Climate “Consensus”

“Mankind will in time discover that unbridled majorities are as tyrannical and cruel as unlimited despots”

~ John Adams 1793

After years of looking into this topic, the only consensus I could find is that the UN-IPCC and others have based their predictions on computer models that have been woefully wrong:

One of the topics I see (and hear) brought up all the time is the 97% consensus of scientists who agree man is the main prognosticator of global warming. Below are some links to many articles refuting this unscientific [if it were true] consensus:

Global Warming Alarmists Caught Doctoring ’97-Percent Consensus’ Claims (Forbes);
♛ (WSJ) The Myth of the Climate Change ‘97%’; What is the origin of the false belief that almost all scientists agree about global warming? (Hockey Schtick);
97 Articles Refuting The “97% Consensus” (Popular Technology);
97% Study Falsely Classifies Scientists’ Papers, according to the scientists that published them (Popular Technology ~ Update to Above Article!)

Cooking Climate Consensus Data: “97% of Scientists Affirm AGW” Debunked (New American);
Only 65 Scientists of 12,000 Make up Alleged 97% on Climate Change and Global Warming Consensus According to Breakdown of Cook et al study, say Friends of Science (Climate Change Dispatch);
Undersecretary of Energy for Science For Obama Rejects “Scientism” (RPT);
100% Consensus ~ As If More Were Needed (RPT).
The myth of ‘settled science’ – When the left shuts down debate, it’s time for skepticism (Washington Times)
Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis (Forbes)
Debunking the 97% ‘consensus’ on global warming (American Spectator)
Richard Tol’s Excellent Summary of the Flaws in Cook et al. (2013) – The Infamous 97% Consensus Paper (WUWT – See Dr. Tol’s blog)
The 97% Cook Consensus – when will Environ Res Letters retract it? (JoNova)
UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol Debunks ‘97% Consensus’ Claim (Breitbart)
The 97 Percent Climate Change Consensus That Wasn’t (Heartland)

No matter what you think of the following long and short lists… the bottom line is this, WAY more than 75-Climatologists think that man is either not the main contributor to global warming at all, or that global warming is not a catastrophe waiting to happen:

An old Aussie video:

Breitbart adds to the idea of the “Cooked” Cook paper with a real survey:

Nearly six in ten climate scientists don’t adhere to the so-called “consensus” on man-made climate change, a new study by the Dutch government has found. The results contradict the oft-cited claim that there is a 97 percent consensus amongst climate scientists that humans are responsible for global warming.

The study, by the PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency, a government body, invited 6550 scientists working in climate related fields, including climate physics, climate impact, and mitigation, to take part in a survey on their views of climate science.

Of the 1868 who responded, just 43 percent agreed with the IPCC that “It is extremely likely {95%+ certainty} that more than half of [global warming] from 1951 to 2010 was caused by [human activity]”. Even with the “don’t knows” removed that figure increases only to 47 percent, still leaving a majority of climate scientists who do not subscribe to the IPCC’s statement.

The findings directly contradict the claim that 97 percent of climate scientists endorse the view that humans are responsible for global warming, as first made by Cook et al in a paper published in Environment Research Letters.

Cook’s paper has since been extremely widely debunked, yet so ingrained has the 97 percent consensus claim become that The Guardian has an entire section named after it, and President Obama has cited it on Twitter.

Commenting on the new study, Australian climate blogger Joanne Nova said: “Finally there is a decent survey on the topic, and it shows that less than half of what we would call “climate scientists” who research the topic and for the most part, publish in the peer reviewed literature, would agree with the IPCC’s main conclusions. Only 43% of climate scientists agree with the IPCC “97%” certainty.”…

…read it all…

When the IPCC ‘disappeared’ the Medieval Warm Period

I have to post this because someone on Facebook posted this link to a revised chart (the original is here). The new chart, even has MORE of a devastating “consensus.”

