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« Yeo works late | Main | Hiway to heaven »
Saturday
Sep012012

Ranalli on scientific consensus

A new paper by Brent Ranalli looks at the concept of scientific consensus, how such consensuses are used by the public, and whether they can be trusted. In particular Ranalli is concerned with what he calls a "hard-won" consensus.

Here is the abstract.

What makes a consensus among scientists credible and convincing? This paper introduces the notion of a “hard-won” consensus and uses examples from recent debates over climate change science to show that this heuristic stan­dard for evaluating the quality of a consensus is widely shared. The extent to which a consensus is “hard won” can be understood to depend on the personal qualities of the participating experts; the article demonstrates the continuing util­ity of the norms of modern science introduced by Robert K. Merton by showing that individuals on both sides of the climate science debate rely intuitively on Mertonian ideas—interpreted in terms of character—to frame their arguments.

The paper packs a lot in but could be read as a defence of those who would question the consensus on global warming. Ranalli notes that both sides of the climate debate share a common set of assumptions about what makes a consensus reliable, for example:

Consider that Lawrence Solomon (2010) eloquently argues for the authority of scientific experts in a defense of climate skepticism—and that Joseph Romm (2008) ad­vances arguments almost identical to Crichton’s in a rebuttal of climate skepticism. This paper is a study of arguments, and one of its goals is to demonstrate that even as they square off in vehement disagreement over scientific theories and facts, those who participate in the climate debates share a common stock of flexible rhetorical strategies and a common stock of ideas about the proper working of science. Specific ideas about what makes a consensus “hard won,” and therefore likely to be reliable, are widely shared on both sides.

As well as the role of experts, Ranalli's common ground includes the role of bias, groupthink and self-interest in forming (and undermining) consensus and also of the importance of the character of scientists. This, he suggests, might lead to some interesting places:

One outcome is an appreciation of the extent of common ground they share: in particular, common standards for judging the behavior and character of scientists. Thus it would be profoundly wrong for science communicators and climate change policy advocates to assume that the bulk of climate skeptics are “antiscience.” Even though they may at times hold expertise in contempt, many skeptics have a strong commitment to the norms of science. At times this commitment seems even more puritanical than that of the scientific establishment itself: as seen, for example, in skeptics’ demands for more inclusive participation (universalism) and more open sharing of data and methods (communalism).

Half of the paper is taken up with a survey of familiar parts of the climate debate, taking in the Hockey Stick story, Climategate, the inquiries and the roles of McIntyre and Judith Curry. The Hockey Stick Illusion is cited a couple of times, as is my GWPF report on the Climategate inquiries. This next mention was obviously gratifying.

Montford (2010)—and on the other side, Oreskes and Conway (2010)—though clearly impassioned, impressed me as scrupulous in scholarship: diligent with source attributions, respectful of the reader, and careful to point out alternative interpretations before drawing conclusions. Having formed an impression of them through their texts, I would gladly read and be inclined to rely on further writings by these authors.

Ranalli's paper is not without fault - I grimaced at this for example:

When I see a commentator use the expression “hide the decline” in a way that suggests climate scientists have conspired to “hide” from the public a “decline” in global temperatures, my first instinct is to write off the individual as an unscrupulous partisan, a hack whose mind is closed to reason. After all, from even a glance at the very short email that is the source of the phrase it should be obvious that the author, climatologist Phil Jones, was not referring to a decline in real temperatures (Climategate email 0942777075.txt).

...I don't think any prominent commentator has suggested such a thing since Sarah Palin and James Inhofe did so in the immediate aftermath of Climategate. Such minor nits aside, the paper is well worth a read if you are able to lay your hands on a copy. Unfortunately it is not online.

The reference is: Ranalli, B. Climate Science, Character, and the “Hard-Won” Consensus, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal Vol. 22, No. 2, 183–210.

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Reader Comments (46)

Of course "Hide the Decline" really refers to the attempt to camouflage the decline in competence, intelligence, honesty and civility that the global warmmongers have brought to science. Or at least it ought to.

