Conservatives Still Try To Deny Consensus of Scientific Thought on Climate Change

Factcheck.org has listed the factual errors presented in last night’s Republican Debate. One of the biggest lies came from Tom Tancredo as he repeated the typical conservative denialist line on climate change:

Tancredo: Okay. First of all, the whole issue of global warming, for every single scientist that tells you it’s happening and that it’s our fault and they’ll stack up to here in this reports I can stack up another group of reports that say just the opposite.

Actually, we find that an overwhelming majority of the scientific community agrees that global warming is taking place and that human activity is predominantly to blame. Most recently the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), overseen jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization, released a report representing the work of 600 authors from 40 countries and 113 government representatives, saying:

IPCC: The primary source of the increased atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide since the pre-industrial period results from fossil fuel use, with land-use change providing another significant but smaller contribution.

Also, the National Research Council, chief adviser to the U.S. government on science and technology, issued its own report as far back as 2001 that reads:

NRC: Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability.

It’s true that there are dissenters to this consensus view. Among them are the Cato Institute’s Patrick Michaels, chief editor of the World Climate Report Blog, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. But the split is by no means 50-50 as Tancredo claimed.

Yes, the Republicans have the petroleum industry on their side (or vice versa might be a better description) but few reputable scientists. Senate Republicans also tried to pass off the same false claims with this report released by Senator Inhofe’s office. As usual, the right wing bloggers show off their ignorance of science in citing this as a valid resource. For example, The Strata-Sphere writes, “I hate to say to the liberals I told you so, but I have been saying the ‘science’ on the matter of what is the force behind the Global Warming does not exist in the sense of established fact or accepted theories.”

As FactCheck.org points out, global warming, and not the views of Senator Inhofe or other shills for the petrolium industry, does represent the consensus of scientific thought. Republicans have been making claims such as those from Inhofe’s office for quite a while. Typically they misquote scientists, distort statements to make them appear to contradict the views of others who have discussed climate change, or quote the views of people who are not recognized experts in the field.

In matters of science, such documents from someone who has a vested interest in the outcome are irrelevant. For someone who has denied the scientific consensus all along to make a phoney claim that scientists are reversing their views on the topic is meaningless. Only reports in peer reviewed journals, not those coming from partisans, or even newspaper articles, have any significance in indicating a change in the scientific viewpoint.

Related Posts on Global Warming:

Gingrich Admits Liberals Right and Republicans Wrong on Global Warming
Thomas Friedman on Bush Administrations Suppression of Climate Change Reports

Why it is Important to Refute Those Who Wage War on Science
The Truth Behind the Anti-Climate Change Documentaries
Report Predicts Dire Consequences of Climate Change

AAAS Issues Consensus Statement on Global Warming

How Conservatives Determine The Truth
Oil Companies Attempt to Bribe Scientists to Dispute Global Warming Report

Bush Administration Covers Up Reports on Climate Change
Global Warming and the Anti-Science Right

Conservatives Dominated by Flat Earth Mentality

Hysteria and Anti-Science In Conservative Attacks on Climate Change

Watchdog Group Accuses Bush Administration of Suppressing Climate Change Research

Mars Warming; Right Wing Still Hostile to Science

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3 Comments

  1. 1
    Marian says:

    For daily updated news on biofuels, ethanol and climate issues, please visit:

    http://www.ethanol-news.de

  2. 2
    janet says:

    The same playbook used by the tobacco industry to deny and lie about the health effects of smoking is being used here to distract from the reality of global warming. This I heard from a prominent lawyer in Seattle who took on the tobacco companies.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, it is very similar. It is amazing how even the conservative bloggers, who don’t directly benefit from the money from the oil industry as people like Inhofe do, fall in line, showing no skepticism of such obvious deceitful tactics from the Republicans.

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