Friday, March 23, 2012

From the Skeptical Science "leak": Interesting stuff about generating and marketing "The Consensus Project"

Comment from the leaker
I have collated some of the data in a more readable form.  [Note from Tom-I was able to get an unzippable file from this location earlier today; when I tried retrieving the file again this afternoon, I was unable to unzip the file.]
Why has SkS chosen to publish all this on the public internet? Is it the first step towards transparency, or a catastrophic error?
Skeptical Science Forum - Introduction to The Consensus Project
TCP is basically an update and expansion of Naomi Oreskes' survey of the peer-reviewed literature with deeper analysis. In 2004, Naomi surveyed 928 articles in the Web of Science matching the search "global climate change" from 1993 to 2003. We've expanded the time period (1991 to 2011) and added papers matching the search "global warming". We ended up with 12,272 papers. I imported the details of each paper (including abstracts) into the SkS database and set up a simple crowd sourcing system allowing us to rate the category of each paper using Naomi's initial categories (impacts, mitigation, paleoclimate, methods, rejection, opinion). We did find some rejection papers in the larger sample but the amount was negligible. The amount of citations the rejection papers received were even smaller proportionally, indicating the negligible impact of AGW denial in the peer-reviewed literature. Jim and I wrote these initial results up into a short Brevia article that we just submitted to Science (so please don't mention these results outside of this forum yet, lest it spook Science who freak out if there's any mention of a submitted paper before publication). Of course, Science have a 92% rejection rate so the chances are very slim - we'll try other journals if rejected there.
When the paper is published, we would announce it on SkS as the beginning of the public launch of TCP. It will also be promoted through the communications dept at the Global Change Institute although their press releases only go to Australian media so will have to explore other promotion ideas.
Skeptical Science Forum- The Consensus Project Marketing Ideas
To achieve this goal, we mustn't fall into the trap of spending too much time on analysis and too little time on promotion. As we do the analysis, would be good to have the marketing plan percolating along as well. So a few ideas floating around:
  • Press releases: Talked to Ove about this yesterday, the Global Change Institute have a communications dept (well, two people) and will issue press releases to Australian media when this comes out. No plan yet for US media.
  • Mainstream Media: This is the key if we want to achieve public consciousness. MSM is an opaque wall to me so ideas welcome. I suspect this will involve developing time lines, building momentum for the idea and consulting with PR professionals like Jim Hoggan.
  • Climate Communicators: There needs to be a concerted effort (spearheaded by me) to get climate communicators using these results in their messaging. I've been hooking up with a lot of climate communicators over the last month and will be hooking up with more over the next few months so will be discussing these results with every climate communicator I can get hold of, including heavyweights like Susan Hassol and Richard Somerville, to discuss ways of amplifying this message.
    Also Ed Maibach is doing research on the most effective way to debunk the "no consensus" myth so I hope to contact him and hopefully include our results in his research. The more we can get climate communicators incorporating our results into their messages, the better. 
  • Blogosphere: The usual blogosphere networking. Note - Tim Lambert tried to do a similar crowd sourcing effort a few years ago but didn't succeed in generating enough support for the crowd sourcing - I'm confident we can get it done.
  • Climate Orgs: Also have been making connections with various climate organisations and occasionally talked about the possibility of collaboration so will use this project as a focal point as ways to work together. Have to think about this some more
  • Google: Coincidentally, started talking to someone who works at Google, specifically the data visualisation department. So I've been working with them on visualising the consensus data in sexy, interactive ways. This will be one of the X-factor elements of TCP - maybe they can even provide an embeddable version of the visualisation which blogs and websites can use.
  • Video: Peter Sinclair is keen to produce a YouTube video about the TCP results to publish on the Yale Forum on Climate Change.
  • Booklet similar to Guide and Debunking Handbook, explaining the results of the peer-reviewed paper in plain English with big shiny graphics (with translations, I suppose - they're a pain for me to convert but worthwhile doing).
  • Kindle/iBook version of Booklet (can you publish free books on Amazon?).
  • Embeddable widget: graphic showing the graph of strengthening consensus, updated each year, easily copy and pasteable into other blogs. I like this idea, can make TCP go viral and become ubiquitious on the climate blogosphere!
Skeptical Science Forum - The Consensus Project Required Reading
[Brian Purdue] One of the main attackers of TCP will be “No Frakking Consensus” (Laframboise) so better read up on her angle on consensus.