Sep 1, 2012 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

The Alarmists have serially shown themselves to lack integrity and morality, yet they expect people to believe that although their behaviour is beneath contempt, their science is beyond reproach.

Truly, these narcissists inhabit a different mental world to the rest of us.

Sep 1, 2012 at 2:28 PM | Registered Commenterrickbradford

I sort of dispute the whole premise of the paper in talking about shared values and attitudes on both sides. Dirty rotten deniers share the belief that a consensus means absolutely nothing, we share it with each other, not with the other side.

Sep 1, 2012 at 2:30 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Bishop. Very satisfying to see that your well referenced, clear summaries are having their desired impact on the reading public and the academic establishment. It sometimes takes awhile but reality, facts and logic are always the masters of hype and flannel.

Keep up the good work.

Sep 1, 2012 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterChairman Al

Heh, he hasn't read enough Oreskes yet, and he is 'inclined to rely on further writings' by her.
=======================

Sep 1, 2012 at 2:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

[Snip O/T]

Sep 1, 2012 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

[Snip O/T]

Sep 1, 2012 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Dale Huffman

" ... trick to hide the decline."

For me, the problem is neither "trick" nor "decline" but rather "hide".

Sep 1, 2012 at 3:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Looks to be an interesting paper. Seems this guy is at least trying to interpret the situation with an even-handed approach. What a world of difference from Lewandowsky's garbage.

Sep 1, 2012 at 4:09 PM | Registered CommenterLaurie Childs

Does Ranalli realise that what he's writing about is the actual peer-review process, rather than the pre-publication screening climate scientists claim is peer-review? I find it odd that so few people seem to realise that peer review is what happens after publication, when 'peers' discuss and debate the published results and decide how much weight to give them.

Sep 1, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave

It's intriguing that, again, an apparently reasonable, even-handed, intelligent figure such as Ranalli hasn't grasped the blindingly simple truth about 'hide the decline', ie that it had precisely nothing to do with disguising an apparent 'decline in real temparatures' but was a more or less cack-handed attempt to mask the fact that from the early 60s the proxy record – the underpinning of Mann's Hockey Stick – didn't match the actual record.

What is it that prevents even apparently brainy types from grasping something so basic?

It is also either obviously disingenuous or, again, a sign of someone labouring under an inexplicable misapprehension that for Ranalli the entire controversy depends on a misreading by sceptics of a 'very short email'.

[BH adds: no, reread the quote. He understands it exactly, but is criticising people for saying it's to do with declines in instrumental temps rather than proxies (or, more precisely, non-proxies).

Sep 1, 2012 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Whoops. For 'temparatures' pls. read 'temperatures'.

Apologies for over hasty typing.

Sep 1, 2012 at 5:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Well the latest I spotted on hide the decline in global temperatures was this from Investor's Business Daily on 23 August:

Mann was at the heart of the Climate-gate scandal in 2009, when emails were unearthed from Britain's Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. In one email sent to Mann and others, CRU director Philip Jones speaks of the "trick" of filling in gaps of data in order to hide evidence of temperature decline:

"I've just completed Mike's nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline (in global temperatures)," the email read.

Source.

I guess at some point square brackets got morphed into round brackets, making the problem even worse. This was linked approvingly from WUWT, and although the point was picked up in comments there's nothing in the post pointing out a problem. So I don't think this is a complete straw man.

Sep 1, 2012 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJK

Consensus is a word and a sword. I would bet at least one of the snipped posts (which I never saw) presented some often-repeated "alternative science" that insinuates a lack of consensus on the skeptical side. It's hard enough to develop a counterargument to CAGW without people flinging around half baked physics in every thread. It's very hard to argue against the alleged but non-existent CAGW consensus without having the purveyors of CAGW argue that physics is on their side. Certainly they have the parameterized convection in the models on their side but they chose those parameters.

