back to article Climate scientists agree: Humans cause global warming

A major study of nearly 12,000 peer-reviewed papers in the climate-science literature has – again – proven that among climate scientists, an overwhelming percentage agree with the consensus view that human activity causes global warming. The study was led by John Cook, a post-doctoral fellow in the Global Change Institute at …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. henrydddd
    Unhappy

    Well

    Now are we have to do is eliminate humans from the planet earth and we would have a perfect world. If course, these scientists would be exempt as the earth needs them to take care of it.

    1. aidanstevens
      FAIL

      Re: Well

      This is perhaps the most ridiculous comment on climate change I've read on the El Reg forums, and that's saying a LOT.

      So desperate are you to attack climate science, you dream up a theory that climate scientists are secret psychopaths and want to wipe everyone other than themselves off the face of the planet .

      I completely despair.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well

        It's absurd all right, everybody knows that's Greenpeace's plan! :)

        1. Rampant Spaniel

          Re: Well

          How many of those 'scientists' would be out of a job next year if climate change didn't exist? Unbiased? Perhaps the correct title should have been 97% of climate scientists are praying climate change is mans fault because they really want a google glass.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Well

            In which case 100x that number of astronomers, geologists, geophysicists etc would be saying it was natural to keep their jobs

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How many of those 'scientists' would be out of a job next year if climate change didn't exist?

            Most likely none or very few. All those scientists would do what they already do, what they most likely are interested in, i.e. understanding how climate works. I have yet to hear any politician talk of vast sums that could be saved by cutting grants to climate science.

            As it happens, even if there were a decrease in funding for climate science, the researchers who would lose their jobs would be the postdocs employed on soft money (ie research grants), permanent academics are paid largely by their institution, and would have time to adapt their research field. And those postdocs already face unemployment every few years anyway (or sometimes more often) anyway, due to unsucessful grant applications.

          3. John Stith

            Re: Well

            During the Bush years, when researchers in numerous cases knew they risked losing funding when their findings supported the notion of climate change, they continued to report anyway.

          4. Bernardo Sviso
            Facepalm

            Re: Well

            > How many of those 'scientists' would be out of a job next year if climate change didn't exist?

            Actually -- none of them.

            If someone could come up with strong evidence to cast Anthropogenic Climate Change into doubt -- well, such a ground-breaking finding, if the least bit robust, would make their career and win them some rather prestigious awards, as well. That's the kind of work that leads to promotions, offers of one's own laboratory, guest spots on TV programs, etc.

          5. Psyx
            Mushroom

            Re: Well

            "How many of those 'scientists'..."

            They have relevant degrees and are working in the field. They are scientists. Using inverted commas is just pathetic. Before we even get to what you are trying to put across you are already making yourself look pretty ignorant. Don't try to undermine the qualifications of those who are far better qualified than you. Unless you work in the field. Otherwise your opinion on their qualifications is utterly worthless.

            "would be out of a job next year if climate change didn't exist? Unbiased? Perhaps the correct title should have been 97% of climate scientists are praying climate change is mans fault because they really want a google glass."

            Yeah, How many Physicists would be out of a job too if their work was mooted, so that field must be bullshit too.

            That's just weak. And biased. And downright ignorant.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Well

      How is this news? Everyone apart from a few staunch Republican Faux News viewers knew this at least a decade ago.....

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. fmaxwell
          Mushroom

          Re: Well

          Just shut up.

          I'm sick of right-wing tools like you posting your plagiarized bull***t criticisms of every study that supports the theory of AGW. Your post was plagiarized from "On the Consensus" by fanatical AGW denier Brandon Shollenberger, a 20-something who attended the ITT Technical Institute in Tulsa, OK -- the kind of school that states, on it's web site "it is unlikely that any credits earned at an ITT Technical Institute will be transferable to or accepted by any institution other than an ITT Technical Institute."

          You remind me of the "scientists" at the "Tobacco Institute" that spent decades trying to undermine and challenge every study that linked cigarette smoking to cancer. The difference is that your kind is far more dangerous -- I can decide not to smoke and the chances that I'll get lung cancer are greatly reduced, but if you and the rest of the lunatic-fringe AGW deniers convince enough uneducated rubes that AGW is not real, there's nothing that I, individually, can do to avoid the consequences.

          While you've been prowling the Internet looking for AGW articles to deny, I was helping to build and test two different satellites for climate change research. So do not reply. Your opinion on AGW is about as important and informed as Justin Bieber's opinion on string theory.

          1. AJ MacLeod

            Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

            Just as well you've no vested interest in keeping up the panic levels then... nice scientific debating method, too. Just shut up. Doesn't get us very far, does it? Still, so long as you're getting the cash which almost certainly could be better spent elsewhere on more immediately beneficial research, all is well in your world regardless of any actual facts.

            1. Nick Collingridge
              Facepalm

              Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

              @AJMacLeod - Look, mate, this is a totally idiotic tack to take and I am beginning to totally despair of idiots like you. Attacking people who are working at researching the science behind anything because that science says something you don't want to believe is just beyond stupid. Hear me - beyond stupid. It is totally asinine.

              The only science you will accept is that which says what you want to hear. How rational is that? How much further does that get us?

              Ostriches like you are what give a bad name to humanity. Lift your head up and take a proper reasoned look at the science. You will find that this whole subject has had a vast amount of attention paid to it by a very large number of very clever and dedicated people. Do you honestly, honestly believe that all of these scientists are so dishonest and self-interested hat they will devise studies that are not true?

              This is just not credible and you are an absolute idiot if you let yourself believe it.

              Sorry for the rant, but it is starting to really get to me how anyone can present such an unbalanced and irrational view and expect to have any credibility at all in this world.

              1. fmaxwell
                Thumb Up

                Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

                @Nick Collingridge: Thank you for that rational response to AJ MacLeod. I share your frustration at the level of irrationality displayed by the deniers.

                The energy lobby has (or "have" for the UK readers) poured massive amounts of money into campaigns designed to undermine public confidence in scientific research and opinion on climate change. Between 2002 and 2010, conservative billionaires gave almost $120 million U.S. dollars to over 100 anti-AGW groups for the purpose of casting doubt on the science behind AGW climate change. These groups have successfully convinced a large segment of the population that believing in AGW makes you a "liberal" and that conservatives know that AGW is some kind of liberal plot.

                They've attacked the integrity of scientists who devote their lives to scientific truth to the point where online rubes believe that scientists are raking in money by falsifying research in order to pay for their mansions, Ferraris, and private jets. It's disgusting.

                1. Dr Stephen Jones
                  FAIL

                  Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

                  "The energy lobby has (or "have" for the UK readers) poured massive amounts of money into campaigns designed to undermine public confidence in scientific research and opinion on climate change. "

                  Evidence?

                  Oh, wait. You haven't got any.

                  The energy lobby jumped on the AGW gravy train early, and invested into nuclear and rewewables, because state support for "CO2 mitigation" guaranteed them higher prices. The carbon floor price, which was created by energy industry lobbying is an example of this. It ensures wholesale energy prices far higher than they would be in a competitive market.

                  The poor pay the most for Climate Change, and alway will.

                  1. Charles Manning

                    AGW and Peak Oil are great for energy companies

                    AGW, Peok Oil, (and other factors) have really allowed the energy companies to pump up prices. This has worked so well, the whole wheeze could have been started by them!

                    1. Bernardo Sviso
                      Black Helicopters

                      Re: AGW and Peak Oil are great for energy companies

                      Oh My Lord!

                      Now the denialist line has reached the apex of farcical implausibility -- apparently AGW/Climate Change is a cynically fabricated, pseudo-scientific conspiracy conducted BY the petro-industry for its own benefit.

                      Just how deep can the denialist rabbit-hole go?

                  2. fmaxwell
                    Mushroom

                    Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

                    @Stephen Jones: "Evidence?

                    Oh, wait. You haven't got any."

                    Oh, wait. I've got plenty of evidence:

                    http://www.livescience.com/26618-climate-change-denial-koch-donors-trust.html

                    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/14/funding-climate-change-denial-thinktanks-network

                    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/planet-2/report/2010/3/dealing-in-doubt.pdf

                    http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2012/04/02/koch-brothers-exposed-fueling-climate-denial-and-privatizing-democracy/

                    http://www.environmental-action.org/content/tell-gm-stop-funding-climate-change-denial

                    But you don't want to read the truth because it doesn't fit in well with the fiction that you and your other anti-science right-wing nuts want to believe.

                    From Wikipedia (you're free to change it if you think it's incorrect):

                    In 2013, The Guardian revealed that two trusts, the 'DonorsTrust' and the 'Donors Capital Fund', operating out of a house in the suburbs of Washington DC, have bankrolled 102 think tanks and activist groups to the tune of $118m between 2002 and 2010. The conservative donors to these trusts are said to represent a wide range of opinion on the American right who have found common ground in opposing cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. They ensure their anonymity by funnelling the funds through the trusts, and the money flowed into "Washington thinktanks embedded in Republican party politics, obscure policy forums in Alaska and Tennessee, contrarian scientists at Harvard and lesser institutions, even to buy up DVDs of a film attacking Al Gore," the report said. The stream of cash was used to fund a conservative backlash against Barack Obama's environmental initiatives and to wreck any chance of Congress taking action on climate change. The money funded a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a 'wedge issue' that benefits the hardcore right. Robert Brulle, a Drexel University sociologist who has researched other networks of ultra-right donors, said, "Donors Trust is just the tip of a very big iceberg."

                    "It ensures wholesale energy prices far higher than they would be in a competitive market."

                    Much as tobacco taxes increase the cost of cigarettes. I guess you feel that's a problem, too, since it reduces another harmful human activity.

                    Given the massive costs associated with global warming, much of it borne by governments, it seems like a good idea to me. I don't want you to be able to afford to drive a car that gets poor gas mileage. I want it to have such a horrible impact on your standard of living that you are forced to buy a fuel-efficient, lower-pollution car that you don't want.

                    P.S. Thank for labeling your posts "FAIL," but it's really not necessary. Just reading them makes the FAIL obvious.

            2. fmaxwell
              Facepalm

              Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

              @AJ MacLeod: "Just as well you've no vested interest in keeping up the panic levels then.."

              No, I don't have a "vested interest in keeping up the panic levels." I am working on a series of satellites that have nothing to do with climate research and don't anticipate working on another climate research satellite prior to my retirement.

              "nice scientific debating method, too. Just shut up. Doesn't get us very far, does it?"

              Debating doesn't get us very far. These non-scientific online debates are a tool used by the AGW deniers to make the public believe, incorrectly, that there is a vast undercurrent of climatologists who don't believe that AGW is real and significant. That leads to politicians being willing to reduce, delay, and water-down legislation and treaties intended to reduce our carbon footprint.

              Someone who plagiarizes the work of 20-something ITT Technical Institute attendee to refute climate change research doesn't rise to the level of being part of a scientific debate.

              1. Dr Stephen Jones
                Facepalm

                "Debating doesn't get us very far" - fmaxwell

                "Debating doesn't get us very far."

                You have now made several posts in response to the analysis of Cook's methodology - without addressing the methodology ONCE?

                I can see why you don't want to mention it and keep changing the subject. Ad hominem, appeals to authority, you use anything to avoid defending Cook's work.

                Evidence is not right wing or left wing. It's just evidence. You can either build a coherent rational argument with it, or you can't. And the evidence is most of the papers "analysed" were neutral, they were outside Categories 1 and 3. More papers refuted manmade global warming than supported it.

                You're an embarrassment, fmaxwell. A terrible advertisement for the scientific method.

                1. NomNomNom

                  Re: "Debating doesn't get us very far" - fmaxwell

                  "More papers refuted manmade global warming than supported i"

                  That's BS and you know it.

                  Typical climate skeptics. Spin reality 180 degrees.

                2. fmaxwell
                  Mushroom

                  Re: "Debating doesn't get us very far" - fmaxwell

                  "You have now made several posts in response to the analysis of Cook's methodology - without addressing the methodology ONCE?"

                  Are you referring to the post that was deleted, either by the author out of embarrassment or by The Register because it was blatant plagiarism?

                  Cook's paper was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. If legitimate scientists have dissenting views, they can publish them. I'm not wasting my time analyzing something plagiarized from some unqualified, intellectually inferior AGW denier who went to the ITT Technical Institute.

                  But if you insist on seeing Cook's methodology addressed and Shollenberger's claims destroyed, go here:

                  http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/

                  Bart Verheggen writes:

                  "Including the “no position” category into the denominator (as some people seem to be doing) to arrive at a much smaller percentage endorsement makes about as much sense as including all atmospheric science articles in the denominator too, or even all physics articles: it is to be expected that many papers do not state a position on this particular issue. These should not be included as a reference against which to compare the number of endorsement papers. Another example of an apples to oranges comparison is Brandon Shollenberger comparing the number of explicit and quantified endorsements to the sum of explicit and implicit rejections."

                  ". And the evidence is most of the papers "analysed" were neutral, they were outside Categories 1 and 3. More papers refuted manmade global warming than supported it."

                  How does a paper which does not take a position on AGW 'refute' it? See above. That you could be so stupid is incredible.

                3. fmaxwell
                  Mushroom

                  Re: "Debating WITH IDIOTS doesn't get us very far" - fmaxwell

                  In response to your out-of-context quote, debate among qualified scientists is valuable. Debating with ignorant AGW deniers on the Internet is not. You have nothing to add to a scientific discussion. You don't understand climatology, the scientific method, or how peer-reviewed journals work (and how they filter out the noise from know-nothings like yourself).

                  Your beliefs about climate change have nothing to do with the science behind it. Your beliefs are based on your political leanings and/or what you want to believe. You choose to bury your head in the sand, posting plagiarized writings from uneducated, unqualified, vocational school attendees. You don't even care that what you plagiarized has already been debunked as grossly logically flawed. So climatologists would just be wasting precious time debating with you.

                  But here's a fact for you, one that you really don't want to face up to:

                  Of the papers that took a position on AGW: 3,986 endorse it and only 78 reject it.

            3. Mad Chaz
              Alien

              Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

              Please go back to the natural history museum to argue against evolution. You will be less of a nuisance there. The fact that humanity, as a whole, is emitting something like 10x the amount of CO2 that every single natural process on the planet combined does as consequences. Hiding your head under the sand won't change that. Let those of us who would like our specie to survive the next few hundred years handle this and go back to praying to the big man in the sky for salvation.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well

            "Just shut up"

            Oooh, er - that told 'em, didn't it?

            P.S. Anyone seen that Global Warming thingey recently?

            (Thought not - bit chilly here actually )

            1. fmaxwell
              Mushroom

              Re: Well

              "ooh, er - that told 'em, didn't it?"

              No, what followed did.

              "P.S. Anyone seen that Global Warming thingey recently?

              (Thought not - bit chilly here actually )"

              You're too stupid to know the difference between local weather and global climate? Christ!

          3. Dr Stephen Jones
            FAIL

            @fmaxwell

            @fmaxwell: Your intolerence of evidence and rational argument is plain for everyone to see.

            I am not surprised you're angry. Every day the climate change industry gets smaller and more desperate. The EU has abandoned renewables, the developing worlds needs fossil fuels to get its citizens out of poverty, and the Western public has noticed that there has been no global warming for > 15 years.

            Global warming now consists of a rump of angry activists, like you.

            "I'm sick of right-wing tools like you"

            My bad. Correction: rump of Political activists.

            That says it all, really. I've posted the evidence of Cook's methodology. The evidence does not support the "97 per cent" conclusion.

            Get over it.

            1. fmaxwell
              Mushroom

              Re: @fmaxwell

              "@fmaxwell: Your intolerence of evidence and rational argument is plain for everyone to see."

