Talk:Roger Revelle

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William, why don't you trust ? Is it only because they find sources which contradict what you believe?

If Fred Singer interprets things differently from you, that means he has a different point of view. --Uncle Ed 14:29, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

SEPP is a propaganda organisation that happens to fit your POV. Over at ozone hole we had a long discussion of this, pointing out the errors in SEPPs view. Notice how you have (correctly) conflated SEPP and Singer, since SEPP is just a thin cover for Singer's POV pushing William M. Connolley 15:20, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

May we then begin the SEPP article by calling it a propaganda organisation, citing you as a source? --Uncle Ed 16:02, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

If you wish to begin the SEPP article by calling it a propaganda organization, you may cite me as Dr. Connelley's source, or yours, for this information. --User:jlancaster

Revelle and Singer paper[edit]

Deleted from article:

An article co-written by Revelle published in the early 1990s concluding that the science was "too uncertain to justify drastic action." (S.F. Singer, C. Starr, and R. Revelle, "What to do about Greenhouse Warming: Look Before You Leap. Cosmos 1 (1993) 28-33.) [1]

Anon wrote in his edit summary Deleted statement that is factually incorrect. Revelle was not a co-writer of article referenced but without explaining how he knows this. I'll wait a few days, but if no reason for the deletion is given I'll restore it (something like this):

  • Fred Singer says that Revelle co-wrote an article ...

Fair enough? --Uncle Ed

Its not in the ISI index. William M. Connolley 15:45, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

What is that, and how can laymen check it? --Uncle Ed 21:15, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
List of papers in journals. But its subs-only. However, what you probably want (or not) is, comment 222 William M. Connolley 21:20, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
And, I am informed, The assertion there is that although RR technically was an author, he wrote none of it and was pressured into signing William M. Connolley 17:14, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
I was the "Anon" edit mentioned. Roger did not "co-write" the Cosmos article in any meaningful sense of that word. Further, the legitimacy of his "co-authorship" owing to simply the appearance of his name, is open dispute, too, if he was hoodwinked. For those of us who know Roger's handwriting, it's clear that his edits were not honored. In Singer's deposition, you'll note that Singer stated his own handwriting was Roger's; however, the difference is unmistakeable to even to a non-expert. 21:16, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Perpetuating this Cosmos Myth is unfair to Roger and it is damaging to the public's ability to discern propaganda from objective reporting of the scientific debate. Singer, Balling and Michaels have been leading propagandists for the energy industry since the late 1980s, happy to rake in attention and/or money from the energy industry through "public relations" non-profits. That's fine, so long as the public can see it's them. But I don't like them cleverly hiding their words inside a wrapper that is the life-long reputation of a great scientist on his deathbed! I believed, in 1994, that if I let Singer avoid embarrassment of a trial, that he and his crew would let the Cosmos article slip into obscurity. To the contrary, Singer has loudly pulled my name through the mud, and Balling is still out front, waving the Cosmos flag against Gore. User:jlancaster
John Coleman (news weathercaster) says that Revelle retracted from his views, and that, in a private conference in San Diego, he "(...) apologized that his research sent so many people in the wrong direction on global warming." [2][3]
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America journal (PNAS) has a tribute to Revelle that mentions the Cosmos article and the accusations that Gore has misrepresented Revelle's research, but here at wikipedia the article is not mentioned becasue some guy with a personal website is making WP:OR original research about Revelle not writing a single line of the paper despite his name appearing there and despite a published article on the PNAS saying that the article reflected the views of Revelle and Chauncy (and not Singer's views, like this person says). Also published at National Post [4] so this is not just a case of bloggers figthing in the internets. There is a full timeline of the events at this book [5] (pages 196-202) (the guy above appears to be the "Lancaster" in the book, page 202 has his full retraction statement after being sued by Singer for libel)
To the contrary, let's make complete mention of the excellent PNAS piece by Walter Munk, Revelle's closest longtime colleague and friend, who in this PNAS article does NOT support accusations that Gore has misrepresented Revelle's research and DOES support the view that Revelle's views are not well represented by the Cosmos article:User:jlancaster

