Consensus: Behind the numbers

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The much reported paper by John Cook et al finds a very strong consensus about human caused climate change in the scientific literature: Of those abstracts expressing a position on the cause of global warming, 97% (implicitly or explicitly) endorsed human causation of this warming.

Over at Lucia’s, Brandon Shollenberger  found a way to search the results of 12,280 out of 12,465 papers. Based on this search method and the SkS paper rating guidelines, Marcel Crok reports the following breakdown of results:

Category 1 (explicit endorsement with quantification): 65
Category 2 (Explicit Endorsement without quantification): 934
Category 3 (Implicit Endorsement): 2933
Category 4 (Neutral): 7930 [the reported number]
Category 5 (Implicit Rejection): 53
Category 6 (Explicit Rejection without quantification): 15
Category 7 (Explicit Rejection with quantification): 10

The 97% is arrived at by adding up categories 1 to 3 and taking that as a percentage of all categories except 4. This percentage is actually 98% using the numbers above, but these are obtained via a shortcut.

Of course, various other fractions could be calculated from this list, each with a slightly different meaning.  E.g. of those abstracts making a statement about the quantitative contribution of human activity to the warming, 87% (65/75) endorsed dominant human causation. And of those abstracts expressing an explicit position on the cause of global warming, 97.6% (999/1024) endorsed human causation.

Any way you slice it, a strong consensus it is.

It should not come as a surprise that many papers expressed no position on the causes of global warming: Many papers matching the search terms “global warming” or “global climate change” don’t deal with attribution of the warming, but with impacts (48% of the total) or mitigation (28% of the total) of climate change (e.g. the change in the yield of corn as a function of temperature). Other papers may deal with one specific aspect of climate change (e.g. the influence of organic aerosol on the cloud nucleating ability of CCN). Moreover, as certain aspects of science become widely accepted, new research papers have less and less reason to state the obvious, let alone in their abstracts. This is corroborated by the increasing fraction of “no position” abstracts and the simultaneously decreasing fraction of “endorsement” abstracts over time (fig 1b of the paper).

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.

Dana Nuccitelli and John Cook explain that they took a conservative approach in their ratings:

For example, a study which takes it for granted that global warming will continue for the foreseeable future could easily be put into the implicit endorsement category; there is no reason to expect global warming to continue indefinitely unless humans are causing it. However, unless an abstract included (either implicit or explicit) language about the cause of the warming, we categorized it as ‘no position’.

Furthermore, the implicit endorsement category includes e.g. abstracts that

mention increased CO2 leading to higher temperatures without including anthropogenic or reference to human influence/activity

What is slightly surprising to me is the small number of abstracts making a quantitative statement about attribution (75 out of 12,465). There are bound to be many more attribution studies in the sample, but apparently many of these did not provide a quantitative statement on the human contribution in their abstract.

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299 Responses to “Consensus: Behind the numbers”

  1. Victor Venema Says:

    “What is slightly surprising to me is the small number of abstracts making a quantitative statement about attribution”

    Could be that these studies did not use the exact terms ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’ and were not in the sample.

    global temperature change, changes in global climate, recent climate change worldwide, globally increasing temperatures, whatever.

    It would be nice to redo the study using abstracts from climate journals. Now there are likely also many abstracts by non-climatologists (biologists, economists, geographers, etc.) that did not study the question themselves.

  2. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Good point Victor.

  3. John Mashey Says:

    (humor)
    I think physics should be required to follow the same rules as climate. Every paper must reaffirm the existence of atoms and spend some of the abstract to say so, although the court did say that the EPA doesn’t have to do that. :-)

  4. Bob Brand Says:

    John Mashey,

    That is pretty much the reason why the authors do re-assign a large proportion of the papers from category 4 to 1..3 (and a smaller number from category 4 to 5..7).

    These authors didn’t spend space in the abstract on the bloody obvious, but the explicit or implicit endorsement is actually included in the paper itself.

    Even so, there are a number of category 4 abstracts which remain there: “4 Neutral: paper doesn’t address or mention issue of what’s causing global warming.” That is to be expected: there are lots and lots of papers in the ‘global climate change’ category which are e.g. just about biofuels.

    Therefore the number of category 4 papers is irrelevant to the degree of consensus – another 1000 papers on biofuels does not in any way dilute OR strengthen the consensus!

    However, I am of the opinion that a paper which expresses *doubts* about ‘human-caused climate change’ ought to go into category 5, 6 or 7 (most likely 5). I don’t think there are many like that, but I do worry they might be counted in (4b).

    Regards,
    B.

  5. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    Bart Verheggen, would you be willing to define what this “consensus” is? There’s a huge difference between:

    1) Humans cause some amount of global warming.
    2) Humans cause most of global warming.
    3) Humans cause a dangerous amount of global warming.

    So it should be important to specify which the consensus is over.

  6. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Hi Brandon,

    My post from a few years ago outlined my idea of what the scientific consensus is about:

    Short answer: Recent climate change is for a large part due to human activity.

    The Cook et al literature survey doesn’t go into the difference between your categories 1 to 3, and it doesn’t specify in great detail what the consensus entails. It does focus on attributing modern climate change to human activities, which (besides the fact that it has warmed) is an important ingredient of the consensus. The more detail you start filling in, the more heterogeneous the spectrum of scientific opinion becomes of course.

    The survey that me and others undertook last year will go into more detail about the specifics of the consensus on attribution. Including e.g. the distinction between your categories 1 and 2. Paper abstracts that dopn’t specifically deal with quantifying the attribution would normally not give such a quantification, let alone in the abstract, so it’s entirely unsurprising that not many papers in the Cook et al survey provided such a quantification in the abstract. Though as I noted, I would expect more than 75 papers to deal with that question, though presum the quantified result didn’t make the abstract in all cases or they didn’t have the specified keyword (as Victor V mentioned as another possibility).

  7. Bart Verheggen Says:

    And from the Cook et al litereture survey the following (apples-to-apples) descriptions of the level of consensus can be given:

    Of those abstracts making a statement about the quantitative contribution of human activity to the warming, 87% (65/75) endorsed dominant human causation.

    Of those abstracts expressing an explicit position on the cause of global warming, 97.6% (999/1024) endorsed human causation.

    Of those abstracts expressing a position on the cause of global warming, 97% (implicitly or explicitly) endorsed human causation of this warming (this is the paper’s headline result).

  8. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Here is a typical statement of AGW:

    There is very high confidence that the global average net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming, with a radiative forcing of +1.6 [+0.6 to +2.4] W/m2

    http://ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/mains2-2.html

    And that’s notwithstanding small details like what we can read in the
    next paragraphs:

    Anthropogenic contributions to aerosols (primarily sulphate, organic
    carbon, black carbon, nitrate and dust) together produce a cooling
    effect, with a total direct radiative forcing of -0.5 [-0.9 to -0.1]
    W/m2 and an indirect cloud albedo forcing of 0.7 [-1.8 to -0.3] W/m2. Aerosols also influence precipitation. {WGI 2.4, 2.9, 7.5, SPM}

    AGW is the position according to which we are mostly responsible for dumping the extra CO2 or else, which resulted in warming, not that this dumping caused more than 50% of the warming we observed.

    We should not be lukewarm to consult the relevant lichurchur if need be.

  9. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Bart,

    You say:

    > Another example of an apples to oranges comparison is [Chewbacca] comparing the number of explicit and quantified endorsements to the sum of explicit and implicit rejections.

    In fact, Chewbacca goes a bit lower than that;

    Remembering AGW stands for anthropogenic global warming, or global warming caused by humans, take a minute to let that sink in. This study done by John Cook and others, praised by the President of the United States, found more scientific publications whose abstracts reject global warming than say humans are primarily to blame for it.

    The “consensus” they’re promoting says it is more likely humans have a negligible impact on the planet’s warming than a large one.

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

    Chewbacca’s argument rests on at least two dubious assumptions:

    (A1) AGW requires that A > 50%
    (A2) If A <= 50%, then A is "negligible".
    (A3) We should ignore all the abstracts that take AGW for granted.

    If we drop A1, that there is a minority of papers claiming that humans are primarily to blame for global warming is irrelevant to the fact that human activities cause warming, i.e. AGW.

    If we drop A2, the conclusion reached about what the consensus should be "saying" is spurious, and most likely disingenuous.

    If we drop A3, we might be getting results that have relevance, since abstracts might not need to remind readers what is being presumed for their operational results to obtain, e.g. AGW.

    It would be interesting to know how Chewbacca could justify these
    assumptions.

  10. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    Bart Verheggen:

    The Cook et al literature survey doesn’t go into the difference between your categories 1 to 3

    That’s what I was wanting to highlight. Because the paper didn’t distinguish between any of those, your “apples-to-apples” comparison is not “apple-to-apples” at all.

    A paper rated a 7 could agree with my 1) (several 7s do, in fact). A paper could be rated a 7 yet agree with my 1) and 3). That means a paper could say, “Humans are causing a dangerous amount of warming” yet be rated “rejecting the consensus.”

    Or to put it another way, a paper could say humans cause 45% of global warming, and it’d be rated a 7. Increase that value to 55%, and suddenly, it’d be rated a 1. Clearly the two categories are not opposites.

  11. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    I have to say that Brandon’s effort to compare our Category 1 (explicit endorsement with quantification) with Categories 5–7 (all implicit + explicit minimizations and rejections) is really a gross distortion of reality. I think that’s the nicest way I can put it – I’ll refrain from saying what I really think of it in the interest of keeping the discussion here civil.

    Note that if a paper said humans are causing less than 50% of global warming, or that another factor was causing more than 50% (or ‘most’, or some similar language), we put it in our rejections/minimization of the human influence category. Our basis was the IPCC statement that humans have caused most global warming since the mid-20th century. But if a paper simply said ‘human greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming’, that went into the endorsement category as well. After all, there’s no reason for most climate research to say ‘humans are causing >50% of global warming’ (except attribution research), especially in the abstract.

    If you just want to get into the quantifications, as Bart notes, nearly 90% agreed that humans are the main cause of global warming.

  12. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    Thank you Dana Nuccitelli. You’ve just confirmed my description of what your ratings are is completely accurate. You can imply I’m a terrible person all you want, even saying I’m offering “a gross distortion of reality,” but the fact is you’ve confirmed some things I’ve said without disputing anything I’ve said.

    That advances the conversation. People can talk about how to interpret the results of your study, but this shows is no room to disagree on how your study handles things.

    You’d advance the conversation more if you’d bother to explain how I am supposedly putting forth “a gross distortion of reality,” but this is a start.

  13. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Brandon,

    I think the different categories are meant as a nominal scale, i.e. the fact that two different research abstracts, one estimating the human contribution to be 55 and the other 45% arrive in categories 7 and 1 resp is not necessarily a problem. It is a direct consequence of the description of the categories.

    This also means that category one is not necessarily a stronger endorsement than categories 2 or 3. It is clearer (since it is explicitly quantified), but that’s about it.

    In the survey of scientists that me and others did last year we used ordinal and interval scales, so more detail about the respondent’s opinion is gained. But that’s because we specifically asked. In the Cook et al survey, the data is the abstracts of a good part of the scientific literature. That is more directly related to scientific knowledge, but offers less detail (cf asking scientists what they think).

    Btw, the AR4 statement is written in terms of the anthropogenic GHG contribution; this is likely much higher than the net anthropogenic contribution (because of aerosol cooling masking part of the greenhouse warming). I’ll be beating that drum in the hopefully not too distant future.

  14. Andy Skuce Says:

    What can sometimes get lost in discussions of whether or not we should include or exclude the “no position” abstracts in the denominator is that the proportion of rejection articles is very low (~3%) if they are excluded and extremely low (~1%) if they are not.

    For some reason, the critics of our approach (which excludes the no positions) prefer to include the “no positions” to minimize the endorsement percentage, but they are not consistent in doing the same for the rejection abstracts.

    For example, see the comment by “policycritic” in the discussion here:

    http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2013/5/17/annual-new-study-finds-97-of-climate-scientists-believe-in-m.html

  15. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    Bart Verheggen:

    I think the different categories are meant as a nominal scale, i.e. the fact that two different research abstracts, one estimating the human contribution to be 55 and the other 45% arrive in categories 7 and 1 resp is not necessarily a problem. It is a direct consequence of the description of the categories.

    I didn’t say it is a problem. I said it makes your comparison not “apples-to-apples.” Both values could be given by papers which endorse my 1) and 3). Both papers could call for dramatic action to combat global warming. They are not opposites.

    No “apples-to-apples” comparisons can be made with this data. If all Cook et al examine is my 2), any paper rated 7, 6 or 5 is a paper arguing against the “consensus.” Any paper rated 2 or 3 (or 4) is neutral. That means the appropriate comparison is the comparison I made.

    This also means that category one is not necessarily a stronger endorsement than categories 2 or 3. It is clearer (since it is explicitly quantified), but that’s about it.

    Categories two and three could just as easily support a value for AGW less than 50% as they could greater than 50%. That means they are neutral. And that means category one is a much stronger endorsement.

    The only way you can group categories two and three with category one is if you limit the discussion to my 1). And in that case, you’ll have to group papers from categories 5, 6 and 7 in with them since many agree with my 1).

  16. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Here’s the SPM claim:

    Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.[12]

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-understanding-and.html

    ***

    In that sentence, “very likely” should be interpreted according to a scale given in Table 1 from the Guidance Note:

    [Very Likely] 90-100% probability of likelihood.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/supporting-material/uncertainty-guidance-note.pdf

    Here’s the citation of that document:

    Mastrandrea, M.D., C.B. Field, T.F. Stocker, O. Edenhofer, K.L. Ebi, D.J. Frame, H. Held, E. Kriegler, K.J. Mach,
    P.R. Matschoss, G.-K. Plattner, G.W. Yohe, and F.W. Zwiers, 2010: Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth
    Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
    Available at

    ***

    Here’s the definition of likelihood:

    Likelihood, as defined in Table 1, provides calibrated language for describing quantified uncertainty. It can be used to express a probabilistic estimate of the occurrence of a single event or of an outcome (e.g., a climate parameter, observed trend, or projected change lying in a given range). Likelihood may be based on statistical or modeling analyses, elicitation of expert views, or other quantitative analyses. The categories defined in this table can be considered to have “fuzzy” boundaries. A statement that an outcome is “likely” means that the probability of this outcome can range from ≥66% (fuzzy boundaries implied) to 100% probability. This implies that all alternative outcomes are “unlikely” (0-33% probability). When there is sufficient information, it is preferable to specify the full probability distribution or a probability range (e.g., 90-95%) without using the terms in Table 1. “About as likely as not” should not be used to express a lack of knowledge (see Paragraph 8 for that situation). Additionally, there is evidence that readers may adjust their interpretation of this likelihood language according to the magnitude of perceived potential consequences.11 [Ibid.]

    Our emphasis. The number “11” seems refers to (Patt & Schrag, 2003).

    ***

    Here’s footnote 12:

    Consideration of remaining uncertainty is based on current methodologies.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-understanding-and.html#footnote12

    I don’t know exactly to what this refers. My intuition is that an author who would try to contradict the IPCC statement should seek something lower than 45%, a number which is a bit odd if we don’t add its uncertainty margin anyway.

    ***

    Let us note how the SPM statement concludes:

    Discernible human influences now extend to other aspects of climate, including ocean warming, continental-average temperatures, temperature extremes and wind patterns (see Figure SPM.4 and Table SPM.2). {9.4, 9.5}

    This means that about everything about AGW is not covered by that statement.

    ***

    Let’s take stock:

    First, I’m not sure I would venture to mention “IPCC statement that humans have caused most global warming since the mid-20th century” without putting the uncertainty with which it’s supposed to come.

    Second, I would make sure that this statement is required to hold that there’s an A in AGW. In other words, pussyfooting around attribution studies might be fun for ClimateBall, but that’s mostly what it achieves.

    No, I’m not telling how I got that last “mostly”.

  17. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Let’s rewrite that sentence:

    > I would make sure that this statement is required to hold that there’s an A in AGW

    by expliciting its logical point and tightening its referent:

    > I would make sure about the implications of the IPCC statement before inferring anything about the A in AGW.

    In other words, we should distinguish the IPCC statement from the theorical and observational framework on which it rests.

  18. KR Says:

    And Brandon continues to compare apples to oranges…

    He’s lumped implicit / explicit / explicit with quantification rejection categories, and claims that is somehow a good comparison to just explicit with quantification endorsement category.

    That, Brandon, is a deliberate (and blatant) distortion of the data – ignoring explicit and implicit acknowledgements of AGW in order to throw off the statistics. In my personal opinion you have with that approach invalidated your entire set of objections to the Cook et al 2013 paper; at the very least they would have to be gone through with a fine-tooth comb to see if they had any merit whatsoever. Which I consider not worth the time – if you had any valid objections you would have presented (and stuck with) those.

    It’s long been a personal opinion of mine that the strength of a position can be judged by the strength of the arguments for it. From that basis, Brandons position against this paper (or any consensus argument, for that matter) is very, very weak.

  19. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    KR, I’ve offered an explanation for what I did. The fact you’d practically call me dishonest without even discussing that explanation tell us far more about you than it tells us about me.

    Bart Verheggen, I’m afraid you have to take some blame for KR’s accusation. He’s relying on the exact same behavior (hand-waving) you’ve been practicing to criticize me.

  20. Chris Maddigan Says:

    I cannot see how Cook et al’s category 2 can be categorized as endorsing the consensus. A statement that greenhouses gasses are making a contribution to global warming is just as consistent with a position that it is not the major contributor (reject the consensus) as it is with the position that it is the major contributor (endorse the consensus). It is therefore dishonest to include this category in the endorse consensus group. It is neutral.

    The authors of these papers may indeed endorse the consensus position but you simply cannot say that was the finding of the research.

    Category 3 is also problematic. Just because a paper suggests that some scheme could mitigate climate change does not mean they endorse the proposition that greenhouse gasses are the major cause of global warming.

    Most worrying is that the Cook et al paper chose not to publish the results of each category. I can now see why. A finding that just 1.6% of papers that express an opinion on Global Warming explicitly endorse the consensus position in not as sexy as claiming 97%. The paper stands condemned for what it is, nothing more than a propaganda exercise.

  21. KR Says:

    Brandon – I’ve read your explanation on the Blackboard, and find it woefully insufficient.

    You have discarded papers in category 2, papers which “Explicitly states humans are causing global warming or refers to anthropogenic global warming/climate change as a known fact”. You also wish to discard category 3, papers where “…research assumes greenhouse gas emissions cause warming without explicitly stating humans are the cause”, as if GHG emissions are mysteriously disconnected from our actions.

    You are somehow convinced that these papers do not support the statement “…that humans are causing global warming”?!? I find that… an unsupportable and ridiculous claim.

    It is, quite bluntly, absurd to discard category 2, which explicitly notes AGW. I would note that category 3 is not a terribly strong statement – perhaps some Mysterious Unknown Forcing (MUF) is causing GHG emissions that only appear to be the result of observed fossil fuel consumption? But then, neither is category 5, “…proposing a natural mechanism is the main cause of global warming”, as that still includes the possibility of anthropogenic contributions. If you toss one, you would need to toss the other.

    Removing categories 3 and 5, there are 999 papers in categories 1 and 2. There are 25 in categories 7 and 6, a total of 1024. That’s 2.4% rejecting AGW, with 97.5% in the consensus category acknowledging “…that humans are causing global warming”. Hmm – results unchanged.

    But even after Bart’s clear explanation of the apples-apples comparisons, you insist on throwing out the majority of the data. I cannot consider that even remotely reasonable – but more of kind with the multiple attempts you have made since the papers publication to find reasons to dismiss either the methodology or the results.

    Like it or not, the paper is a scientific work. The proper response is to do some work yourself – design a study, make clear classification criteria, and look at some data. That could be paper abstracts (as per Cook et al 2013), examining public statements of known climate scientists (as per Anderegg 2010), or perhaps just an anonymous survey of people in the field (as per Doran et al 2009). Of course, so far such studies all see roughly 97% consensus on the subject, but perhaps you can do a better job. And (although I feel it unlikely) one that holds up to examination. Insult blogging is not a valid criticism.

    In the meantime – I must consider your rejection of categories 2 and 3 in this paper as unsupportable (and unsupported) rhetorical distortions.

  22. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    The problem is of course that Brandon is approaching the problem from a biased perspective. He is willing to assume that a paper which implicitly rejects or minimizes AGW is taking the position that AGW 50%. That is a biased approach, revealing a willingness to make assumptions only when it favors his biases.

    The beauty of our system is that it’s symmetric. If you only want to consider quantifications, you can compare Categories 1 and 7. If you only want explicit endorsements, you can do 1+2 vs. 6+7, and so forth, as Bart has done. But to compare 1 to 5+6+7; that’s skewing the data in order to give you the answer you want.

  23. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    Hmm the ‘less than’ and ‘greater than’ symbols didn’t show up in my last comment. It should read first ‘the position that AGW is less than 50%’ and then ‘the position that AGW is greater than 50%’.

  24. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Brandon,

    I’ve engaged and criticized your opinion and backed up mine. That’s not handwaving, nor is it non-responsive. Did you read what I wrote?

  25. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Dana Nuticelli say “The beauty of our system is that it’s symmetric.”

    Only it isn’t.

    The nomenclature is symmetric but the definitions aren’t. Only level 1 is an unequivocal endorsement of the consensus position while 5,6,7 are unequivocal rejections. 1 vs 5,6.7 is the valid comparison.

    The paper should have said that, based on an analysis of abstracts, 45% of papers that make an unequivocal statement about AGW endorse it, 55% reject it.

  26. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Chris,

    That’s quite an example of newspeak you’re giving there.

  27. Chris Maddigan Says:

    You might want to explain that, Bart. To my my post seems straight forward, logical and precise.

  28. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    KR, if you’ve read my explanation, you should know your description of it is woefully inaccurate. The reason I’ve given for “discarding” categories 2 and 3 is those categories are neutral on the statement, “Humans are the primary cause of global warming.”

    The fact they are not not neutral on the statement, “Humans cause some global warming” is irrelevant. That is not what the abstracts were rated on, and it is endorsed by abstracts from every category except 4.

    Bart Verheggen. You’ve never addressed any of the reasoning I’ve provided for my comparison. You’ve never even said what my reasoning is. Rather than rudely asking me if I’ve read what you’ve written, you should describe what the reasoning I’ve given is and why it is wrong. You haven’t.

    If you’re not just hand-waving your way through our exchanges, you should be able to explain what reasoning I gave for my comparison. What is my reasoning?

    Dana Nuccitelli, the ratings are not remotely symmetric. I’ve explained why this is true many times. If you wish to dispute my claims, you should explain what I say and why it is wrong. You haven’t done that on any point. Instead, all you’ve done is offer comments perfectly in line with things I’ve said and use ad hominem attacks.

    Which should tell us something about who here is biased.

  29. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Chris Maddigan,

    When one implies that the A in AGW is minimal (i.e. 5) or explicitely minimizes AGW (i.e. 6), he stands in opposition with the first three categories, and not only the first one.

    The consensus on AGW that was surveyed should not be restricted to (1), as you and Chewbacca do.

    Chewbacca’s conclusion that “The “consensus” they’re promoting says it is more likely humans have a negligible impact on the planet’s warming than a large one” has no merit.

  30. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    An expedient way to see that the categories do not form a progressive (more precisely a regressive) scale might be to observe that (6) could contain more radical positions than (7).

  31. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Willard,

    Level 5 is effectively the statement that Anthropogenic causes are not the major cause of global warming. It is quiet feasible that papers could be categorised at level 2 or level 3 and still endorse this statement.

    A paper categorised as 2 doesn’t say whether Anthropogenic causes are major or minor so cant be excluded from 5

    a paper categorised as 3 again merely acknowledges that Anthropogenic gasses make a contribution to global warming which can be mitigated. It doesn’t acknowledge that they are the major contributor.

