The Collapsing ‘Consensus’

 Guest essay by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Environmental Research Letters ought to have known better than to publish the latest anti-scientific propaganda paper by John Cook of the dubiously-named Skeptical Science website. Here are just a few of the solecisms that should have led any competent editor or reviewer to reject the paper:

  • It did not discuss, still less refute, the principle that the scientific method is not in any way informed by argument from consensus, which thinkers from Aristotle via Alhazen to Huxley and Popper have rejected as logically fallacious.
  • Its definition of the “consensus” it claimed to have found was imprecise: that “human activity is very likely causing most of the current anthropogenic global warming”.
  • It did not put a quantitative value on the term “very likely”, and it did not define what it meant by “current” warming. There has been none for at least 18 years.
  • It cited as authoritative the unscientifically-sampled surveys of “consensus” by Doran & Zimmerman (2009) and Anderegg et al. (2010).
  • It inaccurately represented the views of scientists whose abstracts it analysed.
  • It disregarded two-thirds of the 12,000 abstracts it examined, on the unscientific ground that those abstracts had expressed no opinion on Man’s climatic influence.
  • It declared that the one-third of all papers alleged to have endorsed the “consensus” really amounted to 97% of the sample, not 33%.
  • It suggested that the “consensus” that most recent warming is manmade is equivalent to the distinct and far less widely-supported notion that urgent action to prevent future warming is essential to avert catastrophe. Obama fell for this, twittering that 97% found global warming not only real and manmade but also dangerous.

Yet the most remarkable conclusion to be drawn from Cook’s strange paper is that the “consensus” – far from growing – is actually collapsing.

A little history.

It was Naomi Oreskes, a “historian” of “science”, who started the “consensus” hare running in the literature in 2004 with a non-peer-reviewed essay in Science alleging that not one of 928 abstracts she had reviewed had disagreed with the “consensus” that “most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations”.

Oreskes’ definition of “consensus”, though less imprecise than Cook’s, falls well short of stating that manmade warming may prove catastrophic.

The conclusion of Oreskes’ essay was that three-quarters of the abstracts she reviewed endorse the “consensus” either explicitly or, by evaluating impacts or proposing mitigation, implicitly. A quarter took no view. None, she said, disagreed with the consensus position.

Schulte (2008) reviewed 539 papers in the three years following the period studied by Oreskes, using the same search term (“global climate change”) and the same definition of consensus. He found that “the proportion of papers that now explicitly or implicitly endorse the consensus has fallen from 75% to 45%.”

Only 2% of the papers reviewed “offer new field data or observations directly relevant to the question whether anthropogenic warming has prevailed over natural variability in the past half-century”.

Just one paper mentioned the possibility of catastrophic climate change, but without providing any evidence for catastrophe. No papers provided any quantitative evidence whatsoever for the consensus as defined, still less for catastrophe.

Schulte concluded: “There appears to be little basis in the peer-reviewed literature for the degree of alarm on the issue of man-made climate change which is being expressed in the media and by politicians.”

On no basis, Oreskes later asserted that Schulte had “misrepresented” her results. In fact he had reported them straightforwardly and had simply carried her method forward for a further three years.

Finally, Cook alleged that a third of the papers he had reviewed explicitly or implicitly endorsed the “consensus”. However, several of the scientists whom he said had endorsed the “consensus” say they had done no such thing.

Even if he had assessed the abstracts fairly, the 33% endorsement of the “consensus” that he reported is significantly less than the 45% endorsement that Schulte reported, and less again than the 75% “consensus” reported by Oreskes:

image

The “consensus” is indeed collapsing.

One might examine Cook’s 12,000 abstracts to discover how many (or, rather, how very few) explicitly or implicitly endorse the notion that catastrophe will follow if CO2 emissions continue to grow.

However, any such survey would be of no more scientific value than that of Cook. As the planet continues to fail to warm at anything like the rate that the usual suspects have so confidently but unwisely over-predicted, it will eventually become apparent to all that science was not, is not, and will never be done by mere headcount.

References

Anderegg, W.R.L., J.W. Prall J. Harold, and S.H. Schneider, 2010, Expert credibility in climate change, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 107: 12107-9.

Cook, J., D. Nuccitelli, S.A. Green, M. Richardson, B. Winkler, R. Painting, R. Way, P. Jacobs, and A. Skuce, 2013, Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature, Environ. Res. Lett. 8: 024024 (7 pp), doi:0.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024.

Doran, P., and M. Zimmerman, 2009, Examining the scientific consensus on climate change, EOS Trans. Am. Geophys. Union 99: 22-23.

Oreskes, N., 2004, The scientific consensus on climate change, Science 306: 1686.

Schulte, K.-M., 2008, Scientific consensus on climate change?, Energy & Environment 19:2, 281-286, doi:10/1060/095830508783900744.

102 thoughts on “The Collapsing ‘Consensus’

  1. “human activity is very likely causing most of the current anthropogenic global warming”

    Isn’t human activity responsible for 100% of anthropogenic warming?

  2. See, this is why I keep up via WUWT – great clarification by Christopher Monckton, brilliant zinger by Bill Marsh.

    And of course, I don’t think any “skeptic” ever said there was NO effect, I mean the UHI alone is a no brainer. Now that the pendulum has swung, or is swinging, to the side of reason, maybe some real Science will get done on climate issues… ie, no more ridiculous tree ring hockey sticks and counting who’s on which side.

  3. They may as well have sampled the TV listings over the last ten years for soap operas who’s summaries may endorse the view that “domestic violence is on the rise”, a fictional result based on a fantasy to obtain a pre-defined result.

  4. From Wikipedia:

    The well-known advertising slogan for Whiskas was “eight out of ten owners said their cat prefers it”. After a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, this had to be changed to “eight out of ten owners who expressed a preference said their cat prefers it”
    ———————————————————-

    That bit of false advertising is so well known that it’s donated its slogan to a comedy show.

    So who do we complain to about this 9.7 out of 10 claim, which appears to be made on exactly the same basis? Surely, if it’s considered too misleading to sell cat food with, it’s also too misleading to set global economic policies by?

  5. Until we can get outright bullsh*t like this mob publishing total lies..
    Greenland melting a sign of things to come
    Michael D Lemonick
    A new study indicates that the widespread melting in Greenland in 2012 was not a one-time phenomenon. (australias Climate Spectator webpage)
    ———
    widespread melting? it got over zero for four or so hrs?
    webcam pics show it looking very snowed in and seriously bad for farmers waiting to plant.
    but that gets NO mention..
    Abc was all over c(r)ooks media effort like poop on a blanket..
    fact checking?
    would be great to see some!

  6. “Chilling temperatures and forecasts of snow have forced Giro d’Italia organisers RCS to rethink the final week of the Italian Grand Tour.” SBS Australian Cycle News today.
    Obviously the organisers must have believed the consensus when they planned the route.

