Oreskes, Peiser & Pielke, Mockton, Shulte, Khandekar

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  • 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.


Oreskes (2004)

Naomi Oreskes, "Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change”

This wasn’t a paper, but an essay (not scientific paper) by a History Professor that claimed based on a search of other papers with the term “global warming” found 928 papers, and claimed 75% agreed with her view on global warming and 25% had no opinion, and since none of them disagree with global warming there must be 100% consensus. When asked, she never provided her data. A few papers and media started quoting her around this time. But they moved to Doran and 97%, because as shoddy as Doran was, this embarrassed even credible propagandists to cite from. (Sites like Skeptical Science used to cite it freely).

Benny Peiser, Roger Pielke, Jr. (2005)

Both challenged Oreskes on the stupidity of her claims, and showed that only 13 papers in her set actually agreed with IPCC declaration (which was a far cry from consensus). So Oreskes refuted that by changing the topic and claiming they should have a philosophical debate on what inaction could mean instead, and refusing to address the points made. (Point, set, match went to Pielke).

  • Peiser went on to show that her search term as written would have shown 12,000 papers (or 1,117 filtered), so Oreskes corrected the terms she used in her paper to get down to 928.
  • Peiser showed that "more than twice as many appeared to have explicitly rejected or doubted the ‘consensus’ as had explicitly endorsed it”. Examples of ones she had counted supporting “most of the warming” included:
    • (a) AMMANN et al. (2003) detected evidence for close ties between solar variations and surface climate
    • (b) REID (1997) found that “the importance of solar variability as a factor in climate change over the last few decades may have been underestimated in recent studies”
    • (c) KONDRATYEV and Varotsos (1996) criticize “the undoubtedly overemphasized contribution of the greenhouse effect to the global climate change”. And so on, their points directly contradicting IPCC’s AGW theory.
  • Science refused to allow the corrections, papers, polls or other things that refuted Orsekes paper, to be published; which destroyed Science’s credibility as an objective Science Journal. (Quality refutations are always allowed in real science journals).
  • Later Peiser pulled back on his dissent a little (when he was corrected): he still claimed Oreskes was wrong, and he could only find 13 of the 928 she claimed actually supported climate change, but not all of his 34 corrections were in pure dissent either (though at least 4 clearly were, and that definitively showed Oreskes as wrong, just the degree of wrong was being debated).
  • http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/05/06/peiser/
  • http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/ep38peiser.pdf

Mockton (2007)

Lord Mockton separately rebutted Oreskes by offering many examples where Oreskes claims of supporting AGW were not good ones. Peter Norvig also did a review of this, and made excuses for why the clearly non-consesus papers might not have been counted. But since Oreskes never presented her data (just the conclusion), it’s impossible to know: it was never a scientific paper to begin with.

Shulte (2007)

Shulte also did a copy study of Oreskes and found claims not credible (wasn't able to reproduce).

Madhav L. Khandekar (2008)

Maghav also found at least 60 studies that contradicted consensus doing the same search.


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