Richard Tol posted this in 2015. It is a detailed analysis of the supposed 97% consensus on man made climate change. I keep hearing people say this as confirmation the risk is actually real. It isn’t.

Global warming consensus claim does not stand up (author’s cut)

Now almost two years old, John Cook’s 97% consensus paper has been a runaway success. Downloaded over 300,000 times, voted the best 2013 paper in Environmental Research Letters, frequently cited by peers and politicians from around the world, with a dedicated column in the Guardian, the paper seems to be the definitive proof that the science of climate change is settled.

It isn’t.

Consensus has no place in science. Academics agree on lots of things, but that does not make them true. Even so, agreement that climate change is real and human-caused does not tell us anything about how the risks of climate change weigh against the risks of climate policy. But in our age of pseudo-Enlightenment, having 97% of researchers on your side is a powerful rhetoric for marginalizing political opponents. All politics ends in failure, however. Chances are the opposition will gain power well before the climate problem is solved. Polarization works in the short run, but is counterproductive in the long run.

In their paper, Cook and colleagues argue that 97% of the relevant academic literature endorses that humans have contributed to observed climate change. This is unremarkable. It follows immediately from the 19th century research by Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius. In popular discourse, however, Cook’s finding is often misrepresented. The 97% refers to the number of papers, rather than the number of scientists. The alleged consensus is about any human role in climate change, rather than a dominant role, and it is about climate change rather than the dangers it might pose.

Although there are large areas of substantive agreement, climate science is far from settled. Witness the dozens of alternative explanations of the current, 18 year long pause in warming of the surface atmosphere. The debate on the seriousness of climate change or what to do about it ranges even more widely.

The Cook paper is remarkable for its quality, though. Cook and colleagues studied some 12,000 papers, but did not check whether their sample is representative for the scientific literature. It isn’t. Their conclusions are about the papers they happened to look at, rather than about the literature. Attempts to replicate their sample failed: A number of papers that should have been analysed were not, for no apparent reason.

The sample was padded with irrelevant papers. An article about TV coverage on global warming was taken as evidence for global warming. In fact, about three-quarters of the papers counted as endorsements had nothing to say about the subject matter.

Cook enlisted a small group of environmental activists to rate the claims made by the selected papers. Cook claims that the ratings were done independently, but the raters freely discussed their work. There are systematic differencesbetween the raters. Reading the same abstracts, the raters reached remarkably different conclusions – and some raters all too often erred in the same direction. Cook’s hand-picked raters disagreed what a paper was about 33% of the time. In 63% of cases, they disagreed about the message of a paper with the authors of that paper.

The paper’s reviewers did not pick up on these things. The editor even praised the authors for the “excellent data quality” even though neither he nor the referees had had the opportunity to check the data. Then again, that same editor thinks that climate change is like the rise of Nazi Germany. Two years after publication, Cook admitted that data quality is indeed low.

Requests for the data were met with evasion and foot-dragging, a clear breach of the publisher’s policy on validation and reproduction, yet defended by an editorial board member of the journal as “exemplary scientific conduct”.

Cook hoped to hold back some data, but his internet security is on par with his statistical skills, and the alleged hacker was not intimidated by the University of Queensland’s legal threats. Cook’s employer argued that releasing rater identities would violate a confidentiality agreement. That agreement does not exist.

Cook first argued that releasing time stamps would serve no scientific purpose. This is odd. Cook’s raters essentially filled out a giant questionnaire. Survey researchers routinely collect time stamps, and so did Cook. Interviewees sometimes tire and rush through the last questions. Time stamps reveal that.

Cook later argued that time stamps were never collected. They were. They show that one of Cook’s raters inspected 675 abstracts within 72 hours, a superhuman effort.

The time stamps also reveal something far more serious. After collecting data for 8 weeks, there were 4 weeks of data analysis, followed by 3 more weeks of data collection. The same people collected and analysed the data. After more analysis, the paper classification scheme was changed and yet more data collected.

Cook thus broke a key rule of scientific data collection: Observations should never follow from the conclusions. Medical tests are double-blind for good reason. You cannot change how to collect data, and how much, after having seen the results.

Cook’s team may, perhaps unwittingly, have worked towards a given conclusion. And indeed, the observations are different, significantly and materially, between the three phases of data collection. The entire study should therefore be dismissed.

This would have been an amusing how-not-to tale for our students. But Cook’s is one of the most influential papers of recent years. The paper was vigorously defended by the University of Queensland (Cook’s employer) and the editors of Environmental Research Letters, with the Institute of Physics (the publisher) looking on in silence. Incompetence was compounded by cover-up and complacency.

Climate change is one of the defining issues of our times. We have one uncontrolled, poorly observed experiment. We cannot observe the future. Climate change and policy are too complex for a single person to understand. Climate policy is about choosing one future over another. That choice can only be informed by the judgement of experts – and we must have confidence in their learning and trust their intentions.

Climate research lost its aura of impartiality with the unauthorised release of the email archives of the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. Its reputation of competence was shredded by the climate community’s celebration of the flawed works of Michael Mann. Innocence went with the allegations of sexual harassment by Rajendra Pachauri and Peter Gleick’s fake memo. Cook’s 97% nonsensus paper shows that the climate community still has a long way to go in weeding out bad research and bad behaviour. If you want to believe that climate researchers are incompetent, biased and secretive, Cook’s paper is an excellent case in point.




If you have listened carefully to President Trump, you know that he regards Climate Change as a hoax. To evaluate his view properly requires us to look back to 1992 and the United Nations Earth Conference in Rio de Janeiro. The conference was headed up by a high school dropout from Canada, Maurice Strong, an adviser to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN at the time. Some would say that this was the beginning of man-made Climate Change as an international, global concern.

