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Cook’s 97% consensus is a case study of Agnotology – ignorance and misinformation

Agnotology is the study of how ignorance grows through repetition of misleading misinformation. You might never have heard of it, but it’s the perfect term for the climate science “debate”. Predictably its use began when those convinced of man-man global warming claimed fossil fuel groups were funding misinformation. But as per usual, unskeptical scientists opened a promising new front only to got burned by the evidence.

In the latest volley, from Legates et al 2013, John Cook’s “97% consensus” survey has become the case study in agnotology. Based on incorrect results, a flawed method, and a logical fallacy,  it kept key facts hidden while sloppily blending vague language into a form that is easily and actively misinterpreted. That it passed peer-review is another damning indictment of peer review.

Cook still refuses to provide about half the data, but the data that has been made public shows (after some digging) that a mere 41 papers out of 12,000 was called a 97% consensus. The trick is that Cook et al interchangeably use different definitions of consensus.

The Bait and Switch


The Bait: In the introduction Cook states that the reason for the paper is “to determine the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW [global warming]“.

The word “most” leaves no doubt that it refers to man-made forces causing “more than half”.

Cook categorizes endorsement of anthropogenic global warming into seven categories, only the first of which fits the aim stated in the introduction.

  • Category  1: “Explicitly states that humans are the primary cause of global warming”
  • Category  2: “Explicit endorsement without quantification” — (which, if they studied other forms of publication, would include myself and most skeptics. Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it does cause some warming, and human emissions are increasing. Thus the category includes  everyone from dedicated skeptic to confirmed believer. “Some” warming could mean 1% or 100%.)
  • Category 3:Implicit endorsement” — (meaning researchers involved in carbon sequestration, or wombat territories, or early peach ripening, or anything that might be affected by the climate.)

The switch:  Cook doesn’t provide results for Category one in the paper, even though that was the aim of the paper. To “simplify the analysis”, he blends together categories 1, 2 and 3 (which include two very different definitions of consensus). In the data there are only 64 papers of Type 1 — papers that state that humans are the primary cause. (Is that why he did not report the result?) Worse, Monckton read the abstracts and found that 23 of those are misallocated.

Did Cook really think he could get away with taking 41 papers out of 11,944 and claiming it was a “97% consensus”? Most of the thousands of papers included in his “97%” collection are merely me-too papers where the scientists have assumed the models are right and someone else has done the sums.

This statement in the abstract of Cook et al is so vague as to be useless.

Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.

The statement refers to the broadest and weakest form of consensus, but is often mistakenly amplified to infer it causes “dangerous” global warming. By Cook’s own definition a mere 0.3% of papers actually show that “humans are the primary cause of recent global warming”.  Furthermore, being the primary cause does not necessarily mean the warming is also dangerous. The paper was not even designed to find out how many scientists endorsed dangerous warming. Yet in the media this is how the paper is being used. Tellingly, Cook has made no attempt to correct this misuse.

Note the strong terms of reference of the Legates paper — this is not about accidental misinformation, but intentional deception:

“…the focus will be on misinformation said to have arisen not through inadvertence, nor through any limitation in the state of knowledge, nor through any defect in teaching or learning, but through the self interested determination of some sufficiently influential faction to circulate misinformation calculated to sow doubt, to conceal a truth, or to promote falsehoods.”

The nub of the problem here is that this poorly done research is not contributing to human knowledge, but to the exact opposite. Cook uses a poor study of opinions to replace the empirical evidence he ought to have. And Bedford and Cook use agnotology as a method to shut down open debate about it.

Legates et al:

“Totalitarian regimes spread misinformation while demonizing their opposition. How is
it different here? Haud secus isti. If it is as Michael Oppenheimer argued earlier—though
the figure is wrong, the discussion is useful because it agrees with the consensus—then
misinformation is being used as information to support the consensus. In that instance,
agnotology takes on an added connotation—it includes the study of how misinformation is
spread as information by those espousing a contrived consensus to support one’s cause.”

Press release

0.3% climate consensus not 97.1%

MAJOR peer-reviewed paper by four senior researchers has exposed grave errors in an earlier paper in a new and unknown journal that had claimed a 97.1% scientific consensus that Man had caused at least half the 0.7 Cº global warming since 1950.

A tweet in President Obama’s name had assumed that the earlier, flawed paper, by John Cook and others, showed 97% endorsement of the notion that climate change is dangerous:

“Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” [Emphasis added]

The new paper by the leading climatologist Dr David Legates and his colleagues, published in the respected Science and Education journal, now in its 21st year of publication, reveals that Cook had not considered whether scientists and their published papers had said climate change was “dangerous”.

The consensus Cook considered was the standard definition: that Man had caused most post-1950 warming. Even on this weaker definition the true consensus among published scientific papers is now demonstrated to be not 97.1%, as Cook had claimed, but only 0.3%.

Only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate papers Cook examined explicitly stated that Man caused most of the warming since 1950. Cook himself had flagged just 64 papers as explicitly supporting that consensus, but 23 of the 64 had not in fact supported it.

This shock result comes scant weeks before the United Nations’ climate panel, the IPCC, issues its fifth five-yearly climate assessment, claiming “95% confidence” in the imagined – and, as the new paper shows, imaginary – consensus.

Climate Consensus and ‘Misinformation’: a Rejoinder to ‘Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change’ decisively rejects suggestions by Cook and others that those who say few scientists explicitly support the supposedly near-unanimous climate consensus are misinforming and misleading the public.

Dr Legates said: “It is astonishing that any journal could have published a paper claiming a 97% climate consensus when on the authors’ own analysis the true consensus was well below 1%.

“It is still more astonishing that the IPCC should claim 95% certainty about the climate consensus when so small a fraction of published papers explicitly endorse the consensus as the IPCC defines it.”

Dr Willie Soon, a distinguished solar physicist, quoted the late scientist-author Michael Crichton, who had said: “If it’s science, it isn’t consensus; if it’s consensus, it isn’t science.” He added: “There has been no global warming for almost 17 years. None of the ‘consensus’ computer models predicted that.”

Dr William Briggs, “Statistician to the Stars”, said: “In any survey such as Cook’s, it is essential to define the survey question very clearly. Yet Cook used three distinct definitions of climate consensus interchangeably. Also, he arbitrarily excluded about 8000 of the 12,000 papers in his sample on the unacceptable ground that they had expressed no opinion on the climate consensus. These artifices let him reach the unjustifiable conclusion that there was a 97.1% consensus when there was not.

“In fact, Cook’s paper provides the clearest available statistical evidence that there is scarcely any explicit support among scientists for the consensus that the IPCC, politicians, bureaucrats, academics and the media have so long and so falsely proclaimed. That was not the outcome Cook had hoped for, and it was not the outcome he had stated in his paper, but it was the outcome he had really found.”

Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, an expert reviewer for the IPCC’s imminent Fifth Assessment Report, who found the errors in Cook’s data, said: “It may be that more than 0.3% of climate scientists think Man caused at least half the warming since 1950. But only 0.3% of almost 12,000 published papers say so explicitly. Cook had not considered how many papers merely implied that. No doubt many scientists consider it possible, as we do, that Man caused some warming, but not most warming.

