From Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer: The Myth of the Climate Change ‘97%’ – WSJ:
Last week Secretary of State John Kerry warned graduating students at Boston College of the “crippling consequences” of climate change. “Ninety-seven percent of the world’s scientists,” he added, “tell us this is urgent.”
Where did Mr. Kerry get the 97% figure? Perhaps from his boss, President Obama, who tweeted on May 16 that “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” Or maybe from NASA, which posted (in more measured language) on its website, “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.”
Yet the assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction. The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.
One frequently cited source for the consensus is a 2004 opinion essay published in Science magazine by Naomi Oreskes, a science historian now at Harvard. She claimed to have examined abstracts of 928 articles published in scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and found that 75% supported the view that human activities are responsible for most of the observed warming over the previous 50 years while none directly dissented.
Ms. Oreskes’s definition of consensus covered “man-made” but left out “dangerous”—and scores of articles by prominent scientists such as Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Sherwood Idso and Patrick Michaels, who question the consensus, were excluded. The methodology is also flawed. A study published earlier this year in Nature noted that abstracts of academic papers often contain claims that aren’t substantiated in the papers.
In 2013, John Cook, an Australia-based blogger, and some of his friends reviewed abstracts of peer-reviewed papers published from 1991 to 2011. Mr. Cook reported that 97% of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming. His findings were published in Environmental Research Letters.
Mr. Cook’s work was quickly debunked. In Science and Education in August 2013, for example, David R. Legates (a professor of geography at the University of Delaware and former director of its Center for Climatic Research) and three coauthors reviewed the same papers as did Mr. Cook and found “only 41 papers—0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1 percent—had been found to endorse” the claim that human activity is causing most of the current warming. Elsewhere, climate scientists including Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir J. Shaviv and Nils- Axel Morner, whose research questions the alleged consensus, protested that Mr. Cook ignored or misrepresented their work.
There is no basis for the claim that 97% of scientists believe that man-made climate change is a dangerous problem.
Write Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer in WSJ.com:
[T]he assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction. The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.
[…] Another widely cited source for the consensus view is a 2009 article in “Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union” by Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, a student at the University of Illinois, and her master’s thesis adviser Peter Doran.
It reported the results of a two-question online survey of selected scientists. Mr. Doran and Ms. Zimmerman claimed “97 percent of climate scientists agree” that global temperatures have risen and that humans are a significant contributing factor.
The survey’s questions don’t reveal much of interest. Most scientists who are skeptical of catastrophic global warming nevertheless would answer “yes” to both questions. The survey was silent on whether the human impact is large enough to constitute a problem. Nor did it include solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists or astronomers, who are the scientists most likely to be aware of natural causes of climate change.
[…] In 2013, John Cook, an Australia-based blogger, and some of his friends reviewed abstracts of peer-reviewed papers published from 1991 to 2011. Mr. Cook reported that 97% of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming. His findings were published in Environmental Research Letters.
Mr. Cook’s work was quickly debunked. In Science and Education in August 2013, for example, David R. Legates (a professor of geography at the University of Delaware and former director of its Center for Climatic Research) and three coauthors reviewed the same papers as did Mr. Cook and found “only 41 papers—0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1 percent—had been found to endorse” the claim that human activity is causing most of the current warming. Elsewhere, climate scientists including Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir J. Shaviv and Nils-Axel Morner, whose research questions the alleged consensus, protested that Mr. Cook ignored or misrepresented their work.
[…] Surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus. Only 39.5% of 1,854 American Meteorological Society members who responded to a survey in 2012 said man-made global warming is dangerous.
Read the rest of The Myth of the Climate Change ‘97%’
Paul Mulshine at the Star Ledger on Freeman Dyson:
Freeman Dyson is a physicist who has been teaching at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton since Albert Einstein was there. When Einstein died in 1955, there was an opening for the title of “most brilliant physicist on the planet.” Dyson has filled it.
[…] in the late 1970s, he got involved with early research on climate change at the Institute for Energy Analysis in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
That research, which involved scientists from many disciplines, was based on experimentation. The scientists studied such questions as how atmospheric carbon dioxide interacts with plant life and the role of clouds in warming.
But that approach lost out to the computer-modeling approach favored by climate scientists. And that approach was flawed from the beginning, Dyson said.
“I just think they don’t understand the climate,” he said of climatologists. “Their computer models are full of fudge factors.”
Dyson said his skepticism about those computer models was borne out by recent reports of a study by Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading in Great Britain that showed global temperatures were flat between 2000 and 2010 — even though we humans poured record amounts of CO-2 into the atmosphere during that decade.
That was vindication for a man who was termed “a civil heretic” in a New York Times Magazine article on his contrarian views. Dyson embraces that label, with its implication that what he opposes is a religious movement. So does his fellow Princeton physicist and fellow skeptic, William Happer.
