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Scoop: Trump tells confidants U.S. will quit Paris climate deal.

Jonathan Swan
Amy Harder

President Trump has privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change, according to three sources with direct knowledge.

Publicly, Trump’s position is that he has not made up his mind and when we asked the White House about these private comments, Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks said, “I think his tweet was clear. He will make a decision this week.”

Why this matters: Pulling out of Paris is the biggest thing Trump could to do unravel Obama’s climate policies. It also sends a stark and combative signal to the rest of the world that working with other nations on climate change isn’t a priority to the Trump administration. And pulling out threatens to unravel the ambition of the entire deal, given how integral former President Obama was in making it come together in the first place.
Keep reading 550 words

Caveat: Although Trump made it clear during the campaign and in multiple conversations before his overseas trip that he favored withdrawal, he has been known to abruptly change his mind — and often floats notions to gauge the reaction of friends and aides. On the trip, he spent many hours with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, powerful advisers who back the deal.

Behind-the-scenes: The mood inside the EPA this week has been one of nervous optimism. In a senior staff meeting earlier this week, Pruitt told aides he wanted them to pump the brakes on publicly lobbying for withdrawal from Paris.

Instead, the EPA staff are quietly working with outside supporters to place op eds favoring withdrawal from Paris.
The White House has told Pruitt to lay off doing TV appearances until Trump announces his decision on Paris. (In past weeks, the EPA Administrator has gone on TV to say the U.S. needs to quit Paris, but Pruitt told aides he’ll be keeping a lower profile. He doesn’t want a Paris withdrawal to be seen as his victory. “It needs to be the President’s victory,” one source said, paraphrasing what Pruitt has told aides.)
Pruitt’s aides have told associates in recent days that they remain confident the President will withdraw from Paris but they’ve been worried about him being overseas and exposed to pressure from European leaders and the environmentalist views of his top aides like Ivanka and economic adviser Gary Cohn. Top EPA staff were relieved when Trump refused to join the other six nations of the G7 in reaffirming “strong commitment” to the Paris agreement.

Anatomy of a Deep State The EPA’s ‘Science Integrity Official’ is plotting to undermine Trump’s agenda.By Kimberley A. Strassel

On May 8 a woman few Americans have heard of, working in a federal post that even fewer know exists, summoned a select group of 45 people to a June meeting in Washington. They were almost exclusively representatives of liberal activist groups. The invitation explained they were invited to develop “future plans for scientific integrity” at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Meet the deep state. That’s what conservatives call it now, though it goes by other names. The administrative state. The entrenched governing elite. Lois Lerner. The federal bureaucracy. Whatever the description, what’s pertinent to today’s Washington is that this cadre of federal employees, accountable to no one, is actively working from within to thwart Donald Trump’s agenda.

There are few better examples than the EPA post of Scientific Integrity Official. (Yes, that is an actual job title.) The position is a legacy of Barack Obama, who at his 2009 inaugural promised to “restore science to its rightful place”—his way of warning Republicans that there’d be no more debate on climate change or other liberal environmental priorities.
Team Obama directed federal agencies to implement “scientific integrity” policies. Most agencies tasked their senior leaders with overseeing these rules. But the EPA—always the overachiever—bragged that it alone had chosen to “hire a senior level employee” whose only job would be to “act as a champion for scientific integrity throughout the agency.”

In 2013 the EPA hired Francesca Grifo, longtime activist at the far-left Union of Concerned Scientists. Ms. Grifo had long complained that EPA scientists were “under siege”—according to a report she helped write—by Republican “political appointees” and “industry lobbyists” who had “manipulated” science on everything from “mercury pollution to groundwater contamination to climate science.”

As Scientific Integrity Official, Ms. Grifo would have the awesome power to root out all these meddlesome science deniers. A 2013 Science magazine story reported she would lead an entire Scientific Integrity Committee, write an annual report documenting science “incidents” at the agency, and even “investigate” science problems—alongside no less than the agency’s inspector general. CONTINUE AT SITE

Trump’s Budget Cuts Would Reduce U.S. Climate Change Programs Spending plan for Interior Department raises funding for national parks and oil and gas development By Jim Carlton

President Donald Trump’s proposed $11.7 billion budget for the Department of the Interior raises spending for national parks and oil and gas development, while taking the ax to climate change and other science programs in a plan that has outraged environmental groups.

