The disagreement over what defines ‘endorsment of AGW’ by Cook et al. is revealed in raters remarks, and it sure isn’t a 97% consensus

The Cook ratings document contains some incredible remarks, one of which is documented here.  According to it, “the training period in the initial stages of the rating period” covered more than half the ratings they did.  What kind of training period covers half of your project?!

Guest post by Brandon Schollenberger

Last month, I highlighted the fact there is quite a bit of disagreement about what the consensus on global warming is. I showed even people who worked together on a project, specifically discussing their disagreements, can’t seem to agree what that consensus is. Since so many people agree there’s a “97% consensus,” but they can’t seem to say what that consensus actually is, I think we should try to help them out.

Tom Curtis, Skeptical Science contributor and one of the 24 participants in the Cook et al study of the “consensus” describes the consensus as:

Endorsement levels 1-3 each endorse anthropogenic factors as causing 50+% of recent warming.

That is, anything classified in one of the three categories labeled “Endorse AGW” is part of a consensus that humans are “causing 50+% of recent warming.” We can confirm this by looking at some examples. Let’s pick examples in the order Cook et al listed them.

There are 49 abstracts placed in category three in the first year covered by the study, 1991. The search page for them displays 25 results at a time. We’ll start on the first page of results for category 3. One paper, Anticipated Public-health Consequences Of Global Climate Change, says this of global warming:

Human activities are placing enormous pressures on the biosphere. The introduction of new chemicals and the increasing ambient levels of existing chemicals have resulted in atmospheric degradation. This paper reviews some of the adverse effects of stratospheric ozone depletion and global warming…. because the atmospheric effects of global warming are less understood, public health problems that could be intensified by climate change are assessed qualitatively.

I definitely see how that paper implies humans are responsible for 50+% of recent warming. I mean, could it be any more clear? It even says “the atmospheric effects of global warming are less understood.” That’s almost as strong as another paper which says:

There have been numerous proposals for immediate cutbacks in CO2 emissions. Proponents argue that sizable reductions are necessary as a hedge against unacceptably rapid changes in climate. This paper provides a decision tree analysis of the problem.

But can you really imagine a more clear way the authors could have stated they believe humans are responsible for 50+% of recent warming than saying people argue it will happen? I guess they could say something like:

As environmental issues, and the issue of global warming in particular, rise to the top of the international agenda, developing nations are faced with a major question: how to confront these environmental problems and simultaneously address a number of more pressing developmental imperatives?

But it’s hard to be so forceful in one’s support as to say global warming is a rising “to the top of the international agenda.” What comes after that? Do you go over-the-top and say:

Emission of CH4, a gas implicated in global warming, can also be substantial in flooded rice.

How could you? People would label you a paranoid, alarmist, pinko commie!

I’m kidding, of course. The reality is you can say, “addition of methane to the atmosphere warms the planet,” and nobody will care. Except for Cook et al, that is. They’ll appreciate your statement of support for the 97% consensus humans have caused 50+% of recent warming. After all, when reviewing the first of those two abstracts discussing methane, Sarah Green said:

‘implicated in GW’ is weak endorsement, but mitigation linked to climate = implicit

Andy Skuce’s review of the second methane abstract merely quoted the exact text I did. Because clearly, saying methane is a greenhouse gas indicates endorsement of the idea humans have caused 50+% of recent warming. Just like how Riccardo explained saying “‘decreased risk of global warming’ = Implicit Endorsement.” It’s as clear a statement of support as if you only referred to global warming in a backhanded way in one sentence:

Desirable features include ethanol’s fuel properties as well as benefits with respect to urban air quality, global climate change, balance of trade, and energy security.

Or if you were so confident humans have caused 50+% of recent warming you labeled global warming a “possibility”:

Examines the possibility of global climate change due to the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The problem can be ameliorated by reducing fossil fuel consumption through conservation and expanded use of nuclear and solar power.

