Yet another survey conducted by John Cook of Skeptical Science ? Watch what happens to requests for the questions

This is odd. I suppose the strategy of Cook and Lewandowsky is to keep polling until you get the answers you want. Who would have thought there would now be a third survey? Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. reports on the solicitation he received:

Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2012 08:45:15 +0000
From: “Verheggen, Bart”
To: “Verheggen, Bart”
Cc: “Strengers, Bart”
Subject: Survey questions available on PBL website

Dear survey respondent,

Based on requests we received, we hereby make the Climate Science Survey questions and answer options available on the PBL website:

http://www.pbl.nl/en/news/newsitems/2012/survey-on-the-opinions-on-climate-change

With kind regards,
Bart Verheggen, Bart Strengers, Rob van Dorland, John Cook

Regards,

Dr Bart Verheggen
Scientist

………………………………………………………………
Department of Climate, Air and Energy
PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Ant. van Leeuwenhoeklaan 9 | 3721 MA | Bilthoven | W.340
PO box 303 | 3720 AH | Bilthoven

Issues related to the role of climate science in society will also receive attention. The results and their analysis will be published on our website and submitted to a scientific journal. We anticipate this study to facilitate a constructive dialogue on the selected issues, between people of different opinion, and to help communicate these issues to a wider audience.

See also:

The questions asked in the survey (PDF, 403 KB)

More information

For further information, please contact the PBL press office (+31 70 3288688 or persvoorlichting@pbl.nl).

Meanwhile. Dr. Tim Ball discovered (after taking the survey) that John Cook was associated with it and wanted to be removed. He writes:  

From: Tim Ball

Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 9:52 AM

To:  Anthony Watts

Subject: Heads up

I have had a brief battle with a Netherlands government agency being used to do a survey on climate responses much like the one Lewandowsky did.

When I discovered John Cook (I assume it is the same person) was involved I asked for my contribution to be removed. They refused.

Here are the emails involved. Most recent at the bottom so you can read them in sequence.

Tim Ball

From: Tim Ball
Sent: donderdag 20 september 2012 7:27
To: Verheggen, Bart
Cc: Strengers, Bart
Subject: Re: Thank you for responding to our climate science survey
I would be grateful if you could send me copy of the survey. I don’t want the results, just the survey as circulated.
Thank you
Tim Ball
On 2012-09-20, at 8:10 AM, Verheggen, Bart wrote:
Dear Dr Ball,The initial invitation email with the request to participate in our survey was signed by the same people (i.e. including John Cook), so the information of his involvement should not be new to you. We will not remove any responses from our database.With kind regards,

Bart Verheggen

Here’s the response he got back from Bart Verheggen to that request for a copy of the survey:

From: “Verheggen, Bart”
Subject: RE: Thank you for responding to our climate science survey
Date: 24 September, 2012 5:43:49 AM PDT
To: ‘Tim Ball’
Cc: “Strengers, Bart”
Dear Dr Ball,
We are considering how to reply to your request. This will take a bit of time since we will need internal approval. We will let you know as soon as a decision is made.
Regards,Dr Bart Verheggen
Scientist
………………………………………………………………
Department of Climate, Air and Energy
PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Ant. van Leeuwenhoeklaan 9 | 3721 MA | Bilthoven | W.340
PO box 303 | 3720 AH | Bilthoven

“…we will need internal approval.” yet the questions Dr. Ball requested are publicly available online here:

http://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/cms/Climate_Science_Survey_Questions_PBL_2012_0.pdf

As a link from the news release about the survey here:

http://www.pbl.nl/en/news/newsitems/2012/survey-on-the-opinions-on-climate-change

So in the same week that Dr. Verheggen makes a publicly available copy of the very same questions Dr. Ball asked for available to Dr. Roger Pielke in the solicitation, he frets about how to make them available to Dr. Tim Ball after he’s already taken the survey! Could there be a more blatant display of lack of integrity?

We anticipate this study to facilitate a constructive dialogue on the selected issues, between people of different opinion, and to help communicate these issues to a wider audience.

See also:

The questions asked in the survey (PDF, 403 KB)

Constructive dialog or manipulation of opinion under the guise of science? Given the Cook-Lewandowsky track record we know so far, you be the judge.

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99 Responses to Yet another survey conducted by John Cook of Skeptical Science ? Watch what happens to requests for the questions

  1. Matthew W says:

    “How would you describe your specialist knowledge of one or more aspects of physical climate science?”
    ==============================
    There is no answer of “Supreme Being” that most Official Climate Scientists would select!!

  2. more soylent green! says:

    On the face of it, this seems like a pretty good survey.

    However, the involvement of Cook and his lot is problematic. There are always issues with participant selection, the differences between those who decide to not respond and those who do, who is solicited, etc.

  3. “Dr Bart Verheggen
    Scientist”
    Just to let everyone know that we’re doing science here. Excuse me, Science here.
    Personally, I also capitalize my profession : John Smith, Bottle Washer

  4. bubbagyro says:

    Are you sure Bart Simpson doesn’t deserve to be the third ‘Bart’ on the citation? I’m sure his comment on the survey must have been, succinctly, “Doh!”.

  5. Bart says:

    This is a misunderstanding: we conducted a survey in april of this year and have published the questions asked on the web, after requests from some respondents. This survey is no longer active.

  6. kim says:

    Worldwide, psychologists expert at projection sit in awe at this spectacle, and wonder how to safely tap in to the raging torrent of data.
    ========================

  7. Don Worley says:

    The correct answer to most of these questions is “I do not know”. Of course many will never check off “I don’t know”. So when the results come back, sorted by the professional field of the respondents, those professional fields where dishonest scientists claim to know will be deemed as “most knowledgeable” because they will never admit that they do not know.