  7. Thank you for the early citation to Karl Popper. I believe that a proper foundation in the philosophy of science would obviate most of this non-science nonsense. The rest of the non-science might be subject to by E. T.Jaynes’ Probability Theory, particularly ‘Converging and Diverging Views’ (section 5.3).

  8. If the trends (in climate and abstracts) continue, there may be many who will be sorry they jumped on the AGW bandwagon.

  9. Bill Marsh says:

    Bill, the rest was contributed by Sasquatch, Yeti, and other humanoids.

  10. With apologies to any twitter account holders, I found this statement very amusing and somewhat representative: “Obama fell for this, twittering “.

    As for the consensus, real scientists do not work from a conclusion back to the data, and that is why the “mention” of a very unscientific meme is falling.

  11. “human activity is very likely causing most of the current anthropogenic global warming”

    Isn’t human activity responsible for 100% of anthropogenic warming?

    You beat me to it. Monckton misclassified this one — it isn’t just “vague”, it is a tautology.

    But the really, really amazing thing is that only “97% of all scientists” agreed with it! Damn! Who do the remaining 3% think caused anthropogenic global warming? And why (as you point out) does this sentence contain the word “most”? Do some scientists among the 97% actually think that humans didn’t cause all of the AGW (without necessarily committing itself to a hard estimate of the fraction of the total warming observed over the last 300 years that is, in fact, anthropogenic in nature and origin)?

    I’m rather skeptical, but even I think that mankind caused 100% of mankind-caused global warming, provided only that there is a nonzero amount of mankind-caused global warming to have been caused by mankind. To avoid the issues of dividing by zero and multiple causes, I’d say that this is tautologically true even mankind is also causing 100% of anthropogenic global cooling via e.g. aerosols (note that the statement above doesn’t refer to net AGW, so it may well refer only to the fractionated contributions to the overall climate that are warming) or even if there is no AGW in the first place (100% of nothing is nothing, still true).

    This is just as silly as the original “97% consensus” survey, which asked if the scientists in question thought that the world had warmed (well, duh, look at the thermometric record for the last 150 years) and if humans had contributed to the warming (sure, why not, maybe, probably, possibly — few scientists would go on record as certain that they did not cause some of the warming observed). Ask a question that you are certain will get a positive answer. Cheat when analyzing the data when it turns out that it really gets a primarily neutral answer by rejecting all neutral answers from the sample. Implicitly tag on the presumed adjective “catastrophic” (which wasn’t at all in the original question, tautological or not) and finally interpret the positive answer to the exagerrated tautological question as support for a complex and expensive political solution to a problem that, in fact, the data does not support at anything like the 97% level.

    Sigh.

    rgb

  12. Its definition of the “consensus” it claimed to have found was imprecise: that “human activity is very likely causing most of the current anthropogenic global warming”.

    That got through “peer review”?

    I would agree – it is very likely that that phrase is possibly falling in the “significantly probable” category.

    And I say that with near certainty.

    :)

  13. I interpret Cook’s paper as saying, that even though there is not a consensus (only 33%), and technically, yes, science doesn’t progress by ‘consensus’ in any case, (which too often masquerades as political indoctrination) we can’t get governments to do something about AGW and its effects unless there is an overwhelming consensus among scientists, so we have to fudge the statistics and the conclusions of the scientists in order to get governments to do something, as well as continue to tell the believers in dangerous AGW what they want to hear.

    He is so befuddled and mixed up, in promoting an agenda (that is the official purpose of his appointed position), that there seems little hope for him.

  14. By filtering the abstracts down to those that include one of the two phrases ‘global warming’ or ‘global climate change’, the results are skewed. The abstract is not likely to contain those phrases unless some attribution or worthy mention was felt necessary due to objective or subjective opinion.

    Rather like surveying dog breeds by reducing the studies to those which contained ‘fluffy’.

    It would likely prove that 97% of dogs are Poodles.

  15. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
    May 22, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Joe, please don’t use Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a joke.
    ————————————————————————————————————

    For most things I’d agree with you but it’s remarkably reliable for quick references to something like a Whiskas advertising slogan. Especially one that I remember from growing up, and remember the subtle change (and the reasons behind it) from when it happened!

    Besides, the quote was in no way essential to the point I was making that this “ignoring the ambivalent ones” is a recognised deceptive, use of statistics. Quite how something so well known gets through “scientific” peer review is mind boggling!

  16. rgbatduke says:
    May 22, 2013 at 4:59 am

    Re tautology. Worse, a scientific journal accepted this for publication! Clowns will continue to produce such rubbish, but who selected the clowns for reviewing the paper and how did clowns come to take over the editorial function. I think a new journal formed to publish the papers rejected by the clowns would show promise.

  17. Joe, oh I know, but the more people use it the more it will absorb credibility. It’s just best to never go there for anything, despite how tempting it is to get a quick explanation. The Net is just great, but it’s spoilt by something like Wikipedia, which provides incorrect explanations and puts up massive barriers in the way of changing it. I assume you’re a fellow Brit, and I too well remember the TV ad. I remember ‘Arthur’ who ate with his paw – then we discovered that the ad men were simply coating his paws with the stuff to MAKE him lick his paws!

  18. My apology to professional clowns whose honorable objective is to amuse and entertain – society can’t do without you.

  19. The Wikipedia is the first repair for ignorance. If you know something that should be included or changed, then step away from the not-so-smart phone and fix it. Beyond that, believe nothing that one reads or hears without validating it yourself unless it fits your pre-existing worldview.

    About tautology and the logic of science, is not a true statement a tautology conveying little sense. Better is a falsifiable assertion of non-existence. “A is A” Well, duUh, everybody knows that!

  20. Collapsing? It never existed in the first place except in the fevered imaginations of the CAGW Believers. It was manufactured simply as one way to propagandize the masses, most of whom wouldn’t be savvy enough about science to know that even if it did exist, it didn’t matter one whit. I guess one could say that the Consensus Myth has collapsed. Lies carry the seeds of their own destruction.

  21. I’m pretty sure that accurately comparing explicit paper endorsements to surveys of author POV would show that every theory is collapsing, Chris.

    Survey biologists about acceptance of evolution in 2013, then survey their papers in 2015 and voila… A Theory in Crisis. Of course it isn’t, despite decades of claims to the contrary.

  22. On a tangent, even if this were true, does it not simply prove there is a bias in funding for climate change related science? How many of the papers were submitted for funding with no climate change reference and refused funding until there was a global warming aspect to the study included? How many papers that would have been classified as sceptical never got published or funded in the first place? How much re-defining of peer review, pal review and gatekeeping has been in play?

  23. This was a bunch of funding fraud scammers who got caught in the spotlight when Al Gore decided to out them on his comeback tour from losing the election.

    He dared people to stop him from manipulating energy markets, calling George Bush a terrorist for not doing more to stop the country from stopping purchases of Mid Eastern oil.

    He said he had found out that it was really, a good thing, he lost the election, because he’d discovered civilization itself “could have a catastrophe.” He referred to it as such many times early on but later cleansed that from his speech on it.

