This past Tuesday, March 26th, the Green New Deal was defeated in the Senate with 57 members voting against and 43 members, all of whom were Democrats, voting “present” (Reuters). Supposedly, the reason those Democrats voted “present” is because, “…Ocasio-Cortez urged senators to vote ‘present,’ citing a lack of hearings, and Markey did so on his own resolution” (The Nation). I find that to be a bit humorous. You would think with the “fact” that our planet only has 12 years remaining before catastrophe ensues (The Guardian) that we wouldn’t need such hearings. But I digress.
Anyways, my excitement over the embarrassing Green New Deal defeat got me thinking. Obviously, if the Earth only had 12 more good years left, we would all be rushing to pass this resolution. The issue though, like many of our issues in today’s society, is the dishonest mainstream media pushing lies to American citizens. One of those lies, which is the topic of this article, is the study that 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is real and that human beings are responsible.
The study was created by John Cook, founder of SkepticalScience.com, along with a group of authors. It’s a misleading study with a bottom line that states, “Cook et al. (2013) found that over 97 percent [of papers he surveyed] endorsed the view that the Earth is warming up and human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause” (Forbes). We should note that “main cause” here means greater than 50%. But this is misleading, because when the study was challenged by economist David Friedman, “one observer calculated that only 1.6 percent explicitly stated that man-made greenhouse gases caused at least 50 percent of global warming” (Forbes).
1.6 percent? Wait a second, how did John Cook get to 97% in his research if the number is really much, much lower? Well, Cook included a category in his research called “explicit endorsement without quantification.” I know that sounds confusing. Trust me, it was confusing when I first read it. Broken down, we know that to quantify something is to count it or to give it a numerical measurement. To simplify “explicit endorsement without quantification” can be stated as, “…papers in which the author, by Cook’s admission, did not say whether 1 percent or 50 percent or 100 percent of the warming was caused by man” (Forbes). This means there could be a climate scientist, they say that climate change is caused my humans, not give a percentage at which humans contribute to that climate change, and still be put into Cook’s study and be counted in the final 97% statistic.
Cook also included a category called “implicit endorsement.” What does this mean? Well, broken down, we know “implicit” is to imply something, in this case implying that man-made climate change exists. We know “to endorse” something is to declare your approval of it, in this case endorsing man-made climate change. Therefore, Cook included papers that implied (not stated) that human beings are responsible for climate change (Forbes). Another misleading trail.
Like I stated earlier, to say that 97% of climate scientists believe human beings are the main cause of global warming, means that human beings would have to contribute more than 50% with our greenhouse emissions. Cook and his colleagues were incredibly irresponsible in saying that this is the case, because we can clearly see that many papers included in the study did not state exactly how much human beings are contributing to warming. A scientist who says humans are 51% responsible should not be compared to a scientist who believes humans are 1% responsible, in regard to this study, because 1% is not catastrophic and should in no way bar us from continuing to burn fossil fuels.