Talk:Scientific opinion on climate change/Archive 16

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"Warming" is uncertain without a time period

It is uncertain whether the statement "Earth's climate system is unequivocally warming" is true or false without stating the time period involved. The statement is false relative to the last five million years, and the last three interglacials. It is true since the Little Ice Age, and from 1950 to 2000 etc. Global temperatures since 2002 have been about flat with the "warming" rate much lower (if any) than the rate from 1950-2000. Recommend correcting this statement to: "Earth's climate has been warming since the Little Ice Age with a higher warming rate from 1950 to 2000." DLH (talk) 01:18, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Agree fully. Suggest a modification to the lede to reflect the correct refernce reeriod. TouchPoints (talk) 08:15, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think this article should go into too much detail about the actual science. Climate is anything over more than a few years, why should anyone think of hundreds never mind millions of years? And why would they have got to this article anyway if they haven't the foggiest what they are looking at? You'd have to think that one million years BC with humans running from dinosaurs was alright to get it anyway wrong. If you want to stick something like this in I'd just say that since 1950 humans are causing it... Dmcq (talk) 11:31, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
This is all handwaving until someone posts some draft text, including RSs, in this thread for us to discuss. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 11:56, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Well one of the cites at the end of the sentence says 'since the mid-20th century' for the very likely bit.. Dmcq (talk) 12:33, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes... the "unequiv" bit is ref'd to this figure [1] which is since 1850, but I doubt they mean since 1850, so to speak. I've tried adding in our pic 9from GW) which covers about the sametimespan William M. Connolley (talk) 15:29, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
The very likely human bit though is from about 1950 which is what the opinion is about. It could possibly be natural before then though I doubt it. Dmcq (talk) 17:15, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
DLH isn't just waving his hands; he has a specific suggestion: Earth's climate has been warming since the Little Ice Age with a higher warming rate from 1950 to 2000. He's mistaken about the flatness since 2000, however (and his link is a 404). I suggest Earth's climate has been warming since the Little Ice Age with a higher warming rate from 1950 to the present. Here's a link to NASA with lots of buttons to the left. Here's the link I think DLH tried to post but must have misinterpreted. NASA is careful to note there have been many natural climate changes over the millennia; acknowledging that fact strengthens the article by setting today's changes in context. Yopienso (talk) 18:11, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
OOPS! Thanks for pointing out the draft text TP did include, Yop. My apologies for overlooking it TP. (This apology is not an endorsement of the proposal.) NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 18:17, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
The statement is from IPCC. We shouldn't be making up our own time period William M. Connolley (talk) 18:31, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
??? Are you suggesting TP is a sock of DLH? Or did you mean to write "DLH"?
This one page should be a good enough source for anyone; give it time to load.
This, down at the very bottom and in a box to the right, is where NASA discusses the sun's role in the Little Ice Age. Notice that no one is called an idiot for thinking its role is greater than it is; let us be so civil. This page from 2000 goes into greater detail about natural changes; note how the scientific consensus changed in the decade 2000 to 2010.
E/c on the above response to N⪚ this here to William. You are so immersed in the subject that you have the correct timelines in your mind. I don't think every layperson who comes to this article has that advantage. DLH seems confused, but I do agree with him that we need to set a time frame--not "make one up," but reflect the IPCC's. How's this? The predominant scientific opinion on climate change is unequivocal that the Earth's climate system has been warming since the Little Ice Age. It is more than 90% certain that humans, from 1950 to the present, are causing a higher warming rate through activities such as deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels that increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Yopienso (talk) 18:49, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
The only reason there this discussion is taking place is because the title of the article is "Scientific opininion on anthropocentric climate change", emphasis on omission of "anthropocentric". Since the various references we cite in the main body don't really talk about the Little Ice Age, neither should our lede. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:24, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Agree that adding "Anthropocentric" to the title would be an improvement. Otherwise, though--Huh? Who's obfuscating (wrt your edit summary)? I want to clarify. The reader needs to know the article doesn't treat of the results of the Industrial Revolution beginning about 1750, but of the changes since about 1950. I'd be happy with adding a phrase to the dab: This article is about scientific opinion on climate change since 1950. Yopienso (talk) 20:58, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
How did you come up with 1950 as the start year? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:34, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
This is such a non-discussion! There is nothing that needs changing in the article. The article is about Scientific opinion on climate change, and every aspect of the article is well cited. There is coverage of examples of scientific work covering every angle of the subject and they all come to the same conclusion: the climate is getting warmer. Trying to manufacture a doubt and a new controversy over the exact date when it started is a waste of time. We are not here to manufacture doubt, or provide a forum for anyone to do so, but to report on the facts per the sources. We have done that and there is no doubt. --Nigelj (talk) 22:15, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
@N&EG: I didn't come up with the 1950; DLH did. However, one of the links I provided above mentions the era 1951-1980 three times: "This three-decade period acts as a baseline for the analysis." On visual inspection, the graph William links to shows an upturn at 1950 (after a 1940 spike).
@Nigel: How in the world do you see me manufacturing doubt??!!?? I have given four excellent sources that substantiate the fact that the globe is warming! I think the suggestion to identify the warming period is valid; this is not the Medieval Warm Period, which we appropriately identify as "lasting from about AD 950 to 1250." I actually had typed out "mid-twentieth-century," but dropped it for the more concise "1950," which, it seems, proves to be too precise. We do need to supply a time frame, though, imho, to clarify and to dispel doubts. Yopienso (talk) 22:53, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Ach! I failed to notice the graph William inserted into the article. Very fine; that satisfies me. Thanks. Yopienso (talk) 22:56, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
It appears, Y, that you are attempting to edit climate articles but have not read through the IPCC AR4 (2007) summary of policy makers and synthesis report. Please familiarize yourself with what IPCC said before trying to edit sections based on what IPCC said. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 23:27, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I failed to notice the ADDITION of the graph to the article, not its existence elsewhere; it's right there (in different colors and slightly different title) in the NASA page I linked to. Yopienso (talk) 00:29, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Yopienso. I am not "mistaken". See NASA Graph at http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.C.gif shows little trend from 2002 to 2011. Its not "404", just slow.
Summary: The range 1950-2000 was given to quantify a range that was more than 30 years to clearly show a climate trend - while avoiding periods that are more controversial. (Contrast: Temperatures from Jan 2001 to Jan 2011 shown only 0.07 deg/decade warming. See Lucia at the Blackboard and her fig. http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/UAHSince2001.png That is half the trend from 1980 to 2010 at http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/UAH.png See also http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/FlatteringBaseline.png which compares the IPCC multimodel trend of 0.197C/decade. i.e., ~ 0.2/C/decade)
Restating my draft 1: Earth's climate has been warming since the Little Ice Age with a higher warming rate from 1950 to 2000. I see several comments supporting 1950 citing IPCC. This is a neutral statement of fact independent of cause. One objection is that it is too "precise". I submit an alternative wordier statement Draft 2: Earth's climate has been warming since the Little Ice Age with a higher warming rate in the latter half of the 20th century." Please vote for Draft 1 or draft 2.DLH (talk) 01:37, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
CO2 mixing ratios at Law Dome
We don't alter articles on mainstream science based on postings and 'access denied' images from blog sites. When and if 'Lucia' publishes her findings in a peer reviewed journal, the article gets widely cited, and secondary sources all agree that her paper has had a significant effect on worldwide Scientific opinion on climate change, then we'll have it included in the article here. The two old arguments that (a) there have been big climate changes before so who cares it's probably some ice-age thing, and (b) the present data is so noisy that you can conclude anything you like by carefully choosing the start and end dates, have both been considered, sidelined and are not considered part of current climate science research. --Nigelj (talk) 08:48, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
P.S. We know the difference between a real ice age and the Little Ice Age, but many readers do not. Looking at this graph (and there are countless others), why would we need to mention the Little Ice Age as having some significant bearing on present global warming? To do so would introduce confusion and doubt where there is none. --Nigelj (talk) 09:10, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Errm, obviously we're not going to change the article based on Lucia's stuff. Was DLH really suggesting we should? That seems like a very odd idea William M. Connolley (talk) 09:47, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Add "anthropogenic" to title

The current title "Scientific opinion on climate change" is far broader than the scope of the article itself. For example, the title suggests it will cover scientific opinion about changes in paleoclimate, effects of contempotary volcanism, etc. In short, climate change. But the article itself is about scientific opinion on anthropogenic climate change going on now. For that reason, I

propose changing the title to "Scientific opinion on anthropogenic climate change". Comments?

