What else did the '97% of scientists' say?

Guest Post by Barry Woods

I wonder just how many politicians, environmentalists or scientists who use the phrase ‘97% of scientists’ (or those who more carefully use ‘active climate scientists’) to give weight to their arguments regarding climate change to the public, have any idea of the actual source of this soundbite.  

Perhaps a few may say the ‘Doran Survey’, which is the one of the most common references for this ‘97% of active climate scientists’ phrase. In fact, the Doran EoS paper merely cites a MSc thesis for the actual source of this 97% figure and the actual survey.

“This was a very simplistic and biased questionnaire.”

(‘Doran Survey’ participant)

In a world where politicians (UK) went to war in Iraq based on a ‘sexed’ up dodgy dossier plagiarised from a 12 year old PhD thesis. I wonder how confident they would be lecturing the public about the need for radical decarbonising economic climate polices, if they were aware that the ‘97% of active climate scientists’ quote/soundbite actually comes from a students MSc thesis, that the Doran EoS paper cites?

Here are but just a few of many responses from scientists that actually took part in the survey, taken from the appendi of the MSc thesis:

“..scientific issues cannot be decided by a vote of scientists. A consensus is not, at any given time, a good predictor of where the truth actually resides..”

“..The “hockey stick” graph that the IPCC so touted has, it is my understanding, been debunked as junk science..”

“..I’m not sure what you are trying to prove, but you will undoubtably be able to prove your pre-existing opinion with this survey! I’m sorry I even started it!..” (Doran/Zimmerman feedback)

I wonder just how many politicians or environmentalists (or scientists) that have used the phrase ‘97% of climate scientists, have actually read the original source of the cited survey.

“Climate is a very complex system with many variables including sun radiation cycles, ocean temperature, and possibly other factors that we are not even aware of.

There are studies and data out there that are being overlooked by the IPCC. Ultimately, maybe we are the biggest cause or maybe we are not, but the current push of saying that human activity is the cause is interfering with an unbiased and scientific evaluation.” (Doran/Zimmerman feedback)

The Doran paper  has been criticised by many sceptics in the past, where a survey of 10,256 with 3146 respondents was whittled down to 75 out of 77 “expert” ‘active climate researchers’ (ACR) to give the 97% figure, based on just two very simplistic (shallow) questions that even the majority of sceptics might agree with. Lawrence Soloman made one of many critiques of the Doran Paper here and offers a very good summary, some other reviews here, here and here

A closer look at ‘The Consensus on the Consensus’

Yet, I’m not aware of anyone having a detailed look at the actual reference for the ‘97%’ quotation cited in the Doran EoS paper –  (link and press release), this was a students MSc thesis entitled “The Consensus on the Consensus” – M Zimmermann  (download here for £1.25 / ~$2), who was Peter Doran’s graduate student (and the EoS paper’s co-author)

“..and I do not think that a consensus has anything to do with whether a hypothesis is correct. Check out the history of science…you will find that scientific discovery is generally made by ignoring the ‘consensus..’” (Doran/Zimmerman feedback)

As this MSc thesis was the original source of the oft cited Doran paper  97%  quote, I tracked it down (sometime ago now) and discovered in the appendi that there was a great deal of  email feedback and answers to write in questions from the scientists that actually participated in the survey, much of it critical and sceptical of the survey itself, the methodology and the questions asked. Additionally, amongst those environmental scientists that responded, were some very sceptical sounding scientists with respect to man made climate change being the dominant driver of climate change.

“..Science is based on scepticism and experimental proof. Whereas human GHG emissions certainly have a warming effect, the breakdown between natural and anthropogenic contributions to warming is poorly constrained.

Remember that the warming since 1650 AD (not 1900) is part of a real ‘millennial cycle’ whose amplitude cannot yet be explained by any quantitative theory.

Also, the computer climate models are both too complex to be readily understood and too simple to describe reality.

Believing their results is an act of faith…”

(Doran/Zimmerman survey participant – App F)

There are also a number of additional problems I think, with the methodology that comes to light, that the previous critiques of the Doran paper are not aware of and some other interesting facts.

97% of the world’s scientists?

One fact that is not obvious (ie missing) from the Doran EoS paper and that surprised me, is that over 96% of the scientist that responded were from North America (90% USA, 6.2% Canada), with 9% from California alone.

90% (2833) of respondents were from the United States, while the remaining 10% (313) came from 22 other countries (Figure 1). Respondents from Canada accounted for 62% of the international responses. (Zimmerman)

What is the opinion of the worlds scientists?

Are the public aware when they are lectured that ‘97% of scientists’ agree based on the Doran paper, by their media, lobbyists, activist scientists and their politicians justifying climate action, that the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Australia, New Zealand respondents made up less than 3% of the survey in total. China had 3 scientists respond (three not 3%), Russian and India zero.

Perhaps if I was a western politician trying to persuade the public West to decarbonise and to extend or go beyond the Kyoto agreement I might think carefully about telling the public about the 97% of ALL scientists agree, when pushing for radical climate policies? As those countries outside of Kyoto agreement (China, India, Russia, etc) made it very clear at Copenhagen that  reduction in their own emissions is just not going to happen and at the recent Rio 20 plus conference I’m not even really aware that ‘climate change’ was mentioned that much at all.

What might I ask are those countries scientists telling their leaders about ‘climate change’ that may appear to many of them as a peculary western obsession (not many environmental lobby groups in China in the last 30 years). Perhaps those countries scientists are just not that concerned about a catastrophic interpretation of climate change,

I’ll just provide a ‘small’ anecdote to back up that hypothesis, just for fun, from China’s lead climate negotiator at Copenhagen (and Durban) no less.

Telegraph

“..China’s most senior climate change official surprised a summit in India when he questioned whether global warming is caused by carbon gas emissions and said Beijing is keeping an “open mind”

Xie Zhenhua was speaking at a summit between the developing world’s most powerful countries, India, Brazil, South Africa and China, which is now the largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the gas believed to be responsible for climate change.

But Mr Xie, China’s vice-chairman of national development and reforms commission, later said although mainstream scientific opinion blames emissions from industrial development for climate change, China is not convinced.

