Flawed Oregon Petition Rises Again

Climate “Science” by the Pound

A climate change petition started in 1988 by the tobacco industry's favourite scientist (Federick Seitz), has just been re-released with a reported 31,072 signatures of “scientists” - some of whom are reported to actually work in the field.

The Oregon Petition was originally started by Dr. Seitz (formerly the principal adviser to the RJ Reynolds medical research program) and by Arthur B. Robinson, a lapsed biochemist who now operates the one-man Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

Robinson himself was quoted recently saying that a survey was an inadequate way to pursue science. “The numbers shouldn’t matter. But if they want warm bodies, we have them.”

But that turns out to be an overstatement. Seitz, for example, died in March.

But the odd quirk has not lessened the excitement that this document is generating in the denier press. Take for example the breathless coverage offered by the National Post. Frequent contributor Lawrence Solomon declares that 32,000 is even more than the number of journalists who attended the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which surely must prove something.

Of course, Solomon recently produced a whole book entitled The Deniers, which, despite the title, included NO ONE who actually takes issue with the fact that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet at an unprecedented rate.

Yet now he trumpets this ever-expanding list of (unsubstantiated) names and celebrates their credibility, bizarrely, on the basis that “the effort was spearheaded by Dr. Frederick Seitz, past president of the National Academy of Sciences and of Rockefeller University, and as reputable as they come.”

“As reputable as they come”? Well that may have been true in 1962. when Seitz was appointed head of the National Academy of Sciences. It may still have been true in 1968, when he was named president at Rockefeller. But things apparently started going downhill, even before Seitz helped found the Exxon-funded George C. Marshall Institute, in 1984. And by 1989, Bill Hobbs, a senior executive at RJ Reynolds, was telling people that “Dr. Seitz is quite elderly and not sufficiently rational to offer advice.” (He was just 78 at the time.)

So, here's a guy who ended his career as paid flak for the tobacco and arms industries, who wsas dismissed by a tobacco executive in 1989 as “not sufficiently rational,” who nine years later embarrassed himself and the National Academy of Sciences by helping to present his bogus petition as a NAS project, and Lawrence Solomon calls him “as reputable as they come.”

That should be very helpful in establishing the relative reputability of everyone else on this list.

One last comment: 32,000 turns out to be an interesting number. It's a favorite number for Art Robinson, keeper of the petition. That, he says, is how many copies he has sold of his Christian fundamentalist home-schooling kit - which is based, in part, on a free version of the 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica.

As Larry Solomon might say: “as reputable as they come.”


Only the truely faithful will buy the “Flawed” petition story this time.
People are not that stupid any more.

This one is rock solid and no amount of silly conspiricy talk will alter that.

The jig is up as they say.

Sorry for all of you that have invested heavely in CO2 scams. I know you would really really love to see this myth continue but…..

I would advise getting your money out fast.

That won’t stop Little-more from his standard predictable ad-hominem tantrums. He never advances a rational argument, so much as reveal the flimsy basis of his ideology. But I guess when that’s the only trick you know …

Have you actually examined the breakout of the data at the Petition Project website (www.petitionproject.org)? It indicates that “The current list of 31,072 petition signers includes 9,021 PhD; 6,961 MS; 2,240 MD and DVM; and 12,850 BS or equivalent academic degrees. Most of the MD and DVM signers also have underlying degrees in basic science.”

So let’s begin by asking if the term “scientist” could reasonably be applied to the majority of the signers. Almost two-thirds hold only an MS or a “BS or equivalent” degree. A scientist, by definition, is someone with EXPERT knowledge in some branch of science. Granted, a few of the BS and MS holders have gone on to gain true expertise through personal study or life experience—but that expertise isn’t necessarily in climate science.

In fact, another page at the website—which lists numbers of signers by scientific discipline—indicates a paucity of climate scientists. How much would you trust your physician or veterinarian’s opinion about global warming? How about people with degree in astronomy or agricultural engineering? Or food science? Or metallurgy?

