97% Undercooked uncertainty

Roman Murieka has a great statistical analysis of the Cook ‘consensus’ paper over at Climate Audit. There’s a surprise result:

self_plus_glm

The number of papers endorsing AGW is falling, while the number of papers with no position is increasing. Looks like an increase in uncertainty to me.  Read the whole post here

Monckton has a go at the trend also, at The Collapsing ‘Consensus’

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76 thoughts on “97% Undercooked uncertainty

  1. I’m still chuckling from this line:

    For example, if one were to use the Cook paper regression to “predict” the probability for the Reject group for any year from 2013 on, they would get a negative value ( possibly because retractions would exceed new publications???).

  2. The number of papers rejecting AGW is falling at a slower rate and it probably more a function of gatekeeping at the journals than an indication that skeptics are being persuaded.

  3. The green “Endorse AGW” line looks like a ‘reverse’ hockey stick to me. : > )

  4. Ron Cram says:
    May 24, 2013 at 8:37 am
    The number of papers rejecting AGW is falling at a slower rate
    No, just the opposite. You should consider the rate as a proportion of the number of papers.

  5. lsvalgaard says:
    The number of papers endorsing AGW is falling
    And so is the number of papers rejecting AGW…
    —————
    When AGW becomes a declining issue, its no longer necessary, and indeed a waste of resources, to write papers to reject it.

  6. lsvalgaard says:
    May 24, 2013 at 8:46 am
    “No, just the opposite. You should consider the rate as a proportion of the number of papers.”
    I haven’t looked at it closely, but I believe the rate of decline is still less than the AGW believers. Plus, the smaller sample size is subject to much greater uncertainty. And you have still have not considered the effects of known gatekeeping.

  7. Well move over Bill McKibben and the 350org… Here comes the methane king of 1250!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-currier/hate-the-increases-in-storms-and-heat_b_3304490.html
    “Just as Hansen started the 350 movement, 1250’s approach comes from him as well — Hansen originally called it his “alternative scenario” for 21st century warming, and it has recently been updated in the work of Drew Shindell and others, embodied with at least the framework of an institution to enact it, initiated by Hillary Clinton.
    I saw Hansen last September, on the very day that the lowest recorded sea ice extent was announced. He told me that he really wanted to get back to talking about his “alternative scenario,” but just needed to feel sure that something would get done about carbon dioxide. Until Hansen gets the chance to start talking about it again, you can in the meantime help him, and the 1250 goal, by signing and circulating this petition.”
    Yet this composer does not mind premiering his symphony with the Simon Bolivar orchestra of Cahvez Venezuela, a nation that makes its living through selling oil!
    Nathan Currier=oily hypocrite

  8. I really don’t have a problem with the 97% number.
    I don’t think there really is a much question about whether human-produced greenhouse gases will cause warming. The question is about how much and what will be the effects of it. That is where the uncertainty lies.

  9. Clearly global warming was strongest around 1996/97, from whence it fell and has since steadied out. The temperature record confirms this basic shape.
    So if we want the Earth to stop warming we just need scientologists to release fewer endorsing papers.
    Thank you Mr Cook for finding the answer, you are the winner.

  10. I’m glad to see “Reject AGW” has dropped, as it is unscientific to reject the evidence man has some effect on the global temperature, even though the evidence is saying it’s through land use changes and black carbon (soot) depositions, with regional effects summing up in the averages to a “global” effect.
    Although I suspect most of the “AGW scare” is people wanting to believe humans are more important than a bacterium living on a skin mite on a hound dog’s backside, that not only can they make the tail wag, if they aren’t careful they could rise up and kill the poor suffering pooch. Indeed, humans are so powerful, they are the only thing that can cure that puppy’s fever and make it whole again!

  11. roncram says:
    May 24, 2013 at 8:54 am
    I haven’t looked at it closely, but I believe the rate of decline is still less …
    Doing the numbers, the rate of decline for the reject group is 10 times that for the endorse group.

  12. “Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming …”
    “Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming …”
    Better read it twice.
    Such goes nowadays through as “science” and published as such in a “scientific” paper,
    peer-reviewed of course? And is used by newspapers and politicians? Seriously?
    Never ever any scientist should even consider anymore to read, less publish in such a paper. Ignore them. Make them go away.
    I am very surprised that serious people even try to show what bad science it is. Bad statistics etc. They are wasting time. It is not even close to science. It is cook-ed BS, as the title shows without any doubt.

  13. James Cross says:
    May 24, 2013 at 9:00 am
    I really don’t have a problem with the 97% number.
    I don’t think there really is a much question about whether human-produced greenhouse gases will cause warming. The question is about how much and what will be the effects of it. That is where the uncertainty lies.
    ######################
    yes. if you deny the consensus you cant change it. If you accept the consensus ( GHGs cause warming) then you can change the debate How much warming and what if anything can you do about it.
    As long as you stand outside “the consensus” you cant change it. Speak for the consensus, a different consensus, and you have a shot

  14. The relative positive changes in the No Position data should almost mirror the negative changes in the Endorse data because they are each sub-sets of the same data set. If you add to one, you automatically subtract from the other.
    I said “almost” because the Reject sub-set percentages changes very little, and there is some error in the digitization process. The take-away message, as Anthony suggests, is that the trend appears to be that the consensus is dwindling.

