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Schwarzenegger: If 98 doctors say... Featured

"If 98 doctors say my son is ill and needs medication and two say, 'No, he doesn't, he is fine,' I will go with the ninety-seven. It's common sense - the same with global warming. We go with the majority, the large majority."
-- former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Notes: Two recent independent surveys (Doran, 2009; Anderegg, 2009) of currently active climate researchers found that over 97.5% support the consensus view that human activity contributes significantly to global warming.

In contrast, the most vocal climate deniers are not climate specialists, or often not scientists at all.

[Schwarzenegger's quote refers to 98% instead of 97% due to rounding.   To be conservative, CB generally uses 97%.]

For the original surveys of climate scientists, see the article by Doran and Zimmerman: "Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change."  See also the article by Anderegg et al: "Expert Credibility in Climate Change."

Bite Source: Former Governor (R) of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, quoted in Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat and Crowded.

6 votes

Bite Details

Submitted by
Tom Smerling
Com (2)

July 2, 2011

1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Short and to the point.
byBarry Woods

January 9, 2012

1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Did anybody ever bother to actually look at the Zimmerman thesis.... (all 150pgs)
You might find some suprises in the appendi..

ie 90% of those surveyed were in the USA..

and the feedback from those thattook part was very critical, datre I say 'sceptical ;-)

Why not download it and take a look, unless the 97% Doran soundbite is more important to you.
Owner's reply

Thank for the tip; I will take a look at Zimmerman's thesis. Having done a fair amount of survey research myself, I'm well aware of it's limitations. One can never rely on just one study; you have to replicate the study, and look for corroborating evidence.

In this case, a completely separate study (Anderegg, et al 2010), using different methodology, found almost the exact same figure (97%). These findings are roughly consistent, as well, with Naomi Orestes' survey of peer-reviewed research papers, and more informal methods. Working climate scientists who don't believe the earth is warming, largely due to human activity, are a tiny minority, no matter how you count them.

re: 90% in the US. Are you suggesting that climate scientists in other countries are likely to be more skeptical? Are you aware of any evidence of this?

The bottom line for me, until I see evidence to the contrary: The findings of these two studies are so robust, that even if they are off by, say, 10% -- which is statistically unlikely -- it would not change the conclusion.

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