Consensus=Nonsensus – Reviewing Cook et al (2016)

Michelle Stirling writes:

A critical review of the most recent Cook et al (2016) consensus study.

There can’t be much more consensus than getting all the lead consensus study authors together to write a consensus on the consensus study. However, in my opinion, this Cook et al (2016) study suffers from the same problematic issues of earlier studies – beginning with the premise. I deconstruct. Comments welcome.

Consensus Nonsensus on 97%: Science is Not a Democracy

Stirling, Michelle, Consensus Nonsensus on 97%: Science is Not a Democracy (July 10, 2016). Available at SSRN:


A number of scholars who have previously undertaken studies on the alleged ‘consensus’ of the human impact on global warming have recently published a paper (Cook et al. 2016) which they claim confirms and strengthens their previous 97% consensus claims. This author rejects their findings and deconstructs both the premise of the relevance of consensus in the empirical evidence-based world of science and finds the claims are in fact ‘nonsensus.’ Several of the scholars’ consensus claims and those of scientific bodies were published prior to the 2013 IPCC Working Group I report wherein it was reported that there had been a hiatus in global warming for some 15 years (to 2012), despite a significant rise in carbon dioxide from human industrial emissions.

Open source paper here:

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July 16, 2016 9:41 am

Cook is successful in his aims.
He is getting attention.
How to put a stop to this nonsense?
Laugh, deride, mock. No further “study” needed.

Reply to  TonyL
July 16, 2016 2:08 pm

“How to put a stop to this nonsense?’
Beat him over the head with science until he cries out in pain,
“You mean, everything I believed in is based on an arithmetic error?”

Reply to  TonyL
July 17, 2016 11:29 am

Tax payer money continues to be wasted on hundreds of crap studies so the next best thing is to rejuvenate the king of crap…, the consensus. Here’s a novel idea, why don’t alarmists convince all with real science. Oh ya, they CAN’T!.

Reply to  TonyL
July 18, 2016 3:08 am

No sooner said than done:

Jeff Norman
July 16, 2016 9:45 am

K-Tel presents the Very Best of 97%, yes, now for a limited time K-Tel brings together all your favorite concensus artists at their shrillest, most pedantic, illogical best. We have the data Cook, we have Lewandowski the trivial honoree, Bob Ward the backstop of concensus and the Mann himself. Available at all your favourite science like outlets.

Reply to  Jeff Norman
July 16, 2016 3:57 pm

Is it available on 8-track?

Reply to  BallBounces
July 16, 2016 6:29 pm

Sorry only available for one track.

July 16, 2016 10:08 am

Effects of the solar variability on the climate change is regularly rejected as insignificant, unimportant, irrelevant or whatever term comes to mind first.
There is no consensus about the contrary view, either about extent or mechanism involved since various authors consider multiplicity of factors that may or may not be involved.
Just a week or two ago published abstracts of more than 40 recent papers on the subject.
No consensus moves science forward, it may be a zigzag path, but at least it is not a ‘cul de sac’, as is the one where the AGW’s CO2 hypothesis hopelessly got stuck in.

Reply to  vukcevic
July 16, 2016 10:51 am

“No concensus leads science forward. It may be a zig-zag path, but at least [science is] not a cul-de-sac,” as is the one AGW CO2 hypothesis got stuck in.”
Or in the case of Climate Science,
where Alarmists have been leading the uninformed into a dead end alley.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Ben
July 16, 2016 12:51 pm

But it is not a dead end alley. We are marching into a prison of totalitarian control where discipline will be metered out to those who do not stay in lock step and keep silent. A better analogy would be
the pied piper, to the drowning river for the freedom loving rats and for the faithful their children will be marshaled away for indoctrination training never to be the same innocent babes but made to suspect their parents of treason. Bow to your government for the good of your children and your planet.
Ben this is a trap.

Reply to  Ben
July 16, 2016 10:55 pm

this is consensus

July 16, 2016 10:14 am

Is this nice study published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal?
If it is not it will be sadly ignored.

Reply to  Javier
July 16, 2016 1:23 pm

It will get more notice here than in many “scientific” journals.

