Jeff Jacoby

Boston Globe Columnist Jeff Jacoby Distorts Survey And Study To Deny Climate Consensus

This is a guest post by Climate Nexus, and originally appeared on Climate Science Watch.

Jeff Jacoby’s recent Boston Globe op-ed misses the mark on the climate consensus. His argument boils down to the claim that there’s no consensus among scientists on the causes and effects of global warming – plus, the very idea of consensus is “authoritarian and anti-scientific” anyway. Both parts of this assertion completely mischaracterize the way that science works, using previously debunked factoids that don’t belong in a news outlet of this prominence. Climate scientists agree that human activity is warming our planet, and that this is causing harmful impacts that will get worse if we do nothing.

A few examples show the thinness of Jacoby’s justification:

Meteorologists actually support the facts of human-caused climate change. Jacoby cites a recent survey of the American Meteorological Society, even though the study authors themselves have already spoken up to directly refute his interpretation of their work. In fact, 73% of AMS members surveyed agree that human activities have contributed to warming, and that number rises among those with greater scientific expertise. Among meteorologists actively publishing on climate topics, 93% agreed.

Furthermore, meteorologists are just a subset of the scientific community. The 93% consensus among meteorologists does not refute the 97% consensus (established via multiple different survey methods) among the broader climate science community that humans are warming our climate.

Jacoby's questionable column is chopped liver

Here's a nice little retort of Jeff Jacoby's head-in-the-sand rant last week that in his mind somehow proves that human-caused global warming is not a reality. Taking opinion as some type of scientific evidence, the Boston Globe columnist wrote that, “scientists and other 'serious people' who question the global warming disaster narrative are not hard to find,”

In response David Bernstein at the Phoenix Sun writes:

In the August 19 Boston Globe, conservative op-ed contributor Jeff Jacoby wrote his fifth column in eight months denying climate change. His disdain for warming theorists goes back much longer; he pontificated on the subject as far back as 2002. And yet, after all this time and effort, he’s still relying on thin gruel for source material.”

Jacoby: The Scientific Consensus is Chopped Liver

By Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe Columnist, Aug. 19, 2007

If there's anything climate-change crusaders are adamant about, it is that the science of the matter is settled. That greenhouse gases emitted through human activity are causing the planet to warm dangerously, they say, is an established fact; only a charlatan would claim otherwise.

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