Looking into the climate change matter at both sides, over time it became obvious to me that one of the most important things that are forgotten in the debate is that climate is chaotic in nature and that, with reliable data just since a couple decades, high certainties would be rather unlikely. This had changed my idea from “The scientists know” in my believer years to “How could they possibly be so sure?” now. My idea was that scientists were nevertheless be aware of the complexity, but that it was just difficult to communicate this uncertainty to the public. It was with surprise that I took notice of the Financial Post article: The con in consensus: Climate change consensus among the misinformed is not worth much, with the subtitle “Not only is there no 97 per cent consensus among climate scientists; many misunderstand core issues”.
The 97%-agrees meme and how it is a fabrication was the subject of the article. Two sentences drew my attention. The first was this one:
Like so much else in the climate change debate, one needs to check the numbers. First of all, on what exactly are 97 per cent of experts supposed to agree?
I couldn’t agree more. That is how I see it also. It is also my experience that one has to check the numbers or, more general, what was really said, what was really investigated. It is often brought as if scientists agree that climate change is anthropogenic, dangerous or whatever fits the current story. The problem is that when looking at the methodology of those 97% surveys, one finds that those said statements weren’t investigated at all…
But what really caught me, and this brings us to the title of this post, was this little gem about a recent survey of international climate scientists published by the Netherlands Environmental Agency:
Three quarters of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement “Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted.”
No way! This could not be true… Is it really true? Really?
So I couldn’t find CPL project page fast enough, I was that curious. Downloaded the survey results and …
… well, I’ll be darned! That is exactly what was found in the survey! About 75% of those climate scientists DISagreed with the statement that “climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted”:
Several things went through my head. First, as McKitric noted: “lots of people get called ‘climate experts’ and contribute to the appearance of consensus, without necessarily being knowledgeable about core issues”. Not acknowledging the chaotic nature of the climate system would be a clear sign to me.
But more importantly, if this is how “climate scientists” think about the climate, is it any wonder that they have so little doubts about the problem and the solution?