Disclosure notice: I know Jay Lehr and consider him a friend.
A colleague sent me this video of Dr. Jay H.Lehr, science director for the Heartland Institute, testifying before a Washington State Senate Committee. It is almost an hour long. The first few minutes told me a lot. I did not go much beyond that period. Why not? For one thing, the slides that he shows are not visible, and for another, I suspect I would have found a lot more to comment upon.
Let's just say that the few minutes I viewed were quite revealing because Jay plays loose with the facts. That's why I was sent the video in the first place.
Lehr says he 'trained as a physicist at Princeton University' and has a 'strong presence in nuclear physics'. He notes that nuclear physics is not really all that complicated in projecting radiation quantities and extents. I would not know since I am not an expert in nuclear radiation, but I do have a PhD in hydrology.
He's sort of correct in stating that right after Fukushima he had just completed a Nuclear Energy Encyclopedia for Wiley: he's listed as the third author of three and is the series editor for energy. He then mentions that his background in climatology began in the mid-1970s. Huh?
Lehr has a BS (that's Bachelor of Science) in Geological Engineering from Princeton. Yes, physics in used in GE but a GE degree does not allow you to say 'trained as a physicist'. Maybe he has a minor in it?
He does have a PhD in Hydrology from the University of Arizona (just like yours truly) and was the first person to receive such a degree in the USA. He usually trumpets that fact but in this case he's not talking about hydrology - luckily for UA hydrology! But I now see his WWW site says 'Earned one of the nation's first Ph.D.s in Environmental Science from the University of Arizona' Go figure!
Then there is this from that same site:
Dr. Jay Lehr is a powerful, entertaining speaker who combines a deep understanding of both science and economics in describing the impact of advancing technologies on the local, regional, national, and global economy. Economist and Futurist Dr. Jay Lehr makes people feel good about the environment and American Agriculture. He combines 5 decades of expertise and experience in Agricultural Economics, Agronomy, Environmental Science and Business Administration with the most contagious enthusiasm for the future of the American Farm and Ranch. With hard science to support his beliefs, he never fails to lift the spirits of the men and women working in every facet of agri-business today. His precise knowledge of U.S. Farm, energy and environmental legislation as well as every international farm support program and the direction they are moving allows him to confidently predict a bright future for American Farm Exports, sustainable energy and for the environment. His vast experience and support for the successful, economically beneficial use of corn in many products including ethanol; and use of soy in many products including bio-fuels and long term safety of advances in biotechnology serve to answer many of the questions on the minds of the average grain farmer and energy consumer. Lehr has spoken to hundreds of groups, seminars, major news networks, radio programs and has written nineteen books to spread true science, educate on today's hot topics and to dispell the unfair and inaccurate claims made by environmental advocacy groups.
Economist? WTF? His speaking topics are listed.
Here is his session (if this does not work you can go to the original video and scroll to minute 29:00).
Here is his entry on DeSmogBlog.
Jay is a smart guy, but he's a PhD hydrologist with a BS in Geological Engineering. He is not an economist, climate scientist, or nuclear physicist, and to my knowledge has no formal training in these disciplines. He is entitled to say what he wants to, and if people want him to speak on animal husbandry, that's their business. I think he should stick to hydrology and related fields, but that's just me.
Recall that Jay is also science director of the Heartland Institute. That should give you pause whenever the HI sallies forth on science.
"I'm not an expert in nuclear physics, climatology, or economics, but I have a PhD in hydrology and did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night." - falsely attributed to Jay H. Lehr (apologies to Holiday Inn)