Psychologist José Duarte writes: The Cook et al. (2013) 97% paper included a bunch of psychology studies, marketing papers, and surveys of the general public as scientific endorsement of anthropogenic climate change.
Let’s go ahead and walk through that sentence again. The Cook et al 97% paper included a bunch of psychology studies, marketing papers, and surveys of the general public as scientific endorsement of anthropogenic climate change. I only spent ten minutes with their database — there will be more such papers for those who search. I’m not willing to spend a lot of time with their data, for reasons I detail further down.
This paper is vacated, as a scientific product, given that it included psychology papers, and also given that it twice lied about its method (claiming not to count social science papers, and claiming to use independent raters), and the professed cheating by the raters. It was essentially voided by its invalid method of using partisan and unqualified political activists to subjectively rate climate science abstracts on the issue on which their activism centers — a stunning and unprecedented method. I’m awaiting word on retraction from the journal, but I think we already know that this paper is vacated. It doesn’t represent knowledge of the consensus.
I want to note here that the authors are still misrepresenting their 97% figure as consisting of “climate papers”. For an upcoming event, Cook claims “They found that among relevant climate papers, 97% endorsed the consensus that humans were causing global warming.” Clearly, this is false. There is no way we’ll be able to call the above papers “relevant climate papers”. Don’t let these people get away with such behavior — call them out on it. Ask them how psychology papers can be “relevant climate papers”, raise your hand at events, notify journalists, etc. Make them defend, explicitly, what they did. Hopefully, it will be retracted soon. But until then, make them defend what they did. For one thing, Cook should now have to disclose how many psychology and other irrelevant papers were included. In a scenario where retraction wasn’t justified, they would have to rewrite the paper. In this case, the false statements, fraud, and absurd method mandate retraction, and some sort of penance.
Other raters, like Dana Nuccitelli, say it should count as “methods” (which might have excluded it), but that “It’s borderline implicit endorsement though, with all the ‘climate change denial’ phrases. If you read the paper I’d bet it would be an explicit endorsement.”
Nuccitelli thinks that if a psychology paper uses the phrase “climate change denial”, it might count as scientific endorsement of anthropogenic climate change. We should linger on that. This is a staggering level of stupidity with respect to what would count as scientific evidence of AGW. The implied epistemology there is, well, I don’t know that it has a name. Maybe it’s some kind of postmodernist view of reality being based on belief, anyone’s belief (except for the beliefs of skeptics) — perhaps a grotesque misreading of Kuhn. Even if we thought reality was best understood via consensus, it’s not going to be created by consensus, and the only consensus we would care about would be that of climate scientists. That Marxist or neo-Marxist sociologists pepper their paper with “climate change denial” does not add to our confidence level about AGW — it is not evidence of anything but the ideology of two American sociologists. It doesn’t test the energy balance model, or revise or validate or estimates of transient climate sensitivity. It has no input into our knowledge of AGW. In any case, I’m stunned by Nuccitelli’s behavior in these rater forum pages, and his behavior as a climate science writer – he and Jenny McCarthy should jointly surrender to some sort of authority.
I think some of you who’ve defended this “study” got on the wrong train. I don’t think you meant to end up here. I think it was an accident. You thought you were getting on the Science Train. You thought these people — Cook, Nuccitelli, Lewandowsky — were the science crowd, and that the opposition was anti-science, “deniers” and so forth. I hope it’s clear at this point that this was not the Science Train. This is a different train. These people care much less about science than they do about politics. They’re willing to do absolutely stunning, unbelievable things to score political points. What they did still stuns me, that they did this on purpose, that it was published, that we live in a world where people can publish these sorts of obvious scams in normally scientific journals. If you got on this train, you’re now at a place where you have to defend political activists rating scientific abstracts regarding the issue on which their activism is focused, able to generate the results they want. You have to defend people counting psychology studies and surveys of the general public as scientific evidence of endorsement of AGW. You have to defend false statements about the methods used in the study. Their falsity won’t be a matter of opinion — they were clear and simple claims, and they were false. You have to defend the use of raters who wanted to count a bad psychology study of white males as evidence of scientific endorsement of AGW. You have to defend vile behavior, dishonesty, and stunning hatred and malice as a standard way to deal with dissent.
Cognition is in large part categorization, and we need more categories to understand and sort people’s views and frameworks when it comes to fresh scientific issues like AGW. If our science category or camp includes people like Cook and Nuccitelli, it’s no longer a science category. We won’t have credibility as pro-science people if those people are the standard bearers. Those people are in a different category, a different camp, and it won’t be called “science”. Those climate scientists who have touted, endorsed, and defended the Cook et al. study – I suggest you reconsider. I also suggest that you run some basic correction for the known bias, and cognitive dissonance, humans have against changing their position, admitting they were wrong, etc. Do you really want to be on the historical record as a defender of this absurd malpractice? It’s not going to age well, and as a scientist, certain values and principles should matter more to you than politics.
If you’re always on the side of people who share your political views or aims, if you’re always on the side of people who report a high AGW consensus figure, no matter what they do, something is wrong. It’s unlikely that all the people who share your political perspective, or all studies conducted by them, are right or valid — and we know that in advance. We need more honesty on this issue, less political malice, better epistemology.
Read the full essay here: http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/cooking-stove-use-housing-associations-white-males-and-the-97
h/t to WUWT reader Randy Hughes
See the Legates paper here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/03/cooks-97-consensus-disproven-by-a-new-paper-showing-major-math-errors/