Temps Have Gone Up, Say Ninety-Seven Percent of Climate Scientists

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In addition, 84 percent believe that man-made global warming is occurring. These are among the results from a Harris Interactive poll commissioned by the D.C.-based Statistical Assessment Service (STATS). Other findings include:

A slight majority (54%) believe the warming measured over the last 100 years is not "within the range of natural temperature fluctuation."

A slight majority (56%) see at least a 50-50 chance that global temperatures will rise two degrees Celsius or more during the next 50 to 100 years. (The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cites this increase as the point beyond which additional warming would produce major environmental disruptions.)

Based on current trends, 41% of scientists believe global climate change will pose a very great danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years, compared to 13% who see relatively little danger. Another 44% rate climate change as moderately dangerous.

Seventy percent see climate change as very difficult to manage over the next 50 to 100 years, compared to only 5% who see it as not very difficult to manage. Another 23% see moderate difficulty in managing these changes.

Science is not done by voting, but these results are pretty interesting. Go here for more of the STATS climate science poll results.

Disclosure: Before some H&R commenters denounce me for not disclosing the "fact" that STATS is some kind of corporate front (and you know who you are), I direct your attention to the STATS entry at Sourcewatch. By the way, have you ever noticed how much nicer Sourcewatch's entries for left-leaning organizations like the Tides Foundation and Environmental Defense are? Here's Sourcewatch's entry on Sourcewatch. If you care to, take a look, here's their entry on the Reason Foundation which publishes reason magazine. Finally, I generally find that STATS offers useful and insightful analyses of leftwing statistical hype.

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  1. Hard for me to take a watchdog organization seriously when they can’t even get the most basic information right. How long has George Passantino been gone from Reason? Two years? Three years? lONGER? Yet there he is, THE CONTACT.

  2. I’m generally less interested in “where did organization X get their funding” than “what (implicit or explicit) strings were attached to that money”.

    Sourcewatch documents the former and from this makes vague inferences about the latter.

  3. You are totally in the pocket of Big Disclosure!

  4. your just a shill for big rational logical analysis.

    Wow, I’m first!!! Gee, that must mean nobody in the whole world is interested in this post…kinda diminishes the accomplishment

  5. Damn…my verbosity cost me my insignificant accomplishment

  6. A slight majority (56%) see at least a 50-50 chance

    Good enough for me. Has anyone noticed that a loaf of bread costs the same as a gallon of gas?

  7. In other news 90% of scientists disagree with Galileo’s findings that the earth revolves around the sun. “The sooner we can dismiss these unsupported findings the sooner we can get down to real scientific work,” said noted astronomical researcher Horatio Grassi.

  8. Has anyone noticed that a loaf of bread costs the same as a gallon of gas?

    WTF? That must be one primo loaf you’re buying. Round here a loaf of standard white bread is approx. 1/4 the cost of a gallon of gas.

  9. Round here a loaf of standard white bread is approx. 1/4 the cost of a gallon of gas.

    He’s shopping at Whole Foods.

  10. Sourcewatch is right. People only believe the stuff Reason advocates because they’re either stupid and manipulated sheep or paid off by teh corporashuns!

    Since I came to my libertarian senses before I found the Reason Foundation, it can then be inferred that I’m either directly receiving payments from teh corporashuns to believe this stuff, or I was previously and unknowingly manipulated by other organizations that were also funded by teh corporashuns.

  11. ROFL Check out Radley Balko’s entry:

    If one possible libertarian position was to defend the right of individuals – whether restaurant patron or employees – not to be exposed to secondhand smoke, it wasn’t an argument Balko embraced.

    I think whomever wrote that has absolutely no clue whatsoever about what the word “libertarian” means.

  12. who the hell eats standard white bread? Premium bread is well worth the extra cost.

  13. With bread, you pay more the fewer ingredients it has…. come to think of it, most food is that way.

  14. Well done, tarran. I like how it’s then followed up with:
    Instead, he argued that employees worried about the impact of smoking on their health should work elsewhere.

    How do they not realize that is how they’d exercise their right not to be exposed to second hand smoke? It’s not an argument against them having rights to not be exposed to second hand smoke.
    *smacks forehead on desk*

  15. Sourcewatch eh? You know you have achieved some miniscule level of importance when you get your own page in that pile of crap. I wonder if I can go create my own page. I promise to be most ruthless on myself when denouncing my corruption and be on the take off as many corparushns as possible.