BTW, If there is some tag for title change proposals, someone please do me the favor and add it. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 23:33, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Weak support on the basis of the lede of our Climate change article:
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average (e.g., more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change may be limited to a specific region or may occur across the whole Earth.
I think we need to make the time frame the article covers clear. (As I noted above, though, the new graph pretty much does that. Still, failure to specify the time in words does give something for detractors to pick at.) Yopienso (talk) 00:23, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Probably you meant "anthropogenic", and possibly you are headed for global warming, as in AGW, which is the current episode of climate change? I believe all this has been hashed out before. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 01:15, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, he did, and isn't this article about "the current episode of climate change," i.e. AGW? I'd be happy to know how the hash-slingers decided on a vague rather than specific title. Yopienso (talk) 01:20, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Then perhaps he needs to make the correction?
Use of the definitive "global warming" ("invokes a conclusion!") versus the more generic "climate change" has been a recurring issue. I don't know how much of that occured here, but check the archives. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 01:48, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Archives are full of arguments over the word "opinion", and over "climate change" vs "global warming". I see no reason to re-visit those debates, and am perfectly happy with the current title.... except that it omits anthropogenic. Sorry about my brainfart goof earlier with "anthrocentric" NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 02:52, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose For what its worth, here is the "definitions of climate change" from IPCC AR4 SYR:

Climate change in IPCC usage refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g. using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs from that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

So "climate change" is defined somewhat variously, with and without anthropogenic attribution. I don't know that it really makes that much difference. Certainly there are some topics within the purview of "climate change" that are not anthropogenic; I am undecided as to whether this article needs such qualification. I suspect no one wants to revisit the prior debates, and I am doubtful as to opening the door for a tiny change. (Why not go whole hog for "anthropogenic global warming"?) I am inclining towards weakly oppose. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:50, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
IPCC's tech summary of AR4's synthesis report is 22 pages long, and uses "anthropogenic" over 20 times to focus on warming, greenhouse gases, and generic "interference with the climate system". IMO, their definition of plain ol' "climate change" does not negate fact that focus of this article - and the only reason IPCC exists in the first place - is related to anthropogenic climate change. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 23:08, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose No one is really confused. No one looks at this article title and actually thinks it's only about million-year-old climate changes. In my experience, establishing the importance of the word anthropogenic is a favourite tactic of the kind of person who is just about to talk a lot of muddled nonsense about water vapour and sunspots. We don't need it in all our article titles. --Nigelj (talk) 23:24, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Agree with anything that gets us closer to Anthropogenic global warming theory (AGW) as an actual article title, instead of a redirect to global warming which at 140 KB is far too long for anyone to read. --Uncle Ed (talk) 00:44, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
@ J.Johnson and Nigelj: This is so silly I'm bailing. I know you are smart and informed, but you have this word "anthropogenic" so stuck in you craw--perhaps because of foolish posturing to which Nigelj alludes--that you're not acknowledging that this article is specifically about anthropogenic climate change. Silly me didn't know this word was taboo; shall we excise the 5 examples in the text and 3 more in the footnotes where the term "human-induced"--plain English for "anthropogenic"--appears? I counted 15 times in the text that climate change is attributed to human activity/ies and 19 more in the footnotes. My count may be off a tad, although I was careful, but the bottom line is, this article is exclusively about anthropogenic climate change but we are refusing to so label it. Why? Yopienso (talk) 00:48, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Of course the current warming of the climate is human-induced, i.e. anthropogenic, that is not in doubt. What is unnecessary is that every time we mention CC or GW in the current articles, we should put anthropogenic in front of the phrase. The reason for some extremists wanting to do so is clear (although I'm sure no such people are here!) - it is to distinguish AGW and ACC, from other kinds of GW and CC, that are not currently recognised by mainstream science, and that some (e.g. off-wiki bloggers etc) would like to see discussed once the current main topic has been marginalised. --Nigelj (talk) 10:48, 4 January 2012 (UTC) Thanks; I think I get it. Yopienso (talk) 11:54, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think I (or Nigel) are hung up on "anthropogenic". Note that the UNFCCC definition of CC (which the IPCC mentions, above) is implicitly AGW, so "anthropogenic climate change" would be redundant. However, I think a significant argument against this change is that then there would be cries from some quarters for a separate artcle on "non-anthropogenic climate change", and all sorts of problems "balancing" the two. I think we are fine having a single article on "climate change" overall, then in the article point out that, hey, it seems to be 99% AGW (or whatever). ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:32, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support I have never understood why anthropogenic is a taboo word. Leaving it out simply makes it easier for people (on both sides) to change what they are talking about in mid-sentence. Q Science (talk) 01:59, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Unnecessary, too wordy, bordering on pedantic. I'm certain that most, if not all, the readers who find this article understand "climate change" to mean recent AGW. If they don't, they will after reading the lede. I've been editing and monitoring this article for years, and I don't recall anyone ever complaining they thought the title referred to historic climate change. If you can find some complaints in the archives, you might have a case.--CurtisSwain (talk) 05:20, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Failed I was the proposer and I am persuaded by the arguments it was a dumb idea. Thanks for the discussion. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 11:53, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

No, not a dumb idea, just premature. And perhaps we needed a review of the point. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:38, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Not part of the scientific process NPOV issue

The lead section describes "Self-selected lists of individuals' opinions" as not "considered to be part of the scientific process". However, according to Scientific consensus article, scientific consensus itself is also "not part of the scientific method". I think this sentence is a form of POV-pushing which goes against the WP:SYNTH guideline: it ammounts to the implicit assertion that the scientific consensus opinion has stronger scientific validity than the existing lists of disenting opinions, without saying it explicitly nor attributing it to sources. To correct this problem in form and bring the article to impeccable standard, I propose changing it to say that neither scientific consensus nor self-selected lists are created according to the scientific method, but the former has gone through a thorough form of group decision making whereas the later haven't. Diego (talk) 14:01, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

You've found two articles that each reference scientific method. This one says that 'self-selected lists' are not part of it, and the other says that 'scientific consensus' is not part of it either. So you want to change this one? Why can't both of those statements simply stand in their respective articles without anyone trying to synthesise something new, to do with group decision making or anything else, out of them? I don't see any POV-pushing in the either of the existing simple statements. --Nigelj (talk) 15:08, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
I've also made other various edits to help readers interested to find the information available on dissenting opinions. The most significant one is the change in the lead to fix the broken link to several online petitions, that was removed from Global_warming_controversy when it was converted to a dissambiguation page. If someone knows of a place where these petitions are described in general, these links could be replaced with a link to that article's section. Diego (talk) 15:03, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
While establishing, at both ends of a sentence, that 'self-selected lists' are not relevant to the topic of this article. I don't see the benefit of listing three of them in the middle of the selfsame sentence. Your rather complicated piped link above doesn't really help as I can't see anything relevant on the talk page you link, and the fragment identifier doesn't seem to work. Your recent edits seem to be based on scant evidence. --Nigelj (talk) 15:30, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't agree with your original point. Re the lists... the Earth Summit isn't a list. That left OP and LD. I preferred the original link to #petitions, and reverted to that, before realising that the linked-to has gone. Still, I'd prefer that restored to wherever, rather than listing them in the lede here William M. Connolley (talk) 15:47, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Ah I understand the 2nd original post better now. It's true that that section is now gone. The reasons for the original merge included that too much weight was being given in some of these articles to 1990s stuff that has little bearing on the present world. I had a look at several articles to try to find a home for the old stuff (so that we could link to it from here), but every place I looked, it would have disrupted the flow and added considerable undue weight to what are now quite good clear articles. Luckily 'What links here' came to my aid, and I was able to find a place where there is already a discussion that includes the context of the Oregon Petition, and that article in turn then links interested readers to Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Greenhouse Warming, and the Leipzig Declaration, in due context, in its lede. So I changed the link to there. I hope this satisfies everybody. --Nigelj (talk) 16:16, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, that's what I was aiming for with the link.
As for the possibility of NPOV, at the very least the sentence is unsourced, and in the worst case its presence in this article can be interpreted as support that scientific consent is part of the scientific method. If you don't feel necessary to address the relative merits of consensus and dissensus with respect to scientifism, I'll remove the "is not part of scientific process" claim and leave it asserting that there exists disagreement by individuals. Diego (talk) 17:13, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

'The predominant scientific opinion'

