An editor has resigned after committing the dastardliest of crimes: He helped publish a skeptical paper in a peer-reviewed journal. God-forbid, imagine a paper being reviewed only by people who have some sympathies with your results? It’s unthinkable. We all know that Nature and Science, for example, dutifully send all the papers by alarmists to at least one skeptical reviewer, and since 97% of 77 climate scientists are alarmists, that means the other two scientists who aren’t, are very busy people. (75 of 77 climate scientists “agree” that the world is going to hell because of CO2). And who knows where they found that third skeptic?
Naturally, lots of journal editors have resigned when they’ve realized that, accidentally, they’ve only sent alarmist papers to alarmist reviewers.
As if we needed reminding about how bizarre, unbalanced, and unscientific is the creed of climate. Normally, if egregious mistakes are found, a paper would be retracted. If “normal” mistakes are found, those who found them could publish something called a “reply”. This resignation appears to be a first. Wagner chucked his job without even so much as phoning Spencer or Braswell, which makes you wonder if it was all a bit convenient.
To the editors who are thinking of resigning from peer-reviewed journals, or finishing up as presidents of Science Associations, or winding up their position at a government funded institution, instead of just resigning, why not go out with a bang? You too, could quit, and leave a blockbuster-press-release-for-the-cause, pretending that (insert spurious reason) provoked you into going.
See, it’s really handy — Roy Spencer and William Braswell have a paper out there that’s peer reviewed, but very difficult to answer, Wolfgang Wagner has provided the perfect reply: That paper was so bad that the editor of the journal quit because it was published. See, no one needs to discuss the evidence in it now; they can just pour scorn, and talk about the editor resigning, case closed, it’s obviously a crap paper you know. Brilliant!
*Me. Of course, I’ve got no evidence, or even a hint that Mr Wagner was thinking of resigning anyway, but if he wasn’t and he really did resign over this, it’s all the more pathetic — like a cult victim sacrifice. In which case we ought be feeling sorry for poor old Wagner, who has been got too, excommunicated from his peer group for accidentally letting through an evil paper.
…In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal
But the paper WAS precisely addressing the scientific arguments made by our opponents, and showing why they are wrong! That was the paper’s starting point! We dealt with specifics, numbers, calculations…while our critics only use generalities and talking points. There is no contest, as far as I can see, in this debate. If you have some physics or radiative transfer background, read the evidence we present, the paper we were responding to, and decide for yourself.
Normally, if people think something is wrong with a paper they just write a reply…
If some scientists would like do demonstrate in their own peer-reviewed paper where *anything* we wrote was incorrect, they should submit a paper for publication. Instead, it appears the IPCC gatekeepers have once again put pressure on a journal for daring to publish anything that might hurt the IPCC’s politically immovable position that climate change is almost entirely human-caused. I can see no other explanation for an editor resigning in such a situation.
But the problem with Spencer and Braswell might be the way others are using their paper:
“I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements”
Perhaps the real problem wasn’t the scientific credence this paper lends to skeptics (since there are hundreds of paper on that list) but that this one paper made the mistake of generating headlines around the world.
Unfortunately, their campaign [Spencer and Braswell's campaign to publicize the availability of their paper] apparently was very successful as witnessed by the over 56,000 downloads of the full paper within only one month after its publication.
Skeptics, this tactic will only work if we allow it to dull the impact of the real meaning of Spencer and Braswell. Go forth and comment, on news articles and other sites, make sure everyone knows that the Global Warming Thought Police are desperate to stop people talking about the evidence.
Spencer, R.W.; Braswell, W.D. On the misdiagnosis of surface temperature feedbacks from variations in Earth’s radiant energy balance. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 1603-1613.
Thanks to Alec Rawls on WUWT for one of the quotes from the editor.
Disko Troop on WUWT says:
I see this as a more carefully worded resignation than some are seeing. The contradictions are deliberate. He is saying that he did his job, the respected peer reviewers did theirs, but that he is being forced to deny this fact by agencies or persons beyond his control. His response is to resign rather than retract what he sees as a perfectly justifiable publication of Spencers Observations.
The nett result will be another 56,000 people downloading the paper to see what the fuss is about . Team fail.