German flagship news magazine Spiegel Online today has an article authored by Axel Bojanowski which takes a close look at the recent John Cook survey. German alarmists like the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research hailed it as proof that climate science was settled and done.
But Spiegel draws a different a totally conclusion.
First Bojanowski describes how a large number of Americans have serious doubts when it comes to man-made climate change, and so surveys get conducted with the aim of trying to sway public opinion. The latest was carried out by John Cook of the University of Queensland in Australia, and the results were published in the journal of Environmental Research Letters: 97% of thousands of papers surveyed agree that climate change is man-made, it asserted.
But Bojanowski trashes the findings:
There’s an obvious discrepancy between the public perception and reality. The authors speak about ‘consensus on man-made climate change’ – and thus this threatens to further increase confusion within the public. The survey confirms only a banality: Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that man is responsible for at least a part of the climate warming. The important question of how big is man’s part in climate change remains hotly disputed.
In the draft of the next UN report that will summarize climate science knowledge in September, it is stated: ‘It is extremely likely that human activity is responsible for more than half of the warming since the 1950s.’ The estimations from scientists on the exact extent vary vastly – here the consensus ends.”
Bojanowski then gives Spiegel readers the results produced by Cook: “About two thirds took no position on the subject – they remained on the sidelines. 97% of the rest supported man-made impact.
Also in an additional step, 35% of the authors who took no position were left out of the survey results altogether.
A new German survey produces similar results: no consensus!
Bojanowski then reports on another still unpublished German survey conducted by the University of Mainz in Germany. Senja Post told SPIEGEL ONLINE that “123 of 292 climate scientists asked participated in the study“. The result (warmists may want to sit down before reading):
Only 5% of those responding believed natural factors played the main role in the warming. However, Post then asked about the extent of the man-made warming. The result looked very different. Only 59% of the scientists said the ‘climate development of the last 50 years was mostly influenced by man’s activity. One quarter of those surveyed said that human and natural factors played an equal role’.”
Only 10% of German scientists say computer models are sufficiently accurate
Bojanowski then writes that skepticism is even far more widespread when it comes to the reliability of computer models. “Only 10% said climate models are ‘sufficiently accurate’ and only 15% said that ‘climatic processes are understood enough’ to allow climate to be calculated.”
Bojanowski sums up: “There’s plenty of fodder there to continue the ideologically influenced debate about climate – no matter what is said about consensus.”
23 responses to “Spiegel Trashes John Cook’s Survey. Man’s Impact “Remains Hotly Disputed”…Only 1023 Have Faith In Models”
For everyone who wants to see and hear ex notrickszone commenter Dana Nuccitelli in person, Al Jazeera has video:
Maybe if Cook had actually surveyed the climate researchers as did media studies researcher Senja Post and Hans M. Kepplinger in 2006. (Article in Die Welt)
Nature ain’t playing ball, and more than a few learned men tell us, the way forwards is better brace for and become used to: the cold.
A few mates [peer reviewers] in a few half assed Universities [UEA, PSU], add to the mix and getting in on the act the mafia of the most corrupt international organization in the world – the UN and a western government funded odyssey – to prove a man made supposition.
Whoa there hoss, does anthropomorphic CO2 causes runaway warming?
And still after all these years – nothing, nada, squat.
Ooops oh wait – sh**!
“Somebody come and look” – the Temperature data sets,
“they’re flatlining”………….erm……….. just like the global warming scam.
In walks John Cook, yet another ‘on the take’ shill – face it John, even with the benefit of years of fixed Temperature sets and dodgy statistics – you cannot re-animate the ‘dead meat’ of bent science, nor should you ever attempt to resuscitate braindead politicians – there’s just no spark.
Consensus, the last redoubt of charlatans and mountebanks.
We have millions of photographs taken on our beaches and showing a flat earth. We have just one photograph from space showing the planet as a globe. The evidence for that old theory is overwhelming and the consensus almost complete. Sir Cook has shown us how to do science.
Yes well said Mindert Eiting.
Cook et al will lead us back into the dark ages, and throw away all that we learned forwards from 1750’s and the great Enlightenment – and the age of empirical science, of experiment and observation – is dying.
We are going back to the age of chasing the myths of a holy grail.
This is what ‘progressive’ [Socialist] political dogma facilitates, where social science becomes an art and witchcraft and sorcery of post normal methodology is the new orthodox. Then and throw in, the quackery of statistical jiggery-pokery.
They teach maths and physics in schools in China – we teach our kids about the green nonsense, social history and about multikulti.
No guesses for who is gonna win that race – China.
Guys, Cook’s paper is tripe, but not for reasons stated. IF you accept his selection of 12,000 papers, and IF you accept his criteria for ‘deciding AGW y/n’, and IF you discount bias/ineptness on the part of the ‘paper reviewers’, THEN you have to accept his conclusion — 97% say “Y”.
Strictly speaking, the results could be presented “97% of those indicating any view on AGW, indicated ‘AGW Yes’.” But statisticly based on the law of large numbers you could extend this conclusion to “97% support the AGW thesis, because 3000 is sufficiently large enough to give confidence that it’s representative of the group.”
The reason why Cook’s paper is tripe is not the presentation of the conclusions, then, but rather that some or all of the “IF”s are not acceptable…. and I would say they are all challengeable:
How the 12,000 papers selected;
The criteria for grouping papers into 10 categories (why 10, also)
The bias/ineptitude of the paper reviewers
And while some might say that this 97% number is meaningless, do not be fooled. IF indeed 97% of all climate experts say “AGW is the case” then for sure the science is settled, as much as any science can be settled. When 97% of the experts agree, that’s not an argument to authority fallacy (it’s only a fallacy if the experts are not experts in the field at issue).
