Climate Consensus

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To begin with, consensus isn't Science. Consensus is either the bandwagon fallacy or the appeal to authority fallacy. Consensus/popularity is politics. Science is skepticism.

Places that use the 97% Scientific Consensus for AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) fall into one of two groups: (a) those completely unaware of where that comes from (b) those that are dishonest polemics who know how shoddy the claim is, but they publish them anyway. There really isn't a lot of middle ground on this one. The actual consensus is surprisingly small, and the studies that say otherwise are embarrassingly bad, and the one thing that most Scientists seem to have a stronger consensus on, is that IPCC and the media are misleading the public (and overhyping things).

Here's a breakdown of what the data actualy shows:

  • Logic contradicts the 97% myth. Folks like just show a few thousand papers supporting the anti-AGW view, and it would require an astronomical burden to get back to the 97% of papers (or scientists) agree standard. The same with polls of scientists. For each one scientist (Skeptic), the other side has to find 40 without scientific integrity, and that burden is just too high. So they don't even try. They try to cherry pick their data, exclude dissenters from their samples and know that the media and polemics will still cite them and fail to note the refutations.
  • Cook, Doran & Zimmerman, Anderegg, Lewandowsky, Oreskes are political advocates more than Scientists and they created some really bad "studies" (more cherry picked propaganda) to try to prove their conclusion that 97% agree. That's not science. No one who glanced at their methodology would call it quality research. And their studies were all refuted by real Scientists (those following Scientific methods) like Peiser, Pielke, Mockton, Shulte, Khandekar.
  • Strengers, Verheggen and Vringer, AMS (Meteorologists), APEGA (Geologists and Geophysicists), GMU (Climatologists), Lefsrud & Meyer all did far better (methodologically) direct survey's of published scientists to see if there was consensus and/or they agreed with the IPCC's conclusions. They came back with no real consensus, other that high skepticism or contempt for the IPCC's conclusions, and that the trend is headed towards more skepticism over time (rather than less). But these far broader studies, with better methodology are widely ignored by the media, because they don't fit the agenda. That's not science.

This doesn't mean you can't believe in AGW. A consensus against AGW doesn't disprove manmade warming, any more than consensus would prove it. But there's still the core question: if most studies show that there's no consensus, and those that do are frauds, and you haven't seen this in your favorite papers or TV shows, then why has the media been lying to you? Do you think they're all incompetent and have no researchers or fact checkers able to do what this article did, or do they have a political agenda and are willing to lie (mislead) the public for their cause? And that leads us to the conclusion, those that claim 97% consensus are either liars or fools.

NOTE: I created variances of this list for a couple decaes (though it's changed over time). While I'd gladly accept corrections, I've yet to have any consensus advocates able to refute it, or any of the studies in it. Their usual tack is to attack me, or go back to citing places that cite these studies, as if their appeal to authority/popularity isn't dependent on the research it's based on. Which tells me what I need to know about them, their sources, and their scientific/intellectual honesty and integrity.

American Meteorological Society


The American Meteorological Society (AMS) has looked at Climate Change positions amongst its 13,000 members, 4 times, this is what they concluded:

  • 2017 Survey - they found 500 peer reviewed papers that showed deep skepticism on the consensus view (500 in 2016 alone, 1,000 for the prior 3 years). For there to be a 97% consensus, there would have to have been 20,000 peer reviewed papers published in 2016 (there weren't), and all of them would have had to been on Climate Change (they weren't), and the entirety would have had to agree with the consensus view (they don't).
  • 2016 Survey - 67% of 4,092 participating members believe Climate Change is mostly due to man, 33% think Climate Change is natural or they don’t know.
  • 2011 Study - of the 89% of members that think Climate Change is happening: 59% thought humans were primary cause, 11% felt man & nature were equal contributors, 23% felt not enough is known to say. Less that 1% of the member that though it was happening and would be harmful felt it could be prevented through mitigation and adaptation measures.
  • 2009 Survey - 76% disagreed with the IPCC claims that climate change is "mostly man’s fault", 81% felt that the climate models were unreliable, 55% agreed that “global warming is a scam”.

Skeptical Science Studies


Psychology Student and Climate Activist behind the fraudulently named and often discredited Skeptical Science blog, John Cook, did a couple of "Studies" to try to prove the 97% consensus.

  • 2013 Cook selected 11,944 abstracts of papers, from pro-AGW journals, then cherry picked 64 papers for their use of sensationalist terms (like "Global Warming"), and found that 63 of those 64 agreed that "most" of the warming was from man: that's where his 97% number came from.
  • No credible author, scientist or statistician could look at the methodology and not scoff. Quickly Director of the Center for Climatic Research at University of Delaware, David Legates, did a peer reviewed rejoinder that detailed many of the errors in Cook's methodology, including showing that 23 of the 63 paper’s authors disagreed with Cook’s conclusions that they supported Climate Consensus. Resulting in 41 of 11,944 abstracts agreeing with Global Warming (a 0.3% consensus, not 97%). Thousands of FakeNews sites cite Cook and 97% anyway, without mentioning Legates rebuttal.
  • 2016 Cook decided to double-down on his fraud by doing a synthesis study, of adding up the totals of his, Oreskes, Doran, Anderegg studies together: ignoring all of those studies were discredited for the same methodological flaws of his 2013 Study. But now FakeNews outlets could more easily cite his 2016 "study" without mentioning Legates refutation, and only the truly curious would discover that all the studies that made up the 2016 Cook study had been discredited.

