the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

I hope not…

Posted by Jeff Id on July 18, 2010

Pat Michaels has a disturbing article in the Wall Street Journal on what is happening in peer review since climategate.  He can no longer publish any papers and has had four blocked since November.   The article was from the 12th but I didn’t see it until now.

Climate Research and several other journals have stopped accepting anything that substantially challenges the received wisdom on global warming perpetuated by the CRU. I have had four perfectly good manuscripts rejected out of hand since the CRU shenanigans, and I’m hardly the only one. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama, Huntsville, has noted that it’s becoming nearly impossible to publish anything on global warming that’s nonalarmist in peer-reviewed journals.

Blocking of papers that came to different conclusions from climate journals was one of the central issues of climategate.   The conspiracy to block certain views was openly discussed in the emails, of course the ‘review’ panels couldn’t seem to read them, but whatever.

Currently we are awaiting a re-review of Ryan’s Antarctic paper, the first reviews read favorably except for one which came from what appeared to be the original authors being critiqued.   It was decided by the editor that we needed to make major changes, which we did where appropriate.  At this point we have been waiting for quite a while to see if they will accept it.   Everyone put a lot of work into the paper to insure its accuracy and it’s not anti-agw by anything I can see so we’re just quietly hoping it will be accepted.

Reading Pat Michaels and Roy Spencers experiences of late, it doesn’t give a warm fuzzy feeling.  It sounds though, like climate science has learned nothing.

40 Responses to “I hope not…”

  1. Unfortunately, that is not at all surprising!

    Soon after Nature acknowledged major problems in the standard model of the Sun’s origin [“The demise of established dogmas on the formation of the Solar System “, Nature 303 (1983) 286]

    Click to access swart-1983.pdf

    New findings on the Sun’s origin, composition, and source of energy became taboo at Nature!

    It was reported on Tallbloke’s Talkshop [17 July 2010] that Nature’s astronomy editor, Leslie Sage, recently lifted a ban publishing solar papers.

    Professor Sami Solanki just informed me that his report in the “Sun Rediscovered by Nature” [Tallbloke’s Talkshop, 17 July 2010]:

    1. Was meant for his solar physics colleagues, and

    2. Has “nothing to do with any crap about a change in Nature’s policy about the Sun producing global warning.”

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  2. Schiller Thurkettle said

    After the escape of the emails etc. from Hadley CRU, the US government suspended annual payments of roughly £131,000 to Hadley, pending an investigation of scientific misconduct.

    Which means it is now more important than ever to maintain the warmist narrative. Formerly it might have been possible to tolerate a bit of dissent, but now, the big money is on the line. Publication of findings which challenge ‘the consensus’ could be used to prove malpractice — not a wise move, financially. Time to circle the wagons. Who is surprised?

  3. kim said

    If it warms, we’re all sucked into the memory hole. If it cools, we’re prophets. Choose wisely, my friend.

  4. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I hope that Ryan O and/or the other authors of the Antarctic paper presented for publication provide the readers here an opportunity to read the paper as presented and the reviews of it. I found these facets of the process most informing.

  5. Jeff Id said

    We’re just quietly waiting, I’m hoping that perhaps Pat’s papers weren’t up to par (four times?) and they recognize that this one is.

  6. Mescalero said

    Kenneth Fritsch–

    I agree.

  7. Brian H said

    The gatekeepers are busy!

  8. Jeff Id said

    There are too many gatekeepers for sure, I’m not of the opinion that we are experiencing gatekeeping. So far the criticisms have been constructive.

  9. M. Simon said

    As if this has anything to do with science. It is just a naked power grab. Once you get that the “science” is obvious.

  10. Steve Fitzpatrick said


    If you can’t get it published in a peer reviewed journal, I hope at least that you will publish it in one of the open access non-reviewed journals. Even James Hansen does this, and it sure is better to get the results out there than to sit on them indefinitely. Peer review is nice, but it doesn’t make the paper any more or any less correct than it really is. Lots of great work has been rejected y peer reviewers.

  11. PaulM said

    Thanks for the news about the Antarctic paper. Can you give us any more info(who are the authors? Which journal did you send it to?)
    Of course the editor will have sent it to at least one of the authors of Steig et al so it was inevitable you would get one negative review. Fingers crossed!