“It is unscientific to assume that most scientists believe what they have neither said nor written.”

Contact David Legates at Udel.edu for more information

 

REFERENCES:

Bedford, D. (2010). Agnotology as a teaching tool: Learning climate science by studying misinformation.
Journal of Geography, 109, 159–165.

Bedford, D., & Cook, J. (2013). Agnotology, scientific consensus, and the teaching and learning of climate
change: A response to Legates, Soon and Briggs. Science & Education, 22, 2019–2030. Abstract

Cook, J., Nuccitelli, D., Green, S. A., Richardson, M., Winkler, B., Painting, R., et al. (2013). Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature. Environmental Research Letters, 8, 024024.

Legates, D. R., Soon, W., & Briggs, W. M. (2013). Learning and teaching climate science: The perils of
consensus knowledge using agnotology. Science & Education, 22, 2007–2017.

Legates, D. R., Soon, W.,  Briggs, W. M, & Monckton, C. (2013) Climate Consensus and ‘Misinformation’: A Rejoinder to Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate ChangeScience & Education  [Abstract]

Papers on: Agnotology (Climate)

 

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Cook's 97% consensus is a case study of Agnotology - ignorance and misinformation, 9.0 out of 10 based on 94 ratings

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106 comments to Cook’s 97% consensus is a case study of Agnotology – ignorance and misinformation

  • #
    Mike Smith

    Did you know that 97% of consensuses are just made up?


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    turnedoutnice

    Since this is academic [SNIP, not yet], will the Brisbane cops soon be booking the cooks?


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    J Martin

    This information needs to be delivered to the gullible and easily fooled politicians, like Merkel, Obama and others. But I guess it won’t get past the warmist extremist high priests like John Holdren who are shielding the politicians from the truth and are instead ruthlessly pursuing their own agenda.


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    • #
      Brian G Valentine

      Too bad Obama needs to dig right down to the bottom of the barrel to justify stinking regulations promulgated by a stinking EPA.

      John Cook’s website is a cesspool, I can’t stand looking at it. (Only four letter words come to mind, Ms Nova would just erase them anyway)


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      • #
        JohnB

        Skeptical Science should be an affront to anyone. Back when I got into this full scale because of imminent Wind Turbines, I searched for skepticism about Global Warming and got this promising site with all sorts of lofty ideals. Started reading and realized they were not in the least skeptical except about skepticism (Seemed Axio-Moronic). Started reading some stuff and very little of it made much sense to me especially about how the MWP was a regional event and then started reading about a ‘Global’ tipping point due to Methane releases from the Arctic!

        Excuse me, but if the MWP was a localized event (somewhere near where the Vikings lived – Arctic?), why didnn’t the Methane tipping point occur then and there?


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        • #
          Ian Hill

          Excuse me, but if the MWP was a localized event (somewhere near where the Vikings lived – Arctic?), why didnn’t the Methane tipping point occur then and there?

          Good point John. Pretty good case for the so-called Greenhouse Effect to be downgraded to a curiosity not to be feared.


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          • #
            Rob Nicholls

            So that’s it? You’re happy to dismiss the so-called greenhouse effect as a curiosity not to be feared just because the Medieval Warming Period didn’t cause a Methane tipping point? So you don’t need to bother looking at the thousands of pages of evidence from peer-reviewed science synthesised by hundreds of experts in IPCC Assessment reports? Those reports strongly suggest that climate change is likely to cause major problems in the coming decades and centuries, and the reports seem to be based on a comprehensive and fair review of the available evidence.

            We seem to be heading towards several degrees C of global surface warming unless we can massively reduce our carbon dioxide emissions. I don’t think a methane tipping point is particularly relevant on the basis of current evidence. The latest IPCC assessment report says: “It is very unlikely that methane from clathrates will undergo catastrophic release during the 21st century (high confidence).”(IPCC AR5 Technical Summary, Working Group 1, page 36).


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            • #
              Backslider

              It is very unlikely

              You should also take the time to look at everything else that is very unlikely in the AR5 report.

              The fact is sonny that the alarmist GHG theory relies 100% on a positive feedback from increased water vapor and cloud cover…. research shows that these are in fact in decline, thus falsifying that assertion.

              thousands of pages of evidence from peer-reviewed science synthesised by hundreds of experts in IPCC Assessment reports

              Synthesized is a good word for it. But it was not synthesized by scientists, but rather the IPCC and politicians.

              climate change is likely to cause major problems

              Climate change in the order of a temperature rise in the order of 5-6C. All the evidence points to Hansen’s alarmism being a total crock. AR5 indicates nothing of the sort.

              the reports seem to be based on a comprehensive and fair review of the available evidence

              It is not very difficult at all to ascertain that the reports are in fact cherry picked.


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    • #
      Jon

      ‘the gullible and easily fooled politicians, like Merkel, Obama and others.”
      They know it’s a policybased lie and they are the once that have established and funded this. The public is the object and when they belive the policy based lies, brainwashed, then “the gullible and easily fooled politicians, like Merkel, Obama and others.” can implement the policy they want.


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  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Great post. Ivory Tower Cook seems to be 99 44/100 % pure rubbish.


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    • #
      Ian

      Ivory Tower is right. I’m not sure whether or not UQ supports the SkepticalScience site but Cook certainly seems firmly ensconced in an academic ivory tower. His site very rarely allows views dissenting from Cook’s views and consequently the site is just a forum for sycophants of climate science zealotry. Needless to say Cook relentlessly pillories sites such as this, which do allow freedom of expression, completely missing the irony of a site called skeptical science that doesn’t permit scepticism of its views.


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  • #
    Peter Miller

    Agnotology – how ignorance grows through repetition. Perhaps, we could give it a dual meaning to mean ‘climate science’ as well.

    It is amazing how often you hear this 97% figure quoted on government controlled media.

    Equally amazing is how belief in potentially dangerous man made climate change is restricted to the parties of the political left – Yes, I know, the UK is an obvious exception.

    This is probably the last time the IPCC’s magnum opus will attract much attention. Next time around a flat lining, or declining, global temperature will mean it will have to come clean on climate. However, by the time that happens left wing political activist groups, like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, will most likely have found themselves a new non-problem cause to champion.

    As for John Cook, history is unlikely to treat him kindly. At best, he will be forgotten, at worst his name will be forever linked with agnotology.


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      … belief in potentially dangerous man made climate change is restricted to the parties of the political left – Yes, I know, the UK is an obvious exception.

      I don’t think the UK is an exception – all of the major UK political parties are left of centre when viewed from a global perspective.

      They are not quite up there, when compared to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, or some African states, but they are working on it.


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      • #
        Owen Morgan

        I think it would be fair to say, of the nominally right-of-centre Conservative party in the UK, that Cameron pushed the party much further to the left than it wanted to go, with the result that it has been haemorrhaging membership for as long as he has been leader. I suspect that the surviving members are still well to the right of Cameron and a significant part of the Parliamentary party is, too, including most of the MPs first elected in 2010.

