Fuzzy math: In a new soon to be published paper, John Cook claims ‘consensus’ on 32.6% of scientific papers that endorse AGW

You have to wonder how somebody can write (let alone read) the claims made here in the press release by Cook with a straight face. It gives a window into the sort of things we can expect from his borked survey he recently foisted on climate websites which seems destined to either fail, or get spun into even stranger claims. For example, compare these two passages of the press release:

Exhibit 1:

From the 11 994 papers, 32.6 per cent endorsed AGW, 66.4 per cent stated no position on AGW, 0.7 per cent rejected AGW and in 0.3 per cent of papers, the authors said the cause of global warming was uncertain.

Exhibit 2:

“Our findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary.”

And from that he gets a consensus? What is he smoking? Try getting a quorum or winning an election with those numbers.  About that 0.7 percent, this might be a good time to remind everyone of this Climategate moment.

In July 2004, referring to Climate Research having published a paper by “MM”, thought to be Ross McKitrick and Pat Michaels, and another paper by Eugenia Kalnay and Ming Cai, Phil Jones emailed his colleagues saying:

“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin [TRENBERTH] and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

This below comes from a pre-press release, published first by Steve Milloy of Junkscience.com. It isn’t on the IOP website yet, nor is Cook’s paper. It seems both are scheduled for May 16th. Since there is no embargo time listed that I’m aware of, and it is in the wild now, it is fair game.

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

Study reveals scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change

A comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed articles on the topic of global warming and climate change has revealed an overwhelming consensus among scientists that recent warming is human-caused.  

The study is the most comprehensive yet and identified 4000 summaries, otherwise known as abstracts, from papers published in the past 21 years that stated a position on the cause of recent global warming – 97 per cent of these endorsed the consensus that we are seeing man-made, or anthropogenic, global warming (AGW)

Led by John Cook at the University of Queensland, the study has been published today, Thursday 16 May, in IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters.

The study went one step further, asking the authors of these papers to rate their entire paper using the same criteria. Over 2000 papers were rated and among those that discussed the cause of recent global warming, 97 per cent endorsed the consensus that it is caused by humans.

The findings are in stark contrast to the public’s position on global warming; a 2012 poll* revealed that more than half of Americans either disagree, or are unaware, that scientists overwhelmingly agree that the Earth is warming because of human activity.

John Cook said: “Our findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary.

“There is a gaping chasm between the actual consensus and the public perception. It’s staggering given the evidence for consensus that less than half of the general public think scientists agree that humans are causing global warming.

“This is significant because when people understand that scientists agree on global warming, they’re more likely to support policies that take action on it.”

In March 2012, the researchers used the ISI Web of Science database to search for peer-reviewed academic articles published between 1991 and 2011 using two topic searches: “global warming” and “global climate change”.

After limiting the selection to peer-reviewed climate science, the study considered 11 994 papers written by 29 083 authors in 1980 different scientific journals.

The abstracts from these papers were randomly distributed between a team of 24 volunteers recruited through the “myth-busting” website skepticalscience.com, who used set criteria to determine the level to which the abstracts endorsed that humans are the primary cause of global warming. Each abstract was analyzed by two independent, anonymous raters.

From the 11 994 papers, 32.6 per cent endorsed AGW, 66.4 per cent stated no position on AGW, 0.7 per cent rejected AGW and in 0.3 per cent of papers, the authors said the cause of global warming was uncertain.

Co-author of the study Mark Richardson, from the University of Reading, said: “We want our scientists to answer questions for us, and there are lots of exciting questions in climate science. One of them is: are we causing global warming? We found over 4000 studies written by 10 000 scientists that stated a position on this, and 97 per cent said that recent warming is mostly man made.”

Visitors to the skepticalscience.com website also raised the funds required to allow the study to be accessible to the public.

Daniel Kammen, editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Research Letters, said: “”This paper demonstrates the power of the Environmental Research Letters open access model of operation in that authors working to advance our knowledge of climate science and to engage in a public discourse can guarantee all interested parties have the opportunity to review the same data and findings.”

###
* http://www.pewresearch.org/2013/04/02/climate-change-key-data-points-from-pew-research/

From Thursday 16 May, this paper can be downloaded from http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

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106 thoughts on “Fuzzy math: In a new soon to be published paper, John Cook claims ‘consensus’ on 32.6% of scientific papers that endorse AGW

  1. I have read enough of such papers to recognise that the formulaic hat tip and acknowledegment to AGW is a prerequsite to get it published. Given the climategate comments from those who are “in charge” of “peer review” you can understand why.

    In any case the logical fallacy of adding up numbers of papers to achieve a “consensus” is hilarious. These are supposed to be educated people? And all this to force the public into believing it? Come on.

  2. And “consensus” is exactly what part of the scientific method? I wonder if Galileo was aware of this concept.

  3. australians are good at “fuzzy math”. the federal budget announced yesterday is a case in point. well-known CAGW-advocate Tristan Edis tries his best to spin the CO2 elements, while hoping the EU “fixes” the carbon market, at precisely the moment the EU is raiding the oil majors for price-fixing!

