Where Consensus Fails – The Science Cannot Be Called 'Settled'

Euro_shark_consensus_3.jpg

from Sharkforum.org - click

Guest Post by Thomas Fuller

Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch have just published the findings of a survey conducted with practicing climate scientists. The survey was conducted in 2008 with 379 climate scientists who had published papers or were employed in climate research institutes and dealt with their confidence in models, the IPCC and a variety of other topics. The survey findings are here: http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/pdf/GKSS_2010_9.CLISCI.pdf

Most of the questions were asked using a Likert Scale, which most of you have probably used in filling out one of the numerous online surveys that are on almost any website. “A set of statements was presented to which the respondent was asked to indicate his or her level of agreement or disagreement, for example, 1 = strongly agree, 7 = strongly disagree.

The value of 4 can be considered as an expression of ambivalence or impartiality or, depending on the nature of the question posed, for example, in a question posed as a subjective rating such as “How much do you think climate scientists are aware of the information that policy makers incorporate into their decision making process?”, a value of 4 is no longer a measure of ambivalence, but rather a metric.”

The total number of respondents is large enough to make statistically significant statements about the population of similarly qualified climate scientists, and the response rate to the invitations is in line with surveys conducted among academics and professionals. What that means is that we can be fairly confident that if we conducted a census of all such scientists the answers would not be very different to what is found in the survey’s findings.

Typically in a commercial survey, analysts would group the top two responses and report on the percentages of respondents that ticked box 6 or 7 on this scale. Using that procedure here makes it clear that there are areas where scientists are not completely confident in what is being preached–and that they don’t like some of the preachers. In fact, let’s start with the opinion of climate scientists about those scientists, journalists and environmental activists who present extreme accounts of catastrophic impacts.

The survey’s question read, “Some scientists present extreme accounts of catastrophic impacts related to climate change in a popular format with the claim that it is their task to alert the public. How much do you agree with this practice?”

Less than 5% agreed strongly or very strongly with this practice. Actually 56% disagreed strongly or very strongly. Joe Romm, Tim Lambert, Michael Tobis–are you listening? The scientists don’t like what you are doing.

And not because they are skeptics–these scientists are very mainstream in their opinions about climate science and are strong supporters of the IPCC. Fifty-nine percent (59%) agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “The IPCC reports are of great use to the advancement of climate science.” Only 6% disagreed. And 86.5% agreed or strongly agreed that “climate change is occurring now” and 66.5% agreed or strongly agreed that future climate “will be a result of anthropogenic causes.”

Even so, there are areas of climate science that some people want to claim is settled, but where scientists don’t agree.

Only 12% agree or strongly agree that data availability for climate change analysis is adequate. More than 21% disagree or strongly disagree.

Only 25% agree or strongly agree that “Data collection efforts are currently adequate,” while 16% disagree or strongly disagree.

Perhaps most importantly, only 17.75% agree or strongly agree with the statement, “The state of theoretical understanding of climate change phenomena is adequate.” And equal percentage disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Only 22% think atmospheric models deal with hydrodynamics in a manner that is adequate or very adequate. Thirty percent (30%) feel that way about atmospheric models’ treatment of radiation, and only 9% feel that atmospheric models are adequate in their treatment of water vapor–and not one respondent felt that they were ‘very adequate.’

And only 1% felt that atmospheric models dealt well with clouds, while 46% felt they were inadequate or very inadequate. Only 2% felt the models dealt adequately with precipitation, and 3.5% felt that way about modeled treatment of atmospheric convection.

For ocean models, the lack of consensus continued. Only 20% felt ocean models dealt well with hydrodynamics, 11% felt that way about modeled treatment of heat transport in the ocean, 6.5% felt that way about oceanic convection, and only 12% felt that there exists an adequate ability to couple atmospheric and ocean models.

Only 7% agree or strongly agree that “The current state of scientific knowledge is developed well enough to allow for a reasonable assessment of the effects of turbulence,” and only 26% felt that way about surface albedo. Only 8% felt that way about land surface processes, and only 11% about sea ice.

