Tar sands good, science bad

You couldn’t invent a more appropriate juxtaposition: a study of the literature shows definitively that 97% of scientific opinion supports the view that climate change is man made; and on the same day we learn that the Canadian government has doubled its advertising spend on the Alberta tar sands!

The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg writes here:

A survey of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals has found 97.1% agreed that climate change is caused by human activity.

Authors of the survey, published on Thursday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, said the finding of near unanimity provided a powerful rebuttal to climate contrarians who insist the science of climate change remains unsettled.

The survey considered the work of some 29,000 scientists published in 11,994 academic papers. Of the 4,000-plus papers that took a position on the causes of climate change only 0.7% or 83 of those thousands of academic articles, disputed the scientific consensus that climate change is the result of human activity, with the view of the remaining 2.2% unclear.

The study described the dissent as a “vanishingly small proportion” of published research.

“Our findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary,” said John Cook of the University of Queensland, who led the survey.

Public opinion continues to lag behind the science. Though a majority of Americans accept the climate is changing, just 42% believed human activity was the main driver, in a poll conducted by the Pew Research Centre last October.

“There is a gaping chasm between the actual consensus and the public perception,” Cook said in a statement.

As for the tar sands, read this. And if you really want a laugh, follow the link to the Canadian government’s press statement.

A gaping chasm indeed. And the way to fill it is to get more people reading this blog and others like it. Pass it on!

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