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100% renewable energy: Mark Jacobson sues for knowingly false statements

David Klein

Mark Jacobson's research in support of a 100% renewable energy powered world has been repeatedly attacked by advocates for nuclear power and defenders of the status quo. "Rebuttals" of his work have resorted to violations of the usual norms and standards for scientific papers, and as a result Jacobson is suing PNAS and Clack for these violations.

The nuclear industry would very much like to see Jacobson's scientific work undermined and subverted. Michael Shellenberger, president of pro-nuclear advocacy group Environmental Progress, wrote: "Jacobson’s lawsuit is an appalling attack on free speech and scientific inquiry and we urge the courts to reject it as grossly unethical and without legal merit."

There is possibly much at stake here politically in terms of whether local governments will take steps to achieve 100% renewable energy or not, depending on the outcome of this dispute.


Washington Post, Nov 1, 2017
Stanford professor files $10 million lawsuit against scientific journal over clean energy claims

By Chris Mooney

Mark Z. Jacobson, a Stanford University professor who has prominently contended that the United States can fully power itself with wind, water and solar energy, is suing the National Academy of Sciences and the lead author of a study published in its flagship journal that criticized Jacobson’s views — pushing an already bitter academic dispute into a courtroom setting.

The suit, which asks for more than $10 million in damages and retraction of the study, charges that lead author Christopher Clack “knew and was informed prior to publication that many of the statements in the [paper] were false.” It adds that the NAS “knowingly and intentionally published false statements of fact” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences despite being aware of Jacobson’s complaints.




"Prof. Mark Jacobson filed his complaint against the National Academy of Sciences and Dr. Christopher Clack only after many unsuccessful attempts, both before and after publication, to have the scientific record corrected. His lawsuit does not seek to litigate science, but rather to respect and protect the process and rules that govern it and protect all of its stakeholders. NAS has a system in place for its journal, PNAS, to allow discourse and criticism of scientific methods and results. This system is through the normal process of writing up to 500-word letters and replies (where letters are “brief online comments that allow readers to constructively address a difference in opinion with authors of a recent PNAS article”), ensuring only those substantially contributing to the work are listed as coauthors, and ensuring that work is free of falsification and fabrication, among others."