Richard Tol’s Excellent Summary of the Flaws in Cook et al. (2013) – The Infamous 97% Consensus Paper

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale

It’s been almost 2 years since Cook et al. (2013) Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature was published. If you’re like me, you’ve lost track of the paper’s flaws, there were just so many, and how it is misrepresented, which is most of the time. Richard Tol has published an excellent summary of Cook et al. (2013) in his blog post Global warming consensus claim does not stand up (author’s cut). An edited version appeared in the Australian on March 24, 2015.

Richard’s post begins:

Now almost two years old, John Cook’s 97% consensus paper has been a runaway success. Downloaded over 300,000 times, voted the best 2013 paper in Environmental Research Letters, frequently cited by peers and politicians from around the world, with a dedicated column in the Guardian, the paper seems to be the definitive proof that the science of climate change is settled.

It isn’t.

And it concludes:

If you want to believe that climate researchers are incompetent, biased and secretive, Cook’s paper is an excellent case in point.

The rest of Richard Tol’s post is here. It’s well worth the time. Also see Andrew Montford’s comments about it in his post The Institute of Physics is Corrupt at BishopHill.

UPDATE: Jo Nova has included parts of Richard’s article in her post The 97% Cook Consensus – when will Environ Res Letters retract it?

 

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155 thoughts on “Richard Tol’s Excellent Summary of the Flaws in Cook et al. (2013) – The Infamous 97% Consensus Paper

    • Excellent point…

      …and the Cook paper survives, not one published paper against it. Even Tol’s analysis supports the Cook paper, just some 7% off. So what cooks?

  1. [SNIP – “ren”, when are you going to learn that posting weather maps via your usual link bombing is not only WILDLY OFF TOPIC, but rude as well. I’ve warned you about this before. This is my final warning to you. – Anthony]

    • so dat’s why it be’s chilly here at my home in east texas this morning. at least I’m just on the edge of it, and it’ll warm up again by the weekend.

  2. The Cook Report has been dissected by Professor Legates and others at the University of Delaware. Professor Legates in his paper in the journal of Science and Education found that only 41 papers of the 11 944 abstracts in the Cook report or 0.3 percent endorsed the theory of antropogenic global warming. Dr Craig Idso, Dr Nils Axel Morner, Dr Nicola Scafette, Dr Nir Shaviv have all protested that Cook misrepresented their work.

  3. It explains a lot about the totalitarian bias of most MSM and certain politicians that the obvious flaws of the “97% consensus paper” are simply ignored by them…

      • I don’t think it’s laziness, either.
        imo…Cook et al lied babies died.
        They believe it’s necessary to be a lying thief like Peter Gleick…
        for the cause.
        Has Gleick done any science since he got promoted for lying?

      • @Oldseadog

        Um, well – maybe both – but the alleged majority percentage of 97% is in a way totalitarian by itself. Such unrealistic high numbers were usually given as pro-communist “election”-consents in stalinist ruled nations…

        I still believe that there is a majority of all scientists of maybe 60 – 70 % who believe in man-made Global warming, because they are also humans, of course, and therefore are prone to quite common human tendencies like conformism, group think, “zeitgeist” ideologies, and – last but not least – opportunistic career-enhancing thinking.

        But let’s be clear about one thing, though a majority of 60 – 70 % might be more realistic, it does not mean that they are right, as many examples of past paradigm shifts in science prove…

      • GT – the original ‘97% consensus’ study DID come out somewhere around that number as I recall, before they started cutting out ‘unqualified’ responders – but I can never find the info on that study (the one that started with 10k questionnaires and ended up with 77 respondents in the final results)

      • TonyG

        GT – the original ‘97% consensus’ study DID come out somewhere around that number as I recall, before they started cutting out ‘unqualified’ responders – but I can never find the info on that study (the one that started with 10k questionnaires and ended up with 77 respondents in the final results)

        TonyG,

        I think you’re thinking of Doran/Zimmerman. There was a discussion here in 2013. Not sure if I can post a link correctly, but I think this is it:

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/10/an-oopsie-in-the-doranzimmerman-97-consensus-claim/

        From the article:

        In 2008 Margaret Zimmerman asked two questions of 10,257 Earth Scientists at academic and government institutions. 3146 of them responded. That survey was the original basis for the famous “97% consensus” claim.

        If the link doesn’t work, just check this article.

      • TonyG
        March 26, 2015 at 9:21 am

        GT – the original ‘97% consensus’ study DID come out somewhere around that number as I recall, before they started cutting out ‘unqualified’ responders – but I can never find the info on that study (the one that started with 10k questionnaires and ended up with 77 respondents in the final results)

        Exactly. They effectively spammed an entire community and then winnowed the minority responding for a miniscule minority of allegedly “climate scientists.” Yet even among those the “consensus” was not a total one.

  4. Is it possible for someone else to redo the “study” and do it right? I realize that it would require lots of time and effort (actually reading at least the abstracts, honestly recording data about the content with respect to well-formulated criteria, and treating the data with scientific rigor before arriving at results); but if someone–or several honest, objective people–were to do this, it just might help to counteract the non-scientific junk that is out there crudding things up now. Just a thought . . .

    • John, its not worth redoing it. The result is a mere proxy for one sided funding, and at best gives us a little more information about the sociological culture of climate research. It’s not worth whatever money it would take.

      I would rather survey all scientists (across many fields) to get an estimate of what the true scientific consensus is. A consensus of certified government funded climate publishing people is constantly misrepresented in the press as a consensus of all scientists.

