Science or Science Fiction? 97% climate consensus crumbles in survey

This paper examines the framings and identity work associated with professionals’ discursive construction of climate change science, their legitimation of themselves as experts on ‘the truth’, and their attitudes towards regulatory measures. Drawing from survey responses of 1077 professional engineers and geoscientists, we reconstruct their framings of the issue and knowledge claims to position themselves within their organizational and their professional institutions. In understanding the struggle over what constitutes and legitimizes expertise, we make apparent the heterogeneity of claims, legitimation strategies, and use of emotionality and metaphor. By linking notions of the science or science fiction of climate change to the assessment of the adequacy of global and local policies and of potential organizational responses, we contribute to the understanding of ‘defensive institutional work’ by professionals within petroleum companies, related industries, government regulators, and their professional association.

With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people? (Inhofe, 2003)

Climate change profoundly challenges governmental, non-governmental and private organizations (Hoffman & Woody, 2008) by creating pressure for emission reduction goals and adaptation measures. Alongside these actions, the debate continues in some quarters as to the causes and consequences of global climate change – and, more importantly, potential directions of public policies and organizational strategies. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), representing the work of about 2,000 individuals, contends that recent global warming is a direct result of human activities for which we should mitigate the effects (IPCC, 2007a2007b). In contrast, ‘climate sceptics’ (as per Antonio & Brulle, 2011Hamilton, 2010Hoffman, 2011a2011bKahan, Jenkins-Smith & Braman, 2010Levy & Rothenberg, 2002McCright & Dunlap, 20002011) have argued that the climate is changing due to natural causes and have countered with their own experts’ reports.

This Senate report is not a “list” of scientists [like that given by the IPCC; addition by authors], but a report that includes full biographies of … distinguished scientists … experts in..: climatology; geology; biology; glaciology; biogeography; meteorology; oceanography; economics; chemistry; mathematics; environmental sciences; astrophysics; engineering; physics and paleoclimatology. (US Senate, 2009, p. 7)

Indeed, while there is a broad consensus among climate scientists (IPCC, 2007a2007b), scepticism regarding anthropogenic climate change remains. The proportion of papers found in the ISI Web of Science database that explicitly endorsed anthropogenic climate change has fallen from 75% (for the period between 1993 and 2003) as of 2004 to 45% from 2004 to 2008, while outright disagreement has risen from 0% to 6% (Oreskes, 2004Schulte, 2008). This drop in endorsement may be a manifestation of increasing taken-for-grantedness (e.g., Green, 2004) of anthropogenic climate science; the rise in disagreement may be a result of increased funding of sceptics by fossil fuel industries, conservative foundations and think tanks (McCright & Dunlap, 2010). Yet, apart from discussions among scientists, public concern over climate change is also waning in the US (Leiserowitz, Maibach & Roser-Renouf, 20082010Maibach, Leiserowitz, Roser-Renouf, & Mertz, 2011Pew Research Center, 2009), the UK (Jowit, 2010), and Canada (Berry, Clarke, Pajot, Hutton, & Verret, 2009).

The ability to build and maintain consensus on issues such as climate change fundamentally depends upon expertise, ensconced in professional opinion. Yet, given the complexity and magnitude of this problem (Weingart, Engels, & Pansegrau, 2000), the credibility of the claims-maker becomes central, i.e., the status, reputation and prestige of the scientists and professional experts who vouch for or against the different interpretations (Snow & Benford, 1988, p. 208) and construct ‘interpretive packages’ or frames (Gamson & Modigliani, 1989) that stand in for the ‘truth’. Besides defining the issue, framing is also the means by which professionals draw from broader values (Hulme, 2009), construct their self-definitions and expert identities (Beech, 2008Sveningsson & Alvesson, 2003Thomas & Linstead, 2002) and legitimate their position within this social field (Dyer & Keller-Cohen, 2000Grandqvist & Laurila, 2011Meyer & Höllerer, 2010Phillips & Hardy, 2002), and their ability to prescribe actions. Our aim is to examine the construction and disputation of expertise in a contested issue field and the consequences this has for the mobilization for or against regulation.

Several assumptions have stymied advancements in understanding claims of expertise in contested issue fields. A first stymying assumption within institutional work and professions literatures is that professionals are a homogenous group, sharing cultural-cognitive conceptions of what problems require solving (Knorr-Cetina, 1999), and collaborating on solutions to maintain their authoritative monopoly over a scope of practice (Abbott, 1988) against outside forces (Scott, Ruef, Mendel, & Caronna, 2000Thornton, 2002). Even climate change research has assumed a cohesive ‘expert’ versus public or media discourse (Boykoff, 2008Carvalho, 2007Olausson, 2009Weingart et al., 2000). Rather than presuming that they draw from one – professional – logic, we recognize their endogenous heterogeneity and ground our research in their internal contestations over expertise. Second, it is often assumed that those working to maintain institutions are primarily reproducing belief systems, ‘largely unaware of the original purpose, or ultimate outcome, of their actions’ (Lawrence & Suddaby, 2006, p. 234). However, defensive institutional work, i.e., the maintenance of institutions against disruptions, can be as deliberate and strategic as the efforts by proponents of change (Lawrence, Suddaby & Leca, 2009Maguire & Hardy, 2009Meyer & Höllerer, 2010). We contend that such defensive work can also be directed internally; professionals may simultaneously frame their own expert identities while defensively attacking fellow professionals as non-experts. In sum, the inter-institutional, discursive formation (or unraveling) of professionals’ expert consensus has not been examined within organizational theory or climate change research to determine who will defend institutions against internal challenges, why, and how.