And another shocker–only 32% agreed or strongly agreed that the current state of scientific knowledge is developed well enough to allow for a reasonable assessment of the effects of greenhouse gases emitted from anthropogenic sources.

As Judith Curry has been noting over at her weblog, there is considerable uncertainty regarding the building blocks of climate science. The scientists know this. The politicians, propagandists and the converted acolytes haven’t gotten the message. If this survey does not educate them, nothing will.

Thomas Fuller http://www.redbubble.com/people/hfuller

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
wws

“Consensus” is a purely political word – it has no place in science at all.
As long as we are talking about “consensus” we talking about politics and nothing else.

Noblesse Oblige

There appears to an inconistency in the respondents.
On the one hand we have, “86.5% agreed or strongly agreed that ‘climate change is occurring now’ and 66.5% agreed or strongly agreed that future climate ‘will be a result of anthropogenic causes.'”
On the other hand we have the response that indicate a strong lack of confidence in the key feedbacks that go to support the above statement: the cloud-water vapor feedbacks.
Without confidence in the weay the feedbacks are dealt with, how can there be confidence in the role of humans in future climaet change?

Wayne Richards

Heisenberg strikes again!
Or is it indeed Heisenberg? I’m uncertain.

jack morrow

I liked this article much better than your last posting I read. I also really enjoyed you and Steven’s CRU Tape Letters book. Thanks for you time and effort.

James Sexton

“If this survey does not educate them, nothing will.”
Nothing will. It isn’t about science or climate for them. Those are just smoke screens for the philosophical, political, and economic perspectives of those people.

DirkH

Their insecurity doesn’t stop them from calling for a total clampdown on our energy infrastructure, though… A majority supports the IPCC’s “findings”, after all.

Robert of Ottawa

The section “Assessment of State of Science” is very revealing. Most opinions are in tht 50-50 range, except effect of clouds and precipitation. Radiation is understood to be well understood but I disagree with the convection result; convection is a VERY difficult thing to model in a tea-cup, let alone a planet’s atmosphere.
I agree that radiation is well understood, because it is the simplest thing to model …. it assumes a spherical horse.

EFS_Junior

From page 9;
“The survey employed a non-probability convenience sample.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonprobability_sampling
“Sampling is the use of a subset of the population to represent the whole population. Probability sampling, or random sampling, is a sampling technique in which the probability of getting any particular sample may be calculated. Nonprobability sampling does not meet this criterion and should be used with caution. Nonprobability sampling techniques cannot be used to infer from the sample to the general population. Any generalizations obtained from a nonprobability sample must be filtered through one’s knowledge of the topic being studied. Performing nonprobability sampling is considerably less expensive than doing probability sampling, but the results are of limited value.”
“Examples of nonprobability sampling include:
Convenience, Haphazard or Accidental sampling – members of the population are chosen based on their relative ease of access. To sample friends, co-workers, or shoppers at a single mall, are all examples of convenience sampling.
…”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convenience_sampling
“Accidental sampling is a type of nonprobability sampling which involves the sample being drawn from that part of the population which is close to hand. That is, a sample population selected because it is readily available and convenient. The researcher using such a sample cannot scientifically make generalizations about the total population from this sample because it would not be representative enough. For example, if the interviewer was to conduct such a survey at a shopping center early in the morning on a given day, the people that he/she could interview would be limited to those given there at that given time, which would not represent the views of other members of society in such an area, if the survey was to be conducted at different times of day and several times per week. This type of sampling is most useful for pilot testing.”
Nuff said.

TinyCO2

And all this was pre Climategate, pre Amazongate, pre Anthony’s report on surface stations and pre IAC review.
Similar to the point made by the IAC, there’s a lot of uncertainty about the detail that magically turns into confidence when the bigger picture is presented.
I’d be very interested to see what different departments make of each other’s science and their own.

latitude

only 32% agreed or strongly agreed that the current state of scientific knowledge is developed well enough
===============
I’m really surprised at that. 1/3 of them think they are smarter than they really are….

