In 2013, John Cook lead the Consensus Project, a crowd-sourced effort to complete the most comprehensive analysis of climate research ever made. They found that among relevant climate papers, 97% endorsed the consensus that humans were causing global warming. When this research was published, it was tweeted by President Obama and received media coverage all over the world, with the paper being awarded the best article published by the journal Environmental Research Letters in 2013. However, the paper has also been relentlessly attacked by climate deniers who reject the scientific consensus. Hundreds of blog posts have criticised the results while newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and Boston Globe have published negative op-eds. Climate denial organisations such as the Global Warming Policy Foundation and Heartland Institute have published critical reports and the Republican Party organised congressional testimony against the consensus research on Capitol Hill. This sustained campaign is merely the latest episode in over 20 years of attacks on the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming. John Cook discussed his research both on the 97% consensus and on the cognitive psychology of consensus. He also looked at the broader issue of scientific consensus and why it generates such intense focus from climate deniers.
Please note only John's talk has been recorded. The Q&A session was not recorded by the Cabot Institute as we rarely record Q&A sessions in our talks due to a limited filming budget.