Cleaning up the climate debate (4). The meaningless 97% consensus

The 97.4% consensus reported by Cook and others includes me and all the sceptics who I know. We agree that there has been warming in modern times and allowing the urban heat island effect there is a human contribution. So what? How do you beat up a 1.1C increase since the industrial revolution into a planet-threatening crisis?

The war on CO2 is based on the propositions that (1) we have alarming warming and (2) it is driven by human-produced CO2.

See if you can find anything in the paper to indicate (1)the AMOUNT of warming that everyone accepts, (2) whether it is ALARMING, (3) the AMOUNT of the human contribution that everyone accepts and (4) THE ROLE OF CO2.

Do you know anyone who refers to the consensus who has actually read the paper carefully? Obviously not President Obama and his advisors who rushed to Paris, with the paper in hand, to demand dramatic emission reduction targets.

By the way, how is that going in Germany?

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42 Responses to Cleaning up the climate debate (4). The meaningless 97% consensus

  1. Crazyoldranga

    Correct me if I’m wrong, and you will, but isn’t that 1.1% an AVERAGE? A pretty meaningless figure in and of itself.

  2. Roger

    Reference to the 97% consensus is a logical fallacy: an appeal to authority.

    If we assume, for argument’s sake, that the claimed consensus figure is correct, it still does not in itself constitute evidence for AGW, but only tells us that 97% of climate scientists currebtly hold a particular view.

    Scientific consensuses have been proved wrong in the past and no doubt will be again in the future.

    In fact, that’s how science tends to advance in knowledge, cf. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

  3. 1-) That paper wasn’t meaningless at all. It did its intended job very well. It was just as effective as Al Gores fraudulent movie and it helped the fraudsters syphon billions more into their trough.

    2-) Where is the evidence that the planet has warmed 1.1 DegC since the industrial revolution? How many thermometres covered the Earth’s surface in 1780? How much of the vast oceans were monitored for temperature in 1860?
    From a scientific point of view (hence policy making point of view), claiming and or going along with the unscientific claim that the Earth has warmed 1.1DegC since the Ind Rev is scientific fraud and so called sceptics are helping advance a false narrative.

    Alarmists (just like leftists in politics) never ever give an inch…..NEVER EVER. Yet, sceptics (and those on the right of politics) always give ground for what, cordial discussions and debate? Bwahahahahaha how’s that been working out for us?

    The only weak evidence we have that the Earth’s meaningless average temperature is this or that, or has risen or fallen is since enough satellites were launched (MODUS SST since year 2000)
    Not enough data points to even think about making policy.

  4. Harken Now

    Hark!: appeal to authority…blah blah blah…science doesn’t work like that …blah blah blah

    Tell us, Roger, why we think people who follow a solid consensus on medical matters (a pretty science-y field) are being wise (as opposed to someone who thinks they’ll cure their cancer with a mega dose of vitamins), but when it comes to climate, we should listen to the cranks who say AGW is impossible, or is definitely going to magically stop just at the right time before it becomes harmful to too many people?

  5. Roger

    Tell us, Roger, why we think people who follow a solid consensus on medical matters…

    Lol.

    Medicine is probably the scientific field most subject to change and advance.

    Some sound advice, Hark: always get a second medical opinion.

  6. Ivan Denisovich

    Medicine is probably the scientific field most subject to change and advance.

    Exhibit A:

    Marshall and Warren are well-known for proving that a bacterium called Helocobacter pylori is the cause of most peptic ulcers. This reversed decades of medical doctrine holding that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy foods, and too much acid.

    http://www.aips.net.au/news-events/the-florey-medal/2002-professor-barry-marshall-professor-robin-warren/

    Two Aussies, btw.

  7. Bruce of Newcastle

    The 97.4% consensus reported by Cook and others includes me and all the sceptics who I know.

    Me too. But hilariously the 97.4% is exactly 75/77, because Cook found 75 climate scientists who know about not killing the golden goose. I don’t know who the other two brave souls were.

