Cooks ’97% consensus’ disproven by a new peer reviewed paper showing major math errors

UPDATE: While this paper (a rebuttal) has been accepted, another paper by Cook and Nuccitelli has been flat out rejected by the journal Earth System Dynamics. See update below. – Anthony

“0.3% climate consensus, not 97.1%”

PRESS RELEASE – September 3rd, 2013

A major peer-reviewed paper by four senior researchers has exposed grave errors in an earlier paper in a new and unknown journal that had claimed a 97.1% scientific consensus that Man had caused at least half the 0.7 Cº global warming since 1950.

A tweet in President Obama’s name had assumed that the earlier, flawed paper, by John Cook and others, showed 97% endorsement of the notion that climate change is dangerous:

“Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” [Emphasis added]

The new paper by the leading climatologist Dr David Legates and his colleagues, published in the respected Science and Education journal, now in its 21st year of publication, reveals that Cook had not considered whether scientists and their published papers had said climate change was “dangerous”.

The consensus Cook considered was the standard definition: that Man had caused most post-1950 warming. Even on this weaker definition the true consensus among published scientific papers is now demonstrated to be not 97.1%, as Cook had claimed, but only 0.3%.  

Only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate papers Cook examined explicitly stated that Man caused most of the warming since 1950. Cook himself had flagged just 64 papers as explicitly supporting that consensus, but 23 of the 64 had not in fact supported it.

This shock result comes scant weeks before the United Nations’ climate panel, the IPCC, issues its fifth five-yearly climate assessment, claiming “95% confidence” in the imagined – and, as the new paper shows, imaginary – consensus.

Climate Consensus and ‘Misinformation’: a Rejoinder to ‘Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change’ decisively rejects suggestions by Cook and others that those who say few scientists explicitly support the supposedly near-unanimous climate consensus are misinforming and misleading the public.

Dr Legates said: “It is astonishing that any journal could have published a paper claiming a 97% climate consensus when on the authors’ own analysis the true consensus was well below 1%.

“It is still more astonishing that the IPCC should claim 95% certainty about the climate consensus when so small a fraction of published papers explicitly endorse the consensus as the IPCC defines it.”

Dr Willie Soon, a distinguished solar physicist, quoted the late scientist-author Michael Crichton, who had said: “If it’s science, it isn’t consensus; if it’s consensus, it isn’t science.” He added: “There has been no global warming for almost 17 years. None of the ‘consensus’ computer models predicted that.”

Dr William Briggs, “Statistician to the Stars”, said: “In any survey such as Cook’s, it is essential to define the survey question very clearly. Yet Cook used three distinct definitions of climate consensus interchangeably. Also, he arbitrarily excluded about 8000 of the 12,000 papers in his sample on the unacceptable ground that they had expressed no opinion on the climate consensus. These artifices let him reach the unjustifiable conclusion that there was a 97.1% consensus when there was not.

“In fact, Cook’s paper provides the clearest available statistical evidence that there is scarcely any explicit support among scientists for the consensus that the IPCC, politicians, bureaucrats, academics and the media have so long and so falsely proclaimed. That was not the outcome Cook had hoped for, and it was not the outcome he had stated in his paper, but it was the outcome he had really found.”

Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, an expert reviewer for the IPCC’s imminent Fifth Assessment Report, who found the errors in Cook’s data, said: “It may be that more than 0.3% of climate scientists think Man caused at least half the warming since 1950. But only 0.3% of almost 12,000 published papers say so explicitly. Cook had not considered how many papers merely implied that. No doubt many scientists consider it possible, as we do, that Man caused some warming, but not most warming.

“It is unscientific to assume that most scientists believe what they have neither said nor written.”

###

Climate Consensus and ‘Misinformation’: A Rejoinder to Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change

David R. Legates, Willie Soon, William M. Briggs, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11191-013-9647-9

Abstract

Agnotology is the study of how ignorance arises via circulation of misinformation calculated to mislead. Legates et al. (Sci Educ 22:2007–2017, 2013) had questioned the applicability of agnotology to politically-charged debates. In their reply, Bedford and Cook (Sci Educ 22:2019–2030, 2013), seeking to apply agnotology to climate science, asserted that fossil-fuel interests had promoted doubt about a climate consensus. Their definition of climate ‘misinformation’ was contingent upon the post-modernist assumptions that scientific truth is discernible by measuring a consensus among experts, and that a near unanimous consensus exists. However, inspection of a claim by Cook et al. (Environ Res Lett 8:024024, 2013) of 97.1 % consensus, heavily relied upon by Bedford and Cook, shows just 0.3 % endorsement of the standard definition of consensus: that most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic. Agnotology, then, is a two-edged sword since either side in a debate may claim that general ignorance arises from misinformation allegedly circulated by the other. Significant questions about anthropogenic influences on climate remain. Therefore, Legates et al. appropriately asserted that partisan presentations of controversies stifle debate and have no place in education.

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

UPDATE: – Cook and Nuccitelli paper rejected:

Bishop Hill writes:

The Benestad (Cook, Nuccitelli) et al paper on “agnotology”, a bizarre concoction that tried to refute just about every sceptic paper ever written has been rejected by Earth System Dynamics

Based on the reviews and my own reading of the original and revised paper, I am rejecting the paper in its current form. The submission is laudable in its stated goals and in making the R source code available, but little else about the paper works as a scientific contribution to ESD. While I think as an ESDD publication at least a discussion was had and the existence of the R routines has been brought to the attention of the various interested communities, the manuscript itself is not a good fit for this journal and would need substantial further revisions before being ready (if ever) for this journal.
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131 Responses to Cooks ’97% consensus’ disproven by a new peer reviewed paper showing major math errors

  1. Steve Keohane says:

    ‘If it’s consensus, it isn’t science’ says it all.

  2. JimS says:

    Is Mr. Cook being thrown under the bus, now that scientists are re-discovering the 60-year-climate cycle? How so very shocking.

  3. Galvanize says:

    Agnatology has been promptly added to my vocabulary.

  4. Tim Ball says:

    All of this is of little relevance now – something about closing the barn door…

    The sad truth is the claim of 97% achieved its objective, which was political from the start. When it is quoted by the US President it comes with all the unearned authority people ascribe to that position.

  5. arthur4563 says:

    Still no mention of the fallacy of assuming the opinions found in a paper written 20 years ago are the same the author holds today?

  6. rogerknights says:

    “The new paper by the leading climatologist Dr David Legates and his colleagues, . . . ”

    Any notable names among them?

  7. pablo4200 says:

    No, it was supposed to say that it was Mann who caused it by spewing all that hot air!

  8. MAK says:

    Lin to the paper mentioned is missing.

  9. MattN says:

    How was this accomplished when Cook refused to release all the data and methodologies?

  10. Bill Marsh says:

    I think using the term ‘most’ or ‘more than’ was ambiguous and confusing, i.e. unscientific. The term ‘most’ as used in the paper could mean ‘at least half’ (the interpretation shown above), but, it could also mean ‘more than any other factor’, which is not necessarily ‘at least half’. ‘Most’ could mean ‘plurality’ rather than ‘majority’. That and ‘man made’ contribution to warming comprises several factors besides CO2 – land use changes, Urban Heat, etc are all ‘man made contributions’ to warming.

  11. David Blake says:

    “MAK says:
    Lin to the paper mentioned is missing.”
    Here:
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11191-013-9647-9

  12. philjourdan says:

    Second Galvanize comment. Learn a new term a day!

    @Tim Ball – I agree it is political. 97% is a marketing tool and that is why Cook even used it when his own figures showed 98%

  13. David L. Hagen says:

    Rejoinder to Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change
    David R. Legates, Willie Soon, William M. Briggs, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

    Agnotology is the study of how ignorance arises via circulation of misinformation calculated to mislead. Legates et al. (Sci Educ 22:2007–2017, 2013) had questioned the applicability of agnotology to politically-charged debates. In their reply, Bedford and Cook (Sci Educ 22:2019–2030, 2013), seeking to apply agnotology to climate science, asserted that fossil-fuel interests had promoted doubt about a climate consensus. Their definition of climate ‘misinformation’ was contingent upon the post-modernist assumptions that scientific truth is discernible by measuring a consensus among experts, and that a near unanimous consensus exists. However, inspection of a claim by Cook et al. (Environ Res Lett 8:024024, 2013) of 97.1 % consensus, heavily relied upon by Bedford and Cook, shows just 0.3 % endorsement of the standard definition of consensus: that most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic. Agnotology, then, is a two-edged sword since either side in a debate may claim that general ignorance arises from misinformation allegedly circulated by the other. Significant questions about anthropogenic influences on climate remain. Therefore, Legates et al. appropriately asserted that partisan presentations of controversies stifle debate and have no place in education.

    Papers on Agnotology

    & on Agnotology & Climate

  14. David L. Hagen says:

    Correction: Papers on: Agnotology Climate

  15. David L. Hagen says:

    Daniel Bedford, & John Cook respond: Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change: A Response to Legates, Soon and Briggs

    “However, the critique is based on a comprehensive misinterpretation of Bedford’s (J Geogr 109(4):159–165, 2010) paper. . . . the existence of a scientific consensus—especially one as overwhelming as exists for human-induced climate change—raises the level of confidence that the overall findings of that consensus are correct.”