Of course, some people are so confident humans have caused 50+% of recent warming they don’t talk about the past at all, but instead only discuss what people will think in the future:

The information presented should help prepare electric utilities to address future public concerns and the related regulatory pressures regarding the utility’s role in carbon-dioxide proliferation and global warming

I know whenever I look for a consensus on a topic, I don’t look for papers which examine the consensus position. I much prefer papers which just assume it is true and go from there:

Previous studies suggest that the expected global warming from the greenhouse effect could raise sea level 50 to 200 cm (2 to 7 ft) in the next century. This article presents the first nationwide assessment of the primary impacts of such a rise on the United States

Of course, some papers don’t even look at the consensus position at all. That’s okay. The only reason someone might look at ways one could reduce greenhouse gas emissions is they are absolutely certain humans have caused 50+% of recent warming:

The paper presents a methodology for comparing the cost-effectiveness of different technical options for the abatement of greenhouse gas emissions

Other people are so certain of the truth of the consensus they feel it’s important to tell us:

While considerable global warming uncertainties remain, limiting the emission of the greenhouse gas, CO2 at minimum cost is a growing social concern.

Of course, the truly confident people are the ones who say humans are responsible for 50+% of recent warming, but:

An analysis of data pertaining to the period 1861–1986 reveals that (1) a 1 °C rise in the mean annual air temperature of the British Isles has historically been associated with a 35% drop in the percentage of days that the United Kingdom has experienced cyclonic flow, and (2) a 2 °C increase in the mean annual air temperature over the sea to the north has typically been matched by a 60% drop in the percentage of days that the isles have experienced cyclonic flow originating from that source region. These findings raise significant questions about the oft-reported claim that CO2-induced global warming will lead to an increase in world storminess.

After all, who would question the consensus on global warming if they questioned the common view of global warming’s effects on storms? That’d just be crazy.

I’m sure there were more examples clearly confirming the consensus on global warming is humans are responsible for 50+% of recent warming. I ignored one of the 25 because it was labeled as not having been peer-reviewed, and I was only skimming the rest. I just wanted to give people a little idea of how clear the consensus position is.

I mean, how much more clear could these papers, published in 1991, be that the consensus on global warming is humans caused 50+% of the recent warming, as of ~2012? How could anyone possibly think the consensus position is merely that the greenhouse effect is real when the people studying this say endorsing the consensus requires going so far as to make bold claims like:

addition of methane to the atmosphere warms the planet

I can’t imagine how they could possibly make the consensus position more clear.

Actually, I can if we jump ahead one year. In 1992, there was the paper, An Improved Process For Converting Cellulose To Ethanol, which clearly endorsed the consensus. The clarity of it was so great John Cook himself felt it important to explain:

‘contributing to global warming’ = Implicit Endorsement


With how clear it is what the “consensus” found by Cook et al was, it’s easy to understand why Cook et al (with a slightly different roster) said this in a ~20 page document responding to a peer-reviewed paper criticizing their work:

C13 classified abstracts of climate science papers based on the level of endorsement that most of the recent global warming is man-made (AGW, Categories 1–3)

And similarly, why John Cook co-authored a paper last year that said this about their findings:

Cook et al. (2013) examined abstracts for papers published between 1991 and 2011 using the search terms “global warming” and “global climate change” to search the ISI Web of Science database. Of the 4,014 abstracts that expressed a position on the issue of human-induced climate change, Cook et al. (2013) found that over 97% endorsed the view that the Earth is warming up and human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause.

And finally, why Dana Nuccitelli recently told people:

the 96-97% consensus is that AGW since 1950 is >50%.

When during the rating process, he said a paper endorsed the consensus because it:

says ‘the CO2 global warming problem’| but doesn’t quantify the CO2 contribution.

It’s so easy to understand, I won’t bother saying it.

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55 Responses to The disagreement over what defines ‘endorsment of AGW’ by Cook et al. is revealed in raters remarks, and it sure isn’t a 97% consensus

  1. william says:

    Even Spencer and Lucia are among the 97% who agree that humans are probably responsible for the majority (+50.0001%) of the global warming we have experienced. Why are we flogging this 97% study to death it’s pretty much true. What scientists disagree on is whether it matters that the globe will warm by a degree or two.

