Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A cherry-picked climate consensus

Lawrence Solomon analyzes the pundits' new favourite consensus number (97%):
... This number will prove a new embarrassment to the pundits and press who use it. The number stems from a 2008 master’s thesis by student Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at the University of Illinois, under the guidance of Peter Doran, an associate professor of Earth and environmental sciences. The two researchers obtained their results by conducting a survey of 10,257 Earth scientists. The survey results must have deeply disappointed the researchers — in the end, they chose to highlight the views of a subgroup of just 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change. The ratio 75/77 produces the 97% figure that pundits now tout.
In other words, it's just another exercise in politicized junk "science" with "researchers" setting out to confirm their biases and/or mislead the public.

Meanwhile, over at No Frakking Consensus: 'If You Don’t Believe in Global Warming, the Terrorists Win' [via]

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