One of the main source of the critique, Dr. Robert J. Brulle, emailed me a response that notes “Dr. Nisbet does not respond to the evidence presented that the data in Chapter One of his own report contradicts the conclusions and executive summary regarding the financial differences between supporters and opponents of cap and trade.”
Brulle also disputes Nisbet’s characterization of both the review process and his reason for withdrawing his name from the report. To set the record straight, Brulle also sent me his withdrawal email to Nisbet. I’ll post Brulle’s email and then two questions that I posed to Nisbet by email last night:
I would like to make a couple of points regarding this [Nisbet] commentary for the record.
1. Dr. Nisbet does not respond to the evidence presented that the data in Chapter One of his own report contradicts the conclusions and executive summary regarding the financial differences between supporters and opponents of cap and trade.
2. The conclusions in Chapter 1 were added after I had reviewed the document. Specifically, I never saw the material contained in the third and fourth paragraphs on page 1 (continuing on to page 2), and the conclusion to Chapter 1 that starts on page 23.
3. I never saw or reviewed the Executive Summary. In fact, Dr. Nisbet never has provided me a copy of this document, and I only learned of what was written here from a third party providing me with this document.
4. I requested to be removed from the report because I felt that my role was being used to create a veneer of academic legitimacy that I do not believe the report merits. The specifics of my rationale for resignation are detailed below in the email I sent to Dr. Nisbet.
From: Robert BrulleSent: Thursday, April 14, 2011 1:03 AMTo: ‘Matthew C. Nisbet’Subject: Climateshift Report
Dear Dr. Nisbet:
Now that I have seen the entire report, I have major disagreements with some of your conclusions, and your characterization of my role in this process. Your description of my role in this effort is misleading at best (and which I had never reviewed or approved). I believe that this report is using my participation in the review process to legitimate its contents, and to try to create the impression that this report meets the criteria of a refereed publication. In my opinion, it does not. I don’t believe that the report as written meets what you call the “highest standards for rigor, evidence and accuracy.”
Accordingly, I am returning the honorarium check and formally request that you remove my name from the report.
In his reply, Nisbet also notes that I hadn’t contacted him about his report. So I sent him an e-mail last night asking the following two questions:
First, can you tell me which environmental groups you interviewed during your research for this report specifically over the past 5 months either 1) to get input on your financial analysis of their spending [other than Alliance for Climate Protection] or 2) to interview about their views on why the climate bill failure occurred?
Second, what is the correct characterization of your main financial conclusion?
# Full Report (p. 1): “As the analysis indicates, the environmental movement has made sizable gains in closing the spending gap with their conservative and industry opponents.”# Exec Sum (p. 2): “The national environmental groups working on climate change have closed the financial gap with their longstanding opponents among conservative think tanks, groups and industry associations.”# Press Advisory headline: “In Cap and Trade Fight, Environmentalists Held Spending Edge over Opponents, New Report Finds.”and your new post, “it is also a mistake to assume that by holding an overall spending edge, they [environmental groups] should have won.”