2,258 Meaningless Search Results

Source:  Popular Technology.net

Rebuttal to “2,258 peer-reviewed climate articles

James Powell continues to demonstrate his computer illiteracy by doing worthless database searches in an intellectually dishonest propaganda campaign. He updated his previous meaningless analysis in continued blissful ignorance that the ‘Web of Science’ database does not have a “peer-reviewed” only filter and the existence of a search phrase in a returned result does not determine it’s context. Thus, all that can be claimed is there were 2,258 meaningless search results not “peer-reviewed climate articles” for a query of the ‘Web of Science’ database – with 1 chosen by strawman argument.

1. The context of how the “search phrases” were used in all the results was never determined.

2. The results are padded by not using the search qualifier “anthropogenic”.

3. The 2,258 results cannot be claimed to be peer-reviewed as the Web of Science does not have a peer-reviewed only filter.

4. It is a strawman argument that most skeptics deny or reject that man can have an influence on the climate, but rather if there is any cause for alarm.

1. Context matters

The existence of a search phrase in a returned result does not determine its context. So making any arguments for or against an implied position relating to the use of a phrase by simply looking at numerical result totals is impossible. Powell never determined the context of how the search phrases were used in all the results.

2. Padding the Results

Powell padded his search results total by using the phrases; “global warming” and/or “global climate change” instead of “anthropogenic global warming” [man-made global warming] or “anthropogenic global climate change” [man-made global climate change], which would have significantly reduced the number of returned results. Without the qualifier “anthropogenic”, results are included where no claim of explicit endorsement or rejection of ACC/AGW can be made.

Others alarmists have been challenged to search for the phrase, “anthropogenic climate change” using Oreskes (2004) methods and they only got 108 returned results.

I did the search [in Web of Science] for “anthropogenic climate change” the other day and got something like 108 papers.” – Barry Bickmore, Professor at Brigham Young University

These low number of results are not useful to sell the type of propaganda alarmists like Powell are looking for.

3. Peer-Reviewed?

In his methods, Powell filtered his results by the ‘articles’ document type which includes content that may not be peer-reviewed depending on the specific journal,

Document Type Descriptions (Web of Science)

Article: Reports of research on original works. Includes research papers, features, brief communications, case reports, technical notes, chronology, and full papers that were presented at a symposium or conference.

Categories like these have been the subject of debate and confusion in relation to their peer-review status,

“…three categories of articles have been published: review articles up to 10 000 words, original articles of 2500?5000 words and brief communications of 1000?2000 words. Only the ?rst two categories were subject to peer review and brief communications were being published without this quality check.” – Health Information and Libraries Journal

“Because of trends in submissions, Nature’s Brief Communications will bow out at the end of the year. […] False rumours that the section was not peer reviewed have occasionally circulated.” – Nature

4. Strawman argument

Actual skeptic arguments include that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is exaggerated or inconsequential, such as those made by Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT and John R. Christy, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science at UHA. Skeptics unanimously reject that there is any cause for alarm.

By fabricating a strawman argument claiming he found only 1 author who “rejected man-made global warming”, Powell intentionally ignored actual skeptic arguments and failed to count many papers. Including a 14-paper special edition on climate change in the IPCC cited journal, Energy & Environment (Vol. 24, No. 3-4, June 2013) which included,

Climate Change and Carbon Dioxide: Geological Perspective
(Energy & Environment, Volume 24, Number 3-4, pp. 361-380, June 2013)
– Harry N. A. Priem

Inconsistency of Modeled and Observed Tropical Temperature Trends
(Energy & Environment, Volume 24, Number 3-4, pp. 405-414, June 2013)
– S. Fred Singer

Reconciling Observations of Global Temperature Change: 2013
(Energy & Environment, Volume 24, Number 3-4, pp. 415-420, June 2013)
– David H. Douglass, John R. Christy

Why Scientists are ‘Sceptical’ About the AGW Concept
(Energy & Environment, Volume 24, Number 3-4, pp. 551-560, June 2013)
– Arthur Rorsch, Peter A. Ziegler


Powell continues in the trend of propaganda started by Oreskes (2004) which is considered useless by world renowned climate experts,

“Analyses like these by people who don’t know the field are useless. A good example is Naomi Oreskes work.” – Tom Wigley, Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

He intentionally ignores actual skeptic arguments, which includes the 993-page NIPCC report, Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science (2013) – supported entirely by the peer-reviewed literature and 1000+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarm.

Instead he hopes his propaganda will be picked up by the media and used by those who are intellectual dishonest and want to be intentionally misleading.