The petition compilers obviously cast their net so widely because they realized there are some individuals who are so eager to dismiss global warming that they accept such tripe uncritically. P. T. Barnum got rich marketing his wares to the ancestors of these folks.

Regardless of how many signers of the Oregon petition have PhDs, that’s still an overwhelmingly larger number than what you will find amongst the IPCC.

And speaking of the IPCC, tell us exactly what qualifies the economists or sociologists listed among it’s authors? By your rules, they have no right to an opinion either.

But you miss the entire point of the petition, which is to blow away this myth of “consensus”. There may well be a consensus – but it only exists if you are talking only about the IPCC itself – a highly selective political committee – and exclude the rest of the world.

Ah, the conspiracy theory of the IPCC - love it. All the scientists, and all the governments (even George W.) are all in on the big, bad conspiracy against… against who exactly?

Who knows, but yahoos like you will no doubt link it all back to the communists or something.

Are you referring to a paranoid conspiracy theory, such as referring to anyone who criticises your ideology as “deniers” who are secretly being paid by Exxon, the CIA, or the Freemasons?

You mean that kind of conspiracy theory?

It would be your lack of actual evidence.


Lots of evidence that Exxon paid millions to attack climate science: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/listorganizations.php

On the other hand, there is ample evidence that Al Gore has personally spent millions to promote Global Warming hysteria. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/30/al-gore-launches-300-mil_n_94165.html

The list reads just like the IPCC list from what I can see.
Good try though.

Now add that to the 4000 on the copenhagen accord, the Inhofe 500, the 500 from the NY Cliamte Conference and on and on and on.

Bottom line. There really is a concensus.
who knew?

It occurs to me that many alarmists are very likely under a lot of pressure from their AGW industry backers to keep the hype going.
(Soros is probably really pissed at James for the drop in temperatures)

They likely have a lot invested in keeping the scam going.

Perhaps we should show some understanding as it all crumbles around them.

Or not.

Can you guys even tie your own shoes?

To all of the DeSmogBlog folks, let me say that I love what you are doing and I think it is extremely important. But from here on I think I will just check in from time to time to catch the latest and see if they are still up to their usual tricks. I can’t be bothered to bandy barbs with the likes of Gary, Rob, Paul, Harold et al any more. Life is too short.

As for the denying trolls, well – we’ll see, won’t we?

All the best

Fern Mackenzie

It could get warm again.
Could happen.
Natural Cycles are like that.
Another PDO AMO cycle will come again. Someday.

This is becoming too funny.

It hasn’t warmed since 1998 and is cooling to the point where even scientists advocating the global warming theory have to acknowledge the cooling.

But never fear. Their computer models show that as soon as it stops cooling, it will start warming again.

In the meantime, we have to do something NOW! to stop global warming (or climate change, depending on whether it’s warming or cooling), IF IT’S NOT ALREADY TOO LATE!

What a joke. What a friggin’ joke being played on the folks who get their news from the nightly news.

Gary (2)

“To all of the DeSmogBlog folks, let me say that I love what you are doing and I think it is extremely important.”

You hear that, Jim Hoggan? Fern Mackenzie “loves what you are doing”, and thinks it is “extremely important” – whatever it is that PR companies do?

Oh, yeah: PR.

Actually, considering who your fans are, that could be taken as an idictment in itself.

“I can’t be bothered to bandy barbs with the likes of Gary, Rob, Paul, Harold et al any more. Life is too short.”

LOL! How many times has Fern Mackenzie grandiosely made this announcement, and then immediately broken her promise. It must be in the dozens, by now!

“Simpletons”, “Can you guys even tie your own shoes?”

See? That didn’t take long, now did it?

“Regardless of how many signers of the Oregon petition have PhDs, that’s still an overwhelmingly larger number than what you will find amongst the IPCC.”

Oh, Really? So can you name any working climatologists that have signed?

Excerpt from the Petition:
1. Atmospheric, environmental, and Earth sciences includes 3,697 scientists trained in specialties directly related to the physical environment of the Earth and the past and current phenomena that affect that environment.

