The 97% feud

by Judith Curry

An academic feud swirls around how best or even whether to express the scientific consensus around climate change.  

I’ve written several previous posts about the Cook et al. paper Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature.   See my previous posts on the paper:

The paper went viral when President Obama tweeted about it, and I saw somewhere that the paper had been downloaded 200,000 times.

Yesterday, I was motivated to reread the Cook et al. paper by this article in the Scientific American How to Determine the Scientific Consensus on Global Warming.  The article originates from E&E Greenwire Profile of an academic feud: What do 97% of scientists believe about climate change?  Excerpts from the SciAm article:

Academic disputes are different from bar fights. The point of contention is a peer-reviewed study published last year [by John Cook and coauthors] . The scientists examined 4,014 abstracts on climate change and found 97.2 percent of the papers assumed humans play a role in global warming.

That statement quickly got boiled down in the popular media to a much simpler message: that 97 percent of scientists believe climate change is caused by humans.

Predictably, climate change skeptics challenged the study. Lately, the [paper’s authors] have been battling a rear guard attack from within the climate science community itself. Some social scientists, political scientists, climate change communicators  question whether informing people of a scientific consensus serves any purpose.

Cook thinks that politicians are not acting because the public is not pressuring them enough. If people realize that the majority of scientists agree on human-caused climate change, they will absorb that knowledge like empty vessels and become more convinced of the threat, he said. They will then be more amenable to picking up their phones and calling their legislators.

And yet the chain of events Cook mentioned, where people hear of the scientific consensus and call their lawmakers, has not happened. In fact, consensus messaging over the past decade has not convinced any more or any fewer Americans to believe in global warming.

“There’s no point in doing scientific research if you are not looking to publicize it,” he said. “A part of what we were doing was closing that consensus gap, and the consensus gap is delaying climate action. We wanted it to have a tangible impact.”

The blowback began soon enough from the climate skeptic community. Soon after came challenges from the scientific community. Tol, the economics professor at the University of Sussex, was among the most vehement.

Tol dislikes, in principle, the idea of a consensus. After all, the point of science is to challenge accepted wisdom and refine it, a process that runs somewhat counter to the idea of a consensus.

“I’m a hopeless romantic for the Enlightenment: I’d rather convince people with arguments than with an appeal to authority or consensus,” Tol said via email.

“I expected the criticism from climate deniers because they’ve been attacking the consensus for 20 years,” Cook said. “I’m a bit disappointed that scientists who accept the consensus and who are trying to work towards climate action are criticizing this method of communication because the reason why we did it was based on a lot of social science research.”

Kahan of Yale University disagreed with Cook that people, even in the middle, will change their minds when exposed to consensus messaging. In fact, most people are already broadly aware of the scientific consensus on climate change, he said.

A new question arises: ‘So what?’  Even assuming the consensus message does work, it will not necessarily lead to climate action by policymakers, said Mike Hulme, professor of climate and culture at King’s College London.

JC reflections

What triggered me to read the Cook et al. paper again was this statement in the SciAm article:

The scientists examined 4,014 abstracts on climate change and found 97.2 percent of the papers assumed humans play a role in global warming.

That statement quickly got boiled down in the popular media to a much simpler message: that 97 percent of scientists believe climate change is caused by humans.

Assumed? This comes across rather differently than my interpretation of the paper.  The main concluding statement is this:

Among papers expressing a position on AGW, an overwhelming percentage (97.2% based on self-ratings, 97.1% based on abstract ratings) endorses the scientific consensus on AGW.

In my mind, there is a pretty big difference between ‘assume’ and ‘endorse’.  The SciAm article makes the Cook et al. paper come across more soberly and scholarly than it actually is.  This paper is a prime example of motivated scientific reasoning.  As far as I can tell, here is what Cook et al. measured:

'That's just a fancy way of saying you agree with everything the boss says.'

Source

Apart from the Cook et al. paper itself, I think the SciAm article is interesting in terms of highlighting the dissent on this topic, and raising the question as to how best or even whether to express the scientific consensus around climate change. This is a pretty heretical statement (a welcome one, IMO).  And kudos to Richard Tol for his statements about consensus.

I have written numerous posts and one published paper on the problems with trying to manufacture a scientific consensus around the complex, poorly understood topic of climate change, for the purpose of motivating ‘action’ via speaking consensus to power:

From my paper No consensus on consensus:

When applied to a wicked and/or messy problem, the ‘speaking consensus to power’ approach underexposes scientific uncertainties and dissent, making the chosen policy vulnerable to scientific errors; and it limits the political playing field in which players can present different policy perspectives.

The climate community has worked for more than 20 years to establish a scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change.  The IPCC consensus building process arguably played a useful role in the early synthesis of the scientific knowledge and in building political will to act. We have presented perspectives from multiple disciplines that support the inference that the scientific consensus seeking process used by the IPCC has had the unintended consequence of introducing biases into the both the science and related decision making processes, elevating the voices of scientists that dispute the consensus, and motivating actions by some consensus scientists and their supporters that have diminished the public’s trust in the IPCC.

And finally, how are academic disputes (about climate change) different from bar fights?  Rather than throwing physical punches, the consensus defenders throw their punches with inane tweets using pejorative hashtags, e.g. #denier #antiscience

twits

Source

620 responses to “The 97% feud

  1. And how about how much the public understands about the difference between what the 97% is even supposed to “endorse”/”assume” (some human contribution to some warming, actual amounts not certain) and how the people pushing political action are spinning it: “that 97 percent of scientists believe climate change is caused by humans”?

  2. When you assume anything you make an A$$ of U and Me

    • Appeal to Authority

      An appeal to authority is an argument from the fact that a person judged to be an authority affirms a proposition to the claim that the proposition is true.
      Appeals to authority are always deductively fallacious; even a legitimate authority speaking on his area of expertise may affirm a falsehood, so no testimony of any authority is guaranteed to be true.
      However, the informal fallacy occurs only when the authority cited either (a) is not an authority, or (b) is not an authority on the subject on which he is being cited. If someone either isn’t an authority at all, or isn’t an authority on the subject about which they’re speaking, then that undermines the value of their testimony.

      • I am not so sure about that. With something as complex and nuanced as Climate Change a great many people will not attempt to understand the whole argument but will, rather, phone a friend who’s judgement in this area they trust. They may well not get the right answer but they will have deferred to an authority they trust.

        People like Sagan and Tyson carry much weight because they are ( pseudo ) known and trusted by so many less informed people. We tend to trust people we like. It is only when that small minority of people take the time to understand the topic and then become nonconformists that the big truths of the day come under scrutiny. When the little guy does some digging and finds out there is no reason dissent in that controversy vanishes.

        Where there is ambiguity politics drives it all. Cook et al is just politics.

      • Keitho, Respectfully, I am writing from the political perspective of legislation/regulation/enforcement. I provided a definition of fallacious “appeal to authority” for everyone to consider for “the big picture”. “97% agree” is a fallacious appeal to authority that proves/substantiates nothing in response to “show me the foundations and reasoning for your hypothesis.” “Everyone” is hyper-specialized in their specific field. Most assume, I’m an expert at “this,” and being and expert at “this” translates into, I’m an expert at “that”. Sorry, no. Most no longer see the forest for the trees, consequently they overlook the obvious. Monies keep coming in for “research” when the provider of money gets the answer it seeks for its own political agenda. When the personal attacks start with an immediate call to stop discourse, which is generally immediately in this area, the name-caller cannot explain his/her reasoning, or worse yet, is hiding the fact that honest science (reality and truth) does not support their conclusions. When data and “procedures” are never provided, or are manipulated without honest explanation, what one must assume? 97% agree, it must be correct? That is not the way to conduct “science” and enact unending laws,regulations and taxes thereby destroying businesses and jobs for Americans.

      • With Cook,
        It is not about science.
        It is not about climate
        It is not about consensus.
        It is all about Cook, nazi uniform and all

  3. The deception in the article you picked out coupled with #SciAm deleting comments from even Met office scientist @RichardBetts, let alone from lesser lights who challenge their chosen message shows the depths to which Scientific American has fallen.

  4. Judy says: In my mind, there is a pretty big difference between ‘assume’ and ‘endorse’.

    There’s a pretty big difference between “Among papers expressing a position on AGW” and 97% of all the climate papers chosen for the study too. (which excluded around a thousand papers which don’t endorse AGW).

    The paper’s conclusion make the same fraudulent move Oreskes did. It morphs ‘humans have some effect on climate’ to ‘humans caused most of the warming’ without support from the data.

    • I find the fact that many of the scientific papers expressing an opinion on climate change are NOT climate scientists but are often biologists doing research into diverse fauna og flora – I found e.g. that two of the 67 odd papers expressly endorsing climate change were papers by paedogogs.

      Surely a scientific consensus expressed by non-related professionals is no better than a consensus expressed by laymen.

      • I endorse climate change. But I never met anybody who claimed the climate didn’t exist. I suspect the main point of contention amongst climate experts and wonks involves energy exchange processes within the ocean and the way clouds behave as feedbacks. Oh, and there may be a bit of discrepancy regarding the paleo climate record (hockey stick syndrome) and the role of the sun?

    • David L. Hagen

      See LeBeck’s excellent SciAm comment detailing Cook’s actual evidence and compare that to the article’s mishmash:

      LeBlack RichardSJTol July 26, 2014, 7:40 PM

      There are supposedly two co-authors commenting here in this thread, and neither one of them corrected the obvious mistakes in the article, although one of them DID mention that the mistakes are numerous.

      For example, above-

      “The scientists examined 4,014 abstracts on climate change and found 97.2 percent of the papers assumed humans play a role in global warming (ClimateWire, May 16, 2013).”

      Let’s quote from Cook et al 2013 directly-

      “examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. ”

      Correction-The scientists examined 11,994 papers NOT just 4,014.

      “We classified each abstract according to the type of research (category) and degree of endorsement. Written criteria were provided to raters for category (table 1) and level of endorsement of AGW (table 2). Explicit endorsements were divided into non-quantified (e.g., humans are contributing to global warming without quantifying the contribution) and quantified (e.g., humans are contributing more than 50% of global warming, consistent with the 2007 IPCC statement that most of the global warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations).”

      The text of Cook et al 2013 makes it clear that in order to be included in the study, the papers had to contain either the term “global warming” or “global climate change”. The word “anthropogenic” does NOT appear in the search term? Why?

      Cook et al 2013 also makes it clear that there are only TWO “endorsement” categories-explicit/non-quantified, and explicit/quantified. BOTH categories require the mention of a HUMAN contribution. (They require the A to be added to GW)

      Yet Cook et al 2013 does NOT categorize all papers that did NOT mention human beings contributing to global warming/climate change as “non-endorsing.” 66.4% of the papers that came up under the global warming (GW) or global climate change (GCC) search terms did not mention the “A” at all!

      33.6% of the total (11,994) papers expressed a position, and of those, 97.1% (of 33.6%) endorsed the “consensus position”.

      Cook’s own data revealed that only 64 papers actually met the explicit endorsement with quantification category. 64! Since when does 64 papers out of 11,994 = a consensus?

      To honestly equate Cook et al 2013 as applicable to the climate science community as a whole, then one assumes that 11,994 papers represents 100% of the community. 66. 4% of that community is silent on both the cause and extent of global warming/climate change period. 33.2% of that community expressed a position, and of that 33.2 percent, 97.1% endorse the idea that humans contribute to global warming-but only 0.5% actually quantify the human contribution to more than 50% of the warming since the mid-20th century.

      Cook et al 2013 makes a massive, and unscientifically proven assumption regarding the “66.4% of papers that take no position” on the cause or extent of GW. That assumption is that “scientists generally focus their discussions on questions that are still disputed or unanswered rather than on matters about which everyone agrees”, yet Cook et al 2013 does not then INCLUDE the 66.4% of papers in the total of papers that take a position. Why not?

      *If the assumption outlined by Cook et al 2013 holds true, why then doesn’t Cook et al 2014 describe the 64 papers that DID focus their discussion on the “A” of GW (as if it was still disputed and unanswered) as truly abnormal, unusual outliers?

      *Why do 4,000 papers out of 11,994 feel the need to mention something that is no longer disputed that everyone agrees on?

      *Why did the authors of Cook et al 2013 fail to point out which papers among the 11,994 published since 1991 were referencing global warming/global climate change PRIOR to 1950…a time period when the “Anthropogenic” term would not, SHOULD NOT accompany the terms “global warming” or “global climate change”?

      *What scientific criteria qualified the reviewers of the 11,994 papers as able to accurately determine the personal opinions/stances of the scientists who published work on global climate change, global warming, based on nothing more than the reading of their abstracts?

      Anyone who prefers reason and logic to assumptions and double speak can see Cook et al 2013 for what it is. And it’s not science.

      • Walt Allensworth

        So David – I make this to be 64 out of 11,994 or a 0.5% consensus!

        Not so impressive as 97%, eh?

      • David L. Hagen

        Walt
        Compliments on your mathematical analysis and understanding.

        Compare NO climate skeptics disagreed with the following questions:
        100% consensus amongst skeptics on:

        1. Does climate change?

        2. Has the atmospheric concentration of CO2 increased since the late 1950s?

        3. Is Man likely to have contributed to the measured increase in CO2 concentration since the late 1950s?

        4. Other things being equal, is it likely that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause some global warming?

        5. Is it likely that there has been some global warming since the late 1950s?

        6. Is it likely that Man’s emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases have contributed to the measured global warming since 1950?

        9.4 times as many as the 64 who agreed with majority catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.
        Is that significant?

  5. I really don’t get the hysteria against consensus.

    It’s pretty uncontroversial in other fields

    • Michael –

      ==> “I really don’t get the hysteria against consensus.”

      C’mon now. Don’t be coy. You get it.

      • OK, OK.

        It’s a rhetorical tactic, the purpose of which I understand….. but I really don’t get why they think it will have much effect.

      • ==> “but I really don’t get why they think it will have much effect.

        Because they’re deeply embedded in their climate “skeptic” bubble, and can’t see beyond its walls.

        I’ve been reading over at Brandon’s about how Cook et al. will be used in text books in future generations to teach children about the flaws of climate science.

        And this is from “skeptics.”

        It’s really quite funny if you think about it.

      • All science do have assumptions and consensus but I’m not sure that all sciences use those consensus in the same way they are used in climate science.

        1) To exclude dissenting voices,
        2) To question the morality of dissenting voices.
        3) To act as gatekeeper to ideas.

        A consensus at its best should be a practical starting point from which a plethora of ideas can be investigated not a weapon to beat people into a certain point of view. As has been said often ‘skeptical’ climate scientists ARE part of the consensus when a broad definition of the consensus is used. Problem is that broad definition is problematic for policy so we end up going through this McCarthyite process of narrowing acceptable positions to fulfill policy needs. I don’t see that process occuring in many other scientific fields..

      • David Springer

        Michael | July 27, 2014 at 11:05 am |

        “I really don’t get why they think it will have much effect.”

        They don’t think it will have much effect. The thing is, it’s all they got.

      • David Springer

        “they” being the consensus

    • the only “consensus” is trivially true, i.e., agreement that there is any human cause at all for climate change. These “studies” and articles NEVER demonstrate that there is majority endorsement (never mind 97%) for either any overwhelming human causes or any catastrophic, avoidable outcomes of human causes.

      Every writer in the vein of Cook and friends is either incompetent or mendacious, take your pick.

      Incompetent if they don’t understand the different and incompatible definitions which they paper over;

      mendacious if they DO understand and plunge ahead anyway to claim consensus on extreme statements which are NOT substantiated by the studies (even leaving aside the incompetence of the opinion studies which have been presented to date).

      • ” These “studies” and articles NEVER demonstrate that there is majority endorsement (never mind 97%) for either any overwhelming human causes or any catastrophic, avoidable outcomes of human causes.”

        And neither do they claim to, so what is your point??

      • Michael,
        what is the claim upon public attention, never mind action, if such dramatic claims are not made and substantiated?

        No one need care about “consensus” that there is minor human causation in climate change which does not imply dramatic changes to our economies, health and risk of catastrophe, etc.

        Such studies (and interpretations of same) are insignificant…. unless the strong consensus about important impacts can be explained and substantiated? Why should any of us care? What is at stake?

      • Michael:

        These “studies” and articles NEVER demonstrate that there is majority endorsement (never mind 97%) for either any overwhelming human causes or any catastrophic, avoidable outcomes of human causes.”

        And neither do they claim to, so what is your point??

        But they DO so claim. Perhaps you are not familiar with the English language. There is a large difference between the meaning of the following two sentences:

        97.2 percent of the papers assumed humans play a role in global warming.
        and
        97 percent of scientists believe climate change is caused by humans.

        The first sentence does not imply anything about the magnitude of the human impact; the second strongly implies that the human impact is the most significant factor.

        Indeed, I have been involved in discussions on this very blog in which it has been insisted that 97% of climate scientists believe that humans were the cause of most or all of the observed climate change in the 20th century.

        It’s clear from the way that the conclusion was stated that the authors of the paper wanted to spin their results to imply something not supported by the data. While you may consider that acceptable science, real scientists do not.

      • Jim Fitzgerald

        Skiphil

        “Every writer in the vein of Cook and friends is either incompetent or mendacious, take your pick.”

        Or they need to get their Phd. If eventually they get tenure then all is well.

    • It’s not a hysteria against consensus, it’s loud opposition to claiming that a consensus is automatically correct, and using it to support demands for extreme political action.

      And, what Joshua said. All you types know the opposition is justified. Your “lack of understanding” is just a pretense.

      • ==> “All you types know the opposition is justified. ”

        I love that. “All you types.” “You people.” Just beautiful, AK.

        I don’t think that the “opposition” is “justified.” I think that it is partisan wrangling, personality politics, Jell-O mold flinging, drama-queening, and almost completely irrelevant to the science.

        The generally hypocritical attitude from “skeptics” about the “consensus” is same ol’ same ol’ – as is the arguments from “realists” that a paper like Cook et al. will somehow move the needle on the climate change discussion.

        Same ol’ same ol’ to the nth degree.

    • Steven Mosher

      yes. why make such a big stink over something that doesnt matter.
      it strikes me as odd and desperate that Cook and others would waste time
      and resources on the consensus idea when it is known to fail as a communication tool. Moreover it back fires. repeatedly

      • Excellent point Steven. “Odd and desperate” are very appropriate adjectives. “Appeal to Consensus” is a logical fallacy at best. Better use their understanding of the science to communicate that understanding to the general population and thereby explaining the why behind a consensus, regardless of whether that consensus is 52% or 97%.

      • ==> “yes. why make such a big stink over something that doesnt matter.”

        A good question to ask “skeptics” as well as “realists.”

        ==> “when it is known to fail as a communication tool. Moreover it back fires. repeatedly”

        I think it fails. I see no evidence that it “back fires.”

        What evidence do you use to draw such a conclusion? Perhaps you can come up with something better than in the last thread – where you tried to use a sample of committed, diehard “skeptics” (say that they believe – without evaluating whether their claims about their beliefs are consistent with the range of their arguments) as a way to determine what are general beliefs?

        Or perhaps you’ll revert to form and explain that because “skeptics” say that it “back fires” therefore it “back fires?”

      • R. Gates –

        For people who can’t evaluate the technical issues, a predominance of opinion among experts is evidence that can help in understanding the issues.

        It isn’t a fallacy to weigh that evidence and consider it as information. It only becomes a fallacy when it is argued that a high prevalence of agreement among “experts” should be considered dispositive for resolving the disagreements.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua

        having FOI released which indicate that you lied, counts as back firing.

        now of course you can go CripWell on us and demand a measurement.

        The other way it back fired was it enabled a counter meme.

        When the appeal is made to consensus, you immediately trigger a counter meme that is much more effective with american audiences.
        our folk lore is full of it.

      • Steven –

        I real terms, your metrics are subjective – despite that you phrase them in an objective manner.

        Who knows about the FOI? And who cares? It doesn’t change the perspective of any significant number of “realists” and it doesn’t change the perspective of any significant number of “skeptics.”

        So you are reverting to form. Because the FOI aspect matters to “skeptics” (whose minds are already made up) you conclude that it is a “backfire.”

        The counter memes are just waiting to find targets. If it weren’t the “consensus” meme that is being countered, it would be some other meme. Or “skeptics” will make up memes such as that Mojib Latif said that the globe was cooling. In the end, nothing changes. If a car backfires in the tundra, does it make a sound?

        From the SciAm article:

        There is just one problem with this theory: The middle is sparsely populated.

        Just 26 percent of Americans who believe in climate change are in it, said Krosnick, who computed the statistics for ClimateWire. And just 10 percent of Americans who disbelieve in climate change may switch sides and become believers, he said.

        So who hears the “back fire?” Aside from the relatively small number who “may” switch sides, there is also the question of what might make them switch sides. Anything anyone says can be come a “counter meme.” Mojib Latif says that it isn’t a good idea to try to “predict” climate on short time scales, and the “counter meme” becomes “Climate scientist says that the Earth is cooling.”

        People decide which experts they are going to trust before they listen to what the experts have to say. That dynamic doesn’t allow for ‘back fires” because the effect is contingent on the medium, not what is said.

        If people are really interested in good faith dialog, they wouldn’t pay any attention to your “back fire” because it’s basically irrelevant to understanding the science, evaluating risk in the face of uncertainty, etc.

      • Heh, Joshua references Scientific American, who censor lucia and Richard Betts. Look to your rear, Joshua.
        ================

      • The topic at hand doesn’t matter, eh kim?

        What matters is being a “victim.”

        “Censorship.” Too funny. Someone’s comments are removed from a freakin’ blog post. A comment not materially different than any hundreds of thousands? that have been made in the past, and that could be posted on any thousands? of other forums.

        An interesting irony is that people who take themselves so seriously can be so amusing.

        It’s all about being a victim.

      • “…a predominance of opinion among experts is evidence that can help in understanding the issues.”
        —–
        No, it might help in being persuaded, but not in actually understanding. Explaining the issues in non-technical but accurate terms without a blanket appeal to authority/consensus is a better approach.

      • ==> “No, it might help in being persuaded, but not in actually understanding.”

        Yes, my wording was poor. But so was yours.

        It doesn’t help with understanding the technical issues. But it does help with understanding “the issues” in the larger sense of the societal implications of the technical issues.

        I don’t understand the science. I’m not capable of understanding the science.

        So I have to evaluate the societal implications on the basis of indirect evidence. One piece of the indirect evidence is the probability that a strong prevalence of opinion among experts could be as wrong as my much beloved “skeptics” claim. I have to try to evaluate whether their assertions that the predominant view that ACO2 represents a risk of harmful climate change can be explained away as a “hoax” and “Lysenkoism,” from people intent on starving millions of children. That is easier for me to evaluate than the radiative physics of ACO2 in the atmosphere.

        ==> “Explaining the issues in non-technical but accurate terms without a blanket appeal to authority/consensus is a better approach.”

        This is conflating a particular “approach” with noting that a prevalence exists. I agree that speaking of a consensus can be a fallacious argument – but it can also be noting relevant information. Noting that there is a consensus of belief is not mutually exclusive with explaining issues in non-technical but accurate terms (which, btw, you are over-simplifying considerably. For example, you will see thread after thread here full of arguments about what comprises non-technical but accurate terms.)

      • “I don’t understand the science. I’m not capable of understanding the science.”
        —-
        I obviously don’t know you but I think anyone with a high school or higher education should be able to understand the basics of GH forcing in energy balance terms.

      • R. Gates –

        ==> “I obviously don’t know you but I think anyone with a high school or higher education should be able to understand the basics of GH forcing in energy balance terms.”

        That seems to me to be pretty unresponsive to the points that I was making. I’ll try again and then give up.

        I might, on my good days (increasingly rare), be able to understand those basics (and as such, there are many affected by the realities of AGW who are even less capable than I), but that doesn’t extend very far in terms of trying to evaluate the IPCC’s argument that most recent warming is very likely to be the result of ACO2 in the atmosphere. I need to try to evaluate that argument – in light of the challenges from “skeptics” – in order to get something of a grasp on policy considerations. But I am not capable of evaluating the arguments at a deeper level.

        So I have to try to evaluate the debate indirectly. I have to consider the various policy arguments. I have to consider the logical consistency of the people presenting different arguments. I have to evaluate whether people are engaged in Jell-O flinging or engaging in honest-to-god scientific discussions. The prevalence of expert opinion is evidence I can use in those regards. I have to evaluate the “counter meme” that the vast majority of experts are making illogical arguments and undermining honest-to-god scientific discussions, and instead just flinging Jell-O. The degree of the consensus does affect those probabilities. Such characterizations from “skeptics” about “consensus climate science” would be more likely of the prevalence of shared opinion was extremely low. The higher the prevalence of shared opinion, the lower the probability of those “skeptical” arguments. But of course, the degree of consensus does not settle the technical arguments.

      • Amusing, Joshua seeks to justify SciAm’s censorship of lucid and eloquent dissent.

        What a champion you are, Joshua.
        ======================

      • kim –

        ==> “Amusing, Joshua seeks to justify SciAm’s censorship of lucid and eloquent dissent.”

        First, your determination of “censorship” is subjective. Second, you’re making an assumption about the criterion for moderation. (there are plenty of “dissenting” comments still up. Third, your determination of what is “lucid and eloquent” is subjective.

        Stop staining the name of skepticism with with spitballs of unskeptical dreck.

      • “Moreover it back fires. repeatedly”

        Bottom line is the 97 percent lie is the most powerful tool they have. Almost every ignorant, alarmist screed I’ve read invokes “the overwhelming consensus.” Even the ignoramus-in-chief finds it handy.

      • I’ve read plenty of lucia and Richard Betts, and they are usually lucid and eloquent. And sad though your defense is, SciAm censored critical dissent.

        The tactic will fail. Sorry about that.
        ==================

      • Steven Mosher

        Gates

        “—–
        No, it might help in being persuaded, but not in actually understanding. Explaining the issues in non-technical but accurate terms without a blanket appeal to authority/consensus is a better approach.”

        Well people like Joshua will never admit that.
        they want to defend to the end the decisions made WRT the consensus message.
        In fact Joshua uses all the cheap skeptic tricks.

        here is thought for joshua and cook

        TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua ALL metrics are subjective.

        and I did not present them otherwise. tool.

        And you dont even know the meme Im talking about

        Think. When I argue consensus, what is the counter meme?

        and why offer people a opportunity to launch that meme?

        stupid

      • ==> “and why offer people a opportunity to launch that meme?”

        I see no reason to do so. But my point, again, was that I don’t think it is counterproductive as you claim. Why must you have simple points repeated so often?

        ==> “Well people like Joshua will never admit that.”

        Oy. More of the “people like X” rhetoric.

        Perhaps if you would have actually read what I said in response to R. Gates, you wouldn’t have been wrong

        Again.

      • A good overview of why you do what you do Joshua and you correctly include both sides of the debate within your scope.

      • Clearly “communication” has never been the goal.

        It’s about scoring talking points, and building journalistic memes: see The NewYorker’s really odd piece entitled ‘Deniers’ referring to the “97%” figure this week. They don’t quote or cite the study: it’s just a mantra for warmists, a chant.

        97%….agree…97%…consensus…97%. The number is essentially about absolving the writer from doing any serious research or critical thinking on the matter.

      • Just one more example of Cook’s lack of competence.

        As in he’s unlikely to find his own ass with both hands tied behind his back.

      • RE Josh’s “For people who can’t evaluate the technical issues, a predominance of opinion among experts is evidence that can help in understanding the issues.”

        This might hold true for Josh. I prefer finding someone capable of improving my understanding over just taking the word of the majority.
        This holds even more so when the odds are high that the “majority” may have no real basis in fact. (ie it is manufactured – is in the George mason survey and the Cook paper).

        BTW Josh, exactly how does taking the word of the “predominance of opinion” improve one’s understanding of a technical issue (or any issue one previously was incapable of evaluating)?

    • “…motivating actions by some consensus scientists and their supporters that have diminished the public’s trust in the IPCC” is the problem. Try asking a simple question about the stats and have a bunch of strangers come at you accusing you of being antiScience and asking why you think you are better than 97% of all scientists and then being accused of being in the pay of big oil. This happened to me. This manufactured consensus gets people’s backs up and make them wonder what is going on and what is being suppressed if they are (like me) low scoring on the authoritarian scale. I know it sure got my back up. Consensus in science???? We scientists are supposed to debate everything and everything is open to questioning. Whenever you get people trying to silence you by talking about a consensus instead of sharing data it just raises suspicion they are hiding something. The decision to invoke a “consensus” was the stupidest among many stupid things that side of the debate came up with to get people to take action on anthropogenic climate change IMHO.

    • David L. Hagen

      Michael
      The best case against “consensus” is made by President Vaclav Klaus: e.g., Climate Control or Freedom? and his 2008 book: Blue Planet in Green Shackles: What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?

      We should keep saying very loudly that the current debate about global warming –and I agree with the Australian paleoclimatologist Prof. Carter that we should always speak about “dangerous human caused global warming” because it is not “warming per se that we are concerned with”[1] – is in its substance not part of the scientific discourse about the relative role of a myriad of factors influencing swings in global temperature but part of public policy debate about man and society. As R. M. Carter stresses in his recent book, .“the global warming issue long ago ceased being a scientific problem.M”[2]

      The current debate is a public policy debate with enormous implications.[3] It is no longer about climate. It is about the government, the politicians, their scribes and the lobbyists who want to get more decision making and power for themselves. It seems to me that the widespread acceptance of the global warming dogma has become one of the main, most costly and most undemocratic public policy mistakes in generations. The previous one was communism.

      • @ David L. Hagan

        ” It seems to me that the widespread acceptance of the global warming
        dogma has become one of the main, most costly and most undemocratic public policy mistakes in generations. The previous one was communism.”

        With all due respect to President Klaus, it is still communism. Or, as it is euphemistically referred to these days, progressivism.

    • Michael, in my case I’m interested in the subject because my study area is disinformation and agitprop ( that’s what USA presidents use to take us to crummy wars in places like Kosovo and Iraq). The climate wars are loaded with agitprop and disinformation. And like the lies involving wars the climate lies could cost a ton of money.

      This means I m more worried about this issue than I am about exoplanet Goldilocks zones or the actual existence of dark matter. If they can’t find dark matter I’m just fine. And unless they find an exoplanet full of Vogons, Romulans, or Terminator robots I’ll accept the latest Goldilocks consensus, as soon as they publish one.

    • Where’s my pencil? One more thing to add to the list of ‘What Michael Doesn’t Get…’

    • I don’t really care about the consensus argument. Not worth wasting the time on it. What i really don’t get is:

      a) how someone like Cook gets so much ink – I’d question his ability to teach high school science

      and

      b) how anyone who has looked at his paper, seen the numbers, and/or seen how poor his methodology is, can think it has any usefulness except perhaps to line a bird or hamster cage.

      Anyone ignoring this simple truth is either dishonest or stupid. I know you aren’t stupid Michael. Let’s see how honest you are.

  6. Judith –

    ==> “This paper is a prime example of motivated scientific reasoning. ”

    Once again, a selective attitude towards motivated reasoning. One minute it’s here, the next it’s gone. All depends on whose ox is being gored, eh Judith?

    • How tiresome. Joshua, how much mileage do you plan to try to get out of your “Judith is a hypocrite!” one-note tune? (Even if you had Judith pegged to a T as a Really Bad Person, how would you be gaining anything? How important is this kind of ad hominem obsession to what really matters– setting a course, as best we all can together, to best protect the people of the world’s safety, health and justice?)

    • bentabou –

      ==> “:Even if you had Judith pegged to a T as a Really Bad Person, ”

      I don’t think she’s a hypocrite. I don’t think she’s a bad person.

      I think that she offers flawed arguments. I think that she, sometimes, applies her standards inconsistently.

      We all make bad arguments and, at times, apply standards inconsistently.

      Her application of the concept of motivated reasoning is very uneven. She has dismissed it out of hand as applied to “skeptics” – in fact denigrates the theory when it is applied to “skeptics” – but then turns around and regularly applies it to “realists.”

      In point of fact, a key aspect of the theory is that it is a product of human reasoning – not a phenomenon that is contingent on one’s orientation in the climate wars.

      If Judith is going to refer to the theory, then she shouldn’t distort it to advance partisan rhetoric – when such a selective application is actually inconsistent with the theory itself.

      None of that makes her a “bad person.”

      Don’t be so defensive.

      • You search furiously for the mote in Judith’s eye and for years have ignored the beams in the eyes of so many others. Obsession is not pretty. When it’s on public display it engenders sadness.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua could learn something by taking a week to
        Criticize one side. Then a week to criticize the other.
        In the end people would call him inconsistent.

        I have seen him try once in a while to curb
        His obsession. The trained eye comes in handy

      • Don Monfort

        Personality disorders are rarely cured by taking a week to criticize the other side, Steven. The other side is also little joshie. He wouldn’t even know that he is criticizing himself, due to his stunning lack of self-awareness. Dude needs professional help.

