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Jordan Candler / Aug. 7, 2014

Debunking the '97% Consensus' & Why Global Cooling May Loom

Nobody's noticing the sun is going to sleep.

It’s summertime – that time of year when man-made global warming alarmism hits full throttle; when simmering heat coincides with the loudest clamoring of impending doom and the need to “take action.”

One of the more popular talking points now used by Democrats, including the president himself, asserts that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) skeptics have no credibility because the overwhelming “scientific consensus” believe global warming poses an unequivocal threat. Multiple studies have come to this conclusion, which the Left now view as sanctimonious.

In May, Heartland Institute’s Joe Bast and climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer co-authored an article in The Wall Street Journal, “The Myth of the Climate Change ‘97%’,” exposing these studies as a sham. They found that “[t]he so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.” The researchers presented ambiguous questions to form a bias and even excluded prominent scientists at odds with their agenda. Bast and Spencer point out that one study didn’t even “include solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists or astronomers, who are the scientists most likely to be aware of natural causes of climate change.”

But perhaps the most telling example of deception is found in a study led by alarmist John Cook. His scholarly review used test groups with opinions on both sides of the issue, or none at all, who were instructed to analyze more than 10,000 peer-reviewed articles. According to the study, “Among papers expressing a position on AGW, an overwhelming percentage (97.2% based on self-ratings, 97.1% based on abstract ratings) endorses the scientific consensus on AGW.”

Michael Stroup of the National Center for Policy Analysis explains why this study is nothing more than a bunch of hot air:

“Focus on that conditional phrase, ‘among the papers expressing a position on AGW.’ [Emphasis added] On page 3 of this study, a simple time series chart shows that OVER HALF of these articles did NOT express an opinion on AGW at all. Further, the percentage of these no-opinion climate articles GREW to well over 60% over the period of study. Meanwhile, the percentage of articles that expressly support the AGW theory FELL from around 50% to well below 40%. This is a far cry from 97%. If less than 40% of all published climate studies explicitly support AGW, does this actually constitute a ‘consensus view’ by the climate science community?”

Unfortunately, such shameful practice is all too common and sets a dangerous precedent in a field where open-mindedness is essential and constant inquisitions imperative.

This would all be amusing if not for the severe ramifications being imposed by policymakers. A severe energy crisis may occur as soon as this winter thanks to the regulatory state stifling the energy sector, and cash-strapped Americans may be forced to chose between putting a meal on the table or heating their homes.

To add insult to injury, if current solar projections are any indication, the globe may be entering a new period of global cooling. SI meteorologist Paul Dorian writes:

“It appears that the solar maximum phase for solar cycle 24 may have been reached and it is not very impressive. … In fact, this solar cycle continues to rank among the weakest on record which continues the recent trend for increasingly weaker cycles. … There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first period is known as the ‘Maunder Minimum’ … and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the ‘Dalton Minimum’ … and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830. Both of these historical periods coincided with below-normal global temperatures in an era now referred to by many as the ‘Little Ice Age.’”

“If this trend continues for the next couple of cycles,” Dorian surmises, “then there would likely be more talk of another ‘grand minimum’ for the sun.”

It goes without saying that a cooler climate has far more debilitating effects on agriculture than a warmer one. Only time will tell, but at this rate, climate alarmists may soon be spewing “global warming” hubris through the chattering of teeth.

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