Robert Lichter reports on a survey of American climate scientists commissioned by STATS at GMU. Some of the findings:
In 1991 the Gallup organization conducted a telephone survey on global climate change among 400 scientists drawn from membership lists of the American Meteorological Association and the American Geophysical Union.
We repeated several of their questions verbatim, in order to measure changes in scientific opinion over time. On a variety of questions, opinion has consistently shifted toward increased belief in and concern about global warming. Among the changes:
In 1991 only 60% of climate scientists believed that average global temperatures were up, compared to 97% today.
In 1991 only a minority (41%) of climate scientists agreed that then-current scientific evidence “substantiates the occurrence of human-induced warming,” compared to three out of four (74%) today.
Scientists find Al Gore much more reliable than the media:
Only 1% of climate scientists rate either broadcast or cable television news about climate change as “very reliable.” Another 31% say broadcast news is “somewhat reliable,” compared to 25% for cable news. (The remainder rate TV news as “not very” or “not at all” reliable.) Local newspapers are rated as very reliable by 3% and somewhat reliable by 33% of scientists. Even the national press (New York Times, Wall St. Journal etc) is rated as very reliable by only 11%, although another 56% say it is at least somewhat reliable.
Former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” rates better than any traditional news source, with 26% finding it “very reliable” and 38% as somewhat reliable. Other non-traditional information sources fare poorly: No more than 1% of climate experts rate the doomsday movie “The Day After Tomorrow” or Michael Crichton’s novel “State of Fear” as very reliable.