Guest “liar, liar, pants on fire” by David Middleton
Hat tip to Dr. Willie Soon…
America Misled: How the fossil fuel industry deliberately misled Americans about climate change
Over the past few decades, the fossil fuel industry has subjected the American public to a well-funded, well-orchestrated disinformation campaign about the reality and severity of human-caused climate change. The purpose of this web of denial has been to confuse the public and decision-makers in order to delay climate action and thereby protect fossil fuel business interests and defend libertarian, free-market conservative ideologies. The fossil fuel industry’s denial and delay tactics come straight out of Big Tobacco’s playbook. As a result, the American public have been denied the right to be accurately informed about climate change, just as they were denied the right to be informed about the risks of smoking by the tobacco industry. While fossil fuel companies attacked the science and called on politicians to “reset the alarm,” climate-catalyzed damages worsened, including increased storm intensities, droughts, forest damage and wildfires, all at substantial loss of life and cost to the American people.
This report explores the techniques used to mislead the American public about climate change, and outlines ways of inoculating against disinformation.George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication
The authors of this malicious and defamatory pack of lies are:
- John Cook, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University
- Geoffrey Supran, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University
- Stephan Lewandowsky, School of Psychological Science, University of Bristol, and CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
- Naomi Oreskes, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University
- Edward Maibach, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University
This reads like a particularly idiotic Skeptical Science blog post.
The 97% Consensus Lie
Cook 2014 and its cooked consensus
Cook 2014 was nothing but the second hand opinions of Skeptical Science bloggers. Most of the surveys listed in figure 1 are similar second hand opinion exercises. These sorts of papers consist of abstract reviews. The authors’ then tabulate their opinions regarding whether or not the abstracts support the AGW paradigm. As Legates et al., 2013 pointed out, Cook defined the consensus as “most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic.” Cook then relied on three different levels of “endorsement” of that consensus and excluded 67% of the abstracts reviewed because they neither endorsed nor rejected the consensus.
The largest endorsement group was categorized as “implicitly endorses AGW without minimizing it.” They provided this example of an implied endorsement:
‘…carbon sequestration in soil is important for mitigating global climate change’
Carbon sequestration in soil, lime muds, trees, seawater, marine calcifiers and a whole lot of other things have always been important for mitigating a wide range of natural processes. I have no doubt that I have implicitly routinely “endorsed” the so-called consensus based on this example.
The second largest endorsement group was categorized as “implicitly endorses but does not quantify or minimize.” Pardon my obtuseness, but how in the heck can one explicitly endorse the notion that “most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic” without quantification? This is the example Cook provided:
‘Emissions of a broad range of greenhouse gases of varying lifetimes contribute to global climate change’
By this subjective standard, I have probably explicitly endorsed AGW a few times in WUWT posts.
Doran 2009 was a 97% consensus among 79 respondents
Doran and Kendall Zimmerman, 2009 was a survey of Earth Scientists listed in the American Geosciences Institute directory. The AGI includes AGU, AAPG and numerous other Earth Science societies. . This survey sample was limited to academic and government Earth Scientists. It excluded all Earth Scientists working in private sector businesses. The two key questions were:
1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?
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 zero-point-zero percent chance of me and about 50,000 other geoscientists being surveyed.
Had I been surveyed, I would have answered risen to #1 and my answer to #2 would have depended on the meaning of “human activity is a significant contributing factor.” If I realized it was a “push poll,” I would have answered “no.”
Interestingly, government and academic economic geologists and meteorologists were the most likely to answer “no” to question #2…
The two areas of expertise in the survey with the smallest percentage of participants answering yes to question 2 were economic geology with 47% (48 of 103) and meteorology with 64% (23 of 36).
The authors derisively dismissed the opinions of geologists and meteorologists…
It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.
No discipline has a better understanding of the “nuances” than meteorologists and no discipline has a better understanding of the “scientific basis of long-term climate processes” than geologists.
The authors close with a “no schist, Sherlock” bar chart:
If a survey was conducted of active publishers of abiotic oil papers, it would probably also yield a consensus. The same could be said of UFO researchers. Doran 2009 was an example of expertise cherry-picking and a total non sequitur… The conclusion doesn’t follow from the survey questions.
Stenhouse 2014 was a 52% “consensus”
The 97% claim from Stenhouse et al., 2014 was also contrived via expertise cherry-picking. These were the actual survey results:
When self-described “climate scientists” and meteorologists/atmospheric scientists are segregated the results become even more interesting…
Only 45% of meteorologists and atmospheric scientists endorse the so-called consensus. Even self-described climate scientists only reach 78%.
The 52% overall “consensus” among the membership of the American Meteorological Society was explained away as being due to “perceived scientific consensus,” “political ideology,” and a lack of “expertise” among non-publishing meteorologists and atmospheric scientists…
While we found that higher expertise was associated with a greater likelihood of viewing global warming as real and harmful, this relationship was less strong than for political ideology and perceived consensus. At least for the measure of expertise that we used, climate science expertise may be a less important influence on global warming views than political ideology or social consensus norms. More than any other result of the study, this would be strong evidence against the idea that expert scientists’ views on politically controversial topics can be completely objective.