Reply to  Javier
July 16, 2016 2:32 pm

Peer-reviewed scientific journal used to have cachet. Now it means it is a little more likely than something published in a comic book or the National Enquirer.
Peer review has turned in many cases to “Pal Review” of pseudo-science.
What we need is a dedicated group of engineers, statisticians, etcetera that does hostile review of published reports from all government funded science studies with total access.
Failure to provide access or producing more than 10% invalid studies would result in automatic debarment from the government grant system for the authors. Peer reviewers consistently associated with failed studies would also face disciplinary action.
It doesn’t mean there won’t be “global warming” supporting studies or similar nonsense. Just far fewer of them.
The publishing journals would be informed of studies that failed review and why, and the results would also be posted on a public server.
Hostile review can be guaranteed by giving the review teams a 50% bonus for finding sufficient errors to invalidate the study and a 100% bonus for identifying scientific misconduct.

Bill Powers
Reply to  PA
July 17, 2016 9:01 am

Wonderful Idea. One problem – the Government would never fund a process to expose the hoax being perpetrated on the taxpaying public by the same said government. It would defeat their purpose.
It is always good to keep foremost in mind, on this matter of CAGW, the immortal words of H.L. Mencken “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Reply to  PA
July 17, 2016 2:54 pm

The problem of bad science is getting so bad that if Trump wins there is a real possibility of some action being taken. Medicine, psychology, climate, any area that generates a lot of studies generates a lot of bad studies that are the parents of future bad studies.
Further almost half of papers (40+%) are generated by 1%. The lead publishing authors are papermills. They publish at a rate that makes it hard to believe they read their studies let alone write them.
We need to stop the madness. Debaring people who generate multiple bad studies will shutdown the papermills and eliminate much of the chaff.
It makes no sense given the amount of misconduct, incompetence, and careerism to allow the “science” field to police itself.

Reply to  Javier
July 16, 2016 10:08 pm

You don’t get your study into a journal to be read. You get it there to get name-dropped in the footnotes of future studies related, however tangentially, to yours. It’s all about the networking. 😉

July 16, 2016 10:39 am

Even if they were right, what kind of message does “consensus” send? It literally means “general agreement”. Even if 97% of scientists “generally agree”, it’s hardly the kind of revelation you’d use to enact a complete transformation of a civilization.
“Well, Bobby…Scientists generally agree that CO2 driven climate change it’s more or less correct, so we should throw out our entire energy infrastructure and rebuild it from scratch.”

John Harmsworth
Reply to  poitsplace
July 16, 2016 11:35 am

Consenseless or no consenseless? This a hearts and minds issue as the Warmunists seek social license to impoverish the planet. Our political system has no depth. All issues must be contested on the surface. Barely existent public opinion! Science is almost a spectator.

Reply to  poitsplace
July 16, 2016 6:31 pm

The real issue is that they change “generally agree on a few basic facts” to “anyone who disagrees with the slightest part is a horrible idiot and every scientist says so”.

Reply to  benofhouston
July 16, 2016 6:45 pm

Like any other survey, you can get whatever answer you want if you tailor the question. For example, if the question was ‘Do you believe CO2 affects the climate?”, I’ll bet that even 97% of the readers here would say yes. If it was ‘Do you believe, like most climate scientists, that CO2 is the primary driver of climate change”, you could probably get a very high fraction of those who don’t know, but can’t accept that so many ostensibly intelligent scientists can be so wrong, will say yes, If you asked the question, “Do you think we should spend trillions of dollars mitigating CO2 emissions, when the science supporting their harm is very uncertain and many smart scientists are saying its too small to obsess about?”, most will say likely NO.

R. Shearer
July 16, 2016 10:59 am

The American Chemical Society (ACS) supports the AGW “consensus” position but that position was arrived at by “leadership” committee, that is there was no polling of membership as a whole. I would like to see membership polled and perhaps asked whether consensus can and should be used to establish scientific conclusions.

July 16, 2016 11:14 am

The totally ridiculous aspect of these “surveys” is that the definition of the “consensus” beliefs is so vague that practically every scientist could probably agree that human activities are probably causing some warming.
But the authors of the surveys go light years beyond such a definition and make alarmist claims that have
no relevance to the “consensus” they supposedly have demonstrated. In fact they cannot logically claim a consensus for a belief which they haven’t even clearly defined.

July 16, 2016 11:32 am

Social consensus. One step forward. One giant leap backward.

Reply to  n.n
July 16, 2016 1:45 pm

One Goose step forward…Comrade.

