According to Oreskes, 75% of the 928 abstracts she analysed (i.e. 695) fell into
these first three categories, "either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus
view". This claim is incorrect on two counts: My analysis shows that only 424 abstracts
(or less than a third of the full data set) fall into these three categories.
It also shows that many abstracts on "evaluation of impact" and "mitigation" do not
discuss which drivers are key to global climate change, instead often focusing exclusively
on the possible effects of elevated CO2 levels on plant growth and vegetation. Many
do not include any implicit endorsement of the 'consensus view' but simply use certain
assumptions as a basis for often hypothetical impact assessments or mitigation strategies.
Quite a number of papers emphasise that natural factors play a major if not the key
role in recent climate change (4). My analysis also shows that there are almost three
times as many abstracts that are sceptical of the notion of anthropogenic climate
change than those that explicitly endorse it (5, 6, 7).
In fact, the explicit and implicit rejection of the 'consensus view' is not restricted
to individual scientists. It also includes distinguished scientific organisations
such as the American Association of Petroleum Geologists:
"The earth's climate is constantly changing owing to natural variability in earth
processes. Natural climate variability over recent geological time is greater than
reasonable estimates of potential human-induced greenhouse gas changes. Because no
tool is available to test the supposition of human-induced climate change and the
range of natural variability is so great, there is no discernible human influence
on global climate at this time" (8)
This is not to deny that there is a majority of publications that, although they
do not empirically test or confirm the view of anthropogenic climate change, go along
with it by applying models based on its basic assumptions. Yet, it is beyond doubt
that a sound and unbiased analysis of the full ISI databank will find hundreds of
papers (many of which written by the world's leading experts in the field) that have
raised serious reservations and outright rejection of the concept of a "scientific
consensus on climate change". The truth is, that there is no such thing!
In light of the data presented above (evidence that can be easily verified), Science
should withdraw Oresekes' study and its results in order to prevent any further damage
to the integrity of science.