It is the Climatologists that messed up this whole farce in the first place.
GCM that are nearly always wrong.
Conclusions based on grossely incomplete research.
Wildly inaccurate instrementation.
Rediculus predictions of disaster.
False claims of sea level rise.
Silly myths about bears going extinct.

etc. etc. etc.

Not sure I would bet money on their opinions.

I’ll take that as a “no”. You can’t name a single working climatologist who signed this petition. Thanks

Gary, you really haven’t a clue have you?

See the RealClimate Wiki:

You would believe anything they write at the most infamous propoganda site on the net?

Soros would be proud.

RealClimate is a science site, and a darn good one.
IMO the best site explaining GBW/CC.
The only “propoganda” I’ve noticed there is the occasional idiot that tries to feed in the sort of tripe you specialize in.
You and your kind are torn to shreds there.

I really don’t follow this. Since when is science about who can sign the most to a statement of agreement?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was not a petition, it was an endeavour to synthesize a large volume of research spanning many years.

The Oregon petition is nothing of the such, it is simply an elaborate sign up sheet, not backed by science, but by opinion. To simply sign a number of people to a statement does not prove anything.

Did Galileo or Darwin prove his hypothesis by going out and having academics sign on to a sheet saying they agreed with what they were saying? No, absolutely not, they churned away and proved their conclusion through the test of time and further scientific evidence.

A petition is worthless in science, research is key, and unfortunately for the Oregon Institute, research is not on their side.

I bet I could get 3,000 people to sign a petition saying 9/11 was carried out by the US government.

“Since when is science about who can sign the most to a statement of agreement?”

Ever since Global Warming enthusiasts started claiming that their beliefs are based on a “consensus”, that’s when.

“The Oregon petition is nothing of the such, it is simply an elaborate sign up sheet, not backed by science, but by opinion.”

Since the IPCC has never done any primary research, you could say the same thing about any of their reports, too. What you call “an endeavour to synthesize a large volume of research”, could just as easily be seen as an endevour to cherry pick only research which supports their own politically motivated pre-arrived conclusions.

“Did Galileo or Darwin prove his hypothesis by going out and having academics sign on to a sheet saying they agreed with what they were saying? No, absolutely not, they churned away and proved their conclusion through the test of time and further scientific evidence.”

In Galileo’s case, at least, he had the advantage of having a falsifiable theory which was subsequently proved. AGW, unfortunately, is not a falsifiable theory. It is a political ideology, with a fig leaf of selective research to lend it an air of credibility.

“A petition is worthless in science, research is key, and unfortunately for the Oregon Institute, research is not on their side.”

It’s not exactly on the side of the IPCC, either. Of course a petition is worthless – they even say as much. That’s the entire point. A petition is just as worthless in science as claims (even false claims) of a “consensus”.

“I bet I could get 3,000 people to sign a petition saying 9/11 was carried out by the US government.”

Of course you could. Hell, if you can get people to believe humans can control the climate at will, your petition should be a piece of cake, by comparison.

None of these could be remotely be considered an eminent scientist in the field of climate science, let alone a Galileo or a Darwin: -
Fred Seitz, Arthur Robinson, Noah Robinson, Zachary Robinson, Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas. In-fact none of these is a climate scientist!

It’s fairly obvious that either they don’t know what they’re talking about, or they’re being deceitful. But nevertheless they got paid for it by Exxon!

There is, however, a widely believed hypothesis that the 3 Gt C yr–1 rise in atmospheric CO2 is the result of the release of CO2 from human activities. This hypothesis is reasonable, since the magnitudes of human release and atmospheric rise are comparable, and the atmospheric rise has occurred contemporaneously with the increase in production of CO2 from human activities since the industrial Revolution.

Example lie by omission
No mention of the shifting C13 isotopic fingerprint that proved the source of the excess atmospgheric CO2.
Note: They know about isotopes (oxygen), when it suits them!

It’s cherrypicked data, errors, lies, half truths and deceit.

Did anyone say that humans were NOT adding CO2 to the atmosphere?
Duh… that has never been in question by anyone I know of.
It is the effect of it that is misinterpreted.

