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Cook’s 97% Scam Debunked

October 29, 2015

By Paul Homewood        




Yesterday, we saw how easily debunked the original “97% of scientists agree” turned out to be.

There therefore had to be a renewed attempt by the warmist establishment to make the claim stick, so step forward John Cook with a much more sophisticated scam.

Jose Duarte, expert in Social Psychology, Scientific Validity, and Research Methods, has actually called the Cook paper “multiply fraudulent”, and, as far as I know, Cook has taken no action to challenge the claim. This, as much as anything else, shows just what a con trick the whole business was. How many scientists, after all, would accept being called fraudulent without taking action?



This was the Abstract:



We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors’ self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.;


There were a number of criticisms raised against the Cook paper right from the start, such as the clear misclassification of many papers, the fact that the vast majority of papers were to do with mitigation or impact rather than causes of warming, and the subjective nature of the assessments, carried out as they were by SkS denizens.

But there is one issue of absolutely fundamental importance, which destroys any credibility the paper may have had.







In Cook’s survey, each paper was classified into one of the seven above categories. On the SkS website, there is a search facility to identify which papers drop into which category.



As can be seen on the above example for Endorsement Level 1, only 65 papers are identified as “quantifying AGW as 50%+”. Excluding the “No Positions”, there are 4011 papers classified in total, so we find that the number of papers agreeing that “humans are the primary cause of recent global warming” is only a tiny 1.6%, far from the 97% claimed.

As was pointed out by Lawrence Solomon, regarding the earlier 97% exercise, very few scientists would disagree that humans have some effect on climate, even if only urban heating or deforestation.

The consensus, which Cook attempts to propagate, goes, as we all know, much further. If there are any doubts about this, Cook himself clarifies matters in his paper’s introduction:

We examined a large sample of the scientific literature on global CC, published over a 21 year period, in order to determine the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW).

And Cook’s co-author, Mark Richardson of the University of Reading, takes the lie one step further in this interview with the Institute of Physics:

“We want our scientists to answer questions for us, and there are lots of exciting questions in climate science. One of them is: are we causing global warming? We found over 4000 studies written by 10 000 scientists that stated a position on this, and 97 per cent said that recent warming is mostly man made.”

It is clear that. from the very start, Cook and his colleagues were intent upon providing an eye-catching “consensus” which they could sell to the media, and which would be picked up by politicians and others in the establishment, regardless of what the evidence actually said.

The reality is starkly different. After searching through 12000 scientific papers, spread over 20 years, all they could only come up with was 65 which supported the supposed consensus.

NOTE – This post is saved in the “97% Scam” tag on the bar at the top, for ease of reference in future.

  1. October 29, 2015 2:15 pm

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    As Paul Homewood rightly points out, Cook et al. have been called liars and frauds multiple times over their 97% consensus claim, yet not one legal rebuttal. In this litigious world that tells you everything you need to know about these charlatans and their academic masters. Their paper is childishly easy to debunk (I suspect Paul didn’t break sweat here) and yet not a single murmur from the main stream press or politicians who for reasons we understand “want” to believe this guff.

  2. October 29, 2015 3:27 pm

    Thanks for this information. I did a little independent investigation to see if the government is pushing federal research agencies to find convincing evidence of AGW before the Paris meeting next month. Yes, they are . . .

    But there is NO convincing evidence!

    To demonstrate that, the question was posted on ResearchGate: “Is there convincing evidence of AGW?”

    After a lengthy discussion, and many unsuccessful attempts to avoid the obvious answer, NOT ONE of the thousands of scientists on ResearchGate, claimed convincing evidence of AGW.

    Heads may roll, but the claimed 97% consensus support for the AGW tale is apparently completely bogus.

    • November 7, 2015 7:46 pm

      I have been investigating this since the, then recently defeated, Presidential Candidate ALGORE in his new earning capacity as an investor in a company founded to set up an exchange to trade future carbon credits, went on MSM morning shows et. al. and declared the debate to be over and that the “Science was settled.” I remembered enough from my HS and College science courses to understand that statement to be antithetical to scientific research and discovery. in those early days of getting to the truth I discovered that the IPCC was established by the United Nations for the express purpose of finding an adverse link between man and the environment. I also discovered that Mr. Average student, ALGORE had taken only one science course at Yale, Earth Sciences, for which the wizard of inconvenient truths received a grade of C. The more you investigate the more you understand that CAGW is Political Science.

  3. CheshireRed permalink
    October 29, 2015 4:02 pm

    Nice work.
    Just as you observe Cook hasn’t taken action against those calling out his fraud, not will he take action against you Paul. He knows he’d then have to give evidence in open court which means he’d be cross-examined, and that is WAY off limits for a climate liar like him.

  4. Coeur de Lion permalink
    October 29, 2015 4:33 pm

    Having read Duarte, I’d say that this post is too kind to Cook et al

  5. William Mast permalink
    October 29, 2015 5:47 pm


  6. October 29, 2015 8:04 pm

    Jose Duarte says “How many scientists, after all, would accept being called fraudulent without taking action?”
    COOK is no “scientist”. He is a cartoonist that piddles around with psychology.

