97% of Climate Scientists Agree: Humans are Causing Global Warming

climate change humans scientists photo

Photo via ForceChange
Despite Reporting Results, CNN Ignores Its Own Memo
The results of an important survey of 3,145 scientists, are crystal clear: the vast majority of the scientific community believes humans are responsible for a warming climate. A full 90% of all scientists surveyed believe global warming is occurring, and 82% believe it is because of the actions of man. And a whopping 97% of climatologists surveyed said humans are causing global warming. But that didn't stop CNN from ignoring its own articles and running a misleading 'climate debate' TV segment despite its reports on the scientific consensus.This is extremely important information at this crucial time. With results of Copenhagen uncertain, the fate of the energy reform bill in the Senate uncertain, and the recent debacle over hacked climate emails giving deniers an (unfounded) excuse to make noise, the results of this survey, which was covered by CNN online should help send a clear message about the scientific stance on climate change.

So How Will CNN Reflect the Facts of the Story it Helped Break?
While I was writing this up, I just saw yet another example of irresponsible coverage on the 'climate debate' on CNN's Situation Room--a typical 'here's a scientist who agrees that global warming is a huge issue, and here's one who doesn't!' segment. Never mind that the dissenter is often not even a climate scientist--the public gets fed this faux 'debate' narrative anyways. Which is why we need to look at what the scientific community as a whole has to say: and it's saying overwhelmingly that global warming is very real, and we human folks are causing it.

Results of Survey of Scientists on Climate Change
From CNN (!)'s online report on the poll:

Two questions were key: Have mean global temperatures risen compared to pre-1800s levels, and has human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures? About 90 percent of the scientists agreed with the first question and 82 percent the second.

The strongest consensus on the causes of global warming came from climatologists who are active in climate research, with 97 percent agreeing humans play a role.

Petroleum geologists and meteorologists were among the biggest doubters, with only 47 percent and 64 percent, respectively, believing in human involvement.

Petroleum geologists hm? Wonder if there's anybody paying for their research that might make them biased . . .


Clear Consensus, Fake Debate
Despite that, the general results are clear cut. Though it's ridiculous how large a gap there is between CNN's coverage. The news organization published the article about the survey on the same day that Wolf Blitzer ran his lame-brained 'debate' story on TV. One reports the facts: 97% of scientists say GW is caused by man. The other is an 'opinion' piece which leaves Wolf concluding, "So there's still a debate about global warming." How many more people watched the TV segment than bothered to seek out the survey story? Probably millions. And so goes the story of botched global warming coverage by our media. No wonder less Americans believe global warming is occurring now than three years ago, despite the heaping evidence.

Perhaps we should listen to why Peter Doran, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and one of the survey's authors, wasn't surprised that there's a huge consensus of climatologists who responded to the survey the way they did:

"They're the ones who study and publish on climate science. So I guess the take-home message is, the more you know about the field of climate science, the more you're likely to believe in global warming and humankind's contribution to it. The debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes."

And maybe CNN's television broadcasters should bother to read the material its reporters write.

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