Dr. John M. Ware

This survey was taken in 2008. Since then we have witnessed Climategate and the flood of IPCC errors. Is there anyone here who thinks the survey would still show these results? I don’t; I think the skepticism already present in 2008 would rise significantly in 2010. Consensus? Not so much.

Henry

This may be the worst summary of data I have ever seen. You might want to go back to the source data and recalculate some of your points above. Also, the method by which you discard respondents answering “4”, or “5” is a little strange.
Only 25% agree or strongly agree that “Data collection efforts are currently adequate,” while 16% disagree or strongly disagree.
As an example, the above was not the question asked. Secondly, 16% is not correct even by the incorrect way you are interpreting the data.
This whole analysis should be re-written and then double-checked for math and a little more time spent on what the different responses indicate in relation to the question asked.

Henry

crap, I meant 25% is not the correct total, not 16%.

EFS_Junior

After looking at the text on pages 9-11 it would appear that the use of the term “convenience sampling” is a misnomer or somewhat misleading as the selection criteria is a closer fit to Judgmental sampling or Purposive sampling;
“The researcher chooses the sample based on who they think would be appropriate for the study. This is used primarily when there is a limited number of people that have expertise in the area being researched.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonprobability_sampling
However, this does not change the nature of the survey one iota, and still casts serious doubts on the statistical accuracy of said survey results in total.
Also, while you posted a link to the original survey results, it would appear that most of the text above was “cherry picked” and does not give an entirely objective overview of the ENTIRETY of the survey results over all subject catagories.
Everyone should download and read the PDF and judge for themselves firsthand PRIOR to reading the above post’s somewhat limited focus points.

Jim Clarke

History has shown that the most common reaction one gets from the media and politicians is an overreaction, because that is what makes their worlds go round. These people deal in superlatives, or they do not deal at all. When the superlatives die out, so will the movement; much like it did with Paul Ehrlich’s population bomb scenario. Politicians and reporters have little ability to understand, or the the patience for, the nuanced views of scientists.
Want to make some waves? Change the title of this article from: “Where Consensus Fails – The Science Cannot Be Called ‘Settled’” to “Vast Majority of Climate Scientists Admit to Having ‘No Clue’ About the Impact of Human Emissions!” Now we are speaking their language!
(68% = vast majority. …is not developed enough to provide a reasonable assessment = ‘no clue’.)

kim

The cry is about:
Yes, we have no bananas.
And silence deafens.
===========

They are still at it. An article titled, ‘Arctic Ice in Death Spiral’ by Stephen Healy
quotes Mark Serneze of NSIDC that the Arctic Summer ice will disappear soon.
Meanwhile, there is more of it.

Philip Thomas

Why should we be pouring over the results of a survey made in 2008? It is worthless.

Phil's Dad

“The politicians, propagandists and the converted acolytes haven’t gotten the message.”
Some of us have but we need you (all) to keep plugging away at it. You are getting through.
As for the survey; here we have people who’s living is dependant on the continued need for data collection and interpretation (analysis). They seem to be saying “we need more data collection and analysis”. Wha’d ya know?
PS I agree with those posters who intimate, given the timing involved, that it would be interesting to ask again the questions on the veracity of the IPCC

R. de Haan

“The politicians, propagandists and the converted acolytes haven’t gotten the message. If this survey does not educate them, nothing will”.
Of course they haven’t gotten the message because they invented the scam and or earn their fortunes and living maintaining it.
And they will do until we are out of money or the risks get too high.
The so called Consensus is an integral part of the AGW scam that rests on at least 7 basic strategies and lies.
1. demonize oil
2. peak oil has arrived
3. CO2 is a powerful green house gas
4. The climate is warming in a unprecedented manner
5. 1.000 scares
6. All scientists agree AGW is real, any (scientific)opposition is useless (consensus)
and public opposition is demonized (by the argument of consensus).
7. Drastic action is needed, a radical change of our life styles, our energy infra structure, Taxes and the introduction of sustainable energy, solar wind, bio fuels and nuclear.
Of course the “inventors” of this scam knew their carefully planned scam long before we started to discuss the subject at the skeptic blogs.
So Thomas Fuller, do you really think you can educate these people, make them change their mind?
Do you really live with the illusion this will bring anything?
Don’t you get the feeling you’re kicking in open doors?
Really I am very pleased there are significant doubts about this scam among scientists but during the past years all of the AGW claims have been debunked and the scam has been unmasked.
But as long as the gravy train continues and government grants exist we have to live with the direct results: wind parks are build, electricity prices are going through the roof, bio ethanol is mixed with gasoline in many countries, food prices are on the rise, 1.2 billion people live from less than 1700 calories per day, the AGW propaganda machinery is running full steam ahead and we have to endure one crazy scheme after another to save our climate.
Right, education is required to wise up and inform the public.
But I am afraid we seriously need to think about much more pressing way’s to stop this fraud before it bankrupts us.
And it’s not education.