    Richard Feynman disagreed:

    If (the model) disagrees with experiment (nature, data, observation) it is wrong”

    Do the models match the evidence? Judge for yourself with Roy Spencer’s comparison:
    Still Epic Fail: 73 climate models vs measurement – running 5 year means
    Richard Feynman (1974) further detailed the high level of integrity required for science. See his lecture Cargo Cult Science, Caltech 1974
    Highly recommend reviewing Feynman (1974) in context of Bedford & Cook.

  16. @njsnowfan says:

    OT Anthony, when I see cheery picking tweets like this from Al Gore and winter is not over yet, people need to know.

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/world/nz-has-warmest-winter-on-record/story-e6frfkui-1226709947022

  17. rogerknights says:

    Two and three years ago WUWTers would sometimes comment that a new skeptical paper was “the last nail in the CAGW coffin.” I demurred then, responding that “It’s another arrow in the elephant–but it takes a lot of arrows to kill an elephant.” I now believe that the elephant is getting wobbly on his pins–i.e., that the tide has turned. What a crash it will make when Dumbo topples.

  18. Londo says:

    CAGW hypothesis is falling apart at an impressive rate. Is it possible that climate scientists are now involved in what amounts to the game of musical chairs and have begun jockeying for, what they perceive, the reduced number of positions in climate science by publishing simply the facts instead of hyperbole.

  19. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    I honestly can’t imagine what Cook must be like in person. I know this is slithering sideways on the slippery slope of ad hominem, but honestly, how does he or CAN he stand face-to-face with someone and in all conviction and seriousness, assert such baloneyous claptrap? This seems the stuff of pathology. He is not truthful. Not even CLOSE. Yet there are those enabling types (albeit from an obscure new journal) that will endorse this as some kind of scientific exercise and result. It makes me ill to think that sceptics have to engage this nitwit (we do!) and disprove his assertions. But it takes valuable resources better spent doing real science instead of smashing trash.

  20. John West says:

    What y’all don’t seem to realize is that there is a little known law of nature that applies here known as Cook’s Law: Cartoonist turned climatologist consensus quantification measured in percent adherents = any calculation which results in approximately 97%.
    (/sarc)

  21. JimS says:

    @njsnowfan
    Al Gore would never mention that some of the subtropical and tropical countries of South America – Peru, Bolivia, Brazil – have had one of the coldest winters on record with tens of thousands of livestock freezing to death and scores of people dying from hypothermia, all under several feet of snow where snow has never fallen before. He should mention this, I think, and call it the result of global warming.

  22. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Tim Ball says:
    “The sad truth is the claim of 97% achieved its objective, which was political from the start. When it is quoted by the US President it comes with all the unearned authority people ascribe to that position.”

    Whoever is pulling the President’s strings is a master of Agnotology. He could teach graduate level courses. I know this new paper is not likely to get much press, but now that Cook’s ‘research’ has been exposed as ‘mierda’, hopefully more voters will finally realize just how little the President really knows (or cares) about climate science.

    And the only thing Cook’s research conclusively demonstrates is that he is a propagandist. He is not, and likely never was a scientist.

  23. Felflames says:

    MattN says:
    September 3, 2013 at 9:01 am

    How was this accomplished when Cook refused to release all the data and methodologies?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Back engineering.
    You know what the result was.
    You know what the basic assumptions were.
    You know what the raw data was.
    Not too difficult to re-engineer the methodology of construction.

  24. Mike Smith says:

    97% versus 0.3%. Close enough for climate work!

  25. Berry Orr says:

    @nsjnowfan
    Al probably didn;t see this, either..”Record cold continues in Interior Alaska” …http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/record-cold-continues-in-interior-alaska/article_8ea38680-bd2f-11e2-b62c-0019bb30f31a.html

  26. Paul says:

    Wouldn’t it be much easier to simply email a survey to the authors of the ’12000 papers’ and ask the specific question: “Are you convinced that since 1950, mankind’s CO2 emissions are responsible for at least 50% of the increase in global temperature?” Seems like it would be quicker to get contact information from each paper versus attempting to divine the author’s beliefs when not explicitly stated.

  27. Chuck L says:

    AGW trolls, on your marks, set, go!

  28. Bob Koss says:

    The rejected agnotology paper by Benestad et al was discussed at RC this past June. They mention having previously submitted it elsewhere(evidently a couple times) and also having it rejected.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/06/a-new-experiment-with-science-publication/

  29. Bill Illis says:

    The President did not tweet the 97% consensus point.

    The President signed over his twitter account to a group called “Organizing for Action”. If the President actually puts in a tweet, it is signed -bo at the end. Otherwise it is the lobby group writing the tweets.

    He didn’t sign that “97% of scientists agree …” with -bo so it is was just another left-wing organization writing it.

  30. philincalifornia says:

    Is there any retribution for making a US President look like an idiot ??

  31. Dan says:

    “Leading climatologist” Dr. David Legates is also a signatory of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation’s “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming” which states, in part:

    “We believe Earth and its ecosystems — created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence — are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception.”

    My, how scientific!

    I wonder if he’d sign on to a declaration that the Earth is 10,000 years old and that humans and dinosaurs lived together. That is also an evangelical belief, after all.

    You can read the whole declaration here: http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

    It’s a hoot.

  32. pokerguy says:

    @Paul “Wouldn’t it be easier…?
    I’ve been arguing for a long time that a statistically sound survey would be the way to go, something unbiased to the extent possible and well designed. For reasons that continue to escape me, it remains an unpopular idea.

  33. Physics Major says:

    I’m waiting for the new journal, Nature Agnotology.

  34. wws says:

    “When it is quoted by the US President it comes with all the unearned authority people ascribe to that position.”

    If you’ve been watching the news, you’ve noticed that there’s precious little of that left. Just sayin’.

  35. dp says:

    The new paper, itself being an agnotology, seems to be a good example of what they’re trying to describe in their paper. It is also an example of self-referencing.

  36. richard telford says:

    Shock news: gravity consensus in doubt as only 0.3% of papers with gravity in title explicitly endorse gravity as being responsible for more than 50% of falling.

  37. wayne says:

    Ok, so John Cook forgot to subtract from one and he was still 1000% off the mark but he is just trying to be a climate “scientist”, cartooning as a living must have been getting a bit thin, at least those jobs are related. Give him a break? Didn’t think so.

    “Is there any retribution for making a US President look like an idiot ??”

    No, this one turned out to BE an idiot. (had a real bad feeling voting for this guy with smooth words but still think the opposite would have been the worse… just should have abstained)

    // sarc

  38. Corey S. says:

    From the rejection PDF. PRICELESS!

    “Second, much of the discussion in the appendix is written in an inflammatory and
    insufficiently supported fashion.”

    “Third, while much is made that so-and-so made mistakes, much of that characterization
    relies solely on the authors’ stated opinion. … Let me emphasize this point since it goes to the heart of this paper. I see very little in this paper that actually demonstrates real flaws in prior work.”

    “If one ignores that foundation as most of the studies being criticized in this submission do, then one is left with unconstrained statistical analyses or curve fitting exercises that have no
    clear plausible, physically viable explanation. The reality is that many of the authors
    whose work is being criticized are on the record as thinking that either climate theory
    and/or climate models are fundamentally flawed, hence the adopt the kind of approach
    which leads them to conclusions that are in opposition to the vast majority of climate
    scientists. Again, this can be said in two sentences.”

    It doesn’t get any harsher than that!

  39. philjourdan says:

    @Philincalifornia – Ask Cory Booker.

  40. mark says:

    Arguing over consensus is pointless to anyone that understands the scientific method. The late Michael Crichton said it well in a talk to Cal Tech:

    “I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

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

    There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

  41. george h. says:

    Proof that, as Mark Twain said,
    “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

  42. Mark Bofill says:

    Dan,

    says:
    September 3, 2013 at 11:30 am

    “Leading climatologist” Dr. David Legates is also a signatory of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation’s “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming”

    So what? After all, you demonstrate in your post that you think logical fallacies are a good basis for rational arguments, but we don’t hold that stupidity against you do we?

  43. rogerknights says:

    pokerguy says:
    September 3, 2013 at 11:35 am

    @Paul “Wouldn’t it be easier…?
    I’ve been arguing for a long time that a statistically sound survey would be the way to go, something unbiased to the extent possible and well designed. For reasons that continue to escape me, it remains an unpopular idea.

    I’ve been calling for that too–especially for George Mason U. to rerun its survey of AGU & AMU members.

  44. David L. Hagen says:

    The Interactive Discussionon “Agnotology: learning from mistakes” is enlightening and entertaining.

    C. Loehle

    This paper makes two fundamental assumptions that are false. The first is that the science of climate change is “settled” and that this consensus cannot be questioned. The second, which therefore follows, is that anyone questioning this consensus does so willfully and malevolently (intentionally promoting ignorance). . . .Confusing “some” effect with an effect as large as IPCC claims is how Cook got the 97% figure in his recent study. . . .The second assumption is pernicious.
    It asserts that anyone who disagrees with this (sloppy) consensus in any particular is
    not merely wrong, but willfully wrong; that is, is engaged in disinformation or propaganda. “Agnotology” is thus just a fancy way of saying “denier.” . . .We think the quality of the fit and the fact that our data 1850-1950 enabled us to predict the post-2000 flat temperatures speaks for itself.