If you had read the quote and my comment, you would have realised that it wasn’t about the increase in CO2, it was their refusal to admit that it was no-longer a hypothesis, because the fossil origins of the excess atmospheric CO2 are inconveniently revealed by the shifting isotopic ratio of carbon in the atmosphere resulting from diluting carbon of biological origin with the isotopically distinct carbon from fossil fuels.

My point, and I think it was perfectly clear, was that the authors of the OISM Review ‘Environmental effects of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide’ were aware of isotopic variation when it suited them [oxygen], but when it became inconvenient [carbon], they overlooked it. Hence, my comment that they were either incompetent or dishonest.

Since they obviously aren’t incompetent, they must have been deliberately deceitful!

My bet is on the latter!

Is that really so difficult?

I regard to the ‘i bet i could get 3,000 people to sign a petition that 9/11 was carried out by the US govt’ – well, i dont know about THAT. Sure, your argument was convincing, but that statement really let it down. Opinions are DIVIDED about climate change in this respect; we know FOR A FACT that insurgents carried out the terror attack on US soil. Sorry.

Mr. Littlemore states that Robinson is a “lapsed biochemist.” A search on PubMed reveals 11 published papers by Robinson since 2001 with 3 in PNAS.

I never really knew that one could be a “lapsed biochemist”. I mean, it’s not like failing to renew one’s biochemist licence.

More likely, Little-more means “lapsed”, in the sense of “lapsed Catholic”, or “lapsed priest”, as in the Global Warming religion scientists are regarded as the equivalent of priests. Well, except for the ones who Warmists believe preach a false-gospel, in which case they are “denierificationalists”, the equivalent of heretics.

Interesting how often Little-more lapses into religious terminology.

Wow, Rob used “Little-more” three times in one comment. That’ll show ‘em!

I’m not a psychologist or a mind-reader, but if I played one on TV, I’d probably make some reference to penis envy or something. But I don’t play any of those on TV, so I’ll guess that Rob has been stalking you and is telling us that he knows you have a compound last name (one parent’s name is Little and then other’s is More). Or maybe his fingers have the hiccups?

I think he’s just trying to be clever. His failure is so complete nobody else can figure out what he’s trying to do. Sad, isn’t it?

The vetting process for the original “Oregon Petition” was so rigorous that an environmentalist added the name “Geri Halliwell,” which sailed right on through and made it on the list. Halliwell is one of the Spice Girls. Wonder if they ever deleted her name?

This exact case was cited on the web site and explained.
A Greenie added the name so that they could attempt to discredit them with it.
It did not work, but sure illistrated the credibility and character (lack of) of the Greenies. IE: Sabotage then lie

BTW: An Update on the bears: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,357065,00.html

What you call “sabotage then lie” other people, with a better grip on reality, call a “joke.” Like the petition itself.

How many dead people are on this petition? Deltoid has some comments about some, including at comment #71:


(Yippee! It seems I can post again; it wasn’t working for a while)

I am hoping we will all see some really creative insults and adhominems now that you are back on line.
We missed you.

There is absolutely no doubt that every propoganda site will try desperately to find some way to discredit this petition.

Watching them panic is probably the best part of it.

Try as they might however, the signifigance of this statememt by 31000 of Americas most educated will not be lost on anyone with a functioning brain.

Others will of course dismiss it.

The only thing that is needed to discredit the Oregon Petition, is to scutinise the contents!

It is is full of lies, cherry-picking chicanery and deceit.

Carbon dioxide has a very short residence time in the atmosphere.
Beginning with the 7 to 10-year half-time of CO2 in the atmosphere estimated by Revelle and Seuss (69), there were 36 estimates of the atmospheric CO2 half-time based upon experimental measurements published between 1957 and 1992 (59). These range between 2 and 25 years, with a mean of 7.5, a median of 7.6, and an upper range average of about 10. Of the 36 values, 33 are 10 years or less.

Cherry picking in an effort to distort the truth.