Robert of Ottawa

Wayne Richards
It probably was .. but maybe not.

Henry, thank you for pointing out the error! Question 11b asked
“Data collection efforts are currently
very inadequate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 very adequate
The mean score from all respondents was 3.924
5.12 % answered 1
11.32 % chose 2
That gave a total bottom-two box of 16.44%
11.59% chose 6
1.348% chose 7
That gave a top-two box of 12.93%
Which just makes my point more emphatically.
As for choosing this way to make an analysis, it is very common for topline analyses that need to be done in a very short period of time, which is the situation I faced today. There’s obviously a lot more that can be done, and I hope that Bray and von Storch will publish cross tabulations at some point.
However, focusing on ‘top-two’ and ‘bottom-two’ boxes is an accepted framework for looking at this type of scaled question. Sorry about the math error, though.

jv

Considering that the IPCC managed to get from “We don’t have enough understanding to model climate behaviour” to “The science is settled” in just one report, I am sure that hiring enough PR people can turn this around in time for the next survey.
For Henry. If you go back and look at the mean scores for the questions rather than looking at just the extreme ends of the scale it still doesn’t give the science a thumbs up.

Michael Larkin

But this is 2 years old. Before Climategate. My guess is that the results are meaningless today. And in any case, I doubt whether a mere survey will educate people.

KenB

Ignore the message – attack the messenger. The method of sampling seems to be in line with sentiments expressed round that time, that only those actively publishing in the field of “Climate science” opinions/thoughts mattered.
I seem to recall those sentiments, but now some query the limited sampling to “nuff” the message. Some concrete in that defense methinks!.

Crispin in Waterloo

Anthony I have a suggestion prompted by this topic of who believes what.
You have on the right columns with web links to other discussion sites. It seems to me that to assist the advance of common sense and to reduce the polarisation so evident in public climate discussion, the list needs to be further sub-divided.
There should be a ‘catastrophists’ category where the lunatic fringe hang out. Content would obviously be the main criterion. Six metres of sea rise and a Venusian runaway heating of the atmosphere would be reasonable qualification for listing.
Then a ‘Climate Taliban’ list where different opinions are routinely repressed and polite discussion of alternative viewpoints is not allowed. It would be easy to construct a pass/fail test for those sites.
Then the better known ‘warmist’ sites edited by those who tend to believe preferrentially and enjoy doing so and are probably open to new information undermining or supporting their favourite prejudices.
Next is the neutral zone where all polite discussion is encouraged (what major science publications used to be). This is where the majority of so-called skeptics are.
The Last and Least category would be the agenda-driven sites where people rage against the One World Domination of satan they heard about in church or the Black UN Helicopters and the partyists seeking to remove this or that president of some union or country – in other words UUNET et al. The fringe sites: ‘it’s all a giant plot’ are not skeptical, they are just chillist versions of the Climate Taliban. Interesting how all extremists look the same from a distance.
I see messages here that appear to be written by Climate Taliban pretending to be skeptics, seeking to undermine the common sense reputation of this list. That is, I am sure, unavoidable but a reasonable person can recognise and ignore them. It is the editorial policy and skill that defines a site. Skilled scientists and the skilled public will always be attracted to the places where meaningful conversations are held, which of course tend to the center.

