In my previous article, I discussed the appalling decision by Science to publish the atrocious Bangladesh Mask Study. By allowing this junk-grade study to grace its pages, Science gave it an utterly undeserved facade of scientific legitimacy.
So how did such a shambolic study ever make it through Science's alleged peer-review process?
There are two possibilities.
The first is Science's peer-reviewers were so incompetent and scientifically inept that they failed to recognize the study's numerous and glaring defects.
The second possibility is that the study was not subject to a true peer review process, but waved through with a nudge and a wink because the researchers; 1) had very powerful and influential backers, and; 2) shared the same ideological bent as Science, a publication committed to propagandizing politically correct causes such as climate change and COVID-19 fear-mongering.
If you can't believe a long-established journal like Science would ever engage in such shoddiness, then you really need to see the email exchange I had a few years ago with a caustic proponent of the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory.
Before I share that exchange, let me recount why I emailed her in the first place.
The 97% Consensus Lie
We've all heard it more times than we can remember - the claim that 97% of climate 'experts' agree that man-made (anthropogenic) climate change is real. While natural climate change is indeed real and has been occurring for eons, the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory alleges human beings are now the primary cause. Proponents of this hypothesis claim the planet is undergoing "unprecedented" and "catastrophic" warming, and that this never-before-seen degree of warming is caused by humankind's greenhouse gas emissions. We must stop this warming at all costs, according to AGW proponents, or the world will be doomed.
The questionable intellectual caliber of those pushing this theory is evinced by their incessant use of the word "carbon" (C) when they are in fact referring to carbon dioxide (CO2). Along with confusing solid elements and colorless gases, the AGW crowd also seem to think that popular consensus is the same thing as scientific proof.
And so we are constantly subjected to the claim that 97% of 'experts' agree with the AGW theory.
When I first heard this claim, I responded as any rational person should:
"Who gives a shit?"
As history has amply demonstrated time and again, human beings in general are a terribly clueless, gullible and self-destructive lot. And as history has also proved beyond contention, having a university degree or PhD in no way grants immunity from this phenomenon.
So just because the majority believe something, does not even begin to mean it is true. Often, it's just a sign the majority have yet again been duped into believing untenable nonsense.
Take the present shitshow currently playing out here on Planet Numbnut: The majority of people genuinely believe it is responsible and intelligent to take controversial drugs based on failed technology made by corporate criminals like Pfizer, in order to stop a flu virus with a 99.85% survival rate.
And this hopelessly brainwashed majority includes doctors and medical scientists, supposed 'experts' in their field who are nonetheless too ignorant to see what is really transpiring.
When the majority of such a stupendously ignorant and gullible species believe something, I take it as a strong cue to seriously consider the contrarian viewpoint.
As time went on and I kept hearing the 97% claim ad nauseum, another question began burning in my mind: Where, exactly, did the 97% number come from? Were there actual studies to confirm it, or was it simply another fake fact brought to us by Big Bullshit?
I strongly suspected the latter, because I'd read numerous articles by decorated climate scientists and physicists expressing strong disagreement with the AGW theory. A 2009 Wall Street Journal article titled "The Climate Change Climate Change: The number of skeptics is swelling everywhere" noted that in April of that year, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, wrote WSJ's Kimberley Strassel, had counted more than 700 scientists who disagree with the UN - 13 times the number who authored the UN's 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a UN climate report, dubbed man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decried it as the "new religion." A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton's Will Happer, demanded the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. Both Science and Nature (another journal-come-propaganda forum for globalist causes célèbres) refused to run the physicists' open letter.
I'd also seen lengthy petitions and skeptic lists containing the names of these and other accomplished scientists. This Wikipedia page, for example, contained a list of scientists either disagreeing with the alarmist AGW theory or arguing that the cause of global warming is unknown.
Here's but a sampling of the names on that list:
Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan emeritus professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Khabibullo Abdusamatov, astrophysicist at Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Sallie Baliunas, retired astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
William Kininmonth, meteorologist, former Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology.
Henrik Svensmark, physicist, Danish National Space Center.
George H. Taylor, retired director of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University.
Claude Allègre, French politician; geochemist, emeritus professor at Institute of Geophysics.
Pål Brekke, solar astrophysicist, senior advisor Norwegian Space Centre.
