The 97%: when told scientists accept climate change, the public “gets the science is settled”

Welcome back readers!

I’ll be leading with an interesting article republished from The Conversation this week which discusses a recent paper in Nature Climate Change, and which in many respects goes right to the heart of the issue: how the denial movement has sought to mislead the public on the scientific consensus.

As many of you understand the vast majority scientists and all reputable scientific academies and associations accept the reality climate change.

This is problematical for climate sceptics as one of their key strategies is to push the myth – and it is just that – that no such consensus exists (see recent WtD article Here we go again: Watts up with that pushes the no consensus myth).

Indeed, the infamous Luntz Memo (see in WtD evidence library) written by an advisor to the George W. Bush administration made this one of the key strategies in fostering doubt:

The scientific debate remains open: Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming with the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate, and defer to scientists and other experts in the field.

The recent paper in Nature by Stephan Lewandowsky,Gilles E. Gignac and Samuel Vaughan titled The pivotal role of perceived scientific consensus in acceptance of science clearly demonstrates how this long running campaign to discredit the science can be defeated.

When told a scientific consensus exists, and that it is on the order of 97% of climate scientists, the vast majority of the public accept the science. As the article abstract notes:

Although most experts agree that CO2 emissions are causing anthropogenic global warming (AGW), public concern has been declining. One reason for this decline is the ‘manufacture of doubt’ by political and vested interests, which often challenge the existence of the scientific consensus. The role of perceived consensus in shaping public opinion is therefore of considerable interest: in particular, it is unknown whether consensus determines people’s beliefs causally. It is also unclear whether perception of consensus can override people’s ‘worldviews’, which are known to foster rejection of AGW. Study 1 shows that acceptance of several scientific propositions—from HIV/AIDS to AGW—is captured by a common factor that is correlated with another factor that captures perceived scientific consensus. Study 2 reveals a causal role of perceived consensus by showing that acceptance of AGW increases when consensus is highlighted. Consensus information also neutralizes the effect of worldview.

The last sentence is revealing: acceptance of the science “neutralizes the effect of worldview”.

Yes, even the most right-wing conservative free market fundamentalist can come to terms with the science. Those that don’t remain the committed to their scepticism” are mostly the conspiracy theorists and idealogues.

Scientific consensus shifts public opinion on climate change

By Sunanda Creagh, The Conversation

People are more likely to believe that humans cause global warming if they are told that 97% of publishing climate scientists agree that it does, a new study has found.

Despite overwhelming evidence showing that human activity is causing the planet to overheat, public concern is on the wane, said the study, titled The pivotal role of perceived scientific consensus in acceptance of science and published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday.

“One reason for this decline is the ‘manufacture of doubt’ by political and vested interests, which often challenge the existence of the scientific consensus. The role of perceived consensus in shaping public opinion is therefore of considerable interest,” the study’s authors said.

Overall, participants in the study greatly underestimated the level of scientific agreement on the issue, the study said.

Lead researcher Stephan Lewandowsky from the Cognitive Science Laboratories at the University of Western Australia said the study involved two surveys.

In the first, 200 Perth pedestrians were asked about their views on the scientific research linking human CO2 emissions to climate change as well as their thoughts on medical research linking smoking to lung cancer and HIV to AIDS.

The results showed that people who had faith in scientific or medical research in general were more likely to accept expert opinion on climate change.

“So some people just accept science as an endeavour and it doesn’t matter whether is the science is about climate or something else,” said Prof Lewandowsky.

The second study involved surveying 100 Perth pedestrians — half in a control group and half in a ‘consensus group’.

The control group was asked about their views on the causes of climate change but the consensus group, however, was first told that 97% of publishing climate scientists agree that global warming is a direct consequence of the burning of fossil fuels by humans.

People in the consensus group were much more likely to say that human activity caused climate change, even if their political views were otherwise broadly in line with free market ideologies that eschew the government regulation required to curb emissions.

“So providing the consensus information is boosting acceptance, particularly for those people who would otherwise reject the evidence based on their world view,” said Prof Lewandowsky.

“Telling them about this numeric fact about agreement in the scientific community does make a difference. That’s quite remarkable because few things work.”

Other studies have shown that presenting evidence alone does little to change minds and can even lead to people becoming more entrenched in their disbelief of human-caused climate change, he said.