I didn’t know where to find something on this brand-new chart. So I cautioned the guys on Facebook that I have a feeling that this “consensus” was derived wrongly and will end up in the waste bin with this popular one pictured below:

A Previous `Consensus` Busted

(Click Graph To See Previously Hidden Data)

We’ve all been subjected to the incessant “97% of scientists agree …global warming…blah blah” meme, which is nothing more than another statistical fabrication by John Cook and his collection of “anything for the cause” zealots. As has been previously pointed out on WUWT, when you look at the methodology used to reach that number, the veracity of the result falls apart, badly. You see, it turns out that Cook simply employed his band of “Skeptical Science” (SkS) eco-zealots to rate papers, rather than letting all authors of the papers rate their own work (Note: many authors weren’t even contacted and their papers wrongly rated, see here). The result was that the “97% consensus” was a survey of the SkS raters beliefs and interpretations, rather than a survey of the authors opinions of their own science abstracts. Essentially it was pal-review by an activist group with a strong bias towards a particular outcome as demonstrated by the name “the consensus project”.


Dr. Judith Curry writes:

Look at the views in column 1, then look at the % in the rightmost column: 52% state the the warming since 1850 is mostly anthropogenic. One common categorization would categorize the other 48% as ‘deniers’.

So, the inconvenient truth here is that about half of the world’s largest organization of meteorological and climate professionals don’t think humans are “mostly” the cause of Anthropogenic Global Warming the rest will probably get smeared as “deniers”

(Read More at WUWT)


I wish to note, that, the truth was not a 97% consensus, but that about half disagreed with man causing it. Which is about the same percentage Dr. Happer says on CNBC:

So I verbalized my thoughts on this new information, multiple times, even posting the 97% graph a couple times as well as the below cations that this new “consensus” was probably going to fall by the wayside. Here is what I said:

…Of course, polls of scientists are not evidence about our climate. But it is evidence that one of the main forms of argument “97% of climate scientists say man-made warming is real” is not just meaningless, but misleading. It’s PR, not science….

…I posted a graphic [like the one above — 97% vs. what it really is ~ 52%] that includes the full range that activists involved in getting $$$$ like to say, “CONSENSUS” (like your [~ Michael B.] original 2,259 vs. 1). I will end up responding specifically to your OP, but my original graphic is similar, in that, many said 97% of specialist agree global warming is happening. The study did not really say that, it inferred it by keeping information hidden.

“Wow, the list is pretty impressive …It’s Oreskes done right.”

Luboš Motl, Ph.D. Theoretical Physics

“I really appreciate your important effort in compiling the list.”

Willie Soon, Ph.D. Astrophysicist and Geoscientist

“A tour de force list of scientific papers…”

Robert M. Carter, Ph.D. Palaeontology

“…it’s a very useful resource. Thanks to the pop tech team.”

Joanne Nova, Author of The Skeptics Handbook

“I do confess a degree of fascination with Poptech’s list…”

John Cook, Skeptical Science

† The list has been cited by Scientists (1, 2) and Professors (3)

My skeptical opponents continued with the mantra:

Jason H. said this:

…Overwhelming consensus is overwhelming. Fail harder…

…If this is not scientific consensus, what in the world would a consensus look like?…

Michael B. said this (by the way, he posted the original article):

…The topic of this debate is whether there is scientific consensus….

So, because I was at a loss, I tweeted a couple of people I know via being a fan, and I got a response via Hockey Schtick, Who shot me over to Popular

so you know ~ as I am writing this ~ the new rebuttal went up! Here is the new rebuttal to the actual Facebook link and subsequent debate:

(Mouse over to see original)

James Powell continues to demonstrate his computer illiteracy by doing worthless database searches in an intellectually dishonest propaganda campaign. He updated his previous meaningless analysis in continued blissful ignorance that the ‘Web of Science’ database does not have a “peer-reviewed” only filter and the existence of a search phrase in a returned result does not determine it’s context. Thus, all that can be claimed is there were 2,258 meaningless search results not “peer-reviewed climate articles” for a query of the ‘Web of Science’ database – with 1 chosen by strawman argument.

