The Right Opinion

The 97% Consensus -- A Lie of Epic Proportions

By Anthony Watts · May 17, 2013

To John Cook: It isn't 'hate', it's pity – pity for having such a weak argument you are forced to fabricate conclusions of epic proportions.

Proving that crap can flow uphill, yesterday, John Cook got what one could consider the ultimate endorsement. A tweet from the Twitter account of the Twitterer in Chief, Barack Obama, about Cook's 97% consensus lie.

I had to laugh about the breathless headlines over that tweet, such as this one from the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss at The Answer Sheet:

Umm, no, as of this writing. WaPo reporter FAIL.

But hey, they're saving the planet with lies, that shouldn't matter, right? 6,535 is the new 31,541,507 in the world Cook lives in.

Yesterday, in an interview about the Tweet in the Sydney Morning Herald, Cook said: “Generally the level of hate you get is in proportion to the impact you have.”

No, it isn't hate, it's about facts John. This whole story is predicated on lies, and they just seem to get bigger and bigger. There doesn't seem to be any limit to the gullibility of those involved and those pushing it.

Here's the genesis of the lie. When you take a result of 32.6% of all papers that accept AGW, ignoring the 66% that don't, and twist that into 97%, excluding any mention of that original value in your media reports, there's nothing else to call it – a lie of presidential proportions. From the original press release about the paper:

Exhibit 1:

From the 11 994 papers, 32.6 per cent endorsed AGW, 66.4 per cent stated no position on AGW, 0.7 per cent rejected AGW and in 0.3 per cent of papers, the authors said the cause of global warming was uncertain.

Exhibit 2:

“Our findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary.”

I pity people whose argument is so weak they have to lie like this to get attention. I pity even more the lazy journalists that latch onto lies like this without even bothering to ask a single critical question.

Of course try to find a single mention of that 32.6 percent figure in any of the news reports, or on Cook's announcement on his own website.

Though, some people are asking questions, while at the same time laughing about this farce, such as Dan Kahan at Yale:

Annual “new study” finds 97% of climate scientists believe in man-made climate change; public consensus sure to follow once news gets out

Now, Cook has upped the ante, allowing the average person to help participate in the lie and make it their own. As Brandon Schollenberger observes, Cook has launched a new “Consensus project” to make even more certain the public gets his message:

The guidelines for rating [the] abstracts show only the highest rating value blames the majority of global warming on humans. No other rating says how much humans contribute to global warming. The only time an abstract is rated as saying how much humans contribute to global warming is if it mentions:

that human activity is a dominant influence or has caused most of recent climate change (>50%).

If we use the system's search feature for abstracts that meet this requirement, we get 65 results. That is 65, out of the 12,000+ examined abstracts. Not only is that value incredibly small, it is smaller than another value listed in the paper:

Reject AGW 0.7% (78)

Remembering AGW stands for anthropogenic global warming, or global warming caused by humans, take a minute to let that sink in.  This study done by John Cook and others, praised by the President of the United States, found more scientific publications whose abstracts reject global warming than say humans are primarily to blame for it.

It's gobsmacking. But, I see this as a good thing, because like the lies of presidential politics, eventually this will all come tumbling down.

Read the Scholleberger's essay at Lucia's.

Anthony Watts is a former television meteorologist who now operates the most viewed website on climate change and global warming in the world at


wjm in Colorado said:

The Marxists never quit, lie, lie, lie, they have nothing else. The bigger problem is the idiots who buy into the lies perpetrated by the traitors in education and the media. America could have survived Obamao, but not an electorate that re elected him.

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Cepat2 in Los Angeles CA said:

Why anyone would believe one word of a statement by these shills is the real question.Goebels is proud of his progeny.

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Army Officer (Ret) in Kansas said:

Tip o' the Iceberg. Big lies didn't end with Goebbels.

"1-in-4 women will be sexually assaulted in college." - Lie

"1-in-6 women will be raped in her lifetime." - Lie

"Women make 77 cents-to-the-dollar for the same work as men." - Lie

"Gun culture in America makes the U.S. the murder capitol of the world." - Lie

I could go on... We all could. What do all the really big lies have in common?...

... They all advance the narrative of the left.

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 2:29 PM

BJ in St. Cloud, MN said:

Climate is measured in decades and centuries. Weather is what's outside my window. 10,000 years ago there was a 3/4 mile thick sheet of ice right where I'm sitting called the Ice Age. That's where our basins and water came from for our 10,000 lakes in MN. So, when I showed up with my 10 cylinder Excursion super SUV I started melting the ice and haven't stopped since. I knew it was my fault because my Mother always said it (it being everything) was my fault. God is up there looking down and laughing his ass off at the idiots that think my SUV has the power of tides, solar flares, earthquakes, etc. The prick of misery liberals want to feel good about themselves so bad they just have to push the BS agenda at everyone. After all, they do know what's best for all of us. So, keep driving your little hybrids and electrics so when we collide you scumbag commies will die in the crash and I'll clean you off my bug screen with the other insect vermin.
Enjoy Life, it pisses them off.


