Monday, April 07, 2014

Another Critic of Cook et. al. 2013

Readers will be familiar with my critique of Cook et al. 2013, an article widely cited as showing that 97% of climate researchers support "the consensus position." I have just come across a much more detailed criticism of the paper on other grounds, by someone much more extensively involved in climate issues than I am.


At 8:32 PM, April 07, 2014, Anonymous Mark Bahner said...

Hi David,

Your blog seems to have gone wonky, at least on my computer. It's like there's something wrong with the "climate nuts" post. It doesn't even finish the post on my computer. And none of your other posts show up.

Regarding the Cook et al. paper, it's just so obviously garbage, it really is shocking it could have been published in Environmental Research Letters. One thing that both your comments and Richard Tol's don't address is the "4a" versus "4b" bins...that got combined into a "4" bin.

The "4b" bin papers could be characterized as *in opposition* to Category 1. Here's how "4b" papers are described:

"(4b) Uncertain --> Expresses position that human’s role on recent global warming is uncertain/undefined --> ‘While the extent of human-induced global
warming is inconclusive. . . ’"

It seems to me those papers actually question whether human beings are the main cause of global warming...if they say things like, "...the extent of human-induced global
warming is inconclusive. . ."


At 9:26 AM, April 08, 2014, Anonymous MikeP said...

It is notable that the critic cited here just announced that he is leaving the IPCC:

Dutch professor Richard Tol took his leave from the UN climate panel, as he does not agree with the negative conclusions in the latest UN climate report. The consequences of climate change are over-estimated in his opinion.

This is sad. Tol appeared to be the only adult in the room -- certainly the only one who seemed to take the actual long view on costs and benefits in the context of future economic growth.

Who now will take the mantle of sane economist who has a clue what 3% growth over a century means, how little damage due to climate change is predicted against that future wealth, and what a disservice to our great-grandchildren it would be to slow that growth down to avoid anything short of actual catastrophe?

At 10:09 PM, April 08, 2014, Anonymous DaveA said...

While John Cook's consensus project was still in the planning phase he wrote this in private at Skeptical Science (my bold):

Just one thing - this is not a survey of scientists. This is a survey of the peer-reviewed literature. Think Oreskes 2004 but with an order of magnitude more data, going much deeper, much broader and using SkS to present the results as an interactive, transparent database. The results don't just find a consensus - they find a strengthening consensus.
It goes without saying - please don't share any information about this project with others, this is all very preliminary.

-- 2012-01-12

The background is a little involved; in a nutshell Skeptical Science has both a public and private discussion areas, and the private side was leaked.

So yeah, was he ever going to admit that his project which "finds a strengthening consensus" found that 1.6 % of papers agree man is the primary influence?

At 9:41 AM, April 10, 2014, Anonymous Mark Bahner said...

DaveA asks, regarding John Cook, "So yeah, was he ever going to admit that his project which "finds a strengthening consensus" found that 1.6 % of papers agree man is the primary influence?"

No, I don't expect he would. But why I do expect is for the peer reviewers to advise that the number of abstracts in each of the 7 bins should be published in the paper. It shouldn't be up to someone like me to dump the results into an Excel file to figure out how many were in each bin.


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