Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Watchdog: Inhofe "Minority Report" Represents Minority Scientists

Sad as it is to say it, we readily admit there's no shortage of climate change skeptics roaming the halls of Congress. The name Joe Barton (TX) immediately jumps to mind, as does Paul Broun (GA). But nobody does it like Senator James Inhofe (OK).

Well known for claiming that climate change is the "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," the ranking minority member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has continually used his position of power to propagate this outrageous view.

A much publicized report posted on Senator Inhofe's blog entitled "U. S. Senate Minority Report: More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims," attempts to contradict the consensus behind the science of climate change:
Over 700 dissenting scientists (updates previous 650 report) from around the globe challenged man-made global warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore. This new 2009 255-page U.S. Senate Minority Report [...] features the skeptical voices of over 700 prominent international scientists...
Perhaps noting that Mr. Inhofe's relationship with the scientific community has been traditionally less than stellar, the Center for Integrity (CFI) decided to dig a bit deeper into who indeed made up these "700 dissenting scientists."

Examining the credentials of the 'scientists' it listed, the CFI (unsurprisingly) cast major doubts in their own study of these "scientists," in a publication appropriately dubbed the "Credibility Project." Their found that:
• Slightly fewer than 10 percent could be identified as climate scientists.
• Approximately 15 percent published in the recognizable refereed literature on subjects related to climate science.
• Approximately 80 percent clearly had no refereed publication record on climate science at all.
• Approximately 4 percent appeared to favor the current IPCC-2007 consensus and should not have been on the list.
The worst part?  Inhofe has been using this 'study' to claim that skeptic scientists outnumber those who authored the definitive climate science report from the UN's Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 13-1. Turns out when you crunch the numbers, that too is a bit off (via the Huffington Post):
And, of course, the number of people cited by Inhofe who merit being on the table as relevant scientists is perhaps in the range of 100, not 700. Thus, if one were to, inaccurately, assume that all 100 were dissenting scientists, then the ration (sic) of dissenters to scientists involved in the 2007 IPCC report is not 13-1 but 1 to 20.
The irony of the term the "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" just took on greater significance...