Don't Be Fooled: Fossil Fools Fund Latest Climate Skeptic Petition

Sun, 2011-04-17 15:41Emma Pullman
Emma Pullman's picture

Don't Be Fooled: Fossil Fools Fund Latest Climate Skeptic Petition

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) recently published a flashy headline that reads, 900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm’. The article links to a blog post on Populartechnology.net listing more than 900 papers which, according to the GWPF, refute “concern relating to a negative environmental or socio-economic effect of AGW, usually exaggerated as catastrophic.”

The “900+ papers” list is supposed to somehow prove that a score of scientists reject the scientific consensus on climate change. One might be persuaded by the big numbers. We’re not.

Oh, where to begin? First, a note of caution about the Global Warming Policy Foundation. It’s a UK group opposing climate change action. Sourcewatch’s digging reveals links to right-wing libertarian climate change deniers. According to the UK Charity Commission, GWPF’s mandate is to “advance the public understanding of global warming and of its possible consequences, and also of the measures taken or proposed to be taken in response to it”. Actually, they’re a heck of a lot more interested in sowing seeds of doubt than in disseminating knowledge. The GWPF’s director is the Heartland Institute’s* Benny Peiser, climate change denier extraordinaire. Other notable members include Canada’s Ross McKitrick of the Fraser Institute.   

Curiously, the GWPF was launched just as the Climategate emails were released. An op-ed by Chairman Nigel Lawson announced the GWPF, predicted the (hopeful) failure of the Copenhagen climate talks, and called for an inquiry into the content of the stolen emails.

Using a screen-scraping process to analyze the data on the “900+” list, the folks over at Carbon Brief dug up some pretty incriminating information. Turns out nine of the ten most cited authors on the list (representing 186 of the 938 papers) have links to ExonMobil-funded organizations. The tenth has co-authored several papers with Exxon-funded contributors. Anyone familiar with these kinds of lists (“More than 500 scientists dispute global warming” or “more Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims”) knows that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.  Many familiar climate skeptic names appear over and over again.

Dr. Sherwood B Idso is the most cited author on the list, having authored or co-authored 67 of the papers. Idso is president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a think tank funded by ExxonMobil and the Sarah Scaife Foundation

The second most cited is Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, a well-known climate sceptic who admits that around 40% of his funding comes from the oil industry.

When you really crunch the numbers, all you really find is a small echochamber of the same individuals who pop up on every denier list and petition around. James W. Prall at the University of Toronto has put together a fantastic analysis of the names that appear on these lists, and shows how most of them share funding ties to the oil industry. 

Now a note on the most cited journals on this list. Articles from trade journal Energy and Environment are cited 137 times on the list. Energy and Environment is edited by Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen and Benny Peiser. Numerous known climate skeptics sit on the editorial staff including Sallie Baliunas, Patrick Michaels, Ross McKitrick, and Richard Lindzen.  The journal has become a go-to resource for policymakers and politicians who are skeptical of the scientific consensus of climate change. 

Michael Ashley of the University of New South Wales has described it as “the climate sceptic’s journal of choice”. The Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge is considered a key resource for establishing the credentials and influence of key academic journals. It does not list Energy and Environment.  

A further 24 papers come from the journal Climate Research which is perhaps best known for publishing a 2003 paper by Sallie Baliunas and Willy Soon that received funding from the American Petroleum Institute. In response to the paper’s publication, the editor in chief, Hans Von Storch, and five of ten members of the editorial board, resigned in protest.

Let’s contrast this “900+ list” with the real facts. Expert Credibility in Climate Changewhich appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examines over 2,400 climate scientists and authors who have signed public statements on climate change. Their research says that 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field believe that global warming is happening, and that we must respond to it.

A note to deniers: if you keep publishing these lists, we’ll keep debunking them. Long lists might look convincing, but they’re no substitute for research that is free of fossil fuel industry bias and is taken seriously by the scientific community. 

*Updated: Peiser is listed as one of the global warming ‘experts’ by the Heartland Institute, but does not work there.

Image Credit: Prospect Magazine

Comments

Ive also read many of the articles on Poptechs list. Many do not contradict AGW in the least, in fact they support the theory. Many others come from E&E because they could not get published anywhere else.

Look, I dont reject that there are papers that challenge AGW theory. You expect there to be! But Im been through Andrews list. Its not what he claims. Any independent audit would discard most of the papers on his list.

The fact remains, only a very tiny fraction of the legitimate quality peer reviewed research challenges AGW. I know it gets under your skin when people say this but it is true whether you like it or not.

Rob

Actually, the claim which is made is that there is NO peer reviewed dissent from the “consensus” view. Im glad you admit this is untrue.