    Climatologists will be declared the supreme authority on all matters climate and the professional consensus of 100% confirmed.

  8. banjo says:

    i can do science ,me

  9. banjo says:

    Maybe i have a blind spot about this,but i find it difficult to accept psychology as a science.
    It seems to fit with crystals,dreamcatchers and astrology.
    Having said that i`m willing to be proved wrong.

  10. Scott Basinger says:

    Actually, that’s a pretty good survey. The questions show a fairly deep knowledge of the issues.

    The only issue I would have is whether the folks who are completing the survey are doing so with a specific strategic goal which will be some statement like ‘90% of scientists agree’ (with our political goal).

    A more interesting result would focus on the specific areas of contention so that those involved in research can focus more strongly on expanding our knowledge in those areas.

    I’m not confident, however. With the obviously politically motivated people involved, I would be shocked to see anything constructive coming out of this.

  11. Gary says:

    The survey questions are fairly comprehensive and the responses generally cover the spread of possible opinion. It’s a pretty good instrument for getting an idea of where the thinking is. As always it’s the population of invitees and respondents that determines the value of results. Unless that metadata is made available and explained the results are only a curiosity.

  12. cui bono says:

    Kent Beuchert says (September 26, 2012 at 9:51 am)

    Puhleeze. “Culinary Liquid Sanitation Engineer”.

  13. MangoChutney says:

    It has to be a different John Cook or has The Cartoonists involvement been verified?

  14. Bart Verheggen is a frequent blogger on the Dutch skeptics blogs, always defending the undefendable, like Mann’s HS… And he is a Scientist with the huge S, to make a fine distinction between Scientists and the rest of the population…

    BTW, Bart Verheggen, we have already another Bart here as alias, be it a skeptic, including that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is not from human emissions, where I strongly disagree…

  15. pochas says:

    Do we really want to give these clowns any more publicity? That’s what they’re after, you know.

  16. rpielke says:

    I have posted an update from Bart Verheggen on my weblog that clarifies the status of this survey – http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/new-survey-on-climate-science-by-bart-verheggen-bart-strengers-rob-van-dorland-and-john-cook/

  17. Lance Wallace says:

    Here is Bart Verheggen’s description of himself on his blog (http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/about/):

    “The ‘debate’ about climate change, as portrayed in the popular media (“Is it real? Is it caused by humans?”), is entirely different from the scientific debate (which is about details; the big picture has emerged quite clearly from the past decades of research: Yes, it’s real. Yes, it’s predominantly caused by humans).”

    If Bart is conducting the survey or analyzing its results, would the term “conflict of interest” be too strong?

  18. Hans Labohm says:

    It may come as a surprise to you but some Dutch climate sceptics have been consulted in the preparation of the survey. The relationship between AGW protagonists and antagonists in The Netherlands is somewhat more relaxed than in other countries. There are frequent and respectful contacts.

    Even Fred Singer was invited by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) to lecture in its major Buys Ballot Conference Room.

    To my mind the questions of the survey were very to the point, sophisticated and reflect the most important points of divergence between the two camps.

    I don’t know the outcome of the survey. Neither do I know the composition of the group of scientists who have participated in the survey.

    I do know, however, the scientists (professional climatologists) who have authored the survey. On substance I profoundly disagree with them. But I have not any doubt about their scientific integrity.

    This exercise is therefore completely different from that of Cook and Lewandowsky.

    It would be wise to wait to pass judgement until the results are published.

    Hans Labohm

  19. P. Solar says:

    Having Cook’s name attached to the project does not inspire any confidence ( or credibility). However, to be fair, the questions do seem comprehensive and unbiased.

    This seems like a much more serious survey questionnaire. Remains to see how they selected their respondents and whether there is still the selection bias issue so blatant in Cook’s own project.

    It is also possible that since they replied to Ball on 24th saying they were considering how to deal with his request, they decided to make the list public. This is not inconsistent with the email to Pielke Sr on 26th. Don’t be too quick to accuse people of lack of integrity.

  20. Sam the First says:

    “Dr Bart Verheggen
    Scientist”

    What genuine scientist would so describe himself?
    S/He’d put PhD (Physics) or whatever the qualification was.

    Please… these people are beyond ridilculous

  21. Lance Wallace says:

    The survey is described here (http://www.pbl.nl/en/news/newsitems/2012/survey-on-the-opinions-on-climate-change) as “To this end, an international survey is being held among scientists who have published about global warming. Also invited are people who publicly have raised criticisms against climate science.”

    So did they contact the site that probably has more people “raising criticisms against climate science” than any other? Anthony? Got your April emails handy?

  22. fretslider says:

    Given that SkS is little more than a rubber wallpapered room for delusional lunatics, I often wonder why serious people give it so much oxygen.

    I asked two pertinent questions, my posts were snipped to pieces and I was shown the door.

    Anthony, why do you waste your time on this site?

  23. fretslider says:

    BTW I’m an ecologist by training

  24. Sean says:

    Here’s some help with your email sig Bart…

    Dr Bart Verheggen
    Jackass

  25. Hello Hans,

    Some time ago we have met… The problem with this survey is partly that no skeptics are involved in the “steering committee”, only strong AGW adepts, which makes several skeptics rather suspicious. But the main problem is the presence of John Cook, whose scientific integrity is not really to be build on. Something the other members of the committee may not have known, but which makes that no skeptic will see the results as not manipulated, no matter how integer the other members are (which they are, even if, like you, I strongly differ with several of their opinions).

