9 out of 10 Scientists Agree! 97% Consensus on Climate Change is 100% Bunk.

By Liberal Anthropologist

 

Today, the Obama administration released their long awaited and long feared climate change plan. I took the time to read it and the summary. For those who will not, I will say that it must be a disappointment to alarmists and it differs significantly from his speech discussing it today.

Why? My guess is this is simply a political document to shore up support before the 2014 election with a certain part of the Democratic constituency. The plan itself offers little in real world steps and what little it does offer will be resisted and fought on the state and federal level like so much else of the wasted effort of this administration. States will fight this.

Good from my perspective is that it recognizes the value of fracking and nuclear power. This must be causing consternation. In his speech, he also set up the approval of the Keystone pipeline while sounding like he was being difficult about it.

All in all it is a waste. It does nothing good and what little it does will only hurt the economy and hurt the poor.

Unfortunately he repeated many of his oft asserted propagandistic sound bites. Most egregious was his assertion that weather is getting worse under a warming planet. As I have said before – and am happy to prove over and over again – there are NO scientists saying that and the data currently shows weather patterns to be CALMING, not getting worse. This is such an amazingly false statement that reasonable people would ignore the rest of what the president said. He also repeated the half-truth that 12 of the last 15 years were the warmest. As I have detailed before, only one data set says this and it only measures a short historical period. The most objective measure of Earth’s temperature – satellites – show slight cooling.

But what I found most offensive and want to address here is his repeated assertion is that 97% of scientists are in agreement with his thinking and that the “skeptics” are part of a “flat earth society”. This is offensive on many levels, but mostly because it is Orwellian is its perspective. More below the fold:

This 97% figure is oft-repeated these days as it comes from a supposedly comprehensive survey of peer-reviewed literature. This was a survey done by Cook – a climate alarmist activist. I think it is very important that those that think that such a figure means something, read what I am saying and take the time to understand. Our hope lies in a scientifically literate society and when the President is spouting pseudo-science from the podium it is time to educate everyone.

First of all, let’s examine the concept of consensus in science. The very reason I got involved in learning about climate science was because of the surprise and skepticism I felt when Al Gore announced the end of the debate and said the science was “settled”. The idea of settled science is not particularly scientific. Consensus is a political value and not a scientific one. And it is being used here for political points. Consensus can be wrong. I do not have to repeat the many historical scientific consensuses that has been found wrong.

To be sure, there are benefits in understanding what are more “fringe” ideas versus mainstream ideas when evaluating science from a policy perspective. If – indeed – there was overwhelming consensus by scientists that the world was in danger from CO2, and rational person would want to react. But when I looked into the claim initially years ago, I found it to be false then. As false as the 97% figure repeated by Obama today.

Let’s next examine what the 97% consensus is about. Is the consensus that the earth is in danger from warming? No. Is it that Carbon should be controlled? No. You could be forgiven for assuming that was the 97% consensus the president was referring to, but it was not. What the 97% figure was were papers that said that the earth was warming and that humans played a part – NO MATTER HOW SMALL. Read that again.  His 97% consensus is a fallacy.

If that is what the 97% figure refers to, then I am in the 97%. In fact almost all “skeptics” are in the 97%. The warmist camp has continually misstated what we are skeptical about in order to score middle school level political points by insulting our intelligence. Skeptics DO believe the earth has been warming. Skeptics DO believe that CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contribute to a warming signal. It is purely political propaganda to suggest otherwise.

But let’s examine the data behind the 97% figure. They rated the papers into 7 categories.

Category 1: 65 [Explicit endorsement with quantification]
Category 2: 934 [Explicit endorsement without quantification]
Category 3: 2933 [Implicit endorsement]
Category 4: 8261 [No position or uncertain]
Category 5: 53 [Implicit rejection]
Category 6: 15 [Explicit rejection without quantification]
Category 7: 10 [Explicit rejection with quantification]
Total: 12271

The statistical and definitional games required to make this 97% are staggering. What was the methodology? They searched the peer reviewed journals for two key phrases: “Global Warming” or “Global Climate Change”. NO OTHER WORDS. That returned 12271 results. They reviewed ONLY THE ABSTRACTS and a team of followers of an alarmist propaganda website rated the papers.

And they got it wrong. One proponent of AGW, Richard Tol, for example, said 8 out of 10 of his papers were rated incorrectly. Many other scientists have stepped forward to dispute the ratings.