The study showed it was important for scientific communicators and journalists to tell their audience that the vast majority of climate change experts believe that human activity is causing global warming.

“It is reaching even those people who would normally tune out when you tell them the evidence,” Prof Lewandowsky said, adding that journalists should not give denialists and climate change experts equal air time.

“The media is being irresponsible if they are pretending there is a scientific debate in light of this consensus.”

Will J Grant from the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at the Australian National University said it was an interesting and useful study.

“We can say people are convinced by the consensus but the big caveat is sceptics and climate change sceptics in particular are never going to be convinced by this,” he said. “They will say science doesn’t work by vote, it’s about facts.”

“Realistically, though, most of those sceptics are of an older generation. We are never going to convince them but they will be disappearing from the political discourse soon.”

The Conversation

This article was originally published at The Conversation.
Read the original article.

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75 thoughts on “The 97%: when told scientists accept climate change, the public “gets the science is settled”

  1. catweazle666 says:

    Boy, you lot are going to love this!

    A benefactor has set Anthony Watts up with full TV broadcasting faciities to counter your posterboy Al Gore (who, by the way, invented the Internet)!

    So folks, prepare yourselves for WUWT-TV!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/29/announcement-wuwt-tv-to-counter-al-gores-24-hours-of-climate-reality-on-november-14th-and-15th/

    • john byatt says:

      It is a free country, Willard can do what he likes

      Thanks for the HT

      NOVEMBER 14-15, 2012
      A lot can change in a day. This November 14, we hope you can help us make big change happen.

      Join The Climate Reality Project for 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report. This will be our second annual, online event showing how global climate change is connected to the extreme weather we experience in our daily lives. The entire 24-hour event will be broadcast live over the Internet.

      We’ll move between our home studio in New York City and into each region of the world, bringing voices, news and multimedia content across all 24 time zones. We’ll feature videos from around the globe, man-on-the-street reports, music, and most importantly, stories from communities moving forward with solutions.

      Most of all, we’ll generate new energy and urgency around the fact that we must — and we can — work together to address the climate crisis.

  2. john byatt says:

    Oh the irony

    “and seem to believe that anyone who doesn’t agree with your somewhat alarmist prognostications is a poly-conspiranoid fantasist or worse.

    Don’t you think you would be better expressing your frenzied hatred of such on the appropriate Creationist, Troother, Birther, pro-smoking or New World Order blogs”

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Out of curiosity, how do you feel about Michael Mann’s paranoid conspiracy theories about big oil funded climate change denial?

      • john byatt says:

        Like this you mean?

        Notorious climate skeptic Pat Michaels of the CATO Institute finally admitted openly on CNN this weekend that 40 percent of his funding comes from – wait for it – Big Oil.

        DeSmogBlog readers have known for years about Michaels’ long-time association with a network of at least eleven think tanks and industry front groups funded by ExxonMobil. Many of these same outlets have received funding from other oil interests like the Koch Family Foundations.

        Michaels’ admission that he receives around 40 percent – his guess – of his funding from Big Oil is important, because he is quoted widely in the media for his skepticism about manmade climate change. As the ExxonSecrets profile of Pat Michaels sums up well, he is “possibly the most prolific and widely-quoted climate change skeptic scientist.”

        Fareed Zakaria deserves a round of applause for challenging Michaels directly to cough up a figure for how much oil money he receives to defend the status quo fossil fuel addiction and to confuse the public about the threat of climate change. Far too few journalists bother to ask that question, and Zakaria has sent a much needed reminder to journalists – it is your job to expose the potential conflicts of interest among your interviewees. Zakaria gets an A+ for outing Michaels’ oily funding.

      • john byatt says:

        Watch as eric jumps from claiming big oil funding of denial is a conspiracy theory to defending big oil funding for denial

        • Eric Worrall says:

          The obvious point is that Big Oil stands to gain a lot from climate change laws, so have no financial reason to oppose them.

          It is entertaining that alarmists continue to entertain paranoid fantasies of SPECTRE like conspiracies stifling the societal re-engineering process required to defeat climate change.

          Big oil is a handy scapegoat for more obvious problems closer to home – like the possibility people are simply fed up with your continuous hype and lies about the risks.

          http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

          When your movement fails, it wont be because of anything skeptics did.

      • louploup2 says:

        “Big Oil stands to gain a lot from climate change laws, so have no financial reason to oppose them.” Really? Would you care to put up some facts and analysis to support this brilliant conclusion before I waste time doing the research for you?

