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Very few scientists agree that climate change is driven by human activity

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You have likely heard that 97% of scientists agree on human-driven climate change. The overwhelming majority of scientists take no view on the question of whether climate change is man-made, for it is beyond our present knowledge to answer.

Only 0.3% of science papers state humans are the cause of climate change. And when surveyed, only 18% of scientists believed that a large amount – or all – of additional climate change could be averted.

There is no scientific evidence or method that can determine how much of temperature change since 1900 was caused by humans. We know that temperature has varied greatly over the millennia. We also know that for virtually all of that time, global warming and cooling were driven entirely by natural forces.


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“97% Consensus” — What Consensus?

By Gregory Wrightstone, Executive Director CO2 Coalition

You have likely heard that 97% of scientists agree on human-driven climate change. You may also have heard that those who don’t buy into the climate-apocalypse mantra are “science deniers.” The truth is that a whole lot more than 3% of scientists are sceptical of the party line on climate. A whole lot more.

The many scientists, engineers and energy experts that comprise the CO2 Coalition are often asked something along the lines of: “So you believe in climate change, then?” Our answer? “Yes, of course we do: it has been happening for hundreds of millions of years.” It is important to ask the right questions. The question is not, “Is climate change happening?” The real question of serious importance is, “Is climate change now driven primarily by human actions? That question should be followed up by “is our changing climate beneficial or harmful to ecosystems and humanity?”

There are some scientific truths that are quantifiable and easily proven, and with which, I am confident, at least 97% of scientists agree. Here are two:

  1. Carbon dioxide concentration has been increasing in recent years.
  2. Temperatures, as measured by thermometers and satellites, have been generally increasing in fits and starts for more than 150 years.

What is impossible to quantify is the actual percentage of warming that is attributable to increased anthropogenic (human-caused) CO2. There is no scientific evidence or method that can determine how much of the warming we’ve had since 1900 that was directly caused by us.

We know that temperature has varied greatly over the millennia. We also know that for virtually all of that time, global warming and cooling were driven entirely by natural forces, which did not cease to operate at the beginning of the 20th century.

The claim that most modern warming is attributable to human activities is scientifically insupportable. The truth is that we do not know. We need to be able to separate what we do know from that which is only conjecture.

What is the basis for the “97% consensus” notion? Is it true? 

Hint: You can’t spell consensus without “con.”

If, indeed, 97% of all scientists truly believed that human activities were causing the moderate warming that we have seen in the last 150 years, it would be reasonable for one to consider this when determining what to believe. One would be wrong, however.

Science, unlike religion, is not a belief system. Scientists, just like anyone else, will say that they believe things – whether they believe them or not – for social convenience, political expediency or financial profit. For this and other good reasons, science is not founded upon the beliefs of scientists. It is a disciplined method of inquiry, by which scientists apply pre-existing theory to observation and measurement, so as to develop or to reject a theory, so that they can unravel as clearly and as certainly as possible the distinction between what the Greek philosopher Anaximander called “that which is and that which is not.”

Abu Ali ibn al-Haytham, the natural philosopher of 11th-century Iraq who founded the scientific method in the East, once wrote:

The seeker after truth [his beautiful description of the scientist] does not place his faith in any mere consensus, however venerable or widespread. Instead, he subjects what he has learned of it to inquiry, inspection and investigation. The road to the truth is long and hard, but that is the road we must follow.

The long and hard road to scientific truth cannot be followed by the trivial expedient of a mere head-count among those who make their livings from government funding. Therefore, the mere fact that climate activists find themselves so often appealing to an imagined and (as we shall see) imaginary “consensus” is a red flag. They are far less sure of the supposed scientific truths to which they cling than they would like us to believe. “Consensus,” here, is a crutch for lame science.

What, then, is the origin of the “97% consensus” notion? Is it backed up with research and data?

The earliest attempt to document a “consensus” on climate change was a 2004 paper cited by Al Gore in his allegedly non-fiction book, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’- Gore attended natural science class at Harvard, but got a D grade for it. The author of the cited paper, Naomi Oreskes, asserted that 75% of nearly 1,000 papers she had reviewed on the question of climate change agreed with the “consensus” proposition favoured by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”): “Most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.” None, she maintained, dissented from this line of reasoning.

