Sunday 26 April 2009

Does The Oregon Petition Set The Bar Too High?

The Oregon Petition, also known as The Global Warming Petition Project, is a petition of scientists to prevent the prevention of climate change. But are the rules for signing too strict?

From the Petition Website we learn that various people can sign:

  • A Civil Engineer can sign because they are "trained primarily in the many engineering specialties required to maintain modern civilization and the prosperity required for all human actions, including environmental programs."
  • A Doctor can sign because they are "scientists trained in the functional and environmental requirements of human beings on the Earth."
  • A Web Designer can sign "Since the human-caused global warming hypothesis rests entirely upon mathematical computer projections and not upon experimental observations, these sciences [including computer science] are especially important in evaluating this hypothesis."
And yet the Petition Project has only 31000 signers after years of operation. In short the rules are too strict for signing. I realized this when I tried to contribute my own name onto the list:

Reconstruction of the Petition form I sent in. As of April 30th, I am still not on the list...

Well to cut a long story short, I am not on the list. Perhaps because I didn't fill out the part that says 'My acedemic degree is'. In fact you'll notice I crossed it out because "acedemic" degrees are essentially just enforcement of Team Science.

The main flaw with the Petition Project is that it assumes 'acedemic degree' means 'scientist'

By doing so it sets the bar too high. Am I any less qualified on climate than a vetinary surgeon? What does a doctor know about ice caps? Water freezing and ice melting is at least something I am somewhat familiar with in pipe systems.

A Case In Point

While distributing Petition forms to friends and neighbours I discovered that my next door neighbour, who is a web designer, has a BSc in Computer Science and so is eligable to sign it. Bet you wondered why I singled out web designers earlier, now you know.
But my neighbour knows nothing about climate (he drives a Prius...) and as a result he won't sign anyway. So in this situation all the Petition Project rules have accomplished is warmists don't sign and skeptics can't sign. Is that the intended consequence? Is the Petition Project deliberately filtering out skeptics like me from being able to sign it? Could perhaps the Oregon Petition be a plot by warmists to make it look like there are far less skeptical scientists than there actually are? I am simply asking questions.
Perhaps you'll have more success than me at signing. But it appears you will need at least a BSc or equivalent qualification. Don't worry if you haven't studied climate or haven't published anything to so-called "journals", thankfully at least that is not a requirement.


  1. *yawn*

    Why are obsequious leftist sheep so unfunny?

  2. Joe the Plumber, who runs this blog, is hardly a leftist sheep.

  3. Talk to me already30 April 2009 at 15:41

    Morevoer, and I quote, "Scientists often pursue specialized fields of endeavor that are different from their formal education, but their underlying training can be applied to any scientific field in which they become interested"

    Why certainly. Interest is far more important than so called "training" or "knowledge". I routinely go to my pharmacist for insight into radiative transfer characteristics of tropospheric gases. He has a very keen interest there and has applied to it his underlying training in aspirin biosynthesis quite remarkably.

  4. Good post, Inferno, but please don't diss veterinary surgeons. There is no correlation between knowing nothing about climate science and being a veterinary surgeon, or if there is then correlation is not causation. Therefore vets have got just as much right as anyone else who is suitably qualified to express their views on climate science. My partner's a veterinary surgeon so I feel quite strongly about this. I'm sorry you're not qualified, but don't judge others as a result of your bitterness. She had to work hard for her qualification, which included doing unpleasant things up cows' bottoms, and she pays her taxes, unlike Al Gore (allegedly).

  5. Hear hear.

    But I also would imagine that it's self evident plumbers would have specialist knowledge of circulatory systems.
    Atmospheric, ocean, unvented mains fed - all much the same thing.

    And I'm particularly impressed that you managed to get Al Gore and a cow's butt into the same sentence.

  6. chek,

    Thanks - and just to be clear, I'm not dissing plumbers, and I take the point about the petition being elitist. For example, Christopher Walter Monckton (3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley), who knows more about climate science than anybody, wouldn't be able to sign this petition since he hasn't got a science degree. It's just ridiculous.

  7. Great work, Inferno! Nice break from all the hard science posts - I really like these sociology of knowledge topics.

    We have to invite some of our WUWT cousins over here - just today, WUWT commenter "Cathy" wrote:

    "I love these posts that produce the best comments on the internet. Thanks, Anthony. It’s good to have a few chuckles at the expense of the warmers."

    If she likes it over there, wait until she finds this site!

  8. I must admit that I was always suspicious of these petitions, but I never realized that this one is a warmist plot. Congratulations, Inferno, that's good solid detective work! No wonder the list doesn't include any names of the Team and their ilk; they don't dare sign for fear of their plot being discovered...

  9. Clearly the requirements are inappropriate. Since the best "science" is now being done on teh Web Logs, any science blogger should be allowed to sign. Where can I sign the petition to change the petition?

  10. I have a degree in "Political Science". Since global warming is entirely a political science, I should be allowed to sign it too! I'm well qualified to evaluate bull**** when I see it.

    Warmist plotters!

  11. Of course it goes without saying that the proposals in the Petition are no more than common sense, and so I think you underestimate the organisers, they have helpfully included a paper reviewing the latest climate science (I mean of course Blog, rather than Team-Science) with the Petition.

    Ah you say but this just more of the same peer-reviewed groupthink so beloved of the political appointees at the IPCC. But this is the clever part – the paper has not been peer-reviewed by anyone ! And the lead author has never worked in climate science and so can be guaranteed to approach the issue with a completely open, you might almost say, blank mind. And to cover all bases the paper is in a format and font practically identical to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, so anyone with a genuine scientific background would feel comfortable reading it. Naturally this had the NAS backed into a corner and bleating…

    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."Well OF COURSE it doesn’t,! The ‘conclusions of the academy’ were predetermined by Al Gore a decade ago so he could clean up on carbon offsets. Duh!