        Cameron doesn’t appear to have any strong opinions about anything; I think that that includes environmental matters in general and man-made global warming in particular. Clambering aboard the (husky-drawn) bandwagon of “AGW” was a failed attempt to outflank, on “green” matters, the Liberal Democrats, who are nothing like the Australian Liberals and are instinctively neither “liberal” nor “democratic”. Cameron painted himself into a corner. When he invited the LibDims to join a coalition in 2010, he awarded them control of the Department of Energy and Climate Control, a creation of ex-PM Gordon Brown’s, which plainly has no need to exist in the real world, but has the ability to inflict eye-watering damage on the British economy. Even when the last Secretary of State at DECC was sent for trial on a criminal matter (and forced to resign), Cameron was obliged to appoint an equally bonkers LibDim replacement, because the LibDims owned the department and because the LibDim gene pool is about the same as that of an Axolotl.

        Although, in opposition, the sheep-like Conservative MPs almost all voted in favour of the disastrous Climate Change Act of 2008, I suspect that, given a free vote today, most Conservative MPs would vote the other way. If Cameron were to win a majority at the next election, he might well have the guts finally to abolish the DECC and all its works. If he doesn’t win, he won’t survive and his successor won’t be daft enough to go down the husky-hugging path again.


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        • #
          Peter Miller

          Owen

          I totally agree with your comments.

          I think much of Cameron’s green, ‘swivel eyed’, view on climate is because of the influence of:

          1. His wife Samantha’s historic relationship with green activist group’s like Greenpeace, and

          2. His father in law, Sir Reginald Sheffield, who is earning £350,000 a year in wind farm subsidies.

          Unfortunately, like many second rate, left of centre, politicians, Cameron has become addicted to the currently trendy philosophy of ‘Must Save the Planet, no matter what the cost’.


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    • #
      John B

      With any luck Greenpeace will still be without a boat to protest and disrupt legal activities. Hope the Russians impound it and leave it stuck in the arctic sea ice where it gets crushed. Oh the irony.


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      • #
        CyrilH

        The Russians should keep it. What a wonderful example they set. I have often wondered that, if we have laws that allow for the confiscation of motor vehicles associated with “hooning” on our streets, why we do not have similar laws to confiscate boats and ships used in “hooning” around our shipping lanes and water ways?


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        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          Here, in New Zealand, serial offenders of the car hooning variety, get their expensively pimped and boom-boxed cars crushed before their eyes.

          I hate to say this, but there is something delightfully satisfying about that.


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          • #
            Olaf Koenders

            Even if there’s no proven victim?

            Section 8 (12) of the Imperial Acts Application Act: “That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction, are illegal and void”.

            Sorry Rereke, I can’t agree to such laws based on “what if”. A punishable crime must have a victim. But I’d definitely party over a Greenpeace vessel being impounded because there are victims in that case :)


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            • #
              MemoryVault

              A punishable crime must have a victim.

              Sorry Olaf, while I agree with your logic and the spirit of your comment, unfortunately we abandoned such niceties here in OZ a couple of decades ago.

              These days, under many of our laws, a “victim” is just a complicating nuisance, and people are convicted every day for acts such as “thought crime”.


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          • #
            O2

            State sponsered theft


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  • #
    EK

    This is appalling and I am really worried this is just the beginning.

    Why – because blatant lies are quoted by the “leaders of the “Free World”", because Europe, America and the rest of the World believe in that blatant lie.

    That means that controls, checks and balances are not working. It is like driving along at full speed on a winding road full of cliffs and sheer drops, and finding out that your steering and brakes are not working, and your only hope is an internet blog.

    Just think that over last 100 years the very same Europeans thought that the best thing ever was Nazism, Fascism, Eugenics, Communism, and Ethnic Cleansing, and started two bloodiest wars in the history of this planet, and now they have the audacity to teach the World to believe another grotesque lie.

    You can have experiments, and make mistakes, but when the entire UK Parliament (bar just 2 MPs (!!)) votes in The Climate Change Act, committing UK to 80% reduction of CO2, I get scared.

    I get scared because I can see that the leadership, and the checks on leadership, are rotten trhoughout, and there is nothing stands between us and a shiny New Idea, which is above all.

    Why people are so stupid??


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  • #
    Yonniestone

    The set up,
    - Create a potential problem.
    - Create a circle of followers.
    - Create the vehicle for propaganda.
    - Create a false market.
    - Create obscene amounts of money.
    Throw the money back at the above until their busted.
    Then skulk off with your billions.


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Yep,

      What you describe is what happened in the South Sea Bubble, scam. Although, in that case, it was driven by greed and gullibility. Whereas in this case it is driven by fear and gullibility.


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      • #
        Yonniestone

        It’s amazing how these scams get re hashed over the years, a local here managed to pull off a Ponzi type scam a few years ago even though some of the victims accountants actually used the word Ponzi in warning them off!
        I wonder how many pro AGW scientists have been driven by fear and gullibility? it’s pretty sad with some cases.


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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Rereke:
        that link is quite superficial, although the problem of government colluding with a private company to empty people’s purses is nearly 300 years old.

        One point that wasn’t brought out was that in the aftermath of the crash, EVERY director and principal officer of the South Sea Company was fined, and quite heavily in some cases. One of the worst offenders lost 97.4% of his assets and another 99.5%. A number of government ministers were also fined. The Chancellor of the Exchequer spent time in the Tower of London before departing into private life a good deal poorer. The 2 leaders of the Government suffered as one died abruptly of stress and the other lost power. Another minister died suddenly and his father (Post Master General) committed suicide; both lost substantial amounts posthumously. 3 others never again served. Parliament sat as the Court, with no appeal. The ministers got off relatively lightly because of political manoeuvring by Walpole who had originally opposed the scheme, so was judged innocent. (He died the richest man in England after 20 years as P.M.)


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        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          I am so sorry it was so superficial. I remembered the name, and used the clip at the top of the Google wrankings. My bad.

          Still the message has gotten out – these things ain’t new. The government is complicit in grabbing all of your money. The non-government players will become the scapegoats. And the punters walk away poorer but no wiser, and so primed for the next round.


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      • #
        Manfred

        RW, Al Gourdo is the exception that proves your axiom ?


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    • #
      ian hilliar

      “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed [and hence clamorous to be led to safety] by menacing it with a whole series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary” H.L Menckin


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    Good thing Cook didn’t contribute anything meaningful, if he did, I’d have a heart attack on the spot. I’m not too concerned about dying in this manner, however.


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  • #

    Cook’s narrowest definition of consensus is:-

    Category 1: “Explicitly states that humans are the primary cause of global warming”

    Of which Joanne says

    In the data there are only 64 papers of Type 1 — papers that state that humans are the primary cause. (Is that why he did not report the result?) Worse, Monckton read the abstracts and found that 23 of those are misallocated.

    Even worse, this category is too broad. This warming might be benign or beneficial to humans and the planet. It is only if there are (now or in the future) adverse consequences that we should take action to combat them. It is only if, globally, the adverse consequences are non-trivial that we should consider global action. If we cannot adapt to these consequences, or it is more effective to mitigate the effects by constraining emissions reductions should the latter course of action been taken.

