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Center For Inquiry’s Credibility Project

There is a pretty substantial amount of opposition to the Waxman-Markey bill (the Democrat-penned global warming legislation passed by the House and waiting in the Senate, probably to be taken up next month). So much so that there are strong doubts it and its cap-and-trade provision will ever become law.

There are many different rationales for Waxman-Markey opposition, but they can all be categorized under either of two general headings: “I don’t agree with the premise,” or “I don’t agree with the details.” We’ll get to the detail disagreers at another time. Today we’ll deal with the hardcore dissenters – those who aren’t behind Waxman-Markey because they think manmade global warming is a bunch of hooey.

The hooey-ists are led by Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee who for 15 years has been the Senate’s loudest global-warming skeptic. (To give you an idea of where he’s coming from, he lists a “Lifetime Service Award from the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association” and an “A+ rating from the National Rifle Association” among his accomplishments.)

Sen. Inhofe put together the United States Senate Minority Report on Global Warming, a collection of 400 (700, in its latest iteration) scientists who question or outright reject man-made global warming. Basically it’s intended as a retort to the IPCC, and it’s often cited by global warming skeptics, as in, “look at this; there are tons of well-educated, highly qualified professionals out there who don’t believe the global warming hype.”

But in a retort of its own, the Center for Inquiry – a non-partisan nonprofit that “advocates for science, reason, freedom of inquiry and humanist values” – released its Credibility Project.

The Credibility Project concludes that 80% of the Minority Report’s “dissenting scientists” haven’t published peer-reviewed climate research, an indication that the vast majority of the skeptics the Minority Report considers authorities are, in fact, not.

The Project also found 8% on the list not only aren’t climate scientists, but they’re not scientists of any kind. It also shows 11% of those on the list aren’t truly AGW skeptics.

If the Minority Report is pretty much a “best of the best” argument against there being a consensus on AGW in the scientific community, and the Minority Report doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, what do skeptics have left?

Applying the Center for Inquiry’s math, about 120. About 120 climate scientists skeptical that global warming is caused by human actions, compared to the roughly 2,000 scientists who contributed to the latest IPCC report.

So where does that leave us re: opposition of Waxman-Markey? It means if you’re against it, it probably should be because of the details, not the premise.

We’ll cover the rationales of those who buy AGW but don’t like Waxman-Markey in a soon-to-follow post.

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“Center For Inquiry’s Credibility Project”