Posted by: Paul Chiariello | February 3, 2011

Anti-Climate Change Petition Signed by 32,000 ‘Scientists’ and More Recent News

This is an article my friend Matt Korostoff and I wrote a two years ago.  It is in response to an article in a right-wing magazine that purports that the climate change debate is over and there is consensus that climate change doesn’t exist.  The article sites a petition of 32,000 scientists.  Below I want to just re-post our my friend and my article about the proposed “overwhelming evidence” of the anti-global warming consensus because this petition still seems to be popping up among right-wing this and thats.

He is a portion (the bulk really) of the article we printed earlier.


In his article, Barry attempts to expose “myths” about climate change, criticizes liberal political agendas, and urges people to reevaluate the situation honestly.  So let’s evaluate it honestly.

Barry’s central thesis is that there is no consensus in the scientific community with respect to the cause or degree of climate change.  As evidence, Barry cites a petition purportedly signed by 32,000 scientists.

So the first thought we had was: where does one even find 32,000 scientists of any kind for any reason?  So we dug up their website ( which features the following bizarre headline: “31,072 American scientists have signed this petition, including 9,021 with PhDs.”

Wait, 22,000 of these people do not have a PhD?  Isn’t that what a scientist is?  If not, what sort of qualifications are we talking about here?  Luckily, they give a pretty detailed explanation on their website.  The petition, as it turns out, is filled with over 12,000 BAs, 3,000 MDs and veterinarians, 2,000 electrical engineers, and a variety of other non-climatological scientists.  To make matters worse, their system of qualification checking is merely “check the box that corresponds to the degree you say you have.”

Here’s what Scientific American had to say about the signatories:  “Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science. Of the 26 we were able to identify in various databases, 11 said they still agreed with the petition—one was an active climate researcher, two others had relevant expertise, and eight signed based on an informal evaluation.  Six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember any such petition, one had died, and five did not answer repeated messages.  Crudely extrapolating, the petition supporters include a core of about 200 climate researchers–a respectable number, though rather a small fraction of the climatological community.”

Now let’s look at an actual study of peer review papers of real climate researchers.  In 2004, the journal Science reported that in a 10 percent random sample of all peer reviewed literature on climate change between 1993 and 2003 (928 articles), three-quarters openly accepted the premise that global warming was a dangerous man-made phenomenon and zero articles denied it.


I could follow this up by discussing the IPPC in 2001 that proclaimed, “our planet has shown clear signs of warming” or a hundred other reports by professional, current and peer-reviewed scientists in the relevant area, but here are a few more recent updates.  Which are timely considering that 2010 just tied for the warmest year on record with 2005.

I’ll leave you to read the article and the reports, but, in brief, a little while ago the US National Academy of Science did its most comprehensive study so far on climate change.  It found that there is “an overwhelming case for the harmful human influence on the global climate.”

Whether you do everything you can to limit your carbon footprint or you still believe their is a global conspiracy between scientists, governments and the media, you should definitely check out the above.



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