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Keepitsimple

Do you believe the 97% consensus among scientists?

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.....I know Larry Solomon is one of the "Deniers"....but heck, read this entire article - it's actually quite funny....and if you doubt the facts, there's a link to the "study" that was done.

Lawrence Solomon: 75 climate scientists think humans contribute to global warming

How do we know theres a scientific consensus on climate change? Pundits and the press tell us so. And how do the pundits and the press know? Until recently, they typically pointed to the number 2500 thats the number of scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those 2500, the pundits and the press believed, had endorsed the IPCC position.

To their embarrassment, most of the pundits and press discovered that they were mistaken those 2500 scientists hadnt endorsed the IPCCs conclusions, they had merely reviewed some part or other of the IPCCs mammoth studies. To add to their embarrassment, many of those reviewers from within the IPCC establishment actually disagreed with the IPCCs conclusions, sometimes vehemently.

The upshot? The punditry looked for and recently found an alternate number to tout 97% of the worlds climate scientists accept the consensus, articles in the Washington Post and elsewhere have begun to claim. This number will prove a new embarrassment to the pundits and press who use it. The number stems from a 2009 online survey of 10,257 earth scientists, conducted by two researchers at the University of Illinois. The survey results must have deeply disappointed the researchers in the end, they chose to highlight the views of a subgroup of just 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change. The ratio 75/77 produces the 97% figure that pundits now tout......................................................................

Link: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/12/30/lawrence-solomon-75-climate-scientists-think-humans-contribute-to-global-warming/

Edited by Keepitsimple

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I never heard this figure used. There was a study done a few years ago, that counted published papers that disagreed with the AGW theory, and there weren't any papers that directly dissented from AGW.

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In the same article posted here, the author states:

From my discussions with literally hundreds of skeptical scientists over the past few years, I know of none who claims that the planet hasn’t warmed since the 1700s, and almost none who think that humans haven’t contributed in some way to the recent warming.

[bold mine]

So, for the author, and the sceptics he aligns with, the question is one of degree, not of the existence itself of human effects, of man-made influence.

So, I guess we're getting somewhere...if only the out-and-out deniers (whom the author bizarrely appears to think don't exist) would get on board, the debates might become more intelligent.

Edited by bloodyminded

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In the same article posted here, the author states:

[bold mine]

So, for the author, and the sceptics he aligns with, the question is one of degree, not of the existence itself of human effects, of man-made influence.

So, I guess we're getting somewhere...if only the out-and-out deniers (whom the author bizarrely appears to think don't exist) would get on board, the debates might become more intelligent.

While everyone is entitled to their opinion, anyone who doesn't believe the world is going through a warming phase is - in my opinion - out to lunch. Anyone - sceptic or not - who can't accept that humans are contributing to a warming effect - is misinformed. So yes, it's a matter of degree - and it always has been. Alarmists believe that humans are the driving force behind the planet warming - and if we do not drastically reduce our fossil fuel usage, we are doomed. Sceptics on the other hand believe that humans are not the driving force behind the planet warming. How much humans contribute is still open for debate - 5% - 15%?.....but it's not the driving, cataclysmic force that alarmists have been touting.

Edited by Keepitsimple

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While everyone is entitled to their opinion, anyone who doesn't believe the world is going through a warming phase is - in my opinion - out to lunch. Anyone - sceptic or not - who can't accept that humans are contributing to a warming effect - is misinformed. So yes, it's a matter of degree - and it always has been. Alarmists believe that humans are the driving force behind the planet warming - and if we do not drastically reduce our fossil fuel usage, we are doomed. Sceptics on the other hand believe that humans are not the driving force behind the planet warming. How much humans contribute is still open for debate - 5% - 15%?.....but it's not the driving, cataclysmic force that alarmists have been touting.

You've drawn a pretty thin line between misinformed, and alarmist. Then in the last sentence you combine driving force and cataclysmic force but those are two different things - cause (driving force) and effect (cataclysm).

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While everyone is entitled to their opinion, anyone who doesn't believe the world is going through a warming phase is - in my opinion - out to lunch. Anyone - sceptic or not - who can't accept that humans are contributing to a warming effect - is misinformed. So yes, it's a matter of degree - and it always has been. Alarmists believe that humans are the driving force behind the planet warming - and if we do not drastically reduce our fossil fuel usage, we are doomed. Sceptics on the other hand believe that humans are not the driving force behind the planet warming. How much humans contribute is still open for debate - 5% - 15%?.....but it's not the driving, cataclysmic force that alarmists have been touting.