The Oreskes paper came to the attention of Klaus-Martin Schulte, an eminent London surgeon, who had become concerned with the adverse health effects of his patients from their belief in apocalyptic global warming.

Professor Schulte decided to update Oreskes’ work. However, he found that only 45% of several hundred papers endorsed the “consensus” position. He concluded: “There appears to be little basis in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for the degree of alarm on the issue of climate change which is being expressed in the media and by politicians, now carried over into the medical world and experienced by patients.”

The primary paper that is often trotted out in support of the notion of “97% consensus” was written by John Cook and his merry band of climate extremists. Published in 2013, it is the most widely referenced work on the subject of climate consensus and has been downloaded more than 1.3 million times.

Cook runs a climate website that is a smorgasbord of climate fear rhetoric, specialising in attacks – often personal and spiteful in tone – on all who have proven effective in leading others to stray from the dogma of impending climate doom.

The project was self-described as “a ‘citizen science’ project by volunteers contributing to the website.” The team consisted of 12 climate activists who did not leave their climate prejudices at home. These volunteers, many of whom had no training in the sciences, said they had “reviewed” abstracts from 11,944 peer-reviewed papers related to climate change or global warming, published over the 21 years 1991 – 2011, to assess the extent to which they supported the “consensus view” on climate change. As Cook’s paper said:

We analysed a large sample of the scientific literature on global CC [climate change], 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).

The paper concluded:

Among abstracts that expressed a position on AGW [anthropogenic global warming], 97.1% endorsed the scientific consensus. … Among papers expressing a position on AGW, an overwhelming percentage (97.2% based on self-ratings, 97.1% based on abstract ratings) endorses the scientific consensus on AGW.

The paper asserted – falsely, as it turned out – that 97% of the papers the reviewers examined had explicitly endorsed the opinion that humans are causing the majority of the warming of the last 150 years.

When one looks at the data, one finds that 7,930 of the papers took no position at all on the subject and were arbitrarily excluded from the count on this ground. If we simply add back all of the papers reviewed, the 97% claimed by Cook and his co-authors falls to 32.6%.

A closer look at the paper reveals that the so-called “97%” included three categories of endorsement of human-caused climate change (Figure 1). Only the first category amounted to an explicit statement that humans are the primary cause of recent warming. The second and third categories would include most sceptics of catastrophic anthropogenic warming, including the scientists of the CO2 Coalition, who accept that increasing CO2 is probably causing some, probably modest, amount of warming; an amount that is likely rendered insignificant by natural causes of warmer weather. Only by casting a wide net could Cook conclude that there is any type of “consensus.”

Figure 1 – Categories of endorsement – Cook 2013

Agnotology is defined as “the study of how ignorance arises via circulation of misinformation calculated to mislead.” This is how David Legates and his co-authors (2015) describe the Cook paper and similar attempts falsely to promote the notion of broad scientific consensus surrounding the subject of a looming, man-made, climate apocalypse.

They reviewed the actual papers used by Cook and found that only 0.3% of the 11,944 abstracts and 1.6% of the smaller sample that excluded those papers expressing no opinion endorsed man-made global warming as they defined it. Remarkably, they found that Cook and his assistants had themselves marked only 64 papers – or 0.5% of the 11,944 they said they had reviewed – as explicitly stating that recent warming was mostly man-made (Figure 2). Yet they stated, both in the paper itself and subsequently, that they had found a “97% consensus” explicitly stating that recent warming was mostly man-made.

Figure 2

“Agnotology has the strong potential for misuse whereby a ‘manufactured’ consensus view can be used to stifle discussion, debate, and critical thinking.” —  Legates 2013

It appears that Cook and his co-authors manipulated the data to present an altogether untrue narrative of overwhelming support for catastrophic human-caused warming.

Note that the official “consensus” position – supported though it was by just 0.3% of the 11,944 papers reviewed – says nothing more than recent warming was mostly man-made. Even if that were the case – and the overwhelming majority of scientists take no view on that question, for it is beyond our present knowledge to answer – it would not indicate that global warming is dangerous.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” – Joseph Goebbels

From the information we have just reviewed, the percentage of scientists who agree with the notion of man-made catastrophic global warming is significantly less than advertised. Several unbiased attempts have been made to assess what the actual number might be. One of the largest petitions concerning climate change was the Oregon Petition signed by more than 31,000 American scientists, including 9,029 holding PhDs, disputing the notion of anthropogenic climate alarmism (Figure 3).

