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Peer Review failure: Science and Nature journals reject papers because they “have to be wrong”

The peer review system has decayed to the point where the culture of the two “top” science journals virtually  guarantees they will reject the most important research done today. It is the exact opposite of what we need to further human knowledge the fastest. Science and Nature are prestigious journals, yet they are now so conservative about ideas that challenge dominant assumptions, that they reject ground-breaking papers because those papers challenge the dominant meme, not because the evidence or the reasoning is suspect or weak.

Watts Up drew my attention to an extraordinary paper showing that billions of dollars of medical research may have been wasted because researchers assumed mice were the same as men. Dr Ronald W. Davis from Stanford comments: ““They are so ingrained in trying to cure mice that they forget we are trying to cure humans.” He found that 150 drugs were tested that in hindsight, were guaranteed to fail in humans. People didn’t understand that mice have a very different response to sepsis (which is any overwhelming blood-borne bacterial infection). Sepsis kills around 200,000 people in the US each year and costs an estimated $17 billion a year. Mice are already resistant to huge numbers of bacteria in their blood whereas humans overreact, our capillaries leak, our organs run short of blood, mass organ failure ensues, and we can die. While mice may have an answer to deadly sepsis (how do they resist it?) we weren’t looking for that in our experiments, we were testing drugs on mice that were never going to help us. Now we understand why.

The peer review system is failing us — Science and Nature missed a whopper of a study

The editors must be kicking themselves now. But what a classic case study of the way the peer-review-establishment responds to a contentious idea. Here was information that could potentially save lives that was dismissed and delayed for the most unscientific of reasons.

 The study’s investigators tried for more than a year to publish their paper, which showed that there was no relationship between the genetic responses of mice and those of humans. They submitted it to the publications Science and Nature, hoping to reach a wide audience. It was rejected from both.

The data was described as persuasive, robust, and stunning. Yet both prestigious journals tossed the drafts out. The best excuse they can give is that they reject lots of papers. Oh, well that’s ok then…

Science and Nature said it was their policy not to comment on the fate of a rejected paper, or whether it had even been submitted to them. But, Ginger Pinholster of Science said, the journal accepts only about 7 percent of the nearly 13,000 papers submitted each year, so it is not uncommon for a paper to make the rounds.

Still, Dr. Davis said, reviewers did not point out scientific errors. Instead, he said, “the most common response was, ‘It has to be wrong. I don’t know why it is wrong, but it has to be wrong.’ ” [See page 2 of the story]

If you do revolutionary work, send it somewhere else

My advice to scientists with groundbreaking results is not to even submit papers to Nature or Science any more. If the information you have is important and will ruffle feathers (and what groundbreaking research doesn’t?) why delay it? There are plenty of alternatives:

The investigators turned to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As a member of the academy, Dr. Davis could suggest reviewers for his paper, and he proposed researchers who he thought would give the work a fair hearing. “If they don’t like it, I want to know why,” he said. They recommended publication, and the editorial board of the journal, which independently assesses papers, agreed.

The clues were there all along — mice often live in filthy conditions and eat food that would make us sick:

Yet there was always one major clue that mice might not really mimic humans in this regard: it is very hard to kill a mouse with a bacterial infection. Mice need a million times more bacteria in their blood than what would kill a person.

“Mice can eat garbage and food that is lying around and is rotten,” Dr. Davis said. “Humans can’t do that. We are too sensitive.”

If researchers had questioned their assumptions twenty years ago, how many lives might have been saved? Perhaps it would only have made a few years difference — because genetic techniques were used (and they were so basic 20 years ago) and the study took ten years in any case. But for twenty years money and brain-power were used to study drugs that were never going to work. Imagine what else we could have learnt?

It’s a reminder that the wrong assumptions can kill despite years of hard work, good intentions and honest research. What is science if is not constantly testing the base assumptions? It’s a faith-based-project.

Anyone who claims peer-reviewed research is rigorous has some kind of delusional faith that humans aren’t human.

 

Other posts on this topic:

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229 comments to Peer Review failure: Science and Nature journals reject papers because they “have to be wrong”

  • #
    Truthseeker

    Blogs – the new location of genuine review and discussion of science.

    Magazines are just dinosaurs who do not realise that the internet meteor has already struck …


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  • #
    Byron

    The four commandments ( so far )of postnormal science are :

    1)Thou shalt not challenge the orthodoxy , those that do shall be as heretics

    2)Thou shalt not publish heretical works or thy career shall be as dust

    3)Thou shalt not engage in discourse with the heretic , lest Ye be tainted with the mark of heresy thyself

    4)Thou shalt believe with Thy whole heart the theory only and cleave not unto empirical evidence

    C`mon guys , I`m sure We can come up with 10


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  • #
    Ross

    The simple answer is that with the Internet we don’t need the so called prestigious Journals. The authors of this paper could have got it peer reviewed by people whose opinion and experience they respected and who they knew would give an unbiased reveiew. Then just put it up on the Internet in the way they think most appropriate along with the reviewers comments.
    The more Science and Natural play their games the quicker they will lose relevance.
    But the authors have to realise / accept there is now a worthwhile alternative to the Journals.


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  • #
    The Black Adder

    As peer reviewed researchers look for the wrong answers in relation to ‘ Sepsis in Mice ‘ …

    So do the peer reviewed tossers studying the relationship between CO2 and so called Man made Global Warming.!!!

    I can only conclude that Science and Research has gone backwards in the last 100 years!!

    Besides putting man on the moon and the combustion engine …

    What else can we be proud about???

    Certainly not proud of Paleontogists, Railway Engineers and Tobacco Growers…

    Hmmm…


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    • #
      AndyG55

      I know what you are saying.. but I know several very good railway engineers,
      but that’s what they do, railway engineering …….
      …. not government propaganda. Leave that to the PR gits, cartoonists and ABC fronts..

      I don’t know any good palaeontologists. (Heard of one, but he is a moronic goose)


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    • #
      Ricardo K

      BA, you are a cheeky sod aren’t you? You know the internal combustion engine was invented more than 100 years ago and the [snip].

      [Ricky, nice try.] ED


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  • #

    Mice have long been conducting experiments on people.

    Proof by Occam’s Razor: It’s the simplest explanation for people behaving so stupidly.


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  • #
    Alice Thermopolis

    T’WAS EVER THUS

    As Swift wrote three hundred years ago, there is one infallible test for genius.

    “When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him”.


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  • #
    cohenite

    Self-publish and then get some notoriety on the blogs, preferably with coverage by the MSM; it worked for Muller, who hasn’t had anything published about BEST and is still regarded as an authority on anything to do with AGW.

    And as for mice, think laterally; do a deal with Disney and get Mickey on side.


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  • #
    Kevin Moore

    [Snip] Kevin, this thread is about peer review and sepsis. Can we stick to that.? -Jo


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    • #
      John Brookes

      [SNIP useless contribution - Jo]

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      • #

        I’ve always given you the benefit of the doubt and respected that your view may be different to others but that was a stupid, dumb arse ad hom response to a serious issue, Retract it and argue your point or rack off noddy.


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      • #
        AndyG55

        “I’ve got my fingers in my ears”

        We know that !!

        You haven’t listened to, or learnt, a single things you started coming here.


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        • #
          ExWarmist

          Hi AndyG55,

          I disagree, I strongly suspect that John Brookes has learnt many things since coming to this site, such as,

          [1] The tropospheric hotspot is the fingerprint of man made global warming, and the key indicator of +ve feedback to increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and that it is missing.

          [2] That (most?) CAGW sceptics accept that CO2 in the atmosphere has a warming effect, and that it is a reasonable (but unproven) working assumption that CO2 increase in the atmosphere is due to human industrial emissions.

          [3] That increasing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere is good for the biosphere, and could be a net benefit for human society.

          [4] That a well formed scientific hypothesis is in principle falsifiable, and that it should provide specific, measurable predictions about future events that can be tested with empirical evidence.

          [5] That climate models are not empirical tests, and that climate models have poor skill at predicting the future, which implies that the climate models are loaded with false assumptions about how the climate system actually works.

          [6] That there is a PR campaign around Man Made Global Warming that is disconnected with the actual empirical science, but the PR campaign has the louder voice than the empirical science.

          [7] That funding for CAGW adherents far outweighs funding for CAGW skeptics.

          [8] That (most unhappily) the UNFCCC has a definition of climate change that has nothing to do with actual climate descriptors such as temperature, humidity, etc,

          I could go on.

          The challenge for John (as I see it – and I could be wrong), is the cognitive dissonance between his abstract, intellectual understanding of the above points, and his visceral, emotional need to subjugate himself to a higher authority.

          I strongly suspect that one day John will do one of two things. He will either

          [A] Veer off into the deep end of religious fervour as exemplified by Maxine, or

          [B] Rid himself of the Hag of Authority worship, and grow into someone who is willing to take responsibility for what they think, and do the necessary work to ground himself in Reason & Empirical evidence so that he knows how to think..

          Until that day, John will continue to live with the Cognitive Dissonance, while he continues to satisfy his visceral, emotional need to have others (in Authority) tell him what to think.


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    • #
      Mark D.

      Oh boooooy…………


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    • #
      Andrew McRae

      One question for you Kev, it’s a litmus test.

      Do you believe the USA hoaxed any of the Apollo Moon landings?

      Be eloquent with your answer as these days the blogosphere has Lewandowski ears for lunar wacky fears.

      [Lets not go here please, it's off topic] ED


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  • #
    John Brookes

    Medicine is an extremely conservative area. But I think with good reason. If you pay attention to every new idea that comes along in medicine, you’d be constantly changing the way you did things, and not necessarily for the better. Just look at weight loss and the number of competing fads. You’d be better off just sticking to the rather boring, “eat a bit less and exercise a bit more” idea.

    Anyway, its been that way for a long time in medicine. There are the stomach ulcer duo, whose work wasn’t accepted easily at all. And way back when some bright spark had the idea that doctors in maternity hospitals should actually wear clean clothes and wash their hands, that too met with resistance.

    And the apparently dodgy argument, “It has to be wrong. I don’t know why it is wrong, but it has to be wrong” is not as bad as it seems. For 999 out of a thousand arguments, that simple statement will be true, and will save many fruitless hours spent trying to find the almost inevitable error. Its just that one in a thousandth time when there is no flaw in the argument… And people putting forward apparently amazing claims should realise that they have to convince people that they are not wasting their time.


