Creative Destruction

August 30, 2007

Global Warming Consensus Unraveling?

Filed under: Environment — Robert @ 2:54 pm

Remember the Oreskes survey in 2004 that found a huge acceptance of climate change in the scientific literature? (Don’t lie. You do not either remember.)

These days, not so much.



  1. that big piece of ice in the arctic that cracked, i think it was caused by the polar bears weighing too much. we need to change the diet of the polar bears so that they don’t go around cracking large pieces of arctic ice. they destroy their own environment when they do that. i think polar bears should eat algae rather than fish. depletes the fish population when polar bears go around hunting and eating arctic fish.

    Comment by greywhitie — August 30, 2007 @ 10:09 pm | Reply

  2. The fatal flaw in that plan is that the switch from a protein-based diet to a carbohydrate-based diet is bound to increase greenhouse gas emissions. Betware the law of unintended consequences.

    Comment by Brandon Berg — August 30, 2007 @ 11:24 pm | Reply

  3. Robert, it’s a bit convenient that the flat-earth society — pardon me, I mean, conservatives — are publicizing this study now, when it’s conveniently not in print or available for critics to read.

    My guess is that, just like the previous attempt of flat-earthers to refute Oreskes; this paper will fall to pieces once it’s fully available for critique.

    However, according to the publicity about the new paper:

    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.”

    “Refusing to either accept or reject” is another way of saying “not relevant to the paper, at least not in the abstract.” So even if we take him at his word, of papers that take a position, about 90% implicitly or explicitly endorse the consensus position.

    But taking him at his word would be a mistake. Of the 32 papers he found that “reject the consensus outright,” it turns out only 7 rejected it “explicitly.” (It is possible for a rejection to be simultaniously “outright” and “implicit”?)

    But we know from material that the denialists have released that this paper is one of the seven; but it’s not a paper by a climatologist, it’s a survey about what the general public thinks about global warming. Suggesting that this paper is an example of a climate scientist explicitly rejecting the idea that humans may have caused over 50% of the global warming of the last 50 years seems, frankly, dishonest. And this is one of the seven best examples they were able to find!

    We’ll have to wait and see, but my guess is that – just like the last dozen or so attempts — this latest attempt at denialism will not survive critical examination, and a year from now only hard-core Republicans and other flat-earthers will take it seriously. The overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed papers on climatology that take a position on the matter, continue to agree with the consensus Oreskes identified.

    Comment by Ampersand — August 31, 2007 @ 12:21 am | Reply

  4. The overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed papers on climatology that take a position on the matter, continue to agree with the consensus Oreskes identified.

    Sure. But that’s not the point of the survey’s findings. The point of the survey’s findings was that, unlike in 2004, there is a big chunk of papers that don’t take a position. From 1993 to 2003, everyone felt confident that AGW was right, enough so to take a stand in their research work. From 2004 to 2007, a significantly smaller number feel confident that AGW is right.

    Comment by Robert — September 1, 2007 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  5. “The fatal flaw in that plan is that the switch from a protein-based diet to a carbohydrate-based diet is bound to increase greenhouse gas emissions.” -Brandon Berg

    okay, you’ve got a point here. how about having polar bears eat plankton? those have protein. but then the fish won’t have any plankton to eat. i know, fish can eat algae. but only certain fish eat algae. in any case, polar bears should definitely not eat seals. they make a big mess when they tear the seals apart. seals have a lot of fat in them, so will significantly increase the weight of the polar bears.

    i have never met a polar bear in my life, and might never meet one if they go extinct. i would like to meet a polar bear someday in its natural habitat. so, anything we do to preserve the habitat of the polar bear is in my own best interest.

    Comment by greywhitie — September 1, 2007 @ 7:51 pm | Reply

  6. Since polar bears are thriving, you’ll probably be able to meet one. But stay in the boat or airplane; they are very used to being the #1 predator in their niche and they will eat you without hesitation.

    Comment by Robert — September 1, 2007 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

  7. thanks for kind advice, robert. i will try not to become part of a polar bear!

    Comment by greywhitie — September 2, 2007 @ 1:34 am | Reply

  8. Since polar bears are thriving

    Highly questionable. The polar bear population did increase once hunting them was stopped or at least greatly decreased, but the recent apparent increases are probably more about polar bears coming on land rather than staying out on the rapidly decreasing sea ice, not actual increases in population.

    Comment by Dianne — September 3, 2007 @ 5:19 am | Reply

  9. Four legs good, two legs bad. We must believe in global warming or the great leader might find us thinking independently!

    Comment by wilbur — December 24, 2007 @ 11:59 pm | Reply

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