Fake climate news brings costly, unneeded regulations

The 97% consensus on climate change is bogus

Have you ever met one of those “climate change deniers” that we constantly hear about?

That 3% of scientists who don’t care about our CO2-belching smokestacks and SUV’s causing polar bears to hyperventilate . . . or accept human blame for those recent first time ever extreme weather and coastal flooding events?

I’m referring, of course, to the “crippling consequences” of climate change that former Secretary of State John Kerry warned graduating students at Boston College about in 2014, whereby “97% of the world’s scientists tell us this is urgent.”

Yet just in case you’re wondering where that 97% consensus claim come from, here’s a clue. It’s certainly not based upon any credible scientific studies or surveys.

For starters, everyone I know agrees that the Earth has been slowly warming in fits-and-starts over the past 12,000 years or so since the end of the last major ice age, and that humans have likely had some (as yet unmeasured) recent influences.

On the other hand, absolutely no one knows how much influence we actually have had, will have, or might conceivably manage to have in order to make any appreciable difference.

In reality, the scientific consensus meme is based entirely upon half-baked surveys and cherry-picked publication counting exercises which are constantly and loudly trumpeted in political and punditry media echo chambers.

Much of the early notoriety for that alleged consensus originated with a 2004 non-peer-reviewed essay written by non-scientist Harvard historian Naomi Oreskes published in Science magazine.

Oreskes superficially reviewed abstracts of 928 papers published between 1993 and 2003, of which she reported that 75% supported the view that human activities are responsible for most of the observed warming over the previous 50 years as purported by the UN’s reliably alarmist Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Followup fact checking of Oreskes’ abstract-counting review conducted in 2014 by a group of retired Canadian Earth and atmospheric scientists called Friends of Science found only 1.2% that explicitly agreed with the IPCC’s declaration. In addition, Oreskes’ survey conclusions didn’t distinguish between articles that may have indicated serious risks and consequences versus those which acknowledged only small and inconsequential influences.

The much-ballyhooed “97%” statistical claim originated as the result of a two-minute on-line survey conducted by Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, then a University of Illinois graduate student, and her master’s thesis advisor Peter Doran which asked two questions:

  • “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”
  • “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”

It’s surprising that those responses weren’t unanimous. Everyone I personally know would agree that temperatures have indeed risen since the “little ice age” ended in the mid-1800s.

And after all, the survey didn’t ask whether any human influence was believed to be significant enough to constitute serious problems.

Even more remarkable, that “97% of all climate scientists” claim was based upon a grand total of only 79 respondents out of the 3,146 Earth scientists who responded out of 10,257 contacted  — of whom only 5% of those respondents self-identified as climate scientists.

Incidentally, that pseudo-survey intentionally excluded other climate-related disciplines such as solar scientists, astrophysicists, meteorologists, and astronomers who are generally most familiar with natural causes for changes.

Still another laughably precise 97% statistical agreement was premised upon a review of research paper abstracts published from 1991 to 2011 conducted by Australian climate alarm blogger John Cook and friends. As reported in Environmental Research Letters, 97% of those abstracts “explicitly or implicitly” suggested that some warming can be attributed to human activity.

Cook’s survey methodology was roundly challenged in an August 2013 report published in Science and Education co-authored by former University of Delaware Center for Climatic Research Director David Legates.

Upon reviewing those same materials, Professor Legates and three colleagues found that “only 41 papers  —0.3% of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0% of the 4,014 expressing any opinion, and not 97.1% – had been found to endorse” the claim that human activity is causing most of the current warming. In fact some of those so-called “endorsing” authors subsequently protested that Cook misrepresented their findings.

As reported in The Guardian (2013), Richard Tol, a lead author of IPCC reports, said of Cook’s report, “the sample of papers does not represent the literature. That is, the main finding of the paper is incorrect, invalid and unrepresentative.”

So if you think what you’re hearing in the media about manmade climate change is scary, remember something worse. Consider how frightening it is that such overheated bunk has served to drive costly and unwarranted environmental and energy regulatory policies with far more serious and less imaginary consequences.


About the Author: Larry Bell

Larry Bell

CFACT Advisor Larry Bell heads the graduate program in space architecture at the University of Houston. He founded and directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. He is also the author of "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax."

      • Immortal600

        I don’t have to. Others have already done that. You don’t believe it? Too bad. That is your problem. Numerous, well educated people have laughed at the 97% assertion. But you already know that and refuse to see it. Again, your problem, not mine.

          • Immortal600

            As I said, it is out there. There are plenty of sites that speak of it. But you consider them all “dis-information”. You have a closed mind on the subject. Further dialogue with you is useless. You are dismissed. LOL

          • Brin Jenkins

            No, yours is the controversial theory it’s for you to explain how it works, so far you don’t seem to know!

                • Immortal600

                  You must be desperate for conversation. I didn’t lie and you are a fraud. Everyone can see THAT.

                  Like Brin has said, show us how CO2 drives climate change. You can’t. It is that simple. You do nothing but troll here.