To address this, we reconstruct the frames of one group of experts who have not received much attention in previous research and yet play a central role in understanding industry responses – professional experts in petroleum and related industries. Not only are we interested in the positions they take towards climate change and in the recommendations for policy development and organizational decision-making that they derive from their framings, but also in how they construct and attempt to safeguard their expert status against others. To gain an understanding of the competing expert claims and to link them to issues of professional resistance and defensive institutional work, we combine insights from various disciplines and approaches: framing, professions literature, and institutional theory. This addresses the call from Zald and Lounsbury (2010, p. 970) for a systematic re-engagement ‘of the critical and expanded role of experts and communities of expertise – especially the international dimension … [as] opportunities for scholarship in Organization Studies’. Using a qualitative methodology and induction, we find a variety of frames and the strategies used to promote them. Our study demonstrates that the majority of ‘command posts’ (Zald & Lounsbury, 2010, p. 963) within organizations, especially in the petroleum industry, seem to be manned with opponents to the IPCC and anthropogenic climate science who are actively engaged in defensive institutional work. We point out that in order to overcome the defense, a potent discourse coalition and a more integrative frame, for example by emphasizing climate change as a risk – a common enemy to be managed (per Kahan et al., 2010Hoffman, 2011bNagel, 2011), has to be found.

The most defensive frames are ‘economic responsibility’ and ‘nature is overwhelming’ – both deny that climate change is a relevant problem and feel challenged by the IPCC positioning, which, as a counter-frame, puts these adherents in the defensive. As opponents to regulation, they have to stand against the inherently moral ‘comply with Kyoto’ frame, which they fear has become mainstream. Their opposition is reflected in their own framing activities: more affirmation of their own positioning as reflected in increased legitimation of their problem diagnosis and own expertise, more boundary work (per Gieryn, 1995Branscombe et al., 1999Hunt et al., 1994) and more adversarial framing (Gamson, 1999) as reflected in the de-legitimation and undermining of others’ expertise. Both frames buttress their position by normalizing climate change and rationalizing nature as uncontrollable, thus any action would be ineffective. While ‘economic responsibility’ adherents prescribe economic fixes, ‘nature is overwhelming’ adherents only support reducing pollution in general terms. Both liaise with ‘true scientists’ and de-legitimate the rationality of their opponents more than other frames: politicians (‘too dumb to realize that it will take many decades to put in place an infrastructure to improve energy efficiency’), media (‘media hype’ and ‘lack of unbiased information’), and – most of all – IPCC, and its supporters’ scientific grounding – The holes left in the report by the IPCC leads me to form certain questions regarding the validity of claims made by the panel, the media and other alarmists.’

Relative positioning within the field

To determine the potential influence of these frames on policy responses, we compare the positions of the sponsors of these frames within their organization and the field (see Table 4). Adherents of frames that support regulation (‘comply with Kyoto’, ‘regulation activists’) are – in our study – significantly more likely to be lower in the organizational hierarchy, younger, female, and working in government. Indeed, in our study, only seven respondents using these frames are at the highest level in government. Conversely, adherents of those frames that are more defensive and oppose regulation (‘nature is overwhelming’, ‘economic responsibility’) are significantly more likely to be more senior in their organizations, male, older, geoscientists, and work in the oil and gas industry. Adherents of these two frames comprise 33.7% of our respondents overall, but 63.3% of top managers in the oil and gas industry as opposed to 19.1% supporting regulation. The majority of command posts within organizations, especially in the industry, seem to be manned with opponents to the IPCC and anthropogenic climate science. While it may not be overly surprising that industry executives support the industry’s interests, taking into consideration that we have analyzed experts’ frames that are founded on a claim of being independent and non-partisan, it is also important to note that the two frames that especially dwell on the point of ‘real science’ versus ‘hoax’ at the same time represent core economic interests.

Full study here: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0170840612463317


The survey questionnaire and resulting report to APEGA and its membership are available online at www.apegga.org/Environment/reports/ClimateChangesurveyreport.pdf.

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125 thoughts on “Science or Science Fiction? 97% climate consensus crumbles in survey

  1. Thanks Anthony, this article is welcome and great ammunition in the fight for the truth regarding the scientific viewpoint to counter the warmists consensus nonsense..

  2. And regarding the fake medical consensus on many drugs, has Donald Trump done anything?

    • Versus those drugs that are saving lives? Why does Trump have to do anything bar asking the pharma companies to reduce their asking prices for the 10 years it has taken to get such drugs to the market. After a billion bucks up front, yea, I’d be asking for my money back too and soon.

      So a few trials have shown manipulated or have hidden data (data on file), not a great look sure but pharma has shown a clean pair heals when it comes to advancement of human health and lives so let’s not get hung up on a few trials with results that were permitted by a some rogue employees misbaving badly.

    • You also aren’t forced to purchase drugs even if there was a fake consensus on it you have a choice. Now if CO2 emission control was optional choice and a group didn’t want to force it via laws would anyone care. The consensus is a distraction to the rights of an individual.

      The eco lunatics are trying to define that everyone must act in the best interest of the planet even if the detrimental effect takes centuries to play out. Historically under law in most countries you can only be held accountable for effects directly on a currently living person you can’t be held accountable for a person who is yet to exist. Eco laws take a different view they talk about protecting things for future generations etc and are framed that way.

      The current play is to try and bring normal laws to act like eco laws that you can be charged for behaviour that damages that harms someone who is yet to be born. It started out as a eco argument but now its about that every person now (in every country) or yet to be born has some guaranteed basic equal rights. That is why you have to give the poor money because you owe it to them as you have to much. All country resources belong to the world and need to be equally distributed and on it goes.

      • Seriously? Nobody is forced to pay insurance with some drugs priced in it?

        Nobody is forced to inject his healthy children with dangerous chemicals?

        • There seems to be a small but determined anti-vax community out there and I don’t see them getting arrested.

          The issue of being forced to pay insurance with some drugs priced in it .. I have no idea what you are on about.

          • “anti-vax community out there and I don’t see them getting arrested”

            Really? People can defy the ONE medical board and offer medical consultation or open a clinic despite the orders of the board not to?

            People can leave the ONE medical board and create alternative boards? (like private schools)

            What is anti-vax? Criticizing some vaccines? Most? Almost all? All?

            “to pay insurance with some drugs priced”

            There is no mandatory medical insurance scheme with mandatory coverage with mandatory drugs coverage?

          • You probably need to explain it’s obviously something specific to the country you are living. What country has a mandatory medical insurance scheme and I have no idea what you are going on about with the medical board.