      Though the pursuit of “consensus” is a waste of time as far as our climate knowledge goes, at least a better understanding of it would poke a hole in the PR meme.

      • Precisely. Consensus is a political thing. Asking “climate scientists” government funded or not if we are headed to a climate disaster, is like asking defense company CEO’s if the military needs more weapons and ammunition. Who is going to say their job is not needed or unimportant?

      • A consensus of certified government funded climate publishing people…

        And the words government funded should be mentioned in every report related to AGW.

      • When I was younger we were taught that a neutrino has no mass. The consensus was that gamma ray bursts could not be coming from other galaxies; plate tectonics was not generally accepted.
        Consensus only makes sense if you buy the “settled science” canard.
        Lord Keynes once said when challenged-“when the facts change I change my mind, what do you do sir?”
        In climate change all too often when the facts change, they change the facts.
        How many studies use climate models to create missing data and then append this data onto real data?

      • I’m sure Cook et al were and are fully aware of the flaws in their study. Even if it were formally refuted by another “peer-reviewed” paper, it’s pretty certain that second study wouldn’t get anywhere near the media attention – the 97% myth is out there, and it is going to hang around as a zombie no matter what.

      • I’m not sure if Cook’s method is doable at all. imo, It seems too subjective.

        I would rather see a questionnaire to earth scientists that asks:
        “Based on your personal study and research, how much time have you determined we have before man made CO2 causes significant permanent damage?”
        Give them brackets. eg
        Within 10 years
        10-20 years
        20-50 years
        50-100 years
        100-500 years
        Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow. (iirc, this is the approved “Team” answer)

        What the hell, let’s throw in
        “I don’t know”
        and
        “You’re joking, right?” as choices.
        It’d be a whole new ball game.

      • Walt D

        When the facts change, you need to change your ‘model’.
        At least if you wan’t to keep your ‘results’

      • Jonas N
        I’m not sure that changing the model would do any good. Christopher Essex maintains that it is impossible to produce an accurate model of atmospheric turbulence, and even if we could, the numerical solution is fraught with difficulties. Tim Ball, in a recent debate, actually quoted the IPCC saying that it was not possible to model a chaotic system.such as the atmosphere.

      • Thank you, Jo Nova! I am reassured and relieved. I am sure you are right. I’m glad I asked, though.

      • When looking a 3 of the 97% studies I got this.

        As Legates et al., 2013 pointed out, Cook defined the consensus as “most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic.” Cook then relied on three different levels of “endorsement” of that consensus and excluded 67% of the abstracts reviewed because they neither endorsed nor rejected the consensus.

        Doran and Kendall Zimmerman, 2009
        An invitation to participate in the survey was sent to 10,257 Earth scientists. The database was built from Keane and Martinez [2007], which lists all geosciences faculty at reporting academic institutions, along with researchers at state geologic surveys associated with local Universities, and researchers at U.S. federal research facilities (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, and NOAA (U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) facilities; U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories; (and so forth).
        This brief report addresses the two primary questions of the survey

        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?

        With 3146 individuals completing.
        In our survey, the most specialized and knowledgeable respondents (with regard to climate change) are those who listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change (79 individuals in total). Of these specialists, 96.2% (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1 and 97.4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question 2.

        the AMS survey Stenhouse et al., 2014.
        In this survey, global warming was defined as “the premise that the world’s average temperature has been increasing over the past 150 years, may be increasing more in the future, and that the world’s climate may change as a result.”
        Questions –

        Regardless of the cause, do you think that global warming is happening?
        2a./2b How sure are you that global warming (a. is /b. is not) happening?
        How sure are you? –Extremely –Very sure –Somewhat sure –Not at all sure -Don’t know –Not at all sure –Somewhat not sure – Very not sure
        – Extremely not sure

        So answering the questions –
        1) most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic?
        2) When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant? (Yes/No?)
        3) Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?
        4) Regardless of the cause, do you think that global warming is happening?
        5) How sure are you that global warming (a. is /b. is not) happening?

        Answeres and qustions use generalized words of most, think, significant, contriubuting and no values or significance is asked for. No where is proof or date or +/- estimates required and did you see CO2 anywhere?

        Do these questions really provide the answer that man-made, catastrophizing, CO2 control knob, ever increasing (global warming / climate change / disruption / weirding ) [pick 1 or more] which can only be prevented by higher taxes, more regulations and a loss of personal freedom to keep us all from floating down the River Styx in a handbasket?

      • Walt D, my comment was tongue -in-cheek. A bit like:

        If you you like your global warming trend, you can keep your global warming trend. Period! That’s what we’re here for!

        ;-)

      • We can presume that when the opinion of all climate scientists and experts in climate were summed instead of only those with ‘more than 50%’ of their published papers on climate topics, the result was considerably different from the fabled 97%.

        If it had been similar they would have said, ‘when only experts in climate were considered the result was xx % but when restricted to those with more than half their papers on climate the result was 97%.

        I am inclined to believe that ‘the specialists’ as a group were closer to the average for all scientists. Why wouldn’t they be? They are after all self-appointed experts.

      • Small problem , no one knows how many scientists there are , partly becasue there is no agreed definition of what a scientists even is . Worth remember that when you see these types of claims , becasue in pratice what you are seeing is the same as the ‘nine out of ten cats prefer’ claim . Worthless , biased, conjecture.