"Many years later, during the 1992 presidential campaign, Gore was accused of having misrepresented Roger’s position on global warming. The problem arose in connection with an article first published in the Cosmos Club Journal, “What to Do About Greenhouse Warming: Look Before You Leap.” The cautionary admonition “look before you leap” is uncharacteristically tame for Roger, and it is my contention that it represented more the views of the other authors, Fred Singer and Chauncey Starr." [6]

Also, regarding Zelnick's book: Yes, the "guy above" is the same "Lancaster" mentioned in the book. Zelnick appears to have researched his story no further than Singer's and Candace Crandall's Hoover Institute publication on this issue, which is a whitewash of Singer's role and is full of factual inaccuracies and clever omissions. Anyone truly interested in this dispute should read deposition and affidavit statements, sworn under pain of perjury, deposited by Singer and Lancaster during the 1993-94 lawsuit [7][8]User:jlancaster
How about we respecting the "Wikipedia articles should rely primarily on reliable, third-party, published sources" bit at WP:RS and add an account of the Cosmos paper and the problem it gives to the global warming position? --Enric Naval (talk) 12:27, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

For those wanting to rely on "reliable, third-party, published sources", an academic researcher and a lawyer/journalist have each dug into the evidence and drawn their conclusions of the story, respectively. [1] [2]

Really is pathetic how the left propagandists have taken over wikipedia. Revelle 'pressured' into working on the paper? What? Your evidence? Oh, just accusations by high priest Gore. Singer successfully sued for libel about that claim. "We should be careful not to arouse too much alarm until the rate and amount of warming becomes clearer" - Revelle 1988 letter to Tim Wirth. Total opposite of the left/alarmists way of behaving. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:22, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

First, Singer's suit succeeded only because he had more money at his disposal than the defendant. It is naive to infer that it succeeded because it was based on anything factual.
Second, 1988 was 27 years ago. The suggestion that the rate and amount of warming has not become any clearer in the intervening 27 years is also naive, not to mention insulting to both science and those who continue to fund it. Vaughan Pratt (talk) 04:29, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Authorship dispute[edit]

Dr. Lancaster,

Perhaps we should say that your friend Roger let his name be used but contributed nothing to the article other than a galley review.

  • "he allowed his name to be used" [9]

Moreover, if he was unable to concentrate well, and especially if edits made in what you personally recognize was his handwriting were ignored, readers should know this. --Uncle Ed 18:09, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Uncle Ed, First, Roger would want us to face forward and get the current observations formed into a solid current science, rather than wallow in muck-raking. Second, for the level of the current history of Roger Revelle in this wiki page, I think the audience is best served simply not even mentioning this awkward, constroversial blemish in Roger's list of hundreds of important reputable publications. Roger's career spanned almost 70 years, in which every month of every one of those years was filled with more significance and achievement than is represented by the Cosmos article or issue. For Roger's scientific contribution, and for his life and career, the Cosmos article is simply NOT NOTABLE. For global warming politics, for the seemy underbelly of the energy industry obfuscation campaign, this is very notable, and I believe the discussion therefore belongs on the global warming controversy pages, and on Fred Singer's pages, and Pat Michael's pages, and Robert Balling's pages. They are all still alive. But let us allow Roger to speak for himself by having his Wiki page address his life, his own papers, and solid contributions pre-February 1991, without tilting it so immensely askew by itemizing and emphasizing something that overtook him three months before he died. Third, if you feel you must make mention of the Cosmos article, then certainly it would be appropriate to annotate the full measure of the controversy, with links to the direct documentary evidence I've provided. Again, I think it better to do this through the skeptics' pages. 21:19, 13 June 2006 (UTC) jlancaster
All of that seems reasonable. I would like to see the article mention moved to the Fred Singer page, (1) crediting Singer as the primary author and (2) mentioning that Roger Revelle allowed his name to be used as a co-author. --Uncle Ed 13:53, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Seems fairish ("primary"? The point seems to be S was essentially sole author), if you add a link to the "myth" page William M. Connolley 15:57, 14 June 2006 (UTC)


Myasuda, I know of no known connection here. Can you explain, or give source? Jlancaster 01:21, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I added the category of "Seattleite" as meaning "born in Seattle" rather than living and working in Seattle: see for support for this assertion. Per the Roger Revelle Wikipedia article, the Seattleite category is redundant, as this fact is mentioned in the text of the article. It does, however, allow him to be listed on the list of Seattleites ( As to whether this is adequate justification for inclusion, I'll let you and other caretakers for this article make the call. Myasuda 02:10, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Sorry for missing the obvious link. Seattle should be proud. Reverted to your prior editJlancaster 07:14, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

al gore and an inconvenient truth?[edit]

inspired al gore's interest in global warming and the making of his documentary. could be mentioned in legacy? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tejas81 (talkcontribs) 19:04, 27 December 2006 (UTC).

