One of the greatest lines of our times is that “97% of scientists agree: Climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”
You’ve heard that statistic right?
First of all, that statistic is, at best, 100% false.
The President changed some key words and added some of his own, to elicit a more emotional response from his followers.
There could have been far more accurate and truthful tweets, such as;
"Less than 1% of scientists conclusively believe climate change is man made"
(75/10257 x 100 = 0.7%)
"Only 2.3% of scientists conclusively believe climate change is man made"
(75/3146 x 100 = 2.4%)
Both of those tweets would have been more ethically correct than what the President tweeted that day.
It’s also worth noting, that nowhere in the survey were scientists asked if the climate change itself was ‘dangerous’. That’s an added word to inflate the urgency with which climate change policy has been enforced.
I say enforced purposefully. Because this climate change policy has been enforced on citizens globally, some would say unethically, by manipulating the narriative with hyperbole. Hyperbole like the same that can be easily seen today by reviewing the original inflammatory documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore. That documentary today looks more like a science fiction movie than a documentary.
OK so where did this statistic originate?
The origin of the original statistic, comes from the data below;
In 2009 the American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey was sent out the 10,257 AGU members asking two questions;
The first: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”
The second question asked: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”
Out of the 3,146 people that completed the survey, only 77 of them were deemed as appropriate to answer the second question and use in the final findings and of the 77 only 75 people answered in the affirmative.
75/77 x 100 = 97.4%
And there you have the highly innaccurate, though highly popularised statistic.
It’s very important to note; there are far more than 77 climate scientists globally. So to use such a small sample size is perhaps OK for a small survey – to take a pulse if you like – but hardly big enough to promote as an accurate reflection of the majority.
It should also be noted that these scientists were all members of the AGU.
Imagine if you ran a survey with the question: “Are women poorly treated by men” to a third wave feminist group.
"97% of all women agree, women are poorly treated by men".
You can see that there may be bias in the response, when taken from one group of people.
Pre-conditioning and an echo-chamber can alter perception of truth.
What if a bigger sub-set was asked?
At risk of losing their careers, funding and facing ridicule from radical zealots to the climate change cause, 78 Scientists are on record that they disagree with the climate science.
That number alone, should you re-take the survey, could totally sway government policy being that it would be as accurate to claim today that;
- 75 say climate change is man made.
- 80 say climate change isn’t man made.
Which would result in this statistic;
"51% of climate scientists agree, climate change is NOT man made."
In a world filled with claims of ‘Fake News’, it’s so important that we understand where these statistics originate, how they are collated and any bias that exists.
So while I’ve broken down this particular statistic on climate change and one highly quoted untruth – there are many other statistics that are spoken every single day that contain the same amount of falsities.
So what should we believe?
Having a good understanding of how people can manipulate data to suit their cause, it’s unfortunate that we can’t rely on all the sources we have previously relied on.
Main Stream Media is unreliable. The recent doxing of a 14 year old schoolboy in America is a good example of why. This story suited their anti-Trump anti-White Male narrative and even after the truth came out there were zero apologies and yet the young boy and his school mates faced death threats.
So as a rule I encourage you to do your own research. Don’t blindly believe the statistics. Investigate the data. Read both sides of the story. Understand the bias.
Only then should you make your own determination and even then, remain open to receive new information as it becomes available that you may be persuaded with more truth.