The only way to get a 97% figure is to include IMPLICIT endorsements. These are studies that mentioned an assumed AGW and did nothing to study it. The entire methodology is insanity. Limited keywords. Abstracts analysis only. Including implicit endorsements. I would like to see anyone defend this as a methodology for determining consensus. It would say as much about funding as consensus. Crazy.

And did you notice only 75 papers attempted to quantify the effect humans have on the climate. IN 20 YEARS. You would think – based on the propaganda machine that hundreds or thousands of papers had been published on this.

Climate science is a real science. But climate alarmism and activism is destroying not only climate science, but all science. When you see reckless misuse of science like this from the president on down, you can’t help but be skeptical about the state of science as a whole.

We cannot afford to restrict or reject any form of energy. Energy is the core of an economy. The more expensive you make it, the more damage you do to economic growth. The comfort I have in the fact that this president is too incompetent to effectively implement his plans is good, but I worry about the future.

Good Democrats need to start standing up against the President’s distractions from fixing the economy. It is not lost on me that unemployment remains extremely high and the recovery is historically low. The policies of President Obama have been a failure. We need focus on relieving the pressures on the economy. Lower taxes and less regulation are what will get us out of this mess. Higher energy prices will not.


Comments

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    I forgot to mention that .01x C increase per year is hardly a reason to freak out. It is well within human and likely most natural adaptability.

  • Al Nevarez says:

    So, after all of that effort to debunk the claim that 97% of scientists agree on the matter, in Orwellian fashion, you leave out the new, dramatically different percentage of scientists who draw explicit conclusions supporting climate change:

    97.5%

    That’s right, if we do what you’re arguing, and just look at the explicit endorsements, you can easily see that 999 out of 1,024 studies support man-made climate change theory. Again, that’s 97.5%. Even if we stick to the quantifiable endorsements (which I would argue is too narrow when talking about whether ‘scientists’ agree – it’s more applicable when referring to scientific studies), we find that 86% of scientific studies provide quantitative support for man-man-made climate change. That may not be consensus, but it is indicative of overwhelming support.

    Why wouldn’t you explicitly state those facts, easily derived from the data you presented? Could it possibly be that you didn’t want it to contradict your thesis, which is that there is no consensus on climate change? Could it be that consensus is a threat to your core objective: to promote continued dependence on fossil fuel energy? How does that make you any different than those you criticize?

    Oh, because you assume you’re right, and everyone else is wrong, and that therefore justifies your propaganda. It does not, however, support the false persona you created: that you’re just a reasonable person looking to defend the sanctity of science.

    I do agree, however, with this statement:

    “When you see reckless misuse of science like this from the president on down, you can’t help but be skeptical about the state of science as a whole.”

    Your problem is that you have the wrong President, and somehow I doubt that “on down” includes the Senators and Congress critters that continue to recklessly misuse science to support their fossil fuel agendas. GWB recklessly abused data in order to argue for more and more studies. If a study left the tiniest crack of doubt he would insist on more and more studies, refusing to admit that the many studies that have been done had any validity. Worse, to this day you have Senators who continue to make statements like:

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

    and then saying

    “I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.”

    In other words, I used to believe in the science, until I realized how much it would cost, and now I believe it’s a hoax. That’s Republican Senator James Inhofe, former Chair of the Senate Science Committee and a leader in Environmental and Energy policy in the Republican Party.

    This President is now the first to really call it what science has been saying for decades: man-made climate change is a real phenomenon that requires government intervention. 65 quantitatively supported endorsements may not meet your unrealistic threshold for scientific proof, but in the scientific community they have a name for that: a proven scientific theory. Scientific theories (as distinguished from the lay use of theory – synonymous with hypothesis – that climate change deniers enjoy using to diminish the validity of climate change theory) are based on observed facts that the scientific community uses to explain previously unexplained or unknown phenomena.

    You’re all bent out of shape because you don’t like that the President uses studies where scientists simply accepted the theory of climate change in their models as the basis for saying that “scientists agree” that climate change is real and caused by humans. How about focusing some of your anger to the guy who says, essentially, that the science was sound before I saw the cost and now I think the science is bogus, because that’s the guy that is ruining the public’s faith in science, along with all of the people who engage in cherry picking to debunk a well established theory.

    Flat Earth indeed.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    Al,

    I challenge you to engage with me here and not just post the stuff you just did and run away. You may learn something. You obviously did not read or read carefully what I wrote throughout here. I know what I am talking about and am happy to educate you.