                    • Immortal600

                      No you didn’t. You just think you did. The irony of your statement is that YOU can’t grasp how complex climate dynamics is and that no one has figured out what impact, if any, CO2 actually has on the climate. That is a FACT you just can’t accept. Your mind isn’t broad enough to grasp it. LOL

                    • Immortal600

                      “Also, not backing a claim is a sign someone fibbed.”

                      Hmmmmm……… How ironic!

                      YOU have made the claim you are published and have several degrees. You have yet to show any proof for that. By your logic, you fibbed. How rich!!


                    • Dano2

                      That is because – as you were told but lack integrity to share – that I’m remaining anonymous.

                      And you still aren’t backing your claim.



                    • Immortal600

                      I’m not the one making a claim of being published with several degrees. You are. You can’t substantiate that claim and by your own definition, you are fibbing. It is YOU who lack integrity. The world sees it.

                    • Dano2

                      Dim flail. I choose to remain anonymous instead. Everyone can read my comments and see I’m educated in the sciences and rhetoric.

                      Some commenters, OTOH, are clearly not even high school graduates. As evidenced by dimbulbery, prancing and weak ploys.

                      Oh, and never once ever able to substantiate their ludicrous claims. Not once.



                    • Immortal600

                      Such a pathetic reply. Everyone can see you are a charlatan masquerading as someone who claims being educated when you clearly aren’t. You are a fraud.

                    • Immortal600

                      “You forgot the other name you lubs to ululate when triggered.”

                      you lubs to ?????

                      That makes zero sense. But it is you after all. Still trying to appear witty and failing as usual.

                      Your childish attempts at humor belie any education you claim.

                    • Immortal600

                      I am glad you did!!! The world can see that you refuse to substantiate your claims of being published with multiple degrees. By your own definition, you are fibbing. Claiming to stay anonymous doesn’t cut it. You made the claim. Live up to it, hypocrite.

                    • Immortal600

                      He has made the claim of several degrees! AND! To having been published multiple times. He can substantiate none of it, of course..

      • Scott Drysdale

        Dano2….. constantly attacking others all over the internet without a single iota of facts or data to back yourself up….. always playing the offensive role with no defence………what a complete and total POS you are….

  1. Nov 28, 2016 – Weather is NOT Climate!

    No, weather is NOT climate…even when it’s warm outside. But in case there’s a climate cultist in your life that insists otherwise, here are some facts about global warming and vaguely-defined “extreme” weather that you can use to talk some sense into them.


  2. The Sun: Earth’s Primary Energy Source

    The Sun is the primary source of energy for Earth’s climate system is the first of seven Essential Principles of Climate Sciences. Principle 1 sets the stage for understanding Earth’s climate system and energy balance. The Sun warms the planet, drives the hydrologic cycle, and makes life on Earth possible. The amount of sunlight received on Earth’s surface is affected by the reflectivity of the surface, the angle of the Sun, the output of the Sun, and the cyclic variations of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.


  3. Gary Hall

    Looks like someone else needs to be arrested . .from last week. Her first statement needs a qualifier (some, much, a little, most?), but the rest, I’d propose is pretty much the consensus view. The media needs to discover this:

    Elizabeth Muller, Executive Director of Berkeley Earth, said, “We have
    compelling scientific evidence that global warming is real and human
    caused, but much of what is reported as ‘climate change’ is exaggerated.
    Headlines that claim storms, droughts, floods, and temperature
    variability are increasing, are not based on normal scientific
    standards. We are likely to know better in the upcoming decades, but for
    now, the results that are most solidly established are that the
    temperature is increasing and that the increase is caused by human
    greenhouse emissions. It is certainly true that the impacts of global
    warming are still too subtle for most people to notice in their everyday

    • Scott Drysdale

      So to present your case you pull of a diagram……OK…..Now please provide the diagram source so that we can be sure it is from a highly reliable source….. not from alternative fact sites.

  4. Dano2

    Another hilarious error:

    written by non-scientist Harvard historian Naomi Oreskes published in Science magazine.

    Larry Bell made us LOLz!

    Not only did the paper pass peer-review (and prolifically cited), but Oreskes was educated with a B.Sc. in Mining,Geology and Ph.D. in Geological Research and History of Science. Transparent fibbing.



  5. Dano2

    Another hilarious error:

    Followup fact checking of Oreskes’ abstract-counting review conducted in 2014 by a group of retired Canadian Earth and atmospheric scientists called Friends of Science

    Larry Bell made us LOLz! Not only is FoS a fossil front group, but that wasn’t published, so worthless.



  6. Dano2

    Another hilarious error:

    based upon a grand total of only 79 respondents out of the 3,146 Earth scientists who responded out of 10,257 contacted — of whom only 5% of those respondents self-identified as climate scientists.

    Larry Bell made us LOLz! This dishonest mischaracterization was refuted a thousand times, years ago.



  7. Dano2

    Another hilarious error:

    Richard Tol, a lead author of IPCC reports, said of Cook’s report, “the sample of papers does not represent the literature

    Larry Bell made us LOLz!

    Tol finds nearly the same % in later work! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLz!



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