Art Robinson


Arthur (Art) B. Robinson

Credentials

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California at San Diego (1968). [1], [31]
  • B.S., Chemisry, California Institute of Technology (1963). [31]

Background

Art Robinson is the founder of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM), which markets, among other things, a home-schooling kit for “parents concerned about socialism in the public schools” and books on how to survive nuclear war. [2], [3]

Robinson was a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon's 4th congressional district. In 2016, Robinson joined the Board of Directors of The Heartland Institute. In 2015, the Heartland Institute named its environmental center the “Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy” in honor of Dr. Robinson.” [1][4], [5]

Robinson appeared on Senator James Inhofe's list of “prominent scientists” who dispute the existence of man-made global warming. In one debunking of the list, Robinson was found to be one of 70 so-called “scientists” who have no background in climate science. [6]

Robinson has described environmentalists as “warmed over college radicals who have found a way to make radicalism pay” who “don't have much for brains.” [7]

The Oregon Petition

Robinson is best known for organizing the Oregon Petition that disputes the scientific evidence for man-made global warming. The infamous and debunked “Oregon Petition” claimed to have collected 17,000 signatories to a document arguing against the realities of global warming. [8]

In April 1998, Robinson’s Oregon Institute, along with the Exxon-backed George C. Marshall Institute, claimed to have collected 17,000 signatories to a document arguing against the realities of global warming. [9], [10]

According to the May 1998 Associated Press article, the Oregon Petition included names that were intentionally placed to prove the invalid methodology with which the names of scientists were collected. For example,  the petition included the names of “Drs. 'Frank Burns' 'Honeycutt' and 'Pierce' from the hit-show M*A*S*H and Spice Girls, a.k.a. Geraldine Halliwell, who was on the petition as 'Dr. Geri Halliwel' and again as simply 'Dr. Halliwell.' ” [11]

In response to the issue of the fake names, Robinson said, “When we're getting thousands of signatures there's no way of filtering out a fake.” [11]

Stance on Climate Change

January 30, 2020

The following is excerpted from Art Robinson's congressional campaign website, on the issue of climate change: [32]

“Carbon dioxide from hydrocarbon use – is increasing in the atmosphere. It will continue to increase so long as the rate of emissions from human activity exceeds the rate of removal – the half-time for removal being seven years – an experimental fact often misrepresented. There is no “existential climate environmental crisis.”

[…]

“Plants grow faster and are more numerous as atmospheric carbon dioxide increases, which also increases the amount of animal life. From North American forests to Amazon forests, growth has accelerated. All life is carbon based. The more carbon, the more life.”

[…]

“There has been no increase in violent hurricanes or their wind speeds in past 50 years.”

[…]

“Carbon dioxide is a very weak greenhouse gas. The flawed climate computer models assume that a very small increase in temperature from carbon dioxide causes the evaporation of more water, which is a strong greenhouse gas.”

[…]

“The climate is always changing. The geological record shows that Earth’s climate has been relatively stable for the past several thousand years and is currently unusually benign. The colder periods during the past 3,000 years caused a great amount of suffering because, during most of that time, human civilization lacked technology and was based upon relatively primitive agriculture.

“Cold periods will come again. When they do, modern technology can mitigate the effects, if there is a very plentiful supply of extra energy. Unwarranted and unwise suppression of hydrocarbon energy and nuclear-electric energy that leaves humanity without plentiful energy when natural changes in climate occur is now a significant danger.”

October 7, 2010

Robinson appeared on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC where he outlined his views on global warming. View the full transcript at MSNBC, and video on YouTube[12]

“We have - there are thousands of physical scientists in this country who, on the basis of scientific information alone, reject the idea of human-caused global warming. 

You wish to portray each of those people as a nut.  I‘ll tell you, madam, there are thousands and thousands of them, far more than there are at the U.N., pushing this bogus claim of human-caused global warming.” [13]

Abortion

January 31, 2020

Via Robinson's congressional campaign website: [33]

“Life begins at conception.

“No one has the right to kill an innocent child.

“The opportunity to live a human life upon the Earth is the greatest secular gift that we can comprehend. There is no value or objective that can rise above or even equal this.

“An estimated 60 million American children have been brutally (and 'legally') murdered by abortion.”

January 23, 2019

Speaking at a March for Life event in Grants Pass, Oregon, Robinson said: [34]

“If you have people who cannot even understand that it is wrong to murder a child running your country, you have a bad problem. And we're very lucky today that we have a President and Vice President who understand different.”

Key Quotes

August 27, 2018

Speaking at the annual meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP), Robinson declared: [17]

 “I don't know, I don't know whether anyone knows whether the vaccines are causing autism. But with these adjuvants in there, I think the best policy is to vaccinate children, if you have to, as late as possible. …” [10:50]

He added, responding to an audience question: [21:33]

“This business of mandatory vaccinations in schools is just one more reason not to go to the public school. “

October 7, 2010

Art Robinson on the Rachel Maddow Show part 1: [12]

Art Robinson on the Rachel Maddow Show part 2:

Some notable excerpts from the full transcript below: [13]

MADDOW Now, you are well-known for your belief that global warming is made up. 

ROBINSON:  About beliefs, let‘s do that.  All right. 

MADDOWYou don‘t want to talk about your beliefs? 

ROBINSONYes, go ahead. 

MADDOW You‘re well known for your belief that global warming is made up, that that is not true.  That‘s sort of a source of your national reputation, to the extent that you have one.  Your opponent, Mr. DeFazio is also -

ROBINSON: That‘s not a belief.  That‘s a conclusion I reached as a physical scientist.  I have a degree from Cal Tech.  Many others who have degrees from Cal Tech have agreed with me on this. 

MADDOW OK

ROBINSON We have - there are thousands of physical scientists in this country who, on the basis of scientific information alone, reject the idea of human-caused global warming. 

You wish to portray each of those people as a nut.  I‘ll tell you, madam, there are thousands and thousands of them, far more than there are at the U.N., pushing this bogus claim of human-caused global warming.  You like it (UNINTELLIGIBLE). 

(CROSS TALK)

MADDOW Do you mind if I ask you a question about your beliefs?

ROBINSON:  It‘s a dead scientific issue, Madam.  

MADDOW Do you mind if I ask about your beliefs on this? 

ROBINSON:  It‘s not a belief.  It‘s a scientifically proven -

MADDOW:  Right.  Your scientifically proven fact that it‘s not true - may I ask you about your scientifically-held, scientifically-proven, absolutely true beliefs that anybody who questions is attacking you about?  OK.  You have advocated that radio -

ROBINSON:  You can go right ahead.  You‘ve already put a big pejorative statement before the statement.  But go ahead.  You can anything you like.

MADDOW You have advocated that radioactive waste should be dissolved in water and, quote, “widely dispersed in the oceans.”  Quote, “All we need to do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean or even over America after hormesis(ph) is better stood and verified with respect to more diseases.” 

Now, hormesis is your belief that low-level radiation is good for us to a certain extent?  Is that right? 

ROBINSON The statements that you have just made are untrue. 

MADDOW Wait.  I was quoting you. 

ROBINSON:  What you have done is take tiny excerpts from a vast amount of writing I have done on this scientific subject.  I have not advocated any of this. 

MADDOW I - all we need to - did you not say this? 

ROBINSONAs a scientist, I have written about this and many other possibilities. 

MADDOW:  Wait, wait, wait.  Are you saying that your own -

ROBINSON You are not telling the truth.

MADDOWAre you saying -

ROBINSONIf you‘d like to tell the truth, that‘s fine.  I‘m not going to answer to your lie.  That is more mud. 

MADDOW I‘m quoting from your own newsletter. 

ROBINSON This is a complicated scientific subject which you are misrepresenting to your viewers. 

MADDOW:  This is not -

ROBINSON You are misrepresenting a very -

MADDOW:  Did you not write this? 

ROBINSONComplicated scientific subject, and giving me 30 seconds to answer.  That can‘t be done.  You go ahead and misrepresent the truth. 

MADDOW:  Did you write this? 

ROBINSON:  But it won‘t work for you.

MADDOW All we need to do with nuclear waste is dilute it - did you write this?  This is - I‘m quoting from your newsletter.  There‘s no ellipses here, “All we need to do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low-radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean or even over America after hormesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases. 

ROBINSON I wrote thousands and thousands of words in this subject.  You have picked a few words and twisted them into an untruth. 

MADDOWOK.  Let me ask you about some other words about your own -

ROBINSON:  Do whatever you want, Madam.  You‘re just throwing mud. 

MADDOWLet me just ask you some other things that I got - I‘m trying to learn about you, so I read your newsletter.  In your newsletter, access to energy - you understand it, right? 

ROBINSON What you‘re trying to do is smear me by - you‘re just trying to smear me with out-of-context quotes.

MADDOW:  I‘m trying to get to know by asking you about stuff you‘ve written that I don‘t understand. 

ROBINSON Everyone knows exactly what you‘re trying to do.  That‘s your stock and trade. 

MADDOWCan I ask you? 

ROBINSON It‘s not mine.  I‘m a scientist and a very good one. 

MADDOW Can I ask you about something else that you‘ve written in your newsletter and you can tell me that I‘m taking it out of context? 

ROBINSON:  You can ask anything you like.  You‘re running the camera. 

MADDOW In your newsletter, “Access to Energy,” you wrote approvingly of the idea that AIDS is a myth, right?  Sir, I‘m quoting you.  The arguments presented against the -

ROBINSONAbout what?  Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  I didn‘t hear you. 

MADDOWThe - Art, I‘m quoting you here, “The arguments presented against the HIV hypothesis are sound.”  You wrote this, “Median age at death for homosexual men dying of AIDS is 39 years.  The value for homosexual men who did not die of AIDS is 42.  By comparison, the value heterosexual married men is 75.  This is evidence in support of the hypothesis that AIDS may be little more than a general classification of deaths resulting from exposure to homosexual behavior.”  So you‘re writing about the myth that HIV doesn‘t cause AIDS.

ROBINSON:  Would you like to tell your viewers the date on that quotation, madam? 

MADDOW This is from 1995. 

ROBINSON:  Would you like to tell your viewers the date? 

MADDOW:  Do you no longer believe that? 

ROBINSON Yes, 1995, 15 years ago.  There was still a debate over the cause of AIDS and I was writing about that.  I wrote about all the other hypotheses, too.  Fifteen years ago, the scientific debate was different than it is today. 

MADDOWNo, it wasn‘t sir. 

ROBINSON:  And I wrote approvingly on many of the hypotheses.  But you have picked a 15-year-old quote.  You‘ve taken it totally out of context.  I wrote a lot about this issue.  Trying to make it look bad 15 years later.  Why don‘t you do something up to date? 

MADDOW Well, let me - I want to know if you still believe this, “Only government reclassification of more and more disease types as AIDS cases has kept the numbers of victims at politically necessary levels.” 

You were a conspiracist that AIDS was a government conspiracy in 1995 at a time when a lot of Americans were dying of AIDS.  You were advocating that it was made up you for political purposes.  Have you changed your mind about that or do you still believe it? 

ROBINSON No.

MADDOW No?  You haven‘t changed your mind?

ROBINSONYour statement is - you just strung several lies together in a row, and I don‘t have the time to answer these. 

MADDOW I‘m quoting from your own newsletter, sir. 

ROBINSON You strung several lies together in a row because you infused vast amounts of editorial comments into this complicated issue. 

MADDOW:  Did you say only government -

ROBINSON You are lying about my view, madam.  You‘re just lying about them.

MADDOWHere‘s a direct quote.  Only government -

ROBINSON I told you, you‘re about it - you‘re reading out-of-context quotes from 15 years ago, a large body of information that I wrote - 

MADDOW Do you no longer believe -

ROBINSONAnd I‘m not interested in debating what was thought about 15 years ago.  Why don‘t you get to the facts? 

MADDOWWhat you wrote 15 years ago and published.  Here‘s the thing, though -

ROBINSON Why don‘t you get to the facts?  Why don‘t you get to the truth?  Why don‘t you stop being so sarcastic and ask a reasonable question. 

MADDOW:  If you think this is sarcasm, you misunderstand the term.  I can show you sarcasm.  What I‘m asking you about is stuff that you have written, sir. 

ROBINSON No, madam, it‘s sarcasm.  You know what you‘re doing.  I know what you‘re doing. 

MADDOW Is this still your belief? 

January 7, 2009

In an interview with Willamette Week, Robinson declared:

“This is not rocket science—climate science is very simple. A 12-year-old could probably understand this subject [of climate change].” [14]

May 1, 1998

Robinson spoke about the fake names that were added to the Oregon Petition in an interview with AP: [15]

“When we’re getting thousands of signatures there’s no way of filtering out a fake,” Robinson said.

February 1, 1995

The following is from an issue of Robinson's Access to Energy newsletter[16]

“If radioactive waste were dissolved as water soluble compounds and then widely dispersed in the oceans, no health or other environmental risks would ever occur.” 

Key Deeds

August 27, 2018

Robinson spoke at the annual meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP) to discuss his views on vaccinations. [17]

“I don't know I don't know whether anyone knows whether the vaccines are causing autism,” Robinson said (see timestamp 10:50).  “But with these adjuvants in there, I think the best policy is to vaccinate children if you have to as late as possible.”