John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, contributor to several IPCC reports.
Petr Chylek, space and remote sensing sciences researcher, Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Stanley B. Goldenberg, meteorologist with NOAA/AOML's Hurricane Research Division.
Antonino Zichichi, emeritus professor of nuclear physics at the University of Bologna and president of the World Federation of Scientists.
Indur M. Goklany, electrical engineer, science and technology policy analyst for the United States Department of the Interior.
Craig D. Idso, geographer, faculty researcher, Office of Climatology, Arizona State University and founder of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.
Sherwood B. Idso, former research physicist, USDA Water Conservation Laboratory, and adjunct professor, Arizona State University.
Patrick Michaels, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and retired research professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia.
August H. "Augie" Auer Jr. (1940–2007), retired New Zealand MetService meteorologist and past professor of atmospheric science at the University of Wyoming.
Reid Bryson (1920–2008), emeritus professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Robert M. Carter (1942–2016), former head of the School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University.
Chris de Freitas (1948–2017), associate professor, School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Auckland.
William M. Gray (1929–2016), professor emeritus and head of the Tropical Meteorology Project, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University.
Yuri Izrael (1930–2014), former chairman, Committee for Hydrometeorology (USSR); former director, Institute of Global Climate and Ecology (Russian Academy of Science); vice-chairman of IPCC, 2001–2007.
Robert Jastrow (1925–2008), American astronomer, physicist, cosmologist and leading NASA scientist.
Harold ("Hal") Warren Lewis (1923–2011), emeritus professor of physics and former department chairman at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Frederick Seitz (1911–2008), solid-state physicist, former president of the National Academy of Sciences and co-founder of the George C. Marshall Institute in 1984.
It's an impressive and truly international list. These aren't oddball bloggers, politicians-turned-filmmakers, or precocious teenagers with well-connected parents and a yacht, but bonafide scientists at the top of their climate-related fields.
Obviously, the scientists on that list could not be casually dismissed as a bunch of right-wing/extremist/Neo-Nazi/denier/fossil fuel-funded screwballs. So Wikipedia did what Big Tech always does with truly inconvenient truths: It removed the page (you can view an archived version here).
Big Tech, which acts as the censorial arm of government while enjoying the legal exemptions from censorship afforded to private enterprise, has not yet been able to cancel the Global Climate Intelligence Group (CLINTEL).
Almost 1,000 scientists and professionals have signed the group's World Climate Declaration (WCD), stating that there is no climate emergency and climate policies should be designed to benefit the lives of people.
As the WCD points out, the dire climate predictions we've been incessantly bombarded with are the result of computer modelling. That's right: The same shambolic process that was used to plunge the world into draconian - and useless - lockdowns in order to stop a re-branded seasonal flu.
Computer modelling is unverifiable speculation dressed up as science. And you can manipulate the outcome of that speculative process by choosing what you feed into it. As the WCD states:
"To believe the outcome of a climate model is to believe what the model makers have put in. This is precisely the problem of today’s climate discussion to which climate models are central. Climate science has degenerated into a discussion based on beliefs, not on sound self-critical science."
Here's the WCD declaration, along with a list of those who signed it:
Among the signees is the aforementioned Ivar Giaever, a Norwegian-American engineer and physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973 with Leo Esaki and Brian Josephson "for their discoveries regarding tunnelling phenomena in solids."
Giaever has repeatedly professed skepticism of global warming, and on 13 September 2011, resigned in disgust from the American Physical Society over its official position. The APS Fellow noted: "In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"
"The level of debate on global warming is shriekingly poor ... Appealing to 'the' consensus is a form of the appeal-to-authority fallacy, but it is more so a stacking-the-deck fallacy. It works thusly: the [Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change] goes out among the credentialed and asks, “Doest thou agree with me?” If the answer be “Aye”, the person is added to the Nice list; if it be “Nay”, the unfortunate is entered into the Persona Non Grata ledger. The IPCC then reports that there is a consensus among its membership, and that because this consensus is a consensus, its conclusions are beyond question."
