Sunday, August 19, 2007

What Consensus on Global Warming?

From Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe:

In 2003, environmental scientists Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch surveyed 530 of their peers in 27 countries on topics related to global warming.

Question 1: To what extent do you agree or disagree that climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic (human) causes?
Answer: On a scale of 1 (strongly agree) to 7 (strongly disagree), the average score was 3.62, reflecting no clear consensus.

Question 2: Will abrupt climate changes wreak devastation in some areas of the world?
Answer: 9.1% of the scientists strongly agreed, which was nearly identical to the percentage strongly disagreeing, 9%.

Question 3: To what degree might global warming prove beneficial for some societies?
Answer: A striking 34% of the scientists answered 1 or 2 (a great degree of benefit); just 8.3% answered 6 or 7 (very little/no benefit).

Bottom Line: Clearly, the science of climate change is still young and unsettled. Years of trial and error are still to come. Al Gore notwithstanding, the debate is hardly over.

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