He added, responding to an audience question (timestamp 21:33): 

“This business of mandatory vaccinations in schools is just one more reason not to go to the public school. “

February 4, 2018

In January 2018, more than 200 scientists endorsed an open letter calling on the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) to remove climate change denier Rebekah Mercer from its board and to “end ties to anti-science propagandists and funders of climate science misinformation.” The New York Times reported that those among the AMNH letter calling for Mercer to step down were Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, and Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. [18]

Robinson was among a group of climate change deniers who responded with their own open letter, calling for the AMNH “not to cave in to this pressure.” The letter was signed by numerous individuals with ties to groups funded by the Mercer Family Foundation such as Will Happer of the CO2 CoalitionRichard Lindzen, a fellow at the Cato Institute; and Craig Idso, the chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. There are a number of signatories affiliated with the Heartland Institute, which has received over $5.78 million from the Mercer Family Foundation since 2008. [19]

The letter reads: [5]

The Earth has supported abundant life many times in the geological past when there were much higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is quite likely that future generations will benefit from the enrichment of Earth’s atmosphere with more carbon dioxide.

Make no mistake, the agitators are not defending science from quackery — quite the contrary!”

December 29, 2016

The Heartland Institute announced that Robinson would join its board of directors. The press release notes that Heartland had also named its Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy in honor of Robinson in 2015. [20]

Heartland Institute President Joseph L. Bast commented, “Art Robinson is as bold and brave a person as I have ever met. Having him join Heartland’s Board of Directors honors us and sends a signal to the world that we will continue to ‘speak truth to power’ on the important issue of climate change as well as the need for educational choice, repealing Obamacare, and other issues as well.” [20]

July 8 – 10, 2016

Art Robinson was a speaker at 34th Annual Meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, co-sponsored by Access to Energy, the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, and Physicians for Civil Defense. [21]

Robinson's talk was titled “A Nuclear Power Supply for a Deep-Space Probe.” [21]

DDP listed the following speakers at their event: [21]

August 10, 2013

Art Robinson, was elected as the Oregon Republican Party's new chairman, the Huffington Post reported[22]

May 2010

Robinson was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 2010 International Conference on Climate Change. The annual conference gathers climate change skeptics from across the globe to voice their views. [23]

March 2009

Arthur Robinson was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2) in New York. His Speech was titled “Nobel Prize for Death.” [24]

DeSmog researched the funding behind Heartland's Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2) and found sponsor organizations had received over $47 million in funding from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with 78% of that total coming from Scaife Family Foundations. [25]

April 1998

Robinson organized and authored the infamous Oregon Petition which collected a supposed 31,000 signatories that denied the existence of man-made global warming.

The Oregon Petition has been used by climate change deniers as proof that there is no scientific consensus, however they fail to note the controversy surrounding the petition itself. In April 1998, Robinson’s Oregon Institute, along with the Exxon-backed George C. Marshall Institute, co-published the infamous “Oregon Petition,” claiming to have collected 17,000 signatories to a document arguing against the realities of global warming. [9], [10]

Along with the petition there was a cover letter from Dr. Fred Seitz a notorious climate change denier (and big tobacco scientist), who over 30 years ago was the president of the National Academy of Science. Also attached to the petition was an apparent “research paper” titled “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.” [26], [27]

The petition and the documents included were all made to look like official papers from the prestigious National Academy of Science. They weren’t, and this attempt to mislead has been well-documented. [8]

The paper mimicked what a research paper would look like in the National Academy’s prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy journal. The authors of the paper were Robinson, Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon (both oil-backed scientists) and Robinson’s son Zachary. [8]

With the signature of a former NAS president and a research paper that appeared to be published in one of the most prestigious science journals in the world, many scientists were duped into signing a petition based on a false impression. [8]

The petition was so misleading that the National Academy issued a statement that “this petition has nothing to do with the National Academy of Sciences and that the manuscript was not published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences or in any other peer-reviewed journal.” The statement added that “[t]he petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the Academy.” [28], [29]

See a video and commentary debunking the Oregon Petition here. [30]

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

Of his own admission Robinson acknowledged “he has done no direct research into global warming.” An ISI database search of publications confirms that Robinson has never published any research in the area of human-induced climate change. [11]

Resources

  1. About Art Robinson,” Art Robinson for U.S. Congress. Archived February 4, 2012. Archive.ph URLhttps://archive.ph/wip/bX5x3

  2. Arthur B. Robinson: Professor of Chemistry,” Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Archved March 5, 2020. Archive.ph URLhttps://archive.ph/wip/v5nPA

  3. Superb Educational Results… with Far Less Teacher Time,” The Robinson Self-Teaching Curriculum. Archived March 5, 2020. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/wip/uJZKx

  4. Jim Lakely. “ARTHUR B. ROBINSON JOINS BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE HEARTLAND INSTITUTE,” The Heartland Institute, December 27, 2016. Archived January 31, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/cbGNw

  5. mnh18-feb4-petitionletter (PDF - Untitled). Retrieved from Watts Up With That.

