Posts Tagged ‘Nickolas Drapela’

Gordon Fulks and an anatomy of denial.

Fulks holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago, Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research and although a minor commentator and ‘skeptical scientist’ of AGW he does follow a certain mode of operation.

Fulks writes opinion pieces for newspapers although they tend to be restricted to Oregon. They follow a set pattern

President Barack Obama’s “climate change” speech last month reiterated his assertions that the earth is warming dangerously, that human emissions of carbon dioxide are clearly responsible and that virtually all scientists agree with him. As 115 scientists from around the world told him several years ago: “With all due respect, Mr. President, that is not true.” One was Nobel laureate in physics Ivar Giaever, a Democrat. The president now calls those who dispute his hysteria the “Flat Earth Society.”

The conspiracy theory that AGW is a hoax or at the least a political vehicle is borne out in Fulks’ opinion pieces, and that the ‘consensus’ is challenged by hundreds of scientists- which includes himself.

Because the president knows that Congress and the American people will never support carbon reduction schemes that seriously harm our economy, he is pursuing a strategy involving rhetorical subterfuges while his Environmental Protection Agency quietly moves forward with regulations.

Consequently, 11 of us filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court recently asking it to overturn the EPA’s “endangerment finding” on carbon dioxide. This is the first time that the high court has been asked to consider purely scientific arguments rather than, for instance, the EPA’s failure to follow the recommendations of its inspector general.

We prove that the EPA’s “three lines of evidence” are fatally flawed, based on multiple robust data sets, not on “expert opinion” from those paid to support the president’s position. Honest data show no unusual warming in the latter half of the 20th century and none at all for the past 15 years, despite a slow increase in carbon dioxide. The “hot spot” that must exist in the tropical troposphere for the theory to work is missing. And the climate models, for which the taxpayer has paid so dearly, are epic failures. Without global warming, carbon dioxide is clearly “not guilty.” And hence the hysteria about extreme weather caused by carbon dioxide is likewise nonsense.

An Amicus Brief- ‘friend to the court’ is  information presented by experts to the court- in this case presented to challenge the EPA’s move to define CO2 as a pollutant. The amicus brief is available via the Heartland Institute– perhaps no surprise there and features ‘experts’ who are also Heartland Institute ‘experts’ including Joseph S. D’Aleo, Dr. Timothy F. Ball, Dr. Don J. Easterbrook et al. The legal challenge is a presentation of the usual skeptical arguments. No Hot Spot, AGW based on computer models that fail and current warming is not unprecedented.

As an expert ‘friend to the court’ Gordon Fulks is presenting himself as an expert in climate science. A search reveals that he has written two peered reviewed papers – his PhD thesis [1975] and Techniques for Remote Sensing of Ionospheric Electron Density from a Spacecraft- 1981 – as well as data from prior to 1981. There is a truism that university students upon seeking work are already out of date such is the speed that new information enters science, with a 30 year gap between research into atmospheric physics and today’s climate science it seems improbable that Gordon Fulks is an expert in climate science.

Gordon Fulks presents his full expert bio via his ‘expert’ status with the Oregon thinktank Cascade Policy Institute – a right leaning, free market lobby group with wider funding links to the right wing network of thinktanks. Gordon Fulks bio is in full here– some key sentences:

Dr. Fulks’s background is similar to that of scientists promoting AGW with notable exceptions: he has never accepted ANY money to promote or oppose any theory because that is unethical, and he is considerably more experienced than most who have.

If he has not been doing research and writing peer-reviewed papers as scientists promoting AGW what has he been doing?

Dr. Fulks later worked for a think-tank in Santa Barbara, California, supporting the US Defense Nuclear Agency on nuclear weapon effects. When that agency faded away at the end of the Cold War, he supported the Department of State designing new embassies and working at the US Embassy in Moscow. More recently, he has consulted for business and government clients seeking to better understand electromagnetic phenomena, related scientific scares, and the concept of ‘acceptable risk.’

30 years on from doing research he now is a consultant-as well as writing op-eds for [at least two] regional newspapers. A background very dis-similar to research climate scientists. Part of his consultancy is presentations to ‘thinktanks’ including this piece for the Science and Public Policy Institute which is a dedicated climate denial group that draws frequently on the wisdom of Lord Monckton. In Fulks’ – Environmental Issues: What’s Real and What’s nonsense [pdf] Feb 2011- he presents a gish gallop of themes that condemn environmentalists for bio fuels and palm plantations and the destruction of rain forest, banning DDT and causing 40 million deaths [DDT became ineffective- was banned in developed countries but is used for malaria control to this day but let’s not allow facts to spoil a good polemic]- ozone depletion was natural and nothing to do with CFCs as indeed was acid rain.  All of which is a preamble to –

 brings us to the greatest environmental and scientific scam of our time: Global Warming.

With a brief mention to the letter signed by over a hundred scientists [including himself], presented as an advert by the Cato Institute to tell President  Obama how wrong he is about AGW the argument against AGW grinds to halt with ‘climategate emails’ and renewable energy.

More important, Climategate revealed that some scientists have been cheating in many different ways,
usually mixing a little truth with a whole lot of rubbish.
Because a detailed analysis is beyond what we have the time for today let me just say: Virtually
EVERYTHING Global Warming Alarmists say is wrong,  and NO ‘climate crisis’ exists.
Attempts to save the planet with bio-fuels, wind power, and solar cells are themselves substantial

To fully understand the expert opinion and detail of why Gordon Fulks believes AGW to be a hoax and scam requires reading a piece he did for the Australian No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics Party during the August 2013 election season. After 20 or so classic denial talking points [including those cheating scientists exposed by ‘climategate’] he ends with-

Who denies that many prominent scientists oppose climate hysteria?

Gordon Fulks PhD who apparently takes no money for his opinion despite representing a couple of ‘thinktanks’ as an expert always leaves his email address with each publication- just in case, perhaps if one is being cynical, to able to accept any offer to get paid as an expert rather than doing it for free. Gordon Fulks has done little with his astrophysics PhD but is does notionally allow him to call himself an astrophysicist which he does on occasion.  Science has no political colour but scientists do and for conservative rightwing the threats and solutions to AGW can be seen as threats to the free market but the denial movement also offers a lucrative income for retired scientists especially if they can cite a PhD in a climate related subject.

The market for skeptical scientists to write op-eds, do speaking tours to the converted and making television appearances is crowded with several non scientists acting as a counter-point to Al Gore. However, Gordon Fulks PhD Astrophysicist has directed his passion in opposition to alternative energy, restrictions of the free market and the scam of AGW to defend those he thinks are victims of the dogma of Climate Change [Fulks is never shy in condemning the hysteria, hoax, religion or its high priests of ACC, especially the lying cheating ones featured in Climategate]

In an op-ed he “criticized Governor Kulongoski for forcing State Climatologist George Taylor out of his position at Oregon State University because he expressed doubts about Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)” although the facts differed in reality with George Taylor being the State University Climatologist, and the whole issue being a lot murkier. In June 2012 he championed chemist Nickolas Drapela, PhD who lost his job as a lecturer at Oregon State University because of his bizarre conspiracy laden views of AGW which he put into a slide show 4 years earlier [ yes it features Nazis and the new world order]. Despite his AGW denial his rolling contract lasted ten years and along with around 100 temporary contract staff he was laid off. The subplot appears to be the need of OSU as a research university to seek funding for research rather than lecturers.