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      Byron

      So which part of mice aren`t humans and react differently to pathogens , is an “apparently amazing claims” ?


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    • #
      Peter Champness

      And the apparently dodgy argument, “It has to be wrong. I don’t know why it is wrong, but it has to be wrong” is not as bad as it seems. For 999 out of a thousand arguments, that simple statement will be true, and will save many fruitless hours spent trying to find the almost inevitable error. Its just that one in a thousandth time when there is no flaw in the argument… And people putting forward apparently amazing claims should realise that they have to convince people that they are not wasting their time.

      Sounds good, maybe true. But does not seem to be an argument for rejecting an argument with good and robust eveidence. Shouldn’t the reviewers read the paper and explain why it is wrong. They get paid to waste the fruitless hours so that the readers don’t have to. How else will the one in one thousand good idea get through.


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      • #
        michael hammer

        My understanding is that peer reviewers are not paid. They do it for the prestige and out of a feeling of obligation to their profession.

        More significantly however the role of the peer reviewer is not to act as some sort of jury passing judgement as to whether a paper is correct or not. They could not possibly do that with any accuracy because they have not carried out the research and cannot possibly know whether the author is reporting correctly. What they can do is firstly give an opinion as to whether the material is novel. There is little point in publishing knowledge that has already been published. Secondly they can determine to a reasonable degree whether there are any obvious mistakes or relevant issues the researcher has overlooked that are relevant to the conclusions drawn. Thirdly they can see if there are internal conflicts or inconsistencies within the paper either accidental or deliberate. eg: Making one assumption in one place and a conflicting assumption in another place. Or comparing numerical quantities expressed in different units.

        At the end of the day their role is simply to act as a pre filter to catch the obvious errors and save everyone some embarrassment.

        A paper with a truly novel finding should be a trigger for a reviewer to devote some time to the review. If the finding conflicts with a known law by all means point that out and reject it but there has to be clear evidence for rejection else indeed it stifles new discoveries instead of aiding them. Not being able to find the error is grounds for publication not rejection.


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      • #
        AndyG55

        JB’s arguement for CAGW

        “It has to be right. I don’t know why it is right, but it has to be right”

        This is just as totally unscientific as the original statement.

        Science deals with facts and evidence, not feelings and beliefs !!


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    • #

      John, yep. For most citizens faced with a revolutionary suggestion from a few scientists the most rational thing is to say … “I’ll stick to the consensus”.

      For editors of prestigious science journals this attitude makes them as scientifically useful as asking the bus driver, or the check-out chick. (But our universities aren’t using tax funds to pay them for their scientific judgement).

      Me, call me naive… I hope that Editors of the supposedly top journals might actually judge things by evidence and reason, rather than by popularity. But since you admit that’s a “reasonable” technique, why don’t we set up a wiki voting list for science papers, and see which one wins? Ya reckon?

      What’s a subscription to Nature worth if they are just rubber stamping new versions of old news?


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      • #
        John Brookes

        I agree Jo, but you have to be realistic. If your paper goes against some commonly held view, it will be very hard to get it published. Most of what is accepted in science has gone through a long and tortuous debate to get accepted. People don’t want to revisit it unless they have to. The idea of science is to get it right, so that you don’t have to revisit it, at least not until new and better observations make it necessary.

        If the original work on the use of mice as models for human health came to wrong conclusions, or people have forgotten the conclusions, then this paper is very necessary, and welcome. Personally, I hope that this paper does lead to improvements in medical research.


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        • #
          Neville

          Oh John! Well, here goes:

          “The idea of science is to get it right, so that you don’t have to revisit it, at least not until new and better observations make it necessary.”

          Those “new and better observations ..”, would they be the thousands and thousands of observations of hard data and FACTS that completely refute the pseudo-theory of AGW?


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        • #
          Nathan

          @JB “gone through long and tortuous debate??” So why was so called climate science snuck around the corner avoiding any real robust debate? Was it because it was incredibly flimsy and couldn’t stand up to scrutiny? If the idea was to get it right, shouldn’t it face the light of day in true open debate?


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          • #
            Ricardo K

            Yeah. After the University of Anglia had its email system hacked, its climate scientists should have been subjected to microscopic review.

            They were. Three times, at least. Every review found “no case to answer”.

            Let’s put an end to the ‘stolen Heartland memo’ meme, hey? Heartland were trying to “sneak” – using your words – pseudo-science into classrooms across the United States, using the “intelligent design” template.


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          • #
            cohenite

            They were. Three times, at least. Every review found “no case to answer”.

            Complete and utter garbage.

            If you must troll can you at least be original, or like John, pretend to be earnest.


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        • #
          timg56

          John,

          I would argue that one of the primary purposes of journals is to publish articles that go against commonly held views.

          The review process can screen for poor quality methods or data. If that is not an issue, then the community of experts can look at it and determine whether it has value or not and comment accordingly, whether by letters or rebuttal articles or through the blog sphere.


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        • #
          mikesixes

          John,
          The point here is that peer review is supposed to look at the merits of a paper and the reviewer is to recommend for or against publishing the paper on the basis of its merits. A belief that the paper must be wrong is not a basis for rejecting it, unless the reviewer can see some fault in the author’s data or methods. Papers that go against the prevailing view of the topic are the ones that most deserve publication, so that they can be seen and studied by experts in the field. If they can be refuted, confidence in the prevailing view is reinforced. If they can be supported, the prevailing view will be overturned, and the state of knowledge will be advanced.


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        • #
          AndyG55

          “The idea of science is to get it right”

          Climate science is very different then, isn’t it.

          They seem to be intentionally getting it WRONG !


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    • #
      Truthseeker

      Johnny Boy, look up the efforts of Australian medical researchers that found that stomach ulcers were caused by bacteria and not, as the overwhelming consensus view thought, by stress. Science is not a democracy. The universe does not care what we think. Evidence and methodology are the only things that matter in science. Scientific journals should have the same principle if they want to be considered “scientific”.


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    • #
      Konrad

      John,
      what would be the corollary to the entirely inane argument, “It has to be wrong. I don’t know why it is wrong, but it has to be wrong”? Could it possibly be “It has to be right. I don’t know why it is right, but it has to be right.”?

      You tried the inane “I don’t know why it’s wrong, but it has to be wrong” argument against my empirical work on a previous thread. What possible reason could you have for believing that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce its radiative cooling ability? You have clearly demonstrated that you have no understanding of radiative physics. Out of your depth on a wet pavement doesn’t cover it. So far out of your depth the fish have lights on their noses may be close. I have some sad news John, there are no AGW pseudo scientists who believe in a radiative GHE. They know they are lying. The only believers are “useful idiots” like yourself.

      Radiative gases are of course critical to continued convective circulation in the troposphere. Without this our atmosphere would heat dramatically. Radiative gases therefore have a net cooling effect at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

      So what have “useful idiots” like yourself achieved by your unthinking “it has to be right” support for the AGW hoax?
      - You have destroyed the left of politics.
      - You have destroyed every left supporting journalist.
      - You have destroyed every left supporting NGO.
      -You have destroyed any chance of a “biocrisis” or “sustainability” guilt-fest.
      -You have destroyed any hope for guilt tax redistribution under a “framework of UN global governance”

      Not a bad result on the whole. ;)

      Thanks John!


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      • #
        AndyG55

        “Out of your depth on a wet pavement doesn’t cover it.”

        I get a vision of JB swimming breast-stroke in the middle of a desert….. once he get’s his head out of the sand.

        Yet, he would be out of his depth even then.


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    • #
      Tristan

      JB, you misunderstand the point.

      A legitimate paper was rejected because whomever looked at it decided it couldn’t be true.

      Therefore skeptics can’t get published because all the reviewers have blinkers on.

      Therefore you have to treat unupublished work by skeptics with the gravitas it deserves and acknowledge that the thousands of ‘consensus’ papers are a result of simple confirmation bias.


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      • #

        JB, you misunderstand the point.

        So, whats so unusual about that?

        A legitimate paper was rejected because whomever looked at it decided it couldn’t be true.

        Absolutely correct. Mikee Mann and the hockey team are renowned for gaming the peer reviewed process.

        From Phil Jones To: Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University). July 8, 2004

        “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

        You also failed to mention how the hockey team would get you fired if you did not play along.

        From: Phil Jones. To: Many. March 11, 2003

        “I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”

        Therefore skeptics can’t get published because all the reviewers have blinkers on.

        A straw man and a non sequitur. They didn’t have blinkers on. They knew that if they didn’t go along that they would be unemployed and blackballed.

        Therefore you have to treat unupublished work by skeptics with the gravitas it deserves and acknowledge that the thousands of ‘consensus’ papers are a result of simple confirmation bias.

        Your appeal to numbers (the thousands of “consensus papers) is fallacious, argumentum ad numeram, an appeal to numbers. Remember, it only takes one fact to falsify a theory. Confirmation bias? Every new breakthrough rests on the rubble of a shattered consensus. For example, global warming rests on the shattered consensus of the impending ice age scare of the 1970s.

        By the way, your reasoning is circular!


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    • #
      junkpsychology

      According to Lewnandowsky, Cook, Oberauer, and Marriott/Hubble-Marriott/Marriott-Hubble, one of the marks of “conspiracist ideation” is…

      Must Be Wrong.

      Oops.


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    • #
      Streetcred

      Medicine is an extremely conservative area.

      Who told you this,jb ? You confuse process risk mitigation with conservatism.


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    • #
      MudCrab

      And the apparently dodgy argument, “It has to be wrong. I don’t know why it is wrong, but it has to be wrong” is not as bad as it seems.

      Following this logic, can I use this line to explain why I don’t have to use a rational arguement to reply to your post? :)

      Without wishing to go over the other arguements being made here, I see this problem as restricting discussion of ideas and instead becoming a judge on what is actually ‘the truth’.

      So what if it is ‘wrong’? Everyone should have the right to make a fool of themselves in public. If their arguement doesn’t stand up to inspection then the author can add the embarassesment of forgetting to divide by 2.54 to their CV, but if it does stand up then they are adding to the greater knowledge by at the very least forcing those who disagree to clarify their own theories into proving the newcomer wrong.

