Industry-Backed Author: The ‘Vast Majority’ of Climatologists Don’t Believe In Global Warming

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Bonner Cohen is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, where he is paid by the fossil fuel industry to distort the facts about global warming and other environmental issues. He works closely with Steve “Junkman” Milloy, who is one of the leading promoters of misinformation about global warming through his website, junkscience.com.

Today, as a guest on C-SPAN’s National Journal, Bonner claimed that the “vast majority” of climatologists are “agnostic” on global warming. Bonner explained that meant they weren’t convinced “there is a causal relationship between emissions of greenhouse gases and [warming] the climate.” In the end, climatologists might conclude the impact of greenhouse gases is “the exact opposite.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/08/bonner.320.240.flv]

This is completely false. Thousands of scientists — participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — have agreed that global warming is real and humans are responsible for much of it.

In the video above, a caller challenges Bonner to name climatologists who dispute that greenhouse gas emissions warm the climate. He fails to name a single one.


CALLER: I’ve been listening to your comments, and I’m rather struck by some of your claims. First of all, what I’m hearing is the typical loose logic that people use in arguing against global warming. For example, climate change occurs naturally, therefore, it’s silly to think that we could somehow affect it, which is sort of like saying since cancer exists in nature, it’s ridiculous to propose that cigarettes could also cause cancer. You know, it’s a typical non-sequitur. But I guess the thing that most struck me was your claim that there’s no consensus amongst climatologists. I guess my question would be, what percentage of climatologists do you think disagree with the concept of global warming and how many could you name?

BONNER: Yes. Most climatologists who look at this are saying, ‘we need to study the matter more. We need more data. We know that human activities can, of course, affect the climate, but that other factors, the ones I pointed out earlier, can also be driving the climate.’ If you go to climate scientists, climatologists, the people who look at this, as opposed to the scientific community at large, you will find absolutely no consensus. Some think that manmade emissions of greenhouse gases are warming the climate, others do not. The vast majority of them are somewhat agnostic on the whole thing. That is, that they think we simply need to look at more data.

We know what the theory of global warming is, but what you do in science is that you test the theory. You don’t reach a conclusion one way or the other just based upon emotion. It very well may be that after further research we find out that the manmade emotions of greenhouse gases are driving the climate, or we may find out the exact opposite, or we may decide it’s something of all of the above, some mixture of all of the above. But to assume, as some do, that there is a causal relationship between emissions of greenhouse gases and the climate””that is the theory of global warming””that is still up to scientific debate.