  7. October 30, 2015 12:18 am

    Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
    As most believers of the “human-caused warming” still rely on Cook’s 97% consensus, either as their basis of belief or as a “weapon” to attack the “deniers”, this article is worthy of promotion.
    The fraud of the “hockey stick” graph and the revelation that the so-called global average temperature, (even though doctored), has lost any correlation to atmospheric CO2 levels, also provide ample evidence of the CAGW claim being a scam.
    Yet the juggernaut political movement to introduce global controls marches on virtually unimpeded because the fraud is extremely widespread.
    We can just chip away around the edges of the problem, hoping for a crack to start and penetrate to the core.

  8. October 30, 2015 3:14 pm

    Hi Paul, you might be interested in the good news that Richard Tol, who has been trying for some time, has at last got a comment on Cook et al accepted for publication:

  9. October 30, 2015 5:47 pm

    Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    I personally know more than one world class scientist with credentials in the subject of climate change and none of them by the IPCC theory.

  10. November 2, 2015 4:35 pm

    Cook et al are propaganda experts period. “Sticky Messages”, “Atomic Bombs” “97% Consensus”. All of them are just shiny sound bites of the type that companies pay millions for advertising agencies to come up with for their products. Why do you think Cook went into Social Psychology instead of physical science? Because the current science isn’t convincing the general public, but everyone knows that slick advertising often does.

    He and his Mental Men are the worst sort of plague to critical thinking and actual knowledge.

  11. November 2, 2015 4:39 pm

    Oh, and for those interested. Try going to the Cook et al Consensus Project site and using the word “anthropogenic” or term “man-made” along with the term(s) “climate change” or “global warming” in the search bar. The results are……revealing.

  12. Lloyd Martin Hendaye permalink
    November 3, 2015 1:07 am

    97% of dermatologists rely on ultraviolet scans to remove head-lice. Internal lice like Cook’s generally require stronger measures.

  13. 4TimesAYear permalink
    November 3, 2015 6:55 am

    Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog.

  14. November 7, 2015 11:47 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  15. January 13, 2016 8:34 am

    According to Hot Whopper, Duarte is a psychology Phd student who has referred to those accepting man-made climate change as ‘militant political activists’. As Hot Whopper points out, the authors of the Cook et al paper are from the following institutions:

    Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, Australia
    Skeptical Science, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Australia
    Tetra Tech, Incorporated, McClellan, CA, USA
    Department of Chemistry, Michigan Technological University, USA
    Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK
    Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
    Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, USA
    Salt Spring Consulting Ltd, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada

    This immediately blows apart any notion of Duarte’s ability to distinguish political and activist dialogue from highly respectable climate science.

    Therefore your reference to Duart merely identifies yourself as just another lunatic climate change denier who is unable to distinguish real science from cherrypicked lies and distortions.

    I needn’t carry on with the rest of your piece.

    • January 13, 2016 11:05 am

      You obviously have a problem understanding facts.

      Go away and read the Cook paper, and then tell me where anything I have said is wrong.

      • AndyG55 permalink
        April 18, 2016 7:34 am

        Little Bobbie is obviously a brain-wash AGW apostle.

        1. there is no way he could read and understand the paper…. just the paper-thin propaganda conclusions.

        2. There is absolutely no way he will be able to tell you where you are wrong.


        If you do some research , you will find that most of the drones that contributed to this paper are to be found regularly on SkS or are actually part of the SkS propaganda team, and ALL are in fact what could be called RABID climate alarmists.

        The VERY FACT that they think consensus has anything to do with science immediately tells you they are rabid AGW propagandists.

        Are you also one of that cult ? Obviously ,… yes.

  16. Gurlie Skjerven permalink
    April 17, 2016 5:00 pm

    Can somebody please explain to me why it’s so important for some parties to claim that global warming is caused by CO2, i.e. man-made, if such isn’t the case? I would think everybody would be glad to know that CO2 is not the cause of the warming, because then we’d just have to let nature take its course and not spend billions on preventing what cannot be prevented anyway. As may be understood from my question, I’m just an ignorant, but curious, ‘bystander’.

    • thelostarc permalink
      October 10, 2016 9:27 pm

      @ Gurlie
      The only reason that I can understand is to make money and cause strife. Al Gore for example has ownership in an organization that sells the rights CO2 Emissions. So if a company needs to emit more CO2, then they have to pay Al Gore.

      Second reason is the political power that comes from establishing such things. EPA has grown way beyond its original intent, as has every other government body that regulates and industry. There is power to be had if a political office can sale the right product to the masses. Power = Money.

      Just look at Hillary Clinton’s “Foundation”. What is even funnier, 90% of her donations were to her self via the clinton foundation. Now that is good planning LOL.

      No, I don’t think Trump is better. But i have to say the media would do a better job of holding him accountable than what we see going on with Hillary.

      Would rather have a rabid dog in check than a felon who has favors to return.

  17. Random Patriot permalink
    December 7, 2016 4:20 am

    Has anyone investigated who were the actual lead authors of that small number of quantified endorsement papers. Also, who peer reviewed these papers? It is quite likely that it is only about 8 actual authors who peer review each others’ papers that is the basis of the so-called “consensus.” The consensus is nothing more than semantic manipulation.


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