I am really sick and tired of the same climate deniers getting media space over and over again for the same tiring rants against science. There are a very small number of these people compared to the number of scientists who are on record that human-induced climate change is real and a serious threat to society.
Once again our local newspaper, The Oregonian, has published a guest column by our local climate change denier, Gordon J. Fulks, Ph.D. Dr. Fulks lives near Portland, and has a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago. Is it because he has a Ph.D. in physics that we should believe that he must be an expert on climate? His column lets us know that human-induced climate change is a big hoax being perpetrated by grant-greedy scientists and government propagandists.
And just who is the esteemed Dr. Fulks? Here's a bio for him posted on the web pages of the Rubicon Society of Lane County (Oregon), a self-proclaimed Republican organization that appears to have meetings and speakers at a Chinese restaurant in Springfield, Oregon. But I digress; Dr. Fulks is a physicist who studied "solar modulation of galactic cosmic rays." Also, according to the bio, he has "worked for a think-tank in Santa Barbara, California, primarily 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 US Department of State designing new embassies and working at the US Embassy in Moscow. More recently, he has consulted for various business and government clients seeking to better understand electromagnetic phenomena, related scientific scares, and the concept of acceptable risk."
I googled Dr. Fulks today. I looked through the first dozen pages or so of >8,000 search results, and they all seemed to be his opinion pieces about the hoax of climate change, or links to statements and petitions he's signed about the same. I did find a fascinating site about climate change deniers in which the author researched a large number of these people to try to figure out who they are. He used the google scholar search engine to find published scientific articles by these folks; he found 9 published articles by Dr. Falks, all from the late 1970's and early 1980's, non of which are about climate.
I then did a quick search in the archives of The Oregonian for the past three years and found that they have published the same kind of "guest column" or op-ed about the "hoax" of climate change on February 25, 2008, August 4, 2009, and May 2, 2010. The most recent is today's column. One has to wonder why the Oregonian keeps publishing this guy's stuff without any explanation of who he is and why he seems to be their expert denier.
And what does the good Dr. Fulks say in his column? Well, although he claims that the field of climate change isn't science, he doesn't offer up any science himself. He uses generalizations about earth science and then launches into personal invective against specific individuals in the climate change arena. "Global warming is about politics, not legitimate science" Dr. Falks declares. Unfortunately, this statement is from a man whose science credentials are not in the climate sciences, and who has apparently not done any noteworthy science (i.e. published) for almost the past 30 years. His bio says that he is a consultant to business - I can only wonder who, if any, his clients are.
Perhaps The Oregonian thinks this is balanced journalism. I say it's bullshit, pure and simple. What I don't understand is why people who deny human-induced climate change do so.