CEI Appeals NASA’s Non-responsive Rejection of Request for Correction of Flawed 97 Percent Claim


The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today filed an appeal of NASA’s non-responsive adjudication of a Request for Correction (RFC) under the Information Quality Act. In July 2019, CEI filed an RFC asking NASA to remove from its website the claim that 97 percent of climate scientists agree humans are responsible for global warming. The petition points out the major flaws in the studies cited by NASA to substantiate its claim and requests the agency remove the claim from its website and stop circulating it in agency materials.

In a letter dated March 11, NASA rejected CEI’s RFC without even noting the claim at issue. CEI’s appeal asks NASA to reconsider the decision and, at least, provide a point by point explanation for why they denied the RFC.  

While NASA asserts the “97 percent” claim is supported by a number of studies, CEI contends that claim has major flaws that have been documented by critics. These include:

  • Incorrectly categorizing scientists who take “no-position” as endorsing the view that humans are responsible for climate change.
  • Failing to include relevant sources without explanation.
  • Failing to match the terms used as the basis for a study to the claim actually made by NASA.

“NASA’s decision to reject our Request for Correction without providing a point-by-point explanation of the decision clearly runs afoul of the Information Quality Act. Our RFC demonstrates the claim that 97% of climate scientists believe humans are the primary cause of global warming is simply false,” said CEI attorney Devin Watkins. “It is time that NASA correct the record and present unbiased figures to the public.”

Read CEI’s appeal here.