  16. He’s shopping at Whole Foods

    No way.
    A 1 lb. loaf of seeded rye at the Publix bakery, last night: $3.69
    Gallon of gas, today, at Chevron: $3.69
    Don’t even get me started on rice.

  17. Statistically, 97% of scientists are wrong 99% of the time. They only publish the 1% of the stuff their buddies think they got right.

  18. Are these results based on opinions of scientists whose work relates to climate change (or climate in general), or would the opinion of say, a molecular biologist, count?

    1. “Climate scientists”, aka “climatologists”, are the chiropractic & homeopathic “doctors” of the legitimate scientific community.

  19. Way OT…

    Trailer for Venture Bros. Season 3.

    I figure I’d get that in before the climate-huggers show up to set us awful libertarians straight once and for all.

  20. who the hell eats standard white bread? Premium bread is well worth the extra cost

    At my house we refer to good bread as stick bread because of all the various things in the bread that are good for you. Like sticks.

  21. Just a few more months(?), NutraSweet. However, I am more interested in the new season of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

  22. At my house we refer to good bread as stick bread because of all the various things in the bread that are good for you. Like sticks.

    Sticks are good for you?

  23. June 1st, Epi.

  24. VB, that is…

  25. Interesting tidbit from the article. Talk about damning praise:

    “Climate scientists are skeptical of the media
    Only 1% of climate scientists rate either broadcast or cable television news about climate change as “very reliable.” Another 31% say broadcast news is “somewhat reliable,” compared to 25% for cable news. (The remainder rate TV news as “not very” or “not at all” reliable.) Local newspapers are rated as very reliable by 3% and somewhat reliable by 33% of scientists. Even the national press (New York Times, Wall St. Journal etc) is rated as very reliable by only 11%, although another 56% say it is at least somewhat reliable.

    Former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” rates better than any traditional news source, with 26% finding it “very reliable” and 38% as somewhat reliable. Other non-traditional information sources fare poorly: No more than 1% of climate experts rate the doomsday movie “The Day After Tomorrow” or Michael Crichton’s novel “State of Fear” as very reliable.”

  26. Based on current trends, 41% of scientists believe global climate change will pose a very great danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years

    Less than half. That sounds about right.

    Only 1% of climate scientists rate either broadcast or cable television news about climate change as “very reliable.”

    Absodamnlutely. I remember hearing how global warming was causing a “plague of cats,” islands to sink, and even earthquakes (!).

  27. I would be very interested in seeing a meta-study done that would look at these studies while correcting for the political bias of the scientists themselves.

  28. Ad Hominus Maximus ffs…

    Really it doesn’t matter to the truth of global warming if all or none of the scientists believe in it.

  29. I enjoyed Sourcewatch’s taken on Jacob Sullum:

    He wrote an article against secondhand smoking bans AND Reynolds gave $10,000 to Reason. That’s right, Reason turned Sullum into a tobacco-shilling whore for the breathtaking sum of $10,000.

    I often wonder if people project their own lust for money onto others. Damned do-gooders.

  30. I’ve always wondered why readings of history and geography have not been used to explain any percieved impact of global warming. A thousand years ago, the climate of England was so much warmer that it was possible to grow grapes and make wine. Two thousand years ago, if the accounts are correct, the Middle East had a climate resembling the Mid-West. Five thousand years ago, there were still four major rivers in the Middle East, not just the Tigris and Euphrates. Seven thousand years ago, the Nile flowed not just north, but west across the expanse of the Sahara. Everything ultimately changes, nothing is permanent.

  31. Thats so true Naga, the pyramids were even on grass!!!

  32. Naga,

    How about what happened 10,000 years ago when the ocean rose 400 feet due to the ice age ending. This is theorized to be the basis for the common great flood stories from many cultures.

    Compared to historical climate change, our current era appears to be one of amazing climate stability.