  26. Tom in Florida says:

    Kent Beuchert says:
    September 26, 2012 at 9:51 am
    “Dr Bart Verheggen
    Scientist”
    Just to let everyone know that we’re doing science here. Excuse me, Science here.
    Personally, I also capitalize my profession : John Smith, Bottle Washer”

    Reminds me of the world Ocean Expo 1975 held in Okinawa where the Russians had an exhibit that I went into. All of their guys manning the pavilion had badges with their names and the designation “Expert”. Never found out what they were expert in (most likely intelligence gathering as there several American bases and thousands of troops stationed there at that time).

  27. Dan King says:

    This is off-topic, but very funny. Noah Smith blogs on economics, and has compiled a bestiary of trolls that afflict the econoblogs. With some rewording, this is applicable to climate science – especially the section labeled “Scientists.”

    http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/econotrolls-illustrated-bestiary.html

    Enjoy.

  28. marchesarosa says:

    I think the questions are good as far as they go and the variety of possible responses is realistic. However, if I were a sceptical “climate” scientist or in a related field or an informed but sceptical layman I would be VERY wary about putting my considered responses into the hands of people like Verheggen and Cook. They have form and in view of their past disparagement of people who do not agree with their world view they are untrustworthy as the designers, recruiters and interpreters of this survey. It should be in the hands of an objective polling organisation. And even then, how can an unequivocally fair sample of people in and around climate science be constructed?

  29. Robin says:

    I think it is impossible to look at this Lewandowsky work and not see the push to gut the concept of scientific knowledge as known since the Enlightenment in favor of a scientistic (in the Hayek use of word) social systems thinking use. Believe it or not I am dealing now with school districts implementing K-12 practices based on the Club of Rome’s notorious Limits to Growth from 1976. Even CoR repudiated the book but its use in the classroom creates desired future attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors so in it comes anyway.

    http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/we-need-a-radical-change-in-our-mode-of-consciousness-even-a-new-sense-of-being-human/ is a good summary of this unified science approach in K-12 to gut Western science as traditionally understood, redesign the economy to reject fossil fuels, and control human behavior. All going on right now all over the world through K-12 mandates emanating from the UN ultimately.

    And sunlight is the only disinfectant that can possibly stop this manipulation and theft of minds and our tax money. As you can imagine Big Business largely sees this as a chance for a Corporatist economy where they lock in their current places at the table.

    This is the world and future Lew and others are building at our expense.

  30. Hans Labohm says:

    Dear Ferdinand,

    I don’t know Cook. But I know the other three ‘cooks’. Again, I profoundly disagree with them on substance. But I have no doubt about their scientific integrity.

    I was informed that the whole exercise started to investigate the correctness of the dogma: ‘The science is settled. All scientists agree’. Visitors of this website know that that is not true. But the IPCC could pretend that it was, beacuse there was no peer-reviewed article to refute this misinformation. Let’s hope that the outcome of this exercise will prove once again that this dogma is incorrect.

    Of course, the Oregon Petition Project and the list by Marc Morano, as well as some German polls have convincingly proven that there is no consensus, but these have not been published in peer-reviewed literature and thus could be conveniently ignored by the IPCC.

    Let’s hope that there is no wiggle room this time.

  31. WillR says:

    If you think it is a “neutral” survey — have a look at 13:

    Which of the following best describes your view of global average Sea Level Rise (SLR) since pre-industrial times?

    1) SLR has accelerated gradually to the current multi-decadal trend of ~3 mm/yr
    2) SLR has been steady (~2 mm/year)
    3) SLR has been small (<1 mm/yr) and steady for thousands of years
    etc.

    Is that just a way to get accelerated/accelerating into the discussion when drawing a curve with acceleration might be a stretch — but could be "negotiated" or "justified"?

    There are other "interpretable" questions…

  32. Bart (Verheggen) says:

    To expand on my previous comment:

    We undertook a survey in March/April of this year (which, as Hans Labohm mentioned upthread, had been previewed by a variety of people with different viewpoints). Some respondents, e.g. Timothy Ball, asked to see the questions again. After internal consultation, we decided to publish the survey questions on the institute’s website, so that they are viewable to all. We are still contacting the survey respondents to inform them of the questions being available to view. I informed Dr Ball of this as well, to follow-up on my earlier email to him.

    Our email to all respondents, informing them of the fact that the survey questions are available on the web, was apparently misunderstood to mean that we were again soliciting responses to a survey; this is however not the case. Roger Pielke Sr had already put a notice about the survey on his blog, which he has since updated after an email clarifying that this is an inactive survey, to which he had previously responded.

  33. Lance Wallace says:

    Hans, this is what you actually said:

    “This exercise is therefore completely different from that of Cook and Lewandowsky.”

    Cook is one of the Gang of Four here. How did he get in? Did he take part in designing the survey? Providing ideas on which blogs to invite in, perhaps using a different name entirely so that people can’t find it in their emails two years later? Advising on presenting two different surveys to the two different groups so that no comparison can be valid? Inquiring minds want to know…

  34. Billy Liar says:

    Hans Labohm says:
    September 26, 2012 at 11:04 am

    But I have not any doubt about their scientific integrity

    They must be pretty gullible to involve a man with an overt obsession in their research team.

  35. Billy Liar says:

    Hans Labohm says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I was informed that the whole exercise started to investigate the correctness of the dogma: ‘The science is settled. All scientists agree’.

    I wonder why John Cook became an author?

    Too much naivete on display.

  36. Redoing polls until you get the ‘right’ answer is well known here on this side of the pond. The European Union always does this with referendums on its ‘treaties’ – for which read diktats.
    Vote ‘no’ and you get to go again until you vote ‘yes’. Vote ‘yes’ and you never get another chance!

  37. D Böehm says:

    Bart Verheggen,

    Do you not understand that by not having a single scientific skeptic in your group, you lose all credibility?

