CONSENSUS? WHAT CONSENSUS?
Dr. Michael S. Coffman Ph. D.
September 10, 2008
have all heard the litany in the news that 2,500 scientists working
in conjunction with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) agree with a 90 percent certainty that man is causing
potentially catastrophic global warming. They even received the Nobel
Peace Prize, along with Al Gore, for their exemplary work in the field.
This, we are told, is a solid consensus having very few dissenters.
The problem is that this so-called consensus is a myth – it never
In early 1992 forty-seven of the top climatologists in the world signed a petition during an annual conference on climatology held in Heidelberg, Germany decrying “the unsupported assumption that catastrophic global warming follows from the burning of fossil fuels and requires immediate action.” Back in 1992, forty-seven Ph.D. climatologists represented a sizable chunk of all the climatologists in the world. The press ignored it.
Stung by the press’s rebuke, the signers redoubled their efforts and were successful in obtaining 424 signers at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, also in 1992. Known as the Heidelberg Appeal, it once again was ignored by the media, even though the number of signers eventually reached 4,000, including 72 Nobel Prize winners in science.
Several other petitions over the years met with the same fate. They were all ignored by the media. Then, in 2001, the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) launched the Petition Project, (petitionproject.org) spearheaded by Dr. Frederick Seitz, past president of the National Academy of Sciences and of Rockefeller University. The Petition Project amassed 17,800 signatures, all with degrees in the physical sciences. This time the media took notice, but not in the way you might expect.
Instead of reporting that nearly 18,000 scientists refuted the man-caused global warming theory, the media trumpeted alleged flaws in the petition claimed by the man-caused warming alarmists. The Petition drive was accused of filling the petition with duplicate signers. That allegation was proven false. Not surprisingly, many scientists happen to have the same name. Other names that seemed to be phony – such as Michael Fox, the actor, and Perry Mason, the fictional lawyer in a TV series – were actually real, credentialed scientists. No retraction was ever made by the media, nor did they even acknowledge the authenticity of the signers or the petition.
Outraged with the sheer duplicity of the press and warming alarmists, OISM launched the same petition again in 2008. They used a subset of the mailing list of American Men and Women of Science, a who’s who of Science, to mail the petition requesting the recipient to sign the petition if agreed that Kyoto was a danger to humanity.
results, reported last May showed that 31,072 scientists, 9,021 of whom
were Ph.D.s, signed the petition. Every signature has been vetted for
Ironically, using the Freedom of Information Act, it has been proven that the so-called 2500 scientists the IPCC claims make up their “consensus,” are really not scientists at all. Of that total, only 308 scientists reviewed the 2007 IPCC report. Many of them disagreed, some strongly so. Not surprisingly, all of their comments were rejected and not included in the report. The remaining 2192 so-called scientists came from all walks of life; politicians, government bureaucrats, social workers, and apparently even a hotel manager. Less than 40 of the 308 scientists were generally supportive of the hypothesis, and less than 5 actually endorsed the report. Yet, the report was hailed by the media as the consensus of thousands of scientists.
Putting this into perspective, for every 1 scientist who even slightly favored the IPCC conclusions, 792 signed the petition saying there was no convincing evidence that there is man-made catastrophic global warming. For every Ph.D. that endorsed the IPCC report, 1800 signed the petition. If anything, there is a scientific consensus that man is not responsible for global warming. What did the media do with this potentially explosive story? They ignored it, as usual. A few, like Fox News, were gracious enough to have a byline on their website. Only the conservative media highlighted this phenomenal story.
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It would seem the media, and by extension, the people who depend on it for accurate news, would rather believe a lie than the truth. This realization led Dr. Ross McKittrick, who discredited the hockey stick theory of the 2001 IPCC report, to lament, “We are now at the stage where mere facts, reason, and truth are powerless in the face of the global warming propaganda.” It is a scary thought, but he is correct. Ignorance and propaganda now form the basis of our policy on climate change (and many other environmental issues). We are treading a dangerous path.
� 2008 Michael Coffman - All Rights Reserved