    He exposed frauds who claimed the atmosphere’s tropopause, a sheen of carbon dioxide that sits in space, posed between the balance of gravity and mass, at the top of the water cycle: when the Water cycle churns the nitrogen and oxygen around, causing more drag on the surface, warming the nitrogen and oxygen as well as, the water itself, of course – there’s a large upwelling that’s the really sole cause of disturbance in the layers of gas overall.

    When the water boils off a lot of radiation due to resonance changes – the gases rising USING the photons are able by virtue of climbing on top of everything because of molecular motion locally, causing it to energetically buzz to the top of the atmospheric lower layer –

    when the water gets to a certain point, lack of compression allows photonic energy to get out of phase with the electrons: and it falls off the electrons which fall back into a contracted size –

    when this happens of course the water molecules all having relatively nearly identical moment and energy containment, are seen dumping radiation off in good sized chunks, in a method quite identical seeming with boiling.

    This turbulent boiling drags CO2 up and the CO2 although heavier, becomes subject to a second feature of the convective upwelling, of storm cells: the oxygen in the mix of dry air, also emits a dose of energy at similar altitudes because they’re both, oxygen molecules, and, oxygen molecules all have identical valence numbers.
    Nitrogen has an energy orbital that dumps light out to space not too far away; and the dry mix dump energy around, the same place the water does, there’s partial overlapping I think, I can’t remember.

    This dumping of energy leaves the water, being ice: it starts falling down again and it actually tends to melt and re-rise up at the top of a particular boil off and cycle more than once: a refrigerative cycling:

    the air dry, without the water, is primarily the Nitrogen and the Oxygen and the CO2. Since they all dump energy in altitudes relatively nearby each other, they push each other around, and there is a point where CO2 that gets chuffed out in the belch of energy, settling back, finds a very cold and, being continually recharged entity due to storms everywhere,

    this cold, and JUST HAVING CONTRACTED Layer, OF nitrogen, and oxygen, the water having before long fallen out in nighttime shut down of the storms that sunlight creates,

    when the CO2 settles, it finds itself landing on a tight band of gas that settles slowly; because nitrogen and oxygen’s compression ratios don’t support a lot of thermal tumbling, relative to say water.

    The tropopause is this band of CO2 that sits there like a thin bubble of water looking molecules that are, actually, CO2 molecules. You see it in fighter jet photographs where the guy’s near it. It looks like liquid mirror, the effect you see in the movies: it’s the wave face of a gas field that’s comprised of oxgen molecules having that similar color response characterstic you see copied in movies.

    James Con Man Hansen claimed he and others were afraid it was going to start getting quite thick as the storm cells chuff more and more up at that height which is higher than where nitrogen and oxygen dump energy and cool.

    He said he and others were ‘afraid’ there could be – you guessed it THUH SKY on FAHr!’

    It was crass political lying designed to procure funds. Period. Hansen always said he saw NO PROBLEM LYING about FAKE WEATHER to PROCURE FUNDING; those who know of him can verify this easily it was his trademark. That and referring to himself as “one of the smartest men on earth” because most people don’t get to go to school to study what happens when spinning balls collide. (Most of modern physics mechanics was derived from observing things deflecting at 90 degrees in physics particle study and testing their theories using athletic and billiard and toy balls as analogs for particles or momentary force-field encounters)

    Hansen was a funds scammer from the beginning and he was working with about 13 or 14 guys to scam funds on research that “a wide array of thuh smartist minn in thuh werld are wurread abowt.”

    He ginned millions up this way for Goddard Institute and, much more significantly he allowed his international climate research friends to piggyback off N.A.S.A.’s reputation for research investment to keep up.

    Al Gore lost the election and told his followers when he saw how willing a group they were to obey his every whim to distract them from the unpleasantness of CrazyIslam inc.
    belonging to Wacko Bin Laden and friends

    Gore was FURIOUS at losing the election and told his followers that it was so urgent we all had to install his policies anyway. ASK PEOPLE who REMEMBER when it came OUT.

    He flat out said it was terroristic not to invest in alternative energy.

    What did he have lying around after the election? Some low-relative value ALTERNATIVE OIL and Other ENERGY PRODUCTS stocks d.e.a.r. o.l.d. d.a..d.d.y. had left him, in GOOD OLD OCCIDENTAL OIL company,
    third largest valued oil company on earth,
    but not third largest oil handler caws they had about 40% of their holdings in … Alternative Energy and Oil supplies.
    No?
    Go check what I’m telling you.

    So he said we were all too worried about the terror war so we had to check on other energy supplies not his word.

    =====
    Anyway that was how the political cover up got so high powered.

    And how the whole thing self-reinforced and still does. Al Gore told people it was too urgent to keep on obeying old laws that obviously weren’t working, he was thinking the change had to come from within as people just “occupied something” to stop government and industry from functioning so their attention could be demanded and demands, obeyed.

    The reason the tropopause was justified as the potential problem Hansen said,

    was that the tropopause, being an important radiator of heat at the earth’s standard frequency of infrared heat ejection, getting thicker, could act to change temp gradient beneath it.

    Hansen used vicious insults against people all during his career and Gore gave him the executive-connected clout to continue his schemes even after they were caught to the point they wouldn’t move around and discuss the issues at ALL for a while, then they worked together to come to a message they’d decided the issues were too smawurt for thim liddL peepul.

    =====
    The obvious reason it never related to temperature is that the water signature absorbing similar frequency light dwarfs carbon dioxide: and carbon dioxide is, still after all, heavier than nitrogen and oxygen. The surface of the pool of nitrogen and oxygen delimits the amount of CO2 that can sit there like that, because after all, it’s only a relationship between non rigid gas entities that are – especially in the situation of nitrogen and oxygen, being churned all day, every day, by the various storms that track along the globe, as the sun heats the water,

    and the giant oceanic basin of phase change refrigerant, starts cooling the earth.

    The giant frigid blue oceanic basin of phase change refrigerant also cools the nitrogen and oxygen: not just by lofting them up to the point expansion, drives photonic/electronic resonances out of phase, and ejection of photons out occurs.

    It also cools them through conduction as it falls back down. The main reason it ever falls as rain, is that although up at the top of the refrigerant cycling the water’s doing, it always falls as ice,
    on the way back down, it cools some nitrogen and oxygen, picking up heat from them until that ice, re-melts – and it thusly re-phased falls to earth.

    Obviously none of that allows for much heating by the giant frigid oceanic bowls of atmospheric pressures phase-change, refrigerant.

  24. The Carbon Climate Forcing hypothesis was created to FORCE Carbon Commodity Markets, plain and simple. This Wall Street creation was first empowered under Big Bush, who ramped the Ronnie Ray Gun annual climate funding from $20 million per year in 1988 to $1 billion by 1992. Slick Willy doubled this by 2000 and Baby Bush continued the $2 billion per year grant scam. All of this excess research is for endangerment findings against Carbon….and as we all know….if all you fund is findings for danger, danger is all you will find. We now have ‘science’ texts on every level that require posted errata or pulp recycling. I look forward to the toilet tissue made with ‘recycled climatology text’ content.

