The mental effect of the '97% consensus' myth spans politics

Aaron M. McCright – duped by the 97% consensus number

But, we all know that 97% consensus talking point is simply based on a handful of actual climate  responding to a broad questionnaire combined with some statistical spin to give the desired result. Apparently, that’s good enough for low information folks, even the researcher in this story, MSU’s Aaron M. McCright is taken in by the spin.

From Michigan State University:

US residents who believe in the scientific consensus on global warming are more likely to support government action to curb emissions, regardless of whether they are Republican or Democrat, according to a study led by a Michigan State University sociologist.

However, a political divide remains on the existence of climate change despite the fact that the vast majority of scientists believe it is real, said Aaron M. McCright, associate professor in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Sociology.

The study, in the journal Climatic Change, is one of the first to examine the influence of political orientation on perceived scientific agreement and support for government action to reduce emissions.

“The more people believe scientists agree about climate change, the more willing they are to support government action, even when their party affiliation is taken into account,” McCright said. “But there is still a political split on levels of perceived scientific agreement, in that fewer Republicans and conservatives than Democrats and liberals believe there is a scientific consensus.”

McCright and colleagues analyzed a Gallup survey of 1,024 adults who were asked about their views on climate change.

The results reaffirm the success of what McCright calls the “denial machine” – an organized movement to undercut the scientific reality of climate change during the past two decades.

McCright said the first step in dealing with climate change is getting both sides of the political spectrum to accept the scientific consensus. At that point, he said, policymakers can go about the task of coming up with an approach to combat it.

He said both government and industry should be involved in that effort.

“Certainly we can’t solve all our problems with global warming through government regulations – in fact, for some problems, government regulations might make it worse,” McCright said. “And so we need a combination of market-based solutions and government regulations.”

McCright’s co-authors are Riley Dunlap of Oklahoma State University and Chenyang Xiao of American University.

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April 29, 2013 12:37 pm

“US residents who believe in the scientific consensus on global warming are more likely to support government action to curb emissions, regardless of whether they are efficiency or Democrat, according to a study led by a Michigan State University sociologist.”
In other news, gullibility highly correlates with being hoodwinked.

April 29, 2013 12:39 pm

The simple point that make here is that even most “skeptics” and “deniers” agree with those 97% of climate change specialists who say human activities are a “significant contributing factor” to global temperature change.

April 29, 2013 12:43 pm

Shows the importance of making sure people know the farce behind that 97% figure.

April 29, 2013 12:43 pm

@DirkH – “In other news, gullibility highly correlates with being hoodwinked.”
Beat me to the punch line.

Bruce Cobb
April 29, 2013 12:46 pm

Mcright is oh so wrong. Possibly from all the McScience he’s read.

John Mason
April 29, 2013 12:46 pm

“However, a political divide remains on the existence of climate change despite the fact that the vast majority of scientists believe it is real, said Aaron M. McCright, associate professor in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Sociology.”
The double-speak propaganda is so thick, the authors of things these days don’t even realize they have been baited.
Everyone believes the climate changes. If anything, the skeptics are the side that believes climate changes more so than the warmists that cling to their idea of a steady state climate if not for man burning fossil fuel.
As we head into the next ice age the warmists can still blame ‘climate change’ on man since the very idea of pretending ‘climate change’ is subject to debate means no premise can be falsified.
As a computer software engineer, the complete illogical way the warmists are framing the debate drives me nuts! (and since I got my start in this field in modeling simulations, the way models are accorded the status of empirical facts completes my trip to the nuthouse)

April 29, 2013 12:49 pm

Goebbels: “Yo hitler unless we get everyone to agree that the jews are a problem through authoritarian means. We will never be able to enact a proper solution.”
Too soon?
Never surprising when a member of the department of naziology/commieology comes out to support clearly authoritarian fallacy.

Richard deSousa
April 29, 2013 12:51 pm

There is no such thing as Scientific Consensus in science! There have been too many past examples of scientific consensus being flawed!

April 29, 2013 12:51 pm

Ian Weiss says:
“The simple point that make here is that even most ‘skeptics’ and ‘deniers’ agree with those 97% of climate change specialists who say human activities are a ‘significant contributing factor’ to global temperature change.”
Well, that’s wrong.
Take out the “significant”, and a lot of us would agree with you.

Box of Rocks
April 29, 2013 12:51 pm

“Far better to debate a subject without settling it, than it to settle a subject without debating it.”
On the wall behind a High School debate coach.

April 29, 2013 12:54 pm

No one denies Earth’s climate changes. But there is a double mythical consensus here: (1) that 97% agree climate change is happening, and (2) that 97% agree climate change MUST be attributed to human causes. What’s more, the very people arguing Earth’s dynamic climate is changing all the time (and therefore a natural phenomenon) are the very people accused of denying the climate changes at all. The distinction between natural and anthropogenic climate change must be emphasized.

April 29, 2013 1:00 pm

Of course, being a proud member of the denial machine it is hilarious when those poor government funded buffoons can’t seem to defeat poorly funded folks like us. The only real consensus they have is trying to find a way to discredit people like us. To that end, Anthony is of course Satan.