  15. lsvalgaard says:
    “Doing the numbers, the rate of decline for the reject group is 10 times that for the endorse group.
    Considering they mischaracterized papers, the trends are meaningless.
    So, would a paper that estimates climate sensitivity to 2XCO2 at less than 3 degrees Celsius be considered to reject or endorse AGW? Kinda depends on what one means by AGW doesn’t it?
    AGW could simply mean Anthropogenic Global Warming strictly defined from the acronym without assignment of magnitude or proportion such that any acknowledgement of anthropogenic influence no matter how minute would be an endorsement in which case most here would have to be counted as endorsing AGW.
    AGW could mean Anthropogenic Global Warming as summarized by the IPCC, in that case the 3 degree Celsius central estimate for climate sensitivity to 2xCO2 would be significant for determining whether a paper estimating less than 3 degree Celsius central estimate for climate sensitivity to 2xCO2 rejects or endorses AGW. Under this definition, IMO, the majority of WUWT’ers would reject AGW as there’s never been sufficient evidence to support it and what little evidence that has been conjured to construct it is rapidly evaporating.
    AGW to some could mean the alarmist encouraged portrayal that anthropogenic global warming is without doubt catastrophic in short CAGW. I doubt much support within the papers that endorse AGW actually endorses CAGW and as far as WUWT’ers goes I’d say the grand majority rejects CAGW for lack of any evidentiary or rational basis.

  16. Stephen Mosher says , “As long as you stand outside “the consensus” you cant change it.”
    That reminds me of the time I entered a House of Ill-Repute to convince the ladies of the error of their ways.
    My wife didn’t believe me, either.

  17. The political coercion and cultural bias involved in the existing AGW isn’t addressed. People who go into “environmental studies” are predisposed to support AGW and anti-carbon positions. They are politically and more importantly culturally left-wing. Exceptions don’t change the rule.
    It’s a black-hole of political incorrectness to point this out but there are reasons the silly “consensus” haunts the current and past debate. Dishonesty being the primary force involved. Skeptics wanting to ignore it and win on “science” without bringing up the ugly political meme are also counter productive. It’s like the media covering a race riot while not mentioning the race of combatants because they think that’s in “the public interest”.
    The “consensus” has always been one of the most illogically foolish inventions of all time but skeptics have been cowed for a generation avoiding the real truth; it’s a political consensus not a science consensus. Duh!

  18. { lsvalgaard says:
    May 24, 2013 at 9:25 am
    Doing the numbers, the rate of decline for the reject group is 10 times that for the endorse group.}
    I’ll endorse that.

  19. Steven Mosher says:
    May 24, 2013 at 9:55 am
    yes. if you deny the consensus you cant change it. If you accept the consensus ( GHGs cause warming) then you can change the debate How much warming and what if anything can you do about it.
    As long as you stand outside “the consensus” you cant change it. Speak for the consensus, a different consensus, and you have a shot

    I think more relevant than “what if anything can you do” is “is it even necessary TO do something about it”. My contention all along is the effect is so small as to render less than useless any attempts to mitigate CO2 in the atmosphere.
    I am all for conservation, as I don’t like to pay any more for necessary energy than I need to, CO2 has been a green fantasy from the beginning, and by that I mean that there is an effect, but it is neither catastrophic or even dangerous, and possibly even beneficial.

  20. How about we check back in 100 years and see if the alarmists are right? in the meantime be good citizen; don’t be wasteful and clean up after yourself.

  21. [ Steven Mosher says:
    May 24, 2013 at 9:55 am
    yes. if you deny the consensus you cant change it. If you accept the consensus ( GHGs cause warming) then you can change the debate How much warming and what if anything can you do about it.]
    Current data analysis suggests that solar changes, GHG’s, various chemical and particulate emissions, improper temperature reconstruction analysis, land-use changes, and multidecadal natural “climate” variations cause warming, in order from least effect to most. Data does not suggest the amount of warming will be a problem.
    Am I part of the consensus?

  22. I agree with the consensus that man’s CO2 emissions should in theory, and probably have added some slight, as-yet-unmeasured amount of warming, and that it really isn’t any problem whatsoever for our climate. Wait – that’s the consensus, right?

  23. “cause” should more appropriately be termed “can lead to warming” to accurately reflect my perusal of the literature.

  24. I’m sure the uptick in the Global ACE tropical cyclone index in 1994 had nothing to do with the movements between the No Position and the Endorsing AGW lines right? They could not possibly be doing current events science could they?

  25. Steven Mosher says:
    May 24, 2013 at 9:55 am

    yes. if you deny the consensus you cant change it. If you accept the consensus ( GHGs cause warming) then you can change the debate How much warming and what if anything can you do about it.
    As long as you stand outside “the consensus” you cant change it. Speak for the consensus, a different consensus, and you have a shot
    —————
    I agree completely. Why does Cook get to interpret the consensus? Merely because he seized the initiative to do so; he does not speak for everyone who believes that humans are warming the environment to some possibly negligible degree, he has simply stepped forward and done so.

  26. In 97% of 500 somewhat randomly selected zombie movies the zombies are slow; therefore the consensus among the zombie experts hired to consult on motion pictures must be that zombies are slow. With such a strong consensus how could anyone dare suggest zombies could be fast? Could there be anything worse than a slow zombie denier?