The spending plan unveiled Tuesday represents an 11% decrease from last year, and if enacted would be the lowest budget for the land and water agency in five years. Hardest hit would be agencies like the U.S. Geological Survey, whose staffing would be slashed by nearly one-fifth amid a consolidation of climate change programs.

The president’s budget proposal is hardly a done deal, and likely to face resistance from Congress. But it offers a map of Mr. Trump’s priorities and agenda.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke defended the president’s budget plan as being necessary to allow the agency to return to its original mission of serving multiple uses for the nation’s public lands and water.

He said that includes “responsible” energy development and conservation. Too much Interior spending, he said, has gone into programs that aren’t needed and hurt rural communities.

“President Trump promised the American people he would cut wasteful spending and make the government work for the taxpayer again, and that’s exactly what this budget does,” Mr. Zinke said.

The increased emphasis on oil and gas development would prove a boon to fossil fuel extractors, while cuts in science and range land management programs could provide regulatory relief to ranchers and the mining industry.

Environmental groups assailed the spending plan and said it, along with a proposed 31% budget cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, would decimate land, water and air protections in this country.

Among the other hot-button proposals in the Interior budget: a provision for future revenues from drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which many Republicans in Congress want to try again to open after failing in several attempts.

“Sadly, this budget proposal shows that Trump is no different than the most extreme members of the Republican Party who have waged war on endangered species and environmental protection for years,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation group based in Tucson, Ariz.

The Interior budget seeks to sharply scale back a number of initiatives taken at the agency by the Obama administration.

One of the most dramatic changes is the proposed pullback from science programs. Climate programs would be consolidated, leaving some agencies like the USGS with none at all.

In a telephone briefing Tuesday, Mr. Zinke, a former Republican congressman from Montana, called many of those programs duplicative and said he personally believes climate change is real.CONTINUE AT SITE

Academic hoaxers convince journal to publish ‘Penis causes climate change’ paper By Rick Moran !!!!!?????

Two academics submitted a paper to a publication called “Cogent Social Sciences” that exposed the entire academic “discipline” of “Gender Studies” to ridicule.

The professors – Peter Boghossian, a full-time faculty member in the Philosophy department at Portland State University, and James Lindsay, who has a doctorate in math and a background in physics – claimed in the paper that the male penis is not a genital organ, but rather a “social construct” and that male genitalia causes global warming.

The paper was laughably peer reviewed and published with only a few changes.

Breitbart’s James Delingpole recalls a similar hoax from the 1990’s:

They were hoping to emulate probably the most famous academic hoax in recent years: the Sokal Hoax – named after NYU and UCL physics professor Alan Sokal – who in 1996 persuaded an academic journal called Social Text to accept a paper titled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”.

Sokal’s paper – comprising pages of impressive-sounding but meaningless pseudo-academic jargon – was written in part to demonstrate that humanities journals will publish pretty much anything so long as it sounds like “proper leftist thought;” and partly in order to send up the absurdity of so much post-modernist social science.

So, for this new spoof, Boghossian and Lindsay were careful to throw in lots of signifier phrases to indicate fashionable anti-male bias:

We intended to test the hypothesis that flattery of the academic Left’s moral architecture in general, and of the moral orthodoxy in gender studies in particular, is the overwhelming determiner of publication in an academic journal in the field. That is, we sought to demonstrate that a desire for a certain moral view of the world to be validated could overcome the critical assessment required for legitimate scholarship. Particularly, we suspected that gender studies is crippled academically by an overriding almost-religious belief that maleness is the root of all evil. On the evidence, our suspicion was justified.

They also took care to make it completely incomprehensible.

We didn’t try to make the paper coherent; instead, we stuffed it full of jargon (like “discursive” and “isomorphism”), nonsense (like arguing that hypermasculine men are both inside and outside of certain discourses at the same time), red-flag phrases (like “pre-post-patriarchal society”), lewd references to slang terms for the penis, insulting phrasing regarding men (including referring to some men who choose not to have children as being “unable to coerce a mate”), and allusions to rape (we stated that “manspreading,” a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide, is “akin to raping the empty space around him”). After completing the paper, we read it carefully to ensure it didn’t say anything meaningful, and as neither one of us could determine what it is actually about, we deemed it a success.