April 29, 2013 1:00 pm

31,000+ scientists signed the Oregon Petition stating that there is no discernible effect of man’s activities or carbon dioxide on climate.
The best estimate I’ve seen of the number of hardcore AGW fanatics among “scientists” is about 70.
That works out to about a 450 to 1 majority of scientists who DON’T buy into the AGW fantasy.
And that’s 0.22 percent (2/9 of one percent) of scientists supporting the fantasy, NOT 97 percent.

April 29, 2013 1:04 pm

The same people who are constantly accusing the U.S. and the West of ‘not doing enough’ always seem to turn a blind eye to China and other polluting countries.
The U.S. is reducing emissions; but most Kyoto signatory nations are raising their emission output. The U.S. is a net CO2 sink. Most emitted CO2 comes from the Southern Hemisphere.

April 29, 2013 1:05 pm

MSU professor? Stick to what your school is known for and go burn a couch or something.

April 29, 2013 1:09 pm

If you keep telling the same lies you start to believe in the them

April 29, 2013 1:13 pm

Sociology is one of those sciences about like economics, i.e. pseudoscience, so what do you expect?

Bruce Cobb
April 29, 2013 1:19 pm

I’m pretty sure the consensus that climate changes, always has, and always will is closer to 100%.
Oh – he means manmade warming/climate change/disruption/chaos/extreme weather. Have they decided which one yet? Pretty hard to even have a “consensus” when they keep moving the goal posts and changing the rules. Maybe if they could pick just one thing and stick with it, then they could claim a “consensus” about that.

April 29, 2013 1:26 pm

dbstealey, I think you mean Eastern, not Southern.

more soylent green.
April 29, 2013 1:26 pm

Ahem — recall the recent article about Lysenkoism and my comment about second-rate science in the soft sciences?

April 29, 2013 1:36 pm

I used this reference for my CO2 emissions comment. Check out the map.

Janice Moore
April 29, 2013 1:41 pm

Old Sea Dog, I think you and dbstealey probably both agree with each other on both of the points each of you is making. [#:)]
I thought the same thing, OSD, BTW, I thought db meant the net loss of CO2 from the U.S. west coast to the east due to generally prevailing westerlies and forests etc absorbing it.

Tom G(ologist)
April 29, 2013 1:44 pm

Knowledge is Power! The power to be free of coersion and fear and bullying and intimidation.
His paper is fudamentally flawed. He is presenting an ‘objective’ report of a supposedly objective sampling. However, he revelas his bias in the manner in which he characterises the ‘denal machine’ He would not be allowed to sit on a jury on any case where he held such strong views (for or against) on the issue under consideration. Hist statments undercut his credibliity.

April 29, 2013 1:45 pm

Re soft sciences: Capitalism, faithfully practiced (i.e., not distorted by cronyism and government manipulation of markets), is scientific; the Marxist brand of “economics” practiced by the AGW crowd is no more scientific than their lies abnout climate change.
Economics may be an inexact science, but really, so are the physical sciences. The best theories are still only approximations, and can always be replaced by better approximations (e.g., Newton by relativity). And this is why the whole notion of “consensus” is so anti-scientific, and why skeptics will always hold not only the moral high ground but also the factual high ground in the contest with AGW true believers.
The fact that all science is approximation does not speak ill of it – it only reflects the simple truth that skepticism is the essence of science, and that there can be no end to scientific inquiry and investigation even with respect to the most widely accepted theories. Inexact sciences are still science if they adhere to the scientific method and are founded on empirical evidence.
AGW is not even an inexact science, because it is not science at all. It is mendacious propaganda, which is the absolute opposite of science.

james grifin
April 29, 2013 1:52 pm

In 2004 with no further warming for 6 years and CO2 increasing the AGW crowd were in big trouble…..Made even worse by the Aqua Satellite’s failure to find any warming of the Tropical Troposphere since it’s launch in 2002 (and still no trace to this day). This being the case “Global Warming” became “Climate Change”…a deliberate way of misleading the gullible, in other words all weather events are by implication “man made”.
A poll was conducted that came up with a 97% consensus that scientists believed in “Climate Change”….and thus the myth continued. In fact they appear to have only polled 77 “scientists” and we are not sure what the question was. To challenge this is quite easy as in the USA there was huge opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, so much so that The Oregon Petition came into being and was signed by 31,000 scientists who gave their names and qualifications…9,000 had PhDs. Just to cancel this out the warmers would need to produce 970,000 scientific signatures to back up their 97% consensus claim…not a chance.
The planet is now in an early phase of cooling and with the additional embarrassment of CO2’s ability to create heat now being corrected to logarithmic as opposed to linear the game is up. All we get from the warmers is the usual nonsense of “our models predict”…reality has passed them by.

April 29, 2013 1:56 pm
Tom J
April 29, 2013 1:57 pm

So sociologists are now jockeying to get in on the action, eh? Since it appears the politically driven climate scientists, politicians, and Eco-warriors have not been fully successful in getting the public to wholeheartedly embrace economic suicide it seems the sociological community is now hoping to show the way with a ‘scientific’ based manipulation of the public into this suicidal venture. Since a scientific analysis of human behavior will likely be found wanting in the sought manipulation I wonder if psychiatric hospitals in Siberia are next on the agenda.

April 29, 2013 2:17 pm

dbstealey, apologies, when you cited China I thought you were referring to anthropomorphically generated CO2.
I am surprised to see from the map that RSA appears to generate more CO2 than China, though.

