97% Fabricated


“How often do we hear,” Baudet says, “that 97% of scientists agree that humans are the cause of climate change; that this climate change is severe, posing a major threat to the planet; and that we need a drastic reduction in our carbon dioxide emissions.”

“All of this, and I do mean all of it, is false. It’s a blatant lie that 97% of scientists agree with it. In reality, only 1.6% agree with [those] statements,” he goes on, after which he explains that there are major disagreements on this among climatologists, geologists, chemists, physicians, and so on.

“This myth” about the 97% was famously propagated by former U.S. President Barack Obama. “On May 16, 2013, he posted, and I quote,” Baudet explains, “’97 percent of scientists agree, climate change is real, manmade and dangerous.’ With this tweet, Obama referred to a paper published the same year by a man named John Cook.”

And that’s where it goes wrong. Because Cook is a “controversial” climate activist who even runs a ridiculous alarmist website called scepticalscience.com. “In this paper, he aims to demonstrate an overwhelming scientific consensus with the obvious intention of strengthening the environmentalist cause. To do so he analyzed 12,000 articles published in learned journals containing the words ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change.’ He then subdivided these articles into seven different categories.”


UPDATED issue with NASA’s posting on this, and it sums up some of the other info I have below (PJ-MEDIA):

According to the CEI complaint, NASA’s decision to repeat the false claim violated the Information Quality Act (IQA). Specifically, NASA claimed that “[n]inety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.” The claim appears on the NASA website on the page “Climate Change: How Do We Know?”

The claim traces back to a study led by John Cook entitled “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature” and published in the journal Environmental Research Letters in 2013.

The study is fundamentally dishonest, as the CEI complaint explains. The study analyzed all published peer-reviewed academic research papers from 1991 to 2011 that use the terms “global warming” or “global climate change.” The study placed the papers into seven categories: explicit endorsement with quantification, saying humans are responsible for 50+ percent of climate change; explicit endorsement without quantification; implicit endorsement; no position or uncertain; implicit rejection; explicit rejection with qualification; and explicit rejection without qualification.

The study found: 64 papers had explicitly endorsed anthropogenic global warming (AGW) with quantification (attributing at least half of climate change to humans); 922 papers had explicitly endorsed AGW without quantifying how much humans contribute; 2,910 papers had implicitly endorsed AGW; 7,930 papers did not state a position and 40 papers were uncertain; 54 papers implicitly rejected AGW by affirming the possibility that natural causes explain climate change; 15 papers explicitly rejected AGW without qualification; and 9 papers explicitly rejected AGW with quantification, saying human contributions to global warming are negligible.

So how did Cook and his team come up with the 97 percent number? They added up the first three categories (3,896 papers), compared them to the last three categories (78 papers) and the papers expressing uncertainty (40 papers), and completely ignored the nearly 8,000 papers that did not state a position.

Of the papers Cook’s team characterized as stating a position, 97 percent (3,896 of the 4,014 papers) favored the idea of man-made global warming.

See the problem? The study completely discounted the majority of the papers it analyzed (66.4 percent — 7,930 of the 11,944 papers analyzed). With those papers included, only 32.6 percent of the papers explicitly or implicitly endorsed AGW (3,896 of 11,944 papers).

But it gets worse. Many of the scientists who wrote the original papers Cooks’ team analyzed complained that this study mischaracterized their research.

The survey “included 10 of my 122 eligible papers. 5/10 were rated incorrectly. 4/5 were rated as endorse rather than neutral,” complained Dr. Richard Tol, professor of the economics of climate change at Vrije Universiteit.

He argued that of the 112 omitted papers, only 1 strongly endorses man-made global warming.

“That is not an accurate representation of my paper,” wrote geography Ph.D. Craig Idso. “Nope … it is not an accurate representation,” Nir Shaviv, associate professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, wrote.

Ph.D. physicist Nicola Scafetta complained that “Cook et al. (2013) is based on a strawman argument because it does not correctly define the IPCC AAGW theory, which is NOT that human emissions have contributed 50%+ of the global warming since 1900 but that almost 90-100% of the observed global warming was induced by human emission.”

Cook’s team categorized his paper as one that “explicitly endorses and quantifies AGW as 50+%.” Scafetta countered, “What my papers say is that the IPCC view is erroneous because about 40-70% of the global warming observed from 1900 to 2000 was induced by the sun.”

Even including Scafetta’s incorrectly categorized study, Cook’s team only found 64 papers that explicitly endorsed man-made global warming and attributed more than 50 percent of it to human activity. That represents a minuscule 0.5 percent of the 11,944 papers. Even excluding the 66.4 percent of the papers that did not take a position, the 50 percent plus approach only accounts for 1.6 percent of all papers in the Cook study…..

Here is the previous post… UPDATED last on November, 2018:

Older Post >>>>

It is becoming clear that not only do many scientists dispute the asserted global warming crisis, but these skeptical scientists may indeed form a scientific consensus.

Don’t look now, but maybe a scientific consensus exists concerning global warming after all. Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.

The survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists (summarized here and here) revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.

According to the newly published survey of geoscientists and engineers, merely 36 percent of respondents fit the “Comply with Kyoto” model. The scientists in this group “express the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”


Even a skeptic of Marc Morano’s recent article admits he is right about the 97% claim:

  • CLAIM: “Basically, [Marc Morano’s] critique is that the study sample size was too small to make a conclusive determination about the level of expert consensus. That’s a valid point…”
  • RESPONSE: So Nuccitelli admits my point about “77 anonymous” scientists making up the alleged 97 percent consensus is “a valid point.”