July 16, 2016 11:35 am

Wash, rinse, repeat.

July 16, 2016 11:45 am

The “Consensus” is another word for “Groupthink” or “Confirmation Bias”.
Take your pick, but these two subjects have been studies extensively — and they fit.

July 16, 2016 11:51 am

Thank you for posting notice of your paper. I read it with interest, especially for all the careful references. Consensus is manufactured nonsense from faulty methodologies, qualitative rather than quantitative questions, ignoring the attribution problem. And climate facts do not support it.
You should make sure Congressman Lamar Smith, Chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology committee, gets a copy. His staff will find this quite helpful in their investigation of state AG subpoenas concerning the merchants of doubt theory.

Mike McMillan
July 16, 2016 12:12 pm

97% of all government-funded climate scientists support the government climate science position.

Reply to  Mike McMillan
July 16, 2016 2:40 pm

Amazing how that works out.

Reply to  Mike McMillan
July 16, 2016 6:56 pm

Yeah, it’s amazing how government is generally seen as big, clumsy, slow and largely blundering but on this one issue, “everyone” believes that government is correct and infallible. And worse, it’s uber-government, the UN, that’s running the whole ClimateClownShow. The UN: government bureaucrats that the other highest level government bureaucrats look up to and no doubt aspire to become.

Reply to  PiperPaul
July 16, 2016 10:52 pm

Mostly only liberal “everyone”s believe it as told. And some children too young and impressionable to know when they are being force fed a load of hooey.
And many, if not most, liberals I know believe that the only greedy and corrupt people in the world work for large corporations…never for government.
Lawdy no!

Tim Hammond
Reply to  Mike McMillan
July 17, 2016 3:39 am

97% of all government funded [ ] scientists support the government [ ] science position.
That’s the whole problem with government funded science (in every area) in one simple sentence.
Science is about finding what is “true” not confirming what is thought to be true. If governments had any real idea of how science works, they should be funding more Sceptics than Alarmists at this point.

Brian R
July 16, 2016 12:17 pm

Cook seems to be a “One trick pony”. I don’t follow his publishing much, but it sure seems the “97%” is his only topic. Sort of like Mann’s “Hockey stick”.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Brian R
July 16, 2016 1:39 pm

I’ve met ponies who could only do one trick, and they were far more intelligent and produce far smaller piles of dung than Cook.

Javert Chip
July 16, 2016 12:59 pm

I believe the claimed “97% consensus” to be the best work of the GAGW crowd.
Yea it’s an intentionally crooked piece of crap, easily disproved, and even if it were accurate, “consensus” isn’t how science is done.
However, it’s intent was to proselytize the low information voter, and it has spectacularly succeeded.

Rick C PE
July 16, 2016 1:27 pm

“It is perhaps no surprise that the most skeptical people surveyed by Carlton (2014) are engineers. Professional engineers are personally accountable for failures of things they design, thus they take a hard and critical look at the data and do not rely on ‘belief’ in anything. Most are bound by professional conduct codes that make them legally responsible, and in general they are duty bound to only issue documents that are supported by substantial empirical evidence, unlike social scientists or activists like Al Gore.”

As a registered PE I completely agree with thick characterization of the profession. I also count myself as a skeptic on CAGC as the empirical evidence is not remotely convincing.

Reply to  Rick C PE
July 16, 2016 6:31 pm

I’m not changing my login to include my title, but I’ll agree 100%

Rick C PE
July 16, 2016 1:30 pm

…. this characterization. .. (engineers are not always good typists.)

July 16, 2016 1:31 pm

I see a cartoon, a bunch of scientists in lab coats standing in a group.
At the top it says: So there we have it. 97% are agreed.
And each of the scientists has a thought bubble over their head. Each thinking something different: I agreed to X, I agreed to Y, I agreed to Z, I agreed to lunch, I agreed to agree, etc. etc.

July 16, 2016 2:00 pm

Ol Cook is going to milk this consensus gig for as long as he can get money out of it. Which probably means until long after most scientists have come to an agreement that CAGW isn’t a real danger.
I mean heck, Ehrlich is still milking The Population Bomb, isn’t he.