I'm all for a sincere and open debate.

But Michael touches on an interesting point in your post:

Why are those who can't accept human contribution to the matter "misinformed," while those who think it the primary contributer are "alarmists"?

Could they not too be, as you more generously put it for others, "misinformed"?

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I'm all for a sincere and open debate.

But Michael touches on an interesting point in your post:

Why are those who can't accept human contribution to the matter "misinformed," while those who think it the primary contributer are "alarmists"?

Could they not too be, as you more generously put it for others, "misinformed"?

Since you asked - yes - they could also be misinformed - but as we have seen on this board, such "misinformation" is used to depict "tipping points" with great swaths of land being flooded and other parts being uninhabitable. In other words - do as we say or life as we know it is in peril. That's alarmism. But my real point is that real sceptics are not deniers - they believe in the world warming - and they believe in a human contribution to that warming. In such a context, the term "Denier" is more appropriately used for those who can see nothing but the evil of fossil fuels and humans' ultimate destruction of the Climate System.

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There was a study done a few years ago, that counted published papers that disagreed with the AGW theory, and there weren't any papers that directly dissented from AGW.

Have a link to this study? Are you just referring to what Al Gore said about this in his movie (which one must take with a grain of salt).

It would be interesting to see some kind of formal survey/study done to see how many applicable scientists agree with AGW or disagree. I'd imagine the majority of climate scientists do agree with the popular AGW theory, though dissenters certainly exist.

Anyone know of a study trying to determine the degree of this "consensus?

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Have a link to this study? Are you just referring to what Al Gore said about this in his movie (which one must take with a grain of salt).

It would be interesting to see some kind of formal survey/study done to see how many applicable scientists agree with AGW or disagree. I'd imagine the majority of climate scientists do agree with the popular AGW theory, though dissenters certainly exist.

Anyone know of a study trying to determine the degree of this "consensus?

I've been asking that very same question for years around here. Apparently the received denier wisdom says it wouldn't matter a bit if the vast majority of scientists on Earth said they were in consensus. The fact that the vast majority of the Earth's scientists once believed the Earth was flat proves that any economic action we base on consensus will have catastrophic results.

I would liked to have seen some sort of on-line counter that us lay people who are still expected to vote for a political solution to climate change could have looked at to get a sense of which way to vote but I think it's way past too late for any of that now.

I think public faith in the veracity of just about every institution we have including science is so FUBAR we couldn't tell shit from Shinola even if our lives depended on it.

Scientific Consensus - so what?

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Have a link to this study? Are you just referring to what Al Gore said about this in his movie (which one must take with a grain of salt).

I didn't see the film, but this may indeed be the study he mentioned. Not sure why you "must take with a grain of salt".

Study

It would be interesting to see some kind of formal survey/study done to see how many applicable scientists agree with AGW or disagree. I'd imagine the majority of climate scientists do agree with the popular AGW theory, though dissenters certainly exist.

Climate scientists do publish papers. There are skeptics, even those who think that human-produced CO2 is not the dominant catalyst behind climate change, but they are very few in number.

Anyone know of a study trying to determine the degree of this "consensus?

See the study above.

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It would be interesting to see some kind of formal survey/study done to see how many applicable scientists agree with AGW or disagree. I'd imagine the majority of climate scientists do agree with the popular AGW theory, though dissenters certainly exist.

That would be a pretty small group. Because the only applicable scientists would be the ones that have actually performed scientific works on the subject and had them properly reviewed and published.

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I never heard this figure used. There was a study done a few years ago, that counted published papers that disagreed with the AGW theory, and there weren't any papers that directly dissented from AGW.

That should be your first red flag. From the article:

Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.

It's human nature that people disagree.....but if the "consensus position" is that the world is warming and humans are contributing to it, I could almost see a total agreement - because even sceptics agree with that. It's when you asdk a question with quantification of the human contribution that you will find great variance in opinion. Is it the primary cause of warming? If not, what percentage does it contribute - 10% - 25%? That's always been the argument - but why is it that we have not had a survey that properly asks that question? And as the original article in this thread points out - why are so many branches of science excluded from having their opinion count? It's because the AGW "consensus" would disappear - quickly and decisively.

