‘But aren’t 97 per cent of climate scientists sure that humans are causing global warming?’ #10 My perspective on Climate Change

One of the most frequently used rhetorical devices to avoid answering the questions of the critics of the AGC scare is the proposition that there is a astonishing scientific ‘consensus’ on the point: some 97 per cent of climate scientists are said to agree. By implication, the other 3 per cent are simply ignorant, mavericks or troublemakers, to be lumped in with other people who fall into the category ‘climate deniers’. We are thus asked to accept the authority of the consensus, and to cease and desist from questioning anything about global warming or ‘climate change’.

To deal with this part of the debate we need to go back to the beginning. The AGW scare is built around three core propositions: that the earth is warming, that the warming is caused by human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels, and that the warming is dangerous. It is said, or implied, that 97 per cent of ‘climate scientists’ agree with this triad. In fact President Obama’s office tweeted exactly this statement in 2015: Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.

Science is rarely a matter of consensus, and where it is so what we are usually talking about is the material that goes into textbooks, for beginning students need to have some understanding of what is generally agreed to be the case (some of what I learned in high school science is now generally agreed to be wrong or irrelevant). As students get to be more senior, they are exposed to argument, and taught to explore and test the hypotheses and evidence that lie behind what has been published. In experimental science, consensus is simply current opinion, and it can be quite wrong. As Einstein said, when a group of scientists in 1931 published a book Hundert Autoren gegen Einstein (‘One hundred authors against Einstein’), ‘Why one hundred? If I were wrong, then one would be enough!’ That one would have conducted the experiment whose results showed conclusively that Einstein’s hypothesis must be wrong, but none of the hundred had done that. They were simply expressing their separate opinions.

Now, what do ‘climate scientists’ actually say? I’ve put inverted commas around the term because there is no agreed meaning for it. Most of the leading figures in this sub-field have degrees in other disciplines, whatever the title of their current chair. The ’97 per cent’ figure is supported by three different published articles, with a forerunner by Naomi Oreskes, about whom I wrote a little while ago. In 2004 she looked at 928 abstracts of articles in the climate science field. According to her, 75 per cent supported the view that human activities were responsible for most of the warming in the last fifty years. Now we should stop for a moment to observe that the scientists themselves had said nothing. She had not interviewed them. Instead, she had looked at the abstracts of their articles, and come to a view about what their authors must have thought. Why those 928? Well, they were the papers in the ISI database from 1993 to 2003 that had the words ‘climate change’ as a tag. Ms Oreskes seemed somehow to have excluded articles by scientists such as Christy, Lindzen, Michaels and Idso, all of them sceptics, and somewhat to their surprise. What was the method of evaluation? She divided the papers into six groups and found that 75 per cent of them either explicitly or implicitly accepted the ‘consensus view’. What was that? In her words: the evidence for human modification of climate is compelling. Is that a bad thing? That seems not to have been part of her survey, but one might infer that for her the outcome must be bad. You’ll have noticed that she looked only at abstracts, and did not read the full articles in question.

We move on. In 2009 Zimmerman and Doran asked scientists two questions: did they think that temperatures had risen and whether humans were significantly responsible. Again, no mention of dangerous consequences, but at least the authors did actually ask some scientists what they thought. But then the methodology gets very sloppy, and I’ll summarise it like this. They used an online survey of 10,257 members of the American Geophysical Union, whose membership is around 60,000. The respondents seemed to be the right ones to interview, given their fields of interest, but only 3,146 actually replied. Now they excluded nearly all of those who had replied, for one reason and another, to produce 79 scientists who said they were climate scientists and had published more than half of their work on ‘climate change’. Of them 77 both thought that temperatures had risen and that humans were significantly responsible. The fraction 77/79 gives you 97 per cent, and I think that’s the first occasion the figure came up. Consensus had been found! I say no more. Some methodology is just so bad you can’t credit that a responsible journal would publish it. Alas, even worse is to come.

A year later Anderegg et al explored the work of 200 of the most prolific writers on ‘climate change’ and argued that 97% to 98% of the 200 most prolific writers on climate change believe “anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for ‘most’ of the ‘unequivocal’ warming.” So they too got a 97 per cent figure. Again, no mention of any danger from warming. Again, no one was asked anything. The authors started with 1372 scientists whom they assessed to be the leading ones in the field, and winnowed them down to 200 of the really top. Then they just read, and made a decision from their reading. The 97 per cent were well published and agreed with the orthodox position; the 3 per cent were well published and did not agree.

The crème de la crème  comes with the work (if that is right term for it) of John Cook, occasionally aided by Stefan Lewandowsky. I’ve written about their ‘contribution’ to science more than once, as here, for example. In 2013 Cook et al and a team of volunteers looked at more than 12,000 abstracts, rated them according to whether or not they implicitly or explicitly endorsed the view that human activity had caused (wait for it) some of the warming, and again found the magic 97 per cent. See — it’s true! Surely those three separate ratings of 97 per cent have something going for them.

On the face of it, no. Unfortunately for Cook, Legates and others later in the same year published a rebuttal. They found that only 41 papers – 0.3% of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0% of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1% – had been found to endorse the claim that human activity is causing most of the current warming. Elsewhere, Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir J. Shaviv and Nils-Axel Morner and other climate scientists protested that Mr. Cook ignored or misrepresented their work. Cook has been trying to defend his results ever since, but more and more scorn has, in my view quite rightly, been poured on the work. You can read some of the objections here, here and here, for starters. As I have said before, this is terrible stuff methodologically, the worst I’ve ever seen in a peer-reviewed journal.

Let’s summarise. Point one: none of these papers asked whether or not AGW was dangerous to humanity or anything else. So none of them is evidence for the Obama tweet set out at the beginning of this essay. As a self-styled lukewarmer, I have no difficulty in nodding about propositions that the earth has warmed over the last 150 years, or that human activity has made some contribution to that warming. With the evidence available, it seems to me unlikely that the human contribution has been crucial, for two reasons. First, there was a decided hiatus over 18 years, when global temperature anomalies went up and down with little average change, while carbon dioxide accumulations kept on rising steadily. The end of the hiatus came not with a burst of CO2, but with a powerful el Nino, already subsiding quickly. Second, there are plainly other factors at work, and if they were at work in the past, why are they not generally at work?

Point two: the belief that global warming is bad for everything and everyone comes from two notions. The first is that simple linear extrapolations from the period 1975 to 1998 made it it look as though warming would go on and on, and that was the fear at the end of the 20th century. As we know, that didn’t happen. Second, the GCMs on which the IPCC based its projections or scenarios for the 21st century tell us that it must happen, in part because they are built on the notion that carbon dioxide accumulations must rise and rise, and bring on large increases of temperature caused by the notion of strongly positive climate sensitivity. I dealt with that in the #7 essay.

If there is anything like a consensus, given what I have read over the past ten years, it would be around the lukewarm position: the planet is warmer than it was 150 years ago, though not in an unprecedented way, and that human activity in burning fossil fuels, clearing land and making cement has had something to do with that warming. More than that is simply contestable, and more contestable now than it was thirty years ago.

And that people keep referring to the magic 97 per cent figure, as though it means something, is to me a sign of a closed mind and a quasi-religious belief in the scare. Such people seem to me intellectually lost souls.

Next: Well why do all the scientific academies support the AGW issue as something that governments and the world must deal with?’

Later: There is a useful summary not only of the Cook paper, but also of the rebuttals of it, in an essay by Andrew Montford, of the Bishop Hill website. I looked again at the methodology that Cook employed, and shook my head again too. It is not only nonsensical, but, as  shown by emails that came from the SkepticalScience website, which Cook seems to own, it appears that the the results were determined before work had even begun! And the journal concerned, which has been given all this detail, has still refused to retract the article. What the AGW scare has done to science and scientific publication is awful, and in the context of the increasing pressure within science for some sort of clean-up in the journals within much wider fields than climate science, it seems to me likely that a great deal of what has passed as ‘peer-reveiwed climate science’ will have to be dismissed, and the work done all over again.

Join the discussion 265 Comments

  • When there is a “consensus” on something as uncertain and poorly understood as climate change, it is not science.

    • David says:

      Climate science is only poorly understood by denialists.

      • Aert Driessen says:

        I agree David, climate science is poorly understood — by everyone. The evidence is much easier to understand. Ice core data show that temperatures move (change) before atmospheric concentrations of CO2 change, by some hundreds of years. So how can CO2 be the cause of the temperature change? The explanation is simple. CO2 is more soluble in cold water than warm water. Considering that oceans have dissolved in them enormous amounts of CO2, it makes sense that CO2 is released to the atmosphere when oceans warm — for whatever reason.

        • colin davidson says:

          David,
          I doubt that you know as much about it as I do.
          Let’s see.
          The most active band for CO2 lies in the Wavenumber range 630 to 710.
          If CO2 doubles, what is the effect on outgoing radiation to Space in this band,
          a. In a tropical atmosphere (ie for the 50% of the planet where the Tropopause is a single inflection point)?
          b. In a temperate atmosphere (ie for the portion of the planet where the Tropopause is a wide band from about 11 to about 20 km)?
          c. Over the poles?

          • David says:

            Colin, if you think you have anything useful to share, you should publish it. .

          • colin davidson says:

            As I thought, David you know none of the science.
            People in glass houses…

          • David says:

            Colin, I don’t need to have an in depth knowledge of climate science. I am not the person who is arguing the against the orthodoxy. But I can detect waffle when I read it. The problem with many, but not all, denialists is that they are not prepared to put the effort in. Don stating that Jo Nova has published peer reviewed climate science. When the fact is that she has not.