              You didn't provide "evidence." You just plagiarized.

              "Global warming now consists of a rump of angry activists, like you."

              No, global warming is fact, despite your refusal to believe it. I'm angry because morons like you are standing in the way of progress towards addressing this issue.

              "That says it all, really. I've posted the evidence of Cook's methodology. The evidence does not support the "97 per cent" conclusion."

              No, you plagiarized a misrepresentation of the methodology.

              1. Tom 13

                Re: @fmaxwell

                You don't have to be a science PhD to know the study is frelled before they ran the first search. By selecting the specific search terms they did for the article titles, they removed skeptical papers. You'd have to find neutral terms to search to find the skeptics. Frankly, at this point I'm not sure they exist because of how politicized Warmists have made the topic.

  2. flearider
    Paris Hilton

    let them keep saying that big ball of fire in the sky has nothing to do with it ...

    and give me a pm in 7 yrs when where all freezing are arses off

    1. David Hicks
      Facepalm

      Seriously, seriously, you don't think the discipline of climate science might, just *might*, take the sun into account?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sun wasn't in climate model before 2013

        The Sun's activity wasn't included in the model everyone swears by until this year.

        Makes you wonder if they all followed the Pied Piper on this one.

        The model they did use predicted heating for the last 20 years, and there hasn't been any.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Sun wasn't in climate model before 2013

          "The Sun's activity wasn't included in the model everyone swears by until this year"

          There has been no event this year that even remotely matches your claim. There isn't even any single "model" that "everyone swears by". I love how people just brazenly make stuff up for the purpose of argument.

        2. quarky
          Facepalm

          Re: Sun wasn't in climate model before 2013

          "The model they did use predicted heating for the last 20 years, and there hasn't been any."

          Only if you read the Daily Mail.

      2. Marshalltown
        Coat

        How can they?

        "Seriously, seriously, you don't think the discipline of climate science might, just *might*, take the sun into account?"

        How can they? That would mean they actually understand how the sun works, which is far from a forgone conclusion. What's more it would also mean that they understand how the climate works, also far from proven. In fact, the last 10 to years of data imply the opposite. Consider for instance that temperature should increase one degree per doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere per current AGW theory, which pretty much insists that only CO2 is of significance as a GHG - there other gases such as methane and water vapor that are far more efficient, but AGW theory pretty much subjects them to serf-hood to CO2.

        Now consider this reductio ad absurdum: During the last glacial maximum the average global temperature was very roughly 8 degrees C below the present mean. If we were to employ that simplest of models - CO2 is the sole important influence, and that temperature varies directly according the concentration of CO2, increasing or falling one degree C per doubling or halving of the concentration, then green plant productivity quit when the mean global temperature dropped to one degree below the present mean and didn't not resume until the temperature returned to that level. That's because half the present level reduces atmospheric CO2 to a point where green plants can't really produce hydrocarbons any longer - not enough carbon available. Two degrees colder should have seen a massive extinction event. Eight degrees colder and there's no way to account for the present existence of life on earth. None of this happened. That means, at the least , that the planetary climate cannot be nearly as simple as AGW theory assumes. Granted climate models are really more complex - I did say this was a reductio ad absurdum - but the common talking point is that there's one degree of warming per doubling of CO2, a proposal that is false to fact, regardless of how "sophisticated" the models employed are.

        Right now given that no one of any theoretical orientation seems capable of fine grained forecasting of either weather or climate trends, its pretty clear that there really is no "theory" of climate, just some not very good hypotheses.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: How can they?

          "During the last glacial maximum the average global temperature was very roughly 8 degrees C below the present mean"

          More like 5C. And CO2 level was about 180ppm at that time. Halving CO2 causes more than 1C cooling. Lower CO2 = colder. Colder = less water vapor, less methane = colder still.

          http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_05/

      3. Tom 13

        @David Hicks

        Seriously? Yeah I would. When I found out that all the models assumed static output from the sun was the point at which my ire against Warmists was solidified. I was strongly leaning their way since I come from an astronomy background and KNOW how long your observational baselines need to be before you can start making the kinds of predictions they are, and what the error bars REALLY look like. The Warmists simply don't have them.

  3. NomNomNom

    Climate skeptics, going on past form, will generally respond in three ways to this study:

    a) "Scientists DONT agree! The study is WRONG!"

    b) "OF COURSE scientists agree! They agree because they'd be fired/lose funding if they didn't!"

    c) "SURE scientists agree on that! But so do skeptics! The REAL controversy is whether the human caused warming causes any harm!"

    One of those three responses may indeed be right. But at least two of them must be wrong because the three statements contradict each other. But something must be wrong to have all three of these responses dished out by climate skeptic circles in abundance, with zero introspection of the obvious contradiction.

    1. graphicconception

      "But at least two of them must be wrong ..."

      Not so, there could be three different sets of scientists involved.

      Ignoring that, the big problem with a survey like this is that it is trying to show a consensus of a consensus. You play politics by consensus not science. All those in favour of gravity raise their hand!

      Even more fundamentally, the "science" is flawed from the start. What exactly is a "global average temperature"? It has no meaning in reality and cannot be measured. It is about as useful as a global average telephone number or a global average currency exchange rate.

      1. NomNomNom

        Global average temperature is a statistical indicator that has a physical meaning. The average height of a population would be another example. The two examples you give are in contrast meaningless as their provide neither.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Even more fundamentally, the "science" is flawed from the start. What exactly is a "global average temperature"? It has no meaning in reality and cannot be measured. "

        I am reasonably confident that the satellites put in space since the 70s have done a pretty good job in measuring this. There is, on average a slight temperature rise (according to the published numbers) consistent with the climate currently exiting the last ice age.

        The measurement of the principle indicator (temperature) is flawed, inconsistent and unfortunately subject to change according to the whim of those responsible for maintaining the data. Flawed data means flawed conclusions (excluding random dumb luck).

        I don't think too many disagree that the planet is warming gradually. This is not news, but consistent with our understanding of the geological past and past temperature inductions by proxy, plus the satellite record.

        There is precious little evidence that human activity is even remotely a part of this.

    2. SuccessCase

      Yep, the headline is spin, a travesty of statistical analysis and the study proves absolutely nothing.

      It's a matter of simple logic. The two "positions" being investigated are skepticism versus the view global warming is man-made. As anyone who has studied philosophical logic to any degree will tell you, you can never directly prove a negative, only a positive. So this study is deliberately presenting the view framed on the positive under study e.g. the assertion there is global warming and it is man made as though there is a second side to the debate "there is global warming *and it is NOT man made*". But no sensible scientist would ever make a claim about a negative. That totally misrepresents what it is to be a sceptic!

      With deliciously spun logic the study presents this as though it is a conclusion.

      "among the abstracts that did express an opinion – pro or con – on AGW, 97.1 per cent endorsed the position that humans are causing global warming."

      When the skeptical case is precisely that you do science, look at the facts and avoid expressing an opinion unless it's supported by strong evidence - if which you will by definition have none where a negative is concerned! Any scientist worth his salt will avoid confirming a negative assertion like the plague.

      So in reality the data is showing 66.4% of papers are consistent with the skeptical view. I say "consistent" but I'm not going to attempt to spin the result like this paper. "Consistent" does not mean "confirmed skeptical" it actually translates to a null in a database: a no value or no conclusion. All we have here is is evidence that if you ask scientists to set about checking if you can prove a positive statement, you will get a proportion who will express a view on the positive, but you will get virtually none who will compromise their scientific method and spontaneously include a specious remark contradicting a positive by asserting the truth of a negative statement "I believe global warming is NOT caused by humans" Because you only make such remarks as a scientist when you have found another positive which firmly contradicts the negative and no one is saying there is any single clear candidate in that category (and few are looking for such anyway).

      I read reports like this. Look at how the headline conclusion is spun and seriously despair. These are senior scientists failing in the most basic matters of logical analysis. But still, this something I've always noticed about scientists. They are far more driven by human emotion and daily politics than the lay stereotype likes to admit.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: SuccessCase

        Indeed. This is more Hockeystick "science" - using a flawed method to deliberately "prove" the desired result. Nothing exposes this more then the statement about the first step of the method, where they took biased members of his own team to do the first pass and found only ".....32.6 per cent endorsed AGW...."! They then made a second pass consisting of approaching the scientists that they believed had a preference for AGW and asked them "do you believe in AGW?" - that's like asking the Catholic Church to only talk to Bible printers and ask them if they believe in God. Result - massively skewed, predetermined result, seized on by the gullible to justify their position and browbeat anyone that dares to disagree.

  4. Frank Zuiderduin
    Coat

    More like global cooling...

    There *IS* no global warming. Take a look outside. It hasn't been this cold this time of year in decades.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: More like global cooling...

      are you on the ISS?

    2. g e

      Re: More like global cooling...

      That's why they started calling it Climate Change, dontcha know

    3. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: More like global cooling...

      The long term global warming trend is clear: http://www.earth-policy.org/images/uploads/graphs_tables/indicator8_2012_tempgraph.PNG

      http://www.livescience.com/6472-study-ocean-warmed-significantly-16-years.html

    4. localzuk
      Thumb Down

      Re: More like global cooling...

      Frank has gotta be trolling. Trying to disprove global warming by localised weather patterns...

    5. Bernardo Sviso
      FAIL

      Re: More like global cooling...

      Another idiot who refuses to learn the distinction between "weather" and "climate". Or between "local" and "global".

      PS: Where I live, we've been having record high temperatures, lately-- so chew on that a bit, if you didn't understand my first sentance.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem with studies like this is that they examine authority rather than facts.

    The good thing is that they are sufficiently explicit about what it is they are trying to achieve.

    The problem with anything to do with climate change is they they are inherently uncertain. There's nothing that you can replicate. You can't demonstrate the effect in any meaningful way. It's all statistics and pretty dodgy ones at that.

    As any fule no, we must be having *some* affect on the climate (butterfly flaps its wings and someone dies on the other side of the world and all that), but how much? Hard to say really.

    1. Adrian Midgley 1
      Thumb Down

      can demonstrate warming with thermometers

      How did you miss that?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: can demonstrate warming with thermometers

        > can demonstrate warming with thermometers

        Shame that we've been cooling despite the predictions.

        Also, that the climate is changing is not at issue. The climate has been changing since the dawn of the earth.

        Proving what proportion is influenced by us is harder to demonstrate, reproducibly.

    2. John Angelico

      So, if they can't replicate anything...

      ... can we actually address the proposition scientifically at all, since the scientific method requires that experiments and observations be amenable to replication by other scientists?

      1. Tom 13

        Re: So, if they can't replicate anything...

        Maybe. Being replicable is just the most solid form of science, and it isn't actually the value of the science. The value is in it's predictive capabilities. Having deduced Kepler's Laws of Motion we can predict where an object in orbit will be found at a different time. Or, seeing a deviation from where something is supposed to be, find another object which we hadn't noticed before.

        You should be able to test that predictive part of the models. But that's where the problems start. All of the models predict far greater warming than we've actually seen. And you can't actually look at models, only the inputs and outputs of the models. The rest is "proprietary intellectual property." Hell, even some of the data is "proprietary" or at least how they have calculated the inputs from the raw data is. There's big money involved in all of this. Here in the US it's large chunks of some of the budgets at NOAA whether at the weather service or the division working on environmental predictions. Beyond that there are commercial companies making big bucks from processing and packaging that data. Some are just repackaging the weather data, others make money telling farmers how to improve their crop yields. So anybody claiming they have no monetary interest in this is full of crap.

        Some of the monetary interests need solid data - crop yields would be a big one here. Insurance companies are probably another. Even the weather service proper needs good data for short term predictions. If you get 7 out of 10 hurricane or flood warnings wrong, people won't take them seriously, so those bits need accuracy. Others, like what the some mean temperature is going to be 50 years from now? Not so much. There's plenty of time to correct that. And here's the rub: with 50 years to correct it, your local Congresscritter is likely to cut the budget for it because it doesn't affect his election chances next cycle. So if you want that budget money THIS budget cycle, you have to create an emergency on which he MUST act NOW. AWG is just that kind of emergency. And the professional unelected politicians who put together the budgets know that. Given a choice between two scientist, one of who believes in AWG and one of whom thinks it is a crock, they pull from the AWG believer to get the money. And thus the research becomes self-selecting.

    3. fmaxwell
      Megaphone

      No, they don't "examine authority." They examine the views of the scientists who have studied this subject -- those most able to come to an informed position on the subject. Rejecting the views of these scientists is akin to rejecting the views of the medical community about cigarette smoking.

      Don't take a grade-school view of science. It's not all about doing experiments. Much of science is about mathematical predictions and models. Stephen Hawking isn't going to be able to "demonstrate" his theories on time and space, but it doesn't mean they are "dodgy."

      AGW is not just based on statistics. It's based on the measured CO2 levels in the atmosphere and mathematical models of how an increase in CO2 leads to higher global temperatures. The problem with waiting for "proof" of AGW is that it's like trying to prove a gun is loaded by putting it to your head and pulling the trigger.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @fmaxwell

        "AGW is not just based on statistics. It's based on the measured CO2 levels in the atmosphere and mathematical models of how an increase in CO2 leads to higher global temperatures. The problem with waiting for "proof" of AGW is that it's like trying to prove a gun is loaded by putting it to your head and pulling the trigger."

        I have a model that says I would be a good soldier. Battlefield is a complex simulator which demonstrates I would be very gund lugging an LMG across a town and supporting other soldiers. In a second I can transition to a pistol and with accuracy finish off a guy up close. Apparently my tank driving skill is reasonable too and my lack of fear allows me to ride into heavy fire and hold my own while my friends around me are blown apart.

        So since the model says it is so is it now fact? Or do we need real world data to see if I can actually fire a gun accurately and under fire? Do we need real world data to demonstrate I can actually drive a tank? Or do we ignore the real world and accept the complex yet still very flawed model?

        1. fmaxwell
          Mushroom

          Re: @fmaxwell

          "So since the model says it is so is it now fact? Or do we need real world data to see if I can actually fire a gun accurately and under fire?"

          Really? You're going to be that much of an ass in your dismissal of the scientific work by thousands of climatologists all over the world?

          The problem with your "analogy" is that the mathematical models related to global warming are based on scientific fact while yours is based on fantasy. There is no doubt, at all, that increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere leads to global warming and that man is adding CO2 to the atmosphere at an alarming rate. All that scientists are doing now is fine-tuning the models to show how much warming will result.

  6. G R Goslin

    Proof?

    This is not proof. This is merely the assertions of a group with a lot to lose if the "truth" ran the other way. If we go back 50 years, the consensus among scientists was that Continental Drift, Plate Techtonics, whatever you like to call it were a myth. And they had good science to prove it, too.. Go back even further, and the consensus was that the World was flat, and if you went West far enough, you'd fall off the edge. All backed by science. Go back between the two and the consensus was that the atom was an indivisible entity. I could go on and on, and on.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Proof?

      Scientific consensus is a good predictor of truth, not proof of truth.

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: Proof?

        The scientific consensus held that the sun orbited the earth, ulcers were caused by excess stomach acid, plate tectonics was a silly myth and that piltdown man was the genuine article.

        Consensus is a good predictor of a group of people agreeing on something. Any relation to truth and reality are entirely coincidental.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Proof?

          It's a matter of odds. An idea that has a consensus of experts backing it has a far higher chance of being right, and therefore carries more credibility to outside observers, than an idea that doesn't have a consensus of experts backing it. For good reason. Even without realizing it people will lean towards the weight of expert opinion, or expect their advisors (eg doctor) to convey that weight of expert opinion to them. Why should it be any different with climate? Whether they realize it or not people will factor in where the weight of expert opinion lies. If the article is correct that half the people in the US think scientists are divided on the matter then that implies a lot of people have faulty information.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Proof?

