The Climate Change “Debate” Is Over

A recent study reviewed the published literature and talked to climate scientists about whether human activities are driving climate change. Their results indicate a general consensus in the scientific community:

An international team of scientists analyzed the abstracts of 11,944 peer-reviewed papers published between 1991 and 2011 dealing with climate change and global warming. That’s right — we’re talking about 20 years of papers, many published long before Superstorm Sandy, last year’s epic Greenland melt, or Australia’s “angry summer.”

About two-thirds of the authors of those studies refrained from stating in their abstracts whether human activity was responsible for climate change. But in those papers where a position on the claim was staked out, 97.1 percent endorsed the consensus position that humans are, indeed, cooking the planet.

The scientists involved with the new study also asked the authors of the peer-reviewed papers for their personal reflections on the causes of global warming. A little more than one-third expressed no opinion. Of those who did share a view, 97.2 percent endorsed the consensus that humans are to blame. Out of the 1,189 authors who responded to the survey, just 39 rejected the idea that humans are causing global warming.

But the main reason many Americans still refuse to believe it is religious fundamentalism. That is immune to science and reason. But it is the bedrock belief of one of our political parties.