GlobaL Warming: Useful Idiots and Useful Innocents

Peter Burrows and 6/29/14

Not long ago I watched a guest on a PBS show tell the host that he, the guest, who was an “expert” on global warming (GW), did not know of any serious scientific disagreement on the GW issue, i.e. all the scientists saw GW as real, man made, and dangerous. The host was nodding in agreement and I thought, “What a useful idiot that guy is.  He believes anything he‘s told if it agrees with his bias.”

Then I thought, “That’s not fair, Burro. The Public TV kid is just trying to do his job. Probably suffers from a really expensive, almost useless college education that didn’t prepare him to be skeptical of government pushed agendas.  Besides, you don’t even know just what constitutes a ‘useful idiot.’”

So, for my own peace of mind, I went to Wikipedia and found that ‘useful idiot’ refers to “ people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.”  The term has historically been used to describe slavish followers of Communism and is usually attributed to Lenin, though there’s no record of him ever using the term.

Wikipedia goes on to tell us of a similar term, useful innocents, coined by the late economist Ludwig von Mises.  Von Mises said useful innocents are “confused and misguided sympathizers,” and he was also referring to liberals being used by communists.

I like ‘useful innocents.’  It’s a better term for MOST people than ‘useful idiots,’ which I’ve always associated with unblinking true believers and fanatics. Useful innocents, for example, is a good description of most people who back increasing the minimum wage.  Most folks don’t spend any time studying economics or thinking about the minimum wage, they just think raising it is a good idea and go on their way. These are not the folks found picketing outside of fast food restaurants demanding higher minimum wages. Those folks are useful idiots.

Back to the PBS show.  I had it wrong.  The host was a useful innocent, nodding in agreement on a topic he knew little about.  It was the guest who was the a useful idiot, busily spreading one of the bedrock lies of  GW propaganda, which is that no serious scientist disputes global warming, and by implication, the global warming agenda. This is WRONG.

When confronted by a global warmist who says there’s a consensus on the scientific merits of GW– and ergo the proposed efforts to counter GW — do not a useful innocent be.  Simply give the useful idiot a copy of the following list of names, all gleaned from over twenty years of files gathered on the subject of global warming.

These are all respected scientists, engineers, and/or climate experts who disagree with some or most of the current Global Warming religion. The list could be four or five times as long, but I don’t expect anybody to check more than a few names.  For a really long list of GW skeptics, Google “Oregon petition” or “NASA letter climate change.”  The site  “”  is also a good, if ironic, source.

Whether the below individuals are right or wrong is not the point.  The point is that anybody who says there is a broad scientific consensus on climate change, its causes and consequences, is a useful idiot.  Maybe not so useful.

In no particular order after Dr. Evans.

1)   Dr. David M.W. Evans, Australian mathematician/engineer.  See “The Skeptic’s Case” 2/3/12.  Definitive.
2)   Dr. Judith Curry, Georgia Tech.
3)   Dr. Willie Soon, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
4)   Dr. Richard Lindzen, Harvard
5)   Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, Swedish sea-level expert
6)   Dr. David Deming, University of Oklahoma
7)   Dr. Roy W. Spencer, University of Alabama
8)   Dr. H. Abdussamatov (Better hope this guy is wrong!) Director of Space Physics, Polkovo Observatory
9)   Dr. William Happer, Princeton
10) Dr. James Lovelock, Gaia Theorist, global warming reversal of opinion
11) Dr. Robert Balling, Arizona State
12) Dr. Henrik Svensmark (Google with CERN) Director, Center for Sun-Climate Research, Denmark
13) Lennart Bengtsson, Swedish meteorologist
14) Joe Bastadi, American meteorologist
15) Burt Rutan, Aerospace engineer



2 thoughts on “GlobaL Warming: Useful Idiots and Useful Innocents

  1. E. Stauffer

    The citation list of scientific expertise on climate should well include Dr. Timothy Ball of Winnipeg, and Dr. Don Easterbrook, emeritus.

    1. petervburrows Post author

      You are absolutely correct. As I recall, Dr. Ball didn’t make the list because his degree was in geography, but his work has certainly been first rate in my unscientific opinion. As to Dr. Easterbrook, my files only had one reference to him, and I appreciate you bringing him to my attention.

      My layman’s interest in climate goes back to 1975 when I was fortunate enough to meet one of the authors of “Climate And The Affairs of Men,” which forecast the next ice age, something not to be desired. I tell the global warmists I hope they’re right, but fear they are not. That usually stops ’em cold! Pun intended.

      Thanks for your comment,

      Peter Burrows


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