The official nutters list!

Yes, its now available (2017 update: the NP fails to pass the test of time, and the b*st*rds block the waybackmachine; this is an archive of what I believe to be substatntially the same content drivel): 100% self-certified. Mostly its the obvious suspects, lots of Emeritus, and the familiar trick of puffing up your CV with a reference to the IPCC gold standard; in many cases "IPCC expert reviewer" is a credential. Remember folks this doesn't mean that the IPCC endorse you or accept your reviews.

There are some sad items in there too: Reid Bryson; Freeman Dyson. And then there are the funny ones: how did Louis Hissink get in there? Why is Lubos Motl a "former Harvard string theorist" - isn't Charles University of Prague sufficiently prestigious? McK is in there, but McI wisely stays out.

Oh, and the supposedly (?) impartial "Edward J. Wegman" is there too. Ho ho.

[Update: from the rumours dept: and some fakery. Courtney does not have a PhD for instance, and Wegman is not a member of the NAS. -W]

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This reminds me of NCSE's Project Steve in the evolution-vs-ID battlefront. When the Disco Institute tried to appeal to argument-from-authority by publishing a list of 100 people with doctorates who signed a pro-ID statement, NCSE collected signatures of a pro-evolution statement from a list of scientists named Steve (or Stephen, Stephanie, Stefan, ...) whose research is based on evolutionary theory. Currently, the list comprises 853 Steves. Since approximately 1% of the US population are named Steve (or Stephen, Stephanie, Stefan, ...), the list arguably represents over 85,000 American pro-evolution scientists.

Well, if by impartial you mean not impartial, then yes. Also, nice link to the Vance. Monckton reads like a character from a Vance novel, IMO.

someone wrote (Andrew Dessler I think) that climate s(c)epticism is a drying river...
well, from time to time, even a drying river can bring a flood ;-)

The National Post is an unapologetic right-wing rag - the Canadian newspaper version of Fox News. It doesn't surprise me that they would publish this list. I also note that they didn't bother to validate it. The fifth entry is "Timothy F. Ball, PhD, environmental consultant, former climatology professor, University of Winnipeg". Try geography professor.

One name which I recognise which would probably be obscure to most is Lance Endersbee, Emeritus Prof of Engineering at Monash Uni here in Melbourne. He self-published a book last year called "A Voyage of Discovery" in which he wove together every crackpot earth science theory going into a whole tapestry of lunacy, including expanding earth, abiotic oil, aquifers filling from the centre of the earth rather than rainfall (this is Lance's own contribution to the genre), Velikovski-influenced ideas about recent capture of the moon (eg it has only been orbiting earth for 12Ky) and so on and so forth.

My other half bought me the book to amuse/infuriate me last Xmas. On wandering into Monash Bookshop and asking "I'm after a book by this nutter..." the shop assistant answered without skipping a beat "Over there - they're selling like hot-cakes".

I don't understand how these kooks get so much media visibility when it's obvious our kooks are far more entertaining:

Reid Bryson is a strange duck.

Check out this article in the "Wisconsin Energy Cooperative"

For example:
"Almost 40 years ago, Bryson stood before the American Association for the Advancement of Science and presented a paper saying human activity could alter climate [cooling it].

'I was laughed off the platform for saying that,' he told Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News.

In the 1960s, Bryson's idea was widely considered a radical proposition."

He's referring to a symposium in 1968 organized by Good Ol' Fred Singer. The papers were published in a book in 1970. There were two other papers about anthropogenic climate change, one of them (from Mitchell) went onto be much of the basis of the "famous" 1975 NAS report and yet they supposedly "laughed" at him? Whatever! (this is in my "Global Cooling" talk . . . I include some ironic quotes from Singer, BTW.)

Another choice quote:
"Well let me give you one fact first. In the first 30 feet of the atmosphere, on the average, outward radiation from the Earth, which is what CO2 is supposed to affect, how much [of the reflected energy] is absorbed by water vapor? In the first 30 feet, 80 percent, okay?"

And this guy is supposed to be "the father of the science of modern climatology"?

In any case, a lot of standard stuff in that Interview. Recovery from the Little Ice Age. "Green" Greenland. Climate is weather. CO2 lags temperature.