“There are disputes in the scientific community. We have to have an open attitude to the scientific research. There’s an alternative view that climate change is caused by cyclical trends in nature itself. We have to keep an open attitude,” he said…” (Telegraph)

Guardian

“..China’s most senior negotiator on climate change says more research needed to establish whether warming is man-made

China’s most senior negotiator on climate change said today he was keeping an open mind on whether global warming was man-made or the result of natural cycles.  Xie Zhenhua said there was no doubt that warming was taking place, but more and better scientific research was needed to establish the causes.

Xie’s comments caused consternation at the end of the post-meeting press conference, with his host, the Indian environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, attempting to play down any suggestions of dissent over the science of climate change…”(Guardian)

This only made the few column inches on the inside pages of the Guardian and the Telegraph, (by their Indian correspondents) perhaps an inadvertent unguarded comment by a senior diplomat let slip at a non-western conference expressing China’s real thinking perhaps?

Perhaps, unsurprisingly none of these newspapers UK environment journalists picked up on this ‘revelation’ on Chinese thinking, I wonder why, after all Xie was only China’s  lead negotiator (he was also at Durban). For further thoughts on this topic, Jo Nova has a very interesting article on Chinese, Russian and Indian thinking on climate change. (here)

But perhaps we should get back on to the topic of ‘The Consensus of the Consensus’

The ‘expertise’ of the 97%

On occasion when challenged about the 97% figure depending on 75 scientists from a survey of 10,000, it is usually met with a response that these were the experts in the field  of climate science and this is what maters not the number that took part. A closer look at the methodology perhaps raises some concerns about the ‘expertise’ and selection bias as this as his result depends on 2 additional questions in the survey that were used to identify expertise in climate research (not an unreasonable goal) within the respondents

Q5 Which percentage of your papers published in peer reviewed journals in the last 5 years have been on the subject of climate change?   

A:  1) less than 50% 2) 50% or more 3) not applicable

Q9 Which category best describes your area of expertise?

1) Hydrology/Hydrogeology  2) Geochemistry 3) Geophysics

4) Paleontology 5) Economic Geology (coal/metals/oil and gas)

 6) Soil Science 7) Oceanography/MarineGeology

8) Environmental Geology 9) Geology/Planetary Science

10) Climate Science 11) Geomorphology  12)General Geology

 13) Structure/Tectonics* 14) Petrology*

15) Sedimentology/Stratigraphy 16 Atmospheric Science*

17) Quaternary Geology*  18) Meterology*

19) Geography/Archeaology/GI 20 Engineering (Envr/Geo/Chem)*

21 Ecology/Biogeochemistry* 22) Glacial Geology*

23) Mineralogy*  24) Volcanology*  25) Other (*write in description)

(Zimmerman)

The survey used the answer to Q5 narrow down the expertise of the respondents, not unreasonably perhaps, and defined these as ‘active climate researchers’ (ACR), there was also criticism of the framing of this question in the feedback. This subset of respondents were then contacted to check the these claims and once verified, there were 244 respondents that met this criteria.   This categorisation gave positive responses to Q1 – 95% and Q2 – 92%

The survey used the answer to Q9 to define those as identifying as in the category of climate science as having more expertise than the other listed categories. Question 9 resulted in 144 respondents self identifying in the category of climate science. This categorisation gave positive responses to Q1 – 95% and Q2 – 88.6%

Finally  a category of experts was defined as those that responded as publishing more than 50% of papers AND self identifying in the survey as climate scientists, resulting in a group of 77

This categorisation gave positive responses to Q1 – 96.2% and Q2 – 97.4%

So is Zimmermann defining expertise or introducing a selection bias here ? It has not gone unnoticed that perhaps those scientists that self identify as climate scientists, are perhaps those that are more activist minded for a consensus.

It is quite possible for example, in this survey for scientist or even colleagues with identical qualifications, to self identify differently. Thus in this survey respondents could even be co-authors of a paper, but this survey would categorise one as more expert than the other.  Who knows if this happened or not, the fact that it is possible demonstrates the flaws in the thinking.

Additionally those that are in the 97% group are deemed to be more expert in climate science, keeping more abreast of the ‘whole’ field than the others.

“..The participants in this group are actively publishing climate scientists, and those most likely to be familiar with the theory and mechanisms of climate change, as well as have a thorough understanding of the current research and be actively contributing to the field..” (Zimmermann feedback)

This I think is a huge assumption, ‘climate science’ is a huge multidisciplinary field.

Is a geologist that identifies as a ‘climate scientist’ any more an expert on astrophysics, atmospheric physics, statistics, etc than those classified as have less expertise in the categories identified above.

Additionally the responses may merely capture (only the last 5 years publishing Q5) those junior more activist post docs, etc that self identify as climate scientist, where perhaps the older more published ‘expert’ colleagues describe themselves by the qualifications, not as climate scientists.  And of course, by the very nature of the survey, (which was commented on in the feedback) surveys of this type are potentially self selecting by the probability that those that are most concerned are more willing to take part.

Finding a consensus

In the introduction of the Zimmerman thesis, it describes criticisms of many other papers that have attempted in the past to establish what is the ‘consensus’ amongst scientists on climate change and the survey’s purpose was to address these criticisms.  However the introduction raised concerns for me that the author is not perhaps without there own biases (subconscious or otherwise). Perhaps judge this for yourself (here)

“..I did complete your survey. However, no matter how important, no matter how apparently obvious the combination of facts and theory, scientific issues cannot be decided by a vote of scientists. A consensus is not, at any given time, a good predictor of where the truth actually resides..” (Zimmerman feedback)

“..Science is not based on votes or consensus. Irrelevant question. Besides, which scientists do you regard as relevant?..” (Zimmerman feedback)

“..Science is based on scepticism and experimental proof. Whereas human GHG emissions certainly have a warming effect, the breakdown between natural and anthropogenic contributions to warming is poorly constrained..” (Zimmerman feedback)

Why does this matter, don’t other survey give similar results?

In the introduction, the Zimmerman thesis describes the earlier papers attempting to establish what the consensus is in the field of climate science and the thesis describes the criticisms made of these papers. And that the Zimmermann thesis survey is intended to meet some of these criticisms.

All too often in an article or presentation the phrase/soundbite ‘97% of scientists say’ is used to justify or imply certain climate policies, or that there is a consensus amongst climate scientists that policy action must be taken, or agreement of dangerous climate change, or any other thing that need the weight of authority this statement gives to an argument.

