Friday, June 05, 2015

Where Did That Come From

In the discussion about Fred Seitz that John threw the burning tree onto Willard pointed to an answer that Eli had not known.  Maybe John Mashey had figured it out but not Eli.

So everybunny today older than about 12 years knows about the OISM petition, a mail campaign started in 2003 based on a Monckton class deceptive paper by Soon, Baliunas and Robinson, Robinson being Art Robinson, a chemist who used to work with Linus Pauling and went off to form a home schooling operation housed in a barn in Oregon called the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

The mailing was wall to wall and was fronted by a deceptive introduction from Frederick Seitz

Enclosed is a twelve-page review of information on the subject of "global warming," a petition in the form of a reply card, and a return envelope. Please consider these materials carefully. 
The United States is very close to adopting an international agreement that would ration the use of energy and of technologies that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds. 
This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful. 
The proposed agreement would have very negative effects upon the technology of nations throughout the world, especially those that are currently attempting to lift from poverty and provide opportunities to the over 4 billion people in technologically underdeveloped countries. 
It is especially important for America to hear from its citizens who have the training necessary to evaluate the relevant data and offer sound advice. 
We urge you to sign and return the petition card. If you would like more cards for use by your colleagues, these will be sent. 
Frederick Seitz
Past President, National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.
President Emeritus, Rockefeller University
Now Seitz, say what you will about his politics and ethics, was a BSD as Drug Monkey would put it.  BS here standing for Big Swinging, while Robinson, at best would fit neatly into any box labelled crank.  Baliunas was an astronomer at Harvard Smithsonian, but also connected to the George Marshall Institute, an organization that Seitz, William Nierenberg and Robert Jastrow had formed to support Star Wars.

What, Eli has frequently asked himself, brought these two sides together?

Willard points to a post by Things Break which was written during the Nierenberg matter, a back and froth five years ago now when Nicholas Nierenberg appeared at the Weasels to defend dear old dad.  TB had found a video of WN talking to the 17th annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, an ur-prepper group connected both with OISM and the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, that published the Soon, Baliunas and Robinson paper after people pointed out that what Seitz had mailed out was not a refereed paper, but garbage wrapped up nicely to look like a PNAS paper.  Doctors for Disaster, obviously was well aligned with GMI on star wars and related issues.

What is interesting that remains, is why did the GMI not send out the letter themselves? Implausible deniability suggests itself.


Russell Seitz said...

I never got a copy, but I have a simpler hypothesis- the missing link could well be Dixie Lee Ray who seems to have been the scientific doyenne of those parts.

at some point in the 90's Jane Orient took my critique of TTAPS in vain in the Doctors For Disaster Preparedness newsletter, asserting that one gonzo example of I-D overkill discredited 3-D GCM climate modeling in general, and i sent her a note sharply disagreeing, which they published.

JohnMashey said...

"OISM petition, a mail campaign started in 2003"

Wrong date, that was 1998.

Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony:
p.19 "1998 GMI created another petition, OISM1998, using the OISM as a front. This might well be called "meme-laundering." It got an update in 2007, its funding remains unclear and it is still quoted."

Again, click on graph at Anti-Science Associations: Rand Paul, Jane Orient, Art Robinson, Willie Soon And Friends.

Coming very soon: "Willie Soon And Friends In The Early Days".
I'd written this a while ago, but the last touches got delayed with other things, like absurd lawsuits. I dug out some interesting history from videos and other places.

Soon came to H-S CfA ~1991/1992 with his dissertation advisor Joseph Kunc, who returned to USC. By 1993, Soon was coauthoring with Baliunas.

Check the spreadsheet attached to Was Willie Soon Paid For Science...Or Anti-Science?
In the chronological list of talks for DDP, we find:
line 8: 1994.08.28 Fred Singer (I don't have anything before 1994)
line 13: 1995.xx Sallie Baliunas
line 22: 1996.xx Robert Jastrow

DDP (Art Robinson + Jane Orient) was well plugged together with Singer+GMI no later than 1994, years before the first Oregon Petition. I have no idea how they synched up before then.

