30,000 Scientists Sign Petition on Global Warming

30,000 Scientists Sign Petition on Global Warming
July 1, 2008

Diane Bast

Diane Carol Bast is The Heartland Institute's executive editor and finance manager. As executive... (read full bio)

The claim that the debate about the severity and cause of global warming is "settled science" has taken a beating with the release of the names of 31,072 American scientists who reject the assertion that global warming has reached a crisis stage and is caused by human activity.

"No such consensus or settled science exists," Arthur Robinson, founder and president of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM), told a press conference May 19 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. "As indicated by the petition text and signatory list, a very large number of American scientists reject" the hypothesis of human-caused global warming.

The institute, a non-profit research organization, first published the names and credentials of about 17,000 scientists in 2001. The current list of 31,072 Americans with college degrees in science includes 9,021 with Ph.D. degrees in various scientific fields.

Robinson said, "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."

Added Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute and publisher of Environment & Climate News, "Claims by partisan and extremist organizations such as Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Union of Concerned Scientists that their views represent the 'consensus' never should have been taken seriously.

"They are not scientific organizations, and in fact they have long records of misrepresenting science to achieve political objectives," Bast said. "This should go down as yet another case in which they were caught lying about science."

'No Convincing Evidence'

The Oregon Institute petition says, in part:

"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. 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."

Robinson noted roughly 35 new signatures are added to the petition every day. Signers include more than 40 members of the National Academy of Sciences. Theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson and atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are among the prestigious scientists who have signed the petition. Frederick Seitz, the first president of the National Academy of Sciences, signed before his death in early March.

Response Muted

For the most part, the mainstream media largely ignored the OISM's news. That's not surprising, noted James M. Taylor, a senior fellow for The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News.

"The mainstream press is driven by alarmism," Taylor said. "If you have great news--that 31,000 scientists don't think the world is going to end--the press doesn't really want to hear it, or share it with their readers and listeners."

Internet attention to the release--both positive and negative--was more substantial. News sites and bloggers, including FOXNews, EcoGeek, Red Orbit, First Post (United Kingdom), and Enter Stage Right (Canada), wrote about it.

Bast lauded Robinson's work.

"Art Robinson and the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine have performed a tremendous service for the cause of sound science," Bast said. "Their petition confirms what international surveys of climate scientists and recent reviews of the literature show: Most scientists do not believe most or all of the modern warming is manmade, that future climate changes can be predicted with accuracy, or that future warming would be catastrophic.

"This petition ought to mark the end of a dark chapter in the history of the news media in the U.S. and around the world," Bast continued, "a chapter in which they were used by interest groups to advance an anti-energy agenda with very harmful consequences for all energy users."


Diane Carol Bast (dbast@heartland.org) is executive editor of Environment & Climate News.


For more information ...

The Petition Project, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine: http://www.petitionproject.org/

Diane Bast

Diane Carol Bast is The Heartland Institute's executive editor and finance manager. As executive... (read full bio)