The later ‘Anderegg survey’ is perhaps the next most often cited survey, often alongside the ‘Doran Survey’, as producing a 97% figure for a consensus of climate scientists. Anderegg has also receive criticism as it seemed to be little more than a black/white document count of papers giving a percentage of numbers on each side. This of course gives no consensus on any of the above issues either. But again is often used to give the weight of authority to an argument.

An example perhaps, of this ‘use’ was by Scott Denning recently at the Yale climate forum, with a very critical response from Paul Matthews (Reader of Mathematics, Nottingham University

Scott Denning: “Let’s be clear: there is in fact an overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change. No peer-reviewed science disputes the expectation that rising CO2 levels will cause major climate change in the coming decades.

Survey data have shown more than 97 percent agreement among professional climate scientists (Anderegg et al, 2010, PNAS), and every major professional society has issued supporting statements. (Yale – here)

I raised my own concerns about the nature of the Anderegg survey (here and here), but I think Professor Paul Matthews is more to the point and eloquent than I was.

Paul Matthews: “Scott Denning needs to be more careful if he and his fellow climate scientists are to be taken seriously by scientists from other fields such as myself. 

He loses credibility by referring to the ridiculous Anderegg et al study, in which the authors put scientists into two different pigeon-holes. 

Worse still, he misrepresents the claims of that paper (he implies the 97% believe CO2 will cause major climate change in the coming decades, while Anderegg et al say 97% agree that most of the warming of the 20th C was very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases – two very different statements). (Yale – here)

At the time, Joseph Romm at Think Progress gave his own interpretation of what the Anderegg survey showed us.

“..The issue is whether folks are actively spreading disinformation, especially disinformation that has been long debunked in the scientific literature.  As I’ve said for many years now, it is time for the media to stop listening to, quoting, and enabling those who spread anti-science and anti-scientist disinformation. (Think Progress)

It is interesting to compare the Think Progress response to the Anderegg survey to that of scientists. Dr Roger Pielke junior was very critical of the Anderegg survey (link) referring to it as a blacklist, this brought about I think a very appropriate response from Real Climate’s Dr Eric Steig (quite a contrast to Climate Progress – Joe Romm)

“Wow. Roger, you know I disagree with you on many things, but not on this. What the heck where they thinking? Even if the analysis had some validity — and from a first glance, I’m definitely not convinced it does — it’s not helpful, to put it mildly. I’m totally appalled.” (Dr Eric Steig)

Keith Kloor also has a very good article with various responses to the PNAS Anderegg survey and the comments / discussion also make very interesting reading (Collide a Scape – The Climate Experts)

Concerns about ‘consensus surveys’

I am concerned that the conclusions made by Doran EoS paper and the Zimmerman MSc thesis seems to go beyond the results warranted by the survey and motivated by activism more than science.

“..the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.”

The challenge now, they write, is how to effectively communicate this to policy makers and to a public that continues to mistakenly perceive debate among scientists..” (Doran press release)

But, I would like to put aside any criticism of the methodology or conclusions the scientists behind the Doran, Anderegg or any other similar paper make and reserve my strongest criticism to others that misrepresent them, or go much further than the conclusions. My strongest criticism is not for those politicians, environmentalists, journalists or scientists, that use the soundbite of ‘97% of scientists’ in complete ignorance of its source, or do not check the citation for themselves in Zimmermann.

No, I reserve my strongest criticism for those activist scientist that know full well the source of the ‘97% of scientists’ soundbite and use it anyway, usually very carefully worded along the lines of 97% actively researching in their field, and then use it to imply that there is some consensus of future dangerous or catastrophic risk, or that certain policies that must be taken, because of this consensus.

In my mind this is misusing the authority and goodwill most of the public still hold for scientists, when attempts are made to justify claims of policy action with a soundbite, or to try to silence any dissenting voice as a denier or holding extreme questionable views (implying others not mainstream respectable scientists) It also raises the very real concern that other  activists response to sceptics will assume motives of malign intent (greedy fossil fuel deniars, with the same morals of holocaust deniers, for example) if they seeing leading scientist making these strong claims.

As in the activists worldview, surely only those with questionable malign and/or greedy motives would disagree with  ’97 of scientist agree’ that future climate change is a catastrophic danger.

An example being this extreme reaction by Steve Zwick at Forbes.

“..We know who the active denialists are – not the people who buy the lies, mind you, but the people who create the lies.  Let’s start keeping track of them now, and when the famines come, let’s make them pay.  Let’s let their houses burn until the innocent are rescued*.  Let’s swap their safe land for submerged islands.  Let’s force them to bear the cost of rising food prices…” (Steve Zwick – Forbes)

And he cites the authority of a consensus of scientists which support in his mind, this statement of certainty about future climate.

“..If the shirkers and deniers actually believe their propaganda, they’ll go along with this – because they only have to pay if they’re wrong and 98% of all climate scientists are right. (And what are the odds of that happening – nudge nudge, wink wink?)..” (Steve Zwick – Forbes)

Another example being when a number of climate scientists (community leaders) responded in a letter to the Wall Street Journal, to the 16 scientist that signed an opinion piece entitled – No Need To Panic About Global Warming – in the Wall Street journal.

The climate scientists response (extract)

“..Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.

It would be an act of recklessness for any political leader to disregard the weight of evidence and ignore the enormous risks that climate change clearly poses.” (Trenberth et al – WSJ)

The authors of the original Wall Street Journal opinion piece duly responded making the same complaint about the misuse of the ‘97% of scientists’ phrase as mine:

“.. The Trenberth letter states: “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.” However, the claim of 97% support is deceptive. The surveys contained trivial polling questions that even we would agree with. Thus, these surveys find that large majorities agree that temperatures have increased since 1800 and that human activities have some impact.

But what is being disputed is the size and nature of the human contribution to global warming. To claim, as the Trenberth letter apparently does, that disputing this constitutes “extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert” is peculiar indeed.” (Wall Steet Journal)

I did show a copy of ‘The Consensus on the Consensus’ to a well known writer on the environment,(over a very nice lunch at Brasenose College, Oxford University) who was very interested and whose first response was why are they all so sceptical! And to his credit admitted he was not aware of it, and had not  looked at the primary source and he even suggested to me:

‘If I were a sceptical journalist I would make hay with it!”