          • Mark McGuire says:

            Quote David, April 21, 2016 at 5:56 pm
            “I don’t need to have an in depth knowledge of climate science.
            I am not the person who is arguing the against the orthodoxy.”

            The ‘orthodoxy’ is the null hypothesis: the null hypothesis for the modern warm period is that the warming represents recovery from the Little Ice Age.

            Do you deny this?

          • colin davidson says:

            PS, the answers are:
            a. A small increase in radiation, causing cooling in the Stratosphere, which is where the increased radiation is coming from. (NB the increased radiation does not get to the Surface. In this band the atmosphere is opaque from about 200m to 15km.) Note that the 50% of the planet with a “tropical”” atmospheric temperature profile is the 50% directly beneath the latitude at which the sun is overhead – so it moves throughout the year.
            b. A small increase in radiation at wavenumber 667cm^-1 only. This radiation is coming from 60km up, so there will be a very slight cooling at that very high altitude.
            c. A small increase in radiation (smaller that the “tropics”), causing cooling in the Stratosphere.

          • David says:

            Colin, a gold star for answering your own spot quiz. But rather than list a bunch of factoids online, why don’t you take your chances and publish. Who knows you may even be successful and nudge that 3% up a little.

      • JMO says:

        David, please keep to the issues raised by Don’s post, please stop snipping from the sidelines and please do not use the word denialists – from my perspective there are no denialists commenting on Don’s site; unless you consider a denialist is someone who is not running around like Chicken Little screaming the sky is about to fall in a heap of burning coal.

        As you have mentioned in a past post, your climate sensitivity view is about 2 deg C – hardly an CAGW position, I would say at the edge of being lukewarmer, So please, a bit of courtesy and it can go a long way.

        • David says:

          JMO.

          If Don is going to criticize how pro and anti AGW science has been classified, then some review of his own efforts are TOTALLY up for discussion. At least the literature review that reports 97% of science is not fabricating pro-AGW scientists out of thin air. Jo Nova is NOT a scientist. I am sorry but zero publications is not going to cut it.

          Courtesy? I take your point. So tell me how does publishing a post called “Is a Prat the same as a Ratbag” comply with your show a bit of courtesy edict?

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Perhaps you can tell us how many publications about Climate SCIENCE John Cook has published? Answer, NONE. To quote you ” I am sorry but zero publications is not going to cut it.”

            Instead, Cook has invented some previously unknown discipline of ‘climate science denial’, in which field he and his cronies are the world experts.

          • David says:

            Bryan, it is always ice to be quoted.

            Here are John Cook’s listed publications.

            Rational irrationality: modeling climate change belief polarization using bayesian networks
            Cook, John and Lewandowsky, Stephan (2016) Rational irrationality: modeling climate change belief polarization using bayesian networks. Topics in Cognitive Science, 8 1: 160-179. doi:10.1111/tops.12186

            Learning from mistakes in climate research
            Benestad, Rasmus E., Nuccitelli, Dana, Lewandowsky, Stephan, Hayhoe, Katharine, Hygen, Hans Olav, van Dorland, Rob and Cook, John (2015) Learning from mistakes in climate research. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 1-5. doi:10.1007/s00704-015-1597-5

            Scientists are from Mars, laypeople are from Venus: an evidence-based rationale for communicating the consensus on climate
            Cook, John and Jacobs, Peter (2014) Scientists are from Mars, laypeople are from Venus: an evidence-based rationale for communicating the consensus on climate. Reports of the National Center for Science Education, 34 6: 3.1-3.10.

            Raising climate literacy through addressing misinformation: Case studies in agnotology-based learning
            Cook, John, Bedford, Daniel and Mandia, Scott (2014) Raising climate literacy through addressing misinformation: Case studies in agnotology-based learning. Journal of Geoscience Education, 62 3: 296-306. doi:10.5408/13-071.1

            Scientists’ views about attribution of global warming
            Verheggen, Bart, Strengers, Bart, Cook, John, van Dorland, Rob, Vringer, Kees, Peters, Jeroen, Visser, Hans and Meyer, L.eo (2014) Scientists’ views about attribution of global warming. Environmental Science and Technology, 48 16: 8963-8971. doi:10.1021/es501998e

            Comment on “Cosmic-ray-driven reaction and greenhouse effect of halogenated molecules: Culprits for atmospheric ozone depletion and global climate change”
            Nuccitelli, Dana, Cowtan, Kevin, Jacobs, Peter, Richardson, Mark, Way, Robert, Blackburn, Anne-Marie, Stolpe, Martin and Cook, John (2014) Comment on “Cosmic-ray-driven reaction and greenhouse effect of halogenated molecules: Culprits for atmospheric ozone depletion and global climate change”. International Journal of Modern Physics B, 28 13: 1482003.1-1482003.16. doi:10.1142/S0217979214820037

            Review of the consensus and asymmetric quality of research on human-induced climate change
            Abraham, John P., Cook, John, Fasullo, John T., Jacobs, Peter H., Mandia, Scott A. and Nuccitelli, Dana A. (2014) Review of the consensus and asymmetric quality of research on human-induced climate change. Cosmopolis, 2014 1: 3-18.

            Reply to ‘Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature: a re-analysis’
            Cook, John, Nuccitelli, Dana, Painting, Rob, Honeycutt, Rob, Skuce, Andrew, Jacobs, Peter, Green, Sarah A., Lewandowsky, Stephan, Richardson, Mark and Way, Robert G. (2014) Reply to ‘Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature: a re-analysis’. Energy Policy, 73 706-708. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2014.06.002

            Agnotology, scientific consensus, and the teaching and learning of climate change: a response to Legates, Soon and Briggs
            Bedford, Daniel and Cook, John (2013) Agnotology, scientific consensus, and the teaching and learning of climate change: a response to Legates, Soon and Briggs. Science & Education, 22 8: 2019-2030. doi:10.1007/s11191-013-9608-3

            Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature
            Cook, John, Nuccitelli, Dana, Green, Sarah A., Richardson, Mark, Winkler, Baerbel, Painting, Rob, Way, Robert, Jacobs, Peter and Skuce, Andrew (2013) Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature. Environmental Research Letters, 8 2: . doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024

            The scientific consensus on climate change: combating a two-decade campaign attacking
            Cook, John (2013) The scientific consensus on climate change: combating a two-decade campaign attacking. Europhysics News, 44 6: 29-32. doi:10.1051/epn/2013602

            Misinformation and its correction: continued influence and successful debiasing
            Lewandowsky, Stephan, Ecker, Ullrich K. H., Seifert, Colleen M., Schwarz, Norbert and Cook, John (2012) Misinformation and its correction: continued influence and successful debiasing. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13 3: 106-131. doi:10.1177/1529100612451018

            Comment on “Ocean heat content and Earth’s radiation imbalance. II. Relation to climate shifts”
            Nuccitelli, Dana, Way, Robert, Painting, Rob, Church, John and Cook, John (2012) Comment on “Ocean heat content and Earth’s radiation imbalance. II. Relation to climate shifts”. Physics Letters A, 376 45: 3466-3468. doi:10.1016/j.physleta.2012.10.010

        • Ross says:

          Sorry JMO, Denialists fits you and other bloggers here, perfectly. Wear it.

          • JohnB says:

            Specifically, what is being denied? If you are going to label people then you should be able to clearly and concisely say why that label applies.

          • Ross says:

            JohnB;

            A: The earths climate is warming and will continue do do so.
            B: Said warming is created by humankind through the amount of CO2 released into atmosphere since the industrial revolution.
            C: The vast body of scientific opinion throughout the scientific world agrees with A and B.

            Perhaps I have you all wrong, and you don’t deny A,B and C.
            I sincerely hope that is the case.

          • JohnB says:

            Ross, the first part of A is openly correct and nobody AFAIK denies it. The second part is actually speculation and refusing to agree with speculation is hardly “denial”. You may try to counter that this decade is “The hottest one ever” but this fact has zero predictive value. If the planet were to fall into an Ice Age tomorrow the hottest ever statement would be true. There is also the simple fact that instrumental records began in what was arguably the coldest period in the last 10,000 years. Are you really expressing surprise that a time not called the “Little Ice Age” is warmer than the “Little Ice Age”?

            There is also the point that for the projections to come to pass it is required that there be massive positive feedbacks. These feedbacks have never been shown to actually exist and “Science” is about what you can prove, not what you think or surmise. To quote Popper; “Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.”

            B is a nice argument except that the warming started some time before the Industrial revolution. Cherry blossoms in Japan for example started blooming earlier in the 1600s. You also ignore the fact that since 1850 there have been 3 warming periods which according to the IPCC had an interesting mix of causes. 1850 – 1880 is presumed to be mostly or totally natural, 1910 – 1940 is a sort of half and half between natural and human causes and 1970 – 2000 is supposed to be almost totally human caused. And yet these periods all had the same rate of warming to the nearest 1/100th degree per decade. What an amazing coincidence! How do you feel about the Tooth Fairy?

            There is also the simple fact that the mild warming we have seen cannot be shown to be harmful in any way. No apparent change in storms or floods, etc (even the IPCC admits that), increased growing seasons, increased crop yields. You’re complaining because things have got better for the vast majority of people?

