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Are Climate Skeptics Lousy Scientists?

Author: Michael A. Levi, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change
June 24, 2010
Slate

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The evidence that we are running dangerous risks with the climate is overwhelming. In their zeal to convince the public of this fact, environmental advocates sometimes hype sensational studies and predictions that rest on weak or ambiguous logic. Every time they do, their opponents have a field day.

This week the greens have played right into that trap. On Monday, researchers at three institutions released a study purporting to use "an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers" to show that almost every serious climate researcher in the world believes in the basic science of human-caused global warming, and that the few skeptics there are lack the "climate expertise and scientific prominence" of their peers. The paper, entitled "Expert credibility in climate change," was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Within hours, a host of progressive and environmentalist groups were loudly touting its conclusions, and sympathetic articles appeared in USA Today, The New York Times, and Time. On Wednesday morning, the White House drove the message home with an official tweet: "Scientists agree on climate change...the few that don't? not cream of crop."

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