Yesterday, in what appears to have been a not particularly sweat-breaking research enterprise, blogger Don Surber at the Charleston Daily Mail demonstrated that the Richard Muller, a Berkley scientist who the Washington Post’s Brad Plumer declared to be a “cliimate skeptic,” has been a believer in human-caused global warming — since the 1980s.
Muller convinced Plumer that as a result of looking at matters more closely, he has now become convinced that his skepticism was unwarranted. In Plumer’s words, “Muller’s team appears to have confirmed the basic tenets of climate science.” Surber smelled insincerity, and found supporting evidence quite quickly, which of course makes one wonder why Plumer didn’t even bother to look for it, or was so clumsy that he failed to find any (bolds are mine):
WaPo’s “skeptic” actually has backed global warming for 30 years
… physicist Richard Muller of Berkeley — embraced the theory of man-made global warming 30 years ago. An online search easily disproved his claim of skepticism. He co-authored a book, “Physics For Future Presidents,” that explained climate change among other things. Now he has re-branded himself a former skeptic — the better to sell global warming.
… Richard Muller is not who he says he is. He is an advocate of the theory of man-made global warming.
… From Grist on October 6, 2008 (Note the title, “Author and physicist Richard A. Muller chats with Grist about getting science back in the White Hous” [sic] — Ed.): “The bottom line is that there is a consensus — the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] — and the president needs to know what the IPCC says. Second, they say that most of the warming of the last 50 years is probably due to humans.” … “back in the early ’80s, I resigned from the Sierra Club over the issue of global warming. At that time, they were opposing nuclear power. What I wrote them in my letter of resignation was that, if you oppose nuclear power, the U.S. will become much more heavily dependent on fossil fuels, and that this is a pollutant to the atmosphere that is very likely to lead to global warming.
Gosh, in prior eras getting deceived so easily might have caused a reporter such as Plumer to be the subject of disciplinary action. Does anyone think we’ll see any of in this instance?
Odds of WaPo retracting this story: About the same as the chance that they’ll retract the garbage the paper produced on Thursday about Marco Rubio, which John Podhoretz at Commentary described on Friday as “one of the more disgraceful pieces of personal hit journalism in memory.”
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.
BizzyBlog Update: Great point at The Other McCain —
I think Surber missed the lead: Muller got $150,000 from the Charles G. Koch Foundation for his Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. Who approved that grant? What did Muller tell the folks at Koch about himself and his project? Wouldn’t it suggest the possibility of research fraud, if Muller was willing to misrepresent his views in order to obtain funding or to promote his findings?