  3. Recently in
    The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change: How Do We Know We’re Not Wrong?
    Naomi Oreskes wrote:
    “Thus, while there is no way to know for sure that scientists are correct in their conclusions, the various means we have to test and evaluate scientific claims lead to the conclusion that, so far as we are able to tell, it is most likely that scientists are not wrong about the reality of anthropogenic climate change.”
    The AGW 97% consensus has durability of the last winter’s snow.

    • Is there any evidence that someone in the “community” has asked Naomi to learn what a p-value really means?

    • One could change this: ““Thus, while there is no way to know for sure that scientists are correct in their conclusions, the various means we have to test and evaluate scientific claims lead to the conclusion that, so far as we are able to tell, it is most likely that scientists are not wrong about the reality of anthropogenic climate change.”

      to this: “Thus, while there is no way to know for sure that scientists are correct in their conclusions, the various means we have to test and evaluate scientific claims lead to the conclusion that, so far as we are able to tell, it is most likely that scientists are not correct about the reality of anthropogenic climate change.”

      and have just a valid a statement.

      • Odd, I didn’t get the opportunity to “edit” the above.

        Should be “and have just as valid a statement.”

        • I also didn’t get an Edit opportunity with an earlier comment, but it had been working yesterday. I wonder if it is temporary unavailable?

      • JohnWho

        You are correct, they are equally valid but do not contain useful information. Thus I have no objection to the statement but it cannot be used legitimately for informing policy. The entire matter boils down to informing policies.

        If the money Kenya has “invested” in imported renewables and conferencing had instead been invested in electrification and an oil pipeline from their new oilfields to the coast, their oil, which stated flowing today, would be able to get to market without being carried on trucks owned by the family of the former president (they don’t need the money).

        Similarly, informing policy on the basis of reasonably certain determinations would have saved the Liberal Government in Ontario – the Premier just conceded defeat 5 days before the election. That has to be “unprecedented” and the singe greatest reason for their defeat can be laid squarely at the door of the office controlling renewable investment and the price of electricity.

        Word is going to get around. Self-promoting politicians will start to see the writing on the wall: destroying the economy in order to save it should be reserved for developing countries, not ‘real ones’.

    • 97% is the percentage of scientists (with some cherrypicking for example including climate scientists but excluding other scientists such as meteorologists) who agree that modern climate change is real and mostly manmade. Without asking them if they agree that it is likely to be catastrophic.

      • Actually it is not although Cook likes that claim . ALL the infamous 97% is was a subset of a subset of papers related to the area. It never was 97% of papers in the area nor 97% of any group of people.
        So even if you ignore its deep methodological issues, in reality its 97% of little value .
        Its crap all the way down and up , its real ‘value’ has nothing to do with science, which given its lack of sound methodology and valid data is to be expected , but PR and marketing , or in other words a classic piece of climate ‘science’

        • Knr is correct,

          It’s 97% of 33% of abstracts that a group of strangers read and INTERPRETED as meeting their own defined criteria on “agreement with the IPCC’s statement.

          Thank heavens people like Oreske and Cook keep reminding the world that 100% of scientists, “climate” or otherwise, have NEVER been polled or surveyed in depth (or otherwise) on their specific BELIEFS regarding climate change…much less what they KNOW!!

          *grin*

    • There is no way to know for sure, but as far as we’ve been able to tell, it is most likely that we’re not wrong.

      Is that the new definition of “settled science”??? Bwahahaha

  4. My favorite Poet puts it much better : Tam O’Shanter :

    “But pleasures are like poppies spread,
    You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
    Or like the snow falls in the river,
    A moment white–then melts for ever”.

    So is it with grasping consensus. Not known if so-called scientists can even fathom that.
    Or better :

    To a Mouse By Robert Burns On Turning up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785

    The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
    Gang aft agley,
    An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
    For promis’d joy!

    It takes a Poet, Burns, Shakespeare or Schiller to phrase what is really going on.

  5. But they survey was engineers and geologists and geophysicists! How can we trust them since they are not of the hallowed halls of climatology? The survey is of people who deal in facts and results and the real world, they have no right to judge those of the Exalted Models!

    • Yea… You just can’t trust people who are held accountable for their own actions. It’s much better to trust those in the hallowed halls who are never bothered by the concerns of real world application of their theories, speculations or pronouncements of faith :<)

  6. Isn’t also the Doran/Zimmerman climate survey part of the 97% consensus argument? It was taken apart here:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/an-oopsie-in-the-doranzimmerman-97-consensus-claim/

    To refresh, over 10K surveys were sent out to the AGU mailing list. About 3K were returned and thru a lot of statistical magic, they came up with 97% (76 of 79 Climatologists were used to get the 97%). What’s also a little magical is that the survey results are no longer available, the link in the WUWT article above results in a 404-Not Found statement. Poof! not there.. Does anyone have a copy of the original for future reference?

  7. The big hoaxes of my lifetime that I recall: Bobby Riggs winning 100 k for losing to Billy Jean King; Evil Knievel getting millions for not jumping the Snake River Canyon, Y2K… In terms of total dollars it has to be the CAGW monstrosity. In terms of having to listen to adolescent rantings from all over and self-righteous politicians halo polishing on the issue as well. However, in terms of individual suffering and death, I would put deliberately poisoning people with AZT for the crime of showing an immune reaction to three of ten proteins at the top of the list.

  8. Here’s a link to a search-results page of about 8 (?) WUWT threads mentioning co-auther Lefsrud:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=lefsrud

    Below is a link to a thread by Andy May. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/cagw-bias-in-academia-lesfrud-and-meyer-2013-revisited/
    He criticizes the study touted here by her and Meyer thusly:

    The survey that forms the heart of the paper was conducted upon experts from or associated with the petro-chemical industry (in Alberta, Canada), showing that within this sector frames largely supporting the ‘C’ in CAGW add up to 41% of respondents, and frames that are largely unsupportive add to 51%. These findings and others lead the authors to a large discussion and conclusion section that includes for instance this bold assertion: ‘it seems unlikely that the defensive institutional work by those in powerful positions within fossil fuel-related firms and industry associations can be breached in the near future without global enforcement mechanisms.’ While other conclusions are not so audacious and there is a reference to ‘scientific disagreement’, readers would be correct in assuming a similar flavor. The rather strident tone of this quote leads one to suspect a fatal flaw within the whole analysis, namely that the authors have failed to recognize their own framing, and hence have done nothing to prevent this framing from biasing the whole analysis. A search for such bias and inherent framing is all too easily rewarded.