  2. leon0112 says:

    Brandon – Are there ANY papers which purport to SHOW how human produced CO2 CAUSED 50+% of the slight increase in global temperatures? It seems like they all assumed this was true or examined the consequences if it were true.

  3. RH says:

    It doesn’t matter how conclusively you prove the 97% thing to be wrong, because it is nothing more than a political slogan promoted by a politically motivated website. We expect political slogans to be lies, and politicians feel no shame in repeating those lies (if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor).

  4. philjourdan says:

    Glad it is easy for you Brandon. It looks like a position paper from a group of drunk politicians.

  5. Bad Andrew says:

    “the global warming we have experienced”

    No one can experience Global Warming. People experience local warming and cooling. Global Warming is an abstraction. It’s imaginary. A story.

    Andrew

  6. Nik says:

    If you read the article by Dana you will see it’s very straw man,

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/jun/24/why-we-care-about-global-warming-consensus

    His article is arguing a point which the paper doesn’t actually make. Abstracts do not equal scientists but his article is littered with “expert”. Can a paper’s abstract be expert or can only the scientist be expert? One scientist writing 10 abstracts is not ten experts but one but here he’s using the straw man argument.

  7. more soylent green! says:

    It’s almost not up for debate that human activities have an impact on the climate. When was the last time anybody stated such a thing? Yet it’s a worthwhile topic because belief is not fact.

    A salient point — The consensus is only that humans are causing warming? The consensus nothing on the consequences of AGW? Isn’t there a second point, something about humans destroying the earth, impending climate disasters, the end of our civilization, earth left lifeless for billions and billions of years? Isn’t all that hysteria part of the alleged consensus? ‘Cause if it ain’t, what’s all the hubbub about?

  8. Dodgy Geezer says:

    …What kind of training period covers half of your project?!..

    Life. Covers 100%.

  9. Nullius in Verba says:

    More than 50% of 1950-2000 observed warming only implies a transient climate sensitivity of more than 1 C per doubling. How many mainstream sceptics insist it is more-likely-than-not less than 1 C?


    “Many profound changes in society have been effected without the necessity of winning over the other side.”

  10. william, like it or not, the Cook et al paper is incredibly popular. It’s going to be discussed a lot so long as that remains true. It’s better if that discussion includes criticisms of it.

    leon0112, it’s hard to say since abstracts don’t provide a lot of information, and Cook et al didn’t look for that. There definitely were some, but how many there were is impossible to discern from what we have unless we go through each abstract ourself.

    RH, politicians may shamelessly repeat lies, but they’ll only do so as long as they think they can get away with it. If enough people take issue, they’ll stop. That’s why it’s good to make the problems with this paper and how it is used as clear as possible. Remember, not everybody on their “side” agrees with tactics like this.

    Pekka Pirilä is a prime example. He and I have had strong disagreements on a number of points, and he believes global warming is a serious problem, but his comments on this issue (look at his comments on this post) are part of what led to me posting this.

  11. Sandi says:

    Sorry but I have to groan and roll my eyes every time a skeptic brings up the 97% consensus thing. Consensus isn’t science. PERIOD!

    Writing elaborate posts to refute it, is getting down in the mud with them.

  12. Cary Jamison says:

    As others have said, these papers all seem to start from the premise that global warming is true, and then go on to investigate what the effects of that warming will be. So, what we are really seeing is the effects of everyone trying get their papers funded and published by jumping on the global warming money train. Some of these would have been interesting papers on their own, but by tying them to global warming the authors are able to increase interest and funding in their topic.

  13. MikeUK says:

    97% of Guardian articles by Dana are about this rubbish paper, maybe it would be better not to give it any more of the oxygen of publicity.

  14. Dermot O'Logical says:

    tsdr
    (too sarcastic, didn’t read)

  15. M Courtney says:

    MikeUK says at June 24, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    97% of Guardian articles by Dana are about this rubbish paper, maybe it would be better not to give it any more of the oxygen of publicity.

    I agree with your first point (roughly) and disagree with your second.

