The Parrot and the Igloo Notes

An Unexpected Gift

322   S. Fred Singer sent Arthur Robinson material: Mark Boslough, “Dear Heartland, Stop Using Arthur Robinson’s Trick to Hide the Incline,” Skeptical Science, May 18, 2012.

Accessed 7-11-22.


322   And I know that Dr. Seitz’s Marshall Institute: Seitz would’ve endorsed and enjoyed Arthur’s fallout-shelter study; a Cold War, we’re-all-liable-to-get-killed book. (There’s a lot of catastrophism. The dissimilarity is in just what flavor and serving-size one's destruction comes in.) He would have recognized a distant kindred—if battered—spirit.


If we get no shelters, the Soviets could blow down most of the buildings in the country, and kill 200 million people. The whole operation would take about 30 minutes.


With survivors exiled, no doubt, to Alaska, minus adequate preparation.

Arthur Robinson and Gary North, Fighting Chance—Ten Feet To Survival, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine 1986, 178.

The long-term interconnectedness is made plain below, by the dogged and ingenious John Mashey. There is perhaps no one who understands the cross-overs and team-ups, the funders and facilitators, better than Mashey. Sallie Baulinas and Willie are the experts from Frederick Seitz’s George Marshall Institute; they became co-authors on Arthur’s Oregon Petition paper. 

John Mashey, “Willie Soon and Friends in the Early Days Before Climate Science Denial,” Desmog, June 10, 2015.

Accessed 7-11-22.


And in this long paper on what’s known as the Hockey Stick graph, search “Singer.” And feel your face stretch the giant cobweb denial has strung inside our research corridors and newsrooms. John Mashey, “Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report: A Façade for the Climate Anti-Science PR Campaign,” September 26, 2010.

Accessed 7-12-22.


322   One of them was later exposed Justin Gillis and John Schwartz, “Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher,” The New York Times, February 21, 2015.


323   “a tissue of mistakes”: George M. Woodwell, John P. Holdren, “Climate-Change Skeptics Are Wrong,” International Herald Tribune, November 14, 1998.


323   “We are living in an increasingly lush”: Arthur B. Robinson, Zachary W. Robinson, et al, “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” 1998.


323   never been published or peer-reviewed: Simple thing. William K. Stevens, The Change in the Weather, Delacorte 1999. 244. “In fact, the study had not been published anywhere.”


323   professionally printed: Steven Dutch, a Columbia-trained Natural and Applied Science professor at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, was among the petition recipients.


It had a lot of interesting graphs of carbon dioxide and temperature trends, and looked for all the world like a reprint from a journal. Same type fonts, similar paper stock, the works. The problem came when I looked for a citation, because if I were going to use any of this information, I would certainly need to provide a citation. And all scientific reprints have one, either at the beginning, the end, or on the top or bottom margin of each page. This one didn’t. Now if you want to disseminate information, you can simply photocopy your paper and send it out. Even some high-class journals do this. But this one was professionally printed, folded, and stapled on the spine. Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to make this look like a published scientific paper. And that bothered me. I filed the paper away.


Steven Dutch, “A Global Warming Counterfeit,” March 2007.

Accessed 7-10-22.


323   “exactly like a paper from”: Colin Macilwain, “Petition strengthens hand of global warming sceptics,” Nature, April 16, 1998.

Grotesquely for such a religious man, Arthur explained to Science that he had no intention to practice deceit. “I used the Proceedings as a model, but only to put the information in a format that scientists like to read.” It would be like printing the digits “100” inside the lacey frame of a high-denomination bill because this is a format storeowners like to read.


323   “The United States is very close”: Frederick Seitz, “Letter From Frederick Seitz: Research Review of Global Warming Evidence,” 1998.

As with secondhand smoke (this perhaps goes without saying), Dr. Seitz goes on to make a flat scientific declaration he knows not to be true. “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.”


324      “virtually every scientist in every field”: Macilwain, “Petition strengthens hand of global warming sceptics,” Nature.


324      “dwindling band of skeptics”: Editorial, “Climate Debate Must Not Overheat,” Nature, June 13, 1996.


324      for ease of attack: For example, S. Fred Singer, “Dump the Global Warming Treaty,” The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 1996; S. Fred Singer, “Disinformation About Global Warming,” The Washington Times, November 13, 1996; S. Fred Singer, “Cool Planet, Hot Politics,” American Outlook (The Hudson Institute), Summer 2000.

Dr. Singer was sly: “The ‘dwindling band of skeptics’ who consider climate warming the ‘empirical equivalent of the Easter Bunny’ (as Al Gore put it) is growing rapidly . . . “; “In a speech last year, Vice President Al Gore belittled scientific critics of the global warming hypothesis. . . Much to his chagrin, I imagine, the ‘dwindling band of skeptics’ has grown to more than 100 European and American climate scientists.”


