Climate change has become one of those politically polarizing issues on the presidential campaign trail. Several candidates have put forth their views on climate change, and whether they think it's real, exaggerated, or just plain imagined.
Case in point, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who recently said this, that the claim that 97 percent of scientists believe humans are causing climate change has been debunked by the "head" of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "That number was pulled out of thin air."
Our partners at PolitiFact Florida took a look at Santorum's claim to see if it was accurate. PolitiFact reporter Joshua Gillin says that the former Senator's statement rates FALSE on the Truth-O-Meter. Gillin says that Santorum really has his talking points all jumbled up.
"Santorum is not citing the numbers and research correctly," said Gillin. "The so-called 'head' of the U.N. panel was not the head of the panel, he was an economist who worked with the panel at one point, but no longer works there. Also, Santorum wasn't even really disputing the findings, rather, he chose to dispute the number in one survey that asked whether or not all studies had supported man-made climate change. This other number, the 97 percent, is cited by Santorum as the number of scientists polled who believe that climate change was man-made. The problem here is that the number isn't accurate based on the findings. That economist who was on the panel said that it was closer to 91 percent, which means that he was disputing the number, and not the findings."
Because there are several studies out there that quote different numbers and questions, Santorum's claim is an amalgamation of multiple surveys, which, according to PolitiFact, muddies the water and is confusing when used incorrectly. The incorrect use of the numbers and research lead to a FALSE rating assigned to Santorum's claim by the Truth-O-Meter.
SOURCES: 97 percent of scientists say climate change is man-made
- PolitiFact ruling
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