Letter: Hardly a basis for any consensus

31,000 signatories only represents 1.2 per cent of scientists in the U.S., so hardly a basis for any kind of consensus, writes Larry Hudema

In last week’s letter, “The 97 per cent claim discredited,” it is only fair to point out that the article and petition quoted to support the idea that “97 per cent of climate scientists agree that humans are warming the planet” is in fact a myth, are  written or sponsored by well-known climate change deniers  Joseph Blast and Roy Spencer, who wrote the Wall Street Journal article.

Both are associated with the Koch-affiliated Heartland Institute, which also spent years defending the tobacco industry and lobbied against public-health regulations.

The Global Warming Petition Project has been called flawed at best and fraudulent at worst by those who have examined the organizers methodology—for example, it is never revealed what percentage of the 9,000 scientists with PhDs actually have expertise in earth science, and it is not reported how many petitions (as opposed to a well-designed scientific survey) were sent out and how many were returned with unfavourable responses.

In any case, the 31,000 signatories only represents 1.2 per cent of scientists in the U.S.A., so hardly a basis for any kind of consensus.

As for the George Mason University survey mentioned in support of the idea that humans are not affecting global warming, it is odd that if one goes to the website for their Centre for Climate Change Communication, the very first statement made is, “Climate change is the result of human actions and choices.”

NASA reports that it “has more than a dozen earth science spacecraft/instruments in orbit studying all aspects of the Earth system (oceans, land, atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere), with several more planned for launch in the next few years.”

Their conclusion: “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 per cent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.

“In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.”

These are listed on their website for you to read for yourself. Discredited? I think not.

– Larry Hudema, Grand Forks