  12. sod said

    Pat works for the Cato institute. he can publish, whatever he wants.

    what did you folks think? people can hurl stones at climate scientists, and then will be welcome to publish papers in the magazines?

    if “sceptics” had been a little more sceptic about “climategate”, the situation would be less strained.

  13. Jeff Id said

    I think it will be published as is to be honest. Nobody did anything incorrectly at this point.

  14. TimG said

    #5 – Jeff

    Not up to par? Come on. The standards in climate science are so low for alarmist papers that Pat would have to completely incompentent to fail to meet the standards. The trouble, of course, is the people that get to decide on ‘acceptable standards’ are free to make up what ever rules they want to suit their political adgenda. The total lack of accountability breeds corrpution.

  15. Gilbert K. Arnold said

    Jeff: Off topic re: this thread. I left a nice present for all the posters on here over at the Incredible Libertarians and the Skeptics Creed thread. Enjoy. Gilbert

  16. Hans Erren said

    It only takes a webserver to start your own journal.
    Nobody reads the printed stuff these days, everybody wants the pdf’s.
    So an opportunity to start a public reviewed climate journal.

  17. Tom Fuller said

    Hans (and others), do you want to talk about this idea? I have in mind a wiki with a blog farm attached, with one weblog for public comments for each topic or paper posted on the wiki. Wiki will be open (invitation only) to scientists to comment on papers, the rest of us using the blogs and interacting (hopefully) with authors and critics.

  18. Leonard Weinstein said

    #12 SOD,
    Most of the “skeptics” who were scientists agreed:
    1) There has been some warming since 1850, and the amount is probably close to 0.7 K
    2) The CO2 level has gone up a significant amount (280 ppm to 380 ppm) since 1850, and human activity is probably a major factor in the increase
    3) CO2 is greenhouse gas and can cause some temperature increase

    The disagreements were mainly on the following:
    1) The warming does not seem to be unusual based on several other increases within the last several thousand years, and is thus hard to mainly pin on human activity
    2) The estimated increase due to a doubling of equivalent CO2 (CO2 and methane) would only be a little over 1.1 K if the effect was not increased by positive feedback. This is smaller than the lowest model value.
    3) The evidence on feedback is not established, and several studies support a chance of negative feedback. If feedback is negative or even very slightly positive the models are all wrong.
    4) Many effects are not well understood including the full effects of aerosols and clouds. Making extremely costly changes in our world based on this level of lack of understanding and inputting fake numbers into models to hindcast them is wrong as a basis for long range forecasts.
    5) The precautionary principal applied to this problem is just as likely to cause more problems than solutions. The great possibility that we are heading for a period of cooling is as much if not more likely than much more heating, based on present trends in ocean currents, low solar activity, and based on the relative length of previous interglacial periods.

    I have observer the articles and positions of magazines, newspapers, TV, and technical journals. If you do not see a one sides bias, I do not understand that. Climategate just proved what many honest skeptical scientists suspected on peer review fixing, clear selection bias, lack of honesty, etc. The skeptics were called names, and accused of everything from being tobacco company supporters, oil company shills, holocaust deniers, etc. If they had been allowed fair and equal chance to make their case (whoever ends out correct) they would not have been so bitter. It is true a few individuals and blogs are over the top, but that is true on both sides, and is not generally true for the scientists.

    A fair examination of climategate shows very bad behavior by many of the top climatologists we were depending on to examine a potentially very important issue. Their actions now throw doubt on much of their results. They may even be right, but they caused the problem, not the skeptics. The main response of scientific skeptics was to say that their fears on the bias were justified, and if you consider that a bad response, you are being unrealistic.

  19. Leonard Weinstein said

    #16 Hans Errin
    I agree a public reviewed on-line journal would be good. There are a few basic problems:
    1) The pro AGW side would say these are not peer reviewed articles, thus not relevant
    2) The technical and academic community would not initially give credit toward promotions based on that.
    3) There would have to be an archiving and retrieving system set up for permanent record.

    However, if a structure could be set up for public comments followed by peer review (to assure suitable technical final filtering), and the final article than given an on line published version with peer review shown, it could be made to work.