    Basically, even if >97% consensus of climate papers points to a category 1 (instead of <1%) then this would not justify action on climate as
    (a) They would not all point the severe enough problem to justify policy.
    (b) Policy justification is the realm of economists. Climate Scientists have no competency in that. Amongst economists there is no consensus.


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  • #
    John West

    Christopher Monckton of Brenchley has written a letter to Professor Daniel Kammen, Editor, Environment Research Letters requesting withdrawal of Cook’s “paper”.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/20/join-my-crowd-sourced-complaint-about-97-1-consensus/


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    • #

      He’s bang on – this paper was atrocious.

      I got into it with Dana Nuccitelli on Twitter and The Guardian over this, but when he started deleting some critical comments (made by others) that were very well sourced and on point, it became obvious that he is a hack.

      Well, more obvious.

      Going by memory, I think he blocked me on Twitter eventually — kind of like being rejected by the homely girl you weren’t hitting on anyway, sort of an amusing farce.


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  • #
    Backslider

    It’s quite remarkable that Cook really thought he could get away with it.

    I also think that it’s fitting that somebody like Cook should be the one to actually expose the falsehood of “Climate Consensus” for what it is. Although that was not his intention, surely we must credit him with an invaluable service to humanity? Who else was more qualified to do it so thoroughly?


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  • #
    The Engineer

    Hi Joanne, I would just like to point out a fact about cooks paper which most people miss. The majority of the papers
    are not written by scientists working in the area of climate change – but in other areas like biology, economics or computer modelling.

    I found 1 level 2 paper by a traffic counter and another level 3 paper by a fish geneticist. Are their opinions on climate science really valid?
    PS My favourite though was a level 4 paper om squirrels sexual habits.


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    • #
      Gee Aye

      this is what I don’t get and I stated as much in earlier threads – scientists in other fields will use a “consensus” in another field to set parameters int heir study as it assists the writing of and argument when discussing their results.

      Fish geneticists and other biologists would be looking at the effects of changes in an environment whether there is AGW or not. It is what they study, and they assume change of some sort to be happening or possible. They look at past population events, known ecology and population structures and find out how one affects the other. They then ask, what would happen to these animals if land was cleared or some other thing subdivided the population, if the landscape became more arid or more wet, if pests were introduced and if it gets warmer or colder? Of course they are going to focus on warmer given the “consenus” as it gives them a more solid (whether you agree with the consensus or not it is still a scaffold for an argument) argument. All of these papers will compare and contrast warmer with colder and status quo. I cannot see how such papers support the consensus.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        You have a point, Gee Aye, up to where you say, “They then ask, what would happen …”. At that point they have moved away from scientific research, and into scientific speculation. It is a very narrow line to cross.

        The fact that there is “a consensus” in another field, does not make it fact. It is simply more speculation. Sure, they will take all of these things into account when forming an hypothesis, as they should. But then the scientific method needs to be applied to verify each and every assumption with real observations and controlled trials, and also in conducting experiments where they can be done ethically.

        The other, darker side, is recognising that Governments have put significant budgets aside, earmarked for climate change, for no other reason than a UN Agency has speculatively suggested that it might be a problem. The savvy researcher might then be tempted to include a paragraph or two, in reference to climate change, in any proposal for research funding. It is always good to have more than one budget to aim for.

        There is nothing wrong with this per se. It is human nature. But we need to recognise the distortions in the mirror that reflects “the science”.


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        • #
          Gee Aye

          Scientists speculate based on various assumptions; that is one of the important ways that science moves forward.


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          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            Indeed, that was the point I was attempting to make.

            But, an assumption is only an assumption, it is not fact. And having a whole bunch of people making the same assumption may result in a consensus, but it is not based in fact, and it does not become real through weight of numbers.

            One of my learned colleagues is fond of saying, “Consensus exists in nature. Just ask any lemming, if you can find one”.


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          • #
            Manfred

            In a nutshell, “science” endeavours to undertake the following, based on evidence.

            Facts acquired by observation lead through INDUCTIVE reasoning to Laws and theories, which through DEDUCTIVE reasoning leads to testable Predictions and explanations

            What is This Thing Called Science?
            Chalmers AF, 2nd ed. 1982. Open University Press, pp6.


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  • #

    Joanne quotes Legates et. al 2013

    Totalitarian regimes spread misinformation while demonizing their opposition.

    There is corroboration from The Debunking Handbook

    It’s self-evident that democratic societies should
    base their decisions on accurate information. On
    many issues, however, misinformation can become
    entrenched in parts of the community, particularly
    when vested interests are involved. Reducing
    the influence of misinformation is a difficult and
    complex challenge.

    Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6. [http://sks.to/debunk]

    This is a clear case of misinformation. John Cook wrote this knowing full well the harm that it could cause to democratic decision-making. Maybe he thinks he is on a higher moral plane than the rest of us? Like a police officer who makes false charges and fabricates evidence because he “knows” that the person should be behind bars?


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      There is corroboration…

      Actually that whole paragraph is self-referential – it serves as an example of what it is trying to convey. Quite brilliant, really. Although, I suspect unintended, since the statement defeats itself.


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        Andrew McRae

        Eh? To illustrate a difference between what is advocated and what is actual is not contradictory it is just expository. The only reason any plan ever devised was ever put into action was because of such differences. That’s not a failing.
        I would say that paragraph when considered in isolation is neither self-contradictory nor self-referential. But when considered in the larger context of his book and life’s work, it does become ironic.

        As for MBC’s charge about democratic decision making, I would recycle my earlier solution made in the wake of the passing of the Carbon Tax (CEF) bill, but with this extra caveat. Ensuring the public is not misinformed of the facts by a corralled scientific technocratic elite could be done only with randomisation of the panel selection of qualified individuals from the general public.
        (I am tempted to call it “The Final Solution To The Warmist Problem” but unfortunately that has too many negative historical connotations.)


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        Ian

        Jo why has no one on the warmist side of the argument ever stopped to wonder why those such as yourself, Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, Roy Spencer, Judith Curry and many more are sceptics? No. Im not asking what has caused you to be sceptical but why are you continuing to be sceptical? Unlike John Cook with a position at UQ (possibly a sinecure?), you forgo a job to run this blog. In contrast to warmists, sceptics find it hard to get research funding, to get their findings published and to get their views published in the MSM. As an example of that look at the papers recently published by Cook and Lewandowsky which, had they been submitted by sceptics, would never have seen the light of day. In fact I think it true to say they only got published because of their warmist authors as they’ve been pretty thoroughly debunked. So why don’t you all just say “sod this” ? Have the warmists from their comfortably funded positions (look at Pachauri and Flannery and Steffen for examples) never wondered why all of you show this commitment which clearly is not for personal gain or aggrandisement? Why do you put up with the venom from those such as Grant Foster on his ludicrously named blog Open Mind or Dana Nuccitelli on Skeptical Science? What drives you?
        Personally, I’m glad you all do persevere but I do wonder why you all do


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          Kevin Lohse

          It’s the untold riches heaped upon them all by Big Carbon that does the trick. The odd tenner purportedly flung by supportive bloggers in appreciation of their efforts is merely a money-laundering front. /sarc


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          Manfred

          My institutional BS meter has the sensitivity several orders of magnitude more sensitive than the most sensitive device manufactured to detect light from stars created a picosecond after the Big Bang. Individuals thus afflicted find it impossible to rest when they learn they are the targets of institutional BS.