    As a measure of what we are all talking about there’s this story today:

    Climate scientist retires, then declares ‘I am a skeptic’ – Offers to debate – Rejects ‘denier’ label: ‘We don’t live in medieval times’

    Dr. Anastasios Tsonis, emeritus distinguished professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Authored more than 130 peer-reviewed papers and nine books:

    ‘I am a skeptic not just about global warming but also about many other aspects of science…Climate is too complicated to attribute its variability to one cause. We first need to understand the natural climate variability (which we clearly don’t; I can debate anybody on this issue). Only then we can assess the magnitude and reasons of climate change.’

    Isn’t it fun that he has outed himself as a sceptic the day after he retired? Is that not a big tell?
    The climate mafia are pernicious.

  8. a happy little debunker

    a pretty science-y field

    Like the use of leeches as a cure-all for the giggles?, er – I mean humours

    Or perhaps the near universal medical consensus that was upended by a couple of Australian Doctors

  9. Ivan Denisovich

    The climate mafia are pernicious.

    As David Bellamy can verify:

    The 80-yearold environmentalist and former broadcaster, admitted that his scepticism signalled the end of his career as he had known it.

    “From that moment, I really wasn’t welcome at the BBC,” he said.

    “They froze me out, because I don’t believe in global warming. My career dried up. I was thrown out of my own conservation groups and I got spat at in London.”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9817181/David-Bellamy-tells-of-moment-he-was-frozen-out-of-BBC.html

  10. A Lurker

    AGW is a cult. The moment you want to leave the cult or speak against it, the cult then labels you as a denier or apostate and attempts to destroy you, which if you think about it, is very similar to the methods of a certain supposedly ‘peaceful’ religion too.

  11. Tim Neilson

    But hilariously the 97.4% is exactly 75/77, because Cook found 75 climate scientists who know about not killing the golden goose.

    Even setting aside push polling and misinterpretation issues, that was still rancidly awful.

    Step 1 – select over 10,000 people to poll;
    step 2 – collate over 3,000 responses (not a bad response rate for a cold call survey)
    step 3 – realise you haven’t got the result you want
    step 4 – retrospectively redefine the criteria for participants, and get it down to 77 people out of the over 3,000 who responded
    Step 5 – 75 out of 77 said what we wanted! 97.4% consensus!

    Well it was good enough to fool Harken et hoc generis.

  12. min

    Evidently no one considered self selected participants 3000 of the 10,000.
    The other great hoax that lasted maybe 25 years was the nature /nuture debate falsified when the next scientist could not find enough identical twins separated at birth. But then that was before Popper.

  13. Alan

    My two cents re authority mandates: Medicine may be most subject to regress.
    Exhibit A: UK Public Health deliberately drags Medicine back to the dark ages?
    Exhibit B: US Psychological Association Officially Declares ‘Manly’ is ‘Harmful’ to Mental Health.

  14. Genghis

    Rafe,
    I was trying to tie down just how many Wind Turbine fires there have been in Germany. I know they have about 23,300 turbines (about 10% of the worlds total) and it would also be interesting to know the age profile. 20 years and they are in trouble.
    Europe having a shockingly warm winter again!!!
    Finally there are over 14,000 wind turbines abandoned with no resources to remove them. I am sure they occupy the prime windy locations across the globe leaving the conclusion that new turbines are not erected in optimal locations.

  15. Mater

    Tell us, Roger, why we think people who follow a solid consensus on medical matters (a pretty science-y field) are being wise (as opposed to someone who thinks they’ll cure their cancer with a mega dose of vitamins)

    I’d be dead today if I’d followed their advice.
    I know this because of what they found when I demanded they carry out an alternative procedure outside of the accepted protocols. Needless to say that they were surprised and are revisiting said protocols.

  16. Rafe Champion

    Genghis i use the figure 28K turbines but no idea about fires and other losses. The fleet is ageing, best sites taken and instructions to stand down all reduce yield well below 30% capacity. Just a.disaster.