The scientists discussed above are those brave enough to publicly declare their dissent. You can bet your posterior there are many more who privately disagree, but are unwilling to place their careers or social status on the line by opposing the AGW juggernaut. For example, when Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a PhD in meteorology, retired in 2008 she expressed relief that she was finally free to express her skepticism of AGW. "Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly," she said. "As a scientist I remain skeptical ... The main basis of the claim that man’s release of greenhouse gases is the cause of the warming is based almost entirely upon climate models. We all know the frailty of models concerning the air-surface system."
In 2008, the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta shared the results of a climate change survey it sent to more than 51,000 specialists licensed to practice these occupations. The level of urgency inspired by the so-called climate crisis among these highly educated specialists clearly wasn't that great, because only 1,077 replied. Of those who responded, only one in three believed the culprit behind climate change had been identified.
While a 99 percent majority believed the climate is changing, only 26 percent - a far cry from 97% - attributed global warming to human activity like burning fossil fuels, while 27% blamed other causes such as volcanoes, sunspots, earth crust movements and natural evolution of the planet. Sixty-eight per cent disagreed with the popular statement that “the debate on the scientific causes of recent climate change is settled.”
In light of the above, I think it's fair to say only the most biased of researchers would claim there is 97% agreement among 'experts' that AGW is real. One AGW proponent, however, went a step further, making the ridiculous claim there was no dissent whatsoever in the published literature!
Meet Naomi Oreskes
Naomi Oreskes is a 'science historian' at Harvard University and "Agenda Contributor" to the dubious World Economic Forum (WEF), the globalist platform designed to assist the UN in implementing its technocratic Agenda 2030. This is being done under the guise of creating a more sustainable and equitable "stakeholder economy," but as the WEF's "Global Redesign Initiative" repeatedly makes clear to those who bother to read it, the "stakeholders" in question are its wealthy and powerful members at the helm of "multinational corporations, governments and [billionaire-funded] non-governmental organizations," and "intergovernmental organizations (IGOs, i.e. the World Bank, the International Energy Agency, regional development banks)."
Make no mistake: The Great Reset is all about making the rich and powerful even more rich and powerful, and further reducing our ability to do anything about it. Climate change and COVID-19 are core components of the fear campaign designed to diminish resistance to this agenda. When people are frightened, their reasoning and self-reliance tends to diminish greatly, and they instead turn to leaders for reassurance and guidance. Scared people, in effect, are like putty in a technocrat's hands.
Enter Oreskes, a vocal proponent of the AGW hypothesis and highly acerbic critic of anyone who dares express disagreement with it. While not in the same league as Al Gore, who charges between $100,000 to $1,000,000 for a speaking engagement, Oreskes has nevertheless been able to build a lucrative career out of AGW alarmism, charging between $10,000-$20,000 for a speech (selflessly saving the planet doesn't come cheap, you know).
Oreskes' career as a prominent AGW commentator and media darling was kick-started on 3 December 2004, when Science featured an article by her titled "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change."
Despite its brevity and highly questionable methodology, Oreskes’ ‘paper’ went onto attract worldwide media attention, was cited by scientific bodies and governments, and trumpeted by none other than Al Gore in his blockbuster fantasy An Inconvenient Truth.
The study reported in Oreskes’ brief essay was supposedly her attempt to ascertain the degree of scientific endorsement of the 2001 IPCC consensus on climate change. The explicit yardstick cited by Oreskes for her analysis was the following:
“Human activities … are modifying the concentration of atmospheric constituents … that absorb or scatter radiant energy. … [M]ost of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”
That passage, edited by Oreskes, was taken from page 21 of the IPCC's 2001 report titled Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. That passage clearly shows the IPCC considers human activity the likely cause of most of any observed warming occurring since the 1950s - an important point to remember as we proceed to analyse Oreskes' dubious research findings.
According to her 2004 paper, she visited the ISI Web of Science website, typed the words "climate change" into the search box, and filtered the search to include only papers published between 1993 and 2003. After performing this search, Oreskes claimed to have retrieved 928 abstracts of peer-reviewed papers.
Which brings us to the first of a long list of problems with the Oreskes paper. First of all, if Oreskes’ true purpose when embarking on her literature search was to gain the widest possible insight and test her hypothesis as thoroughly as possible, why did she use only a single search phrase? That is very poor methodology, to say the least. Authors of such reviews routinely employ several keywords and phrases when teasing out relevant papers from the literature. But Oreskes, for reasons known only to her, employed only one of many possible search terms for her analysis – or at least the one she reported in her Science essay.
