That’s a 0.3% consensus, not 97% by Joanne Nova


We’ve already found enough flaws, but Christopher Monckton analyzes John Cook’s 97% consensus paper and sharpens the scythe. He finds:

  1. It should never have been done, it’s an unscientific method — “consensus”
  2. The “consensus” was defined in three different ways. (Which hypothesis are they testing?) None of the three definitions is specific enough to be falsifiable.
  3. The paper strangely omitted the key results. (Why make 7 classifications, if they were not going to disclose how many papers fell into each category?)
  4. Of nearly 12,000 abstracts analyzed, there were only 64 papers in category 1 (which explicitly endorsed man-made global warming). Of those only 41 (0.3%) actually endorsed the quantitative hypothesis as defined by Cook in the introduction. A third of the 64 papers did not belong.
  5. None of the categories endorsed “catastrophic” warming — a warming severe enough to warrant action — though this was assumed in the introduction, discussion and publicity material.
  6. The consensus (such as there is, and it being irrelevant) appears to be declining.

The nice thing about this commentary is that Monckton provides a summary of the philosophy of science (showing Cook et al are 2,300 years out of date). Monckton has also checked Cook’s own data which was finally provided (several weeks after publication) and compares Cook to Oreskes, Anderegg, and Doran and Zimmerman and explains why they are wrong too.

Previously I’ve also pointed out the 12 reasons the paper fails, including that the number of papers is merely a proxy for funding, not evidence about the climate; most of the papers merely assume man-made warming is real, and some papers are 20 years old and the evidence has changed.

The non-disclosure in Cook et al. of the number of abstracts supporting each specified level of endorsement had the effect of not making available the fact that only 41 papers – 0.3% of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0% of the 4014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1% – had been found to endorse the quantitative hypothesis, stated in the introduction to Cook et al. and akin to similar definitions in the literature, that “human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW)”.