    If the Guardian has given a whole AGW regular column over to boosting the 97% consensus then they aren’t pushing any pseudo-science instead. This the only game in the AGW town.
    Yet all educated people know that science isn’t consensus; that’s politics.

    Let them dig themselves into a hole with this 97% as their only ladder. It’s rotten, let them bury themselves.

  16. william says:

    Andrew, you said:
    “No one can experience Global Warming. People experience local warming and cooling. Global Warming is an abstraction. It’s imaginary. A story.”

    I agree with you that “NO ONE” can experience global warming. That assumes that only one person on the planet would be affected. Many people experience the effects of a planet that is warming as measured twice daily in over a thousand different locations across the planet over the last 160 years. The effects of the warming will differ depending on where you live. As an example, if you lived in the Sahel the last 30 years you might have noticed a greening that has been evident from satellite observations. Perhaps there are now more places to graize your goats. If you are a farmer in the Midwest of the USA you may have noticed better than expected yields in your harvests due to better uptake of co2 in your crops and a longer growing season. Certainly there are villages in Europe that are no longer threatened by the advance of Glaciers that stopped advancing in the 1850′s.

    So to your point, many people are experiencing global warming. Its not imaginary or an abstraction. Its been measured. Perhaps its a political football used to generate hysteria and funding or provide a reason for some people to fight against “the evil system” or “the man” or just “man”. Either way, for you to dismiss it as something “unreal” would place you beyond the category of someone who is skeptical of the “catastrophic” portion of CAGW. It would place you into the dreaded category of “denier” much as I shudder to even type the term.

  17. Michael 2 says:

    “Because clearly, saying methane is a greenhouse gas indicates endorsement of the idea humans have caused 50+% of recent warming.”

    It isn’t clear at all. Sarcasm isn’t always obvious and the readership of WUWT won’t always know that the statement isn’t true. It would be easy to prefix such a statement with “The reviewers seem to think … when in fact no direct relationship exists between rice-field methane and burning petroleum or coal.”

    But like someone else asked, are there ANY papers that unmistakably, unequivocally explain how and why and by what means it was determined that humans are causing global warming? Am I looking at an incredible love-fest of authors imputing and assuming AGW and then conducting all sorts of studies as if it were true, with no particular effort to finding out the truth of AGW once and for all?

  18. Pamela Gray says:

    The sarcasm was over the top for me. That is not to say that others will be fine with it. I find it hard for me to run back and forth between serious statements and sarcasm. But it is my weakness.

  19. Bad Andrew says:

    “So to your point, many people are experiencing global warming. Its not imaginary or an abstraction. Its been measured.”

    william,

    A human being doesn’t experience ‘global’ (referring to the entire earth). A human being experiences ‘local’. Global Warming hasn’t been ‘measured’. It’s been ‘calculated’. It’s an ‘average’. You need to brush up on your thinking skills.

    Andrew

  20. william says:

    Andrew
    I guess the people who lived in North America while the glaciers were melting also did not “experience global warming”. Looking back on it, no matter how we measure it, calculate it or average it, it happened. 100 years from now, your argument will be that global temperatures just happened to increase 2-3C but 7 billion people on the planet did not experience it. Thats hard to imagine for you and indicative of your lack of thinking skills.

  21. william says:

    Michael
    You can read any number of papers written by Roger Peilke Sr. where he documents the warming effects on climate as a result of changes in land use by humans in places all over the globe. Those climate changes are not linked to changes in CO2 studied and reported just the same. He may be referred to as a skeptic since he does not believe that climate is changing only as a result of the increases in CO2. There are very few skeptics that will deny that CO2 released into the atmo by humans has not resulted in some degree of global warming. Its just not plausible to deny that.

  22. andrew says:

    “the glaciers were melting”

    Local. The glaciers weren’t melting in the Bahamas, right?

    “global temperatures just happened to increase 2-3C ”

    Some temperatures increased in some areas. Some decreased. Depends on the LOCALITY.

    Are you catching on yet?

    Andrew

  23. Dermot O’Logical, you forgot the semi-colon.

    M Courtney, exactly. The last thing you want to do when your opponent is using a bad argument is make him stop.