Despite the fact that “global warming” is an equally ubiquitous term in AGW discussions, Oreskes ignored it. No explanation was given in her 2004 essay, but three years later, she claimed she avoided the term because it "might be viewed as biased." Not a very convincing argument given that a concomitant search for “global cooling” would’ve not only quashed such “bias” accusations but facilitated a more thorough search.
The second readily-apparent flaw is that, after performing her extremely limited search, she only read the abstracts of the papers that showed up in her search results. Abstracts are the brief summaries appearing at the start of scientific papers, and scanning over an abstract is no substitute for carefully reading the entire paper. As has been shown time and again, abstracts often paint a misleading picture of the full paper's contents.
The third problem that quickly became evident was the untenable number of citations Oreskes claimed to have retrieved. After numerous people attempted to replicate her search using those exact same keywords, and retrieved in the vicinity of 11,000-12,000 abstracts, doubts about the veracity of Oreskes’ analysis intensified. On 15 December 2004, she told fellow AGW believer David Appell there had been a mistake in her Science essay. According to Oreskes, her abstract search had not used the keywords "climate change," but "global climate change."
On 21 January 2005, some 7 weeks after Oreskes’ essay was first published, Science posted an erratum noting "The keywords used were 'global climate change,' not 'climate change.'" This erratum is a clear sign the paper did not undergo any meaningful peer review, because the first thing any peer reviewer worth his salt would have done is replicate Oreskes' simple search. Science's 'clarification' in fact raises more questions than it answers, something we’ll explore in a moment.
First, let’s continue to see what Oreskes claims to have found from the 928 abstracts she allegedly retrieved.
Oreskes claimed 75% of these abstracts implicitly or explicitly endorsed the 2001 IPCC consensus on climate change. According to Oreskes, 25% of the abstracts took no stance on the issue. "Remarkably," she further claimed, "none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position."(Bold emphasis added).
Lest there be any doubt as to what Oreskes deduced from this alleged lack of dissent, here she is in her own words:
"This analysis shows that scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature agree with IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, and the public statements of their professional societies. Politicians, economists, journalists, and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement, or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect."
Two paragraphs later, she further emphasized “there is a scientific consensus on the reality of anthropogenic climate change. Climate scientists have repeatedly tried to make this clear. It is time for the rest of us to listen.”
That's a blatant lie. As you'll learn, numerous papers published between 1993-2003 in the peer-reviewed literature clearly expressed doubt about the AGW hypothesis. Oreskes deftly side-stepped around this inconvenient reality by failing to include a category for papers expressing doubt. By allowing only three levels of compartmentalization (agreement, no stance, disagreement), she was able to claim a lack of explicit dissent in the literature. However, researchers expressing doubt are essentially disagreeing with the IPCC's willingness to declare that "[M]ost of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in [anthropogenic] greenhouse gas concentrations.”
And it goes without saying that any researcher expressing doubt about any aspect of the AGW hypothesis can hardly be in agreement with the oft-repeated The Science is Settled!™ bromide.
Yet once again, we were being served the big fat falsehood that disagreement on climate change was essentially non-existent among climate scientists, and that the rest of us should quit questioning and start obediently listening to these allegedly unanimous experts. And we were being told this by someone who allegedly analyzed a mere 928 abstracts pulled from an Internet database.
The Study was a Sham
Benny J. Peiser, a social anthropologist at James Moores University in Liverpool, was one of the many critics who double-checked Oreskes' search using the key phrase initially reported in her Science article. His search returned nearly 12,000 publications over the same decade as Oreskes’ study. After the Science erratum was published, Peiser repeated the search using the keywords “global climate change." This time, he retrieved 1,117 abstracts which he analyzed and allocated into the same six categories used by Oreskes, plus an additional two categories: "natural factors of global climate change," and "unrelated to the question of recent global climate change."
Peiser found that of the 1,117 abstracts, only 13 (or 1%) explicitly endorsed the consensus view on AGW, while 322 (29%) implicitly accepted it but mainly focused on impact assessments of envisaged global climate change. Thirty-four abstracts, said Peiser, rejected or doubted the view that human activities were the main drivers of "the observed warming over the last 50 years".