  20. gallopingcamel said

    Leonard Weinstein (#18),
    Is the “Sod” on this blog the same person as this “SOD”?

    The “Sod” on this blog strikes me as scientifically illiterate so probably these are two different people.

  21. Mark T said

    sod said
    July 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    what did you folks think? people can hurl stones at climate scientists, and then will be welcome to publish papers in the magazines?

    I would expect them, as scientists, to be honest, wouldn’t you? Seems an obvious admission that you don’t think honesty is either to be expected or really necessary.

    That is the problem we’re trying to overcome as I recall.


  22. papertiger said

    I think I remember you saying one of the problems with a Reg Em map of pre spudnik North America was it’s location on the globe. Or maybe it was phrased as Antarctica lends itself to Reg Em because of it’s location over the pole.

    So Roy Spencer’s question #5 from
    My Global Warming Skepticism, for Dummies
    re: 5) (Isn’t the Melting of Arctic Sea Ice Evidence of Warming?)
    Warming, yes…manmade warming, no. Arctic sea ice naturally melts back every summer, but that meltback was observed to reach a peak in 2007. But we have relatively accurate, satellite-based measurements of Arctic (and Antarctic) sea ice only since 1979. It is entirely possible that late summer Arctic Sea ice cover was just as low in the 1920s or 1930s, a period when Arctic thermometer data suggests it was just as warm. Unfortunately, there is no way to know, because we did not have satellites back then. Interestingly, Antarctic sea ice has been growing nearly as fast as Arctic ice has been melting over the last 30+ years.

    Both the question and answer cryout for a reg em of the North Pole, so we can find out how big the ice melt from back in the 30’s was.

  23. papertiger said

    Re: sod
    July 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm #12

    We already know that the climate gate scientists names are mud.
    Now we are drifting into the gauging of how evil they are.

    With each rejected paper and each tightening of wagon circle, they cement their place in history, and intensify the coming retribution.

  24. Brian H said

    Leonard: re #2. Please inspect the following and tell us if you still buy the ‘280 ppm’ figure.

    The circled data points are the ones that generated that number.

  25. Brian H said

    @21 Mark;
    What you don’t understand is that challenging invidious and egregious abuses of scientific norms and ethics is “throwing stones”. At least, from the point of view of those who figgered they’d got away with it, clean! 😉 😀

  26. sod said

    What you don’t understand is that challenging invidious and egregious abuses of scientific norms and ethics is “throwing stones”. At least, from the point of view of those who figgered they’d got away with it, clean!

    publishing and commenting on stolen mail is pretty close to throwing stones. especially when “climategate” fell apart so quickly, now.

    it was clear, that this would not improve the dialogue…

    there is a loophole in law. those who made false comments, produced a lot of false claims, threw a lot of mud will not be punished by law.

    but you can t force scientists to invite those who did this stuff to conferences any longer. to sit next to them, or to have dinner with them. you also can t force them into giving them a favorable review, when they hand in rubbish papers.

    they earned this storm.

  27. kim said

    Climategate has hardly fallen apart, poor Sod; the failures of the inquiries so far are self evident and scandalous in themselves. A proper inquiry will look at more than the released emails, and probably find yet more scandal. Heh, unless you have great faith in the ability of the Miracle Worker to find all the scandal that was there.

  28. Andrew said

    20-Sod’s name isn’t an acronym, it’s a word, as in (excuse the British profanity) “Sod you!” He used to comment on CA with this URL in his name:

    It might not work anymore (I haven’t checked, somebody WayBack Machine it if necessary/possible) but golly I wonder what his political views are…

  29. tallbloke said

    “but you can t force scientists to invite those who did this stuff to conferences any longer.”

    They won’t be able to force us to continue employing them either.

  30. kim said

    Heh, Tb, the pettiness is only exceeded by the arrogance and the anger.

  31. sod said

    They won’t be able to force us to continue employing them either.

    you got a little confused there, Tallbloke.

    the only guy who is “employed” by the “sceptics” here, is Pat Michaels. Energy companies pay his bills, because he spreads misinformation via the CATO institute.

  32. Claw in Ga said

    “sod said
    July 19, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    They won’t be able to force us to continue employing them either.

    you got a little confused there, Tallbloke.

    the only guy who is “employed” by the “sceptics” here, is Pat Michaels. Energy companies pay his bills, because he spreads misinformation via the CATO institute.”