A great many of the papers on the AGW side are total garbage (anyone want a used hockey stick?), but that doesn’t stop you referring to them as is they had some credibility. If even 10 percent of the papers on Andrews list are legitimate, the claim of a consensus is debunked. And its a lot more than that!

Actually, as Einstein famously said, it would only take one…

Now Im starting to question your grasp of the English language, Peter. Consensus means “general agreement” or “broad agreement” not “unanimous agreement.”

It means, or is intended to mean, that there is no credible opposition to the AGW hypothesis. thats how I take it, and as such it is clearly untrue, as Poptech has amply demonstrated. There is no general agreement, except perhaps in your little echo chamber.

I accept that definition. There is clearly no credible opposition to the AGW theory. That doesnt mean people arent trying to offer up alternative ideas but those ideas (i.e., Lindzens IRIS hypothesis) have fallen short.

Im not making this up. Nearly every scientific organization in the world has come out with statements supporting AGW theory and have expressed their concerns that action is not being taken. There is an almost unprecedented acceptance of AGW theory, on the level with evolution and relativity.

Its not up for debate. Its real. Get over it.

If it not up for debate, what are we doing here?

I agree that many scientific bodies have issued statements supporting AGW. This is very interesting (or suspicious, depending on your viewpoint), as scientific bodies of this kind almost never have such official policies, leaving it up to members to express their own opinions on scientific matters. There is no RS or NAS policy on string theory, or heliobacter causing ulcers, or evolution, or plate tectonics, or QED, or any other contentious scientific matter. Why Global Warming?

Why ONLY global warming, of all the issues that all these societies could take official positions on, many of which were once contentious but are now quite settled, as you would have us believe AGW is. Many potential candidates are very important, too - nuclear power, or GE - why no statements on these issues. What is SO special about AGW?

Are you really going to suggest the reason is scientific? This is politics, not science.

The supposed contentious scientific matters you mention are either not contentious, or irrelevant for policy (hence, why make statements?)

Take string theory, something that is of scientific use, but has no policy implications at all. Whether it is right or wrong (and note that most string scientists would note that it allows many calculations, but that it is difficult to translate to the real world) doesn’t matter for how we act in our society. Heliobacter being A cause of ulcers was briefly a contentious issue, but no longer. Plate tectonics, same story. Note also that there are no governments or large societal group actively fighting this information. This is NOT the same as global warming

While that should be enough to make your think, this should do so even more:
http://www.interacademies.net/10878.aspx
Browse through the statements, see the different topics, and see which societies have signed. You will find, amongst others, this document on evolution, notably signed by both the RS and NAS:
http://www.interacademies.net/10878/13901.aspx
Yes, Peter Wilson, the RS and NAS actively took a stance on the evolution controversy. Why? Because there are large groups in various societies as well as governments that actively try to attack the science. Now, why didn’t you know about the statement on evolution?

“Legitimate”, “quality” and “peer-reviewed” do not belong in the same sentence. ‘Beer review’ by your mates, more like. I’m afraid the climate change zealots’ infiltration of once-respected journals has done a great deal to undermine their authority. Their independence of thought - their ‘scepticism’ (essential to science) - is no more. At least in ‘climate science’, where they seek to protect a ‘consensus’. Increasingly, the C02-caused CGW hypothesis is coming unraveled. Rather than admit, as many true scientists in the field will, the degrees of uncertainty and that climate ‘science’ is in its infancy, they defend the indefensible. It’s like the scientific establishment versus John Snow with their ‘miasma theory’ of cholera transmission. It took decades, and hundreds of thousands of deaths, before real-world observation and critical scientific refutation finally overcame that ‘consensus’. Some idiots went to their deaths in the 20th century still believing in it. Is that what youre like?

Guess who most actively worked against John Snow’s ideas? You guessed it right, the government and the private water companies!

There’s also another issue you conveniently forget (or maybe simply don’t even know): the supposed ‘skeptics’ generally come with ideas that were held BEFORE the greenhouse effect gained any traction, and any ‘new’ ideas have been studied at length and rejected, because they don’t fit the evidence. Fourier and Arrhenius are essentially the John Snow of climate science.

Why are you so intent on making the same strawman argument? No claim is made that all the papers on the list reject AGW only that they all support skeptic arguments against AGW Alarm, defined as, “concern relating to a negative environmental or socio-economic effect of AGW, usually exaggerated as catastrophic.”

Various papers are published in scholarly peer-reviewed journal E&E for many reasons, including that the paper deals with policy issues as well as the science. Regardless they only represent 14% of the list and there are over 770 papers from 256 other journals on the list.

