Stranger Fruit

Oreskes offers updated response to Schulte

The following is posted on behalf of Naomi Oreskes:

On September 3, I was contacted by Mr. Schulte, who asserted that statements made in my response – specifically that “The Schulte piece misrepresents the research question we posed,” that “the piece misrepresents the results we obtained,” and that the “piece misrepresents my own interpretation of the severity climate question” – inaccurately describe his paper. Mr. Schulte also contacted the Chancellor of my university, describing my work and behavior in highly unflattering terms.

My understanding of the contents of Mr. Shulte’s paper was based on reports that appeared on the web, including Daily Tech Science Blog on August 29, 2007, under the byline Michael Asher, NewsBusters on August 29, 2007 (Noel Sheppard) and the Inhoffe EPW Press Blog (Marc Morano). Since the Daily Tech blog asserted that it had obtained a pre-publication copy of the Schulte paper, I reasonably assumed that it described the paper accurately (its description was largely duplicated by the other sources). In response to Mr. Schulte’s September 3 letter, I wrote him stating that:

“If the characterization of your work in that press release was inaccurate, then you have my sympathy, but then your complaint should be with the individuals who issued the press release, not with me.”

I offered to review the actual article if Mr. Schulte would send it to me.In a September 19, response, Mr. Schulte rejected that suggestion, stating that

“[m]y manuscript still is under consideration by a peer-reviewed journal and I hence do not consider it appropriate to invite any further review or comment at this point.”

Instead, he demanded that I:

“Withdraw your unfounded personal allegations against me, with the expression of your apologies. Failure to do so within 14 days will oblige me to take appropriate measures to protect my position without further notice.”

Well, OK. I’ve revised my response to make it clear that I am discussing the blog descriptions of Mr. Shulte’s paper, not Mr. Shulte’s paper itself. My regrets to Mr. Schulte if the two are not the same.

By the way, it has now been reported that Energy and Environment never accepted Mr. Schulte’s paper for publication and has indicated that it does not intend to publish it. If that report is accurate, why is Mr. Schulte continuing to send me threatening letters? And why did he not make clear, when the story broke, that Daily Tech and the EPW committee were spreading an incorrect story? Surely his demand for an apology should be directed at the people who spread the incorrect story?