PBS NewsHour: Against scientific consensus before they were for it

Pay no attention to the contradiction behind the curtain.

Hard to miss the PBS NewsHour’s assertion about a ‘global warming scientific consensus’ in the recent broadcast they had featuring Anthony Watts:

SPENCER MICHELS: But the fight over climate change is anything but academic. Whether the politicians listen to the 97 percent of scientists who say that it is real or they pay attention to the vocal community of skeptics will determine to a large extent what regulations and what laws get passed.

Yet, in regard to the then-hot story almost exactly one year earlier that neutrinos might traveling faster than the speed of light, the NewsHour’s newswrap segment concluded with this statement:

… There was word today that a bedrock assumption of physics may be in jeopardy. Scientists in Europe reported they have clocked subatomic particles, called neutrinos, going faster than the speed of light, […] The researchers said, if the findings check out, it will force a fundamental reassessment of modern physics.

So, viewers of the program were given the unmistakable impression that a plausible singular report is capable of overturning 100 years of widespread acceptance of a particular science theory. Capable of overturning a consensus, in other words.

We are left to wonder how the NewsHour is able to explain the appearance that they were doubtful of consensus opinion validating specific scientific conclusions before they were certain it does.

Russell Cook’s collection of writings on this issue can be seen at “The ’96-to-present smear of skeptic scientists.” You may also follow him at Twitter via @questionAGW
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11 responses to “PBS NewsHour: Against scientific consensus before they were for it

  1. The answer is simple. Consensus only matters in climate “science”.

  2. Even more simple. There are hard and fast guidelines in quantum physics and the data is shared and verified. There are ethereal models, hidden data and no one dare question in climate science. In other words, physics is science, “climate change” is not.

  3. If anyone is interested, the illusion that there’s any sort of consensus among climate scientists is simply that. There’s no consensus and there never was in regard to climate change.

    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/anderegg-et-al-revisited/

  4. “Consensus is what many people say in chorus but do not believe as individuals.” – Abba Eban
    On a somewhat related note, he is also recorded as saying of the UN
    “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.”

  5. There was great “consensus” that the sun went around the earth.. the consensus lasted for thousands of years.. then after killing lots of dissenters.. the truth was changed and what before was fact.. now is folly

  6. The 2009 Doran survey received responses from 77 bona fide climatologists. 75 claimed that “man made global warming” was real. When 77 is divided by 79, the Doran survey thus showed that 97% of responding climatologists said it was real.

    The 97% figure has been repeatedly expanded far beyond its true meaning. It has now morphed into the “fact” that 97% of ALL scientists (not just the 77 respondants in Doran’s survey) say that man made global warming is real.

    Why do claims for “97% of ALL scientists” go unchallenged?

  7. In 2009, professors Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman sent a survey to 10,257 scientists to get their views on man made global warming. The Doran survey received 3,146 responses in total, including responses from from 77 bona fide climatologists. Of the respondants who were climatologists, 75 of the 77 claimed that “man made global warming” was real. When 75 is divided by 77, the Doran survey thus showed that 97% of responding climatologists say it is real.

    The 97% figure has been repeatedly expanded far beyond its true meaning. It has morphed into the headlines that 97% of ALL scientists (not just the 75 respondants in Doran’s survey) say that man made global warming is real. Read the first paragraph of this article, with the words attributed to Spencer Michels.

    Why do fallacious claims for “97% of ALL scientists” continuously go unchallenged?

  8. I was really good at mathematics when I was young, being awarded a WARF fellowship to the University of Wisconsin in the late 60’s. But I have to rely on a consensus among experts that Andrew Wiles actually proved Fermat’s last theorem. I might be able to understand the proof if I worked hard enough, but I would rather play solitaire at this stage of my life. I have no idea what the Higgs mechanism is, but I take Steven Weinberg’s word that this process gives rise to mass. The highest density ever was at the moment of the big bang. Why wasn’t that a black hole? Because mass came into being during the big bang itself. That blows my mind! Consensus and authority are important in Science and other matters.

    The problem with the consensus about AGW is its ambiguous nature. Our President said yesterday that temperatures are rising rapidly. What temperatures? The politically neutral satellite thermometer says that temperatures have not risen above their levels 15 or so years ago. Dr. Spencer keeps tabs on that. The discrepancy between satellite and terrestrial thermometers has been a problem since global warming was first proposed after global cooling lost favor. As I understand the matter, there is a consensus that the CO2 effect is rather small. One needs Dr. Hansen’s modeling to generate a factor of 3 for the CO2 effect to be troubling.. But wouldn’t a positive feedback lead to runaway warming with or without CO2? That’s how the squeals in high school sound systems come about. Not so much anymore with radio microphones.

    I think almost everybody can follow Mr. McIntyre’s debunk of Dr. Mann’s hockey stick, the thermometer discrepancy, and the feedback mystery. The AGW consensus seems more like the WMD consensus that lead to the Iraq War.

  9. Westchester Bill | November 15, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
    ……………………..
    The problem with the consensus about AGW is its ambiguous nature.
    ……………………………..
    I think almost everybody can follow Mr. McIntyre’s debunk of Dr. Mann’s hockey stick, the thermometer discrepancy, and the feedback mystery. The AGW consensus seems more like the WMD consensus that lead to the Iraq War.
    ————————————-
    WOW!
    That sounds like a fair comparison.
    I had never once put the two together.
    It’s the same mindset for control. Stretch the truth. Lie if you must.
    There’s a world out there to save. Do it…..for the children.
    This time the government has the entire environmental movement behind them…..ut-oh.
    cn

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