When denialists try to do math

bolt by James Bowe

Andrew Bolt vs percentages
[Via Deltoid]

Andrew Bolt may have the worst case of confirmation bias ever seen. To Bolt, whether something is true or not has nothing to do with its accuracy and everything to do with whether it suits him or not. Here in it’s entirety

If the evidence were so strong, there’d be no need for such untruths

Dennis Ambler checks the statistics behind recently claims that 97 per cent of climate scientists believe man is heating the planet and finds evidence of some exaggeration:

However a headline of “0.73% of climate scientists think that humans are affecting the climate” doesn’t quite have the same ring as 97% does it?

Er, no.

He’s referring to Doran and Zimmerman’s survey of 3146 Earth Scientists. The graph below shows their results for this question:

Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?


So what’s Ambler’s argument that proves that the 97% is really 0.73%?


Now I recognize that many scientists may not do well with some types of math – proper statistics is one area. But most would be able to properly figure out the correct percentages.

Especially if one were going to publicly display one’s work.

As one commenter stated, using Bolt’s argument since only 2 of the climatologists out of 10,157 don’t think humans are causing climate change, the percentage of denialists is 0.019%.

No matter how you calculate it, even by Bolt’s twisted logic, the data show that about 38 times as many climatologists say humans are involved as say humans are not involved. That’s a lot.

If I was making the point that few scientists disagree with AGW and that the more they know, the more certain they are, then the graph demonstrates I am correct. These numbers certainly do not support the argument that there is much dissent in the ranks of climatologists, or even of most scientists.

And even Bolt’s misguided attempt to redo the numbers does not hold up to any sort of examination. At least by anyone who can do division and think rationally.

2 thoughts on “When denialists try to do math

    1. Generally, our respiration of carbon dioxide is in equilibrium to the carbon cycle. The major bit of data that began convincing me was looking at the carbon isotope ratios. Burning plant-rderived matter, such as fossil fuels, releases carbon dioxide enriched in C12 compared with C13. So, if burning fossil fuels was resulting in the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, then we would expect to see an increase in C12/C13 ratios as time goes on.

      That is what is seen. The data would indicate that the greatest aspect of AGW is derived from burning fossil fuels.

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