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Most Debunked Global Warming Paper Ever Passes Half Million Download Mark

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Craig Boudreau Vice Reporter

The most thoroughly debunked global warming paper in modern history just hit 500,000 downloads.

The mark is significant because this paper in particular — authored by John Cook and his colleagues from Skeptical Science — gave birth to the most widely cited statistic in alarmist circles: 97 percent of scientists agree man is largely responsible for global warming.

To put the 500,000 downloads into perspective, the average downloads for academic papers is roughly 700, according to Research Trends.

While it has become the most downloaded paper in the Institute of Physics Journal, according to an article published by The Guardian Thursday, it has also been met with scorn from many, been debunked perhaps more than any other scientific paper ever and some scientist who were lumped into that 97 percent number have even come out in opposition to that classification.

Cook’s paper claimed “97 percent” of scientists agreed global warming was man-made. It is a number used repeatedly by alarmists as a means to try and silence debate on global warming by claiming “the science is settled.”

Cook and his team got to 97 percent by running a keyword search for “global warming” and “global climate change” between 1991 and 2011, which yielded more than 12,000 papers. They then agreed upon definitions of possible categories the papers could fit into — “explicit or implicit endorsement of human-caused global warming, no position, and implicit or explicit rejection” — and used the paper abstracts and attempted to decipher the position of each paper.

Earth System Dynamics noted in a September, 2013, press release that there were errors in the math used to get the 97 percent number. “Only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate papers Cook examined explicitly stated that Man caused most of the warming since 1950. Cook himself had flagged just 64 papers as explicitly supporting that consensus, but 23 of the 64 had not in fact supported it.”

One such scientist is Dr. Craig Idso, chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. Idso published a paper in 2000 which was erroneously lumped into the 97 percent number.

In an interview with Popular Technology in May of 2013, Idso was asked if his paper was an endorsement of anthropogenic global warming, to which he replied, “That is not an accurate representation of my paper. It would be incorrect to claim that our paper was an endorsement of CO2-induced global warming.”

Dr. Richard Tol, economist from the University of Sussex, was another who found himself erroneously lumped into the 97 percent number. Tol wrote a blog post in 2015 where he decried consensus in science, “Consensus has no place in science.” He also took to twitter to let one of the authors of the paper know he thought that was “a load of crap.”

Famed author and physician Dr. Michael Crichton also spoke about that in a lecture he gave at the California Institute of Technology in 2010. “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

President Barack Obama has taken the 97 percent number up a notch by claiming the number of scientists who agree is actually 99.5 percent, “not just 99.5% of scientists and experts, but 99% of world leaders — think [global warming] is really important,” Obama said at a press conference in December, 2015.

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