    Michael 2, everything after the fourth paragraph or so is sarcastic. If people take remarks seriously after five paragraphs of sarcasm, I’m not sure they can be helped.

    Pamela Gray, I understand how the sarcasm could be over the top, but I don’t know what you mean when you say you find it hard “to run back and forth between serious statements and sarcasm.” Once I started laying in with the sarcasm, I didn’t make any serious remarks. I just stuck with the sarcasm.

  24. Bad Andrew, if you’re going to be hostile and rude, please at least provide a halfway decent argument. You began your participation with a semantic trick which wasn’t even clever or right:

    “the global warming we have experienced”

    No one can experience Global Warming. People experience local warming and cooling. Global Warming is an abstraction. It’s imaginary. A story.

    william clearly referred to “we,” meaning a group of people. You clearly referred to single individuals. Whether or not a single individual can experience a global phenomenom, a large group of people spread across the planet certainly can. That each person experiences local effects does not change the fact the group, as a whole, experiences global effects. Even if you don’t like the terminology people use, it’s unquestionable people as a whole experience same thing thermometers do. This is all a non-issue which barely matters for semantics.

    And it doesn’t even have anything to do with this topic. You’re harping on a point that is uninteresting and barely connected to anything said in this post.

  25. mark in toledo says:

    William said: “Even Spencer and Lucia are among the 97% who agree that humans are probably responsible for the majority (+50.0001%) of the global warming we have experienced. Why are we flogging this 97% study to death it’s pretty much true. What scientists disagree on is whether it matters that the globe will warm by a degree or two.”

    what are you talking about? 97% of scientists (climate or otherwise) most certainly do NOT agree that humans are responsible for >50% of global warming. where did you get that idea?

  26. Bad Andrew says:

    “a large group of people spread across the planet certainly can”

    Brandon,

    Since you decided to argue an uninteresting point, I’m going to comment further:

    OK. Which group of people experienced which Global phenomenon (details please)?

    Are you saying everyone (‘global’) experienced an average (which is what Global Warming is)?

    Please say yes.

    Andrew

  27. Bad Andrew, your questions are too ill-posed for me to give a meaningful answer. Either you phrased what you’re asking poorly, or you’re asking questions in bad faith. Either way, I’m not interested in changing the logic of your questions so it is possible to actually answer them. I’m going to just stick with topical matters.

  28. Michael D says:

    It is a difficult article to read because nothing makes sense on first reading. But for me the take-away is that when you tried some spot-checking of the 97% consensus, you found a lot of false-positives. I know that you are interested in a comprehensive crowd-sourced review of the data, and that would certainly give you the ammunition to go beyond sarcasm.

  29. Aphan says:

    William-the study didn’t prove that 97% of scientists agree with the AGW theory. It proved that a group of people read 11,994 abstracts and decided that 4,000 of them (1/3) had either implied or explicitly stated a position ON AGW. Of that 1/3-97% (of 1/3) leaned towards an AGW “consensus” according to their definition. (Only something like 49 papers-out of the 4,000 (1/3) actually stated agreement outright)

    BUT that means that the study proved that 2/3 of the abstracts-almost 8,000 papers, took NO POSITION. So really only 32% of scientists wrote papers that indicated they agree with the AGW theory.

    Bad Andrew and Brandon seem to be arguing past each other. Global WARMING has not been a GLOBAL phenomenon because not all areas of the globe have experienced WARMING. The climate has changed, and certainly humans have changed the planet in various ways (like farming/land clearing etc), but again, not all areas have WARMED and in this debate, qualifiers are necessary. For example Global Warming is not the same thing as Anthropogenic Global Warming is not the same thing as Natural Global Warming. Not all climate change is caused or affected by human activity because we know that the climate has changed in the past WITHOUT human influence.

    If people want to nitpick, then at least be very specific about the nits you’re picking at. :)

  30. Mike Jonas says:

    OK we all use sarcasm sometimes, but in a post like this it’s not IMHO a good idea. If you play it straight then you are giving people quotables, and quotables are useful for arguing with others.

