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Climate Scientist Survey Reveals Little Consensus

Nathan Burchfiel | Staff Writer | Thursday, November 15, 2007

Climate Scientist Survey Reveals Little Consensus

(CNSNews.com) - A new survey of American members of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that there is not firm scientific consensus on global warming, as proponents of swift action to curb carbon emissions have suggested.

DemandDebate.com, a Web site skeptical of global warming "alarmism" that advocates more debate on the topic, released the results of its poll on Nov. 8. The group attempted to survey the 345 American scientists affiliated with the IPCC.

Of the 54 scientists who completed the survey, less than half said a 1-degree Celsius increase is "flatly undesirable." Sixty-one percent of the respondents said there is no such thing as an "ideal climate."

While as many as 90 percent of respondents said man-made carbon emissions "are driving or helping to drive global climate change," only 20 percent said human activity is the "principle driver of climate change." Sixty-three percent said human activity is a driver but that "natural variability is also important."

Former Vice President Al Gore and other leading proponents of strong government action to reduce carbon emissions - who cite catastrophic predictions of the effects of climate change - have repeatedly said that "the debate is settled" and that there is "scientific consensus" on the causes and potential effects of warming.

But Steve Milloy, the writer of the blog Junk Science and the executive director of DemandDebate.com, told Cybercast News Service Wednesday that his survey casts doubt on that claim.

The 2007 IPCC Assessment Report, published in three sections by three separate working groups, is written by selected IPCC members. Some members who have criticized the reports complain that their objections to some of its claims are ignored.

"There's reason to ask these people more questions," Milloy said. "I don't think the debate is over. Al Gore is rushing to close the debate because the more data we get ... the flimsier the science gets."

Milloy acknowledged that his survey, which received responses from only 54 of the 345 American members of the several thousand-member IPCC, is "a little small for a reliable sample," but added, "I'm surprised ... I got that many responses from them."

While the survey's size was small, Milloy said, "I certainly think that it's large enough to indicate that the IPCC members really ought to be probed as to what they think."

Requests for comment from Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection and Climate Project groups were not answered Wednesday.

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