  7. Paul Matthews

    The comment deletion by Sciam on that thread was astonishing – just as bad as at the Guardian or the “Conversation”. Perfectly polite and on-topic comments by Barry Woods were deleted, as were many others. In some cases, cook-critical comments were deleted while cook-supportive replies were left alone.

  8. ==> “And kudos to Richard Tol for his statements about consensus.”

    Well – I don’t know about all of his statements about consensus, but this one is certainly worthy of note:

    “Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role.”

    And yet the food fight continues unabated.

    No subject is too trivial or bleeding obvious to prevent climate combatants from picking up the Jell-O mold and flinging away.

    Congrats for doing your part to keep the food fight going, Judith!

    • Climate policy is for the long haul. We need a broad consensus, maintained over decades, to decarbonize the economy. We need sober, non-partisan research. We need open discussion about the pros and cons of all options for climate policy.

      Instead, Cook and friends tried to shut down the debate, but their incompetence and secrecy only served as fuel on the flames of an already polarized debate.

      Tol is a warmist. As a scientist, he’s also a skeptic.

    • Tols involvement is written in the first sentence of McIntyres article:
      “For over a year John Cook and the University of Queensland have repeatedly refused Richard Tols requests for information on rater ID and timestamps for the SKS ratings for Cook et al 2013.”

    • You need to talk to Michael. Some things you aren’t getting, either.

  9. The only potential “consensus” we have seen that could approach the 97% level is about the extremely limited statement that humans have “some” influence upon climate change. Cook is simply incompetent (or worse, mendacious if he understands the rival statements are in play and he is ignoring them).

    Cook and all similar writers continually commit fallacies of EQUIVOCATION, i.e., they slide between the very minimalist statement that nearly everyone can endorse (but which is utterly insignificant for debates about what to DO now), and any of the more aggressive statements about major or catastrophic impacts. A fallacy of equivocation leads to a fundamentally unsound argument, every time. Rival definitions are in play and Cook & co. are papering over the different definitions.

    That minimalist statement does NOT say or imply that

    (1) humans cause any **major** level of climate change (however “major” is defined; or that

    (2) humans cause a **majority** of measured climate change (however “majority” and “measured” are defined; or that

    (3) humans cause any “catastrophic” levels of climate change (however “catastrophic” is defined; or that

    (4) there is anything that can and WILL be done to prevent such human-caused climate change (whatever degree of climate change is supposed to still be preventable); or that

    (5) there is anything of sufficient benefit to be done in the next 5-10 years (as compared to waiting for better technologies and better scientific understandings); or that

    (6) anything but mitigation and adaptation is truly on the table.

    Issues 1 – 6 can be referenced without settling definitions of all the contested terms such as climate change, major significance, catastrophic etc., because simply in this outline form they illustrate the myriad ways in which Cook and friends are incompetent (or worse, mendacious).

    If and when alarm-oriented writers are able to avoid such fallacies of equivocation, then an intelligent, productive discussion might actually BEGIN.

    • skiphil –

      ==> “The only potential “consensus” we have seen that could approach the 97% level is about the extremely limited statement that humans have “some” influence upon climate change. ”

      It’s interesting, isn’t it, that you think that there isn’t a potential for even approaching 97% consensus, yet Richards says:

      “Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role.”

      How would you quantify “almost unanimously?” Because it’s a bit hard for me to see how “almost unanimously” wouldn’t approach 97%.

      • joshie, joshie

        So you found one statement of Dr. Tol’s that you agree with. Isn’t that being selective? Picking cherries, joshie? How would you quantify “played a dominant role”? I will help you a little bit: Lebron James played the dominant role in Miami almost winning the NBA championship.

      • Don –

        ==> “So you found one statement of Dr. Tol’s that you agree with.”

        What’s funny is that he wrote that a while back, and over as SciAm, he just wrote this:

        We therefore do not know the extent of the consensus on the hypothesis that the observed global warming is largely human-caused — although anyone would a cursory knowledge of the literature would say that agreement is widespread.

        So in his deep concern about the possibility of error in Cook’s paper, he himself has gone in a matter of weeks from “almost unanimously,” to “we don’t know” and back to “widespread.”

        It’s same ol’ same ol’, Don. Richard is engaged in outrage, concern, Jell-O flinging, haughtiness about what’s good for science, etc.

        The whole argument about “consensus” is a joke. It’s an excuse for personality politics. And it’s same ol’ same ol’ to the nth degree but it’s fascinating because it shows just willingly people are distracted from the science by identity aggressive and identity defensive behaviors.

      • Don Monfort

        You seem to be distracted from the science more than the average bear, joshie. Your obsession with stereotyping and stigmatizing skeptics does not indicate that you are interested in, or informed on the science. You are a tedious little inveterate Jello-flinger, joshie. And a shameless hypocrite.

        The 97% paper is indefensible trash. We all know that, no matter what Richard Tol says from one week to the next.

      • Don: The Cook paper is indefensible trash, indeed.

        At the same time, if you read a randomly selected academic paper on climate change, or ask a randomly selected climate scientist, the overwhelming odds are that the message you’d get is one of human-induced warming.

      • ==> “the overwhelming odds are that the message you’d get is one of human-induced warming.

        That looks like a duck, Richard.

        To be consistent, your argument should be that the odds are overwhelming that the message that you’d get is that human-induced warming predominates.

      • Joshua, how many times do you have to read the word ‘attribution’ before you get curious about what it means?
        ==================

      • Don Monfort

        We get that, Richard. I wasn’t criticizing you or your statements. I meant to point put that joshie’s tactic of mining your comments and cherry/nit picking little inconsequential inconsistencies was not effective.

        In response to joshie’s latest lame comment we might ask the little rascal how many of the 11,000 abstracts that were reviewed in the 97% trash paper actually explicitly supported the position that human-induced warming predominates. He wouldn’t know, but it would be interesting to see if he would try to find out and give us an honest answer.

        And joshie, you might also want to think about the choice of the word “predominates”, if you are trying to make the point that human-induced warming is the whole show. Think Lebron James, joshie. You are a slow learner.

      • Hi Don –

        ==> “In response to joshie’s latest lame comment we might ask the little rascal how many of the 11,000 abstracts that were reviewed in the 97% trash paper actually explicitly supported the position that human-induced warming predominates. He wouldn’t know, but it would be interesting to see if he would try to find out and give us an honest answer.”

        You are right about that. I have no idea. And I don’t care. I think that Richard was probably right when he wrote that:

        “Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role.”

        And here’s the kicker – I don’t think it matters much, really, whether he was or he wasn’t. The prevalence of opinion among experts is relevant – but doesn’t prove anything and it won’t have any significant impact on moving the public opinion needle.

        ==> “And joshie, you might also want to think about the choice of the word “predominates”, if you are trying to make the point that human-induced warming is the whole show. Think Lebron James, joshie. You are a slow learner.'”

        It’s really quite interesting how much you study my comments yet still manage to get what I say wrong.

        I’ve never remotely suggested that human-induced warming is the “whole show.” I used predominates exactly as intended – in line with the IPCC’s assessment that “most” recent warming is attributable to ACO2.

        It’s that kind of sloppiness that, unfortunately, undermines the input of “skeptics” to the discussion about climate change.

      • Don Monfort

        Oh, you agree with the IPCC that “most” is an informative descriptor and you think I am sloppy. Most covers a lot of territory joshie. If it’s only 50.2%/most of the warming, wtf are we supposed to worry about?

        We are not worried and we not trying to drastically change the freaking energy habits of the freaking world, joshie. Besides, I said “if you are trying…” Now it’s your turn. Show us some more of your motivated smarminess.

  10. I don’t know where that “dominant role” is coming from. Certainly not from Cook et al., nor from the other such studies I have seen in recent years. “Some” role, yes. “Some” only implies anything above zero. If someone can explain which rigorous surveys of relevant scientific judgments substantiate the “dominant role” of human causation at anywhere close to “97%” or “almost unanimously” I will sincerely be most grateful.

    • While I think that Richard has spent a lot of time looking at the literature, having conversations with scientists who write related articles, evaluating abstracts, etc., I doubt that his 97% assessment is based on “rigorous surveys.”

      So basically he was doing something quite unscientific, and not appropriately “skeptical” in offering his assessment of the consensus. It’s amusing that he hand-wrings and drama-queens about poorly quantified science yet engages in that kind of hyperbole at the drop of a hat (from what I’ve seen, anyway).

      But then again, how would his unscientific speculation based on anecdotal and subjective observations differ from yours? Why should I accept your unskeptical assessment as being more valid than his?

      • Joshua,

        It has been people like Cook, Oreskes, and friends who have been trying to claim scientific rigor for surveys of scientists resulting in something like a 97% consensus.

        The claims are out there, all over the place. We are inundated with such claims, said to imply that the scientific debate is settled.

        Yet, the only actual consensus that is substantiated so far is for what I term a “minimalist” claim. The issue is not what consensus you or I find credible (individual views matter mainly to the person holding same), but that the assertions for more “maximalist” views (“nearly all” or “97%” seeing catastrophe looming) need to be substantiated. Not merely asserted in florid terms, but substantiated.

      • Joshua, what a surprise! Making completely unwarranted assumptions about what a scientist does or does not do. How… motivated…

    • Skiphil,

      I had just read McIntyres post (that you linked on the bottom of the open thread) about Cooks purported ethics and confidentiality claims and Brandon Shollenbergers uploading of Cooks material and seemingly biased ratings. Then I saw this post from Judy. The purpose of any deception is supposedly to undermine the skeptics. Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer et al got their confirmed 97% consensus quote and that’s all that seems to matter.

      I have to wonder, however, what the real number would have been? Since the papers are peer reviewed by the consensus clan anyway wouldn’t that number surely be high? The whole conept of consensus is fairly vague. Since Judy believes in CO2 radiative physics and by association AGW she would certainly qualify. So what I’m saying is that it has to be a high number anyway so why the deception? Would 89% be too low? Apparently it would. If just 3% were not on board they are more easily marginalized as fringe knuckleheads. 11%? Gosh there could be an Einstein hidden away in that group. The politics behind this is astounding to me.

      Looking at the bigger picture, Judy also linked to an article in the Guardian with Naomi Oreskes proclaiming how overwhelming the evidence is for AGW
      and how the big tobacco type business science schemers have been battling it since the Johnson administration. But she also says the skeptics have been highly successful in thwarting progress. The consensus hasn’t really changed any minds. She blames them (skeptics) personally for having reached 400ppm. I have to wonder, though, if she is right about skeptic success. The consensus view is now so so pervasive that Obama is now full throttle as have been many European countries for some time. Jerry Brown is in carbon tax heaven as we will see at the pump starting January 1, 2015. Once a government machine is revved up it pretty much runs over everthing. So perhaps Cooks motto was damn the torpedoes full speed ahead.

      • I might add that many skeptics or skeptical papers always add the caveat ‘oh I’m a big believer in AGW’. Dare they mention natural variability or uncertainty it always comes with the AGW modifier. The percentage number of skeptics who are AGWed is surely a high number as well. Since I’m in that group I’d like to know whose my brethren.

      • So what I’m saying is that it has to be a high number anyway so why the deception?

        I’ve wondered for a while if “Skeptical Science” is really a false flag operation intended to discredit the CAGW crowd. The revelations today at Climate Audit makes me wonder more.

        But then, I wonder the same thing about many of the more insistent commenters here as well. On both “sides”.

      • Nah, they just aim for the foot and hope it will miss.

      • ==> “I’ve wondered for a while if “Skeptical Science” is really a false flag operation intended to discredit the CAGW crowd.”

        I wonder whether AK really wonders about that. My guess is that actually, he doesn’t, and that “types like him” like to say that they’re wondering about things that they don’t really wondering about as a rhetorical ploy.

        You know, “types like him.”

      • Bill Maher, has been to Lake Como, did you meet him while you were there?

      • I wonder whether AK really wonders about that.

        Yeah, I do. It’s hard not to, some of the stuff you see in comments here.

        My guess is that actually, he doesn’t, and that “types like him” like to say that they’re wondering about things that they don’t really wondering about as a rhetorical ploy.

        With what objective? Can you guess? Just because I really wonder doesn’t mean I’m not making a rhetorical play (heh!) by mentioning it.

        You know, “types like him.”

        Well, it made it through the moderation filter, which most of the things I would have preferred to say probably wouldn’t have.

      • Makes a lot of sense, AK. Yup. As someone interested in careful scientific analysis, you’re really “wondering” whether SkS is actually a bunch of “skeptics” that are banding together and pretending that they’re “realists” to make realist look bad.

        Say, now that I think about it… maybe all “skeptics” are actually “realists” engaged in a false flag operation to make “skeptics” look bad. And all “realists” are actually “skeptics” engaged in false flag operations. Republicans are actually Dems. Dems are actually Republicans. Liberals are actually conservatives and conservatives are actually liberals. I wonder if Don is actually a nice guy and ……

        Nah, now that’s really too far-fetched.

      • naq – actually, I am Bill Maher. Have you ever seen us both in the same place at the same time?

      • pri·ma fa·ci·e

      • maybe all “skeptics” are actually “realists” engaged in a false flag operation to make “skeptics” look bad. And all “realists” are actually “skeptics” engaged in false flag operations.

        Or maybe only the ones that end up making their “own” side look like id10ts. Or some of them. I wouldn’t suspect the GWPF, but some of the “skeptics” here…

        Probably not all though. As Napoleon is supposed to have said: never underestimate the power of human st00pidity.

      • AK,

        RE your false flag hypothesis:

        Don’t underestimate the extent of cultism and its true believers.

        Particularly when it gets combined with incompetence.

    • “(i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.abstract

      Since the IPCC position is the recent warming is MOSTLY man made, I think the above study most closely answers your question. Although, we could argue what “support” and “tenets” actually mean. We could also question the methodology.

      • This is another paper that has been heavily debunked. This paper counts as climate scientists economists, biologists, but doesn’t count solar physicists (e.g. akasofu). It also focuses on activist scientists (ones that have signed various petitions). Note, I am not classified in this study since i’ve never signed a petition or otherwise met their criteria for being classified.

      • > This paper counts as climate scientists economists, biologists, but doesn’t count solar physicists (e.g. akasofu).

        That rings a bell, e.g.:

        Curry just noted that of the skeptics, there is a preponderance of those that study detection and attribution: Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, Douglass, Knox, Akasofu, etc. If Curry is right, that should suffice be able to say that it’s possible to spend valuable time and research dollars, looking for attribution without thinking that excess CO2 is a problem.

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/01/11/politics-of-climate-expertise-part-ii/#comment-31131

        Ah, the good ol’ days.

        Let’s replace all this with “heavily debunked”.

      • @ mpcraig

        ““(i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”

        Another example of when the ‘Well, DUH!’ response is appropriate.

        As has been made abundantly clear by many examples posted on this site and other climate sites, overtly stated policies of multiple major media outlets, the editorial policies of most science journals, and the policies of the governments who FUND climate researchers, if you are a ‘climate researcher’ who does NOT support the tenants of ACC, you are definitely not going to be ‘actively publishing in the field’.

        Q. E. D.

        Frankly I’m surprised, given the proclivities of progressives, that it is not 100%, but I guess I have to allow for apostates like Dr. Curry who they haven’t been able to entirely suppress yet due to an early established reputation as one of the ‘faithful’, But they are working on it.

  11. Western economists from Europe to America wonder where the productivity went. A manufactured consensus of opinion does not a gross domestic product make.

  12. The 97% only includes the people inside the consensus clique. Of course, they only surveyed papers that were written by people inside the clique.
    They are a minority in real science, because consensus scientists are not really scientists.

  13. Years ago Michael Crichton made it quite clear: “In science there is no consensus; consensus is for politicians. If it is science, there is no consensus; if there is consensus it is not science.”

    In science there is some broad common and accepted agreement on some issues, but in debatable issues there have never been consensus or wide agreement. There are hundred of examples of how scientists had consensus on many subjects, being the Piltdown Man and Wegener’s continental drift some noteworthy examples.

    BTW, I cancelled my subscription to UnScientific American about 20 years ago.

    • Curious George

      +1

    • @ Eduardo Ferreyra

      “BTW, I cancelled my subscription to UnScientific American about 20 years ago.”

      What a coincidence! That is about the same time that I noticed that SciAm was a first and foremost a progressive agitprop screed throwing in the occasional bit of science for cover. And cancelled mine.

    • Rob Starkey

      Unscientific American is propaganda site on the topic of AGW.

      I have been banned from the site for pointing out where their articles were wrong or highly biased

  14. Here’s a question for Judith Curry. There are people who, as a profession, are scientists. Within this group are scientists, who as a significant or predominant portion of their professional work, study long term climate, atmospheric physics, or climate change specifically.

    Of this group, how many – about what percentage – are in agreement with the “theory” that long lived anthropomorphic changes to the atmosphere is already significantly affecting the climate right now, and is likely to increasingly affect it in the future.

    Of this group,how many – about what percentage – are not in agreement with the scientific theory that long lived anthropomorphic changes to the atmosphere is already significantly affecting the climate right now, and is likely to increasingly affect it in the future.

    More importantly, what are the reasons for the belief that changing the atmospheric concentrations of long lived greenhouse gases to levels not collectively seen on earth in at least several million years would nevertheless not significantly be affecting the climate right now, nor are likely to do so even more in the future?

    Since incoming solar radiation, and the atmospheric absorption and re radiation of thermal radiation are, together, the two main components for determining the energy content of the earth atmosphere system, and thus the long term driver of the heat energy that is ultimately reflected as our climate, why is the idea that a sudden, geologically large alteration of one of these two factors – to levels not seen in several million years – on an earth that as geologic history shows, is already easily changeable climate wise, met with such resistance?

    • “Of this group, how many – about what percentage – are in agreement with the “theory” that long lived anthropomorphic changes to the atmosphere is already significantly affecting the climate right now, and is likely to increasingly affect it in the future.”
      —–
      This is a great question for Judith, and I would guess the number is quite high.

      • Hank McCard

        R. Gates, did you intentionally misquote John Carter?

        “Of this group, how many – about what percentage – are not in agreement with the “theory” that long lived anthropomorphic changes to the atmosphere is already significantly affecting the climate right now, and is likely to increasingly affect it in the future.”

      • Omigod, ‘anthropogenic’ not ‘anthropomorphic’, though I’ve made the same slip myself.
        ==================

    • So it all will come down to who is more ‘important people’: The waiter who will be taking your table at dinner tonight or the retired scientist down the street who taught the politicians AGW?

      • Waiters are still dealing with the very simple question of “Would you care for the soup or the salad today?” How is AGW any different?

    • How significant is ‘significant’? The key controversy is the IPCC statement of ‘most’ (more than 50%) being attributed to humans. Everyone agrees with ‘some’.

      • “Everyone agrees with ‘some'”

        My feeling is that a great majority agrees with IPCC’s ‘more than 50%’, but that’s only a feeling based on following discussion as an outsider. (The share might be 70%, 80% or 90%, not 97% and unlikely less than 70%.)

        The paper of Cook et al added nothing to the reliability or accuracy of such estimates. It tells only that the value of 97% is obtained with a specific method for an irrelevant question.

      • 52% of professional meteorologists agree with ‘most’ as per recent AMS survey. And professional meteorologists are more likely to understand the science of attribution than geochemists, impact assessors, and others that fall under the rubric ‘climate scientists’

      • I had in mind scientists whose research is in fields covered by IPCC WG1.

        I believe in the great majority based on the weakness of the requirement of 50%. The share of scientists who put the most likely outcome to around twice that rate is not as high, but even that’s surely rather high.

        As an example of the weakness of the requirement the estimates presented by Nic Lewis correspond to well more than 50% (perhaps close to 70%).

      • Even within WG1 fields, there are scientists that focus on observations/changes, without being particularly knowledgeable about attribution. And then many climate modelers who are actively engaged in attribution research put the fraction at >100%.

      • “52% of professional meteorologists agree with ‘most’ as per recent AMS survey. And professional meteorologists are more likely to understand the science of attribution than geochemists, impact assessors, and others that fall under the rubric ‘climate scientists’”

        I agree that meteorologists are perhaps better at assessing the science than some impact assessors, but their short term focus on immediate weather dynamics often misses the longer-term energy balance issues as the forcing from increases in GH gases is a slow, steady and broad change to climate energy dynamics covering centuries, that is poorly represented by a single metric such as tropospheric sensible heat.

      • On the AMS study you also note this part:

        of the survey respondents with expertise in climate science and who actively publish on climate-related issues, 88 percent believe that humans play a major role in perpetuating global warming, and only 1 percent believe that global warming is not happening.

      • This refers to small subset of people that identified primarily as climate scientists; i suspect these are mainly climate impacts people. For example had I filled out the questionnaire, i would have listed my expertise as atmospheric science.

    • Bernd Palmer

      “how many […] are in agreement with the “theory” that long lived anthropomorphic changes to the atmosphere is already significantly affecting the climate right now, and is likely to increasingly affect it in the future.”
      Who cares about the number as long as there is no shred of evidence, no tangible proof? Does climate change? Always has; but climate is a concept, not something that can be measured. Does man contribute to or influence climate? Maybe, certainly, a little, much, all,…. Has this contribution ever been credibly quantified?
      Likely … in the future? Prediction is difficult, especially for the future!

    • This is exactly my thought as to how to resolve this 97% stuff. Clearly Cook’s 97% was in answer to a not so useful question. The IPCC consensus view was that rising GHGs alone account for more than 100% of the warming we have seen since 1950, and it is only because of aerosols that it is down to the 0.7 C we see. GHGs even more certainly account for more than 100% of the net forcing change since 1950 (as seen in the IPCC forcing histograms), but that translates to the warming because few expect natural internal variability to have net warmed by a significant fraction of 0.7 C in 60 years. Just confronting many with the objective facts, they would say more likely than not that man is responsible for most of the warming, if not all.

    • John Carter: Maybe it’s a matter of quantity rather than quality? Items such as cloud feedback are in play? I also find the overall hysteria and the solutions being proposed to be unacceptable. Like most people I tend to vote with my wallet, although I do add a human rights flavor. This makes me Al Gore’s reluctant political enemy.

    • > … geologically large alteration …10,000ppm CO2 atmospheric levels. From 400ppm to 10,000ppm is “geologically large”

      • Commenting is haywire again. That was about half of the initial comment and consequently a nonsense

        Initial comment (trying again):

        > … geologically large alteration …10,000ppm CO2 atmospheric levels. From 400ppm to 10,000ppm is “geologically” large. From 250ppm to 400ppm is not

        You will note that the planet did not become another Venus during the Cretaceous. So 250 – 400ppm won’t do it either

    • John Carter,

      Thank you for your questions (I’ll insert numbers to make it easier to respond):

      Q1. Of this group, how many – about what percentage – are in agreement with the “theory” that long lived anthropomorphic changes to the atmosphere is already significantly affecting the climate right now, and is likely to increasingly affect it in the future.

      Q2. Of this group,how many – about what percentage – are not in agreement with the scientific theory that long lived anthropomorphic changes to the atmosphere is already significantly affecting the climate right now, and is likely to increasingly affect it in the future.

      Q3. More importantly, what are the reasons for the belief that changing the atmospheric concentrations of long lived greenhouse gases to levels not collectively seen on earth in at least several million years would nevertheless not significantly be affecting the climate right now, nor are likely to do so even more in the future?

      Q1 and Q2 ask two questions in the one sentence. These need to be split into two sections. My guess is that a high proportion of climate scientists “are in agreement with the “theory” that long lived anthropomorphic changes to the atmosphere … is likely to increasingly affect [the climate] in the future.” However, I suspect the proportion who “are in agreement with the “theory” that long lived anthropomorphic changes to the atmosphere … is already significantly affecting the climate right now” would be much less.

      Regarding Q3, from a policy perspective whether or not GHG emissions will change the climate is not really what is relevant. What is relevant is the impacts of any changes. Will the projected changes to the climate be net beneficial or a net damage. There is a natural human tendency to think the worst and to project the worst case and then spread doomsday scenarios. I am far from persuaded that increasing CO2 concentrations is a bad thing for the planet.

      The climate changes abruptly, not as the smooth projections the Integrated Assessment Models (IAM) assume.

      We have no idea about the magnitudes, rates of change, direction of change or the probability of when the next abrubt climate change may occur.

      We don’t know if CO2 emissions are net beneficial or net cost, but we do know that policies that raise the cost of energy are damaging in many ways (including to future generations’ ability to deal with bad situations that occur in the future).

      The last point is possible the most important of all,,yet it is the one that the Climate Cultists have never come to grips with.

      • We have no idea about the magnitudes, rates of change, direction of change or the probability of when the next abrubt climate change may occur.

        If we look at the data for the past ten thousand years, curve fit the data and project it forward, we will have a really good idea about the magnitudes, rates of change, direction of change and the probability of when the next abrupt climate change may occur.

        What has happened will continue. Ice retreats, it gets warm, sea ice melts, it snows, it gets cold, polar oceans freeze, snowfall stops, ice advances some more and stops advancing, ice retreats and earth warms again. Over and Over and Over and Over. Look at the actual data for the past ten thousand years. This is very clear to me and to some others, starting with Ewing and Donn. More recently, with Tom Wysmuller and now with Herman A (Alex) Pope.

      • Dick of Utah

        “The climate changes abruptly, not as the smooth projections the Integrated Assessment Models (IAM) assume.”

        I see this statement occasionally and am always tempted to ask what is meant by it. Are you talking about volcanic disruptions or objects from space striking the earth…. or, in your opinion, could there be other natural causes of “abrupt” climate changes? if the latter, define “abrupt” more specifically.

        Like the frequent use of the word “significant”, it leaves, I’m guessing, a lot of us lurkers scratching our heads.

      • “The climate changes abruptly, not as the smooth projections the Integrated Assessment Models (IAM) assume.”

        I see this statement occasionally and am always tempted to ask what is meant by it.

        I will tell you exactly what we mean:
        The Roman Warm period ended and was followed by a cold period which ended and was followed by the Medieval warm period which ended and was followed by The Little ice age which ended and is being followed by this modern warm period. Model output does not do warm and cold periods. Model output looks like Mann’s hockey stick with smooth steady temperature ending with the hockey stick blade.

      • Pope,

        If we look at the data for the past ten thousand years, curve fit the data and project it forward, we will have a really good idea about the magnitudes, rates of change, direction of change and the probability of when the next abrupt climate change may occur.

        Please provide a link to the pdfs for:
        1. When will the next abrupt climate change begin?
        2. what direct will the change be (to warmer or cooler)?
        3. How long will the change continue?
        4. What will be the magnitude of the change
        5. What will be the max, min and average rate of change and how long with the max rates of change last.

        You say we “have a really good idea about the magnitudes, rates of change, direction of change and the probability of when the next abrupt climate change may occur”. So, please provide the quantitative answers to my question. Alternatively, admit you are dead wrong and haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.

      • Dick of Utah,

        Thank you for your question. Figure 15.21 here http://eprints.nuim.ie/1983/1/McCarron.pdf shows the abrupt climate changes that occurred between 16,000 years ago an now. The changes were much greater when the planet was colder than it is now (we are currently in cool period – i.e. an interglacial in a coldhouse phase, which is only the third coldhouse phase in the past half billion years!)

      • Pope,

        I will tell you exactly what we mean:
        The Roman Warm period ended and was followed by a cold period which ended and was followed by the Medieval warm period which ended and was followed by The Little ice age which ended and is being followed by this modern warm period.

        Wrong! Your comment displays your arrogance and your ignorance. Have a look at Figure 15,21 in the link attached above. Regional warming from glacial temperatures to near current temperatures in less than a decade (one in 7 years and one in 9 years). That’s abrupt change. This has what has always happened. The GCMs have demonstrated no predictive capability of what the climate will do.

      • ‘What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.

        To use this definition in a policy setting or public discussion requires some additional context, as is explored at length in Chapter 5, because while many scientists measure time on geological scales, most people are concerned with changes and their potential impacts on societal and ecological time scales. From this point of view, an abrupt change is one that takes place so rapidly and unexpectedly that human or natural systems have difficulty adapting to it. Abrupt changes in climate are most likely to be significant, from a human perspective, if they persist over years or longer, are larger than typical climate variability, and affect sub-continental or larger regions. Change in any measure of climate or its variability can be abrupt, including change in the intensity, duration, or frequency of extreme events. For example, single floods, hurricanes, or volcanic eruptions are important for humans and ecosystems, but their effects generally would not be considered abrupt climate changes unless the climate system is pushed over a threshold into a new state; however, a rapid, persistent change in the number or strength of floods or hurricanes might be an abrupt climate change.’

        http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=14

        Look closely at the first paragraph. The key understanding is the threshold – a point of no return where the balance between climate components – snow, ice, dust, clouds, biology – starts to shift and continues until a new balance is established. This is a property of a deterministic chaotic system.

        Abrupt climate change is a theory that has emerged this century in climate science. The old theory says that climate evolves slowly under the influence of climate ‘forcings’. The new theory says that climate changes rapidly as a result of interacting sub-systems – atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful mechanisms. Climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Thus – in climate data – there is large warming or cooling in as little as a decade in the shifts between glacial and interglacial periods. On a smaller scale there are shifts between planetary warming and cooling trends – along with alternating changes in global rainfall patterns – with a period of 20 to 30 years. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain.

      • Rob Ellison,

        Thanks for that quote and link. That explains clearly.what the term ‘abrupt climate change’ means.

    • More importantly, what are the reasons for the belief that changing the atmospheric concentrations of long lived greenhouse gases to levels not collectively seen on earth in at least several million years would nevertheless not significantly be affecting the climate right now, nor are likely to do so even more in the future?

      The fact that water vapor takes care of 95% of the greenhouse effect does convince me that a manmade fraction of a trace gas, CO2, only has a trace of an influence. It is in the noise of natural variability.

      The fact that temperature is not increasing like ALL the Climate Models say is happening also convinces me.

      The fact that we have had many warm periods in the past ten thousand years that do appear in the data as much just like this modern warm period, convinces me.

      The Consensus Alarmists do ignore all real actual data and only use Model Output and that convinces me.

      I just listed a few of the many excellent reasons to not listen to Chicken Little and the sky is falling.

    • I think they better agree if they plan on getting grants. Like the $1 billion Obama already pledged. Please let us know what the proper PPM of CO2 the atmosphere is supposed to be? And why, if all the climate “scientists” are so perfectly correct, do they take such HUGE pains to play games with the numbers, code, and utter lack of skill in any models? The wordsmithing continues to be incredible, while sitting back and letting the AGW headlines based on their “work” fly in the MSM. Not science, not research.

  15. An “appeal to consensus” argument, regardless of the exact percentage of that consensus or the constituents of that consensus, is the same kind of logical fallacy as an “appeal to authority”. Even though a consensus of experts may indeed be correct about any given issue, the fact that there is a consensus is not of course the reason for believing them. Checking the reasons for their consensus by reviewing the data and research yourself, if you have the time, access, and skill, is the only valid approach for an honest skeptic. If you don’t have the time, access, or skill to review the data and research, best to remain skeptical until you can observe for your own eyes the reality of related predictions made by a consensus of experts.

  16. Interested Bystander

    The Cook et al. abstract reads,
    “We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

    How many climate scientists that routinely post comments on this blog fall into the 97.1%? I’m guessing its relatively high. The arguments I read here seem to be on the details not on “human impact” versus “no human impact.” That humans have an impact generally seems implied in the comments. Timing, the importance of other factors, and the level of the impact is another matter.

  17. Who cares? If 97 percent gives the same answer they belive to be correct, it will still be the wrong answer if the facts say different!
    I wonder if the same 97 percent consensus will agree to have been wrong when its getting colder?

    • “I wonder if the same 97 percent consensus will agree to have been wrong when its getting colder?”

      That depends on the reason “it” may be getting colder and over what timeframe. Also, what the “it” is exactly that is getting colder. Measuring energy in the climate system using one metric over short time frames is fairly meaningless.

  18. 97% of all pseudo-scientists were surprised as hell by the Pause.

    So they endorse Cook’s big lie to try and buy time (and funding).

    And they are fraudsters.

    • nottawa rafter

      Yes they were surprised and they have spent the last 10 years explaining how they weren’t at all. They knew all this natural variability stuff was there all along. Of course now the CS estimates are being reworked at a feverish pace because of it.

    • Eventually, they’ll be reduced to commenting on the punctuation…

    • Oh goodie – so now I get to play the “why is my comment in moderation game.” Which word has offended the blog moderation algorithm?

      Judith –

      Re: McIntyre’s post.

      He originally wrote the following:

      ==> “Both Cook and Lewandowsky were, of course, involved in a previous incident also involving l y i n g, a conclusion which Tom Curtis of SKS also reached: see here here.”