Janice Moore
April 29, 2013 2:20 pm

Chuck Wozniak: Good evening! For tonight’s “Truth in Science” show, we join Aaron McCright at McDonald’s. Thanks for joining us, this evening, Mr. McCright. This is your favorite table, I take it?
McC: Uh, no, where I sit just depends on how I feel about it.
[cutting out all the chit chat about McC’s hobbies and personal life]
CW: In the article you wrote recently on the effects of perceived agreement among perceived authorities you take as a given that 97% of “scientists” believe that humans can meaningfully affect the earth’s overall climate. I did a little research. I found that:
“31,000+ scientists signed the Oregon Petition stating that there is no discernible [human impact] on climate. The best estimate of the [number of committed, AGW believing,] “scientists” is about 70. [Thus,] about a 450:1 majority of scientists … [are not part of the “consensus”]. [That is, only] [POINT]22 percent of scientists [are part of the “consensus”] NOT 97 percent. How can you believe .22 percent is a “consensus”? [chuckwozniak @1300 on 4/29/13]
McC: [aside: because my government handler and grant rep. told me that] Well, er, THAT’ s because there is a mediable standardizable means tested modeling formula that shows that those 70 scientists are the only scientists that count.
CW: Oh. So it’s not who votes (or signs petitions), “it’s who counts the votes,” hm?
McC: [glaring] No. All those other scientists are PAID BY BIG OIL. So, they don’t count.
CW: Proof?
McC: NO!!! You can just tell by what they say!!!!
CW: A real scientist wouldn’t make a statement like that.
McC: [standing up, shoving table away from him] Oookay, end of interview. [stomps out]
CW: [smiling wryly] And that, folks, is what you top 3%-ers are getting for your tax dollars at MSU. Odd, isn’t it? A good estimate of how much of the CO2 in the atmosphere THAT is NOT due to humans is 97%… . Well, whatever the absolute number of “scientists” is in the 97%, it’s clear that only the top 3% got a passing grade in Truth in Science. Until next time, I’m Chuck Wozniak, good night from McDonald’s!
Announcer: Watch next week as we show you archival film footage of THE GREAT ICE AGE SCARE.

more soylent green.
April 29, 2013 2:24 pm

It’s not supposed to be about belief, or submitting to expert opinion or groupthink or following the herd. It’s about evaluating the evidence. The 97% concensus claim isn’t evidence. First of all, it’s not true. Second, it’s just appeal to authority.
This is the mindset that infects American academia and liberalism. They don’t believe in democracy, they believe in a dictatorship of the technocrats. Nicely dovetailing into this is their belief that they are smarter than you, so they should be in charge. Just let the scientists, lawyers, activists, bureaucrats, technicrats and policitians run things and the world would be a better place.

April 29, 2013 2:28 pm

Oh, baloney. I have linked here before on all the aspects of education reform tied to creating influential false beliefs tied to Climate Change. What I have not explained is the related Cronyism and Regional Equity tied to restructuring the inner city urban economies based on the so-called presumption of a Climate Change crisis. And just to make sure we get this whether we want it or not federal revenue sharing to states and cities is being restructured to entice local officials to go along.
All of this is about power. Preserving political power. Keeping public sector jobs even in parts of the country where few want to live and industry has been driven away. By parasitical public sector behavior that need not reform. No we’ll just ship taxes from the Southeast and Texas to the so-called Blue Hells. OECD, UN agencies, the World Bank-everyone wants this excuse to manage all aspects of our lives with THEIR tax free salaries and lucrative benefits intact.

April 29, 2013 2:30 pm

It is worth repeating what these 97% of climate scientists (77 of 79) agreed with in the Doran and Zimmerman survey. The questions were

1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

There is nothing about the future forecast of catastrophic global warming.
Another who used this survey was Stephan Lewandowsky in his “NASA faked the moon landings..” paper.

April 29, 2013 2:31 pm

Gallup survey of 1,024 adults who were asked about their views on climate change.
Even sociologists can be weasels…..

David Wells
April 29, 2013 2:47 pm

Confusing terminology, if the planet warms is that climate change? If the climate changes then are the scientists talking about the same thing? Yes the climate has changed, sometimes it got hotter and sometimes it got cooler, if anyone denies that then can they rightly continue employment under the title of scientist? You have to admit that the climate does change, sometimes a lot but that does not mean it is because of Co2, lumping all of the climate gibberish together and conflating the terminology just confuses the argument. Yesterday in Death Valley it was 111f and no one died, yet, they were riding bikes in leathers and driving Corvettes I was taking photographs at the bottom of Zabriskie Point and had to climb out and at the bottom it was hotter than 111f and surprise I am still here but had I not kept a bottle of water with me then it might have been different.