Now that we have a first sentence that says one unequivocal thing and that something else is 90% certain, is it still necessary to start it in this way? The normal way to start this sentence would be "Scientific opinion on climate change is..." or "The scientific opinion on climate change is...". Are we really saying that even the estimate of 90% certainty is only a predominant belief? Other parts of science believe the same thing is, what, 60% certain, or 99% certain? That's a bit meta, isn't it? --Nigelj (talk) 19:33, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Totally agree. Scientific opinion is what it is. Itsmejudith (talk) 19:43, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Emotionally, I would love to omit the qualifiers, too. However, right now I think our primary source is IPCC AR4 WG1 (2007), and that source uses two qualifiers, (A) "unequivocal" for warming, and (B) "very likely" [which they define as "over 90% liklihood"] for us being the cause. Since our primary source used these qualifiers, would we still be faithful to that source if we omit the qualifiers? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:45, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
This is an easy point to see, as I hope you'll agree in a minute, but it's proving doggedly hard to explain. Have a look at this edit. Stephan added the word predominant ('per request' - I don't know which one), at a time when the opening sentence included statements of A ('is warming') and B (the cause). He did add 'very likely' for B as well. The sentence has evolved and no longer states A and B. It now states that 'A is unequivocal' and that 'B is more than 90% certain'. The assertions 'A' and 'B' are 'predominant' (i.e. one is 100% and the other is 90% believed by the scientific world, which are both dominant majorities), but (here's the thing:) the assertions that 'A is 100% certain' and 'B is 90% certain' are not in themselves 'predominant': they are the actual scientific opinion. Phew. Does that do it? That is what I meant by meta: we are adding an unnecessary qualification to an already appropriately qualified statement. The qualification would have been appropriate to a bland statement of A and B, but not to the current statement, which is a statement of the degree to which A and B are uncertain. --Nigelj (talk) 12:10, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
In this comment, I am just reviewing what went before Stephan's edit in the diff you just posted, Nigelj.
From [| some time prior to 2010, and up to Nov 18 2011] the core statement we reported read
"An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system... There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities"
On Nov 18, 2010, Judith made the excellent suggestion that we state the thesis (the scientific opinion) first. I quite agree with that approach. Judith made an effort to do this, and the result was the left hand side of the diff you (Nigelj) just posted. In one of her edit summaries Judith requested someone try to improve on what she wrote, and that was what Stephan did on the right hand side of yor diff.
I am out of time now, but will return to this later today or tomorrow. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 15:26, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Then, as now, I come with a WP:FTN sort of perspective. As in, if the views of Velikovsky are notable enough to mention, we need to say very simply and clearly, "in fact Mars and Venus have never collided". Same here. "In fact, global temperatures are rising". Or on articles related to creationism we can say "in fact humans did not coexist with dinosaurs". Making it more complicated is not a way to avoid controversy. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:07, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
QUERY, what is our source, and what does it say? I think our sources say it is "very likely" humans caused. Stephan did add "very likely", it was deleted by a driveby editor at the end of Nov 2011, and in Dec 2011 this TALK page thread the result was challenged. I wrote the current version of the text in response to that thread. According to our primary source (IPCC AR4 WG1),
very likely = Greater than 90% certain = very likely
So the question is whether faithfulness to the sources requires including their expression of certainty, or whether the "predominant" qualifier encompasses their expression of certainty. IMO, both qualifiers are necessary.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 15:12, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

Will Mary go to the prom with me?
There are 502 students in my school, me, Mary, and 500 other kids. I am psyched because the predominant view of the 500 kids (499 out of 500) is that there is a 51% chance Mary will say "yes". A tiny minority (1 out of the 500) says "Hell no" in no uncertain terms. Clearly, the predominant view is that there is more than a 50-50 chance Mary will be my date. At this point I become a total freakin' boob and start telling everyone it is a done deal! Even though I lack conclusive proof (since I still haven't asked her) I start running around telling everyone that almost my entire school says Mary is going with me to prom! Yay!
  • QUESTION, I just saw Mary down the hall. Why is she fuming at me?
  • QUESTION, Would my silly example change if we change the odds to 52%? What about 60, 75, or "over 90"? It is subjective isn't it? So we have to rely on what our sources say. And that is? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 15:12, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I think you're talking about climate change, but I'm only talking about English grammar. No one here is saying that we should leave out the 90% estimate of probability on 'statement B', and I think we all know what it means ("very likely"). The only word I was asking about was the word 'predominant'. That does not come from the source (IPCC), but rather it effectively calls into doubt the ability of the source to state 'scientific opinion' in this case. I'm asking, can we say that scientific opinion is unequivocally A and 90% likely B, or do we have to say that predominant scientific opinion is unequivocally A and 90% likely B? The latter form, as we now have it, seems to state that the IPCC conclusions are only one, albeit the predominant, statement of current scientific opinion. I am asking, is not the IPCC summary a statement of the actual current scientific opinion. It's only one word, and I'm not going to completely rehash the whole of scientific research to pursue it. I just wonder where is the source, and what is the reason, for the 'predominant' qualifier before the 100% 'A' and 90% 'B' statements. --Nigelj (talk) 20:43, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Ach so! You just wish to strike "predominant"! Sorry I did not grasp that in the beginning, and I agree. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:57, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
 Done. Thanks. --Nigelj (talk) 22:22, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Censorship by promoters of AGW

On Saturday February 18th, I added a new, perfectly legitimate section to this page together with reputable references (one from the FOIA Climategate site and the other from the IPCC itself). This is in order to bring balance to this page, which, like many others on the Internet is censored to only show the AGW side of the picture. I did not delete or modify any of the existing text.

However, within minutes my change got reverted. Then I reverted the undo, and it got undone again. It is true that I reverted more than 3 times in a 24 hour period, but that was because I am new to Wiki editing and unaware of the 3-revert rule. So I got legitimately warned by another editor.

Then this morning, I undid the deletion of what I added on Saturday. It got reverted. I undid again. I aimed to stick within the 3-revert rule per 24h. Yet another editor reported me (despite myself not breaking the 3 revert rule today).

Obviously the intent here is to censor any alternate view to the page.

Unless I am advised otherwise, I intend to continue adding my section to the page, but if reverted, I will make sure I will not undo the deletion of my content by other editors determined to censor, more than 3 times in a 24 hour period. Consensus is obviously hard to achieve on a subject where one side is determined to present their view as the absolute truth.

Below is the addition I posted only. I am open to moving this content to another part of the page, but I am not ok with censoring what the Climategate emails reveal, simply because the pro-AGW lobby intends to paint only one side of the debate.

Climategate Revealations

However, the climategate emails show clearly that the IPCC has not been honest about the claim that 97% of climate scientists have proven anthropogenic global warming. In fact these emails show that climate scientists were incensed at the IPCC portraying their work as proof and suppressing the many caveats that they had documented: [1]

"Few investigators doubt that the world has warmed recently. Nor that the enhanced "greenhouse effect" of pollution from gases such as carbon dioxide, will warm the planet. But in the past five years, climate researchers have growing increasingly aware of how little they really know about the natural variability from which they must pick out the "signal" of human influence.

Many researchers most intimately involved in the search are still far from sure how the probabilities balance. And some of the sharpest concerns are coming from the places where the original early warnings of global warming emerged in the mid-1980s. Places such as Briffa's base at the Climatic Research Unit in Norwich, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California.

Nonetheless, the findings should serve as a warning, Barnett says, that "the current models cannot be used in rigorous tests for anthropogenic signals in the real world". If they are they "might lead us to believe that an anthropogenic signal had been found when, in fact, that may not be the case."

Barnett knows how easily this can happen. He was a lead author for a critical chapter in the last IPCC scientific assessment, which investigated "the detection of climate change and attribution of causes". It formulated the IPCC case that the evidence points towards a human influence on climate, but it warned repeatedly that great uncertainties remained. "We wrote a long list of caveats in that chapter," says Barnett. "We got a lot of static from within IPCC, from people who wanted to water down and delete some of those caveats. We had to work very hard to keep them all in." Even so, when the findings were first leaked to the New York Times, it was under the headline "Scientists finally confirm human role in global warming.

The statement from the IPCC that 97% of climatologists have proven anthropogenic global warming is, therefore, clearly untrue.

In addition, a read of the IPCC Third Assessment report clearly shows that many of the predictions in the early 2000s, simply have not come true. An example is the prediction on the predominance of ice storms replacing snow: [2]

"Milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms but could cause an increase in freezing rain if average daily temperatures fluctuate about the freezing point. It is difficult to predict where ice storms will occur and identify vulnerable populations. The ice storm of January 1998 (see Section 15.3.2.6) left 45 people dead and nearly 5 million people without heat or electricity in Ontario, Quebec, and New York (CDC, 1998; Francis and Hengeveld, 1998; Kerry et al., 1999). The storm had a huge impact on medical services and human health. Doctors' offices were forced to close, and a large number of surgeries were cancelled (Blair, 1998; Hamilton, 1998). One urban emergency department reported 327 injuries resulting from falls in a group of 257 patients (Smith et al., 1998b)."