324      “liars, lunatics, or tools of industry”: Gil Klein, “Politics Muddies Scientific Debate Over Warming,” The Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 29, 1992.


324      “But rather because its opponents”: Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, with a Memorial Address on Max Planck, by Max von Laue, Williams and Norgate, 1950. 33.

I’ve just learned, double-checking the book title, that this is referred to at Wikipedia as “Planck’s Principle.”

Stanford’s Robert Proctor observes—quotes—something similar in Chapter 15 of Golden Holocaust: “That was part of the insight of Thomas Kuhn’s great Structure of Scientific Revolutions: our views of the world change not so much by steady pilings-on of fact but rather by gestalt shifts in how we see the world. Science advances by leaping over the canyons of dried-up ideas, which also means that a certain kind of forgetting—or unlearning—is key to any scientific change.”

Robert Proctor, Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition, University of California Press, 2012. 224.


324      “politely pointed to datasets”: Myanna Lahsen, “Climate Rhetoric: Constructions of Climate Science in the Age of Environmentalism,” Dissertation, Rice University, May 1998. 324.


It was clear that National Center for Atmospheric Research scientists didn’t need to silence Singer; judging from reactions to Singer’s presentation at NCAR that I witnessed . . . Singer presented a highly tentative argument that airplanes might have caused the observed rise in surface temperatures in recent decades. At the discussion in the end, NCAR scientists politely pointed to data sets and to scientific research which accounted for the observed temperature changes, none of which Singer appeared to be familiar with. It thus confirmed many NCAR scientists’ perception of Singer as someone who no longer keeps up with the scientific literature in a consistent manner.


325      “The warmers will be deprived”: Arthur Robinson, “The Warmers’ Achilles Heel,” Access to Energy, February 1998. Arthur warned readers the stakes were high. Defeat would “likely cost the lives of hundreds of millions of people.” Success would warm S. Fred Singer’s heart. “With many signatories to this petition, warmers will no longer be able to marginalize scientists who oppose them as crackpots or industrial shills.” Although, not to be unfair, imagine Arthur Robinson writing that and S. Fred Singer reading it.


325      climate change was “bogus”: Representative Ron Paul, “Statement On Global Warming Petition Signed By 31,478 Scientists,” Floor Speech, U.S. Federal News, June 4, 2009.

The value of having a document: “Circulated through the mail by a distinguished group of American physical scientists and supported by a definitive review of the peer-reviewed scientific literature, this may be the strongest and most widely supported statement on this subject that has been made by the scientific community.” So (watch how backyard grills and fireworks swing around at the sentence end): “Bogus claims about climate dangers should not be used as a justification to further limit the American people’s freedom.”


325      “the vast majority”: This is Senator Larry Craig, quoted in H. Josef Herbert, “Odd Names Added to Greenhouse Plea,” Associated Press, May 1, 1998.


325      “The person does not exist”: Jorge Luis Borges, “The Secret Miracle,” Ficciones, Sur, 1944; Grove Press, 1962.


325      “Your much-touted”: S Fred Singer, “Kyoto accord protest quickening,” The Washington Times, April 22, 1998.


325      Frantic calls from officials and scientists: David Malakoff, “Advocacy Mailing Draws Fire,” Science, April 10, 1998. Sherwood Rowland—the Nobel winner who protected the ozone from Thomas Midgely—told the magazine researchers “are wondering if someone is trying to hoodwink them.”


325      an “extraordinary step”: William K. Stevens, “Science Academy Disputes Attack on Global Warming,” The New York Times, April 22, 1998.


325      “The manuscript was not published”: National Academy of Sciences, “Statement of the Council of the NAS Regarding Global Change Petition,” News Release, April 20, 1998.

Accessed 7-10-22.


326      “the most effective single action”: Arthur Robinson, “Winning,” Access to Energy, March 2007.

Arthur: “This petition demonstrated that the claimed ‘consensus’ of American scientists in favor of the CO2-caused environmental catastrophe hypothesis does not exist. If anything, scientists are, in the majority, opposed to this hypothesis — which is both unproved and also invalidated by the experimental evidence.”


326      “Well, one of the first things”: Sean Hannity, The Sean Hannity Radio Show, Interview with Senator James Inhofe, January 30, 2007.

In a promotion for his Fox News show, Hannity points out that his guest that same evening will be none other than Dr. S. Fred Singer.


