Letter: The 97 per cent claim discredited

To claim that a consensus of ...humans are harmfully heating the planet is an affront to the scientific process, writes Michael Lederhouse.

Spencer Tracy raises some excellent points regarding water meter RF radiation hysteria (“It’s time we moved forward”, Gazette, Sept. 23). I am in total agreement with most of his points, including directing energy to issues that deserve more attention.

Unfortunately he also mentions climate change and the oft-quoted “97 per cent of climate scientists agree that humans are warming the planet.”

The 97 per cent claim has been discredited by many authors. It was largely based on the poorly worded Zimmerman/Doran survey, which represented the views of just 79 selected climate scientists; and the now infamous Cook et al Australian paper, which has been thoroughly debunked due to inaccuracies and procedural errors.

An article in the Wall Street Journal–“The myth of the climate change 97 per cent” (Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer, May 26, 2014) summarizes the origins of the dubious 97 per cent claim.

George Mason University published a survey in 2012 in which only 39.5 per cent of 1,854 American Meteorological Society respondents thought man-made global warming is dangerous. But perhaps more significant is the Global Warming Petition Project of La Jolla, California, which has by far the most signatories of any of the climate change surveys.

In it, more than 31,000 scientists, including over 9,000 with PhDs, state, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing, or will in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

There are credible proponents on both sides of the climate debate, but to claim that a consensus of climate scientists believe that humans are harmfully heating the planet is both disingenuous and an affront to the scientific process.

– Michael Lederhouse, Grand Forks