What else did the ’97% of scientists’ say?

Guest Post by Barry Woods

I wonder just how many politicians, environmentalists or scientists who use the phrase ’97% of scientists’ (or those who more carefully use ‘active climate scientists’) to give weight to their arguments regarding climate change to the public, have any idea of the actual source of this soundbite.  

Perhaps a few may say the ‘Doran Survey’, which is the one of the most common references for this ’97% of active climate scientists’ phrase. In fact, the Doran EoS paper merely cites a MSc thesis for the actual source of this 97% figure and the actual survey.

“This was a very simplistic and biased questionnaire.”

(‘Doran Survey’ participant)

In a world where politicians (UK) went to war in Iraq based on a ‘sexed’ up dodgy dossier plagiarised from a 12 year old PhD thesis. I wonder how confident they would be lecturing the public about the need for radical decarbonising economic climate polices, if they were aware that the ’97% of active climate scientists’ quote/soundbite actually comes from a students MSc thesis, that the Doran EoS paper cites?

Here are but just a few of many responses from scientists that actually took part in the survey, taken from the appendi of the MSc thesis:

“..scientific issues cannot be decided by a vote of scientists. A consensus is not, at any given time, a good predictor of where the truth actually resides..”

“..The “hockey stick” graph that the IPCC so touted has, it is my understanding, been debunked as junk science..”

“..I’m not sure what you are trying to prove, but you will undoubtably be able to prove your pre-existing opinion with this survey! I’m sorry I even started it!..” (Doran/Zimmerman feedback)

I wonder just how many politicians or environmentalists (or scientists) that have used the phrase ’97% of climate scientists, have actually read the original source of the cited survey.

“Climate is a very complex system with many variables including sun radiation cycles, ocean temperature, and possibly other factors that we are not even aware of.

There are studies and data out there that are being overlooked by the IPCC. Ultimately, maybe we are the biggest cause or maybe we are not, but the current push of saying that human activity is the cause is interfering with an unbiased and scientific evaluation.” (Doran/Zimmerman feedback)

The Doran paper  has been criticised by many sceptics in the past, where a survey of 10,256 with 3146 respondents was whittled down to 75 out of 77 “expert” ‘active climate researchers’ (ACR) to give the 97% figure, based on just two very simplistic (shallow) questions that even the majority of sceptics might agree with. Lawrence Soloman made one of many critiques of the Doran Paper here and offers a very good summary, some other reviews here, here and here

A closer look at ‘The Consensus on the Consensus’

Yet, I’m not aware of anyone having a detailed look at the actual reference for the ’97%’ quotation cited in the Doran EoS paper -  (link and press release), this was a students MSc thesis entitled “The Consensus on the Consensus” – M Zimmermann  (download here for £1.25 / ~$2), who was Peter Doran’s graduate student (and the EoS paper’s co-author)

“..and I do not think that a consensus has anything to do with whether a hypothesis is correct. Check out the history of science…you will find that scientific discovery is generally made by ignoring the ‘consensus..’” (Doran/Zimmerman feedback)

As this MSc thesis was the original source of the oft cited Doran paper  97%  quote, I tracked it down (sometime ago now) and discovered in the appendi that there was a great deal of  email feedback and answers to write in questions from the scientists that actually participated in the survey, much of it critical and sceptical of the survey itself, the methodology and the questions asked. Additionally, amongst those environmental scientists that responded, were some very sceptical sounding scientists with respect to man made climate change being the dominant driver of climate change.

“..Science is based on scepticism and experimental proof. Whereas human GHG emissions certainly have a warming effect, the breakdown between natural and anthropogenic contributions to warming is poorly constrained.

Remember that the warming since 1650 AD (not 1900) is part of a real ‘millennial cycle’ whose amplitude cannot yet be explained by any quantitative theory.

Also, the computer climate models are both too complex to be readily understood and too simple to describe reality.

Believing their results is an act of faith…”

(Doran/Zimmerman survey participant – App F)

There are also a number of additional problems I think, with the methodology that comes to light, that the previous critiques of the Doran paper are not aware of and some other interesting facts.

97% of the world’s scientists?

One fact that is not obvious (ie missing) from the Doran EoS paper and that surprised me, is that over 96% of the scientist that responded were from North America (90% USA, 6.2% Canada), with 9% from California alone.

90% (2833) of respondents were from the United States, while the remaining 10% (313) came from 22 other countries (Figure 1). Respondents from Canada accounted for 62% of the international responses. (Zimmerman)

What is the opinion of the worlds scientists?

Are the public aware when they are lectured that ’97% of scientists’ agree based on the Doran paper, by their media, lobbyists, activist scientists and their politicians justifying climate action, that the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Australia, New Zealand respondents made up less than 3% of the survey in total. China had 3 scientists respond (three not 3%), Russian and India zero.

Perhaps if I was a western politician trying to persuade the public West to decarbonise and to extend or go beyond the Kyoto agreement I might think carefully about telling the public about the 97% of ALL scientists agree, when pushing for radical climate policies? As those countries outside of Kyoto agreement (China, India, Russia, etc) made it very clear at Copenhagen that  reduction in their own emissions is just not going to happen and at the recent Rio 20 plus conference I’m not even really aware that ‘climate change’ was mentioned that much at all.

What might I ask are those countries scientists telling their leaders about ‘climate change’ that may appear to many of them as a peculary western obsession (not many environmental lobby groups in China in the last 30 years). Perhaps those countries scientists are just not that concerned about a catastrophic interpretation of climate change,

I’ll just provide a ‘small’ anecdote to back up that hypothesis, just for fun, from China’s lead climate negotiator at Copenhagen (and Durban) no less.

Telegraph

“..China’s most senior climate change official surprised a summit in India when he questioned whether global warming is caused by carbon gas emissions and said Beijing is keeping an “open mind”

Xie Zhenhua was speaking at a summit between the developing world’s most powerful countries, India, Brazil, South Africa and China, which is now the largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the gas believed to be responsible for climate change.

But Mr Xie, China’s vice-chairman of national development and reforms commission, later said although mainstream scientific opinion blames emissions from industrial development for climate change, China is not convinced.

“There are disputes in the scientific community. We have to have an open attitude to the scientific research. There’s an alternative view that climate change is caused by cyclical trends in nature itself. We have to keep an open attitude,” he said…” (Telegraph)

Guardian

“..China’s most senior negotiator on climate change says more research needed to establish whether warming is man-made

China’s most senior negotiator on climate change said today he was keeping an open mind on whether global warming was man-made or the result of natural cycles.  Xie Zhenhua said there was no doubt that warming was taking place, but more and better scientific research was needed to establish the causes.

Xie’s comments caused consternation at the end of the post-meeting press conference, with his host, the Indian environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, attempting to play down any suggestions of dissent over the science of climate change…”(Guardian)

This only made the few column inches on the inside pages of the Guardian and the Telegraph, (by their Indian correspondents) perhaps an inadvertent unguarded comment by a senior diplomat let slip at a non-western conference expressing China’s real thinking perhaps?

Perhaps, unsurprisingly none of these newspapers UK environment journalists picked up on this ‘revelation’ on Chinese thinking, I wonder why, after all Xie was only China’s  lead negotiator (he was also at Durban). For further thoughts on this topic, Jo Nova has a very interesting article on Chinese, Russian and Indian thinking on climate change. (here)

But perhaps we should get back on to the topic of ‘The Consensus of the Consensus’

The ‘expertise’ of the 97%

On occasion when challenged about the 97% figure depending on 75 scientists from a survey of 10,000, it is usually met with a response that these were the experts in the field  of climate science and this is what maters not the number that took part. A closer look at the methodology perhaps raises some concerns about the ‘expertise’ and selection bias as this as his result depends on 2 additional questions in the survey that were used to identify expertise in climate research (not an unreasonable goal) within the respondents

Q5 Which percentage of your papers published in peer reviewed journals in the last 5 years have been on the subject of climate change?   

A:  1) less than 50% 2) 50% or more 3) not applicable

Q9 Which category best describes your area of expertise?

1) Hydrology/Hydrogeology  2) Geochemistry 3) Geophysics

4) Paleontology 5) Economic Geology (coal/metals/oil and gas)

 6) Soil Science 7) Oceanography/MarineGeology

8) Environmental Geology 9) Geology/Planetary Science

10) Climate Science 11) Geomorphology  12)General Geology

 13) Structure/Tectonics* 14) Petrology*

15) Sedimentology/Stratigraphy 16 Atmospheric Science*

17) Quaternary Geology*  18) Meterology*

19) Geography/Archeaology/GI 20 Engineering (Envr/Geo/Chem)*

21 Ecology/Biogeochemistry* 22) Glacial Geology*

23) Mineralogy*  24) Volcanology*  25) Other (*write in description)

(Zimmerman)

The survey used the answer to Q5 narrow down the expertise of the respondents, not unreasonably perhaps, and defined these as ‘active climate researchers’ (ACR), there was also criticism of the framing of this question in the feedback. This subset of respondents were then contacted to check the these claims and once verified, there were 244 respondents that met this criteria.   This categorisation gave positive responses to Q1 – 95% and Q2 - 92%

The survey used the answer to Q9 to define those as identifying as in the category of climate science as having more expertise than the other listed categories. Question 9 resulted in 144 respondents self identifying in the category of climate science. This categorisation gave positive responses to Q1 – 95% and Q2 – 88.6%

Finally  a category of experts was defined as those that responded as publishing more than 50% of papers AND self identifying in the survey as climate scientists, resulting in a group of 77

This categorisation gave positive responses to Q1 – 96.2% and Q2 – 97.4%

So is Zimmermann defining expertise or introducing a selection bias here ? It has not gone unnoticed that perhaps those scientists that self identify as climate scientists, are perhaps those that are more activist minded for a consensus.

It is quite possible for example, in this survey for scientist or even colleagues with identical qualifications, to self identify differently. Thus in this survey respondents could even be co-authors of a paper, but this survey would categorise one as more expert than the other.  Who knows if this happened or not, the fact that it is possible demonstrates the flaws in the thinking.

Additionally those that are in the 97% group are deemed to be more expert in climate science, keeping more abreast of the ‘whole’ field than the others.

“..The participants in this group are actively publishing climate scientists, and those most likely to be familiar with the theory and mechanisms of climate change, as well as have a thorough understanding of the current research and be actively contributing to the field..” (Zimmermann feedback)

This I think is a huge assumption, ‘climate science’ is a huge multidisciplinary field.

Is a geologist that identifies as a ‘climate scientist’ any more an expert on astrophysics, atmospheric physics, statistics, etc than those classified as have less expertise in the categories identified above.

Additionally the responses may merely capture (only the last 5 years publishing Q5) those junior more activist post docs, etc that self identify as climate scientist, where perhaps the older more published ‘expert’ colleagues describe themselves by the qualifications, not as climate scientists.  And of course, by the very nature of the survey, (which was commented on in the feedback) surveys of this type are potentially self selecting by the probability that those that are most concerned are more willing to take part.

Finding a consensus

In the introduction of the Zimmerman thesis, it describes criticisms of many other papers that have attempted in the past to establish what is the ‘consensus’ amongst scientists on climate change and the survey’s purpose was to address these criticisms.  However the introduction raised concerns for me that the author is not perhaps without there own biases (subconscious or otherwise). Perhaps judge this for yourself (here)

“..I did complete your survey. However, no matter how important, no matter how apparently obvious the combination of facts and theory, scientific issues cannot be decided by a vote of scientists. A consensus is not, at any given time, a good predictor of where the truth actually resides..” (Zimmerman feedback)

“..Science is not based on votes or consensus. Irrelevant question. Besides, which scientists do you regard as relevant?..” (Zimmerman feedback)

“..Science is based on scepticism and experimental proof. Whereas human GHG emissions certainly have a warming effect, the breakdown between natural and anthropogenic contributions to warming is poorly constrained..” (Zimmerman feedback)

Why does this matter, don’t other survey give similar results?

In the introduction, the Zimmerman thesis describes the earlier papers attempting to establish what the consensus is in the field of climate science and the thesis describes the criticisms made of these papers. And that the Zimmermann thesis survey is intended to meet some of these criticisms.

All too often in an article or presentation the phrase/soundbite ’97% of scientists say’ is used to justify or imply certain climate policies, or that there is a consensus amongst climate scientists that policy action must be taken, or agreement of dangerous climate change, or any other thing that need the weight of authority this statement gives to an argument.

The later ‘Anderegg survey’ is perhaps the next most often cited survey, often alongside the ‘Doran Survey’, as producing a 97% figure for a consensus of climate scientists. Anderegg has also receive criticism as it seemed to be little more than a black/white document count of papers giving a percentage of numbers on each side. This of course gives no consensus on any of the above issues either. But again is often used to give the weight of authority to an argument.

An example perhaps, of this ‘use’ was by Scott Denning recently at the Yale climate forum, with a very critical response from Paul Matthews (Reader of Mathematics, Nottingham University

Scott Denning: “Let’s be clear: there is in fact an overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change. No peer-reviewed science disputes the expectation that rising CO2 levels will cause major climate change in the coming decades.

Survey data have shown more than 97 percent agreement among professional climate scientists (Anderegg et al, 2010, PNAS), and every major professional society has issued supporting statements. (Yale – here)

I raised my own concerns about the nature of the Anderegg survey (here and here), but I think Professor Paul Matthews is more to the point and eloquent than I was.

Paul Matthews: “Scott Denning needs to be more careful if he and his fellow climate scientists are to be taken seriously by scientists from other fields such as myself. 

He loses credibility by referring to the ridiculous Anderegg et al study, in which the authors put scientists into two different pigeon-holes. 

