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The Peer Review Scam: Why not review your own paper?

If you suffer from an uncontrollable urge to claim that peer review is a part of The Scientific Method (that’s you Matthew Bailes, Pro VC of Swinburne), the bad news just keeps on coming.  Now, we can add the terms “Peer Review Rigging” to “Peer-review tampering”, and “Citation Rings”.

Not only do personal biases and self-serving interests mean good papers are slowed for years and rejected for inane reasons, but gibberish gets published, and in some fields most results can’t be replicated. Now we find (is anyone surprised?) that some authors are even reviewing their own work. It’s called Peer-Review-Rigging. When the editor asks for suggestions of reviewers, you provide pseudonyms and bogus emails. The editor sends the review to a gmail type address, you pick it up, and voila, you can pretend to be an independent reviewer.

One researcher, Hyung-In Moon, was doing this to review his own submissions. He was caught because he sent the reviews back in less than 24 hours. Presumably if he’d waiting a week, no one would have noticed.

Nature reports: “THE PEER-REVIEW SCAM”

Authors: Cat Ferguson, Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky are the staff writer and two co-founders, respectively, of Retraction Watch in New York City.

Moon’s was not an isolated case. In the past 2 years, journals have been forced to retract more than 110 papers in at least 6 instances of peer-review rigging. What all these cases had in common was that researchers exploited vulnerabilities in the publishers’ computerized systems to dupe editors into accepting manuscripts, often by doing their own reviews. The cases involved publishing behemoths Elsevier, Springer, Taylor & Francis, SAGE and Wiley, as well as Informa, and they exploited security flaws that — in at least one of the systems — could make researchers vulnerable to even more serious identity theft. “For a piece of software that’s used by hundreds of thousands of academics worldwide, it really is appalling,” says Mark Dingemanse, a linguist at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen,

Even Moon himself thinks the editors should “police the system against people like him”.

“editors are supposed to check they are not from the same institution or co-authors on previous papers.”

That would rule out half the publications in the climate science world.

The worst case involved 130 papers:

….a case that came to light in May 2013, when Ali Nayfeh, then editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vibration
and Control, received some troubling news. An author who had submitted a paper to the journal told Nayfeh that he had received e-mails about it from two people claiming to direct contact with authors, and — strangely —the e-mails came from generic-looking Gmail accounts rather than from the professional institutional accounts that many academics use (see ‘Red flags in review’). Nayfeh alerted SAGE, the company in Thousand Oaks, California, that publishes the journal. The editors there e-mailed both the Gmail addresses provided by the tipster, and the institutional addresses of the authors whose names had been used, asking for proof of identity and a list of their publications. One scientist responded — to say that not only had he not sent the e-mail, but he did not even work in the field.

This sparked a 14-month investigation that  came to involve about 20 people from SAGE’s editorial, legal and production departments. It showed that the Gmail addresses were each linked to accounts with Thomson Reuters’ ScholarOne, a publication-management system used by SAGE and several other publishers, including Informa. Editors were able to track every paper that the person or people behind these accounts had allegedly written or reviewed, says SAGE spokesperson Camille Gamboa. They also checked the wording of reviews, the details of author-nominated reviewers, reference lists and the turnaround time for reviews (in some cases, only a few minutes). This helped the investigators to ferret out further suspicious-looking accounts; they eventually found 130. As they worked through the list, SAGE investigators realized that authors were both reviewing and citing each other at an anomalous rate. Eventually, 60 articles were found to have evidence of peer-review tampering, involvement in the citation ring or both.

Those 60 papers were retracted.

 

Nature, of course, is happy to air problems that mostly apply to its competitors. When will Nature admit that namecalling, and failures of logic and reason are every bit as damaging to science as rank corruption?

Ht to Willie.

 

 

 

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201 comments to The Peer Review Scam: Why not review your own paper?

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    Preposterous! All he had to do was include the phrases “Global Warming” “Climate Change” “worse than we thought” and nominate John Cook and Lewandowsky as reviewers.

    Not only would they recommend publication, but he might pick up a Nobel Peace prize, or at least part of one.

    380

  • #
    Ursus Augustus

    I think it pretty safe to say that ‘science’ publishing has in large part and ‘climate science’ completely and utterly lost the plot and is about where mortgage broking was in asay 2007-8 or so.

    In the bond market scrap is all but called crap, “junk” being the label used. In the mortgage lending market “sub-prime” was the euphemism dreamt up by corrupt scumbags to sugar coat what they were up to.

    ‘Sub Prime Science” should be the generic description for most of ‘climate science’ and similarly flavoured/spun/confected schtuff.

    I don’t know if the Mann’s, Lewandowsky’s, Cook’s et al will actually get the understatement involved but the rest of us will.

    400

  • #
    PeterS

    Peer review is so biased it’s not funny. It’s like having a painting or book being reviewed by ones peers. How is one ever to achieve new and useful results? Papers should be allowed to be published on their own merits and let the readers decide if they are of any value. If not they will be ignored. If they question current thinking then perhaps that will open up new paths to the truth. Also, peer review actually goes against the scientific method.
    I like the following statement made in the corresponding article:

    So we have little evidence on the effectiveness of peer review, but we have considerable evidence on its defects. In addition to being poor at detecting gross defects and almost useless for detecting fraud it is slow, expensive, profligate of academic time, highly subjective, something of a lottery, prone to bias, and easily abused.

    source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1420798/

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    • #
      me@home

      “So we have little evidence on the effectiveness of peer review, but we have considerable evidence on its defects. In addition to being poor at detecting gross defects and almost useless for detecting fraud it is slow, expensive, profligate of academic time, highly subjective, something of a lottery, prone to bias, and easily abused.” And that’s just the best features of peer review. If you’re a crook, of course you want your work reviewed by other crooks. And you would expect the judge to believe them that, unlike them, you are a saint.

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      • #
        me@home

        Having worked in universities at a very senior level for many years, I witnessed close up the waste caused by the proliferation of papers – all of the PR’d – that were totally useless. All that was achieved was diversion of,then.scarce research funds from the genuine to the gamers.

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        • #
          me@home

          Another OOPS. The “.” after “then” should be “,” but I hope you all know that.

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        • #
          RoHa

          Part of the problem is the scramble for jobs and tenure, of course.

          “Publish or Perish” is the way it works . (I’m told that in Canada it is “Publish or Prairies”, which sounds even worse.)

          So quantity rather than quality is the key. Fill up your CV with a list of papers in “quality” journals, or face the awful fate that RoHa suffered.

          The fact that they add not a jot to the sum of human knowledge, that they contain no wisdom, no insights into reality, that they do nothing to stimulate our minds or nourish our souls must not deter you. Churn them out.

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          • #

            Any time a large bureaucracy is involved, rarely is anything added to the sum of human knowledge. There is a commercial about PBS (Public Broadcasting System) that says we need PBS for the arts, for our souls. The truth is the speaker needs PBS because she can’t make a living in the real world. In the real world, knowledge comes from bright, curious, engaged people studying what they love and learning. Art comes from people doing what they are passionate about, not paid to do. Grants and government only crush the human spirit.

            40

      • #
        me@home

        OOPS the first “them” is redundant. Sorry

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      • #
        mike restin

        As a layman I have a different take on the review process.
        I would like peer review to ensure the abstract is complete and accurate and to verify that everything is available and all steps were completed properly.

        1. Was the hypothesis complete and accurately stated?
        2. Was the proposed test method of the hypothesis well stated?
        3. Was the proposed data gathering phase well documented, followed and adequate?
        4. Were standards for data handling well documented, followed and adequate?
        5. Was a “paper” (digital) trail maintained throughout the process?
        6. Were all references provided?
        7. Were all data, codes, programs, procedures and processes provided and followed?
        8. Was all funding and other resource information provided and well documented?
        There are other things I’m sure I missed but…

        If a proper trail is maintained the research could be verified by anyone else in the specific field of interest at anytime after publication.

        imho Peer review should only provide QC to ensure a proper data trail has been maintained allowing future researchers to build on the science.

        Finally, (and I dare say foremost in my mind)
        Publishers are responsible for posting, maintaining and ensuring easy access to all data and information on a dedicated websites for each research project.
        The public own all of the IP rights.
        Research paid for with public funds belongs to the public, including all data, etc.
        If they don’t like the deal they can get GE, Apple or Soros to pay for the research.

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        • #
          mike restin

          Time for Obama to use his pen and phone to get this done for the US taxpayers

          41

          • #

            If Obama uses him pen and phone, it will be to try and give even more money to the global warming crew. Meanwhile, Tom Steyer can hand millions to these charlatans instead of the appropriately identified political charlatans. There’s no election for two years—he can afford it. (I encourage people to insert Tom’s name as often as possible when global warming claims skeptics are the ones with the money.)

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        • #
          John McLean

          A few years ago the UK Parliament had an Inquiry into Peer Review. I made a lengthy submission discussing peer review and recommended that checklists be used. (I figured that the jourbnals would object to and ignore anything that took power from them.) I’m encouraged that at least one journal now uses a checklist system – I know because I was asked to review a paper – and I hope that others are following suit.

          Why a checklist? It should be more a lot more thorough than allowing the reviewer to concentrate on just a few issues and ignore others.

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        • #
          Retired now

          Mike, I would add to my list of requirements:
          Does the title reflect the findings. Is the discussion in line with the findings?

          I’ve read numerous papers where the title and discussion fit with the prevailing meme, though the results did not support them at all. Then the paper is quoted thereafter as supporting the meme when it didn’t. One of my pet hates.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Peer review exists for one purpose only – to protect the reputation of the publication. The Editors cannot be expected to know as much about any subject, as the authors, so they send it to others in the field, to review on their behalf.

      The system worked well, when the authors and reviewers were honest and upright folks, and copies where physically mailed to the reviewers physical address.

      But of course, the internet opens the door to all sorts of scam opportunities, one of which being the regular use of gmail and other anonymous mail servers, rather than your current work address.

      The answer is to do a blame and shame, when any incident occurs, or for a publisher to refuse to publish anything else from any person attempting to subvert the process.

      160

      • #

        I generally skip any business person or business with a gmail address. If the business did not care enough to pay for an email address and at least put up a single page web site, what else did they scrimp on? It just looks extremely tacky. As for why a publisher would have such a low standard that he/she would accept an email address such as gmail or yahoo tells me this is a very naive or cheap publisher.

        One can actually work around the physical address problem by renting a mail box with an address that looks like an apartment, not a mail drop. While it would be more expensive, using a courier might be effective. Still, a creative person can find a way. Let’s just not make it easy for them.

        73

        • #
          JohnM

          In a recent paper I gave a gmail address for two reasons – I’m a part-time PhD candidate and don’t often log into my university account. I was also not prepared to make public the email address I use for private correspondence. I regard my ‘gmail’ address as an expendable public email address that I can easily abandon if I receive too much junk email.

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          • #

            Using a gmail address for the purpose you stated seems fine. It’s when you use the gmail address where you would be needing to also use your credentials (such as reviewing a paper) that using gmail is tacky.

            42

        • #
          the Griss

          Yo Sheri,

          when you start to get 3 or more red thumbs, you KNOW you are on target :-)

          Its also good, because you know some of the alarmist stooges are still reading, and raising their blood pressures. :-)

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    • #
      Lord Jim

      How is one ever to achieve new and useful results? Papers should be allowed to be published on their own merits and let the readers decide if they are of any value.

      The problem being if a journal is open to anyone then no standards of competency are enforced.