Importantly, 470 (42%) abstracts included the keywords "global climate change" but did not include any direct or indirect reference to human activities, CO2 or greenhouse gas emissions, let alone anthropogenic forcing of recent climate change.
When Peiser attempted to submit his results in the form of a letter to Science, he received an email reply from the Letters Editor, Etta Kavanagh, stating it was too long to be considered for publication. Peiser was invited to submit a revised version of 500 or less words. Peiser did just that, only to receive another rejection letter. This time, Kavanagh claimed it was because "the basic points of your letter have already been widely dispersed over the internet."
Since when did scientific journals start deferring to Internet discussion, much of it anonymous, for dispute-settling commentary on their peer-reviewed articles?
Furthermore, Peiser had kept his findings strictly confidential until after the Science rejection, so the claim they had “already been widely dispersed over the internet” was news to him. A clearly dismayed Peiser wrote back to Kavanagh, asking for evidence of this alleged widely-dispersed leak.
Kavanagh never replied.
When pressed by Telegraph journalist Robert Williams, a spokesman for Science presented a repackaged version of this claim, saying Peiser's correspondence had been rejected "for a variety of reasons", adding: "The information in the letter was not perceived to be novel."
It’s a sad day when a so-called science journal places ‘novelty’ above honest and transparent debate. As it turns out, there was an embarrassing reason why Science was so eager to shun any further scrutiny of the Oreskes paper. Before I reveal the less-than-flattering truth about the Oreskes paper, it behooves me to mention Peiser’s subsequent findings about her analysis.
When searching an Internet database like the Web of Science, one has the choice of accepting all available results, or limiting the search to certain types of documents. In her 2004 paper, the only parameters Oreskes mentioned were "abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003." Oreskes later stated she limited her search to "articles", while Peiser included "all document types." This difference would appear to explain the discrepancy between the 928 abstracts Oreskes claimed to have analysed and the 1,117 documents Peiser retrieved.
But when Peiser conducted yet another search taking this new information into account, he came upon yet another discrepancy. The ISI database included a total of 929 documents for the period in question, but listed only 905 abstracts. “It is thus impossible,” noted Peiser, “that Oreskes analysed 928 abstracts.”
Upon reading this, and having read of attempts by others to replicate Oreskes’ study, I couldn’t help but wonder why no-one had done the bleeding obvious: Namely, get the actual list of 928 abstracts allegedly retrieved by Oreskes, and analyse that list and its contents. Why bother with all these hit-and-miss attempts to replicate her search results, when simply analyzing her list would verify both its authenticity, and that the abstracts showed what she claimed they did?
And so I set out to obtain a copy of the list. It is common practice for such material to be posted online at journal websites under the heading “Supplementary Information.” But when I returned to the Science web page where Oreskes’ paper was posted, it contained no such heading, let alone the list of 928 abstracts. I then searched online using various keyword terms that might tease out the file from the dark depths of cyberspace. But again, nothing.
And so, on 25 February 2017, I figured I’d email Oreskes directly, and ask her for the file. Below is the highly revealing exchange that transpired.
My initial email:
I read with keen interest your 2004 Science essay titled "Beyond the Ivory Tower, The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change".
The article makes no mention of supplementary material. I am specifically seeking an itemized list of the 928 papers included in your analysis (similar to that which Cook et al posted after publication of their 2013 paper). I have searched online for such a list, but to no avail. If such a list is available online, could you kindly share the location? If no online source is available, could you kindly forward an electronic file containing the 928 paper references?
Dear Mr Colpo.
Sorry but Science did not require that sort of information at the time,
Also you do not identify who you are or for what purpose you request the information . But as you know, the papers we examined are included within the larger list of Cook et al so the information you request is redundant.
Professor of the History of Science
Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Life is not a controlled experiment
who I am or for what purpose I want the information is, as you would say, "redundant". I am not requesting classified military intelligence, but simply a list of citations of published peer-reviewed papers.
If you are going to make claims in the public sphere about a "consensus", claims that could have an influence on policy imposed on the public, then you need to accept that members of the public will take an interest in your claims, and some of us who like to think for ourselves will want to check the veracity of those claims.
I must say, I'm disappointed by your evasive attitude. I have written to dozens of researchers over the years requesting further information about their published papers, and most have been only too happy to oblige.