Janice Moore
April 29, 2013 2:51 pm

True, Robin. Sad, but, true. There are in the Cult of Climatology:
1) true believers in fantasy science;
2) those who believe in themselves and are making a lot of money off fantasy science; and
3) the Cult Leaders — who are in it for, as you stated so well, POWER.
Truth, will, however, stand the test of time and will, in the end prevail. While the war between the Liars and the Truthtellers is perennial, the AGW battle is lost. It’s just a matter of time. The public funds based on AGW to the Blue Hells, such as the one I live in (like, wow, man, thanks for the new wetlands swamp and the solar panels for my medical marijuana grow-op, Texas) (aaack!) will end. Good will come from that battle being won, despite the overall war continuing.
The war for truth will go on, but on a different battleground. “Public safety” is always a good standby — Bawney Fwank already told us we need to spend lots of money on Homeland Security if we want to keep Boston Massacres from happening (no, that’s not logical, but, it does prove the point, [sigh]).
The war for truth is noble and worth fighting. The battles won DO result in much good for humanity. That we will never win them all is not a reason to throw up our hands and just quit.
Your comment is good and true, BUT, it does more to demoralize the troops than to rally them to fight on for victory. Defeatism is powerful. We must NEVER GIVE IN.

April 29, 2013 2:53 pm

My guess is that McCright is either too lazy to find out where the 97% lie came from, or investigated and does not understand that it is bogus, or has such a strong commitment to the Climate Change myths that the facts are unimportant.
His area is the sociology of science (how does science make us feel, and how can we manipulate it to make us feel warm and fuzzy while gaining power over the people), so he has no interest in determining if anything he says or writes is actually true.
He is an embarrassment to his employer. However, he is apparently very good at getting grants, so they will likely continue to excuse his incompetence.
After looking over the list of his publications, I am left wondering how he tricked anyone into paying him to produce them. Strikes me as a complete waste of time and effort.

Janice Moore
April 29, 2013 2:55 pm

Agreed, David Wells. Glad you took that water! Did you check out D. Nuccitelli’s little bike? THAT would be a death trap for sure — it could never carry all the water he would need for the 12 hours it would take him to cross Death Valley on the little thing.

April 29, 2013 2:56 pm

Why does the first step have to be acceptance of the “crisis” by both sides of politics?
Why can’t the greens embrace building nuclear reactors to decarbonise the economy, and stop antagonising us with carbon pricing?
As Watts posted recently, most skeptics love nuclear power. Creating a decarbonisation policy we want should be a no brainer.
The only explanation which makes sense for this bizarre “blind spot” is that lefties and greens don’t really care about decarbonisation – they simply see it as a convenient excuse for forcing their political agenda on us.

April 29, 2013 2:57 pm

When was the last time 97% agreed with this fraud ?? What’s the number now, April, 2013 ??
Even dimwits, including credentialed dimwits, must be seeing the light ?? Surely it’s down below 96% by now ?
I’m guessing that less than 9.7% would put their names to IT now, whatever IT is.
Could a warmista troll please re-identify what IT is that we’re supposed to be skeptical about?

April 29, 2013 3:02 pm

While we in the West have “Professors” in Sociology” and other non subjects, Asia is doubling up on proper scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
And we wonder why we are falling further and further behind economically.

Gil Dewart
April 29, 2013 3:04 pm

We’ve been having a lot of numbers, especially percentages, thrown at us lately: 99%, 97%, 47%, 1%, etc. After centuries there is still something magical about numbers for us. Beware! Just bestowing a number on something doesn’t make it any more valid.

April 29, 2013 3:17 pm

I reckon we should do a count of all the published climate science papers and see how many disprove AGW. Could be a worthy crowd-sourcing project from this site, like the surface stations project. If Anthony or some others have the time of course. It’s probably a big ask.

April 29, 2013 3:17 pm

Chad Wozniak says:
April 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm
Thats well said Chad. Sociology and pychology both have basicly the same effects in them. You have a very bias non-science group that tries to forcable explain everything through what end run is marxist/collectivist bigotry vs a very very small group that does real science. They prey on the stupid and foolish and push an anti-science agenda.

April 29, 2013 3:27 pm

…..even the researcher in this story, MSU’s Aaron M. McCright is taken in by the spin.

Or maybe he is aware that it’s just spin and is part of the new Lysenkoism of global warming ooops, climate change.
Consensus has nothing to do with being right or wrong. It has no place in science. It’s a con job and an appeal to authority………..the last refuge of the rogue. History is going to judge these people as a bunch of sheep following the money. Sad.

Dan Evans
April 29, 2013 3:29 pm

Is that a typo in the first sentence? Did you mean “climate scientists”?

Ian Weiss
April 29, 2013 3:35 pm

Folks, it sure seems to me that the most sensible way to deal with this “97%” thing is to point out that what those 97% of climate change specialists were saying – that human activity is a significant contributing factor in global temperature change – is perfectly consistent with skeptic’s position. “Significant contributing factor” could mean as little as 5% or so!

April 29, 2013 3:55 pm

Ian Weiss is correct. For laymen, “significant” means “important”, “major”, “overwhelming”, or other such synonym for big.
Those who analyse data, though, use “significant” as meaning “enough to be detectable above the noise”, as in “statistically significant”.
I would also agree with those 75 or 77 scientists polled, in that yes, it is no warmer than during the Little Ice Age, and yes there ought to be a discernible human contribution (if we could somehow differentiate between it and the other factors).
But I still don’t see CO2 as being the Great Climate Boogeyman, nor do I see evidence of the climate’s sensitivity to the stuff being much greater than the calculable and experimentally established value of a mere 1.2 degrees per doubling.

