:48:03A new feature under construction: skeptic politician quotes
John Cook


On a climate group I'm on, they started talking about having a resource of GOP politicians and quotes they've said (particularly from the recent anti-science hearing) along with rebuttals. I figured SkS was perfect for this - we have the database of skeptics and the database of rebuttals - I just needed to massage the database a little and have an instant GOP politician debunker. So I set that up today. Here's the front end:


Click on any politician and you get a list of quotes. I've only added a few so far, mostly to Joe Barton:


I'm waiting for someone who is collecting quotes from the latest hearing (actually watching the video and transcribing quotes as no transcript seems to be available) - once we get those, we can add a whole bunch of great, recent quotes. Apparently there is also a bunch of quotes at this Think Progress post although I haven't had a close look yet.

I've tweaked the Skeptic Admin so all authors now have more powers to add/edit skeptics. So you're all welcome to add other skeptics to the database and add quotes for each skeptic. A few things to note:

My hope is this may become a resource for journalists who are looking for the skinny on some GOP politician who is mouthing off about climate change.

2011-03-19 01:57:37
Paul D


That's neat.

I think it should be international. eg. include Australian, European politicians etc.
I don't even know what GOP means.

2011-03-19 03:20:27
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Grand Old Party (seriously)

2011-03-19 04:34:59Barton
Dana Nuccitelli

Smokey Joe Barton has put a lot of effort into blocking climate legislation for a long time.  Glad we've got some good quotes for him.  Inhofe should be fun!

2011-03-19 08:44:12


Great idea.

We should not limit the list to US politicians, there's plenty around the world. Or at least politicians from the english-speaking world to avoid translation and let people check by themselves the full source.

We should move some of the skeptics of the old list in the new one. Take Monckton, for example, he's not a scientist and we should not let him stay there.

2011-03-20 17:53:29More resources
John Cook


Someone has emailed a mother lode of climate myth quotes from GOP politicians:


quotes just from the members of the House energy committee:


There was a lot more myth-spouting at the subcommittee hearing with the scientists. There's a preliminary transcript here.

2011-03-20 18:14:12So stepping back and thinking of a strategy to roll out the skeptic quotes database
John Cook


So I think it worthwhile to stop and think through how the skeptic quotes page could be rolled out. The key here is to provide climate myth quotes connected to SkS one-liners linking to SkS rebuttals.

Would welcome ideas and suggestions as this could be approached in a multitude of ways so would like to do it in the most effective manner. An ideal outcome would be it journalists considered this a resource to consult when confronted with climate myths from politicians and prominent skeptics. Just some possible ideas I'm mulling over:

  • Launch with just GOP politicians from the recent hearings?
  • Group myths by events rather than or as well as by politician. So you could have a page focused on the EPA hearing, with all the myths on the one page, but grouped by politician. Then when new events occur, we can very quickly add quotes - this could even be a live event type of thing, as it happens. That would be a very nice way of harnessing all the power of SkS - add quotes, immediately link them to SkS rebuttals so readers can watch the live hearings and also watch SkS to get instant rebuttals. Food for thought.
  • As there are so many skeptic GOP statements listed at http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/climate-zombie-caucus/, this could be an ongoing series. Or for skeptics who have made a large number of climate myth quotes, we could do blog posts just listing all their quotes along with SkS rebuttals. Eg - take this page on Joe Barton and turn it into a blog post.
  • Don't restrict the skeptic quotes page to just GOP politicians - include all skeptics, scientists (Lindzen, Christy, etc), lobbyists (Morano, Horner), contrarians (Monckton). This might be advisable so the resource isn't just focused on politicians - but on anyone misinforming about climate.

So lots of possible ways to approach this, I'm really not sure of the best way. But probably develop a long-term approach where we have regular blog posts, building momentum over time so the resource becomes a well known and relied upon resource. Thoughts welcome.

2011-03-21 14:47:03Got emailed this spreadsheet of quotes and positions of elected politicians on climate change
John Cook


This was done around the time of the last U.S. election (I think mid-terms):


Not sure what to do with this yet but just keeping all the resources in the one thread for easy reference later on. Still welcome discussion on best way to roll out this resource.

2011-03-21 21:16:50
Paul D


In the UK John Redwood has swung different ways on the issue, although I believe he is a skeptic. I remember years ago that he said on the radio or tv that humans couldn't possible cause warming because we had such a small imapct on the planet.

Here he says climate models need to include the Sun:


Here he refers to 'global warmists', which I think reveals his true opinion:



Here he writes about a question he asked in 2010: “Why is the Northern hemisphere winter so cold, and which climate model predicted this?”


He then goes on and asks:

"The point at issue is when does enough weather become climate?"

"When does a succession of cold winters and/or summers affect the averages sufficiently to change the trend?"

My perosnal view of him, is that he is a politician who's only interest is in remaining in power, so for now, he doesn't push the skeptic beliefs to hard. However if their was a an attempt to get rid of David Cameron, then he would soon be more vocal.

2011-03-21 21:25:19
Paul D


BTW I suggest keeping the idea limited to politicians because it will create some interest. I don't think anyone else has done it.
It's a selling point and people can see what politicians think and see why they are wrong.

It could be quite influential for politicians that have marginal views, it could help swing them.

2011-03-21 21:46:13
Paul D


Another british 'politician' to tackle might be Nigel Lawson. He is a lord these days so sits in the House of Lords.

2011-03-22 00:43:45
Paul D


Some other skeptic MPs in the UK:

Sammy Wilson MP (Democratic Unionist, Northern Ireland)

Graham Stringer MP (Labour, England)




2011-03-22 07:57:29


None of the top ten Tory (Conservative) bloggers  believe in climate change (or choose not to for political reasons)

"Help! Can anyone find a Tory blogger who believes that climate change is a real threat?None of the top ten Conservative bloggers believes the theory that man-made global warming is an established fact; all ten reject David Cameron's view that the issue should be an urgent priority if the party were in government."

Yes this was written in 2009 before they were elected, but they don't seem to think it is too urgent a priority at the moment, even whilst in bed with the Lib dems!

Douglas Carswell MP wrote

"Plimer's book is one of the most heavily footnoted publications you'll find. One thing he doesn't seem short of is evidence to back up what he says.

Of course, none of those shouting about how wrong Plimer is seem to take the trouble to show how and why he is wrong. More often they link to another site that merely regurgitates the consensus on man-made climate change"

2012-02-17 03:26:55


I've added Dr. Carter's statement that disclosing funding for research is "a very quaint and old fashioned practice".

2012-02-17 04:05:52
John Hartz
John Hartz


Who is Dr. Carter?

2012-02-17 04:29:42


Dr. Robert Carter, Australian scientist/skeptic. His Heartland Institute payment ($1667/month) for work on the NIPCC is on page 7 of the Heartland budget document that got leaked.

He's also on the SkS skeptics quotes page, and there are several SkS blog posts regarding statements of his (just run a search).