A Letter to Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe

Dear Sir,

On September 25, 2006, in a speech to the U.S. Senate, you said this:

On July 24, 2006, the Los Angeles Times featured an op-ed by Naomi Oreskes, a social scientist at the University of California San Diego and the author of a 2004 Science magazine study. Oreskes insisted that a review of 928 scientific papers showed there was 100% consensus that global warming was not caused by natural climate variations. This study was also featured in former Vice President Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

However, the analysis in Science excluded nearly 11,000 studies (more than 90% of the papers dealing with global warming), according to a critique by British social scientist Benny Peiser.

Peiser also pointed out that less than 2% of the climate studies in the survey actually endorsed the so-called “consensus view” that human activity is driving global warming, and some of the studies actually opposed that view.

Peiser has since been pressed to account for the nature of his own study and has admitted (in this letter to MediaWatch) that he used a different data set. He further acknowledged (in a correspondence with Australian scientist Tim Lambert which you can find here)  that regardless of his efforts to cast the net more broadly, he still failed to find a single peer-reviewed article that challenges the anthropogenic climate change consensus. The lone contradictory piece that he discovered turns out to be from a journal that is NOT peer-reviewed: a publication of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

It seems clear that in relying upon Peiser's research you have maligned Oreskes unfairly and misled the U.S. Senate.

Can you  please advise when you plan to (1) apologize to Prof. Oreskes and (2) advise the U.S. Senate of your errors?

Thank you,

Richard Littlemore



Hi Richard.  Did you send this letter carbon-copied to other senators?  I’m sure they would have liked to know how poorly thought out Inhofe’s ideas are and the lack of legitimacy of his views.

(in a correspondence with Australian scientist Tim Lambert which you can find here)

I think you mean media watch.