John Cook’s new survey – lots of questions, no answers

I and (according to Cook) 50 other blogs (with a supposed 50/50 skeptic to advocate split) have received this invitation:

Hi Anthony

As one of the more highly trafficked climate blogs on the web, I’m seeking your assistance in conducting a crowd-sourced online survey of peer-reviewed climate research. I have compiled a database of around 12,000 papers listed in the ‘Web Of Science’ between 1991 to 2011 matching the topic ‘global warming’ or ‘global climate change’. I am now inviting readers from a diverse range of climate blogs to peruse the abstracts of these climate papers with the purpose of estimating the level of consensus in the literature regarding the proposition that humans are causing global warming. If you’re interested in having your readers participate in this survey, please post the following link to the survey:

[redacted for the moment]

The survey involves rating 10 randomly selected abstracts and is expected to take 15 minutes. Participants may sign up to receive the final results of the survey (de-individuated so no individual’s data will be published). No other personal information is required (and email is optional). Participants may elect to discontinue the survey at any point and results are only recorded if the survey is completed. Participant ratings are confidential and all data will be de-individuated in the final results so no individual ratings will be published.

The analysis is being conducted by the University of Queensland in collaboration with contributing authors of the website Skeptical Science. The research project is headed by John Cook, research fellow in climate communication for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland.

This study adheres to the Guidelines of the ethical review process of The University of Queensland. Whilst you are free to discuss your participation in this study with project staff (contactable on +61 7 3365 3553 or j.cook3@uq.edu.au), if you would like to speak to an officer of the University not involved in the study, you may contact the Ethics Officer on +61 7 3365 3924.

If you have any questions about the survey or encounter any technical problems, you can contact me at j.cook3@uq.edu.au

Regards,
John Cook
University of Queensland/Skeptical Science

I asked Cook a series of questions about it, because given his behavior with Lewandowsky, I have serious doubts about the veracity of this survey. I asked to see the ethics approval application and approval from the University, and he declined to do so, saying that it it would compromise the survey by revealing the internal workings. I also asked why each of the 50 emails sent out had a different tracking code on it, and he also declined to explain that for the same reason.  I asked to see the list of 12,000 papers, so that I could see if the database had a true representation of the peer reviewed landscape, and he also declined, but said the list would be posted “very soon”.

I had concerns about the tracking codes that were on each email sent out, and I ran some tests on it. I also tested to see if they survey could be run without tracking codes, it cannot and I asked him if he would simply provide a single code for all participants so that there can be no chance of any binning data by skeptic/non skeptic blogs or any preselection of the papers presented based on the code. I said this would truly ensure a double blind. He also declined that request.

He stated that he had an expectation (based on past experience) that no skeptic bloggers would post the survey anyway. So why send it then?

Meanwhile many other bloggers shared their concerns with me. Lucia posted a large list of questions about Cook’s survey methodology here:

http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/dear-john-i-have-questions/

It is a good list, and Lucia’s concerns are valid.

Brandon Schollenberger writes at Lucia’s in comments about some tests he did:

========================================================

Brandon Shollenberger (Comment #112328)
May 3rd, 2013 at 12:48 am

For those following at home, the issue I wanted to talk to Lucia about is the non-randomness of this survey. I was curious when two people at SkS said they got an abstract which said (in part):

Agaves can benefit from the increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 levels accompanying global climate change

I got the exact same abstract when I clicked on the link at SkS. I wondered if that meant there were only 10 abstracts being used at all. I then had a disturbing thought. The earlier Lewandowsky survey had different versions sent to different people for publishing. What if they had done that here? What if each site was sent a link to 10 different abstracts?

To test this, I contacted lucia to get the link she was sent. I then was able to find a site which had already posted the survey, and I got a different link from it. It turned out all of them resulted in me getting the same survey. I concluded everyone was simply getting the exact same 10 abstracts.

I was going to post a comment to that effect when lucia told me she did not get the Agave abstract I referred to. That made me take a closer look. What I found is by using proxies, I was able to get a number of different surveys. Moreover, some proxies got the same surveys as others. That suggests the randomization is not actual randomization, but instead, different samples are given based on one’s IP address.

Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story. I’ve followed the links with my original IP address again, and I now get a different sample. However, each time I follow the link with the same IP address now, I get the same sample. That suggests I was right about IP addresses determining which sample you get, but there’s an additional factor. My first guess would be time, but if that’s the case, it’s a strange implementation of it. It would have to be something like an hourly (or even daily) randomization or some sort of caching, neither of which makes any sense to me.

Anyway, my head hurts from trying to figure out what screwy “randomization” John Cook is using. I know it’s nothing normal, and it certainly isn’t appropriate, but trying to figure out what sort of crazy thing he might have done is… difficult. I have no idea why he wouldn’t just use a standard approach like having time in seconds be a seed value for an RNG that picks 10 unique values each time someone requests a survey from the server.

=============================================================

So it appears non random after all and has what I (and others) consider fatal sampling issues.

If you want to look at the survey, you can go to Cook’s website and take it there, because until there are some answers forthcoming, like Lucia, I won’t be posting the coded link for this blog.

See Cook’s survey link: Participate in a survey measuring consensus in climate research

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212 thoughts on “John Cook’s new survey – lots of questions, no answers

  1. Steve Goddard posted his earlier this morning. However, given the shenanigans of the Lewandosky survey, I prefer not to participate in another Hoax.

    The problem with Tim Cook’s survey may or may not be tracking codes. But it is definitely one of integrity. Or more precisely, the lack thereof. The unanswered questions are evidence of that as well.

  2. John Cook prefers pdeudoscience to real climate science. I tried to educate him but he censored and then completely silenced and blackballed me from his web site.

  3. I wouldn’t touch a survey run by John Cook if they paid me. What part of “WE DON’T TRUST YOU ONE BIT” escaped his notice last time?

    w.

  4. This is in no way research. When you pull the crap this guy and his associates pull, nothing they do has any credibility. They are activists pure and simple. If that makes me a conspiracy theorist, so be it.

  5. Engaging these people has become too draining. They arise, zombielike with their old-hat guesswork, regurgitated myths and claims of consensus, all the while throwing insults at any who disagree with their smug surety.

    Their lack of honesty has been exposed, multiple times. Their activism is all they have – they project and dissemble to maintain their world view and nothing will alter their mindset.

    I have given up commenting on their blogs and articles for a couple of reasons additional to the above. The Hydra was easier to kill than these bandits’ ideations. I no longer feed their egos, their fears or their trolling

    The results of this little poll have already been determined and if you refuse to join in it is because you are a fake skeptic, in The Nile, suffering cognitive dissonance or Dunning-Kruger, afraid to face a future without your fossil fuel powered toys, paid by a fictional entity, old, not-a-scientist, a right-wing extremist, in the employ of a corporation, weak minded, fearful of the results, biased against the Team, not in full command of your faculties, not in full command of the science, …..

  6. Even if Cook didn’t “Cook” the books, this study amounts to little more than the logical fallacy of appealing to popularity. Of course we know that Cook has constructed the study, so as to prove we skeptics are raving lunatics. Perhaps if he was interested in real science, his readers would be better served by an online library of all pro and skeptical AGW papers.

  7. Cook’s methodology may not be quite as bad as suspected.

    But the Cook-Lewandowsky combine has destroyed its credibility.

    After Lewandowsky, Oberauer, and Gignac (Psychological Science, 2013), and Lewandowsky, Cook, Oberauer, and Hubble-Marriott (Frontiers in Psychology, in limbo), no one should trust them to design, conduct, or analyze survey studies of minimum acceptable quality.

    And apparently no one will.

  8. Cook is wasting enough time of my life just by occupying blog space reporting on his shenanigans. I’m not inclined to throw away another 15 minutes to further them.

  9. Just took a look at the survey and the comments.
    Apparently the survey returns a value for your evaluation based on the following point system:
    Endorsement (of AGW theory) – 1 pt
    Implicit endorsement – 2 pts
    Explicit endorsement – 3 pts
    Neutral – 4 pts
    Explicit rejection – 5 pts.
    Implicit rejection – 6 pts
    Rejection (of AGW theory) – 7 pts.

    Your score is then compared with the authors own evaluation.
    One example I saw was 8 neutral + 2 explicit endorement / 10 = 3,8 pts.
    Authors own evaluation 2,8 pts.

  10. “I am now inviting readers from a diverse range of climate blogs to peruse the abstracts of these climate papers with the purpose of estimating the level of consensus in the literature regarding the proposition that humans are causing global warming. ”

    His premise is to determine “level of consensus”, as if consensus in itself is proof of anything. Just ask Giordano Bruno who was persecuted by the Church for his heretical views, including his belief that there are countless inhabited worlds around distant stars. He also advocated the Copernican system and when he wouldn’t submit to the consensus of the time, he ended up being burned at the stake.

    Remember when dealing with Cook and his cohorts: fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

  11. Beware of a lefty extending an olive branch or an offer to be “fair.” The other hand wields a knife. (If only the GOP would learn this.)

  12. A suggestion (which I would do myself if I had anything close to time or experience in the matter):

    Why not do a ‘study’ ourselves? But do it open. I mean, follow the same methodology, but keep it all out and accessible. My kids make FB surveys all the time, so there is no rocket science to this, mostly it would be setting up some questions, and we could even have a 5 point scale for how much people agree or disagree with statements.

    Internet surveys are very easy to do. The data collection is automatic. Setting it up in the open, and then using a known randomizer program would get past any of these un-answered questions.

    There might be some argument on the method, but the result should be as good or better.

  13. This, and any survey like it, is completely useless. Regardless of any attempt to create a random distribution of the survey, you will result in a voluntary response. It is basic, elementary, statistics that a sampling reliant on voluntary responses is biased. The clear result of this particular survey will demonstrate that X% of respondents agree with John Cook’s opinion that humans are causing global warming – In other words, he is conducting a survey to find out how many people agree with him. This is exactly the same biased method that obtained the 97% consensus in the first place.

  14. Academic papers might be a population but it is not a homogeneous population. 10 randomly selected papers from that population will tell you nothing definitive about population characteristics except that they are 10 randomly selected papers that successfully got through peer review. Population characteristics might be as large as the population of papers. If that is the case then no sample can be representative of the population. Of course, this says nothing about peer review and how peer review might have been captured by a popular delusion.

  15. Apparently in an abstract you can say anything you want, even if your research doesn’t support your assertions. So the whole exercise is ludicrous. I suspect Cook has already done a survey of the papers. There’s a website somewhere that points out the discrepancies between what the abstract states (global warming topics) and what the paper actually proposes. I believe that website might have been featured here. I’ll try to find and post later.

  16. “NavarreAggie” at Goddard’s site reports that the survey did not accurately record his assessments.

  17. How about a survey of climate govt grant awardees on whether their grant proposals have a consensus about AGW? The consensus is these folks do whatever it takes to get the grant money, and the last 15 years has been paying for carbon tax support.

  18. There is no need to be worried about ;saving’ each initiative by someone as academically compromised as this Mr Cook. The value of his work is informed by the value of his earlier works which were manipulated and badly flawed as was evident to anyone who took the time to investigate. As usual, the assessments will have a Nixonian level of ‘plausible deniabilty’ turned on its head to show an AGW consensus is ‘plausibly undeniable’. Excuse me while I barf.

    Like nearly all AGW promotion, it already smells of bias and cherry picking with a foregone conclusion pre-written and waiting for CTRL+v to apply it to the result.

    A credible survey has to start with credible ethics, credible methods and a credible corresponding author. Call me where there is one.

  19. Why does the science of Antropogenic Global Warming need surveys to bolster its credibility? I thought it was all first principles?