  27. Well, eh…
    Cook:
    “Oreskes 2007predicted that as a consensus strengthened, the number of papersrestating the consensus position should diminish. An elegant confirmation of this prediction that came out of our data is that as the consensus strengthened (e.g., the percentage of endorsements among position papers), we also observed an increase in the percentage of “no position” abstracts.”
    Source:
    http://www.culturalcognition.net/john-cook-on-communicating-con/

  28. Reich.Eschhaus says:
    May 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    —————
    So Cook’s argument is that the consensus comes ‘in fulfilment of the scriptures’, so to speak?

  29. @Mark Bofill
    Yes, Cook says Oreske predicted this and they confirmed this prediction (Reason: No need to mention it anymore when everybody agrees anyway).

  30. Reich.Eschhaus says:
    May 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm
    ————–
    Seems reasonable enough to me. Very nice rebuttal Reich. So in essence Cook can say ‘so what?’ to Roman.
    mkay.

  31. lsvalgaard says: May 24, 2013 at 8:30 am “The number of papers endorsing AGW is falling
    And so is the number of papers rejecting AGW…”
    Very good point!
    I suggest that this may be due to the politicisation of the whole subject.
    A safe strategy for publishing papers in a field where the political (or religious, or any other) feeling is high is –
    Sit on the fence and strictly scope the paper so as to stick to what you can defend with assurance. E.g. stick to what you know.
    The question I would ask is this
    Is this trend due to the field (AGW) or the rise of the internet?
    Anyone can find anything, now, through Google. Dusty subjects in darkened corners are being swept by the whirlwind of the World Wide Web.

  32. Oreske says that “As consensus strengthens, the papers stating the consensus the position diminishes”.
    But it is obvious that “As consensus diminishes, the papers stating the consensus the position diminishes” too !

  33. Bob says:
    May 24, 2013 at 10:05 am
    Stephen Mosher says , “As long as you stand outside “the consensus” you cant change it.”
    That reminds me of the time I entered a House of Ill-Repute to convince the ladies of the error of their ways.
    My wife didn’t believe me, either…

    That reminds me of the story about the 1880 UK election – Disraeli’s Tories vs Gladstone’s Liberals. A party hack suggested to Disraeli that Gladstone’s well-known support for ‘rescuing fallen women’ might be a good subject for a ‘smear campaign’.
    “For God’s sake, NO!”, cried Disraeli. “He’s over 70! If the public think that he’s cavorting with prostitutes at his time of life, he’ll win by a thumping majority!”

  34. @Mark Bofill
    I looked it up in the Cook paper:
    “Of note is the large proportion of abstracts that state no position on AGW. This result is expected in consensus situations where scientists ‘…generally focus their discussions on questions that are still disputed or unanswered rather than on matters about which everyone agrees’ (Oreskes 2007, p 72). This explanation is also consistent with a description of consensus as a ‘spiral trajectory’ in which ‘initially intense contestation generates rapid settlement and induces a spiral of new questions’ (Shwed and Bearman 2010); the fundamental science of AGW is no longer controversial among the publishing science community and the remaining debate in the field has moved to other topics. This is supported by the fact that more than half of the self-rated endorsement papers did not express a position on AGW in their abstracts.”
    I remember the quote above by having read a criticism (and following comments) on the Cook paper by Dan Cahan on which Cook was allowed to formally reply as was Johnson from Ars Technica. It starts here and is really quite interesting:
    http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2013/5/22/on-the-science-communication-value-of-communicating-scientif.html

  35. Reich.Eschhaus says:
    May 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm
    ———–
    I think I ran across a reference to this too on SkS, but clearly I didn’t read thoroughly enough. 😉

  36. @Mark Bofill
    I did get there from SkS as well 😉 I was pointed to their new ‘rough guide to the jet stream’ (which I still need to finish reading) and decided to check their front page as well and there it was!

  37. I believe the following is the “real” problem with the Skeptic position
    A paper comes out that has….. a hockey stick, …..a 97%, ….a hottest on record,…..weather extreme,…..”worst tornado in the history of the planet”……choose your hyperbolic headline, and it gets the attention of the unsuspecting (low information) public. They take it a face value because they don’t have any other information. They then support a politician who will “DO SOMETHING!” as solution that, as His Lordship has repeatedly pointed out, is worst than the problem.
    In the interim, the original headline and substance of the of the original report is throughly destroyed/debunked, but that doesn’t make the headline, isn’t reported on the top of the hour news report on the radio. One side is the headline, the other is the buried (if presented at all) correction.
    I don’t know how you flip that. I know it is important that we do.

  38. Bob_L says:
    May 24, 2013 at 1:42 pm
    ———–
    Well put.
    I haven’t reached conclusions on this yet. One obvious question is, why does the alarmist side get to stampede the cattle? I guess the obvious answer is it’s because they control the spin. It’s Cook’s study, so he speaks for the 97% consensus by virtue of the spin he puts on his study, even though many of those 97% would never choose Cook as their spokesperson.
    I don’t like this answer, because it implies I have to crawl in the same muck Cook does in order to be effective.
    Still thinking it through. Something about generating another quick and memorable sound bite that makes the consensus slight of hand plain to the casual observer…

  39. When I think about it just about every time a consensus has been proven to be wrong the person who proved it wrong stood outside the consensus.