Sep 1, 2012 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterEric (skeptic)

Consensus is a word and a sword. I would bet at least one of the snipped posts (which I never saw) presented some often-repeated "alternative science" that insinuates a lack of consensus on the skeptical side. It's hard enough to develop a counterargument to CAGW without people flinging around half baked physics in every thread. It's very hard to argue against the alleged but non-existent CAGW consensus without having the purveyors of CAGW argue that physics is on their side. Certainly they have the parameterized convection in the models on their side but they chose those parameters.

Sep 1, 2012 at 5:15 PM | Eric (skeptic)>>>>

Perhaps you might give us an example of what you regard as 'fully baked' physics as a counter argument to AGW - or is it just an argument against CAGW that suits your particular version of scepticism?

Sep 1, 2012 at 5:47 PM | Registered CommenterRKS

[Snip O/T]

Sep 1, 2012 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

If the science process has been corrupted, what are the odds that the warmists have the science itself right?

This question is intended for those who say no matter what the behaviour of the protagonists, it does not affect the science. This false division is routinely used to build a fence around the dogma.

Sep 1, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterNoblesse Oblige

RKS, my defense is this: in this thread we are not debating the physics, only what is consensus and how does consensus inform the public. I believe the public would be well informed by a coherent consensus countering CAGW. AlecM, thanks for reposting your thoughts. Your explanation does not fit the definition of what I was talking about, so I would like to exclude you from what I said, but keep my bet above.

In general consensus must be based on the coherence of theory with all of the facts. The CAGW people like to ignore lots of facts like MWP, early Holocene warming, and prior interglacials all without positive feedbacks. In fact all point to negative feedbacks as AlecM is implying.

Sep 1, 2012 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterEric (skeptic)

The problem is, you can only tell a consensus after the fact, and its descriptive not normative.

What happens in the liberal concept of science and of public policy is that there are a variety of different points of view all competing for acceptance, all getting attacked and defended. Gradually one becomes able to say that there is an emerging and finally a general consensus.

Whether there is or not is fairly subjective but nevertheless one knows. There is for instance a very strong consensus on tobacco and lung cancer. There is a consensus, though a weaker one, on the saturated fat - cholesterol - heart disease hypothesis.

But its not normative. The fact that there is a consensus tells us nothing about whether the proposition is true or false. Its just a statement of social reality, right now most people in some particular location or field believe it.

If you want to use the fact of consensus normatively, you need another step, you need to show that for these people or this field consensus is a mark of correctness. You'd have trouble in any field where knowledge is increasing and where there is active research. You can see this if you look at the consensus, which did really exist, about substituting polyunsaturated fats for saturated ones in the diet, or about the beneficial effects of cholesterol lowering drugs. Both were consensus doctrines, both have been superceded.

Its a rare case in science where the argument from consensus can be quantitavely and rigorously shown to be valid in terms of track record as a guide to the truth or falsity of some particular new hypothesis.

Sep 1, 2012 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered Commentermichel

A consensus has nothing to do with facts or theory, it is simply an agreement by a group of people about what they will support. This is the complete antithesis of what I see happening on BH and other blogs.
The only consensus on BH is that we do not believe what the consensus is telling us hehe.

Sep 1, 2012 at 7:23 PM | Registered CommenterDung

[O/T]

Sep 1, 2012 at 7:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

[O/T]

Sep 1, 2012 at 8:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

I wouldn't be particularly pleased to be mentioned in the same context as Oreskes, who so far as I can tell falls clearly into the stridently delusional end of the warmist spectrum.

Sep 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Really sorry Bish off topic link but it makes very interesting reading:

http://www.businessinsider.com/russias-gazprom-tightens-its-stranglehold-on-europe-france-falls-the-natural-gas-war-gets-dirty-2012-8

Sep 1, 2012 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

[O/T]

Sep 1, 2012 at 8:51 PM | Registered CommenterRKS

[O/T]

Sep 1, 2012 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

[O/T]

Sep 1, 2012 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterEric (skeptic)

I would like to apologize to the regulars. I should not have used the term "half baked" and inspired more O/T excursions.

