Climate Change

Published on January 9th, 2014 | by DeSmog Blog


Only 1 Out Of 9,136 Recent Peer-Reviewed Authors Rejects Global Warming

January 9th, 2014 by  

Just as a simple reminder that this shit is real, and we need to tackle it by quickly installing clean energy, switching from gasmobiles to electric vehicles, building more mass transit (and using it more), and bicycling more (among other things):

Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility: Only 1 of 9,136 Recent Peer-Reviewed Authors Rejects Global Warming (via Desmogblog)

This is a guest post by James Lawrence Powell. I have brought my previous study (see here and here) up-to-date by reviewing peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals over the period from Nov. 12, 2012 through December 31, 2013. I found 2,258…

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The DeSmogBlog Project began in January 2006 and quickly became the world’s number one source for accurate, fact based information regarding global warming misinformation campaigns. TIME Magazine named DeSmogBlog in its "25 Best Blogs of 2011" list. Our articles and stories are routinely highlighted in the world’s most popular news outlets and blogs: New York Times DotEarth, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, ThinkProgress, and Treehugger, to name a few. DeSmogBlog has won the Canadian Public Relation Society’s Leadership in Communication award, and was voted Canada’s “Best Group Blog” by their peers.

  • Peter Gray

    Loved your original article, passed it on to many friends/colleagues, and used it a lecture to several hundred undergrads. Thanks for all the hard work!

  • TCFlood

    I don’t find studies such as Powell’s or SkS’s about X percent of scientists believing on not believing in global warming very useful. No credible scientist denies the mechanism of operation of greenhouse gases. The real question is about the size of the climate sensitivity parameter — how much and how fast will the earth warm. This is a very difficult and extremely important question to try to answer, but the situation is not helped by Powell’s post. I get more urgent motivation to get off fossil fuels at this point from peak oil and the air pollution from coal combustion (look at China!).

    Perhaps a more useful discussion than Powell’s would be about the precautionary principle. What societal economic price should we be willing to pay for a given confidence level of a particular projected rate of warming?

    • TC,
      “The real question is about the size of the climate sensitivity parameter — how much and how fast will the earth warm.” The old 64,000 dollar question.
      Turns out that we underestimated how sensitive the climate is to energy imbalances. The best figure on present warming over pre-industrial averages is .08C globally. However the poles have warmed much more. Simple thermodynamics at work there.
      The problem is that just that s,all amount of warming has triggered a whole host of self-reinforcing feed backs. Most notably, methane venting from arctic permafrost and ocean hydrates. Present methane levels in the atmosphere are unprecedented. That’s just one of many. Another major concern is the activity of the Atlantic Thermohaline Conveyor (Gulf Stream). It has changed course, is being diluted with fresh water and could stop altogether. That would be catastrophic for Europe in particular.
      Bottom line is: due to these feed backs we will most likely see climate chaos increase exponentially, or at least non-linearly. At this point all bets are off as to what, exactly, the climate will do. When we start regularly getting days like they experienced recently on Australia 129+F and days where bitter cold damages or destroys early plantings, I’m guessing that global food production will plummet and we all know what that portends.
      Sure, getting off fossil fuels for the reasons you point out are fine but I’d say the prospect of human extinction is a little bigger deal. AMEG.ME for info on CH4.

      • TCFlood

        I’m well aware of everything in your first two paragraphs. Indeed much of the extreme weather we are experiencing is consistent with climate change scenarios. Personally, I believe much of it really is related to global warming. Nevertheless, statistically demonstrating GW causality amidst natural variation is not trivial. Statistical analysis in recent publications does find secular GW signals in some weather phenomena but not in all.

        If Sherwood’s recent Nature paper is correct that climate sensitivity may be in the mid to high region of the IPCC’s CS range, then you may indeed be right that we are in for some serious dislocations in many aspects of our civilization. To talk about human extinction is silly and only causes loss of credibility.

    • just_jim

      If we just went to a zero societal economic price, ie reducing our carbon footprint as fast as possible where it was profitable, we’d be doing far more than we are now.
      I’d like us to get there ASAP. That shouldn’t stop us from considering right now what other actions we should be taking.

      • TCFlood

        I agree Jim.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Cost of converting electricity generation to renewables.

      Not all that much when one considers that we will need to replace almost all existing coal and nuclear plants over the next 30 or so years anyway. And that new renewable generation is cheaper than new nuclear and coal.

      Cost of converting ICEVs to EVs.

      Not all that much. If we did nothing but change what is sold at the dealership to EVs we’d have almost no ICEVs on the roads 20 years later.

