Latest posts by James Taylor (see all)
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Neil Stenhouse, lead author of a paper accepted for publication by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, trashed the ability of American Meteorological Society meteorologists to understand global warming after they failed to validate Stenhouse’s mythical global warming consensus. Stenhouse’s criticism of AMS meteorologists in the UKGuardian puts dues-paying AMS members in the odd position of supporting and publishing the work of a non-scientist who is bashing their credentials.
Stenhouse, a psychologist and doctoral student in communications at George Mason University, emailed all full members of the American Meteorological Society for whom he could find an email address and asked them to fill out an online survey on global warming. More than 1,800 AMS meteorologists filled out the survey.
Only 52 percent said global warming is occurring and is caused mostly by humans – which is itself a far cry from having 52 percent say humans are causing a global warming crisis. The results were a huge blow to the mythical notion that all or nearly all scientists agree that humans are causing a global warming crisis. This is especially the case considering the AMS survey reflected the views of scientists with atmospheric science expertise. This wasn’t a survey of engineers or other non-atmospheric scientists with little if any atmospheric science expertise.
After I reported the results of this survey last month at Forbes.com, global warming activists went into damage-control overdrive, doing everything possible to downplay the results.
The Guardian, in an article published by Scott Abraham and Dana Nuccitelli (one an engineer, the other a solar scientist), was especially critical of most AMS members’ ability to understand and hold informed opinions on global warming issues. “Most AMS members are not climate researchers, nor is scientific research of any kind their primary occupation,” Abraham and Nuccitelli asserted.
Stenhouse piled on with additional criticism, downplaying in the Guardian article most AMS meteorologists’ ability to hold informed views on global warming. “You only see low levels of consensus in the sample if you also look at the views of people who are not climate experts,” Stenhouse told the Guardian.
Considering only 52 percent of AMS scientists believe humans are the main cause for some global warming, and considering the Guardian protested that only 13 percent of AMS meteorologists listed climate science as their primary area of expertise (as if having expertise in one area of atmospheric science precludes expertise in others), this leaves Stenhouse asserting that the term “not climate experts” applies to a majority of AMS members.
This might lead you to wonder why Stenhouse conducted the survey in the first place. Most likely, the psychologist lives in an echo chamber of like-minded global warming alarmists and expected the survey to reveal a broad alarmist consensus. Now that Stenhouse doesn’t like the survey results, he trashes AMS meteorologists’ ability to hold informed opinions on global warming, even as Stenhouse publishes the results of his study in an AMS-administered journal.
Stenhouse and the Guardian also attempted to isolate and give unique credibility to the small percentage of AMS meteorologists who self-identified their primary job focus as research. This, by definition, excludes almost all meteorologists who don’t work for government. Therefore, the survey results show that the majority of meteorologists whose jobs, salary and publishing activities are dependent on government funding and the perpetuation of the mythical global warming crisis say global warming is occurring and humans are the primary cause.
Wow, that’s quite a news flash. Meanwhile, for the vast majority of meteorologists who don’t fall within that group – those who aren’t beholden to government funding and who don’t have a funding dog in the global warming debate – only a minority say global warming is occurring and humans are the primary cause.
Stenhouse’s undermining of the credibility of AMS meteorologists should come as no surprise given that his job is to spread global warming alarm. The website for the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication, under whose auspices he conducted the survey, states at the very top, “Climate change is the result of human actions and choices.”
Boy, that’s an objective point of view, especially for a psychologist who criticizes the informed opinion of atmospheric scientists.
Stenhouse’s website even goes a step farther, arguing that social activism is necessary to address human-caused climate change. “Limiting climate change – and protecting people and ecosystems to the degree possible from unavoidable changes in the climate – will require significant public engagement in the issue so that difficult decisions can be made by members of the public and policy makers,” Stenhouse’s website argues.
Is it any wonder that a psychologist/global warming activist would throw atmospheric scientists under the bus after he discovers they don’t share his global warming alarmism? Probably not. But what is really interesting is how the very AMS meteorologists whom Stenhouse is trashing are the ones whose professional dues support the journal that publishes Stenhouse’s paper. Granted, the survey results reported in the paper destroy the mythical global warming consensus, for which there is value in spreading the word.
Still, I suspect the AMS bureaucracy is going to get an earful from its member meteorologists on this one.