They didn't ask if it was dangerous!
Here is an excerpt:
The new paper by the leading climatologist Dr David Legates and his colleagues, published in the respected Science and Education journal, now in its 21st year of publication, reveals that Cook had not considered whether scientists and their published papers had said climate change was “dangerous”.Bloody hell! What does he think? That 97% of scientists who've attributed global warming to human activity, that warn of what will happen if we keep doing it, that already are observing Russian heatwaves and Angry Summers and acidifying oceans and signs of the sixth major extinction event and have been warning people for decades about what we can expect - and they are warning the world just for kicks?
What a bunch of utter nutters!
More seriously though, Cook et al didn't make any mention of whether or not climate change was dangerous. What they did was assess abstracts of scientific papers and categorise them according to the extent to which the abstract attributed global warming to human activity. Deniers got their knickers in a knot because of a tweet from President Obama to his 38 million followers saying climate change was dangerous, which of course it is. So this bunch of deniers are complaining about something that Cook et al didn't discuss at all! They are complaining about a tweet from the President of the USA. And it looks as if they've published a "paper" about this. Heck. Maybe there's something to this twitter business!
If the authors of this new paper want to know how dangerous global warming is, I suggest they read the scientific literature on the topic. They could start with the IPCC reports. There's a new one coming out at the end of the month and I reckon it will have a few hints about how dangerous is global warming.
Peer reviewed? Seriously?
I looked into this a bit more and I have to say it's a tangled mess. Anthony quotes a "press release" about a new "peer-reviewed paper" in a respected Science and Education journal. The "paper" is printed as a rejoinder to an article by Daniel Bedford and John Cook in the same journal. The Bedford and Cook paper is titled: Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change: A response to Legates, Soon and Briggs and is a response to an earlier paper by those authors that in turn was in response to an original paper by Daniel Bedford. Apparently and unsurprisingly, Legates, Soon and Briggs misrepresented something else.
My head is spinning! So far there are four papers in this series if I've counted them all. Bedford followed by Legates, Soon and Briggs, followed by Bedford and Cook followed by Legates, Soon, Briggs and Monckton. They are bringing out the big guns adding the potty peer, eh what? If the journal was respected before, it will be respected less now.
In this latest "rejoinder" (which going by the press release, seems not to be a rejoinder at all but a completely new paper), Dr David Legates - a climate science denier from way back has coauthored the paper with a bunch of other deniers including the potty peer, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, professional disinformer Willie Soon and science denying statistician William Briggs (who took part in the Battle of the DuKEs recently).
Ye gods! They are getting desperate, aren't they! Adding Monckton to the mix? I suppose the peer can finally say he has published a peer reviewed paper that wasn't peer reviewed by himself. I wonder who on earth peer reviewed it?
To get to the point - in this new paper denier David and three of his mates have signed on to joining the innumerate Christopher Monckton of Brenchley. Monckton thinks that 3,896 is not 97.1% of 4014. Now we've got four science deniers insisting that 3896 divided by 4014 equals only 0.003. Interestingly I mentioned Monckton's disability in this regard earlier today.
From the WUWT comments
Surely even the fake sceptics who flock to Anthony Watts' science denying blog are getting sore heads from tilting at windmills.
Bill Marsh decides to quibble over whether "most" really means "most" or whether instead it means "most" and says:
September 3, 2013 at 9:04 am
I think using the term ‘most’ or ‘more than’ was ambiguous and confusing, i.e. unscientific. The term ‘most’ as used in the paper could mean ‘at least half’ (the interpretation shown above), but, it could also mean ‘more than any other factor’, which is not necessarily ‘at least half’. ‘Most’ could mean ‘plurality’ rather than ‘majority’. That and ‘man made’ contribution to warming comprises several factors besides CO2 – land use changes, Urban Heat, etc are all ‘man made contributions’ to warming.
Steve Keohane says that if all the scientific evidence points to one inescapable conclusion, the conclusion must be wrong:
September 3, 2013 at 8:32 amI have to inform you, Steve. As a wise man once said:
‘If it’s consensus, it isn’t science’ says it all.
@wattsupwiththat doesn't get it. The science isn't strong because of consensus, the consensus is strong because of science.