1. The context of how the “search phrases” were used in all the results was never determined.

2. The results are padded by not using the search qualifier “anthropogenic”.

3. The 2,258 results cannot be claimed to be peer-reviewed as the Web of Science does not have a peer-reviewed only filter.

4. It is a strawman argument that most skeptics deny or reject that man can have an influence on the climate, but rather if there is any cause for alarm.

1. Context Matters

The existence of a search phrase in a returned result does not determine its context. So making any arguments for or against an implied position relating to the use of a phrase by simply looking at numerical result totals is impossible. Powell never determined the context of how the search phrases were used in all the results.

2. Padding the Results

Powell padded his search results total by using the phrases; “global warming” and/or “global climate change” instead of “anthropogenic global warming” [man-made global warming] or “anthropogenic global climate change” [man-made global climate change], which would have significantly reduced the number of returned results. Without the qualifier “anthropogenic”, results are included where no claim of explicit endorsement or rejection of ACC/AGW can be made.

Others alarmists have been challenged to search for the phrase, “anthropogenic climate change” using Oreskes (2004) methods and they only got 108 returned results.

“I did the search [in Web of Science] for “anthropogenic climate change” the other day and got something like 108 papers.” – Barry Bickmore, Professor at Brigham Young University

These low number of results are not useful to sell the type of propaganda alarmists like Powell are looking for.

3. Peer-Reviewed?

In his methods, Powell filtered his results by the ‘articles’ document type which includes content that may not be peer-reviewed depending on the specific journal,

Document Type Descriptions (Web of Science)

“Article: Reports of research on original works. Includes research papers, features, brief communications, case reports, technical notes, chronology, and full papers that were presented at a symposium or conference.

Categories like these have been the subject of debate and confusion in relation to their peer-review status:

“…three categories of articles have been published: review articles up to 10 000 words, original articles of 2500–5000 words and brief communications of 1000–2000 words. Only the first two categories were subject to peer review and brief communications were being published without this quality check.” – Health Information and Libraries Journal

“Because of trends in submissions, Nature’s Brief Communications will bow out at the end of the year. […] False rumours that the section was not peer reviewed have occasionally circulated.” – Nature

4. Strawman argument

Actual skeptic arguments include that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is exaggerated or inconsequential, such as those made by Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT and John R. Christy, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science at UHA. Skeptics unanimously reject that there is any cause for alarm.

End Result!?

(2013) In a true sense of irony Powell uses his meaningless analysis as a defense of Oreskes (2004) which is considered useless by world renowned climate experts,

“Analyses like these by people who don’t know the field are useless. A good example is Naomi Oreskes work.” – Tom Wigley, Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

He then attempts to smear skeptics as “global warming deniers”. This is a dishonest ad hominem as skeptics believe there has been a global temperature increase of a fraction of a degree since the end of the little ice age.

Powell’s pie chart is simply propaganda for those who are intellectual dishonest and want to be intentionally misleading about actual skeptic arguments or the over 1100 peer-reviewed papers that support them ….


(2014) He intentionally ignores actual skeptic arguments, which includes the 993-page NIPCC report, Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science – supported entirely by the peer-reviewed literature and 1000+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarm.

Instead he hopes his propaganda will be picked up by the media and used by those who are intellectual dishonest and want to be intentionally misleading..

(Popular Technology)

…read more…

I wanted to end with this video. Why?

Because Sen. Inhofe quotes Obama as saying this, noted at Junk Science:

“But the flipside is we also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or 10 years ago, and that the future…in part, is going to depend on our willingness to deal with something that we may not be able to see or smell the way you could when the Chicago River was on fire, or at least could have caught on fire, but is in some ways more serious, more fundamental,” Obama said.

Because of that seriousness, Obama said he’s willing to hear out “a different approach” to dealing with the issue. What he won’t consider though, he said, are ideas from climate change deniers.

Warming has stopped longer than that! About 17-years. So, Sen. Inhofe asked the EPA for any stats to back up this claim… the predictable outcome is seen below:

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