To be very fair to him, Zimmerman only came online in September 2011, I’m sure I went looking for it before that and could not find it anywhere. Additionally when faced with a paper with multiple citation who of us, actually goes and reads all those citations to see if the conclusions are correctly used in the paper?

All this said and done, I’m a sceptical blogger, writing for a major sceptical blog, please don’t take my word for anything, download it yourself and form your own views. (here) there are at least 80 pages of responses, my selections are but a fraction of the whole.

Some further examples  of feedback to the survey below:

Problems with questions 1 and 2 and the word ‘significant’

“Questions 1 asks if I think temperatures are warmer than the 1800s, but doesn’t indicate if I’m supposed to compare to today, the last 10 years, the last 50 years, or… Without telling me what I’m comparing to, I cannot answer the question.

Q2 then asks if I think that humans are “a significant” contributor to warming temperatures, but I can only answer yes or no. I happen to think that we are one among many contributing factors, so I answered yes, but I couldn’t explain this. The third question then asks me why I think humans are a major contributor, but is phrased in such a way that it’s implicit that I’m now listing them as THE significant factor. They are not the primary cause, but I had to stop the survey at this point because it was forcing me to answer queries about why I think they are.

As constructed, your responders will be unable to indicate that there are multiple causes to climate change, that climate change is the norm on Earth and has been going on throughout geologic time, and that there is strong evidence to indicate that climate change not only occurred before humans existed, but also was probably more extreme than the event we are living in today.”

And:

Your use of the word ‘significant‘. It seems clear that human activity has caused an increase in CO2 levels. That, in theory, might have caused an increase in global temperature. However, did it? If so, was it the only cause? If it was a cause, was it a significant cause?

And:

Not Fair: You changed the question from ‘significant’ to ‘contributing’ Significant= 25%. Contributing=75%

“What defines significant? If 1-2 degrees F is considered significant then I would agree that human input is significant

“what do you mean by significant? Statistically? A player in the total rise? sure we are! How much? I am not sure.

What is meant by significant? A major contribution, yes, but what is human activity compared with increased solar activity. So far, it is lost in the statistical models. While it certainly seems likely that human activity is at least partly responsible, I am not aware of data conclusively proving this. It has been documented that natural earth temperature cycles occur with, or without, human-based effects.

I entered an answer I did not intend. I think human activity is a significant component, but I do not know if it is 10%, 25%, 50% or more. (3c)

 “I appologize, but as an objective scientist I do not communicate “opinions” or “attitudes”. These do not belong on the scientific agenda and certainly not in the classroom. Thus I decline to contribute to your survey.” (Zimmerman feedback)

Appendix G – Emails received (lots of interesting responses)

I found the very first email response to be quite amusing (ref ‘team’)

“I am on the team. Your survey is most appropriate and I am honoured to have been asked to participate.” (Zimmermann -App G)

The third response provides a counter:

“I’d be happy to participate. This is a great idea. We were talking about this just yesterday and I’m guessing you’ll find less consensus that the media tend to suggest.”(Zimmerman – App G)

Appendix F – Write in questions for 3c (reasons sceptical)

 “I am not absolutely convinced, however, that carbon dioxide is the culprit. I think that remains to be proved. Carbon dioxide is complicated, and I believe that there could be other both human induced and natural causes for global warming.”

And:

“After thinking a while about the questions, I wish that I had not participated in the survey because of the way that the questions could be misconstrued.”

And:

“I study glaciers. Earth has had hundreds of continental scale glacier events during its history. Glaciers will continue to experience cycles where they expand and then contract, and then expand again, as they have done many times before, prior to humans evolving. They will also continue to do so long after our species is extinct.”

I’m glad I’m not a young scientist in the USA:

“I believe this global warming scare is a hoax designed to raise taxes and fill the pockets of the likes of Gore and those who do research in the topic, etc. I am not the only one who feels this way. One of our professors, XX, paleontologist, Antarctic specialist, agrees with me. He said he is treated like a pariah here at XX.”

I will finish on the following piece of feedback, as it  highlights and sums up a concern of mine, that all scientists might want to consider with respect to the public trust in science.

“As I indicated in my survey responses, every scientist I work with is convinced that human activity is a factor influencing global warming, but it is also well known that the causes extend beyond human activity to include astronomical cycles which we had no part in creating and which we are powerless to stop. I have not found anyone who could tell me what percentage of the warming we’ve seen so far is attributable to natural vs. human causes, however.

I feel that the scientific community has not been totally forthcoming in public statements about acknowledging the dual causes of global warming, and that someday people will realize that no matter what we do, we will never stop global warming entirely because a good fraction of the causes are natural and not anthropogenic.

I’m afraid that at that point people will feel misled by scientists and politicians who have implied, essentially, that “we caused it, by cleaning up our act we can stop it.”

I feel that this is a recipe for public disillusionment with the science community, and is a mistakeon our part. (Zimmerman feedback – App F)

It is my personal recommendation that if anyone should publically claim because ‘97% of scientists agree’ and are attempting to use this phrase as a soundbite to close down any criticism, going beyond the conclusions of these surveys.

My recommendation is to ask them politely if they are aware of the source of this phrase. And then quote to them an example of the feedback by scientists that took part in the survey itself, any then perhaps it will be possible to have a debate about any issue or claim being made.

References/Links:

MSc Thesis – The Consensus on the Consensus – M Zimmerman (download Cost £1.25)

Eos Abstract – EoS Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change Citation: Doran, P. T. and M. K. Zimmerman  (2009), Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,  Eos Trans. AGU,  90(3), 22, doi:10.1029/2009EO030002.