    Reviewer Ross McKitrick observes:

    The BHDCN paper is a bait-and-switch, in which the authors propose a scholarly essay on the methodology of science, then proceed to deliver something quite different: a scattershot of shallow commentary on a list of climatology papers with which they disagree. . . .
    Presumably, “agnotology” means an absence of information and a lack of basis for knowing. Yet all
    the authors’ examples allege the opposite situation, . . .
    Case 12 refers to McKitrick and McIntyre 2005, which focused on the bias arising from using
    decentered data in a PCA algorithm that is only valid when the data are centered. . . .The authors do not seem to have taken the trouble to properly research the issue, and as such their brief commentary lacks credibility

    Nicola Scafetta provided a 32 page rebuttal

    despite their “good intentions”, Benestad et al. (2013) do not really demonstrate anything because often they do not even make explicit the functions they use or their data analysis results or figures. . . . In history of science the same flawed superficial logic has been often used by those who have opposed the emerging physical theories proposed since the 16th centuries from Galileo to Einstein and beyond. This work does not serve a scientific purpose, but a political one.

    The ESDD editor Matthew Huber observes:

    i.e. there is no actual science (hypothesis, testing of a hypothesis) in the main body. . . .
    Second, much of the discussion in the appendix is written in an inflammatory and insufficiently supported fashion. . . .
    Rather than concentrating on ignorant mistakes made in prior work, it would help to identify the key parameters in those studies and justify a priori what the value of those should be

  45. Copernicus34 says:

    @Dan

    somehow the vaunted ‘peer review’ is the be all end all of AGW sophistry, yet peer review supporting a skeptic viewpoint is not really valid peer review, because……you know….that guy don’t fit!!

    AGW religionists, having their cake and eating it too

  46. David L. Hagen says:

    Dan
    Which part of ” robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting” do you not understand?
    Have you any evidence to the contrary, other than appealing to climate models which ALL project too hot compared to actual data.
    Invective without evidence has no basis in science.
    Re the Cornwall Alliance. Note especially The Cost of Good Intentions Timothy Terrell, (which also applies to Cook’s paper above).

    Perhaps you could study how the USA was founded by the Declaration of Independence which appealed to “the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them” and “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

    Are you objecting to the unalienable right of speech which we grant you here?
    Or would you prefer some of the abundant accommodation that is left over in Siberia? as part of the Gulag, as so eloquently documented by Nobel Prize winner Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

  47. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:

    george h.
    Actually, Mark Twain never made that remark. It was an English preacher called Charles Spurgeon. I would say that it is ironic (given that it is a lie that Mark Twain said it), but it isn’t irony, as irony is THE most misunderstood rhetorical device!

  48. Birdieshooter says:

    I sense it is no longer fashionable or cool to be a scientist on the warmist side. Now they see the hand writing on the wall and dont want to miss the sea change in salient scientific inquiry. The avant garde is switching sides.

  49. Chris R. says:

    To Mike Bromley:

    You wrote: ” …but honestly, how does he or CAN he stand face-to-face with
    someone and in all conviction and seriousness, assert such baloneyous
    claptrap? This seems the stuff of pathology. ”

    Not really. He’s utterly convinced that HE is right, and anyone else is
    wrong. This is a common feature among the so-called “Religious Left”.
    Recall that Cook styles himself as someone who takes his Christian
    faith extremely seriously. Those who have concluded that their
    Christianity means they must speak out on “climate change” are
    armored in the certainty of their position. This attitude combines the
    unlovely traits of religious certitude and fervor with political
    partisanship into a stew that produces appalling disregard for
    both one’s opponents and scientific accuracy.

    My only comment is that everywhere in the Christian (New) Testament’s
    gospels, Jesus was armored by the certainty of His correctness.
    However, He had the priceless advantage of a direct link to the
    Maker of the Universe. Cook does not have that, no matter
    what he thinks. I also think that any Christian who begins from
    the point of view that his opponents are all either wrong or venal
    scoundrels, has some repenting to do.

  50. The Old Crusader says:

    @Dan:
    Let’s imagine some researcher, call him say Gregor Mendel, that has done valuable work on genetics.
    Let us also say that he claims that the beauty of genetics indicates to him divine authorship of the world.
    Some third party suggests that his work on genetics is invalidated by his theological viewpoint.
    Now, it’s clear that the readers of this blog are unlikely to be swayed by such an argument as obviously, said researcher’s opinions on the divine say nothing about the quality of his work on genetics.

    So why do you bother?

  51. Gunga Din says:

    “0.3% climate consensus, not 97.1%”

    ========================================================================
    OH NO! It’s worse than they thought!

  52. DCA says:

    “I wonder if he’d sign on to a declaration that the Earth is 10,000 years old and that humans and dinosaurs lived together. That is also an evangelical belief, after all.”

    Dan,
    I suppose you think John Cook (along with Kathleen Hayhoe) will also “sign on” because they too are admitted Evangelicals.

    By your logic I suppose, you being a green advocate, would “sign on” to legalization of incest just like your fellow German greens.

    http://notrickszone.com/2013/09/03/germanys-green-party-wants-to-ban-car-driving-on-weekends-and-legalize-incest/

  53. Keitho says:

    philincalifornia says:
    September 3, 2013 at 11:21 am (Edit)
    Is there any retribution for making a US President look like an idiot ??
    ———————————————————————————————

    Like self impeachment you mean?

  54. TeaPartyGeezer says:

    Bill Illis says:
    September 3, 2013 at 11:21 am

    It has Obama’s name and picture on it. His name and likeness is an implicit endorsement of the contents of those tweets. If he disagrees with an opinion expressed by OfA, in his name, then he should refute the statement. He didn’t, so …
    _____________________________________________________________
    philincalifornia says:
    September 3, 2013 at 11:21 am
    Is there any retribution for making a US President look like an idiot ??

    The president is doing an exemplary job, himself, at making the president look like an idiot.

    Retribution?
    By any and all means available!

  55. In response to commenters wondering how we obtained our results when Cook had not made his data available, in fact he did release a data file listing the titles and authors of all 11,944 abstracts in his survey, together with his or his co-authors’ assessment of what he called their “level of endorsement” of the “consensus” that most of the global warming since 1950 was anthropogenic. Level 1 was “explicit endorsement with quantification”: i.e., the abstracts stated specifically that more than 50% of the warming since 1950 was attributable to Man.

    I wrote a program to read down the entire comma-delimited file and count the number of level 1 entries. There were only 64 out of 11,944. Startled by how low the figure was, I did a search using the search facility in Notepad, and again found 64 entries.

    I then obtained and read all 64 abstracts, and found that only 43 of them explicitly endorsed the consensus as Cook et al. had defined it in the introduction to their paper: that more than half of the global warming since 1950 was anthropogenic.

    Cook concealed the fact that he and his own team had only found 64 papers endorsing the consensus by counting them together with papers that explicitly or implicitly endorsed the notion that Man was causing some warming, but without quantifying how much. Even skeptics tend to agree with that. There were 3896 papers explicitly or implicitly endorsing the notion that we cause some warming, among which the 64 that were marked as endorsing the notion that more than half of post-1950 warming was manmade were hidden by lumping together the three “levels of endorsement” in a single number, and not revealing separately how many papers fell into each “level of endorsement”.

    Trouble was, even 3896 papers amounted to only 33% consensus. So Cook et al. arbitrarily excluded all 7930 papers that expressed no opinion either way, and – hey presto – 97.1% consensus. It was as dishonest as that.

    But even wickedness can have a value. Inadvertently, Cook et al. have provided definitive evidence that the IPCC has no basis whatsoever for its absurd “95% confidence” that more than half of all post-1950 warming was manmade. That is a purely political statement, and Cook et al., without realizing it, have demonstrated the very opposite of what they had intended to demonstrate, and of what they had said they had demonstrated. Their paper is a laughing-stock, and the journal in which it was published (which may even have been created specially as a vehicle for it) ought really to do the decent thing and withdraw it.

  56. Ted Clayton says:

    Dan @ September 3, 2013 at 11:30 am;

    You’ve certainly devised an excellent formula for stimulating commentary.
    ~~~~

    If the Climate Change venue comes unraveled, say beginning with the IPCC making strategic concessions in the forthcoming SPM, to forestall challenges from national ministers on the hiatus-problem … that will serve to enhance the stature of Fundamentalist signatories, above & beyond what they could have enjoyed, without having been persecuted.

    One should have clearly in mind, how persecution works, in religious contexts.

    If the vagaries of climate don’t unfold in support of the scenarios proposed by the Movement, it will be double-bad news for them. Not only will they have failed to secure their objective beachhead, but religious (and other) figures whom they have revile, will gain. Over & above what would have accrued, had they just been left to their own personal views.

    Those who are disparaged “on account” of their faith, derive both personal & social payoff from the experience. One is a better (stronger, truer, more-credible, wiser) Christian, etc, for having thus ‘paid’ for keeping the faith.

    And if it then turns out that the persecution was in addition “false”, then the honor of having been mistreated for the sake of one’s beliefs, is much enhanced.

    For climate models to now prove false, will strongly benefit religion …. purely & simply due to it having been used against the believer, but all the more so, if the attack is shown to have relied on false premises.

  57. Adam B. says:

    richard telford says:

    Shock news: gravity consensus in doubt as only 0.3% of papers with gravity in title explicitly endorse gravity as being responsible for more than 50% of falling.

    Thanks for illustrating how silly it is to use consensus as a scientific argument.

  58. DirkH says:

    richard telford says:
    September 3, 2013 at 11:57 am
    “Shock news: gravity consensus in doubt as only 0.3% of papers with gravity in title explicitly endorse gravity as being responsible for more than 50% of falling.”