            BTW, “said warming” is put down to CO2 (if you actually read the literature) because “We can’t think of anything else” hardly a ringing endorsement there. 😉 However another possible cause is at hand. As you would be aware a change of only 1% in planetary cloud cover is enough to provide the extra 2.4 w/m-2, As you are so certain of the CO2 cause, I would be fascinated to know how the clouds were ruled out. Where did the planetary cloud cover data from 1850 onwards come from?

            Consequently there is nothing to “deny” in B. One can argue that since the warming is well within the parameters of natural variability it’s hard to press a case for CO2 at all. A rather odd fact BTW, there have never been historians or archaeologists advising the IPCC on paleoclimate. Why is that? The people whose life work is the study of the last 2,000 years or so aren’t asked to describe what it was like 2,000 years ago. Quite odd.

            C. Who cares? Science isn’t about “opinions”, it’s about what you can prove. (Or at least not falsify) At the time there were large bodies of work asserting the validity of Eugenics theory and the existence of Phlostigon. Perhaps we could go down the many blind alleys in Medicine where “scientific opinion” led us astray. BTW, if you actually check that “scientific opinion” is mostly in the West. China, Russia, India and the developing world pay lip service but are following Napoleon’s Dictum; “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” While the West hamstrings itself, China and Russia move into the third world to “help” with development. If America or Australia won’t sell coal to India, there are 30 other nations who will and china will loan them the money.

            In summary; A had a fact that nobody argues with (Except maybe some fringe dwellers) and a speculation. No “denial” there.
            B Contained an unproven theory. One of a number to be sure, but unproven all the same. Not agreeing with an unproven theory is not “denial”
            C was a combined logical fallacy. It was both Appeal to Popularity and Appeal to Authority.

            So 2 out of your 4 points are useless and the other 2 contain speculation. Is your case still solid enough to go around calling people names?

            Most of us “Denialists” probably think along these lines.
            1. The world has warmed
            2. Co2 increase is at least partly responsible.
            3. There is no evidence that this warming has caused a problem.
            4. Everything shows that it is beneficial.
            5. The warming is well within natural variations.
            6. Climate models are not accurate enough to predict out to 2100 and beyond. (The error bars get too large)
            7. We want to see good science and scary stories are not good science.

            Let me know which of these points (if any) you can demonstrate are incorrect.

          • JohnB says:

            Sorry about the typos. 2 am. 🙂

          • Don Aitkin says:

            I appreciate JohnB’s response, but he is more generous with Ross’s proposition than I am.

            ‘ A: The earths climate is warming and will continue do do so.’

            The earth’s climate seems to have warmed in fits and starts since the mid 19th century. Whether that pattern will continue is not clear. There is some possibility that a new cooling period could begin in the next few years, based on the hypotheses of some solar physicists.

            ‘B: Said warming is created by humankind through the amount of CO2 released into atmosphere since the industrial revolution.’

            Plainly not true, since there have been periods where carbon dioxide kept increasing but temperature didn’t. There has been no satisfactory explanation for these periods, and one must conclude that carbon dioxide increases are only one factor in the movement of temperature. Nor has anyone been able to show decisively how much of the increase is due to CO2. What WG1 of AR5 puts forward is, once again, opinions.

            ‘C: The vast body of scientific opinion throughout the scientific world agrees with A and B.’

            As expressed by Ross, no. As my essay point out, the vast body of scientists has never been asked to express an opinion. What we have are these dreadful attempts to infer such an opinion from third parties reading and assessing abstracts.

            Ross has not followed Popper’s advice that once should always critically examine one’s own views before foisting them on the world.

          • Ross says:

            “It must be CO2 because we can’t think of anything else.” So close, JohnB.
            I think it’s more like “because it can’t be any thing else.”
            Though Jonovas hubbub has a ‘theory’ about ‘fore sex’ or something. Give that a look John and Don. Could be a deal breaker!
            Headline in today’s Australian;
            “Climate deal signed by 170 states!
            170 countries were expected to sign the Paris agreement on climate change overnight as the deal takes a key step towards entering into force years ahead of schedule.”
            Hmmmm….No one seems to take yours, or Dons thoughts very seriously, JohnB.
            It’s almost as if your opinions were deemed, worthless. This of course is unfair. You only write in blog sites.
            Forget convincing me, JohnB. I’ll go with the accepted science.
            You need to get out into the big wide world of published science with YOUR theories and show em’ what for. Perhaps ‘fore sex’ is real? But otherwise….don’t waste your time typing furiously into the wee small hours of the morning to win an argument with me, John….I don’t care, and clearly no one of any importance is listening.

          • David says:

            John B
            A denialists? So what about someone who rejects every published estimate of the climate sensitivity estimate (CSE). Not just the estimates from warmists (aka the 97% of scientists who accept AGW) but also those published by known sceptics like Professor Curry. And according to this person Professor Curry’s CSE estimate over estimates the real CSE is out by a whopping two standard deviations. Even Curry’s estimate is ridiculous.

      • spangled drongo says:

        David, feel free to point out to us all in detail how your group thinking “97%” understand it any better.

        Hint: as a last resort you can always quote that famous Stephen Schneider double ethical bind.

        Gotta get that balance between honesty and effectiveness right.

      • Ted O'Brien. says:

        If 97% is the answer, what was the question?

        And you don’t need to be a scientist to see that 28 years ago we were told that rising sea levels would swamp us by whatever date, and 28 years on there has been no acceleration of the rise in the sea level, despite ever increasing “emissions” of greenhouse gases.

        And you don’t have to be a scientist to see that the alarmists keep moving the goalposts.

    • Aert Driessen says:

      Nor is it science when the “consensus” ignores evidence.

    • Tony Thomas says:

      Sorry Don, but Obama never tweeted about the Cook paper. Some third-party group used his name on their tweet.
      My own take on the same subject as your essay is here:
      https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2016/03/climateers-come- another-cropper/

  • Peter B says:

    Don

    In the interest of balance, your comments here should be published in daily rags or warrant a spot on the various television channels so that their readers/viewers can be provided with information that goes against everything the average Joe has been forced to accept as correct. Of course it will never happen, because the media agenda would be turned on its head, and all hell would break loose, particularly at the ABC. This in itself would cause temperatures to rise, and it would have nothing to do with CO2.

  • colin davidson says:

    Don,
    Thanks for this well-balanced, accurate and informative piece.
    There have been several examples of shoddy work being peer-reviewed, published, found to be flawed, but then not retracted. The Hockey Stick, butterflies, and the Cook paper among them.
    I have two questions:
    1. Should refusal to withdraw or revise flawed papers result in sanctions by the Academy against the offending academic?
    2. Should refusal to withdraw or revise flawed papers result in sanctions by the Academy against the offending publication?
    And if the answer to both is no, then what would be the best quality control procedure? Is peer review itself a rubbish procedure, would just an open review period on a dedicated website be a more thorough quality gate?

    • Aert Driessen says:

      Too late Colin. Many Academies, and certainly The Australian Academy under the leadership of Prof. Kurt Lambeck, are already infected by the zombie science virus. You only have to read The Science of Climate Change; Questions and Answers, August 2010. Atrocious science!

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Colin, these are difficult questions to answer. The Academies are not quality-control organisations. Rather they are honour-conferring organisations, and conduits for governments, which fund them to a smaller or larger degree depending on the country and the time. They don’t have much sanction power. I’m writing about them in the next essay in this series,

      Peer review is necessary but flawed. It’s been a while since I was asked to review a paper for publication in a journal, but in the last two occasions I argued against publication for what I thought were good reasons (actually, ‘no’ in one case and ‘extensive revision’ in the other), but both were published in the original form. I didn’t think the papers were awful — not like Cook or Lewandowsky — just not interesting or important. But views differ. There are a few open review websites that call themselves journals. And the Internet itself has had an effect. I can think of a few papers that were almost instantly withdrawn when extensive criticism took place on sites like Climate etc and WUWT.

      It needs to be remembered that most published papers prove to have been of little or no consequence, despite peer review.

      • Ross says:

        Ummm… Don I’m pretty sure you get asked to peer review papers for accuracy, rather than whether you think they are ‘interesting’ or not. I think this may be why your ‘thoughts’ may have been ignored. It’s not like a film review. But if this is how you think the peer review process works, perhaps we SHOULD be concerned.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          Russ, you are not quite correct.The way I (and my colleagues) interpret peer review is as a check for methodological soundness. A very eminent scientist once related to me that he had received a paper for review from a most prestigious journal. He wrote to the Editor saying he didn’t believe the results, but could find no reason to reject the paper.

          In terms of ‘interest’, meaning, or importance, ‘peer review’ means nothing.

          • Ross says:

            Well, not if Don’s doing the peer review.
            If your eminent friend could find nothing wrong with the paper, why did he not believe the results?
            Do Denialists start with the ‘belief’ that climate change is wrong and then search for proof?

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Ross,

          In both cases I was asked to review the paper for publication in the context of the journal’s own criteria. These were pretty straightforward and familiar: is it original, is it important, is the methodology sound, and so on. Provided you take notice of these criteria, you write what you think is sensible.

  • JohnM says:

    Please don’t refer to Cook as the crème de la crème because in his case the crème is a clot.

