The 98% climate consensus, where did the number come from?

The mainstream media is all exercised that some Republican candidates, notably Rick Perry, do not agree that humans are the principal cause of global warming. Typical of the stories is one from the Los Angeles Times, reprinted in the Arizona Daily Star, that quotes Jon Huntsman as saying, “Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I’m saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can’t run from science.” The Star headlined the article: “GOP’s Huntsman a voice of reason on global warming.”

Let’s take a closer look at “science” and see where the 98% number came from. It probably came from a paper from the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science titled “Expert credibility in climate change.”

In that paper, researchers scanned the literature and constructed a “database of 1,372 climate researchers based on authorship of scientific assessment reports and membership on multisignatory statements about ACC [anthropogenic climate change]” as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The researchers then arbitrarily assigned “expert” status to those who had published at least 20 papers. That cut the number of “experts” to 908. In the supporting material at the end of the paper we find that of the original 1,372 researchers, 619 were contributors to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment report, and 212 were signatories to the UN’s Bali declaration. After culling duplicate names, the paper’s authors wound up with 472 “experts” out of tens of thousands of practicing researchers.

Therefore, 98% of carefully culled researchers, most of whom worked on the IPCC reports, are said to believe that humans are the principal cause of climate change. The 98% consensus consists of researchers who have a vested interest in continuing the myth of significant global warming caused by human carbon dioxide emissions. Follow the money. The 98% consensus is just another manipulated number pulled out of the air.

As Steve Milloy put it, “The study’s premise that unless you’ve published 20 papers on climate your views don’t matter or are uninformed is patently arbitrary and absurd. This doesn’t make these researchers correct or credible, just employed.”

Mr. Huntsman and the Arizona Daily Star should check the sources.

And Mr. Huntsman should read:

A Perspective on Climate Change

UPDATE: see “Cooking” Consensus on Climate Change


  1. Does employed mean living off government funding given only to people who support a particular political position? 

    1. Both parties have groups (left; the poor, elderly, disabled, Wall Street. right; corporations, megarich, government contractors also Wall Street) that “enjoy government funding” and “tend to support particular positions” so could you be more specific?

  2. The simple fact is that anyone who has been sceptical has had great problems publishing their work and those who go along find it incredibly easy (like 18days compared to years).
    Is it any wonder that few who were sceptical ever got to 20 papers?

    1. The same is even more true of publishing papers that are sceptical of a spherical earth, or a heliocentric solar system.
      This is not a failing of the peer review system, it is the system working.

      1. 18 days vs 10 yrs! Seriously, if they had of gotten the funding 10 yrs ago they would have come up with the same conclusion, clouds are a significant if not the most significant cooling mechanism to the atmosphere. 

  3. The “mainstream” media includes Fox News (both cable and web), correct?  If so your statement is incorrect because Fox News has repeatedly mocked the issue of Global Warming. As far as your anaylsis, it is also apparent  terms like “probably”, “apparently” and “arbitrarily” are your own judgement on what took place. Given the fact ou your own position on Global Warming, I would need to hear the other side of the coin, so to speak to come to any truth of your article.
     All I know, the fact is the climate is changing (recent article on the greatest artic ice loss), extreme weather, and even eco-system changes from increase carbon concentrations, such as, ocean acidification. This is more than mild concern we should be prudent and take immediat action to cut back on our emissions. 

    1. I doubt that you can find any credible evidence showing that artic ice loss and extreme weather have anything to do with carbon dioxide.  And yes, the climate is always in a state of change.  Perhaps you too should read my article: A Perspective on Climate Change.

      1. I say cut greenhouse gas emissions because there is a much cheaper way to generate energy that is coincidentally clean. Ni+H+K2CO3(heated under pressure)=Cu+lots of heat.  See posting below.  I am not financially involved, but at 1/10th the cost and domestically produced, how can you lose?  Forget global warming, I say go with the cheapest!

  4. Yes, by all means let’s cut our emissions. Take out the coal plants, quit driving, shut off the TV, quit eating meat, live in communes and pay the gov to control our lives.  But the climate will keep on changing anyway. 