EoS Paper –  Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change -Doran/Kendall Zimmerman

UIC Press Release – Survey: Scientists Agree Human-Induced Global Warming is Real

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

This is great thanks heaps. I just finished and posted a blog on Consensus Science, and footnoted this excellent article at the end. http://justmeint.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/the-consensus-factor/

Skiphil

Barry Woods
Terrific post, thanks!! I already knew that the 2 questions were ridiculous (as a “lukewarmist” I have not too much trouble giving a very meek tenative “yes” to both, although I do have many doubts about the quality of the evidence). But it has been continually misrepresented what two “yes” answers means (they imply nothing whatsoever about “catastrophic” dangers or about policy choices), even if one allowed the questions as reasonable.
With your evidence that the “97%” itself is a worthless claim, nothing is left except for honest reasonable people to avoiding citing either the number or the survey AT ALL.
It is worse than worthless, it is active gross deception. Pure propaganda of a vile kind.

pat

fortunately, the carbon cowboys aren’t believers! read it all:
18 July: UK Financial Times: Pilita Clark/Jack Farchy: Carbon prices tumble to record low
Prices for UN-backed carbon credits sank to a record low in morning trading on Wednesday after doubts emerged about European Commission plans to prop up the bloc’s ailing emissions trading market…
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/22951a04-d0f8-11e1-8957-00144feabdc0.html#axzz212LIxfYv

Gail Combs

Thank You for the additional information.
The true story for that survey is in the comments not the “sound bite”

David Ross

Absolutely brilliant! You have done for the consensus what Anthony has done for the temperature record and McIntyre has done with Mann’s hockey stick -revealed the truth.

RoHa

But there is also the Anderegg et.al. paper. This comes to the conclusion that 97% of activley publishing climate scientists believe it.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107

Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
IF this is the real story behind the “97% consensus”, the article only says it is the probable source, it is a gem of a post.
Warmists, please read it and include it in your growing list of ‘reasons’ for at least doubting whether our enthusiastic support for ‘saving the planet from CO2-driven deterioration’.

pat

[SNIP: Way off topic. -REP]

noaaprogrammer

As controlling leftists believe: “Words are meant to shape reality – not report reality.”

Well Done!!! And that is the final roasting temperature that should be reserved for those dimmer of wit who continue using the “97%” terminology!!!

David Ball

Barry, nice weapon of mass deconstruction.

Juan Slayton

To be very fair to him, Zimmerman only came online in September 2011….
I’m easily confused, don’t wanna commit faux pas. Full name is Maggie Kendall Zimmerman. Enlighten me…?

Skiphil

Juan Slayton
Yes it is Margaret or “Maggie” Zimmerman but that is not the reference of the “him” pronoun.
The “him” refers to the unnamed writer discussed just above, not to Zimmerman. The context of the passage is discussing the relatively explosive nature of this information and why the writer had not seen the Zimmerman thesis: [my emphasis]
“I did show a copy of ‘The Consensus on the Consensus’ to a well known writer on the environment,(over a very nice lunch at Brasenose College, Oxford University) who was very interested and whose first response was why are they all so sceptical! And to his credit admitted he was not aware of it, and had not looked at the primary source and he even suggested to me:
‘If I were a sceptical journalist I would make hay with it!”
To be very fair to him, Zimmerman only came online in September 2011, I’m sure I went looking for it before that and could not find it anywhere….”

Theo Barker

RoHa:
Apparently you didn’t read the whole post. Anderegg deconstructed also!

Juan Slayton

Skiphil:
Got it. Thanx.

geoffchambers

Excellent work Barry. I didn’t realise that Zimmerman was Doran’s student and that she did all the spadework. It should be pointed out to defenders of the peer-review system that it has more in common with a mediaeval craft apprenticeship than a disinterested search for truth.

Laneda Wilhite

So much for the 97%! Very effective for citizen fans of good science like me.
However getting the gist of this article out to the public requires a bit more literary work. The article says what needs to be said, but it is not exactly a work of public relations art (nor was it intended to be). Perhaps a credible someone can add a “knockout debunking punch” in the form of and introductory paragraph, plus a similar summary paragraph. The guys in the press (and the headline writers) need these ‘soundbite’ summations. It helps reporters (and the headline writers) to set an accurate ‘must read’ stage for stories about the article without editorializing.

peat

Did the survey really only ask for percentage of papers during the previous five years, without regard for overall research productivity? If so, then someone with only one publication during previous five years, say a newly minted PhD, could in principle qualify as a climate “expert” (with 100% of publications on climate), whereas a prolific researcher with numerous climate publications might not qualify as an “expert” if he/she publishes additionally in another discipline. Surely, a conscientious survey designer would discriminate with another question…

Ally E.

Wow. That is brilliant. Surely a wake up call for many. I hope so. Thank you. 🙂

Jimbo

“..The participants in this group are actively publishing climate scientists, and those most likely to be familiar with the theory and mechanisms of climate change, as well as have a thorough understanding of the current research and be actively contributing to the field..”

I wonder how much the US Government and US organisations spent last year (grants/funding) on ‘climate change research’? How much went to sceptical climate scientists? No wonder there is a ‘consensus’ of ‘climate’ scientists.
The elephant in the room are those who did not participate in the survey (7,111) as opposed to those who responded (3,146). I can only conclude that there is a consensus of AGU scientists who think that AGW is not a serious concern.

Doug UK

WATCH OUT ANTHONY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stoat the scrote – the UK’s very own Wiki truth mangler and spin merchant of doom has got his claws out over your article on the MWP.
I suspect he will be apoplectic over this excellent article.
Keep up the good work! – Watching the likes of Scrote struggling against an upsurge of rejection of his agenda and the colapse of his credibility is a delight to behold.

David Jones

Mr. (Dr?) Woods
Thank you for this post.
This is a keeper, to use on friends who are still believers in the “consensus.”
Thanks you so much.

thingadonta

A group of scientists who are in a consensus with you are in a group who is in a consensus with you (100% of them).
Those who are not in a consensus with you, are in a group who are not in a consensus with you (100% of them).
Accounting for absenteesim, tallying errors, and semantics, when you round it down, you get 97% in both cases.

Arfur Bryant

Excellent work, Barry.
What amazes me is the almost total lack of incredulity by any ‘scientist’ when this survey is mentioned. I’m not sure that 97% of scientists can agree on anything! 🙂

P. Solar

Yet another level of selection bias is idue to the difficulty of getting anything refuting AGW published. This has been a accute problem in the last five years, so preselecting “active climate scientists” on their recent publishing record is yet another way of excluding any dissenting experts from the survey results.
This is an appauling pseudo study, and I congratulated your detailed exposure of this fraud.
I’m sure that Doran and Zimmerman are very happy that they were able to “do their bit” to help save the planet.
Perhaps someone now needs to poll the AGU memebership about whether they think this kind of survey fairly represents the veiws of the membership.