  33. Anyone remember the name of the film that was linked on Reason a few months back that gave a nice balanced counter-argument to global warming panic? I think it was Scandanavian or Danish?…ran about 60 minutes?…

  34. What I find disturbing is the commonly held misconception that experts are usually correct. While this may be true in many fields, it is not accurate to apply this reasoning to all disiplines. There are too many poorly understood processes involved with climate to make any realistic predictions.

    A perfect example occurs in the field of finance. It is clear that 80% of mutual funds fail to beat their related index every year. Your common dart throwing monkey will on average beat 80% of the investment professionals.

    As far as I am concerned a climate expert is about as useless as a financial expert.

  35. So Ron, what was the point of your disclosure? To expose SourceWatch as a left-leaning megaphone, or just to vent your annoyance with the org? Whatever the case your disclosure was unnecessary, as any impartial observer would note that SourceWatch does indeed lean left. Hopefully you’ll show a little more respect for your readers’ time and intelligence next time.

  36. MikeB,

    Actually, archaeologists believe that the flood stories came about roughly five thousand years ago, the river valley that became the Persian Gulf was flooded by the Indian Ocean. They believe roughly five thousand years because the Old Testament mentions the four rivers of the Middle East, where they met was supposed to be Eden. The Old Testament incorporates a lot of Sumerian myths and legends. Sumerians were supposed to be there about five thousands years ago so thats where the number comes from.

  37. This is theorized to be the basis for the common great flood stories from many cultures.

    Really? I’d heard it was the breach of the Mediterranean.

    http://www.museum.upenn.edu/Sinop/Post_article.htm

    As the story is told in the Old Testament, the great flood lasted for 40 days and 40 nights, and
    submerged every living thing on Earth beneath 24 feet of water, sparing only Noah, his family
    and the pairs of animals he protected on his ark.

    Scientists have never found Noah or his ark, but they believe in his flood. It happened about
    7,600 years ago, when the Mediterranean Sea, swollen by melted glaciers, breached a natural
    dam separating it from the freshwater lake known today as the Black Sea.

    It was an apocalyptic event, in many respects much worse than anything described in Genesis.
    Every day for two years, 10 cubic miles of sea water cut through the narrow channel now
    known as the Bosporus, and plunged into the lake — more than 200 times the flow over
    Niagara Falls. Every day the lake level rose six inches.

  38. Hopefully you’ll show a little more respect for your readers’ time and intelligence next time.

    NP, there are these things called “jokes”. One subcategory of “jokes” are called “running gags”, which this is a classic example of.

    You might want to research these unfamiliar terms.

  39. I believe they have dated the foundations of Jericho to roughly 12,000 B.C.

  40. Here’s a nice list of some prehistoric floods:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deluge_(prehistoric)

  41. MikeB: Very insightful. As you probably know a study of “expert political judgment” found that experts (at least in politics) are no more likely to be right in their predictions than the rest of us. From The New Yorker:

    It is the somewhat gratifying lesson of Philip Tetlock’s new book, “Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?” (Princeton; $35), that people who make prediction their business-people who appear as experts on television, get quoted in newspaper articles, advise governments and businesses, and participate in punditry roundtables-are no better than the rest of us. When they’re wrong, they’re rarely held accountable, and they rarely admit it, either. They insist that they were just off on timing, or blindsided by an improbable event, or almost right, or wrong for the right reasons. They have the same repertoire of self-justifications that everyone has, and are no more inclined than anyone else to revise their beliefs about the way the world works, or ought to work, just because they made a mistake. No one is paying you for your gratuitous opinions about other people, but the experts are being paid, and Tetlock claims that the better known and more frequently quoted they are, the less reliable their guesses about the future are likely to be. The accuracy of an expert’s predictions actually has an inverse relationship to his or her self-confidence, renown, and, beyond a certain point, depth of knowledge. People who follow current events by reading the papers and newsmagazines regularly can guess what is likely to happen about as accurately as the specialists whom the papers quote. Our system of expertise is completely inside out: it rewards bad judgments over good ones.

  42. TallDave,

    I’m just going on my reading and ,of course, the History Channel. My personal view is simple: They don’t know. Every culture has a flood myth. Farming being the basis for a food surplus that created early civilizations, any flooding would be looked upon as apocalyptic.

  43. Naga,
    The history channel had a good story on Eden. I had thought it to be more like 8000BC (ie end of last ice age). 3000BC would have left more written records of the occurance and doesn’t correspond to a period of significant water level increases.