EFS_Junior

If you look at the PDF it has “Bray” as the author and it was Modified 9/24/2010 11:24:18 AM.
Page 12;
“Results
Detailed discussions of results to date can be found in the following published papers:
Bray, D., 2010: Consensus among climate scientists revisited.– Environmental Science and Policy. Environmental Science and Policy 13 (2010) 340 – 350.
…”
The ACTUAL title of the paper;
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VP6-502Y375-1&_user=10&_coverDate=08%2F31%2F2010&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1473785232&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=af7d54de1e36d3d40612fc226457f284&searchtype=a
“The scientific consensus of climate change revisited” by one Dennis Bray Available online 14 May 2010.
So the assumed same person that authored both the survey and published paper can’t even cite their own paper correctly?
I mean the paper has been available since 14 May 2010 while this PDF file was authored by “Bray” and Modified 9/24/2010 11:24:18 AM, or over four months AFTER the paper’s online availability.
You’d think that the author would cite their own work correctly, given the 4+ months of lead time.
WUWT?

EFS_Junior

Wait, there’s more, from page 10;
“The combined invitation list numbered a potential 2677 respondents; defunct email addresses reduced the valid mail out to 2059. Invitations to participate in the survey were distributed by email, providing a link to the on-line survey. Provisions were made so that should someone submit a duplicate form the form identifier resulted in the original being over written.”
So it was an ONLINE survey, yes?
Well then, how do we know the TRUTH of the respondents?
How do we even know that only actual climate scientists responded to this ONLINE survey?
Were the responses validated in some way?
I would hope so, but this PDF does not go into those details.
Email verification AFTER completion of said survey?
Or reverse IP checking?
Who knows?
Who really knows?

janama

And 86.5% agreed or strongly agreed that “climate change is occurring now” and 66.5% agreed or strongly agreed that future climate “will be a result of anthropogenic causes.”

if they disagreed their departments would close and they’d be out of a job!

Chuck

By 1850, the Bible was being replaced Archaeology studies and findings.
In 1850, certain people began to replace a cooling Earth born in 7 days in 4004 BC. With a warming Earth from an Ice Age.
In the same period man from God was replaced by a man from an Ape.
We have come so far in the last 160 years in being like are new maker.

EFS Junior,
Online surveys are not perfect–as you point out, nobody knows you’re a dog on the internet. However, a lot (and I mean a lot) of money has been invested comparing the results of surveys done on the internet with surveys conducted with older technologies, such as telephones and face to face interviews.
The conclusions are that no methodology is perfect, that people can game internet surveys, but they can also game other types of survey as well. But internet surveys when properly done can successfully predict winners in political elections, products that will perform, movies and tv shows that will be hits, just as well (and sometimes better) than other forms of getting data from respondents. Internet surveys can get close to the actual results–sometimes as close as other surveys. (There is the occasional foul-up, but they are just that–occasional.)
Internet surveys are not perfect. But they do okay.

David J. Ameling

Only 86.5% percent believe the climate is changing. That means 13.5% of the repondents don’t know what they are talking about. The climate has always been changing. Mostly in a cyclic fashion. It is one of the proofs that man is not the cause of climate change. It has been warmer than is now and it has been a lot colder than it is now and man was not the cause, nor is man the cause now.

