Re: [asa] 31,000 scientists against global warming.

From: Terry M. Gray <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
Date: Fri Dec 04 2009 - 16:21:58 EST

PNAS itself didn't use to be even peer-reviewed. I think as long as an NAS member was willing to sponsor a paper it could be published. Could someone confirm this? Is this still true today?

I ran into this because of my own interest in Linus Pauling's counter-mainstream vitamin C research.

TG

On Dec 4, 2009, at 1:39 PM, Rich Blinne wrote:

>
>
> On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 11:38 AM, gordon brown <Gordon.Brown@colorado.edu> wrote:
> On Fri, 4 Dec 2009, John Walley wrote:
>
> I saw a news clip of some reporter at a White House news briefing asking a question about Climategate and the response was that they were sticking with the scientists and that there were 6000 scientists who believed that AGW was real. The reporter immediately responded that there were 31,000 scientists against AGW and 9000 of them with PhD's.
>
>
> This reminds me of YEC propaganda. Don't say what kind of scientists these are, and don't say what fields the Ph.D.s are in, and expect the audience will be too impressed to ask such questions. I think it is significant that only 9000 of the 31,000 have Ph.D.s. It is inconceivable to me that more than a tiny fraction of any set of 31,000 scientists are qualified to decide the AGW issue.
>
> Gordon Brown (ASA member)
>
>
> The credentials are self reported so who really knows. The 6000 most likely refers to a 2009 American Geophysical Union poll of their members. Amongst their members who published peer reviewed articles in climatology 97% stated that anthropogenic global warming was real. The self-selected, self-reporting is only part of the methodological problems with the 31,000 poll. The biggest problem -- and this gets back to the issue of scientific misconduct -- is that it was a push poll.
> The petition in question was circulated in April 1998 in a bulk mailing to tens of thousands of U.S. scientists. In addition to the petition, the mailing included what appeared to be a reprint of a scientific paper. Authored by Arthur B. Robinson, Sallie L. Baliunas, Willie Soon, (Do these names sound familiar? Hmm? BTW, the Marshall Institute member who stated that CFCs didn't cause the ozone hole in her 1995 Congressional testimony was, you guessed it, Sallie Baliunus.) and Zachary W. Robinson. The paper was titled "Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide" and was printed in the same typeface and format of the official Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The current e-mails where the climate scientists threatened a boycott of a journal was about Baliunus and Soon and any discussion of the e-mails should be in the context here of them abusing the credibility of the NAS' peer-reviewed journal. Also included was a reprint of a Decem!
 ber 1997, Wall Street Journal editorial, "Science Has Spoken: Global Warming Is a Myth", by Arthur and Zachary Robinson. A cover note signed "Frederick Seitz/Past President, National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A./President Emeritus, Rockefeller University", may have also given some persons the impression that Robinson's paper was an official publication of the NAS' peer-reviewed journal.
>
> Robinson et al claimed to show that pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is actually a good thing. "As atmospheric CO2 increases," it stated, "plant growth rates increase. Also, leaves lose less water as CO2 increases, so that plants are able to grow under drier conditions. Animal life, which depends upon plant life for food, increases proportionally."
>
> As a result, Robinson concluded:
>
> "As coal, oil, and natural gas are used to feed and lift from poverty vast numbers of people across the globe, more CO2 will be released into the atmosphere. This will help to maintain and improve the health, longevity, prosperity, and productivity of all people.Human activities are believed to be responsible for the rise in CO2 level of the atmosphere. Mankind is moving the carbon in coal, oil, and natural gas from below ground to the atmosphere and surface, where it is available for conversion into living things. We are living in an increasingly lush environment of plants and animals as a result of the CO2 increase. Our children will enjoy an Earth with far more plant and animal life as that with which we now are blessed. This is a wonderful and unexpected gift from the Industrial Revolution."
>
> The NAS responded as follows:
>
> http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=s04201998
>
>
> STATEMENT BY THE COUNCIL
> OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
> REGARDING GLOBAL CHANGE PETITION
>
>
> April 20, 1998
>
>
>
>
> The Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is concerned about the confusion caused by a petition being circulated via a letter from a former president of this Academy. This petition criticizes the science underlying the Kyoto treaty on carbon dioxide emissions (the Kyoto Protocol to the Framework Convention on Climate Change), and it asks scientists to recommend rejection of this treaty by the U.S. Senate. The petition was mailed with an op-ed article from The Wall Street Journal and a manuscript in a format that is nearly identical to that of scientific articles published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The NAS Council would like to make it clear 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 petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the Academy.