Should be added: During the last couple years of his life, Revelle reversed his position on Global Warming, stating that he was wrong about man causing global warming through gas emissions. Dr. Singer, referenced above, has also reversed his position on global warming. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:37, 9 July 2009 (UTC)


It might be informative to add an link to the predecessors mentioned in WIKI to Revelle and Suess in the global warming part. These would be, at last Svante Arrhenius and G.S. Callendar, and of his contemporaries, at least Gilbert Plass. Vastarannankiiski 13:20, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Global Warming[edit]

Just to be clear. Revelle did state, and there are reliable sources to back it up, that he did not feel that CO2 was a contributing factor on global warming. This is not to say that he didn't think there was global warming, only that CO2 was not the reason for it. Arzel (talk) 00:50, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

If he said that, I'm obviously fine with the article saying that. The issue is with sourcing the potentially controversial statements of a widely-published scientist to low-quality sources like editorials when you have a wealth of publications to draw from. Gamaliel (talk) 17:32, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Well given that he said them close to 20 years ago it is not always easy to find a number of sources. However, what he said has been stated, and it doesn't conflict with his daughters claim. What is with the revisionist history? You simply cannot write away the past when it conflicts with your point of view. Arzel (talk) 23:42, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
It's quite easy, I've found plenty of sources in about a half hour of research that dispute the shaky claims of these dubious sources. These just aren't good enough. We can discuss it congenially or antagonistically, but either way the fact remains that those sources you want in the article suck. Gamaliel (talk) 23:58, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
They are reliable sources, and from what I can tell the left and those in favor of AGW have been trying to hide what he said for the past 15 years. I seriously don't know how you can disregard what he actually said. Arzel (talk) 00:24, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
All I want you to do is show me where he said it. Once you do that and stop sputtering insults then this dispute will be over. I think that's reasonable given your material is in dispute and your sources are dubious editorials. Gamaliel (talk) 00:26, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Furthermore, I am not really sure exactly what you are so upset about. I did not say, nor did my edits say, that Revelle did not believe there was global warming. He specifically was referring to the impact of CO2 on global warming which he stated he did not have the impact that others claimed it did. Even his daughter doesn't go to that extreme, she only states that her father did believe there was global warming, but even she doesn't make a statement of about her father's view of CO2 on global warming. Dubious editorials? They are far better than revisionist history.Arzel (talk) 00:31, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm upset because you've gone straight to insults, as usual. I'm not interested in "revisionist history", I'm interested in history, and history is not written by dubious editorials. Show me the money. Where did say it?
I suspect you simply don't know anything about this case and you are swallowing whole the claims made by the editorials. For one, if you read the complete statement (quoted here, on the blog of a scientist disputing the dubious claims. and not just the quote here, his daughter does make several statements specifically about that. I suggest you familiarize yourself with some background here, on a page maintained by one of Revelle's graduate students: Gamaliel (talk) 00:36, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
All of the so-called 'reliable sources' that are trying to be attributed are from Global Warming deniers or those on the right that are trying to discount the findings of climate change scientist. One link given is from John Coleman, who is noted for his opposition to the climate change facts that most scientists have put forth. Using KUSI-TV as a link but failing to realize that Coleman is the 'chief meteorologist' for the station seems odd. The other 'reliable source' is the National Post, a conservative Canadian outlet that has been described as 'Canada’s Cheeky Conservative Paper'. Bother 'reliable sources' have disputed quotes and content that have been disputed by Mr. Revelle's colleagues, staff, students and his own daughter. Arzel has a tendency to use fringe sources(Canada Free Press) and proclaim them 'reliable'. This subject is most definitely open for debate, but there has to be balance and actual reliable sources used. DD2K (talk) 17:18, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Sentence proposed for deletion[edit]

I have a problem with this sentence just before the section UC San Diego. This might be a typo, a half edited sentence so maybe some of it should be saved:

Geology, geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, ocean chemistry ... this amounted to one of the earliest examples of "integrated assessment", which 50 years later became an entire branch of global warming science.