Obscuring ignorant thought by filling an academic paper with incomprehensible jargon is the post-modernist way. When you reject context and definitions in favor of deconstructionism, all original intent of the author is lost and you can substitute any meaning you wish as long as it conforms to the leftist tenets accepted by other academics.

The hoaxers simply took this notion to its logical – and humorous – extreme.

More than anything, the hoaxers proved that most academics in these fake disciplines have no sense of humor whatsoever. If they did, they would have immediately recognized how stupid the hoaxers’ conclusions were.

Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy We urgently need to stop the ecological posturing and invest in gas and nuclear Matt Ridley


The Global Wind Energy Council recently released its latest report, excitedly boasting that ‘the proliferation of wind energy into the global power market continues at a furious pace, after it was revealed that more than 54 gigawatts of clean renewable wind power was installed across the global market last year’.

You may have got the impression from announcements like that, and from the obligatory pictures of wind turbines in any BBC story or airport advert about energy, that wind power is making a big contribution to world energy today. You would be wrong. Its contribution is still, after decades — nay centuries — of development, trivial to the point of irrelevance.

Here’s a quiz; no conferring. To the nearest whole number, what percentage of the world’s energy consumption was supplied by wind power in 2014, the last year for which there are reliable figures? Was it 20 per cent, 10 per cent or 5 per cent? None of the above: it was 0 per cent. That is to say, to the nearest whole number, there is still no wind power on Earth.

Matt Ridley and climate change campaigner Leo Murray debate the future of wind power:

Even put together, wind and photovoltaic solar are supplying less than 1 per cent of global energy demand. From the International Energy Agency’s 2016 Key Renewables Trends, we can see that wind provided 0.46 per cent of global energy consumption in 2014, and solar and tide combined provided 0.35 per cent. Remember this is total energy, not just electricity, which is less than a fifth of all final energy, the rest being the solid, gaseous, and liquid fuels that do the heavy lifting for heat, transport and industry.

Such numbers are not hard to find, but they don’t figure prominently in reports on energy derived from the unreliables lobby (solar and wind). Their trick is to hide behind the statement that close to 14 per cent of the world’s energy is renewable, with the implication that this is wind and solar. In fact the vast majority — three quarters — is biomass (mainly wood), and a very large part of that is ‘traditional biomass’; sticks and logs and dung burned by the poor in their homes to cook with. Those people need that energy, but they pay a big price in health problems caused by smoke inhalation.

Even in rich countries playing with subsidised wind and solar, a huge slug of their renewable energy comes from wood and hydro, the reliable renewables. Meanwhile, world energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years. Between 2013 and 2014, again using International Energy Agency data, it grew by just under 2,000 terawatt-hours.

If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.

Tesco and the great green scam Rupert Darwall

Only two months ago, Tesco agreed to pay a £129 million fine for false accounting, when it overstated profits in its August 2014 trading statement. ‘What happened is a huge source of regret to us all at Tesco,’ chief executive Dave Lewis said, ‘but we are a different business now.’ Not so fast. On Monday, the supermarket giant announced that its UK stores and distribution centres would be switching to 100 per cent renewable electricity this year.

Tesco backs up its claim by saying that its UK electricity consumption will be supported by renewable energy certificates. As part of the EU’s promotion of renewable electricity, all member states are required to run schemes to guarantee the origin of electricity produced from renewable energy sources. In Britain, energy regulator Ofgem runs the Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) scheme that Tesco will use to support its 100 per cent renewable claim.

Last year, renewable sources supplied 24.4 per cent of electricity generated in Britain. Intermittent, weather-dependent renewable in the form of wind and solar accounted for 58 per cent of renewable electricity. The next largest comes from the environmentally destructive Drax power station. It used to be Europe’s largest coal-fired power station but now burns wood pellets sourced from North American forests. Under EU rules, wood imported from outside the EU is accounted for as a renewable, zero-carbon fuel source. Yes, the EU really thinks that burning American forests is renewable.