      That struck me as being interesting, given Tom Curtis’ orientation in the climate wars, and quite possibly wrong. So I asked Tom over at ATTP’s – where he was involved in a thread – about the veracity of McIntyre’s claim:

      The amount of energy that goes into these food fights is always amusing to me, and all the Jell-o flinging certainly obscures anything important related to the science of climate change – but I was curious to know whether that comment from McIntyre is accurate. ( I certainly don’t take the time to follow all the comments in all the related threads) Did you reach a conclusion that both Cook and Lewandowsky L I E D?

      (Of course, parsing McIntyre’s grammar closely, what he actually says is that you agree that they were involved in a previous incident involving lying – which could actually mean that they were involved in an incident where someone else, say McIntyre, lied. But I kind of doubt that was his intended meaning.)

      —-

      Well, as it turned out Tom showed up at Steve’s to correct the record:

      Steve, your final sentence in the OP appears to represent me as having agreed that John Cook had L I E D about posting a link to the Lewandowsky survey on SkS. This is the second time you have misrepresented me in this manner. John Cook made the incorrect claim, but as an honest error – a point I have always explicitly maintained. I expect a retraction of your claim, and an apology for misrepresenting me again on a point on which you have already had to correct yourself.

      To which Steve offered this lame response:

      Steve: I don’t think that the language said what you interpreted. I wasn’t trying to overstate the position as the evidence is compelling enough without overstatement. In any event, I’ve re-stated it to clarify your position on Cook as opposed to Lewandowsky, though, in my opinion, the evidence of Cook baldfacedly L Y I N G to Chambers is overwhelming, but I understand you disagree on that and wish to accurately reflect your views.

      To which I offered my opinion – which seems to be stuck in moderation for some unexplainable reason:

      ==> “I expect a retraction of your claim, and an apology for misrepresenting me again on a point on which you have already had to correct yourself.”

      Good luck expecting that apology. It struck me as likely being inaccurate when I first read it (over at ATTP I asked you for verification). So it is interesting to find out from your comment that Steve wrote that even though he was quite familiar with what you’ve said and could easily have fact checked it in any case.

      But now I read that he has misrepresented you in this way before, and already had to correct himself on the issue? So the question might be asked whether the error was inadvertent or sloppiness (as I originally assumed), as opposed to deliberate.

      But even after all of that, you’d think that he’d respect your request for an apology. Instead, he offers that you misinterpreted him?

      Too funny.

      Methinks that auditors should audit themselves.

      Tom Curtis did also leave a comment over at ATTP:

      Joshua, I have replied to Steve at Climate Audit, and he has partially corrected the offending sentence. To be clear, I believe Cook to have been honest and to have no evidence to the contrary. I cannot now remember the details of the case sufficiently to remember whether or not it showed dishonesty by Lewandowsky, so that even as amended the statement does not reflect my current views. I have no desire, however, to be drawn into the morass of that issue again. Involvement in that issue has proven to me that “skeptics” in general have no desire for reasonable dialogue, and are only interested in garnering “gotcha” statements.

      Nicely done, Tom.

      Given all the hand-wringing among “skeptics” about and “ethics” and ” “censoring,” this is a beautiful example of the food fight nature of the the climate wars.

      So Steve misrepresents Tom more than once, after being corrected the first time, and fails to comply with a polite request for an apology.

      I offer this challenge to my much beloved “skeptical” friends. Offer your opinion on Steve’s actions, and explain whether you find them consistent with the standards that you think should apply to “realists.”

      • It’s just another reminder of the shambolic delusionism of the ‘skeptics’.

        Mcntyre is the politiist of the bunch, but only in that superficial way to allow him to indulge in his bad faith behaviour while presenting a veneer of civilty.

        This lot want to talk about ethics? What ethics??

      • Interesting how instead of apologizing for misrepresenting Tom. Twice. He instead explained to Tom how Tom misintermpreted what he wrote.

        Do you see any ambiguity here?

        “Both Cook and Lewandowsky were, of course, involved in a previous incident also involving l y i n g, a conclusion which Tom Curtis of SKS also reached: see here here.”

        Other than he was saying that Tom concluded that Cook (and Lewandowsky) lied? How could that possibly be a statement of anything other than what Tom interpreted it to be? Seriously? McIntyre thinks that will fly with his “skeptical” readers?

        And he did this before and was corrected on it?

        It’s just too funny.

      • You snicker while Rome burns. Lewandowsky and Cook debunk themselves, truly, I don’t think they can help it. If you could see clearly now.
        ==================

      • On the psychiatrists couch.
        Cook: I can’t take the heat.

      • Is Michael Mann is the Lance Armstrong of climate science? See the link on PubPeer–e.g., The incentives to fabricate data are strong: it is so much easier to publish quickly and to obtain high-profile results if you cheat.

      • Hey, don’t abuse Armstrong by mentioning him in the same sentence as Mann!

      • yeah, at least Armstrong was capable of doing astonishing things with his shortcuts…… Michael Mann, not so much….

        unless “astonishing” refers to the wholly unearned renown Mann seems to enjoy in some quarters

      • You have a point. LA did in the end tell the truth.

      • There once was a blogger Kim
        whose prose punishingly dim
        Thinking Rome alight
        with all her might
        She crowed and screeched from barren limb

      • Howard; I though you would have liked, May-bury.

      • Sorry Howard. Next!

      • some like to fish by awaiting nibbles

        McIntyre goes spear fishing

      • … global warming is politics not science and politicians lie. Al Gore lied. All of Western academia has been lying about their being a consensus of opinion about global warming to further the feathering of their bureaucratic nests.

      • Joshua: I am truly feeling sympathy for you. It appears that this post has caused you to go into hyper mode. Hope you can calm down and get some rest tonight.

      • Thanks for the concern, rls. I’m touched.

        I’m quite calm, I assure you. I find this all quite amusing.

      • That’s good. I feel better. Hope you read my comment to you earlier on this thread. The machinations at the IPCC were an eye opener to me.

      • crickets …. crickets …. crickets ….. crickets ……

        from John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky about their many FALSE-hoods

        for how long now?

        will they ever go straight, stop the dissembling, and learn to live respectable lives???

        [not to mention Mann, Gergis, and a variety of persons actually involved in climate science]

        [Cook and Lewandowsky are clowns, but clowns who receive undue attention from some academics and churnalists]

      • no, what is too funny is that Curtis twists himself in knits trying not to acknowledge what is going on, and the Curtis wants to blame McIntyre when it is Curtis who exhibits a lack of consistency, accuracy, and sound judgment:

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/27/the-97-feud/#comment-612414

      • knits???

        knots

        or knitted knots

        I hope that Kim can have fun with this one!

      • Oh, I had a great image, but words failed.
        ============

      • Well, snits and snots just dribbled out.
        ================

      • title for next blog article on Cook et al. —

        “Knits for Twits”

        or

        “He Knits Knots for Twits”

      • Joshua, Tom Curtis wrote ‘Cook said X. The truth is Y. And Cook knew it.’ He did not use the ‘l’ word. As he posts regularly on SkS, that was prudent of him. McIntyre made the astonishing leap of logic that led him to putting the ‘l’ word in Curtis’ mouth. Curtis’ call for an accurate recasting of his words was scrupulously heeded. But he neither deserved nor received an apology.

      • Yes I see the ambiguity, but I see you and McIntyre as being ‘birds of a feather.’ In an earlier post you stated how annoying it was that the skeptics were so obsessed with the consensus bit and yet you dove head first into the controversy. McIntyre corrected the record twice. Perhaps not to Curtis’s satisfaction, but he put himself in a precarious situation and now just wants to move past it. Like McIntyre, you like to hold peoples feet to the fire as you do with Judy on all most a daily basis parsing every phrase without let up. Now the question is will you now correct the record of your error as McIntyre did?

      • Joshua, Tom Curtis wrote ‘Cook said X. The truth is Y. And Cook knew it.’ He did not use the word liar. As he posts regularly on SkS, that was prudent of him. McIntyre made the astonishing leap of logic that led him to putting the ‘l’ word in Curtis’ mouth. Curtis’ call for an accurate recasting of his words was scrupulously heeded. But he neither deserved nor received an apology.

      • Michael,
        you do your bad faith behavior without any hint or veneer of civility.

        McIntyre does entirely good faith behavior, from all that I have observed, and goes to extraordinary lengths to welcome his critics to expound at length on his site whenever they want to do so.

        Quibbles with Tom Curtis are merely that, quibbles, because Tom Curtis, like Joshua, is an obsessive quibbler. At least Curtis is welcomed to expound as much as he likes to McIntyre on Climate Audit (and has done so many times), whereas critics, dissenters, and “skeptics” of any variety are almost never permitted to discuss heretical evidence and arguments at places like Skeptical (sic) Science (sic) or RealClimate.

      • I wish I could say you are over-generalizing Michael. What really makes me seethe is the passive-aggressive bully as victim bleating. However, that is exactly what the CAGW consensus does with preverting peer review, stacking the IPCC with NGO’s, stultifying young scientists to bureaucratic brown noshers, references to Exxon Mobile, the Kook Bros., Cigarette analogies, ad nauseam. Doing Science, they call it. Yeah, like Debbie Does Dallas.

      • Michael,

        ironic that someone who has yet to post in good faith or enter into honest discussion should complain about bad faith behavior.

      • Don Monfort

        Are they picking on you again, joshie? Whinging little putz.

      • Joshua,
        wth, don’t even start on this nonsense…. you and your clique here misrepresent so many people so often that you are among the last who should dare to debate misrepresentation without blushing deep red.

      • ==> “you and your clique here ”

        I’m beginning to detect a theme.

        “You people” is a very weak argument, skiphil.

        The fact is that Steve misrepresented Tom. Once. And then he was corrected.

        Again, when he had easy access to the evidence (in fact, he had written a post largely about that topic).

        And when Tom asked him to apologize for misrpresenting him.

        Not once. But twice.

        After being corrected the first time.

        Instead he laughably said that Tom misinterpreted what he wrote. Can you figure out a way to interpret what Steve wrote as anything other than that Tom concluded that Cook lied?

        I mean c’mon. You have to admit. That’s too funny don’t you think?

      • Yawn(laughing uproariously).
        ======================

      • kim, your talents are even greater than have hitherto been displayed. How on earth do you manage to combine two such disparate activities?

      • Joshua | July 27, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Reply
        “Instead he laughably said that Tom misinterpreted what he wrote. Can you figure out a way to interpret what Steve wrote as anything other than that Tom concluded that Cook lied?”

        No – but that is what you are meant to think.

        Mission accomplished.

        Polite word for what McIntyre does – disingenuous

        Not so polite – dishonest.

      • this is what I notice:

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/27/the-97-feud/#comment-612414

        I could not care less if Curtis is unable to accept that,

        (FALSE-hood) + (numerous public requests for correction) + (enormous elapsed interval of time) = L-I-E

        Now before some rush to dig up examples of alleged falsehoods by skeptics etc., let’s notice that this case is about a matter that Curtis himself acknowledged from early on is a clear-cut case of FALSE-hood.

        The issues are (1) whether Curtis ever admitted that it went from (his assertion of) unintentional FALSE-hood to intentional FALSE-hood. (2) whether McIntyre owes any correction and apology for summing the implications of known facts plus Curtis in a previous statement into the L-I-E word. I think that matter is a silly squirrel, as they love to reference at SkS when dismissing criticism with their hand-waves.

        What matters is whether Cook and Lewandowsky will ever correct their varied FALSE-hoods.

      • Heh, skip, check StevieMac’s.
        ========

      • Joshua,

        “You people” is a very weak argument, skiphil.

        “you and your clique” was obviously not intended to be any kind of argument.

        Picking on a casual rhetorical aside is silly. I do know what an argument looks like; do you?

      • only first statement (from Joshua) was supposed to be in italics

      • a syllogistic argument for you, Joshua:

        If John Cook could demonstrate his honesty in the issues related to his “ratings” paper he would have done so

        John Cook has not demonstrated his honesty in the issues related to his “ratings” paper

        John Cook cannot demonstrate his honesty in the issues related to the “ratings” paper

      • Joshua, this is just my personal opinion.
        You are obtuse enough, immune to factual rebuttal enough, and just insinuative of poster malmotives enough ( especially of Dr. Curry herself), that had I been proprieter of this blog you would have been permanently banned long ago. On grounds of offensive language and irrational conduct unbecoming of any scientific discourse.
        Please go away. If you stay, post with less personally offensive and more fact reasoned replies. You pollute this dialog otherwise, and always have IIRC. And you contribute nothing of scientific substance except in your own minds feeble assertions. Which you have more than once now proven via your own posts is small, shriveled, and biased.

      • Rud –

        Thanks for reading. I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

      • David Springer

        What Rud said.

      • Rud,
        He fills up blog space and obviously gets on a lot of people’s nerves and delights in doing so. Say something nice about him and he will go away.
        E.g. he fillls up a lot of blog space,
        Or ,he lets others vent their feelings, very satisfying actually.
        Or he makes Web and Gates look bad.
        Or just talk on topic and ignore, not as effective.
        Banning is not needed.he is very good at recognising the boundaries and likes to test them is all.
        Like anyone growing up.

      • We must be patient with those afflicted with HPD.

        http://www.minddisorders.com/Flu-Inv/Histrionic-personality-disorder.html

        “Histrionic personality disorder, often abbreviated as HPD, is a type of personality disorder in which the affected individual displays an enduring pattern of attention-seeking and excessively dramatic behaviors beginning in early adulthood and present across a broad range of situations. Individuals with HPD are highly emotional, charming, energetic, manipulative, seductive, impulsive, erratic, and demanding.”

        Take away the “charming” and “seductive” and we have a classic case.

      • Joshua,

        Curtis observed (agreed) that Cook publicly stated a FALSE-hood.

        Curtis does not, to this day, think that Cook had any nefarious or dishonest intention.

        Cook, despite huge amounts of time elapsed, numerous questions and inquiries, etc., regarding an obvious FALSE-hood he uttered, refuses to correct the public record.

        Curtis, despite his periodic “straight shooting” (which I acknowledge and applaud, so far as it occurs), proves incapable of accepting that a FALSE-hood uncorrected for so long, in the midst of much public controversy about the matter, at some point must move from the category of unintentional to intentional falsehood.

        I accept that Curtis is confident that Cook’s initial mis-statement of fact was innocent, that Cook is honest.

        However, we should deplore the inability of Curtis to recognize that such a FALSE-hood cannot remain unintentional for all this time, amidst a substantial amount of public controversy.

        Where has the fabled “straight shooting” of Tom Curtis been hiding all this time??? It is M.I.A.

        Now perhaps McIntyre needed to use some precious convoluted phrase such as “even Tom Curtis, who recognizes Cook’s falsehood but-cannot-bring-himself-to-utter-the-L-I-E-word even after all this time” …. etc etc.

        I regard Curtis as engaged in merely precious evasions on this matter. I could not care less about his bluster toward Steve McIntyre over this word or that word.

        There is one person from whom Curtis should be demanding public apologies, and that person is John Cook.

        Well, let’s add a second person, Stephan Lewandowsky.

        Tom Curtis has expended tremendous amounts of time, energy, and hot air trying to defend and make sense of those two, with little result.

        Let Curtis start demanding apologies, corrections, and retractions from Cook and Lewandowsky.

        Then we might be able to regard the sensitive integrity of Tom Curtis as worth something.

      • note: in my 5th sentence I mean only to say that I accept that Curtis believes that John Cook is honest.

        I do not think that anyone should regard John Cook as honest.

        I do accept that Cook’s initial factual mis-statement about the posting of a link on SkS for Lew’s survey was most likely a lapse of memory, as can happen to anyone.

        But what has occurred SINCE that initial moment is not innocent, not honest, and not acceptable….

        Friends of Cook and Lewandowsky should be imploring them to cut their losses, find scientific religion, and start living honest lives…. if they are capable of such.

      • Steve just posted an email from Curtis at the end of the comment section.
        ===========

      • Maybe they can rename a highway: “The Friends of Cook and Lewandowsky Highway”

      • I am astonished how easily you let entities like Joshua hijack your process. It baffles me completely that such content free submissions like his get everyone here so wound up.

        Time for some introspection people.

      • Keitho,
        put my response in the wrong place above. Agree with your commnet on Joshua. He hijacks the dialogue and filibusters the thread. Not much to do about it. I ignore his comments and the responses to him.
        Scott

      • Yep

        Dependency issues such as Joshua LittleTree’s, belong in another forum

      • Keith,
        guilty as charged here, although in my defense I will say that I strive to always make points and arguments which have wider significance …. and not merely respond to Joshua.

      • Now this is really too funny….

        more details in the Curtis vs. McIntyre bout

        c’mon Alarmists, be careful what you wish for, the real details are emerging…..

        Intriguing email from Curtis to McIntyre acknowledging and apologizing for mis-statements in this matter.

        *** Breaking News at Climate Audit ***

        Curtis apologized to McIntyre

        [Skiphil remarks]:
        Some might try to claim that Curtis is the bigger man in being willing to make such an apology, but I see no evidence at all yet that McIntyre has anything for which to apologize in this matter. In fact, the content of the Curtis email makes it explicit that Curtis is aware of more severe failures of Cook’s behavior than the initial mis-statement about the (non-)posting of a link to the Lewandowsky survey at SkS:

        Curtis apologized to McIntyre

      • Joshua,

        It appears you were wrong about the first incident and Tom Curtis in fact apologized to Steve McIntyre for misrepresenting himself due to the late hour and tiredness. Curtis noted that Cook was “wrong” about having posted on sKs (“in fact he cannot have had”) but still believes he is honest. Since you belabored the point of your false assumption, perhaps you may want to correct your error of understanding?

      • Ordvic –

        ==> “It appears you were wrong about the first incident and Tom Curtis in fact apologized to Steve McIntyre for misrepresenting himself due to the late hour and tiredness.”

        I don’t know exactly what Tom was referring to when he said:

        This is the second time you have misrepresented me in this manner….

        I suppose I shouldn’t have accepted it as true seeing the evidence.

        Regardless, Steve should show accountability and provide the apology Tom requested.

        In the grand scheme of thinks, it’s really pretty piddling. I posted it here to tweak “skeptics” for the inconsistency of their standards, but these kinds of errors are understandable.

        Accountability matters more than the original error – but again, it has nothing to do with the science, and I’ll admit that my involvement = me engaging in the same petty identity politics that I’m criticizing in others. If it had been someone else other than McIntyre who misrepresented someone and then wouldn’t accept accountability on a relatively insignificant issue, I wouldn’t have paid it much attention and chalked it up to just another day in the blogosphere.

      • Sorry, – that should have been that I shouldn’t have accepted it as true without seeing the evidence.

        I had seen Tom’s stand-up behavior in acknowledging, and apologizing, for misrepresenting someone. Given the context – of Steven not extending the same courtesy in return. it’s rather interesting.

      • Joshua.

        Where’s your apology at Climate Audit for a false accusation?

        Cat got your typing fingers?

      • Climateguy –

        ==> “Where’s your apology at Climate Audit for a false accusation?”

        I’m happy to correct the record if I made a false accusation. No problem.

        What are you referring to? Are you referring to when I said that Steve misrepresented Tom’s position about whether Cook “lied.” I don’t think that is a “false accusation.”

        That he did it more than once? I will say that I have no direct evidence the he did it more than once – only Tom’s statement that he did so (and I’m not sure what the other time is that Tom referenced). Absent more information, I’m not sure that it equals a “false accusation” but I don’t have evidence that Steve misrepresented Tom more than once.

        So I will limit my criticism to that Steve misrepresented Tom and displayed a lame sense of accountability after doing so. Tom asked for an apology. It seems appropriate that he should have gotten one.

        It isn’t terribly important (it’s a common occurrence in the blogosphere and it is irrelevant to anything related to the science), particularly since Tom has moved on and isn’t interested in dragging it out. I was mostly just curious to see whether any “skeptics” would apply their standards consistently. One has, and kudos to ordvic for doing so. He has always struck me as being notable for having uniform standards.

      • Joshua wrote

        “I’m happy to correct the record if I made a false accusation. No problem.’
        “What are you referring to?

        That he did it more than once? I will say that I have no direct evidence the he did it more than once…”

        Yes, for making an unfounded accusation. You were crowing over it several times.

        If you’re happy to not only correct your record but also to apologize, then time’s a wastin’, ain’t it Joshua?

      • I replied to your ambiguity post thinking that was your reply. As I said I’m sure Curtis just wants to move on. I also think McIntyre should have corrected that sentence bettrr or removed it all together so as not to vonfuse the reader in any way regarding Curtis. Since they have emailed how do we know McIntyre has not apologized? I doagree withone thing though its already gotten old.

      • Also, I don’t blame you for the error you couldn’t have possibly known and you may have been slightly misled by what Curtis said.

      • Bob –

        Interesting. My guess is that Tom won’t respond – as he indicated elsewhere he’s tired of the whole situation, and this could drag on forever.

        Meanwhile, I wonder if Steve will apologize for misrepresenting Tom?

        And oh. Not going away. Sorry to disappoint.

      • Joshua, interesting. So upon learning that there is no basis to Tom Curtis’s assertion, and your parroting of such, you are non-responsive and you surmise that he will also be non-responsive. Well done.

      • Bob –

        ==> “So upon learning that there is no basis to Tom Curtis’s assertion, and your parroting of such, you are non-responsive and you surmise that he will also be non-responsive. ”

        What I have learned is that Steve hasn’t presented the evidence. I don’t have evidence that it doesn’t exist.

        I apologized for assuming that what Tom said was true without having seen the evidence myself. It was a mistake. My statement about Steve misrepresenting Tom the 2nd time was explicitly contingent on Tom having said that he did so.

        But now I read that he has misrepresented you in this way before, and already had to correct himself on the issue? So the question might be asked whether the error was inadvertent or sloppiness (as I originally assumed), as opposed to deliberate.

        My first assumption was that Steve misrepresented Tom out inadvertently or out of sloppiness. When I read that Tom said it was the second time, I speculated that it might have been deliberate. Seems like a reasonable speculation to me – except that I shouldn’t have made that speculation without first seeing the evidence of the second incident.

        Mistake made. Apology for my mistake made.

        It doesn’t change that Steve misreprsented Tom once and lamely ducked accountability in his response.

        I’m not “surmising” that Tom will be unresponsive – Tom indicated directly that he’s uninterested in pursuing this further.

        I feel bad continuing it because I feel it is in disrespect to his stated intent – so I’ll only respond a few more times. Consider your comments judiciously, as you only have a few responses from me left!

      • Who is Joshua apologizing to here?
        It’s not us that he wronged.

        I see no apology to McIntyre on Climate Audit from Joshua for his accusation and insinuations.

      • Joshua’s Climate Audit apology to McIntyre must be held up in moderation.
        Good for Joshua for facing up to his task.

      • Joshua, although I appreciate your apology, I think you owe SMcI an apology. I trust you agree.

      • Steven Mosher

        you will notice an asymmetry in Joshua’s behavior.

        when he makes a mistake, he scurries away, issues an apology, elsewhere.
        and pretends we dont notice.

        when others make a mistake ( peter lang was the perfect example) Joshua demands a full blown investigation of the sinners motives.

        In short when he fails he says ‘my bad’
        when other fail .. he makes a capital offense our of it and demands a total
        capitilulation by the other side.

        game of outrage

      • Mosher,

        Thanks for that; appreciated.

      • Joshua,

        Curtis can ignore the debate if he wants, but he is the one who

        (1) acknowledged that his position required further review and response to various docs, and,
        (2) stated that his further reflections would be made available.

        It is disappointing if he feels unable to continue the discussion, but that is his choice.

        There should be no claims made that Curtis established Cook’s honesty in these matters, however. Curtis left the field without seriously beginning that task!

      • skiphil –

        ==> “It is disappointing if he feels unable to continue the discussion, but that is his choice.”

        Perhaps just an oversight on your part or a different wording of the same sentiment, but that isn’t really what he said. He said that he has no desire to continue the discussion – which he described as a “morass.” Surely, having witnessed these endless food fights yourself, you could understand that characterization, no?

      • he has no desire to substantiate his own comments, which he promised to follow up upon

        that is very different from choosing not to respond to the “morass” of others’ comments, but it is his free choice

        a choice he has every right to make, fatigued or not

        but when someone abandons the effort to substantiate claims which he made so vehemently, the rest of us draw our own conclusions

        our free choices, free choices all around, regardless of who may or may not be fatigued with the topics

        my own take, my OPINION: Curtis KNOWS that Cook and Lewandowsky are dis-honest, but he stops short of expressing what he has learned and observed

        so we have seen the (disappointing) limits of straight-shooting from Tom Curtis

        His free choice, my free choice to opinionate in response

      • Remember the HOT SPOT! As it turns out… the hypothesized ‘hot spot’ was missing and that meant the jig was up. That is when everyone knew — in mid ’90s — that a continued claimed to a consensus on AGW theory was nothing more than evidence of an ideologically-motivated pathological science.

        At this point, official ‘climate science’ stopped being a science. In science, empirical evidence always trumps theory, no matter how much you are in love with the theory. If theory and evidence disagree, real scientists scrap the theory. But official climate science ignored the crucial weather balloon evidence, and other subsequent evidence that backs it up, and instead clung to their carbon dioxide theory – that just happens to keep them in well-paying jobs with lavish research grants, and gives great political power to their government masters.

        There are now several independent pieces of evidence showing that the earth responds to the warming due to extra carbon dioxide by dampening the warming. Every long-lived natural system behaves this way, counteracting any disturbance. Otherwise the system would be unstable. The climate system is no exception, and now we can prove it. ~David Evans

      • Joshua,
        unwilling or unable, the outcome is that Tom Curtis abandoned his efforts to establish that John Cook operated in an honest manner

        of course I understand anyone tiring of these debates (and I participate only sporadically), but my opinion is that what happened with Curtis is quite different in this case

        He fully intended to demonstrate John Cook’s honesty and the innocence (accidental nature) of Cook’s falsehoods, then found it couldn’t be done and went silent

        my opinion, that’s all

      • The knot you described needs the sword of Alexander to undo.

      • ‘However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained. The apparent lack of a proximate cause behind the halt in warming post 2001/02 challenges our understanding of the climate system, specifically the physical reasoning and causal links between longer time-scale modes of internal climate variability and the impact of such modes upon global temperature.’ https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/kswanson/www/publications/2008GL037022_all.pdf

        I have been wondering what the point of all this and have decided it calls for introspection. Apparently I am a anti-science, contrarian, scumbag denialist. The reasons for this seem to be as follows.

        a) That I think that webby is totally bonkers.
        b) That the Earth system is a multiply coupled non-linear system in which climate shifts at multi-decadal intervals.

        These views have emerged from long study of the Earth sciences and I appear to be in good company. Perhaps not 97% but a good proportion of very clever people. Some 86% for the first proposition and a clear majority for the second.

        e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_sensitivity_zps369d303d.jpg.html?sort=3&o=162

        Climate shifts abruptly between states as a result of an internal reorganization of climate components. Cloud, ice, biology, dust and ocean and atmospheric circulation shift into a new and spontaneously emergent pattern. It is the nature of Wally Broecker’s beast. Means and variance shift. Nor can we be certain that the next shift will be to yet warmer conditions.

        This seems a much more interesting consensus than the stronger or weaker form the idea that carbon dioxide has a molecular structure that resonates with radiation emitted from the Earth in infrared frequencies – and this results in warming of the atmosphere.

      • Joshua, you clearly didn’t pay close enough attention to this particular ‘food fight’ at the time it surfaced. You are scraping comments that favor your position from old threads. It shows.

        You may score some points in this thread by so doing. You are not exactly enhancing your credibility with those of us who followed the Cook idiocy from the beginning.

        As for Michael, it has long been clear that you are a Mini-Me. The only guessing game worth playing is figuring out whose. Run along, now.

    • McIntyre won’t bite you if you follow that link that Judith provided, mikey. Aw, I will help you:

      “For over a year, John Cook and the University of Queensland have repeatedly refused Richard Tol’s requests for information on rater ID and timestamps for the SKS ratings for Cook et al 2013. Recently there have been two events that shed new light on the dispute. First, in mid-May Brandon Shollenberger located the requested information online without password protection, which he placed online a few days ago. The new information shows that the majority of ratings were done by coauthors and nearly all ratings were done by coauthors and named acknowledgees, rather than by anonymous volunteers. Second, Simon Turnill received an FOI response from the University, that showed that the University did not make ANY confidentiality agreements with SKS raters. More surprisingly, Cook had done the SKS ratings program without submitting an ethics application for this program or obtaining ethics approval. Previously, both Cook and the University of Queensland had made public statements referring to “ethical approval” and confidentiality agreements. Each of these statements is, at best, misleading, especially when parsed in the light of this new information, as Brandon has done.”

      Do you realize that if the world burns up, you will be just as much to blame as any of the deniers in the peanut gallery? The mindless haranguing that you are doing here is counterproductive. If you really want to save the world, attempt to emulate Pekka. It will be exceedingly difficult for you, but try it.

      • Yes Don, I’ve read it.

        Can you make a coherent point?

        There’s an ever diminishing spiral of ‘concern’ here. Soon we’ll need to a microscope to see the point.

        It’s nothing but rhetoric.

      • I say Kudos to Pekka also

  19. McIntyre’s post has a good statement:

    I believe that the strength of the “consensus” varies by proposition and that too often climate promoters will bait-and-switch from consensus on something relatively uncontroversial (e.g. GHG having some impact) to green solution fantasies, but that is a different story.

    • What’s with the nonsense about ‘fake ethics approval’??

      These guys are clueless.

      • No, Michael. Either you are clueless, or disingenuous.
        An ethics approval requiring confidentiality was the formal reason given by UQ to Prof. Tol to deny his request for additional rater information to support the peer reviewed paper on Cook he has subsequently published. We now learn under FOI that no such ethics approval exists. UQ and Cook both lied.

        And there is an additional problem I pointed out in identical postings at JoNova and at WUWT about three months ago when Shollenberger got the threading letter from UQ legal. If there was an ethical rater confidentiality restriction, then Cook himself violated it since most were expressly identified in the published paper’s acknowledgment. Horns of a truth dilemma.

        The paper itself has been technically refuted by both Legates and Tol. But the coverup was worse than the scientific ‘crime’. Now proven coverup Lies are intolerable, especially in this academic context.

      • Where is the ‘fake ethics approval’?

        There is an ethics approval, and an Australian legislative requirement to maintain privacy.

        Are the ‘skeptics’ determined to look OCD?

      • Michael, we now learn from your reply that your are also reading challenged. The only ethics approval was for paper authors self ratings, not for the independent rater paper ratings. You really ought to follow along. or learn to parse important and not so subtle differences.

        Or, you could just follow the Army’s first rule of holes. When in one and want to get out, stop digging. You are still digging an indefensible hole via obfuscation and lack of precision. Why do you continue when the contrary evidence is now overwhelming? Methinks for a reason that exposes your own thinking/belief system for what it is. Reverse Flat Earth.

      • Where is the ‘fake ethics approval’??

      • Rud,

        Just toss him a carrot. That may stop the braying.

    • Steve McIntyre

      Judy, there’s a beautiful example of the green bait-and-switch in Cook’s promotional website. I’m going to try to write it up later today.

      • Correct me if this is wrong but such bait-and-switch seems to be a sub-class of what I’ve been terming a “fallacy of equivocation” from the traditional philosophers’ list of fallacies.

        Sliding between different definitions of terms and phrases, so that what may be established in one argument (e.g., some amount of CO2-caused climate change) is mis-used in another argument, to claim agreement on drastic changes and/or need for drastic actions.

        This matters in the logic of the arguments, of course, because a fallacious argument does not demonstrate its conclusion

    • Mencken’s words are as valid for those promoting ideologies as they are for politics, keep the populace occupied worrying about something else whilst you get on with your own agenda ;

      “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.

      tonyb

    • @ curryja

      “I believe that the strength of the “consensus” varies by proposition ……..”

      Of course. That is what the haggling, name calling, and reputation trashing (See the evolution of Dr. Judith Curry’s reputation within ‘Climate Science’ over the sat 5 years for an example.) is all about.

      As the rich, distinguished gentleman told the hot socialite during intermission at The Met: “I know what you are, madam, now we are negotiating the price.”

      If you ask “Does highly concentrated human activity cause measurable impact on the microclimate in the immediate area surrounding the human activity?” you will get one number for the consensus percentage.

      If you ask the question: “Are you firmly convinced that the addition of ACO2 to the atmosphere as a side effect of supplying the majority of our energy requirements from fossil fuels is causing the Temperature of the Earth (TOE) to rise so that it poses an existential threat to the biosphere unless governments world wide establish coordinated, strictly enforced policies to limit or eliminate ACO2 and that the benefits of such policies would justify the inevitable impacts of those policies on the cost and supply of energy?” I suspect that you will get an entirely different ‘consensus’.

  20. It is sort of funny to see the Left abandon the scientific method when it comes to the statistics of global warming and then make a big deal out of supposed significance of ‘97%’ when it comes to AGW propaganda.