      It seems to me that being published is no longer a medium to increase discussion, but now a proof on ‘The Consensus’, how correct the consensus is and how you are not allowed to question it. And if that is now how the system works it means the editors of these journals have managed to elevate themselves into a powerful position where only they decide what is right or wrong.

      If you believe an editor is the correct person to control the direction of scientific discussion, then, well sorry Mr John, but I guess we are not going to argee on too many other things.


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  • #
    Peter Champness

    Peer review seem to me to have become perverted. Maybe it was never a good idea. The function of peer review should be to correct errors in submitted papers, not to be a gatekeeper on content. Anonimity is supposed to make the process work better, because reviewers don’t need to feel constained in their comments, but it seems to have the reverse effect!

    I think that the reviewers names should be published, along with the paper. Then they become partly responsible for errors contained within. Also their comments should be available to the authors, with a possibilty of review if they are unfair. Otherwise we might be better off without the peer review process altogether.


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  • #
    Peter Miller

    Challenging orthodox opinions is usually considered by the ruling Establishment as being a challenge to their way of doing things.

    In -ism societies, these type of challenges can have fatal results. In our western societies, ignoring the challenge hoping it will go away (it usually does) is the typical response.

    The Roman Catholic church’s belief, half a millennium ago, that the Earth was the centre of the universe is a classic example of erroneous orthodox belief, such as a some ‘scientists’ belief in CAGW today. I thought it was as simple as that until I decided to check on the story of Galileo. I found this from Catholic Answers, see reference below.

    “Anti-Catholics often cite the Galileo case as an example of the Church refusing to abandon outdated or incorrect teaching, and clinging to a “tradition.” They fail to realize that the judges who presided over Galileo’s case were not the only people who held to a geocentric view of the universe. It was the received view among scientists at the time.

    Centuries earlier, Aristotle had refuted heliocentricity, and by Galileo’s time, nearly every major thinker subscribed to a geocentric view. Copernicus refrained from publishing his heliocentric theory for some time, not out of fear of censure from the Church, but out of fear of ridicule from his colleagues.”

    It is no different today, if you want to be/stay a ‘climate scientist’ you have to support the orthodox belief that CO2 will cause CAGW, or you will be ridiculed by your peers and suffer the catholic equivalent of excommunication – in today’s terms, that means the withdrawal of grants and employment prospects. So the furtherance of science stalls because of the Establishment’s orthodox beliefs.

    Eventually real science wins, but it takes time, so as sceptics we need to be patient and constant in our difficult task of keeping the ‘climate scientists’ honest and exposing them, whenever they stray by manipulating data to support their melodramatic, unfounded, forecasts.

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=catholic%20church%20earth%20center%20of%20universe&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CEEQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.catholic.com%2Ftracts%2Fthe-galileo-controversy&ei=l_MZUfTKGeHL0QWQ44GYBA&usg=AFQjCNF4D5lB0eRph7phsloSQUtTiZlWRw


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      llew Jones

      I discovered as you have that the RC Church was nobly protecting the Consensus Science against the “denier” Galileo. Looks like the RC head office hasn’t learned from history as it now sucks up to today’s Consensus Science. (with the exception of “Galileo” Pell of course).

      http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/catholic-teachings/vatican-messages/


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        Roy Hogue

        Llew,

        And that point of view comes from men once touted to me on this very blog as being very well and thoroughly educated in science. And the point is that education isn’t enough, is it?


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        • #
          llew Jones

          No Roy. Not if education means unthinking acceptance of the things one is taught. You may not know but Cardinal “Galileo” Pell is one educated Aussie RC who can think for himself. That is the reason he has an intelligent grasp of the scientific flaws in CAGW or ACC.


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            Roy Hogue

            Llew,

            I don’t know Cardinal Pell so I missed your meaning when you said, “…“denier” Galileo.” Thanks for the clarification. Critical thinking is a good thing wherever you find it. And when you find it in people with some real influence over events it’s all the more important — maybe even more important than having all the right education.

            I wish I could find more here in America who have critical thinking ability and are in a position to use it. We might actually get out of trouble.


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      Dave

      .
      Peter,

      Amazing time was when Aristotle who refuted heliocentricity, who in turn refuted his teacher Plato after coming back from educating Alexander The Great, and set up his own “peer” groups which were based on scientific observation. Yet Plato was taught by Socrates, yet Socrates was sentenced to death in 399BC for corrupting the youth through his teachings.

      I haven’t found out about Platos and Socrates view on geocentricity? :)

      Yet we see a timeline of three teachers / pupils produce so much science. (Yet most of Aristotles writing are recorded in Arabic in the late 6 hundreds AD)

      Yet today – skeptics are punished by the political arms of science to justify their existence.

      “Eventually real science wins, but it takes time”

      The manipulation of data by the CAGW seems to be the biggest problem currently.


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        Ricardo K

        Dave, I encourage you to do the reading. It was indeed a remarkable period. I think Aristotle’s cosmology developed after he was Alexander’s tutor. He taught Alexander that the world was flat and ended in India. That’s one reason Alex wanted to ‘conquer the world’: he thought it was a lot smaller than it is.

        It’s too bad Alexander didn’t get taught by Socrates, who was convicted of being an atheist humanist poofta and sentenced to drink hemlock. The world would have been very different. Although Plato was a bit of a fascist, he could write and he’s quite sensitive. Socrates never committed anything to parchment, so I’m grateful to Plato for recording his words.

        Luckily Alexander was able to see through Aristotle’s instinctive racism (though not his sexism) – he sponsored Asian soldiers, married a couple of Asian women and had a Persian fancy-boy eunuch (as well as his long-time boyfriend Hephaistion).

        Just one thing: only a fraction of Aristotle’s writings survive, not the majority. He was the Andrew Bolt of the 4th century BC: prolific, racist and patronising.


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        Graeme No.3

        Aristotle believed the Earth was the centre of the universe, which moved around the earth on a series of crystal spheres (57 when the theory was fully elaborated). I don’t know that he ever “refuted” heliocentricity as just decided it couldn’t be true. After all, it was only a 100 year previously that the heliocentric theory resulted in the astronomer being condemned to death (fortunately commuted to exile).

        The final version of the spherical theory was enunciated by Ptolemy, but there is some doubt as to whether he believed in it, but preferred not to stir up trouble for himself. He found it useful as a method of calculating the positions of planets etc. Hundreds of year later errors in the positions were evident, but astronomers continued to use the method because it had been received from authority. Even Alonso X, sometimes called the Wise, didn’t reject it although when the theory was explained to him he exclaimed “that had he been present at the creation, he would have given the Almighty better advice”.

        It took Copernicus working in almost isolation to come up with something different, but he couldn’t get his ideas published as “they couldn’t be right”. He had to self publish.


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          AndyG55

          The thing about Aristotle was that he had the ability of individual thought, as Bolt does at times.

          If Aristotle were alive today, he would not need to copy paste from places like dSmog and SkS, he would actually deride their their monotonous propaganda.. as any person with half a brain should. RK, on the otherhand … !


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    DrJohnGalan

    There is another good example of the failure of the scientific establishment: the comprehensive rubbishing of the observation of excess heat being generated when palladium is loaded with deuterium: http://coldfusionnow.org/what-is-cold-fusion/
    Fleischmann and Pons in 1989 had the audacity to report an observation (note, not a proposed theory, simply an observation) which flew in the face of accepted nuclear physics. The fact that they were electro-chemists compounded the issue.

    Over the past nearly 24 years, the phenomenon has been replicated hundreds of times in many laboratories around the world, but few people are aware, such was (and still is) the power of the consensus view.

    Had a fraction of the money wasted on “climate science” been diverted into exploiting this phenomenon, the whole debate around CO2 could, by now, be academic.


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    Manfred

    Journals often have less obvious editorial boards or policies that make decisions on whether to publish or not, irrespective of the scientific merit of a submitted article. Articles submitted that have received approbation from referees are sometimes simply rejected by a journal editor without any obvious or contestable reason and editorial decisions are usually final.

    Writing to the editor to ascertain the justification of such a decision takes both time and infinite patience, which researchers usually do not have. The drive to publish is compelling – to get one’s work published and therefore visible and to satisfy the ‘performance’ requirements of one’s institution and/or funding body. The aim to publish in traditionally respected journals with the highest impact factor is of course one key goal, bringing with it personal and institutional recognition and the ability to attract further funding. Much stems from this including the ability to attract other high caliber researchers and post-docs.

    So rejected, one tends to speedily move on to submission elsewhere. Given the internet, the critical thing is to have a paper published in a relevant indexed journal and presented at the key conferences. Global propagation of the new research information by electronic means is at light speed, so far far removed from days of yore when a very much more gradual process of library and conference propagation ensured.

    Today’s rapidity also means that in theory, work may be falsified more quickly and likewise progress (also in theory) will be faster. However, reality appears to be different. Progress is instead inhibited not by the previous limiting factor of physical propagation but seemingly by politics, policy, and dogma. One wonders whether technology has perhaps moved too rapidly for usual human responsiveness, whether assimilation, accommodation and change in response to new ideas was once unwittingly given more time to adjust. Now it appears as though change is demanded instantly which, aside from compelling scientific evidence, requires a human adjustment and acceptance of change, not simply on an evidential level, but on a human and visceral level.

    The ‘Of Mice and Men’ researchers in question may well have had their publication sights understandably set on Nature or Science, but they would probably do better to do a little wandering of their own. With all due respect, a fixated journal focus such as this may only serve to delay the publication and propagation of important findings, and of course, the recognition that the authors appear to fittingly deserve.


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      Ricardo K

      Manfred, that’s a very level-headed comment.


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      Excellent comment. Technology can certainly help or hinder. I do see advantages to internet publishing. Scientists can find material not in journals. The technology opens up a whole new world, both to scientists and laypersons.

      On the other hand, I immediately thought of the result of drug advertising. People see a commercial and are convinced their doctor needs to write them a prescription for the new miracle. The doctor has to explain why this may not actually be a miracle. I think it’s probably the price we pay for the openness and immediacy of the internet and media.


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    Dr. Davis said, reviewers did not point out scientific errors. Instead, he said, “the most common response was, ‘It has to be wrong. I don’t know why it is wrong, but it has to be wrong.’ ”

    Amazing. Such “reviewers” must subscribe to the Phil Jones method of “peer review”. Perish the thought that a reviewer should examine the underlying data and code of a paper.