            "far higher chance of being right," ...Granted, but I for one would like to know what the odds are (or at least what the consensus of statistical opinion is) before we start taxing modern life into oblivion and handing out tax subsidies to hamster-wheel farms and wind turbines.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            Re: Proof?

            > Even without realizing it people will lean towards the weight of expert opinion, or expect their advisors (eg doctor) to convey that weight of expert opinion to them.

            Two points:

            1) Anyone with a scientific background would be horrified at the prospect that we just take someone's authoritive word for something unless what they assert is demonstrably provable by reproducible experimentation. We take it for granted that physicists are right because they can demonstrate their assertions with a high degree of confidence, backed by maths and experimental evidence. Climate "science" has nothing of those qualities and can only be loosely called science.

            2) Climate science, like the historical "sciences", can only go so far in terms of what assertions they make. When a paleologist looks at dinosaur bones, they can make some posits about the creature that they suggest that it came from. They cannot prove what they say with any kind of certainty unless someone invents a time machine, and most people appreciate that situation. The problem is climate "science" is being portrayed as though there is a high degree of certainty about AGW when the reality is far from it. It is far more like the historical science than the traditional science in terms of how useful it is and about what it can realistically tell us.

            1. The Craw

              Re: Proof?

              Mr. Skelband, you misunderstand the scientific process. Nothing in science has ever been proven. Proof is a mathematical concept, not a scientific concept. The process by which science progresses is as follows:

              A hypothesis is presented to the community. People set to work attempting to support or undermine it. If solid evidence appears that contradicts the hypothesis, most scientists reject it, but a few diehards will keep trying to overcome the contradictions. Usually lots of evidence arises that suggests refinements in the hypothesis. After enough evidence has accumulated, scientists begin to have confidence in the hypothesis. At some point the hypothesis may have enough supporting evidence and a lack of negative evidence such that most scientists accept that hypothesis.

              Because the scientific community is intellectually healthy, there will always be a few contrarians who reject the hypothesis. But once the scientific community has settled upon a hypothesis that has undergone lots of close examination, that hypothesis is treated as a reliable part of science.

              Such is clearly the case with ACC. We have mountains of evidence supporting the hypothesis; despite many efforts, no contradictory evidence has emerged. The vast majority of scientists embrace the hypothesis. The vast majority of those who understand the science embrace it. There is a sizable group of people who are unhappy with the political implications of the science and therefore reject the science. However, rational people start with evidence and draw political conclusions from evidence. Irrational people start with conclusions and proceed to deny evidence that clashes with their conclusions. Deniers are such people.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            Re: Proof?

            "An idea that has a consensus of experts backing it has a far higher chance of being right, and therefore carries more credibility to outside observers, than an idea that doesn't have a consensus of experts backing it."

            That works well for ideas, but AGW is more than an 'idea,' it's a social, political, and even quasi-religous meme too. And that meme swings a vast financial and 'moral' tail behind it. Thus a 97% 'consensus' is insufficiently credible to be included in the argument. Try again.

            1. TheOtherHobbes

              Re: Proof?

              By that logic 100% consensus wouldn't be credible to you because you.

              Try again. You're obviously not understanding how this science actually works. There's nothing quasi-religious about increased flooding, increased drought, and increased weather damage, rising food prices[1], and all the other non-rhetorical effects that AGW is creating - and which (e.g.) insurance companies are already considering when they set their premiums.

              [1] Not that market manipulation isn't playing a part there too. But still.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: TheOtherHobbes Re: Proof?

                "By that logic 100% consensus wouldn't be credible to you because you....." I would refer you back to the previous and since discredited scientific theorems mentioned - that the atom was the smallest possible building block of matter; that the Sun orbited the Earth; which replaced the discredited notion the Earth was flat - all of which had 100% consensus amongst the scientists of their respective days.

                ".....You're obviously not understanding how this science actually works...." I think it is more of a case that you have found a belief that lines up neatly with your sociopolitical views, and you therefore do not want to understand how science actually works (or doesn't).

                "...... There's nothing quasi-religious about increased flooding....." Please don't be so stupid. Flooding predates man's existence, the worst cases including the creation of the Mediterranean Sea, long before man got beyond the campfire stage. If you are referring in particular to flooding in the UK, that to a large extent is due to building on floodplains and not dredging waterways as we should. I would suggest you try reading more than the Al Gore Fanclub magazine.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Proof?

                "You're obviously not understanding how this science actually works. There's nothing quasi-religious about increased flooding, increased drought, and increased weather damage, rising food prices[1], and all the other non-rhetorical effects that AGW is creating..."

                Increased droughts and flooding have been shown to be caused by desertification (chopping too many trees). As for flooding, that's mostly down to the building of river levees that prevent rivers from occupying their natural floodplains, now occupied by houses. The levees drive the river crest to unprecedented heights, where they finally breach the levees and cause massive damage. Increased weather damage is to be expected with the rising population, and the tendency to build in risky but pretty areas like coastlines.

                Funny you should mention rising food prices; the big green push for biofuels account for the biggest chunk of that, and biofuels are a pet project of the left, just like carbon taxation. Want to try once more?

                1. El Andy

                  Re: Proof?

                  @Big John: "Increased droughts and flooding have been shown to be caused by desertification (chopping too many trees). As for flooding, that's mostly down to the building of river levees that prevent rivers from occupying their natural floodplains, now occupied by houses. The levees drive the river crest to unprecedented heights, where they finally breach the levees and cause massive damage. Increased weather damage is to be expected with the rising population, and the tendency to build in risky but pretty areas like coastlines."

                  So, human activity then? Glad to see you've finally grasped that one.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Proof?

                But you have to ask the right questions, such as "Are the temperatures rising because WE'RE doing something or because something else is behind it and we're just riding along?" For example, someone has conjectured that the average temperature 2,000 years ago was WARMER than it is now, and back then the Romans weren't exactly pumping out a lot of CO2 then compared to now . Also, I recall there being some Greek(?) port cities that are now miles inland. What happened to the seas there?

                So I ask, "What evidence is there that lends strong credence to the theory that human action is producing an abnormal increase in average mean temperature versus some (known or unknown) natural phenomenon?"

            2. The Craw

              Re: Proof?

              I continue to be amazed that deniers like you have the chutzpah to cite financial factors against ACC. It's a scientific theory, and scientists do not benefit financially from biasing their results in favor of that theory. Indeed, any scientist who comes up with a means of contradicting ACC will surely win a Nobel Prize.

              On the other side, the fossil fuel companies have trillions of dollars at risk if the public believes the scientists. To point at the piffling amount of money involved in the scientific research and sweep the trillions of dollars at risk for the fossil fuel companies is truly perverse.

              The money argument is truly the biggest shoot-yourself-in-the-foot argument used by deniers.

              1. Richard 12 Silver badge
                WTF?

                Re: Proof?

                @The Craw - WTF?

                You just said "scientists do not benefit financially from biasing their results in favor of that theory", followed immediately by "many scientists are paid by companies that have trillions of dollars at risk"

                The amount of doublethink involved in that post is truly astounding!

                Fossil fuel companies have thousands of scientists. How do you think they find the stuff in the first place, let alone extract it and convert it into useful chemicals?

                The money argument is perfectly valid, as scientists are people too - thankfully it cuts both directions.

                - BTW, Nobel prizes don't pay the bills. For a start, they are usually awarded more than a decade after the work was published. While the prize money is pretty large, no bank is going to lend you the money to do research on the basis that you'll pay them back with the Nobel prize money...

          4. John Angelico

            Re: Proof?

            I'm sorry for you, but Mr Einstein demolished your argument a long time ago, when he responded to the many "German scientists" marshalled by a Mr Hitler to denigrate his work - "It would only take ONE scientist to prove me wrong".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Re: Proof?

          > Consensus is a good predictor of a group of people agreeing on something. Any relation to truth and reality are entirely coincidental.

          Exactly, which is why the scientific method was invented to protect us from this silliness.

          It is the one thing that separates proper science from charletans.

          Trouble is, a lot of us seem unfortunately quick to forget that.

        3. fmaxwell
          Mushroom

          Re: Proof?

          "The scientific consensus held that the sun orbited the earth, ulcers were caused by excess stomach acid, plate tectonics was a silly myth and that piltdown man was the genuine article."

          That's the difference between scientists and you: They are willing to revise their beliefs based on evidence, observations, and data. You, on the other hand, have chosen to believe something -- regardless of evidence, observations, and data.

          1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: Proof?

            ...That's the difference between scientists and you: They are willing to revise their beliefs based on evidence, observations, and data. You, on the other hand, have chosen to believe something -- regardless of evidence, observations, and data...

            I see that you are commenting on a subject you know nothing whatsoever about. Let me correct you, and anyone else who thinks that the point you have made is valid.

            These examples are NOT ones of scientists 'finding out mistakes'. They are examples of establishment scientists SUPPRESSING the truth, closing down discussions and ruining the careers of anyone who dared to disagree with them.

            The truth about these topics was suppressed for varying lengths of time, as documented in the table below. Global Warming will be joining that list shortly.

            Heliocentric view of the Solar System - some hundreds of years

            Peptic Ulcers - around 20 years

            Plate Tectonics - around 40 years

            Piltdown Man - around 40 years

    2. Naughtyhorse

      Re: Proof? I could go on and on, and on.

      I daresay you will....

      you'll still be dead wrong tho

    3. fmaxwell

      Science for Non Scientists...

      "If we go back 50 years, the consensus among scientists was that Continental Drift, Plate Techtonics, whatever you like to call it were a myth. "

      Stop lying. No scientists ever referred to it as a "myth."

      That's the difference between you and scientists: They revise their beliefs based on scientific research and evidence.

      "Go back even further, and the consensus was that the World was flat, and if you went West far enough, you'd fall off the edge."

      Those were your people who believed that: Primitives who based their beliefs not on science but, rather, on what made them feel good.

      The paradigm of a spherical Earth was developed in Greek astronomy, beginning with Pythagoras (6th century BC). The misconception that educated Europeans at the time of Columbus believed in a flat Earth, and that his voyages refuted that belief, has been referred to as the "Myth of the Flat Earth." In 1945, it was listed by the Historical Association (of Britain) as the second of 20 in a pamphlet on common errors in history.

      So there was never a time in which scientists believed that the Earth was flat.

      So are you rejecting modern scientific consensus that the Earth is spherical in much the same way that you seem ready to reject modern scientific consensus that AGW is a real threat?

      "And they had good science to prove it, too."

      Again, your ignorance of science is showing. Early skepticism revolved around a lack of detailed evidence and a force sufficient to drive the movement. Once the evidence was produced and the explanation of the force developed, scientists quickly accepted the theory of Plate Tectonics. Much as they have accepted the theory of AGW based on the evidence and the explanation for the mechanisms behind it.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: fmaxwell: Science for Non Scientists...

        ".....Primitives who based their beliefs not on science but, rather, on what made them feel good....." A perfect description of your average AGW bleater. Indeed, it's so good I would suggest you please also do a description of those scientists that deliberately "sex-up" their AGW data.

  7. RobinLarder
    FAIL

    Totally Meaningless Study

    A Pew Research poll showed 78% of Americans believing that the Bible is either the actual or inspired Word of God.

    This view is held by 88% of Protestants, 82% of Catholics, and 91% of other Christian groups.

    Contrary to the emerging scholarly consensus that the Biblical stories such as Exodus and Conquest are “best regarded as a myth”, only a minority of the public at large (19% of Americans, 11% of Protestants, 16% of Catholics, and 6% of other Christian groups) believe that the Bible is just “ancient fables, history, and legends.

    Doesn't make it so though...

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: Totally Meaningless Study

      but all god botherers are known to be credulous fuckwits ergo the study was irrelevant.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Blinkeredhorse Re: Totally Meaningless Study

        Ooh, look - one religious nutter making fun of another religion! How quaint!

    2. fmaxwell
      Mushroom

      Re: Totally Meaningless Study

      When 97% of the scientists believe in a scientific theory, that's a little different than a bunch of uneducated, religious fucktards believing something, isn't it?

    3. Yes Me Silver badge

      Irrelevant Re: Totally Meaningless Study

      "poll showed 78% of Americans believing that the Bible is either the actual or inspired Word of God." Startlingly irrelevant. The climate change argument is about whether the relationship between the Industrial Revolution and the currently observed rate of climate change is coincidence or cause and effect. And the present study claims to show that 97% of relevant scientists think it's cause and effect. What has the god delusion among the general population got to do with it?

      You can certainly criticise the study's methodology, but comparing it with the Pew study is a category mistake.

    4. Tom 13

      Re: Doesn't make it so though...

      Quite right.

      What makes it so is that it is in fact the inspired word of God. I do however hope you correct the error of your ways before He explains it to you in such a way that you understand it.

      None the less, for making a true statement, you got an Up vote.

  8. ChrisM

    so.what do we do....

    Cllimate change exists, that's a given, it always has changed. Carbon appears to be a major factor so.says all the studies... The multi trillion pound question is what we can do to adapt and ameliorate the effects whilst also increasing the developing worlds living standards...

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: so.what do we do....

      It exists, but the change is very slow. The question we need to answer is are we causing it and to what degree? Then we can understand how to fix it is we can at all. It could be entirely our fault, it could be nothing to do with us or a mix of the two. We need a real answer quickly, not biased opinion like Cook's little straw poll. We really do not need opinion masquerading as fact as that does far more harm than good, all this does is get Cook some brownie points with his boss for getting in the press and give vegoyuppies a semi.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: so.what do we do....

        "Cook's little straw poll"? 12,000 papers over 21 years written by thousands of peer-reviewed scientists?

        "Brownie point with his boss"?

        "Vegoyuppies"?

        Damn, man, who's "biased" here, eh?

        1. Rampant Spaniel

          Re: so.what do we do....

          I never said I wasn't, I also stated elsewhere what I believe (that we don't know for sure but my hunch is we are speeding up a natural cycle). Did you actually read what he did, 12000 papers and he grepped the abstracts. This isn't anything new, this isn't scientific research, this is statistics at best and subjective ones at that. This man is making his wage by flogging the idea that we are destroying the world. He could very well be right, but he is not finding out, he is working backwards from his own conclusion which you have to agree is not the way to do it. As for my other comments, yes I have no time for academics who do nothing other than court the press with headline grabbing wastes of time and people who put significance behind opinion masquerading as fact. Explain to me how what he has done proves anything? What does his study to do actually answer the question at hand? It's fluff, pure and utter fluff meant to get his name and unis name in the press. What he is doing harms real discovery and debate by clouding the issue with pseudo results and conjecture. There are scientists out there genuinely trying to model an incredibly complex system and discover the truth.

          My gripe isn't about whether we are changing the climate, it is about people trying to spread their own prejudice under the guise of science. The man is a disgrace.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: so.what do we do....

            I also know that several papers have an abstract saying things like "Due to AGW" or "May contribute to AGW", when the content of paper itself has no bearing on the matter whatsoever.

            In those cases, the line in the abstract is merely the authors' opinion, with no basis in the evidence and work of the paper itself.

            This isn't a meta-study, it's simply an opinion poll - and one where each paper got a vote, not each scientist. One could argue that's the right way around, but only if the papers are actually chosen by the evidence/conclusions rather than because the abstract contained certain words.

            It's also irrelevant. The problem most rational people have with AGW is not whether or not it's occurring, but the insane schemes being dreamt up and firced upon us to "fix" it - most of which don't work, can't work, make it worse, kill people and/or destroy the rest of the environment purely in the name of CO2 reduction.

      2. Waspy
        WTF?

        Re: so.what do we do....