      To me competency is all peer review should be – not agreement or approbation – but a simple confirmation that the paper meets a sufficient level of technical competency in the field in which it seeks to make a contribution. This means that even papers that appear to be outright wrong but meet basic standards of competency should be published

      The problem of course is that competency is presently defined not as simple technical competency but as agreement with established norms in the field: i.e. ‘do you agree with catastrophic climate change?” NO, oh, too bad, you can’t be competent to publish in the field because the science is settled’ … yadayadayada…

      102

    • #
      William

      There is more to this whole topic.
      I recall reading some years ago that a study had been done in which it was determined that more than 90% of all published scientific papers were never read by anyone.
      So, despite being “peer reviewed” etc, etc they were a total waste of time and money.
      Maybe a place to start would be to cut all science funding by 90%?
      Think of the housecleaning that would achieve!

      50

    • #
      King Geo

      “The Peer Review Scam: Why not review your own paper?”

      Peer peer me – dear dear me.

      00

  • #
    Bob

    Someone should tell Mr. Greg Combet – I remember how adamant he was about the virtues of PEER REVIEWED Climate science that he and Gillard government relied on bringing the Carbon Tax on us?

    150

  • #
    thingadonta

    Although I’m sympathetic to the idea that ‘peer review’ isn’t absolutely necessary in the scientific method, there does have to be some kind of ‘authorisation’ to publish something in one form or another, and one could further argue that it isn’t the ‘peer review’ method itself which is generally at fault here, but rather its’ proper supervision and oversight.

    If one goes deeper into the peer review process, one could argue, as Kuhn did, that the agenda of what is ‘acceptable knowledge’ is set by the values of those in positions of power at the time. As long as information supports the social hierarchy, it is acceptable, if it doesn’t, it is rejected, unless of course something becomes so bleedingly obvious that one simply can’t ignore it anymore, or the old hierarchy retires.

    In other words, if you are a cynic, the ‘agenda’ for scientific knowledge is set by those in positions of power-academically, politically, economically- or whatever. I think this is the main reason why it becomes difficult to publish something which doesn’t support the ‘orthodoxy’ and easy to publish something which does. One could almost argue that there are valid reasons for this sort of ‘agenda’, (including prioritisation of knowledge and funding) just that some individuals under such a system tend to take things a little too far.

    And on another point, I am one of those people who think the weakness in economic rationalisation and market forces in general is supervision and oversight. Examples include the GFC and the Bush administration’s (and governments prior) nearly total failure to provide even modest funding for supervisory and regulatory agencies like the SEC.

    An example close to home. Why is the current government reducing the number of government tax officers at the same time that multi nationals have steadily increased profits over recent years from illegal offshore tax loopholes? The system will always allow as many ‘opportunistic evaders’ as there is adequate supervision and surveillance. The same goes for peer review.

    In other words, nobody should be surprised that researchers provide fake emails and review their own work, what is surprising is that no one ever seems able to justify employing full time independent professionals in supervisory positions to monitor this kind of thing. The same goes for various forms of white collar crime.

    It is a general weakness of any self -contained socio-economic system that those within it tend to think that even modest surveillance and oversight of such a system is at all necessary. Just ask any academic about setting up any kind of external or internal supervision of their ‘peer review experts’ and see what they think. The standard reply is ‘leave it to the experts’, which is exactly the problem. Like Newton alluded, who exactly is an ‘expert’ in the entire ocean of knowledge before us?

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    • #
      Lord Jim

      Like Newton alluded, who exactly is an ‘expert’ in the entire ocean of knowledge before us?

      A cobbler is an expert shoe maker.

      A blacksmith is an expert iron or steel worker.

      A doctor is an expert at treating pathologies of the human body.

      A climatologist is an expert at predicting the causes and effects of climate change.

      Of course the power of a climatologist to predict the causes and effects of climate change are nothing like the power of a doctor to diagnose and treat human diseases, or the skill of a blacksmith to work iron or the craft of a cobbler to make shoes.

      In fact climatologists have been repeatedly shown to be unable to predict how the climate will change: exhibit A no global warming for 18 years. The reason for this is simple: the field is not settled.

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    • #
      JohnM

      Peer review should only be to check that there’s no glaring errors in science, mathematics or logic that would make a fool of the publisher. That’s the theory anyway, but maybe not the practice. It’s not easy to find a workable, preferably low effort/cost alternative.

      Perhaps one solution would be for the journal to name the reviewers and therefore assign blame (or kudos) for publishing to those individuals. Under this scenario it would even be fine if a PhD supervisor was one such reviewer because their name would be writ large where every reader could see it and if the paper was rubbish it would reflect back on the reviewer.

      50

      • #
        Leonard Lane

        JohnM. I think that is a good thought. Publish names of reviewers. But I would include publishing all data used with verifiable source (or link to all of the data)by the editors and the entire reviewer comments of all “peer” reviewers.

        Another thing that has degraded the review and screening for bad papers is the practice of having 5, 10, or even 15 authors on the first paper, then rotate the order of the top 2 or 3 names on the second paper and third paper. With this method the top 3 or so authors get a first author paper on a project that might only justify a note or short paper by 1 or 2 authors. This practice does three things: 1) It dilutes the value of the papers, 2) it pads the publication record of all the authors, and 3) it increases the citation index for the authors. It may not be exactly fraud, but it is on the edge. Add “pal review” to the 15 author papers and more and more junk is published.
        A good rule of thumb in deciding whether or not it is worth reading is to look first at the title, and second at the number of authors. If the title is non-descriptive, and there are more than 2 or 3 authors–give it a miss.

        30

  • #
    Carbon500

    In any event, ‘peer reviewed’ doesn’t meant that the contents of the paper will stand the test of time as work in a given area continues and new knowledge is acquired.
    ‘Peer review’ is just another term that’s been hijacked by the catastrophic man-made global warming advocates to shore up their beliefs in an effort to gain credibility.

    130

  • #
    Peter Miller

    Isn’t reviewing your own paper taking pal review to a new level?

    Pal review is responsible for so much rubbish being published on supposed man made climate change that people have sadly now come to take it for granted.

    There is so much money sloshing around for ‘research’ into our planet’s climate that grant addiction has become commonplace. So many papers are being published, which nearly always predict dire consequences for our future climate, that pal review has been allowed to flourish. However, these papers all have one additional theme in common: they all recommend the urgent need for more research on their own particular topic, thus ensuring their authors’ comfortable lifestyle.

    Reviewing your own paper is presumably why there are less embarrassed reviewers out there than might be expected when Jo, Steve and Anthony routinely expose these papers’ academic sloppiness, data manipulations and dodgy interpretations.

    60

    • #
      TedM

      “Isn’t reviewing your own paper taking pal review to a new level?”

      Probably the only pal he’s got.

      50

      • #
        RogueElement451

        Let me rephrase that !!
        Doing your own pal review requires onastic skills which are seemingly very prevalent in Hotmosphere Circles.
        PS banned again by The Guardian after , wait for it ,,zero comments! I submitted one in answer to a question , citing the Hockeyshtick blog. Boom , disappeared and banned ,These left wing tree hugging nazis really do not tolerate input which is not pal reviewed or in compliance with their extremely high (as in stinking)moral code. Still I enjoy the banter of fighting with the pack dogs of global catastrophe and its a good learning curve too.
        Everyone should sign up for The Guardian and spend 5 minutes a day poking fun at the brethren , Nutticcello is the pits ,Abrahams is an ass but they allow some comment at least,other ugly looking toadies of the green movement allow zero contradiction ,it is sad that they perceive themselves to be enlightened when they are in fact staring hideously up each others fundamental orifices.

        20

  • #
    Fox From Melbourne

    Peer reviewers should have registration numbers and be registered on some centralized data base. A paper’s peer reviewer numbers should be displayed in any published paper. Their names should not be publicly know or hidden on purpose. This should help clean up the peer review process as someone’s claims of their paper been review by someone that’s independent would be track-able and traceable. Not hidden behind closed doors like it is now. Also if a particular reviewer shows and tenacity to show favorable review’s they will be traceable publicly and could be held to account and the same goes for the current and past papers that they reviewed as well.

    40

  • #
    KinkyKeith

    I think most people will find this topic hard to make comment on.

    It has been so obvious for a long time that there was corruption in the process of reviewing Climate Change papers that the main question we have is : “why is it still going on”?.

    The main observation is that this peer review of Climate Science is running in parallel with some other areas of real science where the reviewing is honest, intense, rigorous and totally above board.

    I wonder what sort of antagonism this sets up within the Universities when two people may get a higher degree of apparent equivalent rating but when truth be known, one is just “climate science” and therefore basically very suspect.

    KK

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  • #
    Timo Soren

    JO, I believe you missed a great opportunity to leave a comment akin to:

    Avon.OJ: Brilliant! Just brilliant, we need more articles like this! Keep up the
    good work JoNova!

    P.S. Those ARE my sentiments, attributed to Avon.OJ

    40

  • #
    pat

    who is reviewing how BOM comes up with these predictions? Channel 9 also has the story, and no doubt the rest of our MSM will carry it, so it’s a win for the CAGW crowd however the Summer turns out:

    27 Nov: Brisbane Times: AAP: Jamie Duncan: Scorching, dry summer for most, BoM warns
    Most Australians are in for a substantially hotter and drier-than-normal summer, the Bureau of Meteorology’s latest seasonal outlook says.
    The bureau’s December to February Climate and Water Outlook predicts warmer-than-normal summer days and nights are more likely for all regions except western WA, southwestern Victoria and Tasmania…
    Most of Victoria and South Australia, eastern and northern WA, the Northern Territory, NSW and all but Queensland’s coastal fringe have at least a 60 per cent chance of a warmer-than-normal summer.
    For Queensland’s interior, northwestern NSW, the NSW coast from the Hunter to the Victorian border, central NT and far northern WA, those odds are above 75 per cent.
    But western WA has a 50 to 70 per cent chance of a cooler summer. It’s also expecting near-average rain…
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/scorching-dry-summer-for-most-bom-warns-20141127-11vesf.html

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    • #
      Bog Cog

      I have been told that an analysis of BOM’s seasonal forecasts show that they have no greater accuracy than guessing. Go and ask a three year old if the the summer is going to be hotter or colder than average and they have the same probability of being right as BOM.

      I once used a seasonal forecast of above average rainfall to help make a decision to apply extra nitrogen to my crops. It barely rained for the rest of the season. Learnt my lesson the expensive way, if they can’t get it reasonably accurate, don’t bother.

      I always thought they must use a dart board and feed the colour, sector and number into a formula to create the seasonal forecast. BOM says it has more accurate models this year, but I think they just took a step closer to the dart board.

      10

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        When I worked in the United States, I was very impressed with the fact that they could give a probability of rain within the next 24 hours, to the nearest 10%.

        I was at a party, one night, and happened to meet a guy who worked for the local weather service, so I told him how impressed I was, and asked how they did it. He said that they could give forecasts of rain to that accuracy, because there were ten guys in the office, and the chief would say, “Hold your hand up, if you think it is going to rain tomorrow?”

        If there are more or less than ten people, then they need to work out the probability using a computer program called, “The Climate Model”.

        Average temperatures are done the same way, I understand.

        10

  • #
    TdeF

    What a surprise! When genuine scientists from other fields with real concerns about the physics, the dependence on computer modelling, the unfounded assumptions, the modification of raw data to suit a theory and assuming the basis of that theory, the extraction of allegedly meaningful trends from what looks like random variation and the complete refusal to admit any other thesis than man made CO2 in an complex global system with thousands of variables and endless unknowns, you have to say it is a closed shop.

    Then you get the frauds claiming to be climate scientists when they are not qualified to be meteorologists or even physical scientists and that certainly includes Al Gore, Tim Flannery and various other opportunists, politicians, economists, journalists and more. The defence for all this nonsense, peer review? So equally incompetent and similarly motivated people with vested interests all agree with each other as self appointed experts that they are right? The sad fact is that there is no need for actual fraud with such peer review as it is worthless.

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  • #
    Bobl

    Er, no, let me clear up your understanding. Peer review is a way for jounals to outsource their editorial responsibility for proof reading to third parties that they hope are better informed than their editors. Nothing more, nothing less. It is not part of the scientific process at all, it is part of the publishing process.

