Friday, December 19, 2014

97 Articles Refuting The "97% Consensus"

The 97% "consensus" study, Cook et al. (2013) has been thoroughly refuted in scholarly peer-reviewed journals, by major news media, public policy organizations and think tanks, highly credentialed scientists and extensively in the climate blogosphere. The shoddy methodology of Cook's study has been shown to be so fatally flawed that well known climate scientists have publicly spoken out against it,
"The '97% consensus' article is poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed. It obscures the complexities of the climate issue and it is a sign of the desperately poor level of public and policy debate in this country [UK] that the energy minister should cite it."

- Mike Hulme, Ph.D. Professor of Climate Change, University of East Anglia (UEA)
The following is a list of 97 articles that refute Cook's (poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed) 97% "consensus" study. The fact that anyone continues to bring up such soundly debunked nonsense like Cook's study is an embarrassment to science.

Summary: Cook et al. (2013) attempted to categorize 11,944 abstracts [brief summaries] of papers (not entire papers) to their level of endorsement of AGW and found 7930 (66%) held no position on AGW. While only 64 papers (0.5%) explicitly endorsed and quantified AGW as +50% (humans are the primary cause). A later analysis by Legates et al. (2013) found there to be only 41 papers (0.3%) that supported this definition. Cook et al.'s methodology was so fatally flawed that they falsely classified skeptic papers as endorsing the 97% consensus, apparently believing to know more about the papers than their authors. The second part of Cook et al. (2013), the author self-ratings simply confirmed the worthlessness of their methodology, as they were not representative of the sample since only 4% of the authors (1189 of 29,083) rated their own papers and of these 63% disagreed with the abstract ratings.

Methodology: The data (11,944 abstracts) used in Cook et al. (2013) came from searching the Web of Science database for results containing the key phrases "global warming" or "global climate change" regardless of what type of publication they appeared in or the context those phrases were used. Only a small minority of these were actually published in climate science journals, instead the publications included ones like the International Journal Of Vehicle Design, Livestock Science and Waste Management. The results were not even analyzed by scientists but rather amateur environmental activists with credentials such as "zoo volunteer" (co-author Bärbel Winkler) and "scuba diving" (co-author Rob Painting) who were chosen by the lead author John Cook (a cartoonist) because they all comment on his deceptively named, partisan alarmist blog 'Skeptical Science' and could be counted on to push his manufactured talking point.

Peer-review: Cook et al. (2013) was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters (ERL) which conveniently has multiple outspoken alarmist scientists on its editorial board (e.g. Peter Gleick and Stefan Rahmstorf) where the paper likely received substandard "pal-review" instead of the more rigorous peer-review.

Update: The paper has since been refuted five times in the scholarly literature by Legates et al. (2013), Tol (2014a), Tol (2014b), Dean (2015) and Tol (2016).

* All the other "97% consensus" studies: e.g. Doran & Zimmerman (2009), Anderegg et al. (2010) and Oreskes (2004) have been refuted by peer-review.

[ Journal Coverage ]

Energy Policy - Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the literature: A re-analysis (PDF) (October 2014)
Energy Policy - Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the literature: Rejoinder (PDF) (October 2014)
Science & Education - Climate Consensus and 'Misinformation': A Rejoinder to Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change (PDF) (August 2013)

[ Media Coverage ]

American Thinker - Climate Consensus Con Game (February 17, 2014)
Breitbart - Obama's '97 Percent' Climate Consensus: Debunked, Demolished, Staked through the heart (September 8, 2014)
Canada Free Press - Sorry, global warmists: The '97 percent consensus' is complete fiction (May 27, 2014)
Financial Post - Meaningless consensus on climate change (September 19, 2013)
Financial Post - The 97%: No you don't have a climate consensus (September 25, 2013)
Forbes - Global Warming Alarmists Caught Doctoring '97-Percent Consensus' Claims (May 30, 2013)
Fox News - Balance is not bias -- Fox News critics mislead public on climate change (October 16, 2013)
Herald Sun - That 97 per cent claim: four problems with Cook and Obama (May 22, 2013)
Power Line - Breaking: The "97 Percent Climate Consensus" Canard (May 18, 2014)
Spiked - Global warming: the 97% fallacy (May 28, 2014)
The Daily Caller - Where Did '97 Percent' Global Warming Consensus Figure Come From? (May 16, 2014)
The Daily Telegraph - 97 per cent of climate activists in the pay of Big Oil shock! (July 23, 2013)
The Guardian - The claim of a 97% consensus on global warming does not stand up (June 6, 2014)
The New American - Global Warming "Consensus": Cooking the Books (May 21, 2013)
The New American - Cooking Climate Consensus Data: "97% of Scientists Affirm AGW" Debunked (June 5, 2013)
The New American - Climategate 3.0: Blogger Threatened for Exposing 97% "Consensus" Fraud (May 20, 2014)
The Patriot Post - The 97% Consensus -- A Lie of Epic Proportions (May 17, 2013)
The Patriot Post - Debunking the '97% Consensus' & Why Global Cooling May Loom (August 7, 2014)
The Press-Enterprise - Don't be swayed by climate change ‘consensus' (September 10, 2013)
The Tampa Tribune - About that '97 percent': It ain’t necessarily so (May 19, 2014)
The Wall Street Journal - The Myth of the Climate Change '97%' (May 26, 2014)
Troy Media - Bandwagon psychology root of 97 per cent climate change "consensus" (February 18, 2014)
WND - Black Jesus' Climate Consensus Fantasy (June 25, 2013)