    • In a word, “no.” Objectively, the topic itself is too loaded to avoid a strong self-selection bias among the responders. The folks who do not respond are likely not to have a strong opinion, while those do respond are likely to come from the extremes of the opinion spectrum. To avoid the errors of Cook and crew you would also have to set up a blind data collection system where the people encoding the data were unaware of the content, which is a very fraught process. It may also be impossible to frame a truly neutral survey. Last but not least, the results might tell you about the population sampled, but cannot tell you anything at all about the climate or the legitimacy science involved.

  5. It has become a ‘meme’. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. The only way to destroy it is to ridicule it. Don’t try to disprove it, that would involve logic rather than emotion. If someone says it, you just laugh and shake your head.

    • Agree. Ridicule and humour are the only ways to kill this meme because they bypass logic. Onya, Josh!

    • You saying it’s ok to ridicule the truth in order to blow it down if it’s inconvenient Alex? Surely not . . Ridicule can never be an acceptable way to deal with any claim that’s achieved any kind of acceptability. The only way to deal with it is to take it apart and expose its flaws . . otherwise you become part of the anti-science movement . .

      • It has been taken apart.
        It’s flaws are exposed.

        But the media still report it as though it isn’t debunked.

        The 97% paper needs to be approached the same way we approach homeopathy. It’s disproven and nonsensical.
        Don’t give it a veneer of scientific respectability.

      • satire is often the only weapon against the state.

        climate science demonstrates the dangers in government funded science, when scientific inquiry becomes wedded to political party platform. science becomes slave to politics. truth is replaced by political correctness.

      • Jim Hogg, that’s a famous name in my part of the world. We’re competing for the attention of people who have a 30 second attention span, at most, and who read messages with a max of 117 characters at a time, no more. That’s mass society today; taking apart something and exposing its flaws can never be done in that kind of context. If you want to reach the average consumer today, the message has to be in a form in which someone like Jon Stewart could shout it in 10 seconds, get a laugh, and then move on to the next topic. So, ridicule is pretty much our only option if we want the public to listen.

      • jim hogg March 26, 2015 at 4:03 am

        I don’t ridicule from the outset. It has been debunked several times in the last 2 years. I’m getting quite sick of it now. Obama and his cronies keep bringing up that number even though it is patently false. It’s convenient for them to just quote it.
        It’s about time people laughed when he quotes it now. Maybe he will have enough intelligence to ask his handlers what the laughter is about.
        Fat chance of that. I’ve come across idiots like that before. the CEO of our company got the figures all screwed up and was berating us for getting 20% under budget for sales. His assistant pointed out to him that we were all 20% over budget. What did he do? Continued berating us.
        I think abortion laws should be changed to allow for terminations up to 60 years. There is no hope for some people.
        Ridicule is all that’s left at some point in time.

  6. “It’s been almost 2 years…..”

    Nice to have this old chestnut dredged up (again) to keep this fresh in the minds of us Villagers. We all know that 97% of Climate Scientists agree that either there is no global warming, if there is it’s the Suns fault, if it’s not the Sun it’s natural variation, or something else – but they’re just too scared to say so because of thier fear of ‘The Team’.

    • And we all know that 97% of those Climate Scientists’ predictions\projections\BS have been wrong, horribly wrong. embarrassingly wrong. There has never been a bigger failure in the history of Modern Science.

      Which means their theory (and yours as well) is wrong and must be discarded.

      Disagree? Prove me wrong. You can’t.

      Sorry to dredge up the old chestnut of reality to you.

      • Idiot:

        Your link says:

        Human-caused global warming, from emissions of greenhouse gases, is a major contributor to the continued rise in global temperature…

        …and you believe that carp? Really? As an idiot, you’re upholding your reputation. Does it feel all warm and fuzzy to read preposterous nonsense like that? Global warming stopped 18+ years ago, but you eco-religionists cannot accept reality.

        There are blogs for people like you. This isn’t one of them; this isn’t a religious site. Go worship your false eco-god somewhere else.

      • @DBStealey:
        http://opr.ca.gov/s_listoforganizations.php
        They are ‘only’ 197 Scientific and Engineering Associations, representing tens of thousands of Scientists and Engineers, who have gone on record stating that human-caused climate change is real. Here is just ONE of those Associations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): “The overwhelming evidence of human-caused climate change documents… extraordinary future risks to society…many people do not yet understand that there is a small, but real chance of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts… around the world”
        http://whatweknow.aaas.org/get-the-facts/

        Go ahead and tell these people they are part of a religion. This should be interesting.

  7. Cook work has never been a reflection of reality , therefore showing how in pratice reality does not support it has no effect . It is mistake making time and again to think that if you can prove something is factual invalid in the alarmist’s claims you can counter them .
    The trouble is that it is not an argument based on facts in the first place, its merely one hiding other the rock of science, and sometimes given the very poor science seen hardly doing that, so proving it factual wrong 100 or 1,000 or even 10,000 times will not work .
    You need instead to treat these as arguments over religions dogma which are impervious to facts and expect that for the ‘faithful ‘ no proof will ever been enough .

    • What would it take to change a devout Christian into a devil worshiper?
      What would make him stand up proudly, denounce his God and kneel before Satan.
      That’s what we’re talking about for those that have been conned into believing in CAGW, fairies, unicorns and renewable energy.

  8. The more I read about the AGW farce the higher my blood pressure goes! Could or should criminal proceedings be brought against these people for fraud? My energy bills are sky-high because of these greedy clowns. As has already been said, because 97% of scientists say something is so, that does not mean it is, but in this case, whoever paid for this study to be done has been cheated, This can only mean one of two things:
    a) They are stupid.
    b) They actually wanted the results that Cook found, meaning they are complicit and therefore fraudulent.

