Did Skepticalscience Lie about one of the studies they reviewed in their consensus survey?

Hi everyone! When responding to criticism of the 2013 climate consensus survey by Cook et al., SkepticalScience had the following to say in response to accusations that they wrongly classified a paper by Israeli astrophysicist Nir Shaviv as endorsing rather than rejecting the consensus on climate change, they responded as follows:
Nir Shaviv took the opposite approach, claiming he was wrongly included in the 97%. Though Shaviv also admitted that Cook et al. correctly classified his abstracts based on their content, but claimed that he worded the text in a way to slip it past the journal reviewers and editors.

"I couldn’t write these things more explicitly in the paper because of the refereeing, however, you don’t have to be a genius to reach these conclusions from the paper."
The cited source for Shaviv's quote is a City Data forum thread that links to this post on a climate contrarian blog called Popular Technology. The full cited quote reads as follows:
Dr. Shaviv, your paper 'On climate response to changes in the cosmic ray flux and radiative budget' is categorized by Cook et al. (2013) as; "Explicitly endorses but does not quantify or minimise"

Is this an accurate representation of your paper?
Shaviv: "Nope... it is not an accurate representation. The paper shows that if cosmic rays are included in empirical climate sensitivity analyses, then one finds that different time scales consistently give a low climate sensitiviity. i.e., it supports the idea that cosmic rays affect the climate and that climate sensitivity is low. This means that part of the 20th century should be attributed to the increased solar activity and that 21st century warming under a business as usual scenario should be low (about 1°C).

I couldn't write these things more explicitly in the paper because of the refereeing, however, you don't have to be a genius to reach these conclusions from the paper."

Any further comment on the Cook et al. (2013) paper?
Shaviv: "Science is not a democracy, even if the majority of scientists think one thing (and it translates to more papers saying so), they aren't necessarily correct. Moreover, as you can see from the above example, the analysis itself is faulty, namely, it doesn't even quantify correctly the number of scientists or the number of papers which endorse or diminish the importance of AGW."
So it appears that the Skeptical Science claim that Shaviv correctly classified his abstracts based solely on reading it in isolation, not only did Shaviv not say that in any of the links cited, but he states that Cook et al. itself incorrectly quantified the number of scientists or papers which endorse or reject AGW. So he contradicts Skeptical Science.

But that aside, I think that Skeptical Science might be implying that Shaviv admitted that Cook et al. correctly classified his abstract based solely on reading it alone via his statement, as if he worded the conclusions of his paper in the abstract in a way so that his conclusions that reject the consensus would be less obvious, then classifying it as endorsing AGW based only on the abstract wouldn't at all seem too unreasonable.

(EDIT: Sorry for including the wrong link) Here is Shaviv's paper to get an idea of what the abstract says, and also so you can infer if Cook et al.'s analysis is accurate. So did Skeptical Science lie? Or we're they honestly mistaken? Let me know in the response.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
So it appears that the Skeptical Science claim that Shaviv correctly classified his abstracts based solely on reading it in isolation, not only did Shaviv not say that in any of the links cited, but he states that Cook et al. itself incorrectly quantified the number of scientists or papers which endorse or reject AGW. So he contradicts Skeptical Science.

But that aside, I think that Skeptical Science might be implying that Shaviv admitted that Cook et al. correctly classified his abstract based solely on reading it alone via his statement, as if he worded the conclusions of his paper in the abstract in a way so that his conclusions that reject the consensus would be less obvious, then classifying it as endorsing AGW based only on the abstract wouldn't at all seem too unreasonable.
I'm sorry, but I don't get what you are trying to say; it reads like word salad.

I understand this (if we accept the blog post as authentic):
* Cook classified papers and authors by abstract
* Shaviv does not endorse the climate consensus
* Shaviv wrote the abstract to make it seem like he did, to deceive the editors
* Shaviv claims the findings of the paper contradict the consensus
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Nir Shaviv is a climate change sceptic. I know this because a group of German and Swiss climatologists debated him on this in 2003.
Article:
According to a group of leading climate scientists, a recently published paper by Nir Shaviv and Jan Veizer which claims to show a correlation between the temperature evolution on Earth and cosmic rays is based on highly questionable methods. The influence of CO2 on climate estimated in the article refers only to geologic time scales of hundreds of millions of years. Even if the analyses were correct, no conclusions for the ongoing global warming could be drawn, since on the time scale of decades different factors play a crucial role.

In July 2003, the journal GSA Today published a paper by astrophysicist Nir Shaviv and geologist Jan Veizer which claimed to present a relation between cosmic rays and the long-term temperature evolution on Earth over hundreds of millions of years. The authors claim in addition that the influence of CO2 on climate is much weaker than previously thought. Because this paper was heralded by lobbyists and “climate sceptics” and was widely cited in the media and in politics, some clarification by climatologists has become necessary.

Article:
Drs. Shaviv and Veizer have now responded to the statement of the 14 scientists on their GSA Today paper. Their responses are reproduced below, with our comments added.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Here is an excerpt of the abstract in question (note that the abstract on arXiv is shorter):
Article:
On climate response to changes in the cosmic ray flux and radiative budget

Nir J. Shaviv

[...] Subject to the above caveats and those described in the text, the CRF/climate link therefore implies that the increased solar luminosity and reduced CRF over the previous century should have contributed a warming of 0.47 ± 0.19°K, while the rest should be mainly attributed to anthropogenic causes. [...]