You published a paper in the public arena claiming you retrieved 928 papers after searching the ISI Web of Science with the keywords "global climate change". You further claimed that "Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position."
I do indeed find that remarkable, and would like to double-check those papers for myself to see what they really showed.
Instead of writing your evasive email, it would've taken far less time for you to simply click the "attach" link in your email screen, double-click the file containing the 928 citations, and write "Dear Mr. Colpo, here is the information you requested, yours truly, Naomi."
That you won't simply forward the file I requested speaks volumes. So too does your admission that Science didn't even ask for the 928 references, let alone bother to run a cursory check on them. So much for their peer review process!
Needless to say, not all of us are as unquestioning when it comes to accepting "remarkable" claims. You either have that file, or you don't. Are you seriously claiming you deleted all record of those 928 citations, future need to retrieve them be damned?!
If you do have them, what's the big secret? Why the reluctance to share? Cook et al found it within themselves to submit a much larger file to be posted online, complete with their information on category and level of "endorsement" of the AGW thesis, so why can't you?
Speaking of Cook et al, you write:
"But as you know, the papers we examined are included within the larger list of Cook et al so the information you request is redundant."
First of all, I don't "know" this, because you won't share your list!
Secondly, you know as well as I do that Cook et al's list contains 11,944 citations. Would you kindly explain to me how someone is supposed to retrieve from this large list your claimed 928 citations, when you flatly refuse to share those citations?
I guess the bottom line is you are prepared to make "remarkable" claims, but not prepared to back them up.
No further reply received from Oreskes.
Along with proof that poor grammatical skills are no impediment to becoming a Harvard professor, Oreskes’ email provides us with a far more shocking revelation:
Science - which loudly bills itself as a peer-reviewed publication - never bothered to view her list of 928 abstracts. Those 928 abstracts formed the bedrock of her paper, yet the journal never even asked to view them, let alone checked to see if they said what Oreskes was claiming!
In fact, it seems the only people who have allegedly seen this mystical compilation of 928 abstracts are Oreskes and her mystery helper/s (the latter never mentioned previously and simply referred to as “we” in her email). No-one else is able to confirm the existence of that list, nor determine what those elusive abstracts really showed, because when you politely ask Oreskes for the list she starts carrying on like you’re asking for her home address or credit card details. As such, a reasonable observer who truly upholds the scientific method has no option but to dismiss Oreskes’ single page essay as essentially worthless, unverifiable anecdote.
Her Hypocrisy is Galling
In a 1 September 2017 LA Times article attacking ExxonMobil (the AGW movement's most hated company, despite the fact BP and Shell have far worse environmental records), Oreskes made a big song and dance about the importance of peer review:
“The idea is simple: Every scientific claim - unlike every company press release - is vetted by independent analysis. At minimum, peer reviewers look for mistakes in data gathering, analysis and interpretation. Usually they go further, addressing the quality and quantity of data, the reasoning linking the evidence to its interpretation, the mathematics or computer simulations used to analyze and interpret the data.”
This woman's got more cheek than an elephant's butt!
It is worth reiterating Oreskes' LA Times piece appeared some six months after her email reply to me in which she unwittingly admitted Science did none of this for her 2004 paper.
To make matters worse, Oreskes – who is all-too-quick to issue unwarranted accusations of dishonesty at skeptics – is in breach of Science’s publication policies. Most journals stipulate as a condition of publication that authors must meet any reasonable request from readers for supplementary data or information. In the case of Science, the Conditions of Acceptance posted on their website in December 2004 - and on page 103 of the issue which Oreskes article appeared in - clearly stated:
“When a paper is accepted for publication in Science, it is understood that:
Any reasonable request for materials, methods, or data necessary to verify the conclusions of the experiments reported must be honored.”
Perhaps Science has relaxed its requirements since then, you might be wondering? To the contrary, its policy is now stated even more explicitly. As of February 2016, the same month I emailed Oreskes, Science's publication policy stated:
"After publication, all data and materials necessary to understand, assess, and extend the conclusions of the manuscript must be available to any reader of Science," and "After publication, all reasonable requests for data or materials must be fulfilled."