Sep 1, 2012 at 9:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterEric (skeptic)

Real science loves a controversy. Feuding academcs, competeing theories, debate, scorn flung here, insults there, seminars, conferences, all good fun.

When there are people trying to stop all that, to suppress one side or the other, to force consensus as if it was a goal rather than just a thing that sometimes happens, perhaps good, perhaps not. When that happens, what you have is not science, it is politics. And not the good kind but the coercive non-democratic kind. When a politician is telling you what it is OK to think, or what ideas are correct, no matter how well-meaning it might seem, it is an indicator of something wrong.

Sep 1, 2012 at 9:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda Klapp

Don't like the prissy writing style nor the apparently self-conscious attempt to appear above the fray. The climate change debate is more like a bare-knuckle fight than a gentlemanly after-dinner dispute over cigars and port in hallowed halls.

What Ranalli doesn't seem to get is that the debate has been so heavily skewed in favour of alarmist "science" by the vast resources and virtually unlimited funding from the UN, green NGOs and misguided Western governments. The underlying agenda has been unashamedly expounded by many worthies over the years, such as this luvvie:

“No matter if the science of global warming is all phony … climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” - Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment

If the debate were just about the science, rationality would prevail. But it's not. Too much is at stake for the Gramscians who achieved their own cultural hegemony a couple of decades ago, and want to keep things that way "forever", even though truth has a habit of prevailing over time. Thankfully there are definite signs that with continued courage and persistence the skeptical David will indeed vanquish the alarmist Goliath.

Sep 1, 2012 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Chris M:

The climate change debate is more like a bare-knuckle fight than a gentlemanly after-dinner dispute over cigars and port in hallowed halls.

Brent Ranalli:

Montford (2010) ... though clearly impassioned, impressed me as scrupulous in scholarship: diligent with source attributions, respectful of the reader, and careful to point out alternative interpretations before drawing conclusions.

I like the sound of this guy Montford, who's impassioned but somehow doesn't view it as a bare-knuckle fight. I wonder how he does it.

Sep 1, 2012 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Dear BH:

I take your point. But the larger one remains: that the bigger brains co-opted by the establishment to reinforce the notion that CAGW is a reality that must, urgently, be tackled to avert what they assert will otherwise be certain catastrophe are leading us on a certain path to ruin.

It really is that simple.

Ranalli strike me as an only marginally more sophisticated member of the same, frowning, de haut en bas class, convinced that the rest of us are incapable of understanding what and his pals alone know.

I struggle to see the difference between him and a stone-age witch doctor.

Sep 1, 2012 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

I like the sound of this guy Montford, who's impassioned but somehow doesn't view it as a bare-knuckle fight.

Even bare knuckle fights have rules (otherwise it is merely a brawl). Some, on both sides of the climate debate, indulge in the equivalent of kicking and eye-gouging in a bare-knuckle boxing bout.

In the realm of science you can be as scathing as you like about an argument, but you are not meant to impugn the people themselves. Nor are you meant to make up data, or hide data. Those are outside the rules.

IMO the Bishop's plays hard but fair, which is not exclusive with seeking a knock-out.

Sep 1, 2012 at 11:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

Richard Drake, you posses a surname that is still used to frighten children in Spain and South America, so you should understand to be careful of English gentlemen.

Sep 2, 2012 at 12:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterDocmartyn

OK, let me say it one more time ever so gently: Andrew managed to persuade someone outside our circle to take his arguments seriously. I think some people below the line have a great deal to learn from that. It's not a bare-knuckle fight, it's a job of persuasion. Well done again to our host.

Sep 2, 2012 at 12:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard

In any battle ( and we are in a battle of monstrous proportions) there is a need for both cerebral and violent people.

Sep 2, 2012 at 1:34 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Surely you can do better tan Oreskes & Conwy.