Worse still, he misrepresents the claims of that paper (he implies the 97% believe CO2 will cause major climate change in the coming decades, while Anderegg et al say 97% agree that most of the warming of the 20th C was very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases – two very different statements). (Yale - here)

At the time, Joseph Romm at Think Progress gave his own interpretation of what the Anderegg survey showed us.

“..The issue is whether folks are actively spreading disinformation, especially disinformation that has been long debunked in the scientific literature.  As I’ve said for many years now, it is time for the media to stop listening to, quoting, and enabling those who spread anti-science and anti-scientist disinformation. (Think Progress)

It is interesting to compare the Think Progress response to the Anderegg survey to that of scientists. Dr Roger Pielke junior was very critical of the Anderegg survey (link) referring to it as a blacklist, this brought about I think a very appropriate response from Real Climate’s Dr Eric Steig (quite a contrast to Climate Progress – Joe Romm)

“Wow. Roger, you know I disagree with you on many things, but not on this. What the heck where they thinking? Even if the analysis had some validity — and from a first glance, I’m definitely not convinced it does — it’s not helpful, to put it mildly. I’m totally appalled.” (Dr Eric Steig)

Keith Kloor also has a very good article with various responses to the PNAS Anderegg survey and the comments / discussion also make very interesting reading (Collide a Scape – The Climate Experts)

Concerns about ‘consensus surveys’

I am concerned that the conclusions made by Doran EoS paper and the Zimmerman MSc thesis seems to go beyond the results warranted by the survey and motivated by activism more than science.

“..the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.”

The challenge now, they write, is how to effectively communicate this to policy makers and to a public that continues to mistakenly perceive debate among scientists..” (Doran press release)

But, I would like to put aside any criticism of the methodology or conclusions the scientists behind the Doran, Anderegg or any other similar paper make and reserve my strongest criticism to others that misrepresent them, or go much further than the conclusions. My strongest criticism is not for those politicians, environmentalists, journalists or scientists, that use the soundbite of ’97% of scientists’ in complete ignorance of its source, or do not check the citation for themselves in Zimmermann.

No, I reserve my strongest criticism for those activist scientist that know full well the source of the ’97% of scientists’ soundbite and use it anyway, usually very carefully worded along the lines of 97% actively researching in their field, and then use it to imply that there is some consensus of future dangerous or catastrophic risk, or that certain policies that must be taken, because of this consensus.

In my mind this is misusing the authority and goodwill most of the public still hold for scientists, when attempts are made to justify claims of policy action with a soundbite, or to try to silence any dissenting voice as a denier or holding extreme questionable views (implying others not mainstream respectable scientists) It also raises the very real concern that other  activists response to sceptics will assume motives of malign intent (greedy fossil fuel deniars, with the same morals of holocaust deniers, for example) if they seeing leading scientist making these strong claims.

As in the activists worldview, surely only those with questionable malign and/or greedy motives would disagree with  ’97 of scientist agree’ that future climate change is a catastrophic danger.

An example being this extreme reaction by Steve Zwick at Forbes.

“..We know who the active denialists are – not the people who buy the lies, mind you, but the people who create the lies.  Let’s start keeping track of them now, and when the famines come, let’s make them pay.  Let’s let their houses burn until the innocent are rescued*.  Let’s swap their safe land for submerged islands.  Let’s force them to bear the cost of rising food prices…” (Steve Zwick – Forbes)

And he cites the authority of a consensus of scientists which support in his mind, this statement of certainty about future climate.

“..If the shirkers and deniers actually believe their propaganda, they’ll go along with this – because they only have to pay if they’re wrong and 98% of all climate scientists are right. (And what are the odds of that happening – nudge nudge, wink wink?)..” (Steve Zwick – Forbes)

Another example being when a number of climate scientists (community leaders) responded in a letter to the Wall Street Journal, to the 16 scientist that signed an opinion piece entitled – No Need To Panic About Global Warming - in the Wall Street journal.

The climate scientists response (extract)

“..Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.

It would be an act of recklessness for any political leader to disregard the weight of evidence and ignore the enormous risks that climate change clearly poses.” (Trenberth et al – WSJ)

The authors of the original Wall Street Journal opinion piece duly responded making the same complaint about the misuse of the ’97% of scientists’ phrase as mine:

“.. The Trenberth letter states: “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.” However, the claim of 97% support is deceptive. The surveys contained trivial polling questions that even we would agree with. Thus, these surveys find that large majorities agree that temperatures have increased since 1800 and that human activities have some impact.

But what is being disputed is the size and nature of the human contribution to global warming. To claim, as the Trenberth letter apparently does, that disputing this constitutes “extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert” is peculiar indeed.” (Wall Steet Journal)

I did show a copy of ‘The Consensus on the Consensus’ to a well known writer on the environment,(over a very nice lunch at Brasenose College, Oxford University) who was very interested and whose first response was why are they all so sceptical! And to his credit admitted he was not aware of it, and had not  looked at the primary source and he even suggested to me:

‘If I were a sceptical journalist I would make hay with it!”

To be very fair to him, Zimmerman only came online in September 2011, I’m sure I went looking for it before that and could not find it anywhere. Additionally when faced with a paper with multiple citation who of us, actually goes and reads all those citations to see if the conclusions are correctly used in the paper?

All this said and done, I’m a sceptical blogger, writing for a major sceptical blog, please don’t take my word for anything, download it yourself and form your own views. (here) there are at least 80 pages of responses, my selections are but a fraction of the whole.

Some further examples  of feedback to the survey below:

Problems with questions 1 and 2 and the word ‘significant’

“Questions 1 asks if I think temperatures are warmer than the 1800s, but doesn’t indicate if I’m supposed to compare to today, the last 10 years, the last 50 years, or… Without telling me what I’m comparing to, I cannot answer the question.

Q2 then asks if I think that humans are “a significant” contributor to warming temperatures, but I can only answer yes or no. I happen to think that we are one among many contributing factors, so I answered yes, but I couldn’t explain this. The third question then asks me why I think humans are a major contributor, but is phrased in such a way that it’s implicit that I’m now listing them as THE significant factor. They are not the primary cause, but I had to stop the survey at this point because it was forcing me to answer queries about why I think they are.

As constructed, your responders will be unable to indicate that there are multiple causes to climate change, that climate change is the norm on Earth and has been going on throughout geologic time, and that there is strong evidence to indicate that climate change not only occurred before humans existed, but also was probably more extreme than the event we are living in today.”

And:

Your use of the word ‘significant‘. It seems clear that human activity has caused an increase in CO2 levels. That, in theory, might have caused an increase in global temperature. However, did it? If so, was it the only cause? If it was a cause, was it a significant cause?

And:

Not Fair: You changed the question from ‘significant’ to ‘contributing’ Significant= 25%. Contributing=75%

“What defines significant? If 1-2 degrees F is considered significant then I would agree that human input is significant

“what do you mean by significant? Statistically? A player in the total rise? sure we are! How much? I am not sure.

What is meant by significant? A major contribution, yes, but what is human activity compared with increased solar activity. So far, it is lost in the statistical models. While it certainly seems likely that human activity is at least partly responsible, I am not aware of data conclusively proving this. It has been documented that natural earth temperature cycles occur with, or without, human-based effects.

I entered an answer I did not intend. I think human activity is a significant component, but I do not know if it is 10%, 25%, 50% or more. (3c)

 “I appologize, but as an objective scientist I do not communicate “opinions” or “attitudes”. These do not belong on the scientific agenda and certainly not in the classroom. Thus I decline to contribute to your survey.” (Zimmerman feedback)

Appendix G – Emails received (lots of interesting responses)

I found the very first email response to be quite amusing (ref ‘team’)

“I am on the team. Your survey is most appropriate and I am honoured to have been asked to participate.” (Zimmermann -App G)

The third response provides a counter:

“I’d be happy to participate. This is a great idea. We were talking about this just yesterday and I’m guessing you’ll find less consensus that the media tend to suggest.”(Zimmerman – App G)

Appendix F – Write in questions for 3c (reasons sceptical)

 “I am not absolutely convinced, however, that carbon dioxide is the culprit. I think that remains to be proved. Carbon dioxide is complicated, and I believe that there could be other both human induced and natural causes for global warming.”

And:

“After thinking a while about the questions, I wish that I had not participated in the survey because of the way that the questions could be misconstrued.”

And:

“I study glaciers. Earth has had hundreds of continental scale glacier events during its history. Glaciers will continue to experience cycles where they expand and then contract, and then expand again, as they have done many times before, prior to humans evolving. They will also continue to do so long after our species is extinct.”

I’m glad I’m not a young scientist in the USA:

“I believe this global warming scare is a hoax designed to raise taxes and fill the pockets of the likes of Gore and those who do research in the topic, etc. I am not the only one who feels this way. One of our professors, XX, paleontologist, Antarctic specialist, agrees with me. He said he is treated like a pariah here at XX.”

I will finish on the following piece of feedback, as it  highlights and sums up a concern of mine, that all scientists might want to consider with respect to the public trust in science.

“As I indicated in my survey responses, every scientist I work with is convinced that human activity is a factor influencing global warming, but it is also well known that the causes extend beyond human activity to include astronomical cycles which we had no part in creating and which we are powerless to stop. I have not found anyone who could tell me what percentage of the warming we’ve seen so far is attributable to natural vs. human causes, however.

I feel that the scientific community has not been totally forthcoming in public statements about acknowledging the dual causes of global warming, and that someday people will realize that no matter what we do, we will never stop global warming entirely because a good fraction of the causes are natural and not anthropogenic.

I’m afraid that at that point people will feel misled by scientists and politicians who have implied, essentially, that “we caused it, by cleaning up our act we can stop it.”

I feel that this is a recipe for public disillusionment with the science community, and is a mistakeon our part. (Zimmerman feedback – App F)

It is my personal recommendation that if anyone should publically claim because ’97% of scientists agree’ and are attempting to use this phrase as a soundbite to close down any criticism, going beyond the conclusions of these surveys.

My recommendation is to ask them politely if they are aware of the source of this phrase. And then quote to them an example of the feedback by scientists that took part in the survey itself, any then perhaps it will be possible to have a debate about any issue or claim being made.

References/Links:

MSc Thesis – The Consensus on the Consensus – M Zimmerman (download Cost £1.25)

Eos Abstract – EoS Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change Citation: Doran, P. T. and M. K. Zimmerman  (2009), Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,  Eos Trans. AGU,  90(3), 22, doi:10.1029/2009EO030002.

EoS Paper -  Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change -Doran/Kendall Zimmerman

UIC Press Release – Survey: Scientists Agree Human-Induced Global Warming is Real

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120 thoughts on “What else did the ’97% of scientists’ say?

  1. Barry Woods

    Terrific post, thanks!! I already knew that the 2 questions were ridiculous (as a “lukewarmist” I have not too much trouble giving a very meek tenative “yes” to both, although I do have many doubts about the quality of the evidence). But it has been continually misrepresented what two “yes” answers means (they imply nothing whatsoever about “catastrophic” dangers or about policy choices), even if one allowed the questions as reasonable.

    With your evidence that the “97%” itself is a worthless claim, nothing is left except for honest reasonable people to avoiding citing either the number or the survey AT ALL.

    It is worse than worthless, it is active gross deception. Pure propaganda of a vile kind.

  2. Thank You for the additional information.

    The true story for that survey is in the comments not the “sound bite”

  3. Absolutely brilliant! You have done for the consensus what Anthony has done for the temperature record and McIntyre has done with Mann’s hockey stick -revealed the truth.

  4. Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
    IF this is the real story behind the “97% consensus”, the article only says it is the probable source, it is a gem of a post.
    Warmists, please read it and include it in your growing list of ‘reasons’ for at least doubting whether our enthusiastic support for ‘saving the planet from CO2-driven deterioration’.

  5. As controlling leftists believe: “Words are meant to shape reality – not report reality.”

  6. Well Done!!! And that is the final roasting temperature that should be reserved for those dimmer of wit who continue using the “97%” terminology!!!

  7. To be very fair to him, Zimmerman only came online in September 2011….

    I’m easily confused, don’t wanna commit faux pas. Full name is Maggie Kendall Zimmerman. Enlighten me…?

  8. Juan Slayton

    Yes it is Margaret or “Maggie” Zimmerman but that is not the reference of the “him” pronoun.
    The “him” refers to the unnamed writer discussed just above, not to Zimmerman. The context of the passage is discussing the relatively explosive nature of this information and why the writer had not seen the Zimmerman thesis: [my emphasis]

    “I did show a copy of ‘The Consensus on the Consensus’ to a well known writer on the environment,(over a very nice lunch at Brasenose College, Oxford University) who was very interested and whose first response was why are they all so sceptical! And to his credit admitted he was not aware of it, and had not looked at the primary source and he even suggested to me:

    ‘If I were a sceptical journalist I would make hay with it!”

    To be very fair to him, Zimmerman only came online in September 2011, I’m sure I went looking for it before that and could not find it anywhere….”

  9. Excellent work Barry. I didn’t realise that Zimmerman was Doran’s student and that she did all the spadework. It should be pointed out to defenders of the peer-review system that it has more in common with a mediaeval craft apprenticeship than a disinterested search for truth.

  10. So much for the 97%! Very effective for citizen fans of good science like me.

    However getting the gist of this article out to the public requires a bit more literary work. The article says what needs to be said, but it is not exactly a work of public relations art (nor was it intended to be). Perhaps a credible someone can add a “knockout debunking punch” in the form of and introductory paragraph, plus a similar summary paragraph. The guys in the press (and the headline writers) need these ‘soundbite’ summations. It helps reporters (and the headline writers) to set an accurate ‘must read’ stage for stories about the article without editorializing.