        Everyone's an expert here it seems. You seem to be saying a lot but nothing at all, clutching at straws to imagine a seret cabal of scientists in a web of conspiracy designed to convince us that carbon dioxide can cause a planet to warm up. Ever seen Venus?

        Sure there is more data to gather, sure some companies and governments have sought to capitalise on the situation, but that does not mean the data is wrong or that 97% of peer reviewed journal submissions are incorrect. The only bias here is yours. You rather remind me of lunar landing or 911 conspiracy proponents, or even big tobacco executives up until recently, all invoking scientific terms and words such as Occam's Razor or 'undeniable evidence', without looking at themselves. Let's be specific here; what's more likely, there is some secret sect all scientists belong to making them lie in their papers, the measurements and weather stations are all wrong and governments are all peddling a sinister agenda...or that 20 years worth of unlinked scientific papers (and 12,000 of them) might be on to something? Hmm?

        however, in the interests of balance, what kind of study would satisfy you?

        1. paulll Bronze badge

          Re: so.what do we do....

          "imagine a seret cabal of scientists in a web of conspiracy "

          "big tobacco executives"

          Interesting comparison to evoke; Personally I don't believe there's a secret cabal out to prove that,"Environmental Tobacco Smoke," is harmful. I do, however see that it's a trendy and politically valuable notion to try to prove, leading to the risible, "EPA study," and the torrent of junk science that has followed. More of a movement than a cabal. Looks like the same thing's happening with AGW, regardless of what the actual truth is.

          1. Waspy
            Facepalm

            Re: so.what do we do....

            ok, so you tell me why, in statistical and scientific terms why those 97% of the 20,000 papers are inaccurate? Yes, sometimes science can get things wrong and studies (and their results) can sometimes be politically, emotionally and personally be interpreted with bias. I will be honest with you; the idea that 19,400 independently conducted and peer reviewed studies over 20 years have ALL come to biased conclusions is frankly bollocks. You are honestly trying to say that 19,400 studies are, as you described it "junk science"? Let's be scientific about this, where, in each of these 19,400 studies have the authors gone wrong? Is it the data sets? Is it the interpretation? What would you have submitted for your peer review had you been asked to professionally look at each of these studies?

            1. Rampant Spaniel
              Facepalm

              Re: so.what do we do....

              So 97% of those papers say that then? Do read the article :) I also did not state the papers themselves were junk but that simply categorizing them, grouping them as you please and summing it does not add any new science to the debate. Perhaps removing the palm from your face and reading it might help as your numbers and understanding seems off. There were 11944 not 20000 and 66.4% of the 11944 expressed no opinion. The author then asked authors to respond, 1184 did (about half of them) and 97.2% of the ~50% agreed there was a link. There was no model generated, no mechanisms investigated, this is just a poll of scientists and a grepping of the abstracts of their papers.

              This adds absolutely nothing to the science behind climate change. Now I answered your question, answer mine.

              1. Waspy

                Re: so.what do we do....

                Fair cop, for some reason I confused 20,000 for 12,000, mea culpa (in my defence I mention 12,000 above, a case of mathematical dyslexia I fear). But you've not really answered anything, the fact remains that of any papers that expressed an opinion on agw, 97% agree with a human cause. I'm simply trying to understand your position... I really cannot understand the opposition to the idea of man made climate change outside perhaps that of a politically motivated one.

                We could argue forever about this but as concluded at the bottom of the article, it is generally accepted that most scientists agree with the whole idea of man made global warming. Do you know better? have you got access to information and data climatologists have not? Can you name someone credible (and qualified) opposed to agw? All I see are right- wing pundits and media outlets. Oh, and James Delingpole, a right wing pundit who has admitted that he hasn't got the time to read peer reviewed literature, despite having strong opinions on it.

                1. Rampant Spaniel

                  Re: so.what do we do....

                  Waspy, I am probably doing a poor job of explaining it. I have no issue with man made climate change, I think man is heavily influencing a natural cycle and I think it is something we need to understand properly and look at how we can adapt our lives to both reduce our contributions and live with the inevitable changes that will come over time anyway.

                  I am not saying climate change isn't being affected by man at all or even that Cook is actually wrong. I am just saying that Cook isn't brining anything to the table scientifically, what he has done isn't actually useful given how he is presenting it (i.e. an interpretation of statistics on opinion proffered as proof). The studies themselves will run the gamut between accurate and pish as many do although the bell curve is often skewed. Science is based around some kind of big game of family fortunes, it is based around what you can prove and replicate. With something like climate change it is harder to perform an experiment so they use models.

                  If you want to change how we live you need a significant consensus of opinion from the public. Some people will always disgree with you so forget them. Some already agree with you so we don't need to bother with them. What you are left with is the undecideds who will fall into two groups, one will believe the last thing they saw on the news and the others will sit and look at what has been said and consider it. Now there have been more than a few issues with the credibility of results in this field, models are often contradictory and politics and money seem to have played a part (Climategate in the UK for example). To get the support of as many people as possible scientists need to ensure that what they are publishing stands up to scrutiny, that it is based on fact and not biased. As I said, I believe humans are playing a very large part in the climate of our planet, this 'study' just makes me more skeptical of the results that 'prove' that. Whats they saying trust arrives by foot and leaves by horse?

                2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  Re: so.what do we do....

                  ...Fair cop, for some reason I confused 20,000 for 12,000, mea culpa (in my defence I mention 12,000 above, a case of mathematical dyslexia I fear). But you've not really answered anything, the fact remains that of any papers that expressed an opinion on agw, 97% agree with a human cause...

                  I'm sorry to hear that you have mathematical dyslexia. But really, if that is a problem for you, you should not be discussing statistics...

                  Luckily, I am able to help you with some of the sums. Very little information is given (which is suspicious in itself), but here is the basic data which can be gleaned from the figures given.

                  Papers by 8547 authors were studied, marked, and then the authors were asked for their comments.

                  Of those authors, 1184 replied.

                  Of that 1184:

                  786 said they had no position

                  412 accepted AGW

                  47 rejected it

                  24 were not sure

                  So, in total, out of 8547 authors, 412 cared about AGW sufficiently to say that they supported it. I make that around 5% of all authors.

                  However, if you just take the 412 and the 47 as the only 'important' people, you can say that around 90% of 'the scientists who expressed a preference' were for AGW.

                  Myself, I would say that the main finding was that 95% of scientists didn't think that responding to this survey was very important. You might hazard a guess as to why - I have no opinion...

                  1. Tom 13

                    @DG: Thanks, I missed that one:

                    95% of scientists didn't think that responding to this survey was very important.

                    Which means there's a serious self-selection bias in the opinion poll as well. No reputable pollster would sign off on one of those.

            2. Tom 13

              Re: why, in statistical and scientific terms why those 97% of the 20,000 papers are inaccurate?

              Question selection bias.

              It's one of the things that makes opinion polling such a bitch to get right.

  9. annodomini2
    Coffee/keyboard

    The most interesting point...

    "Among self-rated papers that stated a position on AGW, 97.2 per cent endorsed the consensus view that humans are causing global warming; over half of the abstracts that the evaluative team had rated as "No Position" or "Undecided" and were self-evaluated by their authors had their ratings changed to "Endorse AGW" by those papers' authors."

    This is the interesting point, so have 97.2% of published Climate Scientists, stated an opinion endorsing AGW or have or 34.8%

    Or is it actually only 34.8% papers...

    How many of the 8547 authors endorsed AGW?

    Then how many of these 8547 Authors have definitive proof that AGW is real?

    Until the the first question is answered, there is no statement of opinion and the statistic is made up.

    Until the second question is answered, all the statements made are pure speculation.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: The most interesting point...

      "Then how many of these 8547 Authors have definitive proof that AGW is real?"

      Zero. Science doesn't work like that.

      Science works by trying to prove something wrong and failing.

      It's coming up with a hypothesis, and saying "if this is true, then that must happen. Does it?"

      If it happens, try again. If it doesn't happen, reject the hypothesis.

      For example, Newton's theory of universal gravitation predicted the Moon's orbit. Great. Now predict Mercury's orbit - even better, it's wrong! Wow, we need to find a better theory of gravity! (Einstein)

  10. g e

    97%

    Seems to be an exceptionally high proportion of concurrence for a science in its infancy given the amount of papers that get reported on saying stuff along the lines of 'Errr hold on, this sinks that effect and you forgot to take this into account'.

    Come back when you have LHC-grade six-sigma and no political interference. Your reputation as a 'science' is too tarnished, regardless of your integrity today Speaking of which, did the Incredibly Politicised Climate Consortium have any input in this data?.

    Yes mankind has _some_ effect, it must as it's part of the variables, but seeing as we just hit the highest levels of CO2 (allegedly) since 3 million years ago then well, it ain't all bad is it cos we're still here instead of apocalypt0rising 2.999 million years ago when we'd barely found fire, if that.

  11. vytas
    Holmes

    ...and there was a point 97% of scientists thought:

    -the world was flat

    -that the sun revolved around the earth

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Good lord

      Please do not post this nonsense until you understand what "science" means. Thanks.

    2. Miffo

      >..and there was a point 97% of scientists thought:

      And then the breakthroughs showing these things were wrong was made by people who know nothing (or at least less about it) than the scientists? I mean - science is telling us something yet people with no relevant qualifications want to try and figure out what the answer is. The answer is going to come from scientists - listen to them.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjD0e1d6GgQ

    3. Grikath Silver badge

      @ vytas

      except that at the time you're referring to there were no "scientists", only a "philosophy of the natural world" of which most practitioners were clergy or associated with clergymen.

      No-one in their right mind, or any occupation remotely dealing with travelling the globe in general, actually thought that the earth was flat at the time you're referring to. This is a nice myth that started roughly in the Victorian age, which is based on the simple fact that the old maps are indeed flat, simply because the projections used to create accurate-ish maps simply hadn't been invented yet, and generally used jerusalem as the "centre of the world".

      Then again, the Victorians/Romantics are to blame for a hell of a lot of misconceptions people now regard as "historic truth".

      People at the time did believe the sun revolved around the earth, as did every other civilisation before that. Which explains why this is explicitly stated in the bible, at the time the Authorative Book on Everything, since religion at the time was entirely Literalist, even for the newfangled "protestant movement".

      Not that the bible was the only source, since quite a few of the extant Greek and Roman sources assume the same thing.

      Guys like Copernicus ran into trouble not because they claimed the universe was arranged a bit differently than everyone though until then ( quite a few peeps were perfectly happy to accept that the sun was the centre of the universe, after all God created light first, right?) , but because their theories refuted passages of the bible, a book that was declared the True and immutable word of God Ex Officio. Which caused some major headaches since accepting Copernicus' theory would open up the floodgates of Doubt about the veracity of the bible, the infallibility of the pope as Gods' Voice on Earth, and several other political and social issues playing across Europe at the time.

      quite a bit like being a climate-sceptic nowadays...

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    @NomNomNom

    You forgot the 4th way:

    {fingers in ears} Lalalalalalala

  13. 100113.1537
    FAIL

    Making the numbers look good.....

    Here are the full results:

    Category Number Description

    Cat 1 65 ” 1. Explicitly endorses and quantifies AGW as 50+% ”

    2 934 ” 2. Explicitly endorses but does not quantify or minimise”

    3 2934 ” 3. Implicitly endorses AGW without minimising it ”

    4 8269 ” 4. No Position”

    5 53 ” 5. Implicitly minimizes/rejects AGW”

    6 15 ” 6. Explicitly minimizes/rejects AGW but does not quantify”

    7 10 ” 7. Explicitly minimizes/rejects AGW as less than 50%”

    Pick from this whatever suits your particular political viewpoint - that is what everyone else does....

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Making the numbers look good.....

      65 to 10 then.

      So 87% "for" and 13% "against".

      The rest are irrelevant as it would appear the paper had no evidence for the opinion, and thus is no different to asking the man on the clapham omnibus, yet will give a very high weighting to specific individuals who often put those words in their papers.

      Although only 75 papers expressing a quantified opinion is an incredibly tiny number to be basing so much policy on...

    2. oolor

      Re: Making the numbers look good.....

      Next Wednesday that stock market will be worth the letter "k", the temperature will be 23 somewhere, and Eadon will rave about how awesome Windows 8 is.

      I think that suitably sums up the main points of the study. Why cloud the issues with facts when we issue facts about clouds even if we made that crap up.

  14. Gene

    This is a bit inconvenient then, no?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/02/13/peer-reviewed-survey-finds-majority-of-scientists-skeptical-of-global-warming-crisis/ [forbes.com]

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: This is a bit inconvenient then, no?

      http://jadehawks.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/forbes-is-lying-about-a-study-to-promote-agw-denialism/

    2. Simon Jones [MSDL]
      FAIL

      Re: This is a bit inconvenient then, no?

      Have you read all the critical comments on that Forbes article by James Taylor.

      The article is seriously misleading about a possibly biased survey because it fails to mention the "scientists" in question were mostly geologists and engineers involved in the petroleum industry.

  15. The Axe

    For the balance

    And for the other point of view...

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/17/to-john-cook-it-isnt-hate-its-pity-pity-for-having-such-a-weak-argument-you-are-forced-to-fabricate-in-epic-proportions/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/14/fuzzy-math-in-a-new-soon-to-be-published-paper-john-cook-claims-consensus-on-32-6-of-scientific-papers-that-endorse-agw/

    No point me trying to persuade you that John Cook is wrong. Just read the linked articles and make up your own mind.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For the balance

      Gawd, you're not attempting to cite "Watt's Up" as an authoritative source, are you?!

      Guffaw, snicker, chortle, cackle, howl, hoot, yuk – thanks for brightening my Friday night with such a wonderful bit of absurdity.

      I appreciate it, mate, seriously. I'll lift one to you tonight for causing me so much amusement.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: For the balance

        ...and meanwhile, as I write, the ice still hasn't broken at Nenema (www.nenanaakiceclassic.com). That's 2nd latest in nearly 100 years since they started.

        It just proves that Global Warming is real and we are to blame. Carbon warming causes cooling, John Cook's Skeptikle Science is all true and the only way to stop climate change is more taxes, regulations and windmills.

  16. Donn Bly
    FAIL

    Lets get this straight

    The study looks at 11,944 papers. Of those, only 3894 endorsed anthropogenic global warming. Still, the study is used by some to say that there is a 97% consensus amongst scientists. No, there isn't. If we were going to count papers, we would have to say that the consensus is that there ISN'T a consensus. However, that wouldn't be an accurate statement. One would have to tabulate the AUTHORS of ALL of the papers (not just the ones that expressed an opinion) and discard any duplicates, and use those numbers to compute a consensus. All we really have is a study that says that 100% of the people who have published papers concluding that AGW exists believe that AGW exists, that 100% of the people who have published papers concluding that AGW doesn't exist believe that AGW doesn't exists, and that the vast majority of papers published do not draw a conclusion on AGW.

    I'm not going to say whether AGW exists or not - I'm old enough to remember when climate scientists were using the same historical data to say that we were entering into another ice age, and enough of a realist to know that politicians and businessmen will spin any facts to achieve and support whatever their near-term goal happens to be at the moment.

    Is the earth warming? Probably, and it probably has since the end of the last ice age - but decade by decade numbers may significantly vary from the historical average. Are glacier's shrinking? Well, as they are the product of an ice age, I would have expected them to start shrinking 10's of thousands of years ago. Did humans cause it? Probably not, since there weren't enough of us back then to initiate the process - about 4 million worldwide (less than half of the current population of London today) by most estimates. Are we accelerating it? It is certainly possible, though it seems that cattle introduce more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than any human-built machinery - but since humans are the ones raising the cattle we can probably include those in the human-originated counts.

