Little research rejects human-driven climate change theory

"Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the science literature" was published in the Environmental Research Letters journal on Thursday. It looked at 12 000 academic papers that talked about climate change and were published between 1991 and 2011. 

The majority did not take a stance on what was driving climate change, but 4 000 did. Of these, 97.1% said that humans, through their activity, were driving up temperatures and accelerating climate change.

Only 83 took the opposing view, with another 2.2% not taking a clear stance.   

“Our findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary,” said John Cook, of the University of Queensland.

The founder of Skeptical Science, a website that hosts arguments about climate change, he led the research team. “There is a gaping chasm between the actual consensus and the public perception,” he said.

Several surverys in the United States, where climate change is a big political debate, have shown that more than half of the population thinks scientists have not come to an agreement about the drivers of climate change. 

The biggest study into international views, “Public Attitudes towards Climate Change and Other Global Environmental Issues across Time and Countries, 1993-2010”, was published in February. It found that climate change was low on the list of their concerns. 

It was only in the under-30 age group that climate change was a serious concern, it said.  

The new research only looked at peer-reviewed literature, and was done by searching for the terms "global warming" and "global climate change".

Sipho Kings
Sipho is the Mail & Guardian's News Editor. He also does investigative environment journalism.

De Klerk now admits apartheid was a crime against humanity

Apartheid’s last president walks back comments that definition was a Soviet plot

February 11 1990: Mandela’s media conquest

Nelson Mandela’s release from prison was also South Africa’s first ‘media event’. And, despite the NP’s, and the SABC’s, attempt to control the narrative, the force of Madiba’s personality meant that he emerged as a celebrity

Eastern Cape MEC orders graft investigation after two workers killed...

The killing of two council workers at the Amathole district municipality appears to be linked to tender fraud and corruption

Strike-off case pulls in judge

Judge Mushtak Parker is implicated in an application to strike off his former partners. He is also involved in the fight between the Western Cape high court’s judge president and his deputy

Press Releases

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders

So you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Do the research first; it will save money and time later

Social entrepreneurship means business

Enterprises with a cause at their core might be exactly what our economy desperately needs

Looking inwards

Businesses are finding tangible ways to give back – but only because consumers demand it