    “So, after all of that effort to debunk the claim that 97% of scientists agree on the matter, in Orwellian fashion, you leave out the new, dramatically different percentage of scientists who draw explicit conclusions supporting climate change:”

    Simply put I did not. The president chose to round it to 97%. I know what the real figure is.

    What you are missing is the rest of the detail in which I describe WHAT THAT 97.5% refers to!

    You have been caught up in a propaganda machine that has convinced you that skeptics (like me) dismiss the idea of man-made client change. This is in part because you take quotes like the one’s you quoted above completely out of context. You do so, probably because all your information comes from activist websites and not original sources.

    Let me clarify for you.

    97.5% of SKEPTICS support the idea that there is man-made climate change. You are arguing a straw man that does not exist. 97.5% of everyone who knows what they are talking about agree!

    The skepticism is NOT about whather man emits CO2. Whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Whether CO2 causes some degree of warming.

    The skepticism is over HOW MUCH and whether that much is worthy of ALARM.

    So your entire long comment post is based on a fallacy about what is EVEN BEING DEBATED.’

    Now answer this and tell me that you now understand that skeptics believe in man made global warming too.

    And what this means is that the 97.5% figure includes people who are self-described “skeptics”. Their papers were included in that figure. In fact any paper which EVEN mentioned man-made client change in the abstract was counted. No matter what the paper was actually about.

    So now do you see that the figure is propagandistic. That it is a manipulation. If you don’t believe me, then I am happy to give you more details including quotes from shocked authors who found their papers being used as part of the figure you cite.

    Please continue Al. Like so many before you, you will learn that you have been manipulated by propagandists. We will deal only with the facts.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    “Could it be that consensus is a threat to your core objective: to promote continued dependence on fossil fuel energy?”

    I have no such objective. What are you talking about? I want energy to be cheap to free, wherever it comes from. I love nuclear power as a source (non-portable).

    So where did you read that dependence on fossil fuels was my objective?

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    Al,

    Just take the explicit with quantification, meaning they likely studied some aspect of it.

    The figure goes down to 86%. 86% is good in politics, but TERRIBLE if something is science. How could 14% disagree on a basic scientific “fact”?

    Also, even then, it is irrelevant. All it could be telling us is who is getting funded for what purposes. Not what the science says. you need a much more complex analysis for science. Not just keyword searching and statistical manipulation of a non-scientific concept like “consensus”.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    Roy Spencer (generally thought of as a skeptic) said this:

    Humans influence the climate system in profound ways, including through the emission of carbon dioxide via the combustion of fossil fuels

    Researchers have detected and (in some cases) attributed a human influence in other measures of climate extremes beyond those discussed in this testimony, including surface
    temperatures and precipitation.

    The inability to detect and attribute changes in hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and drought does not mean that human
    caused climate change is not real or of concern.
    It does mean however that some activists, politicians, journalists
    , corporate and government agency representatives and even scientists who should know better have made claims that are
    unsupportable based on evidence and research.

    Such false claims could undermine the credibility of arguments
    for action on climate change, and to the extent that
    such false claims confuse those who make decisions related to extreme events, they could lead to poor decision making

  • Al Nevarez says:

    Interesting that you accuse me of posting and running before you even posted a reply. It is the opening sentence of the first response to my post. Very odd.

    This kind of debate is highly favorable for “skeptics” which I put in quotes because such “skeptics” are never skeptical of the status quo. Our current policies are designed and implemented as though climate change doesn’t even exist, and to the extent that policy acknowledges its existence, it acts as though it is some unexplained phenomenon that has no correlation to certain human behaviors.

    I am very skeptical of the status quo. I am skeptical of actors who wish to obfuscate the matter over inconsequential details while failing to dispute with any credible science that greenhouse gas is causing the global temperature to rise at an unusual rate relative to pre-industrial times, or that this rise in temperature is causing polar ice to recede at a, dare I say it, alarming rate.

    I am skeptical of the fossil fuel industry, which has shown again and again to be an untrustworthy agent on many matters, and especially on this particular subject, and which has significant motivation to downplay the effects of their product on climate change, and I therefore am skeptical of the studies they sponsor.

    There is little skepticism among “skeptics” aimed toward Chevron, or Koch Industries, or the likes of Senator Inhofe, who calls climate change a hoax while accepting boatloads of money from Devon Energy, or the Republican Party who still won’t officially recognize the existence of climate change, again while taking large sums of money from fossil fuel peddlers. You call it a strawman – well, “skeptics” like you allow that strawman to exist by never calling them on their crap. Instead you spend your time bemoaning the definition of “scientists agree” as if that is a particularly relevant point in this debate.