  20. Speech Recognition Problems

    “I have series doubts…” Is that a time series? :) When speech recognition understands context I will know we’ve made progress.

  21. Based on past behavior, I trust Cook & Co as far as I can toss a live bull up a silo. Cook’s creepy credentials are contained in his deliberately deceptive site name, “Skeptical Science.” He has not a shred of skeptical perspicacity, and as for science, he swallows climate Lysenkoism raw and whole, and without salt.

  22. I have read a number of papers where the abstract states or implies the paper supports Gorebull Warming in some manner when the actual facts and statistics presented do NOT!!

    This is at best a pointless exercise if not actually a propaganda device. As others have already mentioned, it will probably be used to try and show that sceptics simply cannot accept real facts as shown by the OFFICIAL LITCHURCHUR @SM.

  23. In many areas of science, certain terms become popular and people jump on the bandwagon in order to get funding or to help get a paper published. The idea of a “molten globule” in the area of protein folding is an example. But, of course, this never had the politicization OR huge amounts of money dedicated exclusively to this area. In climate science, this trend has been taken to a ridiculous extreme where people will even put the obligatory warning about global warming in a paper that actually mostly says the opposite. And there is heavy handedness against anyone who dares oppose the “consensus” and does not put the magic words in their abstract or introduction or discussion. To be accurate, the poll would have to look at whether the paper actually agreed that their would be CAGW, not just that they used a phrase like “global warming could make x worse”

  24. Anthony;

    It looks like a burning paper bag on your front porch. The safe, correct action is to carefully pick it up with a shovel and to bury it. Whatever you do; don’t stomp on it to put out the fire.

  25. I already see other serious issues with this survey:
    Example 1: One was an economic model that was evaluating a management technique in the ag sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nothing more.
    Now I conclude that since humans are raising cattle, we are causing these methane emissions, so I could conclude the abstract “implies AGW” or should I answer Nuetral since I have no idea if the authors believe our cultivating cattle implies AGW or not.
    Example 2: Another author was discussing the carbon cycle and only mentions that if temperature rose then it appears X would happen. No where was there any comment on GW or AGW.
    Nuetral could be the only response as the only words in the abstract involving AGW was ‘if temperatures rise” However AFTER I completed the survey I was told that the authors themselves had an average rating of 3 where I had 3.5 This could ONLY have occurred with some papers authors ranking their paper higher than almost ANY criteria that could be used to assess a 4 or 5 to the abstract. Meaning they have authors opinons (from where who knows) on 12,000 papers that they are going to compare to our responses! Did those authors cite those opinions based solely on the abstract?

    Lastly, I believe there is an EXCELLENT sub-study here. After the survey is complete we can see how warmist read into articles their belief: I think it will show that when a warmest reads “Carbon cycles under increased temperatures are less active.” equate to “supports AGW” because that is what is in their mind at ALL times. In fact, Mr. Lews ideation theory could/should be applied directly to that.

  26. Waste of time, could only see a part of the summary, that gave you no idea what the paper was about. As said before some one looking for confirmation of their beliefs.

    DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME

  27. Don’t do it. Even with UQ’s ethics people behind it – remember that GLR’s ethics folks gave Gleick a pass and an award, I believe. Ethics Committees in the warming world think it is ethical to exaggerate, lie, cheat, manipulate, retroactively alter articles and records, and break the law for a noble cause. Don’t go near any of these ugly people – you’ll only be tainted.

  28. @ kuhnkat says:
    May 3, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Good point. I linked to a paper that basically stated this cool spring was impossible given the models, and the clown I was debating alleged that it was proof of AGW! I had to break it down to him in baby talk for him to realize I was proving the model the paper offered had just been proven wrong.

  29. Based on the information presented here, the study is a pointless exercise at best, and likely a trap for skeptics. I recommend ignoring it.

  30. No; nope; nada; zip; zilch; nyet.

    No ethics = no survey resopnse. Words (especially unethical ones…) have consequences.

  31. I saw it also at Steve Goddard’s site. I advised to ignore it. Cook has an agenda so pffft to him and his ‘survey‘. He is afterall “unreliable”.

    Right sidebar on WUWT:
    “Skeptical Science – John Cook
    * Due to (1) deletion, extension and amending of user comments, and (2) undated post-publication revisions of article contents after significant user commenting.”

  32. The analysis is being conducted by the University of Queensland in collaboration with contributing authors of the website Skeptical Science.
    ———————————————————
    If they were serious, they should have collaborated with WUWT.

    UQ + SS = the fix is in

  33. There’s no advantage in being a participant in such a bogus survey. Cook of Cooking the Books is better off by changing the name of his blog site to that of “Junk Science for the Masses” – however unlikely that is, it is more worthwhile posting on WUWT further literature on global warming and the positive impacts that it brings. Let those who would deceive themselves, be set aside and ignored. They are not worth the appellation of CO2 from the breathing masses.

  34. Tom in Florida says:

    His premise is to determine “level of consensus”, as if consensus in itself is proof of anything

    No. His fiction is to give the impression that this effort is a “crowd-sourced” project “with the purpose of estimating the level of consensus in the literature”. That is what he is implying, but not what he is saying.

    This project is not about judging the the literature. It is about judging the people who take the survey. We know how that goes with these clowns.

  35. (Redirected from Scam)
    A confidence trick (synonyms include confidence scheme and scam) is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their confidence. A confidence artist (or con artist) is an individual, operating alone or in concert with others, who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty, honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naïveté, or greed.

  36. A survey to estimate the value of consensus — no value added with a survey like this that I can see. Consensus is NOT science — it’s politics.

  37. At the bottom of the Survey entry page it says:

    This study adheres to the Guidelines of the ethical review process of The University of Queensland. Whilst you are free to discuss your participation in this study with project staff (contactable on +61 7 3365 3553 or j.cook3@uq.edu.au), if you would like to speak to an officer of the University not involved in the study, you may contact the Ethics Officer on +61 7 3365 3924 or humanethics@research.uq.edu.au.

    That’s where to go to find out details of compliance with proper practices for research with human subjects. This office should be able to tell you how rigorous the review process was. It’s supposed to ensure that the survey is conducted ethically — that is, without hidden agendas or tricks that invalidate the results — unless such deceptions are a fundamental objective of the research. I don’t have the time, but somebody with survey research experience might want to follow up on this, especially because there are questions not being answered by the survey creator. Respondents must have the opportunity to have reasonable questions answered or the survey is suspect in terms of its ethics.

  38. With these lovely kind of persons, who have self identified their ineptitude and personal corruption, the only acceptable response is to invite them to , “Have sex & Travel”, in the most offensive manner one is capable of.
    Mr Cook is politely inviting us to climb into the sewer and share some Lew paper with him.
    Ick.
    What manner of disinfectant is necessary to cleanse academia of such creatures?

  39. Come on guys have some fun.

    take the survey at skeptical science as if you read it.

    Whatever the abstract says answer that the abstract endorses AGW in some way.

    hehe. confirmation bias.

  40. Even if the ‘survey’ were methodologically perfect –

    with the purpose of estimating the level of consensus in the literature regarding the proposition that humans are causing global warming.

    I think we already know how much “consensus” there is to be found in “the literature”, after a couple of decades of high powered consensus enforcement. How about a survey with the purpose of estimating the adequacy of the observational evidence presented in those papers instead, John?

  41. I just searched Web of Science:

    Topic=((global warming)) OR Topic=((global climate change))
    Timespan=1991-2011. Databases=SCI-EXPANDED, SSCI, A&HCI, CPCI-S, CPCI-SSH, BKCI-S, BKCI-SSH.

    With these results:

    ARTICLE (32,275)
    PROCEEDINGS PAPER (7,456)
    REVIEW (3,074)
    BOOK CHAPTER (1,038)
    EDITORIAL MATERIAL (1,035)

    They already missed 20,000 or so articles to get their 12,000

  42. The consensus of opinion has been wrong on many occasions before and therefore is irrelevant. Only empirical evidence matters.

    The results of this survey would probably tell you more about who has been funding research than it does about the consensus of opinion anyway.

  43. Having read the replies above I think we have reached a consensus among WUWT skeptics that CAGW advocates are untrustworthy. To which I add my vote.

  44. 12,000 climate science papers. Findings of the survey will be:

    X% support AGW.
    Y% refute AGW
    Z% are neutral

    … and 100% of the sceptics are nutters …

    … and we can tell who they are because they have failed to recognize that 97% of the abstracts support AGW and only 1% refute AGW while 2% are neutral.

    … and we now have their IP addresses.

  45. Only consensus, or no-consensus, type responses are available … None of the available responses include the option that the authors ASSUMED that Global Warming was a given … And how the circular logic around which that assumption being made, allows their papers to be written.

  46. After looking at the first ten abstracts, I believe that this study is designed to demonstrate that a minority segment of the population has conspiratorial ideations concerning belief in the pro-AGW slant of a paper where the author claims no such thing exists. Since they are using a Likert scale, I suspect they will attempt to demonstrate that “balanced responses” correlate well with author self-assessments and “unbalanced responses” do not correlate well and tend to skew toward paranoid delusions of pro-AGW bias when supposedly frank self-assessments tell us otherwise.

    In other words, the hypothesis of the study assumes skeptics are nutburgers and the study has been constructed so as to prove this point.

  47. Even if his 12,000 papers are an accurate reflection of the peer reviewed literature, is the peer reviewed literature an accurate reflection of the views of scientists on this subject.
    We’ve already discussed the problems skeptics have with getting papers into and out of peer review.
    There’s also the problem that since govt money flows almost exclusively to the warmistas, it’s much easier for them to have the time and resources to write and publish papers, which could skew the population of these papers.

  48. Just looking at the experimental design, my guess would be they intend to test the hypothesis that people on different sides of the debate assess evidence differently. The idea would be to show examples of abstracts that they interpret as AGW-supporting and that sceptics have classified as non-supportive. By presenting it as a survey to assess the consensus, it tempts sceptics into shading their judgements in that direction to try to bias the result towards reporting a lower degree of consensus.

    It’s an interesting question, and if you got someone a little more neutral to conduct it, (e.g. someone like Dan Kahan, who researches this stuff) it would be a worthwhile enquiry.

    I think there are ethical issues in deceiving experimental subjects about their participation – while I can certainly understand that in this area there is a risk of attempts to bias the outcome if you tell people too much, you can’t experiment on people without at least letting them know they’re the subjects of an experiment.

    Of course, if somebody was trying to crowdsource an assessment of consensus, you need multiple assessments of the same abstract to avoid exactly that sort of bias. If everyone says the same you can accept it, if people are split, you need to look more closely. It’s hard to say.

  49. Oh of course I’d be glad to help John Cook in whatever way I possibly could. I mean, it’s not like he runs a blog that censors and rewrites comments. Not like he’s ever been involved with running any prior surveys that were questionable or nefarious.

    Hmm. But on the other hand, I’ve got this interesting box of thin spagetti in my pantry and I’m thinking it’d be much more productive and rewarding to spend those fifteen minutes counting how many pieces of pasta are in the box. So many engagements, so little time…

    I mean, take a John Cook survey? Really???

  50. In light of the egregious ethical and professional failings displayed by John Cook and his survey mentor Stephan Lewandowsky, coupled with the utter absence of any good faith efforts to address the many issues raised to date, the only appropriate response to tis “invitation” would be expressions of contempt.

    I would not end the slightest support or approval to anything those clowns are doing. If I come across a survey link I may be tempted to spoof it as an expression of disdain, but otherwise I plan to ignore such survey frauds.