Finally, we found that perceiving conflict at AMS was associated with lower certainty of global warming views, lower likelihood of viewing global warming as human caused, and lower ratings of predicted harm caused by global warming.
So… Clearly, 97% of AMS membership would endorse the so-called consensus if they were more liberal, more accepting of unanimity and published more papers defending failed climate models. No schist, Sherlock!
On top of all that, Stenhouse didn’t even ask the right questions. The so-called consensus is that humans have caused more than half of the warming since 1950. Stenhouse asked about the past 150 years.
Why did the misleaders omit Maibach et al., 2016?
Maibach is one of the authors of the pack of lies, yet they failed to even mention his 2016 AMS survey.
This survey told us that atmospheric scientists were very divided about climate change since 1950.
The questions also eerily correlate with this infamous Tweet…
“Climate change is real”
“And today, there’s no greater threat to our planet than climate change.”
So climate change can no longer be denied – or ignored. The world is looking to the United States – to us – to lead.
Why did the misleaders omit Stenhouse 2017?
Stenhouse et al., 2017 tells us that there is conflict within the American Meteorological Society on the subject of climate change.
This article analyzes open-ended survey responses to understand how members of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) perceive conflict within the AMS over global warming. Of all survey respondents, 53% agreed that there was conflict within the AMS; of these individuals who perceived conflict, 62% saw it as having at least some productive aspects, and 53% saw at least some unproductive aspects. Among members who saw a productive side to the conflict, most agreed as to why it was productive: debate and diverse perspectives enhance science. However, among members who saw an unproductive side, there was considerable disagreement as to why. Members who are convinced of largely human-caused climate change expressed that debate over global warming sends an unclear message to the public. Conversely, members who are unconvinced of human-caused climate change often felt that their peers were closed-minded and suppressing unpopular views. These two groups converged, however, on one point: politics was seen as an overwhelmingly negative influence on the debate. This suggests that scientific organizations faced with similar conflict should understand that there may be a contradiction between legitimizing all members’ views and sending a clear message to the public about the weight of the evidence. The findings also reinforce the conclusion that attempts by scientific societies to directly address differences in political views may be met with strong resistance by many scientists.
The #ExxonKnew Secret Science Lie
Apart from the bit about defending “libertarian, free-market conservative ideologies”, this is a pack of lies:
Over the past few decades, the fossil fuel industry has subjected the American public to a well-funded, well-orchestrated disinformationCook et al., 2019
campaign about the reality and severity of human-caused climate
change. The purpose of this web of denial has been to confuse the public and decision-makers in order to delay climate action and thereby protect fossil fuel business interests and defend libertarian, free-market conservative ideologies 1. The fossil fuel industry’s denial and delay tactics come straight out of Big Tobacco’s playbook. As a result, the American public have been denied the right to be accurately informed about climate change, just as they were denied the right to be informed about the risks of smoking by the tobacco industry. While fossil fuel companies attacked the science and called on politicians to “reset the alarm,” climate-catalyzed damages worsened, including increased storm intensities, droughts, forest damage and wildfires, all at substantial loss of life and cost to the American people 2.
The cartoon of a climate model is from the 1978 Black presentation:
The fossil fuel industries couldn’t have denied the American public “the right to be accurately informed about climate change” if we had tried.
Everything oil companies allegedly knew came from publicly available government and/or academic sources
One of the allegedly most damning documents was the 1968 Robinson Report for the American Petroleum Institute (API).
In 1968, scientists with the Stanford Research Institute reported to the American Petroleum Institute about their research on atmospheric pollutants of interest to the industry. Summarizing the available science, the scientists saved their starkest warnings for carbon dioxide (CO2). They cautioned that rising levels of CO2 would likely result in rising global temperatures and warned that, if temperatures increased significantly, the result could be melting ice caps, rising sea levels, warming oceans, and serious environmental damage on a global scale.1968 “THE ROBINSON REPORT”
A page reproduced from this damning report referenced Möller (1963) as the source of a 1-7 °F rise in temperature due to a 25% increase in atmospheric CO2…
Unless Exxon owned the American Geophysical Union back then, Möller (1963) was not a secret document…
On the influence of changes in the CO2 concentration in air on the radiation balance of the Earth’s surface and on the climate
AbstractJournal of Geophysical Research
The numerical value of a temperature change under the influence of a CO2 change as calculated by Plass is valid only for a dry atmosphere. Overlapping of the absorption bands of CO2 and H2O in the range around 15 μ essentially diminishes the temperature changes. New calculations give ΔT = + 1.5° when the CO2 content increases from 300 to 600 ppm. Cloudiness diminishes the radiation effects but not the temperature changes because under cloudy skies larger temperature changes are needed in order to compensate for an equal change in the downward long-wave radiation. The increase in the water vapor content of the atmosphere with rising temperature causes a self-amplification effect which results in almost arbitrary temperature changes, e.g. for constant relative humidity ΔT = +10° in the above mentioned case. It is shown, however, that the changed radiation conditions are not necessarily compensated for by a temperature change. The effect of an increase in CO2 from 300 to 330 ppm can be compensated for completely by a change in the water vapor content of 3 per cent or by a change in the cloudiness of 1 per cent of its value without the occurrence of temperature changes at all. Thus the theory that climatic variations are effected by variations in the CO2 content becomes very questionable.
