The geneticist turned environmentalist and broadcaster, Dr. David Suzuki, told us several months ago that:
“The debate is over about whether or not climate change is real. Irrefutable evidence from around the world—including extreme weather events, record temperatures, retreating glaciers, and rising sea levels—all point to the fact climate change is happening now and at rates much faster than previously thought.
“The overwhelming majority of scientists that study climate change agree that human activity is responsible for changing the climate.”
Yet it seems to me that the debate, far from being over, is heating up. And, as for human activity being responsible for changing the climate, the debate is alive and well, with support for spending trillions of dollars on global warming mitigation in a steep decline.
As reported in the National Post and The New York Times, a new Harris Poll yesterday found that only 51 per cent of Americans believe that the release of carbon dioxide and other gases will lead to global warming, while two years ago 71 per cent of respondents linked greenhouse gases directly to global warming.
The Harris results follow other polls in recent months from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, the The Washington Post and ABC News, and The Wall Street Journal and NBC showing a similar decline in the percentage of people who believe climate change is real and is caused by emissions from fossil fuels.
If the debate is over, I guess nobody bothered to tell the American public whose hard-earned tax money is being counted on to help mitigate climate change.
And what about Dr. Suzuki’s claim that “The overwhelming majority of scientists that study climate change agree that human activity is responsible for changing the climate.”?
Well it seems that the scientist at the centre of the so-called Climategate scandal at the UK’s University of East Anglia, Phil Jones, is stepping aside as the director of the University’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) pending the outcome of an independent investigation into allegations that CRU scientists manipulated data about global warming. The CRU maintains one of the world’s most important datasets on how global temperatures have changed.
Also, Scotland Yard has announced a major police inquiry into the behaviour of the CRU, concerned that the team may have breached the laws of Britain in an attempt to get around freedom of information requests. The police inquiry is independent of that begun by the University of East Anglia.
Moreover, one man frequently mentioned in Climategate e-mails, Professor Michael Mann, is also under investigation. Penn State University, where Mann works, has decided that there is sufficient concern over scientific practices revealed in the e-mails and documents to require investigation. Mann is responsible for developing the famous “hockey stick” diagram of historical global temperatures used in Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth.
Are these the scientists and data to which Dr. Suzuki referred?