        • eworrall1 says:

          It should be obvious, even to an alarmist:-

          1. Old, worthless depleted wells can be resurrected as valuable carbon sequestration facilities.

          2. Their strong cash position, and control of supply and demand of carbon credits, will provide endless opportunities to milk the market with price fixing games.

          3. They are already highly experienced at dealing with dodgy third world regulatory bodies, so they already have experienced people on staff who know how to smooth over any other problems.

          A global carbon market would cede control of the world economy to big oil. No wonder BP, and other oil majors, are rushing to embrace it.

  3. catweazle666 says:

    You lot have really taken the ridiculous, discredited Lewandowsky comedy paper to heart, seeing assorted anti-science conspiracists lurking under every bush, haven’t you?

    It strikes me that you are far more exercised over Creationists than you are over AGW sceptics, to the extent that you are using AGW scepticism as a stalking horse to support your extraordinary paranoid phobia of Creationism and possibly religion in general, and seem to believe that anyone who doesn’t agree with your somewhat alarmist prognostications is a poly-conspiranoid fantasist or worse.

    Don’t you think you would be better expressing your frenzied hatred of such on the appropriate Creationist, Troother, Birther, pro-smoking or New World Order blogs?

    I’m sure David Icke and his supporters could accommodate you, for example.

  4. john byatt says:

    James Hansen devotes the entire tenth chapter of Storms of My Grandchildren to considering whether this assessment is valid. Three things give him pause:

    The sun is brighter now than it was during past periods with very high greenhouse gas concentrations. The 2% additional brightness corresponds to a forcing of about 4 watts per square metre and is akin to a doubling of CO2 concentrations.
    For various reasons, the greenhouse gas concentrations in past hot periods may not have been as high as we thought.
    We are introducing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere far more quickly than natural processes ever did. This might cause fast (positive) feedback effects to manifest themselves forcefully, before slower (negative) feedback effects can get going.
    He also explains that the sharp warming that took place during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) were not caused by fossil fuels (which remained underground), but rather by the release of methane from permafrost and clathrates. If human emissions warm the planet enough to release that methane again, it could add a PETM-level warming on top of the warming caused by human beings.

    Hansen’s conclusions are, frankly, terrifying:
    The paleoclimate record does not provide a case with a climate forcing of the magnitude and speed that will occur if fossil fuels are all burned.

    You make this stuff up eric

    • catweazle666 says:

      Hansen’s conclusions are, frankly, terrifying:

      Oh, come off it!

      “Boiling Oceans”? “Death Trains”?

      Hansen’s a nutter, in his own way a bigger religious freak than any Creationist.

      Anyway, you’re going to have to live with the burning of fossil fuels, because that’s what we’re going to do with them, whether you like it or not.

      Shale gas, shale oil, tar sands, methane hydrates – all grist to our mill.

      And we’ll cope. That’s what adaptability – evolution even – is about, isn’t it?

      • john byatt says:

        Did you know that the extra energy from fossil fuel is now adding enough heat to the planet to boil Sydney harbour dry every 24 hours.

        the equivalent energy of two Hiroshima bombs per second going into the ocean,

        only a creationist would believe that hansen is a nutter.

        .

      • catweazle666 says:

        only a creationist would believe that hansen is a nutter.

        Only a nutter would believe that.

      • john byatt says:

        From the intelligent design community
        In a bizarre twist, Denyse O’Leary managed to try to link “climategate” to the “conspiracy” of Darwinism, writing “Our reason for watching this brief is rather the extent to which scientists may have collaborated to prevent a full and fair evaluation of the evidence. If they do it with climate change, they might also do it with Darwinism, cancer research, and any number of other areas.” The IDosphere’s conspiracy accusations make you wonder what they think of the Wedge Document.

