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Blogs - Clock - MUERTOS BLOG: Ron Paul Promotes Fraudulent "Petition" on Climate Change.

Author: Clock (Show other entries)
Date: Mar 28, 2013 at 17:21

I am not Muertos and I do not know him. I am simply reposting these articles because I had found them on the Internet Wayback Machine. Do not contact me when it comes to this blog, I am not its author and my views are not necessarily his. REPEAT: I AM NOT MUERTOS.


This blog is going to be about Ron Paul and global warming. As soon as you take on either one of those topics you know right off the bat that you're in for a bruising. Putting them both together and you're going to ruffle some feathers for sure.
The main point of this blog is this: Ron Paul is pushing lies about climate change, and anyone who believes him is being duped.
The term "polarizing figure" is custom-made for Ron Paul. Chances are, unless you were previously a Libertarian, the U.S. Congressman (ostensibly a Republican) from the 14th District of Texas first came to your attention in 2007 or so, when he began running for the 2008 Republican nomination. Congressman Paul was noteworthy at that time for being the only Republican candidate to be critical of George W. Bush's Iraq war, which made him very attractive both to the sizable number of anti-Bush Republicans, and also independents who rejected the Democrats but couldn't bring themselves to line up with the likes of John McCain, Mike Huckabee or (God forbid) Willard "Mitt" Romney.
Paul never had a snowball's chance in Hell of getting near the Republican nomination, but he made a lot of waves. Along the way he also became the favored candidate of conspiracy theorists, most notably 9/11 Truthers ("Twoofers") and people opposed to the current federal monetary system, especially the U.S. Federal Reserve. Why is Paul a darling of the conspiracy crowd? Well, for such views as the following, printed over a course of 30 years in his newsletters which first debuted in 1978. (My source is a National Review article linked here [1]).

• Urging readers in 1990 to leave major cities for rural retreats because of a coming "race war."
• The 1992 Los Angeles riots, sparked over public outrage about the acquittal of the white police officers in the videotaped Rodney King beating, ended "when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks."
• Referring to the national holiday of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday as national "Hate Whitey Day."
• Fostering conspiracy theories claiming that the world is secretly controlled by the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission, despite not a shred of evidence that either claim is true.
Now Ron Paul is turning his ire on people who believe that global warming is real and is caused by the activities of human beings--a scientific fact supported by undeniable evidence and the overwhelming consensus of climatologists. On Paul's website, on June 14, 2009, Paul lays out the case for "31,478 American scientists" who have supposedly signed a petition who allegedly claim:
"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."
There's just one problem. The "petition" is a fabrication which was debunked more than a decade ago.
What Ron Paul is referring to is the infamous "Oregon Petition," a public relations stunt started in 1998 by a group called the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, whose acronym, OISM, is a dyslexic version of OMSI, the well-respected Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland. OISM has nothing to do with OMSI, but they're probably hoping you mix up letters easily. OISM is a conservative group concerned about "socialism in public schools" which also happens to believe that climate change is a liberal conspiracy. In 1998--yes, twelve years and two Presidential administrations ago--OISM circulated a "petition" signed by a varying number of scientists (usually 19,000, 30,000 or Ron Paul's current number, 31,478) claiming that they agree with the position that there is no scientific basis for global warming.
Who are these "scientists?" You may recognize some of their names: Perry S. Mason, Michael J. Fox, and John C. Grisham. Sound like more like a fictional lawyer, an 80s actor and a novelist than respected climatologists? Yeah, they are. Most of the "scientists" who supposedly signed the petition are fake. Some of them, such as Geraldine Halliwell, have said they never signed it, yet her name is listed three times under various permutations. Others are dead. Many of the "Ph.D.s" don't have Ph.D.s in anything even remotely related to climate science. W. Kline Bolton, for example, is an M.D. specializing in kidneys. Zhonggang Zeng has a Ph.D., but it's in mathematics--he knows nothing about climate science. Hub Hoagland is a dentist and sometime basketball player. These are climate experts?
I'm not just making this stuff up. You can browse detailed debunkings of the Oregon Petition here and here.
The Oregon Petition was intended, upon its release in 1998, to resemble closely the format of documents put out by the National Academy of Sciences. The NAS was troubled enough by the resemblance to put out a press release stating that they had nothing to do with it. For the past dozen years there have been numerous debunkings of the Petition, and you might think that Paul's latest take on it would correct some of the problems that were so obvious 12 years ago. It didn't. Evidently even basic veracity is not required to achieve the level of holy writ from the unimpeachable Ron Paul. The Oregon Petition, and the write-up offered of it on Paul's website since at least June 2009, is nothing more or less than a lie.
Why is Paul pushing lies on climate change? It probably has something to do with his ideological position, which is so convoluted and difficult to follow that one is never sure, listening to his screeds, whether he's a Libertarian, a Republican or a fascist. (I don't believe he is a fascist, but certainly some of the stuff from his newsletters seems to be in that category). This opacity is probably intentional. If anyone really knew what policies Ron Paul advocated, he wouldn't have any friends left. He coasted through the 2008 campaign allowing conservatives angry at Bush to believe that he was one of them and opposed the Iraq war on principle. Despite not being a 9/11 Truther himself--and I do not believe Ron Paul is a 9/11 Truther--he certainly did little to discourage conspiracy theorists from latching on to him in the mistaken belief that he was sympathetic to their demands to "reopen the investigation" of September 11, presumably to "prove" that it was an inside job. This tack was similar to the one Dennis Kucinich also took, but Kucinich was never more than a temporary crush by the conspiracy crowd; eventually most of them came to understand that he wasn't going to advance their interests.

Can reasonable people disagree on how best to combat climate change? I believe they can, and they should. Only through disagreement and the clash of various opinions can a responsible national and international policy on global warming be hammered out. Can it be denied by reasonable people that science supports the fact that global warming is happening, and that is substantially caused by humans? No, it cannot. [2]

Let me repeat that: the science of climate change is unassailable. [3] Just to make sure there's no mistaking my position, I'll say it a third time: the science that climate change is happening, and that it's caused mostly by human activity, is overwhelming. [4] Why, then, is Ron Paul choosing to advance his disagreement with ideas about climate change mitigation with proven lies and obfuscations like the Oregon Petition? I can't believe that no one in the Ron Paul organization hasn't looked into the matter and discovered the very real problems with the Oregon Petition. If that is the case, there's a major quality control problem in Ron Paul's communications organization. And if it's not, then Paul or someone who speaks for his organization is consciously choosing to push lies at the American public. Why, if Congressman Paul believes that global warming is some sort of "hoax," does he not resort to better evidence to validate his position? Why the lies, the obfuscation?
Ron Paul cannot be taken seriously as a reliable voice on environmental policy. If this is the kind of crap he's going to sink to, then he richly deserves the oblivion to which history will inevitably consign him. I guess that's par for the course for him. What amazes me is that Ron Paul remains so popular, and that so many otherwise reasonable Americans would even listen to anything he has to say.