    So no, level 2 and 3 are not opposed to level 5. Level 2 and 3 cannot be classified as endorsing the consensus view that anthropogenic greenhouse gasses are the primary cause of global warming. Cook and al do this to give results that are erroneous.

    Category 5, on the other hand is an unequivocal rejection of the “consensus view” as is 6 and 7. The correct comparison is, as I have said 1 vs 5, 6 and 7 : 45% endorse, 55% reject.

  32. KR Says:

    Brandon – Your redefinition of the categories isn’t supportable. And perhaps the clearest demonstration of that is section 3.2 of the Cook et al paper where the authors of the surveyed papers were asked to self-rate their works.

    96.4% of the authors self-rated their papers as agreeing with the consensus on AGW under the categories of “Explicit endorsement with quantification”, “Explicit endorsement without quantification”, or “Implicit endorsement”. Only 3.6% rated their papers as rejecting AGW.

    I will note, not incidentally, that the category titles (as above) are part and parcel of the definitions and rating instructions. Choosing only portions of the supporting definition (as Brandon an others have) while ignoring the category title itself is another form of cherry-picking; a re-definition to something not used in the actual survey.

    Somehow, I just cannot see an author taking their paper rejecting human caused warming – and knowingly categorizing it as “Explicit” or “Implicit” endorsement of human caused warming. They know their own work, they have the entire paper to judge from. And their voluntary self-ratings entirely agree with the larger survey conclusions. Symmetric groupings of these categories are reasonable to discuss – asymmetric groupings that imply raters and authors ignored the category titles are not.

    [ I will note that Bart and others have clearly and repeatedly addressed (and dismissed) your reasoning. Your claims otherwise are approaching a Proof by Assertion fallacy. ]

  33. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Chris Maddigan,

    You’ve simply repeated what you said.

    Affirming that “Cook and al do this to give results that are erroneous” might very well rest on a misreading of which consensus position on AGW has been surveyed.

    Interpreting the consensus position of AGW as an attribution claim makes little sense, since the paper does not restrict itself to attribution studies.

    ***

    The consensus position on AGW surveyed could very well be that A is a fundamental cause of the GW we are observing and the forcings we know.

    This is against this position that we should oppose (5):

    Humans have had a minimal impact on global warming without saying so explicitly E.g., proposing a natural mechanism is the main cause of global warming

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

    Minimal does not mean “less than 50%”.

    Minimal does not simply mean “is not the main cause”.

    To say that AGW is minimal is to be understood as a minimization of A as a fundamental cause of GW.

    To say that AGW is minimal means that the A “is neglible”, as we can read in Chewbacca’s conclusion, a conclusion you have failed to comment.

    If what I’m saying so far is right, this interpretation of (5):

    > Level 5 is effectively the statement that Anthropogenic causes are not the major cause of global warming.

    is simply wrong.

    ***

    “Being a fundamental cause of GW” does not entail “it is possible to attribute more than 50% of the observed warming to A”, i.e. (1).

    (1) is a statement of attribution studies that backs up the AGW hypothesis.

    This means that (1) is not logically entailed by AGW.

    (1) could be false (or irremediably unknowable) and AGW could still be the best explanation we have of what’s happening.

    (1) could be a question upon which we have no strong belief without remaining neutral regarding (2) or (3), which are also to be included in the consensual view on AGW.

    This lack of logical entailment suffices for your and Chewbacca’s construction to falter.

    ***

    If you please, you can view (1) as the attribution experts’ point of view, and (2) and (3) the non-attribution experts’ point of view.

    ***

    Notwithstanding all this, raising concerns regarding possibilities and asserting they’re plausible is interesting, but insufficient. The only way out of this stance is be to provide a representative sample of the “quite plausible” interpretations you have in mind regarding the classification. This means looking at the paper and the abstracts.

  34. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    TL;DR – **Endorsing** a claim C is not the same as **claiming** C.

    This is what I mean when I say that the **consensus** position is not an attribution claim. It is an **endorsement** of a claim.

    One does not need to have the expert opinion over a claim to endorse a claim.

    I find this kind of commonsensical nuance more interesting than the weekly (or monthly in the case of Chewbacca) hurly burly of ClimateBall.

  35. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    The categories are symmetric, and people who claim otherwise are wrongly assuming they’re not. We read the abstracts, we categorized them, you didn’t. You’re making assumptions that are incorrect. You’re assuming that the implicit and explicit rejections can clearly be accepted as rejecting the notion that humans are the main cause of global warming without even reading the abstracts in question.

    Categories 2, 3, 5, and 6 do not quantify the human or natural contributions to global warming. That’s why they’re not Category 1 or 7. As I’ve said, you’re assuming 5 and 6 reject AGW as the primary contributor, and assuming that 2 and 3 do not endorse AGW as the main contributor. Those assumptions are not jusitifiable, and that’s why you’re wrong.

    And here we reach an impasse, because your ideological bias won’t allow you to accept that you’re wrong, and having actually participated in this study, I know I’m not wrong. So there we have it.

  36. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Willard,

    The paper states :

    “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

    That sure sounds like an attribution statement to me, and it also gives a working definition of what Cook et al mean by “the consensus”

    It is of course a weakness of the paper that the authors never clearly and unanmbigously set out what they mean by “the consensus”, an extraordinary and quite frankly unforgivable ommission in a paper purporting to measure the level of endorsement of “the consensus.”

    Those of a less generous disposition might suggest this was done so as to make the results to appear to be much more meaningful than they are.

    The difference between my and your interpretation of what the different level 1 through 7 mean stems, I think, from you taking the definition from the description whereas I have taken it from the example given which I assume rightly or wrongly to be a better guide as to how papers were classified in practice. For example for level 5 the example is:

    “‘…anywhere from a major portion to all of the warming of the 20th century could plausibly result from natural causes according to these results”

    This doesn’t say anything about AGW being minimal, not just the major cause. It is entirely consistent with level 2 for which the example is

    “Emissions of a broad range of greenhouse gases of varying lifetimes contribute to global climate change”

    The real problem is that analysing abstracts doesn’t give you enough information to draw clear and unequivocal conclusions in the vast majority of cases. It is a fundamentally silly way of trying to answer the question what proportion of climate scientists “endorse the consensus”. If you really want to know, why don’t you just ask them rather than try and second guess them through an unreliable and indirect method.

    A study that wasn’t designed to be a simple propaganda tool would have clearly defined the propositions it was testing and would have directly asked climate scientists their position on these propositions.

  37. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    Chris, are you serious? We define the consensus position several times! It’s very simple – ‘humans are causing global warming’. This is really getting ridiculous now.

    I know, you want to know what percentage of global warming they think humans are responsible for. But most papers don’t go into that, especially in the abstract. That’s why we only had 75 papers in Categories 1+7.

    At that point you’re shifting from what the peer-reviewed research says to opinion, because most studies don’t investigate detection and attribution (D&A). If you want to know the percentage humans are responsible for, look at D&A research. It almost universally puts the human contribution at ~100% over the past 50 years.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=57

    If you want to know whether climate scientists agree with that D&A research, Bart’s survey will tell you their opinions. Our study isn’t about opinions, it’s about whether the peer-reviewed research agrees that humans are causing global warming. We’re not making any assumptions about opinions regarding the percent human contribution (unlike Brandon). If you want to know about D&A in the peer-reviewed research, read the D&A studies in discussed the above link.

  38. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    Let’s just take an example. Say I’m researching the impact of climate change on mountain goats. I’m not an expert on detection & attribution, but I want to know how mountain goats will be impacted in the future. So I’ll look at the D&A research – I’ll probably take the global warming projections from the IPCC report, and see how the mountain climate will change in response to various emissions scenarios and associated warming projections, then see how that will impact the goats.

    In the abstract I might mention anthropogenic global warming is happening, or make some sort of implicit statement to that effect, then go on to discuss how the mountain climate will change and what my study says about the impact on goats based in the IPCC projections.

    So we would put that study in Category 2 or 3. We’re not going to assume anything about what the authors thing regarding the percent human contribution. If we were to ask the author, as in Bart’s survey, he would most likely say his opinion is that humans are the main cause of global warming. Otherwise there’s not much reason for him to do this study. But as I said, we’re not assuming that. Nor are we assuming that the implicit rejections would necessarily say that humans are causing less than 50% of global warming.

    Those assumptions might be correct, but in either case they are assumptions that we are not in a position to make. Neither is Brandon. All we know is that Categories 2 and 3 accept that humans are causing global warming. They probably accept that humans are causing most global warming, but we don’t know for sure.

  39. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Chris Maddigan,

    Thank you for underlining this:

    Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.

    First, note that this is an endorsement of an attribution statement, not the claim itself of an attribution.

    Second, note that this does not mention any quantification like **50%**, as in (1).

    This simple analysis invalidates your presumption that only (1) matters to identify the consensus position, as (1) amounts to a claim (not only an endorsement) of a quantitative attribution.

    Please acknowledge this,

    w

  40. nealjking Says:

    It seems that Brandon & friends think the TCP is structured so as to be biased towards a “warmist” view, and the participants in the TCP don’t believe so.

    Perhaps the critics should devise a different classification scheme that they believe will avoid bias in EITHER direction, and use it for the same 12,000 abstracts (or papers). Or, if they can’t deal with that many, find a way to select a representative subset, without introducing any bias.

    But one thing to keep in mind: The participants in TCP spent a considerable effort, as documented in the quotes from the stolen site info already presented by Brandon at, if memory serves, Lucia’s Blackboard, trying to avoid biasing the results towards a “warmist” view. In fact, if you consider just the papers for which there are author’s self-classifications, the fact is that the authors’ own ratings came out just slightly “warmer” than the participants’ ratings. So it seems that the participants accomplished their task: they came out “cooler” than the author’s own views, on the average.

  41. Bart Verheggen Says:

    It seems that much of the criticism is directed to what the paper is not:

    – The ‘consensus position” is qualitatively defined; not quantitatively (a criticism of Brandon’s).

    – The survey was held on a wide variety of climate related abstracts; some argue it should only have included attribution studies (a criticism of Lucia’s)

    Both are inherent to the choices made for this survey: To look at many abstracts, many of which are attribution related. That means that the above two points are unavoidable with the set-up of the study.

    The survey of climate scientists that we did last year addresses the former point: It provides insight into the quantitative thoughts on attribution. The latter criticism would call for a review articles on attribution studies or the appropriate IPCC chapter.

    Of course this study has its shortcomings (every study has), but criticizing it for what it’s not is not the most constructive of criticisms. Esp not when it’s packaged in rudeness and in “creative” numbers in order to advance an agenda.

  42. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    KR, the results of a different methodology do not determine whether or not my description of this methodology is accurate. As for the titles of the categories, I’ve referred to the text shown in the drop-down box of the survey and the rules in the guidelines for rating the survey. Those are what matter as they are what the raters would have seen. I see no reason to focus on titles written for the paper, possibly after the survey was already finished.

    nealjking, I haven’t argued the study was structured in a way that would make it biased. One may be able to make that argument, but I haven’t. What I’ve argued is the results of this study have been grossly misrepresented, and the results are practically worthless. And I wouldn’t devise a “right” way to do things because I’m not convinced there is one.

    Bart Verheggen, I have not criticized the paper for defining the “consensus position” qualitatively rather than quantitatively. If you think this is an argument I’ve made, you definitely haven’t understood or addressed my arguments.

  43. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    Dana Nuccitelli, you are leveling baseless accusations in what can only be described as vigorous hand-waving:

    The categories are symmetric, and people who claim otherwise are wrongly assuming they’re not. We read the abstracts, we categorized them, you didn’t. You’re making assumptions that are incorrect. You’re assuming that the implicit and explicit rejections can clearly be accepted as rejecting the notion that humans are the main cause of global warming without even reading the abstracts in question.

    I have assumed nothing like you describe. What I have done is make arguments based on detailed reasoning which I’ve provided. You’ve simply ignored every explanation I’ve provided. And then you simply misrepresent what I claim:

    As I’ve said, you’re assuming 5 and 6 reject AGW as the primary contributor, and assuming that 2 and 3 do not endorse AGW as the main contributor. Those assumptions are not jusitifiable, and that’s why you’re wrong.

    I have never assumed abstracts in categories 2 and 3 “do not endorse AGW as the main contributor.” What I have done is repeatedly and explicitly said we cannot know whether abstracts in categories 2 and 3 “endorse AGW as the main contributor.” This is a point you have explicitly acknowledged.

    Moreover, abstracts in categories 5 and 6 must, by definition, limit the anthropogenic component to less than 50%. An abstract only lands in those categories if it rejects or minimizes AGW. It cannot do either if it supports the view that humans are the dominant influence.

  44. KR Says:

    Brandon – I was speaking of the drop-downs, the category titles, which inform classification. What you are in essence claiming is that raters and authors might (mis)classify papers rejecting human caused global warming as “Explicit endorses but does not quantify or minimize ” or “Implicitly endorses but does not quantify or minimize” (categories 2/3) – as agreeing with the consensus. That’s really your only rationale for not grouping categories 2/3 while including 5/6.

    And that’s just silly. Or to be more precise, sophistry.

    At this point I do not expect you to agree in any fashion – but I believe the situation is completely clear to any unbiased readers. Enough said.

  45. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    KR, I have never claimed anything of the sort. If you believe I have, please quote my actual words. It is possible I’ve misspoke at some point, but what you describe is nothing like what I have been saying.

  46. KR Says:

    Brandonhttp://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/on-the-consensus/#comment-113188

    “But what if we don’t give a number at all? If we just say “Humans cause some global warming,” we could be supporting a value 20% or 90%. Despite being able to support either position, we’d land in the top categories. That means the results will automatically be skewed toward the top.” – for just one example.

    If either the rated abstract or the author themselves classified a paper rejecting the consensus as endorsing the consensus on human caused warming, they would be contradicting the work.

    You also [ http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/on-the-consensus/#comment-113188 ] stated:

    “The top category covers everything from 50% to 100%. The other top categories cover everything from 0% to 100%.”

    Which is again absurd – if the rater or the author classifies a paper as endorsing the consensus of human caused global warming, the top categories cover the range of a dominant (50-100%) influence – just without exact quantification. If there is warming discussed without a statement on attribution, it falls into category 4 – no position. Only papers endorsing the consensus are in categories 2/3.

    You have _repeatedly_ claimed these as a plausible errors, despite feedback from the raters themselves, the author self-ratings, and common sense. Hence the description of your (mis)classifications as sophistry.

  47. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    KR, neither quote you just provided says anything like what you claim. The first quote dealt with papers that accept humans cause some amount of warming but don’t specify how much. If they don’t specify how much warming is caused, they can neither endorse nor reject the consensus position. That makes them neutral.

    Despite being neutral, Cook et al’s standards require them be rated a 2. That has nothing to do with the possibility of people making mistakes. It is purely a discussion of the rules used by Cook et al.

    As for the second quote, there is absolutely nothing indicating categories 2 and 3 are limited to “the range of a dominant (50-100%) influence” as you claim. In fact, the rules clearly say otherwise. An abstract is to be rated a 2 if it mentions:

    anthropogenic global warming or anthropogenic climate change as a given fact.

    Simply acknowledging humans cause some amount of global warming is enough. Categories 2 and 3 cover all papers which accept humans cause any amount of global warming.

  48. KR Says:

    Ah, but the question asked in the paper is the endorsement of the AGW consensus – nothing else.

    You are attempting to change the question to “exactly how much endorsement”, and in the process applying a very one-sided criteria – that rejection of the consensus is always rejection, but endorsement is somehow not always endorsement.

    Again, sophistry on your part. If you don’t like the results, run your own survey and support your classifications and conclusions. Oreskes 2004 ran less than 1000 abstracts (of course, she found zero rejections there), so that is a reasonably limited project. In the meantime, trying to re-define classifications in absolute contradiction to the paper, to the ratings, and to the authors self-ratings is absurd.

    Adieu.

  49. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > Simply acknowledging humans cause some amount of global warming is enough.

    In that sentence, “some” should mean “enough to be in line with the consensus position”, not is minimal, which would read like (5), or is negligible, which appeared in Chewbacca’s non sequitur.

    ***

    Playing the game of “what could this sentence mean?” is a game that we oftentimes encounter when dealing with what Eli qualified as parsomatics exercises:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/Parsomatics

    This is unsurprising, considering that Lucia’s is the Parsomatics’ Mecca.

  50. Eli Rabett Says:

    Now some, not Eli to be sure, might point out that every survey of abstracts comes out more or slightly less where the Cook survey came out, even if we include Peiser and Monckton’s doc (who had his 15 minutes).

    Eli has put up the results and some cross-tabs for the survey the magnificent six ran back in 2008. Same results. What is interesting tho is looking at the cross tabs for those abstracts which are in the “middle” categories. They break strongly to the side of endorsing AGW.

    In short, Brandon is smoking some strange weed.

  51. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Here are your cross tabs, Eli:

    http://rabett.blogspot.ca/2013/05/cross-tabs.html

  52. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    The problem is that Brandon is arguing from a position of ignorance.

    “…abstracts in categories 5 and 6 must, by definition, limit the anthropogenic component to less than 50%.”

    That’s just not true. Especially not Category 5. Do you know what the word “implicit” means?

    I keep reminding you, we read and rated the abstracts. We know what they said. You didn’t and you don’t. You’re making assumptions that are just wrong.

    We set up an interactive rating system so that anyone can test our results. Instead of wasting your energy continuing to argue from a position of ignorance, why don’t you spend a few weeks rating the papers yourself? Don’t even use Categories 2, 3, 5, and 6. Just dump everything in 1, 4, and 7. If you read the papers in an unbiased manner, you’ll see that hardly any fall into Category 7 (i.e. less than 0.1%). It’s true that relatively few will fall into Category 1 too, but you’ll learn that your assumptions about 5 and 6 are wrong.

  53. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Dana Nuccitelli Says:
    “Chris, are you serious? We define the consensus position several times! It’s very simple – ‘humans are causing global warming’. This is really getting ridiculous now.”

    Yes it is. “Humans are causing global warming” is hardly a precise definition for a paper that purports to measure the degree to which this proposition is endorsed.

    If you asked most people what the statement means, they would probably say something like “humans are the predominant cause of global warming.” Is that what you mean by the consensus? Then you should say so. If you just mean that humans are one of the causes of global warming, then you should say this.

    Most of the problems with the paper stem directly from this lack of precision in defining the consensus.

    The discussion here on how level 2 should be treated is quite surreal. The authors and their supporters insist that this category endorses the consensus. However the paper gives this as an example of a statement that would get a paper put into this level:
    ‘Emissions of a broad range of greenhouse gases of varying lifetimes contribute to global climate change’

    It doesn’t matter that you call the level “Explicit endorsement without quantification”, it doesn’t matter how you describe it. If the example given is correct then level 2 cannot by any stretch of logic be called an endorsement of the stronger definition of the consensus. It is an endorsement of the weaker version so if you want to include it, and the paper does, then you must accept that that is what you have measured.

    You must accept that your findings are no stronger than that 97% of papers that refer to it think that human make some contribution to global warming. If the authors would acknowledge that this is a fair characterization of their findings then they should say so publicly and then we can put this whole debate to rest. Funnily enough this isn’t the way the authors are currently presenting their results, it is not what President Obama tweeted. Nor does such a limited finding achieve the stated goals of the paper to educate the public and “quantify and evaluate the level and evolution of consensus over the last two decades”

  54. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Is this paper simply reporting opinion? I asked why, if you wanted to know what proportion of climate scientists “endorse the consensus” why didn’t you just ask them. Why try and second guess them through an unreliable and indirect method.

    Dana Nuccitelli replied with an instructive example about a goat expert. As Dana accurately points out, this person knows nothing about climate change or what’s causing it, but because he is studying the potential impacts on mountain goats of climate change his paper is going to be classified as “endorsing the consensus”. Now this person may or may not endorse the consensus position, probably all he really cares about is goats but let’s assume for the moment he does. Why should anyone care about his view of global warming? He knows no more about it than the man in the street.

    The paper categorizes papers into different research categories. However it doesn’t provide a breakdown of the number of papers each category, or the results. I now find myself intrigued about what goat experts really think.

  55. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > “Humans are causing global warming” is hardly a precise definition for a paper that purports to measure the degree to which this proposition is endorsed.

    This proposition is precise enough to be opposed to:

    (M) Humans have had a minimal impact on global warming.

    (D) Humans are not causing global warming.

    As such, “Humans are causing global warming” is precise enough to get analyzed the way the authors did. Besides, the authors themselves do seem to know where they stand on such a vague proposition.

    Next week: how should we ever convene that snow is really white?

    ***

    We thank Chris Maddigan for failing to acknowledge logical and precise points while blaming the authors for making him misreading their article, and whining about indirection while raising the same unsolicited and irrelevant concerns over and over again.

  56. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    The second “authors” refer to those who answered the survey about their own article, of course.

    The offer to go and find articles that may have been misidentified is still on the table, by the way.

  57. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Willard says

    This proposition is precise enough to be opposed to:

    (M) Humans have had a minimal impact on global warming.

    (D) Humans are not causing global warming.

    Then you agree that the “consensus” being measured is that Humans have had something more than minimal impact on global warming? If you accept that definition then I have no serious practical problems with including level 2 with “endorsing the consensus”. That is pretty much what I said in my previous post.

    The finding of this paper could now be stated as

    “97% of a mixed bag of climate scientists, engineers researching alternative energy sources, teachers, goat experts, public relations aficionados, and political commentators endorse the proposition that humans have had something more than minimal impact on global warming”

    Why didn’t the authors just say that in the first place.

  58. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    You’re just being a poor sport, now, Chris.

    Thanks for playing.

  59. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Thanks for playing, Chris.

  60. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Oh Willard, if you want to concede the game you can do it more graciously than that.

  61. Eli Rabett Says:

    The Chris question, of course is, if the authors did not believe that global warming was an issue, why did they do the research? Finger weaving is fun.

  62. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Chris Maddigan,

    I thought your latest streak of sarcasm was your farewell.

    If you want me to pay due diligence to it, you just have to ask.

  63. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Eli Rabbet asks

    The question Chris , of course is, if the authors did not believe that global warming was an issue, why did they do the research?

    Say I am an engineer. I’m interested in efficiency (engineers are always interested in efficiency) I do some research that might lead to reeduced energy consumption and thus emmissions.

    I am a biologist. I am interested in how a particular species has adapted to varying climatic conditions within its existing range.

    In both cases the primary research interest has nothing to do per se with global warming although both can be framed that way and doing so will certainly help in getting funds.

    Both researchers may or may not think that global warming is a serious problem. I would hazard a guess that that the biologist is more likely to than the engineer.

    All this begs the question. Neither of these researchers knows anymore about the causes of global warming than the man in the street. Nor does their research have any relevance to the question of whether mankind is causing global warming. Why include them in a study that purports to show what experts in the field believe?

  64. nealjking Says:

    Chris Maddigan:

    I think your objection here can be easily handled: Since the papers are categorized by type, papers on climate-science proper (which would embrace cause), on impact (which would include biological implications) and on mitigation (which would include increased efficiency) can be separated out to have their statistics evaluated. I have seen these numbers, but I don’t believe they are stated in the article itself. However, when the supplementary information is made available (I believe there is some delay by ERL, since it has already been provided by the authors), it should be possible to figure this out in a few minutes by interrogating the database.

  65. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    nealjking,

    There is no need to interrogate any kind of database to raise so much concerns about authority, motivation, and rhetorical questions like:

    > Why include them in a study that purports to show what experts in the field believe?

    In fact, to read the first sentence of the abstract:

    We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

    is even unnecessary for Chris to raise his concerns.

    All he needs are strawmen eating red herrings.