  5. john byatt says:

    forget the Oregon project

    here is project Steve

    Project Steve is a list of scientists with the given name Steven or a variation thereof (e.g., Stephanie, Stefan, Esteban, etc.) who “support evolution”. It was originally created by the National Center for Science Education as a “tongue-in-cheek parody” of creationist attempts to collect a list of scientists who “doubt evolution,” such as the Answers in Genesis’ list of scientists who accept the biblical account of the Genesis creation narrative[1] or the Discovery Institute’s A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. The list pokes fun at such endeavors to make it clear that, “We did not wish to mislead the public into thinking that scientific issues are decided by who has the longer list of scientists!” It also honors Stephen Jay Gould.[2]
    However, at the same time the project is a genuine collection of scientists. Despite the list’s restriction to only scientists with names like “Steve”, which in the United States limits the list to roughly 1 percent of the total population,[3] Project Steve is longer and contains many more eminent scientists than any creationist list. In particular, Project Steve contains many more biologists than the creationist lists, with about 51% of the listed Steves being biologists.[4]
    The “Steve-o-meter” webpage provides an updated total of scientist “Steves” who have signed the list.[5] As of 6 April 2012, Project Steve got a signature from its 1200th Steve.[6]

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Thats actually quite funny.

      • john byatt says:

        Do not hink that you even watched the Hansen video eric

        here

        The paleoclimate record does not provide a case with a climate forcing of the magnitude and speed that will occur if fossil fuels are all burned. Models are nowhere near the stage at which they can predict reliably when major ice sheet disintegration will begin. Nor can we say how close we are to methane hydrate instability. But these are questions of when, not if. If we burn all the fossil fuels, the ice sheets almost surely will melt entirely, with the final sea level rise about 75 meters (250 feet), with most of that possibly occurring within a time scale of centuries. Methane hydrates are likely to be more extensive and vulnerable now than they were in the early Cenozoic. It is difficult to imagine how the methane clathrates could survive, once the ocean has had time to warm. In that event a PETM-like warming could be added on top of the fossil fuel warming.

        After the ice is gone, would Earth proceed to the Venus syndrome, a runaway greenhouse effect that would destroy all life on the planet, perhaps permanently? While that is difficult to say based on present information, I’ve come to conclude that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.

        where does he make the claim that this will happen in the next century
        he is talking about centuries

        • Eric Worrall says:

          I’m glad to see you admitting that the science is far from settled, John.

          There is no chance of initiating a runaway greenhouse. Even if we do have a more substantial effect than I accept, there are simply too many ways for the atmosphere to dump heat – for example, through additional tropical cyclones funnelling hot air to the top of the troposphere, where it can radiate its heat into space.

          And a substantial warming of the Earth, and increase in CO2, would cause a biosphere bloom on a scale not seen since the end of the Cretaceous (ended 50 million years ago, mean CO2 level 1700ppm).

      • john byatt says:

        The sun is brighter now and all carbon remained below ground during the PETM

        I would listen to Hansen before anyone else,

        all other scientist did not even expect warming in 1984,, Hansen had the only model that projected warming,

        while his model is running 10% higher than observations not bad in reality , don’t hold your breath, climate sensitivity of 4Degc is not discounted,

        • Eric Worrall says:

          The Cretaceous only ended 50 million years ago John – there hasn’t been that much increase in solar warming since then. A stable climate with a CO2 level averaging 1700ppm.

      • louploup2 says:

        Eric, you wrote: “The Cretaceous only ended 50 million years ago John – there hasn’t been that much increase in solar warming since then. A stable climate with a CO2 level averaging 1700ppm.”

        Produce cites to literature indicating that the change in insolation, either as a result of milankovitch cycles or the steady increase over time as the sun approaches it’s red giant stage, was insufficient to trigger global warming at various points, such as the PETM.

  6. john byatt says:

    Freeman Dyson
    epiphany

    More recently, he has endorsed the now common usage of “global warming” as synonymous with global anthropogenic climate change, referring to recent “measurements that transformed global warming from a vague theoretical speculation into a precise observational science.”[35]
    He has, however, argued that political efforts to reduce the causes of climate change distract from other global problems that should take priority:
    I’m not saying the warming doesn’t cause problems, obviously it does. Obviously we should be trying to understand it. I’m saying that the problems are being grossly exaggerated. They take away money and attention from other problems that are much more urgent and important. Poverty, infectious diseases, public education and public health. Not to mention the preservation of living creatures on land and in the oceans.[36]
    Since originally taking interest in climate studies in the 1970s, Dyson has suggested that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere could be controlled by planting fast-growing trees. He calculates that it would take a trillion trees to remove all carbon from the atmosphere.[37][38]
    Dyson is well-aware that his “heresy” on global warming has been strongly criticized. In reply, he notes that “[m]y objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have.”[20]
    “To reach reasonable solutions of the problems [of global warming], all opinions must be heard and all participants must be treated with respect.”[39

    All opinions are heard Freeman, that is why we know that those opposed to action are wrong

    ,

    eric do your homework better

    • Sammy Jankis says:

      eric do your homework better

      I can hear him Googling ‘Famous scientists who reject global warming’ as we speak.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      This has been my point all along John. We are having an effect on the climate, but it is nothing to be alarmed about – the effect is too small to make much of a difference. Certainly not enough to spend untold billions of near useless mitigation efforts.