The list is exactly what I claim which is not your perpetual strawman argument as has been explained to you repeatedly. You repeated nonsense of independent “audits” is also laughable.

The fact remains that an overwhelming number of legitimate peer-reviewed papers exist that support skeptic arguments against AGW Alarm.

Poptech… Then by your own definition your list is completely meaningless. You cant have it both ways, Andrew. Either youre trying to create a list of papers that reject AGW theory, which is how deniers accept the list, and the list doesnt support or youre qualifying the statement of what youre doing from the outset to the point to where it is meaningless, which it is.

No it is very meaningful. The list is exactly as the title implies,

900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm

Thus they all support skeptic arguments against AGW Alarm, defined as, “concern relating to a negative environmental or socio-economic effect of AGW, usually exaggerated as catastrophic.”

Again with your strawman arguments as I am not interested in what “deniers” think as I only know of skeptics.

Peter Wilson says he has read a good number of Poopfarts list of papers. What’s a good number 4, 7, 11, if you bet on these often enough at roulette you will win thus they must be “good numbers”? You said earlier that:

‘there are over 900 papers ” good enough to get into a real journal” ’

Do you seriously consider “Energy and Environment” to be a “real journal”? It is nothing but smelly fishwrap that will accept anything that deniers want to publish and can’t get published anywhere else. It may be “peer reviewed” as Poopfart keeps on claiming but when the “peers” are as ignorant of real science as the authors it does not mean a thing.

Ian

Your insistence on calling Poptech “Poopfart” says all that really needs to be said about the level of debate we can expect from you. Grow up!

Poopfart, as Albatross mentioned, has a history of cyber stalking.

I was one of his victims. He published all my personal information on a web site listing my employer, work phone number, home phone number, address, a photo of my house and a map showing where it is located.

He is one of the most scurrilous posters on the internet. He should be barred from posting anywhere since what he is doing borders on criminal activity. No wonder I get upset when I read his posts and those of the idiots who support him.

Ian, I understand that you are computer illiterate which is why you do not understand what “Internet Stalking” is, it is following someone around to harass them. What I did to you was demonstrate your computer illiteracy by compiling and posting your contact information online that is all freely available if anyone Google’s your name because you are so computer illiterate you use your real name online all over the place. Absolutely nothing I did was illegal. If I had posted private information not publicly available or followed you around that would be a different case - I did no such thing. If you “think” what I did was criminal, I suggest suing all the websites that Google includes that post all your contact information I found. There is nothing illegal about knowing how to use Google.

Still cant quite own up to what you did to Ian, huh?

What I did was demonstrated he is computer illiterate.

Prove that the information I posted cannot be found using Google.

You are the lowest of the low in the way you treat honest scientists. You are an embarrassment to whatever institution granted you a degree.

Do you do anything other than abuse people who dont agree with you>? Take a pill and lie down!

Prove that the information I posted cannot be found using Google or that I followed you anywhere to harass you.

Andrew… I propose that if you think its okay to gather up information on an individual and post it that you now prove to us that you think its okay. Please post all the same information about yourself here.

But you wont do it, will you. THAT, my anonymous friend, is the very definition of hypocrisy. So, how can you think its okay for his information to be posted and not yours?

None of my personal information is available for free online so what you asked for cannot be done. Ian Forrester’s however is by simply using Google. Nothing I posted could not be found using Google nor did I ever harass or follow him anywhere. I have made no claim that you cannot compile and post contact information regarding anyone online by compiling it using Google. Now if I posted information that was not available for free I would agree but I did no such thing.

Exactly as I suspected. Its okay for you to post someone elses information but you are not willing to divulge your information. Hypocrisy at its worst.

Yes it is still perfectly legal to know how to use Google.

Andrew you lie. i would not be surprised is Emmas information appeared on a denier site soon. You have set a very low bar and very poor example. Stop trying to defend the indefensible.

You know what? I am willing to bet that Ian would have settled for a very sincere apology from you, something along the lines of “Im really sorry Ian, I got carried away in the heat of the moment, it was stupid and reckless. Please forgive me.

Instead you insist with this BS defence, Cyberstalking is a crime– you have had this explained to you before. At the very least your stupid actions were a threat and could have enabled someone to hurt Ian or his family.

Fine, upstanding crowd the GWPF (/sarc).

PS: OK Andrew, if having ones information blasted all over the net on a contentious issue is OK and responsible and all that as you claim. Please show everyone where you live (Google street view), provide you home phone, your email and your street address…..

Since you do not understand the definition of Cyberstalking I will explain it to you again, it is following someone around the internet with the intent to harass them in a threatening way. It is not illegal to compile and post information using Google.

