Of moles and whacking: Oregon Petition, Redux

It seems the Oregon Petition has finally reared its ugly head again. The “think tank” (is there a word for the juvenile stage of a think tank?) responsible went so far as to rent out a room at the National Press Club in order to tout its release. As yet, it doesn’t seem to be getting any traction in the mainstream press, which is a pleasant surprise. So why the re-release of a “petition” that has been so widely ridiculed for the last decade? It seems as though there have been some new additions to the list in response to their mailing in October of last year…

The Petition now boasts a spiffy new (well, new anyway) web design and an alleged additional 12,000 signatures. Has the vetting process changed at all, in order to determine whether the signatories are indeed real and have a relevant background and/or publications to make their opinions worth considering? You be the judge:

A random sample (the first five names from the list alphabetically) would be Earl M. Aagaard, Charles W. Aami, Roger L. Aamodt, Wilbur A. Aanes, M. Robert Aaron.

1. Earl Aagaard. Field: Biology, interested explicitly in Intelligent Design. Relevant publications on climate change? None.

2. Charles W. Aami. Field: Unknown. I couldn’t find any person by that name in connection to any scientific field, let alone climate science. Relevant publications on climate change? None.

3. Roger L. Aamodt. Field: Oncology. Relevant publications on climate change? None.

4. Wilbur A. Aanes. Field: Veterinary surgery (specifically “large animal surgery”). Relevant publications on climate change? None (although he seems to be well-published on equine surgery, which I’m sure has some bearing on climate change).

5. M. Robert Aaron, DECEASED. Field: Telecommunications. Relevant publications on climate change? None.

Compare these to the first five authors alpha listed for the IPCC AR4 WG1 The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change:

1. Krishna Achutarao. Research Scientist at the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Relevant publications: plenty.

2. Robert Adler. NASA Senior Scientist in the Laboratory for Atmospheres and is also currently serving as Project Scientist for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). Relevant publications: plenty.

3. Lisa Alexander. Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research. Relevant publications: plenty.

4. Hans Alexandersson. Climatologist at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. Relevant publications: plenty.

5. Richard Allan. Atmospheric scientist, Environmental Systems Science Centre, University of Reading. Relevant publications: plenty.

For more consensus-shattering science via petition, I treat you to the Discovery Institute‘s collection of scientists skeptical of evolution, and the 9/11 Truther movement’s collection of architects and engineers that believe explosives may have been used to bring down the WTC towers.

[UPDATE: Chris Colose has more, many more, confirming the pattern.]

[LATE UPDATE: Rabett Run has a nice critique of the paper used by OSIM, courtesy of Mike Powell.]


17 responses to “Of moles and whacking: Oregon Petition, Redux

  1. nice and well written. thanks!

  2. I’ll see about expanding to either the first 10 alpha or add the last five alpha.

  3. Marion Delgado


    Here’s the ten-second tour of the last 5 names when i went there:

    Howard A. Zwemer
    not a scientist
    perhaps a mech engineer
    known more for money than science.
    Soloman Zwerdling, PhD,
    probably materials scientist with expertise in diffraction/absorption, gas chromatography. Would probably understand pressure broadening.
    Earl J. Zwick, PhD,
    Indiana State U
    technical mathematics
    e.g. not climate science
    Melvin L. Zwillenberg, PhD:
    Dr. Zwillenberg has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Cooper Union and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences from Princeton University. Prior to joining PSE&G he performed combustion research at United Technologies Research Center, worked in air pollution control at the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and taught Mechanical Engineering at Drexel University. At PSE&G he has managed research projects in power plant diagnostics, alternative fuels, NOx reduction through combustion modification, cogeneration and district heating, powerplant repowering and gas turbine performance improvement by inlet air cooling and steam injection. He served on the PSE&G Advanced Cycles Team which performed a detailed 2-year study of advanced generation options including IGCC (Integrated Gasifier Combined Cycle), PFBC (Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustor) and advanced gas turbine cycles.
    He is currently a Senior Consultant in the Emerging Technologies and Transfer group which identifies emerging technologies and facilitates the implementation of technological solutions to PSE&G operating problems. He has recently been evaluating the state of development of microturbines and other distributed generation technologies, and their potential impact on utilities.
    Steven C. Zylkowski
    a forest products quality control manager! at the engineered wood association.
    not even a scientist

  4. Hiya!

    A regular troll posted a link to the Oregon Petition at ThinkProgress and in investigating further the intertubes brought me here ( now added to my faves). I left the link to here in my comment/response back at TP.

    Anywhoo…as you saved me some debunking research for over there, I thought I’d add to the debunking over here.

    I picked some of the ‘Q’ names as they would obviously be unusual and thus easy to narrow down. Once I got some Google results I cross referenced any location information with the name back to the Oregon page sorted “By State” . I have a lot of confidence in the matches . None of the sources provided complete bios that I could cut and paste so I had to cobble these together ( whith a little license thrown in for effect). Enjoy!