The original paper was by: ARTHUR B. ROBINSON, SALLIE L. BALIUNAS, WILLIE SOON, AND ZACHARY W. ROBINSON. Baliunas and Soon gave a George Marshall Institute affiliation. Zachary got his PhD in veterinary medicine. I can guess who did most of the work.

PG said...

Russell never received a copy. Russell does this mean that you were persona non grata with the Marshalls?

Jeffrey Davis said...

"back and froth"


JohnMashey said...

1) GMI was originally started to support Reagan's Star Wars missile defense, certainly a topic of interest to DDP. I hadn't bothered to backtrack relationships any further than the DDP meetings I could find, as that already established DDP and GMI knew each other well before the 1998 Oregon Petition.

2) But checking archive of DDP old newsletters, we find July 1991 Vol. VIII, No. 4 HOMELAND DEFENSE IN THE AGE OF SCUDS:

"To counter the Third-World missile threat, Congress is beginning to accept the need for an improved version of the Patriot. Some advocate concentration on ground-based interceptors (GBIs) and abandonment of space-based interceptors (SBIs) to reduce both costs and potential conflicts with the ABM Treaty.

The George C. Marshall Institute has recently analyzed the relative usefulness of GBIs and SBIs. (See the Report of the Technical Panel on the Emerging Ballistic Missile Threat.) ...
To maximize cost-effectiveness, the Marshall Institute recommends a mix of ground- and space-based defenses. This would combine Brilliant Pebbles and advanced GBIs that have nearly a continental ``footprint'' (the GBI-X). ...

At present, we depend on a ``combination of defenselessness and hopelessness'' as the basis for retaliatory deterrence against strategic attacks. But ``against third-country or subnational attacks, [this] is the basis for blackmail or disaster,'' states Gregory Canavan of Los Alamos National Laboratory (Space Policy, November, 1990). ...

To learn more about ``Coping with Global Proliferation of the Ballistic Missile Threat,'' plan to attend the High Frontier seminar in Las Vegas, Monday, September 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (This is the day following the DDP meeting.) Major Scott Lofman, USAFR, will discuss the threat; Nicholas Montanarelli will summarize SDI spinoffs; and Major General J. Milnor Roberts, AUS, Ret., will discuss the need for fast-track deployment of space-based defenses. A model of a Brilliant Pebble will be on display."

3) DDP got its 501(c)(3) ruling in 1984.
a) DDP certainly knew of Marshall by 1991.
b) Canavan has been on the Board of GMI for a long time.
c) High Frontier certainly had GMI folks, including Jastrow. HF Chairman Henry Cooper spoke for DDP in 2002.

One might guess there was contact in the 1980s, but I haven't seen any specific evidence.

Russell Seitz said...


My 1990 climate science is for real piece in The National Interest sent them or their funders into a snit snit

neverendingaudit said...


A lukewarm crescendo:

> Whether the trial of Galileo or the tyranny of Lysenko, at all times and in all polities, science politicized is science betrayed.

Well played!

Russell Seitz said...

John, I was initially disposed to discount the spider diagram , but heir in the middile of the OISM web was the name Andrew Schafly.

Andy is of course the son of Theo and Neo con icon Phyllis Schafly , and best known as editor-general of agnotology's greatest hit, the Conservapedia.

Forget the vastness, the rightiness , conspiraciness and oilyness: you are up against Big Stupid.
Your next assignment if you choose to accept it , is to explain how the hell Bob Jastrow's congressional testimony nemesis, Dick Garwin, has ended up on the board of, wait for it , the Marshall Institute?

Kevin O'Neill said...

Russell, is Garwin on the Marshall Institute Board? Garwin's personal page makes no mention of it and neither does the Marshall Institute listing of Board members. A site search of the Marshall Institute for 'Garwin' yields one hit - a talk he gave there in 1999.

Russell Seitz said...


I thought Garwin coauthored one of their recent WSJ broadsides

Barton Paul Levenson said...


