Energy

Poll: Nearly 3/4 Of Americans Don’t Believe There’s A ’97 Percent Consensus’ On Global Warming

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

American aren’t convinced of the so-called “97 percent” consensus among climate scientists on global warming, and most U.S. adults don’t have “a lot” of trust in climate scientists to give accurate information about the issue.

The Obama administration has repeatedly touted the “97 percent” statistic as proof most climate scientists agree that global warming is man-made, but a new Pew Research poll shows the public still doesn’t agree the consensus is that strong.

“Just 27% of Americans say that ‘almost all’ climate scientists hold human behavior responsible for climate change,” according to Pew’s new poll, published Tuesday.

“Another 35% say more than half of climate scientists agree about this, while an equal share says that about fewer than half (20%) or almost no (15%) scientific experts believe that human behavior is the main contributing factor in climate change,” Pew reported.

One reason belief in the so-called “consensus” is so low among the public is because of media coverage. American adults trust climate scientists even less than the media, according to Pew, so continuous reports about the “97 percent” figure may have some second-guessing its validity.

And skeptical they should be, since the “97 percent” figure has been debunked several times over the past few years. MIT climate scientist Richard Lindzen bashed the study behind the claim, calling it “propaganda.”

Similarly, Pew found only “39% of Americans say they trust climate scientists a lot when it comes to providing information about the causes of climate change.”

Most Americans aren’t as trusting of climate scientists, according to Pew — though trust in the energy industry, media and elected officials is way lower.

“About a fifth of Americans (22%) hold no trust or not too much trust in information from climate scientists,” Pew reported. “Another 39% report “some” trust in climate scientists to give a full and accurate portrait of the causes of climate change.”

More Americans also think climate scientists’ findings on global warming are “most of the time” influenced by the “desire to advance their careers” than by the “best available evidence.”

“A smaller share of adults say scientists’ political leanings (27%) or their desires to help related industries (26%) influence climate research findings most of the time,” Pew found. “But majorities say these less germane motivations influence results at least some of the time.”

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