Strengers, Verheggen and Vringer


Strenger, Verheggen and Vringer did a direct survey of 1,800 international scientists who had published peer reviewed articles on Climate Change. Only 43% (797) of climate scientists agree with the IPCC claims that more than half of the observed increase in surface temperature was caused by manmade causes. (This isn't even the newer/bolder 90% caused by man). did a collection 1,350+ Peer-reviewed papers supporting skeptic arguments against AGW alarmism. This means the Consensus side needs to show a list of 45,000 papers that support AGW, to achieve their 97% claims, or we can agree that the claims of 97% are greatly overstated.

Asso­ci­a­tion of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geo­phys­icists of Alberta


APEGGA 2008 did a survey of their members and discovered that only 25.7% felt that Climate Change is primarily caused by human factors. So they did a follow up in 2012 and found that only 36% agreed with the IPCC claims on climate change, and 51% think there's little or no danger from anthropogenic causes. More of a consensus against the IPCC than for it.

George Mason University


George Mason University did the largest study of Climatologists in 2007 and found that while 84% thought Global Warming existed, only 73% thought there was proof, and "existed" is a far lower standard than the IPCC's "man caused 90% of Global Warming". The 2010 follow-up they found that "56% find IPCC untrustworthy”, "63% believe global warming is caused mostly by natural causes, and only 31% believe humans are primarily responsible”, Only 24% "see any evidence of climate change in their local weather patterns", and "61% say there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening”. All blowing up the idea that there's consensus, or agreement with the IPCC.

Lefsrud & Meyer

2012 Lefsrud & Meyer did a study of studies to conclude 36% have a "strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause." (agree with IPCC), yet 64% fall into one of the 4 categories that are skeptical of alarmist global warming claims. And that the explicit endorsements in AGW theory has declined from 1993-2008.

Doran & Zimmerman, Anderegg, Lewandowsky

These were all filtered polls with lousy methodology. None of them would hold up on their own, but the disingenuous will group them to make it look like there's more evidence than there is.

  • 2009 Doran & Zimmermann They polled 3,146 Government Earth Scientists (none from private sector), then filtered all but 77 that weren't published in a few pro-Global Warming journals, asked them two vague questions and concluded that 75 of the 77 were pro-AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming). His question standards were far below the IPCC's "most" or ">90%" of Global Warming is caused by man. It was sloppy conclusions so activists were happy to move to the Cook "Study", because this one had little credibility, but it still had more than Anderegg.
  • 2010 Anderegg had worse methodology than Doran & Zimmerman. This one filtered to 908 based on their ability to publish more than 20 papers in pro-AGW publications, and concluded that 97% of those papers didn’t disagree that man was "a major contributor" to current warming. Hardly meeting the IPCC standards or conclusive of anything. Most people didn't cite Anderegg.
  • 2010 Lewandowsky used other datasets (Oreskes, Anderegg and Doran) which had overlapping data (thus over-counted). Since your conclusions are only as good as your sources, and all the sources were discredited, we say GIGO (Garbage-in, Garbage-out), and virtually no one cites Lewandowsky, other than some like Cook who throw it in to their study of studies to bias the results.

Sietz, Robinson, and Soon : Global Warming Petition Project


Physicist Frederick Seitz was President of the US National Academy of Sciences and of Rockefeller University (winner of National Medal of Science, the Compton Award, the Franklin Medal, and numerous other awards, including honorary doctorates from 32 Universities around the world) and well know Global Warming Skeptic. He created the Global Warming Petition Project in 1997, and ran until 2008, allowing prominent Scientists to sign that they disagreed with Kyoto/UN on CO2 and Global Warming Alarmism. 31,487 American scientists (9,029 with Ph.D's) have signed this petition, all to show the absurdity of the consensus claims. To get to 97%, you'd need 1,049,566 Scientists, or at least 300,966 Ph.D.'s to sign the counter-effort, which never got anywhere.

Harris American Meteorological and Geophysical scientists Poll

2007 Harris American Meteorological and Geophysical Scientists Poll found that only 52% felt that the warming that was happening was "human-induced”.

Oreskes, Peiser & Pielke, Mockton, Shulte, Khandekar

  • History Professor Naomi Oreskes wrote a global warming activism essay that claimed her search on “global warming” found 928 papers, and 75% agreed with her view (and 25% held no opinion), starting the fable that there was 100% consensus on Global Warming.
  • Peiser & Pielke challenged Oreskes on the stupidity of her claims, and showed that (a) only 13 of the 928 papers actually agreed with the IPCC (b) her search terms were misrepresented (which she later corrected) (c) twice as many papers explicitly rejected AGW than supported it (d) Science disgraced themselves by publishing Oreskes but being unwilling to publish the better researched refutation.
  • Mockton, Shulte and Khandekar, each separately refuted Oreskes and showed the claims, while oft cited, were not valid.

Bray and Von Starch

These two studies in 2003 and 1996 mapped how many (and how strongly) scientists agreed with the Global Warming consensus, and it was a nice even bell curve, completely refuting the idea that there was a consensus.