Theo Goodwin

Some commentors have pointed out inconsistencies in the responses. The problem is a lot bigger than inconsistencies. Replies indicate that respondents affirm statements that are radically at odds with the claim that IPCC has produced a science of AGW. Consider the following three statements:
Statement 1:
Fifty-nine percent (59%) agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “The IPCC reports are of great use to the advancement of climate science.” Only 6% disagreed. And 86.5% agreed or strongly agreed that “climate change is occurring now” and 66.5% agreed or strongly agreed that future climate “will be a result of anthropogenic causes.”
Statement 2:
Perhaps most importantly, only 17.75% agree or strongly agree with the statement, “The state of theoretical understanding of climate change phenomena is adequate.” And equal percentage disagreed or strongly disagreed.
Statement 3:
And another shocker–only 32% agreed or strongly agreed that the current state of scientific knowledge is developed well enough to allow for a reasonable assessment of the effects of greenhouse gases emitted from anthropogenic sources.
According to statement 2, 82 percent are unwilling to say that the theoretical understanding of climate change phenomena is adequate. If the statement means anything, it means that 82 percent believe that there is no set of empirical hypotheses that can be used to explain climate change phenomena. That is a strong statement to the effect that the science is in its infancy. In other words, what the IPCC reports amounts to a nice collection of hunches or educated guesses.
Yet respondents also say that “The IPCC reports are of great use to the advancement of climate science.” Hunches are of use to the advancement of the science? Well, sure, the scientists need to share their hunches, but hunches are not science. No one should suggest that the IPCC reports advance science; that is, the contents of the reports are not hypotheses that some day will be found among the body of well-confirmed hypotheses that constitute the mature science of climate.
So, the “…86.5% [who] agreed or strongly agreed that “climate change is occurring now” and 66.5% agreed or strongly agreed that future climate “will be a result of anthropogenic causes.” are basing their agreement on hunches but not on science, because they just agreed that the science is wholly inadequate. Then they carved this point in stone when two-thirds of respondents embraced statement 3 which holds that there is no science of the effects of human caused greenhouse gases at this time.
My conclusion is that the scientists gave the IPCC a polite nod and then proceeded to flatly reject the IPCC claim that there is a science of AGW which explains that the climate is changing because of AGW. How anyone could spin these answers as supporting the IPCC staggers the imagination.

Ben D.

I think most conspiracies are done haphazardly and after the fact for the most part. To think that when the global warming scare begun that bankers had this idea to create a new “carbon” economy is kind of far-fetched considering the number of years needed in order to be patient…People with money do not tend to want to wait 20 years to make money to say the least.
What is more likely is that eco-nuts like Hansen dive-bombed the scientific process in order to get their agendas across, slowly convinced other nuts and politians (is there a difference between the two?) and slowly the bad science permeated everything it touched.
When the funding for science and reputations where based on bad science, in order to make their names be well-known, the scientists fudged a litte more and more until we had the hockey stick, the IPCC and then it became a political madhouse. The bankers saw the investment scheme and the dollars to be made to make money trading air, and then everyone was involved to the point that pulling out would be political/reputation suicide.
So now we have people who have no choice but to stick to what they believe, said etc. Its not a conspiracy in the sense that they thought this up 20 years ago, its a conspiracy after the fact since they have no choice but to work together to try to save their names/jobs/money etc. It is funny or ironic that in most cases conspiracy in general just makes things worse for those involved, and by trying to cover their reputations/asses in general they have came to the breaking point now where most of them will be thrown out as a bum.
Some people will lose large amounts of money. And some politicians will lose their careers. Some people might even go to jail. If you are willing to accept the consequences of your actions, you will never be in a position to be involved in a conspiracy…hence the irony. These eco-nuts such as Hansen though will only go down when they are thrown into jail or on the streets for being worthless. Until then, they will fight it out until the bitter end. This is why its important to fight the non-sense that these nuts thought up and throw them out into the streets. Only then can we begin to remake science.

Tom in Texas

What would the percentages be if the responses from the Hockey Team were subtracted out?

I was a little puzzled by some of the response distributions and I did read the entire paper. Then it struck me, way back at the top it listed some of the demographic information. “78.31 of the respondents are involved in Physics-modeling”, that explains many of the skewed distributions > 3.5.

