Consensus Nonsensus on 97%: Science is Not a Democracy

28 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2016

Date Written: July 10, 2016


A number of scholars who have previously undertaken studies on the alleged ‘consensus’ of the human impact on global warming have recently published a paper (Cook et al. 2016) which they claim confirms and strengthens their previous 97% consensus claims. This author rejects their findings and deconstructs both the premise of the relevance of consensus in the empirical evidence-based world of science and finds the claims are in fact ‘nonsensus.’ Several of the scholars’ consensus claims and those of scientific bodies were published prior to the 2013 IPCC Working Group I report wherein it was reported that there had been a hiatus in global warming for some 15 years (to 2012), despite a significant rise in carbon dioxide from human industrial emissions.

Keywords: scientific consensus, climate change, anthropogenic global warming, social proof

Suggested Citation

Stirling, Michelle, Consensus Nonsensus on 97%: Science is Not a Democracy (July 10, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

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