Anonymous said...

Working link

Funny how they can't reach a consensus about which papers endorse the consensus. Over 30% disagreement

Mike Mangan said...

Corrupt file. Looks like a snoozefest. Cook is a worthless little Nazi prick, anyway.

stewgreen said...

file already removed from than second location.
I guess it will pop up somewhere soon. Is there an argument for redacting any personal info ?

Anonymous said...

It's a bit funny to read an anonymous hacker talk about "transparency"!

Anonymous said...

Can someone please post a link? I would like to get the file.


Anonymous said...

Re Anonymous I agree it's funny. But speaking anonymously for transparency is the climate-heroic way.

I doubt there's anything explosive there but it's interesting to see their side of things. SkS linked to Heartland private internal docs, nothing was redacted. This is information SkS (inadvertedly) published, no phishing or tricks. Email addresses are partially redacted. I'm sure several people can confirm the files were public before Mr. Cook corrected his mistake and removed them. Everything in their database, queries and updates, were public. Sure, given the lack of basic security, and published passwords, it's possible there has been hackers trawling around, too.

Anonymous said...

@SkS: "We would like to thank those who have come to us with information about this potential hack." Potential? Can't decide? Did they inadvertently leave one nearly truthful choice of words there? It's an excellent opportunity to play the victim and finally prove there's a massive denial conspiracy at work. It's just so much better than being comically incompetent and posting your whole database to internet.

Anonymous said...

Can someone with an uncorrupted file upload it as a torrent?

DennisA said...

I notice Ed Maibach is mentioned. Find out more about him here:

"In fall 2007, after joining Mason’s Department of Communication, Maibach founded the Center for Climate Change Communication and became its director.

The center is the first behavioral science research center in the United States dedicated solely to improving climate change public engagement methods.

Starting with the community he knew best, Maibach planned his first study, which was conducted in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, to be a national survey of public health department directors.

"The research team was surprised to find that nearly 60 percent of local public health department directors nationwide reported that they were already seeing harmful health effects of climate change in their jurisdictions, yet few felt they had the capacity to respond."

So what happened? Out of 2,296 members of the National Association of County & City Health Officials, they produced a sample size of 217, who were contacted. The responses were:

Take a running jump = 38

Refused to answer calls or e-mails = 46

This left 133, of whom 81, (61%), believed their jurisdiction had seen the effects of climate change in the last 20 years.

So the actual figure of 3.5% of 2,296 local public health department directors becomes “nearly sixty percent of local public health department directors nationwide.”

Funding from the National Science Foundation, your money.

"Numerous organizations — from the local to the global — have sought their guidance, including Virginia state and local governments, environmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, federal agencies and even foreign embassies."

David said...

It's fairly encouraging to see that these guys are absolutely certain the climate data alone isn't near enough to convince more than small children, and use all the PR methods taught by Goebbels onwards to (for reasons of their own) continue their mission.

Ideally (I haven't been able to access the zip file yet) there's enough there to show them up well enough to put a hole in their tyre too large to patch and all the air will deflate until there is little or no credibility left. I've spent far too long sparring with them (thank goodness they finally blocked me as it was a bad habit) and never met a bunch of such obnoxious total a-holes in one place in my life. And apart from the scientists who know the theories but can't apply them, the rest are just a bunch of empty headed left wing activists who believe anything which promotes their collectivist agenda.

I am also wondering how they manage to turn out articles and moderate the site 24/7 with staff who are highly qualified but volunteers, and Cook hasn't altered the blurb he is a volunteer now he's working for U. Queensland doing exactly the same thing? I've also heard many claims he advised Rothschild's Australia in 2009 onwards on carbon trading, two years before it became law and they jointly ran it. I can't find an original source but would make lots of sense.

Anonymous said...

Is the a working linking to the Skeptical Science forum anywhere?


None of the links on this thread or any others at other sites produce the goods.

Surely this treasure trove of networking and influence is available somewhere.

A link please!!!

Anonymous said...

It's still warming guys! When's it going to stop?

Andrew said...

I ran across this post when doing another search and was surprised to see you posted about the marketing stuff before I did. No idea why no one picked up on it then. I hate finding out about posts like this so late.