– Checking the Facts and Ethics of the International Fact-Checking Network of Poynter Institute

Open Letter to Mr. Neil Brown,
President of the Poynter Institute
info (at)

RE: CLINTEL and Climate Feedback

Dear Mr. Brown,

I understand that the United States prides itself on its dedication to Freedom of Speech. Therefore, I am surprised to learn that your Poynter Institute is enacting a modern day form of the Spanish Inquisition, making biased pronouncements upon our international group of scientists, scholars and professionals at CLINTEL, just because our scientific view allegedly does not comply with climate

Since we question dubious ‘consensus’ claims, a handful of self-appointed Climate Feedback judges have decreed that we are ‘heretics’. I understand that your Poynter/International Fact Check Network/Climate Feedback group is deemed to be an expert body. Once your embarrassingly one-sided fact check has been issued, the press and social media consider it as an expert judgment and reject or disparage other studies like ours on climate science and energy policies as ‘fake news’. This is a condemnable censorship of Freedom of
Scientific Inquiry and a breach of Freedom of the Press. The result also invokes the refusal of an open climate debate.

When Climate Feedback originally published its critique of our position, I ignored it, believing that Freedom of Speech meant people could hold different views and debate them.

Indeed, this is a fundamental principle we hold to: “audiatur et altera pars” – let both sides be heard. But your organization is letting only one side be heard. The media rely on you, as it turns out, and so does Facebook. This situation places additional moral responsibility on Poynter to encourage fair debate. We now get reports from our international ambassadors that news media will not carry our stories, or if they do, they make dismissive and denigrating remarks about our scholars, many of whom have achieved the highest honors in science in their fields. This is unacceptable, Mr. Brown. Bear in mind that your actions also seriously delay the progress in climate science. People should not discredit those who do not support the scientific consensus, but we should work together to discover the scientific truth.

As many of our founding signatories are based in Europe, it is appalling that your Climate Feedback reviewers use the outrageous term ‘denier’, since that term is ascribed to Holocaust deniers. Many of us personally suffered in World War II, lost family, and many had family members swept away in the horrors of the Holocaust. It is an anathema that thinking scientists would use this term to describe other scientists who, after careful scientific review, hold dissenting views on climate and related energy policies. How could your organization sink that low to sanction such language?

I could write you a detailed rebuttal of the biased Climate Feedback work, but instead, I recommend that you instruct Climate Feedback to post our climate science arguments with equal prominence, as is the norm for Freedom of the Press. I ask that you share this letter with your media network, so as to engage it in an open, civil, debate. If you are unwilling to do that, I ask that you retract the Climate Feedback critique and notify your international media network of the retraction.

It is unacceptable that a handful of scientists, such as those making a one-sided pronouncement in the Climate Feedback commentary, pass denigrating judgment on a group of scientists, scholars and professionals like CLINTEL, where many of our people have made ground-breaking scientific discoveries, have won national and international awards for their scientific work, and who advocate for civil debate. Don’t attack the scientists, but rather argue the evidence; indeed, this should be the mandate of Poynter, to provide a platform
for scientific debate on this important topic.

Bear in mind Mr. Brown, climate science is an extremely broad and complex knowledge field for which we have very little long-term precision data. The technical uncertainties are acknowledged on pages 114 and 115 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR5 WGI report. If that body can recognize these uncertainties, how can your tiny group of six Climate Feedback reviewers claim to have authoritative insight on this complex field of climate science?

The CLINTEL members, who live in Europe, have seen the destructive outcomes of climate-related energy policies; widespread heat-or-eat poverty, systematic industrial ‘massacre’ as Antonio Tajani described it in 2013, unemployment and crippling ‘green’ subsidies. This is even truer today, due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. What Green New Deal climate activists advocate for is economic suicide.

In our latest open letter to world leaders, “Fight Virus Not Carbon”, we are warning you to avoid the false principles and skewed climate claims of the Green New Deal. Knowingly and willingly upsetting young minds with a constructed catastrophic climate future, based on dubious computer simulations/models, is that not a crime to the young generation? Many children now suffer from depression because of media fear mongering.

I ask you, Mr. Brown, for your respectful attention to our arguments and I ask you to defend and promote Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Scientific Inquiry.

I look forward to your response.

Professor Guus Berkhout
President of CLINTEL
guus.berkhout (at) checks the Facts of the International Fact Checking Network of Poynter Institute and finds them wanting.

1 Comment

  1. Paul Schmidt

    A long letter, very polite, certainly points out the deficiencies. I’m not sure if it will fall on open ears as we are all trying to be ‘too polite’ in fighting the Climate Extremists. The points I am trying to raise in our movement are expressed in this letter I sent o Dr Berkhout last October; but never got an answer, why? (I will resend it today)
    From: Paul Schmidt
    Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2019 3:24 PM
    Subject: Your letter to the UN

    Professor Guus Berkhout
    Climate Intelligence Foundation (CLINTEL)
    Goudsbloemstraat 8 3
    1015JP Amsterdam
    The Hague
    +31 651 214 737

    Dear Dr. Berkhout,

    .(selected exert)…………………..Regarding your Declaration/Press Release and your plan to “…. invite the Secretary-General to work with the global network to organize a constructive, high-level meeting between world-class scientists on both sides of the climate debate..” please allow me submit consideration of caution in this, on surface, a valid endeavor: when I started to review the work of the IPCC, my initial recommendation was similar. However as I continued looking deeper into the governance and working procedures within the IPCC, I came to the conclusion that their work methods and output has both systemic and technical quality flaws, and to thoroughly review their work and conclusions, comprised by now of literally ‘mountains’ of paper, would be firstly momentous due to the bureaucratic methods and language used in their reporting, and secondly would not lead to an agreement with the IPCC, and also would need the application of judgement by ‘our’ scientists that is a foreign concept within the IPCC. So in my second edition that is now on my Twitter Profile Link I have changed my recommendation (#10 in the attached) to: “Western countries should consult its own scientists to officially confirm the credibility and conclusions of many …….scientists who are on record opposing the IPCC theory”.

    As scientists, we know that it is near impossible to scientifically prove that something is wrong! So I would be concerned that the two sides of the climate debates proposed in your Declaration would not be ‘equal in credibility’, especially when judgement is included in the assessment. From what I have learned first hand in examining some of the IPCC work, and in detailed investigations by others, the quality of IPCC Scientists will not match at all those outside the IPCC. This actually complies with the statement in your Declaration: “…. models of climate ……… are unfit for their purpose”. ‘Unfit’ is well chosen as that could include the judgement of more qualified scientists.
    There are 3 detailed books that investigated and documented this aspect of the IPCC thoroughly and formed the basis of the ‘IPCC Chapter’ in my Treatise: “HUMAN CAUSED GLOBAL WARMING” – Dr Tim Ball; “GREEN TYRANNY” -Rupert Darvall and “THE DELINQUENT TEENAGER” – Donna Laframboise.
    (let me know if you would like a copy of my Treatise by email)

    With kindest regards,

    Paul Schmidt, B.Sc., P.Eng.
    Toronto GTA, Canada
    Twitter @Real_Science007
    416 617 8731

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