In a comment to my previous post on Benny Peiser’s claim that Naomi Oreskes article on the scientific consensus was wrong, Meyrick made a good case that Peiser had conducted a different search than Oreskes:
Think I’ve finally worked out how to replicate Oreskes’ search. There are 2 fundemental differences between Peiser search and Oreskes.
1. Oreskes excluded the “Social Sciences Citation Index” and the “Arts & Humanities Citation Index”, Peiser does not.
2. Oreskes set the search limits to include only “Article”s, whereas Peiser set the search limits to include “All document types”.
Using Oreskes search you get 929 documents (her article says 928, close enough?), where as with Peiser’s search you get 1247 documents.
I can confirm these findings. I suspect the 928 vs 929 difference is because an article has been added to the database since Oreskes ran her search.
Peiser is well aware of this because he was involved in the ensuing discussion. Now Brian Schmidt has discovered that after this discussion Peiser claimed: “I have analysed the same set of abstracts.” He lays out the case in detail here and here.
Also, Lars has discovered that Peiser peddling his bogus study in Canada’s Financial Post:
Dr. Peiser has a hand-wringer in today’s Financial Post (business section of Canada’s National Post, sorry but no link, it is in today’s hard copy edition [scoffed from a recycling bin, I won't pay for this rag] but not posted on today’s website edition, subscription anyway and really not worth it even for Canadians) in which he bemoans “the stifling of dissent and the curtailing of scientific skepticism…” which is “bringing climate research into disrepute [sic]“. It appears to be a rehashing of the points that he makes above and in his Science letter, and Oreskes (and her pernicious influence) comes in for another drubbing. Dr. Peiser seems to have made his getaway from Deltoid with his hat shot full of criticisms but his head unscathed; as far as I can see, none of the points made by correspondents here have been addressed in this op-ed piece. It is three columns and over half the page—the Post always gives prominent display to contrascience work.
All right, who’s up for some distributed abstract checking? I’m thinking of setting up a system with all 929 papers in it so that everyone can classify a few papers. That way we can check who is correct about the percentage that support the consensus.
Update: John finds the link to Peiser’s National Post piece. Notice that Peiser has dropped his easily refuted “34 articles reject the consensus” claim and switched to
An unbiased analysis of the peer-reviewed literature on global warming will find hundreds of papers (many of them 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, there is no such thing.
Presumably a reference to Timo Hameranta’s list, that includes papers that explicitly endorse the consensus. And his other big piece of evidence is Bray’s useless survey. Canadian readers might want to send a letter to the National Post.