          Does that answer your question?


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    John B

    I’m afraid Australia is going through a bit of a bad patch at present producing dodgy ‘scientists’. First Lewandowski then Cook. On the other hand I must congratulate you for managing to ‘export’ Lewandowski to England.


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      John B

      Maybe Australia has started shipping its criminals to England. Serve them right I say.


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        Brian G Valentine

        England (or the UK) was home to Newton, Robert Boyle, and the great Clerk Maxwell, and how far can they go downhill?

        Far enough to please the whims of a doltish Prince of Wales who went from seances with the dead to environmentalism.

        The Prince went straight off to never-never land and took the whole Royal Society with him, the story isn’t a bit funny.

        Not one bit


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      Streetcred

      We didn’t “produce” Lewandowski … he came here from the USA. That fact that he prospered here is a testament to the low standards of ‘climate science’ at our universities. Cook on the other hand is a lowly cartoonist who has managed to weazle his way to the dinner table … given that that dinner table is UQ and that UQ has an unbridled reputation for executive corruption (yes, I’m pointing the bone at Medicine), it not surprising that the little yapper exists through begging at the table and giving a prominent activist a lick now and again.


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    Richard C (NZ)

    According to SkS, David Evans is a “Climate Misinformer”. You on the other hand Joanne, are not:

    http://skepticalscience.com/skeptics.php

    Also, predictably, David Legates is a “Climate Misinformer” but Willie Soon, oddly, is not.

    Seems to be a very fine line of separation.

    [H/t Andy S at CCG]


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      Brian G Valentine

      I didn’t make the grade.

      So boo hoo, but more importantly, look who is on the list! None other than Richard Muller! Holy Cow!

      What on Earth could have prompted that!? Evidently, Cook is so far off the map, Cook doesn’t realise who Muller is!

      [SNIP] I don’t know. He is not just a CO2 maniac, he is [beyond that]


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      Yes, and Cook still had a photo of some other guy who is not David. Accuracy eh?

      He apparently is too afraid to list me after I demolished his “skeptics guide” and he removed the most dodgy graphs, and reissued it and took my name out and any mention of “The Skeptics Handbook” entirely from the page promoting it. Still too afraid to link to my take down of him.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Does it not strike you as odd, that there are no climate misinformers with surnames starting with letters towards the end of he alphabet?

        I expected to see most of the Whakaaro whanau and hapu listed, but not a skerrick. It is blatant alphabetism.


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  • #

    Maybe a study on why climate scientists and greens have such limp handshakes!


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    WheresWallace

    Real scientists look to reduce uncertainty. “skeptics” seek to create uncertainty.


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      No WW, real scientists aim to understand the universe, and if they are not certain of what they found, they do not pretend to be.

      Fake scientists overestimate their certainty, skeptics merely point out the truth.


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        WheresWallace

        Why then whenever it comes to the topic of attribution you run away rather than counter by presenting other attribution studies?

        http://skepticalscience.com/jones-2013-attribution.html

        If the studies of attribution are not so one-sided (as Cook makes them out to be), then why can’t you counter using other scientific papers from the list of thousands?

        All you seem to do is reference yourself instead of a peer-reviewed paper.

        Doubt is your weapon.


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          I repeat, I don’t ask you to pay for schemes to change the weather, so I don’t have to accomplish something that all the government funded scientists can’t do.

          I attribute the climate change to SOTCO2 (Something-Other-Than-CO2) See THE EVIDENCE (that link you keep refusing to look at).


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          Andrew McRae

          Hey DubDub, you want attribution, you’re gonna get some attribution.

          There is another very obvious source of warming which is natural and not adequately accounted for by the IPCC AR4.
          By estimating the relationship between recent Earth total albedo and recent cloud cover measurements, older cloud cover measurements can be converted into an albedo estimate for the whole earth. [Warning! Peer reviewed paper incoming!]
          See fig 4 in doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2007.06.011 “Shortwave forcing of the Earth’s climate: Modern and historical variations in the Sun’s irradiance and the Earth’s reflectance” by Goode and Pallé.
          The significance of this result for the global warming scam did not escape the attention of the authors in one of their earlier papers:

          The decrease in Earth’s reflectance from 1984 to 2000 suggested by ISCCP data in Fig. 3 corresponds to a change in p* of some –0.02, which translates into a decrease of the Bond albedo by 0.02 and an additional SW absorption of 6.8W/m^2 . This is climatologically very significant. For example, the latest IPCC report [AR3] argues for a 2.4 W/m^2 increase in CO2 longwave forcing since 1850.

          When albedo reduction alone can explain the increase in temperature over the last 30 years, there’s nothing else left for CO2 to have done.
          The albedo reduction ended in 1999 and sure enough world temperatures stopped increasing about 3 years later. (The lag is due to the 62-year ocean cycle which didn’t peak until 2005 and was also contributing to warming since 1974.)
          The albedo has been increasing since then, so hypothetically world temperatures will continue to fall.

          Don’t go running to SkepticalScience, they only elide and distort.
          • SkS tell you cloud albedo has had a negative radiative forcing trend for a century, but cite a picture of an IPCC computer model output, not a real observation. The AR4 page gives no indication of why this trend was used in the model. The modelled cloud albedo trend does not show the positive radiative forcing trend that the real albedo actually had between 1985 and 2000! The IPCC lied.
          • SkS actually cite the same data from the same authors I listed above, but they refuse to admit the reality of a DOWNWARDS albedo trend in the 80s and 90s! They describe the vertical axis as “negative radiative forcing” which is true because it is Albedo, but then tell you this indicates “cooling”! A high albedo would lead to cooler temperatures, but this graph’s data doesn’t show cooling! SkS have distorted the meaning.
          • SkS focus on a discrepancy in one year of 2003 and imply there is something systematically wrong with the albedo data when in fact the authors stated that not enough data could be gathered during 2003. SkS elided this explanation.
          • SkS relies on this data to argue there has been no significant albedo change since 2000, but this is the same albedo reconstruction which shows a decreasing albedo between 1984 and 2000! They show you the decline, then say nothing about it hoping you will not notice.

          The cause of the cloud cover change on decadal time scales is undoubtedly the Svensmark effect.
          You have no physically plausible way to argue that more CO2 caused less clouds to form.
          It’s game over!

          The CO2 has continued to go up at record rates and yet the Pause In Warming is expected to remain.
          Denial and censorship are your only recourse!
          How’s dem attribution apples?


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            WheresWallace

            When albedo reduction alone can explain the increase in temperature over the last 30 years, there’s nothing else left for CO2 to have done.

            The paper you cite does not say this. Instead you have made up your own conclusion.