  25. When I was a child, McDonald’s was advertising their hamburgers as “made with 100% beef”. Unfortunately, no one knew what percent of the hamburgers was made with 100% beef.

    People can come up with statistics to prove anything, 14% of people know that – Homer Simpson

  26. IMPORTANT:

    The actual sentence from the paper is “We examined a large sample of the scientific literature…to determine the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW).” The parenthetical is awkward, but the sentence is innocent of tautology. The misquote in Monckton’s second bullet should be corrected.

  27. Given the media coverage of this “paper”, I conclude it is proof that the MSM is just an AGW parrot. Exhibit A: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/16/us-climate-scientists-idUSBRE94F00020130516

    Not only does Reuters parrot the study uncritically, they add in this claim: “The report found an overwhelming view among scientists that human activity, led by the use of fossil fuels, was the main cause of rising temperatures in recent decades.” I think we can say that “main” is a synonym with “principal” which means Reuters is claiming that the “overwhelming” view is a Category 1 abstract assessment from the study. That’s patently false.

    No offense to Lord Monckton, but a first year journalism student could take apart both the Reuters reporting and the study’s conclusions.

  28. @Joe says:
    @The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
    “Joe, please don’t use Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a joke.”
    ……………………………….
    “For most things I’d agree with you but it’s remarkably reliable for quick references to something like a Whiskas advertising slogan. “

    Actually, Wikipedia is:

    a – NOT authoritative
    b – good for anything which is not controversial – such as bit sequences for IP packets
    c – subject to sudden revisions (including joke inclusions) for things which are in the news
    d – interesting to hop around in and find odd links….

  29. “Implicitly endorsed” just means that someone got a grant to investigate what global warming would do if it happened. Those papers provide information on how politicians give out grant money but have no other use.

  30. Whoops – I missed out one line

    e – useless for anything which IS controversial – but unfortunately there is no way of finding out what items are controversial at any moment in time…

  31. As can be seen, the root of the problem lays, once again, in govt, which controls funding and thus
    controls the direction of research and what gets written. Independent thought and avenues of
    inquiry are mostly eliminated.

  32. I think that I see a trend in the consensus position. Much like the trend in the level of scariness in the warnings throughout the years.

    What you have to do is NOT look at any currently presented information on Global warming. That’s just like looking at weather – it’s the information the researchers are predicting TODAY. It might be quite different tomorrow, as, indeed, it was yesterday.

    What you need to look at is the LONG-TERM movement. The ‘Trend of Trends’, if you will. I got this off Skeptical Science, so it MUST be true. Now, for Global Warming warnings, these started off very scary. In the 1990s, we were all going to die in short order. Seal level was going up 35m, and about 80% of us were going to die. The rest would be clinging to the rocks in Antarctica.

    By the mid-2000s, this had been modified a bit, but it was still bad news. A billion homeless by 2050, and 40% of species wiped out.

    Now we find that nothing’s going to happen to us, but it may be a problem for our grandchildren.

    You see the trend? Clearly becoming less menacing as each year passes. I estimate that, at this rate, by 2018 people will be calling for more Global Warming and seeing it as an undoubted blessing as agriculture booms. If I had access to the Met Office computer prediction software I could give you a much more precise figure, but the general slope is unmistakable…

    Perhaps someone could give me a grant to continue this work..?

  33. Olaf Koenders says:
    In the near future, children won’t know what science is.

    Very good comment. Unfortunately, it rings just a bit too true to be taken as a joke.

  34. Olaf Koenders says:
    “In the near future, children won’t know what science is”

    LOL : > )

  35. Carl says:
    May 22, 2013 at 6:54 am

    “Implicitly endorsed” just means that someone got a grant to investigate what global warming would do if it happened. Those papers provide information on how politicians give out grant money but have no other use.

    Correct. Only “attribution” papers are worthy of inclusion in a consensus of knowledgeable authorities on the question in point. “Me too” “impact” papers should not be included.

  36. Ian Weiss says:

    The actual sentence from the paper is “We examined a large sample of the scientific literature…to determine the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW).” The parenthetical is awkward, but the sentence is innocent of tautology. The misquote in Monckton’s second bullet should be corrected.
    ==========================

    One possible interpretation, but, having read the paper I would have to agree with Lord Monckton’s implicit interpretation that the intent of the parenthetical was to hone the definition of GW to be AGW. After making this statement the author refers to AGW, not GW throughout his paper. It appears to me that the point of the parenthetical was to equate GW with AGW.

  37. @Michael Palmer
    True but as a witty paraphrase of “In the future, children won’t know what snow is” the study deserves the ridicule – far funnier than ‘John Cook and Environmental Research Letters don’t know what science is in the present’!

  38. that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW).
    =============
    so?….a better quality of life makes it warmer
    …which is also a better quality of life

  39. rgbatduke: This is just as silly as the original “97% consensus” survey, which asked if the scientists in question thought that the world had warmed (well, duh, look at the thermometric record for the last 150 years)

    I thought there was no “global temperature”? If some places warmed, some cooled and some remained the same, then there is no “global warming”. Period.

  40. Ian Weiss says:
    May 22, 2013 at 6:48 am
    “We examined a large sample of the scientific literature…to determine the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW).” The parenthetical is awkward, but the sentence is innocent of tautology.
    ========
    I don’t agree. The parenthetical is clearly a reference to the abbreviation immediately preceding. What the authors are saying is that GW is an abbreviation for anthropogenic global warming, or AGW,

    Which is correct – this is the common usage . When someone refers to “Global Warming” they are not referring to natural warming – they are referring to anthropogenic global warming, or AGW.

    Thus, Monckton is correct. The paper is saying that “human activity is very likely causing most of the current anthropogenic global warming”.

    Add as others have pointed out, it is surprising that 3% of the scientist don’t agree. The reason for this is likely the use of the word “most”. These 3% likely didn’t agree because “most” is technically incorrect. The statement should have said “all”. the correct statement is:

    TRUE: “human activity is causing all of the current anthropogenic global warming”

    PERHAPS TRUE, PERHAPS FALSE: “human activity is very likely causing most of the current anthropogenic global warming”

    The second sentence is “perhaps false” because the term “most” is technically incorrect. however the use of the phrase “very likely” confuses the question, because “all” and “most” are “very likely” to be the same if the sample is small enough.

  41. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley (5:55 am) – Wrong cat food mate, Authur never touched Whiskers, he was a Kattomeat cat.

  42. These zealots do like this 97% figure, don’t they? Not as easily disprovable as 100%, which also has the air of a North Korean referendum on whether Kim is a smashing kind of guy, yet close enough to suggest that all except a few oddballs agree. When presented with dissenting views but not possessing the wherewithal to assess them, the uncritical everyman assigns them to the oddball contrarian 3% and moves along.