    15 May: Business Spectator Australia: Tristan Edis: The ripple effect of a carbon price hack
    The government has more than halved its expected carbon price for 2015-16 to $12.10 per tonne of CO2, down from the $29 it projected last year, in light of the depressed state of the European carbon market. However it continues to maintain an optimistic view on the carbon price outlook beyond this, projecting a linear rise for the years afterwards to $18.60 in 2016-17 and, ultimately, $38 in 2019-20.
    Estimating the likely European carbon price in 2015-16, let alone 2020, with any confidence is impossible, because the market outlook could entirely change with a single decision of the European Parliament and Council…
    Based on a Reuters Point Carbon poll of carbon market analysts the consensus for 2015-16 is a price well below Treasury’s at $8.50 for 2015. Without any major regulatory changes to the EU ETS it is implausible that the EU carbon price could manage to reach the $38 Treasury has assumed…
    Following modest growth in 2014-15, carbon pricing mechanism receipts are expected to fall 27 per cent in 2015-16, following the end of the fixed price period in 2014-15 and the link to the European price in 2015-16. Receipts are projected to fall a further 27 per cent in 2016-17, largely because there are no longer any fixed-price receipts…
    Rather bizarrely, the government has chosen to actually increase the amount of assistance allocated to the steel sector (the Steel Transformation Plan) to adjust to the carbon price by $37.5 million. This is especially hard to understand given that one of Port Kembla’s two blast furnaces has been shut, so their carbon price exposure has been dramatically reduced…

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/5/15/carbon-markets/ripple-effect-carbon-price-hack

    15 May: Australian: AAP: EU raids oil majors in price fixing probe

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/breaking-news/eu-raids-oil-majors-in-price-fixing-probe/story-e6frg90f-1226642989331

  4. I confess I participated, curiosity. I did note in comments that the results were more likely to show a prevalence for papers supporting AGW to be published rather than anything else.

    What I find staggering is that Cook doesn’t get that scientists aren’t just climate scientists. Broaden any “survey” to include geologists, meteorologists, and physicists and what little consensus there is evaporates. So, yes they’ve convinced themselves of their importance but they haven’t managed to convince the rest of the scientific community.

  5. Even IF the numbers were correct and I doubt they are correct, apply that same logic to the time of Galileo:

    From the 11 994 papers, 32.6 per cent endorsed the Sun going around the Earth, 66.4 per cent stated no position, 0.7 per cent stated that the Earth goes around the Sun.

    Well, there you have it, the debate is over, conciseness is NEVER wrong. ;-))

  6. “Cook doesn’t get that scientists aren’t just climate scientists.”

    and that “climate scientists” just aren’t real scientists.

  7. I am sick of being told “97% agree…”

    I want to be told THE EVIDENCE (yes, I am SHOUTING because no warmist ever, anywhere, any time, answers this question) – WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE. Specifically, give me the EVIDENCE so I can evaluate it as a scientist for myself. As for the consensus, on the Myers Briggs test I come out as INTJ – introvert, intuitive, thinking, judging – for which, to quote the description for this type, arguments from authority or consensus hold absolutely no weight. We are 2% of the population, and INTPs are similar – another 2% – for whom your pathetic attempts to convince us from consensus are simply ineffective, like throwing ping pong balls at an aircraft carrier. So, any warmists out there, here is a challenge I am sure Anthony would facilitate – post an article here that concisely summarises the actual evidence that the theory is true.

    Specifically, the theory that by CO2’s warming the ocean air slightly, extra water evaporates that multiplies the heat takeup of the CO2 alone, that this causes sufficient warming to be dangerous, and that humans are responsible.

    What is not evidence: “it got warmer”, “this was the warmest … in … years”, “there was a big storm” – need I go on?

  8. Bob Diaz: Well, there you have it, the debate is over, conciseness is NEVER wrong. ;-))
    Yes. And brevity is the soul of wit….
    : > )

  9. Maybe I am missing something here, but is this not the same survey(s) that was/were sent to WUWT, Climate Etc.et al, what, a few months ago now?

    Am I supposed to believe that a “survey”(z), such as it apparently wasn’t/weren’t, have/has progressed in a few months to a peer-reviewed paper AND being published in ERL?

    That’s astonishing! I can’t say I remember a piece of “research” making it finished to press in just weeks. Did Cook just throw Lewandowsky under the bus with a subsequent survey that almost instantly got published?

    It made me wonder (confessing ignorance here) what the state of “Watts et al 2012 draft paper” is at present?

    Somebody please tell me how badly I have my wires crossed here……

    REPLY: You do, this is an entirely different operation, done entirely with SkS volunteers, it is a prelude to a smear by Cooks recent web survey, where he’ll try at some point in the future to claim something about Skeptics, even though Skeptics have seen just how shonky his survey is, and for the most part have avoided it. – Anthony

  10. This paper is so bad that mocking it may improve its credibility.

    I do have one question though. When is the “recent warming”? Is that the warming before the last 16 years of no warming according to the land record? Or before the last 23 years of no warming according to the satellite record? What time period do they define as “recent”?

    OK, that’s four questions. But no single question was more than 25% of the total number of questions meaning that 75% of the questions were collectively more than one question. But I further analyzed one single question outside of the 75% and a survey of independent reviewers (me) agreed that of the 25% analyzed, there was only one questions, and 100% of reviewers (me) agreed with this.

  11. So, they are trying to herd the population back into fear by reinforcing the idea of consensus amongst “scientists” who “know”. It must be so annoying when the population doesn’t behave itself. All they do is meander about, asking awkward questions. The first “consensus” worked for a time, so they’ll try that again – louder. Shame it’s getting colder. Ah well.

  12. Visitors to the skepticalscience.com website also raised the funds required to allow the study to be accessible to the public.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    How much does it cost to publish a pdf on an existing web site? Wow, they may have raised a penny!

  13. Note that the published paper does not use the much-criticized survey. It is probably the same set of papers and the same questionnaire, but the paper is based on 24 respondents. I guess that, after they completed that survey, they decided to open it up to everyone — and there is a second paper coming that compares the answers of the 24 to the answers of the likes of me.

  14. Hmmmm…..

    It appears their “concensus” is declining…. significantly….

    And somehow they figure that’s good news?

    (Reminds me of those “increasing temperatures” that really aren’t. Never let a touch of reality ruin your cause, right?)

  15. davidmhoffer May 14 9:49 says

    “This paper is so bad that mocking it may improve its credibility.”