  51. How about a survey ranking the predictive value of these 12,000 papers?

    That’s the pertinent question. If the papers are rubbish, who cares if people believe them or not.

  52. Count me out. Crowd sourcing can yield valuable results in some areas (RatherGate comes to mind), but forming consensus or measuring the degree of consensus are not among them.
    This “study” will be plagued by all the problems with which professional pollsters (e.g. Gallup) have learned to cope with. The proposal is a kind of polling, an area where Cook is a proven amateur.

  53. Find out what John Cook “really” wants. Attention.
    What do narcissists “really” want from others? Attention.
    What do whining babies want? Attention.
    What do barking dogs want? Attention.
    He wants attention because he is lonely. The enviros are all the same, like any small child, or barking dog.
    Why do you care what John Cook wants?? Why does anyone even notice John Cook?

  54. Re: Survey of Peer-Reviewed Scientific Research

    . . .In our paper, Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature, we analysed over 12,000 papers listed in the ‘Web Of Science’ between 1991 to 2011 matching the topic ‘global warming’ or ‘global climate change’. . . .Please read each title and abstract then estimate the level of endorsement that is expressed in that paper for anthropogenic global warming (e.g., that human activity is causing global warming).

    (Emphasis added)
    This survey is poorly design by using ambiguous terms:
    “Global warming” could be natural global warming, minor anthropogenic global warming, or major anthropogenic global warming.
    Furthermore, it does not provide for “unknown anthropogenic global warming” where one believes there is scientific basis for more anthropogenic CO2 causes warming, but that current scientific evidence cannot distinguish between natural, minor anthropogenic, or major anthropogenic warming.
    This survey is poorly designed by using equivocation
    “Global climate change” is used by equivocation to imply major anthropogenic global warming. Yet it can equally mean the global cooling scare of the 1970s or the descent into the Little Ice Age.
    Furthermore, “climate change” cannot distinguish between:
    those who expect there will be major anthropogenic global warming; from
    luke-warmists who expect minor or little global warming; from
    those who expect serious global cooling by mid century followed by a return to warming;
    from those seeing the beginning of a descent into the next glaciation in about 1500 years.
    Professionally, I review scientific and engineering papers.
    However I refuse to participate in this survey for its very poor definitions, equivocation, and the prior history of unethical anti-scientific behavior by those conducting it.

  55. Engaging these people has become too draining.

    That’s the point of Alinsky tactics. Keep up the torrent of lies and wear the enemy down.

  56. If I was a climate scientist with an agenda I would put a boat-load of pro-warming papers on a web-site and then invite skeptics to evaluate them afterwhich I would laugh at the results for skeptics rejecting such a large body of peer-reviewed scientific research proving conclusively that global warming was real. Otherwise why seek a consensus on a consensus.

  57. Mark Bofill says: “…on the other hand, I’ve got this interesting box of thin spagetti in my pantry and I’m thinking it’d be much more productive and rewarding to spend those fifteen minutes counting how many pieces of pasta are in the box.”

    I plan to watch ‘em knock down the old Endicott Building, in lieu.

  58. “Reg Nelson says:
    May 3, 2013 at 10:26 am
    How about a survey ranking the predictive value of these 12,000 papers?

    That’s the pertinent question. If the papers are rubbish, who cares if people believe them or not.”
    ########################################################

    If the author thinks it supports AGW and you think it doesnt, then there is an inference that can be drawn regardless of the truth of the paper.

    Like So

    One of the papers selected is a paper by Spencer: The abstract says “Satellites can be used to measure temperature” the paper says nothing about AGW

    So, one wants to compare what Spencer thought about his paper with what readers of SkS think versus readers of WUWT think.

    ITS NOT ABOUT THE TRUTH OF THE PAPER.

    So if spencer thought it was neutral and SKS readers thought it was neutral, but WUWT readers thought it falsified AGW, then a conclsuion can be drawn. NOT ABOUT THE TRUTH OF THE PAPER. NOT ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OR IMPORTANCE OF CONSENSUS. BUT ABOUT WHAT YOUR REACTION IS TO THE ABSTRACT.

    Its not about the Truth of the paper.
    Its not about the strength of the consensus
    Its about the publics perception of consensus versus the scientists perception of consensus.

    So the TRUTH behind that consensus is NOT AT ISSUE. its your attitude that would be studied.

    If the results come out that the public thinks there is more consensus than scientists think, then consensus has been ‘oversold’ if skeptics think there is less consensus than scientists themselves think, then you get to explain that.

    You will see this happen a few times where a paper is published and AGW folks think the paper supports AGW and Skeptics think it doesnt.

    That fact would motivate me as a researcher to look at how people differ in the conclusions they draw from reading an abstract.

    Note, after you take the survey they tell you what the authors thought of their own paper.

    Now, I have zero knowledge that this is what Cook is up to. This is fun speculation. However, if one had this data, if one had

    A) what an author thinks he said
    B) what a AGWer thought the author said
    C) what a skeptic thought the author said

    Then one could do what I describe above. To be clear, I’ve got no knowledge that this is what they are doing, But If I had that data that is what I would do.

    Its not about the truth of the papers or the truth of the consensus.

  59. There are so many things wrong with this exercise, that I am reminded of the old line:
    “I feel like a mosquito in a nudist camp. I know what I want to do, but don’t know where to begin.”

    Leaving aside all of the sampling errors, which no doubt more erudite readers than me will pick up on, let’s go back to taws – an Australian expression which refers to playing marbles. It means going back to the baseline.

    Thanks to WUWT, I have read a lot more abstracts than I would have otherwise. Still, for the most part they are often abstruse and sometimes indecipherable, Not to mention when Anthony and others point out that they might not be quite perfect.

    Let’s get this straight – there is the original data, then there is the paper, then there is the abstract – and then they ask who knows who what they think about it.

    Holy cow.

  60. Isn’t this just more desperation? they cannot produce a genuine survey to support the (false) 97% consensus claims – and the AGW case is getting weaker by the day, so this is just trying to draw people into something that they can further manipulate and produce as ‘science’?

  61. I had ten abstracts. 4 were studies of the climate with 2 of the 4 that were not pro-AGW. The rest were either about C02 regulations or grant-seekers using AGW as a premise to write something dramatic in their chosen field of study. Scaling up that would make 20% of papers bona fide pro-AGW.

  62. Owing to a glitch in John’s script, the system periodically displays thousands of titles. PaulM experienced it. I advised him to save source. I’m sure he had left the site by then. But then it happened to me. So, I saved the source. Zipped, the .html file is 7.5 MB. I suspect I have all the abstracts now.

    I think we can now contemplate “research”!

  63. 1. Meaningless survey – Unless it is a paper disputing the issue, almost every mainstream and peripheral paper even remotely connected to weather or climate now has the obligatory phrase “and it (ie the topic of the paper) will be a lot worse in a hotter climate!!!

    2. Why are there so many papers on consensus connected to this climate issue? Never before have we seen the like of this.

  64. “As one of the more highly trafficked climate blogs on the web” …

    Lol!! The most trafficked!..

  65. These people are disreputable. That is established beyond doubt. You don’t continue to interact with such beings. That is simply foolish.

    They are pariahs.

  66. Steven Mosher says:
    May 3, 2013 at 10:46 am

    So if spencer thought it was neutral and SKS readers thought it was neutral, but WUWT readers thought it falsified AGW, then a conclsuion can be drawn. NOT ABOUT THE TRUTH OF THE PAPER. NOT ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OR IMPORTANCE OF CONSENSUS. BUT ABOUT WHAT YOUR REACTION IS TO THE ABSTRACT.
    ———————–

    And what value is that? What does measuring some random person’s reaction to these abstracts show? And how can someone reading only an abstract form any kind of educated opinion without seeing the underlying work that claims to support it?

    Cook has proven to be unethical and dishonest, and this is another propaganda ploy- THAT’S MY REACTION TO THIS.

    And lastly, “ITS NOT ABOUT THE TRUTH OF THE PAPER.” Why isn’t it? Wouldn’t that actually prove something and further our understanding of the “settled science”?

    We’re spending billions of dollars and lowering the standard of living of millions of people around the world based on what? Internet surveys?

    Madness.

  67. I’d rather have my tonsils extracted through my anus than participate in any survey conducted by Cook-Lewandowsky. You can bet the ranch on it that the end result of any survey conducted by these two charlatans will be that sceptics are crazy.

    Once bitten twice shy.

  68. Steven Mosher says:

    Its not about the truth of the papers or the truth of the consensus.

    Exaclty. It is about telling lies about sceptics.

  69. Based on Cook’s history, I think the conclusion this ‘study’ is hunting for is “Skeptics are incapable of perceiving reality accurately”, in short “Skeptics are nutters”. What I don’t understand is why he still even has it online. His past disingenuous actions have caused people to (quite rationally) examine his request carefully. His coding of the links has been highlighted on several prominent blogs, but not all blogs. There are ample reports of respondents taking the survey multiple times to observe how it works. Given those facts, there is no chance the study can generate useful data. The whole thing is now invalid except as a partial referendum on the experimenter’s reputation.

    It has merely demonstrated the well-founded concern that surveys in which Cook is involved may not be legitimate. This is an evidence-based perception. In short, skeptics are skeptical, especially of those who’ve previously demonstrated strong bias on the same topic. Perhaps someone should point out the early failure of this study to the ethics board at the university. One of the jobs of such a board should be to avoid needlessly wasting volunteer’s time by continuing a study that can no longer reach any valid conclusion.

  70. Why should we make our survey answers available to them, when their aim is to try and find something wrong with them?

    (Ref)

  71. Re: The Engineer 8:48 am

    Endorsement (of AGW theory) – 1 pt
    Implicit endorsement – 2 pts
    Explicit endorsement – 3 pts
    Neutral – 4 pts

    What the heck is “Explicit” doing between “Neutral” and “Implicit”
    The same goes for the rejection side of the range.

    There they go again….. Assuming linearity when there is no reason to believe it applies.

  72. The bias was built into because of the preselection of searching for “global warming”. In case anyone’s forgotten, global warming is not at all the same as climate change, but is a possibility under the umbrella of climate change. So are a great many other weather phenomena. Like global cooling, for example, and just as likely.

  73. I was able to take the same survey twice in a row.

    First time total score 38. They reported 3.8 average for ten questions answered.

    Backed out to sks home page, reloaded the link and filled out a 2nd copy of the same questions. Modified a few values and answered “don’t know” for one of them. Total score 46. They reported I answered 9 questions and my average score was again 3.8. They evidently deducted the “don’t know” answer of 8 from my total score, but then still divided by 10 to calculate my average score. They should have come up with 38 / 9 = 4.2. I wonder if this math error is only in the web display or does this spread into the data being saved.

    There was no indication they were aware it was the same person submitting a 2nd copy of the same survey. Such as telling me they are rejecting it or replacing my original survey. Very easy to spam. Here are the first and last papers in the two surveys I filled out if anyone cares to compare surveys.
    1)International Year Of Planet Earth 9. Geology In The Urban Environment In Canada
    10)On The Detection Of Trends In Long-term Correlated Records

    Cross posted from Lucia’s place.

  74. I can provide a guess as for the weird semi-randomization. It’s a neat slip-up catch if there’s a variable passing problem.
    What you do is
    f(IP) + f(Date) = semi-Random list
    The date is included to prevent accidentally selecting by carrier or region. However, if there’s a problem that causes the list to be lost, it can reload the same list of papers. In short, it could very well be a legitimate feature or even a programming cheat istead of a bug or something insidious.

  75. In agreement with David L. Hagen 10:34 am

    All the questions are good ones. But this survey fails the Nyquist Test.