    For instance there is more than a nod to the ‘storyline’ that older males in senior positions ‘are more defensive’ to climate regulation. This invokes what is effectively a cultural cliché now, therefore alerting us regarding potential misuse to aid a particular framing. Of course within the context of the sector the authors are analyzing, whose interests lie largely in the petro-chemical industry and wider economy of Alberta, it is true; their survey is no doubt correct. But having read many of the Climategate emails, it is clear for instance that the core of defensiveness from the ‘Hockey Team’ (as they once called themselves) against making climate science more open, sharing data, and embracing rather than suppressing scientific uncertainties, also comes from older males in senior (academic) positions. Another similar scenario is that the core of defensiveness against toning down alarmism inside environmental NGOs, comes from older males in senior (administrative) positions. Regarding the latter, see the article about male domination within the leaderships of the WWF and Greenpeace, at No Frakking Consensus here: http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2013/05/09/the-male-dominated-green-landscape/.

    So, by isolating a narrow (climate-change ‘resistive’) sector completely from the context of the wider narrative competition, the authors have thus succeeded in morphing a relatively firm metric that surely we all knew about anyhow (i.e. older males dominate org leaderships), and one that is neutral with respect to climate narratives, into a storyline that is not neutral with respect to climate narratives, and is subtly deployed within their CAGW supportive frame to try and morally undermine those who are leaders in the petro-chemical sector. The implied storyline is: ‘those bad old dudes are harming the climate for self-interest; dudettes and younger dudes are way cooler than those stuffy old types anyway’. This storyline is a recurrent meme within the social phenomenon of CAGW and indeed within other cultural movements that foster radicalism and seek a change to the current regime,

    • If the ‘older dudes’ are the ones poo-pooing CAGW, they are more likely to have experience of natural climate changes over the past 60+years, and the young ones born since 1990 are the ones with mortgages to pay, kids to educate etc. (Tongue in cheek!)

      • The ones born since 1990 got their degrees online, and are living in mom’s basement.

    • Andy is complaining about framing and bias? With that kind of rhetoric? By twisting a quote completely to say what he thinks the authors really think? That’s a greater reflection on Andy’s bias than on what the authors said.

      • You need to read the whole analysis. But the above quote points to one instance where framing is clearly visible via hiding (I do not imply consciously) the whole truth (i.e. that older white males dominate many heirarchies in society, not just leaders of the petrochemical sector).

        One can make a story-line about old white guys having too much of a heavy hand in society generally in Canada (where this survey is) or US say, because for whatever reason and whatever mix of +ve and -ve factors within it, they do appear to be in this position. So then it would come down to analysis of the reasons (or challenging the surveys / methods). But when comparing subgroups within society, and saying that those folks resistive to CC policy exhibit this feature, yet omitting to say that those who aren’t resistive exhibit it too, as indeed do very many other subgroups, then this is framing bias. When applied *selectively*, the storyline is indeed the self interest of older white males (so colloquially bad dudes when compared to younger folks) in maintaining the status quo of the target area, in this case regarding fossil fuels / CC policy. But when one knows this is a feature of society generally, it is clear that the reasons are much deeper, and that they say nothing at all about the defense of fossil fuels or CC policy in particular.

        If you think there is rhetoric excess in the analysis sufficient to cause bias via similar logical errors, then please point to exact quotes accompanied by your own analysis demonstrating this, otherwise your claim cannot be substantiated.

  9. Only reading this part, it strikes me that economic, power and reputational concerns are felt to exist only on the side of private enterprise. But all three exist in government, especially in regulatory departments. Also, moral-, ethical- or virtue-positions have no personal economic or power repercussions for regulators/governors. All loss is externalized onto businesses – and the general populace.

    There is a real problem when costs and benefits are so strongly separated as they are in the climate change/CAGW situation. Empires are often built to serve the owners of what is built, not those who do or pay for the building. Gore, Suzuki and DiCaprio are private cases in point. Swartzenegger is a politico in point. There is no cost to them, no change in their lifestyle regardless of what they cause to happen. There is no reason, then, for these people to self-re-evaluate their positions as time and experiences progress.

    The democratic republic is saved from tyranny by built-in checks and balances, in other words, by connecting costs to benefits. Climate change activists outside of private enterprises are protected from the costs – of being right as well as wrong. The lives of Gore, Suzuki, Swartzenegger and DiCaprio aren’t affected either way. When there is no persinal penalty to being wrong, nothing encourages responsible thinking.

    No good comes from such a separation. Climate change isn’t the only place this problem exists, but it is a serious issue for climate change policies that we will have to live with for decades after they are set in place.

  10. 98% of Theologians believe in the existence of God. Limiting the pool of “qualified experts” to those who already believe assures a high degree of agreement. But many theologians admit that belief is a matter of faith, not empirical scientific evidence. Much like CAGW, the existence of God is a hypothesis which cannot be falsified, hence not a matter that science can resolve.

    • Did anybody ever contend it was a matter some fool with a slide-rule (see note) could resolve?

      Note: slide-rule: think of it as an analog calculator that you frequently had to turn over to continue to work.

    • Indeed. . . I’ve also noticed from various cable channels that an overwhelming majority of ghost hunters believe in ghosts and an equally overwhelming majority of UFO hunters believe in alien visitations . . Clearly concensus matters. . .

    • No, man-made global warming cannot be proven by a scientific hypothesis test. Because there is only one world, and one climate, and that only exists for a moment, before it moves on to the state it will be in the next moment.

      We do not have a parallel world with which to vary, or manipulate, independent variables, such as CO2 level, and examine how two similar worlds vary in the dependent variable, global temp, while trying to hold all other factors constant.

      Likewise, there are two main reasons we cannot prove or disprove God by such a test: first, we have only one universe.