Laneda Wilhite

In addition to the 97% issue this article addresses,a second major concern looms large from a PR standpoint. To establish frontend credibility, cAGW advocates are bolstered by a long list of early endorsements by esteemed professional scientific organizations like the AAAS, the Royal Society, the APS, etc. The way all these professional endorsements were secured needs to be scrutinized like the 97% issue.
Perhaps of even greater import, is this: Is there any way — perhaps an official procedure— to make sure this list of professional society endorsements is up[ to date? After all, the endorsements were made years ago. A lot of new climate data has been developed since then. I don’t know how it’s done, but surely these organizations periodically revisit their positions on major issues like global warming to make sure they are right. Please tell me this is the way it works.
The Great Piltdown Man Hoax, which started in 1913, should have taught them that. Even though the hoax was discovered and thoroughly debunked within a few years, it took four decades (1954) and a major newspaper expose to get our esteemed professional scientific societies to officially recognized that it was all an elaborate hoax.
Let’s hope it doesn’t take that long for professional scientific organizations to get up to date on global warming. It seems to me that Dr. James Lovelock’s recent dramatic reversal on it should be enough to make everybody on the boards of these organizations take a second look. I remember reading being awed (and terribly misled) about Piltdown Man in my elementary school science books in the 1950s. If the scientific organizations really want to make sure their professions are respected by society, their first and most fundamental obligation is to make sure kids are not being taught junk science like that.

Steve C

Thanks, Barry, for a very nice shredding of this waste-paper claim. Ultimately, like so much else in politics, the whole question comes down to perception management: “97% of scientists” … oooh, scary, all those experts think this! … vs. “97% of 0.75% of carefully hand-picked scientists” … meh.

Peter Plail

I like to restate the 97% claim in the following terms:
75 scientists who identified themselves as active climate scientists out of approximately 10,000 scientists polled, agreed with the two statements:
!) Temperatures are warmer now that in the 1800s
2) Humans are a significant contributor to warming temperatures

Excellent work. Thank you very much, Barry Woods, for digging into this and publishing your findings here. Surely the glib usage of this ‘97%’ will be be threatened by it. Of course, like the hockey-stick, the ‘97%’ deceit will be discarded/downplayed as soon as it is clearly an embarassment. By which time of course, it will have done a great deal of damage and the perpetrators of it will want to ‘move on’. But the usage reveals a lack of depth or even integrity that need not be forgotten, for it is relevant to assessing the character and/or the scholarship of those who deployed it, and both of these characteristics are relevant when assessing whatever these people produce from whatever they move on to next.
I have added a link to here in my own comments (http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/teach-them-about-this-deeply-deceptive.html) on this statistic. The argument from authority must necessarily carry a lot of weight for those putting together school curricula. I think you have helped undermine a part of that authority, but of course the task of getting that through to others is likely to be a long one.

Brian H

Part of the travesty is the assumption that there is such a critter as a “climate scientist”. This concocted construction has zero academic or other history, and if any set of qualifications and expertise for it were to be drawn up it would encompass everything from mathematics to physics to statistics to hydrology to chemistry to biology to model development to geology and much more. No human with all the requisite skills and background exists.
As for the Hokey Team, it is composed of Jackasses of all Sciences, Masters of None.

Martin Lack

You should not always believe what you read in newspapers, Barry.

biff33

EOS article:
“It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.” (emphasis added)
Kendall Zimmerman survey on which it is based (page 33):
“Q3a: If participants responded that they do believe human activity is a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures, they were directed to question 3a, which asked, ‘What do you consider to be the most compelling argument that supports your previous answer (that human activity IS a significant factor is changing mean global temperatures)?’
“74.2% of U.S. participants, compared to 71% of international participants, answered ‘the coupled change in atmospheric CO2 and increasing temperatures’ (option 1).
“9.6% of U.S. participants responded with ‘the rate of glacial and sea ice melt’ (option 2), while 12.8% of international respondents answered the same way (Figure 16).”
In other words, the “nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes” upon which the majority of scientists whose expertise is greatest base their answer is: correlation. That is, these experts wrongly take correlation as implying causation. The next most compelling argument is ice melt, which, as most of us non-experts know, implies nothing about causation.
On page 56, referring to a side-by-side comparison of increasingly specialized levels of expertise, the study says:
“Across all demographics, the vast majority of those who thought human activity was a significant driving factor in changing temperatures thought that the most compelling argument for the role of human activity was the coupled changed in atmospheric CO2 and the rise in temperatures. This trend generally became more pronounced as expertise increased.” (emphasis added)

Evan Jones

Anyone out there who played Ultima VII, The Black Gate back in the day?
Think of Michael Mann as “Owen the Shipwright”. The analogy is eerily apt.
(The survey will have probably been filtered down to the “Shippies” therein.)

Joe

It’s a bit lke a cat food advert – “of 2% of respondents (who experssed a preference for our viewpoint), 97% agreed we’re right”

Gail Combs

RoHa says:
July 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm
But there is also the Anderegg et.al. paper. This comes to the conclusion that 97% of activley publishing climate scientists believe it….
_________________________________
No it means that the 97% of scientists interested in their pay checks and willing to “Compromise” put the get out of jail (peer-review) free card on their papers and went along with the crowd. The climate gate e-mails and other evidence shows how those scientists and journal editors who did not toe the “party line” were harrassed/and/or fired and papers by those scientists were not allowed to be published while utter trash was waved through as long as it had the magic pass words supporting Anthropogenic Global Warming
Stephen H. Schneider combined with the “The authors declare no conflict of interest. on the website you quoted is the real laugh. Since Schneider is the guy who said in an email
The social tipping phemenona I mentioned seem to be building: from Katrina, Gore movie, high roller corporate support for policy growing fast and media covering less of the crazies is all contributing to positive movement towards some policy at aggregate level–whether it is more than band-aid remains to be seen, but we are finally moving…. http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2011/12/january-warmist-steven-schneider.html
Stephen H. Schneider is also the guy who said:

… And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have….

What is really fun is to look at a much earlier quote:

….Can we do these things? Yes. But will they make things better? I’m not sure. We can’t predict with any certainty what’s happening to our own climatic future. How can we come along and intervene then in that ignorance? ….