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              Andrew McRae

              So you have chosen denial as predicted. You’re just nitpicking because you’d rather prove I am wrong about the phrasing of one sentence rather than confronting and understanding the truth of the big picture of climate. By fixating on whether albedo is or isn’t 100% of temperature change you’re indulging in false dichotomy and running away from the evidence of natural attribution. You’re not interested in understanding the climate, you’re just interested in being argumentative and ‘winning’. Your need to see my one particular sentence of monotheistic attribution written verbatim in a published paper is symptomatic of your tendency to let other people do your thinking for you. What you call “making up your own conclusion” is what the rest of us call “arriving at our own conclusion by thinking”.
              That quote again:

              The decrease in Earth’s reflectance from 1984 to 2000 suggested by ISCCP data in Fig. 3 corresponds to a change in p* of some –0.02, which translates into a decrease of the Bond albedo by 0.02 and an additional SW absorption of 6.8W/m^2 . This is climatologically very significant. For example, the latest IPCC report [AR3] argues for a 2.4 W/m^2 increase in CO2 longwave forcing since 1850.

              Palle’s implication is obvious. Albedo change added almost three times more to radiative forcing in 16 years than CO2 had in 150 years. He implies more warming should be attributed to albedo reduction over that 16 years period than CO2. Yes factors other than albedo are involved in setting the final temperature and I already proved to you with reference to the HadSST3 data there’s a 62-year ocean cycle of warming and cooling apparently independent of the cosmic-ray induced albedo modulation. You must understand my sentences in their context rather than autistic isolation. Manufacturing false dichotomies where there were none is only possible if you ignore the statements inconvenient to your argumentative purpose.

              The cycles of warming and cooling in the ocean (eg Pacific Decadal Oscillation) are completely capable of causing climate shifts in the 20th century via an entirely natural and unbroken pattern, and here is the peer reviewed paper to back up that conclusion:

              During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century.
              - [Verdon and Franks, "Long-term behaviour of ENSO: Interactions with the PDO over the past 400 years inferred from paleoclimate records", 2006]

              The power of cosmic ray flux to alter climate on earth is also indisputable as the correlation appears at all time scales, from weather balloons and neutron counters on scales of a decade [Uoskin 2004], in cave stalactites at scales of several millenia [Fig 1, Neff 2001], and in iron meteorites and paleoclimate proxies that span the ice ages over 700 million years [Shaviv 2002]. The prospect that solar and cosmic forces are the main cause of climate change on Earth up to and including the present day was such a dangerous possibility for the IPCC status quo that the Director-General of CERN warned the CLOUD research team “to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them. That would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate change debate.
              Clearly, telling the truth about climate change was NOT politically correct!

              When Dan Pangburn takes these two factors of ocean cycle and sunspots and builds a climate attribution model out of it, adding a best-fit CO2 forcing improves accuracy by at most 1% of the correlation with temperature and yet the model is still 90% accurate with a CO2 influence of zero. To make up the gap seen in his model in 1883 the CO2 could not add more than 0.18 degrees in a century on top of what he has modelled. Given the year-to-year noise of nature will always limit the correlation of any long-term model to quite a bit less than 100%, it is valid to say CO2 is so weak it can be omitted from climate models and still produce good predictions.

              Crucially, Pangburn’s attribution model predicts the Pause In Warming at the same time that we have actually experienced it. By contrast your intellectual owners in the IPCC-funded milieu are about to release AR5 in which 14 of 17 climate models fail to predict the recent flatlining of world temperature in the HadCruT4 measurements.
              The model that makes the most accurate predictions should be judged superior.

              You claim we deal in doubt, but I have just given you (in IPCC WGII terminology) “Very high confidence” that sunspots and ocean cycles are the primary cause of the temperature ‘escalator’ of the last 100 years. What you demanded was this:

              Why then whenever it comes to the topic of attribution you run away rather than counter by presenting other attribution studies? … If the studies of attribution are not so one-sided (as Cook makes them out to be), then why can’t you counter using other scientific papers from the list of thousands?

              You wanted natural attribution from peer-reviewed papers, you got natural attribution from peer-reviewed papers.


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        Streetcred

        ‘Wheresmywally’ learnt that at the SkS school … just too stupid to be coincidence.


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      AndyG55

      ““skeptics” seek to create uncertainty”

      Are so even you are now uncertain.. even with the “consensus” behind you. :-)

      Who clipped you on the back of the head, and woke you up ?

      And no, we don’t need to create ‘uncertainty’, it will ALWAYS be there, in ANY science, and particularly in a fledgling science that insists that “the science is settled”.

      As soon as someone says “the science is settled” you KNOW they have gone WAY, WAY above their pay grade !!!


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      Peter Miller

      An obviously ridiculous statement, so I have taken the liberty of correcting it for you.

      “Quasi-government bureaucrats, posing as real scientists, look to reduce uncertainty on the supposed consensus that the ‘science is settled’. Skeptics create uncertainty, as all good scientists should do, by questioning the consensus and exposing the data manipulation, cherry picking and deceit of the grant addicted individuals who peddle bad science.”

      For the record:

      Real scientists realise that when models do not match the observations, then the models are wrong. Bad scientists manipulate/torture/distort/homogenise the observations to try and make the observations match the models. And that is why most ‘climate science’, as practiced today, should be continually questioned. The skeptic’s principal roles are: i) to make ‘climate scientists’ honest, and that is something they really do not like, and ii) to try and avoid the inevitable economic meltdown offered by the prospect of a ‘low carbon economy’, where we are all forced to rely on expensive, unreliable, erratic, inefficient ‘renewable’ energy.


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      Andrew McRae

      It’s quite easy with Firefox (or other browsers) to select parts of Dub-Dub’s comment, right click the selection, and do a Google search for other instances of the same talking point. It gives some insight into like-minded individuals.

      One of the few exact matches was an old 2007 partisan USA warmist comment declaring “Many- not all, but many- AGW skeptics seek to create uncertainty without providing proof or alternatives.” Intriguing that this attitude prevents anyone from saying we don’t understand how the climate works, because you’re not permitted to cast doubt on one model without providing a better one. A model failing its own predictions apparently isn’t enough??

      Looking for “skeptics try to create uncertainty” leads to more matches, and it’s surprising SkepticalScience isn’t closer to the top. Ahead of them is this article from InsideClimate in 2011:

      “The uncertainty argument, that we really don’t know what is going on and that climate scientists are corrupt, has been reasonably effective in the last few years,” said Andrew Dessler, also a Google fellow and a climate scientist at Texas A&M University [9].
      “We don’t know everything about the climate from a scientific standpoint and there are uncertainties, but they are uncertainties over whether climate change is going to either be bad or really, really bad,” he told SolveClimate News.
      “People who are opposed to regulation … [are] not trying to prove that climate change [science] is wrong. They’re trying to prove that there is an argument going on,” he said. “They’re just trying to create noise.”

