The great Groucho Marx used to say that he would never join a club that would accept him as a member. It’s amazing that no hint of such pride can be found among the signatories to the latest letter advocating inaction on global warming.
Who, really, would want his name to appear on a list that included the likes of Dr. S. Fred Singer or Dr. Tim Ball, men who have made truth telling a hobby rather than a habit, men who take money directly or indirectly from energy companies (see here and here) and then go on to practice public relations, while calling it science?
This new letter, addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, contains a predictable list of “usual suspects,” people who have signed such petitions in the past. Check this new batch against the signatories to an earlier letter (to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper) and you will see a predictable overlap. Click further on the DeSmogBlog Denier Database, and you will find the many occasions on which these “scientists” are actually public relations types indebted to the energy industry. See also the number of occasions on which the word “emeritus” pops up, indicating that that academic in question has done impressive work in his or her career – but not lately.
That latter comment is admittedly churlish, for some of these people (well, Richard Lindzen, at least) have, indeed, enjoyed impressive careers. But even these are stepping forward at a critical time in human history – and in many cases stepping outside their personal field of expertise – to advocate inaction on an issue that the latest science demonstrates is a danger to the habitability of plant earth. These signatories would have us throw caution to the wind on the basis of … what? … the threat that 5,000 years from now we may tip back into a global cooling cycle?
This is unreasonable, reckless and, in cases like Singer and Ball, corrupt. Again, you would think that a proud scientist might have declined the “Groucho” glasses and run for cover.