    From George E. Smith 27-Jan-2012 20:16 in “Decimals of Precision…”:
    Second and far more important this, like all climate recording regimens, is a sampled data system.

    So before you can even begin to do your statistication on the observations, you have to have VALID data, as determined by the Nyquist theorem. You have to take samples that are spaced no further apart than half the wavelength of the highest frequency component in the “signal”.

    Cook’s survey purports to “randomly” sample from 12,000 abstracts, on a questionable cardinal scale of 7 rankings (of unknown repeatability, precision, and accuracy), from 50 blogs (mysteriously categorized into at least 2 camps), with sample batches of size 10, from an unknown number of human participants from a domain of hundreds of backgrounds. Come on! How many people must participate, across how many blogs, each on how many abstracts before Cook does not violate the Nyquist Theorem? This is a failure in the experimental design phase. GIGO.

    To top it off, to believe Cook, you are to link to the survey, read, understand, and question 10 abstracts, give each one some careful consideration to fit into a 7 point rating system, all in about 15 minutes, or approximately one unbiased, carefully considered abstract evaluation every 70 seconds. Maybe a Google webbot might work at that speed. But thousands of human degreed blog visitors? No. Such a pace can be met only if you know the desired answer ahead of time.

    “Beauty is only skin deep, but Ugly goes clear to the bone.”

  76. Let us just use all the peer reviewed papers that provide evidence that mankind’s addition to the carbon fluxes of this planet caused the/some warming since the Industrial Revolution.

    Weed out all those papers that show that the warming periods during C20 caused discomfort to (insert inhabitants/plants of chosen field here) and those that ‘prove’ that it did, indeed warm during C20.

    That new, shorter list we can deal with easily, as all respondents will be appraising the same abstracts 8)

  77. Rasey

    “To top it off, to believe Cook, you are to link to the survey, read, understand, and question 10 abstracts, give each one some careful consideration to fit into a 7 point rating system, all in about 15 minutes, or approximately one unbiased, carefully considered abstract evaluation every 70 seconds. Maybe a Google webbot might work at that speed. But thousands of human degreed blog visitors? No. Such a pace can be met only if you know the desired answer ahead of time.”

    you can take as long as you want. Tested. They estimate about 15 minutes.
    The abstracts I read took at best 10 seconds to read and comprehend each.

    Your Theory? falsified . now own it.

  78. Anthony, you list “Skeptical Science” in the blog roll as “Unreliable.”
    I see no reason to change that rating.

    REPLY: I didn’t consider doing so, but everyone deserves the chance to change their status. I offered Cook that chance, he blew it. – Anthony

  79. ok so pit together a survey that has all the peramitters you talk about and let everybody particapate.

  80. ‘Ethically challenged’ is one way of describing John Cook.

    I think this is yet another attempt by the alarmist community to muddy the waters between AGW and CAGW.

    The former exists, but is impossible to quantify due to the myriad number of feedbacks and forcings. Whatever its magnitude, it is not significant and really only a mildly interesting phenomenon at worst. As for CAGW, that is an outright hoax without any rationale whatsoever.

    Cook is obviously planning some kind of Lewandowsky ‘research study’, but containing an order of magnitude greater amount of BS.

  81. “And what value is that? What does measuring some random person’s reaction to these abstracts show? And how can someone reading only an abstract form any kind of educated opinion without seeing the underlying work that claims to support it?”

    Lets take an example:

    The abstract reports : “Ecosystem response to global warming will be complex and varied”

    ( this is a real example )

    Your choices

    1 Explicit Endorsement with Quantification: abstract explicitly states that humans are causing more than half of global warming.
    2 Explicit Endorsement without Quantification: abstract explicitly states humans are causing global warming or refers to anthropogenic global warming/climate change as a given fact.
    3 Implicit Endorsement: abstract implies humans are causing global warming. E.g., research assumes greenhouse gases cause warming without explicitly stating humans are the cause.
    4 Neutral: abstract doesn’t address or mention issue of what’s causing global warming.
    5 Implicit Rejection: abstract implies humans have had a minimal impact on global warming without saying so explicitly. E.g., proposing a natural mechanism is the main cause of global warming.
    6 Explicit Rejection without Quantification: abstract explicitly minimizes or rejects that humans are causing global warming.
    7 Explicit Rejection with Quantification: abstract explicitly states that humans are causing less than half of global warming.

    Now, lets suppose that the scientists who participated in this rate this paper a 4.
    That is, the paper doesnt say what causes GW. The paper doesnt say whether it is real or not.
    it just says ‘The response will be varied”

    In trolling through the abstracts they offer up I see a bunch of these neutral abstracts.

    So whats my point?

    The point is this.

    Suppose readers at SKS ( AGWers ) all rate this paper a 4. they agree with scientists.
    NOT ABOUT THE TRUTH OF THE STATEMENT, but they can read. the abstract is a 4.
    The scienists who read it say its a 4, the readers of SKS say its a 4. Its a 4 dammit.

    Now have readers of WUWT read the abstract. perhaps they all say the paper is a 3.
    Perhaps when you guys read this you see any mention of the words “global warming’ as an implicit endorsement.

    Then you have something to write a sociology paper about. Scientists say it was a 4,
    SkS readers say it was a 4, but skeptics read this stuff differently and say it was a 3.
    They read implcit endorsement where nobody else does..

    Again, as with his last paper, Cook will “bracket the truth”. That is, the paper doesnt show there is a consensus, or that the consensus is true, or that the science is true, but what it would aim at is showing how different groups read the science differently.

    In short, you cant read. You see confirmation of your position where there is none, and you see implicit meanings where no body else does.

    Finally, Cook may not be doing this. but If I had this data I would do exactly this.

    its a reading comprehension test. hehe.

  82. Nullius in Verba says:
    May 3, 2013 at 10:12 am
    Just looking at the experimental design, my guess would be they intend to test the hypothesis that people on different sides of the debate assess evidence differently. The idea would be to show examples of abstracts that they interpret as AGW-supporting and that sceptics have classified as non-supportive. By presenting it as a survey to assess the consensus, it tempts sceptics into shading their judgements in that direction to try to bias the result towards reporting a lower degree of consensus.

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

    precisely.

    take 15 minutes and feed them garbage answers. A great big steaming pile of garbage. dont do multiple entries.

  83. lucia liljegren (@lucialiljegren) says: “Owing to a glitch in John’s script, the system periodically displays thousands of titles. PaulM experienced it. I advised him to save source. I’m sure he had left the site by then. But then it happened to me. So, I saved the source. Zipped, the .html file is 7.5 MB. I suspect I have all the abstracts now.”

    I suspect you have the results, now, too.

  84. The survey is pointless. What is the point of guessing authors beliefs about global warming based on papers indirectly based upon the notion there will be global warming?
    Totally fringe science very far from the core problem of producing a verifiable climate theory.
    Pointless and fruitless waste of time.

  85. Of course it’s a set up! It’s Cook, how would anyone think it is not a set up?

    But I did the test anyway. I want to see where this leads to. Maybe I can be a part of a peer reviewed study about me! :-O

    They even asked an email address which I gave. I really, really want to see how they use it. Maybe they even mention me on the paper they write about this study about skeptics?

    This is so interesting. It’s like climate skepticism’s history in the making. :D

  86. Of course this is merely a political ploy; if you are gracious enough to actually allow the ( slanted) poll, then they’ll refer to the answers- If you fail to allow the poll, you’ll be condemned for not allowing it.

  87. Steven Mosher says:
    May 3, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Rasey

    “To top it off, to believe Cook, you are to link to the survey, read, understand, and question 10 abstracts, give each one some careful consideration to fit into a 7 point rating system, all in about 15 minutes, or approximately one unbiased, carefully considered abstract evaluation every 70 seconds. Maybe a Google webbot might work at that speed. But thousands of human degreed blog visitors? No. Such a pace can be met only if you know the desired answer ahead of time.”

    you can take as long as you want. Tested. They estimate about 15 minutes.
    The abstracts I read took at best 10 seconds to read and comprehend each.
    ——————————————————————————-
    Mosher, you really need to stop showing off. OK, you are a genius, but very few of the rest of us rabble could make sense of an abstract in 10 seconds.

    Perhaps that’s what’s wrong with the current understanding of climate science. Not enough people who can accurately evaluate scientific abstracts in 10 seconds.

    I suppose that the slowcoach Willis E.might take 15 seconds, or even longer?

  88. Cynical response:
    There’s no need to respond as Cook is quite willing to fabricate data if required, using the Gleick defence of unproven provenance – also if required.
    More cynical response:
    The creation of the survey is designed to create internet chatter (like this) as “proof” the sceptics are paranoid.
    Even more cynical response:
    Even discussing this survey is proof that people take “consensus” seriously thus anyone who later says “science is not consensus” can now be labelled a hypocrite or a bad loser. This is just a sophist’s feint.

    But may be I am too jaded. Perhaps SkS have learnt humility and so are now genuinely concerned about learning truths they just realised they don’t know.
    Perhaps.

  89. According to Mosher: 12:05 pm

    The abstract reports : “Ecosystem response to global warming will be complex and varied”
    ( this is a real example )

    From a google search, it appears that what Cook give Mosher as an abstract is really only the first line from an abstract — an abstract fragment. Here is the full abstract from Shaver and Canadell et al, Bioscience, Vol 50, No. 10, Oct 2000, 871-882. (pdf).

    Ecosystem responses to global warming will be complex and varied. Ecosystem warming experiments hold great potential for providing insights on ways terrestrial ecosystems will respond to upcoming decades of climate change. Documentation of initial conditions provides the context for understanding and predicting ecosystem responses.

    Cook doesn’t supply “Abstracts” — only fragments of abstracts. Note, I am taking Mosher at his word. That is, by “real example” Mosher gave us the entire abstract as supplied by Cook.

  90. “As one of the more highly trafficked climate blogs on the web, I’m seeking your assistance . . . ”

    Look folks, the prat couldn’t even write a correct sentence inEnglish . . .
    End of story.

  91. Here are my comments on a survey by James Powell, posted online in various sites last year, of 13,950 papers dealing with climate change. It analyzed their abstracts and “found” that only 24 rejected manmade global warming. I posted the following critical comments on the site below (not the main place it was posted). I suspect it was this survey that inspired what Cook is up to now (5/2013):

    http://oilprice.com/The-Environment/Global-Warming/Contrary-to-Popular-Belief-Scientists-are-United-on-Climate-Change.html

    The article states:

    “To be classified as rejecting, an article had to clearly and explicitly state that the theory of global warming is false or, as happened in a few cases, that some other process better explains the observed warming. Articles that merely claimed to have found some discrepancy, some minor flaw, some reason for doubt, I did not classify as rejecting global warming.”

    How many papers that “explicitly state that the theory of global warming is false” would get by peer review with that phrase intact? How many would even be submitted to peer review if they included that phrase? They therefore tend to be more circumspect and merely cite a discrepancy, some flaw (minor perhaps only in the author of this article’s opinion), etc.

    Here’s a link to 1100+ peer-reviewed papers supporting skeptical arguments critical of ACC/AGW alarmism:

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

    ========

    The article states:
    “Global warming deniers often claim that bias prevents them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals. But 24 articles in 18 different journals, collectively making several different arguments against global warming, expose that claim as false. Articles rejecting global warming can be published, . . . .”

    Strawman. The claim is not that skeptics are 100% “prevented” from being published, but that that it is difficult (and hence rare) to get them published, or to get them published without being watered down, as I hinted above.

