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