    It does not matter how perfect your questions are. By excluding scientific skeptics, and by inviting a mendacious propagandist like John Cook, you will be endlessly ridiculed, and deservedly so.

    Why are you so frightened of having skeptical scientific input? You would be widely praised if you put together a group of 50/50 skeptics and alarmists to formulate the questions. Only someone who has his conclusions in mind prior to a survey would use your entirely like-minded group.

  38. wayne says:

    Does science itself hinge, in any manner, on the results of this or any other survey? No. Move along.

  39. Ray says:

    “Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2012 08:45:15 +0000
    From: “Verheggen, Bart”
    To: “Verheggen, Bart”
    Cc: “Strengers, Bart”
    Subject: Survey questions available on PBL website

    Dear survey respondent,…”

    What kind of person sends emails to himself first and then Cc’s others???

  40. Pouncer says:

    I’d like to survey climate bloggers and readers about some other framing issues.
    On a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is believe strongly and 5 is doubt strongly, what about the hypothesis
    that:

    1)The Kerr McGee energy company hired the assasination of Karen Silkwood.

    2) The Kennedy family arranged the end of wind power and transmission lines off the coast of Massachusettes.

    3) The Cheney commission on Energy in 2002 secretly authorized “fracking” technologies now coming to market.

    4) Plutonium wastes are safer in above ground, on-site storage than in long-term underground repositories once transporatation risks are accounted for.

    5) The right-of-way along the US federal interstate highway system provides enough acreage for solar collectors to power the entire nation’s electrical needs several times over.

  41. kim says:

    Hans and Bart are invited to discuss the findings about Rob van Dorland found in David Ross’ 12:21 PM link.
    ===================

  42. AndyG55 says:

    Bart (Verheggen) says:
    “To expand on my previous comment:”

    To recap on every comment here. You have got John Cook involved, your survey will thus be seen as meaningless and flawed and highly biased.

    You are a TOTAL FOOL for involving him if you wanted to maintain an appearance of integrity.

    The survey is now totally USELESS.. well done… FOOL !!

  43. James says:

    “What kind of person sends emails to himself first and then Cc’s others???”

    Well, on this narrow question I can comment. I do this all the time so that I have a copy of the email in my inbox. Sent items are not readily available on my blackberry, so this can make seeing the email easier. Why include everyone else on the Cc: line…no idea.

  44. EternalOptimist says:

    There was a young scientist called Bart
    Who developed the statistical art
    Of surveying opinion
    But he was a minion
    Of a well known, well Cooked @rse

  45. Ken Harvey says:

    A survey of peoples’ subjective opinions has no mathematical validity and thus no scientific validity. The same is true if the respondents are scientists or laymen, or whether in the main they are honest within their own lights, or whether they are manipulators. Let’s take just one question and consider it’s implications.
    Question Condition
    1a What fraction of global warming since the mid-20th century
    can be attributed to human induced increases in atmospheric
    greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations?
    More than 100% (i.e. GHG warming has been partly offset by aerosol
    cooling)
    Between 76% and 100%
    Between 51% and 76%
    Between 26% and 50%
    Between 0 and 25%
    Less than 0% (i.e. anthropogenic GHG emissions have caused cooling)
    There has been no warming
    Unknown due to lack of knowledge
    I do not know
    Other (please specify)

    Let’s say that I believe that the correct answer is 0. If I tick that box I immediately lump my opinion in with those who think that 25% is the appropriate answer, despite the world of difference between our positions. I am tempted to tick the next box down indicating less than 0% and I may, or may not give in to that temptation. Let’s sat that I believe that the correct answer is 25%. I face a similar problem – I don’t want to be lumped in with the fellow who thinks that the answer is 0. I am tempted to tick the higher box. Similar objections can be raised against most of the questions. If I believe 25% is correct but I also believe that the end justifies the means, then I may well tick 75% – 100%. This is not science and it is not mathematics, but it is what routinely passes as ‘statistics’.

    The major fault with the approach is much more fundamental than wide ranging tick box answers. Sources of bias have not been eliminated. The respondents are not random but have been selected! Statistical analysis has fallen at the very first hurdle. Junk science, and you can run it through Excel or Open Office using the most esoteric filters that you can find and you will be left with the junk that you started with..

  46. pochas says:

    Another exercise in political propaganda to be magically transmuted into post-normal scientific “fact.”

  47. Gunga Din says:

    Who needs the questions when you already know what the answers will say?
    /sarc

  48. more soylent green! says:

    wayne says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm
    Does science itself hinge, in any manner, on the results of this or any other survey? No. Move along.

    There you have. The survey is settled.

  49. Steven Mosher says:

    AndyG55 says:
    September 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm (Edit)
    Bart (Verheggen) says:
    “To expand on my previous comment:”

    To recap on every comment here. You have got John Cook involved, your survey will thus be seen as meaningless and flawed and highly biased.

    You are a TOTAL FOOL for involving him if you wanted to maintain an appearance of integrity.

    The survey is now totally USELESS.. well done… FOOL !!

    ########################

    Nice way to get scientists to visit WUWT. You want a debate with them, you want to be heard and you call them fools. kinda weird if you ask me.

  50. EternalOptimist says:

    steven Mosher
    do scientists regularly get involved in polling or surveys ?

  51. AndyG55 says:

    At Mosh.

    His actions, not mine,, …

    If he wants to associate with John Cook.. More fool him !!!

  52. John Whitman says:

    Asking all skeptics in the open venue climate blogosphere if they were invited to take the survey and if they declined also asking why they declined would give some valuable information.

    In my case, if I knew that there were no skeptics mixed into the group leading the survey, I would have declined to take it since I could not expect reasonably adequate checks and balances against the AGW consensus supporters involved in leading the survey from biasing the results.

