The madness of 97% 98% consensus herds

Watts Up With That?

UPDATE: comments welcome on Dr. Richard Tol’s draft paper on this issue, see below. This will be a top post for a day, new posts will appear below this one – Anthony

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

That is from Charles Mackay in his book, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds first published in 1841.

I think it is an apt description of the process that led to Cook et al. (2013)Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature because that paper is in fact, a product of a crowd evaluating a crowd. As an example, Dr. Richard Tol has just discovered that using Cook’s own data, the consensus number Cook should have published is 98%, rather…

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