Climate Change Is a Fact of Life, the Science Is Not Settled and 97% Consensus on Global Warming Is a Math Myth Say Friends of Science

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Friends of Science have issued a new report “97% Consensus? No! Global Warming Math Myths and Social Proofs” revealing that only 1-3% of scientists in 3 of 4 "consensus" surveys explicitly agree with the IPCC extreme declaration on global warming. Scientific evidence at the joint NOAA/NASA press conference Jan. 21, 2014 shows no global warming in 16+ years despite a rise in carbon dioxide (CO2); as climate models continue to fail, the Dutch government calls for the IPCC reform to include natural factors, not limited to human-induced climate change.

97% Consensus claim turns out to be math myth

97% Consensus Survey Breakdown Reveals only 1-3% Explicit Agreement

The claim of a 97% consensus is mathematical manipulation... Unfortunately even the President is swayed by this kind of social proof

Friends of Science announce the release of a new report entitled “97% Consensus? No! Global Warming Math Myths and Social Proofs.” Contrary to claims of these most-cited 97% consensus surveys, there is only 1-3% explicitly stated agreement with the IPCC declarations on global warming, and no agreement with a catastrophic view.

“These ‘consensus’ surveys appear to be used as a ‘social proof,’” says Ken Gregory, research director of Friends of Science. “Just because a science paper includes the words 'global climate change' this does not define the cause, impact or possible mitigation. The 97% claim is contrived in all cases.”

The Oreskes (2004) study claimed 75% consensus and a "remarkable lack of disagreement" by the other 25% of the abstracts she reviewed. Peiser (2005) re-ran her survey and found major discrepancies. Only 1.2% or 13 scientists out of 1,117 agreed with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) view that human activity is the main cause of global warming since 1950.

Peiser found that 34 scientists rejected or doubted the alleged ‘consensus’ position outright and 44 claimed natural factors as more influential. At least 470 papers expressed no position on Anthropogenic (human-caused) Global Warming (AGW) whatsoever.

Doran & Zimmerman (2009) only assessed 79 scientists out of 3,146 respondents. Many scientists sent them emails protesting the survey design.

The recent Cook et al (2013) began with the broadest possible ‘consensus’ definition – rendering the idea of ‘consensus’ meaningless. Only 0.54% (or 64 scientists) explicitly agreed. Though Cook’s graphics on The Consensus Project website focus on fossil fuels, his study used the 1996 Houghton declaration which includes other human factors like agriculture and land-use change.

Some 7983 scientists or 67% of the ~12,000 papers in the Cook study had no position on climate change. Many scientists publicly denounced Cook for wrongly assessing their work as supporting AGW when it does not.

“The claim of a 97% consensus is mathematical manipulation,” says Gregory. “Unfortunately even the President is swayed by this kind of social proof.”

President Obama, in his Jan. 28, 2014 State of the Union address said that “...the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”

“Climate change is a fact – of life – and always has been, and the debate goes on. Science is not about consensus; it is about findings and evidence,” says Gregory. “Even the IPCC’s most recent report says there is low confidence in any observable trend in global hurricanes, storms, floods or droughts."

Climate scientist Roger Pielke, Jr. presented a number of graphs showing a decline in extreme weather conditions in his July 18, 2013 testimony to the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.    

Friends of Science research found that the purpose of the 97% ‘consensus’ claim lies in the psychological sciences, not in climate science. A 97% consensus claim is merely a ‘social proof’ - a powerful psychological motivator as elucidated by Robert Cialdini in his book “Influence.” Such bandwaggoning claims are intended to make the public comply with the herd; to not be the ‘odd man out.’

As Friends of Science report demonstrates, there is no herd. It is all a math myth.

Meantime, the Dutch government is calling for restructuring of the IPCC saying "...limiting the scope of the IPCC to human-induced climate change is undesirable, especially because natural climate change is a crucial part of the total understanding of the climate system.”


Friends of Science have spent a decade reviewing a broad spectrum of literature on climate change and have concluded the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide (CO2). The core group of the Friends of Science is made up of retired earth and atmospheric scientists.

Friends of Science Society
P.O. Box 23167, Connaught P.O.
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2S 3B1
Toll-free Telephone: 1-888-789-9597
E-mail: contact(at)friendsofscience(dot)org

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Michelle Stirling
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