And for the record, the study you referred to analysed papers that were written between 1993 and 2003.....a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then....some of it quite distasteful.

Edited by Keepitsimple

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Apparently the received denier wisdom says it wouldn't matter a bit if the vast majority of scientists on Earth said they were in consensus. The fact that the vast majority of the Earth's scientists once believed the Earth was flat proves that any economic action we base on consensus will have catastrophic results.

For outsiders who are not scientists and must rely on the judgment of scientific authorities, it is logical to believe the side that has the much bigger number. For example, if 10 doctors say you have cancer and you must have an operation, and 1 doctor says you don't have cancer, whose opinion are you going to go with?

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....For example, if 10 doctors say you have cancer and you must have an operation, and 1 doctor says you don't have cancer, whose opinion are you going to go with?

The one who has no economic or political incentive to say so.

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For outsiders who are not scientists and must rely on the judgment of scientific authorities, it is logical to believe the side that has the much bigger number. For example, if 10 doctors say you have cancer and you must have an operation, and 1 doctor says you don't have cancer, whose opinion are you going to go with?

Surely you must have heard the old joke about such stats! (I know, don't call you Shirley!)

The statement in the ad is "4 out of 5 doctors prefer Aspirin."

You might have to go through a thousand doctors to find those 4. At that point, you only need to add one of those 996 to truthfully make the statement and protect yourself from being charged with false advertising.

Anyhow, I would disagree with you. It is NOT logical to believe on the basis of a larger number. This is the "Delphic" Method, which essentially believes that 5 million flies can't be wrong!

Something is true or not true regardless of how many people believe it. What's more, often the numbers you are given of how many people believe a premise are cooked in themselves, by those with an agenda of one kind or another.

What IS logical is to try to educate yourself to better understand the factors involved. It also never hurts to try to get some background on those who are making the claims for either side of the argument. Personally, I've always found that if one side appears to have some character flaws they usually are either wrong or outright lying. Someone who promotes or defends a premise with ad hominem attacks and puerile sarcasm usually does so because he lacks true evidence or reasoning.

If you just go by the numbers then Galileo was wrong to go against the numbers of those in the Roman Catholic Church.

E pur si muove!

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Guest TrueMetis

I just love when people go with the Galileo example, to bad now claims are constantly and repeatedly tested while in Europe in Galileo's time it was just assumed the sun revolved around the earth. (A claim that would get you laughed at in many parts of the world in the same time period) So the chance of the majority of scientists being wrong on something like this is slim to none.

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It's human nature that people disagree.....but if the "consensus position" is that the world is warming and humans are contributing to it, I could almost see a total agreement - because even sceptics agree with that. It's when you asdk a question with quantification of the human contribution that you will find great variance in opinion. Is it the primary cause of warming? If not, what percentage does it contribute - 10% - 25%? That's always been the argument - but why is it that we have not had a survey that properly asks that question? And as the original article in this thread points out - why are so many branches of science excluded from having their opinion count? It's because the AGW "consensus" would disappear - quickly and decisively.

We haven't had that survey, I suspect, because the deniers have only reluctantly started to agree that warming is happening.

And for the record, the study you referred to analysed papers that were written between 1993 and 2003.....a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then....some of it quite distasteful.

I only read of one climate scientist who has changed his position, and he seems to have left the skeptic camp and accepts that humans are causing warming. (Friis-Christiensen)

You can usually trace the skeptical scientists to a handful of cranks, or UFO-and-spooky-monster shows, including Fox News.

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The one who has no economic or political incentive to say so.

That can be very difficult to determine. The majority of scientists spend the majority of their time researching. All researchers get their funding from somewhere (government, energy companies etc), no matter their stance on AGW. There is usually a conflict of interest at play with researchers, though that is why strict research ethics boards exist to help prevent such b.s., but of course they don't always prevent such b.s.

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What IS logical is to try to educate yourself to better understand the factors involved. It also never hurts to try to get some background on those who are making the claims for either side of the argument.

It is, and it certainly helps to sniff out some of the b.s. from both sides that is portrayed in the MSM.

But for the non-scientist, one can only educate yourself so far, unless you want to educate yourself so much that you actually approach becoming an accredited scientist. I suck at advanced math, therefore there's only so far i can educate myself. i can't do my own complex experiments/research. At some point, the non-scientist has to rely on the opinions/studies of science authorities.

