Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fun With The Manhattan Declaration, or: Who The Heck is Robert Murray?

Tom Harris, once of the Friends of Science, then of the NRSP, now of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), has published a list of

... individuals, all well-trained in science and technology or climate change-related economics and policy...endorsing the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change.

The Manhattan Declaration itself declares that:

...there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity have in the past, are now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change.

Others will, no doubt, take a more thorough look at the list entries. For the most part they seem the same old gang of cranks, old farts, and fakes that typically turn up on this kind of thing. However, while skimming it, I found a couple of interesting and, as far as I can tell, new names. For example:

Robert E. Murray, PE, B. Eng. (mining engineering, West Virginia University), AMP (Harvard University); Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Murray Energy Corporation and Subsidiary Companies, Pepper Pike, Ohio, U.S.A.

Robert E. Murray is a mining mogul, Republican backer, and outspoken critic of AGW theory. Among his mines is the Crandall canyon mine, which collapsed last summer, trapping and killing six miners. While waiting for news of the six, he engaged in a long, meandering defence of his mining operation which included a tirade against the global warming "crusade" that threatened his business.

During an earlier career as a coal-mining executive for the North American Coal Corporation, Murray was allegedly visited by a "tiny, talking squirrel", which instructed him to go into business for himself. (To be fair, wiki notes that this story is "dubious")

Another name on the list is:

Robert Edward Murray, B Eng. (mining engineering, West Virginia University), MBA (Ohio State University), Vice President, Business Development and External Affairs, Murray Energy Corporation and Subsidiary Companies, Pepper Pike, Ohio, U.S.A.

This is either one of Robert E. Murray's three adult children, or he replaced his middle initial with his full name and signed the decalaration a second time, which would be cheating.

And then there's:

Ryan M. Murray, B Eng. (mining engineering, West Virginia University), MBA (Ohio State University); Vice President, Operations, Murray Energy Corporation and Subsidiary Companies, Alledonia, Ohio, U.S.A."

As far as I can tell, Ryan Murray is pretty clearly one of the adult children of Robert E.

Furthermore, in a supplementary list of "Citizen Endorsers" of the declaration ("non-qualified", one would presume), you find someone who is either Robert E.s wife (given as Brenda Lou Moore in wiki) or an adult daughter:

Brenda L. Murray, Consultant, Murray Energy Corporation and Subsidiary Companies, Pepper Pike, Ohio, U.S.A.

Nice to see that the whole family is involved, but this smacks of Sexism. What makes a lady mining consultant less qualified to have an opinion on the science of climate change than a couple of male Vice-Presidents of the same mining company?

Especially when one of the other "qualified signatories" on Harris' list is a water witch?


Ti-Guy said...

Check your links, BCL. What you're discussing isn't found at you're 6th link...


...It's found here: http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=62&Itemid=1

But I can see the confusion. There were so many Murrays and Murray Energy Corporations that anyone's eyes would start swimming after examining all that.

bigcitylib said...

Thanks. Fixed.

John Cross said...

Interesting post. I got me thinking and I took a look through the list of names. One thing jumped out at me. Joe Bastardi was listed (no surprise he is a well known denialist), but there was a Matthew Bastardi as well.

I checked online and Bastardi is not a common name (listed as the 84,071th most common name or something like that) so there can only be a handfew.

I then googled Matthew Bastardi and didn't find much, but if you look for Matt Bastardi you find the post linked below where there is a Matt Bastardi who talks about his brother " my brother is a prominent meteorologist specializing in long range forecasting- he goes nuts on the global warming


So is Matthew Bastardi related to Joe? Seems likely although he does not seem to be working in a meteorological field. Anyway, take that for what its worth - just another data point (and a way for me to pass lunch hour).


bigcitylib said...

Thanks, John, that might be worth a brief post.

I remember when I signed the Oregon petition. Once I'd convinced them I was a real scientist they were willing to send me petitioncards to pass out to all my scientist friends.

This one you can add your name to on-line, so Bastardi probably just emailed his bro.

Tom Harris said...

Dumb posts as usual from this Blog:

1 - I have never been with the Friends of Science.

2 - endorsers were divided based on their credentials, not gender. If they had a degree n a related field, they made the appropriate list; if they didn't, they didn't.

3 - That the Murray family had a number of endorsers is fine. What would you have me do, exclude them? The endorsement was open to anyone, anywhere.

4 - the two Bastardis are father and son, both meteorologists.

Why do you want to disenfranchise certain interested citizens from expressing their views?

Finally, I find it interesting to see bigcitylib admiting to lying to the Oregon Petition organizers. Why then should we trust him on any thing else. Lying, or, as DeSmogBlog admits doing, multiple voting on polls using computer tricks is sadly all too typical of those opposing us. But then, devoid of good science arguments to use again us, I guess it is not surprising they resort to dirty tricks.

Tom Harris


Tom Harris said...

Oh, and BTW, another goof in these assertions from our reliable friend bigcitylib is that he says, without any inside knowledge of the facts (another tactic typical of our opponents): "This one (the declaration) you can add your name to on-line".

No, you can apply to add your name on line. I drop out ones that do not check out, although, with hundreds of names already in and over 100 new ones in the past day alone, occasionally I may upload one that isn't bona fide. But there again, this highlights the dirty tricks mind set of our opponents.

bigcitylib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bigcitylib said...

Thanks, Tom. I will correct the Bastardi information.

Wanna bet I can get by your filtering system?

Also, you might answer why a couple of male coal kings get to be "qualified endorsers" and a female coal industry "consultant" does not.

What subtle distinction am I missing?

Tom Harris said...

The "male coal kings" have degrees in engineering; the "female coal industry "consultant"" is not known to have degrees at all. For all I know she could be a HR specialist.

John Cross said...

Hi Tom: thanks for the information but it kind of makes my point. There seems to be a lot of family connections in the list. While there is nothing wrong with this it does seem unusual. Are the Idso's also represented on the list?


bigcitylib said...

So, Tom, I've got a degree in philosophy. Will that get me onto the "qualified" list or the "citizens" list? If it helps, I wrote about Wittgenstein.

(Philosophy is about as close to Climatology as Engineering)

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I'm not sure what happened with all the posts in Chinese at the end there, but anyway...

Tom Harris comes right out and says: "The endorsement was open to anyone, anywhere" and "Why do you want to disenfranchise certain interested citizens from expressing their views?"

No, Tom, the general public are having no trouble expressing their views on climate change. The issue is to distinguish the general public from qualified climate scientists. Most of the futile discussion over "my list is longer than your list" suffers from a lot of fog about what we are trying to count: is it signatures from the general public, or is it qualified experts? The views of the general public are best captured by well-crafted opinion research (but not by 'push polls' with loaded questions.) Here, we find a thin majority of Americans accept the reality of AGW. The public is far behind the scientists. Another way to frame the level of interest from the general public is that the OISM petition is in the five figures (though you have to claim to have a degree...) but petitions for the general public calling for action on climate change have passed the two million mark on more than one occasion. If that's not enough for you, consider Earth Hour 2009 got over 15% power reductions in many large cities, and had participants in nearly every country, with an estimated one billion people observing the occasion.
I discuss lists and who are real climate scientists at my site