    TallDave,
    I think we are both correct. The breach occured as a result of the rising oceans. Also, another option for the location of the biblical great flood story could be the persian gulf.

    Ron,
    Good point. I didn’t think of that example.

  44. tarran,

    There are these things called “tantrums,” and last time I looked their subcategories did not include either “jokes” or “running gags.” I classified most of Ron’s previous disclosures as running gags, but not this particular one. Hope you’re already familiar with these unfamiliar terms, and that you just made an unthinking mistake.

  45. I’m always weary of apocolyptic predictions because people seem to be predisposed to wanting themselves, the time their living in, or something associated with them to be the most important of all time. Just look those who think that the rapture will happen within their lifetimes, that kids today are the worst they’ve ever been, or that our current economic situation is comparable to the great depression.
    Who can take anybody seriously when they’re predicting something based on an event that could be one of history’s defining moment? Who wants to be cited as someone who couldn’t see it coming?

  46. Also, how many times have I read in the past 3 or 4 years that experts are predicting that gas will hit an average of $4 a gallong that coming summer? How many times has that happened?

  47. MikeB,

    On the contrary, once you get past Herodutus(about 2400 years ago), clear and accurate Greek records are virtually non-existent. The Egyptians kept semi-accurate information but they seemed more or less concerned with their corner of the world. Sumerian cunieform is incredibly fragmented and dealt largely with royal matters. The cunieform slabs made great housing additions in that region though.

  48. NP,

    OK, I get it, you took Ron’s lighthearted commentary as a tantrum.

    Please note that pretty much everyone else interpreted it as I did.

    If you want to be offended, that is your right; it’s a free Internet. But speaking for myself, you are verging into Andrea-Dworkin-calling-all-heterosexual-sex-rape territory. Seriously.

  49. Reinmoose,

    Couldn’t agree more, been going on since at least Plato’s time. Longer I’m sure but topics like yours only seemed to be written down about Plato’s time.

  50. Naga,

    Wouldn’t the flooding of the Persian gulf require a significant increase in the ocean level and wouldn’t this be recorded by the Egyptians?

    My memory is about as accurate as a climatologist, but I seem to recall that the Sumerian flood story of Gilgamesh (2700BC) was based on a much older oral tradition. According to TallDave’s link, the Persian gulf was flooded in 10,000BC

  51. Any mention that the planet has been cooling for the past 10 years?

  52. Christ, tarran. I don’t understand why you interpreted my (1st) comments as hostile. I actually enjoy Ron’s lighthearted disclosures most of the time, but this time he was clearly a little ticked off, judging not only by his tone but also by the care he took to link to those SourceWatch pages written by his ideological enemies. I just thought he was getting upset over trivial things so I pointed that out. I wasn’t offended at all, nor did I mean to be hostile. But then you accused me of being humorless so I responded in kind. Sorry if my comments irked you, but that wasn’t my intention.

  53. Global Warming! Aaagghh!

  54. NP & tarran: All I was trying to do with the disclosure was spread a bit of “joe bane” about. Please have a wonderful weekend.

  55. Sticks are good for you?

    You ever look at a loaf of Orowheat flax and oat and whole grain? Take a look and then tell me those aren’t little sticks in that bread. 🙂

  56. All I was trying to do with the disclosure was spread a bit of “joe bane” about. Please have a wonderful weekend.

    You too.

    Christ, tarran. I don’t understand why you interpreted my (1st) comments as hostile.

    Okaay, you accused Ron of showing too little respect for his readers’ intelligence. That is, in my experience, a pretty hostile comment to make.

    Sorry if my comments irked you, but that wasn’t my intention.

    Great! Because you didn’t irk me. I thought your comment was unfair to Ron and missed the point – but as a person who spends too much time on the internet, I see people missing the point and worse. If I ever were upset by such things, it has long since been burned out of me. 😉

  57. Thanks for the Sourcewatch link. First sentence: “The Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) touts itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan organization” but is a stealth PR operation of the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA).”

    You don’t have to go through the chains of funding to know that any “research” by a front group, no matter who they’re a front for, is guilty until proven innocent.

