Presidential candidate Ted Cruz put on his debating boots last month and went toe-to-toe with Sierra Club President Aaron Mair to argue about the preponderance of evidence regarding global warming.
As Mark Steyn said on the Rush Limbaugh show, “To watch him, (Cruz), was a thing of beauty!”
The debate consisted of several key lines being replayed over and over. To save you time, this is essentially how it went –
Cruz – Have you seen the satellite data that explicitly show there has been no significant change in our climate temperature?
Mair – It’s incorrect.
Cruz – How is it incorrect?
Mair – We rely on the data of the United Concerned Scientists, and that data is not up for debate.
Cruz – Do you and the Sierra Club often decide what areas of science are closed and not up for debate?
Mair – *consults with aid*
Cruz – *restates questions*
Mair – *consults with aid* The facts are indisputable, and we insist on our assertion.
And so on.
Rather than debate the issue, as he said he was prepared to do, Mair instead listened to the whispers in his ear (truly, he had someone feeding him his lines like a middle school drama) and repeated that the preponderance of evidence made the topic of climate change closed for discussion.
What are these facts that are not to be disputed?
Breitbart News pulled together studies which Mair repeatedly referred to as the ones “97% of scientists concur with.” Both of the following have since been highly disputed.
A 2013 study upon which the 97 percent claim is based, “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature,” authored by John Cook and eight colleagues, has been discredited in a number of critiques.
“After taking a closer look at the paper, investigative journalists report the authors’ claims of a 97-pecent consensus relied on the authors misclassifying the papers of some of the world’s most prominent global warming skeptics,” Forbes Contributor James Taylor wrote shortly after the study came out in 2013.
“At the same time, the authors deliberately presented a meaningless survey question so they could twist the responses to fit their own preconceived global warming alarmism,” Taylor continued.
A 2010 study, “Expert credibility in climate change,” written by William Anderegg of Stanford University and three colleagues concluded “97-8% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of [anthropogenic climate change] outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”
But Roger Pielke Jr, “one of the world’s top environmental policy researchers” according to Times Higher Education, does not think much of the Anderegg study:
He argues that it sits uneasily within a scientific publication because of its political nature. In support of this, he cites an article in the magazine Scientific American that says that one of the researchers, Schneider, a distinguished climate scientist, “admits that it is born of frustration with ‘climate deniers’, such as physicist Freeman Dyson or geologist Ian Plimer, being presented as ‘equally credible’ to his peers and granted ‘equal weight’ as science assessments from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) or US National Academy of Sciences, both of which ascribe ongoing climate change to increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases due to human activities.”
Pielke also points out a major methodological flaw in the paper – the authors used, as their division point, those who agreed with the 2007 report of the IPCC and those who did not. The problem is that the majority of names on the paper’s list of those who were skeptical of anthropogenic global warming were taken from a series of open letters and petitions in circulation before 2007. The authors of those documents could have little if any idea of their views on a yet-to-be-written report.
Nonetheless, Mair continued to stand by the highly contested 97 percent claim.
Hopefully, the voters of America, educated by our school system – such as it is – will take the time to read the studies for themselves, or even step outside the door this winter, and acknowledge that global warming is yet another scare tactic and talking point used by politicians, billionaires and media pawns to encourage the populous to give up more freedom for their own “safety”.