The 3-revert rule is not an entitlement to revert 3 times a day against consensus. Doing so is disruptive and will likely get you blocked. Your edit is being removed by multiple other editors because it is, to put it very mildly, violating the policies on neutreality (it is editorializing for a particular POV) and original research (it is your interpretation of sources and your inferences from them). Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 20:09, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Benutzer, here's a specific example of original research from your edit. The second-to-last paragraph is short and completely OR. The "... simply have not come true." MUST have a reliable secondary source that comes exactly to that conclusion (given the controversial nature of that claim, several strong independant sources will be needed, to be honest). And there's more to it than that, but it's a quick example. You MUST have sources that meet the WP criteria for being reliable. In a science article, the standards are even higher - media-based sources aren't likely to override science based sources. Call censorship all you want, it's not. It's the same demand put on everyone who edits here - show your sources, do no research of your own. Ravensfire (talk) 21:05, 20 February 2012 (UTC)


It is actually very difficult to seperate out what is being quoted by whom in Benutzer's edit. For example, the paragraphs starting "Barnett knows how easily this can happen..." and "Many researchers most intimately involved in the search are still..." are actually quoting some of the documents, but appear in the edit as unquoted text. Quite a bit of the edit has been previously posted on amazon discussions and elsewhere. Babakathy (talk) 14:50, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Benutzer: You wrote, "...the IPCC has not been honest about the claim that 97% of climate scientists have proven anthropogenic global warming" That doesn't even make sense. When and where did the IPCC ever make such a claim? If they did, it certainly isn't in this article anywhere. It looks like you're confusing the IPCC with some of the surveys cited that show 97% of scientists surveyed agree that global temperatures have increased during the past 100 years, or 97% agree with the basic tenets of the IPCC. Those are surveys of scientists, not statements from the IPCC.--CurtisSwain (talk) 02:04, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

When I was a young guy, way back in the 1990s....

Well actually it was back in the 1960s, to quote the Incredible String Band, but in climate science terms 1996 was ages ago (and that's a dubious primary source). As I've advised Benutzer, there's been a lot of progress in climate science since then. A rather truncated version of the point was featured here, and one of the experts involved gave a detailed response raising points that would have to be considered in any article describing these issues. It's rather detailed, and certainly has little or no signficance to current scientific opinion on climate change, so even mentioning it in this article would be likely to give undue WP:WEIGHT to a WP:FRINGE claim. I've mentioned to Benutzer that "fringe" has a particular meaning in Wikipedia policy and guidelines, sometimes the terminology can seem a bit rude but it's developed over time to cover common aspects of editing. . . dave souza, talk 23:10, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

New Images

Here are a couple of new images an svg version of File:Ratio of publishing climate scientists who believe humans are warming the planet based on Aderegg.jpg and another way to depict 97%

The larger figure is 97% of the total black area in the image.
Add caption here


I don't like using images like that. The numbers speak for themselves. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 02:16, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  This is exactly the same content (including lack of signature) that User:Sagredo posted at Talk:List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming#New Images. And I will state here that the first image is quite unsatisfactory, for the reasons stated there. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:00, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
In the 2nd one (which was posted to the article) black and white should be reversed. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:43, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Possible problems with using these survey results

The problem with both of the surveys cited is that the quoted 97% agreement may not mean much. I was reminded of this in reading this recent WSJ op-ed, by Richard Lindzen and 15 co-signers:

[T]he claim of 97% support is deceptive. The surveys contained trivial polling questions that even we would agree with. Thus, these surveys find that large majorities agree that temperatures have increased since 1800 and that human activities have some impact.
But what is being disputed is the size and nature of the human contribution to global warming. ...

The Anderegg et al. poll attracted a great deal of criticism when it was published in 2010. For example, Roger Pielke Sr. wrote: "This paper illustrates more generally how far we have gone from the appropriate scientific process.” [2] Also see Anderegg, Prall, Harold, and Schneider, 2010 for many more criticisms.

The Doran poll asked only two main questions:

1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

-- with no further definition of what a " significant contributing factor" might be. Obvious problems here.

Other surveys have found more nuanced results. For instance, this 2008 survey, by the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University, confirmed that 97% of the climate scientists surveyed believe “global average temperatures have increased” during the past century. But just 54% of those surveyed believe the warming measured over the last 100 years is not “within the range of natural temperature fluctuation.”

And, "Based on current trends, 41% of scientists believe global climate change will pose a very great danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years, compared to 13% who see relatively little danger. Another 44% rate climate change as moderately dangerous."

Another survey, by Brown, Pielke Sr. & Annan in 2007, again confirmed that 97% of the climate scientists surveyed "conclude that the human addition of CO2 into the atmosphere is an important component of the climate system and has contributed to some extent in recent observed global average warming." 18% responded that the IPCC AR4 WG1 Report probably overstates the role of CO2, 17% expressed the opinion that the Report probably underestimates the consequences of anthropogenic CO2-induced AGW, and 65% thought the Report got the role of CO2 about right.

A third survey, conducted by Bray & van Storch in 2008 and published as D Bray , "The scientific consensus of climate change revisited", Environmental Science & Policy, 2010 -- found similar results. So I'm concerned we could mislead readers by prominently quoting what appears to be a trivial agreement, as Lindzen et al. and others have pointed out.

This comment was also posted to Talk:List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming, where this figure also appears, and I suggest discussion and comments be conducted here, to avoid fragmentation. -- Pete Tillman (talk) 01:36, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Another rehash of archived debate. Avoiding fragmentation is a good thing, but the other article hosted the debate last time, and that's where the archives are, so I suggest the other article play host. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 02:22, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
For all the reasons stated above, I don't think we need the graphic. It doesn't add any value to the article. Let the surveys speak for themselves. And that graphic with the giant man standing next to the tiny man just looks silly. It's sexist too...are there no females working in climate science? :)--CurtisSwain (talk) 05:56, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'm certainly not rehashing the same old debate twice! As it happens, I'm contribution to the other version of this, and won't be copy-and-pasting each comment into two places. You guys do know that images have talk pages too, and can be watchlisted, don't you? --Nigelj (talk) 17:15, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
That Wikipedia editors would even consider using the giant vs. fairy graphic for even an instant just shows how biased these climate articles are; the graphic is nearly pure rhetoric. I think there is over a 95% chance that the earth is warming and humans are mostly to blame, yet I'm stunned by the attempt to silence different viewpoints and to whitewash climate articles like this and the "Global Cooling" article, etc. There is a very good reason that these articles are ranked among the lowest in terms of reliability, trustworthiness, etc. I understand the desire to suppress "disagreeable" data but I'd encourage everyone to try their best not to, thanks! :)

Dissenting organizations (the empty set)

I removed the link to Scientific consensus#Scientific consensus and the scientific minority as a 'see also' at the top of the section Scientific opinion on climate change#Statements by dissenting organizations. That section of Scientific consensus is about the difficulties radical new ideas have had getting noticed by a stodgy scientific establishment in the past. Such a concept might have been relevant to the proposers of modern climate change thinking some decades ago, but even with all the convolutions that the nay-sayers and the deniers have been through, I don't think any reliable source would put climate change denial (even if any notable scientific body was actually involved in it) into the same category as prions, continental drift, and Helicobacter pylori today. It is irrelevant. --Nigelj (talk) 15:59, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

You're reading too much about the link purpose. It is not there to imply that climate change denialists are to be compared with Alfred Wegener, but to point those readers interested in how scientific consensus is built (and in particular, how it addresses disenting opinions) to learn more about it. Note how the linked section is also about N rays and Polywater; the section is linked to illustrate how the philosophy of science deals with the topic of people outside the consensus. Given that the section is the only one dealing with disensing views, and thus it has a strong information scent, it's the best position to place that link; reading about the difficulties that ideas opposing the mainstream have had (either correct or incorrect) is exactly what a reader of this section will want to find. (I know it because that's the information I was looking for when reading this article for the first time). You know, Build the web. Diego (talk) 16:49, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
It does nothing of the sort. It goes into an unreferenced hack that the scientific principle that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence is "confirmation bias", creating the utterly unsupportable impression that a scientific consensus is likely to be wrong. The purpose of this link is to suggest imply that dissenting scientists might be correct. It's politically motivated, and it's wrong. RobinGrant (talk) 03:04, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
("Sofixit!") If you think that the Scientific consensus article misrepresents Kuhn's work you should rewrite that section, not remove all pertinent references to it at Wikipedia. Also, did you know that Assume good faith is a mandatory behavioral policy around here? Diego (talk) 06:39, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Kuhn is an important and prominent commentator. But Kuhn is no Karl Popper. His work is generally closer to the the proverbial kernel of truth than to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We should not represent his theory as an absolute. Moreover, the linked section contains several theories either developed or gaining acceptance long after Kuhn's 1962 book - including prions as disease agents, punctuated equilibrium, and Helicobacter causing ulcers, so it indeed at the very least misleading. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:16, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
I can't imagine a reader seeing that link as the place to find out more about the section, regardless of whether it is a good summary of Kuhn's views or the status of that literature as a whole. Robin is correct, I think, that a reader might take the impression that the article is implying the consensus is dodgy, which I am sure is no ones intent. In short there's a significant downside and no real upside. Objections to removal of that link? --TeaDrinker (talk) 07:57, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── There's still some concern with the current article. There is very little about how the scientific consensus relates to the scientific methord; I'd want to learn how the scientific community debated alternate explanations for the observed increase of temperatures in the historical records, and how the current main conclusions came to be the most likely ones.

The American Meteorological Society 2003 statement best describes what is missing in the article: "The reports strive to reflect a consensus evaluation of the results of the full body of peer-reviewed research.... They provide an analysis of what is known and not known, the degree of consensus, and some indication of the degree of confidence" In summary, I'd like the article to provide some assesment of what is not known, and what is the degree of confindence on the main positions that didn't make the cut as part of the consensus.

