For years, the promoters of the spurious 'settled science' narrative have claimed that there is a 97-99% consensus among scientists about humans causing climate change. The claim is meaningless since it fails to address differences in the extent of human involvement and how harmful the warming is thought to be. A recently published survey of top-level climate scientists found that just over five in 10 attributed the human contribution to recent climate change to be 75% or above. Only around four in 10 scientists believed that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events had increased significantly in recent years.
graph climate humans

The above graph from the poll is the only realistic way to gauge scientific support for anthropogenic climate change. It is clear that there is not 99% support for humans causing all or most climate change. Of course, it is not a surprise that there is considerable support for the unproven anthropogenic hypothesis (92% believed that a majority of recent warming was due to humans), since sceptical science in this field does not generally attract money, prestige and coveted academic posts. Emeritus Professor Richard Lindzen recently called the current climate narrative "absurd". Perhaps, he added, it was the trillions of dollars diverted to green projects and the relentless propaganda from grant-dependent academics and agenda-driven journalists that had persuaded people it is not absurd.

There is a vast amount of money pouring into academia designed to support the hypothesis of anthropogenic climate change. The hope is to shore up the invented 99% 'consensus' backed up by helpful, unquestioning media commentators. But the new poll shows that even after 25 years of relentless propaganda, there is considerable debate over the subject in scientific circles. Over the last year, the Daily Sceptic has attempted to bring some of this debate to a wider audience.

The survey was conducted in September and October by the North American-based Fairleigh Dickinson University. Great care was taken to collect a representative sample of scientists with at least a bachelor's degree in fields such as meteorology, climatology, physics, geology and hydrology. Nearly three in five (57%) were members of the American Meteorology Society. Many scientists with degrees in natural science and the social sciences were barred from the group. A full methodology of the poll can be viewed here.

Much of COP this year is talking about climate 'reparations' with 'attribution' models said to be able to blame single weather events on long-term human-caused changes in the climate. This pseudoscientific hocus-pocus can, it seems, even go back to the mid 18th century when James Watt started to ramp up the power of labour-saving steam engines. Over half the poll's participants (below) thought that global climate change will have "significant harm" on living conditions for humans, but the rest varied from "slight harm" to "slight improvement" and "significant improvement".

graph impact humans climate
Regular readers will recall that we recently gave publicity to a paper from four leading Italian scientists who undertook a major review of historical climate trends and concluded that declaring a 'climate emergency' was not supported by the data. The post was widely distributed on social media and led to the usual huffy 'fact checks' and even calls for the work to be banned. Nevertheless, the poll shows clearly that the debate over whether individual weather events are getting worse due to human activity is raging across science.

graph change weather events
This is a very interesting result. More poll participants thought the frequency of severe weather events had increased only "slightly", than those who chose "increased significantly". No change, meanwhile, attracted a 12% vote. Severe weather events were defined as hurricanes, extreme drought, wildfires, etc. A similar vote split can be seen concerning the severity of recent severe weather events. Of course, the 'highway to hell' narrative at COP27 does not reflect this scientific split since the highly politicised gathering tends strongly towards the thermogeddon fantasy.

According to James Taylor, President of the poll sponsor and U.S. free market think-tank Heartland Institute, the survey "destroys the oft-repeated propaganda that 97% of the world's scientists believe climate change is a serious problem requiring immediate action". U.S. meteorologist Anthony Watts said the poll illustrates that there is less consensus on climate change and a broader scope of differing opinions that we are led to believe. "The results suggest that the draconian solutions such as Net Zero being pushed by the Left, even if they actually worked, are aimed at a non-problem," he added.

H. Sterling Burnett from Heartland was intrigued that the poll showed older, more experienced scientists were more sceptical of climate disaster claims. "It seems, years of indoctrination have succeeded in brainwashing younger, less experienced climate scientists into believing, data to the contrary, that humans are causing a climate catastrophe," he concluded.

Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic's Environment Editor.