[ Organization Coverage ]

Competitive Enterprise Institute - Consensus Shmensus (September 5, 2013)
Cornwall Alliance - Climate Consensus? Nonsense! (June 16, 2014)
Friends of Science - Friends of Science Challenge the Cook Study for Bandwagon Fear Mongering on Climate Change and Global Warming (May 21, 2013)
Friends of Science - Only 65 Scientists of 12,000 Make up Alleged 97% on Climate Change and Global Warming Consensus (May 28, 2013)
Friends of Science - 97% Consensus? No! Global Warming Math Myths & Social Proofs (PDF) (February 3, 2014)
Friends of Science - Climate Change Is a Fact of Life, the Science Is Not Settled and 97% Consensus on Global Warming Is a Math Myth (February 4, 2014)
George C. Marshall Institute - The Corruption of Science (October 5, 2014)
John Locke Foundation - The 97% consensus on global warming exposed (July 3, 2014)
Liberty Fund - David Friedman on the 97% Consensus on Global Warming (February 27, 2014)
Global Warming Policy Foundation - Consensus? What Consensus? (PDF) (September 2, 2013)
Global Warming Policy Foundation - Fraud, Bias And Public Relations: The 97% 'Consensus' And Its Critics (PDF) (September 8, 2014)
National Center for Policy Analysis - The Big Lie of the "Consensus View" on Global Warming (July 30, 2014)
National Center for Public Policy Research - Do 97% of All Climate Scientists Really Believe Mankind is Causing Catastrophic Global Warming? (February 10, 2014)
Principia Scientific International - Exposed: Academic Fraud in New Climate Science Consensus Claim (May 23, 2013)
The Heartland Institute - What 97 Percent of Climate Scientists Do (May 12, 2014)

[ Weblog Coverage ]

Australian Climate Madness - 'Get at the truth, and not fool yourself' (May 29, 2014)
Bishop Hill - 'Landmark consensus study' is incomplete (May 27, 2013)
Climate Audit - UnderCooked Statistics (May 24, 2013)
Climate Etc. (Judith Curry Ph.D.) - The 97% 'consensus' (July 26, 2013)
Climate Etc. (Judith Curry Ph.D.) - The 97% 'consensus': Part II (July 27, 2013)
Climate Etc. (Judith Curry Ph.D.) - The 97% feud (July 27, 2014)
Climate Resistance - Tom Curtis Doesn't Understand the 97% Paper (July 27, 2013)
JoNova - Cook's fallacy "97% consensus" study is a marketing ploy some journalists will fall for (May 17, 2013)
JoNova - That’s a 0.3% consensus, not 97% (July 1, 2013)
JoNova - "Honey, I shrunk the consensus" - Monckton takes action on Cooks paper (September 24, 2013)
JoNova - John Cook's consensus data is so good his Uni will sue you if you discuss it (May 18, 2014)
JoNova - Uni Queensland defends legal threats over "climate" data they want to keep secret (May 21, 2014)
JoNova - Cook scores 97% for incompetence on a meaningless consensus (June 6, 2014)
José Duarte (Ph.D.) - Cooking stove use, housing associations, white males, and the 97% (August 28, 2014)
José Duarte (Ph.D.) - The art of evasion (September 9, 2014)
Making Science Public - What's behind the battle of received wisdoms? (July 23, 2013)
Popular - 97% Study Falsely Classifies Scientists' Papers, according to the scientists that published them (May 21, 2013)
Popular - The Statistical Destruction of the 97% Consensus (June 1, 2013)
Popular - Cook's 97% Consensus Study Game Plan Revealed (June 4, 2013)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - The Consensus Project: An update (August 16, 2013)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - Biases in consensus data (August 24, 2013)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - More irregularities in the consensus data (August 24, 2013)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - Open letter to the Vice-chancellor of the University of Queensland (August 27, 2013)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - Bootstrap results for initial ratings by the Consensus Project (August 28, 2013)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - The 97% consensus (May 10, 2014)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - My First Audioslide (May 20, 2014)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - A new contribution to the consensus debate (June 4, 2014)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - 24 errors? (June 8, 2014)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - More Cook data released (July 21, 2014)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - Days of rater bias (July 23, 2014)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - Days of rater bias (ctd) July 28, 2014)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - Another chapter on the 97% nonsensus (August 1, 2014)
Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - ERL does not want you to read this (October 14, 2014)
The Blackboard (Lucia Lundgren Ph.D.) - I Do Not Think it Means What You Think it Means (May 15, 2013)
The Blackboard (Lucia Lundgren Ph.D.) - On the Consensus (May 17, 2013)
The Blackboard (Lucia Lundgren Ph.D.) - Nir Shaviv: One of the 97% (May 17, 2013)
The Blackboard (Lucia Lundgren Ph.D.) - Why Symmetry is Bad (May 19, 2013)
The Blackboard (Lucia Lundgren Ph.D.) - Possible Self-Selection Bias in Cook: Author responses. (May 20, 2013)
The Blackboard (Lucia Lundgren Ph.D.) - Bias Author Survey: Pro AGW (May 21, 2013)
The Lid - Claim 97% of Climate Scientists Believe In Global Warming is TOTALLY BOGUS! (May 21, 2014)
The State of the Climate - Cook's survey not only meaningless but also misleading (May 17, 2013)
WUWT - The Collapsing 'Consensus' (May 22, 2013)
WUWT - Self admitted cyber thief Peter Gleick is still on the IOP board that approved the Cook 97% consensus paper (June 4, 2013)
WUWT - 'Quantifying the consensus on global warming in the literature': a comment (June 24, 2013)
WUWT - On the 97 percenters: 'You Must Admit, They Were Careful' (July 28, 2013)
WUWT - What Is Cook's Consensus? (July 29, 2013)
WUWT - Cooks '97% consensus' disproven by a new peer reviewed paper showing major math errors (September 3, 2013)
WUWT - 97% Climate consensus 'denial': the debunkers debunked (September 9, 2013)
WUWT - Join my crowd-sourced complaint about the '97% consensus' (September 20, 2013)
WUWT - The 97% consensus myth – busted by a real survey (November 20, 2013)
WUWT - 97% of pictures are worth 1000 climate words (February 26, 2014)
WUWT - John Cook's 97% consensus claim is about to go 'pear-shaped' (May 10, 2014)
WUWT - An Open Letter puts the University of Queensland in a dilemma over John Cook's '97% consensus' paper (May 22, 2014)
WUWT - The climate consensus is not 97% – it's 100% (June 11, 2014)
WUWT - The disagreement over what defines 'endorsment of AGW' by Cook et al. is revealed in raters remarks, and it sure isn't a 97% consensus (June 24, 2014)
WUWT - If 97% of Scientists Say Global Warming is Real, 100% Say It Has Nearly Stopped (November 18, 2014)

