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Nov. 13, 2009

You want consensus? We’ve GOT consensus.

by Neil Wagner

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97% of climate scientists believe humans cause global warming. At least it’s not unanimous.

Suppose you were feeling out of sorts and went to your family doctor, a general practitioner. The G.P said you had a serious illness that needed treatment. Being cautious, prudent and conservative about such things, you got a second opinion. Suppose you sought 10 opinions in all. Eight of the 10 G.P.’s identified the same illness.

You then sought the diagnosis of a specialist before pursuing treatment. Let’s get crazy and say you went to 100 specialists. 97 of them gave you the same diagnosis the eight G.P.’s had given. Would you seek treatment or decide the doctors were wrong and that there really was no problem?

The overwhelming consensus I just described is the same kind of consensus scientists express when it comes to global warming. A University of Illinois survey released earlier this year asked questions of 3,146 earth scientists. 82% of the group said they believed both that global warming was happening and that humans are a significant factor in causing it. When the questions were put specifically to climate scientists actively involved in the study of climate change, 97% of them held that same opinion.

Even geologists and meteorologists associated with the petroleum industry (not the likeliest of believers) were almost 50/50 on the matter.

Check it out…

Info on the University of Illinois Survey

 

 

About Neil Wagner

Neil Wagner's What on Earth? comic strip uses humor to discuss global warming.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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