    Also, if I knew that either John Cook or Bart Verheggen were in anyway involved in organizing and/or leading the survey, I would have declined to take it since I think they are clearly not capable (based on their long blog track record) of being in any way open to non-consensus viewpoints. That is, how could I expect fair treatment from them as survey leaders of survey responses provided by skeptics? Because of that I think there are ongoing intellectual integrity concerns wrt to them being involved in the survey team.

    SUGGESTION: I suggest the following request be sent all the blogs that have the balanced scientific attitude to encourage skeptical views of the IPCC endorsed ‘settled’/ ‘consensus’ science. REQUEST to open venue blog participants: Did you receive an invitation to participate the survey? If you did, did you decline? If you declined, please provide the basis of your refusal.

    John

  53. David Ball says:

    The survey is another distraction from the divergence of temperature and Co2. Surveys are not cogent to the discussion, are they?

    They are losing on every front. Get back to your books and concentrate on something that actually matters.

  54. is investigating the range of scientific opinions about climate change….. Scientific Opinions????? when did an opion begin to constitue fact? This is what happens when the government hands out too much play money to the children!

  55. argh finger nails too long, must be that wretched CO2! sorry OPINION

  56. Duster says:

    Lance Wallace says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Hans, this is what you actually said:

    “This exercise is therefore completely different from that of Cook and Lewandowsky.”

    Cook is one of the Gang of Four here. …

    It would be far more relevant to consider the survey questionnaire itself in detail. Are the questions biased, for instance? Lewandowsky’s plainly are and also force choices to either weak aggreement or doubt where “don’t know” would be appropriate. The Netherlands survey confined itself strictly to question related to the scientific aspects of the climate debate. There are no asinine “conspiracy” questions, and the range of choices in answer actually makes it possible quantify fairly nuanced views. The set of professional choices also allows the analyst to correlate professional back grounds, contrasting e.g. individuals claiming geological expertise with individuals claiming climate impact expertise. The important issues are methodological. Provided that the survey was circulated among an honestly drawn sample of the study population, and that the study population was honestly delimited to acquire a valid cross-section of scientific opinion, the results should be interesting.

  57. Dennis Gaskill says:

    Instead of doing science ……..they can do a survey and if it comes out the way they like it …… they can claim consensus !
    Do these people get paid wages for what they Do!

  58. Hans Labohm says:

    D. Böehm,

    You wrote: ‘Why are you so frightened of having skeptical scientific input? You would be widely praised if you put together a group of 50/50 skeptics and alarmists to formulate the questions. Only someone who has his conclusions in mind prior to a survey would use your entirely like-minded group.’

    Fair question! As I already mentioned there was some skeptical scientific input.

    But the 50/50 approach would of course have been better.

    We – AGW protagonists and antagonists together – are still working on that in The Netherlands in various ways and so far the results seem promising. Stay tuned!

  59. Mike Haseler says:

    Steven Mosher.

    When a banker causes a $1billion waste of public money by dishonestly reporting interest rates, they get locked up for many years.

    Climate Academics have caused a $1tillion waste of public money by dishonestly reporting temperature predictions. The only people who should want to talk to them is the police.

  60. AndyG55 says:

    Hans,

    They MUST get rid of ANY link to John Cook if they ever want to be taken seriously.

    His involvement TAINTS the whole thing into worthlessness.

  61. AndyG55 says:

    Altough, getting rid of him now.. its probably way too late…

    Bad luck guys.

    The stench of doggie doo is really hard to remove.

  62. David Ball says:

    Hans Labohm says:
    September 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Just wondering how you felt about the treatment Anthony received at the hands of PBS. If you have not seen it (which would surprise me ), it is readily searchable on this blog.

  63. claimsguy says:

    Here’s an interesting item from SS, looking how well people have predicted Arctic ice minima:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/lessons-from-past-climate-predictions-arctic-sea-ice-extent-2012.html#commenthead

  64. tckev says:

    Anyone wish to assist me in putting together another 2,000+ surveys (plus spurious respondents) just for the sheer hell of it?

  65. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Question 2A asks: Has the trend in global average temperature changed in the past decade, compared to the preceding decades?

    and offers the possible answer: The trend over the past decade is negative (i.e. cooling)

    But question2b asks: What is your interpretation of the trend over the past decade with respect to the long term (multi-decadal) trend?

    and does not offer the possible answer from 2A: “The trends are of natural cause”. Instead, it offers variants for Warmistas or don’t know.

    How about a rigged poll?

  66. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Continuation from previous post:

    Thus it could be argued that those who accept a cooling trend are ignorant.

  67. Galane says:

    More baloney from the phonies. http://news.yahoo.com/fox-news-climate-coverage-93-wrong-report-finds-193433943.html

    Still trying to ignore climategate and make it go away.

  68. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Good one banjo. I look forward to the tuneful: “I am a crimatologist”

  69. Sceptical lefty says:

    I think it would be a good idea to lay off the “Cook” angle. Once a proposition (or survey) has been stated it should be able to stand or fall on its own merits. Treating it with floccinaucinihilipilification (God, how I’ve wanted to use that word!) because of Cook’s involvement is simply ‘guilt by association’, which is the equally flawed mirror image of ‘argument from authority’.

    It doesn’t look good to be indulging in the the same logical flaws we so justifiably object to when they appear in our opponents’ arguments.

  70. A. Scott says:

    I agree with Steven Mosher here. We have an author of a paper who has come here and replied. I don’t care if its this author, Cook, Lewandowsky or the Mann himself.

    In this house they should be treated with a minimal respect. Not because you agree with them, but because its the right thing to do. Take the high ground,

    Respond with questions – tough ones are perfectly legitimate. But if you simply shout out people you disagree with when they do come here – there is no hope of dialog.