  66. DillonMEK Says:

    Eli – Climate change, its causes, affects and implications, and mitigation is such a broad area, that you could probably find papers from every field of study that deal with some aspect of it.
    However if you’re an economist looking at the affects of carbon pricing, or an engineer designing more efficient solar panels, or new ways to extract fossil fuels, or a social anthropoligist looking at the affects of climate change on island cultures, you may be publishing papers with “Climate change” in the title, but that doesn’t make you climate scientist.

    So, yes, this is a survey of all peer reviewed papers that deal in some way with climate change, and not of climate scientists as such.

    It also reviews the papers and not the scientists – there does seem to be abit of a derth of actual climatologists in categories 5 – 7

    half the papers in category 7 are published by the same author, whose experience and expertise is with the petroleum industry, who basically makes the same, somewhat flawed claims in his papers each time.

  67. Chris Maddigan Says:

    NealJKing sys:

    I don’t believe they are stated in the article itself.

    No they weren’t, nor were the figures on each level of endorsement. I am not sure they ever would have if someone else hadn’t done the analysis and produced them. They are, after all, very embarrassing.

    Be that as it may, what is the relevance of even looking at papers that are not relevant to validating the consensus position? Much is made of the fact that these papers are peer reviewed, but the peer review has nothing to do with the question of whether humans are causing global warming. The peer review is about the engineering or the biology which says nothing whatsoever about the consensus.

    If Cook et al had accurately represented their findings they would look something like this:

    “97% of a mixed bag of climate scientists, engineers, teachers, biologists, public relations aficionados, and political commentators most of whom have no expertise whatsoever in the field, endorse the proposition that humans have made at least some non-trivial contribution to global warming”

    That isn’t an attempt at sarcasm. It is an accurate representation of what they found. The paper though is written in such a way as to almost invite misrepresentation. Take a look at this statement from the paper.

    “We examined a large sample of the scientific literature on global CC, published over a 21 year period, in order to determine the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW).”

    1) The paper does not examine the level of scientific consensus (ie consensus amongst the relevant scientists) but the degree to which some people, many without qualifications in the area, accept it.
    2) Note that the definition of “the consensus” here is much more precise and stronger than stated elsewhere and, as has been demonstrated, is incompatible with the 97% claim. Only a tiny fraction of the papers clearly endorse this position, but of course Cook et chose not to publish the figures that would make this obvious.

    Cook et al make no bones about their aim to influence public opinion. They got the effect they wanted; headlines around the world saying “97% of climate science papers agree mankind is the cause of climate change.” We get Barack Obama tweeting “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” Neither of these claims is supported by the actual research but the way the paper was written encouraged it.

    Papers like Cook et al really get up my nose. Not because I think the result is necessarily wrong – I have little problem with the proposition that most climate scientists believe mankind is largely responsible for climate change – but because I abhor agenda driven pseudo research. Papers like this are the bane of the climate change debate; deeply flawed methodology, misrepresented results and foregone conclusions. For every headline they gain they lose droves of thinking people who conclude the people pushing climate change are dishonest.

    All this paper has done is give very deadly ammunition to the other side. Brandon Shollenberger’s analysis of this paper is logical and correct. His attack is fatal.

    It took me many years to move from a skeptical position on climate change to one where I accept a large part of the consensus. That journey was made difficult by the fact that so many advocates were distorting the facts and refusing to accept valid criticism. They still are.

    It doesn’t matter that the other side was even worse. Non-orthodox positions always attract their fair share of charlatans, egotists and the tin foil hat brigade.

    If you want to convince people that science and reason is on your side then you must act in a way that is consistent with it.

  68. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > Brandon Shollenberger’s analysis of this paper is logical and correct. His attack is fatal.

    Arguing by assertion about a conclusion that has been refuted in the thread many times now, for instance:

    You are attempting to change the question to “exactly how much endorsement”, and in the process applying a very one-sided criteria – that rejection of the consensus is always rejection, but endorsement is somehow not always endorsement.

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18785

    does not bode well for someone who wishes to express genuine concerns.

    ***

    > If you want to convince people that science and reason is on your side then you must act in a way that is consistent with it.

    While we regret his misreading [1], his failure to acknowledge basic logical points [2] and other evasions [3], we should be thankful for Chris Maddigan’s concerns.

    Had only Cook and al done what Chris Maddigan said they had done, should have done or could have done, the world would certainly be have been a place with less concerns.

    ***

    [1]: http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18770

    [2]: http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18776

    [3]: http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18823

  69. nealjking Says:

    Chris Madiggan:
    – The reason papers from a range of people were included was because there had to be an objective and unbiased way to sample papers from the vast literature. The method chosen was to use two keywords and filter from the World of Science (if memory serves) database; to avoid bias in selection and in evaluation, authors’ names were suppressed during the participants’ evaluation process; to make handling the number of papers manageable (~ 12,000), it was decided to focus only on the abstracts. None of these options is ideal, but some decisions in this direction had to made to make the effort at all doable. Resources were limited, yet this study encompassed the largest range of papers to date.
    – What makes the papers more significant than just random writings by random people is that all of the papers that entered the statistics (which were the vast majority that were selected by the filter above) survived the peer-review process, which is the first step in scientific quality control. An opinion piece in a newspaper doesn’t cut it. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that the result is correct; in fact, it is almost a guarantee that the result will be wrong – eventually! (Because nearly all papers are found to have errors over time; I was reading one of Einstein’s special relativity papers, and found what would now be considered a freshman physics error: he imagined a Gedanken experiment in which a single massive particle converted into a single photon. Sorry, Al; won’t work.) The effect of the mixture can be clarified by accessing the database – which has always been intended for release, contrary to your dark suspicions.
    – The participants do not view the numbers as at all “embarrassing”. You and some other people seem to, based on an interpretation of the wording of the classification scheme that is very different from the way it was understood by the participants who evaluated the 12,000 abstracts. Needless to say, the people who did the work are not going to buy your interpretation, as quite a bit of time was spent discussing how best to arrive at a fair evaluation. (It’s amusing to notice that some critics gleefully point out, based on the stolen files from the SkS website, that one evaluator, Tom Curtis, left the project after a difference in philosophical approach; what they fail to notice is that the reason he left the project was that he felt the interpretation of neutrals/no opinion would be more fairly understood as more towards the AGW direction; but the majority of participants thought it was more important not to push an over-aggressive interpretation. They were much gratified to find out that the support for the consensus indicated by the self-ratings by authors came out, in fact, slightly higher than the support indicated by the participants’ evaluations.)
    – The point of the paper is that the state of the current scientific literature reflects an overwhelming working assumption by relevant scientists that AGW is real and happening; and that, unfortunately, the impression of most Americans (for example) is that the scientific community is in a state of conflict about the matter. The difference between the measured degree of support and the public perception of that support is the only thing we should be embarrassed about.

  70. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > [S]ome critics gleefully point out, based on the stolen files from the SkS website, that one evaluator, Tom Curtis, left the project after a difference in philosophical approach; what they fail to notice is that the reason he left the project was that he felt the interpretation of neutrals/no opinion would be more fairly understood as more towards the AGW direction; but the majority of participants thought it was more important not to push an over-aggressive interpretation.

    Speaking of which, Ethon provided Eli with A Rabett Exclusive:

    Among papers whose abstracts were rated “no position”, according to self-ratings (which is a proxy for the endorsement level of the full paper):

    228 endorsed AGW
    213 had no position
    11 rejected AGW

    http://rabett.blogspot.ca/2013/05/a-rabett-exclusive.html

  71. Chris Maddigan Says:

    willard (@nevaudit) says:

    a) I do not believe any unbiased observer following the debate between Brandon Shollenberger and the rest would conclude that his valid criticisms were addressed or refuted. But as the authors and their supporters have refused to accept any criticism of their study it is hardly surprising that they are claiming to have refuted Shollenberger. For example you give this as an example of a refutation:

    “You are attempting to change the question to “exactly how much endorsement”, and in the process applying a very one-sided criteria – that rejection of the consensus is always rejection, but endorsement is somehow not always endorsement.”

    This is just a distortion of Shollenberger’s position. First of all the paper is about “how much endorsement”. More importantly Shollenberger isn’t saying that “endorsement is somehow not always endorsement”. He is saying that endorsement of “the consensus” weakly defined isn’t the same as endorsement of “the consensus” strongly defined.

    As has been pointed out (but never acknowledged because the authors refuse to accept any criticism) the words “the consensus” is very loosely used in the paper, even though measuring the level of endorsement of “the consensus” is the aim of the paper. There are at least three different versions of “consensus” in the report – two stated and one implicit:

    1) Human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW
    2) Humans are causing global warming
    3) Human contribution to global warming is more than just minimal (implicit)

    Part of the authors’ refutation Shollenberger amounts to “we know what we did because we did it and you didn’t”. What they are saying is that we should not believe what they said they did in their paper, but what they are now claiming to have done in the Blogs.

    It is not exactly convincing refutation.

    As for your criticisms of me I have neither misread the paper nor have I failed to take into account valid points of logic. I am not only happy to accept, for example, that level 5 means minimal contribution as you pointed out, but that is how I have been using it ever since. You must though accept the corollary: that levels 2 and 3 mean nothing stronger than that the papers just accept that mankind’s influence on global warming is more than minimal. i.e. you must accept that the paper is measuring endorsement of a very weak statement of the “consensus” and not the stronger ones it claims.

    You also seem to think my criticism of the range of papers included in the study is irrelevant just because the authors define this range. Criticizing the scope of a study is entirely valid. They are also valid because of the stated political aims of the paper. It is certainly a reasonable question as to why papers from fields with no relevant expertise are included.

  72. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Chris,

    As much as I like your style, you should be reminded that writing walls of words weakens your work here.

    Chewbacca’s argument restricted the consensus position to (1). This has been proven false. Go ask your unbiased readers how it looks to hand wave again to this argument.

    Meanwhile, auditors might wonder if this refutation might explain why we’re having a round of ‘but that’s what they should have done’.

    To that effect, even if we take your newly added criteria and restrict the proper authority to those who have made quantified attribution studies, we’d get (1)/(7).

    And no, I don’t think raising concerns is irrelevant or invalid per se, to borrow your latinism. I just think that your walls of words show that you are concern trolling.

    So thank you again for your concerns,

    w

  73. Chris Maddigan Says:

    NealJKing says:
    “The reason papers from a range of people were included was because there had to be an objective and unbiased way to sample papers from the vast literature.”
    How about relevant?

    Relevance, of course, depends on the goal of the research. As the goal of this research was political, that is problematic. However, here’s the situation that the paper says it wants to address:

    “Public opinion polls have indicated around 60% of the US public believes there is significant disagreement among scientists about whether GW was happening. Similarly, 57% of the US public either disagreed or were unaware that scientists agree that the earth is very likely warming due to human activity”

    If the goal is to demonstrate these positions to be false and show the true levels then the relevant papers would be those that address the question. That would be a miniscule proportion of the papers that were actually included in the study.

    If you wanted to be a little bit broader and ask the question “what do climate scientist believe” then you could expand the list and include papers by climate scientists that weren’t actually addressing the question. The paper might be about “Measuring Ch4 in ancient ice cores” for example. It’s not a very good way of going about it though. It’s a bit hit and miss whether the paper mentions global warming and the same scientist could be represented in your sample multiple times. Also any mention of global warming is likely to be just a throwaway line rather than the scientists considered opinion. Much better to design and proper survey and just ask the scientist, in detail and with precision, his or her views.

    You say the goal of the paper is to demonstrate that “the state of the current scientific literature reflects an overwhelming working assumption by relevant scientists that AGW is real and happening”

    How are engineers working on heat cycle engines or chemists working on fuel efficiency or biologists working species diffusion relevant to the question of the causes of global warming? How are these the “relevant scientists?”

    You talk about “working assumption”. It’s an interesting distinction not made in Cook et al. What you are saying that these engineers etc. don’t necessarily endorse “the consensus” at all but for the sake of the exercise (or the funding) they’ll make the assumption it’s true. That’s a ringing endorsement.

  74. nealjking Says:

    Chris Maddigan:

    – The question of relevance, as I indicated earlier, can be addressed by focusing on the category: methods/impact/paleoclimate/mitigation. Paleoclimate should cover the issue, “Is AGW happening?” Biologists fit in under impacts; engineers in mitigation. So you can screen those out, if you like, in the study database.

    (The problem with screening before reading the abstracts is that nobody thought of a clear-cut way of doing a World-of-Science database selection that would pick physical science but not engineering, without introducing other keywords that might bias the results. So the original keywords were chosen to narrow the selection process as much as possible while addressing the issue fairly; and then I guess John Cook looked at what he was getting, and devised the categories to separate them out in the study database.)

    – On working assumptions: That the Earth is spherical is also a good and accepted working assumption for most engineering purposes. In other words, it’s taken as a fact that requires no examination or further justification. Another example of a good working assumption for engineering purposes: the use of Newtonian physics. Now, that is a case where we know the working assumption is not strictly correct: it’s just very very very good. But if you’re designing a GPS system, you have to bone up on your general relativity, or it won’t work properly.

    So I would say, in light of this, that AGW is an excellent working assumption if you’re doing any long-range planning that involves exposure to the elements: There will be problems at the shores due to sea-level rise, dearth of glacial ice, agricultural problems as the climate becomes less stable, a tremendous amount of species loss as more “home territory” is denied to existing species by temperature and humidity changes, acidification of the oceans, etc. I’m sure there will be many engineering issues to solve.

    On the other side, the North Carolina law that prevents the Coastal Resources Commission from addressing sea-level rises in line with AGW expectations? Probably not such a great working assumption.

  75. Eris McEncroe Says:

    I am trying to get to grips with the heart of the issues discussed here. If A is the A in GW then, based on the descriptions in the paper, the following table seems to be what the levels say about A.

    1 A>50%
    2 A is not negligible
    3 A is not negligible
    4 A is unknown
    5 A is negligible
    6 A is negligible
    7 A 50%

    Then based on the breakdowns above we get 98% endorse the weak version of the consensus while 45% endorse the Strong version (ignoring neutral or indeterminable levels).

    Is this a fair summation of the paper’s results?

  76. Eris McEncroe Says:

    7 should be A is less than 50% ( the less than sign didn’t come out)

  77. Eris McEncroe Says:

    Aghh!

    my definition of weak and strong vesrions of the consensus didn’t print either:

    Weak: A is not negiligible
    Strong: A>50%

  78. Sou Says:

    All this nitpicking is not only wrong, it’s just plain nuts. It’s obvious what the science says. It’s as silly as quibbling about which conspiracy theory a conspiracy theorist holds – is it this one or that one.

    If Brandon and others want to quibble about the science, they can do their own research, write it up and get it published. If they want to quibble about consensus, let them do their own count and “prove” all the previous counts ‘wrong’ if they can. They might as well call on the fake oregon petition to ‘prove’ climate science is a hoax.

    Isn’t it time to move on and get into more worthwhile debates – like what are the best ways to deal with the problem? Although my guess is that deferring vigorous discussion on such important considerations is exactly the purpose of Brandon and co.

  79. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Eris,

    No, that is not a fair summation of the paper’s results.

    A fair (apples-to-apples) summation is imho what I wrote in the main post and in comments above:

    Of those abstracts making a statement about the quantitative contribution of human activity to the warming, 87% (65/75) endorsed dominant human causation.

    Of those abstracts expressing an explicit position on the cause of global warming, 97.6% (999/1024) endorsed human causation.

    Of those abstracts expressing a position on the cause of global warming, 97% (implicitly or explicitly) endorsed human causation of this warming (this is the paper’s headline result).

    Your putting the adjectives “weak” and “strong” on unquantified statements is not justified. The extent to which the abstract agrees is given in qualitative terms only (except for cat’s 1 and 7). Trying to infer what the quantitative level is for the other categories is mere conjecture. Putting labels on it that give a quantitative and judgmental feel to it is not warranted I think.

  80. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Perhaps the authors of that research might appreciate if we make a list of Frequently Expressed Concerns (FEC).

    Here’s an example of a concern:

    First Concern

    What is the relevance of even looking at papers that are not relevant to validating the consensus position?

    Here’s an example of an answer:

    Answer to the First Concern

    The topic of the research is

    [Topic] The evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’.

    The topic of the research is not

    [Topic*] The evolution of the scientific validation of the consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’.

    The main difference between [Topic] and [Topic*] is that the first topic is better suited to study the level of endorsement of the consensus on AGW in the scientific litterature, while the second would be an inflated way to do a review of the attribution studies.

    In a nutshell, to endorse does not mean to validate.

    Thank you for expressing the First Concern. We agree that [Topic] might almost invite misrepresentation. It is, after all, expressed in the first sentence of our abstract, and who reads abstracts? We also agree that the distinction between “to endorse” and “to validate” has not been underlined enough. Next time, we’ll hire a terminologist.

  81. Eris McEncroe Says:

    Bart, if I understand what you are saying in your last paragraph, that it is not possible understand the levels in quantitative terms, then I am at a loss. What does “endorse the consensus” actually mean in the context of Cook et al? It could mean anything.

    You don’t like my ‘strong’ and weak ‘consensus’ definitions. OK. But if you cant say what level of human contribution to global warming is meant by “the consensus” doesn’t that render Cook et al’s findings essentially meaningless?

  82. Eli Rabett Says:

    Now some, not Eli to be sure, might think that Chris is throwing recycled spaghetti against the wall.

  83. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Willard,

    The GOAL of Cook et al is political and is clearly stated in the paper; to overturn certain misapprehensions in the general public about whether climate scientists are in agreement about global warming and specifically mankind’s contribution to it.

    The TOPIC of their research is as you describe it, but it is an entirely relevant question to ask how suitable this topic is as a means of addressing the stated goal.

    In this context, the following questions are both relevant and need to be answered:

    1) Why include papers that have nothing to do with the extent or cause of global warming.
    2) Why include papers written by people who have no expertise in climate change or its causes

    So please include answers to these questions in your “Answer to the First Concern”

  84. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Second Concern

    Doesn’t that render Cook et al’s findings essentially meaningless?

    Short Answer to the Second Concern

    This depends upon what is meant by “meaningless”.

    Perhaps it means trivial, like when Marcel Crok says:

    So the fair and meaningless result of their whole exercise is that 75% of the abstracts that say something about AGW at all “link CO2 to climate change” or “imply warming from CO2″. […]
    Now for anyone who reads climate papers frequently this is totally obvious. Climate scientists have to frame their research in the abstract and there wouldn’t be so much climate papers if there was no concern for CO2.

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

    In that case, we’re glad you are raising concerns regarding an issue you already consider trivial. But sometimes, it makes sense to measure the degree of endorsement of a working assumption, even if it looks trivial on the face of it. If anyone could tell us who to do science by simply raising concerns on the Intertubes, we’d be interested to know.

    ***

    If “meaningless” means “non-negligible”, I suppose it depends upon the meaning of cause. To minimize A as a cause of GW does sound quite different than to endorse A as a fundamental cause of GW.

    Thank you for expressing this concern. We agree that the word “cause” almost invites misrepresentation. There are certainly ways to interpret that word as meaning “non-negligible”. The next time, we’ll anticipate such semantical games and hire semanticists. They are formal guys and having formal guys on our side always provides a nice touch.

  85. KR Says:

    Chris

    Why include papers that have nothing to do with the extent or cause of global warming.

    Papers on impacts, methods, mitigation, etc. are all quite relevant to the question of “endorsement of AGW”, because these are from people who study aspects of climate, and who have informed opinions on attribution based on the evidence they have been presented with. If those rejecting AGW had a stronger case, they would have a higher percentage of informed researchers agreeing with them. Their published work is absolutely relevant to the question of consensus.

    Why include papers written by people who have no expertise in climate change or its causes.

    If you are referring to papers that weren’t peer-reviewed, those weren’t counted towards the results, as per the stated methods.

    If you are referring to peer-reviewed papers, it’s worth noting that the AGW consensus among climatologists actively publishing on climate change is notably higher than the general public (http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf); any inclusion of non-experts in this survey can only reduce the consensus results. If anything, the inclusion of non-experts strengthens the conclusions.

    I’m sorry to say this, but you have yet to make a relevant critique of this paper.

  86. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Chris,

    Thank you for your concerns. I’ll address your concern about politics later today. Meanwhile, it would be nice of you if you could do these three things.

    First, you could ponder on this definition:

    > Consensus decision-making is a group decision making process that seeks the consent of all participants. Consensus may be defined professionally as an acceptable resolution, one that can be supported, even if not the “favourite” of each individual.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_decision-making

    Second, you could comment on this:

    Among papers whose abstracts were rated “no position”, according to self-ratings (which is a proxy for the endorsement level of the full paper):

    228 endorsed AGW
    213 had no position
    11 rejected AGW

    http://rabett.blogspot.ca/2013/05/a-rabett-exclusive.html

    Third, you could concede that Chewbacca’s argument restricted the consensus position to (1), and that this goes against the very idea of surveying the endorsement of AGW in the science literature, and that using your criteria of what is a proper authority to those who have made quantified attribution studies, we’d get (1)/(7).

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18831

    You have standing commitments on the last two points.

    Pacta sunt servanda,

    w

  87. Chris Maddigan Says:

    KR says:

    “If you are referring to papers that weren’t peer-reviewed, those weren’t counted towards the results, as per the stated methods. ”

    No I am referring to peer reviewed papers by engineers, biologists, education experts etc who have no expertise whatsoever in climate change.

    KR says:

    “any inclusion of non-experts in this survey can only reduce the consensus results”

    Yes, I think that is quite likely, but irrelevant. It is not my purpose to argue that the percentage endorsement is higher or lower than Cook et al state. I have little difficulty accepting that most people working in the area endorse the consensus. My reasons for criticising this report I have given elsewhere and relate to the fact that I believe agenda driven research is counterproductive.

    While Cook et al claims may be correct the research they did does not demonstrate them. Very little of value can actually be deduced from the research because the methodology is simply not capable of giving anything other than trivial results.

  88. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Crickets.

  89. KR Says:

    Chris – It’s non-trivial research because of the “consensus gap”, because much of public opinion is that there is no consensus, which is absolutely wrong.

    And because of rather concerted effort to deny such a consensus including numerous think tanks, media opinion columns, etc., all following in line with the infamous 2002 Frank Luntz memo http://tinyurl.com/akwlbna which stated:

    “Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate…”

    [Emphasis in original]

    In other words, deliberate distortions and denials of the consensus, perhaps the most common AGW denial refrain heard today. As public policy issue, such misunderstandings are very important to correct.

    And, personal opinion here, I prefer public policies to be based on reality. How about you?

  90. KR Says:

    An addendum from that memo:

    “The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science.”

    Hardly sounds like an evidence based position, now does it?

  91. Chris Maddigan Says:

    KR

    The goal may well be worthy, but then doesn’t that make it even more important that a study aimed at addressing it should be irreproachable. Poorly designed research such as Cook et al is easily debunked and ridiculed (and it has been). This does not advance the cause but sets it back.

    The whole climate change debate has become tribal, which means if someone comes up with the right result they get cheered. They are defended even if they are wrong. That makes progress difficult.

    Cook et al is a bad paper because a literature review is a fundamentally useless method of measuring the level of endorsement of the consensus position on climate change. You cannot get a proper random sample of the relevant population and you cannot get a clear measurement of what each member of your sample actually believes.

    God knows what Cook et al’s findings actually mean, but certainly they are no stronger than that a mixed bag of people believe humans have something to do with global warming. If you think that finding helps the cause then cheer on. If you think that touting the results as something far, far stronger only to have them exposed for what they are helps the cause then cheer on.

  92. nealjking Says:

    Chris Maddigan:

    The study is about the state of the scientific literature, not directly about the scientists; although there is an obvious relationship. Sorry if you wanted it to be about something else. But a paper has to be evaluated for what it is, not for what it is not; that is so basic, that I cannot believe you are operating in good faith.

