The Ghost Paper

Update: Two commenters found an online version of the document discussed here (Thanks!). It is reproduced below. It is clearly a ‘skeptic’ document and would naturally be opposed by the ‘consensus’ side, especially non-scientists such as Jim Prall. However, one wonders why a letter that refers to the science so frequently (and is accurate as far as it goes–I would disagree with their premise, but then I’m a lib’rul lukewarmer…) would cause the signatories to be labeled as ‘deniers.’ And it really amazes me that PNAS would accept as science references to a document that the researchers did not have.

Perhaps most importantly, if Anderegg, Prall et al couldn’t find a document so readily available on the internet, should we trust their use of Google Scholar to find the information on which their paper was based?

Anderegg, Prall et al (PNAS 2010) used 12 public documents signed by various people to create their list of ‘Unconvinced Experts’ for their paper tagged ‘Deniers.’ Those 12 documents are listed in my previous post.

One of the 12 documents is an open letter to then-Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien. All 30 signatories to that open letter were used to create the list of deniers that were ‘less expert’ and ‘less prominent’ than consensus scientists (who were taken from the author list of IPCC AR4).

In my previous post I reprinted the text of the document that was signed by 4,000 people including 73 Nobel Prize winners. The text was innocuous enough that I am puzzled that it would be in any way controversial for anyone to sign.

I would love to do that with the open letter to Jean Chretien. The problem is I can’t.

Neither can the authors of Anderegg, Prall, et all PNAS 2010. They don’t have the text. As Jim Prall writes, “I downloaded this list of signers from the 2002 open letter ‘02.11.25-letter%20to%20chretien%20from%20scientists.html’ to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien from 30 scientists, which had been hosted on That site is currently unresponsive (2009-09-29 – it returns a blank green page), and I can’t locate a copy of the original declaration HTML file on (usually a lifesaver when links get broken).

For the record, I’m posting this text, consisting of the names and affiliations of the signers of the letter. Unfortunately the text of the letter is not preserved, but the upshot of it was that Canada should not ratify the Kyoto Accord or take policy action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that human influence on climate remains unproven.”

Prall is saying that he may have read the letter at some point but can’t find it, but managed to save (very Gollum-like) the precious names of the dirty deniers who signed it. I guess the content no longer matters…

But if you’re wondering what it is in that letter that prompts the inclusion of signatories to a list of people tagged as ‘deniers’ by Anderegg, Prall et all PNAS 2010, you’re not alone. So am I.

And if you’re wondering what level of incompetence and vicious ill will it takes to prompt a charge and investigation of academic misconduct, you’re not alone. So am I.

Text of the letter:

Dear Prime Minister:


Climate Specialists Urge the Canadian Government to Delay Ratification of the Kyoto Accord Pending Comprehensive Science Consultations


Many climate science experts from Canada and around the world, while still strongly supporting environmental protection, equally strongly disagree with the scientific rationale for the Kyoto Accord. Nevertheless, the Government of Canada has yet to conduct comprehensive consultations with climate scientists in order to properly consider the range of informed opinion pertaining to the science of Kyoto. Consequently, the views of dissenting scientists have not been properly heard or considered by the government.

Therefore, we, the undersigned climate scientists, call on the Government of Canada to delay a decision on the ratification of the Kyoto Accord until after a thorough and comprehensive consultation is conducted with non-governmental climate specialists.

If the climate models are correct, the effects of implementing Kyoto will be so small as to be undetectable even a century from now. Delaying ratification for a short period so as to allow proper science consultations to take place will do absolutely no damage to Canada or the environment and is unquestionably the prudent and responsible course of action at this time. Therefore, we implore the Government of Canada to proceed with comprehensive science consultations as soon as possible.


4 responses to “The Ghost Paper

  1. Prall can’t have tried too hard in his search. In 15 minutes of searching I came up with the following link:

    Mind you, this is the letter being read into the minutes of Parliament, but does not seem challenged on authenticity of wording.

  2. “And if you’re wondering what level of incompetence and vicious ill will it takes to prompt a charge and investigation of academic misconduct, you’re not alone. So am I.”
    What it takes? Publish a paper that threatens the profits of a pharmaceutical or energy company.
    I have been in the middle of two scientific controversies and would conclude that this behavior is typical. If you’re bringing in outside money, you can get away with anything.

  3. Nothing annoys the climate obsessed more than honest disagreement, unless it is thoughtful caution.

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