If you follow the news on climate change, you hear it over and over again: 97 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming is real and caused by human activity.
On Tuesday, geochemist James Lawrence Powell took that rhetoric even further, releasing a study finding that out of all 10,855 climate studies published in peer-review journals during 2013, only two of them explicitly rejected anthropogenic global warming. Put another way, that’s roughly .02 percent of published research that denies outright the existence of man-made climate change.
If those numbers sound staggering, it’s probably because of how little they affect the intense, non-scientific debate that often surrounds climate change in the political realm. Politicians tasked with making crucial decisions on national energy policy and air pollution have a propensity for ignoring the science. Approximately 56 percent, or at least 130 members, of the current Republican caucus in the House of Representatives deny the basic tenets of climate science. Sixty-six percent, or at least 30 members, of the Senate Republican caucus also deny the reality of climate change.