    For the most part peer reviewers won’t check the science at all, but may still comment that it’s crap even though they have not bothered to replicate or even check calculations. Bias or preconceived notions can prevent good work from being published, eg sceptical work in climate science, or allow crap work to be published. Witness for example the claims of global warming melting 300 cubic km of antarctic ice, despite the fact that 5 minutes of simple arithmetic can show that there is insufficient energy in CO2 back radiation to account for the ice loss, confirmation bias, “they support what I think so they must be right”. Reviewers clearly did not do basic checks of compliance to conservation of energy. Peer review is mostly crap, and journals would be better to use editorial review, as they had back in the 19th and early 20th century.

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    • #
      mike restin

      I really don’t believe the review process could nor should dedicate the time and resources necessary to verify the science prior to publication.

      The review process should ensure all materials for retesting and replication of the research are available and reasonable scientific procedures were followed throughout the research.

      Research should be a way of saying “Here’s what I thought. Here’s what I did. Here’s what I learned. My data and materials are here. Prove me wrong.”

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    • #
      The Backslider

      Peer review is a way for jounals to outsource their editorial responsibility for proof reading to third parties that they hope are better informed than their editors. Nothing more, nothing less. It is not part of the scientific process at all, it is part of the publishing process.

      No, you have that wrong. In climate science it means that what was published is fact.

      Just go and ask SkS :-P

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      • #
        the Griss

        This is the arrogance of the “climate change” scientist.

        Peer review is the START of the discussion on a paper, not the end.

        The aim of peer review should be to make sure a paper is “reasonable” and has no major fundamental errors.

        To make sure that the paper is acceptable to put to the general scientific community FOR DISCUSSION. That is why all data, methods etc should be available.

        It amazes me how so many pal-reviewed papers in “climate change science” are presented as fact… THEY ARE NOT.!
        They are just one person’s findings and interpretation of those findings.

        It also amazes when I see so many aspects on the climate change meme using PhD theses as “fact” and being relied upon as the basis for procedures like temperature homogenisation and TOBs adjustments. etc.
        A PhD thesis is the START of someone’s work, not the end. The chances of it actually being 100% correct in any way is remote to say the least. !

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        • #
          JohnM

          Well, yes … I agree. Now tell me where this DISCUSSION takes place in the scientific community and how the interested public can ascertain whether a paper was regarded as correct or rubbish.

          It’s not an easy question to answer, is it? We can’t simply have counts “for” and “against” because that’s no way to determine what’s true. And some ideas might be tested over time so it might take years.

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            You don’t need counts for and against. As I stated above, you need a thorough understanding of the scientific method, the ability to research (as in look for similar papers and repeatability), and the understanding that one study does not make something true (which the news media has yet to grasp). I really don’t find this that difficult. Oh, but what if someone isn’t willing to do this, you ask? We already have that situation—people depend on “authorities” to think for them. That part won’t change in some cases. Many people latch on to one study now and refuse to consider any other possibilties. You can find peer-reviewed studies saying women don’t need all the mammograms and other tests every year, but do they care? No—they want what they want.

            The only solution is to teach people how science is actually supposed to work and beat the politics out of it as much as possible. Maybe we have to have townhall meetings to do it or something, but it’s the only way. (Realistically, we probably have a low chance of success. People are no smarter now than when they reportedly bought radioactive toothpaste for a whiter smile. Technology has not helped. Humans, as noted, want what they want.)

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            the Griss

            Discussion via journal papers, with reply and rebuttal etc, used to be a common thing.

            That is where REAL peer review used to take place.

            Unfortunately the climate brigade have destroyed that by blocking data and discussion on the topic within journals.

            Fortunately, the internet is now available, and trash papers can be readily ripped apart (or discounted as irrelevant if they want to hide the data, code, methods, funders, etc.)

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            gai

            In my line of science (chemistry) someone comes up with something new and until it has bee replicated in at least two other independent labs it is considered interesting speculation.

            Think Cold Fusion and all the fuss.

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          Carbon500

          The poor quality of some so-called climate science is revealed in papers wherein plugging numbers into a computer model is referred to as an ‘experiment’ – a good example of how detached from the real world the catastrophists have become.
          I’d bin any paper that referred to playing games with computer numbers as an ‘experiment’!

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    pat

    bobl says “journals would be better to use editorial review” -

    when the likes of publishing “behemoth” Reed Elsevier control so many journals, yet have serious conflicts of interest when it comes to CAGW, i doubt that would be an improvement.

    this Elsevier statement appeared on a couple of blogs over the years. the Elsevier link still works, but u get “Sorry, the page you are looking for cannot be found”:

    2012: AustralianClimateMadness: comment by Baldrick:
    The ‘scientific’ journal New Scientist is published by a company by the name of Reed Elsevier, of which Elsevier is a subsidiary company.
    Elsevier proudly boasts on it’s website:
    “We are also proud to announce that many Elsevier Editors and Editorial Board members have served significant roles as authors and reviewers for the 2007 and three previous IPCC reports conducted since 1990. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC, is an Editorial Board Member of (our) Energy Policy and an Associate Editor for the Encylopedia of Energy.”
    So if you think your reading some independent ‘scientific’ journal, remember it has deep links to the IPCC, the purveyor of all things alarmist!
    http://australianclimatemadness.com/2012/02/23/new-scientist-wants-indoctrination-not-balance-in-climate-education/

    following is the Blog of Professor Rob Elliott, an academic economist, with an interest in all things international and environmental…currently a Professor of International and Environmental Economics at the University of Birmingham.

    again, the Elsevier link he includes opens, but you get “Sorry, the page you are looking for cannot be found”; however, Elliott lists the articles (by Will Steffen, Rajendra Pachauri, etc):

    Jan 2008: Globalisation and the Environment Blog: IPCC member articles for free from Elsevier
    From the inbox”
    Click the links for the free access (too lazy to add the live links here).
    Elsevier: We are also proud to announce that many Elsevier Editors and Editorial Board members have served significant roles as authors and reviewers for the 2007 and three previous IPCC reports conducted since 1990. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC, is an Editorial Board Member of Energy Policy and an Associate Editor for the Encylopedia of Energy. View Dr. Pachauri’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech.
    In recognition of the importance of the work of the IPCC, we are pleased to offer free access to selected articles on climate change written by members of the IPCC and published by Elsevier:
    IPCC articles.
    Articles regarding the IPCC
    http://globalisation-and-the-environment.blogspot.com.au/2008/01/ipcc-member-articles-for-free-from.html

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      JohnM

      It’s just as bad with Journal of Climate. Go to its web site and take a look at the list of editors, then take a look at the authors of the “attribution” chapters of IPCC 4AR and 5AR. IIRC the journal editors include Gabi Hegerl, Peter Stott and (I think … I did say IIRC) Frank Zwiers.

      Bias can come in all (50?) shades of grey from the very blatant, to the editor knowing what an authors means even if they didn’t explicitly say it.

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    Melissa

    A good piece in online opinion recently by Mark Poynter points out the flawed basis of ANU scientists research on carbon emissions. Poynter gives some great examples of the way environmental organisations flood the media with ‘research breakthroughs’ which by the time they have been proved wrong are already accepted as truth by the public. He also draws attention to the peer review process and how unsubstantiated and incorrect assumptions from one publication are subsequently quoted in further publications.
    source

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    pat

    more Reed Elsevier:

    in jo’s previous thread (how to save billions…), i posted a link to business spectator’s anti-coal article, “Citi doubts coal’s ‘energy poverty’ claim”, with Citi’s Elaine Prior making politically-charged statements, including “we suspect that Australia will revert to carbon pricing eventually, perhaps under different political leadership”. Fairfax and The Australian also carried the story:

    Coal not the panacea for poverty
    Sydney Morning Herald‎ – 1 day ago

    Coal not the panacea for developing world’s energy needs
    The Age-25 Nov 2014

    Outlook for coal dubious, says Citi
    The Australian-24 Nov 2014

    i also posted excerpts from a Reed Exhibitions Australia website, re Australia’s Sustainability in Business Conference & Exhibition: 7-8 October 2015, Melbourne, for which Elaine Prior is listed as a contributor. nowhere on the website does Reed Exhibitions Australia clarify that they are a division of the giant Reed Elsevier which, of course, they are.

    link to the Sustainability Conference to see the sponsors and the CAGW agenda:

    Reed Exhibitions Australia: Events:
    Australian Sustainability Conference & Exhibition
    Australian Sustainability is an innovative new event dedicated to improving the sustainability of Australian Businesses. Combining a diverse exhibition with an interactive multi-streamed conference and seminar program, Australian Sustainability is at the heart of practical, cost effective and sustainable solutions for business.

    All Energy Australia
    All-Energy Australia is an annual, free-to-delegate, business-to-business conference and networking forum hosted alongside an impressive exhibition showcasing renewable energy, clean energy, sustainable transport and energy efficiency.
    http://www.reedexhibitions.com.au/en/events/

    Wikipedia: Reed Elsevier
    (right column) Subsidiaries, includes Reed Exhibitions
    read the sections headed: Controversy, Charging for and mislabelling Open Access material, Action against academics posting their own articles online, Privacy and Defence exhibitions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reed_Elsevier_plc

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      mike restin

      Coal not the panacea for poverty
      Sydney Morning Herald‎ – 1 day ago

      Coal not the panacea for developing world’s energy needs
      The Age-25 Nov 2014

      Outlook for coal dubious, says Citi
      The Australian-24 Nov 2014
      —————————————————-
      Someone needs to warn China and India of their misconceptions about coal.

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    pat

    who needs peer/pal review, when u have the entire MSM doing your bidding?

    27 Nov: UK Telegraph: Deadly future heatwaves could kill thousands in Britain, warn scientists
    Britain will experience three times as many heatwaves as it does now by 2100
    By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
    Today’s children will face deadly heatwaves which could kill thousands more people by the end of the century, the Royal Society has warned…
    Around 2,000 people die each year in the UK because of hot weather, with the elderly at most risk. But that could rise to at least 6,000 in the next century and probably higher because the percentage of over-65s is rising dramatically.
    There will also be three times as many floods annually and twice as many droughts, the Royal Society predicts in its new report ‘Resilience to Extreme Weather’ which was published on Thursday…
    Professor Georgina Mace, Chair of the working group for the report said: “We are not resilient to the extremes of weather that we experience now and many people are already extremely vulnerable…
    “By acting now we can reduce the serious risks for our children and grandchildren.”…
    Scientists adopted a “worst case” scenario by assuming an increase in average temperatures around the world of 2.6 – 4.8C by 2100.
    But global warming is on course to reach this level unless governments agree to a meaningful strategy for cutting greenhouse gas emissions at critical talks next year.
    The researchers defined a heatwave as a run of five days during which night-time temperatures are at least 5C above the norm…
    Co-author Rowan Douglas, chairman of the Willis Research Network – which advises public and private institutions on risk, said it was important that city planners also factor in the increased likelihood of extreme weather events…
    The report did not look at wind damage, which poses the greatest potential risk to property in the UK.
    Prof Joanna Haigh, Professor of Atmospheric Physics and Co-Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and Environment, Imperial College London, said:
    “Following widely-reported projections of global mean temperature rise this report spells out very clearly the potential impact of climate change on the lives of real people across the globe…
    Prof Andrew Watkinson, Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA), added:“This timely report reminds us that extreme weather events affect us all, that we are not as resilient to current extreme events as we could be and that the nature of extreme events is likely to change in the future.”
    Dr Grant Allen, Atmospheric physicist at the University of Manchester, said: “One thing is for sure – what once was an extreme weather event will become more normal. It is essentially a widening of the weather spectrum: more frequent floods, droughts, heatwaves and hurricanes.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/11256139/Deadly-future-heatwaves-could-kill-thousands-in-Britain-warn-scientists.html

