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Discussion > So who's not in the 97%?

James, you are bending over backwards to be fair to Richard Betts and others, which is admirable. But at what cost? The CAGW scam is predicated on their "settled science" and it is making billions for the fraudsters and causing human misery on an ever increasing scale.

Someone above mentioned the subject of asteroid strike, and you alluded to the precautionary principle. We could just as easily be spending billions on space systems to attempt to counter this threat (many people in Russia might think this a good idea!). However, and in my opinion correctly, academic studies are proceeding, in this country and others, to attempt to quantify the problem, and investigate mitigation methods (I have a minor involvement in this).

In my opinion "climate science" should be in the same category - in the province of a few (reputable) universities.

May 20, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Roger, I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt if they are at least trying to make contact and resolve differences. I think its in Sun Tsu that says you should allow your enemies dignity as they surrender :)

Also, I personally think there is nothing wrong with some money being spent on planning for contingencies. Whilst I believe we won't need those plans, I'll be glad if they have been made if I am wrong.

As for the precautionary principle, I only mean in terms of spending a little time and money on looking at contingencies - not actaully putting strategies into place. I find Richard's work on possible land impacts one of the better uses of that money, and as such I don't see him as a trougher.

May 20, 2013 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Richard Betts - Do you have any reliable source for the 97:3 ratio you seem to believe in?

As far as views go, my opinion is that we do not have enough understanding to know where climate is heading on any specific timescale. My experience of blog discussions with self defined supporters of the "97% position" is that when attempts are made to pin down specific issues, answers are not forthcoming. My view is that the "97%" approach is simply a smokescreen (possibly unconscious) to hide the shortcomings of the scientific basis of the AGW proposition. A proposition which, IMO, is especially weak given humanity's obvious move to the man made urban environment.

As far as the Bishop's tweet goes - in response to his expression of a similar sentiment a little while ago, I asked him to justify his position. As I recall he was unable to and he agreed threat he should. I've yet to see that justification.

May 20, 2013 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

"As for the precautionary principle, I only mean in terms of spending a little time and money on looking at contingencies - not actaully putting strategies into place"

Thanks James - I agree.

May 20, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Quote of the Week (Richard Lindzen)

The influence of mankind on climate is trivially true and numerically insignificant.

May 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM | Registered Commentermatthu

any survey with Cook running it.....

Richard are you aware of Warren Pearce's (nottinhham Uni) opinion of this paper/survey...
Warren was agreeing with Dan Kahan's take on the Cook survey

WarrenPearce @BarryJWoods yes, that's good post. Glad someone wrote that, I didn't have the strength. It's a zombie survey...

'zombie zurvey'

May 20, 2013 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming

I would be in the 97.1% if the statement said "climate change". Of course we effect the climate. How much?

It is a 4 billion year chaotic system. Who is to say we are not actually causing long term global cooling? Seriously. Whilst accepting CO2 in a bell jar, how do we know the overlapping rhythms and dependencies of this planet based on a few years?

For all of Richard's nice shiny computers and GCM's, in the year 2100 they will look back and say we knew 5% of how our climate works in 2013. In the year 3000 they will say we new 5% in 2100.

And yes that is a scientific viewpoint.

May 20, 2013 at 9:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Spot on jiminy, "Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad."

We have a scientific community 97.1% of which believes they have found a way of foretelling the future because they can model a coupled non-linear chaotic system. And the future is full of foreboding unless we let environmentalists make all our laws and dispense with democracy (or as the President of the Royal Society says, chillingly, "restirct our personal freedoms"). They are mad and they will be destroyed when the politicos realise what they've been up to.

May 21, 2013 at 8:02 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

I have just read a quote from Bertrand Russell which seems apt.....

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.”

May 21, 2013 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterNial

Geronimo, we are both engineers.

I regard that as a positive and not a negative when looking at the climate.

When was the last time you saw a talk on CAGW begin with the following:

"The earth has a 4 billion year old climate, that has evolved due to numerous unknown and ill-defined interactions over the aeons. The rhythms of our climate are almost impossible to determine based on the short span of human history to which we have access. Our climate system is chaotic. Looking at the geological records is a process that can only give faint clues as to how our climatic system slowly changes over a scale of hundreds of thousands of years.

