Recently John Quiggin and Tim Lambert reprinted an editorial by Rudy Baum in Chemical and Engineering News, more fondly known as C&E News, the membership mag of the American Chemical Society, more fondly known as ACS. Rudy, as well as touching off the find the worst science journal in the world contest, took a much deserved run at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, a one barn, no horse outfit
it says it was founded in 1980 by Robinson, his wife Laurelee, Martin D. Kamen, and, later, R. Bruce Merrifield. Kamen and Merrifield, although dead, are both listed as OISM faculty members. Robinson has real scientific credentials; he has a Ph.D. in chemistry from California Institute of Technology and he was an associate of Linus Pauling’s until the two had a falling out over vitamin C. In addition to its scientific work on proteins, OISM is also involved in developing home-schooling techniques and “emergency preparedness.”
Robinson is closely linked with the “Petition Project,” an effort begun in 1998 to collect the signatures of scientists who doubt the reality of human-induced climate change. Robinson’s JAPS paper, “Environmental Effects of Increased Carbon Dioxide” is a long, tendentious rehash of just about every already-rebutted argument made against human-induced climate change.Anyhow, wudnt u no it, the wingnuts sprouted on the June 23 letters to the editor page led by Arthur and Noah Robinson writing from the perhaps aptly named Cave Junction Ore. In full harumphing regalia they denounced being denounced
Evidentiary ScienceIn “Defending Science,” Editor Rudy Baum delivers an ad hominem critique of us and our colleagues, the institution at which we work, and the journal in which we published the review article “Environmental Effects of Increased Atomspheric Carbon Dioxide” (C&EN, June 9, page 5).
Baum neglects to mention several points. Authors Arthur Robinson and Noah Robinson, both educated at California Institute of Technolgy, were the subjects of two complimentary articles in C&EN (April 16, 2007, and Feb. 17, 2003). Both articles include photographs of us conducting research work at the Oregon Institute of Science & Medicine, which Baum now refers to as a “curious little entity.”
Second, although he denigrates our article, he does not mention even one item of the data, text, references, conclusions, or other substantive matters in the article to which he objects.
Third, he conceals the central issue. It is highly unusual for a research paper to be editorially maligned. His editorial appears in C&EN just three weeks after the announcement of the results of the Petition Project at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. For details see www.petitionproject.org. Our review article, used in the project, was published nine months earlier.
More than 31,000 Americans with formal degrees in science, including more than 9,000 Ph.D.s—many of whom are members of ACS and readers of C&EN—have signed a petition that reads 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.”
If the editor of C&EN objects to our article, he should discuss the contents of the article. If he objects to our petition, he should take that up with the many thousands of his own readers who have signed it.
Arthur B. Robinson
Noah E. Robinson
Cave Junction, Ore.
Why thank you Art, the paper is now open for discussion. As a start, Art and Noah can go to the Real Climate Wiki to find a few of their errors and, of course, there is the discussion of the Oregon Institute of Science and Malarky. They discuss the slight of hand in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2. Eli will look at Fig. 3. There are lots of apples and oranges here as well as stuff well past its sell by date. The bottom of the graph shows hydrocarbon use, not the increase in greenhouse gases, or even better in greenhouse gas forcings. Solar activity (?) is much more strongly smoothed than the Arctic Air temperature. Why dear bunnies, perhaps, because as Tamino has shown, temperature does not follow the 11 year solar cycle which is pretty strong evidence that solar forcing is not as strong an influence as greenhouse gas forcing. Further, estimates of the change in solar irradiance during the past few hundred years have decreased significantly as can be seen in the graph below from Skeptical Science but not in the latest from Robinson lavs. Skeptical Science has a long list of studies demonstrating that it ain;t the sun that is raising global temperatures
but that is not so much the case in the OISM manuscript. Of course, you say, they are looking at ARCTIC temperature, not global temperature. Fair enough, where can we find a record of ARCTIC temperature, why in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. Seems to be a lot higher in 2000 than in 1940, which is not the case for Robinson and Soons .
Finally Eli and the bunnies extend their thanks to Rudy Baum, for printing a very special cover this week.