      Second: we cannot control God: there have been controlled trials to test intercessory prayer; but those cannot “test” whether or not there is a God – the type of God that we usually speak of: the God who created everything. Why not? Because of this: if God made everything, and is all-powerful, then you cannot control God by praying. That is tantamount to saying God can be controlled. Sure we can control some powerful things, such as electricity and magnetism. But God is not a natural force in the universe; God is a something outside of the universe, and so is not controlled or manipulated in the way we control or manipulate aspects of the physical world in experiments.

      –This is a criticism of the comment above, where it seems that man-made global warming can be tested by a scientific empirical test, while also claiming that the reality of God cannot. That show ignorance of science, empiricism, and hypothesis testing.

      Arguments like this are not uncommon from mainstream scientific-minded intelligent atheists, with the almost requisite disbelief in God, based on the fact that God conflicts with their Naturalism or Scientism world view.

      I know God exists, and it is based on evidence and other avenues of proof, that mainly follow what you would use for proving the historicity of other phenomena in the past. Some people believe in God purely based on the whim of Faith, which is a little scary, since it leaves one able to believe in any God, without empirical and historical basis.

      “Faith” is a matter of, once arriving at a believe in the genuine God, working to adopt and follow the corresponding world view. Such a knowing that God can make the best out of any situation. So, when bad things, disasters, etc., happen to me and my fellow believers, we have faith that things will work out for the best in the long run, rather than being discouraged.

      For most of us, when we were young kids, we believed our parent could make all things work out for the best, and we believed they were all-knowing and all-powerful. So, when problems came up, we could simply cry or scream, having faith that our parents would act to take care of stuff.

      A toddler being bitten by stinging ants or bees doesn’t try to get away, but screams to alert the saviours for help. That toddler has faith in his or her parents. As we get older, we gain competence in carrying out things on our own, and we also learn our parents are not all-powerful. We may still sustain a faith in them to always be on our side, but the faith is not as expansive. Either way: this is what “faith” is; “faith” is not the same as “blind faith.” “Blind faith” is having faith with no rational basis.

      It is ignorant, or maliciously hostile, to conflate the two. It is not like we Christians don’t have our beliefs and theology out there, all over the airwaves, the internet, in local churches, and in nearly every hotel room. Please make a visit to a Christian Bible-believing church if you want to cover these basic questions with a believer, if your knowledge is otherwise so weak or based on distorted, agenda-driven sources.

  11. Another social psychology paper on science, I judge by the jargon. Some useful thoughts on how a consensus freezes out dissent by defining who Is an expert and allowed to participate and the defending of institutions but Im not thrilled to get support or resistance from spectators who have no basis for their “understanding”.

    Even when they think they have isolated their subject, they accept as established that sceptics are basically paid by big oil or conservative political “clients”. The Big lie has long tentacles.

  12. From my notes from Sunday school today — “Consensus does not determine truth — it only determines consensus.”

  13. The “97%” thing reminds me of all those polls before the election that said Hilliary would be our next President.
    They weren’t put out as an honest assessment but rather as an attempt to influence the voters.
    (Who let the Russians do the polling?8-)

    The “97%” was to:
    a) Convince those who are not scientist in the related fields to ignore those who are experts but disagree.
    b) Try to intimidate those who are experts but disagree that they must be wrong.
    c) Silence any and all that speak up.
    d) The logical fallacy of “Appeal to Authority” can be used (mostly by politicians) by using a “number” as the authority rather having to “name names”.

  14. “97% of climate scientists agree……” that living off of government grants coerced from impoverished taxpayers beats the heck out of getting a private sector job, struggling to create real products that people will willingly pay for, and thereby creating wealth and supporting yourself.

  15. From the article: “the rise in disagreement may be a result of increased funding of sceptics by fossil fuel industries,”

    LOL!

    The author is clueless.

  16. “a majority of the 1,077 scientists who responded to the survey”
    In fact the PhD student who is lead author did not manage the survey. That was done by APEGA (Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta) who surveyed their membership. The authors put this in context thus:

    “Research Context, Design and Methods
    To answer this question, we consider how climate change is constructed by professional engineers and geoscientists in the province of Alberta, Canada. We begin by describing our research context and the strategic importance of Canadian oil worldwide, to the economy of Canada, and the province of Alberta. We outline the influential role of engineers and geoscientists within this industry, which allows them to affect national and international policy. Then, we describe our research design and methods.”

    They expressed some surprise that there was debate at all among this group:

    “Given the dependence on the petroleum industry and relative homogeneity in licensure requirements, we might expect a consensus of opinion. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, the debate of the causes of climate change is particularly virulent among them.”

    Virulent, even.

    • pity…..anyone can write anything and insert trigger words….I’m only surprised they didn’t use shocked and alarmed

      ….but it’s still over 1000 to 30 something

    • …“a majority of the 1,077 scientists who responded to the survey”

      In fact the PhD student who is lead author did not manage the survey. That was done by APEGA (Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta) who surveyed their membership…

      In fact your response has nothing to do with the quotation you were addressing.

      • Of course it does. The “scientists” in the quote were not representative of scientists generally. They were members of a professional society of engineers and geoscientists restricted to a province dominated by the oil industry, as the authors note.

        • I was shocked it was that low even with that group. Personally I know a lot more climate ignorer’s especially engineers than I know climate deni@rs. Climate ignorer’s are happy to accept the background of AGW but they believe that little will or can be done about it until in the future.

        • As opposed to Doran & Kendall-Zimmerman, who surveyed members of the American Geosciences Institute (which includes AGU, AAPG and numerous other Earth Science societies), but expressly excluded all non-academic, non-government geoscientists.

          Even then, 53% of government and academic economic geologists answered no to question #2…

          Q1: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?” 76 of 79 (96.2%) answered “risen.”

          Q2: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” 75 of 77 (97.4%) answered “yes.”

          I am a member of two AGI affiliated societies, AAPG and SEG, but not in the directories of academic institutions or government agencies. So, there was as 0% chance of me and about 50,000 other geoscientists being surveyed.

          Had I been surveyed, I might have answered yes to #2, because “significant” is extremely subjective.