    Richard, what do you think; is John Cook the new Newton, or the new Einstein? Can’t make up my mind. Oh, and maybe you believe that Galileo threw stuff from the Tower of Pisa to measure something; in that case – is John Cook the new Galileo, maybe?

    What’s da consensus saying?

  59. DDP says:

    “0.3% climate consensus, not 97.1%”

    NOW, it’s worse than they thought!

  60. Jimbo says:

    Is TOL still waiting for the data?

    Without any paper at all you just need to apply the Paradox of Consensus and you know Cook had Cooked the books. Now where is my Helicobacter pylori and my quasicrystals? So it is possible to get a Nobel when you go against consensus. You just have to be right and everyone else to be wrong. That’s science.

  61. KRM says:

    Regarding Gore’s quote “The winter that never came: New Zealand experiences its hottest winter on record”.
    Well, I can say winter definitely did come, and ski fields reported a good season. So while it was a generally warmer (and drier) than usual winter it also wasn’t the warmest ever, with the official NIWA statement being “The nation-wide mean temperature was 1.2°C above the winter average, based on NIWA’s seven-station temperature series, making this the warmest winter on record since 1909.”
    Personally, I’d like to see more winters like this and I don’t think anyone was complaining. Farmers found there was improved pasture growth and productivity was up.

  62. Jimbo says:

    PS There is no consensus that man is responsible for most of the post 1950 warming. The science is definitely not settled and the debate is certainly not over. It’s just started.

  63. Jimbo says:

    Tim Ball says:
    September 3, 2013 at 8:41 am

    All of this is of little relevance now – something about closing the barn door…

    The point is that the more the paper is ridiculed the less likely it will be referred to by the IPCC in future. The less likely other scientists will cite it. They will but just fewer. Just take a look at Mann’s Hockey stick and the IPCC’s next report.

  64. Jimbo says:

    Dan says:
    September 3, 2013 at 11:30 am

    “Leading climatologist” Dr. David Legates is also a signatory of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation’s “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming” which states, in part:

    “We believe Earth and its ecosystems — created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence — are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception.”

    My, how scientific! ……

    Gotcha! You fool. Read on and enjoy………… See John Cooks name?

    Guardian – 25 August 2010
    “Why would a solar physicist embrace the non-rationality of religion?”

    John Cook, who runs skepticalscience.com, says his faith drives him. But what does religion give him that science doesn’t?……But Cook’s second, self-professed, stimulus took me by surprise.

    I’m a Christian and find myself strongly challenged by passages in the Bible like Amos 5 and Matthew 25″, he wrote. “… I care about the same things that the God I believe in cares about – the plight of the poor and vulnerable.””
    ——-
    John Cook – Skeptical Science – 3 August 2010
    “….my faith and my situation are my own. But hopefully for those curious, you understand more clearly the driving force behind Skeptical Science.”
    ——-
    Guardian – 3 November 2009
    Judge rules activist’s beliefs on climate change akin to religion

    “Tim Nicholson entitled to protection for his beliefs, and his claim over dismissal will now be heard by a tribunal…….In his written judgment, Mr Justice Burton outlined five tests to determine whether a philosophical belief could come under employment regulations on religious discrimination…..• It must be a belief and not an opinion or view based on the present state of information available…..”
    ——-
    BBC – 25 January 2010
    Using religious language to fight global warming

    “If the case for tackling climate change is backed by science, why do so many green campaigners rely on the language of religion?“……The theologian and environmentalist Martin Palmer is also troubled by the green movement’s reliance on visions of hell as a way of converting people to their cause…..”Now they are playing with some of the most powerful emotional triggers in Western culture. They’ve adopted the language and imagery of a millenarian cult.”

    For Palmer, who is a United Nations adviser on climate change and religion,….”
    ——-
    Church of England – 22 February 2012
    “Leaders representing most of the UK’s mainstream churches have today called for repentance over the prevailing ‘shrug-culture’ towards climate change.”

  65. Peter Ward says:

    Lord Monckton said: “Cook concealed the fact that he and his own team had only found 64 papers endorsing the consensus by counting them together with papers that explicitly or implicitly endorsed the notion that Man was causing some warming, but without quantifying how much.”

    This is similar to the way the police (and road safety activists) report road accident statistics. They refer to “KSIs” — killed and seriously injured” — because although deaths are declining (cars continue to get safer), SIs aren’t. This is because SIs can be flexed since the definition is arbitrary. But taken together, who would dare argue against policies for reducing that figure? The result is the relentless reduction in speed limits across the country simply on the emotive basis that “speed kills”.

    Truly we see the same manipulation of truth — circulation of misinformation calculated to mislead — performed by those in authority in so many different areas nowadays, it would be very surprising if it *wasn’t* being used as a technique by the AGW lobby.

  66. Jimbo says:

    Dan, here are your creationists. Oh how embarrassing for you. God help you. Pun intended.

    CLIMATE PROGRESS – July 15, 201
    Evangelical Scientists Issue Faith-Based Call For Congress To Address Climate Change

    It’s a plea frequently made to Christians who turn a blind eye to climate change: The Bible gives humankind dominion over the planet, so isn’t humankind responsible for helping preserve it? A group of evangelical scientists think so — and they’re using scientific and Biblical arguments to pressure congress to do something about climate change.

    Last week, 200 self-identified evangelical scientists from secular and religious universities sent a letter to the U.S. Congress calling for legislation to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment.
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/07/15/2302021/evangelical-scientists-climate-change/

    Amen to that Dan. ;-) I will stop flogging you for now as long as you promise to keep religion out of the debate. Otherwise I will come back to kick you butt some more. Ouch!

  67. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dan says:
    September 3, 2013 at 11:30 am

    “Leading climatologist” Dr. David Legates is also a signatory of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation’s “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming” which states, in part:

    “We believe Earth and its ecosystems — created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence — are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception.”

    Dan, not sure what your point is here. That statement is fairly unobjectionable to many Christians. And if you are going to say that Christians who are scientists shouldn’t be listened to because of their strange beliefs, you’ll knock out many, perhaps most scientists on the planet.

    Look, I happen to think that the Christian idea, which is that Christians have an invisible but very powerful friend who listens to whatever the Christian might ask for, and who is willing to occasionally suspend natural laws to fulfill the Christian’s requests, is mondo goofy. My daughter used to have an invisible friend, but she gave it up when she got older. For starters, why would an omnipotent being give a damn what I wanted? The whole idea of an invisible friend is about as a-scientific as you can get, even anti-scientific.

    However, from all indications, holding such bizarre beliefs doesn’t keep someone from being a good scientist. I don’t understand how that works, but work it obviously does, given the number of important scientific ideas that have come from people who also believe that there is an invisible being who hangs on their every word.

    So the fact that David Legates believes in just such an invisible friend should be no surprise … many excellent scientists throughout history have had the same blind spot. Isaac Newton, as far as I know, would have had no trouble agreeing with Legates’ statement … you gonna advise we ignore him as well?

    So what if Legates or others harbor strange beliefs about invisible beings? We’re interested in their science, not their wacky ideas about invisible omnipotent companions whose job seems to be just waiting around to be asked to do something …

    w.

  68. Steve from Rockwood says:

    (if ever). Ha ha. Queue the laughter. (i.e. NEVER).

  69. SBarhydt says:

    Jimbo,

    Thank you for your excellent rebuttal of “Dan” and his ad hominum attack on Dr. Legates. As an evangelical, non-scientist myself, I grow weary of the CAGW crowd’s hypocrisy concerning people of faith. (i.e. Dr. Roy Spencer, etc.)

    I have never personally bought into the CAGW hype precisely because of my faith; believing that God designed His creation to be flexible enough to withstand whatever it needed to.

  70. John Whitman says:

    Any citizen has a legitimate self interest in exposing Cook’s incorrect application of scientific method and reason in what has come to be recognized as his fanatical crusade against all citizens who oppose his CAGW religion.

    John

  71. PippenKool says:

    “scientists and their published papers had said climate change was “dangerous”.”

    Hun??
    Dangerous?
    I thought their point was on AGW not danger.

    They also didnt say climate change was caused by purple underpants . Big deal

  72. Abraham3 says:

    Did someone forget the survey of authors also found 97% in support of the IPCC position?

  73. mpaul says:

    Re: Willis –

    Its interesting to observe the emotional reaction that the CAGW crowd has to any scientists who subscribes to a traditional religious belief system.

    Karen Armstrong in here excellent book “The History of God” makes a very cogent argument that every culture throughout all of human history has either developed religion independently or has absorbed the religious traditions of other cultures. There seems to be something biological about our need to have a codified belief system in matters of morality and mortality. People who claim to be non-religious are in fact religious but are simply unaware that their personal belief system has immutable structure.

    There is only one logical explanation for the anger on the part of CAGW believers directed at religious people — that is that the post-normal CAGW belief system is, in itself, a religion. Its proponents are acting the way we see some religious zealots react to people who are not of their same faith — they want to destroy them.