April 29, 2013 4:11 pm

Hmmm… I meant to say that “it is now warmer”, not that it is “no warmer”.

April 29, 2013 4:12 pm

It’s not just the 97% factor that irks me, it’s the ‘97% of scientists from 100% of science academies‘ banter that they have shooting around of late.

April 29, 2013 4:15 pm

97% is a preposterous number. You couldn’t get 97% of Italians to agree that the Pope is Catholic.

Lil Fella from OZ
April 29, 2013 4:17 pm

Einstein’s view of consensus….
Einstein’s comments: “It doesn’t take 100 scientists to prove me wrong. It takes a single fact.”

Janice Moore
April 29, 2013 4:38 pm

Re: Climatology Cult Lies Getting Worse — AGW’s Death Throes
“… it’s the ‘97% of scientists from 100% of science academies‘ banter that they have shooting around of late.” [BruceC @1612 on 4/29/13]
Yes, distressing indeed. Yet, while their gall is appalling, the increasing volume of the BUZZZZZing from the Cult is a sign of hope!
At THE END of the summer, when temperatures are dropping, and THEY KNOW THEIR DOOM IS NEAR, the scourge of flies around the farm is at its worst. Bwah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, haaaaaaaaa!
The prophets of Baal come to mind. “… ‘O Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response … At noon, Elijah began to taunt them. ‘Shout louder!’ he said. … So they shouted louder … and they continued their frantic prophesying until … evening … .” [I Kings18:26-29]
“…NEANDERTHALS…”! “…NEANDERTHALS…”!!!!! “…NEANDERTHALS…”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[And John Hultquist’s nice analogy to “Baghdad Bob” from a couple weeks ago comes to mind]

April 29, 2013 4:42 pm

‘despite the fact that the vast majority of scientists believe it is real, said Aaron M. McCright,’
Actual no survey , questioner nor research has ever been done which can validly make this claim , its in no way a ‘fact’ by any decent measure you care to use. Unless this author can make the case that in the world there only 77 scientists which is where the BS 97% comes from .
And not one scientific institute has polled their members on this issue to get their views .
Another piece of research whose standard would be unacceptable if used by an undergraduate writing an essay, and once again I have to ask does climate ‘science’ actual have any standards for the work it does beyond its must support ‘the cause ‘ ?

April 29, 2013 5:17 pm

The quote from Churchill applies here also–“A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

April 29, 2013 5:18 pm

“…based on a handful of actual climate responding to a broad questionnaire…”

They got a handful of “actual climate” to respond to a questionnaire? That sounds pretty authoritative to me — unless it was really a handful of climate models masquerading as actual climate.

April 29, 2013 5:24 pm

No one seems interested…including Anthony, Donna, Judith C. when I ask why we don’t get to work funding a new poll. We could hire a neutral polling company for one possibility. I’m sure many folks much smarter than me could come up with some methodology that would have validity.
More fun to complain I guess.

April 29, 2013 5:29 pm

Sorry, the polling comment above is from pokerguy. The responses I usually get is how hard something like that would be, or how it wouldn’t work. Again, easy to sit back and complain, harder to actually do something.

April 29, 2013 5:31 pm

Several er, uhm, decades ago, I witnessed a group of sociology students explaining to a group of engineering students why nuclear power was so dangerous. The engineering students grew increasingly frustrated as they tried to dispel one enormous lie after another to a group of people who clearly did not have the educational background to understand one side or the other, yet sneered down their noses at the “ignorance” of the engineers.
The argument ended with the sociologists climbing a tree to get their pants back.

April 29, 2013 5:33 pm

We could hire a neutral polling company for one possibility.
Ever hire a polling company? The very first question they ask is what result you are trying to show…

Theo Goodwin
April 29, 2013 5:35 pm

“McCright said the first step in dealing with climate change is getting both sides of the political spectrum to accept the scientific consensus. At that point, he said, policymakers can go about the task of coming up with an approach to combat it.”
Nope. Sorry. The first step was appointing the self-avowed communist Van Jones as Green Jobs Czar. It has been one commie after another since that appointment. What a short memory Professor McCright has.

Theo Goodwin
April 29, 2013 5:41 pm

p says:
April 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm
The poll would find an overwhelming negative response to the question: Do you believe that we face CAGW? Then you would object to the question. So, what is the point of the poll? It would not satisfy you.

April 29, 2013 5:50 pm

pokerguy says:
April 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm
Polls are designed mostly to promote an idea mostly to the faithful. When dealing with the diehard religious zealots of the global warming doomsday cultist… simple polls will have little effect. Plus even assuming you ran the poll it would simply be called “big oil propaganda”. I can think of much better purely media/non-science options to do with the money then waste it on a poll that will generally do nothing. Remember the 97% poll has been completely debunked and yet is still alive. That type of propaganada is designed to fit the bigotry and prejudice of the collectivist mind… that type of closed minded person will not be affected anything short of massive evidence that shows the “faith” is wrong.

