Out of curiosity, I opened a few weeks ago a poll asking the visitors of this site, what do they think is the primary cause of global warming. 429 people answered the poll (thanks to all of you!).
The results can be summarized as follows.
First, the visitors of this site have the following background:
|| 54.9% (232)
i.e., The audience of this website is clearly scientifically oriented (almost half are scientists). And what does this educated audience think about global warming?
|Cause of 20th century warming
|| 5.2% (22)
Clearly, the highly educated visitors of this site have proven that global warming is mostly natural. Moreover, one can clearly see that the ratio of "mostly anthropogenic" to "mostly natural" decreases as the relevant scientific background increases: 0.04 in the laymen and general scientists groups, and 0%(!) in the climate scientists group.
Ok, so seriously, what have I demonstrated? It is no surprise that my site attracts doubters of the anthropogenic global warming story. After all, I have been labeled as a "skeptic" (which I proudly am, since any real scientist should never take anything for granted). For this reason, the poll results are biased. But on the same token, it is clear that when someone says that 99% of all the scientists think this or that, it is totally meaningless. The reason is that mainstream science, whether it is correct or not, tends to inflate those that think alike. It is easier for them to publish and it is easier for the to get research grants to pay their salary or their students salary. Clearly, the mainstream will always have a stronger visibility (e.g., in terms of number of publications, citations, or even the number of people), but it doesn't prove that the mainstream is correct (see also what I wrote about it here
And now, after having carried out this poll, let me end with what different poll results really mean (with no offese to pollsters!)
- 87.547% of all statistical polls are meaningless.
- 66.666% of all statistical polls are carried out with a very small sample.
- 99% of all statistical polls are pure propaganda!
Anyway, the moral of this experiment is that you should never trust a poll if you don't know who made it. And even if you do trust that person, [ like you trust me ;-) ], polls can be biased!