Saturday, April 29, 2006

More Global Warming "Experts" That Aren't

Here are three more entries for my list of dubious global warming experts who signed a letter to Canada's prime minister cautioning against global warming "alarmists" (one of the buzzwords of the global warming denialist movement).

Remember, these people signed a letter that begins, "As accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines . . ." I did a quick search, and found at least 10 that did not show any sign of being an accredited expert in anything close to climate science. Here I am giving specific citations for my findings. This makes six out of 60 so far.

Arthur Rorsch
is listed on the letter as an emeritus professor of molecular genetics at Leiden University. He has no degree that I've found in any climate-related discipline, although he has written opinion pieces on global warming.

I did find this scientific paper Rorsch co-wrote, in PubMed. Title: "Comparison of the resA1 and polA1 Mutations in Isogenic Strains of Escherichia coli K-12"

Art Robinson is described as the founder of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, where he is listed as a professor of chemistry. A former colleague of Linus Pauling who had a nasty falling-out with him, Robinson founded the six-member institute with his late wife, Lauralee. Much of the institute's work is on issues such as home schooling and homeland security.

The institute's Web page also links to a site on "Nutrition and Cancer," which has the subhed: "Beating Cancer with a Diet of Raw Fruits and Vegetables." In it, Robinson describes anecdotal evidence (not peer-reviewed research) that eating fruits and veggies can defeat cancer. Here's an article about Robinson, his scientific and political views.

I'd say Robinson is as much an "expert" on global warming as he is on cancer.

Alister McFarquhar is listed on the letter as an "international economist". I found a reference in the Autumn, 2005 issue of his college's newsletter (in PDF) to his Ph.D., received in 1962.

"Dr Alister McFarquhar obtained his PhD in 1962 following which he was a Research Officer at the School of Agriculture and then a lecturer in the Dept of Land Economy 1968–99. This year he joined a UK DTI Trade Mission to the Philippines spending most of his time in Manila with old colleagues in the Asian Development Bank for whom he has been a consultant since 1986 on various development strategy missions to Sri Lanka, Nepal and China and in their Policy Department. After the Mission he sailed to Subic Bay and Clark Airfield on Luzon Island where the US have huge air and naval
bases currently mothballed, and returned via Bangkok and Jakarta."

Very interesting to be sure, but not exactly the stuff one would expect of "accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines."

It seems the global warming denialists are counting on people not looking too closely at the qualifications of those who signed this letter.

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