    Cook and Lewandowsky don’t prove anything with their surveys. Being a psychologist, Lewandowsky understands the power of suggestion and acceptance of consensus on the mind of the relatively uninformed. He could choose to display a professional’s knowledge of this and encourage us all to assess evidence on its own merits, overcoming psychological tendencies and helping us all to reach an objective position on the topic. Instead, he and Cook prefer to encourage us to continue to look through a faulty lens and filter out potentially-important information that doesn’t fit the ‘perceived wisdom’. If this doesn’t mark them down as biased advocates, nothing does.

    There are many erudite people (on both sides of the debate) who, because of their expertise, suffer from confirmation bias and filter out contrary data or viewpoints. The general public, with no horse in the race, will tend to accept the considered view of the experts in such a complex field. If a false consensus can be proclaimed, the political battle is half-won.

    Climategate and the subsequent failure of COP15 at Copenhagen were like the use of a defibrilator on the arrested heart of the AGW issue. It restarted the debate among the general populace, just at a time when another powerful psychological force was about to be reinvigorated: the return of harsher European and North American winters meant many people whose experiences had tallied with the IPCC prognosis suddenly saw a divergence between the ‘consensus’ and their own eyes. It’s harder to convince people that ‘the experts are nearly unanimous’ in their subscription ot (C)AGW when the real world appears to be moving in the opposite direction.

  43. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
    May 22, 2013 at 5:55 am

    … I too well remember the TV ad. I remember ‘Arthur’ who ate with his paw – then we discovered that the ad men were simply coating his paws with the stuff to MAKE him lick his paws!

    This was well before the days of digital video and cameras, however, my family had two calicos – siblings – who would sit at the dish on the back porch and scoop up a mix of dry food and the morning’s left-over oat meal and eat off their paws. We used to feed all the dogs and cats (four and six respectively) on the porch each morning. They were all working animals tasked with keeping rodents down, coyotes amd other pests away, and herding the cattle. So, the take away is that cats may very well on occasion eat with their paws. They were the only two I have ever seen do so. But, merely because an incident is described as “urban” legend or has been simulated in an ad, doesn’t mean it never could or has happened in reality, especially if you leave the urban for rural.

  44. Lord Moncton is always a good read. I have been doing a little research of my own and have uncovered a dirty little secret relating to aggregate polar sea ice extents. Please follow the link below to corroborate my findings. Essentially, the data on the UIC sea Ice page indicates a net gain in sea ice since 1980.

    Link: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    There are interactive spaghetti graphs for both the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents. Have a look at 2013 day 138 and you will clearly see that there is a net gain in aggregate ice level relative to the arctic high day 138 (1985) and the Antarctic low day 138 (1980).

    Current Antarctic = 8.783 Million sq/km…Antarctic low = 6.238 million Sq/km.
    Current Arctic = 11.43 million sq/km…Arctic high = 12.855 million Sq/km.

  45. I thought there was no “global temperature”? If some places warmed, some cooled and some remained the same, then there is no “global warming”. Period.

    The concept of global average temperature is a valid one and can be (non-uniquely) defined. The evidence that the global average temperature by pretty much any reasonable definition has increased post Little Ice Age — which was more or less tied with the coldest stretch of the entire post-Younger Dryas Holocene — is very strong. There is, therefore, very little doubt that the world has experienced a fair bit of global warming over the last 300 years, rebounding from an 11,000 year low. There is equally little doubt that the bulk of this warming occurred before CO_2 became an issue at all, and an unknown but probably large fraction of the warming that has occurred since CO_2 became an issue was similarly “natural” as opposed to anthropogenic.

    What is also reasonably well known is that increasing CO_2 in and of itself should cause a direct increase in global average temperature all things being equal. In a complex nonlinear system, they never are equal, however, and a great deal of the argument is about what the feedbacks are, and what the competing, equally important drivers are, outside of CO_2. Feedback could be anywhere from actively negative, so more CO_2 does anything from actually cool (unlikely, IMO) to leave the climate completely neutral (slightly unlikely), to “zero” (no feedback) and hence likely to warm the planet roughly 0.1 K per decade over the rest of the century if it keeps going up as predicted, to actively positive, so one sees 0.2 to 0.3 K per decade instead of 0.1. Hansen has (for years) pushed 0.3+, which would indeed likely be catastrophic. The latest AR5 report (as I recall) is “projecting” 0.2, which would possibly have negative side effects but not be catastrophic. The latest data — as Monckton notes, neutral to slightly negative over somewhere between 12 and 16 years, depending on how one picks ends and fits — is actively constraining the probable limits of the positive feedback ever lower, and increasing numbers of climate scientists are coming around to the notion that the number could be between 0.1 (no feedback) to 0.2 (weak positive feedback).

    If the climate stays in neutral for another 2-3 years, or if it actually gets cooler (both quite possible given a that we are likely at or past the solar maximum peak for this cycle and there may be a connection between this and the climate) then most reasonable scientists are going to be looking hard at the no feedback alternative, which is definitely not catastrophic and may not even be net negative in impact. OTOH, if it spikes 0.4-0.5 degrees and sticks (restoring a growth rate over the last 30 years plus of over 0.2 degrees per decade), it would tend to support the stronger positive feedback scenarios.

    I personally would argue that we don’t know what will happen. We simply don’t know enough to do the computations (as is proven by the inability of our computations to predict what we’ve seen so far at all accurately). We are pissing into the wind here. Nature will — as nature usually does — let us know, in due time, what the answers really are, but in the meantime the best that can be said is that it is foolish to completely ignore the risk of catastrophe, and equally foolish to take measures that amount to an ongoing guaranteed catastrophe (not just a risk!) to avoid that risk. It is true that all young males run a risk of catastrophic testicular cancer, a disease that can kill them. It is equally true that the best way of dealing with this risk is not to cut off all of their balls.

    rgb

  46. Mods

    This post:

    William Wright says:
    May 22, 2013 at 6:30 am

    looks like it has been generated by a virus.

    [Reply: Could be. But we need more evidence than that. — mod.]

  47. “it will eventually become apparent to all that science was not, is not, and will never be done by mere headcount.

    Although this was, as expected, a great post, nothing I’ve observed in history makes me as sanguine as Lord M. about what “will eventually become apparent to all.”

  48. fred berple: ‘The parenthetical is clearly a reference to the abbreviation immediately preceding.’

    Not necessarily. A more likely reading, in my view, is that the parenthesis refers to the preceding clause, ‘human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW’. The quoted words are commonly understood to mean anthropogenic global warming, or AGW for short, and where ‘GW’ stands for ‘global warming’.

    In that case, there is no tautology. My reading is supported by a previous phrase in the Introduction: ‘the fundamental cause of global warming’. This wording implies a distinction between global warming and anthropogenic global warming.

    Further support is provided by a subsequent phrase (under ‘Methodology’) which says, ‘(e.g., humans are contributing more than 50% of global warming, consistent with the 2007 IPCC statement that most of the global warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations)’.