July 16, 2016 2:05 pm

Cook (2013) is refuted as follows:
The categories in Cook et al (2013) “explicit endorsement without quantification” and “explicit rejection without quantification” are oxymoronic if the consensus the abstract of a paper supposedly endorses is either:
a) “climate change is happening and is caused by mankind” (meaning 100% of all observed warming is the result of human emissions) or
b) “climate change is happening and is caused mainly by mankind” (meaning greater than 50% of all observed warming is the result of human emissions).
Therefore the consensus Cook et al (2013) claims to have found cannot be either of those, and any subsequent attempts to imply that it is, should be ignored.
If an abstract contains no indication of how much warming is down to humans (i.e there’s no quantification) then there’s no more reason to put it under “explicit endorsement without quantification” than there is “explicit rejection without quantification”, if the consensus that abstract is supposed to be endorsing or rejecting is either a) or b). If you don’t know the level of quantification in that paper then there’s no way to know whether it endorses or rejects such a consensus. Yet, all papers rated ended up in one of the six categories, and therefore the consensus being surveyed cannot have been a) or b).
This only leaves the consensus they found to be “climate change is happening and mankind plays a role” or, as Cook et al put it, “humans are causing global warming” (yes, but how much, of the total observed warming!?). This is unquantified (by which I mean, the percentage of warming due to mankind is unquantified). This means that the categories are, essentially, set up incorrectly in the first place. The only rejection category required would be one in which an abstract rejects humans as a cause of global warming entirely. This would have resulted in a higher consensus percentage, yet would be a consensus that the vast majority of sceptics would agree with anyway.
The consensus statistic as it stands, from this paper at least, is meaningless.

Reply to  Anonnynon
July 16, 2016 2:14 pm

Here’s a link to the comment at the Guardian. You can read the responses from robhon (Rob Honeycutt) and others, and the counter to them.

July 16, 2016 3:15 pm

“Consensus is a political term with no connection what so ever to Theories of Science.” Theories of Science
For information regarding what’s valid arguments and what’s not please read: Fallacies in argumentation

Reply to  norah4you
July 16, 2016 9:08 pm

I’ve yet to figure out how to “upvote” a comment on this forum so I’ll just say “+ a lot”.

July 16, 2016 3:19 pm

97% x 97% = 94.09%. They are diluting the consensus by having another concensus

July 16, 2016 3:20 pm

Reblogged this on Norah4you's Weblog and commented:
I take it that most so called experts and many real scholars never learnt that consensus is a political term that never ever existed in Theories of Science….. As usual most forgotten that Fallacies in argumentation never ever presents valid arguments. Fallacies are usually used by those who lack valid arguments or have a non-science agenda they try to follow…..

Science or Fiction
July 16, 2016 3:29 pm

Oh my! – I think I´m having a crush on Michelle Stirling:
“Despite several surveys claiming that ‘consensus’ is a valuable driver of public acceptance of climate change, and expressions of dismay that a large percent of the public continue to reject the alleged ‘consensus’ and to question human-caused climate change claims in general, the foregoing demonstrates that ‘belief’ and ‘consensus’ are not grounds for action on climate change. If anything, such thinking is more likely to lead to extraordinary mass delusions, such as the Mississippi Scheme, the South-Sea Bubble, and Tulipomania, all three of which nearly bankrupted national economies of France, England and the Netherlands, respectively (Mackay 2008).”
“Climate change is often framed as a moral and ethical concern, thus one must question the ethics of those participating in peer-reviewed research who are psychology professionals but who employ such tactics, especially when the scientific evidence of global temperature rise does not support the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming theory.”
“This discrepancy between the surveyed ‘beliefs’ and the physical evidence demonstrates that opinion-based ‘consensus’ surveys are scientifically worthless and are an improper and potentially dangerous basis for making climate change policy.”
I wish Ban Ki-Moon, Obama and the Pope – among others – would read this paper.

July 16, 2016 4:05 pm

`Consensus’ about Global Warming is not something at all attractive with snow in Summer.

July 16, 2016 4:46 pm

Why do you guys promote papers like this? There are lots of real problems with Cook et al (2016), but this paper does practically nothing to highlight them. Even worse, it is filled with significant problems to the point it misquotes the papers it criticizes. As one example of the level of quality of this paper, it provides this quote:

Houghton (1996) “These trends can be attributed largely to human activities, mostly fossil-fuel use, land-use change and agriculture.”