  93. KR Says:

    Chris

    I’ve yet to see a valid criticism of the Cook et al paper. They surveyed a huge sample of the literature, with independent ratings, and cross-checked with the authors to see if they agreed (the various author ratings on the ‘neutral’ subset coming from full content rather than abstracts, note). It’s actually a very well designed survey.

    A literature review is entirely appropriate – it is in fact probably the best method for evaluating scientific consensus – and I’ve heard no plausible arguments for why surveying all papers over 20 years mentioning “global warming” or “global climate change” would fail to be a representative sampling on the topic of AGW. (Although I have heard several implausible ones…)

    The results are also consistent with previous literature reviews (Oreskes 2004), with direct surveys of climate scientists (Doran et al 2009), and with examination of public statements (Anderegg 2010) – all of which argues that the Cook et al 2013 conclusions are, indeed, correct. It is entirely consistent with previous works.

    Nit-picking is not debunking, neither is attempting to redefine criteria to something the paper did not use. Sorry you don’t like the results.

    “…The whole climate change debate has become tribal…”

    I see nothing more tribal than reflexively attempting to discredit significant work the _moment_ it has been published, without any attempt to examine the evidence independently, or even to compare it to other works in the field. No such effort has been put forth so far.

    Try your own study, see what results you get, and argue for those if they differ – that’s how science is done.

    Adieu

  94. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Willard,

    1) Whatever

    2) Your point being? A handful of the 7930 papers categorized as neutral were reclassified by their authors? So? I haven’t even bothered to discuss the self-rating component of the study. It has its own set of problems but it is really irrelevant because the first stage is so deeply flawed.

    3) You say
    “Third, you could concede that Chewbacca’s argument restricted the consensus position to (1), and that this goes against the very idea of surveying the endorsement of AGW in the science literature, and that using your criteria of what is a proper authority to those who have made quantified attribution studies, we’d get (1)/(7).”

    Give me a minute to parse that.

    mm

    a) Who the hell is Chewbacca? If you mean Shollenberger I would certainly agree that (1) is the only level that unequivocally endorses a meaningful definition of “the consensus”. That’s hardly a concession.

    b) Yes this does go against the very idea of surveying the endorsement of AGW in the science literature. That leads to the obvious conclusion that a literature survey is an inappropriate tool for measuring endorsement – as I have been saying. A literature survey is fundamentally incapable of answering questions about the level of endorsement.

    c) No. (1)/(7) is not a useful comparison. (1) does not contain all the papers whose authors believe the mankind causes more than 50% of global warming, nor does (7) contain all those less than 50%. For the comparison to be valid you would have to know why some papers make a clear statement and others don’t and know that that didn’t bias the samples. You would also need far larger samples. The number of papers in both categories are tiny.

    I have come to the conclusion that there are no comparisons that give more than trivial results (i.e. based on a very weak definition of the consensus position)

  95. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Chris,

    1. You really should ponder on the meaning of consensus. This is where your point about politics should emerge.

    2. My point is that this self-rating provides evidence that the results of the survey are conservative. The connotation of the word conservative would deserve to be contrasted from the connotation of the word trivial.

    3. The burden is on your and Chewbacca’s shoulders to provide a justification of your very strict meaning of “the consensus”. This strict meaning implies that we only look at (1) and (7). Your argument that categories do not contain ALL THE PAPERS is so strong as to defeat most of contemporary statistics. In fact, it sidesteps the argument that if you are to restrict “the consensus” to (1), you have to restrict your survey only to attribution studies. In other words, your interpretation conflates a survey with a review of the literature.

    Finally, I note this claim:

    > A literature survey is fundamentally incapable of answering questions about the level of endorsement.

    This seems to rest on a very strange notion of endorsement, where it is conflated with the notion of validation.

    Not only are your concern trolling, you are showing mastery of Newspeak, as Bart V surmised.

    Thank you for your concerns,

    w

  96. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    As promised:

    Third Concern

    Isn’t the GOAL of (Cook et al) political?

    Answer to the Third Concern

    The short answer is: no and yes.

    ***

    The study is about the degree of endorsement of AGW in the scientific community. To endorse AGW is a scientific stance. Here’s how the authors state the background of their research:

    An accurate perception of the degree of scientific consensus is an essential element to public support for climate policy (Ding et al 2011). Communicating the scientific consensus also increases people’s acceptance that climate change (CC) is happening (Lewandowsky et al 2012). Despite numerous indicators of a consensus, there is wide public perception that climate scientists disagree over the fundamental cause of global warming (GW; Leiserowitz et al 2012, Pew 2012).

    From this statement of motivation, we can conclude that the authors seek to improve the knowledge we have of the degree of scientific consensus. In the Conclusion, the authors state what they directly seek to refute:

    The narrative presented by some dissenters is that the scientific consensus is ‘…on the point of collapse’ (Oddie 2012) while ‘…the number of scientific “heretics” is growing with each passing year’ (Allègre et al 2012). A systematic, comprehensive review of the literature provides quantitative evidence countering this assertion.

    The emphasized sentence shows that the authors understate their work: not only do they provide a review of the litterature that seeks some kind of systematicity, it also validated this review with the results of a survey where authors self-classified their own work. This part of the study is not something to be dismissed lightly, more so if we are sensible to raising concerns.

    This was the “no” part.

    ***

    The authors’ GOAL was to refute a meme. The authors do seem to imply that satisfying this goal should eventually improve the perception of the degree of scientific consensus. But the communication task is not accomplished by the paper itself.

    To promote a consensus can be political:

    Consensus decision-making is a group decision making process that seeks the consent of all participants. Consensus may be defined professionally as an acceptable resolution, one that can be supported, even if not the “favourite” of each individual. […] Consensus decision-making is thus concerned with the process of deliberating and finalizing a decision, and the social and political effects of using this process.

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

    On the other hand, the meaning of consensus studied by Cook & al could satisfy a more mundane definition:

    A process of decision-making that seeks widespread agreement among group members.

    General agreement among the members of a given group or community, each of which exercises some discretion in decision-making and follow-up action.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/consensus

    The concept of consensus can thus be more epistemic than political. Science is still something different than politics, and were the concept of consensus in science the same as in politics, we’d be having a more consensual decision-process right now.

    On the other hand, the study serves as a backbone for this other project:

    http://theconsensusproject.com

    So we conclude that this project has a political aim.

    ***

    So the debate is over: AGW is happening.

    We certainly should not discount all the concerns that might raised.

    Which is very good, as otherwise we would not be here.

    And we all want Good Science ™.

    So we thank everyone for their concerns.

  97. Don Monfort Says:

    Dana said:”Note that if a paper said humans are causing less than 50% of global warming, or that another factor was causing more than 50% (or ‘most’, or some similar language), we put it in our rejections/minimization of the human influence category. Our basis was the IPCC statement that humans have caused most global warming since the mid-20th century. But if a paper simply said ‘human greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming’, that went into the endorsement category as well. After all, there’s no reason for most climate research to say ‘humans are causing >50% of global warming’ (except attribution research), especially in the abstract.”

    According to Bart, trying to infer what the quantitative level is for the other categories (other than 1 and 7, which includes 2 and 3) is mere conjecture.

    Bart said:”Your putting the adjectives “weak” and “strong” on unquantified statements is not justified. The extent to which the abstract agrees is given in qualitative terms only (except for cat’s 1 and 7). Trying to infer what the quantitative level is for the other categories is mere conjecture. Putting labels on it that give a quantitative and judgmental feel to it is not warranted I think.”

    Looks like Bart is saying that including 2 and 3 responses in the endorsement category is not warranted. Are my eyes lying to me, Bart?

  98. dana1981 Says:

    I wouldn’t call it mere conjecture. Scientists are going to defer to the expert research on a subject that’s relevant to their own research, but which they are not investigating themselves. In the case of global warming attribution, the research almost universally shows that humans are responsible for ~100% of the warming over the past half century. Or as the IPCC conservatively put it, at least 50% over that timeframe.

    It’s true that unless a paper explicitly quantifies the human contribution, you’re making the assumption that they defer to that expert consensus. But if you’re going to make an assumption, that would be the assumption to make. On the contrary, a lot of deniers are assuming that the ‘no position’ papers are uncertain about the cause, or even that they deny the human cause. That’s rather absurd. A lot of this research wouldn’t be happening if the scientists didn’t believe humans were driving global warming.

  99. Don Monfort Says:

    dana,

    Bart says it ‘s conjecture. He’s right.

    I don’t know why you are dragging those silly deniers into this. We are talking about your paper, your survey, your results, your assumptions. And if you are going to go with assumptions that an intelligent guy like Bart considers to be unwarranted because they are based on conjecture, there is no need for a survey and all that rigamarole.

    “It’s true that unless a paper explicitly quantifies the human contribution, you’re making the assumption that they defer to that expert consensus.” That is some faulty stuff there dana. Think about it. Ask Bart for help.

  100. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > I don’t know why you are dragging those silly deniers into this.

    Just when Don Don thought he was out, they pull him back in.

  101. KR Says:

    “It’s true that unless a paper explicitly quantifies the human contribution, you’re making the assumption that they defer to that expert consensus.”

    This is the only reasonable assumption, considering that the expert consensus (IPCC AR4) is:

    “From new estimates of the combined anthropogenic forcing due to greenhouse gases, aerosols and land surface changes, it is extremely likely that human activities have exerted a substantial net warming influence on climate since 1750.”

    And also:

    “Greenhouse gas forcing has very likely caused most of the observed global warming over the last 50 years. Greenhouse gas forcing alone during the past half century would likely have resulted in greater than the observed warming if there had not been an offsetting cooling effect from aerosol and other forcings.

    It is extremely unlikely (<5%) that the global pattern of warming during the past half century can be explained without external forcing, and very unlikely that it is due to known natural external causes alone. The warming occurred in both the ocean and the atmosphere and took place at a time when natural external forcing factors would likely have produced cooling.”

    [ IPCC likelyhood statements tied to probabilities emphasized as per original ]

  102. Don Monfort Says:

    Willard,

    Ask them for a breakdown of the authors’ responses. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many responses were in categories 2 and 3 and were therefore “assumed” to endorse the >50% human contribution plank of the alleged expert consensus.?. I bet they will DENY your request. Good luck!

  103. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Don Don,

    You don’t seem to have read the thread. You’re recycling Chewbacca’s trick, which has nothing to do with Cook & al. Question-begging questions are just cheap.

    Also, let’s disclose to interested readers that we had a previous encounter:

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/04/multidecadal-climate-to-within-a-millikelvin/

    I never got the chance to tell you that I appreciated your indirect apology to Vaughan.

    Thanks for that.

    ***

    Bart,

    You might be interested by this comment at Judy’s, in a comment of an op-ed entitled How to Humble a Wing Nut:

    Brandon Shollenberger | May 21, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    This part struck me:

    When wing nuts encounter people with whom they disagree, they immediately impugn their opponents’ motivations. Whatever their religion, they are devout Manicheans, dividing their fellow citizens into the forces of light and the forces of darkness.

    Not because I’m convinced it’s true. I’m not. However, I’ve been arguably the most vocal critic of the recent paper by John Cook and associates (from Skeptical Science). As far as I can remember, every person who has disagreed with me about my criticisms has acted in exactly this way.

    Interestingly, I’ve responded to most of these people asking them to explain what they think I’ve said (generally asking them to also quote my words). They generally refused, or if they said anything, focused solely on one small part of what I’ve said. Not a single one of my critics has come up with anything resembling an accurate depiction of my claims.

    The resemblence is remarkable given the timing of this post.

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/21/how-to-humble-a-wing-nut/#comment-324119

    ***

    Here is where Judge Judy put subtitles to her op-ed:

    Behavior on the extremes is arguably equally bad, but wingnuttery as defined here seems to better characterize the consensus side of the debate.

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/21/how-to-humble-a-wing-nut/#comment-324157

  104. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Bart,

    Perhaps I should add that, after I linked to your op-ed as an instance that falsifies Brandon’s bragging, I got this response:

    Bart Verheggen criticized me on specious grounds and refused to participate in any attempt at reconciling our views. He then watched as people used his claims and his blog to attack my motives, commenting only to make further claims that I was wrong. By ignoring their attacks on my motives while encouraging the arguments they used, he supported their behavior.

    Laundering attacks through a third party qualifies as making those attacks yourself.

    Readers have to wonder how far-reaching this argument can be.

    Let the readers recall that this comment was expressed at Judy’s.

    On a thread of an op-ed called How to Humble a Wing Nut.

  105. nealjking Says:

    Don Monfort:
    ” Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many responses were in categories 2 and 3 and were therefore “assumed” to endorse the >50% human contribution plank of the alleged expert consensus.?. I bet they will DENY your request.”

    I bet they won’t.

  106. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    Don’s is just another example of ignorance. Of course we won’t deny a request for our data. We’ve made it public and searchable on Skeptical Science. We had intended for the journal to include our full database in the supplementary material, but for some reason that didn’t happen (which we’re looking into).

    But as we know, conspiracy theories are the norm amongst climate deniers.

  107. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > conspiracy theories are the norm amongst climate deniers.

    We should beware our abductions, here.

    Don Don may not have a theory per se. At best, it’s a counterfactual for rhetorical flourish. At worse, it’s a cheap framing gambit.

    A frame is not necessarily a logically interconnected network of propositions. It’s more of a bundle of impressions. The theory it might contain may be of our own making.

    We should not invoke theories for cheap framing gambits. My experience with Don Don is more akin to cheap gambits than to theories anyway.

    ***

    What nealjking said was a better répartie, Dana.

    Please beware that “Yes, but conspiracy theorists” can also become a framing gambit, and that the Internet will be there forever.

    You won’t be young forever. I bet you’re not even that young.

    This kind of comment just makes you look like a freak.

    ***

    In case someone did not get the frame of what Don Don said, “Yes, but SkS moderation” is the new “Yes, but RC moderation”:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/yesbutrcmoderation

    You guys just got promoted among ClimateBallers.

    Congratulations!

  108. Don Monfort Says:

    Dana,

    How many of the authors self-ratings were category 1.?

  109. Don Monfort Says:

    Bart,

    “The extent to which the abstract agrees is given in qualitative terms only (except for cat’s 1 and 7). Trying to infer what the quantitative level is for the other categories is mere conjecture. Putting labels on it that give a quantitative and judgmental feel to it is not warranted I think.”

    I agree. The Cook et al paper made a one-size-fits-all, blanket assumption about the responses that fell into category 2 and 3 and made a judgement to label those responses based on that assumption. Is that OK?

  110. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Dana Nuccitelli

    “It’s true that unless a paper explicitly quantifies the human contribution, you’re making the assumption that they defer to that expert consensus. But if you’re going to make an assumption, that would be the assumption to make.”

    KR

    “This is the only reasonable assumption”

    How can it ever be reasonable to assume the result your study is trying to demonstrate?

    And yet if you do not make the assumption you must concede that Cook et al only demonstrates endorsement of a very weak statement of “the consensus”:that humans are causing at least a small proportion of global warming.

    Not an enviable position but an inevitable one given the inherent limitations of a literature review.

  111. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Scratch your own itch, Don Don.

    Or perhaps you already did and are simply asking rhetorical questions?

  112. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    “How many of the authors self-ratings were category 1.?”

    22, I believe.

    “The Cook et al paper made a one-size-fits-all, blanket assumption about the responses that fell into category 2 and 3″

    No, we didn’t make any assumptions about these papers.

  113. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    “How can it ever be reasonable to assume the result your study is trying to demonstrate?”

    This is a nonsensical question. You’re assuming for example that a paper discussing methodologies for measuring Arctic sea ice extent is trying to demonstrate that humans are causing global warming.

  114. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    How to minimize AGW in one step:

    > [T]hat humans are causing at least a small proportion of global warming.

    Take a qualitative claim and try to construct a quantitative claim out of it by expressing the lowest bound justified disingenuousness would allow.

    Well, played, Chris!

  115. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > This [“How can it ever be reasonable to assume the result your study is trying to demonstrate?”] is a nonsensical question.

    In fact, it is a rhetorical question hiding a claim according to which the study begs the question it asks. Since Chris can’t really prove that, he can only insinuate it by misreading what is being said. Unfolding what is being said suffices.

    To untangle parsomatics, look for operative words. Here, the operative words are “demonstrate” and “assume”:

    > How can it ever be reasonable to assume the result your study is trying to demonstrate?

    Here’s what is assumed:

    > Unless a paper explicitly quantifies the human contribution, you’re making the assumption that they defer to that expert consensus.

    Now, is it true that this is what the study is trying to show?

    All depends upon what is meant by defering to the expert consensus. In this case, I believe that to defer means to endorse, either explicitly or implicitely. This endorsement is to be distinguished from neutrality.

    This is the clause that refutes Chris’ innuendo. By default, ABSTRACTS get classified as neutral, not as endorsing AGW. ABSTRACTS got classified as endorsing AGW if we can read it implicitely or explicitely.

    It takes some mastery to be able to misread a study. We should grant that to Chris.

    Well played, Chris.

  116. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Let’s try to end the italics.

  117. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Test.

  118. Don Monfort Says:

    22! Thank you Dana. I lose that bet. I owe willard a nickel.

    That is a vanishingly small number of explicit endorsements for the >50% human contribution version of the consensus.

    Dana said:”Note that if a paper said humans are causing less than 50% of global warming, or that another factor was causing more than 50% (or ‘most’, or some similar language), we put it in our rejections/minimization of the human influence category. Our basis was the IPCC statement that humans have caused most global warming since the mid-20th century. But if a paper simply said ‘human greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming’, that went into the endorsement category as well. After all, there’s no reason for most climate research to say ‘humans are causing >50% of global warming’ (except attribution research), especially in the abstract.”

    I thought that looked like it was about making assumptions. But that may have just been a hallucination caused by my conspiracy ideations.

  119. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    My comments on blogs are not part of our paper, Don.

    Wow I was very wrong in my previous comment. I was looking at the abstract ratings column for papers with a self-rating. The self-rating column looks like it has 228 Category 1 results. There were a further 18 where 1 author rated a paper as a 1, but a second author rated it as a 2. There were also 9 papers self-rated in Category 7.

    My apologies for the mistake. So of self-rated Category 1+7, again there’s close to 97% consensus (depending on how you deal with those papers where the authors were split in their ratings)

  120. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > That [22] is a vanishingly small number of explicit endorsements for the >50% human contribution version of the consensus.

    That number is better described as a response to “how many of the authors self-ratings were category 1?”

    As such, they should be considered as claims of AGW, not mere endorsements.

    Slipping from claims to endorsements does seem to reinforce the epithet “vanishingly small”.

    Well played, Don Don!

    And thanks for that nickel.

  121. nealjking Says:

    Don Monford, willard:

    “22! Thank you Dana. I lose that bet. I owe willard a nickel.”

    Not so fast, willard!

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    nealjking Says:
    May 22, 2013 at 16:50

    Don Monfort:
    ” Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many responses were in categories 2 and 3 and were therefore “assumed” to endorse the >50% human contribution plank of the alleged expert consensus.?. I bet they will DENY your request.”

    I bet they won’t.

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    That nickel is mine!

  122. Don Monfort Says:

    Thanks for the correction Dana. That is a significant difference. Would you be so kind as to provide a link to that data?

    So what you have are 228 papers, from the 12,000 that you surveyed, that are confirmed by their authors to endorse the >50% human contribution version of the consensus?

    I know that your blog comments are not part of your paper. However, some of your comments are about your paper and seem to describe your methodology.

  123. Don Monfort Says:

    neal,

    Check is in the mail.

  124. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    The particular table I’m looking at isn’t publically available. As noted, we’re trying to get the journal to publish our ratings data in the supplementary info. If they won’t for some reason, we’ll post it on SkS.

    That’s 228 self-rated Category 1 papers out of 2,143 total self-rated papers.

  125. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    Oh, I should note that we can’t make the author self-ratings public because there was a confidentiality agreement involved. Our abstract ratings are public, and you can see the average of the self-rated papers if you use the public ratings system on SkS, but we can’t make the self-ratings of each paper public due to the confidentiality agreement.

  126. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Another way to see how you’re being played is to look at what numbers has been dropped. Let’s look how Don Don’s is leading his witness:

    > So what you have are 228 papers, from the 12,000 that you surveyed, that are confirmed by their authors to endorse the >50% human contribution version of the consensus?

    Here are the numbers that were dropped from the previous question that was asked:

    There were also 9 papers self-rated in Category 7.

    If we compare all the authors in the ISI Web of Science 1991–2011 using the expression ‘global warming’ or ‘global climate change’ in their ABSTRACTS who self-declared a quantified judgement on AGW, i.e. (1)/(7), we get 228/237 = 0.96624472573.

    Very well played, Don Don!

  127. Don Monfort Says:

    Willard,

    Is a consensus measured by how many people in a population express agreement with a particular issue, or by how many who are against it? Those who are non-committed are ignored? It seems to me that if the great majority of the people do not support one side or the other, then they are the consensus. Work on that one willard. There is a nickle in it for you if you can bring yourself to reply with an honest answer.

  128. Don Monfort Says:

    “That’s 228 self-rated Category 1 papers out of 2,143 total self-rated papers.”

    Thank you Dana. That is very informative. Kudos to you for being forthcoming. I am still waiting for Bart.

  129. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Don Don,

    You’ve just switched from

    to endorse the >50% human contribution version of the consensus?

    to

    [I]s a consensus measured by how many people in a population express agreement with a particular issue […]

    In other words, you’re not distinguishing those who are endorsed a quantitative estimate (which is more than a mere endorsement, since we should expect them to be attribution studies) and those who endorsed a qualitative estimate. Those who “do not support one side or the other” are in (4), not in (2) or (3), unless you are entertaining a strict meaning of “sides”.

    Your trick is the same as Brandon’s. Minimal work was required. Just a bit of analysis for your specific bait and switch.

    Now, does that deserve a nickel?

  130. nealjking Says:

    Don Monford:

    “Is a consensus measured by how many people in a population express agreement with a particular issue, or by how many who are against it? Those who are non-committed are ignored? It seems to me that if the great majority of the people do not support one side or the other, then they are the consensus.”

    What you say is true if the non-committed give a non-committal statement to the specific issue; in other words, if they address the issue specifically with an “I don’t know enough to give an answer” or the equivalent.

    However, in this case, what was interrogated is not a person but an abstract. There were some abstracts that indicated an uncertainty in the issue, and I believe these were assigned to the anti-consensus categories (Dana can correct me if I’m wrong). But for the great majority of Category-4 abstracts, it was not possible to discern any point of view at all on the issue, because the topic of the paper was not affected by the issue of cause of warming. For example, if a paper were discussing temperature-measurement techniques, it could very likely avoid mentioning anything about the cause of warming, because it makes absolutely no difference to a designer of thermometers or bolometers or whatever.

    If you were to compare such a non-responsive abstract to a human being interviewed, then he is the guy who whose iPod is turned up way high when he walks by and doesn’t hear your question at all. You can’t count him as pro, con or even undecided on the issue – he’s just listening to his music, you haven’t established contact. You can’t use him for any side at all: it’s just as if he wasn’t there.

  131. Don Monfort Says:

    neal,

    That was just some doubletalk to keep willard busy for a while. I basically agree with what you said.

    The serious problems with the usefulness of this paper have been enumerated previously in this thread. See Greg Maddigan’s eloquent and insightful comments, in particular.

    Bottom line is that there are 228 papers in more than twenty years that can be said to unequivocally endorse the alleged consensus that humans are responsible for >50% of the warming.

    The authors of the paper claim that it verifies a 97% consensus. It has predictably become a PR juggernaut for the cause. Scientists nearly unanimous! Debate over! Let the painful mitigation commence full-force, without further dithering by feckless politicians who haven’t really done squat about the alleged crisis, up to now. Whatever. We have heard this 97% meme before. This will not perceptibly move the needle on the public opinion meter. The feckless pols will remain feckless. Get used to it.