It is with this background that we humbly approach the challenges of modelling the climate over periods in the tens of years."

I just made that up, but a decent engineer with a good understanding of systems (the majority) would start off with a risk assessment such as the above.

If you started off a talk or a lecture like that, is their much to argue with? Are only climate scientists allowed to control such debate?

Being part of the 97.1% is just meaningless.

May 21, 2013 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

I must agree that the question as framed is meaningless for practical purposes. For example, what does "human activity" mean? If it refers to CO2 emissions, why not say so explicitly? Why say "climate change" instead of "global warming" if that is what is meant?

It is trivially true that human activity such as land use change affects local climates, and bolstering the "consensus" by using terms which incorporate this kind of thing is a cheap rhetorical trick.

As for my personal view, if I was asked "do you think that it is impossible that Earth will experience another period of glaciation, human activity notwithstanding", the answer would be no. And, I venture to suggest that I have many millions of years of history on my side in having those doubts.

May 21, 2013 at 6:02 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

I would be amazed if man wasn't having any effect on global warming.

Jul 23, 2013 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterfenbeagle

The question is phrased so as to be as wide in interpretation as possible but the results are being used exclusively to claim that 97% of climate scientists believe CO2 is warming the planet and therefore humans are warming the planet.
I will answer in terms of the conclusions drawn and say I am in the 3%

Jul 23, 2013 at 3:18 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Science started with the wrong null - one that Richard Betts still clings to - that CO2 is the driver of climate change /AGW call it what you will. The null is and always has been that the climate is driven by natural variability. Show us empirical evidence that manmade CO2 has any detectable bearing on climate and you can take a poll. Until then you are continuing to take the mickey. Which today I have to say I resent. Put me in the 3% because there is no way I am going to be counted with the bedwetters and charlatans that dream up this meaningless crap.

Jul 23, 2013 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterOneTrophyWin

I think Richard Betts has displayed the face behind the mask by posing this question and I think far too many people have been naive in their answers.

Richard Betts told you up front that he interpreted the question to mean "Are humans causing global warming?" and most of you have agreed to put yourself in the 97% of climate scientists who are supposed to have agreed?
Firstly the question that was put to the scientists was whether they agreed that humans contributed a significant amount to global warming, that is not the same as "causing global warming". You have all agreed to an even greater impact by humans than the original scientists agreed to!
All of these questions were carefully constructed so that they created a wide range of interpretations. Many of you gave caveats but do you thing those caveats will be remembered?
Richard Betts is now in possession of a set of results which can be trotted out legitimately to prove that most people on the supposedly skeptic Bishop Hill blog really believe that man is causing global warming,. well done folks!
Unfortunately the Bish was first in line :(

Jul 23, 2013 at 9:50 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Richard Betts has not precisely defined what the other 3% is.

Also, you don't need to be a lawyer to see there is more than one other possible alternative to the (poorly defined) 97%

Jul 23, 2013 at 10:00 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Jul 23, 2013 at 9:50 PM | Dung

What people think isn't really that important though. If you do the science properly then the results will show who is corrrect by eventually working out the right answer.

If you are concerned by policy decisions based on some mythical 97% or whatever then you really should ask the same people what should be done rather than what they vaguely think might be happening. You never know, maybe the different parties could put out a detailed manifesto on what they are going to do if they get in and we could all get to vote on the different choices ;-)

Jul 24, 2013 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

"What people think isn't really that important though."

Rob, it is in politics. I'm with you on trying to get science done properly, but this 97% twaddle comes straight from the Greenpeace manual of ignorance and deception. It needs to be confronted.

Quote attributed to Paul Watson, a founder of Greenpeace: "It doesn't matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true." It is letting this kind of thinking go unchallenged that got us into this mess in the first place.

Jul 24, 2013 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Climate change due to human greenhouse gas emissions is significant over the last 50 years and likely to become more so in the future if nothing is done to address it. That is the scientific consensus amongst physical climate scientists.

Cook excludes neutral abstracts. He compares those which explicitly or implicitly support the consensus with those which explicitly or implicitly oppose it. Ergo 97%.