Renewable electricity generation by typeIn 2016Onshore wind 25.5%Onshore wind 25.5%Offshore wind 19.8%Offshore wind 19.8%Solar photovoltaics 12.4%Solar photovoltaics 12.4%Plant biomass 22.7%Plant biomass 22.7%Hydro 6.5%Hydro 6.5%Other 13.0%Other 13.0%Source: BEIS Energy Trends 6.1 / Author’s calculations

Given the high proportion of renewable electricity from weather-dependent capacity, what happens when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing? Would you buy chicken from a store that let its chill cabinets warm up? Is Tesco going to let its store go dark when there isn’t enough wind and solar electricity being generated? Of course, it’s not going to put itself out of business by shutting its stores when the wind speed drops.

Neither is Tesco putting its money where its mouth is. According to calculations by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, a lithium-ion battery with enough electricity to run everything in a house for a week would weigh more than a ton and triple your electricity bill. Tesco isn’t going down the route of bankrupting itself by buying up a huge proportion of the world’s output of lithium-ion batteries.

In reality, Tesco’s claim is based on a Big Lie, that electricity can be stored just like groceries, homewares and clothing. As every school child doing GCSE physics knows, electricity is extremely hard to store. Uniquely, electricity is a product line that has to be generated the moment it’s consumed. There is no stock of electricity waiting to be sold. One GCSE text book illustrates the puny scale of renewable electricity. A hydropower project in Chile’s Atacama Desert will have a capacity of 55 million cubic metres to give a potential generating capacity of 91.7 gigawatt-hours. The amount of solar power is only sufficient pump 45 cubic metres of water a day. Question: How long will it take to fill the reservoir? Answer: 3,346 years.

Gloria Steinem: The Patriarchy Caused Climate Change By Forcing Women to Have Kids By Tyler O’Neil

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem recently suggested that the “patriarchy” is responsible for climate change, by suppressing abortion and forcing women to have children.

“Listen, what causes climate deprivation is population,” Steinem told Refinery29 in an interview last week. “If we had not been systematically forcing women to have children they don’t want or can’t care for over the 500 years of patriarchy, we wouldn’t have the climate problems that we have. That’s the fundamental cause of climate change.”

Steinem’s comments reveal the classic liberal Malthusian lie — that increasing population will doom humanity. Thomas Malthus warned that population grows faster than the food supply, and that overpopulation will be the worst issue humans face. But human ingenuity launched multiple revolutions in food production, and made the modern world’s record population sustainable.

Even so, liberals cannot accept that the market solved this fundamental problem, and they constantly warn about overpopulation, despite evidence that underpopulation — especially in developed countries, but birth rates are falling even in undeveloped countries — is a bigger threat, as people age with fewer young people to replace them. Birth control and abortion are hailed as the solution to overpopulation, even as birth rates across the world are falling.

There is (or at least should be) a robust debate about whether or not humans are causing catastrophic climate change. Climate prediction models have failed time and time again, and the Democrats’ push to silence climate “denial” suggests that the alarmists are afraid of real challenge and debate. When climatologists are choosing “career suicide” to keep their “scientific integrity,” there’s clearly a problem.

Finally, Steinem’s tenuous claim is the worst justification for abortion imaginable. She essentially defended killing babies on the questionable premise that a smaller population will avoid an undefined impending future catastrophe. Imagine someone defending infanticide on this basis, or forced sterilization. Add a little racism, and voila! There are the arguments of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood.

Does the Environmental Left Understand How Modern Pipelines Work? Its wild exaggeration of an 84-gallon Dakota Access spill suggests that it’s either cynical or ignorant. by Jillian Kay Melchior

Last week week, a routine entry in the searchable database at the website of the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources indicated that the Dakota Access Pipeline saw an 84-gallon crude-oil spill in April. The environmental Left rushed to publicize the incident as an “I told you so” moment, but activists’ gloating reveals either their cynical dishonesty or their ignorance about how modern pipelines work.

The spill occurred in an Energy Transfer Partners facility specifically equipped to catch spills. Moreover, the precautions in place to prevent environmental damage worked exactly as they should, according to the South Dakota Department of Environment and National Resources.

“As spills go, this spill was contained, all product was cleaned up quickly, and there were no impacts to the environment,” Kim Smith, a spokesperson for the South Dakota department, told me. “The containment system and notification system worked as they should.”

Compare that to the hysterical reaction from leftist activists and their media allies.

Writing in the Guardian, opinionist Julian Brave NoiseCat said that the leak “demonstrates the risk of technological and human failure inherent in crude oil pipelines,” adding that “indigenous communities, ranchers, and workers [are] forced to live under the constant threat of petroleum poisoning.”