  31. jgmccabe says:

    In common with some others here I found the sarcasm rather difficult and unfortunate. Given the effort that has clearly gone into this work, if it had all been done in a serious and factual way, it would have been ideal ammunition to put before some of my friends who have been sucked in by the alarmists (possibly mainly those like Monbiot and Nuccittelli who get published in the Guardian). Unfortunately, as it currently stands, I suspect they would, at best, ignore it as sour grapes or, at worst, laugh at it; either way the point would be lost.

    I would encourage you, Brandon, to rewrite this in a ‘straight’ way. Very few people go any further than looking at the headlines this alarmist nonsense so for someone to point out, in a simple, clear and concise way, with specific examples, that the criteria used are utter bollox would be a powerful argument.

  32. Michael 2 says:

    William — exactly right. Many reasons exist for localized annualized temperature changes.

  33. rogerknights says:

    The response I give to those 97% claims is, “The consensus is about AGW, but the debate is about CAGW.”

  34. cenolan says:

    jgmccabe says:

    June 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm
    “…I would encourage you, Brandon, to rewrite this in a ‘straight’ way…”
    ————————————————————————
    Some subjects and actions are difficult to show without having your jaw drop to the floor in amazement or disbelief.
    Brandon did an okay job using sarcasm but it would take a Monty Python or Mel Brooks to parody this BS to the level that shows how ridiculous the whole 97% consensus notion is.
    From picking the team members to their method of paper selection and classification.
    How could you even discuss their methods and not shake your head and wonder?
    You can’t treat it honestly.
    You have to ridicule it and treat it like the joke it is.
    cn

  35. Michael D, that wasn’t the point at all. Nothing about this piece even hinted at false positives. The very first paragraph I wrote indicates the purpose of the piece quite clearly, saying it’s to help identify what the “consensus” found by Cook et al is. I then use large amounts of sarcasm to show it is not what Cook et al have recently claimed. I get sarcasm can be hard to follow, but there’s no way to come up with the interpretation you reached.

    Mike Jonas, being serious in this post would have required direct accusations of dishonesty. There’s no other viable interpretation of Cook et al’s flagrant misrepresentation of their findings. However, once you start accusing people of dishonesty most people will tune out. Sarcasm lets you make the same point.

    jgmccabe, if I had written this in a “straight” way, people would dismiss it as me being just another paranoid conspiracist who believes global warming is a hoax. The simple reality is critics of the global warming movement have thrown around accusations of fraud and dishonesty so much it is impossible to effectively point out legitimate examples in a direct manner.

    I could post this same piece without sarcasm, accurately title it, “Cook et al Lie Their Faces Off,” and I bet you fewer people (who don’t already share my views) would be willing to sit through it.

    But you know what? I think I’ll test that belief. I should have a non-sarcastic version uploaded within two hours.

  36. I just uploaded a non-sarcastic version of the same post. I’d be curious to see how people react to it as opposed to this version. You can find it here:

    http://hiizuru.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/cook-et-al-lie-their-faces-off/

  37. Michael 2 says:

    william “I guess the people who lived in North America while the glaciers were melting also did not experience global warming.”

    Yes, that is likely the case. It is likely they had no such name for what they experienced, or that similar experiences might be happening in other places.

    Obviously they experienced many things. As they moved south from the Bering land bridge they would have experienced dramatically warmer climate simply as a factor of latitude.

    But I’m splitting hairs, as are you and Andrew. What does it mean to “experience” a thing? Must you know the thing exists in order to experience it? Does a tree falling in a forest, if no one is there to hear it, make a sound? To a physicist probably “yes” because to him the word describes the physical property of pressure waves of air at a certain velocity and pressure. But if you are the experiential sort, then no, because “sound” doesn’t happen until the brain interprets it as such.

    I’m sort of both and that leaves me in a state of uncertainty about questions of this sort. Did the effects of climate change impinge upon humans 8,000 years ago? Of course (duh). Did they KNOW it was “global climate change”? Probably not.

    “Looking back on it, no matter how we measure it, calculate it or average it, it happened.”