  40. lsvalgaard says:
    May 24, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Ron Cram says:
    May 24, 2013 at 8:37 am

    The number of papers rejecting AGW is falling at a slower rate

    No, just the opposite. You should consider the rate as a proportion of the number of papers.

    So taken as a whole, would you say the science is becoming “more settled”, “less settled”, or “no significant trend” ?

  41. Richard M says:
    May 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm
    When I think about it just about every time a consensus has been proven to be wrong the person who proved it wrong stood outside the consensus.
    —————————-
    But how do you do that? I can’t say I disagree with the statement ‘humans are very probably causing at least some warming’, even though I vehemently disagree with the misrepresentation that this justifies any sort of policy action. The real but trivial scientific consensus gets lost in translation when it turns into PR and becomes ‘97% of scientists agree we need cap and trade’ or something equally absurd.

  42. lsvalgaard says:
    May 24, 2013 at 8:30 am
    The number of papers endorsing AGW is falling
    And so is the number of papers rejecting AGW…

    Yes. As the scientific uncertainty increases, the browbeating political pressure to conform increases as well as an iron-fisted grip on the peer-review process. Therefore those scientific teams doubting AGW have to cloak their skepticism by claiming to have no position on AGW.
    That’s the most likely way to read that data.
    The key bit is the number of papers endorsing AGW is falling.

  43. A major problem with this entire discussion is the imprecision in the definition of “AGW”. How about a survey which has two questions:
    1) Do you believe there is consensus among scientists that human activities contribute to global warming?
    2) In question 1 above, your understanding of the term “global warming” is:
    a) the global average temperature over the past 150 years has risen measurably, but not necessarily in excess of accepted natural variations.
    b) the global average temperature of the past 150 years has risen in excess of accepted natural variations.
    c) The same as (b) above, but also the rate of temperature rise is accelerating.
    d) The same as (c) above, but also the acceleration of temperature increase will continue due to the feedback effects of increased water vapor, methane, and other results of warming to date.
    e) The same as (d) above, but also that we are at or approaching a “tipping point” where no matter what we do global average temperature will continue to rise to a level inhospitable to human and other life, or causing other widespread catastrophic events.
    This is a bit simplistic; one could easily provide more nuances for question 2. But my point is consensus on question 1 is meaningless unless there is also substantial agreement on question 2.

  44. The reason the consensus canard survives and skeptics flounder on the point is by pretending “science” that can’t be quantified is viewed as a resolution. Skeptics can’t talk about their political divides among each other as a rule and therefore can’t challenge the largely statist agenda of warming advocates effectively in practice.
    Oddly, on the details, the climate debate is mostly various left of center parties arguing the points. Most conservatives have concluded AGW is a farce in the entirety and ignore these detailed discussions for the most part. That’s defensible intellectually but puts skeptical in a poor broader position of debate. Hence we are left with liberals skeptics vs. liberal orthodox AGW discussions in many cases. Liberal skeptics simply minimize the politics driving AGW orthodoxy and the real logic of the debate is lost. AGW is political first and science is a deep second place. Here is the overly polite Dr. Lindzen summing it up;
    http://torydrroy.blogspot.com/2009/07/prof-lindzen-on-agw-hoax.html
    He comes close to saying it outright but comes from the same orthodox, left-wing liberalism that he is wired to likely in this lifetime. Even he can’t seem to say what most everyone knows privately. AGW is driven by central planning totalitarian designs for carbon interests and controls. It has nothing to do with weather results. That’s why the consensus hardly ever changes no matter how bad the model and prediction results ever are.
    It’s time for skeptics of the technical to cross the Rubicon and point out the political corruption of the AGW agenda each and every time. It’s always there. For example what is the point of “endorse AGW” above without asking what the consequences would be if that group might go the other way? They would lose funding, peer recognition, friends. AGW is a politically correct litmus test, it’s science value is minimal as it quantifies nothing. As is often the case the article is interesting but the essential isn’t going to be discussed. The essential about “97%” isn’t just a vague question that creates a broad but undefined “consensus” but also how a near Orwellian culture beat a science community into submission for a generation to the shame of all involved. How much of that “97%” represent “Good Germans” for the “Cause” is worth real research as well. This can never be done from the framework of thinking who has the best graphs, data are going to win the debate. It would be over already if that was the case.
    Start with the “endorse AGW” voting pattern and who they contribute to, that would simplify it and be far more meaningful.

  45. To put it another way, that claimed consensus begins with a con but ends with us.

  46. Mosher:

    As long as you stand outside “the consensus” you cant change it. Speak for the consensus, a different consensus, and you have a shot

    And almost every guy featured on “To Catch A Predator” was only visiting what they thought was a child in order to warn them away from meeting men online. Even the ones that brought condoms.
    See, they were taking a shot at changing the consensus too.

