Obama Tweets the 97 Percent – and Jason Box

September 9, 2014



Barack Obama just tweeted the “97 Hours of 97 percent” project.
John Cook of Skeptical Science ecstatic. Denio-sphere apoplectic.


While the vast majority of the scientific community agrees that man-made climate change is happening, the public is still working to catch up: Even among those who accept that it’s probably a thing, not nearly enough appear to understand just how certain most scientists are about the basic relationship between human activity and Earth’s warming.

Not that we aren’t making progress. Politicians are listing humanity’s continued contribution of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere among their top concerns and risking attack should they continue to deny the scientific facts. On my subway ride to work, colorful advertisements are urging me to show up in Columbus Circle two weeks from now to participate in what organizers are promising to be the biggest climate march in history. And on social media, the climate science website Skeptical Science has launched a 97-hour campaign — begun, naturally, on 9/7 — highlighting the 97 percent scientific consensus, and featuring 97 forceful, tweetable quotes from 97 experts.

As their statements attest, anyone who tries to argue that climate change is some fringe theory, or not nearly as settled as “environmentalists and the liberal media” make it seem, is picking a fight with not just some scientists, but nearly all the scientists. Fortunately for us, some of the top climate experts also happen to be excellent science communicators. There’s still a lot to come, but some highlights from the campaign so far prove they’re up to the task of explaining both why we should believe climate change is happening, and — crucially — why we should care:


33 Responses to “Obama Tweets the 97 Percent – and Jason Box”

  1. Where are the Republican leaders? Are they tweeting e.g. the silly article by David Rose in Daily Mail about the Arctic? 🙂 (Would sort of illustrate the point of lack of consensus understanding).

  2. omnologos Says:

    There is no debate ISIL is a dangerous terrorist organization.

    Now, the rest, erm, boots on the ground, or drones, or airstrikes, or a coalition, or go it alone, or pay the ransoms, or find local allies, or agree something with Iran or Syria, or or or. Nahhh…just details!!

    We will defeat ISIL if only we keep telling each other how bad those guys are.

    • philip64 Says:

      So, by your analogy there is no debate about the threat or cause of climate change. Good to know that the self-styled climate ‘sceptics’ now admit that they were wrong all along, and now all we have left to argue about is how the problem is tackled.

      I call that progress, even if it is about 30 years late.

    • You do understand logical deduction (or maybe not). You start with a premise derived from simple measurements, then work down to the facts that are the result of the premise being true. Premise: greenhouse gases are trapping heat in the atmosphere. Details: how much temperature rises, increased storms, increased sea levels, polar caps melting, etc.

      Does that explain it to you? Your idiot friends on Fox can’t seem to understand this.

      • mbe11 Says:

        None of your claims are true. Check out NASA, NOAA and the giss data set , the ice core studies for starters. Arctic and Antarctic ice are increasing at the seasonal lows, the temperature has not risen in 16 years per the IPCC fifth report , it did not warm from 1940 to 1980, the US temperature has dropped slightly on average since 1998, hottest year on record 1936. It was hotter in 1000 AD than today, the mid and lower troposphere has not shown a warming trend in 55 years, that hockey stick depends on a single tree in Siberia, NASA is planning on a 15 cm rise in the oceans by 2100 AD. Has it warmed? Of course we are warmer than in the little ice age low but not as hot as in 1000 AD as it has been warming off and on for 400 years. From 1880 to 1915 it cooled. The US weather service said none of the weather can be attributed to climate change. weather Insurance losses per the insurance companies report have declined for two years running. While I would not call you an idiot, you are seriously misinformed. Last time I got anything from Fox news I got a headache from the stupidity so I read the actual science which is different than consensus or talking heads or al gore.

        • “hottest year on record 1936″ (USA)”

          I find that amusing they still repeat that. Where were they in 2011 which was a full .5C hotter then 1936

        • Alan Olson Says:

          Cherry picking creates fictions. Nonsense numbers, like children’s blocks stacked skillfully. Please cite all sources. Have a nice day.

