Ask Rickety: What is the Global Warming Petition Project?

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Global warming?

What is the Global Warming Petition Project?

It is a petition signed by 31,072 American scientists, including 9,021 with PhDs. It can be found at the Petition Project website.

What is the purpose of the petition?

The purpose of the Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of “settled science” and an overwhelming “consensus” in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climatological damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists. As indicated by the petition text and signatory list, a very large number of American scientists reject this hypothesis.

What does the petition say?

The entire petition is as follows:

We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

What are the qualifications of the signatories?

All of the listed signers have formal educations in fields of specialization that suitably qualify them to evaluate the research data related to the petition statement. Many of the signers currently work in climatological, meteorological, atmospheric, environmental, geophysical, astronomical, and biological fields directly involved in the climate change controversy.

Who finances the Petition Project?

The Petition Project is financed by non-tax deductible donations to the Petition Project from private individuals. The project has no financing whatever from industrial sources. Donations to the project are primarily used for printing and postage. Most of the labor for the project has been provided by scientist volunteers.

Are all the petition signatories scientists?

Opponents of the petition project sometimes submit forged signatures in efforts to discredit the project. Usually, these efforts are eliminated by our verification procedures. On one occasion, a forged signature appeared briefly on the signatory list. It was removed as soon as it was discovered.

Is there any evidence that global warming is not harmful?

A twelve page review article about the human-caused global warming hypothesis is circulated with the petition. The factual information cited in the article is referenced to the underlying research literature, in this case by 132 references listed at the end of the article. The article was submitted to many scientists for comments and suggestions before it was finalized and submitted for publication. It then underwent ordinary peer review by the publishing journal.

What does this review say?

The review is called Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and its abstract reads:

A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth’s weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in hydrocarbon use and minor greenhouse gases like CO2 do not conform to current experimental knowledge. The environmental effects of rapid expansion of the nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries are discussed.

What do you make of all this, Rickety?

With over 30,000 signatories the petition deserves a decent review. Even if only a quarter of the signatories are bona fide scientists that is still an impressive number. This to me confirms what I have thought for years, that is, the jury is still out on the effect of hydrocarbon use on the environment. In the review, mention is made of the effect of the sun on temperature which one cannot easily dismiss.

Many people seem to have made their minds up based upon the popular fads of the day. I think it better to keep an open mind and to continue scientific research. Keep the politics out of the debate and examine all scientific research. See also the report of another 650 dissenting scientists.

Photo Credit: wumai on Flickr

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