Right now, the article makes undue emphasis on the "Surveys of scientists and scientific literature" and thus suggests that the consensus is mainly based on opinion; this reinforces the conspiranoid view that politics and mass media are the strongest influence in the scientific consensus, and that alternate explanations are being silenced and not given due weight.

In this context, the links that I included to "causes other than increasing greenhouse gases" and "individual scientists opposing the mainstream assessment of global warming" provide a path for the reader to find out what are those alternate theories that were discarded, and the link to "Scientific consensus and the scientific minority" provides the context to understand the backgroung by which the consensus can be said to have a high confidence in the stated results. You're right that the current link can be interpreted in bad faith as an assertion that the current consensus has less weight than it merits; maybe linking to How consensus can change over time or Patterns in the history of science would provide a similar context without that implication.

But instad of removing any link pointing to how dissenting views are handled, I would prefer to expand the article in that direction, to further explain why those alternate explanation aren't given much confidence and were discarded by the majority. I think a summary version of The mainstream scientific position, and challenges to it centered around the most significant empirical tests of would best serve this concern. I.e. we should describe the process by which consensus was built, in addition to the outcome that is thoroughly described in the current article. Diego (talk) 13:23, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

You seem to reading far more into that link than I ever did. You seem to be arguing for almost a complete rewrite of the article, from a different starting point. You're welcome to build consensus towards doing all of that. In the meantime, since the article was viewed 25,086 times in the last month, and serves around a thousand readers per day,[3] can we agree to do without the link? I think we all agree here that it is not the best link, and that it can easily be misunderstood in this context, yet several edits recently have forced it back in since my removal of it, that began this thread. --Nigelj (talk) 18:09, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Nigelj, I'm not arguing for a rewrite of the article. As I explained, a new section written in addition to the current content would be enough. To summarize, it should cover these goals:
  1. Explain how the assertions in the current consensus were tested.
  2. Explain how the assertions not in the current consensus were discarded or where shown inconclusive.
  3. Provide a link to the relevant part of Wikipedia that explains the background of points 1 and 2, i.e. what are the general methods to build consensus based on scientific knowledge.
As for the link, I provided a different one to a section that discussed Popper, just like Stephan Schulz suggested, but it was reverted by user William M. Connolley with only a comment that "looks like a far worse link"; not very informative to ascertain what was the basis for his opposition. Diego (talk) 21:38, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
That's fine. Per the apparent consensus nearer the start of this thread, I've removed the link again, to avoid confusing today's readership. I look forward to seeing your drafts and suggested sources for the new section. As you say, from the new section, we can link to things that are better targeted at the thoughts you have in mind. --Nigelj (talk) 15:32, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
P.S. I suggest you start a new thread to discuss the proposed new section, with a more specific title for that purpose, when the time comes. --Nigelj (talk) 15:35, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Consensus then. I'll work towards drafting the desired new section and will propose it in this talk page for consideration. Diego (talk) 15:39, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Where is the science?

The lead section devotes almost all the available space to tell how the consensus was built, and is really scant on the details of what the consensus is. How come the List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming has a much better description of the findings of the scientific community? I've copied that summary here in the introduction sections so that people interested will find the facts quickly. Diego (talk) 17:22, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks -- that's an improvement. Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 21:44, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Continued problem with the "97% agree" surveys graphic

I tagged the claim cited to Anderegg as "failed verification", but there are more problems with this graphic. In brief, the statement in the caption that "97–98% of the most published climate researchers say humans are causing global warming." (cited to the controversial Anderegg paper) doesn't appear to be supported in that paper, that survey has serious problems, and other "97% agree" surveys give trivial agreement that the climate is warming, and that human activities have some impact. This issue is being discussed at the [ Talk:List of scientists opposing.... talk page. Hope to see you there, Pete Tillman (talk) 21:54, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Another editor promptly removed the tag. The actual language in the Anderegg paper was "97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change) outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change", see [4]. In my judgment, our current language is a cartoon or tabloid version of what the paper actually says. Judge for yourself. --Pete Tillman (talk) 05:10, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Is the graphic even necessary - surely readers are able to understand what 97-98% means without a trashy picture to illustrate it. I would expect to this type of thing in chain emails rather than an encyclopedia article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2.25.234.121 (talk) 11:21, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Coincidence or duplication?

In section "Surveys of scientists and scientific literature" ... The fourth paragraph says a survey of "589" scientists done for a group at "George Mason University" found "97%" agreed about an increase in 100 years, "84%" agreed about human inducement, "5%" did not. The last paragraph says a survey of "589" scientists analyzed by a group at "George Mason University" found "97%" agreed about an increase in 100 years, "84%" agreed about human inducement, "5%" did not. So, is the last paragraph merely referring to an analysis of the survey mentioned in the fourth paragraph? Verification is hard because citation 114 (Journalist's Resource) merely refers to citation 115 (International Journal of Public Opinion Research), and citation 115 is available to members only. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.89.188.247 (talk) 16:10, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Caption for the graphic for "Surveys of scientists and scientific literature"

The caption said: "In another study 97.4% of publishing climatologists and just under 90% of earth scientists, broadly construed, say that significant man made global warming is occurring. Of those who didn't, most were unsure." I have changed this.

The caption's citation, Citation 107, points to an abstract of a January 2009 article by Doran and Kendall Zimmerman, "Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change". But citation 107 only points to an abstract. Here is the URL of a more complete version: http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf The question was "2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?" 97.4% of specialists in climate change agreed. Just under 90% of climatologists agreed (this is clear from the chart). But "overall ... 82% answered yes to question 2". Since the survey was "a survey of a large and broad group of Earth scientists", this means the broadly-construed number is 82%, not just under 90%.

Also, I see no reason that the wording of the actual question, "human activity is a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures", was changed to "significant man made global warming is occurring". One could interpret those two statements as amounting to the same thing, but that's interpretation.

The Doran and Kendall Zimmerman paper is described here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveys_of_scientists%27_views_on_climate_change#Doran_and_Kendall_Zimmerman.2C_2009. It is also discussed on the talk page for "List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Peter Gulutzan (talkcontribs) 16:43, 13 May 2012

That caption is getting longer and longer as everybody has a go a hedging it a little more. It's only meant to be a caption for the image, not a review of the literature. I shall shorten it and try to tidy things up. --Nigelj (talk) 16:56, 13 May 2012 (UTC)


[e/c] This topic is discussed in detail at Talk:List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming, and there's a new, better graphic at File:Climate science opinion2.png. It still needs a tweak, to "Significant contributions by humans" for the majority -- see this note to the author. And your comments are correct. --Pete Tillman (talk) 17:04, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Sigh. Another way to reduce the legend is to put the "hedging" into a notes section similar to Common English usage misconceptions. I tried to do that twice, but kept butting my head into edit conflicts.
If the current graphic is better, great. I haven't looked at it yet. --Airborne84 (talk) 17:11, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
It's not better. It looks like a technicolor dreamcoat. It's a bar graph with the bars all different colours and unevenly spaced. Then you realise that the reason many of them are stuck together is that they are all Doran figures, mixed with many older surveys. The present one is up to date, clear, due weighted, and well-cited. --Nigelj (talk) 18:55, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I strongly disagree that the "little people" graphic is better -- the "97% agree" claim is pure politics, and is seriously misleading, as Gulutzan notes above. Nigel, please refer to the main discussion, where the consensus to use DF's newish bar chart is clear. --Pete Tillman (talk) 19:06, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Scientific opinion should refer to what the science is saying. Make a list of all the relevant scientific papers, compute an impact factor for those papers from the number of citations and the ompact factor of the journals from which they are cited. Then, you compute the sum of the impact factors of all the papers whose conclusions are inconsistent with the consensus view on climate change (let's call this W1) and do the same for the papers that are consistent with the consensus view (let's call this W2). The consensus view then accounts for a fraction W2/(W1 + W2) of the scientific output. I would guess that this is well above 99.99%, the the consensus view dominates almost all of the research. Not a single sceptical paper has ever been published in Science or Nature.

A figure like 98% is misleading, as it suggests that a few percent of the scientific output is exploring the ideas put forward by sceptics. Count Iblis (talk) 20:42, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

FWIW, I think one could find 2 or 3% "skeptical" papers in CS literature -- more if you include older (and/or neutral) works. But you're right, the gatekeeping is pretty fierce.
In this case, both grafix refer to published *surveys* of scientists, a different approach. -- Pete Tillman (talk) 20:47, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Yeah but one also emphasises old surveys and surveys of scientists who are not climate specialists, like petroleum geologists etc. "Not a single sceptical paper has ever been published in Science or Nature" - if that's so, then it's very conclusive (please do try to prove it wrong). The fierce gatekeeper is scientific rigour - a hard taskmaster indeed. --Nigelj (talk) 21:36, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Statements by dissenting organizations

I want to thank William M. Connolley for help on the page, since I seem to have posted the issue points redundantly in this section and ignored the 'uncommitted' section where they already appeared.

