The Ninety-Seven Percent Consensus Myth

by J. O’Sullivan, une 29, 2020 in ClimateChangeDispatch

A Pew Research survey for this year’s Earth Day showed that while Democrats with a high degree of scientific knowledge were likely to have a strong belief in the human contribution to climate change, Republicans with the same level of information were much more skeptical.

These are intriguing, even embarrassing, results. The researchers plainly thought so, because they added this somewhat nervous comment on them:

A similar pattern was found regarding people’s beliefs about energy issues. These findings illustrate that the relationship between people’s level of science knowledge and their attitudes can be complex.

And maybe they illustrate something else, too.

These results seem to conflict with perhaps the single best-known statistic about science and global warming, namely that 97 percent of scientists believe in global warming.