The 300

Occasionally a group of activists will decide that their position would benefit from media coverage of a
“We the undersigned, urge and implore….”
letter to prominent media or as an open letter to the government if they can get wide publicity for the petition.



How many signatories there are to the letter can affect its impact. Fewer than six, and they had all better be former heads of state and/or Nobel prize winners. But there is a law of diminishing returns. 15 to 20 names, of which at least half are widely known works best. It gives the impression of the select few who dominate the leading thinkers on an issue joining their authority behind a single view.

More names than 50 and the weight of individual authority, however great it may be for some, is diluted by the numbers. More than that, and it might as well be a general petition.

So the use of the petitioner letter by Lindzen and those opposed to the conclusions of mainstream climate science was less impressive than might be expected when you find it has 300 signatures. Many of the signatories seek to add the weight of authority to the letter by providing their qualifications. Some simply list an academic qualification or professorship. Others feel the need to add detail –

“HAWLEY, John G.: (BE (NZ) and MA, Ph.D., Cambridge, UK ); Fellow Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (FIPENZ) Foundation ‘Scientist-in-Charge’ of New Zealand’s National Centre for Research and Survey into Soil Conservation issues with 45 scientists and 40 support staff  (technicians, clerical etc ) – 1970 to 1982 when it was reorganized into Crown Research Institutes via the Govt. Dept of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR = CSIRO, Australia)”
 

I think the longest entry beyond the name that the person clearly deemed necessary to communicate the weight his signature carried is Fred Singer, but then he does have history, although he leaves out his tobacco connections. Runner-up is probably Don Easterbrook. –

EASTERBROOK, Donald J.: (Ph.D.); Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University. He has written a dozen books, published more than 185 papers, and has presented 30 research papers at international meetings in 15 countries. He was chairman of the 1977 national meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA), was president of the Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division of GSA, was Associate Editor of the GSA Bulletin for 15 years, was awarded “Distinguished service to the Geological Society of America, was U.S. representative to the UN International Geological Correlation Program, and was Director of Field Excursions for the 2003 International Quaternary Congress. In 2013, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northwest Geologic Society. He published four books and eight professional papers in the past year.

 

Others are open about their links to oil and coal industries, perhaps confirming Upton Sinclair’s observation about arguing a man out of the beliefs that justify his luxuries.

WORT, M. J.: (PhD FAusIMM FIMMM CP(Met) CEng RPEQ ); Mining Geologist and Mineral Processing Engineer, who totally rejects CO2 hysteria based on his basic training in Mining Geology
 

While some are more coy about their connections to the fossil fuel industry.

SOON, Willie: (Ph.D); Independent Scientist

 

Many other of the usual suspects appear on the list. Spencer and others from the  Cornwall alliance cult crowd. Several claim to be founders of the ‘Friends of Science’ another industry funded astroturf lobby.

There is a clear Scandinavian clique, with emeritus Professors, businessmen and an army officer or two. But it is also interesting to see what people have put in their CV, what they think would carry weight. Is Mo(n)ckton exhibiting that Faux English modesty in restricting himself to –

The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
 

I was intrigued to see a small smattering of names where the signer had felt no need, or reason to add ANY indication of their qualifications, background or weight of authority that their signature would add to the list.

So I tried the simple expedient of putting the names into Gurgle with different options of science, climate, publications to try and narrow down to likely candidates. With limited success.

Roger Bee.
Difficult to find ANY mention of a person of this name connected with climate, search engines just keep including papers on the impact of climate change on BEEs the flying insects… (Not Good).

Barry Beetham.
Impossible to determine which Beetham has signed this, but it SHOULD be this one, someone living in New Zealand who thinks the Earths rotational axis is shifting –
“Our planet, a ball in space, is having many huge mega structures being built on one side. These mega weights are pulling our planet off balance and causing it to roll, so somewhere there’s more rain than normal and somewhere less rain, making perhaps desert areas become green and productive and our forest and farming areas become desert.”

BILLARD, Geoffrey:There is a French Accountant and an Australian vice-president of of a local residents association with this name. Nothing else comes up linked with climate, or science that I can find. Another mystery.

BOOTHBY, David:
If we are generous, perhaps it is the David Boothby who is a co-author of this climate related paper –

“Changes to Farm Business Management Under Extreme Weather Events:Likelihood of Effects and Opportunities in the UK”
But I suspect it may be this one –

BRASSEUR, Claude:
This is most likely –
Author: Claude Brasseur
Mathematician. He has taught at the University of Lubumbashi in faculties of Sciences, Polytechnics and Medicine. Creator of a research center in renewable energies.
[Shorter google translate] – There is no link between CO2 and climate, its all a fraud for money.

BREEZE, Simon:
Drew a blank here except for a science fiction illustrator. The ‘breeze’/(light wind) effect was a problem looking for a science or climate connection !