  17. Mark M

    Still no KPI on the moral challenge of our times- how many solar panels must Australia install before Australia prevents its first drought?

    Global economic and environmental outcomes of the Paris Agreement

    Weifeng Liu, Warwick J. McKibbin, Adele Morris, and Peter J. WilcoxenMonday, January 7, 2019

    The (Paris) agreement established a process for moving the world toward stabilizing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations at a level that would avoid dangerous climate change.”

    https://www.brookings.edu/research/global-economic-and-environmental-outcomes-of-the-paris-agreement/

  18. old bloke

    The war on CO2 is based on the propositions that (1) we have alarming warming and (2) it is driven by human-produced CO2.

    Rafe, we have to learn to stop using the language of the catastrophists. Humans don’t PRODUCE CO2 (apart from exhaling), by burning fossil fuels we RELEASE it (so that it may be recycled.)

  19. Turtle

    The authority of science, which is recognized by most philosophers of the modern epoch, is a very different thing from the authority of the Church, since it is intellectual, not governmental. No penalties fall upon those who reject it; no prudential arguments influence those who accept it. It prevails solely by its intrinsic appeal to reason. It is, moreover, a piecemeal and partial authority; it does not, like the body of Catholic dogma, lay down a complete system, covering human morality, human hopes, and the past and future history of the universe. It pronounces only on whatever, at the time, appears to have been scientifically ascertained, which is a small island in an ocean of nescience. There is yet another difference from ecclesiastical authority, which declares its pronouncements to be absolutely certain and eternally unalterable: the pronouncements of science are made tentatively, on a basis of probability, and are regarded as liable to modification. This produces a temper of mind very different from that of the medieval dogmatist.

    Bertrand Russell, 1945
    A History of Western Philosophy

  20. Boambee John

    On any given day, parts of the globe experience temperatures between minus 50C and plus 40C. With this range of extremes, and the paucity of ground based weather stations worldwide, how is the global “average” temperature calculated, and what is the value of this result?

    Also, there could be some hysteria developed among the ignorant as a result of using degrees C as the measure, along the lines that “The global average temperature has increased from 14C to 15C. OMG, that’s a 7 percent increase. Doom is upon us”.

    Measuring variations based on the freezing point of fresh water should be replaced by measurements based on degrees K, but an increase from 287K to 288K doesn’t sound as dramatic.

  21. Harken Now

    Hark! What nonsense and bad analogies always appear here.

    A dramatic change in understanding of one disease (what causes stomach ulcers) in no way implies that a wise person always challenges medico/scientific understanding of all disease. That example was a case of a step forward in understanding of one small corner of the greater body of medicine – most of which is at no risk of undergoing such dramatic change.

    Denialists, on the other hand, argue that the entire field of climate change studies is fundamentally wrong, and that the tiny body of contrarians are the true ones with insight; and this is exactly akin to a person with cancer going to a quack doctor who (say) thinks homeopathy or vitamins or aligning your chakras is the key to all of what ails you.

    On the one hand, denialists will deride such belief in quackery in the dismissal of medical knowledge built up over decades and longer. Why – because there is a consensus medical position of what is going on in most diseases.

    But consensus is OK for medicine – just not OK for climate science.

    Admit it.

  22. cohenite

    Denialists, on the other hand, argue that the entire field of climate change studies is fundamentally wrong,

    Of course it’s wrong you fucking arrogant piece of shit; the idea that not just any CO2 but only human CO2 is destroying the climate of the planet is so wrong it’s gone right around the circle of wrongness and is now stuck so far up its arse that this site has to suffer fuckwits like you.

  23. Peter Sommerville

    97% of scientists once believed in phlogiston. 97% of scientists once believed in the ether.
    In science consensus is meaningless.

    John Cook et al are not scientists. They are political activists.

    Might I add 97% of scientists believe in dark matter and dark energy. It will be interesting where that goes into the futuure. Scientists have a proclivity to invent explanations for things they can’t explain, but ultimately that is how the scientific method works.

