Despite its ongoing popularity and the fact it is frequently cited in professional journals and the popular media as proof we must act now to prevent a dangerous human-caused climate catastrophe, John Cook’s 2013 paper claiming 97 percent of research on the topic agrees humans are contributing to climate change is paradigmatic example of how not to do research. How it got published is a wonder; unless of course one believes at least some major science journals have thrown out any pretense of standards for quality and methodology when it comes to climate alarmists’ papers.
Even if the research weren’t poorly conducted, as even Cook now admits, Cook’s paper proves less than those who praise it claim. As economist Richard Tol points out, “Cook and colleagues argue that 97% of the relevant academic literature endorses [the claim] humans have contributed to observed climate change. In popular discourse, however, Cook’s finding is often misrepresented. The 97% refers to the number of papers, rather than the number of scientists. The alleged consensus is about any human role in climate change, rather than a dominant role, and it is about climate change rather than the dangers it might pose.”
Money talks, nobody walks!