If there's an attack on global warming science -- no matter how stupid -- you can expect Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft to be onboard. Today, for instance, Hoft is breathlessly reporting that the "leading independent research organization in the US on the subject of climate change" -- the Space and Science Research Center (SSRC) - "issued a warning this week of imminent food and ethanol shortages due to global cooling."
How does Hoft know that the SSRC is the "leading independent research organization in the US on the subject of climate change"? Well, it says so right there in the press release that showed up in his email! Hoft just took the release and slapped it straight onto his website, with no apparent effort to determine if the group in question is at all credible. He did, however, take the time to track down an image of some cavemen, which is captioned "You live in the ice age. What do you do?"
You can see the punch line coming, can't you? Yup, turns out that even people who claim that global warming isn't happening think that John L. Casey, the director and sole named employee of the SSRC, is a "scam artist trying to get his hands in your pocket" who lacks "any credibility in climate research." Indeed, the SSRC's website acknowledges that Casey lacks both education and experience with climate science.
I have to stress how incredibly easy it was to determine that the Space and Science Research Center shouldn't be taken seriously. Basically, all I had to do was Google the group's name. Apparently, that was too much for poor Jim Hoft.
The first result that pops up in a Google search of the group is its own website. According to its "About Us" page, the SSRC "is the leading science and engineering research company internationally, that specializes in the analysis of and planning for climate changes," and Casey "was the first US solar activity researcher who accurately predicted and publicly announced to the US government and the main stream media ... important climate change events" such as "the end of global warming."
The website further states that SSRC "maintains active communication channels with some of the world's best experts in the field of solar physics and climate research pertaining to the matter of the next climate change" but that "All full time members of the SSRC staff were released on December 15, 2008 and placed in an on-call status."
None of those "experts" or "members of the SSRC staff" are named anywhere on the website; Casey is the only one affiliated with the group specifically mentioned. Why aren't the other "experts" and "staff" named? Either Casey is worried about dazzling us with the big names he has behind him, or they are too modest to want to be linked to such an impressive organization as the SSRC. Or, you know, they don't exist.
What are all these theoretical "staff" working on? Apparently, the SSRC "provides services" in a number of -- let's say, extremely diverse -- areas, including "Strategic business planning and preparation for the transition to the next global climate change era," "Development and transfer of space technology to the private sector," and "Science forum and conference hosting."
But about Casey himself? Well, the SSRC's website provides the following bio:
Mr. Casey has accumulated over thirty years of professional experience spanning a wide variety of technologies, industries, and international endeavors, to include performing important services as a space policy advisor to the White House, and Congress. He has been a consultant to NASA Headquarters performing space shuttle and space station analysis. He has led teams conducting commercial spaceport design world wide, as well as performing rocket launch studies for the Department of Defense. His experience also includes being a former space shuttle engineer, military missile and computer systems officer, advanced rocketry and commercial space developer. He has an extensive executive management background in the start-up and financing of high technology companies. He has a BS degree in Physics and Mathematics and an MA degree in Management. He was also past Chairman of GFSD, an international charity that provided aid to women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ok, so he has an undergraduate degree in physics and math, a master's in management, and appears to lack any sort of formal background or experience with climate science. That's... not too good.
But hey, what do I know? I'm just a liberal elitist who agrees with the overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is happening and is caused by people. Let's see what Casey's compatriots said about him in 2008, after he sent out a release entitled "Changes in the Sun's Surface to Bring Next Climate Change."
In the third link that comes up when you Google the SSRC's name ("More on the 'Space and Science Research Center' hoax"), climate skeptic Tom Nelson suggests that Casey is a "hoaxer, fraud, or scam artist." He also links to skeptic site JunkScience.com's take on Casey:
We think he's a scam artist trying to get his hands in your pockets but couldn't see how he expected to do so -- now he's told us. He's looking for 'meaningful funding' and he thinks the skeptic community might be eager enough to slay the catastrophic warming myth to fork over some cash.
We'd like to think skeptics are not a good target for scammers hunting the gullible but with Al raking in cash with his fear campaign it was inevitable some crook would try to siphon some off with another 'angle'. If you must give your hard-earned away bear in mind that JunkScience.com is always chronically short of funds.
The 'Space and Science Research Center' and John Casey should not be relied on for valid research. I know of Mr. Casey and have checked his credentials and they are not legitimate. He has tried to recruit even me into his band of 'experts'. I would not place any value on the ramblings of the press release.
At least one climate skeptic does take Casey seriously: Casey is listed in Sen. Jim Inhofe's (R-OK) report on "700 International Scientists [Who] Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims." Inhofe has called global warming the "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," and compared Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" to Hitler's Mein Kampf. Inhofe's lists of scientists are famous for being light on the climate scientists, and heavy on "economists and other social scientists, mathematicians, TV weathermen, retired scientists and amateurs, as well as scientists who have received support for their work from fossil fuel industries."