Friday, May 21, 2010

The Curious Mr. Robinson

In the last day or so, there has been much ink spilled in the U.S. media over one Rand Paul. Son of Ron Paul, Rand is now GOP candidate for the state of Kentucky's open Senate seat in the upcoming mid-term elections, having ousted the "establishment" candidate in this week's Republican Primaries. On the very heels of his victory, however, Mr. Paul suddenly found himself on the wrong end of some tough questions about whether private businesses should be allowed to discriminate against blacks.

Hey presto, he went from a rising star within the "tea party" movement, and therefore within the GOP, to a ball & chain in less than 48 hours.

Now, presumably, the MSM will go looking for other unexploded bombs in the GOP's "tea party" insurgency.

Which brings us to Arthur Robinson, winner of the Republican Congressional Nomination in Oregon District 4. Arthur Robinson is a climate change skeptic. In fact, he is one of the people behind The Oregon Petition , a petition opposing the Kyoto Protocol and similar efforts to mitigate climate change. I've written about Mr. Robinson, his petition, and the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, which Mr. Robinson founded back in 1980, here.

As part of his work at the Institute, Mr. Robinson has, since 1993, served as editor of the Access To Energy newsletter. Happily, the institute has archived this publication back to 1973. Lets troll through some of the back issues, and see what we find, shall we?

Given the recent BP spill off Louisiana, I thought it would be interesting to learn Mr. Robinson's views on off-shore drilling. These were not hard to discover:

As for oil spills in the open and deep ocean, they amount to far less than natural seeps and river runoff, and any unbiased oceanographer will confirm that they are a boon to marine life, inflicting damage mainly on the oil and shipping companies. For crude oil is a natural, organic, biodegradable product of the earth's ancient plant and animal life, and it is this type of hydrocarbon that marine life in the open and deep ocean is starved for.

In fact, in the same edition of the newsletter Mr. Robinson argues that the "mostly barren" oceans are just crying out for any kind of human waste, nuclear waste included. He gives this article the jaunty title: OCEAN DUMPING? YES!

There are several pieces in older versions of the newsletter decrying "reprehensible" attacks on Aids=HIV Denialist Peter Duesberg . In fact, Robinson has sponsored a Duesberg lecture through the DDP (Doctors for Disaster Preparedness), a group affiliated with the Oregon Institute. These articles tend to suggest that Mr. Robinson himself thinks aids is caused by homosexuality itself rather than the HIV virus. Here's a brief note of his regarding "The Longevity of Homosexuals Before and After the AIDS Epidemic":

Cameron, et al report research results showing that the median age at death for homosexual men dying of AIDS is 39 years and that for homosexual men who do not die of AIDS is 42. By comparison, the value for heterosexual married men is 75. This is evidence in support of the hypothesis that AIDS may be little more than a general classification of deaths resulting from exposure to homosexual behavior.

And the aids denialism gets a bit more explicit here, in which Robinson discusses the AIDS epidemic's role in government attempts at "social engineering".

In addition to editing Access To Energy, Robinson is an energetic promoter of home-schooling, and has written extensively on the topic here. Some of his ideas are quite unique. For example, he prefers home-schoolers be taught geography , history, and government largely from books which were written in the 1950's and earlier, before it became popular to teach overt racism under the rubric of "multiculturalism."

This is just a sample from Mr. Robinson's extensive writings on the Oregon Institute website and elsewhere. I've barely touched on his AGW skepticism, or the many, many articles he's written on Hormesis (which is the the idea that a little bit of radiation is actually good for you).

Hopefully, though, it is enough to give a taste of the man's philosophy

9 comments:

Paul S said...

President Obama's views on offshore drilling appear to mirror Mr. Robinson's.

And as oddball as Mr. Robinson is, he is correct concerning the source of most oil spills.

According the the NAS Report Oil In the Seas III,
nearly 85 percent of the oil that enters North American ocean waters each year is a result of human activities and comes from land-based runoff, polluted rivers, airplanes, small boats, etc..

penlan said...

It's Rand Paul, not Raund.

crf said...

Radiation hormeosis is not too oddball an idea. For instance, production of Vitamin D needs uvb radiation. But even continual low doses of UVB may increase the risk of skin Cancer. So at some point there is a trade off.

The reason why radiation Hormeosis is controversial is primarily because of the back and forth between nuclear energy advocates and detractors, especially about the health consequences of disasters like Chernobyl, or minor ones like leaks of tritiated water.

Unfortunately, because it is politically charged, this is a subject attracts cranks. But not everything believed by a crank is necessarily wrong.

bigcitylib said...

Thanks, Penlan, I hate it when I spell stuff wrong. I'm sure I must have seen in someplace like that, though.

bigcitylib said...

CRF,

Didn't touch on the Hormeosis stuff much cuz I don't really know the issue. I'd note though that Robinson thinks certain kinds of chem. Hormeosis apply too.

Christian said...

Oh man. And here I was thinking we were going to resolve the mystery surrounding Mrs. Robinson's husband!? Damn you BCL, damn you!

:)

John Mashey said...

Actually, I don't think Robinson was the "brains" behind teh OISM Petition porject.

I conjecture that this was really stirred up by Frederick Seitz & GMI folks, with most of the text provided by Baliunas and Soon, but with the OISM folks on as a front, to keep it away from GMI. Their ally Fred Singer already had a long history of doing such petitions, and this was synchronous with the 1998 "GCSCT" effort, in which GMI & Signer were certainly involved.

Anyway, you might review the history versus that and see if it fits.

In any case, I think it is *great* that Robinson is running for Congress! I'm not sure he realizes the levels of exposure that may ensue ... and OR-04 could be a rather tough district for him to win in.

bigcitylib said...

Thx John, made a slight amendment to text.

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