Another Silly Climate Petition Exposed

Read time: 2 mins

In the realm of silly petitions, manufactured by a small, agenda-driven group and leveraged to extend the fiction of a legitimate scientific controversy, no document has ever been studied to this degree.

Thanks to John Mashey, a technology consultant, entrepreneur, member of the American Physical Society and tireless researcher, this document lies completely exposed as another phony front group play for attention.

Mashey’s own explanation begins like this:

“The American Physical Society (APS) was petitioned by 206 people, about 0.45% of the 47,000 members, to discard its climate change position and declare decades of climate research non-existent. The Petition was “overwhelmingly” rejected, but this anti-science campaign offers a useful case study. The Petition signers‟ demographics are compared to those of APS in general.

Then, the social network behind the petition is analyzed in detail, person by person for the first 121 signers. This might seem a grassroots groundswell of informed expert argument with the existing position, but it is not.

Rather, it seems to have originated within a small network of people, not field experts, but with a long history of manufacturing such things, plausibly at the Heartland Institute‘s NYC climate conference March 8-10, 2009. APS physicists can, do, and will contribute strongly to solving the 21st century‟s conjoined climate+energy problem, but this petition was a silly distraction, and rightly rejected. However, its existence was widely touted to the public.”

The whole, exhaustive document is attached. Fred Singer should be embarrassed.

For another take on this story, check out Adam Seigel’s  article: APS says “In your face deniers!”

PDF icon 2009 science bypass v3 0.pdf2.04 MB
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Nothing would embarrass Fred Singer. He’s inured to being caught-out red-handed with his lies.

If he were to be caught with his hands in a cash register, he would simply maintain that he was putting the money back!

To most scientists, the most important thing is to determine the truth!
To Singer, from what he has published and said, it seems that all that matters is the money!

I would call this groundbreaking evidence that global warming is taking it in the chops. With all the polically correct BS and barriers to employment, 200+ brave men and women chose to stand with science and sign a petition calling for the truth to be exposed.

It makes you wonder just how small the global warming believers are. When the great global warming swindle aired in britain, 37 scientists signed a petition and sent it to BBC to complain and ask that the show never be aired again. 37 scientists is all the global warmers could muster. Looks like a small powerful elite is getting its ass kicked by defenders of justice like Fred Singer. Someone should give that guy a nobel prize for standing up for the scientific process.

“200+ brave men and women chose to stand with science and sign a petition calling for the truth to be exposed.”

If they want to expose the truth, rather than signing a petition, why don’t they conduct research and publish their results?

Just not in climate science…
As John shows in a table, ONE has been a regular contributor to climatological science and is fairly uncontroversial. The vast majority of the others have not even come close to being involved in ANY form of climate research, or in a field that has a link to climate research.

It’s like a group of ornithologists telling virologists their research on HIV is all wrong and should be reconsidered…

in Science Bypass v3.0 11/11/09

“The reader should be undaunted by the 18-page length of this paper. Most people need only read about
30 pages (Sections 1-5, first few pages of 6, then 7-8).?

“18” should read “128”

That one just jumped off the page at me screaming when I paged through it; I haven’t actually read the article yet. I’m just one of those afflicted with this proofreading problem …..

Willie Soon & Sallie Baliunas got maximal exposure in the late 1990s, claiming that climate models were all wrong for about three major reasons:

1) The mid-upper tropical troposphere did not appear to be warming as climate models predicted.

2) There was no noticeable Arctic amplification of warming, and the sea ice wasn’t really thinning, but was rather going back to normal - under the influence of the solar cycle.

3) The Little Ice Age was a global cooling event, and we are just on a rebound from that, so there’s nothing unusual.

All of their objections have been overturned, by satellite data analysis showing the tropospheric warming, by observed collapses in Arctic sea ice unrelated to any changes in solar forcing, and by comprehensive evidence showing that the “Little Ice Age” was a regional climate fluctuation, not a global one. However, they won’t acknowledge their errors - like Richard Lindzen, they just keep trotting out discredited concepts in front of gullible audiences.

If you are a scientist, you have to acknowledge when your objections have been met, or you simply expose yourself as a public relations flak - though I didn’t know that Baliunas and Soon were also affiliated with GMI.

There are some striking historical similarities here… consider the attacks on Einstein by a collection of German scientists over his ideologically suspect theory of general relativity. The issues were different, but the approach was remarkably similar - take it from Einstein, who responded thus:

    “A motley group has joined together to form a company under the prestigious name “Syndicate of German Scientists” currently with the single purpose of denigrating the theory of relativity and me as its author in the eyes of non-physicists.”

That was followed by the publication of “One Hundred Authors Against Einstein,” leading to the response, “Why 100 authors? If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!”

Nowhere in observations, experiment or theory can you find any flaw in the notion that putting long-lived greenhouse gases into the atmosphere will significantly warm the planet’s surface and alter the climate. If someone could find such a flaw, they wouldn’t need a hundreds of signatures on a petition - that’s just for propaganda purposes.

Jsut to be clear: Baliunas & Soon were *not* signers (I don’t think they or Lindzen are APS members), I called them *supporters* because they seemed tightly intertwined and links on several chains.

One area I didn’t have the time to discuss as thoroughly was *seniority (or cohort colleague) chains* (although that was part of the reason for finding birth years). With more time I might have figured out a graphic way of showing these other relationships without making the spaghetti even worse, but a few of the obvious ones were:

GMI/H-SCfA chain (all “supporters”) plus USC aerospace Chain
1925 Jastrow (GMI founder)
………1943 Kunc [Soon’s PhD advisor] 1945 Gruntman 1934 Rapp 1924 Mirels
1954 Baliunas
1966 Soon

It is quite plausible, but totally unproven that some subset of the USC group knew Jastrow and got this from him, or if it flowed back there via
Jastrow=>Baliunas=>Soon=>{Kunc, etc}
or if it’s just all random coincidence.