Owen in GA
April 29, 2013 5:54 pm

What is it with psychologists and sociologists? They sound like “political scientists”. Of course I love the fact that if you ask a broad enough meaningless question you can achieve consensus, even in science, but in the end, the data is completely meaningless. Is the climate warmer now than it was when the Thames froze over every winter? Absolutely! Is CO2 higher now than when that was the case? Apparently. Does correlation prove causation? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! But if the only questions you asked were those first two, I hope 100% of informed individuals would answer in the affirmative. If you got daring and asked “Does mankind have an influence on local temperature readings?” I would hope we would still get very nearly 100% affirmative, as it is obvious that land use changes affect the climate around the measuring station. If you then make a leap of faith that everyone answered yes, so they must agree that mankind is killing the planet, you have just fallen into one of the classical logical fallacies (non-sequitor) that plague so much of humanity. As much as it pains me to say this, maybe they need a pure philosopher to look over their arguments and point out the various fallacies as they occur. (I usually don’t have much good to say about philosophers, but maybe this would be in their wheelhouse.)

Larry Butler
April 29, 2013 6:41 pm

I think you all should consider this new bill and its ramifications on us all….

Bob Diaz
April 29, 2013 7:19 pm

Scientific Research has proven that 97% of the people will believe any hogwash you feed them, as long as you tell them Scientific Research proves it and give them a fake number !!! ;-))

April 29, 2013 7:56 pm

“The results reaffirm the success of what McCright calls the “denial machine””
Oopps, his credibility just died. Poor guy. Hope he gets better info someday soon.

Jon Salmi
April 29, 2013 8:04 pm

We must continue to hammer away against the notion that consensus has anything to do with science. Consensus is a political idea that is irrelevant to science. Don’t forget about Alfred Wegener, the lone voice for continental drift. When a person brings up the idea of consensus in a scientific discussion I see them as essentially ignorant of the scientific method and if the situation is appropriate I point out their ignorance.

Theo Goodwin
April 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Larry Butler says:
April 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm
Rep. Smith’s bill is a step in the right direction. NSF needs an Inspector General who is independent of NSF and is free to raise questions in the same free-wheeling way that is employed by NSF and NSF grant committees.
HuffPo clearly misunderstands the grant award process:
“But Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas), the top Democrat on the committee, found the proposal especially alarming after Smith demanded in his letter that the NSF submit to the committee the technical peer review discussions conducted among NSF scientists who decide on grant awards.”
The grant application review process is nothing like peer review for journal articles. Grant review committees meet together on several occasions and discuss anything that some member wants to discuss. There are no limits. For example, an applicant’s career “trajectory” is a topic that is perfectly suitable for discussion. Complaints that review of the grant review process might in some way interfere with a scientific process are preposterous. Except for the focus on the grant proposal, discussion among grant review committee members is no different than discussion in the faculty lounge.

April 29, 2013 9:08 pm

@Janice Moore:
Priceless – I loved it. Said it better than I ever could. But you didn’t need to change my name to “Chuck” – I’m quite content to go by my real moniker (Chad), nothing to hide, etc.

April 29, 2013 9:14 pm

Did you know that 96% of Scientist DON’T believe in Global Warming? You might be surprised to hear this if all you listen to is the mainstream press. Every time you hear a story on global warming you hear the phrase “almost all scientists agree” or “97% of scientist believe in global warming.” Last year a study came out saying 97% of scientists believe in climate change, but almost the exact opposite is true.
The study in question surveyed 1,372 known working climate researchers. and found 97% of them still believe in global warming. I think this pool is tainted because these are scientist who get paid to study “Global Warming” which is a conflict of interest. That’s like asking PETA members if they’re vegetarian, but regardless we will use their number.
On the other hand the Petition Project has 31,000 scientists who have signed a petition saying that they don’t believe in manmade global warming.
So let’s do the math 97% of 1,372 is 1,330 who still believe in global warming compared to 31,487 who don’t. That’s only 1 out 24 or 4% of scientists who still believe in global warming.
I think those of us who are on the skeptical side of the debate should use the other side’s tactic and repeat this over and over again ad nauseum. 96% of Scientists DON’T believe in Global Warming.

Janice Moore
April 29, 2013 10:42 pm

CHAD WOZNIAK, I am so sorry. Please forgive me.
Well …….. I COULD say that the producer of your TV show made you do that for your public persona and I really meant to mess up your name… . But, that would put me on the same level as the Cult of Climatology.
Thank you for your generous and kind words, so graciously given, the “fragrance of the violet on the heel that crushed it.”

April 29, 2013 11:05 pm
Janice Moore
April 29, 2013 11:15 pm

Right on, Elmer, keep playin’ that tune. [:)]#-|<
Re: DAVE BURTON's mystery tinyurl link (@ 2305) — EXCELLENT RESOURCE (apparently exhaustive list of refuting articles along with great analysis by Mr. Burton) TO REFUTE 97% CLAIM.
Thanks for sharing your hard work with us.

Ed Zuiderwijk
April 30, 2013 1:01 am

Consensus on contentious subjects is and has been invariably wrong.

April 30, 2013 1:23 am

I am surprised nobody in this thread has made the obvious point that the claim of “97% of scientists think” demonstrates that there is NO clear scientific evidence for what the 97% thinks.
Nobody says X% of scientists think
gravity exists,
the Arctic is a cold place,
fire is a chemical reaction,
the air is a mixture of gases,
or any number of other things for which there is clear scientific evidence.
People say the evidence for gravity is that apples fall down and not up. And etc.
People only say “X% of scientists think” when there is no clear evidence that the X% are right and there are good reasons to think the X% are wrong.