  24. Tel

    Of course it’s wrong you fucking arrogant piece of shit …

    It’s only wrong by a couple of degrees. Keep your hair on!

  25. A Lurker

    Of course it’s wrong you fucking arrogant piece of shit; the idea that not just any CO2 but only human CO2 is destroying the climate of the planet is so wrong it’s gone right around the circle of wrongness and is now stuck so far up its arse that this site has to suffer fuckwits like you.

    To be more specific, it’s really only CO2 from Western Countries like Australia that is bad and should be stopped, their industries reduced, or closed down and off-shored, their energy generation converted to expensive and unreliable renewables, their economies battered into senselessness, and for their sinning, they must pay ongoing tribute to non-Western countries; however, all the CO2 spewed from China, India, et al., should be ignored because, redistribution of wealth is socialist, is good.

  26. Harken Now

    Hark! cohenite – just admit, you believe in consensus medicine; you don’t believe it for climate science.

    You’ve found your crank scientists (ageing, superannuated ones at that) and you’re sticking to them. Like a Byron Bay Mum who refuses to get her kids vaccinated because a crank doctor told her.

  27. 2dogs

    Limit oneself to using experts with a good track record, and that 97% figure takes a sharp downgrade.

  28. Boambee John

    cohenite
    #2904758, posted on January 11, 2019 at 6:33 pm
    Denialists, on the other hand, argue that the entire field of climate change studies is fundamentally wrong,

    Of course it’s wrong you fucking arrogant piece of shit; the idea that not just any CO2 but only human CO2 is destroying the climate of the planet is so wrong it’s gone right around the circle of wrongness and is now stuck so far up its arse that this site has to suffer fuckwits like you.

    Actually, it is worse than that.

    It is only western CO2 that is destroying the planet. India and China can keep increasing emissions at a higher rate than western reductions, leading to an overall increase in CO2 emissions, with no impact on tbe existential crisis that is caused solely by western CO2.

    Harken Now is Barken Mad.

  29. Sago

    Correct me if I am wrong but I believe the 97% concensus was originally posited by Zimmerman and Doran.
    From memory the 75 out of 77 was from this paper which was from a Phd student (Zimmerman) whose mentor was Doran.This preceded the Cook paper which trawled through literature compiled by “climate scientists” to arrive at the desired number.I was of the opinion that Cook did this later paper when people started to question the sample size of Zimmerman/Doran result and rejigged it accordingly.
    Of note is that the ubiquitous Doran was part of the Cook team in the later “concensus.”
    It would be interesting to look a little more critically at the Doran bloke as we all know that Cook is a warming activist .

  30. RobK

    Physicist John Reid has a new post over at http://blackjay.net
    Intro;

    Francis Bacon and Environmentalism.

    Francis Bacon, a contemporary of Shakespeare, was the foremost exponent of the Scientific Method of the early modern era. Bacon has been called the father of empiricism. His works argued for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only upon inductive reasoning and careful observation of events in nature. Most importantly, he argued this could be achieved by use of a sceptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves. A great legacy of Bacon was the description, in his Novum Organum (1620), of “Idols of the Mind”: widely accepted myths which commonly obstruct the path to correct scientific reasoning.

    Four centuries later Bacon’s idols are still with us. Scientists are still kidding themselves about how much they know and how well they know it. There are still many convenient lies with which researchers delude themselves that they are probing reality when all they are doing is advancing a career. In the Halls of Academe this never mattered much; the real advances came from Bell Labs, Big Pharma and the military.

    But it matters now. Shoddy science has joined forces with millenarian doomsayers and, as a result, entire nation states are abandoning well established, functional energy policies in favour of pie-in-the-sky renewables in order to save the planet.

    The most egregious example is to be found in fluid dynamics, now the exclusive province of mathematicians who have little regard for Bacon’s “careful observation of events in nature”. It is not really a science at all and yet the public sees it as such and accepts without question its divinations about the state of the planet’s atmosphere in coming decades. The fluid continuum is a myth. Global climate predictions are based on this myth; they are not science.