Rebuttals to Criticisms:

Criticism: "Tol (2014) was rejected by other journals for being flawed."

Rebuttal: Dr. Tol's 2014 paper was actually censored by Environmental Research Letters (ERL) due to having multiple outspoken alarmist scientists on its editorial board (e.g. Peter Gleick and Stefan Rahmstorf) and politely declined by two other journals for being "out of scope" (off topic) not flawed.

Criticism: "Tol (2014) has 24 errors."

Rebuttal: Dr. Tol refuted all of these claims in a post online and in his published rejoinder.

Criticism: "Dr. Tol confirmed the 97% consensus."

Rebuttal: This misleading claim originated with one of the co-authors of Cook et al. (2013) - Dana Nuccitelli. Dr. Tol refuted this claim in a scathing editorial he wrote for The Guardian:
"Dana Nuccitelli writes that I “accidentally confirm the results of last year’s 97% global warming consensus study”. Nothing could be further from the truth. I show that the 97% consensus claim does not stand up. [...]

In his defence, Nuccitelli argues that I do not dispute their main result. Nuccitelli fundamentally misunderstands research. Science is not a set of results. Science is a method. If the method is wrong, the results are worthless." - Dr. Richard Tol

Criticism: "Dr. Tol claims the consensus is actually 91%."

Rebuttal: This misleading claim originated with one of the co-authors of Cook et al. (2013) - Dana Nuccitelli and falsely spread by websites like Politifact. Dr. Tol refuted this claim in an email to Politifact.
"I never claimed that the consensus rate is 91%. [...]

Do check the grammar: "would […] in that case" does in no way indicate my agreement with the number. In fact, I make it very clear that any number based on Cook’s data is unreliable." - Dr. Richard Tol


Geoff said...

There are more than a few piece rebutting the "97% Consensus" on the Australian Climate Sceptics blog, including:-

Unknown said...

Okay, okay, okay! So the 97 Percent is reduced to the Consensus of the Few!

Well...Okay! but...

Science doesn't run on consensus. Hey, the Few could be right!!


Adrian Vance Blog said...

This was a bad joke when Naomi Oreskes started it at Scripps Institoot for the fleecing of rich San Diego widows. She was in the great traditions of Roger Revelle and Charles David Keeling in faking data to make it appear man had power over the atmosphere. (Pardon me while I vomit.) The story went on with the Doran-Zimmerman fraud at the U of I, Chicago campus.

I document the whole thing in my book "Vapor Tiger" on sale at in paperback or Kindle and have gotten nine five star reviews!

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