April 30, 2013 5:54 am

Robin – thanks for posting this:
“And just to make sure we get this whether we want it or not federal revenue sharing to states and cities is being restructured to entice local officials to go along.
All of this is about power.”
It is a valuable observation that support is being bought in various ways for the manmade global warming scam.
I am glad to have learned that they are buying support across communitues in the U.S. just as I have stumbled across the way they have been buying support nation by nation – the UNPRI is part of the effort to buy support of the various nations.
Their goal is this: a race to the top across nations. The UN goes to each nation, gives a sales pitch about how we HAVE to go green, and this includes your nation, via tax dollars devoted to public works. Then, the clincher: invest in this now, at the ground floor, and you benefit from your country, as well as everyone else’s country, as we all bite the bullet and set up windfarms.
Nations are always looking for great investments for parking large sums of money.
So, if they buy in to this confidence scam, it doesn’t really matter whether AGW is real or not; as long as everyone buys in, it is a winner in terms of investment – all the nations have to do is reassure each other this is what they should be doing as far as infrastructure (and investment).
Do we seriously think each nation is looking into AGW and figuring out whether it is genuine or not?
No – most cannot easily do that. Who can? U.S., China, and other non-signatory countries who have a viable economy otherwise, political power to not be shoved around by U.N., and smart people who can evaluate the evidence.

April 30, 2013 6:31 am

dbstealey says:
April 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm
Take out the “significant”, and a lot of us would agree with you.
The problem is defining what “significant” means.
From a purely statistical sense, 5% can be significant, in the right circumstances.

Chuck Nolan
April 30, 2013 7:14 am

Ian Weiss says:
April 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm
The simple point that make here is that even most “skeptics” and “deniers” agree with those 97% of climate change specialists who say human activities are a “significant contributing factor” to global temperature change.
IMHO your “simple point” is wrong.
Most people agree climate changes naturally.
Most people agree humans can contribute to regional climate change.
Most people do not agree with the dangers depicted by the power grabbers.
Most people do not agree with the solutions proposed by the power grabbers.
Most people know CO2 is a beneficial trace gas.
Most people know what snow is.
Most people know warm is better.
The rest is conjecture, speculation, fudges and lies.
In the US misinformation is called BS
We’ve learned to be skeptical when our government says catastrophe.
But mostly we’re skeptical when they say “the only solution is…”
Usually government solutions are the cry for more new taxes.

April 30, 2013 8:36 am

97% of people who believe Al Gore and Barack Obama deserved their Nobel prizes also believe in man-made climate change.

April 30, 2013 10:58 am

@Janice Moore –
Not crushed, and not to worry – no apologies required. In fact, “Chuck” probably sounds more media-ish than “Chad.”

April 30, 2013 12:21 pm

Let me re-phrase: Any warming from CO2 is insignificant.

Chris R.
April 30, 2013 12:56 pm

To richardscourtney:
You posted: People only say “X% of scientists think” when there is no clear evidence that the X% are right and there are good reasons to think the X% are wrong.”
This is an excellent point! The examples you quoted in your post
also make the point obvious. This contravenes the oft-repeated
claim: “The science is settled!” As you indicate, no-one even
needs to claim “the science is settled” with respect
to areas where the science is actually settled.

