Environmental Scientist Caught Agreeing To Ignore Her Own Data, Make Up New Claims

Dr. Ann Maest is a managing scientist at Straus Consulting, and she’s the go to expert on all things groundwater. In the press release announcing her reappointment to the National Academy of Sciences, they mention that she is focused on the environmental effects of mining and petroleum extraction and production, and, more recently, on the effects of climate change on water quality.

Maest is in high demand as an expert for those looking to stop oil and mineral exploration. She’s also heavily used by the federal government, even though new details about her past work are coming to light as a result of a lawsuit. From The New York Times:

An environmental consulting firm named as a defendant in a racketeering suit filed by Chevron Corp. over a landmark pollution lawsuit in Ecuador is continuing to work on another blockbuster case: the Deepwater Horizon oil spill investigation.

Boulder, Colo.-based Stratus Consulting, a long-term contractor with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other federal agencies, is gathering and analyzing data concerning the Gulf of Mexico spill.

Chevron is suing those behind the Ecuadorian case including: the lead attorney Steven Donziger; Stratus Consulting; and Maest. As part of their lawsuit, Chevron obtained through discovery, outtakes from a documentary film called “Crude” that show Donziger and Maest colluding to ignore their own scientific findings and make up some new unsubstantiated claims. Watch this:

Paraphrasing the video, Maest says that in their study contamination has not spread and is only found at the site of the pit. Donziger says let’s just extrapolate and say what we want. Maest readily agrees. Donziger goes on to say that it’s Ecuador and if they have 1000 people around the court house they win, the report is just smoke, mirrors, and bullshit.

Of course when you’re endeavoring to pull off a multi-billion dollar legal heist in a banana republic you don’t stop at just inventing damages; you stack the deck on the judicial side as well. What Chevron has been able to show from the outtakes and records obtained is that Maest and her firm drafted substantial portions of the report of the independent expert, Richard Cabrera, who they allege Donziger was instrumental in getting appointed to do the court order study of the alleged environmental damage. Sounds like a criminal enterprise to extort, right? That’s what Chevron thinks, and it’s why they’re suing under RICO.

In addition to being sued, Maest’s work (if that’s what you want to call it) was thouroughly debunked by another team of scientists.

It is hardly a surprise that Donziger is an old Harvard buddy of, you guessed it, President Obama. What’s really surprising is that here we have a National Academy of Science member caught red-handed agreeing to make up data, and our government wants to give her more business.

Update: In the comments there was a question as to whether Maest was on board with Donziger’s plan. See the video below and make up your own mind…

Shortlink:

Posted by on December 12, 2011.
Filed under Law, Science.
Kevin founded Wizbang in 2003. He still contributes occasionally and handles all the technical and design work for the site.

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  • herddog505

    A scientist* is making up data harmful to Big Business (and especially Big Oil), Uncle Sugar wants to hire her, and you’re SUPRISED about that?

    / sarc

    (*) With all the environmentalist shenanigans involving “scientists” going on these days, I’m starting to feel better about identifying myself as a used car salesman, pimp, or drug dealer than as a scientist.

  • jim_m

    The left does not believe in science.  There have been any number of hilarious hoaxes demonstrating that the left sees science as just another source of propaganda.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_Affair

    That’s why we see incidents like this one and like the ClimateGate emails.  The left is turning science into a religion, but in the image of what they believe religion is: a crassly cynical tool to manipulate the masses using bandwagon marketing techniques, threats of shunning and demands to believe irrational and contra-factual ideas.

    • n4rd

      Spot on

    • http://profiles.google.com/elilla.shadowheart Elilla Shadowheart

      Remember eugenics was an idea of the left.

    • plantfeeder15

      Any science that is ruled by a philosophical set of rules, is not science.

  • Anonymous

    Well there are ‘scientists’ and then there are “$cientists”.

  • Anonymous

    Absolute fudging corrupts absolutely.

  • John Shoaf

    This is not the first time Stratus Consulting has been found wanting in its “scientific” endevours.. Most of the recent (10 years) finding have been at best questionable and at worst false, theur reputation is far from credible.

