By Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB) – June 23, 2014
As you know, i am a global warming skeptic. If you wish to catch up on what i believe and why, i recommend looking to the menu at the top of each page where it says “Global Warming.”
Very briefly, this how i split the issue:
I have always had issues with the question, “Do you believe in global warming?”, because it’s really two questions:
- Has the earth warmed (over some time frame)?
- Are humans responsible?
Because simply answering “yes” to the above question can be misunderstood to mean you agree warming has occurred AND that humans are primarily responsible, i always split the issue:
- I do agree there has been some warming over the last 100 years, BUT
- I’m not convinced humans are the main cause. I’m inclined to think our climate is primarily driven by the same natural forces that have driven our climate since the earth was created 4.5 billion years ago – and humans are a small part of that natural cycle.
Today i want to revisit an aspect of the global warming theory that i covered in my article “Global Warming: I Have Questions.”
Specifically, i want to add an addendum to my previous challenges of the much touted “97% of scientists agree global warming is real” meme.
For some background, this 97% figure comes from a study conducted by climate scientist John Cook of the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute and it is quoted ad nauseam by global warming reality deniers as proof that “97% of climate scientists agree global warming is real and humans are the cause.”
To date, i had been unable to track down a copy of this 2013 study. I thought maybe i had just been looking in all the wrong places, then i come to find out “the University of Queensland in Australia is taking legal action to block the release of data used by one of its scientists (John Cook) to come up with the oft-quoted statistic that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that mankind is causing global warming.“
More on the University of Queensland threatening lawsuits over the use of Cook’s ’97% consensus’ data for a scientific rebuttal can be found here, here and here.
Interesting, eh? 97% of scientists agree but nobody can use the data in a rebuttal. Gotta love it.
But alas, i finally found a PDF copy of this elusive study and i’ve had a chance to read through it for myself (PDF copy here) and below is my rebuttal.
This rebuttal of the study doesn’t get into the questionable methodology used by John Cook and his fellow authors. I’ll leave that for another day and another time. Why? Because i don’t want to muddy the waters. I don’t need to. Taken at face value, the study does NOT say “97% of scientists agree global warming is real.”
Let’s start on page 3 of the study where they explain how the total number of papers examined was determined:
The results and their findings are then depicted on page 4 of the study, in this table. The colors are not in the original table; I added these colors to make it easier to follow along with my breakdown that follows.
These colors will help you follow along with my breakdown, below.
Interpretation of this data is as easy as 1, 2, 3 …
- 11,944 papers were analyzed.
- 3,896 of these papers expressed a position endorsing anthropogenic global warming (agw).
- 3,896 is 32.6% of the 11,944 papers.
CONCLUSION: 32.6% of the papers agree global warming is real.
That’s it. I’ve done nothing to adjust or interpret these numbers. What you see is what you get: 32.6% of the papers agree global warming is real.
The 97% figure could only be obtained by completely ignoring 7,930 out of 11,944 papers.
What? What am i missing here? How does Cook et al twist 32.6% into the oft-quoted 97%?
I’ll tell you what’s missing – and it explains why the University of Queensland is threatening lawsuits over the use of this data for any scientific rebuttals:
They simply ignore the 7,930 papers not expressing a position.
That’s right, they simply ignored the 7,930 papers not expressing a position and qualified their 97% findings by saying the “percent of papers with a position on anthropogenic global warming (AGW)“.
The bottom line is, without any interpretation, taken at face value, without any qualifying language, this study says:
32.6% of scientists agree global warming is real!
That is the plain language of this study. Period.
Now remember i said i wasn’t going to get into the methodology of this study? Well, i’m not. But somebody far more qualified than myself has, and this 32.6% gets horribly worse for the authors of this study.
Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)