  58. Are these results based on opinions of scientists whose work relates to climate change (or climate in general), or would the opinion of say, a molecular biologist, count?

    An important question.

    What I find disturbing is the commonly held misconception that experts are usually correct.

    It may not be true that experts are usually correct, but it is important to keep “scientists” distinct as a special category of expert…and I would be willing to bet that scientists are right about their particular narrow area of interest much more often than non-experts.

  59. Methods for the survey as reported indicate that the scientists surveyed were not limited to Climate Scientists, but came broadly from disciplines that are concerned with climate.

    Between March 19 through May 28, 2007 Harris Interactive conducted a mail survey of a random sample of 489 self-identified members of either the American Meteorological Society or the American Geophysical Union who are listed in the current edition of American Men and Women of Science. A random sample of this size carries a theoretical sampling error of +/- four percentage points. A detailed description of the study’s methodology as well as that of the earlier Gallup survey is available on request.

  60. Ron, same to you.

    tarran,

    I may have misunderstood Ron’s intention ’cause his tone in this case was more negative than usual, but the point I wanted to make was that Ron seems to be slightly but unduly vexed by those SourceWatch articles (or what his enemies say about him), which pretty much no one but left-wing ideologues care about. But yeah, I guess I should’ve left out “intelligence” when I wrote my first set of comments, so that was a poor decision on my part.

  61. A quibble…

    Ron Bailey identifies the EDF as a leftwing organization while Sourcewatch calls them rightwing.

    It notes that the Freemarket environmentalism of “George Bush’s favorite” environmental organization has been influential in the environmental movement and “accepted largely without scrutiny of the ideological agenda behind” it.

  62. Who was surveyed? The article reports “a mail survey of a random sample of 489 self-identified members of either the American Meteorological Society or the American Geophysical Union…” So, I surfed over to the American Meteorological Society web site. Right off, they offered me a chance to join. How did they know I was a climate scientist? (Hint: I’m not.) There’s something on the membership page about extra benefits for K-12 teachers.

    I just have to suppose Ron Bailey is trolling. The survey is worthless. But, Hey — Ron got people going with it.

    Meanwhile, good ole NPR has seen fit to report on The Mystery of Global Warming’s Missing Heat. It seems project Argo has good data on ocean temperature for five years now. Ocean temps have a big fly wheel effect — yearly fluctuations are smoothed out. The result is only five years, but this is ALL the data there is. Result: nada

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025

  63. The Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) touts itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan organization” but is a stealth PR operation of the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA).

    Huh?

    Did a PR operation of the Center for Media and Public Affairs (Sourcewatch) just out another PR operation of the Center for Media and Public Affairs (STATS) for being a PR operation of The Center for Media and Public Affairs?

    Am I reading that right? And if so when did left wing nut jobs become paranoid of other left wing nut jobs?

    Is this America’s equivalent of an ice pick in Tolstoy’s corpse?

  64. SugarFree,

    Thanks for the Venture Bros. link.

    All I was trying to do with the disclosure was spread a bit of “joe bane” about.

    Whoa.

  65. Ronald and commenters,

    Thanks for the critiques (seriously). SourceWatch is a wiki, so we’re always looking to improve the quality of articles and sometimes they do get out of date. I updated the contact info for the Reason Foundation and removed that sentence from Balko’s profile – I agree that it didn’t really belong in a reference to libertarian philosophy.

    I’d also note that while we like them to be, we don’t claim that SourceWatch’s articles are “authoritative” in the sense of containing all the relevant facts on a subject or having a “balance” or “neutral point of view.” We just try to make sure all the information is factual and sourced so you don’t have to take our word for it – you can check the sources yourself. We find that this is the best approach when dealing with touchy political subjects – otherwise we’d spend days arguing over whether the introductory paragraph captured the “essence” of a subject rather than what we’d prefer to do: gather relevant facts for a more informed citizenry (and blogosphere).

    As far as being easy on lefty groups, well, the entry for Environmental Defense notes that they “have been persuaded by the rhetoric of free market environmentalism” and are “George Bush’s favorite environmental group.” I guess it all depends on your perspective.

    I value accuracy and intellectual honesty above all in these matters and any of you are welcome to make additions to SourceWatch (as long as you follow the ground rules) or email me directly with constructive criticism.

