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NOAA’s Chief Scientist Sacked

October 30, 2020

By Paul Homewood

Pots and kettles, and all that!!


The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s top scientist has been removed from his position after he asked new Trump-appointed staff to acknowledge the agency’s scientific integrity policy, according to a new report.

Craig McLean, the agency’s acting chief scientist, was dismissed from his role last month shortly after sending an email to the new political appointees, including former White House adviser Erik Noble, the New York Times reported.

McLean had reportedly asked them to respect the NOAA’s scientific integrity policy which prohibits fabrication, falsification and manipulation of research data driven to fit a political agenda.


That’s a bit rich, given that NOAA themselves have been fabricating data for years!

It was NOAA which fundamentally transformed the US temperature record from this:



to this:



And, of course, it was NOAA’s own Director, Thomas Karl, who back in 2015 conveniently manipulated the data to get rid of that embarrassing pause in global temperatures:


The fact that Karl just happened to discover all of this only a few months before the Paris Agreement was signed had nothing to do with it, of course!

As for Craig McLean, he is not the “Top Scientist”, as described by the Mail. He is in fact a lawyer, who has filled administrative roles at NOAA for many years. As such, he has carried out the political agenda of Obama and previous Presidents.

The only surprise is that he was not sacked years ago by Trump.

  1. Phillip Bratby permalink
    October 30, 2020 11:25 am

    There’s still a lot of the climate change and environmental swamp to drain. Why has Trump taken so long?

    • October 30, 2020 11:34 am

      The Obama administration packed a lot of agencies and leaving “sleepers”. It took some time to figure out who they all were. Sometimes leaving the top people in led to discovery of the less noticed. A lot of changes are being made, but not all are so notable. I was stunned recently to learn how many government jobs had been deleted by Trump. In his second term, Trump will take on the Civil Service fiasco. Right now it is hard to fire some people who do not work at “the will of the President”. In many cases his folks are looking to reduce the size of agencies by simply deleting positions.

      Just remember it was June 1, 2017 when he announced plans to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord in the White House Rose Garden…..about 4 1/2 months into his administration. Not bad.

      • Phillip Bratby permalink
        October 30, 2020 3:10 pm

        Thanks Joan for the information. It makes sense.

      • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
        October 30, 2020 3:42 pm

        My guess is that Al Gore, Jr. is responsible for the “packing of agencies” with AGW types. He did this while diverting attention, using “creating the internet.”
        Obama’s VP was unavailable to continue this, but BHO managed some high profile instances – see: Regina McCarthy.

    • CheshireRed permalink
      October 30, 2020 3:18 pm

      I suspect he had more immediate issues to attend to. Withdrawing the US from ‘Paris’ nicely set the tone for what he can do in his second term.

      They formally withdraw from ‘Paris’ on the 4th, literally the day after the election.

      When Trump wins I hope he’ll use 4 more years to make serious amendments to the climate scam, including holding the likes of NOAA and NASA / GISS to account.

      If he’s going to drive policy changes he first needs to show the data upon which policy is predicated *really has* been manipulated. Then he can go at it properly.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      October 30, 2020 3:49 pm

      Because he’s too thick to understand it & there’s $ billions to be made from it?

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        October 31, 2020 8:04 am

        Always amusing when a nobody claims a billionaire who became President of the USA is “thick”. Being overly fond of your own opinions doesn’t make you clever.

      • Phil O'Sophical permalink
        November 1, 2020 3:21 pm

        Oh yes, that would be the only US President ever to decrease his fortune whilst in office. Whereas Biden after 40 years in politics and achieving nothing has mysteriously become super rich.

      • Duker permalink
        November 3, 2020 5:58 am

        Its not ‘nobodies’ saying it , its a large group of people Trump selected to work closely with him in White house or cabinet secretaries
        Trump didnt start something from scratch for his fortune but inheriated a big fund from his father. You see the same result in Britains aristocracy , some can be very rich from what grand daddy did, Alan Sugar they are not.