          The value of Lefrud’s reanalysis of the APEGA survey is that it looked at why people formed their opinions.

          https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/scientific-literacy-leads-to-more-politically-polarized-opinions-on-climate-change/

        • Nick, YOU don’t represent “scientists in general” either, which is why we discount your opinion when you start making claims about scientists in general.

      • “How are they not familiar with these surveys in 2007 and 2012?”
        Are you familiar with them? From the report:
        “Three out of four engineers believe that reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will mitigate future climate change, however a smaller proportion of engineers believe this in 2012 than in 2007; a greater proportion of engineers in 2012 strongly believe that reduced GHG emissions will mitigate future climate change”

        However, they do say:
        “• Engineers from Alberta and Saskatchewan report lower than average agreement that a changing climate affects their engineering decisions. “

    • They didn’t ask the real question are you prepared to contribute money to do something about it.

      It’s then the numbers plummet which is what the poor politicians are struggling with 🙂

      • scientific fact does not depend on money, or what the uniformed THINK. Scientific fact is based on research past and present

        • And there’s no “scientific FACTS that support CAGW. Just a lot of poorly supported hypotheses, group-think, confirmation bias, preconceived conclusions, GIGO models, manipulated and made up “data,” and self-aggrandizement.

          Scientific fact isn’t about what the supposedly informed THINK either. It’s about what you can observe, measure, test, verify, and repeat. NONE of which can be said about the ridiculous claims of CAGW.

        • Keep going

          Science facts are about results being verifiable and replicateable.
          Science facts are consistent with all known observations and experiments.
          Science facts don’t care about consensus.
          Science facts are always able to be challenged with any new observation or experiment

          Climate Science seems to like to bury those ones for a political agenda.

          Then the important follow on, in a democracy the people may elect to ignore science.

  17. This is all really nonsense since science is not a democracy. The laws of science are not some sort of legislation. Scientific theories are not validated by a voting process. Consensus is politics and not science.

    The AGW conjecture seems plausible at first but it is based on only partial science. For example, the AGW conjecture is based on a radiant greenhouse effect caused by trace gases in the atmosphere with LWIR absorption bands. This radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed on Earth or anywhere else in the solar system for that matter. The radiant greenhouse effect is science fiction so hence the AGW conjecture is science fiction as well. If CO2 really affected climate then the increase in CO2 over the past 30 years should have caused at least a measurable increase in dry lapse rate in the troposphere but such has not happened. Despite the hype, there is no real evidence that CO2 affects climate and plenty of scientific rational that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. This is all a matter of science.

    • Man’s CO2.
      If Man’s CO2 is not “the cause” of changing weather then what will the next thing Man does that must be controlled to promote “The Cause”?
      O2? People are using too much?
      Dihydrogen Monoxide?
      Some have signed a petition to ban it.
      https://youtu.be/yi3erdgVVTw
      (I think the video was shot in California, one of it’s sanctuary cities. I might be wrong.)

      • “Dihydrogen Monoxide?”

        I think you’re onto something there…the next big thing will be to worry about “hydrogen pollution”.

        • That is right. Dihydrogen Monoxide is the major pollutant in the world’s oceans today and it is the product of fossil fuel combustion that no one is talking about as well as the primary greenhouse gas. In the city where I live Dihydrogen Monoxide becomes so concentrated in the atmosphere that it sometimes condenses out into a liquid. The city knows about this problem and they collected the liquid in a network of underground pipes and then they just dump the liquid outside of the city limits. The pool of liquid has become so large that you can see it from space. The pool has a relatively high emissivity and absorbs radiant energy originally coming from space. The EPA needs to step in and require that all liquid Dihydrogen Monoxide be destroyed and not just dumped. Liquid Dihydrogen Monoxide is really toxic and can kill humans by asphyxiation. It should only be handled by a HAZMAT team.

      • Yes their next great cause will be to attack the farmers who use great quantities of water for irrigation, because irrigation from underground sources is depleting our aquifers and the resulting runoff is causing sea-level rise — not to mention the greenhouse effect from all that extra H2O released into the atmosphere. (less food = fewer humans)

    • Yes. But then don’t confuse them with “inconvenient facts,” they don’t like those. Which is why they willfully ignore them.

  18. The really obvious 97% lie is one of the things that convinced me early on (followed by way too much time checking other peoples homework) that there was very little to it.

    I mean, after all, if you’ll not only lie about something that easy to check, but depend heavily on that lie, how good can your case be?

    Unfortunately, most people don’t double-check much of anything, and so a lot of silly things count as “casually true.”

  19. The irony is that all this fuss about CO2, which has no significant effect on climate and is actually beneficial, has obscured the real human-caused threat. Water vapor, which is a greenhouse gas, has been increasing 1.5% per decade since 1960. That is about twice as fast as calculated from the temperature rise (feedback). The added warmth is welcome but the risk of tragedy from precipitation related flooding has been increasing.

  20. I’ve always knew that the 97% consensus is simply pathetic. You only have to read the original article to see how things are skewed to fit a premisse that the authors already had. It’s a mystery how such an article managed to pass a serious peer review. However, I’ve yet to see a serious study, with enough universality, that is able to clearly show how opinions stand today. The article shown above is a good effort, is by far better made than the original Cook/Oreskes article, but still represents a very limited universe.

  21. This yet many times again just shows the CAGW battle is mainly political, not scientific.
    So respond politically (albeit science based). My here and there admonishon to Dr. Judith Curry.

  22. When I first read about the 97% consensus among scientists it was in the news media. The article inferred it was a survey of all scientists, not just so called climate scientists. Then I saw another article discussing the 97% consensus but this time the sample had narrowed to geoscientists. Being a scientist and a stickler for that the scientists I managed following good Scientific Method I knew both articles were based on a bogus survey. Science is not done based on consensus. Of course the news media nor most politicians understand that since their whole life is based on building consensus among some group.

  23. Out here, in the trenches, I personally know scientists, mainly biologists and chemists, only some of whom do climate related work. So, say hundreds, I don’t know, maybe 300 or 400 scientists that know my face at a meeting and that I would have dinner with?

