Monday, March 21, 2005

A petition from the other side...

From the Union of Concerned Scientists, another example of distortion!

Fiction: There is no scientific consensus on climate change. Just look at the 19,000 scientists who signed on to the Global Warming Petition Project.

Fact: In the spring of 1998, mailboxes of US scientists flooded with packet from the "Global Warming Petition Project," including a reprint of a Wall Street Journal op-ed "Science has spoken: Global Warming Is a Myth," a copy of a faux scientific article claiming that "increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have no deleterious effects upon global climate," a short letter signed by past-president National Academy of Sciences, Frederick Seitz, and a short petition calling for the rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on the grounds that a reduction in carbon dioxide "would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind." The sponsor, little-known Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, tried to beguile unsuspecting scientists into believing that this packet had originated from the National Academy of the Sciences, both by referencing Seitz's past involvement with the NAS and with an article formatted to look as if it was a published article in the Academy's Proceedings, which it was not. The NAS quickly distanced itself from the petition project, issuing a statement saying, "the petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the Academy." The petition project was a deliberate attempt to mislead scientists and to rally them in an attempt to undermine support for the Kyoto Protocol. The petition was not based on a review of the science of global climate change, nor were its signers experts in the field of climate science. In fact, the only criterion for signing the petition was a bachelor's degree in science. The petition resurfaced in early 2001 in an renewed attempt to undermine international climate treaty negotiations.

-Carly

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