    Also think for a moment about what the supposed consensus involves. It’s agreement on CO2 being the major cause of warming since 1950 when even the IPCC reports have wavered in their estimated magnitude. It’s agreement on what CO2 will do to temperatures in future, this despite the abject failure of models to predict warming over the 15 years from 1998 to 2012 inclusive (see latest IPCC report). It’s agreement to ignore the absence of warming over about 44 years of the last 65, because temperatures really only rose from 1977 to 1997 inclusive.
    The above “discrepancies” should generate much discussion a debate among scientists as they try to find a good explanation. To not debate them is a sign of a poor climate scientist.
    If there is a consensus among some scientists it is to state their belief then stick their fingers in their ears and their head in the sand.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      What is most surprising (to me) about the Cook phenomenon, is the lengths to which the University of Queensland (which has been involved in a series of scandals over the past few years) has gone to support and protect him. I guess they believe they are on a political winner, and it doesn’t matter (to them) whether the data are right or wrong.

    • JMO says:

      I once heard that a true scientist is his own fiercest critic. From what I have seen in many “”climate scientists” is they accept the consensus, ignore critical thinking and don’t ask questions. The have too otherwise they are out of a job. As a result “climate science” has turned into a ;lazy science.

      • David says:

        “The have too otherwise they are out of a job”

        Surely then Jo Nova is not a scientist. There is never any introspection on her blog.

      • Ross says:

        A scientist should be his (groan) fiercest critic.
        I ‘m sure this is true JMO. Once they have put their work through this self critical analysis, it is then peer reviewed (criticised) Then, and only then, is it published.
        I know it’s easier to simply email a post on Jonova, but I put more trust in the former method.
        You don’t, apparently. We differ.

  • Alan Gould says:

    Yes,
    I agree entirely with Peter B. This post, Don, and several of the others you have made on the subject, belong where they may be broadly seen and accepted as the currency in the controversy. The shonkiness you describe above requires alteration of the Penal Code.

  • David says:

    Don, I think the fact you have been forced to include Jo Nova, who does not have a single peer review publication to her name, as a scientist shows how weak the denialist stocks are.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      Like most of your assertions, David,this is simply wrong. See Transplantation 52(6): 1101-1105.

    • colin davidson says:

      David,
      In my view it doesn’t matter who finds errors, or what their standing is. If the bus conductor in his spare time finds an error in say Wile’s proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, he would be listened to and his argument would be studied by mathematicians. And if he were right, he would be hailed.
      The same used to be true in science, up to the last couple of decades.
      The classic case is Steve McIntyre, whose work on the Hockey Stick exposed the poor record keeping, the lack of transparency, and the incorrect statistical methods of one group of scientists. The fact that the data and methods used in the Hockey stick paper have never been released, and that the paper has not yet been withdrawn, is a scandal which sours science and scientists – the stench emanating from this episode pollutes the name of science as practiced in Universities, even the hard disciplines such as Physics and Astronomy.
      Also, I couldn’t find where Don mentioned Jo Nova either directly or indirectly in the piece above. Perhaps you could cite the precise paragraph for me so that I can assess the context of your remark.

      • David says:

        “If the bus conductor in his spare time finds an error in say Wile’s proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, he would be listened to and his argument.”

        True. But the correction wont be published in a journal called “Transplantation.”

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          David,

          You said, and I quote “Jo Nova, who does not have a single peer review publication to her name”. Jo Nova is the pen name of Joanne Codling, who is one of the authors of the Transplantation paper. The selfsame Codling graduated with First Class Honours from the University of Western Australia, and is unquestionably the author of the paper in question.

          When you are wrong and have been shown to be wrong, sneering does not make you right.

          • David says:

            I don’t care if she has first class honors or got a three Ds and a C. What peer reviewed Climate Science has Nova-Codling published?

            Author (date), Title, Journal, Volume and page number ?

            Smell the coffee. An article published in a Journal called “Transplantation” is unlikely to be about Climate Science. You have the wrong person.

          • JohnB says:

            That David, is called “Moving the goalposts”. You said she didn’t have a published paper. When shown that you were wrong, instead of doing the right thing and admitting a mistake, you now attack the Journal.

            You were shown to be wrong, be a man and admit it.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          You really swallow the nonsense of an unqualified pseudo academic, who has never published any peer reviewed studies on climate science (as opposed to climate ‘psychology’), and whose major achievements are Christian activism and cartooning? And whose contributions to the ‘scientific’ literature have been widely lampooned?

      • BB says:

        “pollutes the name of science as practiced in Universities” universities have a much bigger problem than that even. How about you go onto a university campus let’s say University of New South Wales to do a survey. No matter what you are you can assert you are a 1.2 m tall aboriginal woman with one leg. I bet no one would challenge it sorry I should change that only fools would challenge your “safe space”.

      • David says:

        Well Colin as this was a review article so I took the view that all previous and relevant posts published in the last 60 days were open for discussion and fair game.

        “Margaret Throsby in three interviews” which was posted on the 17th of March 2016 was worth a look.

        http://donaitkin.com/margaret-throsby-in-three-interviews/

        “Well, Margaret [Throbbers] could have asked her about the scientists who actually do disagree. There are several prominent ones in Australia (Plimer, Paltridge, Kininmonth, Franks, Jo Nova, Jennifer Marohasy and the late Bob Carter), plus Lindzen, Curry, Christy, Happer, Spencer, Pielkes Sr and Jr in the USA, Evans in the UK — all of them peer-reviewed and senior.”

        A bit caress of Don, I know, but it so happens that Nova is neither peer-reviewed nor senior. What do you reckon Colin? Which part of not-peer reviewed or not-senior don’t you understand?

        • David says:

          …and “caress” was careless of me.

        • colin davidson says:

          David,
          Your attack is not relevant to the current post.

          • David says:

            What do you want Colin, a statute of limitations on BS?

          • spangled drongo says:

            “What do you want Colin, a statute of limitations on BS?”

            I think you do.

            Remember this:

            “What is tragically evident from the Harry Read Me file is the picture it gives of the CRU scientists hopelessly at sea with the complex computer programmes they had devised to contort their data in the approved direction, more than once expressing their own desperation at how difficult it was to get the desired results. “

          • colin davidson says:

            David,
            Don’s post is about the integrity and accuracy of the claim that “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”
            He carefully shows that the statement is an completely inaccurate exaggeration.
            You have tried to divert discussion away from Obama’s untruth and the reasons why untruthful papers on that topic have not been withdrawn, a failing which draws attention to the looseness of quality control in the publication of academic papers.
            I would have thought there is plenty to discuss here. Much meat on all aspects. But no, you want to divert attention by conducting a red-herring-fest on another topic.
            Have you anything to contribute which is apposite to Don’s excellent post? (I might add that I think a rebuttal post would be a useful contribution, would lead to debate on this important topic.)?

        • spangled drongo says:

          Where would we all be without peer review:

          “Professor Edward Wegman produced an expert report for the US Congress vindicating Steve McIntyre’s demolition of the “hockey stick”, he excoriated the way in which this same “tightly knit group” of academics seemed only too keen to collaborate with each other and to “peer review” each other’s papers in order to dominate the findings of those IPCC reports on which much of the future of the US and world economy may hang.”

          • Ross says:

            It’s a conspiracy, Drongo! I keep saying that, but no one listens to me! Must be a conspiracy.

          • spangled drongo says:

            If you fail to see any “orchestration” involved here when they’ve broken just about every rule in the book, who then are the deniers?

          • Ross says:

            Ummm… Don I’m pretty sure you get asked to peer review papers for accuracy, rather than whether you think they are ‘interesting’ or not. I think this may be why your ‘thoughts’ may have been ignored. It’s not like a film review. But if this is how you think the peer review process works, perhaps we SHOULD be concerned.

          • Ross says:

            Wegman produced a plagiarised report.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Ross, you’re getting as desperate as Dave.

          • Ross says:

            No plagiarism , then, Drongs?

          • spangled drongo says:

            If that’s your best defence of those scoundrels you’re not just a denier, rossie, you’re a desperate denier.

          • Ross says:

            “Ummm…Don” post sent twice. Apologies.

      • Doug Hurst says:

        Col has raised a key issue here. It doesn’t matter who uncovers the facts, provided they are verifiable facts. I am not a scientist, but I studied basic meteorology and climate, used it for 20 years as an aviator and have had a life-long interest in the subject. This has given me enough facts to know that the hypothesis that the recent slight warming is man-made and dangerous, and can be curbed by massive expenditure to curb CO2 production, is not just unproven, but wrong.

        The geological record tells us two key things – 1. the world has been much hotter (10C and more when the dinosaurs roamed) and much colder (during ice ages) when there was no human input, and 2. changes to CO2 levels lagged temperature changes by centuries (see Vostok Ice Cores etc), chiefly because cold water can hold more CO2 than warm water and most of the CO2 is in the oceans.

        Add to that the complete absence of predicted sea level rises world-wide (e.g.,Sydney and Venice), the warmer times in the Holocene Optimum, Minoan, Roman and Medieval periods when CO2 levels were just under 300 ppm, and the overwhelming evidence that current renewables technology shows no promise of ever being able to replace fossil fuels and nuclear, and I can see clearly, aided only by high school physics and some personal experience, that we in the West have wasted trillions of dollars trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist with a solution that wouldn’t work if the problem did exist.

    • Rohan says:

      And yet Tim Flannery, in all his climate change regalia, has a graduate degree in English and doctorate in Paleontology. Note that both qualifications contain zero hard science, but he’s still touted as an “expert”.

      I hold a graduate degree in Chemical Engineering. So that’s a certifiable truck load of hard science, and how its applied to the real world. I have not written any published papers, but have 17 years in conducting industry based research including a stint as an undergrad with the CSIRO.

