Global warming alarmists and their media allies have been caught doctoring the results of a widely cited paper asserting there is a 97 percent scientific consensus regarding human-caused global warming.
After taking a closer look at the paper, investigative journalists report the authors’ claims of a 97 percent consensus relied on the authors misclassifying the papers of some of the world’s most prominent global warming skeptics. At the same time, the authors deliberately presented a meaningless survey question so they could twist the responses to fit their own preconceived global warming alarmism.
Global warming alarmists and their media allies have been caught doctoring the results of a widely cited paper asserting there is a 97 percent scientific consensus regarding human-caused global warming.Global warming alarmist John Cook, founder of the misleadingly named blog site Skeptical Science, published a paper ( http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article) with several other global warming alarmists claiming they reviewed nearly 12,000 abstracts of studies published in the peer-reviewed climate literature. Cook reported he and his colleagues found 97 percent of the papers that expressed a position on human-caused global warming “endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”
As is the case with other “surveys” alleging an overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming, the question asked in the survey had nothing to do with the issues of contention between global warming alarmists and global warming skeptics. The question Cook and his alarmist colleagues asked was simply whether humans have caused some global warming. The question is meaningless regarding the global warming debate because most skeptics as well as most alarmists believe humans have caused some global warming. The issue of contention dividing alarmists and skeptics is whether humans are causing global warming so severe and so harmful as to constitute a crisis demanding concerted action.
Investigative journalists at Popular Technology (http://www.populartechnology.net/2013/05/97-study-falsely-classifies-scientists.html#Update2) looked into precisely which papers were classified as part of Cook’s asserted 97 percent. The journalists found Cook and his colleagues classified papers by such prominent, vigorous skeptics as Willie Soon, Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir Shaviv, Nils-Axel Morner, and Alan Carlin as supporting the 97 percent consensus.
Viewing the Cook paper in the best possible light, Cook and colleagues can perhaps claim a small amount of wiggle room in their classifications because the explicit wording of the question they analyzed is simply whether humans have caused some global warming. By restricting the question to such a minimalist, largely irrelevant question in the global warming debate and then demanding an explicit, unsolicited refutation of the assertion in order to classify a paper as a “consensus” contrarian, Cook and colleagues misleadingly induce people to believe 97 percent of publishing scientists believe in a global warming crisis when that is simply not the case.
Misleading the public about consensus opinion regarding global warming, of course, is precisely what the Cook paper sought to accomplish. This is a tried and true ruse perfected by global warming alarmists. Global warming alarmists use their own biased, subjective judgment to misclassify published papers according to criteria that are largely irrelevant to the central issues in the global warming debate. Then, by carefully parsing the language of their survey questions and their published results, the alarmists encourage the media and fellow global warming alarmists to cite these biased, subjective, totally irrelevant surveys as conclusive evidence for the lie that nearly all scientists believe humans are creating a global warming crisis.