  74. pat says:

    climate “science”….no:

    4 Sept: Courier Mail: Rob Kidd: University of Queensland scientists accused of falsifying research
    UNIVERSITY of Queensland scientists have been accused of fabricating research that was published in a prestigious European scientific journal.
    UQ referred the claims to the Crime and Misconduct Commission in July and asked for the study to be retracted pending the outcome.
    ***A university investigation has found “no primary data”…
    The researchers received a $20,000 grant from a “non-government organisation” to conduct the work, which UQ had decided to return pending the outcome of the investigation.
    Prof Hoj said he accepted there could be a “short-term hit” to the reputation of the university but UQ had a “moral obligation to inform the wider community as fast as possible”…
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/university-of-queensland-scientists-accused-of-falsifying-research/story-fnihsrf2-1226709953275

    UQ: UQ investigates events leading to retraction
    Statement from The University of Queensland President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Hoj
    A former UQ staff member from the Centre for Neurogenic Communication Disorders Research was corresponding author on the paper.
    Published online in October 2011 in the European Journal of Neurology, the paper was titled Treatment of articulatory dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation…
    http://www.uq.edu.au/news/?article=26661

    ——————————————————————————–

  75. ed mister jones says:

    Bill Illis says:
    September 3, 2013 at 11:21 am

    “The President did not tweet the 97% consensus point. ….”

    The HMFIC (Commander) is responsible for everything his organization (Unit) does or fails to do.

    Few wish to apply the standard.

  76. John Whitman says:

    PRESS RELEASE dated September 3rd, 2013 on a paper by Legates et al 2013 said,

    “The consensus Cook considered was the standard definition: that Man had caused most post-1950 warming. Even on this weaker definition the true consensus among published scientific papers is now demonstrated to be not 97.1%, as Cook had claimed, but only 0.3%. ”

    “This shock result comes scant weeks before the United Nations’ climate panel, the IPCC, issues its fifth five-yearly climate assessment, claiming “95% confidence” in the imagined – and, as the new paper shows, imaginary – consensus.”

    - – - – - – -

    There is a causal link between both: 1) the non-rational basis of the IPCC’s claim of 95% confidence in significant AGW and; 2) Cook’s (& associates)
    integrity challenged work claiming 97% consensus about significant AGW.

    Both are pseudo-scientific products of two trends: post-modernism and post-normal science.

    John

  77. Txomin says:

    Quick, Mr. Obama, tweet it.

  78. dbstealey says:

    PippenKool says:

    “Dangerous? I thought their point was on AGW not danger.”

    Really, are you that credulous? AGW was specifically designed to alarm the populace!

    There is no testable, measurable evidence for AGW, but even if it exists, it is not ‘dangerous’. How can it be, when it is too small to even measure?

    No, the point of AGW is “danger”. So the government shovels out $Billions to “fight climate change” — a phrase so preposterous that normal, honest scientists give it a big belly laugh.

    If the IPCC admitted the truth: that there is no testable, measureable evidence for AGW, and that a degree or two more global warming would be a net benefit, and that more CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere… then where would the money be in that non-scare? The IPCC would have to disband from lack of funding.

    AGW may exist, even though it is too small to measure. But that is not the point. The point is grant money, and lots of it. Thus, AGW is the scam of the millennium: more than $100 BILLION handed out in federal grants since 2001.

    But don’t worry, we’re already more than half way though 2013. The end is in sight.

  79. John Whitman says:

    mpaul on September 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Karen Armstrong in here excellent book “The History of God” makes a very cogent argument that every culture throughout all of human history has either developed religion independently or has absorbed the religious traditions of other cultures. There seems to be something biological about our need to have a codified belief system in matters of morality and mortality. People who claim to be non-religious are in fact religious but are simply unaware that their personal belief system has immutable structure.

    - – - – - – - -

    mpaul,

    That kind of position, which you suggest that Karen Armstrong has, is that any comprehensive philosophy of man must be fundamentally based on religion at the metaphysical level. It says all men by their nature quo man must be religious. It says religion is not a voluntary creation by some men, it is the involuntary mandate within of all men.

    That position contains the logical fallacy of begging the question.

    Based on your summary she appears to support a myopically biased religious view of man’s fundamental nature. Kant and Plato were just as wrong as her for the same reasons; a belief in the existence of dual realities.

    John

  80. reaping says:

    PippenKool says: September 3, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    “scientists and their published papers had said climate change was “dangerous”.”
    Hun?? Dangerous? I thought their point was on AGW not danger.

    Ha ha … always love this argument … “We didn’t say it’s dangerous (or catastrophic)!!”
    Great, so it’s not a problems after all?!

    Do we rename it SMIDRMAGW? (So Mild It Doesn’t Really Matter Anthropogenic Global Warming).

  81. markx says:

    PippenKool says: September 3, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    “scientists and their published papers had said climate change was “dangerous”.”
    Hun?? Dangerous? I thought their point was on AGW not danger.

    Ha ha … always love this argument … “We didn’t say it’s dangerous (or catastrophic)!!”
    Great, so it’s not a problems after all?!

    Do we rename it SMIDRMAGW? (So Mild It Doesn’t Really Matter Anthropogenic Global Warming).

    (Sorry mods – posted before while logged into something obscure – so perhaps a double post)

  82. mpaul says:

    John Whitman, without going too far off topic, its a fascinating subject. The theoretical Physicists David Bohm argued that human consciousnesses is a quantum state, implying that there is entanglement between mind and matter. Imagine, for the moment, that this were true. It would imply that consciousness has a physical schema, and that this schema would (presumably) be common among humans. I am, therefore I think. Fundamental nature = schema.

  83. philincalifornia says:

    This is from today’s San Francisco Chronicle. We and PippenKool could mentally masturbate for days (months?) on the exact verbiage:

    http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Population-growth-increases-climate-fear-4781833.php

    What a great example of why the general public know they’re being lied to and, unfortunately, look at modern fake-environmentalism as the scam it is ….

    …. and consequently dump their trash wherever they want to dump it.

  84. Jeff Alberts says:

    ” People who claim to be non-religious are in fact religious but are simply unaware that their personal belief system has immutable structure. ”

    NOT!

  85. BoyfromTottenham says:

    Aah – the skeptic psychologists are catching on at last: “Agnotology is the study of how ignorance arises via circulation of misinformation calculated to mislead.” The circulation of misinformation is a form of Disinformation, which was a key strategy used on a massive scale by the KGB to promote communism (and btw recruit ‘useful idiots’ to their cause) during the Cold War. Folk like Cook are not simply misguided researchers, they are experts at using very sophisticated disinformation techniques, originally developed and honed by geniuses such as those in the KGB, to ‘circulate misinformation calculated to mislead’. Criticising them for the quality of their academic work is likely to be a waste of time, because such folk care nothing about the discipline, it is just a means to a greater but hidden end – probably the destruction of our way of life, in favour of god knows what.

  86. philincalifornia says:

    BoyfromTottenham says:
    September 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm
    …… because such folk care nothing about the discipline, it is just a means to a greater but hidden end – probably the destruction of our way of life, in favour of god knows what.
    —————————-

    ….. a paycheck from the current government ?

  87. TomRude says:

    What goes around comes around…

  88. Will Obama issue a retraction?

  89. rogerknights says:

    PippenKool says:
    September 3, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    “scientists and their published papers had said climate change was “dangerous”.”

    Hun??
    Dangerous?
    I thought their point was on AGW not danger.

    But the point made in Obama’s supposed tweet was danger. Here’s the context from the head post:

    A tweet in President Obama’s name had assumed that the earlier, flawed paper, by John Cook and others, showed 97% endorsement of the notion that climate change is dangerous:

    “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” [Emphasis added]

    The new paper by the leading climatologist Dr David Legates and his colleagues, published in the respected Science and Education journal, now in its 21st year of publication, reveals that Cook had not considered whether scientists and their published papers had said climate change was “dangerous”.

    The consensus Cook considered was the standard definition: that Man had caused most post-1950 warming. Even on this weaker definition the true consensus among published scientific papers is now demonstrated to be not 97.1%, as Cook had claimed, but only 0.3%.

  90. Clyde says:

    I think some comments are offensive & not to be discussed per WUWT policy. Willis Eschenbach has lost (not the he cares or it matters) my respect. You don’t believe in God? (There is a place for nonbelievers) That’s fine and you have that right. To ridicule those who do is is disgusting.

    For starters, why would an omnipotent being give a damn what I wanted?

    Because he loves you. If you weren’t so mondo goofy you would know that.

    My apologies if the HTML is messed up (preview comment button not on here) & for discussing religion.

  91. @Jimbo
    No, Tol has given up hope that the data will ever be released. To be clear: My analysis uses a good bit more data than that of Legates et al.; but still only 43% of what I asked for and what is needed for a complete forensic analysis.

    My final appeal to the University of Queensland is still outstanding. It was posted here last week. My final appeal to the Institute of Physics was rejected with an ever so polite letter saying that they don’t give a rat’s arse about replication and quality control. (Anthony has the correspondence, may post later.)

    I’m putting the finishing touches on the analysis of the data that Cook released in mid August. Main findings:
    1. Cook implicitly acknowledges that about 7% of his data are measured incorrectly. (Monckton begs to differ; see above). It appears that these are not errors (in either direction) but biases (in one particular direction).
    2. There is systematic drift in measurement, much like measuring temperature in a pristine white box first and in weathered box green with moss later.

  92. Peter Ward:

    Something you said in your post at September 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm provides a good example of how unthinking acceptance of consensus misleads.

    You said

    The result is the relentless reduction in speed limits across the country simply on the emotive basis that “speed kills”.

    Speed does not kill. Stopping fast kills. And being hit by something fast kills.

    So, reducing speed limits may be a good way to reduce accidental deaths, but something else may be better.

