Carol Platt Liebau: So Much for "Consensus"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

So Much for "Consensus"

Despite the left's insistence that "scientific consensus" has come squarely down on the side of environmentalist claims that global warming is manmade, it turns out that fewer than half of all published scientists actually endorse the theory of manmade global warming.

Sorry, Algore.

9 Comments:

Blogger Earth to Carol said...

While only 6% dispute it.

9:05 PM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

Here we go again...

a) The study was done in 2004, three years ago when most scientists had not examined global warming evidence in any detail.

b) The study examines the opinions of all scientists rather than climatologists. Thus biologists, mathematicians, astronomers and statisticians were part of the study. The opinions of these scientists cannot be taken into account because they are not experts in climatology.

A biologist who disagrees with a climatologist's position on climatology is certainly important but it is hardly convincing. Yet it is far more effective if one climatologist disagreed with another - and this is where the problem lies.

99% of climatologists - experts in the study of weather and climate - agree that current global warming is the result of human activity.

"Consensus"? Absolutely.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

The article is misleading in several ways, but the most important flaw here is the fact that it relies on a second-hand report of an unpublished paper by a politically biased observer. I suggest that such reports are undeserving of credibility. We can all afford to wait for the real thing, rather that pounce upon gossip.

Also, I'd like to point out the most damning controversion of the claim that there exists no scientific consensus on the matter of climate change. The National Academy of Science was created in the 1860s by an act of Congress, with the specific mission being to provide advice on scientific matters as they apply to political issues. Thus, the NAS is to scientific questions as the Supreme Court is to legal ones, except for a number of differences:

1. The Supreme Court relies on the judgment of just nine justices; the NAS brings hundreds of experts to bear on an important issue.

2. The Supreme Court makes decisions by simple majority; the NAS has much higher standards of agreement for its reports.

3. There are many Supreme Court decisions that are now recognized to be wrong, and some that that have been later overturned. In history of the NAS, not a single formal report has later been shown to be incorrect.

So, what has the NAS reported in the matter of climate change? I don't have the exact wording at hand, but the basic purport is simple: human contributions to climate change are significant, and climate change is definitely posing serious risks and costs upon humanity.

9:11 AM  
Blogger The Very Sane Woman Who Points Out the Obvious said...

I only wish we had wanted absolute, total, unmitigated consensus on the question of mass destruction weapons before invading a far away country that had caused us no harm.

10:23 AM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Consensus is easy to achieve, when you exclude those who disagree with you.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Consensus is easy to achieve, when you exclude those who disagree with you.

Indeed so. Why, the Supreme Court excludes you and me from its decision-making. How unfair! ;-)

3:06 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

I found the original author's reply to the claims presented in the article:

The reply

It makes for good reading and, as always, a worthy refutation of the nonsense so often perpetrated by nonscientists.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

"Why, the Supreme Court excludes you and me from its decision-making."

Those apples don't belong with the oranges in LarryD's basket.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Those apples don't belong with the oranges in LarryD's basket.

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the process by which members of the National Academy of Sciences are chosen. Admittance to the NAS is by invitation only, and is reserved for scientists who have proven themselves through a long and distinguished career. The invitation process is far too careful to take into account anything so petty as a scientist's position on any particular issue. Membership is for life, and participation in report-writing committees is voluntary. As it happens, there is one member of the NAS who did object to the conclusions of its reports on climate change. His objections were heard, and some modifications to the final wording were made in response to his objections. However, none of the other distinguished scientists were convinced by his objections.

The suggestion that membership in the NAS is restricted to scientists who embrace the broad consensus is plainly disproven by the facts. If, however, you can cite a single scientist deserving of membership in the NAS who was denied membership because of his stance on climate change, name him/her.

8:22 AM  

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