Industry shills have been working overtime over the last week to try to resurrect global warming denial from dead. They’ve been taking advantage of a recent cold wave in the Midwest and Eastern United States to try to convince people that, because January has been cold in some places, global warming must not be real.
Right wing publications are spreading word that only half of Americans believe that global warming is due to human activity. They seem to forget that science is not based upon public opinion polls, but rather, examining the evidence and proving that ideas make sense. Remember, about half of Americans still aren’t willing to accept that biological evolution through natural selection is taking place – 150 years after the publication of On the Origin of Species.
If global warming deniers want to look at opinion polls, they ought to consider polls of people who actually know what they’re talking about – scientists who study climate. Researchers at the University of Illinois have just released the results of a survey of earth scientists on the subject of climate change.
82 percent of the earth scientists surveyed concurred with the statement that human activity been a significant factor in global warming. Among those “climatologists who are active in research”, that number rises to 97 percent.
Who are the 18 percent of earth scientists who disagreed with the idea that people have significantly contributed to global warming? Count among their number petroleum geologists, who work for the big oil companies, helping them to find oil, and meteorologists, who study short term weather events rather than climate.
To bring the issue back from opinion to empirical reality, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reports that December 2008 (just three weeks ago) was the sixth warmest December ever recorded, and that 2008 as a whole was the eighth warmest year on record.
Thermometers don’t lie.