    Perhaps you need to back up Sod and consider where grant money for climate research originates – and by originates I do not mean a government agency (Hint: they’re just distributors).

  33. Brian H said

    Ignore SOD. He is the protypical troll; he will never run out of talking points, and is impervious to reason or contradiction. “Talk to the hand.”

  34. Steven Mosher said


    Muir Russel even found that the climate scientists had misconstrued what certain people were up to, mistaking data libertarians for Oil Shills. THAT was manns mistake. PRIOR to being infected by Mann’s Animus Jones, shared data with Mcintyre. Prior to being infected by Mann’s animus Briffa and Osborne were planning an article that claimed essentially what Mcintyre was claiming.

    Mann writes to fellow scientists who may have to review Mcintyres work someday that McIntyre is a fraud. Surely you can see how this private communicatuon, prior to climategate, poisened the well for Mc. Surely you have a sensible bone in your body.

  35. Steven Mosher said

    Brian H. On occassion SOD has pointed out some things that others miss ( WRT micro site ) rare occasions.

    Otherwise, he has the same tired refrain. Mcintyre was mean, therefore playground rules dictate that his work must be wrong.
    Mcintyre used innuendo in a blog, therefore, his work can justifiably be rejected. When I worked for evil defense companies (aerospace) our PRACTICE was to engage our harshest critics. To pass them all our data and code. to show all our adverse results. to take whatever beating came our way. After all, lives were at stake. If More was at stake in climate science we would see the same kind of dedication to the truth.

    Instead you get marketing

    unrelated but interesting

  36. Brian H said

    Consideration of points is one thing; dialogue is another. Abusive, contemptuous high-jacking is rarely productive for the target.

  37. Thanks, Steve.

    Although I personally still subscribe to Nature, my access to register and post comments on NatureNews ceased soon after I posted the comment critical of AGW at:

    Many years ago Nature was an excellent, vibrant, intellectually-honest science journal.

    Nature published some of our more revolutionary discoveries [1-5] in the 1970s and then a news report in 1983 that cited one or more of these findings, “The demise of established dogmas on the formation of the Solar System” [6].

    After almost three decades of intellectual stagnation, Nature published a finding [7] at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn that not just the Sun, but all stars form the same way – with circumstellar discs orbiting an energetic core!

    Meanwhile, the most important discovery – the source of energy for the compact object at the center of these circumstellar discs [8] – was reported elsewhere.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    1. “Mass fractionation and isotope anomalies in neon and xenon,” Nature 227, 1113-1116 (1970).

    2. “Xenon in carbonaceous chondrites”, Nature 240, 99-101 (1972).

    3. “Noble gases in an Hawaiian xenolith”, Nature 257, 778-780 (1975).

    4. “Xenon record of the early solar system”, Nature 262, 28-32 (1976).

    5. Isotopes of tellurium, xenon and krypton in the Allende meteorite retain record of nucleosynthesis”, Nature 277, 615-620 (1979).

    6. “The demise of established dogmas on the formation of the Solar System”, Nature 303, 286 (1983).

    Click to access swart-1983.pdf

    7. “All Stars are Born the Same Way”, Press release from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, 15 July 2010.

    8. “Nuclear systematics: III. The source of solar luminosity”, Journal of Radioanalytical & Nuclear Chemistry 252, 3-7 (2002).

  38. tallbloke said

    “consider where grant money for climate research originates – and by originates I do not mean a government agency”

    Yup, that’s what I meant. The two faced Janus of a government we didn’t elect is instituting some big cuts on institutions right now. Solar reearch got it in the neck a few years ago, atmospheric science is next.

    Citizen science is doing ok however.

  39. timetochooseagain said

    Actually, the money these days originates from China and the Mints and Printing Presses, mostly, with a few pennies on the dollar coming from taxpayers. I’m exaggerating, but there is some truth to that.

  40. gallopingcamel said

    Andrew (#28),
    Thanks for the comment. I took a look at that link you sent and it was what one might expect from someone whose pseudonym means bu**er. Very poor analytical skills compared to “Science Of Doom”.

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