Quote: Originally Posted by Bar Sinister
Where did you get that made up number? Oh, let me guess you did a personal survey of all climatologists. Here's my number. I'd guess the other 3% are shills for oil and coal companies.
www.forbes.com/sites/jamestay...arming-crisis/ (external - login to view)
Only 53% Of Climatologists & Meteorologists, 36% Of Engineers & Geoscientists, 19% Of Agronomists Are ‘Consensus’ Believers (external - login to view)
Americans’ beliefs about climate change were recently surveyed by the Pew Research Center, and the results were made public a few days ago. Pew pollsters found that a combined 51% of Americans agree that (a) there is no clear evidence the Earth is warming, or (b) natural factors are the main cause of climate changes. Therefore, just 48% of Americans believe the Earth is getting warmer, and this warming is mostly caused by humans. This belief percentage has essentially remained unchanged for the last 10 years.
Of course, the presupposition underpinning this opinion question is the claim that upwards of 97% climate scientists — translated into “almost all” for the Pew survey — believe that climate changes since the mid-20th century have been mostly (i.e., more than 50%) caused by humans. This oft-cited 97% figure was derived from a subjective abstract-counting exercise conducted by “Skeptical Science” blogger John Cook and colleagues (Cook et al., 2013, “Quantifying the Consensus…”). Selected abstracts from 11,944 scientific papers published between 1991 and 2011 were used for the sample size, and of those papers just 65 (0.5% of the 11,944) were classified by Cook and his fellow raters as endorsing the specified Category 1 position that “Explicitly states that humans are the primary cause of recent global warming” (Legates et al., 2013). This wouldn’t do, of course. So, to ultimately reach the 97% endorsement percentage the Cook team had set out to obtain in the first place, they intentionally combined the (65) Category 1 quantified “consensus” statement papers with the (934) Category 2 and (2,933) Category 3 endorsement papers that only needed to state (2) or just imply (3) that humans are a cause of climate changes. These Category 2 and 3 papers did not quantify the contribution or indicate humans are a primary (>50%) cause of climate change, but they were nonetheless combined with Category 1 papers anyway.
Of course, nearly all scientists would agree that a human contribution greater than 0% exists, or that humans can be a cause — however modest — of some degree of climate change. So by combining the very high endorsement rates from Categories 2 and 3 (that even most skeptics acknowledge, as they agree humans contribute to climate change to some degree) with the negligibly small endorsement rates for Category 1 (just 65 papers), and by excluding many hundreds of papers from consideration that were published by scientists questioning the theory, Cook et al. (2013) were ultimately able to get away with proclaiming that 97% of scientists believe that climate changes since 1950 have mostly been caused by humans.
But as the evidence from the Pew survey indicates, despite their best efforts, John Cook and cohorts have not been able to convince the general public that subjective abstract-counting exercises are a sound or scientific means to gauge “consensus.” As mentioned, only 27% of Americans believe that “almost all” (i.e., 97%) climate scientists maintain the belief that humans are the primary cause of changes in the climate system. Not only that, just 28% Americans agree that climate scientists even understand (“very well”) what factors cause climate changes.
And Americans may be right. According to analysis found in the peer-reviewed scientific literature (Prokopy et al., 2015, Lefsrud and Meyer, 2012, Stenhouse et al., 2016), surveys of professional climatologists, engineers, geologists, and agronomists indicate that the percentage of these scientists who believe that changes in the climate system are primarily caused by humans falls abysmally short of the claimed 97%. In fact, these studies reveal that only 53% of climatologists and meteorologists, 36% of professional engineers and geoscientists, and 19% of agronomists believe that changes in the climate system are mostly human-caused.
53% Of Climatologists Believe, 19% Of Agronomists Believe
In a survey of Midwest-based climatologists and agronomists (here called “extension educators” who have “at least a Masters degree” in agronomic sciences), just 53% of climatologists and 19.2% of agronomists believe that changes in the climate system are primarily caused by humans.
Prokopy et al., 2015
Ninety-Seven Percent Bunk
To summarize, the American public is about as likely to believe that climate changes are mostly caused by humans as are meteorologists and climatologists (48% vs. 53%, respectively). And Americans in general are much more likely to believe that humans are the primary cause of climate changes as professionals trained in the physical sciences: 48% of U.S. citizens are believers, whereas ~20-35% of professionals with physical science degrees (engineers, Earth scientists, agronomists) are believers.
To put it non-delicately, the claim that “almost all” scientists (i.e., 97%) believe that most changes in the climate system are caused by humans is … bunk.
And most Americans already knew that.
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