More than 15,000 scientists, two-thirds with advanced academic degrees, have now signed a Petition against the climate accord concluded in Kyoto (Japan) in December 1997. The Petition (see text below) urges the US government to reject the Accord, which would force drastic cuts in energy use on the United States. This is in line with the Senate Resolution, approved by a 95-to-0 vote last July, which turns down any international agreement that damages the economy of the United States while exempting most of the world’s nations, including such major emerging economic powers as China, India, and Brazil.

In signing the Petition within a period of less than six weeks, the 15,000 basic and applied scientists — an unprecedented number for this kind of document — also expressed their profound skepticism about the science underlying the Kyoto Accord. The atmospheric data simply do not support the elaborate computer-driven climate models that are being cited by the United Nations and other promoters of the Accord as “proof” of a major future warming. The covering letter enclosed with the Petition, signed by Dr. Frederick Seitz, president emeritus of Rockefeller University and a past president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, states it well:

“The 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.”

This freely expressed vote against the warming scare propaganda should be contrasted with the claimed “consensus of 2500 climate scientists” about global warming. This facile and oft-quoted assertion by the White House is a complete fabrication. The contributors and reviewers of the 1996 report by the

UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) actually number less than 2000, and only a small fraction — who were never polled — can claim to be climate scientists. Many of those are known to be critical of the IPCC report and have now become signers of the Petition.

“The ‘silent majority’ of the scientific community has at last spoken out against the hype emanating from politicians and much of the media about a ‘warming catastrophe.’ The Petition reflects the frustration and disgust felt by working scientists, few of whom have been previously involved in the ongoing climate debate, about the misuse of science to promote a political agenda,” said Dr. Seitz.

Dr. S. Fred Singer, president of The Science & Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) and author of Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming’s Unfinished Debate, explained:

“Scientists are understandably upset when they see $2 billion per year devoted to research on climate change, much it irrelevant and concerned only with imaginary consequences of a hypothetical warming — while other fields of science are starved. They are also appalled and angry that an increasing fraction of this research money is diverted into “community workshops,” thinly disguised brainwashing exercises to create public fears about climate catastrophes.”

The Petition drive was organized by Dr. Arthur Robinson, director of the Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine (Cave Junction, OR) and a vocal critic of the shaky science used to support the Kyoto Accord. It was staffed by volunteers and supported entirely by private donations, with no contributions from industry. The Petition mailing included a scientific summary, an editorial essay by Arthur and Zachary Robinson published in the Wall Street Journal (Dec. 4, 1997), and the covering letter by Dr. Seitz, holder of the National Medal of Science and board chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute (Washington, DC) and also of the Science & Environmental Policy Project (Fairfax, VA).

It was Dr. Seitz’ essay in the Wall Street Journal (A Major Deception on “Global Warming”, June 12, 1996), which first drew public attention to the textual “cleansing” of the UN scientific report that forms the basis for the Kyoto Accord. For details on the unannounced text changes and how they affected the sense of the IPCC report, click here.

The full text of the Petition follows.

“We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

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.”

The current list of signers, which is still growing rapidly, is available on

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Douglas Houts

The author is a contributing writer to Capitalism Magazine.

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