A few hours ago, I submitted a comment to Collin Maessen’s blog regarding this post. It hasn’t appeared yet. I don’t know if it ever will. Rather than wait, I’m posting it here. I’m doing so primarily because I made the comment at the behest of Andy Skuce (who I had been having an exchange with on Twitter). I’d like him to be able to read it even if Collin Maessen’s blog is unwilling to have simple criticisms posted.
Without further ado, this is what I submitted:
Dear Collin, given you accuse Anthony Watts of lying, it is reasonable to expect your post to be a paragon of integrity. Instead, it provides an incredibly unfair characterization. Watts says:
As has been previously pointed out on WUWT, when you look at the methodology used to reach that number, the veracity of the result falls apart, badly.
You respond to by flagrantly misrepresenting it. You claim:
No, it doesn’t fall apart. What Watts is referring to is a letter he published on his blog written by Richard Tol. I already have a response to this letter on my website called ‘Cook’s 97% Climate Consensus Paper Doesn’t Crumble Upon Examination‘.
This is untrue. The link Watts provides does not claim Richard Tol showed the Cook et al paper falls apart. Bjørn Lomborg (who the piece is by) specifically discussed problems with Cook et al’s paper. He then quoted Tol as an additional point of discussion. You have taken what was a separate point and falsely claimed it was the only point. To demonstrate, I’ll quote the piece:
The paper looks at 12,000 papers written in the last 25 years (see here, the paper doesn’t actually specify the numbers, http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/watch-the-pea/). It ditches about 8,000 papers because they don’t take a position.
They put people who agree into three different bins — 1.6% that explicitly endorse global warming with numbers, 23% that explicitly endorse global warming without numbers and then 74% that “implicitly endorse” because they’re looking at other issues with global warming that must mean they agree with human-caused global warming.
Voila, you got about 97% (actually here 98%, but because the authors haven’t released the numbers themselves, we have to rely on other quantitative assessments).
Notice, that *nobody* said anything about *dangerous* global warming; this meme simply got attached afterwards (by Obama and many others).
This clearly shows Lomborg’s criticism of Cook et al is not tied to, much less dependent upon, Richard Tol’s letter. Tol’s letter does not even discuss anything Lomborg said. In fact, if you check the original source (Lomborg’s Facebook post), you’ll see he didn’t even include the text of Tol’s letter. Tol was only brought up in the eight paragraph of his post, and he isn’t used as a reference for anything other than the claim Cook et al won’t provide data.
The actual argument made by Lomborg, hence the argument by Watts you’ve misrepresented, is Cook et al conflated support for the notion humans have caused some amount of global warming with support for the notion humans have caused most global warming. This was then exaggerated to claim the study showed a consensus that global warming is dangerous, an exaggeration promoted by the authors of the paper.
Amusingly, you criticize Watts for conflating things while his argument about Cook et al is they intentionally conflated things. You just “lied” so people wouldn’t know this.