[Its sad really. He has lost the plot entirely now. His stuff about "huamn volcano" was plausible at the time but, as it happened, wrong (he could have been correct, if the aerosol effect had happened to be 4* as strong, but it wasn't so he wasn't) -W]

Notable that the solar cooling names are missing (i.e. Svensmark and Calder)? I would have thought they would be among the first to be sent the offer to sign.

[Svensmark isn't a nutter. Calder isn't a scientist -W]

W: T'was my point, really. That the scientists whose results are often used (by others) as an argument against greenhouse theory won't sign the letter, isn't surprising - but speaks volumes.

Aitkin, Lawson, Moran, and Robson aren't scientists either...

I just checked the NAS site and Wegman is a member. Be careful of the rumors...

[Odd I checked too and he didn't show up -W]

By Rattus Norvegicus (not verified) on 15 Dec 2007 #permalink

From Resume of Edward Wegman
(Prepared September 2007)

What follows is an extract of all National Academy of Science(s) listings from that resume.


Appointed Chair of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, National Academy of Science, 2004

Appointed Member (Ex Officio) of the Board of Mathematical Sciences and their Applications, National Academy of Sciences, 2004

Selected as National Affiliate, National Academy of Science, 2005

# National Academy of Science/National Research Council, Washington, DC. Member of the Panel on Lethality and Vulnerability of the Technical Advisory Board to the Army Research Laboratory, 1996-2001
# National Academy of Science/National Research Council, Washington, DC. Member of the Committee on Theatre Missile Defense of the Naval Studies Board, 2000
# Member, Board of Mathematical Sciences and its Application, National Academy of Science, 2004 (Term 2003-2009)
# Chair, Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, National Academy of Science, 2004 (Term 2003-2007)

By Cymraeg llygoden (not verified) on 16 Dec 2007 #permalink

That committee is part of the National Research *Council*, which while closely associated with the NAS is not part of it (each are part of the "National Academies" along with two other units). Wegman is definitely not a member of the NAS, and the NRC doesn't appear to have members as such. The NAS math section only has 117 members, so even assuming they let statisticians in there probably aren't many of them. Somebody should fix the Wikipedia entry, BTW.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 16 Dec 2007 #permalink

Hmm, I see Wegman couldn't even keep that stuff straight. I'm not sure what the "national affiliate" reference is supposed to be since an NAS site search doesn't turn up that phrase. In any event I think if Wegman were claiming NAS membership as such he would have put it on his resume under "Society Memberships." BTW, the "Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics" is a committee of the "Board of Mathematical Sciences and its Application" (of the NRC). Wegman doesn't seem to be a member of the latter any longer even though his resume notes a term through 2009.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 16 Dec 2007 #permalink

Wait - Lubos is back in Prague? Oh hell, I'd better keep my eyes open...

On Courtney that is no rumor. His qualifications such as they are include:

DipPhil. (Cambridge), BA ( Open) and another diploma (Bath).

I take it that DipPhil, rather than standing for dippy Phil means Diploma in Philosophy which is some sort of short course. FWIW, he is also an Accredited Methodist Preacher, although who does the accrediting is a UK thing. Looks like another self promoter. Should have googled when needed.

BTW, there are lots of places including SEPP which call him doc.

I actually got in touch with Courtney to ask him about his qualifications, and he defensive but vague about them...

By Dean Morrison (not verified) on 19 Dec 2007 #permalink

I vote that we all go away and get ourselves acreddited as IPCC expert reviewers for next time. IT wouldn't be too hard, and we can laugh at the denialists as well.

Dean- good work, but what did he say? Anyone who really has a PhD would remember it, and would proudly tell you about it.

guthrie wrote:

" vote that we all go away and get ourselves acreddited as IPCC expert reviewers for next time. IT wouldn't be too hard, and we can laugh at the denialists as well."

I particularly note:

"IT wouldn't be too hard, .."

I read something that suggested the same just the other day.

How much does the IPCC need a few more inexpert (as you intimate) names added to the already long list of inclusions who appear to have little or no real experience?

Alternatively, if specialist experience is not a criteria, then I guess you and many others would indeed find it easy to get names on the list.

Does the IPCC really need to count numbers to to justify its political drift? Never mind the quality, feel the weight of numbers? Does the UN have so little faith in the scientists it claims to refer to?