Archive for November, 2017

Fake Survey: Is the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” a Hoax?

November 19, 2017

The “Second Notice” released last week, with 15,364 scientist signatories from 184 countries, might be a hoax or a clever student prank.

What is notable and peculiar about the list of Signatories and the follow up list of Endorsers is the omissions.  No Michael Mann.  No Gavin Schmidt.  No Naomi Oreskes.  No Tim Flannery.  No Lewandowski.

James Hansen is the only eminent name I recognise.

Following on from Jo Nova’s excellent post on the recent publicity surrounding the release by the Alliance of World Scientists of their second warning to humanity, I decided to have a closer look at the AWS warning article and its 15,362 signatories, their backgrounds, and their motivation- and also, how the survey was conducted and how the Signatories and Endorsements were collected.

What I found strange is that along with the hundreds of scientists of all descriptions are theologians, philosophers, citizen scientists, renewable energy advocates, artists, musicians, photographers, a high school student- and a homeopath.

I then turned to the Endorsers, those who agree with the warning article but weren’t amongst the original Signatories.

Along with the bona fide scientists, and assorted activists, photographers, and philosophers, we find 1 wholesaler (educated in “the school of life”); 1 elementary (primary) school teacher; and 2 naturopaths.

As with the Signatories to the article, several of these later supporters entered themselves multiple times e.g. Harvey Quamme, research scientist, entered himself 3 times; David Wood, molecular genetics, entered himself twice- there were more like him.  How many more?

So I began to wonder- how well are the respondents checked, and how difficult is it to add your name- or someone elses’s?

The answer to both is: not at all.

All you have to do, dear friends, is go to their home page:

Home page

Note the invitation to scientists “from any scientific discipline (e.g. ecology, medicine, economics, etc.)”

And the stipulation that “scientists only” are invited to Endorse the article.

Then click on “Endorse the Article”, and enter your details, not forgetting to confirm you are not a robot, then click save.  Your name will be added to the list of those who endorse the article.

Create Endorser

(Yes, I entered Saint Nicholas.)

Just really who are these Signatories and Endorsers? I’ve never heard of any of them (apart from James Hansen).  Are they real scientists (or homeopaths)?  Or are many of them completely fictitious, but with many real concerned individuals duped into adding their names?  And have real individuals been entered without their knowledge or consent?  How would anyone know?

It is possible to copy the lists of names into a Word document and do a word search to find how many times a particular profession is mentioned.  But look more closely at the names in various professions.  In the list of original Signatories, the names appear to be credible.  However in the list of Endorsers are some very interesting names.

The article has been endorsed by some pretty heavy hitters: amongst those who include “physics” in their entry are Albert Einstein and Ernest Rutherford.   Musicians include John Lennon and Elvis Presley.  Florence Nightingale is a nurse.  Luke Skywalker is an astronaut.  Indiana Jones is an archaeologist.

And note the name of the first respondent on the list of Endorsers.

Endorsement aaskan

Aaskan, Yushal Raseev.  Get it?

If this was a real survey, why would that entry have been left there for all to see for many days?

Check for yourself- there are sure to be many more to find.

Has this been a well-crafted, gigantic student prank?  Have we all been fooled by this farce?

The “Second Notice” of the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity is worthless.  At the very least the survey software- at least for the Endorsing the article, and probably for the original Signatories as well-  has no security system for preventing or checking fake entries, so no one really knows if the names are real or bogus, or how many legitimate scientists really do support the article.

We know how climate change promoters ever since Hansen in 1987 have used cunning stratagems (remember “Mike’s Nature trick”?) to fool people and convince them that global warming is real.  Perhaps the whole climate change scare is a clever student prank from the 1980s that developed into a meme with a life of its own and grew and grew- the biggest practical joke ever perpetrated.

Perhaps, but it is clear that the Viewpoint article in the journal Bioscience entitled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: a second notice” by Ripple et al. (2017) has no credibility and must be withdrawn.

It is a joke.