Much the same as if i have cancer, i can educate myself about it, but i likely won't be able to diagnose myself and must rely on expert opinion.

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We haven't had that survey, I suspect, because the deniers have only reluctantly started to agree that warming is happening.

I only read of one climate scientist who has changed his position, and he seems to have left the skeptic camp and accepts that humans are causing warming. (Friis-Christiensen)

You can usually trace the skeptical scientists to a handful of cranks, or UFO-and-spooky-monster shows, including Fox News.

You have truly had too much of the kool-aid. I originally thought that you might have a more nuanced view of such a complex issue......but you've obviously gone over to the dark side. This entire issue still resides in a very dimly lit room and I will gladly admit that while humans contribute to the current warming cycle (if it hasn't stopped for awhile), that contribution is far outweighed by natural factors and our feeble attempts to "reduce our carbob footprint" can and will have very little effect on what Mother Nature throws at us......but hey, this argument will go on for decades - and it seems that only real-world observation will give us the answers.

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We haven't had that survey, I suspect, because the deniers have only reluctantly started to agree that warming is happening.
It would help if you actually read what skeptics said instead of relying on what critics say the skeptics say. If you had you would have realized that in the last decade the majority of sceptics agree that the climate has warmed and man's is responsible for some fraction of it. The debate is about the amount of warming and the size of the fraction (see Linzden, Spencer, Chistie, Micheals, et. al.).
I only read of one climate scientist who has changed his position, and he seems to have left the skeptic camp and accepts that humans are causing warming. (Friis-Christiensen)
Again, I suspect alarmist propaganda. I don't think F-C ever disputed the premise that humans cause some warming. This issue is the relative contribution of the sun vs. the contribution of man.

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You have truly had too much of the kool-aid. I originally thought that you might have a more nuanced view of such a complex issue......but you've obviously gone over to the dark side. This entire issue still resides in a very dimly lit room and I will gladly admit that while humans contribute to the current warming cycle (if it hasn't stopped for awhile), that contribution is far outweighed by natural factors and our feeble attempts to "reduce our carbob footprint" can and will have very little effect on what Mother Nature throws at us......but hey, this argument will go on for decades - and it seems that only real-world observation will give us the answers.

I do have a nuanced view, but not in regards to the solid science, which supports AGW. One can claim conspiracy about anything, and there's little anyone can do to dispel that, as we have seen with the 9/11 conspiracies.

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It would help if you actually read what skeptics said instead of relying on what critics say the skeptics say. If you had you would have realized that in the last decade the majority of sceptics agree that the climate has warmed and man's is responsible for some fraction of it. The debate is about the amount of warming and the size of the fraction (see Linzden, Spencer, Chistie, Micheals, et. al.).

I was talking about deniers - as in those members of this public who steadfastly refuse to accept that the science community has come to a consensus. It seems to me that the study in question intended to illuminate the public.

Again, I suspect alarmist propaganda. I don't think F-C ever disputed the premise that humans cause some warming. This issue is the relative contribution of the sun vs. the contribution of man.

I raised the point in response to the assertion that scientists may be growing doubtful about AGW.

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It is, and it certainly helps to sniff out some of the b.s. from both sides that is portrayed in the MSM.

But for the non-scientist, one can only educate yourself so far, unless you want to educate yourself so much that you actually approach becoming an accredited scientist. I suck at advanced math, therefore there's only so far i can educate myself. i can't do my own complex experiments/research. At some point, the non-scientist has to rely on the opinions/studies of science authorities.

Much the same as if i have cancer, i can educate myself about it, but i likely won't be able to diagnose myself and must rely on expert opinion.

True, but what if your doctor tells you that you have cancer and when you ask for a second opinion he promptly calls you ignorant and says anyone who disagrees with him gives oral sex to bears in the woods, when they're not looking?

At that point, it is only logical to suspect your doctor's diagnosis.

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Much the same as if i have cancer, i can educate myself about it, but i likely won't be able to diagnose myself and must rely on expert opinion.
But there are really two issues: the diagnosis and the recommended treatments. Doctors are trained to do both. Climate scientists, OTOH, are only trained to do the diagnosis. This means their opinion on recommended treatments is no more relevant than the opinion any other pundit or commentator.

The trouble with the climate debate are activists who insist that expertise in diagnosis should be treated the same as expertise in choosing treatments.

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