My issue is that I find the mention of AAPG dissenting section to be redundant, because they appear as 'uncommitted' elsewhere in the article, and also misleading due to their disagreement with some of the thesis at the head of this article, "that humans are causing it...". (While they acknowledge anthropogenic CO2, they don't ascribe it as the central or main cause of warming.)

To me, this conflict, the duplication, and especially the rhetoric makes it appear that their reappearance in the 'dissenting' section is only useful for propaganda purposes. I believe the entire paragraph should be deleted, and the section heading changed to, "Statements by dissenting scientists", or the entire section deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cormagh (talkcontribs) 09:48, 29 May 2012 (UTC) Cormagh (talk) 09:54, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

The existence of the "dissenting" section is for historical reasons; they were the last folk in it. It seems reasonable to retain that section, and to note their change. I'm not sure what you mean by "especially the rhetoric" means. Who are you accusing of propaganda? William M. Connolley (talk) 10:50, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

I feel you're being defensive. I specified a reason to delete the historical reference. You are specifying that it seems reasonable not to based on the AAPG history. I see that the same information is better placed in the 'uncommitted' section, where they already appears and belongs. This eliminates the need for the null section, which inclusion only appears to promote the point of view that no scientific organizations disagree with Global Warming. That information belongs in a statement section, not an information section where it is isolated to have a rhetorical impact. The AAPG should not appear twice as a convenience to fill up an extra section. Cormagh (talk) 23:59, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree with not mentioning AAPG twice. The Sound and the Fury (talk) 02:55, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
No, the "Statements by dissenting organizations" needs to stay for historical reasons: (1) it documents the evolution of dissenting opinion among learned societies, and (2) the history of this article is one of constantly recurring accusations of censorship and suppression of dissenting opinion. We need to keep "Statements by dissenting organizations" to show what there is (or was). And no, the fact that no scientific organizations disagree with the basic premises of AGW is not a "point of view", it's just a simple fact, and one that is highly relevant to this article.--CurtisSwain (talk) 17:33, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the section should stay - to show that we haven't forgotten to look, for one thing, and because it completes the pattern set by the other main section headings. It's the second paragraph of the section that I think should go, the one about 'Statements by individual scientists...' It is clearly at odds with the section heading and doesn't add anything of substance. The lede already says that individual scientists' opinion and ideas expressed in individual papers don't really count for much at this level of survey, and then we go ahead and muddy the waters anyway in just this one place. --Nigelj (talk) 17:47, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, and since the 2nd paragraph was only sourced with WP:SELF I deleted it. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:31, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Intrroduction and Synthesis Reports section

The Introduction seems a bit long, and I think I've found the reason: After the key claim that "assessments have largely followed or endorsed", IPCC 2001, which is the primary statement this article is proposed to relate to, the "main conclusions of the IPCC on global warming" are quoted, primarily from source documents from that year, as if this were a document on each of the IPCC's global warming conclusions of 2001, and raising the question of why the IPCC's position cannot stand alone, without elaboration.
I recommend taking these out ("The main conclusions..." and points 1 through 3), to simplify the main point of the document and make it more readable. The synthesis report for the IPCC can stand as it is or be improved by having more quotations from the 2007 document added, and the press reports removed. Cormagh (talk) 05:43, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Its necessary to state what the sci op is William M. Connolley (talk) 18:29, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Surveys of scientists and scientific literature

Although the opinions of published experts in the field are relevant to the topic, editors do have discretion in deciding which such opinions to include in the article as it is it impossible to include all such opinion. However there is no consensus to remove the particular opinion in question.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

The section "Surveys of scientists and scientific literature" includes a survey of people who published scientific articles on climate change:

'A poll performed by Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at University of Illinois at Chicago received replies from 3,146 of the 10,257 polled Earth scientists. Results were analyzed globally and by specialization. 76 out of 79 climatologists who "listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change"'

This poll is not relevant as it contains a fundamental flaw. People who publish articles on climate change are of course more likely to believe in climate change. How much time is someone likely to spend studying something they believe does not exist? Surely if you polled people who write scientific articles about dragons, you would find most of them believe in dragons. Readin (talk) 18:34, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

