Science & Tech

This scientist destroyed climate change deniers in a single viral post

This scientist destroyed climate change deniers in a single viral post

Climate change is real and a deeply worrying threat to our way of life.

Our burning of fossil fuels, among other factors, is slowly warming the planet to dangerous levels.

An often cited figure is that 97.1 per cent of scientific studies support the view that climate change is real, and caused by humans.

A 2015 study however, looked at the 2.9 per cent of studies that deny climate change is man made, and found a series of worrying flaws.

Atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe wrote a damning Facebook post about said study:

Hayhoe wrote particularly critically of those who imply that dissenting voices are suppressed - arguing that they're not, they're simply contradicted with evidence.

But over the last 10 years, at least 38 papers were published in peer-reviewed journals, each claiming various reasons why climate wasn't changing, or if it was, it wasn't humans, or it wasn't bad.

They weren't suppressed. They're out there, where anyone can find them.

So we took those papers and - thanks to the superhuman efforts of my colleague Rasmus Benestad - recalculated all their analyses. From scratch.

And you know what we found?

Every single one of those analyses had an error - in their assumptions, methodology, or analysis - that, when corrected, brought their results into line with the scientific consensus.

It's real, it's us, it's serious.

The study found that some scientists were 'cherry picking' data and using flawed methodologies to reach their conclusions.

One study, for example, tried to blame global warming on the orbital cycles of Jupiter and Saturn.

When asked if the original authors were likely to post corrections to their research, in light of this latest study, Hayhoe simply wrote:

“Unfortunately we don't live in a world where that is likely to happen.”


This article was originally published in 2015.

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