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 wattsupwiththat.com.