    Consideration of whether or not accident deaths would be most reduced by reducing speed limits is inhibited by accepting the consensus that “speed kills”. The consensus rejects the possibility of considering other – perhaps more effective – options.

    Richard

  93. Jeff Alberts:

    Your post at September 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm says in total

    People who claim to be non-religious are in fact religious but are simply unaware that their personal belief system has immutable structure.

    NOT!

    If what you refute were true, then how could anyone – including you – know if your refutation were right or wrong?

    Richard

  94. markx says:

    richardscourtney says: September 4, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Jeff Alberts: Your post at September 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm says in total

    People who claim to be non-religious are in fact religious but are simply unaware that their personal belief system has immutable structure.
    NOT!

    If what you refute were true, then how could anyone – including you – know if your refutation were right or wrong? Richard

    I’m emphatically with Jeff on this one. As far as the “People who claim to be non-religious are in fact religious…” bit goes.

    But does anyone know what “People who claim to be non-religious are in fact religious but are simply unaware that their personal belief system has immutable structure” means? I’m pretty sure I can’t envisage or imagine a god, or a logical reason that one should exist, and I would think that my belief along those lines is immutable.
    And so what is the point of telling me my personal belief system ‘has immutable structure’ – ie, is ‘unchanging over time or unable to be changed.’?

  95. markx says:

    Clyde says: September 3, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    I think some comments are offensive & not to be discussed per WUWT policy. Willis Eschenbach has lost (not the he cares or it matters) my respect. You don’t believe in God? (There is a place for nonbelievers) That’s fine and you have that right. To ridicule those who do is is disgusting.
    “For starters, why would an omnipotent being give a damn what I wanted?”
    Because he loves you. If you weren’t so mondo goofy you would know that.

    You are offended because someone does not share your quirky unsubstantiated beliefs, and puts up a logical practical statement of opinion?
    And you counter with that which has been preached to you, quite likely by priests or ministers who do not follow the rules they espouse in their own sermons, and who apparently have little fear of the disapproval of the god they purport to believe in?

  96. Ken Hall says:

    ” richard telford says:
    September 3, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Shock news: gravity consensus in doubt as only 0.3% of papers with gravity in title explicitly endorse gravity as being responsible for more than 50% of falling.”

    Nice strawman, but comparing apples to desk chairs will not make your point valid.

    You see, the big difference is, the theory of gravity is replicated and supported by evidence derived from millions of observations and experiments.

    The hypothesis that the earth will warm by > 2 degrees C by doubling atmospheric CO2 is not supported by evidence derived from observation or experimentation. It is only expressed by models which are designed from the outset to show that result. And, in case it slipped your notice, NONE of the climate models have been correct in their predictions of 21st century temperature trends. NONE of them.

    The hypothesis is not supported by the evidence, and no, models are NOT evidence, they are an extrapolation, or demonstration, or depiction, explanation, or simply, a model of the hypothesis, they are not a test of it.

  97. markx:

    I am replying to your post addressed to me at September 4, 2013 at 1:12 am and also to your subsequent post addressed to Clyde at September 4, 2013 at 1:19 am.

    It is clear that you failed to understand the point I tried to make in my post at September 4, 2013 at 12:40 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/03/cooks-97-consensus-disproven-by-a-new-paper-showing-major-math-errors/#comment-1407359
    If you had understood the point then you would have addressed my question and discovered it cannot be answered.

    So, I will be explicit.

    Discussion of religion is pointless in a forum such as this. It wastes space and deflects threads from their subject.

    Importantly, it hinders understanding and, instead, bolsters entrenched views.

    The only pertinent issue is how and why people have belief systems which are exhibited as religions. Religions include the cult of AGW, Christianity, atheism, etc.
    (And please don’t try to engage in the nonsense that atheism is not a religion. Agnosticism is not a religion, but atheism is a belief in exactly the same way that theism is a belief.)

    The pertinent issue is important to this thread because it is directly relevant to why people like Cook commit acts such as the paper under discussion, why Gleick can convince himself that theft, forgery and defamation are “ethical”, etc..,

    Richard

  98. John A says:

    For those of you who like stinging rejections of over-hyped nonsense, here it is:

    First, I do not think the structure of the paper works. The long, didactic introduction is not appropriate for this journal and all the meat of the paper is currently in the appendix which is a strange place for it. Indeed, as currently structured there is no paper in this
    paper, i.e. there is no actual science (hypothesis, testing of a hypothesis) in the main
    body. The historical lessons and systemization of error may be scholarship, but not
    in this (ESD) field and may be more appropriate for a different audience (I’m thinking
    Physics Today or a philosophy of science journal).

    In other words, keep your political bloviation out of my scientific journal. Write some science if you want me to consider publishing it. Send it to a theological journal or a sociology symposium. Or anywhere but here.

    Second, much of the discussion in the appendix is written in an inflammatory and insufficiently supported fashion. Removal of subjective characterization would make the paper stronger by reducing the verbosity and of more lasting value by focusing
    on scientific issues. It is entirely irrelevant whether the authors of some papers also
    distribute pamphlets to school headmasters, just as it is scientifically irrelevant what
    the political affiliation or religion or hair color of authors are
    .

    But if Cook, Nuccitelli and Benestad did that, they’d lose their edge as preachers of apocalyptic doom condemning heretics….as the hell-bound-damned-scofflaws that we are.

    Remember this is where the actual science is supposed to be located.

    Third, while much is made that so-and-so made mistakes, much of that characterization relies solely on the authors’ stated opinion. While I agree that demonstrating how results may differ based on various choices with the R routines is useful, it generally
    (except in the case of coding errors) does not reveal mistakes. Instead it reveals how
    different choices lead to different results. It is really up to individuals and communities
    to determine that something is a mistake (or something that otherwise contributes to
    continued ignorance). Let me emphasize this point since it goes to the heart of this
    paper. I see very little in this paper that actually demonstrates real flaws in prior work.
    Instead, mostly we are dealing with flaws of type B and C (in the paper’s nomenclature).
    In fact, I would argue that a number of the issues classified as flaws of A and D type
    are really just flaws of B type in disguise (what statistical tests and signal processing
    tools are used is largely a matter of the norms and history of the field in question,
    hence multi-disciplinary work will always lead to the appearance of ’incorrect’ analysis
    by members of one or more communities). Flaws that arise from an incorrect logical
    premise sound straightforward to identify but may be harder in practice to nail down
    then the portrayed in this manuscript. I’m not being a relativist here, but I think the
    paper dances around the main issue being raised by the various authors (and that
    appear in their commentary online).

    In other words, your argumentation is simply wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong analysis, wrong treatment, worthless conclusions

    The root logical flaw in many of the papers discussed in the appendix is that showing a statistical correlation between some non-CO2 variable and some observed climate
    time series somehow disproves the hypothesis that CO2 is a driver of climate change.
    This is as silly as saying the cost of my sneakers is correlated with how fast I run and
    therefor I have invalidated the hypothesis that training makes me run the 100 yard dash
    faster. Do we really need 70 pages of text and two dozen R routines to recognize the
    logical problem here?

    This is a fair point, but it goes both ways: the supposed statistical correlation between CO2 and climate change is reversed. CO2 is a delayed response, not a driver as can been seen in ice cores stretching back hundreds of thousands of years into the past.

  99. Stefan says:

    @ mpaul

    Some psychology refers to it as “mythic membership”, where one joins the group and buys into its myths. It is basically pre-modern, it creates a community, but it is Us v Them.

    Some say Western civilisation inherited a monotheistic system, basically, One True Way, and so for many, we still have this pattern, where their judgements are still black and white, “good” v “bad”. When an environmentalist explains to me that it doesn’t matter if CO2 isn’t a problem, because it is really “about reducing greed”, I wonder about this. People can be “atheist” but their thinking is still this simpler “good v bad” judgment.

    Crichton of course explained that the planet is an amazingly complex system, and that even the medical model of what goes on inside a living cell dwarfs the complexity of the planet models. So actually, mythic-membership environmentalists, you know, the ones who shout “denier” at anyone who doesn’t share their thinking, these mythic-membership people are the last ones to be able to save the planet. The problems are above their heads. Actually it is probably above most people’s heads, but many have the good sense to know not to mess with things they don’t understand, or to limit their claims to what they can actually demonstrate.

  100. John A:

    Your post at September 4, 2013 at 3:05 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/03/cooks-97-consensus-disproven-by-a-new-paper-showing-major-math-errors/#comment-1407442
    is excellent!

    I write to draw attention to it, and I thank you for providing it.

    Richard

  101. Keitho says:

    Well Willis, I would say that most religious people are able to separate their religious world from their real world. Faith requires no proof but scientific progress certainly does and anyone with an inquisitive mind recognises that fact.

    I am an atheist myself but I would never measure a religious scientist’s ( or anyone else’s) work through the lens of their faith. The trouble with so many atheists is that they think they are intellectually superior to someone who has a religious faith and that arrogance is distasteful in my opinion and it is pleasing to see that you are not amongst that set.

    A religious scientist is not an anomaly as most people are able to keep the two worlds separate in their minds, which is as it should be.

  102. pokerguy says:

    “I have never personally bought into the CAGW hype precisely because of my faith; believing that God designed His creation to be flexible enough to withstand whatever it needed to.”

    Not a good reason, sir. By your “logic,” we can’t harm the natural world, which is on the face of it absurd. I’m a skeptic, but 10 years ago I was not. Part of what kept me on board was a broadcast by Rush L. in which he made the same claim. Utter tripe.