    Here the association with Cook creates a pre-perception. It may or may not be accurate. That Bart took the time to come here and post, what seems a perfectly legitimate clarification, should be an invitation to ask real questions. Many who actually read the survey indicate it was, unlike others, much better done.

    Regardless whether there is a potential bias in the author group – ask questions and make up you own mind if the overall work is legitimate and fair.

    This place – with its strong and broad reach, and generally well informed readership – should be better than the others. You can be critical while also showing a basic civility and respect.

    Again – take the high ground – and see what you can learn – one thing is certain, once you light the torches and fire up the tar and feathers, you aren’t going to learn a thing – other than how fast someone can, rightfully, run away..

  71. A. Scott says:

    I’ll start – Mr. Verheggen … two questions

    1. First – would you share a bit more detail about what the goal of your survey is – what you hope to find from it

    2. On your blog you state you intend to provide a “balanced” view of “the scientific knowledge on climate change.” But then you offer your own definition of “balanced” – which allows (or some will say excuses) your posting of science that agrees with your “AGW based beliefs. Wouldn’t it be far better to present the scientific knowledge from both sides and discuss the differences in them?

  72. shirl says:

    Poor old John Cook, he is such an embarrassment to Australia.

  73. DonS says:

    I predict there will be a thousand such surveys, since they capture sites like this one for days at a time. Geez. First BEST, now this. Anybody here know how to postulate a strategy?

  74. Rick K says:

    I bet Anthony could put forward a fair and balanced set of questions from and for the related scientific community…

  75. Gunga Din says:

    David Ball says:
    September 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm
    The survey is another distraction from the divergence of temperature and Co2. Surveys are not cogent to the discussion, are they?
    ==================================================================
    During an election? Yes, for the reason you stated in your first sentence.
    Some of the surveys’, like the Lewpaper, purposes seem to be to paint those who’ve noticed the broken hockey sticks and Hansen’s cracked crystal ball as loons to be ignored. Also, some seem to be trying to find out why people don’t quite believe Gore “et al” but might yet be persuaded. Kind of like a marketing survey to find out what it would take to get you to buy their product. (My wife tells me I already have enough crap laying around the house so such surveys are wasting their time on me.8-)

  76. David Ball says:

    A. Scott says:
    September 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I have been an observer in this game for a LONG time. Normally, I would agree 100%. Turn the other cheek and all that. From my perspective, the alarmist contingent has been less than kind. Evil in fact. It must be said. Dirty tricks, altered posts on blogs, misrepresentation of skeptic points, lies of omission, interviews that end up being sucker-punches, newspaper articles full of lies, etc, etc. I was polite and cordial at all times. Now there are no cheek left to turn that aren’t bloodied and bruised from rigged engagements. How many times does Lucy have to pull the football away before Charlie Brown realizes he is NEVER going to kick the ball?

    This particular fellow created an “unbiased” survey by excluding any skeptics. How much more evidence is it going to take? He knew full well what he was doing. Can you see that?

  77. Pamela Gray says:

    You cannot make this stuff up! It’s like the Keystone Cops of Surveys!!!! I am home laughing my little Irish [a..] off!!

    [Pam! The mods are shocked!]

  78. DaveA says:

    After reading the questions and finding them agreeable I was about to say “credit where it’s due”, but no – why give credit to people for not being crap at their paid job? .That should be the norm.

    http://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/cms/Climate_Science_Survey_Questions_PBL_2012_0.pdf

    It’s a little tedious but they could go further and ask for each question the level of sureness, which I’ve seen sometimes. Right now it’s a case of Know (an answer) or Don’t Know any answer. Can permit, for example, “I believe the answer is A, and I’m Very sure of that”.

    But still, this only covers questions pertaining to the direct influence/existence of AGW. Where’s the question asking how many climate refugees will eventuate from climate change? Food shortages, extreme weather fatalities, climate anxiety… so often that’s where the disagreement starts and where the label “denier” is pulled out even for those who have accepted an anthropogenic influence.

  79. Blade says:

    Mike Haseler [September 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm] says:

    “When a banker causes a $1billion waste of public money by dishonestly reporting interest rates, they get locked up for many years.

    Climate Academics have caused a $1tillion waste of public money by dishonestly reporting temperature predictions. The only people who should want to talk to them is the police.”

    Bingo! Now that’s what I call nailing it.

  80. skydragonslayer says:

    “Sean says:
    September 26, 2012 at 11:22 am
    Here’s some help with your email sig Bart…
    Dr Bart Verheggen
    Jackass”

    So this is the type of thing that is approved by moderators ? I imagine if Lew had called Watts a Jackass everyone would be up in arms.

  81. Silver Ralph says:

    Quote:
    This is odd. I suppose the strategy of Cook and Lewandowsky is to keep polling until you get the answers you want.
    —————————————————

    Ah, they must have been taking lessons from the EU. Every time a nation votes against EU expansion, the EU parliament say the people are confused, and they should vote again.

    In fact, a survey of EU procedures has determined that if the EU was a nation who applied to join the EU, it would be rejected for being completely undemocratic. Its no wonder that the Greens are so in love with the EU, and vice versa.

    .

  82. I find it fascinating, that after reading all the comments, no one has identified whether or not the “John Cook” named as an author of the study is actually the same culprit who deletes all and any commentary on the SKS(Skeptical Science) blog. That in itself is somewhat surprising seeing as one of it’s authors commented here earlier. If it is the same John Cook, than there are major problems already as it would make that study null and void.

    A cartoonist does not a scientist make.