It was documented in the Framework Convention on Climate Change or FCCC. Other documents like the Biodiversity Convention and Agenda 21 were developed and introduced at the convention using the FCCC as justification. In a nutshell, the entire planet would be transformed, under the control of the UN, because of a thing called
Climate Change. Since its early beginnings, the UN’s scientists have not only evaluated the problem, but they also defined the government policy to resolve it. That is extremely unusual in science. As Dr. Judith Curry noted in a recent interview, “the policy cart is leading the scientific horse.”
The Biodiversity and Agenda 21 documents have a lot in common with Ocasio Cortez’s New Green Deal. So you can see where the originators of Climate Change were coming from. They were Socialists. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism. Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the 1992 Rio Earth Conference, was famous for saying, “ Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the
industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?”

One can legitimately question science that is based on such a beginning. It is noteworthy that Maurice Strong founded the Chicago Climate Exchange after leaving the UN and became a very rich person selling indulgences related to a policy he helped create. He then moved to China where his money was very welcome. A minor detail was that the US government indicted Strong for his part in the UN Oil For Food Scandal.
Every 5 years, or so, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Publishes a “scientific” document called an Assessment Report. Scientists from around the planet develop an incredible scientific document that most find to be substantially valid. Then the UN develops the Summary for Policymakers written by policy makers from the member nations. Once that document is approved, the entire Assessment report is gone over, word by word, so that none of the actual science conflicts with the Summary for Policymakers. They actually change the science to agree with the policy. I repeat, “The policy cart is leading the scientific horse.” This is not science. This is politics.

President Trump has every right to question such a system that has a pedigree like this. The PCCS is the first opportunity to evaluate the climate dogma, and with a foundation as I have described, it is long overdue. If you agree that an PCCS investigation is in order, tell the Whitehouse at 202-456-1111 or email here. And do it today.


Another case of a misleading headline:

Watts Up With That?

Reposted from Roy Spencer’s Blog

July 21st, 2017 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

If I had not looked past the headline of the press report on a new study, I would have just filed it under “It’s worse than we thought”. A new study in Naturereported on July 17 carried the following headlines:

“Satellite snafu masked true sea-level rise for decades”
“Revised tallies confirm that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating as the Earth warms and ice sheets thaw.”

When I read that, I (like everyone else) assumed that corrections to the satellite sea level data since 1993 have now led to a revised trend toward faster (not slower) sea level rise. Right?


During the satellite era (since 1993), the trend in sea level rise was revised downward, by almost 10%, from 3.28 mm/year to about 3.0 mm/year. (For those concerned about Miami going underwater, these…

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The final comment is a salient point.


By Paul Homewood



Time’s up, so-called Professor Wadhams.

It is now exactly four years ago that you forecast the demise of Arctic sea ice this summer:

One of the world’s leading ice experts has predicted the final collapse of Arctic sea ice in summer months within four years.

In what he calls a “global disaster” now unfolding in northern latitudes as the sea area that freezes and melts each year shrinks to its lowest extent ever recorded, Prof Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University calls for “urgent” consideration of new ideas to reduce global temperatures.

In an email to the Guardian he says: “Climate change is no longer something we can aim to do something about in a few decades’ time, and that we must not only urgently reduce CO2 emissions but must urgently examine other ways of slowing global warming, such as the various geoengineering ideas that have…

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Watts Up With That?

From the “not a verifiable forecast” department, and the “auxiliary department of funding acquisition worry” comes this headline from USGS today. Some other 100 year headlines follow.

Study Shows Sea Level Rise to Threaten West Coast Tidal Wetlands Over the Next 100 Years

 U.S. Geological Survey technician collects elevation data using a real time kinematic GPS at Bandon National Wildlife Refuge. Location: Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, OR, USA Date Taken: 8/27/2012 Photographer: Katherine Powelson U.S. Geological Survey technician collects elevation data using a real time kinematic GPS at Bandon National Wildlife Refuge. Location: Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, OR, USA Date Taken: 8/27/2012 Photographer: Katherine Powelson

CORVALLIS, Oregon – The U.S. Geological Survey and Oregon State University released a report this week examining Pacific Northwest tidal wetland vulnerability to sea level rise. Scientists found that, while vulnerability varies from marsh to marsh, most wetlands would likely be resilient to rising sea levels over the next 50-70 years. Beyond that time, however, most wetlands might convert to intertidal mudflats as sea level rise outpaces the capacity of tidal marshes to adapt.

“This study provides critical…

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After all the evidence I have seen that the media and government are hyping a phony climate catastrophe, is it any wonder that the NFL would unjustly attack the New England Patriots? Scientists have shown that the balls were right where they should have been. Pump up a tire or a football or even several and you will see the air from the pump increase. Duh. Everybody knows that. that would have made the balls even softer on the cold field. Apparently science is not the NFL’s forte.


Real Science

One year ago, the Boston Globe published this brilliant piece of work.

In Maine, scientists see signs of climate change

By David Abel GLOBE STAFF  SEPTEMBER 21, 2014

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — With milder winters sparking a surge in deer ticks, park rangers now duct-tape their ankles while combing the wilds of Acadia, where native flowers are disappearing at alarming rates and invasive species are thriving.

Along the rocky coast of Georgetown, Maine, lobstermen are finding more black sea bass in their traps, spiny intruders that until recently were almost never spotted so far north. In a pond in Brunswick, an increasingly prevalent disease has ravaged amphibians.

In a state with the highest percentage of forested land and a long, famously scenic coastline, where timber and fisheries remain at the heart of the economy, climate change has become an immediate concern.

Heat waves, more powerful storms, and rising seas…

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