    Haha! Good one. But sadly true.
    Given that skeptics are evil — then anything that ticks off such evil people must be of value. Hence the credibility of the paper is increased — or at least in the eyes of total morons it is increased.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  16. So 97% of 4000 papers endorsed AGW but of the “over 2000″ papers surveyed only 32.6% did? I don’t understand that math. Or did he include the 66.4% with no position in a “those who are not against me are for me” approach?

    I guess this just goes to show that one-star public access journals will publish anything, especially if their editors get some free publicity out of it.

  17. In 5th century BC, the Greek philosopher Empedocles postulated we could see things due to rays coming out of our eyes. When someone asked why we could not see in the dark, Empedocles modified his theory to say that the rays from our eyes could only work when they interacted with rays from a light source such as the sun. One could prove this by drawing a heavy curtain across the window during the day, and noting that as soon as the room was dark, one could no longer see, proving that the rays from your eyes needed to interact with light from the sun to work.

    John Cook has the same problem as Empedocles.

  18. Fuzzy math? Lol I call it the Cook Voodoo Math Machine. Just like this one: ” In a passage reminiscent of a notorious feminist description of Newton’s Principia (a “rape manual”), Irigaray argues that E=mc2 is a “sexed equation”. Why? Because “it privileges the speed of light over other speeds that are vitally necessary to us” Just as typical of this school of thought is Irigaray’s thesis on fluid mechanics. Fluids, you see, have been unfairly neglected. “Masculine physics” privileges rigid, solid things.

    The privileging of solid over fluid mechanics, and indeed the inability of science to deal with turbulent flow at all, she attributes to the association of fluidity with femininity. Whereas men have sex organs that protrude and become rigid, women have openings that leak menstrual blood and vaginal fluids… From this perspective it is no wonder that science has not been able to arrive at a successful model for turbulence. The problem of turbulent flow cannot be solved because the conceptions of fluids (and of women) have been formulated so as necessarily to leave un-articulated remainders.”

    Cook and Irigaray should party together. Funny eh? Idiots!

  19. Peter Ward;
    Or did he include the 66.4% with no position in a “those who are not against me are for me” approach?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Not quite. What he did is to ignore them entirely.

    32.6% pro + 0.7% against + 0.3% uncertain = 33.6%

    32.6/33.6 = 0.970

  20. uh huh.
    If I polled all members of the Spanish Inquisition on February
    16th, 1616, about the correct answer to the question “Does
    the universe go round the World or does the World go round
    the Sun?” I could easily expect at least a 97% consensus the
    World was the centre of the universe. ( 97% if the wine was
    particularly good that year and one member was too drunk to
    take the survey.) Historically, the consensus was 100%.

    But: the consensus still didn’t make Galileo wrong. For the record,
    the Roman Catholic Church posthumously apologised to Galileo in
    2000, only 384 years later.

    Nature could very well make it very obvious in the next 25 years
    that whatever consensus Mr. Cooke claims is patently baloney.
    Perhaps the river Thames will freeze over … again.

    I’ve got my popcorn ready.

  21. Davidmhoffer says:
    “Not quite. What he did is to ignore them entirely.

    32.6% pro + 0.7% against + 0.3% uncertain = 33.6%

    32.6/33.6 = 0.970″

    Yeah I didn’t get the math either, but if he has done the above he should be dismissed, he can’t understand basic logic.

  22. Right or wrong, it’s irrelevant. This paper will make the news. The 50 to 1 project, for example, won’t.

  23. Consensus at 100% is as pointless as consensus at 1%. It isn’t science at any level. Because Cook doesn’t get this Cook is an idiot. A flaming giggling idiot. In another life he was probably a cartoonist where anything can happen.

    Here is how we know the truth regarding consensus: If the consensus were 100% against him he would plead the worthlessness of consensus as not being science. There can be no doubt regarding that. None. If there were not a nutter like Cook out there the greens would have to invent him. I’m running out of nice things to say.

  24. Richard Tol (@RichardTol) says:
    May 14, 2013 at 10:34 pm
    Note that the published paper does not use the much-criticized survey. It is probably the same set of papers and the same questionnaire, but the paper is based on 24 respondents. I guess that, after they completed that survey, they decided to open it up to everyone — and there is a second paper coming that compares the answers of the 24 to the answers of the likes of me.

    Richard, “Eli Rabett” does not believe the “secondary” questionnaire will even be analyzed. There is no second paper in the pipe. There will be far too many questions on the first paper.

    Eli Rabett (Comment #112910)
    May 14th, 2013 at 9:01 pm
    The original ranking of abstracts. Obviously the secondary survey should not continue beyond that point

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/sks-survey-over-haiku/#comment-112920

  25. davidmhoffer says:
    May 14, 2013 at 10:29 pm
    Visitors to the skepticalscience.com website also raised the funds required to allow the study to be accessible to the public.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    How much does it cost to publish a pdf on an existing web site? Wow, they may have raised a penny!

    er….I think they SPENT a penny. Lew would be flushed!

  26. Does he have a list of the 84 peer reviewed papers in his portfolio rejecting AGW outright and the futher 36 items stating cause of warming to be uncertain?

    Now, that would be a treasure house to link to.

  27. Exactly.

    Some may be convinced in ‘warming’ – but rational, morally correct, logically thinking people who seek the truth will obviously only be convinced when we look outside and see the proof. People are entitled to believe in all sorts of things (incl. Vegetarianism, Promiscuity, UFO’s, God, Gun Laws, European Union and what the Guardian Newspaper says is right), but show us the evidence and we may reconsider our opinion.

    I don’t think I can tollerate much more ‘warming’ than we’ve been experiencing of late – after all, so far this year, the UK has experienced really gorgeous sunny ‘spring-like’ days on THREE occasions. Wow. On this day last year on 15th May, we had a hailstorm. This year on 15th May it is cold, dark, overcast and miserably wet with squalls of driving rain. Daffodils are unusually still in bloom. The lawn has only had 2 proper cuts this year and the blossom on our apple tree is struggling to open. So far this year, we have had thirty days with either hail, sleet or snow. It has been the coldest February/March in East Midlands/East Anglia since 1883.