  11. Did the survey really only ask for percentage of papers during the previous five years, without regard for overall research productivity? If so, then someone with only one publication during previous five years, say a newly minted PhD, could in principle qualify as a climate “expert” (with 100% of publications on climate), whereas a prolific researcher with numerous climate publications might not qualify as an “expert” if he/she publishes additionally in another discipline. Surely, a conscientious survey designer would discriminate with another question…

  12. “..The participants in this group are actively publishing climate scientists, and those most likely to be familiar with the theory and mechanisms of climate change, as well as have a thorough understanding of the current research and be actively contributing to the field..”

    I wonder how much the US Government and US organisations spent last year (grants/funding) on ‘climate change research’? How much went to sceptical climate scientists? No wonder there is a ‘consensus’ of ‘climate’ scientists.

    The elephant in the room are those who did not participate in the survey (7,111) as opposed to those who responded (3,146). I can only conclude that there is a consensus of AGU scientists who think that AGW is not a serious concern.

  13. WATCH OUT ANTHONY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Stoat the scrote – the UK’s very own Wiki truth mangler and spin merchant of doom has got his claws out over your article on the MWP.

    I suspect he will be apoplectic over this excellent article.

    Keep up the good work! – Watching the likes of Scrote struggling against an upsurge of rejection of his agenda and the colapse of his credibility is a delight to behold.

  14. Mr. (Dr?) Woods
    Thank you for this post.
    This is a keeper, to use on friends who are still believers in the “consensus.”
    Thanks you so much.

  15. A group of scientists who are in a consensus with you are in a group who is in a consensus with you (100% of them).

    Those who are not in a consensus with you, are in a group who are not in a consensus with you (100% of them).

    Accounting for absenteesim, tallying errors, and semantics, when you round it down, you get 97% in both cases.

  16. Excellent work, Barry.

    What amazes me is the almost total lack of incredulity by any ‘scientist’ when this survey is mentioned. I’m not sure that 97% of scientists can agree on anything! :)

  17. Yet another level of selection bias is idue to the difficulty of getting anything refuting AGW published. This has been a accute problem in the last five years, so preselecting “active climate scientists” on their recent publishing record is yet another way of excluding any dissenting experts from the survey results.

    This is an appauling pseudo study, and I congratulated your detailed exposure of this fraud.

    I’m sure that Doran and Zimmerman are very happy that they were able to “do their bit” to help save the planet.

    Perhaps someone now needs to poll the AGU memebership about whether they think this kind of survey fairly represents the veiws of the membership.

  18. In addition to the 97% issue this article addresses,a second major concern looms large from a PR standpoint. To establish frontend credibility, cAGW advocates are bolstered by a long list of early endorsements by esteemed professional scientific organizations like the AAAS, the Royal Society, the APS, etc. The way all these professional endorsements were secured needs to be scrutinized like the 97% issue.

    Perhaps of even greater import, is this: Is there any way — perhaps an official procedure— to make sure this list of professional society endorsements is up[ to date? After all, the endorsements were made years ago. A lot of new climate data has been developed since then. I don’t know how it’s done, but surely these organizations periodically revisit their positions on major issues like global warming to make sure they are right. Please tell me this is the way it works.

    The Great Piltdown Man Hoax, which started in 1913, should have taught them that. Even though the hoax was discovered and thoroughly debunked within a few years, it took four decades (1954) and a major newspaper expose to get our esteemed professional scientific societies to officially recognized that it was all an elaborate hoax.

    Let’s hope it doesn’t take that long for professional scientific organizations to get up to date on global warming. It seems to me that Dr. James Lovelock’s recent dramatic reversal on it should be enough to make everybody on the boards of these organizations take a second look. I remember reading being awed (and terribly misled) about Piltdown Man in my elementary school science books in the 1950s. If the scientific organizations really want to make sure their professions are respected by society, their first and most fundamental obligation is to make sure kids are not being taught junk science like that.

  19. Thanks, Barry, for a very nice shredding of this waste-paper claim. Ultimately, like so much else in politics, the whole question comes down to perception management: “97% of scientists” … oooh, scary, all those experts think this! … vs. “97% of 0.75% of carefully hand-picked scientists” … meh.

  20. I like to restate the 97% claim in the following terms:
    75 scientists who identified themselves as active climate scientists out of approximately 10,000 scientists polled, agreed with the two statements:
    !) Temperatures are warmer now that in the 1800s
    2) Humans are a significant contributor to warming temperatures

  21. Excellent work. Thank you very much, Barry Woods, for digging into this and publishing your findings here. Surely the glib usage of this ’97%’ will be be threatened by it. Of course, like the hockey-stick, the ’97%’ deceit will be discarded/downplayed as soon as it is clearly an embarassment. By which time of course, it will have done a great deal of damage and the perpetrators of it will want to ‘move on’. But the usage reveals a lack of depth or even integrity that need not be forgotten, for it is relevant to assessing the character and/or the scholarship of those who deployed it, and both of these characteristics are relevant when assessing whatever these people produce from whatever they move on to next.

    I have added a link to here in my own comments (http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/teach-them-about-this-deeply-deceptive.html) on this statistic. The argument from authority must necessarily carry a lot of weight for those putting together school curricula. I think you have helped undermine a part of that authority, but of course the task of getting that through to others is likely to be a long one.

  22. Part of the travesty is the assumption that there is such a critter as a “climate scientist”. This concocted construction has zero academic or other history, and if any set of qualifications and expertise for it were to be drawn up it would encompass everything from mathematics to physics to statistics to hydrology to chemistry to biology to model development to geology and much more. No human with all the requisite skills and background exists.

    As for the Hokey Team, it is composed of Jackasses of all Sciences, Masters of None.

  23. I would really recommend taking a look for yourselves – (<$2) I have just scraped the surface of methodology. http://www.lulu.com/shop/m-r-k-zimmerman/the-consensus-on-the-consensus/ebook/product-17391505.html

    but my main criticism remains those that misuse the 97% soundbite.

    just throw a few soundbites back, then maybe it will be posible to have a discussion (more from scientists that took part in the survey)
    ———————————————————–
    "I feel that the research is skewed. The research is funded almost exclusively to 'find evidence for' and 'causes of' global warming." (zimmerman feedback)

    "The techniques for determining a global 'average' temperature are open to question. Consequently, the actual amount of change is difficult to determine. This has to be considered in regard to: Since we are coming out of the 'little ice age' (I will note that Mann's 'hockey stick curve' has been demonstrated to be incorrect)it is difficult to know exactly what factors are driving the slow rise in temperature." (zimmerman feedback)

    "I fail to see how such a survey could possibly improve our knowledge. Last time I checked science worked on facts/data, not opinions. However, global warming seems to be an exception." (zimmermann feedback)

    "I do not trust consensus views and bandwagons as they are frequently wrong. It is irresponsible for a scientist to make a judgment without personally conducting a critical analysis of the data and the arguments." (zimmermann feedback)

    "I'm afraid that your very first question was already ill-posed since it left open what pre 1800's means. After all, most of the preceding 4.5 billion years of earth history was warmer than the present." (zimmerman feedback)

    "I am sorry, but I cannot answer some (most actually) of your questions with a simple "Yes" or "No"answer. The area is not clearly black-and-white, I am afraid that it is more complicated than that….I have nothing against the survey, but oversimplified answers can result in distorted outcome…." (zimmerman feedback)

    "I appologize, but as an objective scientist I do not communicate "opinions" or "attitudes". These donot belong on the scientific adjenda and certainly not in the classroom. Thus I decline to contribute to your survey." (zimmerman feedback)

    "Personally, I think we are returning to something akin to the Little Optimum (climate regime of
    circa 950-1350)" (zimmermann feedback)

    "I'm afraid I have to bail out of your survey. I find the issue too complex for multiple choice
    answers. As an example, Question 1 (comparing current global temps to "pre-1800" levels) is openended – and my answer would differ depending on the beginning as well as the ending point of the time frame. Are we talking about only the 18th century (which, of course, included the Little Ice Age)? The 14th through the 18th? Pre-1800 through the beginning of the Wisconsin Glaciation? Or since Pre-Cambrian time? On the average, current global temperatures are definitely cooler than the average over the entire lifespan of the earth." (zimmermann feedback)

    "Was this designed to be ambiguous with respect to time? What do you mean
    "pre-1800s?" You mean compared to all Earth history prior to industrialization? If you are asking
    geoscientists then you really need to be more specific. Obviously global Earth temperatures are
    colder now than much of Earth history, but warmer compared to Little Ice Age temperatures.
    Surveys with imprecise questions have meaningless results." (zimmermann feedback)

    "Your first question is a poor one.
    Temperatures have had an overall positive trend since the Little Ice Age of 350 years ago. There
    have been shorter cycles (approximately 32 years) of warming and cooling superimposed on that
    trend. Temperatures now are cooler than 800 years ago and cooler than 5000 years ago. So
    temperature trends largely depend on the starting and ending points." (zimmermann feedback)

    "In my opinion humans can influence climate change but is it the dominant effect, absolutely not. The geologic time scale shows periods of cooling and heating with out the impact of humans being present." (zimmerman feedback)

    "Other factors are obviously at play. I have no doubt that humans are influencing global temperatures, but whether we are a 'major' contributor is little more than guesswork." (zimmerman feedback)

    "I find it interesting that geoscientists tend to be influenced by their career position. My friens in academia are almost all convinced of the anthropogenic influence, my friends in the energy and minerals sectors seem to think it is natural" (Zimmerman feedback)

    "Climate proxies from the even more distant past indicate that global climate is
    comparatively cool now, and that many factors besides greenhouse gases contribute to global climate change. When I hear ridiculous suggestions that we build satellites to block out solar radiation or pump CO2 into deep ocean sediments to try to combat anthropogenic global warming I am filled with irritation and trepidation at man's audacity – to assume we can fix a problem that might not exist, within a system we have only just begun to study. As a scientist I
    neither 'believe' nor 'disbelieve' in anthropogenic global warming – I am waiting for solid evidence. Mea" (zimmerman feedback)

    "This is a nonsense question because it isn't black and white. Human activity affecting climate is a hypothesis in need of testing, and what we think is somewhat irrelevant" (zimmerman feedback)

    "the increase in temperature does not correlate with the increase in CO2. It appears more tied to some kind of natural cycle." (zimmermann feedback)

    "Based on 32 years of geologic experience, I am quite certain that the impact of any anthropogenic increase in Co2 is very minor when compared to geologic and astronomic causes." (zimmerman feedback)

    —————————–

    Remember ALL the above comments (and many many more) are from scientists that ACTUALLY took part in the survey, and are quoted from the ACTUAL paper that the Doran 97% of scientists' phrase/conclusion is cited from.

    I haven't even quoted much from appendix F or Appendix D (where scientist give reason why they did not answer yes – Or queried q1 and q2) very very sceptical voices (hundreds of comments)

    But dont take my word for it !! ;-) – download it yourself (cost £1.25)

    Please remember my criticism is those that overstate the 97% in the media, the politicians, environmentalist, etc. who use it as a soundbite to make other claims and to shut sceptics up These are the people we should be criticising. NOT Doran, Zimmerman, Anderegg, etc (please leave them alone)

  24. EOS article:

    “It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.” (emphasis added)

    Kendall Zimmerman survey on which it is based (page 33):

    “Q3a: If participants responded that they do believe human activity is a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures, they were directed to question 3a, which asked, ‘What do you consider to be the most compelling argument that supports your previous answer (that human activity IS a significant factor is changing mean global temperatures)?’

    “74.2% of U.S. participants, compared to 71% of international participants, answered ‘the coupled change in atmospheric CO2 and increasing temperatures’ (option 1).

    “9.6% of U.S. participants responded with ‘the rate of glacial and sea ice melt’ (option 2), while 12.8% of international respondents answered the same way (Figure 16).”

    In other words, the “nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes” upon which the majority of scientists whose expertise is greatest base their answer is: correlation. That is, these experts wrongly take correlation as implying causation. The next most compelling argument is ice melt, which, as most of us non-experts know, implies nothing about causation.

    On page 56, referring to a side-by-side comparison of increasingly specialized levels of expertise, the study says:

    “Across all demographics, the vast majority of those who thought human activity was a significant driving factor in changing temperatures thought that the most compelling argument for the role of human activity was the coupled changed in atmospheric CO2 and the rise in temperatures. This trend generally became more pronounced as expertise increased.” (emphasis added)

  25. Anyone out there who played Ultima VII, The Black Gate back in the day?

    Think of Michael Mann as “Owen the Shipwright”. The analogy is eerily apt.

    (The survey will have probably been filtered down to the “Shippies” therein.)

  26. It’s a bit lke a cat food advert – “of 2% of respondents (who experssed a preference for our viewpoint), 97% agreed we’re right”

  27. RoHa says:
    July 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    But there is also the Anderegg et.al. paper. This comes to the conclusion that 97% of activley publishing climate scientists believe it….
    _________________________________
    No it means that the 97% of scientists interested in their pay checks and willing to “Compromise” put the get out of jail (peer-review) free card on their papers and went along with the crowd. The climate gate e-mails and other evidence shows how those scientists and journal editors who did not toe the “party line” were harrassed/and/or fired and papers by those scientists were not allowed to be published while utter trash was waved through as long as it had the magic pass words supporting Anthropogenic Global Warming

    Stephen H. Schneider combined with the “The authors declare no conflict of interest. on the website you quoted is the real laugh. Since Schneider is the guy who said in an email

    The social tipping phemenona I mentioned seem to be building: from Katrina, Gore movie, high roller corporate support for policy growing fast and media covering less of the crazies is all contributing to positive movement towards some policy at aggregate level–whether it is more than band-aid remains to be seen, but we are finally moving…. http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2011/12/january-warmist-steven-schneider.html

    Stephen H. Schneider is also the guy who said:

    … And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have….

