Not Just “97 Percent” – Even for Petro Scientists, Climate Denial is Now “Untenable”

November 1, 2021

In last week’s “Tobacco Moment” hearing on Capitol Hill, Oil executives were grilled about past support for climate denial and disinformation. They denied denying, and in fact, what was notable was the lack of any pushback on climate science from any of the fossil fuel industry kingpins. It is no longer possible to deny climate science, and still be taken seriously in a discussion.

Dr. John Cook, who authored the best-known study (there’s more than one, see below) showing 97 percent agreement among climate scientists (see below) on human causation, has new stats showing that the most recalcitrant segment of the science community, geologists working for the fossil industry, have now come along overwhelmingly to the consensus view – it’s real, it’s us.

Inside Climate News:

A significant number of scientists who once denied the reality of human-driven climate change now are more likely to accept that global warming is happening and that it is caused by humans, according to a new study.

The study found that the consensus was nearly universal among earth scientists, especially those considered to be climate experts. 

The findings are based on a survey of more than 2,000 earth scientists from a directory of faculty at academic and research institutions. These included climate scientists, oceanographers, paleontologists, economic geologists, meteorologists and others. Each respondent was asked whether they believed global warming was happening, and if it was, whether it was human-caused or driven by natural causes. 

The survey, conducted by researchers in the United States and Australia, was a replication of a 2009 survey led by University of Illinois-Chicago researchers, using the same directory to find scientists and asking them the same questions. 

In 2009, 80 percent of respondents agreed that global warming was caused by humans. In this new survey, that number increased to 91.1 percent. Among climate experts in 2009, 97.4 percent believed humans were responsible for warming. Today, that number is 98.7 percent. 

The biggest jump in consensus was among economic geologists, a discipline that includes scientists that help industry groups find natural resources like fossil fuels. Only 44 percent of these scientists agreed in 2009 that global warming was caused by human activity. That number has since risen to 84.1 percent.

“Amongst this group who have a vested interest in not thinking that burning fossil fuels will cause climate change, they nearly doubled the level of agreement that fossil fuels are causing climate change,” said John Cook, a climate communication researcher at Monash University in Melbourne. 

The scientific consensus on global warming is important for bringing awareness to society as a whole about the reality and gravity of climate change, Cook said. 

“When people understand that scientists agree that humans are causing global warming, they’re more likely to believe that climate change is real and caused by humans and support climate actions,” he said. 

Below, Cook discusses the original “97 Percent” study:

The newest study is open access, here.

Environmental Research Letters:

Out of a group of 153 independently confirmed climate experts, 98.7% of those scientists indicated that the Earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels. Among those with the highest level of expertise (independently confirmed climate experts who each published 20+ peer reviewed papers on climate change between 2015 and 2019) there was 100% agreement that the Earth is warming mostly because of human activity.

2 Responses to “Not Just “97 Percent” – Even for Petro Scientists, Climate Denial is Now “Untenable””

  1. neilrieck Says:

    Thought readers here might enjoy this (cuz Gretta would)

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