$30,000 Challenge Submission – Petition Project

Pls consider this article as my submission:

http://www.petitionproject.org/review_article.php

Response:

I refer first to the project’s own FAQ page:

1. Is the Petition Project fulfilling expectations?
The project has fulfilled the expectations of its organizers. In PhD scientist signers alone, the project already includes 15-times more scientists than are seriously involved in the United Nations IPCC process. The very large number of petition signers demonstrates that, if there is a consensus among American scientists, it is in opposition to the human-caused global warming hypothesis rather than in favor of it.
Moreover, the current totals of 31,487 signers, including 9,029 PhDs, are limited only by Petition Project resources. With more funds for printing and postage, these numbers would be much higher.

Now, look at these numbers:

According to figures from the US Department of Education Digest of Education Statistics: 2008, 10.6 million science graduates have gained qualifications consistent with the OISM polling criteria since the 1970-71 school year. 32,000 out of 10 million is not a very compelling figure, but a tiny minority – approximately 0.3 per cent.

Now, let’s keep in mind that 97% of climate scientists agree that man made emissions are causing global warming. In other words, 0.3% of non-climate scientists agree with the petition while 97% of climate scientists agree AGW is real.

The number of climate scientists on the list of signers is very small, approximately 200 out of 32,000. Another issue is the people are not listed with their associations making it impossible to confirm their credentials. Additionally, critics have successfully submitted fake names, including names of characters from M*A*S*H, Star Wars, duplicate names, corporate names, names with no initials and other fictitious names, illustrating how the petition has low accountability of the names submitted.

This quote from their webpage speaks of the qualification of the signers:

Signatories are approved for inclusion in the Petition Project list if they have obtained formal educational degrees at the level of Bachelor of Science or higher in appropriate scientific fields.  

We know that John Coleman signed it and he doesn’t even have a science degree so he is not qualified to be a signatory. We really have to wonder: just how many of those signatures are authentic and are qualified to sign it under their stated requirements?

One last point, a degree in biology does not make someone an expert on climate science, even if that degree is a Ph.D. In fact, a Ph.D. in biology could very well have less knowledge of climate science than the average person on the street. Most researchers have little to no time to study fields of study other than their specialty.

At this point, you would think any rationale person would stop and move on.

Not enough? Well then, how about this one:

3. Who organized the Petition Project?

The Petition Project was organized by a group of physicists and physical chemists who conduct scientific research at several American scientific institutions. The petition statement and the signatures of its 31,487 signers, however, speak for themselves. The primary relevant role of the organizers is that they are among the 9,029 PhD signers of the petition.

So, they won’t reveal who the organizers are and they also won’t reveal their methodologies and sampling procedures. At the same time, deniers scream bloody murder anytime they think they can get away with accusing a climate scientist with lack of transparency. Hmmm. A trend is already appearing. But, it gets worse because Wikipedia identifies the head of the project as Arthur Robinson and there is a very curious statement about Robinson in the Wikipedia entry on him:

Robinson is the president of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM),[3] a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Cave Junction, Oregon.[15] The institute’s mission statement and purpose is, “research, development, and public education on the biochemistry of molecular clocks and the degenerative diseases of aging, elementary science education, the effects of environment on health and welfare, and disaster preparedness”.

What? I don’t see a single item in there that qualifies him as a climate scientist. But, there is something else – he signed the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, an document that promotes Intelligent Design. So, Robinson is a creationist and has a track record of rejecting science when he doesn’t like it.

A definite pattern is emerging.

Then there is this:

4. Who pays for the Petition Project?
The Petition Project is financed by non-tax deductible donations to the Petition Project from private individuals, many of whom are signers of the petition. The project has no financing whatever from industrial sources. No funds or resources of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine are used for the Petition Project. The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine has never received funds or resources from energy industries, and none of the scientists at the Institute have any funding whatever from corporations or institutions involved in hydrocarbon technology or energy production. Donations to the project are primarily used for printing and postage. Most of the labor for the project has been provided by scientist volunteers.

I’m sorry, that just isn’t good enough for me. I have seen many times when deniers have been caught fudging the facts and even making outright lies about their funding. Until they reveal who these scientists are and where they get their funding, I will assume they are funded by denier organizations or organizations associated with denier organizations. If they aren’t, then why won’t they reveal details on their funding sources? If some climate scientist tried this deniers would jump all over it.

In particular,  the petition’s founder, Arthur Robinson, has run as a Republican candidate for Congress three times (including this year) on a fundamental Republican platform. I would want to see his list of donors if he is going to claim he is free of any money from the fossil fuel industry or anything associated with the fossil fuel industry. They state “none of the scientists at the Institute have any funding whatever from corporations or institutions involved in hydrocarbon technology or energy production.” Is that true? I doubt it. But, then, if they won’t reveal their funding sources we can’t know for sure, can we? What if they get their funding from the Heartland Institute or Donors Trust, both organizations that specialize in funneling funds from the fossil fuel industry. Would they still claim they receive no funds from the fossil fuel industry? And, how do we know that isn’t the case?

But, wait. The Petition Project was initially co-published with the George C. Marshall Institute, which has received considerable amount of funding from ExxonMobil over the years. So, the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine teamed up with the Marshall Institute, which receives fossil-fuel funds. This is exactly what I mean when I say deniers have been caught fudging about their funding. The funds might not have come directly to the Oregon Institute, but they knew where the Marshall Institute was getting its funds and they made use of that fossil fuel money for their cause.

Check out this video that discusses the credibility of the project:

So, a pattern has been established – one of deceit.

All right, we have firmly established they do not have any credibility, but what about the science? It gets very bad right from the beginning. Again, from their web site:

ABSTRACT

A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth’s weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in hydrocarbon use and minor greenhouse gases like CO2 do not conform to current experimental knowledge. The environmental effects of rapid expansion of the nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries are discussed.

A review of the literature leads to the conclusion that increased CO2 levels have had no deleterious effect. This is an incredible statement. Be sure to note what they didn’t say. The did not say they reviewed the literature and didn’t agree with it. They said the literature leads to this conclusion. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is an outright lie. You may or may not agree with the conclusion of the literature, but you would have to be an absolute idiot to say that the scientific literature does not support the conclusion that rising CO2 levels are deleterious. Just look at the IPCC report to see that this is a true statement.

There is more bad science, but I think I have shown enough to say the Petition Project is debunked as any kind of proof that man made global warming is not real. What we have established is that they simply have no credibility to be believed on any issue whatsoever.

You did not prove man made global warming is not real.

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