  47. What a great collection of quotable contributions we have above today.
    However shakily the survey sifts the free references to the beliefs of ‘scientists’ I have noticed something that to me, invalidates the claims of the paper altogether.
    The survey is of abstracts and the debatable classification of the content of abstracts. Yet the claim is that ‘97% of scientists’ who support AGW in their abstracts are ‘being counted’. I do not see this counting taking place at all.
    First, one has to get the names of the authors of each paper. One paper may have 1 or 2 authors and another may have 30. Then, one author may express his or her opinion 100 times is a series of papers. That should count as 1 author, not 100. It is the silly claim of this Cook paper that the number of papers represents a number of scientists who believe ….yet that number is not being counted.
    A scientists who supports some identifiable belief in AGW – as defined by the surveyor – can only legitimately be counted once because their beliefs are unlikely to change. If the do change, then that should have been detected by the survey method.
    Basically, the author is taking a measurement (totting up the occurrence of certain words in abstracts) and projecting the result as a value for an independent variable.(the number of scientists who believe a certain thing).
    It is a variation on, “It rained last Thursday and my friends experienced it – ask them. I believe it rains every Thursday. It is raining, therefore we have a consensus today is Thursday.”
    It is a brew of ad populum and ad ignorantium. David Garcia-Andrade must be turning in the his grave (author of the unavailable A New Look At Infinities: Casting Paradox Out Of Cantor’s Paradise (A mathematical Exorcism) in which mathematical zombies are finally laid to rest).

  48. CodeTech says:

    ————-
    shudder That was disturbing. Thanks for the lovely analogy there CodeTech.
    Good god, now you’ve got me wondering about pedophiles and condoms. Who knew? Uhm, eww!

  49. KPeters says:
    May 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm
    “Researchers from the University of Colorado and Kansas State University have been awarded a grant for more than $850,000 to study the impacts of climate change on prairie dogs in the Boulder area.” http://learnmoreaboutclimate.colorado.edu/blog/view/id/86/cu-to-study-impact-of-climate-change-on-boulder-prairie-dogs
    Does the Cook paper include “research” like the Colorado study? If so, it becomes even more misleading.
    ————————
    Yeah, there were all sorts of amazingly irrelevant studies in there, such as:

    Role Of Blood-oxygen Transport In Thermal Tolerance Of The Cuttlefish, Sepia Officinalis
    Mechanisms that affect thermal tolerance of ectothermic organisms have recently received much interest, mainly due to global warming and climate-change debates in both the public and in the scientific community. In physiological terms, thermal tolerance of several marine ectothermic taxa can be linked to oxygen availability, with capacity limitations in ventilatory and circulatory systems contributing to oxygen limitation at extreme temperatures. The present review briefly summarizes the processes that define thermal tolerance in a model cephalopod organism, the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis, with a focus on the contribution of the cephalopod oxygen-carrying blood pigment, hemocyanin. When acutely exposed to either extremely high or low temperatures, cuttlefish display a gradual transition to an anaerobic mode of energy production in key muscle tissues once critical temperatures (T-crit) are reached. At high temperatures, stagnating metabolic rates and a developing hypoxemia can be correlated with a progressive failure of the circulatory system, well before T-crit is reached. However, at low temperatures, declining metabolic rates cannot be related to ventilatory or circulatory failure. Rather, we propose a role for hemocyanin functional characteristics as a major limiting factor preventing proper tissue oxygenation. Using information on the oxygen binding characteristics of cepbalopod hemocyanins, we argue that high oxygen affinities (= low P-50 values), as found at low temperatures, allow efficient oxygen shuttling only at very low venous oxygen partial pressures. Low venous PO2S limit rates of oxygen diffusion into cells, thus eventually causing the observed transition to anaerobic metabolism. On the basis of existing blood physiological, molecular, and crystallographical data, the potential to resolve the role of hemocyanin isoforms in thermal adaptation by an integrated molecular physiological approach is discussed.

    and

    Between A Rock And A Soft Place: Ecological And Feminist Economics In Policy Debates
    The field of ecological economics includes both economic analysis on the one hand, and discussions of normative values and visions for society. on the other. Using feminist insights into cultural beliefs about the relative hardness and softness of these two sides, this essay discusses how ecological economists can use this unique between space in order to better inform policy. The current crisis of global climate change. it is argued. requires that economists move beyond modeling and measurement, while ecological thinkers need to re-examine beliefs about markets and profit. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved,
    Between A Rock And A Soft Place: Ecological And Feminist Economics In Policy Debates

  50. At one point in the discussion, they mentioned an exact number of scientists that made their “consensus” (the 97.1%).
    But nowhere do they list the number of total scientists for ALL papers considered; nor do they list the protocol if a scientist appeared in more than one category.
    Example, a scientist writes more than one paper (probable, since this is a 21 year time span). If the papers wound up in more than one category, how was that scientist rated?
    What if he wrote 5 that wound up in the “express no opinion on AGW” listing, one was that was in the “accepts AGW” listing, and a couple that fell in the “rejects AGW” pile? What if the “accepts AGW” paper was early in his career, and the others were after he got older and wiser?
    I think the list of names in each column would be a real eye-opener.

