Back in November, the National Registry of Environmental Professionals asked 793 of their members from 47 states some questions about global warming; its existence and causes, public policy response, and how it affects their jobs. Here’s the existence and causes section.

The existence of global warming today

  • 82 percent of professionals report they think global warming is a real, measurable, climatic trend currently in effect.
  • 66 percent respond that the rate at which global warming may be occurring is a serious problem facing the planet.
  • 64 percent attribute certain phenomenon such as rising ocean levels, increased storm activity, severe drought, massive habitat loss, depletion of the Earth’s oxygen sinks, i.e. rain forests and ocean plankton, to the effects of global warming.
  • 68 percent agree that global warming is a trend that must be addressed as soon as possible.

The causes of global warming

  • 59 percent respond that current climactic activity exceeding norms calibrated by over 100 years of weather data collection can be, in large part, attributed to human activity.
  • 71 percent of environmental professionals, however, do consider the recent increase in hurricane activity in the Atlantic through 2005 and the Pacific through 2006, to be part of a larger natural cycle and not, for the most part, attributable to human activity.

82% is a pretty good number for considering the idea that global warming is happening. But beyond that, you can only get about two-thirds to agree on its affects and its urgency.

But it’s the causes that really show how little consensus there is. Only 59% believe that the warming that exceeds 100-year norms is caused largely by humans. Put another way, 41% of environmental professionals either disagree or are not sure that humans are a significant contributor to warming. Thus, skepticism of it is hardly in the same league as Holocaust deniers.

The Weather Channel’s most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming. This latest call to silence skeptics follows a year (2006) in which skeptics were compared to “Holocaust Deniers” and Nuremberg-style war crimes trials were advocated by several climate alarmists.

The Weather Channel’s (TWC) Heidi Cullen, who hosts the weekly global warming program “The Climate Code,” is advocating that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their “Seal of Approval” for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe.

Further, 71% think that the heavy 2005/2006 hurricane season was generally just part of the normal, natural cycle of weather. The NOAA said that and they got targeted by environmentalists. Now, all this does not mean that a former Vice President, in the movie poster for his Oscar-nominated film, can’t try to draw a direct line between factories and hurricanes. It just means he’s bucking the consensus. [Irony alert!]

So when somebody says to you that the debate about human-induced global warming is over, just have them ask the professionals, not the politicians.

Doug Payton blogs at Considerettes.

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