2011-09-04 19:38:0269% Say It Is [somewhat] Likely Scientists Have Falsified Global Warming Research


Rasmussen have recently performed a telephone survey on the public perception of scientific attitudes to global warming.  Presumably this was prior to the debuncking of Spencer's paper and resignation of the editor, although I doubt if this would have much effect.  The results are rather depressing (note the misquote of the headline corrected by me in brackets)

"The debate over global warming has intensified in recent weeks after a new NASA study was interpreted by skeptics to reveal that global warming is not man-made. While a majority of Americans nationwide continue to acknowledge significant disagreement about global warming in the scientific community, most go even further to say some scientists falsify data to support their own beliefs.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 69% say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40% who say this is Very Likely. Twenty-two percent (22%) don’t think it’s likely some scientists have falsified global warming data, including just six percent (6%) say it’s Not At All Likely. Another 10% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The number of adults who say it’s likely scientists have falsified data is up 10 points from December 2009.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) believe there is significant disagreement within the scientific community on global warming, up five points from late 2009. One in four (25%) believes scientists agree on global warming. Another 18% aren’t sure.

Republicans and adults not affiliated with either major political party feel stronger than Democrats that some scientists have falsified data to support their global warming theories, but 51% of Democrats also agree.

Men are more likely than women to believe some scientists have put out false information on the issue.

Democrats are more likely to support immediate action on global warming compared to those from other party affiliation"

2011-09-04 19:47:00
Ari Jokimäki


This doesn't surprise me. A while back I was discussing with my friend about these issues. He believes that the science of anthropogenic global warming is correct and generally has a good understanding of and interest in science. However, he thought that Climategate showed that some English scientists had not been honest in their research. All I needed to do was to tell him that it was all just climate science deniers using selective quotation in order to make it look like they did. He immediately understood the situation.

It is clear to me that explaining the real deal in specialized blogs doesn't carry the message very far. The story of my friend shows that there are lot of well-read people who have bought the denier lies.

2011-09-04 20:14:33


A big part of the game is a PR war.

2011-09-04 23:47:02Point of order
John Hartz
John Hartz

Isn't Rasumussen a conservative polling organization?

It will also be interesting to see what Americans have to say about AGW after the current hurricane season is over. Tropical Storm Lee is saturating Louisiana and Mississippi. Hurricane Katia is taking a bead on the Northeast US coast. I suspect there will be more to come before all is said and done.       


2011-09-05 02:15:52
Mark Richardson

It's possible that this has happened. We don't have tracks of every single climate scientist's background work. But after releasing the juiciest bits of more than a decade of emails they didn't find any evidence of falsification of data (or haven't shown evidence of any yet), which adds a lot to confidence.



Willie Soon seems to have tried fraud, and the results of Lindzen & Choi; Lassen & Friis-Christensen; McLean, deFrietas & Carter plus Spencer & Braswell look suspiciously like fiddling results and hiding contradictions. It's possible they're all innocent (at least, outside of subconscious selectivity) but it wouldn't surrpise me to find out they've also defrauded readers.

2011-09-05 02:16:59
Dana Nuccitelli

Rasmussen definitely has a conservative lean, but it's generally a pretty good polling company.  Most of the questions they asked in the poll seem fine, not leading the surveyed in any particular direction.  This particular question was:

5* In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?

I can see how people would have answered "somewhat likely" based on the phrasing of that question.  The question itself sort of plants the idea in their head that maybe scientists are falsifying data.  So anyone who had any inkling that maybe some scientists falsified data would answer to the affirmative.  Most of the questions in the poll were good.  This one was not.  It's a challenge to phrase a polling question in a neutral way, but Rasmussen failed on this one.

Like Ari says, Climategate is still in peoples' minds, as are the recent BS headlines about Spencer's paper.  It's a difficult PR situation, as neal says, because most of the media is firmly in the denialist camp.  Not necessarily intentionally, but because they want to be "fair and balanced" and sensationalist, which is why Climategate and Spencer got such widespread attention.  I doubt Dessler's paper or even the journal editor's resignation will get even a fraction as much attention in the MSM.

2011-09-05 04:14:26
Ari Jokimäki


Maybe there's a blog post in here. Title could be something like: "Climate scientists have indeed committed frauds", followed by a list of peer reviewed frauds by denier "scientists" (perhaps not calling them frauds, though).


2011-09-05 04:29:45


From Wiki

TIME has described Rasmussen Reports as a "conservative-leaning polling group".[29] According to Charles Franklin, a University of Wisconsin political scientist who co-developed Pollster.com,[30] “He [Rasmussen] polls less favorably for Democrats, and that’s why he’s become a lightning rod." Franklin also said: "It’s clear that his results are typically more Republican than the other person’s results.”[31]

The Center For Public Integrity has claimed that Scott Rasmussen was a paid consultant for the 2004 George W. Bush campaign.[32] The Washington Post reported "... the Bush reelection campaign used a feature on his site that allowed customers to program their own polls. Rasmussen asserted that he never wrote any of the questions or assisted Republicans in any way..." The do-it-yourself polling service is used by Democrats as well as Republicans today through a company that licenses Rasmussen’s methodology.

Rasmussen has received criticism over the wording in its polls.[33][34] Asking a polling question with different wording can affect the results of the poll;[35] the commentators in question allege that the questions Rasmussen ask in polls are skewed in order to favor a specific response

2011-09-05 05:47:43
Stephen Leahy


Agree with perseus - I usually ignore Rasmussen polls. It is very easy to bias a poll. And that 69% is pretty damn extreme since most people really don't know. But it is very easy for the person doing the phone poll to lead people to the 'somewhat likely' soft choice. (who wants to admit they don't know?)