“A co-founder of Greenpeace told a Senate panel on Tuesday that there is no scientific evidence to back claims that humans are the ‘dominant cause’ of climate change,” the Washington Times reported yesterday.
But what about that grand consensus — “97 percent” — of scientists saying the exact opposite?
Well, economist and legal theoretician David D. Friedman wrote, this week, that one of the most famous citations about the climate change consensus is the result of some, uh, data fudging.
Friedman chased down the origin of that infamous and oft-repeated 97 percent figure through three papers, all available online. Despite the high tone of certainty, the scientists who collated information from surveys of other scientists did not find that “over 97% endorsed the view that the Earth is warming up and human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause.” At best, a huge cohort of these scientists agreed that humans merely contributed to global warming. Very different.
Friedman concluded that the main author responsible for the strong interpretation of weak findings, John Cook, told “a deliberate lie.”
This scientist’s misrepresentation of “the result of his own research” doesn’t prove that Anthropogenic Global Warming is true or untrue, of course. But it does suggest that the “consensus” so much talked about is shaky indeed.
I began the week talking about our reliance upon experts to gather, analyze and report on information honestly and reliably.
And how horrible it is when they let us down.
The climate change we need is in the culture of academic responsibility.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.