Russell Seitz said...


My bad for woodenly eliding Round Table and Board.

Googling to find the difference produced an interesting report of why an ex- Marshall Executive director quit:

" Mathew Crawford was Executive Director of the George C. Marshall Institute, a position he was appointed to on September 4, 2001. Announcing his appointment, the Institute stated that

"Dr. Crawford earned his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Chicago and his Bachelor of Science degree in physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has done research on ocean surface temperature at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography...

In 2009, Crawford wrote of his appointment at the think tank:

"This felt like a coup. But certain perversities became apparent as I settled into the job. It sometimes required me to reason backward, from desired conclusion to suitable premise.

The organization had taken certain positions, and there were some facts it was more fond of than others. As its figurehead, I was making arguments I didn't fully buy myself.

Further, my boss seemed intent on retraining me according to a certain cognitive style — that of the corporate world, from which he had recently come. This style demanded that I project an image of rationality but not indulge too much in actual reasoning."

The boss in question was - William O'Keefe, "Formerly COO of the American Petroleum Institute and chairman of the Global Climate Coalition, and a registered lobbyist for ExxonMobil."

Which explains Marshall's decay from hawk's nest into lobbyist roost as its Reagan era founders - and the President they served, passed away

Hank Roberts said...

> an interesting report of why an
> ex- Marshall Executive director quit

One of the classics.


neverendingaudit said...

More linkies:

Dr. Crawford is well acquainted with the mission and programs of the Marshall Institute and his background in both public policy and physical science makes him uniquely qualified to guide and expand them.

After chairing the Executive Director Search Committee and acting as Managing Director, William O’Keefe has accepted the position of President of the Institute. He will provide general oversight for the Institute’s activities on behalf of the Board of Directors and counsel to the Executive Director on program and policy matters. Former President Dr. Robert Jastrow has become Chairman of the Board and Dr. Frederick Seitz, Chairman Emeritus.


Fred's introduction does not seem to follow the How to Write to a Scientist guidelines.

Steve Bloom said...

Ah, the Schlaflys (just the one f), mom and son. I'm reminded of a comment made some years ago by someone who had just been informed of the latter's role in Conservapedia: "Hmm, I guess the shit doesn't fall too far from the bat."

It sure does look like the GMI old regime had to have approved of the new.

JohnMashey said...

0) JPandS, OISM, DDP and co have popped up occasionally on my radar screen, and I've mentioned them off and on in various reports.

This series got stirred up by the combination of Rand Paul's comments on vaccination and then the mess with Willie Soon.

1) Anti-Science Associations: Rand Paul, Jane Orient, Art Robinson, Willie Soon And Friends

There's a paragraph of links on Schlafly, he almost made the title list and he really is a key member of this complex.
Again, click on the social network graph to see the interconnects.

2) Was Willie Soon Paid For Science...Or Anti-Science? is really about DDP and especially Soon's talks, of which I've watched many ... and you can as well!
That also has a spreadsheet of all the speakers and talks I could find from 1994 onward. I couldn't find the earlier ones, but certainly by 1994-1996, GMI was well-represented. The image at left is typical: Willie speaking to a bunch of old guys.
Really, sampling these videos is an experience not to be missed, as mere words do not do justice to them. I've highlighted a few, but there is long menu.

3) Willie Soon A Heartland Institute Star Since 2003: Was He Paid? If So, When And With Whose Money? goes in the Heartland direction.

4) Willie Soon And Friends In The Early Days
recounts the sequence by which Soon got to H-S CfA, and then got hooked in with Art Robinson. some learned only by watching videos.

JohnMashey said...

Oops, item 4) above should be published this week.

Russell Seitz said...

With apologies to Yogi Berra,

Very old scientists should be careful what they write, especially if it's their signature.

Russell Seitz said...

One intersting thing about Crawford's GMI epiphany is its address "

"As I sat in my K Street office..."

O'Keefe literally moved the place, lock stock and Gucci loafers to the epicenter of lobbying in America-- Christo Buckley, call your office !