The 97% consensus statistic is a “fiction”
This recent Wall Street Journal article by Joe Bast and Roy Spencer neatly debunks the notion that there is a 97% consensus view among scientists about the causes and expected impacts of climate change.
Last week Secretary of State John Kerry warned graduating students at Boston College of the “crippling consequences” of climate change. “Ninety-seven percent of the world’s scientists,” he added, “tell us this is urgent.”
Where did Mr. Kerry get the 97% figure? Perhaps from his boss, President Obama, who tweeted on May 16 that “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” Or maybe from NASA, which posted (in more measured language) on its website, “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.”
Yet the assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction. The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.
I would encourage CoalBlog users to read the full article as this 97% statistic has become ubiquitous. However, as the article clearly shows, it is not based in reality.