Certainty over the human role has increase from “very likely” to “extremely likely,” a verbal shift representing 90 percent certainly in 2007 to 95 percent for this round of reports.
Another factor that should be kept in mind is the caution climate scientists typically have when reporting their findings. It should always be noted and those of us who aren’t climate scientists should realize the findings they do release are more scrutinized than we probably think:
For instance, when the first working group’s volume was released in 2007, researchers criticized it for failing to include in its sea-level projections the contributions from melting ice sheets in West Antarctica and Greenland. The working group didn’t include those because they weren’t well understood. Yet research published after the deadline for that report indicated that the melting appeared to be increasing.
And one last point of interest relating to the sun and ongoing research:
Solar physicists have been looking at trends in sun-spot behavior and characteristics over the past decade and have raised the possibility that when the current sun-spot cycle peaks in the next few months, the sun could enter an unusually long period where it generates few, if any sunspots.
Some climate scientists have looked at the potential impact of such an event and concluded that it likely would delay additional global warming – but only until the sun returned to more-normal swings in sun-spot activity.
A new study of over four thousand academic papers taking a position on climate change found the same results that were published in a similar study nearly ten years ago: over 97% of academic climate researchers believe climate change is man-made. Only 0.7% disputed the idea. Yet, as noted in the article, a recent Pew poll found only %42 of Americans agree with the science.
The reasons for this disparity are numerous but one of the obvious parties due blame is the media and its attempt to be objective on the subject. If they put on one of the 97% of scientists believing the truth, they feel the need to put on one of the 0.7% in an effort to show no favoritism. The time has come for this to stop. The most glaring problem with this action is how dangerous the situation is and how much its worsening, as the Earth reached its recent carbon dioxide milestone which hasn’t been seen in 3 million years.
This begs the question: if over 97% of experts in a field told you something where your life was at stake and less than 1% told you something different, who would you believe? Let’s take some random examples:
If you were jumping out of a plane and 97% of sky diving instructors told you your chute was not packed right and wouldn’t open on the way down, would you jump?
If you were riding down a winding mountain road and 97% of mechanics told you your brakes would fail halfway down, would you drive?
If you were running from a giant boulder after stealing an ancient artifact from a temple in Peru and 97% of boulder dodgers told you to keep running instead of trying to use a whip to split the boulder in half, would you keep running?
If you were trying to kick a football being held by a “friend” when 97% of your real friends told you the ball would be taken away as you tried to kick it and you would land on your head, would you still try to boot it?
If you were interacting with a doctor about a rash of stomach viruses and 97% of people informed you his name was not Shirley, surely you would not call him by that name, right?
The point being rational people pretty much never go against these types of percentages when it comes to their personal health yet we seem to be doing it when it comes to the long-term health of everyone. It’s time to change our collective tune on climate change and accept the consensus of the 97% over the seemingly wild ramblings of the less than 1%.
A great Post op-ed by Ezra Klein (his are always good) on how Romney-Ryan maintain that Medicare won’t be touched for people over 55, but they fail to outline how Medicaid will be cut. These Medicaid cuts will effect parents of handicapped children and people with disability benefits to a great degree, but they cleverly avoid stating that fact.