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The climate change debate is full of fabricated facts and staggering stats, authoritavely hurled around with the aim of both scaring and impressing and shutting down countervailing points of view.
For example the oft quoted line that 97% of scientists agree that climate change is caused by man. That’s like the add on television that says 90% of dentists agree that Colgate prevents tooth decay. But gee, 97%. That sounds like a lot of scientists but how many exactly they never actually say or in fact how they arrived at such a no nonsense, no argument take or leave it number.

As with the entire climate change debate, the words dodgy and bogus readily spring to mind…

“…Fake statistics have been invoked to maintain the charade; the constantly regurgitated and misleading claim that 97 per cent of the world’s scientists agree on human contribution to global warming is so fraudulent it should be classified a crime, like disturbing the peace. It has become the defensive shield for advocates of warming. Public policy and billions of taxpayers’ dollars are at stake, so it is encumbent on the Chief Scientist, the responsible Minister, or the PM, to expose the fraud. Or tell taxpayers their version of where this statistic comes from.

It comes from a poll performed in 2008 by Professor Peter Doran and then-graduate student Margaret R.K. Zimmerman at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

The ‘survey’ was a two-question, online questionnaire sent to 10,257 earth scientists, of whom 3,146 responded. (Hundreds of scientists complained that the poll was fundamentally flawed and could be easily misinterpreted. Some said they could not complete the poll because of the mistakes.)

The two (unscientifically framed) questions:

Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?
(The possible answers were, ‘Yes’, ‘No’, and ‘I’m not sure’.)

What makes you unsure if human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing global mean temperatures?
Some typical responses:

‘I do not know what you mean by significant. I believe humans are affecting the climate, I am not sure how and to what level.’

Of the responding scientists, 96.2 per cent came from North America. The researchers then selected 77 of their sample and declared them ‘experts’.

Of those, 75 mostly Californian scientists or 97.4, per cent, were found to agree with the proposition and this formed ‘the consensus’. That’s where the 97 per cent comes from.

The statistic was so easy to propagate, it spread like a virus and became a touchstone for the politics of the entire climate industry, an industry which has become a false-faith-driven commercialised cult, which, like Scientology, demonises non-believers and apostates. For many, even those who are not ideologically attached, it is well worth believing…”   The Big Con