That was back in 1978 when Stevey was pushing – wait for it – THE COMING ICE AGE! link Seems Stevey makes sure he is in the limelight no matter which way the earth’s climate bounces.
Now how was that again that good old Stevey is an UNBIASED scientists???
Look at

Email 4687
I also sympathise with having a ‘dangerous moron for a President’ – indeed the world has gone mad. So let’s make a difference in what we can do to promote justice and equity

Yeah, right this guy is no “Scientist” he is a Political Activist using CAGW to push the UN’s version of Socialism – Sustainability aka Agenda 21. It is no wonder John Holdren the guy who wanted to De-develop the USA for decades wrote the introduction to Schneider’s Climate Change Science and Policy.

Gail Combs

Laneda Wilhite says:
July 19, 2012 at 2:01 am
…..Perhaps of even greater import, is this: Is there any way — perhaps an official procedure— to make sure this list of professional society endorsements is up to date? ….
____________________________–
The problem with the “official endorsement” of CAGW by professional organizations is two fold.
1. Many members quit over the “official endorsement” issue.
2. There was no vote by the membership, it was a decision made by the administration types.
See: American Chemical Society members revolting against their editor for pro AGW views
The correct way to combat this problem is for a current member of each society to get an old membership list, say around 2005, and a current membership list. Create an honest poll including why did you leave the society for former members and ASK the membership what their actual take on CAGW is and have they published any papers related to climate.
The Oregon Institute petition for example was signed by 31,072 Americans with college degrees in science includes 9,021 with Ph.D. degrees in various scientific fields.
What I found very interesting about the poll under discussion is that there are ONLY 75 scientists who are considered “Active Climate Scientists” who agree with CAGW or at least the biased questions. That is a heck of a small number when you think about it. The most recent one says that in 2009, there were 49,562 doctorates awarded in the United States in all science and engineering fields…. there were 2,398 PhDs awarded in chemistry and 859 in biochemistry.
A consensus??? No way in Hades!

Gail Combs

Martin Lack says:
July 19, 2012 at 3:19 am
You should not always believe what you read in newspapers, Barry.
____________________________________
Huh?
Barry is quoting from the actual paper not a newspaper. The newspaper grunts are the ones who ran with the sound bite and never bothered to spend the $2 and a few minutes to check out the actual survey. If they bothered to they would have had a REAL STORY but their editors whould have cut the story anyway. (Those pension funds in “Green Corporations” speak loudly)

Gail Combs

Oh and speaking of pension funds in “Green Corporations” We will know the fight has finally been won when the Hedge Fund manipulators start moving funds OUT of “Green Corporations” This will happen BEFORE the MSM abandons ship. Think about the Guardian’s pension fund, when it moves CAGW is truly dead.

Peter Traskey

It may be a simple typo, but “appendix” singular or “appendixes/appendices” plural. “Appendi” is not a word (yet, but who knows?).
ptraskey

David L. Hagen

Contrast Zimmerman with the Petition Project signed by 31,478 American scientists with university degrees.

“We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
There is no convincing evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

This was

. . .signed by 31,478 Americans with university degrees in science, including 9,029 . . . who hold Ph.D.s, 7,153 who hold an MS, 2,585 who hold MDs or DVMs, and 12,711 who hold a BS or equivalent academic degrees. Most of the MD and DVM signers also have underlying degrees in basic science.

.
Craig Idso and S. Fred Singer, Climate Change Reconsidered: 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2009. Appendix 4: The Petition Project PDF (1.8 MB)
As a scientist in America, I signed this petition. The more I learn of climate science and the related adaptation vs mitigation issues, the more I am convinced by the evidence that petition is still accurate.
For those looking for superficial statistics, one could say that more than 91% of scientists in America who signed the Zimmerman and Oregon petitions are convinced that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming neither is happening nor will happen in the future. {(31478/(3146 + 31478)=90.9%}
Albert Einstein

“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

Science is base not on “consensus” but on objective truth. i.e., whether a model is falsifiable and whether it has been validated or rejected based on objective empirical evidence.
Is it even possible to “verify” climate models, let alone “validate” them?
The mean 0.2 C/decade trend of IPCC models is now at the upper 2 sigma trend boundary for the last 32 years data, Red Corrected 0.138C/dec [0.083, 0.194]. Can the IPCC models now be “rejected”? (i.e., > 98% of all trends based on 32 years of evidence is cooler than the IPCC mean trend.)
See Lucia Liljegren, The Blackboard, UAH TLT Anomaly Trend from Jan 1980 through 6, 2012.
See also: Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.14 C per decade
Global Temperature Report: June 2012 From The University Of Alabama At Huntsville c/o Pielke, Sr.