From the full paper…
In this case, we must distinguish between the assumptions that the water vapor content (in cm l.e.) remains unchanged in spite of heating (cooling) of the atmosphere and that it increases (decreases). Constant absolute humidity means that the relative humidity (f) decreases from 75 to 70.34 per cent with a 1° or lowered by 4.66 per cent per deg. According to the above-mentioned calculations, an increase in CO2 from 300 to 600 ppm gives us a temperature change ΔT = +1.5° for Δf = -4.66 per cent per deg, and a temperature change ΔT = +9.6° for Δf = 0.
We recognize that for Δf = 0.8 per cent per deg the temperature change becomes infinite. Very small variations effect a reversal of sign or huge amplifications.
It is not too difficult to infer from these numbers that the variation in the radiation budget from a changed CO2 concentration can be compensated for completely without any variation in the surface temperature when the cloudiness is increased by +0.006 or the water vapor content is decreased by -0.07 cm l.e.
These are variations in the cloudiness by 1 per cent of its value or in the water vapor content by 3 per cent of its value. No meteorologist or climatologist would dare to determine the mean cloudiness or mean water content of the atmosphere with such accuracy; much less can a change of this order of magnitude be proved or its existence denied. Because of these values the entire theory of climatic changes by CO2 variations is becoming questionable.Möller (1963)
So, as far back as 1963, Exxon knew exactly what we know today:
“The entire theory of climatic changes by CO2 variations is questionable.“
The infamous 1978 Black presentation was just a review of government and academic publications on the so-called greenhouse effect.
Here’s what Exxon knew in 1978…
Black’s allegedly proprietary climate model was just another cartoon based on publicly available literature.
I added HadCRUT4 to highlight how Hansen-ian it was in its wrongness.
This allegedly proprietary Exxon climate model is a cartoon derived from a 1979 National Research Council publication…
I plotted HadCRUT4 and MLO CO2 on it at the same scale… The models were wrong back then and are not much better now.
By 1978, Exxon knew that Gorebal Warming was 97% horst schist and that future climate models would fail miserably.
By 1982, Exxon’s “brilliant climate modelers” (/SARC) predicted that, apart from the recent El Niño, HadCRUT4 would remain within the “range of natural fluctuations (climatic noise) for at least the next 40 years.
An amazing feat, considering that “the first-ever synthesis of land and marine temperature data – i.e., the first global temperature record” didn’t exist before 1989.
Cook, J., Supran, G., Lewandowsky, S., Oreskes, N., & Maibach, E., (2019). America Misled: How the fossil fuel industry deliberately misled Americans about climate change. Fairfax, VA: George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. Available at https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/america-misled/
Cook, J., Nuccitelli, D., Green, S. A., Richardson, M., Winkler, B., Painting, R., et al. (2013). Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature. Environmental Research Letters, 8, 024024.
Doran, P., & Zimmerman, M. (2009). Examining the scientific consensus on climate change. EOS. Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 99, 22–23.
Legates DR, Soon WW-H, Briggs WM et al. (2013) Climate consensus and “misinformation”: a rejoinder to “agnotology, scientific consensus, and the teaching and learning of climate change”. Sci Educ. doi:10.1007/s11191-013-9647-9.
Maibach, E., Perkins, D., Francis, Z., Myers, T., Englbom, A., et al. (2016). A 2016 National Survey of American Meteorological Society Member Views on Climate Change: Initial Findings. George Mason University, Fairfax, VA: Center for Climate Change Communication.
Möller, F. (1963). “On the influence of changes in the CO2 concentration in air on the radiation balance of the Earth’s surface and on the climate”. J. Geophys. Res., 68(13), 3877–3886, doi:10.1029/JZ068i013p03877.
National Research Council. 1979. “Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment”. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/12181.
Stenhouse, N., and Coauthors, 2014: Meteorologists’ views about global warming: A survey of American Meteorological Society professional members. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 95, 1029–1040, doi:https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00091.1.
Stenhouse, N., A. Harper, X. Cai, S. Cobb, A. Nicotera, and E. Maibach, 2017: Conflict about Climate Change at the American Meteorological Society: Meteorologists’ Views on a Scientific and Organizational Controversy. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 98, 219–223, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00265.1