savethesharks

Ben D. says:
September 25, 2010 at 7:43 pm
I think most conspiracies are done haphazardly and after the fact for the most part. To think that when the global warming scare begun that bankers had this idea to create a new “carbon” economy is kind of far-fetched considering the number of years needed in order to be patient…People with money do not tend to want to wait 20 years to make money to say the least.
What is more likely is that eco-nuts like Hansen dive-bombed the scientific process in order to get their agendas across, slowly convinced other nuts and politians (is there a difference between the two?) and slowly the bad science permeated everything it touched.
When the funding for science and reputations where based on bad science, in order to make their names be well-known, the scientists fudged a litte more and more until we had the hockey stick, the IPCC and then it became a political madhouse. The bankers saw the investment scheme and the dollars to be made to make money trading air, and then everyone was involved to the point that pulling out would be political/reputation suicide.
So now we have people who have no choice but to stick to what they believe, said etc. Its not a conspiracy in the sense that they thought this up 20 years ago, its a conspiracy after the fact since they have no choice but to work together to try to save their names/jobs/money etc. It is funny or ironic that in most cases conspiracy in general just makes things worse for those involved, and by trying to cover their reputations/asses in general they have came to the breaking point now where most of them will be thrown out as a bum.
Some people will lose large amounts of money. And some politicians will lose their careers. Some people might even go to jail. If you are willing to accept the consequences of your actions, you will never be in a position to be involved in a conspiracy…hence the irony. These eco-nuts such as Hansen though will only go down when they are thrown into jail or on the streets for being worthless. Until then, they will fight it out until the bitter end. This is why its important to fight the non-sense that these nuts thought up and throw them out into the streets. Only then can we begin to remake science.
===========================
Repeated for effect. Damn well said!

In 2008 Al Gore said “the entire north polar ice cap will be completely gone in five years.”
I make that about 2013. Given that it’s late 2010, aren’t we about 1/2 way? So how about a graph of the monthly “Gore Consensus” of a 2008 to Zero trend compared with the actual 2008 to date trend? I’d like to see how the “consensus” is measuring up to reality?

Mike McMillan

Henry says: September 25, 2010 at 5:18 pm
crap, I meant 25% is not the correct total, not 16%.

Muphry’s law strikes again.
Thank you for clearing up which number isn’t not the correct total.

max

Dennis Nikols,
lysdexia strikes again, 78.13 % not 78.31% 🙂 yes, I know it should be dyscalcula but that would ruin the joke
I wouldn’t read too much into that number, the categories were such that the physics-modeling group includes most who study climate from any hard science sort of perspective. Some of the people who study impacts might also be hard science types but I doubt many of the policy or communications groups are. Anyone who isn’t in the physics-modeling group can be considered not to have a handle on most of the questions.

Thanks guys and gals for doing all this work to bring truth and light to the battle. We farmers and other blue collar types have some idea of how to deal with the alarmists thanks to you. And what an education too, my brain hadnt worked this hard in years as it has in the last few months! Special thanks to Anthony for his vision! Goodnight.

EFS_Junior

Tom Fuller says:
September 25, 2010 at 7:08 pm
EFS Junior,
Online surveys are not perfect–as you point out, nobody knows you’re a dog on the internet. However, a lot (and I mean a lot) of money has been invested comparing the results of surveys done on the internet with surveys conducted with older technologies, such as telephones and face to face interviews.
The conclusions are that no methodology is perfect, that people can game internet surveys, but they can also game other types of survey as well. But internet surveys when properly done can successfully predict winners in political elections, products that will perform, movies and tv shows that will be hits, just as well (and sometimes better) than other forms of getting data from respondents. Internet surveys can get close to the actual results–sometimes as close as other surveys. (There is the occasional foul-up, but they are just that–occasional.)
Internet surveys are not perfect. But they do okay.
_____________________________________________________________
Have you ever watched “The Ed Show” on MSNBC? If not, not to worry, but during each show he asks the viewing audiance a “polling” question, and usually 90+% give the desired answer. I’m sure the same can be said of Faux Noise (or Fixed News).
I can state with very high probability (p > 0.99) that this survey is entirely bogus.
So how can I be confident in the statement above, you ask?
See page 19 (figure) where 78.13% (293 out of 375) are categorized as “physics-modelling” which seems to be an awfully high number, since when I see “modelling” I think numerical climate science modelling (having been a hydrodynamic numerical modeler myself).
Just above that graph “physics-modelling” includes the following;
“8. The nature of your work is best described as being concerned with
physics of the climate system (modelling, model development, data acquisition, theory development, etc
…”
Etceteras must be a pretty large catagory!
But seriously, of the four explicit areas mentioned, three of them deal with GCM’s in some way (modelling, model development, and theory development).
Now I go to The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) 2006 survey (BTW very similar polling methodology) of federal (and NCAR) climate scientists;
http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/abuses_of_science/federal-climate-scientists.html
Where 308 climate scientists responded out of 1630 (18.9% again quite similar to this Bray and von Storch (BS) survey response rate), but only 21% (or 65 out of 308) self-proclaimed themselves as “Modeling”.
So which survey should I believe, the 2008 one with the ambigious definition of “physics-modelling” of 78.13% (hint BS), or the more direct definition of 21% as “modeling” from the 2006 survey (UCS)?
The answer should be obvious, but it would be the 21% from the 2006 UCS survey.
78.13% vs 21% (almost a factor of four difference), now do you really think 78.13% of climate scientists are, in fact, “in-the-trench” numerical climate science modelers?
I know I don’t.
Something is seriously wrong with the 2008 BS survey to get almost 80% in a SINGLE catagory (hard science vs all others (social sciences, policy, health, communication, administration, and others)). You either go for the hard sciences alone, than break down that group into subcatagories (with numerical modelers being one explicit group).
Where I work, it goes something like this: theoretical, experimental, prototype, observational, empirical, statistical, numerical, physical, etceteras.
IMHO very poor survey design.

