Not the Pleasant Thacker

(h/t Willie Soon)

I hadn’t heard of Paul Thacker, journalist at DrilledNews. An article he wrote for Environmental Science and Technology back in 2006 defending Mann from criticisms by McIntyre is archived at Realclimate Gaia knows why, since it contains no information about Mann’s work or McIntyre’s criticisms, referring merely to “former mining executive” McIntyre having possibly discovered a “glitch.”

More recently, in 2016 he wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times titled: “Scientists, Give Up Your E-mails,” so either he’s had a change of heart or he hadn’t been paying attention for the previous decade.

Last year Chris Monckton at WUWT accused Thacker of promoting a “sedulously-fabricated foofaraw of flatulent whigmaleeries” about Willie Soon. (I clearly wasn’t paying attention then – I who claim to have a foofaraw-proof whigmaleery-detector.)

Anyway, Thacker has just written this obituary for the late Fred Singer:

Fred Singer Has Passed. He Took Pleasure In Bullying Scientists. May He Rest.

which says, among other things:

I regret the day when I ran into Singer in person and didn’t walk over and throw something at him. One summer morning in Washington, I took some friends across town to the Eastern Market neighborhood for brunch at Montmartre, a neighborhood treasure of Parisian flair and simple-yet-amazing French food […] Halfway through my ham and cheese omelette with mustard crème, I looked across the restaurant and recoiled as if slapped. Seated two tables away was Fred Singer. Putting my fork down, I told my friends why I was no longer hungry. They say you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but I spoke ill of Singer that day, and I feel no need to stop just because the bastard doesn’t breathe. What I saw that day was the face of evil, a detestable animal shoveling fine food into his fanged maw. Many have said to me in private that they also found him evil. That’s why evil persists: because too many fear risking the high salaries that pay for nice meals at French restaurants by speaking up in public. I would prefer to eat bologna sandwiches on stale bread and preserve my dignity. […]

Today there’s a generation of young people coming into adulthood completely pissed off and frightened (for good cause) that because of people like Singer, we have done next to nothing to halt global warming. It’s true that others who are still alive have also done horrible things to protect the fossil fuel industry. But having studied Singer closely for years, I know that he did this not just for a paycheck. He did it with wild abandon and joy, and delighted in his power to frighten and cow those who tried to point out that he was wrong. […]

More important than reciting someone’s resume, is painting a portrait for readers of the deep emotions that person stirred within others. Capturing the essence of the deceased. So here goes:

Fred Singer was the beast whose name must not be said. He was the mad fantasy of corporate lawyers who, catching a glimpse of a harvest moon, tear off their ties and rip apart their clothing to release their inner werewolves. Howling with mad money glee, they leap from oak-paneled boardrooms with gold-coffered ceilings to run naked through the heartland of America, shitting nuclear waste in town squares. They pollute the air with foul breath, poison streams with toxic sweat — causing death, destruction, and horrifying economic misery — before ending the night’s orgy with a scrumptious dessert of fat little toddlers, roasted beneath a UV lamp.

The dead do not read. Obituaries are written for the living. Fred Singer is survived by 7.5 billion inhabitants of our planet, which is being destroyed by global warming.

Well, that certainly captures the essence of something, I’m not sure what, and I’m not sure I want to know.

For an alternative view of the late Fred Singer, see a number of articles at WattsUpWithThat filed here.


  1. I hope I am not related to my namesake, I really do. I would not be the proud owner of that torrent of bilge. I suppose it made him feel better, but he could have thrown it away, rather than inflicting it on the world.

    (Am I the pleasant Thacker, or is there someone else you had in mind?)

    @ John no obits for you for a good while yet.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rather than ingest too much sewage I ended up having a look at Environmentalism – The Soft Underbelly of the Free Enterprise System from a right-ish think tank in Washington in December 1989. Haven’t got to Singer yet but I did notice the host rejoicing in obtaining a piece of the Berlin Wall (that had fallen the month before), then coming up with the Watermelon theme a fair few years before James Delingpole, then the powerful speech by ex-Marxist radical David Horowitz. I didn’t know Singer rejected the lukewarmer moniker. But who cares on the terminology. Moral courage is its own reward.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have met others like Thacker in Australia.
    They all live in house powered by fossil fuel.
    They all drive cars powered by fossil fuel.
    Their detachment from reality is truly amazing..
    Perhaps their mad vitriol stems from their “guilt” that they are no different from the “others” that they loathe.
    Virtual signalling to their faux eco friends…is no cool now days..
    Enjoy the decline 🙂