Figure 3 – Edward Teller’s signature at http://petitionproject.com

More recently, in 2016, George Mason University (Maibach 2016) surveyed more than 4,000 members of the American Meteorological Society and found that 33% believed that climate change was not occurring, was at most half man-made, was mostly natural, or they did not know. Significantly, only 18% believed that a large amount – or all – of additional climate change could be averted.

Science does not advance through consensus, and the claim of consensus has no place in any rational scientific debate. We ask: What do the data tell us? What does it mean? Can we reproduce the results? If those promoting man-made climate fear need to resort to an obviously flawed consensus opinion, rather than argue the merits of the science, haven’t they already conceded that their argument cannot be won through open debate?

“Cook’s 97% nonsensus [sic] paper shows that the climate community still has a long way to go in weeding out bad research and bad behaviour. If you want to believe that climate researchers are incompetent, biased and secretive, Cook’s paper is an excellent case in point.” — Professor Richard Tol

“Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.” —  Michael Crichton

References

About the Author

Gregory Wrightstone is a geologist, bestselling author of ‘Inconvenient Facts’, and an Expert Reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (AR6).  He published the article above on 28 October 2021.

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lionel Azulay
lionel Azulay
11 days ago

The more scientists share their expert opinions, the weaker the case made by the climate alarmist will become. People will follow the mainstream propaganda because they trust the ‘experts’. But more people need to tell the Emperor that he has no clothes…

David A
David A
Reply to  lionel Azulay
10 days ago

A good summary of who those thousands of skeptical scientists are here…

https://open.substack.com/pub/anderdaa7/p/global-warming?r=slvym&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

A Person
A Person
11 days ago

 “So you believe in climate change, then?” Our answer? “Yes, of course we do: it has been happening for hundreds of millions of years.” 

Bzzt! Wrong 🙂

Ali
Ali
11 days ago

I find the title misleading. We have to start talking about governmental weather modification programs, certain humans ARE changing the weather in a disastrous way. Geoengineeringwatch.org is a very reputable website that needs more exposure. Geoengineering is the key component in the climate change crisis that is being used to manipulate people into thinking there is a crisis that’s caused by us and then for us to accept the re-set.

David A
David A
Reply to  Rhoda Wilson
10 days ago

Rhoda, thank you and you are correct. You may wish to preview this article. The one you posted is excellent. This one is a bit less detailed, although similarly focused, but quickly summarises all the main issues, the theory, the science, and the politics. And a strong list of just who and how qualified the thousands of scientist skeptics are.

https://open.substack.com/pub/anderdaa7/p/global-warming?r=slvym&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

chartcom58
chartcom58
11 days ago

Everyone knows that scientists and certain chosen experts will agree with those from they receive their funding. So if for example they rely on big Pharma for their funding, as many of them do, they will promote big Pharma ideas and research. Same with climate change. That’s why we are in such a mess today because these so called ‘experts’ have been compromised and their judgement is no longer valid. Despite this, because the MSM is also funded by big Pharma, the MSM will only support and report these scientists and so called experts. Instead there are many tens of thousands of medical experts, scientists and other eminent specialists in their field who have not been compromised but are being ignored and censored by the MSM when they speak out and try to tell the public what is true. The Expose does a great job to give voice to the truth but under tremendous duress. The people must decide what makes sense and make a choice.

David A
David A
Reply to  chartcom58
10 days ago

You may find this article a bit more directly addresses that. (I am not criticising the post, it is excellent.)

https://open.substack.com/pub/anderdaa7/p/global-warming?r=slvym&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

trackback
11 days ago

[…] Go to Source Follow altnews.org on Telegram […]

Eli Dumitru
Eli Dumitru
10 days ago

Wrong again. You state: “Only 0.3% of science papers state humans are the cause of climate change.” But the source you cited states: “32.6% endorsed AGW” “AGW” stands for “anthropogenic global warming”. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024 ”Anthropogenic” means human caused. Your consistent pattern of false statements is disappointing, for those of us who check.

