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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2012/06/29

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

A new poll on attitudes toward climate change. A court rejects a claim
that the evidence for climate change is shaky. And a preview of David
R. Montgomery's The Rocks Don't Lie.


"While a majority of Canadians say that climate change is a fact and
is caused by emissions, only two-in-five Americans and Britons
concur," according to a June 27, 2012, press release from Angus Reid
Public Opinion. Respondents were asked, "Which of the following
statements comes closest to your view of global warming (or climate
change)?" "Global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by emissions
from vehicles and industrial facilities" was preferred by 58% of
Canadians, 42% of Americans, and 43% of Britons; "global warming is a
fact and is mostly caused by natural changes" was preferred by 20% of
Canadians, 21% of Americans, and 27% of Britons; "global warming is a
theory that has not yet been proven" was preferred by 14% of
Canadians, 21% of Americans, and 21% of Britons; and 8% of Canadians,
16% of Americans, and 9% of Britons were not sure.

The full report from Angus Reid also includes data showing the
variance among different regions in all three countries -- acceptance
of global warming as caused by emissions was strongest in the Atlantic
provinces of Canada (75%) and Quebec (71%), the American West (48%),
and London and Scotland (48% and 47%) -- and from five previous polls
using the same questions conducted from 2009 to 2011. The latest poll
was conducted among 1017 American adults, 2026 British adults, and
1004 Canadian adults in May and June 2012; Angus Reid explains, "The
margin of error -- which measures sampling variability -- is +/-2.2%
for Great Britain and +/-3.1% for the United States and Canada. The
results have been statistically weighted according to the most current
education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample
representative of the entire adult population of each country."

For the press release and the report (PDF) from Angus Reid, visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of polls and surveys on climate change, visit: 


A federal court rejected a claim that the evidence for climate change
is too uncertain for the United States government to act on it. The
case, Coalition for Responsible Regulation, Inc., et al., v. EPA,
involved a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency's
implementation of the Clean Air Act, filed by a number of states and
industry groups. The challenge was based, in part, on the idea that
the evidence that anthropogenic climate change is a threat to public
health and welfare is shaky. A three-judge panel of the United States
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found otherwise.

As part of its eighty-two-page decision issued on June 26, 2012, the
court wrote, "The body of scientific evidence marshalled by EPA ... is
substantial. EPA's scientific evidence of record included support for
the proposition that greenhouse gases trap heat on earth that would
otherwise dissipate into space; that this 'greenhouse effect' warms
the climate; that human activity is contributing to increased
atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases; and that the climate system is
warming. Based on this scientific record, EPA made the linchpin
finding: in its judgment, the 'root cause' of the recently observed
climate change is 'very likely' the observed increase in anthropogenic
greenhouse gas emissions" (pp. 28-29).

As The New York Times (June 26, 2012) summarized, "The judges
unanimously dismissed arguments from industry that the science of
global warming was not well supported and that the agency had based
its judgment on unreliable studies. 'This is how science works,' they
wrote. 'The E.P.A. is not required to reprove the existence of the
atom every time it approaches a scientific question.'" The Times
added, "The plaintiffs could still ask for a hearing by the full
appeals court or decide to appeal to the Supreme Court, but it is not
clear whether they will do so, given the emphatic nature of the

For the court's decision (PDF), visit: 

For the story in The New York Times, visit: 


NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of David R. Montgomery's The
Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood (W. W. Norton,
2012). The preview consists of chapter 2, "A Grand Canyon," in which
Montgomery considers the flood geology book Grand Canyon: A Different
View. "The book simply stated that, according to the Bible, Noah's
Flood formed the Grand Canyon and all the rocks through which it's cut
in under a year. There was no explanation for the multiple alternating
layers of different rock types, the erosional gaps in the rock
sequence that spoke of ages of lost time, or the remarkable order to
the various fossils in the canyon walls. The story was nothing like
the tale I read in the rocks I had spen[t] the day hiking past."

Describing the book, its publisher writes, "In Tibet, geologist David
R. Montgomery heard a local story about a great flood that bore a
striking similarity to Noah's Flood. Intrigued, Montgomery began
investigating the world?s flood stories and -- drawing from historic
works by theologians, natural philosophers, and scientists --
discovered the counterintuitive role Noah's Flood played in the
development of both geology and creationism. ... With an explorer's
eye and a refreshing approach to both faith and science, Montgomery
takes readers on a journey across landscapes and cultures. In the
process we discover the [elusive] nature of truth, whether viewed
through the lens of science or religion, and how it changed through
history and continues changing, even today."

For the preview of The Rocks Don't Lie (PDF), visit: 

For information about the book from its publisher, visit: 

Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution and climate education and threats to them.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510-601-7203 x305
fax: 510-601-7204

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