Did John Cook really ‘cook the books’?

Few weeks ago when a posted a blog titled; “Scientific Studies Agrees on Human Caused Climate Change” based on information provided by John Cook and his colleagues, I taught I had a good piece of information. It turns out that the post was based on research that has misleading information.  Forbes online contributor James Taylor posted an article that undermines the credibility of this research and I taught it’s important for me to write a sequel on this post explaining why the information provided might be wrong.  After taking a closer look at the paper, investigative journalist report that the authors’ claims of a 97-pecent consensus relied on the authors misclassifying the papers of some of the world’s most prominent global warming skeptics. It was also alleged that the author created a meaningless survey question so as to twist the response to support their desired interest.


Investigative journalists looked into the research data and found out that Cook and his colleagues wrongfully classified papers by prominent, vigorous skeptics as Willie Soon, Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir Shaviv, Nils-Axel Morner and Alan Carlin as supporting the 97-percent consensus. For example the paper classified a peer-reviewed paper by scientist Craig Idso as explicitly supporting the ‘consensus’ position on global warming “without minimizing” the asserted severity of global warming. When Idso was asked whether this was an accurate characterization of his paper, Idso responded, “That is not an accurate representation of my paper”. The papers examined how the rise in atmospheric CO2 could be inducing a phase advance in the spring portion of the atmosphere’s seasonal CO2 cycle. Other literature had previously claimed a measured advance was due to rising temperatures, but it’s shown that it was quite likely the rise in atmospheric CO2 itself was responsible for the lion’s share of the change. It would be incorrect to claim that our paper was an endorsement of CO2-induced global warming.”   You can find the article here for more information on why Cook’s assumptions were not necessarily all correct.

Misleading information like this sometimes makes me doubt the severity of global warming and its relative anthropogenic contributions.   For me, it sometimes reduces the legitimacy of many global warming researches because most of the finding where influence by the underlining ideologies and interests of the authors. I still believe that human activities influences global warming but the degree and significance of its influence cannot be ascertained for now. Remember, in as much as we cannot stop the natural contribution factors to global warming, we should try to reduce human contributions as much as we can.


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