  51. Steven Mosher says:
    May 24, 2013 at 9:55 am
    yes. if you deny the consensus you cant change it. If you accept the consensus ( GHGs cause warming) then you can change the debate How much warming and what if anything can you do about it.
    As long as you stand outside “the consensus” you cant change it. Speak for the consensus, a different consensus, and you have a shot

    Another way of looking at it is that there are some fringe people on the alarmist side who are flat out wrong, and than there are warmists who are just somewhat wrong. (Just like there are sceptics who are flat out wrong) Those people who are somewhat wrong can be convinced that CO2 is not a PRIMARY driver on the climate but rather just a small part of the whole, while the true believers will go on believing even if glaciers smacked them in the rump. This works both ways of course, so the best course is to study the data and the works of the scientists, and come to your own conclusions with an open mind.
    As for fighting against it as someone asked earlier, the information age has changed everything. No longer can scientists sit in their ivory towers and pontificate what is best for the people behind closed doors. Everyone is now their own activist, and so the media feeding frenzy is starting to become more and more pointless. Most scientists nowadays simply release a simple press release that lazy reporters glance at and write an article about. The age of the old print media is dying because people can get the same information directly online.
    More people read WUWT than any other site for global warming. The success of Fox News also shows that people are changing the old boys club and gaining power. So don’t be afraid of the old bad press release system or how the system attempts to hide any arguments against the “consensus” because the old-dated system no longer matters. If scientists continue to double down on logical fallacies such as “we can not explain X warming so it must be CO2” we will see them drop themselves into oblivion and eventually they will lose their positions as well as people wake up and start demanding actual standards in their science.
    As the sceptic, this is easy to show. Just show the scientists who are incompetent like Marcott and Mann especially and how they lack any ability to communicate anything. Marcott for instance insists that his data is not robust and yet still makes conclusions in the abstract BASED on that. Mann is well yea just an incompetent fool. There are plenty of places to link for that, so there is no reason to say anything other than that. They are fools, and so parade this in front of warmists arguing that the science is settled. Show that they are quoting from the “village idiots” and show people how stupid it really is. And quote from the other scientists who do not make such unsubstantiated claims. Quote from the more honest scientists who realize that the question of CO2 as a primary driver is still unknown. And show people that your position is valid. You can not convince people that your position is the correct position if you can not prove it.
    And all it takes is one little crack. That is what scares alarmists more than anything because they KNOW deep down that their claims are unsubstantiated and that positive feed-backs are a fable that is unproven as of yet. Stick to the science, the physics argues directly that CO2 will have an impact of about 1 degree C per doubling. According to the IPCC, any warming under 2 degrees C will probably not be bad at all. Use those two facts and scold those who argue about positive feed-backs and how 1 degrees C of warming over 100 years is all we have seen. (and that is rounded up.) Just do what I have done here and argue with facts that can not be denied. And if they are, you can ironically refer them to wikipedia and/or IPCC. If that is your source, how can they deny that? Who is the denier now?
    That is why you have to stick to the guns. Stick to what you do know versus claims that you can not directly prove. The sun did it is not a good argument. The warming slowing down is a good argument, but that can get bogged down into arguments of who is the better expert. (A cartoonist or weatherman as most of my arguments tend to go.) And so the best weapon you have is charts that show the actual data so people can make up their own mind. Link to the data and include all of it as well. Show that the warming has slowed down but that the longer-term trend is one of warming. That is if you use this argument at all…because unless you really know your statistics you are likely to be argued into oblivion by people who think they know everything because some cartoonist told them so.
    I know this is slightly long, but I think it is important that as sceptics we can argue our position. If you can not argue it without getting into name-calling contest than you might not have a position to argue from. Stick to facts and you will never lose.
    Oh and the best argument of all: Show people how the corrupt side is the alarmist side. Show how the global warming celebrities make big bucks on spreading the fear, and how big companies finance it. Show how the big companies are taking advantage of people to sell their products from railroads to wind power salesmen to rich people simply getting a tax break. Or how companies increase the price of their goods and call themselves green just to take advantage of the gullible. Because if there is a hole in the philosophy of greendom, its the hole of “what to do about it.” Their solutions all involve making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
    Here is one example (of many): It is the rich people who can afford the novelty items like solar panels on the roof. The poor people of the world will never be able to install solar panels on their roofs because the cost to replace a roof is beyond most poor people. Poor people are forced to do the roof work themselves and can not afford to buy expensive solar panels because most of the time the tax credit would net them nothing since they already pay no taxes. (assuming they can even afford to fix the roof by themselves)That is just one example of many, but you need to show that the warmists are corrupt and are simply part of a group of rich people who want to gouge the lower income and lower middle class for their own benefit. Once you can prove that the greens are manipulated by rich people for their own ends, you can show the green as being gullible and on the side of greedy rich people which as we have seen before is quite effective against low information people who eat that kind of stuff up. But don’t take my word for it, do your own research and figure out you own example. And use it truthfully. People will realize things like this because the truth can never be hidden. If you make a claim, make sure you can back it up with citations. That is all I think, because frankly I wrote a lot more than I meant to.