    I don’t know a single one who doubts that climate change is real and manmade.

    That’s 100%.

    It’s not an study, it’s not research, it’s just personal experience. But I don’t know anyone that works for a oil company.

    • You remind me of the Hollywood Glitterati who couldn’t believe it when Ronald Reagan was elected because, as she said, none of here friends voted for him. Its funny how that sort of thing happens.

      • The edit function didn’t appear after I submitted the comment… “here” = “her”

    • You don’t know anyone that works for a living, at least past how to get the next grant. It is often suspected in the wider community that the way to get one of these grants is to find out what the golden goose wants the research to say; then you promise to say that. This is no way to do science. It’s just an expensive form of confirmation bias.

    • “I don’t know a single one who doubts that climate change is real and manmade.”

      Responsible and notable skeptics are lukewarmists: they accept that “climate change is real” (e.g., temperatures are rising) and that man has been responsible for at least some of it, and possibly most of it. IOW, they accept AGW.

      But the debate is about CAGW; skeptics dispute that there will be positive feedbacks that will amplify the amount of CO2-caused warming. Warmists therefore employ a strawman when they imply that prominent skeptics dispute AGW.

      • I’d object to the notion that the only “responsible and notable skeptics” are lukewarmists. Some may be, indeed, and some may not be. You don’t HAVE to accept ANY of the AGW backstory to be “responsible” or “notable.”

        • “You don’t HAVE to accept ANY of the AGW backstory to be “responsible” or “notable.””

          You’re probably right; but I can’t think of any offhand. Could someone name a few? My suspicion is that they’re less notable than the lukewarmers.

    • Really-cliched: Birds of a feather my boy. And biologists were the first science to be corrupted by about mid 20th century. Also, when your bread is buttered on the same side as your confreres and colleagues you may lack the courage to risk your career with a dissenting opine. Why they have any authority at all writIng the fairytail, destined-to-fail Malthusian doomster stuff they do is beyond me. Geologists at least have the science and experience to understand changing climates. Google Ehrlich the Population Bomber for a taste.

      These surveys are stupid anyway and such an association shouldnt be bothered with such meaningless metrics.

    • Reallyskeptical, you are correct…it is not a study, or research, it is an anecdote. Nothing more.

    • The only take-away from reallyskeptical’s comment is that reallyskeptical is in a bubble of its own making, and is very comfortable in it.

    • reallyskeptical (June 3, 2018 at 4:12 pm),

      I am most surprised. Admittedly I know slightly less than a tenth of the scientists and engineers that you do, but my experience has been almost the opposite.

      Among my relatives, my late father (an engineer) was a sceptic, as are another engineer [who has expertise in non-equilibrium thermodynamics, and whose current work is related to alernative energy], a geographer and a geologist. The sceptical non relatives whom I know are mostly engineers, with one or two chemists for good measure.

      The only non sceptical scientists and engineers I know (to the best of my knowledge) are a geographer who works for the UN and a biochemist.

      Where sceptics are overwhelmingly outnumbered is among those of my friends and acquaintances who don’t have postgraduate degrees.

    • “I don’t know a single one who doubts that climate change is real and manmade.”

      So, these so-called scientists believe that humans are responsible for ALL climate change? Doesn’t sound like there’s actually a scientist in the bunch.

  24. 60 minutes said on their television program that the UN reports that 4 million people die every year because of cooking on charcoal stoves indoors. They have no other fuel source. There are efforts to supply them with small propane heaters and propane. As I am typing this i am in tears thinking that the all the greenies in the world don’t want anybody to use propane because it releases CO2 when it burns, but burning charcoal also releases CO2. All the greenies in the world want all fossil fuels to be shut down. Well the blood of 4 million people per year will be on their hands from now on. SHAME. That is equivalent to genocide to not want to help these people .

    • The numbers are staggering.the real numbers must be 40 million die every year because 2.5 billion people rely on biomass, to cook indoors. We have to provide electricity to these people. Electricity that is the cheapest and most reliable that we can obtain and that means some form pf fossil fuel plant. In the meantime we have to encourage and promote small propane stoves for these people. Something has to be done. The blood of 40 million people per year is on the greenies hands for opposing fossil fuels.

      • 40 million people in the world die every year from using biomass to cook their meals because 2.5 billion cook with biomass. What is biomass? wood, charcoal, grasses,dung …. etc They have no other choice. China is helping to build coal plants in some of these countries because they want to sell coal. We could be helping to build liquified petoleum gas(LPG) plants in those countries. The economics are about the same between coal and LPG. LPG is a mixture of propane and butane. Both come from natural gas of which the world now has 190 trillion cubic metres in proven reserves which is good for at least 50 more years. However natural gas is always being found. The only reason we arent finding any more is we arent looking very much because the prices have drastically dropped. The world also has 50 years worth of oil in proven reserves. I predict we will never run out of either one. Whenever the reserves shrink the price goes up and we look for more and find it. Coal is even in better shape. We have 153 years worth of proven reserves.

        Our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to impose a $35 billion carbon tax in the next 5 years in Canada to lower the world’s temperature in a 100 years time by 0.005C His most trusted advisor Gerald Betts wants every fossil fuel plant in the world to be shut down. 80% of the worlds energy comes from fossil fuels. With attitudes like Trudeau, Betts and all the other greenies they have the blood of 40 million people on their hands because instead of spending a $ trillion per year fighting a hoax like climate change the money should be spent helping those 2.5 billion people.

    • What’s the source of those statistics? Where is the backup?

      I can pull numbers out of thin air, too, you know.

  25. And last, but certainly not least, the whole thing is hogwash. It’s meant to hit every guilt nerve you own.

    Maybe someone should hold their feet to the fire about this baloney.

  26. This is a very strange article. The very first thing I noticed was that none of the citations – unless I missed one – were more recent than 2011. Speaking as some who stepped on board this particular blog-wagon in 2007, I just find it strange that Anthony can’t or didn’t cite anything more recent than than seven years ago if he is making a point in 2018 about the current state of affairs. I remember *reading* a number of these papers – back in the day. It just seems strange that there aren’t any more recent citations.