Sep 2, 2012 at 1:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Richard Drake

"Andrew managed to persuade someone outside our circle to take his arguments seriously."

=========================

I believe that you will find that there are quite a few outside the "circle" that take the so-called skeptical arguments very seriously. Anyone that has even the slightest interest in the reality of CAGW or reviewing the the related issues has followed the Bish, Watts, McIntyre, and many others. The ones promoting the CAGW scare may be the most loyal spectators. Those seeking the truth will find their way.

As far as a bare knuckle fight, read a few emails. Bare knuckle would be mild as to describing the ambush on those questioning the "team" or the "cause".

Sep 2, 2012 at 3:37 AM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

eyesonu: Agreed that many are taking skeptical arguments seriously and that the Climategate emails show something quite wrong and indeed conspiratorial. I think there is a place for anger but it should be very well-directed. Montford the impassioned one has shown the way :)

Sep 2, 2012 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

My suspicion is that the controversy over 'scientific consensus' is a bogey; a distraction introduced by extremist advocates like Al Gore.

In a very ordinary sense there has always been consensus in science. This is in the sometimes even unspoken or tacit presumptions beyond controversy that we hardly even notice. Every abstract of every paper contains them. And every introduction. Otherwise they would be infinitely long. Sets of such presumptions underly what Kuln calls a 'paradigm' and the 'normal' science practiced within it. The quality of consensual presumptions does vary and especially in their fidelity to the evidence. But not Kuln, not anybody else, is saying that we should abandon making presumptions upon and about the evidence when we discuss and practice science.

What the alarmists have tried to proclaim is that empirically, theoretically, causally, AGW has now attained this status. The science of the recent warming is as solid and settled as the presumption of, say, the last Ice Ages. Whereas any consensus that these folks proclaim of AGW is not found to have any such a foundation. The qualifier 'hard won' does indeed point to another type of consensus, a political consensus, which, of course, involves compromises. When you see this form: you say 2 degrees, I say 4, let's compromise on 3, you know we have departed from science.

My feeling is that we sceptics should not be saying that there is no place for consensus in science. Rather we should simply be saying that politics and its modalities are the enemy of science. In the not-so-distant past, the modalities of politics were severely persecuted across the sciences. Marxism changed that in the social sciences, and it was especially through environmental science that the physical science began to be corrupted, and these modalities became explicitly acceptable (read Mike Hulme).

But what about the IPCC? While the IPCC has indeed become corrupted, it did not explicitly support the corruption of science by political consensus before it was otherwise corrupted by politics. It was set up to explicitly encourage the recording of unresolved controversy in its assessments of the science. It only demand consensus among the governmental delegations for a summary for policymakers in agreement with the scientific assessment. The IPCC process did not corrupt the science, but the corruption of the science came through the corruption of the IPCC process (which occurred during the development of the 2nd Assessment and primarily due to enormous pressure eminating down from a fully political process call the FCCC).

Sep 2, 2012 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernieL

BernieL:

My feeling is that we sceptics should not be saying that there is no place for consensus in science. Rather we should simply be saying that politics and its modalities are the enemy of science.

Agreed.

Sep 2, 2012 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I am astonished at the description of Oreskes as "scrupulous" when her best known contribution to the debate is the claim that "97%" of scientists support the scare based on what she clearly knows is a sample of 75 out of 77, very carefully selected to be non-random, people answering a question that is irrelevent to the claim of catastrophic warming.

Sep 2, 2012 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

Consensus in science may emerge. It should not be sought after, if it comes, it comes. But it can always be challenged, in normal science. It should not be regulated or policed.

What can we do about this habit the other side seems to have got innto?

Ask 'Why do they need to cheat?'

Ask 'Why do you want to burn our books?'

Sep 2, 2012 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda Klapp

A lot of good thoughts have been presented on this thread.

There is truth in the end.

