More recently, a study in the journal Science by the social scientist Nancy Oreskes claimed that a search of the ISI Web of Knowledge Database for the years 1993 to 2003 under the key words “global climate change” produced 928 articles, all of whose abstracts supported what she referred to as the consensus view. A British social scientist, Benny Peiser, checked her procedure and found that only 913 of the 928 articles had abstracts at all, and that only 13 of the remaining 913 explicitly endorsed the so-called consensus view. Several actually opposed it.
Note that he got her name wrong (it’s Naomi), what she said she’d found (which was that 75% implicitly or explicitly accept the consensus) and what the corresponding claim by Peiser was (that only one third of the papers accepted the consensus). It seems likely that he never checked what Oreskes actually wrote and relied on a second or third hand account.
Lindzen also writes:
A clearer claim as to what debate has ended is provided by the
environmental journalist Gregg Easterbrook. He concludes that the
scientific community now agrees that significant warming is occurring,
and that there is clear evidence of human influences on the climate
system. This is still a most peculiar claim.
Lindzen concedes that warming is occurring, but on the question of
human influences argues that there has been a “clear attempt to
establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual
One of the examples of this repetition that Lindzen gives is the 2001 NAS panel report which unequivocally stated:
Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere
as a result of human activities, causing surface air
temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise.
Temperatures are, in fact, rising.
Lindzen does not mention that he was one of the authors of this report. He says one thing in a scientific report and another thing in an op-ed.
Even more recently, the Climate Change Science Program, the Bush
administration’s coordinating agency for global-warming research,
declared it had found “clear evidence of human influences on the
climate system.” This, for Mr. Easterbrook, meant: “Case closed.” What
exactly was this evidence? The models imply that greenhouse warming
should impact atmospheric temperatures more than surface temperatures,
and yet satellite data showed no warming in the atmosphere since 1979.
The report showed that selective corrections to the atmospheric data
could lead to some warming, thus reducing the conflict between
observations and models descriptions of what greenhouse warming should
look like. That, to me, means the case is still very much open.
The report absolutely does not say that satellite data shows no warming since 1979. It states:
For observations during the satellite era (1979 onwards), the most recent versions of all available data sets show that both the low and mid troposphere have warmed.
As for the conflict between models and observations, the report finds there is no such conflict:
The most recent climate model simulations give a range of results for
changes in global-average temperature. Some models show more warming
in the troposphere than at the surface, while a slightly smaller
number of simulations show the opposite behavior. There is no
fundamental inconsistency among these model results and observations
at the global scale.