    • yonason permalink
      October 30, 2020 6:34 pm

      ” Why has Trump taken so long?” – Phillip Bratby

      There were so MANY more issue that Trump had to tackle in his first term, all of which required immediate attention. Seems to me like dealing with the kid setting fire to the living room curtains is more important than the kid banging pots in the kitchen. First deal with the existential threats, and ignore those that can’t, on their own, set dangerous policies and hurt you in the short run.

      I think Trump will deal with them soon. He’s got Legetes in there now, hopefully to assess the situation, and start to fix it.

      Don’t forget that Trump has been constantly hampered by corrupt holdovers from the Obama debacle. It’s a wonder he’s gotten as much done as he has.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 31, 2020 8:05 am

      Its a story in the NYT just before the election. The chances it is ‘”true” are close to zero.

  2. October 30, 2020 11:25 am

    Draining the swamp.

  3. Ben Vorlich permalink
    October 30, 2020 12:00 pm

    Was the sacking because of the email or just after it in time? He was probably sacked after he’d had breakfast but the too events weren’t connected.

    However I await changes to reflect this email without holding my breath

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 31, 2020 8:06 am

      Exactly. Pure propaganda from the NYT days before the vote.

  4. 2hmp permalink
    October 30, 2020 12:05 pm

    NOAA ad NASA – the climate changers.

    • yonason permalink
      October 30, 2020 6:44 pm

      HAHAHA – Yes! Every bit of it “Mann made.”

  5. Broadlands permalink
    October 30, 2020 12:07 pm

    “NOAA’s scientific integrity policy which prohibits fabrication, falsification and manipulation of research data driven to fit a political agenda.”

    But, it’s ok to fabricate and manipulate for scientific purposes?? Make the warming appear stronger by lowering older data.

    Correction to the attribution of the two charts. Both were NASA/GISS, not NOAA. It was Hansen et al. who also “adjusted” a few things.

    • yonason permalink
      October 30, 2020 6:54 pm

      Others noticed the problem at NOAA, and tried to address it nearly 5 years ago.

      It’s just now dawning on McLean that it’s somehow important to pay lip service to a policy they’ve not adhered to for decades?! That’s classic chutzpah.

      • Duker permalink
        November 3, 2020 6:01 am

        Only in NOAA could the Chief Scientist not be scientist at all , but a lawyer who had worked both as a sea captain and maritime law specialist.

      • November 3, 2020 11:57 pm


        LOL. Yeah. But it depends what kind of ship he was “captain” of. If it was a large merchant vessel, he’d have had to be one sharp cookie. I had a friend who was studying to be an officer in the merchant marine. They have to know every valve, gauge and piece of mechanical and electrical equipment on the ship, and lots more. But the fact that he’s a lawyer/legal expert tells me he’s long ago been “cured” of any integrity, as his current behavior shows.

        If he were an honest chap, I would think he might be up to a high level administrative post at NOAA, but given that he’s done nothing to rein in their dishonesty on his watch, it doesn’t matter how smart he probably is. Seems like some can be awol, even when present at quarters.

  6. bobn permalink
    October 30, 2020 12:11 pm

    Daiyl Mail is 180 degrees wrong (no doubt fed lies by reuters).
    He was sacked after he told Scientists to continue the Noaa policy of adjusting and fabricating data and not to use actual observations.
    There. Fixed it for you Daily Mailicious.

  7. JCalvertN(UK) permalink
    October 30, 2020 12:17 pm

    Well, congratulations to Ryan Maue!

    • Jackington permalink
      October 30, 2020 6:04 pm

      Yes indeed – I remember Maue from way back; he was/is v sound on the AGW front. God I hope things go right on 3rd Nov

  8. Tomo permalink
    October 30, 2020 12:46 pm

    Meanwhile the UK public sector is stuffed with aggressive activists and assorted grifting weasels looking to ride the virtue of “saving the planet” all the way to their fat pensions.

    BEIS still has all those seconded Green NGO goons from DECC spewing ministerial briefings and policy documents.

  9. Pancho Plail permalink
    October 30, 2020 12:55 pm

    I had to read the headline several times before the meaning sunk in that NOAA have had such guidelines. Well, hoodathunkit.

  10. October 30, 2020 1:12 pm

    So the activism is now out in the open?

    Kind of like Australia?