    27 Nov: UK Daily Mail: Ben Spencer: Earth must brace itself for a rise in extreme weather: Heatwaves, floods and droughts to become more common, warns report
    Professor Peter Cox, from the University of Exeter – one of the authors of the Royal Society report, said: ‘We measure exposure to individuals. That goes up because of more extreme events and because the size of the vulnerable population increases.
    ‘Climate change increases the risk to people by a factor of two or three and population change multiplies that by at least 1.5 and up to four times in the case of heatwaves.’ …
    The report was welcomed by climate scientists and green groups, who said it is a wake-up call to governments around the world…
    Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole said: ‘As the anniversary of Britain’s wettest winter ever approaches, this Royal Society report is a timely wake-up call for politicians to get serious about protecting the country from climate change…
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2850671/Heatwaves-floods-droughts-common-warns-report.html

    Risk from extreme weather set to rise
    BBC News-10 hours ago

    Elderly at risk from extreme weather
    The Times (subscription)-11 hours ago

    UK weather: Britain left ‘exposed’ to more floods and heatwaves
    The Independent-23 Nov 2014

    Ageing population will compound deadly effects of heatwaves caused by climate …
    The Guardian – ‎12 hours ago‎

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      ianl8888

      The basic reason for a sudden increase in “climatic armageddon” stories in the UK media is the high probability of chaotic power grid losses in the next 3 months of NH winter

      The populace has to be convinced that bearing all the pain is the noble thing to do

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      saveenergy

      1 _ Yet another bit of ‘scary’ junk research !!…the results of computer muddling not facts. _

      ( “An estimated 2,000 British deaths were attributed to the warmest summer for 500 years in 2003” );Last year, only 760 people reportedly died in England during the July heatwave,

      Whereas an estimated 31,100 excess winter deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2012/13 – a 29% increase compared with the previous winter –
      http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health2/excess-winter-mortality-in-england-and-wales/2012-13–provisional–and-2011-12–final-/stb-ewm-12-13.html .

      Cold kills more people than heat; _ Why do you think that the greatest plant & animal diversity & most people are in warm/hot countries ???

      IF we have an increase of 2°C that will get us back to the temperatures enjoyed in the medieval warm period ( a time of abundance, increased civilization, & relative peace). If we get the “worst case” scenario of 2.6 – 4.8C by 2100, that will put us in the same range we had when the Romans were here.

      If you want to know the future read history.

      The authors need to do proper research instead of producing ‘required results’ that guarantee the next grant.

      Oh & by the way, just because we are an ageing population doesn’t mean we’re dense!!

      The weather is not getting worse, http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/climatic-phenomena-pages/extreme-weather-page/ If you look at data it’s remarkably static with a slight trend to a quiet cooling phase (Lets hope that’s just a short blip).
      • Antarctic ice is at record high levels, the Arctic polar bear population is growing, and there have been fewer hurricanes and tornadoes, not more (despite Al Gore’s predictions).
      I note that the IPCC, using Met Office data, http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/global-warming-pause-started-in-1995-says-statistics-paper.html acknowledge the pause in global warming dates back to 1995….some 18+yrs ago.

      When we’ve learned to control Sun cycles, Planetary movements, Tectonic plate movements, Volcanoes, oh & Gravity, …..only then can we have a go at changing the climate !!

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    At least they have reviewers. Sometimes sceptics can produce things and no one says a word. For example here is my latest simple model of the atmosphere.

    Simplified atmospheric model

    Here’s something that seems to suggest the effect of CO2 would be about 1/30 of what the IPCC say:
    Cloud feedbacks

    Here’s another:
    Some thoughts on greenhouse warming

    Here’s my “one molecule atmosphere” … which so far only my daughter has objected to:
    A scientist’s guide to greenhouse warming.

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      There’s so much math in your post people are toast before they get to the one molecule atmosphere! A clever trick to root out all those who just follow proclamations, I assume! :)

      I did like in the comment section where your daughter asked how many molecules there actually were—I have often wondered myself.

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    Hwaiye

    And yet JNova ironically fails to realise or acknowledge the real reason for published rubbish – the ‘Publish or Perish’ model which revolves around academic journal’s rejection of non-significant results and commercially-funded studies getting covered up by the financiers if the results don’t go their way.

    In short, market failures – private industry demands exciting results, and the right results – and that goes completely counter to the way the scientific method should work. The obvious and only answer, of course, is to remove the conflict of interest and increase public finding for science.

    Of course, Jo and her band of free-market fundamentalist ideologues cannot accept the existence of private market failures and moral hazards – it can only be wrong id it’s da evil gubmint!

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      You’re right about publish or perish. But I beg to differ about private industry. I worked for many years where it wasn’t exciting results that were demanded but efforts leading to products a prospective customer would pay for voluntarily. When the funding is there automatically and the research is paid for regardless of what it ultimately produces, that’s when you have the rubbish being published.

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        Robert

        Agreed, private industry could care less about whether something is exciting or, generally speaking, politically correct. What private industry cares about is being able to stay competitive with products that people want and will be willing to spend their money on.

        Quality usually goes down as part of trying to remain competitive because someone else is making a cheaper version of your product. But customers still have the choice to pay for the cheaper product and it’s lack of quality, or your product which may have had to change to reduce costs, may still cost a bit more, but is still better than your competitors.

        When the government gets involved with mandates, legislation, fear campaigns, or whatever to force customers to buy and use a particular product or service you can be fairly certain there never was any quality in it to begin with. Why would there be when the customer can no longer choose between product A which is crap and product B which is reliable.

        Reliability and quality cost, when you know you have customers because the government has forced them to be your customers why spend the money on quality or reliability? You won’t lose customers to a competitor when the government has made you the only option.

        Private market fails because whatever they are selling is crap, or because the government gets involved. Hwaiye hasn’t any idea what he or she is talking about as should be evidenced by the fact that he or she had to resort to calling us “free market fundamentalist ideologues.”

        First clue to you Hwaiye, when you don’t want your audience to consider you to be a brainwashed product of a poor education system one shouldn’t start off by stereotyping your audience with typical liberal propaganda.

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      James Bradley

      Hawaiye,

      Beg to differ.

      Private industry demands profits.

      Global Warming Scientists demand grants.

      Governments demand votes.

      Voting public demand truth.

      It’s always the public that gets screwed.

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      • #
        FarmerDoug2

        Voting public demand truth.

        Suspect that is where it’s gone wrong. We don’t anymore. “Public” has gotten used to spin, half truths, even lies.
        It is to hard to care anymore. Easier to just let them go.

        Doug

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        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          I agree that the “Public” have gotten used to spin, half truths, and lies.

          But they have gotten used to them, in the sense that they are always there. But that doesn’t mean that they are believed. If anything your average Jo Public is more savvy now, than they were ten years ago.

          Governments and propagandists always overestimate their own cleverness, and underestimate the collective native intelligence of the population in general.

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      KinkyKeith

      Hwaiye

      Do you wear an eyepatch on one eye?

      Certainly there are all sorts of commercial predators after our tax money.

      One example is the Pharmaceutical mob who with very poor data manage to get “approval” to sell SSRIs – Antidepressants.

      On the other hand there are those who want Global warming to be True so they can get at money to build and install (but not maintain or guarantee to actually work) wind turbines alongside the many “academics” after the same rainbow.

      Lets look at issues, not ideologue drama.

      KK

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      Leonard Lane

      Hwaiye, it is hard to decide where to start. First, why start by smearing Jo, and then smear her again at the end of your post?
      And, your pro-big government statements vs. private enterprise research has no basis in any facts that you might have given, so the reader has no way to judge the validity of your claims.
      I guess that’s enough.

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      Chesterdude

      Hwaiye,

      I’m with you there brother.

      Obviously your post is a collaborative effort peer reveiwed by the climate change continuity editors to ensure your post has the most impact.

      Your response is a perfect example of why the results of the peer review process work.

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    Andrew McRae

    I don’t want to spoil the plot of Interstellar, so I won’t point out how a pivotal action of one of the main characters has a vague similarity to one of the infamous actions of a certain well known climate scientist.

    Of course that character received perfect peer review… up until his misdeeds were discovered. Oddly enough he was also found out by the deliberate leaking of an office communications backup.

    Part of me wants to believe Christopher Nolan put a vague reference to the climate debate in his movie, but that’s so far fetched it’s even more unbelievable than the plot of Interstellar.

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      Roy Hogue

      I’ve not seen Interstellar yet but my first thought upon seeing the trailer on my TV screen was, “climate change.”

      It’s getting rave reviews and we intend to see it next week on the strength of those reviews. But it’s already obvious that the whole thing is a giant fantasy on a par with any other space epic. I hope it’s well done and at least good entertainment so I don’t feel cheated by paying the price of a ticket. I can enjoy anything with good characters, like NCIS, even if it’s an outlandish fantasy compared with reality. But absent good characters even a good plot falls flat.

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        Andrew McRae

        my first thought upon seeing the trailer on my TV screen was, “climate change.”

        Same here.
        To a first degree, the cause of humanity’s malaise in the movie is explicitly not climate change, it’s a (fungal??) “blight” that is killing all the crops. I do not recall any character saying that climate was an accelerant or was in any way related. One farmer also mentions a drought, but that’s all. So you can see Interstellar knowing that climate nonsense will not be a part of it.

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    Roy Hogue

    Shades of climategate again. How am I not surprised? Let me count the ways – 1, 2, 3, 4,… …1,000, 1,001,…

    When the incentive and the ability to cheat are both there, then they cheat. We need a way to remove the incentive and the ability. But I’ve no clear idea how to do either one and I think the science world will have to clean up its house from the inside or nothing will change.

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    Tim

    Last chance desperation to get on board as the gravy train leaves the station.

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    rabbit

    The peer review process can and should be improved for many journals.

    But having said, what are the alternatives to peer review? Papers must be reviewed before publication to ensure they meet at least minimum standards. How is that to be done?

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    • #

      It would not have to be done if schools actually taught scientific methods to students. The first thing I do when I find a new theory is look for independent reportings of said theory. Then I read through the report to see if the usual standards for research were followed—the ones I was taught in high school. Then I research other’s ideas about the paper. I may ask questions on a blog or wherever to help clarify. The most important step in the process that has been virtually eliminated is replicating the study. If only one researcher came up with and lays claim to the theory, there is no way to know if it’s valid or not, even with peer-review.

      Education is the way you eliminate the need for peer-review.

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        rabbit

        I disagree. I have never yet peer reviewed a paper that could not benefit from an experienced pair of eyes, no matter how good the authors. Sometimes the suggestions are minor, such as tightening up the prose, but there are always some way to improve it.

        Further, journal editors will always need advice on the suitability of a paper, for they can not be experts in every aspect of the journal’s prevue.

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          Rereke Whakaaro

          Sometimes the suggestions are minor, such as tightening up the prose …

          So peer review is the arbiter of English prose? Do we take Oxford as our reference? Or Collins? Or Webster?

          And exactly how do you define, “suitability of a paper”? Suitable, by who’s standards?

          The point of peer review is that results from experiments must be independently reproducible, and observations made should be independently verifiable. This prattle about “tightening up the prose”, is no more than a smoke screen to divert attention from the fact that, in climate science, the raw data and methods are never released for review by anybody outside of the small group of peer researchers.

          I think the science of phrenology was the last time that particular trick to hide a decline in standards was used.

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            rabbit

            So peer review is the arbiter of English prose? Do we take Oxford as our reference? Or Collins? Or Webster? And exactly how do you define, “suitability of a paper”? Suitable, by who’s standards?

            I can see you’ve never done peer review. The native language of most authors is not English. Mine is. That puts me in a good position to recommend improvements in the language. At any rate, a peer reviewer can only recommend changes, not demand them. The authors are free to ignore my suggestions before resubmitting, although they rarely do. Sometimes the English is so poor I have to recommend that the authors get an English technical writer to edit their paper from top to bottom and resubmit.