  9. Thanks Bob and Anthony for sharing this.

    While Cook’s ineptitude should surprise no one, I draw attention to the roles played by the hierarchy of U Queensland, the editor of Environmental Research Letters, Dan Kammen of UC Berkeley, and the publisher, the Institute of Physics.

    As Ross McKitrick put it: “it’s not (just) the crime, it’s the cover-up”.

    • The thing is that Cook has probably learned to live with the infamy and probably gets off on it, but the weasels who gave this piece of rubbish life probably don’t. So, in future whenever the paper is quoted we should always include a ref to the so-called scientists who sanctioned it. See if they like being constantly reminded of their failure.

    • What I can not understand is why science and the peer review system has allowed this rubbish to stand unretracted. I did not understand how it got published in the first place — but I really don’t understand why it has not been taken down after all this time.

      • That’s because the “peer review system” is inherently flawed. It depends upon review by “peers,” but in a culture of scientific specialization, the pool of potential “peers” can be filtered until one is left with only “yay-sayers”, what has come to be labeled “pal review.” This system permits folks like Mann to assert that a professional mathematician or statistician does not understand his (Mann’s) mathematics adequately to critique them, total humbug, it sounds “reasonable” to the hoi polloi and helps create public confidence. Worse, anonymous peer review permits “pals” to review in disguise so that you cannot estimate the objectivity of a review – positive or negative.

      • Mark
        That is a sad story.

        Dan Kammen, publicly praised the paper immediately after publication (an editor should always stay aloof) so any critique of Cook is a critique of Kammen. The then-president of the Institute of Physics, the publisher, quickly realized that retracting this paper would mean losing his editor and risking a fight with Berkeley.

        The University of Queensland had a big scandal in neurology and a small one in biology, and they can ill afford a third one.

        Cook has of course already one retraction to his name – quite a feat for one who has yet to get a PhD – and a second one would be the end of his career. Lewandowski, Cook’s PhD adviser, would also get into trouble.

      • If you could draw a diagram showing who reviewed , whose ‘research’ what you would probable see is the same names coming up time and again in clusters , with small changes depending on who is starching and whose back needs starching. The word , iIncestuous apply describes this, but don’t but it in Google at work.

    • So Richard, was it your own ineptitude that caused the 24 flaws in your so-called ‘reanalysis’ of Cook’s paper or something else? Or is the fact that no-one is surprised by now that you are trying to cover up and deflect away from the many flaws and false allegations in your own paper by trying to make up new ‘flaws’ out of thin air on Sou’s blog or your own blog? Or is it that you just can’t seem to add up basic numbers without ‘gremlins’ creeping in?

      “After submitting to and being rejected twice by Environmental Research Letters, he (Tol) received some harsh but fair criticism from the reviewers, who listed 24 problems and ways the paper could be improved.”

      The only way to improve a ‘paper’ that flawed, was to throw it away.

    • No it’s a claimed 97% CERTAINTY from 76% of CO2 scientists, who make up 0.3% of actual scientists.

  10. When talking about the flaws you don’t really need to dissect the entire paper, it’s DOA. One more analysis of it’s flaws is like trying to add to the discussion of Cyndi Lauper’s fashion sense by noting that her shoes seldom match her handbag.

    The problem is: In communicating with the public the AGW crowd relies on the “train wreck” mentality of most media. In a recent article, on this web site, there was a good account of how the media’s use of catastrophe builds audience. No one would pay any attention to TMZ if it wasn’t for the trash. It’s very hard to tell someone “there’s nothing here folks, move along.”

    Countering a train wreck requires an equal and opposite train wreck, or at least something catchy, like “save 40% on your heating bill, support global warming,” Use clever titles, like “Is global warming all just gloom and doom?” and then enumerate the benefits.

    Folks, quit being practical analysts, what we need here is to start fighting lies with propaganda.

      • Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.

        Consider that a ‘cap and trade system’ has not yet been implemented.

      • Piper Paul

        I hate to say it but we’ve got something. Because even the Democrat controlled Congress wouldn’t pass Obama’s cap & trade bill (I’m not certain but I seem to recall that it was authored by Waxman and Markey) he went ahead and had the EPA issue its endangerment finding. Moreover, the POTUS is using virtually every single bureaucratic tool he can to sneak, deceive, or bludgeon his climate change initiatives into place. For instance I suspect the real intent behind his ADA rule requiring motels to outfit swimming pools for ADA compliance (conveniently issued after the 2012 elections) is climate (think of Gleick’s involvement with water use, or automobile use in vacation travel). I also suspect HUD will be used in this game as well (think of Maurice Strong and his statements concerning middle class lifestyles and single family homes being incompatible with the planet).

    • “…..start fighting lies with propaganda.”
      Don’t need propaganda. Just state the facts and a lot of outlets.
      Those who don’t believe in climate change are fools. Those who believe Co2 controls the climate are fools. Politicians who believe Co2 controls the climate are fools with an agenda.

    • simple question. why does every solution proposes by government funded scholars start with raising taxes? isn’t there a conflict of interests, as they are paid from these increased taxes?

  11. You have to hand it to anyone who can turn 0.3% into 97% and then convince governments and millions of people it’s kosher. They can do my tax returns anytime.