    Yours in truth,
    Conor Kenny
    staff editor at SourceWatch.org
    email: conor AT sourcewatch DOT org

  66. I never realized the disclosure format could be used to whine before.

  67. I haven’t written a fucking word about Ron Bailey’s shilling in two years.

    He certainly does know how to manipulate you drones, though.

  68. You haven’t figures that out?

  69. Who are these “scientists”? Polling particle physicists and anthropologists?

    These guys aren’t infallible. “Scientists” have often believed stuff later shown to be false. Eugenics, for example. A belief as popular among the progressive left then as global warming is among them now.

  70. “George Bush’s favorite environmental group.”

    I wonder if he thinks puppies are cute or if he likes pizza?

  71. Openly anti-science.

    As this thread demonstrates, that’s what you have to be in order to deny global warming at this point.

    Scientists? Pfft! What do they know? You can tell a theory is bullshit, because there are TOO MANY SCIENTISTS who agree with it.

    Oh, and RTFA, dimiwits. Between March 19 through May 28, 2007 Harris Interactive conducted a mail survey of a random sample of 489 self-identified members of either the American Meteorological Society or the American Geophysical Union who are listed in the current edition of American Men and Women of Science

    No, Desperately Grasping At Straws D00ds, they did not survey chemists and particle physicists.

  72. joe: My evil disclosure ploy obviously didn’t work. Evidently, all I’ve done is poke a stick into the joe hornet’s nest. Damn.

    All: As for the qualifications of the people surveyed, you’d be amazed at who is considered a “climate scientist” at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But no matter–the main reason I blogged the survey is to point out that the opinions of most “climate scientists” (however defined) have shifted decisively in the direction of thinking that man-made global warming is a significant (even “dangerous”) problem.

    For me this means that people and policymakers need to start thinking now about the best least-cost way of addressing the problem. On that opinions will vary.

    In that regard, there’s an interesting paper on adaptation to climate change over at the AEI-Brookings Reg-Market Center that points out some of the limitations that climate science (models) have for guiding policy responses.

    Now everyone, back to your weekends.

  73. joe: My evil disclosure ploy obviously didn’t work. Nope, it’s still really obvious you’re a hack.

    Nice Steinification there, Bailey.

    Wah, look everyone, the mean people are being mean to me. Rally, everyone! Rally! Bad people say I’m wrong. You don’t want to be one of those bad people, do you?

  74. If global warming is a very great danger to the earth, information from the TTAPS study will be very useful.

  75. When someone’s most notable contribution to the issue of global warming has been his admission that he allowed his political preferences to interfere with his understanding of the facts but that he was right to do so, just how seriously should we take his opinion about the proper political response to the problem?

  76. Joe: Very seriously.

  77. When someone’s most notable contribution to the issue of global warming has been his admission that he allowed his political preferences to interfere with his understanding of the facts but that he was right to do so, just how seriously should we take his opinion about the proper political response to the problem?

    Who is this someone?

    And what is the proper political response, aside from detonating nuclear weapons at test sites to simulate a nuclear autumn?

  78. Ron – check you out at ACSH!

  79. Conor Kenny: Thanks very much intervening in this discussion. As for EDF, I admit I could have made a better choice, though opinions of ED’s political leanings vary. I note that LiberalForum lists EDF (the group’s earlier name-somebody else need to update their info) as part of list of liberal environmental groups that include Greenpeace and the Sierra Club.

    In any case, in the environmental policy arena, the tone of the Sourcewatch entries on left-leaning groups like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Food First and so forth is positive to neutral. The tone for right-leaning groups is more suspicous of their motives, e.g., American Enterprise Institute is described as “an extremely influential, pro-business right-wing think tank founded in 1943 by Lewis H. Brown. It promotes the advancement of free enterprise capitalism[1], and succeeds in placing its people in influential governmental positions. It is the center base for many neo-conservatives.”

    Or say the Cato Institute entry which notes: “Despite its decidedly ideological agenda on many topics, members of the Cato Institute are often portrayed as non-partisan experts on news programs.” Yes, that’s true. But that is also true of Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Food First, and so forth and the Sourcewatch articles don’t mention that. In fact, NGO representatives are often portrayed in the media as public spirited experts who are uninfluenced by ideology or conflicts of interest. Of course, NGOers often believe themselve to be such noble creatures, but ….

