FILE - In this Tuesday Aug, 16, 2005 file photo an iceberg melts in Kulusuk, Greenland near the arctic circle. (AP Photo/John McConnico, File)
(CNSNews.com) – Nearly three-quarters of Americans don’t trust that there is a large “scientific consensus” amongst climate scientists on human behavior being the cause of climate change, according to an in-depth survey on “the politics of climate” released Tuesday by Pew Research Center.
According to the survey, only 27 percent of Americans agree that “almost all” climate scientists say that human behavior is mostly responsible for climate change, while 35 percent say that “more than half” of climate scientists agree on this. An additional 35 percent of those surveyed say that fewer than half (20%) or almost no (15%) climate scientists believe that human behavior is the main contributing factor in climate change.
Pew contrasted this to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which “stated in the forward to its 2013 report, ‘the science now shows with 95 percent certainty that human activity is the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century.’”
Additionally, Americans were skeptical about the expertise of climate scientists.
Just 33 percent of those surveyed said that climate scientists understand “very well” whether global climate change is happening, another 39 percent said climate scientists understand this “fairly well.” Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed say climate scientists don’t understand this “too well” or don’t understand it at all.
When it comes to the causes of global climate change only 28 percent say climate scientists understand them “very well” while 31 percent say the scientists understand them “not too well” or “not at all.”
Additionally, Americans seemed to lack trust in climate scientists’ solutions to climate change. Only 19 percent say climate scientists understand very well the best ways to address climate change, and 35 percent say the scientists understand this not too well or not at all.
Americans also don’t trust the news media’s coverage of climate change. Forty-seven percent of those surveyed say the media does a “good job” covering global climate change, while 51% say they do a “bad job.”
Thirty-five percent of Americans say the media “exaggerate the threat of climate change,” and 42 percent say the media “don’t take the threat of climate change seriously enough.” Just 20 percent say the media are “about right in their reporting.”
Policy-makers, not scientists, lead the IPCC process
In his Opening Statement on Wednesday at the 46th Session of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Montreal, IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee asserted that “Science underpins the negotiating process and provides the evidence base for sound policy.”
In reality, the IPCC is highly biased and simply ignores findings that do not conform with the climate alarm. This is because, contrary to its original purpose of studying all climate change, the IPCC role is now: “to assess …the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced [italics added] climate change…”
The problem is, you cannot determine the human effect unless you know the extent and cause of natural climate change. And, of course, if human-induced climate change was found to be trivial, there would be no reason for the IPCC to exist. The IPCC therefore always supports the climate scare, no matter what the science reveals.
The IPCC’s narrow mandate is one of the results of the definition of climate change given by the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Convention asserts:
“Climate Change means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over considerable time periods.”
Since the IPCC is required to support the Framework Convention, the IPCC had to adopt the UNFCCC’s political definition of climate change. This results in policy-makers, not scientists, leading the process. Indeed, IPCC vice-chair Thelma Krug admitted as much when, according to the Canadian Press (Sep 6, 2017), she said that the scientists are guided by policy-makers in member states. Massachusetts Institute of Technology meteorology professor Richard Lindzen was not exaggerating when he said that the supposed scientific consensus was reached before the research had even begun.
That this was bound to happen was clear from the start. The 1990 IPCC First Assessment Report stated:
“it is not possible at this time to attribute all, or even a large part, of the observed global-mean warming to the enhanced greenhouse effect on the basis of the observational data currently available.”
Yet, two years later, the UNFCCC’s primary objective was established: “to achieve … stabilization of greenhouse gas [GHG] concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic [human-caused] interference with the climate system.”
The fact that, in 1992 (and even today), we had no idea what GHG concentrations would lead to “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” was immaterial. The die was cast. The world-wide climate alarm had begun.
At least some in the IPCC must recognize that the UNFCCC’s skewed definition of climate change makes no sense. A footnote to the 2007 IPCC Assessment Report’s Summary for Policymakers asserts:
“Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs from that in the UNFCCC, where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity.”
This is not true, of course. Following the UNFCCC’s lead, the IPCC reports effectively exclude most natural variables and mechanisms. This is politically necessary so as to support the predetermined conclusion that human sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing dangerous climate change. This, despite the fact that CO2, from natural and human sources is only 4% of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is not true, of course. Following the UNFCCC’s lead, the IPCC reports effectively exclude most natural variables and mechanisms. This is politically necessary so as to support the predetermined conclusion that human sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing dangerous climate change. This, despite the fact that CO2, from natural and human sources combined, is only 4% of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Voltaire once said, “If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.” Like the politicians and bureaucrats who created the terms of reference for the IPCC and the UNFCCC, Voltaire understood how definitions direct and limit debates and ultimately control outcomes. Its time governments woke up to this scandal and the IPCC and the UNFCCC terminated. Citizens Journal California US. Dr Tim Ball is the former Professor of Climatology at the University of Winnipeg. Tom Harris is the executive officer of Climate Science International.