RealClimate scientists take on latest manifestation of global warming disinformation campaign


RealClimate, an indispensable web site devoted to setting the record straight on climate science issues, reported on October 10 on a new attempt to reinvigorate the notorious 1999 “Oregon Petition.” The RealClimate site has an associated Wiki that provides a wealth of information debunking what they call “climate contrarian pseudo-science.”

RealClimate’s post begins:

October 10

Oregon Institute of Science and Malarkey

A large number of US scientists (to our direct knowledge: engineers, biologists, computer scientists and geologists) received a package in the mail this week. The package consists of a colour preprint of a ‘new’ article by Robinson, Robinson and Soon and an exhortation to sign a petition demanding that the US not sign the Kyoto Protocol. If you get a feeling of deja vu, it is because this comes from our old friends, the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine and is an attempt to re-invigorate the highly criticised 1999 “Oregon Petition”.

The article itself is just an update of the original article, minus an author (Baliunas), with a switch of Robinson children (Zachary’s out, Noah is in), but with a large number of similar errors and language. As in previous case, this paper too, is not peer reviewed.

Since this is a rehash of the previous paper plus a few more cherry-picked statistics of dubious relevance, instead of tediously going through the whole thing ourselves, we are going to try something new – an open source debunking.

As we’ve mentioned previously, we’ve set up a Wiki to provide a one stop shop for articles debunking some of the worst climate contrarian pseudo-science. So, we’ve therefore set up a page for the new OISM paper, and what we’d like to do here is to start collecting material on this paper.

From the intro on the RealClimate Wiki site:

This site is a supplement to the website.
It is primarily an index for debunking of various popular media occurrences of climate-related nonsense. Articles are sorted by where they appear (outlet and country), or alphabetically by author. Under each article you will find links to rebuttals of specific arguments and overall critiques of the pieces. This is by no means comprehensive, but should provide a starting point for those interested in seeing why these pieces are wrong. We do not include mainstream journalist pieces that are occasionally mistaken or somewhat sensationalist (see the main website for that kind of commentary), but we do include the op-ed pieces that are specifically designed to confuse, obfuscate and abuse the science.

Check it out.

Here’s a sample from the conclusion of the Robinson, Robinson, and Soon article, “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” that the petition circulators are promoting:

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.

The United States and other countries need to produce more energy, not less. The most practical, economical, and environmentally sound methods available are hydrocarbon and nuclear technologies.

Human use of coal, oil, and natural gas has not harmfully warmed the Earth, and the extrapolation of current trends shows that it will not do so in the foreseeable future. The CO2 produced does, however, accelerate the growth rates of plants and also permits plants to grow in drier regions. Animal life, which depends upon plants, also flourishes, and the diversity of plant and animal life is increased.

Human activities are producing part of the rise in CO2 in the atmosphere. Mankind is moving the carbon in coal, oil, and natural gas from below ground to the atmosphere, 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 this CO2 increase. Our children will therefore enjoy an Earth with far more plant and animal life than that with which we now are blessed.

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