Oreskes Claim of Scientific Consensus on Global Warming Climate Change Discredits Harvard Kennedy School; Debunked by Peiser in 2005 and Friends of Science in 2007

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Science historian and Harvard Kennedy School professor Naomi Oreskes was recently cited in the Harvard Gazette as claiming a scientific consensus on global climate change based on her 2004 survey, but Friends of Science say that in 2007 they sent Oreskes a report by Madhav Khandekar disputing her claim; Benny Peiser re-ran Oreskes survey in 2005 and found only 1.2% or 13 scientists out of 1,117 agreed with the Anthropogenic (human-caused) Global Warming (AGW) declaration. Friends of Science recently released a deconstruction of the 4 most-cited 97% surveys showing only 1-3% stated agreement with IPCC declarations and say Oreskes' continued claim discredits Harvard Kennedy School.

97% Consensus claim turns out to be math myth

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

In a report entitled "Science vs. Politics - Kennedy School Panelists Scrutinize Climate Change Denial" published Feb. 14, 2014 by the Harvard Gazette, science historian and Harvard Kennedy School professor Naomi Oreskes continued to claim there is scientific consensus on human-caused global warming, despite her 2004 paper being rebutted by Roger Pielke, Jr. in 2005, re-run and found to be inaccurate by Benny Peiser in 2005 and debunked by a Friends of Science Society commissioned report, written by Madhav Khandekar and sent to Oreskes in 2007.

"Academics normally retract statements when they are proven to be wrong," says Len Maier, president of Friends of Science. "Continuing these consensus claims discredits the Harvard Kennedy School."

The Harvard Gazette narrative states Oreskes explained that ...'Overall agreement on the issue is at 97 to 99 percent, she said — about as close to perfect harmony as scientists can get; quoting her as saying: “This is beyond reasonable doubt. This is not disputed in the scientific community.”

Friends of Science point to their recent deconstruction of the 4 most-cited 'consensus' surveys. The research revealed that instead of a broad 97% as claimed - in fact only 1-3% of scientists in 3 surveys stated agreement with various IPCC declarations. The vast majority held no position at all and a significant percent felt natural factors were far more influential. A single survey done in 2010 was able to find a 66% consensus, but the remaining 34% scientists of that survey publicly denounced the IPCC declaration.

"It seems a lack of academic integrity to continue to defend a position that is so obviously incorrect," says Maier.

Friends of Science began the deconstruction of the 97% consensus reports, being curious as to how 4 separate surveys, each with a different data base, different parameters and definitions could all arrive at the same consensus number.

"This was described in 1954 by Darrell Huff as "statisticulation" or math manipulation," says Maier. "Subsequently, social psychologists like Robert Cialdini developed the theory of 'social proof' and how influential it is for others to fall in line, if the public think all authority figures, or all their friends agree. Surely science studies at eminent universities should be teaching about empirical evidence, not wallowing in propaganda."

Roger Pielke, Jr. rebutted Oreskes 2004 paper upon publication. Peiser (2005) re-ran Oreskes survey finding only 1.2% or 13 scientists out of 1,117 agreed with the Anthropogenic (human-caused) Global Warming (AGW) declaration, 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 AGW whatsoever.

Friends of Science point to the fact that other scientists who dispute the alleged consensus are publicly humiliated with condemnatory and dismissive name-calling - even by university professors like Oreskes and others on the Harvard Kennedy School panel.

"We provide evidence, they call us names. That's not science," says Maier."This misinformed view is about to devastate US industry and the world economy if extreme climate change targets based on faulty social proofs are imposed by the Obama administration's proposed expansion of EPA regulations."

U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in an amicus brief with the Supreme Court opposing further expansion of emissions regulations cites the EPA’s documents, from 2004, which state that related permits would cost businesses “. . . an average of $125,120 and required 866 hours for the applicant to complete . . .” – death to small and medium businesses.

"Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Global warming stopping in 1998; CO2 rose but temperatures did not," says Maier. "Solar cycles and the sun's magnetic flux are the main driver of climate change, not CO2. This is the science people never hear about."


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
Web: friendsofscience.org
E-mail: contact(at)friendsofscience.org

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