    In contrast, for the four consecutive years between 1996 and 1999, I remember that every outdoor team building course I delivered in March/April had beautifully mild and sunny days with delegates wearing summer T-Shirts. The last totally successful and abundant vegetable garden we grew was the Spring/Summer of 2007. Since then, crops have struggled annually for the last six years – whilst weeds (especially stinging-nettles and dandelions) are more prolific than I can ever remember.

    Should the weather somehow return to how it was in the late 90’s, I expect we’ll be told by a body of self-righteous tree-huggers that this is again ‘proof’ of CAGW – as it’s much warmer than the cold depressing weather we’re experiencing right now (even with the slightly higher atmospheric amounts of CO2). In the meantime, I’ll make my own mind up based on what I see outside from our window.

  28. pat says:
    May 14, 2013 at 8:39 pm
    australians are good at “fuzzy math”. the federal budget announced yesterday is a case in point. well-known CAGW-advocate Tristan Edis tries his best to spin the CO2 elements, while hoping the EU “fixes” the carbon market, at precisely the moment the EU is raiding the oil majors for price-fixing!

    Well they are chipping in 7B euros via the IMF to help them out…..maybe it’ll stoke the carbon price?

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/australias-7-billion-euro-contributions-very-small-swan-20120422-1xens.html

  29. “LEWD” LEWANDOWSKY AND JOHN COOK-THE-BOOKS
    ————————-An Eye For An Eye————————

    Their time of the month is all of the time
    Two screaming shrews too obsessed to observe
    Even the modest decorums
    Of a pseudo-science

    Faux posers, like drag queens on a runway
    Theirs the “Fashionism” of the future?
    Hissy fit data deviates
    Who would dress our children

    Projective upon all whom they survey
    Theirs a deconstructive analysis
    “Souls undone undoing others”
    Perverts taught and teaching

    The “left” judges all poetry by its subject matter. Write poems about things approved of by the “left” and you are announced a “great poet”. ALL of the “state poetry” produced under Communism has never been considered worthy of translation into English (except to mock it) so it is unfamiliar to us in the West — but a good approximation of it can be found in what our Western academically employed poets are producing.today. Horrible politically correct stuff!

    Just as poetry must serve leftist ideology so also must science. Science must follow the party line — or it is not science. Truth is predetermined and the data must be made to fit that “predetermined truth. Sadly Lysenkoism is alive and well in the West.

    And so must you follow the party line — or you are not a human being. You can be smeared and lied about and de-humanized — ultimately there are “camps” awaiting primitives like you.

    As to my poem above about “Lewd” Lewandowsky and John Cook-The-Books? To capture them I went to where they live — the gutter. I am simply dealing with them on their level. Poetically I feel fallen and dirty but otherwise I enjoyed it. Poetically i took a little trip to the wild side.

    Eugen WR Gallun

  30. Berényi Péter says:
    May 14, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Does he have a list of the 84 peer reviewed papers in his portfolio rejecting AGW outright and the futher 36 items stating cause of warming to be uncertain?

    Now, that would be a treasure house to link to.

    That is far easier to do when the insiders in the peer review system don’t act as gate keepers. That isn’t the case, though.

  31. Appreciating wine is a good analogy of believing in AGW.

    In the mid 80’s, I was told that 1982 was an exceptional year for claret. Our son was born in 1982, so, believing in what I was told, I popped in to Fortnum and Masons in London and paid £90 for a 2nd growth Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou from the Saint Julien region of Bordeaux.

    I stored the bottle in a dark corner under the stairs until, on his 18th birthday, we opened the bottle (now worth three times the price I originally paid in the 80’s). After allowing the claret to breath, we carefully poured ourselves a glass of this very special deep-coloured, powerful, ripe, exquisitely well-balanced wine. We smelled the aroma and took a big mouthful.

    It was crap.

  32. Sampling bias. Sampling bias. Sampling bias. 100% of 3 responses indicated Sampling bias.

  33. We jest but don’t forget there are billions at stake in this ‘AGW’ game. Lives even. Which makes the work of Anthony and his ilk all the more vital.

  34. Cook’s use of the term ‘scientist’ is an affront to all real scientists in this instance.

    ‘Grant Addicted Individuals’ would be much better, or perhaps the time-proven ‘Natural Climate Change Deniers’.

    Nevertheless, the devil is in the detail: Most sceptics believe that there is such a thing as AGW, but that it is largely unquantifiable and of minor consequence. However, the continued health of the Climate Warming Industry depends on being able to muddle the scary concept of CAGW (which clearly does not exist) with the mildly interesting and inconsequential one of AGW.

  35. Fuzzy math: In a new soon to be published paperI thought you might be referring to that one that simply ignored the TOB’s adjustments, but then I realised that piece of junk is never getting published.

  36. Isn’t there any way we can stop people from trying to sell statistics as science?

  37. asking the authors of these papers to rate their entire paper using the same criteria. Over 2000 papers were rated and among those that discussed the cause of recent global warming, 97 per cent endorsed the consensus that it is caused by humans.

    Were those attribution studies that examined the cause, or mostly merely impact or mitigation studies that merely endorsed (parroted) the man-made / consensus conclusion? If the latter, which is likely, then So What?

  38. GeeJam says:
    May 14, 2013 at 11:52 pm
    The MET show UK May CET temperature anomaly to 7th as +1.3C whilst Philip Eden, using a set of sites sympathetic to those used for the bulk of the record, shows +0.5C.
    Despite your observations of a remarkably cool month so far, the MET show an anomaly of +0.3C to the 13th May (Eden has yet to update). http://www.climate-uk.com/index.html
    Here in Scotland today, the slopes at Aviemore are still open to skiers and snowboarders, and they are actively encouraging visitors in numbers.