    What is really fun is to look at a much earlier quote:

    ….Can we do these things? Yes. But will they make things better? I’m not sure. We can’t predict with any certainty what’s happening to our own climatic future. How can we come along and intervene then in that ignorance? ….

    That was back in 1978 when Stevey was pushing – wait for it – THE COMING ICE AGE! link Seems Stevey makes sure he is in the limelight no matter which way the earth’s climate bounces.

    Now how was that again that good old Stevey is an UNBIASED scientists???
    Look at

    Email 4687

    I also sympathise with having a ‘dangerous moron for a President’ – indeed the world has gone mad. So let’s make a difference in what we can do to promote justice and equity

    Yeah, right this guy is no “Scientist” he is a Political Activist using CAGW to push the UN’s version of Socialism – Sustainability aka Agenda 21. It is no wonder John Holdren the guy who wanted to De-develop the USA for decades wrote the introduction to Schneider’s Climate Change Science and Policy.

  28. Laneda Wilhite says:
    July 19, 2012 at 2:01 am

    …..Perhaps of even greater import, is this: Is there any way — perhaps an official procedure— to make sure this list of professional society endorsements is up to date? ….
    ____________________________–
    The problem with the “official endorsement” of CAGW by professional organizations is two fold.

    1. Many members quit over the “official endorsement” issue.
    2. There was no vote by the membership, it was a decision made by the administration types.

    See: American Chemical Society members revolting against their editor for pro AGW views

    The correct way to combat this problem is for a current member of each society to get an old membership list, say around 2005, and a current membership list. Create an honest poll including why did you leave the society for former members and ASK the membership what their actual take on CAGW is and have they published any papers related to climate.

    The Oregon Institute petition for example was signed by 31,072 Americans with college degrees in science includes 9,021 with Ph.D. degrees in various scientific fields.

    What I found very interesting about the poll under discussion is that there are ONLY 75 scientists who are considered “Active Climate Scientists” who agree with CAGW or at least the biased questions. That is a heck of a small number when you think about it. The most recent one says that in 2009, there were 49,562 doctorates awarded in the United States in all science and engineering fields…. there were 2,398 PhDs awarded in chemistry and 859 in biochemistry.

    A consensus??? No way in Hades!

  29. Martin Lack says:
    July 19, 2012 at 3:19 am

    You should not always believe what you read in newspapers, Barry.
    ____________________________________
    Huh?

    Barry is quoting from the actual paper not a newspaper. The newspaper grunts are the ones who ran with the sound bite and never bothered to spend the $2 and a few minutes to check out the actual survey. If they bothered to they would have had a REAL STORY but their editors whould have cut the story anyway. (Those pension funds in “Green Corporations” speak loudly)

  30. Oh and speaking of pension funds in “Green Corporations” We will know the fight has finally been won when the Hedge Fund manipulators start moving funds OUT of “Green Corporations” This will happen BEFORE the MSM abandons ship. Think about the Guardian’s pension fund, when it moves CAGW is truly dead.

  31. It may be a simple typo, but “appendix” singular or “appendixes/appendices” plural. “Appendi” is not a word (yet, but who knows?).

    ptraskey

  32. Contrast Zimmerman with the Petition Project signed by 31,478 American scientists with university degrees.

    “We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
    There is no convincing evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

    This was

    . . .signed by 31,478 Americans with university degrees in science, including 9,029 . . . who hold Ph.D.s, 7,153 who hold an MS, 2,585 who hold MDs or DVMs, and 12,711 who hold a BS or equivalent academic degrees. Most of the MD and DVM signers also have underlying degrees in basic science.

    .
    Craig Idso and S. Fred Singer, Climate Change Reconsidered: 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2009. Appendix 4: The Petition Project PDF (1.8 MB)

    As a scientist in America, I signed this petition. The more I learn of climate science and the related adaptation vs mitigation issues, the more I am convinced by the evidence that petition is still accurate.

    For those looking for superficial statistics, one could say that more than 91% of scientists in America who signed the Zimmerman and Oregon petitions are convinced that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming neither is happening nor will happen in the future. {(31478/(3146 + 31478)=90.9%}

    Albert Einstein

    “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

    Science is base not on “consensus” but on objective truth. i.e., whether a model is falsifiable and whether it has been validated or rejected based on objective empirical evidence.

    Is it even possible to “verify” climate models, let alone “validate” them?

    The mean 0.2 C/decade trend of IPCC models is now at the upper 2 sigma trend boundary for the last 32 years data, Red Corrected 0.138C/dec [0.083, 0.194]. Can the IPCC models now be “rejected”? (i.e., > 98% of all trends based on 32 years of evidence is cooler than the IPCC mean trend.)
    See Lucia Liljegren, The Blackboard, UAH TLT Anomaly Trend from Jan 1980 through 6, 2012.

    See also: Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.14 C per decade
    Global Temperature Report: June 2012 From The University Of Alabama At Huntsville c/o Pielke, Sr.

  33. The opinions of these experts are not something we are bound to accept at face value, without knowing about their opinions on other climate-related controversies that we laymen are better able to form opinions on. From that, we can judge whether this 97% is likely to be competent and objective in its consensus on abstruse controversies.

    So the original pollsters should be urged, loudly and repeatedly, to conduct a follow-up poll of the 77 containing questions such as those below. (Nearly all of these questions could be subdivided.) In addition, they should commit to conducting additional follow-up every four years. These will give snapshot of contemporary expert opinion on a range of topics that will be very helpful to forensic sociologists in the future. Ultimately, these surveys will become the most-cited articles in the scientific literature. (Evil grin.)

    My versions are crude first drafts. A polished version should contain well-expressed quotes from four or five commenters all along the opinion-spectrum on some topic (perhaps with two or three quotes for each “point” on the specrum) and the respondent should be asked which set of opinions most closely reflects his own. He should be allowed to vote for an in-between position as well. And he should be allowed to skip questions.

    1. Climategate. Do you think it was a tempest in a teapot, something mildly worrying, very worrying, or a peak under the rock of climatology? (I haven’t spelled out the questions that follow to this extent.)
    2. The Hockey Stick. To what extent do you think the original study has been debunked?
    3. To what extent do you think its conclusions are still true regardless?
    4. Extinctions. How many are likely under a business as usual scenario by 2050? By 2100? Etc.
    5. Extreme weather. Under a business as usual scenario, what opinion do you have about an increase or decrease in (tornados, hurricanes, droughts, floods, earthquakes, hail, snow, etc.)
    6. Sea level. Under a business as usual scenario, what opinion do you have about an increase or decrease in it?
    7. Global ice extent. Under a business as usual scenario, what opinion do you have about an increase or decrease in it?
    8. Arctic sea ice. Ditto.
    9. Land ice on Greenland and Antarctica. Ditto.
    10. Methane release from permafrost. How worrisome a problem under business as usual?
    11. How closely will global temperature anomalies match the IPCC’s scenarios over the next 5 / 10 / 20 years?
    12. The “missing” tropical hotspot. How much of a problem is this?
    13. The “missing” heat. How much of a problem is this?
    14. The IPCC and its reports. How credible? (This question could be broken down into many smaller questions.)
    15. The IAC’s criticisms of the IPCC. How justified?
    16. Renewables. How soon do you think they will be cost-competitive with fossil fuel (assuming all costs are accounted for)?
    17. How soon would they be cost-competitive if fossil fuel “subsidies” were removed?
    18. Should move to renewables now even if CO2 weren’t a problem?
    19. Biofuel and ethanol. Worth continuing?
    20. Nuclear power. What do you think about moving to it?
    21. Hydropower. Should there be more or less of it?
    22. Cold fusion. Should it be funded?
    23. Amory Lovins. Your opinion?
    24. The Third World. If they won’t agree to match the pace of the West’s emission reductions, should we reduce our emissions sharply anyway?
    25. If they do agree to match our reductions, how well do you think they will actually perform?
    26. Climate contrarians. What do you think of climatologists who hold contrarian views?
    27. What do you think on non-climatologist scientists who hold contrarian views?
    28. What do you think of laymen who hold contrarian views?
    29. “The time for debate is over—the time for action has begun.” (Gore, approximately.) Do you agree?
    30. Debates. What sort of debate would you think would be fair/worthwhile, if any?
    31. Peer review. Is it fair, or is there a bias against contrarian views?
    32. Funding. Is it fair, or is there a bias against contrarian views?
    33. Does climatology need more funding, and if so, how much? And for what purposes?
    34. Media. How fairly do you think the mass media have handled the global warming topic? (This question could be subdivided by types of media, country of media, level of media, etc.)
    35. “Silent Spring.” Your opinion?
    36. Cap and Trade. What’s your opinion?
    37. Global financial crisis. How much of a problem will this be for funding a switch to renewables?
    38. Popular backlash against increased fuel & power bills. How much of a problem might this become?
    39. Agenda 21. Your opinion?
    40. The EU. Your opinion?

    I’ll probably think of twenty more by tomorrow. These are all “off the top of my head,” typing as fast as I could. Please repost freely. This sort of challenge is the only effective counterpoint we can make to the 97% meme.

  34. You haven’t mentioned the selection bias in sending out the survey to some and not other scientists. They included those working for academic or governmental institutions.

    “The two researchers started by altogether excluding from their survey the thousands of scientists most likely to think that the Sun, or planetary movements, might have something to do with climate on Earth – out were the solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists and astronomers. That left the 10,257 scientists in disciplines like geology, oceanography, paleontology, and geochemistry that were somehow deemed more worthy of being included in the consensus. The two researchers also decided that scientific accomplishment should not be a factor in who could answer – those surveyed were determined by their place of employment (an academic or a governmental institution). Neither was academic qualification a factor – about 1,000 of those surveyed did not have a PhD, some didn’t even have a master’s diploma.” From L. Solomon

  35. For those of you interested, I highly recommend people look into Anderegg et al. If you read it properly, (yes it is difficult to look at excrement that long and hard) then you can see where Anderegg actually makes the case and quite clearly demonstrates that there is no consensus.

    Even by their very flawed selection process, the base selection came to a ratio of 903:472. 2/3 alarmists 1/3 skeptics. But again, that’s by a very flawed selection process, for instance, they assume all participants of the IPCC AR4 WG1 are warmists. Their selection process of skeptics was very limited. Any objective process would get one much closer to 50:50.

    Their determination of authority was hilarious. Google scholar with the word “climate” and the researchers name. Guess who uses the word climate more often?

    Because of their methodology, one of the papers counting towards alarmist creds was 1000 years of climate variability in central Asia: assessing the evidence using Lake Baikal (Russia) diatom assemblages and the application of a diatom-inferred … (AW Mackay, DB Ryves, RW Battarbee) ….. that’s my fav because it confirms the MWP and LIA.

    I believe, but haven’t taken the time to confirm, that Steve Schneider’s papers about global cooling also are used to buttress the “expert credentials” of the alarmists.

    You can read about it here….. http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/anderegg-et-al-revisited/

  36. I’m more interested in instances in the media, where politicians, environmentalists, the media itself go beyond even what the papers do say…

    An example – The Guardian reporting on the Anderegg survey..

    Do you trust the vast majority of climate scientists who claim that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are causing a clear and present climatic danger?” – Leo Hickman (Guardian

    so where did the ‘causing CLEAR and PRESENT Danger’ come from, not the survey..

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/jun/21/trust-climate-scientists

    If anybody has any similar examples, please add them to the comments.

  37. So the big question here was “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”

    I want to illustrate just how minor the implication of a “yes” to that question is.

    Say the mean temperature of a house is 60 F. Then three people, Jim, John, and Jill, walk into the house, and each of them has a body temperature of about 99 F. They are all the same size.
    Now, if I were to ask you, “Do you think Jim is a significant contributing factor in changing the mean temperature of the house?” You would have to say “yes”, because Jim is responsible for 1/3 of the change in the house’s mean temperature (John and Jill are responsible for the remaining 2/3s of the change).

    But of course this would not even come close suggesting that Jim is dangerously warming the house.

    I think this is the most important point to emphasize when debating the implications of this survey.

  38. I’m surprised that the Oregon Petition hasn’t had more play in the media. I also note the absence of other than U.S. signatories- was it U.S. only. Recently, I saw reference to another list of about 1000 names. My question is along the lines of are there any ongoing surveys/petitions etc. A huge list (fresh and verified) would make a great talking point in the current election cycle in the States. Any references to such efforts would be appreciated, as my fellow Canadians often use the “97%” phrase.

  39. Brian H says:
    July 19, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Part of the travesty is the assumption that there is such a critter as a “climate scientist”… No human with all the requisite skills and background exists.
    ================================================

    An excellent point, and very worthy of further discussion, and ideally a whole article by itself.

  40. Gail Combs says:
    July 19, 2012 at 5:48 am (Edit)
    Oh and speaking of pension funds in “Green Corporations” We will know the fight has finally been won when the Hedge Fund manipulators start moving funds OUT of “Green Corporations” This will happen BEFORE the MSM abandons ship. Think about the Guardian’s pension fund, when it moves CAGW is truly dead.

    ————————————————————————

    Gail you are prodigious . . . you have an endless stream of facts and a great delivery.

    btw . . the BBC pension fund is “green”. They are heavily invested and seem to have lost a great deal of value over the last 5 years.