    • Sorry, Tim, with my conspiricist’s tin-foil hat on I could happily believe that certain governments needed a patsy to give therm a ‘good’ stat. Having got it, Cook is on the hook and the powers that be have their bogeyman. Cook was pimped by government and, unlike most prostitutes, has got to enjoy it.

      • Back in the ’70s, a friend used to counsel problem teenage girls for social services/probation department.
        He said it’s almost impossible to convince a 16 year old girl making a couple hundred a night tax free to give up hooking, go back to school or get a job paying $100 per week.
        It looks like climate scientists are showing he was correct.
        Climastrologists don’t want to give up prostitution either.

      • mikerestin,

        Good point. It’s the same with Afghan farmers making $40K – $50K a year growing poppies. The gov’t tells them to grow food crops instead — and make $7,000 – $8,000 a year. Who are they gonna listen to? The U.S. government has learned this lesson well, and applies it to the climate scare.

        So now we have climate scientists, who have been trained with grant funds the same way that Pavlov’s dogs were trained with dog biscuits. Honest, ethical scientists all seem to be scientific skeptics. All of them. What does that tell us about scientific veracity?

  12. Regarding a “consensus”, there actually might be one supporting phraseology like this:

    “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”
    From the Oregon Petition Project

    or this

    “We, the undersigned, having assessed the relevant scientific evidence, do not find convincing support for the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing, or will in the foreseeable future cause, dangerous global warming.”
    From: the International Climate Science Coalition

    • Bingo! Skeptics are honest and direct in these examples. Both those petitions are backed by extensive peer reviewed publications.

      There are no petitions saying the opposite. Why?

      • How odd that no-one seems to be able to come up with all this ‘extensive peer-reviewed publications’ you claim that supposedly supports the Oregon petition and International Climate Science Coalition stance.

      • Ceefer,

        You are ignoring JohnWho’s comment. Why?

        If you can refute both, or either of those statements, here’s your chance to do it.

      • @Ceefer.
        You asked the key question, to which you will never receive an answer from Stealey, because he insists YOU come up with data refuting JohnWho’s claim. In other words, YOU have to disprove an unsupported assertion by JohnWho and supported by Stealey.

        Of course, the reason for Stealey’s obfuscation is that are essentially NO such peer -reviewed publications supporting the views of the signers of the OISM. Study after study of the tens of thousands of peer-reviewed papers on Climate Change come up with less then 1% that dispute any aspect of AGW, and NONE dispute AGW in its entirety.

        Stealey’s next tactic will probably be to launch a personal attack, but he won’t answer your good question.

      • As usual, the warrenbot adds nothing of substance.

        Where are his counter-petitions?

        Answer: he doesn’t have any. All the warrenbot does is cry about it. He never posts anything worthwhile, just his usual pointless complaints.

        Wake me when he can produce even 1% of the OISM’s numbers. That will be the day.

        And of course, Ceefer has disappeared since he cannot credibly respond to my comment above.

  13. Surely the concept of a “consensus” in science is irrelevant at best. A red rag to a bull at worst. Ask all the Giants in the history of science, Galilleo, Newton, Einstein etc. “Consensus” meant absolutely nothing to them. I treasure Galilleo’s muttered comment on the matter: “si muove”.

    • Odd though that as glaciers melt they reveal what we’ve seen before.
      There is life under the glaciers waiting to be re-exposed to the sun.

      • Not odd at all, since Earth has been warmer than it is now. Tell us how you think this finding of Science contradicts the finding of science that mans burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet?

  14. from the leaked/hacked SkS forum

    co-author Dana Nuccitelli said this, when they were trying to actually define what the consensus was!

    Dana:

    “I’m also confident the first criticism of the paper will be “I’m a denier and based on your definition, I endorse AGW”, assuming our definition is any anthropogenic warming. If deniers fall into our ‘endorse’ category, that substantially weakens our result..”

    http://www.hi-izuru.org/forum/The%20Consensus%20Project/2012-01-24-Defining%20the%20scientific%20consensus.html

    this wasn’t science it was PR/marketing – crudely – “97% of scientists say” – so dont’t listen to any sceptics..

    bcos ‘peer reviewed’ science says so..

    a clue is they were marketing it, before they had defined it, or [done] any research
    http://www.hi-izuru.org/forum/The%20Consensus%20Project/2012-01-19-Marketing%20Ideas.html

    http://www.hi-izuru.org/forum/The%20Consensus%20Project/

    • Yes I read similar articles related to group-think-activism in journalism. To American journalists if you are skeptical of AGW you also
      – want to abolish the IRS,
      – go to war with Iran,
      – and eliminate a woman’s right to choose.

      On a bright note they have not associated skeptics with wanting a return to slavery.

      Taking positions like the bullets below (from Sez Rosen article) will promote journalistic professionalism, while apparently hard thoughtful research and analysis is to be avoided.
      – Persistence: Call what it is — a rejection of the science — and keep calling it that.
      – Confrontation: Try to raise the costs of denialism.

      Overt activism in journalism has been a problem for a long time, and never has been worse than with AGW. It is a difficult problem since the opposite extreme of false-equivalency is also a problem. Frankly this is only a problem due to stupid and lazy journalists remaining blissfully ignorant about the subjects they cover,

    • Rick,

      I tried to comment there, saying that global warming amounts to 0.7C. I got a meaasage that I have been banned by Grist! That’s news to me.

      I guess they don’t want scientific facts. When a blog censors like that, they are admitting that they only want their readers to see their side of things.