Sep 3, 2012 at 2:30 AM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

Several years have elapsed since Steve McIntyre stressed the lack of a quantitative, "engineering quality" paper providing a link between atmospheric GHG concentrations and quantitative temperature change.
There is no such paper, yet.
There can be no global warming consensus of any form, good or bad, right or wrong, until such a paper is published, because without it there can be no quantitative hypothesis to compare with performance.
Until then, the best that can be achieved is a war of words. This explains the expansion of psychology, sociology, economy etc publications.
As Jo Nova keeps wrinting, "Give me the evidence". Is that not clear enough?
......................
The situation has parallels with some words on this very page today, about wind power.
ASSERTION by IPPR authority:
The conclusions of the report note that:
■It is inaccurate to describe the output from wind power as ‘unpredictable’.
■In the short term, wind power output is remarkably stable and increases and decreases only very slowly.”
REBUTTAL by Stuart Young:
National Grid records generation by technology every five minutes and that is to be found on the NETA website at www.bmreports.com. National Grid also forecasts wind output for two days ahead and refines that forecast daily. This is recorded on the “Wind Forecast Out-turn” page on the NETA website...

This clearly shows the difference between the refined output and the recorded output to be as high as 1250MW, and the difference between the initial and refined forecasts to be almost 800MW over a 24 hour period. This is not a reflection on National Grid’s forecasting ability, it is an illustration of the impossibility of accurately and reliably forecasting the availability of electricity generated by wind."
...............................................
Wind power debate has passed the stage of climate change debate, because there has been an adequate period of actual performance from which hard conclusions can be drawn about wind power. At this stage, it does not matter if there was consensus, or if there is consensus. It is clear that it has bombed.
....................................
Social commentators and academics should develop guidance principles for public research as to when paid projects should be stopped. Without review/stop points, there is an endless gravy train. If we had them some years earlier, wind power would not be troubling nations now.
If you wish to use the principle of consensus, first have a consensus about stopping or continuing nominated research in a timely, cost-effective way.

Sep 3, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

And just to add to the consensus conflation/confusion, it seems to me that - to borrow from Mike Hulme - that there is considerable evidence which would suggest that the

"idea of climate change [or consensus -hro] is so very plastic. It can be deployed across many of our human projects and can serve many of our psychological, spiritual and ethical needs"

For example (all emphases are mine):

The U.K. Met Office 2009 Newsletter (demonstrating the efficacy of declaration by number of petition signatories):

The widespread consensus among UK scientists on climate change has been clearly demonstrated after more than 1,700 scientists from more than 100 institutes signed up to a statement on the issue. The signatories agree climate change is happening, is primarily due to human activities, and the science that proves this is extensive, robust and reliable.

IPCC-nik Richard Klein:

[I]t is this line-by-line approval process that results in the actual consensus that the IPCC is famous for, and which is sometimes misunderstood. The consensus is not a consensus among all authors about every issue assessed in the report; it is a consensus among governments about the summary for policymakers.

NGO Greenpeace:

There is, in fact, a broad and overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, is caused in large part by human activities (such as burning fossil fuels), and if left unchecked will likely have disastrous consequences.

NGO Union of Concerned Scientists:

Scientific societies and scientists have released statements and studies showing the growing consensus on climate change science. [...] there is now an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is indeed happening and humans are contributing to it.

Self-proclaimed climate "historian", Oreskes:

The scientific consensus is clearly expressed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). [...] In its most recent assessment, IPCC states unequivocally that the consensus of scientific opinion is that Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities. [...]

IPCC is not alone in its conclusions. In recent years, all major scientific bodies in the United States whose members’ expertise bears directly on the matter have issued similar statements.

Or Hulme's:

“Claims such as ’2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous.

“That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies; other IPCC authors are experts in other fields.”

So whose definition of "consensus" are we to believe, anyway, eh?!

Perhaps we need to ... uh ... "redefine" UNFCCC (the IPCC's "main client", if Pachauri can be believed) so that it means United Nations' Framing of Climate Confusion and Conflation!

Sep 4, 2012 at 1:40 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

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