Don’t look now, but maybe a scientific consensus exists concerning global warming after all.
Don’t look now, but maybe a scientific consensus exists concerning global warming after all. Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies.
By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.
The survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists (summarized here and here) revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.
According to the newly published survey of geoscientists and engineers, merely 36 percent of respondents fit the “Comply with Kyoto” model. The scientists in this group “express the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”
The authors of the survey report, however, note that the overwhelming majority of scientists fall within four other models, each of which is skeptical of alarmist global warming claims.
The survey finds that 24 percent of the scientist respondents fit the “Nature Is Overwhelming” model. “In their diagnostic framing, they believe that changes to the climate are natural, normal cycles of the Earth.” Moreover, “they strongly disagree that climate change poses any significant public risk and see no impact on their personal lives.”
Another group of scientists fit the “Fatalists” model. These scientists, comprising 17 percent of the respondents, “diagnose climate change as both human- and naturally caused. ‘Fatalists’ consider climate change to be a smaller public risk with little impact on their personal life. They are skeptical that the scientific debate is settled regarding the IPCC modeling.” These scientists are likely to ask, “How can anyone take action if research is biased?”
The next largest group of scientists, comprising 10 percent of respondents, fit the “Economic Responsibility” model. These scientists “diagnose climate change as being natural or human caused. More than any other group, they underscore that the ‘real’ cause of climate change is unknown as nature is forever changing and uncontrollable.
Similar to the ‘nature is overwhelming’ adherents, they disagree that climate change poses any significant public risk and see no impact on their personal life. They are also less likely to believe that the scientific debate is settled and that the IPCC modeling is accurate. In their prognostic framing, they point to the harm the Kyoto Protocol and all regulation will do to the economy.”
The final group of scientists, comprising 5 percent of the respondents, fit the “Regulation Activists” model. These scientists “diagnose climate change as being both human- and naturally caused, posing a moderate public risk, with only slight impact on their personal life.” Moreover, “They are also skeptical with regard to the scientific debate being settled and are the most indecisive whether IPCC modeling is accurate.”
Taken together, these four skeptical groups numerically blow away the 36 percent of scientists who believe global warming is human caused and a serious concern.
One interesting aspect of this new survey is the unmistakably alarmist bent of the survey takers. They frequently use terms such as “denier” to describe scientists who are skeptical of an asserted global warming crisis, and they refer to skeptical scientists as “speaking against climate science” rather than “speaking against asserted climate projections.” Accordingly, alarmists will have a hard time arguing the survey is biased or somehow connected to the ‘vast right-wing climate denial machine.’
Another interesting aspect of this new survey is that it reports on the beliefs of scientists themselves rather than bureaucrats who often publish alarmist statements without polling their member scientists. We now have meteorologists, geoscientists and engineers all reporting that they are skeptics of an asserted global warming crisis, yet the bureaucrats of these organizations frequently suck up to the media and suck up to government grant providers by trying to tell us the opposite of what their scientist members actually believe.
People who look behind the self-serving statements by global warming alarmists about an alleged “consensus” have always known that no such alarmist consensus exists among scientists. Now that we have access to hard surveys of scientists themselves, it is becoming clear that not only do many scientists dispute the asserted global warming crisis, but these skeptical scientists may indeed form a scientific consensus.
By James Taylor and published in Heart Land on February 18. 2013 and can be found here.
This was a follow up to a piece by James Taylor on March 14, 2021 printed below:
A recent survey of American Meteorological Society members shows meteorologists are skeptical that humans are causing a global warming crisis. The survey confirms what many scientists have been reporting for years; the politically focused bureaucratic leadership of many science organizations is severely out of touch with the scientists themselves regarding global warming issues.
According to American Meteorological Society (AMS) data, 89% of AMS meteorologists believe global warming is happening, but only a minority (30%) is very worried about global warming.
This sharp contrast between the large majority of meteorologists who believe global warming is happening and the modest minority who are nevertheless very worried about it is consistent with other scientist surveys. This contrast exposes global warming alarmists who assert that 97% of the world’s scientists agree humans are causing a global warming crisis simply because these scientists believe global warming is occurring. However, as this and other scientist surveys show, believing that some warming is occurring is not the same as believing humans are causing a worrisome crisis.
Other questions solidified the meteorologists’ skepticism about humans creating a global warming crisis. For example, among those meteorologists who believe global warming is happening, only a modest majority (59%) believe humans are the primary cause. More importantly, only 38% of respondents who believe global warming is occurring say it will be very harmful during the next 100 years.
With substantially fewer than half of meteorologists very worried about global warming or expecting substantial harm during the next 100 years, one has to wonder why environmental activist groups are sowing the seeds of global warming panic. Does anyone really expect our economy to be powered 100 years from now by the same energy sources we use today? Why immediately, severely, and permanently punish our economy with costly global warming restrictions when technological advances and the free market will likely address any such global warming concerns much more efficiently, economically and effectively?
In another line of survey questions, 53% of respondents believe there is conflict among AMS members regarding the topic of global warming. Only 33% believe there is no conflict. Another 15% were not sure. These results provide strong refutation to the assertion that “the debate is over.”
Interestingly, only 26% of respondents said the conflict among AMS members is unproductive.
Overall, the survey of AMS scientists paints a very different picture than the official AMS Information Statement on Climate Change. Drafted by the AMS bureaucracy, the Information Statement leaves readers with the impression that AMS meteorologists have few doubts about humans creating a global warming crisis. The Information Statement indicates quite strongly that humans are the primary driver of global temperatures and the consequences are and will continue to be quite severe. Compare the bureaucracy’s Information Statement with the survey results of the AMS scientists themselves.
Scientists who have attended the Heartland Institute’s annual International Conference on Climate Change report the same disconnect throughout their various science organizations; only a minority of scientists believes humans are causing a global warming crisis, yet the non-scientist bureaucracies publish position statements that contradict what the scientists themselves believe. Few, if any, of these organizations actually poll their members before publishing a position statement. Within this context of few actual scientist surveys, the AMS survey results are very powerful.
In contrast to the AMS survey, where all respondents are AMS meteorologists, a majority have Ph.D.s and fully 80% have a Ph.D. or Masters Degree, position statements by organizational bureaucracies carry little scientific weight. For example, a position statement recently published by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and frequently cited as the “definitive” indication of scientific consensus on global warming was authored by a mere 23 persons. Of those 23 persons, only five had Ph.D.s in a field closely related to climate science, an equal number (5) were staffers for environmental activist groups, two were politicians, one was the EPA general counsel under the Clinton administration and 19 of the 23 had already spoken out on behalf of global warming alarmism prior to being chosen for the panel. Clearly the scientific weight of the NAS statement pales in comparison to the AMS meteorologist survey.