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Scientific Consensus on Climate Change?

March 1, 2008
By Klaus-Martin Schulte

Medical researcher Klaus-Martin Schulte finds his and many other patients with benign and malignant disorders have expressed alarm over man-made climate change, believing the lack of action from policymakers to prevent such climate change has contributed

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Medical researcher Klaus-Martin Schulte finds his and many other patients with benign and malignant disorders have expressed alarm over man-made climate change, believing the lack of action from policymakers to prevent such climate change has contributed to their suffering. Accordingly, Schulte examines the work of Historian Naomi Oreskes, who produced a short essay that claimed to find in a review of 928 abstracts of papers published between 1993 and 2003, each found using the search term "global climate change" on the ISI Web of Science database had either implicitly and explicitly accepted the view of a scientific consensus. Oreskes would go on to update this finding using the abstracts of 539 papers published between 2004 and mid-February 2007, which found the proportion of papers rejecting the idea of a scientific consensus on man-made climate change had risen from zero to almost six percent.

Schulte, having used the same database and search terms as Oreskes to examine papers published from 2004 to February 2007, found fewer than half endorsed the “consensus” and only 7 percent did so explicitly. Schulte counted 31 papers (6 percent of the sample) that explicitly or implicitly rejected the “consensus.” Schulte would go to conclude that there is "little basis in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for the degree of alarm on the issue of man-made climate change which is being expressed in the media and by politicians, now carried over into the medical world and experienced by patients."  His findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Energy & Environment, 19 (2) (2008).