    In one of the Climategate emails (during the course of which, the notorious Peter Gleick had added “Yuck” to the scientific lexicon) Jones had declared:

    I have a feel for whether something is wrong – call it intuition.

    [For more details, pls see Phil Jones keeps peer-review process humming … by using “intuition”]


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      Andrew McRae

      It’s not so clear cut. When an expert says something feels wrong or smells fishy, but they can’t quite explain why, it is not unusual for their intuition to be proven correct eventually. The problem is that virtually all of our cognition is unconscious, and it takes a while to distil a morass of neuronal activity into something as pedestrian as a logical statement. It is probably equally infuriating for the expert who doesn’t want to voice their queasiness until they’ve figured out how to justify it – and what kind of test or fact could done to bring it into the real world.

      One of the lessons learned from the AI projects of the 1980s is that making expert systems is difficult mainly because human experts don’t know how they make their decisions, it just comes to them automatically, and inexplicably at first.

      The problem with these alleged Scientists is not that they experience Yuck factors in contrarian papers, but that they leave it at Yuck!

      It’s a bit like the old Holy Hand Grenade scene by Monty Python. Thou must not say yuck unless thou proceeds immediately to the scientific method, and ad hominems are RIGHT OUT.

      Your choice of quote from Jones in your blog is a good one:
      “If you accede to this request the whole peer-review process goes down the tubes. Reviewers will be able to request the earth from authors.”
      Well Dr Jones you’re measuring the whole earth aren’t you? And your colleagues are simulating the whole earth aren’t they? Why can’t we request the Earth?


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        Andrew, that’s true, but if they can’t think of any rational reason within say three months, why don’t they publish it with the note “For Discussion”? How would the scientific world be worse off if papers that seemed convincing, and which a team of reviewers could not fault with, were put forward and someone somewhere realized why it was wrong, and wrote a letter explaining that?

        What exactly do we lose?


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          Andrew McRae

          Why don’t they publish open questions for discussion? I have a facetious answer.

          They are struck with PhD syndrome, a condition which prevents its sufferer from ever being able to say or write the words “I don’t know”.

          :D


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          Andrew McRae

          But your sharpest serious point is right, there’s no scientifically defensible reason against it. We the general public lose nothing by having the questions and the evidence aired, but the inner circles seem to be less than entirely selfless in their quest. I think the reason is the same reason men would rather drive in circles for 20 minutes than admit they took a wrong turn and check the map or… heaven forbid… ask for directions. There’s pride involved dammit. Keeping it under their hat for a while is a way of keeping as much credit for the answer as possible. Or delaying the collapse of their theoretical hobby horse!
          I say that not as a defense or prescription but as a description. The scientific method may be the best we’ve got but scientists are still only human.

          If one may fit some terms to it, the “open science” or “democratised science” you allude to would be much better. We cop flack about “blogger science” but as long as onlookers can recognise the difference between logic and illogic, between evidence and puffery, between measurement and simulation, between precision and sophistry, then there’s no reason blogs can’t be the medium for Science 2.0.

          Perhaps it’s like the digital music iTunes era vs the bricks’n'mortar vinyl era. Too many small empires and fiefdoms have something to lose in the decentralisation of the supply chain. Prestigious paper journals with limited print become blogs with unlimited views. Cloistered reviewers become open to scrutiny. Chances of a seasoned academic being shown up by an amateur within a day of publication will skyrocket with so many amateurs on tap. Call it the room-full-of-monkeys effect if you want, but intangibles would be injured as surely. And dead ends would be nipped in the bud. Progress would be made.

          A good rhetorical question to end with, what do we lose? Isn’t society the ultimate supplier and customer of scientists? Is the customer always right?

          Perhaps it just needs a formal argument representation language, a system for referencing or uploading data, and a special version of WordPress to run it all. The Open Science plugin. Hmmm….


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            Ricardo K

            Andrew, you’d need a nearly infinite number of monkeys to come up with “To be, or not to be – that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.” I’d rather trust the one bloke with the quill. But that’s not science, anyway. And I risk being snipped by ED for being off topic.

            Who is your Bard? Anthony Watts? Christopher Monckton?


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            Roy Hogue

            I think the reason is the same reason men would rather drive in circles for 20 minutes than admit they took a wrong turn and check the map or… heaven forbid… ask for directions. There’s pride involved dammit.

            You really know how to hurt a guy… …not that I’ve ever done that of course. ;-)


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            cohenite

            Andrew, you’d need a nearly infinite number of monkeys to come up with “To be, or not to be – that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.”

            Tiresome. See section 8.


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            AndyG55

            “nearly infinite number of monkeys”

            you over-exaggerate, but apart from that you describe the CAGW meme very well.

            it only took a few to come up with the agenda, but many have followed the trail of breadcrumbs funds


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          The objective of scientific publication is to openly ask “What’s wrong with this?” … implicitly admitting that one has exhausted all of one’s investigation into the same; up to the point of publication.

          There is no science without accepting that one could be wrong; and science advances only when things that are wrong are recognized; and replaced by something that seems right at the time.

          Scientists must divest themselves of any “ownership” that they have for their (pet) theories; otherwise they’ll end up wasting their lives protecting what is demonstrably wrong. It’s necessary to recognize that reality eventually destroys all theories.

          We can never be absolutely right; so the absolute best that we can do is to be less wrong.


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          Jo, I think that the “publish or perish” motivation in academia – along with the long entrenched “traditions” of the so-called prestigious “journals of record” – will ensure that “peer review” is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.

          But it is worth noting that Richard Horton, Editor of The Lancet (who contributed a not unreasonable appraisal of the “peer review” process as an Appendix to the otherwise laughable Muir Russell Report on the Climategate emails in 2010), had noted the following (my bold):

          [p. 131]:

          “Everyone – scientists, the public, policymakers, politicians – would like to believe that peer review is a firewall between truth and error (or dishonesty) (15). But as the editor of one leading specialist medical journal has rightly pointed out, ―There is no question that, when it comes to peer review, the reviewers themselves are the weakest (or strongest) links

          [p. 132]:

          “Unfortunately, there is evidence of a lack of evidence for peer review‘s efficacy

          In a subsequent OpEd in the Guardian, Horton also noted:

          [S]cientists need to take peer review off its pedestal. As an editor, I know that rigorous peer review is indispensable. But I also know that it is widely misunderstood.

          Peer review is not the absolute or final arbiter of scientific quality. It does not test the validity of a piece of research. It does not guarantee truth. Peer review can improve the quality of a research paper – it tells you something about the acceptability of new findings among fellow scientists – but the prevailing myths need to be debunked. We need a more realistic understanding about what peer review can do and what it can’t. If we treat peer review as a sacred academic cow, we will continue to let the public down again and again.

          Finally, scientists should be educated to embrace this new culture of science, not fear or resist it. A scientist’s training will need to include ways of engaging citizen scientists constructively, making their data more widely available, putting uncertainty at the forefront of their work, and managing public expectations about what science can do.

          [Sources for above at A catalyst for thorough reappraisal]

          Considering that we have seen very little indication that academics (and their favourite journals) have taken heed of Horton’s (IMHO) wise words (for some strange reason, Gergis & Karoly et al come to mind!), perhaps what’s needed is something along the lines of RetractionWatch.

          How about “RejectionWatch”?!

          Authors could voluntarily submit their papers (provided that they are also willing to make their data and code available) along with whatever documentation they might have received for the rejection [Editor's letter(s), reviewer comments etc).

          A standard (but not onerous) questionnaire could accompany all submissions so that we could gather some data: Name of Journal, Field of Study, Date Submitted, [other key dates], short “layman’s version” [not a press release!] of paper’s findings … etc. etc.

          Who knows, maybe Big Oil would finally come through with some funding for such an enterprise, eh? ;-)


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    The mice in medicine is the CO2 in climate !
    The following text would presumably not have passed a peer review today, which has been written 70 years ago:

    “It might appear, therefore, as if the oceanic
    circulation and the distribution of temperature
    and salinity in the ocean are caused by the
    atmospheric processes, but such a conclusion would be
    erroneous, because the energy that maintains the
    atmospheric circulation is to be greatly supplied
    by the oceans. “

    H.U. Sverdrup, (1942), “Oceanography for Meteorologists”, New York 1942, page 223. (from: http://www.seaclimate.com/j/j.html

    In conclusion it can be said: that billions of dollars of climate research may have been wasted.


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    Louis Hissink

    Peer Review is only needed to identify plagiarism – otherwise it is censorship. It was initiated in sciences which could not perform physical experiments as a means of determining scientific conclusions. All scientific hypotheses have to be testable – and all scientific hypotheses can only be built on previously experimentally verified facts.

    Peer Review has not failed at all – it is there to ensure compliance with the existing paradigm. But one thing it is not is science.


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      John Brookes

      No. If that is all peer review is, the journals could just use turnitin.


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        Louis Hissink

        John Maddox, the former editor of Nature, said that he never sent papers submitted by either Tommy Gold or Fred Hoyle for peer review, because he knew these papers would not pass the review process.

        I’ve been through the peer review process myself, John, and as I am also editor of AIG News, and peer review is all about approval of a particular line of thought. I recently published a scientific article on sedimentary deposition rates by a French geologist and backed up with Russian experimental data. It produced a couple of howls from the usual suspects who, in order to lessen their cognitive dissonance, dismissed it as a brilliant example of satire on my part.

        I don’t think you understand what has happened to science recently, or at least during the last 30 years or so, and probably since World War II. The present situation is that scientists have, in order to meet their KPI score, publish for that is how the academic management gets its funding, on the number of scientific papers published. I suggest you read Henry Bauer’s deliberations on this topic (he is one of you, of the left) for some insights. Simply Googling his name should get you started in the right direction.

        Peer review is peer approval, peeriod.


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      Bite Back

      The failure here looks like plain unadulterated self-righteousness. If it doesn’t conform to what I think should be true then it must be wrong. It’s dazzlingly arrogant.

      Louis is right, it’s not science.


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    Refined Lysenkoism, where political dogma trumps objective truth. Since when was science ever a matter of emotive judgement? I genuinely wouldn’t mind if I were proven wrong, they I suspect have nightmares over the prospect, so the house of cards gets bigger.


