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Debunking The “97%” Consensus Claims – Part I

October 28, 2015

By Paul Homewood



Someone mentioned the other day (sorry, forgot who!) that it would be nice to have a simple, go-to piece debunking the “97% of scientists agree” claptrap, which is spewed out by politicians and the media whenever they do not want to discuss facts.



There are essentially two studies which these claims are based around, so I will devote a separate post to each.


The first stems from an analysis in 2008 by Maggie Zimmerman of the University of Illinois.


I can’t do any better than repeat the post by Lawrence Solomon in the Financial Post, which utterly discredits it:




The ‘scientific consensus’ about global warming turns out to have a lot more to do with manipulating the numbers


How do we know there’s a scientific consensus on climate change? Pundits and the press tell us so. And how do the pundits and the press know? Until recently, they typically pointed to the number 2,500 — that’s the number of scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those 2,500, the pundits and the press believed, had endorsed the IPCC position.

To their embarrassment, most of the pundits and press discovered they were mistaken — those 2,500 scientists hadn’t endorsed the IPCC’s conclusions, they had merely reviewed some part or other of the IPCC’s mammoth studies. To add to their embarrassment, many of those reviewers from within the IPCC establishment actually disagreed with the IPCC’s conclusions, sometimes vehemently.

Read the full story in the Financial Post here:


  1. October 28, 2015 11:40 am

    This so-called scientific study defied all tenets of The Scientific Method.

    They deserve to be slapped out of the scientific community with Michael Mann’s “hockey stick.”

  2. Bloke down the pub permalink
    October 28, 2015 11:41 am

    The two researchers started by altogether excluding from their survey the thousands of scientists most likely to think that the Sun, or planetary movements, might have something to do with climate on Earth — out were the solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, astronomers and meteorologists. That left the 10,257 scientists in such disciplines as geology, geography,

    They found it — almost — by excluding all the Earth scientists whose recently published peer-reviewed research wasn’t mostly in the field of climate change. This subset reduced the number of remaining scientists from over 3,000 to under 300. But the percentage that now resulted still fell short of the researchers’ ideal, because the subset included such disciplines as meteorology, which Doran considers ill-informed on the subject. “Most members of the public think meteorologists know climate, but most of them actually study very short-term phenomenon,” he explained, in justifying why he decided to exclude them, among others

    It would appear that the poor old meteorologists got excluded twice.

  3. October 28, 2015 12:12 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

  4. igsy permalink
    October 28, 2015 12:17 pm

    Well, my take-home message is that the more you get paid for believing in global warming and humankind’s contribution to it, the more you believe in global warming and humankind’s contribution to it.

  5. October 28, 2015 12:29 pm

    The fact that drivel like this get published is a clear indictment of the peer review system. The reviewing of technical papers has become a very commercial matter in recent years and peer review success often means compliant with consensus: not good scientific method.

    This is a good example of the “We want an answer, but don’t care how you get it”. This approach being all too common in climate science. As in all beliefs, the true believer cannot question his prophet (or should that be profit?).

  6. October 28, 2015 1:28 pm

    So 97% of those whose livelihoods depend on global warming believe in it. What’s wrong with the 3%? ( or were they Lindzen and someone like-minded?)

  7. October 28, 2015 2:08 pm

    Reblogged this on Watching Those "Who watch the Deniers" and commented:
    An excellent rebuttal to the constantly quoted “97%”.

  8. markl permalink
    October 28, 2015 3:50 pm

    And this was presented in a Masters Thesis and accepted?

  9. Vermeer permalink
    October 28, 2015 4:34 pm

    When talking about the “97% consensus” I think of the Cook et al publication which has been debunked by Richard Tol, amongst others, starting with the sentence “Consensus has no place in science”.

  10. NeilC permalink
    October 28, 2015 4:45 pm

    The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere “behaves” over relatively long periods of time.

    Climate, which comes from the Greek klima meaning ‘area’, usually refers to a region’s long-term weather patterns.

    Climate and weather are both components of meteorology.

    Now Doran and Zimmerman and peer reviewers, tell me why you excluded meteorologists from your thesis?

  11. roy andrews permalink
    October 28, 2015 5:42 pm

    I think it was me who raised the issue a few days ago so many thanks Paul for this. The sad thing is that the ‘97%’ continues to be quoted by people who really should know better.

  12. Robin Guenier permalink
    October 28, 2015 6:12 pm

    Paul: you may not have seen this:

  13. October 29, 2015 3:55 am

    Paul from PopTech : 97 Articles Refuting The “97% Consensus”

  14. October 29, 2015 11:27 am

    Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    Its good to get this out again as the 97% number is a total fraud.

  15. October 29, 2015 4:30 pm

    I have accumulated some resources about the “97% consensus” claim, here:

  16. November 6, 2015 10:58 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections and commented:
    1 When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
    2 Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?


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