Who believes in man-made global warming? asked a survey of scientists, reported in ScienceDaily 21 January 2009. Peter Doran, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at University of Illinois, Chicago, and a colleague Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, contacted more than 10,200 “experts in academia and government research centres” from around the world who were listed in the 2007 edition of the American Geological Institute’s Directory of Geoscience Departments and invited them to answer an online questionnaire about climate change.
Two of the questions were: “Have mean global temperatures risen compared to pre-1800s levels”, and “Has human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures.” 3,146 scientists responded with approximately 90 percent agreement with the first question and 82 percent with the second.
However, there were some differences in the responses from different types of scientists. 97 percent of climatologists agreed with man-made global warming, while only 47 percent of petroleum geologists agreed. Meteorologists were somewhere in between at 64 percent. A recent poll of the general public reported only 58 percent think human activity causes global warming.
The researchers concluded: “the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.” They go on to say that the next challenge is “how to effectively communicate this to policy makers and to a public that continues to mistakenly perceive debate among scientists.”
Editorial Comment: It is interesting how the global warming debate has now descended to the stage of using numbers of scientists who believe it, rather than on temperature data. The fact that a large number of people believe something does not make it right. Truth is not determined by a majority vote, especially by scientists. The fact that almost all the climatologists in academia and government research centres believe in man-made global warming could simply mean that they are dependent on government grants to do their work, and man-made global warming is official government policy in most western countries. Critics can find themselves quickly ostracised and don’t get grant money for their research.
A case in point was recently reported in Daily Tech 23 December 2008. Will Happer, a physicist and expert in energy at Princeton University told how he got fired by then Vice-president Al Gore when he (Happer) was director of energy research for the US Department of Energy and in 1993 testified before Congress that the scientific data didn’t support widespread fears about the dangers of the ozone hole and global warming. Happer said, “I was told that science was not going to intrude on public policy.”
Happer has asked to be included in a Senate Environment and Public Works report of over 650 scientists critical of global warming alarmism. He commented: “I have spent a long research career studying physics that is closely related to the greenhouse effect. Fears about man-made global warming are unwarranted and are not based on good science.” He went on to say: “The earth’s climate is changing now, as it always has. There is no evidence that the changes differ in any qualitative way from those of the past.”
For another example, see “BBC shuns Bellamy” in this Fact File. (Ref. politics, environmentalism, prejudice)
Evidence News 4 February 2009