Jan Hasselman, a lawyer for the Standing Rock Sioux, told the Huffington Post: “They keep telling everybody that it is state of the art, that leaks won’t happen, that nothing can go wrong. It’s always been false. They haven’t even turned the thing on, and it’s shown to be false.”

And a Clean Technica reporter claimed the incident “drives home an essential truth about all the systems mankind has devised to transport oil from place to place,” adding: “They all leak. Somewhere, somehow, the vile stuff gets out and when it does, it causes untold damage to the environment.”

John Cook’s Leap of Faith Those who don’t accept absolutist and unsubstantiated claims about a scientific consensus on climate change are not in ‘denial.’ By Oren Cass

Crying “consensus” to defend absolutist assertions, climate activists are charging well beyond the threshold of what mainstream science can support. When they turn back toward the ledge to shout “denial” at anyone who has not leapt with them, the word no longer means what they think it does.

This was my argument in “Who’s The Denier Now?,” published in National Review last month. John Cook, lead author of the “97 percent consensus” studies, has responded to that piece by overstating a consensus in defense of an absolutist assertion and then accusing me of “denial.” He also objects to my citation of his work, which I will address first.

I cited Cook only to refute the claim by Senator Bernie Sanders that “97 percent of the scientists who wrote articles in peer-reviewed journals believe that human activity is the fundamental reason we are seeing climate change.” Specifically, I quoted from three studies that Cook surveyed in Environmental Research Letters, showing consensus levels of 78 percent (climate scientists), 82 percent (earth scientists), and 85 percent (scientists) for Sanders-like statements that attribute to humans a primary role in recent warming.

Cook does not question my accuracy, but instead argues that the consensus among climate scientists should be the relevant measure. Thus, for the 82 percent study, he notes that among the subsample of climate scientists the figure rises to 97 percent. For the 85 percent study, among the subsample of climate scientists the figure rises to 90 percent.

None of this changes the picture. Senator Sanders didn’t say climate scientists, he said peer-reviewed scientists. Even using Cook’s preferred subsamples, the range from 78 to 90 to 97 percent does not support an assertion of a 97 percent consensus.

Cook also misses the larger point, which is that Sanders (among others) has a habit of overstating scientific consensus. Besides the example above, I quote Sanders claiming that 97 percent of scientists conclude that climate change “is already causing devastating problems” and claiming that “the vast majority of scientists” say “there is a real question as to the quality of the planet that we are going to be leaving our children and our grandchildren.” I also quote former President Obama tweeting that 97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is “dangerous.” The documented consensus extends to none of these claims.

If Cook anywhere criticized those obvious mischaracterizations of his work as strongly as he now takes issue with my precise citation, I apologize for having missed it. He did comment approvingly on the inaccurate Obama tweet, which he said “raises the awareness of consensus” and “really helps in getting that information out into the general public.”

How to Recognize ‘Science Denial’ Climate change, scientific consensus, and fake experts By John Cook

There is a consensus of evidence that human activity is causing all of recent global warming. Not some of it. Not even most of it. All of it.

Numerous studies have quantified the human contribution to global warming since the mid 20th century. Most estimates cluster around 100 percent. In fact, the best estimate is slightly over 100 percent. Various natural factors such as changes in solar activity, volcanoes, and wobbles in the Earth’s orbit have likely contributed slight cooling in recent decades.
Human Contribution.png

Based on this evidence, around 97 percent of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming. Again, this estimate isn’t based on a single survey. Rather, it’s based on a number of studies using a variety of independent methods. This includes surveys of scientists, analysis of public statements by scientists, and analyses of peer-reviewed climate research.

I co-authored a synthesis of the studies into scientific consensus on climate change. Two features jumped out at us from the research. First, as scientists’ expertise in climate science gets stronger, so too does their agreement that humans are causing global warming.

Second, among the scientists with the greatest expertise — climate scientists publishing climate research — there is 90 to 100 percent consensus with a number of estimates converging on 97 percent.
Studies Quantifying.png

That scientific agreement increases with climate expertise has been exploited by those looking to cast doubt on expert consensus. Unfortunately, it’s all-too-easy to mislead people into thinking that experts disagree on human-caused global warming. Just select a group of scientists with lower levels of expertise in climate science and portray their opinions as expert agreement. Or take it a step further and try it with non-scientists, which seems to work almost as well. If you want to work out whether you’re getting taken in with the fake-expert strategy, take a closer look at the “experts” who are being cited.

The most egregious example of the fake-expert strategy is the Global Warming Petition Project. This lists over 31,000 people with a science degree who signed a statement claiming that humans aren’t disrupting climate. This petition is held up as evidence against expert consensus on climate change. The flaw in this petition? Only 0.1 percent of the signatories actually have expertise in climate science. A mind-boggling 99.9 percent of the petition signatories are not climate scientists. This is fake experts in bulk.

This brings us Oren Cass’s cover story in the May 1, 2017, issue of National Review, “Who’s the Denier Now?” Before we get to consensus and fake experts, it’s instructive to begin where Cass begins — on the topic of the term “climate denier.” I agree with Cass that equating the rejection of climate science to holocaust denial is inappropriate. Rather, a less rhetorical and more evidence-based approach is to look to the scientific research into the phenomenon of science denial.

Science denial, as a behavior rather than a label, is a consequential and not-to-be ignored part of society. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS caused hundreds of thousands of deaths in South Africa. Vaccination denial has allowed preventable diseases to make a comeback. When people ignore important messages from science, the consequences can be dire. And if we fail to understand how science denial works, that makes us vulnerable to being misled by the techniques of denial.

How do we recognize science denial? The various movements who have rejected a scientific consensus share the same five characteristics of science denial: reliance on fake experts, using logical fallacies to arrive at false conclusions, demanding impossible expectations of scientific proof, cherry picking from the full body of evidence and conspiracy theories to explain the consensus.

The various movements who have rejected a scientific consensus share the same five characteristics of science denial.

Psychology tells us something important about the five characteristics of science denial. While they may come across as nefarious tactics, they’re not always deliberately deceptive. The traits of denial can also result from unconscious, psychological biases. This means that deliberate deception can be indistinguishable from someone who genuinely believes false arguments.

By way of example, let’s return to the issue of fake experts. Psychological research finds that we tend to ascribe greater expertise to people we agree with. Think of when a person looks through someone else’s music or book collection and exclaims, “You’ve got great taste!” They’re really saying, “You’ve got my taste.”

This unconscious bias makes us vulnerable to reliance on fake experts when they express views we’re sympathetic to. This isn’t necessarily a malevolent strategy. It’s a natural human bias. This is one of the insights gleaned from the science of science denial.

Our 2016 survey-of-surveys warns against the fallacy of selecting samples of non-experts to cast doubt on expert consensus:

Low estimates of consensus arise from samples that include non-experts such as scientists (or non-scientists) who are not actively publishing climate research, while samples of experts are consistent in showing overwhelming consensus.

It’s with some degree of irony that Cass quotes figures from our survey-of-surveys to cast doubt on the consensus. He employs the very technique we warn against by using samples including non-experts.

For example, Cass cites 82 percent consensus. Let’s take a closer look at where he got this figure. It comes from a 2009 paper by Peter Doran and Maggie Zimmermann, who surveyed a broad group of Earth scientists. This included a variety of scientific disciplines with varying degrees of acceptance of climate change (unsurprisingly, the lowest agreement came from economic geologists). When Doran looked at scientists with the relevant expertise — climate scientists publishing climate research — he found 97 percent consensus.

Similarly, Cass cites a 2014 study (that I co-authored) as evidence that the expert consensus is 85 percent. Rick Santorum also misrepresented this study to cast doubt on the 97 percent consensus. Cass draws on a group that includes non-scientists who hadn’t published peer-reviewed climate papers. When we looked at the relevant experts — scientists who had published climate research — we found 90 percent consensus.

Overall, our survey-of-surveys found that across the different studies into consensus, expert agreement ranged between 90 to 100 percent. Moreover, we found a number of studies converging on 97 percent consensus. And it’s always important to come back to the fact that this consensus is built on a foundation of independent lines of empirical evidence.

When the evidence converges on a single coherent conclusion, affirmed by a scientific consensus, we can accept the science or we can deny it. How do we tell the difference between genuine scientific skepticism and science denial? The science of science denial identifies distinct, tell-tale characteristics of denial. Understanding those traits is essential to avoid being misled by misinformation.

— Dr. John Cook is a Research Assistant Professor at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.