    As a wiki, I realize that the Sourcewatch entries depend on those who have an interest in contributing, so any bias can and should be countered by others with different viewpoints joining the discussion.

    Again, thanks for your intervention.
    Have a good weekend. I’m going off now to enjoy mine.

  80. Ron,

    I do believe that the “bias” you see against right leaning organizations in Sourcewatch is a figment of your imagination.

    For example, the quote you pull about American Enterprise stays pretty neutral…just reporting the facts…If you see the words “neo-conservative” as some attempt to slight them, what term would you prefer they use?

    And the entry on the Sierra Club includes information on controversial connections with corporate America.

    You are crying victim pretty needlessly.

  81. neu
    But I thought that in modern America that “victims” get to decide when they have been “victimized”? 😉

  82. I don’t deny climate change. That’s because the climate has been changing for billions of years, and will continue to change for billions more. What I deny, dispute or disagree with are:

    1) The oversimplifications or distortions reported in the media. Such as assuming “global warming” will cause uniform warming worldwide, or claims that the sea level will rise twenty feet, or that coastal cities will be inundated by the sea, etc.

    2) The view that climate models are equivalent to verified fact. Climatology is extremely difficult to conduct experiments, and deals with extraordinarily complex data which is often historic and of poor value. Models are a way to get a handle on this, but they are prone to oversimplification and distortions.

    3) I deny that scientists are infallible. Hell, I deny that scientists are smarter than average. Scientism is like a religion, in that “scientists say” is used as a mantra. I especially disagree with the increasing common viewpoint that science is not about polling scientists opinions.

    4) I am not convinced of anthopogenic climate change. Humanity may be a significant factor, but I am still not convinced of this. Arguments in its favor are not swaying me.

    5) That the current changes in climate will be a problem. A increase in global temperatue may cause some localized problems, but I’m not convinced that it will be a horrible thing.

  83. Brandybuck,

    Your point 3 is a bit confusing to me.

    Particularly the last sentence.

    You think science IS about polling scientists OPINIONS?

    Really?

  84. No I do NOT think science is about polling scientists. Which is why I think this whole topic is nonsense. Science is not about voting. Not even voting whether Pluto is a planet or not.

    Regarding the rest of point three, I have found scientists to be dumber than average in regards to politics. They tend to be introverts, tend to have inflated egos (everyone tells them they are smart), and have a controlling technocratic worldview. A scientist’s opinion on environmental policy is as irrelevant as a soap opera actress’s recommendation in regards to toothpaste.

  85. How many of you guys actually know anything about science? Eugenics was a political ideology – scientists are just as stupid about that stuff as anybody else — but they usually have a good sense of their field.

    Moreover, when there’s a “paradigm shift”, it usually consists of a new interpretation that better fits the observed data, such as relativity explaining a lot of things that ether couldn’t.

    There aren’t that many situations where the vast majority of scientists in a field are completely mistaken about the data. There really isn’t any strong reason to think that the majority of climatologists don’t know the data. Check out realclimate.org for lots and lots of data…

    I think it’s the denialists and minimizers who are all over the map in this regard, with some folks who continue to insist climate change is a mass delusion or a conspiracy, while others think it’s due to cosmic rays or solar radiation, and still others agree that human industry is changing the climate, but don’t think it will be a big deal. (And Bjorn Lomborg thinks it will be a big deal, but he’d rather talk about malaria…) Why does Inhofe resort to ad hominem attacks against James Hansen? Because he has nothing else.

  86. You are crying victim pretty needlessly.

    It’s the Ben Stein strategy.

    Science is not about voting.

    The 85% of climate scientists who said that global warming would be a serious problem didn’t arrive at that conclusion through voting, but through their research and study.

    Yes, it is significant that 8.5/10 researchers in the field have come to roughly the same conclusion after decades of study into the issue.

  87. “Ron,
    I do believe that the “bias” you see against right leaning organizations in Sourcewatch is a figment of your imagination.”

