James Taylor writes in Forbes: Global Warming Alarmists Caught Doctoring ’97-Percent Consensus’ Claims:
Viewing the Cook paper in the best possible light, Cook and colleagues can perhaps claim a small amount of wiggle room in their classifications because the explicit wording of the question they analyzed is simply whether humans have caused some global warming. By restricting the question to such a minimalist, largely irrelevant question in the global warming debate and then demanding an explicit, unsolicited refutation of the assertion in order to classify a paper as a ‘consensus’ contrarian, Cook and colleagues misleadingly induce people to believe 97 percent of publishing scientists believe in a global warming crisis when that is simply not the case.
Misleading the public about consensus opinion regarding global warming, of course, is precisely what the Cook paper sought to accomplish. This is a tried and true ruse perfected by global warming alarmists. Global warming alarmists use their own biased, subjective judgment to misclassify published papers according to criteria that is largely irrelevant to the central issues in the global warming debate. Then, by carefully parsing the language of their survey questions and their published results, the alarmists encourage the media and fellow global warming alarmists to cite these biased, subjective, totally irrelevant surveys as conclusive evidence for the lie that nearly all scientists believe humans are creating a global warming crisis.
These biased, misleading, and totally irrelevant “surveys” form the best “evidence” global warming alarmists can muster in the global warming debate. And this truly shows how embarrassingly feeble their alarmist theory really is.
The 97% figure from the survey comes from a whittling down of the accepted number of
responses from 3,146 to 79. The 79 scientist are those that said they have recently
published 50% of their papers in the area of climate change. Of these, 76 of 79 answered
“risen” to questions one (96.2%). How this number is not 100% is very strange. As to
question two 75 of 77 answered “yes” (97.4%). As I have shown above this response
does not necessarily mean that the respondent was attributing the significant human
activity to the use of fossil fuels. Additionally a “yes” response does not quantify the
degree of significance that human activity has on climate change. This can range
significantly from person to person.
The 97% figure used to crush global warming skeptics should cause one to pause. Given the vastness and the uncertainties of any such natural system, such unanimity should increase skepticism, not diminish it. I would be much less skeptical if there was only a 65% degree of consensus. How do we respond when a dictatorship holds an election and gets 99% of the vote? We use the 97% instead of 99% because that difference makes it somewhat more believable.
Instead of repeating the 97% figure with such conviction, we should be asking the source of such an overwhelming conviction. But we have learned repeatedly that the media has long lost its credibility to question evidence that confirms its own bias.
from Marl Steyn in The National Review Online, Ice Everywhere, But No Hockey Sticks:
Global warming will kill us. Global cooling will kill us. And if it’s 54 and partly cloudy, you should probably flee for your life right now. Maybe scientists might usefully consider moving to being less hung up on “consensus” – a most unscientific and, in this context, profoundly corrupting concept.