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    DaveA

    Just on the first page now, thought this was worth quoting:

    The drug failures became clear. For example, often in mice, a gene would be used, while in humans, the comparable gene would be suppressed. A drug that worked in mice by disabling that gene could make the response even more deadly in humans.


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    Steven

    I’m reminded of Rupert Sheldrake’s work, “The Science Delusion” A must read.


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  • #

    I’ve known this for a long time, ever since I had to fight for 2 years to get 2 papers published in the Atmospheric Environment journal (Jan, 1996). But Jo Nova still believes in the greenhouse effect upon global warming, so far as I know:

    Why the Climate Debate is Over…


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      AndyG55

      Hi Harry,

      I do keep trying to bring the fact that the temperature is controlled by the pressure gradient in the atmosphere, and that the actual atmospheric constituents have very little to do with it.

      The same heat gradient will eventually establish itself even with the multi-phase chaos of H2O.

      Maybe one day they will realise the truth of this.

      Not holding my breathe though.


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        KinkyKeith

        Andy

        You’re my hero.

        That was a great summary.

        For those of us who understand it, it is the end of CAGW, otherwise known as Incineration by Carbon Dioxide.

        The core mechanism that is at work is contained in the understanding about gas molecules of one type in the air; They have neighbours and are never alone.

        Even if CO2 is able to specifically absorb extra energy, it will instantaneously share and transfer that energy to nearby gas molecules making the entire atmosphere participate.

        CO2 can’t do much anyhow because there is not much of it ; water fills any role that might be seen for CO2 as being “dangerous to humans”.

        Effectively the entire atmosphere absorbs the energy under discussion by CAGW enthusiasts, not just CO2.

        If CO2 was missing entirely, the air would still get to the same temperature.

        KK :)


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          Streetcred

          The entire premise that CO2 is the ‘killer’ gas is dependant on the non-existent process of perpetual warming enhancement by water vapour. It is common knowledge that this is bollocks so the idea of CO2 being dangerous must fail at the most fundamental hurdle.


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            KinkyKeith

            Exactly Streetcred.

            After the initial try at getting CO2 demonised on its own failed they thought up the

            “process of perpetual warming enhancement by water vapour” junk you mention.

            If this CO2 – H2O interaction was open ended then we would have been incinerated long ago because of the unlimited supply of water vapour available.

            It is obvious that this process is a self limiting system.

            Extra water vapour in the air, rather than lead to warming actually reduces heat energy reaching

            Earths bio-zone and leaves us well regulated .

            As a matter of fact I’d say things at the moment are Just About Perfect.

            KK :)

            self limiting


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            AndyG55

            “Just About Perfect”

            Close… but could do a significant amount more of that buried carbon being liberated.


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            AndyG55

            “Extra water vapour in the air, rather than lead to warming actually reduces heat energy reaching”

            Also speeds up the surface cooling process. Good stuff is H2O :-)


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            KinkyKeith

            Please.

            No more CO2 in the air.

            I’m having trouble keeping up mowing the lawn as it is!

            I got buffalo because I thought it didn’t grow too much.

            Boy, was I mistaken!

            KK


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            Crakar24

            KK,

            I see you mentioned the name Mary F Johnson, can i assume she is about to make a much anticipated return?

            Re Buffalo grass, you have two options pour industrial strength roundup on it and begin the mowing process immediately in a vain attempt to keep it under control or dig the whole thing up (dont leave any roots behind) and start again.

            When in Darwin during wet season i would mow half my buffalo grass on Saturday and the other half on Sunday. On the Sunday if you pushed the mower over the Saturday part you would cut some more grass as it had already started to grow back LOL


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            KinkyKeith

            Well Crackar

            When I was kid we used to walk over a patch of buffalo to get to the beach.

            It was the best grass, short and seemed very docile.

            I think the grass I bought is on steroids – I know all the recent rain and sun doesn’t help but it is crazy.

            Praying for winter to arrive. I told my wife we should get Couch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            MFJ is not going to return – just stirring .

            KK :)


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            AndyG55

            Actually KK, salt air does help control most domestic grasses.

            Glysophosphate is basically just a salt.

            Wouldn’t try putting it on your dinner, though !
            .
            .
            ps.. at least you don’t have old style kykuyu !!!


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            KinkyKeith

            I once bought a rental property which had been let go.

            The kikuyu was a foot thick

            Completely matted and interwoven.

            Steer clear.

            KK


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            AndyG55

            “The kikuyu was a foot thick Completely matted and interwoven.”

            ummm… that describes my front garden to a ‘t’ !!

            Roundup to the fescue !!!


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            Crakar24

            Short or long AndyG?


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            AndyG55

            Don’t get personal, Crakar !!


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            AndyG55

            kk: “I told my wife we should get Couch”

            but you still have single lounge chairs.. sad, isn’t it !! :-)

            now where did that bottle of red go :-(


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          AndyG55

          “If CO2 was missing entirely, the air would still get to the same temperature.”

          And even if the air is nearly all CO2, the temperature will STILL BE THE SAME at a specified pressure.

          The Venus/Earth comparison PROVES THIS to be the case.


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        bananabender

        Yep. Nothing more complex than introductory physical chemistry.


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      AndyG55

      Hi Harry,

      A thought.. Seeing as on Venus, the Sun’s energy doesn’t reach to the surface, are there signs of reverse convection? Not sure how one could find out.

      On Earth, we get adiabatic inversions and sometimes downdrafts as the pressure / temperature gradients try to equilibriate, so I suspect that this must happen to a much greater extent on Venus.


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    jorgekafkazar

    The failure of Nature and Science to publish this paper of stellar importance is not at all surprising. When the focus is pushing propaganda, other things must be neglected. Let this debacle serve as an eternal monument to the shame of their Lysenkoism.


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    Ace

    Peer review is a cornerstone of the PRACTICE of science.

    Now wait a minute. The practiceof athing is not what defines it AS that thing. The practice of Polo does not define what it is to ride a horse.

    Its possible for something to be pseudo-science and pass peer review, or for real science to berejected by its peers. The eternal example is that of Semmelweis and the bacterial basis of infection.

    So maybe its time to question this insistance on peer-review.

    Do we trust anybody else to police themselves (I know, its everywhere as an aspect of The Establishment, but do YOU trust it)?

    Maybe its time the free publication of papers on the internet replaced science journals as the medium of scientific debate just as it is replacing other forms of journalism.

    Possibly thats all scientific publications are. A branch of journalism. I didnt say that. Im just posing the possibility.


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      Roy Hogue

      Do we trust anybody else to police themselves (I know, its everywhere as an aspect of The Establishment, but do YOU trust it)?

      That’s the $64,000 question. No matter what checks and balances you put in place for something you end up at some level where there aren’t going to be checks and balances on the checks and balances. If you’ll forgive the nature of the metaphor, it’s like going to bed with someone — ultimately there’s a lot of trust required and if that trust is broken you have trouble.

      I have no idea how we can solve that problem other than to expose the broken trust when we discover it. That’s what this site is all about. If exposing it doesn’t lead to people cleaning up their act then what else will work? You can’t criminalize everything.

      The unfortunate thing now is that the failure of trustworthiness has become so institutionalized that it’s an accepted, even expected thing.


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    Ace

    …ACTUALLY, the free publication of papers is a superior version OF peer review, as it is open to everyone with expertise in a topic to address each paper as opposed to the iniquitous clique of editors and invited assessors.


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    It is interesting that scientific peer review is considered to be a good thing with research papers, but totally unacceptable with drug development, food additives, etc. People question doctors and law enforcement policing themselves–saying this does not work. Then they turn around and believe scientific peer review is the way to go. There is nothing that makes research papers any different from drug research, environmental research and so forth. If one cannot trust physicians, with their years of education and experience, to police themselves, why would one trust scientists who do research to police themselves?

    Scientists may have spent decades in research and are looking at the one study that can falsify everything they worked on. That’s an ethical dilemma that would crush many people. Do you publish the rebuttal to your life’s work? Or do you put through a study that agrees with your studies and say that it fits more with the accepted science?


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      Roy Hogue

      Sheri,

      I can suggest one difference between scientific research in general and drug or food additive investigation. In the case of general scientific research there’s very little possibility of immediate adverse, possibly fatal consequences, whereas with the drug problem you get Thalidomide or others I could name.

      But back to my comment to Ace above — at some point you’re forced to trust the checks and balances you have in place and see what happens.


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        It is true that much research does not have immediate adverse consequences. That may play a part.

        I do agree, though. There is only so much we can do and at some point we just have to trust that things will work out. You can only double-check double checking so many times!


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      Allen Ford

      That’s an ethical dilemma that would crush many people. Do you publish the rebuttal to your life’s work?

      Not if you’re Phil Jones you don’t. Remember his classic riposte to Warwick Hughes who had the temerity to ask him for his data: “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”


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    michael hart

    I’ll put the case for the opposition.

    I’m not entirely surprised the paper didn’t receive the plaudits the authors might have hoped for. I guess that reviewers working in the area of inflammatory diseases (a huge area) might have shrugged their shoulders and said “Yes, we know that. Welcome to Immunology.”

    The most expensive book I have ever bought was “Fundamental Immunology” by William E. Paul. It was also, by some margin, the heaviest book I have ever bought. The introduction, I recall, started with the sobering words “It used to be said that Immunologists know everything, but understand nothing.”

    Every researcher knows (or should know) that mouse models are far from perfect. Some are worse than others. But they are tools that are available. Doing experiments in primates is extraordinarily expensive, and clinical drug trials still have to go through animal testing before they come near a human.

    Idiosyncratic toxicity is a huge financial cost in drug development with many solutions being explored. Plenty of drugs may work in one human, but not in another. Hence the fashionable term “personalised medicine’.

    Remember when people predicted that sequencing the human genome would lead to spectacular advances in medicine? Have they arrived yet? This paper is banging the gong for the automated gene-expression approach. It is one avenue of research, but not the only one. And yet, about the year 1999 I recall learning that only 5% of human disease are estimated to have a genetic component.

    We have not yet got so far with our science that medical research can be advanced merely by drawing a little blood and letting the computers do the rest. Where have we heard that before?

    The workings of peer review I’ll leave for another occasion.


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    AndyG55

    People send me stuff I don’t want..

    http://elementascience.org/

    Seems they want to hammer the “Anthropocene” crap !!!