  132. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Don Don,

    Glad you reported the result of your investigation to Lucia’s:

    On the thread at Bart’s blog for which you previously provided a link, Dana told me that the author responses included 228 category 1. self-ratings. Just wanted to make sure you were aware of that, as it differs significantly from your estimate in the post above. However, I don’t think it changes the big picture. 228 is still a woefully small number on which to base their bold and brassy conclusion.

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/on-the-consensus/#comment-113684

    Again, you’re using the same doubletalk, by ommitting to mention that we’re talking about 228 out of 239 papers.

    Oh, and Chris Maddigan used the same kind of doubletalk you did. Or the other way around. So, I don’t think you can excuse yourself and letting it crawl back in the conversation. That would be squaretalk. And if you’re still using it elsewhere to report of what’s happening here, that would be what, hypersquaretalk?

    In any case, neiljking addressed all the talks there is.

    ***

    But speaking of geometry, here’s an interesting view on symmetry:

    For this demonstration, we’ll discard the distinction between explicit and implicit, and there will be no neutral papers. That means we’ll want to look at endorse/reject and +/-50%. That’s gives us four possible combinations.

    1) Endorse, +50%
    2) Endorse, -50%
    3) Reject, -50%
    4) Reject, +50%

    There’s no way to reject and quantify something at the same time so we discard the second part of 3) and 4). That makes the two identical, leaving us with just three categories:

    1) Endorse, +50%
    2) Endorse, -50%
    3) Reject

    As you can see, there is no symmetry.

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/why-symmetry-is-bad/

    Our emphasis.

    Brandon breaks the symmetry and wonders how to achieve symmetry.

    Well played, Brandon!

  133. nealjking Says:

    Don M. (I keep misspelling it anyway):

    I’m afraid I can’t agree with your evaluation of Greg M.’s comments: they are elegant and thoughtful but also incorrect; I have criticized some of them here and maybe elsewhere.

    The pols will act only when the populace is mobilized; but when an incorrect view of the actual degree of agreement among scientists is held, even people politically inclined to support big-government solutions feel more doubtful about supporting action. As this is corrected, I think it’s very likely that first liberals and later conservatives will take a greater interest in making life in the medium-range future easier for themselves rather than harder.

    It reminds me of an incident during the discussions about chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and their harm to the ozone layer, the Montreal protocol, etc. This was also controversial at the time, although less complex a problem. I was discussing this with another physics graduate student, who was very sharp but also very argumentative, with highly conservative views. Fortunately for me, the issue stayed clear of the technical details (my knowledge of chemistry is so close to zero that it could possibly be negative) and went to the politics: “What right does the government have to tell me that I can’t buy a can of deodorant with CFCs in it? Who are they to decide that?”

    I pointed out: “They’re already seeing in Australia increased cases of skin cancer, which they attribute to increased amounts of ultraviolet, which is correlated to the loss of ozone in the atmosphere just as you would expect. So let me put it this way: Why should YOU be the one to get skin cancer, sunning yourself in your own backyard, because some deodorant vendor wanted to save a few pennies per can?”

    I wasn’t expecting much, because the implication was so obvious that it was among the first few thoughts I had ever had on the topic of the ozone layer; so I expected him to have a clever answer. But evidently, he’d never actually looked at it from a personal angle: It stopped him dead in the water. It actually ended the discussion.

  134. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Of my question:

    ““How can it ever be reasonable to assume the result your study is trying to demonstrate?”

    Dana replies:

    “This is a nonsensical question. You’re assuming for example that a paper discussing methodologies for measuring Arctic sea ice extent is trying to demonstrate that humans are causing global warming.”

    I am not assuming anything. Cook et al are. They are assuming if the paper directly or indirectly indicates support for the position that humans are causing some unspecified part of global warming that they are automatically endorsing what you call the expert consensus that mankind is causing most of global warming.

    Cook et al seeks to demonstrate a high level of endorsement of the view that “human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW”

    How is that anything other than assuming the result you are trying to demonstrate?

    The thing is you are not entitled to assume anything other than what a paper actually says.

  135. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Willard says:

    “How to minimize AGW in one step:

    > [T]hat humans are causing at least a small proportion of global warming.

    Take a qualitative claim and try to construct a quantitative claim out of it by expressing the lowest bound justified disingenuousness would allow.

    Well, played, Chris!”

    Except its not a game, Willard. I am glad though that you describe the low bound as justified (even if you do feel the need to disparage it with the next word)

    The thing is that Cook et al do give a quantitative definition of “the consensus” in their paper: namely that “human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW”

    Now say I am a mathematician purporting to prove that A> .5

    I give a delightful proof that A exists. Then I conclude my proof by saying:

    Let’s assume that if A exists then A> .5
    Therefore A>.5

    I don’t think that such a proof would get itself published in a mathematical journal of repute. Do you, Willard?

  136. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > [I]f the paper directly or indirectly indicates support for the position that humans are causing some unspecified part of global warming that they are automatically endorsing what you call the expert consensus that mankind is causing most of global warming.

    Here is the description of (4b)

    Expresses position that human’s role on recent global warming is uncertain/undefined.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

    Here is an example provided for (4b):

    While the extent of human-induced global warming is inconclusive…

    If an author uses an expression like “some unspecifed part”, should it belong to to (2) or (4b)?

    The name of (4b) is: Uncertain.

    ***

    Also, notice the expression: “what you call the expert consensus”.

    But yeah, Chris does not assume anything with his rhetorical question.

  137. Don Monfort Says:

    Chris,

    You don’t understand that Dana’s circular reasoning is backed up by a strong appeal to authority. He can assume that the authors who rate their papers 2 or 3 (without quantification) do so with the knowledge that they are supposed to believe the expert consensus. The alleged expert consensus is that the human contribution to warming is >50%. Simple, ain’t it?

  138. nealjking Says:

    Chris M:

    Your arguments are so remote from the issues under discussion that I’ve lost interest. You’re just playing with words.

  139. Don Monfort Says:

    neal,

    You are a nice guy, but when I see analogies to CFC’s or smoking, I tune out.

    Tell it to willard.

  140. nealjking Says:

    You must have a low appreciation for analogies. It’s really simple.

  141. nealjking Says:

    Don M.:

    I’ll try to make the point w/o analogies:

    – Scene: Discussion on a topic of environmental concern, in the physics graduate-student lounge. My antagonist was known to be extremely conservative in his opinions, and very argumentative; also considered to be one of the top 3 physics students coming out of a very tiny university with a lot of big-name famous faculty.

    – His starting point: “What right does the GOVERNMENT have to tell a manufacturer that he can’t put something in a can of deodorant? Where in the Constitution does it say they can do that?”

    – My starting point: “In Australia, people have already seen skin cancer increases that plausibly track with the increased usage of that substance. If YOU are minding your own business in your own backyard, YOU have a bigger chance to get skin cancer. Who gave the MANUFACTURER the right to increase YOUR chances of skin cancer?”

    – Response: There was no response. The discussion ended.

    – Analysis: This very smart guy had never considered the implications of the environmental issue under discussion from a personal point of view: what it would do to him. Instead, he was thinking about what it would do to the size of government, maybe his investment portfolio, etc. Once I said something as simple and basic as, “Hey, this could hurt YOU, too,” he was shocked into silence – which I had never seen before.

    So, I think if the populace gains confidence that the scientific consensus is, shall we say, a lot closer to 97/3 than to 50/50, it could make a difference.

  142. dana1981 Says:

    Don, there’s a difference between appeal to authority and deference to scientific evidence. For example, in my job when I do human health risk assessments, I need to know the toxicity of various chemicals. I’m not a toxicologist, so I defer to the studies that have estimated the toxicities of the chemicals in question. That’s not an appeal to authority, that’s an acknowledgment that the toxicities of these chemicals have been estimated by experts in the scientific literature.

    That’s just how scientists act – at least good ones (there are some who think they know better than the experts; William Happer comes to mind). It’s not about authority, it’s about evidence compiled by experts.

  143. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Chris,

    Please, it’s your desingenuousness that I qualified as justified, not the use of the lower bound per se. Converting a qualitative claim into a quantitative one is not justified. This is why I called your trick a minimization.

    ***

    Perhaps looking at the rating process as an algorithm can clarify matters.

    First, you read an ABSTRACT. Does it mention AGW? Yes, they all do.

    Second, you ask: does it say or imply anything about AGW? If yes, go to the third step; if not, put it into (4a).

    Third, does it say something that the issue regarding AGW is uncertain or indeterminate? Put it into (4b).

    Fourth, does it say something quantative? If yes, put it into (1) or (7).

    Fifth, does it minimize AGW? If yes, put it into (5) or (6).

    Sixth, does it endorses explicitely AGW, If yes, put it into (2).

    Seventh, does it work assumes AGW? If yes, put it into (3).

    Eighth, you loop back another time for each article.

    Ninth, you arbitrate ratings conflict.

    Tenth, you validate with the authors of the ABSTRACTS themselves.

    If you look at the whole classification, instead of finding new words to minimize what has been done, you should see that if an ABSTRACT expresses its endorsement regarding AGW, it is not by saying that “yeah, but AGW is an unspecified part”. That could very well go into (4b), if the rater does not see an endorsement.

    There’s a judgement call there that can’t be solved by pushing the limits of justified disingenuousness.

    ***

    The division between (1) and (2)-(3) is that the first is an explicit endorsement of AGW in quantitative terms. It is more than an endorsement: it is a statement of AGW as the paper defines it. There are no implict equivalent for this category.

    Conversely, (2) and (3) are qualitative endorsements, to be distinguished from neutral statements, uncertainty statements, minimizations, and rejections. At the very least, (2) and (3) collect ABSTRACTS that endorse that AGW is a fact that is not uncertain or minimal. The only thing it does not say is that AGW > 50%, which would be strange for (3), since this category only works by implication.

    ***

    Here is the dividing line, as I see it. Either an ABSTRACT endorses AGW, or not. If it does endorse AGW, it goes into (1), (2), or (3). If it endorse a position antagonistic, it goes into (5), (6), or (7). If it remains neutral, it goes into (4a) or (4b).

    If the raters did not put (2) and (3) into (1), it’s not from a lack of choice. They could have chosen to put it into (4a), (4b), (5), (6), or (7). If the authors mixed (1), (2), and (3) together, concerns could be raised anyway.

    Trying to exploit this subdivision is nearing the limits of justified of desingenuousness.

  144. Don Monfort Says:

    Dana,

    Are you saying that climatology is analogous to toxicology? I trust those skull and crossbones labels they put on dangerous products, because I know that toxicology is a solid science based on evidence and observation that has been accumulated from the time when man evolved from dumb apes (see I ain’t one of those knuckle-dragging Creationists). Climate science ain’t nearly that solid.

    Nevertheless, I believe that it is very plausible that humans have caused at least 51% of the warming since about 1950, which amounts to about nil for the last 15 years. You can add me to the catch all consensus. And I have no doubt that the great of majority of climate scientists are on board too. It’s expected of them. However, I don’t believe that your paper makes the slam dunk case that Obama’s tweeting sycophants and the mainstream media have been led to believe that it makes. Don’t expect them to actually get serious and mitigate. Especially, Obama. He got other problems.

    There was a goofy post on WUWT about three rogue skeptical scientists who claim that your paper misrepresents their papers. It’s silly, but I couldn’t say so on WUWT, because Anthony banned for telling him to get you know what. Just giving you a heads up, in case you haven’t heard about it.

    You seem to be decent, albeit confused. Keep at it.

  145. Don Monfort Says:

    Bart seems to be on sabbatical.

  146. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Willard

    Trying to work out your critique of my statements makes me think you believe that I was talking about level 4 not 3 and 2.Perhaps NealJking thinks so to. If that is so, then I was obviously not clear enough and I apologize. Don Montfort clearly understood what I was saying though. Maybe the following will be clearer and you can point out in your inimitable style where you think I am wrong.

    Step 1

    Papers classified as 2 or 3 do not specifically endorse a quantified statement of the “consensus”. They either indicate directly (2) or implicitly (3) that mankind is making some contribution to global warming.

    For example a paper that stated “carbon sequestration in soil is important for mitigating global climate change” certainly implies that man’s carbon emissions are contributing to climate change. You cannot however infer anything stronger than that

    Step 2

    Cook et al describes the consensus as “human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW”

    One of the authors of the report has confirmed on this site and elsewhere that this is indeed what “the consensus” means. He even goes further and indicates he believes that the consensus is actually that mankind is responsible for almost 100%, but this latter statement isn’t in the paper so we will ignore it.

    Step 3

    Cook et al classifies papers in (2) and (3) as “endorsing the consensus” which they have described in quantitative terms (i.e. A>50%).

    This is certainly converting a qualitative claim into a quantitative one which you Willard, in your response to me, say is not justified.

    Actually I do not believe that converting a qualitative claim into a quantitative one is necessarily unjustified or invalid, though the conversion done by Cook et al certainly is. There is simply no basis for interpreting (2) and (3) papers as endorsing a position that A>50%.

    This is the unwarranted assumption which amounts to assuming the result you want to prove (and Willard don’t spend 5 pages trying to parse these words – you know exactly what I mean by this).

    Step 4

    Cook et al’s claim that 97% of papers endorse the consensus (which they have described in quantitative terms) is invalid and not supported by their findings.
    .

  147. dana1981 Says:

    Don, yes, climatology and toxicology are analogous. Actually there are a whole lot of assumptions made in toxicology, because you can’t just test carcinogens on people, for example. Like climatologists, toxicologists tend to be very conservative.

    Global warming has accelerated over the past 15 years, by the way.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/apr/24/reuters-puzzled-global-warming-acceleration

    Calling Poptech’s post (re-posted on WUWT) goofy is very generous. It was hands down the dumbest criticism of our paper so far, and that’s saying a lot. If you read our paper (or even most media articles about our paper), and you read the post, it should be crystal clear why it’s so stupid. We had a good laugh about it at Skeptical Science.

  148. 21fossil Says:

    For what it’s worth, Richard Tol tweeted: “Cook survey included 10 of my 122 eligible papers. 5/10 were rated incorrectly. 4/5 were rated as endorse rather than neutral.”

  149. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    Maybe Tol hasn’t actually read the paper. Regardless, he’s wrong too. Except about including 10 of his papers, but those were the ones that included ‘global warming’ and ‘global climate change’ in the keywords.

  150. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Chris,

    You’re minimizing again:

    > Papers classified as 2 or 3 do not specifically endorse a quantified statement of the “consensus”. They either indicate directly (2) or implicitly (3) that mankind is making some contribution to global warming.

    You mean the ABSTRACTS.

    “Some” does not mean “less than most”.

    If “some” means “I’m not sure how many”, it goes into (4b).

    If “some” means “not much”, it goes into (5) or (6).

    If there are no “some”, the “some” has been injected by your exploit.

    Your minimization works by dividing your steps in a way readers forget that it’s a classification that works as a whole.

    ***

    > There is simply no basis for interpreting (2) and (3) papers as endorsing a position that A>50%.

    Actually, Chris, there is: if they were not, they would be in (4), (5), (6), or (7). See above.

    Again, your exploit works because you’re imagining possibilities which have been prevented by the classification.

    That does not mean that your concerns could not have happened, in real life, when applying the classification. The implementation level might very well be the topic of your next salvo of concerns, which are always welcome. We’re talking about the specification level, right now.

    ***

    When scientists say “Yeah, AGW” without quantifying it, chances are that they’re using the term “AGW” the usual way. You don’t add “some” in front of it that could mean “from 1% to 99%”. You don’t presume they’re playing Humpty Dumpty games when we get their own self-rating of their whole papers to corroborate the raters’ work.

    On semantical grounds alone, don’t think you have a case.

  151. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Wow Willard,

    word games at its best (or worst depending on your point of view).

    The paper gives two examples:

    ‘Emissions of a broad range of greenhouse gases of varying lifetimes contribute to global climate change’

    ‘…carbon sequestration in soil is important for mitigating global climate change’

    Neither of these statements state or imply that humans are the major cause of global warming. The first is classified as (2) the second as (3).

    They do imply that humans make some contribution to global warming. Despite your little story about what happens when some means different things, all of these papers go into 2 or 3. None go into 4b. None go into 5 or 6. Your statements are just plain wrong as is your entire analysis.

    You say I am minimizing, but in fact I am not. I am clarifying what is the strongest precise and accurate statement of the known facts.

    No logic allows you to claim that papers in (2) and (3) endorse the view that mankind is causing most global warming but that is precisely what Cook et al does claim.

  152. Hartog Says:

    Disappointed, flabbergasted how so much can be driveled about so much nonsense by such intelligent people. Science? Psychology? Consensus? Mainly disappointed.

  153. Don Monfort Says:

    OK, Dana. Toxiciology is just like climate science. I forgot about that cancer thing, or whatever you said.

    And I enthusiastically agree that the Poptech post was really dumb. That’s what I meant when I said it is goofy. If anybody takes a survey, I would classify your paper and the subsequent Poptech criticism as dumb and dumber.

    Good luck with these boys, Chris. You have more patience than I do.

  154. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    According to my algorithm, Chris, both examples would be classified as (2) or (3), as they are not neutral to AGW [1] nor minimizing AGW. That is, your reading of my ‘little story’ is incorrect.

    The expression ‘global climate change’ does not simply imply ‘some global climate change’, Chris. It means ‘the AGW that is usually assumed when scientists say ‘AGW”. This assumption got corroborated by a survey.

    Words usually know what they mean, unless we qualify them.

    [1] As KR asked, where do greenhouse gases come from? As Eli asked, why would we sequester carbon if not for AGW?

  155. nealjking Says:

    Dana:

    This: “Maybe Tol hasn’t actually read the paper. Regardless, he’s wrong too. Except about including 10 of his papers,”

    is not an adequate answer to 21fossil’s comment of May 23, 2013 at 07:01:

    “For what it’s worth, Richard Tol tweeted: ‘Cook survey included 10 of my 122 eligible papers. 5/10 were rated incorrectly. 4/5 were rated as endorse rather than neutral.'”

    It’s not enough to say that Tol is wrong; you have to say how he is wrong.

  156. Chris Maddigan Says:

    willard,

    Your post is simple evasive nonsense. You are clearly an intelligent man, Willard, so I can only deduce that your role here is to continually obfuscate and divert attention from any valid criticism with exquisite pedantry.

    Heaven forbid that even crass propaganda like Cook et al be shown for what it is.

    Others here don’t have your style, they just bluster and deny.

    It doesn’t matter. I now have a very clear understanding of the many fatal flaws of Cook et al and the knowledge that those supporting the paper including an author are not able to defend it with rational argument, only with obfuscation, misdirection and denial.

    I am dissapointed. I was hoping the good guys had higher standards.

    Adieu

  157. nealjking Says:

    Chris Maddigan:

    Let me try to re-state your argument:
    – “Levels of endorsement (LOE) 2 and 3 are not quantitative about the proportion of blame that is to be attributed to human influence. If translated into quantitative terms, it is unclear what the % would be.
    – “Since the consensus requires the significance of human influence greater than 50%, papers evaluated LOEs 2 or 3 cannot be considered as supportive of the consensus; only papers evaluated as LOE 1.
    – “Therefore only LOE 1 papers can be counted towards the consensus.”

    This is my best guess at your argument.

    This is why I don’t agree:
    – The first definition of the consensus is in the abstract, which states: “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.” So the definition of the consensus position is that “humans are causing global warming”.
    – Notice that this definition is NOT quantitative. It has to be understood as common language. When the proverbial “man in the street” asks the question, “Are we (humans) causing global warming?”, he is NOT necessarily asking, “Is the degree of responsibility for global warming that is due to human activity greater than 50%?” He is asking something much closer to, “Is human activity contributing to global warming enough that we ought to be doing something different?”
    – In the absence of a quantitative statement in the abstract of a paper (which would give an LOE of 1 or 7), I think we have to interpret the definitions of LOEs 2 – 6 in terms of the common-language re-statement directly above. I think this restatement would be acceptable to the majority of scientists as well.
    – Therefore: To interpret LOEs 2 & 3 as supportive of the consensus, one does NOT have to translate into quantitative terms and get a “greater than 50%”. Instead, one has to interpret the LOEs in terms of whether they would support the re-statement: “Human activity contributing to global warming enough that we ought to at least THINK ABOUT doing something different.”
    – This is where you have to think carefully about the context, and in particular the Category. You have to discern the intent behind the research. Consider the LOE 3 example: “…carbon sequestration in soil is important for mitigating global climate change”: It’s pretty reasonable to assume that the paper is likely to be supportive of the view that “something ought to be done”, because that’s what mitigation is. If on the other hand, it said something like: “Generally, mitigation efforts are likely to be impractical/too expensive,” that might better be interpreted as an LOE 5 (although it could be an extremely pessimistic LOE 3 !).
    – For the LOE 2 example: “Emissions of a broad range of greenhouse gases of varying lifetimes contribute to global climate change”, again you have to discern the intent behind the research. This is a more subtle example than the mitigation case; but again the question has to be, “Why does the author believe this research is worth doing? Would the author agree that “Human activity contributing to global warming enough that we ought to at least THINK ABOUT doing something different”? If so, I think that is good enough.

    In summary: Your critique relies on the unconvertibility of LOEs 2 & 3 into quantitative statements of attribution. I reject your critique on the grounds that the definition of the consensus stated and relied upon in this article is not quantitative, so the LOEs can be evaluated directly against it, without undergoing a conversion.

  158. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Thank you NealJKing. You are the first person on this site who has made a decent attempt to address this particular issue which has been raised by me and many others. Everyone other response has been either an evasion or a bizarre non seqitur.

    I do not entirely agree with your argument and I will detail my reasons in a detailed post soon. However, for now, thanks.

  159. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Chris,

    I gave you a procedural semantics of the classification that nears a formal specification and you call that evasion. Before that, I had to parry one disingenuous move after another, always trying to patch one possible meaning that escaped me instead of realizing a meeting of the mind. You never shown any interest to understand what the authors did, and seems to believe that exploiting the word “most” suffices to invalidate the whole enterprise. If memory serves well, this hack is known since Aristotle’s logic.

    You really should try to login on the website and look at the ABSTRACTS yourself.

    We were getting to a point where already has been said. I would simply have needed to read back the thread to you, while taking stock of all the parries. Besides the algorithm, which may be useful for crowd-sourced endeavours that may be more useful to me, what mostly concerns me most is the AGW itself, as I said in my first comments. Then comes semantics, which is a formal discipline.

    I can agree with you that the result of the paper is trivial, for all I care.

    Thanks for playing,

    ***

    Thanks, Neal.

    It was a good idea to take the time to reformulate the concern the way you did. The concerned feel heard. I too would like my interlocutors to do that. I’ll try to do that next time.

    As far as I am not that concerned, I think your quote wins the thread:

    > The point of the paper is that the state of the current scientific literature reflects an overwhelming working assumption by relevant scientists that AGW is real and happening[.]

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18827

    To state that the endorsement means more something like a working assumption than a validation might have been enough to address most concerns on the thread.

    We can dream alright.

  160. Don Monfort Says:

    Thank you neal. You have put your finger on it. One has to go through some analysis to come up with an assumed definition for the consensus they are trying to establish, because the paper is vague on that. But let’s go with your conclusion. Papers are tallied as endorsing the alleged consensus if they affirm that humans are causing >0% of recent warming. One size fits all. Don’t leave anybody out. But wait a minute, that ain’t what one of the authors is telling us. Dana says all the endorsement papers were counted as explicitly or implicitly supporting the alleged >50% human contribution story. Bart says you can’t infer a quantitative value where it ain’t stated, but Dana insists that he knows that they meant >50% because, hey that’s the consensus.

