I am going to violate my own rule for one post. I council everyone I know not to get pulled into the absolutely pointless activity of engaging in dueling headcounts of scientists in the climate debate. This has zero utility, and means virtually nothing. Science is not settled like a football game, or an election.
But since I keep getting the “2500” scientists number thrown at me by alarmists, I am starting to believe the number is closer to 25, not 2500. Sure there are many folks who have participated in work that has become a part of the IPCC, but it is old news that though those folks are counted as believers, many reject key aspects of the IPCC findings. It is becoming increasingly clear than when people talk about the consensus, it is a position being espoused and communicated and driven by a handful of folks over and over in different outlets. The same folks were advisors on Gore’s movie and run Realclimate and are advisors of the President and were leaders of the IPCC process and were featured in many of the CRU emails.
Myron Ebell has an interesting article on this:
But when asked about some of his own extreme statements and predictions, Holdren replied that scientific research had moved on from the latest UN assessment report in 2007. The most up-to-date scientific research was contained in a report written by some of the world’s leading climate scientists and released last summer. Holdren mentioned and referred to this report, Copenhagen Diagnosis, several times during the course of the hearing….
I’m sure it will come as a shock that the two groups largely overlap. The “small group of scientists” up to their necks in Climategate include 12 of the 26 esteemed scientists who wrote the Copenhagen Diagnosis. Who would have ever guessed that forty-six percent of the authors of Copenhagen Diagnosis belong to the Climategate gang? Small world, isn’t it?
The existence of this small core does nothing to prove or disprove catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. The same statement about, say, string theory could be made about thousands of scientists working around the margin of the problem but a handful driving the train. But it does mean that the CRU email scandal is not an irrelevant sideshow involving less than 1% of the climate community — it is a window on poor scientific profess engaged in by a group that makes up perhaps a third or half of the core driving the “consensus”. Which makes it a big deal.