The current version of this pseudo-scientific chicanery includes references published up to May 10 2007, (as an example, there is a citation for Elliot, J. L., et. al. {2007} Astronomical Journal 134, 1-13).

Curiously, for the atmospheric lifetime of CO2, the OISM review only uses references up to 1992.
Well there are a number of references that fall within the reference ‘window’, but are omitted, and these studies are very significant. Strangely the authors chose to ignore a number of studies that just coincidentally undermined the authors’ predetermined conclusions which was to minimise any potential danger from CO2, by playing-down its lifetime in the atmosphere. Why? Because they would have rather torpedoed the basis for this propaganda. If the lifetime of atmospheric CO2 is of the order of centuries to several millennia rather than less than a decade, the potential dangers from excess CO2 build-up is greatly heightened.

Kevin E. Trenberth - ‘The Earth’s climate system variability and change’. “Because they have long atmospheric lifetimes (decades to centuries)”, presumably taken from Karl, T. R., and K. E. Trenberth, 2003: Modern global climate change. Science, 302, 1719−1723.

Joos, F., et al., 2001. Global warming feedbacks on terrestrial carbon uptake under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emission scenarios. Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 15, 891-908, 2001.

J. Hansen et al. 2007: ‘Dangerous human-made interference with climate’ The fraction of CO2 remaining in the air, after emission by fossil fuel burning, declines rapidly at first, but 1/3 remains in the air after a century and 1/5 after a millennium. (Atmos. Chem. Phys. 7, 2287-2312, 2007). Published: 7 May 2007.

David Archer 2005: ‘The fate of fossil fuel CO2 in geologic time’. (2005) http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~archer/reprints/archer.2005.fate_co2.pdf

Seems that at least 31000 others disagree.

I believe I will go with the “Overwhelming Concensus” on this one.

But thanks for posting…..

In Gary’s case it’s more like “overwhelming ignorance”.

Your attachment to Exxon’s flawed pseudo-scientific propaganda is most enlightening.

Even if the 31,000 exist, which from the evidence is looking most unlikely, it’s irrelevant.

A scientist’s opinion when working outside his or her speciality carries as much weight as an informed layman.

I’ve just had a thought! Wait a minute, none of the authors of any version, Soon, Baliunas, Robinson A.; Robinson, N.; or Robinson, Z. or the arch deceiver, Fred Seitz have any qualifications relevant to climate science. Which means that their views are as valid as a layman who was paid by Exxon to construct an elaborate lie!

The upshot of this is that of the 31,000 signatories, even if they were genuine – which is improbable. There can be no denying the the deceit involved, which caused the National Academies of Science to issue the following press release. Please read!

So there is the significant prospect that a number of scientists were deceived by the letter from Fred Seitz and the formatting of the ‘review’ which deliberately duplicated that of NAS publications.

So these signatories were deceived. Are their signatures (which were obtained by deception) truly supporting the petition? Clearly not!

Then there are the signatories that don’t exist.

Now even if the signatories knowingly has read the petition review and agreed with it and willingly signed the petition. What does that mean? Well, unless they are not climate scientists, then their opinion and their signature carries as much weight as a layman’s.

So, I that rules-out most of the signatories!
31,072 - Atmospheric Science (114) - Climatology (40) - Meteorology (341) = 30577 signatories ruled out by declared specialty being not relevant to the petition subject.

Since the signatories cannot be verified, there is no proof of how many of these people actually exist, their qualifications are also unconfirmed.

So the maximum number of relevant petition signatories is 495 which is 1.6% of the claimed number! Also bear in mind that there are further doubts about the honesty of this process.

So that means that 98.4% of the signatories were irrelevant.

I reckon that the proportion of bullshit in the OISM Review is about 98%!

There was an error in my previous post. The OISM does indeed include a reference to Archer (2005), but was casually confidently dismissed without due justification!

However, all my serious criticisms including that of cherry-picking evidence still stand, because the number of other recent studies that were published before the OISM ‘Review’ but deliberately and blithely ignored by the authors that also suggest a much longer atmospheric lifetime for CO2 that the authors clearly wished to conceal from their readers.