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      Roy Hogue

      They sure don’t hide their real agenda. They accept

      …articles focused on bridging scientific knowledge with policy issues, policy options, or policy analysis.

      It now goes without needing any evidence that we are at fault for something, though they can’t even nail down that for which we are at fault. Is it just that we exploit the world around us like any other living thing? Or is it some greater crime?

      I think they really do regret that we exist. They ignore the fact that they indict themselves along with the rest of us.


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    Lock-step, consensus thinking after WWII produced the current demise of society:

    Acceptance of reality is the answer to all of the problems facing society today.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/lewandowsky-strike-two/#comment-92127

    I regret that it took me so long to find the words to communicate the root problem.

    With deep regrets,
    - Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Advisor for Apollo


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    Boadicea

    For gods sake what so hard about all of this.

    The people who undertaken the Peer Review should do so with complete openess and be known, by having their names added at the bottom, or where ever, and further…. be paid for their efforts.

    The only issue then to be resolved is where will the money come from to pay the reviewers, and further would domain experts be prepared to operate in the open. If not then that says something else about PR as a process for ranking and evaluation of scientific effort

    At least a more open approach will keep out the charlatans, and those with an undeclared conflict of interest.ie the work of the reviewer is more important and in order to get his latest grant he has have to destroy mine…secretly of course

    Reviews done in secret has to be completely anathema to progress and ethical behaviour.

    I am glad I am not a scientist ( nor any of my well credentialled off spring) having to earn income by being assessed in secret for work undertaken mostly at public expense, that is then given to a profit oriented entity to decide whether they can make enough sales from my work (assuming it survived the iniquitous hurdes involved) to pay share holders their dividends.

    Can it get any sillier or shonkier…and these people are supposed to be intelligent

    Its about time the various Auditer Generals had long hard look at this


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      Roy Hogue

      Maybe just putting the reviewers names at the bottom would go a long way by itself. If there’s a real interest in honest review why would the reviewers not do it for nothing? So just put them out in plain sight.


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    Louis Hissink

    Peer review started in the social sciences because physical experiment, ie on humans, isn’t possible. So in order to work out whether some hypothesis was true or not, relied on peer approval of the argument.

    In the physical sciences the truth of an hypothesis is determined by physical experiment, say proposing that mixing chemicals A with B under condition X will yield a new compound M. Peer review involves arguing and convincing others that the hypothesis is true without doing the experiment itself.

    The scientific method is to actually do the experiment and show the results. There are no statistical tests necessary, just the simple observation of the formation of M under the conditions defined by the hypothesis.

    If you don’t get this, then you also don’t get the scientific method.


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      Boadicea

      Dont disagree with you Louis

      But in the AGW scam many of the publications have nothing to do with creating new raw data at all, to prove a hypothesis.

      They are using and processing data already available to derive their views/conclusions.

      eg satellite and terrestial data from UHA and BOM for example, are available for all scientists, and dozens of papers get churned out for the Peer Review/publication or perish industry.

      If that means that it is not science…. well whats new

      Some of the leading lights would dare to say wouldnt even know how to read a thermometer


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        Louis Hissink

        I suspect alot of the publications involve writing papers for the simple sake of writing the papers in order to reach some numerical target. Given climate science is basically an offshoot of geography, which is a social science, then it’s fairly obvious that part of the climate change problem could lie in academics unconsciously stalling themselves in self created cul de sacs of inquiry, deluding themselves at the same time that their conclusions are valid. Being social scientists they automatically assumed that as their peers also agreed, then shock, horror, catastrophe is upon us!

        Couple that with the misanthropic approach of the greens (remember Jacques Cousteau remarking that there were too many humans and numbers need to be culled ?) who are part of the long march into the institutions and we arrive at the present political mess. Some of it is the result of sincere but misguided science practiced by social scientists, and some of it the result of greeny malevolence and misanthropy, the start of which probably could be defined as The Endangered Atmosphere Conference chaired by Margaret Mead, (and which included the present day suspects in the US adminsitration).


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    Angry

    BBC backs down on climate change: Forced to delete David Attenborough’s ‘alarmist’ warming claims from final show of Africa series

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/teachers-at-islamic-college-of-south-australias-west-croydon-campus-ordered-to-wear-hijab-or-face-sack/story-e6freon6-1226575723406


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    Peter Crawford

    Hey hey Ricardo K. You want transparency ?

    Peter Crawford
    15 Yr Ogof
    Kingsland
    Holyhead
    Gwynedd, North Wales
    United Kingdom.

    Tel. 01407 764799
    Email. Inyrogof@aol.com

    Now the problem with peer-review is that the peers doing the reviewing are too often the peers whose peers wanted to do the reviewing in the first place. That is to say the reviewer of the peer is the peer of the reviewer or to put it another way: The peer’s peer reviews the reviews.

    If your peer…oh shit I’ve lost track now

    Yours transparently, Pete.


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      not sure this should be encouraged.


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      KinkyKeith

      I gotta pay that Peter.

      KK

      If you are familiar with Mary F from a couple of years ago her husband, my Gr Gr Father was from Abersychan.


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        Dave

        KK

        From Abersychan, Torfaen to Barry, Vale of Glamorgan is only about 55 minutes by the M4.

        Abersychan was the centre of iron production in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Very industrial place in “the early days”.

        While Barry the town is famous for its working class roots and background and has a thriving town council which is controlled by the Labour Party.

        I prefer Abersychan over Barry. (not peer reviewed)


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          KinkyKeith

          Hi Dave

          Interesting.

          I take it that you may be in Barry?

          My Great great grandfather left Wales for Newcastle with his family in 1863.

          His son, MFJs husband, was then 13 years old but had been in the mines from the age of 10.

          They all went into the mines here.

          That was a long long time ago.

          KK :)


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          KinkyKeith

          Dave

          You spoke earlier about Bluescope and Australian employment prospects ? then barry?

          WTH are you?

          KK :)


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            Dave

            .
            KK

            Just an Australian who has got a buffalo grass lawn, coal powered electricity supply, house, family etc. Been involved in the steel industry all my life in Sri Lanka, China, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Singapore, Dubai, PNG, Australia etc. I just love this Blog Site, have learned so much off Tony, Cohenite, Bulldust, MV, C24, A55, EA, Son, A.. etc etc etc etc (absolutely bloody endless) – but I have no where near the capability of the written word as those that exhibit here.
            The articles by Jo have been an education for me – but most of all, the most influencial are the comments – I agree with some and disagree with others – sometimes leading me into striff.

            But I can see the end to this CAGW fraud finally by the attacks of the usual alarmists plus newbies suddenly appearing and the apparent disregard and ignorance of the environment by these so called Greenies. They are parasites on all of us. I have seen pollution in PNG, Sri Lanka and China that would make you sick. And here is our Governemnt charging $23 per tonne of CO2 to stop CAGW???? The pollution caused by some high profile political Australians like Garnaut is embrassing. Tim Flannery and Bob Brown are also the most ignorant money grabbers in this con trick ever seen. Some (many) of their business dealings are not savoury in regard to the environment.

            Plus much more.

            If you contact Jo – I give her permission to release my email address to you if you wish to find out WTH are I?


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            KinkyKeith

            Well Dave I have to agree.

            If I had to say what I was doing on this blogg I think I would have to say:

            ” Just look at Dave’s comment and Ditto.”

            I have a passing interest in PNG because my father was there during the war as well as Northern Aus and New Brittain and the Islands between Aus and PNG; mainly TI and Wewak.

            Long ago I went to Nuku in the top area up near what is now Indonesia, out from Aitape and Wewak and stayed in a village for nearly a month. Had one quick bite of bouai and nearly passed out. Those old ladies must have been off their heads.

            So have read about the area and mentioned on here about the “business activities ” of some people there since PNG gained its’ “Freedom” ha ha. Jo average is now much worse off I suspect.

            back to the present.

            The bloke I visited is still alive and has jumped from school teacher to area supervisor in the education system and had a go at running for parliament. All this courtesy of the internet. I intend to try and contact him after 43v years to say hello ; just haven’t got the energy to do it yet.

            On the other side of the world my family has a connection with Vietnam and through posts about this I have exchanged a few comments with Roy Hogue. Seems he has connection with VN also and just through those few comments I get an impression of “good people” here on this blog.

            Actually I asked my wife, who has just gone back there, to find a small souvenir that I can send to him. Not sure where he lives but he’s in LA.

            btw where is MV he hasn’t posted for a while.

            Lots more but hell, it’s 4 am I and gotta get back to sleep. Mainly got up to check my wife’s email; time difference is 4 hours; but as usual got sidetracked by

            The Blog.

            So you are in Aus but you gave been to Abersychan and Barry.

            Sri Lanka; I worked in the wire ind and a friend; Paul G did a stint some years ago in Sri L setting up a wire drawing plant; may have been India, wth, wherever. Seems you’ve been everywhere.

            There needs to be a JoNo blogger meeting to get acquainted and change the world.

            KK :) :)


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      AndyG55

      “If your peer…oh shit I’ve lost track now”

      Yes, you do appeer to be reather confused ;-)


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      llew Jones

      In other words you are saying the peers are likely to be pisswits as are the peers who are writing the stuff that the peers are peering at?

      My progenitors came to Australia from Rhyl in 1842. I’m afraid there’s not much we can do to help them.


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    Peter Crawford

    The point is ‘it is peer-reviewed’ is a f*****g joke. So I am free to make up jokes to highlight this simple fact. Have you seen that video ‘I’m a climate scientist’ ? If you haven’t then don’t. It is toe-curlingly embarrassing even sitting here in Old North Wales. Eeeeehhhhh. Cringeworthy.


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    Crakar24

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_II/ipcc_far_wg_II_chapter_07.pdf

    It has to be wrong. I don’t know why it is wrong, but it has to be wrong.’ ”


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    Peter Crawford

    Sorry if I failed to get the jokes chaps. It is a terrible failure on my part. I once got banned from a hiking forum for claiming that very fat black women should be banned from mountains because the pounding of their grotesquely heavy thighs can trigger avalanches.

    People didn’t get the joke and now I am guilty of the same thing.


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    [...] finding is rejected because “it just must be wrong” when in fact it is right all along. Click here for more…. Share this:EmailPrintMoreDiggFacebookGoogle +1LinkedInRedditStumbleUponTwitter [...]