    Here is what’s going on down undah!

    • Paul H permalink
      October 30, 2020 4:29 pm

      Excellent link.Llays out the various pressure group positions and then delivers a damning Conclusion that puts their narratives into perspective.

      • October 30, 2020 4:46 pm

        Thank you, Paul.

      • Paul H permalink
        October 30, 2020 5:10 pm

        You’re welcome Cha, Your links are are very insightful, a minimum of flowery sophistry, succinct, and to the point, cutting out the egoistic clap-trap that fills so much of the dialogue that passes for view exchange nowadays. Sorry for falling into that trap myself on this occasion.

      • October 31, 2020 12:33 am

        Appreciate your encouragement and kind remarks. Thank you again.

      • yonason permalink
        October 30, 2020 7:02 pm

        @Paul (and chaamjamal)

        What I’ve read of cj’s material fits with Paul’s assessment of it, IMO. I should read more, but that’s true of a number of other excellent blogs, as well.

        Keep up the great work, cj!

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        October 30, 2020 8:24 pm

        I agree. His site is always worth a detour.

    • dennisambler permalink
      October 30, 2020 6:16 pm

      I suspect the Swedish non-profit in the link is the Stockholm Resilience Centre, former home of the recently appointed, (last year) Potsdam Co-Director and successor to Schellnhuber, Johann Rockström.

      Australian Will Steffen is an Associate at SRC and has co-authored with Rockström, Schellnhuber at al. He and Rockström were involved in the Hothouse Earth paper which preceded IPCC’s SR15.

  11. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    October 30, 2020 3:59 pm

    McLean was involved with the dust-up about DJT’s tweets in September of 2019 regarding the path of Hurricane Dorian. As I recall, someone in Trump’s circle was way behind the weather info, made an error that ‘the Donald’ made famous.
    The result was an Agency and media storm that should have been no more than a little “dust devil” blowing through a backyard picnic.
    McLean was likely correct regarding this episode, but handled it poorly.
    So, his leadership style is not likely the best, regardless of his experience.

  12. bluecat57 permalink
    October 30, 2020 8:22 pm

    And tossed overboard with a suitable burial at sea ceremony?

    • November 4, 2020 12:06 am

      Off the fantail with the rest of the garbage?

  13. October 31, 2020 7:37 am

    The science was settled I thought.

  14. tom0mason permalink
    November 1, 2020 6:44 pm

    Craig McLean, the agency’s acting chief scientist, was dismissed from his role last month shortly after sending an email to the new political appointees, including former White House adviser Erik Noble, the New York Times reported.
    Craig McLean administrator and lawyer ( see )

    Erik Noble, was the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Washington, DC
    Dr. Erik Noble is the Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where he is the White House lead for data and Earth observations policy. He is a co-chair of the interagency U.S. Group on Earth Observations and co-lead for the cross-agency priority goal of Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset.
    Prior to joining OSTP, Dr. Noble served as a Senior Policy Advisor for NOAA and the Acting Chief of Staff of NASA. Erik briefly worked as a data science professional in the financial industry and as a Post-Doc Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor in atmospheric science at the City College of New York before joining the government.
    He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado while conducting numerical modeling research at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. He also earned an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado and a B.S. in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University.


    Dr. Ryan Maue was a researcher and published papers on weather and climate. His paper “Recent historically low global tropical cyclone activity” 2015, ruffled a few feathers in the climate consensus industry. Dr. Ryan Maue, a meteorologist from Florida State University, examined the last 40-years of global hurricane records and found strikingly large variability in both tropical cyclone frequency and energy from year-to-year.
    Maue served as the developer of, a website that offers weather related information, maps, and tools. He previously worked as an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.

    So do these two appointees look like they would bend scientific data to suit the prevailing political winds? Or would they just tell it like it is, just as any good scientist should?

  15. cbone permalink
    November 3, 2020 7:29 pm

    Here is the game that the NOAA lawyer/scientist is playing. The Ethics rules are in place to prevent the political appointees from being able to restrain the activist scientists in the trenches. The good lawyer/scientist was just reminding the boss that the inmates run this particular asylum, not the other way around.

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