Global warming

Kenn Kaufman kennk at
Thu Jul 10 21:52:31 EDT 2003

Hello, Chuck.  I don't know why you've chosen to attack me personally.
But no, I'm not an alarmist and I'm not a conspiracy theorist.  I also
don't presume to categorize other people on the basis of just a few
statements -- such oversimplification doesn't serve any useful purpose
that I can see.

To reiterate:  It is a fact that the Bush administration has forced EPA
scientists to rewrite sections of a major report on world environmental
challenges, commissioned in 2001 and just recently released.  The White
House pressured these scientists to take out all references to the
scientific consensus about global warming.  This arm-twisting was done in
secrecy, and we only found out about it because someone within the agency
was courageous enough to leak the information to the New York Times.
Chuck, do you condone this kind of behavior on the part of the Bush
administration?  Do you think it's acceptable for politicians to force
scientists to rewrite their conclusions?

In a couple of your posts, you mentioned the "Oregon Petition" signed by
"17,000 scientists."  If you're going to be quoting this, you should know
a little more about  it.  The petition is well known, and it's widely
regarded as a bad joke.  It originated with the "Oregon Institute of
Science and Medicine," basically a one-man organization based on a farm
in rural Oregon.  The petition was circulated in a bulk mailing to tens
of thousands of scientists (the vast majority of whom would not know
anything about climate), accompanied by a bogus document that gave the
appearance of being a peer-reviewed paper, printed in the same typeface
and format as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The
NAS was moved to issue a strongly worded formal statement that it had no
connection with the OISM or its weird little petition drive, but by that
time, thousands of people (some of whom were scientists) had already
signed the petition.  You can read more about the bizarre and humorous
history of the OISM by going to:

Incidentally, Chuck, you also referred us to the "Center for the Study of
Carbon Dioxide and Global Change" ((  )) , so
I looked at their site.   It was fascinating to note that the Chairman,
President, Vice President, and Operations Manager all have the same last
name.  Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it suggests the
possibility of a rather narrow view.  This organization has a clearly
biased agenda, and they quite obviously present only one side of the

I've seen dozens of Institutes and Centers like this that purport to
"disseminate factual reports and sound commentary" on particular issues,
but which in fact are fronts for big industries with vested interest in
swaying public opinion.  I'm willing to listen to all of them, but I
reserve the right to take their viewpoints with a grain of salt.  A
formal statement from the World Meteorological Organization still strikes
me as carrying a lot of weight, even if it doesn't jibe with what some
think tanks would like us to think; and I would have liked to have read
what the EPA scientists would have said if they hadn't been muzzled by
the Bush administration.

Obligatory lep content:  Erynnis funeralis nectaring on Ageratum in the
neighborhood today -- the Funereal aspect seeming singularly appropriate
here, given the fact that Tucson is filled with smoke from the
long-running fire in the Catalinas, and suffering both record heat and
near-record drought.  Yeah, I'm interested in the reasons why we might be
having weather extremes.  Anyone who cares about leps or other living
organisms should be interested.

Kenn Kaufman


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