    The meaning of this wording also depends on a distinction between ‘global warming’ and ‘anthropogenic global warming’.

  49. My apologies to Arthur…and Kattomeat.

    Duster, the ad men admitted doing it in this case.

  50. I am particularly grateful to Professor Brown for his distinguished summary of the climate sensitivity question. If only all scientists were so careful, this absurd scare would never have gotten off the ground.

  51. rgbatduke says:
    May 22, 2013 at 4:59 am
    “human activity is very likely causing most of the current anthropogenic global warming”

    Isn’t human activity responsible for 100% of anthropogenic warming?

    Well, it depends on how you define “human”. Isn’t the average person of non-African descent supposed to have about 3% Neanderthal genes? In that case it is probably wrong to put 100% of the blame on homo sapiens. Let the Neanderthals take their share!

  52. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:

    Duster, the ad men admitted doing it in this case.

    No question about that. I just wanted to emphasize a cat or cats may surprise us. Watching our calicos eat turned into a family spectator sport with lots of head-shaking on the part of my parents. You might deduce from this that we had no tv. You would be right.

  53. @Phlogiston says:
    I agree, reads like someone on drugs or computer generated time wasting spam or ‘Bull’ – about as scientific as the consensus study.

    Or it could be an alarmist not on drugs? : )

  54. Many of these will be in need of the 5th amendment soon as they are on National TV on CSPAN before the U.S. Congress.

    The constitution they will use and that is ok.

    Many of these will be in courts and the 5th amendment will not be avaidable to them there.

    Michael Mann will be very much like Ms Lerner of the IRS he will give out his view on it all and cause himself to not even have the protection of the 5th amendment.

    To bad so sad.

  55. This all stinks of desperation. No other branch of science seems fixated with consensus or seems to need it.

  56. From the Cook paper comparing their abstract ratings with the authors’ article self-ratings:

    A direct comparison of abstract rating versus self-rating endorsement levels for the 2142 papers that received a self-rating is shown in table 5. More than half of the abstracts that we rated as ‘No Position’ or ‘Undecided’ were rated ‘Endorse AGW’ by the paper’s authors.

    Table 5. Comparison of our abstract rating to self-rating for papers that received self-ratings.

    Position Abstract rating Self-rating
    Endorse AGW 791 (36.9%) 1342 (62.7%)
    No AGW position or undecided 1339 (62.5%) 761 (35.5%)
    Reject AGW 12 (0.6%) 39 (1.8%)

  57. If the consensus really was collapsing, I expect we would see signs in new declarations by the big scientific organizations, or by leading climate scientists who until recently thought that AGW is real. And a shifting mix of journal papers. Unless that is happening, talk of collapse seems like wishful thinking because the consensus still holds.

  58. “By definition, the majority of scientists are just average?”

    What definition is that??

  59. Olaf Koenders says: “In the near future, children won’t know what science is.”

    Not true science, anyway. Good comment, Olaf.

  60. Reich.Eschhaus,

    You should read what ‘cd’ says in the comment right above yours:

    “This all stinks of desperation. No other branch of science seems fixated with consensus or seems to need it.”

    That’s about it, isn’t it? Cook cannot provide scientific evidence to support his catastrophic global warming beliefs, and the planet itself is clearly showing that he — and you — are wrong: even as CO2 keeps rising, global warming has stopped. But you continue to keep digging even after you have clearly lost the argument.

    Furthermore, there is no ‘consensus’ among scientists that any measurable human-caused global warming exists. In fact, the only consensus that we know of shows that real scientists think that CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere: tens of thousands of scientists have stated exactly that — in writing.

    I know I won’t convince you, or Cook, because you both live in your own little world. But in the real world there is no consensus among honest scientists that proof of AGW has been found. For you, AGW is a religious belief. And as we see, rational debate cannot overcome your religion.

  61. @dbstealey

    I was just inserting a few data points from the Cook paper in this thread. You decided to react on that in a “rant-like” fashion. Desperate? Who?

  62. Reich.Eschhaus,

    A false conclusion once arrived at and widely accepted is not easily dislodged and the less it is understood the more tenaciously it is held.
     ~ Georg Cantor

    And you’re holding on for dear life.

  63. It did not discuss, still less refute, the principle that the scientific method is not in any way informed by argument from consensus, which thinkers from Aristotle via Alhazen to Huxley and Popper have rejected as logically fallacious.

    Christopher,
    I’m with you on this debate, but you have to see the irony in the above quote, which is itself an argument from consensus or, at least, an argument from authority.

  64. Observation: Reich.Eschhaus is likely a fake screen name for a Skeptical Science contributor and they are using a proxy (hidemyass) to post here.

  65. It is becoming known by more people that the solar flux is operating on large cycles with smaller cycles within and is responsible for the state of our climate. When people go off on the climate fraud it is now laughable with the amount real science now out there on the subject.
    I discovered Igmass about a year ago and it was interesting in their 1st report how they correlated solar and mag field flux through the ages with earthquake and volcanic eruption frequency. Their work could open the possibility for the prediction of natural disasters if the global and orbital sensorium is expanded appropriately with a real time interpretation capability.
    Recently I tried to access the Igmass main site and was directed to a warning page saying that it was malware so then clicked a shortcut I had saved from a inside page. I did get in but the log in button takes you to Russian porn and the Igmass links are mostly dead.
    Igmass has been hacked and I suspect that they won’t be coming back online until the fraud is fully exposed. True science is very dangerous to the oligarchy as it poses a danger of being the nails that seal the coffin of the climate fraud.
    If someone can help me get the Igmass 2nd report it will be much appreciated.

  66. Holy sh!+ that’s one lousy wall of unedited text I put up there.

    Ah well. Such is the risk of saying heck with Word and just going for it.

    [Given that, do you want us to delete all of it? Or any part of it? Mod]

  67. Is the following an accurate (or adequate ?) summary of the (one) survey that actually did get a 97% CAGW-response ?

    The “97% consensus science agrees” comes from ONE specific “study” that was specifically loaded to specifically create just THAT SPECIFIC TALKING POINT.

    Approximately 3500 surveys were sent out to a variety of “scientists” by one researcher (funded by the government) after government approval of his government grant request after his government grant/funding requests were reviewed by government grant people. (Starting to get the picture?)

    Of these 3500 surveys, approximately 1100 were returned. It was NOT a scientifically selected sample, nor a random sample of qualified scientists, nor a 100% sample of specific experts or scientists in any single specific field. These 1100 replies were self-selected, and thus their replies were self-selected and, by definition, biased.

    There were 5 questions in the survey.

    Only 2 of the 5 were reported:
    “Is the earth warmer now than in the past?”
    “Is mankind responsible for some of that warming”?

    1. (Not defining “the past” is important, several times the earth has been much, much warmer than now. We ARE heating up from the Little Ice Age of 1650, and so “global warming” cannot be denied by anybody!