  21. If there were an actual 97% consensus, supported by valid empirical measurements, there would be no need for anybody to mention the consensus — the conclusions would be self-evident. The very fact that a noticeable portion of a supposedly scientific community feels the need to continuously appeal to consensus is, by itself, evidence that THEY realize that their position is inadequately supported by facts. An appeal to consensus should be unconvincing to any actual scientist, so this appeal must be aimed at everybody else (funding agency decision makers, politicians, and the general public).

  22. They could appeal to a 99.9% Consensus, but that would look more than 97% suspicious.

    Andrew

  23. What the Left is doing with the global warming phenomenon is manufacturing an existential risk; and, when they realized they were being taken seriously, it was Katie bar the door!

  24. “Cook thinks that politicians are not acting because the public is not pressuring them enough. If people realize that the majority of scientists agree on human-caused climate change, they will absorb that knowledge like empty vessels and become more convinced of the threat, he said. They will then be more amenable to picking up their phones and calling their legislators.”

    It doesn’t matter what the science of climate is or is not, Cook’s purpose is to influence government’s leadership to act in a way that Cook wants. Influence peddling, nothing out of the ordinary really. His shtick is: authoritative consensus. Just might as well be monotheism, another authoritative consensus.

    We can view Cook as a circuit riding preacher who goes from community to community telling us what we have already read and heard and what we know: we have original sin and we have to fess up to it, embrace other’s vision of a sustainable world, change our sinful ways before the grim reaper takes us to thermoggedon.

    Of course this is Sunday goin’ to meetin’ time. I need to dress up, slick my hair, and be sure to close the door on my way out. Afterwards, after the refreshments, socializin’ and such, I have ta go home and make a livin’. And here’s the rub. I can’t make a livin’ standin’ around jawin’ like that Cook fella. He gets to head out of town with his tithing and I have to go back and do the chores. I really don’t mind being told I’m bad and hav’ ta change my ways by a stranger, I can hear that at home. What I do mind, and I do mind a lot, that the circuit riding preacher doesn’t stay and lend a hand with my work; kinda like walking in my shoes. Where does the energy come from when his sustainable visionary wind and sun aren’t around. But that’s another story.

    I guess Cook wants to motivate me to write my government officials to spend more money, pass more legislation, make more rules so that we look like we’re doing something about our sinful ways instead of just standin’ around and jawin’. Its not enough for me to change my ways, we all need the government to get us to change our ways, willy nilly. Kinda like everybody has to believe in the same religion.

    I thought the Constitution said something about separation of church and state.

  25. Jim Cripwell

    I am sorry, but this whole handbag fight is a complete load of nonsense. The Supreme Court of Physics is the hard, measured, replicated data. Opinion has no place in ANY discussion. If a scientist cannot back her/his conclusions with hard MEASURED data, then those opinions are not worth the powder to blow them to hell.

    The fact of the matter is that climate sensitivity CANNOT be measured. So it is IMPOSSIBLE to use The Scientific Method to sat what happens to global temperatures when more CO2 is added to the atmosphere from recent levels. It does not matter what opinions climate scientists have, that FACT will remain true.

    Our hostess can have as many pieces on this subject as she likes. The truth remains the same. No-one has measured the value of climate sensitivity.

    • Jim Cripwell:

      When CO2 hits 560 ppm, we will be able to measure the delta T (the difference in global mean temperature) from when CO2 was 280 ppm to what it is when CO2 hits 560 ppm.

      Will that be a MEASURED DATA for CS.

      Yes – but one in which other forcings are not held constant – but allowed to fluctuate naturally.

      I am waiting for CO2 to hit 560 ppm and I believe we will see a measured CS which is between 1 C and 1.2C.

      • Jim Cripwell

        Rick A you write “Will that be a MEASURED DATA for CS.”

        The answer is a very definitive NO. You cannot measure a quantity in physics unless you ensure that what is being measured was only caused by what has changed. That is, there is the normal relationship between the dependent and independent variables,

      • Well – even though it will not qualify as a measurement of CS with every variable held constant (except CO2 doubling) – I will still be interested in the measurement.

        It is the closest thing we will ever measure to the effect of doubling CO2.

        But I agree – nobody will accept it as a measurement of CS.

        Especially if the delta T it measures is low – like 1.2C or so.

        I hope I live long enough to see 560 ppm so I can see what the delta T turns out to be.

      • John Carpenter

        “You cannot measure a quantity in physics unless you ensure that what is being measured was only caused by what has changed. ”

        Well, so much for the whole field of particle physics Jim.

      • Jim Cripwell

        John, you write “Well, so much for the whole field of particle physics Jim.”

        Why?

      • John Carpenter

        Well Jim, maybe you are under the impression that many subatomic particles have been detected by direct measurement. You would be wrong. What do you think a ‘normal relationship’ between dependent and independent variables would look like with quantum particle measurements?

      • Jim Cripwell

        John, I think you are deliberately misinterpreting what I am trying to say, so let me be pedantic.

        If, in physics you postulate a quantitative relationship between a dependent and independent variable, then in establishing what that relationship is, you must follow certain rules. In this case the warmists claim that as you add more CO2 (the independent variable) to the atmosphere, global temperatures (the dependent variable) will rise. The ratio of rise of CO2 and temperatures is the climate sensitivity.

        In order to measure climate sensitivity, it is essential to prove that the observed rise in temperature was all caused by the rise in CO2, and no other factors were involved.

        Since we do not know all the factors which affect global temperatures, this is impossible to do. So it is impractical. at the present time to measure climate sensitivity.

      • John Carpenter

        Jim, your last explanation is much better and clearly is consistent with your belief, but I don’t think I deliberately misinterpret what you said. You said “you cant measure a quantity in physics unless you ensure that what is being measured was only caused by what has changed”. Clearly the entire field of physics does not adhere to that statement and, as written, that is what it infers. I was merely pointing that out. What I can’t understand is you have a big problem with physical models of complex climate systems and indirect measurement of CS and yet you apparently have no problem with equally complex particle physics that are predicted through models and theory where the experimental detection of such particles is highly uncertain and indirect as well. Physics is littered with examples where measurement cannot be reduced to simple direct relationships between a dependent and independent variables.

      • John:

        As I was reading this discussion I was thinking of the recent indirect measurement of the diameter of the proton (which I recall is 4% smaller than the last measurement).

        That is not a direct measurement, being statistical in nature.

        They shot fundamental particles at the proton and look at the scatter (or lack thereof) – and after many many shots, they make their “measurement”.

        The bigger question for me is how can we measure CS?

        I see that we cannot do it directly – for all the reasons Jim has pointed out.

        I don’t see how we can measure it indirectly either.

        As far as I can tell – we still don’t know if natural variation has more of an effect on CS than human influence (CO2 emissions, methane emissions, land use changes, black carbon, paving and air conditioning, etc.).

        If we cannot determine the size of natural variability – how will we ever indirectly measure CS?

      • Jim Cripwell

        Thanks Rick. But no warmist, such as John, or Stephen Mosher, will EVER agree.

  26. Want to knock the pins out of the warmists’ sneering call to arms? Who doesn’t. Simple as a pimple. Hire a respected national polling firm to survey scientists from various fields. It will turn out I’m guessing, that something like 60 percent think it’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Even if it’s closer to 70,,,which I doubt… that still destroys the myth of “overwhelming consensus.”

    Debate over? I don’t think so. Anyone got a spare 200 grand?

    • At this point PG many wouldn’t conform to a survey honestly, the political disposition of the greater climate academic community is pretty confirmed and they would simply regress into their political “victim” persona if hard (objective) questions were presented. Those who would fall out of the most orthodox definitions of who is a “climate qualified scientist” would be dismissed at once by those trying to maintain consensus mythology.

      The surveys have all met the worst type of response rates already, you could only expect more of the same of the most politically self-aware “science” community perhaps in history were asked questions that reflected logical dissent of many skeptics. They’ll act as if they were summoned by the House Un-American Activities Committee with all the theatrics imaginable. Then again, hypocrisy knowing no bounds many would simply lie for the desired political outcomes in the reply. The sort of abuse they’ve historically sat on their hands and watched others be subjected to the past 25 years is proof positive what a generally low bunch we are dealing with.

      The ultimate truth is that “climate studies” is a subset on “environmental studies” and are in fact predisposed members of the academic left to begin with. The “Che” tee-shirts are buried in the closet and they understand the consensus survey game as well as the MSM operatives they have coordinated with for decades. It’s all this way for a reason but we hear the tale of unicorns in the forest seeking science truth. Look at the appalling Cook paper and how many in that wonderful climate science community have issued public statements condemning the methods? In fact very few. It’s all this way for reason, ugly that it may be PG.

  27. Dr. Curry,

    I follow your blog quite closely. I’m mainly interested in the policy outcomes here. There seems to be s very large spectrum of possibilities between “AGW causes at least 51% of observable warming” [apparently the IPCC5 position] and “AGW causes virtually 100% of observable warming,” for example. But for a policy maker, does this matter? Can you give, or start a conversation about, when the natural/anthropogenic mix “matters” and when it does not? If, at least in theory, every anthropogenic emission ceases and still about 50% of observable warming continues, then what? What if the mix is 75% AGW/25% natural? Etc.

    • Discussing anthropogenic contribution to climate change without specificity as to timeframe and precise climate parameter is completely meaningless. Regarding anthropogenic GH gas forcing specifically, one should look to a longer time frame with effects increasing toward the later part of that period and effects to increase in overall dominance over natural variability on a decade by decade basis until such time as GH gases stabilize.

      • Since the time frame for meaningful recognition of any provable human caused climate warming is in the vicinity of 200 – 500 years none of us will be around to find out RG.
        Unless you have a shorter definition in mind.
        Hence no consensus can ever be reached at a 97 percent level in our life times and anyone like Cook et al who claim this should be called to account by the scientific community.

  28. > The paper went viral when President Obama tweeted about it […]

    Ahem.

  29. nottawa rafter

    In reading the linked articles and comments and summaries of articles of other’s comments, what strikes me is how many terms and phrases are intended to be interchangeable without a distinction but in reality make a huge difference in how people can react to those terms and phrases. I can see if there is any imprecision in construction of a survey question you can get an unacceptable level of variance in the answers where the respondents didn’t even understand what they just agreed to. Even in these articles I am not sure the language was crafted by the authors to convey what was intended.

    Somewhat related, I don’t remember seeing the criteria used to determine if the study met the test of either “assume” or “endorse”. That in itself would be an interesting exercise.

  30. Friends of Science published our review of the consensus surveys here:
    http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=744

    The Cook study data shows that only 0.54% (64 out of 11,958) abstracts explicitly endorsed the view that more than 50% of the warming was caused by humans. However, the paper misleadingly presents the figure 97% as a consensus, falsely implying that this is the IPCC consensus statement, where in fact, of the papers that expressed a position (3975), it is the fraction that imply humans have some effect on climate, no matter how small. This includes 2911 papers rated as “implicit endorse”, which only imply that humans have some non-zero effect. A paper stating that CO2 is a greenhouse gas would be rated as “implicit endorse” even if the paper’s conclusion shows the CO2 effect is very small. Our summary table is:
    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/Consensus.pdf

    Subsequently, a paper by Dr. David Legates et al shows that Cook et al had flagged just 64 papers as explicitly supporting the consensus that humans caused most of the warming since 1950, but 23 of the 64 had not in fact supported it. This reduces the consensus to just 0.34% of all papers rated.

    Note that the IPCC radiative forcing table SPM.5 suggests that humans caused 2.29/(2.29+0.05) = 98% of the warming (since 1750), which is far greater than the 50% of the warming used in the Cook study for “explicit endorse >50%”. The IPCC table excludes almost all natural causes of climate change.

  31. Hard to think of a better reflection of the quality argumentation of so many “skeptics” that so many argue so often that referring to a consensus is a fallacious appeal to “authority,” that it is antithetical to science, and that the existence of a “consensus” is irrelevant – and yet we find thread after thread after thread of blog posts and comments filled with “skeptics” comments about the “consensus.”

    The vast majority of papers published related to climate science are in line with the perspective that most recent warming can be attributed to ACO2.

    How fascinating that y’all have such a hard time digesting that reality, and instead throw up such a long line of identity defensive and identity aggressive reactions. So much energy devoted to an issue that you don’t think is irrelevant and that you think is antithetical to how science should be practices.

    How many posts and comments at “skeptical” sites saying the same things over and over about the “consensus,” without apparently the realization of the internal inconsistencies.

    It’s really fascinating – and serves as stark evidence of how the climate wars is much more about identity politics than it is about science.

    • It’s really fascinating – and serves as stark evidence of how the climate wars is much more about identity politics than it is about science.

      You couldn’t be more wrong. Most climate skeptic websites focus on the science of climate change. Our website for example,
      http://www.friendsofscience.org
      features a large library of climate science article which show the AGW effect is small and beneficial. The “Websites Links” shows many websites presenting excellent climate science showing the AGW effect is small. It is not about “identity politics”.
      My previous post shows the consensus surveys are wrong, which is an important result.

      • Little does Joshua, and so many others, know, but skeptics are now driving the science. The ‘consensus’ is stuck in a late last century precious conceit, bound hand and foot to the climate models.

        Free the science. We can get a 97% consensus on the need for that.
        =================

      • ==> “Most climate skeptic websites focus on the science of climate change. ”

        There have been countless posts and an even less countable number of comments all over the “skept-o-sphere” about the degree of the prevalence of opinion among “experts,” whether the prevalence matters, how the prevalence has been assessed, etc.

        It has nothing to do with the science of climate change. It is all about the food fight and the associated personality politics. Cook et al. attack “skeptics.” “Skeptics” attack Cook et al. Same ol’ same ol’ to the nth degree.

        BTW – I love the name of your organization.

        Let me ask you a question. It seems from a brief look at your site that you don’t think that there is any valid evidence that actually shows warming attributable to ACO2. If so, then why do you write that the AGW effect is small and beneficial? What evidence do you rely on that shows that small effect? I couldn’t pick it out from a brief look – and so I was hoping that you could save me some time by pointing me to the evidence that you have found convincing.

      • Replying to Joshua who writes,

        If so, then why do you write that the AGW effect is small and beneficial? What evidence do you rely on that shows that small effect?

        Numerous articles on the Friends of Science website show that AGW effect is small. As webmaster, I do not allow articles that deny the greenhouse effect. One example, written by me:
        From the navigation menu, see Climate Science>>The Greenhouse Effect.
        http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=483
        The first article on that page “CERES Satellite and Climate Sensitivity” shows that “The transient climate response to doubled CO2 is 0.38 +/- 0.54 C using hadCRUT3, and 0.74 +/- 0.54 C using hadCRUT4 data at 95% confidence. These values are much less than the multi-model mean estimate of 1.8 C for TCR given in the IPCC 5th assessment report.”

      • Ken –

        On your website I read that the effect of ACO2 on the climate is “nominal.”

        Do you think that a TCR response to doubled CO2 of 0.38 +/- 0.54 C is nominal (i.e., existing in name only, not real or actual), given the potential for positive feedback and given the relationship between TCR and ECS? Is TCR the only measure of significance that is affected by ACO2?

      • Free Climate Science, for your grandchildren’s sake.
        =================

      • Joshua,
        you make numerous offhand comments that skeptics and critics don’t concentrate upon the science

        many of the threads on which such comments appear here (and elsewhere) are EXPLICITLY not about empirical science — here at Climate Etc. there are many articles categorized as Ethics, Sociology of Science, Policy, Consensus, Skeptics, History, etc. etc.

        You or anyone can choose to ignore such threads, but it is disingenuous to take comments on such threads as any evidence that skeptics and critics refuse to talk about the science.

        For my part, those are threads that hold a lot of interest for, because my explicit concerns in the climate wars are mostly about POLICY. Yet, loads of other people here comment extensively on science issues in the technical threads. You are mis-representing the skeptic outputs for rhetorical purposes.

        p.s. Also, you regularly complain about other people’s unimportant comments, distractions, etc., yet these threads are sprinkled with your own trivial complaints about automatic moderation, etc. etc. (many of my own comments on contentious issues hit automatic moderation — so far as I have noticed they usually appear after a delay, but I have not found it worthwhile to distract the threads with whining about moderation).

    • Steven Mosher

      yes its either about identity politics Or the science.

      since you cant discuss the science, you discuss identity politics.

      here’s a thought. sometimes its about the science. sometimes its about the politics. And you have a choice to discuss either.

      the choice you make tells us more about you than it does about the debate.

      I dont even know how to begin to quantify if it is More about the politics than the science, but I do know I have choice in which I discuss.

      • ==> “the choice you make tells us more about you than it does about the debate.”

        It always boils down to being about me, doesn’t it Steven?

      • Heh, funny you should notice.
        ========

      • Joshua: It appears, from a comment you made, that you are heavily influence by the IPCC Reports. I recommend that you read the congressional testimony of Dr Christy. The IPPC process is deeply flawed.

      • Josh,

        Of course it always is about you. It’s why you come here.

    • Joshua, Would you be able to participate here if it weren’t for other commenters who you use as foils?

      On a substantive note, what do you think of the Wunsch paper on ocean heat content increases? If its right, it would seem to imply that consensus science is missing something very big in the energy budget.

      • David –

        David –

        ==> “Would you be able to participate here if it weren’t for other commenters who you use as foils?”

        Probably not.

        I think that the Wunsch paper has potentially very significant implications to scientific discussions of climate change. I look forward to reading future discussions about it.

      • Picture of waffle appears in a bubble over Joshua’s head. Where’s R Gates and his Human Carbon Volcano when you need them?
        ====================

      • Something VERY BIG from 2000 meters to the bottom? Lol. Where the authors find an ever so slight cooling?

        And then they say the authors who found an ever so slight warming in the abyss cannot be proven wrong by their results of an ever so slight cooling.

        Yes, VERY BIG.

      • JCH, well it is big, news anyway, that the imbalance is so small, likely well below Trenberth et al’s over confidence range.

      • What is substantive is his agreement with Trenberth. What is not substantive is his disagreement with Trenberth.

      • “Contrary to the implications of Lloyd’s article, parts of the deep ocean are warming, parts are cooling, and although the global abyssal average is negative, the value is tiny in a global warming context.” – Carl Wunsch

        Wunsch said this quote is on the mark:

        “So if cooling has occurred over large parts of the abyssal ocean, it is unrelated to global warming of the atmosphere over the last century.” – Hogg

    • Joshua, in the Middle Ages 99 % of European publications were consistent with Catholic or Orthodox Church dogma. In the 1950’s most medical doctors believed methabolic and heart disease was caused by too much fat in the diet. And today the USA government countenances the use of addictive corn syrup as a food additive.

      The sorry history of humanity tells me consensus and government edicts aren’t necessarily helpful. Therefore, unless you and your friends can find a different approach I’m afraid you will find increasing resistance. That resistance may be much lower if we were to observe something more tangible than 10 years of Argo buoy data. Do you understand how this could work better?

      • Fernando –

        Yes. At times the “consensus” has been wrong, and consensus and government edicts are not necessarily helpful. That said, the “consensus” has been right a great deal, and we all depend on a “consensus” heuristic on a regular basis. People often tend to object to the “consensus” heuristic on a very selective basis.

        I’m not sure who you’re referring to as my friends. At any rate, I don’t think that the consensus messaging has much impact – so it appears that you have misinterpreted my perspective.

        My personal opinion is that no facts related to Argo or anything else would significantly lower the “resistance.” Most people who have opinions related to climate change do not know many of the related facts. Opinions about climate change are more an indicator of ideological orientation than position on the facts.

        That said, sure, more and better information would be a good thing – Argo data in particular.

    • First and foremost Joshua, what people “thing and believe” is rather irrelevant in hard science. It comes down to what can be proven and replicated regarding a hypothesis. There is nothing backing Aco2, scientifically, that a defined percentage of warming has been created.

      As for the general climate science community, lets register them, identify their “identity politics” as a starting point. Time for a really good census and study of just how politically and culturally conflicted a group we are dealing with.

  32. Nothing undoes being lied to. Message all you want and it won’t matter.

    You just do whatever science is actually is interesting and ignore climate science completely.

    • Alan McIntire

      That reminds me of a Mark Twain quote:
      “Tell the truth once and nobody will ever believe you again no matter how much you lie.”

  33. David Springer

    The 97% Feud Fraud

    Fixed that for ya!

  34. If they are wrong, and after the language is clarified it seems they can’t be right, then sticking to the simplistic 97% is a dramatically flawed strategy.

    This error is embraced by the poobahs, may they cling ever tightly.
    ===========================

    • Bah, ‘ever more tightly’ works better. Sing it, sciencers, sing it.
      =================

    • kim,

      Unfortunately, being wrong, even simplistically, doesn’t stop government propaganda from working. If it did, we would not have the leaders we do.

      You can keep your doctor, Monika Lewinsky, because at this pount, what does it really matter?

  35. What is so stupid about this whole anthropogenic climate change debate is the fixation and who is right and who is wrong. When a nonscientists says to to me “Do you believe in climate change?” My response is always,
    “Science does not “believe” in things. Science collects facts and uses reasoning to discuss those facts. There is no belief involved. There is a lot of debate and unfortunately a lot of nastiness in this debate about this topic. There are nasty people out to make money or a name for themselves on both sides of the debate. Here is what I do know.”

    “There is no question humans change and influence the environment and earth as a whole. There are many things to be done to stop the negative impacts of humans on the earth. I am 100% in favour of things like harnessing solar energy but not because I am so concerned about carbon dioxide but because I don’t like that we are importing oil from dictatorships and human rights violators and funding the spread of religious fundamentalism with our money. Also fossil fuels are a finite resource. To me, those two facts alone are a good reason to stop importing foreign oil and conserve fossil fuel. I worry about oil tankers and the impact of a spill on the environment, especially in the ocean. So do I support cutting back on fossil fuel energy use and alternative energy. I also support protecting carbon sinks like marshes and forests because even if the carbon dioxide things is wrong, there are so many other benefits like habitat protection, preserving endangered species and genetic diversity.”

    “Doing all this is good for the earth and good for my fellow human beings. Do I support cutting back on fossil fuel energy use to stop us from putting C02 in the air? In my opinion, its probably a yes, but there is enough question and debate among reasonable people to leave some real doubt about it. However because of the other good reasons to cut back on fossil fuels I can fully support such efforts.”

    The weird thing about taking such a position is that BOTH sides (assuming they have not started screaming and insulting me) will shut up and agree with that. If we stop talking about authoritarian consensus and total disaster and start talking about things like human rights and obviously bad things like oil spilled on dolphins, we could stop this preposterous fight and start doing something and more people will agree and follow. And I will end by stating that while those who deny the effects of carbon dioxide as a cause of climate change have been nasty with me, the consensus supporting crowd are much more vicious, insulting and prone to attack in a crowd. I think by invoking consensus that side has attracted those people who like mob rule and enjoy rioting.

    • ==> “If we stop talking about authoritarian consensus and total disaster and start talking about things like human rights and obviously bad things like oil spilled on dolphins, we could stop this preposterous fight and start doing something and more people will agree and follow.”

      I was basically with you up to there. I think that talking about consensus does not, in itself, cause the polarization – so to stop talking about it will have little net effect. I think that a discussion of disastrous consequences should be part of the discussion as a piece of risk assessment in the face of uncertainty.

      So on top of that you’re asking for something that is extremely unlikely to happen, IMO, I’d also say that the causal mechanism that you outline is too simplistic even in a theoretical sense.

      But while we’re speculating about causal mechanisms and different outcomes – I’d also point out that while you do find fault with both sides, your prescription is that only one side should do things differently to affect better outcomes.

    • Yes, there are other reasons to switch to domestic energy sources. Will we do it? In America, despite the governments efforts, it is happening due to private enterprise and fracking.

      Oil will run out at some point in the future and by then we hopefully will have better technology, even though the promises made for green energy always seem to exceed the actual performance.

    • These comments are odd at a time when the overwhelming trend in fossil fuel production is for the wealthy, developed countries to be where exploration and new production is taking place. The U.S. is about to become the new energy superpower.

      In addition, the frivolity of suggesting cutbacks in oil consumption–rather than more-careful drilling and transport–to avoid spilling oil on dolphins, is mind boggling. There is a case to be made in terms of minimizing deaths per kilowatt-hour for promoting nuclear power and natural gas on the margin over coal, but generic calls to reduce overall fossil-fuel consumption in favor of moonbeams and unicorns discredit the caller.

      Global energy demand, in order to reach widespread prosperity, is going to be a lot higher per capita and overall in the next several decades. Some gains can be had by substituting capital and labor for energy per unit of output, but as these substitutions become more extreme they have an increasingly negative impact on the standard of living. It may make people feel good to vaguely complain about fossil fuels, but the only long-term question is whether privately cheaper alternatives will be developed. If not, they are all going to be burned.

      • Very good. Bravo!

      • I believe my initial post was “When a nonscientists says to to me “Do you believe in climate change?” My response is always,…” I could have gone on and on about my position on pipelines, transport of fossil fuels by rail and truck versus pipelines and everything else these discussion evolve to. That would probably require starting my own blog and posting for a couple of years. To read that post and say that reducing fossil fuels is my only response and the rat is butterflies and unicorns, is not only an unfair and insulting characterization, it also illustrates precisely the kind of arrogant “We can’t solve anything until we solve it all” attitude that I hate so much from the pro side of anthropogenic climate change debate. Beyond that comment I happen to agree with most of what you said including “Global energy demand, in order to reach widespread prosperity, is going to be a lot higher per capita and overall in the next several decades.” Shall I post about my conversations re pipelines and how I always ask “Do you drive a car?” Or does asking “Do you drive a car” also constitute “butterflies and unicorns”?

      • fulltimetumbleweed said: “I am 100% in favour of things like harnessing solar energy but not because I am so concerned about carbon dioxide but because I don’t like that we are importing oil from dictatorships and human rights violators and funding the spread of religious fundamentalism with our money. Also fossil fuels are a finite resource. To me, those two facts alone are a good reason to stop importing foreign oil and conserve fossil fuel. I worry about oil tankers and the impact of a spill on the environment, especially in the ocean. So do I support cutting back on fossil fuel energy use and alternative energy.”

        That is the kind of sentiment–we should stop importing foreign oil and conserve fossil fuel–I regard as uninformed and frivolous. All resources are “finite” in some sense, but their finitude says nothing about the optimal rate of their consumption. The U.S. is currently becoming the world’s largest energy exporter, contrary to the thrust of the statement above. “Alternative” energy, which is 99% of the time a term used as code for non-nuclear, non-fossil sources, is at this point about as likely to economically meet energy demand (that you concede is likely to soar) as moonbeams and unicorns. So, in the end, I don’t really see how there is anything “scientific” or getting beyond sterile debates in the statement I critiqued. It is more of the same avoiding of hard choices, raising of phantasms, and posing as enlightened that makes it difficult to have a serious conversation about climate policy.

  36. There are now 97 comments on “The 97% Consensus”

  37. Even Vulcans find this 97% claim ‘highly illogical. See our Spock-u-mentary “The DeConsensus Project” http://prezi.com/2x2_illqic81/the-deconsensus-project/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

  38. David Young

    I must admit I have never understood the rationale for SKS in general. It seems to me that it is at best the spin that a particular group of non-scientist activists put on the science. I doubt if it convinces many people who are just looking for information. Surely, its a somewhat less shrill version of Center for American Progress which adds nothing to the science or really the policy debate.

  39. 1) Consensus is not intrinsically the same thing as authority. DeGrassi and Sagan are seen as authorities in large measure because they’re individuals with personality attributes that compliment the delivery of their positions. “Consensus” is a blob that few in modern society reflexively swear allegiance to and at least as often, distrust. We respect and trust individuals, not consensus. (i.e. Many many people followed Caesar long before he became emperor and was able to force consensus. They didn’t follow the Roman Senate.) To assume that consensus automatically equals the perception of authority is to be historically and socially naive.

    2) Modern scientific method in terms of the advancement of the canon is based largely on the Kantian/Hegelian construct of Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis. Historically in modern science, Synthesis is what happens after Antithesis is either eliminated or absorbed in part (or even whole) into Thesis. In the best of all possible worlds, synthesis would result in consensus, not the other way round. To fast forward to Synthesis in the name of consensus is to put the cart before the horse. Or because we’re talking philosophy here, putting Descartes before Dehorse.

    3) This short changing of the system results in unintended consequence. One such unintended consequence is that the purveyors of consensus (in this case a Thesis that by show of hands is being promoted to Synthesis) having to fight a rear guard against criticism (Antithesis). Probably I’m projecting here but I find it amazing that those who think consensus is enough to add dogma to the canon didn’t see this one coming. This is particularly true in Western culture where democracy to the degree it can be said to exist/thrive turns on the axle of the Dialectic.

    4) Another (possibly) unintended consequence here is to stifle debate/progress. What PhD candidate thinks she can set himself up for a university position by being critical of the consensus Thesis, by an offering of Antithesis. In the normal flow of events, that should be perfectly fine. The value of the offering should be it’s data content and construction not whether or not it is in agreement with the pseudo Synthesis of Consensus.

    Finally, the recent posts here address what I take to be the crux of current climate debate. The debate at this point is a social philosophy question. And that’s to say that it’s obvious the science is not settled and we therefore must look at why we think it is, and how we can return to the Dialectic as a component of the Scientific Method.

  40. I find the idea of a consensus, in any field where there was never an actual debate about the subject of that consensus, laughable.

    The fact that 97% of any group “assumes” the correctness of that consensus, that was birthed full grown with no debate, says much more about the group think involved than the merits of the proposition on which there is a consensus.

    Shoot, we have learned that those who actually peer review papers in this field don’t even check the work for validity. Look at the garbage that makes it through. Who cares what people with even less information think?

    One problem in such a survey is low information scientists.

    Also, if you want to be sciency about this kind of PR, wouldn’t you control for government funding? Suppose we did a survey of papers published by scientists funded by tobacco companies in the 50s and 60s. Wouldn’t we have found an even greater consensus that tobacco was not dangerous?

    • Consensus isn’t laughable in some fields, for example in religion and death penalty trials. I suspect the idea of enforcing a consensus arises from a quasi religious psychological condition coupled to political intolerance. This is a serious problem which has caused, and causes, a lot of killing. You see, this consensus peddling has nothing to do with science. It’s a political animal.

      • Fernando Leanme,

        I didn’t expressly intend my comment to refer to theological “consensus,” or the unanimity that is required in most jury decisions. But the concept is the same. I find a consensus in those instances laughable as well, under the conditions of my comment – “where there was never an actual debate about the subject of that consensus.”

        In theology, there has been great debate in and among all the major religions over centuries or millennia (depending on the religion). And in the jury context, deliberation (aka debate) is required prior to voting on guilt or innocence.

        Let’s just say sometimes consensus is appropriate, and other times not. But it is always laughable when it is not the product of debate.

        Nor was there debate among members of the Heaven’s Gate cult.
        There was no debate among scientists about CAGW.
        I give their respective consensuses about equal weight.
        (Hopefully the pause won’t have the same effect on the CAGWers that the unremarkable passage of Hale Bopp did to the Heaven’s Gaters.)

        A consensus among sheep does not impress.

      • What we’re dealing with here is a weird hybrid. Theology in a lab coat.

  41. Schrodinger's Cat

    Consensus about what? We have been into all of that many times.

    I get the feeling that people who use the consensus argument either know very little about the science or hope to avoid discussing the science, which is full of problems.

    The whole idea of a consensus is meaningless in such a controversial and poorly understood subject with such a huge number of very fundamental uncertainties. It is a PR statement, a con to fool the gullible, a taunt to irritate the opposition, a contrived analysis.

    Do 97% of scientists believe that mankind can affect the climate? The number is probably in excess of 99%.

    Is man-made CO2 the dominant factor that controls our climate? That is a different question altogether and one whose answer is being revised downwards at a fast rate.

    • There are two curves here. One is yours, that the dominance of CO2 is being revised downward. At the same time, the realization that increased CO2 is a net benefit is gradually rising.
      ================

  42. Danley Wolfe

    Asking a group of scientists if they believe man affects the climate is like asking them if fish swim in water. Cook et. al. acknowledge that the purpose of the study is to influence public opinion … i.e., they use a vague broad all encompassing concept of consensus in order to move public support; they do not push this important issue to a revealed truth on whether the science is adequately understood, sufficient to make public policy. As such this is propaganda. (See Norman Davies Norman Davies, “Five rules of propaganda, in Europe – a History,” Oxford University Press, 1996, pp 500-501).

    Cook should have asked “do you believe our current scientific understanding conclusively demonstrates that human activity is the predominant factor, with greater than X% (95%) likelihood/probability, supporting the hypothesis that observed increase in global mean temperatures (global warming) is man made.” Since the important debate is re the attribution of cause the study should also ask “are you qualified to make defensible scientific opinions on the long term (multi decadal) forecasts of global mean temperature and assignment of cause and effect including AGHG, other manmade related factors, non anthropogenic variables, natural variations, etc.