    Kinda like pointing out that no matter where in the world you go, there you are! But there really is no “we”. I make no attempt to average weather or climate. Occasionally I’ll look at a thermometer.

    “100 years from now, your argument will be that global temperatures just happened to increase ”

    You have an admirable expectation of my lifespan. I cannot predict what my argument would be. Strange that you can.

    “2-3C but 7 billion people on the planet did not experience it.”

    Yes. I certainly do not “experience” a 2 degree change especially if it is very gradual. Perhaps someone else CAN do this so I don’t speak for 7 billion people but it seems like that I am not all that unusual in my inability to “experience” 2 degree change that takes 100 years to happen.

    “Thats hard to imagine for you and indicative of your lack of thinking skills.”

    No doubt. I have not claimed high thinking skills and imagination. How about you?

  38. thingadonta says:

    Its called the consensus project. So one has to get a consensus. I’m surprised they don’t go for 100%.

    Might go down as one of the stupidest papers of recent years. Can any alarmists actually produce a paper on level of support for alarmist AGW without getting the figures all wrong? Obviously after several attempts, they can’t.

  39. xyzzy11 says:

    Having a consensus does’t mean they’re right; I’m sure that there was a consensus that the earth was flat, the the sun revolved around the earth or pick one of any number of other “scientific truths”. Remember that the Nazis tried to proved Einstein “by consensus”;-)

  40. xyzzy11 says:

    That should say … tried to prove Einstein wrong ..
    .

  41. Michael 2 says:

    william says “There are very few skeptics that will deny that CO2 released into the atmo by humans has not resulted in some degree of global warming.”

    Quite right, and such as do are not particularly interesting to me although I can see where it may be possible for a natural cooling to be offset by CO2 warming and thus make difficult the exact amount of warming (or forcing) that is unnatural.

    Projections seem to consider the impossible — “if nothing is done” — well, if nothing is done this world will effectively be out of petroleum in 100 years and then what? Your problem solves itself.

    Only 100 years ago hardly anyone had a motorized vehicle of any kind (Ford Model T came out in 1908) and just 200 years ago the world, Europe mostly, was in the Industrial Revolution.

    So projecting 100 years into the future — well, that’s something traditionally left to prophets. By then either the lefties will have succeeded with their global government, or the world will be even more fragmented; or both — succeeded and then fragmented when 7 billion people got tired of being told what to do by a (insert epithet here) in London.

  42. terrarious says:

    Who ever heard of a poll of scientists or anybody for that matter where 97% agreed about anything? Since scientists are trained to be skeptical Cook’s poll is obviously manufactured nonsense.
    North Korean manufactured election results probably come close to >90%.

  43. Brute says:

    Brandon, I appreciate the humor. But if you want what you say to matter, limit yourself to factual reporting.

  44. Nylo says:

    andrew, you would have to very carefully describe the meaning of “experience” when you claim that nobody experiences global warming but local effects, to be able to defend your point.

    I live in a place where tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamies or earthquakes NEVER happen. However, should there be any change in the frecuency of any of those worldwide, it would be incorrect to claim that I did not “experience” it. I did, anytime I heard of read about any of those happening anywhere or saw worldwide relevant statistics about those events.

    To claim that I didn’t, you would need to specify that by “experience” you mean “personally experience”, as in directly feeling the weather instead of reading some report about it. But if you limit the meaning to what one can directly feel, you fall into the subjective world of our senses. You no longer can say that I “experienced” a 0,7ºC rise in temperatures just because it happened in my neighbourhood. What I may have read in a thermometer doesn’t count, that’s “reading a report”. What counts is what I feel. And my feeling of temperature changes with the air conditioning of wherever I am at any moment, the clothes I wear or changes in my own metabolism with the years. Not even two people living in the same place will experience, with their own senses, the same evolution of temperatures. They will only be able to agree on the reading of some OBJECTIVE way of measuring some climate metric, such as a thermometer. And they can get that reading about the place they live as well as about any other place thousands of km away that they have never been to but that publishes the corresponding climate data. They do not personally experience the 0,7K warming in their neighbourhood any more than they experience the 0.9K warming somewhere else. In both cases, they read about it.