  4. Nice typos..anyway..forgot to add they have one other characteristic..If you can catch them mid rant and ask them simple questions about CAGW..they get this slightly glazed look(are they in trance ?) and stumble..and their big fall back is “I dont know much about…..” and then continue ranting.They feel that not knowing anything…wins..since they cannot debate you on any point..and they are now safe.
    Non stop propaganda has certainly worked..nations of zombie clones with zero self awareness

    Liked by 2 people

  5. take it my first comment was blocked for some reason!!!

    so will only quote the end rant from this heartless moron –
    “The dead do not read. Obituaries are written for the living. Fred Singer is survived by 7.5 billion inhabitants of our planet, which is being destroyed by global warming.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If I could, by means of seance, communicate with whatever decency once resided in Thacker, I’d say:

    Will ya make peace, Thacker A) because it’s unsporting to box an opponent who can’t defend himself any more and B) you’re losing.

    Thanks Geoff. I’ve written, or at least thought, some earthy street words about Mr Thacker previously. I can’t remember in what context, but suffice it to say he’s not unknown to my immune system.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. It reminds me of one of the times Norman Mailer threw a punch at Gore Vidal, and Mr Vidal’s response, “Words again fail Norman Mailer.”. Something about climate alarmism brings out a violent side in people

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think it’s the equivalent level of belief (and personal identification with the cause, so absolute personal antipathy to its perceived enemies), as one sees in hate-sermon priests and such. The kind that whether indirectly or sometimes (when thought to be out of the public gaze) directly, encourages suicide bombers and beheading from the younger / more easily led among the ‘faithful’. In general, the latter outcomes are fortunately extremely rare when cagw is the sponsor, falls short of critical mass in this department. But a couple of the lone-wolf shooters have incorporated climate issues into their ranting agendas. Thacker’s whole narrative is fire-and-brimstone, no-one would have batted an eye at it 150 years ago in Britain, if his target was Darwin or anyone else clearly manipulated by the Devil to challenge the dominant religion of the day. For now, cagw is nowhere near so dominant as Christianity was then, and I suspect most who believe in imminent catastrophe would regard this as an unhelpful rant (which nevertheless is way below calling it out); but it’s dangerous stuff. The target can and probably will shift randomly, to the next escape route for Thacker’s outraged passion.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Brad at 8.38pm…’because it’s unsporting to box an opponent who can’t defend himself any more …’

    Yes, it’s a dilemma isn’t it, and each of us has ter decide what is the right balance btwixt effectiveness and decency ?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Beth,

    this tantrum of Thackeray’s is excusable in so far as it seems unfeigned, which is to say, in so far as ‘artless’ means ‘guileless.’ I’d be more inclined to forgive him if I could excise the prejudicial half-memory of his prior acts from my CNS.

    To be honest, my comment was an excuse to make that inexcusable pun Geoff and yourself may have noticed.

    (I apologize to anyone who got it.)

    But I bet that if the tables had been turned or the chairs faced a slightly different direction, and it was Singer who’d surprised Thacker mid-suck on his spaghettoes, he would have spared Thacker the thwacking he had coming to him, if only because debating him would have been like class warfare against an unarmed opponent.


  11. Hi Brad,

    Any excuse for a pun. 🙂

    I agree if the tables turned, Singer would likely have had something positive to say, e.g.
    R.I.P. Paul Thacker,
    admired by his friends
    as a high-level ranter.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’d be a hypocrite to denounce Thacker for his timing alone. Provided he was willing to exude this bile about Singer antehumously, and that he meant every word (and it seems hard to explain such a sweary, aneurystic meltdown otherwise), then who am I to begrudge him exploiting the transient newsworthiness of his grudge?

    I myself made some irreverent jokes about Castro that I’d never written before, simply because nobody would have bothered reading them had his obituary not been in that day’s paper.

    Nor have I forgotten Geoff’s disapproval, though I would’ve forgotten anyone else’s tut-tutting exactly 7 seconds later, which is the use-by date of my ultra-short-term memory (or “visuo-auditory scratchpad”). How’s that for a reverse genetic fallacy?

    And you can bet that when Oreskes finally karks it in an auto-emetic hetero-asphyxiation gone wrong, I won’t feel the slightest compunction about writing the same things I’d happily Tweet to her face right now, had she not blocked her account’s ears.

    In case you were wondering what I said that prompted my excommunication, the answer is nothing, as far as I know—I believe she did it pre-emptively, while we were yet strangers. Is this because the rumors are true: is there really a database at/in/for/amongst members of Planet 3.0 in which deniers are coded as Discretion Advised, Low Threshold For Chicanery Advised, or AVOID ALL CONTACT? I flatter myself to think so, but such is the curse of my high-end Dunning Krugerism that self-flatteries invariably fall short of an accurate accounting.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thacker wrote an op-ed in the NYTimes called ‘Scientists, Give Up Your Emails.