>
> In particular, the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) conducted a major consensus study on this issue, entitled Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming (1991,1992). This analysis concluded that " ...even given the considerable uncertainties in our knowledge of the relevant phenomena, greenhouse warming poses a potential threat sufficient to merit prompt responses. ... Investment in mitigation measures acts as insurance protection against the great uncertainties and the possibility of dramatic surprises." In addition, the Committee on Global Change Research of the National Research Council, the operating arm of the NAS and the NAE, will issue a major report later this spring on the research issues that can help to reduce the scientific uncertainties associated with global change phenomena, including climate change.
>
>
>
>
> NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES COUNCIL
>
> Bruce Alberts (president)
> National Academy of Sciences
> Washington, D.C.
>
> Jack Halpern (vice president)
> Louis Block Distinguished Professor Emeritus
> Department of Chemistry
> University of Chicago
>
> Peter H. Raven (home secretary)
> Director
> Missouri Botanical Garden
> St. Louis
>
> F. Sherwood Rowland (foreign secretary)
> Donald Bren Research Professor of Chemistry and Earth System Science
> Department of Chemistry
> University of California
> Irvine
>
> Ronald L. Graham (treasurer)
> Chief Scientist
> AT&T Laboratories
> Florham Park, N.J.
>
> Mary Ellen Avery
> Professor of Pediatrics
> Harvard Medical School
> Boston
>
> Ralph J. Cicerone
> Chancellor-Designate
> Dean, School of Physical Sciences, and
> Daniel G. Aldrich Professor of Earth System Science
> Department of Earth System Science
> University of California
> Irvine
>
> Edward E. David Jr.(1)
> President
> EED Inc.
> Bedminster, N.J.
>
> Marye Anne Fox
> Chancellor-Designate
> North Carolina State University, and
> Vice President for Research and M. June
> and J. Virgil Waggoner Regents Chair in Chemistry
> Department of Chemistry
> University of Texas
> Austin
>
> Ralph E. Gomory(2)
> President
> Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
> New York City
>
> David M. Kipnis
> Distinguished University Professor
> Department of Internal Medicine
> Washington University School of Medicine
> St. Louis
>
> Daniel E. Koshland Jr.
> Professor in the Graduate School
> Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
> University of California
> Berkeley
>
> Mary-Lou Pardue
> Boris Magasanik Professor
> Department of Biology
> Massachusetts Institute of Technology
> Cambridge
>
> Luis Sequeira
> J.C. Walker Professor Emeritus
> Department of Plant Pathology
> University of Wisconsin
> Madison
>
> I.M. Singer
> Institute Professor
> Department of Mathematics
> Massachusetts Institute of Technology
> Cambridge
>
> Robert H. Wurtz
> Chief
> Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research
> National Eye Institute
> National Institutes of Health
> Bethesda, Md.
>
> Richard N. Zare
> Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor
> Department of Chemistry
> Stanford University
> Stanford, Calif.
>
> ___________________________________
> (1) abstained
> (2) unable to participate
>
>
> There's also a bunch of clearly bogus names such as all of the characters of TV show M*A*S*H. Geraldine Halliwell, formerly known as pop singer Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls was also in the petition. Halliwell's field of scientific specialization was listed as "biology."
>
> Scientific American said the following about this in 2006:
>
> http://web.archive.org/web/20060823125025/http://www.sciam.com/page.cfm?section=sidebar&articleID=0004F43C-DC1A-1C6E-84A9809EC588EF21
>
> Many conservatives regard the "scientific consensus" about global warming as a media concoction. After all, didn't 17,100 skeptical scientists sign a petition circulated in 1998 by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine? (See www.oism.org/pproject and www.prwatch.org/improp/oism.html on the World Wide Web.)
>
> Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science. Of the 26 we were able to identify in various databases, 11 said they still agreed with the petition—one was an active climate researcher, two others had relevant expertise, and eight signed based on an informal evaluation. Six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember any such petition, one had died, and five did not answer repeated messages. Crudely extrapolating, the petition supporters include a core of about 200 climate researchers -- a respectable number, though rather a small fraction of the climatological community.
>
> Rich Blinne
>
> Member ASA
>

________________
Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801

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Received on Fri Dec 4 16:22:11 2009

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