By publishing in Science, Oreskes agreed to meet any reasonable request for materials and data. Some thirteen years later, she was still flatly refusing to do so. Despite this anti-transparent behavior, she has no qualms about repeatedly and vigorously attacking the integrity of AGW skeptics, endowing them with such enchanting epithets as “Merchants of Doubt”, “liar for hire” and the muck-raking standby “denier.”
So why is Oreskes, who talks the big talk about transparency and honesty, so reluctant to share her mythical 928 abstracts?
Is it because there were studies published between 1993-2003 that rejected the IPCC's stance on AGW?
To get an idea of what we might find on the list that Oreskes is hiding from us, we have to settle for the next best thing: The list of thirty-four abstracts gathered by Peiser, which he claimed rejected the AGW hypothesis. I found Peiser’s list with little difficulty because, unlike the secretive Oreskes, he happily shared it with the ‘opposition’ - in this case, a vocal Australian AGW stalwart by the name of Tim Lambert who posted the list to his blog, Deltoid, in 2005.
The overwhelming majority of papers on Peiser’s list do indeed clearly express doubt and uncertainty about AGW, immediately putting lie to Oreskes’ claim that “scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature agree with IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, and the public statements of their professional societies.”
Furthermore, there were indeed papers on Peiser’s list that clearly refuted the AGW hypothesis. But for some strange reason, these same papers mysteriously failed to register in Oreskes’ analysis.
Before I cite some of those studies, it must also be noted checking the reference lists of retrieved papers is another tactic routinely employed by competent researchers when doing literature searches. This is a highly fruitful method of retrieving even more relevant studies, for the simple reason researchers often refer to previous relevant research in their papers. Indeed, checking the references sections of the dissenting papers from Peiser’s list promptly leads to even more dissenting peer-reviewed articles published between 1993 and 2003. Despite containing all three of her search keywords (often repeatedly), these papers also mysteriously failed to appear in Oreskes' analysis.
Oh, that's right ... she never bothered to read the full texts of any of her retrieved papers. She never made it to the reference lists, because she never bothered to read past the abstracts!
Below are some of the dissenting papers that Oreskes mysteriously failed to report. The first, by Anderson et al, further highlights the non-existent review process Oreskes' paper was subjected to. It was published by Science the year prior to Oreskes' paper, and clearly emphasized the problems with the way in which climate modelling dealt with the issue of aerosol forcing. Until these problems were resolved, said Anderson et al, "the possibility that most of the warming to date is due to natural variability, as well as the possibility of high climate sensitivity, must be kept open."
Yet in her Science paper, Oreskes claimed "Admittedly, authors evaluating impacts, developing methods, or studying paleoclimatic change might believe that current climate change is natural. However, none of these papers argued that point." (Bold emphasis added).
Well, Anderson et al sure as heck made a point of it. While their paper didn't explicitly reject the IPCC consensus, it did highlight problems with the fashionable modelling techniques that just happened to support the official consensus. Calling for these problems to be resolved, and urging researchers in the meantime to stay open to the possibility that recent warming is due to natural causes can hardly be construed as "endorsement" or "no stance" on the issue!
This all adds to the already dubious aura surrounding Science's decision to publish Oreskes' paper. In Science, we have a journal that published an article in 2004 claiming any "impression of confusion, disagreement, or discord among climate scientists ... is incorrect" - even when that same journal published an article only the previous year clearly expressing discord with the IPCC's assumption that human activity is the "likely" cause of "most" recent warming.
Here is the sampling of studies that Oreskes failed to include, with added notes in blue:
Anderson TL, et al. Climate Forcing by Aerosols—a Hazy Picture. Science, 16 May 2003; 300: 1103-1104.
Linden HR. The evolution of an energy contrarian. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 1996; 21: 31-67.
A 36-page paper that leaves little doubt the author disagrees with the IPCC consensus.
Linden HR. Science Does Not Support 'Consensus' on Climate Change. The Electricity Journal, Feb, 1994; 65-77.
Oreskes didn't even need to read the abstract on this one - the title should have made it abundantly clear to her Linden did not support the IPCC consensus.
Gerhard LC, Hanson BM. Ad Hoc Committee on Global Climate Issues: Annual report. AAPG Bulletin, Apr, 2000; 84 (4): 466-471.
