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July 05, 2014


Mr. Nyhan:

Are you unaware that the "97 percent of climate scientists believe human activity causes global warming" has been discredited, or do you choose to ignore it? There are many serious climate researchers who question the present hysteria, and who show that the models have failed to predict the cooling of the past 15 or so years. It may be too deep for you, but I'd recommend that you scan Richard Foster Flint's book on Glacial and Pleistocene geology as a primer on climate variation. Also check the recent WSJ item on the "97% Myth."

Brendan -- Sadly your column and your source's columns treat the following statements as almost equivalent. (My comments are appended to show the lack of equivalence):

-- The average temperature on Earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades.
(Should say "has gotten warmer" rather than "has been getting warmer", which implies that the earth is warming today. Also omitted is that the earth has been warming for over 200 years. Scientists agree that the warming before 1950 or so was not due to man's activity. Also, the so-far unexplained pause in warming ought to be mentioned, if one wants to be fair to the reader.)

-- There is evidence of global warming.
(How much warming? When? In the past, present or continuing into the future?)

-- Human activities are causing global warming.
(Should say "some global warming". Most scientists do not think that man's activity has caused all of the warming.

Sadly that Pew survey is even worse.

Lots of people claim there's a 97% consensus, without saying what it is that the supposed consensus agrees on.

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