Cook and his friends/colleagues from his website had performed a project whose results showed, “There’s a 97% consensus supporting the AGW theory, and 1.6% put the human contribution at >50%.”
That’s a pretty big deal. After all, humans causing some amount of warming doesn’t mean much. If humans cause a tiny amount of warming, most people won’t care. If humans cause the planet to warm by 20 degrees, most people will care. What determines whether or not humans should care about global warming is not merely whether the “AGW theory” is true, but how large an impact humans are having.
From Brandon Shollenberger on how the so-called consensus is enforced.
President Obama’s biggest card to play for the Paris agreement was the 97% consensus. He was badly advised. The paper contributed nothing to the debate about the amount of warming or the need to be concerned about it. It did not even show a 97% consensus if you looked carefully at the paper. One third of the sample could not be scored so the 97% is based on 2/3 of the sample. Never mind all the other methodological howlers.
What was the consensus? Humans activities contribute to warming. They wanted to report that x per cent agree and y per cent say that humans contribute more than half of the observed warming. According to Shollengerger, based on publicly available information on the Uni of Qld system, they could only say that 1.6% of the sample thought that humans contributed half or more of the warming. So that did not get into the paper.
Bonus link. Judith Curry on climate scientists involved with advocacy groups.
How travel broadens the mind. I read Matt Ridley on the plane to Hobart and this book on the bus between Boston and New York.