      • john byatt says:

        Even Dysons Plant a trillion trees is nonsense, it would take that many just to counter Canadian emissions

  7. john byatt says:

    Cat needs to pay more attention

    The answer to the riddle is that creationists and climate change deniers have a lot in common — most especially in their assertions about science itself. In addition, they are often the same people! For example, Answers in Genesis, the young-Earth creationist ministry that runs a creation museum where animatronic dinosaurs cavort with humans in the Garden of Eden, also produces a DVD entitled “Global Warming: A Scientific and Biblical Exposé of Climate Change.” In another case, Roy Spencer, a climatologist featured in the film “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” has written that he regards “the theory of creation” as having “a much better scientific basis than the theory of evolution.”

    Cat finds it hard to believe that Oregon signers are also in a lot of cases Creationists

    do you find that a bit embarrassing cat ?

    • catweazle666 says:

      do you find that a bit embarrassing cat ?

      No, why should I?

      After all, it’s not me that’s bemoaning the fact that AGW appears to be a busted flush, is it? Seems to me that myside is winning the war for hearts and minds, and yourside is failing dismally.

      In fact, if I were in your shoes, I’d probably be embarrassed that a loose coalition of persons who I despised as Creationists and other assorted scientifically illiterate conspiracy theorists appeared to have gained the upper hand and there didn’t seem to be anything Ii could do about it.

      Anyway, time for a glass of single malt and bed, have a nice day!

      • Sammy Jankis says:

        After all, it’s not me that’s bemoaning the fact that AGW appears to be a busted flush, is it? Seems to me that myside is winning the war for hearts and minds, and yourside is failing dismally.

        The latest public opinion poll doesn’t necessarily equal reality. Tell me, given that roughly half of the US population believes evolution is a lie and that the earth is no more than 10,000 years old, does that mean that there is a real scientific debate over those issues? I’ll happily concede that the lies and misinformation churned out by the denialist lobby over the past decades would have had a negative impact on the public’s understanding of the science, but their confusion doesn’t actually mean there is a problem with the science.

      • john byatt says:

        The creationists reckon that they are also winning Cat

        does that make them right?

        • Eric Worrall says:

          All a creationist has to do these days, to smear a scientific opponent, is pull out a Climategate email.

          If alarmists had not dragged the reputation of science through the mud, with their continued defence of academic fraud, perhaps it would not be as easy for creationists and other anti-science groups to establish such a foothold.

          You are the ones who opened the way with your continued defence of the indefensible.

      • catweazle666 says:

        The latest public opinion poll doesn’t necessarily equal reality.

        I wasn’t referring to the results of opinion polls, as you would have noticed had you bothered to read the full sequence of my posts.

        I was referring to this plaintive complaint from your poster boy James “Boiling Oceans” Hansen.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/9192494/Climate-scientists-are-losing-the-public-debate-on-global-warming.html

        Do try to keep up.

      • john byatt says:

        so lets have your science that refutes Hansen,

      • Sammy Jankis says:

        You’re not making any sense catweazle. The article clearly states the public is less certain about climate change than the scientific community (and how else would this be determined without analysing polling data?). Hansen explains why he thinks this is the case. The scientific community is well aware of the confusion and ignorance found amongst the public on this issue. At no point do they suggest that they are losing the scientific debate. Scientist understand that the denialists have the edge when is comes to PR, but certainly not when it comes to evidence. What exactly is your point?

      • Sammy Jankis says:

        Eric:

        If alarmists had not dragged the reputation of science through the mud, with their continued defence of academic fraud…

        Examples, please, or you can politely f@#k off.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          I could cite the more obvious examples, like “Hide the Decline”, but my personal favourite is Glaciergate.

          Glaciergate is probably one of the least controversial instances of academic fraud making it into the IPCC AR4.

