The consensus on the consensus

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The major objective of this study is to collect and assess information about the opinions and attitudes of professionals within the field of geosciences (earth sciences) regarding global climate change, and the climate "consensus" debate, as well as to understand the rationale the participants use when forming their opinions by directly surveying a large number of earth scientists. In particular, this study endeavors improve on past survey attempts and provide a more rigorous dataset from which to draw conclusions on the global climate change debate. Once survey data had been collected, the responses of various participant groups were analyzed and compared with other participant groups, as well as similar responses from the general U.S. public. This master’s thesis presents the results of the survey in an effort to advance the understanding of the global climate debate among scientists. Originally published by the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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  • By ncdave4life
    Nov 19, 2013
    This is "junk science." The purpose of this survey was to generate a result that could be cited as evidence of a "consensus" of experts for dangerous anthropogenic warming. To achieve that goal, Zimmerman wrote a survey that asked essentially meaningless questions. They didn't ask, in President Obama's words, whether "climate change is real, man-made and dangerous?" They didn't ask anything like that. They didn't ask any questions at all that directly addressed any real issue in the climate change debate. Instead they asked just two questions about climate: Q1: "When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?" Q2: "Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?" Q1 is worthless for distinguishing climate alarmists from climate skeptics. "Pre-1800s" was the middle of the Little... More > Ice Age, and it is obviously warmer now than it was then. But nearly all of the human contribution to atmospheric GHG levels has occurred since the 1940s, so this question has nothing to do with anthropogenic climate change. Even most prominent climate change skeptics would answer "risen" to this question. Q2 is just as bad. Since aerosols from smoke clearly cause cooling (a fact which was one of the main causes for the 1970s ice age scare), few people would doubt that human activity can change temperatures, so even most of those who doubt that anthropogenic CO2 and CH4 cause worrisome global warming would have to answer "yes" to Q2. Zimmerman could have asked a meaningful answer about anthropogenic climate change, but chose not to do so. If you want to know what the experts REALLY think about climate change, don't bother with this biased survey. Fortunately, there are better sources. Back in 2007, when Harris polled 500 leading American Meteorological and Geophysical scientists, there was no consensus -- and that was before Climategate revealed widespread scientific malpractice among leading climate alarmists! Harris found that: "97% agree that 'global average temperatures have increased' during the past century. But not everyone attributes that rise to human activity. A slight majority (52%) believe this warming was human-induced, 30% see it as the result of natural temperature fluctuations and the rest are unsure."< Less
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September 28, 2011
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Printable? Yes
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