More climate delusionism and questionable science

Poor Bob. Looks like no-one is taking him seriously these days, according to a recent post over at Jennifer Marohasy’s blog:

“PROMINENT scientists with long publications records, such as Bob Carter, are routinely described by the media as not being climate scientists and really not reputable scientists at all if they aren’t on the alarmist bandwagon”

On his website, Bob defines himself as a palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist and environmental scientist”. A quick search of the Web of Science database for publications shows that RM Carter has indeed had a pretty prolific career for a scientist since 1970, publishing 74 papers in scientific journals. The vast number of these are indeed focused on Bob’s background – geology and stratigraphy. But how would this qualify Bob to be a ‘climate scientist’? The vast majority of Bob’s claims of  ‘expertise’ seems to come in the form of opinion pieces, letters to newspaper editors and media relationships (warning of ‘Global Cooling‘, or giving lectures on ‘the myth of dangerous human-caused climate change’). There’s a reason no-one will take Bob Carter seriously – his ‘long publication record’ doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, and there is a complete lack of understanding or science to back up the majority of his anti climate change statements. In other words, take his opinion pieces (such as the usual crap published in ‘quadrant’ magazine) with a pinch of salt.

Speaking of other paid shills, it seems that the Brisbane Institute is trying it’s best to lose all credibility by inviting the infamous Jay Lehr to give a seminar on climate change:

The Brisbane Institute is holding a public seminar featuring Dr Jay Lehr, Science Director of the Heartland Institute, whose visit to Australia is being hosted by the Australian Climate Science Coalition.

If the Heartland Institute sounds familiar, this is the same institute that set about to muddy the waters in the Tobacco debate as funded by tobacco lobbyists (Phillip Morris), and sets up annual “International Conferences on Climate Change” to promote dubious science as funded by Exxon. Spot the paid agenda? Here’s what the Brisbane Institute has to say on Jay Lehr:

Dr Lehr is a powerful, entertaining speaker who focuses on describing the impact of advancing technologies on the local, regional, national, and global economy.  An economist and futurist, Dr Lehr combines five decades of expertise and experience in agricultural economics, agronomy, environmental science and business administration with great enthusiasm for the future.

He has spoken to hundreds of groups, seminars, major news networks, radio programs and has written nineteen books to dispel what he believes are the unfair and inaccurate claims made by environmental advocacy groups.  Dr Lehr is an economist and environmental scientist who believes that the course of action provided under the CPRS Bill is a folly, which Australians should reject.

Doing a little digging, it seems that Jay Lehr is a self proclaimed internationally renowned speaker, scientist and author who has published over 900 journal articles. 900! Seem incredible? Too incredible to be true – at best I could find 25 (16 as first author). Most of these are focused upon mainly on ground and waste water, and several of them appear to be in questionable journals (Texas Banking, Proceedings of the National Waste Processing Conference amongst other highlights). Unsurprisingly, none of them are related to climate change. He’s also published a few books of little relevance (my favourite is “Fit, Firm & 50 A Fitness Guide for Men and Women over 40“).

Lehr proclaims to have “…on 36 occasions has testified in congress to explain the realities of environmental issues as it related to pending legislation”. What you won’t find on his webpage is that Lehr is actually a convicted felon in the US, imprisoned by the US government and fired from several positions / associations for defrauding the EPA! So exactly where is the evidence that Lehr is either an economist or environmental scientist, or that his opinion on climate change is worth a damn? Either way, i’m sure The Australian newspaper will have a field day given their complete lack of objectivity and balanced reporting (read here for more). I’ll sign off this post with words from my colleague John Quiggin, who untill a few weeks ago was an active supporter of the Brisbane Institute:

Even judged against the low bar set by climate delusionists in general, the Heartland Institute is a disgrace. Its most notable achievement was the publication of a list purporting to be of scientists whose work contradicted mainstream climate science. Such lists, common in the delusionists attempts to deny that they are pushing fringe science, usually contain large numbers of name with few or no relevant qualifications. The Heartland list was different. It contained the names of lots of genuine scientists, but misrepresented their position. Even when scientists protested against this misrepresentation, Heartland refused to take their names off the list on the basis that they (a bunch of rightwing hacks with no qualifications whatsoever) were better placed to interpret the results of scientific research than were the authors of that research.

The Heartland Institute has no legitimate place in public life and anyone who works for or with it brands themselves as a charlatan. It is to be hoped that the Brisbane Institute’s decision to promote Heartland’s lies is the result of a negligent failure to check on the credibility of their speakers rather than a decision to legitimise this body.