      Please explain how the current average 400 ppmv atmospheric concentration of CO2 causes catastrophic global warming? Especially as the IPCC AR5 states that slightly less than 4% of that ( >16ppmv or less than 0.0016%) is attributable to mans activities.

      In addition, what is the shape of a natural logarithm and why is that relevant to the argument?

      Why isn’t water vapor causing catastrophic global warming? After all, it averages about 9000 ppmv concentration and according to the Koyoto protocol, is also 7.6 times stronger a greenhouse gas than CO2. The consumption/burning of fossil fuels also releases water vapor, but all combustion gasses are pollution right?

      How does CO2 in the upper troposphere, where the temperatures are in the range of -25 C to -45 C depending on altitude (look up the adiabatic lapse rate), “back radiate” to and heat up the earths surface, which has an average temp of around 18 C to 19 C? Which law of thermodynamics does that violate and why?

      If back radiation is possible as it doesn’t violate any law of thermodynamics, then here’s a simple experiment you can try at home this winter. Freeze a 1000lt plastic IBC of water to -45 C. Peel out the block of ice from the plastic and stick it in a corner of your living room in a suitably sized tray to collect the melt. Then partition off the block of ice with an IR transparent membrane like an LDPE film or even glass, thus minimising convective heat transfer between the air in your living room and the ice. Now lets see if the “back radiation” keeps you all warm and toasty on those cold and frosty nights. Let us know how you get on. I’m eagerly anticipating the results.

      • David says:

        Nice CV Rohan. Lots of interesting questions. If I was to go to research these questions, I would prefer to speak to a climate scientist before I sought the advice of a chemical engineer, especially one who has forged a career in “conducting industry based research.” Sorry, I see that as tainted.

      • dlb says:

        Rohan, your super cold bucket of ice is still radiating at 153 W/m2 much less than the walls of your house at 447 W/m2. Better than having a bucket of ice just brought in from outer space which radiates at 0.00000006 W/m2. The second bucket will drop the temperature of your room very quickly. Same would happen to the earth without an atmosphere.

  • Doug Hurst says:

    Too much of the press seems to have accepted the ‘happening, man-made and dangerous’ chant without question. ‘Experts’ remain experts no matter how far out their alarmist predictions are and ‘inconvenient truths’ don’t get printed. I read something recently quoting Michael Mann as a climate expert. Flannery’s opinions are still sought and despite clangers like ’50 million climate refugees by 2013′ (I think) the UN escapes with little or no criticism in most of the press. And they are just the tip of the ice berg.

    You mention that the 18 year hiatus has ended with a strong El Nino in 2015-16, but the account I just read stating these years to be the hottest on record simply said that the globe was definitely warming, provided figures to prove it, but made no mention of the El Nino and the prospect of lower temps when it dissipates. The lack of any relevant sea level rise along our east coast, and especially in Sydney Harbour, is also largely ignored.

    Even worse, is the wide acceptance of solar and wind as an essential part of our energy mix when we have decades of evidence that neither can provide reliable and affordable power in the quantities needed. Indeed, the part played by renewables in the economic woes of much of the West is only now getting attention – and then only in the ;right wing’ press; I await the Four Corners investigation, but breathing normally as I do so.

    I guess all we can do is to keep asking Alarmists to say what is happening that is unprecedented and dangerous.

  • BB says:

    For me the distressing part of all this is that as long as you have some authority you can make any damn silly statement you like the more outrageous the better the mainstream media will take it up and promulgated it everywhere. Then when the rebuttal comes it doesn’t matter everyone has moved on and accepted it as fact.

    • Alan Gould says:

      Yes,
      I share this dismay. It is an offshoot of the celebrity cult, which is an offshoot of the failing health of newspapers and other media outlets to keep information interesting without a ‘name’ attached to the item. the crisis of our liberated times is authority – we harass and belittle it then find ourselves strangely depleted by its absence, so substitute by expecting anyone with profile to have a view we can trust. Thus will a prominent actor be consulted on Climate Change. This will a Nobel Scientist be trusted on architecture or music. Given where celebrity gets accorded – to the purveyors of trash music, to ex-political leaders notable for their in-office blandness, I reckon the principle fear we have comes not from any molecules in our atmosphere, but from the Guardians of our Democracy who become desperate for their survival, and use celebrity culture as a tawdry means of gaining sales by providing authoritatve opinion in its most chimaeric form

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        You will recall that John Cook achieved fame via a tweet from Obama, which has guaranteed him a luxurious living for many years now. I tried to find out from where his support came, but all my enquiries came to naught. The Editor on the Conversation refused to respond, and he has no admitted affiliations, which I find, as a retired working research fellow, unbelievable.

    • Ross says:

      BB, YOU TOO, can make any silly statement you want, too. Just remember to ask yourself why it comes to nothing. Maybe your wrong? (perish the thought).

  • Neville says:

    Don your summary of the 97% consensus delusion is about as good as I’ve read. Certainly it’s a pity that it couldn’t get a wider audience. Like you I think there must be some warming since 1950 that could be attributed to increased co2 emissions but it is very difficult to find any evidence for it.
    It amazes me that the true CAGW extremists can’t find any real evidence and data to back up their fantasies, but they get very annoyed when other people provide peer reviewed studies that challenge their beliefs.
    The last century has seen the greatest change for humans since the beginning of our existence. Yet the extra 5+ billion people now on the planet live much longer and better lives than would have been believed in 1900. Even the poorest countries are better off today and the number who still suffer hunger is much smaller ( as a percentage) and this is improving all the time.
    This didn’t happen over such a short period by magic, but was all underpinned by the use of fossil fuels. Ridley’s Greening planet video gives a very good summary of what has happened because of the use of fossil fuels and it is still evolving.

  • Alan Gould says:

    Yes,
    I share this dismay. It is an offshoot of the celebrity cult, which is an offshoot of the failing health of newspapers and other media outlets to keep information interesting without a ‘name’ attached to the item. the crisis of our liberated times is authority – we harass and belittle it then find ourselves strangely depleted by its absence, so substitute by expecting anyone with profile to have a view we can trust. Thus will a prominent actor be consulted on Climate Change. This will a Nobel Scientist be trusted on architecture or music. Given where celebrity gets accorded – to the purveyors of trash music, to ex-political leaders notable for their in-office blandness, I reckon the principle fear we have comes not from any molecules in our atmosphere, but from the Guardians of our Democracy who become desperate for their survival, and use celebrity culture as a tawdry means of gaining sales by providing authoritatve opinion in its most chimaeric form

  • Rod Stuart says:

    It is incredible that there are people like “David” that have only logical fallacies to use as argument and then think that they have something to contribute.

  • Douglas Kirsner says:

    Don,
    Very old school? Where is the group think here, inculcation, moral superiority? Why are you questioning methodology and seeing political aspects of how decisions are made? You are going against the groove. of Green-Left self-righteous dogmatic assertions about ‘science shows…’ As a former Chair of the ARC, you wouldn’t get a grant investigating your views now! Seriously, a sad world and you are doing great telling it how you see it. I hope you will write this in The Australian.

  • margaret says:

    Never fear chaps – yes I have become part of the readership that doesn’t comment – but when the rooster coop gets into it, I may appear – The White Tiger.

    • dasher says:

      Margaret and David once again prominent in the responses but very short of ideas. Question for Margaret and David do you believe the 97% consensus? Do you support the findings of the studies Don has presented? If you do, why?

      • David says:

        No, I don’t. Why? Because Don is not consistent. On the one hand he wants to run a fine tooth comb through their definition of what constitutes a scientist with a pro-AGW position, and then when it suits, is willing to argue that Jo Nova is both a peer reviewed and very senior scientist, when obviously she is not. Whatever reservations Don and others may have about those studies at least they had the good sense to exclude blogs from their literature review.

  • dasher says:

    Interesting article on Judith Curry’s blog (which , please note David and Margaret , includes a wide range of articles and views each week that are always worth a squizz) The KC relationship. Essentially Knowability(K) and Consensus (C). In a nutshell when K is easy to understand and then one would expect C to be high ..eg 97%, but when K is complex (in the case of climate science, hideously complex and highly contestable) one would expect C to be significantly lower…eg 20/30%. The theory suggests that there should not be a high level of consensus about climate change on present levels of knowledge and Dons examples (which I have read in detail) shows the nonsense that must be pedalled to achieve these numbers. Is this conclusive? certainly not, but the 97 % figure is not only inconclusive it is farcical. That Obama would use the figures is a poor reflection on Obama and his advisors, but what would you expect from a man who predicted his Presidency would see “the earth heal and the seas subside” said with the appropriate amount of biblical gravitas…..utter tosh.

  • […] Don Aitkin debunks the myth of the 97 per cent– again. If global warmists are capable of this dodgy stuff, what else are they saying that’s false?: […]

  • David says:

    To Dasher and Rod

    I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Here is the full Cook abstract.

    “We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors’ self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.”

    Went to the paper published by Leggats, Soon and Christopher Monckton of Brenchley. They summarize Cook et al data as follows

    Explicit acceptance 1027
    Implicit acceptance 2910
    No Position 7930
    Expression of uncertainty 40
    Implicit rejection 54
    Explicit rejection 24

    (1027 + 2910) /(1027 + 2910 + 40 + 54 +24) = 97%

    The methodology proposed by Cook at al is reasonable. And furthermore their Abstract provides a good summary of their paper. Here is a supplementary file that lists all the papers that were included in the review.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/media/erl460291datafile .txt

    You will notice papers from Spencer and Christie etc are included in the original sample. No obvious censoring. So I have no problem with it. Don’s arguments can best be summarized as hand-waving. I would recommend publish.

