If you take the time to look into it and then read carefully, you’ll discover that the claim that 97 percent of climate scientists believe in climate change is “self-serving political tommyrot,” says Steve Hayward. Hayward observes that “[t]he most prominent form of [the claim] comes from Prof. John Cook of the University of Queensland in a paper published last year that purported to have reviewed over 11,000 climate science articles.” The key passage from Cook’s research:
We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on [Anthropogenic Global Warming], 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.
In other words, says Hayward, “[m]any of these articles do not take a position on the magnitude of possible future warming, and fewer still embrace giving the car keys over to Al Gore.” And then:
The plot thickens. Prof. Cook refused to share his data with anyone. Shades of the East Anglia mob and their tree ring data. But also like the East Anglia mob, someone at the University of Queensland left the data in the ether of the internet, and blogger Brandon Shollenberger came across it and starting noting its weaknesses. Then the predictable thing happened: the University of Queensland claims that the data was hacked, and sent Shollenbeger a cease-and-desist letter. That just speaks lots of confidence and transparency, doesn’t it? [Powerline, May 18]