    The reality is that there are more large non-human mammals and other animals on the planet today than there were 1000 years ago, just as there are more humans. We consume oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. Even if we turned off all machinery that introduces carbon into the atmosphere, and stopped building fires for heat and cooking, the reduction of CO2 being introduced would not be enough to turn the tide against the projections made based on the current "accepted" models. Even if we decided that euthanize half of the human populations "for the good of future generations" it wouldn't be enough - we would have to kill off non-human populations too and even then it may not be enough.

    So, it comes down to whether you choose to believe the models or not. I choose to believe that the models are wrong, that they don't take into account enough of the negative feedbacks to produce an accurate picture - and because NOBODY is saying what the optimum temperature of the earth is, or whether we are above or below it. If we are above it, we are screwed, if we are below it, then why are we trying to stop it?

    That does not mean that I choose to ignore climate change - I think that it should be studied, but that the emphasis should probably be on figuring out the best ways to help the human population of the planet adapt to the inevitable if the models are proven right, because there is NO WAY that you are going to get the human population to give up all of their modern energy-guzzling appliances.

    Go ahead and flame me, downvote me, or whatever - but it still won't change anything. The study of climate change today has moved from an ecological movement of socially conscious people into a money and power grab by the corrupt. Go ahead and fine the companies that emit carbon - but then ask where the money goes, and where it comes from. In the end, it comes from our pockets, and into theirs, with "they" being a diverse mixture of businessmen and politicians who really don't care about the climate as much as they care about their bank statements.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Lets get this straight

      "The study looks at 11,944 papers. Of those, only 3894 endorsed anthropogenic global warming."

      Of papers that offered an opinion on the matter, 97% accepted anthropogenic global warming. Only 3% rejected it.

      You wouldn't expect all papers to offer an opinion. Most biology papers won't offer an opinion on the theory of evolution for example. All you can do is take the papers that do offer an opinion and work out what % accept AGW. That was what was done.

      1. MondoMan
        WTF?

        Re: Lets get this straight

        So why do we care about opinions? (especially opinions of papers rather than people :)

        Last I checked, science was based on evidence...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Mushroom

        Re: Lets get this straight

        > Of papers that offered an opinion on the matter, 97% accepted anthropogenic global warming. Only 3% rejected it.

        OK, out of that list, how many declined to express an opinion through lack of sufficient evidence?

      3. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Lets get this straight

        "You wouldn't expect all papers to offer an opinion. Most biology papers won't offer an opinion on the theory of evolution for example."

        Indeed. The only papers which would be 'offering an opinion' would be those who were actively engaged in some controversy on the theory of evolution.

        Exactly as is the case here. For most people it isn't an issue one way or another. There is a group of scientists who are pushing their agenda, and a much smaller group criticising it. But the sum total is not great.

        You can't claim 97% of scientists with this data...

      4. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Lets get this straight

        Some interesting news just coming out at Popular Technology.

        Apparently the lad who runs that blog was surprised at the findings of this paper, so he emailed a couple of scientists whose papers had been categorised as supporting AGW, but whom he thought opposed it.

        Sure enough, they both emailed back to say that their papers did NOT support AGW theory. Both papers were pointing out an error in the AGW hypothesis, but because they mentioned the hypothesis and said that 'this bit is wrong', they were counted as 'endorsing it 50%'

        Link is HERE

        I suggest that this news renders your attempt to justify Cook's bit of propaganda rather pointless....

    2. Philip Lewis
      Happy

      Re: Lets get this straight

      Why on earth would I want to downvote you?

    3. The Craw

      Re: Lets get this straight

      Mr. Bly, you misunderstand the content of the report. The report assessed all papers that made any mention of climate change in the abstract. Many of those papers do not say anything in the abstract regarding the overall veracity of the ACC hypothesis. That does not mean that the authors are neutral; that means only that the paper did not address the issue. Here's a hypothetical example: suppose that we have a paper on calibration of lake sediments. Such calibrations are useful in paleoclimatology. The paper could present its results and mention that this calibration would be useful in the understanding of climate change. Bingo, that puts it into the sample. That doesn't mean, however, that the paper in question is neutral -- it means that the paper doesn't address the issue. There were 3894 papers that explicitly endorsed ACC, and a handful of papers that contested ACC. The proper basis of analysis, then, is the consideration of all papers that in some wise address the issue of ACC. This is precisely what the authors did. This is why their results are compelling.

      You write "I'm old enough to remember when climate scientists were using the same historical data to say that we were entering into another ice age"

      Perhaps you are so old that your memory is playing tricks on you. Scientists did not in fact claim that we were entering into another ice age. A paper was published speculating on the possibility, and Newsweek magazine published a cover story on the paper, touching off a lot of speculation in the popular press. But the scientists were always pretty clear that there was no serious prospect of an ice age. You can find a detailed explanation of what happened here:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

      On glaciers, the evidence is clear that they've been receding at an accelerating rate. This recession is not some long-term process: it is quite recent and is due to increasing average temperatures.

      Your assessment of the contribution of animal respiration to net CO2 is incorrect. These calculations have been done many times and far and away the greatest new contributor to atmospheric CO2 is combustion of fossil fuels, not animal respiration.

      You write, "I choose to believe that the models are wrong"

      Bingo! Right there you reveal the anti-rationalism that animates the denier movement. If you had a rational argument against the models, you could write it up and present it in a paper, but instead, you simply decide (without even knowing their details, I daresay) that they're wrong. Might I suggest that you choose to believe that the models are wrong because you don't like the conclusions they lead to?

      Your speculations regarding the financial aspects of climate change are revealingly vague. You ask where the money goes. I ask you to answer your own question. If we choose to combat climate change through a carbon tax, that money goes into government coffers. We could choose to compensate by lowering other taxes. We could choose to triple other taxes. Those financial decisions are political decisions, and they are independent of the issue of climate change. And whatever political decisions we end up making, a distaste for taxes does not justify a denial of scientific truth. Rational people use evidence to inform politics. Irrational people use politics to counter evidence.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can anyone say "selection bias"?

    Take their methodology and apply to another topic...

    Search newspaper archives for "lottery win".

    Read abstracts to determine whether the story is about someone winning big on the lottery, someone not winning the lottery, or something else entirely.

    Dismiss the 'something else' category.

    Conclude that of people who have played the lottery, 97% have won big.

    .

    .

    .

    Profit!

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Can anyone say "selection bias"?

      That doesn't reflect the methodology of the study at all.

      Concerning your example the study would say that 97% of stories that mention lottery results reported a lottery win. It wouldn't say 97% of people who have played the lottery have won it.

      It's pretty simple, out of all papers that offer an opinion on AGW, what proportion accept vs reject it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can anyone say "selection bias"?

        >That doesn't reflect the methodology of the study at all.

        It's actually closer than you think, quite possibly.

        As I suggested above, expressing an opinion is quite possibly the same as reporting a win. The study deliberately does not include those that chose not to express an opinion, possibly because they thought that they couldn't express a reliable opinion on the matter. The fact that the vast majority of the studies didn't is actually quite telling in itself.

        A better experiment would be to go back to the authors on all those 11k reports and ask them for their opinion in a non-biased way:

        a) Do you think that the majority of the current change in climate over tha last <n> years is due to anthropogenic influences?

        b) Do you think that the majority of the current change in climate over tha last <n> years is *not* due to anthropogenic influences?

        c) Do you think that there is insufficient evidence to give a reliable opinion either way?

        The results would still be conjecture on the part of the participants, but at least there would be less chance of selection bias.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    8/10 Owners who expressed a preference said their cats preferred it...

    well they would say that wouldn't they. Be no reason to panic and therefore no more funding if they said otherwise.

  19. lambchops
    Megaphone

    Self-referential meta-rubbish

    I think this paper is the epitome of everything that is wrong with the climate science discipline (I write this as a computational physicist in an international research institution).

    This paper is a bit like taking stories from church newsletters and asking the congregation: if this story contains Jesus, do the authors believe in Jesus? I'm sure >97% of them would agree. The icing on the cake is then putting this story back into the newsletter as an self-congratulatory affirmation of faith.

    Scientific journals enable the latest debate in their publication area to occur - this is how science progresses. However, there is a tendency for papers which go against a consensus to get knocked back at peer review. So, to me, this 'survey' is really just reflecting this, showing climate science is a highly entrenched discipline which discourages any type of scientific debate. The paper therefore proves a point, just not the one I think they were trying to make.

    I should add, I’ve not come across any other scientific discipline which feels the need to publish meta-analyses on the ‘degree of scientific consensus’ in their field. This is not science. I’m truly amazed that this self-referential meta-rubbish was even published. Papers like this really aren’t doing any favours for this discipline.

    1. The Craw

      Re: Self-referential meta-rubbish

      Mr. lambchops, I suggest that you do not understand the content of this research. In the first place, the survey did not ask the raters to guess the opinion of the authors -- it asked them to determine if the abstract itself made a statement favorable to ACC or inimical to it. Your analogy with church letters is inapplicable.

      Your comment that unconventional papers fail to pass peer review reflects only the fact that many unconventional papers contain flaws. However, unconventional papers that are flawless have huge effects on the community because they upset the applecart. Do you really think that anybody ever got a Nobel Prize for saying "Me, too"?

      Yes, it's difficult to buck the trend -- that trend was established by the hard work of hundreds of people in the field. The author who thinks he knows better than everybody else is usually suffering from vanity. Where you err is in insinuating that worthy unconventional papers are not published. I can cite cases of flawed papers passing peer review and being published. I challenge you to cite any case in climate science of a paper that was initially rejected but later vindicated (excepting the case where additional data pushes a previously unjustified claim into reliability.) If you cannot cite any such paper, how can you criticize the scientific community?

      "I should add, I’ve not come across any other scientific discipline which feels the need to publish meta-analyses on the ‘degree of scientific consensus’ in their field."

      That's because no other scientific discipline is being subjected to such hostility from so many directions. The deniers are using every possible stunt to slow down, cripple, invalidate, or otherwise hamper scientific progress. Can you name any other scientific discipline that has been the subject of seven hostile investigations? Can you name any other scientific discipline in which investigators have been threatened with criminal action?

      By the way: you wouldn't just happen to embrace a conservative stance on political matters, would you?

    2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: Self-referential meta-rubbish

      ...This paper is a bit like taking stories from church newsletters and asking the congregation: if this story contains Jesus, do the authors believe in Jesus? I'm sure >97% of them would agree. The icing on the cake is then putting this story back into the newsletter as an self-congratulatory affirmation of faith.

      Actually, I understand that most historians believe that Jesus bar-Joseph was a historical person who was killed in Judea around 30AD. The question of whether he was the Son of God is a separate one, of course.

      So the paper is actually a bit like asking the question "Did Jesus exist? " and, finding a majority of people agreeing, claiming that therefore they are all Christian. This is a very common trick amongst 'true warmist believers' - they often say "Do you accept that in a lab, air with some CO2 in it gets hotter than air with no CO2 in it?". And when you say: "Yes,but...", they then say "So you must believe in dangerous CO2 heating caused by humans, then, and the need to close down all our power stations!"

  20. Wade Burchette
    Stop

    I have to say this

    Albert Einstein said "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong." Think of all the failed theories that the consensus said was true. Two good example were the geocentric solar system and miasma theory. The miasma theory had some good because it forced cities to have proper sanitation. But it was still wrong because it failed to recognize that correlation is not causation. Science is not by consensus. Anybody who says otherwise has ulterior motives. Religion is by consensus.

    Humans have some effect on the climate, especially local climates. But to think that humans' effect on the global climate outweighs that of the oceans is ignorant.

    1. The Craw

      Re: I have to say this

      Mr. Burchette, don't you realize the significance of the age of the theories you cite? The geocentric theory of the universe was blown out of the water long before there was anything like established science. The miasma theory was also blown out of the water in the early years of organized science. The fact that you have to reach so far back in time, long before the current scientific system was organized, demonstrates the reverse of your claim. It shows that modern science has never succumbed to gross error.

      You are also quite incorrect in claiming that science is not done by consensus. And no, I have no ulterior motives other than to advance the cause of truth. If science does not progress by consensus, then what does it progress by? Is there a Supreme Court of science? A House of Representatives or Senate of science? A President of science? Who decides? Science handles this in the most reliable manner possible. Every hypothesis is viable until it is disproven. Many hypotheses, however, rely on judgement. For example, the Steady State hypothesis was not disproven until the 1990s, yet scientists had reached a consensus against it during the 1960s. How? By the exercise of informed judgement.

      In fact, the US Congress realized 150 years ago that it needed reliable advice on scientific issues that impact policy-making, so they set up a scientific institution comprised of the elite of American science, and charged that institution with providing reliable scientific recommendations on matters of public policy import. That institution is the National Academy of Sciences, and in its entire history, it has NEVER made a statement to Congress that was later found to be in error. Not once. Can you cite ANY human institution with a similar perfect track record?

      And yes, the NAS does indeed strongly support the notion that ACC is real, caused by humans, and poses serious threats to our future.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Tom 13

      Re: I have to say this

      Actually religion is by word of the resident diety(ies). Democracy is by consensus.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can somebody explain...

    ...the ice age.

    We have positive proof that the ice age DID exist. We also know that it existed LONG before humans were in great numbers (at least below a million of us, possibly less than that!). Something caused it, and the warming period after it (it is a bit warmer now!).

    So, WHAT CAUSED IT!

    Explain it to me and how humans contributed to the before/after effects.

    1. The Craw

      Re: Can somebody explain...

      Sir, no human action caused any of the Ice Ages or any of the changes afterward. This fact is irrelevant to the ACC hypothesis. The fact that a phenomenon can have a natural cause does not prevent it from having a human cause. The fact that people die of natural causes does not mean that murder never takes place.

      The causes of previous Ice Ages are manifold. Probably the most important is the Milankovitch Cycle, a periodic oscillation in the earth's orbit that results in changes in the amount of insolation reaching the earth. Another important factor is tectonics: as the continents have changed their configurations, they have altered circulation patters in the oceans, which has had big effects on the convection of heat around the planet.

      It is also possible that large amounts of CO2 emitted by huge volcanic eruptions, such as the Siberian Traps, could trigger a dramatic increase in planetary temperatures.

    2. Miffo

      Re: Can somebody explain...

      >Explain it to me and how humans contributed to the before/after effects.

      This reminds me of someone who disagreed that humans didn't exist at the same time as dinosaurs. They said "Well how did they know what they were called if they weren't around at the time?". They weren't joking!

      Not exactly the same but it's just such a stupid question that spending 5 minutes reading a website would tell you the answer.

    3. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Can somebody explain...

      "So, WHAT CAUSED IT!"

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

      These changes were generally over many thousands of years. Nowhere near 2-4 degrees per century like now....

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Can somebody explain...

        Pop quiz - how do we know that fast temperature oscillations did not occur in the past?

        The correct answer is that we do not know, because all the proxy models we have for changes in the non-historical past are very low resolution.

        That means we simply cannot see whether short-period oscillations occurred or not, although we do know that one did occur in medieval Europe - but not how extensive that was, although it seems fairly reasonable to assume that anything affecting all of Europe affected the rest of the world.

        To date, we have no evidence that the current period is not another short-period oscillation.

        We also know that we're in an ice age and that's not the 'usual' state of the planet - however, our society really needs the planet to stay in an ice age, and we're not sure what actually causes ice ages...

  22. Skymonrie
    Flame

    Regardless

    Whether or not a believer in AGW, does it hurt to stop living like a pillock. In retrospect, when I say this I mean things like:

    - Walking to the corner shop 5 minutes away instead of driving

    - Turning off the lights when you (or noone else) are in a room

    - Wear warmer clothes when the weather gets colder as instead of turning the heating up

    - Wear less (and sleep under less) if the weather is too hot instead of turning the AC up.