David A
David A
Reply to  Rhoda Wilson
10 days ago

Eli, I understand your mistake, yet Rhoda is correct. To understand how bad another 97 percent paper is, please read this..
https://open.substack.com/pub/anderdaa7/p/global-warming?r=slvym&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

186no
186no
Reply to  Eli Dumitru
10 days ago

“BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM” – how’s your feet?

BlazeCloude
BlazeCloude
10 days ago

The Enemies of Humanity have required over 120 years for their dystopian nightmare to be ingrained into the very fabric of our Global Geo-Political Institutions. The inherent indoctrination/brainwashing has created many STUPID AND EASILY SUGGESTIBLE PEOPLE making decisions originating with FEELINGS INSTEAD OF FACTS and none of those people give a lousy damn about any kind of actual science.

Common Sense, courage, intellect and wit in conjunction with the DIRECT THREAT OF HARM from the methods of the Criminals Against Humanity are mandatory to fight the evil infiltrating minds to the point of saturation. Bit of prayer, fasting, doing penance for strengthening the forces of God is the most vital aspect of the current fight to overtake the current darkness and parents MUST PROVIDE spiritual cover over their children…

David A
David A
Reply to  BlazeCloude
10 days ago

 God is the most vital aspect of the current fight to overtake the current darkness and parents MUST PROVIDE spiritual cover over their children…”

Thank you. I say something similar is a more subtle way, yet both methods are needed. Consider reading this… and sharing your thoughts…
https://anderdaa7.substack.com/p/does-absolute-power-corrupt

The Global Warming paper you may find good as well, similar to this, but less detailed to more fully address the issue.

trackback
10 days ago

[…] This article was originally published by Rhoda Wilson at The Daily Exposé via Gregory Wrightstone at The CO2 Coalition. […]

boris
boris
10 days ago

This is Covid Again all over! Another Lie

VoicefromEurope
VoicefromEurope
Reply to  boris
10 days ago

Yep, the climate doesn’t exist… it has never been isolated !

David A
David A
Reply to  VoicefromEurope
10 days ago

LOL

Nina
Nina
Reply to  boris
10 days ago

They fooled us once, shame on them. They fooled us twice, shame on us !

trackback
10 days ago

[…] Read More: Very few scientists agree that climate change is driven by human activity […]

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10 days ago

[…] Read More: Very few scientists agree that climate change is driven by human activity […]

johnthe14th
johnthe14th
10 days ago

I would say to these ‘97%’ of alleged scientists: “So you firmly believe in man-made climate change, then?” They answer, “Yes”.
I would next ask: “Well, how many papers have you written on it?”
I bet that at least 97% of this alleged ‘consensus’ would answer, “None”.
You see, only experts in their field, who display a very great interest in their subject and who would stake their life on their science, write papers on it.
The rest of them are just background noise. Dross. Useful idiots. ‘Religious’ believers who have no skin in the game.

David A
David A
Reply to  johnthe14th
10 days ago

agreed, and addressed in some detail here…
https://open.substack.com/pub/anderdaa7/p/global-warming?r=slvym&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
(Although as the Expose post says, there is no 97 percent)

trackback
10 days ago

[…] (Article by Rhoda Wilson republished from Expose-News.com) […]

Brian Sandle
Brian Sandle
10 days ago

The global annual mean atmospheric CO2 concentration exceeded 400 ppm in 2016, which is more than 40% above the pre-industrial level (280 ppm); half of that increase has occurred since the 1980s. Over the same period, ocean pH decreased from 8.11 to below 8.06, corresponding to an approximately 30% increase in acidity. This decrease in pH occurred at a rate about 100 times faster than any change in acidity experienced during the past 55 million years.” https://www.eea.europa.eu/ims/ocean-acidification

David A
David A
Reply to  Brian Sandle
10 days ago

To see the massive flaws in your acidic ocean studies go to the link at the end of this post…
https://open.substack.com/pub/anderdaa7/p/global-warming?r=slvym&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

David A
David A
10 days ago

Thank you for this article! It reminded me of the one here, which I wrote for a PHD medical research scientist friend of mine who only listens to NPR. I bet him he would find at least 10 indisputable facts that he NEVER heard on NPR, skeptical of “Climate Change”