    I also tend to agree that civility and fairness should be applied to people that one has come to loathe for their erroneous and obviously biased viewpoint. As stated, they are not going to discuss anything if we act the same way as those lunatics do on SKS (SS) and on other warmist sites. We should be above that.

  83. Christopher Hanley says:

    If this survey comes up with a different result to that of Doran and Zimmerman, say 86% of climatologists say global warming is occurring and caused by humans instead of 97%, then there will need to be another survey to determine the consensus among climatologists as to whether it’s 86% or 97%.

  84. Shevva says:

    Joe Public
    Tambrands, Fitter.

  85. Whatmenaresayingaboutwomen Jay says:
    September 26, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    no one has identified whether or not the “John Cook” named as an author of the study is actually the same culprit who deletes all and any commentary on the SKS(Skeptical Science) blog

    The identification is not that difficult: the survey was in cooperation with the University of Western Australia, where John Cook and Lewandowsky are cooperating in biased surveys and SkS is based there too.

    And if it was in error, I suppose that Bart Verheggen would have corrected that…

  86. Tim Welham says:

    This questionnaire is biased at Q1 and shows little professional attention to detail. I haven’t bothered to go further.

    As Ken Harvey points out in Q1 (we get no further) we see lower answer categories of:

    Between 0 and 25%
    Less than 0% (i.e. anthropogenic GHG emissions have caused cooling)

    The design of this questionnaire forces anyone replying into categories which may not reflect their real view. There is absolutely no reason why a ‘Percentage: Please write in’ could be used to give the respondent an accurate reply. Then the final category ’caused cooling’ is junk. What can be less than 0%?. If it is 0% why should it cause anything in terms of cooling or heating?.

    This is Kindergarden stuff!

  87. KnR says:

    The odd thing is that there a rather large assumption that the ‘experts ‘ in an area as the best people to ask questions like this off , well that is true in one sense buts its also untrue in another.

    I want to find out if people really do believe good exist.
    Clearly the ‘experts ‘would those most involved, trained and experienced in this area, which are priests of various religions.
    On asking them the majority do indeed agree that god exist, therefore as these ‘experts ‘ have such a consensus it must be true that they does exist .

    Here is the problem, the assumption is people’s whose very career and who have a strong personal commitment to view are ‘not biased’ when it comes to answering questions which directly affect their job and personal views. In reality, it’s a nonsense idea for the same way religions ‘experts’ are self selecting and can be self serving , so can climate ‘science’ experts .

    Remember this was an academic area seen as little worth to most universities that could get little funding and even less public attention, and for the most part did not offer an attractive academic career path.AGW changed that massively, the status of this area in academia ,and all that goes with it ,went through the roof, the funding came in by the bucket load so much so that its almost become a running joke to see ‘climate change ‘ hammered into any old research in order to get access to funding. In addition, for some in this area really was the path to fame and riches not to mention political influence they could have only in the past dreamed about.

    So the ‘experts ‘ really do a very strong vested interest in keeping this ball rolling , and although as scientists then should be above such , both the historic record of science in action and the track record of ‘the Team’ shows that is simply not the case . Therefore although it is a good question as to who else could you ask if not the experts , you also have to remember that the ‘experts ‘ are also just humans and the more committed they are to something the more likely they may be to give answers tainted by that ‘commitment ‘

  88. AndyG55 says:

    And using ‘published, and peer-reviewed” when they KNOW the climate science peer-review and publishing is totally corrupted.. Sorry , but .. this is a nonsense survey, and with Cook’s involvement it is OBVIOUSLY aimed at some sort of propaganda outcome……..because that’s what he does.

    TAINTED from the very start !!

  89. AndyG55 says:

    Christopher Hanley says:
    “If this survey comes up with a different result to that of Doran and Zimmerman, say 86%”

    I HAS to come up with more than the ZB survey, otherwise the skeptics are winning.
    Was 97%, is now 86%…… etc whoops !!!!!

    They have painted themselves into a very tiny corner !!!

  90. AndyG55 says:

    Good thing I don’t play the piano !! ZB -> DZ.

  91. Mr Lynn says:

    DonS says:
    September 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm
    I predict there will be a thousand such surveys, since they capture sites like this one for days at a time. Geez. First BEST, now this. Anybody here know how to postulate a strategy?

    Yep, like moths to a flame, bloggers are trapped every time. Solution? Close your eyes and fly away. “Sorry, we don’t participate in surveys. Always happy to discuss the evidence, but no surveys, thanks.” Problem solved, no bandwidth or time wasted.

    /Mr Lynn

  92. Donald Mitchell says:

    If I ever participated in a survey such as this one, it would be to screw up their findings. It is more likely that I would not consider it worth my time and effort to even mess with it. A sufficient reason is found in the first question. The answer “Unknown due to lack of knowledge” does not allow me to specify the extent of lack of knowledge. There is a huge difference between a lack of knowledge on a personal level and a general lack of knowledge in the scientific community. I am assuming that, in this context, knowledge means verifiable understanding as opposed to a nice theory which some group agrees on.
    I would also have been reassuring if there had been some questions how an individual should be regarded if he withholds raw data and information on methods. It ignores the possibility that there are some highly regarded (at least within their communities) individuals who know that their theories are not adequately supported by much other that personal bias.

  93. mfo says:

    Surveys are not science. The results are not scientific. Those writing the surveys do so from their personal paradigm, their world view. Therefore where those who believe in CAGW write the survey, they expect the results to reinforce the 97% consensus nonsense. The results would be translated into pseudo mathematics and presented as propaganda.

    The surveys are based on the paradigm prevailing among CAGW believers that if skeptics are not with them they must be against them. Framed as questions in a survey the two alternatives present a false dichotomy. Science isn’t based on which of two opposing views is correct. Psychologists and sociologists who produce surveys are not scientists. They are not doing scientific research. In the context of science and scientific progress, surveys are totally meaningless.

