How do we define what constitutes an expert?
Is your paediatrician an expert? Even if they are just relaying information they've been told by people they believe/trust and not because they’ve actually studied vaccines? Let’s say they’ve actually read the full studies. Do they have access to the raw data themselves or do they just trust the people doing the studies?
What does it actually mean when they say there is “scientific consensus”? How many of those scientists are actually in that field and actually read the studies let alone have access to the raw data?
Here’s an example of what is being portrayed as scientific consensus:
We always read that the scientific consensus proclaims climate change to be real and man made. Fair enough.
But then I read somewhere that around 40% of meteorologists do not believe climate change is real. I found this rather suspect and so went in search of more info; after all how could that be possible that scientists who actually understand weather could not believe that what we are putting into our atmosphere might affect the climate?
One of the first things I came across was a Forbes article
by the president of the AMS titled: 96% Of American Meteorological Society Members Think Climate Change Is Happening
which is an article addressing alleged distortion of a previous survey by people who used it to confirm their own bias ( which was opposite to what the authors say they found). And so a new survey was done which posed the questions in such a manner so that answers were to be more clear and concise.
The survey is here
They surveyed “about 4,000” members. A search brought up that AMS has 13,000 members.
They conclude that:
“Nearly all AMS members (96%) think climate change -as defined by AMS-is happening with almost 89% stating that they are either "extremely" or "very sure" it is happening. Only 1% think climate change is not happening.”
96% of 4000 = 3840
96% of 13000 = 12480
It’s not “nearly all AMS members” it’s 29.5% of the membership that bothered to do the survey.
And yes, some will make the argument that it’s a representation. But I think those who are more agreeable to whatever the survey is about are more likely to respond. I think the doubters, knowing how unpopular their opinion would be and wanting to avoid problems are more likely to decline participating in such a survey. Not unlike what I think we would find surveying paediatricians about vaccinating their own children. JMO.
But what is also interesting is that:
Seven out of ten AMS members who think their local climate has changed say the impacts have been primarily harmful (36%) or approximately equally mixed between harmful and beneficial (36%). One out of five (21%) AMS members say they don’t know.
So the same number of meteorologists think that their local climate change had both benefits and harms as those who think there were only harms.
But again it isn’t seven out of ten members. It’s seven out 10 members who did the survey. And what is also interesting, out of those members that did respond rated their expertise when asked:
Do you consider yourself an expert in climate science?
5% Don’t know
So 57% of 4000 people who are members of the AMS don’t even consider themselves experts in climate science. Did the majority of “experts” decline to do the survey? And if so, what conclusions can be drawn from that?
Now I didn't bring up climate change to start a debate about it. This is just an example of how we need to go beyond what is presented in the media when they throw up words such as "scientific consensus" and "experts".