    • n4rd

      Every past case where Stratus Consulting gave evidence will have to be re-examined. Serious repercussions.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t say the woman and scientist, Dr.Maest  readlily agrees, demurs or hesitates would be more accurate. She is quietly eating her breakfast, but Doniziger, who is doing all the talking, is definitely a contemptible lawyer.What more did you expect?

    • herddog505

      Did she or did she not go along?  This is the crux of the matter that I suppose will be determined by the court case.

      That being said, if somebody came up to you, at breakfast or at any other time, and said, “Hey, I need you to falsify your work”, what would you say to that?  Even more, this individual is openly discussing ways and means to further perpetrate a fraud, including corruptly influencing a court.  How would you respond?  How do you think that ANY honest person would respond?

      • Mr Kimber

        This is yet another example of a liberal making excuses for another liberal in the act of conversing about breaking the law when the evidence is right there in front of them…Honestly Steve, if it walks and quacks like a duck why don’t you just go with it and save everybody some time.

  • http://otisthehand.blogspot.com/ OTIS the hand

    Good one, Kevin.

  • Anonymous

    So to graduate with a degree from Harvard all you need is the ability to lie cheat and steal? Oh, wait. And the ability to fleece the taxpayer, keep a straight face and enjoy the game of golf. 

  • jim_m

    Hey it’s just typical lefty/Alinsky ethics.  There is no unethical use of a means to achieve your ends.  The only unethical means is the non-use of a means to achieve your ends.

    These people are so convinced of their own righteousness that they never stop to think that maybe, just maybe the fact that they have to falsify everything to get their way may be an indicator that they are dead wrong.  Pick your favorite fascist/totalitarian group from history and tell me how they differ.  It can’t be by much.

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  • Oysteria

    Everything in both those conversations was arbitrarily made-up stuff.   “Well, If we claim this, then we can get $X billion.”  Weighing words with dollars.

    And Crickmore, “demurring”?  What part of, “Uh-huh, yeah, uh-huh, sure,” is demurring or hesitating?

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  • http://twitter.com/GlynnJones1 Glynn Jones

    Apologies for my ignorance in this case, but did the group ever manage to extract any money from Chevron with regards the Columbia incident?

  • http://www.JPAttitude.com/ J.P. Travis

    I think western science is in a state of collapse: http://www.jpattitude.com/111029.php  Most people don’t realize how bad it is.  The greatest portion of research money comes from federal grants, and the federal government is manned by lefties.  How can anything good come from that combination?

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  • http://cbullitt.wordpress.com/ SOYLENT GREEN

    I’ve been waiting for a lawsuit like this for years.
    Start lining them up–Hansen, Lisa Jackson, the SCOAMF, Mann…take back everything they’ve stolen plus everything else they have and throw them into the deepest dungeons of hell.

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  • Anonymous

    I hope she loses so bad she ends up living in a box under the freeway.

    I despise unscrupulous con artists.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TCZM4U5VAJXFN6HVINMPHZ4E4U Jimmy Walter

    This page shuts down my IE. I had to load it with Firefox.

    • http://wizbangblog.com Kevin

      Working on that…  In only seems to happen on XP…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TCZM4U5VAJXFN6HVINMPHZ4E4U Jimmy Walter

    I get an error when trying to log in with facebook.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/epWY2.MRs4vHWRNeikdqf_9c_DPSJT0-#0785b MayflowerCompact

    Thanks for the post Kevin. I made some heads explode on my local newspaper forum.
     
    I called it GroundWaterGate. :)

  • n4rd

    This is exactly how climate science works. There are some great scientists out there, but there is a cabal of warmist scientists working together, fiddling climate data and blocking any dissenting views from individual thinking climate scientists.

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  • plantfeeder15

    Ever since Marx hijacked Darwin the left has been using science to achieve it’s goals. Funny thing is, the more they use science to disprove the past, the more they turn us into Laputa and Swift is LOL somewhere.

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  • David Anfinrud

    If one group of Scientist make up data. Could it be that there are more Scientist doing the same thing. this could be the tip of the Iceberg. Can science be trusted to give real facts or are they just making up results to get money.