NASA Resists Removing Debunked 97% Climate-Change Claim from Website

‘I just think there was political pressure to get it added, and no one questioned NASA directly on it at the time…’

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Dr. Judith Curry / IMAGE: House Oversight via Youtube

(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) The Obama-era claim that 97 percent of scientists agree about man-made global warming has been repeatedly debunked. But officials at NASA refuse to remove the pro-climate change statement from the agency’s government website.

Refusing to do so puts NASA at odds with President Donald Trump. It also puts the space agency at odds with the truth, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The free-market think tank attempted to force a correction under the Information Quality Act last year but was told by agency officials that “changes to the website are not needed at this time.”

CEI recently filed an appeal to what it considers an “inaccurate, unreliable, and biased” approach to the climate-change issue.

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CEI attorney Devin Watkins told the Washington Times this week that NASA’s approach also defies President Trump.

Trump has expressed skepticism about the political aspects of the liberal climate-change agenda and has singled-out the 97 percent figure, specifically. In 2017, he was assailed for acknowledging that there are “scientists on both sides of the picture.”

Trump also serves as the chief executive of the federal bureaucracy, of which NASA is part.

“It’s really weird when the President of the United States seems to say the 97 percent figure is incorrect, but an agency he is responsible for overseeing continues to say on their website that the President is wrong,” Watkins said.

On its Global Climate Change page, NASA states: “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.”

The claim originates from a 2004 Science magazine essay called the “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change.”

Author Naomi Oreskes, a science professor at Harvard, reviewed 928 study abstracts—not full studies—published over a 10-year period with the words “climate change.”

Oreskes concluded that 75 percent implicitly or explicitly endorsed the liberal consensus view and 25 percent took no position. However, “none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position,” she wrote.

In 2013, the 97-percent claim exploded into mainstream media and Democratic political rhetoric when the pro-climate-change echo chamber latched onto a George Mason University study that reviewed peer-reviewed paper abstracts with the words “global warming” or “global climate change” over a 20-year period.

Of the 12,000 reviewed climate-oriented abstracts, only 4,000 abstracts mentioned the selected terms. But it was concluded that 97 percent of the authors agreed and that they, once again, confirmed a climate-change consensus.

Skepticism immediately ensued but was either demonized or ignored.

Eminent climate scientist Judith Curry said at the time that the concept of scientific “consensus” had been so manipulated for political purposes that the term was “increasingly meaningless.”

Curry, and other climate change agenda skeptics, noted that they had been included in the 97 percent figure even though they disagreed with much of what the so-called climate-change consensus was saying.

In addition, PopularTechnology.com interviewed prominent scientists who said the 2013 study mischaracterized their work. More recently, CEI has shown that NASA failed to acknowledge documents signed by researchers—one with 31,000 signatures—who reject the consensus position that man-made global warming presents a climate-catastrophe scenario.

“I just think there was political pressure to get it added, and no one questioned NASA directly on it at the time,” said Watkins.