      That article revealed not only that Andy Dessler was in cahoots with a certain well-known web search engine, but also the same well-known search engine has a task force aiming at spreading what we would term climate misinformation. Sorry to paraphrase an old battle cry, but it shows one way that warmists are able to maintain such faith in their Cause.
      If Google be with us, how will you find those against us?


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    Ross

    The Cook “paper” is just another link in a growing chain of desperation from the warmists.Cook was really just trying to give the polis another sound bite. He may have succeeded to some extent initially, unfortunately given how Obahma fell for it.
    With the IPCC report coming out we have people like Stern raising their heads again in a similar manner. On the other hand we have others questioning the relevance of the IPCC — it maybe a game in that I think the 6 year wait between propoganda reports is seen as too long for them.
    We have had Connie Henegaard ( EU CC Commissioner) coming out with almost incomprehensible statements as she realises the IPCC report will backtrack abit.
    So the pressure needs to be kept on to keep them running around in circles. A few more cold NH winters will help , putting pressure on the terrible energy policies in the UK and the EU.( I can just see Putin sitting back with a big grin on his face as the temperature drops !!).
    Ultimately it will economics that pushes the changes in the right direction and this is already happening.


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    pat

    Morales trots out Bob Ward, other political actors, & refers to Climategate, without even naming it. methinks his heart is no longer in it:

    22 Sept: Bloomberg Businesweek: Alex Morales: Global Warming Slowdown Hinders Treaty Effort: Climate & Carbon
    More than ever, scientists say they’re convinced the Earth’s climate is warming. Yet lawmakers are struggling to do anything about it because the pace of change has unexpectedly slowed…
    The findings muddy the picture about how much carbon dioxide output is affecting the climate, giving ammunition to those who doubt the issue needs urgent action. Skeptics have succeeded in “confusing the public,” said Michael Jacobs, who advised the U.K. government on climate policy until 2010
    “It’s been a very organized campaign by climate skeptics, using the very, very tiny number of scientists who don’t agree with the almost unanimous view of everybody else and inflating small uncertainties into apparently major challenges to the scientific consensus,” Jacobs said. “One of the challenges of the panel this year is to convince the media, politicians and the public that there is this extraordinarily widespread consensus on the major facts about climate change.” …
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-09-22/global-warming-slowdown-hinders-treaty-effort-climate-and-carbon


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    pat

    Rudy has no interest whatsoever in facts & figures:

    23 Sept: Bloomberg: Rudy Ruitenberg: Hunger Seen Worsening by Oxfam as Climate Change Heats Up World
    The number of people at risk of hunger may climb by 10 percent to 20 percent by 2050 as a result of climate change, with daily per-capita calorie availability falling across the world, Oxfam wrote in an e-mailed report today.
    The world risks “cataclysmic changes” caused by extreme heat waves, rising sea levels and depleted food stocks, as average temperatures are headed for a 4 degree Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) jump by 2100, the World Bank reported in November.
    “The changing climate is already jeopardizing gains in the fight against hunger, and it looks set to worsen,” Oxfam said. “A hot world is a hungry world.”…
    “If the remainder of the 21st century unfolds like its first decade, we will soon experience climate extremes well outside the boundaries of human experience, ever since agriculture was first developed,” Oxfam said…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-22/hunger-seen-worsening-by-oxfam-as-climate-change-heats-up-world.html


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    Ross

    It looks like Cook and co. are losing the battle at the “coal face”
    Tony will love this bit of cut and paste info:

    Countries Worldwide Propose to Build 1,200 New Coal Plants
    …According to the World Coal Association, coal’s global share of primary energy consumption rose to 30.3 percent in 2011 from about 25 percent, where it had been for years, and generated about 42 percent of the world’s electricity. Coal’s global resurgence is due in part to the shale gas boom that lowered natural gas prices, making gas more competitive with coal, and pushing coal prices down on world markets.

    Coal’s recent global renaissance, with the world’s highest consumption for the fuel since 1969, is not just due to Asian countries. In the United Kingdom, for example, coal consumption increased by nearly a quarter between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2012. Germany is encouraging the construction of 10 gigawatts of coal-fired generation to replace its nuclear plants and provide back-up power for its wind and solar units, which require backup when the wind isn’t blowing or when the sun does not shine.

    Europe overall burned more coal in the past year than any time since it pledged cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.

    Graph “To put these new coal-fired capacity increases in perspective, the United States has 319 gigawatts of coal-fired electric generating capacity. Until recently, these plants have generated about 50 percent of America’s electricity. Now China and India are planning to build over 60 percent more coal-fired capacity than the coal-fired generating capacity that currently exists in the United States.”

    Graph: Coal Consumption and Production


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    pat

    an ambiguous ‘central’ in the headline; the Nobel Prize gets a mention of course, plus some classic quotes:

    23 Sept: BBC: Matt McGrath: Global warming pause ‘central’ to IPCC climate report
    Scientists will underline, with greater certainty than ever, the role of human activities in rising temperatures.
    But many governments are demanding a clearer explanation of the slowdown in temperature increases since 1998.
    One participant told BBC News that this pause will be a “central piece” of the summary…
    In the latest draft summary, seen by the BBC, the level of scientific certainty has increased…
    This slowdown, or hiatus as the IPCC refers to it, has been leapt upon by climate sceptics to argue that the scientific belief that emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere increases the temperature of the planet, is wrong.
    Scientists have attempted to explain the pause in a number of ways, with many arguing that the Earth has continued to warm but that the heat has gone into oceans…
    But there is no certainty and little agreement among scientists on the mechanisms involved…
    Prof Arthur Petersen is the chief scientist at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and part of the Dutch delegation that will review the IPCC report.
    “Governments are demanding a clear explanation of what are the possible causes of this factor,” he told BBC News.
    “I expect that this will be a central piece of the summary.”…
    Any changes to the text will need to be approved by the scientists, who will want to make sure that they are consistent with the underlying reports. This could lead to some tense moments.
    “I wouldn’t say there is a reluctance of the authors to take up such an issue as the pause, but they want to do it in a proper way,” said Prof Petersen.
    “There will remain a tension between how much you can deliver based on the peer-reviewed science and what the governments would like to have.”***
    ***In the wake of that year’s report, a small number of embarrassing errors were detected in the underlying material. The organisation’s reputation was also questioned in the Climategate rumpus.
    “Overall, the message is, in that sense more conservative I expect, for this IPCC report compared to previous ones,” said Prof Petersen.
    “The language has become more complicated to understand, but it is more precise.
    “It is a major feat that we have been able to produce such a document which is such an adequate assessment of the science. That being said, it is virtually unreadable!”***
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24173504


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    RoHa

    “is often mistakenly amplified to infer it causes “dangerous” global warming.”

    Don’t you mean “to imply it causes “dangerous” global warming”?


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    thingadonta

    Yeah Cook is not very good at understanding the importance of definition and context when it comes to such surveys, which is a bit surprising in a physicist. In any physical condition, experiment or equation, the definition of the physical properties and the context in which they can be used is highly sensitive and specific, so it is surprising that Cook is so bad at doing the same sort of analysis when it comes to a social context. He frequently changes the meaning and the terms to something else, and then draws false conclusions, which in physics would invalidate the equation, the purpose, and the outcome of the experiment and/or analysis to begin with.