rogerknights

The opinions of these experts are not something we are bound to accept at face value, without knowing about their opinions on other climate-related controversies that we laymen are better able to form opinions on. From that, we can judge whether this 97% is likely to be competent and objective in its consensus on abstruse controversies.
So the original pollsters should be urged, loudly and repeatedly, to conduct a follow-up poll of the 77 containing questions such as those below. (Nearly all of these questions could be subdivided.) In addition, they should commit to conducting additional follow-up every four years. These will give snapshot of contemporary expert opinion on a range of topics that will be very helpful to forensic sociologists in the future. Ultimately, these surveys will become the most-cited articles in the scientific literature. (Evil grin.)
My versions are crude first drafts. A polished version should contain well-expressed quotes from four or five commenters all along the opinion-spectrum on some topic (perhaps with two or three quotes for each “point” on the specrum) and the respondent should be asked which set of opinions most closely reflects his own. He should be allowed to vote for an in-between position as well. And he should be allowed to skip questions.
1. Climategate. Do you think it was a tempest in a teapot, something mildly worrying, very worrying, or a peak under the rock of climatology? (I haven’t spelled out the questions that follow to this extent.)
2. The Hockey Stick. To what extent do you think the original study has been debunked?
3. To what extent do you think its conclusions are still true regardless?
4. Extinctions. How many are likely under a business as usual scenario by 2050? By 2100? Etc.
5. Extreme weather. Under a business as usual scenario, what opinion do you have about an increase or decrease in (tornados, hurricanes, droughts, floods, earthquakes, hail, snow, etc.)
6. Sea level. Under a business as usual scenario, what opinion do you have about an increase or decrease in it?
7. Global ice extent. Under a business as usual scenario, what opinion do you have about an increase or decrease in it?
8. Arctic sea ice. Ditto.
9. Land ice on Greenland and Antarctica. Ditto.
10. Methane release from permafrost. How worrisome a problem under business as usual?
11. How closely will global temperature anomalies match the IPCC’s scenarios over the next 5 / 10 / 20 years?
12. The “missing” tropical hotspot. How much of a problem is this?
13. The “missing” heat. How much of a problem is this?
14. The IPCC and its reports. How credible? (This question could be broken down into many smaller questions.)
15. The IAC’s criticisms of the IPCC. How justified?
16. Renewables. How soon do you think they will be cost-competitive with fossil fuel (assuming all costs are accounted for)?
17. How soon would they be cost-competitive if fossil fuel “subsidies” were removed?
18. Should move to renewables now even if CO2 weren’t a problem?
19. Biofuel and ethanol. Worth continuing?
20. Nuclear power. What do you think about moving to it?
21. Hydropower. Should there be more or less of it?
22. Cold fusion. Should it be funded?
23. Amory Lovins. Your opinion?
24. The Third World. If they won’t agree to match the pace of the West’s emission reductions, should we reduce our emissions sharply anyway?
25. If they do agree to match our reductions, how well do you think they will actually perform?
26. Climate contrarians. What do you think of climatologists who hold contrarian views?
27. What do you think on non-climatologist scientists who hold contrarian views?
28. What do you think of laymen who hold contrarian views?
29. “The time for debate is over—the time for action has begun.” (Gore, approximately.) Do you agree?
30. Debates. What sort of debate would you think would be fair/worthwhile, if any?
31. Peer review. Is it fair, or is there a bias against contrarian views?
32. Funding. Is it fair, or is there a bias against contrarian views?
33. Does climatology need more funding, and if so, how much? And for what purposes?
34. Media. How fairly do you think the mass media have handled the global warming topic? (This question could be subdivided by types of media, country of media, level of media, etc.)
35. “Silent Spring.” Your opinion?
36. Cap and Trade. What’s your opinion?
37. Global financial crisis. How much of a problem will this be for funding a switch to renewables?
38. Popular backlash against increased fuel & power bills. How much of a problem might this become?
39. Agenda 21. Your opinion?
40. The EU. Your opinion?
I’ll probably think of twenty more by tomorrow. These are all “off the top of my head,” typing as fast as I could. Please repost freely. This sort of challenge is the only effective counterpoint we can make to the 97% meme.

Ron Clutz

You haven’t mentioned the selection bias in sending out the survey to some and not other scientists. They included those working for academic or governmental institutions.
“The two researchers started by altogether excluding from their survey the thousands of scientists most likely to think that the Sun, or planetary movements, might have something to do with climate on Earth – out were the solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists and astronomers. That left the 10,257 scientists in disciplines like geology, oceanography, paleontology, and geochemistry that were somehow deemed more worthy of being included in the consensus. The two researchers also decided that scientific accomplishment should not be a factor in who could answer – those surveyed were determined by their place of employment (an academic or a governmental institution). Neither was academic qualification a factor – about 1,000 of those surveyed did not have a PhD, some didn’t even have a master’s diploma.” From L. Solomon

For those of you interested, I highly recommend people look into Anderegg et al. If you read it properly, (yes it is difficult to look at excrement that long and hard) then you can see where Anderegg actually makes the case and quite clearly demonstrates that there is no consensus.
Even by their very flawed selection process, the base selection came to a ratio of 903:472. 2/3 alarmists 1/3 skeptics. But again, that’s by a very flawed selection process, for instance, they assume all participants of the IPCC AR4 WG1 are warmists. Their selection process of skeptics was very limited. Any objective process would get one much closer to 50:50.
Their determination of authority was hilarious. Google scholar with the word “climate” and the researchers name. Guess who uses the word climate more often?
Because of their methodology, one of the papers counting towards alarmist creds was 1000 years of climate variability in central Asia: assessing the evidence using Lake Baikal (Russia) diatom assemblages and the application of a diatom-inferred … (AW Mackay, DB Ryves, RW Battarbee) ….. that’s my fav because it confirms the MWP and LIA.
I believe, but haven’t taken the time to confirm, that Steve Schneider’s papers about global cooling also are used to buttress the “expert credentials” of the alarmists.
You can read about it here….. http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/anderegg-et-al-revisited/

So the big question here was “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”
I want to illustrate just how minor the implication of a “yes” to that question is.
Say the mean temperature of a house is 60 F. Then three people, Jim, John, and Jill, walk into the house, and each of them has a body temperature of about 99 F. They are all the same size.
Now, if I were to ask you, “Do you think Jim is a significant contributing factor in changing the mean temperature of the house?” You would have to say “yes”, because Jim is responsible for 1/3 of the change in the house’s mean temperature (John and Jill are responsible for the remaining 2/3s of the change).
But of course this would not even come close suggesting that Jim is dangerously warming the house.
I think this is the most important point to emphasize when debating the implications of this survey.

R2DTOO

I’m surprised that the Oregon Petition hasn’t had more play in the media. I also note the absence of other than U.S. signatories- was it U.S. only. Recently, I saw reference to another list of about 1000 names. My question is along the lines of are there any ongoing surveys/petitions etc. A huge list (fresh and verified) would make a great talking point in the current election cycle in the States. Any references to such efforts would be appreciated, as my fellow Canadians often use the “97%” phrase.

jaymam

Brian H says:
July 19, 2012 at 2:59 am
Part of the travesty is the assumption that there is such a critter as a “climate scientist”… No human with all the requisite skills and background exists.
================================================
An excellent point, and very worthy of further discussion, and ideally a whole article by itself.

Keith Battye

Gail Combs says:
July 19, 2012 at 5:48 am (Edit)
Oh and speaking of pension funds in “Green Corporations” We will know the fight has finally been won when the Hedge Fund manipulators start moving funds OUT of “Green Corporations” This will happen BEFORE the MSM abandons ship. Think about the Guardian’s pension fund, when it moves CAGW is truly dead.
————————————————————————
Gail you are prodigious . . . you have an endless stream of facts and a great delivery.
btw . . the BBC pension fund is “green”. They are heavily invested and seem to have lost a great deal of value over the last 5 years.

Jim G

It is even worse than I thought, the study, that is.