Another paper that leaves absolutely no doubt about the authors' stance:
"The earth's climate is constantly changing owing to natural variability in earth processes. Natural climate variability over recent geological time is greater than reasonable estimates of potential human-induced greenhouse gas changes. Because no tool is available to test the supposition of human-induced climate change and the range of natural variability is so great, there is no discernible human influence on global climate at this time."
Oh, and contrary to the claims of certain anonymous (and dishonest) Internet commenters, the AAPG Bulletin is indeed a peer-reviewed journal - something Science appears not to be. Also, objecting to this study because the AAPG is an 'industry' organization is audaciously hypocritical, given the clear bias displayed by publications like Science and Nature, and the nepotistic 'pal review' behavior boasted by leading AGW proponents in their private communications.
In a 31 March 2004 email, for example, Phil Jones from the East Anglia University's Climate Research Unit (CRU) boasted to fellow AGW shill Michael Mann (creator of the infamous and now thoroughly discredited Hockey Stick graph):
“Recently rejected two papers (one for [Journal of Geophysical Research] and for [Geophysical Research Letters]) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised, but you never know with GRL.”
On 8 July 2004, the repugnant Jones further boasted, in an email titled "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL", that he and Kevin Trenberth would prevent two contrarian papers from appearing in the next IPCC report “even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !”[sic]
Tell me again how it is the AAPG who is biased?
Kondratyev K Ya, Varotsos C. Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect in the Context of Global Climate Change. Il Nuovo Cimento, Mar-Apr, 1995; 18 (2): 123-151.
"It is quite clear from what has been discussed in this survey that although it is well known since long ago that the atmospheric greenhouse effect is a basic factor contributing to the Earth's climate, we are still far away from a possibility of reliably assessing the greenhouse contribution to the global climate change."
Bluemle JP, et al. Rate and Magnitude of Past Global Climate Changes. Environmental Geosciences, 1999; 6 (2): 63–75.
"Existing data indicate that the Earth's climate is probably warming. Politicians and the media typically assume this warming is the result of human activity. This article summarizes previous climate changes to test the validity of assigning causality to human activity ... Current data indicate a trend of change that is substantially severe but no greater in rate or magnitude, and probably less in both, than many changes that have occurred in the past."
So much for unanimous agreement about "unprecedented" warming.
In addendum: Web of Science subsequently passed hands from ISI to publishing conglomerate Thomson Reuters, and has evidently undergone quite the growth spurt since 2004. On 14 March 2017 (AEST), I performed a search at the site using the phrase "global climate change" for “articles” published between 1993-2003. That search returned 7,124 results (“ARTICLE” = 6,207, “PROCEEDINGS PAPER” = 917). I didn't, and don't, have the time to go scouring through each and every one to determine how many agree or disagree with, be it partially or entirely, the AGW theory. But anyone who believes none of those papers expresses dissent with the 2001 IPCC consensus statement is likely of questionable mental health.
The Oreskes study was bunkum. Her methodology was sloppy and incomplete, and by her own admission Science never bothered to review her article. She failed to designate a category for papers clearly expressing doubt on the AGW issue, a move that gave the distinctly false impression that all scientists were either in agreement or had no stance on the issue.
Most seriously of all, Oreskes claimed there was no dissent among her retrieved abstracts, and in her Science article she explicitly extrapolated this alleged lack of dissent to the wider scientific community. A quick check reveals there were dissenting abstracts available at the time for anyone who cared to look for them.
On top of all this, Oreskes has the audacity to piously wax lyrical about the importance of peer review and to slander earnest critics of AGW with ad hominem insults.
She loves to portray herself as a staunch advocate for sound science, but in this author's opinion, Naomi Oreskes typifies so much of what is wrong with climate change 'science.' It is not in fact a science, but a religion. It is not comprised of known facts based on valid and reproducible experimentation, but a belief system resting entirely upon the highly fallible practice of climate modelling. That modelling is used to issue doomsday forecasts, designed to scare the population into compliance. Those who dare express skepticism of this nonsense are cast as heathen and infidels, non-believers to be derided as "deniers." And with all the bald-faced audacity of a hypocritical TV evangelist, prominent members of this cult launch unfounded attacks centered around the financial motives of skeptics - while they themselves charge a small fortune for speaking fees. The WEF no doubt has some wanky euphemism like "altruistic capitalism" for such behavior, but I call it for what it is:
Pseudoscience and sickening hypocrisy.
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