“There are people who just need a cause that’s bigger than themselves,” said Happer. “Then they can feel virtuous and say other people are not virtuous.”
To show how uncivil this crowd can get, Happer e-mailed me an article about an Australian professor who proposes — quite seriously — the death penalty for heretics such as Dyson. As did Galileo, they can get a reprieve if they recant.
In fact, there’s more solid evidence for the beneficial effects of CO-2 than the negative effects, he said. So why does the public hear only one side of this debate? Because the media do an awful job of reporting it.
The problem, said Dyson, is that the consensus is based on those computer models. Computers are great for analyzing what happened in the past, he said, but not so good at figuring out what will happen in the future. But a lot of scientists have built their careers on them. Hence the hatred for dissenters. [Climatologists are no Einsteins, says his successor | NJ.com]
Write Richard McNider and John Christy at WSJ.com:
…who are the Flat Earthers, and who is ignoring the scientific facts? In ancient times, the notion of a flat Earth was the scientific consensus, and it was only a minority who dared question this belief. We are among today’s scientists who are skeptical about the so-called consensus on climate change. Does that make us modern-day Flat Earthers, as Mr. Kerry suggests, or are we among those who defy the prevailing wisdom to declare that the world is round?
Most of us who are skeptical about the dangers of climate change actually embrace many of the facts that people like Bill Nye, the ubiquitous TV “science guy,” say we ignore. The two fundamental facts are that carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased due to the burning of fossil fuels, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas, trapping heat before it can escape into space.
What is not a known fact is by how much the Earth’s atmosphere will warm in response to this added carbon dioxide. The warming numbers most commonly advanced are created by climate computer models built almost entirely by scientists who believe in catastrophic global warming. The rate of warming forecast by these models depends on many assumptions and engineering to replicate a complex world in tractable terms, such as how water vapor and clouds will react to the direct heat added by carbon dioxide or the rate of heat uptake, or absorption, by the oceans.
We might forgive these modelers if their forecasts had not been so consistently and spectacularly wrong.
Read the rest of Why Kerry Is Flat Wrong on Climate Change.
John McLean, author of three peer-reviewed papers on climate and an expert reviewer for the latest IPCC report elaborates on how a Lack of accountability clouding the climate change debate.
He explains how the “world’s so-called authority on climate change engages in exaggerated science and has become a political tool.”
The [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s] charter from the outset has been ”to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation”.
The IPCC’s focus is therefore very specific – any human influence on climate. It has no mandate to examine other causes of climate change. IPCC assessment reports claim that the human influence is significant but look closely and we find the claims are based on the output of climate models that the IPCC admits are seriously flawed, that the IPCC often asserts a level of certainty that the data cannot sustain and that as ”Climategate” showed us, a clique of scientists has in the past sought to control the material cited by these reports.
What starts out being a scientific report becomes a political instrument because after a hard-core group of IPCC supporters draft the Summary for Policymakers, government representatives discuss, negotiate and eventually agree on the wording of each sentence. The scientific component of the report is then modified to better align it with the thinking of government representatives.
If the IPCC reports were accepted for exactly what they are – exaggerated science with a large dollop of politics – this would be the end of the matter. Unfortunately, various bodies actively encourage us to believe the reports are entirely scientific, accurate and completely authoritative on all climate matters, this despite the IPCC’s charter and the political interference.
Foremost among those who imply that the IPCC has a wider remit than it does is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). At its inaugural meeting in 1992 the UNFCCC declared that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 were causing significant and dangerous climate change. This statement had no factual basis. […]
The UNFCCC’s deceit continues via its annual conferences that try to pressure countries into reducing carbon dioxide emissions despite the absence of any clear evidence that warrants such action.
He then goes on how various government bodies (i.e., Department of Climate Change the now-privatised Climate Commission), environmental “green” organisations (Greenpeace and WWF), sustainable energy industry, and scientists (whose “income and reputation rest on the IPCC’s position”) have vested interests to endorse and “push the IPCC view, implying it’s the ultimate authority on climate matters.”
The reality is that the IPCC is in effect little more than a UN-sponsored lobby group, created specifically to investigate and push the ”man-made warming” line. With no similar organisations to examine other potential causes of climate change, it’s only the IPCC voice that is heard. But the IPCC’s voice isn’t heard in context and with all the necessary caveats; it’s distorted via the UNFCCC and others who imply that the IPCC is the sole scientific authority on climate matters.
Of course those with vested interest support it, which include governments, politicians, government bodies, ”green” groups and many scientists. Ultimately it’s the unquestioning media, or perhaps a media unwilling to admit that the UN and its agencies might be dishonest or wrong, that misleads the public into believing the IPCC is something it’s not.
Read the full article: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/lack-of-accountability-clouding-the-climate-change-debate-20140102-307ja.html#ixzz2pZDoQ0f5