  39. How tiresomely ignorant and devoid of science. If I recall correctly, after Einstein had fled from Germany and the Nazis, he was informed that a hundred ‘Nazi’ scientists had come forward to debunk his eminent work on relativity. His comment: “they only needed one paper.”

    …doomed to repeat the mistakes of history…quite a lot in common with the book burning crowd.

  40. PS: Were those attribution studies that examined the cause, or mostly merely impact or mitigation studies that merely endorsed (parroted) the man-made / consensus conclusion? If the latter, which is likely, then So What?

    Other questions re the attribution studies:

    1. How significant did they rate the manmade contribution?

    2. In recent years, as warming has stalled, has this man-has-done-it rating declined (and by how much), and/or do fewer papers make this attribution?

    3. How many papers are alarmist—i.e., foresee the warming continuing or accelerating in the future from the manmade contribution?

    4. Has the alarmism of recent attribution papers increased or decreased? (We know that major recent papers have dialed back the climate sensitivity number.)

  41. Being an Australian, I apologise unreservedly to all of Anthony’s readers for having this cr*p foisted upon them.

  42. “0.7 per cent rejected AGW ”

    Looks like more untruthful claims, since the question about the content of the paper abstracts (not the papers) was whether it was judged to “minimise” AGW, not whether it “rejected” it.

    No author is likely to state that his paper minimises anything, since that word implies bias and an attempt to play down something.

    This is Cook’s own bias showing: for him AGW is FACT and anything that does not promote it must be “minimising” it rather than making a fair scientific assessment and concluding it is of minor importance.

    So he asks one question, then reports the answers having re-interpreted the question. As such he is misrepresenting the results of his survey.

    I note in passing that his original claim of 22000 papers is now down to 11500. Though that is surely way in excess of the number of papers for which he obtained an authors self-assessment and is not a truthful figure of the “random” selection of papers sent to survey respondents.

    Leading questions, falsely reported responces. Looks like he’s Cooked the results.

  43. 32.6% endorsed human-caused global warming.

    67.4% did not endorse human-caused global waming or stated no position.

    That is the result.

    John “cook the books” Cook doesn’t even understand he just cooked the goose for the 97% consensus proposition. 66.4% having no position CANNOT be counted in a “consensus” total or just be ignored. No position is part of the result. We just need to keep restating these numbers every time this myth comes up again.

  44. I think Cooks statement has caused some confusion about the 66% of paper that show no position on AGW. These are paper that aren’t about AGW. He looked at all paper on climate science not all of them are about AGW. So these 66% are the ones that have no opinion on AGW because the research was not about AGW, climate scientist do other research. From some of the comments and the title of the post I fear some people are confusing this 66% with the 0.3% of paper that are about AGW but do not conclude either way if there is man-made global warming.

    You should just ignore the 66% if looking specifically at AGW.

  45. pat says:
    May 14, 2013 at 8:39 pm
    “australians are good at “fuzzy math”. the federal budget announced yesterday is a case in point. well-known CAGW-advocate Tristan Edis tries his best to spin the CO2 elements, while hoping the EU “fixes” the carbon market, at precisely the moment the EU is raiding the oil majors for price-fixing! ”

    EU rules forbid price fixing EVEN by the EU cleptocrats themselves; BUT the European court has ruled that the emergency of having to save the planet justifies a violation of the rules.

    And that’s why EU cleptocrats are eternally in love with CAGW and will do everything to keep it alive.

  46. Could invent a new game like Sudoku, called climate consensus where the numbers are inserted in the ranks and files and they must always work out to 97% ,both across and up and down. Fill in your own numbers. Climatologist badges could be awarded for successful grids and an annual Cook the Consensus jamboree could be held in San Diego. Cartoon spinoffs to follow.

  47. In summary, of the vast majority of those who agree that AGW is the dominant cause of recent warming, there is a consensus of 97% that AGW is the dominant cause of recent warming.

    No wonder Cook never changes his mind, he can’t think straight.

  48. In the real world, “less-than-a-third” is not equal to “consensus”.
    And since the AGW believer position prior to this has been to the effect that the vast majority of papers support AGW believers, Mr. Cook should have noticed something is amiss from his results.

  49. In politics, it’s about messaging. Messaging is all about “headlines” and “sound bites” since most will listen to the headline then tune out as details are discussed especially if the person has no strong interest what’s being reported. Compare “the DOW is down 120″ to “the Dow plunges 120″ with the followup details stating “the drop, one-quarter of one percent, is a typical single day move in the industrials”.

    Warming is politics. The tools to fight messaging are to found in that arena, not in science.

  50. Silly stuff. Has it now become ‘science by consensus’?

    Should perhaps do a survey on the opinions of atmospheric physicists (current, retired, and deceased) on the matter.

    Then ask the rest of the ‘climate scientists’ (geologists, marine biologists, oceanographers, climatologists of all types and skills, geographers, solar physicists etc etc) how they arrived at their particular opinion on CO2 and CAGW.

    Oh, and tabulate that vs who pays their salary.

  51. “There is a gaping chasm between the actual consensus and the public perception. ”

    Is the chasm as wide as the mismatch between temperature data and model outputs between 1997 and 2013?

    When is all that lost heat hiding in the deep ocean gonna come back and bite us hard? Has that Day been put off for half a century, or more, or forever?

  52. They know arguments from authority won’t hold any water, especially when everyone knows the game is rigged (climategate). This is merely another desperate attempt to prevent apostasy amongst the alarmist ranks.

  53. “8 out of 10 cats who’s owners expressed a preference…”

    Didnt realise that Whiskas did science :S

  54. Why o why o why o why o why o why o why……..do YOU still keep referring to these things as “papers”…..as though they are publications of scientific research?

    WHY?

