in a bulk mailing to tens of thousands of U.S. scientists. In addition
to the petition, the mailing included what appeared to be a reprint of a
scientific paper. Authored by OISM's Arthur B. Robinson, Sallie L. Baliunas, Willie Soon, and Zachary W. Robinson,
the paper was titled "Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric
Carbon Dioxide" and was printed in the same typeface and format as the
official Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Also included was a reprint of a December 1997, Wall Street Journal editorial, "Science Has Spoken: Global Warming Is a Myth", by Arthur and Zachary Robinson. A cover note signed "Frederick Seitz/Past
President, National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A./President Emeritus,
Rockefeller University", may have given some persons the impression that
Robinson's paper was an official publication of the academy's
peer-reviewed journal. The blatant editorializing in the pseudopaper,
however, was uncharacteristic of scientific papers.
In addition to the bulk mailing, OISM's website enables people to add
their names to the petition over the Internet, and by June 2000 it
claimed to have recruited more than 19,000 scientists. The institute is
so lax about screening names, however, that virtually anyone can sign,
including for example Al Caruba, a pesticide-industry PR man and conservative ideologue who runs his own website called the "National Anxiety Center."
Caruba has no scientific credentials whatsoever, but in addition to
signing the Oregon Petition he has editorialized on his own website
against the science of global warming, calling it the "biggest hoax of
the decade," a "genocidal" campaign by environmentalists who believe
that "humanity must be destroyed to 'Save the Earth.' . . . There is no
global warming, but there is a global political agenda, comparable to
the failed Soviet Union experiment with Communism, being orchestrated by
the United Nations, supported by its many Green NGOs, to impose
international treaties of every description that would turn the
institution into a global government, superceding the sovereignty of
every nation in the world."
When questioned in 1998, OISM's Arthur Robinson admitted that only
2,100 signers of the Oregon Petition had identified themselves as
physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, or meteorologists, "and of
those the greatest number are physicists."