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      KinkyKeith

      Going to have a look now Ex, but this might be the start of the next ice age.

      Hang on — the tropic are about to become very popular!

      KK


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        AndyG55

        I’m expecting a slight drop in temps over the next 10-30 years.

        I sure as heck hope its not a Maunder repeat, that would be devastating in many countries, particularly places like England that have gone down the renewable energy high price route. but the Sun is pretty darn sleepy. Even the Scandinavian countries with all their hydro might be in trouble. Not sure how well hydro works when the water is frozen !!

        If a Maunder does start to happen, I suspect there will be rush to build new coal and gas power stations…. if anyone has any funds left after the renewable wastage.

        Glad I stayed in Newy, and didn’t move to Tassie when I had the option. We have coal, and there are expansions of coal fired stations on the drawing board once the moronic Greens get the f*** out the way. !!


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    wayne, s. Job

    Some what off topic to this thread, but many comments have been. Just an observation.

    I have noticed that comments about AGW, politics, peer review and science in general have been tending to the sarcastic and frivolous. This is a sign that the enemies are in retreat and you are sticking your finger up at them.

    Thank you Jo and all your contributors, thank you WUWT, thank you Michael Smith and a thousand others for seeking truth. Wayne


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      KinkyKeith

      Hi Wayne

      I think some of the O/T comment is the glue that helps hold the site together and provides the understanding and trust here that is missing in real world politics.

      Talking science all the time could make “Jack” a very dull boy.

      KK :)


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      Roy Hogue

      Wayne,

      From my point of view at least, the sarcasm, flipping them off as it were, is the only way to stay sane.

      If you take this too seriously you go nuts. Last night before Obama’s state of his imagination speech was to start I watched two ordinarily thoughtful commentators going back and forth ridiculing the president and the whole process that was about to unfold on my TV screen. And they hadn’t even seen it yet. It went on for about 5 minutes.

      They were right. The whole speech was a joke from start to finish.

      The monkeys are running the zoo – science, politics, it doesn’t seem to matter how childish you get anymore.


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    Guarionex Sandoval

    I am personally familiar with the way Nature operates. As a post-doctoral fellow, I submitted a paper in rebuttal of one published in Nature Neuroscience. A particular researcher had claimed to find a transmembrane sequence in the alpha subunit of the acetylcholine receptor that was responsible for its trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cell surface membrane.

    We demonstrated that a. it had no effect as claimed, and b. that the DNA construct he made to test his hypothesis contained 3 deletion mutations, one upstream and two downstream of his region of interest. The upstream frameshift resulted in the creation of an unexpected novel amino acid sequence over his region of interest before the two downstream mutations shifted everything back to the normal amino acid sequence for the alpha subunit. The DNA we made using his supplied template had the deletion mutations. His supplied DNA template that he used for his experiments was revealed through sequencing to also have the deletion mutations. Neither his version with the unidentified deletion mutations nor our correct version made from scratch of what he had claimed to have made had the effects he claimed. It was rejected twice. The reviewers said that we should have gone on to replicate other parts of his paper that were based on his using a mutated alpha subunit that he never had to begin with.

    It would be like someone claiming a certain person ran a marathon and a challenge being mounted based on the fact that the person in question was, at the time, a double amputee resting in hospital and those fielding the challenge claiming that our challenge required that we also go on to run a marathon. It was an absurd waste of research dollars just so that Nature Neuroscience could avoid having to retract a paper and admit that the original reviewers completely missed major defects in the guy’s claims.


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    Rathnakumar

    Whatever you say, I have already made my mind the PNAS ain’t reputable! :-)

    Quoting below from Pat Michael’s article.
    http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/peer-review-pal-review-climate-science

    “But there has to be a gold standard somewhere, right? Perhaps the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)?

    Dream on. If you are a member of the National Academy, you can submit four manuscripts a year, called “contributed papers” as long as you do the “peer review” yourself! That’s right: you send your manuscript to two of your friends, and then mail your paper along with their comments. Again, pal review.

    The PNAS editor then rubber-stamps the results. In fact, the editor probably goes through quite a few rubber stamps a year, given that only 15 of the 800-odd contributed papers submitted in the last year were rejected. For comparative purposes, Nature would have accepted only about 50 out of that number.

    A recent paper submitted to PNAS by National Academy member Richard Lindzen was afforded special treatment. The editor insisted that it be held to a different standard of review because of its “political implications.” Lindzen’s research found that carbon dioxide warming is likely to be much lower than what is being calculated by current climate models.

    So what about the legion of alarmist papers from NASA firebrand James Hansen that PNAS publishes via pal review? Don’t they have “political implications” too? In the mind of our National Academy, apparently some political implications are more equal than others.

    There’s a lot of confirmation bias working in Hansen’s favor, because it’s back to the back of the plane for ham-and-egger climate scientists if Lindzen is right. That’s where the “political implications” get personal.

    There’s a lot more to this story. Lindzen eventually published his paper — which actually benefited from a real review — in an obscure journal. But the next time you think that peer review is unbiased, think of confirmation bias, pal review and Climategate, and try to figure a way out of the mess that climate science has gotten itself into.”


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    PeterB in Indianapolis

    A college organic chemistry professor of mine was well acquainted with one of the lead scientists that performed the studies back in the 1970′s which showed that saccharine causes cancer.

    My college professor asked the lead scientist, “Just what would be the human equivalent dosage of saccharine needed to duplicate the effect you found in mice?” The lead researcher replied (without even grinning), “Humans would need to consume a 35-gallon trash-bad full of saccharine per day for several years in order to duplicate the findings we had on the mice.”

    Of course, as we all know, saccharine shortly disappeared from our diet soft drinks, and is now almost impossible to find as an artificial sweetener (although it CAN still be found)….

    My college chemistry professor then asked the lead researcher, “Have you done any similar studies with caffeine?” The lead researcher replied, “Caffeine is acutely toxic at such a relatively low dosage that the mice die long before we can induce any tumor-response from caffeine.”

    Go figure….


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      KinkyKeith

      It’s good to be aware that this is the background to our lives.

      Decisions based on business interests.

      One to get rid of saccharine as a competitor to sugar and the other to keep caffeine based products circulating.

      Sugar, tea and coffee; the lifeblood of western civilisation.

      KK :)


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        I have always wondered if sugar became vilified because the honey industry was taking a hit with the cheaper, more renewable for of sweetening….

        Keith: Most things in life are based on business interests. I suppose if we could fire up a version of Waldon, maybe we could overcome this, but history says it ain’t likely. :)


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      Roy Hogue

      Go figure indeed! Let’s face it; we all should come with a warning label that says,

      CAUTION: Being alive can cause severe harm and in extreme cases, can result in death!

      And I wonder if even that would make the “experts” happy.

      I think the secret to making your way through all the nonsense is to realize you’ll never get out of this world alive and quit worrying about it. ;-)

      Peace of mind is a wonderful thing. But far too many experts want to get between you and that goal.

      Now it’s time for another cup of coffee so pass the saccharine please.

      There’s a prize for knowing who sang that line, “I’ll never get out of this world alive.”


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        PeterB in Indianapolis

        The above-referenced college organic chemistry professor of mine used to say, “Life has a 100% mortality rate, it is the leading cause of death for all men and women.”

        Also, I believe that Hank Williams is the answer :)


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          Roy Hogue

          A quick story while we’re going this back and forth here:

          A man was driving through a small town and stopped for lunch. As he talked with the proprietor he discovered that the man was not only owner of the drug store and lunch counter but the town undertaker. So, off-the-wall as people often do he asked, “What’s the death rate in this idyllic little town of yours?” (expected statistics of course) The undertaker answered back without hesitation, “One per customer.”

          Life is indeed fatal. :-)


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    AndyG55

    OT,

    The Libs have ideas for 100 new dams. NO-ONE can accuse them of being negative.

    They are proving to have some truly PROGRESSIVE ideas for the future of Australia.

    Now watch the regressive, destructive Greens start yelling, as the vote % drops below the horizon :-)


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    el gordo

    ‘I have noticed that comments about AGW, politics, peer review and science in general have been tending to the sarcastic and frivolous. This is a sign that the enemies are in retreat and you are sticking your finger up at them.’

    Its all very well to amuse ourselves here, but elsewhere on the blogosphere the warmista are becoming ill humoured. My global cooling meme is funny, I’ve been working on it for years (sharpening the irony) but they just don’t get it.

    A new trick to shut me down … the Australian Independent Media Network hold me in perpetual moderation.


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    Angry

    A good read about this subject.

    Quadrant Online – Peer review locks gate:-

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2009/11/peer-review-locks-gate


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    pat

    hmmm! what on earth is this about?

    13 Feb: UK Register: Richard Chirgwin: Soak up CO2 with sponges, says CSIRO
    A football field in a gram
    In its release, the CSIRO explains that the MOF solves one of the challenges of carbon capture…
    Monash University’s Richelle Lyndon worked in the CSIRO team under Dr Matthew Hill, and is lead author of a paper (abstract) in Angewandte Chemie. She explains that the MOFs “are impregnated with light-responsive azobenzene molecules which react to UV light and trigger the release of CO2…
    As well as the CSIRO and Monash, the development of the materials used the power diffraction beamline at the Australian Synchrotron.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/13/csiro_carbon_capture_sponges/


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    I would appreciate comments or new insight from anyone on the strange sequence of events over the sixty-four year period preceding the release of Climategate documents in 2009.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Request_Assistance.pdf

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo
    omatumr2@gmail.com


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    pat

    bbc “business daily” never misses an opportunity to push CAGW, even when the actual item doesn’t back up the claims. last nite the intro talked of rising temps in africa and rainfall patterns in brazil – yet the CABI guy only talked of how there was plenty of coffee, farmers weren’t getting good prices but, as the price has been high the past few years, more farmers want to plant coffee, which could damage the forests. altho africa was said in the intro to be suffering from higher temps, in the actual piece the CABI guy instead spoke of lack of research in africa holding back the coffee industry there!!!