      I wonder what they think of WUWT, since this site has destroyed Grist every year in the Weblog Awards.

    • I agree, Richard Tol’s ‘rebuttal’ paper should be retracted. It’s amazing that he found someone to publish it despite how many rejections he got because of his baseless allegations,

  15. I don’t have any faith in peer review. Also, when people habitually lie to me, I don’t trust them.

    I don’t know what to do about it, but if chronic lying doesn’t get some kind of major push-back, it will result in disaster.

      • The warrenbot says:

        persistent rejection of peer-reviewed science = lying

        Look at that nonsense. Savor it. It is typical of the warrenbot’s cluelessness.

        Anyone who has taken the time to read the Climategate emails knows beyond any doubt that the climate peer review system has been thoroughly corrupted. So lemmings like the warrenbot have no choice but to engage in Projection, and accuse those questioning climate pal-review as ‘liars’.

        See, folks? You are lying because you are scientific skeptics: you don’t accept anything at face value. You want it verified, or falsified.

        warrenbot doesn’t like that. So he says you are lying. I suppose there are no mirrors in a ‘bot’s house.

  16. Cook gives an online course called “Making Sense of Climate Science Denial”.
    https://www.edx.org/course/making-sense-climate-science-denial-uqx-denial101x#.VRRNpuHfAsY

    The course is a MOOC – massive online open course arranged by University of Queensland. The number of MOOCs are increasing rapidly as it is an effective way for universities to reach out to the broad and interested audience.

    Cook’s course starts April 2015 and anyone can enroll. Prerequisites: “Basic high school science recommended.” The course description (Copied from the edx web page):

    “Making Sense of Climate Science Denial
    Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial.
    About this Course

    In public discussions, climate change is a highly controversial topic. However, in the scientific community, there is little controversy with 97% of climate scientists concluding humans are causing global warming.

    Why the gap between the public and scientists?
    What are the psychological and social drivers of the rejection of the scientific consensus?
    How has climate denial influenced public perceptions and attitudes towards climate change?

    This course examines the science of climate science denial.

    We will look at the most common climate myths from “global warming stopped in 1998” to “global warming is caused by the sun” to “climate impacts are nothing to worry about.”

    We’ll find out what lessons are to be learnt from past climate change as well as better understand how climate models predict future climate impacts. You’ll learn both the science of climate change and the techniques used to distort the science.

    With every myth we debunk, you’ll learn the critical thinking needed to identify the fallacies associated with the myth. Finally, armed with all this knowledge, you’ll learn the psychology of misinformation. This will equip you to effectively respond to climate misinformation and debunk myths.

    This isn’t just a climate MOOC; it’s a MOOC about how people think about climate change.”

    My recommended prerequisite would be “not for well-informed and easily aggravated persons”.

    On a serious note this is problematic – a mooc isnt just any course as it serves as a advertisement for the competence and profile of the university behind the course. Quite a lot of financing are behind these courses to polish them into an appealing package. All the more reason to ensure scientific principles are followed i.e. avoid speculative, controversial and biased content. Scientists are of course entitled to voice their opinion but never in the context of teaching.

    • “Making Sense of Climate Science Denial”
      Didn’t Al Gore start something like that in the U.S. a few years ago?

      • Maybe he did. Anyone could give a “course” but not anyone have the mandate to give an academic course yielding academic credentials. The point I’m making that a MOOC is a course endorsed by a university to promote the university to attract students and researchers. The number of participants are unlimited. Some popular MOOCs by prestige unis have over 100000. Hence the university better be sure the course lives up to fundamental academic principles as that is what is expected; required even; of universities as they are mandated to give academic credentials to students. It is their license to operate.

        To be clear about this: a MOOC doesnt always give credentials (you may get some “diploma” as proof of that you have passed the course) but the point of a MOOC is mainly to promote and display of the ability of the university to live up to the standards required by a university. I hope for the sake of Queensland Uni that the actual content of Cook’s MOOC is more substantial and nuanced and accurate than the short course description. Then again, as the main argument is the 97%-meme, my hopes are not that high.

      • As the course has not started yet I can only judge by the description which states:
        “In public discussions, climate change is a highly controversial topic.”
        This is true in many places around the world.

        This sentence is followed by:
        “However, in the scientific community, there is little controversy with 97% of climate scientists concluding humans are causing global warming.”
        This sentence is also true in itself (more or less as the methods to obtain the figure 97% can be debated) as most scientists agree that humans have some influence on the global temperature. It does neither quality how much influence humans have nor whether it has any catastrophic consequences, which are highly debated issues among scientists.

        Putting the two sentences clearly linked together like this with the antagonizing “However, …” provides the message that 1) almost all scientists agree on any issue of importance regarding climate change and 2) there is only in ‘non-scientific’ public discussions that human influence on global warming is debated, both 1 and 2 are false.

        Furthermore, the repeated use of the d-word, provides a message that anyone who do not think AGW is a serious threat deny science. This is false as there are several scientific publications with results supporting this conclusion. As the d-word is strongly associated with rejecting the existence of the holocaust, totally unrelated to the climate subject, this choice of word is also a baseless, i.e. false, attempt to smear non AGW proponents.

      • Actually the near-consensus(97%) you refer to is that more than all the warming since 1800 (1.6F) is due to Man, since without the increased greenhouse effect of elevated CO2 levels caused by the burning of fossil fuels, the Earth would have been cooling slightly, as was the natural trend just prior to the industrial age.