Compare to an excerpt from CLIMATE CHANGE 2001: THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS by the IPCC:
Article:
Over the 20th century the increase has been 0.6 ± 0.2°C

With this and some simple arithmetic, Shaviv's abstract implies that the majority of global warming is not man-made.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Shaviv's abstract implies that the majority of global warming is not man-made.
The problem now is that this hits a blind spot in Cook's classification:
Article:
(5) Implicit rejectionImplies humans have had a minimal impact on global warming without saying so explicitly E.g., proposing a natural mechanism is the main cause of global warming'...anywhere from a major portion to all of the warming of the 20th century could plausibly result from natural causes according to these results'
(6) Explicit rejection without quantificationExplicitly minimizes or rejects that humans are causing global warming'...the global temperature record provides little support for the catastrophic view of the greenhouse effect'
(7) Explicit rejection with quantificationExplicitly states that humans are causing less than half of global warming'The human contribution to the CO2 content in the atmosphere and the increase in temperature is negligible in comparison with other sources of carbon dioxide emission'

It would fit (5) ("proposing a natural mechanism is the main cause of global warming") or (7) because it has quantification. Cook was seems unprepared for an author who has data to support his position, but fails to make that position clear.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Did Cook actually classify Shaviv as pro-consus?

The supplementary data for Cook's paper is at https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024/data , the erl460291datafile.txt states:

Category
2,Impacts
3,Mitigation
4,Methods
5,Paleoclimate
8,Not climate related
9,Not Peer-Reviewed
10,No Abstract

Endorsement
1,Explicitly endorses and quantifies AGW as 50+%
2,Explicitly endorses but does not quantify or minimise
3,Implicitly endorses AGW without minimising it
4,No Position
5,Implicitly minimizes/rejects AGW
6,Explicitly minimizes/rejects AGW but does not quantify
7,Explicitly minimizes/rejects AGW as less than 50%

Year,Title,Journal,Authors,Category,Endorsement
[...]
2005,On Climate Response To Changes In The Cosmic Ray Flux And Radiative Budget,Journal Of Geophysical Research-space Physics,Shaviv| Nj,4,2
Content from External Source
Cook mistakenly classified Shaviv's paper as "2,Explicitly endorses but does not quantify or minimise".

I expect this happened because Shaviv used the phrase "mainly attributed to anthropogenic causes" in the abstract, and avoided stating his position explicitly.
 
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I'm sorry, but I don't get what you are trying to say; it reads like word salad.

I understand this (if we accept the blog post as authentic):
* Cook classified papers and authors by abstract
* Shaviv does not endorse the climate consensus
* Shaviv wrote the abstract to make it seem like he did, to deceive the editors
* Shaviv claims the findings of the paper contradict the consensus

My questions are,
a) is the claim about the findings correct?
b) is the blog post authentic?
My main problem with the SkepticalScience article is that it appears that it lied about Shaviv's comment on their classification of his paper when they said that he admitted that their classification of his abstract based only on its content is correct, when Shaviv never said such a thing in any of the links cited.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
My main problem with the SkepticalScience⅕ article is that it appears that it lied about Shaviv's comment on their classification of his paper when they said that he admitted that their classification of his abstract based only on its content is correct, when Shaviv never said such a thing in any of the links cited.
Well, I think there's some misreading going on. When Shaviv writes, "I couldn't write these things more explicitly in the paper because of the refereeing", it's easy to read this as "I made the abstract look like I endorse AGW". But that's not what he did, so it's wrong to read it like that.

Cook made an avoidable but understandable mistake.
SkepticalScience didn't even look at the abstract.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Skeptical Science IS Cook. no?
It's a team effort. That article was written by Dana Nuccitelli. He's also a co-author on the "Quantifying the consensus" paper. My point is that he doesn't seem to have looked at the abstract when he wrote that rebuttal.
Article:
Updated on 2014-05-05 by dana1981.

Article:
dana1981

Dana Nuccitelli is an environmental scientist, climate journalist, and Research Coordinator for the nonprofit advocacy group Citizens' Climate Lobby. He has a Bachelor's Degree in astrophysics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master's Degree in physics from the University of California at Davis.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
because i'm very confident he would have [checked to see if he and Cook were wrong originally and] read the abstract before writing his rebuttal.
so there aren't actually any observations or reasoning behind your confidence, it's just your opinion.

My point is that if you do check [the abstract], it's obvious that the study was misclassified, and if you see that it was misclassified, you ought to no longer write this:
Nir Shaviv took the opposite approach, claiming he was wrongly included in the 97%. Though Shaviv also admitted that Cook et al. correctly classified his abstracts based on their content,
Content from External Source
The person who wrote this clearly thinks the abstract was classified correctly.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
so your conclusion is that Cook and Dana don't actually check to see if they are wrong, before posting -and allowing to be posted-things on Skeptical Science that support their biases?

Fair enough. That actually explains alot. I'll concede to your astute observations and reasoning.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
so your conclusion is that Cook and Dana don't actually check to see if they are wrong, before posting -and allowing to be posted-things on Skeptical Science that support their biases?
No.

I think what may have happened was that Dana Nuccitelli saw Shaviv's comment, and interpreted it to say "I wrote my abstract to make it appear I endorse AGW". Nuccitelli then thinks, "that's why we classified it as endorsement", and writes that paragraph, which is a minor point on that page. There'd be no need to make the effort of checking as Shaviv never mentions the abstract; Shaviv merely says he and his paper were misclassified because he didn't state his position explicitly.

I empathize with that because I thought the same after reading post #1 (and wrote as much in #2); I only looked at the paper myself because I wanted to check on Shaviv's claim how obvious his position was, expecting to have to review the whole thing.

So from my point of view, there was a good-faith reason for Nucitelli to have made that mistake, and it had nothing to do with bias (except perhaps for the conviction that they had tried their best to classify each paper correctly; I've seen how much effort went into this when I skimmed the Cook et al. paper).
(And there's no evidence Cook was involved in creating that article.)
 
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