William Astley
April 30, 2013 5:27 pm

The extreme AGW paradigm pushers will not participate in a debate as the science does not support the extreme dangerous warming hypothesis. There is no consensus on the ‘science’ as the ‘science’ does not support the extreme AGW paradigm. There is obvious indication the IPCC is a political, agenda driven organization that rigs the report writing to exclude papers and authors that do not support their ‘message’.
The extreme AGW paradigm pushers are hiding observations and analysis that indicates a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will result in less than 1C warming. An obvious observation to support the assertion that there will be less than 1Cwarming is there was been no warming for the last 16 years. The observations indicate something is fundamentally incorrect with the general circulation models that ‘project’ a warming of 3C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 0.028% to 0.056% is absurdly high.
The general circulation models that were used to project a warming of 3C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 predicted and require to create the 3C warming, that would be warming of the tropical troposphere at around 8 km above the planet’s surface. The warming at this level in the atmosphere occurs due to a predicted increase in water vapor at this altitude and due to the increased CO2 at altitude in the atmosphere. The tropic tropospheric warming at around 8km then warms the tropics by long wave radiation. There is no observed tropospheric warming at 8 km. One of the major physical reasons for the lack of warming is found in Lindzen and Choi (2011) analysis (See link to paper below) that low level cloud cover in the tropics increases or decreases which resists planetary temperature forcing changes by reflecting more or less sunlight off into space.
This is a link to a review paper that was prepared by EPA’s own scientist that supports the assertion that the research and analysis does not support the extreme AGW paradigm. The EPA buried the report. The EPA and IPCC of course are completely ignoring the data and logic that indicates the majority of the 20th/21st warming was not due to the rise in atmospheric CO2.
“Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act”
“I have become increasingly concerned that EPA has itself paid too little attention to the science of global warming. EPA and others have tended to accept the findings reached by outside groups, particularly the IPCC and the CCSP, as being correct without a careful and critical examination of their conclusions and documentation. If they should be found to be incorrect at a later date, however, and EPA is found not to have made a really careful independent review of them before reaching its decisions on endangerment, it appears likely that it is EPA rather than these other groups that may be blamed for any errors. Restricting the source of inputs into the process to these two sources may make EPA’s current task easier but it may come with enormous costs later if they should result in policies that may not be scientifically supportable. The failings are listed below in decreasing order of importance in my view: (See attached for details.)
1. Lack of observed upper tropospheric heating in the tropics (see Section 2.9 for a detailed discussion).
2. Lack of observed constant humidity levels, a very important assumption of all the IPCC models, as CO2levels have risen (see Section 1.7).
3. The most reliable sets of global temperature data we have, using satellite microwave sounding units, show no appreciable temperature increases during the critical period 1978-1997, just when the surface station data show a pronounced rise (see Section 2.4). Satellite data after 1998 is also inconsistent with the GHG/CO2/AGW hypothesis 2009 v
4. The models used by the IPCC do not take into account or show the most important ocean oscillations which clearly do affect global temperatures, namely, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and the ENSO (Section 2.4). Leaving out any major potential causes for global warming from the analysis results in the likely misattribution of the effects of these oscillations to the GHGs/CO2 and hence is likely to overstate their importance as a cause for climate change.
5. The models and the IPCC ignored the possibility of indirect solar variability (Section 2.5), which if important would again be likely to have the effect of overstating the importance of GHGs/CO2.
6. The models and the IPCC ignored the possibility that there may be other significant natural effects on global temperatures that we do not yet understand (Section 2.4). This possibility invalidates their statements that one must assume anthropogenic sources in order to duplicate the temperature record. The 1998 spike in global temperatures is very difficult to explain in any other way (see Section 2.4).
7. Surface global temperature data may have been hopelessly corrupted by the urban heat island effect and other problems which may explain some portion of the warming that would otherwise be attributed to GHGs/CO2. In fact, the Draft TSD refers almost exclusively in Section 5 to surface rather than satellite data.”
“2.9 The Missing Heating in the Tropical Troposphere
Computer models based on the theory of GHG/CO2 warming predict that the troposphere in the tropics should warm faster than the surface in response to increasing CO2 concentrations, because that is where the CO2 greenhouse effect operates. Sun-Cosmic ray warming will warm the troposphere more uniformly.
The UN’s IPCC AR4 report includes a set of plots of computer model predicted rate of temperature change from the surface to 30 km altitude and over all latitudes for 5 types of climate forcings as shown below.
The Hadley Centre’s real-world plot of radiosonde temperature observations shown below, however, does not show the projected CO2 induced global warming hot-spot at all. The predicted hot-spot is entirely absent from the observational record. This shows that most of the global temperature change cannot be attributed to increasing CO2 concentrations.”
“ A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions
We examine tropospheric temperature trends of 67 runs from 22 ‘Climate of the 20th Century’ model simulations and try to reconcile them with the best available updated observations (in the tropics during the satellite era). Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere, being separated by more than twice the uncertainty of the model mean. In layers near 5 km, the modelled trend is 100 to 300% higher than observed, and, above 8 km, modelled and observed trends have opposite signs. These conclusions contrast strongly with those of recent publications based on essentially the same data.”
“On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications by Richard S. Lindzen and Yong-Sang Choi
We estimate climate sensitivity from observations, using the deseasonalized fluctuations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and the concurrent fluctuations in the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) outgoing radiation from the ERBE (1985-1999) and CERES (2000- 2008) satellite instruments. Distinct periods of warming and cooling in the SSTs were used to evaluate feedbacks. An earlier study (Lindzen and Choi, 2009) was subject to significant criticisms. The present paper is an expansion of the earlier paper where the various criticisms are taken into account. … … We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics, and the tropical feedbacks can be adjusted to account for their impact on the globe as a whole. Indeed, we show that including all CERES data (not just from the tropics) leads to results similar to what are obtained for the tropics alone – though with more noise. We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. …. … CO2, a relatively minor greenhouse gas, has increased significantly since the beginning of the industrial age from about 280 ppmv to about 390 ppmv, presumably due mostly to man’s emissions. This is the focus of current concerns. However, warming from a doubling of CO2 would only be about 1C (based on simple calculations where the radiation altitude and the Planck temperature depend on wavelength in accordance with the attenuation coefficients of well mixed CO2 molecules; a doubling of any concentration in ppmv produces the same warming because of the logarithmic dependence of CO2’s absorption on the amount of CO2) (IPCC, 2007). This modest warming is much less than current climate models suggest for a doubling of CO2. Models predict warming of from 1.5C to 5C and even more for a doubling of CO2. Model predictions depend on the ‘feedback’ within models from the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds. Within all current climate models, water vapor increases with increasing temperature so as to further inhibit infrared cooling. Clouds also change so that their visible reflectivity decreases, causing increased solar absorption and warming of the earth. …”

April 30, 2013 10:35 pm

My views on climate science are informed by the success of communism, the motherland of all big government projects.

Nik Marshall-Blank
May 1, 2013 7:22 am

Oops, science just jumped out of the window. Scientific fact is 5 sigma, which is 99.99994%. 97% is for weak minded wishful thinkers.

May 4, 2013 5:53 am

The proper response to this is: Michigan State? I guess you couldn’t get hired at Michigan, huh?

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