For its entry on Cook et al 2013 and says:

COMMENT: The Houghton definition includes human factors other than GHGs.

First off, this “comment” is bizarre as every definition of global warming that is remotely useful accepts there are human “factors other than GHGs” at play. Second, this quotation is a quotation from the IPCC Second Assessment Report, one never used in Cook et al (2013). That report only comes up in one brief, passing reference in the paper, and it is never quoted. The authors of Cook et al (2013) certainly didn’t use that definition.
And it’s not just substantial issues this paper gets wrong. There are also basic details that are strangely inaccurate, like:

Likewise, her article references the IPCC’s 2001 the Third Assessment Report (TAR) which contained the controversial Mann Bradley Hughes (MBH98) ‘hockey stick’ which by
2003 was under fire by McIntyre & McKitrick. This led to the 2004 Wegman Report/ Ad Hoc Committee Report on the ‘Hockey Stick’ Global Climate Reconstruction. Criticism of the ‘hockey stick’ continues to this day.22

This cites, of all things, Mark Steyn’s book. I cannot imagine why one would cite that to reference the existence of the Wegman Report, but even Steyn’s book got the year right. It was 2006, not 2004. Prior to then, in 2005, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick’s wrote two more papers, papers which did far more to explain the problems with the original hockey stick than their 2003 work.
This is not a good paper. It’s a bad paper. It fails to highlight most of the serious problems with the work it discusses, gets tons of basic details wrong, misquotes papers and is basically just rubbish. And I’m not saying this just because it writes:

What is troubling is the claim that Cook et al (2013) is a finding reported by Andrew Montford (2013) regarding the use of the broadest definition of Anthropogenic Global Warming by the Cook et al (2013) study. The comment suggests a virtually ‘pornographic’ method of garish sensationalism, luridly misleading the public with its shock value, as reportedly stated in an on-line forum by Cook’s citizen research team:
“We’re basically going with Ari’s porno approach I probably should stop calling it that) which is AGW = ‘humans are causing global warming’. e.g. – no specific quantification which is the only way we can do it considering the breadth of papers we’re surveying.”31

When this finding was actually my finding, one which people sometimes reference without giving credit. I find it a little obnoxious this paper gives credit for a discovery to someone who had nothing to do with the discovery, but that had nothing to do with my conclusions about this paper. I’m only pointing it out so people don’t claim this is the only reason I dislike the paper. It isn’t.
This paper is just bad, and people should stop promoting bad work simply because it says consensus papers are wrong. Until they do, the real problems with those papers will remain overlooked by the populace because whenever they try to look at these issues, all they’ll see is bad work and wrong arguments.

Michelle Stirling
Reply to  Brandon S? (@Corpus_no_Logos)
July 19, 2016 3:45 am

Hello Brandon, I’m sorry you were not properly credited. SSRN is a working paper site so I take your comments as useful direction for amendments. I found the reference to the ‘p*rno’ approach in the Montford document and did not know, or realize, that it was you who had found it. Is there a published reference to so that I can link to somehow? I apologize that you were not properly credited and I will review the other issues you point out. Michelle

Reply to  Brandon S? (@Corpus_no_Logos)
July 19, 2016 4:26 am

Hi Brandon, I’m not able to access the link in your reference to your findings. Is it published elsewhere with reference to you? Thanks. M

July 16, 2016 6:59 pm

Michelle Stirling wrote a cogent 24 page paper with 4 pages of excellent references. Her writing is crisp and to the point. Besides presenting an orderly exegesis of past points about how wrong the effort has been, she makes several original observations, including the danger of losing the scientific focus of proof, replacing it with a beauty pageant approach to what / which science is right.
Thank you Michelle Stirling for your excellent paper!