      • warrenlb March 28, 2015 at 5:11 pm
        Actually the near-consensus(97%) you refer to is that more than all the warming since 1800 (1.6F) is due to Man, since without the increased greenhouse effect of elevated CO2 levels caused by the burning of fossil fuels, the Earth would have been cooling slightly, as was the natural trend just prior to the industrial age.
        ————————
        Eh ?? I think the percentage of climate scientists that would agree with that statement is probably 0.00%. Show me one name, and I’ll show you one loony.

      • philincalifornia,

        warrenbot appears to be formulating his response, which will begin: “All the World’s Scientific Institutions, and all the Universities, and all the Governments, and every possible peer-reviewed journal on Planet Earth is in total agreement that MMGW must be true, true, true! It’s a factoid that I teach, it’s true I tell ya, it’s true!”

        Or something very similar.

        Anything but debate facts and evidence, and anything except answer questions.

        That’s the warrenbot M.O. All appeals to corrupt authorities, all the time; he’s a real one-trick pony.

        So I think we’ll be waiting until there’s ice-skating in hell before the warrenbot produces the names of his mythical “97%”.

        Even if the warrenbot produces a name or two (doubtful), that will start the fun. Because we can produce more than 32,000 names. So, let the games begin!

      • Yeah, it’s taking a long time to type two words – a name, isn’t it ?

        The hilarious thing is that if he was correct, it would have been quite possibly the most fortuitous positive thing that humanity ever did for itself. Pity the evidence says no and, when the next ice age is upon us, no amount of CO2 with its pathetic “warming” effect will help us, although with vastly reduced water vapor levels, maybe I’m wrong. I hope so, but I don’t look to Antarctica for any warm and fuzzy feeling on that !!

      • @philincalifornia.
        Did you even look at the graph? If earth was slowly cooling beginning about 5000 years ago, and then the AGW-driven temperature spike occurs in the industrial age, overlaying a slow natural cooling, what do you think that says about the magnitude of man-caused temperature change vs total warming? To make it easy for you, a multiple choice: Less than, Same as, More Than.

      • Eh ?? I think the percentage of climate scientists that would agree with that statement is probably 0.00%. Show me one name, and I’ll show you one loony.

        …. is what you are unable to answer. Thank you.

      • Two days later, and I’m still waiting for the warrenbot to post the names of that mythical ‘97%’.

        Also, warrenbot’s Chicken Little concern about the big rise in global temperature is actually over a mere 0.7º rise — in a century and a half!

        Hardly anything to be worried about.

  17. This 97% thing is like the “Hands Up. Don’t Shoot” of the AGW movement. It was accepted as fact and spread around by millions of people without first investigating the underlying validity. It became accepted and part of the narrative. Once it was demonstrated as being false, people were still treating it like it actually happened.

  18. It’s a false dichotomy. Lukewarmers fit those 97% constraints and most skeptics (the great majority in the journals) are lukewarmers. The surfacestations paper would have to be be interpreted as a 97%-er, too, for that matter.

  19. It is a welcome challenge for people as disparate as movie actors, politicians, radio disc jockeys, day time show hosts, activists to come up with slogans. A good slogans have the extraordinary ability to enter a societies sub-consciousness and stick. Clint Eastwoods “Make my Day”, “Flip-Flops” used against Kerry in the presidential campaign, the “99%” in Operation Wall Street and TV/radio/news show promos are all examples.

    “97%” is a slogan, it is irrelevant whether a study proves or dis-proves it. That 97% is meaningless nonsensical in terms of demonstrating anything relating to reality is irrelevant. The fact that people are still pushing a slogan as proof of AGW is relevant.

    Reminds me of another slogan from a presidential campaign “Where’s the beef?”, which was effective in showing that their was no substance behind the claims of a political opponent. Humorously this slogan applies well to AGW claims.

    Unfortunately we end up with too many alarmingly incompetent leaders in Washington due to elections being a battle of the slogans instead of a battle of ideas and qualifications.

  20. Excellent work Dr. Tol documenting and exposing the lengths true believers will go to in order to convince others of the truth and importance of their cause and the ease upon which even the most inane premise is celebrated if it is suitable for advocacy. Us skeptics of anthropogenically dominated, dangerous, and devoid of benefit climate change are often charged with the thought “crime” of being faux-skeptics that readily accept any off the wall hypothesis as long as it does not involve CO2 being a major influence but it is the beneficiaries of the disproportionate funding in favor of taking extensive action on climate change that not only readily accepted but lauded such “work” as Cook’s fiction with such uncritical fervor as to make it difficult indeed not to conclude that it is actually them that are “faux”.

    • As you have ‘lauded’ Tol’s baseless false allegations with such ‘uncritical fervour’, the term ‘faux-skeptic’ seems apt. Cook’s work is not fiction. It’s easily repeatable. It’s not rocket science. It’s just a survey of the level of consensus in the academic literature about the basic premise of anthropogenic climate change by rating abstracts, and includes a 2nd stage where scientists were emailed to self-rate their own full papers.

      The fact that Tol has spent 2 years obsessing about trying to find flaws (and resorting to making up ‘flaws’ by deliberate misrepresentation) with a study whose results he actually agrees with, is rather puzzling. He could have repeated the study himself 100 times over by now.

      • Sounds like Tol’s issue is with Cook personally, rather than with the 97% conclusion, since he explicitly says he believes there is a Scientific consensus that Climate Change is caused by Man.