  52. Steven Mosher May 24, 2013 at 9:55am says
    “yes, if you deny the consensus you can’t change it. If you accept the consensus (GHGs cause warming) then you can change the debate. How much warming and what if anything you can do about it.” — Steven Mosher
    Reversing the “logic” of this, Steven Mosher should join the skeptics. He should deny the consensus (GHGs cause warming) and then he can change the debate. How much warming and what if anything you can do about it. Steven Mosher are you willing to deny the consensus in order to change the debate? What is sauce for the goose is gravy for the gander.
    First off no one is denying that THEORETICALLY GHGs cause warming. But the world is not as simplistic as are the current climate models. Most skeptics would say that GHGs cause warming but due to the way the climate system of the earth operates that effect is small to vanishing — or if a little greater then that — totally non-dangerous — most probably of benefit. You, in your statement, totally misrepresent what the skeptic position actually is. MAINSTREAM SKEPTICS DO NOT DENY THAT GHGs CAUSE WARMING. Why did you imply that in your statement???? You have posted here many times and so you must know what the general opinion is here — yet you DELIBERATELY misstate it. That is not honest. Are you even aware that the statement you made is not honest? I think you are aware of it.
    Secondly your suggestion that we join the consensus is a political trick as old as Lenin. Ask the opposition to join you — but retain complete control of the positions of power. Nine men ran the
    Soviet Union even though there was a legislature composed of several hundreds. Lenin proved the point that in numbers there is actually weakness. You are asking the skeptics to get lost in the crowd. Also whatever the people who really run things decide then skeptics would appear to be endorsing their decisions. It is a way to emasculate the opposition, not empower it. We see that in all the UN reports on climate. It doesn’t matter what the scientists in the body of the report say because the politicos at the top will write a summary that supports CAGW.
    i could go on but why waste my time on a conniving liar.;
    Eugene WR Gallun

  53. Reich.Eschhaus says “Cook says Oreske predicted this and they confirmed this prediction (Reason: No need to mention it anymore when everybody agrees anyway).”
    To put this into perspective, remember that the consensus that Cook has tested is one of humans causing some sort of warming, not that humans have caused most of the warming. So Oreske therefore is saying that it took the IPCC’s third assessment report’s assessment of GHGs causing most of the warming before the scientists could come to the realisation that the physics was sound and therefore they could stop questioning the physics involving “some” warming in their abstracts?
    I dont think so Reich.Eschhaus. The FAR and SAR both endorsed “some” warming too.

  54. benfrommo, maybe a bit more, but I often do too… lol
    Takeaway: yes, CO2 acts as it is claimed to. However, that does not drive climate. Actually, not even a little. Climate is controlled by far greater powers. And I don’t mean God. Climate is more affected by convection and the water vapor cycle, and although it was hypothesized there is absolutely no evidence that CO2 makes any measurable difference.
    So by claiming that CO2 acts as theorized by Arrhenius, does that make me a warmist? Does that even make me a lukewarmer? Not even remotely.
    There are so many things wrong with the AGW hypothesis that it takes a while to even present them all to a believer. Each step of the way, bad science has crept in. There are real and unanswered questions about the actual “pre-industrial” CO2 levels, the history of surface temperature measurements, the non-existent pre-Argos sea temperatures, the effect of UHI on measurements, and predictions of various atmospheric changes that would validate the hypothesis that are just plain not happening.
    And they all lead up to the fact that there has been no observed warming since non-alarmists started watching the measurements more closely.

  55. KPeters says:
    May 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm
    That is the real cost to all our children. Another of the ‘thousands of papers by thousands of scientists’ to add to the devastatingly expensive heap. Another ‘global warming is real’ stick for us to be beaten with.
    This is how a modern consensus builds. One pet project at a time.

  56. Comments to your site have been mispresented,
    Henry Galt said That KPeters says
    “”That is the real cost to all our children. Another of the ‘thousands of papers by thousands of scientists’ to add to the devastatingly expensive heap. Another ‘global warming is real’ stick for us to be beaten with.
    This is how a modern consensus builds. One pet project at a time.”
    .Attention Moderator None of that is true. I never said that. Could you please remove it
    [Reply: the comment does not indicate that you wrote that. It is only the opinion of the poster. — mod.]

  57. KPeters, many people here quote the commenter’s name and the date and time, but not the body of the comment. This saves time and space. Personally I thought it was clear that the comments were his, not yours.
    By the way, you both seem to be agreeing…

  58. @lsvalgaard
    > You should consider the rate as a proportion of the number of papers.
    The number of AGW and reject-AGW papers accepted cannot be used as unbiased estimate of the opinion-density of the population of submitters, if the editors are biased towards one group or the other. So, wouldn’t comparing the slopes of the lines, without regard to sample density, be reasonable under those circumstances?
    Also, note the variance of both groups decreases over time. Perhaps another indicator of gateskeeping policies being more strongly applied?

  59. Eugene WR Gallun says:
    May 24, 2013 at 8:23 pm
    You, in your statement, totally misrepresent what the skeptic position actually is. MAINSTREAM SKEPTICS DO NOT DENY THAT GHGs CAUSE WARMING. Why did you imply that in your statement???? You have posted here many times and so you must know what the general opinion is here — yet you DELIBERATELY misstate it. That is not honest.

    Secondly your suggestion that we join the consensus is a political trick as old as Lenin. Ask the opposition to join you — but retain complete control of the positions of power.

    ——————–
    I believe you misunderstand Steven here and do him a certain ironic injustice. It is not his misrepresentation that mainstream skeptics deny that GHGs cause some (possibly trivial) warming, that belongs to Cook.
    Why does Cook speak for the consensus? Because he has taken the initiative and done so, this and nothing more. Therefore he is in a position to misrepresent it, and turn a piece of uninteresting scientific trivia into the illusion of something much larger and use it for effective PR.
    But I suspect you have a point regarding the second issue. Cook’s side gets to take advantage of a huge, friendly infrastructure that wants to get his message out. I imagine that this is the inevitable result of the huge sums of money that have flowed to create the IPCC establishment, and the thirst for power of politicians who exploit the cover the IPCC provide them. I understand that point and I don’t have a good answer. Still, that doesn’t make Steve Mosher a ‘conniving liar’. Don’t be a Dana Nuccitelli about your disagreements.