    Why in olther words do you cut these jokers so much slack and reinforce that ones preposterous self-image as some kind of social scientist. We may snigger at “social scientist”. but he aint even that anyway!

  55. Edohiguma says:
    May 15, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Isn’t there any way we can stop people from trying to sell statistics as science?

    Those CAGW-believers even accept Mann’s non-statistics as science. They even lie about it. So the unfortunate answer is “No”. But then, consider the source and the supporting demographic–they match.

  56. “The abstracts from these papers were randomly distributed between a team of 24 volunteers recruited through the “myth-busting” website skepticalscience.com, who used set criteria to determine the level to which the abstracts endorsed that humans are the primary cause of global warming.”
    So, 97% of the 24 SkS website volunteers agree there is man made global warming.
    Well, how ’bout that. 24 huh? They must have had to hire extra volunteers.

    “Each abstract was analyzed by two independent, anonymous raters.”
    That wouldn’t be ol John & Lew, would it?

    “This is significant because when people understand that scientists agree on global warming, they’re more likely to support policies that take action on it.”
    Even if you make it all up?

    “Our findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary. and our detailed survey results prove gate keeping and control of the purse strings may could can might will help prove our proven proof.
    (fixed that one for ya)
    Note to John from Jack: Proof? You can’t handle the proof.
    (To misquote JN)
    cn

  57. Hello all, I am attempting to explain to someone why man made climate change is wildly exaggerated by the mainstream media. Can anyone recommend some good books which will sum up all the relevant material, preferably including recent climate gate shenanigans, if possible. Thank you.

  58. Quoting from the post (my Capitals):

    Co-author of the study Mark Richardson, from the University of Reading, said: “We want our scientists to answer questions for us, and there are lots of exciting questions in climate science. One of them is: are we causing global warming? We found over 4000 studies written by 10 000 scientists that stated a position on this, and 97 per cent said that recent warming is MOSTLY man made.”

    Mostly, significantly, somewhat or no qualifier at all, that is the 97%.

    Most WUWT readers would probably agree with the “some contribution from CO2″, its just we see no cause for alarm yet.
    In other words, this “fuzzy consensus” can’t be used as plattform for demanding action on CO2 released to the atmospehere, just for requesting more research.

    Obvious for all but Cook & Co?

  59. Simply reviewing abstracts and stating some kind of “proof” that a phenomenon exists and that it is “fact” is a VERY large leap. And completely unsupportable. Bad science gets published all the time. Let me say that again: ALL THE TIME! Anyone doing a meta-analysis of published peer-reviewed research faces that startling conclusion. The pickins are slim indeed to find a set of decent papers dealing with your particular meta-analysis focus that you can use and then attach any kind of statistical validity and reliability to your results. All researchers know this and many avoid meta-analysis because of this issue.

    This current bit of COUGH-COUGH research methodology (abstract review to support a scientific theory) is simply garbage. Garbage. And I believe Cook knows that it is. It completely ignores the above condition of published research. Reviewing an abstract is simply a horrible way to say anything at all at the meta-analysis level. It is troubling to me that this kind of stuff gets past journal review. Very troubling. Cook seems willing to, even purposefully to, use garbage science technique to support his “belief” and journal publishers are willing to let it get through. Shame on you Cook. You are using low hanging fruit to shove policy down our throats. How can you look at yourself in the mirror and call yourself a scientist? Un-freakin believable.

    Here is a check you can do on yourself. Go back in time with your current published research articles and interview for a position on the team that developed atomic weapons. If the level of your research is tight enough to get on that team you may have a leg to stand on. Cook, you wouldn’t even get inside the state with your portfolio.

  60. If all the scientists agree that AGW is true, then why do we need to fund any further studies? Shouldn’t we cut all the funding for AGW studies and instead use the money to fund adaptation?

    Number 1 on the list – shouldn’t we improve infrastructure to deal with extreme weather? The scientists tell us there are hundreds of years of warming already built up in the pipe, so even if we cut CO2 today we still need the infrastructure. However, we don’t need any further studies to simply tell us what scientists have already agreed. That would be a waste of money.

    Tell your politicians. Time to stop studying warming and fix the roads, bridges, dikes, electrical grid and seawalls to better deal with extreme weather because the scientists all tell us that even if we stopped all CO2 today, we still need to prepare for hundreds of years of warming. Nothing we can do will prevent it, according to the scientists, so we need to stop spending money on talking and studying and instead spend our money on building things that deliver value.

    Rather than spend money of politicians and scientists, it is time to start spending money on engineers and construction. Build something of value rather than throwing money at conferences and publications.

  61. John says:
    May 15, 2013 at 2:42 am

    I think Cooks statement has caused some confusion about the 66% of paper that show no position on AGW. These are paper that aren’t about AGW. He looked at all paper on climate science not all of them are about AGW. So these 66% are the ones that have no opinion on AGW because the research was not about AGW, climate scientist do other research. From some of the comments and the title of the post I fear some people are confusing this 66% with the 0.3% of paper that are about AGW but do not conclude either way if there is man-made global warming.

    You should just ignore the 66% if looking specifically at AGW.
    ===========
    Correct … but this is WUWT, so what do you expect? It’s actually closer to 98%.

  62. I would like to see the 32.7% of papers rated as ‘pro’ along with their abstracts and the comments of the 2 ‘independent’ reviewers.
    Is there any chance this will be released with the paper?

    Some further categorization would be of interest:
    – Papers written with the pre-assumption of Catastrophic AGW
    – Papers written with assumed forcing value of x degrees

  63. John Cook: the question is not about how many papers are BASED ON AGW theory, the question is how many of the papers that examined the causes of post 1965 warming support AGW.

    Every day I read MSM reports of this and that being “caused” by global warming. But the reverse is actually true: this and that are ATTRIBUTED to global warming.

    There are not 3000 papers in that 12000 that examine the arguments for and against AGW.