            The point of peer review is that results from experiments must be independently reproducible, and observations made should be independently verifiable.

            There are many reasons for doing peer review. Ensuring that the paper is a sound and novel contribution to the science. Ensuring that the paper has a sound structure and follows the norms of scientific writing. Pointing out parts that are ambiguous, vague, or unclear. Pointing out other pertinent work that the authors do not seem aware of. Flagging poorly reasoned arguments or conclusions that are not well supported. Ensuring the diagrams are clear and properly annotated. Finding errors in referencing. Advising the editors on the quality and suitability of the paper. And yes, improving the writing.

            How easy it would be to reproduce the work and whether the data is available to all is a complicated issue, and depends in part on the standards of the journal. Some “experiments” are really scientific measurements of nature and are not reproducible. If the journal does not insist on complete and easy reproducibility, than neither can the reviewers.

            This prattle about “tightening up the prose”

            Keep it polite. That’s not a suggestion.

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            • #
              Rereke Whakaaro

              Keep it polite. That’s not a suggestion.

              Oh really? Seriously? You would threaten me, on somebody else’s blog? What sanction do you have? Will you raise your hand, and say, “Jo, this nasty Rereke person is being rude to me, (sob) (sob)?

              You focus on that phrase, in particular, to draw attention away from the rest of my sentence, which was, “… no more than a smoke screen to divert attention from the fact that, in climate science, the raw data and methods are never released for review by anybody outside of the small group of peer researchers”.

              Now before you continue with your childish tantrum (and I am being polite here), could you answer that specific point?

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                rabbit

                “could you answer that specific point?”

                No, I won’t be responding to you ever again. Go have a discussion with yourself.

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              • #

                Rereke: Rabbit has clearly indicated that he cannot answer your question. I believe that’s all we need know.

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                Rereke Whakaaro

                Indeed, Sheri.

                Even though Rabbit will never, “… be responding to me ever again …” ;-) , there is one final point I would like to make:

                Albert Einstein published more than 300 journal articles between 1901 and 1955, with most appearing in 1905. Only one of his papers (jointly authored with Nathan Rosen) was ever peer reviewed, and that was on the subject of gravitational waves. It was submitted to the journal Physical Review, in 1936, and was rejected, on the basis that, “… an independent reviewer raises serious doubts regarding the conclusions drawn …”. Einstein was livid about this, and never published in Physical Review again.

                So the peer review process was a rarity in the 1930′s, and still wasn’t widely used, even in the mid 1950′s. At that time, people published their findings, and then their peers published counter findings and that is how science then progressed.

                Formalised, publisher-directed peer review is a relatively new idea, and is still is not universal, especially in areas where there could be implications for national security.

                For the record, Einstein’s ideas about gravitational waves have been demonstrated to be wrong, so the peer review was probably correct. As they say, you can’t win them all.

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          the Griss

          “such as tightening up the prose”

          That’s called PROOF READING, not peer-review. !!

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        Roy Hogue

        Education is the way you eliminate the need for peer-review.

        Sheri,

        I don’t disagree. But it seems more like the intended audience needs the education than does the writer. And that’s a whole lot larger problem domain to work with. Or do I misunderstand you?

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          rabbit

          Proof reading is part of peer review, although obviously not all of it. Someone has to do it, and it’s best done by people who understand what the authors are (probably) trying to say.

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          • #

            Rabbit: “understand what the authors are (probably) trying to say.”

            So the peer-reviewers also inject their own interpretation into the paper? Wow, that explains a lot.

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              rabbit

              So the peer-reviewers also inject their own interpretation into the paper? Wow, that explains a lot.

              This is getting silly and pedantic. I am simply pointing out that peer reviewers have a better chance than just proof readers to understand what the authors were likely trying to say when the writing becomes garbled, vague, or ambiguous. They can then recommend improvements, which the authors are not obliged to accept if they disagree.

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              • #

                Okay, Rabbit, I get your point. However, in my experience, the most benefit comes from people who do not understand and anticipate ideas. Someone who has a basic understanding of science and who can ask intelligent questions. It’s a matter of familiarity. A peer reviewer may actually read into the paper what he believes to be true thinking he and the writer would agree. He may even read what he thinks should be there, and not what really is. It’s like proof-reading. If your language is English and you proof-read English language papers, often you read past errors because your brain fills in what should be there. However, If you are proof-reading in a language that you have less familiarity with, you have to concentrate on what is being written and cannot anticipate. While a “non-peer” reviewer may not be able to recommend improvements, his questions might prod the writer into thinking more about his findings. Ideally, you could use one person in the field to look for glaring errors that only someone in the field would recognize, and one or two reviewers with a good understanding of science who can ask questions and hopefully help clarify ideas.

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                Rereke Whakaaro

                The reviewer of Einstein’s paper, on Gravitational Waves, that I mention in comment 22.1.1.3, was actually following the original hypothesis, through its mathematical development, to see if they came to the same conclusion that Einstein arrived at. They could not, and so Einstein’s paper was rejected.

                This was, and is, what peer review is supposed to do, and it is certainly the way that I do peer review within my speciality, and it is the way I am reviewed.

                Differences of approach may be the result of garbled, vague, or ambiguous, wording. But it is not my role, as a reviewer, to correct, or modify, or improve, the use of language – that is the Editor’s business. As far as I am concerned, the paper must stand or fall on its own scientific merits.

                At the point where I feel the need to make suggestions or recommend improvements, I have lost my impartiality. No wonder a lot of science today, is little more than group-think, and agreement by a show of hands.

                You do not need to respond. I would not wish you to impinge upon your integrity.

                10

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            Rereke Whakaaro

            Sheri,

            I am glad the Scientific Badger has raised its head again – I didn’t realise how much it had been missed.

            00

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    Richo

    I would suggest publish without review and let the public or peers decide whether the research has any worthiness. After all peer review is suppose to be about your peers watching your six by picking up howlers prior to publication so that you don’t look like a total goose.

    10

    • #
      the Griss

      “picking up howlers prior to publication so that you don’t look like a total goose.”

      Hasn’t worked too well for the climate scientists, has it !! :-)

      52

    • #
      JohnM

      No it’s not. No-one cares whether you look a goose. It’s the journals and their editors who don’t want to.

      Peer-review is basically a “snaity check” on an article, editors farming responsibility out to supposed academic peers of the author because they, thed editors, don’t know enough about the subject to make the call for themselves.

      10

      • #
        the Griss

        “Peer-review is basically a “sanity check” on an article”

        Yet Lewindowsky’s and John Cook’s work gets through peer-review.

        There’s not much sanity in that stuff !!

        32

      • #
        Richo

        Hi John
        You need a peer review of your spelling and grammar.

        10

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          Why? The intent of John’s sentiment got through. Information was exchanged as a result, and has been added to the recipients store of knowledge. The fact that it has the odd spelling error, and occasional grammatical participle misconjunction is surely immaterial.

          30

  • #
    Sean McHugh

    The supposed plight of the polar bears has become iconic to the Global Warming movement. A paper, by Monnett and Gleason, was pivotal to this becoming so. When their kindergarten submission was ridiculed by anonymous reviewers, they nominated their mates and Monnett’s wife as the reviewers. Obscuring this was assisted by Monnett’s wife using a different surname. I have written a comprehensive critique on their work and the reviewing process here:

    http://w11.zetaboards.com/Sky_dragon/topic/7628532/1/

    30

  • #
    George McFly......I'm your density

    Jo, following on from the comments above of Ursus Augustus, November 27, 2014 at 5:34 pm:

    I think the term ‘Sub Prime Science” is very good and I might start using this when trying to explain how the whole “science” behind “global warming” has become corrupted

    20

  • #
    Neville

    A new study finds evidence that the sun may have controlled earth’s climate over the last 10,000 years.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/new-paper-finds-strong-evidence-sun-has.html

    30

  • #
    TdeF

    History will show Man made Global Warming was political science and opportunism coupled with a licence for governments, banks and industrialists to print huge amounts of money. This could only work in times of relative peace between wars and play on people’s fears. The history of mankind is a war every new generation and it has been that way forever. Thanks to the insane position of mutually assured destruction, the wars we have seen since WWII have been proxies between super powers and the fragile peace a fertile ground for Monckton’s Profiteers of Doom. The phrase ‘the Science is in’ was absurd and will vanish. It was all a political invention of the communists who took over the Green movement and so captured the middle ground of the aspirational young and families and the perpetually scared. Doomsayers have always done that and prospered for it. That we made one Australian of the Year still rankles.

    30

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    • #
      the Griss

      I have been saying this for ages.

      Its good to see that someone as eminent and as sensible as Patrick Moore, agrees with me! :-)

      Towards 700+ppm

      41

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Griss, you are not breathing out enough. Do us all a favour, and breathe out twice as often as you breathe in.

        00

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    Ian Wilson

    Peer-review, when it is done properly, is a very valid way of filtering out papers that are substandard in quality or scientifically (i.e. logically) flawed. That said, I have found the there are many occasions where the peer-review process has been totally abused by those who control it.

    Having published and reviewed a modest number of scientific papers in the fields of Astronomy and Climate Science, I have personally seen multiple examples of each of the following:

    1. Referees rejecting a paper before they have read the whole abstract, without evening attempting to look at the authors arguments and/or results. They generally do this out of fear that will credence to an idea that many of their peers and colleagues have already rejected on the grounds of established authority. In the case of climate science, the authority is often based upon the referee’s political beliefs rather than any form of scientific logic. In the case of astronomy, the authority is usually the currently fashionable paradigm.

    2. Journals after journal that only employ referees who are full supporters of the current dogma that passes as “settled” science. These referee’s often see themselves as gatekeepers whose job it is to repel scientific heathens from the parapets of the established order.

    3. Editors, who are too frightened to even consider the possibility that there might be an alternative view to the current paradigm in their field.

    All of this leads to a system that goes out of its way to stifle new ideas and, God forbid, thinking outside the box.

    30

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Let us not forget that the Journals are commercial enterprises. Ideally, they only want to publish seminal papers that people will want to buy, and reference repeatedly, over the coming years.

      From that point of view, it is obvious that they will always follow the money.

      00

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    FIN

    And yet despite the fact that you consider peer review easy to circumvent you still fail to publish a single paper refuting the established science of climate change. Once again, speaks volumes.

    110

    • #

      Why would anyone want to publish in a peer-reviewed journal if they consider peer review easy to circumvent. That’s just stupid. People don’t try to publish in journals that are compromised unless they just want brownie points and care nothing about the truth. Your comment does speak volumes, but the ones you apparently think it does.

      50

      • #
        FIN

        So Sheri, does that mean you just shot Nova’s argument in the ass?

        19

        • #
          Truthseeker

          So FIN, these 1350+ peer reviewed papers that show the science isn’t settled dont count … is that it?

          http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

          60

          • #
            FIN

            I didn’t think science was about consensus? Have you guys changed your minds?

            17

            • #
              the Griss

              Gees you are a putz !!!

              There’s some stuff for you to read.

              Wake the **** up and read some of it,

              ….instead of the childish comments with the continual slimy, ignorant, innuendo.

              52

              • #
                FIN

                Griss are you being abusive again? There is help for that you know.

                27

              • #
                Robert

                No, he’s just not intelligent enough to come up with an argument. All one needs to do is search for his comments where it is readily apparent that the only thing he knows how to do is repeat the same thing over and over and over.

                Incapable of thinking, not just for him self, but at all.

                31

              • #
                the Griss

                No, not overly, just in response to your posts.

                Those posts have a decidedly nasty streak to them.

                So stop complaining when someone kicks back. !!

                42

              • #
                the Griss

                Robert, I hope that was aimed at Fin. ;-)

                10

              • #
                Robert

                Griss, yes my comment 30.1.1.1.2 @ 2:50pm was describing Fin.