      Money wasted if it turns out that fossil fuel emissions were not driving us to a climate catastrophe.

      Probably none. Renewables will give us cheaper electricity. EVs are very much cheaper to drive per mile. We’ll save tons and tons of money thanks to no longer have to treat fossil fuel caused illnesses.

      • TCFlood

        Good Comment Bob.

        • TCFlood

          Actually, I’m a big believer in the precautionary principle. I think we should be willing to pay a significant amount (progressively dependent on personal wealth) if need be to take preemptive steps to shift to renewable, sustainable energy and off of fossil fuels.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The expected cost of severe climate change would be stupendous (anyone got a bigger word?).

            Even if one sets the probability that human GHG emissions is driving global warming at a very low number, the cost of what would befall us makes it terribly unwise to not take evasive action.

            Be a skeptic. Set only a 1% probability of what climate scientists are saying being true. 99% chance they are wrong.

            Estimate the cost of rebuilding all our coastal cites and homes on higher ground. Replacing all the infrastructure in 500 or 1,000 year flood plains. Losing our best agricultural lands. Having to deal with billions of climate refugees. (Texans escaping to Wisconsin will be climate refugees, not just “those people”.)

            0.1 * some number in the many trillions of dollars is still too much to risk. It’s a fool’s bet.

            (Climate scientists are telling us that the probably is higher than 95%.)

      • Ross

        During the transition to renewables it will probably become the consensus that doing so is an investment not a cost. That’s what gives me hope that we will do it in time to prevent the worst outcome

    • Ross

      Assuming that the sensitivity is a fixed parameter may also be a mistake.

  • Hari

    Only one Grinch out of 9,136 remain skeptical about the reality of global warming! Amazing! And can this Grinch explain how the polar vortex has gone out of control, chilling bones in US of A while the Aussie can broil kangaroo meat in the 50 deg C temperatures they face there? Or how Europe is having balmy weather now! What happened when Katrina and its sister storms laid waste to half the planet?

    • Bob_Wallace

      I think the guy has an explanation. Problem is, he has no data to back up his explanation.

      It’s like the people who blame global warming on Sun spots/whatever. Unless you bring the data, you bring no credibility.

  • Ross

    It’s starting to get to levels rivalling the scientific consensus on the cause of the tides.

  • S.Nkm

    Give that one guy 50% of the speaking time! It’s about fairness and balance.

    • HAHA, indeed! 😀

    • Peter Gray

      Best comment I’ve read in a while. Nailed it in 14 words.

  • Jouni Valkonen

    This is nice. Although I think that this “study” exaggerates the single mindedness of climate scientists. It is possible to write on climate science that it does not take explicit stance whether AGW is true or not. I would assume that only 95–99 % of peer reviewed science authors are supporting AGW hypothesis.

    I think that the biggest uncertainties on AGW hypothesis are related on computer models that are probably unreliable.

    Also trying to predict what are the worst effects of AGW is difficult. As reforestation is effective making water cycle more robust against droughts, my suggestion to combat global warming is to reforest vulnerable regions are much as possible. If reforesting hypothesis is not the most efficient counter measure, at least ecological diversity wins.

    Elon Musk said the counter argument against denials best. We really do not want to make atmospheric experiment with planet Earth. It is wiser to to make global warming experiments on Mars.

    • Bob_Wallace

      “I think that the biggest uncertainties on AGW hypothesis are related on computer models that are probably unreliable.”

      Time to play catch-up…

      As for planting our way out of this mess, you don’t understand the scope of the problem.

      • Jouni Valkonen

        i really doubt that you understand on global warming issue. You are not the smartest guy out there, and your thinking is heavily confirmation biased. That is, you accept as truth nearly everything that supports your prejudices.

        • A Real Libertarian

          “You are not the smartest guy out there”

          True. But it’s common internet knowledge that “Bob Wallace” is a pseudonym for James Hansen, so I think he knows more then you.

          • just_jim

            That “Bob Wallace” knows more than Jouni is both a given, and a really low bar. But considering their radically different views on nuclear power, it’s unlikely that Bob is James Hansen.

          • A Real Libertarian

            ” But considering their radically different views on nuclear power, it’s unlikely that Bob is James Hansen.”


          • Bob_Wallace

            You are correct.

            While Jim knows much more about climate science I’ve got him smoked when it comes to renewable energy. He thinks that nuclear energy is our only route off fossil fuels. That’s just silly thinking.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Thank you.

          I’ll keep that in mind.

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