    “But allowing agencies to keep secret the communications of scientists who work for the government sets a dangerous precedent. Some of what we know about abusive practices in science — whether it concerns tobacco, pharmaceuticals, chemicals or even climate change — has come from reading scientists’ emails.

    He closes with a stirring denunciation of Jonesian why-should-I-share-my-data-when-your-aim-is-to-find-something-wrong-with-it-ism:

    “Scientists who profess agreement with transparency only when it is on their terms are really not for transparency at all. The public should be alarmed.”

    Only joking. He seems to be whining about Willie Soon. I wish I could say for sure, but it’s behind a pay-wall.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Have I misjudged Thacker? It’s almost tempting to think he could make an eloquent ally in the fight to destroy Data Haram (a fight in which the entire civilized world has a stake).

    In one particularly defuscationist essay, Thacker writes,

    Access to Scientists’ Personal Correspondence Can Be Crucial For Safeguarding Public Health […]

    Requests under FOIA for personal correspondence are not just appropriate, but crucial to ensuring transparency. […]

    This is far from the only instance where scientists’ correspondence has revealed practices which cast doubt on the integrity of research. […]

    Examining scientists’ communications can also uncover corrupt practices, such as attempts to violate the peer-review process.

    The Benefits of Transparency Outweigh the Costs […]

    But transparency laws remain a fundamental tool for monitoring possible scientific misbehavior. And it would be a mistake to believe that scientists should not be subject to a high level of outside scrutiny. So long as scientists receive government money, they are subject to government oversight; so long as their work affects the public, journalists and other watchdogs are simply doing their jobs when they seek out possible misconduct and questionable practices that could threaten the public interest.

    Despite the potential for abuse, transparency laws are potent weapons in investigators’ pharmacopeia and will be increasingly important in the coming decade as universities become more entwined with corporate interests. […]

    According to one academic witness, this ‘withhold it because you want to” behavior is widely abused because government wants to keep secret “embarrassing, incriminating, or –sometimes even– burdensome-to-process documents.’

    The University of Illinois is now facing legal scrutiny after several administrators and academics were caught hiding their work-related business through use of private emails to evade scrutiny from FOIA. These hidden emails were recently released and the Chancellor promptly resigned. The university is now examining whether some academics and administrators will be disciplined for this behavior. […]

    By this point your spider-senses are tingling. Something doesn’t add up. If this is really what Thacker stands for, then maybe he’s redeemable; maybe his soul is just a battleground between humane and barbaric impulses, like everyone’s; maybe he’s not so different from you or me; maybe he’s located more or less where we all are, around the halfway point, on the angel–Satan spectrum.

    Maybe he isn’t a walking plug of smegma after all.

    But hang on, that would mean Brad was wrong about him, wouldn’t it? I hate to say it, but Brad might even owe the guy an apology.

    And at that point your BS detector should really be having five-alarm conniptions. That Doesn’t Make Sense.

    Sure enough, you only have to dig a few atoms deeper into Thacker’s oeuvre to find him returning to form (and the capsized universe righting itself), as in this article:

    To be sure, the same mechanisms that watchdogs use to uncover scientific wrongdoing have been abused in the past. Climate scientist Michael Mann, for instance, was subject to invasive and harassing requests for information via freedom of information laws […]

    Other emails released under FOIA found Soon eager to discuss papers submitted to journals with potential corporate funders and exposed his role in helping to advance climate denial by pushing disinformation regarding “Climategate,” a fake scandal that involved stolen emails from climate scientists that were later quoted out of context.[xx] It’s the access to Soon’s mailboxes — not any official documentation of funding, nor even sworn statements before Congress — that revealed this behavior.

    So THAT’S Thacker’s not-at-all self-sodomizing Weltanschauung:

    We need the power to home-invade scientists’ emails, so we can ascertain their complicity in the Climategate invasion.

    If anything (you now realize, ashamed of your moment of doubt), Brad was being polite, waiting for a decent interval to elapse before speaking frankly about this litre of aspirated meconium called Paul Thacker.

    Oh, and: all those quotes were from one and the same article, in case you were wondering exactly HOW MUCH of a triple-plus anti-think brain-crimer this Thacker wanker is.


  15. I second JiT: who exactly IS the pleasant Thacker? Prurient, nosy little minds demand to know.

    Don’t make us FOIA you, Geoff!


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