Guest essay by By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
The Guardian, one of the fastest-collapsing “legacy” news media in Britain, is bleeding circulation more rapidly than almost any other national newspaper. One reason, perhaps, is that on the question of the climate it has long ceased to be even remotely credible.
A recent piece by Ketan Joshi on a Guardian blog trots out, yet again, the notion of “an already well-established scientific consensus on the influence of human activity on climate change”. Inevitably, there is a link to the discredited Cook et al. paper pretending there is a “97% consensus” to the effect that most of the global warming since 1950 was manmade. Unaccountably, there is no link to the subsequent paper by Legates et al. (2013), who showed that Cook et al. had themselves marked only 0.5% of the 11,944 abstracts they examined as explicitly endorsing the “consensus” as they had defined it.
The good news (regarded by Mr Joshi as bad news, of course) is that “The most recent survey of public views on anthropogenic global warming, the CSIRO’s fourth annual survey of Australian attitudes to climate change, show 39% of Australians reject a human role in global warming, a further 8% think the climate isn’t changing at all, and 6% can’t say either way.”
Take-home message: notwithstanding decades of relentless propaganda, more than half of those surveyed have not been taken in by the imagined (and imaginary) “97% consensus”.
More good news: “When asked to rank 16 social issues in terms of importance, climate change came third last. You’d be hard pressed to find any other form of scientific denialism [that hate-speech word again] with such a significant impact on the priorities of Australians.”
Mr Joshi continues with a graphic by Cook, whom he entertainingly describes as a “climate science communication expert”, purporting to show that while the public think 55% of scientists agree on global warming the true consensus is 97%.
Appealing to consensus is not a very grown-up way to conduct a scientific argument. It is the logical fallacy of the argumentum ad populum. But it is enough to fool your average “legacy” news journo, an incurably lazy beast at the best of times, into thinking that the Party Line just might – notwithstanding the volcano of real-world evidence – be right after all.
Trouble is, graphics like that of Cook are effective ways of conveying falsehoods as though they were truths. Well, it’s time to do it back to Them by using graphics as effective ways of dispelling Their falsehoods and illustrating the truths of science. I’m compiling a book of graphs and other images, impeccably sourced and accurately presented, that display the truth in a manner that cannot be dismissed or denied.
Here is an accurate graphic on the “consensus”, as determined from the data file eventually released by Cook et al.:
There seems to be something shoddy about popularizing the truth via colorful graphics rather than relying on the obscure, fuzzy charts that are the norm in most scientific journals. Yet if They colorize Their lies, we must popularize the objective scientific truth by making it visible to those who cannot read equations.
Mr Joshi maunders on: “Cook terms this the ‘consensus gap’. It’s precisely the outcome we’d expect from a systematic effort to distance public opinion from the outcomes of science. It’s likely this gap has been forced open by the efforts of conservative media commentators producing a relentless output of doubt.”
It’s also what one would expect given a growing awareness among all but the invincibly ignorant that my graphic is true. The “consensus” is now known to be 0.5%, not 97%.
Readers of WUWT are invited to join in the fun. Let me know, via comments, which your favorite graphs or other visual images are. I’ll include the best ones in the book.
Footnote. The Eschenbach Rule applies. If you want to take issue with what I have said here, don’t be a climate Nazi (© Roy Spencer, MMXIV). Please cite me accurately rather than rewording what I have said to suit the Reichspropagandaamt.