                Same regurgitated comments in every thread we find him on. No original thoughts whatsoever. Makes a habit of being snide, rude, and abusive himself but whines like a stuck pig if someone treats him the way he treats others.

                He really is a complete waste of oxygen.

                41

            • #
              Truthseeker

              So FIN, you criticise us for not quoting peer reviewed papers and then criticise us when we do.

              This is the normal complete hypocrisy of the alarmists.

              It must be nice not having logic to cloud your dogma …

              20

            • #

              FIN: Listing papers to read is not the same as saying there is a consensus. Looks like you stopped reading before “show the science isn’t settled”.

              30

        • #

          I don’t see how. I read that peer-review is corrupt. Did I miss something? “The Peer Review Scam: Why not review your own paper?” does not sound like an endorsement of the practice to me. Thus, why would any respectable scientist want to be part of it?

          40

        • #
          the Griss

          Fin, you are a childish twerp.

          There are MANY articles out there, if you ever bothered reading them.

          They are on a thing called “The INTERNET”

          And they are there FOR DISCUSSION, and they are discussed.

          and DISCUSSED OPENLY…..

          Try that on a climate so-called science alarmist site.

          Nope.. they want to HIDE their work, because they KNOW it is flawed.

          Here is one place, just for you to start with, paper after paper….

          Go there, and discuss science. !!!

          53

          • #
            the Griss

            wow.. that upset the red thumbers.

            Sweeeeet ! :-)

            40

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            FIN

            Oh the irony of you suggesting the science is not being discussed. And then you link to a site that’s banging on about a “pause” when 2014 is odds-on to be the hottest on record. Ever get the feeling you’re on the wrong side of history?

            06

            • #
              the Griss

              “when 2014 is odds-on to be the hottest on record.”

              Bollocks!

              Where do you get suck tripe from ???????

              Have you seen the latest temperatures in USA and Russia?

              Its going to take a MONUMENTAL DATA FUDGE to be the hottest ever, even after the massive cooling of the past temperature data.

              30

              • #
                Robert

                Okay, so I’ll admit to losing January and part of February as my database went belly up and I hadn’t made a backup.

                That being said, for my area:

                For 2014 the number of days where the MIN was less than or equal to 0 so far: 9
                For 2014 the number of days where the MIN was less than or equal to 32 so far: 79
                For 2014 the number of days where the MAX was less than or equal to 32 so far: 35

                finally:

                For 2014 the number of days where the MAX was greater than or equal to 90 so far: 0

                Now granted Fin could argue that here in MN we had multiple days above 90 in January and the part of February that I lost data for but it would just make him look like a bigger fool than he already looks like.

                I suspect the numbers for MAX less than or equal to 32, and MIN less than or equal 32 to or MIN less than or equal to 0 will go up slightly since we still have a bit of November to get through and all of December.

                I also remember that the same stats table from last year had somewhere around 9 or so days where MAX was greater than or equal to 90.

                So if MAX temps for last year exceeded MAX temps for this year how exactly is it again that this year is “odds-on to be the hottest on record?” That implies that it was hotter than last year and the numbers don’t support it.

                I expect his only response will be the “that’s just weather not climate” b.s. or that it was hotter everywhere else, or try to claim that the “global averages” support it when the trends I recorded here were not exclusive to my area and “global averages” are just mathematical game playing to impress nitwits like him. Especially when the raw data doesn’t average out they way he thinks it does.

                20

            • #
              the Griss

              And really, unless you MASSIVELY fudge the data,

              There NO WAY that this year will ever be “Hottest Ever”

              (notice I ignored Giss and Had, because they come under the MASSIVELY FUDGED criterion, but even they have no real chance)

              30

            • #

              Ever get the feeling you’re on the wrong side of history?

              Said FIN.

              Let me clear up this misnomer for you Fin my friend.

              Nobody can be on the wrong side of history because history repeats itself.
              So today, you are on the future side of past history. But we know history will repeat itself, so you are also on the history side of history when it repeats itself in the future.

              Now on rare occasions, like the present time, you can be living the history and even partaking in it. In fact, the current age is incredibly lucky in that we have a convergence of 3 histories all repeating themselves right here right now.

              *Witch burning to change climate
              *Lysenkoscientism
              *Communism

              Don’t you feel just great being in the thick of it on this rare occasion FIN?

              20

    • #
      ianl8888


      And yet despite the fact that you consider peer review easy to circumvent you still fail to publish a single paper refuting the established science of climate change

      A straw man

      The point of Ian Wilson’s comment is that Journal editors and favoured (albeit “anonymous”) reviewers act as gate-keepers so that contrary papers are almost impossible to publish

      Discuss the actual point, not one you may wish was made

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      … you still fail to publish a single paper refuting the established science of climate change.

      Why should we? I would be a waste of time, and with absolutely no benefit.

      I am in the business of providing strategic advice, on technical matters, to industry and occasionally to some of the more astute politicians who value an independent view. There are several other advisory companies who do the same thing.

      The people we advise can either take our opinions at face value, or ignore them. It doesn’t matter much to us, because we get paid anyway. But history shows that they always come back for more, so we are obviously providing something of value.

      If the climate alchemists want to publish their mumbo-jumbo, then that is up to them. But I will tell you this for free, FIN, in the real world, practical advice beats computer simulations every time.

      40

      • #
        FIN

        Is that why the US & China just signed a deal to cut emissions? I see where you’re going with this.

        08

        • #
          Robert

          Yes, a deal that means nothing. But it does provide you with talking points as you continue to say nothing.

          A nothing deal, held up by a nothing as though it proves something. Seems to be all you are capable of isn’t it?

          50

          • #
            FIN

            Don’t be too sure it’s nothing, there’s a bit going on behind the scenes setting up for the Paris meeting next year.

            05

          • #
            FIN

            I see also where China is looking to peak its coal usage by 2015. That is a game changer if ever there was one.

            06

            • #
              ianl8888

              You’re just full of straw men, aren’t you ?

              China intends to peak its’ emissions by about 2030, maybe

              See also my comment at 12:35pm above

              Deal with the facts, not straw men you pretend are facts

              40

            • #
              the Griss

              “China is looking to peak its coal usage by 2015″

              BOLLOCKS!!

              They are NOT going to suddenly stop building new coal fired power stations at the rate of “lots” per year.

              They NEED electricity so that they can pick up the manufacturing slack from the EU and other countries that are destroying their manufacturing sectors.

              Their choices for solid, reliable, supply are…

              COAL, GAS, NUCLEAR and HYDRO, and they are going gangbusters on them.

              Did you know that many of their wind turbines are just a FACADE and remain UNCONNECTED to the grid ??

              50

              • #
                FIN

                What I should of said is that China is looking to peak it’s coal use for electricity generation by 2015, which is still pretty impressive.

                06

              • #
                FIN

                Part of this tapering off is of course because new coal plants are far more efficient than the old ones but of course the environment doesn’t care where the declines come from as long as they come.

                06

              • #
                the Griss

                The environment doesn’t care so long as it gets PLENTY of CO2 !!

                There will be NO declines in CO2 output for MANY, MANY years. :-) :-)

                Linear increase in CO2 output at least :-)

                Hopefully by 2030, the world will have realised that CO2 is an ESSENTIAL part of the carbon cycle and levels of 1000ppm are massively preferable to the dangerously low level we currently have.

                Oh and yes, efficiency is good, lowers the price or electricity, economies expand.

                Australia should be using those climate funds in the “direct action” to update the current COAL-FIRED power stations to UCS type…

                ….and to building LARGE dams, with hydro power, in the north of Australia for agricultural expansion.

                btw, By 2030 all this farcical CO2 demonisation will be well and truly over.

                Nobody except a rabid brain-washed warmista can remain ignorant for THAT long.

                Or can you ??????

                30

            • #
              Robert

              Good, if you see that show everyone else where you see that. If you can’t provide a link to your source then it is just wishful thinking on your part.

              Or as I’m sure most here suspect, just more of your verbal b.s.

              10

        • #
          the Griss

          You gullible drone, Fin !!

          USA is cutting by changing to GAS. because they can.

          China is NOT even thinking of cutting anything until after it has completed its current plans for MASSIVE EXPANSION of its coal fired energy in 2030.

          India is also planning massive expansion of its coal fired power, and in fact (IIRC) has just signed a 2.2 billion dollar to buy Australian COAL.

          Several African countries are also looking to start supplying solid coal fired electricity to their citizens when they can get the funds.

          If the World Bank doesn’t want to supply those funds, sure as heck the China, India, Brazil consortium will.

          So don’t you fret your little mind…….

          The planet will be well provided with CO2 plant food for MANY years to come. :-)

          52

        • #

          The US and China signed a worthless, non-enforcable agreement so Obama could make his rich environmental donation machines happy and China can always use some PR.

          30

          • #
            Ian Wilson

            FIN is a troll – the best way to get rid of trolls is to stop feeding them.
            FIN doesn’t know any other world other than that of the mindless troll.
            Leave him to his misery.

            30

            • #

              Sometimes that works. However, I am currently ignoring two trolls on a different blog but that does not seem to be helping. Even if you don’t answer them, they seem to have this self-feeding need to post. If you do ignore them, at least you don’t waste time trying to reason with those who have no apparent interest in reality. Plus, sometimes it’s good just to practice your responses to the opposition.

              30

            • #
              ianl8888

              Agreed

              When one of its’ straw men is pointed out, it just replies with another straw man

              20

            • #
              Robert

              Ah but the trolls have this peculiar sort of logic that goes:

              A – Make an outlandish claim
              B – If no one responds it means the claim is correct
              C – If someone does refute the outlandish claim, change the subject to another outlandish claim
              D – Repeat C until B

              In which case, in their own mind, they always win the argument even though nothing they said was ever correct. It is how they convince themselves they are always right when nothing could be further from the truth.

              30

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    Gary

    I once received an email asking me to become a reviewer of papers in a field in which I had not published and actually had little knowledge. I trashed it along with the other daily spam, but wonder now if it was more than a phishing email. It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that like term paper mills, somebody was setting up a review mill.

    30

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    pat

    28 Nov: BBC: David Shukman: How could man intervene to change the climate?
    Imagine the trouble that would ensue if China resorted to desperate measures to cool its climate but the result was that the Indian Monsoon suddenly failed.
    Or that India tried to head off a rise in temperatures only to find that Pakistan suffered from massive flooding.
    Or that the United States took drastic action to fight global warming and then saw that great tracts of Africa were suddenly left without any rain…
    This week, research by teams at the universities of Leeds, Bristol and Oxford has highlighted the challenges of any type of intervention and raised some fascinating questions.
    Would solar shielding launched by one country trigger a drought in another? Would that be a cause for war? Would anyone ever really know that the geo-engineering was to blame? …
    One answer is that if climate change proves to be as far-reaching and pervasive as some projections suggest, it is bound to escalate tensions regardless of any geo-engineering…
    The authors of the recent research are adamant that the risks are so great that any studies or experiments need to be as open as possible – and that actual operations, however distant in the future, must be governed by international treaty***…
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30229874

    why the above, when Shukman had already covered this 2 days ago?

    26 Nov: BBC: David Shukman: Geo-engineering: Climate fixes ‘could harm billions’
    Now three combined research projects, led by teams from the universities of Leeds, Bristol and Oxford, have explored the implications in more detail.
    The central conclusion, according to Dr Matt Watson of Bristol University, is that the issues surrounding geo-engineering – how it might work, the effects it might have and the potential downsides – are “really really complicated”…
    ***The studies used computer models to simulate the possible implications of different technologies – with a major focus on ideas for making the deserts, seas and clouds more reflective so that incoming solar radiation does not reach the surface…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30197085

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    Robert

    So “A” writes a paper which purports to prove that dog doo left uncollected in the yard contributes to global warming.