  64. Richard

    “Richard Tol (@RichardTol) says:
    May 14, 2013 at 10:34 pm
    Note that the published paper does not use the much-criticized survey. It is probably the same set of papers and the same questionnaire, but the paper is based on 24 respondents. I guess that, after they completed that survey, they decided to open it up to everyone — and there is a second paper coming that compares the answers of the 24 to the answers of the likes of me.”

    Most likely. I’ve been trying to explain that to folks for some time.
    The public survey will allow the researchers to compare how other audiences read/misread
    the abstracts relative to the first readers. Look for confirmation bias, etc..

  65. Consensus is a political term. Science is not determined by a show of hands.

    History confirms that the consensus opinion in science is almost always shown to be wrong as new facts are discovered. History also shows that peer review without independent replication is meaningless. No paper is worthy of any headlines until it has been replicated, as is clearly shown by the epidemic of false positives in scientific research.

    Time after time, when someone does try and replicate the work of a climate scientist the data is either “not available” or after a lengthy FOIA process is found to be “missing”. Work that has been paid for by the public has been systematically witheld from the public. Why? Because these so called scientists know their work will not hold up under scrutiny. They know full well they have selectively published the positive findings and hidden the negative findings, to falsely inflate the significance of their work.

    Why? Because fame and funding is most often tied to positive results. Discovering a cure for cancer is worth something. Discovering 100,000 things that don’t cure cancer is likely to be seen by your backers as wasting money and result in an end to your funding. Thus, negatives don’t get published, even when they show that the latest cure for cancer has already been shown repeatedly to not cure cancer.

  66. What is grossly misleading about the use of words such as “endorsed” here, even if Cook’s methodology were not suspect for other reasons, is that a large proportion of that 32.6% do not “endorse” based upon findings of their study. Rather, they do the obligatory hat-tips to climate alarmism and (in many cases) proceed to study some further issue in that ASSUMED context…. i.e., what might the effects be upon such-and-such an ecosystem or patch of the planet IF the claimed CAGW is supposed to occur.

    Many of those 32.6% cannot ADD any further scientific weight or substantiation for claims about CAGW — that is assumed as a starting point and then the study goes on to examine something.

    Same kind of problem vitiates the work of people like Oreskes et al. (in addition to all the other analytical and methodological flaws of such propaganda studies).

  67. I can see how this idea of consensus science is so handy and gets rid of awkward things. Perhaps we can extend it into math. How many votes can I get for declaring the value of Pi is 4?

    Pointman

  68. I haven’t read thought the comments as of yet, but to me this seems like they realize that their 97% meme was proved to be utter bollocks, and they want it back.

    I dub it “reconsensustizing”. Take that Miriam-Webster!!

  69. So Myth Busters will sue SS for sullying their name.
    And 32% equals an overwhelming consensus of climatology.
    Great head line, the overwhelming consensus of 32% of experts, ..
    Cook might want to get out while the escape routes remain open.

  70. If a paper does not expressly reject AGW, yet the conclusion contradicts or calls into question a key part of AGW theory, was that paper included in the 66.4%? Likewise, how many papers have we seen with conclusions that do not fit with mainstream AGW theory yet the paper nonetheless includes the requisite endorsement of AGW. Is such a paper included in the 32.6% if the endorsement is not drawn from or supported by the conclusion.

  71. ferdberple says:
    May 15, 2013 at 6:40 am


    Rather than spend money of politicians and scientists, it is time to start spending money on engineers and construction. Build something of value rather than throwing money at conferences and publications.

    Does anybody here believe such projects will require an EIS before construction?

    Right now, even bald eagles killed by wind turbines are exempt from reporting. How much folly do you think they’ll get away with if they start building “something of value” when it hasn’t been determined what that value is?

    It will be a lot safer and cheaper to let the politicians and scientists continue to spend money on bloviating and buffoonery.

  72. GeeJam says:
    May 15, 2013 at 12:37 am

    Appreciating wine is a good analogy of believing in AGW.
    It was crap.
    ===============================================================
    To make the analogy better………………..
    It was expensive crap.

  73. “asking the authors of these papers to rate their entire paper using the same criteria. Over 2000 papers were rated and among those that discussed the cause of recent global warming, 97 per cent endorsed the consensus that it is caused by humans.”

    So there we have it. 97per cent of scientists believe that no global warming over the past 16 years has been caused by humans.

  74. jeffvader says:
    May 15, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Hello all, I am attempting to explain to someone why man made climate change is wildly exaggerated by the mainstream media. Can anyone recommend some good books which will sum up all the relevant material, preferably including recent climate gate shenanigans, if possible. Thank you.

    Try Steve Goreham’s “Mad Mad World of Climatism” and Donna LaFramboise’s “The Delinquent Teenager …”

  75. GeeJam says:
    May 14, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    On this day this year we had a hailstorm.

    May 15, 2013, @4PM, somewhere in Somerset.

  76. Never stated what of AGW they actually support?

    1) Were all going to die by CO2.
    2) Massive disruption to civilization, causing millions of deaths
    3) Significant contribution of the warming from humans.
    4) Humans drive the climate.
    5) Natural cycles drive the climate with a contribution from CO2.
    6) There is very little human CO2 influence.
    7) There is a little human influence from human changing environments (deforestation, urban sprawl, weather station changes etc) and a CO2 link can’t be established.

    All these numbers support AGW, but the difference between them is huge.

    Whatever percentage supports CO2 is irrelevant until what the claims of it actually are.

    Then how many are these papers actually supported with scientific evidence that is observed now, not a computer model. This reduces the number to a fraction/zero because they are mainly hand waving with nothing to distinguish between natural and unnatural factors.

  77. Even if it were true, it would not help their case. The overwhelming consensus of leading “experts” in a mistaken viewpoint is normal prior to a paradigm shift.