    Another issue is the IPPC use of 90%, 95%, etc. likelihood in categorizing the degree of understanding of the science. As I understand it these are not objective quantifiable measures of probability or “error bars” of some sort, but are measures assigned or created by the lead IPCC authors via Delphi style polling … of themselves, and is done for the purpose of shaping public opinion. So we have the idea of “consensus” confounded on top of “consensus.” Where does this end? We should be asking “what are the “knowns”, what are the “known unknowns”, and what are the “unknown unknowns,” and how do we justify and defend the proposed mitigation measures proposed for public policy. Like Dorothy’s discovery of the wizard behind the curtain, this consensus “smoke and mirrors” hurts the climate advocacy cause by using an obvious propaganda tool rather than focusing on the objective science. If the science was clear, there would be no debate at all.

  43. Of course the first deception of consensus muck raking is asking one broad abstract question with the term “anthropologic” to cover as many bases as possible such as aerosols, methane or land use as well as co2 and then when the maximum response is drawn out of the term to segue into “we need co2 mitigation as that is the most important component of anthropologic impact”. Bait and switch.

    If the question were polled; “does human co2 account for most global warming?” and if people were asked to assign percentages of impact to various human inputs the “consensus” would flounder. The consensus talking point was always designed to be distortion and manipulation and it’s only the ideological bullying of those polling that have managed to maintain the consensus orthodox of even how the question is initially worded. That it isn’t empirical in anyway but then gets attached to other speculative conclusions and claims as if a “yes” confirms support of the entire radicalized core of the mythical “climate science consensus”.

    Effectively a nefarious group of activists dressed in lab coats with the assistance of comparable media operatives pretending to be objective but share the same agenda have protected the brain-dead 97% of Huffington Post and NYTimes journalistic quality which is comparable to 1950’s Pravda at this point. All the efforts again will focus on how the 97% is flawed and distorted but little focus will be given to political commonality of those espousing the authority of the witless poll structure; “are there human GHG impacts?” From a simple, non-quantified “yes” the conclusion is drawn in the advocate tide pool that you must be supporting massive carbon regulations, U.N. controlled wealth redistributions and a self-appointed science elite to administer the New World order envisioned by this fringe. This is the essence of “double think”, the ability to impose two contradictory ideas at one time but for one underlying purpose. 97% defines nothing upon any reasonable inspection from the view of actual “science” and muddles a variety of assumptions that permit a group of people known to be dishonest to draw a false conclusion from a response. With few media or academic gatekeepers committed to reason (their politics being in line with the distorted polling goal) the essential falsehood of the 97% card is preserved for propaganda purposes.

    97% has been debunked time and again in the many forms it is recirculated on the technical realities of each machination. That 97% is bold faced lie for a political objective is clear. Skeptics would be better to focus more time to the motives of the lie rather then the ceaselessly addressing the claim as if it were created in good faith, which is nonsense. We have the Doran study with less than 100 out of 10000 internet responders;

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

    and now the moronic Cook “analysis” which he reviews science papers as if were interpreting the “meaning” of renaissance artwork with all serious methods distorted or suppressed;

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/06/cook-scores-97-for-incompetence-on-a-meaningless-consensus/

    How the paper has avoided retraction speaks volumes of the underlying corruption of the academic structure involved.

    Rather then “experts” going over all the weeds of the 97% fallacy and manipulation why don’t more in the climate community just come out and acknowledge the political deceitfulness of the entire consensus polling presumption simply and outright? The climate science community is pathetic on average is the reason this idiotic talking point could survive and is living example of the mendacity of many of the participants.

  44. Here are 18 people on a fools errand. (And, it appears none are climate scientists – not even scientists of any kind.) Yep, it’s all politics, no science.
    From the article:
    Who’s who: The men and women tasked with stopping climate change

    Last updated on 25 July 2014, 7:43 am

    Eighteen men and women who will play a vital role in developing an international deal to curb emissions

    – See more at: http://www.rtcc.org/2014/07/25/whos-who-the-men-and-women-tasked-with-stopping-climate-change/#sthash.kyKNb1yh.dpuf

  45. I think you are studying this subject using an inappropriate statistical technique. I used my own equations on Cook’s data, and I reached a different conclusion after applying Jungian and pseudo Marxist logic on the residuals. My draft paper has already been posted using American language and submitted to Clinical Psychology Annals….

  46. Checking the reasons for their consensus by reviewing the data and research yourself, if you have the time, access, and skill, is the only valid approach for an honest skeptic. If you don’t have the time, access, or skill to review the data and research, best to remain skeptical until you can observe for your own eyes the reality of related predictions made by a consensus of experts.

    So on an issue of science, if one does not really have enough information to make an informed estimation in place of scientists who actually study the issue themselves professionally — which is most people on this subject, despite all the belief to the contrary about it — one should defer to not believing scientists, rather than believing them?

    Shouldn’t it be the other way around? That is, while mainstream science is sometimes wrong (and those examples stick out like a sore thumb, like a pick thrown in a football game, though far outweighed by the number of completed passes), and it is easy to remember errors and take for granted what is not, basic science is right far more often than wrong.

    As far as waiting for “the reality of one’s own eyes of the related predictions,” this misses the entire point of the issue: which is the high chance of a likely and fairly intense change to our climate over time. Once that happens (and in fact, probably as it is happening, at some point, at least to some extent), it can’t then be changed.

    So the entire point is to act to do what we can to prevent at least whatever extent of it that we can, since the entire issue is heavily compounding, due to the basic nature of our stable ice sheets and systems, and the fact that we are continuing to add to it at geological breakneck speed. That is, the more radical the (atmospheric) change, the far more likely (and extensive) the level of basic earth change in response.

    Put simply, a little bit more greenhouse gas in the air might not really do much on top of stable systems. A huge amount would start to change the basic dynamics which otherwise serve to preserve intact the relative stability of these systems. (I..e, ice caps, permafrost regions, etc.)

    We have already contributed to change resulting in collective levels of long lived greenhouse gases not seen on earth in at least several million years. Continuing to add only greatly amplifies if not multiplies, rather than just “adds to,” the problem, even further.

    Lastly, most of the data that defines this problem is in the long term geologic record, and in the change to the atmospheric concentration of long lived greenhouses gases, not in short term climate patterns, which in general if anything have corroborated the basic idea of expected, and over time, likely increasing, change. And which is being confused with short term changes, which, geologically are meaningless, apart from how the emerging composite picture appears (temperature, here, but more important signs of underlying system change, in terms of increasing ocean ice melt and net ice sheet loss/temperature increase, increasing <a href="ocean temperature, and high permafrost subsurface temperature increases, are also increasingly evident), and how thus, any shorter term observations (e.g, weather the last decade) contributes to that bigger emerging picture.

    • John Carter, did you read Michael Mann’s recent article in Scientific American? It’s called “False Hope”. Look it over carefully and then write me a note, and if you wish I can point out why scientists like Mann have very little credibility with people like me.

  47. During a discussion with an acquaintance:

    “I don’t like deniers, I think they are jerks. I don’t want deniers to be right, so I don’t listen to them.”

    • La la la la la la la lah, I can’t hear you over the sound of my supercomputer crunching models.
      ===============

  48. Most climate skeptic websites focus on the science of climate change. Our Most climate skeptic websites focus on the science of climate change. Our website for example,
    http://www.friendsofscience.org

    Unlike what the climate scientists who are professionally studying the issue are doing? Or just, well, better than them.

    Or, with an eye toward supporting the idea or claim that Climate Change is not a big thing. Which if it wants to be supported (as this thread and countless more like it illustrate) on something that can’t really be proven until after the fact, it will be supported.

    The refutation of the idea that radically changing the concentration of long lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to levels not collectively seen on earth in at least several million years will likely lead to major climate shifts in result, is that there is no consensus, CO2 is not the only contributor but just part of the issue, Models can’t exactly predict year to year and other relatively short term changes, or the exact path of the pattern (nor should they), the earth has changed before (which is also simultaneously used for the idea that therefore, in response to a huge and unusual external forcing, which would change the net energy balance considerably – and energy ultimately drives climate – it somehow wouldn’t), and the earth’s ambient global atmospheric temperatures, though rising over time along with ocean temps, ice melt rates, permafrost sub-surface temps, don’t rise every decade.

    None of which are really relevant to the issue.

  49. It’s really hard to believe that 97% of really smart scientists agree that CAGW is real and doom awaits us unless we implement drastic measures. Unfortunately this is the meme that is being foisted on us by Obama and his merry team.

    The Cook paper (which seems to be the genesis of Obama’s statement) has been seriously debunked by several serious folks. Steve McIntyre’s latest post make a shambles of it. Anyone think that John Holdren is advising Obama to tone it down?

    Clinging to the consensus argument just shows how desperate the catastrophists are to prevent the undeveloped peoples of the world from burning fossil fuels to improve their lot.

    CAGW is a house of cards that depends on the discredited hockey stick, discredited GCMs and all kinds of hokus pokus needed to make any sense at all out of a hodge podge of temperature measuring stations of dubious quality.

  50. Regarding anthropogenic GH gas forcing specifically, one should look to a longer time frame with effects increasing toward the later part of that period and effects to increase in overall dominance over natural variability on a decade by decade basis until such time as GH gases stabilize.

    It would be until such time as the earth’s systems (or climate) stabilize, or reach a new stases — in response to the external forcing which a sudden and geologically marked irs in long lived GH gases (again, taking us back to collective levels of long lived GH gases not on earth in at least several million years, and rising) represents. This would be some time after GH gas levels themselves stabilize; probably a considerable amount of time.

    Simple as a pimple. Hire a respected national polling firm to survey scientists from various fields.

    Again, consensus doesn’t make the case, it only shows that most scientists who study it support it or have reached the same conclusions; But how about instead survey all scientists who professionally study climate change or atmospheric physics as a significant or predominant part of their work – the ones who matter on this issue.

    No-one has measured the value of climate sensitivity. The idea of climate sensitivity has no meaning. There is no such thing.The climate is not an organism, but a function of physics upon a large ball of rock (and some snow and ice and water) with living systems upon in, in response to an input of energy over time.

    What the Left is doing with the global warming phenomenon is manufacturing an existential risk; it’s not really a left right issue, or shouldn’t be, but the idea of a changing climate in response to a change in what ultimately drives it — the earth’s energy balance — or the idea that radically increasing the levels of the same molecules that in smaller numbers are responsible for keeping the earth about 60 degrees F warmer than it it would otherwise be, would likely change the climate, is just about the opposite of existential. Since we only have one earth, and there is only one “experiment” over time with no controls, it can’t be fully proven until after the fact. It doesn’t make the likelihood, or “threat” not real. (Or the very ideas of risk and threat would not exist.)

    The hard measurable data that the “climate sensitivity” commenter above says is needed for any meaning, is the amazing and vast amount that has cataloged the rise in ambient atmospheric levels, the sources of net emissions effects, the long geologic record, the current 100 plus year and generally corroborating somewhat volatile overall rise in ambient global temperatures and extremes (both in weather events and temperature fluctuations), and the measurement of changes to more normally stable climate affecting or driving systems. It’s a vast amount. The only thing missing is the ultimate exactresult, which is the whole point.

    The very fact that a noticeable portion of a supposedly scientific community feels the need to continuously appeal to consensus is, by itself, evidence that THEY realize that their position is inadequately supported by facts It’s in response to constant claims that the basic science is “not” settled, when among scientists who professionally study this issue, it essentially is settled. (The basic questions, at least.) And there is a concerted and self reinforcing effort to not express skepticism – which is good for science – but repeatedly seek any means or any argument to discredit basic climate science – and cling to any argument (such as the one in italics here) that helps to do that – which becomes, and has become, self believing and self sustaining; as only arguments that advance that perspective (correct or not) are accepted or even considered, while all others are dismissed.

    • John Carter of Barsoom: Oddly, it is the geologists who study extremely long-term data who seem least likely to jump on the Urgent Mitigation cause. It does not appear that ACO2 is either necessary or sufficient to generate the claimed results when looking at either historical or prehistoric data. And climate sensitivity, contrary to your assertion above, is pretty much the whole ballgame in terms of policy making.

      You might consider some of the points our hostess has made regarding disentangling the effects of CO2 and aerosol forcings on temperature from natural redistributions of heat throughout the earth system. Some wild and crazy people even think that negative cloud feedbacks cancel out a good part of radiative forcing.

      Finally, nothing you have written suggests that mitigation of CO2 emissions today is the smart policy even if your dire fears are correct. For example, if the very worst-case fears about sensitivity are true, a crash deceleration of energy output that rendered the world poorer in human and physical capital would fail to avert the putative climate crisis while leaving the world less prepared to adapt to the consequences. Urgent Mitigation policy has to thread a pretty small eye of the needle in terms of forecasts and impacts to be justifiable.

  51. Cooks paper is poor from the top to the bottom . its ‘evidenced’ has much validity as ‘nine out of ten cats prefer’
    And that is before we get to the issues around how valid consensus , after all of experts , priests etc , say god exists but we don’t just regard that idea has unquestionable true because the ‘experts say so ‘

    One thing to consider when ever you hear these types of claims , no one knows how many ‘scientists’ there are for very good reason , there is no agreed definition of what a ‘scientists’ is . On reflect Cook’s claim and his work would have a hard time meeting the standard of ‘nine out of ten cats prefer’

    • you give his paper too much validity.

      I’d be more inclined to take the opinions of the nine cats over anything Cook is capaple of producing.

  52. Climate mensheviks like Tol and Hulme are ultimately more of a problem than hysterics like Cook. They are more likely to gain acceptance and to take the climatariat forward. If people are more likely to ring their legislators when “persuaded” by these “communicators”, let’s have Cook’s ranting instead. Unless you feel the world can afford more massive white elephants.

    Let’s beware of these “acceptable faces”. A billion is still a billion, a white elephant still a white elephant, whether praised by an earnest persuader who is “a hopeless romantic for the Enlightenment” or a ruthless, dodgy salesman like Cook.

    Whatever stops “climate action by policymakers” can only be a good thing. We need Cook, sorry to say.

    • I’m fine with Tol. And if he’s wrong I get my fix anyway, because I know we are running out of oil. Might as well start driving smaller lighter vehicles with great gas mileage, the time of reckoning is coming.

      • By all means, don’t waste that lovely oil, Fernando. I’m heart-broken that Australia burns its coal in old facilities it refuses to replace or modernise. (We have particularly lush black coal in enormous abundance, but I can’t bear wasting a single nugget.)

        Do you need to be told not to waste gas? Is it controversial to conserve dunes or to pin down roofs in tropical zones? Do you need a climate expert to tell you to prepare for a certain percentage of risk, while your typical Aussie engineer tells you to make everything strong against everything that can break it, known or unknown (even architects).

        Is there something new about conservation, thrift, preparedness and solid engineering?

        And when practical energy alternatives are developed, will “alternative” be almost a swear word, so that people will merely roll their eyes and hold on to their wallets, when they should be punting on a good thing?

      • Total U.S. energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the electric power sector in
        2012 were 2,039 million metric tons, or about 39% of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions.

        http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/sources/transportation.html
        “In 2012, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation accounted for about 28% of total U.S.
        greenhouse gas emissions, making it the second largest contributor of U.S.
        greenhouse gas emissions after the Electricity sector.
        Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation have increased by about 18% since 1990.”

        “The primary greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), and according to the Environmental Protection
        Agency (EPA), about 20 percent of total U.S. emissions of CO2 are from passenger vehicles
        (cars and light trucks).”
        http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/10-06-ClimateChange_Brief.pdf

        So, 80% of US CO2 emission is not passenger cars and 72% is not related to all transportation
        emissions.

        During Obama’s reign, US total emission has lowered, and emmission from passenger vehicles has
        increased. Or the government focus on CO2 emission from passenger vehicles has not been a
        significant factor in the lowering of US emission.

        let’s compare US consumption of coal for electrical power:
        2008: 1,040,580
        2009: 933,627
        2010: 975,052
        2011: 932,484
        2012: 823,551
        2013: 858,351
        http://www.eia.gov/coal/production/quarterly/pdf/t32p01p1.pdf
        So US roughly, reduced 250 million short tons of coal for electrical power
        from 2008. Or in terms of CO2 emission about 3/4 of billion tons per year.

        Or:
        “Once all data are in, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2013 are expected to be
        roughly 2% above the 2012 level, largely because of a small increase in coal consumption in the
        electric power sector. Coal has regained some market share from natural gas since a low in April
        2012; however the impact on overall emissions trends remains fairly small. ”
        http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=14571

        Or largely because of bump coal use for electrical power in 2013 there was increase in US CO2
        emission in 2013 as compared to 2012. Or passenger cars was irrelvent.
        But overall it’s declining, and declining due to fracking, as fracking as increase natural gas
        production and oil production. Or anytime one increases oil production [US is now world’s largest
        oil producer [and natural gas producer] you tend to increase natural gas production [though one
        can also focus on mining a site which happens to be largely natural gas].

        Wiki, CO2 emmission:
        2012: United States 5,190,000
        2012: China 9,860,000

        And reason China has far more emission than US is 80% of it’s electrical power production is from burning coal.
        Or nothing to do with China’s passenger cars.

      • Gbaikie, nevertheless we ARE running out of oil. And oil is used for other purposes. Also, as oil runs out I’m afraid we will have to move onto plug in hybrids. And that technology is really raw. So if the global warming scare happens to be a bit misguided but does encourage technology development then I see a side benefit many ignore.

        I also saw a comment about “other technologies” emerging to replace renewables. I happen to live in a world populated by adult engineers, and we don’t trust arm waving nor cartoons. My judgement is that as of this moment we haven’t got ANY practical technologies to fall back on.

        I also notice there’s a tendency by Americans (and most Europeans) to think about this problem as one they can solve in isolation from the rest of the planet. I got bad news for you guys: whatever solutions are found had better work in China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Brazil. Otherwise you had better prepare for WW3 and a radioactive planet. This is why Obama’s approach is somewhat stupid, large scale moves should be negotiated away, not given up to please the same public he bamboozled just like Bush did with his ghost Iraq WMD.

      • @Fernando

        you note
        “So if the global warming scare happens to be a bit misguided but does encourage technology development then I see a side benefit many ignore. ”

        Fernando, have you considered that it may well not be coincidence?
        It was in 97/98 timeframe when I figured out for myself that there was only the remotest chance that the CAGW “A Team”, the GCM models would be validated as I understand the term (I.E. that model “accuracy” had been established)
        I was shocked by this , particularly because I identified with modelling activity. I’m an old/former petroleum downstreamer who spent most of my time in the oil industry heavily involved in optimization modelling.
        There was something else that immediately I realised. I had a very interesting “prior” . I had personally been involved in a study that lead me to believe that what John Hofmeister admits to at 3mins to 4min 20 secs should have been quite predictable.(long in advance)
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/28/canada-pulls-the-plug-on-the-u-s-keystone-pipeline-will-send-oil-to-asia/#comment-1672450

        Furthermore, as part of my job function, one routinely got involved in assessing the financial impact of new environmental regs and product spec changes (often driven by enviro concerns)
        Over time, it had been a source of some bewilderment to me, and not a little frustration that purported justification for some regs was really stretching credibility. What I had already encountered I would say was the “precautionary principle” before I’d ever heard it articulated as such.
        What was therefore apparent to me immediately once I realised, the GCMs would not be validated, was that if one wanted to use an environmental Ruse or Hoax as a Proxy for HC Depletion (without talking about HC Depletion directly) then there was no option but to demonize C as CO2 emissions.
        And that is exactly of course what has been done

        It seems to me that both BP and Shell have been long time supporters of the CAGW agenda. People should carefully think through why they may find it in the own financial interest to support this. :: ))
        https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/09/laframboises-new-book-on-the-ipcc/#comment-378231

        What do people think is a more tractable issue. Making predictions about HC Depletion? Or predicting climatic change?
        Some food for thought
        cheers
        brent

      • Fernando, a gentle but important correction based on my two previous guest posts here on the subject.
        The world is centuries away from ‘running out’ of oil in the sense of depletion to exhaustion.
        The problem is impending peak annual production due to the inherent geophysics of oil production (things like viscosity, porosity, water cut), and lower quality deposits exploited as prices consequently rise.
        Set that emerging ‘peak oil’ reality against steady global growth in demand for oil, especially now driven by China. You can already see the conflict potential arising in the South China Sea. Even a 2012 IMF working paper predicts absolute global liquid fuel scarcity (shortages) by 2020 at crude prices over $200/bbl, despite the way overhyped development of tight oil (shale horizontal drill/frack). A subsequent IMF paper predicted very harsh economic consequences as a result, with no IMF ability to ameliorate. Imagine 2020 gasoline rationing at $8 per gallon in the US, because it will still be importing about 9-10 million barrels per day IF the most optimistic US tight oil projections come true and IF the newest CAFE standards are met and IF the world and our conscience allows us to continue to have us use 41% of our gross, 22% net (of distillers grain animal feed) corn crop to maintain the present 10% ethanol blend wall rather than use it for food.

      • Rud,

        Any future shooting war over the South China sea will come to a quick conclusion once China learns the hard way what the US submarine force is capable of.

      • timg56
        Best not to predict too far in advance the outcome of a shooting war at sea. Lots of unforseens. China silent diesel subs with surface missiles could cause havoc among US carrier battle groups. Takes a long time to replace a carrier or Ageis cruiser.
        Scott

      • Scott,

        It is unlikely that the Navy would send in a Carrier battle group. Current concerns about that are based on improving targeting capability with Chinese medium range ballistic missles.

        During war game exercises at sea it is not unusual for the aggressor submarines to have their designation changed to that of a diesel boat. The reason – the surface warfare community gets tired of getting its ass repeatedly ripped. By designating the opponent as diesel, they force it to simulate the actions of a diesel sub, mainly operating shallow and frequent snorkling. Actions that make them a lot easier to locate and prosecute. (This assumes that any diesel submarine would get past the screening US fast attack boats.)

        There is a very good reason for submariners to believe in there being only two types of ships in the world – submarines and targets. Because it is true.

      • timg56
        RIMPac typically includes carrier battlegroups. Does the 7th fleet have two or one? I have been away from the Navy a long time but I think a sudden shooting war will be overwhelmingly violent. No easy way to project winners. I think the cliche of subs and targets is way overstated but the sub community has their religion, as do the air groups. My concern is the big mess plus lots of lives and unforseen outcomes. Overconfident climate projections and war gaming outcomes always change when matched with reality. But it is interesting and the US Navy is still the best, although may be on the way down with funding restrictions.
        vr Scott

  53. Derek Colman

    Consensus is meaningless in science. As we have seen over the years, consensus can be wrong. Peer review is not reliable either, witness the fake arsenic DNA paper that passed peer review and was accepted by Science before the author revealed it was a hoax and deliberately peppered with bad science practice.

  54. Judith, the paper has even worse problems, problems that make the more sophisticated critiques somewhat luxurious, makes you and other scholars seem quite generous in seriously engaging the paper: http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/ignore-climate-consensus-studies-based-on-random-people-rating-journal-article-abstracts

    I’ve called for its retraction, and await the decision. There are profound conflicts of interest here. The editor of ERL, Daniel Kammen, personally promoted the paper on his blog. He also promoted (on his blog) Obama’s infamous false tweet — the tweet that added the claim that 97% of scientists agree that AGW is “dangerous”. The study did not assess anyone’s views of danger, risk, severity, etc. That was not a topic explored by the study (it was a political operation, and they wanted the largest number they could deliver.)

    Kammen did not correct the tweet. He passed on a false claim about a study that he had chosen to publish in his journal. I am stunned than any scientist would deceive the public by passing on a politician’s false report of a study’s findings, or be comforable with reducing the findings of a scientific field to a tweet. This wasn’t exaggeration or bold inference — danger is a completely different variable, a completely different concept and category than those the study reported. He did nothing to alert his readers to the fact that the claim was false, that the study didn’t go into danger at all. (http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2013/05/29/the-story-of-a-presidential-tweet/)

    I just discovered today that he works for Obama — he advises Obama. This is an ethical disaster. He passed on a politician’s false report of a study’s findings, and he **works for that politician**. Apparently his political commitments trumped his scientific ethics or fealty to descriptive reality. Also, he is now presented with the decision to retract a study he approved, a “study” which served the interests of, and was infamously promoted and even misrepresented by, a politician he works for (and serves the broader interests of the political camp to which he evidently belongs). This kind of conflict of interest issue is wildly underexposed in the scientific community — the focus tends to be on money, and whatever scattered checks one might have received over the past 30 years. But political ideology is likely to be a much stronger force on bias than money, especially given the tribalism it sprouts — ancient and stable social psychology findings tell us this. (See Jon Haidt’s new book on that.) Learning this, I’ve asked Kammen to recuse himself from the retraction decision. The conflict of interest is too great, and the dissonance and face-saving concerns are likely to be unbelievably strong.

    The study turns out to be a scam, based on random politicial activists reading and rating climate science abstracts, the focus of their activism, where they passionately desired a particular outcome, and by virtue of their subjective ratings were in a position to deliver that outcome. One rater is a luggage entrepreneur. Another is a random blogger, who is also not a scientist. Another is an anonymous logician identified only as “logicman”. Perhaps he can tell us where fallacyboy is hiding these days — a skilled bartender and legendary rater of climate science abstracts. There is also evidence of fraud in their rater discussion forums.

    In a normal universe, this study/operation would have no hope of landing in a scientific journal. If the partisans at Watts Up With That had done this, it would not have been published. But if the intense partisans of SS do it, they can send it to ERL.

    • Joe, thank you for your analysis and pointing us to your blog post

    • Thanks for that random blather.

      Oh noes!, the editor drew attention to a paper – like he wanted piple to read it or something!!!

      What a great steaming pile of BS.

      This is the quality of ‘skepticism’.

      • Michael,
        huh?????
        I have never seen you make even rudimentary attempts to fairly and accurately characterize the comments of those with whom you disagree.

        You are truly an embarrassment to yourself and to this website.

      • skiphil,

        Did you miss this?
        “The editor of ERL, Daniel Kammen, personally promoted the paper on his blog”

        Oh noes!!

        Off with his head!

      • No, cut off his left little toenail, his repository of ethics.
        ==================

      • Er, trim the toenail. No torture here, not even of the truth.
        =========

      • Honesty.

        For you that vast unknown.

    • Kammen replied by directing me to the IOP homepage. Not to an ethics complaint page, or someone’s contact page. Just the homepage.

      He has completely ignored all the substantive, surreal issues I pointed out with the study, most centrally:

      This study was based on people reading climate science abstracts and deciding what they mean, particularly with respect to AGW. The people doing the reading were militant political activists on the issue of AGW, desired a specific outcome for the study, and were also unqualified to interpret climate science abstracts (they generally weren’t climate scientists, and many abstracts would be unnavigable to those who aren’t). Because the outcome of the study was based on their subjective ratings of these abstracts, **they were in a perfect position to deliver the desired outcome**.

      Kammen refuses to comment on this central issue. He’s punting back to Cook to respond. That profoundly **misses the point**. Nothing Cook says is going to change the above problem, or change how science works. I’ve asked Kammen to recuse himself because of his profound conflicts of interest, but so far he has refused, and only directs to the IOP homepage.

      I’ve also asked him to correct his endorsement of a false report of the study’s findings. Just in case there’s a misunderstanding, I’ve asked him if he disputes that the study did not report perceptions of danger. (http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2013/05/29/the-story-of-a-presidential-tweet/)

      This isn’t science anymore. And what these people are doing makes the world a worse place, makes science a darker and much less trustworthy place. This is a disaster, on several levels.

      • ==> “He has completely ignored all the substantive, surreal issues I pointed out with the study, most centrally:”

        Objectively speaking. As a non-ideological scientist. Of course.

        Joe – do you really think that your own ideological or cultural or partisan (in the sense of your professional outlook) identifications are not influential in your definition of what is or isn’t “surreal?”

        To me, you seem,actually, very ideological here.

        I assume that you’re familiar with Kahan’s work on motivated reasoning.

        By what means do you exclude yourself from those whose reasoning is motivated?

    • > I just discovered today that he works for Obama — he advises Obama. This is an ethical disaster. This is an ethical disaster.

      And of course:

      I’m a secular libertarian, mostly, but I’m going through a slow inventory and evidence-checking process right now, and offer no guarantees about the libertarian purity of my views circa 2018. I think conservatives have good intuitions in some areas, but conservatism seems more a horrified reaction to the left than an integrated political philosophy. I’m arrogant, but ultimately I favor a baseline epistemic modesty – a real consideration that we might be wrong, about a lot. I don’t think you can be a good scholar if you never consider that your basic framework – your deepest assumptions – might simply be wrong. Academic and scientific monocultures worry me.

      • willard addresses the argument.
        ==============

      • > willard addresses the argument.

        Which is exactly what our PhD student did with his “he works for Obama”.

        Yet another libertarian who raises concerns and fumbles the “false tweet”.

        Yawn.

      • willard addresses himself.
        ============

      • Willard, I’m not subjectively rating abstracts, on anything. I don’t do research that would put human raters in the position of subjectively rating some sort of textual material that would bear on their or my political aims. That’s not really a thing that happens.

        It’s important to set political grudges aside and be able to approach issues like this with some sense of objectivity, a respect for the difference between descriptive facts and ideological tenets, and to sandbox the team sport dynamic that drives so much of modern politics. You’re not really addressing anything here. I could be Pat Robertson’s assistant, and it wouldn’t change anything here. Liberals should object to what happened in this Cook scam as much as anyone.

      • > Willard, I’m not subjectively rating abstracts, on anything.

        This, of course, is a misrepresentation.

        Here’s what Duarte said:

        The study turns out to be a scam, based on random politicial activists reading and rating climate science abstracts, the focus of their activism, where they passionately desired a particular outcome, and by virtue of their subjective ratings were in a position to deliver that outcome.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/27/the-97-feud/#comment-612239

        A secularist (as opposed to?) libertarian rants about liberuls in the name of science.

        Jesus. This is joke.

      • > I could be Pat Robertson’s assistant, and it wouldn’t change anything here.

        But of course “Kammen works for Obama” and “this is not science anymore”.

        Jesus.

    • > I’ve also asked him to correct his endorsement of a false report of the study’s findings.

      Citation needed.

      A quote would also be nice.

    • > The study turns out to be a scam, based on random politicial activists reading and rating climate science abstracts, the focus of their activism, where they passionately desired a particular outcome, and by virtue of their subjective ratings were in a position to deliver that outcome.

      Let’s try the Duarte argument [1]:

      These random political activists could be Club of Rome or Greenpeace minions and it wouldn’t change anything to what they did, and Duarte’s not addressing anything by probing for motivations.

      In other words, C13 stands on its own merit, just like Duarte’s rant does, whether or not Duarte holds pro-Israel positions:

      http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/i-was-denied-admission-to-a-social-psychology-program-because-of-my-political-views

      ***

      Like a secularist libertarian would say, Jesus, what a joke. Is this just the usual God rigmarole of ringtones or what.

      [1] https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/27/the-97-feud/#comment-612289

    • Joe Duarte, why be stunned over an editor’s or a scientist’s misbehavior? Do you think a college degree guarantees ethical behavior? Are we supposed to expect misbehavior be limited to financial wizards and MBA’s? My first hand experience is to expect faked lab results, tricked analysis, cherry picked data, shell games, plagiarism, and lies.

      I have spent quite a bit of time keeping an eye on very educated people to make sure they walked straight. And I failed in this objective quite a few times (I also carry quite a few scars on my back from knife attacks I received when I tried to clean things up).

      • “Are we supposed to expect misbehavior be limited to financial wizards and MBA’s? My first hand experience is to expect faked lab results, tricked analysis, cherry picked data, shell games, plagiarism, and lies.” – FL

        Limited to ? No,not at all.

        Limited to scientists?

        No, not at all.

        My first hand experience is to expect faked results, tricked analysis, cherry picked data, shell games, plagiarism, and lies…..from climate-‘skeptics’ and bloggers too.

      • Michael

        You said;

        ‘My first hand experience is to expect faked results, tricked analysis, cherry picked data, shell games, plagiarism, and lies…..from climate-’skeptics’ and bloggers too.’

        Would you like to give a few important examples? thanks.
        tonyb

      • tony,

        Such a range to choose from!;

        Pretty much anything by the Potty Peer.

        There was the amusing Murry Salby ‘revolutionary” non-existent paper.

        More recently we’ve had the spectacle of the David Evans ‘force x’.

        I see you have a caveat of ‘important’,and i have to concede that none of this is important, but from what I’ve seen that goes for almost the entire output of the ‘skeptics’, as scant as it is.

    • Enjoyed your post. I’m afraid that I tend to have an impression that social science is _mostly_ this kind of stuff, all politically directed people producing studies that say what they want. It would be awesome if you would demonstrate that some of you want to do science.