Two quick remarks, David.
1. Sample size has nothing to do with representativeness, unless you sample randomly (later on you said it better).
2. Agreement of experts is fallacious as argument because there is no rule of logic connecting expert agreement with the truth. There are several examples of expert agreement about ideas that proved to be completely false.
Expert opinion is dispositive if it’s unanamous and in the relevant field. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be proven wrong in the future. Anything we know can be.
Make no mistake. If the warmists can prove that all climate scientists believe x,y,x. then they win. X,y and z don’t have to be true forever, but no one is going to give credence to John the Baptists crying out in the wilderness.
Arguments from authority are invalid WHEN THE AUTHORITY is not in the relevant field. Humans legitimately rely on experts, but they often go off the deep end when they rely on experts in the wrong field, or experts about things on which there is no expertise (e.g., religion).
We also have experts in music, theology, astrology, psychoanalysis, marxism, and science fiction. In your last sentence you try to make a tautology by arbitrarily excluding fields you consider wrong (so people in the right field are right). The argument from authority is invalid for a fundamental reason. In a valid argument the truth from a premise is always transferred to the conclusion, like ‘a implies b’, so ‘not b implies not a’. Because the authority argument does not do this as you admit your self, the argument is invalid. The authority argument belongs to the Stone Age when High Priests were the guardians of the truth.
Before you cite the Law Of Large Numbers, maybe you should tell us on how many independent variables the John Cook number of a given abstract depends, and therefore, what distribution the John Cook number takes.
I’m going to do not such thing.
Then, it might just be that the Law Of Large Numbers is not applicable.
The NCSE foolishly accepts Cook’s claims but science is not determined by consensus!:
Of course, the NCSE is just an advocacy group that has, in this case, chosen to advocate for a pseudoscience as baseless as creationism. Lawrence Solomon has what I think is the best reply to the consensus argument: The best specialists in each area disagree with AGW in their specialism and mistakenly presume they should accept it in all others.
See: The Deniers Revised 2010 by Lawrence Solomon
CO2 is a “trace gas” in air, insignificant by definition. It absorbs 1/7th as much IR, heat energy, from sunlight as water vapor which has 80 times as many molecules capturing 560 times as much heat making 99.8% of all “global warming.” CO2 does only 0.2% of it. For this we should destroy our economy?
Carbon combustion generates 80% of our energy. Control and taxing of carbon would give the elected ruling class more power and money than anything since the Magna Carta of 1215 AD.
See The Two Minute Conservative via Google or: http://adrianvance.blogspot.com When you speak ladies will swoon and liberal gentlemen will weep.
Yes, yes. But if Cook’s conclusion stands, no one will listen you you.
“it’s only a fallacy if the experts are not experts in the field at issue”
about 1/3rd papers which contain the words “global warming” or “global climate change” simply accept the the base of what the IPCC said to research other topics like mitigation, the effects of global warming “projections” on plants and animals, etc. The large majority of these professions are not experts on global warming at all, but experts in fields which “may” be impacted by global warming.
But all these papers are part of the “97%”, because they simply accept the IPCC viewpoint that “most of the recent warming is caused by humans”.
50% contribution by humans is the only quantitative criterion in the extreme adhere and reject categories. If you allude that humans have a contribution to the recent warming, as even most sceptics do, then you are in the “adhere” category if you don’t give a figure, but in the extreme reject category if you say for 49%…
And the total number of papers out of 12,000 that actually take the >51% position is . ……. 65 (sixty-five), which is less than the number of papere which reject AGW (83).
What you are doing in your post is exactly what must be done — attack the survey design, definitions, and execution. If you don’t do that, Cook’s conclusions stand.
Only if your underlying assumption is right; that the position of scientific abstracts with regard to AGW follows an equal or normal distribution.
You didn’t notice you made that assumption? Well, look at the definition of the Law Of Large Numbers.
I see no reason at all to assume that that is the case. Counting abstracts is simply an abuse of statistics. There is no logic in what John cook does, from start to finish, and what you call his conclusions are not conclusions; as conclusions require a logical argument.
The attempts of the consensus-minded trying to prove that there is 97 % consensus on AGW resemble the criticism agains Einsteins theory of gravity expressed through the publication of the “Hundert Autoren gegen Einstein” in that they both mistake quantity for quality.
Eisteins stand on such efforts was elegant: “If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!” The embarrasing problem for the AGW-theory is that instead of trying to argue on the merits of the papers contradicting the theory the AGW-minded try to turn this into a popularity contest.
[…] Speigel reporter Axel Bojanowski hit on a number of key points, including another study by the University of Mainz in Germany that surveyed climate scientists and came up with decidedly different results than Cook. According to the Mainz survey, reports Bojanowski, “Only 59% of the scientists said the ‘climate development of the last 50 years was mostly influenced by man’s activity. One quarter of those surveyed said that human and natural factors played an equal role.’” […]
[…] John Cook’s latest paper promoting the ‘consensus’ has been critiqued by Jo, Watts, some German guys and by Lucia. Lucia and Brandon Schollenberger analyse Cook’s methodology and Guidelines for […]
[…] reporter Axel Bojanowski hit on a number of key points, including another study by the University of Mainz in Germany that […]