  41. I have posted this information on so-called skeptical sites (those who call themselves “skeptics” and then embrace climate change like a religion) and to be honest, I don’t think these individual care. Facts don’t seem to have any effect on their beliefs. It is obvious to a first year psychology student how flawed the studies are. My belief is those who embrace climate change on the whole do not understand science at all and use the idea that consensus will cover for their ignorance. Many of these “skeptics” embrace mainstream science because it seems to be the “safe” route. They can always claim “Everybody who is anybody agreed”. Also, rewriting the fallacy of argument from authority to argument from inappropriate authority allows climate scientists and others to use authority as a club to beat people into believing. The argument is still argument from authority and is still a fallacy and always will be. These studies show the advantage of the “appropriate” authority change–you can cherry-pick your authorities and reach the desired conclusion. Too bad that’s not science and really proves nothing except you can get 75 people to say what you want them to.

  42. This is What the Beginning of the End of the Planet Feels Like
    Dion Rabouin dutifully repeats: “the past 10 years have been unequivocally the hottest on record in the history of weather record keeping” and the equivocation “”97 to 98 percent agreed” not only that climate change was real, but that people are causing it.” He warns: “It ends with seas and oceans rising to engulf entire cities, states and eventually countries.”
    It appears he has never read Don Easterbrook’s publications on climate change, nor the NIPCC’s reports.

    PS climate change has been real for billions of years. All human activity affects climate. The issues is how much.

  43. [blockquote]
    Barry Woods says:
    July 19, 2012 at 3:12 am
    These are the people we should be criticising. NOT Doran, Zimmerman, Anderegg, etc (please leave them alone)[/blockquote]

    Thank you for the article and research, extremely useful and interesting.

    I appreciate that you are not making a personal attack on Doran, Zimmerman etc… however I disagree that they should not be criticized.

    Zimmerman can perhaps be forgiven for her work, she was being supervised by Doran, her thesis advisor, and we know how much they influence the process.

    However it remains that she produced a severely flawed thesis for which she was awarded a MSc. Worse, her thesis supervisor, a PhD obviously supported this piece of dreck.

    I am not a statistician and I can see how flawed this paper is. Are we supposed to believe that a PhD and an MSc candidate, who have been trained in statistical techniques, couldn’t see the flaws & errors in this paper? What about those that reviewed her thesis and before whom she defended it? What about those that peer-reviewed Doran et al. EoS? Are we to believe that none of these Academics could see or understand the problems with these papers?

    Let us grant the benefit of the doubt and accept that those involved were blind to their mistakes, should the paper not be retracted, fixed if possibe, and resubmitted?

    That there has been no acknowledgement of the problems with this paper can but lead one to conlcude deceit or incompetence and that an MSc is like a gold star in kindergarten, everyone gets one no matter how badly he or she did.

  44. Climate change “may appear to many of them as” a particularly “western obsession (not many environmental lobby groups in China in the last 30 years).

    That reminds me of the December 7th 2011 WUWT article titled “In China, there are no hockey sticks.”

    In fact, a little demonstration:

    Simply type sun climate site:.ru into google, where site:.ru makes it search what is on Russian sites.

    Most of the top results there are skeptic in the sense of being opposed to the CAGW narrative, including how Abdussamatov (and Svensmark) are on the first page.

    The 60 year ocean cycle U.N. FAO study I like (at http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y2787e/y2787e00.htm ) came from a Russian author, Dr. Klyashtorin.

    Dr. Abdusamatov, head of the Russian segment of the International Space Station, almost couldn’t be more contrary to CAGW enviropolitical ideology when stating appropriate policy would be “to maintain economic growth in order to adapt to the upcoming new Little Ice Age in the middle of the 21st century.

    What supports the CAGW movement is primarily limited to a restrictive location in both space and time.

    Space: European and Anglosphere countries plus a little but not much more

    Time: late 1980s onwards (with daring to fudge temperature on the millenial scale mainly starting in Mann’s hockey stick in the late 1990s and afterwards, though Hansen got to work on 20th century data in the 1980s onwards, while daring to fudge solar reconstructions too is the new frontier starting recently)

    There are many scientific studies contradictory to CAGW even within those limits, but, outside those limits, CAGW support crashes extra hard.

    If CAGW beliefs were founded on true science, those limits would make no sense, but once one understands it is rather founded on an enviropolitical
    movement, everything fits. It is not even a surprise at all, for instance, to see a California temperature reconstructions of the past couple thousand years done in the early 20th century, NAS publications in the 1970s, etc. are utterly contrary to Mann-era revisionism deleting past variation like the MWP.

    I’ve grown to appreciate Russia in ways, where most — even leftist communists as well as others — are more for material advancement and less dishonest on scientific matters than so many of the kind we have here, having less infiltration and corruption of scientific institutions.

    Here activists of a pseudoreligion rise while realizing nothing is more effective than stealing the mantle of “science” to pervert into a dishonest anti-industrial dogma which is the very opposite of true science and of what gave science a well-deserved noble reputation: supporting technology increasing the material well-being (material “consumption” and production) of mankind.

    The Anderegg survey (which was transparently trying to back up Doran & Zimmerman dishonesty — including using them as a cited reference) got its figures by, among other tricks, choosing an exceptional and thus atypical subgroup averaging hundreds of articles published each, getting rubber stamped mere weeks apart for mass propaganda rather than the lengthy battles skeptics go through for papers. For instance, the “top 50″ “researchers” averaged 408 “publications” each, multiple per month, not corresponding to lengthy groundbreaking real research per publication. Add in who knows how much potential other fudging of data by Anderegg et al authors doing a poor job even pretending to not be hyperbiased and doubtful to have any honesty qualms. Since by now someone is less likely to go into the field in Western countries without knowing which side their bread is buttered on, if anything the continuing frequency of dissent is what is most impressive.

  45. This is the same kind of thing such as the reported meme that half of all marriages end in divorce simply because the per population marriage rate is twice that of the divorce rate. Even with that (check the Census Bureau data), the result will be that about 2/3rds of marriages end in something other than divorce.

  46. Another quote on Anderegg:

    The Anderegg et al 2010 source defined a scientist’s expertise as determined by his or her number of climate publications. The top 50 scientists considered CE (“convinced by the evidence” in the terminology of the authors) wrote an average of 408 articles each which were submitted to and successfully published by climate journals. Scientists were counted as UE (“unconvinced by the evidence”) if having signed a public “statement strongly dissenting from the views of the IPCC.” That resulted in a list of 472 UE scientists, of whom 5 were among the 200 most-published scientists in the study’s sample, amounting to 2.5% when the other 195 (97.5%) were counted as CE.

    That study’s sample included 903 scientists counted as CE (“convinced by the evidence”). Scientists were assumed to be CE when in the list of those credited by the IPCC as having done research utilized by AR4 Working Group I. Such an assumption resulted in a list of 619 names, which, after adjusting for duplication, became a total of 903 when also adding in those who signed one of several statements supporting the IPCC.

    Such hints at more of the tip of the iceberg of what is wrong with its consensus claim, like its public statement criteria is a barrier which far from all and likely not even most skeptics would cross (willing to put a career at risk, only backlash for no personal gain).

  47. I think one very clear distinction should be made about whom is and is not expert in the original question of the survey, relating to the attribution of climate changes.
    Are we interested in classifying all “climate scientists” as such? Or limiting that to those that have researched and published specifically about the causes of climate change?

    I fail to consider researchers that solely publish the hyperbole of future climate (hand waving) to be qualified in relative attribution. Those that just use GCM output to predict the movements of flora, fauna, and viruses, for example, without any questioning of the GCM output, itself, are simply not at all qualified to consider attribution. There are a great many scientists making long term prognostications or examining proxy data, that do qualify (somewhat, anyway) as climate scientists.

    I think it an important distinction, but not one I’ve seen bandied about on this topic.

  48. R2DTOO says:
    July 19, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I’m surprised that the Oregon Petition hasn’t had more play in the media….
    ___________________________
    It was “debunked” in the media TWICE. The first time because there was no quality control on who signed. The second time Art was much more careful so the attack was on the fact these were not CLIMATE scientists.

    I have not looked at the signed petition, but it would be interesting to see how many were PhDs in Geology, Solar physics, physics, chemistry Chem Eng, statistics and other related hard sciences that could easily comprehend the nuts and bolts of ‘Climate Science’. There is no such SCIENCE degree worth speaking of at this time. Anthony’s degree in Meteorology is the closest and gets made fun of.

    These are the top three google picks for “Climate Science” Degree Program and I certainly would not call them science or waste my money sending a kid through these programs. They are business degrees with an emphasis on Sustainability and “Climate Science” schlock. I rather have my child take basket weaving.

    Bard Center for Environmental Policy also offers an MBA in Sustainability

    M.S. in Climate Science and Policy

    The program leading to the master of science degree in climate science and policy (CSP) focuses on climate science, specializing in the interactions between climate change, ecosystems and agriculture. The CSP degree is a two-year program, which includes a required internship and a master’s thesis….

    The program trains future policy leaders to guide critical greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation efforts, working in business, government, and in NGOs. Students develop specific expertise in the development and deployment to scale of clean energy technologies, and in the interaction of ecosystems, agriculture, and climate. Joint class sessions, field trips, guest lectures, and conferences expose students to the critical issues and practices of climate change science and policy. Policy experts and natural and social scientists have designed the curriculum for students to gain the sophisticated graduate level training in policy solutions demanded by employers today…..

    If you have a strong stomach it is worth browzing BARD’s website. link

    Northern Arizona University:

    Professional Science Master’s degree in Climate Science and Solutions

    The program is designed to give students the academic background and the professional skills needed to secure jobs within the areas of:
    * sustainability, green building, and renewable energy
    * climate change mitigation and adaptation
    * carbon markets

    Through our degree program you will develop:
    * an interdisciplinary understanding of the scientific, technical, and socioeconomic aspects of climate change.
    * an appreciation of the scientific basis of climatic change and the strengths and weaknesses of policies, processes, and tools involved in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
    * practical experience in the development and verification of greenhouse gas inventories and carbon offset projects
    * professional knowledge of greenhouse gas reporting standards and protocols and the implementation of International Organization for Standardization practices in a professional setting….

    “The Master’s in Climate Science and Solutions provides a rare, integrated combination of academic climate science and professional management training for leaders of tomorrow’s low-carbon economy.” – Dan Kalafadas, CEO, 3 Degrees Group, Inc.

    http://nau.edu/CEFNS/NatSci/SESES/Climate-Science-Solutions/

    North Carolina State University:

    Professional Science Masters (PSM) degree program in Climate Change & Society

    NC State University has a new Professional Science Masters (PSM) degree program in Climate Change & Society…. This is a one year degree combining climate change science and climate-sensitive social-economic sector information for the development of sound decisions for adaptation and mitigation to climate change.

    The degree program is intended for students interested in careers in planning or policy and professionals working in government agencies or private sector firms concerned with any aspect of planning or setting policies affected by global climate change. The one academic year (31 credit hours) professional science master’s degree consists of 9 courses…. http://www.theglobalchangeforum.org/2011/03/professional-science-masters-psm-degree-program-in-climate-change-society/

    If this is the type of college degree a “Climate Scientist” has color me VERY unimpressed!

  49. And so, if the warmist hysterics on the review committee don’t approve your research article for the journal, does that mean you’re not a “climate scientist” or “oceanographer/meteorologist” competent to study the issue?

    Sounds like biased selection, once again.

  50. @ Theo Barker

    You’re right. The article didn’t mention in the introduction that the Anderegg survey would be discussed, but just concentrated on the Doran survey, so I skipped over the rest.

    Some good crits of the Anderegg survey here.

  51. So the big question here was “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” – Ian Weiss, July 19, 2012 at 8:23 am
    As I understand, “contributing factor” and “causal factor” are mutually exclusive terms.
    So 97% to 98% of the climate scientists responsible for the 2009 AGU survey statistic thought that human activity is not a causal factor in changing mean global temperatures.

  52. RTooD2;
    My new approach is, “The questions were so obviously slanted and irrelevant that all the intelligent scientists threw them aside. Only the stupidest and most biased few responded. That explains the consensus.”

  53. If a disinterested party were to ask me if I thought the earth had warmed over the last centuary, I would answer “yes”. If they asked whether humans had a significant effect on temperature, again, thinking of the growth of urban heat islands and their additional effect on rain patterns, and of our increased irrigation of deserts and the effect that has on climate, I would have to answer “yes”.- and I’m a CAGW cynic.

    If I were and actual scientist seeing the same questions in a poll, like 69..3% of climate scientists I would throw it away. , I would see this questionnaire as a propaganda piece- To answer such a questionnaire would be a waste of valuable time and an insult to my integrity as a scientist.

  54. Nice post Barry.

    There is one other “97% of scientists” source quoted by warmists (why is it always 97%?). Isn’t 97% also the winning figure most often declared by Dictators when they run public referendums?

    Harris poll (2007) http://bit.ly/1Su1NX
    “Ninety-seven percent of the climate scientists surveyed believe “global average temperatures have increased” during the past century.”

    but only….

    “A slight majority (54%) believe the warming measured over the last 100 years is not “within the range of natural temperature fluctuation.”

    and…

    “Only 29% express a “great deal of confidence” that scientists understand the size and extent of anthropogenic [human] sources of greenhouse gases,” and only 32% are confident about our understanding of the archeological climate evidence. “

  55. Dear Barry (Anthony Watts, Lucy Skywalker, etc),

    Since there are some legitimate points raised here, let us assume that the survey is as worthless as used toilet paper. Let’s pretend it does not exist; and (pretence aside) I will apologise for ever mentioning it [as I think I might well have done so ;-) ]…. Why does nearly every reputable and relevant scientific body on the planet endorse the generally-accepted consensus view that unmitigated anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) will be a significant problem?