I followed no one around anywhere, let alone to harass them in a threatening way.

Prove that the information I posted cannot be found using Google or that I followed Ian anywhere to harass him in a threatening way.

What is indefensible is your libelous claim that I “Cyberstalked” anyone.

I am not from the GWPF and am not associated with it in anyway.

I am not computer illiterate like Ian so my personal information cannot be found anywhere online.

My last post, honest. So you are not going to provide your personal details. I thought as much. And I dont blame you, I would not recommend doing so either. But your double standard and hypocrisy by failing accept the challenge have been revealed for all to see.

Sorry if I mixed you up with the GWPF, an honest mistake.

Our understanding of Cyberstalking differ, according to Wikipedia:

“Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization. It may include false accusations, monitoring, making threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sex, or gathering information in order to harass. The definition of “harassment” must meet the criterion that a reasonable person, in possession of the same information, would regard it as sufficient to cause another reasonable person distress.

You have admitted to using the internet to obtain Ians information. Ian has told us that he was very distressed by you publishing his personal (and professional) information online, so your actions according to this definition at least, potentially constitute harassment. Join the dots.

There is no double standard or hypocrisy as I am not demanding anyone do anything.

Try referencing Wikipedia in a court of law, what a joke.

I used Google to compile contact information that is freely available for Ian online and presented it as such as he was publicly using his full name. No such harassment or threat was made to Ian in anyway and I never followed him anywhere. Ian just responded with his usual vitriol as he had prior. I noticed no change in his behavior from vicious personal attacks to more vicious personal attacks.

Get a law degree because he would implicate himself of harassment if he attempted to make those charges,

“If you had even a junior high school level of science you would be laughing your heads off at the silly pretense of science shown by the people you worship.” - Ian Forrester

WOW Poptart, don’t let on which college. People will stay away in droves if you are an example of what they turn out.” - Ian Forrester

“Why is this despicable rent-a-troll allowed to post his insults, lies and nastiness on this blog?” - Ian Forrester

“That is exactly why I think he is a rent-a-troll, he gets paid by his sugardaddies for every post he makes.” - Ian Forrester

Given what Andrew did to Ian I would say that the few choice words he is using are a very restrained response.

Prove that the information I posted cannot be found using Google or that I followed Ian anywhere to harass him.

Energy & Environment is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary scholarly journal (ISSN: 0958-305X)
- Indexed in Compendex, EBSCO, Environment Abstracts, Google Scholar, JournalSeek and Scopus
- Found at 157 libraries and universities worldwide in print and electronic form. These include; Cambridge University, Cornell University, British Library, Dartmouth College, Library of Congress, National Library of Australia, Ohio University, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, University of California, University of Delaware, University of Oxford, University of Virginia, and MIT.
- EBSCO lists Energy & Environment as a peer-reviewed scholarly journal
- The IPCC cites Energy & Environment multiple times
- “All Multi-Sciences primary journals are fully refereed” - Multi-Science Publishing
- “Regular issues include submitted and invited papers that are rigorously peer reviewed” - E&E Mission Statement
- “E&E, by the way, is peer reviewed” - Tom Wigley, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- “I have published a few papers in E&E. All were peer-reviewed as usual. I have reviewed a few more for the journal.” - Richard Tol, Ph.D. Professor of the Economics of Climate Change, Vrije Universiteit, Netherlands
- Elsevier (parent company of Scopus) correctly lists Energy & Environment as a scholarly peer-reviewed journal on their internal master list. (Source: Email Correspondence)

I refuse to accept any criticism that is based on lies, misinformation or strawman arguments.

Again you repeat the same tired strawman argument about the list. No claim is made that all the papers reject AGW only that they all support skeptic arguments against AGW Alarm, defined as, “concern relating to a negative environmental or socio-economic effect of AGW, usually exaggerated as catastrophic.”

All your nonsensical “audits” are bogus as every paper listed supports my claim and every argument to the contrary has been refuted.

Greenfyre’s nonsense has been completely refuted.

Rebuttal to “Poptart’s 450 climate change Denier lies”
http://z4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/index.php?showtopic=3650

He states outright lies and refuses to correct them, that is dishonest as I have made a correction to every legitimate criticism of the list.

Rob, you established figures really?

1. Please provide the 1001 Google Scholar result for your update search with the phrase “climate change” between 1990-2011 and the search phrase “global warming” between 2002-2010.

Let me know when you can provide them.

Andrew… Please let me know when you actually get a quality paper on that list of yours.

