From a May 18 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard:
The names of over 31,000 American scientists that reject the theory of anthropogenic global warming are to be revealed on Monday.
Although this will occur at the National Press Club in Washington, DC., it seems a metaphysical certitude media will completely ignore the event.
Roughly the same level of metaphysical certainty, we'd guess, that Sheppard won't tell his readers about the agenda of the group pushing the petition, the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.
After reprinting the OISM's press release verbatim, Sheppard does take a stab at explaining the petition's background (reflecting his own biases, of course):
Folks should recall that this petition was first circulated in 1999 garnering more than 19,000 signatures. The alarmists discounted its significance because there were some duplicate names, and some of the signatories apparently weren't scientists -- or so the story goes.
With over 31,000 now on the list, all with degrees in science -- including 9,000 PhDs! -- what might this do to the nonsensical premise of there being a consensus concerning this issue?
SourceWatch, meanwhile, offers up a little more background on the OISM's petition than Sheppard seems to want to share with his readers:
The Oregon Petition, sponsored by the OISM, was circulated in April 1998 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.
Robinson's paper claimed to show that pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is actually a good thing. "As atmospheric CO2 increases," it stated, "plant growth rates increase. Also, leaves lose less water as CO2 increases, so that plants are able to grow under drier conditions. Animal life, which depends upon plant life for food, increases proportionally." As a result, Robinson concluded, industrial activities can be counted on to encourage greater species biodiversity and a greener planet[.]
In reality, neither Robinson's paper nor OISM's petition drive had anything to do with the National Academy of Sciences, which first heard about the petition when its members began calling to ask if the NAS had taken a stand against the Kyoto treaty. Robinson was not even a climate scientist. He was a biochemist with no published research in the field of climatology, and his paper had never been subjected to peer review by anyone with training in the field. In fact, the paper had never been accepted for publication anywhere, let alone in the NAS Proceedings. It was self-published by Robinson, who did the typesetting himself on his own computer. (It was subsequently published as a "review" in Climate Research, which contributed to an editorial scandal at that publication.)
None of the coauthors of "Environmental Effects of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide" had any more standing than Robinson himself as a climate change researcher. They included Robinson's 22-year-old son, Zachary, along with astrophysicists Sallie L. Baliunas and Willie Soon.
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." This grouping of fields concealed the fact that only a few dozen, at most, of the signatories were drawn from the core disciplines of climate science - such as meteorology, oceanography, and glaciology - and almost none were climate specialists. The names of the signers are available on the OISM's website, but without listing any institutional affiliations or even city of residence, making it very difficult to determine their credentials or even whether they exist at all.
Gee, sounds like the OISM has a certain agenda -- the same one Sheppard has. That increases the metaphysical certitude that Sheppard won't discuss the full truth about this petition.