CULLEN, Ray:
A choice of an American car salesman in London, a Canadian Ice hockey star (Willard?!) or an Irish Gas manager. Or a retired geologist in Texas or a Hospital engineer in Chicago.
None seem likely, but no climate or science linked Cullen appeared on my admittedly shallow search. But then if these were signatures that carried some weight, they should emerge from even a casual search.

GORNER, Joan
A common enough name for there to be a lot of options. There are none with a strong science or climate link I can find. This is the only link between climate and Gorner I can find…!

“The American people have been fed a lie. There are two reasons for this — there is a lot of money to be made from “climate change” and government can use it as an excuse to tax us and to increase its domination of our lives.
Joan W. Gorner” 2009

GRANBERG, Kurt
This is the only, and I suppose most likely candidate, although it seems politically out of character.

Kurt M. Granberg was a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 107th District from 1987 until his retirement at the end of his term in January 2009.

KLEVELAND, Gunnvald
Lots of Norwegians and Finns, There is a Norwegian Telecoms CEO who looks like a possible candidate. Just no idea why he would get to sign it.

LOWRIE Allen:
I am Guessing it is this Australian Botonist

MCDONELL, Ian: 
MCDONELL, Narelle: 
A virtual blank on both of these. No science or climate links came up with these names. Narelle is unusual and seems to be almost exclusively Australian, but beyond that, nothing.

NELSON, Brand: 
NELSON, Darren: 
No Hits for Brand except the petition, but Darren is presumably this one

-Darren is a neoAustrian economist, regulatory analyst and communicator (public speaking and media) with almost two decades of experience working for/with government regulated businesses, government policy makers and government regulators, and those bodies trying to reduce government regulation … in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA.

An alternative take...
“It doesn’t look like he has a PhD in economics, and if you’re going to be an economics adviser, especially the main advisers for serious candidates or parties in Australia and in the US, well, it’s unusual.”

RØMCKE, Nils Håkon
A CEO of an egineering company. Any link to KLEVELAND, Gunnvald one wonders…

SUNDIN, Claes
There is a famous one, another Scandinavian, in this case a world leading artist of WW2 luftwaffe aircraft.

WASTERLAIN, Serge:
Well there is a Belgium rail transport manager….

As is evident from this list I have made no concerted effort to find out who these people are and why they are on this list. But if their names are considered weighty enough to be included it seems strange that without a CV it is difficult to find out just why those names are included.

I would suspect that this has been coordinated with various groups around the globe. There are clearly contingents from Scandinavia and Australia that have signed on a ‘Me Too’ basis and have far more to do with anti-environmental movements, Clexit and the Australian ‘One Nation’ lot, than they have any scientific insight into the issue.


REFERENCES

Link to PDF of letter and names –

Other coverage –
http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2017/02/27/who-were-those-masked-men/

https://skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=3678

https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/02/27/climate-denier-richard-lindzen-300-scientists-trump-usual-parade-non-experts

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6 responses to “The 300

  1. Pingback: “Scienziati eminenti” – OggiScienza

  2. There’s a swedish Kurt Granberg at comments in here: http://klimatsans.com/2017/01/25/the-co%E2%82%82-coalition-petition/

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  3. Possibly with C? Curt Granberg, a signatory of Stockholm city center planning commission? I won’t delve further into this.

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  4. G’day Izen,

    Since when has a petition, however distinguished its signatories, changed any government policy ever? I suspect Trump’s vacuous daughter may end up influencing him a lot more than a bunch of boring old scientists.

    My own background as a coal geologist (working for BP, no less) probably lumps me in with the rest of them.

    I’m more interested in the Trump phenomenon: how it got started, and how it gained an eventually unstoppable momentum. If you don’t start a discussion on it, I just might 😉

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  5. The Obvious answer is that as wealth is concentrated into the hands of the few, it looks increasingly likely that the relative equality of the 1920s-1970s is going to revert to the ‘Gilded age of the 1900s.
    That level of inequality requires an authoritarian ruler to suppress dissent. With negative social/economic change it is easy for a jingoist to gain popular support by claiming he can make everything how it was… if we just get rid of all the people who are different, physically, ethnically or ideologically.

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  6. Yes that’s the standard MSM analysis of Trump’s rise. But it palpably makes no sense. If Trump was put there, as you suggest, to reinforce inequality, then why did so many of those who voted for him – many voting for the first time – say they were motivated by their own sense of disenfranchisement? How the elites on both sides of politics had abandoned them, and how they lacked a voice?

    Their complaints are substantial, and cannot be airily dismissed as racist cant, however the New York Times may wish it so. These people are suffering. Their quality of life has steadily diminished over decades. Yes, there are sound economic reasons for their plight. But the tragedy is that it took a populist and a media manipulator, sensing an untapped market, to give them a voice, rather than the politicians from the Democratic and Republican parties that it should have been.

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