Friday, May 17, 2013 at 2:47 PM

P. Long in Texas said:

"Eventually this will come tumbling down." How and when? The right stands and tries to reason and explain; the left stands and screams lies, lies, lies. Put pressure on our legislators? Impossible for the ordinary person. Vote someone new into office and he enters the cocoon of Washington where he is incubated by aids and other 'seasoned' legislative types until he disappears into the layers of the cocoon that cut him off from reality. The dems are already saying that Benghazi is a closed case. Stir it for a while in front of an audience and make the common folks happy. Start a new mess and distract attention. Flat tax or fair tax out of the latest mess? Fat chance. Public perception is a valuable tool in political circles and the dems have it on their side. Educate the masses and change perceptions? See the first of this comment. Keep talking and reasoning. The left can scream lies, lies, lies for a very long time.

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Leslie Graham in Brisbane said:

Has Mr Watts noticed that he has aquired a new nick-name in the media these last few days?
People are calling him 'Comical Tony' after the famous 'Comical Ali'.
Comical Ali was the Iraqui Minister of Information during the 2003 war and achieved a certain fame when he claimed that their were no US tanks in Bagdad even as several US tanks rumbled past behind him in clear view of the TV cameras.
This latest of the five studies on the consensus has independently produced the same 97% plus figure that each of the previous four studies produced. 12,000 papers, 84 dissenters, and STILL the denial industry puppets continue to deny the obvous truth.

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Robinius in Broomfield, Colorado replied:

When you lump 66% of scientists who have no opinion with the 33% who are true believers in AGW you are telling a LIE! Have you no shame? What a pathetic little person you must be.

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 10:46 PM

wjm in Colorado replied:

I wonder what they call you down under? I'll keep it simple for you: IDIOT! Your clulessnes is no laughing matter. What you do is deny fact, and are completely delusional. Jeff Dunham has puppets, they are smarter than anyone who believes in climate change or global warming or cooling or whatever other fraud is being hyped by marxists who have an agenda, money and power and control. They fabricate lies and the truely stupid who believe them deserve only ridicule. Leslie, you need to wake to the reality that your beliefs are Wrong.

Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Mindblown in Flyover USA replied:

Well, obviously, my science teachers way back in the 1960s were absolutely insane. They taught me that science was based on FACTS -- that a truly scientific test could be repeated time after time getting the same result each time. If you couldn't get the same results each time there was not science -- you were guessing. SCIENCE IS NOT CONSENSUS -- IT IS FACT!! Provable, measurable, repeatedly testable FACT.

Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Anthony P in Tampa replied:

Leslie of Brisbane, I guess you never took statistics or even general math let alone earth science or physical science. Now that CO2 has been disproven and the Earth has cooled for 10 years, what's left for the left? Keep screaming, look down your nose at those you disagree with, change the narrative yet again. Try as you might, you can't change the sun and as it sleeps we cool. The Pacific has cooled, the Atlantic will join it in 10 years just like it always has. Then what will you have? Nothing. Not even a gullible public, the will desert you.

Monday, May 20, 2013 at 9:41 AM

MyersKL in Altamonte Springs replied:

Scientific advances are not based on "consensus"; they are the product of experimentation, research and a healthy dose of skepticism. The so-called consensus is based on fraudulent scientific surveys, one in particular that the corporate media continues to trot out to support the fictitious global warming hypothesis. (Fewer than 100 scientists responded to that alleged "survey.")

Late last year, a group of well-know scientists and meteorologists signed an open letter to the U.N challenging the imaginary consensus. less than a decade ago 31,000 scientists signed a petition (the Oregon Petition) challenging the proposition that mankind is warming the earth.

You really ought to do you homework. There is not a scintilla of empirically verifiable evidence that human CO2 emissions are warming the planet or threaten humankind. The AGW scare is the product of computer models that have been tweaked and tuned to create a warming signal. Despite manipulation of temperature data, all the major data sets show not statistically significant warming for more than 17 years (see UAH, RSS, HadCRUT 3 &4 and GISStemp). If you were to examine the geological history of this planet, you would discover that the earth has been cooling for at least 4,000 years, since the end of the Holocene Optimum. It's not global warming that should worry us; it's global cooling.

Monday, May 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Eleanor in AK said:

Is it possible that lies about the IRS, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, etc. will discredit every position that OB holds? If only...

Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 10:06 AM

pete in CA said:

Climate change is a fact of life. In most parts of our planet the climate changes 4 times every year. It's called "seasons."

All changes in our climate are effected far more by solar activity than anything else, so much so that all other sources are negligible. Unless a small handful of people can make fortunes from the gullible.

We've known for decades that the polar ice caps are "retreating" on Mars. I asked how much influence we on Earth had on that about 30 years ago. I'm still waiting for an answer. Any answer.

Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 9:15 PM

pete in CA said:

Everybody is entitled to their own lies, nobody is entitled to their own facts.

Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 6:57 PM