The 97% consensus con

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.

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8 Responses to The 97% consensus con

  1. herodotus

    The climate crew and Hillary Clinton share this characteristic with our own Labor and Greens: they’ll say pretty much anything, any time. Black is white, up is down, change is unprecedented, hottest year ever.

  2. Baldrick

    The 97% consensus is as misleading as claiming carbon dioxide is a pollutant.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    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%.”

    They only ever talk about the 97% and never what the 1.6% means.

    So lets look at that. If the contribution of human emitted greenhouse gases to warming last century was 50% of the 0.74 C temperature rise (ignoring the fact that the temperature rise over 120 years was only about 0.5 C) then that would mean 369.64 – 295.7 = 73.94 ppmV rise in CO2 caused 0.37 C of that rise.

    The equation which works out a value for equilibrium climate sensitivity, ECS, also known as 2XCO2 is as follows:

    2XCO2 = 0.37 x log 2/(log 369.64 – log 295.7) = 1.15 C

    So how much more carbon dioxide would we need to increase the global temperature by 2.3 C from todays 400 ppmV of CO2. I’m using 2.3 C rather than the IPCC’s magic 2 C because it make the arithmetic easy.

    Today: 400 ppmV of CO2 is in the atmosphere, which is 120 ppmV higher than the preindustrial level
    +1.15 C = 800 ppmV, so 520 ppmV above preindustrial
    +2.3 C = 1,600 ppmV, so 1,320 ppmV above preindustrial

    Therefore to get 2.3 C of warming from today, which is by no means necessarily a bad thing, you would need to emit 1,320/120 = 11 times more CO2 that we humans have emitted since we invented fire. To start with it is unlikely there is that much combustible fossil fuel in the whole world.

    Not going to happen.

    That is what that consensus means. The scam is dead and John Cook’s own data kills it.
    Ironic that.

  4. Louis

    Yeah you miss the point. The more they keep putting this bogus figure out there and ever more ‘authority’ figures quote it, the more it gets sucked up by useful idiots regardless.

    I constantly have this figure quoted at me. Now people get to reference a speech made by Obama as well. If they spread around the ‘sources’ enough then it looks credible. More Google hits etc.

    It’s a bit like Chomsky. Reference someone referencing someone else who references someone else who eventually references yourself.

    If you are a student who didn’t know any better, would you assume the figure is nonsense or assume, based on the fact that it’s quoted everywhere from ‘reputable’ news papers, politician speeches, all your teachers and all of Hollywood, that maybe it’s true?

  5. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    97% consensus. Another ridiculous statistical artefact created by the left (see Sinclair’s thread above, showing how they just don’t do statistical science). Any old grab bag created any old how will do.

  6. ar

    97% of journalists’ political donations in USA go to Hillary

    97% of gun crimes involve illegal weapons

    Leftists don’t quote those figures much.

  7. Dr Fred Lenin

    If I were potus and some muppet quoted 97 concensus I wouls say Bullshit .prove it ,who ever heard of anything like 97 per cent ? Never existed in human history . We need governments that spend the first year in office repealing stupid laws and regulations created by fifth rate lawyers tying to look important . Every law associated with the global communist un should be abolished ,and the u.n. Politburo with it .

  8. Rohan

    Im >97% sure that im never going to see the spoils of a bet I made with mate of an an old Uni mate on facechook.

    In 2013, he stated that due to what John Cook and co wrote that the arctic ice would disapear by end of the northern hemisphere summer, 2015. I told him to put his money where his mouth is: one weeks salary. Done deal.

    Come 1st October 2015, nothing. No reponse. Uni mate de-friended me in the process. Weak as piss.

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