    Thus any Dental Hygenist or Chiropractor who is unsure about signing should read the accompanying paper to be reassured that the Petition is based on the best and soundest science.

  12. OMG, this site is even worse than WUWT. What's next? A monthly posting with a graph to show how much visitors you attract?

  13. Percy B. Grout1 May 2009 at 04:29


    Again, I must object if you are implying that either dental hygienists or chiropractors should be singled out as types of people more likely to be unsure about the climate than any other suitably qualified scientists. I have had close relationships both with a dental hygienist and (very briefly) a chiropractor, so I do take this rather personally, and I can assure you that in the case of the dental hygienist she was very certain in her thinking - definitely a woman who enjoyed the warmer weather - and that whilst the chiropractor was, in truth, somewhat unstable, she nevertheless showed consistent denialist tendencies before, as it happens, running off with a meteorologist.

  14. How can you be wasting your effort on pieces of paper when new all-time snowfall records are being set? Must be a warmist conspiracy to distract attention from the coming ice age.

  15. Percy, please stick to the science. As it happens I dated a Meteorologist's daughter once - she frequently showed a warm front, but I broke it off becase of a 30% chance of storms and precipitation, but I wouldn't dream of bringing it up here.

    The most eminent champion of the sound idea that lack of formal qualifications is no bar to making a valid contribution to the debate is of course Marc Morano. Before he launched a similarly-named, but less successful, blog he distributed a list which redefined the term 'prominent international scientist', and not before time.

    In Moran's first list, of 400 sceptical international scientists we found the name of Alan Titchmarsh - (the name probably won't mean much to US readers, he is a UK TV presenter and popular novelist, best known for hosting the weekly 'Gardener's World'. He is eminently qualified - being the holder of a Diploma in Horticulture and several honorary degrees


    The sad thing is, under the Oregon Petition's absurdly tight rules, this Morano-endorsed international scientist could not add his name.

    I bet if you added Morano's 700 to the Petition's 31,000 you'd probly get most of the scientists in the world. So much for the concensus.

    Another nail in the coffin of AGW!

  16. The Cold Hard and Actual Truth

    Guest Post by Steve Hadley.

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that the ice caps are melting as a result of global warming, right? Well actually, no. Here I will show that by looking at the data in the right way and being carefully selective in quotes from the science pages of respected journals such as the Daily Telegraph, The Australian and The Daily Tech... I can actually demonstrate that the actual real truth behind the media alarmism and tricked-up fake imagary of Al Gore's slide show is that Antarctic ice is actually at an all time high and Arctic ice levels have actually recovered back to their long term historical norm - as clearly shown by this graph.

    In fact the Arctic ice manages to recover back to its normal levels on a regular basis, actually on an annual cycle, so there really is nothing remarkable to see here, the Arctic sea ice is now at an utterly, utterly normal level.

    What about the South? Well, Ian Allison, lead author of the IPCC AR4 Chapter on Snow and Ice was carefully quoted in The Australian thus: sea ice losses in west Antarctica over the past 30 years had been more than offset by increases in the Ross Sea region, just one sector of east Antarctica, underlined by this graph showing increasing sea ice in the Antarctic

    More ice in the Southern Hemisphere? Could it be that this is totally inconsistent with the global warming predicted by the IPCC models and so those same models are now useless for predicting future climate change? Sea ice is of course chemically identical with the ice over land and in the ice shelves so we can use the terms interchangeably and a trend in the one is conclusive proof of a trend in the others.

    So if the Arctic ice has recovered from its 2007 hiccup, and the Antarctic ice is at an all time high then it stands to reason that overall the amount of global ice cannot possibly show a decrease over recent decades, despite the stories of melting ice caps and endangered polar bears thrust down our throats daily by the mainstream AGW media. This is absolutely right, as The Daily Tech reported, the global ice anomaly at the end of last year was totally unchanged from 1979.

    Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close.

    So there you have it, the next time a deluded warmist starts on about the disappearing ice caps, tipping points, albedo flip, yada yada, just point him to the actual if inconvenient truths contained in the online scientific media - which alongside unimpeachable blogs such as this one are now the only reliable source of such vital data, actually.

  17. Percy B. Grout1 May 2009 at 11:18


    You mention "the stories of melting ice caps". As I pointed out on another thread here, Bill Steffen (who is a CHIEF meteorologist on TV) has conclusively stated that the Antarctic ice cap has actually increasing in area! -

    "The Antarctic icecap (which is much bigger than the Arctic icecap) has been growing. In Sept. 1979 (first year of satellite data) the Antarctic icecap was 18.4 million sq. km. In Sept. 2008, the Antarctic icecap was at 19.2 million sq. km."

    That's right - Antarctica has actually been getting bigger!There are 98 responses following that statement and nobody questions it, so it's obvious that even the alarmist trolls can't deny the fact!

    So, Antarctica has been growing in area, and thus all this tosh about the thickness of the ice cap, NASA satellite data, yada yada, is simply a smoke screen.

    Moreover, Professor Steffen states that:

    "Significant ice accumulation over the land of Antarctica would cause sea level to fall."Well, if the Antarctic continent has got that much bigger, then what must have happened? I think we should be looking very skeptically at the so-called 'data' on sea levels, don't you?

  18. Excellent point, Percy. Here are some more of Steffen's "scientific" qualifications:
    - Has a MySpace page; only needed to have 2 of his daughters set it up!
    - On the 650 List!
    - Has his own blog!!!!

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