. . . to know a little about whom you're quoting when in a debate.
Over at Climate Depot they have two links about the debunking of the 97% consensus paper:
The one link accompanying the above graphic is headlined: UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol: ‘The claim of a 97% consensus on global warming does not stand up’
Another link is titled: Prof. Ross McKitrick on Dr. Richard Tol’s reanalysis of 97% climate consensus claim: ‘Correcting for misclassiﬁcation, 95% of papers are silent on the hypothesis’
While this kind of stuff is always fun for us so-called skeptics, it is important to realize who and what is being cited here. Prof. Richard Tol is a professor of Economics at the University of Sussex. Though the link above might have one thinking he is an expert in global science, weather, or some other germane discipline.
Tol's paper does in fact completely destroy the Cook et al. paper by pointing out the statistical errors in the work. And they range from an absurdly small sample size (25% or less of the total papers on the subject) to a ranking process that had the supposedly anonymous and impartial (they weren't) reviewers re-rating papers and abstracts up to 4 times to get the necessary results.
Tol's own abstract is devasting:
A claim has been that 97% of the scientific literature endorses anthropogenic climate change (Cook et al., 2013. Environ. Res. Lett. 8, 024024). This claim, frequently repeated in debates about climate policy, does not stand. A trend in composition is mistaken for a trend in endorsement. Reported results are inconsistent and biased. The sample is not representative and contains many irrelevant papers. Overall, data quality is low. Cook׳s validation test shows that the data are invalid. Data disclosure is incomplete so that key results cannot be reproduced or tested.
But those who bothered to read the entire paper (I did) would have known about Tol's own proclivities on the subject of AGW:
There is no doubt in my mind that the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans. I have very little reason to doubt that the consensus is indeed correct.
Well-publicized but faulty analyses like the one by Cook et al. only help to further polarize the climate debate.
While Tol is blasting the methodology of the Cook et al. paper, he is certainly no skeptic of AGW, but is instead quite the opposite. Those who cite this paper and hope to draw Tol into the battle on the side of resistance to climate astrology may be in for a rude awakening.
I think it is also may be worth pointing out that Keeley Hazell is fairly attractive (if you hadn't noticed already):