Amazingly some people managed to miss the point:
On @skepticscience study of scientists' #AGW consensus, I'm with @davidappell davidappell.blogspot.com/2013/05/about-… and @keithkloor blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/…Their names are practically a role call of the "intolerent moderates" -- journalists who have chosen to define themselves as independent-minded thinkers ready to castigate both sides. The intolerant moderates accept that climate change is happening and action is necessary, but struggle to occupy a middle ground condemning the excesses of both sides. Since the excesses in the climate debate are not at all equally distributed between science deniers and the concerned, this positioning often leads to tepid critiques of climate deniers coupled with energetic castigation of the other side for minor, or, as in this case, nonexistent sins.
— Andy Revkin (@Revkin) May 16, 2013
Dave Appell just doesn't see the point of the study:
I'm not very keen on these kinds of numbers -- they are made for lazy journalists who don't want to examine the complexity of the science, reporters who just want a number that quickly and easily supports their position.Or maybe reporters who want to convey to their readers a simple, rock-solid case that a majority of climate scientists believe climate change is real and is caused by humans something only 30% of Americans know to be true (Really).
Kloor is spouting the same sort of nonsense:
The latest example is this survey by John Cook et al that is getting a lot of undeserved attention in the mainstream media. I say that because, questionable methodology aside, the survey tells us nothing new and is, as science journalist David Appell noted, “a meaningless exercise.”I enjoy their quoting one another for added support: but they are both completely, utterly, ludicrously wrong.
It's hard to say which is the more fundamental fail here: that Kloor doesn't understand that replicating results is critical to science, or that he thinks that he has somehow become a scientist, whose responsibility it is to follow and critique the bleeding edge of climate science, rather than his actual role as a science journalist helping the public grasp the critical core of the field, a job that evidently has to be done by scientists, who have pulled off a massive coup of science communication, only to be sneered at by the people who are paid to perform that function themselves.
I really expected better of Revkin than to jump on this bandwagon. This is why the survey is not a "meaningless exercise":
That three SCIENCE JOURNALISTS do not know this about their audience is scandalous. It borders on professional incompetence. These people are lecturing scientists about science communication?
UPDATE: In the comments, MikeH perceptively notes that the intolerant moderate is a subspecies of the VSP:
They are the Very Serious People (popularised by Paul Krugman in his NYT column)
"Valuing common sense over scientific consensus when there is a conflict. When pushed far enough VSP will eventually err on the side of science but will hold a candle for pseudoscience as long as it has a veneer of respectability.
Loves the hell out of the balance fallacy. They feel uncomfortable pointing out flaws concentrated in the right-wing or left-wing without pointing to an opposite example. "Both sides do it!"
Climate scientist 2+2=4