          Pachauri continued to defend the ludicrous claim that Himalayan glaciers would melt away in 35 years through the Copenhagen Conference, accusing critics of “voodoo science”, and only withdrew it after the conference ended in fiasco.

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7062667/Pachauri-the-real-story-behind-the-Glaciergate-scandal.html

          The claim was traced back to someone who now works for Pachauri’s TERI.

          It is possible that Pachauri is simply a total incompetent, and happily employs people who feed him misinformation, but IMO the whole affair stinks.

      • Sammy Jankis says:

        I could cite the more obvious examples, like “Hide the Decline”…

        You see, I don’t actually need to read any further. If the whole “Hide the decline” thing, to you, is an “obvious” example of academic fraud, then there is simply no hope of talking any sense into you. Ever.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Let me help you, with a more complete quote:-

          I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
          to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from
          1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual
          land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land
          N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999
          for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with
          data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.

          In other words, Phil added real instrumental temperatures to Mike’s proxy temperature series, to cover up problems with the proxy temperatures. He attributed the trick to Mike.

      • john byatt says:

        What no sealevel gate ?

        that was a biggy eric

      • john byatt says:

        Creationists are good at distortion catz, they are the largest proportion of your denier comrades

      • Sammy Jankis says:

        Let me help you, with a more complete quote…

        Again, I can’t help but get suspicious that you’re actually a Poe. Many denialists have moved on from the supposed scandal dubbed ‘Climategate’. With so many independent investigations finding no evidence of improper academic conduct, even some of the loudest voices in the denialist community had to stop talking about it for fear of relying on the conspiracy card too much. Sure, one or two investigations could be dismissed as a ‘cover up’, but eight? No, better to just quietly drop it and move onto other things. But here you are, still banging on about it as if those investigations never happened, which really makes me suspect you’re not genuine. I mean, what else are we supposed to think?

        • Eric Worrall says:

          In your dreams we’ve moved past Climategate Sammy. Hide The Decline is still good for a laugh. Climategate is likely to feature in Mann’s upcoming court case.

          Before dismissing the possibility all the investigations were whitewashes, you should first ask why any of them were. The Oxburgh Inquiry was probably the smelliest – Lord Oxburgh forgot to declare his senior interest in Globe, an elite group of climate activists.

          http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/14/oxburgh_climategate_report/

      • louploup2 says:

        Engaging with catweazle666 and Eric Worrall is a complete waste of time. Their repetitive ignorant posts detract from the site and make it less likely that anyone with an open mind or interest in the issues will bother to read the threads they engage in. I think they should be viewed as the trolls they are and ignored.

        By the way, I think it gives way too much credence to respond to the Oregon petition with “it’s only 31,000 out of x million.” The stronger response is: almost none of the 31,000 signers are credible and published climate scientists.” E.g.: “Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science. Of the 26 we were able to identify in various databases, 11 said they still agreed with the petition — one was an active climate researcher, two others had relevant expertise, and eight signed based on an informal evaluation. Six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember any such petition, one had died, and five did not answer repeated messages. Crudely extrapolating, the petition supporters include a core of about 200 climate researchers – a respectable number, though rather a small fraction of the climatological community.” http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2010/01/the-oregon-petition/

        IOW, the Oregon Petition, like Cat and Eric, is pure bullshit.

      • john byatt says:

        All a part of the history of global warming eric

        notice that most of your stuff is out of date anyway

        http://www.aip.org/history/climate/solar.htm#S5

      • louploup2 says:

        Eric: “in the year 2000, Climate scientists were aware pretty much the entire solar terrestrial physics community disagreed with their theory that CO2 drives global climate.” Your reading comprehension sucks; that 12 year old email says no such thing. Not even close. Pathetic.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          From the email:-

          Many
          in the solar terrestrial physics community seem totally convinced that
          solar output changes can explain most of the observed changes we are
          seeing. The far-sighted ones are begining to doubt with the rapid rate
          of recent warming, however.

          Claims of consensus were and are a lie.

      • louploup2 says:

        Eric–Do you really believe your interpretation of two sentences in a twelve year old email?

        Read the whole email again. Phil Jones is talking about the belief of a segment (“many,” not “all” or “most”) of the relevant scientific discipline at that time as expressed at one conference he attended. (You like to use bold, so I thought maybe it would help get you to pay attention to the key words and phrases to do the same.)