  55. little polyp

    Saddam Hussein used to get 98% of the votes in the elections held in Iraq. when I saw the 97% I wandered how they managed to let 3% of the scientists slip through the approved funding net.

    • That is such an apt analogy. +100! (See what happens to climate scientists when they stray from the mainstream? The evil dictator scientists cut off their funding!)

  56. The 97% nonsenses.

  57. That climate changes an on/off phenomenon is best shown by the 1940 singularity when within the space of a single year climate change changed from positive to negative, global temperature actually fell and the 1940 temperature was not restored again until 1980. With this evidence how can one say that AGW is continuous? (see my website underlined above and figure 1 from the Australian BOM)

  58. skiphil | July 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Reply
    “McIntyre does entirely good faith behavior, from all that I have observed, and goes to extraordinary lengths to welcome his critics to expound at length on his site whenever they want to do so.

    Quibbles with Tom Curtis are merely that, quibbles, because Tom Curtis, like Joshua, is an obsessive quibbler…… ”

    skip complains about quibbling while paying homage to the Grand Quibbler.

    McIntyre’s ‘ggod faith’ and faux-civility is demonstrated by yet another lengthy ramble where he does manage to very very briefly note that there is nothing much to all this….while making much of it.

    It’s a time-honoured tactic of political rhetoric – adopt the position of ‘there-is-no-smoke-without-fire’ while hurling the fake-smoke cannisters.

    • Michael:

      I have to agree with you 100%. I do not understand McIntyre’s aggressive and incessant blogging on Lew, Mann, et al. I do understand he feels slighted and maligned by establishment climate scientists. However, all of his hyder-detailed parsing of what is, in essence, nonsense detracts and diminishes all of his work and the work published by his confederation of colleagues. It’s all so typically High School.

      Some people just like to pick the same old scabs.

      • That’s to drain the pus.
        =================

      • > It’s all so typically High School.

        Oxonians are not immune to such deeds, Howard.

      • willy,

        Aren’t you a moderator on some blog? Is business slow over there?

      • Howard, for a while I also wondered why someone as brilliant as Steve McIntyre could waste his time slogging through the sludge of Mann, Lewandowsky, Gergis, etc., but,

        (1) IT IS worthwhile to analyze and document the many flaws of such “research” for purposes of scientific hygiene, since the journals won’t do it;

        (2) now when people, including serious researchers, decide to “Google” for info, they can come upon pages like this: http://climateaudit.org/multiproxy-pdfs/

        (3) what you say is High Schoolish is actually a serious series of case studies in pseudo-science and mendacious ineptitude, with many cautionary tales for others;

        (4) There is no accounting for taste, and McIntyre should do what he finds to be of interest to him.

      • p.s. for (3) I should have written perhaps “case studies INTO” or “case studies examining” since the usual suspects here will try to pretend that my words should be turned against McIntyre, rather than against Mann, Gergis, Lewandowsky, et al., as intended.

      • Howard, McIntyre is just fighting the ‘nothing to see here, move along’ attitude of the alarmist brigade. A lot of serious errors and unethical practice has taken place in the world of climate science. I don’t blame Mac for not letting it get swept under the rug.

      • The President and other government misinformants cite their “work” and the alarmists parrot it non-stop, damaging the ability of govt and citizens to make informed decisions.

        McIntyre exposes the lies and he’s too “aggressive” and skimming the gutter?

        Only the truly delusional would not see that it’s the alarmists who perform like high school girl cliques.

      • Agreeing with Michael.

        Not the path to building credibility.

  59. A few weeks ago I was at a large environmental economics conference where climate change issues figured heavily on the agenda. Most of the papers presented would have been counted among the “97%” since they begin with a rote acknowledgment of the consensus position then go on to analyse some policy issue. Many of the EU economists were rather zealous on this topic, but I noticed how many of them (especially the ones under 40) are at institutes and government agencies where funding is tied to the climate issue. Relatively few are ordinary full-time university-based researchers. The US and Canadian economists were much more likely to be university-based and were also much less dogmatic on the issue. I got talking to a Canadian colleague who was rather appalled to learn I was skeptical of the predictions of climate models, thinking there was a duty of professional courtesy not to question the basics of another field. I began rattling off findings of my own papers (including my new one with Tim Vogelsang, and before too many minutes he backed down, admitting that he knew absolutely nothing about any of the details, he just figured that if 97% of the experts in the field were all agreed then he had no business disagreeing. I also took a run at the idea of 97%, and he admitted he didn’t know where that number came from either. His adherence to the consensus was all straw, motivated primarily by a fear of making a faux pas at his university, but not backed up by any detailed understanding. I suspect that’s pretty common. The upshot was he lamented that the environmental policy group at his school were all very one-sided and found them boring (and academically irrelevant) as a result, but he invited me to come do a talk, hoping it would spark some real debate.

    So the upshot for me is that there seems to be a consensus that there’s a consensus, which is a very different thing than saying that everyone understands enough of the details to have a well-informed opinion.

    • “he knew absolutely nothing about any of the details, he just figured that if 97% of the experts in the field were all agreed then he had no business disagreeing.”

      That is why the left puts so much effort into getting the headlines, and so little into their actual work. Why construct a genuinely comprehensive, objective survey? It might not come out the way you want. Better to just do some sloppy work, hide your methods, and just go for the lede.

      • Tension building along the fault line.
        ==========================

      • >Tension building along the fault line

        One may hope, but the MSM will not report it, ever

      • there’s a consensus of obeisance to political correctness

      • The problem isn’t limited to “the left”. When president Bush and the neocons wanted to drive the USA into the blunder in Iraq they used a very cooperative media and lied quite convincingly. They created a consensus for a stupid invasion and the majority of the American people were quite fine swallowing that “consensus”. Sometimes I feel like I’m witnessing a rerun if the blunders which led to the demise of the Byzantine empire, their system was set up to give them lousy emperors who took them into disastrous moves over and over again. Maybe the problem is the American people’s tendency to believe whatever they are being fed a bit too easily.

      • Fernando: While everyone enjoys the leftish political cover of an anti-Bush anti-Urgent Mitigationist (see, we’re not all crazy right wingers!) you should be more careful in your parsing of the history of the Iraq invasion. Everybody, including all the Clinton foreign policy and intel people, thought Saddam was hiding WMD and it turned out that he did indeed have the human and technical infrastructure to regenerate their development fairly quickly, even though his stockpiles were an order of magnitude smaller than expected. And the resolution to invade Iraq had multiple points of justification; WMD was only one. It’s fine to harshly decry the rationale, planning, and execution of the invasion but the “Bush lied” argument requires more than your assertions.

        Note: I am not planning on conducting a debate on this subject in the comment thread of this blog. Just registering an objection in the face of repeated claims that if left unanswered might leave the impression of broad consent.

      • Stevepostrel: The Duelfer Report says that no WMD were found but did find labs that had been producing VX. I’m not a chemist but how many people might have been killed with a vile of VX?

    • Ross, you are dangerously “politically incorrect” for academe. — how did this happen?

  60. Cook said that “There’s no point in doing scientific research if you are not looking to publicize it. A part of what we were doing was closing that consensus gap, and the consensus gap is delaying climate action. We wanted it to have a tangible impact.”

    A serious policy fallacy there: that the fact of a consensus on a particular issue of itself leads to a particular policy response. Even it were proven that with no GHG emissions reduction action, dangerous warming would occur, that does not of itself point to any particular policy response.

    Henry Ergas writes in today’s Australian: “At the heart of those lessons is a simple fact: the electorate is unwilling to bear crippling costs for the purely hypothetical benefits of decarbonisation. Despite all their apocalyptic rhetoric, the climate change advocates cannot secure and sustain popular support for the taxes needed if large-scale reductions in emissions are to occur. …

    “Perpetuating those [Renewable Energy Target] policies is not only economically irrational; it also lends credibility to the carbon tax. After all, if the RET is legitimate, despite the distortions it imposes, why not consider an emissions trading scheme as a less distorting alternative? How can the Coalition, having conceded the goal, simply rule out a particular instrument?

    “But it is not the instrument that is flawed; it is the goal that makes no sense. What conceivable purpose is served by policies which have no effect whatsoever on global emissions but damage our prosperity? And were dangerous climate change indeed in prospect, how could making us poorer facilitate the adjustments Australia will have to undertake?

    “Tony Abbott understands all that. But he needs to say it …”

    It’s not just the warmists who have failures to communicate.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/greenhouse-follies-must-end/story-fn7078da-1227003409569 (paywall)

  61. rls – missed it. I’ll take a look.

  62. One thing I think we need to work on is just recognition that we have a political viewpoint or ideology — that those of us who have political identities we aware of those identities, aware of the difference between most ideological tenets/values and descriptive facts, and aware of the huge potential for bias in how we process evidence.

    Cook’s initial response was to say that they weren’t political. I was dumbfounded that he thought he could get away with that, or even more, that he might actually believe it. People who talk about Republicans more than science on some of their issue pages are definitely political. People who use the word denier, or denialist, or denialism, are definitely political, and they’ve made a very strong commitment to their worldview.

    It’s not just that they believe XYZ to be true and embrace certain values, while aware that others do not believe XYZ or embrace those same values (at least in the same way) — they’re co-opting reality itself. They’re saying that people who are on any one of millions of different journeys, different sets of readings, different philosophical assumptions and values, have a fundamentally defective grasp of reality.

    It’s theoretically possible that one political camp in the contemporary American political landscape has developed an extremely rigorous intimacy with reality, and that the other major camp has slipped into a comprehensive misconstrual of reality. But it’s unlikely. We would be curious about the method that the reality-bound camp discovered, the method they use, that they train their members in. Social psychology research details all sorts of cognitive biases and motivated reasoning. Some of it was politically biased and rigged to defame conservatives, but we now have evidence of symmetric liberal biases (and you’d to be very cautious about embracing evidence of conservative irrationality when the field that produced it is dominated by people who very much dislike conservatives). But there’s no body of work that would expose a superior liberal method. I’d be very curious to know about a method that liberals use to eliminate their biases, reduce their error rate, etc.

    A big problem with the cheap thrill of “denier! denier!” is that you’ve made it much harder for your future self to cleanly process evidence that doesn’t fit that narrative. From the perspective of that future self, you didn’t just disagree with other people on this issue — you called them deniers. That’s a bigger thing to be wrong about, from your future self’s perspective — you’ve got more skin in the game. You wouldn’t just be wrong, you’d be someone who was wrong and who smeared your opponents, which will be harder to cop to. The dissonance will likely be greater, and if so, you’ll be more biased. This is ancient and stable social psychology findings. See my collaborator Jon Haidt’s book “Righteous Minds” for a complete take.

    To read about similar issues in social psychology and social science more broadly, see our upcoming paper: http://journals.cambridge.org/images/fileUpload/documents/Duarte-Haidt_BBS-D-14-00108_preprint.pdf

    One last thing. I’m a libertarian, mostly, secular, sometimes involved in pro-immigration activism. if I *ever* gather a bunch of pro-immigration or libertarian activists and empower them to subjectively rate some textual material that bears on their political aims, where their ratings will drive the results of the study and further their aims, nail my ass to the wall.

    • > A big problem with the cheap thrill of “denier! denier!” is that you’ve made it much harder for your future self to cleanly process evidence that doesn’t fit that narrative.

      Jesus.

      Where to start? Let’s start with Jim:

      When I see people frequently throwing out terms like “clearly” and “obviously” when discussing controversial subjects that have a lot of uncertainty in them, at least for those of us who are not clearly on one side or the other, or can’t interpret simple comments without twisting or re-interpreting them, I lose interest in further discussions real fast.

      http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/i-was-denied-admission-to-a-social-psychology-program-because-of-my-political-views

      What a joke.

      PS: Permalinks for comments might be nice.

      • Willard, it’s important to have arguments, or to address substantive arguments with some sort of rational rebuttal (or even agreement.)

      • Let’s try a Duarte argument, Joe:

        A big problem with the cheap thrill of “scam! scam!” is that you’ve made it much harder for your future self to cleanly process evidence that doesn’t fit that narrative.

        Your whole stance is simply inconsistent, Joe.

        Jesus.

      • Another Duarte argument:

        A big problem with the cheap thrill of “clearly” and “obviously” over a complex question is that you’ve made it much harder for your future self to cleanly process evidence that doesn’t fit that narrative.

        See? A joke, I tell you.

        ***

        Oh, and this:

        They’re saying that people who are on any one of millions of different journeys, different sets of readings, different philosophical assumptions and values, have a fundamentally defective grasp of reality.

        is not evidence-based. Here’s what we can read in C13:

        Despite these independent indicators of a scientific consensus, the perception of the US public is that the scientific community still disagrees over the fundamental cause of GW. From 1997 to 2007, public opinion polls have indicated around 60% of the US public believes there is significant disagreement among scientists about whether GW was happening (Nisbet and Myers 2007). Similarly, 57% of the US public either disagreed or were unaware that scientists agree that the earth is very likely warming due to human activity (Pew 2012).

        http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

        C13 purports to show that this perception of the US public is wrong, Joe. “Wrong” as in “incorrect” or contrary to the facts. You’re putting lots of words in their mouths.

        What a joke.

        Until you act like a social scientist, you won’t be taken like one, Joe. For now, you’re just another blogger with a bad attitude.

      • Willard, my quote about the “denier” thrill was not about C13, did not reference C13. At that point I had shifted to “people” as such, people who are into the denier label.

        My core argument about that paper has not been addressed. Quoting random stuff where I use the word “clearly” on some unrelated issue isn’t an argument about anything. It’s important to have substantive arguments.

        Note that I could be the most biased person in the world, someone lunatic who uses the word “clearly”, but that wouldn’t actually do anything for you. It wouldn’t make my argument weaker, wouldn’t alter the fact that C13 is a “study” based on political activists subjectively reading and rating climate science abstracts (that many of them wouldn’t have understood) for their positions on AGW, the issue upon which their activism is focused, and who were thus in a position to deliver the results that would satisfy their political aims, by virtue of their subjective ratings. That’s not going away. If you want to advocate that, if you want to say we can do that, that would be an interesting argument to see. Nothing about me is going to do anything about that.

      • Joe –

        From Richard Tol:

        “Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role.”

        When’s your next blog post about activist scientists? Please set Richard straight. Otherwise, how will he ever again cleanly process evidence after having made that statement?

      • Oh, on the “scam” thing. I don’t have a worldview about scams. It wouldn’t be analogous to the rational/denier division of politics. I don’t think the world is divided into libertarians vs. scammers, or Mexicans vs. scammers. I think the Cook thing is a scam. Better yet, I think it’s *clearly* a scam, and that you yourself would see it as an *obvious* scam if it had been perpetrated by the Watts people or the RNC or some such.

        I think in a lot of these cases, scam studies are only identified as scams by people who are not in the political tribe that the scam served. A lot of people seem to be unwilling to evaluate studies that serve their political aims.

        It’s remarkable to me that there’s any static at all about a study based on subjective ratings of climate abstracts conducted by politically partisan luggage entrepreneurs, random bloggers, and logicman. I think this will only look worse and worse, and more and more confusing as we march into the future. I think people in future generations will not understand how such methods could ever be tolerated. I think we might need James Cameron to raise the bar.

      • Joe –

        ==> “It’s remarkable to me that there’s any static at all about a study based on subjective ratings of climate abstracts conducted by politically partisan luggage entrepreneurs, random bloggers, and logicman.”

        That is nothing but an ad hom. Pure and simple. Personality politics.

        If you want to criticize the results because of methodological flaws, have at it. For any study, if the methodology is inadequate to correct for potentially biasing influences, criticism is merited – but criticizing a study based on assumptions of bias is unscientific – as all studies are potentially influenced by biases.

      • Did you see where Tol said that the 97% paper is trash, joshie? Do you agree with Tol, on that too?

      • Hmmm, random bloggers might have reduced bias, but these weren’t random. Method, do you see? Well, maybe you can’t.
        ===================

      • Don,

        our Joshua is highly, um, “selective” in what he deigns to notice

      • I haven’t read the paper, Don.

        I have skimmed arguments about the paper on both sides, but don’t care enough about the paper to bother to try to dig through the points being made.

        I don’t know if it is trash and I don’t care.

        Because the paper deals with a topic where the situation is obvious. There is an overwhelming consensus among publishing climate scientists that, as Richard says, anthropogenic warming predominates in the recent climate trend.

        And the paper is irrelevant to the facts of climate change.

        As it is, the importance of that consensus is real but limited. The importance of the paper is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overestimated by partisans on both sides – because it satisfies their proclivity to play personality politics.

        But the food fight is quite interesting to watch (even if it is same ol’ same ol’ to the nth degree).

      • An obvious partisan can give a valid rating. Anyone who assumes otherwise is unscientific.

        A non-activist can give a biased rating. Anyone who assumes otherwise is unscientific.

        If partisans are doing the rating, then skepticism is merited, but skepticism is merited if non-partisans are doing the rating.

        The way to control for biases is through methodology – not by assuming bias.

        Assuming bias based on personal characteristics, or perhaps even worse, as Joe implied assuming an invalid rating on the basis of profession, is unscientific. A good social scientist should never make such arguments.

      • It’s not even a ‘can’t’ but a ‘won’t’. You deserve pity. It’s a poor man not worth his own argument.
        =================

      • Joshua, pointing out conflict of interest and obvious foreseeable bias isn’t ad hominem, especially when it’s central to the very a method of a study. We wouldn’t say that disclosing Wakefield’s financial conflict of interest regarding his original autism/vaccine paper was ad hominem. We normally call it ethics.

        We can’t have political activists doing subjective ratings on a subject central to their activism, and where the study is designed such that their ratings would deliver an outcome that serves their political aims. That’s not going to be ad hominem. That’s going to be basic methodological validity.

        I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with the Richard Toll quote. Is there some attribute of Richard Toll in particular that is part of your point? Was there a point?

        Is this all there is? I’m disappointed in the quality of these comments. There’s nothing here. I don’t know if people disagree with the basic norms of valid reasoning or what. Is this all that happens? If you criticize a study that matters to one camp, they just attack you as a person and find quotes where you used the word *clearly*? This is very low quality reasoning.

        Climate is the *worst*. This is just the worst issue I’ve ever encountered. People will hate you, will try to attack your motives, and never have any arguments. There’s no shared standard, no basic commitment to valid reasoning. After these couple of egregious papers are retracted, I am so out. This is a horrible environment in which to be a scientist who just wants a minimal standard of seriousness for 21st-century science. People are asserting that we can have non-scientist political activists subjectively interpret climate abstracts in a study where their ratings will serve their political aims, that is designed from the start to serve their aims. That’s wild, man. That’s really something.

      • Tension builds wildly along the fault line.
        ================

      • Joe –

        ==> :”If you criticize a study that matters to one camp, they just attack you as a person and find quotes where you used the word *clearly*?”

        Did willard attack you as a person?

        ==> “Joshua, pointing out conflict of interest and obvious foreseeable bias isn’t ad hominem, especially when it’s central to the very a method of a study.”

        No. Pointing out that there might be a conflict of interest is not an ad hom. Speculating about the potential for bias is not an ad hom. Assuming a biased rating on the basis of someone’s personal characteristics is an ad hom. There’s no way around that, IMO.

        But the whole ad hom thing is a bit of a side issue anyway. What’s more important is that it is unscientific to assume bias on the basis of personal characteristics. A scientist relies on methodology to control for biases, not subjective assumptions about who might be biased to what degree. If the methodology is insufficient to control for biases – make the case. Have at it.

        ==> “We can’t have political activists doing subjective ratings on a subject central to their activism, and where the study is designed such that their ratings would deliver an outcome that serves their political aims. That’s not going to be ad hominem. That’s going to be basic methodological validity.”

        This is an unrealistic standard. Your standard of “political activist” is inherently subjective. How do we determine who is or isn’t an “activist” in some objective fashion? There is no one who can be excluded, objectively, from the potential for being an “activists” on any given issue. The way to control for these problems is by methodology – not by subjective assumptions based on anecdotal reasoning. Sure, it is good to avoid obvious conflict of interest – but there may well be stealth conflict of interest that you have no idea exists. That’s why you rely on methodology – because you can’t rely on your own subjective ability to (1) recognize or, (2) objectively acknowledge all forms of conflict of interest or bias.

        ==> “:I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with the Richard Toll quote. Is there some attribute of Richard Toll in particular that is part of your point? Was there a point?”

        Read it again, I think you’ll get the point on a second reading. It has nothing to do with the attributes of Richard Tol. It has to do with the unrealistic nature of your standard.

        ==> “I don’t know if people disagree with the basic norms of valid reasoning or what. ”

        Joe – disagreeing with you does not equate to disagreeing with the “basic norms of valid reasoning.” You should talk to Brandon (since you are familiar with him) You and he might get along very well. He makes a very similar argument quite often.

        ==> “People will hate you, will try to attack your motives, and never have any arguments.”

        I am not attacking your motives. I am criticizing your arguments.

        ==> “:There’s no shared standard, no basic commitment to valid reasoning. ”

        I am committed to valid reasoning, and creating shared standards is exactly why I’ve engaged you. I am expressing my opinions about your standards with the intent of creating shared standards.

        Anyway, it’s late. Have a good night.

      • seriously? The blog filter yet again?

        Part I:

        ==> :”If you criticize a study that matters to one camp, they just attack you as a person and find quotes where you used the word *clearly*?”

        Did willard attack you as a person?

        ==> “Joshua, pointing out conflict of interest and obvious foreseeable bias isn’t ad hominem, especially when it’s central to the very a method of a study.”

        No. Pointing out that there might be a conflict of interest is not an ad hom. Speculating about the potential for bias is not an ad hom. Assuming a biased rating on the basis of someone’s personal characteristics is an ad hom. There’s no way around that, IMO.

        But the whole ad hom thing is a bit of a side issue anyway. What’s more important is that it is unscientific to assume bias on the basis of personal characteristics. A scientist relies on methodology to control for biases, not subjective assumptions about who might be biased to what degree. If the methodology is insufficient to control for biases – make the case. Have at it.

      • Part II

        ==> :”If you criticize a study that matters to one camp, they just attack you as a person and find quotes where you used the word *clearly*?”

        Part II:

        ==> “We can’t have political activists doing subjective ratings on a subject central to their activism, and where the study is designed such that their ratings would deliver an outcome that serves their political aims. That’s not going to be ad hominem. That’s going to be basic methodological validity.”

        This is an unrealistic standard. Your standard of “political activist” is inherently subjective. How do we determine who is or isn’t an “activist” in some objective fashion? There is no one who can be excluded, objectively, from the potential for being an “activists” on any given issue. The way to control for these problems is by methodology – not by subjective assumptions based on anecdotal reasoning. Sure, it is good to avoid obvious conflict of interest – but there may well be stealth conflict of interest that you have no idea exists. That’s why you rely on methodology – because you can’t rely on your own subjective ability to (1) recognize or, (2) objectively acknowledge all forms of conflict of interest or bias.

      • We know you didn’t read the trash paper, joshie. You don’t read papers. Yet you have inserted yourself into the food fight predictably on the side of the faux 97% consensus, while repeatedly citing a cherry-picked Richard Tol assertion to support your schtick. Funny you have not demanded from Tol some evidence. You didn’t even ask him what he means by “predominant”. Isn’t that what you would erroneously call ironic, if one of your beloved “skeptics” accepted an assertion on faith?

        You are really clueless. Do you have any idea why the IPCC can only claim that ACO2 is responsible for “most” of the warming? With all the firepower they have arrayed in the alleged world scientific consensus, one might be justified in thinking that the settled science peddlers would have the guts to cite a freaking ballpark number. WTF does “most” mean? Is that a term commonly used in the settled sciences? You wouldn’t know. But we don’t expect that to stop you from yammering about it.

      • Part III:

        ==> “:I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with the Richard Toll quote. Is there some attribute of Richard Toll in particular that is part of your point? Was there a point?”

        Read it again, I think you’ll get the point on a second reading. It has nothing to do with the attributes of Richard Tol. It has to do with the unrealistic nature of your standard.

      • And then you read the internal discussions at SKS. Did you mark that, J, ‘then you read’.
        ===========

      • Part IV:

        Disagreeing with you does not equate to disagreeing with the “basic norms of valid reasoning.”

        ==> “People will hate you, will try to attack your motives, and never have any arguments.”

        I am not attacking your motives. I am criticizing your arguments.

        ==> “:There’s no shared standard, no basic commitment to valid reasoning. ”

        I am committed to valid reasoning, and creating shared standards is exactly why I’ve engaged you. I am expressing my opinions about your standards with the intent of creating shared standards.

        Anyway, it’s late. Have a good night.

      • Joe, little joshie did not actually READ the trash paper. You can’t expect the little fella to debunk your criticisms of the paper based on the actual substance of the paper. He didn’t read it. Come on, Joe.

      • I want to anticipate a bad argument. Given the style of debate here, someone might quote me noting that people in these debates “try to attack your motives”, and then say I’ve done that with the Cook study.

        That’s not valid. Studies where the researchers read stuff, and subjectively assess its meaning are methodologically special. We would never want political activists rating something to do with their political aims. That’s bizarre, and transparently disastrous. The motives are a profound and central methodological issue in this case. We’d never want obviously biased researchers, with a known conflict of interest, empowered to do something so subjective as **interpreting text** where their ratings would serve their aims.

        It’s important to note that this isn’t actually something we normally need to do or think about — most data in social science **is not based on researchers making subjective ratings**. Data is normally objective in that a participant’s views are coming from the participant’s own responses to a survey, or a study might be based on reaction times, or brain scans processed by computers. Researchers don’t normally directly create the data by their own hand.

        Science would be amazing if this kind of naked bias was allowed, if this was normal. We’d be constantly scurrying to validate the subjective ratings of random political activists all over the place — conservatives, liberals, religions, libertarians, random think tanks — on all kinds of subjects. It would be nuts, would set up an absurd structural burden, where political activists could create data and findings based on subjective ratings, and publish papers willy nilly, and then the burden would be on us to prove them wrong, to dig into their ratings. Joshua seems unfamiliar with the normal methods of social science — this is not something that we have to do, or something we would tolerate once identified. There is not some great temptation that we have to resist — our studies aren’t normally based on our subjective ratings of anything. Just saying that all researchers have a political bias is bogus — their biases are not normally given such an obvious outlet as subjectively rating something that’s politically relevant to them. Most researchers will go their whole lives without doing anything resembling that.

        I think ERL was blindsided in a sense — it probably never occurred to them. This issue might not have been clear, and they might not have known about the nature of the raters. I’ll be very surprised if another journal ever publishes anything like this again. The conflict of interest is likely to be more powerful than many financial conflicts — political activists simply cannot be trusted to subjectively interpret science abstracts that bear on their political aims, and empowered to create the result they want.

      • > [M]y quote about the “denier” thrill was not about C13, did not reference C13.

        Neither did I said, presumed or implied otherwise. Is this the Duarte red herring? The point is not complicated: raising concerns about choices of words and scientificity implies that one (a) chooses words wisely and (b) starts to act like a scientist and stops ranting.

        What a joke.

        ***

        > My core argument about that paper has not been addressed.

        Another Duarte red herring.

        Where’s that master argument? All we have for now are rants, for Jesus sake! Should not be complicated to spell it out by cutting out the editorial content.

        And I hope it addresses the core argument of C13. For that would be kinda bad, according to Duarte’s “but my core argument”.

        What a joke.

      • > I don’t have a worldview about scams.

        No, of course not. Here’s a random definition:

        A fraudulent business scheme; a swindle.

        http://www.thefreedictionary.com/scam

        You’re using the F word in disguise, Joe. Talk about ethics.

        Jesus.

        ***

        Also note that appealing to first-person authority may be considered invalid in a scientific setting. And that the whole idea of a “worldview” is scientific quagmire. Perhaps you ought to send this thread to Dr. Jonathan Haidt for analysis, Joe. Just to see if he could not correlate your performance so far with a worldview or something.

        What a joke.

      • > I don’t have a worldview about scams.

        No, of course not. Here’s a random definition:

        A [f-word] business scheme; a swindle.

        http://www.thefreedictionary.com/scam

        You’re using the F word in disguise, Joe. I can’t even put that word here without triggering moderation. Talk about ethics.

        Jesus.

        ***

        Also note that appealing to first-person authority may be considered invalid in a scientific setting. And that the whole idea of a “worldview” is scientific quagmire. Perhaps you ought to send this thread to Dr. Jonathan Haidt for analysis, Joe. Just to see if he could not correlate your performance so far with a worldview or something.

        What a joke.

      • Because the paper deals with a topic where the situation is obvious. There is an overwhelming consensus among publishing climate scientists that, as Richard says, anthropogenic warming predominates in the recent climate trend.

        The consensus crowd blocks the publishing of everything they can that disagrees and they ignore the papers that get past them.

        There are a huge number of papers that have been published with different opinions. You can pretend there are not but that does not change facts.

      • Welcome to the climate science cause, Joe. Look at what it’s done to educated, formerly honest people like willard.

    • Hi, Joe, checked your web-page and downloaded the pre-print article, which at first glance looks interesting, and like your post. But in passing: you write on your page “The person who posted this data, Brandon Shollenberger, is a complete unknown.” Brandon is in fact well known on many blogs.

      • One sign he’s arrived is that more and more people have been spelling his last name right. I think Anthony even gets it right some of the time, now.
        =============

      • Thanks. I’ll fix that. I’m new to this, and I only recently learned of him. For some reason I thought his website was just launched in May or so.

      • Actually, I think it was Cook who alerted me to Brandon’s website. In his response, he assumed I got all my arguments from websites, said that I shouldn’t believe what I read on the web. I was puzzled by some of those comments, so I searched and found Brandon’s website, which made things much, much more serious. If the raters are openly discussing how they cheated, or how almost everything should be coded as endorsement — which appears to be the case — then I don’t know why we’re here, why this issue wasn’t already dealt with, the paper already retracted. Is there a suggestion that Brandon’s data is false or fabricated?

      • Pretty appalling, isn’t it? When’s the earthquake?
        ==================

      • > If the raters are openly discussing how they cheated […]

        That must be the Duarte begging the question.

        So now they cheated. Some progress over scam, I guess. Show us they did, Joe. The abstracts are there:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/tcp.php?t=search

        Jesus.

      • Oh, and Joe, I tried to leave this comment in reply to Carrick:

        > Cut the sophism […]

        And what sophism would that be, Carrick? I’m recalling a fact.

        To claim that we ought to ask scientists, *to be relevant here*, presumes that they did not. Yet they did. Here’s a quote to prove it:

        > In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus.

        http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

        That’s in the ABSTRACT of C13, Carrick.

        The “focus of the paper,” whatever that means, does not contradict that fact.

        Joe’s sentence is misleading. At best. It’s not even close.

        Talk about ethics.

        Jesus.

        http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/ignore-climate-consensus-studies-based-on-random-people-rating-journal-article-abstracts

        Any idea why?

        Thanks!

      • Seems that the comment went through, after all.

        Strange.

        Thanks anyway.

      • willard, Hope more. Jesus.

  63. I am surprised that 3% dont agree that man has some effect on climate. Cities, clear cutting, farming, building dams etc etc must have some effect.

    • The ideas conveyed by “climate” versus “global climate” is important. The UHI (Urban Heat Island) effect exists because local “climate” can be effected by humanity, which is why it only introduces error into climate science to violate proper citing conditions, such as locating official thermometers by asphalt, tarmac, air conditioning ducts, parking lots, jet aircraft and buildings that interfere with airflow.

    • I feel similarly in some sense. Intuitively, It *feels* like 7 billion people have to have an impact. But our intuitions are often wrong about stuff like that. It reminds me of the people who argue that CO2 can’t matter because it’s only 0.04% of the atmosphere. Our intuitions just don’t scale.

    • The consensus clique only counts people in the clique.
      There are always 3% in the clique who have become skeptical, but they can’t kick them out fast enough so they still get counted for awhile.

      The skeptical side is growing rapidly and the skeptical side includes a lot of people who started in the alarmist, consensus, group.

      I went to the 9th Climate Change Conference and heard many skeptic speakers who started our believing the consensus junk.

      Go to heartland.org and listen to the talks. All I heard were great.

  64. Time For An Ob

    Amongst the faulty reasoning categories is appeal to authority.
    Is 97% appeal to majority?
    And remind me which part of the scientific method is conduct a popularity contest?

  65. Time For An Ob

    Here it is, on Wiki:

    “argumentum ad populum”:

    a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it. In other words, the basic idea of the argument is: “If many believe so, it is so.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

  66. “There’s no point in doing scientific research if you are not looking to publicize it,” he said.
    And there is where science loses its way.

    The 97% consensus is just another way of saying “the science is settled” which in turn is really saying “it’s time for action” which is always something about reducing CO2. Policy wonks are not interested in climate science, they are interested in (social) engineering. They are interested in getting on with it, not studying it. So we are supposed to agree to their proposed solutions which have zero chance of making any noticeable change in the climate. Where is the consensus on the climate change solution?