    Random Sampling of Oregon Petition signatories Whose Names begin with Q:

    Forrest W Quackenbush of Lafayette Indiana, member of the American Oil Chemists Society (“Your Home for Fats, Oil and Surfactants”) since 1943, served on the Editorial Advisory Board of Lipids until 2006.
    Oh, and another inconvenient truth? He’s dead (May 21 2007, age 99).

    Charles Spangler Quisenberry of Kentucky appears to have a Ph D in being dead since 1978.

    William Quisenberry of Kentucky appears to be an ambitious 24-year old whose expertise in global climatology is presumably informed by his Sports Management And Communications degree, his janitorial services business and his general success in life that he attributes to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ .

    Ralph Quosig of Reno Nevada is the baritone voice of ‘The Silver Dollars’ barbershop quartet, has just released a wax cylinder of his latest satirical songs about “Global Warming”, including such hits as “If You Can’t Take the Heat, Have Another Mint Julep” and “Bye-Bye Polar Bear”.

    James Roger Quinan Ph. D. (Chem) of Renssalaer, New York, not only pioneered the use of spectroscopy in the study of abrasives (unlike Al Gore!) he has also dedicated his life to demonstrating the false ‘logic’ behind the ‘Global Warming’ hysteria through the analogous use of Norton Co. commercial sandpaper products. Tragically, at the brink of a global warming-denial breakthrough he died in 2002, but his name and his work lives on as a signatory of the Oregon Petition—it’s what he might have wanted, though it’s way too late for him to argue about it now.

  5. Thank you for this – it’s the most concise and telling example of what’s wrong with the Oregon Petition I’ve seen yet. I’ll be linking it around.

    I haven’t had a lot of time myself to cross-check the list, but over at Deltoid, Cyrus Pinkerton went through the first five from Montana. The results are rather telling (if less amusing than 5th Estate’s summary of the Q names).

    There’s others that commenters spotted by looking through the list, such as Harner Selvidge (dead 10 years), Raynal W. Andrews (dead 7 years), and Vincent O. Altemose (dead a whopping 32 years, or 4 years before the founding of the OISM).

    The OISM suggests that this time they have a whole 40 “climatologists” out of the thousands of signatures. It’s a shame the site doesn’t allow searching by background, because I’d be most interested in tackling a random sample from within that subset. I’ll see if I can find time later today to dig through a section of the list myself, though.

  6. Thanks to all for the additions, keep them coming!

    Brian D- Fred Singer and Reid Bryson are on there and I’m sure are counted among the 40.

  7. Thingsbreak: Brian D- Fred Singer and Reid Bryson are on there and I’m sure are counted among the 40.

    Spotted Singer on my first pass; didn’t think to look for Bryson but I’m not surprised.

    Already I’ve had someone cite this petition, by the way (he got the number of signatories wrong, too; figures he didn’t question his source). He’d previously mentioned the Inhofe 400 (but not the Heartland 500, imagine that). This naturally raises the (rhetorical) question that if they had 400 climatologists earlier (how he billed Inhofe’s list of TV weathermen), how come only 10% of them showed up here? His response was that they’d basically been bullied into silence by the Great Invisible Warmist Conspiracy.

    Just no pleasing some people.

  8. I know the author has visited my site, but for other readers, I have 60 names here. Not one in climate, or any relevant publications to climate.

  9. doubtfulness says : I absolutely agree with this !

  10. It seems to me that mentioning the Creationists and the 9/11 Truthers weakens your contention. While it is hard to believe the Oregon petition could possible hold any water the other examples are more complicated.

    While the contentions of the Discovery Institute are way off base, I feel there is a need to keep examining Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, being that it is a theory and the more current scientific evidence that exists to support it, the easier it will be able to explain anomalies. The article you linked to doesn’t go any farther than that.

    As for the 9/11 Truthers, from what I can tell checking against the internet, these people are real architects and engineers. And in light of the poorly written (especially from an engineering standpoint) 9/11 Commission report, I feel their call for further investigation into the matter is justified.

  11. Nick:

    Google “popular mechanics 9/11” and read their conspiracy killer special. There is nothing left to investigate.

    As for the old saw about evolution being “just a theory” – read this if you can:


    The basic point is that ‘theory’ in science does not mean ‘hunch’. But I’ve never seen a better exposition of how the scientific terminology of theory, law, etc. works than in this article.

    Of these three issues, (global warming, evolution, 9/11) I would have to say only global warming has any room for reasonable debate. Not that this petition has any relevance to anything, of course.

  12. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Kept!

  13. Pingback: My dog’s doctor thinks global warming is a scam | hell's handmaiden

  14. Pingback: What if the Oregon Petition names were real? « Greenfyre’s

  15. Wowee… I have a degree in Computer *Science* and am therefore an expert in Climate Change!

    I can’t wait to tell Mom… she’ll be ever so proud!

  16. Pingback: Arctic sea ice melting toward record - Page 10 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

  17. Pingback: Man made carbon emission causes AGW? - Page 11

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