See below for what should have been included, if the OISM ‘Review’ was the objective scientific document, that it was purported to be! The fact that this was omitted, reveals the degree of chicanery that the authors of the OISM ‘Review’: Seitz, Soon, and the Robinsons, A. and N., were all involved in.

Note: As far as I can tell, Baliunas and Zachary Robinson, may probably be excluded from this part of the chicanery, but they are fully responsible for any other lies in the version they co-authored.

Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases – by Tamara S. Ledley, Eric T. Sundquist, Stephen E. Schwartz, Dorothy K. Hall, Jack D. Fellows, and Timothy L. Killeen
EOS - Vol. 80, No. 39, September 28, 1999, p. 453.

This is a much more thorough scientific analysis – unlike the despicable OISM trash-science. Note the stated uncertainties and the underlying basis of the science that leads to their conclusions.

Prediction of the future persistence of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is based on mathematical models that simulate future additions and removals. The greenhouse gas concentrations predicted by these models are subject to large uncertainties in the effects of both natural processes and human activities.
For some greenhouse gases persistence can be estimated from “mean residence times,” which are obtained with simple linear models ..,

..,The persistence of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere cannot be estimated with such a simple model because exchange with the ocean and sediments leads to a more complex behavior. Model simulations of oceanic CO2 uptake provide response times associated with CO2 gas exchange at the ocean surface of approximately 10 years [Liss and Merlivat, 1986; Toggweiler et al., 1989] and downward mixing of surface waters on the order of decades to centuries [Maier-Reimer and Hasselmann, 1987; Sarmiento et al., 1992].

But even when these oceanic CO2 removal processes are allowed sufficient time in the models to reach their maximum capacity, they can remove only about 70 to 85% of the anthropogenic CO2 added to the atmosphere [Archer et al., 1998; Broecker and Peng, 1982; Sarmiento et al., 1992].

Additional CO2 might be removed by burial in soils or deep sea sediments through mechanisms that, although poorly understood, are generally believed to require times extending to thousands of years [Harden et al., 1992; Schlesinger, 1990; Stallard, 1998]. Removing some of the anthropogenic CO2 by this mechanism may require reactions with carbonate sediments in the deep sea that occur on timescales of thousands of years [Archer et al., 1998; Boyle, 1983; Sundquist, 1990].

On the basis of such analyses, it is now generally believed that a substantial fraction of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere will remain in the atmosphere for decades to centuries, and about 15-30% will remain for thousands of years.

These estimates of the atmospheric lifetime of CO2 are rather different from the OISM estimate of 7.5 years (mean).

Beginning with the 7 to 10-year half-time of CO in the atmosphere estimated by Revelle and Seuss, there were 36 estimates of the atmospheric CO half-time based upon experimental measurements published between 1957 and 1992.
These range between 2 and 25 years, with a mean of 7.5, a median of 7.6, and an upper range average of about 10. Of the 36 values, 33 are 10 years or less.

The OISM’s authors conclude:

..,[CO2] is an unexpected and wonderful gift from the Industrial Revolution.

It sounds like the kind of gift that any sensible person would refuse, if they had the chance!

You will note that all this science was available by 1999!
Question 1 Why wasn’t it included?
Question 2 Why wasn’t it included?
Answer 1 - Because Exxon wanted the ‘science’ they’d paid for!
Answer 2 – Perhaps, because it would probably lead to the following train of thought: If the atmospheric lifetime for CO2 is thousands of years, what if the rest of the “science” being claimed in the OISM is all wrong?
And the Answer to the subsidiary question implied in Answer 2, is: - “In that case - things could be worse than we thought and get bad, possibly very bad!”

I feel better now.
Being called a liar by VJ is almost a badge of honor now.

Means nothing but is amusing none the less.

Seems to Oregon Institute likes dead people. Two of its eight “faculty” members are also dead.

Plase show proof that all of the IPCC signatories are alive and well.

This issue as well as all the others mentioned here are covered in the FAQ on the site.

Yes, they anticipated all your lame objections.