    There are many examples of a consensus in science which turned out to be false. There are even more of consensus medicine which turned out to be false. Medicine is the better comparison because it is not simple and climate is not simple. Leeches and blood letting are fitting examples.

    • The forcing of a consensus where there is none is hubris. Nemesis is ‘none’s’ revenge.
      ===========

  67. Climate changes. We probably have some sort of an influence.

    Next: Pope endorses Catholicism. Polie: ‘I s**t in the woods’

  68. And Rud –

    I missed you comment earlier and it really is late – but I hope you don’t mind if I re-post your comment. It really is a work of art and a thing of beauty. It should be shared more. It’s something I think that you should be proud of, and given how self effacing you are, I fear that you won’t promote it sufficiently. So if it’s alright with you, I think I’ll post it a few more times when you comment on other threads here.

    Joshua, this is just my personal opinion.
    You are obtuse enough, immune to factual rebuttal enough, and just insinuative of poster malmotives enough ( especially of Dr. Curry herself), that had I been proprieter of this blog you would have been permanently banned long ago. On grounds of offensive language and irrational conduct unbecoming of any scientific discourse.
    Please go away. If you stay, post with less personally offensive and more fact reasoned replies. You pollute this dialog otherwise, and always have IIRC. And you contribute nothing of scientific substance except in your own minds feeble assertions. Which you have more than once now proven via your own posts is small, shriveled, and biased.

    Thanks again, Rud.

    • Don Monfort

      It stings. Don’t it, joshie.

    • Yep,

      Rud’s insight – zero.

    • So little curiosity for the science. Well, different strokes for different folks. But he is missing out, the poor fella.
      ========================

    • nottawa rafter

      Something to sleep on Josh.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua

      here is a thought

      Here is a topic where no science is required.

      further

      1. you made a comment
      2. you failed to check facts
      3. You impugned motives

      start here

      http://climateaudit.org/2014/07/26/cooks-fake-ethics-approval/#comment-696152

      Go clean up your mess and make the appropriate apologies

      • They have to hack it to find out what was in IT.

        http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2014/07/hacker-breached-noaa-satellite-data-contractors-pc/89771/

        Not that that will change anything important.

      • Didn’t little joshie leave another mess on CA not long ago and scurry out of there with his little tail between his legs? The little fella has a habit of rushing headlong into impugning notable “skeptics” like Judith and Steve Mc.

      • Steven Mosher

        Don

        Joshua’s style is funny.

        he comes to science threads where he has nothing to contribute and turns the conversation to motives and politics. And he carries on a spirited fight forever. Like he were trying to derail the conversation.. looks like a duck.

        But when he goes to threads where the topic is politics and motives ( did cook lie ) he is often wrong and then runs away.

        Weird.

      • Mosh

        Good advice to Joshua. Lets hope he follows it.

        tonyb

      • I apologized below for saying that Steve misrepresented Tom twice when I’ve only seen him do it once (and display lame accountability).

        Steve has given evidence that he followed a comment of mine from another thread, so I’m sure he can find the apology here. He left a disingenuous response to the previous comment I left over there – if he corrects for that I’d consider going over there to continue the discussion. I’d consider responding here also, if he wants to continue the discussion over here – just as I just did with climateguy and ordvic.

        If you want to make this about me, you’re entitled. It’s exactly what I expect. Steve misrepresents someone, fails to be accountable, and you make it about me.

        Par for the course.

      • Don Monfort

        Mosher is always picking on you, joshie. You should beg Judith to make him stop it. And if he doesn’t, you should get off this board so fast it would make his head spin.

      • Joshua thinks apology for his wrong actions should be contingent on his demands being met. :)

    • Simply could not resist the appropriate belated reply. You are welcome.

      And, I hope you do repost my comment about you in many places. If the bot I am now programming can find them, I will reply by reposting to each some of the additional trenchant unsolicited additional upthread comments. You should especially enjoy seeing those repeated alongside. Already have them archived and cut and pasted into an auto reply. Lets do give this little piece of new software a test or two as you have now promised.

      • Happy to oblige:

        1. Rud Istvan | July 27, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Reply
        Joshua, this is just my personal opinion.
        You are obtuse enough, immune to factual rebuttal enough, and just insinuative of poster malmotives enough ( especially of Dr. Curry herself), that had I been proprieter of this blog you would have been permanently banned long ago. On grounds of offensive language and irrational conduct unbecoming of any scientific discourse.
        Please go away. If you stay, post with less personally offensive and more fact reasoned replies. You pollute this dialog otherwise, and always have IIRC. And you contribute nothing of scientific substance except in your own minds feeble assertions. Which you have more than once now proven via your own posts is small, shriveled, and biased.

        I’m glad that you’re proud of it. It serves you well to be – especially since you’re on record as deploring being disgusted (if I recall correctly) by people who write insulting blog comments.

  69. Intriguing email from Curtis to McIntyre acknowledging and apologizing for mis-statements in this matter.
    Breaking News at Climate Audit

    Curtis apologized to McIntyre

    [Skiphil remarks]:
    Some might try to claim that Curtis is the bigger man in being willing to make such an apology, but I see no evidence at all yet that McIntyre has anything for which to apologize in this matter. In fact, the content of the Curtis email makes it explicit that Curtis is aware of more severe failures of Cook’s behavior than the initial mis-statement about the (non-)posting of a link to the Lewandowsky survey at SkS:

    Curtis apologized to McIntyre

  70. David in Cal

    If someone really wanted to find out what scientists believe about climate change, they could choose a list of precise questions and take a survey. There’s no need for the trickiness of this article.

  71. McIntyre rewrote/revised his post on Cook, which I do think reads better now…. (the new information is organized first, near top):

    Cook’s Fake Ethics Approval

    • Skiphil

      I have been dipping in and out of this one as I have been away for crucial parts of the debate over the last few months.

      Its difficult to try to get to the bottom of something when both ‘sides’ claim very different end results.

      My trouble is that I tend to believe the best in people and that AGW is not a hoax or a scam but something being promoted by a small number of climat4e activists on the back of science that is as yet highly fragile, contradictory and based on historic data that is highly suspect.

      For what it is worth I think you have nailed it, and in this respect suspect we are at the position enunciated by Kim here;
      —— ——
      ‘Skiphil has an excellent point over @ Judy’s. The passage of time while Cook fails to correct the record increasingly suggests moving the telling of the falsehood from unintentional to intentional.’
      ==================

      it is very difficult for someone to turn round and hold their hands up and say they were wrong or not as diligent as they could be. Mr Cook really should have known by now that what he produced should be withdrawn and if he thinks the subject is important to redo the survey in a more transparent manner. The fact he hasn’t done so means this matter appears to be tipping over into activism for its own sake which is not based on facts,.

      tonyb

      • thanks Tony,

        I too have dipped in and out of this one. I rarely find time to follow all of any of these issues and comments, even solely on one or two blogs…. my real life is simply too hectic.

        I do try to begin always with a lot of interpretitive charity, to try to understand an argument from other points of view.

        However, I am not seeing the good faith or honesty in Cook, Lewandowsky, and friends. Of course they are not genuine science, and definitely not climate science. How they rise or fall has nothing to do with the real world of climate.

        BUT, they are trying to have a large impact upon discussions of “consensus” — and how the public should view the various parties and proposals in play.

        Anyway, back to our other lives. I do always enjoy looking for your thorough and thoughful comments here, Tony. Thanks.

  72. I posted this set of thoughts at the Scientific American site. Apologies if this set of ideas has already come up here. I do not have time to read all the comments on all the relevant blog entries.

    First let me first say I don’t know whether Cook got it right or wrong, or whether Tol’s critique of his work is or is not valid. [ I have no intention of reading Cook et al. or the Tol critique.]

    The problem, in my view, is the continued use of the word “consensus” in association with science.

    The flaw of the word “consensus” is its different meanings to different communities. The word is meaningless and irrelevant in science.

    But when we scientists use this word (in my view we should go nowhere near it) we tend to be implicitly referring to consilience of multiple lines of evidence that underlie widespread agreement among scientists, or support a prevailing paradigm.

    It is those multiple lines of evidence that underpin the current prevailing paradigm that the climate system is showing decade-on-decade warming over the past ~ 50 years. In particular this warming (and biogeochemical changes like ocean acidification) bears temporal and spatial patterns or “fingerprints” that point to the human causes behind it.

    However in public, and especially political, discourse “consensus” tends to refer to majority opinion or concurrence. As consensus in this public context is often arrived at by negotiation, saying there’s a scientific “consensus” may imply to the community that prevailing scientific views represent a negotiated outcome. We know science doesn’t work that way.

    The extent to which this warming is a “good” or “bad” thing, and what, if anything, we should do about it, well those are not scientific questions. They are issues of values, politics, ethics, economics, etc. And we will have to arrive at consensus to make and implement policy.

    Science claims (or seeks) primacy in policy debates like that over climate change because it is rigorously based on strict intellectual adherence to data, testability, and strongly adversarial contestability. This last attribute is the antithesis of “consensus.”

    Data is a crucial issue. Scientists of course don’t “negotiate” with data. We may re-analyse, reject outliers, replicate, recalibrate, but we do not negotiate. If the thermometer reads 25°C, we don’t say to it, “I’d like 30; how about we settle on 27.5?”

    The debates over “consensus” do not teach anyone anything about climate science. They do not give the community at large access to *why* most of us climate scientists have arrived at the commonly-held view that warming is happening and good portion of it is due to human action.

    Results citing “expert judgement” or “expert elicitation” (e.g. Bamber and Aspinall, 2013, An expert judgement assessment of future sea level rise from the ice sheets, Nature Climate Change, 3(4), 424-427) and some of the confidence estimates in IPCC only feed the perception of a negotiated “consensus” outcome.

    • wr howard

      You’re not alone as few people have time to read ALL the comments on a long thread which is why it quite often appears that a commentator is answering a different question than was posed or makes a statement that has nothing to do with was has gone before.

      The importance of the cook report is that it has been widely quoted and even such as obama appear to believe it.

      Like the hockey stick therefore it has assumed much more importance than the problematic material that supports it.

      Someone-perhaps Cook together with a reliable sceptic- needs to carry out a proper transparent piece of research which will settle the matter.

      tonyb

  73. David Springer

    You couldn’t get 97% consensus on how much warming has been observed. This makes meaningless asking how much observed warming is natural and how much man-made.

  74. David Springer

    There was a blogger named Howard,
    A dopey potty mouthed blowhard,
    He once went too far,
    Was banned from the bar,
    Relieving the blog of much lard.

  75. Barry Woods

    I saw Richard Tol tweet about the Sci Am article, as Richard mentioned he was quoted, mine was the first comment at Sci Am, it lasted a few hours before deletion: below

    —————————–

    “Once results were in, Cook put together a publicity strategy.” – [Sci Am]

    well that is not true…they were planning the marketing before the research…see the leaked/hacked Skeptical Science authors forum

    http://www.hi-izuru.org/forum/The%20Consensus%20Project/2012-01-19-Marketing%20Ideas.html

    (one of the raters) Ari Jokimäki said:

    “I have to say that I find this planning of huge marketing strategies somewhat strange when we don’t even have our results in and the research subject is not that revolutionary either (just summarizing existing research). I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t do this, but just that it seems a bit strange to me.”

    ————–
    screen capture:

  76. Lucia Liljegren (The Blackboard blog) and a number of others have had comments disappear at Sci-Am (not sure if they screen captured them all) my second comment at Sci Am was also deleted:

    2nd comment —————————————————-
    Also John Cook never corrected the ‘misinformation’ in te Obama tweet that he likes to boast about

    A real climate scientist tried to..

    Barack Obama
    @BarackObama Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous. Read more: http://OFA.BO/gJsdFp

    Richardabetts
    @BarackObama Actually that paper didn’t say ‘dangerous’. NB I *do* think #climate change poses risks – I just care about accurate reporting!

    This is Professor Richard Betts – Chair in Climate impacts

    http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/?web_id=Richard_Betts
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/people/richard-betts
    ————————————————————————————-
    Screen capture: http://realclimategate.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/sciam-consensus-2.jpg?w=751

    After my comment was deleted, Richard asks Scientific American, why my comment quoting him was deleted..

    and Richard’s comment was deleted as well.

  77. About 3 posts into SS one day I had a moderater crawling over my back telling me to answer leading questions, etc. Anything originating from that camp is hacksville.
    One does have to appreciate their hostility and clueless turning out people disgusted with the climate machine, though. They harden enough skeptics and provide an important service to the skeptic community by being a first stop for just how bad the climate line stinks.

  78. #BringBackOurConsensus

  79. Judith , re R Gates comment above, what sort of time frame should one expect enough evidence to find a 97 % consensus in?
    My feeling is it would need 200 – 500 years to exclude natural variability and I am not aware of any measures that would offer a quicker recognition.
    If this is the case as you seem to suggest with your uncertainty ideas, should not more scientists, institutions and journals be publishing this fact?

  80. About Consensus logic and statistics.
    Dana SkS: “The evidence is crystal clear that humans are the main cause of the current global warming, and the expert consensus reflects the strength of that body of evidence. It’s not easy to convince 97% of scientific experts about anything – that requires some powerful scientific evidence.”

    From Consensus Project: Authors AGW position (%)
    Endorse AGW : 34.8% (10 188) 98.4
    No AGW position: 64.6% (18 930) —
    Reject AGW : 0.4% (124) 1.2
    Uncertain on AGW : 0.2% (44) 0.4

    First we let 18930 scientists disappear, so the endorsement percentage can grow from 34,8% to 98,4%.

    “Endorsement: The second drop down indicates the level of endorsement for the proposition that human activity (i.e., anthropogenic greenhouse gases) is causing global warming (e.g., the increase in temperature). Note: we are not asking about your personal opinion but whether each specific paper endorses or rejects (whether explicitly or implicitly) that humans cause global warming:
    1 Explicit Endorsement with Quantification: paper explicitly states that humans are causing most of global warming.
    2 Explicit Endorsement without Quantification: paper explicitly states humans are causing global warming or refers to anthropogenic global warming/climate change as a given fact.
    3 Implicit Endorsement: paper implies humans are causing global warming. E.g., research assumes greenhouse gases cause warming without explicitly stating humans are the cause.
    4 Neutral: paper doesn’t address or mention issue of what’s causing global warming.
    5 Implicit Rejection: paper implies humans have had a minimal impact on global warming without saying so explicitly. E.g., proposing a natural mechanism is the main cause of global warming.
    6 Explicit Rejection without Quantification: paper explicitly minimizes or rejects that humans are causing global warming.
    7 Explicit Rejection with Quantification: paper explicitly states that humans are causing less than half of global warming”

    Second step is to define all ideas that CO2 may have a warming effect as an endorsement. (explisit and implisit endosement).

    Third step is to give an impression that all endorsement mean that most warming is caused by humans. “The evidence is crystal clear that humans are the main cause of the current global warming, and the expert consensus reflects the strength of that body of evidence.”

  81. michael hart

    “The blowback began soon enough from the climate skeptic community. Soon after came challenges from the scientific community.”

    …making it quite clear that the SciAm writer thinks the two are mutually exclusive.

    I must be getting nostalgic. It makes me sad that something I grew up thinking was a sign of excellence can have fallen so far.

  82. Joshua,

    all of us in the blogosphere have every right to “move on” anytime we like, yet Tom Curtis indicated in his apology email (03/04/13?? that was date of McIntyre’s response) that Curtis considered it important to be able to review other documents to consider whether Cook was making only innocent mistakes or not.

    Thus, while Curtis may have moved on, his own email indicated that he did not imagine he had said any final words, even for himself (“I am trying to clarify some other details” etc.), while stating that he WOULD be publishing more comments/article on Cook.

    I remember thinking at that time, when I saw that email, that Curtis would have to “move on” and decide he was going to re-focus and say he was going to talk only about the science, not Cook, in the future….. because Cook had dug so many holes that Curtis would never be able to sustain the “innocent” explanation — whether or not Cook decided finally to come clean (which he never has done).

    Even if Curtis continues to deny that his critical comments plus Cook’s lasting embarrassed silence indicate an interpretation that Cook had lost himself in the L-I-Es of his position, that is what any independent mind should conclude about the sum of the Curtis remarks plus Cook’s behavior. Trying to defend Cook’s alleged honesty anymore is like believing Richard Nixon when he said “I am not a crook”

    Curtis can move on, but his words are out there and they are damning to Cook (and Lewandowsky).

  83. The 97% consensus is presented by many people as proving that the vast majority of scientists believe in catastrophic warming due to CO2 forcing. Yet the consensus questions (and the paper surveys) don’t address that specific issue. The wrong questions are asked.

    The real questions are:
    1. Was the majority of 20th century warming (50%+) due to CO2 forcing?
    2. Is warming due to CO2 forcing in the 21st century going be catastrophic?

    How many papers/climate scientists endorse these two positions?

    Since no one seems to search papers or survey scientists for support of these questions presumably the answers wouldn’t be supportive of the CAGW position.

    • PA, you missed something. See nobodyknows comment, just above:

      “1 Explicit Endorsement with Quantification: paper explicitly states that humans are causing most of global warming.”

      The phony 97% Consensus Project found 64 papers in that category out of the 11,000+ paper abstracts reviewed.

      • It is shocking (but not surprising) just how bad the Cook et al. “ratings” paper is, and just how bad the Alarmist discussions of it have been.

        Yes Don, and since only that #1 truly matters to the debates (everything else down the list fails to establish any serious concern, never mind impending catastrophes), Cook and everyone who cites this and similar surveys as evidence of important scientific consensus is either confused or else fantastically dis-honest.

        64 papers out of 11,000 (roughly) amounts to somewhere around 0.006% of the papers showing cause for alarm. 0.006%!!!

        The Cook paper and all “consensus” claims to date are garbage. What consensus exists, in reality, is insignificant.

      • misplaced my decimal, of course that should be 0.6%

        gotta slow down and stop typing stream-of-consciousness

      • I understand the point. However UHI, other terraforming, power generation, rainforest destruction and lots of other human activities contribute to anthropomorphic global warming.

        The question is how much of AGW is due to CO2 alone since that is the only portion (by and large) that reducing CO2 generation will impact unless the goal is to reduce living standards to those of North Korea.

        As far as the Cook paper – my understanding is only one reviewer reviewed almost every paper (Cook perhaps?) and did about 40% of the total reviews. This would make the paper basically one person’s opinion.

      • Don Monfort

        Here is another angle:

        “6 Explicit Rejection without Quantification: paper explicitly minimizes or rejects that humans are causing global warming.
        7 Explicit Rejection with Quantification: paper explicitly states that humans are causing less than half of global warming”

        There were 64 papers rated as explicitly endorsing the statement that humans caused most of recent global warming. Papers in categories 6 and 7 explicitly reject that statement. There are a total of 24 papers in categories 6 and 7. Somebody do the math.

      • I have to correct part of my previous comment.

        Steve McIntyre has posted what appears to be an accurate breakdown of the reviewers and their participation. 54% of the reviewing was by the authors of the paper and 34% by acknowledgees. So there was wider involvement although some may claim a unity of viewpoint in the reviewers.

        As far as the math of 64/24 etc., I’m not sure how the authors arrived at 97%. 24 papers out of 12000 is not 3%. 100*64/(64+24) is not 97% either.

        The quality standards of the judging and the math don’t withstand close scrutiny.

  84. climateguy –

    I don’t know if Steve misrepresented Tom more than once. Tom said that he did. Tom may be mistaken. I don’t have evidence either way. I don’t know what other incident Tom was referring to. I should have checked for evidence rather than assume it was true. For that I’m happy to apologize.

    Steve, I apologize for saying that you misrepresented Tom more than once without first checking the evidence.

    But I don’t see that I should apologize for making a “false accusation” as I don’t know that it was false. Tom might clarify the 2nd occasion that he referred to – but he has already indicated that he’s not interested in dragging this out.

    • So I can should say anything I feel like saying about you and not apologize, simply because I don’t have evidence contrary?

      Oh, that’s beautiful logic, Joshua.
      You talk about “lame”. :)

  85. Several years ago, I watched a podcast by Dr. Molina (Nobel prize in science on the ozone hole) on GW and have since followed him. Two things that appeal to me with Dr. Molina: (1) how soft spoken and humble he is; (2) he talks about science and not policy.

    If I’ve listened correctly, Dr. Molina cites that the theory of GW is based on a lot of Nobel winning science — Lord Rayleigh (Rayleigh scattering, Rayleigh distillation), van der Waals (equations of state), Wien (Wien’s law), Planck (Planck’s constant central to radiation theory).

    Dr. Molina ends his presentations by asking a question to this basic science: “Is it a good decision to follow a trajectory to 800 ppm?” Dr. Molina says, no it isn’t.

    Here is the problem — Very few of members of Congress and probably 99% of Americans have little to no knowledge about this “basic science”. Yet, Republicans have routinely used the incendiary label of “Junk Science” to describe GW.

    So how does one “combat” this ubiquitous labeling by Politicians into a general population — especially a Republican “base” that wants to have war over things like teaching evolution and the age of Earth in public schools?

    Skeptics need to be asking what they should be doing better also.

    • “Nobel winning science”

      As any scientific-minded person knows, prizes do not good science make.

      Andrew

    • “Dr. Molina says”

      Hooray for Dr. Molina.

      Andrew

    • You think it is a good idea to intimate that ‘skeptics’ are young Earth creationists?

      Some 58% of Republicans believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years, as do 41% of Democrats and so to do 39% of independents.

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/hold-creationist-view-human-origins.aspx

      75% of Democrats, 59% of Independents and 40% of Republicans say they personally worry about it a “great deal” or “fair amount.” about global warming.

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/161714/republican-skepticism-global-warming-eases.aspx

      So there is some correlation between creationism, but it is not particularly strong.

      What you will do, is make atheists like myself, think you are a hate-mongering plonker.

      • DocMartin & rls — The overwhelming percentage of Americans have no idea of the GW “science” issues we routinely discuss on this blog. But they do understand the term “Junk Science” when they hear this from Politicians of TV Talking Heads.

        While you probably disagree with Dr. Molina (which is OK) — to throw a blanket statement on his views of as “Junk Science” is just wrong.

        It is this Political use of “Junk Science” that people who believe in AGW had to push back against. The Politicians created this 97% mess.

        A constructive approach is like Senator Casey of PA uses when he says he believes that AGW is occurring but is unsure of its timing and magnitude.

      • Stephen, I did not say anythings about ‘junk science’ nor Dr. Molina. I too issue with your broad brush characterization of the people you labeled ‘skeptics’.
        From your reply it is clear you never read my text and that you are a Joshua-lite; which believe me is a damning insult.

    • It’s like the ant floating down a river yelling “raise the bridge”

      • Stephen: Can’t remember hearing the term “junk science”; you may be overacting and fighting the wrong problem. Suggest you listen to knowledgeable skeptics such as Dr. Curry; her arguement is not with the basic science, but that climate science is too immature to make multidecadel predictions.

        And BTW: You had some previous comments complaining about things Senator Inhofe was saying. Have you thought that there may be an extremely small and insignificant group of people paying attention him?

        My perception: The alarmists think they have a problem; they are not getting the message to the public, the words need to be changed, and the 97% consensus needs to be more fully advertised.

      • When Dr. Curry talks how GW has become “toxic” in political dialogue, what do you think she is talking about? Is she “only” referring to how “Liberal Politicians” have made it toxic? Do you think Republican politicians are contributing to this toxic dialogue also?

      • I don’t know if I ever could find the “perfect” story to try and explain what I’m saying — but, here is a Time Magazine piece:

        http://time.com/3041077/republicans-science-relationship/

        When Jon Huntsman (who I supported) tried to even discuss GW in the 2012 Primaries, he was ridiculed by the GOP Base.

        Dr. Curry was very clear in a UK interview this year that she (1) Agreed that the Earth’s temperatures were increasing (I think she used a timeframe of 40/60 years); (2) Believed in the “basic science” (which I would believe is what Dr. Molina is discussing) — I also think that this is what Steven Mosher refers to as the “no feed-back loop”.

        I believe that the two (2) above points are what the 97% are saying and is certainly not “junk science”.

        I believe if the Skeptic community including Politicians would say these 2 points (not framing this in politically ideology, which results in folks like Huntsman being ridiculed), then we could move into a much needed objective dialogue of the science uncertainties which Dr. Curry brings up in this great blog.

      • Stephen: I think the politcal debate she refers to is the debate between scientists; alarmists vs skeptics. Perhaps she is saying that the hysteria of CAGW is stifling the debate; interfering with needed scientific research.

      • Stephen, you seem to spend a lot of time worrying about what skeptics get wrong. Your illustrative “story” from the leftish rag Time, is a slanted opinion piece. So what if you can find skeptics that don’t get the science. You think if skeptics embrace the science as Judith does, the consensus goons will open up the debate? Are you kidding? Judith is one of their own and they call her anti-science Judith and serial disinformer. You have some catching up to do, Stephen.

      • What I dislike is that the “Policy” debate is being dominated by liberal approaches of command and control/top bottom. I very much dislike things like a carbon tax (regressive) or cap/trade (another financial derivative play toy for Wall St.). There are Conservative approaches to potential AGW that the GOP could be developing.

      • How do you have an interglacial without a few ups and downs of temps and sea levels? We all know what effect CO2 has on the inside of a glass receptacle and will studiously avoiding living in one. But to grasp the nature of climate change should one take closer note of such compelling proof as Bass Strait? (It wasn’t there not long ago, like a lot of straits.)

        Really, guys, do you think things just warmed up in some neat transition period or orientation course ten thousand years ago…and that the climate then took its seat and folded its arms till disturbed by cigar-chomping magnates?

      • Don Monfort — No, I think its you that doesn’t get it and needs some catching on in opening your mind.

        For example —
        Jon Huntsman is huge on foreign trade — just huge (its probably his signature policy strength). We should be exporting the heck in liquefied natural gas to developing nations and creating new trade agreements with them to use high efficiency U.S. technology as they develop their economies.

        The U.S. should embark on unparalleled efforts to develop and reward the use of energy efficiency.

        Inhofe should be talking about this type of stuff rather than Noah’s Ark and battling over what 97% means.

  86. If John Cook could demonstrate his honesty in the issues related to “Lewandowsky’s LOG12 survey and SkS” he would have done so

    John Cook has not demonstrated his honesty in the issues related to “Lewandowsky’s LOG12 survey and SkS”

    John Cook cannot demonstrate his honesty in the issues related to “Lewandowsky’s LOG12 survey and SkS”

  87. Joshua’s typing fingers are not nimbled up yet.
    Maybe he’s not happy.
    Poor Joshua But he’ll surely not be a hypocrite. He’ll apologize for the insinuations too. Once his fingers are unfrozen again.

  88. 400+ comments in 30% of the posts related (either by Joshua or in response) to Joshua, another interesting topic jacked. Fanboy wasn’t even needed to drive a more complete exposure of the subject propagandists (who after all are only tangential to the broader meme of “consensus” as misused by alarmist advocates) and their methods from the thread.

  89. Heh –

    Looking at the “recent comments” list, I’m expecting any minute now an appeal from Al or GaryM for y’all to stop responding to my comments, and blaming me for your decision to be “distracted” or “derail” the discussion.

    Or perhaps another rant from Rud – which is just to precious to not post yet again:

    You are obtuse enough, immune to factual rebuttal enough, and just insinuative of poster malmotives enough ( especially of Dr. Curry herself), that had I been proprieter of this blog you would have been permanently banned long ago. On grounds of offensive language and irrational conduct unbecoming of any scientific discourse.
    Please go away. If you stay, post with less personally offensive and more fact reasoned replies. You pollute this dialog otherwise, and always have IIRC. And you contribute nothing of scientific substance except in your own minds feeble assertions. Which you have more than once now proven via your own posts is small, shriveled, and biased.

    It really is quite amusing just how easy it is to “distract” and “derail” you boyz.

    I wonder why that is?

    • Joshua,
      this latest comment of yours is certainly a distraction and smokescreen (my opinion)

      do you care to address some of the real issues of this thread?

      • skiphil –

        My focus of interest is the amusing patterns in how the food fights take place, and what those patterns reflect about how people reason in the face of controversy that overlaps with cultural, political, ideological, or psychological identifications.

        So for me, it isn’t a “distraction” but the point of focus. One of the patterns is that “skeptics” line up to argue with me about various issues, and in doing so (1) personalize the arguments and (2) then blame me because they’ve personalize the arguments. It all fits with the identity aggressive and identity defensive behaviors associated with cultural cognition.

        If you choose to be “distracted” that’s on you. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, for you to decide to ignore any of my comments that don’t interest you, or that aren’t congruent with your focus of interest.

        I think that it’s a huge stretch to call any of these issues “real,” and certainly your determination of what is “real” is subjective. For me, a different set of issues rise higher in the “reality” hierarchy (although none get close to the top).

        Perhaps if you specify which issue you’d like me to address, I’ll do so.

    • Here’s a good comment too – where Brandon tries to hold me accountable for his decisions for how he spends his time.

      http://hiizuru.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/i-suppose-it-was-bound-to-happen/#comment-2883

      .

      Beautiful logic.

  90. Political Junkie

    Joshua,

    Could you kindly let us know here when you have issued an unequivocal manly apology to Steve M.

    Thanks!

  91. Anyway boyz, gotta run. Expecting company and there are tons of weeds that need wacking.

    (just an excuse, of course, in reality I’m going to go hide under my bed because I’m scared of all these devastating arguments being made in blog comments by people with demonstrated history of fallacious argumentation).

    I’ll check back later to see what I missed. You know, ’cause I’m all about keepin’ it “real.”

    • Is it safe to come out from under the bed yet?
      =============

    • Well, Joshua, you have well demonstrated your hypocritical ways, your double standards, your cowardice to face up to what you did.

    • ‘Weeds’
      I have have never come across that particular euphemism before.

    • Steven Mosher

      weirdly presupposes that becomes some people in the past have made bad arguments that he can avoid todays argument.

      thats a really cool bias Joshua

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  93. The very treatment of “97%” claims as a serious or a rational fact in evidence demonstrates how political correctness has overrun both science academia and what little media (Mainstream, mass consumption) checks and balances exist when their cultural and political bias of those reporting or researching are reinforced;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/28/whos-really-waging-the-war-on-science/

    “Obviously, academic freedom means nothing when one’s views differ from the liberal faculty majority – or when they contrast with views and “science” that garners the university millions of dollars a year from government, foundation, corporate and other sources, to advance the alarmist climate change agenda.”

  94. Pingback: Om bølger i bloggosfæren, 97 prosent og hentesveis | Klimagrasrota

  95. Speaking of “consensus” authoritarianism;

    http://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/EconomicResearch/2014/7/28/the-feds-massive-power-grab

    It’s relationship in structure and tactics to the climate “consensus” is pretty striking. Both are signs of a declining democracy. “Macroprudential”…..they’ll teach you to like it really or you’ll be put to sleep.

  96. Keitho
    Concur with yur evaluation of reponse to Joshua. He hijackts the dialogue and filibusters the discussion. I ignore his comments and responses to him.
    Scott

  97. A bit off topic, but worth sharing

    “Insanity is sometimes defined as doing the same thing but expecting a different result. Psychologists define perseveration as repetitive behavior that interferes with learning. Whatever we call it, that seems to be what is happening. And whatever it is, it doesn’t make sense. Natural gas is not the bridge to clean energy; it’s the road to more climate change”

    Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-oreskes/natural-gas-emissions-climate-change_b_5626466.html

  98. Threading is completely trashed on this post.

  99. The response here, there and lots of places is a sure marker of the importance, correctness and effectiveness of Cook, et al.

    • And how does Eli figure it means correctness? Isn’t Eli as silly a wabbet as usual today!

    • Eli Wabbit,

      Oh, please!! your comment is ludicrous, simply asinine, you live in bizarro world.

      Cook (and Lewandowsky) get people riled up because their work is maliciously slanderous toward many varieties of skeptics, lukewarmers, and critics, because they are so manifestly mendacious and incompetent, because they fail utterly to engage with responsive evidence and comments, because they are of vile and contemptible character ……

      Cook and Lew rile people because they are so evidently feeding malicious, tendentious attacks on intelligent people who differ from them. You and they are among the most intolerant, inept, and closed-minded people I have encountered in any profession or walks of life in 40+ years. Get a clue….

      The fact that you cannot see any of this speaks to your own manifest inability to engage these issues intelligently.

      I continue to be astonished that you could be a university professor in any subject at all. I know numerous academics [went to an illustrious grad school myself (don’t care whether you believe it, but it was in a dept. which is routinely rated in “top 5” across many surveys of academics over many years), before opting for a different kind of career] and I have never encountered anyone like you. Grow up and try honesty for a change.

    • Bernd Palmer

      Eli, I’m sure you can find some 97% of whoever who agree with you. Don’t count me in though.

    • Touched a nerve Eli?

      • yeah Michael, when someone like Eli proves so despicable….. you too.