In a recent conversation, a specific study was mentioned as a challenge to me:

Continuing, he noted:

1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

3146 completed the survey (response rate 30.7%). Those who were active publishers in climatologists (n=79) reported the now famous 97%. But 90% of the total active publishers in the field, along with 88% of the general climatologists = consensus.

I merely pointed out the major flaw in the study via WUWT, noting the full questions from the study… and actions taken for question #2 dependent on how #1 is answered:

Q1. When compared with pre-1800’s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

1. Risen
2. Fallen
3. Remained relatively constant
4. No opinion/Don’t know

Q2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures? [This question wasn’t asked if they answered “remained relatively constant” to Q1]

1. Yes
2. No
3. I’m not sure

Now we see why only 77 of those specialist dealing with climate responded. WUWT continues…

That’s obviously why only 77 answers were reported to the second question. Two of their 79 top climate specialists had answered “remained relatively constant” to the first question, and those two were not asked the second question, and were not included in the calculation of the supposed 97.4% agreement.

[In other words… when Doran and Zimmerman state:]

  • [of] “the most specialized and knowledgeable respondents (with regard to climate change)… 97.4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question .”

I merely mention then that is a false statement. For more on this and other studies, see, THE FRIEND’S OF SCIENCE PDF. Keep in mind NASA still uses this study that would be laughed out of a 101 level statistical class as part of their 97% defense.

In a discussion with a person online about “consensus,” he list some retorts proving his point. I do not have time to refute everything he posts.  So I will only deal with his first link:

This example of a good study is the biggest joke ever. A total of 77 climatologists replied. Seventy-five agreed. Here is the graphic representing this survey:

  • So where did that famous “consensus” claim that “98% of all scientists believe in global warming” come from? It originated from an endlessly reported 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey consisting of an intentionally brief two-minute, two question online survey sent to 10,257 earth scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois. Of the about 3.000 who responded, 82% answered “yes” to the second question, which like the first, most people I know would also have agreed with.
  • Then of those, only a small subset, just 77 who had been successful in getting more than half of their papers recently accepted by peer-reviewed climate science journals, were considered in their survey statistic. That “98% all scientists” referred to a laughably puny number of 75 of those 77 who answered “yes”.
    That anything-but-scientific survey asked two questions. The first: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”  Few would be expected to dispute this…the planet began thawing out of the “Little Ice Age” in the middle 19th century, predating the Industrial Revolution. (That was the coldest period since the last real Ice Age ended roughly 10,000 years ago.)
  • The second question asked: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” So what constitutes “significant”? Does “changing” include both cooling and warming… and for both “better” and “worse”? And which contributions…does this include land use changes, such as agriculture and deforestation?


By the way, from that FORBES article I really liked this part:

Consider the National Academy of Sciences for example. In 2007, Congress appropriated $5,856,000 for NAS to complete a climate change study. The organization subsequently sold its conclusions in three separate report sections at $44 per download.


What scientific understanding breakthrough did that big taxpayer-financed budget buy? Namely that the Earth’s temperature has risen over the past 100 years, and that human activities have resulted in a steady atmospheric CO2 increase. This is hardly new information, and few scientists are likely to challenge either of these assertions, which essentially prove no link between the two observations. All professional scientists recognize that correlation does not establish causation.

Two things. LOT’S of money is involved in “proving” global warming. Which is unlike the skeptics monetary situation. Also, take note that the jump in logic is connecting Man’s CO2 to rising temperatures. By doing so, politicians get the power to get more power (legislate over peoples actions as well as businesses), and it allows these same politicians to tax people to fund their coffers, and then to pay for more studies. And round-and-round we go. Dr. Richard Lindzen observes that these people are really saying that “…regardless of evidence the answer is predetermined. If government wants carbon control, that is the answer that the Academies will provide.”

Here is a great quick refutation of multiple studies (with the link to a more in-depth PDF). Enjoy:

Friends of Science announce the release of a new report entitled “97% Consensus? No! Global Warming Math Myths and Social Proofs.” Contrary to claims of these most-cited 97% consensus surveys, there is only 1-3% explicitly stated agreement with the IPCC declarations on global warming, and no agreement with a catastrophic view.

“These ‘consensus’ surveys appear to be used as a ‘social proof,’” says Ken Gregory, research director of Friends of Science. “Just because a science paper includes the words ‘global climate change’ this does not define the cause, impact or possible mitigation. The 97% claim is contrived in all cases.”

The Oreskes (2004) study claimed 75% consensus and a “remarkable lack of disagreement” by the other 25% of the abstracts she reviewed. Peiser (2005) re-ran her survey and found major discrepancies. Only 1.2% or 13 scientists out of 1,117 agreed with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) view that human activity is the main cause of global warming since 1950.

Peiser found that 34 scientists rejected or doubted the alleged ‘consensus’ position outright and 44 claimed natural factors as more influential. At least 470 papers expressed no position on Anthropogenic (human-caused) Global Warming (AGW) whatsoever.

Doran & Zimmerman (2009) only assessed 79 scientists out of 3,146 respondents. Many scientists sent them emails protesting the survey design.

The recent Cook et al (2013) began with the broadest possible ‘consensus’ definition – rendering the idea of ‘consensus’ meaningless. Only 0.54% (or 64 scientists) explicitly agreed. Though Cook’s graphics on The Consensus Project website focus on fossil fuels, his study used the 1996 Houghton declaration which includes other human factors like agriculture and land-use change.

Some 7983 scientists or 67% of the ~12,000 papers in the Cook study had no position on climate change. Many scientists publicly denounced Cook for wrongly assessing their work as supporting AGW when it does not.

“The claim of a 97% consensus is mathematical manipulation,” says Gregory. “Unfortunately even the President is swayed by this kind of social proof.”