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What else did the '97% of scientists' say?
The consensus on the consensus
Yet, I’m not aware of anyone having a detailed look at the actual reference for the ‘97%’ quotation cited in the Doran EoS paper – (link and press release), this was a students MSc thesis entitled “The Consensus on the Consensus” – M Zimmermann (download here for £1.25 / ~$2), who was Peter Doran’s graduate student (and the EoS paper’s co-author)

“..and I do not think that a consensus has anything to do with whether a hypothesis is correct. Check out the history of science…you will find that scientific discovery is generally made by ignoring the ‘consensus..’” (Doran/Zimmerman feedback)

As this MSc thesis was the original source of the oft cited Doran paper 97% quote, I tracked it down (sometime ago now) and discovered in the appendi that there was a great deal of email feedback and answers to write in questions from the scientists that actually participated in the survey, much of it critical and sceptical of the survey itself, the methodology and the questions asked. Additionally, amongst those environmental scientists that responded, were some very sceptical sounding scientists with respect to man made climate change being the dominant driver of climate change.

“..Science is based on scepticism and experimental proof. Whereas human GHG emissions certainly have a warming effect, the breakdown between natural and anthropogenic contributions to warming is poorly constrained.

Remember that the warming since 1650 AD (not 1900) is part of a real ‘millennial cycle’ whose amplitude cannot yet be explained by any quantitative theory.

Also, the computer climate models are both too complex to be readily understood and too simple to describe reality.

Believing their results is an act of faith…”

(Doran/Zimmerman survey participant – App F)

There are also a number of additional problems I think, with the methodology that comes to light, that the previous critiques of the Doran paper are not aware of and some other interesting facts.

97% of the world’s scientists?

One fact that is not obvious (ie missing) from the Doran EoS paper and that surprised me, is that over 96% of the scientist that responded were from North America (90% USA, 6.2% Canada), with 9% from California alone.

90% (2833) of respondents were from the United States, while the remaining 10% (313) came from 22 other countries (Figure 1). Respondents from Canada accounted for 62% of the international responses. (Zimmerman)

What is the opinion of the worlds scientists?

Are the public aware when they are lectured that ‘97% of scientists’ agree based on the Doran paper, by their media, lobbyists, activist scientists and their politicians justifying climate action, that the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Australia, New Zealand respondents made up less than 3% of the survey in total. China had 3 scientists respond (three not 3%), Russian and India zero.

Perhaps if I was a western politician trying to persuade the public West to decarbonise and to extend or go beyond the Kyoto agreement I might think carefully about telling the public about the 97% of ALL scientists agree, when pushing for radical climate policies? As those countries outside of Kyoto agreement (China, India, Russia, etc) made it very clear at Copenhagen that reduction in their own emissions is just not going to happen and at the recent Rio 20 plus conference I’m not even really aware that ‘climate change’ was mentioned that much at all.

What might I ask are those countries scientists telling their leaders about ‘climate change’ that may appear to many of them as a peculary western obsession (not many environmental lobby groups in China in the last 30 years). Perhaps those countries scientists are just not that concerned about a catastrophic interpretation of climate change,

I’ll just provide a ‘small’ anecdote to back up that hypothesis, just for fun, from China’s lead climate negotiator at Copenhagen (and Durban) no less.


1patriot 9 Jan 9

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