    • Anthony says at the very beginning of the article “This is an oldie, but goodie, but worth revisiting in the context of today’s false belief that there is a 97% consensus. It would be interesting to see the exact same study done again today. It seems that, inconveniently, a scientific consensus exists concerning global warming after all – but it isn’t the one you think. In this 2012 peer-reviewed study…” so why are you surprised that it is a reprise of an older article?

  27. Abstract
    This paper examines the framings and identity work associated with professionals’ discursive construction of climate change science, their legitimation of themselves as experts on ‘the truth’, and their attitudes towards regulatory measures. Drawing from survey responses of 1077 professional engineers and geoscientists, we reconstruct their framings of the issue and knowledge claims to position themselves within their organizational and their professional institutions. In understanding the struggle over what constitutes and legitimizes expertise, we make apparent the heterogeneity of claims, legitimation strategies, and use of emotionality and metaphor. By linking notions of the science or science fiction of climate change to the assessment of the adequacy of global and local policies and of potential organizational responses, we contribute to the understanding of ‘defensive institutional work’ by professionals within petroleum companies, related industries, government regulators, and their professional association.

    My comment:
    It appears the authors of this paper cannot write a coherent sentence or paragraph. This abstract is drivel.

    • That underlies the question is anyone qualified to speak to climate attribution, how do we decide?

      There are a lot of mathematicians, geologists, statisticians and biologists that call themselves Climate Scientists and most fail basic science problems.

    • In science, the ability to correctly predict is perhaps the only objective measure of one’s competence – and the greens have NEGATIVE CREDIBILITY based on their terrible predictive track record.

      My expertise is in energy and the earth sciences, and I have an excellent predictive track record – see below for a partial list of our correct predictions from 2002.

      The greens, however, have been WRONG about every major prediction they have made on global warming, wilder weather, ocean acidification, green energy, etc., etc.

      Regards, Allan
      ____________________________________

      TOLD YOU SO, 16 YEARS AGO:

      We confidently wrote in 2002:

      “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – THE ALLEGED WARMING CRISIS DOES NOT EXIST.”

      “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – THE WASTEFUL, INEFFICIENT ENERGY SOLUTIONS PROPOSED BY KYOTO ADVOCATES SIMPLY CANNOT REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS.”

      Source:
      DEBATE ON THE KYOTO ACCORD
      PEGG, reprinted in edited form at their request by several other professional journals, THE GLOBE AND MAIL and LA PRESSE in translation, by Baliunas, Patterson and MacRae.
      http://www.apega.ca/members/publications/peggs/WEB11_02/kyoto_pt.htm
      http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/KyotoAPEGA2002REV1.pdf

  28. … Every age has its peculiar folly: Some scheme, project, or fantasy into which it plunges, spurred on by the love of gain, the necessity of excitement, or the force of imitation….

    … Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one….

    Charles Mackay (1814 –1889)

  29. I believe that every theory which is in need of a scientific vote for its credibility has only a small chance to turn out right.

  30. Here are some questions a survey ought to ask:

    Were you a “greenie” or “concerned environmentalist” before you majored in climatology? E.g., did you regularly read such websites? Were you a member of an environmentalist organization?

    Did you become a greenie in college?

    Did you become one later?

    Did you choose climatology as your field largely because it was recommended to you as a growing field wwr oom for new hires?

    Did you, or do you, believe that corporations and their defenders are capable of any enormity and should be considered guilty until proven otherwise?

    I suspect that at least half the climatologists entered the field because of their environmentalism or their desire to strike out at key players in the capitalist system. IOW, they have a crusader’s conscience, not a scientist’s.

  31. What recent global warming? You speak of “primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming” that is nothing but forgery. They show strong warming, climbing straight up through the eighties and nineties when in fact there was no warming there before the arrival of the super El Nino of 1998. The true temperature there is shown in figure 15 of my nook (What Warming). It is based on satellite values. UAH monthly temperature graph even now shows the same temperature that is in my book. NOAA and company have gotten away with murder showing this fake warming as official since 2008. And sadly there is no one competent among thousands who looked at it to wonder about the origin of heat that created the warmest year ever.

  32. I live on Cape Cod and last summer we only had two days in the 90’s and most of the summer was in the 70’s.
    It is now June 5th and it’s still cold.I wish we could have some global warming.

  33. There are legitimate environmental concerns, one of the worst being pollution of the oceans. We never hear about this from politicians, because they can’t use it to control and fleece people. They’ve latched onto CO2, the life blood of planet earth, because it is a by product of the most abundant and economically sound energy sources. Control and tax people’s energy use, medical care (0-care), and retirement income (SS) and you own them. Transportation takes a lot of energy, so to control people’s energy use is to control where they can go, another goal of the climate hoax.

  34. “Our study demonstrates that the majority of ‘command posts’ within organizations, especially in the petroleum industry, seem to be manned with opponents to the IPCC and anthropogenic climate science who are actively engaged in defensive institutional work. We point out that in order to overcome the defense, a potent discourse coalition and a more integrative frame, for example by emphasizing climate change as a risk – a common enemy to be managed has to be found.” [Removed citations]. This statement bothered me. It seems to implicitly assume that anyone arguing against the IPCC is automatically wrong, and and must be “…overcome…”. No allowance at all that the IPCC might be wrong in any way. Clearly, anything that follows will be all voodoo science with no actual basis in reality even if the numbers at the end of the “analysis” don’t come to 97%. Thus, I stopped reading at that point.

  35. You seriously think that a poll of scientists, NONE of whom is a climatologist, compares with all papers published by actual climatologists. Which is where the 97% comes from. When a peer reviewed paper published by an actual scientist who actually studies climate makes a conclusion about AGW, then 97% of the time the conclusion is that Humans are the cause of GW. In your world of unbelievable stupid, all scientists are the same. In fact in your world of stupid, engineers are the same as scientists.
    Hey here is something. The next time you have a serious heart problem, go to a neurologist, or an internist. Better yet, since everyone with medical training, just go to a physicians assistant. After all, all doctors, make that all people with medical training are the same, and we need fewer stupid people.

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