    I don’t know about the bias against “right-leaning organizations” but a quick comparison between the way Reason magazine and the Sierra Club are described is telling. Within a couple of sentences, it’s mentioned that Sullum was a recipient of the tobacco companies ‘largess.’ How long into the report on the Sierra Club does it say anything about corporate connections? And is there anything like the rhetoric used to describe Reason or Sullum?

    Anyone who doesn’t understand that bias is not just what is mentioned, but the words used to frame the debate, and how and where they are strategically placed in an article, is just too biased himself, dishonest, or a little lazy.

  88. The 85% of climate scientists who said that global warming would be a serious problem didn’t arrive at that conclusion through voting, but through their research and study.

    You didn’t read the article, did you? It was an opinion survey, not a review of the literature. A pollster came and asked them what their opinions were. And not all participants were “climate scientists”. They were members of the AMS and AGU, which while having a large overlap with climatologists, is not the same thing.

    My point is not that scientists are wrong. Far from it. The statistics in the article shows a huge variation in opinions, that any claim of “consensus” is ludicrous. This isn’t an opinion poll and we aren’t electing facts! By your own statement, 15% of scientists don’t think global warming is a serious problem! That’s not enough to win an election, but it sure as hell is enough to make me doubt.

  89. You didn’t read the article, did you? Yes, I did.

    It was an opinion survey, not a review of the literature. No shit, Sherlock. Who ever said otherwise? You see, for me, that fact that is was an opinion survey was made clear by the fact that they reported that such-and-such a percent held certain opinions.

    They were members of the AMS and AGU, which while having a large overlap with climatologists, is not the same thing. Since those are the bodies that the relevant climate scientists would belong to, and since membership indicates an appropriate level of accomplishment and expertise, it seems as good a selection of the relevant experts as any other I’ve seen.

    The statistics in the article shows a huge variation in opinions, that any claim of “consensus” is ludicrous No, your claim in ludicrous. 85% say, for example, that climate change is either a very serious and moderately serious problem. That’s a pretty strong consensus that it’s a serious problem.

    This isn’t an opinion poll and we aren’t electing facts! I guess I’ll repeat myself

    The 85% of climate scientists who said that global warming would be a serious problem didn’t arrive at that conclusion through voting, but through their research and study.

    Yes, it is significant that 8.5/10 researchers in the field have come to roughly the same conclusion after decades of study into the issue.

    Nobody is saying that the facts are X because 85% of the relevant scientists say so. The facts are X, and we can be confident in saying this, because the vast majority of scientists who’ve researched the question say it is. Just like we can say with confidence that evolution happened, because the vast majority of the people in a position to answer that question agree what the evidence proves.

    By your own statement, 15% of scientists don’t think global warming is a serious problem! No, that figure includes a “Don’t Know/No answer” answer.

  90. I am really divided on man-made global warming, although leaning towards thinking it is more likely form what I’ve read. (note: I easily avoid letting my politics color my judgment, because honestly it wouldn’t affect my views either way).

    What is more interesting to me is the somewhat anti-science attitude that can be read in some of these posts. I imagine a good portion of that is just overstated reactions to the polling study (which is silly, I agree, especially with a sample like that), but I have to wonder whether some of it is real.

  91. Chook,

    a quick comparison between the way Reason magazine and the Sierra Club are described is telling

    Gimme a break.
    The very same charge is made against both organizations…both received money from an industry or corporation and are subject to questions about whether this is appropriate.

    Importantly, Reason would not be considered to be going against their principles to do so since they oppose regulations anyway, while the SC’s endorsement of a corporations products in a 13 million dollar deal may be seen as undermining their objectivity.

    Pretty telling that you read the Reason entry as more negative than the SC entry.

  92. Brandybuck,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I have found scientists to be dumber than average in regards to politics.

    Nah. I don’t buy it.

    On average working scientists are “smarter” (using whatever measure you want, level of education, IQ) than the rest of the population.

    Some may be uninterested in politics, but in aggregate they pay attention at a least average levels and come to the issues with a larger than average store of education/smarts with which to assess the situation.

    Not saying that politics should be given over to the scientists, but an assessment that they are MORE likely to be wrong than the average person is odd.

  93. Ice core data

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080427/sc_nm/climate_warming_dc_1

    Interesting partly because it uses the data most often cited by those who don’t buy the AGW arguments.

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