326      “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated”: Senator James M. Inhofe, “The Science of Climate Change,” Statement by Senator James M. Inhofe, Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works, July 28, 2003.

The Senator liked the phrase so much he turned it into a whole book. James Inhofe, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, WND Books, 2012.


326      “If it wasn’t for him”: Heartland Institute, “Arthur Robinson Introduction — International Conference on Climate Change 9,” July 9, 2014.


326      “no way of filtering out a fake”: H. Josef Herbert, “Odd Names Added To Greenhouse Plea,” Associated Press, May 1, 1998.


327      Arthur claimed only one false name: Arthur Robinson, “Arthur Robinson Speech — International Conference on Climate Change 9,” July 9, 2014.

“There was one bogus name on it,” Arthur assured his denial audience. “There were no others. There has never been another.” Arthur joined the board of the Heartland Institute, the event-sponsoring think tank, two years later.

Accessed 7-10-22.

Also Bethell, “A Scientist Finds Independence,” American Spectator, 2001. And Arthur Robinson, “Art Robinson Responds to Petition Slander,” Global Warming News and Views, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

Accessed 7-10-22.


327      “a random sample of thirty”: George Musser, “Skepticism About Skeptics | Climate of Uncertainty,” Scientific American, October 2001.


327      “no scientific consensus”: Jeff Jacoby, “There Is No Scientific Consensus On Global Warming,” International New York Times, November 14, 1988.


The cover letter accompanying the petition and abstract was penned by Frederick Seitz, a past president of the National Academy of Sciences. (All these documents are available online at The scientific “consensus” on global warming, it turns out, does not exist.


Also Canada (Lawrence Solomon, “32,000 deniers; That’s the number of scientists who are outraged by the Kyoto Protocol’s corruption of science,” Financial Post, May 17, 2008), Australia (Michael Duffy, “Too Much Bonking In the Greenhouse,” The Australian, May 30, 1998), England (Graham Tibbetts, “Humans not the cause of global warming, says petition of 31,000 scientists,” Daily Telegraph, May 31, 2008) . . .


327      “the silent majority”: S. Fred Singer, “Kyoto Accord Protest Quickening,” The Washington Times, April 22, 1998.

Science and Environmental Policy Project, “More Than 15,000 Scientists Protest Kyoto Accord; Speak Out Against Global Warming Myth,” News Release, April 21, 1998.

Accessed 7-10-22.


328      “the largest group of scientists ever”: S. Fred Singer, “Scientists add to heat over global warming,” The Washington Times, May 5, 1998.


328      “People with degrees in science”: Arthur Robinson, “The Global Warming Petition Project,” Lecture presented by Dr. Arthur B. Robinson, Ph.D. at the 16th Annual Meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness held in Scottsdale, Arizona, July 1998.

Accessed 6-1-18.


328      the strongest evidence it ever had: What a half-life it’s had. In election cycle 2012, Governor Rick Perry was still using it on the stump. Comically, Perry became Secretary of Energy under Donald Trump.

Glenn Kessler, “Rick Perry’s Made-Up ‘Facts’ About Climate Change,” Washington Post, August 18, 2011.


328      “Look, they’re not specialists”: PBS Frontline, “Climate of Doubt,” John Hockenberry Interview With S. Fred Singer, October 22, 2012.

Accessed 7-10-22.


328      “specialists in fields related”: S. Fred Singer, Congressional Testimony, “Hearing On the Effects of the Kyoto Environmental Protocol On American Prosperity — Part Two, the Science,” Federal Documents Clearing House Political Transcripts, July 29, 1998.


328      “experts in the pertinent scientific fields”: S. Fred Singer, “Scientists add to heat over global warming,” The Washington Times, May 5, 1998.


328      “Including 9,029 Ph.Ds”: The Petition Project, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

Accessed 7-10-22.


328      an absolute crash: Nature, “Petition Strengthens Hand of Global Warming Skeptics,” April 16, 1988.

For a more detailed breakdown, Brian Angliss, “Guest Post: Scrutinising the 31,000 Scientists In the OISM Petition Project,” Skeptical Science.

Accessed 7-10-22.


328      “More than 40 signatories”: PR Newswire, “Flood of Scientists Continue to Sign Petition Opposed to Global Warming Alarmism, Says Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine,” June 2, 2008.


329      “He had two Nobels”: Oregon Public Broadcasting, “Forecast Cloudy,” June 12, 2008.


329      After Donald Trump’s election: Jane Mayer, “The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency,” The New Yorker, March 27, 2017.

Daniel Engber, “The Grandfather Of Alt-Science,” 538, October 12, 2017.

Accessed 7-4-22.

The Parrot and the Igloo by David Lipsky