        Touching a “nerve” with his (your) squalid comments is not admirable, it is merely…. evidence of his squalid comments.

        I notice, Michael, that you only rarely respond with any kind of substantive, quality argument to anything or anyone here. You are like the Greek chorus of the Alarmist play, wailing and gnashing teeth in the background.

        “Sophocles long ago heard it on the Aegean, and it brought to his mind the turbid ebb and flow of human misery.”

        Aside from Web ( who clearly debates scientific topics with detailed analysis), it is difficult to find any Alarmist here worthy of any respect.

      • Don Monfort

        Bunolagus halpernicus: Cartoon character who labors in obscurity as a low rate professor without a chair, at a low ranking university.

        http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=543236

      • Don Monfort

        The consensus seems to be that prof. brer rabbette’s class is a good place for a nap.

      • Skiphil | July 28, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        “(your) squalid comments is not admirable, it is merely…. evidence of his squalid comments.
        I notice, Michael, that you only rarely respond with any kind of substantive, quality argument to anything or anyone here”

        Skip, you concerns over “squalid comments” and lack of “quality arguments” would be admirable, if they hadn’t been preceded by this;

        “your comment is ludicrous, simply asinine, you live in bizarro world….maliciously slanderous … so manifestly mendacious and incompetent…they are of vile and contemptible character ……malicious, tendentious … You and they are among the most intolerant, inept, and closed-minded …Get a clue….I continue to be astonished that you could be a university professor in any subject at all… I have never encountered anyone like you. Grow up and try honesty for a change.”,

        which suggests your concerns are merely rhetorical.

      • It’s ok Michael, if anyone ever bothered to quilt-quote your comments here I would look magnificent in the comparison. Yes, every so often I lose patience with people as contemptible as you and the Rabbit. I regret it when I do, let me say that. You on the other hand, have never expressed a jot of regret never mind contrition, for your far more obnoxious performances here.

      • btw Michael you butchered the very first sentence of mine you quoted, ripping it out of context and rendering it ungrammatical.

        When a first term student does that in a paper they get an earful.

        I didn’t bother to review the rest of your compendium for accuracy, since when someone botches the opening sentence so blatantly it is not worth the time to keep reading.

        Did you ever get through that first term?

      • skiphil | July 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        “It’s ok Michael, if anyone ever bothered to quilt-quote your comments here I would look magnificent in the comparison. …your far more obnoxious performances here.”

        Really skip??

        “Far more obnoxious” than this? –

        ““your comment is ludicrous, simply asinine, you live in bizarro world….maliciously slanderous … so manifestly mendacious and incompetent…they are of vile and contemptible character ……malicious, tendentious … You and they are among the most intolerant, inept, and closed-minded …Get a clue….I continue to be astonished that you could be a university professor in any subject at all… I have never encountered anyone like you. Grow up and try honesty for a change.”

        I’d be very interested to see you back up your claim and make this pointless vituperation of yours seem “magnificent”.

      • ClimateGuy | July 28, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        hehe, Michael
        Steve lays the fibbers out: http://climateaudit.org/2014/07/26/cooks-fake-ethics-approval/#comment-696497

        Fibbers indeed.

        Where is this “fake ethics approval”??

        I’ve asked here several times – crickets.

        All the silly credulous sheep just keep baa-ing in unison.

      • Steven Mosher

        Michael.
        It’s missing
        Hence fake.

      • There is an ethics approval.

        What’s missing?

      • Don Monfort

        You have eyes, but you refuse to see. I posted this before for you, mikey.

        “For over a year, John Cook and the University of Queensland have repeatedly refused Richard Tol’s requests for information on rater ID and timestamps for the SKS ratings for Cook et al 2013. Recently there have been two events that shed new light on the dispute. First, in mid-May Brandon Shollenberger located the requested information online without password protection, which he placed online a few days ago. The new information shows that the majority of ratings were done by coauthors and nearly all ratings were done by coauthors and named acknowledgees, rather than by anonymous volunteers. Second, Simon Turnill received an FOI response from the University, that showed that the University did not make ANY confidentiality agreements with SKS raters. More surprisingly, Cook had done the SKS ratings program without submitting an ethics application for this program or obtaining ethics approval. Previously, both Cook and the University of Queensland had made public statements referring to “ethical approval” and confidentiality agreements. Each of these statements is, at best, misleading, especially when parsed in the light of this new information, as Brandon has done.”

        It’s a “fake” approval in the sense that it is non-existent. They lied about it. That’s fakey, ain’t it mikey?

        Hello!
        “Cook had done the SKS ratings program without submitting an ethics application for this program or obtaining ethics approval.”

        Why don’t you scoot over to CA and lambast McIntyre, mikey. I am sure he will put up with your slimey foolishness, for about a minute before he kicks your buttocks up between your ears. He ain’t kind and gentle, like Judith.

      • None so blind…..

        Even Mosher has fallen for it.

        “Fake Ethics Approval” screams the headline.

        A fake?

        What fake i ask?

        It’s missing!

        Huh??

        I have a fake Rolex for you. Wanna take a look? Sorry, it doesn’t exist!

        “Fake” seems to have chosen careully for its impact.

      • ok, now we see what Michael’s angst about the “fake ethics approval” amounts to, it is based upon another petty evasion (ala John Cook)…. missing, non-existent, or radically incomplete to cover only one aspect of the ratings programs ….do such nuances matter for this issue??…. Cook pretended that one ethics approval covered both cases, when clearly it did not…. among the issues are whether Cook and the UQ have been referring to one ethics approval or to two separate ones (when only one was provided), and whether the university’s ethics approval(s) covered both (1) the co-author’s self-ratings program, and (2) the SkS rater IDs and ratings program.

        The fakery has been that both Cook and the UQ have pretended that the ethics approval covered both when it only covered the first. Thus, there is no ethics approval for the SkS program. Is there anything ***wrong*** with calling the evasions, tricks, and mis-statements about (2) somethink like “fake” approval?? No, obviously not, there are a variety of connotations to the English word “fake” (see below) and McIntyre’s usage here certainly falls within the umbrella of meaning.

        Climate Audit: Cook’s Fake Ethics Approval

        “…University administrators did not recognize the difference between the ethics application situation with the author self rating program (where there was one) and the SKS ratings program (where there wasn’t) and that Cook allowed the University officials to persist in this misunderstanding. When SKS rater IDs were discussed, the ethics application for author self ratings would be pointed to, tricking the unwary.”

        [definitions from Merriam-Webster online dictionary]:

        : not true or real : meant to look real or genuine but not real or genuine
        : one that is not what it purports to be: as
        : a worthless imitation passed off as genuine
        : a simulated movement in a sports contest (as a pretended kick, pass, or jump or a quick movement in one direction before going in another) designed to deceive an opponent
        : a device or apparatus used by a magician to achieve the illusion of magic in a trick

      • so an ethics approval does “exist” but it is not what Cook and UQ say it is…. that qualifies as “fake” and the behavior is “fakery” by a “faker”

        So one ethics approval exists and another does not, except that the language for Cook and UQ pretends that both matters are covered… it is Cook et al. who are fatally ambiguous about whether there is one ethics approval or two.

        As usual, misplaced outrage from some quarters is directed at Climate Audit, when it ought to be directed at the behaviors of people like Cook, Mann, Lewandowsky, Jones, et al., who create these lingering issues and refuse to substantiate many of their statements. Then they get their universities and other organizations tangled up in their webs of deception. It should be fairly straightforward to resolve a lot of the disputes that have arisen in such areas over the past decade.

        All that Steve McIntyre and friends need is some responses of honesty, completeness, and accuracy to reasonable inquiries. Why do Cook, Mann, Jones, Lewandowsky, et al. find that so terribly difficult?

      • Skip,

        you’re doing a fine job at the moment of posting sequential posts contradicting yourself. This is the second time today!

        First it’s;
        “now we see what Michael’s angst about the “fake ethics approval” amounts to, it is based upon another petty evasion ….do such nuances matter for this issue??”

        And shortly later, Skip realises that he needs to “nuance” his message a bit more;
        “so an ethics approval does “exist” but it is not what Cook and UQ say it is…. that qualifies as “fake” and the behavior is “fakery” by a “faker” ”

        Let’s just summarise for those with short attention spans;
        – There is an appropriate ethics approval.
        – There is no “fake” ethics approval
        – Only one aspect of the study required human research ethics approval.

        Cue much blithering, blathering, blustering and clueless BS from the purported “skeptics”, not one of whom noticed this (despite my prompting several times).

        What should we make of a headline screaming “Fake Ethics Approval”, where there is none? Mistaken? Misguided? Malicious?

        As any good (or not so good, depending on your point-of-view) editor knows, a l i e in the headline is worth 2 in the story.

      • Michael,

        you are willfully, shamefully, maliciously obtuse.

        What all of us are dealing with are the contortions, confusions, and distortions of JOHN COOK.

        So when you accuse me of inconsistency, I am merely summarizing the winding loops of Cook’s positions.

        It is according to COOK that there is or is not or might be or might not be one…or two…. or only one… ethics approvals…. which forbid release of requested data on either or both projects….try to keep up, yes we know that John Cook makes this hard.

        Dizzying, I know.

        You, otoh, have yet to demonstrate that you have read and understood anything here.

        p.s. Your purported summaries and verbal hashes are irrelevant and incompetent. For instance, you claim that “Only one aspect of the study required human research ethics approval” when the issue is that Cook and QU claimed that there was/is an ethics approval which PREVENTED them from releasing the SkS rater IDs and timestamps. Yes, it has been Cook and QU hiding behind THEIR claim that such a document/agreement existed, to rationalize their refusals to release elementary research data which had been requested.

      • Michael,

        Cook and QU have been claiming that they could not release the data on SkS raters due to (at different times) “ethics approvals” and/or “confidentiality agreements.”. It is COOK who claims these things exist, then the university says in the FOI process they don’t exist. That is one of the points of confusion and self-contradiction, theirs not mine.

        Now bounce like a good bunny back to Eli’s place and beg for some new assistance….

        Then try to read, at long last, this passage which Don already quoted for you… read it SLOWLY…. try to understand its content before you comment again:
        [emphasis added]

        “…the University did not make ANY confidentiality agreements with SKS raters. More surprisingly, Cook had done the SKS ratings program without submitting an ethics application for this program or obtaining ethics approval. Previously, both Cook and the University of Queensland had made public statements referring to “ethical approval” and confidentiality agreements….”

      • skip,

        Have you ever considered there might be something you don’t know?

        There is privacy legislation in Australia that would indeed prevent an institution from identifying individuals just because someone wanted to know who they were. They may well be referring to this re: confidentiality. This reqires NO specific agreements, but is a requirement regarding the holding of any personal information – it applies to universities.

        This is all pathetically thin stuff -trying to make an issue of unclear email communications after the study has been published.

        But as usual, the ‘skeptics’ are totally convinced of fr@ud and “fakes” and are demanding retractions, on the flimsiest of grounds.

        Skeptical? Ha! – bone-headed credulity is more like it.

      • Michael wrote
        “There is privacy legislation in Australia that would indeed prevent an institution from identifying individuals just because someone wanted to know who they were. They may well be referring to this re: confidentiality.”

        …unless they said “agreement” eh, Michael?

      • Mikey is a fake.

      • ClimateGuy | July 29, 2014 at 10:19 am |
        “…unless they said “agreement” eh, Michael?”

        Yes, this is the pathetic level of quibbling required to make something of this.

      • Don,

        I don’t exist??

      • It’s not quibbling, Michael

        If they said “confidentiality agreement”, it is another false statement. Remember, lawyers are involved so it is not a small irrelevancy.

      • Quibbling it is – trivial, pointless and tedious.

        If ‘skeptics’ had a real issue (or a clue) they could do their own study, instead of obsessing over the irrelevances of this one.

      • It’s not a quibble.

        A false statement by the university, it’s lawyers, or the concerned other parties, is not a quibble at all. FOI law is involved too.
        And , they have threatened legal action.

      • Michael

        You said;

        ‘If ‘skeptics’ had a real issue (or a clue) they could do their own study, instead of obsessing over the irrelevances of this one.’

        I have already said this. That way the original study would either be confirmed or falsified.

        It needs properly setting up through a relevant respectable organisation with a transparent process and ideally organised by a panel consisting of a couple of sceptics and warmists.

        tonyb

      • We don’t have to do our own study, mikey. We just point out the fact that the Cook survey of 12,000 pal reviewed papers only found 64 that explicitly supported the IPCC position that humans caused more than 50% of recent warming. Stop faking, mikey. We are not impressed.

      • Michael comically now wants to put out that it’s quibbling.

        However, he just finished giving this:

        “Have you ever considered there might be something you don’t know?

        There is privacy legislation in Australia that would indeed prevent an institution from identifying individuals just because someone wanted to know who they were. They may well be referring to this re: confidentiality. This reqires NO specific agreements, but is a requirement regarding the holding of any personal information – it applies to universities.”

        And when pointed to the weakness of his point, it’s now quibbling. :)

        That’s the type of dishonest approach we can expect

      • CG,

        Sorry, I was thinking of the study and science.

        All this bluster and BS about FOI and timestamps has no influence on the study and is utterly trivial in that respect.

        But it’s rapidly becoming the 3rd part of the ‘skeptics’ unHoly Trinity – The Mann, The Cook and the unHoly Lewandowsky. Obsession with these is core dogma.

      • Don,

        Do you see the problem in referring to the results of a paper you think is “indefensible trash”?

      • ClimateGuy | July 29, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        “…That’s the type of dishonest approach we can expect”

        Sorry for alerting you to the realities of the relevant legislation regarding the holding and disclosing of personal information in Australia.

        I didn’t mean to distract you from your idle speculation as to what confideniality agreement may or may not exist.

        Resume your neverending quibble.

      • I will help you, mikey. If the rabid warmist SkS kidz can only find 64 papers out of 12,000 that allegedly explicitly support the IPCC position, I don’t see any point in perusing the pile to see if the highly motivated disingenuous little rascals missed a couple. It’s like I would trust the Chicago political machine to be sure to count all the votes cast for Democrats.

        The pause is killing the cause, mikey. Carry on with your foolishness.

      • Michael wrote

        “Sorry for alerting you to the realities of the relevant legislation regarding the holding and disclosing of personal information in Australia.”

        That’s not what I was referring to. In fact, if they had said “confidentiality requirements by law” or somesuch, then the information you posted would be entirely relevant and it would shut a door on criticism for that point.

        What I was referring to was that as soon as a weakness in your point was shown to you, you comically and dishonestly put forth that it’s “a quibble”.

      • Any lying, subterfuge, false sttements made by the researchers, the university, the lawyers invovled in the FOI procedure, or in legalistic threatening, is important information and needs to be exposed.

        The president of the USA is using it to convince on his policy.

        Michael’s nonsense is the usual.

      • Michael,
        Don’t worry, I am always aware of how little I know and how much is out there that I don’t know. For this discussion that is another of your irrelevancies…. a squirrel as they love to say at SkS.

        In this matter, we have been focused upon the language of John Cook and UQ, and mainly that of Steve McIntyre in comparisons.

        If UQ and Cook refer to things like “confidentiality agreements” and “ethics approval.” If Australian privacy law were the determining factor (I don’t KNOW either way), don’t you think they are capable (they have lawyers consulting) of saying so?? Instead they hide behind more specific claims of agreements and such, through a long drawn-out process, when all they had to say is “hey, sorry, Australian privacy law doesn’t allow us to share this info.”

        But then that is extremely unlikely to be the case about the privacy law, isn’t it?? Another red herring…. because the requests for info are not for just any ol’ information, they are made specific to interests in scientifically analyzing research data, methods, quality etc. Whatever you or I think that effort may be worth is irrelevant here — the question (you’ve raised) is whether Australian privacy law(s) forbid the UQ to answer such research inquiries with the kinds of data requested here.

        As for the likely insignificance of all this, I agree that several of the most heated dust-ups in these areas MIGHT well turn out to be fusses over data that was not too dramatic or significant. The first issues are research ETHICS, scientific METHODOLOGY, did researchers follow proper protocols rigorously, etc. An answer of “trust me” to inquiries is not appropriate. When people act like they are hiding stuff about their scientific research, anti-transparency and all that, then some of us (critical, skeptical minds) start to get suspicious.

        Now in some/all of these cases it is as least possible that nothing much would change if all the relevant info were out and serious analysis could be completed. But ethics, methodology, and transparency matter for research, whether or not bad methods in some case(s) lead to accurate results.

        To take an extreme example (merely an illustration), if you put a bunch of different possible survey outcomes on a dart board, and just happened to hit the “right” results with a blindfolded toss, that would not make your “study” any better merely because your results are right (judged by other more rigorous studies). Bad method plus good results does not equal good study, as the saying goes.

        Now let’s suppose for a moment that everything people in these signature cases did turns out to be fine: methods-to-data-to-interpretive results all about as good as humanly possible. That does NOTHING to make all the evasions and deceptions and outright l-i-e-s any better. In fact it makes the spectacle at least as ridiculous, wasting all these efforts to cover up good science, when good exemplary science is supposed to be just that…. exemplary for others to learn from.

      • Michael believes that discussing honesty can never be more than a quibble.

        Understandable when he clearly cannot not demonstrate honest behavior.

      • Skip,

        You want to quibble and speculate over email communications and press releases after the study was published. Could you find a tinier molehill?

        What’s interesting is the headLInE “Fake Ethics Approval” – and the ‘skeptics’ faithful aversion of their eyes from this and their obedience in following the herd.

      • Michael,
        Your claim is that eyes are averted from the headline. How you draw that conclusion is not clear. You have Skiphil’s demonstration that “fake” as per dictionary definitions fills the bill perfectly. That also shows that his eyes were not averted, and my correspondence here to you shows the same.

        What you cannot do, is show that “fake” is not a correct descriptor. You just gibber instead.

    • By that (lack of) logic, Steve McIntyre and Judith Curry win the Internet regarding importance, correctness and effectiveness. What a metric! What an absurd little rabbit…

    • Steven Mosher

      These people are not the audience

    • Keep believing that Eli.

      PS – you could try believing in the Easter Bunny, as it has a better chance of being true.

  100. re: Cook’s purported honest and competence

    All humans make mistakes, for sure, but Cook has failed to come clean on his genuine record and actions, despite many questions and request…. and so much time elapsed.

    John Cook’s only “evidence” that he posted the link to SkS (which has never been found, even in searches of the Wayback archives) is that he told Lewandowsky he had posted it. Yet (so far as I know) the respondents to the survey all came from other sites but not SkS. So it does not seem possible that the link was ever posted on SkS, which has a much larger traffic than some of the smaller blogs which did provide 100+ respondents.

    Note: what Cook claims as “forensic” evidence is not forensic evidence in the modern sense, but merely his (false, or at least unsubstantiated) statement to Lewandowsky. Forensic evidence in this case would be something like digital proof that the link was actually posted, or a large number of respondents from SkS readers to the survey demonstrating that the link had indeed been posted at SkS.

    [in the ancient Roman world “forensic” could mean anything presented in the forum, but in the modern usage it is evidence satisfying rigorous legal and/or scientific standards, which a mere assertion from Cook clearly cannot do.]

    John Cook: “The only forensic evidence I could find was the email from Stephan asking for me to post a link and my reply that I posted it on the same day.”

  101. My comment above was a reply to Scott at 4:48pm July 28. The nesting here is bonkers again

    And I agree with Ellison’s comment above at 5:15pm July 28

  102. RJP Jr on his relationship with 538

    ” I have not spoken with or corresponded with Nate since that first piece. Of course, I do wish that 538 had shown a bit more editorial backbone, but hey, it is his operation. If a widely published academic cannot publish on a subject which he has dozens of peer-reviewed papers and 1000s of citations to his work, what can he write on? Clearly Nate is a smart guy, and I suspect that he knows very well where the evidence lies on this topic. For me, if the price of playing in the DC-NYC data journalism world is self-censorship for fear of being unpopular, then it is clearly not a good fit for any academic policy scholar.”

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2014/07/28/roger-pielke-jr-fivethirtyeight-climate-critics/#.U9bOj_ldVU8

  103. Rob Ellison: James Chadwick was confronted with the knowledge that some substances were heavier than the simple “planetary” model then popular in the 1930’s. Although they new that nuclear fields were much more powerful than gravitational, they could not account for the heavier atoms. James realised that he needed a particle as heavy as a proton but with no electric charge. The answer was the Neutron.

    The heavy neutron introduces new dynamic properties like lower and more vigorous oscillations, so the molecule like CO2 could absorb more IR heat. Cosmic rays provided free by the universe provided the neutrons by collisions In the atmosphere. Eventually the supply of heavier atoms ran out in 1940 and the oceans, still cold, dragged global temperature back. It took 40 years for the slow oceans to restore the 1940 temperature, but by 1997 we had equilibrium between oceans and troposphere again, and still do today. Perhaps now that the CO2 molecules in the troposphere are fully laden with neutrons we will have no further increase in global temperature.

  104. “Academic disputes are different from bar fights.”

    Yes – academic disputes are more vicious. IMO bar fights are downright genteel compared to academic disputes.

    What was that saying? “Academic politics are so vicious because the stakes are so low.”

    I also have a theory that the viciousness is inversely proportional to the amount of actual data:

    Many years ago, as a grad student, I attended a symposium on connections between human evolution and climate change (e.g. Pliocence acidification in Africa etc.). I and other paleoclimatologists presented on climate change in Africa and in the oceans (I was presenting on paleo-oceanographic change in the Southern Indian Ocean).

    We paleoclimatologists had quite a few arguments running then (e.g. timing of Antarctic ice inception) but we had a lot of data. And as much as we argued we still enjoyed a good laugh together during the meeting and over beers after.

    But I noticed some of the paleo-anthropologists had some very nasty arguments going on. And in some cases the only evidence they had to work with was a few teeth, or fragments of skeletons.

    Thus my theory. So applying this theory to climate change, when it comes to *future* climate, of course we have no data whatsoever. (It seems obvious but sometimes I have to actually remind people.)

    So maybe that’s the source of the nastiness in the debate.

    • If you want to see what it truly means to be “anti-science,” read the comments on Keith Kloor’s other posts about GMO and anti-vaxxers at that blog.
      There you will see what happens when “believers” in the anti-GMO and anti-vax message are confronted by evidence. And you will note that their comments are very similar to those critical of Pielke Jr. on 538 (and Joshua and Michael here).
      Politicized science is an amazing thing to see.

  105. Reblogged this on The Oil in Your Lamp and commented:
    Professor Curry explains how even the 97% scientific consensus is a fraudulent claim.

  106. Last year this was this lovely dissection of some of the shoddy statistics in Cook, et al. This is by statistician “Roman M” who occasionally posts articles at Climate Audit.

    Cook, et al. have “Undercooked Statistics”

    May 24, 2013 at Climate Audit

    “Yet another propaganda essay masquerading as a scientific paper has been published (SI here) in the journal, Environmental Research Letters. The latest entry, Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature, written by a team of activist bloggers led by John Cook of the antithetically named Skeptical Science blog, attempts to further the meme of a 97% consensus of scientific support for a faltering Global Warming movement.”

    “There have been a number of posts, for example, here, here and here at Lucia’s Blackboard or this one and that at WUWT which discuss the weak data gathering / data interpretation methodology and the truly incredible spin-one’s-head- around algorithm for generating a value of “97” which conveniently ignores a large proportion of the data. My focus in this post will be to examine some of the other “quantifying” material….”

    • I don’t get what happens with the threading, when I think I’m commenting at the very end of all comments, and my comments sometimes seem tossed at random into previous threads….??

      • When judith deletes a comment the threading is broken and chaos ensues.
        I don’t why she just doesn’t snip the comment and leave the shell of the comment – probably faster to just delete.

      • oh thx, I was wondering what that was about….

  107. “in” the 97% but not “with” the oppressive pseudo-consensus:

    MPs’ dissenting statement on UK’s Select Committee Report on Climate Science

    SELECT COMMITTEE REPORT ON CLIMATE SCIENCE ‘MORE LIKE CHEER LEADING THAN OBJECTIVE ANALYSIS’, SAY LILLEY AND STRINGER

    Peter Lilley and Graham Stringer voted against the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee’s report on the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Report because “we believe the role of the Select Committee is to hold public institutions critically to account not to act as their cheer leaders”.

    They added: “As scientists by training, we do not dispute the science of the greenhouse effect – nor did any of our witnesses. However, there remain great uncertainties about how much warming a given increase in greenhouse gases will cause, how much damage any temperature increase will cause and the best balance between adaptation to versus prevention of global warming.

    The bulk of the main IPCC technical report recognises these uncertainties and is simply a useful compilation of the research in the field.

    However, the Summary for Policy Makers is far less balanced than the report it purports to summarise.

    Its headline conclusion was that “evidence for human influence has grown since AR4. It is

    extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”. It is hard to justify that increase in confidence that CO2 emissions are dominant given that: about one third of all the CO2 omitted by mankind since the industrial revolution has been put into the atmosphere since 1997; yet there has been no statistically significant increase in the mean global temperature since then. By definition, a period with record emissions but no warming cannot provide evidence that emissions are the dominant cause of warming!

    The pause in surface warming does not invalidate the greenhouse effect. But it does mean that other factors – natural variations – can be of the same magnitude as the greenhouse effect over at least a decade and a half. Since such variations are presumed to cancel out over the long term variations in the opposite direction may have contributed a significant portion of the surface warming over the previous two and a half decades.

    The IPCC’s conclusion flies in the face of the Inter Academy Council Review on the previous IPCC report which criticised its “authors [who] reported high confidence in some statements for which there is little evidence” and recommended that “Quantitative probabilities (as in the likelihood scale) should be used to describe the probability of well-defined outcomes only when there is sufficient evidence. Authors should indicate the basis for assigning a probability to an outcome or event (e.g., based on measurement, expert judgment, and/or model runs)”. No such basis for assigning this enhanced probability was given even though it is the headline conclusion of this report.

    Moreover, the Summary for Policy Makers systematically omits mentioning or plays down key information in the main report which might suggest that the problem of global warming may be less acute or less certain than previously suggested. Notably it omits to alert Policy Makers to the following facts:

    1. The IPCC’s medium term forecast for temperature to 2035 is below that given by the climate models since the experts believe these to be “overheating”. However, the forecast to the end of the century assumes the temperature will revert to following the projections of the models with no allowance for their tendency to exaggerate warming.

    2. New estimates of the impact of aerosols based on satellite observations are both more certain and suggest a smaller cooling effect than previously assumed. However, there was not time to rerun the models using these latest aerosol figures. They will, however, inevitably mean that the models are even more out of line with temperature data than previously thought. This was described by one of our witnesses as ““the most significant thing in AR5 because if aerosol cooling is lower and … we know how much warming there has been, then it must follow … a much lower figure [is] attributable to carbon dioxide”.

    3. For the first time the IPCC authors cannot agree on a best estimate for climate sensitivity even though they did in previous reports. There is only a cryptic reference to this in a footnote in the SPM. It is hard to square this unprecedented disagreement between the experts with the stated increase in their confidence in the scale of global warming.

    4. Most recent empirically based studies suggest that the sensitivity of the climate to increases in CO2 is probably lower than assumed in the climate models.

    5. The pause in global warming since 1997 may well be the result of natural variations offsetting the warming effect of more CO2 in the atmosphere. But if that is the case it follows that natural variations may have contributed a sizeable proportion of the warming in the 25 years prior to 1997.

    6. Over the last 35 years (not just during the hiatus) the composite of models followed by the IPCC have collectively run 15% too high.

    7. Forecasts of global warming generated by climate models have progressively converged on each other but diverged from actual observations of mean global surface temperature.

    These issues were raised during the Committee’s inquiry. It is unfortunate that they were not dealt with in the Committee’s report. The Committee’s report would have been more balanced if it had drawn a distinction between the largely technical main Report and the much more politicised Summary for Policy Makers.

    Graham Stringer MP and Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP

    Members of Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change

    • Weren’t they the two twits who invited Laframboise?

      Want a laugh? – read the transcript.

      • funnily enough,i believe those two “twits” as you describe them were the only members with any actual scientific credentials .

  108. Dr. Curry, from your paper, “We have presented perspectives from multiple disciplines that support the inference that the scientific consensus seeking process used by the IPCC has had the unintended consequence of introducing biases into the both the science and related decision making processes, elevating the voices of scientists that dispute the consensus,”

    So the biases are too much influence from those who dispute the consensus. Makes sense. “Skeptics” have biased the issues.

  109. “I expected the criticism from climate deniers because they’ve been attacking the consensus for 20 years,” Cook said.

    Note his use of the term “denier” here rather than “skeptic.” Whenever I see that term used, I know that the person using it is more of a politician than a scientist, intentionally misrepresenting those not in complete agreement with his beliefs by associating them in the minds of most of the general public with holocaust deniers.

    I also need to point at that the 97% consensus claim is perceived in the mind of the public as a consensus not only on the issue of human contributions to climate change but a 97% consensus on the sort of climate change they hear most about in the sensationalist media, CATASTROPHIC climate change.

  110. Delurked lurker

    Joshua said “And oh. Not going away. Sorry to disappoint.”

    Well that is not up to you. Judith will decide when your time is up.

  111. John Kannarr

    I call your attention to the folowing blog by José Duarte about a related smear by Lewandosky et al in their paper, Lewandowsky, S., Oberauer, K., & Gignac, G. E. (2013). NASA faked the moon landing—therefore,(climate) science is a hoax an anatomy of the motivated rejection of science. Psychological Science, 24(5), 622–633.

    See http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/lewandowsky-fraud

  112. @Stephen Segrest | July 29, 2014 at 8:08 am |

    For example —
    Jon Huntsman is huge on foreign trade — just huge (its probably his signature policy strength). We should be exporting the heck in liquefied natural gas to developing nations and creating new trade agreements with them to use high efficiency U.S. technology as they develop their economies.

    The U.S. should embark on unparalleled efforts to develop and reward the use of energy efficiency.

    Inhofe should be talking about this type of stuff rather than Noah’s Ark and battling over what 97% means.
    (end quote)
    This is already happening. It doesn’t need anything from the Federal government except to stay out of the way. Oil companies are already in China helping them exploit their shale oil and gas resources.

  113. Steve McIntyre posted a summary of what, as it turned out, was a thread digression here on the bogus Cook 97% propaganda work 7/29;

    http://www.climateaudit.info/correspondence/foi/queensland/narrative%20of%20tol%20data%20request.pdf

    Like the even more preposterous Doran study, with less than 1% accepted response rate (via the internet no less) and defacto screened for the most ideologically driven “climate scientists” to give the desired affirmation of the consensus myth for public relations use, the propagandists effective purpose and results were achieved yet again with little mainstream condemnation from core members of the “science” community.

    That the paper hasn’t been retracted is shocking in itself, the rinse and repeat cycle is only delayed. Another bogus academic survey with even more obfuscated and steered tactics is on the drawing board with the usual closed point question orthodox, targeted responders or as in the case of Cook’s design dubious “reviewers” who see ideological affirmation in a phone book.

    While the tactical demonstration of one of the more absurd claims of authority being supported largely by the silence of numerous gatekeepers is both impressive and depressing it stands in testament to the poisoned culture of climate advocacy. I commend both Richard Tol and Steve McIntyre for going through what can only be described as a tedious process of documenting the Cook constructions and manipulation summarized in the link.

    • Thanks for that cwon,

      Confirmed my worst suspicions of Tol’s behaviour.

      Classic nuisance – petulant demands that others meet his imposed deadlines.

  114. What’s sad about this thread is that the most basic rhetorical concession that “97%” authority as a method of persuasion is clearly contrived from the most steered and partisan operators within and associated to “climate science” advocacy. Of course it’s totally invalid in the context it is most closely associated to which is a media soundbite with little internal self-policing from warming advocates which confirms my and many thesis of what a wholly partisan academic enclave climate science actually is. That what can’t be defined about “97%” is then extrapolated as endorsement of the IPCC policy conclusions which itself represents only a tiny political leadership committee of a similar political ID (Green advocacy and central planners) demonstrates the intellectual abyss that has been reached. Two great distortions (Big Lies) and over statements of agreement compounded at the same time.

    It’s a microcosm of the pompous, partisan undercurrent that justly nullifies most of what climate science advocacy represents. The failure of media gatekeepers has become the norm for many of the same reasons, they are on the job promoting the agenda and are owned outright by a single political philosophy in a broad sense. Pinhead partisan science disseminated by pinhead partisan science beat writers all on the same page.

    It isn’t all that shocking from a group of people who invoke comparisons to “holocaust deniers” routinely but it remains a sad commentary of how fanatical this social enclave remains. Outright dishonesty and blood lust hatred a good part of the time.

  115. the scientific consensus seeking process used by the IPC I thC has had the unintended consequence of introducing biases into the both the science and related decision making processes

    “Unintended” ?! Hardly. It was and remains the central purpose. Cook et al’s purpose being to buttress the said bias.