  21. Dr. Tol must have more important things to do now than to continue to obsess over a cartoonists scientific joke. I said so the last few times he railed about it. There is no removing it from the minds of those who use it.

  22. Humans have built towns and cities.
    .
    They are considerably warmer than the green fields they replaced.
    .
    Since temperatures in cities are included in the global average temperature, as cities grow the warm urban areas became a larger percentage of the Earth and make the average temperature of Earth at least slightly warmer.
    .
    So what if 97%, or 98%, or even 100% of scientists agree on something?
    .
    Throughout history, that’s been an excellent leading indicator that one or two brilliant scientists would eventually come along and prove them wrong!
    .
    A one degree increase in the average temperature since the late 1800s is nothing more than a meaningless random variation, being used as an ‘opening act’ by leftists to support their current boogeyman: Computer game climate astrology.
    .
    Of course every leftist boogeyman, from acid rain, to the hole in the ozone layer, to the latest global warming boogeyman, “requires” the same response: More government power to save the world.
    .
    But who is going to save the world from those smarmy leftists?

    My climate blog:
    http://www.elOnionBloggle.blogspot.com

    • “So what if 97%, or 98%, or even 100% of scientists agree on something?
      Throughout history, that’s been an excellent leading indicator that one or two brilliant scientists would eventually come along and prove them wrong!”

      Your data for this remarkable ‘conclusion’?

    • Richard Greene says:

      So what if 97%, or 98%, or even 100% of scientists agree on something?

      They don’t. It’s a lie.

      If I’m wrong, then name those “97%”. Up to now it has been a baseless assertion.

      • warrenbot:

        As I said:

        If I’m wrong, then name those “97%”. Up to now it has been a baseless assertion.

        Deflecting to another subject doesn’t work. Either produce verifiable names, or your “97%” is meaningless carp.

      • @DBSteaely.
        Your posts consist of intimidation and junk science, punctuated with periodic whines about ‘appeals to authority’. Whereas you reply with your own appeal to authority, except it’s junk authority — eg, the OISM. You have no credibility in the world of science, except possibly in Metrology –where you should have stayed.

  23. The Pope is Roman Catholic.
    The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the world.
    Rev. Billy Graham was a Christian.
    Cook’s methodology would conclude that Billy Graham was a Roman Catholic.

  24. http://opr.ca.gov/s_listoforganizations.php
    They are ‘only’ 197 Scientific and Engineering Associations, representing tens of thousands of Scientists and Engineers, who have gone on record stating that human-caused climate change is real. Here is just ONE of those Associations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): “The overwhelming evidence of human-caused climate change documents… extraordinary future risks to society…many people do not yet understand that there is a small, but real chance of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts… around the world”
    http://whatweknow.aaas.org/get-the-facts/

    Looks more like 100% to me.

    • warrenlb is a robot. I am convinced of it.

      ‘He’ incessantly emits the logical fallacy of Appeal to Authority. It is his priimary argument. He has to use it, because he has no credible facts or evidence to support his belief system.

      This isn’t the first time a ‘bot has commented, and unfortunately, those comments will become more and more common.

    • The “Scientific and Engineering Associations, representing tens of thousands of Scientists and Engineers, who have gone on record stating that human-caused climate change is real”, one of which I am, and have been a member of for over 40 years, do not necessarily reflect the views of all or possibly even a majority of the members of said organizations,
      While I have received my annual dues statement with regularity, I do not recall ever being asked my opinion on anthropogenic global warming/climate change/climate disruption, or whatever name is in vogue at the moment.
      Candidates for office nay have included their position on the issue when information on their background and qualifications was presented with ballots, but if so, it was only a brief mention.

    • Thanx for the link, warrenbot. It proves beyond any doubt that NASA is fraudulent.

      The OISM Petition has withstood every attempt to falsify it. With 30,000+ verified names, it completely debunks the “consensus” nonsense, including NASA’s ridiculous “97%”.

      I note that the OISM co-signers are named — every one of them. But NASA does not name a single one of their “97%”. Thus, NASA’s credibility = zero.

      • ‘OISM’? Verified names Including the Spice Girls and Charles Darwin! Quite a high class document.

      • warrenbot says:

        “Verified” names??

        Liar.

        Show us where in the OISM site you found those names: the Spice Girls and Charles Darwin.

        And:

        …representing tens of thousands of Scientists and Engineers…

        Name them.

        Or your comment is pure fiction.

  25. I cannot find a YouTube copy of a TV segment of an Australian TV show hosted by Rove McManus, but a segment was called “Warren” and it was full of carp! A familiar theme by warrenlb it seems.

    • So, Patrick you agree with Richard Tol’s opinion that “There is no doubt in my mind that the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans. I have very little reason to doubt that the consensus is indeed correct.” – Richard Tol

    • What “missing papers” Richard? You mean gaps in the number sequence of database unique article IDs because duplicate papers were removed? Long before the ratings even commenced? Are you seriously unaware of how databases work? Or are you that obsessed with finding something, anything, anything at all, ‘wrong’ that you’ll just make things up? The irony is that you are on record as agreeing with the fact that there is a consensus in the literature.

      ““There is no doubt in my mind that the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans. I have very little reason to doubt that the consensus is indeed correct.”- Richard Tol

    • [Snip. This is not the real Newt Love. This is the banned troll:

      David Socrates
      Gordon Ford
      beckleybud
      juan
      Edward Richardson
      Pyromancer76…

      And many other fake names. Now he has started engaging in identity theft by impersonating legitimate commenters. ~mod.]

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