Bill Maher perpetuates the ‘97% scientists myth’ on global warming lie

During an interview on Real Time with Bill Maher, Maher perpetuates the “97% of scientists agree on climate change” myth which has been debunked over a year ago.

While speaking with former Pennsylvania Senator and GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum when he dropped the bogus talking point.

In May of 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry warned graduating students at Boston College of the “crippling consequences” of climate change. “Ninety-seven percent of the world’s scientists,” he added, “tell us this is urgent.”

photo/ donkeyhotey

photo/ donkeyhotey

President Obama, who tweeted on May 16 that “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”

NASA posted on its website, “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.”

The truth:  The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.

A 2004 opinion essay published in Science magazine by Naomi Oreskes, a science historian now at Harvard. She claimed to have examined abstracts of 928 articles published in scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and found that 75% supported the view that human activities are responsible for most of the observed warming over the previous 50 years while none directly dissented.

Oreskes’s definition of consensus covered “man-made” but left out “dangerous”—and scores of articles by prominent scientists such as Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Sherwood Idso and Patrick Michaels, who question the consensus, were excluded.

The methodology is also flawed.

photo/Agrant141 per wikimedia commons

photo/Agrant141 per wikimedia commons

A study published in Nature noted that abstracts of academic papers often contain claims that aren’t substantiated in the papers.

Even the 2009 article in “Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union” by Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, a student at the University of Illinois, used questions that would result in “yes” answers to both questions because the survey was silent on whether the human impact is large enough to constitute a problem.

The “97 percent” figure in the Zimmerman/Doran survey represents the views of only 79 respondents who listed climate science as an area of expertise.

In 2013, John Cook reviewed abstracts of peer-reviewed papers published from 1991 to 2011. Cook reported that 97% of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming. His findings were published in Environmental Research Letters.

Mr. Cook’s work was quickly debunked.

In Science and Education in August 2013, for example, David R. Legates (a professor of geography at the University of Delaware and former director of its Center for Climatic Research) and three coauthors reviewed the same papers as did Mr. Cook and found “only 41 papers—0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1 percent—had been found to endorse” the claim that human activity is causing most of the current warming.

Climate scientists including Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir J. Shaviv and Nils- Axel Morner, whose research questions the alleged consensus, protested that Cook ignored or misrepresented their work.

Surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus. Only 39.5% of 1,854 American Meteorological Society members who responded to a survey in 2012 said man-made global warming is dangerous.

The Petition Project, a group of physicists and physical chemists based in La Jolla, Calif., has by far the most signatures—more than 31,000 (more than 9,000 with a Ph.D.).

It was most recently published in 2009, and most signers were added or reaffirmed since 2007. The petition states that “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of . . . carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”


Not hardly, the scientists can’t even get along with one another.


global temp chart from British Met office, 2012

global temp chart from British Met office, 2012

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

Displaying 3 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Mstan says:

    well, the Pacific Garbage Patch isn’t natural. heh…and 7 billion (plus) people take and need a lot of resources to live, water and oxygen being the two most important…so it doesn’t take a scientist (or 97% of them) to know that the earth, even with Vast resources that cannot be replenished in a day or year…will eventually though gradually go to zilch.

  2. Juan says:

    It has been debunked only in the minds of the author and like minded deniers.

    Lacking any actual technical knowledge and completely mangling an attempt at statistical analysis doesn’t qualify as “debunking.”

    No serious researcher would make the bonehead errors. The procedures for surveys are well established and used during every election. If election polls used the methods employed to “debunk” the proven consensus, they would fail to accurately predict elections outcomes.

    Simply put, “I don’t know”, and “Didn’t respond” are not denials of global warming. They are exactly what they say, “I don’t know” and “Didn’t respond”. No election exit poll would include these answers as “Disagree”.

    The stupidity of these so called “debunking” is so incredible that the only appropriate response is “you are a moron.”

    • Bill says:

      Agree. 97% of the research that states an opinion about climate change agrees that humans are an important contributor to global warming. The science for why this should be true is straightforward – gases that have higher concentrations of CO2 impede the transfer of heat (i.e.; escape from our atmosphere). That is as close to consensus as we get with complex science questions.

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