        • your “facts” are complete bull crap. We know that the CO2 levels are increasing substantially. We’ve known for over 100 years that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. The rest are “details”– that is if you believe in actual numbers rather than Fox News bull crap.

        • According to your logic the stock market hasn’t gone up. Didn’t it crash 50 percent in 2008 due to the banking crisis? Didn’t it go down in a number of years since 2000? That proves it. The stock market hasn’t increased! But of course it has.

          If you had more than a grade school understanding of arithmetic, you’d understand that trends are CUMULATIVE. Numbers can go up or down, but when there’s an upward trend, it doesn’t matter about the down numbers. They can’t blot out the up numbers.

        • anotheralionel Says:


          “I read the actual science which is different than consensus or talking heads or al gore.”

          Wow, so you paid attention to the information found in sources such as these:

          The Warming Papers




          Earth’s Climate: Past and Future.

          ‘None of your claims are true’

          I don’t think so. Your comments and arguments make you look like Rapunzel, just woken up after a ten year sleep during the progression of climate science debate.

          I have probably hit a link limit but I suggest that you research further about what is happening to the cryosphere in general and the polar ice caps in particular. Whatever it is you have read has mislead you. Oh! And your understanding of the application of the term ‘consensus’ is poor.

        • greenman3610 Says:

          This technique is called “Gish Galloping”, and was perfected by creationists who wish to sound “sciencey” when asserting the world is 5000 years old..
          Let me restate this one last time.
          If you make an assertion, I expect a citation.
          Asserting something, and then saying “look it up” is not sufficient.
          If you’ve “read the science” as you claim, this should not be onerous.
          I encourage discussion at this site, but I will not, repeat, not, have my blog be a repository for unsupported, and unsupportable, nonsense.

        • And our leaders are in fact Lizard people from outer space. Hey I looked it up! It is right there on the Internet!

      • mbe11 Says:

        It might be that your premise is wrong. Usually in real science when somebody makes a claim it needs to be supported with data by other researchers. If you look at the CO2 claim it comes from the slightly greater energy per mole that the gas holds than O2 or N2. CO2 is very far down the list in comparison to H2O which phase changes. To support that hypothesis you should be able to point to the past and show a CO2 level change changed the climate. The exact opposite occurs from the science of past and current CO2 levels.

        • The premise is correct. Your problem is that you actually believe what they tell you on Fox

        • mbrysonb Says:

          The peculiar way in which you describe the role of CO2 here suggests you know nothing about its role in climate: ‘slightly greater energy per mole that the gas holds than O2 or N2’? Really? First, this is not about heat capacity (which is what you seem to be talking, unclearly, about): it’s about absorption (and re-radiation) of IR. Second, O2 and N2 are transparent to IR (again, it’s not about heat capacity). Third, the fact that H2O phase changes is indeed important, but this is not because it gives H2O greater heat capacity. It’s because the level of H2O in the atmosphere is driven by temperature. The fact that CO2 is the dominant non-condensing greenhouse gas is what makes its role important. Come back when you understand all that, and we can continue from here.

        • By your own definition you’re not writing ‘real’ science as your comments are data less. Quantify your “slightly more energy per mole” in kJ/mol, please, and give the context

        • anotheralionel Says:

          mbe11, Look up works on molecular physics or physical chemistry, they will inform on how you are barking up the wrong tree on the relevant effect of elevating CO2 levels. See also:

          David Archer Video Lectures.

  3. It’s nice that Obama’s public relations people tweeted that the president “gets” global warming, before the president flies off in Air Force I for a pleasant weekend at Martha’s Vineyard. Future generations (if any) will be pleased to know that – as Miami, London and Shanghai disappeared beneath the waves – the presidential team was expressing its concern.