July 16, 2016 9:04 pm

Honestly the hardest part about reading these stories of yours Anthony is keeping my blood pressure in check and maintaining a sense of humor. I’m serious. It’s way too easy for me to start raving and pulling out my hair. My wife gets upset and my dog leaves the room.
Normally I’m a pretty composed guy. Retired scientist, neighbors think of me as that funny old duck down the street, no warrants, not on anyone’s “no-fly” list. Just an average Joe.
Then you publish something like this and it all goes out the window…

July 17, 2016 4:58 am

Michelle Stirling, Great job!
“Indeed, throughout the Cook et al (2016) paper [Consensus on Consensus] the terms global warming, global climate change, climate change are referred to as if interchangeable and as if all attributable to human causation.”
This kind of confusion in someone’s use of terms is indicative of a Propaganda Operation’s Word Game, although such a person could also be ‘only’ extremely confused as to the meaning of fairly common words.
In Cooks Abstract of “Consensus on Consensus” he more specifically goes only into his own 2013 Study of Abstracts containing these muddled search terms. But::
1] How would the authors of the papers whose Abstracts Cook found using these search terms know what Cook meant by them before they wrote their papers, or that he would mean anything in particular at all?
2] In Cook’s 2016 Abstract he implicitly rejects the criticism that he should have included the ~66% “no opinion” category in calculating the % of Scientists agreeing with the Consensus – and he gives a faulty Argument from Analogy with Tectonic Plate science which “begged the question” [presumed the validity of the same assertion it was alleging to prove] of whether CO2-Climate Change has instead already been Scientifically Falsified by its record of [100%] Prediction Failure. When it was Cook himself who designed his 2013 survey of Scientists’ opinions to begin with. Therefore the “no opinion” from ~66% of Scientists discovered by using the search terms was what his own Study actually found according to its own methodology!
The very title of Cook’s “Consensus on Consensus” strikes me as hilarious and amounts to nearly the same thing I’ve supposed about “The Consensus” right from the beginning: “There is a Consensus on The Consensus because ‘everyone says’ there is a Consensus on The Consensus”. And now Cook probably hopes that “Everyone is going to say there is a Consensus on the ‘Consensus on The Consensus'”, and so on, and on….Forward to the Utopia of endless ‘free’ Bananas subsidized Studies!
“The Jungle Book” Movie: How do The Monkeys know “They are the wisest [beasts, tribe, people] in the Jungle?” Mowgli: “Because they always say they are the wisest.” At least these Monkeys stayed even by gathering and eating Bananas and Coco Nuts instead of being them.
But Cook must be, after all, an “expert” Cartoonist, so much so that he [cleverly?] be’tooned himself. Either way, it sounds like “Climate Science” to me!

Reply to  JPeden
July 17, 2016 5:45 am

More clearly: “although such a person could also be ‘only’ extremely confused as to the more precise, scientific meaning of fairly common words. But Cook has been presuming for quite a while to write about Science:

Brian Smith
July 17, 2016 6:49 am

This is not a peer reviewed paper. In fact I doubt it would pass a first year university assignment.
Get this gem on the second page:
“To claim that climate scientists (whose qualifications are undefined) constitute the sole authority on
climate as do Cook et al (2016) is to misrepresent the fundamental factors and interplay of numerous natural and cosmic forces”