    • dasher says:

      David politics beckons you!..go and read “friends of science Calgary” and tell me the “consensus” amounts to more than a hill of beans..oh and this is just the start.

      • Ross says:

        Dasher. Consensus means exactly what consensus means.
        But what are you arguing exactly. That there is no consensus?
        Or consensus don’t amount to a hill o’ beans?
        Or both? Or neither?

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          Rose,

          Consensus is meaningless in science. An experimental result does not become more or less meaningful depending on the number of people who vote for it. Cook’s paper was a survey of the opinions of his panel of reviewers, and had as much significance as any of the regular political polls, possibly less, because at least the political pollsters like to pretend they’re independent.

        • dasher says:

          Ross

          Consensus and science are not good bedfellows and no self respecting scientist would rely on authority and consensus to claim their case proven. The consensus that is claimed is not even sound . The rubbery figures exposed by Don’s piece are not worth a hill of beans. If there was a properly conducted survey asking all the right questions revealed a consensus of 97% you could at least claim that is was properly done and reflects the opinions of a specified group of scientists but it would not change the fact that consensus only stands until it is disproven. These surveys are claimed to be shams and no self respecting authority would lend their name to them. Once again, as I said to David, read the “Friends of Science” deconstruction of the consensus buy those mentioned in Don’s piece and then argue why they are wrong. I am not an expert and if you can tell me that their reasoning or method is wrong then I will at least weigh your views.

    • Anders Valland says:

      You cannot keep the no position group out of the equation. The actual percentage is 33%.
      The method (as opposed to methodology) that Cook et.al. proposes has been shown to not correspond to the method they actually used. Even if they had used the method they proposed (that is, without having reviewers discuss ratings) we are still left with a result stemming from a group of people with a preconceived notion of the desired result doing the assessments.

      The horse is dead, David. Keep on flogging, but it won’t move. Time for you to realize this one is lost. (I know you think it would hurt your ego to admit it, but eventually you’ll figure it out)

      • David says:

        No they don’t. Those that express uncertainty (n=40) ARE included in the denominator. Those that express no opinion about AGW per se) (i.e 7930) are excluded from the analysis all together. The pro AGW papers out number the anti AGW papers by about 40:1. Using your approach pro-AGW / All papers = 33% and then similarly anti-AGW/ All papers = 0.75% again pro AGW out rank anti-AGW by about 44:1.

      • Ross says:

        Anders, let it go mate. It’s really not important.

  • David says:

    JMO where are you?

    You have asked me not to use the term “denialist”. But look at the resistance to, what is a fairly obvious statement of fact, that the literature heavily is pro AGW. It sticks out like dogs balls. So what should we call these people who would argue otherwise?

  • Neville says:

    How did the lefty extremists get their forecasts so wrong? The first World earth day in 1970 made 7 forecasts about the immediate future and they were all wrong. Why would anyone still trust anything these donkeys predict about the future of the planet? What a joke. Oh and BTW one of the most prominent organisers of world earth day 1970 was a psycho, narcissistic scumbag who murdered his girlfriend.

    http://www.thegwpf.com/never-trust-doom-mongers-earth-day-predictions- that-were-all-wrong/

  • Don Aitkin says:

    I have added a paragraph at the end of the essay above to pass on a useful link. It is worth noting that in the 12,000 or so abstracts that the Cook raters inspected, just 41 of them argued that the human contribution to global warming was greater than 50 per cent.

    • David says:

      Don,
      You have posted to a “pdf “that makes an substantiated accusation against Cook et al of fraud. But as I understand it the substance of the allegation is that the reviewers were coached. This is testable.

      So why don’t you show us how a literature review should be done. Perhaps you could re-analyse a random sample of the papers that were reviewed by Cook et al using random number generator to select the papers from this list.

      http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/media/erl460291datafile .txt

      You can do a power calculation but I imagine that 100 to 150 should be fine. You can read the abstracts or the full papers if you wish and then classify them using the same system as Cook et al and/or your own approach. If you don’t have someone who can get the papers for you I will get them for you myself. You can post your results here on this blog. Perhaps report some statistical tests for difference in proportions. Show us all how it should be done.

      • David says:

        that should read “…an unsubstantiated claim of fraud …”

        • David says:

          Don

          Never let it be said that I was not helpful. I have the liberty of randomly selecting 150 integers between 1 and 12000. First paper in list is 1, second 2 etc. Review those papers and let us know how you get on.

          5750 7267 11311
          3948 1676 676
          5557 1076 10789
          6903 3339 1041
          11122 6584 2894
          8448 572 10266
          8012 11499 1393
          3812 1075 7065
          3119 4046 3083
          1191 2085 8869
          9383 3555 10476
          11284 11862 4603
          2447 8332 1058
          1611 3848 9140
          947 4021 7925
          10397 858 4545
          10569 5726 3011
          7339 5351 9821
          3588 7404 794
          382 6857 2696
          944 6083 6652
          5677 3631 7412
          3444 280 7830
          6082 2675 9875
          1493 10489 9201
          7642 3086 8293
          7537 6781 11586
          4800 3613 3317
          5413 3087 663
          1365 3706 3715
          11657 11479 11992
          4413 9098 5251
          8471 7742 3064
          1061 8632 334
          2806 1596 10093
          5740 4792 6517
          2503 2762 9407
          9013 11398 1098
          4728 3504 175
          1273 11503 1744
          4475 6056 7666
          10677 5157 9521
          7322 10295 11968
          4920 4699 1734
          797 5184 8 206
          3991 11257 3495
          7202 11671 10810
          10637 276 11851
          10312 2749 7093
          7913 5743 269

    • dlb says:

      Thanks for the links Don. I have been looking at the data at Cook’s website and his paper and have come up with 64 abstracts out of 11944 that “Explicitly states that humans are the primary cause of recent global warming” That is 0.5% out of all abstracts or 1.6% of the fabled 97%. This result is not mentioned at all in their paper.

      The other elephant in the room is that 67% of abstracts surveyed don’t give a reason for global warming and are thus ignored. Such an example might be researchers looking at coral bleaching with rising sea temperatures. They might say sea temperatures are likely to rise but don’t specify the reason. To shed light on this Cook et al contacted researchers with email addresses and asked them to self rate their papers. Out of the original 29083 authors only 1189 or 4% replied, If you think this is an adequate sample you get some interesting results.

      With self rating 35% of the researchers are still not willing to specify whether climate change is manmade or natural, while 63% say it is anthropogenic, and 2% consider it natural. So my take of the paper is that the 97% consensus should really be 63%, ignoring all the methodological flaws of course.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Thanks, Don, for nailing this fakery at the bakery. I find it interesting how the mindless, consensual, CAGW philosophy of Cook and Co has coincided with the current “Helicopter Money” Keynesian economic philosophy in recent years of ever worsening government world wide.

    Not hard to understand, though.

    Feynman had it right with “science is the belief in the ignorance of experts” but he should have added “especially those with a COI”.

    • David says:

      Don, Drongo has got your back.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Yes, I’d be desperate too, David, If I couldn’t scratch up a signal to exceed your noise.

        • Ross says:

          Well, scientists are all either wrong or on the take? As I suspected all along.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Well, Russ, at least you can wrap up in self-satisfaction.

          • spangled drongo says:

            ?Now Johnnie Cook called to his black, greasy Dana,
            “Shovel on a little more coal,
            And when we reach that great Paris Junket,
            Jus’ watch that ol’ 97 roll!”?

          • Ross says:

            Bryon. All wrong. All on the take. Are you sceptical?

          • spangled drongo says:

            Wrong AND on the take. Get it right.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            “Are you sceptical”

            No Russ, I’m old. Elderly, in PC speak. I’ve seen a lot of young men in a hurry, and the climate ‘alarm’ is just the same, writ slightly larger. It’s not a bid to ‘save’ the world for our children, it’s a bid to be important in the here and now. I confess to being amused at the presumption of people who confidently predict any number of disasters in a hundred years time, but hey, it’s one more publication in their CV.

          • Ross says:

            Good to know where you stand Drongs. Glad you cleared that up. Thanks.
            Byron. Yes well, I don’t know the age of all the scientist involved with Climate change but I assume they’re not yet retired. Doesn’t everyone look so young these days?

          • Ross says:

            Should read “…don’t know the age…” Sigh. Too young and in a hurry, eh?

  • Philo says:

    I was told that Don Aitkin had brought together the definitive demolition of the 97 per cent figure which I had long known to be hardly worthwhile even as a conversation opener and then I read the comments as well as the article. it is hard to believe that there could exist as trolls-for-John Cook (whose emails still turn up in my Inbox but have remained unread for a long time now) both “Ross” and “David” as separate people who seem to know nothing worth contributing and suffer a greater deficit in argument. An obsession with Jo Nova repeated over and over is merely irritating and unconstructive at best. Then I read one say that there was no other explanation for the warming or whatever precise phenomenon was in question but CO2 (as a greenhouse gas). And that is truly astonishing because the IPCC’s well stocked pantheon of inadequate models don’t lay the elementary foundation of modelling the natural phenomena – even of just the last 8000 years without which it is impossible to even guess at the incremental contribution of recent CO2 emissions. The decline of the Egyptian Old Kingdom, the collapse of the first Indus Civilisation, the drying up of the Great Lakes, the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods plus the Maunder Minimum within the Little Ice Age whose genesis and end both need explanation are all missing from the “consensus” science. And who are “climate scientists”? It is a while since I ended about 15 years of sitting on professorial selection committees but it has left me with pretty good acquaintance with serious scientists and I am dashed if I can think of one who is best described as a “climate scientist”. Knowing lots about ice cores or tree rings is valuable but it hardly qualifies them to be called climate scientists for which, at the very least, high level physics is pretty well a prerequisite. And I find that most hard scientists, especially physicists, are very sceptical about the alarmists’ claims of threatened catastrophe. Count me as one of Don Aitkin’s lukewarmists.

