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By Sarah Foster
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
March 15, 2010

GRANTS PASS, OREGON — A noted “global warming” skeptic is planning to give liberal Democrat Peter DeFazio a serious run for his congressional seat in the November mid-term election.

Arthur Robinson, 67, a 30-year resident of Cave Junction, Ore., filed papers Tuesday for the GOP primary and indicated he’ll be conducting a hard-hitting campaign to bring an end to DeFazio’s quarter-of-a-century career in the U.S. House of Representatives. Also running in the primary is Republican Jaynee Germond of Roseburg.

“I’m a citizen, a scientist,” says Robinson. “I’ve worked for a long time on energy issues, and I did a lot on the human cause of global warming hypothesis. I’ve been active in some national issues, and had thought of running for national office. But I think things have become so terrible that it shouldn’t be possible for the people in Washington to continue running unopposed.

“I’d like to go there and try to roll back some of the things they’ve done to my country,” he said.

Peter DeFazio, 62, has represented Oregon’s 4th Congressional District, since 1987. The district covers western Oregon from the California border to the city of Corvallis in the north, and from the west coast to the Cascade Mountains. DeFazio is not only the dean of the state’s congressional delegation; he’s one of the longest-serving representatives in the U.S. House, having been returned to Washington for 12 terms – each time with 60 percent or more of the vote.

He is also among the most left-leaning representatives, one of five House members who founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus in 1991. The big question is: will DeFazio be able to keep from being ousted during the likely takeover of Congress by irate independents and Republicans come November?

DeFazio had considered entering the governor’s race and not running for Congress, but decided to try for a 13th term just a few days before the filing deadline.

Robinson -- a conservative Republican – is not a professional politician. He’s a scientist with a background in chemistry from Caltech, who has developed expertise in a variety of fields.
Career-wise he was first a professor of chemistry at the University of California-San Diego, then president at the Linus Pauling Institute in Palo Alto, and is president and professor of chemistry at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine in Cave Junction, which he founded in 1980, and where he conducts research on protein chemistry, nutrition and predictive and preventive medicine.

For 17 years he has edited and published Access to Energy, a monthly print-only newsletter begun by the late physicist Petr Beckmann nearly 40 years ago.

Since he’s never run for public office, what prompted Robinson at this point in his life to take on Pete DeFavio? Two reasons, he told NWV – the second being the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

“DeFazio’s been in Washington 24 years and is one of the near-lifetime incumbents who has increased the taxes and regulations and placed other impediments on American industry that have put us into the economic condition we’re in,” he explained. “That’s been going on a long time.

“But now in Washington we have this spectacle, and the Congress seems to have gone completely mad. It’s the most dishonest government we’ve ever seen in the United States by a factor of 10. It’s beyond comprehension.”

Spotted Owl Territory

Over the past two decades Robinson has witnessed at close range the ongoing destruction of the local resource-based economy. Southwest Oregon was, after all, the home of the “endangered” spotted owl, which was the excuse the federal government used to close down the timber industry in the 1990s.

“DeFazio and others in Congress have done all kinds of things to diminish the freedom of the American people,” Robinson said, “but they’ve done tremendous damage to the area which is of most concern to Americans – the economy. We’re losing our economic freedom. All the taxation, regulation, and government-sponsored litigation have made it very difficult to carry out productive work in the United States, and when you put this kind of burden on the back of the American worker he can’t compete with the rest of the world.”

For an example, Robinson pointed out that although DeFazio voted against the cap-and-trade bill in the House, it was only because it did not “go far enough.”

“He [DeFazio] wants to fine people directly,” said Robinson. “He thinks that cap-and-trade [with its carbon-credit market] smacks of free enterprise and he wants direct fines on industry. But his goal is to reduce the amount of energy available to the American people on the basis of a hypothesis about climate change which is just false.”


Robinson observed that in the 1950s a person could “build an industry, produce something and improve people’s lives, but that’s no longer possible.”