Recall that the 1990 GMI book referenced a 1985 Baliunas paper and thanked her;
she and Jastrow did a 1990 paper together, and some later in the 1990s. He was Director of Mt Wilson 1992-2003 (and lived in Westwood, not far from Caltech and USC) and she was deputy Director at least part of that time. [If anyone knows the exact interval, I’d love to know.] Anyway, I think there was at least a 10-15-year working relationship.

Jastrow *was* a towering figure in astro, so many would have known him.

The U of Rochester Physics chain is murkier, but probably goes
1920 Sproull (GMI)
1931 Knox 1935 Gold
1943 Douglass [and maybe 1943 West and ???? Battaglia]
1947 Bodek

and that leads to U of N Texas / Duke
1943 West
1956 Scafetta

Then there’s Princeton:
1939 Happer
1946 Austin (NAS member, so more seniority)
1943 Suckewer 1954 Torquato

1946 Austin
1961 Ryan

I’m sure there are many more, but they are much harder to find in industry an big US National Labs although a few seem obvious like:
1921 Agnew (LANL Director)
(Many LANL people)

Although I looked hard in the first 121 people, if I couldn’t find co-authorship, or company pictures that showed people in same small group, it was hard to be sure of some connections that seemed plausible. I’m sure I missed plenty. I didn’t look too hard at the last 85, as those searches can get very time-consuming, and when I found the (N+1st_ person in New Mexico, it didn’t seem worth trying to figure out which of the N earlier people they might know.

Ike, tell me more about the “satellite data analysis showing the tropospheric warming”?

The much proclaimed “fingerprint” of CO2-induced warming is totally and embarrassingly absent. (Hadley Cente for Forecasting 2006)& INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY
Int. J. Climatol. (2007)( DOI: 10.1002/joc.1651 A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model

Likewise 2. Current (Greenland) coastal temperatures are about 1°C below their 1940 values.”  Furthermore, “at the summit of the Greenland ice sheet the summer average temperature has decreased at the rate of 2.2°C per decade since the beginning of the measurements in 1987. 
Chylek, P., Box, J.E. and Lesins, G.  2004.  Global warming and the Greenland ice sheet.  Climatic Change 63: 201-221.

and 3 The Little Ice-Age was just that-cold. Even Mann’s ludicrous “Hockey Stick” reconstruction shows it was the coldest period in 1000 years. Mann, M.E., Bradley, R.S. and Hughes, M.K. 1998.    Nature 392: 779-787.

Please try and get your facts right.

1) This hotspot is not a signature of the greenhouse effect – it is a signature of warming from any source, and the hotspot is not missing. According to B.D. Santer et al. (2008): “Using state-of-the-art observational datasets and results from a large archive of computer model simulations, a consortium of scientists from 12 different institutions has resolved a long-standing conundrum in climate science – the apparent discrepancy between simulated and observed temperature trends in the tropics. Research published by this group indicates that there is no fundamental discrepancy between modeled and observed tropical temperature trends when one accounts for: 1) the (currently large) uncertainties in observations; 2) the statistical uncertainties in estimating trends from observations. These results refute a recent claim that model and observed tropical temperature trends “disagree to a statistically significant extent”. This claim was based on the application of a flawed statistical test and the use of older observational datasets.”

Two other good resources on the so-called missing hot spot can be found at Chris Colose’s: Skeptics/Denialists Part 2: Hotspots and Repetition and Tim Lambert’s: David Evans doesn’t even know what the hot spot is.

Santer, B.D. et al. (2008). Fact sheet for “consistency of modelled and observed temperature trends in the tropical troposphere”.

2) Arctic amplification is well underway. Sea ice extent and thickness are thinning. One cannot choose Greenland to represent the entire Arctic.


(Tamino, 2009) clearly shows that surface temperatures north of latitude 60o are warming at an accelerated rate in the past few decades. Tamino retrieved 113 station records at latitude 60oN or higher with at least 30 years of data.

The analyses show:

i) The Arctic has experienced a sudden, recent warming.
ii) In the last decade extreme northern temperature has risen to unprecedented heights.
iii) Over the last 3 decades, every individual station north of 70o indicates warming, 13 of 17 are significant at 95% confidence, all estimated trend rates are faster than the global average, some are more than five times as fast.
iv) Oft-repeated claims that “it was warmer in the 1930s” or “it was warmer in the 1940s” are wrong.
v) The idea that present arctic temperatures are about equal to their 1958 values is wrong.


3) The LIA was a globally cool period but much cooler in Europe than globally. At any rate, “coming out of the LIA” is not a forcing mechanism for warming and this misleading phrase is frequently used by folks such as Fred Singer and Ian Plimer who are being paid to confuse people. “Coming out of the LIA” is right up there with “sound science” and “junk science” meaning that if one hears these phrases one must immediately be skeptical of the person using them.

Jones, P. D., and M. E. Mann (2004), “Climate Over Past Millennia”, Rev. Geophys., 42, RG2002, doi:10.1029/2003RG000143.
Mann, Michael E., 2002, “Little Ice Age”, Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change, 1:504–509

Scott A. Mandia

Thanks to a few folks who have sent me errata, and of course, anyone (like S. Fred) who thinks the study has serious flaws is welcome to post them here, according to Richard L. I’ll keep an eye on this thread and respond as appropriate.