    • mbe11 Says:

      London is unlikely to disappear under the waves, it was around in 1000 AD when it was warmer than today a temperature we may reach in 2100 AD assuming the models are correct. The problem with Miami is most of it is built on a sand bar. As anybody with a brain learned from Katrina or New York when you build on a sand bar nature will come calling. shanghai is somewhat higher in parts so most likely will also not disappear.

      • Would you like to substantiate that claim about how warm the global climate was in 1000AD, and it has to be global. Otherwise the polar caps would still be holding the water needed for sea level rise.

      • mbrysonb Says:

        As John Eric Victor says, this assertion needs some actual support. Have you got a historical temperature reconstruction you’d care to share here? What proxies did you use? Do your proxies achieve substantial global coverage? How well-supported are the links between those proxies and your conclusions about global average temperatures in 1000 AD? Have you submitted the results to a serious journal? If so, what did the referees think of your methods?

      • “Assuming the models are correct” applies to your 1000AD claim, which requires elaboration, or are you being selective? A citation or three would be nice.

      • lesliegraham1 Says:

        It wasn’t warmer than today in 1000 AD.
        Not even close.
        Stop parroting utter nonense.

      • “it was around in 1000 AD when it was warmer than today a temperature we may reach in 2100 AD”

        That’s really an amusing statement considering back in 1975 National Academy of Sciences published a report called Understanding Climate Change: A Program for Action [ISBN 0-309-02323-8]
        On page 149 Appendix A under this section ‘The Last 1000 Years’ reads as follows:

        “The early part of the last millennium (about A.D. 1100 to 1400) is sometimes called the middle age warm epoch but was evidently not as warm as the first half of the 20th century. The period from about 1430 to 1850 is commonly known as the little Ice Age, and some records indicate that this period had cold maximum in the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. …”

        So take this as a learning experience: Ask the question where in the scientific journals supports your claim?

        Full Quote from the NAS 1975

        “The Last 1000 Years
        To obtain an indication of the climate in the northern hemisphere for the last 1000 years, Lamb (1969) has compiled manuscript references on the character of European weather and has developed an index of winter severity, as shown in Figure A.2(b) and A.9. Although different longitudes show somewhat different results, the trends shown by this index (the excess number of unusually mild or unusually cold winter months over months of opposite character) for the period since about 1700 have been validated by comparison with thermometer records. Other portions of the record have been cross-checked with data on glacial fluctuations, oxygen isotope variations, and tree growth, so that the main characteristics of European climate during this period are reasonably well known. LaMarche (1974) has constructed temperature and moisture records from the ring-width variations in trees at high altitude arid sites in California [see Figure A.9(c)]. Comparisons of his data with those from Europe shown in Figure A.9(d) indicate a degree of synchrony in the major fluctuations of temperature between the west coast of North America and Western Europe during the last 1000 years. The early part of the last millenium (about a.d. 1100 to 1400) is sometimes called the Middle Ages warm epoch but was evidently not as warm as the first half of the twentieth century.”

  4. firstdano Says:

    Minor point: DENIAL-O-sphere.



  5. […] Barack Obama just tweeted the "97 Hours of 97 percent" project. John Cook of Skeptical Science ecstatic. Denio-sphere apoplectic. Salon: While the vast majority of the scientific community a…  […]

  6. redskylite Says:

    A brilliant concept from the climate communication fellow at Queensland University and the idea has been superbly executed. I have shared each cartoon on social media and sure it will make an impression.

    I see that the apoplectic Mr Watts finally seems to admit that there is indeed a consensus and he has displayed an interesting article from John Timmer of Science Method arstechnica on consensus and science, Watts also elevates like minded deniers to Einstein status by quoting from an obscure 1931 publication Hundert Autoren Gegen Einstein (A Hundred Authors Against Einstein) ironically not mentioning that Einstein’s relativity theory had been the consensus view of the physics community by 1920.


  7. omnologos Says:

    Guys – can we go back to Obama’s tweet please. Is it correct to say that the rest is “detail”?

  8. Duncan Crow Says:

    Anyone with a climate change argument should become aware of the nagging data these figures and graphs present:


    all good,

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