Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
More than 31,000 scientists across the U.S. – including more than 9,000 Ph.D.s in fields such as atmospheric science, climatology, Earth science, environment and dozens of other specialties – have signed a petition rejecting “global warming,” the assumption that the human production of greenhouse gases is damaging Earth’s climate.
“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate,” the petition states. “Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”
The Petition Project actually was launched nearly 10 years ago, when the first few thousand signatures were assembled. Then, between 1999 and 2007, the list of signatures grew gradually without any special effort or campaign.
But now, a new effort has been conducted because of an “escalation of the claims of ‘consensus,’ release of the movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ by Mr. Al Gore, and related events,” according to officials with the project.
“Mr. Gore’s movie, asserting a ‘consensus’ and ‘settled science’ in agreement about human-caused global warming, conveyed the claims about human-caused global warming to ordinary movie goers and to public school children, to whom the film was widely distributed. Unfortunately, Mr. Gore’s movie contains many very serious incorrect claims which no informed, honest scientist could endorse,” said project spokesman and founder Art Robinson. Robinson, a research professor of chemistry, co-founded the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine with Linus Pauling in 1973, and later co-founded the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. He also publishes the Access to Energy newsletter.
WND submitted a request to Gore’s office for comment but did not get a response.
Robinson said the dire warnings about “global warming” have gone far beyond semantics or scientific discussion now to the point they are actually endangering people.
“The campaign to severely ration hydrocarbon energy technology has now been markedly expanded,” he said. “In the course of this campaign, many scientifically invalid claims about impending climate emergencies are being made. Simultaneously, proposed political actions to severely reduce hydrocarbon use now threaten the prosperity of Americans and the very existence of hundreds of millions of people in poorer countries,” he said.
In just the past few weeks, there have been various allegations that both shark attacks and typhoons have been sparked by “global warming.”
The late Professor Frederick Seitz, the past president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and winner of the National Medal of Science, wrote in a letter promoting the petition, “The United States is very close to adopting an international agreement that would ration the use of energy and of technologies that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds.”
“This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful,” he wrote.
Accompanying the letter sent to scientists was a 12-page summary and review of research on “global warming,” officials said.
“The proposed agreement would have very negative effects upon the technology of nations throughout the world, especially those that are currently attempting to lift from poverty and provide opportunities to the over 4 billion people in technologically underdeveloped countries,” Seitz wrote.
Robinson said the project targets scientists because, “It is especially important for America to hear from its citizens who have the training necessary to evaluate the relevant data and offer sound advice.”
He said the “global warming agreement,” written in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, and other plans “would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.”
“Yet,” he said, “the United Nations and other vocal political interests say the U.S. must enact new laws that will sharply reduce domestic energy production and raise energy prices even higher.
“The inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness include the right of access to life-giving and life-enhancing technology. This is especially true of access to the most basic of all technologies: energy. These human rights have been extensively and wrongly abridged,” he continued. “During the past two generations in the U.S., a system of high taxation, extensive regulation, and ubiquitous litigation has arisen that prevents the accumulation of sufficient capital and the exercise of sufficient freedom to build and preserve needed modern technology.
“These unfavorable political trends have severely damaged our energy production, where lack of industrial progress has left our country dependent upon foreign sources for 30 percent of the energy required to maintain our current level of prosperity,” he said. “Moreover, the transfer of other U.S. industries abroad as a result of these same trends has left U.S. citizens with too few goods and services to trade for the energy that they do not produce. A huge and unsustainable trade deficit and rapidly rising energy prices have been the result.
“The necessary hydrocarbon and nuclear energy production technologies have been available to U.S. engineers for many decades. We can develop these resources without harm to people or the environment. There is absolutely no technical, resource, or environmental reason for the U.S. to be a net importer of energy. The U.S. should, in fact, be a net exporter of energy,” he said.
He told WND he believes the issue has nothing to do with energy itself, but everything to do with power, control and money, which the United Nations is seeking. He accused the U.N. of violating human rights in its campaign to ban much energy research, exploration and development.
“In order to alleviate the current energy emergency and prevent future emergencies, we need to remove the governmental restrictions that have caused this problem. Fundamental human rights require that U.S. citizens and their industries be free to produce and use the low cost, abundant energy that they need. As the 31,000 signatories of this petition emphasize, environmental science supports this freedom,” he said.
The Petition Project website today said there are 31,072 scientists who have signed up, and Robinson said more names continue to come in.
In terms of Ph.D. scientists alone, it already has 15 times more scientists than are seriously involved in the U.N.’s campaign to “vilify hydrocarbons,” officials told WND.
“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,” the organization noted.
The project was set up by a team of physicists and physical chemists who do research at several American institutions and collects signatures when donations provide the resources to mail out more letters.
“In a group of more than 30,000 people, there are many individuals with names similar or identical to other signatories, or to non-signatories – real or fictional. Opponents of the petition project sometimes use this statistical fact in efforts to discredit the project. For examples, Perry Mason and Michael Fox are scientists who have signed the petition – who happen also to have names identical to fictional or real non-scientists,” the website said.
The petition is needed, supporters said, simply because Gore and others “have claimed that the ‘science is settled’ – that an overwhelming ‘consensus’ of scientists agrees with the hypothesis of human-caused global warming, with only a handful of skeptical scientists in disagreement.”
The list of scientists includes 9,021 Ph.D.s, 6,961 at the master’s level, 2,240 medical doctors and 12,850 carrying a bachelor of science or equivalent academic degree.