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Meaningless consensus on climate change

September 20, 2013

Financial Post | Opinion

Contrary to reports, global warming studies don’t show 97% of scientists fear global warming

Apart from a handful of eccentrics, everyone believes in the reality of manmade climate change. That’s the message of a recent paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the latest in a series of similar efforts that have been used as a stick with which to beat policymakers. But scratch at the surface of any of these publications and you find that there is considerably less to them than meets the eye.

The earliest paper in this series, by Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman of the University of Illinois, reported the results of an opinion poll of climate scientists that Zimmerman had prepared for her MSc thesis. The headline conclusion – that 97% of climatologists thought that mankind was having a significant impact on the climate – was widely reported at the time.

However…

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