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American Meteorological Society Survey: Just 4% Hardcore Climate Science Deniers in Their Ranks

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I know this will come as a shocker (not) to many of you, but the far-right-wing “Daily Caller” website has been busy yet again making s*** up to further their agenda. In this case, it’s climate science, and Media Matters does a nice job calling out the Caller for their distortions. Click on the table above, which asks members of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) two  main questions: a) whether global warming is happening; and b) what is causing it? The results demonstrate pretty much the exact opposite of what the Daily Caller crazies are saying.

First off, only a miniscule 4% of meteorologists say point blank that global warming is not happening, with another 7% saying they don’t know. So, at the absolute most, 11% of meteorologists would qualify as climate science “skeptics” or “deniers,” with the remaining 89% answering “yes” to the question, “Is global warming (GW) happening?” Let’s break this down into subgroups.

1. 52% say that GW is happening and that it’s mostly human caused. In other words, the correct answer.

2. 20% say that GW is happening, but that although “there is insufficient evidence to attribute cause with precision, human activity is implicated to some degree.” That’s almost the correct answer, except that there is TONS of evidence to attribute the cause of GW to human activity, albeit perhaps not with “precision,” depending on how that is defined.

3. Another 10% say GW is happening and is being caused equally by humans and nature. These 10% are correct that GW’s happening, correct that humans are playing a role in causing it, but incorrect that nature is equally responsible.  

4. Another 5% say GW is happening, caused mostly by “natural” factors. These folks are correct that GW is happening, but seem to be extremely confused as to the overwhelming scientific evidence that there’s almost nothing “natural” about it (unless you consider fossil fuel consumption by human beings to be “natural”).

5. Finally, 1% say GW is happening but they don’t know the cause. Again, they’re correct that GW is happening, but all they need to do is ask any climate scientists – Michael Mann, for instance – and they’ll be happy to explain what’s causing it.

Also worth noting is that those meteorologists with actual expertise in climate science overwhelmingly believe GW is happening (just 1% of those folks are hard-core climate science deniers) and that humans are causing it (nearly 90% say that humans play a major role). The big problem is with meteorologists who have absolutely ZERO climate science expertise and who are “non-publishers” – in other words, the ones who have no clue what the heck they’re talking about on this subject (although even among this group, only 7% are hard-core climate science deniers).

Example? How about WUSA9’s resident rotten apple, climate science denier Charles “Topper” Shutt? I checked his bio, and it turns out he’s a history major who then studied meteorology, but who appears to have ZERO expertise with regard to climate science (nor does he appear to have ever published anything even remotely scientific). Sensing a pattern here?

P.S. Although the American Meterological Society (AMS) has issued a strong statement, unequivocally stating that “[w]arming of the climate system now is unequivocal, according to many different kinds of evidence,” and that “the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide,” they need to go further. Now, it’s time for AMS leadership to take disciplinary action against the small minority of their members who push climate science denial. For starters, they should warn them to cease and desist their lying about climate science. If they don’t do that, then they should be expelled from the AMS. It’s just totally unacceptable behavior which makes the AMS look bad, and it should be treated as such.

  • RossPatterson

    The AMS should not “take disciplinary action against the small minority of their members who push climate science denial“, for one simple reason: the current consensus is based on available information.  As was the geocentric theory of the solar system in the 15th century, or the Newtonian theory of gravitation in the 19th.  Real scientists are open to the possibility that new evidence may contradict existing theories and require changes in those theories.