    ==========

    The article states:
    “If there is disagreement among scientists, based not on opinion but on hard evidence, it will be found in the peer-reviewed literature.”
    AND:
    “A few deniers have become well known from newspaper interviews, Congressional hearings, conferences of climate change critics, books, lectures, websites and the like. Their names are conspicuously rare among the authors of the rejecting articles. Like those authors, the prominent deniers must have no evidence that falsifies global warming.”

    IOW, an article will be classified as skeptical only if it presents hard evidence. BUT an article will be counted accepting/endorsing even if it presents no hard evidence, but merely implicit opinion:

    “Articles about methods, paleoclimatology, mitigation, adaptation, and effects at least implicitly accept human-caused global warming and were usually obvious from the title alone.”

    Denial must be explicit, but acceptance may be implicit. This double standard biases the results of this article. By how much is unknown. For that, the author should have indicated how many fall into the “implicitly accepting” category.

    ==========

    The article states:
    “If there is disagreement among scientists, based not on opinion but on hard evidence, it will be found in the peer-reviewed literature.”

    But the weakness of the warmist case isn’t in the “hard evidence” so much as in the inferences drawn from that evidence, the selectivity applied in deciding which evidence is the most relevant, the inferences drawn from those relevant bits of evidence, the assumptions made, etc. It is at those matters where the main thrust of skepticism has been directed.

    But journals want to publish “findings.” This biases them against publishing wide-ranging, argumentative critiques. (To be fair, they rarely publish similar argumentative essays from the warmist side either.) They have a just-the-facts attitude. But the facts don’t speak for themselves. Argumentation has therefore moved to other venues.

    What’s needed is an online venue where viewpoints can be argued among credentialed scientists, with the peanut gallery roped off into a separate section where their comments won’t disrupt the discussion, but can be drawn upon by the participants if desired. (Seen but not heard, IOW.) This is what has finally gotten underway with the establishment this month of the Climate Dialogue site, at http://www.climatedialogue.org/

    ==========

    The article concludes:
    “Scientists do not disagree about human-caused global warming. It is the ruling paradigm of climate science, in the same way that plate tectonics is the ruling paradigm of geology. We know that continents move. We know that the earth is warming and that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause. These are known facts about which virtually all publishing scientists agree.”

    So what? (Irrelevant thesis.) Skeptics don’t deny that. What they deny is that this warming will continue at its current pace; that it would be very harmful if it did so—or even harmful on balance at all; and that there are amplifying factors that will accelerate the current trend. The alarmists’ case rests on the assumptions of strong positive feedbacks and the absence or weakness of negative feedbacks. That’s where their case is weakest.

    The article states:
    “By my definition, 24 of the 13,950 articles, 0.17 percent or 1 in 581, clearly reject global warming or endorse a cause other than CO2 emissions for observed warming. The list of articles that reject global warming is here.”
    [i.e., at http://jamespowell.org/styled/index.html ]

    Hmm . . . There’s nothing in that list by the following skeptical scientists, at least half of whom have presumably published papers properly classified as skeptical:

    Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Claude Allègre, John Christy, David Douglass, Don Easterbrook, William M. Gray, Richard Lindzen, Nils-Axel Mörner, Fred Singer, and Roy Spencer.

    I took their names from Wikipedia’s “List of [35] scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

    Here are four other names, half of whom I presume wrote articles that were missed: Zbigniew Jaworowski, Augusto Mangini, Nathan Paldor, and Richard Tol

  92. Steven Mosher says:
    May 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    In short, you cant read. You see confirmation of your position where there is none, and you see implicit meanings where no body else does.
    ———-
    I see this survey for what it is — a smear campaign against people who have the audacity to question whether CO2 has any material impact on our climate and our future. That is my position. Judging from the responses in this thread many feel the same. The fact that CO2 has increased dramatically over the last 15 years with no increase warming seems to support this position.

    You don’t need a survey to figure that out. In fact, you accuse me of seeing implicit meanings, this is exactly what this survey is trying to do. It’s trying to demonize the heretics that would dare to peak behind the Wizard’s curtain.

    If Cook (or anyone else) wants to know what people (deniers) on this blog think and why, he is welcome to come here and participate in an honest and open debate.

    Unfortunately, as I and others have experienced this is not the case on his site. That alone is telling.
    ——————————————-
    “Finally, Cook may not be doing this. but If I had this data I would do exactly this.”

    Because it’s all about the cause above all else, isn’t it?

  93. Steven Mosher says:
    May 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    blah…blah…blah…blah
    =============================================================

    Steven, now if you could only ‘splain away 15+ years of material CO2 growth…and no warming.

  94. Steve Mosher captured most of my thoughts. I think it is a study on confirmation bias.

    The issue I see with the survey is we are asked to rate the abstract text. “Your rating should be based on the abstract text.”. Our responses are immediately compared to the authors’ rating of their papers. I rated my abstracts at 3.4 whereas the authors rated their corresponding papers at 2.6.

    As SM says – you have to watch the pea. I took my time (much more than 70 seconds per abstract) and carefully parsed the text of each verses the criteria. Now had I rated my abstracts on what I suspected the paper said, I would have gotten closer to the 2.6. If they do a good job on processing the submissions, it will be an interesting look at how readers from skeptic verses alarmist sites analyze the abstracts.

    If they try to compare our analysis to the authors’ analysis, then the study is broken because we are comparing abstracts to the full article and what is in the author’s head.

  95. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that our side IS nuts. Cook’s survey will miss it if we’re nuts in contradictory ways, as follows: Half of us rate an abstract as endorsing AGW because it used certain trigger words that we associate with alarmism, and half of us rate that abstract as endorsing skepticism because there was some skeptical assertion in it somewhere.

    That sort of split (although not necessarily on a 50/50 basis) is very likely to occur.

  96. would, could, might, may, sorta, maybe, ……….ice free = 1 million sq km (the size of Egypt)

    I could publish a million papers if allowed to use those words…..
    …of course, they would never let a skeptic paper get away with that

  97. Just looking at the experimental design, my guess would be they intend to test the hypothesis that people on different sides of the debate assess evidence differently. The idea would be to show examples of abstracts that they interpret as AGW-supporting and that sceptics have classified as non-supportive. By presenting it as a survey to assess the consensus, it tempts sceptics into shading their judgements in that direction to try to bias the result towards reporting a lower degree of consensus.

    It’s an interesting question, and if you got someone a little more neutral to conduct it, (e.g. someone like Dan Kahan, who researches this stuff) it would be a worthwhile enquiry.

    NIV,

    This is my best guess as to the point of the study—if it has any at all.

    Although when I completed the survey, I was told that the authors rated their own studies as somewhat less supportive of CAGW than I had. And I’m a skeptic.

    I started on the survey twice, from different IP addresses, just to see what the samples of articles looked like. Filled it out once. The two lists were completely different, but some items on the first list that I saw have already been mentioned upthread. Not a random selection from Cook’s database of articles…

    Two big questions:

    (1) What articles are in Cook’s database, and how were they selected? I hope Lucia will enlighten us…

    (2) What’s the point of asking people to evaluate the leaning of an article from the abstract? Abstracts often miss the point, are uninformative, sometimes are seriously misleading. I had the feeling that in scoring the abstracts I was relying more on the rhetoric employed than the points stated.

    Having already made a burning sacrifice of his credibility, Cook should not be trusted here. Either on the technical side, or on the ethical side.

    PS. There is noticeable game-playing in some of Kahan’s writeups, but his collection and analysis methods—unlike those of most contributors to the “conspiracist” literature—do seem to meet professional standards.

  98. To get people to spend their time on something, you need to explain the benefit to them. I have no idea how participating in this exercise would provide anything useful for climate science or policy or for me personally. I would be interested in why Mr. Cook thinks people would or should spend time on this exercise. Just because he asked nicely?

  99. I usually don’t judge people fast, I try to understand and judge them by their acting.
    About Cook and Lewandowsky I learned some. It is not without reason that there is a separate category on the blog roll named unreliable.
    I read many posts about Lew’s papers on many different blogs that I trust. Trust is something that has to be earned. Cook and Lewandowsky need to learn that.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/20/some-thoughts-on-the-recent-lewandowsky-cook-conspiracy-theory/

    “Lewandowsky is a charlatan. His latest paper, co-authored by John Cook, is a flight of fantasy that ignores the fact that most of the comments that he labels ‘recursive fury’ were polite mentions of the fact that he Cooked the books in his survey–a survey he claims is published, but is not.

    I play a minor role in this. As someone who has worked in the field of online research pretty much from the day online research started, I have participated in literally thousands of online surveys. I commented on Lewandowsky’s weblog posts concerning his survey, pointing out some of the (many) issues with what he had done and asking for a look at the questionnaire.

    Lewandowsky deleted all of my comments. And his latest paper, which has a Data Supplement showing the ‘recursive fury’, which apparently means cherry picking a few of the comments he didn’t like, doesn’t mention my deleted comments for some reason.

    In addition to biasing the sample, Lewandowsky presented different versions of the survey to respondents coming from different websites. His ‘conspiracists’ from the skeptic world were outnumbered by ‘conspiracists’ from the climate activist community. He has not published the data, despite promising to do so and claiming that he has”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/09/stephan-lewandowsky-and-john-cook-making-things-up/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/06/lewandowskys-latest-smear-paper-gets-pulled-from-the-journal-website/

    …”He, and his coauthors, falsely used my name in order to support some kind of psychology paper on climate skeptic bloggers titled”…

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/05/lewandowskys-bear-baiting-behavior/

    and many, many, many other…

    Personally I have no interest whatsoever to invest time and energy in anything that is linked with the 2.

    In my view the only way how such cooperation might be accepted by skeptics blogs is if the methodology is clearly explained, agreed and verifiable and if the raw data is made available. I mean only if the complete control is ensured – the best is if the whole survey would be run on a skeptical site and raw data could be made available to all for study, but to contribute to the study of these 2 clowns, to enable them to say they had so many skeptics and to know they will falsify the results to what they desire? No way. Not after what they did, how they “analysed” the data, fabricated their answers to fit their pet theories.
    My advice – if anybody asks for it – they had their chance. Look what they did with it.

  100. Let’s understand this…

    The frauds get paid a lot of money to ignore the truth about CAGW, publish fabrication after fabrication and make up fake answers and theories about people who doubt the CAGW religion and believe their sorry butts should spend the next hundred years breaking rock for the government.

    Now they’re supposedly making goo goo eyes at us and asking us skeptics, after they asked their buds to fill out another flim flam scam.

    Don’t dirty your hands! Keep the world sKs free!

  101. DirkH says:

    “Why does the science of Antropogenic Global Warming need surveys to bolster its credibility?”

    Very good question. Got an answer, Mr Cook?

    I suspect the answer is due to the fact that the planet is being very uncooperative with the alarmists’ predictions, so Cook has changed tack, and is revisiting the ‘consensus’ argument.

    Consensus is not science. And there isn’t even a real consensus.

    But it’s all Cook’s got.

  102. I guess the Lew roll ran down and they need more paper…

    Anyone would be crazy to trust Cook or any of them. How many times do we have to be worked over before we tell these green cheaters to go leap? They are treating skeptics as dumb fodder for their “research”. They just want the numbers, they’ve already got the results.

    It won’t matter how you answer, it won’t matter if you “have fun” or if you take it seriously, any participation will be used against skeptics. For that matter, any NON-participation will likely be worked against us, too. It’ll be a case of damned if we don’t and damned if we do. Watch and see. When it’s all said and done, they’ll bring out the big stick and beat us over the head with their “findings”.

    I’m with the majority here. Do barge poles comes in larger sizes?