    13 Feb:BBC Business Daily:
    Plus Peter Baker of the non-profit organisation, CABI, that advises farmers in the developing world, explains why climate change may be affecting the world’s coffee crop, and why a cup of coffee may end up tasting rather different in the future.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01452g5


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    pat

    what a farce. read carefully. the MSM rarely admits to how far the CO2 price is expected to rise over time:

    13 Feb: Reuters Point Carbon: Nations seen going separate ways on carbon as EU efforts falter
    BRUSSELS/LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Europe’s failure to raise carbon prices enough to spur green energy use means more nations are expected to follow the example of Britain and take action on their own.
    EU efforts in the immediate term are focused on a Feb. 19 vote in a committee of the European Parliament which will provide the next signal of whether a plan to bolster the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme can proceed.
    Even if agreed, analysts predict it will be years before European carbon prices rise to the level of at least 40 euros ($53) that analysts say is needed to spur investment in low-carbon energy.
    That’s good news for intensive energy users and coal-burners, but bad for governments committed to 2020 environmental targets for which they need to bolster green energy use…
    “Fragmentation is something we have already seen. The latest example of fragmentation is the UK,” said David Hone, climate change adviser for Royal Dutch Shell, regarding Britain’s decision to establish a carbon price floor from April.
    “We will see more and more of this. It will be a progressive process. It’s a process that has started.”…
    Coal-dependent Poland has been openly hostile to market intervention and Germany so far has avoided taking a stance.
    While Germany needs a higher carbon price to spur its shift to renewable energy, Chancellor Angela Merkel faces an election and industry pressure to avoid action that might raise energy prices.
    The chief executive of Germany’s largest utility E.ON, which has supported the idea of removing some carbon permits from the market, says a minimum CO2 price or a tax might be necessary, though a reformed EU ETS would be preferable…
    Britain has chosen to introduce a carbon price floor from April to give more certainty to clean energy investment.
    It works by topping up the EU carbon price when it falls below the floor. Starting at around 16 pounds ($25) a tonne, it will rise to 30 pounds by 2020.
    This compares with the current EU carbon price of around 4 euros a tonne and an average 10 euros seen by 2020…
    The price floor will cost British utilities almost 800 million pounds ($1.25 billion) in 2013-14, according to analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon. These costs will probably be passed on to domestic and industrial customers.
    Britain’s carbon price floor makes it too expensive to burn coal, meaning still cheaper coal for the rest of Europe. While British emissions should fall, for Europe as a whole, there would be no improvement, further showing the need for pan-European and global carbon pricing if emissions are to be cut.
    In the absence of a reliable EU-wide framework, utilities say they are forced to look to emerging markets outside Europe.
    Within the EU, they have closed cleaner gas capacity because coal is cheap to import and the negligible carbon price provides no incentive to use the lowest carbon option…
    “For the first time, the energy sector is closing power plants, not for reasons of obsolescence, but for economic reasons. This has never happened before,” said Jean-Francois Cirelli, president of gas industry body Eurogas and vice-chairman and president of GDF Suez.
    “If there is no intervention, the system is clearly dead. We will have to switch to another system, taxing CO2, but will it be at EU level?,” he said…
    Last year, Italy proposed replacing the ETS with a carbon tax and its environment minister described the ETS as irreparable.
    The scheme is nevertheless expected to stay as it would be very hard to dismantle and even Poland, the arch-opponent of higher carbon prices, has not called for it to be scrapped.
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/reutersnews/1.2182566?&ref=searchlist


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    el gordo

    The carbon dioxide bubble is deflating, this is better than having it burst … with the world economy in such a fragile state.


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    el gordo

    Going by this dodgy poll its possible to see how Obama got a second term.

    http://www.lcv.org/media/press-releases/polling-on-climate-feb-2013.pdf

    Is there a remedy for mass delusion?


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    The system of Peer Review in Open Media (PROM) adopted on the Principia Scientific International website is, I believe, by far the best way to encourage debate and open discussion. For example, there is already opened a forum thread for discussion of my new paper which is expected to be ready for the PROM menu very soon now. This 20 page paper takes a sledge hammer to the greenhouse. I guess it will be OK to copy the Abstract and Conclusions here to whet your appetite …
    . .

    PLANETARY CORE AND SURFACE TEMPERATURES

    ABSTRACT

    The paper explains why the physics involved in atmospheric and sub-surface heat transfer appears to have been misunderstood, and incorrectly applied, when postulating that a radiative “greenhouse effect” is responsible for warming the surfaces of planets such as Venus and our own Earth.

    A detailed discussion of the application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics endeavours to settle the much debated issue as to whether of not a thermal gradient evolves spontaneously in still air in a gravitational field. The author is aware of attempted rebuttals of this hypothesis, but cogent counter arguments are presented, together with reference to empirical evidence.

    The ramifications are substantial, in that they eliminate any need for any “greenhouse” explanation as to why the surface temperatures are as observed. No other valid reason appears plausible to explain how the required energy gets into the planetary surfaces, this being especially obvious in regard to the high temperatures measured at the surface of the crust of Venus.

    The paper includes some counter-intuitive concepts which sceptical readers may be tempted to reject out of hand. Physics sometimes has some surprises, and so you are encouraged to read and understand the argument step by step, for it is based on sound physics, and unlocks some mysteries of the Solar System, including core and mantle temperatures, not previously explained in this manner to the best of the author’s knowledge.

    …..

    16. CONCLUSIONS

    When Maxwell and Boltzmann dismissed Loschmidt’s postulate of a gravity gradient they did the world a great disservice, and they contributed to a belief in a non-existent warming by an imaginary radiative greenhouse effect. The subsequent “calls to authority” should be a lesson for all in the scientific world, for this has resulted in an absolute travesty of physics. The greenhouse conjecture will inevitably take its brief place in history as the biggest and most costly mistake ever in the field of human scientific endeavour. Hopefully that will be soon.

    Scientists, be they climatologists, physicist or whatever, need to step outside the square and to adopt a paradigm shift based on, and supported by 21st century science. Dr Hans Jelbring and Roderich Graeff have each made significant contributions which must now be heeded before the mistake is perpetuated by those who now have personal vested interests in maintaining the status quo.

    Climate has in fact been following natural cycles [28] as shown in the Appendix to the author’s paper on Radiated Energy [2] and the world can expect a period of about 500 years of cooling to start within 50 to 200 years from now.

    The Loschmidt gravity-induced thermal gradient is more than enough to explain the proverbial “33 degrees of warming” and in fact the dry adiabatic lapse rate would lead to a mean surface temperature of about 25°C were it not for water vapour and, yes, to a much smaller extent, carbon dioxide reducing the gradient and causing lower base surface temperatures. In the Appendix is an outline of methodology that would almost certainly produce studies which would demonstrate the cooling effect of water in locations around the world.

    Thermal energy can and does “creep” up the very shallow thermal gradients in planetary atmospheres and also in their solid crusts and mantles, supporting sub-surface temperatures. Indeed the physics of “heat creep” resolves the long-term puzzles of planetary core and surface temperatures, and, for this very reason, begs attention and claims validity for this 21st century new paradigm shift in climate change science. [29]

    Doug Cotton
    Sydney


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    Eliza

    Until both Nature and Science fire ALL their “climate science” reviewers, they shall be considered trash journals which contaminates others subjects such as biology


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    Jan

    This is the same M.O. they have been using against the Creationists for decades. The ‘scientists’ say an inanimate object can produce life over millions of years so therefore it must be right. No correspondence allowed.


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    lurker passing through, laughing

    Big science is no more immune to self-absorbed group thinking than is any other group.
    AGW is a symptom of that. The failure of AGW promoters to use statistics correctly has been pointed out more than once.
    Big science has rejected those critiques on a near unanimous basis each time.
    The journals are not immune to self-absorbed group thinking. How many other studies are suppressed or ignored in the last few years because they do not fit the prejudices of the gate keepers?
    How many other areas of science are making the same sorts of fallacies.
    How many people are dying, how much money is being wasted, how many careers falsely advanced or destroyed by this?
    The answer is not likely to be pretty.


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    Philip Shehan

    There are thousands of papers submitted to Science and Nature every year where there is no problem with the science. Even very good papers will be rejected.

    These are the most prestigious scientific journals in the world and a publication in these journals does wonders for a scientists cv, so the submissions far outweigh the number that can be published in each issue.

    Nature and Science therefore reserve their pages for the most groundbreaking articles.

    Yes you can encounter pigheaded prejudice from some reviewers, but I suggest that being able to recommend your mates as sympathetic reviewers who may be in turn sugget you as a reviewer of their paper has its own problems.

    I have not read the article (and I suspect very few here have), but if it is in PNAS it is no doubt wery good, as PNAS is also a highly regarded journal, nor have I seen the referees reports, but with all due respect to the author, genuine “skeptics” should apply that attitude to his claim that the paper was rejected only on the grounds of the referees’ prejudices.


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      Philip Shehan

      I should add that the number of submissions to Nature and Sceince is such that to even get to the stage of being sent to referees, the manuscript must pass a rigorous preliminary culling phase by the editors, so it can hardly be claimed that the editorial staffs of Nature and Science did not consider it worthy of serious consideration.


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      Philip Shehan

      I have now read the paper in question.

      http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/02/07/1222878110.full.pdf+html

      The science is very solid but a number of points need to be made. As the title indicates, it looks at gene responses of human and mouse cells to burns trauma and infection but does not specifically establish whether or how these molecular differences account for the failure of mouse models in the references (8-11) it cites. The fact that the authors cite such references shows that the failure of the mouse models as such is old news.

      Generally it should be noted that contrary to the impression created here, and to some extent stated in the article, problems with the applicability of animal models to humans is well recognized and the avoidance of some species as models for some diseases established practice. In fact referces to articles dealing with this problem, including one published in Nature and dealing with mice specifically appear in the paper itself:

      7. Rice J (2012) Animal models: Not close enough. Nature 484(7393):S9.

      I therefore find the contention of the author that the referees simply did not believe his results possible hard to accept.

      Again, the referees reports and the editors correspondence with the author are not available for examination, but a more likely explanation for Nature and Science suggesting that given that paper is only providing a molecular marker and possible signpost to a problem known to exist, it would be more suited to another journal was that the results, while important, were just not groundbreaking or “revolutionar” enough for the fierce competition for pages in their journals.


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    steve morris

    Science and Nature are non-peer reviewed magazines, i.e.: you do not need your work to be peer reviewed in order to have it published in either magazine. http://libguides.rivier.edu/content.php?pid=104441&sid=2500069 Just another example of the misinformation and outright lies the gang of global-warming deniers spew forth.


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