    2. Not defining “what percent of the warming” is due to human influence, and how much is natural warming – from ANY cause – is important. If humans are responsible for 3% of one global warming-contributing gas, and that gas is responsible for 1% of the global warming, YES, we are responsible for PART of the current warming.

    If humans are responsible for 95% of the current warming, then the answer is ALSO “yes”.

    We do NOT know what the other 3 questions were. We do NOT know what the repies were to those questions.

    From the replies to these 2 questions, the “researcher” ranked the replies by the number of papers written by the person writing back, and by how often the scientist in question had written papers (“official” peer-reviewed papers only – Again, a bias because the CAGW community has deliberately fired editors of scientific journals who disgree with their CAGW religion. In hundreds of other cases, the CAGW community has delayed critical papers, rejected papers critical if global warming dogma, and has rejected journals (boycotted) that have published papers critical of the CAGW religion. In all of those cases, that a paper critical of global warming is delayed or ignored or rejected reduces the self-selection criteria and ranking of the person relying to this survey!

    Once all of the replies were ranked, ONLY those relies from people employed BY the government, or funded directly BY the government were selected.

    Of these 77 “scientists”, 75 said “Yes, the global is warming.”
    Of these 77 “scientists”, 75 said “And mankind is responsible for some or all of that warming.”

    Now ….. What was actual percent replying “Yes, humans are responsible”?

    75 of 3500 who were asked?
    75 of 1100 who replied?
    Or 75 of 77 who are paid BY the taxes that can ONLY COME if the government convinces 51% of their low-information voters that the government needs 1.4 3 trillion in new taxes from global warming fees and carbon-trading?

  68. When the alarmists try and get a consensus from government they say: “there is a consensus amongst scientists”.

    When the alarmists try and get a consensus amongst scientists, they say, “there is a consensus amongst climate researchers”.

    When the alarmists try and a consensus amongst climate researchers they say “there is a consensus amongst alarmists”.

    When the alarmists try and get a consensus amongst alarmists, they say “there is a consensus that more research is needed”.

    When the researchers can’t get more funding from government they say “it’s all over for the environment”.

    All over for alarmism, that is.

  69. Brendan H says:
    May 22, 2013 at 11:39 am
    A more likely reading, in my view, is that the parenthesis refers to the preceding clause
    ============
    Not correct – that is not how English is written. The item in the parenthesis immediately following an abbreviation gives the meaning for the abbreviation. This is standard English grammar.

    Had the authors wished to refer to the preceding clause, they would have placed the explanation in a clause of its own, separated by commas or semi-colon. The fact that they did not do this, but rather used parenthesis, clearly indicates that they are explaining the abbreviation.

  70. Good grammar and being polite has always been part of the skeptics’ way, and as successful as it’s been, turning back the alarmists, who’d want to change it?

    Thanks for looking out.

  71. Anderegg writes to “The Scotsman” newspaper about this very subject, in reply (printed today) to a letter from Prof Anthony Trewavas:

    “Health warning

    Published on 23/05/2013 00:00

    Dr Trewavas (Letters, 11 May), in response to a study that I and others published in 2010, makes a number of incorrect and obfuscating claims that neither invalidate our study’s findings about the overwhelming scientific consensus that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the dominant cause of recent climate change, nor discount the urgency of acting to reduce risks from climate change.

    Our study examined the public statements of 1,372 scientists and found, first, that 97-98 per cent of the most actively publishing climate scientists agree that human-emitted greenhouse gases are the dominant driver of recent climate change and, second, that those who doubt this overwhelming evidence are largely not experts by standard measures.

    Dr Trewavas asserts that polling data would be better to assess scientific consensus, but blatantly ignores the large body of peer-reviewed studies that do exactly this, all of which find the same level of consensus that we found (95-99 per cent).

    For example, yet another peer-reviewed study was published last month that considered 12,000 scientific papers on climate change and found that 99.3 per cent of published papers and 97.2 per cent of those paper’s authors agreed that humans played a dominant role.

    Thus, while scepticism is a major pillar of all science, healthy scepticism is far different from ignoring the vast preponderance of scientific 
evidence concerning the causes of climate change.

    This wilful ignorance is well-studied and considered by social scientists to be denial.

    Replication and repeated studies (all of which have found the same degree of strong consensus) is another major pillar of science that Dr Trewavas appears to ignore entirely, thereby misleading readers.

    Notably, Dr Trewavas does not disagree that human causes have changed our climate. Instead, he argues that uncertainty about future projections means that we should not act to reduce the risks that climate change poses.

    As an analogy, let’s imagine that one day you discover a 
tumour-like lump on your body. You poll thousands of cancer doctors and 97 per cent of them think you have cancer.

    There’s uncertainty in their diagnosis – there’s an exceedingly small chance they’re wrong, no-one can tell you when the cancer will metastasise, their projections of the cancer’s spread are based on models, and dealing with cancer will cost money.

    This is exactly our situation with man-made climate change. How many of you would act to deal with your cancer?

    William Anderegg

    Stanford University”

    (http://www.scotsman.com/news/letters/health-warning-1-2940299)

  72. @Poptech

    “Observation: Reich.Eschhaus is likely a fake screen name for a Skeptical Science contributor and they are using a proxy (hidemyass) to post here.”

    Paranoid much?

    Also, that’s not an observation. It’s an insinuation. You should learn the difference.

  73. Then, of course, there’s always the question of which specific “consensus” Cook et al (and/or his “survey” papers) might really be talking about. For example (my bold):

    “Claims such as ’2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous. That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies; other IPCC authors are experts in other fields.” – Mike Hulme, 2010

    [See: Honey, I shrunk the consensus!]

    Or:

    “[I]t is this line-by-line approval process that results in the actual consensus that the IPCC is famous for, and which is sometimes misunderstood. The consensus is not a consensus among all authors about every issue assessed in the report; it is a consensus among governments about the summary for policymakers.” – Richard Klein, 2011

    Or:

    “There is, in fact, a broad and overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, is caused in large part by human activities (such as burning fossil fuels), and if left unchecked will likely have disastrous consequences. Furthermore, there is solid scientific evidence that we should act now on climate change, and this is reflected in the statements by these definitive scientific authorities.” – Greenpeace, 2010

    Or:

    “Scientific societies and scientists have released statements and studies showing the growing consensus on climate change science. A common objection to taking action to reduce our heat-trapping emissions has been uncertainty within the scientific community on whether or not global warming is happening and if it is caused by humans. However, there is now an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is indeed happening and humans are contributing to it.” – Union of Concerned Scientists, 2011

    [See: A conversation with an IPCC coordinating lead author]

    With so little … uh … consensus … on what this “consensus” might be, it’s little wonder that it’s collapsing, eh?!

  74. ferd berple: ‘The item in the parenthesis immediately following an abbreviation gives the meaning for the abbreviation.’

    And vice versa. So looking at the study abstract, we find the wording ‘anthropogenic global warming (AGW)’. This provides a clear signal of the meaning to be assigned to ‘AGW’.