  60. lsvalgaard says:
    May 24, 2013 at 8:30 am
    The number of papers endorsing AGW is falling
    And so is the number of papers rejecting AGW…
    As It should be!! ….. the REAL SCIENCE position is gaining strength from both sides of the extremes. … pursuit of the truth.
    Science should not be about “position”, it should be about the pursuit of truth. Neither group, CAGW advocates or CAGW opponents have enough information or test results to stake out a position with any measure of certainty. Any person who falls in the “green” or “red” group is an ideologue.

  61. Dr. Deanster says:
    May 25, 2013 at 6:06 am
    Science should not be about “position”, it should be about the pursuit of truth. Neither group, CAGW advocates or CAGW opponents have enough information or test results to stake out a position with any measure of certainty. Any person who falls in the “green” or “red” group is an ideologue.
    CAGW is simply an ideology in science clothing. Their abuse of science is rampant and well-known. Those who oppose CAGW stand on solid ground, being solely in favor of the truth, and actual science. Remember, the Null Hypothesis is that climate is controlled by natural factors. Try as they might, the CAGW proponents have never been able to show that anything different is happening now, due to man.

  62. lsvalgard:

    The number of papers endorsing AGW is falling
    And so is the number of papers rejecting AGW…

    This is incorrect. The number of papers rejecting AGW is increasing with almost half of them coming in the last five years of the study period. The percentage of such papers annually has indeed been decreasing because of the increases in the numbers of papers in the other two categories.
    I agree with some of the other comments that journal gatekeeping may have played some role in this process, but it seems much more obvious that the major reason for the proliferation of global warming and climate change papers is the many billions of dollars which have been allotted over the last 20 years to such research. These research funds would not be available to applicants who might question (not “reject” – the term chosen by Cook et al) the very reason for the presence of the funds. Three percent of that money would easily amount to more than a billion dollars.
    Interestingly enough, the Cook paper decries the fact that any funds might be given to non-believers:

    Contributing to this ‘consensus gap’ are campaigns designed to confuse the public about the level of agreement among climate scientists. In 1991, Western Fuels Association conducted a $510 000 campaign whose primary goal was to ‘reposition global warming as theory (not fact)’. A key strategy involved constructing the impression of active scientific debate using dissenting scientists as spokesmen (Oreskes 2010).

    What a hoot! Is this the best quantified example of support for the skeptical side of the argument that CAGW supporters can come up with in 2010? A half-million dollar campaign in 1991 – almost 20 years earlier? That would be mere pocket change compared to the grants handed out regularly to support a single climate science paper.

  63. For anyone who doubted the ‘bait and switch’ tactic, here’s an example already from our good friend Lewandowsky:
    http://theconversation.com/no-matter-how-strong-the-evidence-on-climate-change-deniers-will-keep-denying-14496
    He starts with the trivial scientific truth in paragraph 2:

    The authors then focused on the studies that expressed a position on the basic premise that humans are causing climate change. Of those roughly 4,000 papers that took a position, more than 97% endorsed the consensus.

    He even explicitly acknowledges that the real debate is elsewhere in paragraph 9:

    Scientific debate continues in the peer-reviewed literature and at scientific conferences, where the impact of ocean acidification, the rate that ice sheets and glaciers melt, and the prevalence of hurricanes, drought and disease are debated. Indeed, there is debate about the likely range of climate sensitivity, the temperature rise expected with a doubling of CO2 levels.

    By paragraph 11 he has made the ‘PR Leap’:

    If 97 out of 100 scientists and 97% of peer-reviewed articles oppose your view that the climate is just fine and we have nothing to worry about, what can you do? How would you “explain away” that consensus?


    What part of a scientific consensus that ‘humans are causing climate change’ equates to a consensus that we have something to worry about and that the climate isn’t just fine, you may ask? NO PART.
    After the obligatory mention of conspiracy theorism he emphasizes the point yet again:

    Indeed, in the case of climate change, we have arguably reached the point where it is the strength of the overwhelming scientific evidence that is compelling some people to accept a conspiracy theory in preference to a price on carbon or other government regulations.

    Acceptance of the consensus == a price on carbon or other government regulations. Alternative is conspiracy theory.
    Sickening.

  64. lsvalgaard says:
    May 24, 2013 at 8:30 am
    The number of papers endorsing AGW is falling
    And so is the number of papers rejecting AGW…

    You are correct. Maybe this is one of the reasons?

    Dr. Nir J. Shaviv
    I couldn’t write these things more explicitly in the paper because of the refereeing, however, you don’t have to be a genius to reach these conclusions from the paper.”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/21/cooks-97-consensus-study-falsely-classifies-scientists-papers-according-to-the-scientists-that-published-them/

  65. The “feeding trough” regarding grants and funding HAS to be considered in these calculations. It is a HUGE “forcing”.

  66. @TimTheToolMan
    I read your response to my comment, but I fail to understand what you are trying to tell me. If you think it is important, could you try to reformulate?

  67. endorsing agw?
    could it be more precise?
    most of scientist classified as skeptic endorse agw…they merely say its effect is overestimated.

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