    - Buy food you will eat rather than throw away due to waste/rot...

    - Drink beer really cold, it is much more refreshing than "lukewarm"

    Little things like those stated above make more a difference in the long run make more of a difference compared to bickering over the climate like little girls in the playground.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Regardless

      Makes perfect sense, although you may need to explain the bottom point to any Londoners.

      We can certainly make many sensible changes to our lifestyles, but before we go and make huge ones to our civilizations we should probably find some actual answers based on provable facts and tested mechanisms.

      1. EythInk
        Holmes

        Re: Regardless

        "We can certainly make many sensible changes to our lifestyles, but before we go and make huge ones to our civilizations we should probably find some actual answers based on provable facts and tested mechanisms."

        Just like we did before we started extracting and burning fossil fuels at ever increasing rates, eh?

    2. Philip Petridis

      Re: Regardless

      I completely agree.

      Wait, no I don't. Some beers, especially ales, lose much of their flavour at lower temperatures. And if you were to design a quantitative analysis amongst beer experts I'm sure there would be a consensus.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Regardless

      Or we could not waste energy cooling it down to really cold in the first place

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Regardless

      Drink beer really cold, it is much more refreshing than "lukewarm"???

      Utter bollocks! If its US beer you want to drink it cold because your really dont want to taste it but real ale at a reasonable temperature is a lot more 'refreshing' and you can easily demonstrate that a couple of swift pints of 'warm' beer will cool you down a lot quicker than a similar amount of gas filled cold drink that is harder to consume and results in blood vessel contraction in the stomach slowing any calorific value that it being cold may gain you in the long term.

      Cold drinks can actually make the body generate heat to warm them up!

      1. EythInk
        Pint

        Re: Regardless

        Reminds me of:

        Q: Why is drinking American beer like fornicating in a rowing boat?

        A: Because they're both effing close to water.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Regardless

        Orly? Then explain why cold lager was such a smash hit with (a) Australia and (b) the American Wild West, both regions known for hot summers, in the 19th century, an age where most beer, even American ones as they were just starting up, had good quality to them (American beer didn't really slide until after the Prohibition era and World War II when barley supplies were reserved for soldiers)? Why did Australians and cowboys flock to lagers over ales if ales are more refreshing?

        PS. While the body may generate more heat to warm you up, that usually only occurs if you're ALREADY cold. If you're in a sweat, the body's acknowledged that you're too HOT. It wouldn't be inclined to generate heat at this point. As for the caloric intake, that shouldn't have an effect on cooling, as temperature balancing through conduction and so on is a strictly physical process--metabolism has no say in the matter.

  23. Rampant Spaniel

    For the love of all that is holy, more opinion, really? I guess at least Rik got enough positive comments that he didn't feel the need to delete the entire article like he did last time.

    There are 3 main options:

    1- This is a natural cycle

    2- We are speeding up a natural cycle

    3- We are entirely responsible

    plus a few shades in between and a few outliers (God is punishing us for Jerry Springer?) but basically those are the biggies. Personally I think it is probably 2 BUT that is only an opinion. Unlike some people I can recognize the difference between a hunch and a fact. More and more what we are hearing these days from scientists is opinion and it is latched onto by the 'subway footlong crowd'. The trendy muppets who jump on any bandwagon passing by.

    Climate change is a very important issue, get it wrong and we risk either killing the planet or putting the growth of our civilization at risk. This does not need to be clouded by BS, we need facts, we need unbiased models. As it stands, right now, we don't actually know or even come close to knowing, exactly why we are headed the way we are. The Rik's of the world think they are saving drowning puppies by jumping on every science op ed they can and touting it as proof that the sky is falling, it is a great disservice to the scientists who are impartially looking at the issue and to all us who need a real answer. Do you really think the author of the report (or this article for that matter) is unbiased? Look at the title of this article (& Cook's Head in the sand jibe), stinks of personal bias, analyze your sources folks! Do you think he would have written this is the results were the opposite?

    Apologies for the rant but it seriously pisses me off when someone who thinks they are helping is actually doing the exact opposite.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      I wanted to add, Rik dropped me an email and I would like to apologise to Rik for the comment re deleting a previous article as the situation was not as it seemed. The article was deleted and comments rejected for a valid reason and I think it is inappropriate for that remark to remain uncorrected.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It doesn't matter whether or not AGW is real or a sham. What matters is what the global masses and their elected representatives think, because if they react too severely and impetuously, they will push the world's economy, already in extremis, over the edge.

    However long it will take global warming to kill us, new rules, regulations, laws, fines and prison terms imposed on our geriatric capitalism will get us to an equally unpleasant orwellian situation even faster.

    1. EythInk
      Facepalm

      "What matters is what the global masses and their elected representatives think, because if they react too severely and impetuously, they will push the world's economy, already in extremis, over the edge."

      Shirley not!

      Don't they know that's the sole prerogative of the bankers and financicators?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    statistics, statistics ...

    Well well ... one-sigma quality data produces three-sigma collectivist grant-pimping. Who would have guessed ... eh ...?

    1. Tim99 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: statistics, statistics ...

      So, would you stand on a busy road if statistics said that you had a 1 sigma chance (1.0SD - 68.3%) of getting run over? Perhaps you would continue to stand there until more research (3 sigma) suggested that you had a 99.3% chance of being run over? At what point would you agree that it is dangerous - 0.67SD 50%; 1.64SD 90% or 2SD 95.4?

      As an aside - I have been involved in using science where the legislation was constructed such that to avoid prosecuting someone who could have been innocent, the data had to be defined to 6.47SD (>99.99999999%).

  26. Lord Zedd
    FAIL

    97% are ignorant

    The sun and Earth's elliptical orbit is to blame, simple as that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 97% are ignorant

      Please go away, stupid, stupid man.

  27. jb99

    Or to say...

    Let me reword the headline.

    "Special interest pressure group overwhelmingly supports own cause".

    Done

  28. itzman
    Holmes

    Statistics show....

    That over 97% of Christians believe in God.

    1. EythInk
      Thumb Up

      Re: Statistics show....

      ... and over 97% of ACC deniers deny ACC.

  29. nsld
    Mushroom

    We should be thankful

    The data wasnt prepared at UEA's department of bistromaths otherwise it would have been 101% and not 97%.

    You have to wonder what the 3% who published papers in support of AGW now believe!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They need to separate the "no position" from the "uncertain", and include the "uncertain" in the result. Null hypothesis.

  31. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    FAIL

    For God's sake ,...people...!

    ...look at the data!!!!

    The claim that the writer makes here:

    ...an overwhelming percentage agree with the consensus view that human activity causes global warming..

    Is terribly misleading. In round figures, the data is:

    Of papers using the term 'Global Warming':

    69% gave no opinion

    30% said it was caused by humans

    1% said it wasn't.

    This does NOT equate to 97% support for 'Global Warming'. What it looks most like to me is a situation where the majority of scientists are having second thoughts, a fair number still hold to the 'old orthodoxy', and a small minority are out on a limb saying that it's not true. Exactly the situation indicated in Kuhn's 'Paradigm' theory of scientific development, in fact.

    As an example of the misleading nature of this piece, consider the same study being done using the words 'Intelligent Design'.

    It is quite conceivable that the majority of papers (70%?) would simply mention it without addressing its truth or not - they might be sociological papers describing belief systems. A smaller number (30%) might be papers from true believers asserting that it is true. And a very small fraction might be papers written by non-believers attacking the concept. Quite how you move from that data to an assertion that 97% of people believe in Intelligent Design escapes me....

    1. Rik Myslewski

      Re: For God's sake ,...people...!

      You missed it entirely.

      1. Most articles about climate change don't discuss AGW; they simply discuss, for example, sea acidification, plant habitat changes, species migration due to climate patterns, mitigation techniques, or whatever. Most articles on biology don't discuss evolution, either...

      2. Of those article that DID discuss AGW, 97% per cent explicitly or implicitly said it was caused by human activity.

      Simple, really.

    2. The Craw

      Re: For God's sake ,...people...!

      I must say, I am surprised at how much difficulty people are having understanding the statistics in this report. People keep tripping over the issue of what is meant by the null papers. Many seem to think that this means that 69% of the papers are neutral on the question of ACC. That is an incorrect interpretation. The correct interpretation is that 69% of the papers expressed no conclusions regarding the truth of ACC. That is not at all the same as neutrality. That means only that none of the 69% can be used to determine what scientists believe. They mean "no data", not "neutral". It would be incorrect to enter ANY numeric value for them into a statistical analysis. The only statistically valid course is to remove them from the calculation of net conclusions. That leaves 30% of the papers that support ACC and 1% that undermine ACC. Of THAT group, 97% support ACC.

      You write "What it looks most like to me is a situation where the majority of scientists are having second thoughts, a fair number still hold to the 'old orthodoxy', and a small minority are out on a limb saying that it's not true"

      You've got it backwards. Over the last twenty years, the shift has been entirely in a favorable direction towards ACC. Moreover, the scientists who cling to the anti-ACC position have held that position from the outset. They are almost all crotchedy old codgers who will never change their minds regardless of evidence.

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: For God's sake ,...people...!

        ...the correct interpretation is that 69% of the papers expressed no conclusions regarding the truth of ACC. That is not at all the same as neutrality. That means only that none of the 69% can be used to determine what scientists believe. They mean "no data", not "neutral". It would be incorrect to enter ANY numeric value for them into a statistical analysis. ..

        This is almost complete nonsense. Remember that these authors were then asked for their own beliefs. If you do the sums with authors who bothered to mark their own papers (the only way to ensure that you get what they think), you get this data (the original data is insufficient for 100% coverage, so does not add up to 100%) :

        764 offered no position

        412 authors endorsed

        47 reject

        24 not sure

        I make that around 70% who do not think that AGW is proven, and 30% who think it is. A long way from 97% consensus. That is a huge vote for 'the science is not clear yet. Pretending that this data represents 97% of scientists voting FOR AGW by just taking the middle two figures is simply lying propaganda.

        The best you could say for this study is that, of the scientists whose minds were made up about AGW, 97% believe in it. And I would like to study the methodology much closer before agreeing that that was a firm finding...

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: For God's sake ,...people...!

          "Remember that these authors were then asked for their own beliefs"

          No they were asked to rate their own papers. They were not asked for their beliefs.

          1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: For God's sake ,...people...!

            .."Remember that these authors were then asked for their own beliefs"

            No they were asked to rate their own papers. They were not asked for their beliefs.

            You are seriously trying to argue that an author's own paper does NOT contain his beliefs? What kind of planet do you come from?

  32. Triggerfish

    This may be a dumb question

    But I am asking it genuinely so can some one explain it to me.

    There seems to be some evidence that a marine and animal life is starting to migrate to areas outside of there norm, for example corals near Japan now seem to be establishing themselves further North where its cooler, certain Mediterranean species are starting to be found off our coast, coral bleaching, things like this.

    Is this not an indication of waters getting warmer?

    BTW it may sound it but I am not asking a rhetorical question to prove a point.

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: This may be a dumb question

      ...This may be a dumb question But I am asking it genuinely so can some one explain it to me.

      There seems to be some evidence that a marine and animal life is starting to migrate to areas outside of there norm, for example corals near Japan now seem to be establishing themselves further North where its cooler, certain Mediterranean species are starting to be found off our coast, coral bleaching, things like this.

      Is this not an indication of waters getting warmer? BTW it may sound it but I am not asking a rhetorical question to prove a point...

      A few points:

      1 - evidence of biological changes driven by temperature happening in an area are usually good evidence that the temperature in that area is changing.

      2 - this whole field of 'science' has now become an activist political arena, so ALL papers on this subject need to be looked at quite cautiously. One common trick that both sides have been accused of is 'cherry-picking' - that is, selecting data to support their hypothesis while ignoring other data which is just as reliable, but which tends to disprove their preferred position.

      3 - In this case you would need to look at ALL the world's ocean temperature data to see whether ALL of it was rising. If not, this may be a series of isolated incidents and not a major world change.

      4 - The world's ocean currents and temperatures are changing all the time. Some follow cycles which we know about, some changes we do not understand. It is quite possible that corals near Japan may be growing further north if a warm current in that area grows stronger, and for that to be nothing whatsoever to do with CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

      1. The Craw

        Re: This may be a dumb question

        Mr. Geezer, while I applaud your point that all scientific papers should be examined closely, you show a failure to appreciate the rigor of the peer review process and subsequent citation process. Let's suppose that, as you presume, somebody submits a paper cherry-picking data. Do you not think that a referee would veto the paper? OK, you're a cynic and you think that scientists are corrupt, so the paper gets through peer review and is reviewed. Will you at least concede that scientists, especially young scientists, are ambitious? Any young turk out there will catch the cherry-picking and rush to publish a paper pointing out the cherry-picking, thereby discrediting the first scientist and enhancing his own reputation for scientific acuity.

        The peer review process works because it is competitive. There isn't room for the kind of conspiracy that you envisage.

        You write that we need to examine ALL the ocean temperature data. Again, I applaud that sentiment. If you do so, what you find is that ocean temperatures have been, on average steadily increasing for at least the last fifteen years.

        While it is possible that poleward migration of corals is due to factors we do not understand, we DO know that ocean temperatures are rising everywhere, which provides us with a solid explanation for poleward migration of corals. Moreover, we know that some corals in tropical climes are dying because water temperatures have risen above their ideal values for that species.

        1. James Smith 3

          Re: Young Turks

          "Any young turk out there will catch the cherry-picking and rush to publish a paper pointing out the cherry-picking, thereby discrediting the first scientist and enhancing his own reputation for scientific acuity."

          Well that's fine in theory, but in practice no young turk will be going anywhere near attempting to discredit other scientists, especially when those scientists are leaders in their field and their friends have a say in whether said young turk has a future career in science.

          This problem is documented in Lee Somlin's book "The Trouble With Physics" where he discusses how it's very difficult to get a career in theoretical physics unless you sign up to string theory. Any young scientist attempting to confront the orthodoxy is likely not to have a future in physics. I fear that climate science has gone the same way.

        2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: This may be a dumb question

          ...we DO know that ocean temperatures are rising everywhere,..

          No, we don't. All the northern ocean basins are cooling. Unless you can produce a Global Warming theory which works separately in the two halves of the planet, you're going to have problems with that one...

    2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: This may be a dumb question

      "...certain Mediterranean species are starting to be found off our coast, coral bleaching, things like this.

      Is this not an indication of waters getting warmer?..

      Er, WHY are you looking at this data to find out if the oceans are getting warmer or colder? We have perfectly good direct temperature measurement of all the Earth's oceans. Look at that.

      If you're interested, it will tell you that some layers of water are warming up, and others are cooling down. It does not support the theory that increased CO2 concentrations are causing damaging warming.

      The use of proxy data like this reminds me of a similar occasion where the warmists tried to find the tropospheric hot-spot that their theory said must exist. There is good temperature data for the upper atmosphere, and it is clear that there is no hot-spot. So the warmists took wind data, manipulated it statistically, and claimed that there had to be a hot-spot to drive the wind variations they obtained from their stats.

      When people start doing this kind of thing it is pretty obvious that they are trying to cheat...

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: This may be a dumb question

        Thanks for the answers Dodgy

        The Why, I am not looking at this data to find out (I'm interested in wildlife and diving so I read about this stuff because of that). I was asking if it implied that they were evidence (whilst trying to be aware that correlation...).

        Many people do use these reports as proof.

        However to be fair the reports have come from a mix of sources and not all of them do use it as proof one way or another, for example the Japanese scientist report they say it is an example of migration due to global warming, but some of the other examples have come from just things like dive reports - comments on coral bleaching at dive sites spread around the world, some of the invasive species stuff comes from places like Glaucus.org, which just tends to report sightings and encounters (with just the facts, such as found it here, it was this long, it looked healthy etc).

