Thursday, August 30, 2007

Studying the Scientists


In 2004, history professor Naomi Oreskes performed a survey of research papers on climate change. Examining peer-reviewed papers published on the ISI Web of Science database from 1993 to 2003, she found a majority supported the "consensus view," defined as humans were having at least some effect on global climate change. Oreskes' work has been repeatedly cited, but as some of its data is now nearly 15 years old, its conclusions are becoming somewhat dated.
Medical researcher Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte recently updated this research. Using the same database and search terms as Oreskes, he examined all papers published from 2004 to February 2007. The results have been submitted to the journal Energy and Environment, of which DailyTech has obtained a pre-publication copy. The figures are surprising.
Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers "implicit" endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no "consensus."
The figures are even more shocking when one remembers the watered-down definition of consensus here. Not only does it not require supporting that man is the "primary" cause of warming, but it doesn't require any belief or support for "catastrophic" global warming. In fact of all papers published in this period (2004 to February 2007), only a single one makes any reference to climate change leading to catastrophic results.
Interesting perspective on the Global Warming Consensus.

Not that I think that a Consensus is important. Frankly the science should speak for itself.

On the other hand, those pushing radical changes in our fossil fuel use are absolutely the worst salesmen I've ever heard of. This isn't a difficult case to make. If global warming isn't being caused by man's dumping of huge volumes of CO2 into the atmosphere, it certainly will have an effect some time.

And let's not forget that there are many other reasons to dump fossil fuels as an energy source. Supports despotic regimes world wide, quantities will at some point become untenable for use. Anything else? Overall, getting the oil monkey off our back is still a good idea.

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