    Try to catch up neal. They are not trying to sell the story that humans are responsible for some global warming. That ain’t gonna scare anybody. The story has to be that global warming/aka climate change is an existential threat and humans are causing it, most of it, or preferably all of it. Ask Dana. And we got to do something drastic about it. like yesterday. This paper is not going to move anybody off the dime. The authors can enjoy their 15 minutes of fame, but we have heard the 97% meme before and it ain’t working for them.

  161. nealjking Says:

    Don M.:

    “But let’s go with your conclusion. Papers are tallied as endorsing the alleged consensus if they affirm that humans are causing >0% of recent warming. One size fits all. Don’t leave anybody out.”

    That’s not quite a fair paraphrase of what I said, or meant. A better re-statement of my conclusion: “Papers are tallied as endorsing the consensus if the reader concludes that the author(s) would agree with the statement, ‘Human activity contributes to global warming enough that we ought to at least THINK HARD ABOUT doing something different.’ ”

  162. Don Monfort Says:

    I can read neal. You wrote:

    “So the definition of the consensus position is that “humans are causing global warming”.”

    and

    “Notice that this definition is NOT quantitative.”

    That is correct. The rest of what you wrote is convoluted BS.

  163. nealjking Says:

    Don M:

    Sorry you think that: The whole discussion is my opinion. You don’t have to like it.

  164. Don Monfort Says:

    Chris,

    Sorry, but I did my own survey of climate scientists that confirmed the 97% meme. It came to me in a dream. What do you call it, an epiphany? Anyway, some woman sitting in front of an enormous switchboard surrounded by flames (I think it was that Oreskes lady) said to me, in a verrry scary voice:

    “If you don’t get on board with the CAGW 97% consensus meme, your soul will be forfeit, and it won’t be going to a nice place.”

    So she says that she can put me in touch with all the climate scientists that count (the real ones) through her switch board. All of them simultaneously. And 97% of them were supposed to assure me, in unison, that the meme was gospel. It didn’t work. I heard like four people. Some kind of technical difficulty with the expensive equipment, she said. But I still needed to conform, or my soul was headed for the deep boiling doo-doo.

    I had to do something to convince this lady that I had seen the light. Dana saved me. I told the beast that I didn’t need to actually survey the climate scientists, because I could virtually kind of infer from the fact that they are climate scientists that 97% of them obviously endorse the consensus of climate scientists. She said that sounded a little bit circular, but that it was acceptable because I got the required answer right.

    I am thinking about writing this up and submitting it to Environmental Research Letters, or Nature. Does Nature charge $1600? Anyway, if the editors contact you to invite you to be a reviewer, please decline.

    You will probably be getting a visit from the scary lady too, Chris.

  165. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    An abstract that says “We assume that AGW is more than 0″ might have difficulties getting classified as endorsing AGW.

    One rater might very well consider that this is a way to minimize A as a fundamental cause of GW.

    A second one too.

    In case of conflict, arbitrators might have to decide.

    And all this can be corroborated by the authors themselves.

  166. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    There aren’t any abstracts that say ‘AGW is more than 0′. There are a lot of abstracts that say something like ‘We investigated the impact on mountain goats from anthropogenic climate change’. That’s an explicit endorsement of AGW. How much AGW? They don’t specify, but as I discussed above, generally they’ll defer to the expert consensus of humans causing most global warming. They’re more likely to have those sorts of details in the full paper, which is why the papers were put in Category 1 ten times more often than the abstracts.

  167. Don Monfort Says:

    Wow, willard is right.

    ” “We assume that AGW is more than 0″ might have difficulties getting classified as endorsing AGW.”

    Yes, it lacks sufficient clarity/specificity. One person might infer it means 13%, another 42% , another 87% so on and so on.

    Watch this, willard.

    “We assume that humans are causing global warming” is logically the same as “We assume that AGW is more than 0″

    Watch again, willard.

    “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

    Which logically is equivalent to:

    “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing >0% of global warming.”

    Anybody who claims they see some specific quantification in there that is anything other than .>0%, is just speculating. Ask Bart to explain it to you.

    Dana’s bias directs him to speculate that the quantification in all cases of endorsement must be >50%, for odd reasons only he can explain.

    Bart says:
    “The extent to which the abstract agrees is given in qualitative terms only (except for cat’s 1 and 7). Trying to infer what the quantitative level is for the other categories is mere conjecture. Putting labels on it that give a quantitative and judgmental feel to it is not warranted I think.”

    Bart is correct. Dana is woefully mistaken.

    I wonder where Bart is. Hope he is OK.

  168. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    Don – I’d wager that most people could understand my simple logic and reasoning.

  169. nealjking Says:

    I will make one small change in my stated point of view:

    “Papers are tallied as endorsing the consensus if the reader concludes that the author(s) would agree with the statement, ‘Human activity contributes to global warming enough that we ought to at least THINK HARD ABOUT doing something different, on a global scale.’ ”

  170. Don Monfort Says:

    Dana,

    Bart doesn’t get your simple logic. He says that your quaint type of reasoning is “conjecture”. Maybe he will help you understand your error, if he ever comes back.

    I am having fun here so I will go on with this a little bit longer.

    Look, all you have that resembles anything meaningful are the 228 self-ratings from the authors that are in category 1. The authors specifically affirm that their papers endorse the version of the alleged consensus that includes a >50% quantification. The remainder of the author self-ratings that you count as endorsements at >50% are in categories 2 and 3, which do not endorse any specific quantity of human caused warming.

    I will stipulate for the sake of proceeding that it is likely that authors who rated their papers 2 or 3, believe that the human contribution is fairly significant. I will pick a number as a threshold of significance: 45% Isn’t that generous?

    You have no way of backing up your claim that all those category 2 and 3 self-ratings should be marked down as supporting the >50% human contribution consensus. You have a category for >50% and the 2 and 3 self-rated papers ain’t in it. The authors didn’t put them in it. Furthermore, you are deluding yourself, if you think you can infer the difference between a >50% paper and a 45%, or 49% paper.

    You have 228 papers that explicitly support the >50% human contribution position. How many of those are 51%, or 52.5%? We don’t know how many papers endorse AGW at a level of 50%, or less. I can infer too. I infer it’s about 200. See where this is going?

    I will help you. If what we are supposed to worry about is AGW that amounts to half, or less, of the warming since about 1950 (or pick a year), then we are not scared. If we are supposed to worry about half of the warming in the last 15 years, then we are laughing our heads off.

  171. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > Anybody who claims they see some specific quantification in there that is anything other than .>0%, is just speculating. Ask Bart to explain it to you.

    Bart already did, two days ago:

    The extent to which the abstract agrees is given in qualitative terms only (except for cat’s 1 and 7). Trying to infer what the quantitative level is for the other categories is mere conjecture.

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18838

    What we see is that Bart would not warrant that anything other than .>0%, since this expression also infers what the quantitative level is.

    Well played, Don Don!

    ***

    “We assume that humans are causing global warming” is logically equivalent to “We assume that humans are causing global warming and Don Don is being a bit mischievous at Bart’s.″ Does that climate scientists endorse that Don Don is being a bit mischievous?

    Not that there is a need for logical trickery [1] to endorse that.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slingshot_argument

  172. Don Monfort Says:

    silly, willy

    “What we see is that Bart would not warrant that anything other than .>0%, since this expression also infers what the quantitative level is.”

    If Bart comes back, he will try to help you. You are lost. Hey, are you still haunting Judith’s place and running your own amazing, private blog? Where do you find the time?

  173. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    There is an interesting equivocation in this sentence:

    > You have 228 papers that explicitly support the >50% human contribution position.

    To support could be to substantiate, to warrant, to justify, to corroborate, to reinforce, i.e. to provide evidence for a claim. It could also mean to back, to bolster, to get behind, to go along with, to second, to assume, i.e. to endorse.

    In the first case, to support “AGW > 50%” means a bit more than to endorse. There is an endorsement for sure. But there’s a bit more. We don’t have that bit more in the second case, which only endorses AGW.

    ***

    To endorse might not mean to support in the strong sense by which Don Don & alii’s quantification trick operates.

    Mentioning AGW without expressing any fear, uncertainty, or doubt might very well mean that it taking AGW for granted, as a working assumption for research. It is a mere offer its support to an hypothesis that as been supported by the vast majority of attribution studies whose work is to come up with a quantitative estimate.

    It might be difficult to try to establish that “AGW > 50%” without mentioning it in the ABSTRACT. It might be difficult to express no fear, uncertainty and doubt regarding an hypothesis and still reject it. It might be difficult to use and hypothesis in one’s work and not endorse it, at least for argument’s sake.

  174. Chris Maddigan Says:

    I would like to examine two questions and in so doing draw together my criticisms of Cook et al:
    1) Is the papers formal statement of its finding correct?
    2) Do the findings actually tell us anything about real world endorsement of AGW?

    My Answer to 1 is no and to the second, not much.

    The major finding of the study is formally stated twice in the paper:

    In the abstract: “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

    In the results section: “Among abstracts that expressed a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the scientific consensus.”

    The consensus is defined twice in the paper. Once in the quote already given in the abstract:

    “that humans are causing global warming.”

    And once in the introduction:

    “that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW).

    I do not believe there is any reasonable doubt that when Cook et al talk about the consensus they mean the proposition that that humans are the predominant cause of global warming (and please Willard, spare us the three page dissertation on why ‘most’ and ‘predominant’ are not interchangeable).

    I cannot accept Neal King’s assertion that the man in the street could interpret “causing global warming” to mean that human activity is contributing to global warming enough that we ought to be doing something different. Apart from anything else, that reformulation brings in a whole new can of worms about how serious the consequences of global warming are going to be – a subject that is not even addressed in the Cook et al study.

    I do not believe that abstracts in levels 2 and 3 can in any way be regarded as supporting the statement that mankind is the predominant cause (or causing most) of global warming. This has been argued back and forth on this thread. I don’t think there’s much more that I can add. To me it is crystal clear and incontrovertible. Dana’s argument along the lines why would they do the study if they didn’t agree is both bizarre and irrelevant. It is an argument about the authors’ views. The authors may or may not endorse the consensus as Cook et al define it, but what is undeniable is that the abstracts do not. If they did they would be in level 1.

    The conclusion is unavoidable. Cook et al’s major finding is not only wrong it is wrong by a very large margin. The truth is the reverse of what they say. This is their true finding:

    “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 1.6% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

    I can see why Cook et al chose not to publish it but it doesn’t excuse them publishing a result which is almost the complete opposite of what they actually did find.

    Earlier I posted this tongue in cheek summation of Cook et al’s real finding:

    “97% of a mixed bag of climate scientists, engineers researching alternative energy sources, teachers, goat experts, public relations aficionados, and political commentators endorse the proposition that humans have had something more than minimal impact on global warming”

    It’s not entirely accurate. I would now say:

    “97% of Abstracts from a mixed bag of papers written by climate scientists, engineers, teachers, biologists, public relations aficionados, political commentators and others endorse the proposition that humans are contributing to global warming.”

    This is an accurate statement of Cook et al’s actual findings.

    I will discuss the “mixed bag” in a later post and in particular whether Cook et al’s findings only tell us something about the roughly 12000 papers they analyzed or whether they tell us anything useful about the real world. In other words I will be asking what is the population that these papers are supposed to be representative of and whether they are proper samples of this population. In most cases I conclude they are not. But that is the next episode.

  175. nealjking Says:

    Chris M:

    You wrote:

    “I cannot accept Neal King’s assertion that the man in the street could interpret “causing global warming” to mean that human activity is contributing to global warming enough that we ought to be doing something different. Apart from anything else, that reformulation brings in a whole new can of worms about how serious the consequences of global warming are going to be – a subject that is not even addressed in the Cook et al study.”

    You slightly, but significantly, mistake me: When the “man in the street” asks the question, he is interested in the overall impact. This comprises both degree of responsibility and seriousness of consequences; but he doesn’t care about that. His question is, “Is human activity contributing to global warming enough that we ought to be doing something different?”. And for him, it’s a QUESTION, not a statement.

    However, my statement of the criterion for the LOEs of the abstracts was: “… one has to interpret the LOEs in terms of whether they would support the re-statement: “Human activity contribut[es] to global warming enough that we ought to at least THINK ABOUT doing something different.” The reason I inserted the phrase “at least THINK ABOUT” was to avoid making any assumption regarding a judgment about the appropriate actions to take regarding global warming: Taking a decision on an action depends on first deciding that the issue is real (and this IS addressed in the LOE question), and then evaluating the consequences and costs. The latter is quite clearly a policy question, and as such quite beyond the scope of any scientific, metascientific or history-of-science study.

    Therefore, I hope you understand that your criticism on this point is in error.

    I therefore assert my continued view that LOEs 2 & 3 are legitimately counted as support for the AGW consensus as I have described it.

  176. nealjking Says:

    cont’d:

    I therefore support the claim that 97% of the sampled scientific literature support the AGW consensus.

    Your summary:
    “97% of Abstracts from a mixed bag of papers written by climate scientists, engineers, teachers, biologists, public relations aficionados, political commentators and others endorse the proposition that humans are contributing to global warming.”

    I regard as inaccurate, because you forget that the rated papers had all survived the peer-review process. That filtering not only provides some level of quality assurance, but also eliminates most papers by public relations aficionados, political commentators, etc.

    So a fairer statement would be:
    “97% of Abstracts from papers that had passed scientific peer review, written by climate scientists, engineers, teachers, biologists and others endorse the proposition that humans are contributing to global warming.”

  177. nealjking Says:

    cont’d:

    I forgot to add one element:

    “97% of Abstracts from papers that had passed scientific peer review, written by climate scientists, engineers, teachers, biologists and others endorse the proposition that humans are contributing seriously to global warming.”

  178. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Neal

    Cook et al simply does not define the consenus as : “Human activity contribut[es] to global warming enough that we ought to at least THINK ABOUT doing something different.”

    It doesn’t matter that you think this is a good definition of the consensus, it is not what Cook et al mean. It not really what anyone means.

    Also, you cannot align the LOE’s with this statement . It simply is not the criteria that was used to classify the abstracts and is not logicaly related to the criteria.

    The fact that you felt the need to redefine “the consenus” and the criteria for levels 2 and 3 is actually an admission that what Cook et al have done is invalid and that my criticisms are in effect correct.

    You actually agree with me, you just can’t bring yourself to say so.

  179. Chris Maddigan Says:

    Neal King says

    So a fairer statement would be:
    “97% of Abstracts from papers that had passed scientific peer review, written by climate scientists, engineers, teachers, biologists and others endorse the proposition that humans are contributing to global warming.”

    That implies that the papers selected were a fair sample of papers that had passed scientific peer review, written by climate scientists, engineers etc. They aren’t. More on this later.

  180. nealjking Says:

    Chris M:

    I’m explaining how I think it was understood; my rationale given.

    I would accept the summary:

    “97% of Abstracts from papers that had passed scientific peer review, written by climate scientists, engineers, teachers, biologists and others endorse the proposition that humans are contributing seriously to global warming.”

  181. nealjking Says:

    Chris M:
    They did a specified search of World of Science, and ended up with 12,000+ abstracts. They eliminated non-peer-reviewed documents that had slipped the filtering. They eliminated documents without abstracts.

    Why is this NOT a fair sample? Where’s the bias?

  182. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > It doesn’t matter that you think this is a good definition of the consensus, it is not what Cook et al mean. It not really what anyone means.

    It was not a definition, but an explanation of what usually entails the word ’cause’ in a problem statement: enough to do something about it if

    There’s no need to take any other definitions than the ones offered in the abstract and the specification of the rating system.

    Armchair propositions on what everyone mean might not be the best way to reach conclusions that are true beyond any reasonable doubt.

  183. nealjking Says:

    willard,

    My explanation is put forward to clarify why the doubts promulgated against these conclusions are, in fact, not reasonable.

  184. MikeN Says:

    “It’s true that unless a paper explicitly quantifies the human contribution, you’re making the assumption that they defer to that expert consensus.”

    This is the only reasonable assumption, considering that the expert consensus (IPCC AR4) is:

    Weren’t some of the papers evaluated written prior to the release of AR4?

  185. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Nealjking (23-05 10:34) makes the same point, though perhaps more clearly, as I’ve been trying to make:

    Only categories 1 and 7 offer a quantitative definition of the consensus position. One can not reasonably expect a quantitative estimate of the anthropogenic contribution to warming if that’s not the topic of the paper. One can reasonably expect a statement that implicitly or explicitly without quantification endorses a substantial human influence, to not be at odd with the consensus position that there is a substantial human influence. If the non-quantitative definition is not meaningful to you, then omit all non-quantitative categories (and thus use only 1 and 7). As I’ve shown an example of.

    There’s something to be said for the proposition that since the consensus position is only qualitatively defined in most cases, it is perhaps more noteworthy that so few abstracts reject a substantial human influence either implicitly or explicitly.

    Commonly accepted knowledge is not frequently stated in the abstract. It is however often stated in a paper’s introduction (unless it’s so obvious that it would be foolish to point it out (“Since gravity exists, objects tend to fall down when dropped”), but we’re not quite at that stage yet). Who’s in for rating 12,000 paper introductions?

    What’s forgotten in most criticisms is that the paper author’s self rating corroborates the findings as found by the rating team, individual mistakes in ratings (which are bound to happen with 12,000 papers) notwithstanding.

  186. nealjking Says:

    Don M:

    Feel free to point out and explicate the errors in my argument. Us cheap-suit lawyers would really like to see how a “high class” prosecutor handles the case. I’d like to see your reason and honesty on display.

    P.S. Your assertion, “The rest of what you wrote is convoluted BS.”, does not have the structure or the content of a valid argument.

  187. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > What’s forgotten in most criticisms is that the paper author’s self rating corroborates the findings as found by the rating team, individual mistakes in ratings (which are bound to happen with 12,000 papers) notwithstanding.

    It’s not forgotten, but shovelled under armchair parsomatics over the word “most”, which are supposed to be a knock-out argument over empirical work.

    MikeN just provided another reason to doubt these parsomatics:

    This is the only reasonable assumption, considering that the expert consensus (IPCC AR4) is […] Weren’t some of the papers evaluated written prior to the release of AR4?

    Indeed, even Don Don can see that papers before the AR4 are supposed to defer to a specific statement made in the AR4.

    A more flexible way to describe to what refers “AGW” might be “whatever is stated as AGW in the relevant literature”, so that “we endorse AGW” would be “we defer to whatever is stated as AGW in the relevant literature”.

  188. Don Monfort Says:

    Bart,

    “One can reasonably expect a statement that implicitly or explicitly without quantification endorses a substantial human influence, to not be at odd with the consensus position that there is a substantial human influence.”

    A substantial human influence could be 38%, 40%, 47%. If humans are only responsible for 40%, 47% of warming since the dawn of the industrial age, or more recently of the warming in the last 15 years, why should we be concerned?

    The Cook paper found from among the authors who responded, that 288 of 2142 their papers published over the last 20+ years endorse the assertion that humans have caused >50% of the warming. The rest don’t endorse that assertion, period. We don’t know how many of the 288 are 52%, 53% etc. If humans are only responsible for 53% of the warming, how worried should we be? How much future warming could we avoid if we totally eliminate the human influence, how much would that cost?

    The Cook paper was cooked up from the start to reinvigorate the 97% meme, which is what specifically?

    “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

    Well, count me and nearly everybody else who has thought about the subject in the consensus. We are causing some unspecified amount >0, but probably a substantial portion of global warming. So what? Prove to us that humans have caused at least 60% of the warming and we will probably start to worry about it, provided that the “pause” ends and the hidden heat comes back out of the deep frigid depths of the oceans. We might then put pressure on the feckless politicians (who pay lip service) to actually do something about it.

    This paper is just more preaching to the choir. Politicians, the ivory tower climate science Team, mainstream media, alarmist activists, generic greens and the like are suitably impressed and are spreading the word. But how many people really take their lead from leftish politicians, mainstream media, ivory tower academics and the rest? The general public is not fired up about this issue and this paper is not going to change that.

    PS: Look at table 5 of the paper. The Team did not do well in matching the authors self-ratings. The Team’s abstract ratings are useless. The authors self-ratings are the only meaningful data in this paper.

  189. nealjking Says:

    willard:

    “A more flexible way to describe to what refers ‘AGW” might be ‘whatever is stated as AGW in the relevant literature’, so that ‘we endorse AGW’ would be ‘we defer to whatever is stated as AGW in the relevant literature’.”

    Honestly, this is a little vague.

  190. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > Prove to us that humans have caused at least 60% of the warming and we will probably start to worry about it [.]

    Why 60%? Why not 61%? Why not 59%?

    ***

    > We are causing some unspecified amount >0, but probably a substantial portion of global warming.

    Let’s recall the SPM claim we quoted a few days ago on this very thread, but this time with the sentence that comes just after that:

    Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. This is an advance since the TAR’s conclusion that “most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations”.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-understanding-and.html

    A claim that contains a quantifier like “50%” might need to be fuzzified with proper bounds to be a real quantitative statement. If that is true, then questions like:

    > If humans are only responsible for 53% of the warming, how worried should we be?

    might only look quantitative.

  191. Don Monfort Says:

    OK willy, 59% will do. Show us convincing evidence of that. Start by giving us a number for the amount of warming that we have caused up to now. I prefer fahrenheit.

  192. nealjking Says:

    Don Monfort:

    – “If humans are only responsible for 40%, 47% of warming since the dawn of the industrial age, or more recently of the warming in the last 15 years, why should we be concerned?”
    Don, there is nothing magical about 50%. We should be concerned if the impact of the human responsibility is great enough, and that depends both on the factor of responsibility and on the factor of the total consequence. As long as the human influence is not completely negligible, it is worth thinking about mitigation; and if the consequences are severe, and the human influence is significant, it is worth thinking about really hard.

    – “Prove to us that humans have caused at least 60% of the warming and we will probably start to worry about it…”
    This is a really silly attitude, considering that the degree of heating over the next 200 years is still uncertain. “I will risk my life for my daughter only if there is at least a 60% of saving her.” “I will spend the money for her operation only if the doctor can specify at least a 60% recovery of functionality.” Yes, a very sensible and balanced attitude.

    – “The general public is not fired up about this issue and this paper is not going to change that.”
    Then what’s bothering you?

  193. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Neal,

    Yes, it does seem vague, and it could be improved. My point is to help understand how endorsements work. Even as vaguely interpreted, it should succeed to refer to a theory and its report status. We could even argue that it is its indefinite nature that makes it work. Just imagine reading ABSTRACTS without having this kind of linguistic facility.

    Of course, this does not mean reference always resolves or that once resolved, the speech act is always felicitous. It does not mean that the statement expressed is true either. But these questions don’t get settled by armchair theorizing upon counterfactuls and necessities.

    In any case, all this matters less than distinguishing definitions and explanations. Definition games are quite common in parsomatics, by the way. Popper did not like definition games very much, incidentally. It shows we’re not talking about science, an activity which can proceed without definition games. I mean, we do not even have an universal definition of what is a tree.

  194. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > 59% will do.

    What about 58%?

  195. Don Monfort Says:

    You offered 59%, and I accepted. That’s a done deal. Don’t try to renege. You shame yourself, willy. No way for a grown man to act.

  196. nealjking Says:

    Don M:

    – It’s not the analogies that are bad. I think it’s the comprehension.
    – General public: No, I don’t think most of the general public would abandon their daughters at a 59 or 58 or 57 % chance.
    – Disingenuous propaganda?: Don’t look in the mirror.

  197. Don Monfort Says:

    You are a lightweight neal. Try to help willy come up with a number for how much heat humans have caused.

  198. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    What about 57%, Don Don?

  199. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    Global warming attribution research consistently puts the human contribution at ~100% of global warming over the past 50 years.

    http://skepticalscience.com/jones-2013-attribution.html

  200. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Don Don,

    Sorry if I was no clear. I’m not offering you any deal. I’m just curious about what would be a sufficient percentage for AGW to be a concern to the public, I mean, to you.

    Let’s suppose for a moment someone were to demonstrate that AGW is more or equal to 39%. Would it be enough for you to be concerned?

    Sometimes, it’s tough to say if you talk in your own name, or the one of the Public.

  201. Don Monfort Says:

    Dana,

    “Global warming attribution research consistently puts the human contribution at ~100% of global warming over the past 50 years.”

    Then why wasn’t that reflected in your paper’s statement of the consensus?

    “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

    Why so tepid? Why so vague?

    Maybe there is some insight to be found here:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/climate-science-p0rn/

    You have only 288 papers rated by the responding authors as supporting >50% human contribution. Let’s all take a guess on how many papers quantified human contribution as ~100%. My guess is 9. What is your guess, Dana?

  202. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Don Montford,

    I removed some of your comments which existed only of insulting others and which were devoid of content.

    Please refrain from derogatory comments or take it elsewhere.

    Thanks!

  203. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    What about 19%, Don Don?

  204. Don Monfort Says:

    Bart,

    I apologize for the derogatories.

    Perhaps you could scold neal, as well:

    “Prove to us that humans have caused at least 60% of the warming and we will probably start to worry about it…”
    This is a really silly attitude, considering that the degree of heating over the next 200 years is still uncertain. “I will risk my life for my daughter only if there is at least a 60% of saving her.” “I will spend the money for her operation only if the doctor can specify at least a 60% recovery of functionality.” Yes, a very sensible and balanced attitude.”

    I made a career of risking my life for family, friends and perfect strangers. I don’t know who he is quoting there, but it ain’t me and it is very offensive.

    Now I will take it elsewhere. Had enough of this.

  205. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    “Then why wasn’t that reflected in your paper’s statement of the consensus?”

    Because we didn’t limit ourselves to detection & attribution research, we surveyed all global warming and global climate change research. If you want to survey D&A research, you’re more than welcome to. But it gets rather tiresome when everybody asks “why didn’t you do your survey the way I would have done it?”. If you want to do it that way, then go ahead and do it yourself.

  206. Don Monfort Says:

    Dana, Dana

    “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

    Put me down as an endorser. That is a vague catch-all statement of a consensus that lukewarmers and even some quasi-deniers can logically accept? But you want to pretend that the consensus is that humans are causing >50%, or ~ 100% of the warming. Which is it, today?

    You are claiming that there is a consensus on attribution but you are dancing around just what it is. If it is that humans are causing some global warning, then we don’t care. Isn’t the quantity of human attribution the most important metric in the consensus? Are you saying the attribution boys have a different consensus than the rest of climate scientists? What is the number? Is it 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, 100%? Give us a range. Something meaningful.

    You won’t give me a straight answer. Your paper does not support a quantitative statement on attribution. That is the reason for the vagueness. Your paper is inutil. And I don’t have to conduct my own survey to comment on the obvious problems with yours.

    You are the people who are trying to stampede other people to do something drastic and costly about an alleged existential threat. If you want to persuade anyone with a brain, don’t act like what you are doing is above critical examination.

    Now that’s all I have to say. Not wasting any more time here.

  207. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > What is the number? Is it 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, 100%? Give us a range. Something meaningful.

    You go first.

  208. Eli Rabett Says:

    Don Monford is trapped by the lukewarmer’s dilemma best expressed by the Idiot Tracker
    ——————————-
    Here’s the problem. Lukewarmism doesn’t get its adherents where they want to go – because even if we accept at face value their claims, the world would still require intense efforts to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases in order to stave off disaster.

    The hard lower limit of climate sensitivity — the lowest it can possibly be and account for our direct observations – is about 1.1C (the real number is very likely to be in that range of 2.6C-4.1C – but we are following the “lukewarmist” argument to see where it leads). The change in forcings expected from a “business as usual” 21st century are +8.5W/m^2 – about 2 1/3 doublings of CO2.

    Hence with the lowball number – the number Steven Fuller attributes not to lukewarmers but to out-and-out deniers – put us on course for 2.5C of warming this century. In other words, the lukewarmers’ own numbers belie their causal attitude to reducing greenhouse emissions.
    ———————————

    Because CO2 forcing is cumulative it doesn’t really matter what wiggles there are from other forcings, unless, of course, the sun goes out. So ANY per centage of increasing CO2 forcing will drive the climate in relatively short order to dangerous territory and there is a good argument that we are already beyond the safe limit.

  209. Paul Kelly Says:

    Nice three year old blog post from the early tribal war era, Eli. Of course, the negative reaction to Cook is much broader than just among the lukewarmers.

    “causal attitude to reducing greenhouse emissions” is a bit of a canard.

    One of the tenets of lukewarmerism is that lack of information is not the cause of inaction. Additionally, no amount of additional climate science information changes the dynamics of energy transformation. So Cook is at best a distraction, at worst counterproductive.

  210. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    The expression “casual attitude” might not represent the lukewarm concerns regarding climate sensitivity, concerns that might share any rational being as determined only by the Pope of our Church:

    If I choose to divide the world into 3 classes: wacked out alarmists. Wacked out skeptics; and the sane middle ground, you dont get to challenge my classification. You simply dont get to challenge it. And in the end you will see that 97% of people are
    in the middle, as I define it.

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/on-the-consensus/#comment-113304

    ***

    The word “distraction” might very well represent what’s happening at Lucia’s at least since beginning of May. Here are the relevant titles in http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/05

    Dear John. I have questions.
    2 May, 2013 (21:14) | Data Comparisons

    The papers: I think I have all titles.
    3 May, 2013 (11:35) | politics

    Links to John Cook’s Survey.
    4 May, 2013 (12:12) | politics

    A Random Failure
    5 May, 2013 (12:51) | Data Comparisons

    I Tried
    6 May, 2013 (04:43) | Data Comparisons

    Cookies Cookies (& Bleg.)
    7 May, 2013 (08:31) | politics

    Survey Privacy Plugin
    9 May, 2013 (15:08) | politics

    Happy Hour: Time to Play!
    10 May, 2013 (16:22) | Data Comparisons, politics

    SkS Survey Over Haiku
    13 May, 2013 (19:13) | Haiku, politics

    U of Queensland Application for Ethical Clearance.
    14 May, 2013 (10:09) | politics

    I Do Not Think it Means What You Think it Means
    15 May, 2013 (12:26) | Data Comparisons

    On the Consensus
    17 May, 2013 (00:49) | Data Comparisons

    Nir Shaviv: One of the 97%
    17 May, 2013 (15:33) | Data Comparisons

    Better way to remove the effect of “non attribution papers”.
    18 May, 2013 (09:20) | Data Comparisons

    Why Symmetry is Bad
    19 May, 2013 (19:21) | Data Comparisons

    Possible Self-Selection Bias in Cook: Author responses.
    20 May, 2013 (12:02) | politics

    Bias Author Survey: Pro AGW
    21 May, 2013 (11:43) | Data Comparisons

    Climate Science P0rn
    23 May, 2013 (13:31) | Data Comparisons

    Tol-Nuccitelli Twitter War: The beginning
    23 May, 2013 (16:23) | politics

    The “D” word: Alternative definitions.
    25 May, 2013 (11:40) | Data Comparisons

    ***

    In one sense, this might exemplify casual attitudes.

    In another sense, this might not.

  211. cohenite Says:

    Fascinating to see all the names still about; NJ King who ‘dissembled’ Miskolczi all those years ago; and Eli who says:

    “Because CO2 forcing is cumulative it doesn’t really matter what wiggles there are from other forcings, unless, of course, the sun goes out.”

    “Cumulative”?

    “Safe Limit”?

    Anyway, Tol has an interesting response to the Cook et al opus:

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bz17rNCpfuDNM1RQWkQtTFpQUmc/edit?usp=sharing&pli=1

  212. dana1981 Says:

    Personally I don’t find his response very interesting. Mostly just wrong.

  213. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    One post at Eli’s and a discussion:

    > To be honest, and Eli is an honest Rabett, Tol has dug this one so deep that he has called out the Chewbacca team.

    http://rabett.blogspot.ca/2013/05/tol-erasion.html

    Another round of comments at Eli’s:

    http://rabett.blogspot.ca/2013/06/thrashing-tolism.html

    Also this post at Wott’s, where we read:

    > The basic claim attributed to Richard Tol is that by searching for articles on “global climate change” rather than “climate change” the Cook et al. study ignored 75% of relevant papers and changed the disciplinary distribution. Maybe so, but is this at all relevant.

    http://wottsupwiththatblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/watt-about-richard-tol/

  214. Don Monfort Says:

    “dana1981 Says:
    June 4, 2013 at 06:41

    Personally I don’t find his response very interesting. Mostly just wrong.”

    You found it interesting enough to make some dumb insulting and false comments on his draft analysis, which you subsequently deleted.

  215. dana1981 Says:

    Don, can you please not make (very wrong) assumptions about something that you didn’t even read?

  216. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Another post at Wott’s, concluding:

    > Anthony Watts is just basically wrong. The paper is very clear that the study distinguishes between those papers that make no mention of AGW and those that do and divides those that do into those that endorse, reject or are uncertain. Rather than finding an error that should have been “caught in peer review“, this just makes Anthony look like a pedantic twerp who desperately wants to find something wrong with the Cook et al. (2013) study and, so far, is failing to do so.

    http://wottsupwiththatblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/is-it-98-or-97/

    ***

    Another post at Tom’s, concluding:

    > These examples show, however, that the negativity of Tol’s critique is based on a predetermined desire to undermine the paper, whose results he finds politically inconvenient. His choice to be destructive in his criticism is not because of time constraints, but because he needs to generate, and disseminate “talking points” to allow those inclined to not think about the implications of Cook et al.

    http://bybrisbanewaters.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/tol-on-quantifying-consensus-on.html

    ***

    I thought you were “[n]ot wasting any more time here”, Don Don.

  217. Don Monfort Says:

    dana,

    I have seen reports of your comments, which you deleted. If there was nothing embarrassing for you in your comments, why did you delete them and run away? You are doing a very poor job of defending your paper, dana. You should probably stop. Silent stonewalling is your best bet.

  218. Paul Kelly Says:

    Tell me if I’m wrong. Dana called Tol a denier, at least in so many words. It was a silly, unthinking smear. Apparently, Tol is rather offended and rightly so.

  219. wottsupwiththatblog Says:

    Paul, it may well be that Dana called Richard Tol a denier and maybe that was unfounded and offensive. Richard Tol, however, seems to be in the process of trying to get a paper published in which he refers to the work of Dana and colleagues as “flawed”, the results “unfounded” and the authors “incompetent” (this despite the results being roughly what Richard Tol would have expected). A bit of chicken-egg going on here as far as I can tell.

  220. Marco Says:

    wottsupwiththatblog (and Paul):
    Richard Tol’s opinion of the paper should be irrelevant what Dana did or did not call Richard Tol. If Richard Tol is so silly to attack a paper because one of its authors has said something bad about him, he’s going to be really, really busy.

  221. wottsupwiththatblog Says:

    Marco, indeed I agree. What you typically write in a piece of academic work when commenting on another piece of work is very different to what you might say to others when discussing this work in private. Also, if what is motivating Richard is that he is annoyed by what Dana may or may not have said to him on Twitter, that doesn’t reflect particularly well on Richard’s academic standards.

  222. dana1981 Says:

    For the record, what I said to Tol was “I didn’t have you pegged as a denier before.” My intent, within the constraints of Twitter’s 140 characters, was to point out that Tol was behaving like a denier by both misrepresenting our paper and encouraging misrepresentations of it by Marc Morano’s Climate Depot, Poptech, and other deniers.

    This is of course irrelevant to our paper, but I wanted to clarify the situation since it’s being discussed here.

  223. Don Monfort Says:

    So you called Tol a denier, for criticizing your paper.

    You and I don’t have a clue what hetereoskedatical means, but Tol’s most recent comment on your paper:

    “Substantial, one-sided deviations in skew and autocorrelation, and excessive heteroskedasticity.”

    That doesn’t sound good, dana. I think Tol is wasting his time on this esoteric stuff. There are far more obvious problems with Cook et al.

    When are you going to call Paul Kelly a denier, dana? Didn’t you see what he said about your paper?

    Why didn’t you defend your paper instead of removing your comments and running away from Tol’s posting of the draft of his criticisms?

    You could stick it to Tol over on lucia’s blog, dana. I can give you a link to the discussion, if you are interested.

  224. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Dana,

    “Pegging” ain’t that different from labeling. If you meant that Richard was using tricks that the contrarian network uses day in, day out, it would not have taken much more characters. In fact, it’s quite short.

    It’s called #FUD.

    #FUD is quite easy to spot: Don Don throwing that right now. I don’t think that Don Don would insist in me telling you that he’s throwing #FUD, for then I would take the time to document all the #FUD he’s throwing right now. Also, notice that Don Don would has more difficulty to play the victim if I say that he’s throwing #FUD than if I peg him as a denier.

    As I said earlier, if you use the word “denier” in a conversation to peg someone, you’re not using it as a theorical concept. It becomes a framing device. I’d rather use “contrarian” to that effect, since I’ve never had any problem with that.

    In reality, there’s not much need to call anyone anything. All is needed is to describe what is being done. That Richard promotes himself through Pop’s, Marc’s or Tony’s speaks louder than any name you can think to characterize that anyway. Let him lower himself to talk about silliness and nonsense.

    Please mind that you’re not talking to an in-crowd.

    ***

    Don Don,

    Is that invitation to Lucia’s extended to me?

    Thanks!

  225. Don Monfort Says:

    It wasn’t an invitation, willy. Unless lucia has banned you, I am sure they will find you amusing. Since dana won’t go, why don’t you hop on over there and serve as dana’s surrogate/sycophant? .

  226. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Don Don,

    You should verify your attributions before being cocksure.

    But pray tell: what was it if it wasn’t an invitation?

  227. Marco Says:

    Don, Dana clearly referred to the *misrepresentation* of the paper, not the *critique* of the paper. If you misrepresent what people say, you better do that elsewhere. There are adults here that know how to distinguish facts from misrepresentations.

  228. cohenite Says:

    Ok, you don’t find Tol interesting.

    Do you find it interesting that you included papers from Idso, Scafetta and Shaviv as either implicitly, explicitly without quantifiaion and explicitly with quantification endorsing AGW?

    I mean, of all the papers and all the authors writing on climate, you include these 3 guys as endorsing AGW.

    That’s got to be interesting.

  229. nealjking Says:

    cohenite:

    It would be interesting to actually look at these abstracts and papers, and see what one could tell. In general, abstracts don’t tell the whole story: People have identified abstracts evaluated as “4” for which readers of the paper itself could clearly see justification for one of positive ratings (1, 2 or 3). It is conceivable that some of these abstracts could be slightly obscure or even misleading.

    The evaluators would not, I believe, get any “warning” about the author, because that information was screened.

    In effect, the abstracts are proxying for the papers; if there are discrepancies in the evaluations of the papers and their proxies, the error could be either in the evaluation, or in the proxying.

    However, the fact that the overall %s for the body of self-rated papers and for the associated evaluated abstracts are quite close implies that neither the proxying nor the evaluation could have been too bad.

  230. Don Monfort Says:

    Marco,

    I didn’t know that I was obligated to accept dana’s characterization of Tol’s criticisms. Since dana deleted his comments and ran away from a discussion with Tol, I don’t know what dana means by misrepresentations. But I guess it doesn’t matter to you.

    The misrepresentation gambit is just a variation on the tired old debate-is-over meme.

    Basic data is missing from the paper and the authors won’t give it up. My fourth grade son get’s his math marked with an X when he fails to show his work. Cook et al deserve an X for that reason alone. Additionally, they deserve an incomplete, for failing to define the consensus. I asked dana multiple times on his Guardian blog:
    ___________
    Does the data in the Cook paper support a statement of a consensus on AGW that quantifies how much A is in AGW? Does the Cook paper make a statement, or offer a result, or make a conclusion that quantifies in specific terms the amount of A in AGW? If so, what is the quantity of A?

    Dana? Anybody?
    ______________

    Do you know the answer, Marco?

  231. Don Monfort Says:

    Neal,

    Look at table 5. The authors’ self-ratings and the teams’ abstract ratings are very far apart. The Cook team went behind a curtain, threw the data in a hat and pulled out a rabbit. We are not impressed.

  232. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Don Don ,

    What do you mean, ‘very far apart’?

    Show us the numbers.

    Tell us what they mean.

    Don’t be shy.

  233. Don Monfort Says:

    Well willy, you could have looked at table 5. But I will help you:

    791 and 1342 “very far apart”

    761 and 1339 “very far apart”

    12 and 39 “very far apart”

    Or would you characterize those pairs of numbers as “close enough for peer-reviewed climate science”? Or do we just say that this is social science, not real science? Or maybe admit that it is not any kind of science, it’s propaganda?

  234. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Don Don ,

    What do these numbers represent?

    Interpreting these numbers might defeat your #FUD.

    I’m sure you can do that all by yourself.

    Go ahead, tell us more about figure 5.

  235. Don Monfort Says:

    I don’t have time for your clowning, willy. If you are interested in what those numbers represent, you can find my cogent explanations on the last two pages of comments at dana’s little 97% blog, at the unbiased Guardian:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/may/28/global-warming-consensus-climate-denialism-characteristics?commentpage=4

    Dana did a very poor job of defending the alleged consensus on his home turf, with his home team yammering slogans in unison behind him.

  236. Dana Nuccitelli Says:

    DNFTT guys.

  237. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Don,

    Please behave yourself (comment removed).

    And at the risk of repeating myself:

    The ‘consensus position” is qualitatively defined; not quantitatively.

    The extent to which the abstract agrees is given in qualitative terms only (except for cat’s 1 and 7). Trying to infer what the quantitative level is for the other categories is mere conjecture.

  238. KR Says:

    Don Monfort – You do realize Neil was speaking of percentages of papers expressing an opinion, as in Fig. 3 of the paper? You know, the one right below the Table 5 you referred to? Did you not read the entire page?

    Or, are you (as it appears to me) just deliberately misinterpreting the data? Because the contortions you go through are rather astounding.

    At this point, Don, I think it would be clear to _any_ unbiased reader of this and other blogs that your interpretations have little or no relationship to the actual paper – you have, in effect, trashed your own position.

  239. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > you have, in effect, trashed your own position.

    Not yet, since Don Don has let the numbers uninterpreted.

    Here’s the title of Table (not figure, my bad) 5:

    Table 5. Comparison of our abstract rating to self-rating for papers that received self-ratings.

    The table shows this:

    More than half of the abstracts that we rated as ‘No Position’ or ‘Undecided’ were rated ‘Endorse AGW’ by the paper’s authors.

    Our emphasis.

    This sentence is imprecise, as the authors were asked the authors to rate their PAPERS, not only their ABSTRACTS.

    In any case, what it shows is that half of the authors self-rated their PAPERS as showing more endorsement than the raters who rated the ABSTRACTS.

    Checkmate, Don Don.

  240. Don Monfort Says:

    OK Bart. Dana get’s to call me a troll and encourage his followers to shun me, but I can’t respond. Thanks for clearing that up.

    “The ‘consensus position” is qualitatively defined; not quantitatively.

    The extent to which the abstract agrees is given in qualitative terms only (except for cat’s 1 and 7). Trying to infer what the quantitative level is for the other categories is mere conjecture.'”

    That is precisely my point. Thank you. I wonder why the rest of them won’t admit it.

    Now please explain why the general public should be concerned that there is an alleged 97% consensus that humans cause some unquantified amount of global warming.

  241. Don Monfort Says:

    As for the rest of you, go read the Guardian blog. I am not going to repeat myself for the half dozen Cook followers who are looking at this.

  242. Don Monfort Says:

    Bart,

    “In any case, what it shows is that half of the authors self-rated their PAPERS as showing more endorsement than the raters who rated the ABSTRACTS.”

    Please help them. Tell them why this is proof that the abstract ratings were “very far apart” from the authors’ self ratings. And explain to them why the abstract ratings are no good. In other words you would not make any money betting that you could predict the authors’ ratings from looking at the corresponding abstract ratings. The abstract ratings are useless.

  243. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > The abstract ratings are useless.

    I’d rather say that the ABSTRACTS are conservative.

    That raters were more conservative rating ABSTRACTS than self-raters about their PAPERS is to be expected.

    The raters are no peanut sorters.

    ***

    > I am not going to repeat myself […]

    You already repeated yourself more than enough, Don Don.

    Useless, useless, useless.

    Pure #FUD.

    Thanks for playing, though.

  244. dhogaza Says:

    “Now please explain why the general public should be concerned that there is an alleged 97% consensus that humans cause some unquantified amount of global warming.”

    Let’s assume they shouldn’t. Why, then, do you and all the rest have your knickers twisted in knots over it?

  245. Don Monfort Says:

    willy,

    The object of the abstract ratings was to try to get it right, not be conservative, whatever you mean by that. And they did not get it anywhere near right. That is why the ratings of the unbiased conservative team of AGW zealots is useless. They are obviously wrong. I will repeat myself if you make it amusing for me. Keep amusing me and I might repeat it again.

  246. Don Monfort Says:

    OK, here is another meme. If we weren’t right the deniers wouldn’t have their knickers twisted in knots. The reality is that we are getting our way. We ain’t desperate and our knickers are quite comfortable. No mitigation suits us just fine. The burden is on you to get it done. You won’t get it with the same tired old memes and tactics. Ask Paul Kelly to help you get a new start. He is smart.

  247. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > The object of the abstract ratings was to try to get it right […]

    Are you suggesting that being conservative is not to get things right, Don Don? Just imagine if the raters always got it right: what would you think of that, Don Don? Perfect raters that are not peanut sorters would also be a concern, no?

    Let’s recap: conservative = concern. Perfect = concern. Just as Don Don would like the raters to be = possible?

    Reminds me of Goldilocks. I’m sure Richard would like that one.

    ***

    To keep repeating “useless, useless, useless” is FUD.

    To use the Goldilocks trick is FUD.

    Repeating FUD while your opponent takes up all the logical space one comment at a time is a losing strategy, Don Don, considering that you can’t start a food fight like you did with Vaughan, for which you almost apologized.

  248. Don Monfort Says:

    That’s a lot of words, willy. I will sum it up: useless. How is doc Vaughn doing with his debunking Woods experiment? It’s been about 3 years, or so. Any result, yet?

    I think that even you will admit that the authors’ ratings of their own papers are presumably correct. We see in table 5 that the SkS team ratings differ by sizable numbers that can hardly be accounted for with that vague “conservative” foolishness. Ask Bart to help you with the math.

  249. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > I think that even you will admit that the authors’ ratings of their own papers are presumably correct.

    You seem to be new in this discussion, Don Don. Here you go:

    Richard Tol has claimed that five out of the ten abstracts rated by Cook et al, 2013 were incorrectly rated. Let’s run through the list of those abstracts for him.

    […]

    Tol thinks the last should be rated 1 (Explicitly endorses and quantifies AGW as 50+%) by Tol. I think that rating by Tol is wrong, and shows he has misunderstood the categories (a point made by Willard [1]). Specifically, it does not quantify the attribution, only statistical significance of the attribution.

    […]

    He may have a point about (3). He is clearly incorrect about the others.

    http://bybrisbanewaters.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/tols-gaffe.html

    The [1] leads to this:

    Eli,

    I think you missed this other one:

    > .@dana1981 I published 4 papers that show that humans are the main cause of global warming. You missed 1, and classified another as lukewarm

    I asked:

    > @RichardTol @dana1981 What category is the lukewarm category?

