August 30, 2007

The "Consensus" Is Crumbling

Not that a consensus matters much in science (there was once a consensus that the sun revolved around the earth until it was actually proven otherwise), but the much heralded consensus of man-made global warming is already starting to flip the other way.

In 2004, history professor Naomi Oreskes performed a survey of research papers on climate change. Examining peer-reviewed papers published on the ISI Web of Science database from 1993 to 2003, she found a majority supported the "consensus view," defined as humans were having at least some effect on global climate change. Oreskes' work has been repeatedly cited, but as some of its data is now nearly 15 years old, its conclusions are becoming somewhat dated.

Medical researcher Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte recently updated this research. Using the same database and search terms as Oreskes, he examined all papers published from 2004 to February 2007. The results have been submitted to the journal Energy and Environment, of which DailyTech has obtained a pre-publication copy. The figures are surprising.

Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers "implicit" endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no "consensus."

The figures are even more shocking when one remembers the watered-down definition of consensus here. Not only does it not require supporting that man is the "primary" cause of warming, but it doesn't require any belief or support for "catastrophic" global warming. In fact of all papers published in this period (2004 to February 2007), only a single one makes any reference to climate change leading to catastrophic results.

As the fervor of such advocates as Al Gore continues to exhibit a cartoonish and evangelistic tone, more and more in the scientific community are coming to the conclusion the theory (such as it is) of anthropogenic Global Warming has jumped the shark.

In any case, whether a consensus supports it, rebuts it or remains neutral, a consensus (based on assumptions, projections and silly wild-ass guesses) is meaningless without concrete empirical evidence.

Posted by Gary at August 30, 2007 09:50 AM | TrackBack


If only there were a panel of climate experts that met routinely, and using their specific training and expertise on climate science, evaluated the available scientific data (through discussions and arguments), and then every 4 years, release a current consensus position that presents the state-of-the-art position in climate science, which incorporates policy recommendations based on the best possible understanding of the data. These summaries would be translated into documents that lay persons could understand and act upon. If only such an International Panel on Climate Change existed, then we could base our beliefs on rigorous science and not anecdotal, agenda driven, media mis-representations.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been established by WMO and UNEP to assess scientific, technical and socio- economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. It is currently finalizing its Fourth Assessment Report "Climate Change 2007", also referred to as AR4. The reports by the three Working Groups provide a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the current state of knowledge on climate change. The Synthesis Report integrates the information around six topic areas.
Posted by: LB Buddy at August 30, 2007 10:16 AM

Dang, Buddy, it took you more than an hour to jump on that one. You're slipping.


It's slipping away, Buddy. Day by day. Week by week, Month by...oh you get the idea.

We're going to keep driving our SUVs, heating our homes with fossil fuels and living the same way we've always lived.

And no "International Panel on Climate Change" can do a thing about it.


Posted by: Gary at August 30, 2007 11:05 AM

Yes, slipping as we speak:

Warming caused by human activity was the biggest factor in the high temperatures recorded in 2006, according to a report by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The analysis, released Tuesday, is being published in the September issue of Geophysical Research Letters, published by the American Geophysical Union.

Spam filter won't let me post the link.

Posted by: LB buddy at August 30, 2007 08:01 PM