In the San Antonio Express our ally Jeff Judson provides a response to the concsensus agit prop on climate.
Judson and I go back a ways to when he was Founder and Pres of Texas Public Policy Foundation.
SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
Climate change ‘consensus’ a myth
by Jeff Judson
Your May 15 editorial “Don’t slash NASA’s earth science research” unfairly smears Rep. Lamar Smith and others who have honestly examined the hypotheses of climate change. The scientific method requires such examination. Unfortunately, the debate has been politicized by people who wish to end all dissension and rational analysis of the facts.
Two key messages used to marginalize scientists who question the climate change hypothesis are to label them “deniers” and to repeat the false claim that 97 percent of scientists agree humans are causing a climate crisis.
On June 11, Rep. Smith will be among scores of scientists and policy experts at the 10th International Conference on Climate Change in Washington, D.C. Participants will not “deny” the Earth’s climate is changing or that human activity could be playing some role. They will examine the hypothesis that human-caused carbon dioxide emissions are the primary or a major cause of global warming.
The “97 percent consensus” myth would have us believe that anyone who questions man-made climate change is a wacko bird. NASA continues to cite long-debunked studies to perpetuate this falsehood. The online version of your editorial linked to a Web page at NASA listing four sources to prove the claim. The first cited a study by Australia-based blogger John Cook, who crowdsourced a review of abstracts of 11,944 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals from 1991 to 2011. His supposed scientific finding: 97 percent of papers endorsed the conclusion humans were causing a climate crisis.
Crowdsourcing abstracts is shoddy methodology. University of Delaware professor David R. Legates and three co-authors debunked Cook’s study in August 2013 in the peer-reviewed journal Science and Education. It turns out that just 4,014 of the papers expressed any opinion on human causes of climate change, and only 41 of those “had been found to endorse” man-caused, catastrophic global warming. This consensus is 0.3 percent.
The second NASA citation is from a 2010 study by college student William R. Love Anderegg, who claimed to find “97–98 percent of climate researchers most actively publishing in the field” endorse the hypothesis of human-caused, catastrophic climate change. But his conclusion is based on the responses of 200 researchers out of tens of thousands in the field, and he didn’t even ask them if global warming was a serious problem.
NASA’s third bit of “proof” cites a 2008 study by Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, then a master’s candidate at the University of Illinois, and her professor, Peter Doran. The shoddy survey asked 3,146 researchers who listed “climate science” as an area of expertise two questions about the Earth’s climate. Only 79 scientists responded, of which 97 percent said “yes.” Thus only 2.5 percent agreed with the man-made climate change “scientific consensus.”
Finally, NASA cites a 2004 Science magazine article by historian Naomi Oreskes. She used an online database to examine 928 abstracts published between 1993 and 2003, and concluded 75 percent endorsed the hypothesis of human-caused, catastrophic climate change. Another researcher, Klaus-Martin Schulte, repeated Oreskes’ methodology searching papers from 2004 to 2007 and found fewer than half endorsed the “consensus,” and only 7 percent did so explicitly.
Before we further depress our economy, cause energy prices to “skyrocket” as President Barack Obama has promised, and lower the standard of living of developing countries that need cheap energy the most, we should allow scientists to have an open and honest discussion about empirical evidence without being labeled a “denier.”
Jeff Judson is a member of the board of directors of The Heartland Institute. Heartland is hosting the 10th International Conference on Climate Change.