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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why Climate Change Denial Is Just Hot Air: only 24 out of 13,950 studies deny climate change

by Phil Plait, Slate, December 11, 2012

I was thinking of writing a lengthy post about climate change denial being completely unscientific nonsense, but then geochemist and National Science Board member James Lawrence Powell wrote a post that is basically a slam-dunk of debunking. His premise was simple: If global warming isn’t real and there’s an actual scientific debate about it, that should be reflected in the scientific journals.
He looked up how many peer-reviewed scientific papers were published in professional journals about global warming, and compared the ones supporting the idea that we’re heating up compared to those that don’t. What did he find? This:
Pie chart of global warming denier papers
The thin red wedge.   
Image credit: James Lawrence Powell
Oh my. Powell looked at 13,950 articles. Out of all those reams of scientific results, how many disputed the reality of climate change?
Twenty-four. Yup. Two dozen. Out of nearly 14,000.
Now I know some people will just say that this is due to mainstream scientists suppressing controversy and all that, but let me be succinct: That’s bull. Science thrives on dissenting ideas, it grows and learns from them. If there is actual evidence to support an idea, it gets published. I can point out copious examples in my own field of astronomy where papers get published about all manners of against-the-mainstream thinking, some of which come to conclusions that, in my opinion, are clearly wrong.
So let this be clear: There is no scientific controversy over this. Climate change denial is purely, 100% made-up political and corporate-sponsored crap. When the loudest voices are fossil-fuel funded think tanks, when they don’t publish in journals but instead write error-laden op-eds in partisan venues, when they have to manipulate the data to support their point, then what they’re doing isn’t science.
It’s nonsense. And worse, it’s dangerous nonsense. Because they’re fiddling with the data while the world burns.


Anonymous said...

dear Tenney

Hmm, lets see.. I’m trying to figure out where your argument fits… I think I have it..

from Wikipedia; “In logic, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for “appeal to the people”) is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it. In other words, the basic idea of the argument is: “If many believe so, it is so.”"

Argumentum ad populum, I think that’s the one which fits your topic. Since 13,900 papers say it is so, it must be so.

Sound about right Ten?



Tenney Naumer said...

What a dimwit you are klem.

Those 13,000 papers represent decades of scientific work -- we are not talking about 13,000 talking heads, we are talking about career scientists who actually study this subject.

We are not talking about the throngs at WUWT who are not career anything that I can see, who chime in that this climate change stuff just ain't so, based on the latest bogus junk science.

And we are not talking about "beliefs" per se, we are talking about carefully accumulated facts over decades.

OK, now go back under your rock -- you'll never learn anything new.

Anonymous said...

Um, so based on your rather unfocused response, I guess Argumentum ad populum is correct.

Nice work.


Tenney Naumer said...

Absolutely gobsmacking vacuousness, anon

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I'd say Klem won that one Ten.

Tenney Naumer said...

Hmmm, 6 decades of research, 13,500 papers and 1 recent paper purports to overthrow it all.

This is not how science works.

The paper is fresh and will be debunked in due time.

In fact, why wait?

Read the paper by Foster and Rahmstorf:

Or go ask the Australians.

I'll tell you what, though.

When nearly 14,000 papers say something is going on and less than 50 (which have ALL been debunked) say it isn't so, and people like you persist in your denial, then I think that says an awful lot about the inner non-workings of your brain.

Tenney Naumer said...

Ah, John Holdren says it so much better than I can: