During last week’s Natural Resources Committee climate hearings, an alarmist witness – I believe it was Deborah Bronk – smugly proclaimed that a ‘fair’ hearing would have 97 of her warmist allies testifying against three skeptics. This is a common rhetorical tactic in global warming debates.

It is certainly true that it takes merely one person, and just one scientific piece of evidence, to disprove a theory. However, most members of the public don’t know enough about the underlying science to weigh such evidence. So for many of them, they simply defer to what they believe the scientific consensus is.

So how can skeptics respond in a concise, powerful, memorable manner to the concise and cutting assertion made by Bronk and other alarmists? Here is one way:

“Actually, a fair hearing would have two of me for every one of you. Sure, most scientists believe the earth is warming and humans are playing some role. I agree with that position. But surveys show only one in three scientists report primarily negative impacts from climate change, and only one in three are very worried about climate change.”

A 2016 survey of American Meteorological Society members – the only scientific body whose full membership has been polled – (https://gmuchss.az1.qualtrics.com/CP/File.php?F=F_cRR9lW0HjZaiVV3) found only 36 percent report primarily negative impacts from climate change in the area they cover (which, cumulatively, is the whole country). The same survey found only 50 percent expect the impacts of climate change to be entirely or primarily negative during the next 50 years. Moreover, a 2012 survey of AMS members (https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/February-2012-American-Meteorological-Society-Member-Survey-on-Global-Warming-Preliminary-Findings.pdf)  found only 30 percent are “very worried” about global warming. That question was not asked again in the 2016 survey.

The long and short of it is climate alarmists have their checklist of smug soundbites ready for climate hearings and public debates. Don’t let them score cheap points by claiming a ‘fair’ debate would be 97 of them versus three skeptics. Have a powerful, concise answer ready for delivery.


  • James Taylor

    James M. Taylor is an American lawyer, senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute and a CFACT contributor. James Taylor is a keen analyst of science and public policy and a competition level poker player.