    Energy policy self-harm is not the only consequence of the new environmental militancy. Other Baconian Idols are the myths of Natural Balance and the Sanctity of Wilderness which are equally pernicious.

    The world is believed to be permanently in a steady-state condition, a condition of Natural Balance. Any observed variation in environmental quantities such as species numbers or global temperature must therefore somehow be Man’s handiwork and evidence of Man’s carelessness and greed. In fact statistical analysis shows that species numbers and climate measurements vary randomly in quasi-cycles which tend to be longer than a typical research program. Signal processing engineers call this “red noise”. Over short time intervals, red noise cycles often look like linear trends. This was first noticed by ecomomists in the 1970s and termed “spurious regression”. Science has still not caught up.

    There’s more. Read the whole thing.

  31. Frank

    Using a running average to define the deviation from normal and then scaling the y axis seems like a funny way to present information about climate. In particular it seems devious given that most people will think it is a plot of straight temperatures which are clearly running away drastically. As Boambee John mentions above, if you plot actual temperatures it in K then the graph is a dead straight line since forever.

  32. Turtle

    Harken Now,

    You are drawing a false equivalence between medical and climate science.

    Medical cures are based on thousands of cases, replicated again and again in the lab. There is almost always a short period of time, days to years, for a cure to be found to work, and the evidence is immediate and concrete, or at least based on measurable probabilities. There is only one earth climate, and we have never successfully predicted climate fifty to a hundred years ahead of time under normal conditions, let alone based on the addition of a trace gas such as CO2. The science is just not good enough to do that, and even if it were, we have nothing to compare it to.

    A consensus in medicine is not “settled science” either. Barry Marshall is mentioned above.

    I know that antibiotics work. I’ve seen them work.

    I’ve never seen sunbeams and breezes save a planet.

    A consensus about the former is worlds better than a consensus about the latter. Because it’s worked before.

    You’ll need a better argument in future.

  33. Turtle

    Skeptics don’t argue that the entire field of climate science is wrong, just the alarmist, government fund groupthink part of it. There are quite a few contrarian climatologists who have it right. I’ve met a couple in fact. You really think you’ve got the killer argument there don’t you Harken.

    It’s the same argument that bald twat from the Australia Institute used against Monckton years ago. So boring and shallow.

  34. Turtle

    Richard Deniss was his name.

  35. egg_

    Might I add 97% of scientists believe in dark matter and dark energy. It will be interesting where that goes into the futuure. Scientists have a proclivity to invent explanations for things they can’t explain, but ultimately that is how the scientific method works.

    Talk about unknown unknowns.

  36. Win

    Why did the climate extortioners choose Co2 for their bogey gas when there are so many industrial real killers around and the Chinese city scapes prove it.

  37. egg_

    Might I add 97% of scientists believe in dark matter and dark energy. It will be interesting where that goes into the futuure. Scientists have a proclivity to invent explanations for things they can’t explain, but ultimately that is how the scientific method works.

    Isn’t ManBearPig’s ‘dark heat energy’ hidden in the ocean depths, the last resort of a scoundrel?

  38. Ivan Denisovich

    A dramatic change in understanding of one disease (what causes stomach ulcers) in no way implies that a wise person always challenges medico/scientific understanding of all disease

    LOL. The science is settled, don’t ya know. Skepticism about global warming theory is an attack on science itself! Deniers. Deniers! Blasphemers!!

  39. egg_

    The GHG hypothesis is the phlogiston of the new millennium.

  40. The BigBlueCat

    Anyone who believes in the 97% consensus needs their head read. See here.

    John Cook’s methodology and conclusions have been roundly criticized for years. He defends an indefensible position. I have no problems with claims that a large number of climate scientists assert that the climate has changed and is due to human activity as long as the counter assertion is also made, that the degree of impact of human activity can not be determined, is also made. The assertion that climate change is down to 1 factor (human activity producing more CO2) is patently false and unscientific.

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