    • David says:

      ” And I find that most hard scientists, especially physicists, are very skeptical about the alarmists’ claims of threatened catastrophe.”

      Really? Well both the US and European societies of physics have positions statements which accept AGW and endorse some sort of intervention to reduce CO2.

      https://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm

      http://www.eps.org/blogpost/751263/Activities?tag=climate

      You must be hanging with the wrong “high level physics” crowd Philo.

    • David says:

      Philio I have found one physicist that may prove your point. I am sure this person will be a septic. He has degrees in

      A.B. applied mathematics and physics (1989)
      MS physics (1991)
      MPhil physics (1991)
      MPhil geology (1993)
      PhD geology & geophysics (1998)

      No, sorry my mistake Philo. That was Professor Mann. He bats for team AGW.

  • David says:

    John B,
    I am not moving the goal posts, at all. Jo Nova has not published. Bryan has provided some incomplete reference to a publication by a J Nova in a Journal called “Transplantation”. No tile. If you think think I am wrong site the paper. Her wiki makes no mention of it. I can find nothing in Google Scholar. And Bryan and stopped making this claim.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    Good heavens, David.

    Are you out of short pants?

    You said Jo Nova was not a scientist, and “does not have a single peer review publication to her name”.

    Transplantation. 1991 Dec;52(6):1101-5.
    Transplantation in the mouse model–the use of a Y-chromosome-specific DNA clone to identify donor cells in situ.
    Grounds MD1, Lai MC, Fan Y, CODLING JC, Beilharz MW.

    Enjoy, and don’t come the crap it’s not in climate science. That is EXACTLY what you SAID.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      …and David, be careful who you take on in the future. You’re nowhere near as smart as you think you are.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        In fact, given the post I made previously, reproduced for your convenience “Jo Nova is the pen name of Joanne Codling, who is one of the authors of the Transplantation paper”, I find it hard to believe your stupidity.

    • David says:

      Mea culpa
      To whom it may concern.

      I would like to apologize to Bryan, John B and most of all Don.

      Yes, I hereby admit that Jo Nova-Codling does have a single academic publication to her name. This publication has caused me reflect deeply. There can be no doubt that this peer-review publication elevates Nova-Codling to the very top of Australia’s climate septic community. Yes, very senior indeed.

      I would like to acknowledge Bryan’s research skills. Well done. It must have been like finding Lasseter’s Reef.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        Modesty forces me to confess that if you google ‘Codling’ and ‘Transplantation”, the paper comes up second in the list. I seem to recall suggesting this to you, David.

        Please don’t try to be smart, you simply don’t have the goods. You are not in the least apologetic, and you still think you’re better than anybody else. So, no, I don’t accept your apology. Just keep out of my way.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        I’ve taught smart alecs like you for 20 years. I can’t be impressed, and I’ve heard it all.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s a lot more predictions made about the same time as the first earth day. You have to read these idiocies by these fools to understand the minds who could dream up this nonsense. Erhlich had a brain fade and stated that anyone born after 1946 would only have a life expectancy of 49 years. But you have to read this to understand the quality of drongo we’re up against. Davy boy, Ross etc will just love it. Right up their street.

    http://www.aei.org/publication/18-spectacularly-wrong-apocalyptic-pred ictions-made-around-the-time-of-the-first-earth-day-in-1970-expect-mor e-this-year-2/

  • David says:

    JohnB says:
    April 22, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    “Specifically, what is being denied? If you are going to label people then you should be able to clearly and concisely say why that label applies.”

    The Data.

    There are people who do not accept that the climate data are of sufficient quality to to taken seriously? They only notionally accept the data so they can join the debate

    Measurement:
    There are people, believe it or not, who do not accept that a change in mean temperature is a relevant measure of climatic status because the mean temperature occurs twice a day.

  • Neville says:

    The 2014 Mckitrick and Vogelsang study looked at warming in the tropical troposphere from 1958 to 2012. They found that there was little tropical tropospheric warming over this period and most of the warming came from the Pacific climate shift in 1977. Here is their summary using the balloon data over that period of 55 years. Once again where is the impact from co2 emissions and where is the Trop hot spot? IOW the theory doesn’t match the data.

    Bottom Line

    “Over the 55-years from 1958 to 2012, climate models not only significantly over-predict observed warming in the tropical troposphere, but they represent it in a fundamentally different way than is observed. Models represent the interval as a smooth upward trend with no step-change. The observations, however, assign all the warming to a single step-change in the late 1970s coinciding with a known event (the Pacific Climate Shift), and identify no significant trend before or after. In my opinion the simplest and most likely interpretation of these results is that climate models, on average, fail to replicate whatever process yielded the step-change in the late 1970s and they significantly overstate the overall atmospheric response to rising CO2 levels.”

    Here is their post at McIntyre’s Climate audit.

    https://climateaudit.org/2014/07/24/new-paper-by-mckitrick-and-vogelsa ng-comparing-models-and-observations-in-the-tropical-troposphere/

  • whyisitso says:

    Don, you’ve probably given up reading the comments to this thread because it’s been taken over by two trolls, who’ve made 80 comments between them (out of 193). I know banning individuals is against your philosophy, but you need to consider it or to close comments altogether.

  • Neville says:

    Another study that supports the McKitrick findings. Little change over the period 1958 to 2000 in the NH. Here’s the summary from Co2 Science.

    “In Search of Increasing Climate Variability Reference
    Iskenderian, H. and Rosen, R.D. 2000. Low-frequency signals in midtropospheric submonthly temperature variance. Journal of Climate 13: 2323-2333.

    Background
    Potential changes in the frequency or intensity of extreme weather events may be of greater relevance to the biosphere and society than are changes in the mean state of earth’s climate. Hence, a large effort is underway to detect such changes – which are typically claimed to be positive, not in terms of more value but in terms of more variability (which is typically claimed to be bad) – and to attribute them to the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content. Analyses of observed changes in the variability of upper-air climate needed to test such claims, however, have not been plentiful; and it was the authors’ intent to partially ameliorate this situation.

    What was done
    The authors analyzed two midtrospheric temperature data sets spanning the last forty years, calculating day-to-day variability within each month, season and year.

    What was learned
    Averaged over the entire Northern Hemisphere, midtropospheric temperature variability exhibited a slight upward trend since the late 1950s in one of the data sets; but as the authors note, “this trend is significant in the spring season only.” They also admit that “the robustness of this springtime trend is in doubt,” because the trend obtained from the other data set was negative!

    For the conterminous United States, however, the two data sets both showed “mostly small positive trends in most seasons.” But, again, none of these trends were statistically significant. Therefore, the authors acknowledge that they “cannot state with confidence that there has been a change in synoptic-scale temperature variance in the midtroposphere over the United States since 1958.”

    What it means
    When all is said and done, the authors’ analyses indicate that all the hype of increasing climate variability over the past four decades is simply that: hyperbole without substance.”

    Reviewed 23 August 2000

  • John says:

    It is clear to me in reading this article and most of the comments posted that no matter how much evidence is put forth, the global warming alarmists will not take the time to read or seriously consider data. The global warming alarmists approach this issue with a religious fervor not unlike ISIS. It is a total waste of time to try to reason with them – they are locked into their ideology. Whenever I am tempted to take the time to put forth a reasoned argument with actual data and a discussion of uncertainties, I read blogs like this to confirm what waste of time that effort is. By the way – bringing up the fact that 170 countries signed the climate agreement in Paris is not evidence for global warming. It is evidence that many countries are smart enough to recognize that US leadership is stupid enough to cripple our own economy and pay other countries for fictitious damages. Why not sign it, they would be fools not to. They know if they are not in lockstep with the current US administration, they will not get a cut of the wealth redistribution pie.

  • Neville says:

    More trouble for Denmark’s clueless left wing govt. People are getting sick and tired of paying some of the highest electricity prices in the world. Their stupid govt is starting to feel the heat. So why are we repeating this group think idiocy?

    112 125
    Denmark’s Liberal Government To Roll Back Renewable Energy Policy

    Date: 23/04/16
    Jyllands-Posten

    Denmark’s climate and energy minister warns that the country’s green energy transition has become too expensive and too unpopular.

    Danish Climate and Energy Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt (Left Liberal Party)

    The cost of Denmark’s renewable energy policy has been too high, according to Denmark’s climate and energy minister Lars Christian Lilleholt

    The minister made the statement in response to a report by the climate and energy ministry to parliament which shows that subsidies for offshore windfarms – which are paid by businesses and citizens via their electricity bills – have increased dramatically compared to what was originally expected.

    In an interview with the newspaper Berlingske, the minister said that one had to accept that the price of the green energy transition is too high and that energy bills have to be cut as a result.

