Sceptical Media Reaction to the Portland Resolution

US News and Views treated the Resolution as censorship.  Its article was prefaced by an image of a book in chains – the same image we have used for this blog.

In its comment on the Resolution, Fox News, well know for its Anti-Global Warming editorial policy, noted:

“A petition, meanwhile, circulated by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM), currently lists nearly 32,000 signers, including 9,000 Ph.D.s, who say, ‘there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere’ . . .” (emphasis added)

 The United Kingdom Daily Mail claimed that the measure was passed even though OISM questioned whether there was convincing scientific evidence connecting  carbon dioxide with “catastrophic heating”.(emphasis added)

The OISM petition disputing the science of climate change was first circulated in 2008, the year after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report.    The 31,000 “scientists” only had to sign a short, pre-printed form to subscribe to the petition.

The authors of a research paper available for review by scientists subscribing to the petition were:

Arthur (“Art”) Brouhard Robinson, an American biochemist, conservative activist and three time Republican nominee for the US House of Representatives;

Noah E. Robinson, a Professor of Chemistry specializing in laboratory research on the deamidation of peptides and proteins; and

Willie Soon, a researcher at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a climate change denier whose work has been financed by the fossil fuel industry.

The OSIM research paper appears to have analysed information up to the early years of this century.  We attempted to find out if the research paper had been reviewed in the light of the Intergovernmental Panel’s Fifth report and the recent years of record world average temperature. The OISM makes no claim that the conclusions in the research paper have been reviewed.  So we concluded that the authors have given up defending the indefensible.

We suggest surfers ignore the OISM petition.  If they wish to go further, they could read the commentary in Sceptical Scientist analysing the credibility of this petition.

Our conclusion from all this: the reaction by sceptical media and re-cycling of dubious opinions from 2008 is another reason why students need to understand the science of climate change.  Much of the commentary in biased media sources is false. Citizens whose education includes a basic grounding in the science of climate change will be better able to recognize and reject these falsehoods.

 

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