Inhofe Continues to Tout Never-Published Survey

17 October 2007

Sen James Inhofe (R-OK) continues to push a meme that should have died a long time ago. According to his blog:

*A survey of 538 peer-reviewed studies reveals that less than half of published scientists endorse man-made global warming theory and only 7% believe that man-made gases are a major cause of global warming.

*But despite all of these developments, the American people are soon going to be asked to pay thousands per family for so called "solutions" to warming.
The "survey" Inhofe mentions here was never even published anywhere. In reality, the vast, overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed publications say the exact opposite. It's really not even funny. In 2004, Naomi Oreskes surveyed the peer-reviewed literature on climate change and found that 0% took Inhofe's position. She updated this study in 2007 and found more of the same.

Here's what happened. A couple of months ago, some guy thought that he could update the study himself. Before his findings were even published, the contrarian-friendly DailyTech reported on its alleged findings:
Of 528 total papers on climate change [since 2003], only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers "implicit" endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no "consensus."
The study was immediately picked up by James Inhofe, DaveScot, Brent Bozell, Matt Drudge, FOX News, Free Republic, Michael Savage, and Rush Limbaugh as a sign that there was no scientific agreement on the issue of global warming. All of the careless hacks who can't bother themselves with fact-checking a story. Not only did they report on the supposed findings of this not-yet-published "study," they even misrepresented what it purported to show. One retard wrote that "A recent survey of climate change articles in science journals finds fewer than half of the authors endorse anthropogenic global warming theories. The so-called consensus has now collapsed to a minority position." Never mind the fact that this "study" showed nothing of the sort.

Anyway, Tim Lambert (who shot down Benny Peiser when he tried to do the same thing) looked into the "study's" claims regarding peer-reviewed articles that "reject the consensus outright." It turns out, these much touted articles did nothing of the sort. Energy & Environment eventually decided that not even they would publish the "study."

By the way, Energy & Environment is a poorly regarded social science journal. It is not carried in the ISI listing of peer-reviewed journals, and it has been roundly criticized for publishing substandard papers in the past. Additionally, it's run by global warming contrarians for the sole purpose of giving other contrarians something resembling a scientific platform. Basically, it's the equivalent to an unaccredited or online college.

Not to be deterred, Inhofe still references this "study" and claims that there is some sort of "huge change." He repeated it to convicted Watergate criminal G. Gordon Liddy a couple weeks ago. Not only that, he even continues to misrepresent what the survey itself purported to show. This time, he even added 10 papers out of thin air!

This is precisely how rumors and misinformation spread.

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