Announced with great fanfare last week was a letter from 4,500 Amazon employees urging the company to rethink how it deals with climate change. The workers want the company to reduce its carbon footprint and incorporate their vision of climate-change mitigation in its decision making.
For starters, they advocate passage of a shareholder resolution next month to force the company to address how it might lessen its contribution to man-made warming. In addition, they want Amazon to withhold its cloud business from oil and gas companies that utilize the service to extract more fossil fuels.
The release of the letter was widely reported under headlines like “Thousands of Amazon employees urge company to do more on climate change.”
A much better headline would read “99.3 percent of Amazon employees do not endorse climate change letter.” That is because the signatories represent an amazingly tiny percentage of Amazon’s workforce of 613,300 workers worldwide. If the issue of man-made catastrophic warming were the existential threat it is so often made out to be, one would expect to at least get a measly one percent of the workforce to sign up if only to virtue signal.
The same media regularly tout the mythical “97 percent consensus” of scientists who support the notion that man-made warming is harmful. Yet, in this case, they seem to put huge stock in an incredibly small set of workers at a huge company that they believe should have an oversized effect on policy.
The supposed 97 percent consensus that is trotted out at every opportunity to support the idea of catastrophic man-made warming is based on a paper written by John Cook in 2013. Cook defined his consensus to be that man had caused the majority of the global warming since 1950.
To get to 97 percent he cast a wide net (which would include the likes of me), but more importantly, he misrepresented his own statistical results in the publication.
An independent study by David Legates and two co-authors reviewed the scientific papers that Cook had used in arriving at the “consensus” and discovered multiple serious errors in Cook’s methodology and results.
In fact, they determined that only 41 out of the 11,944 climate papers Cook examined had explicitly stated that man caused most of the warming since 1950. The percentage of such papers was only 0.3 percent, quite a different story than that advanced by the mainstream media.
Please note that this actual percentage supporting the “consensus” is strikingly similar to the 0.7 percent of the Amazon employees who cared enough to endorse the climate change letter.
Dr. Legates said: “It is astonishing that any journal could have published a paper claiming a 97% climate consensus when on the authors’ own analysis the true consensus was well below 1%.
“It is still more astonishing that the IPCC should claim 95% certainty about the climate consensus when so small a fraction of published papers explicitly endorse the consensus as the IPCC defines it.”
Richard Tol also reviewed Cook’s work and concluded: “Cook’s 97% nonsensus paper shows that the climate community still has a long way to go in weeding out bad research and bad behavior. If you want to believe that climate researchers are incompetent, biased and secretive, Cook’s paper is an excellent case in point.”
David Legates and his co-authors labeled the “consensus opinion” as “agnotology.” In case your lexicon does not include that word, the definition of agnotology is “the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.”
This is a term you should consider using when referencing those promoting the consensus myth, or those who seek to foist their politically-driven ideas to control the uncontrollable (climate) on major institutions like Amazon.
Gregory Wrightstone, is author of the new book, “Inconvenient Facts: The Science That Al Gore Doesn’t Want You To Know.” Wrightstone is a geologist with more than 35 years of experience researching and studying various aspects of the Earth’s processes. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America.
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