Those of us who believe that the overwhelming majority of scientists are right about global warming have long harbored deep suspicions regarding the actual qualifications of the scientists on Inhofe's list. These suspicions are now confirmed, in spades.
The Center for Inquiry, which published the wonderful Skeptical Inquirer magazine, has stepped in and done the dirty work. CFI has released The Credibility Project, an in-depth review of all of the list's signers (687 at the time of the report). The key finding, from CFI's press release:
After assessing 687 individuals named as “dissenting scientists” in the January 2009 version of the United States Senate Minority Report, the Center for Inquiry’s Credibility Project found that:(Meteorologists, it should be noted, are not climate scientists—as smart and as competent as they might be, they study entirely different things and typically have little relevant expertise.)
Further examination of the backgrounds of these individuals revealed that a significant number were identified as meteorologists, and some of these people were employed to report the weather.
- Slightly fewer than 10 percent could be identified as climate scientists.
- Approximately 15 percent published in the recognizable refereed literature on subjects related to climate science.
- Approximately 80 percent clearly had no refereed publication record on climate science at all.
- Approximately 4 percent appeared to favor the current IPCC-2007 consensus and should not have been on the list.
Lest anyone think that CFI is pulling these statistics out of thin air, it has provided a detailed spreadsheet that lists each individual signer along with his or her qualifications.
This is yeoman work. Well done, CFI.