    So let’s keep it simple:

    Do you believe that the Earth is warming at an accelerated rate?

    Do you believe that IT IS POSSIBLE that such warming could cause significant harm to our economy, our environment, and our quality of life?

    Do you believe that some amount of climate change is due to greenhouse gasses released by burning fossil fuels?

    These questions really do boil down to a yes or no. I’m not asking you to gauge the degree of acceleration or the degree of probability that such acceleration is harmful or man-made. If so, then you should probably state that up front so that you aren’t lumped in with deniers like Senator Inhofe or the Republican Party.

  • Simple yes or no?

    “Do you believe that the Earth is warming at an accelerated rate?”

    Yes.

    Do you believe that IT IS POSSIBLE that such warming could cause significant harm to our economy, our environment, and our quality of life?

    Yes.

    Do you believe that some amount of climate change is due to greenhouse gasses released by burning fossil fuels?

    Yes.

    And here is where you go down the propagandistic loony tree. Those yes’s are shared by the senator and everyone I have ever heard of that is a denier. It is also not the position of the Republican party.

    You have been sold a bunch of lies about what people are actually skeptical of or what we actually think. There are no “deniers”. Maybe some fringes somewhere, but nobody involved in the debate anywhere I know of.

    What you have been sold is a bill of goods by people taking us out of context. You have been subject to political manipulation by statist liberals who want to advance statist policies to solve what they perceive to be the problem.

    So I have answered your simple questions. Are you confused now how I am a skeptic and why I am taking Obama to task for lying about the weather and using manipulated statistics about scientific opinion to help enact policies against an industry he (and apparently you) irrationally hate.

    It is people like you and he that will hurt the poor consistently in your Prius-driven quest to satisfy your puritanical urges for “cleanliness”.

    I note you do not deny that the 97.5% statistic is bogus statistical games. Nor do you deny that Obama was wrong about the weather.

    Are you prepared to deal with the complexity of the issue and the nuances of what people are really saying rather than continue to rely on propaganda?

    We should do NOTHING specific to control CO2. It is not clear that any policy suggested will be helpful more than it is harmful or that a warming earth is even necessarily a net negative. I can say all that and answer yes to all your questions. Do you understand why?

  • Al Nevarez says:

    Ok, I think I get it now. Republicans agree the Earth’s global temperature is warming, and that humans are contributing to it in some way, though unsure of how much and believe that requires further study. Republicans also think it’s possible that the effects could be dangerous, but believe that it requires further study.

    All in all, Republicans simply think it needs to be studied more before making any decisions.

    If that’s the case, why do Republicans oppose funding climate change research?

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    Yes. Much more accurate about what we think. It deserves more study and even perhaps some actions, but not radical action that has negative economic consequences. Even then, it is unclear that further warmth would be overall bad. It is certain there would be bad effects, but equally certain there would be good effects. The question is whether there is more bad or good. This is very unclear in the science as the good has been little studied.

    Warmth is generally a good thing. Our entire civilization has occurred because of the warmth that has continuously risen in the interglacial we are in. A greater long term worry is the macro cycles that seem will inevitably lead to another glacial.

    An example of positive action I think we could all support is making natural gas more readily available by easing the process for getting it. That explains much of the fact that the US has met Kyoto targets without ever signing onto the draconian measures made by Europe that are hurting them still today.

    Another example would be to ease the permitting processes around nuclear power. Nuclear is a highly safe and clean method for generating electrical power.

    I am not sure how many Republicans actually oppose climate change research if it is serious research. I am in favor of doing more research. I would like to see serious and balanced and non-politicized science come from it however.

    As a libertarian, I am OK with funding climate change research at a reasonable level at the federal level. It is a federal level issue. I am also ok with studying the engineering side as well as the science side. Whether geoengineering or mediation engineering for negative effects.

  • liberal anthropologist says:

    By the way. Journalists who have seen the latest Draft of the IPCC AR5 report they have further lowered climate sensitivity to CO2. And are under pressure in the author comments to lower further due to more recent studies.

  • liberal anthropologist says:

    For those who don’t know what that is it is the amount of temperature increase to CO2. Even small amounts of lowering give us decades more time. It has huge policy implications.

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