Friday, December 19, 2003


A reader writes:

"Your blog mentions that the "Skeptical Enquirer" seems to be impressed by a pro-global warming petition. "They say that because 2500 "scientists" signed a document saying that mankind is causing global warming therefore it must be true.

Well, there is a 19,200 name long petition here -- signed by "17,100 basic and applied American scientists, two-thirds with advanced degrees... Signers of this petition so far include 2,660 physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists..who are especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide on the Earth's atmosphere and climate. ..(and) ..5,017 scientists whose fields of specialization in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and other life sciences"

There have of course been attempts by environmentalist true believers to sabotage the petition drive. However the organisers have, to their credit, made efforts to ensure its validity. "Of the 19,700 signatures that the project has received in total so far, 17,800 have been independently verified and the other 1,900 have not yet been independently verified. Of those signers holding the degree of PhD, 95% have now been independently verified. One name that was sent in by enviro pranksters, Geri Halliwell, PhD, has been eliminated. Several names, such as Perry Mason and Robert Byrd are still on the list even though enviro press reports have ridiculed their identity with the names of famous personalities. They are actual signers. Perry Mason, for example, is a PhD Chemist. " Of course science is never based on an opinion poll of practitioners. And governments and voters need to be skeptical about sacrificing long established rights and traditional freedoms on the altar of the scientific dogma du jour. The history of eugenics is a case in point.รข€�


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