  103. A survey form ‘the Teams’ chief bitch and person who has a recorded of lying about the data his ‘collected’ from past one’s . What could possible gone wrong with that !
    And while people are doing it , I have some snake oil they may be interested in .

    10000-1 the ‘results’ are already written, for in true AGW style the data be dammed all that matters is ‘the cause ‘

  104. The selection of papers is real weird. Take a look at this one:

    Earliest Silurian faunal survival and recovery after the end Ordovician glaciation: evidence from the brachiopods

    ABSTRACT
    Earliest Silurian (basal Llandovery) brachiopod faunas are surveyed and listed from around the globe, and divided between Lower Rhuddanian and Upper Rhuddanian occurrences. 60 genera are known from the Lower Rhuddanian within 20 superfamilies and there are 87 genera in 25 superfamilies in the Upper Rhuddanian. The 29 areas surveyed span the globe, both latitudinally and longitudinally. Only six superfamilies are Lazarus taxa which are known both from the Ordovician and Middle Llandovery (Aeronian) and later rocks but have not been recorded from the Rhuddanian. These are surprising results, since many previous studies have inferred that the Rhuddanian was a time of very sparse faunas. The global warming that followed the latest Ordovician (Hirnantian) ice age did not proceed quickly, with an ice-cap probably present through at least the Llandovery. There is a marked absence of Lower Rhuddanian bioherms even at low palaeolatitudes; however, the ecological recovery rate was far faster than that following the end-Permian mass extinction event. The partitioning of the Rhuddanian shelf faunas into well-defined benthic assemblages progressed slowly over the interval.

    I wonder what “the level of consensus ….. regarding the proposition that humans are causing global warming” is for that paper?

  105. We just haven’t realized what “Rhuddanian” and “Llandovery” are code words for :)

  106. Another problem with this survey is that the majority of the public doesn’t form opinions on the basis of abstracts of scientific papers.

    Misleading MSM soundbites are the gospel of the low information voters. And for many, no amount facts will change their opinions.

  107. Cookie is a lazy boy.
    Why doesn’t he simply go through the WUWT archives and follow the many thousands of discussions/arguments and analysis of ‘peer reviewed’ literature.
    The CAGW position has been taken apart piece by piece over the past ten years…he wants you and us to to do it all again in front of him, and if you refuse this will be proof that WE are wrong!!!
    If we did want to play his game we could start with a ‘peer reviewed’ by…Lewandowsky maybe?
    I think he’s lonely ever since Lew had to scuttle out of town…a bit like Hardy without Laurel.

  108. Where Mr. Cook is concerned I would not trust anything he comes out with. A famous man once said: Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

  109. Sh**. Cooks already got my number. Don’t know that the rest of you have been doing.

  110. If I got a query like that from John Cook, the reply would be a very firm, “Go jump in a very deep lake.. wearing concrete boots”

  111. Cook is very arrogant, and thinks he can annoy skeptic blogs with his confirmation bias.
    I highly recommend everyone take part in this survey, and select option 2 for each abstract no matter what. That will ensure the survey (and QU grant money) is destroyed.

    Unite and destroy.

  112. Josh C says:
    May 3, 2013 at 8:56 am ……………………..
    Why not do a ‘study’ ourselves? But do it open. I mean, follow the same methodology, but keep it all out and accessible. My kids make FB surveys all the time, so there is no rocket science to this, mostly it would be setting up some questions, and we could even have a 5 point scale for how much people agree or disagree with statements.
    ———————————
    Josh, first let me say I like the idea. It makes sense to me as a layman.
    With that said the only thing I could see when first reading was Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney talking about them and the other kids putting on a show in the barn.
    I think it was your enthusiasm and tone of the statement.
    Again, I tried to click the like button.
    cn

  113. NeedleFactory says: May 3, 2013 at 10:31 am

    [….] The proposal is a kind of polling, an area where Cook is a proven amateur.

    With all due respect, NeedleFactory, suggesting that Cook a “proven amateur” (in any of his CAGW advocacy-activist endeavours, pseudo-scholarly or otherwise) is a slur and an insult to ethical, respectable – and respected – amateurs in many endeavours.

    Therefore, I would request that you kindly retract this unfounded claim ;-)

    Hilary Ostrov

  114. In social science, consensus is an accepted measure of adequacy of a hypothesis. The fact that pro-AGW activists continue to claim consensus as proof indicates that they think climate science is a social science and not a natural science. I think this categorisation is misguided but for most people the difference is not understood.

    Assessment of differing viewpoints is an acceptable social scientific topic of research. It would have nothing to do with the underlying content of the papers, and so could not be used to prove/disprove AGW. Indeed, social science rarely recognises the concept of truth, simply seeking (non-predictive) explanation of social phenomena. It’s a measure of how mixed up climate science is that it tries to use both natural and social science methods at the same time.

    As for pro-AGW papers, it’s well known in academia that any grant proposal is more likely to be accepted if it includes AGW somewhere. Academics need the money so they use the words they know will help them to secure it.

  115. These guys are desperately trying to prove that sk(c)eptics have some sort of mental deficiency. Setup, indeed.

    Mark

  116. As Enstein said (or was it Feinman :-) “you only need one good paper to prove an hypothesis wrong”. What are the chances (1:1200?) that I will get to see the abstract of that paper? What are the chances that the abstract of that paper is actually in the 12,000? Do I think Cook is honest?

    One question I can answer:
    Will I bother with the survey? No.

  117. There can be a lot of caching servers in any internet path. Unless they took steps to prevent it, it is quite probable that the first request from a location loads the cache and from then on (until enough activity pause for the cache to flush) everyone will get the same page…

    Looks to me like they have all of methodology, technical, and bias issues…

  118. Don’t participate I would say. Don’t know about this Cook guy (reading WUWT on and off) but his invitation is smelly. Just a gut feeling. Consensus has nothing to do with science and everyting with politics. He is trying to frame. It’s a ploy, a NLP trick or something.

  119. I have done the survey . I gave the answers as 7 to each of the 10 questions. I thanked him for the survey. Easy.

  120. A survey measuring whether people who read blogs believe that a survey of scientists indicates that most scientists agree that CO2 absorbs IR. It this what the “science” of psychology has come to? Where do I get an application to do this kind of research?

  121. The sensible response to Cook would have been, “I won’t post a link to your survey on my site and I won’t make your survey a topic of discussion. I have little confidence that you are able to carry out scientific research involving human subjects in what i regard is an ethical manner”.

  122. Introduction to Cook and Lewandowskism:

    1. Formulate opinion
    2. Write paper
    3. Gather survey data
    4. Discard data inconsistent with paper
    5. Submit paper
    6. Pick up Royal Society grant and move to Bristol

    (and given the rich rewards – why would anyone do anything else?)

  123. I haven’t read a single comment above. Any survey like what it seems Cook is proposing will produce a result that supports a consensus position because people rarely write papers that will prove something is wrong. If a simple fact like flat temperatures proves a theory wrong one does not have to write a paper for peer review on it. It’s just a fact. We all rely on the scientist who is proven wrong by a simple fact to eat some humble pie and admit they are wrong. I guess having to write a disproving paper is what the very confused illogical consensus freaks think should happen. And the need to refer to climate change as opposed to climate immediately loads the result. Don’t go near it, Anthony.

  124. Long time reader, second time poster….

    You guys are the highlight of my days sometimes…(I don’t get out much)! Not only wicked smart, but hilarious. I started giggling at A.Akhbar and by the time I got to jorgekafkazar I was laughing loud enough to draw some serious attention from my neighbors.

    Bless you Anthony for all your hard work here. I honestly don’t know how you stay sane…but I’m guessing the regulars here have something to do with that. I know they make ME smile all the time.

  125. Justification of ones viewpoints, shouldn’t waste the valuable time of productive members of society.
    Should it ?
    Or, am I missing the point of this latest attempt to obtain the desired data, which has proven to be rather elusive ?

  126. I just looked at Cook’s SKS site, with the posting of the survey on 1 May. There are about 20 comments from folk who’ve completed the survey and, strangely, even they don’t seem to be total
    AGW airheads.

    If Cook can get 20 respondents in two days, I wonder how many more will trickle in?

    I also looked at Joe Romm’s Climate/Think Progress site. He hasn’t mentioned the survey at all, so none from that blog source.

    It’s not looking good for The Black Hats. ….Lady in Red

  127. Steven Mosher says:
    May 3, 2013 at 10:46 am

    ITS NOT ABOUT THE TRUTH OF THE PAPER.
    _________

    Of course, and it never was. You summed up my point brilliantly, Mosher.

    Good on you.

  128. Here’s a survey: Is John Crook
    a) a fraudster?
    b) stupid?
    c) a combination of the above?

  129. “let sleeping dogs lie”, not to mention “Pandora’s box”.
    Who ever penned “it is like shooting fish in a barrel”, never envisioned carnage like this.

  130. Sorry I missed the obvious, what was visitor traffic on that site Super Duper Sceptical Science, before Anthony posted the Cookers request?
    How big a spike did Cook’s trolling of truly sceptical sites generate?
    I suspect the traffic at SS closely resembled paint drying prior to Cook’s attention begging.

  131. The consensus of 12000 is defeated by the truth of just one. It’s a senseless survey from an insignificant theologian not worthy of anyones time or effort.

  132. This survey is faulty for many reasons sited above. However there are three serious fallacies that have not been clearly stated. Having reviewed papers in the past, I have found that an abstract frequently incorrectly summarizes the final conclusions that you would make after you have read and dissected the material in the paper. Concluding what an author(s) has really said from an abstract used to catalog a paper for archiving is a little like claiming a book condensed by Readers Digest is not worth reading. Secondly judging from an abstract whether a paper is pro AGW is not valid if the paper has nothing to do with climate change. Observations by authors who seek continued support for their research are most likely to infer that the results show that there is an effect of some climate influence that may be global warming. Think of the list of hundreds of scientific papers that has been compiled that documents the many research papers that blame global warming without having eliminated any other possible explanations. Finally the time frame posited by Cook is too short. Did climate research only begin in 1991? Have any of the authors who have published paper changed their position on climate since they published?
    My conclusion is that if this survey is competed the climate science community should everything it its power to prevent its publication of any reported results for the many reasons stated above in this BLOG.

  133. I’ve seen this survey being linked in several blogs – I’ve decided that, considering the source, I’ll decline.

    Why? “…Due to (1) deletion, extension and amending of user comments, and (2) undated post-publication revisions of article contents after significant user commenting…”

    If he runs the results of this survey like he does his blog, how can anyone be sure their comments or answers are being truly represented?

  134. To Kadaka May 3, 11:19 am

    Got to love it. Absolutely perfect.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  135. Mr. Knights! John Cook was lurking here yesterday and stole your idea!

    Roger Knights @4:34PM on 5/2/13 on San Jose Book Burning Thread:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/02/san-jose-state-university-meteorology-decides-burning-books-they-dont-agree-with-is-better-than-reading-them/

    “Here’s a thesis (or dissertation?) idea for a grad student: Survey a sample of university libraries–say all the ones whose names begin with an “S”–and report on the ratio of the climate contrarian books they contain to the number of consensus books. Since most of these libraries have online catalogs, it shouldn’t be hard to do.”

    Hmm. Maybe the ratio of leftist to rightist books on other topics could be sampled too.”
    ******************************************************

    And THAT’s why Cook couldn’t come up with that list, Anthony. Couldn’t do that in less than 24 hours!

    FUGEDDABOUDIT.

    Like someone above said already, if we want to do such research project, we will do it ourselves.

    Only a narcissist like that would have the audacity to assign scientist bloggers of the caliber of those on WUWT homework!