So, of those abstracts which indicate a position, pro or con, the ratio is 97:3 in support of the consensus. This makes sense - given the consensus!

Cook puts denial of AGW or espousal of TTAGW - true-but-trivial AGW - in the same camp. Which turns out to be the 3% camp.

That's the evidence. The comparison of abstracts for and against significant AGW induced climate change. Now strictly speaking, on the basis of this evidence, one cannot say that 97% of scientists support the consensus. One must say, however, that the evidence overwhelmingly supports the consensus position, on the basis of Cook et al.

Jul 14, 2014 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Jackson

One must say, however, that the evidence overwhelmingly supports the consensus position, on the basis of Cook et al.

The evidence does no such thing. The "consensus" position, as represented by IPCC models primarily says that temperatures should be rising rapidly. The satellite temperature record shows that they are not.

Try again.

Jul 15, 2014 at 1:35 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

This makes no sense at all. They have an iconic belief in 97%, but it really is meaningless. If you want to know what someone thinks, ask them proper questions. To deal with this issue you'd need several questions in a proper survey. This isn't even a poll. It is light-years away from being any kind of science.

Jul 15, 2014 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Temperatures are predicted to rise over the long term but decadal variability is unpredictable. The IPCC model fits the observations well for the last 60 years. And Cook's 97% of evidence fits well with the scientific consensus.

The IPCC don't know about the satellite temperatures? Nobody told them?

Then the following is meaningless:

Human influence has been detected in the major assessed components of the climate system. Taken together, the combined evidence increases the level of confidence in the attribution of observed climate change, and reduces the uncertainties associated with assessment based on a single climate variable. From this combined evidence it is virtually certain that human influence has warmed the global climate system. Anthropogenic influence has been identified in changes in temperature near the surface of the Earth, in the atmosphere and in the oceans, as well as changes in the cryosphere, the water cycle and some extremes. There is strong evidence that excludes solar forcing, volcanoes and internal variability as the strongest drivers of warming since 1950.

And all the rest - meaningless? The satellite? Nobody told them. Wow. I didn't know that. Someone should tell them. Really, they should.

Jul 15, 2014 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Jackson

Man has affected the climate at least since someone cleared the first field and planted a crop, but what that effect is no one really knows or understands as yet. An experiment in a lab shows that CO2 retains some heat in a closed environment, however on the vast scale on complexity of the Earth's Climate who knows what the effect of increasing CO2 is, it should add some heat but how much and where is open to debate and is not confirmed by observational data.

The 97% is an artificial activists construct, its terms change with each telling and were fiddled in the first place.

Jul 15, 2014 at 12:22 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

What's the fiddle? The methodology and results are transparently reproducible. Nothing to stop sceptics performing their own literature search. Some positive to add to the negative.

Jul 15, 2014 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Jackson

Maybe you could all discuss this with John Cook, at Bristol University in September

Dogma vs. consensus: Letting the evidence speak on climate change

19 September 2014, 6 pm

Victoria Rooms, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1SA
In this Cabot Institute public lecture, we are pleased to present John Cook, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland and owner of the Skeptical Science blog, in what promises to be a fascinating talk.
In 2013, John Cook lead the Consensus Project, a crowd-sourced effort to complete the most comprehensive analysis of climate research ever made. They found that among relevant climate papers, 97% endorsed the consensus that humans were causing global warming. When this research was published, it was tweeted by President Obama and received media coverage all over the world, with the paper being awarded the best article published by the journal Environmental Research Letters in 2013. However, the paper has also been relentlessly attacked by climate deniers who reject the scientific consensus. Hundreds of blog posts have criticised the results while newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and Boston Globe have published negative op-eds. Climate denial organisations such as the Global Warming Policy Foundation and Heartland Institute have published critical reports and the Republican Party organised congressional testimony against the consensus research on Capitol Hill. This sustained campaign is merely the latest episode in over 20 years of attacks on the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming. John Cook will discuss his research both on the 97% consensus and on the cognitive psychology of consensus. He will also look at the broader issue of scientific consensus and why it generates such intense focus from climate deniers.


You must register for this event.

book now to reserve a ticket (might be popular)

Jul 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods