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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Senator Inhofe Is At It Again!

Category: Environment
Posted: 08/30/07 13:34

by Dave Mindeman

I was surfing the internet this morning and came across this header on the Drudge Report:

Survey: Fewer than half of scientists endorse man-made global warming...

I captured the link so that you can see for yourself that this "conclusion" comes from the office of Senator James Inhofe, of Oklahoma. As you may or may not know, Senator Inhofe has made it his life's work to make sure this country doesn't survive into the next century; and that Al Gore is classified as some hysterical kook.

I think it is relevant to note that this "survey" did not ask any scientists about their reasoning. The survey did not talk to anyone. No, this analysis looked at research papers dealing with the subject matter between 2004 and 2007.

There is a couple of points to keep in mind:

1. Scientists don't talk about their own personal beliefs in scientific research papers. They deal with hard facts. They leave their own speculation out of it. Believe it or not, most scientists are not interested in political agendas. It is people like Senator Inhofe who make it so hard to avoid.

2. During that time period, research studies have been paid for by many energy companies in attempts to refute the growing consensus on global warming. One only has to look to drug company research to understand that who pays for the study makes a difference in the outcome.

3. They list 528 papers that were examined. What was the critieria for inclusion? Surely there were more than 528 papers involved with this subject. How did the researcher determine if a paper met the criteria? A survey's accuracy are dependent on its intial criteria.

But just looking at the data they provide can lead to an opposite conclusion. According to their own data. They classify 48% of the papers as neutral -- a pretty high number of scientists are classified as having "no opinion" on global warming? Of course they have an opinion, they are just not asked in relation to this survey. Secondly, although they say only 7% of the papers gave an implicit endorsement of man's involvement in global warming, 38% of the others gave, what they termed, an "implied" endorsement. But here is the kicker...only 6% rejected the idea of man's involvement in global warming.... 6%!

The conclusion of this researcher is that by including the 48% who were neutral, you have a "majority" of papers who do not support the current global warming consensus.

The author of this "treatise" (Michael Asher) then asks us to simply ignore the United Nations IPCC consensus on the subject. A survey that actually ASKED scientists to give their opinion on the topic.

I think Senator Inhofe is asking us to stretch the boundaries of belief on this one. Refuting scientific consensus with a clearly unscientific "survey" is just plain ludicrous.

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