As he put it: “At that time the energy industries were being built – hydro-carbon, hydro-electric, nuclear – and today we need more energy than we did then, but it's such a poor business environment in the United States to build energy-producing industries, due to crushing taxation and terrible regulations the senators and representatives have put on us, that Americans now imports 30 percent of our energy and it’s bankrupting us.

“These policies are made by the Congress, and Pete DeFazio is an enthusiast of them. He makes a point of doing things that are against free enterprise.”

A Home-Schooling Success Story

In 1980, Robinson and his wife Laurelee, also a scientist, moved to Cave Junction from California with their two very young sons Noah and Zachary, and bought a 350-acre farm. There, Robinson founded the institute where he could do independent research, and Laurelee home-schooled their growing family.

Tragically, Laurelee died of a sudden illness in 1988, and Robinson undertook the raising of their six children, two girls and four boys who ranged in age from 1½ to 12 years, on his own. He did not have time to be a teacher, so he and the children over the years “developed methods of self-teaching where they taught themselves. It worked out very well for them,” he said.

And indeed it has. The curriculum proved so successful that people in the home-schooling movement urged the Robinsons to market it, which they did. The children scanned onto 23 CDs all the books and materials they used and the methods they’d developed – including the entire 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica and the 1611 edition of the King James Bible.

“We have about 50,000 home-schooled children who use the curriculum that the children put together after they developed it, with my help and the help of some other people,” said Robinson. It’s designed for grades one through 12.

Their education did not stop with the completion of high school. Of the six, five have college degrees in chemistry and one in mathematics, and all have completed or are studying for advanced degrees. Today, one a chemist, two are veterinarians, and the other three are in graduate school.

Noah Robinson, now in his early 30s, works with his father on research projects. Their most recent involves fundamental biochemistry and biochemical studies of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases; their papers have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and other publications.

Global Warming and the Petition Project

Though he’s noted in the home-schooling movement for his family’s curriculum and in the world of science for research involving “molecular clocks” and aging, Robinson is perhaps best known for the Petition Project – a collection of 31,500 signatures of scientists who dispute the notion of man-made global warming.

“We did it in two stages,” he explained. “When Gore and Clinton were in office this was already being talked about, and Mr. Gore was going around telling everybody the consensus of scientists agreed with this hypothesis – that humans were warming the earth and this was going to cause great harm.

“So we got 17,000 Americans who had university degrees in science to sign the petition.” The “we” was Robinson himself and his oldest son Zachary, who had just completed a degree in chemistry; and two astrophysicists at Harvard.

That was in the late 1990s. A couple of years ago Robinson developed a second petition with a new review article and obtained thousands more signatures. The total is nearly 31,500 – plus about 800 that are being checked and verified for authenticity. Robinson said over 9,000 signatories have PhDs; the rest have masters and bachelor degrees in science.

“Several thousand are in fields directly related to climate science, and in fact the subject is easily understood by any physicist or chemist or other person trained in science,” he added.

Robinson is quick to emphasize that a poll like this does not prove or disprove the validity of the global warming hypothesis.

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“You don’t determine scientific truth by polling scientists,” he said. “Our sole goal was to show that there was no consensus, that the claim [by “global warmists” like Gore] that all scientists agreed with this was false. It was a political point to show that their claim that scientists were in agreement on this was not true. If you review the science and look at our review article, you’ll see the science is overwhelmingly against them.”

Earlier Story

1 - Art Robinson: Bricks Without Straw. June 22, 2009. Robinson has written several articles for NewsWithViews (check archive). This one deals with the cost of government restrictions on energy production.
2 - Art Robinson: Human Rights, Science and Energy. May 18, 2008. Presents information about the Petition Project.

Additional Information

1 - Tom Bethell: A Scientist Finds Independence. The American Spectator, Feb. 2001: an in-depth profile of Robinson’s life and accomplishments.
2 - The Robinson Curriculum

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Sarah Foster is a researcher and freelance writer:











“I’d like to go there and try to roll back some of the things they’ve done to my country,”