NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 19, 2007

A new survey of American members of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that there is not firm scientific consensus on global warming, as proponents of swift action to curb carbon emissions have suggested.

Of 54 scientists who completed a survey by, a website that advocates more debate on the topic:

  • Less than half said a 1-degree Celsius increase is "flatly undesirable;" and 61 percent of the respondents said there is no such thing as an "ideal climate."
  • While as many as 90 percent of respondents said man-made carbon emissions "are driving or helping to drive global climate change," only 20 percent said human activity is the "principle driver of climate change."
  • Some 63 percent said human activity is a driver but that "natural variability is also important."

Former Vice President Al Gore and other leading proponents of strong government action to reduce carbon emissions -- who cite catastrophic predictions of the effects of climate change -- have repeatedly said that "the debate is settled" and that there is "scientific consensus" on the causes and potential effects of warming.

But Steve Milloy, writer of the blog "Junk Science" and executive director of, says this survey casts doubt on that claim.  There's reason to ask these people more questions, says Milloy. Al Gore is rushing to close the debate because the more data we get, the flimsier the science gets.

Source: Nathan Burchfiel, "Climate Scientist Survey Reveals Little Consensus,", November 15, 2007.


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