As for the last half about the "entire branch", a reliable reference will be needed for that to stay. --Knowsetfree (talk) 05:36, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

One such reference is at SEDAC[10], while Googling "climate change integrated assessment" will bring more than 500,000 other citations. user:jlancaster 4 January 2011 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:21, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

3 sections talking about the co-authored paper[edit]

Most of this talk page, these sections: (Revelle and Singer paper, Authorship_dispute, Global Warming are talking about a paper co-authored by Dr. Roger Revelle and some editors are calling for the exclusion of this paper.

Let me see if I'm hearing the argument correctly by some perhaps including DD2K and User:jlancaster and others about Dr. Revelle:

  • It is undisputed that Dr. Roger Revelle's was co-author of a published paper.
  • It is claimed that Dr. Revelle didn't agree with the conclusions of this paper, or was mislead/tricked.
  • There is no text in the published paper establishing that Dr. Revelle's held any disagreement.
  • There is no subsequent published paper authored by Dr. Revelle which demonstrates that he changed his mind as to the conclusions in the paper.

If my summary is correct, I think the arguments against citing the paper in question are frivolous, and fail the wiki standard for exclusion. If my facts are wrong, let me know. If you would argue a different opinion from the stated facts, please do. It seems quite clear to me that the philosophy of a PhD is to be gleaned from his published papers. --Knowsetfree (talk) 06:14, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Respectfully, Knowsetfree, your summary is not correct. Your facts are wrong. The extent of Revelle's co-authorship is most certainly disputed. Roger avoided participating in the writing, was reluctant to be involved and was pressured at a weak moment to get his name added. [11] His key correction entered upon the galley proof during his only review of the paper was ignored upon publication.[12] It appears he was not told by Singer that Singer had previously published the bulk of this exact, same article as sole author a year earlier in the ES&T journal, nor that other secret co-authors were engaged with Singer in crafting the Cosmos piece.[13][14] user:jlancaster 4 January 2011
I think this is mostly correct, except for the last point, which is a weak argument because Dr. Revelle died around the time it was published.
I believe it's important to acknowledge the fact of the paper, and the controversy surrounding it, so I took the liberty of adding the information, which I tried to do without taking sides. DiSkip (talk) 23:46, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm dubious we want this section at all William M. Connolley (talk) 14:41, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

I concur, as I have in the past, that this entire Cosmos article mention and discussion should be removed from Revelle's page. The article represents no portion of Revelle's scholarly contribution to the world. Had Revelle lived a couple of years longer, the paper could never have been used as it was by Singer, Michaels, Balling and others for political attacks upon Al Gore, and the publication would have died in obscurity. The attention given to this publication on Revelle's wiki page is disproportionate to the very important role Revelle played in the field of oceanographic science, the development of modern oceanographic research institutions and committees internationally, alerting scientists and governments worldwide to the carbon dioxide problem, as well as the creation of the incredible scientific research legacy that is UC-San Diego, an institution that Revelle helped to found, and which may be the most successful academic institution founded in the 20th Century. user:jlancaster 4 January 2011

There is a lack of proper citation in the section about what the daughter thought and it confuses global warming with anthropogenic global warming. Its is WP:VER that "The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time."

But then the rest disintegrates to a opinion piece by the writer and anecdotal comments.

This is putting undue weight on the conclusions of the writer. I suggest changing "Nothing could be farther from the truth. When Revelle inveighed..." to "However, while he opposed "drastic" action, he considered steps to mitigate anthropogenic global warming prudent". Comments? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:31, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ Oreskes, Naomi and Erik M. Conway, 2010. Merchants of Doubt; How a Handful of Scientists Obsured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Bloomsbury Press
  2. ^ James Hoggan, 2009. Climate Cover-Up. Greystone Books; 1St Edition edition (September 29, 2009)