The "fundamental flaw" that I see is a misunderstanding of how science works. Scientists don't set out to "prove" something they believe in. Of course scientists are also human, so can't say that all scientists are 100% objective 100% of the time ... thus there's likely to be a "dragon pusher" or two amongst 'em. Vsmith (talk) 19:05, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Whether or not they set out to prove something, scientists tend to work on things that interest them. If they don't believe something exists, they're unlikely to want to spend much time studying it. This isn't a case of polling climate scientists in general (as some of the other studies mentioned in the article do); in this study only scientists who published more than half their papers on climate change were polled. A scientist who, for example, published one paper making the case against climate change and then went on to study hurricanes and publish 10 papers (because he finds things he believes exist far more interesting and worthwhile) would not be included in the poll. It is a clear case of selection bias. Readin (talk) 19:37, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
So what you are saying is that experts on a topic aren't useful as experts on the topic because they are predisposed by having expertise on the topic? --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 03:48, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Careful, Kim... you're starting to sound like ArbCom. :P MastCell Talk 04:52, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Someone can be too close to a subject to be considered reliable. For example, Wikipedia has a policy of forbidding subjects of biographical articles from editing their article. And editors of biographical articles are encouraged to rely on sources that say what others say about the subject rather than what the subject says about himself.
Whether the subject of climate change should be controversial or not, the very existence of this article indicates that it is. We don't have Scientific opinion on plate tectonics because that topic isn't controversial.
To avoid bias, let's look at this by comparing it to something real and something not. Suppose we were trying to show scientific consensus on the moon landing. Which of these sources would be best: A group of NASA scientists study the moon and whose funding depends on NASA? A group of austronauts who are said to have visited the moon? A group of Russian astronomers who study the moon? I would go with the Russians because they are in a position to judge the evidence but they are not so close to the topic as to be biased.
Now let's consider bigfoot. Do you believe most: People who hunt bigfoot creatures full-time hoping to become famous? People who have written books on bigfoot? Wildlife biologists who study the American northwest rainforests even if they've never published a paper on bigfoot? I'm going to go with the wildlife biologists because again, they're close enough to the problem to make a judgement, but far enough away to avoid bias.
Since this is a controversial topic, we should make extra effort to use good sources and avoid the appearance of puffery. The article has so many surveys that appear, at least based on what is said in the article, to have good sampling methods. Why dilute the good with a flawed sample? Why make it look like we're so desparate to make a point that we're willing to use questionable methods? Readin (talk) 04:00, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
So, in other words: Scientists who are experts on a scientific topic are not considered reliable on the scientific topic that they are expert on, by the fact that they are biased towards the scientific topic that they are studying.
I think that you will find that this is completely incompatible with any reliability guideline found anywhere on Wikipedia (as well as any common sense). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 08:41, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
It's a little more subtle than that. Please read what I wrote again. You attempt to boil what I said down to a single sentence oversimplifies and I don't think it will help if I just rewrite everything again because I would just say the same thing. Readin (talk) 12:36, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
On second thought, I'll take another shot at boiling it down:
A survey of this sort should be seeking more than just people who are knowledgeable about the subject. I should be seeking an unbiased sample of people who are knowledgeable about the subject. Selecting scientists is good - some knowledge, no significant bias. Selecting climate scientists is better - more knowledge, still no significant bias. But selecting scientists who choose to study GW introduces the self-selection bias - climate scientists who believe GW is not occurring will generally not be very interested in studying it. Readin (talk) 14:42, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, there's no logic in that. Climate scientists study global warming, by definition. Because they study the climate, and the climate is warming. Unless they are specialists in an earlier period when the earth was cooling, but even then they know about the current global warming and their views are relevant. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:05, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
If all climate scientists study GW, then why didn't the study in question just say "climate scientists"? Why did the authors further say "and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change" if all climate scientists study global warming by definition? Readin (talk) 15:20, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Because a critical reader would ask: "how did you define 'climate scientist'?" The authors appropriately pre-empted that question by explaining how they defined the term. Really, if they hadn't listed the >50% criterion, you'd likely be complaining that they used the term "climate scientist" without defining it. MastCell Talk 17:00, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
That would certainly be a reasonable question for a critical reader to ask. But I would hope and expect that the cited sources would answer that question adequately. Itsmejudith's post made me go back and re-read the article to be sure I hadn't misunderstood or misquoted the article. The article doesn't say "climate scientists, defined as scientists who published more than 50% of their work on climate change" It says 'climatologists who "listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change"'. First, the wording clearly implies that the "who" clause is an additional condition, not as the definition of "climatologist". Even if it is intended as the definition (and if so it needs rewording), it would be a misleading definition because a "climatologist" studies climate whether changing or not. Now it may be true that all climatologists study climate change because the climate is changing - but that is/would be the result of definition plus some other condition, not a result of the definition itself.
Anyway, the descriptions of most of the surveys included in the article use terms like "climate scientist" without defining them. I assumed good faith on the part of the person including the survey and/or the part of the writers of the survey, that they used reasonable definitions. If you want to investigate to see if the definitions are good feel free to do so. I just mentioned this one survey because the flaw jumped off the page at me. Readin (talk) 17:38, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Readin: have you considered that the overwhelming majority of scientists that study climate believe in global warming because that is what scientific study shows? Do your beliefs accommodate facts and reflective study, or do you require them to yield to your POV? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:01, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
If you equate 'belief in Bigfoot' with 'belief in science', that is like including 2=3 in a system of arithmetic: you can prove anything you like after that. Scientific observations, verified by other scientific observers, and scientific explanations, peer reviewed and validated by other modellers and theoreticians, do not constitute a 'belief system'. Only people with a vested interest in persuading a gullible population of something illogical would try to persuade them it is. This is one of many articles on Wikipedia that takes 'reality' as a given starting point before going on to discuss a topic. We can't include in every article that established facts are optional in some lobbyists' preferred version of reality. --Nigelj (talk) 13:16, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
The "reality" is controversial (whether it should be or not). Again, this article's very existence proves that. Since the point of this article is to show what the "reality" is, it shouldn't be showing that reality rather than taking that reality as given. To use math as an example (since you did), and article on Pythagorean theorem gives proofs. Indeed one would be a poor mathematician if one simply said the Pythagorean theorem, being reality, is simply and doesn't need proof - particularly if one were writing an article on whether other mathematicians believe the Pythagorean theorem is true. On the other hand, taking reality as a starting point, the article on sine simply assumes the Pythagorean theorem is true. It is important to do things in order, after all. This article is about scientific opinion on climate change (or at least that's what the title of the article indicates). When providing evidence of that opinion, the evidence should not require circular logic. I'm not saying that is the case here, but that is the case you seem to be arguing. It seems you're saying that since GW is science and Bigfoot is not, the standards of scientific inquiry don't need to be applied to GW. Readin (talk) 14:42, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to WP:AGF and give this discussion the benefit of the doubt one more time. It started with the statement, "People who publish articles on climate change are of course more likely to believe in climate change". The point I made was that the scientific method and the efficacy of scientific enquiry itself should not be called into doubt in an article at this level. That is analogous to "the article on sine simply assumes the Pythagorean theorem is true". I don't know where you get me saying that "the standards of scientific inquiry don't need to be applied to GW", I never said that. Everything else is already in the article: "Th[e] scientific consensus is expressed in synthesis reports, scientific bodies of national or international standing, and surveys of opinion among climate scientists. Individual scientists, universities, and laboratories contribute to the overall scientific opinion via their peer-reviewed publications, and the areas of collective agreement and relative certainty are summarised in these high level reports and surveys." and "Since 2007, when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists released a revised statement, no scientific body of national or international standing rejects the findings of human-induced effects on climate change." I don't see any fundamental flaw in this article, as was claimed at the beginning of this discussion. --Nigelj (talk) 15:46, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
"I don't see any fundamental flaw in this article, as was claimed at the beginning of this discussion." I think you misread the opening of the discussion. It's not the article that has the fundamental flaw, one poll/survey cited by this article has a fundamental flaw. I think that one particular poll/survey should be removed from this article. Readin (talk) 16:28, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Flaws in social research are identified by people with social science qualifications, not by anonymous Wikipedia editors. (If you happen to be both, you can alert us to your published work.) Itsmejudith (talk) 16:53, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia editors are expected to use some judgement. We don't include any and every scientific or scholarly paper ever written on every topic.
Also, some flaws do require an expert to spot, but some don't. I'm not an auto mechanic, but I can spot a flat tire and I can tell the difference between a Sherman Tank and a Pontiac Firebird. This flaw, at least as described in the article, is glaring. Self-selection sampling bias is one of the most common but also most well known errors in polling. It doesn't always require an expert to see it. Perhaps the survey/poll was mis-described by the article. But as the article stands, it is claiming as evidence of scientific consensus a poll/survey that, as described in the article, does not show scientific consensus. Readin (talk) 17:28, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
I checked and the article does quote the source accurately and not out of context. After reading the paper I don't see any other major problems (there is at least one minor one that probably can't be helped - and the author is very up-front about it). It looks like we just picked the one problematic quote from the whole thing and decided to use it.
If it is important to keep the source, and I gather from many of the comments that it is important to affirm that the scientific consensus is for global warming, there is plenty of other martieral from that source that can be used. 90% of scientists surveyed at institutions involved in geoscience research said climate change is occuring. 82% said human activity is a significant factor in that change. Readin (talk) 18:40, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Readin: The only fundamental flaw here is your underlying belief that anyone who has seriously studied climate is necessarily pre-judiced to believe in AGW, and therefore should be excluded from the discussion. Which is totally ridiculous. Apparently you have not considered that the overwhelming majority of scientists that study climate believe in global warming because that is what scientific study shows. But never mind that, because Bigfoot has told you otherwise? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:39, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

This discussion seems to have come to a halt. I would like to think it is because all objections have been answered and everyone has been persuaded that we need to remove the problem from the article. However I realize that it is more likely that everyone got sick and tired of arguing. The proposed change is not required by any Wikipedia guidelines. It isn't an NPOV issue or a lack of a reliable source. It is simply something I think would improve the article - selecting papers where logic supports the conclusion of scientific consensus. Since this change isn't required and because there was so much discussion, I won't make the change unless there is some evidence of consensus. Is anyone both in agreement that we should make the change and willing to step forward and say so? If so, please say something. Otherwise I think we're done. Readin (talk) 20:02, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm in agreement that scientists by and large seek to know the truth about how things work. Apparently when you need a valve replacement, you would prefer the opinions of geoscientists on the latest techniques of open heart surgery instead of the opinions of cardiothoracic surgery researchers, because - obviously - the latter group "believes" in cardiothoracic surgery and is therefore biased. God speed for your recovery! I hope you're back on your feet soon. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:35, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
If I want to know if latest technique A is better than older technique B, I won't ask a researcher who abandoned other research to pursue a career in latest technique A. The guy has too much riding on it, and also he obviously thinks A is better because he decided to pursue it. What about the other guys who chose not to pursue it but to keep working on technique B or on some other technique C? Better than only asking the guy who studies technique A, I should ask the guys who study B and C also.
When you buy a car, do you take a survey of only KIA drivers to tell you if KIA is the best car brand? Readin (talk) 17:48, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Readin: what part of "NO" do you not understand? ALL of the half-dozen editors who have responded here — all, I might add, with a better understanding than yours of science generally and the details of this topic specifically — have said no. To expend more time and patience explaining this to you would be wasteful, as your POV is so deeply partisan (see also the section following) the time needed would seriously impair our efforts elsewhere. The answer is no. And, yes, we are done. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:22, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
To see you lecturing others about their partisan POV is positively risible, JJ. Thanks for the laugh. Belchfire (talk) 21:30, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Since you have no substantive comments to offer I'm going to close this. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 19:42, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
As the person who opened the discussion, I'll close it after giving other people a chance to respond. On July 5 I responded to a comment. Having answered the only objection I did not immediately act to make the change but instead gave people time - the next comment wasn't until July 9. I will again give people time before closing this discussion. You do not speak for everyone. When I close this, as I expect to do so, it will simply be a matter of a lack of consensus and not a snarky jab at anyone who disagrees with me. Readin (talk) 20:12, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Readin, see WP:TALK: this page is for discussing improvements to the article, based on verifiable published sources and not on your own opinions about scientists. Please comply with the guideline and promptly present such sources with your proposals for article improvement. Unless you do so, this discussion will properly be closed. Not necessarily by yourself. . . dave souza, talk 22:02, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Six editors have responded your comment (not counting Belchfire's non-relevant comment), and all of them disagree with you. You still have no substantive comments. There appears to be consensus. Just not in your favor. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:15, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Unreliable source

A strong and longstanding consensus remains: that the published works of the IPCC are a reliable source on this topic.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.


I removed the IPCC as a non-neutral source for the question of whether climate change is occurring. The edit was reverted with the vague comment, "Seems it has been established as reliable." Who established the IPCC as a reliable and was it for this particular question?