  136. The advice of someone wiser than I: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Matthew 7:6

  137. Hi, aetheressa,

    WELCOME! I’m pretty new here, too, so I really don’t have much call to be on the welcoming committee. I’m not even a scientist! Yeah, this blog is a GREAT place to learn. I feel like a little kid sitting in the back of the science faculty lounge at a fine university, listening to all these fine minds here. They have been very kind.

    Have fun posting!

    [and, in case you also are not well-versed in science, let me encourage you with blogger John F. Hultquist’s welcoming post to me: “You know things. Share.” Do.]

  138. john robertson says: “I suspect the traffic at SS closely resembled paint drying prior to Cook’s attention begging.”

    John, I was thinking something more like green scum forming on the pond.

  139. Steven Mosher May 3 at 12:05 pm

    One of my favorite all time quotes is — “What we have here is failure to communicate.”

    What people say and what their words actually mean are two entirely different things. The Spanish fascists captured the poet Lorca and the words sent to his captors from on high were — “Give him coffee, lots of coffee”. So they took him outside and shot him. Those were “code words” that only the involved people understood.

    What about this statement — “We are from the government and we are here to help you”? What that statement means to most people has absolutely nothing to do with what the words simply say. To most people it means that the government is about to turn someone’s life into a horror movie.

    Let us remember something about the phrase “global warming”. IN ACTUAL USE it has no single meaning. Warmists use the statement “97% believe in global warming” to demand action be taken to prevent CAGW. What are clearly apples and oranges are lumped together by them as “fruit”

    That skeptics (or sceptics) would have high negatives toward this phrase is therefore not surprising. How it has been used and abused in the past dictates how it is likely being used in a current context. The history of this phrase is that it comes from the warmists. They are the ones who use it most often. And it means to them whatever they want it to mean depending on circumstances. And they always use it in a way that supports their “beliefs”.

    So the phrase “global warming” — how do you understand it? Do you understand it through parsing it into two dictionary definitions of the individual words and combining those — or do you understand it through how it has been used and abused in the past? Is it surprising that so many skeptics (or sceptics) would hear the phrase “give him coffee, lots of coffee” in it?

    This is not a reading comprehension test. Or maybe it is — of Cook — who fails it. Oh, and also of you.

    Eugene WR Gallun

    .

  140. Cook’s “scientific” survey looks to be nothing more than a propaganda piece as a way to label skeptics as deniers. They have already released a paper

    “http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/4/451/2013/esdd-4-451-2013.pdf”

    “Cook et al. (2013) reviewed nearly 12000 climate abstracts and received 1200 self-ratings from the authors of climate science publications.Using both methodologies, they found a 97% consensus in the peer-reviewed climate science literature that humans are causing global warming. There appears to be a gap in the understanding of the climate between experts and the lay public, and a common denominator between all the examples reported here and in the supporting material is that they all represent a contribution towards the agnotology associated with the climate change issue.”

    I expect Cook to draw a comparison between the survey from scientists with the survey contrasting AGW believers with skeptics to be able to apply the denier label to skeptics.

  141. Well as much as I’d like to read Lucia’s musings on the subject, I can’t since she has rather foolishly blocked the IPs of Mullvad.net, a popular European VPN service. I guess it doesn’t matter since there’s only three-quarters of a billion people here and VPN usage is decreasing due to governments finally realising that they really have no use-case for eaves-dropping on everything everyone does.

  142. Eugene WR Gallun: Global Warming has many meanings: “We are all going to die, save the planet from the evil west (Read that as the USA), more goverment more control, the distribution of wealth, capitalism is evil, big oil/gas/coal and big WOOD (lol.) also stop eating meat, live in a mud hut, burn dung for fuel and population control, etc, etc etc. Yes the list goes on and on. We realists can ALL read the code. How about “Send them for treatment”?

    We are at war the likes of Cook. Evil only prospers when good men and women do nothing. In this fight against CAGW the good men and women are doing an amazing job. I thank you all at WUWT, Hero’s all of you. :-))

  143. I will take the survey the same day that Cook condemns Gleick for his fraudulent behaviour. Until then, I consider that Cook has no integrity

  144. I would LOVE to have the time on my hands that Mr Cook seems to have. He enjoys playing “important scientist” , but it is just playing,,,, so seeing as you Anthony are professional in every sense of the word, I would avoid wasting your time…. ;-)

  145. In 2006 I demolished some economic papers from the University of Queensland, including the head of department, which were used to justify an economically-absurd “state economic development strategy.” I sent a draft to one of the authors, who had moved on to LSE. He fully accepted my critique which demonstrated that there was no basis for certain policies adopted by the state government, and said that “I now laugh at my time in Queensland.” I don’t laugh, I weep at the standards of the Uni just over the river from me.

  146. I am a bit late to this and have just read the comments.
    The main thrust of the comments seems to be following Brandon Shollenberger’s issue with the randomization of the sample. But there are broader issues here that can completely undermine the results of the research. This is particularly true if the researcher is trying to infer quality and truth of science is equated with numerical support.
    First, is that if funding of research within climatology has been highly skewed towards supporting the AGW hypothesis, and the journals have a strong selection bias, then the sample will be meaningless.
    Second, is if not all scientific papers are equal. As any undergraduate course will show, relative importance of papers is extremely highly skewed. If the first point is true, then the average non-consensus paper needs carry more weight than the average consensus paper.
    Third, that relative importance changes over time. I hope that no university would say that you should treat the papers of twenty years ago on an equal basis to the latest research.
    Fourth, the consensus can shift. For instance, compare the size of the medieval warm period in the original Mann hockey sticks with Esper et al 2012, (or the withdrawn Gergis paper), and you will see a distinct movement.
    Most importantly, any significance of the research is totally undermined if science does not progress by consensus, but by new insights that sometimes totally undermine current views.
    Second, is if not all scientific papers are equal. As any undergraduate course will show, relative importance of papers is extremely highly skewed. If the first point is true, then the average non-consensus paper needs carry more weight than the average consensus paper.
    Third, that relative importance changes over time. I hope that no university would say that you should treat the papers of twenty years ago on an equal basis to the latest research.
    Fourth, the consensus can shift. For instance, compare the size of the medieval warm period in the original Mann hockey sticks with Esper et al 2012, (or the withdrawn Gergis paper), and you will see a distinct movement.
    Most importantly, any significance of the research is totally undermined if science does not progress by consensus, but by new insights that sometimes totally undermine current views.

  147. Steven Mosher says:
    May 3, 2013 at 9:56 am
    Come on guys have some fun.

    take the survey at skeptical science as if you read it.

    Whatever the abstract says answer that the abstract endorses AGW in some way.

    hehe. confirmation bias
    —————————————————————————-
    I disagree. Why lie? Do you lie often?
    If you take the survey at least work to see if his results are reasonable.
    Who knows? Maybe skeptics are lying, conniving, conspirators, getting rich off government and oil money hell bent on control of mankind and the earth.
    otoh….
    I believe the statistics that Cook will create will skew skeptic’s beliefs.
    The survey will be used as propaganda. They still use the 97% as real numbers.
    Stupid answers will demonstrate skeptics are nutty paranoids and the news of the unbelievable wacko denier’s answers will be broadcast worldwide. Even if they can only say “2% of the total respondents are as crazy as Steven Mosher.”
    Cook has shown no reason to make me believe otherwise and legitimizing his bias is unsat!
    If he wants to make things up I can’t stop him.
    Sending an invitation (to Anthony et al) doesn’t mean skeptic participation.
    If his survey is only on his site few skeptics will see it without a direct link.
    I don’t like the way the Team does business.
    I have chosen to notsupport John Cook in this effort.
    Thanks for the invitation but I’ll pass.
    cn

  148. I just emailed young Cook with the following:

    John

    I read with interest your plan for a survey of the published climate literature abstracts with a view to finding a consensus on the level of AGW.

    Unfortunately, your project is pursuing a false premise – that the abstracts are a true reflection of the actual research data in the studies.

    One of the things I quickly became aware of while researching the book Air Con was how nearly every study carried an obligatory tip of the hat to AGW, yet often the data did not necessarily support that conclusion. I realised that a number of good researchers were banging the required phraseology into their papers to keep their masters and grants controllers happy, but they were also letting the data speak for itself in the study proper.

    A survey of abstracts will be meaningless.

    Regards

    Ian Wishart

  149. Next week we’ll be asking the infidels to rate suras to see why they don’t accept thetruth of Islam.

  150. Why does one need participants to reach a foregone conclusion? Can’t Mr. Cook just cut to the chase?

  151. For a psychology class, I had to write a proposal for a study — not necessarily a study that would actually be conducted — but a proposal that could be used for a real study. This nonsense would have been thrown out immediately.

    My how times have changed.

  152. A colossal waste of time, which I think is the intent.

    Focus on disproving our own assumptions, as that is true science. Hang all else.

  153. Justin Templer (@justintempler) says:
    May 4, 2013 at 12:52 am
    Cook’s “scientific” survey looks to be nothing more than a propaganda piece as a way to label skeptics as deniers. They have already released a paper
    “http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/4/451/2013/esdd-4-451-2013.pdf”
    “Cook et al. (2013) reviewed nearly 12000 climate abstracts and received 1200 self-ratings from the authors of climate science publications.Using both methodologies, they found a 97% consensus in the peer-reviewed climate science literature that humans are causing global warming. There appears to be a gap in the understanding of the climate between experts and the lay public, and a common denominator between all the examples reported here and in the supporting material is that they all represent a contribution towards the agnotology associated with the climate change issue.”

    I expect Cook to draw a comparison between the survey from scientists with the survey contrasting AGW believers with skeptics to be able to apply the denier label to skeptics.

    I think you pretty summed it up Justin. The conclusion is already there, they need now the “data”.

  154. I wonder if the set-up was to “Prove” that the skeptic blogs when invited WILL NOT PARTICIPATE. Remember that this was one of Lewandowsky’s defenses of his Bafflegab paper. Therefore Cook is setting up an ‘Experiment” that ‘proves’ when skepitcs are invited they won’t play.

    I think that and not the survey itself is the purpose.

    Any response we give is going to be a lose-lose since the purpose is to ‘Prove’ skepitcs are crazy and therefore can be sidelined.

    On a slightly different note:

    Someone needs to alert Lewandowsky that a leftist magazine, Rolling Stone is conceding Conspiracy Theorists were RIGHT!

    A Matt Taibbi article in Rolling Stone: Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever: The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There’s no price the big banks can’t fix – the markets are completely rigged by the big boys. SURPRISE!

    Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything….

    Now where is _Jim to try and refute this….

  155. WUWT could start its own survey and set the rules. Let it be a shining example of how to do this properly. Anyone interested in testing the putative consensus with a truly objective assessment?

    REPLY: I’m not a ward of the state with unlimited time and grants to do this work as Mr. Cook is. While I could certainly take on the task here, I have a business to run which is already neglected due to spending too much time here. Plus, AGW advocates, people just as yourself, would simply pooh pooh the results.

    That said, why don’t you step up? I’ll be happy to host such a survey setup if somebody else such as yourself does the design and that design isn’t flawed like Cooks. Of course for it to be credible, you’ll have to stop hiding behind a pseudonym and disposable email account. – Anthony

  156. Gail Combs says:
    May 4, 2013 at 9:37 am
    I wonder if the set-up was to “Prove” that the skeptic blogs when invited WILL NOT PARTICIPATE. Remember that this was one of Lewandowsky’s defenses of his Bafflegab paper. Therefore Cook is setting up an ‘Experiment” that ‘proves’ when skepitcs are invited they won’t play.

    I think that and not the survey itself is the purpose.