    And there is no cast-iron rule that an acronym must be enclosed by brackets; a comma is sufficient. We also find that construction in the text: ‘(anthropogenic global warming, or AGW)’.

    As for ‘GW’, what are the author’s intentions here? The first mention of ‘GW’ is in the introduction, and it immediately follows the term ‘global warming’.

    Given these three indications, plus the surrounding context I detailed previously, it’s clear that the intention is to distinguish between global warming and anthropogenic global warming.

    In common parlance, of course, ‘global warming’ is often conflated with ‘anthropogenic global warming’, but that’s not the context here.

  75. @Poptech

    None of your business. I could as well ask you ‘on what (prescription) drugs you are and in which doses’ but I won’t.

    But this ends the discussion here. I will point you, as a sign of good will to this website with an interesting discussion of the Cook study (one that is more interesting than finding 3 skeptics who think there paper is not reflected in the abstract rating, solecisms, and a hissy fit on twitter). Maybe you’ll find some inspiration for another criticism of the study.

    http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2013/5/22/on-the-science-communication-value-of-communicating-scientif.html

  76. SkS Reich.Eschhaus, I am not nor have ever been on any prescription drugs. You however are a member of Skeptical Science under a different name. Let your buddies know this is only the beginning.

  77. OT

    The discussion on facts stopped before, someone entered into some kind of accusation (?) of me, the reasons of which I am not sure about, nor the consequences of it about anything what I have written here. Moderators, sorry for being off topic.

    @Poptech

    Do you think there is an SkS commenter in your cellar watching your every move? I didn’t even wanted to know but you eagerly volunteered to state that

    “I am not nor have ever been on any prescription drugs.”

    That may be the problem here! Your comments for me have a whiff of:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusional_disorder

    (be careful if you reply, Lewandowsky may read this as well!) Distant diagnoses are quite error prone. Poptech, please contact your local specialist.

    /OT

    • I do believe SS commentators frequent WUWT and you are a member of SS under a different name – I have good evidence to support this but am not revealing it here.

      There is no question Lewandowsky has not finished lying and smearing skeptics.

  78. So now I am in the SchutzStaffel? Interesting…

    @Mods. What level of accusations do you tolerate and what do you not? Someone should protect Poptech for his own sake.

    @Poptech

    There is this thing about you not revealing… “As of right now I am not revealing anything more about my methods because it relates to other projects I am working on outside of that those 3 are the only responses I received so far and I have emailed many more scientists.”

    “I have good evidence to support this but am not revealing it here.”

    This reeks like I know it all but can’t tell because of [add your favourite conspiracy theory]. Show me the evidence! I imagine you somewhere in a cellar desperately trying to find some kind of connection between me and SS and SkS… Get help!

  79. Mods? Awaiting moderation? What? It is Poptech insinuating things, I am only reacting… (delete this when my previous comment is released)

  80. @Mods, is it … that triggers moderation? I’ll try again with a link (to see what happens, curious though that Poptech is allowed to mention SS)

    So now I am in the

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schutzstaffel

    ? Interesting…

    @Mods. What level of accusations do you tolerate and what do you not? Someone should protect Poptech for his own sake.

    @Poptech

    There is this thing about you not revealing… “As of right now I am not revealing anything more about my methods because it relates to other projects I am working on outside of that those 3 are the only responses I received so far and I have emailed many more scientists.”

    “I have good evidence to support this but am not revealing it here.”

    This reeks like I know it all but can’t tell because of [add your favourite conspiracy theory]. Show me the evidence! I imagine you somewhere in a cellar desperately trying to find some kind of connection between me and SS and SkS… Get help!

  81. So now I am in the SS? Interesting…

    @Mods. What level of accusations do you tolerate and what do you not? Someone should protect Poptech for his own sake.

    @Poptech

    There is this thing about you not revealing… “As of right now I am not revealing anything more about my methods because it relates to other projects I am working on outside of that those 3 are the only responses I received so far and I have emailed many more scientists.”

    “I have good evidence to support this but am not revealing it here.”

    This reeks like I know it all but can’t tell because of [add your favourite conspiracy theory]. Show me the evidence! I imagine you somewhere in a cellar desperately trying to find some kind of connection between me and SS and SkS… Get help!

  82. Mods, I need clarification…

    [Reply: Comments are not censored here. You have every right to reply in your own words. — mod.]

  83. Surely there’s no problem with SkS folk posting here, as long as they behave regarding site policy. I mean, heck; the only reason I never post on SkS is because I don’t want my posts monkeyed with, but I certainly read there.

  84. “[Reply: Comments are not censored here. You have every right to reply in your own words. — mod.]”

    Sure, but I was wondering what caused the “awaiting moderation” thing? Care to fill me in on that? Otherwise delete everything from after the 6:19 pm remark. You could leave this here and explain what triggered the ‘awaiting moderation’ response in the first place? Thanks mod!

    [Reply: There is a list of words that diverts a comment into the ‘awaiting moderation’ queue, or into the spam folder. But WordPress also has its own triggers, which they do not share. WUWT is well known for its avoidance of censorship. So long as site policy is not violated, comments are posted. Readers are then free to respond. — mod.]

    [PS: this will not become a debate. You are free to comment, or not. Your choice. — mod.]

  85. The decline in papers explicitly supporting AGW is just part of the story. Some of the original bold conclusions have been replaced by more tentative conclusions. A good example is hockey stick studies. Compare the original Mannian Hockey stick on the front cover of the “Hockey Stick Illusion” (see right column) with the following key summary from the withdrawn Gergis paper of last year

    The average reconstructed temperature anomaly in Australasia during A.D. 1238-1267, the warmest 30-year pre-instrumental period, is 0.09°C (±0.19°C) below 1961-1990 levels.

    In Mann the picture is one of unprecedented C20th warming. In Gergis it is far more ambiguous.
    Another example is temperature trends, both of the surface and upper sea levels. Until a decade or so ago there were strong warming trends in both. Now the trend is flat.
    Another example is the melting polar ice caps. Look up Velicogna and Wahl 2006, Velicogna 2009 and Sheppard et al 2012. With more data and better quality analysis we get a more nuanced picture.

    What proper understanding requires is to go beyond the the superficial messages (which abstracts proclaim) and put the science in proper context of what is being said. In terms of evidence for a future climate catastrophe it means looking at issues of magnitude, likelihood, speed of change, distance in the future and the weighting that we can give to the evidence. It is the skills of an economic historian, or of a police detective piecing together a case from fragments of circumstantial evidence for corroboration. In fact the problem is more difficult than the detective, as the is not a single closed question (Whodunnit?) but assessment of the size of the problem. The likes of John Cook trample the evidence, to discourage people from asking questions and improving the quality of output. In any professional field – law, medicine, accountancy, engineering,….. – they would be disbarred.

  86. In attempting to document Monckton’s quotes I come up empty handed. Have the publications been altered? (all are electronic) Has anyone archived the original versions? Where can I find them? –AGF

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