    It brings to mind what someone said about the spy atomic scientist Fuchs, who worked in a very high position in atomic research on the atom bomb in the 1940s, but sold highly sensitive secrets to the Soviet Union (e.g. the actual bomb design itself), purely from an ideological position. People at the time remarked ‘I have never seen someone who was such a brilliant scientist, but who was so bad at understanding people and politics.’


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    Sunray

    Yes, yes, but how do we get the criminal warmists in question, to fear in their subconscious, the thought of a prison door locking them in for a year or two. Now, that is truly “visionary”.


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    DavidA

    Another example of climate crap.

    See comment by Danderson near end. 6000 deaths due to “glacial ice melt” closer to 100, and due to extreme monsoon. The author is attacking Murdoch press for inaccurate reporting. None of the alarmist drones bother to check claims.


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  • #

    The crux of this entire matter is how Cook’s paper still stands. Extremely worrying is the fact that it was ever entertained, and staggering that it has not been withdrawn – it shames science and goes to prove that the people and organisations that have ushered it along are not on the side of science but on the side of some political ideology.


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    • #

      You don’t need to analyze their papers. All you need to understand is that, no matter the crisis of the moment, they have only one solution: stop the future and return to the ways of the distant past. Meaning, if it is the product of the mind of man using reason to understand and modify his environment, it must be prohibited and the use of reason abolished.


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    FijiDave

    I’m a bit very ashamed, as a Kiwi, to admit that this nonsense is published in New Zealand.

    Although the report does not say so, Earth would probably then be facing a runaway greenhouse effect.

    The warning – the most comprehensive and convincing yet produced by climate scientists – comes at a time when growing numbers of people are doubting the reality of global warming.

    So, if the report, nonsensical as it is, does not, even then, come up to your alarmist expectations, then you make it up! Yay. That makes sense.

    Stone the crows and starve the flamin’ lizards!


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      Carbon500

      FijiDave: This is the same article, by the same author, which has just been published in the UK’s ‘Observer’ newspaper (see http://www.observer.co.uk).
      It certainly uncritically spouts the usual tosh – acidification of the oceans, etc.
      I like the ‘release of plumes of the green house gas methane from the thawing Arctic tundra’ – very evovative.
      But a book I’ve got written by Jeremy Cools (Reader in Atmospheric Environment at the UK’s Nottinghm University) entitled ‘Air Pollution’ (2nd ed.,2002)) states on p438 that “..the most recent data suggest that the rate of increase in CH4 has decreased rather rapidly, from 20ppb in 1975 to only a few ppb currently. This decrease is not understood at present…”
      Even the IPCC in ‘Climate Change 2007 – the Physical Science Basis’ say on p142 that “A key feature of the global growth rate of CH4 is its current interannual variability, with groth rates ranging from a high of 14ppb per year in 1998 to less tha zero in 2001, 2004, and 2005″
      Not a lot in all those ‘plumes’ it would seem.


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    Carbon500

    Please excuse the ‘typos’ – I meant ‘evocative’and ‘growth’!


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    RossM

    Can the Abbot government investigate Cooks waste of
    public funds given that it was clearly not legitimate
    research ?

    .


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    Macha

    Suzuki is on q&a. Now in Perth


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    handjive

    Engage 4WD, going O/T:

    Spot the octopus. Then watch it in reverse in slow motion.


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    Roy Hogue

    In the latest volley, from Legates et al 2013, John Cook’s “97% consensus” survey has become the case study in agnotology. Based on incorrect results, a flawed method, and a logical fallacy, it kept key facts hidden while sloppily blending vague language into a form that is easily and actively misinterpreted. That it passed peer-review is another damning indictment of peer review.

    At this point in my study of the global warming alarm I can only ask, what’s new? :-(

    A zealot and his cause are harder to separate than male and female (pick your own species).

    But at least I learned a new word so it’s not a complete waste of time.


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    thingadonta

    Actually I’m disappointed in Cook’s paper, because if you want to do a survey of how many people agree with you, and you pre-select only those that agree with you, the result should be 100%, not 97.1%.

    But I suppose there are a few who might mishear you, and a few that are misdiagnosed, or get in the wrong line etc, and so I suppose that makes it 100%+-3%, which is about right. But at least that’s better than Al Gore’s 100% of papers agreeing with you, in that silly movie which should have been called ‘A Convenient Exaggeration’.


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      Roy Hogue

      I think even Cook would be afraid to claim 100% agreement.

      We need to find a way to cook the august Mr. Cook’s goose before he goes too much farther. Unfortunately I haven’t a real clue as to how to do that. But exposure is the one thing Joanne Nova is really good at and exposure may well turn the tide if the current trend continues. Let us all hope and work toward that end by any means we can find.


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    Tim

    David Suzuki on ABC: “The overwhelming majority of climate scientists…”

    A clever use of the word ‘overwhelming.’ It can mean ‘extremely large in amount or proportion’

    OR

    ‘having such a great effect as to be emotionally overpowering’

    Maybe they’ve found a term that can’t be challenged percentage-wise.


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    Belfast

    Don’t go down the Agnatology route.

    It has already been commandeered by the Warmists and they accuse skeptics of it. It has become a term of abuse. See for example the remark in Wikipedia.

    Most books and essays on the subject fasten on to a theory that the government is fostering it, but a great deal is just pure ignorance following a wild stab in the dark at an explanation.

    Etymology is a great mine for agnatologists to explore. And no government or profiteer had a hand in it.

    Agnatology is just another word for accusing someone of cherrypicking or similar. It is the Global Warming Theory of semantics and similar. One day it will settle into a real science perhaps.


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    King Geo

    I am appalled by the 97% figure quoted in the Cook & Nuccitelli 2013 Paper. As a geologist with a PhD in soft rock geology and over 30 years experience in my field of expertise, I can’t fathom how this Paper passed the peer review process – clearly the reviewers of this Paper had an invested interest in promoting the failed “Theory of AGW”. This theory is dead and buried. You only have to look at the UAH Global Temperature graph of the “Lower Atmosphere” to realize that, ie little or no Global Temperature rise for the past 15 years despite nearly a 10% rise in the CO2 reading from the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. Clearly rising CO2 readings in Earth’s atmosphere is not a driver of Global Temperature rise on Planet Earth – put simply “decarbonisation” is a waste of time – which is a pity now for the dysfunctional EU Economy who by fast tracking hopelessly uneconomic Renewable Energy, and bringing their economy to its knees, has to ask the question – was this Euro trillion expenditure combating non-existent AGW a good investment? The IPCC in particular has lot to answer for.


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    [...] Beberapa waktu yang lalu ramai diberitakan bahwa 97% ilmuwan sepakat global warming disebabkan oleh manusia.  Angka 97% tersebut hanya diambil dari sekitar 41 paper penelitian (padahal terdapat 12.000 paper penelitian)  (sumber: http://joannenova.com.au/2013/09/cooks-97-consensus-is-a-case-study-of-agnotology-ignorance-and-misi…) [...]


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