Letter: Dubious petition
James Buerger’s letter of Aug. 23 challenging the science of climate change shows that one can find support on the Internet for any belief. He cites a petition to the U.S. government signed by some 17,000 “scientists” urging the U.S. to reject the Kyoto global warming agreement. This petition denies that greenhouse gases are warming the Earth and that human activities are contributing to global warming.
It turns out that the petition (“Oregon Petition on Global Warming’) was sponsored by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) that is headed by Arthur Robinson and located in Cave Junction, Oregon (of all places). Robinson was chairman of the Oregon Republican Party in 2013, and ran, unsuccessfully, for the U.S. House of Representatives three times and was defeated by Peter DeFazio.
To qualify for signing this petition, one needed only a BS or better in essentially any field of science. Only a few climate scientists signed (see http:/oism.oreg/pproject/). OSIM’s list of signees cannot be verified by anyone outside of OISM. I would add that OSIM is a non-accredited institution with only six “faculty,” no grant support and with only $355,000 of support from contributions from unspecified sources.
Contrast this with the work and publications of the International Committee on Climate Change. From numerous, independent studies published in peer-reviewed journals, 97 percent of climate scientists agree that humans are causing climate change and that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are causing global changes to the climate. Why are representatives from the world’s leading countries planning to meet in Paris in November to map out plans to cope with climate change? They apparently don’t know what Buerger knows.
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