Reply to  Brian Smith
July 18, 2016 11:33 am

Brian Smith July 17, 2016 at 6:49 am
1] “This is not a peer reviewed paper.”
Brian, it is being reviewed right here, and anyone else can do it anywhere they want to because it is completely open to access. You are doing it yourself. Or don’t you think your views [on objective validity?] count!
The important fact in this mater is that in the practice of real science where skepticism rules, “Peer Review” has never been warranted to provide the given truth. Especially on the basis of a few selected reviewers who often appear to be less objective than many other practicing Scientists, Engineers, and Statisticians; and even less objective than many people who’ve had only a Middle School course in the practice of real science or are capable of self-education.
The real “Peer Review” occurs only after a Paper is published.
2] “Get this gem on the second page:”
To claim that climate scientists (whose qualifications are undefined) constitute the sole authority on climate as do Cook et al (2016) is to misrepresent the fundamental factors and interplay of numerous natural and cosmic forces.
Well Brian, in Cook’s own Abstract,
He refers to an undefined “expertise”:
“the level of consensus correlates with expertise in climate science…”
And he likewise refers to an undefined class of “climate scientists”:
“We examine the available studies and conclude that the finding of 97% consensus in published climate research is robust and consistent with other surveys of climate scientists and peer-reviewed studies.”
I take his use of “expertise” and “climate scientists” to refer to only those who agree with him. After all, he is all about “Consensus”, right? While Cook himself is not really any kind of Scientist.
And Cook also proves that he doesn’t understand the practice of real, objective, science at all: a] in touting Consensus [standing completely alone, bald] when Consensus per se has nothing to do with real science. You aren’t going to find it within the principles of real science. Consensus is instead the kind of thing real science was specifically designed to avoid when its principles were first being developed during the Enlightenment, from ~1700-1800 AD.
And, b] Cook certainly pays no mind to the fact that CO2-Climate Science has been Scientifically Falsified by its own [100%] record of the empirical failure of its own Predictions from its own Hypotheses, which claim a unique or at least quite important role for CO2 in “driving climate” – since the time from 1950 on, according to these same Climate Scientists.
In this respect, Cook’s method is in practice very much like the “expertise” demonstrated in the practice of their “science”, which an admittedly large % of his “Climate Scientists” have employed and the other Studies noted above have selected:
These Climate Scientists largely persist with their Dogmatic Postulate, or dedicated delusion, that “CO2 drives Climate” specifically apart from their own proven empirical failure and apart from the numerous persisting and remaining factors such as natural variation and natural forces.
And therefore these Climate Scientists do “misrepresent the fundamental factors and interplay of numerous natural and cosmic forces”; which are admittedly “chaotic” and significantly not understood or even known, but nevertheless remain standing as the factors which have always driven climate and also lead to an empirical, scientific Null Hypothesis: that there is nothing different occurring in the current climate from 1950 on, compared to the past climate. In other words, there is nothing new for CO2 to explain, apart from its fertilizing effect on the Globe’s plant growth.
Therefore, so far we know from the proof partly provided even by the “Climate Scientists” themselves vs Empirical Reality that the scientific fact is, CO2 is completely unnecessary to the explanation of the world’s “climate” from 1950 onward. But banking on or getting bankrupted by the idea that its persistently hypothesized-without-modification, if not its deserved ~complete abandonment – and likewise that its projected [solely] ill climate effects will magically set in just beyond the next horizon – is foolish, and in practice more like a Death Wish than a positive Faith despite one’s own bad experiences or dismal world view.
And we do know that CO2 is necessary to plant life, thus ours, at an atmospheric concentration of > ~150-180 ppm, and that the world’s surface has been accumulating more green growth since its concentration has increased, even only beginning from the start of satellite observations.
But if Cook still wants a really big Consensus, he should look at the list of the ~31,000 Scientists who have actually signed specific statements as to the lack of adverse effects of increasing CO2 concentrations, the adverse effects of trying to limit them, and to CO2’s otherwise beneficial effect to life.
Where are the anywhere near equivalent numbers of his Climate Scientists who have signed specific statements as to their rather apocalyptic views on the dangers of increasing CO2 levels? Otherwise Cook gets hoisted on his own Petard, beaten at his own irrelevant game.

Reply to  JPeden
July 18, 2016 12:09 pm

Oops, a grammar/meaning correction to the above:
“… the scientific fact is, CO2 is completely unnecessary to the explanation of the world’s “climate” from 1950 onward. But banking on or getting bankrupted by “the science” which is persistently hypothesized-without-modification, if not truly deserving of ~complete abandonment – and likewise that its projected [solely] ill climate effects will magically set in just beyond the next horizon – is foolish, and in practice more like a Death Wish than a positive Faith despite one’s own bad experiences or dismal world view.”

Reply to  Brian Smith
July 19, 2016 4:27 am

Hi Brian, You are right. I’ll fix it. Thank you. Michelle

July 17, 2016 1:16 pm

It is and has never been about the ‘science’ it simply does not matter if the paper is poorly constructed and full of falsehoods , its statistics can be meaningless , its conclusion worthless and the logic poor. ALL that matters is its ‘impact ‘ that it gets the message out to a press happy to publish without thought and politicians run with it .
Cook may be many things but his no fool , he long worked out this is not and has never been about the ‘science’, which is just as well has he cannot do any, it is about the ‘message ‘ and that has made a very little man ‘big ‘. Lest hope he is around , like others , to see his work held up has joke and how lies really can run very far before the truth catching up , but in the end it will do .
Like most in the area, its his ego that matters most to him , to see that get a good kicking in the press will be a good day .

July 17, 2016 3:13 pm

I’ve only met one professional climatologist, down by the river a few weeks ago, retired from Rutgers. He was a skeptic, said he was voting for Trump. What are the odds? Better than 1 in 30, I’d guess. –AGF

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