I won the bet, and, as he stated, by a lot more than 10 facts. The post is “Global Warming, the theory, the science, the politics” The only advantage to the linked post is that it is a bit more broad based then this, quickly encapsulating the subtitle. Less details, but 100 percent from national and international databases and peer report PHD journals.
(Red pill someone here, and the legacy media will lose its grip on a host of subjects)

https://open.substack.com/pub/anderdaa7/p/global-warming?r=slvym&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

trackback
9 days ago

[…] This article was originally published by Rhoda Wilson at The Daily Exposé via Gregory Wrightstone at The CO2 Coalition. […]

Ken Hughes
Ken Hughes
9 days ago

Whilst I agree with the sentiments, the article is wrong on one fundamental aspect.
If you consult the ice core records, they tell a clearer story. They show that CO2 increase LAGS warming, NOT the other way around. Al’ Gore cheated with his original graph and hid this crucial fact. He only showed there was correlation between CO2 and warming, not causation.
The simple scientific conclusion therefore is that CO2 does not cause warming, but warming, (primarily of the oceans), causes greater CO2 release. This is scientific fact based on real world data.

trackback
8 days ago

[…] change that human activity is a direct cause of it. The truth, however, is that most scientists do not actually believe this, despite what the “authorities” […]

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8 days ago

[…] change that human activity is a direct cause of it. The truth, however, is that most scientists do not actually believe this, despite what the “authorities” […]

trackback
8 days ago

[…] change that human activity is a direct cause of it. The truth, however, is that most scientists do not actually believe this, despite what the “authorities” […]

trackback
8 days ago

[…] change that human activity is a direct cause of it. The truth, however, is that most scientists do not actually believe this, despite what the “authorities” […]

Stephan Luc Larose
Stephan Luc Larose
5 days ago

For a blog that claims to want to dispel bullshit, it is hard to believe how much BS is in this article. As with most conspiracy theorists, the trick is to impose your own interpretation on the science, and then claim your interpretation, no matter how utterly and hopelessly deluded, is correct. Here is what the article misses:
Every big stakeholder on the planet understands humans are driving climate change. This includes every insurance company, the Pentagon, the banks, and the oil companies. Exxon scientists realized this in the 70s. The people who peddle disinformation are either paid by big oil who profit from this destruction of our future, or politically alligned with them.
Here are facts you cannot ignore. We CAN measure the impact of our pollution, as the carbon and methane we emit is chemicaly different to what comes out of a volcano or other natural processes. We KNOW that greenhouse gases trap heat, there is zero sense in denying this. We KNOW how much heat-trapping gases we’ve added to the atmosphere and can compare that to the fossil record, and we can SEE and KNOW what amount of greenhouse gases were in the atmosphere during previous periods of extreme climate change in the past.
Why is the atmosphere of Venus hotter than that of Mercury, despite Mercury being closer to the sun? Could it have anything to do with Venus’ atmosphere being mostly CO2?
How in the world can you possibly think that our massive input of chemicals into the atmosphere will have absolutely no effect? This is the wishful thinking of children. I’m sorry, but you can’t take 250 million years of carbon and methane trapped in the ground, and spew it in the atmosphere in just 100 years and then think the chemical balance of the atmosphere is unchanged.
The argument appears to be that even though we can acidify the oceans, ruin and then re-build the ozone layer, clear the world’s forests, create islands of trash in the ocean twice the size of Texas, and spread toxic pollution to every corner of the globe, somehow, magically, we simply do not have any effect on our atmosphere or climate systems whatsoever. Perhaps the writers/commentators here believe it is wise to imagine that the Earth is an infinite garbage can, that chemistry is not a thing, and that the Pentagon, Exxon, the insurers and bankers of the world all build their plans and business models on pure wind, but I would argue you ignore the scientists and stakeholders at your peril.
The Earth is NOT an infinite garbage can, chemistry is REAL, humans have verifiably changed the chemical balance of the atmosphere and nearly tripled the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in the last 3 million years. We emit 60 times more greenhouse gases in a year than volcanoes do. 60 TIMES! So the argument in this blog is:
in the past, volcanoes and other natural processes drove climate change, and even though we emit 60 times more than these natural processes, we don’t affect climate? This is argument is nothing more than willfull ignorance in the service of human extinction.

Eidolon
Eidolon
Reply to  Stephan Luc Larose
4 days ago

Yes, that’s the “consensus” narrative.

trackback
3 days ago

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