    Yes, it is possible that they could all be corrupt and slavishly saying what they think their governments want to hear but, is the simplest and most straightforward explanation not the most likely? Namely, that their most-relevant experts have looked at the work of those best-qualified to know; and they have concluded that ACD is no longer a problem that should be ignored?

    I am trying to be as reasonable here as I can – and not upset anybody by using words you don’t like and/or by putting words in people’s mouths; so I hope you (and anyone else that may choose to respond) will do so as well.

    Yours sincerely,

    Martin (apparently “delusional and attention-seeking”) Lack.

    REPLY: Under scrutiny, Mr Lack behaves. Thanks for your comment, but it’s still 75 people on one survey, and a handful of people driving policy in the others, which is why we are seeing vociferous resignations (like Ivar Giavaer) from some of these organizations that are representing the views of the view, while ignoring the general membership. – Anthony

  56. Martin:
    Are you counting the IPCC as science? I see that frequently but there seems to be little evidence that it is anything other than a political entity. Also, there does not seem to be a large number of “scientific bodies” that actually endorse this–most are political. I again will remind you that argument from “appropriate authority” is still a fallacy, irregardless of what revisions people have attempted to make. No, the simplest explanation is not that these people are right. That would only be maybe true IF there was not money and power so entwined. Climate change allows governments to run rip-shod over their people under the guise of science.
    Consider that one of the original persons who endorsed this theory, James Lovelock, has said this was an over-reaction, in addition to Ivar Giavaer and others, who are now leaving the fold and saying this was not what they had intended.
    I would say the simplest explanation here is that continued belief in climate science holds the most reward for the political sector, making the science a distant second.
    One last thing–IF this were science, the discussions would center around actual data and algorithms, not name-calling and indignation that people are no giving the scientists the respect they demand. Science doesn’t care if you believe or not. Reality is what it is and your refusal to accept it means nothing. Only when politics and other disciplines enter does it matter. Can you imagine scientists fighting over the concept of gravity? Of course not–they illustrate it exists. Only when one throws in all kind of predictions that have no data to back them up is it necessary to resort to insults and threats.

  57. [snip - see this is why you are tiresome, I'm not interested in rehashing old rants that are off-topic to this thread just to satisfy the pettiness of your ego, either move on or get out - Anthony]

  58. Reality Check – it is hard for me to respond without contravening WUWT linguistic policy, but I will try…

    I do not usually set out to deliberately offend anybody. I may be blunt; and I may deliberately court controversy sometimes (that is why I do not dispute AW’s characterisation of me as “attention-seeking”). However, I am not a self-publicist; my (quite-possibly “delusional”) aim is to draw attention to the extreme improbability of ACD being a false alarm.

    Scepticism was understandable 150 years ago when people like Tyndall and Arrhenius were hypothesising over the effects of rapidly releasing geospheric (fossilised) carbon into the biosphere. Caution was understandable over 50 years ago (for reasons including the global dimming effect of pollution) when Roger Revelle described this as “carrying out a large-scale geophysical experiment “ on the atmosphere . However, the cynical campaign to discredit climate science and scientists waged since 1988 (at least) is the only disgraceful manipulation of the public perception of science and, therefore, continuing scepticism today is unwise. Even formerly-sceptical scientists (Richard A. Muller) and economists (William D. Nordhaus) now agree (and dismissing them is simply not credible).

    Finally, let me say this: Even if ACD were not a problem, would it not make sense to stop spending 5 times as much money recovering unconventional fossil fuels (compared to conventional ones) in hard-to-get-at-places; and start investing the money in non-renewable energy sources instead? (We already have the technology to generate solar-powered electricity 24/7 – so why wait?) If the oil companies had wanted to they could have re-invented themselves as renewable energy companies instead (indeed BP almost did).

  59. With the greatest of respect, Anthony, I think you deletion of my entire comment is over-zealous moderation to say the least; but this is your website… Resignations of people like Ivar Giavaer prove only the prejudice of the individuals who resign. For every one with links to right-wing think tanks that resigns there are at least 10 without that do not resign.

  60. Martin Lack: “Why does nearly every reputable and relevant scientific body on the planet endorse the generally-accepted consensus view that unmitigated anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) will be a significant problem? ”

    Because they were hoodwinked:
    a) The IPCC claims of being a gold star scientific organisation were taken at face value without any scruitiny.
    b) Activist scientists manipulated the IPCC, scientific data, the peer review process and sought to exclude dissenting papers. They used the media to discredit sceptical science.
    c) Nobody bothered to check to see if the claims made by the IPCC were robust.
    d) The IPCC was alarmist – overplaying certainty and catastrophe and underplaying the MWP in order to generate momentum and the Kyoto agreement.
    e) The IPCC was able to falsely convey scientific ‘consensus’ and honest, trustworthy, reputable scientific bodies were duped into unquestioning obedience.

    Once the momentum behind global warming was achieved, the funding started rolling in. Jobs, careers, further research, pride and mortgages have all been staked on this theory being real. It would be suicide for scientific institutions or scientists based in the climate sphere to be sceptical. It is easy for a scientist or institution to avoid being sceptical too – much of their research is valid, trying to understand how the planet works is a good thing. However this research is trying to fit a preconceived conclusion which has been effectively contrived. We are wasting our precious time and resources on a threat that does not exist. As politicians are finally made aware that they have been duped, funding will gradually dry up and scientists and institutions will quietly move over to more useful studies.

    The end.

  61. @Climate Chimp: A response is once again difficult without using the non-sexual C-word that is often followed by the word “theory”. This is because you appear to believe climate change is a hoax designed solely to keep climate researchers in jobs…?

    Sadly, I think there is much more evidence to support the view that oil companies (who receive ten times more money than those seeking to invest in non-renewable energy sources) don’t want the goose that lays their golden eggs killed. However, the goose will stop ovulating one day and – in the meantime – its golden eggs are damaging the environment.*

    * For the avoidance of any doubt, this is because you can indeed have too much of a good thing (CO2) – and releasing fossilised carbon into the biosphere faster than it can be returned to the geosphere was always going to be bad because complying with the Laws of Conservation of Mass and/or Energy are (to the best of my knowledge and belief) mandatory in this Universe.

  62. Martin:
    I don’t understand your * comment. However, you are laboring under what is a common belief–that those who are in renewables are all altruist and love the planet, not money. BP took up renewables because it says “We Care”. It’s called marketing. T. Boone Pickens dropped wind immediately when he lost money. Renewables at this point are far more lucrative than oil if the government pays for up to 60% of the cost and there are RPS’s in effect that demand customers pay huge electric rates for variable energy sources. Yes, oil gets more money as a total than renewables, but not at all if you go by energy produced. One cannot just argue oil gets more money if oil produces more energy per MW, more jobs and more reliable power. Thus, your argument that money is the motivator would also apply to wind. Before we resign millions to death and poverty by returning to the pre-oil era, we need to see that data, the process, etc. Science is OPEN. AGW in not–which means calling it science is mislabeling. Where is the raw data, the algorithms used in calculations, the scientists that will actually debate openly other scientists (note that MIchael Mann cancels any debates with real scientists, according to what I have read)? Until that happens, it’s just not science. You included an economist in your answer–these are not research scientists. They understand MONEY. Generally, they do not understand whether or not the science says we are making the world warmer with fossil fuels.

  63. @Martin Lack : ” This is because you appear to believe climate change is a hoax designed solely to keep climate researchers in jobs…? ”
    I do not believe climate change is a hoax. A hoax implies deliberate pre-planning and coordinated actions. It is more likely that circumstances and opportunities presented themselves to a few individuals who understood the dynamics and took full advantage. I think those individuals never regarded themselves as hoaxers, they are genuine believers in a theory but frustrated by a lack of evidence to enable mass action. These are activist scientists who are not inhibited when it comes to by-passing normal scientific protocols and appealing directly to emotions. As activists they are prepared to lie, cheat, deceive, manipulate, hide, exaggerate, pressure, collude, defend, promote and more recently steal to achieve success. This has since transformed into a carefully planned climate ‘war’ complete with sympathetic media propaganda (everyone loves a good scare story – it sells copy). Unfortunately, honest scientists and institutions have been unwittingly sucked into this web of deceit and are mostly frightened to acknowledge they have been duped.
    A deceit of this scale cannot be hidden forever, it is already being picked apart – there will soon be a tipping point which will cause the climate house of cards to come tumbling down. Climate palaeontology shows that recent warming is not unusual and climate models have been shown to be incapable of predicting future warming with any accuracy because positive feedback has been overstated. In other words, the real scientific evidence confirms that AGW is possible but CAGW is highly unlikely. Human action to curtail fossil fuel use only matters if CAGW is certain. We have greater global problems to fix, the impossible task of climate mitigation is a costly distraction that will potentially cause our children great harm.

  64. @Martin Lack : ” This is because you appear to believe climate change is a hoax designed solely to keep climate researchers in jobs…? ”

    I do not believe climate change is a hoax. A hoax implies deliberate pre-planning and coordinated actions. It is more likely that circumstances and opportunities presented themselves to a few individuals who understood the dynamics and took full advantage. I think those individuals never regarded themselves as hoaxers, they are genuine believers in a theory but frustrated by a lack of evidence to enable mass action. These are activist scientists who are not inhibited when it comes to by-passing normal scientific protocols and appealing directly to emotions. As activists they are prepared to lie, cheat, deceive, manipulate, hide, exaggerate, pressure, collude, defend, promote and more recently steal to achieve success. This has since transformed into a carefully planned climate ‘war’ complete with sympathetic media propaganda (everyone loves a good scare story – it sells copy). Unfortunately, honest scientists and institutions have been unwittingly sucked into this web of deceit and are mostly frightened to acknowledge they have been duped.

    A deceit of this scale cannot be hidden forever, it is already being picked apart – there will soon be a tipping point which will cause the climate house of cards to come tumbling down. Climate palaeontology shows that recent warming is not unusual and climate models have been shown to be incapable of predicting future warming with any accuracy because positive feedback has been overstated. In other words, the real scientific evidence confirms that AGW is possible but CAGW is highly unlikely. Human action to curtail fossil fuel use only matters if CAGW is certain. We have greater global problems to fix, the impossible task of climate mitigation is a costly distraction that will potentially cause our children great harm.

  65. Is it really necessary for two people to cut-and-paste the same response to my comment? I was only responding to detail within what Climate Chimp said. However, please let’s not get hung-up on people’s motives.

    The point here is that, for whatever reason, WUWT readers generally think ACD is a false alarm. Whereas all I am saying (Reality Check please note) is that ACD is a consequence of the inviability of the Law of Conservation of Mass: If you add geospheric (fossilised) carbon to the biosphere (atmosphere) you will get unprecedented warming.

    The only way warming can be avoided is if we remove the additional carbon from the biosphere (i.e. carbon capture and storage – CCS). However, apart from being an excuse for not changing our overall reliance on fossil fuels, my main concern about CCS is that – unlike radioactive waste – CO2 has no half-life; it will never be safe for it to re-enter the biosphere.

  66. @Martin:
    First, if I understand you correctly, you are agreeing with the article I found stating that the industrial age pulled us out of the last mini ice age. Thus, if we reduce CO2, we will drop back into said ice age, complete with famines as crops fail.
    As Rich noted, and I can provide references for from the warmest camp (SKS, I think it was), there were many times in Earth’s history when CO2 levels were much higher and the temperature did not rise high enough to boil oceans, as James Hansen is predicting we are headed for.
    Your argument on the Law of Conservation of Mass assumes that CO2 acts completely independent of any other factors in the universe and causes warming that can only be mitigated by reducing CO2. If in the past the CO2 was higher and the temperature not proportionately higher, there either is no such relationship or there are other factors at work. Since climate is incredibly complex (or we could all understand it, not just the anointed few) and there are thousands of possibilities for ways the Earth can maintain balance even with additional CO2, CO2 is unlikely to work in isolation to raise the temperature.
    You speak like CO2 is some contaminant that people suddenly foisted upon the planet. There are hundreds of natural sources of CO2–volcanoes come to mind. With the hundreds of volcanic eruptions over millions of years, we should be all dead now if CO2 is a permanent “contaminant”. It is very disturbing you regard a gas needed for plant growth as a contaminant. I don’t see why that would be true and I can’t find any explanation in the ACD for why CO2 is the contaminant. (Being cynical, I could assume that hatred of fossil fuels was easier to foster in humans than some of Hansen’s earlier theories on why Venus is a vast wasteland. Thus, he could “sell” the theory easier. But it’s just a cynical thought–I won’t claim any truth value to it.)

  67. Not sure what you mean, Reality Check, but, no, I do not accept that anthropogenic CO2 emissions prevented us from going into an Ice Age. I would accept, however, that all the other atmospheric pollution generated by the Industrial Revolution prevented the warming effect of CO2 from becoming obvious until we started to clean-up our act (i.e. in the 1970s).

    As I am sure I have said many times before, the fact that CO2 levels have been higher in the geologically-distant past is utterly irrelevant because all life on Earth is adapted to the way things are now.

    My point about conservation of mass/energy is that the mass of CO2 in biospheric circulation is the only thing that has consistently increased significantly in the last 250 years – whereas water vapour, volcanic activity, cosmic radiation, sunspot activity and total solar irradiance have not.