An organization that owes its existence to a particular finding cannot be considered reliable for whether or not that finding is correct because stating that the finding is incorrect would be suicidal for the organization. The IPCC may be a reliable source for specific aspects of climate change, but for the overall question of whether climate change is occurring the IPCC has too large of a Conflict of Interest. We wouldn't take an oil company that owes its existence to burning fossil fuels as a reliable source either. Readin (talk) 19:42, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure that anyone claims it to be neutral. The IPCC definitely takes a position on one side of this topic. That doesn't negate its importance to this article, nor does it violate WP:Weight. Oil companies, on the other hand, do not typically contribute to scientific consensuses.
Also, please understand that in an article that has seen battles aplenty waged on its talk page (here), such a contentious change would require a consensus of the editors here.
Please also check the FAQ and archives before covering ground that has been covered many times before.
Thanks for your interest. --Airborne84 (talk) 19:52, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I realize that I'm an agnostic wading into what is for many a religious debate and I did try to limit my changes to only things that are obviously wrong while leaving in place things that are merely questionable. However I think that as this should be a scientific debate, arguments should be rational and honest. The IPCC obviously has at the very least the appearance of COI. It doesn't just "take a position on one side", it was formed based on a position on one side. Oil companies do plenty of science too - and they generally need to get their science right because failure means not finding oil or not having working equipment. However, like the IPCC, oil companies do have the appearance of COI. Readin (talk) 20:55, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
But you are not "agnostic". You have started with the point of view that the IPCC is "obviously" in a conflict of interest, and that "it was formed based on a position on one side." Which is an egregious misstatement of fact: the IPCC was formed to study GW and advise the member governmnents; the finding of anthropogenic global warming is its result, not its starting premise.
You also seem to think that "neutral", as in WP:Neutral point of view, means some kind of "equal" representation of views. You are wrong. It means "representing fairly, proportionately ... all significant views that have been published by reliable sources." (Emphasis added.) Note: proportionately.
Wading in would be checking the FAQ and archives first and then asking questions, not boldly deleting long-settled material in area where you have no prior experience.
~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:22, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Scientific opinion on climate change has many other prestigious scientific organisations explicitly and implicitly endorsing the IPCC, including the Royal Society, the US National Academy of Sciences and the United States National Research Council. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:03, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Readin appears to be unaware of the original purpose of the IPCC. Something that should be made clear in the relevant articles, giving due credit to Ronnie. . . dave souza, talk 23:57, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I did, as J. Johnson suggests, start with a POV - that an organization that owes its own existence to the belief in a phenomenon cannot be considered a neutral source for indicating whether that phenomenon exists. I didn't remove any citations of the IPCC supporting other information about climate change. I didn't even remove the statement being supported as I saw it had another source which appeared on the face to be reasonably reliable. I'm not pushing any agenda other than seeking to have reliable informatoin. When I say I'm "agnostic", I mean that I'm agnostic on the subject of climate change.
After reviewing more information about the IPCC I'm still skeptical, but less so. The claim is made that it simply gathers opinions from thousands of scientists. But surely the IPCC has some role in selecting which scientists to get opinions from, and plays some role in editing and synthesizing the opinions. I'm willing to let the sources stand. I do object however, to the characterizations made of my efforts. They were not partisan (again, I didn't even change the text). They were not POV pushing (as J. Johnson claims on another talk page). Readin (talk) 04:21, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Fine, then the subject of this thread seems settled. If you're interested in this topic, feel free to continue to research and contribute. That's how Wikipedia gets better. Thanks. --Airborne84 (talk) 06:56, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
No one mentioned "partisan" here. Readin appears to have confounded this discussion with a related one on "another talk page" (Talk:Intergovernmental_Panel on Climate Change#Wikipedia:Verifiability), where there are strong indications of partisanship. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:45, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
The comment entered when the edit was reverted made an accusation of partisanship. Readin (talk) 21:02, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
What partisanship? Many of your edits are anyway controversial and partisan in themselves, and controversial and partisan enough to have you blocked once. If you are good at things about Taiwan, well, frankly, stick to them, instead of trying on new boots not befitting to your size. Who are you fooling? Most of your edits are about Taiwan. Making edits in non-Taiwanese areas would not increase your "street cred". -- KC9TV 06:47, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I suggest you stop the personal attacks before it gets escalated to WP:ANI. Comment on the issues, not the editors. GimliDotNet (Speak to me,Stuff I've done) 06:53, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Civility

General sanctions apply to this article. Use the appropriate mechanisms for interpersonal dispute resolution.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I came to this page with no real bias for or against whether AGW is occurring. It seems reasonable to me that humans could affect global climate. It seems reasonable to question how accurately scientists are able to measure temperatures. I'm predisposed to believe the scientists, but too often what I see from those who claim AGW is occurring seems more designed to stifle science than promote it. I came to this page more interested in the fairness of the debate than in the outcome. I didn't make changes that would cast doubt. I tried removing some references in a place were there was another reference, so the text would not change at all. And I suggested removing one example of many because I thought the one example wasn't as solid as the others.

For my trouble, my edit was reverted with a charge that I was "partisan". When I tried to take my edits and suggestions to the discussion page, the following comments were made:

  • "The "fundamental flaw" that I see is a misunderstanding of how science works." Vsmith
  • "So what you are saying is..." Kim D. Petersen
(attempting to put words in my mouth)
  • "So, in other words:..." (again attempting to put words in my mouth) Kim D. Petersen
(attempting to put words in my mouth)
  • "Sorry, there's no logic in that." - Itsmejudith
  • "Really, if they hadn't listed the >50% criterion, you'd likely be complaining that they used the term "climate scientist" without defining it." - Mastcell
(attempting to read my mind in an assumption of bad faith)

J. Johnson was a special case:

  • "Do your beliefs accommodate facts and reflective study, or do you require them to yield to your POV?" J. Johnson
  • "Readin: The only fundamental flaw here is your underlying belief...But never mind that, because Bigfoot has told you otherwise?" J. Johnson
  • "all, I might add, with a better understanding than yours of science generally" J. Johnson


Nearly every comment that responded to me had some sort of snarky comment associated with it.

One bright spot:

  • "I'm going to WP:AGF and give this discussion the benefit of the doubt one more time." - Nigelj
(not truly assuming good faith if you feel you have to say you're doing so..but I do appreciate that your comments did reflect an assumption of good faith)

Nigelj, thank you for your calmness and rational discussion. No one can control whether or not they really assume the another person is acting in good faith, but sometimes it is important to act as though you do really assume good faith. Thank you for your decision to give the benefit of the doubt". It is important.

A couple other bright spots: Airborne84 and dave souza both were civil even though disagreeing with me.


I leave this page sadly more convinced that many people who believe AGW is occurring (and I'm not saying I don't believe it is occurring) are more interested in stifling dissent than in honest persuasion. And I leave with less confidence in Wikipedia as a whole. I've read that attempts to edit Wikipedia are often blocked by a small group of editors who seem to think they own an article. That has not been my experience generally and I've often argued against such comments. Now I see an example of where such comments come from.

An obvious question - am I off-topic? Well, the purpose of the Talk page is to discuss ways the article can be improved. Making the tone of discussion on the Talk page would, in my opinion, improve the article. Readin (talk) 17:34, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

"... many people who believe AGW is occurring ... are more interested in stifling dissent than in honest persuasion."
The evidence for this is actually considerably better than the evidence in favor of AGW. And when AGW proponents start to lecture others about being "partisan", it gets downright funny (in a sad way). Belchfire (talk) 17:50, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
The crux is "stifling dissent", by which you both seem to mean that you'd like the article to give undue weight to fringe views, or non-expert views. Rather reminiscent of a Scientific Dissent from Darwinism. And who are these "AGW proponents"? For one, I'm very much opposed to AGW, though it's pretty difficult to stop. . . dave souza, talk 20:48, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't believe I suggested that a single view be added, fringe, non-expert, or otherwise. I agree with that "AGW proponent" is misleading and I struggled to find a succinct way of describing people who believe AGW is occurring. I wasn't able to find a succinct way which is why I said, "people who believe AGW is occurring."
By "stifling dissent" I mean trying to keep any other argument from being heard regardless of whether doing so is done honestly or through intimidation. When I commented on this page, some of the objections to my suggestions were reasonable, but nearly all those objections also included personal attacks. It wasn't enough for someone to say why they thought one my statements was wrong, there had to be an (inaccurate) re-writing of my statement to make it sound ridiculous, a suggestion that I'm uneducated about science, or a suggestion that I'm here for nefarious purposes.
Outside this page, people who are skeptical of AGW are often called "deniers", an obvious Godwin.
It is these tactics make me question AGW. If the people who say it is occurring are so afraid of honest debate... But then I suspect those people are a vocal minority, and there are probably more serious people who debate civilly and who don't use such terms.Readin (talk) 21:15, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Concur. When people immediately reach for snark and ridicule (or worse), it is totally reasonable to question how sure they are of their own argument.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Belchfire (talkcontribs) 21:29, 18 July 2012‎

Reminder about sanctions

Please avoid discussing behavioural issues on this page. The article and the subject of climate change in general are still under general sanctions. There are established paths for resolving civility problems, and if they don't work you can take evidence failure to collaborate to WP:AE under those sanctions. It's up to us to ensure that attempts to rebuild the battlefield mentality that once reigned here are nipped in the bud. --TS 21:30, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Point taken and thank you for this useful and constructive notice. Belchfire (talk) 21:34, 18 July 2012 (UTC)