        If you dig into the literature (http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming-advanced.htm has a robust explanation and http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming-intermediate.htm has a number of citations–or you can use scholar.google and do the work yourself–you have used that tool, haven’t you?) you will find that your conclusion about the lack of consensus on solar radiation being a cause of the last thirty years of global warming is inaccurate. Can you find some credible papers that still argue that solar radiation is the or even a cause of recent global warming? (Even Nir Shaviv has dropped off the radar, apparently not publishing anything to support this denialist position for at least seven years–http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/~shaviv/cv/cv.html. In fact, he never published in support of his publicly stated position that CO2 does not cause global warming.)

        So, “Claims of consensus were and are a lie.” is itself a contorted misinterpretation of reality. Eric: Are you stupid or are you just lying? One thing you are for sure: A waste of time. Do some research before posting garbage.

    • Sammy Jankis says:

      In your dreams we’ve moved past Climategate Sammy. Hide The Decline is still good for a laugh.

      …at your expense.

      The Oxburgh Inquiry was probably the smelliest – Lord Oxburgh forgot to declare his senior interest in Globe, an elite group of climate activists.

      Ah, the old “Nobody who believes in climate change and is involved in efforts to do something about it can be trusted to comment on the science” gambit. It reminds me of Andrew Bolt’s attempt to discredit the findings of this inquiry: He noticed that Oxburgh arrived at the press conference for the inquiry on a bicycle (gasp!), and that Oxburgh tries to ride his bicycle when possible to reduce his personal emissions. So apparently, it’s one thing to accept the scientific consensus on climate change, but taking it a step further and committing to change at an individual level proves you can’t be trusted to comment accurately on the science. Of course, if Oxburgh arrived in a 4WD Bolt would suggest that he doesn’t really believe in AGW. Ride a bicycle? : Green extremist. Drive a car? : Hypocrite.

      I suppose you only accept reviews of evolutionary biology conducted by creationists? Do you only accept reviews of vaccine efficacy conducted by rabid anti-vaxers?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Yes, on the same principle I assume you would have no problem with the chairman of a tobacco company being put in charge of an inquiry into the health effects of smoking?

        Sure, they might do an honest job. That possibility exists.

        Remember Oxburgh stood to lose financially if his inquiry returned an adverse finding.

      • Sammy Jankis says:

        Yes, on the same principle I assume you would have no problem with the chairman of a tobacco company being put in charge of an inquiry into the health effects of smoking?

        Flawed analogy. I’d say an inquiry into the health effects of smoking would probably be best led by a team of epidemiologists. But then you’d probably dismiss their findings when you discover the chair of the inquiry sits in the non-smoking area at the airport.

        Remember Oxburgh stood to lose financially if his inquiry returned an adverse finding.

        Then I can only assume you don’t trust any of the “research” produced by think tanks funded by the fossil fuel industry? And it’s not as if Oxburgh conducted the inquiry alone. Also on the panel was:

        – Professor Huw Davies of ETH Zurich
        – Professor Kerry Emanual at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
        – Professor Lisa Graumlich of the University of Arizona
        – Professor David Hand of Imperial College London,
        – Professor Herbert Huppert of the University of Cambridge
        – Professor Michael Kelly of the University of Cambridge

        I suppose you’re now running off to Google to check if any of them have solar panels on their houses. Are you going to tell me they uncovered evidence of academic fraud but were strong-armed into silence by Oxburgh?

  8. Eric Worrall says:

    Ah, the hilarious 97% – a brilliant example of torturing the data to get the result you want.

    The original survey of 10,257 scientists did not return a sufficiently compelling “consensus” (despite the fuzzy questions), so they invented excuses to whittle the survey respondents down to Michael Mann’s Christmas list, before declaring a positive result.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/18/about-that-overwhelming-98-number-of-scientists-consensus/

    • john byatt says:

      then why did the Oregon petition only attract 31,000 out of a possible 11 million sigs

      creationists have a fair number of signers eric

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Funny that PBS happened to pull out the signed declaration of Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb, when they trying to diss the Oregon Petition as the product of second raters in their recent special.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/25/why-did-pbs-frontline-electronically-alter-the-signature-of-one-of-the-worlds-most-distinguished-physicists-in-their-report-climate-of-doubt/

        Either it was extraordinary bad luck, or a significant number of top ranking scientists have expressed doubt about global warming.