    This makes the complexity of the climate system irrelevant; theory has been validated by subsequent events: The warming effect of CO2 was deduced from basic physics; and the warming predicted by models 20-30 years ago (using the emissions projections that most closely matches what actually happened to them) have been shown to be accurate. This is what modellers do; they check their models can replicate what happened before (calibration) and they check their models predict what happens afterwards (validation).

    No one is disputing that CO2 is needed for photosynthesis; but you definitely can have too much of a good thing: If you pump CO2 into the atmosphere faster than the Earth can lock it away again in sedimentary rocks; you destabilise a long-standing dynamic equilibrium (i.e. the Carbon Cycle). This is what we have done. We will have to live without fossil fuels one day; and in the interim we need to substitute their use wherever we can (so as to limit the damage done by those uses we cannot substitute).

  68. MartinLack sez
    “As I am sure I have said many times before, the fact that CO2 levels have been higher in the geologically-distant past is utterly irrelevant because all life on Earth is adapted to the way things are now.”
    Martin, you seem to be under a big misapprehension about evolution. Some species are on the way out, as species always have been. Your statement suggests that somehow all species are adapted to their current conditions yet are not adaptable to other conditions – which is obviously false on the face of it.
    Some species most highly specialized and having minimal junk DNA, are thought to be at risk of extinction should their niche disappear . e.g. Pufferfish It’s their inheritance,
    There are questions on the viability of the cheetah .

  69. It’s not logically supportable to assume that all species or populations did previously or currently are enjoying conditions most favourable to them >

    That none are struggling to eke out an existence in suboptimal or unfavourable conditions.

  70. Martin:
    I did not say CO2 levels prevented us from going into an ice age–I said CO2 warming is what brought us out of the Little Ice Age. Which is consistent with your theory that CO2 warms the planet.

    Your assertion that the past is irrelevant is problematic, to say the least. Not to mention, if life adapted before, is there any reason to believe it will not do so now? Maybe not the way you want it to or I want it to, but it will adapt. If you don’t look at the past, except the last 250 years, I suppose you can easily assert whatever conclusion you want. But the adaptation in the past is important to understand if we are to understand where we are going now. Dismissing it is just for your convenience and not very scientific.

    The IPCC admits there has been no warming since 1998. There is a huge list of modeling predictions that did not come true. When the models fail, one rejects the theory, which is what is happening. No sea level rises, no massive melting of glaciers (just the usual summertime changes), polar bears are rampant in the north and keep researchers out of parts of Siberia, etc, etc. The list goes on and on and on.

    I am curious why the Earth could handle massive changes in CO2 in the past from “natural sources” but not when people put it in the air? How does the Earth know the difference?

    Yes, we will hopefully learn to use nuclear power and transition from oil and gas. Recent discoveries indicate we have many, many years before we run out of oil and gas, so we have time to get the nuclear thing perfected. I’m fine with using nuclear instead of oil and gas. Cleaner, more efficient and carbon neutral (Yes, we have to mine it, etc, but we have to mine to manufacture solar and wind equipment to trap the energy that wonders by. Lots and lots of mining and manufacturing. No free lunch on any of this.)

    The problem with the reactions people have to ACD is most want us to revert to the stone age. Which is precisely the dire predictions for what will happen if we do nothing. Any way one looks at ACD, we are doomed to living subsistence lives in miserable conditions. There’s not much motivation for throwing out the A/C, cars, etc when ACD will have the same outcome. If I have to pick whether to live in a hovel and eat berries now or take my chances with a house and car and maybe the CO2 is a problem somewhere down the line, I’m keeping the house and car.

  71. A picture is worth 1000 words. Can somebody PLEASE post a pie graph to illustrate that of the scientists polled, around 1% of them were deemed to agree that “climate change” is anything to worry about. Something like this perhaps:

  72. Actually, jaymam, while a pie chart can illustrate just how few respondents there were to the survey, a picture really can’t illustrate what the major problem is with this whole 97% claim. The problem is even if 97% of 10,000 scientists did agree, a two-question survey with very generic questions does not constitute a valid statistical measurement. To make a claim as grandiose as is made by these studies, there needed to be many more questions that show how much these scientists believe in AGW and the probable (not possible, probable) outcomes. Otherwise, the survey goes along the lines of asking people “Do you like pizza?” and “Do you buy pizza?’ and concluding that 97% of Americans like and buy pizza on a regular basis and pizza is important to the economy. The conclusion is not supported by the survey, except the first part. The remainder is the pollster extrapolating beyond the data. Note, too, that the pizza survey does not actually define what the pollster means by pizza, so there is an assumption that we all refers to the same food when discussing pizza. Same with AGW and the surveys discussed.
    (I did find websites with very good charts on the contributions of CO2, water vapor, etc to climate change. There are some good illustrations of just how little humans contribute overall to the “changes” in climate.)

  73. Reality check says:
    July 22, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Martin:
    I did not say CO2 levels prevented us from going into an ice age–I said CO2 warming is what brought us out of the Little Ice Age.

    Not possible. Until the mid 1900s there was only insignificantly more CO2 than before the LIA, such as during the long centuries while temperatures were dropping. There is zero evidence that CO2 warming has ever occurred — before, during or after the LIA or any other Ice Age or Optimum or climate variation due to cause or causes unknown.

    Climatologists don’t know what they don’t know, but don’t know that they don’t know it.

  74. Correction:

    Climatologists don’t know what they don’t know, but don’t know that they don’t know that they don’t know it.

    :D

  75. My apologies. I did not actually make the statement as one of fact. I was reporting there was a theory out there that industrialization helped end the Little Ice Age. Whether there is any validity to this I doubt, but the theory was in line with what Martin appeared to be arguing, that CO2 was the driving force. If CO2 helped end the LIA, then we wouldn’t want to reduce it. If…..

  76. “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

    – Michael Crichton

  77. Yes it is really a great quote and sums up the CAGW problem completely.

    If the data is shaky, yet there is a “consensus” changes are good the “consensus” is wrong. I always think of the hoopla over the cause of ulcers and all the bashing the poor guy who discovered Helicobacter pylori actually received and that was a relatively simple discovery to repeat.

  78. Apologies for absence of recent comment – have been on holiday with my children.

    Chrichton always was an excellent writer of fiction and, whatever the extent of his non-medical expertise was, it is a pure flight of fantasy for those disputing the modern day consensus (regarding the warming effect of excess CO2 in our atmosphere) to equate themselves with Galileo.

    Given a choice of 1% increase in TSI, 4% moisture, and 40% CO2, even my 14-year old daughter was able to identify the most likely cause of current warming.

  79. well, martin, your daughter’s statement is absolutely unassailable. Um, yours, perhaps not so much.

  80. Martin Lack says: @ July 28, 2012 at 8:26 am

    ….Given a choice of 1% increase in TSI, 4% moisture, and 40% CO2, even my 14-year old daughter was able to identify the most likely cause of current warming.
    _____________________________
    And do you always lie to your daughter by confusing the issue?

    Let us see a 1% increase in TSI with a current TSI of 1380 Wm2 gives us 13.8Wm2

    4% increase in moisture.
    Water makes up as much as 4% of the air. The USGS states: One estimate of the volume of water in the atmosphere at any one time is about 3,100 cubic miles (mi3) or 12,900 cubic kilometers (km3) So we have to look at the latent heat of vaporization as well as water’s IR absorption spectra.

    The input of energy required by a change of state from liquid to vapor at constant temperature is called the latent heat of vaporization…. The specific latent heat of vaporization is the amount of heat required to convert unit mass of a liquid into the vapor without a change in temperature. http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/fluids-evaporation-latent-heat-d_147.html

    For water vapor it is 2257Kj/kg. That is the amount of energy needed to add liquid water from the surface to the atmosphere as a vapor. (evaporation)

    So 12,900(km3) of water is 1.29 X10^16 kilograms of water. (Density of 1)
    4% = 5.6X10^14 kilos X 2257Kilojoules of energy = 1.1646×10^16 Kilojoules (1000Wsec)
    (1 Kilojoule /sec is approximately the amount sunlight per meter in full daylight link) (Someone check my math I am very rusty.)

    That is without ever getting into the greenhouse effect!

    There is 380 ppm of CO2 or 0.038% in the earth atmosphere at present. A 40% increase is 152 PPM or 0.015% so that is a total of 532 ppm.

    The effect of CO2 is Logarithmic.
    GRAPH 1
    GRAPH 2
    link 1
    link 2

    Reading off the graph that additional 40% gives ~ 2 Wm^2. The 13.8 Wm2 from the 1% increase in sunlight beats that hands down. I do not even want to think about the various ramifications of a major increase in water vapor.

  81. “Some ‘sceptics’ have asserted that the recent increase in CO2 concentration is a natural phenomenon. Does ‘sceptic’ mean ‘a person who has not even glanced at the data’?” – David MacKay.

    “Hockey Sticks do not appear in climate-related graphs because anyone wants them to; they appear because they are there” – Me.

  82. I can’t see where I quoted any statement of my daughter? Oh but, of course, you’re trying to pretend you don’t understand or accept what is the obvious cause… Nice idea; shame about the physics…

  83. Martin:
    You mentioned your daughter about 4 posts back, but did actually quote her. Let’s try another question for your daughter. Given that when a person eats sugar, gets sick and dies, it’s probably the sugar that kills them, right? And if they stop eating the sugar, the sugar will stop appearing in their blood and urine. Any 14 year old should see that connection, too.

  84. Sorry RC, that is a totally fallacious analogy. This is because it fails to acknowledge that the enhanced greenhouse effect was deduced from basic physics; then demonstrated in a laboratory; and has now been validated by subsequent events. Therefore, accepting that the most likely cause is the real cause is not the same as mistaking correlation with causation.

  85. And that, ML, is what we call a circular argument. Not to mention subsequent events of course validated the theory because EVERY possible outcome validates the theory (therefore, that is not a valid theory).

  86. What you actually said was:

    Martin Lack says: @ July 28, 2012 at 8:26 am

    ….Given a choice of 1% increase in TSI, 4% moisture, and 40% CO2, even my 14-year old daughter was able to identify the most likely cause of current warming.

    I ran thru the maths and messed-up because I forgot to divide by the surface area of the earth to get the increase in specific latent heat of vaporization of water per meter squared.
    Starting where I left of:

    So 12,900(km3) of water is 1.29 X10^16 kilograms of water. (Density of 1)
    4% = 5.6X10^14 kilos X 2257Kilojoules of energy = 1.1646×10^16 Kilojoules (1000Wsec)
    (1 Kilojoule /sec is approximately the amount sunlight per meter in full daylight link) (Someone check my math I am very rusty.)

    The surface area of the Earth is 510 million square kilometers or 5.1×10^8 km2. 1 kilometer squared = 1 000 000 meters squared or 1.0×10^-6 so earth is 5.1×10^14m2
    That gives us 0.228×10^2 or 22.8 Kilojoules (1000Wsec) per meter squared.

    Now you did not specify increase or decrease. With the relative humidity decreasing according to this graph (a decrease of 4% RH at 700mb not) and also this graph of Global Tropical Cyclone Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) according to Dr. Ryan N. Maue at the Florida State University You must be referring to the decrease in relative humidity.

    On top of the effects of the decrease in relative humidity on the energy from the latent heat of vaporization is what the decrease in relative humidity and cloud cover do to the temperature/incoming energy directly. Sleepalot had posted in a recent comment data from a tropical rainforest and a desert for the month of May. I looked at the days with only sunshine (RH=80%) and found a decrease of 10C in high temperatures, an increase of 10C in the low temperatures due to the increase in humidity (It should be no surprise) I also found the average for the rain forest was 8C lower than for the desert after adjusting for altitude. This should also be no surprise since water absorbs energy in the band that the sun gives off energy as does CO2 graph Comments by a physicist of this are HERE

    There are also the effects of the clouds from the increase in water vapor.

    ABSTRACT
    …The major change in albedo occurred between the early measurements and those that are the most recent. For the 1994/1995 period, we obtain a mean albedo of 0.310 (+/-) 0.004, while for the more recent period, 1999/2001, the albedo is 0.295 (+/-) 0.002. The combined difference in the mean A between the former and latter periods is of )0.015 (+/-) 0.005, assuming the 1994/1995 and 1999/2001 uncertainties are independent. This corresponds to a 2 (+/-) 2% decrease in the albedo between the two period….

    Our observations of the earthshine take the ratio of the earthshine to moonshine, so they are insensitive variations of the solar irradiance. The 5 (+/-) 2% change in our observed reflectance translates to (-sigma A null/1-A null) ~ 0:021 (+/-) 0:007. Solar and terrestrial changes are in phase and contribute to a greater power going into the climate system at activity maximum. However, the effect of the albedo is more than an order of magnitude greater. Our simulations suggest a surface average forcing at the top of the atmosphere, coming only from changes in the albedo from 1994/1995 to 1999/2001, of 2.7 (+/-) 1.4 W/m2 (Pall et al., 2003), while observations give 7.5 (+/-) 2.4 W/m2

    ..whether the Earth’s reflectance varies with the solar cycle is a matter of controversy, but regardless of its origin, if it were real, such a change in the net sunlight reaching the Earth would be very significant for the climate system.

    http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Palle_etal_2004_ASR.pdf

    So the DIRECT MEASUREMENT is giving a change of 7.5 (+/-) 2.4 W/m2 for a decrease of 2 (+/-) 2% decrease in the albedo during the period 1994/1995 and 1999/2001.