  45. Michael 2 says:

    Nylo says: “What counts is what I feel.”

    Precisely. That is my understanding of “experience” and what you experience is what your senses tell you. You cannot know that the cold air you feel is global or confined to a little bubble immediately around you (which can happen if you are standing near last winter’s snow bank).

    Therefore you do not experience global warming. You experience warming. I suspect that you or I cannot experience anything global. Astronauts might be able to experience “global” as it takes only 90 minutes to go completely around the Earth.

  46. jeremyp99 says:

    Remember folk – our lives are but a brief candle. Time spent reading anything by Dana the Nutter is time lost. Don’t bother.

  47. jgmccabe says:

    Brandon,
    I’ve read your modified, more ‘stick with the facts’, version and much prefer it, especially from the point of view, as Michael 2 said, of putting it before friends and family who’ve been sucked in.

    I also think Steve R is being facetious :-)

  48. Nylo says:

    Michael 2, you did not understand my point. What I was saying is that, if “what counts is what I feel”, then it doesn’t make any sense because it is irrelevant. I know for sure that there has been some warming where I live. I, however, have not experienced it. In my personal experience, what I have felt, is more and more cold. My neighbour may have experienced warming, on the other hand. My brother may have felt the same all the time. But we all live around the same place, we all have access to the same climate metrics of the place we live in, and we know what has really happened. And we know it doesn’t match any of our personal experiences, despite they are diverse. What one feels is irrelevant. I have had high fever in very hot days and I have experienced cold as a result in those days. This doesn’t mean it wasn’t hot. And so on. We have objective ways to measure the climate which are independent of one’s particular feelings and it is the data obteined by those means what counts. What counts is what I know to be true. That is my experience. My experience is made of the facts that I know to be objectively true. My experience tells me that this day I felt cold, but also tells me that this day was hot despite I felt like that. And I can get this data from my place, and from anywhere around the globe. My experience tells me that the arctic ice is less than it used to be 20 years ago, despite I have never personally seen it. I’ve learnt about it from those who have. And that constitutes experience. I do experience global warming because I have access to the temperature databases that prove that the globe’s average temperature is going up. How I personally feel it in my skin is irrelevant..

  49. Bad Andrew says:

    “I do experience global warming because I have access to the temperature databases that prove that the globe’s average temperature is going up”.

    Nylo,

    You are confused as well. It may be that the globe’s average temperature is going up, but the fact that you use a database for information supplied by other people about it means you don’t experience it yourself. Other people are telling you what’s happening.

    Andrew

  50. Jack Hudson says:

    I am sure the following comment has been made somewhere, but it is worth repeating.
    The elephant in the room concerning Cook’s study is his data’s likely built-in bias. Even if the surveys and analyses were perfect, the best that could be said is 97% of those who publish climate science papers are on-board. Considering how difficult it has become for any contrarian AGW points of view to get published, the study likely was a fait accompli. Finally, such opinion was determined among a small subset of all scientists whose living is tied to doom yet is attributed, directly and indirectly to all scientists/science. It doesn’t take a climate scientist to recognize a bad assumption when seen. A perfectly conducted research project is not only worthless but harmful to its field of study if its foundational assumptions are wrong but get a pass.

  51. Anon says:

    What about all the other surveys that show that the vast majority of climate scientists do agree that over 50% of the warming is caused by humans?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/cherry-picking-one-survey-to-discredit-a-survey-of-scientists-on-climate-change/2013/05/07/e69607d2-b77b-11e2-92f3-f291801936b8_blog.html

  52. Based on the supplementary data for Cook et al 2013, I believe the proportion of papers classed by the paper’s authors as endorsing more than 50% human-caused warming is around 1.6%. My reasoning can be found on my blog, here: http://dereksorensen.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/ninety-seven-percent/

  53. Tanya Aardman says:

    Is there a ‘Science Hall of Shame’ website?

  54. Jeff Alberts says:

    Nylo: I do experience global warming because I have access to the temperature databases that prove that the globe’s average temperature is going up.

    If you really believe that an average global temperature is physically meaningful, then you have another problem.

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