    One option would be to reassess support for offshore windfarms. Their cost has increased significantly and there is increasing local resistance against them. Cutting subsidies for offshore windfarms could save the public money

    Full story (in Danish)

  • Charles says:

    There are 3 trolls on this site, David, Ross/Rose/Rice/Rope and Margaret. They have an emotional and intellectual age of around 5-7 years and no-one should seek to engage them as they are not interested in the contest of ideas, or the variance of points of view, and any arguments that might support those points of views, as they are not really mature enough to understand what is going on. Rather like most Leftists they have their world view and no facts or evidence will sway them from their dogma and so it is best to leave them to whatever fetid little ideas are fomented in what can only be described as relatively small brains.

    Like most infants they seek attention, and once you try to engage with them and put forward your arguments and points of view then they will just mock and ridicule you, because as I am sure most will recognise that is how the juvenile mind usually responds as they lack self awareness and are testing their boundaries. In respect of Margaret, no Don you are not correct she is not quirky, she is as stupidly obtuse as the other two and giving her some legitimacy will only prolong her noxious presence on your blog.

    So, my advice is to ignore them, like most children they have a relatively short attention span and if no-one engages with them they will go somewhere else after a while, and then we can get on with the real work of testing the ideas that are put forward in Don’s excellent essays

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      Charles, Thank you for this.

      Why do we respond to blog posts?

      In a minority of cases, to further intellectual discussion of a topic, but I think this rare. As with Parkinson’s Law, the people with real expertise can’t be bothered to battle the noise.

      For the rest of us, two points. Some people enjoy trolls – lightweight entertainment against intellectually weak opposition. Then there are some who wish to engage seriously with the topic, but whose voices are drowned in the general chatter.

      In my opinion, ‘The Conversation’ tried to address the latter, but in doing so, simply provided a venue for a particular political ‘elite’ to dominate, and drown any dissent from the prevailing dogma. Me-too-ism writ large.

      In a way, the freedom of the internet has, paradoxically, stifled overt dissent, and I think the climate ‘debate’ is an excellent example of this.

    • margarer says:

      I was going to wait until tomorrow’s essay but no, I return lest you think that your assessment has shooed me away Charles.
      Your “I am serious, you are trivial; I am adult, you are a child” mantra doesn’t deter me.
      How many of the ideas in Don’s essays do you and your chappies really test?
      If I’m leftist are you rightist? I absolutely agree that I’m not quirky. Quirky is a bit of a put down, and I would say I’m singular.
      It’s been interesting and it continues to be interesting to read the essays. Some are more to my liking than others. Some are impenetrably academic for the average (stupidly obtuse) reader. However I’ve been able to understand the terminology and politics of ‘climate change’ if not the data and it’s unlikely that you chaps understand everything as you have closed your own minds in favour of being ‘sceptical’. You just come across as a bunch of old fuddy duddys and I’m glad the voices of dissent are there to annoy you.

      • margaret says:

        margarer is me the white tiger- awaiting moderation because of a typo or a new restraint applied?

      • margaret says:

        Charles my comment has come out of moderation and Anzac Day is here. When I tell you that a grandfather was a stretcher bearer at Fromelles, my other grandfather was gassed in the turret of the HMS Galatea at the battle of Jutland, one great aunt lost her fiancé at the Somme and never married and my father put his age up by 6 months to join the RAN in 1941 and was in Holsworthy on a charge when his dysfunctionally captained stores carrier HMS Matafele was lost off the coast between Townsville and Port Moresby with all hands, you’ll know that I’m an old woman who never grew up!

    • Ross says:

      Charles/Chills/Charlie, sweetie. I only mock the mockable.
      I am deeply hurt that you would use such erudite words simply to wound myself, David and the delightfully quirky Margaret. But allow me to retort…
      You sir, are a pompous baffoon.
      No amount of inflated self importance, can hide the fact that you are obviously a right wing shill, who simply can’t abide the fact that the world continues to either laugh at, or ignore your destructive diversions.
      Seriously Chas, it’s been some years now. Global warming continues. The real world continues to take serious steps to mitigate it.
      Blogs are undeniably a nice warm place for denialists to stroke each other’s fur.
      However, the fact that the presence of just two men and one woman with differing opinions, could drive you to such indignant rage, suggests an insecurity, that perhaps only your mother could explain.
      Otherwise, thanks for thinking of me. Looking forward to future correspondence.
      Stay warm.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Charles, I would like to see some testing of the ideas, and that can happen no matter who else is commenting. I’m writing about an aspect of of this issue in my essay tomorrow.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    “yes, but what do you teach?”

    You’re even stupider than I thought you were.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    David, you’re living in Fantasyland. Tell me your name, qualifications, and present position , and I might consider answering your question. Until then, not a chance, pal. Just shows how dumb you actually are.

  • David says:

    Troll is a subjective term. At a guess I would estimate that 97.1% of climate scientists would view this entire blog as a conga line of retired old trolls banging on about hot it was in the 1950’s.

    • Ross says:

      Bugger you David. I was going to say EXACTLY the same thing re: Anti global warming sites as trolls to actual peer reviewed science. You are a troll! I hate you.

  • Dasher says:

    David,Margaret and David still waiting for your critique on the Friends of Science deconstruction of the so called 97 per cent consensus.

    • David says:

      Friends of Science? As a rule I don’t pay too much attention to non-peer reviewed pdfs. I had a quick look. See no reason to change my mind. Dasher you can either express to dominance of pro-AGW papers as a (i) % (ii) a ratio or (iii) a pie chart. Any way you want to cut it pro AGW paper dominate the literature.

      Check it Google Scholar for your self.

      https://scholar.google.com.au/

    • David says:

      Dasher, this is what Cook et al said in their Abstract,
      “Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus.”

      And this is what your un-authored, non-peered reviewed pdf, which you found on the Dark-net somewhere, says”
      “The 41 papers that supported the consensus as defined by the IPCC declaration represents only 0.34% of the papers examined, not 97%.”

      It’s obviously a gross misrepresentation of what Cook et al. said. The technical term for this debating strategy is called “verballing”. And it has been outlawed in NSW for over 30 years.

  • David says:

    Dasher you must have missed it. So I have re-posted for you. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    To Dasher and Rod
    I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Here is the full Cook abstract.
    “We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors’ self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.”
    Went to the paper published by Leggats, Soon and Christopher Monckton of Brenchley. They summarize Cook et al data as follows
    Explicit acceptance 1027
    Implicit acceptance 2910
    No Position 7930
    Expression of uncertainty 40
    Implicit rejection 54
    Explicit rejection 24
    (1027 + 2910) /(1027 + 2910 + 40 + 54 +24) = 97%
    The methodology proposed by Cook at al is reasonable. And furthermore their Abstract provides a good summary of their paper. Here is a supplementary file that lists all the papers that were included in the review.
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/media/erl460291datafile .txt
    You will notice papers from Spencer and Christie etc are included in the original sample. No obvious censoring. So I have no problem with it. Don’s arguments can best be summarized as hand-waving. I would recommend publish.

    • dasher says:

      David

      This not the Friends of Science work..Legatts was quoted but there is much more. Google it and then tell me why they are wrong.

      cheers

      Dasher

  • David says:

    This is an excellent clip Dasher.

    https://youtu.be/WAqR9mLJrcE

    • dasher says:

      Friends of Science works deals with all the studies mentioned. One thing to say humans are causing AGW the sort of questions that need tested are …to what extent are humans the problem, is it dangerous, are we doing the right things to deal with it etc etc….Appeal to authority is very dodgy (remember the consensus was stomach ulcers were caused by stress) Oh and if I had $10 for every tipping point that had come and gone and very dud prediction that vanished without comment I would have a tidy sum,. Friends of science touch on this. Also Judith Curry blog touches on this stuff from time to time well worth a read if only to test your beliefs. As a lukewarmer I am absolutely certain the science of this hideously complex matter in not settled (new info arrives every other month) which does not mean I don’t believe it,just that we should be be skeptical about this apparent group think. It pervades the peer review system, is skewed by funding from governments , determines appropriate ways of thinking etc .

      Just a thought David, do have a flicker of doubt that maybe you may be wrong? are you curious to read alternate views? do you every think that maybe the trillions spent on abatement which up to date appears wasted might not be the way to go?

      PS another really good read comes from the Curry Blog (April 16 posting on blog called Climate etc) …Ontario Professional Engineers study on why increasing the amount of wind and solar has doubled emissions. Counterintuitive but easily understood…makes me wonder about the effect of renewables in Australia when coal and CCGT are the fossil fuel backups.

      • David says:

        Dasher, much of what you say about the limitations of the scientific process has some element of truth about it. Yes mistakes are made etc.

        Case in point: Yes their was consensus was stomach ulcers were caused by stress. But older treatments like ranitadine, are still used to manage ulcers. Its just that now antibiotics are also used to manage the problem. This progress was made through publication in the scientific literature.

        Its great that you are a skeptic. So why don’t you invest the time to and money to become an climate scientist and. To get up to speed and start making a meaningful contribution will probably take you about 10 years of your life and $75k in HECS fees by the time you have finished. Show us how its done.

  • […] dealt with the 97 per cent absurdity in a recent essay, and note this is not an encouraging start to an essay on anything to do with global warming. The […]

  • David says:

    Just a thought David, do have a flicker of doubt that maybe you may be wrong? Yes

    Are you curious to read alternate views? Such a funny question. Of course I do. I read this blog.

    Do you every think that maybe the trillions spent on abatement which up to date appears wasted might not be the way to go? Yes

    Dasher, if the warmists like me are wrong we will have wasted a lot of money. If skeptics like you are wrong you will have supported irreparable damage to the planet.

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