  103. pokerguy says:

    To follow up on R.L, in my ignorance concerning the facts re global warming, I was under the impression that was pretty much it, that is the entire argument against the dangers of global warming… that God would protect us. How laughably primitive. Of course you’re entitled to your beliefs, but you do the skeptical cause no good by citing them.

  104. Stefan says:

    @ Keitho

    I think Sam Harris has a very valid point that faith in all its forms needs to end. Religion is not a special category. We all wonder what is happiness, what is love, what is a good way to live. Progress in these questions will need ever more rigorous thinking. Harris isn’t anti-religion, just anti-faith. Unfortunately that means throwing out most of every religion, but you can examine each belief and ask, is this healthy? Is it reasonable? Does it work? Various Buddhists schools for example, have varying opinions about what human happiness is, and they all disagree in the details, and each belief has to be tested. And likewise scrutinise the opinions of atheists.

  105. Jeff Alberts says:

    Jeff Alberts:

    Your post at September 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm says in total

    People who claim to be non-religious are in fact religious but are simply unaware that their personal belief system has immutable structure.

    NOT!

    If what you refute were true, then how could anyone – including you – know if your refutation were right or wrong?

    Richard

    Richard, I was simply responding to a gratuitous assertion with an equally gratuitous response. Just because you want Atheism to be a belief system doesn’t mean it is.

  106. SkepticGoneWild says:

    Willis,

    This is a science blog. It’s fine if you do not happen to believe in a god. And you are free to state so, but this blog is not the venue for theological discussions. However, you not only state your disbelief in God, but go on to ridicule those who do. Grow up. Didn’t your parents ever teach you manners? There is a term for your behavior: “boorish”. Do you laugh at the mentally disabled as well? I don’t know if you’re married. But let’s assume so. Let’s say your wife is ugly….she’s a real dog. Now the normal person who might happen to meet your wife would not make rude and insensitive comments about her looks to her face. Do i make rude comments about your boring travelogues you post here? No, I just don’t bother reading them because I don’t want to be put to sleep.

    As someone who is a frequent WUWT contributor, you should know better. Perhaps you should review the WUWT policy page regarding posts, and lead by example:

    “Respect is given to those with manners, those without manners that insult others or begin starting flame wars may find their posts deleted.”

  107. Clyde says:

    markz says

    You are offended because someone does not share your quirky unsubstantiated beliefs, and puts up a logical practical statement of opinion?

    I’m not offended because Willis doesn’t believe in God. I even said that is his right. I’m offended by his critique of those who do. Willis is no different than Cook in his logical practical statement of opinion. Cook thinks there is something mentally wrong with folks who don’t believe in CAGW. Willis thinks the same about folks who believe in God..IE mondo goofy.

    I’m done with the subject. WUWT is not the place for such debate.

  108. Gunga Din says:

    Willis :
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/03/cooks-97-consensus-disproven-by-a-new-paper-showing-major-math-errors/#comment-140713
    ================================================================
    I think that perhaps Willis has been jumped on a bit harder than he deserves. While I believe he is dead wrong concerning God and Jesus Christ, what he actually said concerning Christian scientist (and others that believe in a “god”) was that as long as they are honest with how they handle the science regarding the natural realm he has no problem with what they believe about the supernatural realm.
    But maybe I misunderstood him.

  109. John Whitman says:

    mpaul on September 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    John Whitman, without going too far off topic, its a fascinating subject. The theoretical Physicists David Bohm argued that human consciousnesses is a quantum state, implying that there is entanglement between mind and matter. Imagine, for the moment, that this were true. It would imply that consciousness has a physical schema, and that this schema would (presumably) be common among humans. I am, therefore I think. Fundamental nature = schema.

    - – - – - – -

    mpaul,

    I appreciate your reply. Always a pleasure. Thanks.

    It is inevitable to discuss the nature of religion in general if CAGW bias is shown to have profound parallels with the numerous traditional religions both historically and in ones that are currently existing.

    But I think religion is both scientifically and philosophically an unimportant and silly distraction from what is relevant to man’s fundamental nature quo man and to nature quo nature; it does not have essential significance at all to objectively demonstrable pursuit of understanding.

    I think religion is irrelevant to science and therefore it is absurd to initiate religious discussions in scientific dialogs. But sometimes in defense of science it is necessary to disentangle religion from its pseudo-science masquerading as science; as is the case of a CAGW religion masquerading as science.

    As to your bringing up quantum physics and the human mind; I think there are better possibilities to understand our minds in the ongoing development of real time interfaces between complex computers and human minds. It is there I expect objective understanding of human mind to occur. : )

    John

  110. SBarhydt says:

    pokerguy says:
    September 4, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Not a good reason, sir. By your “logic,” we can’t harm the natural world, which is on the face of it absurd.
    …….
    Where in my statement of the flexibility of nature does it imply that we cannot “harm” the natural world? I referred explicitly to my lack of acceptance of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. I do not believe that we can irreparably destroy nature by our actions but strongly believe that we should all be good stewards of what we have been given (whether by God, fate, chaos, etc)

    To categorize my opinion as “Utter tripe” (and from your post at 5:06 AM “laughably primitive” and “you do the skeptical cause no good by citing them”) adds nothing to the conversation but your own vehement anti-God viewpoints.

  111. Tandem78 says:

    Nowhere in Cook’s paper is the year 1950 mentioned, nor does the word “dangerous” appear anywhere. If Legates et al are arguing that only papers explicitly stating that warming since 1950 is anthropogenic count count as consensual, then it’s surprising that they found as many as 0.3%. You only have to look at what gets published every month in Environmental Research Letters to realize that the Legates et al conclusion is patently absurd – at least half the papers take AGW a a given fact.

  112. dbstealey says:

    Tandem78,

    The only thing “patently absurd” is your Belief that AGW is significant enough to measure. It is not.

    AGW [if it even exists, and I suspect that it does to a minuscule degree] is not testable science, because it is not measurable. To be considered real science, things like AGW need to be measurable, quantifiable and testable.

    For all practical purposes, “carbon” fills a religious need for the same folks who ridicule organized religion. You need your Belief every bit as much as a Christian or Islamic believer needs their religion. AGW fills that need.

  113. John Whitman says:

    SBarhydt on September 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    pokerguy says:
    September 4, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Not a good reason, sir. By your “logic,” we can’t harm the natural world, which is on the face of it absurd.

    Where in my statement of the flexibility of nature does it imply that we cannot “harm” the natural world? I referred explicitly to my lack of acceptance of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. I do not believe that we can irreparably destroy nature by our actions but strongly believe that we should all be good stewards of what we have been given (whether by God, fate, chaos, etc)

    To categorize my opinion as “Utter tripe” (and from your post at 5:06 AM “laughably primitive” and “you do the skeptical cause no good by citing them”) adds nothing to the conversation but your own vehement anti-God viewpoints.

    - – - – - – - -

    SBarhydt,

    To be ‘Anti-God’ one would need to have faith in the existence of God. It does not appear to me that pokerguy has that faith and I certainly don’t.

    Suppose one who isn’t religious is presented by ‘Pro-God’ proponents with their supporting arguments from ancient / modern traditional religious intellects. As is often the case, that non- religious person may reasonably see nothing in the presentation that supports religious claims. That non-religious person is not ‘Anti-God’; nor is he an ‘Atheist’; nor is he an ‘Agnostic’; nor is such a non-religious person really a religious person because some religious person absurdly claims it takes faith to have non-faith.

    Science is wisely seldom distracted by all this supernatural / superstitious irrelevance. When science is distracted by it, it is to swat down things like the pseudo-science based CACW religion pretending to be a science.

    John

  114. Jeff Alberts says:

    richardscourtney says:
    September 4, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Quad Erat Demonstrandum

    I guess your beliefs stretch further than the facts. I merely demonstrated that gratuitous assertions deserve no in-depth response. Q.E.D. yourself.

  115. markx says:

    richardscourtney says: September 4, 2013 at 2:30 am

    The only pertinent issue is how and why people have belief systems which are exhibited as religions. Religions include the cult of AGW, Christianity, atheism, etc.
    (And please don’t try to engage in the nonsense that atheism is not a religion. Agnosticism is not a religion, but atheism is a belief in exactly the same way that theism is a belief.)

    The pertinent issue is important to this thread because it is directly relevant to why people like Cook commit acts such as the paper under discussion, why Gleick can convince himself that theft, forgery and defamation are “ethical”, etc.., Richard

    I agree with your last paragraph, Richard. I think people (generally) come ‘pre-programmed’ with a need to believe in something, and to follow a cause (perhaps an evolutionary development which results in successful, mutually supporting co-operative societies? – ie in hard times, co-operative similarly thinking groups survived, solitary individualist types even living in small family groups may not have, even if they were stronger. (Thinking of Neanderthals here).

    But athiesm as a religion? I can’t manage to conceive of a god in my mind, be he embodied or disembodied. What is he made of? Where is he exactly? Where did he come from? Who made him? How does he wield his great power? What exactly is this power? If he did exist why would he focus any attention on this minuscule sphere in this gigantic universe? Even if we are the subject of an alien 3rd year university science experiment we are stuck with the same questions.

    For example: If someone should tell me the world actually sits on the back of a large elephant, – even with no knowledge of the universe or gravity there are questions to be asked. Have you seen this thing? How do you know? What does it stand on? ….etc…

    So, were I to ask those questions, would you say I had a religious belief in a-elephantism?