    Again JUST the observed change in albedo corresponding to the observed change in relative humidity is 7.5 (+/-) 2.4 W/m^2. That compared to the “additional energy” 40% CO2 of ~ 2 W/m^2 again means water winds hands down and that is only for a 4% decrease in RH not a decrease by 40%.

    Of course the REAL question is why you are misleading your daughter when she would have no idea where to even start looking at the comparison of those three changes. That was my main objective in going through these numbers. As far as I am concerned, you are no better than the guy who hands a girl the 1960s Spoof in Analog Science Fiction and Fact showing statistically humans can not exist because of the infintesimal chance for a specific sperm to fertilize an egg and then tell her that means she can’t get preggers. Lets hope your daughter at least can figure out that fallacy in logic.

  87. I know what I said, thanks; and I did not quote any words of my daughter. The assumption that she made any statement was – and is – solely in the mind of the reader.

    You have written many words but proven nothing other than your unwarranted insistence that you can legitimately second guess the majority of people who are better qualified… If you are right, as with Professor Ian Plimer, you Nobel Prize is guaranteed.

    CO2 may not be the most abundant or the strongest GHG but it is the most persistent and it was – and is – the only one whose abundance we could change significantly; and have indeed done so. To think this could be insignificant is just ludicrous… Furthermore, what has or has not happened in the last decade or so is completely irrelevant so, will you please stop going down the up escalator

  88. Martin Lack says:
    July 29, 2012 at 2:11 am
    Sorry RC, that is a totally fallacious analogy. This is because it fails to acknowledge that the enhanced greenhouse effect was deduced from basic physics;

    Are you referring to Arrhenius’ mathematical derivation or Callendar’s scientific wild-ass guess?

    then demonstrated in a laboratory;

    Has it been directly observed outside a lab?

    and has now been validated by subsequent events.

    Has the tropospheric hot spot suddenly appeared? Has the tropopause increased in absolute altitude? Has global atmospheric water vapor content measurably increased? Have global temperatures continued to rise in lockstep with CO2 levels?

    None of those things have happened. In order to give any credence to AGW as a hypothesis, *all* of them must have happened.

    Therefore, accepting that the most likely cause is the real cause is not the same as mistaking correlation with causation.

    Since the most likely cause is natural variation, AGW proponents must twist either themselves in knots trying to prove otherwise or ask 14-year-olds to validate their belief.

  89. Thanks for seeking clarification, Bill. For the record… I was indeed referring to Arrhenius; and I am observing the predicted consequences of ACD right now (even if you are not). No-one ever said temperatures would rise “in lockstep with CO2″ (quite the opposite in fact – a time lag was always acknowledged to be inevitable and has been exacerbated by other forms of atmospheric pollution). However, since the 1970′s, every subsequent decade has been warmer than that which preceded it. Thus, for anyone to fail to acknowledge that ACD is a theory that has been validated by what is now happening, it requires a great deal of blind faith; and severe twisting of the word “hypothesis”.

  90. Martin Lack says:
    July 29, 2012 at 10:06 am
    Thanks for seeking clarification, Bill. For the record… I was indeed referring to Arrhenius;

    Then you are unaware that Arrhenius’ proposition has not only never been validated, but that Robert Wood’s 1909 experiment proved Arrhenius’ math was wrong. Wood’s experiment is repeatable – Nasif Nahle did it as recently as 2011.

    http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/pdf/Joe_Bastardi_is_Correct.pdf

    and I am observing the predicted consequences of ACD [Automatic Call Distribution?] right now (even if you are not).

    So, you’ve found the tropospheric hot spot? You’ve measured an increase in the tropopause’s absolute altitude globally? Or are you just looking at some local *weather*…?

    No-one ever said temperatures would rise “in lockstep with CO2″ (quite the opposite in fact – a time lag was always acknowledged to be inevitable

    But simple fact is: “No matter what rules temperature, CO2 is easily overruled by other effects, and this CO2-argument falls”. So we are left with graphs showing that CO2 follows temperatures, and no arguments that CO2 even so could be the main driver of temperatures.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2,Temperaturesandiceages-f.pdf

    and has been exacerbated by other forms of atmospheric pollution). However, since the 1970′s, every subsequent decade has been warmer than that which preceded it.

    Convenient starting point, considering that the ‘60s were *cooler* than the ‘50s. If we *weren’t* getting warmer, it might mean we were on the verge of another LIA or worse. Oh, wait…

    Thus, for anyone to fail to acknowledge that ACD is a theory that has been validated by what is now happening, it requires a great deal of blind faith; and severe twisting of the word “hypothesis”.

    The problem with that closing statement is that the only thing happening now that hasn’t happened hundreds of thousands of times in the past is — *nothing*. Weather is doing what weather always does and climate is doing what climate always does – they *change*.

    If that’s all you’ve got, you need to do a lot of reading. Start with something related to geology, which will give you a good, basic framework to build on.

  91. Bill Tuttle says: @ July 29, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Has the tropospheric hot spot suddenly appeared? Has the tropopause increased in absolute altitude? Has global atmospheric water vapor content measurably increased? Have global temperatures continued to rise in lockstep with CO2 levels?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Has the tropospheric hot spot suddenly appeared?

    No link

    Has the tropopause increased in absolute altitude?

    No, NASA had an article about the collapse of the atmosphere …there are some other significant side-effects: Earth’s upper atmosphere is heated less by the sun and it is therefore less “puffed up.

    Has global atmospheric water vapor content measurably increased?

    Actually it has decreased as has the storm energy as I showed above. SEE: the % RH graph and the cyclone energy graph. Those two graphs along with the MEASURED decrease in albedo (cloud cover) are major clues that the increase in CO2 DOES NOT INCREASE evaporation of water. So much for a positive water feed back. There have however been changes in solar activity.

    “… ultraviolet irradiance fell far more than expected between 2004 and 2007 — by ten times as much as the total irradiance did — while irradiance in certain visible and infrared wavelengths surprisingly increased,…” graph The NASA article continues “..Between 2004 and 2007, the Solar Irradiance Monitor (blue line) measured a decrease in ultraviolet radiation (less than 400 nanometers) that was a factor of four to six larger than expected (black line). In the visible part of the spectrum (400 to 700 nanometers), SIM showed a slight increase in comparison to what was expected….”

    Sun spot numbers for last cycles 21, 22 and 23

    Have global temperatures continued to rise in lockstep with CO2 levels?

    If the last was not a big clue that CO2 is not the “Control Knob” of climate this one sure is. graph Co2 not only lags temperature but it does not follow it very well either especially during the relatively constant temperatures of the Holocene.

    It is very simple, the sun warms the oceans and the oceans outgas CO2 as they warm.
    graph 1 and graph 2 and the absorption coefficient vs depth graph 3 That is the energy driving our climate. The NASA link above shows the variation in the energetic wavelengths (visible and above) is much higher that was originally thought. The exact wavelengths that have the maximum impact on the energy transfer from the sun to the oceans.

    Solar Cycle 23 was the end of the Solar Grand Maxima and Cosmic rays have also increased recently. graph Cosmic rays appear to be inversely related to the solar cycles as would be expected.

    The sun’s effect on oceans, clouds, winds and humidity (evaporation) are what rule our climate. CO2 is nothing but a minor bit player some con-men are using to grab our freedom and wealth .

    I wonder how much the shills are being paid by the oil companies and con artists? The last I say was $10/hr in 1986. Now I think they (USPRIG) are paying College students ~ $30K a year

  92. finsl words from the papers author, who perhaps had her eyes opened a little (maybe why it was put online last year?)

    Quote from Maggie Zimmerman after doing the infamous 97.4% Doran survey

    “This entire process has been an exercise in re-educating myself about the climate debate and, in the process, I can honestly say that I have heard very convincing arguments from all the different sides, and I think I’m actually more neutral on the issue now than I was before I started this project. There is so much gray area when you begin to mix science and politics, environmental issues and social issues, calculated rational thinking with emotions, etc.”

  93. Bill – In 1909, Robert Woods (any relation to Barry?) demonstrated that a greenhouse gets hot by preventing convection not by trapping radiation. This does not invalidate climate science; it merely proves that the analogy with a greenhouse is not perfect; nor is that of a blanket – because neither of them traps or reflects radiation… For someone who would probably insist that global warming stopped on [insert date], it is ridiculous to accuse me of picking convenient dates (I have already explained why the 1970s is a significant point in history).

  94. Gail – I have pointed all readers in the direction of David MacKay’s graph of atmospheric CO2 levels over the last 1000 years; and highlighted the fact that the so-called Keeling Curve is actually the near-vertical end of a super-exponential increase in CO2 since the Industrial Revolution. This is why so many people have attacked MBH98 so remorselessly – because the recent rapid rise in global average temperatures (which Muller/BEST confirmed is real) validates the theorising of Tyndall/Arrhenius. Cyclical solar activity may be responsible for ‘bumps in the road’ (as may large volcanic eruptions and the vagaries of ocean currents, etc) but… none of them can explain the overall upward trend of both CO2 and temperature over the last 250 years. They don’t need to, we already know the answer: More CO2 in atmosphere traps a greater proportion of outgoing LWR; which means the Earth must warm up in order to increase total LWR and re-balance that which escapes with incoming solar radiation. It’s not rocket science; and even my 14-year old daughter could probably understand it!

  95. Barry – The imperfections of this infamous survey do not change the likelihood that there is a genuine consensus regarding the implications of what Arrhenius and Tyndall predicted; and what has since happened (particularly in the last 50 to 60 years). Furthermore, neither you nor anyone else on this site has yet to provide any convincing reason to dispute it without invoking the need for large-scale stupidity, sloppiness, or sinister motives; and/or implying that contrarians are cleverer than everyone else. At which point, given the track-record of big business for denying responsibility for health and environmental problems and perpetuating doubt regarding well-understood science… I think it entirely reasonable to invoke Occam’s Razor.

    • Martin perhaps I can help a little here. We on this side think that CO2 is a fundamental component of our civilisation and it seems to be having a minor part in this theatre of absurdity called Anthropogenic Climate Change. You , on the other hand seem to think it is the star of the production and serves up nothing that can’t be done in other ways.

      The science you reference is old laboratory stuff and the actual air body we have doesn’t seem to back them up no matter how reverenced you feel towards them. That’s our problem you see, the science is always shonky. Lindzen said it best the other day in London, “our effect on the climate is trivial”. Trivial you see. The fact that something may happen doesn’t mean the effect is significant.

      Anthony Watts has put up a paper that can be commented on, analysed, upgraded even. That paper says that the sums the big boys over at NASA have been doing have been wrong enough to report a doubling of warming values ( more than doubling in some cases ) over actuality.

      Go over there and read the paper, attached to it are the press release and slideshow links. When you have done that tell us why your CO2 story has any relevance at all because I am not convinced. Oh, and I place evolution above intelligent design, I am not in “Big Oil” , the spherical Earth things seems legit as does the moon landing, and I have never smoked.

  96. Please tell me, Martin, you are not in law enforcement. Your theory says: We have Bob. Looks good for the crime and had motive and opportunity and he has a history similar to that of other people who committed said crime. The crime in his neighborhood went up when he moved in. Therefore, he is guilty and we need look no more for our guilty man. We have him.
    Also, Occam’s Razor said eating sugar caused diabetes……..

  97. Martin: I hope you are not in law enforcement. Your theory says “Bill had the motive, opportunity and looks good for the crime. He has the same demeanor as criminals, some neighbors say he is the suspicious type, many fear him. Since he moved in, crime has gone up in the neighborhood. No need to look further. We have our man. Crime solved. Bill did it. We will jail Bill, crime will go down in the neighborhood and people will be safe.” Unless Bill didn’t do it and the real culprit is still out there. But jail Bill just in case and don’t look anywhere else–it only complicates things.
    Occam’s Razor says eating sugar causes diabetes……We should have stopped there and declared consensus?

  98. Martin Lack says:
    July 30, 2012 at 3:11 am
    The imperfections of this infamous survey do not change the likelihood that there is a genuine consensus regarding the implications of what Arrhenius and Tyndall predicted;

    A consensus is a political construct — its presence or absence has nothing to do with either proving or falsifying a scientific hypothesis.

    Furthermore, neither you nor anyone else on this site has yet to provide any convincing reason to dispute it without invoking the need for large-scale stupidity, sloppiness, or sinister motives;

    The dispute is on your part. The skeptic position is that it’s natural variation, and the warmist position is that it’s not — the problem is, trying to prove that it’s not natural leads to making statements which are on pretty shaky foundations.

    I think it entirely reasonable to invoke Occam’s Razor.

    The simplest explanation is that, since it’s happened before (a hundred thousand times) *naturally*, it’s happening again *naturally*.

    Bill – In 1909, Robert Woods (any relation to Barry?)

    The Robert of experimental fame was surnamed “Wood” — but there may be multi-generation-ago tie-in, sure. I think a connection with Natalie would be a stretch, though…

  99. Reality check says:
    July 30, 2012 at 5:43 am
    Martin: I hope you are not in law enforcement. Your theory says “Bill had the motive, opportunity and looks good for the crime.”

    I didn’t do it! I was robbing a convenience store at the time, and I can prove it!

  100. Keith – I think it would be more appropriate to dismiss Lindzen’s impact on climate as trivial. Any vestigial respect he had amongst his peers has now surely been lost as a result of his accusing everyone else of being stupid, sloppy, or suspect (as he did in London).

  101. So it’s okay for warmists to call those who question them “deniers”, “stupid”, “uneducated” and want them jailed, but those who disagree with warmists cannot do the same to the warmists? That’s what we call “hypocrites”. And don’t tell me the warmists can do this because they are right–warmists are NOT all knowing, in spite of your undying faith in their scientific deity.

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