Rob, please provide the 1001 Google Scholar result for your update search with the phrase “climate change” between 1990-2011 and the search phrase “global warming” between 2002-2010.

Let me know when you can provide them.

Andrew… Your posting totally bogus information. We statistically accounted for erroneous results with a very wide margin of error in your favor. But what you have never been able to do is address ANY of the critiques of your sadly inadequate list.

As I irrefutably demonstrated due to the design of Google Scholar you cannot statistically account for erroneous results.

Google Scholar Illiteracy at Skeptical Science

http://www.populartechnology.net/2011/02/google-scholar-illiteracy-at-skeptical.html

“Rob claims to have done a statistical sampling of 200 papers and found 6% were erroneous (his sampling methods are not disclosed) but due to the ranking of Google Scholar results a true random sampling would not be possible with results over 1000. This is because Google Scholar uses a ranking system that heavily weighs citations (among other factors) that would place actual peer-reviewed content towards the beginning of the results and erroneous content towards the end.

How are documents ranked? (About Google Scholar)

“Google Scholar aims to rank documents the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each document, where it was published, who it was written by, as well as how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature.”

Sampling fails here with results over 1000 since more erroneous results would likely fall outside of the sample range, producing misleading statistics.”

I have refuted every single criticism of the list ad nauseum.

Hundreds of thousands? Really? I’m dying to hear your source for this!

Certainly the IPCC didnt cite “hundreds of thousands” of peer reviewed papers. In fact they were unable to find peer reviewed papers to support many of their assertions, leading to their use of over 500 references from non peer reviewed sources.
http://www.noconsensus.org/ipcc-audit/findings-main-page.php

Sure doesnt look like they had “hundreds of thousands” to choose from, does it?

Peter… Were talking about 150 years of science spanning a very wide range of issues.

I have to ask, is a website titled “noconsensus.org” what you would call a source of accurate information?

Rob

Yes, noconsensus.org is an extremely reliable source of information. The audit they did on the IPCC report lists all the non peer reviewed papers used in AR4, which you can check for yourself. Unless you prefer to judge a site by its URL, which makes even less sense than judging research by its funding

And you said climate change, not “a wide range of issues”. And 150 years ago? -good to see you keep up to date with current research /sarc

Peter… Um, no it is NOT a reliable source. The fact remains that there very clearly is a scientific consensus on climate change.

And, I guess you are not up on the issue if you dont know the full body of the science behind climate change (yes, that dates back 150 years).

Rob

On what basis do you claim noconsensus.org is not reliable? Have you any evidence for this claim whatever, or is this merely your prejudices on display? Can you point to any erroneous claim they have made - they have certainly made a few which are very damaging to your case, and backed them up with something better than a Google search (actual research, no less).

Your claim of a consensus lies in ruins, and all you can do is repeat your original assertions, in the face of overwhelming evidence you are wrong.

Theres a term for that - denier. If the cap fits…

You make me laugh, Peter!! Come on! This is comical. Even the slightest amount of research into this issue points out how wrong you are. Even just comparing the conservative figures on the amount of research done into climate change and Poptechs highly irrelevant 900 papers list, it clearly shows where the science stands on the issue of climate change.

You may not agree with the consensus but that does not mean there is not one. Accept the facts, 97-98 percent of climate researchers believe that AGW is real.

Actually, 74 of 76 self described “climate scientists” agreed that man has some significant effect on global temperature rises. That is out of over 6000 questionnaires sent out, and over 3000 returned.

Why do you think they didn’t use the larger sample, but kept narrowing it down until only people who draw their paycheck as a result of AGW alarm were counted?

As I said at the start of this thread, if you need to cite THAT study, you are VERY desperate for support.

Do you understand what a statistically significant sampling is, Peter? I assume youre referring to Doran 2009 but you can also see that Andregg 2010 got the same results using different methods. In science thats usually an indication of robust results.

I’m sorry, that should have been over 5000 (5587 to be exact) non peer reviewed citations in AR4, about 30 percent of the total. Which should all, according to Dr Pachauri, have been “thrown in the dustbin”.

Along with the conclusions based on them, I suggest

Sorry, but can you substantiate that statement? A list of the citations claiming to fall into this category would help.

Albatross

Certainly. http://www.noconsensus.org/ipcc-audit/findings-detailed.php.

Glad I can help:)

The one which just made the IPCC reports “not peer reviewed” and also brushed all books/book chapters in the same box.

Pages

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But an investigation by Australia’s press watchdog has found that in fact, it was the Murdoch-owned national newspaper that “got it wrong”.

The Australian Press Council has upheld complaints about the coverage, led by a story from the newspaper’s environment editor Graham Lloyd.

The council also found the...

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