    If the the people who write the surveys want to know what scientists think they should read and understand their writings and published papers, or simply write to them and ask them to express an opinion in their own words.

  94. connertownlive says:

    FYI, the webpage with the survey questions is now 404 (not found).
    Sounds like someone is covering their tracks.
    Down the memory hole we go…

  95. George says:

    404 confirmed

  96. There was a technical problem. It should work again.

  97. Taphonomic says:

    Got the 404 and looked around a bit.

    The location of the webpage with the questions has been moved. It is now at:

    http://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/cms/nieuwsberichten/Climate_Science_Survey_Questions_PBL_2012.pdf

  98. Below we (Bart Verheggen and Bart Strengers) reply to some of the more substantive questions regarding the survey questions raised in this thread. However, we will not discuss results or the survey sample at this point in time. We will do so when our manuscript has been accepted. For further discussions about the survey questions, please visit Bart Verheggen’s blog.

    Ken Harvey asks (46), referring to question 1a
    1a. What fraction of global warming since the mid-20th century can be attributed to human induced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations?
    More than 100% (i.e. GHG warming has been partly offset by aerosol cooling)
    Between 76% and 100%
    Between 51% and 76%
    Between 26% and 50%
    Between 0 and 25%
    Less than 0% (i.e. anthropogenic GHG emissions have caused cooling)
    There has been no warming
    Unknown due to lack of knowledge
    I do not know
    Other (please specify)

    Ken Harvey wrote:
    “Let’s say that I believe that the correct answer is 0. If I tick that box I immediately lump my opinion in with those who think that 25% is the appropriate answer, despite the world of difference between our positions. I am tempted to tick the next box down indicating less than 0% and I may, or may not give in to that temptation. Let’s sat that I believe that the correct answer is 25%. I face a similar problem – I don’t want to be lumped in with the fellow who thinks that the answer is 0. I am tempted to tick the higher box.”

    Our answer:
    This is indeed a dilemma. An alternative which we considered is to ask the respondent to provide a percentage themselves (i.e. as an open numeric question). This however would ‘force’ the respondent to provide a number which, according to many, would create the impression of much higher certainty than there is about this estimate. (Can we really distinguish whether this contribution is 81 or 82%? [or 2 or 3% if you wish]). It is clear that both options have pros and cons, but we believe that by making enough –but not too much- ranges available, we obtain relevant information about the respondents’ thoughts.

    Robert of Ottawa asks (66):
    “Question 2A asks: Has the trend in global average temperature changed in the past decade, compared to the preceding decades?
    and offers the possible answer: The trend over the past decade is negative (i.e. cooling)
    But question2b asks: What is your interpretation of the trend over the past decade with respect to the long term (multi-decadal) trend?
    and does not offer the possible answer from 2A: “The trends are of natural cause”. Instead, it offers variants for Warmistas or don’t know.”

    Answer:
    Question 2 doesn’t go into causation (be it anthropogenic or natural); 2b is only about what the respondent thinks is happening to global temperatures on longer timescales. Eg the answer option to 2b “Long-term warming trend has changed as indicated by my previous answer” could be chosen to reflect the opinion that temps are cooling also on longer timescales.

    A. Scott asks (72):
    “Would you share a bit more detail about what the goal of your survey is – what you hope to find from it.”

    Answer:
    The objective of this study is to gain insight into how scientists, who have published on global warming, perceive physical science issues, which are frequently debated in the public domain. E.g. by investigating the extent to which scientist agree or disagree about these issues (both the big picture issues and the detailed aspects)? How are these responses related to one another? What can we learn from that?

    DaveA asks (79):
    “But still, this only covers questions pertaining to the direct influence/existence of AGW. Where’s the question asking how many climate refugees will eventuate from climate change? Food shortages, extreme weather fatalities, climate anxiety… so often that’s where the disagreement starts and where the label “denier” is pulled out even for those who have accepted an anthropogenic influence.”

    Answer:
    As explained on the PBL website regarding this survey, we decided to focus on physical science aspects of the public debate (mostly with a ‘skeptical’ signature): These ‘IPCC Working Group I’ topics are a focal point in the public debate and they form the foundations for further deliberation; for example, regarding impacts or response strategies. We chose to be as complete as realistically possible in covering the physical science aspects, acknowledging that that meant we could not include other aspects such as you mention.

    Tim Welham (87) asks:
    “This questionnaire is biased at Q1 and shows little professional attention to detail. I haven’t bothered to go further. As Ken Harvey points out in Q1 (we get no further) we see lower answer categories of:
    Between 0 and 25%
    Less than 0% (i.e. anthropogenic GHG emissions have caused cooling)
    The design of this questionnaire forces anyone replying into categories which may not reflect their real view. There is absolutely no reason why a ‘Percentage: Please write in’ could be used to give the respondent an accurate reply. Then the final category ’caused cooling’ is junk. What can be less than 0%?. If it is 0% why should it cause anything in terms of cooling or heating?”

    Answer:
    For deliberations regarding an open question or offering ranges as answer options, please see above in our reply to Ken Harvey. There is no right or wrong there, but multiple options with each their specific pros and cons. However, offering the wide range of answer options we do (even providing the option of answering that greenhouse gases cause cooling (i.e. a negative percentage), we believe we avoided a bias a much as possible. One could actually make the argument that these answer options have an inherent bias in the other direction, since the option that GHG by themselves are responsible for more than the observed warming (i.e. >100%; see e.g Huber and Knutti, 2011) has not been subdivided into multiple ranges. More people may deem the survey too detailed rather than not detailed enough.

    Bart Verheggen and Bart Strengers

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