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Press Release

    No Consensus View on Climate Change Science: AGU Statement on Global Warming Disputed

    02/01/1999

    The American Geophysical Union (AGU) recently announced that its membership supports government action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite acknowledging that uncertainties in the science of global warming still exist. That announcement earned sharp criticism today from Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), a free-market consumer advocacy organization.

    Stated CSE President, Paul Beckner, "There is no reason to believe that the AGU represents the opinion of the scientific community at large," Beckner said. "In the end, it's the opinion of climatologists that matter in the global warming debate, and the polls clearly show that the experts are skeptical."

    "The AGU announcement is nothing more than the opinion of a handful of scientists, most of whom are not experts in climatology," Beckner said. Noting that there are fewer than 1,000 climatologists in the world, Beckner cited two surveys that have attempted to gauge their opinions.

    America's own state climatologists - by a margin of 44 percent to 17 percent - believe that global warming is largely a natural phenomenon, according to an American Viewpoint survey conducted by Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation.

    An international survey of over 400 German, American and Canadian climate researchers conducted by the Meteorologisches Institut der Universitat Hamburg found that only 10 percent researchers surveyed "strongly agreed" to the statement, "We can say for certain that global warming is a process already under way."

    "The AGU describes itself as 'a diverse group of scientists and interested laypeople.' The members of the AGU have little more in common than a $20 annual membership fee and a subscription to one of the organization's publications," said Beckner. "The public should not be mislead to believe that the statement represents a democratic vote by the AGU membership. Nor should they misconstrue the AGU statement to represent a scientific consensus of any sort, concluded Beckner.