The end of consensus

Dr Naomi Oreskes, in a 2004 essay in Science, claimed that of 928 abstracts published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, 75% of the articles either explicitly or implicitly backed the consensus view, that human activities are affecting the global climate by contributing to warming (admittedly a mild definition of climate change), while none directly dissented from it. Oreskes has been widely quoted in support of the “consensus” among scientists that the science is settled.

If a consensus truly existed then, it certainly does not now.

The question is, as Lawrence Solomon asks: How many scientists does it take to establish that a consensus does not exist on global warming?

Would we accept 32,000?

Oreskes’ work was severely criticised by Dr Lenny Peiser of the UK, who found serious anomalies in her reported figures, including (as described by Monckton, mentioned below): “More than half of the abstracts did not mention anthropogenic climate change at all and could not, therefore, reasonably be held to have commented either way upon the “consensus” as defined by Oreskes.” It would be impossible that 75% backed the consensus view if over half expressed no view at all.

Monckton has neatly summarised these data and the work by Schulte (Schulte 2007) in bringing the research up to February 2007.

These results, together with new physical observations of atmospheric temperatures, sea levels, tropical storm frequencies, polar ice extents, sea surface temperatures, the tropical “iris” effect and the discovery that water vapour in the tropics is a negative, not a positive, feedback to temperature rise, present severe obstacles to the success of the dangerous AGW theory and are impossible to ignore.

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