    No response yet.

    http://rabett.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/memorial-day-puzzler.html?showComment=1369497506596#c3901854395955599847

    What the authors think of their own papers is only that: what they think of their own papers.

    Thank you for asking.

    ***

    > I will sum it up: useless.

    Thank you for your concerns.

  250. Don Monfort Says:

    I didn’t wade through all that. A fast skim did not reveal anything relevant to the topic at the heading of your comment, except:

    “What the authors think of their own papers is only that: what they think of their own papers.”

    Are you saying they could be wrong about their own papers? I don’t disagree with that. It’s possible. They could also be lying about what their papers say. But I don’t think it is likely that very many would be wrong about their own papers, or lying. I would guess about 4 max of the 2142.

    What the the Cook paper does in effect is to take and sort of report on two unscientific surveys:

    1) seeks the opinions of the authors on their own papers

    2) seeks the SkS raters unbiased no axe to grind opinions on the abstracts to same papers

    We have a subset of papers/abstracts where we have the ratings of the authors and the SkS team. The numbers are indisputably “very far apart”.

    Do we go with the authors’ opinions of their own papers, or the SkS teams’ opinions of the much briefer and less detailed abstracts? Or do we mix all the data together, take it behind a curtain, put it in a top hat and pull out a rabbit? I am pretty sure you go for that last thing, willy. Presto! 97%!

    By the way willy, do you know who the SkS ‘citizen science’ raters are?

  251. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > Do you know who the SkS ‘citizen science’ raters are?

    Do you know who the rater of Oreskes’ study was?

  252. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > two […] surveys

    You mean, one analysis and one survey.

    You need to keep up, Don Don.

  253. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > The numbers are indisputably “very far apart”.

    And yet the numbers are not incompatible.

    And since the survey numbers are tougher to dismiss, we have a whole gallore of concerns about “proper methods”.

  254. Don Monfort Says:

    So you don’t know who the SkS raters are.

    Two surveys:

    1) unscientific survey of the unbiased disinterested raters’ opinions of 12,000 abstracts, which are brief not detailed summaries of papers on complex subjects with a lot of tables graphs and crap like that, which is not included in the abstract

    2)unscientific survey of scientist/authors who actually know what is in their paper, because they wrote it

    The numbers although “very far apart” are not incompatible, because they are all divisible by 1.

    And let’s not criticize the paper, because the results were just as planned, and “proper methods” do not have to be used in unscientific surveys. We are the masters of circular reasoning.

  255. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > So you don’t know who the SkS raters are.

    Irrelevant. We know who rated Oreskes.

    > Two surveys:

    False.

    > unscientific surveys

    FUD.

  256. dhogaza Says:

    Monfort:

    “The reality is that we are getting our way. We ain’t desperate and our knickers are quite comfortable. No mitigation suits us just fine. The burden is on you to get it done. You won’t get it with the same tired old memes and tactics.”

    So denialists are driven by ideology, not scientific objectivity. Who woulda thunk it.

  257. Don Monfort Says:

    Yes, denialists are impervious to science. You might as well face reality and give up. You will never get your mitigation. Sorry.

  258. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Richard Tol is not impervious to science:

    There is no doubt in my mind that the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans. I have little reason to doubt that this is indeed true and that the consensus is correct.

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bz17rNCpfuDNOHRsMVZFYXdxR0k/edit?pli=1

    Yes, but proper methods.

  259. Don Monfort Says:

    Nice one , willy. And yet he is called a denier by dana. Tol offends by not toeing the party line and he has an inconvenient habit of challenging bad science when he sees it. No partisan hack is Richard Tol:

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

    According to Tol “the impact of climate change is relatively small”.

    You all should pay attention to people like Tol and Paul Kelly. Trying to sell shoddy science to make your case doesn’t do you any good. If I may borrow: At best it’s a distraction, at worst it’s counterproductive.

    Even deniers might provide some useful insight into why you have failed for decades:

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/how-to-run-a-really-bad-infowar-campaign/

    I am concerned that CAGW might really be in our future. Not very concerned, because the case has not been made. I hope that you all can get your act together and come up with something more persuasive , in the event you are right. I am waiting to be convinced. You people could start by dropping that denier crap and all the other memes that you employ to demonize and marginalize the unbelievers.

  260. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > And yet [Richard] is called a denier by dana.

    Pegged, not called. And Dana clarified what he meant, that is using the contrarian network to kite check his concerns. All this has already been said.

    Speaking of Richard, here’s one for Bart:

  261. Don Monfort Says:

    Pegged is much better. I would rather be pegged than called, anytime. You are just playing games, Willard. A brain like yours is a terrible thing to waste. Is this the way you want to be remembered?

  262. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > Pegged is much better.

    No, it’s not. I already said so, not so long ago:

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-19061

    You’re not following very well, Don Don. It’s as if you were simply keeping on hammering talking points and spreading FUD. And that’s when on your best behavior: when not spreading FUD, you rely on ad hominems.

    This only deserves love and light, Don Don:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/LoveAndLight

    At the bottom of great doubt lies great awakening. If you doubt fully, you will awaken fully.

    Best of luck.

    w

  263. Don Monfort Says:

    whatever

  264. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Still awaiting moderation at Pointman’s.

  265. Paul Kelly Says:

    Willard,

    Please post your pointman comment here,

  266. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Tom Curtis,

    The first comment was in response to Paul M’s:

    “its existence was highlighted by the alarmists themselves. ”

    In fact it’s worse than that – the climate skeptic blogosphere was effectively created by the alarmists themselves. Steve McIntyre set up Climate Audit to respond to the attacks on his 2003 paper made by Realclimate.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/how-to-run-a-really-bad-infowar-campaign/#comment-5396

    Here was my response:

    willard (@nevaudit) says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    June 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    The climate skeptic blogosphere predates Steve’s, which ain’t a skeptic outlet anyway. Or at least that’s what we can read on the Auditor’s business card.

    We should also beware of the They Made Me Do It excuse.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/how-to-run-a-really-bad-infowar-campaign/#comment-5462

    ***

    Here’s the second of the two:

    willard (@nevaudit) says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    June 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    > What’s more, the skeptics could pick and choose their targets, while the alarmists were obliged to defend everything, because of the compulsion to support the science is settled meme.

    A simpler explanation is that the established theory is an interconnected network of beliefs, therefore all the moves can be seen as defending the theory.

    Also note that the “they are defending everything” meme runs against the “silence of the lambs” meme.

    ***

    > The most cursory glance at comments under some skeptic articles, points to a diversity of specialist expertise in the sceptic community that far exceeds anything to be found in the alarmist camp.

    A less cursory glance can prove otherwise. A simple proof can be done via game semantics. Take two players. The Establishment picks one instance (to be determined: it can be a comment, an op-ed, and outlet, etc); if the Contrarian can’t match that instance, they lose.

    For outlets, a good first move might be:

    http://scienceofdoom.com

    What would be a good matching response, Pointman?

    ***

    This proof would help substantiate the hypothesis that the “specialist expertise” is just a meme.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/how-to-run-a-really-bad-infowar-campaign/#comment-5488

  267. Don Monfort Says:

    So willard, help me out. Are you saying that the alarmists have run an effective info war against the deniers? Do you believe that your personal efforts to haunt various blogs has advanced the cause? Got mitigation? Try to keep it brief and on point, willard.

  268. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    First things first, Don Don:

    What about 19%, Don Don?

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18997

  269. Don Monfort Says:

    What 19%? Is that the robust consensus for a smidgen of mitigation?

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-013-0797-1/fulltext.html

    “Today, most Americans believe that climate change is real and at least partly human caused (Leiserowitz et al. 2012; Boston Krosnick et al. 2009). However, after over a decade of extensive efforts by advocates and scientists to engage the public on the issue, the vast majority of Americans still see climate change as a low priority issue (Pew 2012; Nisbet and Myers 2007). Until it rises higher in society’s concerns, we will only nibble around the edge of addressing this crisis. To shift this trend, many in the community have begun to rethink their approach to climate advocacy.”

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/01/pew-20120124.html

    “Pew survey finds US public ranks economy as highest priority policy issue, global warming as lowest”

    global warming as lowest

    Got that, Willard?

    You all better do something different, if you are going to save the world. Stop the clowning, Willard. Get serious.

  270. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Please answer the question, Don Don.

  271. Don Monfort Says:

    Is this a knock-knock joke, Willard? How do you want me to answer the question? Just tell me and I will give you whatever answer you want. Then you can proceed to make some dumb pseudo-cerebral declaration about what my answer means to world history and the saving of the planet. And it is not going to get you any mitigation. You should stop playing dumb games.

  272. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Dear Don Don,

    That question was asked on May 24, 2013 at 21:13. You have not answered it. Answering it might have contradicted your stance of the time regarding the 50%.

    Anyway, it’s quite obvious you’re not here to answer question, Don Don. You’re just pretending to have a conversation while pushing your peanut of the moment, however irrelevant it is to the issue at hand, all wrapped up this time in a very tidy futurological argument. You owe no commitments that a conversation would impose.

    So I guess this is goodbye, Don Don.

    Best of luck,

    w

    ***

    It does not take much to parry Don Don’s baits and switches. All one needs is to dig into the relevant lichurchur. For instance, here’s an interesting article by Max Boykoff, entitled Public Enemy No. 1 Understanding Media Representations of Outlier Views on Climate Change

    Outlier voices—particularly those views often dubbed climate “skeptics,” “denialists,” or “contrarians”—have gained prominence and traction in mass media over time through a mix of internal workings such as journalistic norms, institutional values and practices, and external political economic, cultural, and social factors. In this context, the article explores how and why these actors—through varied interventions and actions—garner disproportionate visibility in the public arena via mass media. It also examines how media content producers grapple with ways to represent claims makers, as well as their claims, so that they clarify rather than confuse these critical issues. To the extent that mass media misrepresent and/or gratuitously cover these outlier views, they contribute to ongoing illusory, misleading, and counterproductive debates within the public and policy communities, and poorly serve the collective public. Furthermore, working through mass media outlets, these outlier interventions demonstrate themselves to be (at times deliberately) detrimental to efforts seeking to enlarge rather than constrict the spectrum of possibility for varied forms of climate action.

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/2013.05.pdf

    Boykoff does not seem to reach the same conclusions that the Pointman.

    ***

    Oh, and Richard amended some bits of his 4th version and sent to ERL.

  273. Don Monfort Says:

    I am sorry I disappointed you, Willard. That was a very ingenious trap that you had laid for me. And you waited a long time for me to take the bait. But I did offer to answer the question any way that you wanted it. So don’t stay mad.

    I just read the first interminable sentence of that pasted thing. Pointman definitely beats him on succinctness. Does he say when you all will be getting something more than token mitigation? That is the bottom line, Willard. Frustrating, ain’t it.

    Tol is wasting his time with ERL. They knew all that stuff, before they published the paper. That’s assuming they read it. Do you have comments on Tol’s criticisms, nonetheless? That should be good. Please post them.

  274. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Shorter Max Boykoff:

    To the extent that mass media misrepresent and/or gratuitously cover these outlier views, they contribute to ongoing illusory, misleading, and counterproductive debates within the public and policy communities, and poorly serve the collective public. Furthermore, working through mass media outlets, these outlier interventions demonstrate themselves to be (at times deliberately) detrimental to efforts seeking to enlarge rather than constrict the spectrum of possibility for varied forms of climate action.

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/2013.05.pdf

    Seems that the media is learning what the Internet did a long time ago.

  275. Don Monfort Says:

    I don’t recall a mass media player other than Fox or the WSJ giving the non-alarmists equal time, except for this one occasion:

    The skeptics won over the NPR audience. Yes NPR. Gavin Schmidt the realclimate 97% consensus scientist said it was because Michael Crichton was tall. You can see why the alarmists don’t want to debate, ever again.

    Max needs to Google ‘economy of prose’. You too, Will.

  276. Marco Says:

    Don Montford, I sincerely hope you are aware that Gavin Schmidt’s comment about Crichton’s height was a joke. In fact, it is a running joke of Crichton himself and people who know him (i.e., pointing out his height).

    If not…oh dear.

  277. dhogaza Says:

    “The skeptics won over the NPR audience. Yes NPR.”

    And this proves what, exactly? Ah, that anti-science liars can be effective in public venues. I’m so happy that this warms your heart.

    Science and reality don’t care. Your side has blunted any effort to mitigate against future warming by dishonesty, something you appear to be proud of.

    But the future’s going to happen.

  278. Don Monfort Says:

    You can see why the alarmists don’t want to debate, ever again. That leaves them with only ad homs and whining about blunting. One would think that the 97% crowd, who are the morally and intellectually superior among us, could beat the doo-doo out of a small band of dishonest know-nothing anti-science liars. Try something different. Stop the juvenile nasty name-calling. Engage the blunters in debate, if you got the guts.

  279. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Guys, keep it civil or take it elsewhere.

    If you have nothing constructive to say, then better say nothing at all.

    Thanks!

  280. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Via Richard Tol’s tweets:

  281. dhogaza Says:

    “One would think that the 97% crowd, who are the morally and intellectually superior among us, could beat the doo-doo out of a small band of dishonest know-nothing anti-science liars.”

    They do, where it counts – in the literature.

    I realized about a decade ago that significant mitigation efforts weren’t (and aren’t) going to happen. I have no kids. I’m 59 and won’t live to see the worst of the coming changes.

    I no longer care other than I hate to see anti-science types be so effective in the public arena. Many americans want to teach young-earth creationism in science class. Others don’t want to vaccinate their children due to pseudo-science and, as was proven just last year, outright scientific fraud. Yet others have been fooled into thinking that climate science is a fraud, fooled by people like you.

    This won’t change science. The earth really is older than 6000 years. Vaccines really do prevent many childhood diseases, and many of these killed millions in years past.

    Scientists will continue to document changes due to AGW. So will birders (black phoebe have now breed as far as sw washington, about 280 miles north of their range 20 years ago, red-shouldered hawks have moved north in the PNW, christmas bird counts have documented that winter ranges for about a large number of winter resident bird species in north america have moved north an average of about 200 miles in the last few decades). So will gardeners (horticultural zones have moved well north in the last few decades). And conservation biologists. Etc etc etc.

    Go ahead an gloat in public, Monfort. Science won’t change society’s behavior. And your lies won’t change science …

  282. Paul Kelly Says:

    Dhogaza throws in the towel. Can he learn from it and from his many comments on just about every climate blog?

    “I realized about a decade ago that significant mitigation efforts weren’t (and aren’t) going to happen.” That’s quite a cultural filter for information and opinion. Maybe this inner pessimism is what caused his caustic commenter personna. He will be remembered as a warrior for the information deficit communicators.

    I’d like to invite dhogaza into a new paradgm, where climate is one of a number of valid reasons for energy transformation – the goal on which communication should focus.

  283. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Paul,

    You wrote

    climate is one of a number of valid reasons for energy transformation – the goal on which communication should focus.

    Different people have different goals. For many scientists-bloggers, the goal is more directly related to increasing science literacy than to enable an energy transformation. I’m mostly concerned about society making choices based on wrong or skewed information, and my goal is to contribute to scientifically valid information and to give people the tools to distinguish that from the ideological noise that’s being made.

    As for other reasons besides climate to engage in an energy tranformation: Yes, there are numerous other reasons. But they aren’t nearly as pressing as climate change. E.g. what if an abundant source of unconventional fossil fuel becomes economically recoverable? (shale gas anyone?) What reason besides climate would we have to leave it in the ground instead? See also http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/should-energy-policy-be-linked-to-climate-change/

  284. Marco Says:

    Bart, in the case of shale gas you can even argue that it removes one of the valid reasons to want an energy transformation: less dependence on countries like Russia, Venezuela and the Middle East.

  285. Don Monfort Says:

    You are to be pitied , dhog. It’s sad that you have given up, and so long ago.

    I never have claimed that climate science is a fraud. Never said anything about creationism or vaccinations either. Why drag those old strawmen into a discussion about climate science? Obfuscation?

    I would be interested in seeing you actually point out some of my lies and provide some kind of evidence to support your petulant accusations.

  286. KR Says:

    Richard Tols’ Comment on the Cook et al paper was rejected by the ERL editors, as per http://richardtol.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/draft-comment-on-97-consensus-paper.html, stating:

    “I do not see that the submission has identified any clear errors in the Cook et al. paper that would call its conclusions into question. […] All these things are valid issues for the usual discourse that exists in many informal avenues like conferences or blogs, but they do not constitute material for a formal comment.”

    Unless someone else is planning to write a peer-reviewed comment, or put forth the effort to produce comparable work supporting their own views, finis for now.

  287. Don Monfort Says:

    Yes the public has been on pins and needles waiting for that decision. Wow, what a surprise. I thought sure that Kammen would realize what a mistake they made and retract the Cook et al junk. Such is the state of peer review, in the climate science.

  288. Paul Kelly Says:

    Bart,

    The variety of reasons framing does not diminish the importance of the individual reasons for reaching a shared goal. You say other reasons aren’t nearly as pressing as climate change. That’s true for you and many more, but it is not true for many others. In the VOR framing, the validity and immediacy of all reasons are assumed.

    “my goal is to contribute to scientifically valid information and to give people the tools to distinguish that from the ideological noise that’s being made.”

    In the shared goal context, I would say your goal is mitigation and you’re attempting to reach it by reducing the climate science information deficit. You do a very nice job of it, by the way.

  289. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > Unless someone else is planning to write a peer-reviewed comment, or put forth the effort to produce comparable work supporting their own views, finis for now.

    Not so fast:

  290. KR Says:

    “A Comment in Environmental Research Letters should make a real contribution to the development of the subject, raising important issues about errors, controversial points or misleading results in work published in the journal recently.”

    On examination, Tol has removed some of the more blatant polemic in draft 6. On the other hand, the remaining points raised by the editor(s) (no clear errors found, just differences of opinion re: stats, sampling, and interpretation of implicits and trends – which don’t materially affect the Cook et al conclusions) are still valid. And Tol continues to consider trend stats, stats that are part of the Cook et al conclusions, as somehow being issues with an uncorrelated random rating order.

    I expect that this draft will also, in turn, be rejected.

  291. Don Monfort Says:

    ERL is very happy with the Cook et al conclusions. They don’t care about the obvious deficiencies. It’s politics, not science.

    However, the impact of the latest iteration of the 97% meme will be undetectable in the arena of public opinion. The pause is killing all the alarmist memes. Even the staunchest of believers are faltering:

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113533/global-warming-hiatus-where-did-heat-go#

    “In the end, the so-called scientific consensus on global warming doesn’t look like much like consensus when scientists are struggling to explain the intricacies of the earth’s climate system, or uttering the word “uncertainty” with striking regularity.”

    the punchline:

    “Public doubts about climate change are already increasing, even as scientists warn that the window for forestalling dangerous warming is closing. According to Pew Research, just 45 percent of Americans believe that scientists agree that warming is mostly because of human activities, down from 59 percent in 2006. The recent wave of news and magazine articles about scientists struggling to explain the warming slowdown could prolong or deepen the public’s skepticism.”

  292. Myrrh Says:

    The real “consensus of climate scientists” is not this distraction of doctrinal arguments between CAGWs and AGWs, it what they both have in common and which they go to great lengths to conceal – that there is no such thing as their claimed “Greenhouse Effect of greenhouse gases warming the Earth 33°C from the -18°C it would be without them”.

    Climate scientists, CAGWs and AGWs both, have never ever produced any physically process for their claimed Greenhouse Gases warm the Earth 33°C from the -18°C it would be without them..

    What Greenhouse Effect?

    From real physics:

    Temperature of Earth with voluminous real gas atmosphere with mass therefore weight under gravity, mainly condensable nitrogen and oxygen: 15°C

    Temperature of Earth without atmosphere: -18°C

    Compare with the Moon without atmosphere: -23°C

    Temperature of the Earth with real gas atmosphere of mainly condensable nitrogen and oxygen, but, without water, think deserts: 67°C

    Which is the real “thermal blanket” around the Earth?

    Where is the physical process of the Greenhouse Effect claim that “greenhouse gases warm the Earth 33°C from the -18°C it would be without them?

    At best this is mass delusion, at worst, this is “scientists” without even an elementary grasp of the physical properties and processes of matter and energy:

    who cannot tell the difference between real gases and the fictional ideal;

    who have not noticed the whole of the Water Cycle is missing from their models;

    who have not noticed they have no rain in their Carbon Cycle;

    who have zilch capacity for sense of scale and cannot tell the difference between their claimed trace gas carbon dioxide which is practically 100% hole in the atmosphere “thermal blanket” and the real gas air nitrogen and oxygen with mass therefore weight under gravity which weighs down on us around 14lbs per square inch, a ton on our shoulders;

    who think our Sun is a cold star of 6000°C, which is around the temp of the Earth’s innards;

    who think our real millions of degree hot Star the Sun therefore radiates insignificant amounts of longwave infrared heat, which they have, it has to be said, idiotically calculated by some ‘planckian’ method based on the thin 300 mile wide visible light atmosphere around our millions of degree hot Sun;

    or, who claim there is some “invisible barrier like the glass of a greenhouse at TOA preventing direct thermal infrared from the Sun entering”, unknown to real physics;

    who have not noticed the Solar Constant, which is the measurement of how much direct longwave infared heat energy from the Sun arrives at the surface by the amount it heats matter at the surface, has been moved in their GHE energy budget to TOA and misattributed to visible light from the Sun;

    who claim it is visible light from the Sun which heats matter, which is a physically impossibility, etc., etc.,

    Do the rest of us in the world who rely on you for accuracy as you claim to be scientists a favour – stop your posturing. You have no knowledge of physics basics.

    The Greenhouse Effect is an Illusion, it is not physically possible, it does not exist, it is hoax to promote AGW.

    It is the biggest science fraud to date and the longer you continue to promote it in any shape or form the longer the fraud will continue to the detriment of real science, and real scientists.

    There is no physical process to get the “33°C warming by greenhouse gases”, its an illusion created by the science fraud of misappropriating the minus 18°C and applying it where it does not belong..

  293. Marco Says:

    Amazing how Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius came up with the greenhouse effect just so another 100+ years later all those climate scientists could perpetuate a hoax!

    You’re funny, Myrrh :-)

  294. Myrrh Says:

    They did not come up with it – you should try reading them..

    Sorry that up to date real physics as still traditionally taught by some outside of the AGW brainwashing in general education upsets you..

    Enjoy your “Sun” a cold star of 6000°C, around the same temperature as Earth’s interior..

    If you cannot even tell how ludicrous that is then of course the rest of the real physics I have presented will be unable to engage your brain..

  295. Marco Says:

    I *have* read all three of them. They did indeed come up with it. Arrhenius referred to it as the hot-house effect. Fourier likened it to the effect of a glass bowl. Wood already used “greenhouse effect” in 1909.

    Oh, and my astronomer colleague wants to have a reference to the “up to date real physics” that shows the sun does *not* have a surface temperature (as in photosphere, the place where the radiation reaching earth actually comes from) of about 5000-6000 Kelvin, but muuuuuuuch higher. No really, he really wants to know in which fringe journal that was published.

  296. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Myrrh,

    Keep to the topic please. Claiming that standard radiation physics is entirely wrong is clearly off-topic, not to mention nonsensical. Read up on some basic climate science (e.g. this online climate textbook or SoD)

  297. Myrrh Says:

    Bart – the claimed consensus of this paper, whatever the nit picking about methodology, is a continuation of the IPCC change from the real consensus of scientists in its 95 report which said there was no discernible human signal – Houghton/Santer changed that because the IPCC was actually set up to show human signal..

    [edit. No baseless accusations of a whole scientific discipline. BV]

  298. Myrrh Says:

    p.s. may I respond to Marco’s question from his astronomer friend?

  299. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Myrrh,

    I removed your last two comments.

    Please take your accusations and alternative physics elsewhere.

    Thanks

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