The tired, old climate-change deniers who keep trying to get themselves taken seriously have launched another petition claiming that “having assessed the relevant scientific evidence, (they) do not find convincing support for the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing, or will in the foreseeable future cause, dangerous global warming.”
This new laundry list of paid skeptics and ideologues is yet another instalment in the periodic petition process that has confused the climate conversation since Dr. S. Fred Singer launched the first such stunt in 1992. In fact, usual suspects such as Singer, Richard Lindzen, Patrick Michaels and Sherwood Idso are on both lists.
Connoisseurs will recognize more names, perennial Canadian deniers like Tim Patterson and Tim Ball, both alumni of an evolving series of oil-backed astroturf groups including the Friends of Science and the Natural Resources Stewardship Project. The oily lobbyist and former APCO Worldwide PR guy Tom Harris, who was prominent in both of those organizations, is also the “brains” behind this effort.
For a sense of the degree of scientific expertise one needs to be welcomed into this crowd, you could look to weather forecaster “Art Horn, Meteorologist (honors, Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, Vermont), operator, The Art of Weather, U.S.A.” For a measure of ideological fervor, you can check in with “Kenneth P. Green, Doctor of Environmental Science and Engineering (UCLA, 1994), Resident Scholar, Interim Director, Center for Regulatory Studies, American Enterprise Institute, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
The unfortunate thing is that, like the famous and famously plumped up Oregon Petition, this new edition could well be taken seriously by some unsuspecting reporter (and his or her badly served readers) who simply doesn’t understand that science is not conducted on the weight of popular opinion – especially when, in the case of people like Michaels, Singer, Harris, Ball and Green, those opinions are so clearly for sale.