David T. Bronzich

Wayne Richards says:
September 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm
Heisenberg strikes again!
Or is it indeed Heisenberg? I’m uncertain.
No, I’m very much afraid it’s Schrödinger………

Roger Carr

Watts Up With That? does not need “fillers”.

Paul in Sweden

Tom, It seems to me that the survey respondents are overly confident in their models. With the declared confidence in climate models we should be seeing climate models that reflect actual climate observations. Climate models have been significantly off base. Why is there such confidence in climate models that fail?
Are the respondents to the Bray-Von Storch survey universally working on or referring to climate models that have never been disclosed to the public?

Hank Hancock

EFS_Junior says:
September 25, 2010 at 6:32 pm
So it was an ONLINE survey, yes?
Well then, how do we know the TRUTH of the respondents?
How do we even know that only actual climate scientists responded to this ONLINE survey?
Were the responses validated in some way?
I would hope so, but this PDF does not go into those details.
Email verification AFTER completion of said survey?
Or reverse IP checking?
Who knows?
Who really knows?

You’re grabbing at straws now. Many objective studies and most opinion polls are done ONLINE today. Most of the issues you raise are easily controlled for by an experienced study developer. Irrespective, it’s an opinion poll, not a study or trial. The TRUTH of the respondent isn’t a quality control consideration as an opinion isn’t based on fact, value, or TRUTH. The study’s methodologies are reasonably acceptable for its intended purpose.

Paul Deacon, Christchurch, New Zealand

So we have a survey of scientists, 95% of whom are either academics relying on grants, or government employees. 78% of respondents are climate modellers, a further 13% are studying climate impacts. That does not leave many who are actually studying science, rather than playing with models.
I quite like the bundles of contradictions in the replies, very human.

James Sexton

EFS_Junior says:
September 25, 2010 at 10:20 pm
Did you just poke fun at Fox’s slant on news just after admitting to watching MSNBC? I guess that explains why you are so desperately trying to find fault with the survey. Junior, if you’ve ever taken one of those types of polls, then you’d know they don’t often have job descriptions that entirely match the person’s function. So they checked a box and went on. What does a climate scientist do if he/she isn’t involved in modeling, data acquisition or theory development?
Junior, its just a poll, it isn’t like we didn’t already know there wasn’t ever a consensus.

CodeTech

EFS_Jr, as soon as you type “faux” instead of Fox, you completely lose all credibility in the eyes of most thinking people, certainly in mine. You immediately out yourself as a leftist crank, thus eliminating any desire I might have to even skim through the rest of whatever it is you’re trying to say.
Just an FYI.

Vidkun Quisling

You buried the lede. If you look at the study, question no. 74, the study asks for an open-ended answer on the most pressing problem facing humanity. Almost no one said AGW. Clean drinking water and overpopulation appeared to be popular answers.