The Skeptical side claims at least 31,486 dissenters in their ranks, according to the PetitionProject.org. That sounds like a lot. But is it?
Of course, not all 12 million US scientists therefore agree with ‘The Consensus’. But this puts the PetitionProject’s 31,486 signatories in some kind of context.
Our maths here is somewhat coarse. Some better data suggests the ‘consensus’ figure is around 97.5% of publishing climatologists and around 90% of all publishing scientists supporting the human-induced climate theory. See this study for more details (PDF – Doran And Zimmerman 2009)
Actually, here’s how some of it looks:
UPDATE: More on the petition:
[The petition] misleads the public to think that a consensus is defined by some large absolute number of persons. It is not. It is determined by a large percentage of persons in a relevant sample.
It isn’t a ‘big’ number. The fields they are including are huge. To be large, we’d have to be looking at well over 1 million signers (only 1 in 3 people the fields already named). Maybe you’d consider it large if only 1 in 10 signed. But that’s still more than 10 times the rate that actually did.
Yes a consensus exists, and petitions such as this do nothing to change that fact.
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