    His neighbor “B” who thinks the same thing says he has reviewed the paper and found no faults with it. “A” then emails a copy of the paper to a secondary email address maintained by “A” who then reviews his own paper. Not surprisingly this review also found no fault with the paper.

    Encouraged by his success “A” then emails a copy to a secondary address of “B”, a copy to the neighbor across the street who happens to hate dogs, and a copy to yet another secondary email address that belongs to “A”.

    Eventually all of these reviews return to “A” with only some spelling corrections suggested. As none of the reviews found fault with the premise of the paper the results are forwarded to various publications and media journalists who then proceed to report “dog doo being left uncollected in the yard contributes to global warming” as fact.

    In the meantime the neighbor down at the end of the street who is trying to make it known that “A” doesn’t even own any dogs finds that all attempts at contacting publishers and media are either ignored or met with ridicule and contempt.

    And there you have modern science.

    The grant seeking and government funding comes next to expand the research into whether or not cat doo, squirrel doo, and rodent doo also have the same effect. Given that the original paper was “peer reviewed” and deals with global warming we can rest assured the grants will come and the government funding will be provided.

    30

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    pat

    ABC regular, Ian Dunlop, today: BHP not facing up to what the science is telling us, there was denial in resource industries, there still is, but they rely on growth for their prosperity, so they should end subsidies on coal in particular, oil and gas too, cos renewables would then be cheaper, cos IMF & World Bank say so:

    AUDIO: 28 Nov: ABC Breakfast: BHP climate change readiness challenged
    BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie told RN Breakfast on Tuesday that his company was preparing its business for climate change.
    But former Shell executive turned mining sector critic Ian Dunlop has challenged this claim…
    Guest: Ian Dunlop, Climate change activist and former Shell executive.
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/bhp-climate-change-readiness-challenged/5924206

    Ian Dunlop Bio 2014 Candidate for the BHPB Board
    Chairman of Safe Climate Australia, a Director of Australia 21, Deputy Convenor of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil, a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development, a member of The Club of Rome and of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Climate Change Taskforce…
    http://www.iandunlop.net/#!bio/cdmn

    Safe Climate Australia’s website doesn’t even exist any more, it would seem (remember it was founded by Ove Hoegh-Guldberg – Sponsors included VicSuper, Pacific Hydro, the Environmental Protection Authority and Mercedes Benz – & it was launched by Al Gore in 2009);

    in latest Australia21 Annual Report, on their barely-used website, i learned Dunlop was involved in a project – BEYOND DENIAL: MANAGING THE UNCERTAINTIES OF GLOBAL CHANGE – & that this project grew out of a visit to Canberra by authors Jorgen Randers and Paul Gilding, that Randers is a Norwegian who was a co-author of The Club of Rome’s “Limits to Growth” in 1972, who has continued to work on these issues for the past 40 years and his recent book “2052″ is based on further computer modelling and on his personal experience in seeking to have limits to growth built into public policy around the world.

    the most recent thing on the barely-used Club of Rome website is a link to an Oct 2 article in The Conversaton – “Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy it” – by Samuel Alexander, Research fellow, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at University of Melbourne.

    the most recent thing on the Gorbachev Task Force website is “Latest IPCC Report, the US EPA and the Cost of Climate Inaction: Reframing the Debate”
    04 Nov 14 | Adam Koniuszewski | 0 comments

    websites for the other two orgs Dunlop is associated with – ASPO and CPD – are, quite frankly, total rubbish.

    so why does ABC inflict this man’s views on the Australian public at every opportunity?

    10

  • #
    pat

    28 Nov: Guardian: Oliver Milman: Victorian election: Greens leading in battle for prized seat of Melbourne
    With polls showing the Greens ahead in both Melbourne and Richmond, the minor party hopes to secure the balance of power
    The seat of Melbourne is the prize the Greens are eyeing most optimistically, with Labor defending a margin of 4.7%. The seat is held at federal level by the Greens’ Adam Bandt, with former scientist and climate campaigner Ellen Sandell looking to replicate his success at state level.
    Polling has shown the Greens ahead in both Melbourne and the neighbouring seat of Richmond, with Brunswick also potentially in play…
    Other things on the Greens’ wishlist include a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and the phase-out of carbon-intensive brown coal. If the cards fall right for the Greens, many of their policies could be enacted…READ ON
    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/nov/28/victorian-election-greens-ahead-seat-of-melbourne

    00

  • #

    Say, I know this is wildly off topic, but hey, I just couldn’t resist.

    I wonder if there’s a mess age in here somewhere.

    Iron Ore – cheaper than it’s been for ages.

    Coking Coal – cheaper than it’s been for ages.

    (So, making steel is now much cheaper)

    Thermal coal – cheaper than it’s been for ages.

    Natural Gas – cheaper than it’s been for ages. (well, in some places anyway)

    And now oil – cheaper than it’s been in ages.

    Sort of sends all the wrong price messages, eh!

    Tony.

    60

    • #
      the Griss

      And all because of the massive subsidies on alternative non-energies..

      Ya gotta chuckle :-)

      42

      • #
        the Griss

        Come on you pussilanimous red thumbers.. Don’t be shy.

        If you don’t like what I say.. come out from hiding and put your case.

        If you dare !!!!

        20

  • #
    pat

    anyone with the expertise to critique this?

    27 Nov: Science Alert: BEC CREW: New superconductor-powered wind turbines could hit Australian shores in five years
    Australian scientists are developing wind turbines that are one-third the price and 1,000 times more efficient than anything currently on the market to install along the country’s windy and abundant coast.
    Developed by a team at the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, the wind turbines are a significant improvement on current technology…
    “In our design there is no gear box, which right away reduces the size and weight by 40 percent,” said lead researcher and materials scientist Shahriar Hossain. “We are developing a magnesium diboride superconducting coil to replace the gear box. This will capture the wind energy and convert it into electricity without any power loss, and will reduce manufacturing and maintenance costs by two thirds.”…
    The team estimates that their superconductor wind turbines will cost just $3-5 million each to build, because by next year, the magnesium diboride coil will cost just $1 per metre to manufacture…
    VIDEO: Here’s Hossain talking about their research…
    http://www.sciencealert.com/new-superconductor-powered-wind-turbines-could-hit-australian-shores-in-five-years

    00

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      First:
      there are already turbines without gearboxes installed, and yes they are lighter.
      Second:
      The cost they quote is much the same as existing turbines.
      Third:
      Current turbines extract about 45% (3 bladed) or 50% (2 bladed) of the energy in wind. The Betz limit is around 59% so the MAXIMUM improvement is near 30% theoretically.
      Fourth:
      “because by next year, the magnesium diboride coil will cost just…” given the record on predictions from this area….

      I wonder who peer reviewed this? Any suggestions?

      30

      • #
        the Griss

        I often wonder just how sensible it is to take that much of the NATURAL flow of the wind!

        The local climate DEPENDS on those winds.!

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    the Griss

    Now Russia cops the cold weather. !!

    If you look at the chart part way down, you will see that -52°C is way outside the expected range of temps for November.

    The big question is…

    will Giss have this November as “The Hottest Ever” globally ?

    If so, what temperature will the areas with no thermometers have to be adjusted to, to pull it off?

    Poor Gavin is gunna have to pull out all his fingers on this one !!

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    pat

    Graeme No.3 -
    thanx for the comment on the “superconductor-powered wind turbines”. i know nothing more than what this article states.

    TonyfromOz -
    true, the price signals do not bode well for investment in wind/solar, etc.

    back to Ian Dunlop – what amused me on ABC this morning was his pretense at being concerned for the growth/prosperity of BHP & the resource industries in general, when he is concurrently involved in Club of Rome and its “Limits to Growth” obsession .

    13 Nov: ABC Lateline: US pension fund CalPERS backs climate change activist’s bid for spot on BHP Billiton board
    “The fact is our current global climate policies are leading us to a world where the temperature will increase 4 degrees on average, probably well in excess of that, and the top scientists are telling us that if we let that happen we won’t have 7 billion people, we’ll have 1 billion.
    “Six billion people will basically die from heat stress, storms, drought, disease and so on.”
    The prediction of a possible population wipeout comes from Berlin’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, which advises the German Government and the World Bank…
    At least one large Australian super fund, Local Government Super, is also voting for Ian Dunlop…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-13/bhp-criticised-for-backing-carbon-change/5088774

    the Club of Rome agenda seems to be inextricably linked to the CAGW agenda:

    Wikipedia: The Limits to Growth
    Five variables were examined in the original model. These variables are: world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_to_Growth

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    pat

    keeping to a Club of Rome theme:

    7 Sept: UK Register: Tim Worstall: Limits to Growth is a pile of steaming doggy-doo based on total cobblers
    The Guardian praised it? Right, now we know for sure.
    Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we’re nearing collapse. Four decades after the book was published, Limit to Growth’s forecasts have been vindicated by new Australian research. Expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon
    Well, yes, real soon now, no doubt. And the guy who has checked this research must be believed: Graham Turner is a physicist who used to work for CSIRO in Oz. And CSIRO are just great guys: they actually cited me in one of their academic papers so they must be. So, obviously, we should all just curl up and die right now, right?
    Er, we’re not all going to die. Sorry about that
    Fortunately for you I’ve actually gone and read Turner’s various replays of the original paper and I can tell you about the policy-based evidence-making tricks he has used to reach this conclusion. I’m even willing to share those two tricks with you.
    It’s pretty simple really: he’s assumed at the start that we’re about to run out of stuff to transform and also that we’re just about to run out of the energy necessary to do any transformation. After that, why bother writing anything else?…
    The big reveal
    So, here’s what Turner’s two little tricks are…READ ON
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/09/07/the_club_of_romes_limits_to_growth_was_right_you_know/

    CSIRO’s Dr. Graham Turner is now a Principal Research Fellow, at the Uni of Melbourne’s MSSI (Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute), alongside Research Fellow Samuel Alexander (whose Conversation article “Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy it” is linked on Club of Rome’s website – see an earlier comment i made on this thread), Tim Flannery (Professorial Fellow), & former Crikey deputy editor, Cathy Alexander (Research Fellow – Translation & Development).
    http://www.sustainable.unimelb.edu.au/content/views/institute_staff

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    pat

    Wikipedia: Club of Rome
    In 1991, the Club published The First Global Revolution: Excerpt: “In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”
    A study by Graham Turner of the research organisation CSIRO in Australia in 2008 found that “30 years of historical data compare favorably with key features of a business-as-usual scenario called the ‘‘standard run’’ scenario, which results in collapse of the global system midway through the 21st century.”…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Club_of_Rome

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    pat

    another piece that has attracted quite a bit of MSM coverage. comments welcomed:

    26 Nov: Nature World News: Jenna Iacurci: Blu-Ray Discs the Answer to Better Solar Panels?
    Whether it’s an old Jackie Chan movie or a hilarious episode of “Family Guy,” Blu-ray discs are all one in the same, with all of them possibly holding the answer to better solar panels, according to a new study…
    “We found a random pattern or texture does work better than no pattern, but a Blu-ray disc pattern is best of all,” lead study author Jiaxing Huang said in a press release.
    “It’s as if electrical engineers and computer scientists developing the Blu-ray technology have been subconsciously doing our jobs, too,” he added.
    The researchers used a Blu-ray of “Supercop,” starring Jackie Chan, to create a mold for a quasi-random surface texture that they placed on a solar cell. They found that this pattern boosted light absorption by 21.8 percent over the entire solar spectrum…
    “The big surprise is that the pattern worked so well,” Huang told Live Science…
    The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.
    http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/10681/20141126/blu-ray-discs-the-answer-to-better-solar-panels.htm

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    pat

    CBS playing politics:

    28 Nov: CBS: Michael Casey: What will it take to get skeptics to warm up to climate change?
    As the annual United Nations climate talks get under way Monday in Peru, global leaders are likely to call out natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy in a bid to rally support for a pact combating global warming.
    But a new study finds that extreme weather – whether it be droughts, floods or heat waves – does little to change attitudes about climate change in the United States…
    Climatic conditions “only have a negligible effect on perceptions about the seriousness of climate change,” the researchers wrote in a study published in Global Environmental Change…
    Rather, it comes down to personal politics…
    In a separate study in Nature Climate Change that McCright also took part in, researchers found that only 35 percent of Americans believe global warming was the main cause of the abnormally high temperatures during the winter of 2012.
    “Many people already had their minds made up about global warming and this extreme weather was not going to change that,” McCright said of the winter, which was the fourth warmest winter in the United States dating back to at least 1895…
    Warshaw also said it would help if Republicans saw an economic cost to inaction or see the solutions to reducing carbon emissions as being relatively cheap.
    “As the costs of wind power and solar power becomes cheaper to address climate change, I think public opinion on taking action on climate change will change,” he said. “People are attentive to cost.”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-will-it-take-to-get-skeptics-to-warm-up-to-climate-change/

    not a mention of the contradictory Columbia study in the CBS piece (mind u, i see all these studies as propaganda):

    24 Nov: Bloomberg: Cass R. Sunstein: What Global Warming? Pass Me a Blanket
    When people think the day’s weather is exceptionally cold, research shows, they’re less likely to be concerned about global warming. And when the day seems unusually hot, concern jumps.
    Notably, this effect can be found among Republicans and Democrats, men and women, young and old…
    To study this phenomenon, Eric Johnson, Ye Li and Lisa Zaval of Columbia University’s Center for Decision Sciences, asked almost 600 Americans two questions…
    And even when the researchers went out of their way to inform respondents that minor fluctuations in weather are to be expected during climate change, the day’s temperature affected their answers.
    A follow-up study found that, on exceptionally warm days, people were also far more likely to donate money to a charity concerned about global warming, and they were likely to donate more money as well — 500 percent more than on cold days…
    What’s going on here? The best explanation probably involves “attribute substitution,” a pervasive phenomenon described by Daniel Kahneman, a behavioral scientist who won the Nobel Prize in economics…
    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-11-24/what-global-warming-pass-me-a-blanket

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    pat

    gender politics as CAGW propaganda:

    28 Nov: Guardian: Teresa Odendahl: Women on climate change frontline make big impact on small grants
    (Teresa Odendahl is CEO of the Global Greengrants Fund)
    From Guatemala to Indonesia, bold action by women in communities threatened by extreme weather shows there is an alternative to costly international schemes.
    They do so not as a matter of politics, but as a matter of survival.
    From the rainforests of Guatemala to the islands of Papua New Guinea, rural communities are losing their homes and livelihoods as their regions face bouts of extreme weather and new cycles of drought and flooding…
    Worldwide, the women and grassroots groups with whom we work are taking action to save the environment in concrete ways, from stopping deforestation in Indonesia to promoting clean energy in Nigeria. In the face of death threats and harassment, they drive their projects forward because their lives – and the lives of their children – depend on them.
    Despite leading some of the boldest and most successful climate projects, however, they receive little attention and scant backing from typical funders and climate finance programmes…
    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/nov/28/cop21-women-climate-change-frontline-small-grants-mama-aleta-baun-west-timor

    Global Greengrants Fund
    http://www.greengrants.org/

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    pat

    28 Nov: UK Spectator: Ross Clark: Cold is killing fewer Britons than ever. Why don’t we hear about the beneficial side of climate change?
    Yesterday, the Royal Society published a report, Resilience to Extreme Weather, predicting that by 2090 four billion people around the world each year will be subjected to heatwave events, with dire consequences for the health of older people.
    This morning, the Office of National Statistics published its latest figures on ‘excess winter deaths’. They show that last winter there were 18,200 more deaths between December and February than would be expected during the three summer months. Dramatic though this sounds, it is the lowest recorded in 65 years. During the previous winter, 2012-13, there were 31,280 winter deaths. There is a very good reason why excess winter deaths fell so sharply in the space of a year. Last winter was particularly mild: December and January were 2° Celsius above the long-term average. The winter 2012/13, by contrast, had prolonged periods of cold. There is a long term correlation between cold winters and excess winter deaths.
    Cold kills the elderly and infirm, as indeed does heat. But only the latter of these facts is acknowledged in the Royal Society report. It is the same with IPCC reports and others. We hear endlessly about how we will suffer more heatwaves, without any recognition that warmer temperatures would lead to fewer people dying of cold. Yet the latter would be a far bigger benefit than the former a disbenefit. That statisticians in Britain measure ‘excess winter deaths’ rather than ‘excess summer deaths’ is an indication that in a temperate climate, at least, cold is a far bigger killer than heat…
    Without a balanced critique of the evidence a climate change report is just propaganda.
    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/11/why-dont-we-hear-about-the-beneficial-side-of-climate-change/

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    pat

    Wendy Harmer – trapped in the left/right paradigm:

    29 Nov: SMH: Wendy Harmer: Climate doesn’t have to be a dry argument
    Data and graphs aren’t getting the climate change message across in Australia. It’s time for a more personal touch.
    On my debut appearance last week on the ABC’s The Drum, I found myself at the opposite end of the table from The Australian journalist Sharri Markson. Only a few chairs stood between us, but the gulf in our perception of how conversations on climate change are playing out was so wide that it set me off to explore…
    In the airconditioned studio of The Drum that afternoon we discussed US President Barack Obama’s speech to the University of Queensland during the G20 and the rebuke it received from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop…
    British climate educator George Marshall in his much-lauded book published this August Don’t Even Think About It – Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, says the problem is that measurements and graphs do not persuade. Further, he argues that humans are predisposed to put aside things that are too painful to accept. We focus and act upon on immediate rather than future dangers.
    This was perfectly played out in the message the Abbott gave the nation after the historic joint deal from China and the US on curbing carbon emissions…
    Instead, says Marshall, the narrative should be optimistic and enthusiastic about creating a cleaner, greener, more just world. Emphasising new, exciting technologies and being honest about what we’ll gain as well as lose in the end of the fossil fuel era…
    Marshall’s message has been hailed by climate change communicators as essential reading and they are sure to change gear and accentuate the positive and the personal.
    That’s why, I’d argue, Obama’s speech was effective. The image of Malia and Sasha Obama and their grandchildren off to find Nemo on the Great Barrier Reef resonated more than a stack of scientific or governmental reports.
    Perhaps that’s why Julie Bishop didn’t like it.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/climate-doesnt-have-to-be-a-dry-argument-20141128-11v76f.html

    that great “climate educator” George Marshall’s barely-used website:

    most recent entry:

    28 Sept: ClimateDenial.org: George Marshall: BREAKING NEWS: NORTH KOREA POISONING ATMOSPHERE TO DESTROY AMERICAN WEATHER
    A recent drone photograph reveals the scale of North Korea’s secret programme to destabilise world weather patterns.
    That’s not true, of course…
    And herein lies the real challenge. Climate change can be anything you want it to be. It can be here or there, in the present or the future, certain and uncertain. It seems that we see climate change as a threat – and are therefore able to harness that innate reaction to an external enemy – only once it is poured it into the mould of our familiar stories, with their heroes and villains…
    During a raucous evening with members of the Texan Tea Party I was told in predictably blunt language that liberal environmentalists are the real enemy, and that we have invented this scam to extend government control. Like most conservatives, they failed to see that it is climate change itself that poses a threat to their values, freedoms and property…
    For the general public, too, there are gaps and blind spots. Most people have never discussed climate change with anyone outside their immediate family. A third cannot recall having talked about it with anyone at all. And, counter-intuitively, climate-related trauma seems to make people even more reticent…
    (This article originally appeared in The Guardian on 23rd September under the title: Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change. It has attracted 271 comments, the vast majority of which are extremely opinionated, and some very rude. Taken together, they entirely support my observation that climate change exists in the form of socially constructed narratives based around values, worldview containing existing (or projected) enemies.)
    COMMENTS (0)
    http://climatedenial.org/

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    pat

    29 Nov: Stuff.co.nz: Anna Pearson: Climate change threatens Santa’s hometown
    Will climate change kill Father Christmas?
    A Canterbury academic says that if the big man has to drive his sleigh through slush, the world’s “Santa tourism superpower” – Finnish Lapland – will suffer.
    New research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism examined the implications of climate change for “place branding and marketing in a high-latitude context, some of the most rapidly changing environments in the world”.
    Its main focus was Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, marketed as the “official hometown of Santa Claus”.
    University of Canterbury marketing professor Michael Hall said Rovaniemi was “the primary illustration of Christmas branding that is threatened by climate change”…
    The Christmas season was “huge” business and incredibly important for tourism in peripheral, isolated high-latitude destinations such as Rovaniemi, he said. A survey showed snow was an essential factor in its tourism appeal…
    Tourists might be able to head further north for snow at Christmas time, Hall said, but “that does not help the longer-term problem of climate change”…
    “Climate change may not kill Santa Claus but the message that his home is being destroyed may be a powerful enough story that helps to curb the threat that climate change brings to polar environments and places.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/63661571/Climate-change-threatens-Santas-hometown

    Santa and his helpers don’t look at all concerned!

    22 Nov: Youtube: Christmas Opening 2014 in Santa Claus’ Hometown Rovaniemi in Lapland Finland
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbwWNNjfLfk

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    Ceetee

    As a scientific layperson I have to say say the entire peer review system sounds like a crock to me. It’s all very well subjecting your intellectual rigour to the scrutiny of your peers but if you resort to cherry picking the reviewers you obviously have doubts about the veracity of your work. I would want my absolute enemy, the one diametrically opposed to my conclusions to have total scrutiny of my work because only then can I truly believe in myself, right or wrong. I guess Jo, science done correctly is a labour of love where discovery is the ultimate reward. The only reward because all else is just a form of prostitution.

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    Ceetee

    Green, command economy socialist types are SOOO dumb when you analyse what their prescriptions are. They created a non existent problem, they devised a catastrophic solution and somehow we are ogres for not toeing the party line. Not an independent free thinking mind anywhere in that rats nest.

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    High Treason

    Almost all the “work” and academic articles that imply man-made global warming/ climate change are conjectures. They assume there is global warming (allow people to put in the prefix of man-made.) The content is mainly dribble. A recent classic is that some sea creature will move slower because of climate change and thus in danger of extinction because it cannot get away from predators. I can see the little wings flapping in indignation-like a four year old chucking a tantrum and crapping in their pants. Of course, it adds volume to the number of papers that suggest AGW. We should all note that few researchers are foolish enough to categorically state global warming or climate change(or whatever the buzzword of the day) is man-made.

    Peer review has been so abused as to make science itself useless. There is nothing impartial about it anymore. As for funding of research, I have it on good authority (someone very close to me has 15 years in the ARC including 2 as chairman) that if you do not come to the conclusions that those who have funded the research want, you do not get any more funding. Essentially, your career is OVER. The copious volume of “supporting” papers is biased by the funding, which totally defiles the concept of the purity of science.

    Hopefully the desecration of science comes to light at some stage of the game. There will be a lot of soul-searching and hopefully a lot of unemployed scientific “prostitutes” out on the streets.

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      High Treason: I have also read papers and articles where the “research” on the oceanic occupants is actually done in a lab. Not only are the scientists not studying climate, they are also not studying much of anything outside the lab. It is cheaper and more controlled, but it seems to lead to problems in the conclusions. Coral is not nearly as bothered by so-called climate change as the lab specimens would indicate. Someone actually went out and looked at the coral reefs. Who would thought…….

      There’s the favorite school “demonstration” to show ocean acidicification (correctly called “ocean becoming slightly less basic”) that uses vinegar instead of carbonic acid. Yes, science is in trouble.

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