Thursday, August 30, 2007

No CAGW majority, let alone consensus

The Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) theory is becoming untenable:
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.
Why mandate economically disruptive actions by governments, businesses, and individuals when there is nothing approaching agreement on whether or not those actions, even if executed without a hitch (in reality, their implementation has been one of almost universal, utter failure), will ameliorate the situation? That's before even getting to the question of, if anthropogenic global warming is actually occuring, who will be hurt by and who will benefit from it.

In statistical work, the generally accepted level of confidence required for an analysis to be considered precise enough to take seriously is 95% for technical subjects, downwards to 90% for social subjects. The IPCC report seemingly pulled the 90% threshold figure out of thin, er, thick, air, with this in mind. The actual view among climate scientists comes nowhere near this overwhelming figure, however. Indeed, the summary, written by politicians and given to policy makers and released to the media, represents not a consensus or even a majority opinion, but the conclusions of a minority coalition of Luddite environmentalists, UN bureaucrats, and neo-Malthusians.

There is no reason to legislate at any level on behalf of their whimsical desires.


Fat Knowledge said...


I remember seeing that article and thinking it was kind of a strange conclusion. The breakdown of papers is as follows:
7% explicit endorsement
38% implicit endorsement
6% reject
48% neutral

I would think that you would take the neutrals out of the analysis, and then you are left with 45% endorsement vs. 6% reject, which would put the endorsement camp firmly ahead.

But, I am not sure really what tallying up the number of research articles tells you about consensus anyway. Seems like there could be lots of articles written in limited scope that disagree with the consensus, without really breaking down the overall theory. If you want to know what the scientists really believe, why not just poll them?

Audacious Epigone said...


But compare that breakdown to media coverage involving climate change. The breakdown is probably something like 80% endorsement, 15% neutral, and 5% reject. The standard verbiage includes referring to carbon dioxide as a "pollutant" and asserting that artificial admissions are a primary cause for it. Why legislate on something in which there is so much ambiguity over 1) if it is anthropogenically influenced in any meaningful way, and 2) that it will be a net negative for humanity (seems to me the first-world stands to gain from the warming trend, while the equatorial third-world loses).

And I agree. Poll them.