In a news article about Al Gore's upcoming 24 Hours of Reality event, FoxNews.com decided to report what the public thinks scientists think about climate change, without mentioning what scientists actually think:
The battle Gore faces is not against a nameless group of well-heeled competitors, however, but against the public itself.
Public perception of climate change has steadily fallen since the "Climategate" scandal in late 2009. A Rasmussen Reports public opinion poll from August noted that 57 percent of adults believe there is significant disagreement within the scientific community on global warming, up five points from late 2009.
It's a great trick. Repeatedly tell people that scientists disagree on whether manmade global warming is happening and then when that misconception shows up in public opinion polls, you get to report on that too! Incidentally, a December 2010 survey found that those who watched Fox News almost daily were 30 points more likely than those who never watched Fox to disagree with the statement, "Most scientists believe that climate change is occurring."
But multiple surveys have established that the vast majority of scientists agree manmade climate change is a reality. Two studies have concluded that among scientists most actively researching climate science, agreement is nearly unanimous on the basic tenets of manmade global warming. And as NPR reported, the National Academy of Sciences, "known for its cautious and even-handed reviews of the state of science, is firmly on board with climate change," as are a long list of other scientific organizations.
The question of whether humans are changing the climate is "about as settled as any major scientific issue can be," in the words of the Associated Press.
The FoxNews.com article goes on to note that Rasmussen also found 69 percent "believe it's at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs" about climate change. This comes after conservative media, including Fox News, relentlessly pushed the claim that the so-called "Climategate" controversy showed climate scientists deceitfully manipulating data, an allegation rejected by multiple inquiries.
FoxNews.com, Fox's purportedly objective online news outfit, regularly pushes climate misinformation:
- Climate Science Once Again Twisted Beyond Recognition By Conservative Media
- Fox News Maligns Scientists With Baseless Accusation Of "Doctoring" Sea Level Data
- Fox Tries To Debunk Global Warming, Fails Miserably
UPDATE (9/15): FoxNews.com strikes again. In an article about a physicist who resigned from the American Physical Society over its position statement that the evidence for global warming is "incontrovertible," FoxNews.com rehashed the poll results and referred to the "alleged 'consensus' regarding man-made climate fears":
Giaever earned his Nobel for his experimental discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in superconductors. He has since become a vocal dissenter from the alleged "consensus" regarding man-made climate fears, Climate Depot reported, noting that he was one of more than 100 co-signer of a 2009 letter to President Obama critical of his position on climate change.
Public perception of climate change has steadily fallen since late 2009. A Rasmussen Reports public opinion poll from August noted that 57 percent of adults believe there is significant disagreement within the scientific community on global warming, up five points from late 2009.
The same study showed that 69 percent of those polled believe it's at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs. Just just 6 percent felt confident enough to report that such falsification was "not at all likely."