    Atheism is simply a word, a somewhat inadequate label, and though I sometimes apply that label to myself if asked, it does not actually sum up what my beliefs are, rather it sums up what they are not.

  116. Chris G says:

    Wait, I thought it was all an urban heat island effect. Does this mean that urban heat island thing of Anthony’s was all tosh?

  117. Richard Tol, one of my fave economists, suggests that I differ with his contention that 7% of the data in Cook et al. (2013) are erroneous. However, with respect, I have not considered the question whether the data were erroneous except in respect of 0.2% of the abstracts, which had been miscategorized as explicitly endorsing the notion that most post-1950 warming was manmade when they did not endorse it.

    I simply took the authors’ own datafile and counted (both by a computer algorithm I had written and by hand using the text search in Notepad) how many papers they had assigned (whether rightly or wrongly) to each of their 7 or 8 “levels of endorsement” of “consensus”. The authors’ own categorizations, thus counted, showed their principal conclusion to be artful nonsense calculated to mislead.

    Professor Tol’s most interesting comment earlier in this thread implies that Cook et al. have not given him all of the data that he requested when he sought to falsify their result by attempted replication. He also implies that the University of Queensland has not instantly told its “researchers” to release the data immediately upon request, and that the Institute of Physics has refused him outright.

    These delays and refusals are serious. The University of Queensland is taxpayer-funded, as are the repellent Cook and Nuccitelli. If they are doing “research” on the taxpayer’s dime, are coming to conclusions which – even on the little data that are available – would be among the falsest and most bogus in the history of science (if the paper had had anything recognizable to do with science in the first place), the question of fraud against taxpayers arises.

    My respectful suggestion to Professor Tol is that he should write politely but firmly to the authors of the bogus paper, to the Institute of Physics and to the University of Queensland, giving them 14 days to hand over all of the requested data, failing which he will put the matter in the hands of the Australian police with an allegation of fraud.

    The carefully-concealed errors in the paper, especially when taken together with the University’s refusal even to reply to my own questions about the methodology even before it was published, as well as its refusal to order the immediate release of the authors’ data to Professor Tol, would be likely to persuade any jury that a fraud has taken place, for the points at issue are not complex matters that could be debated either way. They do not depend upon obscure and, to the lay juror, incomprehensible equations.

    The authors were extremely careful not to reveal just how very few of the abstracts they had read they themselves had categorized as explicitly endorsing the definition of scientific consensus in the introduction to their paper. Instead, by using multiple definitions of consensus and arbitrarily removing two-thirds of the sample because the abstracts had inconveniently not expressed any opinion on global warming, they had turned a 0.3% consensus into 97.1%. There is nothing in this shoddy tale that a jury would fail to understand. A conviction would, in my submission, be very likely.

  118. markx says:

    Chris G says: September 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Wait, I thought it was all an urban heat island effect. Does this mean that urban heat island thing of Anthony’s was all tosh?

    Well, Chris, I hate to be the one to break to you, but the world is a complicated place.
    It is quite possible for two or more independent assertions to be true at the same time.

  119. Gunga Din says:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/03/cooks-97-consensus-disproven-by-a-new-paper-showing-major-math-errors/#comment-1408208
    All Richard was pointing out is that “Atheism” is a belief. It is. That there is no God cannot be scientifically proven anymore than a scientist take something that is alive, separate the life from it, put that life in a test tube and analyze it.
    Some atheist resist the idea that they actually DO believe something that is scientifically unprovable.

  120. @Lord Monckton
    You find an error rate of 33% in the final ratings of a small fraction of the data.

    Cook & co report an error rate of 33% in the initial ratings (and his data show the same), but their reconciliation and rerating procedure would have reduced the error rate to 7%.

    Comparing the abstract ratings to the paper ratings finds disagreement in 63% of the cases. (This is validation according to Cook & co.)

    I don’t know the true error. My 7% is very generous to Cook & co.

    I’ve written to the authors, U Queensland, ERL and IoP, to no avail. U Queensland has yet to reply. My career would be over if I would take them to court. Academics love a good fight, but only among themselves. As evidence, I submit the strong reaction to Frank Ackerman’s accusation that I threatened to sue him; I never did, by the way.

  121. Jon says:

    “AGW [if it even exists, and I suspect that it does to a minuscule degree] is not testable science, because it is not measurable. To be considered real science, things like AGW need to be measurable, quantifiable and testable.
    For all practical purposes, “carbon” fills a religious need for the same folks who ridicule organized religion. You need your Belief every bit as much as a Christian or Islamic believer needs their religion. AGW fills that need.”

    AGW is one of many attempts to put political chains/control on the “free World”. This started way back in history by replacing individual idea of God with a collective one. Then the keepers of the collective belief had control over “Gods” will and could instruct the masses. What’s new here is that the idea of Global environment and climate Catastrophe is being attempted Global on all people’s of the free World. They want to control all people of the Free World.

  122. Jon says:

    “All Richard was pointing out is that “Atheism” is a belief. It is. That there is no God cannot be scientifically proven anymore than a scientist take something that is alive, separate the life from it, put that life in a test tube and analyze it.
    Some atheist resist the idea that they actually DO believe something that is scientifically unprovable.”

    I think there is an original idea of a God. And I think it started as an individual God. When I try to talk with God I always end up with talking to myself. In order to control the masses in tribes, cities, countries, empires etc the idea of an individual God had to be replaced with a stronger collective one. With the enlightenment we get the collective ideology ideas as a substitute for the older Collective religious ideas?

    So for me on religion and ideology the debate is over. I have my own individual idea of a God and ideology. :-)

  123. Friends:

    At September 4, 2013 at 2:30 am I wrote

    The only pertinent issue is how and why people have belief systems which are exhibited as religions. Religions include the cult of AGW, Christianity, atheism, etc.
    (And please don’t try to engage in the nonsense that atheism is not a religion. Agnosticism is not a religion, but atheism is a belief in exactly the same way that theism is a belief.)

    The pertinent issue is important to this thread because it is directly relevant to why people like Cook commit acts such as the paper under discussion, why Gleick can convince himself that theft, forgery and defamation are “ethical”, etc.., Richard

    My post stated what I consider to be important in this discussion and why it is important.

    Please note that I stated in parenthesis what I requested NOT be discussed because it was predictable that proselitysing atheists would want to proclaim it.

    Sadly, my request for the pertinent issue to be discussed was ignored because proselitysing atheists displaced it with their attempts to promote their religion.

    OK. They have had their fun, so I ask that they desist.
    And I ask that the pertinent issue be discussed.

    Richard

  124. Black Dog says:

    I have been asking Dana Nuccitelli and the Guardian for a comment on the rejection of the Benestad (Cook, Nuccitelli) et al paper on “agnotology” and the discredited Cook et al paper. Guess what, I got moderated several times. How long will the Guardian use the 97% banner above his articles? I think I can guess. It is also interesting to see the number of sceptic comments on the Guardian Cif these days when Dana drops in another of his pieces.

  125. philjourdan says:

    @Tandem78 – So “science” papers take a supposition as an established fact? When did “science” create so many new “facts”? A rare commodity in science until Climate Science came around.

    When did Climate science jump over Hypothesis and Theory to create these “facts”?

  126. Monckton had a close look at the abstracts rated 1. I find that the abstracts rated 6 or 7 are the odd ones out. See http://richardtol.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/bootstrap-results-for-initial-ratings.html

  127. John Whitman says:

    Legates et al (2013),

    Abstract

    [. . .] Agnotology, then, is a two-edged sword since either side in a debate may claim that general ignorance arises from misinformation allegedly circulated by the other. Significant questions about anthropogenic influences on climate remain. Therefore, Legates et al. appropriately asserted that partisan presentations of controversies stifle debate and have no place in education.

    [ bold emphasis by me, JW]

    - – - – - – -

    Education without partisanship?

    Sounds like this venue.

    A significant achievement of WUWT is a long term continuous balanced and rational education. Certainly that educational result will be enhanced in a thread like the current one by warmly encouraging vigorous exploration of all views of reasonably contextual topics. Without fear or favor.

    One aspect of Cook’s treatment of climate science and CAGW, as critically analyzed by Legates et al (2013), is whether it can reasonably be considered a religion instead of science in varying senses? To do that the general treatment of the differences between religion and science is in order.

    That seems a fairly widespread dialog of relevant interest in the general climate science and policy blogosphere. It is relevant.

    I suggest it not only continue but that it should expand.

    John

  128. John Whitman says:

    richardscourtney on September 5, 2013 at 2:20 am

    Friends:

    [. . .]

    OK. They have had their fun, so I ask that they desist.

    And I ask that the pertinent issue be discussed.

    - – - – - – -

    richardscourtney,

    I disagree with your assessment to desist.

    I assess instead that WUWT leaders should allow any interested commenters to persist. My basis for that assessment is in my comment above at John Whitman on September 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm.

    John

  129. Mario Lento says:

    Wikipedia actually has made a good statement concerning agnotology: Some of the root causes for culturally induced ignorance are media neglect, corporate or governmental secrecy and suppression, document destruction, and myriad forms of inherent or avoidable culturopolitical selectivity, inattention, and forgetfulness.

    Someone needs to add a reference to the liberal Wikipedia in terms of Climatology. PLEASE DO this is you know how to append Wikipedia! They use tobacco industry… but NOT climatology. It’s fair game and could help the cause of truth in Climate Science.

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