The Climate Denialist Distraction Brought Upon Us: “500 Scientists” Petitioning the UN

Biased, cherry-picking, inaccurate and misleading. These words were used by the non-partisan organisation Climate Feedback that have done a fact check (Scott Johnson Oct. 4 2019) of a phony petition stating in its title: “There is no climate emergency”.

The following is a reply to that petition by Swedish author Maths Nilsson. Nilsson is a chemist with about 25 years of experience from pharmaceutical Research and Development. Do read it and if you like it, please share it to counter the fake news, alt truths as proposed by the climate denialist lobby.

We Don’t Have Time
Oct 23 · 6 min read
Photographer: Maths Nilsson

The 500 Scientists Petitioning the UN

A letter was recently sent to the UN in which the authors claimed that there is no climate crisis, as opposed to the findings presented in the latest report by the panel of the IPCC. The information that this was under way had already trickled out, and those who read the signatures noted that very few climate scientists were involved. .

What is convenient about this kind of petition is that you don’t have to present any facts, but rather, can make sweeping statements which consist solely of opinion without any scientific support whatsoever. I wrote about this earlier when the preliminary information first leaked.

The petition contained 500 signatures, but the actual letter was signed by the “Ambassadors for the European Climate Petition” mentioned below. What they say is — de facto — that the experts at the IPCC are wrong and so, there must be some kind of giant conspiracy behind it all.

I guess I am of the opinion that you may do whatever you please with the information outlined below; in any case, there is material enough to make up a conspiracy all of your own. If that’s what you want.

“Ambassadors for the Climate Petition”:

-Retired Professor Guus Berkout (Geophysics): Dutch engineer who has worked for Shell. Founded the Climate Intelligence Foundation (CLINTEL) in 2019, funded by the multimillionaire Niek Sandmann (real estate). Has not been involved in climate research.

-Richard Lindzen, nowadays Retired Professor at Harvard. Has published various articles via the Cato Institute, funded by the fossil industry, and is registered as an “Expert” with various conservative think tanks that are promoting a free market and fewer regulations. Lindzen has billed gas- and petroleum companies $2 500 a day for consulting. In a lawsuit in 2018 he admitted that since 2013 he had been paid $25 000 yearly by the Cato Institute as well as received $30 000 from Peabody Coal. He is the only “ambassador” who has actually published scientific articles related to climate (no, I neither believe nor say that he has cheated in his publications).

-Retired Professor Reynald du Berger, (Geophysics). Doesn’t seem to have published anything about climate research.

-Retired Professor Ingemar Nordin (Philosophy of Science). Well-known within Swedish climate circles and a frequent writer at Klimatupplysningen (Climate Enlightenment). Has not even been close to working with climate research.

-Terry Dunleavy, Journalist and former employee of the wine industry. He started the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition to inform people about the inadequacies of current climate science [sic]. Has not been close to any climate research whatsoever.

-Jim O’Brien, Energy Consultant from Ireland. Has not even been close to publicizing anything related to climate research as far as I know.

-Viv Forbes, Geologist from Australia who has worked for a number of coal companies. He is a board member at Carbon Sense Coalition, which aims to “defend the role of carbon on earth and in the atmosphere.” Has never been engaged in climate research.

-Professor Albert Prestininzi, Geologist from Italy, who, according to his CV, does not seem to have published any articles about climate research (his specialized field appears to be landslides and such like).

-Retired professor Jeffrey Foss (“Philosopher of Science”), has signed Stopping Socialism. Climate research does not seem to have been his ‘thing’.

-Professor Benoît Rittaud (Mathematics), France, does not seem to have published any scientific material about climate, but he has written a book titled Le mythe climatique in 2010.

- Morten Jødal, Biologist from Norway and member of Klimatrealistene (Climate Realists) — a group similar to the Swedish Klimatsans/Klimatupplysningen (Climate Sense/Climate Enlightenment). Does not seem to have been involved in any climate research, but has pursued other fields within environmental studies.

-Emeritus Professor Fritz Vahrenholt (Chemistry), German politician who has been on the board of Shell, CEO in power companies. Does not seem to have published anything related to climate research.

-Rob Lemeire Belgium. Couldn’t find any information about him. [1/10: was given this link, he calls himself an ‘Energy Specialist’ but does not seem to have worked with climate research either, though I have not looked too closely.].

-Christopher Monckton, trained as a Journalist, but has lectured and argued so vigorously that he is now considered an expert by many conservative think tanks. Has not published any scientific articles in any well-known peer-reviewed journal however, in a small Chinese journal he has co-authored an article which has been thoroughly criticized. Deals with facts in an offhand manner, which may be seen in these two films: part 1 and part 2.

Swedish signatories:

These individuals are probably well-known to people who have taken part in the Swedish climate debate for a while. There is no plentitude of climate related scientific articles published by them. Admittedly, Hans Jelbrink is a meteorologist, but he does not believe in the greenhouse effect, nor does Claes Johnson (who does not believe in Einstein or modern Quantum Physics either). I am not qualified to refute this, but it is an extreme opinion even within this group and not backed up by Lennart Bengtsson (thus not a signatory) who has co-authored an article with Cederlöf, if I remember correctly. Stilbs has also written a post at Klimatupplysningen where he rejects the idea.

And this seems to be the state of things in the other countries as well.

I have written about Lars Bern, Gösta Pettersson and Elsa Widding.

In principle, it is all about “appeal to authority”, that we should believe in them on account of their titles (as if people doing scientific research within the field of climate are uneducated…). And I already know that it works.

We’re making a clinical study of a new drug: raise your hand if you think that the people mentioned above should assess the findings. Or why not make a web survey? Because that’s how it seems to be done in these days.

[7/10: Climate scientist have made a fact check of the petition statements on Climate Feedback]


A good tool for debunking the biased and twisted arguments of climate skepitcs and denialist go to Skeptical Science: kepticalscience.com/ and skepticalscience.com/argument.php.

Facts about Maths Nilsson

Maths Nilsson is an author and chemist with about 25 years of experience from pharmaceutical Research and Development. He is also the author of Tvivel -en bok om faktaförvirring (Doubts -a book on confusion of facts) and four novels.
You can follow his work on mathsnilsson.se/

Facts about Climate Feedback

Climate Feedback is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to science education. Their reviews are crowdsourced directly from a community of scientists with relevant expertise. They strive to explain whether and why information is or is not consistent with the science and help readers know which news to trust. Follow Climate Feedback on climatefeedback.org

Facts about We Don’t Have Time

We Don’t Have Time is the world’s largest social network for climate action. Together we are the solution to the climate crisis.
But we are running out of time.
Join us: www.wedonthavetime.org.

We Don't Have Time

We Don't Have Time's goal is to create a social media platform for the future, focused on the biggest challenge of our times - the climate. Through our platform, millions of members will unite to put pressure on leaders , politicians and corporations to act for the climate.

We Don’t Have Time

Written by

We Don’t Have Time is a social network for climate action. Together we are the solution to the climate crisis.

We Don't Have Time

We Don't Have Time's goal is to create a social media platform for the future, focused on the biggest challenge of our times - the climate. Through our platform, millions of members will unite to put pressure on leaders , politicians and corporations to act for the climate.

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