      • catweazle666 says:

        creationists have a fair number of signers eric

        Such ridiculous, unwarranted ad homs do you no credit, and may well go some way to explaining why your cause is in such parlous shape, few are impressed by shrill screeching of insults.

        I suggest you might have more success putting your point across to the uncommitted if you were somewhat more civil.

        That would include refraining from implying that anyone who disagreed with you was equivalent to a Holocaust denier, incidentally.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        There’s actually a hilarious climategate email which shows how alarmists gather signatures.

        http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=1173420319.txt

        …If we could have a relaxed attitude and sign a letter that is still in the
        process of being drafted it would save someone (me) a bunch of work at the end
        collecting approvals…

      • john byatt says:

        They found only two copies on the internet, they could have chosen the other one,

        who was that one signed by eric ?

        What has this got to do with the PBS program

        Blurring the signature proves that AGW is a myth does it eric,?

        had PBS chosen the other copy you would still have complained.

        31000 as opposed to 11 million non signatories, get real

      • Sammy Jankis says:

        Such ridiculous, unwarranted ad homs do you no credit, and may well go some way to explaining why your cause is in such parlous shape, few are impressed by shrill screeching of insults.

        Shorter catweazle: “How dare you compare us to creationists, just because we have an identical modus operandi!”

        If denialists don’t want to be compared to creationists, then they should stop with the phony petitions. They should stop with the ‘look at the current opinion polls which show a divided public over the science!’. They should stop with the phony sob stories of persecution: ‘They won’t let us publish in their journals!’. They should stop with the accusations of deliberate deception: ‘Scientists don’t really believe this stuff – they just use it to push their worldview!’. They should stop with the accusations of a worldwide conspiracy running through every major scientific institution the world over.

        When denialists stop behaving like creationists, I’ll stop comparing them to creationists.

  9. catweazle666 says:

    This is problematical for climate sceptics as one of their key strategies is to push the myth

    Oh, not really, as nobody seems to believe it anyway.

    Even your star man James “Death Train” Hansen was bemoaning the fact only the other day.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/9192494/Climate-scientists-are-losing-the-public-debate-on-global-warming.html

    For the first time since 1988, there was no mention of AGW, Climate Change or whatever in the Presidential debates. If that doesn’t tell you something, nothing will.

    Of course, the Met Office’s grudging admission that David Rose’s articles in the Daily Mail were in fact correct hasn’t helped your cause much either, nor did the retraction of Gergis et al’s Antipodean hokey Schtick paper.

    As for the Lewandowsky fiasco, the less said about that the better, even I as an AGW sceptic found that episode more than a little embarrassing, I really dislike seeing the good name of science trampled in the gutter by episodes such as that..

    I’m afraid you Watermelons are going to have to seriously up your game if you hope to influence public opinion in your direction.

  10. john byatt says:

    imagine if YASi hit Connecticut

    imagine no longer

    HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy did not mince words during a press conference Sunday night on the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

    “This is the largest threat to human life this state has experienced in anyone’s lifetime,” he said. “This is not a joke. This is a real warning of possible death by drowning.”

    Malloy expressed concern over the duration of the storm and the resulting high tides. He said residents should expect the storm to last 36 hours, and impact four high tide cycles. The worst of those high tides, expected to be Monday evening, could be a storm surge as high as 11 feet, Malloy said, leading to “unprecedented flooding.”

    Winds are expected to be sustained at 40 to 60 miles-per-hour, with gusts as high as 80 miles-per-hour.

    “The last time we saw anything like this was never,” he said.

  11. john byatt says:

    Yes the deniers continually claim there the debate is ongoing.

    WE had just such a letter recently

    Dear Sir,

    JOE McLeod (The Gympie Times 29 Sept) tells us that any scientific consensus on global warming is irrelevant but he then refers to a petition signed by 31,000 U.S. scientists who deny the science of global warming. Sounds like a lot? In perspective, that number is actually 31,000 compared to the 11 million qualified U.S scientists who did not sign the Oregon petition. Irrelevant indeed Joe. Every scientific institution on earth has statements supporting our understanding of the science, which comes from the peer reviewed literature, not from a show of hands.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Ah the Oregan Petition…

      • john byatt says:

        Yes that is another of my brain what do you call its

        Oregon as Oregan
        ridhard pearson as edward pearson,

        Dont do it when Geoff is around, it proves that AGW is a myth in his distorted reasoning

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