John Cook survey updated

August 14, 2013
Update–see this post:

This is an interesting article on the “97% consensus” study:

The paper, Cook et al. (2013) ‘Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature’ searched the Web of Science for the phrases “global warming” and “global climate change” then categorizing these results to their alleged level of endorsement of AGW. These results were then used to allege a 97% consensus on human-caused global warming.

To get to the truth, I emailed a sample of scientists who’s papers were used in the study and asked them if the categorization by Cook et al. (2013) is an accurate representation of their paper.

Read more here:


I note that WtD is up to the usual al hominem attacks on those who signed “The Oregon Project”. Why is it none every mention that one of the researchers in the latest marketing survey showing 97% consensus is a (former?) self-employed cartoonist? Isn’t that important to them? The qualifications and beliefs of skeptics certainly are. Skeptics are attacked for any beliefs not mainstream. They are attacked for their religious beliefs. Not so the anointed purveyors of climate change belief.

The website of John Cook says “He is not a climate scientist.” Yet there his name is on a peer-reviewed climate change article. If Cook is not a scientist, how did he get published in a peer-reviewed journal? If it’s not peer-reviewed, how can it be addressed on SkS? There is a clear rule about only using PEER_REVIEWED literature.

Answers anyone?

Again with the marketing

There is a new study by John Cook, et al., at IOP science “quantifying consensus” in scientific literature. He concludes there is the usual 97% consensus is found in the abstracts. How does he reach this conclusion?

First, he searched the ISI Web of Science for articles from 1997 to 2007 using the terms “global warming” or “global climate change”. Then the abstracts were divided into type of research and degree of endorsement for climate change.

The first question that arises is “If there was no endorsement of climate change” as in the cause of global warming was not addressed, why did the abstract show up in the search? It seems unlikely that researchers are padding their abstracts with the words “global warming” to move up in the search engines. The term “global climate change” could involve something other than human-caused warming, but why insert the term at all if the research shows, say, solar flares correlate to warming (just a made-up example)? Would this not also indicate disagreement with ACC, rather than no position? The whole selection process is highly questionable.

Add to that the term “citizen science”, which was used to describe this project, and one is left with a marketing survey. This says nothing about the truth of lack thereof in the research.

Let’s look at this in more detail:

The same type of survey could be done over the net looking at people’s perceptions of psychics. The public perception of psychics is important in maintaining the position of psychics in society. The survey can ask:

Do you believe psychics are real?

Do you believe psychic predictions are accurate?

Do you believe more attention should be paid to psychics?

Then suppose the results show:

30% of people say psychics are real, 60% have no opinion, 10 % say psychics are not real

of the 30% who believe the psychics are real, 95% believe the predictions are accurate

of the 30% who believe the psychics are real, 90% think more attention should be paid to psychics

Conclusion: 95% of people who believe psychic are real believe their predictions are accurate and nearly that many believe more attention should be paid to psychics

Does this mean that psychics are real and accurate? Of course not—it just shows that a certain percentage of the population has this belief and of that percentage, a very large percent believe psychics to be accurate and useful.

The same is true of the Cook “study”–it just shows there is a perception of climate change researchers who address that consensus exists. It says NOTHING about the science itself—nothing.

One last observation for now: There is an argument made that less study is done on ACC because it’s settled science—i.e., there’s no reason to study it much anymore. So what are all the research studies on? Natural climate change? The degree of climate change (which means there IS agreement with the consensus in those studies, they are not neutral)? How did 66% of the papers fail to take a position? If they are studying the degree of climate change without attributing it to anything, why the research?

This is another attempt to give validity to “voting for the right answer” in science. Using a “settled science” to prove science is settled. It’s just bad science all the way.

Words have meanings

Today, William Brigss has an interesting guest post:

Our post today is provided by Terry Oldberg, M.S.E., M.S.E.E., P.E. Engineer-Scientist, Citizen of the U.S. That’s a lot of letters, Terry! Oldberg joined our Spot the Fallacy Contest, which had been laying fallow. He says he found multiple instances of equivocation in global warming arguments. What say you?

Summary and Introduction

No statistical population underlies the models by which climatologists project the amount, if any, of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions we’ll have to endure in the future. This absence of a statistical population has dire consequences. They include:

  • The inability of the models to provide policy makers with information about the outcomes from their policy decisions,
  • The insusceptibility of the models to being statistically validated and,
  • The inability of the government to control the climate through regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Rather than describe global warming climatology warts and all, the government obscures its unsavory features through repeated applications of a deceptive argument. Philosophers call this argument the equivocation fallacy.

Continue reading here:

Climate science is sooooo hard-or maybe not

I have been considering the claim that climate science is so complex only climate scientists can understand it after many years of research.  I was then wondering why Shaun Marcott, a researcher with a masters in geology (so far as I can find) published a study that PROVES the science is right and we are screwed.  A masters.  In geology.  The study was his PhD thesis.

So, we pull back the curtain and find that education and years of study are NOT required to get published and be an expert.  You just have to write what the journals want to hear.

Remember this when climate change advocates start in on years of research and the right degree.  Neither were necessary with Marcott.  If a geologist with a masters can write such an outstanding paper, there is no reason to doubt that PhD physicists who write that ACC is not real are just as qualified to comment and write on ACC.   Meteorologists, physicists, geologists are all qualified to do research and be heard.  The only reason they are not heard is they are not saying what the ACC folks want said.