        I'm with you on 2 you see. IMO The science has become screwed up by becoming too political and too full of soundbites that people use to support their almost religious belief (on both sides), and trying to make sense of whats what is a real is a PITA. I don't think you can easily get to know if you are hearing the truth if one bunch of people are using a evidence one way without having an idea of the flaws and counter arguments. I don't think you can really form an opinion or come to the truth without looking at your own theories and then being a bit brutal and trying to disprove them and seeing if they still can hold water.

        I think one of the biggest problems with climate science at the moment is that you can try and find info on the net and there's a thousand voices screaming my gods better than yours and its hard to figure out sometimes who is telling the truth and who is speaking bullshit.

        With that in mind if anyone can recommend good sites that do look at it dispassionately and are happy to criticise claims on both sides by just sorting through the facts then please let me know ta.

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: This may be a dumb question

          ...With that in mind if anyone can recommend good sites that do look at it dispassionately and are happy to criticise claims on both sides by just sorting through the facts then please let me know ta....

          Hmmm. That's a bit like saying that I'm not sure whether to vote Conservative or Labour - give me a nicely balanced site to help me chose...!!

          There is, actually, a site which sits scrupulously in the middle. It's called "Climate Debate":

          Climate Debate

          As you may have gathered, I'm 'anti-AGW', so I look at sites like these below:

          Watts up with that

          Climate Audit

          Climate Resistance

          Far be it for me to advise on the 'best' pro-AGW sites, but these are often mentioned. Perhaps some pro-AGW type would like to put down their selection?

          Tamino's Open Mind

          Real Climate

          Skeptical Science

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: This may be a dumb question

            "Hmmm. That's a bit like saying that I'm not sure whether to vote Conservative or Labour - give me a nicely balanced site to help me chose...!!"

            Well surely its more sensible than saying give me a massively biased site that lies and obscures truth behind bullshit and statistics? How are you supposed to work out what's the truth if you already know they are biased?

            1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: This may be a dumb question

              ...Well surely its more sensible than saying give me a massively biased site that lies and obscures truth behind bullshit and statistics? How are you supposed to work out what's the truth if you already know they are biased?...

              You appear to be amazingly unintelligent. If a balanced site does not exist, the best that can be done is to provide the leading sites from both sides and allow someone to make up their own mind.

              I presume that your view is that all your beliefs are perfect, and everyone else is 'massively biased'? Congratulations.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. Triggerfish

                Re: This may be a dumb question

                Re: This may be a dumb question

                You appear to be amazingly unintelligent. If a balanced site does not exist, the best that can be done is to provide the leading sites from both sides and allow someone to make up their own mind

                *Yes and that's fair enough. I guess you could say my response was to this comment from you

                ""Hmmm. That's a bit like saying that I'm not sure whether to vote Conservative or Labour - give me a nicely balanced site to help me chose...!!""

                *Which makes you seem amazingly smug

                You see I was asking whether there's a site that helps people analyse this data, without bias. I'm not exactly sure where to start, and it would be helpful methinks to have somewhere that tries to sort it out without having its own agenda, apologies for wishing we could have some sort of scientific neutrality in the hope of maybe getting the reasonable truth or giving people the tools to help make some sense of it all.

                I am quite willing to admit that for me there's so much guff in the way that going on one site that's biased one way and trying to sort out whether its correct or not and whether its actually good science or not is frankly confusing.

                Admittedly I should probably go get a better grounding in statistics, then maybe brush up on my physics and you know spend some more time on blah blah.

                Probably I in admittance need a site that really shows how to analyse scientific data I guess.

                "I presume that your view is that all your beliefs are perfect, and everyone else is 'massively biased'? Congratulations."

                *Yes that's right all my beliefs are perfect. I'm sure I have stated several times before in my belief that I am absolutely perfect, I am omniscient, that's obviously why I am asking questions you muppet.

                1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
                  Pint

                  Re: This may be a dumb question

                  ...*Which makes you seem amazingly smug...

                  Yes, that is correct. I am. That is an unfortunate by-product of knowing everything... :)

                  ...You see I was asking whether there's a site that helps people analyse this data, without bias. I'm not exactly sure where to start, and it would be helpful methinks to have somewhere that tries to sort it out without having its own agenda, apologies for wishing we could have some sort of scientific neutrality in the hope of maybe getting the reasonable truth or giving people the tools to help make some sense of it all....

                  This is a highly politicised subject. You really will NOT get one site which everyone agrees is balanced. Your best bet is to read one side, then the other, and decide for yourself who you think is telling the truth. Be prepared for brickbats along the way. I have provided a start for you, but I didn't hear any thanks...

                  ...that's obviously why I am asking questions you muppet.

                  I want to be Statler or Waldorf.....

                  P.S - there IS a site which provides temperature data. It's Wood for Trees The data collections themselves may be biased, but this gives you a look at the raw data. No need to thank me again, your effusive protestations are just too embarrassing....

      2. The Craw

        Re: This may be a dumb question

        Mr. Geezer, you are quite incorrect in claiming that changes in ocean temperature do "not support the theory that increased CO2 concentrations are causing damaging warming."

        In fact, the data show a clear overall warming trend. Most of the heat is going into the ocean below 700 meters. Yes, we have not seen much warming on the ocean surface for the last few years, but putting together ALL the data clearly shows the warming trend. Here's a paper on the subject:

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50382/abstract

        Your presumption that there's cheating going on is uninformed speculation on your part.

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: This may be a dumb question

          ...In fact, the data show a clear overall warming trend. Most of the heat is going into the ocean below 700 meters. ...

          Why are the northern hemisphere oceans ALL cooling, then? Global Warming's taking a summer break in New Zealand, perhaps?

          I'll give you a tip. Looking for SOMETHING in the world that is warming, and claiming that that's because of CO2 in the air isn't going to cut it. In this case, you have to explain how the deep sea is being warmed by the air, while the air and the shallow seas are staying the same temperature or cooling. Just sheepishly repeating ScepticalScience or RealityDrops isn't going to persuade anyone....

        2. Tom 13

          Re: uninformed speculation on your part.

          I guess you missed the "Geezer" part of the name.

          I haven't met one yet who engages in uninformed speculation. It may be argumentative. It may be contentious. It may be biased. But it is never uninformed, because he's got years of personal observational data at hand.

    3. The Craw

      Re: This may be a dumb question

      Yes, there have been quite a few papers showing animal migrations polewards. Plant migrations have not yet been demonstrated, largely because plants move slowly -- which will ultimately be the source of some extinctions.

  33. Andy Fletcher

    Bored

    Hearing about it. It was vaguely amusing when they changed the name from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change" so all bases are covered (temperature changing in any way up or down can be used as a stick).

    AFAIK I'm ALREADY paying 30-50% of my utility bill towards supporting so called green policies that I have no faith in and would not fund had I the choice.

    Regardless of what any poll says, I'm still going with Lomborgs figures. $1 spent on CO2 reductions yields 20c in benefits. $1 spent on HIV prevention & research yields $20 in benefits. Making ourselves poorer is the WORST way to cope with a changing climate. Telling Africa it can't burn coal (making it stay poor) is a horrific thing to do.

    1. The Craw

      Re: Bored

      Mr. Fletcher, the change in terminology from 'global warming' to 'climate change' is an effort towards greater precision. We now know that the increased strength of the greenhouse effect is causing hurricanes to be stronger, precipitation to become more intense and more intermittent, and droughts to be stronger in some areas. These are serious and expensive changes, and none of them can be classified as warming.

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Bored

        ".... We now know that the increased strength of the greenhouse effect is causing hurricanes to be stronger...

        Shame that the data shows that they're becoming weaker, then, isn't it... :)

    2. EythInk
      Facepalm

      Re: Bored

      "AFAIK I'm ALREADY paying 30-50% of my utility bill towards supporting so called green policies that I have no faith in and would not fund had I the choice."

      I don't doubt you're right.

      And I guess you also know that a potentially much larger proportion of your descendents' utility bills will be used to handle the problem of long-term nuclear waste containment, once someone decides that the species can't take the ostrich-head-sand approach any longer.

      Of course, being a requirement for which no precise timescale has yet been mandated, this particular nuclear energy subsidy - for that's exactly what it is as far as today's power companies are concerned - can be left out of the subsidy discussions for quite a few financial reporting years yet.

  34. Mike Ozanne

    well lets correct one part of this. Sceptics aren't questioning the objectivity of Cook's team. They have directly stated that they are liars. Reading through their case, it's hard to disagree.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Effective gatekeeping

    Despite the glee from policy-based science supporters (Cook is, in this context, an activist not a scientist) this study is meaningless. It's clear from the ClimateGate emails that all of the journals in this area are vigorously gate-keeped to exclude any off-message papers. The vicious ad hominem attacks and, in some case sackings, of dissenting academics make it very clear to aspiring researchers that they need to stay on the reservation. Cook's study just shows that a carefully curated literature is self-referential. Note that the majority of the papers only did a h/t to global warming -- probably the statutory mention you get in the abstracts of papers which have nothing to say on the subject either way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Effective gatekeeping

      Indeed.

      Want to study woozels? No money.

      Want to study the effects of Climate Change on woozels? That'll do nicely, sir.

    2. The Craw

      Re: Effective gatekeeping

      "It's clear from the ClimateGate emails that all of the journals in this area are vigorously gate-keeped to exclude any off-message papers."

      Did you not read ANY of the seven independent investigations into the emails that exonerated the scientists of wrongdoing?

      Please cite any case of an academic being sacked for dissenting on ACC. Without such a citation, your claim must be taken to be mendacious.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: Did you not read ANY of the seven independent investigations

        The fox investigating murder at the hen house does not get to exonerate anyone.

        Of course no academic has been sacked for dissenting on ACC. He left of his own accord after the Warmists turned down all his grant applications.

  36. plrndl
    FAIL

    Real Science

    Real scientists don't have opinions about science. They let the facts speak for themselves.

    Climate "science" is opinions about opinions about opinions: there are far too many unknowns for rational judgement.

    To have an opinion about the climate in say 50 years time is no more sensible than having an opinion on the winner of the Grand National in the same year.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Real Science

      "Real scientists don't have opinions about science"

      hahaha omfg you are trying WAY too hard

    2. The Craw

      Re: Real Science

      "Real scientists don't have opinions about science."

      This statement reflects gross ignorance of science. I very much doubt that you have ever worked as a scientist. Nothing in science is ever proven; we have only the judgements of large numbers of scientists on which to rely. Everything you have ever read in any science textbook is an opinion.

  37. localzuk

    Gotta love armchair commenters

    Who have no idea about what a long term trend is.

    Saying the last 20 years haven't shown an increase is meaningless. It doesn't discount the much longer trend.

    Its about as clever as people saying "It snowed! See, no global warming".

    1. Alfie Noakes

      Re: Gotta love armchair commenters

      "Saying the last 20 years haven't shown an increase is meaningless. It doesn't discount the much longer trend."

      ...but if the warmists says things like "CO2 is going to destroy the planet and levels have just hit the highest ever, ever, ever" yet global temperature hasn't increased in 16-odd years then surely the skeptics can say "this sounds like a load of bollocks!".

      "Its about as clever as people saying "It snowed! See, no global warming"."

      ...but if the warmists says that it "will never, ever, ever, snow again on top of Snowdon" - and it does, then maybe yet again the Skeptics can say that the warmists are "talking bollocks"!

  38. CCCP
    Megaphone

    You can be worried about climate change AND pro business

    Denier commentards above use phrases like "taxing into oblivion" and "living in caves". Apologies if these are not verbatim.

    They miss the point about capitalism.

    Our chaotic, profit driven, pseudo-democratic society is brilliant (well, sort of) at succeeding under whatever rules are in place. So if you push the rules towards less carbon, you'll get, well, less carbon but probably more innovation and more or less the same profit. It's just the rules.

    You could even argue the biggest innovations and societal shifts happen under pressure, so bring on the carbon taxes...

    Incidentally, it looks like the oil pumpers have had a nice little cabal for four or five decades; the deniers are helping, inadvertently probably, extend their good run of luck.

  39. Identity
    WTF?

    I thought...

    I was reading The Register. Is the denialist panel off on holiday?

    (Actually, congrats on publishing findings that go against your bias.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I thought...

      Naa - they just know it gets the commentards going ;-)

  40. Dropper
    Alert

    Questions Left Unanswered

    I think it's been pretty obvious to everyone that knows how to tie their own shoe laces that everything comes with a price, even air conditioning and driving really fast. You want Google server farms to dish up your porn really quick? Fine, but it's going to get hot outside.

    However there are still too many questions left unanswered.. chiefly if we are going to be the cause of our own demise.. is it truly our fault that apes will take over the world, consigning humans to the role of pack animals, despite the fact their long held disbelief in flying can be defeated with a paper airplane?

  41. Arachnoid

    What kind of study

    The effect of politically motivated interventions on the number of studies in regard to global warming.

  42. ecofeco Silver badge
    Holmes

    Yet to see any commenter state the basics

    Who can tell us how many BTUs of human generated heat are created each year?

    Also, how many tons of human created gases are released in to the atmosphere each year?

    Both easily googled and both easily averaged from as many sources as you like from as far back as you like.

    Go on, I dare you.

  43. Dreams
    Megaphone

    Truth

    "...scientists involved are merely perpetuating the "myth" of AGW because they are in an echo chamber of group reinforcement or are anxious to keep their grant money flowing."

    That.

    1. EythInk
      Facepalm

      Re: Truth

      "That."

      I'd always believed that computers / computing either didn't actually exist or else were not created by humans but I could never clearly see why. You've clarified with your impeccable reasoning:

      Computer scientists involved are merely perpetuating the "myth" of AC (Computing) because they are in an echo chamber of group reinforcement or are anxious to keep their grant money flowing.

      Thank you. So obvious through your insight.

  44. ShrNfr
    WTF?

    This survey impressed me as one of the most useless surveys that has ever been done. It is not a question of "Does human activity modify regional climate?" (it does) or "Does CO2 make the atmosphere warmer?" (it does). The Aral sea is evidence of the first, and basic physics and radiative transfer will demonstrate the second. It is a question of "Does human activity modify climate and make the atmosphere warmer enough to matter?" The answer to that question is the one that matters. Asked either of the first, I would have the intellectual honesty to answer "yes". Asked the second, I would have the intellectual honesty to answer "It appears not." Oh, and the background here is a PhD in how you measure the vertical temperatures of the earth's atmosphere from a satellite.

    People will pound their chests about this survey to claim that somehow folks can 1) Vote on how the universe works (they can't) and 2) How this proves we should all throw money down green ratholes (it doesn't). It is akin to asking if rain gets water on the ground. The answer is, of course, "yes". The real question that you have to ask before you build that levee down by the river is "Will enough water get on the ground via rain so that we have to worry about the river overflowing."

    Ill formed questions always are followed by ill formed conclusions.

  45. herman Silver badge
    Flame

    Ice age

    The earth gets an ice age lasting about 20,000 years, every 100,000 years or so. Those stupid cavemen must have burned a helluvalot of wood to stop the last one.

  46. Diogenes
    Boffin

    12 Signs the paper is bulltish

    demolition by Jo Nova.

    1, Thousands of papers support man-made climate change, but not one found the evidence that matters ...

    but he cannot name one paper with observations that shows that the assumptions of the IPCC climate models about water vapor and cloud feedbacks are correct. These assumptions produce half to two-thirds of the future projected warming in models.

    2 .Cook’s study shows 66% of papers didn’t endorse man-made global warming ...

    from the paper

    1 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. ...

