Perhaps you should read up on what statistics is (it is a real science, not what ERA the Pitcher on your Baseball team has). Clearly you do not know what or how to go about either calculating or obtaining true statistics.
Well couple of months I finished a course on statistics and I must have been unconsciously suppressing it, because you're right. There isn't a single trace of any real statistical analysis to be found in that paper (no p value, correlation, analysis used etc). Then again they didn't set out to analyse the effect/correlation/relation between two or more variables, just how high a single one was. So I'm unsure how much statistical analyse can be done using only a single nominal variable. (I guess they should have determined the effect of specialization and publishing activity on the answer on both questions, at least then they would've known if the difference between subgroups was significant.)
Your premise is flawed. They did not set out to do anything with an "unbiased" survey as the wording on the survey was done to elicit the exact response they reported. That is your first error. Second error - regardless of your intent, if your methodology is flawed, then it is not unbiased or meaningful. A true survey would have targeted the sample group and reported the results of said group. They used a shotgun blast and an incorrect data gathering
The objective of our study presented here is to assess the scientific consensus on climate change through an unbiased survey of a large and broad group of Earth scientists.
Well that was a quote from the paper, so even if that wasn't what they did (either through malice or incompetence), it is what they reported to be what they set out to do.
The only kind of sample bias I can perceive comes from the fact that they got their participants from a Directory of Geoscience Departments (the 2007 edition of this one) and that participation was voluntary (would be interesting to see if there is a significant interaction between the "could/couldn't be bothered" and "answer to the question" variables, but you can't force people to participate). And unless there is a massive population of unlisted maverick climatologist out there, it wouldn't have had much influence. Granted they didn't report if the participants were picked at random and seeing as the AGU lists at least 120,000 earth scientist as members this could be a serious source of bias (though I'd give them the benefit of the doubt an assume they picked at random).
I'm not sure I'm getting the point of your last 2 sentences. Are you claiming that if you have data on a large group you are only allowed to report on the group as a whole? That you shouldn't report on subgroups that are completely contained within the larger group (even if you are also reporting on the group as a whole)?
Granted you and the financial post were right about the questions. Those were worded poorly.
There was gross obfuscation and intentional misleading. But then I never said it was in the paper. The paper was an exercise in sophistry. However the use of the paper is where the gross obfuscation and misleading comes in. The paper is merely a peacock preening, and has no scientific value whatsoever. However, whether intentional or not on the part of the authors, the paper has been used as an authoritative source for the "97%" figure ever since. A figure that is has no basis in fact (other than to say 97% of the winnowed group of the non-scientific biased poll).
Is it really that misleading to report that “97% of the world’s climate scientists”, only failing to mention these only include the opinions of actively publishing climate scientists with 50% of their recent publications covering climate change?
You can peer review a grocery list - that does not make it science. The paper was not peer reviewed for statistical accuracy as there is no statistics involved in it! And no statistician worth a lick of salt would ever sign his name to the paper as being more than a beauty contest.
Well I'm hoping a peer-review by a scientific journal/publisher does mean something these days (depending on the reputation of said journal/published). But I have yet to venture into the world of academia and may be a bit naive (I'm just a student).
EDIT: I know it's off-topic but what's the exact quote syntax? I don't seem able to get the last 2 quotes in proper quote blocks without it somehow getting included in the first quote block (or removing the "who = ..." bit).