At his Environmental Progress site here, Michael Shellenberger writes that Stanford University Professor Mark Z. Jacobson is suing a “prestigious team of scientists for Debunking 100% renewables.
This reminds us of the 17 or so attorneys general who sought to use the US Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in order to go after and silence climate science skeptics, accusing them of perpetuating fraud by daring to question the flakey science underpinning the manmade global warming theory.
Shellenberger wrote that professor Mark Z. Jacobson had “filed a lawsuit, demanding $10 million in damages, against the peer-reviewed scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and a group of eminent scientists (Clack et al.) for their study showing that Jacobson made improper assumptions in order to claim that he had demonstrated U.S. energy could be provided exclusively by renewable energy, primarily wind, water, and solar.”
“Speechless”…climate-energy debate needs to get “a direction of sanity”
Climatologist Prof. Judith Curry at her Climate Etc site wrote that she was “speechless”, adding:
In many ways, this is much worse than any of Michael Mann’s lawsuits alleging defamation of character [link] — Jacobson’s lawsuit seeks to settle a genuine scientific disagreement in the courts.”
However, Prof. Curry does not see “a good ending” for Jacobson: “There will undoubtedly be a countersuit and he stands to lose a lot of money (not just his lawsuit)”.
Many observers feel this is just the latest attempt to shut down free speech within the realm of science — a highly worrisome development that reminds us of brutal totalitarian regimes.
Curry notes: “Possibly, there will be sufficient backlash against this that will steer the overall climate-energy debate back towards a direction of sanity.”
This can only be hoped for.
Blogger Shellenberger calls the move by Jacobson “unprecedented”, adding:
Scientific disagreements must be decided not in court but rather through the scientific process. We urge Stanford University, Stanford Alumni, and everyone who loves science and free speech to denounce this lawsuit.”
This of course would be expected from almost any higher education institution in any other free-speech-abiding, democratic state. But with flakey, culturally neurotic California, nothing can be ruled out.