    1. Why do you assume that we must return to the stone age to deal with climate change? Economists have studied the cost of mitigating the effects of GCC and estimated the costs at between .5 to 2.5 percent of GDP. Admittedly a wide margin of opinions but nothing like the deniers would have you believe. Dr. John Parsons

      1. If you believe that climate change is man-caused and can really be mitigated through governmental policy changes, then maybe you should buy an interest in whatever dobermanmacleod is selling. And while you’re at it read a book on historical geology to get a perspective on climate change.   

    2. Get the word buddy.  See below post.  There is a clean and very cheap way to produce energy that is 1/10 as expensive as oil, coal, or any other (except hydroelectric which is massive infrastructure investment).  Ni+H+K2CO3(heated under pressure)=Cu+lots of heat.  1 gram of nickel yields an amazing 1.7 billion calories (over ten thousand times as energy dense as coal or oil, and clean to boot).

  5. There is a new clean energy technology that is 1/10th the cost of any other energy technology. Don’t believe me? Watch this video by a Nobel prize winner in physics:

    Still don’t believe me? It convinced the Swedish Skeptics Society:

    LENR using nickel. Incredibly: Ni+H+K2CO3(heated under pressure)=Cu+lots of heat. Here is a detailed description of the device and formula from a US government contract:

    Still don’t believe me? A major US corporation has bought the rights to sell the 1 megawatt Rossi E-Cat, and it will be announced late October in the US, with the unit hitting the market in November. How can any fossil fuel compete with such cheap energy (and clean to boot!).

    By the way, here is a current survey of all the companies that are bringing LENR to commercialization:

  6.  Meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading stock markets run by corporations and politicians to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 25 years of attempts at climate CONTROL.  And since Obama never even mentioned the “crisis” in his February State of the Union Address, it’s fair to say that the new denier is anyone who still thinks we will all vote YES to taxing the air to make the weather colder. When we see the countless thousands of concerned consensus scientists marching in the streets and acting like this is really the “crisis” they say it is, only then will we not accuse them of legal exaggeration.     Climatologists are the abusive priests of science and scientists don’t forget, poisoned our planet with their pesticides and falsely condemned billions of children to a CO2 death for 25 years of needless panic. There are real consequences for inciting this “climate riot” and those guilty parties will be in jail at some point. We missed getting Bush and his red necked neocons so call the courthouse now! U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001 By Phone: Department of Justice Main Switchboard -202-514-2000 Office of the Attorney General Public Comment Line -202-353-1555 Climate Blame was a sick and tragic exaggeration that made fools out of all of us. 

  7. Those saying that it’s because it’s hard to get money to do research that goes againt the consensus are completely misinformed. Anti- global warming science is funded in millions by energy or petrochemical groups (or frontgroups). The only thing they lack is factual ability to prove anything, because anthropogenic warming is necessary to explain earth temperatures in the last 50 years for all the models made. If anyone can prove man-made climate change is not true, he’s a Nobel Proce winner and wins the lottery. Unfortunately this seems as unlikely as proving the earth is flat! Politics (and especially GOPers) are misinformed to say the least or unable to go against large interest groups in the energy sector and therefore try to keep the myth that there is a divided view amongst scientists on this topic as they do it for evolutionary science… Huntsman is the only honest (or educated) candidate on that. Kudos to him

  8. MIT Professor, Dr. Richard Lindzen, an internationally recognized authority on atmospheric science, said, “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.”   The whole global warming/climate change/climate disruption industry has become the most expencive hoax/scam/fraud/swindle in modern history!

  9. The 98% number may well have come from the ‘study’ mentioned or it may have come from a 2008/9 one that reappeared here in Australia earlier this month in a newspaper that has started a special section to educate the ignorant masses about the true alarmist science.
    The problem for them is that the 2008/9 one was quickly picked apart as scientifically meaningless within weeks of appearing.  It has been often referred to as being 97 or 98%.
    The 2008/9 one was revisited earlier this year at –

    There have been a number of these done in the past and are usually quickly forgotten.

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