I got an email Climate Expert Survey today from DemandDebate.com, a creation of Steve Milloy. Milloy has practiced to deceive before in the climate arena, and his junkscience.com, claiming to debunk the junk science of others, is actually a terrific source of specious deception in its own right. This survey looks like another such initiative. (Note added later: If you get a copy of this, post a comment or send us an email. We’d like to keep track.)
First question. Which best describes the reason(s) for climate change?
[ ] Human activity is the principal driver of climate change.
[ ] Human activity drives climate change, but natural variability is also important.
[ ] Natural variability drives climate change, but human activity is also important.
[ ] Natural variability is the principal driver of climate change.
[ ] No opinion.
The problem with this question is that it doesn’t specify what time frame I am to consider. Before the twentieth century, natural climate change was probably the most important factor. However, I fear that if I allow that, on whatever time scale, “natural variability is also important” my response will be used to argue that “X% of expert climate scientists think that natural variability is an important driver of climate”. As, of course, it is, but natural variability is no argument against the danger of human-induced climate change.
Second question. Which best describes the role of manmade CO2 emissions in climate change?
[ ] Manmade CO2 emissions are the principal driver of climate change.
[ ] Manmade CO2 emissions drive climate change, but other natural and human-related factors are also important.
[ ] Other natural and/or human-related factors drive climate change, but manmade CO2 emissions are important.
[ ] Other natural and/or human-related factors are the principal drivers of climate change.
[ ] No opinion.
Gee. We can’t choose the first option, because climate is sometimes also driven by the intensity of the sun, or by wobbles in the Earth’s orbit, or collapsing ice sheets… Again, though, if the question had been just about the last 30 years, the first option would be arguably right. But that’s not the question asked. Again, “X% of climate experts surveyed said that natural variability is important.” Again, it is, on some time scales. But it doesn’t give any reason not to fear global warming.
The questions being asked here are similar to another equally abused survey by Bray and von Storch. This survey is part of a larger agenda to try to challenge the consensus of climate scientists, and given the long list of statements of consensus from scientific organizations, you’d think they’d give up already.
I declined to participate in the survey and would advise you to do the same.