15,000 Scientists Urge Congress to Reject Global Warming Treaty

Published May 1, 1998

More than 15,000 basic and applied American scientists, two-thirds with advanced degrees, have signed a petition calling on the U.S. government to reject the global warming agreement negotiated last December in Kyoto.

Signatures are continuing to accumulate, as some 4,200 of the initial signers have requested more petitions to distribute to their colleagues.

“This petition marks the beginning of the end of the global warming scare,” commented Joseph L. Bast, publisher of Environment News and president of The Heartland Institute, an independent research institute that has been critical of the science behind the global warming scare. “Those who continue to predict catastrophic global warming can no longer claim to represent ‘mainstream science.’ They are, and always have been, an extreme minority voice in the scientific community.”

Real Scientists

Signers of the petition so far include approximately 2,100 physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, and environmental scientists who are especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide on the Earth’s atmosphere and climate. Signatures have also been gathered from another 4,400 scientists whose fields make them especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide on the Earth’s plant and animal life.

Nearly all of the initial 15,000 signers have technical training suitable for the evaluation of the relevant research data, and many are trained in related fields. In addition to these 15,000, approximately 1,800 individuals have signed the petition who are trained in fields other than science or whose field of specialization was not specified on their returned petition.

The significance of the petition’s 15,000 signers is far greater than the “2,500 scientists” who allegedly endorse the 1996 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A survey of IPCC scientist-contributors and reviewers, conducted by the Science and Environmental Policy Project in 1997, found that about half did not support the Policymakers Summary, which famously claimed to have found evidence of a “discernible human influence” on global climate.

Other surveys of climatologists have similarly found less than half subscribe to what Vice President Al Gore and other environmentalists call “mainstream” views on global warming. A Citizens for a Sound Economy investigation into the credentials of “2,600 scientists” cited by Gore as being supportive of global warming shows that 90 percent of them are unqualified to comment on the issue. For example, just one climatologist appears on the list, which was developed by the advocacy group Ozone Action.

No Corporate Funding

The costs of the petition project have been paid entirely by private donations. No industrial funding or money from sources within the coal, oil, natural gas, or related industries has been utilized.

The petition effort is being spearheaded by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. The petition’s organizers, who include some faculty members and staff of the Institute, do not otherwise receive funds from such sources, and the Institute itself has no such funding. Also, no funds of tax-exempt organizations have been used for the project.

Dr. Arthur B. Robinson, president of the Institute, noted in an April 14 news release that “the signatures and the text of the petition stand alone and speak for themselves. These scientists have signed this specific document. They are not associated with any particular organization. Their signatures represent a strong statement about this important issue by many of the best scientific minds in the United States.”

Details of the project, along with a periodically updated list of signatories, are available the project’s Web site, http://www.oism.org/pproject/. For further information about the Petition Project, call 541/592-4142; fax 541/592-4142.