    Though its irrelevant in any case. It only takes one paper to show a theory is wrong. Who’s counting?

    3. Cook’s method is a logical fallacy: Argument from Authority. This is not science, it’s PR. ....

    He assumes that “peer review” is uncorruptible (unlike every other human institution), that two unpaid anonymous reviewers is “scrutiny”, that climate-activist-scientists don’t work to keep skeptics out of the peer review literature

    4. The number of papers is a proxy for funding

    As government funding grew, scientists redirected their work to study areas that attracted grants. It’s no conspiracy, just Adam Smith at work.

    5.Most of these consensus papers assume the theory is correct but never checked. They are irrelevant.

    .... Cook gives the following as an example of a paper with implicit endorsement: “‘. . . carbon sequestration in soil is important for mitigating global climate change’. Any researcher studying carbon sequestion has almost certainly not analyzed outgoing radiation from the upper troposphere or considered the assumptions about relative humidity in climate simulations.

    6.Money paid to believers is 3500 times larger than that paid to skeptics (from all sources). ....

    Governments have not only paid more than $79 billion in research, they also spend $70 billion every year subsidizing renewables (an industry which depends on researchers finding a link between carbon dioxide and catastrophic climate change). Carbon markets turn over something in the order of $170bn a year, and renewables investment amounts to a quarter of a trillion dollars. These vested interests depend entirely on a catastrophic connection — what’s the point of cutting “carbon” if carbon doesn’t cause a crisis? Against these billions, Cook thinks it’s worth mentioning a 20 year old payment of $510,000 from Western Fuels?

    7. Keywords searches may miss the most important skeptical papers. ....

    Many skeptical papers don’t use the terms “global warming” or “global climate change”: eg Svensmark (1998), Douglass (2007), Christy (2010), Loehle (2009), and Spencer (2011). Were they included? Perhaps they were, but they don’t appear to match the search terms in the methods. These are just a few seminal skeptical papers that might have been missed.

    8. Some of these abstracts are 20 years old — does two decades of new evidence change anything?

    Twenty years ago the IPCC was predicting we’d get warming of 0.3 degrees C per decade. The warming trend came in significantly below their lowest possible estimate, no matter which major dataset you consult.

    9. Naiomi Oreskes found 928 papers with abstracts that didn’t explicitly reject man-made global warming. So? Skeptics found 1,100 papers that support skeptical views. ....

    Given how much money has been paid to find evidence, the question real investigators ought to ask is “Is that all they found?”

    10 You want authority? Skeptics can name 31,500 scientists who agree, including 9,000 PhDs, 45 NASA experts (including two astronauts who walked on the moon) and two Nobel Prize winners in physics. ...

    11 What about Science Associations? But they are not masses of scientists — just committees of six ...

    Most science associations never ask members to vote, (or when they do, they have bizarre rules like the Royal Society, which recently asked members to vote Yes or Yes to inviting Prince Andrew to be a fellow).

    12. Cook pretty much says this is not about a scientific argument — it’s a tactic to change public opinion through repetition of the fallacy ....

    The first sentence in both the introduction and the conclusion tell us that the point of this paper is about public perception and government policy. It is not about the science. It is to help change public opinion. There was no attempt to find out whether there was a scientific consensus — as in a consensus among all scientists.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: 12 Signs the paper is bulltish

      Most of the arguments Jo Nova makes are strawmen. The paper wasn't claiming to provide evidence for AGW, or claiming that consensus proves AGW to be correct. The paper was demonstrating the the widespread agreement in the published literature on AGW.

      Jo Nova probably knows full well that there is such widespread agreement. Afterall skeptics regularly use the excuse that there is widespread agreement because of funding (in fact Jo Nova even makes that argument in the list above!).

      Yet skeptics fight bitterly against any effort to let the public realize there is such widespread agreement. Because deep down they realize it is something the public would find useful in making a decision.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 12 Signs the paper is bulltish

      @Jo Nova:

      To paraphrase Galileo Galilei, "Eppur si riscalda."

  47. Robinson
    FAIL

    I didn't read all of the comments here, but has anyone read the rebuttal to it? Cook's paper is a load of old bollocks.

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/on-the-consensus/#comment-113199

    1. NomNomNom

      The rebuttal you link to fits the contradiction behaviour I outlined yesterday. Ie it tries to push these two contradictory arguments:

      a) "Scientists DONT agree! The study is WRONG!"

      b) "OF COURSE scientists agree! They agree because they'd be fired/lose funding if they didn't!"

      1. Robinson

        I don't think it does, no. It simply points out how unscientific the study is and how the conclusions and headline in no way match the methodology and data. One could describe it as "marketing", in a way, but I would describe it as a deliberate attempt to hoodwink the public.

      2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
        FAIL

        A new idea - thinking about the data...!

        "...The rebuttal you link to fits the contradiction behaviour I outlined yesterday. Ie it tries to push these two contradictory arguments:..."

        This whole argument is nonsense - based on a blatant piece of propaganda which would not deceive a primary school pupil.

        The figures are taken from papers identified with the words 'climate change' or 'global warming'. They looked for agreement or disagreement with the AGW hypothesis. Taking round numbers, they show:

        - 70% of papers give no indication

        - 30% agree

        - A small number (around 1% ) disagree.

        These figures were obtained from about 12,000 papers. These had around 8,000 authors. The authors were then asked to 'validate' the opinions of the examining team, around 1,000 responded.

        There is no way that this data can say ANYTHING about the opinions of "97% of scientists". For a start. we don't know how many scientists wrote each paper. Although this is an extreme illustration which is almost certainly not true, it is possible, with this methodology, for ONE scientist to have written the 3,600 papers which are claimed to support AGW, and for 5,000 scientists to have written the 120 papers which disagree.

        All that can be said is that, of the published papers on Global Warming at present in the literature (and we don't have the timescale for this either), about 1/3 support the hypothesis and 2/3 express no opinion either way. Many of these papers may be disproven by later ones, of course - we simply aren't told enough to know.

        And that the supporters of AGW are so frantic for some supporting data that they will descend to these levels in an attempt to obtain it....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A new idea - thinking about the data...!

          @Dodgy Geezer:

          Permit me the opportunity to correct that last sentence for you: "And that the deniers of AGW are so frantic for some supporting data that they will descend to these levels in an attempt to obtain it...."

          Back and forth we go, rant and counter-rant, while actual scientists are doing actual research to obtain actual data that they can actually study and actually propose actual hypotheses that they can actually test and thus form actual conclusions that they can explain in actual papers.

          May they be Touched by His Noodly Appendages and not be distracted by our silly, uninformed prattle.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: A new idea - thinking about the data...!

            @Anonymous Coward

            Permit me the opportunity to correct that last sentence for you: "And that the deniers of AGW are so frantic for some supporting data that they will descend to these levels in an attempt to obtain it...."

            Permit me to correct your correction. Rather than follow my normal approach of providing appropriate data and reasoning for my assertions, I will use your AC approach:

            1 - You are wrong because I say so.

            2 - AGW is wrong because I say so.

            I think that covers it nicely....

            Incidentally, as a follower of the Pastafarian persuasion, I'm surprised to find you supporting establishment 'scientists'. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster makes it quite clear that they are a bunch of liars. I suggest that you re-read the first few chapters to re-kindle your faith, and provide a reference here:

            The Holy FSM Gospel

  48. splatman
    Alert

    Just wait ....

    Just wait for the Denialist Murdoch press to spin this:

    "360 scientists are unanimous: Climate change is not human induced!!!!"

  49. Maybe?

    Is the Earth getting warmer? The proof is in the glacial pudding. Who is making the pudding is the question. One or more than one cause?

  50. peanutbutter and jellyfish
    Boffin

    The only take-away from this discussion is...

    an Ostrich's head is more comfortable buried in warm, loose sand.

  51. Maybe?

    Is the Earth getting warmer? The proof may be in the disappearing glacial pudding. The question may just be who is responsible...nature, man, non-man or combination of all?

  52. Discoverlinux
    Linux

    So we have managed to cause global warming in a few hundred years? We are in an interglacial period and global warming periods have be going on for millennia. We have to do something about pollution so we don't eventually poison ourselves. We have to overcome global warming changes like rising sea levels. This would have happened even if we were not burning fossil fuels so to say we have caused this is not understanding how our planet evolved.

  53. Curly4
    Devil

    The solution to global warming!

    The solution to pollution (global warming) is extermination.

    Then the earth be a great place to live!

  54. Spoonsinger

    "Climate scientists agree: Humans cause global warming"

    Sorry I don't believe it. The only way I'll agree is if I get an all expenses trip to somewhere nice and sunny - obviously with a complimentary Bahama Mama to fend off the heat.

  55. gnufrontier

    So, what's the plan ?

    Whether there is climate change or not is not the real problem here, it's human behavior, which is not really a problem just something that defies all attempts to fit it into some sort of rational system.

    The essence of science is the methodology used to describe and predict the physical aspects of a system. Science for example can tell you how a hydrogen bomb works, it won't provide any information on when if ever it should be dropped. And if one finds this example too extreme, the same rule can be applied to both every weapon and medical procedure ever developed from scientific research.

    Science has provided a mechanism for heart transplants. The question is, who gets one ? Certainly not everybody. Science cannot provide any help with that question.

    Climate change is no different. Even if it was as accepted a fact as the earth being spherical rather than flat, it wouldn't change anything. Human behavior does not conform to science, it uses science as a tool for advancing a variety of agendas that are part of the inexplicable behavior our history tells us we engage in.

    The second issue here is that there are always unforeseen side effects which create additional problems to be solved. We don't know what those are until they present themselves which we seem to inherently know which may be why there is always a certain amount of conservatism built into our systems.

    The fact is human beings have no mechanism or methodology that trumps the multiplicity of agendas at work in the world today as we know it and the probability is very high that we will never have such a mechanism or methodology.

    So where does that leave us? It puts us where we have always been, battling against each because the agendas we have are not rational. Our agendas may be, depending on what one wants to believe, either the product of millions of years of evolutionary development or our fallen nature after we were cast out of the garden of Eden. The odd thing is it doesn't really matter which of the propositions one holds, the solutions come out of the biases, prejudices, temperaments and self interest that is at the base of all human decision making.

    Boil it all down and one is left with one thing that has never been universally definable although it has been identified in specific instances and that is a sense of what is just.

    Justice is our ultimate insolvable problem. We cannot determine or agree on what it is beyond very local instances. Move beyond the local instance and justice is a moving target. It is a notion produced within us through a combination of our temperaments and experiences in the world.

    Climate change in my view will happen whether we cause it or not and we will as a species react to it as we have reacted to all changes in the past. We will fight and we will migrate. It should not be surprising to us that just as nationalism has not provided a framework for solving our social problems neither will globalism. Our best large scale approximation of "justice" is that we have an undefinable floor that we think all human beings should not have to live below (that floor is at different heights depending on where one lives) and this floor covers both economics and social interaction (ie. no slavery, no brutal living conditions, no forced labor etc.). It has always been the case that a sizable portion of the global population lives under that floor despite all advances and leadership.

    So what's the plan? The people who propose plans claim to have an understanding which frankly is beyond what can truly be known. They speak as we all do from their own beliefs, experiences and temperaments. In other words they are just like all of us but what they do and what they say effects more people than when we say or do something. They give their best guess as to what they think will work. So far, given where we are today, which is the product of all the decisions these leaders have made over the aeons, it is difficult for me to hold out much hope that it will be different this time.

  56. Hubert Thrunge Jr.
    Mushroom

    And then...

    Wonder if the Roman Senate had this same debate when the temperature rose during their heyday? "It's all those hot baths causing it Centurion!" So, they stopped washing, died out, and we were left with the dirty smelly Medieval period where we had a mini ice age. What the hell caused that?

    All this talk of "We must STOP Global Warming". Well you won't. it's like trying to cap an active volcano with a bit of tissue paper.

    We should prepare to live with the change in the climate. But we can't, because our population is growing so fast that we won't have enough space for everyone to fit in or feed ourselves in about 100 years the way we're going. Only China seems to have a grip on it's population issues.

    NASA recently published a report that showed the increased levels in CO2 in the upper atmosphere actually reflected more solar heat away from the planet, leading to a cooling effect.

    There has been a clear up and down cycle in the climate for millions of years, ever since Apple patented it (had to get that one in), and this will continue. The tectonic plates will move, some land will rise, some will fall, islands will appear, islands will disappear. It's life.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This proves 97% of abstracts

    In the UK we are having a minimum price of alcohol pushed onto us thanks to a scientific study which claims millions of pounds in savings on the NHS and improved lives. As already reported on the reg this report has an abstract of certainty and of purpose to make our lives better.

    The report itself tells a different story by using vastly unsuitable data and a pre defined conclusion. The report itself acknowledges that it cannot actually make these claims because the room for error is huge. But the report is so certain that it does make such claims and the gov is acting upon it.

    Since that point I have had no faith in the abstract. A survey of the world would say the majority believe in a deity. Some of more logical reasons than others, some for the fruitiest cakes of reasoning. Does that mean there is a deity? Or do you look deeper to look for truth and see the fragmentation? Do you see that while they are all certain they are only certain of their version, their chosen view. Do you see the difference between the truth seekers and the bat crap crazy?

    The facts behind the belief matter more than a few abstracts.

  58. Gary Moran
    FAIL

    Except the survey and methodology were laughable, see discussion at Lucia's blog.

  59. Drunken
    Thumb Up

    Sanity

    Has El Reg regained its sanity on AGW?

    The past denial of climate science literally stopped me visiting the site. When you show yourself to be so far removed from reality on one issue it suggests the same on other areas.

    Let's hope sanity continues.

  60. Poptech
    Alert

    97% Study Falsely Classifies Scientists' Papers, according to the scientists that published them

    97% Study Falsely Classifies Scientists' Papers, according to the scientists that published them

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2013/05/97-study-falsely-classifies-scientists.html

    The paper, Cook et al. (2013) 'Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature' searched the Web of Science for the phrases "global warming" and "global climate change" then categorizing these results to their alleged level of endorsement of AGW. These results were then used to allege a 97% consensus on human-caused global warming.

    To get to the truth, I emailed a sample of scientists who's papers were used in the study and asked them if the categorization by Cook et al. (2013) is an accurate representation of their paper. Their responses are eye opening and evidence that the Cook et al. (2013) team falsely classified scientists' papers as "endorsing AGW", apparently believing to know more about the papers than their authors.

    "It would be incorrect to claim that our paper was an endorsement of CO2-induced global warming." - Craig D. Idso

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: 97% Study Falsely Classifies Scientists' Papers, according to the scientists that published them

      Umm...this was mentioned two posts (about 3 hours) ago....

      But it bears repeating. A few known sceptical scientists who did not believe in AGW have been found to have their papers included in the 97%.

      Apparently the categories worked by counting ANY mention of AGW as explicitly supporting it, unless this was followed by outright rejection of ANY human influence at all. From Cook's own methodology:

      ..."To be classified as rejecting, an article had to clearly and explicitly state that the theory of global warming is false or, as happened in a few cases, that some other process better explains the observed warming. Articles that merely claimed to have found some discrepancy, some minor flaw, some reason for doubt, I did not classify as rejecting global warming. Articles about methods, paleoclimatology, mitigation, adaptation, and effects at least implicitly accept human-caused global warming and were usually obvious from the title alone....

      So, unless you wrote a paper saying "ALL AGW is completely wrong", you were counted as supporting it. A paper that said: "This basic aspect of AGW is disproven" would count as supporting it....

      Rik Myslewski should be ashamed of himself. It was his job to ensure that the story was a valid one, and not a propaganda scam. It would be nice to have his excuses in these comments....

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019