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‘Climate emergency’ declaration takes heat for fictional ‘world scientists’

B– The Washington Times – Monday, November 11, 2019

There was something goofy about the petition signed by 11,258 “world scientists” from 153 countries declaring a “climate emergency.”

One “scientist” was named “Mouse, Micky” from the “Micky Mouse Institute for the Blind, Nambia.” Another was Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts. And then there was “Araminta Aardvark” from the fictional University of Neasden.

Among the “Alliance of World Scientists” members who were apparently real people, many identified themselves as teachers, students, administrators, statisticians, economists, technicians, therapists, doctors, psychologists — not climate scientists.

As it turns out, however, being recognized as a “world scientist” may be easier than you think.

The alliance is a project of the Oregon State University College of Forestry, which invited “all scientists” to add their names to the four-page statement, “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency,” by clicking on a green “sign the article” button on the college’s website.

Following a round of fact-checking in the press and on social media, the college removed 34 names, including “Micky,” “Araminta” and “Dumbledore,” bringing the total to 11,224 signatories on the Nov. 5 article published in the journal BioScience, part of the Oxford University Press.

“During our original signature screening process, we attempted to remove all signatures that appeared to be invalid,” said a post on the OSU website. “Although, a few invalid ones were missed. We are thoroughly reviewing the full list at the moment and will make further updates if required.”

That said, the less-than-scientific signature-gathering process and ensuing media mockery did no favors for the climate-crisis movement, nor the major media outlets that trumpeted the story.

“More than 11,000 scientists from around the world declare a ‘climate emergency,’” said the headline in the Washington Post.

Said the CNN article: “11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering’ caused by climate change.”

“Climate crisis: 11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering,’” said the [U.K.] Guardian, while ABC News reported, “11,000 scientists sign declaration of global climate emergency.”

Ezra Levant, a conservative commentator on Canada’s Rebel News, said the alliance is “not a thing. It’s a one-page homemade website set up by some guy in the forestry department at Oregon State University.”

He noted that one signer identified his speciality as “BS Detection and Analysis.”

“I’m sorry, but that’s a joke,” Mr. Levant said on his Thursday show. “But it sure was important for the propaganda to say there were 11,000 scientists signing this. I wonder, are there even 11,000 climate scientists in the world? Maybe, come to think of it, because what a great way to get government grants.”

No Michael Mann

Climate Depot’s Marc Morano noted that the alliance posted a similar declaration in 2017, and that both were spearheaded by OSU forestry professor William J. Ripple, but that the previous petition was signed by 15,000 “world scientists.”

“Here we go again: The same organization is attempting to recycle their non-scientific commentary about a ‘climate emergency’ with a heavy dose of grad students, social workers, psychologists, veterinarians, librarians, and of course, Disney’s famous mouse character,” said Mr. Morano in an email.

Cracked Breitbart’s James Delingpole: “Now they’re down to just 11,000. Presumably, this time, Professors Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, the Little Mermaid, the Seven Dwarfs and the 101 Dalmatians just weren’t available.”

Australian climate blogger JoNova pointed out that none of the world’s leading climate scientists, including Penn State’s Michael Mann and NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, signed the article.

“Strangely, the world’s about to die and yet none of the top climate scientists are willing to put their name on the list,” she said.

The biggest kahuna on the article may be Stanford biology professor Paul Ehrlich, author of the 1968 doomsday book, “The Population Bomb,” which may explain the petition’s focus on reducing world population to combat climate change. He was also listed as a “contributing reviewer.”

In his bestselling book, Mr. Ehrlich predicted that “hundreds of millions of people will starve to death” in the 1970s due to global overpopulation. He famously lost a 1980 bet with economist Julian Simon over whether commodity prices would rise or fall in the next decade, with Mr. Ehrlich predicting they would rise due to scarcity.

“How fitting if he is involved in the ‘climate emergency,’ since he was the inventor of the population emergency,” said Mr. Morano.

The Washington Times has reached out to Mr. Ehrlich, Mr. Ripple and Oregon State for comment.

The article declared that “the planet Earth is facing a climate emergency” and recommended eliminating fossil-fuel use; increasing forestation; eating more plant-based foods and less meat; lowering fertility rates, and curtailing economic growth.

“Our goals need to shift from GDP growth and the pursuit of affluence toward sustaining ecosystems and improving human well-being by prioritizing basic needs and reducing inequality,” said the alliance.

Mr. Morano described the piece as “a political activist ‘statement’ designed to lobby for ‘social and economic justice’ and ‘a sustainable and equitable future.’”

“Despite the obvious agenda and flaws of this declaration, the media promoted it as expected,” he added.