    Any response we give is going to be a lose-lose since the purpose is to ‘Prove’ skepitcs are crazy and therefore can be sidelined.

    Gail you are right, however they are proven to manufacture data. They are proven to be unreliable.
    With this proven facts, I see no reason whatsoever to cooperate with these repetitive science distorters, in the idea to try to show cooperation, in the hope that sometime they will learn the scientific method.
    They will not apply the scientific method as it does not lead to their pre-conceived “facts”.
    If the data does not fit they will make it fit, as we have seen again and again (I must think again at Josh’s cartoon – make data fit anyhow :))

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/7/7/ipcc-science-fit-for-purpose-josh-111.html

    But as many have posted we may put some of our own surveys. However I have the impression that many skeptics are working, have also families and manage barely to save some free time to read and post on blogs. In contrast the CAGW blogs are run by people payed heavy amounts of money to do that (and have the pressure to show results).
    As posted above by Justin they have the results already.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/9/8/conspiracy-of-one-josh-183.html

  157. Peter Miller (May 3, 2013 at 11:55 am) “I think this is yet another attempt by the alarmist community to muddy the waters between AGW and CAGW.”

    I know this is what they are doing because that is all they ever do at SkepticalScience. How much scientific support is there behind further albedo based feedback from CO2 warming? Certainly not 97% probably more like 10% How much scientific support for giant AlGoresque hurricanes? Basically science fantasy. How about scientific support for the nonexistence of naturally caused megadroughts? What about blocking patterns that can’t be natural, must be caused by “low sea ice”? Neither of those are based on consensus science, but mostly on ignorance of historical weather and current weather processes.

    They will simply use the 97% scientific support for CO2 absorption of LW radiation as a proxy for all of those things and many more. That is all they ever do.

  158. Waaay back up the postings, Willis had it right. Do not have one iota of trust in this fake survey.
    There can only be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It matters not how many people ‘believe’ otherwise. The numbers of otherwise ‘believers’ does not, somehow, change falsehood into truth.
    Consensus? Here’s quote from the late Baroness Thatcher about consensus: “Consensus. The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: ‘I stand for consensus?”

  159. i haven’t read all the comments and it is likely this is repetitive, but why does anyone care whether there is a consensus on any of this? As long as real science is a possibility, a consensus lacks convincing power.

  160. That said, why don’t you step up? I’ll be happy to host such a survey setup if somebody else such as yourself does the design and that design isn’t flawed like Cooks. Of course for it to be credible, you’ll have to stop hiding behind a pseudonym and disposable email account. – Anthony

    If I didn’t have 3 jobs seven days a week at the moment, I might undertake to learn how to format such a survey. I would have time to participate in the survey over a few days, though, which would be a much less time-consuming task.

    The email address I post under is my primary email address. I’ve had it since 1998 and never use another except for internal work emails.

    Out of curiosity, is it a new rule that article authors must post under their real name? There have been numerous posts here that do not. I have considered asking to post here, when time permits, hopefully under conditions equal to those authors (justthefactswuwt, charles the moderator, for example).

    If anyone undertook to do a literature survey under the auspices of WUWT, I’d recommend they keep participants anonymous to give primacy to the information rather than to personality.

  161. There’s an interesting parallel here with how people perceive terrorists. (Nailing my colours to the mast, I’m firmly in the sceptic camp.) A paper I read years ago (and can’t put my finger on – dammit) argued that terrorism is generally likely to fail. The reason was that people simply didn’t trust the stated aims of the terrorists. Apparently, most Russians supported complete or partial autonomy for Chechnya, before the Moscow apartment blocks bombings. Most/many Israelis supported Palestinian independence before the second Intifada. Osama Bin Laden had very specific demands on the US before 9/11 (US out of the Middle East, no support for illegitimate – i.e. not sufficiently Muslim – Middle East governments, etc). However, after the events, no-one believed the stated aims of the perpetrators. It was like, “This is what they say they want, but what do they REALLY want?” Cook MAY (!?!??) actually want to do a genuine crowd-sourced survey, but who is going to believe him after the last debacle with Lewandosky? Fascinating.

  162. Use that to your advantage since a number
    of players won’t be as alert as you. Although many prefer pit games like Black Jack and Roulette, I have always preferred opportunities that offer a reasonable rate of return. This is due to the reason, that letting you win will make you come back for more than just cheating you for once and losing the business.

  163. Since a very large majority of the papers on global warming support it being AGW, what Cook is trying to show is that skeptics blantantly lie or deny what the vast majority of authors (climate scientists) say about global warming.

    Lets use Mann’s Hockey stick paper as an example… I assume it maintains in the abstract that the warming in the mid to late 20 century is unprecedented in the last 1000+ years. Now if you get that paper as an abstract… do you
    a) Agree with the author that indeed the data does show that?
    b) Disagree with the author and say no it doesn’t… knowing full well that the data presented has been tortured and processed in such a way that the conclusion reached in the paper is bs.

    If you select A, then Cook can claim “even skeptics, after reading scientific papers, come to the same conclusions as the vast majority of scientists that global warming is happening and it is primarily the result of human activities… primarily CO2.”

    If you select B (more likely the case with true skeptics who have studied up on the Mann Hockey stick) then Cook can claim “Skeptics have a propensity to lie or deny what an author says in a scientific paper. The published paper clearly says one thing, as even the authors (insert world reknown scientists name here for appeal from authority) attest, but skeptics say the paper says just the opposite. Obviously skeptics are completely bonkers and nothing but irrational fruitcakes.”

    WUWT and Climate Audit are very good at taking major landmark papers published by the “Team” and ripping them to shreds… exposing them to be quite flawed, if not fraudulent. Most of the readers of WUWT are much more knowledgeable about what is really going on in climate science so are much less inclined to agree with the authors of global warming papers about exactly what the data supports.

    Contrary to what Mosher maintains, this survey is a total setup. It is more akin to answering the guestion “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

    Best to just totally ignore Cook in my opinion.

  164. Alcheson has it dead right. Cook wants to show that skeptics won’t believe the evidence when it’s put under their noses. That’s why the links sent to the various blogs are uniquely identified. It’s advocacy pure and simple.

  165. @barry says:
    May 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    That said, why don’t you step up? I’ll be happy to host such a survey setup if somebody else such as yourself does the design and that design isn’t flawed like Cooks. Of course for it to be credible, you’ll have to stop hiding behind a pseudonym and disposable email account. – Anthony

    “If I didn’t have 3 jobs seven days a week at the moment, I might undertake to learn how to format such a survey. I would have time to participate in the survey over a few days, though, which would be a much less time-consuming task. […]”

    barry, barry, barry… just do like the rest of us and declare your CAGW skepticism loud and long. Pretty soon you’ll be rolling in checks from Big Oil. Heck, all you have to do is – just once – whisper, “Maybe it isn’t CO2 after all,” and that’s generally good for $50k from Shell ;o)

  166. A group collected 12,000! AGW papers, read them all, and wrote 150 word summaries; all without introducing their own bias’s…incredible.

  167. I’m a bit late to the party, but I noticed I got mentioned in this post and in the comments. I highly recommend people not focus on my earlier comments about this survey. I was pretty much fumbling around trying to diagnose a problem I knew existed, and I came up with several wrong ideas.

    You’d be much better off looking at the post I just made on the issue.

    And not that it really matters, but there is no ‘c’ in my name.

  168. I have now received an email back from John Cook confirming my suspicions that his survey would be subject to skewed abstracts, and that he recognises this as a risk but claims to have a solution:

    From: John Cook [mailto:j.cook3@uq.edu.au]
    Sent: Sunday, 5 May 2013 9:39 a.m.
    To: Ian Wishart
    Subject: Re: Why your survey premise is cobblers

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the feedback. We’ve anticipated this possible limitation in the study design and have used an independent method to measure the level of consensus in the “study proper”.

    Regards
    John

    On 04/05/2013, at 10:19 PM, Ian Wishart wrote:

    John

    I read with interest your plan for a survey of the published climate literature abstracts with a view to finding a consensus on the level of AGW.

    Unfortunately, your project is pursuing a false premise – that the abstracts are a true reflection of the actual research data in the studies.

    One of the things I quickly became aware of while researching the book Air Con was how nearly every study carried an obligatory tip of the hat to AGW, yet often the data did not necessarily support that conclusion. I realised that a number of good researchers were banging the required phraseology into their papers to keep their masters and grants controllers happy, but they were also letting the data speak for itself in the study proper.

    A survey of abstracts will be meaningless.

    Regards

    Ian Wishart

  169. I did the survey and got a result that was less favourable than the actual authors of the papers.

    Of the 10 papers that you rated, your average rating was 3.5 (to put that number into context, 1 represents endorsement of AGW, 7 represents rejection of AGW and 4 represents no position). The average rating of the 10 papers by the authors of the papers was 3.3.

    It appears that, if I have a bias, it is to the negative side of endorsing AGW. Or else I’m objective and the abstracts are more neutral than the full papers (which is what the papers’ authors rate). Or the authors of the 12,000 papers are generally biased in one direction.

    Now, the actual study gets the authors of the papers to rate their own work – the full paper. I don’t know whether the Cook et al paper rates only the abstract.

    The public survey is an addendum to, not a core part of the study.

    In the comments at SkS the particpants gave less endorsement of AGW to their 10 abstracts than did the actual authors of the papers cited, same as me. This indicates a lack of expected bias for that readership, which is heartening.

    My abstracts contained nothing about Agaves. There were 2 papers that implicitly rejected/minimised AGW. This is more than I would have expected based on researching any and all papers on various topics in google scholar over the last 7 years. Most papers/abstracts are neutral on AGW. A few (less than 10% in my experience) implicitly or explicitly reject/minimize AGW. I’ve read several hundred papers/abstracts in that time, so I don’t know how representative that number would be (most read subjects are: sea level, millennial temp records, climate sensitivity, Arctic sea ice, instrumental record, orbital dynamics and climate, ice ages, carbon cycle, radiative forcing, spectral analysis, global energy budget, hydrological cycle).

    FWIW.

  170. Why does this even have to be an email survey? Why can’t the papers be published and people be able to state whether the abstract explicitly/implicitly goes with “The Consensus?” It’s EASY for someone to hold the full list of papers in their pockets and only hash out 10 of them. It’s much harder, however, to actually put everything out in the open, put some protective measures on it as to make sure things don’t get rated multiple times, and THERE!

    The greenies are always using the guise of fairness under the typical deceitful tactics

  171. “The greenies are always using the guise of fairness under the typical deceitful tactics.” Yes they do just that. Not that they see anything wrong with it. Remember it does not matter whether man made CO2 causes global warming or that it does not. It makes no difference to them. So to them lies are a good thing if it enables them to finalize their agenda. There is no difference between the average watermelon and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

  172. Sorry Anthony, about my comment about watermelons being like the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. But I am a bit angry today about this latest Cook scam. :-((

  173. Obviously a climate science history lesson… Really who cares in historic data that ends in 2011…
    Good job for not jumping on that squishy twistoflex of gobbly gook.
    It’s all about the Sun, and the next few years are going to tweek the warmers..

  174. Roger Knights says: Here are my comments on a survey by James Powell, posted online in various sites last year, of 13,950 papers dealing with climate change.
    Roger, here is a detailed rebuttal of this,

    13,950 Meaningless Search Results

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2013/04/13950-meaningless-search-results.html

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

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

    3. The 13,950 results cannot be claimed to be peer-reviewed as the Web of Science does not have a peer-reviewed only filter.

    4. It is a strawman argument that skeptics deny or reject there has been a global temperature increase of a fraction of a degree since the end of the little ice age

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