    It’s sort of like a bull market in stocks. Or, the recent catastrophic failure of the mortgage bond market. When everyone is invested in the bubble, it’s time to sell short.

  78. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Much of the roots of CAGW alarmism was created by Enron in order to get the carbon trading market going. So he’s just using Enron math:

    You have two cows.
    You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.

  79. In short, they are desperate for the public to believe 1) that there is a consensus among scientists that man is largely responsible for the recent warming and 2) that, in science, consensus matters. Neither, of course is true, but what’s important is what the public believes. In some 30 years though, and especially the past 15 years, they haven’t had a great deal of success, despite the continual caterwauling, clarion calls, and hand-wringing among the MSM. I guess the hope is that if they just keep screaming the same nonsense, eventually people will “see the light” (or something). Albert Einstein’s famous quote about a definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results comes to mind.

  80. For a scientific paper to be published in the Soviet Union, it was often necessary to include a pro-forma statement about how the findings of the paper conformed with Marxist-Leninist thought. Should we be surprised that today, in scientific publications on just about all terrestrial topics, similar gratuitous statements are encouraged by the commissars with respect to the theory of anthropogenic climate change?

    “Comrade, your findings are very interesting. I think they deserve the widest possible audience in the scientific community. It would be a shame if your work were denied that audience. Do you think that your results are in some way consistent, perhaps in just a small way, with anthropogenic climate change? Many *important* people are keenly interested in that angle. I’m sure you can find the right words.”

  81. Something is wrong, Cook’s video http://bcove.me/c1li8rcl shows 12,464 papers but the actual paper says: 11,944. As if it was made before they updated their paper. If you look in the paper’s results section they claim to;

    “The ISI search generated 12 465 papers. Eliminating papers that were not peer-reviewed (186), not climate-related (288) or without an abstract (47) reduced the analysis to 11,944 papers”

    Now I am curious if they originally planned to release this with the original number until I posted my criticism of Powell and they had to go back and change it;

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

    I am also skeptical how they determined if a paper was peer-reviewed or not because that requires checking every paper vs. every journal’s criteria and this process was never mentioned.

    Also does anyone know where their list of papers is?

  82. Something else does not look right. If they only counted 78 papers as “Rejecting AGW” that means they counted papers authored by Skeptics as either “Endorse AGW” or “No AGW position”.

    Get the list of papers.

    If they mis-classified papers authored by skeptics it is game over.

  83. Anthony, you state: “And from that he gets a consensus?”

    Perhaps this will help, from the abstract: “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

  84. Bloody silly survey really …

    Climate science is almost completely funded by the public sector, and with the ‘crisis’ their available research funding has increased by a factor of thousands.

    They are almost ALL going to give at least a hat tip somewhere in the text to the prevailing belief which funded their positions.

  85. People are pretty stupid…they may just buy into this ridiculaous scam. I mean, look who’ve we’ve elected to lead this nation, after all.

  86. The website is the product of a community of scientists and other volunteers scattered across the globe, united in their dedication to communicate climate science. Using peer-reviewed science, it plays an active role in debunking climate misinformation published across the spectrum of media, including TV, online, and print. In 2011, Skeptical Science won the Australian Museum’s Eureka Prize for the Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge.

  87. Cook is let loose today at The Conversation, that vanguard journal of Australian academia that allows 50/50 publication of papers and opinions. /sarc

    https://theconversation.com/its-true-97-of-research-papers-say-climate-change-is-happening-14051?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+17+May+2013&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+17+May+2013+CID_12ac64e3cf1067c9c5dc806ffc729c49&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Its%20true%2097%20of%20research%20papers%20say%20climate%20change%20is%20happening

    Cook points to his new website, The Consensus Project, which Niff references above … http://www.theconsensusproject.com/ … proudly headlined THE DEBATE IS OVER.

    This site partly explains its Mission by highlighting the outrageous fact that “34% of US media coverage gives sceptics a voice”, which “gives the very small number of sceptics a disproportionate amount of media attention” – that very small number apparently being the 55% of the public “who think the science is unsettled or don’t know” – aka sceptical.

    The 34% US media coverage cites a 2007-10 paper (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/4/044005/pdf/1748-9326_7_4_044005.pdf) that found in the six countries surveyed, a whopping 12% of media articles during 2009/10 contained “a sceptical voice”.

    OMG, the objective media is flooding us with denial! It’s true that among the thousands of published and unpublished papers on WUWT and all other sceptical websites over the past couple of years, two or maybe three have scored a story or some other reference in my local media. With the MSM exception of Andrew Bolt, Australia’s media is already overwhelmingly biased toward AGW belief, including the ABC/BoM’s landmark “Sceptics are Idiots so Ignore Them” extravaganza last year.

    The attempt to shut down all debate also ignores the fact that most sceptics agree there has probably been some CO2 contribution to global temperatures, their debate primarily over what degree, its continuity and whether it matters a fig if nights are a bit warmer than they used to be.

    It’s apparently beyond Cook that the very small 55% of people might have done their research and concluded that the science most definitely isn’t settled. If THE DEBATE IS OVER isn’t referring to the 55% (more like 30-40%, unfortunately) as “the very small number of sceptics”, it is presumably referencing evil people like Anthony Watts who publish dissenting facts and opinions that have caused around half the world’s population to be “confused and misinformed”.

    A search for “climate change” at The Conversation comes up with 94 articles published since 2011, none of them containing sceptical views. The Conversation topic link points to 486 “climate change” items, none containing sceptical views, and 63 “climate change scepticism” items, all scorning sceptics. This is presumably the end game ratio sought by Cook and fellow academics … the utter silencing of science and opinion with which they disagree, and that’s getting a bit too left/right/whatever wing for my comfort.

  88. Wow! 32,6% of the alchemists believe it is possible to make gold from non-noble metals. What a shock! I would believe more then 97% did. What a blow for this really progressive scientific newcomer. – 15th century king.

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