List of scientists supporting the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming

Despite overwhelming evidence, there are still some powerful people denying that climate change is the result of human actions–usually called global warming. The nomination of Gov. Sarah Palin, a denier of climate change, for vice president in the 2008 US presidential election is unbelievable to me. What is next? Will we nominate someone who believes witchcraft is real or the world is flat? The US nominated Gov. Palin because there are a few vocal people denying climate change and there are many powerful people who want to believe them.

I recently stumbled across an excellent blog that fights against the lies of the climate change denying fringe. The deniers are well organized and easy to find, and the media gives them undo attention because of it. For example, Wikipedia has a “List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming” with 39 names, but there is no corresponding list of supporting scientists. I aim to correct this imbalance.

I just created the list of scientists supporting the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming on Wikipedia and posted four scientists on the list. With the help of the netizen community, I hope this list will grow to be one of the largest articles on Wikipedia.

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5 thoughts on “List of scientists supporting the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming”

  1. Hi Mike,

    I think you are _too_ rational in this case. The list is not for the benefit of the deniers nor is it an attempt to persuade them. It’s not even a list for rational people. The intended audience is the media and the scientifically illiterate public. You are correct that a rational person immediately recognizes that when only 39 scientists out of millions of scientists deny climate change that there is no real controversy or dissent within the scientific community. So why is there still any “controversy” in the public’s perception? Because most people, including most journalists, do not recognize that 39 scientists is a ridiculously small ratio. Those people need a list–they need to make the 39 to N comparison. Many of those people, and importantly many of those journalists, will be persuaded by a list of 1000 supporters vs. a list of 39 deniers.

    Will the page be impossibly long? I hope so! The current longest page on Wikipedia has thousands of names, and I hope that the media takes notice if/when this list gets that long.

    As for professional organizations endorsing climate change, my perception is that this is part of the denier conspiracy. The deniers claim that these professional organizations are suppressing widespread dissent. If this list were long, then it would eviscerate that claim because this list represents individual voices, not the allegedly-suppressing voice of the professional organizations of scientists and scientific journals.

  2. Hunter

    Many thanks for your link. I would like to caution you about the wiki page you have created sensu the reason it does not exist is that it would be impossibly huge and eternally incomplete; the latter of which the Deniers will use for propaganda purposes.

    In fact there is an estimated 63 million scientists in the world, so you start to appreciate the scale of of the challenge. Just getting 50% is a staggering thought, but until you do the Deniers will point and say “see, less than 50%” blah blah.

    There IS a page which lists the professional organizations that endorse climate science on behalf of their membership. For eg the APS alone has almost 50,000 members.

    I believe it is best to leave things as they are viz, any scientist who disputes the stand taken by their profession is more than free to add their name to the ‘skeptic’ page. In the meantime the 39 names out of 63 milion tells you pretty much all you need to know. We are all better off with people asking “why only 39 out of 63 million?” rather saying “39 compared to N” where N would be a compartively tiny number (compared to 63 million that is) for a very long time given how much work is involved in documenting everyone.

    For more on the consensus see

    Be well and thanks again

  3. Hunter

    I realize that it is not for the Denier benefit, but they will use it for their ends regardless. You can slap as many “INCOMPLETE” labels on it as you like and they will still report the list as “having only …” Look at what happened to the GISS data clearly marked as “provisional”. There are numerous other examples as well.

    “The deniers claim that these professional organizations are suppressing widespread dissent.” Yes, and the correct answer is the there is absolutely nothing that prevents anyone from signing on with Inhofe, or Heatland or whoever.

    The professional associations actually have no control of the scientists in terms of employment, getting published etc, so unless the premise is that 3 geophysicists are going to come around to your flat and rough you up I don’t know what they are implying.

    Actually I am well aware that they aren’t implying anything. The suggestion is crap and they know it, but they also know that the public doesn’t realize that it is nonsense, so they say it as if it meant something.

    “do not recognize that 39 scientists is a ridiculously small ratio” Because the journalists don’t tell them. If they are told it is 39 out of 63 million they get it right away.

    You do what you do and best of luck to you – I am just bringing to your attention why it has not been tried before despite some possible benefits.


  4. While in general I would agree with Mike, now that the page is up on Wikipedia and appears in the history, we can at least add to it. Hunter: would this help you at all? It shouldn’t be too hard to write a parsing script for the text tables.

  5. Thanks for the link. Off the top of my head, I don’t know how to sort on last name. I looked at the IPCC AR4 WG1 authors in the annex, and that also looks difficult to convert. I tried Google searching for a CSV file of the authors, but I didn’t find anything.

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