  6. 70 of Inhofe's Global Warming Deniers Have No Climate Science Background,” TheDailyGreen, January 10, 2008. Archived January 19, 2012. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Wrzl8

  7. A Scientist Finds Independence,” The American Spectator, February 2001. Republished by Independentscientist.com. Archived March 5, 2020. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/330ku

  8. Kevin Grandia. “The 30,000 Global Warming Petition Is Easily-Debunked Propaganda,” The Huffington Post, August 22, 2009. Archived January 12, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ULbSv

  9. (Press Release). “INHOFE QUESTIONS SCIENCE BEHIND ARCTIC REPORT,” U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. Archived March 7, 2010. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/wip/I4iiZ

  10. SEPP News Release: More Than 15,000 Scientists Protest Kyoto Accord; Speak Out Against Global Warming Myth,” Science and Environmental Policy Project, April 20, 1998. Archived August 4, 2010. Archive.ph URLhttps://archive.ph/wip/S47tb

  11. H. Josef Hebert. “Jokers Add Fake Names To Warming Petition,” The Seattle Times, May 1, 1998. Archived October 24, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/eQIGW

  12. (R-OR) Art Robinson Throws Hissy Fit On Rachel Maddow!!! - Pt. One,” YouTube video uploaded by user “SuchIsLifeVideos,” October 8, 2010. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  13. The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 10/07/10,” MSNBC. Archived March 4, 2020. Archive.ph URL:https://archive.ph/wip/rII2Z

  14. Hot Air,” Willamette Week, January 7, 2009. Archived March 5, 2020. Archive.ph URLhttps://archive.ph/qc5Hd

  15. H. Josef Hebert. “Odd Names Added to Greenhouse Plea,” AP, May 1, 1998. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/CWdT2

  16. Nuclear Waste,” Access to Energy, Vol. 22, No. 6 (February 1, 1995). Archived March 5, 2020. Archive.ph URLhttps://archive.ph/SYo8E

  17. Vaccine Adjuvants - Art Robinson, PhD,” YouTube video uploaded by user “DDPmeetings,” May 5, 2019. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  18. Robin Pogrebin and Somini Sengupta. “A Science Denier at the Natural History Museum? Scientists Rebel,” The New York Times, January 25, 2018. Archived February 13, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/tAIv4

  19. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Deniers Defend New York’s American Museum of Natural History From Calls to Drop Trustee Rebekah Mercer,” DeSmog, February 6, 2018.

  20. (Press Release). “Arthur B. Robinson Joins Board of Directors of The Heartland Institute,” PRWeb, December 29, 2016. Archived February 22, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/FM6EE

  21. DDP 34th Annual Meeting – July 2016,” Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. Archived July 22, 2016. Backup archive url: http://archive.is/oRn3j

  22. Art Robinson, Global Warming Skeptic, Elected Oregon GOP Chairman,” Huffington Post, August 11, 2013.

  23. “4th International Conference on Climate Change” (PDF), May 2010, The Heartland Institute. Archived via University of Hartford server.

  24. Arthur Robinson, ICCC2,” International Conferences on Climate Change. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/mgW3I

  25. Heartland Institute's 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors,” DeSmog.

  26. Letter from Frederick Seitz,” Petition Project. Archived March , 2020. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/wip/laRHi

  27. Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” Petition Project. Archived March 5, 2020. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/wip/H7pWy

  28. Joe Brown. “700 Club anchor touted global warming skeptics' petition reportedly signed by non-scientists, fictitious characters,” Media Transparency, February 14, 2006.

  29. STATEMENT BY THE COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES REGARDING GLOBAL CHANGE PETITION,” The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, April 20, 1998. Archived March 5, 2020. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/wip/5WnVM

  30. Astounding Interview with 'Oregon Petition' Nutjob – Art Robinson,” Climate Denial Crock of the Week, October 13, 2010. Archived March 5, 2020. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/wip/sht2k

  31. Who is Art Robinson?Art Robinson for U.S. Congress. Archived March 5, 2020. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/hO6si

  32. All the Non-science About 'Human-caused Climate Change' That Money Can Buy,” Art Robinson for U.S. Congress, January 30, 2020. Archived March 5, 2020. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/0Yg0t

  33. Right to Life,” Art Robinson for U.S. Congress, January 31, 2020. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/wip/h533y

  34. March for Life w/Dr. Art Robinson in Grants Pass, Oregon” Facebook videup uploaded by user Art Robinson, January 23, 2019. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

Other Resources